Sunday, 28 August 2016

Finding My Interiors Inspiration

I think soon we will be able to tackle our dining room; it’s currently a bit of an eyesore, which explains why I rarely take pictures in there.  We have a gorgeous family sized table now with a bench but we desperately need to have the walls skimmed and new flooring added.  I have been getting some interiors inspiration in preparation; I want quite a classic look.  I would really like to purchase a dresser similar to the one pictured, it’s perfect to showcase a few belongings without making the room appear cluttered.  I love the quirky details too like a teacup lamp.

Our dining room is a decent sized but it has some flaws, it’s very dark in there perfect for an intimate meal for two but not practical for the majority of the time.  Although as of yet I am not sure what type of lights to have fitted, I would rather have lots of natural light, but the window in our room is quite small compared to every other room in the house.

I want a bright cheerful countryside dining room, with our existing big table, lots of character, fresh flowers from the garden and a serving of afternoon tea.  It’s interesting to read that the colour magnolia is quite clinical, we are guilty of it being our go to paint choice… perhaps we should learn to experiment and try pastel colours for a change!  Otherwise I think every room in our house will be magnolia and it probably does get a bit repetitive after a while.  Although its grey that interests me at the moment, I have noticed more and more people using it effectively.  I think its time I thought about adding more character through the choice of colour, furniture and lighting.  A lot of the original features have gone from our old house, but we could look at making the best of what is left.  We have high ceilings and spacious rooms to work with.

Baytree Interiors are all about creating a home you love.  We have bought the forever house but are still in the process of filling it with furniture and accessories.  Each room is probably almost double the size of that in our precious home, so our scarce belongings look quite lost.  With one credit card gone and another with a big dent made in what we owe, we really can think about renovating the house again and after reading that article about interiors I am excited to get cracking again.  Our previous house had a kitchen diner, not a separate dining room like we can have here, so its time to get some ideas and move forward!

My parents like showing visiting friends our house, but I do get embarrassed with the state of some of the rooms.  We needed so much building work done to the outside the interior is sadly lacking.  Although each year sees us achieve something new so hopefully 2017 will see more progress, I just will take it slowly and try not to feel overwhelmed with how much still needs to be finished.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Saving Money with LPG

I am always a fan of trying to save a bit of money when I can so was very interested in the following infographic produced by Calor Gas.  We have an oil burner and it does seem to have its own set of problems, if we ever run out of oil and then have a re-delivery its often hard to get it started again, it ends up having an air lock which requires the boiler to be re-primed each time!  As we always tend to leave it last minute ordering more oil it happens quite regularly and it can get expensive calling out someone to get it going again (unless of course you know what your doing yourself!).  So I do think we need to look at other options, researching lpg suppliers UK to see what is available instead, as its not always easy to get someone out quickly when your in desperate need for a nice hot bath you want everything to run smoothly.

So I am all for a boiler requiring less maintenance – life can be hard enough when you have two boys that keep you on your toes, you do not need the boiler giving you a hard time too!  I want life as simple and uncomplicated as possible and that includes the ability to get hot water and warmth when I want it.

According to the infographic below domestic oil is the third most stolen item in the countryside, that is quite an alarming statistic and another reason I won’t be too distraught when our current boiler gives up the ghost.

LPG boilers also emit less carbon dioxide than heating oil so by making the change you are doing your bit for world something that interests my youngest as every night he wants to have a chat about the O-Zone layer, he seems to have a bee in his bonnet and is really concerned bless him!  I think he would be delighted to hear something so simple could make a difference.  Our boiler is hanging on (just!) so I won’t put off the change forever.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Turning the Tables on Technology with Dolmio #TechFreeTables

At dinnertime I try and banish ALL technology from the dinner table!  It’s not always easy; hubbie has just found the virtues of Pokemon Go and is convinced he will miss a rare one if he switches his phone off for more than a few minutes at a time.  Admittedly he would not start playing until his own meal was finished, but he would wolf it down well before we even made a dent into our own dinners.  I think we need to lead by example and if we don’t bring a phone to the dinner table the boys will hopefully learn to follow suit, without it turning into a battle.

Eldest has recently had his first mobile phone and can often be found texting his best friend, I wouldn’t mind so much as its good to encourage close friendships but most of the messages are completely random: “dear sir please let me dance” and “I am sending you my messages from the future”– and this can go on and on until he either runs out of credit or I moan at him to stop!!!  Technology has its place of course; when we are out and about I would be lost without my phone to keep my blog ticking over.

But I still want dinnertime to be about us talking as a family, hopefully opening up conversation so we can learn more about each other’s days, our highs and lows.  Although from the sounds of it I am not the only mum finding it hard to set tech boundaries, in the Dolmio® survey of 2,000 UK respondents one in three households have unsuccessfully tried to ban technology from the dinner table.  It really is a big distraction; if your focus is on a screen your attention is away from your family so I can see why so many families want to ban it.  I do not think it’s asking too much for everyone to down their phones and laptops for such a short period each day to spend quality time together.  It’s very difficult though as it’s become second nature to be attached to our phones, even I feel a little lost when it’s not close to hand.  It’s important to have a break though, step away from the technology and give your children the attention they deserve – personally I try and hide everything out of sight, so everyone has no choice but to chat to each other!

Dolmio want to help families reconnect around the dinner table, they realise its not going to be easy especially after discovering that the average family have 12 internet-connected devices!!!  I think we are a bit shy of that figure at around eight, but still it illustrates just how much we have come to surround ourselves in technology.  Fortunately Louise Redknapp is working alongside Dolmio in their bid for tech free tables, she has some fantastic practical tips that can make all the difference, my favourite is the one where the first to access technology at the table has to do the washing up, so simple but extremely effective especially for my own work shy boys!  I think disconnecting them from the internet is a classic as you can see from the video below.


I also have a fabulous Dolmio hamper to giveaway (worth £50) as I would love to hear your tips for banishing technology at the dinner table.  

If you would like to enter please fill out the form below by the 26th of September.

Win a Dolmio Hamper Worth £50