DIY

Upgrading our Bathroom on a Budget

A few months back, our landlady visited to take a look at some things around the house that we were having issues with, and while she was here she said a sentence that sounded like music to my ears:

“You could probably do with a new bathroom, couldn’t you?”

Don’t get me wrong, our current bathroom is functional, but there’s nothing nice about it, and I’d be ecstatic to have a newer one fitted. She’s planning to have it done over the summer which gives me plenty of time to fantasise about shower doors and other things I’d love to be done. Here are a few of them:

New Shower

Our current shower runs off of the taps, which is fine, but the water pressure isn’t hugely high and our heating relies on LPG deliveries, meaning that when we ran out in the dead of winter we were stuck for two weeks over Christmas without being able to have a shower or bath! I’d love her to replace it with an electirc shower, so it wasn’t reliant on gas, and I’m hoping her plumber will compare a range of shower pumps at Pump Sales Direct so that we end up with decent amount of pressure!

Re-Enamel the Bath

Our bath is actually a really decent old cast-iron bath and while there’s nothing wrong with the structure, it could really do with a new coating of enamel as the surface has gone a little patchy. Re-enamelling a bath is a great way to update an old model without needed to spend masses or do tricky plumbing work.

Tiling the Walls

At the moment, we have tiling around the splash-back of the sink and on the wall that the bath adjoins to, but I’d love for the tiling to cover all of the wall surfaces in the bathroom. This would make it super easy to keep clean and looking nice, and would also help to hide the problem we have with mould in the rooms upstairs. I also have a huge thing about white tiles with grey grouting, so if I could manage to convince her to do this, I’d be one happy tenant!

Replacing the Floor

At the moment, we have carpet in the bathroom, which means it’s pretty warm in the winter but I find it a really impractical as it gets wet all the time. Also, who wants to vaccum the bathroom?! If I had my way, I’d go for some beautiful blakc and white checkerboard tiles on the floor to give it a classic, clean look which can be dressed up with accessories of any colour.

Storage

At the moment, we have one, very small, bathroom cabinet which offers very little in the way of storage and I spend my life trying to find places to discreetly stack the masses of bathroom products that we seem to accrue. I’d love a cabinet around the pedestal of the sink or even a sliding bath panel so that we could utilise that empty space under the bath.

What would you add if you had the chance to design your dream bathroom?

Keto

Why I’m Back on Keto

Back in January 2017, I decided that I needed to take my health a lot more seriously, and I started dieting and exercising in an effort to lose at least 4 stone. Given the fact that I’m a type 2 diabetic, I decided after a lot of research and advice from Husband that a low-carb, or ketogenic, diet would be best for me and I started cutting down drastically on the amount of carbs I was eating. I also started a program of weight lifting and the weight started falling off of me. I noticed a change in my shape in just a few months and I was really enjoying lofting heavier weights each time I went to the gym. For more information on the ketogenic diet, see this.

However, halfway through the year, a few things happened – my birthday was in June and then midway through July I went through some pretty bad stress, and the whole thing knocked me totally off the wagon. I’m an emotional binge-eater and when my willpower reserves are low, it only takes the slightest thing to make me revert to negative behaviours. Husband tried to gently warn me when I was at the beginning of the slide, but it didn’t sink in and 18 months after starting, I’m now back to the weight I was when I started.

Why I'm Back on Keto

We had some friends over a couple of weeks ago to watch the football and they asked how I was going with the gym and diet, and I had to admit that I’d let it all go, but while I was talking to them, I realised how much I’d missed it all. Overeating actually gets really boring after a while and I’d been enjoying lifting weights while I was doing it, so I made a decision. I needed to get back to it.

This time, however, it’s a little trickier. I’ve started eating keto again and I’m definitely felling better for being on a low-carb eating plan but the gym side of it hasn’t fallen into place yet. Maureen can only really be left alone for an hour at a time, and the gym is a 20 minute drive from home, which means I’d have 20 minutes to workout, unless someone is at home to puppy-sit.

However, from next week, Burrito Baby is going to be going to a childminder for one day a week, which means that as well as being able to get some work done without an endless stream of Sam and Cat playing on Netflix int he background, I’ll also have a bit more time to exercise. Husband got my bike out of the shed recently and bought me a new chain, so this weekend we’ll be fixing it up so that I can at least start doing some cardio a few times a week. I’m excited to get back into it, as not only is my physical health better when I exercise, but my my mental health seems improved too.

Have you ever tried a ketogenic diet? I’d love to hear about it, so please leave me a comment below.

DIY · Home

The Advantages of Wooden Flooring

As you’ll know if you read Mum’s the Word, we’re currently looking for ways to upgrade the house and make home improvements. You’ll also know that we recently got a puppy, so a lot of our ideas revolve around making things easier and more pleasant with a new pet around. We’ve come to the conclusion that wooden floors would be a really good idea, and I thought I’d give you five reasons why, in case you’re currently trying to make a decision about your own flooring options:

1. Durability

Engineered oak flooring is so durable and hard-wearing; go into any hundreds-of-years old Manor House in the U.K. and you can guarantee that the floors will be wooden! If we lay wooden floor now, it should last a lifetime with proper care.

