We have been meaning to get a new duvet for guests for a while, as our other one was getting a little past it’s best so it was lucky we had the chance to review a lovely new anti allergy double duvet.
This is definitely a massive improvement, it is very snuggly and cosy at 10.5 tog. My sister was the first to use it when she came over to stay on the weekend for our trip to the Lion King (I will be reviewing this soon, so keep an eye out for the post!) As it is now X-factor season, she might be coming over to stay most weekends too. We have our own tradition of X-factor sleep overs because it’s always more fun than watching alone, we get takeaways and make a night of it and by the time we finish talking it’s normally past the time for the last tube so it’s easier for her to stay.
Our own bed is a King Size, although I did try this double duvet on the bed just to see and it actually covered pretty well, so would definitely be useable on our own bed too. I do like guests to have good quality bedding though, to show some hospitality! It will come in very handy for Red Rose Mummy‘s visit. She will be staying over at mine in October so that we can go together to the Baby Show in Olympia which should be fun!
The duvet is a great quality, with a 80% microfibre blend, 20% Amicor™ filling and a 100% cotton cover. t is machine washable at 60°C, although I have not tried washing it yet. The washing and care instructions are all clearly printed on the label. Being anti-allergy gives me extra reassurance that it will be more hygienic and I rather have this for peace of mind.
The duvet is really soft to touch, and the edges are well stitched. It looks very well made overall. I just love how plump and soft and comfy it is! When it comes time for me to buy a new king size duvet for my own bed, I would definitely like to get another one of these for myself and I would recommend it to anyone.
As its coming up to back to school time, it’s not only the children who need to get all their school supplies ready, as parents there can be a lot to keep track of during term time so the new school year is a great time to think about improving organisation, and getting our home space organised to easily keep a track of who needs to be where, what needs to be done and when, what needs to be paid, what needs to be bought, and all the little things that need doing day to day.
I had the chance to review some products from the Martha Stewart Home Office Wall Order range, which you can see below.
This is a modular system, so the picture you see above is made up of four wall mounted sections that are each bought separately, and then you can add shelves, drawers and other accessories.
I was really excited to try out this system, I love the idea of it and I often find myself with paper work, pens and various little things cluttering up one corner of my kitchen so I was hoping to take down my old pinboard and replace it with this system to make that area look so much more organised, neat, and much more appealing.
The boards come with an inbuilt spirit level, and four nails to attach each one to the wall. I got my husband to do this as I am not brilliant at even simple DIY, unfortunately it does not seem to be one of my strengths so I leave it to him. I asked him to attach the boards to my preferred wall in the kitchen, without considering what time of wall it is. With it being an external wall it was not easy at all for him to hammer the nails into the wall, they were getting bent out of shape and not going through so we had no choice but to rethink the location.
We decided to attach the boards to the inside of the cupboard door under the stairs, as this is another place that I like to keep things to hand and the surface was much easier to attach the nails.
Once we had attached the wall panels it was very easy to attach the accessories. The drawers, shelf and storage just slot in sideways onto the wall organiser.
As you can see, I was sent two wall panels. The upper panel is a magnetic board which is great for attaching small notices or reminders and the lower section is a really versatile one which can be customised in so many ways, by putting the different drawers, shelves and containers wherever you like within the space of the wall panel and can be rearranged as often as you like. I have included a small shelf at the bottom, a set of two drawers, and a storage compartment at the top. I am keeping post it notes and pens here so that I can write a quick reminder to myself while I am on the go.
I was a little disappointed that I was not able to wall mount this in the spot I had in mind, but it will still be really useful for me to help keep me organised. From September, we are thinking of starting Mr R in nursery for a couple of days. This will mean all three kids in different schools, then there is all the speech therapy and other appointments starting up again for T, the meetings with school and nursery SENCOs, and all the other day to day things to remember once school is back. Now that this is placed on the door, I will see it everyday when taking out the shoes so I can see it coming in really handy for last minute reminders and check lists to make sure everything is remembered and nothing gets overlooked.
The Wall Accessory boards are £13.00, and accessories priced from £2.00 to £10.00
Lakeland-Furniture specialise in high end reproductions of famous designs of all the modern classics of the furniture world. They sent me this Eames style children’s rocking chair to try out and review.
