Tuesday, 22 August 2017

How to Decorate on a Budget

Giving your home a fresh new look doesn't have to break the bank, some of the most simple solutions can have the biggest impact on your room. We've got a few tips and tricks to get your room looking Ideal Home ready in no time.

Don't underestimate the effect of paint; it's easy and inexpensive way to have your home looking like brand new. Whether you want to make a statement with bright colours or create a focal point with a feature wall, paint has endless options with easy ways to find the perfect shade.

Gloomy lighting can have an adverse effect on your mood, so make sure to choose your lighting wisely. Swap your mismatched table lamps for stylish matching ones that give a touch of elegance to your room. Placing a light either side of your sofa can help to make the room seem more vibrant and comfortable.

Mirrors can also be a useful cost friendly light trick. It's easy to add shimmer and perk up the room with mix and match styles, not to mention it adds a touch of elegance to even the smallest of spaces!

It doesn't cost a penny to use what you already have! Why not swap a few things around to change the feel of the room? Sometimes having a good old shuffle around can help you see which pieces you love and which have just become clutter. Remember to ask yourself whether you need everything you see, if not then drop the furniture off at a charity shop, or have a go at selling them on eBay for a few extra quid.

Instead of getting rid of your furniture, how about updating it? Instead of splashing out on a new armchair, look into reupholstery and made to measure sofa coversIf you're feeling a little daring, go for a bold pattern and see how your simple chair can become a statement piece!

Sofas are expensive, so if you're not in a position to be splashing out on a new one, then how about spending a fraction of the price on updating your pillows? If you're not sure which colours to go for, take some inspiration from your walls and flooring.

Don't waste your window space! Transform your dull window with a no effort roller blind; you can either opt for a subtle floral print or go all out with statement stripes! Whichever you choose is sure to give your new room the bargain boost it needs!

Playing with scale can be a fantastic way to add the wow factor to your room no matter how small it is. Allowing one large piece of furniture or artwork to take centre stage can bring a feeling of grandeur to your room in one quick, easy and cost-friendly step.

How about investing in wall d├ęcor? Look for pre-framed suppliers such as All Posters to avoid a nasty surprise! Sites like this offer a range of ready to hang pictures and posters meeting every budget including ready made frames and canvas transfers.

What's your favourite way to transform your room from drab to fab on a budget?

Developing a Play Area in your Garden

I have mentioned on my blog before how you can make your garden child proof, safety is very important but so is getting the right balance with making the garden a fun and appealing place for children to play. 

Time spent outdoors is vital for the health and wellbeing of children, I think our garden is lacking the wow factor to coax the boys off their computer screens!!!  I want to enhance our outdoor space so they have the motivation to switch off and head outside without too much nagging from mum.  

Growing up I was always encouraged to play outdoors, my parents were never too precious about their garden, we could make potions and dig in the flower beds.  My granddad was an avid gardener but he always made us feel welcome in his garden, I have so many lovely memories helping him pick out vegetables and tend his garden.  I want my own children to have good memories of their garden too!

Here are a few tips to get you started creating a play area for your children:

Think about surfacing

I don’t think our garden is particularly child friendly, we have lots of tarmac and the boys are always getting cuts and scrapes when they fall.  I would prefer a softer surface for them to play on, I have been looking at a variety of play area surfaces to find the most suitable option.  Our garden is a good size so I want a combination of grass to encourage nature and wildlife and other surfaces that make it safer for the boys to play.  The advantage of play area mats is that they can be very colourful and you can quickly make your garden a bright and welcoming place.

Play equipment you can add

Depending on the space available in your garden you can either buy permanent play equipment that is set up all the time for your children to use or something that is easy to pack away when you need the area for other purposes.  If you are limited for space look out for lightweight, compact, foldable options that can be stored in a garage or shed when not in use.

Consider wildlife

My two are members of the RSPB and like spotting different birds in our garden, I think we should all try and think about nature when developing our gardens - doing our small part to help creatures that share the space.  When working on the design see what you can incorporate to encourage more wildlife into your garden, think about bird feeders, an insect house and grow native wildflowers to help bees.  My boys have saved lots of bee’s in the garden giving them some sugar water and they always feel so proud when they see the bee fly off!

If your children are older you might consider adding a pond, if they are younger you can still encourage nature by building a mini pond its a safer option and you still might see newts, frogs and dragonflies enjoying the water in your garden.

Good luck developing your play area, let me know if you have any other ideas.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Sleep Patterns and Conquering the Sleeping Routine

After the birth of a baby it is normal for the parents to feel sleep deprived as the baby can wake up every two hours for a feed or nappy change.  But how long can you expect this to continue, when is the best time to start training the baby to sleep the whole night?

This is a normal question new parents ask a pediatrician and the answer is clinically a six-month baby can sleep throughout the night without any need for late night snacking. So how do you condition a baby’s mind to follow the night sleep regimen? Below are some suggestions that will help you to conquer the sleeping routine and have a good night sleep after many months surviving on the bare minimum.

Start Early

It’s true that a six-month baby can sleep  soundly for the whole night but why not start the training early? From the second month start developing a sleep pattern for the baby and stick to it. Set a time when they should be given the last feed before bedtime, change of clothes, humming a soft lullaby and help your child sleep by rubbing his back. It will set the tone and when the same routine is followed every day, their mind will condition the body to sleep at the set time.  It's working towards providing the baby with as many cues as possible that its sleep time.

Understand Child Anxiety

It is normal in the beginning for the baby to wake up regularly in the night and cry as the child is used to being in their mothers arm much of the time. 

Dealing with separation will make a baby anxious and coping with change is not easy for a newborn. So be available to relax the crying baby but it is not necessary to feed him as it may lead to over feeding and also condition his mind to associate crying with being fed.

Set the right environment

A child should have his own space that he can identify as his own where they feel comfortable and secure.  Get a small crib for the baby, some toys and put soothing music on. He will slowly identify with the surroundings and whenever you will take him there he will instantly feel comfortable and relaxed. For cribs and toys check out baby stores and avail amazing offers at Bydiscountcodes.co.uk to shop in your budget.

Change his clothes 

Normally, a baby wakes up at night if he is hungry, uncomfortable or has wet himself. Make sure to change his clothes into something comfortable to ensure that he is comfortable, does not feel itchy, cold or hot due to extra or fewer layers. Check out some brands in the Baby and Toddler category to get deals on baby clothes and accessories.

Stick to the routine

Lastly, planning is easy but the implementation is a task that needs to be done with due patience and discipline. So stick to the routine with minimal cheat days and your baby and you will enjoy a sound sleep at night.

To conclude, nobody wants to be strict with a newborn but it is essential to set good habits early on. It will help you get the rest you need as a parent to tackle the challenges you have ahead.  Don't forget to read my tips on surviving on little sleep till you establish a routine that works!