TIPS FOR BUYING A HOUSE

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Well its official we pick up our keys on the 24th of June..we are homeowners. It’s been a long time coming but we made it. So I thought I’d share some tips we learnt along way with you guys so you can find your dream home.

Calculate what you can afford
Knowing how much to spend is obvious when buying a home, but you’d be surprised how many buyers miss this or find that dream home that’s over their budget and go for it anyway.. We knew we wanted to have a little money left over to be able to decorate the place and buy some new furniture..so when we went looking, we actually looked at properties slightly below our budget. We were lucky enough to find one too leaving us a little bit of spending money.
Head to your local estate agent and ask to speak to an independent mortgage advisor. They’ll be able to provide you with all the information you need, and help you find the best deal. They are completely unbiased and will do all the hard work for you. You’ll need to pay a small fee, but it’s a small price to pay for the savings you’ll gain in the long-term. Also check to see if your work offers any benefits. Richards work came with a benefit of getting free mortgage advice which was great.

 

Location, location, location
The location is one of the most important decision you’ll make when buying a house. Where do your friends and family live? Will you have to jump in a car every time you want to go somewhere? Is there a school nearby? It’s not always affordable to live where we want. we were given the tip that you can change a house you can’t change where you live. So if your dream house isn’t in the nicest area. Maybe go for the smaller he good neighbourhood which you can expand and decorate to make it your perfect home.

 

Consider your needs and wants
Writing a list of things that are essential, and a list of things that are desirable. Depending on your budget, you could put stuff such as ‘a full bathroom’ in essential. Perhaps ‘off-street parking’ in desirable. This will depend on what is a deal breaker for you. Keeping notes is a good way to stand your ground when you see a property that you love but isn’t right for you.

Remember to be patient

Choosing a home isn’t easy. Being patient doesn’t just apply to people on a budget either. There are so many options on the market, and especially when housing is selling quickly. It’s difficult to know where and when to put your money. Remember to stay calm, take some time out and appreciate that it might take a bit of time.
Being a first-time buyer isn’t easy, by any means. But sometimes, as you invest more it can get even harder. If you’ve got a large family and needed more space, it’s not always easy to find. Also, if you’re looking for something modern, but live in a village, you might not have many options at all. Perhaps it’s time to consider a bespoke home. Here are 10 signs you should invest in custom home designs.

Use your head, not your heart
With that in mind, you need to stay head strong when buying a property. It can be a hard, long process. Sometimes you might feel like giving up, but keep going. Finding a property miles away from where you want to be with lots of space for a good price can be difficult. Do you want to be there? Think about it in the long-term. Are you going to end up spending hours in the car every day to get anywhere?
Using your head, instead of your heart is crucial when choosing a property. If you decide to go for something that isn’t a wise decision, you may regret it in the future. Avoid a costly mistake by thinking rationally, and having support from friends and family.
Happy hunting



CUTE WAYS TO ANNOUNCE YOUR PREGNANCY

First thing first, don’t go thinking this is a pregnancy announcement, I’ve just about recovered from having Arch, so give me a few years…but I do regret not making more of a big deal regarding our pregnancy. Bar family we didn’t tell any friends, or you guys until I was about 21weeks.. I wanted to make sure that the baby was ok..and for me and Richard to get our head around becoming parents. But when I did tell I did it in a post..here. If you don’t have a blog though, how do you go about it? 

When you announce your pregnancy, the way you do it will depend on a number of factors. You’ll need to think about who you’re telling, what the situation is and where you are when you do it. For instance, if you expect your husband to start crying his eyes out at the joyful news, you probably don’t want to tell him when he’s having a pint with his friends. If you’re with your mother and you’re pretty certain she’ll start screaming for joy, then telling her while you’re both watching the ballet isn’t ideal. Use your common sense so you can make this a pleasant experience for everybody involved. If you’re telling work, you’ll need to approach that differently to how you’ll tell your loved ones and family members.

  You The Daddy

It makes sense to tell the most important people to you first. Then you can find a fun way to tell the world. Some people choose to announce their pregnancy on social media, you can make this fun and artistic like the idea above.