The chair comes in two parts and is not difficult to put together, you simply have to attach the main seat to the base frame. The wooden rockers are already attached to this frame. I asked my husband to do this and it took him around 10 minutes only. The chair comes with the allen key which you need to screw the two pieces together, so you do not need any additional tools of your own. The chair is inspired by the work of designer Charles Eames.
The rockers are made from beech wood, and the rest of the base is made from polished chrome. The chair looks really cute in the boys room as it is a lovely toddler size and perfect for the younger two boys at age 3 and 2. It has a very defined bucket shape to the seat which is great for younger toddlers as it helps to keep them secure, and the rocking motion is quite gentle compared to larger rocking chairs we have tried. It is a perfect place for them to snuggle up and relax; look through a book, watch a bit of TV or just snuggle with one of their cuddly toys.
The quality of the chair looks very good. It is well made and sturdy with good quality materials. I am really impressed with the price of this for only £32 at Lakeland Furniture. Being designer reproduction, they are able to offer the most stylish designs but for such a reasonable price! This chair is also available in Blue, Green and White.
If you fancy one of these chairs for your own home, then you are in luck as I have one to give away courtesy of Lakeland Furniture. As a compulsory entry option, they would like you to first circle them on g+ please, then you can continue the Rafflecopter as usual choosing whichever options you would like.
Cable & Cotton string lights are one of the loveliest products I have seen in a while! I had spotted them a couple of months ago and really liked the look of them, so when I had the chance to try some for Mr R’s room naturally I grabbed it with both hands 😀
I have been trying to put some finishing touches into his room lately, as we had left it looking unloved for far too long. I have been rearranging the furniture, cleared the clutter and added a few lovely extra touches so the room looks much better. I will be doing a full post of the whole room make over soon, but for now I just want to tell you about these lights!
Cable & Cotton do light strings with small bulbs encased in round colourful cotton balls. It’s a simple idea but it works so well, they look gorgeous! There are ready made colour combinations, or if you prefer you can make your own.
For Mr R’s room, I wanted a colour combination that reflected the other colours in his room and worked well for a baby boy’s nursery. I liked the Seasalt colour scheme as it had quite a few of the shades I wanted to choose, but wasn’t sure about black being included in a baby’s nursery so I decided to create my own so that I could have the slight adjustments I wanted.
I went for every shade of blue, and then some white too for variety and to keep it light. This was:
I think the effect of variations on the same colour looks really effective.
When the lights arrive, you will get a box with the light string and the balls are separate. You need to add them on yourself, just by pushing each light through each ball. This is so that you have full control of what order and pattern of colours that you would like. It is pretty easy to do, I did worry with a couple of them whether it would be okay to push the lights through so hard, but in the end it was fine. From what I noticed, the darker coloured balls are a fraction stronger than the lighter ones. I did have to be the most careful with the pure white and the pale blue cotton balls when inserting the lights.
The cotton balls look really nice even before the lights are turned on, their texture is really appealing and you can see all the detail of the thread. It’s quite reminiscent of balls of wool! That means they do look nice hanging on the wall or around the home even when the lights are switched off.
Here is Mr R’s light string switched on, and really my pictures can’t do it justice. They do look really beautiful.
The lights are now up on the wall in his room (I have bought some tiny adhesive hooks to stick to the wall, which is holding them up fine) and they make a brilliant effect when they are switched on in a darkened room. Mr R has been having them on at bedtime and he seems to love looking at them from in his cot, it must be quite a relaxing atmosphere to fall asleep to! When he goes into his room now, as soon as he goes in he points to behind the chest of drawers were the plug socket is, because he wants me to turn these lights on for him!
I just love these because they are quite different and have such beautiful colours. They also do big lamps, and I fancy one of these for my own room because our light fitting is awful and one of these would be so much nicer to wake up to first thing in the morning. I fancy pale pink as I couldn’t get that for Mr R’s room!
Babyface have such lovely things for children’s bedrooms. I have been making some effort to improve my boys bedrooms recently, and Babyface sent me a few things from their boys bedroom ranges to help me out!
