We have recently done a real-life escape to the country all of our own. It feels lovely to be in a beautiful home with gorgeous grounds.

One of the things I really love about our new place is the light in every room. The lounge is dark enough to be cosy with a woodburner but still light enough. Every other room is bathed in sunlight on summer days and better days in the autumn and winter.

Escape To The Country

The house has a third floor or two actually as we have 2 staircases hitting the ranks of those with wings in their home own in a way. There is one huge room at the top of one staircase and at the top of the other there are 3 rooms which has become my teenager’s pad.

I love the idea of large roof windows in a room, which will create a really light and airy space. I have recently  discovered from VELUX that you  can make different choices for roof windows from the classic to the top hung to the automated. When converting a loft, this would be a big decision to make depending on your own individual circumstances.

Light is good for the soul and I always feel happier with light rooms particularly bedroom and study spaces. Roof windows are a fabulous way to inject that light and then all you need to decide is whether you want to invest in a funky blind to jazz up the room too.

Escape To The Country

My 16 year old says a blind is all well and good but he fancies a stylish futon too for his room and is looking at the IKEA brochure right now.

Are you making home improvements at the moment?

Would you like to escape to the country?

Please leave a comment and let me know what you are up to.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cuddle Fairy

EL

Fancy some tips for getting free stuff from companies?

Imagine getting loads of free stuff – the thrill of not having to eat into your limited income freeing that up for essentials and memory-making experiences.

Here are some tips I was sent by Sam on how to get free stuff and save money as a result.

“All of us love to save some money on our everyday expenses. Some of you might shop for coupons and discounts for this purpose. In fact, some of you might be using referrals to save some money on your next orders. On the other hand, there are many of you who prefer to trawl the internet in search of the latest freebie offers by manufacturers. Even though I do all three of these things to save money on my daily expenses, I prefer freebies since you don’t have to spend anything to get free stuff.

The problem with the majority of individuals searching for freebies in the United Kingdom is that they will search Google for the websites that offer free samples and not do anything further than that. This method is not enough to find the best free products and samples offered by numerous manufacturers in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, it is important to remember that getting a freebie is a privilege and not a right as most people would think. There are many other techniques that you can use to shop for freebies on the market. In fact, I use websites, apps, coupons, and write to companies asking them for freebies in exchange for product reviews. Here are some of the most important methods of getting freebies from companies in the United Kingdom.

 Websites

 Freebie websites have the latest information on the free samples offered by leading manufacturers in the UK. They give you the chance of getting freebies by testing them or offering a review for the particular product. Just searching for “free stuff UK” will bring up a list of websites that give you free samples. But there is one big disadvantage of relying only on websites when hunting for freebies. You may get into a frenzy of applying for freebies that you don’t use. For instance, there is no point in getting baby food samples if you don’t have a baby. On the other hand, there are many webmasters that try to scam the innocent searcher by asking for their phone numbers selling it to companies. That is why it is important to have strict rules on what freebies you want to have and don’t want to have when looking for freebie websites, you can check outWOW Freebies which is a great free stuff site in the UK, who update daily with all the latest free stuff. You should also beware of surveys that won’t allow you to say “not interested” in irrelevant questions and request for your phone number to win a competition. It is better to skip such surveys.

 Apps

Apps are great to find free stuff from various companies in the United Kingdom. In fact, if you are on o2, you should download o2 Priority app for this purpose – you can download it without being a customer of theirs. I can’t reiterate enough the importance of this app to get free stuff from various companies in the UK. In fact, I have got so many free samples from my lovely app such as coffee, gifts, food, drinks, chocolate, full size toiletries, storage boxes, wrapping paper, clothing, and much more items. In fact, earlier this year I got an England Rugby shirt and a 500ml Nuva water from Boots. I can write for a whole day if I have to list all the freebies I got only from this one app. Unidays ID is another great app for students – it has gotten me some freebies and a lot of student discounts from time to time.

