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Many of us these days are choosing to build extensions and convert garages and lofts to create
additional space in our homes. Moving can be expensive, and if you otherwise like where you live,
it can be a pretty effective way of making more space, and if or when you come to sell, it
can improve the value of your home


A loft conversion is an ideal way of gaining an extra bedroom, a games room or a home office. You
do not need any additional land, and as long as you have the correct planning permissions in place, it
is relatively straightforward. However, there are some things that you need to bear in mind before the
work starts, and that is what we are going to be looking at in this post.




Whether you need a bat survey


Bats are one of the protected species listed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This means
that you cannot kill them, injure them or remove them. You also cannot intentionally or recklessly
damage, destroy, or obstruct access to any area used as shelter or protection by a bat.
Unfortunately, bats like accessible spaces that are warm and dark - and the lofts of older houses are
often a prime spot for them. They are not quite so keen on newer homes, because they are harder to
get into, but if you have an old house with high beams in the loft, you will need to think about having a
bat survey done from Arbtech Consulting Ltd, especially if there are any other signs of bat life. If you
do have them, it will not necessarily stop your conversion, but it may make the process a little trickier.


Empty your loft


This sounds like common sense, but actually, it is so important that it needs pointing out. Whether you
are doing the conversion or are hiring the professionals to do it, you need to make sure your loft is
empty. This gives whoever is working up there a safe and clear space to work in. Lots of us tend to
have old childhood toys and seasonal items such as Christmas decorations lurking in the loft. This is
the time to have a good sort out - take anything you no longer need or use to the charity shop, get rid
of anything broken and neatly organise and store everything else somewhere for the duration of the
conversion.


How you will get rid of debris


This depends on who is going to be doing your conversion. If you are hiring a professional builder to
do it, this may be something that they organise on your behalf, but if they don't, or you are doing the
work yourself, you will need to think about how you will get rid of the debris. A skip is usually the best
way, but if you do not have a driveway or space on your property, you might need to seek permission
from your council to put it on the road outside your house.

A loft conversion can be a fantastic way of adding extra space to your home, but it needs some
careful consideration first to make sure it all goes to plan.

collaborative post
Ahh, the January detox. The time we make all manner of health promises only to break them within
minutes of waking up on new year’s day. If you’re anything like most, the health habits you don’t keep
have become something of a festive tradition. But, this is one tradition that you could do with breaking
this year.


The thing is, starting the year on a health kick is always a good thing, and not least for shedding
Christmas pounds. Health is more about lifestyle than anything, and getting into habits early is your
best chance at finally bossing body and mind next year.


If you’re worried about failing all over again, though, fear not, because we have a detox secret that
could be a game-changer this year. It’s just possible that all you need to do to get on top at last is to
plan your healthy January during this pre-Christmas period. That way, your lazy holiday head has a
whole lot less chance at stopping you from getting around to this. And, all you need to do to make it
happen is the following.


variety of sliced fruits


Book exercise classes now


How often have you waited until the pre-Christmas rush to book exercise classes because you knew
there wouldn’t be any spaces? This is the oldest trick in the book, and it’s one you can avoid by
booking classes now. Give that yoga teacher a ring tomorrow, or see about joining that Zumba class
now. It’s still far away enough that you don’t need to think about it, but getting your name on that list
means you can’t just ‘forget’ or let this slide when the January blues start setting in.


Invest in the cause


Investing in your January detox ahead of time is another excellent way to make sure you stick to it,
especially given how tight your funds probably are right now. Scrimping your pennies to
buy yoga clothing or a new smoothie maker is a sure way to commit. You worked so hard to make it
happen alongside all those presents that you just won’t feel right not putting those items to good
January use!


Research recipes ahead of time


If your detox is food-based, then researching recipes before Christmas is another must. The festive
season typically involves a whole load of time in the kitchen, after all, and checking out
healthy soup recipes is the last thing you’ll want to be doing when you finally get a chance to put your
feet up. Too often, this can lead to healthy eating plans going out the window. Don’t let it happen by
doing that January research now when you still have the appetite to get excited about the countless
health cookery possibilities on offer.