 Buzz Feed

When it comes to work, you should tell your boss before you tell your workmates. Telling them first is common courtesy and will allow them to put plans in place for the time you leave. When you tell the rest of your office perhaps you could hand out cupcakes or cookies with the message on them. Just be sure not to keep the annocement short and sweet, you stil need to be able to do what you’re paid to do while your there. So maybe arrange a celebratory drinks (non alcoholic for you) after work.  Hative

Why not take a fun and creative photograph? You can send this photo via email, post it on Facebook, and even send it through the post if you like. You can then use it at the start of your baby’s photo album. People like to use things like chalkboards, fun rhymes, and riddles to break the news in photographs. You can include your family, other children or even pets like the image above.

  The Party Posse

When it comes to the people you’re most excited to tell, you could give them a fun gift. You can do this when it comes to your partner, parents, and even grandparents. If you’ve found out you’re pregnant early on, why not buy a small gift box and place a pea inside? You can then present this to your partner and tell them it’s the size of their baby right now! You could also buy a gift like those shown on sites like http://www.zoeyspersonalizedgifts.com/announcement-ideas/.

Buying an ornament for family is a great way to break the news, especially at Christmas time. Give them something they can open and put on their tree. If it isn’t Christmas, don’t worry – you could always purchase a snow globe or make your own unique gift.

  Today

Getting your current kids involved is really cute, and they feel involved with the baby right from the start this way. You can have them announce the news to relatives, give gifts, or even wear t-shirts that have the message on them. If you’re going to a relative’s house, consider dressing them in t-shirts that have the message on them, and see how long it takes them to notice. I love the above picture! 

Have fun with it, it’s a special time that deserves to be shared. 



4 ASOS OUTFIT PICKS GREAT FOR CITY BREAKS

I love ASOS, it’s quite possibly the only online shop I buy my clothes from, other then Ebay. ASOS is great for us plus size girls too, as the majority of their collection goes up to size 18, and their plus size goes up to 26. Returns are free, if you pay for premium, which is £9.99 a year, you get free next day delivery all year, which means you can try as many clothes as you want without worrying about postage costs in the comfort of your own home. So here are 4 outfits that I am totally loving.

ASOS-outfit-4-blue-dream

Ok so firstly I am in love with those shoes…blue velvet crush. God I wish I could walk in heels..i’m worst then bambi on ice. Anyway, this outfit is bold and badass and is totally the choice for an afternoon walk around a Parisian flea market..or grabbing some gelato and sitting by Trevi Fountain making wishes.

Dress £50, Shoes £45, Sunglasses £35, Clutch Purse £88.

 

ASOeleganceS-outfit-3,-quirky-

My idea for this outfit, was a romance meets effortless chic. You might think the jacket is an odd choice, but I love the relaxed grey jersey of it. It casuals this outfit up, but still looks super cute. Jersey jacket with nude scallop heels…yes please.

Dress £25, Jacket £24.99, Shoes £29.99, Bag £28.99.

 

asos-outfit-2-wisoy-city-break-fun-

This lace jumpsuit is just gorgeous, and perfect for wondering downtown New York, and maybe grabbing a rainbow bagel…FYI I am totally going to try and make some rainbow bagels with funfetti cream cheese..

Jumpsuit £85, Jacket £75, Shoes £35, Bag £30.

ASOS-outfit-1,-

Ok so this is a little out there, bright yellow tee with a bright pink skirt, and those shoes…yes this is daring and out there, but it’s also fun and whimsical and perfect for spending the day in Brick Lane, visiting little galleries and taking in culture. You can also keep your art supplies in that awesome back pack too.

Skirt £30, Tee £12, Shoes £25, Bag £20.

We are off to France at the end of the week, so I may have ordered a few cheeky things, so who knows might have some fun doing some outfits posts while I’m away..depending on my face… as it’s not be so great recently!

 

 



PAPERWORK PAPERWORK PAPERWORK

 

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Classic Play

Oh my god buying a house is a long complicated process… Now don’t get me wrong, I feel so lucky that we are in a situation where we can buy a house. So lucky. But man..this stuff is complicated. Plus me and Richard aren’t paperwork people…in fact we both suck. It didn’t help that during the whole process, we have had passports to order, a variety of insurances, sorting out postal votes…so much paperwork. I liked to think I’m pretty organised, bar 2 birthday ( out of like a ton) only 2 presents have been sent late, which is super annoying because I got presents weeks in advance this year..but paper work…falls to the bottom of the pile.  But it’s all pretty much done, well the house paperwork is, the rest is still on my pile. I’m getting there..But I think I’ve come up with some ways to enjoy future paperwork.

