LIFESTYLE: TOP TIPS FOR ADDING VALUE TO YOUR HOME

f you are looking to add value to your home, then there are a whole host of things that you could do. From a complete renovation to just updating a room, there are plenty of options for you, depending on your budget. You don’t need to have to plan to sell your home anytime soon, but knowing that you have more value in your home can make such a difference; your home is an investment after all. 

There are certain projects that will not only be able to boost the kerb appeal of the home, which can seal the deal when you’re showing potential buyers. But they don’t need to cost a lot of money, even if they can help to make you some money. The work of builders is a lot that you will be paying for, so make sure that you choose people to do the work that you are really happy with. Then it can all make a difference to the value and quality of your home.


Put Structural Issues Right

One of the best ways to add value to your home is to sort out any of the structural problems that come from wear and tear in the home. There can be issues like subsidence, and these kinds of things can really lower the value of the home. Plus, it doesn’t make sense to overhaul so much of the inside of the home, if the outside, or structural issues, aren’t dealt with first. Put your mindset in that of a prospective buyer; will they want a brand new kitchen if there is subsidence or issues with the basement, for example? 

New Heating System

If you are thinking about adding some value to your home, then one simple things that you can do is to look at what you already have; your heating system. There are many homes that don’t even central heating, so if you have an older home like that, then that can be the first thing to do. You could have a system that needs updating; either way, it will make a big difference and help to add value to your home. A new central heating system can also help to make the home more energy efficient.

Convert Your Loft

A loft conversion can cost quite a bit of money, depending on the size of the loft space. But when you think about adding value to the home, then it is likely to be something that is a good investment because you can add in a brand new room. You will need to make space for a new staircase, though, too. But a loft conversion can add so much value to the home, and definitely make its money back. Make sure enough natural light can be brought in too, as that can make a real difference to the overall look and feel of the room. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to adding value, but there are plenty of different things that you can do if you’re prepared to invest in it.


* collaborative post

LIFESTYLE: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO ACHIEVING A VINTAGE INTERIOR


Vintage is the on trend buzzword when it comes to interiors. All things mid century, tile topped, Danish and retro are sought after; the more original, the better. It can be tough to create a desirable vintage look as you run the risk of your living room looking more like a junk shop rather than a high end interior. The vintage look is best harnessed when it is mixed with more modern touches. Take a look at how can create a high end look by using an eclectic mix of interior techniques and decor.

Features

The ideal way to use vintage pieces is to make them the focal point of any room. Because they are one of a kind pieces and aren’t from generic flat pack style furniture stores, you can enjoy having a one off Danish tile topped coffee table in the centre of your living room. Alternatively, you might spy a retro 1960s G Plan sofa for your snug. Or perhaps you’d rather make a feature out of your fireplace. If you are fortunate enough to live in a Victorian or Georgian humble abode, the chances are that you have a glorious old fireplace. Consider making this a feature of your living room and refurbishing it. Victorian cast iron fireplaces are as vintage as it gets with tiled surrounds and stunning hearths.

If you want a feature fireplace but haven’t got one of your own, head to a reclamation yard and install one into your dwelling. This will give your home the vintage feature that you crave.

Furniture

The furniture you buy for your home doesn’t have to be expensive. If you want a vintage look, but cannot go all out authentic, head to a furniture clearance sale and scour the bargains. You could find many modern pieces made out of solid wood that pay homage to the mid century era of utility furniture and angular lines. Tables and chairs can be curvy and post modern like the sputnik 1960s orbs, or they may be more rustic and shabby chic like those now found in farmhouse kitchens all over the country. If you fancy a spot of upcycling or distressing, buy cheap online and then get the chalk paint out for experimenting.

Walls

You might be tempted to redecorate to help your new vintage pieces fit into a more suitable interior. You can make your walls more vintage than the furniture that it houses. Consider whipping up a feature wall of geometric wallpaper full of mustard yellows and burnt oranges in recognition of the cool patterns of the 1960s. Some shops will still stock the original patterns albeit on more resilient paper. If you have the money, you might fancy checking out the designer wallpaper. The flock and damask varieties are on trend at the moment. Pair your wallpaper with stark white walls and they will pop.

Designing a vintage interior for your home needn’t be difficult. Follow this guide and you could achieve the perfect mid century look.

*Collaborative post

[AD GIFTED] HOW I STYLED MY NEW PINK FEMME LUXE JUMPER!




So i'm actually in love with my new jumper from Femme Luxe, it's so cosy and warm and so super cute. 

They have so many cute jumpers to choose from!