These three tips couldn’t be simpler, but trust us when we say that they’re critical to a successful
January detox at last. Simply set your mind to the task, and you’ll (nearly) be a whole new person by
the time the new year rolls around. 

- collaborative post

I'm sure we all have hundreds or thousands of photos on our phones and cameras. We all say we're going to print them, but we end up never doing it. Your Surprise have a great range of photo products. You can find photo albums, photo cushions to canvases, there are all kinds of products you can print your best photos. I was kindly gifted a couple of canvases, and I've chosen two of my favourite photos; one of my Nain and Taid and another photo that features three of my kids in one of my favourite places.

This photo of my three children was taken in one of my favourite places, called Llanberis. It's a place I visited a lot when I was younger, so I always love to take my own kids there when I can. That day it was a really sunny and warm day. We took a walk around the lake, visited the Welsh Museum and even went on a train ride around the lake too. It was a lovely and memorable day. 

I love to put pictures up on the walls and on shelves, as we always end up having conversations about the day and the kids telling stories about what they remember from the day too. But not only is the photo a great way to remember the day, but it also adds that personal touch to a house and makes the house a home.


Before buying our home, we previously rented two houses and weren't allowed to put holes in the walls, which meant we didn't put any photos up on the wall. So I was really looking forward to place some photos up in our current home. We haven't finished our home properly, so there's still a lot left to do, but we are getting there. 

Back to the photo canvas, I was given a voucher code, so I was able to order the canvas myself on their website. The website was really easy to use, and you're able to preview your order before check out, which is always a bonus when you're ordering a photo or personalised product online. I'm really happy with the quality of the photo, and I've had many comments about the photo ever since I've added it to the living room. 

- I was gifted this item in return for an honest review.
All words, images and opinions are my own. 

I'm sure we all know someone who loves food, whether it's eating it or cooking it. Here's a gift guide that may help you find the right gifts for those kind of people, this Christmas. Hopefully, you will find a gift for the right person in this gift guide.


Firstly, a diary. Do you know anyone who loves a diary and writing recipes too? This is cook diary from Dairy Diary will be a huge hit for someone who loves to cook, try out new recipes and be organised for the new year ahead. This diary is also filled with different delicious recipes throughout.

Talking about people who love to cook, what's better than having a brand new set of saucepans? These marble and copper set of 3 saucepans from TOWER are just stunning. Marble and copper are the very 'in thing' at the moment and will be a great addition to any cook's kitchen. Tower also have a large range in their marble and copper collection.


If you're looking for something a little different to gift someone this Christmas, this Japanese Ramen Bowl Set from Sous Chef is an ideal gift. This beautiful set includes everything for a meal for 2, aswell as recipes to help someone become a ramen expert! This set is also packed in a reusable drawstring cotton gift bag.



Do you know someone who loves sweets? What about delicious Jelly Beans? This huge Jelly Belly Beans Gift Box from Cool Stuff will be a big winner this Christmas. There's a choice of 10, 20 and 50 flavours. Who even knew there could be 50 flavours of sweets?!

From sweets to chocolates, these delicious Chocolate and Love Gift Sets are perfect for chocolate lovers this Christmas. You can't go wrong gifting chocolate, and there are some delicious flavoured chocolate in these beautifully packaged chocolate from Chocolate and Love.



Tea and coffee lovers, if you know one, Whittard have a great range of gifts that they would love. From infused tea mugs, loose tea, delicious biscuits to have with their hot beverage, as well as some delicious hot chocolate gifts too. They also sell some beautiful hampers, that are always a great gift for Christmas.



Lastly, are these stunning barista mugs from Barista and Co. This is a pack of 2 glass coffee mugs that have a metal handle in electric stainless steel. They are really high quality and will make a great addition to any kitchen. They're an elegant design that will be loved, especially those who love mugs.

There you have it, my gift guide for food lovers, this Christmas. Hopefully, you've found yourself some ideas.

