Adding a Touch of Personalisation to Your Family Home*

The majority of us will take great pride in our family home. This is the space in which we kick back and relax after a long day at work and where our little ones will return after a (not quite so) long day at school. It is where we spend quality time together and bond. It is where we eat our morning meals, lunchtime meals, and evening meals. It’s where we watch films, sing, dance, and make memories together. So, it’s not all too surprising that we want it to be a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing space. In order to achieve this, many families have verged towards minimalism
This is a style that minimise the number of unnecessary belongings that we have. It helps to reduce clutter and free up space for activities. Less mess generally means less stress, which is positive for parents who already have a lot on their plates. However, minimalism can also come hand in hand with a bit of a blank and vacant feel. Your home can look as if it is fresh out of a catalogue or an interior design Pinterest board. While this is a good thing in many ways, it can also easily feel impersonal.
You don’t want your living space to look as if anyone could live there. You want it to look as if you and your family live there, and you’d want anyone who walks in to get a feel of your personalities and vibe. So, how can you strike a balance? A good idea is to maintain the minimalist aesthetic in general, to maintain cleanliness and order, but add a touch of personalisation to your home at the same time. Here are a few steps that you can take in order to achieve this!
Framed Photographs
Nowadays, we take more photographs than ever. Improvements in technology and the accessibility of technology mean that the majority of us have a smartphone with a brilliant camera that can capture high-quality images of us and the ones we love. You probably have thousands of snaps of your little ones stored away on your device. 
We also tend to share these images through social media or blogs - uploading image after image of our kids and highlighting the brilliant things that we are up to as a family. But this has also resulted in a reduction in the number of people printing images. This is a shame, as framed photographs of your family could make a great addition to your interior design. Consider having your favourite snaps printed as film prints and placing them in frames that perfectly match your interior design. They could be freestanding on shelves or mantelpieces, or you could have them hung up on the walls.  
Family Photography
If you want to take things a step further and add a more professional touch to proceedings, you could engage with professional family photography through a reliable company like Light Republic Family Photography. This will serve as a fun day out in and of itself. You and your family can head to a studio and have a full blown photoshoot together. You will get high quality images and then be able to choose to have them presented in a way that best suits your taste - from prints to canvases. These can then be placed in your home, adding a professional and stunning touch to your home design. People won’t be able to walk through the front door without knowing exactly who lives in your home!
Remember that all aesthetics aren’t visual. You may want to scent your home in a signature way. Just as many of us can be recognised by a particular perfume that we wear, certain smells can be highly associated with your home. If you use the same scent over the years, your little ones will always associate that smell with the happy memories of growing up. Now, there are various ways to scent your home. You could use spray air fresheners. You could use scented candles (just remember to keep these out of reach of children and to put them out when you are not in the same room). You could even simply bake regularly!

These are just a few different ways to personalise your family home! Incorporate them into your lifestyle and you will have the perfect place to live that reflects you and your loved ones perfectly in next to no time!

Car Maintenance Tips: Top 5 Easy Ways To Prevent Costly Repairs*

It is slowly getting colder and darker sooner, which means if you are a car owner. You will more than likely be using the car more for doing the school run or popping over the shops.

Checking your car regularly can make the difference between it running smoothly and fuel efficiently, and the risk of it breaking down and incurring an expensive and unexpected repair.

Here are 5 preventative vehicle maintenance tips to help prevent costly repairs!

Regular oil change
If you do not change your oil regularly. It can cause the engine to run less efficiently, and as time goes on, it can cause the engine components to warp and wear out. The lack of lubrication between these parts will also contribute to these problems. Eventually, if the oil is not changed, the entire engine will shut down and have to be replaced.

Check your battery
Your battery lasts up to 3 years, what happens is with all the electronics that's going on in the car. When you start your car you are running solely off your battery, if your battery is weak it turns your starter over slower which draws more power.

Keep Your Fuel Above ¼ Tank
You shouldn't drive with your tank empty as could cause problems with the fuel pump. If you do drive often with a low fuel tank, you could encounter part failure, including problems with the fuel pump and fuel filter

Check your Air Con
You should book your car in to have its air-con serviced every two years. During the service, the mechanic will replenish liquids used by the system and make sure that everything is in full working order. It is very important that you have your air-con serviced regularly because in a year your system will leak 10% of the air conditioning gases in the system, compromising it. A service will rectify any faults in your air conditioning or fill depleted stores of gases and lubricants.

For a cooler and cleaner car, get your car air conditioning serviced by Ossett Tyre House.

Check your tyres
Make sure your tyres are in tip-top condition, the legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm. You should also check that your tyres are not over or under inflated as this cause issues with your steering which could lead to a collision.

Spotless Headlights
Clean, bright headlights are a must to ensure you can see your surroundings and so that other drivers can see you from a good distance. However, the plastic covers that protect your car’s lights often grow dull with time, hindering visibility.

