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Have you made plans for your long-awaited trip to a different country or continent? With the excitement associated with travelling abroad, you may easily forget to consider all the safety measures you need to take. Although it is impossible to guarantee a hundred percent safety, there are some pointers you should have in mind when travelling so you can ensure you are safe throughout. Here are some factors to consider when travelling abroad.

  • Get the Right Vaccination

Always ensure you are physically examined by your medical practitioner to ascertain that you are in the right condition to travel abroad. Moreover, you need to understand the health situation of the country you intend to visit. A lot of international travels usually require vaccination before arriving at the destination. Therefore, find out about the health concerns of the place you are visiting and get immunised before you can start your trip. That way, you will be confident that you are protected from any possible infections.

  • Be Street Smart While Travelling

Robbery is the greatest threat to common safety for those travelling to major cities across the world. This can range from pickpocketing to the use of trickery or other cunning methods to steal your possessions. When travelling through crowded areas, make sure you place your items in a visible place. It is also advisable to put on your daypack in front as opposed to the back to prevent someone from accessing its contents without your knowledge. Wearing your money belt will also make it impractical for any individual to steal your money.

  • Do not carry all your Belongings Together

Making a travel backpack

When travelling, it can be quite tempting to keep your credit cards, traveller’s checks, cash, and identifications in your wallet. This is a bad decision as you could end up losing all these items at once. Leave any credit cards, IDs, money, and checks you will not be using back in your hotel. Separate the identification and monetary items and place them in different sections of your pockets or bag. This is an important safety tip as it prevents you from losing all your valuable at a go should a person steal your wallet.

  • Avoid Talking to Strangers

Of course, you will need to interact with people abroad because this is the best part of going on a trip. However, you need to be cautious not to get carried away to the extent of trusting strangers with your personal information. Be careful about what you say to them as you could easily reveal information that could make you vulnerable. Do not engage in a conversation with anyone who appears untrustworthy. Also, do not accompany a stranger to any place unless they are licensed tour guides. Putting your trust in just anyone can be very risky.

Conclusion – Staying Safe While Travelling Abroad

When travelling abroad, you need to make sure you take all the necessary steps to stay safe. Avoid any compromising situation and do not interact with suspicious individuals. Most important of all, get vaccinated before you can leave your home country.   

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IT Cosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder 50+ UVA UVB SPF Review

Welcome back to my IT Cosmetic review series.  Today I’m reviewing a product developed by plastic surgeons.  A CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+. 

If you are wanting to see the rest of my series then here are the links so far :

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Rosy Tone

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Neck Cream

This CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder is becoming my firm favourite, as it’s so incredibly quick to use and very effective.

Made with Drops of Light Technology, this lightweight powder foundation transforms the look of your skin using optical-blurring pigments, and visually camouflages imperfections while providing sun protection. 

This is so brilliant if you are rushing out of the door and want to give your skin leaves your skin feeling soft and the coverage is extremely good and blends very easily. On my cheeks, I have a lot of redness and broken capillaries and it really covers easily, as it does around my drier eye area where I’m darker. I actually applied it with the sponge provided, then buffed it with a brush afterwards slightly.

Infused with hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed collagen, niacin and peptides, this smooth powder formula also gives you completely buildable coverage that doesn’t settles into lines or pores—for a flawless-looking complexion finish!

Key Benefits of IT Cosmetics Airbrush Perfecting Powder
  • Provides physical SPF50+
  • Lightweight, blurring pigments
  • Sheer-to-buildable, flawless-looking coverage
  • Enriched with anti-aging peptides, hydrolyzed collagen and hydrolyzed silk

I’m not brilliant at putting on foundation, as I very rarely used it until around 2-3 years ago and when I do I’m nervous about blending.  Honestly, this takes all the effort out of it, it’s just so easy to apply, plus it totally covered all of my skin imperfections. I’ve tried it on its own as a foundation but also over my foundation as a finishing powder. Very impressed.  My only criticism would be that there are only 5 shades, however as I’ve only used the light shade, I do think it was a great match to my skin, so maybe it is very adaptable to different skin tones? I would use this powder in summer especially, it really does give an airbrushed feel and a matt finish to the face, I do feel very ‘finished’ when I am wearing it.

