Review: Why KINN Living’s Approach To Cleaning Is the Way Forward

Conscious, greener living

I’m making 2021 the year of changes – changes for the better of course. Living for nearly a year on and off in lockdown has taught me that we need to be more conscious in our life choices. That includes being mindful about the things we buy things to how we live our daily lives. Our lifestyles now are pretty different from of how they were was last year.

I’m trying to make a conscious effort to be more ‘present’ with the kids but it’s always easy with them constantly running non-stop like a motor… most of the time I can’t think! But I’m also trying to recycle more, reuse anything that I can ie. old plastic bowls become planters, and reduce any unnecessary wastage – we try to throw away as little as possible. It helps to save the planet and our pockets.

Continue reading “Review: Why KINN Living’s Approach To Cleaning Is the Way Forward”

Simple Ways To Create Space At Home

Everybody wishes they had more space at home at some time or other. Whether it’s during celebrations when you want more room for family, or just for everyday living when the kids are home, and everyone seems on top of each other.

Organising possessions, storage and even decor can change the mood and feeling of space in the home, so here are some tips to help you get the best from your personal space.

Keep Things Simple

Or to put it another way, minimise where possible. That doesn’t mean you need to go the whole route of minimal living. In this instance it’s more about clearing your surfaces, having designated spots for different items, and being fussy about which items you put on display, and where.

If you need to thin down possessions, tackle this first. If you have lots of cluttersome items, it’s less stressful to do a bit at a time rather than trying to blitz the whole house at once. You could go room by room, or work in categories.

Utilising storage space to avoid clutter / Photo credit: Pexels

If categories seem a bit confusing, an example might be books. Maybe they’re all over the house, in every room, but would make a better, more stylish display if they were all together. Go round and collect them all up. Stack them in a big pile in the middle of the room if necessary. Then decide which ones to keep for display and which to pack away for safe keeping.

Alternatively, maybe you have different categories of books, such as children’s literature or a collection of work-related textbooks. Create individual units or shelves to display just those categories.

You can apply a similar concept to all kinds of household possessions, from linens to DIY tools or even clothes and toys. When you find items you want to keep but not use or display, consider renting a self storage room. This gives the best of both worlds as you get to keep possessions you love, but also free up space at home.

Make Use of Storage Furnishings

All over the house, storage furnishings help cut down on surface clutter, keeping small items together and neat.

  • In living rooms, go for coffee tables with lifting tops, end tables with shelves or drawers, and decorative chests, trunks, or footstools with storage.
  • In bedrooms, consider swapping frame beds for divans or ottoman styles. The added storage under the mattress is handy for all kinds of things, from kids toys and sports gear to spare towels and bed linens.

When your closet is bursting at the seams, try installing a second hanging rail under the first. This is especially useful if most of your garments are short. If short items share space with longer clothes such as dresses or full-length coats, separate them into lengths so all the short things are together. Pop one of those cheap drawer towers underneath the smaller items and use it for shoes, folded items, or accessories. There are more closet organising ideas here.

Make use of shelves and storage furnishings / Photo credit: Google

Shelving can also be classified as storage furnishings and is useful all over the house. The vertical space is often overlooked, but there is lots of storage space on walls.

Some ideas include:

  • A shelf over a doorway. When there’s no wall space, popping a shelf over the door is unobtrusive but handy for displaying precious items. In the bathroom, use it to store beauty products in pretty baskets.
  • Attach a narrow shelf or two to the end of the kitchen cabinets. It’s a handy alternative for spice bottles and,if you fix a rail in front, it can also be used for recipe books.• Run a long shelf at picture rail height around the perimeter of a room. Great for books, lighting, or delicate items you want to keep out of pets’ or kids’ reach.

Storage Through the Seasons

Often, we end up with nowhere to put things because everywhere is filled with stuff not being used. This is true for cupboards and cabinets, but also for garden sheds and garages.

A solution that’s gained in popularity over recent years is to adopt a storage unit to store items on a rotational basis through the seasons.

You store everything you don’t use in winter during summer, and swap things out as the seasons change, putting away all the summer stuff you won’t use again for a few months. This system basically halves the possessions you have at home, creating a load of space for what’s left.

Free up home space by using a storage unit service / Photo credit: Pexels

You can find things easier, keep tabs on belongings, prevent damage from overcrowding, and give the family plenty of breathing space to enjoy home life more.

Extend the concept to clothing, large DIY tools such as ladders, garden machinery or furniture and outdoor play items, as well as Christmas trees and decorations and you can imagine the extra space to be gained.

With self storage rooms you also have easy access to your things, so it’s no hassle to fetch something home if you need it.

If you ever find you can’t get anything done because of all the stuff surrounding you, it’s time for a rethink and re-organise. It takes a bit of effort, but it’s well worth the trouble for the sense of freedom and well-being you get just from creating more space at home.