I was sent a Quilted Pillowcase from the McKenzie range which is really soft and padded and luxurious, with a great patchwork effect which coordinates well with the blue walls of the older boy’s room.
I was also sent a gingham duvet set, which is great to mix and match with the McKenzie. The bedding is all a great quality 100% cotton, and feels nice and soft against the children’s skin. I have washed all these bedding items a few times now and they are coming up as good as new, so I would say they wash very well.
As you can see, these two were very pleased with the bedding – and it’s not even their bed!! This is their older brothers, but as soon as I put the new duvet covers on, they couldn’t resist climbing in and testing it all out!
I am really impressed with all the bedding, due to the quality and these are such versatile designs that would fit in with most boys bedrooms and can go with any theme.
Babyface also sent me some extra accessories to add some more personality to their rooms. I love these little finishing touches, and they make all the difference to a room.
I was sent 3 of the Fabric Letters – one each for Mr Z, Mr T and Mr R. These are great for adding a personalised touch to their rooms by including their initials. The letters come with a small loop on the back so they can easily be fixed onto the wall with any hook. I did this in Mr R’s room, and for Mr Z and Mr T I have displayed the letters on the shelf which also works well. The colours coordinate really nicely with all the bedding items as I have a mixture of blues and red. We have the Blue Candystripe, Red Dotty, and Denim fabrics.
All letters of the alphabet are all available in every design. I have noticed with some shops, its a case of A comes in stripey, B comes in spotty and so on, so you get less choice but with Babyface it is not like that at all and there are loads of varieties available. You can also get heart shapes and &. If your child has a shortish name these letters would also look fantastic to spell out the whole name. I really like them! The quality, size and chunkiness of them is great!
The last item we were sent is some fabric bunting.
I used this for my youngest, Mr R’s room as I always like bunting in a nursery. It adds a great splash of colour and looks really cheerful. I was able to easily attach it to the wall with a couple of pins and it has stayed up with no problems at all. This bunting is 2 meters long which is just an ideal length for his room. Plenty to cover a decent section of wall, but not so much that it becomes unwieldy to hang. It would also look great to decorate a room or garden for parties.
I have been really impressed with everything from Babyface and I would definitely go and buy from them in future when I am in need of more accessories for their room. I already have my eye on a few things I fancy getting. Their service is also really friendly and helpful, I couldn’t fault them in anything. It’s not actually a shop I had heard of much before, but I would really recommend them to anyone – They are great!
MoneySuperMarket have launched a new Home Improvement Hero competition for bloggers to show what they can do to improve the look and feel of a room on a low budget. I would love to be showing off how I have used my 50 pounds budget to add some lovely final touches to a room and end up with a great atmosphere, but instead I have had to put the budget towards proper DIY and home improvements, as we have had quite a bit of work and a few disasters here over the last couple of weeks.
At first we had to have a new boiler put in, as it was declared to be dangerous and an at risk boiler. It’s times like these that home warranties prove to be so useful. Home warranty coverage will offer you protection when something goes wrong with a home system or appliance like a boiler. You can get home warranty cover from a variety of different providers. If you are based in Maryland, for example, then you might want to look here for your cover.
We had loads of people round to give quotes and some of them have given suggestions involving ripping up loads of floorboards, moving everything all around and new pipes coming through everywhere which sounded a total nightmare considering I still need to live in the place with the 3 kids while they are doing the work! Luckily we finally managed to find someone who could do the job a bit more simply, keeping the boiler in a similar location to avoid quite so much of the new piping and work throughout the whole house.
While getting the new boiler, we had the old water tank thrown out, so we took the chance to get more shelving put into the cupboard where it had been. While we were having that done we decided to get the under stairs area shelved too which is great – to make the space more organised!
This was all brilliant and I was really pleased with how my improvements were coming along – until a couple of days later we noticed water was suddenly leaking from somewhere in the bathroom down to the entrance hallway. The whole place was soaked and the wall was ruined as it got so wet that most of the wall panel came off, exposing all the pipes and wires underneath and not looking very welcoming to the home at all!
