Top 5 Gift Ideas for Batman Fans

I grew up watching Batman.  I used to watch the tv series with my brother as a child and watched all the movies too.  I wouldn’t say I am a hardcore fan but I have enjoyed watching the range of movies and think I have probably seen them all to date from Batman and Robin featuring various characters like Poison Ivy and Bat girl to the most recent Dark Knight Trilogy.

batman1One of the items that I have seen and actually bought for a mini fan before is this great clock which has moveable arms and legs.  You can find these in John Lewis priced at £19.99.

This Batman mug is great and I think any fan would be delighted to have one of these.  It’s not too pricey either as it is on offer for £6.99 at The Gift and Gadget Store.

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My next suggestion is pretty useful.  It’s a Batman Multi Tool for £6.50.  This bat shaped key ring is also a bottle opener and has crosshead and flathead screwdrivers in the wings.  If you want one make sure you check out The Gift Experience .co.uk.

batman3The Dark Knight Trilogy Box Set is a must for any Batman fan and can be found at HMV for just £14.99.  Forgot to buy your Batman fan one at Christmas ont worry grab it as a Birthday Gift, they will love it!

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Last but not least is this super cool projection torch that no Batman fan will want to be without I know i’d love this it’s great.  Available from The Gift and Gadget Store for just £4.99.

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Now I am sure many of you know at least one Batman fan, you might even be one yourself and with that in mind I am going to giveaway one Dark Knight Trilogy Box Set (check this) to one lucky reader to help you have one less gift to buy this year and as it’s January Blues time and I like to make people happy.  One lucky entrant will have their frown turned upside down when they win this great boxset.

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

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Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc.   I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

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Enter here:

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Good luck x

Yankee Candles Festive Selection

There are loads of Festive Candles about but some of the most popular this year will be those from Yankee Candles.  Yankee always seem to get scents spot on which is one reason they are so popular.  They also have a wonderful range available.  From their festive collection they have three that are absolutely divine.

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All Is Bright

This is one of those fabulously addictive fragrances.  I think most of us have lifted the lid to a candle and thought wow that’s gorgeous, resealed it then gone back to take another sniff or thirty.  This IS one of those candles.  The scent is not excessively sweet and it has the most amazing fresh citrus and musk aroma that you will adore, I really loved this snowy white candle.

Festive Cocktail

Another winner this lovely berry and pine combo has a deliciously fruity fragrance from pure natural extracts.  With a lovely rich red colour this looks lovely and is aptly named with its beautifully festive fragrance.

Macaron Treats

This has a heavenly sweet aroma just like vanilla and almonds (or quite simply put vanilla macarons) and smells good enough to eat.  The scent will leave you drooling, another that you will find simply irresistible.

Yankee Candle have up to 50% off on their site at the moment so you can get some great bargains on their various scented candles.  I have searched a few other sites looking for bargains for these candles and interestingly many of the offers have been been snapped up just proving how popular Yankee Candles are.  If you are keen on getting some of these great candles keep an eye on the House of Fraser site as they have some great offers on them too.

Have you bought any Yankee Candles this year?

Pr samples are included.

Last Minute Christmas 2016 Gifts Under £6

Stuck for stocking filler ideas and small gift ideas, well if you are OMG you’ve left it right to the last minute!  Fear not though just think of me as your Fairy Godmother as I am going to help you out with all the mini gift inspiration you will need all from one place HiHouse and best of all you can get next day delivery Monday to Friday so if you order by 2pm you will receive it the next day meaning the panic is over.  Plus as an added bonus if you spend over £20 then you get delivery for just £1.  This post will concentrate on items that are £6 and under but there is a larger range of products from gifts to household items available on the site.

For Mums, Grans and Teens

There is a lovely selection of items that can be bought as stocking fillers or small gifts whether it’s to let mummy, gran or a teen have a little pamper time, glam up for a party or relax in the bath with a gorgeous scented candle burning you will find what you need here.  The selection isn’t enormous but then in a way that works for you as it cuts the time searching through items.

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The Impulse Why Not Cosmetic Bag Gift Set is a bargain at £2.99 considering it is £4.00 in Asda and Wilko.  It includes a pretty pink cosmetics bag and two sprays.

