My Dream Bathroom {AD-SPONSORED}

My Dream Bathroom  <font size="3">{AD-SPONSORED}</font>

Since my housemate moved out of our house in October last year and Ben moved in, there has been a definite transition – for me – from it being “the place I live” to “ my home”, and now that we are living there as a couple, with our little furry family, it’s taken on a whole new lease of life.

 

Being there, in those four walls, tucked up inside our little haven brings me absolute joy and sometimes I’ll be watching TV and just for a moment I’ll find myself completely hyper-aware of where I am. I look around, take it all in and feel a swell in my chest as my heart aches with contentment. That said, living in rented is pretty annoying. We pay such a lot of money to live there and we have nothing to show for it; those bricks and mortar are no more ours now than they were the day I moved in, and they never will be. However, we are gradually saving for a house, although it’ll be a long way off into the future.

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The Joys Of The Garden Centre

The Joys Of The Garden Centre

They say men think about sex every 6 seconds, which might seem like a lot, but currently I think I have this beat as I’m pretty sure I think about décor and homewares every 2.3 seconds right now.

 

Ever since Ben and I decided to set up home together my thoughts have been full of ideas and plans for how to make our house a home and it’s turned into an obsession. I sit on my sofa of an evening, gazing around the room and picturing in my mind how it’s going to look. I scour the internet looking for inspiration, I read other blogs, I spend inordinate amounts of time listing in my mind what I need to make the vision in my mind a reality, and I am forever wishing I could win the lottery so I could afford what it is I dream of.

 

One of the things I’ve learnt in my hours online in the quest to find The-Perfect-Something, is that it’s a good idea to move away from the big household brand names and High Street stores, and explore smaller retailers like boutiques and garden centres.

 

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I mentioned before my great love for the green topiary ball that hangs outside my front door – this was purchased from a garden centre in Essex and was much better quality than I’d found in a lot of the big hardware store or homewares shops.

 

With this in mind I did some online browsing and found another great garden centre website (Chessington Garden Centre) which has a huge variety of items, from furniture to clothing, to garden plants and kitchenware, plus candles, home accessories and other little bits that make perfect gifts.

 

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Not all garden centres allow you to shop and order online, as Chessington Garden Centre does, but if you’re anything like me, being able to find what you want from your desk on your lunch break or the train on your commute home, is ideal.

 

There’s a few items on my To Buy list from Chessington Garden Centre in the future, so I’m looking forward to ticking them off one by one and getting my house looking amazing.

 

Do you ever visit garden centres for shopping or do you tend to stick to High Street shops?

 

 

Penny xx

 

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#WowMe32Red {AD-GIFTED}

A few months ago, back at the beginning of the summer, I was in my local Asda and – as I always do – I had a little browse in the homewares aisle. (I can’t go in any shop without checking out their homes and interiors bits!)

 

Whilst wandering around my eye was caught by an item that I instantly fell in love with, but as it wasn’t a necessity I determinedly passed it by. However, no sooner had I got home than I was filled with regret. I’m a great believer in only filling your home with items you love and the fact I’d walked away from something I’d liked so much from the instant I laid eyes on it kept playing on my mind.

 

I told myself that if it was still on the shelf the next time I went to Asda I’d buy it, letting the decision land in the hands of fate. If it was meant to be mine, it would be there, but if it was gone it was never meant to be.

 

Cue heartbreak when on my next visit I saw it wasn’t there.

 

So, when I received a surprise package from 32Red the other week as part of their #wowme32red campaign, you imagine my surprise when I opened it and found that inside was the very item I had loved and lost!

 

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It even comes with the little airtight jars which are a nice addition, perfect not only for storage but for serving smoothies, fruit juices, cocktails or even desserts like Key Lime Chia in. I could not be happier!

 

This is going to come to good use in the summer when we have the annual BBQ Fest with our friends – a weekend long barbecue full of friends, food, music, sunshine and – next year – this little beauty storing a homemade punch mix. I can’t wait!

 

Thank you 32Red for sending this to me, you really have put a huge smile on my face!

 

 

Penny xx

 

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Simple Ideas For Creating A Feature Wall {AD-SPONSORED}

As I’ve mentioned a few times, Ben and I are in the early throes of redecorating, and one of the ideas we’ve had is to add a feature wall to a couple of the rooms in our house to inject a little life into the colour schemes and allow us to step away from plain cream walls which neither of us really want.

