5 articles Tag makeover

Cheap Ways to Give Your Home a Makeover

Cheap Ways to Give Your Home a MakeoverPhoto by Jagoda Kondratiuk on Unsplash

With Christmas out of the way, many of us are starting to think about ways that we can give our home a makeover for the year ahead. However, the dent that the festive season left in our finances is probably still a factor for most of us, which means that any home improvements need to be done cheaply, or even better, for free. With this in mind I thought I would look at five ways that you can improve your home on a very tight budget.

Recycle

One way that you can improve your living situation is to go room to room and do a full inventory of all of the furniture and fixings that you have in each space. You may realise that one piece of furniture isn’t working for one room, but with a lick of paint or a rub down it might be perfect for a different space. Our TV unit doesn’t really go with the rest of our room, however we’ve been thinking lately that we might mount the TV on the wall, give the TV unit a makeover with a coat of chalk paint and use as a coffee table.

Freecycle

Freecycle is such an amazing place to get things that you need without spending any money at all. If you want to declutter, giving old items away on Freecycle is a great way to do this as more often than not people will come and collect them, meaning you have to make little or no effort to empty a space. Asking for things on Freecycle is also a great way to obtain the resources you need to transform your spaces. We once managed to get hold of enough laminate flooring to recover the floor of a whole bedroom and it didn’t cost us a penny!

Ebay

Finding things cheaply on eBay can be really easy, although sometimes you may need to spend a little extra time seeking out those bargains. However, one trick that I learned years ago is to search eBay with misspellings. This might sound weird, but sometimes you’ll find things with a low reserve and absolutely no bids because they haven’t shown up in anybody’s search results, thanks to a misspelling in the listing. If you can find these listings, these are the holy grail of eBay and often mean that people can get things for next to nothing if you’re willing to put in the time to find them.

Swaps

If you’ve got stuff to give away you might find that someone else has something that you want and is willing to swap with you. Facebook is a great place to find swaps for your items and you may even find that there is a local event where people take their items for swap seats. Hey, if there isn’t a local event maybe you could organise one, if you have the time!

Plants

If you haven’t got the money to do a full makeover of your home, sometimes adding little touches like house plants here and there can make a massive difference to your living spaces. As well as plants giving a burst of colour to a room they are great for your well-being, help to produce clean oxygen and will make your room look stylish and put together.

Sausage’s Bedroom Makeover

It’s got to that point where Sausage wants her own space. She’s starting senior school in September, so instead of being surrounded by her sisters toys and games, she wants a proper grown up space where she can chill, watch her own programmes and do her homework in peace. As we’re in a three bedroom house, Husband will be giving up his office space and moving his desk into the dining room, and we’re planning a bit of a makeover of the room so that it feels more like Sausage’s own.

The first thing we’ll do is replace the floor; there’s carpet in there at the moment, and while it’s good quality, we want something a bit more modern for Sausage, so we’ll opt for Quick-Step Impressive laminate flooring (https://lifestyleflooringuk.co.uk/laminate-flooring/quick-step-laminate/quick-step-impressive) as it’s so versatile, easy to fit and simple to keep clean. You can find it at  Lifestyle Flooring UK.

She’s also requested a change of colour – the walls are a plain magnolia at the moment, but we’re planning to replace that with three walls of light lilac, plus one wall of a darker purple colour. It’s a nice colour scheme for a kid of Sausage’s age, but one which I think will grow with her and won’t feel horribly young when she’s in her teens.

Another thing I’m planning is a multi-functional space which will double up as both a dressing table and a desk so that she can use it for doing her homework and then use it for doing her hair and make up at other times (she doesn’t go out in make-up, by the way, she just loves to practice at home!).

She currently sleeps in a single bunk beds that she shares with her sister, but we’ve decided to give her our king size bed so that she has more space and can have friends sleeping over when she wants, without needing to find extra sleeping space! Our bed is currently a neutral wooden colour, but we’re planning to give this it’s own mini makeover with some nice chalk paint.

In terms of finishing touches, we’ll be adding shelves for books and nick-nacks, plus colour co-ordinated curtains, lamp shade and other little touches to make it feel like Sausage’s own little haven of peace and tranquillity! I’m really excited to do this for her, and I know she’s going to love the end result. I’ll be sure to share pictures with you all when it’s done!

Which Chemical Peel Treatment is Best for Your Skin?

When it comes to rejuvenating your skin and making it look younger than ever before, nothing can quite top chemical peel treatments in terms of ease and effectivity. Plus, despite the fact that the word ‘chemical’ has a lot of negative connotations to it, chemical peels are actually completely safe.

However, there are a few considerations that you should think about before booking a makeover deal with a bundled chemical peel treatment. To make sure that the chemical peel with bring out your skin’s best qualities, you need to get to know your options better. Here are some of the most common chemical peel treatments offered by dermatological clinics and beauty centers:

