Simple Home Security Improvements You Can Fit Yourself

There has been a spate of burglaries on our estate over the last few months, and at first, it didn’t really worry me, as we don’t have anything worth stealing, and our home security is good. But then a few things have happened to make me change my mind, and think we ought to get a burglar alarm.

Ryan pointed out that burglars don’t know we don’t have anything of value, though a quick look at our ancient cars would be a tip off! He also quite right said that we wouldn’t ever feel comfortable in our lovely home if someone did break in.

Then I saw a post on Facebook, where a mum was asking for advice on how to help her five year old come to terms with their home being burgled, and it made my blood run cold – I had never considered what effect it would have on the girls if it happened to us. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

So we have been upping our home security.

Our garden overlooks a beautiful field, and though that is the main reason we bought the house (it was really hideous on the inside when we moved in) it is a double edged sword as we are a bit vulnerable with fewer neighbours.

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Mantlepiece with Wedding Picture from Bespoke & Oak Co

REVIEW: A Personalised Wedding Anniversary Frame

It was our wedding anniversary this week: Dr Pink and I have been married for nine years. But in all that time, we have never printed any of our wedding photos, apart from a tiny one in our downstairs loo. I know, how bad is that? So when Bespoke & Oak Co got in touch about reviewing* something from their site, I thought it would be great to order a picture of us, when we looked our best, on our wedding day.

We are not one for big photos of ourselves on our walls, so when I found the Personalised Polaroid Inspired Picture Frame, in classic black and white, with the retro dymo tape caption, I hoped it would be perfect, and I wasn’t disappointed. What do you think?  Wedding Picture from Bespoke & Oak Co with flowers

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A Greetings Cards Subscription to Make Life Easier

Birthday cards. It is just me, or do you end up buying all the cards for every occasion?  I get every single one. I may even be buying my own for our anniversary later this week! I have already bought three Father’s Day cards, for Ryan and both grandparents. I am also default Christmas card purchaser and writer too. I don’t want to be sexist, but I suspect that it’s the girl’s task in most families (do let me know if I’m wrong…)

I actually don’t mind as I love stationery. But it can be hard to keep on top of them all, especially now that the girls are being invited to birthday parties, and we’re getting into wedding season. I’ve recently discovered a rather exciting card subscription service called Proper Post, and I thought you might be ready to have your stationery world rocked  too. This is my first pack – could it be any cuter?

A selection of monochrome and copper stationery and cards that came in my Proper Post stationery subscription pack.

Monochrome and copper stationery: my idea of heaven.

Each month has a different theme, this month is Monochrome and Copper, which if you have seen my latest post about my home office, you will know is right up my street. I’m thinking of sticking the copper triangles along the shelf, what do you think? Continue reading

White shelf with pictures and copper fairy light

The Finishing Touches to my Home Office Shelf

My home office has been a long labour of love. It started life as a junk room when we moved, as we just had so much stuff. Then when I went freelance 18 months ago, I needed to turn it into a workspace. We managed to squeeze two desks into the tiny room, and put up an IKEA picture shelf above the second smaller desk. I’ve been trying out different arrangements of pictures and bits and bobs on the shelf, but it didn’t ever feel quite right. But I think I *might* have cracked it. What do you think?

White desk with white shelf and copper accessories

It’s so lovely to have a space for my sewing machine – I am not sure when I’ll find the time to actually use it though!

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Why We’re Sticking With the LiveLAGOM Sustainable Life

You may have read one of my previous posts about our exciting sustainability project with IKEA and environmental charity Hubbub. We were chosen from around 9,000 families to take part in their #LiveLAGOM project, long with a handful of families from each of IKEA’s UK stores. We were given a budget of £500 to spend on products to make our lives more sustainable.

The project is coming to a close now, so I have been reflecting on the changes we have made and what our next steps will be. You might want to grab a cuppa!Succulent in a coral pot

So to recap, the idea of living LAGOM is not about depriving yourself of the nice things in life. It’s about taking care not to waste resources, and not taking what we don’t need.

LAGOM comes from the Swedish phrase ‘lagom är bäst’ (the right amount is best) which means enjoying what you love, while not taking more than you need.

We have always cared about our environment, and have quite a few energy saving measures in place, which you can read about on my original LiveLAGOM post . We also got an Anglian Water audit of our house to try and save water. But we were keen to do more.

WE HAD Four goals:

  1. Save energy
  2. Make our home office more cosy
  3. Reduce food waste
  4. Get more creative with our recycling

Looking back, I think I may have been a bit optimistic with how much of a difference we could make with £500 worth of stuff, and should probably have narrowed it down to one or two goals. But I am nothing if not enthusiastic! Continue reading

Reading ABC of Animals in London, a completely unpredictable menagerie

BOOK REVIEW: ABC of Animals in London

The Pink family loves books. We simply can’t resist them, and Ava has been a member of the library since she was a couple of months old. We read a minimum of two books to Ava and Thea every night, and often more. But they have their favourites and sometimes Ryan and I get a bit bored of them, to be honest. So when we get a new one, we are as excited as the girls.