The good news is, you don't need to spend a fortune replacing or repairing them to dial-up their brightness again. An easy to use headlight restoration kit will allow you to get your car's headlights back to "like new" condition in just a couple of steps.

Check that neither the treads are not cracked or damaged. Any damage here can get worse on the roads.

5 Amazing Feature Wall Ideas*

Whether you want a big change or a subtle upgrade, a feature wall could be just the thing you need. Here are five feature wall ideas to get you started;

Paint your walls
The simplest and easiest way to get a great looking feature wall is simply to paint it a different colour to the rest of the room. For a bold statement that is still in keeping with the overall design of the room, you should simply choose a shade that is at least 2 shades darker than the other walls. This ensures that the look is in keeping with the existing aesthetics.

Use Brick Slips
If you love the look of brick inside your home you can take advantage of these amazing things called brick slips. These are essentially a slice of a brick front (often several bricks joined together) that are lightweight, and can be applied directly to your wall with adhesive.
The look is authentic brick as that is exactly what it is, but the brick is there for decorative effect, and not to protect your home

Add a mirror
A well-positioned mirror can make a smaller room look bigger. You can use group of mirrors to make a impact feature wall or use a mirror with a pretty frame to deflect attention away from things that are not perfect in your room.

Use removable wall stickers
Rental homes can be tricky, on one hand you want to make it feel like home whilst you're staying there. On the other hand you don't want to make it so homely that you will lose your deposit. Wall stickers are brilliant as they do not take the paint off the walls. 

Add a fire place
Not just a great wall to update your home, fireplaces add some practical usefulness to a room. Electric fireplaces can work out cheaper than using central heating and can also be used during the year’s warmer months to provide an ambiance boost with its lifelike flames, but without the heat turned on.

5 Creative Ways to Add Colour in to Your Home

Decorating your home can be a lot of fun, and a great opportunity to switch things up a bit and stop them from looking too boring. However if you are not brave enough to go the full hog. Here are some simple but creative ways to add some colour into your home.

Consider adding some mother nature
I love plants and flowers, you change really change a feel of a room by adding a vase of your favourite flowers to your living room or dining table. 
If you’re looking for something that lasts a bit longer than a bunch of flowers, try looking for a house plant. They’ll not only purify the air, giving it a bit of much needed freshness. They will add some colour and personality to the room too. Try an elegant orchid or a bold monstera plant! 

Change your cushions
Even the smallest change like swapping your existing cushions for different coloured ones could completely alter the feel of any room. Places such as B&M, Home Bargains and Ikea have a great slection to pick from.

Paint your skirting boards
They are normally neglected or not noticed. You can really vamp up your room by painting a well designed skirting board. Be brave and paint them a slate grey or for a child's bedroom a nice soft pastel shade. 

Invest in rug
Moden rugs can hide a horrible flooring and, add some needed home comfort and a dash of colour. For something a little different you could layer rugs on top of each other.

Add some wall art
Adding some wall art to a wall is a great way to add colour without having to pick up a paint brush. You can be thrifty by placing some wallpaper into a frame or searching Pinterest for some free print ables.

What ways do you like to add colour to your home?

5 School Uniform Cleaning Hacks with #ACEforschool

I cannot believe we have almost survived our first term in reception. Darcy has loved every minute of it and I am so proud with the way she has settled into her new routine. I otherwise, have has to learn the ins and outs of being a school mum. This including dealing with the dreaded school uniform.

Today I am sharing with you some of my favourite hacks for making cleaning school uniforms as stress free as possible. 

Grey Shirts
Did you know that the sun actually helps whiten shirts? So make sure you dry them in the sunlight. If you do not have a garden like myself or if it is raining. Hang them up in front of a window. You will see get the much-needed sunlight and notice that your shirts actually look brighter.

Pesky stains I do not know whos clever idea it was for school shirts to be white. I always dread picking Darcy up from after school club as I never know what state she will be in. I mean look at this shirt, I asked her what was on it and she couldn't even tell me. Luckily a few spurts of ACE stain remover and it was as good as new.

Bubbling on clothes
Wash your clothes inside out and wash on a short cycle unless they are indeed of a really good wash. You want your clothes to be spun around as little as possible to cut friction and rubbing which results in bubbling. 

Dark clothes losing their colour
Use ACE for colours as has been formulated to remove stains, but be gentle on the clothes so it is suitable for use on silk, wool and even cashmere! You put it into the wash with your normal detergent and it works it’s magic to remove stains from all the clothes. I am really impressed that Darcy's uniform looks as good as new still.

Dry clothes on hangers
I only iron clothes that is wrinkled, hanging wet clothes on hangers reduces the amount of creases.I mean there are better things I like wasting my time on than ironing.

So those were my 5 school uniform cleaning hacks, what is your best stain removal hack?

This post is an entry for the BritMums #ACEforSchool Challenge, sponsored by ACE. Get help for all kinds of stains with the ACE Stain Helper or to buy head to your local Tesco’s, Morrisons, Waitrose or Sainsbury’s.