Technic Kissed Lips Set contains 3 lip crayons and 3 lip glosses so at £2.99 it is a fabulous bargain seeing as individual products normally sell for a minimum of £1 each.  The colours look great and will make for a useful gift that will be used and loved.  The lowest price I could find this elsewhere was at Fragrance Direct who have it for £3.99. This gift would also be great for mums, I know I’d love one of these.

The Eden Perfect Pamper Time gift set is idea for busy mums who are generally run off their feet.  Kids if you are reading this why not get dad or another adult to make a cup of tea for mum when she is wearing these and give her a little foot massage, she will really love that and you can score a few brownie points too.  Here it is just £5.99 although Fragrance Direct have it priced as £8.99.  I’d be getting the HiHouse website open if you still need gifts right about now.

Vintage Stocking Fillers (nail varnish) There are two available and are reasonably priced at £1.49 each.  Just to note there are currently just two colours available and there is no option to pick which you would prefer although they are both lovely colours.

Dove Pampering Moments Trio & Washbag is just £2.99 fortunately I was sitting when I saw the price and I double and triple checked it not having believed my eyes.  Even more shocking is that the lowest price I could find it elsewhere was at Wilko for £8.00.  This contains a good sized washbag, a body lotion, bodywash and deodorant.

Starlytes Candle Jar Pomegranate and Pear 18oz smells great and is a great gift as everyone loves candles.  The price is fabulous as it’s only £3.99 .  It seems to be sold out elsewhere including on Amazon where it was being sold for a whooping £14.99.

Chit Chat – Totally Crackers are a great idea for beauty fans.  Each cracker contains a beauty treat and I could quite easily substitute the old style crackers for these.  It’s a shame they don’t have them for men too.  These two crackers come at the shockingly low price of £0.99p so just short of 50p each cracker.  At that price you really can’t go wrong.  I found them over on the Prettylittlething website on offer for £3.00.  Clearly HiHouse is a site that many can’t compete with pricewise.

For Dads, Grandads and Teens

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The Lynx Black Duo Gift Set is a really useful gift for any man in your life.   The duo consists of full sized products; Black Body Spray 150ml and Black Shower Gel 250ml.  These have a subtle fragrance and notes of bergamot, rosemary and cedarwood.  Priced at £3.19 it’s fairly priced and not to expensive.  I did find this at Wilko for £2.50 as they have it on offer at the moment, the normal price was £3.25.
Dove Men +Care Daily Care Duo Gift pack contains a deodorant and shower gel ad costs £3.99.  I did find this for less at Superdrug (on offer for £2.75 normally £4.50).  Again a useful present and a great way for the men in your life to stock up on the essentials to see them through the year.
The Dove Men +Care Daily Care Wash Bag Gift Set makes a lovely inexpensive gift.  It contains the essentials that every male will find useful including face wash, post shave balm and deodorant. It costs just £5.99 and is not too expensive a gift either.  ASOS do these for £8.00.

For Little Girls

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Minions Fluffy 5 Day Set comes with 5 mini shower gels.  These cute little bottles come coloured pink and purple with the cutest little labels.  It’s a lovely little stocking filler and not expensive either at £2.99.  The only place I could find this was ebay priced at £10.99, doubt anyone would be using ebay to buy this then.  These can be individually wrapped if you prefer to keep the fun lasting longer.

The Troll lip balm and topper set will prove to be very popular with little sisters and at £2.99 for 4 lip balms and a cute Princess Poppy topper you can’t go wrong.  I know both my girls would love this as would all their friends.

Minions Fluffy Unicorn Lip Gloss Selection.  Now for starters who can resist unicorns they are sooooo cute!!!!!!  Secondly one can never have too many lip balms as they are a beauty essential and you should always be prepared with one in every handbag and coat pocket.  This is great to stop little ones stealing mummies lip gloss as mummies one looks so boring in comparison plus it doesn’t come with adorable little charms like these do either!  (£2.99 for 4 lip balms).  Available from Gordons Direct for £6.99.  These too can be wrapped individually if you prefer and depending on whether you want to give a pack per child or not.

