Tag Archives: home

How To Design & Organise The Perfect Utility Room

My utility room without a doubt is one of the most used rooms in our house. When we built our house two years ago I loved designing the utility room as I had never had one before. Our utility room is directly off of our kitchen and leads to a door out to the side of the house and a door to the garage as well.

With every room in our house, storage was important! So in our utility we added a large cupboard for shoes, coats and also a store for bottled water and toilet rolls. Having this cupboard keeps everything neat and tidy and out of sight. We also added a motion activated light in here which is handy.

In our old house we had a Butler sink and I loved it. I chose a different sink in the kitchen so opted for a Butler sink in the utility. I chose quite a big one as its perfect for rinsing of football kits and cleaning muddy boots in.

We have a NEFF washing machine and tumble dryer in here, one on each side of the sink. When purchasing I opted for machines which held large loads so I could get as much as I could washed and dried in one load. I love these machines and they are so easy to use and keep clean.

Under the sink Is a secure cupboard where my main cleaning products are kept. I stock a few of each bottle at a time so I never run out. I purchased lots of Curver storage baskets which I love and have in every cupboard of this room. Under the sink I have one with all my cleaning clothes, rubber gloves and spare Vileda mop cloths in. Having everything organised like this means whatever I need I can grab quickly.

I have used the Curver baskets to organise everything. I have separate ones for medicines, sun creams, hoover bags, shoe cleaning, washing products, dishwasher products, toilet Bloo, candles, Zoflora, cleaning wipes, Minky’s and sponges, light bulbs, batteries, charging wires and USB’s and lint rollers. Everything has a place making it neat and tidy! I love this washing tablet tin that I picked up in Tiger, its so cute!

I have a craft cupboard with all the boys paints, playdough etc in here too which is all organised in boxes too. So when they want to do a craft activity they know where everything is kept.

I made sure I had a long cupboard that would easily fit in my ironing board and Vileda spray mop and there was even room left to add a shelf at the top to store my vases on.

At the end if the utility room near the side door I have a boot room area with a bench for the boys to sit at when they take their dirty shoes off. This is also storage and keeps our wellies inside. Above the seat is where my Pulleymaid beadboard drying rack is. This is one of my favourite things in this room. It folds flat against the wall to store easily but comes forward as a drying rack which is great for me as with the boys swimming 3 or 4 times a week, Oscar having two dirty football kits on the weekend and the dirty kit bag coming home with Oscar on Friday with a swimming kit, a PE kit and a very muddy games kit inside I have plenty of space to dry the things that can’t go in the tumble dryer. Before I had the Pulleymaid I would hang it off cupboard handles and it would drive me mad, this keeps the utility looking neat and tidy all of the time and from the kitchen you cannot see the drying clothes. Win!

On the work surface on one side of the sink I have some pasta jars that we have had for years and my lovely Enesco Beatrix Potter Miss Tiggywinkle biscuit jar and on the other side is my trusty slow cooker, my Shark handheld vacuum which is perfect for hoovering up crumbs and cleaning your skirting boards with along with a recipe book stand where I keep any important forms etc on. I also have a weekly notice board which was from Next that has our yearly calender, letters and all of the boys clubs on the daily blackboards. I find it really useful.

I absolutely love my utility room and it so functional and makes all the household chores so much easier as everything you need is easy to find. I hope you can pick up some useful organisational tips from this post.

If you need any help with organising your home my lovely friend Leone has just started a new business called Cluttercation.  If you haven’t got time to get everything in order or just don’t know where to start, Leone can help you to achieve an organised and clutter free home! Quote SPRINGCLEAN1 to get your 10% discount before the 31st May 2019.

Image result for cluttercation

 

Blogmas Day 3: Christmas Dining Table Inspiration

I cannot wait for Christmas this year! Oscar is so excited and Archie understands all about Father Christmas this year properly for the first time, so its really magical. This Christmas as usual we have both sides of the family for lunch, there are 12 of us around the table for lunch. Christmas is my favourite time of the year and I love adding personal touches to make it as fabulous and as special as possible for everyone.