Glycolic Peel. This particular type of chemical peel involves glycolic acid, which is obtained from sugarcane plants. Glycolic acid has a very small molecular size, and as such can really penetrate deep into the skin, making this particular chemical peel great for exfoliation and rejuvenation. Depending on the result you desire, you may want to ask for a glycolic peel that is gentler or a bit more intense than usual.
Lactic Peel. The chemicals used in lactic peel treatment are derived from milk, making it perfect for those with dry or sensitive skin. If you’re the type to easily get skin allergies or have adverse reactions to active ingredients, the lactic chemical peel treatment should be the peel for you.
Vitalize Peel. This chemical peel treatment involves the use of citric, lactic, and salicylic acids – along with the help of a retinol layer – to improve the quality and lighten the color of your skin. This only affects the uppermost part of your skin and results in very little peeling, making it a great ‘beginner peel’ treatment for those who may have not undertaken any chemical peels in the past.
Beta Peel. Beta peel chemical treatments are used mainly to treat serious cases of acne in children and adults. Its main component, salicylic acid, exfoliates the skin and helps with oil control while also targeting the bacteria that cause acne.
Pigment Balancing Peel. This chemical peel treatment focuses on lightening the pigmentation of the skin for a more consistent skin tone and to eliminate dark or brown spots. Those who choose to undertake this particular peel must be aware that the results may take some time to truly be realized. It also requires the patient to use sunscreen to achieve the desired effect.
Mandelic Peel. This is another type of peel that is advisable for those who have yet to experience a chemical peel treatment, due to its use of gentler but still effective chemical components. It’s also advisable for those with skin conditions such as rosacea, or with dark-colored skin.
TCA Peel. This is a medium strength chemical peel treatment designed to target multiple skin conditions such as extreme skin discoloration and actinic keratosis. The trichloroacetic acid component used in this particular peelmakes it great for removing abnormal skin cells.

Now that we know some of the more common types of peels there are, how do you know which one is the best for you? While you can certainly do your own research and consult your fellow skincare enthusiasts, nothing beats a consultation with a licensed professional dermatologist or skin care expert to help you pick out the right one for you. Before booking a chemical peel treatment, let the professionals know what your goals for your skin are and if you have skin conditions that need to be addressed. Remember, this is your skin we’re talking about – there shouldn’t be any guesswork involved when it comes to taking care of it.

Leave Merida Alone!

Last year, on my birthday, we visited Lakeside Shopping Centre for a spot of retail therapy and some dinner. It was the first time Sausage had been to a big shopping centre and this particular one has a Disney Store, so I wanted to treat her too. As we walked in, we saw their range of ‘animator dolls’, which are Disney characters made to look like toddler version of themselves. One in particular caught our eye as it has long, curly red hair, just like Sausage. Being fairly up on Disney, Husband and I were suprised that we didn’t recognise the character and immediately did some Googling to find out who ‘Merida’ was. As soon as we read a synopsis of the film, we were hooked and couldn’t wait to take Sausage to see it when it got its UK release a month or so later.

Needless to say, we adored the film. Aside from the beautiful animation and stellar cast of voices we know and love, Merida was the kind of female character that the whole family could get on board with. Merida, for those not in the know, is a willful, fiery, horse-riding, skillful archer who’s afraid of nothing. She resists pretty dresses and royal tradition in favour of feeling the wind in her hair and exploring the Scottish Highlands. She exudes strength and character and has more personality, in my humble opinion, than all of the other Disney character rolled into one (with the exception of Mulan).

So, last week, when news broke that Merida was inducted into the official Disney Priness roster and given a makeover, the whole family was feeling less than impressed. As you can see from the photo, Merida’s waist has been slimmed, her dress ‘glammed’ up, her face is suddenly refined and overly made-up, her hair is a lustrous mane rather than a wild mop and, most notably, her bow and arrow is missing.

I’m genuinely gutted, not just for Sausage but for a whole generation of girls, that Disney felt that Merida needed to be changed in this way before she could be a ‘princess’. The appeal of Merida was her difference from the other female Disney characters who, let’s face it, are largely weak and pathetic and demeaning her by sexing her up is wrong on so many levels.

Why are we not allowing our children to aspire to be something different? Letting them know that it’s about more than looks, more than being the slimmest or the prettiest? What kind of message are we giving them by behaving in this way? I want my daughter to value her brain and her talents before her hair and make up, but I fear I’m in a declining majority with this attitude, given that more young girls than ever state modelling or simply ‘being famous’ as their adult ambition. I read a statistic recently that said that 53% of US girls aged 13 don’t like their bodies and that number goes up to 78% by the time they’re 17. Scary stuff.

There’s a petition on Change.org at the moment, calling for Disney to leave Merida as she is and keep her BRAVE. I’d love it if you could go over and sign it and take a stand for women and girls everywhere, females who don’t fit the Disney mould and are proud not to.

I’d love to know your thoughts on all of this, leave me a comment below.

(Not So) Extreme Make over: Home Edition

Now that we’ve lived in this house for three years, our landlord has become a little more easy-going about letting us add our own touches to the place. We’re planning feature walls in both bedrooms, pink for Sausage and a gorgeous sage-green for Husband and I. The one hurdle that we’ve faced is buying curtains or blinds for the rooms. Both rooms have huge windows, with Sausage’s being the most awkward, her bay window measuring about 11 feet wide!

Just recently we’ve discovered these Perfect Fit blinds from Web-Blinds, which fit inside the frames of UPVC windows. They don’y have a pull string, which makes them perfect for a child’s room as, like many parents, I would seriously worry about the safety risks associated with conventional blinds. They come in a gorgeous range of colours too, so Sausage won’t need to sacrifice the girly theme that she’s got going on with just about every shade of pink possible somewhere in her room!

Another thing we’d love is laminate flooring. I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion on this blog that living in a house with a beige carpet when you have an almost 5 year old and a dog is not idea – I’m not sure I even remember what this carpet is supposed to look like anymore, such is the extent of the swirls of mud/Ribena/crayon stains that are dotted about and despite our valiant efforts to clean it last year, I think we need to admit that our pile has had the guts knocked out of it!

This Butter Oak laminate flooring is absolutely stunning and would look so fab in our lounge, especially if we were to scatter a couple of coordinating rugs around. It would be fabulously easy to clean and would definitely be a lot more resilient than our carpet, which is now so flimsy that the Dyson sometimes pulls whole lines of thread out of it!

I think that makes me pretty easy to please – a lick of paint, some blinds and a nice floor and I’d be a very contented blogger!