For Little Boys

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 3D 250ml fruit scented bubble bath is not only a useful gift but also a fun one as it can also double up as a toy.  It’s £4.99 and makes a great stocking filler for any turtle fan.  It is much higher elsewhere and the lowest price I found it was at Very for £9.99.

Paw Patrol 3D Bubblebath 150ml is perfect for my little man and I can’t wait to see his face when he opens his gift and see’s Marshall looking back at him.  It’s just the thing for any Paw Patrol fan and costs £4.99.  Not only does it contain bubblebath but it can also be used as a toy after so it’s one of those two in one items that come in very useful.

There are also some great scented candles that are perfect to add a little fragrance to the home including this cherry scented tealights (£0.99p).  So why not pop some of these into your basket too and have your home smelling great when your guests come over.

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As you can see you can find super gifts for all the family quite easily no matter what their age and at an amazing price.  You will make such a great saving on gifts that you could always buy a few extras to bulk up gifts that bit more.  So what are you waiting for get the kettle on and make yourself a tea / coffee then visit the site straight away and save yourself having to sit in traffic for ages followed by fighting through crowds to buy those last minute gifts, simply order them online and then you can squeeze in watching that great boxset you’ve been meaning to see but not had the time  Go on relax a little you’ve earnt it by making a smart shopping choice.  Let HiHouse do all the running around for you, it’s genius and a no brainer.

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The Espon EcoTank ET-3600

My hubby loves his gadgets.  He’s pretty good with figuring out how to work them too which is great as he is sometimes called upon by friends and family for assistance when they get stuck.  Naturally when I had a fabulous new printer arrive from Epson I asked my lovely hubby to get it set up for me.  This particular printer is one that he had had his eye on for a while and when he heard it was on its way he was like a large child.  Honestly I think he had swallowed the instruction manual as he was a fountain of knowledge.  Apparently it’s very good because it hasn’t got those awfully annoying cartridges to deal with, handy as it’s not always easy to find the cartridges you need and also because it’s hard to get the damn things in and out of the printer.  The EcoTank ET-3600 comes with 2 complete sets of ink (approx 2 years worth) which is great and this allows one to print up to 11,000 pages both in black and also in colour.  You save on the cost of having to buy quite a few ink cartridges with this and when you eventually do come to need more bottles they are reasonably priced.  I found sets of all 4 colours for £28.39 on the cartridge save site.  This 3 in 1 inkjet will scan, copy and print (double sided printing if required which can save you money on paper).  You can print wirelessly from a computer, tablet – android or ipad, smart phone or iphone.  You can even email files for printing from anywhere in the world via Epson Email Print.

My husband said this Inkjet printer is great because it has an integrated high capacity ink tank system allowing for a more economical product and I could do far more printing before it needed less refilling – hence he would get the “babe my printer needs ink” less often (the lucky man).  Asking my husband was like asking google but with far more in depth knowledge of the product.  I wonder if he had also memorised the trouble shooting guide too just in case lol.  I looked on the site fearing I may exhaust the husbands brain cell by asking him a gazillion questions about the machine and saw that this amazing printer can save me up to 74% in printing costs, how fabulous does that sound!

I’ve just realised I’ve been nattering on and not even shown you what my newest toy looks like, silly me.

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Included in the box: the EcoTank ET-3600, 2 of each ink colour, a power cable, an instruction book and software disc.

So as you can see I am more than a little excited and wanted to see what this baby can do.  Of course before it could show me anything the hubby’s services were required to get the printer connected and loaded up with ink.

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Adding the ink was easy enough to do which is handy as I can refill these myself when they eventually need a top up.  You can see from the photo the ink colour numbers are clearly labelled, it’s pretty idiot proof which is perfect and it also allows me to be more self sufficient, I hate when I need help to do things like get that damn jar of Jalapenos open – seriously that jar has it in for me I’m sure.

Once the ink had been added my husband set about making sure he had the computer communicating with the printer and we were off.  First off the press was a copy of an email for an event I was off to.  I normally print my confirmation emails as well as maps when I need them and the printer did it’s job nice and quickly.  The print speed for black and white is 14 pages per minute and for colour 7 pages per minute.

Paper is loaded into a handy hideaway tray to keep the paper dust free which can hold 150 sheets .  It’s also clearly marked for the different paper sizes you might want to use so you know where about to place the paper.  There is also a pull out tray that folds out to hold paper when it comes out of the printer.

