Little Adventures in South Wales

30/10/2016

12 comments

Pumpkins


Is there really a better time to get outdoors than Autumn? One cannot help but be drawn to all the beautiful colours that comes with the Harvest season and such simple pleasures can be found around each corner from colourful crunchy leaves to stomp through or being a child for a moment and joining in with jumping in puddles or standing among tall pines and oaks trying to catch falling leaves. I have not always coped that well with the weather in Wales, not after having spent 19yrs in South Africa and a naturally warm climate with long hot summers and short and mild winters but as the years go by one after another I have really come to love my mothers birthplace, especially being a naturally outdoor person South Wales and all it's green mountains, forests, manor houses and country parks have become somewhat of a playground for not for my kids but also for me.


Dyffryn Gardens



We got up to a fair few adventures during half term despite some of us not being at full steam due to all the viruses and what not about at this time of the year, although I have to say fresh air does wonders for your immune system and spirits when your not feeling your best. I thought I would share two of the little excursions we had this past week. One was to Dyffryn House a National Trust property in the Vale of Glamorgan which was celebrating Wellie Week for the whole of half term. We love this place as despite being there many times we are still discovering new little nooks and crannies we have yet to explore across the 55 acres the manor house stands in including formal and informal gardens with an array of beautiful flowers, forest, ponds, kitchen garden, glasshouse and the resident pigs of course.

wild and free

National trust


We also love exploring the forests and nature walks around Forest Fawr near Castle Coch. There is a sculpture trail but we often opt for one of the more adventurous routes and there are some really interesting remains from the coal industry such as the Blue Pool mine and Three Bear mine, we also did a little day camp in the summer which you can read about Here. There is also loads of opportunities to build dens, make wild art, spot mushrooms and pick wild garlic in these woods. We also love stopping in at The Forest Cafe which is located on the edge of the forest and offers up some delicious soups which is perfect after a few hours in the forest on an autumn day. They also had some pumpkin carving this week and as it's quiet a location it didn't seem rushed or manic like other places. My eldest also took his Ukulele with him and we had a few impromptu songs to sing along too during our walk which really was lovely.


Forest adventures



Over time personally I have become more and more fascinated with wild flowers, trees and mushrooms and I am slowly trying to learn more and more about them as is my eldest, so we are documenting our findings through photographs and going home and trying to learn more about what we saw. We have always regarded our time outdoors not only beneficial for our own personal wellbeing but also a fantastic chance to learn about nature and life cycles together as a family.


outdoor adventures

cafe in the woods


What is really exciting at the moment is how with each adventure we have my youngest is walking further and further and almost keeping up with his older brother meaning the need for my sling is less and this is certainly helping the bond grow between the two of them as my eldest shows him how to open conkers and how not to touch mushrooms or plants such as foxgloves as well as guide him along the trails under the watchful eyes of us of course. It's really wonderful to watch.


wild children



We aim to spend at least an hour outdoors each day come rain or shine and here are a few little snaps from the past fortnight adventures that I shared above as part of #ShareYourOutdoors with Port Lympne Reserve and The Apsinall Foundation a world renowned animal conversation charity which has asked bloggers to share what the outdoors means to them with a chance of winning a wonderful break away in a Shepherds Hut at Pinewood. The competition closes really soon, 31st Oct and I nominate Claire from The Evans-Crittens blog to join in.





Country Kids
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Winter style tips for hair

27/10/2016

4 comments



Winter weather can wreak havoc on hair no matter wether you have long, short, curly or straight when it comes to winter we really can’t afford to let our guard down! Personally I always find it easier to achieve well behaved hair in the spring, when the cool breezes and spells of sunshine are just the right temperature to avoid both frizz and damage. However, even summer with its heat waves and dry spells, can still be kinder on our scalps than winter is.

So what do we do when the temperature drops and the snow clouds roll in?

