Wednesday, 27 April 2016

a tidy house

I have to confess, I’m not the tidiest of homeowners.
I’ve been known to leave dishes in the sink, nail polish bottles lying all over the house and even hair in the shower plughole (sorry, Tom). Since moving house, I’ve made a conscious effort to keep things tidier, so today I wanted to share with you some of my top tips for keeping the house tidy when it doesn’t come naturally, so you too can be a domestic goddess :)

A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING
This is the biggest one for me and is tied to the common cleanliness tip ‘have less stuff’. When we moved, we seriously de-cluttered – who needs six baking trays and 50 coffee mugs! My aim for this home was to have a place for everything, so that everything could be in its place and I’m sure that’s something every one reading this could take away and apply to their own home. 

NEVER LEAVE A ROOM EMPTY HANDED
This is a tip I’m trying hard to adopt. I’ll scan a room before leaving to see if there’s anything I can take with me into another, be it taking newly bought supplies upstairs to the bathroom or dirty glasses or empty loo rolls downstairs to the kitchen/recycling. This ensures that things are in their rightful room so the five-minute tidy up before bed becomes much easier. 

PUT THINGS BACK AFTER USING THEM
Following on from my first two tips, putting things back in their rightful place ensures the panic-filled, five-minute clean-up before guests arrive (which I recently discovered is actually called a ‘Scurryfunge’) becomes a thing of the past, or at the very least, a lot more manageable.  

KEEP CLEANING SUPPLIES WHERE YOU USE THEM
It’s all well and good keeping a cupboard in your kitchen or utility room stocked with cleaning supplies, but it often means things aren’t on-hand when you need them. Instead why not invest in some pretty storage, be it wicker baskets or stylish drawers, and keep toilet cleaner next to the toilet and cans of polish by your mirror – you’ll find yourself cleaning as you go. 

LEAVE SHOES AT THE DOOR
Shoes track in dirt, stones and god-knows-what from the outside world, so leaving them at the door, in the hallway, ensures their mess is confined to one place, meaning your floors won’t need cleaning as often #score 

 
WIPE DOWN EVERY SURFACE AFTER USE
Hopefully you already wipe up spills as they happen, even when cooking, but wiping surfaces down after using them is another great way to keep things looking tidy. I would also recommend keeping a microfibre cloth handy to dry sinks and stainless steel surfaces to avoid watermarks. 

FILL THE DISHWASHER
Dishwashers are fantastic, because not only do they do the dishes for you, but they’re also great places to hide dirty dishes until you have a full load! 

MAKE YOUR BED
I think, a made bed, even if it’s just straightening the duvet, starts the day right; it says, I’m up and ready to tackle whatever you can throw at me. Plus it’s much more satisfying climbing into a made bed at the end of the day rather than crawling into last night’s mess of sheets and pillows. 

PUT AWAY YOUR CLOTHES
We’ve all done it; we’ve changed into our PJs at the end of a long day and instead of putting clothes back on their hangers, or in the laundry basket, we’ve tossed them onto the floor muttering ‘I’ll deal with those tomorrow’, but this is another lazy trap people fall into. It only takes a few seconds to put your clothes where they belong, be it the laundry or the wardrobe, and you’ll be so thankful you took those extra seconds when you wake up refreshed the following morning. 

DUST AND VACUUM REGULARLY
This is essential, especially when you know that the average human sheds over one million skins cells per hour; combined with airborne dust, this can add up to several pounds of nastiness in rugs, carpets, mattresses and furniture in our home each year. There’s no set rule for how often you should dust/vacuum – I can get away with once a week because there are only two of us and we have no pets – so if you feel the need to vacuum daily, do it; if you’d prefer once or twice a week, do that instead. Find what suits you, and stick to it.
Home Etc

What do you do to keep your home tidy?

Monday, 25 April 2016

weekend #17

What a glorious, spring-filled weekend it was...

My Saturday began as Hubs left the house to go on a Safeguarding course (he's an Assistant Scout Leader); after a spot of breakfast, I spent a couple of hours taking some photos and writing copy for an exciting collaboration with Wayfair which I can't wait to share with you all...

Once Hubs returned home we had a spot of lunch, then headed out to our local bluebell woods for a walk with my parents and Izzy. I have to say, we were a little disappointed because the bluebells looked a little sorry for themselves. They are early this year so we're not sure if the recent frosts have affected them but they didn't look as spectacular as we'd imagined...

