I have the luxury of a spare room in our new home. I am thinking it is time I spent some time designing a room of my own. I was brought up as an only child really as my brothers were adults when I arrived on the scene. When we were offered the chance of sharing rooms at college, I chose to have my own. I value my own space.

Spare Room

Of course with a husband and 3 children, space of my own was not realistic for many years. In the earlier years, you have to be around to keep an eye on your children and to keep them safe. I did not even go away from home apart from with work without children until my son was 10 years old. Even then I felt guilty.

Now my children are teenagers and a tween, they don’t want to spend every waking moment with their Mum. My husband likes to watch quizzes, crime shows and so-called male comedy shows on the television. None of these are my thing so I am going to make use of our spare room.

When we viewed the house, I noticed the spare room and wondered what to do with it. In the time we have stayed here, it was a dumping ground for cases and boxes when we moved in, then it became an office for my husband but he now wants to work from upstairs. The spare room in now my oyster!

Mindfulness

I want to use the spare room to try mindfulness. I need somewhere to contemplate and the room is perfect as it has a restful air and a beautiful view of the forest. I want to write, draw, read and listen to music in there.

Sleep

I don’t always sleep well in our marital bedroom especially as my husband is often awake during the night and also because he snores. The spare room will be great for a nap when the mood takes me.

Essential items

To make my spare room a perfect retreat, I will need some cushions and throws. I would like it to have a bit of a beach hut theme going on ideally with a retro style deckchair. I would also love a day bed or chaise longue if I can fit one in which I think I can. I happened to find the one pictured above over on Lionshome and think it would add a classic touch to a room of my own. I would also add an easel to tempt me to paint and be more creative.

I asked my best friend what she would do with a spare room and she joked that she would turn it into a private bar and invite the girls around. My brother said he would transform it into a music room with a grand piano. My children predictably said it would make a perfect gaming room. Ah video games! Now you know why I absolutely need a room of my own.

What would you use your spare room for?

 

 

My Random Musings

The Royal Wedding inspired many across the UK to hold their very own party in celebration of the spectacular union. What a day it was too – perfect weather and very much the fairy tale wedding. With a guest list including some of the biggest A-listers from across the globe, it was easy to see why other people wanted to have their very own garden party at home to celebrate.

Garden Party

We finally seem to be getting some warm weather, which means it is the perfect time to start planning for your summer garden party. Even if the Beckhams cannot make it, all you need is some nice weather, some nibbles and maybe the odd glass of Pimms! So what are you waiting for? Here is your checklist to make sure your party is one to remember:

Decorations

You cannot have a garden party without a few decorations to set the scene, so get the eco-friendly banners and bunting to display around your garden. Go to this site for some ideas or you can even make your own from bands of coloured paper.

Put it on ice

Stock up with plenty of ice to keep your drinks nicely chilled throughout the day. You can borrow ice buckets to make sure that you have enough to go round, so people do not need to keep walking back to the fridge.

Music

A bit of careful musical planning will help set the mood, so get your summer garden party playlist sorted with some of your favourites and the big summer hits of the year.

Food

You could offer to do a BBQ but unless someone enjoys being the BBQ chef, it only gets in the way of having fun. So just get some ready to eat buffet food for your guests to tuck into. A nice selection of sandwiches, crisps, sausage rolls, pizza and salad should keep everyone happy. Don’t forget to put some ice lollies in the freezer to cool everyone down if it happens to be a scorcher!

Drinks and mixers

Most people will bring their own drinks to a party out of courtesy but they never know how many to bring. Take too many and you look like you’re a heavy drinker and take too few and you soon run out. So as host, it always helps to have some extra drinks for people in case they run out. Make sure that you stock up with a range of mixers and if you are doing Pimms or gin then you might want to get a nice set of fruit for people to have in their drinks. Don’t forget some nice drinks for the designated drivers like flavoured water and ginger ale – a bit nicer than a glass of fizzy pop.