To make matters worse, when the plumber came to investigate it, he had to smash up all the bathroom tiles to get to some of the pipes to have a proper look. He also had to move around so many furnitures in the bedroom because one of the walls joins to the bathroom and that is where the pipes were running.
We found that our pipes were all so old that having a newer boiler with a slightly higher pressure had been too much for them. They had holes in them which had been only blocked by lime scale! The higher pressure water was being pushed through causing it to leak everywhere and leave the house in this state! The plumber managed to fix it with new pipes, but we were still left with a damaged house to sort out. The insurance excess would have been quite a lot so we decided just to sort it out by ourselves.
The first thing was to fix the entrance hall way by adding a new wall panel which we did and painted it white. We bought a wooden false panel from Wickes to use for this, which is hardwood plywood. This cost around £30 and was then screwed into the wall to conceal all the pipes which had been exposed by the water damage, then was painted white. This was another £10 for the paint
We are now going to repaint the whole corridor in white,using the rest of the left over paint. This will be good to freshen up the area as I never liked the orange colour on the lower half of the walls. It was left by the previous owners.
We also had to re-tile the bathroom to fix what had been smashed. We had just tiled the whole floor last year, as we bought the house with carpet in the bathroom which is not good as it will get damp. We were able to reattach some of the previous tiles, but not all of them. We just selected some cheap plain white tiles from Wickes as it will match with the others and do the job. These were bought within the last £10 as we could reattach most of the old tiles.
This is still not quite finished, but it is on the way there. At least having to do the downstairs hall way will give us an excuse to get it finished off the way we like it, as it had been not been left in the best way by the previous owners and there are a few things I would like to change to make a much better welcoming impression!
Here you can see a wider shot of the damaged area, and the place to the side is where the previous owners had ripped out a fitted mirror which we need to replace. I will need to remove the dado rail from the wall too as they have left it with a gap in it. I had been trying all this time to find a ready made mirror to the correct dimensions for the gap, but no luck so far.
I also need to get a new light fitting for the entrance hall as this has been damaged by water leaking through, and again I did not like the original one which came with the house anyway – so I suppose it is a blessing in disguise that it has been ruined! 😉
Here you can see it coming away from the ceiling, and look how old fashioned and unstylish it is anyway! It will take more than this 50 pounds budget to complete all of this though, but we will continue to work on it over the next couple of weeks. I will update with some pictures once the whole renovation is finished!
The budget has been enough for us to make good the damage, which is the most important thing and from here we will take it a bit further and get it all looking exactly how I would like – finally! Sometimes it does take a disaster to give you a kick to get it all sorted out!
I have previously done another challenge with MoneySuperMarket where I decorated my sons room for a 50 pounds budget, if you would like to see that one, have a look here
It’s hard to believe, but after 3 kids this is the first proper changing bag I have had. I have previously been making do with the free one they give out from the Boots Parent and Baby club, so I really do think it was about time I have an upgrade – and I must say, this one does the job so well.
I have found it especially ideal for days out on the weekend, when we are going for the full day and with all the family together. I can fit in nappies and wipes for the younger two, spare clothes, drinks cups, any toys they need and still have plenty of space and not feel the bag is cramped. On those days, I have been able to ditch my handbag and just keep my keys, purse and phone in a section of this bag too so everything is in one place and I feel less weighed down with a handbag here, a small backpack there, another bag over there etc etc!
From top left:
Hanging in the hallway, you can get an idea of its size
Small metal badge reading Caboodle, and you can see the lovely grey spotty pattern. I really like this, it tends to go with everything and looks cheerful yet not OTT!
The zip pull, again reading Caboodle
Bag all loaded into the car ready for a day out
From top left
The whole bag
Inside lining and zip compartment. This is a generous size and has a section for your phone. There are also loads more unzipped pockets inside
Metal feet on the bottom to stop it getting scuffed
Outside pocket, there is one on each side
There are quite a few accessories included:
1. Changing mat
2. Insulated bottle holder, to keep milk or water at the right temperature
3. Zipped plastic pouch – ideal for putting any dirty or wet items in,to keep the rest of your stuff safe!
This bag will be really good for days out when we go to the local water parks and need to bring even more things like the children’s swimming clothes and towels, or for picnics when extra food and cups and plates are needed as it really will fit in a lot! It also would be great for newborn days when you have so many different things to bring. For me having 3 young children I find it great that I can get everything into the one bag. There’s no way I could do that with my old smaller changing bag so I had taken to just shoving stuff in various carrier bags – so disorganised, and not stylish at all. I have taken some telling offs from elders in the family about doing this! So they are much happier to see me with a proper smart looking changing bag! I am much happier with this bag too and really don’t know why I did not get one like this sooner!