This is an ad/sponsored post written by Big Yellow Self Storage company. Photos used in this post have been credited respectively.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog

5 Easycare Houseplants That Even Beginners Can’t Kill…

You’ve seen them everywhere.

Real ones. Fake ones. Big ones. Little ones. Smooth ones. Spiky ones. You might even be wondering… where’s yours?

Becoming a plant parent is currently a popular trend and for good reasons too! Plants are not only great at purifying the air, they’re also great for improving our mental wellbeing, and being a great listener for when we need to vent or think things out aloud. 🙂

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a plant family. I’m not as green-fingered as my dad (he’s the best plant dad ever!) but after some trial and error and killing plants in the process, I’ve come to realise that there’s much more to raising a plant family than simply buying plants and watering them. You need to get to know them, learn about them and their unique requirements, needs and habits.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Top 5 easy care houseplants for beginners
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

There’s loads of plant parenting guides out there to give you a hand with starting so don’t be afraid to read and research! My favourite Youtube videos on houseplants are by Amanda from Planterina – she is amazing and her plant collection is envious to say the least. As a landscape designer, this woman knows her sansevierias from her stromanthes so check her out. Her vids can be quite long so make sure you have some time to sit and watch. I’m also enjoying posts by Laura from House Plant House (HPH) and Darryl from House Plant Journal who write really informative posts on all things plant-related.

My top tips for starting a plant family…

Like I mentioned briefly before, becoming a plant parent is more than just buying a plant you simply like the look of, or that is trending at the moment. If you want to get off with a smooth start and not end up killing a bunch of plants like I did, heed the advice below:

Do your research!

The Wandering Mother Blog | easy care houseplants for beginners

A very important first step – and one that I’d highly recommend spending a decent amount of time on before buying any plant – is to do your research!

I’m not talking about just researching the plants you like and where they’ll look beautifully positioned in your home. I’m talking about the real stuff – temperature, humidity, light and water conditions.

Once you know the answers to those things then you’re ready to sift through the types of plants that you can buy. Knowing the plant’s requirements will also save you a lot of tears and money.

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Photo Credit: Samson Katt on Pexels.com

Temperature – check the temperature of our rooms as it can vary from room to room. Knowing what your average temp is will help you to determine which houseplants will do well in your home. Tropical plants usually need a minimum of 21’C/69’F but most houseplants require around 15’C/59’C or above

Humidity – like room temp, humidity can also vary from room to room and different countries have different humidity levels. In the UK, the winters are quite dry, summers a little more humid so a humidifier might be an option to help increase the humidity in your home

Lighting – does the room have full light (bright direct or indirect), low light (partially shady to shady) or no light? (no windows, artificially light only). Most houseplants will require some light and generally indirect light is best for them. South facing windows have the strongest direct light and north-facing windows offer low indirect light, west/east-facing windows offer a good amount of indirect light.

Water – depending on the type of plant, they’ll either want to be watered frequently (likes to stay on the wet side), regularly (likes slightly moist soil) or occasionally (prefers to dry out before watering). Figure out how ‘hands-on’ you’ll be then you can determine which watering style suits you best.

Know the general do’s and dont’s when buying or bringing home new plants

These do’s and don’ts are pretty basic but should be enough to get you started…

DO:

  • check your plants in the shop – look at the roots for signs of the plant being root bound or having root rot
  • check for any pests and diseases on the plant (especially the underside of leaves)
  • check the soil wetness – usually they are watered but some stores neglect their plants, if the soil is wet/moist then don’t water when you get it home
  • allow your plant to acclimatise once you’ve brought it home. It’s normal to lose a few leaves during the first three weeks
  • leave plant in their plastic nursery pots and resist the urge to repot until a few weeks later. When you do repot, choose a pot that has adequate drainage holes or make drainage holes for the pot
  • occasionally give your plant leaves a wipe with a moist cloth and a spritz of natural repellent spray (I make a simple mix of water, neem oil and washing-up liquid) which keeps the leaves clean, shiny and bug-free. Neem oil is a natural oil that acts as a plant bug repellent and leaf shine. (NOTE: not all plant leaves need to be cleaned so check if yours does require cleaning before doing so otherwise you can damage the plant.)

DON’T:

  • water your plant immediately after buying your plant unless the soil is bone dry or you can tell it’s been neglected
  • water your plant with cold, icy or hot water as this can cause shock to the plant and roots – room temperature water is best and ideally with filtered or distilled water, or rainwater
  • move the plant around too much as it needs to acclimatise so pick a spot and leave it there for a few weeks to see if it likes it there
  • repot unless absolutely necessary – if it’s heavily root bound or has signs of root rot then you can attempt to repot. Don’t do it simply because you hate the plastic pot it comes in
  • fertilise after bringing your plant home as it’s most likely that your garden centre or store would’ve done this recently already so wait a week or two first

Have realistic expectations of your plants

Just like parenting children, being a plant parent is no different. Every plant is different and if it’s your first time caring for that particular type of plant, you might come across some surprises. When shopping for a plant, be prepared that the one you’ve had your eye on for a while might not be best suited for the home because of its requirements. Understand that you might have to move your plant around if it’s not happy in its current location.