I have been searching on Google for Christmas table ideas over the last few months and found so many great ideas. I have decided to stick with my usual Gold colour theme to match our fabulous Pines and Needles Christmas Tree. This is our second year of having our gorgeous tree delivered and dressed and its a show stopper! I’ve picked up lots of little bits from Christmas fairs and garden centres and online as well and thought I would share a few ideas with you. We also went to the Ideal Home Show at Christmas where I brought some new decorations.

For the last few years I have used Gold chargers on the table that I brought from Next. This year I wanted to get some gold place mats instead and again brought them from Next, one side is a shimmered gold and the other is glitter gold. I prefer the shimmer but you could alternate each mat to jazz it up a bit. They come in a pack of four with the coasters for £20.

I also follow a lot of independent sellers on Instagram and Facebook and ordered some lovely personalised wooden Christmas tree place setters from Pretty Personalised who sell lots of personalised gifts.

Last year I had a beautiful centrepiece made by Love Flowers in Rickmansworth and it looked amazing and smelt divine! I think it was about £100 and I will definitely be getting another one this year.

Last year I also found these cute wooden personalised napkin rings and brought thick disposable napkins from Marks and Spencer to put inside them. They have similar ones available from Not On The High Street, a set of 12 is £48.

To go with my Gold theme I also have Gold Cutlery from Viners. The sets come in lovely display boxes and are £135 a set for four people. The only annoying thing is I can’t put them in the dishwasher so have to wash them up by hand.

I hope I have given you a few ideas. I would love to see your Christmas Dining tables and any great ideas you have, so make sure you share them with me!

Oscar’s Marvel Themed Bedroom

When we started building our house last year one thing I was really excited about was making both the boys bedrooms as amazing as possible. I had looked on Pinterest for ideas and brought more home and interiors magazines than I care to admit. I eventually decided on a Marvel themed bedroom for Oscar as he is really into it.

I found online that Dulux sold a Marvel themed bedroom kit with a wallpapered mural and the blue paint to match it. When I went to buy it online I had to really hunt for it as to my horror it had been discontinued so as soon as I found it I brought it and just kept it in our loft until we needed it. We did have to buy extra paint as the paint provided in the box wasn’t enough for a the size of Oscar’s room. The whole kit was £109.


I then saw a Philip’s wall light online of Spider-Man and it looks like he is coming through the wall. As soon as I saw it I knew Oscar would love it and we had to get it. The head and hand come as two separate lights and included is the crack effect sticker which our decorator put up for us. The lights themselves are just battery lights so when Oscar is older and doesn’t want them anymore they are simple to take off and paint over. The were £35 each and they look fantastic, especially at night! They are cheaper now on amazon at only £19.99 each. (Link below).


I then spent some time looking on websites like Etsy for Marvel accessories and found a lady who made wooden letters and paints them in various children’s characters. She made me ‘Oscar’ in different Marvel characters and it cost £50. I also found a wooden Marvel car and peg doll characters which was £40. The picture on the wall above is by Doug Hyde and was given to Oscar on his Christening Day five years ago.

I got Marvel Avenger bedding online as well and that was £25 for a double and a side table night light which again is made by Philip’s off Amazon which was £20.

We didn’t show Oscar his new room until it was all finished and he absolutely loves it! He was jumping up and down, it was very cute! Look out next week for some more boys bedroom inspiration when I will post what we did with Archie’s bedroom.

Oxfam’s Donation Drive

As we are currently in the process of building our new house I have really started to declutter and sort through everything so when we do move it is as stress free as possible without moving things we don’t need anymore. So when I was asked by Oxfam to take part in their Donation Drive campaign it was perfect timing! Oxfam’s Donation Drive launched on the 26th August and is running for a month. Their campaign is to encourage the great British public to donate what they no longer need or want to one of their 700 Oxfam shops, because they turn those donations into cash to fund their truly amazing work fighting extreme poverty and suffering across the world.

Oxfam

They are asking the public for donations of: clothes, music, books, homewares – tableware, linen, rugs, curtain etc (not electrical equipment) and accessories (jewellery, shoes, scarves, shoes, belts, bags, braces etc).

