It's Amelia's first Halloween so I thought i'd do a little blog post about some of the bits we've been up to! I can't believe she's nearly one! This time last year I remember thinking she could come any day now, little did I know she would hang on in there till the 12th Nov!!!

We went to Pumpkins R Us in Kenilworth, we had such a lovely time. We went my sister and her partner and my niece Ivy-Grace and my mom. It was such a great day, the weather was good and it was really nice to see how excited the girls got about all the Pumpkins.

We didn't buy any Pumpkins as we visited a couple of weekends ago but Clint and I picked up some Pumpkins this weekend and spent our Sunday evening calving them whilst watching a horror film!

I haven't even got Amelia a Halloween outfit, I might have to see if I can grab a last minute outfit tomorrow!!

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When it comes to creating your dream house, there will always be that one room that you want to work on. Everyone will have a favourite. Some will always want a dream bedroom, others will want a living space that is perfect to relax in. But then there are those of us that just dream about having a gorgeous kitchen. After all, it is considered to be the heart of a home and it’s the one room that you will often be able to really spend a lot of time in. And, the best part is, when it comes to transforming a space, you will often find that you get to work wonders with the change that you make. Whether your kitchen is just a little outdated or you find that you need to completely renovate it, these are the steps to take to make it happen.


The first step in the process is working out what kind of style you want to go with. Do you have an image of your mind of how you want it to look? Do you want to go modern with stunning toughened glass splashbacks on show? Or maybe you want to go farmhouse chic with lots of wood? If you’re really not sure, it may help you to look through interiors magazines, go on different websites, and just really get a feel for the kind of styles you can choose from.

Colour Palette

From here, you’re then going to want to decide on the colours you will work with. When it comes to getting a stunning space, sticking to a few shades is the best way to make it look incredible. So don’t be tempted to just add in random colours as you go along. Decide upon the perfect colour scheme before you get started so that you can keep everything looking great.


To start thinking about the room itself, consider how you want the fittings to look. Because your kitchen sides are often the most statement of all aspects of the kitchen. Do you know what kind of counters you want? Do you want to invest here or would you rather spend a little more on your cabinets? Or both?

Extra Features

As you’re planning the space, you may want to consider the extra features you can add in. Maybe you want a pantry or to add a utility room to the side? Do you want to have an eating area so that you can enjoy breakfast in this space? Just make sure you’re working in all of the elements you need.

Finishing Touches

But then, you’re also going to want to think about the key finishing touches that will bring the space alive for you. If it will help, go back to the drawing board. Think about the design ideas you can use to really make your kitchen look great. Sometimes this will be nice things decorated on the sides and on the walls. Or maybe it will be spices and herbs and cooking equipment. Play around with different looks until you find a finish that you love.


Everything we do is a part of our character. You may think that booking a flight to go on holiday is just the done-thing which everybody does, but actually, you’re seeing travel and holidays differently. The flight is the journey, and to those that want to just experience a destination, this really doesn’t matter how. It's the speed of travel that gets people booking flights, not necessarily the quality of them. People who go on road trips want to experience destinations too but they’re taking on a totally different attitude and mindset. They’re doing so off their own steam, their own control and really planting their feet on the ground. They want firsthand experiences on the way to destinations. Those that go on cruises enjoy the travel itself more than the actual destination. That again is a totally different way of looking at travelling and going on holiday; for one thing, your hotel is actually moving!

One for the road

Are you someone who wants to go on road trips more than any other way of travel? The reasons why road trips are still so popular despite trains, coaches, planes, boats, ships, and even limos is that you are in full control. Not to mention this kind of travel is very cheap in comparison and you get to go at your own pace. No doubt, you will become closer with the people who you take road trips with so friends might just become like family at the end of one such excursion. You pack light and travel without a care in the world, all that matters is the things you see and do, meet new people and experience different cultures for however long you want to. You can drive around your own country visiting every corner or leap around an entire continent. It's a very down to earth way of travelling.