WINE: Or your beverage of choice around when filling in forms…though maybe stick to like 2 glasses, so you don’t fill out your name as bugs bunny or something like that for shits and giggles.

PAPER CHOICE: Maybe if the form isn’t overly important, print it in a different coloured paper, I think everyone would appreciate a house deed printed on mint green paper…might not be legal, but makes it more fun no?

TREATS: Similar to the wine option, but this could be anything. Filled out that insurance form or claim? bam get yourself a new top. I think this is a pretty good incentive to get your paperwork done.

JUST DO IT: Or maybe we just do it. Because if you’re in a situation like us, the quicker it’s done, the quicker we move into our new little home…then we shall have wine to celebrate.

 

 

 

 



LOCAL FLORAL LOVE

I have to say, I do love this time of year, with all the flowers budding, especially cherry blossom. My walk to the park that I take almost daily with arch, see me go past about 20 cherry blossom trees all spotted over, and right now it’s just amazing. The petals flying over everywhere, the different colours. Can’t complain!

So here is some floral love appreciation, of some pretty spots where we live.

ABSTRACT-LANDSCAPE- IMAGES-ON-THE-GROUND-FLORAL-LOVE-PETALS-CHERRY-BLOSSOM SPRING-TIME-CHERRY-BLOSSOMPETALS-CHERRY-BLOSSOM-AND-DAISY-SPRING-TIMEBLUE-FLOWERS-SPRING-TIME-FLORAL-LOVE

I’m not sure what we did before camera phones..and before instagram too….I’m looking forward to getting a couple of these blown up and framed for the new house. Turning your instagram posts into art work is so easy!



MY LIFE THE LAST FEW WEEKS IN PICTURES

So with Arch not sleeping, the whole household being ill, and the crazziness which comes with buying a house, I have no energy left at the moment to do anything, so sorry dear readers that I have been neglecting you..it sounds stupid but I just feel like that as soon as we are in the new house, with the office finished…everything will be so much easier…why I don’t know..but I just need to believe that everything will fall into place..ok.

So bar the lack of sleep and the rather large possibility that I may have a stomach ucler due to stress and general lack of energy…yes I’m being dramatic..it is what it is..lets move on….I have had some rather lovely day outings with the family!

 French Toast with nutella and raspberriesGroundworks hitchin good food
Patty and bun aray goldneon sign sexy nuded patty and bun london

We have eaten some pretty intense food! I made French toast with raspberries which looked super pretty…I then drenched it in Nutella which was just insane. Archer enjoyed it too, managing to get Nutella every where..

We did a trip to Hitchin to the same coffee place we did for archers first day out, the food and coffee still being amazing! 
I’ve also spent a bit of time in London, where we are at patty and bun. Quite possibly one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. I also had a grapefruit cocktail which was just to die for. So if you like a burger and don’t mind rustic decor with some added neon lights, I mean how cool is that neon sign?, then head down to Patty and Bun in Soho.

Cool baby ArcherDaddy And ArcherDaddy and archer fun

We try to pack in as much as we can on Richards days off, either going out for the day, swimming, goings for walks. I find archer is easier to occupy when we are on the move. If we stay in, he goes a bit crazy, as seen in the photo above. 

Archer passport photoshoot

Did a little mini shoot for archers passport picture. Decided to put my degree to use instead of spending £14 paying someone else to do it. To behonest it came out really well. I used the large tool of paper we have as a back drop, did but some large windows for natural light, and held a toy above my head to keep archer looking up. Arch looks super cute in them, helps that I wiped his face and put him in some over fancy clothes! 

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We went on the swings for the first time…looking rather mismatched as he had already form through 3 outfits by then..and I only had these bits left in the change bag..oh well. Think he’s pulling off the English gentlemen who loves Christmas and sailing look quite well! 

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So we celebrated Richards birthday, my cake wasn’t the best, but hey I attempted it in the evening when it had been a pretty long day…tasted good though which is the important thing right? Richard also rather enjoyed his present from Archer..a Lego Wall-e…it’s super cute right? 
I’ll try to post again soon..who knows maybe I can get a streak going. 



DIY CLOTHES IDEAS 

I love a good DIY project, and recently I’ve been thinking about getting my old sewing machine out and having a play at making, or up cycling some of my old clothes. So of course I looked to trusty Pinterest for some ideas and tutorials.

