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  1. Halloween Must-Haves

    October 11, 2016 by barbara

    It’s slightly over 2 weeks before Halloween arrives.  Have you got everything sorted out for this fun night?  If you are planning a party or would like to decorate your home, check out some of these awesome stuff at FredFlare.com.

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    Ouch! The Voodoo Doll Toothpick Holder

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    Funny Side Up Skull Egg Shaper.  Something fun for breakfast in the ghoulish month.

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    Inflatable Unicorn Horn.  Ok this is not for decoration but if you would like to dress up as a Unicorn, don’t forget the horn.

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    Purple Rainbow Comb-in Chalk.  If you want to add some pink and purple to your Halloween outfit, this is a must-buy.


  2. Do It Yourself Home Decorations For Autumn

    September 26, 2016 by barbara

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    Image source- Flikr Creative Commons

    Making your home cosy is one of the best things about autumn. Snuggling up under a blanket with the fire on, and candles flickering on a chilly evening- perfect! There are plenty of ways you can update your home for the upcoming season, and it doesn’t have to cost much. Here are some of the best crafts from around the internet that you could try your hand at this autumn.

    Jar Candle Holders With Autumn Leaves

    This is a cute, unique way to display your tealight candles! Line Mason jars (or any other glass jars) with pretty autumn leaves you have collected. Use PVA glue stick them to the inside of the jar, and then wrap some twine around the neck of the jar for a rustic finish. Once your candles are inside it glows through the yellow, orange and red leaves and looks incredible!

    Pumpkin Vase

    Pumpkins are in season all the way through October up until December in the UK. Carved Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins are of course great for around Halloween, but you don’t have to overlook them throughout the rest of the autumn. These cool looking vibrant fruits can make great decorations. For example, painted white gives them an elegant yet unusual look. You could also carve out the centre and use them as a vase for some gorgeous autumnal flowers. An ideal way to use pumpkins so that they look autumnal rather than spooky! If you don’t own pumpkin carving tools it can be worth picking some up, scooping out slimy pumpkin innards isn’t much fun!

    Autumn Leaf Wreath

    Wreaths don’t just have to be for Christmas! A wreath made of autumnal fallen leaves hung on your front door looks amazing for the autumn. There are a few ways you can go about making these. The easiest is by stringing the leaves together using a needle and thread, and then gluing them to a wire frame. If you’re not a master of hot glue, I find cordless glue guns to be more convenient. It just means you can maneuver around things more easily. If you have a large tree on your property that sheds leaves everywhere in the autumn, this could be a good way to make use of them. Alternatively, you could go on a woodland walk and pick up the prettiest ones you can find.

    Pot Pourri

    As well as a rustic looking decorative piece, a bowl of potpourri will make your home smell nice too. Round up a selection of acorns, pine cones, twigs and mix with things like cinnamon sticks, cloves, whole nuts and dried berries. You can also carefully dry out slices of apple and orange in the oven to add to your mix. For even more scent, add a couple of drops of essential oil- a warming autumnal scent like vanilla would work well. Display in a large dish for a fantastic practical DIY.

    Are you a crafty person? Have you ever tried any of these ideas?


  3. Updating A Kitchen Without Breaking The Bank

    September 22, 2016 by barbara

    Despite what all the magazines may have you believe, you don’t need to spend a small fortune to update and upgrade your kitchen. Almost any tired-looking kitchen can be totally transformed with a little creativity, time and effort. If you’re getting sick of coming downstairs and looking at a kitchen that’s had its day, there are many things you can do to turn it around. Here are a few great suggestions.

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    Image: Public Domain Pictures

    I’ll start this off with the oldest, and at times most effective trick in the book. Painting the walls! A lot of people feel the need to update their kitchen because it looks and feels too small. If this is the case, then giving all the walls a fresh coat of paint can be the answer to your prayers. Going over your walls with a lighter colour of paint can make the whole room feel more spacious and bright. Dark colours, although useful for some rooms, tend to make a space appear tight and small. I’d go with the ceiling first, as this is the surface that changes colour with more noticeably over time. Sand the walls down and clear up any dirt that’s clinging to them. Use TSP to clear away any grease. Primer to seal the wall is also important. Painting your kitchen won’t cost much, especially if you do all the work yourself.

