×

Renovations are life-changing when they are done right; your home is transformed into your dream property, and your refurbishment goals are finally realised. However, they can easily go very wrong and become a stressful and demanding endeavour when they are delayed or end up draining your bank balance unexpectedly.
Here is a guide on how to keep your renovation exactly the way it should be.

Draw Up a Budget: And Stick to It
It may seem like the simplest piece of advice, but in order to stick to a budget, you first need to have one. A lot of people don’t draw up a sufficient enough financial plan for renovations, or only develop a rough idea which they might amend along the way. However, a clear and strict budget is the only way you’re going to successfully keep a renovation on track, and within budget.
Your budget should include everything you need, the absolute maximum you can afford, and any spare finances you may be able to contribute should things play out differently than expected.
Consider all materials, labour costs and cosmetic finishes, too.

Hire People You Can Trust
If you fail to research dependable workmen and contractors, then you’re going to risk a slapdash job that they may take their time with. It’s crucial to research professionals with a great track record, like Touchstone Lofts, so that you can trust the people you hire are able to work to deadlines and have work completed on schedule.
Also consider hiring an individual to be in charge of the schedule, if you simply can’t handle the pressures of renovation planning all by yourself. Or you could even ask friends or family to help you keep everything on track.
Having expert companies like https://sashwindows.london/ , which offer refurbishment services and also understand how important deadlines are, is key.

Encourage Clear Communication
With so many people working on a renovation, it’s so easy for mistakes or delays to be made due to lack of communication. For some areas of renovation, you’re going to need a team of people from many different work backgrounds; a new kitchen, for instance, will see you needing to promote communication between the kitchen fitters, plumbers and electricians all at once.
Be sure that not only do you know what is going on at all times, but that it is also communicated between all relevant parties during the process.

Leave Room for Flexibility
If you don’t have any room for flexibility, then your renovation could come to a full stop if a problem occurs. Flexibility includes having extra funds to rely on should you need to change something. It also includes having a backup plan for any design features or anything which might need to be changed. Although it’s obviously essential to have a clear design in mind for your renovation goals, it’s also important to be flexible where needed and understand where you might need to compromise in order for deadlines to still be met.

Triple-Check Everything
You may have measured once, but measure again! Get a second opinion on all your measuring, too. Double-check your budget, your plans and check that you have ordered everything you need to. Keep on top of lead times, double-check expected completion dates, and also that everything is on schedule during the process itself.

collaorative post. 



When it comes to designing the perfect bathroom, there is a lot that needs to be
considered. Because the bathroom tends to be the smallest room in the house, it is
not always the easiest to design. A lot of homeowners end up feeling frustrated every
time they walk into their bathroom because they feel like it is too small and cramped
and that they can never keep it tidy. If this sounds like you, below we are going to take
a look at some of the common bathroom design mistakes people make so that you can
figure out where you are going wrong. 


Layout problems - There is only one place to start this article when it comes to
bathroom design mistakes, and this is with layout errors. A lot of people do not carefully
consider the layout of their bathroom, and this can result in a space that is awkward and
not enjoyable to be in. In the bathroom, more than any other room, space optimisation
is truly critical. The trouble is that fixing layout problems is a lot easier said than done.
However, this is typically the place to start when it comes to figuring out where you have
gone wrong with your bathroom. 


Only having one light source - This is a common error we see in a lot of bathrooms.
People merely rely on one overhead light and they do not have any other light sources
in the room. However, in order to create the right atmosphere, you need different lights.
Moreover, it can help to have lighting around your mirror so that you can shave or apply
makeup properly. Look to companies like LE to assist you with your bathroom lighting so
that you can come up with an efficient and effective solution.


Forgetting about those extra touches - A little bit of effort can go a very long way in
a bathroom. You will be surprised by how much of a difference a carefully placed plant or
some plush towels can make. It is all about creating a sense of comfort and warmth so
that being in the bathroom is an enjoyable experience. Heated towel rails are a must so
that you can wrap up warm once you step out of the shower or bath. A lot of people have
the mentality whereby they see their bathroom as a place merely for getting washed and
they don’t think about it is a place for relaxation or pampering. Try to change your
mindset and better design will follow. 