I've worn it like 2 or 3 times since I got it a few days ago! I wore it to work with my black skinny jeans and boots. I got so many compliments. Then I wore it yesterday for a stroll around the park with Amelia with my black polka dot skirt from Primark. It looks lovely tucked in with my boots! 

It's a lovely thick quality and super soft. I love the detailing on the shoulders, it breaks it up a little and actually makes it more flattering. The sleeves are nice and long too making it super cosy. 

This jumper also comes in White and Rust so if the pink isn't for you then check the other colours out! 



LIFESTYLE: IS IT EXPENSIVE TO MAKE YOUR HOME ECO-FRIENDLY?

Everyone is keen to get in on the sustainable act. You might have heard the buzz words of ethically aware, environmentally sound and green. But, how can you make your home fit this newfound perfect sustainable persona? Surely, the paint that you choose, the lighting that you pick and the flooring that you plump for isn’t going to make that much of a difference to the survival of the planet? However, if everyone decided to take baby steps towards being more environmentally aware, oak trees will grow from tiny acorns. Take a look at how making your home eco-friendly needn’t break the bank.


Lighting

If you have powerful strip lighting or old school incandescent bulbs lighting up your rooms, it’s time to think again. Yes, the latest energy saving bulbs are more expensive to buy, but they can last twenty times longer than their older equivalents. They don’t use as much electricity, and the hue that they cascade around your rooms is more pleasant to the eye. You could even opt for vintage style Edison classics. You no longer have to squint as you wsitch on your strip lighting, and you can experiment with the joys of subtle LED lighting. Add dimmers to your lighting and you could use even less power to provide light to your living spaces.

Energy Self Sufficiency

Have you ever walked past your neighbours houses to see mini wind turbines and solar panels on the rooftops and wondered what on Earth your fellow residents were thinking? Heading to one of the many local solar companies in your area to investigate producing your own electricity might not be as daft as it sounds. Fitting solar panels to your roof may be expensive initially. However, the running costs of your home may be cut to zero. If you produce more energy than you actually need, you can sell this back to the utility company. In effect, you can begin to make money through your solar panels. The same goes for any wind turbine that you choose to install. Don’t think of the mammoth ones seen by the sides of motorways. Yours will be a discrete tiny turbine generating just enough energy for your own home.


Water

Water is a commodity that we all take for granted. However, with climate change becoming more evident, we are suffering from longer hotter summers resulting in a diminished water supply. This means you need to make an effort to cut your water usage. Take shorter showers rather than baths. Only boil a kettle with as much water as you need. And try to limit your laundry to full loads throughout the week. These tiny steps will help preserve water, while also saving you money. If you’re on a water meter, you will want to cut your water usage for the benefit of your purse strings.

Forget about spending your hard earned cash on the latest granite quartz worktop, and instead, consider making your home more environmentally friendly and fit for the twenty first century.

*collaborative post

[AD: GIFTED] FASHION: FEMME LUXE GREY LOUNGEWEAR



It's getting bloody cold out there which means it's time for some good loungewear sets! How cute is this set from Femme Luxe?! It's so soft and comfy. It's just perfect for this time of year. The amazing thing about loungewear is that you can easily dress it up or down. 

As you can see i'm just chilling at home this evening reading my book but I could pop on some heels and a chunky necklace and i'm good to go.

I love the grey marl colour, it's gorgeous and so easy to wear but they do have loads of colours and styles so there is something for everyone. 

The material is thin but warm and cosy, not to thick! It's really soft and just lovely quality. I'm really happy with it. I think i'm gonna have a little browse at some of the other styles they have to offer. 

Femme Luxe have loads of Co-ords to choose from so check them out!





INTERIORS: THE ULTIMATE QUICK MAKEOVER FOR YOUR LIVING ROOM

If you look at your living room and feel depressed by it, you are not going to want to spend much time in there. It can be a horrible thought that the place where you should feel the most relaxed is making you feel down. However, it is very often the case that the more in need of a makeover our homes become, the less time we want to spend in them. 


Having to fix your living room up can be an overwhelming prospect. You may worry about the expense or possibly the time involved is the problem. However, worrying about a problem will not make it go away, and you could probably do the job in a short space of time for less money than you would imagine. 


Create A Feature Wall


If you want to make your room look more attractive, you should look at creating a feature wall. This will immediately make the room seem more dynamic. 


Choose the wall that you would like to be the feature wall. Usually, if you have a fireplace or chimney breast, the wall with these on will work best. If you don’t have either of those things, you could choose the wall opposite your window, or whichever wall your sofas face. 