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    Image: Flickr

    The next thing you should do to upgrade your kitchen is improving storage. I’m sure you’ll agree most of us accumulate way too much stuff over the years. This is as true for any room in your house as it is for your kitchen. Set some time aside, and use it to re-organise all your drawers and cupboards. Make it so that there’s no more clutter, and you always know where everything is. As part of this, gather up and get rid of all that miscellaneous stuff that’s been cluttering up your worktops for ages. This won’t cost you a penny, and will make for an instant improvement. You might want to get a whole new set of storage solutions for your kitchen. Drawers in a cupboard let you make use of every last inch of space available to you. Even if you can’t splash out on replacements, you can improve your existing drawers with some soft close drawer slides.

    Finally, consider getting some new fabrics. After all, you’ve already put all that time into re-painting the walls. Why not have some fun choosing a new set of fabrics which will compliment them? You might have seat cushions on your kitchen chairs which are looking a little worse for wear. If this is the case, you may want to buy some new covers or completely new cushions. Matching blinds and tablecloths that go with the new colour scheme can be very potent. Oilcloth table coverings are particularly fashionable these days. Whether you’re more into classic floral patterns or bold, minimalist designs, experimenting with the fabrics is a great way to spruce up a knackered kitchen.


  4. Personalize Your Home To Fit Your Lifestyle

    September 15, 2016 by barbara

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    Picture credit – Pexel

    If you’ve lived in the same home for a long time, you might start to notice that it’s no longer the best fit for your lifestyle. Your family might have grown meaning you need more bedrooms and bathrooms. You might start a job or hobby which means you need you need extra office space, or you might require more storage. Rather than adapt your lifestyle to fit your home, you can make your home fit you instead. Here are some of the ways you can go about it.

    Extend Your Kitchen

    It used to be common for homes to be built with a smaller enclosed kitchen, with larger dining and living space for entertaining. These days most people prefer to go with open plan areas as suggested by articles like this www.schroederdesignbuild.com/10-benefits-of-an-open-concept-floor-plans. Large kitchens which feature islands give us the ability to entertain right from where we cook. Modern day entertaining tends to be a lot less informal, and this newer style of open plan living reflects that. Bigger kitchens also make your job as a home cook much easier too. If your family has grown and you now cater for more people on a daily basis, upgrading and extending your kitchen can be a good way to go. You could either extend outwards or rejig the layout inside and use some space from the living area.

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    Picture credit- Pexels

    Utilize Your Loft

    If your loft is currently home to a million spiders and a few Christmas decorations, then you’re missing out on all-important space! Converting your loft will give you a brand new room and additional space. Articles like www.theguardian.com/money/2007/jul/25/homeimprovements have suggested the benefits in doing so Even if it’s only used for storage, having a functioning room will allow you to organize things more neatly. You could buy big sets of drawers and cupboards to go up there to store the things you’re not currently using. This should free up space around the rest of the home too.

    Build a ‘Garden Room.’

    Instead of adding an extension onto your home (or if you have already done this) a great way to gain some additional space is to have a garden room built. If you have a larger garden and can spare the space, then this is a great option. Unlike regular draughty old outbuildings, a well-built garden room will be fully insulated making it suitable to use all year round. They can have electricity and plumbing run to them, making them a properly functioning space. You could transform one into a home office, studio or guest room depending on the kind of space you’re after. My previous post http://www.sillydrunkfish.com/2016/09/make-your-guest-room-comfortable-for.html may give you ideas for how to make your guest room cozy once it’s done!

    Add Ensuites

    Instead of squabbling over the family bathroom every morning, adding an ensuite or two could make life much easier. It wouldn’t have to take up much space, especially if you opted for a shower cubicle rather than a bath. Sacrificing a small corner of your bedroom would be worth it if a lack of bathrooms is an issue.

