Reviews

How I Overcome the Winter Blues

Blooming Artificial Faux Plants Innolux SAD Light

The past few days have felt decidedly warmer down here in Devon. We even had to turn the central heating down one evening as we were feeling a little balmy. To me, that is a sure sign that Spring is edging ever closer and I can’t wait. It’s hard trying to get through the winter months as those dark and dreary days seem endless. I really miss the warmer, sunny days that Spring and Summer bring and I find that this tends to affect my mood somewhat. My husband is definitely affected. He can be a real grump in winter and tends to suffer from a distinct lack of motivation. I’m convinced that he suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but he assures me he doesn’t. After years of difficult winters, I decided that it was time we sought a solution that would help us cope better through the winter months and shake off those pesky winter blues. Read More…

Bespoke Framing Service from King & McGaw

Scandi Artwork Bespoke Framing King & McGaw

I can’t believe January is almost over already, that has just whizzed by. I’m starting to worry that I’m not going to get through all my plans for my home (again) this year. There just isn’t enough time in the year. But one thing that I am going to be able to achieve is finally getting all my artwork framed. As I’ve explained before I’ve never been great at choosing artwork for my home and the fear that I will go off it has often stopped me from actually buying any in the first place. But I’ve become far more confident with my choices in the past year or so and I’ve finally invested in some really lovely pieces. Challenge overcome! Well almost. I was pretty disappointed to learn just how difficult it can be to find the right frame for your artwork. Having finally taken the leap and chosen some great art for my home, I ended up still not being able to display it as I couldn’t find a frame that was the right size or colour. It was really quite frustrating. I mean the last thing you want to do is end up having to trim down a print so that it will fit into a frame, right? But luckily, I have since discovered online art retailer King & McGaw and their bespoke framing service. Read More…

Review : Oreck Magnesium RS Vacuum Cleaner

Oreck RS Magnesium Vacuum Cleaner Review

So, hands up anyone who has heard of Oreck? Nope? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either until I became the proud owner of one of their vacuums. Now I feel like I’m part of some exclusive secret club. So anyway, I’ve had this vacuum cleaner for a little over a month now and it has revolutionised the chore of hoovering for me. We’ve already learnt here in the past that I’m not a big fan of housework. I don’t really enjoy ironing, I can’t say I’m a big fan of laundry and I’m not really one for washing up either. Well we can certainly add hoovering to the list of household chores that I dislike and while we’re here let’s put it at the top. When I first moved in with my husband and we divided up the housework, he got the hoovering, that’s how much I hated it. But why did I hate it so much? Because hoovers, whether the upright or cylinder variety, tend to be really heavy and hard to manoeuvre, which makes the task pretty damn exhausting. So that was definitely one chore I wanted to trade off right from the start. Since we’ve had the kids though, the flat is in constant need of hoovering. It’s gone from a weekly task to a multiple-times-a-day task. We previously had a Vax cylinder model, something like this, which was a pretty great hoover, but dragging it around the flat and lugging it over strategically placed stair gates was not really ideal. I ended up using a little hand-held hoover to hoover the livingroom most days. Crawling round on my hands and knees actually became preferable to getting out the big hoover, that’s how bad it was. Until we got the Oreck Magnesium RS. Read More…

Review : Brizebox, the Secure Parcel Delivery Box

Brizebox Secure Parcel Delivery Box

I can’t believe we are already midway through November. Christmas will be here before we know it. I’m normally really starting to stress out by this point having not even started the Christmas shopping and having no clue what I’m even going to buy. But I’ve been more organised this year. I’ve already ordered all the kids’ presents online and have them safely stored away in our bedroom. So that’s a good start. Now it’s just the rest of the family and some friends that I need to buy for. I don’t have much time to go shopping on my own so I’ll probably be getting everything online because it’s so much easier and I can get it all delivered to my home. The only problem with that is the fact that my husband is at work all day and I’m out and about with the girls in the mornings and at work in the afternoons. So there is a very high chance that I won’t be home to accept all the deliveries. Some delivery drivers will leave parcels in our porch but not all are prepared to do that as it’s not secure. My heart sinks every time I come home and find one of those “Sorry we missed you” cards on the doormat and I realise that I have to then go and collect the parcel from the post office sorting office, or worse, some main depot in Exeter, which is an hour away. Luckily though I have found a brilliant solution. Let’s take a look at the Brizebox.

Read More…

Celebrating Colour with the Brabantia #LoveColour Campaign

brabantia white touch bin situated in a modern monochrome kitchen

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have appointed myself as a brand ambassador for Brabantia right? They haven’t asked me to be one, I just really like the company and all their products. I’m constantly impressed with the quality of their products and I’ve enjoyed learning about their recent focus on corporate social responsibility with their #LoveNature campaign. But I also really like how, as a company, they are very aware of designing products that are not only high quality and extremely functional, but that also look really great. This is nothing new obviously, but I’m not sure that other companies who make the same kind of products – waste management, laundry solutions, food storage and preparation items – take the same approach. Brabantia pays a lot of attention to how these products can fit in to our homes, look stylish and make our chores more pleasurable.  Read More…