Despite the undeniable harshness of winter weather, there are things you can do to prevent it from ruining your favourite hairstyles. And don’t worry, none of these involve shaving your head or using harsh chemicals - Quite the opposite in fact! The key to surviving winter is to shield your hair from the freezing temperatures. Over the past few years I have had long hair to very short hair and here are my top tips on keeping your hair in the best condition at the coldest time of the year

Condition, Condition, Condition

I tend to use as little product on my hair as possible but I do find that a natural plant-based conditioner containing either coconut, almond or argon oil is a real life saver during winter and will help protect and add moisture to hair without making it greasy. If you find you are really struggling to keep the moisture in at this time of the year consider using a hair mask once a week to avoid spilt ends. Also switching from a cotton pillowcase to a satin one also helps to ensure maximum protection and prevent breakages.

You should also try to make sure that all of your products are sulphate free, if you haven’t already. Sulphates can cause scalp irritation and damage dry hair, and are unfortunately still used in the vast majority of shampoos.




Put Down the Brush

I know it may sound impossible but try and brush your hair as little as possible as even just brushing hair when wet, can still cause damage during the winter and can cause split ends and breakages. For those of us who can’t get along without brushing, use only a wide toothed comb while in the shower and make sure that it doesn’t irritate the scalp. 


Keep It Covered

To avoid the effects of the cold temperatures and harsh winds, it’s always wise to cover up when you venture outside - A woollen hat or a loose scarf will protect hair from the elements, and keep your head cosy too. Make sure not to over due it though and when you get inside take your hat off to ensure your not constantly flattening your hair. 






Stay Hydrated

It can be difficult to keep your body hydrated in winter, especially when you’d much rather be drinking a steaming hot cup of coffee than a cold glass of water. But doing so is absolutely essential to ensure both your hair and skin stay healthy.

Just like skin, hair is prone to dryness and damage during the winter. Keeping a water bottle close to hand with you at all times, ensures you can take sips throughout the day, making sure you keep dryness at bay, allowing you to also still have that cup of coffee, when you need it most!

Heat with care

Heat treatments bring with them risks of hair damage and therefore using heat protection in key.
Applying heat protection sprays before styling can help to prevent hair damage. The most popular straightening tool is the classic straightening irons, these will provide varying levels of success depending on your hair type. A hair brush straightener can be used to act as a hair dryer and straightening iron, all in one, saving on time, effort and potential damage. I you are going to straighten your hair make sure you do your research and get the most popular straightening tool that is healthy for your hair and doesn't cause damage.


Providing that you use heat protection products and a deep conditioner after a few days, there is no reason why you can’t switch your luscious curls for a classic, straight style every once in awhile... Just be sure to a pick a ceramic brush to provide maximum effect and minimum damage. Just like with you skin the way you care for your hair needs to change over winter to ensure maximum moisture and damage-free hair is achieved. What are your best tips?

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Harvest at Westons Cider Mill

26/10/2016

5 comments



Apples apples apples I do love these wonderful versatile fruit and have always been partial to a little tipple of cider, especially around the Autumn winter time when hot mulled apple cider is a real treat. Each year we go searching for orchards to pick fresh apples from as I feel it's really important for my children to understand where our food comes from and that process of thought shouldn't just stop when you grow up, in fact I find the whole idea of food and drink production fascinating to see how it goes from seed to product so when I had the chance to visit Westons Cider Mill during harvest time I jumped at the chance.





This family run Cider Mill has been going since 1880 and to be given a behind the scenes tour of all that goes on from the orchard to collecting, washing and processing the apples and how the pulp is used for animal feed and recycled right through to bottling the cider the tour never once became boring. Standing in the Vat shed along with huge towering Oak Vats containing hundreds of litres of cider was really quiet something special as was seeing the original Oak Vats used when the Cider Mill was first opened and still in use today. 

Wandering around the Orchard was also a real highlight, seeing the trees filled to the bring with cider apples and many of which had already fallen and covering the grass below the trees ready to be scooped up and turned into cider. 





This Cider Mill has actually seen a lot of growth through out the years and now produces and array of cider and perry products and of course we needed to test taste them over a delicious lunch in the Scrump House. The fruit ciders seemed to be a popular choice with many of us although I loved one of their newer products Caple Rd. Even though there has been some expansion there is still lots of original reminders of the past such as the impressive bottle collection with over 1000 cider and perry bottles in the 17th century cow shed as well as vintage vehicles and signage dotted around the cafe and scrumpy house. 




