Don’t Be Afraid To Have Fun With Fashion

Far too many of us are afraid to have fun with fashion but we shouldn’t be. Your style might be something that’s very personal to you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. For a lot of us, our number one reason for not making what we wear fun is fear of getting laughed at. What if an outfit we experiment with doesn’t look right and people laugh? What if a look we come up with is just too out there? These are all things that run through our minds when it comes to the idea of having fun and experimenting with fashion. However, they shouldn’t be. 

It might be daunting coming up with a ‘fun’ new look, but don’t let that put you off. To help you come up with a few awesome new looks and have a laugh when it comes to your wardrobe, I thought I would share a few tips and ideas. Believe it or not, fashion is meant to be fun, too many of us forget that. 

Be creative with what you wear 

One of the best ways to make fashion more fun and enjoyable is by being creative with what you wear. This means not just opting to wear dull, neutral colours every day, but being willing to experiment and try something new. Don’t dress just like everyone else, add your own personal twist to your look. Be it with an iconic hat, a sleek scarf or some other eye-catching pieces, just find a way to get creative with your look. 

Take inspiration from the catwalk

The idea of copying an outfit a model wears on the catwalk might not appeal to you however, if you take parts of the outfit and combine them chances are you're going to love the resulting look. It’s easy to get intimidated by the looks we see in magazines as they’re always on ‘perfect’ people but they can work on us normals also. Have some fun and mess around with a few different looks you’ve seen on models. The chances are, some of the looks you try out, you’ll actually like. Whether it’s trying out a Jilbab or a smock dress it doesn’t matter, try it on and see whether the style suits you. 

Let your friends dress you 

Another simple way to have fun with fashion is by letting your friends dress you. Sometimes, friends have ideas for dressing you that you would never come up with yourself. Because they’re objective when it comes to your look, they can be more creative with ideas. For example, you may think that a-line skirts don’t suit your body shape but your friend may think a high-waisted one would. After trying the skirt on, you may find that actually your friend is right, an a-line high-waisted skirt is perfect for you. Let your friends dress you and not only will you have fun but you’ll also find new looks and styles that suit you. 

There you have it, a few unique ideas for having fun with fashion. Take these ideas on board and not only can you make fashion more fun but you might also discover a few new styles you love.

Thrifty Tips || How To Create A Perfect Playroom For Your Kids

A playroom can be a place where your kids can learn and play in a dedicated space. Having a playroom in the home can be a real advantage to parents. It means that the house can get back to some normality. It can mean that some of the rooms can turn into a grown up space again. It’s easy to create a wonderful playroom space for your children on a budget. Just take the following tips and advice into considerations. 

Plan what you want to do.

The first thing to do would be to get a plan in place. Work out which room is going to be made into a playroom. Take this opportunity to write down everything that needs to be done to the room. This is every job from the big things to the small finer details. This allows you to work out your timescale and also what funds need to be spent if any. You may want to consider how you are going to use the space. Will there be a place dedicated to reading? Will you have comfortable seating? Will the children eat a snack and things in there? If they will, do you need to think about a table for this? 

There’re lots to consider but it’s worth investing the time. This is where you can save some money in the long run. Having a plan and knowing what you need to spend will avoid any unforeseen costs at a later stage. 

Budget Tip 1 - Preparation is key to keeping any spend required to a minimum. Getting quotes for some of the bigger jobs and haggling down the price is another way to save money. 

Save any funds needed. 

Once you have your plan in place, you will have a much better idea on the finance side of things. You may be frugal or your room might require no expenditure. But you may need to invest in some new things for the room, decoration and flooring. This is where you will need to save money. A good idea would be to get quotes for different things and try and save any extra money. You could also search out things you need on websites like eBay. Charity shops are also a place to go and see what things you can get your hand on. You can pick up some real bargains in there. 

Budget Tip 2 - Any extra funds could come in handy. Start saving change in piggy banks. Or save every £2 or £1 coin in particular jars. Change can add up over time and most of the time it’s money you don’t really miss. Saving plans that require you to put amounts like £1 a day away are also useful and over time allows you to save quite a bit. 

Think about the furnishings and furniture.

You have your plan, and you know what money you need. Now you can think about the furnishings that the playroom will need. Will it need lots of comfy chairs and seats, or is it just a few key pieces? 