There are a couple of ways that you can create your feature wall. Firstly, you could choose to paint it in a bold and impacting color that is in contrast to the rest of the room. Make sure the color scheme goes together well, though. You may choose to use some vinyl wall stickers to create a slogan or simple image directly onto the wall. 


The other option is to find some exciting wallpaper and use that to highlight the feature wall. 


Paint The Room White


White is a great color to paint a room. It looks clean and crisp. It reflects all of the light that comes into the room, and it makes it all appear much brighter. White will also help to make the room look bigger. Having that sense of space can make the room feel like a happier place in which to spend a lot of time. 


White is not a very forgiving color to paint your home, and if you have young children, and if you get mucky handprints or crayon drawings on your wall, you may need to either add to the coat from time-to-time or choose a different color. 


Declutter


Often, one of the things that get us down the most in our house is the clutter that we accumulate. You may not want to get rid of it, but having it hanging around can trigger us to feel unhappy. 


Go through all of the items that are in your living room. Sort them into three piles. One to keep there, one to put away in a cupboard or drawer in another room, and the other to donate, sell or throw away. You will find that there is much less that you really want actually to keep. Pretty soon, you will have a much neater, happier home. 


*Collaborative post

[GIFTED] PERSONALISED DISK NECKLACE


use code 'amypytblogger10' for 10% off orders

How beautiful is my new necklace? I just had to share it with you guys as I love it so much!!

It's this gorgeous Rose Gold tone, and you can fully personalise it so you can make it super special and personal.

It comes in a lovely gift box so would make a lovely present for someone, you can even have it gift wrapped so it's ready to go!

Sassy bloom gifts have loads of different necklaces so check them out as there is something for everyone. They have some fab gifts for bridesmaids, friends, mum's and a lot of them you can personalise to make it super special and thoughtful.

The Rose Gold disk necklace is only £20 which I think is really reasonable, it's such a nice size. Not to big or small. The chain is a good length and the engraving is lovely. It comes in Silver too, if your not a fan of the Rose Gold.

If you are after some lovely gift ideas be sure to browse the Sassy Bloom Gifts website as they have some really lovely gifts to choose from and they are all very reasonably priced. They have some great delivery options too if you need something fast!




[GIFTED] REVIEW: NAKIN FACE CREAM AND EYE CREAM COMPLEX


I've been using these products for a little while now and thought i'd share my thoughts on the products and how i'm getting on with them.

Nakin are an eco beauty brand, they cater for all ages and their award winning range is a luxurious natural skincare system of cleansers, moisturisers and treatments. They produce stunning high performance natural anti-aging skincare. The range is formulated with powerful natural anti-agers such as Hibiscus, Pomegranate, Seaweed and Hyaluronic Acid, as well as healing butters and rejuvenating areoils. 

First up let's talk about the packaing! I'm loving the simple, clean packaging. The pots are glass which is lovely and makes the packaging feel nicer. 

The Active Dew Face Cream comes in a very decent sized pot. It's great for sensitive or dry skin. My skin is dry and damaged from day to day life. I also have mildly sensitive skin. I sometimes have issues with natural skincare so I wasn't sure how I would get on with the range but i've had absolutely no problems at all. The cream is very light and sinks into the skin beautifully and quickly. It leaves the skin feeling super soft and plump. I have noticed that my skin seems to feel healthier and more hydrated since using this cream. It retails at £20 which I think is really reasonable as its a good size pot, it's a lightweight formula so you don't need to use alot of product and you are getting a product that is... 98% natural and formulated without parabens, SLES, retinol, propylene glycol and artificial colour and fragrance,Vegan & cruelty-free face cream, Leaping Bunny registered, Gluten free and Wheat free.

The Eye Cream Complex is similar in consistency but maybe a little lighter. It again goes on beautifully and sinks into the skin really well. The Natural Anti-Aging Eye Cream Complex is a  natural anti-ageing eye cream that uses the wonder of natural science, with the array of potent plant oils and extracts, to immerse skin with replenishment, nutrients and hydration. It works wonders to help reduce dark circles, lines and puffy eyes.  I've noticed that my dark circles are much less visible and my eyes feel plumper. I don't really have fine lines yet but the skin around my eyes are lovely and smooth and look so much better. I was always super paranoid about my dark circles and would put loads of concealer on but recently I've found myself applying less as i'm less conscious about them now. Again the Eye cream comes in a cute little glass pot which is lovely. It's smaller than the moisturiser which is usually the case but you literally only need a super tiny amount so this pot will last ages. Again at £18 I think this is a really reasonable price for the quality of this product. 