Luxury and comfort

Titanic the movie gave us a glimpse of what it would be like to go on a cruise. The entire mode of transport is designed for luxury and comfort. You’re literally travelling thousands of miles in the same of a week and you’re eating Michelin quality restaurant food while 50 feet waves crash into the side of your vessel. Looking at the modern way of cruising on Bolsover cruise club holidays, you can see that the ships have changed since the time of the Titanic. Each passenger is given their own space and the quality of care and comfort is taken very seriously. They want you to enjoy the journey, be at one with the ocean and enter into a state of relaxation and calmness.

Fast and hard

If you just want speed, take to the skies. Aircrafts have become larger and larger as well as more powerful. However, they can still travel at around 550 mph which considering modern airliners can hold over 300 passengers is quite amazing. If you don’t mind turbulence and being packed in tightly, this is the fastest way to travel.

The destination of a holiday isn’t always the best thing. It merely gives us a reason to find a way in which we can make the journey a valued part of our experience. Some like the journey more than others, depending on what you want in terms of comfort or control.


If you’re not happy with how you dress and how you approach fashion right now, it could be because you haven’t taken the time to find your own style. That’s not the way it should be, so now is a good time to start looking for ways to find your own style without simply doing what others tell you you should. There are lots of things you can do to get your style right, so read on to find out more.

Get Inspiration

First of all, you should try to get inspired. Of course, it’s entirely up to you how you go about doing this. You can’t find inspiration from all kinds of different places so it really is up to you. Maybe there’s a particular fashion blog that you feel fits your ideal style or maybe a celebrity or two whose style you like. It’s not about imitation; it’s about inspiration.

Know Your Body Shape

It’s important to have a good understanding of your body shape because the shape of your body will determine what looks good on you and what doesn’t. You can look stylish no matter what your body shape is, but it’ll certainly impact which style choices are the right ones for you. So don’t ignore this important point when you’re trying to pin down your personal style.

Be Daring

Sometimes, you need to try things that are completely new or at least consider them. Some people find that nose studs or other piercings really work form them and help them bring their style together. That’s just one idea but there that plenty of ways for you to step out of your comfort zone and try something different with your style. A daring attitude will take you a long way.

Invest in Signature Pieces

Everyone should have a few signature pieces in their wardrobe that they can turn to time and time again when you want to put an outfit together. These signature items can be anything from a handbag that’s both striking and versatile to a pair of sunglasses that you rely on for practicality and style throughout summer, as well as a million other options. So be sure to invest in some of these items.

Be Honest About What You Dislike, Even if it’s Popular With Others

There are some things that we all simply don’t like, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Even if every fashion outlet and every blogger is telling you how great a certain new trend is, that doesn’t mean that you have to fall in line and start dressing that way too. Be honest with yourself about what you don’t like because this is an important part of finding your own personal style.

Your style should always be unique to you because following other people blindly and not really thinking about what works best for you in terms of fashion never works out very well in the end. Make the most of the advice above to ensure you find your style sooner rather than later.


The lounge is the only place in the home that you can entertain in a communal fashion while using giant floor beanbags to sprawl out on. Sure, you can entertain in the kitchen and the dining room, but there is no other room in the house that gives you that immediate sense of comfort and relaxation in the same way that the lounge does. The thing is, if your living room doesn’t have that atmosphere of ‘aaah’ when you walk in, how are you ever going to relax in it?

There are people out there that adore a minimal style. That’s minimal furniture, minimal colour and minimal - well - life. Updating your living room to have that open, relaxed and casual space vibe that you so desperately want, while at the same time making it look stylish and on trend is not a difficult job. All you need to do is decide what you want for you in your lounge space and then implement it. Yes, the choices can feel limitless, but really all it is about is discovery. Deciding on a colour theme and decor trend is just the fun part. If you really are stuck, though, the best thing that you could do is check out the five surprising ways that you could transform your lounge below.
Brown Wooden Center Table