Working out the functionality of the room in your plans will determine exactly the type of furnishings you need for the room. You may just want to invest in some beanbags or find ottoman footstools to work with current sofas or chairs. You may also want to think about cushions or blankets and any lighting required in the room. 

You might also want to give some old furniture a new lease of life by doing a little bit of upcycling. This is where you can save yourself a lot of money. Also hunting furniture out in charity shops and adding a bit of personality and function to it. 

Budget Tip 3 - Use older furniture as much as you can. By adding a quick coat of paint, you will add a whole new lease of life to it. 

Will the room be multi-functional?

Do you plan on using the playroom for when friends come to stay? Then a good idea would be to have a sofa bed or fold away bed. A playroom can be the perfect place to host kids sleepovers. Or keep it as an option just incase anybody requires a place to stay. 

You can get some great options these days that are easy to use and fold away without any problems. The fold away beds that attach to a wall are particularly space savings if you don’t have a big room to work with. The playroom may also be a space where your children do their homework. So you may want to consider a desk area or computer. 

Budget Tip 4 - Investing to make the space multi-functional now, could save you money in the future. 

What about storage?

A playroom requires a lot of clever storage. Otherwise, it could end up looking cluttered and messy all of the time. Of course, you don’t want the children not to enjoy playing in there. But good storage will allow them to get the most out of it. 

Canvas storage boxes and holders are always a real popular choice for kids toys and items. You could also consider cupboard spaces and draws to tidy things away. Plastic storage boxes are also a good choice. As is a good old-fashioned toy box. Storage will allow you to go in at the end of the day and get some order into the room. Ready for another day of play. If you wanted to be a little more frugal here why not use some of the existing storage out of your children's bedrooms. Storing the toys in the playroom will also free up some space in their rooms for other things. 

Budget Tip 5 - People can go over the top when purchasing storage so the best advice would be to shop smart. Buying one larger storage unit could work out cheaper than buying lots of smaller storage solutions. Shelves are also a cost effective way of creating space for items without costing too much money. 

A chance to dispose of unwanted toys or items. 

If you are transferring toys into the playroom, then this is the perfect opportunity to have a good sort through. You could donate or sell old or unwanted toys. Maybe ones they have grown out of. Generating some funds to go towards new things. 

There isn’t any point in storing toys that no longer get played with. So it’s a nice heartwarming thing to do to donate to those less fortunate and let someone else get some joy from them. A good declutter is always refreshing. 

Budget Tip 6 - Selling toys on sites like eBay, that you no longer require or need, is a great way of generating some extra funds to go towards this project. 

Is there a theme?

You may also want to consider whether or not your room has a theme. You could take some inspiration from your children's favourite things. Or maybe they have particular TV characters they would like to incorporate into their new playroom. A theme could also be a colour scheme. 

What colours to consider?

Your colour scheme could have a lot to do with your theme. You may want a particular colour scheme to match the rest of the rooms in your home. Or you might want to consider something a little more trendy like monochrome. 

You might even want to use your children's favourite colours and create a bright and wonderful space for them to be creative. 

Budget Tip 7 - Use left over paint to save on cost. So when considering colours think abut what you already have. 


Decorating the playroom doesn’t have to be expensive. You could pick one colour or a few different ones. You may only need to decorate one wall to make it a feature. 

If you do these types of jobs yourself, you will always save money. Another great idea would be to get your children involved and decorate the room with their artwork. If you are brave, let them paint pictures on the walls directly. You could also purchase wall paper that allows your children to draw and be creative. 

Another option would be to decorate one wall with chalk paint. This could be a place for your kids to be creative or allow you to put messages on there. 

Budget Tip 8 - You could also ask your kids to paint something on some paper and stick that to the walls with washi tape to give it a unique look. 

Think about flooring. 

A playroom floor needs to be durable. So it would be recommended to consider a wooden flooring. You may not want to replace what you have. If that is the case, you could purchase foam floor tiles to cover the floor. This will be a soft surface for your kids to play but will also protect the floor underneath. 

Does it need any gadgets?

Finally, does the playroom require any gadgets. Things like a CD Player or television. A TV could be fitted to the wall to save on space. It could mean the playroom could also be a place for your children to relax in. Things like iPads and music players could also be handy in there. Making the room very user-friendly. 

I hope this guide helps you create the perfect playroom on a budget for your family.

