Monday, 24 November 2014

My Home Comfort Picks

Despite living here for nearly three years, we still don't seem to have got this house feeling exactly like home. We are constantly changing things around and trying new things out. We are constantly decluttering and finding new homes for things yet we can't seem to make any headway. We recently moved our living room round again for what must be the fifth or sixth time and we finally feel happy with the space - happy enough to start adding some extra touches to it.

I have wanted my living room to be more homely for quite some time now. I finally have a little reading nook with my bookcase in the corner and I love nothing more than sitting there of an evening, reading a few pages of my current book. I've recently been browsing the web looking for items to make the room seem more homely and comfortable - after all, the very essence of a home is to provide comfort and security. I've compiled a list of my favourites below.

For my reading nook, I definitely need a floor lamp and this one from Argos would definitely do the trick. It is simple in design but does the job it needs to. I also thought that the owl cushion from Dunelm Mill would be a nice touch.

For the sofa, I was thinking a couple of the Love & Kisses cushions from Dunelm Mill would look great. We currently have a white fabric sofa which is starting to show its age so they would compliment it nicely without showing the wear and tear that comes with age.

We are lucky to have plenty of wall space and shelf space in our living room which makes accessorising it very easy. We currently have a canvas up, a variety of family photos plus a couple of Steve's darts & golf trophies but I would love to feature more ornaments and other pictures that aren't of the family. The horses head is something that would fit in really well with our decor and would look perfect next to our silver photo frames. The camper van picture from Cookes Home Comforts is something that I've been wanting for quite some time - both myself and my friend love camper vans and camper van items so a picture certainly seems fitting.

Finally and just to cement my girly touch on the place, I would love to have a floral LOVE sign on our shelves along with Steve's trophies. I used to have a cheap white sign from Primark but that got broken by Jack so this one from Argos may stick around a little longer. I have also made no secret of the fact that I am a big candle fan so I couldn't resist adding in a Diptyque candle I found from John Lewis. I love burning candles when spending time in our living room - they give the room an amazing scent and a warm glow making the room seem even comfier.

What home comforts or room accessories do you like or require?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Christmas Made Easy

Collaborative Post
Let's face it - Christmas can be a very stressful time of the year. There's so much to think about and it can be very easy to get overwhelmed with everything, especially when things are left to the last minute. Luckily internet shopping has made it much easier to prepare for Christmas while keeping your sanity.
You can now get everything you need to prepare for the festive season online including food, drink, presents, decorations and entertainment. To make your Christmas that much easier, below are the three main categories where doing your shopping online can help tremendously.
1. Food
Food is a fundamental part of Christmas, after all what would Christmas Day be without a traditional Christmas turkey. Christmas is the one time of year where you can enjoy all the food and drink you love without feeling too guilty.
Whilst getting all your favourite treats in can be a great experience, there are few more stressful situations than shopping in a crowded supermarket close to Christmas. Thankfully there's a much easier way of doing things. Most supermarkets now offer a click and collect service, where you can reserve the items you want and then collect them at your convenience. Of course you can also have it delivered but click and collect is a great way to avoid delivery charges.

2. Entertainment
Keeping the whole family entertained at Christmas can be a challenge. With the internet being so prevalent now, it's easy for family members to spend the entire time glued to computers and smartphones. Christmas should be a time for spending with family so any entertainment should bring everyone together. One of the best ways to bring the family together is through board games.
Board games such as Monopoly and Cluedo give the entire family the chance to get together and have some fun. If you're looking for something that's more light hearted and easy to jump in and out of then games like Hungry Hungry Hippos are a great choice.  
3. Decoration
Christmas decorations are a great way to add festive spirit to your home. Decorations tend to be more minimalist nowadays and it's surprising just how much you can do with a few great decorations. Even if you don't want to decorate your entire house, you can get some great table decorations that will make Christmas dinner that much more special.
Traditional decorations such as tinsel and baubles also have their place. Baubles can sometimes be thought of as being a little bit tacky but you can find some very tasteful baubles that will compliment your other Christmas decorations and add some colour to your tree.
Getting your decorations online is a great idea since you can mix and match items from different stores to create the perfect look for your home.

10 Websites I Visit Daily

I recently read this post by Jen from Jennypurr and it really interested me. We all share the love for our fellow bloggers, brands and sites via our weekly #FF's on Twitter, occasional blog love posts and similar. But it sure would be intriguing to see exactly what sites people visit daily. This list contains some blogs and online magazines that I really love - so much so that I visit them every day. Who is on your list?

