Giving Our Living Room Some Life Again

This is a sponsored post.

As I’ve mentioned before, we are currently in privately rented accommodation and have been for almost seven and a half years. According to our contract, we aren’t allowed to make too many changes to the house and when we leave, we will have to make sure the house is returned to its original state.

I don’t know about you but my carpets have certainly seen better days. We’ve lived here as long as we have and have had two kids weaning, potty training, playing in this house. The carpet is brown in colour as it is but age has not been kind to it. Whilst we are planning on moving when we possibly can as we need more space, I have been considering seeing if we can get the carpet replaced – at a cost to us. If we aren’t allowed, we will of course be getting a professional carpet cleaning company in but I’d love the opportunity to spruce my living room up a little.

Obviously I’d like to do this on a budget as two kids, their various clubs and just our day to day living isn’t exactly cheap so I’ve been looking for cheap carpet for if we are allowed to make the changes.

Christelle BOURGEOIS
I’d be looking for a much nicer colour than the brown we have, of course, and something that doesn’t seem to pick up every bit of dirt and stain incredibly easily – no matter how quickly I get to a stain on this carpet, it is just so obvious on this colour. Flooring Superstore are a brand I’ve been looking at, simply because they offer such a wide variety of options – there are many colours including beige, grey, purple and cream – although I don’t think I’d be choosing cream with my two clumsy kids! I also love that you can shop by price – there are four categories which are budget carpets, essential carpets, premier carpets and elite budgets so there is something to suit every budget.

With us also continuing to look for a new property due to space issues, carpet is definitely something I’ll be considering for those. We are hoping to buy in the not too distant future and nothing says making a home your own than ripping out all the old carpets from the previous owner and replacing them with brand new ones that you have chosen yourself. Either way – if we stay here (and I am allowed to) or move – I’m looking to get some new carpets to make my house look fresh and new again.

Have you ever bought new carpets for your home? How did you make the decision of which one to choose?



Our Travels In The UK | Weston-super-Mare & Cheddar Gorge

This year, we are making it our aim to visit plenty of places in the UK during the school holidays. As Jack is at school and Steve works at said school, we are very restricted on when we can go away but we are determined to get away at least for a couple of days each holiday.

It has taken me a while to get round to writing this and publishing it but the first place we visited this year was Weston-super-Mare in the February half term. We went down on the Friday and returned home late on Sunday. So what did we do?

We booked into a Premier Inn because we find them super affordable and perfect for our needs. The room was spacious, the kids loved their beds and we loved the breakfast the next morning!

When we got to the hotel, we took a few minutes to relax before getting our bags from the car. We then chilled out in the room for an hour before heading into Weston-super-Mare itself, driving around and taking a look at the old pier before visiting the Grand Pier and heading onto the beach. We also grabbed some chips to eat on the pier and they were so good!

We were very lucky to be on the beach just as the sun was setting which was a beautiful sight to see and I managed to get some great shots of my little family!

We then headed back to our hotel room and to the restaurant next door for our dinner. Unfortunately we weren’t very impressed with our meals – my burger was completely burnt (now I like chargrilled as much as the next person but this was just burnt) but it filled a gap that we had. Then we talked about our plans for the next day which was to head to Cheddar Gorge.

Our Trip To Cheddar Gorge

The next day we were up and early, ready to give Cheddar Gorge a visit. We knew that there was going to be a lot of walking – in and out of the caves and of course, up those many steps to Jacob’s Ladder. We thought we would tackle the caves first.

We loved seeing the little goats just chilling on the cliffs, such a cute sight to see as we parked up!

The caves were absolutely fascinating – we learned so much and the kids loved looking at everything. Steve was really interested too and we made plans to stop at the cheddar shops before we left. We saw the replica Cheddar Man which was great – do you know the story?

Cheddar Man is a human male fossil who was found in Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England. The skeletal remains date to the Mesolithic (ca. 9100 BP) era and it appears that he died a violent death. Experts believe that the man may have also been suffering from a bone infection. He was excavated in 1903 and he is Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton. The remains are kept by the Natural History Museum in London in the new Human Evolution gallery and a replica is in place in Cheddar Gorge itself.