Light It Up. Lighting is always a surprising choice for people to start with, because it’s usually something that is changed to set off the mood and tone of a room rather than where to start. Here’s the thing, though, you can use lighting to decide on colour. If you know how much light the room is getting, you can decide whether that red tone that you love will work on the walls or if it’s best to keep it as the colour that you use for your accessories. While you decide on whether the amount of natural light for your lounge is enough, work out what other light fixtures could work - lamps are an amazing addition to bringing in as much light as possible.
Upholstery Upgrades. The sofa and the armchairs may well be worn out and ready to be taken to the dump. The thing is, when budgets are stretched tight it’s always easier to make do and mend. Finding the right cushion foam for your sofa has never been easier than with and tutorial videos are now much easier with one of these YouTube tutorials. You can figure out how you can restuff your couch cushions and fix the fabric on the armchair with the click of a button.
Simple Swaps. Sometimes, changing the colour of the fabric on the armchairs that you’re upholstering can make a big difference. Even a simple swap of colour can liven up the entire lounge and you get the freedom to choose whether to cool it down or warm it up in a way that suits your tastes. If you want to go quite bold with your swap, change the furniture - oak bookcases for white wood, for example. The bigger the change in furniture the more dramatic the look.
Rearrange The Room. A lounge is supposed to look lived in but after a while, the way that it’s organised can be perceived as boring. Swap it around. A transformation is defined by being different, and you can make the entire room look different simply by changing the view you get from your favourite chair.
Floor It. The best thing about the changes you could make to your lounge is that all it takes is just one change to make a huge difference. For example, ripping up the carpets and putting down hardwood flooring and a thick, cosy rug can make the entire room look very modern and updated. And it works both ways: laying down a carpet in the right thickness and colour can make the room warm straight up and it’ll also do well for your energy bills.

Your lounge is supposed to be a place that you go to relax at the end of a very long day at work.  The home is the castle that is yours to do with what you want and if you are needing a change or desperate for something different, you can start with the room that you relax in the most. Make the changes that suit your budget as well as your taste. You also don’t have to change everything at once. Take your time and make your living room liveable and comfortable all at once.


This is so important, as some of us definitely do take our best friends for granted. Best friendships usually start in school, through work, or through being introduced by people you’re already friends with. They’re just so important to you because they’ll be there for you through thick and thin, and you won’t be able to find a person you can trust more than your best friend. But the one thing that people comment on as they get older, is that their best friends suddenly seem to drift away a little. We get it, families grow, and priorities change, so it becomes much harder to have the fun times that you once used to have. Well, it does become harder if you don’t put in the right amount of effort! All you need to do is make a few simple changes to your best friend routine, and you’ll stay as close to them as you were in school! We’ve got a few great ways that we think you can make sure your best friend stays your best friend!

Treat Them To Something Special

Treating them to something special is actually really important. We’re not talking about for their birthdays, or perhaps for some other special occasion. We’re talking about random little surprises like you might do for your partner. It’s just one way that you can make them happy, as well as show them you care if you’re not able to see them as much as you once were. Think about what they like, and never go over the top. Something as simple as unicorn gifts that are small and sweet would be fine. If you know they love chocolate, just turn up with a chocolate bar. They’ll be more than grateful, and they’ll probably do the same back to you, not that that’s what you’re doing it for!

No Cancelling Dates

As we get older, we’re get worse and worse at making arrangements that we just don’t stick to. It’s the last thing you should be doing to your best friend, especially if you already only meet up once a month as it is. So, whenever you have plans together, make sure that everything else comes last on that day. Don’t fill your day up so much that you suddenly run out of time on the day and cancel last minute, that’s the worst thing that you can do. If your best friend is the one that always seems to be cancelling, just have a word with them and see if there’s something going on!

Keep Things Fun!

You should always try and keep things fun. Don’t always be the ones who are meeting up for a quick coffee, go out and enjoy yourselves like you once used to. Whether it be going out for some drinks, going for some food, or doing something wild like go karting. The more fun you keep things, the easier it’s going to be to keep your friendship alive! Plus, it’s really good for you to be able to let your hair down!


Now that autumn is here, with the darker mornings, shorter days, and lower temperatures we all feel the need to cosy up within our homes.  With the days of picnics, lawn parties, and barbecues behind us we can look forward to log fires, cosy nights in with our favourite films, trick and treating and firework displays.

