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Family Garden Ideas: Tips For Making Your Garden Beautiful And Child-Friendly


When you become a parent, there is no choice but to let any perfectionist side of your personality go.

Children are wonderful and life would be unimaginable without them, but my god are they messy!

Whereas in your home you might have a small number of “rules”, a family garden has to be a place where children can be as messy and adventurous as their little hearts wish. It’s important to relax your expectations to some extent. You shouldn’t limit their play by trying to enforce a standard you once had for what you want your garden to look like.

Despite this, there are a number of family garden ideas to try and make your garden an area that adults and children can enjoy together.

Lawn care

The most important of these family garden ideas has to be the lawn care. The lawn should be the main feature of every family garden. Whether your family is dominated by boys (or girls) who are desperate to play a game of football or not, having a reasonable sized lawn is important. A lawn provides a safe environment for any type of play as if your child is to fall, there definitely wouldn’t be any serious injuries!

As well as the lawn being important for children to play, it contributes to the overall look and feel of your garden… if it is looked after! Greensleeves offer year-round lawn treatments to keep your grass in good health no matter the weather. Their services are very affordable and are completely family-friendly too. As a parent, using professional lawn treatments might be worrying, especially if your children love the outdoors. However with Greensleeves, you don’t have to worry, the lawn treatments are all safe for children.

Safety first

Although it might be tempting and look beautiful to have a modern multi-levelled masterpiece for a garden, made from concrete or lovely coloured wood… it’s not one of the feasible family garden ideas. You don’t want to have to worry about your children cracking their heads open every time they step outside.

You should try to create a garden that is pleasing to the eye but is mostly made up of softer aspects like grass, bark or sand. For peace of mind, making sure that your garden has no escape routes for little ones or more importantly, ways for intruders to get in. Also, don’t incorporate a lovely little pond, just don’t. Children can drown in inches of water so it is not worth the risk for the sake of appearances.

By prioritising these things, you can let your kiddies play outside with complete confidence and ease while you tackle your huge to-do list!

Different zones

One way that you could make sure that the adults have at least a small area of the garden left in a reasonably tidy and relaxing state, is to create different zones of the garden. This idea is a great contender in the best family garden ideas because it can be super easy to do. You could leave the lawn for the kids and create a decking or tiled area for the adults.

A great way to make the garden suitable for you as well as your kids is to add a fire pit or some comfy garden furniture so you can enjoy a glass of wine with friends while the kids play in a safe space.
Planting
If there aren’t any kids in the picture, when it comes to planting flowers and vegetables, your opportunities are endless. However when it comes to family garden ideas, you have to be a bit more careful what you’re planting and where you’re planting it!

You could have a go at creating a sensory garden area for your children. To do this, try to incorporate different colours, textures and smells when planting. You could even plant a variety of herbs so that children can investigate different tastes.

It is a great family activity to plant a range of vegetables and then measure their gradual growth with children. Then when they’re ready to use, children will no doubt want to help harvest, cook and most of all eat them! It’s a win-win for parents if you can get your children more willing to eat their greens.





 * Collaborative post.

How to Cook the Best Christmas Dinner


Christmas is the time of year where family and close friends get together to enjoy the magical day. Opening gifts, seeing your loved ones with smiles on their faces and most of all, making memories, Christmas really is a special time of year. But while we have all been packing and preparing Christmas gifts for our loved ones, another important part of Christmas to prepare for is the food, of course. We are cooking our Christmas dinner at home for the second year running, but by we, I mean my partner, as he loves cooking. 

Christmas dinner is all about the planning, to make sure that it is cooked perfectly and tastes delicious. It's important to make sure that you place your Christmas turkey order in plenty of time before the big day. We finally ordered ours the other week, and now we're just counting down the days for the big day. If you're doing the cooking this year, here are a few tips on how to create the best Christmas dinner:

My partner and I like to look online for Christmas food recipes to see what we can find to make our food even more delicious and different from the traditional Sunday dinner. Firstly, the important one to cook right is your turkey. If you're unsure what size turkey to buy, always ask your butcher or wherever you are buying from, and they can recommend a size for you. We always tend to go for a larger one as we like to keep some leftovers for the days after Christmas too. 