  Naughty Shorts 

A vintage dress can look so pretty especially when carefully prepared by it’s owner. You can find so many lovely fabrics that can complement this look. The internet is a great place for inspiration and sewing patterns to match. With sites like Pinterest bursting with inspiration and DIY’S. Like this one. How to make a vintage dress from a sheet! 

  The Littlest Studio

A skirt might be one of the easier projects to try first if your a sewing newbie. Picking a Bright coloured fabric and futuristic fastenings from companies like Scovill will give you a variety of different finishes. This look above would work well at any time of the year. Just use different fabrics for the different weather.

  Freshly Given 

A  blouse is a wardrobe staple for anyone. They can look amazing teamed with skinny jeans as well as skirts. You can consider different fabrics for this style and use a whole host of sewing patterns to complete the look. I think a pretty look would be to consider a lovely floral print. Perfect for the summer months ahead. The one above is made using an old shirt, something you can easily pick up from a charity shop!  

 Handy Little Me
A jumper is an inspired choice for winter. Do you remember your mother or grandmother teaching you how to knit? It’s  now the perfect time to put those skills into action. Again it would be advisable to follow a pattern or some form of instruction. It is also worth knowing your measurements to make sure sleeves and neck lines sit just right. But the link above will take you to a great blog which is full of patterns and tutorials.

  Everything Golden 

  Sew Much Ado

Apart from in textiles class (years ago)and a few alterations to some vintage outfits, I’ve never really made any outfits from scratch. So I’m thinking I might start with making something for archer. Baby clothes must be easier…I mean the size alone must help? No? Anyway enjoy some of the cute ideas above for  baby outfits. 

  Premeditated Leftovers 

Maternity clothes can be a cost that most new mothers could do without. So making them is a great way to save some money. It can be quite easy as the fabric you want to use should be breathable and light. You won’t need anything particularly tight fitting as comfort will be a priority. The handmade look can work well with a growing baby bump. Plus maybe you could reuse the material after and make something for your little one? 

I’m going to attempt to make some little rompers for arch. I’ll let you know how they go! 



A FEW REASONS TO LEARN SOME DIY SKILLS 

  Oh Happy Day

DIY can produce some impressive results and all without having to call in a professional. With the internet and instructional YouTube videos, there is more opportunity than ever to learn this valuable skill. DIY can range from simple but necessary projects like fixing hinges and cabinets, right through to installing a new kitchen! But learning DIY can take some considerable time and effort. A beginner’s level can be achieved quite quite. But if we want to develop our DIY skills then we should work hard to maintain our motivation. We should remind ourselves of the benefits of learning DIY and we will find it easy to keep enthusiasm!
When we first begin to learn DIY, we might not recognise that this is a great universal skill. We can benefit our own household and help friends too. We may even find additional uses in the workplace too. We can choose to do odd-jobs for friends and neighbours as favours. But some DIY hobbyists get good enough to command a small fee. Or at least a favour in return! Wherever you are in the world, being able to fix, upgrade, and improve is a valuable skill. Calling in a professional can place a lot of stress on a household. Additional bodies coming and going. Excess noise and early start times can all be irritating. Especially if it is a simple job and could have been by learning the skill yourself. Taking control of your own skill set can be very rewarding. It can have physical benefits such as keeping active and seeing the fruits of your own labour. But it can also give us a sense of accomplishment, purpose and value.

For many people, inviting a stranger into their home, even a professional, is difficult. They may be elderly or vulnerable in some way. They may dislike having someone in the home that they can’t watch all the time or may struggle to communicate with. But the reality is that we are all likely to need repairs some time or another. Knowing a family member or friend who can help can be a lifesaver. Learning DIY would make you that trusted and helpful person they can call. People who are good at DIY are often valued members of the community. They save people hassle, money, and provide a sense of security. DIY has tangible benefits within our own household. But it can also make a genuine difference in the lives of others.

Many new skills can be frustrating because we don’t progress at the rate that we would expect. DIY is different. If we’re paying close attention to instructions, we will be amazed at what we can achieve with our own two hands. Even a complex kitchen installation can be easy with a company like http://www.ikitchen.co.nz. We do the labour ourselves but are overseen at a high level. It’s the very best way to learn. With the right tools and professional instruction, we can quickly achieve a near professional level ourselves!