This bag is currently £40.00 on Caboodlebags.co.uk which I think is good value for such a useful and good quality bag. There are a couple of other colour options also available: Blue, or Red Spot and there will be a new red trim version coming soon with grey spots like mine but a red trim rather than purple.
It is definitely BBQ weather at the moment with all this heat. It seems like everyone is wanting to get outdoors and enjoy it while it lasts. Luckily for me, MoneySuperMarket had given us £50 towards hosting a barbecue for their #thecharcoalchallenge competition (see here for more details)
To make the budget go further we got together with friends and contributed jointly to the barbecue. I was in charge of bringing the vegetarian foods:
I got a mixture of quorn burgers, bean burger, bbq salmon and bbq prawns. This was all bought from Tesco at 2am the night before as I was in a bit of a rush and knew I wouldn’t get much time in the morning either. Thank God for 24 hour supermarkets 😀
I also wanted to have halloumi and falafel as they are always nice for a veggie BBQ, but couldn’t find it at the time. Never mind though, all was nice, especially the sweet chilli prawn skewers.
My friend’s flat has a large communal garden so that is where we held the barbecue. Luckily one neighbour had all the barbecue equipment, which they kindly lent so we did not need to buy any of that. My friends provided all the meat, which was delicious as you can see below
To make the barbecue more fun for all the children we put out lots of activities like slide, tunnel, paddling pool with loads of plastic balls, and a small bouncy castle and decorated the place with balloons.
It was a lovely barbecue and a great way to spend a sunny afternoon with friends and family. We will definitely keep doing more barbecues in future.
MoneySuperMarket are running another competition, to find out all about what is on our “Bucket Lists”, what are the ultimate things we would love to achieve and tick off our lists during our lives.
It’s easy to think of ideas if money is no object. There are so many places in the world that I would love to see, so the first things that jump to mind for me are travel related, however the first item on my list is a journey that is made not just for sightseeing or enjoyment purposes. Rather it is a journey to fulfil a spiritual goal and to reconnect. This is something that I have wished to do since I was much younger; something that fills the heart with longing and hopefully changes it for the better on it’s return. A journey that will give a sense of peace. A journey which has famously changed the lives and outlook of others who have gone before, such as Malcom X.
This journey is the Hajj. The Islamic pilgramage. My ultimate bucket list aim.
I have been fortunate enough to go and do Umrah (the smaller pilgramage) before we had children, so I have seen the kaabah and done tawaf. I have prayed in the Haram, and in Masjid an Nabawi and I am so glad I was given the opportunity to do this. (Alhamdulillah) The moment of seeing the Kaabah for the first time is something really special. It is in this direction that we turn to pray 5 times each day so to finally see this in front of your eyes is so surreal.
But Hajj would be on the next level. It is a much more challenging journey. To think of all those who have gone before and completed the same journey, every year for more than 1400 years so many people have been coming, from every country in the world, all with the same purpose. And to then think of our children and children’s children and the future generations continuing this as time goes on – to me this is an amazing thing and it must be my ultimate bucket list aim.
However, knowing that money is an issue for a lot of people at the moment, MoneySuperMarket have also asked us to come up with a budget bucket list. There are loads of simple things I would love to do which I have not yet achieved so here is mine:
The back to nature list:
Camping – I have never done this but we will be going this summer, so that will be one thing ticked off the list already! I quite fancy roasting some marshmallows under the stars 😀
Take the kids to a bluebell woods – Somehow we have never done this! We have been to normal woods, but the bright blue of the bluebell woods is really beautiful and I would love to take them, great for photos too!
