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October 2018

Planning A More Eco-Friendly Bathroom Refit? Here’s What You Should Know!

When you walk into your bathroom do you feel happy and content with the space in front of you or do you feel like there’s room for improvement? If it’s the latter, then you should most definitely consider the best ways to change and enhance your bathroom, to create a space that you are totally and completely in love with.

Of course, if you’re someone who believes in sustainable living and creating a more eco-friendly home, then you might be thinking about going down the greener route with your bathroom. If that’s the case, then it’s essential that you think every aspect of the design through carefully, to ensure that you are able to create the most amazing sustainable space that has little to no impact on the environment.

eco-friendly bathroom

Photo from Pixabay

 

Wondering how you should go about doing that? Then have a read of the tips and ideas below and find your inspiration.

 

Use all-natural paint

 

Did you know that paint is actually packed full of hazardous chemicals? Not just hazardous for the environment but also for your health? So if you’re going to change the colour scheme of your bathroom or tidy the paintwork up, opt to use an all-natural paint instead of regular paint. It might cost more but if it means protecting the environment and yours’ and your family’s health it’s worth it.

 

Add a dual flush

 

Flushing the toilet uses a lot of water, and most of the time it’s a waste. So an increasing number of people are choosing to incorporate dual flushes into their homes, which use a large percentage less water per flush. If you can’t afford to replace your whole toilet, then you can always get a converter kit that allows you to convert your toilet to a dual flush system. Just remember, it’s best to have a plumber’s number on hand, such as Dyno Plumbing for instance, in case the conversion ends up going wrong.

 

Use sustainable materials

 

Wherever possible, opt to use sustainable materials for your bathroom. From the tiling to the flooring and furniture, always look for sustainable materials. For the flooring, reclaimed wood can work well, as long as it’s properly varnished and sealed to prevent water damage.

 

Install LEDs

 

Want to reduce your bathroom energy consumption and save the environment at the same time? Then you need to install LEDS, like you most probably already have in the rest of the house.

 

Use recycled toilet paper

 

When it comes to wiping yourself after using the toilet, you should be using recycled toilet paper, because this means fewer trees are being cut down to meet your needs. Whatever you do, avoid toilet wipes as these are extremely damaging to the environment when flushed.

 

Buy organic towels

 

From flannels and floor mats to bath towels, you should always opt to purchase organic cotton. As non-organic cotton pollutes the environment when it is grown and has a serious impact on the water around it, and of course the local eco-system. If you’ve already got good towels don’t throw them away, as the best choice you can make is to stick with what you’ve got. However, if you need to buy new towels, going organic is the best route to go down.

 

There you have it, everything that you need to know about planning a more eco-friendly bathroom for your home.

This is a collaborative post

Creating a Luxe Look for a Budget Bathroom

Can’t quite afford underfloor heating, a waterfall shower or that wet room you know you truly deserve? If you crave a luxe look bathroom but have a budget that’s less than platinum, there are lots of little ways you can create a luxury feel for less. From playing with lighting to going smaller on suites or tiled areas, here are a few hints and tips for creating a luxe look bathroom on a below average budget.

Suite Splurges and Saves

If you’re planning a total bathroom renovation, there’s no getting around the fact a new bathroom suite is likely to be your biggest buy. According to Houzz, the average bathroom renovation project costs between £3,500 and £6,300. So before you fully commit, think hard about whether sprucing up your existing suite could be an option. Could new taps, seal and panelling give your suite a whole new look? Look at the condition of any vanity cupboards too. Could you get away with new doors or painting your existing cupboards? Swapping out handles and door knobs can give a more expensive-looking finish while hitting the boutique bathroom notes you’re hoping for.

luxe look bathroom

If a new suite really is a must, be realistic about where you need to compromise. To get the best out of your room and your project’s funding, you need to think carefully about your priorities. Having both a bath and a shower fitted can really give a property resale appeal. If you’ve got a more compact bathroom, this may mean fitting a smaller tub or looking at an over shower bath that packs plenty of power. Be creative with the finish around your suite too. If you love some expensive tiles, could you do some accent tiling around the sink basin? Sometimes a little bit of what you love will really elevate a space but it won’t blow your budget.

Easy Swap Accessories

When you’re dying to renovate your bathroom but really can’t afford major works, it’s time to style the space a little more ‘you’. Fluffy new towels bought on sale, a decorative light pull and a fresh but inexpensive window dressing are all bathroom accessories that can provide a quick style update. Swapping your toothbrush holder or toilet brush for something a little more on trend or elegant can make all the difference too. New bath mats can also provide a little luxury underfoot.

