Home & kitchen · Interests and Hobbies · Life

The New Home Checklist

Moving into a new home, whether it’s rented or bought, is an exciting time. It’s like a fresh start, a blank canvas, a new page on which you can jot down all of your ideas.

Homes express our personality more than anything else in our lives, provided that we are willing to put in the effort to get it decorated to our own taste. Even if we have small spaces to work with, it’s still fun to do. It’s even more important that we can reflect ourselves when we have children – we often feel like the ‘old you’ is missing when we become parents, and so moving into a house where you have the chance to display yourself all over again is the perfect opportunity to reclaim it.

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Bathrooms need to be practical when you have children, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be stylish too. When planning out what you are going to do in your bathroom, it doesn’t all need to be done in one big swoop. You can do it gradually over time and save yourself a great deal.

Take a look at bathroom furniture online for a better selection, generally speaking, and a cheaper price than the majority of stuff that you’d find in stores. Remember not to overload on the decorations, as these in the eyes of small children are just toys to play with. Sometimes they’ll try and go out of their way just to get their hands on them!

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Living Room 

This is the real chance to show off. The room that your visitors, family and friends will be going into more often than not. When you move into a new home, this is totally your chance to rid the house of whatever colour is on the walls and make your stamp on it.

Colours can drastically affect mood, so make sure that you are going for something that you would be happy to walk into regardless of what’s happened to you throughout the day. If you have children, go for a robust paint which allows plenty of wipe-downs to quickly get rid of fingermarks and other prints which may make their way onto your wall.

Put up pictures, posters and anything else that you can think of to show off your personality without having anything within arm’s reach. A very practical solution.

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This is the one place that you don’t have to prove who you are, what you like, or even how tidy you are. It should be a place to go into, switch off and forget about the world. Do whatever you want to do in here. Neutral colours give the impression that it’s a light and airy space, but if you prefer cosiness then opt for warmer tones.

Before you move, get rid of any clutter that has been taking up room in your old bedroom; this includes clothes, books and anything else that you haven’t used in over a year. It’s not something that needs to be transported over to your new abode; it’ll only be a literal waste of space when you get there. Replace it with things that bring you joy!

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Home & kitchen · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Style

Make Your House A Home 

Moving house is an exciting time, but it can sometimes be disappointing when you first get there.

When you were looking at the house, you could really see yourself living there. Now that you are, something doesn’t feel quite right. It can take a while to adjust and you might be thinking that you prefer your old house. Maybe you should have just stayed there. The new house isn’t usually the problem. The reason that you felt so comfortable in your old place, is that you’ve lived there for years. During that time you’ve gradually turned it from just being a house, into being your home.

There’s nothing wrong with the new place, it is just as amazing as you remembered it, but it isn’t your home. Yet. While there is always going to be a period of adjustment, there are a few things that you can do to make yourself feel more comfortable. Here are some great ways that you can easily make your house a home.


Choose Good Colours

One of the things that can make you feel uneasy about a new house is the fact that somebody else decorated it. They chose all of the colours, and they probably have different tastes to you. You’ll never feel at home here if you don’t redecorate. It’s surprising how much difference a good colour pallette can make.

Don’t choose anything too harsh. Instead, go for soft pastel colours that will be soothing, and help you start to relax in your new house. When you’re decorating the kitchen, make good use of the space that you have to ensure you will feel comfortable cooking in there.

Put Things On Display

Filling the house with things that are special to you will really help you to claim it as your own. Any family pictures that you have, need to go up immediately, as well as any artworks that you love. Doing this puts your stamp on the house and makes you feel like it’s really yours.

Make It Cosy

Good use of lighting can go a long way to making a house feel a lot more cosy, like a proper home. Avoid using any blue tinted, or bright white lights. They give the room a clinical feel, and sitting in a dentist’s waiting room isn’t exactly homely, is it?

You should also make sure that it is warm enough in every room, turn up the bathroom radiator, and make sure you draw the curtains to keep the heat in.