When you place your turkey in the tray, you can add your vegetables and potatoes around the turkey while it roasts. The vegetables will then taste extra delicious because of the meat juices. The breast meat can dry out pretty quickly, and one way to avoid that is to start roasting it with the breast-side down. I like to use stuffing in the turkey and smear it with butter to add extra flavour.

Now onto your gravy, for me personally, the gravy makes the dinner. You can make some delicious gravy using the leftover meat juices, this also means nothing goes to waste either. It can take roughly 5-10 minutes to make the perfect gravy, but it's worth it. 

Roast potatoes are another favourite of mine. I love the crispy outside and the soft fluffy inside. Our best roast potatoes are always made by boiling them until they're half cooked. After being boiled, rinse them and wait a while until they have dried out before then putting them onto a baking tray, with some garlic seasoning and a bit of butter, then let them roast until you're happy with them. As said above, you could also put a few in the tray with the turkey too for some extra taste.

Lastly, your vegetables. We always roast our parsnips, carrots and onions in the oven, the same ways as the roast potatoes - by adding some garlic seasoning and a little bit of butter. The extra vegetables we cook are the good ol' cabbage and extra carrots for mashing. We just boil them in a pan until they are soft and ready to eat. 

What's your favourite Christmas food?

* This is a paid post. 

Unique Gift Ideas

Whether you are buying for Christmas or any other special occasion, it's always nice to make that extra effort to find a unique gift for someone. Different from other kinds of gifts that you find on the shelves in supermarkets. Unique gifts can be anything from home decor gifts, kitchen appliances or just some of the most random kind of gifts. Here are a few unique gifts you may like:


Coca-Cola Wooden Crate
This wooden crate would be the ideal gift for anyone who loves a bottle or can of the classic Coca-Cola drink. There are four other fizzy drinks choices to choose from too if they're not a fan of Coca-Cola. They're a great antique looking crate, a fab addition to any kitchen or other room in the house.


Marble Power Bank
Power banks would be a brilliant gift for someone who uses their phone a lot out of the home. Whether they need to work on their phone on a daily basis or they have to travel alot, a power bank would be handy to put into their bags and use when they need too. Not only is it a power bank, but it's got a gorgeous marble design on it too - very popular this year.


World Globe 
Do you know anyone who loves to travel? This World Glove would be the ideal gift. It has a stainless steel stand, but the World Globe itself is cork, which makes it great for sticking pins in and showing where you have travelled around the world. It would also make a great addition on a desk to stick some paper notes on. 


Love Hearts Sweet Wall Sign
Most of us love the classic Love Hearts Sweets, don't we? If you know any newly weds, this wall sign would most definitely be a unique and great gift. Not only for the newly weds, but there's also a choice of different sayings too.


This is a great addition to add some colourful light to your home or somebody else's home if you decide to give it as a gift! It's a great gift for anyone who loves unique and colourful things. Would be a great addition for Christmas lights too. 

* I was gifted one product in return for this mention.
All words and opinions are my own.

Embracing Country Charm in Your Suburban Home


You may dream of a quaint cottage complete with a farmhouse kitchen and rose garden – in reality, you live in a suburban home that lacks character and charm. However, you don’t have to live in an idyllic home in the English countryside to embrace country style.
An elegant and sophisticated choice for any home, you can create a rustic country-inspired interior no matter where you live. Whether you dream of a working farm style, or an elevated country manor, here is how you can embrace the countryside in your décor.

Fake and Recreate
Country homes tend to be steeped in history, from thatched rooves to period features. If you live in a more modern property, you may be unsure how to achieve this look with even surfaces, walls and brickwork.
The key here is to fake it. You could do this by installing beams on the ceiling, adding stone to the fireplace for old fashioned charm, putting up wooden panelling on a feature wall, or polishing and staining wooden floors for a country effect.