Even though Cider is obviously of interest to Adults and not so much for children for obvious reasons this doesn't mean that the Cider Mill is not child friendly, in fact they have a great play park area which overlooks the paddock the two resident horses spend most of the their day in. They also allow children to go on the tour and they even get their own little apple juice tasters at the end. Wondering around the Cider Mill at Harvest time was truely a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and the sweet smell of apples that lingers around the whole of the property is as pleasant as their refreshing array of Ciders and Perrys. 


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Guest Post - A Lazy Persons Laundry Hacks

25/10/2016

10 comments
classic style



What do cleaning, tidying, washing up and laundry all have in common? They’re all household chores which never seem to be finished. It doesn’t matter how much time and energy you put into them, there’s still a basket full of laundry, a couple of bits of washing up left to do. And all the while there are just about a million more interesting things to do! Laundry is a job which seemingly never ends and can really stress you out. So what are us lazy people to do?

We want our laundry done and out of our mind as not thinking about it isn’t an effective solution. After all we all need clothes to wear! You just don’t want to go crazy as you try to keep up with it. I put together tips and hints for speedy laundry and how to dry your clothes faster.
How to do laundry faster

Let’s dive into our laundry basket of hints and tips for getting your laundry done quicker


1. How often you do laundry matters

Is it better to do a little laundry or a lot of laundry at once? If you find you’re someone who really hates doing the laundry, try doing way more or way less often. Throw out the script and try what ever strategy you have aren’t using right now. Some will find it is easier and faster to save all their laundry up through the week and spend the morning at the weekend blitzing it all. Others might find that a little a day, keeps the stress at bay. Switch up your routine and you’ll be surprised how happy you might be.

2. Get sorted

Sorting through a basket of laundry when you need to wash a specific set of clothes (colours, delicates etc) can be a boring and tedious task. So finding ways to get your household to do it automatically as you chuck things in the laundry basket can save you time with presorted laundry loads. Whether you have a communal laundry basket or one in each room, switch them up for divided hampers. Darks can go in one section and lights in another straight away. In a similar pre-sorting effort, missing socks can be the bane of everyone’s laundry life, as is pairing them up after takes ages. A simple solution is giving everyone small mesh laundry bag for socks. Once a week, or when you need to wash them, collect them all up, zip them up and throw them in the washing machine with a normal laundry load. Once the loads done, hand the sock bag back to everyone and pop them away. No more sorting at all! The work’s done before you get to the washing machine.

3. Fold fast

Once your washing and drying is done, immediately take them out of the dryer and hang or fold them. Taking them out and thinking about folding them later means you’ll often leave them which can then make them more wrinkled. Folding your clothes or hanging them up straight away makes your ironing easier and quicker



folding clothes



How to dry your clothes faster

How to dry jeans quickly

As long as sorting, folding and washing takes, a lot of the time taken in doing laundry can come from drying. If the clothes you want to dry in hurry are something quick and simple as a few pairs of jeans or trousers, adding a dry towel in with your drying load acts as a moisture separator. Bulking the drying load with towels removes moisture from the clothes quicker. This reduces the moisture in the washing machine and reduces the drying time.

Wetter clothes take longer to dry

Find out how to get clothes to dry faster when they are very, very wet. If they are soaking, it would take them hours to get dry using the drying cycle alone. Instead run the spin and drain cycle to remove as much excess moisture from your clothes as possible. It might take an extra 10 to 15 minutes to run, but will save you a lot of drying time later. Once the spin cycle is complete, set the dryer to its highest temperature for 15 minutes, before lowering the temperature. Remember to check the care label on your clothes to ensure the extra heat won’t damage them.

How to dry your priority clothes faster

Are there clothes which you need straight away or sooner than others? If so, separate these immediately from the rest of your load when they come out of the wash and put them straight away into dryer. Turn it to the highest heat for 15 minutes to remove excess moisture before stopping the cycle and adding the rest of the load for the remainder of the cycle.

Going without a dryer 

Sometimes ideas can seem counter intuitive. Like saying you can dry clothes faster without a dryer than with one. Start by spinning your load and removing as much moisture as possible before you get to the drying stage. As soon as they are out of the machine, lay your clothes out on a large fluffy towel and roll them up in it like a swiss roll. Now twist the towel starting at one end, moving along. This removes extra moisture before you can hang them in the best way. There are other tips on getting your laundry dried in a flash in this guide.


