Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Giving Your Bathroom a Makeover on a Budget

The bathroom can be a tricky room to make over, just because in most homes it’s such a small space. Short of ripping everything out and starting again with a whole new suite you might feel like there’s not much you can do, but there are actually plenty of options to improve and update. As we’ve already shown, renovating your home doesn’t need to be difficult. If you don’t have loads of cash to spend but are looking to bring your bathroom up to scratch, here are a few ways you can go about it.

Re-grout Between Tiles

Over time the grout between tiles can start to look grubby, and can definitely bring down the look of a bathroom (even if the tiles themselves are still ok). You could go over the existing grout with a grout pen to brighten it up, but for a better finish you’re better off using a tool to scrape some of it out.You can then re-fill between the tiles with new grout, giving you that freshly tiled look. It’s not the nicest of jobs, but one weekend and a bit of elbow grease will do the trick and will really make a difference to the look of the room.

Repaint The Walls

Repainting the walls in any room is a great, inexpensive way to freshen everything up. But in small rooms like the bathroom, you can make a dramatic difference simply by changing the colour. Light colours will really help to open up the space, whites and light neutrals are always good choice. They will work with whatever tile and floor colour you already have, and make the room look much more spacious.

Do Any General Maintenance and Repairs

This could be as simple as replacing bulbs in your overhead light fitting, replacing a wobbly toilet seat and unblocking drains. It’s easy to put off these kinds of jobs, but they all add up and will contribute to the overall look and smooth running of your bathroom. Spend a bit of time getting it all done, and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle in the long run. After a while shower curtains can look dirty and collect mould and mildew, putting them in the washing machine can clean them up cases. If it hasn’t been replaced for a long time you could buy a new one, or think about upgrading to a clear shower screen. This will look smart, and give you the illusion of more space.

Update Your Accessories

When was the last time you updated your bathroom accessories? These are things like hand towels, bath mats, soap dispensers and toilet brushes. You can buy them really cheaply, and they will instantly bring a new feel to the bathroom. They’re also a good way to bring colour and interest to the room too, especially if you’ve gone with neutral decor. 

Find Effective Storage

Nothing will make a bathroom look cramped and cluttered more quickly than reams of products left in every corner. With the average woman having over £2000 worth of beauty products in their bathrooms, finding an effective place to store the goods is an important thing to get right. Look for tall, slim cabinets which won’t take up too much floor space. Shower caddies, corner shelving units and baskets can all help to keep everything looking neat and organised. 

Buying Your Teenager's First Car? Read This

Has your son or daughter just passed their driving test? Fantastic. This is a new chapter in your child’s life where they will be eager to put their new skills to the test. They’ve already undoubtedly started planning where they want to drive to first. Now they have passed their test; it’s time to start thinking about buying them their first car. While you could leave this mammoth task solely up to them, this may be an unwise choice. They could buy a car based purely on the colour alone or choose something that is completely inappropriate for them. As their parent, it’s your responsibility to help them find the perfect first car. It’s likely that your idea of a suitable car varies drastically from your teenagers. This can make the process of buying a car difficult and time-consuming. To help make the process less stressful and more enjoyable for you both, take a look at the following tips.

Decide on a budget

Before you even start looking at cars online or visiting showrooms, you need to have a clear budget in mind. Look through your bank statements to determine just how much you can comfortably spend. Ideally, your teenager should make a financial contribution towards the car too. Even though it’s likely you will be putting more money in, getting your teen involved can be extremely beneficial. It will give their new car more value which will make them want to take better care of it. When you start considering a suitable budget, ask your teenager to help you find insurance quotes and the current price of road tax and petrol. This will open your teen's eyes to how expensive owning a car can be and how responsible they need to become. It will also help you to establish just how much your teenager can afford in terms of running a car. This should also be factored into your budget.

You might have to come up with an agreement where they pay for the petrol, and you pay for the insurance and maintenance. They might need to start looking for a new job to pay for it. For advice on helping your teenager find their first job visit http://www.investopedia.com. Once you’ve decided upon an appropriate budget, you can both start searching.

Research used cars

Even though your teen will probably have their eye on something brand new, used cars are usually better options for a first car. This is primarily because you can save more money on used than you can new. You could buy your teen a car that has been lightly used for almost half the price of a brand new model. Cars that are a bit older are also easier to repair because their parts are more readily available. This can make used cars cheaper to repair too. This is ideal as young drivers are at a higher risk of accidentally damaging their new car by knocking off a wing mirror for instance.