I also want to thank every single brand for gifting these items in return for being featured in this gift guide.
All words, images and opinions are my own.

I thought I'd do a huge mix this year and give you one big gift guide that has a mix of gifts that will do great for all ages (young adults and over) and genders. In this gift guide, you will find everything from your fizzy bath bombs, alcohol to your tech gifts. There's bound to be something that will give you an idea on gifts for someone (hopefully!) this year.

Let's get started with this beautiful personalised bracelet from Anna Lou of London. Nothing can beat a personalised gift, it adds that extra personal touch, and it's a gift that can be treasured for life. Anna Lou have a great selection of beautiful jewellery from bracelets, necklaces, earrings, kids jewellery and much more. They're gifted in some beautiful packaging too, which means one less job for you.


Cool Stuff always have a vast Christmas gift range, and you can't go wrong buying some delicious smelling bath bombs. This set of 7 bath bombs gift pack from Cool Stuff smells absolutely amazing when you open the packaging, so whoever you gift this too, will be super happy. They come wrapped in a Christmas sack too for that extra festive feels!


Talking about bath cosmetics, this whiskey infused luxury soap in a tin would be a fab hamper addition. There are 4 types to choose from; The Manhattan, The Rob Roy, Dandy Sour and Rusty Nail. You can buy one from The English Beagle who also do a great collection of beautiful gifts for all.

Talking about The English Beagle company, another great product from them is this beautiful fine bone china Hare jug. There's a Stag and Chicken fine bone china range too. You can choose from three different sizes and again, a great addition to a hamper or on its own. Why not also add an Advent Candle too, by Plum & Ashby, also from The English Beagle. It smells absolutely amazing and comes in a gift box.



Talking about candles, this beautiful personalised candle holder from Norma& Dorothy. You can make this personalised by choosing the name and the message under the 'Special Friend'. As said above, personalisation makes a gift extra special and something that can be treasured. Norma & Dorothy have a beautiful range of personalised candle holders.


Moving on from candles, do you know anyone who loves bags? Mia Tui have a stunning collection of high-quality bags for reasonable prices. From backpacks, work bags, travel bags and more, I'm sure you will find the right bag for someone. In the photo below is the Maya Backpack in the colour Graphite, which I absolutely love. There's plenty enough storage inside, and the bag itself is just beautiful. There's also a large choice of colours too.



Who doesn't like a pair of personalised socks for Christmas? For us, it's like some tradition to buy a pack or pair of socks. Especially that we always end up having odd pairs in our drawers! These pair of socks from Sparks and Daughters are extra special with the personalisation. The socks feature hand drawn bears, one being a big bear and you then have a choice to add one, two or three little bears. They are adorable and great quality too. A great gift for parents and grandparents this Christmas.


If you're looking for something different, this unique and beautiful personalised wooden box from The Personalised Gift Shop would be a lovely gift for someone this Christmas. An idea would be to fill it up with pictures, treats and any other little gifts. It's a box that can be kept and treasured for years and be passed down generations. Make it extra special by personalising it with a meaningful picture.

Gin has become hugely popular in the past year or so. There are some fab gin gifts from Yumbles that I'm sure any gin lover would absolutely love and appreciate! There's a choice of four different packs that you can choose from. Each gift pack contains 3x100ml bottles of different flavoured Ely Gin. These gins are also gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and free of artificial ingredients.



Another great gluten-free alcohol gift set is from Princess Prosecco. Something different that Princess Prosecco do is a subscription box and you can also gift someone a subscription gift box too. They also do other gift boxes that would be great for Christmas. This set I received is gluten-free and includes, sweets, a treat, prosecco and a small bottle of gin.

Talking alcohol, Drink Cranes have a delicious range of ciders, gins and liqueur drinks. Below is their cider gift set that includes 3 full-sized, branded Cranes cider bottles, along with a branded Cranes glass. An ideal gift for someone who loves to drink cider. I love a good cider when I drink, and these three flavours sound delicious.