This got me thinking.  Every year we make photo calendars for relatives and we have a teeny tiny photo printer (for 4×6 pictures) for this that I will admit causes us no end of problems and we have been through about 3 of them over the last few years.  Could the Epson EcoTank Et-3600 compete with this?  I bet it could and leave it redundant.  You see the photo printer we have can only print small photos, needs cartridges and in essence the Epson EcoTank ET-3600 should be far superior and cost less to run.   Of course when I went to get the calendars (£1.50 from  the photo lab in Tesco – bargain!) to add the photos to they were out of stock, typical.  Eventually I got my hands on a few and also some photo paper (5×7) for which there is a sizing clearly marked in the paper loading area.

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The moment of truth:

(In order to fit the pictures onto the calendar I have used 5×7 sized paper rather than the large one shown.)

The screen was clear as were instructions.  Buttons were self explanatory and add to the ease of using the device.

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Here is the printer in action:

How great does my calendar look!  My parents  are bound to love it.

dsc02033I really love this printer, it’s very easy to use and it’s saving me money too so it’s win win.  If you print, scan, photocopy regularly I would suggest looking into getting one of these.  The initial outlay may sound like quite a bit but the savings over time make up for it.

I was sent this printer for an honest review, all thoughts / opinions are my own.

Voluspa Prosecco Rose Candle

I’m really pleased with myself.  I think I have just discovered the perfect Christmas gift for my friend although I am in two minds as to what to do.  My friend is an avid wine drinker, her favourite tipple of choice being Prosecco.  She is also a keen chocoholic, foodie, candle lover and she loves to read and watch movies.  You’d have no ideas what I have for her if you hadn’t read the title of this post.  The gift I have for her combines two of her favourite things Prosecco and candles.  OMG!!!!!  I know it sounds amazing doesn’t it.  I was very excited to hear that you can get Prosecco scented candles although unsure if the company could pull it off and ensure a great aroma with the scent of Prosecco but surprisingly they have succeeded.  The one I have smells simply fabulous.  In fact this candles smells so good that I am not sure what to do.  Do I

a) give the candle to my friend and buy another for me?

b) give her the original gift I got for her a little while back – a dvd box set which I know she will love but in my opinion is not quite as lovely as the candle?

To help you help me decide here is the candle in question:

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The tin the candle comes in looks very pretty.  I love that it is rose coloured to match the scent which is Prosecco rose (with key notes of sparkling pink Prosecco and rose petals).  The inside of the tin is gold coloured and there are gold dots on the outside of the tin indicative of the sparkle that Prosecco is well known for.  The lid is pretty and the information found there is not excessive.  When you lift the lid the aroma is almost hypnotic and addictive and you find yourself inhaling deeply, once, twice, more, to enjoy it further.  The lid is useful as it prevents dust collecting on the candle and the company “Voluspa” have also considered environmental impact suggesting the tin to be used for trinkets once the candle has been burnt.  There are two wicks in the candle and it will burn for approximately 50 hours which is useful to know.  All Voluspa luxury scented candles are made with no phthalates, no parabens, no sulfates and are not tested on animals.  This is a gorgeous luxury candle with the scent to match and I think most will love the sweet floral fragrance, in fact I couldn’t imagine how anyone couldn’t.  The cost of this candle is £20.

There is another Prosecco rose scented candle (£35) in this range which burns for 60 hours.  The custom voluspa-designed glass captures the antique pressed glass style of the 1920’s.  This too comes complete with an embossed lid to keep the creamy coconut wax dust-free when not in use.  As well as candles you can also get a diffuser (£40) designed using 18 fine-gauge rattan reeds to increase fragrance distribution and lasts 4-6 months.  Don’t they all look beautiful!  These make lovely gifts for family and friends all year around.voluspa4

If anyone wanting something a little smaller or for a lower budget then the Voluspa mini candle in a star embossed tin with the same scent maybe just the thing.  It’s burns for 5 hours and costs a mere £10 for one of the most incredible scented candles you could ever buy.  I know I keep going on about how great this smells but it really does and I wish that you could smell this through the screen as you read.  If this scent was available as a body spray or perfume it would be guaranteed to do well.