Ambient Lighting
It’s no secret that lighting can create a softer and welcoming ambience in any room. However, for a country inspired interior, lighting is an important element and when done right, can make your home feel warm and cosy.
You could select a classic brass-coloured chandelier with candle-effect bulbs, add a country-estate feel with a faux antler pendant, or choose a nature inspired twig or branch design.

Fixtures are Essential
The fixtures and fittings within a home can help to set the overall tone of the décor, from modern and minimalist to charming and traditional. As such, upgrading or switching the fixtures could help you achieve a country feel.
This may include changing your bath for a free-standing tub, upgrading taps to brass, replacing a modern sink with a farmhouse style one, or installing a woodburning stove in your living room.

Country Feel Furniture
While accessories can be used to complete a room, the furniture tends to be one of the most defining features of any interior. For country décor, this means selecting items that reflect an effortless country style.
From a traditional and timeless wardrobe or carved bedframe, to a rustic dining table or raw wooden coffee table, choose investment pieces and let your furniture do the talking.

Embracing the country charm in your home can be easier than you think. Follow these tips to turn your suburban semi into a character-filled cottage.

5 Things To Do In Your Back Yard with Kids

Kids at any age can get easily bored indoors, as there's only so much they can do to entertain themselves. Going outside doesn't mean you have to travel far, you can do so many things in your own back garden that will keep them entertained, but not only entertained but you can also do a lot of educational activities too. So while they're enjoying themselves, they're learning too. 

Here are 5 things you can do with the kids in your very own back garden:

Rock Painting has been a hugely popular activity this year. Why not gather some rocks/large stones and start painting them with child-friendly paint. You also won't have to worry so much about the paint going everywhere either - let them have fun with messy play! 

Build your own fairy garden in your very own back garden. Find a medium-large sized plant pot and fill it up with soil. Feel free to plant some colourful flowers to make it look pretty, then add some rocks, leaves, little house and whatever else you think that will make a lovely fairy garden.

Host your very own sports day in your back garden. This will be super fun for anyone who loves a good old competition, but also something to have good fun too. Grab some skipping ropes, football and any other garden toys that would be great for a fun sports day.

Plant your own vegetables in your garden is great fun for the kids. Most kids love planting and watching their flowers or vegetables growing. They will be super pleased once their vegetables have grown and able to cook/eat them. This also may encourage them to eat more vegatables.

Bird feeding and watching is very interesting for most kids (and adults). Having a bird feeder in your garden can help birds during the winter season and throughout the year. Trago have made a useful infographic that will help you understand how different wild birds feed and how you can help them survive this season:


* Sponsored post.