As you can see, there are a number of different interior design mistakes that people
tend to make when it comes to their bathroom space. If any of the errors that have
been mentioned above sound familiar, it is not time to hit the panic button. However, it is
certainly worth looking into these areas so that you can make changes that is going to
make your bathroom a much more enjoyable place to be in.

collaborative post

Being a Mum means the absolute world to me and of course, the kids always come first. But I've also learnt over the years that's so important to put yourself first at times too. For you to be a Mum you need to look after yourself. Whether it's having a little break, taking a step back a little bit, returning to your hobbies and just taking that time for yourself. I also understand how difficult it can be to get the childcare to do these kinds of things too. It takes a good few years for me to just recently started taking care of myself better in ways but there are still times where I still do find it difficult.

Something I have struggled with as the years have passed is my skin. It's not awfully bad and nothing I complain about on a daily basis but it is something I need to start taking care of. I've never looked into skincare routines properly before. I've bought the odd creams here and there but nothing has got me into a routine. This facial cleansing brush seems like a good tool for a skincare routine and something that would be great for me to use. It's great for dry patches, eliminating grease, minimise pores and leave you with glowing skin.

Here are some other great self-care ideas that may help you:

Fresh air walks
Whether it's taking the dog for a walk (if you have one) or going out for a walk on your own somewhere. If you're able for someone to have the kids for about an hour, just having that time on your own in the fresh air can do you a world of good. If you're able to get into a routine of this every week, it would be a good way for it to be your time to relax. Not only that, but it's good for your health too.

New hair, new nails
Some may not be into these kinds of things but getting your done and maybe your nails too can instantly pick you up. Just taking care of yourself a bit, not only that but having some time for yourself too. If you're unable to attend the hairdressers or a beauty salon there are many mobile hairdressers and beauticians around these days. 

Bedtime routine
I always say a bedtime routine is key for the kids but I also think strongly that a bedtime routine is key for us parents too. Our bodies are used to going to bed a certain time and we as parents need to make sure that we are all fresh and ready for the following day too. Of course, it's great to have a few hours to yourself (if your kids settle for bed that it is!) when the kids are in bed in the evening, but it's good to unwind yourself and go to bed at a decent time, as well as getting up as a reasonable time to start the day too. 

Catch up with a friend
Whether it's at their house, your house or somewhere else, having a catch up with a friend kid-free is always good. It's a good way to let out any ranting you want to say and even just talk about anything that doesn't relate in kids. Although, saying that, if you're both parents you will probably end up talking about the kids for most of your time! 

Time for yourself
If you're able too, be in the house on your own. Turn your tv off, maybe put some music on low if you're not keen on the peace and quiet and just unwind. I love sitting down in the house with no kids around and just taking time for myself. Adding a large chocolate bar or something sweet makes it a little bit better too! 

Do something you love
As Mums we kind of stop doing things that we love. Our hobbies such as writing, crafts, running, it can be anything, it can stop when the kids arrive or sometimes during pregnancy (some pregnancies ain't that fun!). Finding the time and the day to go back doing your hobbies is a good thing. Doing something for you and something you enjoy. 

What do you do for self care?

-this is a sponsored post. 





As a working family, I have that parent guilt of feeling that I don't spend enough time with my children. My partner has also said he feels the same. Also, something that both of us have said is that we are in need of a holiday. Spending time as a family while on holiday helps us all reconnect with each other. We've only been abroad once, but we have been on holiday in the UK a fair few times.  It's that feeling of getting away from most responsibilities such as work, routine, housework and your 'normal' day to day life. Being on holiday can feel less stressful (sometimes with kids!) and just a time we all bond together and reconnect as a family. Something that is needed from time to time.

From recent research, Solmar Villas found that family bonding doesn't start immediately. It can take around two days for a family to start unwinding and relaxing on holiday. I agree with this, and it's the one main reason I always make sure whenever we book a holiday, whether it's abroad or in the UK, I make sure it's a 5-7 day holiday.