We recently received an absolute beauty of a book, called ABC of Animals in London: a completely unpreductable menagerie, by Cristona Guidone-Charles to review*. I love the word menagerie so that was a great start – it’s such a rich word isn’t it, and conjures up lots of images in my mind. And that cover – isn’t it just stunning? I love illustrations of birds, and flamingos in particular (if you type ‘flamingo’ into the search bar, you’ll see a potted history of my obsession…) so I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.ABC of Animals in London, a completely unpredictable menagerie Continue reading

REVIEW: Kind Natured Body Wash, Shampoo & Conditioner

I have been looking for natural, or at least less chemical-filled beauty products for years now, with very mixed results. Generally, they are several times more expensive than the high street equivalent (or ten times more, in some cases) and often just don’t work as well.

When I spotted this Kind Natured Body Wash in Boots a while back, I thought it was worth a try, as it was not too expensive (£4.99, but it’s half price at the moment) and it smelled delightful.

KIND NATURED Coconut & passionflower BODY WASH

I wasn’t disappointed. It actually lathers well, which is a notorious problem for products that don’t contain Sodium Laureth Sulphates (SLS) as this is the cheap chemical foaming agent found in washing up liquid and normal shampoos and shower gels. I don’t even know if I’d realise this had fewer chemicals than normal product if I didn’t know. It’s not overly moisturising, which is fine for me as my skin is on the oily side, but if that’s a consideration for you, you might need to add extra body lotion.
Kind Natured Body Wash

Kind Natured Coconut & Shea Colour Care Shampoo And Conditioner

I liked it the Body Wash so much, that the next time I needed shampoo, I bought the Coconut & Shea Shampoo and Conditioner. Don’t they look nice all together? I can’t deny the packaging also persuaded me to try them, as often more natural products don’t have the nicest of labels. Kind Natured Body Wash, Shampoo and Conditioner Continue reading

My Favourite Five for May: Stationery, Footwear & Spiderman

Tomorrow is the last day of school before half term and boy are we ready for a break! We have had such a busy month, and last Friday Ava got a bit upset about going to school – I think she’s just really exhausted. I told her it was the weekend tomorrow and asked what she wanted to do. She said “Can we go to the Co-Op and choose a magazine.” What an unexpected request – but nice and easy to achieve!

Ava’s certificates

Ava’s been working really hard at school and got not one, but two certificates, and had to stand up in assembly to collect them! She was so nonchalant about it, and we are incredibly proud of her creativity. Ava's Certificates

MARilyn OMBRE PENCILS

You may have noticed I am a slight stationery freak. So you can imagine how excited I was to receive these lovely ombre pencils from Team Hen* – each is embossed with a quote from Marilyn Monroe.

Team Hen Ombre Purple Pencils

kikki.k quote cards

Sticking with the stationery theme, and I was overjoyed to discover new shop Kikki.K, when I was in London a few weeks ago. Good grief, it was as if someone had gone into my brain and made all the things I would ever want. Aside from lots of lovely cards, pens and homeware, these pretty quote cards caught my eye. I love the quotes and gold foiling, and have the ‘Start Somewhere’ one in the wooden holder at the moment, as I am working on a big, slightly daunting project. It’s helping inspire me!

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My Top 5 Father’s Day Gifts from £10

Father’s Day. It can be a tricky one to buy for can’t it? Well, I find it difficult anyway, as neither my dad, nor Ryan like golf or football, which most Father’s Day gifts seem to involve. Last year, I got the girls to decorate plates and baked them in the oven. They really enjoyed it, and Ryan liked them too. But we can’t do that every year. So here are some ideas I have found for the Dads and Granddads in your life. Let’s show them how much we love them, and help support small businesses at the same time!

Minibook PHOTO BOOK from Social Print Studio

A few years back, I got this cute mini book of photos printed from my Instagram accountThis cute Social Print Studio Mini photo book makes the perfect Father's Day gift

The company I found them on, Social Print Studio, are American but they post to the UK and the rates are reasonable, and it’s fast delivery too, considering it’s coming such a long way.

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You get two mini books for $15 so I got one for Ryan and one for my dad. They both loved them. You can get all sorts of other sizes, and I also got some Polaroid-style pictures printed up, which I we have up in our cloakroom. They are great quality, so I think I’ll be ordering some more.Polaroid stye Instagram pictures from Social Print Studio in Umbra snap frames

Craft Beer subscription service

I wish I had thought of this, but Ryan actually got this for himself! For £20 a month the Flavourly Craft Beer Club sends you ten different craft beers, along with a beer magazine: that’s only £2 a bottle, and postage is free. If you click through here, you’ll get £12 off your first craft beer box, and Ryan gets £5 off his next month. You can choose light or dark beers, or a mix, and they encourage you to rate and review each one, to help you get an even better selection next time. Flavourly Craft Beer Subscription - the perfect Father's Day giftOne of the things that really appeals to us is that it supports small independent breweries from all over the world, rather than the mainstream multinational companies. It’s also the gift that keeps on giving, as he’ll get more delivered every month. Ryan enjoys it so much more than the big named beer, as he loves trying new flavours. Plus, it’s cheaper than buying craft beers from a supermarket, and way more fun. Look at his face when the first delivery arrived!The Flavourly Craft Beer Subscription makes the perfect Father's Day gift for the beer lover in your family.

personalised FATHer’s day oak coaster

I just received this fab coaster from Bespoke & Oak* for my dad for Father’s Day (I’ve told him not to read this post, I hope he remembers) and I think he will love it. Bespoke & Oak personalised coasterIt’s £9.50 and can be personalised with several names and whatever your kids call their Granddad/Grandpa. There are several other designs too. Continue reading