Also, be ready to accept that you might kill a couple of plants before getting it right – it’s okay! I still do it too.

Don’t buy too many too soon

I am 100% guilty of doing this!

I just get so excited come payday, I just want to come home with a load of plants in my arms. If you’re new at being a plant parent or a complete beginner, it’s much better to focus on one type of plant before buying a few to care for at the same time. If you must buy more than one plant at a time, buy two of the same plant instead. This will hopefully satisfy your impulse buying and allow you to study the plant in different rooms to see how they behave.

Invest in some equipment

Plants are sold all year round but if you can help it, I’d suggest buying at the start of Spring for optimal time because this is when plants are in their growing stage. This means it’ll be a little easier to care for your plants and any damage done will be a little more forgiving.

I’d recommend any plant parent to invest in a hygrometer (digital is best) to monitor soil moisture levels. If you’re keen on making your own soil mix then purchasing natural materials like perlite, orchid bark, horticultural sand and coco coir might be on your shopping list too. A coco-coir pole or moss pole might also be on your list if you growing tall or climbing plants like monsteras, philodendrons and pothos varieties.

Another piece of equipment I highly recommend especially if you have tropical plants is a humidifier (they love 60-80% humidity), especially for winter months when the central heating is on or if you live in dry humidity areas where humidity can be as low as 30-40%. Simply misting the leaves by hand will only help whilst you’re doing it but as soon as you stop, the air will return back to its dry state.


My 5 easy care houseplants for new plant parents

1. Monstera Deliciosa (swiss cheese plant)

The Wandering Mother Blog | Cheese Plant - Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera Deliciosa / Swiss Cheese Plant

Swiss cheese plant or cheese plant, the Monstera is my ultimate favourite houseplant. It’s so easy-going and loves both indirect light and shady areas making it a great first choice for flat dwellers. Hailing from the hot and humid tropical forests of South America, monstera plants love high humidity and warmth (minimum 21’C) so if you can somewhat replicate these conditions, your plant will love you even more and you’ll see plenty of monstera babies. Don’t worry if you can’t, they’ll adapt and survive in all conditions but you might experience slower growth.

For those beautiful ‘holes’ called fenestrations, your swiss cheese plant will need more light so place it where there is bright, indirect light (west or eastern window or next to north-facing window). If you have a south-facing room, place it away from the window as direct sunlight will scorch the leaves. Only water your plant once the top soil (about 4-5 inches down the pot) has dried out – this plant doesn’t like stay moist or get waterlogged.


2. Sansevieria Trifasciata / Dracaena Trifasciata (snake plant)

The Wandering Mother Blog | Snake Plant - Sansevieria Trifasciata
Sansevieria Trifasciata

Commonly known as the snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue. A new botanical name has been set for the plant which is, Dracaena Trifasciata so you might see this name being referred to more than sansevieria trifasciata but they are the same thing. Originating from the tropics of West Africa, these houseplants are way shorter and smaller than their native members which can grow metres high! The yellow edged variation will do better with a little more indirect light whilst the all green snake plant prefers a little more shade. These plants hate their leaves getting wet, by doing so can rot their leaves so water carefully or water from bottom up to avoid water getting onto the leaves. They love to be dry so make sure all the soil has completely dried out before watering.


3. Dracaena Marginata (dragon tree plant)

Dracaena Marginata

A spiky plant similar to palm but way less demanding, the dragon tree plant is super easy to look after. Pretty much drought tolerant, these dragon tree plants will totally forgive you if you forget to water them. They are also slow growers so it’ll take some time before you’ll see new shoots which can be recognised as they’re lighter in colour. Totally tolerant of any condition you give it – shade, partial sun or full sun (beware as full direct sun can scorch the leaves) and prefers high humidity but will settle with lower humidity. These plants can also tolerant a range of temperatures but do best in warmer conditions (18-21’C).

The only thing it can’t tolerate is overwatering as they like to be dry. Err on the side of underwatering with this plant because it only needs watering when the soil has completely dried out.


4. Epipremnum Aureum (golden pothos)

Golden Pothos

It’s been rumoured that these plants are totally un-killable (please don’t try it out!) and will adapt to survive in any condition you give it. The golden pothos, also known as devil’s ivy, does best in shady areas but can also do well in low, medium or bright light. These plants are naturally climbers so they like to make their way up walls, shelves, and vertical objects but they also make great hanging plants as you can train them to trail. Originally found in south-east Asia, the golden pothos likes humidity and will be happy with occasional watering. They are not fussy plants at all – in fact, the more hands-off you are with this plant, the more happier it’ll be.