A few well placed plants can completely transform a room, bringing it to life in seconds. Not to mention its very good for your health. Plants help the air in the house to circulate so they stop it from getting too stuffy in there. They also increase your oxygen intake drastically, which improves general mood, so if you’re anxious about the new surroundings, then they can help a lot.

Unpack Properly 

It’s a pain, but unpacking everything makes the move feel final. If you’ve got boxes everywhere, it won’t feel like you really live there. As soon as you move in, unpack everything and find a new home for all of your belongings. It will help you to let go of your old place and settle in your new place.

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Home & kitchen · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh · Style

What Can You Do To Turn Your Small Kitchen Into A Hit?

With more than half of the new builds being too small for families, it’s no wonder that most homeowners are struggling to make small spaces work for them.

British houses are the smallest in Europe, and as a result, people sometimes find it difficult to make the most of their home.

Among the most common complaints, small houses have incredibly tiny kitchen, which can turn your evening cooking into a crowded nightmare. The kitchen is a room that can be easily overlooked, but that serves as your energy fuel throughout the day.

After all, don’t we all need to eat to stay alive? That’s where a small kitchen can be a problematic feature in your home. It’s tricky to stay healthy when the size and crowdedness of the kitchen become repulsing. So here are a few tips to embrace your small kitchen and make the most of it, and all of it on a budget.

A small kitchen

Organise The Storage Area

Small kitchens have a tendency to get easily crowded with appliances and cookware so that it becomes more and more difficult to use – or even to want to use. Like other small rooms, such as the bathroom, it is essential to organize your storage area so that you can keep the things you need out of sight and easily accessible.

As a rule of the thumb, your kitchen will need a minimum of three cupboards and a drawer. These are respectively to store your plates; glasses and bowls, to keep the pans and other cookware; and naturally, you will need a food cupboard for all tins, cans, sauces, and dried food. The drawer is for the cutlery. As simple as it might sound, you’ll be surprised to know that most people rapidly forgets about this storing rule.

Think Compact And Practical

There is a common misconception that small kitchen can’t be practical. In truth, they are perfectly functional if they are furnished smartly. This means that you need to look for small and practical appliances, such as compact kitchen sinks that are designed to take less room than a normal sink but fulfil the same functions.

Additionally, slimline electric appliances such as a fridge or dishwasher, are a great way of utilising the available space without taking over the room. In short, a small kitchen can be just as effective than a bigger one; all you need is a compact and slimline design.

Declutter For A Clean And Relaxed Area

Finally, the death of a small kitchen lies in clutter. People naturally accumulate more than they need. A minimalist kitchen is a design trend that is focused on small houses. At the core of it, the focus is set on manual tasks, maximising a few essentials instead of buying new gadgets that will collect dust on the side. This starts by getting rid of everything you need or use:

For example, do you really need more than two cookie cutters? The best way to deal with clutter is to launch a big spring cleaning operation and to remove anything that you haven’t used in over a year.

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Home & kitchen · Life · Style

Is It Possible To Create A Family Bathroom That Is Calming & Tranquil? 

When you add a little one into the equation, your whole life changes. From your career to your home, there is not one part of your life that having a child doesn’t change in one way or another. Out of everything, the one thing that changes the most is your home, as you have to ensure that it’s an environment which is child-friendly. This means that your home can lose some of its style and can change significantly.

Of course, just because adding a child to your family means changing things, that isn’t to say that you can’t still have a beautiful home that you love. Of all the rooms in the house that tend to change a lot after having kids, it’s the bathroom.

The fact is that it is possible to have a family bathroom that is also a calming and tranquil space, it’s just a case of thinking carefully about the design and decor, that’s all.

To help you create a family bathroom that is also a calming and tranquil place, below are some design tips.

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Be smart about the colour scheme

The key to success when it comes to designing a beautifully calming and tranquil bathroom is to get the colour scheme right. There are some colours that create a calming and relaxing vibe, and others that cause the brain to become more active, making it more difficult for you to relax. The best colours to use to create a calming bathroom are blues and greens, as these tones have been proven to create a calming atmosphere, which is why so many spas are decorated in them.