1. Jennypurr
I think this is quite obvious since I found my inspiration for this post from Jen. Her posts always get me thinking and really inspire me. I recently introduced her blog to my friend Sarah and she spent ages reading her content too. 

2. Becky Bedbug
What do I love about Becky's blog? That I don't ever know what to expect when I visit. Becky posts on a variety of subjects and every post is always so interesting to read. 

3. Nouvelle Daily
The brainchild of Kate aka gh0stparties, Nouvelle Daily is the perfect mix of content with beauty, lifestyle and fashion all neatly presented in easy to read articles. This post on finding new blogs to read is one of my favourites.

4. ByRegina
I found Regina's blog through Jen and it is a fountain of information for bloggers - some of my favourite posts include her blog income reports and getting started with Pinterest for bloggers. Well worth a read.

5. Making Sense Of Cents
I've raved about Michelle multiple times on this blog. Some of you may know that I also write a personal finance blog (find it here) and Michelle was one of my biggest influences for starting that blog. I actually emailed her asking her advice before I set it up and she was really very helpful - I am so grateful. Her posts are always informative and interesting and get the reader involved.

6. A Little Opulent
Jen and Rebecca's online magazine ALO is one of my first port of calls in the mornings. I like to catch up with all of my favourite blogs in the morning and have them all bookmarked for easy access. With a great amount of content to choose from, I always find something that piques my interest.

7. Forever Amber
Amber is a fairly new discovery for me but she has a blog that I have to visit every single day. I wouldn't call myself fashionable in the slightest and I don't really follow many fashion blogs but what I love about Amber's blog is that she not only does outfit posts but she also includes diary posts and extremely informative posts for bloggers - her How Bloggers Make Money posts are very interesting!

8. Oh So Amelia
I've been reading Kerry's blog for quite some time now and I've had the pleasure to meet the lovely lady and her family a few times now. You may have noticed that I have been drifting away from parenting posts recently and that means I have also been reading less parenting blogs. What I love about Kerry's blog however is that she creates such amazing content - not only does she write about her family and her pregnancy but she also posts some amazing home and interiors posts, food posts and helpful organisation tips - you really should check her out!

9. Lovely Jubbly
Jess is one of my long time blogging friends and her content just keeps getting better and better. Although I haven't really been writing many beauty posts over the last year to 18 months, I haven't lost my love for reading beauty posts and her blog is a mine of information. Well worth a read.

10. My So Called Chaos
Another blog I have followed for a very long time is Angie's. What I love about Angie is pretty similar to what I love about Becky's - I never know what to expect. I know when her series posts are going up of course but even then she manages to surprise me! Her Handmade Gifts for Book Lovers post is my particular favourite right now

What ten sites do you visit daily?

Friday, 21 November 2014

My Resolutions For 2015

In collaboration with The Circle

Resolutions. Something I always make but very rarely follow through with. I always aim too high and make multiple resolutions which never come to fruition because frankly...I just give up! For 2015 though, I want to set just a few resolutions that may not be easy but can be worked on throughout the year.

This year is the year I want to get a balanced work/family life. Since having Jack it seems that one of us is always working - whether Steve is out on site or I am sat at the computer tapping away. In 2015 I want to set aside specific days to spend as a family - whether that means days out for just the three of us or visiting extended family. I'm thinking about having some psychic readings to help in creating a peaceful home environment with a balanced life - I'm sure I can manage it if I really try.

This is the year that I want to kick things up a notch professionally. It is all well and good complaining when the money isn't coming in but I really need to push myself. Sometimes I really go for it and have something to show for it. Other times I fall at the final hurdle. If I really want to make a go of this, I need to stop being so damn afraid and put myself out there a little more. Come 2015, my blogs will be working to an editorial calendar with pre scheduled content (unless content is of the moment) which will leave me more time for the social side of blogging and building up my freelance work. 

This is the year I want to get completely out of debt and saving, saving, saving. Whilst the majority of our debt is gone, we still owe a few things so 2015 is the year I want all that to change. 2013 and 2014 were horrible years for a variety of reasons - especially financial reasons - and I don't want to live like this anymore. January 1st 2015 is the start of a brand new year and will be the start of me getting us completely out of debt and saving towards a wedding and a house.

This is the year that I will keep to my resolutions. Okay...this resolution is probably a cheat. However, I really feel with the right help, support and mindset that I can do this. Wish me luck!

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