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August 2017

4 ways that technology can revolutionise your life

4 ways that technology can revolutionise your life


In this digital age, technology is taking over everything. It can be a lot to get your head around, but once you do it is well worth it. Digital advances can make huge improvements to your day to day life. When it comes to technology, the focus is no longer limited simply to communication. Technology can help to improve your fitness, your finances, your organisation, and your intelligence. That is why it is so important to make the most of every digital opportunity. Below are four ways that technology can revolutionise your life.

Technology can help you to exercise

If you don’t like the idea of going to a gym or working out in public, technology offers the solution to all of your fitness woes. Using technology, you can get fit in the comfort of your own home. For instance, you can download the Sherrie Hewson Bingo Wings Challenge card onto your devices which turn your exercise routine into a fun game. If you struggle to stay motivated, an injection of excitement is sure to help. You could then use devices such as a fit bit to track your progress. Being able to see the specific details of your improvement should encourage you not to give up.

Technology can improve your finances

Sites such as eBay give you the opportunity to make money out of your second-hand goods. You can also take part in online research surveys that will reward you with cash sums. Visiting comparison sites will also help to protect your finances. Instead of being limited to a couple of stores, you can search online to find the best deals for your money.

Technology - Man looking at his tablet

Technology can help you to organize your life

If you struggle to stay on top of a hectic schedule, why not use technology to take control of your life? You can use an online planner to organise your entire life. Because it is online, your schedule will be easy to change. Instead of having to scribble activities out, you can simply delete them. Some online software allows you to open up your planner to all of your family. This way, you can all be aware of what is going on. You can also download apps that act as sticky notes on your phone. The only difference to real life sticky notes is that you needn’t fear losing them. Instead, you will have all of your important information safely stored on your device.

Technology can boost your intelligence

If you are looking to boost your intelligence, why not download a helpful app? You can find plenty of games that are designed to improve your brain power. You can also complete online IQ tests in order to track your intellect. Another option is to complete an online course, or to watch TED Talks. This is a fantastic way to learn about new topics without having to travel or pay a lot of money.

Updated Summer Bucket List

Updated Summer Bucket List


The summer holidays are nearly over. The girls are off to Disneyland Paris on Saturday and don’t get back until late Wednesday night so we’ll only have just under a week left before they go back to school.

I thought it would be a good time to update the bucket list and see what we have left to do 🙂

  1. Write a letter to your future self
  2. Create a time capsule
  3. Set up a taco bar in the garden for dinner
  4. Trip to the seaside – We’re not going to get time to go to the seaside so we’re going to go in the next school holidays.
  5. Ice cream and doughnuts for breakfast
  6. Chocolate fondue nightDone and the girls loved it!
  7. Tie-dye a T-shirt – Done  – Click here 🙂
  8. Eat from a food truck
  9. Go to IKEA
  10. Come Dine With Me
  11. Stargaze – Done – there was a meteor shower on August 12th and we got to see quite a few shooting stars! 🙂
  12. Have a Disney movie marathon – We managed to watch Lion King 2 and Moana. We’ll probably try for a better marathon later in the week!
  13. Go to Starbucks – Done. We each had a caramel popcorn frappuccino and it was delicious.
  14. Take a picture every day – failed!
  15. International dinner week
  16. Watch Despicable Me 3 – Done – We went to the Kinema In The Woods and had a lovely time 🙂
  17. Make summer smoothies
  18. Make S’Mores
  19. Go To Daisy Made – Done – We took Nanny with us as she’d never been 🙂
  20. Make Ice Cream Sundaes – Done
  21. Have a games afternoon

Ice cream sundae updated summer bucket list

Getting a caramel popcorn frappuccino from Starbucks


Easy Ways To Make Your Garden Sustainable

Easy Ways To Make Your Garden Sustainable

Sustainability is a buzzword that’s making its way into all aspects of our lives. As environmental concerns become more immediate, everybody is looking for ways that they can be more responsible, and the garden is no exception. Creating a sustainable garden is a brilliant way to reduce your impact on the planet, but you can also build a beautiful outside space in the process. By following these simple steps, you can turn your garden into a sustainable paradise for relatively little money.


Recycled Materials

train planter making your garden sustainable



When you’re setting up your garden, you could buy everything brand new, but it’ll be more expensive and less eco-friendly. It’s also more fun to see what you can do with recycled materials. One common expense is wooden bordering that goes around the garden. For a cool alternative, why not try using old, decorative railway sleepers instead? They give the garden a great rustic look compared with the traditional wooden bordering, and it’ll be far cheaper as well.


You can also make lots of great furniture and planters out of old pallet crates. Don’t worry if you aren’t great with DIY, there are plenty of simple ways to do it that don’t require any expert knowledge or expensive tools.