I might have a browse of the website and try a few more products. I like the sound of their cleansing milk, so want to give that a try. They also have a selection of gift sets which are a great value for money. The face serum is another product that I like the sound of! 




* this post contains gifted products

LIFESTYLE: WAYS TO SAVE MONEY BEFORE CHRISTMAS



With Christmas approaching fast everyone starts to go into panic mode about how expensive this time of year can be. I thought i'd put together a post with a few money saving tips so you can save a bit of money before the festive season. I have Amelia's birthday in November too so always need to save abit of money around this time of year. I'd like to take her on some festive days out too!

Organisation- I think one of the most important things when it comes to saving money is to be organised! Start by writing a list, it can be as detailed as you like, you should write a list of your income and all of your outgoings. This makes it easier to see how much money you have left over each month after your bills. With this money you can then start to budget it. This can actually show much how much money your spending on rubbish like take-away coffee's and those odd random £2 and £3 here and there.

Loyalty Cards- Using loyalty cards like Tesco Clubcard and boots card can be a great way to save money. I usually shop at Tesco so can end up with quite alot of points. The great thing about Tesco clubcard is you can spend your points on shopping or you can boost your points and spend them on days out or eating out. Tesco also send out loads of really good vouchers so check them out to save even more! I save my boots points and use them to buy Christmas presents, Boots always have 3 for 2 on their Christmas gifts so it's such a good place to buy gifts.

Shop around!- Now days its super easy to save money. All you have to do is shop around, get online and compare prices. It's so easy to get great broadband and TV deals ,You can pop in your postcode and it's super easy to see all of the different providers in your area. They also have a great filter section so you can find the best deal that suits you! You can get a bundle which includes, Phone, TV, and Broadband and can actually save money by having a single package rather than separate providers. You also only have the one bill to worry about too which is great! I've actually had a look as we already have broadband with Sky and to add on a TV package it's only actually an extra £10 a month for 301 channels including Sky Atlantic, this also includes a Sky Q so we would get catch-up which is amazing! So if your looking for a to save money on your broadband or TV package it might be worth having a look at a package.  For all other services like gas and electric suppliers, insurance etc you can use comparison websites to compare and find the best price.

Meal planning can also be a great way to save money! By planning what you will be eating you can just buy the ingredients for your meals, check the cupboards and see what you already have in to stop you buying things you don't need. By knowing what you are having for dinner you are less likely to order a take away or pop into your local supermarket and spend too much money on a quick easy dinner.

Those are just a few ways that you can easily save money in the run up to Christmas, I know that I need to start meal planning again as this always saves up money and I should really write a budget for Christmas so I know what i'm getting everyone and how much i'm going to spend so I don't overspend.  How do you plan on saving money for the festive season?





LIFESTYLE: LOVING YOURSELF BY IMPROVING YOUR HEALTH

There are so many beauty articles out there about loving yourself, and many of them feel quite superficial. There’s nothing wrong with loving the way you look, but you should do it for yourself. You don’t have to please other people. Self-confidence is about feeling comfortable in your own skin rather than conforming to a particular look or style. It’s about protecting your physical and mental wellbeing. With that in mind, let’s talk about how you could love yourself by improving your health.


Your body.
If you want to love yourself by improving your health, you should start by taking care of your body. First of all, staying physically active is important. You don’t have to become a fitness expert who can crunch weights for hours at the gym. You don’t even have to gain an incredibly athletic physique. The goal is to simply stay healthy. Keeping your body moving will keep your heart and your mind healthy, so it’s not just about improving your weight. Still, when it comes to your waistline, you should simply aim to gain and maintain a consistent weight. That’s healthier than constantly fluctuating between weights.

Eating well is essential, too. The food you consume has a big effect on your mental state as well as your physical state. Your gut affects your thoughts, in other words (we can all attest to that fact). Rather than cutting down your diet, however, you just need to replace unhealthy foods with more nutritious alternatives. It’s still important to give your body the sustenance it needs. So, make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Broccoli and peas, for instance, will give you the iron you need (that’ll boost your energy levels). Do some home-cooking so you start eating more nutritious meals. This will improve your physical and mental state. In turn, you’ll start to feel better about yourself in terms of your body and your mind.