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There are many more candles to choose from on the site and at the moment you can get 10% off so if you want to see for yourself how gorgeous a scent this is make sure you take advantage of this great offer.

What do you think guys, do I buy another or keep quiet and save this for myself?

I have been chatting to the guys at Voluspa who have kindly said I can give away one of their £20 Prosecco Rose candles.

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Astonish Product Review and Giveaway

If you have been reading my numerous beauty posts you will be aware that I am very much into my natural products.  For this reason when Astonish contacted me to review their products I was of course keen to do so.  Did you know Astonish make an extensive range of cleaning products none of which are tested on animals, all are free from animal derived products making them suitable for use by vegetarians and vegans.  These guys products are approved by Cruelty Free International and The Vegan Society.  The products sound great but the burning question we all want answered is do they actually work?

I was sent a selection of Astonish products to experiment with and here are my findings.

Window and Glass Cleaner

The bottle is nice and big (750ml) and this claims to have a natural cleaning effect due to the vinegar, dry quickly and leave surfaces streak free.  Most people know vinegar is a great cleaning agent as it cuts through grease making it great to clean greasy finger marks off windows especially when the little ones have been all over them.  The smell of the vinegar didn’t linger which was great and as you can see it work fabulously well!

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4 in 2 Disinfectant Spray

This cleans, kills germs, sanitises and deodorises as per the bottle.  It has a great pine scent and is effective against E.Coli and MRSA – great for sinks, the inside of your fridge, toilets and other hard surfaces.  It’s a bit hard to judge the antibacterial side of this but it smells great and leaves a nice shine as you can see on the sink below.  The spray doesn’t seem to spread out as much as those of the other spray bottles I tried from this range, this one is a bit more straight shooting although it didn’t make much of a difference to me.

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Daily Shower Cleaner

Great for daily use after a morning or evening shower you simply squirt and wipe.  Of course if you use this regularly it means you don’t need any elbow great as you are making the job much simpler by reducing the number of layers this needs to clean through.  My sink mixer taps are cleaned regularly as is my shower so these cleaned literally with a wipe to give a lovely shiny finish as you can see in the before and after photos.

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There are many more products in the Astonish range including a grease lifter, floor cleaner – which left my bathroom floors lovely and clean, fabric refresher – great for those with curtains and mats and they even have dishwasher tablets.  Their range is varied and really good to cover the majority of household chores and in addition they are all reasonably priced (starting from £1) assisting us all help support the movement against animal testing maybe other cleaning product manufacturers will hurry and follow suit.
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Astonish also have products to help remove stains which is always handy when you have children.  The products shown in this post are just a few of the products available and they can be found in many supermarkets and household stores.

astonish5I was very impressed at how well these products worked so I decided that I simply had to have a little chat with the guys at Astonish and they have kindly agreed to let me host a giveaway for you fab guys x

The prize package includes:

Tthe Oxy Plus Stain Remover, Stain Remover Target Spray, Fabric Refresher, Clean and Protect Hand wash, Oven and Cookware Paste, Grease Lifter Tablets, Daily Shower Cleaner, 4 in 1 Disinfectant Spray, Window and Glass Cleaner, Fresh Sea Mist Floor Cleaner, all in 1 Dishwasher Tablets and the Dust Buster.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blinds for My Loft, Which Should I Choose?

I really love natural light which is one of the reasons I am not so keen on the winter months with the shorter duller days.  In the summer I actually avoid using artificial light when it’s  lovely and sunny outside as it’s far better, my husband thinks I’m a bit crazy for doing it but I’m not too bothered.

I have been thinking recently about our loft.  Just like any other loft that hasn’t yet been converted it’s cold, dark, dusty and possibly full of spiders the size of my hand although to be honest I wouldn’t know as I have never managed to climb the ladder to the top to look in.  I’m having visions of those spiders from the film Jumanji right now, scary!

Anyway my plan is to eventually get this room converted with a nice staircase leading to it.  The room itself at least in my head will be large and airy and very importantly bathed in gorgeous natural sunlight, or at least in the day anyway.

