Thursday, 15 March 2018

#MyInteriorStyling - What is your style?

I have a guilty pleasure and that is in the form of Mr George Clarke, I have binge sessions of watching renovations and extensions being built imagining how I would style and furnish those homes if they were mine.
I must say though my tastes change from episode to episode, I am generally quite traditional and would most times go for a home with character and opt for furniture that reflects this. I imagine a large country kitchen with a belfast sink and a huge oak table at the centre to seat the whole family. A roaring fire or wood burner surrounded by big comfy sofas and cushions - minus the floral patterns though, soft furnishings I like to be more modern and reflective of current trends.

However.....I do find myself being drawn to contemporary clean lines and minimal living at times but I think this is often a reflection of my moods and personal circumstances. I have a tendency to get quite anxious if I feel things are getting too much or there is a lot going on at the same time, therefore my desire to create a minimal and clean environment reflects my desire to clear the 'clutter' from around me, and times when I am feeling content and in control are times a warm cosy home is my ideal place to be. One thing I love is the ease with which you can change a room by simply changing a colour scheme, using different fabrics and designs, a bedroom can be transformed by new bedding and curtains along with matching lampshades and cushions from online stores such as Julian Charles, simple but effective if you want a change but have a small budget. I am a fan of plain, neutral walls and adding a colour accent I can change as trends change, my current being pale yellows, greys and greens which gives a real feel of spring...which is hopefully just around the corner! 

We desperately need to move to a bigger house now we are a family of four as we are bursting at the seams with toys, gadgets and day to day items we need. This means storage is a huge part of our decor and furnishings, everything we buy must double up as effective storage too, so this can be quite restrictive in styles we would buy - storage over personal preference!
I live for the day we can afford a bigger house and I can truly put my style in there over storage solutions, I would imagine it would come out somewhere between traditional character and modern style, but whatever your style and choice as long as it feels like home it is right for you.

This is a collaborative post with Julian Charles who have created this fab ebook looking at different styles we can create in our homes, take a look here

Bayala Mermaid with Baby Turtle review

I have a huge Disney fan in my house as many do i suspect. She loves all things Mermaid and that can relate to Ariel and friends. She loved some of the mermaid toys at Christmas and is always on the lookout for things to add to her collection when we are out and about shopping. We were recently sent the Bayala Mermaid with baby turtle from schleich which retails at £14.99 and suitable for ages 5+

The Mermaid comes in a beautiful purple shell that makes play on the go so easy, simply pick up and go it is easy to take on play dates, entertains in the car or waiting room all you need to add is a little imagination. The detailed paintwork of the mermaid figure is really good quality, the movable parts of the mermaid and the addition of her friend the baby turtle make play that bit more exciting allowing imaginations to run free and provide hours of fun finding exciting adventures for the two friends.

How did they become friends?
On an outing to the coral reef, this mermaid found a little turtle that was paddling around totally lost. She carefully took the animal home with her and has lovingly cared for it ever since. The two of them quickly became best friends. The turtle bravely swims through the colourful mermaid house out into the garden and accompanies its best friend everywhere she goes. Sometimes it swims closely behind the mermaid, her long brown hair tickling its little turtle nose. How beautiful the mermaid is with her glistening tail fin and jewellery made of mother of pearl. When the little turtle is tired from so much swimming, it simply rests on the hand of its friend. It is quickly rested up and ready for the next outing. What adventure should the two of them go on next?

This figurine has found its place in to the amazing mermaid collection we already had and has provided hours of imaginary play on its own and alongside her collection, i think she will definitely be looking to add the other two figures and their friends to her collection. At this price it would make a great alternative Easter gift too.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

These Tactics Will Give You More Money For Fun Family Times 

Hate having to say no to the kids latest request to go somewhere fun because money is tight? You are not alone! However, it is possible to be savvier with your finances and create more for fun times with the family such as visiting theme parks, castles, and shows. Just read on to find out how.

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Create a fun budget

One way to ensure that you always have some cash in reserve for fun family outings is to create a specific fun budget. This is an amount of money from you main budget that can go into a separate account or even be taken out in cash and kept in a safe place.

What doing this does is ensures that this money doesn't get absorbed by some of the more mediocre things that you have to pay for each month like electric bills and credit cards payments. Something that means you can make sure there is also enough to go to at least one new place a month and have some family fun.

Although, it is worth noting that you do have been strict with your original budget to make this works. Otherwise, you can end up overspending because you are used to having the safety net of additional money that you have removed.

Pay off your debts

Next, to free up more money for family fun it can help to get any debts that are hanging over your head paid off. After all, wouldn't it be much more satisfying to spend that money each month on taking the kids to places like Legoland, the seaside, or to an interactive museum for a day, rather than just using it to keep the minimum payments on your loans and credit cards down?

Getting rid of debt can provide you with more money for fun in the long run.

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Of course, paying off debt didn't always easy, that is why it can be useful to get some help from things like this debt snowball app that you can access online. Debt snowballing is a way of dealing with money you owe that help you to feel you are making progress, something that in turn can help to stick you your debt repayment plan and eventually free up that extra money for days out with the kids. Although, depending on the amount of debt you have it will take time to get to this point.

Drop things you no longer use

Last but not least you can free up some money for fun family activity by taking a long hard look at the things that you pay out for each month. I'm not talking about debts and bills here but the little luxuries in life that you subscribe to or pay for regularly. Things like that afternoon coffee before you pick the kids up from school, those three movie streaming services that you hardly ever use, and that beauty box where you end up throwing half the content away.

The trick here is to be genuinely honest with yourself and see whether you need these things in your life. If you decide you don't,  then you can cancel and use the money to top up the fun budget each month, making it much easier to go out and enjoy yourself as a family on a regular basis.