Review : Recycling Bins from Joseph Joseph

joseph joseph stack recycling binsI have a confession to make, I really quite like recycling! How sad is that? Ever since the local council introduced a recycling scheme in our area I have become really quite committed to the cause. Occasionally, I attempt to ignore the rules, like putting an empty toilet roll into the bathroom bin, which is full of non-recyclable waste. It works for about three minutes before I’m consumed with guilt and have to fish it out and relocate it to the cardboard and paper bin. And I’m forever finding recyclable stuff in our kitchen bin that my husband couldn’t be bothered to put in the right bin. So totally and utterly annoying because I can’t just leave it there, I have to put it into the correct bin because I’m anal like that. The only problem with the recycling system is that it takes up quite a fair bit of space for all the separate recycling bins required to follow the rules. Here in the South Hams, we have a large grey bin for non-recyclable waste, a large brown bin for food and garden waste, a blue plastic sack for card and paper and a clear plastic sack for plastic and tin cans. And we have to take glass to a local bottle bank. We keep our two bins in the garden and the two sacks in our porch area outside the front door until they are full and then we take them to the garden too. So every time we have a bit of paper or cardboard to dispose of we have to take it outside to throw it away. So I can kind of understand why my husband doesn’t stick rigidly to the rules all of the time as it’s a bit of a pain to take rubbish outside each time even if it is only a few metres away. We often end up with a little pile by the front door waiting to be sorted into the correct bags outside. Not really ideal. In fact, quite infuriating. But there is no way we could fit three separate recycling bins in our already overcrowded little kitchen…or is there?

Read More…

Brabantia’s 30 Day #LoveNature Challenge

Brabantia wall fix clothes dryer

You may remember a little while ago I wrote a post about the joys of drying washing outdoors after I was lucky enough to receive a selection of beautiful laundry products from Brabantia. Well as the weather gets warmer and (touch wood) less wet, it’s finally time to start getting the washing out on the line again. And it couldn’t come too soon for me. Matylda has just started potty training and while she’s done amazingly well so far and surprised us all, there are still the odd little accidents to contend with and consequently a few more changes of clothes. This has coincided with Milly starting on her baby-led weaning journey and the inevitably yukky nappies that this entails. Having said that she’s always been a master at pooping and almost always manages to squirt it up her back and out of her nappy. So combine that with a number of sick incidents every day and I end up changing her clothes about four times a day. You can imagine how much washing I have to do right? So being able to stick it all on the line is a godsend and means my house isn’t full of laundry draped everywhere. It also helps save some pennies as I don’t have the tumble dryer running constantly. Read More…

Stylish Toy Storage from Also Home

Stylish Toy Storage in Vintage Style crate from Also Home

One of the most surprising things about having kids is just how much stuff they accumulate in such a short period of time. Quite frankly, I find all this stuff really overwhelming. Granted there is a great deal of things that kids need, such as nappies, clothes, and safety equipment etc. But then there are all the things that they don’t really need but you have anyway, like 172 cuddly toys, 15 different puzzles, 24 different colours of Play-doh, a rocking cow, three dolls houses…you get the idea. Before I had kids I was determined not to buy into the consumerist culture where kids are concerned. I’d seen parents carting so much stuff around with them and I didn’t want that for my children. But you know what, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is unavoidable. Even if you try not to buy too many toys for them, other people will. Matylda comes home from her grandparents’ house with a new gift almost every time she visits (which is at least 3 times a week if not more). Friends you haven’t seen for a while also tend to bring small gifts when you do meet up. And before you know it you’re drowning in a sea of superfluous items that children may or may not be interested in playing with. This causes somewhat of a dilemma…where on earth do you store all this stuff? And how do you prevent your home looking like an exploded toy shop? Read More…

Review : Habitat KOTA 2 Seater Sofa Bed

Habitat KOTA 2 Seater Sofa Bed

You probably feel like I’ve been banging on about my need for a new sofa for far too long. After all, I spoke about it here and here. My sofa was probably one of my biggest bug bears at home. We bought it when my husband and I first moved in together and we were living in a really massive flat. Our living room alone was about half the size of our entire current flat so it could accommodate a rather large 4 seater sofa (along with a two seater sofa bed and an armchair). It was a fantastic buy at the time, with big fluffy feather filled cushions and really deep seats. It was so cosy and perfect for romantic snuggles of an evening while watching movies. Well as you can imagine life has changed somewhat in the past eight years. We’ve moved from rented accommodation into our own teeny tiny flat and had two wonderful baby girls. Those evenings of snuggling on the sofa are very few and far between. And the once full and cosy cushions became flat and squished as plumping became a pointless exercise with a toddler jumping all over the sofa every day. I couldn’t wait to swap my sofa for something that was more suited to our current lifestyle and home. I have spent hours, probably days, looking at sofas online trying to find THE ONE (for now). And now I’ve found it! Check out the KOTA 2 Seater Sofa Bed from Habitat. Read More…

Review : Washing Up with Joseph Joseph

Joseph Joseph WASH&DRAIN washing up bowl - In use

I’ve spoken in a previous post about how much I hate ironing, but how, with the right equipment, the task can be made a lot more bearable. Generally, if I’m going to spend a lot of money on something for my home I have always chosen to spend it on pretty, decorative items that will look nice and I’ve never really been one to spend a lot on the more functional household items. I suppose because I don’t get much enjoyment from these items, it seemed a bit of a waste of money. But I have recently come to the conclusion that it is well worth spending a decent amount on these ‘boring’ but essential items, after all we normally tend to use them pretty much daily and having quality items without doubt enhances the experience. Read More…

1 2 3 4  Scroll to top