We also headed to the museum across the road which was quite small but kept everyone interested for a while.

Before heading to Jacob’s Ladder and tackling the many steps, we thought we’d take a little walk around the area, grabbing a bite to eat for lunch and buying some cheese and some cider from the shops there. It was very scenic and extremely beautiful.

We finally decided to tackle Jacob’s Ladder and the Lookout Tower.

To get up to the Lookout Tower, you need to climb the 274 steps that make up Jacob’s Ladder. You’ve then got to climb the 48 steps to get to the top of the tower. The climb is definitely worth the effort – there are some fantastic views of the Mendips and the water meadows of the Somerset Levels.

The 274 steps can be a little daunting and we were very grateful for the four strategically placed breaks in the steps to catch our breath – we definitely took advantage of these! After the tower, you can continue on the cliff top walk – we did a little way but turned back as, by this time of the day, Olivia was exhausted and neither me or Steve fancied carrying her over rocky ground.

Olivia and I decided not to head up the Lookout Tower but Steve and Jack did and took in some amazing views. Jack had home learning to do which was read a book in a random/unique place – he certainly did, choosing to read at the top of the tower!

After descending, we took a slow drive back to the hotel, exploring the area that little more and taking in the landscape. As you can imagine, both kids quickly fell asleep as they were so tired from all the walking!

We headed back to the hotel room before heading out for dinner then went back and fell asleep very easily before heading home slowly on the Sunday.

Weston-super-Mare and Cheddar Gorge were fab places to visit and a great start to our travels around the UK. Have you ever been to either?

Helping Family Members Gain Their Independence Back

I was recently commisioned by Premier Care to give my thoughts on the following topic. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’ve mentioned in the past that my grandparents are now struggling to do the things that they once were. My in laws are also registered disabled and my father, before he passed away, had not long been registered disabled and struggled too. As such, accessibility is of massive importance to me.

Whilst I can’t claim to know everything that there is to know about accessibility – there is so much left for me to learn – what I do know is that we should aim to help those who struggle to do the day to day things that others take for granted.

One such thing is bathing. Now I don’t know about you but I love a bath. The thought of this routine being of difficulty to me is quite sad so I can only imagine how people like my Nan feel and how my father felt. Towards the end of his life, he ended up doing strip washes as he could no longer get in and out of the bath, something he used to love.

Something I have been looking into is companies who offer a solution to this – walk-in baths and easy access showers. If finances were to allow, I want to ensure my family members can have a pleasurable bathing experience without having to worry about slipping and falling.

One such company is Premier Care- take a look here to see what they have to offer. They are the UK market leader and offer a variety of products so that everyone can have an accessible bathing experience, no matter what.

Their walk in showers have been specifically designed to allow everyone to enjoy a comfortable and relaxing shower with complete confidence and safety. They have ultra low access and thermostatic control. There are a number to choose from so you can choose exactly the one to suit your needs.

The walk in baths have also been designed to make it easy to get in and out of them with ease with low level entry and easy carer access, should that be needed. They have grab rails, slip resistant surfaces and thermostatic controls – some also have reclining seats. There is a range to choose from, with you being able to choose the best one which suits your needs.

So why do I think accessible bathing is a must? Why wouldn’t I? Everyone deserves the opportunity to be able to bathe or shower in comfort without the fear of them slipping or falling and doing themselves an injury, especially if they are unsteady on their feet or cannot use them that well. I know that, for some of my family, the loss of their independence has been a tough pill to swallow and anything that can help make their day to day life that little bit easier is always something I am going to look into and champion.

I am still looking into options at the moment – whilst I’d love to just waltz in and convert my family members bathrooms, unfortunately I cannot do that without their permission and big changes aren’t something they take to well. But I am hoping that with my helping hand, I can help them gain a little of their independence back.

My 2019 Reading Challenge | Books 11-15

This post contains affiliate links.

Guess what? I’ve completed my 2019 Goodreads reading challenge! I initially set it at 12 books as I have really struggled with finding time and motivation for reading in recent years. However, I have found myself reading a lot since 2019 started so I have managed to achieve my goal!