Garden Party

Party games

If you like to have fun then party games should be on the agenda. From beer pong to board games, you can get everyone into jovial spirits with a few fun games to play. You could even host your own personalised quiz about funny moments involving your guests!

Seating

You might need to borrow some chairs to make sure that everyone has somewhere to sit but you can also have makeshift benches and throw some blankets on the ground for people to sit on. Ask your guests in advance to bring any fold up chairs with them.

Gardening

Get your gardening done the day before the party so that your garden looks lovely and the perfect setting for the ultimate summer garden party!

 

ethannevelyn.com
Cuddle Fairy

Lookers, Motability dealers, have created just what us busy parents are looking for. They have devised some fun and creative ideas to maximise magical memory-making during your car journey. I’m all for anything that makes family car journeys less stressful.

As a child, I am sure I always behaved well in the car. In fact, I remember being shocked at the behaviour of my friends in the car when I travelled with their parents to events. I just don’t see the need to be bouncing around. Perhaps I was a boring child or maybe my Dad as a former police officer had made it clear to me what could go wrong when drivers are distracted

With my own children sibling quarrels are the worst thing at home or in the car. Apart from that they are pretty good and especially now they are that bit older.

As technology is so big a part of our lives today, it always good to have some traditional alternatives at the ready for trips in the car. Perhaps the below may be of use for you to use throughout your next family journey/

Hungry child?

Nobody is happy when they’re hungry and a young tot can panic when those hunger pangs strike. To preventing a tantrum wrecking your day out, keep a cool box in the front seat and pack this with a range of delicious, potentially healthy snacks, with a mix of drinks and treats. This is always a good way to keep the kids happy and if you inject new treats for them, that is also a great distraction technique.

Pack Wisely.

A good way of keeping your children occupied, is by keeping a bag full of all of their favourite things. This may include a range of items, such as books, colouring in items, pens and cuddly toys. With endless possibilities, your children will be spoilt for choice of what they can do!

Fancy a good read?

An audio book can entertain children of different ages and yourself. We used to do this a lot and should get back to the habit. It’s an easy way to learn without realising it and to stimulate children’s imaginations.

Preparing games!

When driving, there are an endless range of games to play with your children… One of which could potentially be “Yellow car”, in which you find as many yellow cars as possible. Why not switch this up and do it with your favourite colour? ‘Back seat bingo’ is also a popular one, in which you draw a grid for each player before setting off, and fill the squares with sites that you must tick off. So if you have a big drive planned, do some research of retro games that have stood the test of time.

I hope I’ve given you some tips to beat boredom during drives with your children.

How do you currently entertain your children on car journeys?

Cuddle Fairy

Jaguar Land Rover have partnered up with chef, Jamie Oliver, to design and create a fully functioning kitchen inside an SUV. The Land Rover Discovery Kitchen is a truly bespoke model that highlights complete versatility of the Land Rover Discovery. Jamie Oliver worked alongside Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team to bring his vision of a kitchen on wheels to life – and they did it with style and innovation.

Oliver had a big list of must-haves that he handed over to Land Rover – Lisa Tookey, chief revenue officer and head of commercial partnerships at Jamie Oliver Ltd, said: “Jamie is probably the most creative person I’ve ever met – he has a constant pipeline of brilliant ideas. Some of them are bonkers. If you let him run wild, this is what the outcome is.”

She added: “We always want to deliver the unexpected and believe that this partnership does just that whilst showcasing the future of food, technology and family life on the go.”

The Land Rover Discovery features a fully integrated kitchen, utilising every bit of space and technology available. Whilst Land Rover already have a reputation for integrating only the most state-of-the-art technology, this model features some of the best culinary gadgets. The centre console, usually home to the instrument panel, features a fully functioning two slice toaster, whilst the engine bay is home to a 4.7 litre slow cooker and the boot stores the fully equipped fold and slide out kitchen worktop with two gas hobs, a sink and a veneered finished surface. The worktop area is also fitted with an integrated slide out 40” flat screen TV with connectivity, and can be turned into a dining table to eat at.