I do hope you have enjoyed this series…is there anything from the range that you recommend?

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Collaborative Post

Shutters Manchester contacted me to discuss how I think mothers cope with the changing needs of children’s rooms…from that I’ve created this blog post as it’s something all of us mums do think about.

When you’re decorating your child’s bedroom, you want it to last. It has to be resilient enough to cope with the tantrums of toddlers and teenagers, flexible enough to cater to changing tastes and yet personal enough to keep on feeling like the most welcoming place in the world. Trying to do all that in just one room is quite a challenge. I’ve found that the best place to start is with a solid set of shutters.

You can buy shutters from here (Shutters Manchester) and when you look at what’s available you’ll understand why they’re such a good investment. You can get them cut to fit any size or shape of window. Although there are lots of styles to choose from, if your child is still a toddler when you buy them I recommend opting for full panel shutters, simply because they can take the most damage. Even café style shutters, however, are remarkably resilient. They won’t tear like curtains or fall apart like blinds if your child swings on them. They can even survive being punched by small fists, licked and chewed, and any superficial damage can be painted over.

With the right finish, shutters can be drawn on with crayons or coloured pencils or even felt tip pens and then just wiped clean. You’ll also have the option of covering them in blackboard paint so they can be chalked on. When your child gets a little older, they can help to paint decorative pictures of patterns on them or adorn them with stickers. When wall space runs out, teenagers can attach posters to them. They won’t sag like curtains and it takes decades for wear and tear to show – indeed, there are Medieval houses out there that still have their original shutters – so you really can expect them to last.

Studies have shown that sleeping in complete darkness is important to the development of children’s eyes. I’ve never found anything that blocks out the light better than shutters. This is also helpful for teenagers, who face high rates of insomnia. Although darkness can make children more nervous about monsters and other imagined threats, I found that mine were braver when I showed them that our solid shutters made the windows really secure. With this additional fortification, no monsters could reach them from outside.

Fun for kids but with a timeless elegance which ensures they won’t cramp older children’s style, shutters are very good at surviving children’s changing preferences. They also look good with practically any other décor that changes in the room, from paint to wallpaper to furniture styles. They even made my neighbours happier as they helped to provide sound insulation at the stage when my kids were always shouting and when they got older and started playing their music at high volume.

Many things change about children’s rooms as they grow, to the point where one day you’ll no longer recognise your original creation. One thing that doesn’t need to change is the shutters – you may end up keeping them for many years even after your child is grown and has left home.

Collaborative Post with Shutters Manchester.

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Kegal Angel Review – Collaborative Post

In this post, I am collaborating with Kegal Angel. The Kegel Angel has been developed with the aim of achieving optimum pelvic health and tone for women. This is something I’ve been considering trying for some time, and so when Kegal Angel got in contact, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity.  Also as I know a lot of my readers are women and post 35 years old, I thought you too might find it interesting to look at a Kegal Angel review.

I’ll never forget after one child, my friends and I were mucking around on a trampoline, and they both were laughing about how hard it was as you bounce up and down.  They’d both had a couple of children. I remember not really understand what they meant…well now two children down, and absolutely no pelvic floor exercising I completely get it now!

Kegal Angel – What’s in the box

How Much and Where to Buy?

It costs £199, though currently, I can see it on offer at £149. You can buy it directly HERE at Kegal Angel or on Amazon where it is also £149.

Why might you choose a Pelvic Floor Toner, such as Kegal Angel ?

• Improve Bladder Control.
• Reduce Little Bladder Leaks.
• Reduce the Urge and Frequency of Urination.
• Improve the Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence.
• Increases muscle strength.
• Relieve pain.
• Restore youthful vaginal tone for increased sexual sensation.