Last but not least of the alcohol, this prosecco bottle is extra special with the personalised label from Personalised Bottle Labels. You can choose any bottle of alcohol, from wine, gin, prosecco and more. These labels are great for all occasions, and you can personalise them as you order and make sure they are perfect before you buy.

Enough about alcohol and move on to the hot drinks. Most of us all love a hot tea or coffee in the morning, but some us are rushing around too much to have a nice on cosy at home. This travel cup from Oxo would be the perfect gift for someone who's always out and about. It's a spill-proof travel mug in graphite and will keep your drink hot or cold for hours.



Do you know anyone who loves their tools? You can get any better than the brand Leatherman. Known for their high quality tools, always rated. From the FREE collection, the Leatherman Free T2 multi tool will be a big hit for any person who loves their tools. It's a small tool, which mean it's an ideal size to keep in your pocket, but when it goes above and beyond for performance.

Nextbase have a great range of Dash Cams, another great gift for someone this Christmas. Buying something useful and a product that can be used for many years is always a good gift. Having a dash cam for your vehicle is always a good idea, just incase an accident happens, you will have the footage on the dash cam, that can be used as evidence. Not only that but if an accident happens, it can let the Emergency know where you are located too.



And what's better than ending the gift guide with this range of delicious chocolate gifts from Chocolate and Love. They have a fantastic range of different flavoured Organic chocolates, as well as gift boxes to choose from too. The packaging is beautiful and recyclable too, which is always a bonus. A box of chocolates from Chocolate and Love will surely make someone's day this Christmas.

And there we have it, another Christmas gift guide done for another year. I hope you found some new gift ideas from the guide. Thank you for reading through and supporting.

I'd also like to thank every single brand that was mentioned in this gift guide for providing all the gifts to make this gift guide possible.

You’re sifting through the attic, trying to unpack your Christmas gear. The trees, decorations, lights, figurines and candles, they all have to be gotten from their storage spaces. But hang on, do you really need all the things from the past Christmases? Many households will hold onto their old and dusty Christmas stuff because it can be expensive to buy brand new items. But, these days less is definitely more. How about a more minimalist tree this year? How about decorations that don’t overlap, don’t overcrowd the room and can be taken down much more easily? Who knows you may find lots of other things that you don’t need to have anymore and so, it could be time for a pre-Christmas clearout. It's best to do this before and not after the celebrations. 

 Old and haggard 

It's common to have a faux tree these days. Real trees are expensive, and most of the time the faux trees can look just as nice. However, an old and haggard faux tree can be worse than a dying real tree. At least the real tree doesn’t have the expectations of lasting for long. But a faux tree is meant to be used over and over. If the faux tree you have is bent out of shape, has dried powdered dust on its leaves and branches, you should probably throw it out. Get yourself a new one, made from better materials, more classic design and most likely easier to take down and put back up.

   

 Get the kitchen ready! 

Christmas is all about the food. The presents are nice and almost nothing beats the excitement of opening up a gift on Christmas morning. But, the dinner is what the day is all about. But, if you want the best part of the day to run smoothly, you need to clean the kitchen in preparation. Not only will you move things out of the way for the time being and give yourself maximum room, but you’ll also make it sanitary for when things begin to overflow and get messy. If you’re having guests over for dinner, some of them may insist on helping. A dirty kitchen is going to put off their appetite and make it look as if you haven’t put in the effort.

   

 Out with the old 

 If you have a bunch of Christmas decorations, some that are new and some that are old, it's easy to mix them up. After all the partying and drinking, no one can be bothered to sift out quality from the old. But this year, throw away the old Christmas decorations by calling in a house clearance service. They will come and pick up any of the things you throw away so you don’t have to stuff your car full. Check the big ball of tangled lights you bought years ago, away. Throw away the decorations that are broken or no longer working. Start fresh this year! 

 You won’t have the energy or willpower to do a lot of cleaning straight after Christmas. So, don’t fall into the trap and do it before the 25th!