2. Maintenance

One of the things that really appeals to me about wooden flooring is that it’s easy to maintain. If something scratches it or gets spilt, it just needs a little rub down and re-varnish to get it back to looking it’s best.

3. Warmth

Wooden flooring not only looks warm, but it feels warm, too. Unlike other flooring like tiles or laminate, wood actually retains heat and given the fact that our house gets really cold in the winter, having something to increase our heat would be a huge bonus!

4. Look

Let’s be honest, there aren’t many floor coverings which look as good as solid oak flooring! Going into a house which has wooden floors gives the overall impression of good taste and high quality, and it can also add lots of value to a house if you’re planning to sell.

5. Versatility

One thing I really love about wooden floors is that they’re so versatile. When you go for coloured carpet or tiles, you’re constantly at the mercy of finding things which co-ordinate with them, whereas wooden flooring goes with basically anything. You also have the options to use area rugs which can add a totally different feel to different parts of your house.

Do you have wooden flooring in your house? What’s your favourite thing about wooden floors?

Days Out

Days Out – Visiting Bristol

BristolGiven the fact that we’ve just got a new puppy, a foreign holiday is pretty unlikely for us this year. We are, however, planning a few day trips around the country (now that we’ve managed to rope some of our lovely family members in to look after Maureen for the day!) and one of the places I really want to visit is Bristol. I’ve got a fair few friends who live in or around Bristol, so I thought I’d ask them what the best things were to do on a day out in Bristol. Here’s what they said:

Jennifer from My Mummy’s Pennies said “Visit Brunel’s SS Great Britain and have a lovely walk around the quayside. We were there two weeks ago and really enjoyed it.”

Stacy from It Takes a Woman said “We The Curious is really good. Loads of experiments and activities and you can scan your wristband and access your results/photos etc when you get home…”

Liz from Me and My Shadow said “Do the Banksy trail – there’s an app!”

Aly from Bug, Bird and Bee said “We like visiting Cabot Tower at Brandon Hill. The tower is over 200 ft tall and looks out over Bristol. It’s smack bang in the middle of a nature reserve. There’s a big kids play park.”

Carolin from Mummy Alarm said “The street art south of the river is amazing. There’s so much to see on your own or on of the many street art tours and there are some really cool and quirky restaurants along North Street in Bedminster.”

Rachel from Rachel in Real Life said “For parks I’d recommend St Andrews Park and Blaise Castle. From Easter until September (maybe October, can’t remember) St Andrews has a paddling pool. Blaise Castle is near us and we go regularly. It has two separate play areas and loads of open space. Excellent value for money is Avon Valley. Reasonably cheap to get in and lots to do. Though again, mainly outdoors so best on a nice day.”

Cass from Frugal Family said “I went to Hestercombe Gardens yesterday – it was beautiful!”

My friend Becky, who isn’t a blogger but is a displaced Bristol native, said “Go and see a Rovers game!”.

Lots and lots of wonderful options of things to do! If you need transport while you’re in Bristol, why not give AA Taxis Bristol a call?

All About ME!

Summer Weddings: Finding the Perfect Dress

Husband and I have been invited to a wedding in August, and I am SO excited about it – not only do we get to dress up and have a fun evening with our best friends, we also get to STAY AT A HOTEL for the night, which is something we haven’t done in literally years! Of course, going to a wedding means finding the perfect outfit, so when Fashion World got in touch to ask if I’d like to take a look at their range of women’s dresses, I jumped at the chance!

I knew that I wanted something in either blue or grey, as they’re the colours which suit me best, and if it was blue, ideally it would be navy. I’ve had an obsession with peacock feathers for ages, and wanted to be able style whatever I wore with a peacock-feather fascinator, so it meant that I could narrow down my search on the site by not only size, but also colour and occasion. Here’s what I chose:

BEADED PROM DRESS

To be totally honest, the picture doesn’t do it justice – the beading on the front is not only very intricate, but the peacock-inspired colours really pop, shimmering with blues, turquoises and purples in the light. It’s going to be absolutely perfect with my dream head-wear and I can’t wait to see what the whole outfit looks like together.

My mission now is to find the perfect shoes and bag to go with the outfit. As we’re staying, the bag only needs to be big enough to fit my phone and bank card, so something clutch-sized. The shoes would ideally be a mid-sized heel (I don’t want flats but I walk like a baby giraffe in skyscraper heels!), and would compliment the colour of the dress. I saw an incredible pair or purple platforms in a Kurt Geiger sale, but I wasn’t brave enough to buy them and now they’re sold out! Any suggestions of accessories to complete the outfit would be much appreciated!

What do you think of my choice?