After our walk, we all headed back to our house where we spent the evening watching TV, reminiscing about old times and enjoying a delicious Indian takeaway... oh and admiring how beautiful Izzy is ;)

Sunday started with a tidy up, a bit of ironing and breakfast while watching the London Marathon on TV. As Saturday was St George's Day, Tom's Scout group joined up with every other group (Beavers, Cubs, Explorers and Leaders included) from around the area (including Leighton's Beaver group) for a parade through our local villages...
Although the weather wasn't quite as nice as last year, the rain mostly held off and we treated ourselves to a carvery afterwards, before heading to the mother-in-law's for a cuppa and a catch up!

It was a busy but great weekend; I hope you had a great one too :)

Friday, 22 April 2016

high five for Friday

Happy Friday, blogfriends
I hope you've had a good week; despite not really stopping by my little corner of the internet, I've had a great week...

1 | My weekend in Poole was awesome.

2 | On Tuesday, I was able to get out the office to visit a client on her stud farm; it was a beautiful day weather-wise and it was a great morning out of the office...
that sky though :)

3 | The weather this week has been beautiful; Hubs and took advantage of Wednesday's glorious sunshine and warm temps with an after-work stroll through the older part of our new village, where we saw so many breathtaking countryside sights.
When we found our home but were yet to move in, I had an image in my head of how life would be and Wednesday's walk wasn't far off what I imagined; I love being so close to the countryside. As I stood nestled in Hub's arms watching the lambs hop and jump in the field, with late-in-the-day birdsong filling my ears, I was overcome with happiness; it was literally all I could have hoped and wished for. For so long, our old home felt like a prison I couldn't wait to escape and on Wednesday night I think it finally hit me that I'm free.

4 | Nick Carter (of Backstreet Boys fame) and his wife, Lauren, finally had their baby boy this week :)

5 | I'm looking forward to my weekend, which hopefully involves bluebells, a takeaway and time spent with family :)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 18 April 2016

weekend #16

We spent the weekend visiting friends in Poole.

My bestie moved to Poole in Dorset 18 months ago and until Friday I had yet to visit her; I know I'm a totally bad friend. I'm lucky that she doesn't hold a grudge, however we were well overdue a visit, so on Friday afternoon we hopped in the car and headed south...

My friend and her boy live a stone's throw from the sea and the spectacular Jurassic Coast - it is beautiful, even at dusk after hours cooped up in the car. Friday night was spent admiring the breathtaking scenery and catching up over good food and a few drinks :)

On Saturday morning we decided to head out into the sunshine to see a little more of the immediate vicinity and walk Milo, their miniature pinscher ...

Once Milo had burnt off some energy, we tucked him up at home and headed along the coast to the Sandbanks area for a stroll along the golden sands which link Poole to Bournemouth...

 
...all the while gazing at the homes that line the beach, as some fetch as much as £10m(!) while the ones pictured command north of £1m #howtheotherhalflive

After crossing the bay to the Studland, we decided to stop off at a seafood restaurant, which is actually their wedding reception venue, for a drink and snacks. It's a beautiful seafood restaurant with unspoiled views of the bay, and Brownsea Island in the distance; I cannot wait until next June because she could not have picked a more perfect place to party the night away...
From here we headed in land a little and stopped for some lunch at The Bankes Arms, before wandering along some country lanes for views up the coast. With full bellies, we jumped back in the car and drove to Swanage, where we wandered around the town and enjoyed an nice cream (which I forgot to photograph)...
Knackered from all that exploring, we spent Saturday night eating pizza and watching all kinds of trashy TV, before retiring to bed around 11pm #rocknroll

Sunday started with another dog walk around the immediate area, but this time we went right along the Quay and strolled around Old Poole, past quaint cottages, olde worlde shops and an array of sea vessels, from row boats to large yachts; we even took a stroll to The Guildhall, where next year's wedding will take place #excited


We couldn't leave without hubby getting a photo with the life-sized bronze statue of Lord Baden-Powell on Poole Quay, right beside the dock where boat trips to the island depart (if you weren't aware, Baden-Powell founded the Scout Movement when he held the first Scout Camp on Brownsea Island in 1907)...

With the car packed and hugs exchanged, we started the journey home; however, to make the four hour journey more bearable we decided to stop off at Stonehenge, where we couldn't resist a selfie or two...


We had a great weekend!