Five Affordable Things to do with Friends

It’s great to have good friends, especially those who won’t mind that you haven’t dusted or done the dishes. Sometimes it’s fine just to sit back with a few mates and catch up on Netflix. Other times it can feel as though you’re in a bit of a rut, and it’s time to get out and do something fun. We have put together a few affordable ideas for spending time with friends.

Visit a Museum or Art Gallery

Museums and art galleries are a continual source of information, creativity and inspiration. We often remember the ones we were made to visit as children where we had to be quiet and couldn’t touch. That’s all changed now, and exhibitions often include a variety of media and are interactive and fun. What’s more many of them have a free admissions policy. Check out the local exhibition in your area. Make a morning or afternoon of it and follow it up with a cup of tea or coffee and cake.

Plan a Party

Get all of your good friends together and plan a party. This needn’t be expensive, and you can pool your finances and work with a budget. Agree on who will be hosting the party and share the preparations. This could be a simple, impromptu affair where everyone brings a dish and some booze. Or, you could go all out and create a theme with fancy dress costumes. Choose something fun like Disney Princesses. Or if you share a similar hobby such as manga and anime, make this the theme and  invite your friends to wear Sailor Moon cosplay costumes. Alternatively, stipulate that guests can wear anything at all as long as they made it themselves.

Go the Cinema

There’s usually something to see at the local multiplex but try looking a little further afield. There are some wonderful independent cinemas that offer a variety of films and events. Many of these venues offer themed nights, old movies and stream coverage of live events from around the world. To compete with their larger counterparts they often offer discounts and incentives.

Prepare a Meal

Rather than eating takeaways in front of the TV, take it in turns to prepare a meal. Each week one person invites the others round to their home for a meal they have prepared themselves. You could make it fun by creating themes or cooking meals from around the world.

Boozy Night Out

A night in town is always fun with your friends. However, it can be expensive with drinks, food and taxis. You can cut down on costs by keeping an eye out for promotions and discounts. Instead of booking taxis take it in turns to be the designated driver.

Local Events

Keep your eye on events taking place in your local area. Local council websites can be a good source of information. Countless events take place each year from speciality markets to performances and installations. Many are free of charge and or have low admissions. From time to time it’s fine to get cosy and enjoy a girls’ night in. Just remember to break it up with other events and activities. 

Planning ahead can help with budgeting and some events offer group booking discounts. Then again, there are no rules with friends. And there’s nothing better than a last-minute, unplanned night out.

Home Decor Inspiration || Gender Neutral Kids Prints

When I was pregnant with each of my son I wanted everything to be perfect. Naturally we had considered what we would name them, we had considered what clothing they would wear and which pushchair to purchase and even how the nursery should be decorated. The hardest part of it [other than being pregnant of course] was finding the perfect name as everyone seemed to have some sort of issue with our chosen names or some idea on what we should be naming our babies. The second hardest part was deciding on how the nursery should be decorated. Again we were bewildered with decor choices because everyone was opting for the overly princess pink styles for girls, really masculine designs for boys or very babyish styles. We knew we wanted neither of these options as we wanted something that didn't put our baby in a gender box. As parents even now we are very aware of being neutral in our discussions on life, love and everything in between as we want their young minds to form their own opinions and to take comfort and be confident in those choices.

See the predicament?

We wanted a room design that had personality but we also wanted it to inspire and grow with them as they got older. Back in 2006 to 2009 the choices for nursery's wasn't so vast or interesting and we did feel that we were having to chose something just for the 'sake' of it rather than the products making us excited. We also didn't want to waste money because children are expensive as it is. Fast forward to 2016 where we now have three sons all with very different style preferences. The world of room design and home decor have changed dramatically for the better. Parents are now choosing all sorts of styles for nurseries and bedrooms and as parents we love that retailers are embracing the unusual rather than the working with stigmas.

Late last year we moved into a larger house so once again we have been working with blank canvases for their rooms. While we have ideas on what we as parents want to see in the boys rooms, their at the age now where their own personalities, interests and tastes have formed. The surprising thing is they don't want to go with what would be seen as typical 'boy' choices or outwardly male designs. This alone and their take on the whole gender-neutral living inspired me completely to write this post as we search for finishing touches for their bedrooms - more so art prints to hang up to bring in some personality.

One of my sons wants his room purple and yellow. Most parents would try to deter their son away from lilacs and purples but I know he absolutely adores purples, pinks, reds and yellows. He also loves cars, cute soft toys and animals. He wanted something that mixed his favourite colours with his interests and I think we finally found the perfect prints with these vintage car prints.

