Days Out

Educational Days Out For You And Your Kids

Having fun days out with your kids is great, but you can make them even better by ensuring they are as educational as possible. Here are some suggestions!

Forest Days Out
Forest days out are great for nature based learning. This allows holistic based development, and you can take your child to a forest school or head out alone. These sessions can take place on any natural environment, and they will help your kids learn more about things like geography and science.

Science Centres
Why not take your kids to a a hands-on science centre? This is so much more exciting than a classroom! You can inspire a passion for science and technology at places like the Science Museum London and the National Space Centre Leicester.

The Zoo
The zoo is designed with families in mind. You can all see animals up close that will have everyone in awe! Make sure you set challenges such as grouping by animal type and seeing how many different animals they can find.

Stonehenge
This is one of the most famous historical sites in the world. There are many theories about how it came to be, and some even say that magicians created it. Studies have recently shown that there were parties held here! Some people even think it was used as an astronomical calendar. It’s educational, but there’s not that much to do here other than look, so you might want to plan a trip to explore nearby towns afterwards. You can learn more about it from the infographic below!


credit to Stonehenge Tour from London with Golden Tours

Home · How To

Tips for Selling a Family Home

Whatever your location, if you’re looking to sell your house fast in Chapel Hill, NC, Tokyo, or London, you might not want to spend a huge amount of money on the property before you sell it, but there are lots of little tweaks that you can make which won’t cost the earth but will increase your chances of finding a buyer. Today, I’m looking at five simple things that you can do which will make buyers see the potential of your home:

Gardens

Many people want outdoor space but will stuggle to see the potential of a garden or green space which is wild and overgrown. Spend a weekend mowing lawns, weeding borders and generally tidying up as much as you can. A neat frint garden will increase the curb appeal of your home exponentially.

Front Door

Your front door is the gateway to your home and if it looks shabby, it can make the whole house look shabby too. If it’s a wooden door then sand it down and give it a new lick of paint in a frsh, vibrant colour (West London estate agents Featherstone Leigh suggest that red is one of the colours which appeals to buyers the most!) and if you have a UPVC door, make sure it’s spotlessly clean and free from cobwebs!

Lighting

If your house suffers with poor lighting then it can immediately give a bad impression of the whole space. Most house buyers want light and airiness, so if you’re using bulbs which give off barely more than a candle’s worth of light, you might want to consider opting for a bulb with a brighter but warmer hue. Lamps are also nice, especially if you’re showing a house at night because they’ll give a cosy, homely feel and help you to sell house fast.

Clutter

If you’re a bit of a hoarder, you might like to live with a lot of STUFF around you, but most house buyers report being put-off of an otherwise perfect home because of the seller’s clutter. It can be really hard to see past random clutter and too many furnishings to imagine how a space would look with our own stuff in it, so pare back your clutter as much as you can – getting rid of stuff will make packin to move a lot easier, too!

Clean

Cleanliness is really important to most buyers. A house doesn’t have to look like a show home, but for most people the thought of moving into a house and having to clean of a layer of grime from the previous tenants is more than a little off-putting. If you’re going to spend money on anything, invest in paying a provate cleaning company to come and do a one-off deep clean of your property before you put it on the market. It will look better, smell better and undoubtedly be more appealing to the people you want to buy it.

Gift Ideas

Inspiration – Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father's DayIf the men in your life are as tricky to buy for as mine, then you’re potentially going to find yourself lacking inspiration in the next few weeks as Father’s Day approaches. Husband AND my Dad are tricky to buy for which means that I get cold sweats at this time of year just thinking about finding decent gifts for them. This year, I’ve decided to be prepared a long way in advance and start thinking about what I can get them and I thought I’d share my ideas with you in case you need inspiration too:

Aftershave

I actually really like buying aftershave as a gift and I know it’s something that Husband likes to receive it, too. I’ve been having a look through the Hugo Boss sale and I’ve found some really nice options at some really decent prices, so this is definitely top of my list of ideas at the moment.

Experiences

Just recently, my little brother turned 18 and as he’s already been driving for a while, Husband and I bought him a supercar driving experience, and there are loads of other experiences too – my Dad’s partner paid for him to do a glider flight a couple of years back, so I know he’s up for doing that kind of thing, which means it could be the ideal gift for him if I find the right experience.

Sunglasses 

Sunglasses aren’t something that everyone wears but Husband and my Dad are both wearers of sunnies which makes buying them as a gift a really decent option. There are some great frames available in the Ray-Bans sale and I know that Husband loves an aviator and a wayfarer, which gives me several more options for him. His birthday is a month after Father’s Day too, so I need to be double-prepared!

Watches

Husband is a massive fan of watches and can often spend hours browsing and picking ones he likes. However, he’s not looking at brand new Rolex…he loves refurbished vintage watches! His favourite brands of vintage watches are Omega and Breitling and he also loves ones which have unusual numbers on the face – he’s had one with Hindi digits on his wishlist for ages!