Leave them to get a little root bound before repotting as they’re use to being a bit overcrowded and water when the surface soil (top 2 inches of soil) is dry.


5. Hedera Helix (trailing common ivy)

The Wandering Mother Blog | Hedera Helix - Trailing Ivy Houseplant
Trailing ivy can really do well as houseplants too!

I had to include a trailing plant and what’s better than one very common in the UK?! The common English ivy, scientifically known as hedera helix is a simple plant that looks beautiful wherever you decide to place it. Ideally, they does do better outdoors but grown as a houseplant, they require minimal care. They do like to drink a fair bit of water and is my thirstiest houseplant out of all the others. It likes it soil moist so don’t allow it to dry out completely before watering.

These guys will tolerate most indoor temperatures but keep it on the cooler side. I keep mine close to the balcony door so it can get some fresh cool air every now and then. In June/July, I leave it outside on the balcony and bring it back indoors around end of September/beginning October. Just make sure you check regularly for pests and bugs if you take them outdoors.

Ivy plants do appreciate humidity so an occasional shower or a good misting will keep it happy, and not to mention keeps bugs and dirt free from the trailing leaves. I water my ivy when the soil is touch-dry but sometimes leave it until the top 2 inches of soil is dry to make it easier for myself. I also use tap water at room temperature to water my ivy plant and it’s growing well – if if you can harvest rainwater then your ivy will love it.


The Wandering Mother - Family Lifestyle Blog

Review: Sing My Name Personalised Kids’ Alarm Clock

Waking up in the mornings – especially during the winter season – can be really challenging for both adults and children. Those cold, dark mornings make you just want to lie in bed for a few minutes longer, don’t they? If you have little ones that struggle with morning wakeups, it might be a good idea to look into getting an alarm clock if you don’t already have one. In our household, I would usually wake up the kids around 30mins after I get up. This is so I can get things like their uniforms, backpacks and breakfast prepared first. It helps to save a little bit of time but some days, I’m there standing at their bedside trying to physically drag them out of bed.

We were lucky enough to be sent two Sing My Name personalised kids’ alarm clocks. The kids were so excited that they had one each and couldn’t wait to give it a try the next morning…

The Wandering Mother - Family Lifestyle Blog
Let your child wake up to the sound of their own name sung back to them with Sing My Name’s personalised alarm clock

Sing My Name Personalised Alarm Clock Review

The Sing My Name Personalised Kids’ Alarm Clock comes in four colours but a few of the colours have two designs so there’s a good variety to choose from. They are analog clocks which can encourage children to learn how to tell the time, something my Little Man still struggles with as everything we have to tell the time with is digital so for us, this is warmly welcomed. The clock requires three AA batteries – we buy our multipacks from Poundland which saves us money. There’s a snooze button by the alarm bells and an off-off switch at the back of the clock allowing you to turn it off easily when needed.

Key Features:

  • Personalised name sang to them when the alarm rings
  • Snooze button (which also functions as a demo button – so handy!)
  • On-off switch button at the back of the clock
  • Volume button so you can adjust how loud or quiet you want the alarm to be
  • Battery operated
  • Soundless seconds hand, no loud tick-tocking thanks to the silent ‘sweep’ mechanism
  • Glow in the dark minutes/hours hand
  • Reprogramming the sound of the alarm with your own music as many times as you want

These popular personalised kids’ clocks are sold at the infamous Hamleys toy store but due to current lockdown restrictions, the best way to get your hands on one of these is to order online. When ordering on the Sing My Name website, you’ll need to enter in the child’s name and there’s a sample play button so you can hear how the name will sound when the alarm rings. It’s inserted into a fun and lively wake-up song which is sweet however if the alarm music starts to get on your nerves you can easily change it to their favourite song by reprogramming it (MP3 format) as many times as you want.

When entering your child’s name, if the name is not recognised, don’t worry as they team will record it especially for you. There’s also an entry box for pronunciation which is great if your child’s name could be mis-pronounced. Talk about excellent service!

The Wandering Mother | UK Family Lifestyle Blog
We are loving these cool and quirky kids alarm clocks!

Little Miss loves her pink clock and Little Man loves his blue clock – they really do make lovely personalised gifts for kids. These clocks could also make great Christmas gifts for kids if you’re stuck on ideas on what to buy. If you prefer gender-neutral colours instead of ones that are associated as ‘girls alarm clocks’ or ‘boys alarm clocks’ there’s orange and purple options to choose from too.

I wasn’t really sure of where to put the kids’ alarm clocks because my little ones don’t have a beside table. The clocks are compact enough to be placed on a shelf or window ledge so that helps. The glow in the dark clock hands might come in handy at night for you if you have older children – not so much for me right now as mine are still learning the time but it’s definitely a a helpful feature for time-training. Also the clock’s seconds hand runs so smoothly (thanks to the clever sweeping mechanism), you can’t hear it ticking at all. You might even decide to use the clock as a sleep trainer which would be really effective for waking up during darker mornings.