There are many ways you, as a family, can make the most of quality time while you're on holiday. Here are a few ways to reconnect and make the most of quality time;

Family activities 
When you're home, doing some family activities can be challenging, especially if you're a working parent. But while on holiday you have more of a chance to do things together as a family. Depending on what kind of holiday you are on, take a look at their activities and see if there are some activities you can do together, as a family. This will be great for bonding. Most activities don't involve technology, such as rollerskating, ice skating, treasure hunts, bingo, swimming and much more. I'm sure you will absolutely love it. Not only that, but it's also a time to make some memories as a family too.

Adventure walking
This is my favourite thing to do as a family while we're on holiday. The kids might moan a bit to start with, but why not make the walk a little more interesting by looking out for things and play some games such as 'I Spy' or even make a scavenger hunt. Going out for an adventure walk, or even walk along the beach, it's a great way to have some fresh air and a good way to spend quality time together. It's a great time to talk to each other too.

Adult evenings
Not only are holidays great for spending more quality and bonding time with the kids, but it's also essential for you both as parents too. Some holidays have a daycare session, whether it's for the day or just a few hours. If you as parents get some time for yourself, it's a great way to reconnect with each other. It's also been said that 7 in 10 also believe holidays are key in bonding time for themselves and their partner.

How do you make the most of quality time while on holiday?

- This is a sponsored post.


As parents, it is important to constantly look for what you can do to make the home more kid-friendly.
Your children are an integral part of the home and the family, and the more you can involve and
integrate them, the better. This is something you should look at right now, and there are a lot of
changes you can make that will make the home more kid-friendly.


There are a lot of things that play a role in helping you to make the home more appealing for your kids.
They are an integral part of the home and play a massive role in making the family home as great as
possible. So, you are going to need to come up with ideas that are going to make the home more
kid-friendly as much as you can.

Childproof the Home

The first step in the process is childproofing the home to make it safer and more secure for your kids.
Now, this largely depends on the age of the child, and there are plenty of childproofing kits and options
out there that you can get for the home. The main things to consider are making sure the fridge and
cupboard doors are childproof, as well as sorting out any wires and cables that might provide a risk
later down the line.

Decorate Your Child’s Room

Looking at some of the best ways of decorating your kid’s bedroom is really important, and you can
do a lot to work on getting the room to their liking. Think about their hobbies and interests, and make
sure you focus on doing as much as possible to get the color scheme and theme just the way they
like it. Head to Little Lucy Willow to find options for kids beds and bedroom furniture, for instance.
If you have kids sharing, why not be ambitious and decorate each half of the room in a different way
to appeal to each child?

Games Area

A games room would be ideal if you are looking for the best ways of improving the home and trying to
make it more kid-friendly. We all know how much children enjoy entertainment, gaming, and keeping
occupied, and it is essential to provide this platform for them as soon as you can. This is why you need
to come up with some of the best ideas that will help you create a games area for the children to play
as much as possible. 

 
Reading Snug

Reading is so important, and as a parent, you need to make sure you encourage your children to read
as much as you can. This is something you are going to need to think about, and helping them to
develop an interest in reading is so important. Creating a reading snug area in the home is a great way
of doing this, and will give you plenty of ways to do this. 

These are just a few of the great ideas you can use to make your home more kid-friendly, and this
plays a massive part in helping you keep them happy and entertained. Kids like visual stimulation and
they like to have access to entertainment as well. Use these ideas to help make the home more
kid-friendly right now.  

collaborative post
If you have little ones then it can be a tricky knowing where to put all of their things in the home.
Some people can even be tempted to have the children share a room, so that there is a spare room
that can be a dedicated playroom. So if this sounds like you, or you want to create a space in the
corner of your living room or dining room, that can be used for the children and all of their stuff, then
here are some ideas for creating the ultimate playroom or play corner. It would be great to hear what
you think!




Use Bright Colour


Colour for a playroom is really key. Colour helps to design a creative space that your children are
going to love. So why not paint the walls of the room or corner with their favourite colours? You could
choose a specific theme like underwater or safaris, to help create a really eye-catching design. If you
want something a little more subtle, then a neutral colour can be a good idea. Then you can just go
bold with things like rugs, beanbags, and prints around the room. 