Start looking for used cars with your teen on sites like http://www.hiltongarage.co.uk. This will give you both a better idea of the size of engine you should get and which types of cars you can afford to buy. You can also read online reviews and visit different manufacturers websites for more in depth information. Doing this can help narrow down your options significantly. Compromise is something you with both have to practice during this stage. You will naturally want something that is as safe as possible. Whereas your teenager will prioritise finding a car that looks good over everything else. Listen to their ideas and take note of the type of cars they get excited about on the used car websites. You can check the safety features to see how they compare to other cars within your budget. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a used car that you are both happy with.

Always see the car in person

Once you’ve found a suitable used car online, it’s always best to take a look at it in person before handing over your money. Online website photographs can only give you so much information and are often staged in a certain way. This won’t always give you the most accurate representation of the car. So taking the time to see the car up close is always best. You can use this opportunity to thoroughly check the vehicle over. Look for signs of damage on the body and repair work that has been done previously. The dealership should also be able to provide the car’s paperwork for you to look through too. Taking the car for a test drive is another thing you should do before you commit to buying. You can check the tyres and the steering, listen for strange noises and drive on varying types of roads. When inside the car, also look for the car’s safety features such as the seatbelts to check they are working correctly. Get your teen to sit in the car and drive it too if possible. They may fall in love straight away or feel that is isn’t right for them.

Always remember to trust your gut. If there are too many warning signs or the car isn’t what was advertised, walk away. The last thing you want is to buy your teen a car that isn’t suitable and doesn’t feel safe. Your teen may be disappointed, to begin with, but don’t let this pressure you into continuing. Just explain that you need to continue looking for something even better.

With these tips, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a car that is just right for your teenager. Once the sale has been completed, it’s vital that you organise insurance before they drive it for the first time. It will also be beneficial to teach your teen how to check the tyres and oil levels, as well as showing them how to use the car’s interior switches. For more tips on teaching your teen about car maintenance, see http://www.sheknows.com.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Giving something back #competition

It has been a while since I have hosted a competition on my blog so I thought it was about time I give something back to my lovely readers!

Up for grabs for one winner:

I have a two pairs of tickets up for grabs (1 pair for the winner and a pair for a runner up!) for this popular event, for new parents or parents to be this is the ultimate shopping expo. I attended the Birmingham event a few years ago and it was definitely an experience to behold, with on the spot demonstration of products to meeting the team behind the brands it all adds to an in-depth and fun experience.

The Baby Show highlights include: 

  • Over 200 trusted brands offering visitors amazing discounts and the chance to test and compare before they buy. 

  • See exclusive product launches and demonstrations from market leading brands. 

  • Discover irresistible boutique products and brands. 

  • The Baby Show Stage with MadeForMums will feature a selection of renowned experts including baby feeding specialist Annabel Karmel MBE. 

  • Free consultations with pregnancy and baby care advisors at the One-To-One With The Experts area.

  • Catwalk shows with all the latest fashions in maternity, baby and toddler wear. 

  • Exclusive show offers and competitions from top parenting brands. 

  • buggy testing track provided by MadeForMums.

  • Emma’s Diary free Shop & Drop and Collect-By-Car services allowing you to leave your shopping bags with them until you’re ready to leave.  

  • A complimentary crèche where parents can drop off their little ones and enjoy the Show knowing they are being safely cared for.

  • A dedicated feeding area provided by Tommee Tippee and Baby Changing Area with free wipes and nappies all included.

The Baby Show is taking place at London's Olympia on Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October, the doors open from 10:00am-5:30pm each day and the standard entry price of £20.

My Pal Scout is a fully customisable interactive toy from Leap Frog, he has super-soft fur and five touch pad that response when pressed.

You can customise the toy via a handy app or by connecting him to your computer, Scout can even teach your child his name, play one of 15 activities or play one of over 40 songs.

With an RRP of £19.99 it seems you get plenty to entertain you little one! And I have one to giveaway to the winner of the competition!

To add to the competition we have one bottle of Baby and one bottle of Night Time bath to giveaway. 

InfaCare is ultra-mild and has a PH-Balanced formula (meaning it matches the natural levels of your babys skin and hair). The bath creates not only a nice a soothing bath time experience but also plenty of bubbles!

A little also goes a long way, only needing 7ml per 9 litres of water meaning a small bottle will last up to 57 baths!

A 400ml bottle should set you back around £2.29 which in today's market is quite reasonable!

Please enter this competition via Gleam Below Ends 12th August at 11.59pm.