Laundry hacks


Laundry is a fact of life, something which we just have to do. But as we’ve seen, you can make it easier and quicker.

Written by Russell Bowes
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An open letter to my Best Friend and Cancer

22/10/2016

11 comments
friendship


As many of you probably already know October is a pretty important month for all us ladies as its Breast Cancer Awareness month and with 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with Breast cancer and 1 in 3 being diagnosed with some type of cancer in their lifetime means that either yourself or someone you know will be directly affected by this undiscriminating disease. Mission Deli who have turned the packaging of their wraps pink for the month of October are donating £50 000 towards Breast Cancer Care from the sales of these special packs and recently got in touch with me asking me to express the importance of friendship during trying times life throws at you.

When affected like something like breast cancer friendship becomes so important with over half of women stating they couldn't get through such hard times without the support of friends.
I lost my Aunt to treat cancer a few years ago but this year the big C word crept up into my life in the most unexpected way when I suddenly got a text message from my best friend in South Africa. Here is an open letter to my Best friend...


My Best Friend and I looking across to Table Mountain


Dear the strongest person I know

I had just woken up, I was about to get out a bed when I heard my phone buzz, I lent over to pick it up and saw you had sent me a text message. It was always nice to hear from you, we had been best friends since we were 6 and my childhood in South Africa would not have been the same without you by my side. Even though I live in the UK we met up for a few days when you were over here last as well as coming to see you in Amsterdam a few years ago. Recently times had been pretty hard for you, only two months prior you lost your mother to Breast Cancer, it came as a shock to my family as we lived in each others pockets for our whole childhood and she was such a strong and feisty lady and being a Dutch expat she naturally captured that effortless european chic style and was in many ways larger than life. I wish I had been able to fly out for the funeral and I hope in some way my words comforted you.

We kept in touch with updates of our lives via text or email so I thought perhaps you were letting me know you were heading back to the UK as you travel a lot. Instead I stared at my phone, speechless for about 10mins in complete shock. They had found tumours in your colon and it had spread. How was this possible? Your only 32, your fit and active, a size 8, eat a very healthy diet and you don't smoke and hardly drink, you have your whole life ahead of you so why and how?

Luckily you are in safe hands, South Africa despite what people my think has excellent medical facilities and a few days later you had an operation quickly followed by Chemotherapy. Your responding so well, they are really attacking this invader with all they have and some of the tumours have not only shrunk but disappeared altogether. You have since had more surgery and more Chemo and I know it's been taking it's toll, you fell and hit your head badly and have struggled to keep weight on, you are tired and feel sick but they way your dealing with it all is incredible and makes me so teary thinking of how brave and matter of fact you are about it all. But it doesn't surprise me as you have always been so incredibly level headed and practical while I would often be spontaneous and do things without thinking you would always be the voice of reason.

You still have a way to go, I know there are more operations and therapies ahead but your doing so well and the prognosis is weighing in your favour and even though your approach is a quiet one you are fighting with all you have. Your diagnoses has changed not only your life but others, it's certainly put things into perspective for myself and how important friendships are not matter how far you live apart, words are comforting no matter the distance. I know that if I was in your shoes you would be there for me without a doubt and even though it's been years since I stood on South African soil, I remember when I left last you came to the Airport, it was hard saying goodbye. I know we will see each other as soon as I can to give you a hug in real life there are so many conversations that we still need to have and many more years to share our highs and lows together.

All my Love Laura x


breast cancer care


The thing about cancer is there is still so much to learn about who to treat it in the most effective way, every day many doctors and scientists are looking for new treatments and cures and all of this research costs money so next time your doing your weekly shop and are looking for simply and healthy food inspiration why not check out @MissionDeliUK for recipes and giveaways, also if you come across their special pink wrap packs pick one up! We have often have veggie packed Fajitas or Burritos at home as they are the perfect family meal and I love that a simple change in purchase is going to directly help with the much needed research to help fight this terrible disease.