These clocks have really put a smile on my little ones’ faces and I’m so glad they’ve enjoyed them. Next step will be to add their own music to the alarm as my little monsters don’t seem to always wake up to the sound of their own name! LOL

For the full collection and more about Sing My Name alarm clocks, hit the ‘find out more’ button below:

The Wandering Mother - Family Lifestyle Blog

Review: Bloomsbury Mill Winter Wonderland Duvet Set

Bring on the festive season!

Can you believe it’s only SIX WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS

2020 has come and (almost) gone as quickly as a blink of an eye… and despite the country going back into lockdown, I feel that businesses have been able to handle things a little better this time around. There are more shops that are classed as ‘essential businesses’ which is fantastic as it means we can still get on with our daily lives and for those that aren’t classed as essential shops can still provide delivery and click & collect services which is great news.

We all also need to be smarter with our money. I don’t know about you, but with all the retail shops closed I find that I am e-window shopping online A LOT more frequently than I would visit a store. I’m also sure that I’m spending more so I’m using a few apps to help me budget a little better and stay on track with the spending. When I was asked if I’d like to review a new Christmas bedding range, I jumped at the chance and said yes. We were lucky enough to try out the single Winter Wonderland duvet sets from Bloomsbury Mill and here’s what we thought of them…

Bloomsbury Mill Winter Wonderland Duvet Set 

THE DESIGN

The Winter Wonderland single duvet set by Bloomsbury Mill has a playful look – the colours are very bright and the festive design is really cute! I think it’s great for children of all ages, especially younger kids. Little Man is 7yrs and Little Miss is 4yrs and they were squealing for joy when they came home from school to see their new Christmassy duvets.

The single duvet set size meets the textile regulations and with safety in mind, that keeps me happy. The single-sized covers fit their duvets perfectly but the pillowcases were slightly larger than the actual pillows. This isn’t a problem for us because our pillows are very flat so for fluffier pillows, the cases will fit snugly. That said, I stuffed Little Man’s pillowcase with two flat pillows and it bulked out the pillowcase perfectly. We’ve also started using our winter tog duvets but the kids don’t seem to get hot and sweaty with these covers which is a bonus. That tends to happen sometimes if the polyester percentage is higher as it’s not as breathable as cotton.

The Wandering Mother - Family Lifestyle Blog
The white duvet covers complement the kids room perfectly

If you prefer to have neutral or white bedding then adding a little touch of Christmas to the room by picking a duvet set like this one might be ideal. The duvet set is available in three sizes; cotbed, single and double which means the whole family can have matching sets. The festive print runs true on both sides of the pillowcase and cover so you don’t have to worry about which side up your covers need to go. It would’ve been nice to see this duvet set been made as a reversible print as a lot of other brands are offering that but it’s no problem. Sometimes I prefer to have a continuous pattern than a different on each side.

Bloomsbury Mill have a wide range of duvet designs (animals, unicorns, dinosaurs to name a few) to choose from so have a look on their website. It’s recommended to wash the duvet set at 40°c degrees which is perfect as the majority of our wash load gets done on 40°c (only pure whites at 60°c) so that’s also economical for us too. Yay!

THE MATERIAL

The polycotton material (52% polyester, 48% cotton) makes it easy to wash and is incredibly soft. I was slightly dubious at first as I rarely let the kids use anything less than 50% cotton but they said they really liked the material and slept well in them at night. Most easycare bedding have similar polycotton mix ratios but the cotton percentage is higher and still aren’t always as soft as these duvet covers.

I’m not a fan of the crisp cotton feel and much prefer a smoother, softer feel. We have duvet covers from Asda which have the SAME polycotton mix as these Bloomsbury Mill covers and I can tell you, the latter feels much better and doesn’t irritate mine or the children’s skin.

If you only sleep in 100% cotton sheets then you might want to give these covers a miss but if you do like easycare duvet covers and not too fussed about the polycotton percentage then definitely give them a try. It’s a really good price for what you get and the quality and feel is great.

The Wandering Mother - Family Lifestyle Blog

THE PRICE

The duvet set is good value – a single duvet set for £14.99 is decently priced especially for Christmas bedding. There are cheaper easycare bedding out there but whether I’d rather buy those sets to these ones? Probably not.

Like most good quality things, if the price is too good to be true, it probably is. We all have to compromise on things – price and/or quality included. When it comes to bedding, you want it to last and stand the test of time, it needs to be durable. It’s too early to tell how long these Winter Wonderland covers will last but I think they will do quite well and we’ll definitely be getting a lot more wear out of them than the other easycare sets I’ve bought in the past (they’re still sitting in storage). The quality feel of these sheets outweigh the cost. I’ve been looking at other easycare polycotton duvet sets and even though the designs look great, I’m sceptical of the quality in comparison to the Winter Wonderland duvets.

