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June 2017

DIY Crafts To Make Your Garden A Little More Fun

DIY Crafts For Your Garden

 

barrel table
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In case you’ve just woken up from your winter hibernation, summer has officially arrived and that means your favorite room in the house is about to be the garden. And so it should be. However, in order to make that idea stick you may need to brighten your backyard up a little bit, which is not as much of a challenge as you may think.

In fact, unleashing your inner arts and crafts geek and getting your children involved can be amazing fun, not to mention the easiest way to amazing garden decor. Your garden is brimming with opportunity and desperate for some little fun additions, which is why we have come up with a list of super simple and super fun DIY ideas to make you and your garden smile. Enjoy.

lantern
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Polka Dot Lanterns

The world has gone a little bit nuts for mason jars. Restaurants have started serving drinks out of them, people have started making plants pots from there and all sorts seem to be going on. But what you could do is take them into the garden and use them as lanterns. But not just any lanterns, polka-dot lanterns. Just cover your mason jars in some circle sticks, spray them with a nice gold paint, peel off the stickers, pop some little tea lights in them, use some wire to make handles and then hang them around your garden. So simple and yet so effective.

Big Mushrooms

This is one of those things that are so easy to make and so fun to have in your garden. Your kids will absolutely love them too. Quite simply, all you need to do is get some nice sturdy logs, preferably different heights, some red mixing bowls, stop off at Glue Guns Direct, get some decent size nails and some yellow and white spray paint and you are good to go.

In terms of instructions, start off by painting the inside of the bowls yellow. While these are drying, knock the logs into the ground wherever you want them to be (groups of three works really well) and then glue the bowls into position so that they don’t shift when it comes to putting the nail through. If you want, you can drill a hole first. Once this is all done, get your white spray paint and put some lovely white spots on to make that mushroom come to life.

Ladybird garden ornament
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Ladybug Balls

The little things in life are what make us smile the most and that is certainly the case when it comes to making little ladybugs to dot around our flowerbeds. The best things are, these are so simple to make too. All you need is some golf balls, some acrylic paints (red, black and white), some paint brushes and a steady hand. It really is that simple. Just paint the balls red, wait for that to dry, draw the face and a black line down the back, get the eyes done and some black spots and then add them to your garden. So easy.

Watering Can Chandelier

We saw this the other day and it made us smile from ear to ear because it is just so beautiful and so clever and so easy to do. Quite simply, you just need to get a long metal post support, one with a hook shape at the top, so that you can hang your distressed watering can from it. If you can, find a way to tie it in place, whether that is with a hot glue gun or some copper wiring, just something.

The amazing bit comes from the spot though. What you need to do is get a cheap chandelier made of crystals, remove each thread so that you have individual lengths of dangling crystals and then tie them through the holes in the head of the watering can (it will be easier if you take the head off to do this). Once you have done this, put the head back on and stand back to admire how it looks like your watering can is perpetually watering your flowers. It is such an amazing statement piece and so simple too.

Flip Flop Wreath DIY crafts for the garden
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Summer Wreath

We all love decorating the house when it comes to Christmas time, and one of the ways we do this best is with a wreath on the front door. We like to let people know that we are ready for Christmas and that we are Christmas fanatics. Well, why not start doing the same for summer and do it in a fun a cheeky way too.

First off, you could do it like the picture and just go with flip flops. However, you could be more adventurous. All you need is a ten to fifteen-foot garden house, some twist ties, fake flowers, butterfly clip and ribbon and some garden gloves. Start by coiling your hose and fastening it into place with your twist ties. Then stick your fake flowers through the ties, cover the ties with your funky garden gloves and then tie them into your place with your summery ribbon and, voila, there we have it, a gorgeous summer wreath to say you love summer.

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Banana Fritters – Slimming World Recipe

These Slimming World Banana Fritters are really easy to make and so very yummy! I like to have them for breakfast and as a dessert after dinner. They’re great when served with lots of speed fruit like berries and melon. I also like to add […]

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Adding a Touch of Elegance to Your Humble Abode

Touch Of Elegance

We can’t all live in a fairy princess’ castle or country estate, but regardless of who you are, where you live or the size of your budget, you can always add a touch of elegance and luxury to your humble abode. So, where to start? Here are a few ideas to get your imagination going.

Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are a signature status symbol. Why? Because they’re not strictly necessary but they are most certainly a lot of fun. What sounds more comforting than slipping into a warm pool of massaging bubble jets after a long day’s work? Or sipping fizz from a flute with your partner and friends on the weekends that you host the entertainment. Hot Tub Sales have gone through the roof in recent years and it’s not hard to see why. The surprising thing is, they can actually work out to be fairly affordable if you find the right provider and an efficient professional to install it. So get your bikini at the ready!

Fireplace - Touch Of Elegance

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Fireplaces

A roaring open fire will give any home a more comfortable and cozy feel. Imagine: curling up on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate, wrapped in a blanket in front of the warm glow of the fireplace. If you already have a fireplace, make the most of it. Stock up on timber and invest in a chimney sweep to ensure everything is clean and ready to go. If you don’t have one, you can always have one installed. Call in a professional to check out your house and work out whether your home has any suitable walls. Installation is a relatively quick and affordable process.

Rugs

If you have a wooden floor in your home, a high density, plush rug can add a beautiful touch to the room. Especially if you have a large, empty space in the center. Check out beautiful cream rugs with a thick pile. If you have children or pets, you might like to opt for a slightly darker shade, as blackcurrant juice and mud can prove difficult to clean out.

Coving

Coving isn’t something that you will generally notice when you walk into someone’s house. Why? Because most people don’t have it. It’s a tiny detail but it can make all of the difference when it comes to the overall look and feel of a room. It looks especially elegant in stunning white if you have dark, rich colored walls. For a traditional, decadent vibe, try out highly detailed and carved designs. For a more modern touch, keep them simple and sleek.

Chandelier At Chatsworth House - Touch Of Elegance

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Lighting

Say goodbye to your standard ceiling rose and pendant. It’s time to invest in a chandelier. Now, that’s not to say that you need a giant piece that looks like it belongs in the foyer of a palace. There are all sorts of takes on the traditional design widely available now. The crystals will refract the light beautifully across the room while twinkling and shining all the time. Consider placing one above the dinner table or in your living space.

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A Lovely Father’s Day Was Had By All

Lovely Father’s Day

Ant doesn’t much care for Father’s Day. He doesn’t like the kids spending money on him so we decided to just make him gifts this year. Well, not including the books we wrapped up for him but they’re all from the charity shop. He doesn’t mind us getting books from there!

Kaycee had been planning her Father’s Day gift for a couple of weeks. She was in France with school last week so didn’t get it finished. She wanted some photos printing. Ant does all the printing here so we had to tell him that the photos were for a school art project!

Kaycee’s Gifts

She managed to get it finished; it’s a box of letters that he can open at different times.

Lovely Father's Day Lovely Father's Day Lovely Father's Day Lovely Father's Day

He’s only allowed to open two letters a week though, so it’s a gift that keeps on giving 🙂

Dadopoly

On Saturday she also decided to make another gift for him. It wasn’t a small gift either! It was a fully functioning Dadopoly game.
She got Ella to help but Ella doesn’t have a very long attention span and soon got bored. It was a huge task and Kaycee was getting a little upset because she didn’t think she’d get it done in time.
I went upstairs to help and we managed to get loads done 🙂

She also got Nanny and Kellyann to help with making the Dad Dollars when we went to Nanny’s in the evening.
She worked really hard and we spent the afternoon on Sunday playing Dadopoly. Ant absolutely loved it.

Lovely Father's Day Lovely Father's Day

She used family names for the streets and instead of stations she had garden centres because he’s doing lots of garden work at the moment!

Lovely Father's Day Lovely Father's Day

Luckily Ant has lots of kids so she was able to fill quite a few ‘streets’!

Lovely Father's Day

When she ran out of family names she used his favourite things……like wine, beer and chocolate!

Lovely Father's Day

For playing pieces she used little ornaments from her bedroom. This one was Ella’s 🙂 Ant had the teddy with the crown on because it was his day and he was king!

Lovely Father's Day

Stem Ginger Cup Cakes

Ella also made her own gift for him; delicious ginger cupcakes with ginger frosting using a recipe from Sticker Fingers.
Ant doesn’t eat much cake but he had 3 cupcakes and has saved some for later! He also got some of his favourite wine from his daughter and a gift voucher from one of the boys.

Ant cooked us a gorgeous roast dinner which we all enjoyed, despite the extreme heat we’ve got at the moment!