Easy to Clean Flooring


Choosing a type of flooring that is easy to clean has never made more sense than it does for a
playroom. Flooring like linoleum and engineered wood flooring is a really smart idea for a playroom.
There are likely to be stains from children eating, painting, or crafting, so if it is easy to wipe and clean
then you’ll be onto a winner. You could also look for something like foam flooring if you want another
option that is easy to clean, but one that can give some added comfort as well as colour.


Chalkboard Wall


If you want your children to be creative and have some fun, then creating a chalkboard wall is
something that is a really lovely idea. They can get their chalks out and draw and colour to their
heart’s content. Then you don’t have to worry about cleaning or scrubbing the wall, it is just something
that needs to be wiped and then you’re good to go.


Storage Bins


Decorating a room for children doesn’t need to be something that is complex. If you have some cute
looking wicker baskets or large storage totes, then it can be fun for storage of toys and puzzles.
It is easy for tidying up and allows children to get involved with the tidying up, if it all just goes into a
couple of big storage bins. You could choose to colour coordinate storage and toys, but that could
take a little more time when it comes to tidying up at the end of the day. 


Furniture


You don’t need to have a whole lot of furniture in a playroom, as space is great for them to play. But if
you are looking for a couple of pieces to get, then getting a small table and chairs is a good idea for
crafts. You could also get some large cushions or bean bags for a comfy area for reading or napping.

collaborative post




The weekly shop is something that every family will have to go through, to put food on the table and to stock up on the essentials that keep powering your family. Whether this is the responsibility of the mum, the dad, or both parents, is entirely up to your family – but the important thing is finding ways to save cash so that you’re better able to make investments in a happy family future through your savings – like holidays, trust funds, or home extensions. Here’s how you’ll save cash on your shopping.

Balance Online to Offline
There are many benefits to be found online that you won’t be able to find offline in the real world. The best spending strategy for you and your family is to find the right balance between the two, allowing you to find savings online, such as:
  •        The array of discount codes available to make your life easier
  •          Special offers emailed to your inbox each week
  •          Price comparison websites to help you make smart spending decisions
  •          Second-hand marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon

If you use the digital world to cut the costs that you wouldn’t be able to cut in the real world, then you’ll be saving cash on your weekly shop. Meanwhile, heading out to food shops later in the day – and into the evening – is a great way to find a large volume of reduced food, which can help to significantly cut down your food consumption costs each week.

Planning Before Your Shop
Many families head out to the supermarket with a blank slate to fill – and no list to guide them. Inevitably, this results in the sorts of impulse buys and poor decision-making that can end up costing you far too much cash – not to mention the sweets and treats you’re pressured into adding to your shopping trolley if you bring your kids along to the shop with you.
As such, you must have an idea of what you’re setting out to buy when you head into a store or supermarket. Take a list with you, and stick to this list where possible and practical. In this way, you’ll always be spending the right amount on your shopping.

Rewards and Coupons
Finally, if you’re shopping regularly in the same supermarket, you must make use of all the incentives that they give out to loyal customers. In simple terms, this usually comes in the form of a rewards card, directed at people who spend in store each time they shop.
But there are also discount receipts, which you can check in as coupons to get further reductions on your shop. By using these two tools in a savvy way – and looking out for discounts in newspapers and magazines, too – you’ll be able to make considerable savings over a calendar year of coupon shopping and rewards card use.
There you have it: you guide to reducing the cost of your weekly shop, using the smart tactics and personal finance wisdom of a wise shopper.


this is a collaborative post

If you're a reader, you will know that we welcomed our first family pet into our family around February in 2019 and it was the best thing that we ever did. We welcomed our Ollie, a labrador retriever and we couldn't imagine our life without him. When we knew that we were having him, my partner and I were a little clueless on what things to actually buy. Little did we know, dogs need quite a few things and one thing I knew I wanted for sure was a comfortable bed for him.

Ollie has his own little room and it still yet needs to be decorated properly (lots of plans for this in the next couple of months). We've been through a few different beds, but we were kindly gifted the Silentnight Airmax Pet Bed in size large a few weeks ago, and it's honestly, an amazing pet bed. It's such a cosy, fluffy and soft bed and Ollie seems to really like it. He loves to cosy up in soft beds and blankets.