You can also join in and share your inspirational friendship stories on the Mission Deli Facebook page using #FriendshipUnwrapped






In association with Mission Deli who have turned their wrap packets pink for October Breast Cancer Care



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5 easy ways to improve your Apartment

21/10/2016

3 comments

design tips


When I first came over to the UK I lived in Edinburgh, a city I absolutely adore. What I always loved about the city was all the beautiful old flats above the shops right in the heart of the city and I was over the moon to find a wonderful two bed flat only 15mins walk from the hughstreet which I rented with a friend. Since then I have rented a few different flats and apartments and as we gear up to sell our house apartment living is still not out of the question as there is something really appealing about living right in the heart of the city in a stylish flat.

I thought I would share a few tips about styling and apartment and that interior decoration doesn't have to be overly expensive.

1. Declutter   

As apartments are usually a little smaller than houses the first step you should take is to bring down the clutter and simplify every room. Get rid of all trinkets and unneeded paraphernalia, and bring accessories down to the basics before trying to come up with a new look. Once you've done this, focus on doing regular house-keeping to keep everything tidy and organized at all times – there is no better way of looking chic than always having a sparkling pristine room with every element neatly positioned in the right place.

2. Lighting Fixtures

Having good lighting will make any room seem larger, brighter and more welcoming. You can place
fixtures strategically to build up an atmosphere and create different zones in any room – such as setting up a reading corner or installing spotlights along a corridor. Although you don't need to go to those length and you could simply invest in a nice stylish tripod floor lamp or some simple table lights.

3. Pillows

Pillows are a great option because they're relatively inexpensive and can be used for both practical and decorative means. You can get them in different sizes, colors and patterns that will compliment and bring together your interior decoration. If you have a very minimal style than a pop of colour is always good and if your a dab hand at crafts you could pick up the material you want and have a go at making your own pillow covers.


exposed walls



4. Storage Boxes

I'm not talking about the big ugly plastic ones but rather wooden crates or woven hamper baskets.
Much like pillows, storage boxes are great for adding colors and textures to any room. You can get them in sizes fitting any spare corner exactly, and extra storage boxes are definitely useful to helping you keep the clutter down at all times.

5. Hardwood

Not only does hardwood look much better than wall-to-wall carpets, it's a much healthier option since carpets are often a breeding ground for bacteria. Further, hardwood is easier to clean and the shiny look really adds to the overall elegance of your rooms. Switching to hardwood can be a little costly, especially if you are renting, but it's a great investment on the long term. It also makes it possible to add small carpets, which can be used to great effect as decorative elements. You can also choose a place where hardwood is already the standard d├ęcor, such as the stylish apartments found in the Philippines so if your looking for little international apartment inspiration than Zipmatch is a great site for a dose of some serious interior apartment envy.


wow flooring


If your short on space than really think how best each room can be used and try and combine practical purposeful pieces with stylish ones. Pinterest is a great place for inspiration especially if your looking to make use a particularly awkward space or want to find good examples of things such as a mezzanine or bed deck. Either way an apartment can often be adapted to an extent to change with your needs yo just need to be clever about the way you use the space.

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Pond Dipping & Apple Picking at Forest Farm Nature Reserve

19/10/2016

14 comments
apple harvest


I love the sweetness of simplicity that seems to roll in as the seasons change from Summer to Autumn and the fruit trees ripen and Harvest time is at hand. Last year we visited Forest Farm Nature Reserve open day which is lead by the rangers of this wild green space which attracts an array of wildlife and birds. We had such a fun time last year squeezing apple juice from a variety of different apples found in the wild orchard as well as worm charming and we even spotted a Kingfisher around one of the bird hides that we made this years open day a firm date in our diary.


little farmer



The rangers hall is not very big and I don't think that many people know about it, which in a way is better as it's not over run by crowds in anyway. This year among being able to walk freely among the apple orchard with it's long overgrown grass and filling our basket with a real variety of different types of apples we also got to try our hand at willow weaving and a spot of pond dipping. Luckily the RSPB were on hand to explain all the little beasties my eldest caught (and of course put back) from the pond including boatmen and Damsel fly nymphs which we both found very interesting. Also put my eldest Muddy Puddles jacket to the test, it's served us really well this past year and you really can't beat a yellow rain jacket can you!