I am planning on reading as much as I can for the rest of the year and seeing what the final number is. Today I want to talk to you about books 11-15 of my challenge – you can read all about books 1-5 here and 6-10 here.

So here are books 11-15 and what I thought about them!

The Girl In The Pink Raincoat by Alrene Hughes – 5/5 (sent for review)

I’ve written a full review here but I was really surprised with just how much I loved this. I don’t normally read books set in the wartime but this was gripping and I really loved the characters. It kept me turning the pages right until the very end and I really enjoyed it. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

Without A Hitch by Bettina Hunt – 4/5

Screenshot from my Goodreads app

Having read Bettina’s debut A Tempting Trio, I knew I was going to read her next book. I loved some of the characters, found others rather annoying (although I think that was the point – Sienna was very irritating for the majority of the book!) and couldn’t wait to see how the weddings of each woman panned out. I’ve ordered the follow up book of the ladies on honeymoon so can’t wait to see what happens. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

Cherringham (A Cosy Crime Series): The Gentleman Vanishes (Book 30) by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards – 5/5

Screenshot from my Goodreads app

Yep, I’ve delved back into the Cherringham series! I love this series and find it great for when I need an easygoing read. I really enjoyed this book – I didn’t see it coming and I found the outcome very satisfying. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

Cherringham (A Cosy Crime Series): Trail of Lies (Book 31) by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards – 4/5

Screenshot from my Goodreads app

This was an interesting read, telling the tale of three young girls on a hiking trip where only two return home. I had my suspicions from the start and they were founded but it was interesting to see the how and the why and how Jack and Sarah ultimately solved it with some clever detective work. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

Cherringham (A Cosy Crime Series): Death Trap (Book 32) by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards – 4/5

Screenshot from my Goodreads app

I always find it interesting when the Cherringham books talk about local businesses and a crime occurs with them. It is fascinating to get to know the residents of the area a little better. I was surprised with the outcome, I must admit. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

So these are my books 11-15 – what have you been reading recently?

Self Care With Sinivalia

I was sent this product for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

As a mum of two, I rarely find time for myself. I’m always taking the kids to school or clubs, doing my work or doing housework. I recently decided that I needed to spend more time indulging in self care – whether its by taking a leisurely bubble bath or reading a book. Just a few minutes to myself.

I was recently sent the Bentonite Clay mask from Sinivalia to review – this product retails at £10.99 and you can buy it here.

Sinvalia was founded by a group of women who are passionate about skincare. They travelled the world in search of superior skincare ingredients and they also did plenty of research – both reading and speaking to physicians – to formulate a safe, effective and gentle product range.

They came up with a few promises which they strive to always keep to. They are against animal testing – every item is tested on willing human volunteers to check it is safe, effective and gentle. They make sure their products are manufactured to the highest standards and with strict quality control.

So what did I think of the product?

This mask is designed to help detoxify the skin and get rid of blackheads naturally. It is said to be an all in one detoxing, exfoliating and moisturising facial care and body cleanse. It rids skin of toxins and large clogged pores for smoother skin below. It is also said to be anti-aging. Their use of bentonite clay, which has been used in skincare for many years, was definitely encouraging. But did it match up to my expectations?

As an almost 30 year old, anti-aging is something I have started to think about, especially after noticing my first grey hair! My skin often looks lifeless and dull – perhaps sometimes to do with lack of sleep – and it could certainly do with a boost. Whilst I haven’t got wrinkles to contend with yet, anything that helps to keep them at bay is worth a try in my books.

Since I’ve been using this product, I’ve found my skin is looking a lot less grey and lot healthier – more hydrated and plumper. I’ve also noticed that the amount of acne I get has decreased – whilst I don’t get much acne nowadays, I do find certain areas of my face are quite stubborn and I have repeat offenders. My skin has been looking a lot better and I’m putting it down to using this mask regularly.

I’ll definitely be checking out more of the Sinivalia range – I love that their products are all natural, cruelty free and affordable too. Have you tried any Sinivalia products before?