How to us the Kegal Angel

Kegal Angel Review

  • Once out of the box its very simple, you need to rinse the probe (left in the above image) first of all.  Then you need to attach two leads and add a 9V battery, which isn’t included. Make sure you then sit down and read the instructions.
  • To ease insertion of the probe a good quality lubricant is something that is recommended.  The lubricant will also help improve the
    transfer of the electrical impulses from the probe to your muscles.
  • Get into a comfortable position. Inserting a probe is similar to inserting a tampon.
  • Gently insert the ‘head’ end of the probe into your vagina/anus. The base part of the probe should always be outside of your body.
  • The intensity and the strength is completely controlled by the device (right-hand side of the above image) The Kegal Angel has cutting
  • Once the programme is complete, clean the probe and store in the handy bag.
My Thoughts on the Kegal Angel

I didn’t do kegal or pelvic floor exercises after my children.  I remember everyone including my midwife and all the magazines talking about them, but I didn’t ever make time for them. Fast forward to now and I’m also perimenopausal so any tightening that comes from using the Kegal Angel I thought would be hugely beneficial to me.

I liked that there were programmes to suit you and your needs. That made using it a lot easier than I thought it would be. Including P09 – Pelvic Floor Workout an excellent overall pelvic floor workout, Which is good for menopausal women. This is the one I started out on. I thought the probe was small and comfortable to use. I’m just over two weeks into using it, and I’ve already noticed a difference.  Less of those oops moments that I’d been experiencing.  I didn’t experience pain or irritation.

The sensation when using it wasn’t at all uncomfortable.  I used it lying down (which it recommends as well as seated) and I was able to read, watch TV and work without feeling distracted.  I’m going to continue using it, as I am so impressed with the results.

I feel as if my stomach is slightly flatter and I know that this could be a side effect of the machine, which I am delighted to note, so hopefully, this is something that will continue.

Using a gentle pulse, the Kegel Angel stimulates the pelvic floor muscles to expand, contract, and strengthen. A small probe is placed just a few centimeters into the vagina, controlled by a digital device you can hold in your hand. The device offers different workouts for different intimate issues.

One additional thing to note is that the probe usually lasts between 1-2 months, so in order to get the most from the machine they recommend that you change it for a new one priced at £29.

I’m going to update this post once I have used it for a little longer so that I can give a true idea of all of the things I have noticed over the coming weeks.

I do hope that this is helpful.  Have you ever tried a pelvic floor exerciser?  I’d love to know what you think.

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The Ana Mum Diary by Amanda Cottingham - 2w ago

Sometimes we wish our bedrooms could be bigger. We’ve all been there and we all have to make the most of the, sometimes limited, space that we have. Beds tend to take up the most space, but unfortunately, are the most important thing in our bedroom alongside storage space. Can you combine the two? The simple answer is, yes! So here’s some tips to freeing up space in your bedroom.

Unsplash

Introducing the storage bed

Storage boxes and bulky cupboards are not the way forward, and they don’t look good. Bed suppliers like Bed Guru have an amazing selection of storage beds that are an incredibly convenient storage and space solution. Not only do they take up as much space as a normal bed, but also have a great space for storage under your mattress.

These beds often feature a lifting divan frame (as seen below). Essentially, they lift from the base and the space can be used for storage of anything from mattresses to clothes. The great thing is, they only take up as much space as a normal bed and can be pushed up against the wall ensuring no space is compromised.

Is a double bed really necessary?

We all naturally want more space to stretch out in when we sleep but is it really that necessary? If you’re sleeping by yourself, it probably isn’t. Double beds take up an awful lot of space and can block doors and make accessing the space in your bedroom awkward.

You need to be realistic about your space and utilise it to the maximum. With that in mind, why not try a small double bed? They don’t take up as much space as a double bed, but still, give you a little extra wiggle room. If you push them against the wall, you’ll still feel like you have loads of space.

Think about guests

When it comes to guest bedroom, it’s often a forgotten area until guests actually come to stay. It’s likely you’ll regularly have guests round so think about the space that they’ll need when they’re in your home.

Single beds are always an option but obviously, if you have more than one guest it’s not going to be a very comfortable experience. Double beds or small doubles are probably your way forward. As guests aren’t a permanent fixture, they don’t need as much space, so maybe stretch to a double bed.

Keeping a single bed pressed up against the wall will ensure they have plenty of room to get ready and move around.  If it’s a double bed then it may be a good idea to keep it in the middle so both parties can exit the bed with ease.

These are just some simple tips and tricks you can put in place in your home to fully maximise the space that you have. Just a couple of small changes can make a massive difference to your bedroom, and finally, give you the spacious bedroom of your dreams.