Of course in order to do this I need to make sure that I have good quality windows and blinds.  Anyone know a company they can suggest?  The loft conversion is at this stage something I really want to do but I want to do it properly so I asked my parents where they got their windows from as they had their loft converted about 10 years ago.  Apparently they used Velux for both their windows and blinds and I can quote my mum whom I just spoke to “we are very happy with them”!  Of course if they weren’t happy with them dad (affectionaly also referred to as Victor Meldrew by some family members) would have had something to say so clearly they must be good.

Now, so as not to inundate you with my research, I will just focus on blinds today.  With nice big windows you also need good blinds a must which my sister discovered when she first moved into my parents loft room as she couldn’t wait to get in there even though they didn’t have the blinds in there just yet.  I personally could never do that.  One of my superhero powers, I have a few but don’t tell anyone, is that I am light sensitive.  And no, before you ask I do not have any vampiric tendencies except maybe once a month when I might get the odd craving for a bloody steak.

Blinds for me are very important and I wouldn’t want to throw just anything infront of the window and hope for the best although the blinds we use it will depend on what we decide to use the room for.  Options would include a study room or a play room or a bit of both for the children, an office for me to get my work done in peace and quiet, a relaxation room where my husband and I can go and read a book, watch tv, have friends over to chat and watch a movie again without the children, a spare bedroom – no I am not having another mini person in case anyone is curious.

There are numerous options available in relation to blinds but of course a hot topic which I must address is energy efficient blinds.  I was quite pleased to see these are available on the Velux Blinds website.  These actually have a dual purpose serving as blackout blinds as well which is useful.  With their aluminium coating they can improve insulation by up to 26% and they come in 12 colours!!!  I’m getting pretty excited already.

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These have a fabulous sleek design with no visible cords and neat pleats and apparently thanks to the handy Pick&Click system you can install it in minutes – they make it so easy so I don’t need to keep on at the husband to do it as I can do it myself, always a good time saver!

velux2I also quite liked the look of the Roman blinds to help create a beautiful looking room and a lovely calm environment where my husband and I could relax with friends and family and take a little time out from the rest of the household every so often as we all need a bit of ‘me time’.velux3

I love that these can be used to create a soft light effect perfect for promoting a peaceful environment in the home.  They come in 20 types of fabrics and a range of colours allowing you to get those creative juices flowing and tailor these to suit the room and the style you are looking for.  The fabrics are interchangeable meaning you I also change the look to suit my mood or the season the choice is mine and they are easy to clean another bonus point.

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Another thing I need to take into consideration is whether I am going to need roof or window blinds.  Velux window blinds are specific for Velux windows and sound great as they offer heat protection, sun screening, and light control.  I have two options with these, to have them as exterior awning blinds or interior blinds, both come with  electric, solar or manual operation and naturally the child in me wants whatever is electrically operated so I have buttons to press!  The Velux roof blinds are compatible with a wider range of windows including Velux but also other loft windows, skylights and they offer light and energy control, as well as insect and heat protection.  Velux roof blinds come in different colours and operations.  Decisions decisions, it’s all quite exciting and I am not quite sure yet what to do.  The products are made from good quality materials and I have seen this first hand at my parents house.  They have had their blinds for 10 years and never had any problems, plus there is a 3 year guarantee which is useful although probably won’t be needed if my parents blinds are anything to go by.

If I opted to make it a playroom, study room or bedroom for the kids we could use one of the Disney designs or a Star Wars design depending on who ends up in the room.

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The options are numerous and I really don’t know what to do yet.

What do you guys think?

Photos have been sourced from the Velux blind site (hope it’s ok to use them guys x)

Panasonic Outdoor Camera

We all expect to be safe in our own homes don’t we?  But what happens when someone threatens that safety and it could have been easily prevent.  I wanted to share a post about home safety.  Why?  Because recently it has been a topic for discussion between myself, my neighbours as well as within our household.

Within the last month and a half we have had two break ins on our street alone and I heard there have been others on roads nearby.

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I’m going to be straight up, I am a teensy bit scared, more so because I have young children and frankly you never know whose outside if like me you have a great big wooden door with no windows to see out of.   The worst part is that the second break in was whilst there was someone in their own home.  Apparently someone knocked on their door, they of course went to open the door and 4 large men pushed their way in.  Fortunately they just stole from the poor woman but as we all know it could have been a far worse situation.