    Rebuild From Scratch

    For a truly personalized home, you could even consider building from scratch. That way you get it customize it to exactly what you want, with a layout that works for your life. You could look at house plans from a site such as https://www.thehouseplanshop.com/country-house-plans/house-plans/18/1.php or speak to an architect to design something completely unique to you.

    When you personalize your home, it allows you live your life much more easily. It eliminates the stress of running out of space, or not having enough rooms to fulfill each aspect of your life. Whether you choose build on what you currently have or start again from scratch, personalizing your home means you can live in a place that’s perfectly suited to you.


  5. Gadgets That Will Make Life At Home Much Easier

    January 22, 2016 by barbara

    Let’s face it – living at home isn’t always easy. Even if your house is organized and have the house just the way you like, there is always a small problem that occurs that makes life hard work. For obvious reasons, no one wants to live in a property that is hard work, which is why it is about time you went shopping. Shopping is a great way to purchase all the gadgets and tech that will take care of the fine details and promote relaxation. Just imagine, with these gizmos you can spend more time on your sofa and less time running around. Bliss!

    Multi-Power Outlet

    No matter how many appliances you have at home, there never seems to be enough power outlets to go around. And, when that is the case, you spend ages fumbling around the house looking for an extension lead or a free socket. The result is that it takes you forever to plug the appliance in, or you end up leaving it miles away in the kitchen. The simple solution is to buy a power source with more than one outlet. That way, you can plug in several items at once without having to mess around. 

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    A Thermostat

    Do you already have a thermostat in your home? You may, but there are plenty of other homeowners that are behind the times. For the uninitiated, a thermostat is a small piece of tech that wirelessly connects syncs to your boiler or central heating system. When you want to make a change to the temperature, all you have to do is pick up the thermostat and press ‘up’ or ‘down’. Or, the thermostat will make the changes automatically. As a result, you can easily control the temperature of your house, and you don’t have to sweat profusely or freeze to death!

    Mobile Tablet Software

    In all honesty, this could mean any piece of software that you can install onto your mobile device. But, in this instance it means software that allows you to control your electrical appliances. Yes, you can hook your lights and your heating system up to your laptop or tablet and control it remotely from anywhere in the world. All you need is an Internet connection to make it happen. With this software, you have to stand up again! As long as you have the right device by your side, you can control almost every aspect of your home from the sofa or your bed. If that doesn’t make life easier, what will?

    Wheelchair Lift

    Obviously, if you are disabled you will most likely have a lift in your home. But, you don’t have to be disabled to need a wheelchair lift. In fact, you don’t even need to have trouble walking. Let me explain. If you experience difficulties with stairs, as in it takes you ages to get to the top, lift solutions are the perfect solution. Instead of having to plan your day in advance, you can sit in the lift or the chair and get escorted to the top. Alternatively, a lift is a good option if you think there is a certain element of danger. Small kids, for example, may struggle on the stairs, and a lift could act as a safety measure.

    Digital thermostat in the living room

    Ramps

    Stairs and steps are not just in one place – they are everywhere! If your home is elevated, there is a good chance that there are steps to get into the kitchen or any room in the house. Okay, so they may only be small steps, but they are a hassle. Again, if you have difficulty with steps or they are a safety issue, remove them and replace them with a ramp. Ramps make life easier because you can just walk through the house without a care in the world. You don’t have to worry about tackling the slightest incline because the incline is smooth and quite flat, which is so much better.

    A Clock

    Okay, so this may not be the most technological piece of kit that you will ever come across, but it doesn’t make it any less useful. In fact, a clock is one of the most useful pieces of tech in any home, so you need to make sure you have one. At the end of the day, you need organization and punctuality to make your life at home easier as without these two traits you are going to struggle. Thankfully, a humble clock promotes both qualities just by reminding you of the time. When you look up at it, you can plan your day so that you don’t have to rush around like a headless chicken!