Ditch The Grass

flowering ornamental grass



A nice lawn does make the garden look lovely, but it needs a lot of upkeep as well. You’re using lots of water and fertilizers to keep it looking like it does, but you don’t need to. There are lots of ornamental grasses that are easier to care for and use fewer resources. Maiden Grass is one of the greatest choices because it is easy to care for and drought resistant, so it needs hardly any watering.


Grow Your Own


Food production is one of the biggest contributors to environmental issues so growing your own in the garden is a great way to make yourself more sustainable. It will also save you a lot of money on groceries and make your meals tastier because homegrown vegetables are a lot nicer than what you get in the store. It’s fairly easy to grow root vegetables during the winter and when it gets a bit sunnier, try planting some herbs or chilis. Fresh herbs will elevate the flavor of your meals to the next level.  


Save Seeds


Most people will go to a garden center and buy packets of seeds every year. This is pretty silly really, considering they’re dropping off plants every year. Keep an eye on all of your flowers and when the seeds drop off, collect them up and dry them out on a windowsill. They’ll be ready to plant next year and you won’t have to keep buying more.






Reusing material is at the core of living a sustainable lifestyle. The best way to do that in your garden is to make compost. Instead of putting all of your food waste in the bin and sending it to landfill, put it into a compost bin instead. You’ll stop that waste, and you’ll also get some great compost for next year that will help the plants in your garden flourish.


These are all simple changes that you can make, but their impact is far greater than you realize.

This is a collaborative post

Could Your Home Come Under The Powerful Spell Of An English Manor House?

English Manor House

If you’re bored of what’s on offer in interior design stores, no one could blame you. Modern designs have all somehow linked each other, and the narrative is becoming a little stale. The crisp, long, straight lines of kitchen countertops, large family sofas and even dining tables, somehow all look the same. It’s little wonder that for some, a well-deserved design renaissance is being allowed to take hold and spread throughout their homes. The beauty of historical or perhaps traditional design is that it was never truly backed by designers. The monarchs of Europe wanted only the most lavish and intricate designs in their homes, as a showcase of their taste and power. The aristocracy soon followed suit, and this had a trickle down effect. Now, anyone can turn their mundane home, into an exquisite installation of elegance and careful interior design.


Stepping back in time


The early 20th century was the time when Queen Victoria was exerting her influence on the country and with great success. She took the Georgian Era style, and made it practical, with much less extra or tassel that was useless. For your hallway, when you open the front door to the home, you could have long, luxurious hardwood floors. Thick and long, the oak wood must be primed and sheened with a dark brown varnish, that kicks the light up off the surface. A little further into the hallway as you get closer to the further rooms, the should be a Victorian rug that displays subtle and powerful swings of monarchy and hierarchy of the land. Incorporated into the blue and gold design, could be crowns, roses and coiled dragon tails.

English manor house

Image by – P.g.champion


The power of warmth


Fireplaces may have become scarce in the modern day because central heating is a lot more efficient and able to heat each room of the house, individually. However, English manor houses always have a large fireplace, and owners take great pride in the designs they choose. Westland London has incredible periodic designs such as Louis XV, Gothic, Mannerist, Edwardian and Georgian, along with many others. These styles are fascinating by themselves because they tell a story from a time when people in powerful positions would sit by the fire, discussing geopolitics, trade and the global economy when none of the modern technology we use today was invented yet. Choose from marble, wood and stone materials to suit your taste and project the kind of image you want.

English manor house picture frame

Source – 4047369


Lights and mirrors


The Victorians were very fond of playing with mirrors and lights because of course, in the early 1900s, many people were still using candle lights to see in their homes during nighttime. Hang a George the third-style mahogany mirror, in the form of a large rectangle with tapered edges in your dining area or perhaps at the foot of the entrance. The magnificent curls and swirls of twisted autumn leaves, in gold or glossed brass, are a truly lavish and powerful display of design. Additionally, the mirror’s edge designs could be made of iron or steel oak leaves signifying a touch of Roman influence.


The English manor house has never truly been trumped by other designs. Whether you’re from mainland Europe where you have seen the beautiful designs of traditional Italy, France, Germany or Spain, the bold and powerful designs lay in the UK. Right from the moment you enter your home, there should be some sign of history being loved and classical interior designs having a welcome place in your home.

This is a collaborative post

5 Tips to adding garage shelving in a small space

Garage Shelving


Having a small space in your garage does not mean that you won’t be able to store many things in it. Some garages become the storage unit of the household and because of that, the space in the garage becomes much smaller. If you think you cannot use that small space well, then you are very wrong. There are many ways to do it and one of them is by adding shelves.  Do not let the small space discourage you from storing your valuables in your home. All it takes is a little imagination and your organization skills and your garage can be neat and organized. Here are some tips that will help you make that small space in your garage to accommodate all your valuables without congesting it further.