We found these ones from King & McGaw which combines the feminine pastel tones that would match the lilac and purples, the neutral bold tones such as the yellow, reds and blues and the masculine vintage diecast cars...

My other son loves colour - lots and lots of colour. His personality is very bold, confident and magnetic so the choice of rainbow tones didn't surprise me at all. He's definitely a visual little boy and very artist so photographic prints like the ones above were never going to cut it. Colours also have the ability to heal, soothe and inspire so work exceptionally well for younger children's spaces. 

Taking a look these are the three that he picked. He loved the dog (he says it's a dog, I say I have no idea what it is), the rainbow spiral he said looks like an eye or a wheel (that alone great that he's looking into the images to see something else) and the Very Hungry Caterpillar is so vibrant - while it's a famous book design it's never going to go out of style.  

And finally my third son he loves comics, vintage superheroes. Especially Marvel and DC comics. This was a no brainer really because my husband and I also adore comic book heroes. 

There were loads of vintage style prints to chose from, some where standard prints that we've seen before and some were slightly different. Little man especially loved the more unusual styles and he wanted to pick both female and male heroes but chose based on whether they were good or bad heroes. The final choices resulted in Wonder Woman (because he says this is who I am), Thor because he is always good and funny and Captain America because he doesn't cause trouble like Iron Man does (his words now mine). I wholeheartedly believe that both little boys and girls can be inspired by Marvel and DC because it teaches them the attributes that make someone good even when things are a bit up in the air. 

The good thing with these vintage hero prints are that they never go out of style, they're suitable for all ages including babies and adults too. 

From a financial viewpoint these prints suit all ages, they're the type of styles that can be moved throughout a home when the children want a bit of a change. Actually searching for home decor touches with my sons has also been enlightening as it's these final touches that show personality. 

I don't believe that boys shouldn't have pastels, girl superheroes or pretty colours, fluffy cushions, candles and heart shaped cut out furniture. Likewise I don't believe that girls shouldn't have male superheroes, khaki tones and Lego brick furniture in their rooms - the key to it all is balance. Prints are a great way to achieve this. 

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Starting a Family || Here's How To Plan For A Baby

Lots of us have chosen to hold off starting a family. There are many reasons for this choice. You may not have thought you were emotionally ready to raise a child. Perhaps you were waiting for a relationship to evolve. Careers often get in the way of starting a family too. But if you feel now could be the right time, there are still plenty of things to plan and prepare.

It’s not just the girls that should prepare for pregnancy. The guys can do a lot to enhance their chances of conception. Our partners can also work on improving the quality of their sperm. Despite what you hear when you’re a teenager, it’s not always that easy to fall pregnant. And if you’re trying later in life, it can be very difficult indeed. Both of you should eat and drink as healthily as possible. And you should both be exercising regularly. Excess weight can reduce your chances of conception, so try to ensure you are both within the normal ranges. Sharing a diet and exercise plan can also be a good way to bond. Quality time together now is important, as you may not have much once your baby is born!

Having sex when you ovulate is the best time to become pregnant. This usually occurs around two weeks into your cycle. You can use a testing kit to check. Some people think that abstaining for two to three days before can ensure the best sperm count for the job, however, have sex a day or two before you ovulate is still viable as it takes a while for things to get going let's just say. Of course, many men can suffer from impotence, especially when there is pressure to perform. If your partner has any of the common symptoms of erectile dysfunction, then his doctor will be able to offer help.

It can be an anxious time waiting for those three or four weeks for an answer. But if you don’t have a positive pregnancy test, don’t fret. It can take months for conception. Just try again next time you’re ovulating. Remember, we don’t necessarily ovulate every month. And you’re both free to enjoy practising the baby making process as often as you like!

Once the pregnancy is confirmed, life will never be the same again. Your diet needs to be healthy throughout and there should be no alcohol consumption. Smoking is a big no too! Exercise can continue but stick to gentler ways of keeping fit. Yoga for pregnancy and plenty of walks are ideal. A little weight gain is expected, but this can be managed with portion control and an active lifestyle. 

Managing your finances is important now you’re pregnant. A newborn won’t cost you a thing in food, but nappies are so expensive! Clothing can be pricey, but you’ll probably find there will be plenty of things gifted to you. Your household bills will increase as you will be home more often. And childcare will cost a lot. But you’ll have a family, and life with your little one will be incredible.