Thursday, 18 June 2015

Tips on making the most of your home

Last night Ava informed me that she wanted a new home. She also informed me that our modest little two bedroom flat was 'rubbish'. No doubt she had been speaking to Raff or Hugo from her stupidly expensive nursery and they had informed her they have 8 toilets or something. I didn't mind. I found it quite funny. Our home is hardly a palace but I love it because it's unbelievably me - girly & OCD tidy.  While Ava's bedroom is unbelievably her - girly and ridiculously messy. It's not forever. But right now it's perfect for us. I love my running routes, the fact that it is right next door to her nursery and that I am only a stone's throw from an area I love. I love I have a big kitchen, that the living room is big enough to fit in a dining table and that we have a decent sized bedroom each. The only thing I could live without is the 2 flights of stairs. Especially when I am carrying the food shopping and a wriggling 3 year old who is moaning that her legs are tired.

 But if it's in the name of firmer butt cheeks then I can live with that.

Recently Age UK put together some tips on making the most of your home, which got me to thinking of ways in which I make the most of mine. Here's the reasons why if you burgled my home (please don't), you would know instantly that I lived here...

FLOWERS: I always have fresh flowers in my flat and they are rarely expensive. Tulips, Sweet Williams and Carnations are all cheap in the supermarket and last forever. I love roses and you can pick up reduced bunches all the time if you hit up the supermarket around 8pm. Lillies are another favourite but I reserve these for the odd occasion a bloke buys me them...

KITCHEN: I make my life as easy as possible in the kitchen because the kitchen is where I spend most of my time. I recently gave up using my beloved moka coffee pot as it was such a pain to use and to clean afterwards. I now have a reasonably priced little coffee machine that sits in the corner of my kitchen and makes getting my morning caffeine fix so much easier. Recently my does everything except make the beds food processor gave up the ghost and I couldn't afford the three figure sum it would cost to replace it. Step in Lidl with their £15 electric hand whisk, chopper, blender, processor type thingy. This thing does EVERYTHING it's more expensive counterpart did at a fraction of the cost. I also recently invested in a DustBuster and it is a god send. I literally just hover around Ava every mealtime zapping up crumbs. Because wooden floorboards and a 3 year old are a nightmare for a tidy freak such as myself.

CANDLES: I'm not one of those energy wasting girlies who blasts the heating during summer or leaves lights on all the time. In fact woe betide anyone who walks into my living room in the winter and doesn't push the door closed behind them. Anyone else feel like they are becoming their Dad? But I am a candle obsessive and you would be surprised how much heat a few church candles can generate if they are scattered around the living room of an evening. I am also a hot water bottle aficiando. It might not be the sexiest thing in the world but I love snuggling up under the duvet with a toasty hot water bottle and a hot chocolate to keep me warm. That was until a pint sized person started sneaking into my bed during the night and stealing it...

IMPROVISE: there are lots of little cheap ways of making your home look a bit different. I have filled empty jam jars with tea lights and littered them all over the flat. I use empty gin bottles are vases and found some amazing little gardening crates in Home Bargains that I put books in. I have strategically placed a few old pocket watches around the flat as ornaments and they look awesome. My flat is also adorned with photos of friends and loved ones and all Ava's drawings take pride of place on the kitchen walls. All of which give it an amazing homely feel. I managed to find a cheap map of Scotland on Amazon and managed to score a free whisky map on a recent trip to Largs. Both of which hang on my living room wall and remind how much I love Scotland every time I walk past them. 

And how much I love whisky!