  1. Utilize the walls


By installing the shelves in your walls you can save up a lot of space. It doesn’t take a lot of floor space and it will be easy on the eyes. You can also add some hooks and brackets for the benefit of the small items that easily vanish once you set it down. By putting the shelves on the walls, it will also be easier for you to look for the things that you will need compared to the things that are stored randomly on the floor.


  1. Put shelves on the ceilings


If you have no more space on the walls and the floor then you can always use the ceiling. There are many shelves that can be installed in the ceilings which a lot of people have never heard of. It might sound insane but ceiling storage is also a great way of saving space. You can put those items that are light and seldom used like Christmas decorations. Just make sure you hang those shelves tight so you can avoid injuries. By storing items at the ceiling, it also makes those items easy to spot. You can also store the ladder at the ceiling storage so that it will not consume a lot of space at the walls and the floor.


  1. Install the shelves vertically


Most people make mistakes by installing their shelves horizontally. By installing vertically, you will be saving a lot of space. Instead of spreading everything at the walls, you can store items upwards. You can easily categorize the items, by putting the items that is usually needed at the bottom and the rarely used ones at the top. If you have small walls in your garage then installing the shelves vertically is the right choice for you.


  1. Utilize the high spaces


If all your things in the garage are stuffed in corners and shelves that are easy to reach then you are wasting a lot of space. High spaces may not be perfect for the items that are used all the time but it is the perfect spot for items that are for long storage. It is also a perfect space for those items that must not be at the reach of the children. Utilizing the high space is not only beneficial but also a perfect way to avoid accidents.


  1. Buy shelves that are small but economical in space


Do not buy or install shelves that are very bulky. You might think that having bigger shelves will result to big storage space but you are wrong. There are many shelves that appear to be small but can store a lot of items. Wire baskets and wire shelf are great examples of these. You can easily hang them and will store anything from sports equipment to automotive supplies. You can find out more about garage shelving over here.

This is a collaborative post

5 DIY paving tips that will help anyone

Paving Tips


Investing in home improvement projects is a great way to spend your hard earned money. Not only will you be able to take advantage of the updates to your home, but they will also add great value to the property price if you were to list it for sale in the future. One of the best ways to spend your hard earned money is by updating the outside of your home with a paver patio. A paver patio is expensive up front, however, it will save you a great deal of money in the long run as it holds up better than other materials and will not need to be replaced or maintained as often. If you are considering putting in a paver patio, this article will be helpful to you as well will provide some DIY tips that can help anyone accomplish their goal of installing a new patio.

    1. Be sure to do your research.

      Check out online resources such as for ideas, tips, materials, and feedback from consumers. Doing your research on the type of paver stone you want to have as well as the design that you want to create before you purchase materials or start with the project is a smart idea. The more you know before the project begins, the better off you will be as the project moves forward.

    2. Contact the utility company.

      Before you begin working on the paver patio, be sure to contact those in your area that need to know about your renovation. For example, you are likely going to need to dig into the ground to create your patio. To avoid cutting cable wires, messing up plumbing, or damaging electricity lines, be sure to contact your local utility company first. In addition, be sure to check to see if you need a special permit to build a patio.

    3. Dig deep.

      It is important to dig deep when building a paver patio as there will be many layers that will create the foundation for the patio. Be sure to dig carefully as to avoid damaging anything that is hidden in the ground such as cable wires, or plumbing.

    4. Use landscaping cloth.

      Using a landscaping cloth as a layer between old dirt and the foundation of the paver patio is a good idea as it will keep out unwanted vegetation and weeds.

    5. Set up a solid foundation.

      After you have laid down landscaping cloth, you will want to add some sand on top of it to serve as another layer of protection from unwanted weeds. In addition, the sand should be compacted so that it creates a solid base so that the paver stones can be applied easily.

paving tips

These tips are critical when building a patio but there are a few others to keep in mind as well. Be sure that you make the edges as tight as possible so that the patio does not become loose. Finally, it is critical that you make room for drainage of rainwater, or other wetness from your patio. Be sure to create a slightly sloping foundation that slopes away from your home.

This is a collaborative post

Blueberry And Yogurt Muffins

Kaycee made these blueberry yogurt muffins on her own. She loves baking and uses any excuse to try new recipes. She also loves blueberries so was very pleased to give this Slimming World recipe a go. I think she ate most of the finished product as […]

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5 vital tips for choosing the right photo booth service

Photo Booth Service

photo booth service

It’s really no surprise to anyone that digital photo booth services, on the whole, have quickly risen to become one of the most hip and essential additions to a wide plethora of functions. Those functions include everything across the board, right from weddings, bat and bar mitzvahs, high school reunions, birthday parties and corporate events, as well as charities.