 Writing To Manufacturers

 This works great when getting freebies from various companies across the United Kingdom. In fact, this is something that I’m learning to do more often than not. You can write to a manufacturer asking for a freebie in exchange for an honest product review for the product. It helps build a great business-client relationship too. If you have a blog, you can easily offer a product review on your blog for your visitors to read. Even though many people don’t do this, it is a great way to get freebies – especially full-sized products from manufacturers.

 Facebook

 This is another great way of getting some good quality free samples in the United Kingdom. Most of you may have friends involved in direct marketing or MLM. Most of my friends involved MLM play games on the Facebook profiles – where you all say a word, and the last individual to say the exact word before the host say it wins a free sample. I have managed to bag some of the best freebies that way without having to spend a penny on them.

 There is another advantage of hunting for freebies. In fact, you will get a couple of free vouchers with the free samples so that you can stretch your budget a bit further. All this will help you save a lot of money in the end. In fact, there is much more to freebie hunting than just browsing online.”

**This post was in collaboration with WOW FreeStuff**

What I would do if I won the Lottery is a question I have given a lot of thought to because I am aware that the family members would have different priorities.

Property

The first thing on my list would be to buy a home that could be a safe haven forever for any family members who needed it. I remember my parents selling their home to fund travels around the world and I realised that I would not inherit property and was quite shocked by that at the time. I know exactly the type of house I would buy as I know what works well for us as a family. Having said that there would be one indulgence for me which would be an indoor swimming pool. Whenever the children complain about not having anything, I always say “I would like a swimming pool in the basement but we don’t always get what we want!” I sound like my Mum who always wanted a trip on the Orient Express but I made sure that happened for her in her Golden Wedding Anniversary year.

Car

My husband did not surprise me when I double-checked what he would want from the Lottery winnings, It is always the same as he loves cars although on this occasion he fancies a Land Rover rather than the usual Mercedes. We would probably need a Lottery win to keep it on the road with his track record with cars.

Entertainment

My teenage son would like the biggest gaming computer than money can buy and also dogs. I think he would live quite happily with a job that involved loads of contact with dogs.

Houseboat

My daughter has her spending all planned as she wants to live on a houseboat with a fluffy cat called Coco.

Charity

My other son would want some gaming gear and then like me would probably want to give a lot of the winnings away.

I would like to set up a foundation of sort to support a student to go to my old college. I would probably support cancer and children’s charities like my parents did too.

Finally there would be little guilty pleasures like fresh flowers every week and good perfume.

What would you do if you won the Lottery?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Maisie has kindly agreed to share her post-natal depression story.

Post-natal Depression Story

Please tell us a little about who you are and what you do.

My name is Maisie. I’m a 23 year old new mum to my 7 month old baby boy, a blogger at Love Maisie, social media manager and caffeine addict! We currently reside in the beautifully historic city of Gloucester.

How did you feel when you became pregnant?

I felt overwhelmed with emotions. There were so many things going through my mind when I saw those little blue lines appear on that pregnancy test! I suppose the two emotions that stood out were excitement and fear.

How did you feel after having your baby?

Immediately after I just wanted to go home. We ended up being in hospital for a week with a long induction, complicated birth and blood transfusions. Although I was unwell and did need to stay in those two extra days, I just felt like a bit of a prisoner and wanted to get back to my “normal” life. I was very tearful the week that my son was born, but of course I felt that this was completely normal, baby blues and all that.

What made you suspect you had PND?

It was actually my partner that suspected it first. I think that’s because I was in denial. I was in denial when I was pregnant that I had Pre Natal Depression but I just kept trying to fight it and ignore it, so I don’t think it really came to us as a surprise when I found that I was struggling with my mental health post partum. It wasn’t until one day that not only was I feeling overwhelmingly low, but also angry(very out of character for myself) that I started to actually believe that I was suffering with PND and needed to get some help.

Who did you ask for help? Who supported you most?

Initially it was my partner and my mum and I honestly don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for them. I then went on to have appointments with my GP and my mum and my partner were there for me every step of the way and still are to this day. My partner has been the biggest support as he has been so hands on with our son and is always trying his very best to make sure that I am okay.