Ditto Lavender fields! I loved the smell of lavender since I was little
Stay in a lake house – secluded and relaxing and calm. After running around after the kids and rushing from appointment to appointment all the time, I sometimes crave something like this. Somewhere that is just quiet!
The practical list:
Pass my driving test – I have been learning now for well over a year and had about 3x the amount of lessons most people have! 3rd attempt coming up and if I finally pass I can stop spending so much on lessons every week and get more freedom and spontaneity to go where I want, when I want. I really really do hope I can get this one ticked off my list soon!!
Making a decent biryani – My cooking is not too bad but this is one dish which never comes out so well, and I feel like it is the mark of a proper mum who can cook biryani when guests come over, so I would like to master it!
Finish fixing up my garden and redecorating my house – It would give me a lot of satisfaction to feel that there is not so much left in the house which drastically needs doing! I will be making a few steps in this direction so do look out for those posts coming up soon 😉
The just for fun list:
Take the kids to Butlins – I keep meaning to take them. I used to go every year as a kid so it is something I would just like to do with them
Take the kids to see some peacocks – Maybe in Richmond Park. I love peacocks! Again its something I remember enjoying when I was a child so I want to go and experience with the kids
Go on a big holiday with the kids, their cousins and all of the close relatives
Take the kids ice skating
Take a break and go on a mini holiday with my best friend (Mumtographer)
The long term list:
See my kids grow up, get married and have kids – Obviously don’t know what the future holds, but I hope they experience this and I would love to see it
Travel all over the world with my husband – Once the kids are fully grown, we are looking forward to seeing some of the world’s great places together. As we had them young, I am hoping we have plenty of years left do this once they are bigger!
Spend some time focusing on helping others – I have thought about volunteering for Home start, training to be a portage home visitor, or even fostering children once mine are quite a bit older. I would have to consider the best way for me to do these things and balance it with my own children’s needs but it is definitely important to me to make sure I achieve something worthwhile and have the opportunity to help others as others have helped me in life.
There are so many more things I could add to my lists, and endless extra categories I could add. I hope I manage to achieve as many of these as I can, but I know that as long as we enjoy each day spending time with loved ones, making the most of our time, making memories and helping others along the way, letting our loved one know and feel how loved they are and enjoying each moment – then the specifics and details of the lists do not matter, we will have no regrets.
This is my entry for the MoneySuperMarket Budget Bucket Lists Competition and I would like to tag the following 3 friends to take part in the competition:
Summer is here, and that means outdoor fun and lots of time spent in the garden. If you’re looking for ways to entertain your kids this summer, these awesome backyard ideas should give you some inspiration for a fun and frugal summer that memories are made of. Cool features to add to your backyard this […]
Big Little Tent Festival was created last year during lockdown, since we aren’t able to be out there exploring just now, Caravan Club came up with this idea to allow families to have fun and continue the excitement of camping at home. The festival aims to bring the great outdoors to you – in the […]
Sink or float is one of the most popular classic science experiments for kids. It’s so easy to set up, and a great way to introduce them to basic experiments at home. This fun twist on the classic experiment uses surprise eggs to add another element of fun to the activity. This sink or float […]
Every child is different, and with these varied personalities and interests you will need different toys to best keep your child occupied and entertained. Recently, I was having this discussion with one of my mum groups about which toys are most used by our 4 year olds these days and it was really interesting to […]
Kaleidoscope Have fun making this Kaleidoscope craft with the kids. This simple kaleidoscope works best when it is held up to the light. Move the tube around to see the pretty colours, glitter and sequins dance around. What is a Kaleidoscope? A kaleidoscope (/kəˈlaɪdəskoʊp/) is an optical instrument with two or more reflecting surfaces tilted […]
We have all been stuck indoors for a while so it is always good to have some ideas of how to keep the little ones entertained during lockdown. We still have only a few months to go until things go back to normal – hopefully – so read on to get some inspiration. Anna and […]
It’s fantastic to see World Book Day grow year on year, teaching children about the joys of reading in a fun and playful way and getting them to engage with characters and literature is an amazing idea and it’s fantastic it has become so successful here in the UK. Truly highlighting the joys of reading […]