My Dream Winter Home

My Dream Winter Home

Collaborative Post

How many times have you daydreamed about being holed up in a lodge somewhere cold during the winter months with a roaring fire, snuggled up under a blanket and reading a book? I know I have – it’s my idea of bliss. Steve and I have often discussed moving somewhere such as North Canada which is quite cold but if I wanted a proper winter home, I think I would love to live in the French Alps. Sure, there’s some other fantastic wintery places I could go to such as Switzerland or Greenland but something about the French Alps just screams fun and luxury to me.

Think about it. You’re holed up in a lodge at night with your whole family, a roaring fire, bowls of hot steaming soup, covered in a warm fluffy blanket and just spending time together? During the day, you can ski and snowboard to your hearts content. What could be better? If you are looking for a perfect winter home, doesn’t this sound like it?

Imagine going to sleep in some comfy bedding from Julian Charles, curling up on the sofa together under a soft fluffy throw or sitting at the table scoffing down bowls of warm vegetable soup. I am trying to make the most of my time with my children hence why I work from home – it means I can still have time to do things like take Jack to school and pick him up or take Olivia to groups. The reason I would love to have our very own winter home is for much the same reasons – spending time with my family. Children grow up so quickly and a winter home in the French Alps would be a great experience for all of us and a great way to spend time together.

Of course this is all just a pipe dream right now but it is definitely something to work towards. We all have those hopes and dreams of where we want to live, whether that be as a permanent home or a holiday home. As long as I had a warm fire, lots of filling food, some cosy bedding, blankets and throws and some scented candles around the place, anywhere could be home to me – as long as I also had my family. Maybe one day I will have my very own winter lodge in the French Alps to go and hole myself up in with a good book – I can keep on hoping, can’t I?

Where would you have your winter home if you could?

Britmums #EcoverLaundry Challenge

Britmums #EcoverLaundry Challenge

Up until January, our laundry routine was quite simple. But then Olivia was a whirlwind that appeared in our lives, making our laundry pile even higher than before and making sure we searched for the right product for all of our skin.

With Jack recently starting football training and golf lessons, it feels like my washing machine is always on so its important I find the right product to suit us all. Our typical laundry routine is throwing in whatever is dirty, splitting colours and whites. We use certain products normally but when sent some Ecover Non-Bio Concentrated Laundry Detergent, we thought we would give it a go on even the toughest washing pile.

Claiming to be something that works on everything from delicate clothing to a baby’s first baby gro, we were intrigued to see whether our full size (875ml) detergent could hit expectations. I hate my usual routine so was quite happy to give something else a try. My laundry load consists of pretty much everything – school clothes, baby clothes, Jack’s sports kits, Steve’s golf stuff, my stuff. I never really know what is in which load and it can get quite stressful trying to sort it out.

When I look for a detergent, I want something that will be suitable for the skin of the whole family – babies skin can be quite sensitive so I don’t want anything that will irritate it. Steve and Jack also have quite sensitive skin too so its something of the utmost important to us. There’s just something so great about freshly washed items – just slipping into bed when you’ve put on clean bedding is an absolute dream!

Around since 1979, Ecover’s new Non-Bio formula is now said to be even tougher on stains, but just as kind on sensitive skin and is now Mumsnet rated* with 89% of Mumsnet raters saying they would recommend to a friend. I put it to the test on a variety of the kids items – baby clothes with food stains, football kit with flecks of mud, school uniform that was looking a little worse for wear. Not only does the new formula smell great – just as you would expect a laundry detergent to smell – but my stains came out well and there was no rewashing or bleaching of items needed- there wasn’t even the need for an extra stain removal product as I have found to sometimes be the case when using other detergents.

My child is super sporty now and needs items thrown in the wash constantly. I was very impressed with how well the Ecover laundry detergent cleaned the clothes and how well it got rid of even the more stubborn stains. I’m definitely going to be using this with our laundry loads for the future – not only is it good for my kids skin but it gets rid of those stains your child always manages to get down them! Have you given it a try?

This post is an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsored by Ecover.

De-Clutter Your Home

Whether you’ve just moved house or need to, having too much clutter in your home can be very frustrating and can lead to confusion and exasperation. There’s a lot of truth in the saying “tidy house, tidy mind”! If your home is full of clutter, or you’ve downgraded to a smaller property and need some clever storage solutions, keep reading for some good ideas on how to make the most of your space and get organised in the process.

Have a Clear Out
The most obvious thing to start with is to go through all your belongings and assess whether you still need them all! If it’s something you collect then this may be different, but if it’s just clothes and knick-knacks then there’s always some streamlining that can happen, no matter what it is. Go through your clothes, and as long as it’s not a special or sentimental piece, consider donating anything you haven’t worn for a year to charity. If it’s too old or tatty – throw it away! You will feel lighter with less belongings and you’ll feel better by donating things to charity shops that desperately need them. Be ruthless – sort things into piles of ‘Rubbish’, ‘Charity’, ‘Not Sure’ and ‘Keep’. If you haven’t used anything in the maybe pile in the next month then heavily consider getting rid of it! This is a great trick for slimming down your unnecessary possessions.

Make Use of Your Loft
If you live in a house, make sure you don’t forget about your loft! This is a great place for storage if you don’t use the space for a room, and one than can be often used in the least practical way. Before putting anything in it, have a look around and assess the storage space, and see if you can make any more of it than it already is. Consider a loft conversion to make the most of it, and fit a loft hatch so you can easily access your belongings. These can be made to measure, and you can purchase one that fits flush with the ceiling should you want to keep the storage space inconspicuous and unnoticeable. The biggest point here is to ensure you don’t cram lots of extra things from your house into your loft without organising it all! It will be painstaking and time-consuming, so go through everything you put in your loft before you start, and keep a list of everything you put in. Invest in lots of plastic boxes and a label maker, and start by putting things away by category (kids, tech, books, bedding, etc). This way, you won’t despair when you have to sort through the loft whenever you move or need something!