 

Why create a feature wall? Well, no matter how small your budget is, you can improve the look of your living space by creating one. It becomes the focal point of your room and gives you drama, softness, or an eye-catching centrepiece to your room, and, of course, it’s one of the best ways of injecting your personality into your home. It’s easier to do than you might think, too!

 

Use Your Room’s Features
If you already have features built into your walls, use them. I’m talking about fireplaces, mantelpieces, or even a little alcove. Your feature wall doesn’t have to be a straight wall, either; you can just as easily make a corner into a stunning feature. So, if you have beams in your ceiling and they join in a corner, make use of them! You can even use a window as the central point of your feature wall – particularly if it shows off a great view.

 

Choosing A Colour
While most home design advice will tell you to keep wall colours soft and light, you can be a little more creative with a feature wall. Dark colours can be quite striking, and bring a dramatic effect to any room. Accent colours that compliment or contrast the rest of your decor can make things pop out a lot more and really draws the eye and bright colours on your feature wall work well if you have a plain colour throughout the rest of the room.

 

Use Wallpaper
Wallpaper is perfect for a feature wall, and it gives you so many options (plus you don’t have to worry about making sure you’re walls are perfectly smooth either as wallpaper can hide a multitude of sins!) You could mix things up a little, too, by having chunky and eye-catching patterns. Graphic wallpaper can give you an edgy look while you can bring some style and class with old-style Victorian designs. Perfect for all you shabby chic lovers out there!

 

imageI love Haydy’s statement wallpaper in her bedroom, it looks so classy!

 

Light It Up
Once you have your feature wall made up, you can draw the eye to it even more by using better lighting. Try and find some LED spotlights to shine onto your main feature and it will stand out a treat. LEDs are one of the most cost-efficient ways of lighting your home- take a look over at Any Lamp for more details. So, not only will your feature wall look great, but you’ll also be saving some pennies, too.

 

Use Nothing!
Finally, if you have any brick walls behind your plasterboard and wallpaper, why not expose them? It’s a stunning look, and although you have to be careful about insulation and draughts, it’s not difficult. I would advise getting a professional in if you don’t know what you are doing, however. A feature wall is all well and good, but you want one in the positive sense, rather than an eye-catching mess.

 

Are you thinking of creating a feature wall in your home?

 

 

Penny xx

 

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Take My Advice – Protect Your Tech! {AD-SPONSORED}

Take My Advice – Protect Your Tech!  <font size="3">{AD-SPONSORED}</font>

The other day I wanted to show Ben some photos of the cats when they were kittens, only for me to remember they’re stored on my old laptop. My old laptop that died a death. It’s utterly heartbreaking to think you’ve lost your photos, those little moments of time captured gone forever.

 

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I’m sure there must be a way for me to get those photos back and I intend to take the laptop to an IT specialist some time in the New Year, but it’s made me realise how important it is to look after your tech in order to avoid this happening again. If I was to lose photographs of everything I’ve been up to this year I’d be absolutely gutted.

 

So in a bid to lengthen the life of my gadgets and to protect the memories and information stored within, I’ve gathered the most popular tips together:

 

Use Cases
If you’re buying the latest tech, you’ll notice it isn’t as big and bulky as it used to be and although they’re capable of doing so much more these days, they’re vulnerable as ever. Back in the days of owning a Nokia 3210 the battery lasted for pretty much forever and you could drop them on the floor without worrying they’d be damaged; these days you drop your smart phone and are flooded with dread as you realise there’s a strong chance the screen has smashed. Buy a good case and put a screen cover on and it’ll add a little extra protection when it’s needed (you can see more about that online).

 

Don’t Jailbreak
You might have heard of jailbreaking – it’s a techy term that basically means that you mess around with the software on your device in an attempt to make it better. Although it’s tempting to personalise your phone in this way it’s potentially more trouble than it’s worth as if you jailbreak a device it will actually void the warranty as it’s against the licensing. So, if you jailbreak your phone and something goes wrong with it, you won’t be able to get coverage for a repair – in my mind, it’s just not worth the hassle!

 

Back Up
This is so important – back up, back up, back up! The best way to do this is by backing up to a cloud as hard-drives will have a lifespan and, when they die, you’ll lose everything you had stored on them. I’ve always found the thought of having all my photos stored on a cloud – somewhere I can’t see, floating about – a little odd, but Ben uses it for his photos and swears by it being the best way and, as much as it pains me to say it, he’s probably right…

 

Do you have any tips for how to protect your tech?

 

 

Penny xx

 

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