Home tends to become much more important to us, at this time of year, often because we spend more time in our home and treat it as a sanctuary to escape the dark cold nights.  Indeed, it’s this time of year that we most want to stay indoors, work from home, and spend the day in our pyjamas with a nice warm soup or cup of tea.

That said, if your house feels cold, in a stylistic sense, you might not feel the warmth cosiness you’re longing for.  The tips below are here to help you inject warmth into your interior this autumn, with a focus on new properties that tend to be rather neutral in their appearance; with sleek fittings such as blinds, slimline radiators and spotlights; because whilst the modern style found in new build properties can be very attractive, it can be also necessary to soften the interior in order to make it feel cosy.

One of the most effective ways to make a space feel more warm and cosy is to use layering, for instance, by layering blankets and cushions on top of otherwise cold furniture such as an IKEA chest of drawers.

We often overlook the importance of the colours of our walls and most modern apartments will come in a variety shades of white, beige or cream as this tends to look the most clean, light and spacious.  In fact, these colours work really well in terms of creating a warm atmosphere - but they need to be accessorised with warmer colours from items such as paintings, candles, fabrics and the like.

The effects of these injections of colour are subtle, yet significant, and they play a pretty large role in creating the ambience of a room.

Lighting is one of the most well known aspects of creating warmth.  The majority of modern properties come with spotlights that flood the room with light, which is perfect for the daytime, and when you’re working from home - but not so great when it comes to creating a cosy ambience.

There are some great ways to achieve a more cosy and warm vibe, however, which are also pretty cheap - for instance, fairy lights and candles.  The basic point is that you want to avoid bright light if your goal is to create a more relaxing and intimate environment; which is where items like Morrocan lamps or Salt Crystal lamps which both radiate a warm colourful glow but are not too bright come in.  In addition, you want to make use of candles as they create a much more relaxing ambience than any other light.


We’re all becoming more aware of how much energy we’re using in the home, partly because of worries about the environment and partly because it costs so much money. There are plenty of simple ways to cut energy usage around the home and save money, but there’s one area that people often forget about. Water usage is something that we take for granted and even though the bills aren’t as high as electricity or gas, you could still be wasting a lot of money. The bathroom is obviously the place where you use the most water so you should really consider how efficient it is. Next time you’re designing your bathroom, you should keep in mind how much water you’re using and make some of these simple changes to make it more energy efficient.


It’s no surprise that showering is usually more efficient than taking a bath. As long as you’re showering for an average period of time, you’ll use less water than you would if you filled a bathtub. If you’re worried about water consumption and you use baths often, it might be worth switching to a shower and getting rid of the bathtub in favour of a standalone shower. You’ll use a lot less water and save yourself some money and it also opens up space in the bathroom which is an added bonus if you’ve got a particularly small bathroom.


Showering isn’t always guaranteed to be more efficient than having a bath, especially if you’re using an electric shower, so you need to be careful when you’re choosing one for your new bathroom. It’s best to get a thermostatic shower like the ones on which are better at regulating temperature so you aren’t wasting energy heating the water. Try not to go for a large head that is going to use up a load of water either.


Each flush of the toilet uses quite a bit of water, in fact, about a quarter of the average water use in a home is from flushing the toilet. Luckily, there are some simple solutions to cut that amount by a significant amount. Older toilets use so much more water than newer ones so if you haven’t replaced yours in a while, you definitely need to now. It’s also important that you keep your toilet in good condition and replace any leaking parts so you’re not wasting water unnecessarily.

Water Heating

The biggest bathroom energy waster is the water heating tank. Old tanks that keep the water heated constantly will have to keep heating the water over and over every time it cools. That’s so much wasted energy constantly heating water that you’re not even using. You’re much better off with a tankless heater that only heats water when you’re actually using it. If you really want to save money, you could even invest in a solar powered water heater. Visit for a guide on choosing the right one.

Make these simple changes around the bathroom and you’ll save plenty of money on energy and water bills each month.  


With autumn well and truly here, the summer feels like an all too distant memory. If you’re already fed up of the extra layers, the colder mornings and dark evenings then you’re not alone. Next summer might feel like a long time away, but booking a holiday can be just what you need to cure the seasonal blues.