All of these additions can be swapped out to refresh the space with new trends too — simply style against a painted backdrop and there’s minimal commitment to any particular theme. Looking for one item to make a big impact? A statement mirror can make such a huge difference in a bathroom and really give a stylish impression. Choose a rounded art deco mirror to be totally on trend this season or select an inexpensive backlit mirror to make applying your makeup that bit easier.

lavender, bathroom towel, lavender soap and a lilac coloured vase

Budget Boutique Additions

Sunken baths and his and her showers may be outside of your budget, but there are some familiar boutique hotel bathroom features that can make fabulous additions to a budget bathroom. In larger bathrooms, a dressing table adds a real touch of Hollywood glamour and needn’t have a huge price tag. Think about upcycling a second-hand dressing table or charity shop steal and dress it to impress with your favourite perfume bottles and makeup brushes. Add a matching chair to provide a spot for morning contemplation while you do your hair and makeup.

Another easy reach opulent touch is to add a dressing screen to your bathroom. They’re perfect for undressing behind (or flinging towels over) and can add a pop of colour and a decorative touch too. You can purchase these inexpensively from some high street stores or decorate your own.

 

If DIY and upcycling are a bit out of your comfort zone, play it safe with the addition of a vase of fresh flowers. The bathroom isn’t an obvious spot for floral decorations but it can really help to create that elegant dressing room feel. Plus, it’s an easy way to brighten a room and add a welcoming aroma you can enjoy as you groom. By choosing in-bloom varieties, it’s also an inexpensive way to update your bathroom in line with the seasons. You might create a gorgeous display of spring tulips or peonies, summer roses, or a fabulously festive display of Christmas roses and poinsettia. If you’re into gardening, adding greenery is another easy way to channel that expensive hotel room vibe. Choose simple succulents such as aloe vera plants to add a touch of green and help clean the air.

Do your bathroom styling ambitions exceed your budget? Tell us what’s on your ultimate bathroom lust-list!

This is a collaborative post

Apple Scones Recipe

With an abundance of apples this year, I’m trying lots of new recipes to use them up! Today we have a recipe for Apple scones and we’ve served them with bramble jam and cream. Delicious!

Apple Scones

apple scones with chantilly cream and bramble jam

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g butter
  • 4 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 125ml milk, plus extra for brushing
  • Fresh cream and bramble jam to serve – we got ur bramble jam from Tesco

Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7
  2. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the butter then rub in using fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs.
  3. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon, add the apple and give everything a mix.
  4. Pour in the milk and stir it in quickly, then fold dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother.
  5. Tip onto a lightly floured surface; pat into a round about 3cm deep.
  6. Dip a 6cm cutter into some flour then cut out scones, flouring the cutter each time.
  7. Squash offcuts lightly back into a round and repeat until all dough is used up.
  8. Brush tops with a little milk then place on to a lightly floured baking sheet and bake for 18-20 mins until risen and golden.
  9. Allow to cool on the tray.
  10. To serve, split scones then spread with a dollop of cream and a spoonful of bramble jam.

 

 

I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

What You Need To Enjoy A Brisk Winter Night Outside

When the winter chill comes rushing over the landscape, our first thought is to bunker down inside our homes. In fact, we make preparations for the winter well in advance or at least, we should. It’s because winter is very harsh on homes, the roofing can become loose, leaks can spring into the home, drains can get blocked, the gutters can overfill and leave standing water etc. So it would appear that the only way to enjoy winter is to not enjoy it. Well, if you would like to spend some time in your garden during this time of the year, then why shouldn’t you? The only things holding you back are the darkness of shorter light hours and the cold temperatures. During the winter, it’s the best time to enjoy the night sky whereby the stars and the moon can be observed easily, the fog and mist can be observed.

Blanket for a Winter night outside

Image by moon angel

 

Throw it on

 

First off, even before you venture outside into the frosty weather buy yourself a good throw. It’s kind of like blanket buts it’s thicker and larger, made out of wool normally. This kind of clothing is to be thrown onto yourself, covering your from your chin all the way down to your toes. You’ll be sitting or lying down so you need it to be made from a high-quality fabric which normally leans itself into a woven wool.