The website also offers KLARNA payments which makes things more affordable as you can choose to spread the cost of your order in three even monthly payments or pay the total amount a month later. It’s subject to a soft credit check so not everyone can apply for KLARNA but the option is there if it’s available to you. Of course, there’s the standard payment option via debit/credit card and Paypal.

The Wandering Mother - Family Lifestyle Blog

Our Verdict?

WE LOVE IT! 🙂 We really love the fun and colourful design and the kids have said the material is soft and very comfy to sleep in. The various duvet sizes also means that our whole family can have matching set if we wanted to!

The quality is good. The price is decent. The payment options are work for us. What’s not to like? There’s also 10% off your first order if you sign up to their newsletters via the website.

About Bloomsbury Mill
Experts in textiles, Bloomsbury Mill aims to constantly produce beautiful, vibrant, easy-care bedlinen that you and your family will love. Fun, comfortable and practical, all of their items are manufactured to textile regulations and with quality in mind.

The company has also been nominated and shortlisted for the Mother & Baby Awards 2021.

P I N  T H I S  P O S T

The Wandering Mother - Family Lifestyle Blog


NB. We were kindly sent complimentary duvet sets in exchange for this unbiased blog review. All words, photos and content are my own and should not be used without my permission.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope

Decor: How to decorate your home according to your horoscope

2020 is just around the corner!

How quickly has the year gone by?!

This time is also the time when most people find the need to redecorate their home and that’s totally me. New year, new home right?! 🙂 Decorating the home can be really difficult, but have no fear because I’ve got something pretty exciting to help you out.

I’m quite a spiritual person and believe that a positive-energy in the home home can have a positive impact on my daily living. Everybody knows a cluttered home can lead to a cluttered mind and de-cluttering can be quite therapeutic, it can also have good effect on your mental well-being. I’m naturally a hoarder so regular de-cluttering is definitely high on my list but that doesn’t mean I always manage to get round to doing it. Instead I usually save the big de-cluttering for spring (hence, spring cleaning) and for the new year.

In Chinese culture, it’s considered to be a good omen to do a thorough deep-clean and de-cluttering the week before Chinese New Year.

Decorating your home according to your horoscope…

Wayfair UK have teamed up with expert astrologers, Francesca Oddie and Sally Kirkman to create a guide on how to decorate your home based on your horoscope. If you don’t know which star sign you are, just look for your birthday next to the horoscope name. Luckily for our household, we’re pretty much the same. Little Man and I are both Leos, Daddy P and Little Miss are both Taurus. Cool right? Even weirder, Little Man was born the day after my birthday and Little Miss’s due date was a day after Daddy P’s birthday.

Here’s a great little infographic that they have created to help us out:

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope


Decorate like a LEO (Jul 23-Aug 22)

For Leos, the astrologers say;

For a Leo, your home is your castle and nothing says ‘let it reign’ like a huge fireplace located in the beating heart of your home – the living room. A fire sign who loves a good social gathering, your home is adorned with bright colours: orange, red and plum, and accented with a few gold accessories like frames, cushions and lighting. For those who are Leo-born, there’s no such thing as too much animal print, so make 2020 your year to go wild and lay down that leopard print rug you’ve been pining for.

… very interesting!

I definitely agree with the gold. I love gold accessories! I’m not sure I 100% agree on ‘there’s no such thing as too much animal print’ but I do like the odd leopard print or peacock print. I prefer textures than print so a beautiful fluffy or shaggy rug would be amazing but I think an animal print rug might be too much for my taste. I think I’d prefer adding small touches of animal prints and figurines instead. Animal wood carvings and metal ornaments of elephants, giraffes and lions always looks great and a statement animal print cushion would jazz up the sofa nicely.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
My animal print & gold accessories list

  1. Roda Feline Cushion by World Menagerie
  2. Gonzalez 3 Piece Giraffe Statue Set by Alpen Home
  3. Cervantez Lion Figurine by Rosdorf Park
  4. Mahoney Elephant Metal Strape Trunk Up Figurine by Happy Larry
  5. Ouled Africa Cheetah Cushion Cover by World Menagerie

As for a big central fireplace in the living room, that would be amazing but I live in a new build so a fireplace would be a dream. Perhaps I could go for an electric one – we could have it fitted where the radiator is currently placed. That’s up against our living room feature wall so might work well.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
I have to admit this leopard print rug is pretty cool! / image: Wayfair UK

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
‘Let it reign’ with a feature fireplace / image: Wayfair UK

 


Decorate like a TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20)

For Taurus, the astrologers say;

A true Taurus appreciates the finer things in life and where better to show off your taste for lavish décor than at home? A sign who loves to add indulgent fabrics wherever possible, from cushions and throws to a dreamy velvet sofa, all tied in with a few eclectic artworks and elegant lighting. Admit it, you are also slightly obsessed with earthy colours and stepping into your home is like walking into a botanical oasis. With the motto ‘you can never have too many house plants’, investing in a fancy new vase or chic plant pots might be worthwhile for the new year.

