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5 Affordable Bathroom Upgrades Ideas*


Create the bathroom of your dreams with an inexpensive bathroom makeover. You can refresh your bathroom in a weekend or less with these 5 affordable upgrades ideas.

Deep clean your bathroom
I know everyone at the moment is on the #hincharmy, Mrs Hinch hype. However giving your bathroom a deep clean can really make your bathroom look much fresher. What is the difference between regular cleaning and a deep clean? Regular cleaning is what most people do on a regular basis for example weekly vs a deep clean which is every 6 months to a year. 

Deep cleaning the bathroom means cleaning the inside and tops of the cupboards, including cabinets, underneath and behind the sink and toilet and removing built up limescale from all taps, tiles and the shower head.

Change the Shower head
It's the little things that can make a everyday bathroom feel luxurious. One of these things is changing your shower head, it will make you feel that you are staying in a fancy hotel. If you’re not confident about changing the shower head, call a plumber in

Get painting
A coat of paint on the walls and ceiling is the easiest way to freshen up your bathroom. Lighter colours will make the bathroom seem larger or if you are after something a little more cosy, go for a rich dark colour. Make sure you use bathroom paint as they are especially designed for wet areas. You will have less issues with mould and a more hard wearing finish.
 
Add some plants
A bit of greenly can do wonders for a look of a bathroom. Invest in some moisture loving plants like ferns and orchids. Not only will they love the steam from the bathroom they will also add some scent to the room.

Change your tiles
Another way of giving your bathroom a fresh and modern look is by changing the tiles. If your budget is tight you don't have to tile your whole bathroom. Simply changing the tiles around the sink will make a huge different to the look and feel of your bathroom. 

So those are my 5 affordable bathroom upgrades ideas. If you need more design inspiration for your bathroom. Visit showrooms like Harrogate bathroom for classy ideas and bathroom ideas. I find visiting showrooms give you more of an idea how things will look once installed.




Trolls Summer Festival at Sherk's Adventure

We were recently invited to visit Shrek’s Adventure in London. This summer they are hosting a Trolls Festival which gives you the chance to meet everyone favourite Princess Poppy.


If you have not been to Shrek’s Adventure before, it is situated on the South Bank next to the Coca Cola London Eye and opposite the Houses of Parliament. We went there by the Underground and their nearest station is Waterloo or Westminster. It is very easy to walk to the location and there is a park and lots of places to eat nearby.

If I am honest it took Darcy a while to enjoy herself, I found Sherk Adventure to be a little dark. Which is not ideal when your child is scared of the dark. However once I finally settled her down she couldn't wait to explore.

The Shrek’s Adventure tour begins with a brief meet up with Princess Fiona, followed by a manic 4D journey with Donkey. The bus itself is surrounded by 4D screens and it is a wide ride. No spoilers but be prepared you might get a little wet!





The Shrek’s Adventure ride features familiar faces from the Dreamworks family, from Kung Fu Panda to Darcy's favourite Madagascar. There’s a treasure trail across a stinky swamp, a Topsy turvy game show and a mirror maze which we got lost in.

The actors you meet along the way really play the part and you cannot help but get really into the story. There are lots of audience participation and it’s all great fun. Darcy had some brilliant interaction with the Muffin man, which she still speaks about to this day.

The Trolls Festival takes place after the tour for an extra cost in its own private room. The room is decorated just like the Troll village with lots of special details and very bright colours. In the room you get to have sing a long to your favourite songs from the movie, take part in a quiz and meet poppy herself!


I haven't got many pictures of the day because cameras and phones are not permitted to be used during Shrek’s Adventure. You can however use them in the character courtyard at the end of your tour, but Darcy was too scared to have a picture of Sherk ,so we rushed pass that part. You also have the opportunity to buy pictures in a professional photo album at the end of the tour.

The Troll Festival will be at Sherk Adventure until 3rd September. So what are you waiting for? get your dancing shoes on and head down to the South Bank. Believe me you don't want to miss out!

5 Easy Ways To Get Freebies*

Being a single parent means we only have one income. So I am always thinking of ways to save money and budget. I have shared with you how tips on saving money on your food shop and tips on keeping cost down helpme day go day. Another way that I save money is by looking out for freebies. I mean who doesnt love a freebie? Today I'm going to share with you 5 ways how I get freebies, 




Write to companies
Companies love nothing better than hearing good feedback about their products. If you are really impressed with a product why don't you use a Head Office Finder to get their postal address and find them a letter. I have done this before and have received a thank you letter back with either a voucher for money off my next buy or a sample of one of their newer products.

Become a "Comper"
Set up a separate email account, so your personal email account is not spammed with junk mail. You can have more than one email address if you want to enter more than once. Competitions can be found on Twitter, Facebook and website such as The prize finder.

This year alone I have won a hotel stay, DVDs and gift vouchers. So it is definitely worth taking some time out of your day and entering a few competions. Around Christmas time there are a lot and I mean a lot of competitions available. So that will definitely keep you busy.