With this, a whole plethora of DJs, videographers, and photographers as well as event coordinators, hotels, and other venues, are looking for fresh and innovative ways to incorporate this very concept into their services as a whole.

Hence, with so many different styles and companies, picking the correct photo booth for your particular event can indeed be quite daunting at first. Especially if you have to make doubly sure of the fact that the service is a reputed and trusted one. Before you rush towards hiring the nearest services with an expertise in photo booth hire in London, you might just want to keep the aforementioned factors in mind.

On that precise note, here are a few tips to make the process of selecting the right photo booth service for your event, a tad easier:

  • Make sure that you thoroughly do your homework: Make sure that you thoroughly research about said company as much as you can, in order to ascertain whether you can trust them, as well as finding out about their specialities and levels of professionalism.In short, you need to focus on asking the right questions to the right services. That is exactly when stuff starts to click in that regard.
  • Ensure professional lab quality photos: In this regard, you will need to find out exactly what kind of equipment they are using as well as the question of quality photos. The whole “the bigger the megapixel, the better the quality” argument does not hold true in most cases. Also be sure to look up their printing services as well.
  • You need to see through the haze of scam companies: Not only can mediocre companies lure on on the basis on clever picture trickery alone, but some companies can even go as far as to completely fabricate every aspect to lure you just so that they can get their hands on your money.
  • Proper and professional customisations: Find out which specific companies offer customisations of every kind. You will need to ask questions of every kind to determine this particular aspect in general. Like, just how long is the true rental period? And are there travel fees or any hidden fees that you should know about? You get the picture.
  • Make sure you get exactly what you pay for: A lot of companies do tend to have rather confusing pricing structures, making it a tad hard to actually determine the actual price of services across the board. So make sure beforehand itself, that every single aspect is clear as crystal.

At the end of the day, you need to make doubly sure that you have hired a service that provides you with the exact list of services specified in your package, without any additional pricing either. A service that doesn’t resort to hiding its overall fees in the fine print, as well as the absence of any such convoluted pricing structures as well.

As long as you keep the above pointers in mind during the process of hiring, there is absolutely no reason as to why you shouldn’t find the perfect photo booth service for your event. And once you do, work with the service as much as you can, in order to make sure that it ends up being a resounding success on all fronts.

Treated Myself To A Photography Lightbox :)



I’ve been looking at getting a lightbox for a while to make taking photos of food easier. I had mentioned to Ant about making one but last week I decided to go ahead and buy one.

I checked lots of reviews on Amazon and found a good one then checked eBay to compare prices. It was cheaper on eBay so ordered it.
The parcel didn’t take long to arrive. I opened it, put it all together and I was very excited. It was bigger than I’d imagined. I’m going to have to use the dining table rather than the kitchen counter but that’s not a problem.

I haven’t had chance to try it out yet as I’ve not done any recipes recently but I’m going to do a new one tomorrow just so I can give it a go 🙂


lights and camera stand for lightbox

lights and camera stand for lightbox

The only thing I’m not very happy with is the different coloured inserts for the background. The photo on eBay shows them fitting perfectly but when I put them in, there are gaps down the sides.

The red insert needs ironing but even when ironed, it’s not going to fit properly.


If it becomes a problem, I’ll just buy some fabric and make my own so it fits properly.

The Drowning Lesson By Jane Shemilt – Book Review #34

The Drowning Lesson


I’d not heard of this author before. I came across the book at the charity shop where I volunteer. The blurb on the back made me buy it.

It wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be but I did enjoy it and it had the right amount of suspense to keep me reading.


The story centres on a family of four. The parents, Emma and Adam, are doctors and they have two young daughters.

Adam is offered a research placement in Botswana. Emma initially doesn’t want to go but after accidentally getting pregnant, she decides it will be good for them all to go after the baby is born.

Sam is only 4 months old when he’s abducted while his parents are at work. He’d been born with a birthmark on his face which should have made it easier to find him but it didn’t help.
Being so far away from home and in a country so different from their own, Emma and Adam find things even more difficult. The family starts to fall apart.


Emma isn’t a very likable character and it’s hard to sympathise with her at times. I don’t know if I’d ever feel the way she did about my baby having a visible birthmark. I can’t imagine I would but as I’ve never been in that situation I’ll never know.
She’s very competitive and seems to put her career before her children. She doesn’t like her husband doing better than her and all this made me dislike her a bit.

I did feel sorry for her occasionally after Sam had gone missing but not as much as I would if she hadn’t been portrayed the way she was.

Previous Novel

Jane Shemilt’s previous novel sounds good but I’m a bit wary about reading it now. Some of the reviews on Goodreads mention Daughter, the previous book by this author. They’ve said both books are much the same in regards to the storyline.

If I come across it in the charity shop I might buy just so I can see if I agree with those reviews!

The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt

The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt

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