Daddy P is a fan of velvet and we are both loving this new lush green shade that’s popping up everywhere. We are actually going to paint our living room in this colour sometime in the new year which will be exciting! We’ve always dreamed of buying a velvet sofa but with two young children, it’s not the right time for us to do it although it’s in our future plans. In the meantime we will definitely be adding more indulgent fabrics to our home/

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
My indulgent fabrics and plants list

  1. Luxe Cushion in teal by Symple Stuff
  2. Berkshire Cushion by Canora Grey
  3. Ione Cushion in ochre by Rosdorf Park
  4. Monstera Floor Foliage Plant in Pot
  5. Throw in charcoal by Christy
  6. Drummond throw in silver by Rosdorf Park

Daddy P is actually not a fan of the botanical look but I am totally mad for it – we have started our plants collection and will continue adding to it. We currently have a mix of real and artificial plants because it’s easier to manage and it also gives the room a little more depth… or so I like to believe. We have two pots of beautiful pink winter heath but they died from lack of water and sunlight on our balcony – oops! The good thing about the winter heath is that the beautiful coloured bulbs don’t fall out until the next season so they look alive and colourful but are in fact dead. It gives us enough time to try and revive them or thrown them out and purchase some new ones.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
Luxe textures and indulgent fabrics / image: Wayfair UK

 


P I N  T H I S  P O S T !

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope


This post was created in response to Wayfair UK’s latest article on decorating your home according to your horoscope: http://bit.ly/wayfairhoroscope – I was sent the inforgaphic but was not compensated for this post. I genuinely wanted to share this great content with you all.

The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle Blogger

Festive ideas: 35 Christmassy things to do with the family!

“Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way…”

It’s that time of year again… c h r i s t m a s !

The only one thing that makes our wet Christmas great is all that quality time we get with the kids.

I’m not talking about just being stuck in the house with the hyperactive chipmunks but actual quality time for bonding and doing things together. My terrible two drive me INSANE nearly every day but somehow, at Christmas time it seems to be the only time where we love being together, crafting and making things.

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday and it looks beautiful. I let the kids put up a few of the decorations and did the lights and glass decorations myself. I managed to salvage some of the beautiful glass decorations we had from last year. A LOT were smashed as Ame decided she wanted to play with them and Little Man wanted to do the same.

I’ve decided that doing some Christmassy crafts together would be the way to go this year as the kids are showing more interest in that sort of stuff. I’ve compiled a list of 35 Christmas things to do with the family in Greenwich and around London… in case you run out of ideas!

35 Christmassy things to do
with the family…

  1. Pick out a Christmas tree together
  2. Make decorations for your tree
  3. Design your own wrapping paper
  4. Make your own wreath
  5. Make a Christmas stocking
  6. Make your own advent calendar
  7. Make something with pom poms… we made pom pom jumpers!
  8. Decorate your own Christmas cards
  9. Enjoy a Christmas story together
  10. Sing Christmas carols
  11. Devour a box of chocolates together
  12. Have a movie night in & snuggle under a cosy blanket like this one
  13. Prepare dinner together
  14. Bake something delicious – try gingerbread men!
  15. Do some family yoga Christmas-style!
  16. Visit Santa’s Grotto
  17. Watch the Nutcracker at the theatre
  18. Watch a nativity play
  19. Go to church
  20. Burn off some energy at the local park
  21. Do the Christmas shopping together
  22. Set a new Christmas tradition and stick to it
  23. Check out the deers at the Deer park in Greenwich Park
  24. Go ice-skating at a magical outdoor rink
  25. Make the best hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows,
    The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | A family lifestyle blogor check out the best places for a good hot chocolate in London
  26. De-clutter the house in time for the new year
  27. Donate unwanted items to charity
  28. Buy a dinner for a person in need
  29. Volunteering with your local community
  30. Read a book together
  31. Dedicate an hour to quiet time
  32. Dance together!
  33. Visit a Christmas market
  34. Enter a charity fun run – entries are still open for the London Santa Run
  35. Last but not least, make memories by taking lots of family selfies!
The Wandering Mother Blog | Family & Lifestyle: Christmas

How to involve children in Christmas Day preparations

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year and this is even more true when you have children around to share in the magic of it all. The wonder in your children’s eyes at everything from the decorations that are put up at home to the amazing lights that adorn the streets in town is bound to put a smile on your face. Trying to figure out how to involve them in the preparations during the festive period, however, may do the exact opposite. Here are a few top tips on how to involve them from how to get rid of paint smell quickly after a messy afternoon of fun, to quiet ideas to keep them out of trouble while you’re busy stuffing the turkey in the kitchen.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - London Family & Lifestyle Blogger | Christmas