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Todays Outdoor Dining Collaborative Post is thanks to Jacamo.

Do you love eating outside? We do, and on average households in the UK have 10 BBQ’s a year. I’m sure last year that average increased a little with the long hot summer we had. What kind of outside dining is your favourite?  We love a burger, veggie for me.  I make a mean spicy halloumi kebab with peppers and mushrooms, but we also adore BBQ’d sweetcorn on the side. Last weekend we were lucky enough to be invited for a BBQ with a difference, a pizza from an outdoor pizza oven.

Outdoor Dining – Pizza Oven

There’s something about cooking outside that just make the food taste better. We’d love to invest in a pizza oven like this. My husband loves cooking outside, he finds it relaxing, especially when he gets to experiment with flavours.  I love the prep side and all assembling of the side dishes.  So we make a good BBQ team I think.  Whatever we decide on though it has to be accompanied for us by a huge salad packed full of different textures and of course something to drink too.

Outdoor Dining – So happy with her pizza

You can see on the below graphic made by Jacamo some facts about the UK and their love of BBQ’s. I love the recipes that have been shared.  I think my top tips would be as follows:

  1. Make sure the BBQ and all of the implements are clean. Everything is refrigerated before being cooked or eaten. That everyone washes their hands.
  2. Make life easier for yourself and do the prep first, so that you can then relax and enjoy it.
  3. Have a container to bring all of the condiments and seasoning out in one go.  You always forget things and this way you are only making one trip…hopefully!
  4. Plastic/bamboo – We have a large set of plates and drinking cups to use outside that won’t break. Especially important if there are children or pets around.
  5. Lots of napkins. You can pick up cloth ones in the sale really cheaply. I love mismatched ones to give an eclectic look to a table.
  6. A large jug of water with ice, lemon or cucumber. Keep hydrated in the warm weather.

So today I thought I’d share with you my perfect BBQ salad, that we love in the summer. Something fresh with lots of different textures.

Cyprus Salad

The perfect summer BBQ salad.

Ingredients

  • 4 sticks of celery, if they have the leaves on them, add those too.
  • 1 whole cucumber
  • 1 green pepper
  • 8 tomatoes
  • large handful of walnuts
  • 4-6 sliced dried figs (they are hard to find in the UK as we usually sell soft ones)
  • 1 pack of Halloumi
  • 3 tablespoons of capers from a jar

Dressing

  • Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil per person
  • 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar per person
  • A little sea salt

Method

  1. Chop the cucumber into bitesize pieces.
  2. Finely chop the celery too, using the less stringy hearts of the celery, and adding the leaves if you have them.
  3. Quarter the tomatoes, smaller if they are really large.
  4. Finely slice the green pepper.
  5. Lightly chop the walnuts and then slice the figs.
  6. These should then be all added to a salad bowl with the capers and mixed together.
  7. Grill the halloumi, which should be sliced lengthways.  I recommend doing this as thinly as you can, I just think it tasted better after grilling. Make sure you do both sides.
  8. For the dressing add the ingredients together and whisk.  Add it to the salad at the very last minute, you can also add some greek oregano for a stronger flavour.

That’s it a simple Cyprus salad, that is perfect for a summer BBQ!

Thanks again to Jacamo for collaborating with me on this post.

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The Ana Mum Diary by Amanda Cottingham - 3w ago

Review – AD.

Over half term, we headed to Derby to stay at a Saco Apartment. Saco Apartments have 80,000 stylish serviced apartments in over 260 destinations worldwide. In the UK there are various locations including London, Jersey, Glasgow, Nottingham and Manchester. We’d never stayed in them before, but when we did a little investigation on the website, we really liked the idea of staying somewhere that would combine a hotel with staying at home and all of the comforts that this provides.

Saco Apartment – Derby

We were in the top corner apartment, you can see in the above image where the roof becomes a triangle. It was just on the edge of the city, within easy walking distance (less than 5 minutes) to a host of restaurants and a further 5 minutes to shops.  We got there by car, and it was pretty easy to find, felt secure with its own gated car parking with a keypad entry system.

The apartment we had was two bedrooms on two levels. One bedroomed Saco apartments are available too.  Our bedrooms were on the ground floor.  So the living area benefitted from huge balconies on the top floor.  All of the linens and towels were provided, and our first impression was that it was clean and tidy, modern and very large and airy.