He said it was a perfect Father’s Day and went to bed a happy daddy 🙂

Lovely Father's Day

 

The Wonder By Emma Donoghue – Book Review #25

The Wonder

 

It’s been a while since I read my first novel by Emma Donoghue. It was called Room and I finished it in a day because I just couldn’t put it down.
I saw The Wonder in the book shop while we were on holiday. The cover design jumped out at me and when I when I saw it was by Emma, I had to buy it!

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

It’s set in Ireland in 1850-something and tells the story of an eleven-year-old girl, Anna, who is said to have not eaten for four months. Despite this, she’s still in very good health.

Lib Wright is a nurse who worked under Florence Nightingale in the Crimean war. She goes to Ireland to observe Anna and make sure no one is secretly feeding her. She works in shifts with another nurse who is a nun.

The start of the book was good. I really enjoyed the end of the book. The middle of the book, though, seemed to take forever to get through.
I even mentioned to the husband that I’d been reading for hours and the pages left to read didn’t seem to be getting less!n Goodreads. I think I’ll always pick up an Emma Donoghue book if I see a new one out. I just won’t be expecting the same pull that happened with Room.

On Goodreads, I gave it 4 stars. I’ll always pick up an Emma Donoghue book if I see a new one out. I just won’t be expecting the same pull that happened with Room.

 

Goodreads challenge - 24 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

Rich Pork And Vegetable Ragu – Slimming World Recipe

Doing a stock take of the freezer, I found I’d got 20 pork steaks. 20! I tend to order the same things every week without checking what we’ve used and what we haven’t. That’s how I ended up with 20 pork steaks! This Slimming World […]

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Garden Decor – I’ve Got A Birthday Coming Up!

Garden Decor

 

My birthday is fast approaching and people have started asking what I want for it. With so much going on in the garden right now, my wishlist is going to be made up of mainly garden items! I can’t wait for the garden to be done and one of the things I love buying is garden ornaments.
Last year, for my birthday, I had lots of garden centre vouchers. I had to stop myself spending them all on ornaments! I knew we’d be doing lots of renovations in the garden and we’d be needing building materials and plants.

Garden Ornaments

I didn’t manage to save them all, though. I couldn’t resist buying a unicorn ornament for the raised bed we built!

Ella and I are planning on dotting little fairy gardens around because we love gardens where you can notice something new each time you visit. It’s not all about fairies, though. We love frogs as well!
All the ornaments would be perfect for our plans 🙂
I’ve seen loads of garden ornaments on UncommonGoods that I would love. I’ve tried to just pick my favourites but it was very hard to leave some out!

zen frogs garden ornaments

Wooden ducks garden ornaments caterpillar garden ornament fairy garden ornaments hanging fairy garden ornament

If you prefer your ornaments to be indoors rather than out, they have a fabulous range of homeware available. I especially love the Succulent Living Wall Planter; I have a thing for succulents at the moment!

While looking for a new rug for the patio door, I saw this one and had to laugh!

The neighbour has better stuff doormat

I’d never be able to buy it, though; I’d feel so guilty if one of my neighbours actually got burgled!
You can find lots more lovely mats and rugs here.

UncommonGoods

I’ve written about UncommonGoods before when I was doing a Christmas wishlist. As a company, they really impress me with all they do to support artists and small businesses. They also do all they can to help the environment which in this day and age, is very important.

Here’s a little bit more about them:

Garden Decor UncommonGoods

 

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Patio Pavers From The Range – Garden Update

New Patio

 

Ant wanted a pizza peel to go with the two pizza stones he bought from Asda last week so we nipped into The Range. He bought 2 because he wanted one to bake his bread on in the oven in the kitchen and one for the outdoor oven he’s going to be building 🙂
He didn’t get a pizza peel but I’m so glad we went because sitting outside the front entrance was a patio kit for £99.99.  We’ve been looking at all the different options for the new patio, including fake grass and decking but as soon as I saw the patio pavers kit, I knew it was what I wanted.

It was cheaper than any others we’d looked at places like B&Q and I loved the pattern. Ant wanted red pavers ideally because he loves the Spanish-style patios.

