Win A Bamboo Towel Bundle From The Towel Shop

My little sister and I were having one of our typical mammoth chats last week during which I confessed to  never having bought a towel. EVER. Crazy if you think of the fact that I left home 20 years!  It’s not that I’m living life towel free or  I’ve been a conscious towel buying avoider or my current collection is looking old and knackered. Far from it. It’s simply been a case of having a perpetual towel buying mum who’s passed hers on to me and my siblings. The end result of said conversation was that along with my brother and sister, we’ve never had to buy a towel once!

So that was it, I was on a mission, time to be all adult and do some towel shopping research !

But where to start?

When you’ve never had to even blink in the direction of what to look for I was starting from scratch. First to replace our hand me downs, was a bundle of bamboo towels.

It turns out that a  Bamboo towel is three times more absorbent than Cotton ones making post bath times with a lively toddler a little easier, plus the perfect material to make towels from. Being super soft, I’ve not noticed anything different from my current cotton ones so it does seem to the way to go, and if you’d like to join me and see for yourself then read on….

Ever wondered what the difference is between and bamboo and a cotton towel? Here's your chance to find out in this easy giveaway
The The Towel Shop are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a bundle of bamboo towels consisting of a bath sheet, a bath towel, a hand towel and a face cloth in a colour of your choice simply by entering the giveaway below.

It’s open to UK residents over the age of 18 and there is no cash alternative and winners details will be passed onto The Towel Shop who are providing the prize.

Enter Competition

 

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Why You Should Choose Rattan For Your Home

Rattan furniture is usually associated with conservatory furniture, sun rooms and orangeries, the natural style and feel helps give a streamless transition from the outdoor in. Whilst also giving a mediaterrean feel and warmth which you can create with natural materials.

I have neither a conservatory, sun room or orangery, sadly.

That said, I’ve introduced lots of rustic wood to my modern grey colour scheme to warm up the feel of the subtle colours and help give a rustic cottage feel to my home.

The latest addiction is a pride if place, tall abaca rattan storage rack sitting pride of place in my dining room. Like with many other pieces of furniture in my home, you get what you pay for and this is never more evident when choosing rattan. Cheaper, lower quality items tend to consist of a lightweight, powder coated alluminium frame and flimsy drawers which wouldn’t have suited my need.

Extra storage for kitchen bits and bobs was the order of the day, my cupboards are bursting (mainly plastic containers without any lids but that’s a fact of life I have to live with.) So it’s important to choose a weave which will suit your needs. Abaca which this set is made from, is a close relative of the banana plant family, and is the native to the Philippines, known for its exceptional strength and flexibility to bend and shape. Strength being the optimum word here. Flimsy just won’t cut it for my spice jars & ramekins which I need access to regularly.

Rattan is the perfect compliment to the slate topped table and plastic modern chairs in my open plan home where shots of oak and pine take the edge of the modern style and the forest scene wall paper. It’s also on this year’s must have list in interior design trends for 2017 so it’s happy days that I’m keeping on-trend!

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This is a collaborative post  

 

 

 

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A Fresh New Kitchen Look & A Recipe To Match

It doesn’t seem that long since I was planning the kitchen in my new extension. I had a vision of how I wanted it to look and it complimented the general theme of the whole downstairs transformation.  Nearly four years on and I’m starting to fall out of love with it. The basis for my choice back then was a kitchen design which wouldn’t date. The shaker style I chose, with sage green doors and solid oak worktops ticked every box.

The rustic, cottage style which dominates my house is still looking good, it’s just my tastes, they are a changin’ so lets play a game where I pretend I have some spare cash which can only be spent on revamping my kitchen. Mmmmmmm, what to do?

Well, for starters I’m all about the light right now. So a fresh, modern style would really float my boat. With clean modern lines and clutter free feature worktops. My current oak ones look fab and bring real warmth into my kitchen but they’re not proving the most practical with marks from daily washing up as well as a leaky boiler and I’m pretty rubbish at remembering to oil it. With a modern kitchen you can really go to town on the extras such as under plinth light shows and fancy slash backs. I’m all for the final touches such as hidden counter top sockets and iPhone docking stations.

But should I not feel brave enough for something which could potentially age quickly, then I’d stick with the clean fresh feel but in something a little more traditional. This grey kitchen compliments the modern white perfectly and would be much more suited to my love a good range cooker. I’ve spied some perfect Belling freestanding cookers which would suit this style as be the perfect back drop for the Kitchen Aid mixer I’ve longed for for years.