Silentnight have a range of different pet beds; the Airmax, Orthopaedic and the Ultrabounce pet bed. The Airmax pet bed that Ollie received seemed like the best one for him. There's a reversible cushion, one side is a cosy teddy fleece, and the other side is a cooler quilted polyester wicking fabric. The cushion also features a mesh fabric that allows air to travel through the cushion to prevent overheating.

The outer pad and the inner pad are both machine washable, and I've washed them both a couple of times since receiving and they both still come out great.

Both the Airmax and Orthopaedic pet beds are available in Argos.
The Ultrabounce pet bed is available on Amazon.



- This product was kindly gifted to me in return for an honest review.
However, all words, images and opinions are my own.




Everyone wants to be healthy, but there is no magic formula that guarantees good health. Optimum health can be a result of what you eat, think, and do. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can allow you to enjoy a full and active life well into your golden years. Although there are plenty of medications that treat common health problems (such as diabetes or high blood pressure) caused by poor lifestyle choices, it’s far better to avoid those conditions in the first place by following the advice listed below.


We Are What We Eat

The science of nutrition has shaped the common intuition that a balanced, moderate diet is greatly beneficial to health. Diet can modify our moods, our concentration, or the quality of our sleep. It can help us get rid of discomfort, such as headaches, drowsiness, and certain inflammatory conditions.
However, it isn't necessary to keep on a diet that requires you to count servings and calories continually. Instead, try to follow a varied and balanced nutritional diet depending on your specific needs, and learn about the nutritional value of foods and also how to choose them. Such information allows us to use beneficial foods, not just those from a diet checklist. To achieve a healthy state of well-being, our body requires a balanced and adequate supply of food elements, including carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemical elements, and indigestible fibre.

The primary rule that you should observe for healthy nutrition is the number of meals you take per day. Instead of three square meals a day, eat several light meals throughout the day and pay attention to the combination of foods you eat at any meal.


Health Through Physical Exercise

Doctors often state that many of their patient's conditions would improve dramatically if they took adequate physical exercise, combined with a healthy lifestyle. By letting your muscles waste away from a lack of activity, you run the risk of becoming weak and ill. Some illnesses do not respond well to medication and can only be effectively treated through an improved lifestyle. Physical exercise therapy is applied in several types of rheumatism of the joints, inflammation of the bursa, asthma, lung disorders, obesity, and cardiovascular disorders.
The best exercise for you is that which is adapted for your age and physical condition but, in general, try to follow the NHS guidelines on exercise.
The beneficial influence of physical activity affects all organs. On the cardiovascular system, it stimulates circulation and facilitates the return of blood to the heart. On the respiratory system, it improves oxygen generation by increasing the respiratory volume and frequency. In the digestive system, it improves digestive capacity, and so on.


Sleep

Your body needs rest. There is nothing that can be compared to a night of good sleep - it's a refreshing rest, which reinforces our body's healing processes. Sleep facilitates the repair process of our bodies and helps it fight against infection. Additionally, it stimulates the immune system to activate its defences against any disease-causing agents.
Without adequate sleep, the body may be less able to maintain its good health or resist illnesses, and studies have shown sleep disruption can have a severe impact on quality of life.

During sleep, the whole body, particularly the brain, undergoes the restoration process and readjusts itself. Although many people are aware of their need for rest and peace of mind, they can't find the calm they long for because they are stressed out by everyday events and cannot get enough sleep. They then look for entertainment and amusement instead of peace of mind through rest. To attain well-being and good health, we need to learn how to recognize that stress needs quiet periods and restorative sleep. To get a night of really restorative sleep, go to bed early, and also avoid intense stimuli such as violent films in the hours before sleep.

Exercise is a fantastic way of bonding with your family. It is also a great way of getting you and your
children fit while enjoying spending time with them. Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress and
anxiety and therefore helping your family's mental health overall. Many activities are cheap or free.
Most local areas have fitness centres/leisure centres, which are great places for you to exercise.
There's lots of research on this topic which shows regular exercise is an essential key to reducing
you and your children risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other
illnesses. Regular exercise helps develop your children's movement skills. It also helps strengthen
your heart and gives you stronger muscles. 


Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash


Yoga


Yoga is an excellent way of being mindful, and it is straightforward too. There are lots of guided yoga
sessions on YouTube, such as channels such as Yoga with Adriene. Yoga is excellent for beginners
because it is straightforward to get started. All you need is some comfortable clothes, a vast space
that you when your children can practice yoga on and a device you can search up the guided yoga
session on. Getting into the mindset for yoga is simple because you know this will benefit your children.
Most yoga mats in the UK are under £10, so if you and your children get into learning
various yoga levels, you can invest in a yoga mat. This can show your children that you enjoy and
want to continue spending time with them. Yoga benefits children in a lot of different ways, yoga helps
teach children calming techniques, encourages healthy habits and also yoga is non-competitive. If you
are not the fittest but want to do yoga with your children, there are a lot of secure yoga positions out
there.


Walking


Walking around a field or in a wood can be beneficial for the mind. Going out for a walk with your
children can help clear your mind from any anxiety or stress. Even if you don't live near a wood or
field, a walk in the street can also be as beneficial. The benefits for walking can improve the mood
is very relaxing and can clear your mind. Walking with your children can also help their mental health.
Children tend to open up and talk about their problems more when they are walking or distracted. You
may find that just having a chat while walking the dog, or even a walk to the shops together can
strengthen your relationship, and help you overcome any problems that have been bothering you.
Walking has been proven to improve not only physical but mental health in children, they tend to open
up and talk about their problems more when they are walking or distracted. Paragraph you may find
that just having a chat whilst walking the dog, or even a walk to the shops together can strengthen
your relationship, and help you overcome any problems that have been bothering you. Walking has
been proven to improve Our overall health and well-being, and it goes without saying that it’s a
cost-effective and enjoyable form of exercise.


Zumba 
There are some fitness classes and some group activities that you can partake in with your children.
Encouraging your children to move, and spend time doing something other than sitting on consoles at
home, it’s going to improve their lives significantly. If you aren’t sure about the classes available to you
in your area, then you may find social media or local event listing sites can be useful here. Many
companies encourage families to join together, and there are significant benefits to this. A class such
as Zumba as well as being good for you, it’s great fun too, so it could be an excellent consideration for
you to take up this New Year. Many people have taken this course of action before and gone on to see
great results in a short amount of time. Not only physically but mentally too.


Martial arts
Martial arts may not be the first thing you thought of when you are considering a form of exercise with
your children. However, martial arts are excellent for discipline, fitness, strength, and confidence. And
not only physical benefits your child, but gives them so many more opportunities, and that includes
self-defence and tools for dealing with bullying. The effort required to achieve gradings, and working
up the belt system, can improve the brain cells, and determination that will enhance your child's
chances overall the older they become, and the closer they get to a career. Many adults also choose
to take up martial arts with their children, to spend more time together. However, they do also find
themselves thoroughly enjoying and committing to the martial art as well.


Sport
Many children will follow their relatives into the support of some kind, for example, if a father plays
rugby then generally the Sun will show an interest, and especially if a sport is enjoyed on the
television, together, there will be a shared interest and potential to join the activity in real life together.
Mostly this turns out to be a positive and the exercise and fitness benefits from this is well worth the
effort. Many families will spend plenty of hours on the side of the pitch on a Saturday or Sunday
afternoon, in all weather, for the love of the sport. And even if it isn’t a physical kind of competition
that your family chooses, a simple game of badminton, can bring out your child is the competitive
side, and spark a keen interest, in the competition for life.


Ultimately the most important thing is that everyone gets a healthy dose of exercise regularly. If
you’re able to spend time together as a family while doing so, that’s wonderful, and something to
be encouraged. Children are naturally more energetic and enjoy time exercising without thinking
about it too much. But if you can help more activity, especially in those children who are prone to
spending long periods on their computers, then everybody will benefit.

this is a collaborative post
Copyright © Life as MumCREATED BY ThemeShine