Top 10 Christmas tree ornaments

The Christmas tree is up and the lights are working, but what’s the best way to adorn it? From quirky baubles to funky designs, the following Christmas decorations will transform your tree without denting your budget.
1. Humorous baubles
For those fed up with corny old cracker jokes, humorous baubles are a great way of adding some festive fun. One promising bauble this year is Liberty's Queen’s corgi offering, which comes complete with ornate crown and collar. A must-have for pet lovers and royalists alike.
2. Christmas pudding decorations
Seasonal indulgence is par for the course, and these cute knitted Christmas pudding decorations from Fortnum & Mason look good enough to eat! It’s even topped with a small sprig of holly for the full festive effect.
3. Doughnut decorations
Keeping with the foodie theme, if you're obsessed with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, this decoration is right up your alley. Shiny, sparkly and set to impress, having a doughnut hooked to your tree is sure to cast aside the small talk, and get the conversation well and truly flowing. Food fantasies? Consider them well and truly covered.
4. Monogram beaded ornaments
Anthropologie has some beautiful beaded ornaments that strike the right balance for your tree; they attract attention but are subtly chic. Each ornament comes in the shape of a letter – why not add your family member’s initials to the tree to personalise it to perfection?
5. Jet rocket tree decorations
Aspiring astronaut among the ranks? This quirky rocket decoration is sure to light up their eyes, and have them dreaming of outer space! If you’ve gone for a tree with gold and silver tinsel this year, this space-age ornament will fit in seamlessly and keep the kids contented.
6. Big Ben decorations
If you want to add a distinctly British feel to your festive tree, you’re in luck. This Big Ben decoration definitely fits the bill, and will have you feeling a little bit patriotic in the process. To complement this decoration, why not consider turning the tree into a virtual map of the UK? From soldiers and flags, to ornaments of the Royal Family, you can really go to town!
7. Purple acrylic crab decorations
Seeking a little more shine and sparkle? The purple acrylic crab decoration more than accommodates. With its iridescent sheen, this statement piece is best suited to silver-themed trees, where modern, minimal design is the order of the day.
8. London black-cab decorations
London really is calling this Christmas, and with Harrods' black-cab ornament, you can have your very own slice of the Big Smoke served up as the centrepiece on your tree. The cab is decked out with little embellishments of holly and berries, adding a double dose of tasteful kitsch. For those itching for something unusual, this cab is sure to raise a smile!
9. Festive llama decorations
If you’ve got any keen travellers in the family, this inquisitive llama is guaranteed to appeal. Adding a touch of the exotic, this llama is kitted out in full regalia and looks decidedly dapper! Feeling extra creative? Add a decoration that best epitomises each country you’ve visited to your tree to recapture those distant memories.
10. Hermione Granger Yule ball ornaments
Keen for some Yule tree ornaments that capture the magic of Christmas? The Hermione Granger Yule Ball ornament offers a suitable amount of sparkle for your tree, and is a must-have festive addition for Harry Potter fans, with its intricate chiffon bow and satin ribbon detailing.

Whether you’re an advocate of the avant-garde, or a self-confessed conventionalist, when it comes to decorations, there really is something for everyone. Still looking for something? Get inspired and make your own homemade adornments – your tree will look unique, and your kids will cherish the chance to get creative this Christmas!

* Collaborative post.

Family Photography... Fun Alternatives To Capturing Memories On Our Phones



(Image taken by Nousha)

Capturing memories might seem easier than ever before with the phone-crazy world we live in today. However, capturing all our family moments on our phones can easily lead to them getting lost amongst the chaos of our camera rolls and social media feeds.

Having access to photos in physical form, as well as digital, is therefore far more reliable and somehow feels a lot more special.
It is therefore advisable to invest some time and money into family photography. Nousha specialise in family photography however don’t take the traditional ‘everyone stand in a line and smile’ approach… They aim to bring out the unique characters of all families to create photos full of life and laughter. Their photoshoots are guaranteed to be heaps of fun for all the family, even the oldies!

You may think that your family is simply just too busy to designate some time for family photography… However, once you’ve done a photoshoot or even just taken the time to get some of your phone pictures printed, you will realise the importance of doing so.

Having family photography in physical form means you could get creative and make scrapbooks or journals. You could do one album per year or one album for each family member. Either way, having memories captured in physical form is so important in such a fast-moving society where virtually everything is disposable.

Another way you could try your hand at family photography without going professional, is to invest in a polaroid camera. These days there are so many models and types of polaroid cameras available and they really don’t break the bank.
Polaroid cameras allow you to print off your images straight after capturing them. The images are usually in a square format and would look wonderful as a photo collage on a wall in your home.

Polaroid pictures are special because the limited photo paper means you have to be far more selective with the images you capture. Whereas with a phone you can snap any old thing like your breakfast... Every polaroid image is therefore guaranteed to have a special place in your heart.

If you are one of those people that thinks they will struggle to use anything but their phone for family photography, you could just make sure to store photos or print them off too.

An alternative way to keep memories so that they are not completely reliant on technology (which we all know can go horribly wrong) is to make a scrapbook or journal of all your social media posts. For example, if you are an avid Instagrammer, why not print your favourite posts to keep a physical collection too?


Family photography is a great way for parents to capture their children going through the stages of growing up *sob*, but it is also fun for children to be able to look back at how they are changing. We never stop evolving and changing, even as adults, and some of our life stages are a lot more amusing than others! Having all of these captured and in scrapbooks or albums around the house is a great way to make sure memories aren’t just hidden away in the abyss of your phone. 