So I started downstairs and went through the house room by room. I was pretty ruthless and before I knew it had piles of black bags ready to go to our local Oxfam shop in Rickmansworth. This time of year is always when I have a big clear out as with Christmas only a few months away, I know the boys will be inundated with more toys and clothes! With the big move hopefully in February I am more conscious of the amount of stuff we have and take the rule if I haven’t used it in the last two months then its going!

I really find decluttering and organising really therapeutic and am so happy when I know all our unwanted things are going to help other people. It was also great to get Oscar involved through sorting his old toys and teaching him about charity and helping others. We ended up with so many bags that Greg had to help me take to the Oxfam shop as I couldn’t carry it all on my own!

When you drop off your unwanted things to the Oxfam shop by then gift aiding the donated items – this is called ‘Tag Your Bag’ your unwanted items will be worth 25 per cent more.What I really love is that when you ‘Tag your Bag’, Oxfam will let you know how much money your stuff has raised and you can get yourself some Nectar points too.

So get organising and donate your unwanted bits and pieces to your local Oxfam store over the next month and take part in the Donation Drive.

“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.”

 

Aloka SleepyLights Review

A few weeks ago we were asked to pick one of the fun designs in the Aloka Sleepylights multi-coloured LED light range from Potwells. I knew Oscar would love the Robot design and when Oscar came home from school to find his new light set up in his bedroom he absolutely loved it. There are 26 lovely designs to choose from and six of these designs are now stocked at John Lewis and Mothercare.

John Lewis stock these designs:

Mothercare stock these designs:

So what is so great about these new amazingly fun children’s lights…… Firstly Oscar loves having a remote control and lays in bed constantly changing the colours and leaves it on a different colour each night. You can also leave it to rotate through the 12 different colours and the light gives off a soft and calming glow which is perfect for bedtime. Having the control is great for younger children too who can use the control which is great for practising their fine motor skills and learning all the different colours as well. The lights also have a side-lamp feature which leaves your light on a bright white glow which is also great for when you are reading a bedtime story and need a bit more light.

The light also has a dimmer function which is great and you can choose from four varying levels of brightness, it also has a sleep button which will automatically lower the light to create the ideal calm and dreamy environment to fall to sleep in. I also set the timer to turn the night light off after an hour saving the need to enter the room to switch it off as the evenings are lighter at the moment although Oscar sleeps with the remote under his pillow and turns it back on if he wakes in the night.


Oscar’s favourite light setting is the bright blue but my favourite without a doubt is the beautiful rainbow light show! Archie likes watching the light show too I am going to order the Giraffe light for him as it is perfect to have in a nursery.


The Robot Aloka SleepyLight has an RRP of £39.99 and I think is great value. Not only does it look great in Oscar’s bedroom but buying a SleepyLight will last you for years when using it from newborn.

Disclaimer: We were sent the light for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own.

The Great Little Trading Company Play Table Review

Our Play Table from The Great Little Trading Company has been without a doubt the best thing we have ever brought for Oscar to play on and store his toys in. On his third birthday we brought him a wooden train set and the man in the toy shop told us that Oscar would play with it a lot more if it was up higher on a permanent table rather than on the floor on a mat. I searched the internet and saw the one on The Great Little Trading company website and was sold. Not only was it large enough to set up his train set, it had a reversible play surface, a printed unisex design on one side and a blackboard on the other. It also has two huge storage draws that can fit so much in and store Oscar’s toys away easily and neatly.


I ordered the table online and it was delivered within 3 working days. I put it together on my own and the instructions were really easy to follow. I then covered it in Oscar’s duvet so that we could surprise him when Daddy got home from work. Over the years it has changed from a train table to a Playmobil table. Having the play table means Oscar can have his toys out all of the time rather than having to put it all away and get it all out again. Having a baby now that is 13 months and is crawling it has been a god send that Oscar’s toys can be up on the table and out of the way instead of on the floor where Archie could get them.


The table itself is really well made and honestly I don’t know what we would have done without it, there would be toys everywhere. Obviously we brought ours a few years ago and there is now an updated version which is the Eden Play Table that has an updated play surface design and the table comes in either natural wood or white.