 

Rocking away

 

Of all the chairs for the outdoors one has stood the test of time. The rocking chair has gone through a modern transformation so that it can actually be incorporated into a chair design that is akin to many lounge chairs. It can be long and low, yet still have the ability to gently rock back and forth. Made out of a mixture of wood, metal, plastic and fabrics, you can get any kind of style chair you would like in this regard. Wood and metal will get bitterly cold during the winter. Plastic will too, but not as much so you may wish to buy a chair that is wicker and lay a throw over it and one more over yourself when you’re outside.

fire in a chiminea

Source Sean Loyless

 

Flickering flames

 

What could possibly be better during the winter time when you’re outdoors than a real fire? Outdoor Heating such as a chiminea made from terracotta or clay is going to provide you with an awesome fire. It comes with a stand, so you can have it off the ground where the heat will simply be wasted or a large part of it will since you’re going to be sitting higher. It’s also small so it’s not going to cause you to change your garden layout or move things around as it works well in a small garden too. The prices for the quality and design vary, but you can expect to buy an affordable chiminea around £50-60 but the high-quality versions will be easily above £250.

 

The flickering flame providing you with heat and a hypnotic dance, the thick woollen throws keeping your body temperature normal and a gentle rocking chair putting you at ease. What more could you want to enjoy the winter nights outdoors in your own garden?

This is a collaborative post

The Three By Sarah Lotz – Book Review #43

I found The Three by Sarah Lotz at the charity shop (which is where I find 99% of my books so no news there really!) and loved the sound of the blurb.
I didn’t realise there was a second book. If I had, I wouldn’t have read this until getting the second book.

The Three by Sarah Lotz

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he’s right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed ‘The Three’ by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children’s behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival…

My Thoughts

I’m glad now that I didn’t know there was a second book when I started reading this one because I don’t think I can be bothered to read the second book!
I was really looking forward to reading this book. The premise seemed really good and I did enjoy it through the first half.
It started off quite well but after sitting down for about 7 hours and reading the second half in one go, I got to the end and said to Ant, ‘I have no idea what I’ve just read!’.

I can’t tell you anything more about the story than what the above blurb says because I’m confused as to what actually happened in the end.
I’m not even going to bother trying to figure it out and I’ll be removing the second book from my Want To Read list on Goodreads!

The Three by Sarah Lotz Book Cover

The Three by Sarah Lotz


MamaMummyMum
 

For more book-related posts, click here

I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

Santa Cross Stitch – My Sunday Photo

I’m working on this Santa cross stitch as much as I can but I don’t think it’ll be ready in time for Christmas this year!

Santa Cross Stitch

Santa cross stitch

Photalife
For more Sunday photos, click here
I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

5 Things To Consider Before Getting A Pet This Holiday Season

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘a pet is for life, not just for Christmas’ and it’s a very important thing to think about before deciding to buy yourself or a loved one a pet for Christmas or indeed, at any time of the year.

A puppy lying down - things to think about before getting a new pet

Commitment

The thought of your child’s face on Christmas morning when an adorable puppy or kitten tumbles out of a brightly coloured box can make you forget all the important things you should be considering.
Owning a pet is a huge responsibility and everyone needs to consider the pros and cons before making a commitment.

No matter how much your child promises to be the sole carer of the pet, they’re not capable of making that commitment. Owning a pet affects everyone in the family so you all need to be aware of what you’re taking on.

You need to research your chosen pet and decide whether you and your family can commit to it for the rest of its life. Some pets can live 10-15 years or more which means depending on the age of the child, they might be growing up and moving out before the pet dies. Even if they consider the pet theirs, they may not be able to take it with them when they move out.

Kitten in a basket

Cost Of Getting A Pet

Gone are the days when you could buy a puppy for 20 quid; these days they cost hundreds of pounds and that’s not just for pedigrees, mixed breeds are just as expensive.

The average lifetime cost of a dog, depending on its size is between £6,500 – £17,000.

Before you bring your new pet home you need to buy everything it will need to live comfortably in its new home. Things like a bed, collar and lead, food and toys are some of the first things to think about but don’t forget other essentials like pet insurance, flea and worm prevention, vaccinations, neutering and microchipping. All these things add up and can be very expensive.

Vets Bills

Even with pet insurance, you could end up with unexpected vet bills which can run into the hundreds. Before buying pet insurance you’ll need to do lots of research to find the best one. Some insurance policies don’t pay the vet directly; you will have to pay the bill and claim it back from your insurance provider.

If you haven’t budgeted for unexpected vet bills, you may need to take out a short-term loan from somewhere like CashLady to help pay the bill until you can claim it back from your insurance.

It’s important to check everything that your insurance covers because some don’t cover things like yearly health checks and vaccinations.

Training

Making sure your pet is trained can make life easier for everyone, but training can also be an extra cost and extra work that you haven’t thought about.
It can take a long time and a lot of hard work to get your pet trained so you need to be sure you and your family have time for this extra work.