Yellow raincoat


natural childhood


The rangers had also found some shedded grass snake skin around the pond earlier that day which was very exciting as my eldest loves reptiles and snakes. Unfortunately my youngest was a little under the weather but even so enjoyed all the activities with his favourite being able to eat apples straight off the tree as well as see all the Chaffinches Blue Tits fly back and forth to the bird feeders.



forest farm


Days like this pretty much sum up Autumn perfection and we spent a good few hours here enjoying some very simple but wonderful family time as well as some natural learning about the world around us. Now I just can't wait to make some apple cake and crumble with our little fruit harvest. 




Country Kids
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Birmingham – 5 reasons why you should visit this stylish city

18/10/2016

8 comments
Birmingham



Birmingham might not be the first place that comes to mind as a stylish city break and is often overlooked despite it being the most populous city outside of London. Personally I have always found this city to be vibrant, colourful and leaving me with wanting more time to explore all that is has to offer. Like most cities in the UK a lot of redevelopment has happened over the past few years tapping into the mix of cultures in the city making it a paradise for foodies. Street style and fashion has also boomed over the last decade making the city a haven for trendsetters and boutique buyers. Interior design stores have popped up over the city as well as many new stylish flats, hotels and modernised buildings and bigger budgets going into maintaining one of the many parks and green spaces across the city.


I usually find myself in the city around once a year, mainly on day trips although we are planning on a short family night away as historically and culturally there is so much on offer and I thought I would share 5 reasons why you should consider Birmingham for your next city break.


1. Outdoor Spaces

Did you know that Sutton Park is the largest urban park in Europe and a National Nature reserve. Birmingham has 571 parks and outdoor spaces, the most in any European city so despite thinking of Birmingham as a brawling densely populated city it in actual fact has over six million trees and plenty of space for children to run wild and free.



dusk




2. Stylish Luxury Accommodation 

When deciding on a quick family break we like to combine chic hotel style interiors with the convenience of home of usually opt for a serviced self catering apartment. With so many new building and developments popping up in the city centre it's now easy to book apartments in Birmingham at very reasonable prices and all in city centre locations. 



Birmingham


3. Theatre and music 

When it comes to the performing arts Birmingham is a cauldron of creativity having born bands like Black Sabbath, Ocean Colour Scene and the Moody Blues as well as having a world class orchestra, ballet and being home to Britain's longest-established producing theatre the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.


4. Transport 


Due to it's central location, Birmingham has always been well connected and seen as a major transport hub for motorway, rail and canal networks. The central station is the busiest outside of London and has a vast rail networking connecting it to all major cities. With the city being in located the central heart of England it's also very easy to drive to Birmingham and why not roll into the city on a stylish set of wheels with a car on personal lease? I think I would go for a nippy city 4x4 something like a Kia Sportage, perfect fun family car for a city road trip.


Church


Architecture 

Birmingham is really a city of the future, always changing and coming up with innovative and creative landmarks such as the unmistakable Selfidges building in the Bullring Shopping Centre or the refurbishment of the iconic Rotunda building. Of course there are also some stunning period properties dotted around the city such as the Town Hall and Soho House. The students at the popular Birmingham School of Architecture and design should be able to tell you the differences between natural looking laminate flooring and period property exposed wood flooring in one of the many listed properties doted around the city.

What also is on the boom is the cafe, coffee and food culture with lots of pop-up restaurants and food markets happening all the time so even if you just go for 24hrs simply sit back and people watch in the heart of the city you won't be disappointed.


Morning coffee



No matter what your interests Birmingham really is a fantastic destination with some much to see and do and also great for those travelling with young children. With an array of outdoor attractions, central accommodation and cultural opportunities this is one city you should put on your staycation bucket list today.

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Autumn Style and October Beauty Essentials

17/10/2016

6 comments

Shirt and chinos


I have been giving my wardrobe a little overhaul lately and rediscovered these Autumn brown chinos I picked up from the Oxfam Boutique store in Cardiff city centre about two years ago and totally forgot about them, perhaps because not long after getting them I feel pregnant and let's just say they have no give in them so quickly were made redundant but I'm really enjoying wearing them now and thats the fantastic thing about putting clothes away during the summer to be welcomes again at the change of the season.