The Eden Play Table

If you are looking for something a play table that is sturdy and will last the test if time, then this one from The Great Little Trading company is the one for you!

I’m A Lady Mary… Who Are You? Daz Competition

As the final episode of Downton draws near, Sunday nights filled with the shenanigans of our favourite landed gentry and their staff will sadly be a thing of the past. If you’re lamenting the end of the series, fear not, Daz is here to “lighten the load”. Taking a light hearted look at which characters the nation most resembles, it seems that Lady Mary’s personality double is probably only an armchair away.

Daz, has revealed that a whopping two thirds of us display the characteristics of Lady Mary, which means that as a nation we’re a progressive bunch who believe in tradition but are all for change if it improves the situation.

Lady Mary types embrace innovation and are always looking for new ways to use technology, but do believe in maintaining a work, life balance. They generally look for quick and easy solutions to everyday tasks, like laundry. Believing themselves to be loyal, elegant and passionate, having clean, perfectly pressed underwear that looks and smells good, is a top priority.

I am defiantly a Lady Mary and believe in tradition. I am a stay at home Mummy to Oscar and Archie and the housework and laundry is down to me. Having two boys my washing machine is constantly on and with the muddy Winter weather setting in, it will only get worse. Don’t fear though… Daz has got it covered!

Aside from Lady Mary, 15% of us share characteristics of the Earl of Grantham being stable, dependable and intelligent and liking a crisp white shirt to wear every day… this is defiantly my other half. Only a mere 10% see ourselves at the heart of the home like Mrs Patmore; satisfied with where we are, needing clean tea towels every day and using technology only when necessary.

Which one do you identify with?

  • Lady Mary: 64%
  1.  Loyal, elegant and passionate the Lady Mary’s are the next generation redefining tradition.
  2.  Great smelling, perfectly pressed underwear makes them happiest.
  • Earl of Grantham: 15%
  1. Stable, dependable and intelligent, they think of themselves as the head of the family.
  2.  Crisp, white, wrinkle free shirts are their laundry priority.
  • Mrs Patmore: 10%
  1. Down to earth, caring and forgiving, Mrs Patmore’s are the carers of the family and run the household.
  2. Clean tea towels with no stains in sight are key
  • Branson: 4%
  1. Moral, reserved and sceptical. They are traditional through and through.
  2. Vests and shirts make up the bulk of their laundry, to keep them looking sharply dressed.
  • Dowager Countess of Grantham: 3% 
  1. Proper, traditional and practical they prefer not to work unless they have to.
  2. They don’t do the laundry. Ever.
  • Thomas: 3%
  1. Ambitious, driven and successful they will do whatever it takes to help family get ahead.
  2. Most likely suited and booted, they prefer to do washing as little as possible.

Let Daz lighten your load and enter my competition for the chance to win a great Daz prize! I have 3 x Daz Regular Washing Powder and 3 x Daz go Pods to giveaway. So enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find out more about how Daz is lightening the load for the residents of Cleaner Close:

For those missing the maids…

Easy Daz it in the log shed…

 

Disclaimer: Daz statistics are not official ‘Downton Abbey’ or ITV statistics. Daz is not endorsed, sanctioned or in any other way supported by ‘Downton Abbey’ or ITV.

Giving Oscar’s Room A Make Over With Vertbaudet

Oscar’s room was well in need of a mini make over as his room is cream with the Zeddy and Parsnip border that we had decorated when I was pregnant with Oscar and wanted a neutral nursery and I wanted to make it more boyish. The reason why we haven’t completely redecorated his room as we have just started the process of building a new house and we didn’t see the point in decorating for him to only be in the room for another 12 months.

Vertbaudet have a lovely range of children’s and baby bedroom furniture and accessories so when I was given the chance to choose a few items I made sure to pick things that could go in Oscar’s bedroom in the new house. Having the two boys now and the amount of toys that they have between them I chose a storage unit/book shelf that has three staggered boxes and underneath storage too. It is the perfect size for Oscar’s toys, books and board games and I picked the nautical themed unit. They currently have different designs for boys and girls and start at only £39.20. It was so easy to put together and well made too.