To ensure that your bathroom is as calming as possible, consider incorporating LED strip lights in either blue or green to the space. This will not only add extra light but will also give the room a calming glow.

Make storage space a priority

If there is one thing that ruins the calming atmosphere or a room, it’s mess. That’s why storage space is so important when you have little ones, as often family bathrooms are packed full of bathtime toys.

Minimalism is the key to creating a relaxing and tranquil bathroom, so having plenty of storage space to store bath toys, the kid’s soaps and bath creams, and towels and other bath time essentials in, is crucial. Ideally, you want this to be built-in storage, but if this isn’t possible, then there are other storage options you can consider.

Incorporate some foliage 

Believe it or not, adding a few houseplants to your bathroom can help to make the space look and feel more relaxing. Studies have shown that houseplants help to calm our minds and ease stress, so having them in your bathroom is a must. Just make sure that any potted plants are up on shelves away from where little hands can grab them.

The best plants for bathrooms are orchids, ivy, and cactuses.
So there you have it, everything that you need to know to create a family bathroom that is a calming and tranquil space.

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food · Home & kitchen · other · Product review · Recipes

Gousto Review, fresh recipe delivery box

I had heard about these fresh ingredients delivery boxes and had fancied trying one for ages. So when Tornado contacted me and offered me one to try I was really excited.

My children are fussy eaters and I often end up eating their boring children’s food, so it was really nice to have 2 days this week where we had “adult” food. But more importantly the recipes didn’t need loads of prep time and weren’t so complicated that I couldn’t help the kids with their homework while I cooked.

The box was delivered to my “safe place” because I wasn’t home, they carefully wrap the cold items with freezer packs and sheeps wool to keep it cold for several hours if you are out at the time of delivery:

The sheeps wool is a bit stinky, but it is environmentally friendly.

The selection of recipes to choose from is not huge (22 recipes) but there is a nice selection and changes frequently. I chose the Mushroom Dal with Coriander Chutney and Lemon Pepper Chicken with Tosemary Potatoes, but it was difficult making the decision there were 4 or 5 top contenders.

Neither recipe took over 45 minutes to make and both were surprisingly easy, my husband even made the Lemon Pepper Chicken while I was out, so it must be easy.

Both meals were delicious! The curry had lots of flavour and was juicy enough to have with rice and Naan Bread and the lemon chicken was amazingly flavoursome. They were really impressive recipes.

I was surprised how well priced they were as well, the 2 person box (with ingredients for 2 recipes) is just £27.49, which works out as £6.87 per serving, or it works out cheaper per serving if you increase it to 3 or 4 recipes, and even cheaper per serving if you use the family box (2 adults, 2/3 children) but personally my children are not adventurous enough to try these recipes.

We have a special offer code for you: enter TORNADO for a £40 discount spread on the first and second orders. 

*note: Gousto box was provided free in exchange for a review. This does not effect my opinion and all words are my own.

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Home & kitchen · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Style

Breath Spring into Your Bathroom Without Breaking the Bank

It’s not always easy to know how to redesign the rooms in our homes. We stare at the same spaces day in day out so it’s difficult to sometimes know where to start. Well, we say room by room. And one room that tends to get forgotten in the annual spring clean, is our bathrooms. It always seems much more alluring to play around with our much loved bedrooms and living rooms and so our little bathing boudoirs can sometimes be neglected.

Well not anymore, here is our cheat-sheet on how to breathe new spring life into your bathroom without breaking the bank.

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First Things First

It’s unavoidable. It’s time to get those marigolds on and roll up those sleeves. It’s really the only place to start with a bathroom, so make sure it’s sparking and you can see your face in that U-bend before you even think about redecorating or redesigning.

Get Organised

The same as any room, organization is king. So try to store as much as possible in cabinets and bathroom storage units and as for the rest, try to organise into containers, jars and bottles. Soaps on dishes, toothbrushes in pots and everything in its place will instantly lift your bathroom into a calm and relaxed space.