Join freebie websites
Use the same email account that you created for entering competitions and use it to register with websites that offer freebie. I've seen theatre shows for free via seefilmfirst, and moneysavingexpert.com have a forum where people list freebies that they have found online

Complain, Complain, Complain
I would never complain about anything until I lived with Debz, who is never shy to pipe up if she is not happy with a service. We always laugh about the time my Internet wasn't working on my mobile and she spent a good hour on the phone asking to speak to the manager. Which resulted in me not only getting refunded for every day I couldn't log on-line but being put on a much cheaper contract. Which just goes to show it's good to complain. But only ever complain if you are actually unhappy, not any of this "there's a fly in my soup" business!

Be a product tester
If you don't mind being a test dummy, you can test products and in return for your views you get to keep the item. Some companies will give you a product to view in return for leaving a review on amazon.

I have tested things from bath bombs and hair oils to wireless speakers and kitchen thongs. It can be very hit and miss but I only ever leave honest feedback.

So that was my 5 tips on how to get freebies, do you love a freebie?

Interior design ideas to please the whole family*

With the Autumn days and darker nights getting ready to draw in, we’ll be spending more time in the family room so shouldn’t they be as warm and welcoming as they can? 

But for who? Your idea of a perfect family room might be very different than your partners – and unless you’re an adult gamer or love cartoons – and your children.  


The layout, style and features of a family room or living room as we used to call them have to have something for everybody if they are going to enjoy spending time there.  

Here are some ideas to create something for everyone in the main living space: 

Play Room
Not everybody has space for a separate playroom for younger children, or may not want to create one but there can be one corner of the main room dedicated as a fun play are for the kids.  

Think about it – without one, the toys can quickly take over and make you feel like you are living in a giant soft play centre. By turning a specific space into a Kindergarten, they will feel valued and can be given the lifelong and important responsibility of keeping it tidy.   

It can be done tastefully with splashes of colour and subtle but important storage spaces dedicated to toys, gadgets, arts and crafts materials and more.  As the children grow these storage spaces remain and can be used to house gadgets and whatever else is going to be in five years from now.  

Image-ination
Nothing can reinforce the idea and membership of a family than pictures of the members in the room. Any bare section of wall, shelf space or cupboard is a great spot and if the frames are kept identical in colour and their sizes, it will re inform the group dynamic.   

Choosing one or two of your favourite family pictures from holidays or great days out and converting them to large prints will create warm centrepieces that everyone will remember. 

Tech Talk 
Modern technology and gadgets are ubiquitous but the newer designs for flat screen 4K TV’s and colour coded wifi speakers and routers mean that it can be incorporated into any living room style perfectly.  

Floating shelves can be incorporated to elevate any screens and speakers you wish and modern assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo can be hidden behind plants or ornaments. They are voice controlled so as long as they can hear you, you don’t have to see them! 

The family that games together stays together so make the space compatible for a family viewing and gaming experience. A couple of colour coordinated beanbags cost less and take up far less space than chairs and can keep the space informal and comfortable – even if you are entertaining big kids for a movie or a match. 

Family Friendly Flooring
The modern flavour of wooden floor is here to stay but it can be brightened up with a large or several smaller rugs.  Keeping the room tidy and free of clutter is also imperative but different colours and materials will offer an interesting aspect.   

Having a thicker or woolly rug will also be great for kids’ feet and to sit on when their friends are around. Even more so if they match the beanbags.  

Open Spaces
A modern design idea that will function all year round is increasing the light in a room. But what if you could also open up the wall to let nothing but light in and take advantage of great weather days? 

Installing some powder coated, colour-coordinated aluminium bifold doors is an elegant solution and provides a variety of fourth wall options to rethink any family room arrangement.   

With increased light and ventilation coming into the room, it will feel like there is more space available for everyone – and it’s a quick and easy way to get the kids more active in the outdoor spaces and you will be able to see them easily from the sofa! 


5 Reasons Why A Driving Experience Will Make The Perfect Gift For The Woman In Your Life*


I don't know about you, but sometimes I struggle with buying gifts for people. I am not a fan of buying something just for the sake of it, preferring to put thought and effort into buying something I know they'll love. Over recent years I have really enjoyed the idea of giving presents that create memories - anyone can buy someone a new dress or a DVD, but when you buy experiences you create memories that last forever. This can be done by sending them out for dinner, or something unique like experience days.

I love the idea of an experience day as it is something a little different.

She Won't Be Expecting It

I think buying something that someone isn't expecting is amazing. Not only will they get to enjoy the experience you send them on, but the thrill of opening your unexpected present and the anticipation of the big day is priceless. I can honestly say that none of the women in my life will be expecting something like this, so it would make the perfect present for many of them.

You Can Enjoy It Together

When I give a present, I don't do it because I want thanks - but that said, creating memories together is something really special. One of these driving day experience is easily something you can make into a whole day - go for dinner afterwards or even treat yourselves to a stay in a swanky hotel!