Anyway, a girl can dream. In the meantime, it’s back to reality and keeping my fingers crossed for that big bucks win every Saturday night.


Blueberry Cheesecake Gateaux Ingredients 

Cake

  • 255 g  self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon  baking powder
  • 225 g  caster sugar
  • 225 g  butter (room temperature)
  • 4  eggs
  • vanilla essence
  • 1 tbs  milk

Topping

  • 400 g cream cheese
  • 1 lemon (zest & juice)
  • 110 g  icing sugar
  • 2 handfuls of  blueberries

Blueberry Cheesecake Gateaux Method

Preheat oven to 180’c (160’c fan oven) & line 3 x 7″ sandwich tins or one deep tin.

Put the flour, sugar, butter, baking powder eggs, vanilla essence, milk into a large mixing bowl  and mix until it has the consistency of sticking to the back of a spoon.

Divide equally between each tin and back in the centre of the oven for approx 20 mins. Check by inserting a clean skewer or knife to see if it comes out clean.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Prepare the topping by combining all the ingredients. Once the cake has cooled completely, spread each layer equally and finish with the blueberries.

a recipe for a delicious blueberry cheesecake gateaux, moist and tasty it's the perfect centrepiece for an afternoon tea

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This is a collaborative post with affiliate links 

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Updating The Tween’s Bedroom

Ever wish you were one of those people who starts a DIY  job and actually finishes it? Yeah me too. (High five if you are one) I’m a planner, I have the vision, I do the ground work, buy the goods and get going.

The problem, however, is that if I don’t finish it in one day I loose my motivation and convince myself that it’ll be fine to take a day off, and another and so forth until I’ve got so use to said unfinished room that I see no sense in changing it. It’s a bloody annoying trait which I put my hands up and hang my head in shame to.

That leads me seamlessly into to my confession that I’ve only just got round to finishing my Tween’s bedroom, nearly 3 years after starting it! It’s simply been a case of neither my boy or I being able to make our minds up about what we should do.

And

But happy days! It’s finally complete and here is is, the finished piece; a bedroom fit for a boy stuck in the crux of child and teenager; a place to chill after school, do his homework, play his Playstation and get some much needed zzzz’s.

We’ve continued the grey theme which runs through out the house and found the perfect skateboard bedding from Dunelm Mill which perfectly compliments the grey vertical blinds from Order Blinds . They give a fresh feel to the room along which much needed privacy and the added bonus of no loop cords which are a huge no no which a toddler, check out this safety campaign video to see why this is so important to me (who often sneaks into his brothers rooms to bounce on their beds!)

We had wooden venetian blinds originally but found they weren’t great at keeping the late evening sun out, not good when your son needs to get in some sleep for school the next day. With these black out blinds and some dark grey curtains it does the job perfectly and helps keep the warmth in during the winter.

Then to inject a little colour into the room I’ve hung up some original American hockey shirts, sent over form some family in the States and a Union Jack lampshade. There’s a real UK / America theme going on which my tween loves as it reminds him of his favourite TV shows.

And finally the room is all topped off with a large skate boarder sticker which really helps pull the sporty / teen theme together. We use these in quite a few rooms of the house as they’re a really cheap way of updating a room, I find eBay the best place for choice.

And anyone with kids knows how quickly they change fads so cheap additions like this are always a good idea.

So that’s one room ticked off, and man does that feel good!

 

styling ideas for a tween teenage bedroom

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Disclaimer

This is a collaborative post full details of my disclosure policy. 

 

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Creating a Safe & Healthy Bedroom For Your Toddler

I’m trying to pair back our life to a much cleaner, healthier, natural  way of living. It’s not that I’m adverse to the odd chocolate bar or packet of crisps, it’s just that I’ve come to the realissation that we don’t need all the extra chemicals and processed rubbish in our lives. My home is my temple and I am on a mission to make it the healthiest I possible can.

That said, please ignore any thing I’ve just written if you ever set eyes on my teenager’s room. That’s a whole science experiment in it’s self up there.

No, I’m starting with our newest and purest member of  the family, The Toddler. Untainted by the lure of technology, he can survive a days sans the iPad with being a quivering mess in the corner, so I’ve decided to create as safe and natural bedroom as I possibly can.