Saco Apartment – Looking from the hallway to the bedroom

I love it when you arrive somewhere and you are all exploring everything.  There were three balconies, one in the main bedroom and two in the living space. Also, there was an ensuite shower and toilet as well as the main bathroom.  The hallway that led onto the bedroom and stairs was very large.

Main Bedroom – A and I

Balcony

Other apartments around the country may be different but we were able to get into the Saco Apartment at 4pm, we could leave before 10am in the morning. It had been a really warm day when we arrived so we enjoyed sitting on the balcony taking in the breeze and the sound of water, as this is known as the Mill House, and there was a small running stream alongside.

The Living Space

This included a kitchen with all of the things necessary to make a meal if you needed to. A cooker, fridge, dishwasher and plenty of storage. We were left with a small carton of milk and a few tea and coffee supplies with some cereal too.

Kitchen

I would say that the kitchen could do with a little upkeep, as though, it was very clean and tidy, it seemed a little tired in places. Small things like the top rack of the dishwasher was broke and some of the doors didn’t seem to want to close. Overall though it was very usable, and we enjoyed using it for our breakfasts each day. all of the dinnerware and cutlery was provided too.

More casual dining at the breakfast bar as well as the dining area.

There is free wifi available and a TV with a few channels to choose from if you were thinking of staying in and relaxing.  We were out and about mostly o didn’t really use these much.  We did test them out for the review, and both worked great. You can upgrade the wifi, we could see the price to do this, but to be honest, the standard wifi was good enough to use social media and even stream a movie. The living room felt comfortable and relaxing for a family of four.

I was so impressed by how large the apartment was.  We didn’t feel cramped at all. If the sofa had been a sofa bed, I’d have said this apartment was big enough to sleep 6 easily.  When I looked at the pricing, which does vary greatly depending on the time of year etc I would say its great value for money.

Why choose Derby?

As Derby is in the Midlands it does make a great location to visit so many places in the UK.  Close by I would recommend :

Derby Cathedral The Cathedral Quarter has many restaurants, boutique shops and cafes.

Derby Museum and Art Gallery houses a fine collection of art from paintings and sculptures to Natural History and Archaeology.,

As well as many of the National Trust properties within a short drive away:

Calke Abbey A wonderfully eccentric property and family who collected a vast amount of treasures.

Sudbury Hall and National Childhood Museum The museum takes you back in time and tells the story of children’s’ points of views of a time gone by.

Eyam Village – Known as the plague village as the inhabitants of the village were so brave. Closing the borders and isolating themselves to stop the plague from spreading.

Intu Shopping Center – Derby.  It has so many shops all under one roof.  Many restaurants and a food court, abowling alley, cinema and a theatre.

The second bedroom had two single beds, though I think you can request a double too. Good quality bedding and very comfortable beds in all of the rooms.

We didn’t need heating as it was spring/summer by there were storage heaters too.

As well as the breakfast items that were left, there was also a selection of L’Occitane products to use.  It’s a small thing but having soap to use to wash your hands was so welcome, as we usually bring our own. They were great quality, and I brand I personally love.

So overall we were very impressed with the location, how secure the Saco apartment felt and the overall feel of our stay there. It was the perfect place to use as a base on our adventure. We went shopping, had some lovely meals out and visited Eyam village.  I think we could have easily spent a little more time there, but equally, it would be perfect if you were just looking at a base before moving on somewhere else.

Huge thanks to Saco who hosted our stay there over half term.

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The Ana Mum Diary by Amanda Cottingham - 3w ago

Celtic Cross Eyam Village – I’ve seen some debate on the true age of the cross, it could be the 8th or 9th century.

Whilst we were staying our apartment (Saco apartment review) in Derby we visited Eyam Village in the Peak District.  My youngest daughter (10) has wanted to come here for a while as shes studied the plague and the history of the village. In fact, when we were walking around I think I did too, as the history of the place was so familiar.

We travelled there by car, and the parking was plentiful and free that we found both on-street parking and carparks. The first place we visited was the Church which was built in Saxon times.