Tickets

Both Husband AND my Dad are massive music fans and have several bands that they consider favourites. I’d love to be able to buy them tickets to gigs that I know they’d love, but often these things are a matter of the right time and place, as well as a decent budget. However, if tickets for the bands that your Dad likes are within your budget, I think they’d be an awesome gift. He gets to have a brilliant experience and keep hold of the memories forever.

Do you have any unique ideas for Dad gifts? Do leave me a comment below as a little extra inspiration never hurts! For more ideas and inspiration, head over to Love the Sales.

Happiness · Home

My Dream Hobby Room

My Dream Hobby RoomI have to admit, I spend more time looking at Rightmove than is really necesary for someone who has no intention of moving. I’ve always loved looking at other people’s houses and can often be found binge-watching episodes of Grand Designs or Location, Location, Location just to get my interiors fix! I love dreaming about what I’d do if space and money were no object and at the moment, a hobby room is at the top of my list. Read on for an insight into what I’d have in my ultimate hobby room:

A Sewing Station

I absolutely love to sew and make clothes but I often lack the space to do it, so a dedicated space with a dressmakers dummy and lots of fabric storage would be a great way to enable me to get sewing. Valentino’s Displays has an amazing range of clothes rails, mannequins, hangers and storage bins and I reckon I could get everything I needed for my sewing area on their site.

A Reading Nook

I’ve always been able to read just about anywhere, probably from years of reading on buses and trains, but these days I do require a little bit of quiet to enable me to get lost in a book. A comfy armchair in the corner of the room with a little table for a lamp and my latte is definitely a bit part of my fantasy room.

A Writing Area

Writing is both a hobby and my profession and although I tend to work on a laptop literally on my lap, Burrito Baby is off to nursery in September which means I don’t have to only work in the room she’s in! A proper working area where my laptop could sit and I could use a decent ergonomic chair would not only be a novelty, but it would probably also be a lot better for my back!

A Proper Coffee Machine

These days, my vices are well and truly confined to the virtuous, never more so than now, given the fact that I even eat clean and don’t drink alcohol (well…hardly ever!). However, one thing that I absolutely refuse to give up is decent coffee! I tend to use my Waitrose card to get a free cup every day and I think I’d be considerably poorer if I didn’t get my coffee fix from there! Having a coffee machine in my hobby room with a proper milk steamer would be the ultimate indulgence for me.

A Yoga Corner

Since I started going to yoga classes at my gym a few months ago, I’ve found a really deep love of it. It’s one of my favourite hours of my whole week and I look forward to it every Saturday. I’d love to be able to do it more often but we really don’t have much space at home for yoga because our house is pretty cluttered. A dedicated space to find my zen and get my stretch on would be a dream!

What would you have in your dream hobby room?

Garden

Creating a Proper Family Garden

We’ve lived in our current house for almost two years now and this year we’re planning to do a bit of a makeover in the back garden. It’s a pretty big space and is very basic, with a large lawn and a patio area, and it’s completely functional as-is, just a little uninspiring. We’re planning to live in this house for years to come so it stands to reason that we should be optimising the space that we have for us as a family. HouseBeautiful have written a great article about making the most of your garden and it’s got me thinking.

Borders

At the moment, our lawn is just one large, plain space, but we’ve been toying with the idea of edging all along one side and adding a flowery border. It would add some much needed colour to the space and would break up the huge expanse of green that the eye sees. We’re also big fans of anything that attracts bees so we’ll definitely be looking into what to plant for a bee-friendly garden.

Shelter

Given the fact that this is Essex and not Marbella, having a shelter in the garden would make it so much more usable because we wouldn’t be at the mercy of the unpredictable English weather. Oeco make a range of garden rooms which would provide us with an amazing outdoor space to allow us to be indoors and outdoors at the same time.

Lighting

Outdoor lighting is something that I get REALLY excited about (I know, I’m tragic) and I’m planning to get some solar powered string lights to give the garden a beautiful Midsummer Night’s Dream feel to it. Our current outdoor light is a fixed-point, motion sensor floodlight which is NOT conducive to relaxed evenings in the garden.

Furniture

Our current garden furniture consists of an old picnic bench which was left be the previous tenants and some plastic garden chairs which were passed on by my mother in law, The current stuff is okay, but it really doesn’t inspire you to spend any time sitting on it! What I’d really like is one of the outdoor sofa sets which would allow us to sit in the garden as a family, as well as enjoying a meal and having guests over too.

Design Touches

I think one of the things which makes our garden look totally plain is the complete lack of design touches, like pots or plants and ornaments. It’s my birthday in June and I’m hoping for vouchers for a garden centre so that I can buy some bits to make our garden look fabulous.

What have you done to make your garden a better space for your family?