- this is a collaborative post

Kids, no matter what age, can be so tricky to buy for. I do agree that the older they get, the more difficult it is to buy for. Both my girls, aged 10 (nearly) and 7 have both said they don't want any toys this year, which of course makes it a lot harder to buy for. However, this year, I've gathered up a fair few different toys and gifts for kids from a young age to around 7+ years. Hopefully, you will be able to find something your child will like or something that will be a great gift for another little one.

Do you know a child who loves crafts? This Butterfly Crossbody Bag from Eat Sleep Doodle is a great gift for kids that love to be creative. Eat Sleep Doodle do other products too, from pillowcases, pencil cases and much more. Each item comes with a pack of colouring felt tips, and for the Christmas period, their products can be wrapped in their recyclable colour-in sheets, which means there's no need to wrap - bonus!


Talking about crafts, this personalised wooden unicorn box from giftpup would be perfect for storing some stationary. If not stationary, the kids can store absolutely anything from jewellery, toys, secret notes - anything at all! It's got a safe lock in the front, and its print is high quality. Choose any name to make it that extra personal and special.


This super cute pink glitz bow necklace from Anna Lou of London's Pop Collection would be a lovely gift for any child who loves pink, bows and that extra glitz. An idea for this kind of gift is to gift it as part of a small hamper, or in a jewellery box with a few extra other pieces.



You can buy enough reusable drink bottles, this very durable bottle from Klean Kanteen will last a long time! Their limited bottle with the Llamacorn print is just the cutest, and I know it's going to be loved by the child I gift it too. They make all kinds different designs, for adults too!

I've never built a Gingerbread House with the kids before, but this is the year! This Gingerbread House Kit from Biscuiteers. Biscuiteers bake some delicious luxury hand-iced biscuits. There's a lot of attention to detail on their biscuits and this DIY Gingerbread House Kit is going to go down a treat with my little ones.


Seeing as we're in the subject of snacks/food, this OXO 4 piece feeding set from Oxo Tot would be a great gift to anyone who has a toddler who is starting to wean. Oxo products are always high quality products and another great thing to know about this set is the plate grows with the child. But is a great product during the weaning stage.


Going to the older child, do you have a child that's interested in reading books? Reading up facts and finding out new things? The Guiness World of Record book will be a huge winner! It's not only loved by kids, but is also loved by families too. A great addition for the book shelf.


Back to the younger kids again now, thisLeapfrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart is just the best toy. If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I've raved about this certain toy since we received it to review a few months ago. Not only does it help your child's learning and development, but your child will also have tonnes of fun with it. It's a toy I can definitley recommend and will be played with many times. You can read my review for this product here.

If you're looking for something that will keep your child busy and also learn some great development skills, this School Starter Tool Kit would be a great stocking filler addition. It's filled with 33 A6 laminated flashcards that are made for you and your child to sit together and go through the cards with eachother to help the little one prepare themselves to start school. My Busy Bots also have various other products available on their website too.


* I was gifted these products in return to be featured in this gift guide. All words are my own.
As the years go by, families grow and grow, which means buying a gift for each person in a family can be quite expensive. That's when buying one gift for the whole family comes in great. But it can be quite difficult to find the right gift for the whole family, especially if there are kids in the family too. I've gathered up another Christmas gift guide that will give you gift ideas for families, hopefully it will help!


Games, you can't get enough board games and especially at Christmas time board games are a great gift for families. Cool Stuff have a large range of different games for the whole family, but this Friends Monopoly game will be a hugely popular game for those Friends fans this year. Bring the Friends quotes and memories into play, I'm sure whoever plays will have a good laugh reading the Friends related chance cards and remembering all their classic sayings.

Chocolates are always a great gift for families at Christmas time. But why not go a bit different from your usual selection boxes and buy some beautiful gift sets from Chocolate and Love. Lots of delicious tasting chocolate flavours and they come in some beautiful wrapping, which means you won't need to wrap - saves you one less job at this busy time of year.