It’s not the biggest room in the house and neither is it over loaded with toys, he has a little toddler bed, a wardobe, a toy box, a book box and a really cute fox cushion  stuffed with his old baby blankets. But it’s what he sleeps on that was the focus of my healthy bedroom makeover.

With SIDS being related in the past to using 2nd hand mattresses the current advise from The Lullaby Trust is

 You should use a firm and flat mattress that is protected by a waterproof cover. This will help keep the mattress clean and dry, as the cover can be wiped down.  Make sure your baby’s mattress is in good condition and that it fits the Moses basket or cot properly.

(There is some research that found an increased chance of SIDS when using a second-hand mattress although the link is not yet proven.)

I have never taken any chances with each of my babies and even now as a toddler I’m still following the guidelines as he makes the transition from cot to toddler bed. We’re using a a quilted latex mattress from Natural Mat. Handmade here in Devon, they use organic materials which are naturally breathable and self-ventilating to help regulate their body temperature.

creating a natural and healthy bedroom for a toddler bedroom makeover

Layered with Coconut fibre for support and breathability, organic lambswool for softness and insulation & a quilted cover for softness and comfort

Why Use Natural Products?

I was first introduced to Natural Mat at the local Devon County Show where they had a stand showcasing some of their products and got chatting to Rachel who told me all about their benefits;

– Hypoallergenic and anti-microbial – perfect for asthma and eczema sufferers

– Essential oils of lavender, lemon and eucalyptus for anti-dust mite protection

– they’re chemical free, non-toxic and naturally fire retardant.

So for a baby, child and toddler bedroom they seem the perfect choice. (If you’re looking for a complete organic and chemical free bed set, Naturalmat also sell bedding from sheets to duvet covers. )

creating a natural, healthy bedroom as part of our toddler bedroom makeover

Removable machine washable cotton cover (60°C) and you can just make out the layers which make up the mattress through the cotton cover.

And Continuing The Natural Bedroom Theme;

So that was  the mattress taken care of, but I’ve gone one step further in ensuring the Toddlers bedroom is the healthiest in the house by using a wool based duvet from  LANACare, filled with organic untreated merino wool. Believe me when I tell you they’re extremely light and soft, providing the ultimate comfort.

This is the first time the Toddler would be using a duvet and the lightness of our  LANACare one meant there was no grumble from the toddler who dived under the minute it was on. It’s actually lighter than the blankets which I’d used in his cot which he wasn’t a fan of sleeping under. Its only seeing how much he loves jumping in his bed and pulling them up over his head every night thats made me realise how much he prefers them. (and that we probably shouldn’t have waited so long to make the switch!)

I’ve also noticed that with the breathable make up of the nautral mattress and the wool duvet he’s not waking up sweaty in the night, big yay for using natural products. I’m not a fan of sleep training, preferring my children to find their own sleep pattern in their own time but after 2 years of co sleeping part of the night, the 2nd night of sleeping in his new room he slept through for the first time ever.

Now if that isn’t testament to the choices in products we’ve used I don’t know what is!

creating a safe, natural bedroom for our toddler bedroom makeover

Wool absorbs moisture, keeping baby dry & comfortable.

The Importance Of A Wool Duvet?

Being a totally natural material, the wool duvet feels more familiar to the human body. The wool fiber is built similarly as the human skin and is dust mite resistant due to several natural features. Natural lanolin in the wool makes it naturally resistant to dust mites and mould.

creating a safe, natural bedroom as part of our toddler makeover

filled with organic untreated merino wool.

Organic wool is antimicrobial and antibacterial, due to the natural lanolin in the wool and it’s fire resistant and actually acts as a natural fire retardant. Like Natural Mat, LANACare also merino wool based products,  like the super soft merino wool pants the toddler is modelling below. Breast feeding mums should also check out their natural wool, washable breast pads (no scratchy plastic noises on these you’ll be glad to know!)

So we’ve sorted the basics out, we already have a wool carpet, wooden blinds and furniture decorated using natural chalk paint  and along with researching for a low or zero emissions monitor and some organic bedding we’re almost complete.

creating a safe, natural bedroom as part of our toddler makeover

Baby Pants in soothingly soft organic wool

 

Disclaimer

The mattress and duvet were sent to me for the purpose of creating a safe, natural sleeping enviroment and to share my thoughts of the quality and effectiveness of the products. All words and photography are entirely my own and I can thoroughly recommend them to anyone looking for gentle, safe bedding. I would only endorse products which I am 100% happy to use myself. 

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