I also find Autumn not only the time for jumpers but also long sleeved shirts and this Vero Moda one has always been a bit of a favourite as I am huge fan of monochrome and love the white with the black edges. I've paired it up with my Ralph Lauren bag and Bronx Brogues for a simple and causal look perfect for a spot of lunch in the city.


Street style


I don't know about you but I certainly find this time of the year really starts to take a toll on my skin. I have combination skin which at times can be quite oily but I find as soon as it starts to get colder my skin becomes dryer and more sensitive and find now more than ever I need a skin routine which starts from the essentials up. I have been putting two new Bare Minerals products to the test of late and I can only give praise to how soft, healthy and moisturised my skin feels at the moment.


skincare


The first thing I do when I get up now is use the Gentle Deep Cleansing Foam which is gentle enough on my skin to use daily and is infused with mineral-rich sea salts, elderflower and rosemary extracts and is suitable for all skin types including those that are little sensitive such as mine. What I really love about this cleaning foam is how creamy it is and makes my skin feel really refreshed and lifting away any last traces of makeup and impurities.

After I have used the cleaning foam I move onto the restorative rich cream which is perfect for those who have dry skin or in my case occasional times when your skin is prone to becoming dry. This cream feels really luxurious and a little really does go a long way in keeping your skin feeling soft and youthfully smooth and is a must have for busy mama's whose skin gets affected by a hectic and stressful lifestyle and not only does this cream aim to moisturise but also diminish those early signs of ageing.

At this time of the year I also like to use a light and almost summery scent as if to let the warmer seasons linger for longer which is why this month I am opting for a touch of Daisy by Marc Jacobs. I often overlook perfume but I do find it's great for lifting ones mood especially as the days become short and the nights longer, it's like a quick little pamper.

What beauty products have you been using this Autumn?

I have joined up with Classy Monday link up

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5 Quick Furniture Hacks

16/10/2016

5 comments


We have been doing a bit interior reshuffle of our house of late, a few things have needed to be replaced, some just didn't fit our style anymore and others just needed little TLC to be brought back to life. With anything like this you learn more and more as you go along and I thought I would share a few things we have learnt and one or two interior and home design hacks for busy parents who want to inject a little style into their homes. If your furniture is looking a bit tired and worn, you will love these simple tips to help you to refresh it, and give your room a bit of a lift.

Restore it

One of the best ways to give your furniture a new lease of life is to restore it. This is not as hard to do as you may think. You only need some basic tools and skills to do the job yourself.

Naturally, it takes time, and a bit of effort, but most people find the process interesting, fun even. If you want to learn more about restoring furniture, click this link to be taken to a 4-minute video that will show you how to do it.

Cover it up

Another option is to cover up the flaws. If you have a table with scratches you could possible use a tablecloth or runner of if it's a painted piece of furniture you don't need to paint the whole thing but just the small area affected.

When it comes to fabric you can also buy covers for sofas, chairs and footstools. Most are elasticated, which makes them easy to fit. They can usually be removed for cleaning, so this is a good way of keeping your furniture looking good. If you have the time, you can even have a go at upholstering. Again, it is not as hard to do as you think, and there are plenty of easy to follow tutorials available.

Of course, the simplest option is to buy some nice throws and use those to cover up any imperfections. This is by far the cheapest way to hide flaws on sofas, chairs and footrests.

Replace it

The third option is to ditch your old furniture and replace it. You can do this even if you are on a tight budget by shopping around and being flexible with what you want. There are always sales happening as well as very decent interior charity stores in my cities which if you have not been to one you are missing a trick as you can often find a real quality bargain. Other options are looking on websites such as Gumtree, my brother in law bought an Ikea sofa of Gumtree which was only about a month old for a quarter of the original price.




Upcycle

If you are feeling particularly creative you may decided to up cycle a piece of furniture and turn it into something else completely. Pinterest is a great place to start for some inspiration and there is never a lack of clever ideas and you are sure to find a new purpose for any tired or unwanted pieces in your home.

Rent some furniture

If you want a fast way to get your hands on good quality furniture, renting is a good option. In most areas, you can easily hire great looking show home furniture at an affordable price. Doing this allows you to get your hands on the latest styles without having to pay a fortune to do so.

As you can see updating your furniture does not have to cost you a fortune, or take you long.

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