In the church, there is a record of the 273 people who died of the plague between 1665 and 1666. The population they believe was around 350 before the plague.  Around the world, the Black Plague ( Bubonic or Great Plague) claimed a third of the population of Europe.

It also houses some beautiful stained glass windows. The window behind the bookstall, for example, is the work of the Victorian stained glass artist Christopher Webb. His ‘signature’, a spider’s web, can be seen in the bottom right-hand corner.

I think I might have found my next residence. Ha!

It really is a pretty village. Pretty accessible there are a few hills and areas with no pavements, but when we visited at the end of May it wasn’t very busy so easy to navigate.

The Eyam Museum – Can you spot the weather vein?

This is where we ended up next, and I’d say its a must visit if you come to the village.  Suitable for all ages, its priced really reasonably at around £8.50 for three of us, the adult prices being £3 each.

You really do learn the history of the plague and how it affected the village at the museum, but the whole village set up is a great tribute to the heroism of the villages.  There is a video you can watch in a small theatre as well as displays around the museum.

The plague began in the village in 1665 when a flea-infested bundle of cloth arrived from London for the local tailor. The bundle of cloth got damp on its journey and the tailors assistant George Vicars (who took in the package) dried it by the fire in his cottage.  George died soon afterwards. As the disease spread, the villagers turned for advice from the Reverend William Mompesson, and Minister Thomas Stanley. They tried many things to help halt the plague spreading including quarantining the entire village.

One of our early nursery rhymes has a special association with Eyam.

“Ring a ring of roses A pocketful of posies Atishoo Atishoo We all fall down”

A ring of roses (a rash on the chest) was the first sign of the plague, the posies relate to fragrant flowers that were used to cover the smell of the infection and sneezing was the final stage of the illness before death.

Eyam Hall

Eyam Hall and Craft Centre.  It has some shops, a brewery and cafe.

As you can see by the weatherproof jackets the weather was a little up and down that day.

There was just enough sunshine to warrant icecream.

Eyam Hall gardens are so beautiful. It’s back under family management after five years when it was leased by the National Trust. Jeremy Wright and his wife Tamaryn, with Bailey their dog, are moving back to their family home.  This beautiful Jacobean Manor House has been lived in by the family since it was built as a wedding present by Thomas Wright in 1672. Home of the Wright family for over 350 years.

You can even see the cottages that the plague had some of its first victims right by the village church.

It was soon time to leave Eyam Village.  I would definitely recommend it as a trip if you are in the Peak District or Derbyshire. We really enjoyed our time there.

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I recently did a complete clean, tidy and reorganise of our main bedroom and whilst I was doing it, I thought this would be a great idea for an upcoming blog post. I’m a big believer in a tidy home equals a tidy mind. So I try my hardest to keep organised, and if I notice things slipping I try to find the time to change it as soon as I have the chance.  This includes the bedroom, and if I’m honest it can be one of the most important rooms to keep on top of.  Not only do you sleep there, and mess can really disturb your sleep, but its the place you spend the majority of your time when you include getting ready too.

First of all, get everything ready that you might need.  Dusters, microfibre cloths vacuum and cleaning products.  Open up any windows in the room and get to work.

Dust, vacuum and spot clean.

Start from the top, making sure you get any cobwebs and pay attention to light fittings and the tops of high furniture.  Then get to dusting, stripping the bed at the same time and leaving it all to air. Once everywhere is dusted (I prefer damp dusting with a microfibre cloth) then it time to consider the floor.  Whether you have hard floors or carpet you need to concentrate on vacuuming or sweeping the floor first. If like me this is where you mainly brush and dry your hair I try to vacuum a couple of times a week.  I have long hair, and it can be a nightmare to pick up with a vacuum so, in my opinion, doing it more often works best. Make sure you do under the bed too! Then mop or steam clean the floor if you have hardwood or vinyl flooring.  Carpet cleaning is the next job if you do have a carpet or a rug. There are some great reasonably priced carpet cleaners on the market if you are wanting to do it yourself, or hire one.

Declutter the wardrobe

This may seem like a big job, but once you get started its actually quite cathartic. If you are short of space buy some of the vacuum bags and split your wardrobe into warm and cold weather clothing. Pass on or send to the charity shop any clothing or shoes that you no longer need.  I have covered this topic in more detail before HERE.  I try to do this task regularly, setting myself little goals of what I would like to get rid of.  For example this year I wanted to get rid of 30 items of clothing or shoes by the end of the year.

