Tag: sponsored post

Have you planned your Summer Holiday?

I’m sure by now a lot of families out there have planned if not booked their summer holiday already.   If you’re one of those lucky/organised ones, well done, you guys.  When going abroad, we like to book ours well ahead of time too.  As you know, it’s cheaper that way.  Sadly, we haven’t done any bookings as I type this all because little T and I have to renew our passports, which we hope to get sorted out next week.

As for plans, oh we have loads of those!  After all, planning is free right?  At the moment, we have a few choices up our sleeves.  It’s nice to have alternatives, in case, the first one doesn’t pan out right? Here’s ours.

PLAN A: Spain-Portugal

Go on a road trip again.  The first time we ever went on a road-trip as a family, was when we drove all the way to a remote cabin in Scotland and absolutely loved it.  The second one was a road trip to France (with a day-trip to Belgium).  We stayed in a Eurocamp and did day-trips to Disneyland and Paris, as well as  trips around the beautiful French countryside.  Ah, that was bliss.

This time though, the plan is to drive to Plymouth to catch a ferry to Santander and drive all the way down the Spanish coast to Portugal – doesn’t that sound dreamy?

We love doing road-trips.  I guess one of the reasons is that you can stop anytime, especially if you see something that catches your attention.  It’s easy to just stop and roam around and experience the local culture without having to worry about your schedule too much.  And if that doesn’t work, there’s ….

PLAN B: Train-trip to Eastern Europe

Ever since reading “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kustova, I’ve longed to travel by train to Hungary and Romania and yes, visit Count Dracula’s castle in Bran.  I would love to watch the beautiful countryside/mountains of Eastern Europe.  When I mentioned this to my husband, I was pleased  to know that he’s always wanted to do it too.  But I’m wondering though whether T is too young to appreciate a trip like this one, though I’m sure she’ll enjoy travelling by train.  And then there’s …

PLAN C: Homegrown

This is the easiest and if I’m honest, the most feasible plan.  I have family from the States who might come over this summer and of course, it’s only right that we show them around the UK.

I’ve always wanted to explore Wales, since we’ve never really had the chance apart from staying in Hay-on-Wye and doing day-trips from Bristol.  A close friend who regularly camps in Wales has been inviting us to go with her, so this might just be our chance.

And of course, there’s still so much of the UK that I haven’t explored.  What better way to do it when you have guests right?

As you can see, our plans are still up in the air and I know that time is indeed running out, hopefully we’ll be able to finalize our plans soon.

What about you?

Have you booked your summer holiday?

*This is a sponsored post.

Small Joys and Skin Toners

When I was single, I used to enjoy walking around the aisles of supermarkets or drugstores and shopping for toiletries.  It’s one of those “small joys” I really enjoyed indulging as a single woman, not shopping for clothes, but instead buying “beauty products”, excluding make-up.  I never really wore make-up even when I was younger.  Does that sound odd?

And of course as a single working-woman, money wasn’t much of an issue. I could pick-up products without worrying about the cost. It’s a whole different story now that I’m a mother. I always double check prices and compare them before chucking them in my trolley. I would never buy anything expensive, the “mummy guilt” would always set in and I would always think “With that price, I’d rather buy something nice for little T”. Besides, I barely have enough time to pick up stuff for myself now, before hearing a little whingy voice saying ” Can we go now?”

Ever since I’ve become a mother, my priorities have changed.  The little one always comes first. Besides, I can’t really spend time in the bathroom longer than I have too, without an impatient knock on the door and that little voice (again) asking “What are you doing in there mummy? Are you doing a poo?”

But now that little T is getting older,  I’m slowly putting the “me” back on the list.  As mothers, it’s important to think of our needs too, even if it’s something as superficial as toiletries. After all, it’s a lovely feeling to pamper oneself isn’t it?

This Vitamin C Toner is all about just that – loving our skin the way it should be. It has a really refreshing “citrusy” smell which T really likes. “You smell like lemons mummy!” And that scent aways reminds me of summer.

I also love that it is made of natural ingredients, especially since I have very sensitive skin.

The only negative comment I have for this Vitamin Toner is the price. It’s a little bit too much for me. Then again, if price isn’t an issue for you, I highly recommend this product. I’ve been using this for about a week now and I certainly like the feel of my face. It certainly feels cleaner and fresher after every use. And to top it off, I have the smell of summer on me!  And that to me is precious!  Click here if you want to try it out too.