What made you decide to seek treatment and what was that treatment?

As mentioned, it was the overwhelming feelings of being low followed by the constant anger and angst I had against the world. I felt like everything and everyone was out to get me because I was a “bad mum.” Upon having the appointments with my GP I started a course of sertraline anti-depressants and CBT over the phone.

How are you now?

I’m definitely doing a lot better now compared to how I was 6 months ago. I still have my down days where I can get really low, but I’m finding ways of coping with them and helping myself to get out of them. It’s a daily battle but it’s one worth fighting.


What would you say to a mum who feels she has lost all hope?

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I felt so alone, as if I was the only person feeling the way that I did and struggling, but the more you open up, the more you realise that actually, there are(sadly) so many other women who feel very similar to how you are feeling. You are NOT a bad mum, even if it feels like you are.

Why do you think it is important to speak out about depression and similar issues?

I think it is so important to speak out about all mental health issues to raise awareness and to let people that are struggling know that they are not alone and that the fact that they are perhaps reading something like this or googling things like this is proof that they are strong and that they have so much worth fighting for. Depression takes over too many lives and ruins some too and I can honestly say that it nearly took my life. I am so thankful that it didn’t and I just wish I could speak to every single mum out there that feels lost and hopeless, just so that I can try and help them, even if in a very small way.

Do you have a post-natal depression story to share? Please leave a comment or let me know if you would like to share your story on my blog.

Being honest and open about your post-natal depression story takes a lot so remember that sharing is caring and click one of the buttons below – it might just reach the mum who needs it most today.

depression

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

A Blogging Good Time

My Random Musings
The Pramshed

Summer is over which means autumn is here (almost) now we welcome the arrival of the autumn season and it’s time to capture those memorable autumn photos of your kids and family. Getting natural looking photos can be tough, no matter what time of year. Luckily, the vibrant colours and amazing fall foliage provides a stellar back drop to even the most awkward poses.

Here are some of our favourite tips for the best autumn photos

If you have school age children the first item on your to-do list should be dressing them in a fabulous fall outfit like this one from serendipity clothes for girls

Adding some fun accessories can be another classic way to spice up a more basic top and give your outfit some autumn flare, we are loving the idea of adding this pin (pictured above) to any outfit. Once you have the perfect wardrobe options picked out, think of some fun activities to have your kids participate in. Avoid the forced awkward poses, everyone loves a leaf fight, or jumping in a big pile of leaves. These are some of our favourites when it comes to ‘action’ shots.

Ever considered having a scavenger hunt for you kids? This helps make taking pictures less about actually taking pictures and more about having fun. Have your kids look for certain colour, shapes, and sizes of leaves or find a buried treasure. These create picture perfect moments and keep your kids happy too!

Depending on the age of your children certain activities may not be age appropriate so it’s important to find something that works for babies and toddlers too. During the autumn months how can we resist a baby playing peek-a-boo with a big leaf? Get those sweet baby and toddler giggles out by building a leaf tower on your head and pretending to sneeze so they fall off.

Just as with school-aged children, finding the perfect outfit for your baby or toddler is important, especially since these will be the photos your kids. One thing we like to advise against is having your kids all be in matching clothes. Avoid having everyone blur together by finding similar colours themes to dress each child in, without having them wear the exact same thing. Try looking for a unique baby outfit at a local boutique for young kids you might stumble across some gems like these!

Autumn Photo

Have you given some thought to staging some props? We agree, certain props can be tacky during autumn photos. Let’s be honest how many times do we have to see your baby inside a pumpkin? Consider using props but choose more authentic and natural pieces to add to your pictures. Add mums, haystacks, a bucket of apples, gourds, pine cones, or even a scarecrow into the mix. While props are not completely necessary they give another element to your photos and can be fun for kids to explore during the session.

Of course, after all is said and done when it comes to autumn photos don’t forget to have fun! Hit up the local cider mill for a delicious donut and fresh pressed cider after to reward everyone for their winning smiles and making lasting memories!

A Blogging Good Time