• Archive for October, 2015

    5 things you learn when you have your bathroom renovated

    by  • October 28, 2015 • Living • 1 Comment

    Earlier this month I had my bathroom ripped out. Literally the room was ripped out. The flooring came up and the walls actually came down (turns out removing heavy wall-to-ceiling tiles pulls plaster boards clean off).

    After two loooong weeks, our cramped bathroom with painfully weak electric shower over a very old tub was replaced with a fancy-pants walk-in power shower. Naturally, a project is never really finished, and we’re still painting.


    So, until I have amazing before and after photos in a ‘this bathroom doesn’t look like this anymore’ manner, here are a few pearls of wisdom I have learnt along the way…

    1. You cannot control the mess

    Everything for the new bathroom was neatly stored in the spare room – next to the bathroom. Naturally, the storage system completely went to pot as soon as the work started, and our two-up two-down quickly became more dusty than a desert. After a few days of vacuuming manically each evening after work, I gave up trying to keep the place together and embraced the mess. The big clean after the builder left was the best feeling ever!

    2. You learn the art of hair washing in the sink

    Rainy dark nights are not conducive to packing up your washing paraphernalia and trekking to the gym. The sink hair wash became my new party trick, and by the end of the first week I’d even managed to keep the floor dry throughout proceedings!

    3. You have to trust your instincts

    We debated about removing the bath and having just a shower for months. The jury was out amongst friends and colleagues whether it was the right thing to do, but we were convinced it was a much better use of the small space available. And we were right. The shower fits brilliantly in the awkwardly-shaped room and the room feels miles bigger.

    4. When the builder’s done, it’s not actually done

    Once the finishing touches have been done and the tools have been packed up…it’s still not finished. We’re painting the room ourselves to save a bit of cash and as the walls, ceiling, skirting and (currently gloss green!) door frame all need two coats, it will be another week before we’re all finished. But it doesn’t matter because…

    5. …The first shower is the shower to end all showers!

    Stepping into the shower for the first time and feeling the power ‘rain shower’ hurtle down on your skin after two weeks without washing in your own bathroom is possibly the best feeling in the world.

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    Hurrah for Halloween!

    by  • October 21, 2015 • Living • 0 Comments

    We can’t believe this time of year is here again! Yes, Halloween is just around the corner, with costume making and celebration plans in full swing.

    We’re celebrating the spooky season with all sorts of frightfully good fun.

    Halloween is the perfect mix of top notch autumnal larks. You can go to town with decorations and overdose on sugar – all from the comfort of a warm and cosy living room with a mug of hot cider in one hand and a pumpkin carving kit in the other.

    My kind of party!


    Over on Housetohome.co.uk we’ve rounded up everything you need for a howlingly good time this Halloween.

    From our foolproof step-by-step guide to carving a pumpkin (and what your design and technique means about you!) to budget scary buys and alternative party ideas for young children, don’t plan your spooky weekend without reading our guide first.

    We’ve also put together a rather nifty downloadable guide to all things Halloween. Find out how to make your own Halloween wreath and decoupage pumpkin.

    If you’re really planning on going to town this year, don’t miss this amazing creation by US artist Christine McConnell.


    Christine decorated her family home using foam-core insulation boards and latex paint to create the haunted house to end all haunted houses – as these eye-popping photos show.

    So, happy Halloween all! How will you be spending the weekend?

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    The perfect 40 winks: How to ensure your kids have a great night’s sleep

    by  • October 13, 2015 • Living • 0 Comments

    We could all do with a few extra hours of sleep a night, but the stresses of daily life, busy routines and work often get in the way. Most adults need around 8 hours sleep a night, but children often need much more. Here are a few simple tips to ensure you and your child get the best night’s sleep ever…


    Turn off technical devices at least 30 mins before bedtime. Not only will children want to play on the phone, they are also easily distracted by other devices such as the TV or Xbox. Make sure that everyone in the house turns off all technology before bedtime and don’t leave phones charging near your child’s bed. Place phones and devices on the floor, out of reach.


    It’s worth keeping active and getting plenty of fresh air, this will tire your family out, ensuring a better night’s sleep. If your child has been doing lots of high impact exercise give them at least two hours to wind down before bed.

    Choose the right mattress. John Lewis have children’s mattresses that are dual-sided so you can flip between a stretch knit fabric and a damask. Make sure the mattress is firm and supportive and go for a light-weight duvet between 4.5 and 9 tog. Don’t overload their bed with pillows and invest in a mattress protector to ensure everything stays top quality for longer.


    Block out daylight or street lams that could disturb your child’s sleep. Choose a blackout blind or lined curtains. If they are a nervous sleeper use a nightlight to provide a comforting glow.

    Make the bedroom a relaxing place to be. This can often be difficult to achieve in a child’s room as they are busy spaces, packed with colour, personality and normally lots of toys! The ideal child’s bedroom should be a multi-functional space that’s perfect for playing, learning and sleeping. In all bedrooms you should think about low lighting, making sure the room is the correct temperature and keeping the space as tidy and calm as possible.

    Don’t miss:

    Best mattress: Our top 10.

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