Both rear windows have been custom built with external access to the model’s very own herb garden on the right and 11-piece spice rack on the left. The herb garden can accommodate up to 8 living plants. The real first for anything in the motor industry was to develop technology that churned butter whilst you drove the vehicle – the Discovery is fitted with three 5 litre butter churners mounted onto the wheels.

David Fairbairn, head of bespoke at SVO, commented: “As a team, we never imagined we would be asked to produce wheels that churn butter so it has been great fun working alongside Jamie to bring his vision to life. He really wanted to push the boundaries of what was possible with this versatile vehicle and the team fully embraced the challenge.”

And, of course, it wouldn’t truly be a fully functioning kitchen on wheels without a dual folding BBQ mounted onto a metal table with grill rack and rotisserie that is powered by the Land Rover engine. With this model, Jamie Oliver and the Land Rover SVO team have completely broken the boundaries of family life on the go with the Land Rover Discovery Kitchen. The project demonstrated the extent of JLR’s specialist bespoke modifications. Land Rover said: “All of the modifications are fully functional, meaning that Jamie and his family can cook a meal from scratch using the Discovery.”

Jamie Oliver was impressed by the bespoke 4X4 kitchen on wheels too, commenting: “I gave Land Rover a massive challenge to create the ultimate kitchen on wheels. I dreamt big and asked for a lot…

“I didn’t think they’d actually be able to put a slow-cooker next to the engine and an olive oil dispenser in the boot, but they did. The result is an amazing Discovery, tailored perfectly for me and the family – we love it. This unique creation means we can take our culinary adventures to the next level.”

This is just an example of how vehicles can be modified to the requirements of customers. Although the Discovery Kitchen is designed as a one-off, it proves that specialist modifications are almost limitless today. The automotive industry is progressively introducing new innovative technologies to enhance the driving experience and make life easier. Jamie Oliver’s vision to prove that family life and food on the go is possible has been realised, and simply on the horizon in the future. From Jaguar Land Rover’s perspective, the project was an opportunity to demonstrate the talent and bespoke nature of its SVO team to a mass audience.

 

Sources

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/862653/Jamie-Oliver-Land-Rover-Discovery-custom

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/07/jamie-oliver-and-jaguar-land-rover-partner-showcase-discoverys-potential-car-kitchen

https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/why-jamie-oliver-partnered-jaguar-land-rover-car-kitchen-built/1447835

 

They say relationship problems are often triggered by money issues. It certainly causes angst in my own marriage as my husband by his own admission is rubbish at managing money so all the sensible thinking and a lot of the income-generating  falls on my shoulders.

I recently read a survey from Shepherds Friendly Society who teamed up with psychologist and relationship expert, Dr Becky Spelman to find out more about how people think money should be handled in relationships. Does money really have the power to make or break a relationship?

The survey looked at different milestones in relationships when it comes to money. It covers things like who should pay the bill on a date night right down to whether people would split up with a partner if they became bankrupt.

There were some surprises to me in the survey findings. For example, one result was that more men than women feel men should pay on date night. This contrasted with another finding that more younger women than men felt the bill should be split.

I found it fascinating that money can make a person be more attractive to some people. I have never fancied anyone based on the size of their bank balance. In fact, my two long-term partners were unemployed when I met them. If I was to look for a new partner, I would want to ensure they had some financial security. It’s no fun constantly propping someone up who does not have money in the bank. It’s OK in the first stages of a relationship when love is still blind but it is not helpful when the bills arrive.

I was interested to see some different results for heterosexual couples compared with same sex couples. For example, same sex couples were more likely to keep their finances separate.

Check out the survey to find out more and to access sensible advice moving on in your romantic and financial lives.

How To Handle Money In Relationships

 



 

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