Sprucing Up Your Home in 2018

Sprucing Up Your Home in 2018

It’s the beginning of another New Year, believe it or not! For most people, January is typically a time for rest and recuperation, staying indoors and keeping away from the grey and miserable weather outside. However, this can often lead to cabin fever, as the lack of excitement and things to do can make the month seem as though it’s lasting forever. So, why not commit to starting the New Year as you mean to go on and banish the January Blues for good in 2018!

Spruce up your homeSince the weather outside is so uninspiring at this time of year, winter is a great time to focus your energy indoors and commit to making the most of the space within your home. From large-scale home improvements to just providing that all-important finishing touch to set off the look of a room, the scope really is endless when it comes to updating your home.

To give you some top tips and inspiration, here are a few great ideas for home improvement projects this January.

Damp Proofing

During the cold, wet winter months, your home can become particularly susceptible to the effects of the season. Especially prominent in older homes without modern damp proofing methods, it’s vitally important to ensure that your home is safe from the consequences of damp. Similarly, it’s essential to identify and treat damp as soon as you begin to spot the signs in order to prevent the problem worsening. If you do think that your home may be suffering from damp, it’s always best to get a damp proofing quote from an expert as your first step.


Good lighting is an absolutely essential part of any room. Whether it’s mood lighting or just a refresh of old fittings, lamps and lights can be a great way to completely transform the look of your home. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of calling in an electrician to rewire your property, why not invest in a brand new lampshade to add a splash of colour this January?


Even if you’re not an avid reader, the chances are that you will have a number of books floating around the house. From DIY books to cookbooks and various instruction manuals, even non-fiction books need somewhere to live! If you only have a few books, why not put up a shelf in the kitchen for all your cookbooks? On the other hand, if you are a big reader, why not make your novel collection a focal point of the room? Whether it’s a living room, bedroom or study, books can provide a unique way to accessorise any room of the home. You might consider installing built-in bookshelves, or alternatively, repaint existing bookcases to breathe new life into a tired piece of furniture.

Spruce up your home

Out with the Old

If you are usually quite frugal when it comes to your home, have you considered doing an overhaul of your soft furnishings and household necessities? A great place to start is the shower. You use it every day, but are you happy with the quality of your shower? Rather than investing in a whole new shower system, simply choosing a fresh shower head is a great way to rejuvenate your shower experience in 2018. On the other hand, it might well be time to consider updating your soft furnishings. If your towels and bed linen are looking a little ragged and worse for wear, take the opportunity to restock your closet with some lovely new pieces this January.

No matter your budget or the size of your home, there are always plenty of projects waiting to be started in the home – make the most of the season and get your home in tip-top condition ready for the year ahead!

This is a collaborative post.

Simple Photo-Related Gift Ideas

Simple Photo-Related Gift Ideas

Giving and receiving gifts is a pleasurable experience, at any time of the year. At least it should be. Unfortunately, sometimes you get a bit stuck when trying to come up with ideas. Occasionally, no matter how much you rack your brains, you still struggle to come up with the ideal present for a friend or family member. Well, hopefully, this article will help. Here are a few photo-related gift ideas that have the potential to work for any person.

Canvas Prints

A canvas print always looks good. They fit in really well with practically any style of home decor and appeal to virtually every age group. Hello canvas collages are easy to order. All you need to do is to provide the images, let them know the size you want and let them do the rest. They print out your design, wrap it up and send it to either you or the person you are giving it to as a gift.

If you have enjoyed a holiday with a friend or family member, you could perhaps put together a collage of snaps.

Alternatively, if you know they like butterflies or sunflowers you could choose to use those images instead.

Create a photo calendar

A similar idea is to take 12 or 13 images and use them to create a photo calendar. There are plenty of free templates available online. All you need to use them is a good printer, enough ink and the right type of printing paper.

Put together a photo cube

Do you remember photo cubes? Well, they are coming back into vogue. They are a great way to display up to six photos. The cubes are not expensive and your local photo shop will print out the images you need to complete your project.

Buy a photo cover

Most people own a phone, tablet or laptop, some own all three. These items are all quite expensive, which is why most owners use some sort of protective cover. If you know the make and model your friend owns you can potentially buy them a new cover that features your choice of photo. These bright, high-quality protective covers really do make excellent gifts.

Photo Cakes

If you like baking you can easily make a personalised cake or cupcakes to give as a gift. There are several ways to do it. By far the easiest approach is to find a firm that creates edible photo toppers and let them print one up for you. There are several of these companies online. Alternatively, you can trace the photo and use it as a template to allow you to recreate the image with coloured icing.

More inspiration

If none of the above ideas appeal to you, do not worry. As you can see by taking a look at this Pinterest board there are hundreds of ways photos can be used to create decorative items. They all have the potential to make fantastic gifts for your family or friends to enjoy, as well as being an excellent for decorating your home.

Ready Brek and Despicable Me 3

We are big fans of Ready Brek in our house, particularly as the weather gets colder. There is something really comforting about a warm breakfast or even a warm supper that feels just right, especially when it’s dark and miserable outside.

Ready Brek and Despicable Me 3

A couple of weeks ago I asked followers of my Facebook page for topping suggestions for Ready Brek to try out some new combos with the kids. I was pleased to hear that chocolate spread was a fave for people and syrup with fruit like raspberries or blueberries is a definite winner with my kids. One lovely reader suggested hot chocolate powder, strawberries, yoghurt, honey, banana and chocolate chips all at once! I’m not sure that would be a fave for me but as my kids pointed out there are some great combos within that list.

I love Ready Brek for supper for a healthy treat when all I really want to eat is rubbish. It’s filling but tasty and add some fruit and chocolate spread and it’s really satisfying too!

Ready Brek and Despicable Me 3


Ready Brek and Despicable Me 3Ready Brek has teamed up with Despicable Me 3 and the release of the movie on DVD and the release of new Despicable Me 3 Mineez Dru’s Secret Lair toy. We loved the movie, another great addition to the set and we loved Gru’s long lost brother Dru!

Ready Brek and Despicable Me 3

The kids have loved the whole Despicable Me franchise and the Minions so they were thrilled to find Minions on the Ready Brek box this time.

When they saw the Mineez set they were instantly excited to see what it involved and to open the box and play with it! I was concerned that it wouldn’t have much play value but the kids were transfixed. They loved the little Minions and the sticky Dru. I dislike those toys that are sticky because they end up covered in fluff after two minutes but the kids think they are hilarious!

Ready Brek and Despicable Me 3

They loved the sounds and the ejection chair and generally the whole play set, which at an rrp of £39.99 isn’t the cheapest toy but I would recommend it for Despicable Me fans who will enjoy acting out the film through the play set.

We received Ready Brek, the Despicable Me 3 DVD and play set for the purposes of this review.