It's Unique

Honestly speaking, these days are unique so who wouldn't love it? You can pick from different cars, so whatever the female in your life likes, there will be something to suit!

It's Affordable

I can't always afford to treat my friends and family as much as I would like, so any ideas for affordable gifts is good by me. I love this type of present because it is all about the experience not how much you have spent. It's a present that they're going to know you have given thought to, and that is what makes it so special.

Convenience

Lots of my friends (like yours I am sure) fun family homes, work busy jobs and have vibrant social lives so getting together can be tough. When I looked into these driving experience days I loved the flexibility of times and locations, so I can be pretty sure that we'll be able to find something that suits all of us!

What unique gift ideas would you like to share?

5 Ways You Can Improve Your Credit Score*

There are many reasons why it is imporrtant to have a good credit rating, from buying a new car on credit, getting credit cards or loan with a low APR or if you are saving up for a mortgage.

If you are in need of a loan and have been rejected due to having a poor credit rating, then a instant loans might be best for you. Remember though, loans are great if they work for you - however sometimes it's important to make sure that you only borrow for what you need and can afford to pay back!. 



You can check your credit score using one of the four main credit scoring agencies in the UK: Equifax, Experian, Callcredit and Noddle. You can ask a full report of your credit report for free. Your credit report will include; all loans,credit card accounts which are open, current overdraft, previous credit applications, any missed payments and the number of times it has happened and any history of debt, CCJs etc. This will also identify people who are connected to you including partners, other people who have lived at the same addres as you etc


Today I am sharing with you 5 ways you can improve your credit score;

Pay bills on time
Credit history is built up slowly over time as you increase the number of on-time payments you make. Missed and late payments can stay on your credit file for up to six years. Paying your bills on time is a great way to prove to lenders that you’re capable of managing finances effectively.

Register to vote 
If your name is not registered on the electoral roll, you will find it harder to get credit. You can register with your local council to vote on-line or by post.

Pay off your debts
Paying more than your minimum payment can be seen as you managing your debts responsibly. Which means that prospective lenders would more than likely want to give you credit.

Stay within the agreed credit limit
Try and avoid getting into your overdraft, regularly being in your overdraft means you are not in control of your spending, and a credit company will be less inclined to loan you money, as there is a risk that you will not be able to pay back the money borrowed.

Avoid opening many new accounts
Credit reference agencies don't get told if you are rejected for credit, but a note is made every time a credit search is made by a lender. The more credit searches carried out in a short space of time, the less likely you are to be accepted for credit by most lenders.

If you need some more advice about improving your credit rating Step Change are a debt charity who give free debt advice & debt management. Step Change are fantastic, they are happy to give you advice when you need it.


Have you recently improved your credit rating? I would love to hear how you did it.

How To Save For A Mortgage*

Getting on the property ladder can be hard, especially like me where you are spending hundreds a month on rent. We currently live in a flat and a dream of house with space that we can grow into and a garden where Darcy can play. I know it is not impossible but it will be hard work. I've been working out how I can make my dream a reality and have come up with some ways to save up for a deposit. Which I am going to share with you today;


Location
You really need to take a moment and think about the place which you want to live in. Can you really afford it? Would it be more financially sensible to downsize, move to an up and coming area or even move out of the city? If you are currently renting moving to a different area with lower rent costs means more money in the saving kitty. But do not forget to weigh in factors such as travel costs.

Get a Side Hustle
There are lots of way you can make money from side hustling.From being a reseller on eBay, to taking a few minutes out of your day to complete on line surveys. I use Prolific which I find really easy to use and they pay out via Paypal. Or if you are brave enough there is Matched betting, which is something that I am looking into. If you have the time extra rime find yourself a part time job, this could be in the evenings or even at the weekends.

Do you have a hobby which you can turn into a business? Making crafts has been a popular way of making money for a while now. With a lot of people opening Etsy stores or selling via Facebook groups or on Instagram.


Parents
I'm super proud of my Mum, she got herself a mortgage as not only a single parent, but also a full-time student with not one but two part time jobs! And this year she will finally paid up her mortgage and the house will be officially hers. She's a great role model and we have spoken in depth about her helping me get a mortgage and the importance of owning a property. We sat down and used this tool from SunLife to see how much her house has made her and it just proves how being a home owning is a great investment.


Move in with Parents or Friends
If your parents are not the in positon to help you with a deposit for a mortgage. You could always see if you are able to move in with them to help save the pennies. It might be hard at the beginning but there are so many benefits to moving in apart from saving money.

Shared Ownership
If you cannot afford a 100% mortgage, shared ownership might be for you. Shared ownership gives you the chance to buy a share of your home, from 25- 75% and pay rent on the remainder share. When you are in a better financial place you can buy a bigger share of your home.

Have you saved up for a deposit? what tips could you share to get people on the right path? I would love to hear them?