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Since then I have been more than a little nervous about opening the door and if my husband is around I get him to do it.

What we clearly need is some form of security camera system to enable us to see who is outside and then decide whether we want to open the door to them.  It’s also handy for avoiding door to door sales people and Jehovah ’s Witness’s who like to come calling just when I am in the middle of something.

My parents have recently installed a system which is brilliant so no matter where they are they can see both outside and inside of the house either on their phone or tablet.  By coincidence I had an email land in my inbox from Panasonic about a Panasonic Outdoor Camera, seriously how on earth did they know!  With the concern as to our home security firmly in my mind I did not hesitate to take a look at their site.  Amazingly there on the screen was the exact item that would help disperse my fears, an outdoor security system.  Like the device my parents have it streams live footage to both smartphones and tablets.  There are built-in visual and infra-red sensors, a microphone so you can communicate with those outside your front door which is great if you are out shopping when the delivery man arrives as you can ask them to drop off your parcel to the neighbour.  Pictures can also be recorded to the SD card in the system’s hub and there are various SD cards with different amounts of memory to choose from.

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It’s great for safety and I must admit if you also get the indoor camera it is also quite useful for those with young children as you can pop babies, toddlers to bed and go and do the washing, cleaning, cooking, have a cup of tea but be able to see them easily via your device of choice.  The cherry on the top ……. there are no monthly fees!

Take a look at this great video which really sums up everything you need to know plus the house in the video looks fantastic so it’s worth having a look at that too.

It sounds great doesn’t it and has to be something I will strongly consider using at home to keep my family safe especially with Christmas coming up and the increase in break ins that generally happen around that time.

Would you consider having a home a Panasonic security system in our home?

In collaboration with Panasonic.  All views are my own.

What on Earth is Bidvine?

I’ve been doing some research into a few topics recently as my regular readers will have noticed.  One of the companies that I decided to look into was Bidvine.  I’ve been seeing mention of them online and to be honest until my research I had no idea who they were or what on earth they did.

If like me you hadn’t heard of Bidvine before it is a London based company that enables you to get in touch with local services professionals who will send you their fee for the job you require.  You will be sent up to 5 quotes and then it is up to you to decide whether to go ahead and have the service completed.  Although they are London based they can offer services all around England and cover a varied range of services.  They understand that sometimes it is a necessity to get that shelving fixed rather than nagging the other half for months and locating the right tutor for the children or personal trainer for whatever you need isn’t always easy so they have taken steps to help take the stress out of searching and of course cut the time to locate the perfect professional for the job using minimal time and effort.  Sounds like something we all need with our hectic lifestyles doesn’t it.

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Just a few of the services that these guys can offer include:

Children’s Entertainers, personal trainers, yoga lessons, all sorts of sports, various types of tutors, various types of catering services, home improvement such as kitchen / loft renovation, various forms of carpentry and cleaning jobs, electrical, flooring, furniture assembly, legal, photography and much more.  From the look of it there are hundreds of options of types of work covered to get almost any job done.

How Easy is it to Use?

It was easy enough to use and get around the site.  There are not too many pages so you don’t get bogged down with excessive amounts of information.

In order to find out I actually put in a request.  This can be done online or via the app which you can download to your phone making it really user friendly.  I requested a piano teacher to see what these guys would come up with.  These are some of the questions that came up when I was filling in the form.bidvine3 Once you have put in a request you simply sit back and wait.  Quotes can be received within a few hours to 2 to 3 days.

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I had two responses back with price quotes and these seemed to be people with a fair amount of experience which was good to know.  You need to make sure you check respondents profiles as some will show images of their work depending on the type of work they do.

The beauty of this is that if you are not happy with the quotes from the people that respond you are not committed in anyway to go ahead with the job or service.  The choice is up to you so it is worth checking what their quotes are and getting those odd jobs around the house that may otherwise never get done finished and feel much better for it.

Although all new service profiles are reviewed Bidvine do not conduct extensive checks so just make sure that the individual is licensed and qualified before using them.

I checked Trust Pilot as it seems to be a great way to check up on companies and the guys over there seem pretty impressed having awarded Bidvine a nice big 8 out of 10.