New Family Member

Welcoming a new member of the family is a huge commitment, but it can also be one of the best decisions you can make.
It may seem like there are many cons to owning a dog but there are many pros as well which for most families, far outweigh the cons.
Getting more exercise, being less likely to suffer from depression and enhancing your children’s childhood by helping them learn empathy are just a few.

 

Patisserie Week #GBBOBloggers2018 Week 9

It’s not often we go for the showstopper when we’re baking along with The Great British Bake Off, but Ant really wanted to try his hand at Mille-feuille, Chou and Pâté Sucrée pastries on patisserie week and I have to say, he did brilliantly.

I loved the mille-feuille and the chou buns and eclairs were delicious but the strawberry tarts were my absolute favourite.

*Edit* Ant was delighted to win Star Baker for his bakes this week. Thanks, Jenny and Helen, you made his day!

Patisserie week - mille feuille with strawberries and cream, strawberry tarts and chocolate chou buns and eclairs

Great BritishBake Off Bloggers showstopper pastries

Great British Bake Off bloggers showstopper pastries

Ant used Ruby’s Mille-feuille recipe for the pastry.

He made the Chantilly cream by whisking 600ml Double Cream, 50g Caster Sugar and 1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract together until stiff.

For the Chou Buns / Eclairs, he used Kim-Joy’s Recipe, filled them with Chantilly Cream and dipped them in melted Milk Chocolate.

The Pâté Sucrée for the Strawberry Tartlets used a recipe from The BBC Food Website, for the Pastry. The filling is just halved Strawberrys and packet Glaze made using Strawberry flavoured water.

So next week it’s the final and I have to say, I’m going to be a bit sad to say goodbye to GBBO for another year!

I’m baking along with Jenny from Mummy Mishaps and Helen from Casa Costello

Casa Costello

For more Great British Bake Off Bloggers posts, click here

 

I’m also taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

Three ways to style glass doors in your home

Glass doors are an often overlooked, yet modern, subtly stylish and effective piece of furniture for the 21st century home.

Not too common that you’ll likely bump into one at your next housewarming party or friend’s dinner party, but also not too rare that you’ll never see one, a set of glass doors in a home hit that sweet spot for an added bit of unique personality.

However, once you’ve decided that you’d like to invest in a set of glass doors, there’s still the predicament of what to do with them. Where will you put them? How will you fit them into your existing décor? These are questions we will answer in this article.

 

Use glass to bring light into a room

One often forgotten element of glass – although also an obvious one when thinking outside the world of glass doors – is that they are completely transparent. What this transparency means for homes is much more than being able to see through them. Through careful planning and smart installation, your glass doors can bring extra, added natural light into a room.

This extra light adds a feeling of extra space and openness to a room, especially when carefully placed in relation to your windows. Cheaper than moving to a bigger house, or even building an extension, this savvy trick can make your house feel larger, lighter and easier on the eye – all without breaking the bank!

glass doors in the living room

Create an open plan look, without knocking down walls

If you’re a self-confessed, avid hoarder of niche memorabilia, cool vintage furniture or have a large collection of vinyl, chances are that you’ll want to show off your belongings to guests that you host, whatever your niche. Maybe simply catching a glimpse of your swingin’ sixties armchair is enough to make your day as you walk across your house.

Whichever way you’d like to give your furniture and belongings centre stage, a glass door can provide the transparency you need to deliver that ‘open plan’ look, without psychically knocking any walls down. Not only do they look great, but they’re cheaper than starting construction work on your house, and non-permanent if you suddenly decide you’d like your privacy back.

Install a sliding door for maximum modernity

While glass doors can add a touch of unique style to an otherwise ordinary home, a sliding glass door can further emphasise the modern, sleek and impactful effect that already exists.

Sliding doors benefit from the horizontal opening mechanism that they’re most known for. Opening sideward, as opposed to outwards, maximises a sliding door’s space-saving capabilities, meaning you’re able to leave it open without causing a hazard for young children, or leaving it looking a little untidy and messy. This is great news for those who want to ‘transform’ their homes quickly to an open style for Summer house parties or gatherings with lots of people throughout the year. But it also means that you can shut the doors when you want to, retaining that sleek, modern, see-through vibe you can only get from glass doors.

interior frosted glass door

Bonus tip: translucent glass doors

Okay so we said three tips, but we still have one left in the bag. Translucent glass doors, or frosted, are great for keeping privacy in certain rooms, whilst still adding a touch of sleek, timeless modernity to boot. Perfect for bathrooms, shower rooms or areas you’d like to keep a little low key and stop people peeking in.

This is a collaborative post

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