Be Creative with Boxes
Once you’ve streamlined everything that you can, you might be left with lots of things that need to be kept altogether in their storage. This is where stylish boxes and crates can come in really handy and are perfect for this type of thing. If you don’t need immediate access to things, store older clothes and out-of-season shoes in rolling storage boxes which can be kept under beds, in closets and on top of wardrobes to keep them out the way. Invest in clever storage devices such as upright shoe racks, thin bookshelves that can be kept along your walls, dividers for shelves to store multiple layers of items – there are so many clever ways to repurpose everyday items to help organise your home. Invest in jars and pots to keep little bits and bobs in, and everything will look neater before you know it.

Take it room by room and you will have a clutter-free home before you know it. If you do one room a weekend and get through the house in a couple of months, you won’t regret spending the time doing it, and your family and your future self will thank you!

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Kid proofing your floors

Kid proofing your floors

In Collaboration with Posh Flooring

Children are a blessing and a miracle that we are very lucky to be able to welcome into our lives. So it is incredibly important that we prepare our homes for new arrivals. There are a number of ways you can get your home ready, and we’ll take you a few of those in this blog.

Photo used with permission from Posh Flooring
One of the most important places to protect, is a place where your children will spend a lot of their early days, the floor. Whether it be crawling, or taking their first steps, it’s important to ensure your floor has enough protection to keep your children safe. A majority of flooring is safe for children, your flooring can however be subject to damage. Scratching and surface damage can occur from the most simple of things, such as push chairs and children’s toys. So if you’re worried about this, hardwood may not be the best option for you.
Laminate on the other hand has great durability, and is probably the best flooring out there for families with kids. It has great water resistance, perfect for any accidents! It’s easy to clean, and very easy to maintain. It’s durable, so will last a long time. It is also perfect for heavy footfall, and can withstand a lot of pressure that family life throws at it. Surface damage will be limited, and scratching doesn’t usually show through. It is also perfect for families with children that suffer from allergies, due to the tight seal, dust, dirt, pollen and other allergens can’t penetrate it so won’t hang around for too long!
Photo used with permission from Posh Flooring

Carpets and rugs are also a great idea to help protect your children. They provide a soft landing, and have far better static qualities to prevent them from slipping over! If you’re looking for the cheapest and most logical flooring for kids, laminate will be your best friend. Hardwood is great for homes looking for a bit more style, but practicality is not it’s strong point! We hope our guide has helped you, head to

Understanding the Hygge Living Hype

Since Autumn last year, the wonder of hygge has taken the world by storm. The Danish lifestyle trend has transformed your usual winter into an extremely instagrammable, warm and cosy season that everyone wants to incorporate into their own lifestyles and homes. With so many people adopting this exciting trend, it’s leaving the rest of us wondering how we can get involved. Here’s a brief summary of everything you need to know when it comes to the hygge living hype…

First Things First, Pronunciation

Hygge is a Danish term that can’t actually be translated into one English word. Whilst it may not directly translate into a specific word, the word hygge means to be cosy and happy. Along with meaning cosy and happy, the term also refers to making the most of the simplest things, with a strong message that less really is more. To many, the word hygge looks like it would be pronounced ‘hi-gee’, however, the real way to pronounce this Danish word is ‘hoo-ga’, which is actually very different.

What is Hygge?

Many people experience hygge every day, whether that’s snuggling under a thick cosy blanket with a hot chocolate, watching your favourite film. Or, reading a good book whilst wrapped up in soft joggers and an oversized hoodie. Being cosy and content is the main focus of hygge, with many people now incorporating this Danish trend into their interiors and lifestyles. It’s becoming very easy to adopt this new trend, as more and more stores within the interior market are starting to introduce a touch of hygge to their displays.

Hygge Interiors

The moment you enter a room with a hygge décor style, you’ll instantly feel a warm and welcoming vibe. Hygge interiors are a mixture of thick materials, dark oak furniture and simplistic décor that creates a minimalistic look. The main aim with hygge interiors is to create a welcoming feel throughout the home, without overcrowding or introducing too much to the room. You can find a whole selection of complete kitchen tours and complete home tours on YouTube to give you a feel for how others are adapting to a hygge décor style, and how they’re incorporating it into their own homes.

Hygge Lifestyle

If you’re a fan of hot chocolates, chunky knit blankets, slipper socks and marshmallows, then hygge is the perfect lifestyle trend for you. The moment those colder evenings roll in, you can wrap yourself up nice and warm, light a selection of scented candles and relax in the comfort of your own home. Living a lifestyle with a touch of hygge is extremely comforting and cosy, which in turn makes the dullness of winter fade away and replaces it with a warm and welcoming feel that likes you in a positive mindset.

That’s Very Hygge…

Hygge is a trend that the Danish embrace all year around, especially due to the cold weather conditions they experience from day to day. Whilst the most popular hygge features for us are hot drinks, cosy clothing and thick blankets, the Danish have many more hygge elements that make it even more special to them. Candles are one thing that the Danish love, and they’re also extremely hygge. They don’t get their light from the yellow-tinted lights within the room, their lighting source is the beautiful glow of candlelight, which adds much more character and warmth to the room. You also find that the Danish are always likely to have a grand fireplace in their homes, as this serves as another perfect way to keep the interiors warm and welcoming, the hygge way!

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