What about you? What is you’re favourite skin toner?

Or

what to you, is the smell of summer?

Disclaimer:  I received this product for free for my honest and unbiased feedback.

Family Fever

Let There Be Light…

…is probably one of the most famous lines from the book of Genesis in the Bible.  I could be wrong of course, not exactly an expert, nor am I religious.

If you’ve been following my blog for some time now, you might have read in a  past post (specifically posts from last year), that the year before that, we put our house up for sale.  By January 2014, we’ve had several viewings and the next month got and accepted an offer.  Then the sale went pfft right before our very eyes.

My husband and I were heartbroken, especially since we were looking forward to moving into our new home in Crackington Haven, another small village near where we currently live right now.  While it wasn’t exactly our dream house, it ticked all the boxes.  The extra room which we want to turn into a study, a bigger garden, a downstairs cloakroom and the bonus was, it had a huge garage.

Yep, but that’s all in the past now.  Currently we are still living in a terraced two bedroom house with a small garden, which isn’t really so bad.  But we are desperate for a study, as some of you may know, my husband works with the OU (Open University) as a lecturer in History.  At the moment, we have the bureau in our bedroom and shelves upon shelves of his history books, since he has ran out of shelf space in our bedroom, some of his books can also be found on our bookshelves in the living room.  The dream is to have a study where he could keep all his history books together, so when he’s working, he doesn’t have to keep running back and forth from the bedroom to the living room trying to find a particular reference book he needs  for work.  Yes, it is a bit chaotic.

Since we were utterly disheartened from the disappointment of the sale of our house.  We didn’t have the heart to go through all of it again.  Our little house isn’t that bad.  In fact, we love it.  So we thought, why not just do an attic conversion instead and make that into a study?

Our wounds quickly healed and excitement ensued as we hired an architect to foresee the conversion.  At first though, he wasn’t convinced it was possible, but when he went up our attic he was pleasantly surprised with how big it was.

When he left, I was bubbling with excitement and quickly got my home magazines out and started flipping through them for some inspiration.  Then we saw this spread and we both were in love:

VELUXcollage_littlesteps

Can you imagine working on your desk, looking up and seeing breathtaking countryside views?  For a couple of months, my husband was daydreaming about looking out these windows, while sipping his first morning cup of coffee before switching on his computer to get to work.  As you can see the marking tape I put on a year ago is still there.

And we were sold on these windows.  The company VELUX has a variety of different kinds of window styles or even light tunnels to choose from, when converting an attic, or simply adding a window to a very dark room or even a corridor to add more light.  And as everyone knows, they  have a very good reputation for their high-quality products and superb service.

This is one of my faves, although it will be used in a study/guest bedroom, not a bathroom, though of course you’d probably have to install some roof blinds or even blackout blinds which will be so handy in the summer.

whiteVELUXwindow_littlesteps

The only problem was our stairs was in the wrong way and for it to be approved, we’d have to move our staircase, re-plan the layout of our living room and our bedroom.  Everything seemed promising till the plans were drawn.

For us to have our dream-attic conversion with lovely windows from VELUX, we would have to change the position of our staircase, move it in front of our front-door, so in case of a fire, it would be an easy way out.  If we don’t do that, we’d never get planning permission.  Moving the staircase would mean that it would use up space in our living room and also the stairs leading up to the loft-conversion would also use up space in our bedroom, and this would also mean that we’d have to move the bathroom too.

We were willing to go through all that, even though when added up all together, moving into a new house would somehow come out cheaper.  I guess what really popped our bubble was when our architect said that in spite all these wonderful and lovely plans, with windows that would open to breathtaking views, if in the future we intend to sell, it would never be marketed as a three bedroom house.  In the end, it will always be a two bedroom house with a lovely attic conversion.

You may ask, what’s the problem with that?  Nothing but the real deal-breaker was, if we ever do manage to sell in the future, we won’t be able to get the money spent for that glorious active conversion back.  At the end of the day, it all boils down to money.  And no one wants to lose any – right?

With a bit of a heavy heart, we put our house back in the market lat Autumn.  As of writing, we haven’t had a single viewing.  I’m still hoping for some light at the end of this very long and dreary tunnel, who knows?  We might just see it soon 😉  So I say, let there be light!

What about you?

Have you had any attic conversion?

What kind of windows did you use?

*This is a sponsored post, however all views and photos are by yours truly.