Why not get all personal by gifting a personalised photo canvas for a special family this year? You can't go wrong with a photo canvas, personalised gifts are always appreciated and loved by people. Your Surprise have a great range of different sized canvases, not only that, but of high quality too.

Another personalised gift for a family could be from Life in Squares. Choose a range of photos to add in a stunning high quality frame or why not go for a acrylic, MDF, Image blocks or more. This is a gift that will surely be loved and would look beautiful on the wall in a family home.

Family calendars, you can never go wrong. This Vintage Disney Poster calendar will be a huge hit for most families, especially if they love Disney. This calendar is from Danilo, who have a large range of different stationery from diaries, calendars and a few other bits too. But this particular Vintage Disney Poster calendar features 12 vintage images of the most loved and favourite vintage Disney films.




If you're still unsure on a gift, why not order an activity day, a weekend away, spa day or something else from the huge range of choices at Red Letter Days. At reasonable prices too, there's bound to be something on there that someone or a family would love. It's great also that the person you gift it too can choose their dates and times to suit them around work or life.

Hope this gift guide has helped you find something for someone this Christmas.

I would also like to thank every single brand mentioned in this gift guide for providing the products in return for the feature in this guide. All images, words and opinions are my own.


December is just around the corner and what's better than binging on some very festive films throughout the month! Nothing beats cosying up on the sofa, under the blanket, with the fire on. I've watched many festive films and my favourites are; Elf, The Polar Express and The Grinch. But on today's post, I've gathered 31 festive films for you to watch through the festive period.

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas ☐
2. Home Alone ☐
3. Home Alone 2 ☐
4. Fred Claus ☐
5 The Polar Express ☐
6. The Grinch ☐
7. The Santa Clause ☐
8. Love Actually ☐
9. A Christmas Carol ☐
10. Mickey's Christmas Carol ☐
11. Die Hard ☐
12. Santa Clause 2
13. ELF ☐
14. The Muppet Christmas Carol ☐
15. Miracle On 34th Street ☐
16. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause ☐
17. Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas ☐
18. I'll Be Home For Christmas ☐
19. Jack Frost ☐
20. Santa Clause Is Coming To Town ☐
21. Snow ☐
22. Santa Buddies ☐
23. The Holiday ☐
24. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer ☐
25. Christmas Carol ☐
26. The Nativity ☐
27. The Christmas Chronicles ☐
28. Arthur Christmas ☐
29. Scrooged ☐
30. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation ☐ 
31. Father Christmas ☐

Why not print this out and tick them as you go.


Say a welcome to the two brand new characters, Ice Griffin and Lava Scorpion, who both now join the Schleich Eldrador collection. These two new characters, now take their collection up to 18 characters. We've reviewed a few Schleich products in the past and never been disappointed. So I knew that we wouldn't be disappointed with these two new characters. Schleich products are always the high-quality toys that will most definitely last for years to come.

Ice Griffin
There's tonnes of fun to be had with Ice Griffin. His attention to detail the icy blue detailing on his wings, tail, back and beak make him look that extra fierce along with the rest of his white and grey colour. The wings have a 35cm wingspan, as well as being able to move different positions make it slightly different from other Schleich products and I personally think it's a great addition.


The Ice Griffin has a lot of sharp pointy weapons, such as his pointy beak and tail end, which is great for attacking his enemies. His feathers have six icy sharp feathers on each wing to keep his enemies at distant.

This was most definitely a firm favourite in our household.

Ice Griffin retails at £15.99 at Smyths Toys



Lava Scorpion
This character, the Lava Scorpion looks super fierce and super dangerous. He's a super 18cm tall and 20cm long! He's that fierce that he can defend himself and it fears absolutely no one. He's got red-hot lava detailing on his pincers that are used to attack any enemies he has.

Lava Scorpion has 8 legs that are a softer rubber than the rest of his body. His tail can also move around and pop out. This makes play time even more fun. The attention to detail is fantastic.

Lava Scorpion retails at £15.99 at Smyths Toys






We were kindly gifted these items in return for an honest review.
All words and images are our own.
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