Image Credit: Pxhere under Creative Commons

Saving for a holiday isn’t always easy when you’ve got a family to look after, but if you’re clever with your finances you can start putting away for a great trip next year. Beat these autumn blues with the help of these 10 ways to help you save for your next holiday.

1. Book now to get the best deals

Summer 2018 was a bad time for holiday companies. The unexpected long heatwave meant people were more likely to enjoy a staycation than book a holiday abroad. This has affected travel agencies who are now trying to make back some money by offering some discounted deals for summer 2019 holidays. Now could be an excellent time to grab a bargain, and you’ll have the longest time to save to pay it off - where could you see yourself next year?

2. Take advantage of cheap flights

Now is the time to book flights for your 2019 break. Whether you opt for a city break or do-it-yourself beach holiday, you can take advantage of the early bird deals to enjoy fantastic savings on your flights. Learn how to use Skyscanner to your advantage, helping you score the best deals for any time of year. Sometimes a DIY holiday can be cheaper than booking a package, so explore both options to help you get the most for your money.

3. Cut back on your bills

By cutting back on certain things, you can soon start a healthy savings pot ready to book your holiday. Now is the time to shop around for the best deals on your car insurance, etc. so that you can make some extra savings. If you’re paying ridiculous interest rates for things like your credit card or a loan, you should shop around and learn more about finding a better deal. Cutting back can help you make some amazing savings, all of which can go straight into your holiday fun.

4. Round up your spare change

Spare change apps are becoming more and more popular, and are worth having if you tend to pay for most things using your debit card. A spare change app rounds up your spending to the nearest pound, putting your spare change away into a savings pot. Some of the best spare change apps include Moneybox, which allows you to invest your spare change to grow it even more, and Monzo, which is an online-only bank account which also gives the option for saving your spare change.

5. Bring in another income

If your funds are stretched, then one way to afford luxuries like holidays is to bring in additional income through a side hustle. A side hustle can be anything from a blog to tutoring others online - there are some excellent ways you can make money on the internet. Your side hustle can be anything you want it to be, so think about the ways you can make some extra money to make those holiday dreams possible.

6. Budget for your holiday

By adjusting your household budget, you can start putting more money aside towards holidays. Holidays are an excellent way of having something to look forward to, especially throughout the winter months, which should give you the motivation you need to stick to a budget. Start a budget that cuts back on certain things, like your food shop, to help you put away extra for your holiday savings. With winter around the corner, it’s a great time to take advantage of soup and slow cooker recipes that are affordable to make and can be made in batches to help your grocery spend stretch further.

7. Use a cashback site

Cashback websites are an excellent way to give your money a boost. The idea behind them is easy. Instead of going straight to a website to do your shopping, you visit a cashback portal first, clicking their link to then take you to the store’s website. It adds and extra 30 seconds to your time, which is more than worth it for the rewards you can receive back. Some cashback sites like Topcashback, allow you to exchange your balance for holiday rewards, so you can benefit from top-ups to your cashback earnings for better benefits. Start using a cashback site today to help you save the easy way.

8. Collect air miles

There are plenty of great ways to collect air miles that can be easily converted into flight discounts and even free flights! Whether you opt for an air mile credit card to earn points on your regular spending, or you decide to shop through one of their portals, you’ll find some really easy ways to save. Air miles can also be used to book hotels, parking, transfers and more - helping to bring the overall cost of your holiday down.

9. Use Tesco Clubcard vouchers

Tesco Clubcard vouchers are a great little saver, and are worth even more when you use them for travel than to take money off your grocery shop. With Tesco vouchers, you can convert them into air miles, use them on hotel websites and pay for trains, travel cards and more. If you take advantage of boosted Clubcard point offers online, you can easily start adding to your points total.

10. Try Airbnb

Airbnb can be an excellent way to help pay for your summer holiday. If you live in a good property that’s near or within a city, you could make some money by renting it out - especially around special events. Airbnb isn’t for everyone - but it could be a good little earner for you and your family.

Now that you’ve got your saving sorted, you need to decide on where to go. Why not take a look at some family-friendly holiday ideas to help you find your dream destination for next year?