Your skin.
Many of us are self-conscious about our skin, but its appearance can always be improved by simply living a healthier lifestyle. In a sense, your skin tells you a lot about your health. Acne can be caused by stress or an unhealthy diet, for example. And dry skin can be caused by a lack of hydration. So, if you want to start loving your skin, you need to take care of yourself. Drink lots of water, and sleep properly. Of course, your skincare might go beyond a basic cosmetic routine. Perhaps you even want a minor cosmetic procedure, such as one involving removal of unwanted hair. You could get emla cream to apply before the procedure. That would make it less painful. The most important thing is that you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin. Taking care of yourself, physically and emotionally, will help to ensure that.


Your mind.

Another way to improve your self-esteem is to focus on the wellbeing of your mind. In fact, this might be the most important piece of advice you could take on board. After all, your perception of yourself is mental. So, it makes sense that focusing on your emotional health will help you to love yourself. Allow yourself time to relax on a daily basis. Have a long soak in the bath, read a good book, or simply catch up on a Netflix show.


*Collaborative post

EVENT: JOHN LEWIS SOLIHULL - MY JOHN LEWIS BEAUTY WEEKEND



I've just got home from such a lovely event at my local John Lewis, I was invited along to browse the event and let you all know about the My John Lewis beauty weekend which is taking place in store over the weekend! John Lewis have some fab offers on across the beauty department over the weekend, get 15% off selected beauty as well as complementary samples, treatments and much more. You can join My John Lewis online or in store by asking a John Lewis Partner.

This evening My John Lewis members were met with a lovely glass of bubbly on arrival and given the chance to win an incredible John Lewis beauty advent calendar worth over £250!! There were loads of amazing demonstrations going on, music by a Michael Buble tribute and of course some serious discount across the counters! There was beauty quiz to take part in to win more goodies and on purchases over £50, you will be entered into a prize draw to win another amazing prize. 

First, I checked out the Chanel demonstration where they were using some of their new and bestselling products to create a lovely everyday look! There's always Chanel consultants and specialists up on the counter who can help you with their amazing products! 

I then went for a browse around the beauty department to check out some of the amazing beauty products John Lewis have to offer. They stock so many incredible brands and have such a huge selection of products and wonderful partners to help you make the right purchase. They have a great selection of gift sets and Christmas gifts that you could stock up on, why not start shopping for those Christmas Gifts? Clarins are offering complementary gift wrapping and Liz Earle had loads of gorgeous gift sets that are exclusive to John Lewis so make sure to check them out!

There was a demonstration by YSL on the most incredible glitter eye look using their Sequin Crush glitter eyeshadow!

Back on the beauty department the lovely rituals lady was demonstrating the new Ritual of Ayurveda range! It smells incredible and there's loads of different products in the collection! I absolutely love the rituals foaming shower gels!! 

The Final demonstration was by Liz Earle and they had some impressive gifts to share! They started by sharing their essentials kit which includes some of Liz Earle's best sellers including their Award winning Cleanse and Polish and their lovely Superskin Moisturiser. The Relaxing Rituals skincare set is lovely and definitely on my wish list this Christmas. There's some amazing deals on the Liz Earle bundles so be sure to head over to the counter and check them out! 


Overall I had a wonderful evening and really hope some of you can check out the My John Lewis beauty weekend in store or online for some great savings! 
































[AD-GIFTED] LILY LULU QUILTED FAUX FUR HOODED COAT



Well Hello Autumn!!

Autumn is the perfect season for walks in the park, searching for conkers, kicking those crispy autumn leaves!! A must have for Autumn is a warm, waterproof coat with a huge hood! This coat from Lily Lulu ticks all of the boxes and is also gorgeous. 

I went for Black as most of my boots are black and I needed a new black coat. This style also comes in Red, Mustard and Khaki so it's a great find. 

It's super cosy, the puffer style makes it feel big warm and comfy! I love all of the gold hardware and the gold buckles are lovely. It also has a couple of zips on the back at the bottom which look nice too. It just makes the coat look really expensive and not plain. 

Its a short length coat, it looks a little longer on me as i'm short and was also wearing a high waist skirt.  It's a nice length, perfect for wearing with jeans, a skirt or dress! 

The main feature of this coat is the huge faux fur trim on the hood, this is detachable which is fab! Sometimes I like to take the fur off my coats to switch it up a little so it looks like a new coat. The faux fur trim is perfect for the autumn winter months and makes this coat super cosy for the cooler days.

It's such good quality and feels really sturdy and much more expensive than the price!

Overall i'm super happy with my new coat, i'd happily pay £65 for it, i've actually been eyeing up the Mustard one. It's such good quality and looks fab. It's going to be perfect for autumn/ winter especially my cold morning walks to work. 






* disclaimer, this coat has been gifted in return of a review on my blog.