Chalice patio pavers

He had to make 2 trips to collect all the pavers. They would have exceeded the maximum weight for the car if he’d tried to bring them all at once.
I can’t wait to see them when they’ve been laid. Ant’s got lots to do before he can start laying them but he’s cracking on 🙂

patio pavers

Friendly Advice

I now have to tell you about this website I came across after we’d bought the pavers from The Range. It’s called Turnbull & Co and they specialise in garden paving and garden furniture.
I looked on the site at first to check out the furniture for the new patio. While there I thought I’d have a quick look at the paving.

My heart sank when I saw some red pavers, exactly like the ones Ant would have preferred and what makes it worse is that they were cheaper per square metre than the ones we bought at The Range.

So my little bit of friendly advice is to make sure you’ve done all your research before you splash the cash! Even with the delivery charge, we would have paid about the same and Ant would have had his red patio. I do love the ones we’ve picked but I’d have been just as happy with the red ones.

Garden Furniture

We haven’t decided exactly how the cooking area is going to be arranged on the new patio yet so we’re not sure what space is going to be left for patio furniture. I don’t know if we’re going to have a table set with chairs and benches or a rattan sofa and chairs set with a little coffee table.

rattan garden furniture
Sorrento Rattan Effect Furniture
patio table and chairs
Forest Garden Rosedene Table

Overgrown Garden

While having a wander around the garden I was shocked to realise how overgrown it really is at the top.  The brambles and butterfly bushes have taken over, making it virtually impossible to do anything up there.

It’s unrecognisable from the way it was when we moved in.

overgrown garden overgrown garden

I cheered up when I saw lots of apples growing on our lovely tree and some lily flowers that had opened. I’d totally forgotten that I’d planted them.

apples

Lillies

Ant’s started building the wall next to the fence. He’s going to start on the other wall soon so hopefully, next week’s update will show lots of progress 🙂

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Hairy Bikers’ Sausage Casserole Recipe – Served With Crusty Bread

I love a good sausage casserole and this is a great one! I’m a fan of the Hairy Bikers but we’ve never really tried of any of their recipes. I found it on the BBC Food website and it looked delicious on the picture so […]

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5 Tips For Reducing Electricity Costs In 2017

Reducing Electricity Costs

 

Conserving electricity has been an ongoing issue in our society due to the growing needs of our modern technology. From lighting your home to cell phones and computers, almost everyone needs electricity. Electricity has become the lifeline of every major city and every household. Without it, we can literally die. We know that electricity does not come cheap and if you can’t find a way to minimize your electricity consumption, then it will create a hole in your pocket. Do not worry, for this article will help you. Allow us to offer you simple tips on how to reduce your electricity cost. With these simple steps, it will greatly affect your electricity consumption and will guarantee that your bill will be reduced.

 

  1. Replace your lighting

 

There are new light bulbs that are energy efficient. By replacing your old incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs or CFL bulbs it will save you a lot of money. CFL and LED bulbs use almost a fraction of the energy used by an incandescent bulb which makes them energy efficient. They also last longer so you don’t have to replace them every now and then. In the long run, by replacing your old bulbs with the new energy efficient ones, it will reduce your monthly bills.

 

  1. Turn off the appliances when not in use.

kitchen appliances

This is the most simple and common way to reduce electricity cost. This is also common sense. If you are not using it then turn it off. It is as simple as that. By simply turning off that switch it can greatly reduce your electricity cost. Make it a habit that when you leave the room always turn off the lights and plug out the appliances. This simple trick will save you a lot of money.

 

  1. Hire a Professional Electrician

 

In old buildings or houses, some wiring might be faulty or damaged. You might think that a faulty or damaged wiring will not affect your electricity consumption but it does. A damaged wiring may cause electricity leakage which leads to an increase in electrical consumption. It can also cause the connected appliance to heat up which leads to consuming extra electricity. By getting professional help, you can detect these problems and solve it immediately. There are many Electrician in Portsmouth that provides service packages that will cater to your problems and needs.

 

  1. Check the insulation of your home

 

During the warm summers and cold winters, electricity cost usually rises. You should check the insulation of your house to see if it is leaking the cool air-conditioned air or is allowing warm air during summer or winter. Having a loose insulation will cause your air conditioning and other similar appliances to double its electricity consumption in maintaining the desired room temperature. Hire an inspector to check your house’s insulation to determine if it is efficient enough.

 

  1. Use Renewable Energy

 

You can use alternative energy to minimize your electrical consumption. There are many companies that offer renewable energy such as the wind or solar energy. It may be expensive at first because of the switch-over but over time you can save a lot of cash.

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