It may seem daft but I love watching both youtube videos of people decluttering Kon Marie style, to give me an incentive whilst I’m organising a room, it really does help!

Clean the windows and any window coverings

Now that everywhere if clean and dusted its time to pay attention to some of the areas you might not think about including the windows and doors.  I use a little handheld window cleaner which works really well. I also clean all of the doors and skirting boards.  Use a bowl of hot soapy water (I try to use as little chemicals in my cleaning as I possibly can) and make sure you have lots of rags and cloths for this job to make sure everywhere is dry afterwards. Pay attention to any light pulls, door handles and light switches too.

Change the bedding 

My bedroom with clean bedding.  I don’t have carpet but do have a rug by the side of my bed.

For an instant lift to a room, changing the bedding can have the biggest impact.  I change mine every Tuesday.  I think choosing a day makes life so much easier as you then never forget.  I keep my fresh bedding under the bed in storage. I always use both mattress and pillow protectors.  Yes, they are an added investment but they are invaluable I think.  I like to air the bed every day, and if I’m honest I leave it like that all day.  I plump and rearrange all of the pillows, then shake the duvet, halving it and placing it neatly over the bottom footboard of the bed.

Organise the room

This final stage is the most important one, and this will help with the ongoing cleaning and organisation of the bedroom. My advice would be to have a few items in your bedroom to help keep it organised. I have an ensuite with a small selection of cleaning items in, so they are easily to hand.

Putting systems into place will help you so much.  This can mean making sure you have a simple waste paper basket in the corner of the room. That your drawers are decluttered and you have boxes or dividers to keep things neat and in there place.  I added boxes in my wardrobe for shoes and another to keep my hairdryer and styling tools all in one place.  Also the ladder above for my makeup and skin care with acrylic boxes so I could divide like things together.

So those are my top 5 tips for a clean, organised and tidy bedroom.  If you have any more to add, I’d love to see them, please add them to the comment section.

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Collaborative Post

When you’re looking for new furniture in your home (or even if you’re just browsing an interiors store) it can be difficult to tear yourself away from stylish pieces that aren’t going to serve the right purpose in your home.

From those gorgeous glass tables that you know will never be clear of kids’ fingerprints to crisp white bedding that you know won’t stay white for long, there are so many interior design pieces that boast plenty of style but zero practicality.

So how do you find pieces for your home that will add to the overall scheme while keeping things functional?

Here’s what I’ve found:

Know What You Need Before You Go Shopping

If you have a clear shopping list in place before you head out of the door, it’ll be more difficult for you to buy things on impulse.

For example, if you know you need some extra storage space in your living room, you’ll be less inclined to buy a sleek piece of furniture that’s going to look good but won’t provide the storage space you need.

It’s also a good idea to get thorough measurements, too, so when you’re visiting furniture stores you can easily measure the pieces to make sure they’re right for the space you have.

Look for Things that Serve More than One Purpose

If you want to be incredibly savvy with your next furniture purchase, consider how you can combine multiple purposes within one piece.

For example, display cabinets are perfect for all those bits and bobs you’ve collected over the years. They offer the perfect storage space that keeps everything on show but out of reach of little fingers, and they provide great surface space for further picture frames, lamps and so on.

Equally, a bookcase may hold all of the family’s books but you can also utilise it as a space for other accessories, storage and so on.

Stuck for ideas?

Then you’ll always find great storage ideas on Pinterest!

Treat Yourself to the Odd Impulse Buy

Now that you’ve been uber-practical with your furniture buying, it’s time to let yourself go with one or two impulse buys. These could be on-trend accessories that’ll bring your room to life or throws and cushions that add a gorgeous twist to the practical sofa bed you’ve just bought.

Ultimately, if you can be practical with those larger items of furniture, you can get creative with smaller items and accessories that allow you to build layers of design within your home. And these pieces will often boast a more timeless quality that sees them withstanding various trends and fashions – trends and fashions you can adhere to with those smaller, impulsive purchases you just can’t resist!

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