  6. What You Need to Consider When Choosing Garden Furniture

    January 22, 2016 by barbara

    Your garden is a massive asset to the home, and you need to treat it as such. That means turning it into somewhere you can hang out and enjoy yourself. So it’s important to get plenty of garden furniture to help make it a little more homely. Here are some of the important things you need to consider when you’re choosing garden furniture.

    What are They Made Of?

    When you’re choosing furniture for the garden, you need to make sure you consider what it’s made of. It needs to be durable and weatherproof, without being too much of a hassle. So take a look at the range of Rattan garden furniture on offer to get ideas. You need to think carefully about the material and how it will be affected by being outside. You are going to be spending money sorting this out, so you have to make sure it’s something that is going to be a worthwhile investment

    What do You Need?

    The most important thing to think about is what sort of furniture you need for your garden. The way you do this is by considering what you will use the garden for. The standard types of garden furniture will be practical things like a table and chairs, perhaps an umbrella, and some seating. But then you need to think about other things as well. For example, you need to be aware that the garden is a very social part of the property, and you might want to have barbecues or garden parties. If this is the case, you need to ensure that you have a relaxation area with plenty of comfortable furniture. You might even consider getting a gazebo for the garden as well!

    How Much Space do You Have?

    It’s important to think about how much space you have in the home. This is something you need to give a lot of thought to when you plan for garden furniture. If you have a tiny garden then there’s no point getting large furniture. At the same time, if you have a huge garden, you need to have a fair amount of furniture. You should have some stuff that’s practical, and other pieces that are just for leisure. Think about the space you have; you might even want to make measurements before you get started. It’s essential to get this part right before you get started. If not, you’re going to find yourself with furniture that isn’t right for the garden.

    Are the Pieces Versatile?

    Another question you need to ask yourself is how versatile the pieces are. And this means what you can do with them. The best pieces of furniture are always the ones that double up as other things. You might find it more difficult to achieve this with garden furniture, but you should try if you can. Have a think about the most versatile pieces you might be able to use outside. Even furniture that contains a lot of storage space inside it would be a good bet.

    Choosing the furniture to go in your garden is one of the most important things you can do. You need to turn the garden into an active part of the home. It should be somewhere you like to spend a lot of time, and that you get a lot out of. So choosing the right furniture is the key to achieving all of this. Make sure you take the time to make the right decision about what you’re going to choose for the garden.

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  7. Decor Inspiration

    July 13, 2015 by barbara

    Since we just got a piano for beginners for our home, I have been looking around for some decor ideas.  I think we need to revamp the living area for a bit to accommodate the new piano.  Whole blog-hopping, I found this gorgeous living space at Decor8.   I just love the white walls, white flooring and the white furniture with a touch of earth tones from a few items.  I am totally smitten by the recycled pallet as coffee table.  Perhaps I should paint my walls to white and change the furniture too.  The piano is black so it adds a touch of colour to the living area.  Let me think about this.

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  8. Vertical Herb Garden Planter

    July 2, 2015 by barbara

    I am so loving this chalkboard vertical herb garden planter.  It is securely mounted to the wall and offers a unique and space-saving method to harvest fresh herbs.  It is also a great way to add lush greenery to the kitchen or outdoor area.  Just fill it with the herb of your choice and don’t forget to water it.  The chalkboard paint finish allows you to label the herbs.  Available at Williams-Sonoma.

     

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  9. Things that make me happy

    May 15, 2015 by barbara

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    Pretty in Peranakan Placemats from Nala Designs

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    Reversible Tote Bag from Nala Designs

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    Napkin Pretty in Peranakan from Nala Designs

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    H & M Floral bath towel


  10. Geometric Prisms

    January 21, 2015 by barbara

    These Geometric prism planter or ornaments are wonderful delicate pieces which look modern.  Based on traditional Scandinavian himmeli mobiles, they are often hung in a baby’s room, over dinner table to ensure good harvest, on Christmas tree or inside the house all year round.  These Geometric prism are very popular now and often use to hang plants or succulents. Check them out at Etsy.com.