Replace Mats and Curtains

Tired and old bathrooms mats are an item in the house that should be replaced annually. Not only can they be unhygienic but due to the humid atmosphere they can look old very quickly. Check out a good bathroom textile website for cheap and cheerful bathroom rugs to breathe a bit of freshness into this room.

Clean and fresh bathroom curtains are also really important to ensure your bathroom looks pretty. Look for a quality curtain website for some ideas of textiles that would work well for your bathroom window.

Create Ambience

In order to make sure your bathroom is a thing a beauty, a place you like to relax and unwind think of ways you can create a welcoming and relaxing ambience.

Treat yourself to some beautiful scented candles and some colourful potpourri to make sure your bathroom always smells gorgeous and looks inviting

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

It’s no secret that mirrors can make a room appear bigger. As bathrooms tend to be one of the smaller rooms in our home it’s definitely worth investing in one or two good quality mirrors to really bring the space to life.

Freestanding mirrors are an ideal complement to any bathroom. Stylish framed mirrors can be hung on the wall if space is an issue, or even a little make-up mirror on a bathroom ledge can add a nice dynamic to your bathroom.

Feeling Really Motivated?

For those of you that are feeling particularly committed to this challenge why not treat your bathroom to a lick of paint? Try a different colour scheme to change the mood of the room, or even just freshening up its existing colour with a fresh coat of paint will do your bathroom the World of good.

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Gardening · Home & kitchen · Interests and Hobbies · Keep or clear challenge · Life · Live, love, laugh · Style

Cheap Renovation Ideas That Will Boost The Value Of Your Home

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Renovating your home can be a costly process, but it needn’t be. There are plenty of ways to add value to your home without taking out a loan. Here are just a few examples…

Go green

Green properties are becoming more sought after, not just because they help save the environment by lowering your fossil fuel usage, but because they also lower the costs of bills. As a result an eco-friendly property can often sell for more than a non-eco-friendly one.

There are countless methods to eco-vate your home. Windows can be fitted with double glazing to keep your rooms warmer and prevent having to use as much gas. Draft protectors can be added to doors to stop heat escaping (you can buy these and do this yourself!). You can also insulate your loft relatively cheaply with thermal wool to stop heat escaping here.

Some green renovation ideas can be costly such as replacing a boiler, adding cavity wall insulation or installing solar panels, although they will reduce your bills dramatically if you plan to live in the house for a few more years before selling up. Look out for renovation specialist companies such as Bright Green Homes that can offer extra ideas.

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Have a bath

If you’ve just got a shower, adding a bath to your bathroom could up the value of your property significantly. Bath tubs aren’t particularly expensive, and you can get dual purpose bath/showers from companies such as Bathshop321.

The only concern may be space – some bathrooms are too small to fit a tub. You may also struggle to get a tub into the bathroom in some cases without knocking down a wall or removing a bannister.

Paint over controversial colours

Believe it or not, the colour of your property can add or reduce value. Some colours are worth avoiding if you’re thinking of selling up, as they could limit interest from buyers. Pink is one colour to avoid as it can be overtly feminine. Black can also put a lot of people off and be difficult to paint over.

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Tidy your garden

An unruly garden can also take value off your home. If your back yard is looking scruffy, it may be time to put your green fingers to use and cut back some of that shrubbery. It may even be worth hiring a gardener. Consider planting flowers and adding aspects such as patio paving or decking that could increase the aesthetic appeal of the garden.

Convert your loft

Ok, so a loft conversion isn’t cheap, but relatively speaking it can be worth the boost in value. Converting your loft into a livable space essentially adds a new room to your property, turning a three-bed property into a four-bed.

It’s much cheaper than building a new room via an extension, as the walls and groundwork is already there. Not all loft spaces can be converted as easily – if you have to raise the roof or knock out another room to add a staircase, the conversion cost may not be worth the rise in value.

However, if you only need to add electrics and insulation and can fit a staircase without disturbing masonry, it’s well worth investing in.