* This is a collaborative post.

Christmas Gifts For Him

The Christmas countdown begins, and here's another Christmas Gift Guide that may help you buy for that special man in your life, where he's your Dad, partner, Grandfather, Uncle, Brother, Cousin or even a friend, here are a few gift ideas this Christmas.

CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS
FOR HIM

5-in-1 Grill Pan
Who's not going to love this 5-in-1 Grill Pan from Cool Gift. This will make the ultimate breakfast each morning all at the same time - which means less washing up which is a huge bonus. This is an ideal gift for any man this Christmas. 



Personalised Beard Grooming Kit
This beard grooming kit is great for any man that has a beard to maintain. Beard grooming products included, as well as a personalised wash bag too which is great for travelling and keeping the products together. 




Walkers Christmas Hamper
There's nothing better than a tasty hamper as a Christmas gift. This Walkers Christmas Hamper from Prestige Hampers if full of Christmas goodies such as cheese biscuits, mince pies, Christmas pudding and the classic Walkers shortbread rounds. 


Book an Experience
If you're unsure for a product to buy, why not buy him an experience? With 100s too choose from Red Letter Days have a great choice of experiences to choose. From driving races, days out, hotel stays, shopping trips and much more. 

Ross and Ross Foods
Do you know a food lover? These Ross and Ross hampers are a great gift for anyone who loves to cook and loves their food. Wide range to choose from, and they are fab gift ideas. 


Ada and Alfred Dad T-shirt
Get the kids of your Dad, or your own Father, to rock this Ada and Alfred T-shirt. These are fab quality t-shirts and will make a great gift for any Father. 



LED Beanie Cap
If there's a man in your life that likes to run/jog, this LED beanie cap will be an ideal gift. Or just a great gift in general for a warm beanie cap and an LED light that has 3 different light settings. There's also a choice of two colours to choose from. 

* Some items featured in this gift guide were gifted. 



How To Have A Better Relationship In 2019


Have you decided that your New Year’s Resolution is going to be to improve your
relationship? This is something a lot of people will try to do in 2019. No matter whether
you feel like your relationship is going downhill or you simply want it to be even better, it
is important to acknowledge that relationships are there to be worked on. We can always
strive to achieve more and enjoy a better time with our loved one. So, with being said,
read on to discover some of the things you can do to make sure you have a better relationship in 2019.

Try to anticipate issues before they become issues - Think of your relationship like your
biggest investment - let’s say your house! As a homeowner, it is likely that you try and
prevent issues from arising. For example, if you notice a crack in the wall, you deal with it
right? You don’t sit and watch the crack, getting bigger and bigger, to the point whereby it’s
verging on a catastrophe! So, don’t have this approach with your relationship. Instead,
you need to talk about the small issues to prevent them from becoming bigger ones.

Practice using empathy - Empathy is like the fuel in any vehicle - it drives the relationship
forward. It is all about thinking about your partner and what it is like to be in his or her shoes.
You have to learn how to see things from their perspective. Once you do this, you will have a
deeper bond.

Recognise your emotional triggers - You also need to learn how to identify the things that
trigger you and make you feel a certain way. We all bring so-called baggage into our relationships
from past experiences. By understanding your hot spots, you will be better placed to find a
way to self-soothe.

No when it is time to call it quits - Last but not least, if you are really struggling to see
any light at the end of the tunnel with regards to your relationship, you need to start seriously
thinking about whether or not it would be better to go your separate ways. If you are married,
the thought of hiring family law experts and going through the legal procedure may be daunting.
However, it is like ripping off a plaster - once you do it, you will feel better because you have
taken the biggest step onto the next chapter of your life.

As you can see, there are a number of different things you can do to try and improve your
relationship throughout the year ahead. If you follow the steps that have been presented in
this blog post, you can be sure that your relationship will improve throughout 2019. Plus, it
is only going to get better and better, so have some patient. Things don’t turn around
overnight but if you stick at the pieces of advice that have been mentioned, you should
definitely notice an improvement.