Learning DIY has the obvious benefit of saving money over time. For expensive modern family life, this can be a major plus. Some materials will cost an initial outlay. But we will no longer be a slave to overtime or last minute call out charges!



DIFFERENT ENTERTAINMENTS FOR YOUR WEDDING RECPETION 

  Whimsical Wedding 

How can you make sure that your guests have an amazing day? They’ve got dressed up and travelled to your venue. They may even have booked a day off work, or paid for overnight accommodation. As a result, it’s only understandable that you will want them to have the best time.

However, let’s be honest. The ceremony is sweet and endearing. The evening reception, with music, food and dancing, is like a party! But the middle bit? The afternoon reception in between. It can be pretty boring.

Luckily, there are a number of ways to counteract this boredom and make this bit of the wedding fun for guests. In fact, you might even make it their favourite part of the whole event. Here are some ideas you might want to put into play for your wedding.

Magician

Now, don’t skip over this one. Magicians like Dynamo have done a fantastic job of making magic cool again. If you hire the right magician, you too can do the same.

Hire a magician to roam around your wedding venue and chat with your guests for a couple of hours in the afternoon. They can show the adults grown-up tricks, using things like their watches or bank notes. They can also do a show for the children, with suitable tricks for the different age groups.

Garden Games

There are loads of wedding ideas out there online, and one that is growing in popularity is having a collection of garden games at the reception. Hire giant Jenga and Connect Four and both the adults and children will want to play. You could also furnish them with fun-fair inspired games, like Hook-A-Duck or a Coconut Shy!

Caricaturist

If you want art at your wedding, but fancy something a bit more casual, how about a caricaturist. Just like a magician, he can roam around your guests drawing caricatures. Let he or she know in advance if there is anyone specific you would like for them to draw; your niece, or bridesmaids, for example. You could even ask them to do some humorous group ones, like drawing all of the groomsmen in Wedding Dresses!

Live Painter

This isn’t something you see all that often at weddings, meaning it could be something you have that is totally unique. Hire a live painter to be at your wedding. Have them do a few sittings throughout the day, painting what they see as it happens. So, they could paint your wedding ceremony when it happens. Then, if all of your guests gather outside for food, they could paint this. Finally, they could do a third sitting in the evening, for the dinner and speeches. It gives you guests something to stand and watch being created. It also gives you a way to capture the day that isn’t just in the form of photographs and videos.



FRUGAL WAYS TO ENTERTAIN YOUR TODDLER 

Having children can be expensive. So there is nothing worse than paying out to keep them occupied as well. Especially when there are so many things you could do in moderation or at home. So I thought I would share with you some of the ways you can be frugal while occupying a toddler. Of course, some of these things require an initial investment of some money. But mostly they are cheaper alternatives with a few handy tips to save some pennies along the way.
A walk in the countryside

  
You could consider heading out for a walk somewhere in the countryside. Most of these places are free to enter or if you take the car may require a parking fee.we are lucky to have a rspb attraction just down the road from us, so we try to go there and do long walks, collecting the odd pinecone too!

Building a den or tent indoors

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Often it is the simplest of activities that your kids can have the most fun with. These things are the ones that only cost you your time. Building a den, a blanket fort or tent indoors is just one of those things. You could turn it into a movie afternoon where you get all comfortable and settle down to watch a good film. This only requires blankets, pillows and some tall chairs or other items to hold it together. It can be a lot of fun building it all and can take up a fair bit of time. Once it is built, you may even get to enjoy a cup of tea and five minutes peace.

A toddler class

 While this isn’t frugal if you do it everyday, attending a toddler class each week could give you and your little one that welcomed break. So pick wisely. There are many church venues that hold mornings or afternoons that have very little cost. Some even just require a donation to the church. You may want to consider other more organised classes like Little Squigglers. If you are paying out for something you may as well make sure they get something out of it. One of the groups we do is baby sensory. Which is available from new borns up to 1. Arch we loves sensory, and each week is different. This is the one group we pay for, as we are lucky to have the children centre which offers groups for free near us. 

Arts and crafts

  Crafty corner

Most young children like to get creative in some way shape or form. So why not encourage that more often. Initially, the cost of paints and a few items is your only outlay. If you use the paint in moderation, then these bottles can last a while. You could look into making your paints and craft items with organic materials. Kids like to get messy so painting and creating stuff is a great way of doing it while letting their imaginations run wild. Check out Pinterest for some awesome other ideas too!!