Would you use a company like Bidvine to get odd jobs done and for any services you require?

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before having my First Child

HomeServe the home assistance provider have a blog called ‘ketchup’ which is turning 1 this week.  An odd name for a blog I know but they called it this because it’s something that every household has.  It makes sense, who doesn’t have ketchup!  The blog is full of useful tips & tricks for your home, as well as gardening advice & family friendly activities.  To help them celebrate their blogs 1st birthday I thought I’d write and share a post about what I wish I had known before having my first child.  I am hoping some of you that are yet to have children or know others having them will find this useful, as a mother of three I can say don’t worry it will all work out in the end.

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Ok so let me start with, this was a pretty long time ago now as my eldest is almost 8 years old so I am fairly experienced as a parent or at least with the parts I have covered so far, OMG I’m really dreading their teen years.

So what is it that I wish I had known during my first year as a parent?

I will try and limit this as we could be here all day, in fact I could probably write a book.

So here we have it:

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before having my First Child

Getting baby into a Sleep Routine can be Simply Fabulous IF you can Manage it.

During your first year as a parent it’s a given that you will be sleep deprived unless of course you have your own live in nanny doing the night shift which let’s face it most of us don’t.  Once you establish a sleep routine you can quickly learn how early you can get away with putting the mini one to sleep, sleep duration and also an approximate when and length of naps giving you the opportunity to have a nap, get some house work done etc.  I found I was pushing myself to do too much at first and was physically exhausted.  After I began to take naps in the day sometimes when baby did I must admit I did feel much better although still tired.

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Children Develop at their Own Pace so DON’T compare them.

Whether it’s when they are finally sleeping through the night if they even get to that stage, when they start walking, talking, are potty trained etc. each child is unique and learns at different rates and will develop at different rates.  Eventually they all even out don’t they?  It’s not like you see children in reception having nappy changes so try not to get too concerned.  I found some mums to be very competitive with the “my child is doing this, isn’t yours older (when they know yours isn’t doing whatever it is yet).  But look at it from another perspective they are super excited about the milestone their little one has reached and it won’t be long until yours catches up and may even overtake in some areas.

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Being excessively Tired Can Make you Feel Sad

It’s a shock to the system having a baby. The sleepless nights, the feeds every 1 to 1.5 hours (that was what happened to me at first, OMG nightmare) can really play a toll on your emotional state.  I’m the sort of person that is generally very happy, I am also very smiley and when I was working during my first pregnancy I was told by numerous people that I was the happiest pregnant person they had ever seen.  I may not have felt like everything was sunshine and rainbows but I generally didn’t show it.  Cue the baby.  Now I wasn’t what one might call depressed but I have always been quite a sensitive person so coupled with exhaustion the silliest things would trigger me off whether it was something in a cartoon or a kind gesture.  My goodness there were floods, fortunately this normally happened when I was alone so I didn’t have an audience.  Needless to say the news was no longer watched at ours, it simply wasn’t safe.  I found that as I got more sleep I wasn’t so bad although I must admit I am still pretty sensitive so wouldn’t fit well as a celebrity as the media and trolls can be so cruel sometimes.

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OMG My memory is Non Existent

It’s embarrassing isn’t it when you forget some ones name but what if you have a conversation with someone and totally forget about having it?  It happened to me on numerous occasions which actually prompted me to go to the doctor (when I finally remembered to book) as by this stage I was concerned.  After a numerous questions and a quick check up the doctor said that I needn’t worry it was just …. exhaustion.  It was a relief that it was nothing serious yet also not something I was not able to do much about especially when not long after baby no2 made an appearance.   Hurray more sleepless nights lol.

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Enjoy Every Moment

It’s shocking how quickly children grow up.  Within the blink of an eye they are onto solids, then walking around.  Where once you were wishing they would say their first words you get to the stage where you wish they would be quiet even just for a minute.   My youngest has just turned two and I must admit I do sometimes miss when he and his sisters were small enough for me to hold in my arms easily.  Soon enough my children will be off to University and I will miss them like crazy so I am making the most of the time I have with them whilst they are small.

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For those with children what do you wish you had known before having them?