 To go with the nautical theme I also chose a beautiful blue rug with numbers, stars and a anchor on it. It is lovely and thick and Oscar loves laying on it. It is a great size and keeps your feet nice and warm. There are some gorgeous rugs in the new range starting at only £19. It is so easy and cheap just add a few simple bits and pieces to a room and it looks instantly updated and for Oscar more grown up and organised.

Last but not least I chose a set of three printed wooden storage boxes that are currently on the top of Oscar’s wardrobe with lego and different bits in them. When we move I have a wooden storage unit to put them on with other baskets in the boys new playroom. Compared to other companies that I have looked at for play room furniture I can’t believe how cheap Vertbaudet is. On the front of the wooden storage boxes is mini blackboards so it will be easy for me to label the boxes and then Oscar and Archie will know which toys belong to Oscar and which ones are Archies.

 High shelving unit Taupe+White

I have had great fun sprucing up Oscar’s room and he absolutely loves is new ‘big boy’ bits and pieces. I have also got some great ideas from the Vertbaudet website for the boys new rooms and playroom.

Disclaimer: We were sent the above mentioned items for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own.

Review: Room To Grow Blue Abrial Wall Clock

I absolutely love the Room To Grow online shop. It is the one stop shop for Children’s beds, bedroom accessories and bedroom furniture. We have brought quite a few bits for their shop over the last couple of years from a mattress protector to bedding sets. I have always had a good experience when ordering from Room To Grow so when I was asked to do a review for them I was really pleased.


We were given the opportunity to choose a bedroom clock for Oscar. I chose the Abrial Wall clock which is blue and green. Oscar’s bedroom is decorated in neutral colours as we didn’t know if he was a boy or girl when I was pregnant and still has his zeddy and parsnip border. We are in the process of buying a new house so we didn’t see the point in decorating Oscar’s room so adding blue accessories and a boyish mirror has made it a bit more grown up for him and then when we move he can choose whatever decor he wants.



I showed him their selection of clocks so he could decide for himself which one he wanted. The Abrial wall clock comes in blue or pink and has nice big raised numbers on it so it is easy for your little ones to read and if your little one is learning the time it is nice to have a lovely clock in your child’s bedroom. It takes one AA battery and has a small hook on the pack which makes it really easy to set up and hang. The Abrial wall clock is currently reduced to £17.96 and for the price you are getting a really lovely, chunky, good quality clock that hopefully will last forever! It is a cool design so in terms of Oscar growing to old to have it in his room I think it will last for a long time yet as it’s perfect for younger children through to their teenage years.




Oscar is really pleased with his ‘big boy clock’ and having it in his room has suddenly made him really interested in time and wants to learn how to tell it, which is great.


Disclaimer: We were sent the Abrail Wall Clock for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are completely honest and my own.

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Review: My1stYears.com Personalised My First Year Photo Frame

As you have seen on my blog before we are big fans of My1stYears.com and I have reviewed a few items for them before plus brought loads too. My1stYears.com is a lovely website that has gorgeous personalised baby gifts and really special gifts for christenings and special occasions. There is also currently a huge sale running across loads of toys and gifts on their site! So don’t miss it.



When I was asked to choose something to review I wanted to find a special keepsake for Archie, so when I came across the personalised my first year frame I knew it was perfect. The frame itself is made from wood and glass and opens up like a book with spaces for smaller photos for 12 months worth of photos, then a large frame for a photo of your little ones first birthday picture. You can personalise it too and I had ‘Archie’ written on the bottom.




The months have flown by since Archie was born and it is nice to look at each photo that was taken every month to see how much he has changed already in this short period of time, its amazing!




The my first year frame would make a gorgeous new baby or baby shower present and as the frame is cream it is a perfect unisex colour. The frame is a great price for a personalised gift at only £25.00 and it comes in a My1stYears gorgeous green gift box with a white ribbon.

For a special unique gift take a look at the My1stYears website for a huge range of clothes, toys, gifts and more.



Personalised Baby Gifts

Disclaimer: We were sent the my first year frame for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are completely honest and my own.

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