Get them to decorate for you
One of the best parts of Christmas is getting to pop up a Christmas tree and some decorations around your home. Regardless of whether you like a small basic tree with a few baubles or you like to light up the whole house in a really dramatic fashion, getting your children to do part, most or all of the decorating will give you a chance to put your feet up for at least a moment or two.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - London Family & Lifestyle Blogger | Christmas

Get your craft on
If you are not already a fan of Pinterest, now is a time to get involved in it. There are so many crafty ideas available online that will both involve your children in fun activities for Christmas and keep them out of your hair for a while; from creating lolly pop stick Christmas trees to painting toilet roll cardboard white and creating a snowman from it. You need not worry about how to get rid of paint smell once the crafting is finished, because after all it is Christmas time so lighting a Christmassy cinnamon candle is perfectly acceptable!

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family Christmas prep with the kids

Get your bake on
Whether you fix up a batch of homemade mince pies and a yummy Christmas pudding, or even a simple selection of cupcakes which you cheat and pop Christmas themed cupcake toppers onto; there are so many ways that children can be involved in baking for Christmas. Rolling out pastry for gingerbread men and egg washing the tops of mince pies will not only involve your children, but also make them feel as if they have really helped you out and they will be so proud of what they have helped create.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores

Give them easy chores to do
You will be inundated with things to do at Christmas, from wrapping the gifts for your family to ensuring that the turkey is stuffed and basted to perfection. Asking your children to help out doing simple things such as dusting the surfaces around your home, cleaning up after themselves and putting their own washing away will make your life so much easier.

So, whether you were unsure of how to get rid of paint smell after festive arts & crafts, or simply needed a few ideas to involve your children in all of the prep for the upcoming festivities; these tips should help you on your way to having a very merry Christmas!

A contribution post by freelance writer, Joana Teixeira from Cleanipedia
The Wandering Mother | Guest Post

The importance of children being involved in household chores

There are so many things to teach your children. Whether it’s how to handle money, the importance of emotional intelligence or staying safe in public, parenting has to cover a lot ground. One important area that can sometimes be neglected is chores. While these may be just simple day-to-day tasks, ensuring that your child is both competent in them and understands their importance is absolutely vital.

In this article we give a few reasons why children should get involved in a range of household chores from learning how to defrost a freezer step by step to properly putting out the recycling. And for anyone out there whose children are less than excited about this idea, here are also a few top tips of how to get your kids enthusiastic about their domestic duties!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores
Everybody loves a mummy’s/daddy’s little helper!

Honing useful practical skills

The first reason why it’s important to get your little ones involved in household chores is so they learn useful practical skills. As a child you are learning everything from scratch so whatever you are doing will contribute to your development. For example, if a child learns how to defrost a freezer not only will they get specific skills in this task, but also start learning about food storage and safety.

Learning the importance of personal responsibility

As over-stressed parents we often think we need to do everything for our kids, but anyone living in a home has a responsibility to contribute it. Involving your kids in day-to-day tasks will help them understand their responsibilities as members of the family. After doing a few chores they’ll probably appreciate all your work a whole lot more too.

Making them better housemates and partners

Finally, when children are brought up as hard-workers, helping to clean and tidy a house from a young age they make much better housemates and partners after leaving home. This is absolutely vital to the maintenance of friendships and relationships in early adulthood when they are likely to be sharing accommodation for a good few years. Teaching good habits early will pay dividends down the line.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores
It’s never too early to start the children with simple chores like cleaning and washing

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores
Incentivise household tasks to make it more attractive for the kids

How do you get kids involved in household chores?

Incentivise the task: A controversial strategy, but a fail-safe one. If your child is reticent to help out, link their pocket money to their efforts. This will get the average youngster up and cleaning in no time.

Make it fun: Chores don’t have to be boring. If your kids aren’t keen to get involved, make the tasks fun. Turn vacuuming into a dance party, take the rubbish out while wearing funny wigs… Anything to get them enthused.

Give them responsibility: We all know how much more satisfying it is to do a task when we have actual responsibility for it. Give each of your children an area of the house for the week and ask them to take responsibility for all the chores. They will soon learn to take pride in their work.

Getting your kids involved in household chores is a great way to make them responsible, hard-working adults. Find ways to make it fun and engaging and in no time at all you’ll have a few busy worker bees helping with your daily tasks.

Getting kids involved in household chores
Photo via Unsplash


A guest contribution post by freelance writer, Joana from Cleanipedia

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wayfair UK - What is Home?

My thoughts on: “What is Home?”

This post was inspired by Wayfair UK’s post on “What is Home?”

I recently read an interesting article on Wayfair UK. They conducted a street survey asking people what “home” really meant to them. They were met with similar responses – home is all about family, comfort, and happiness. Out of 400 people Wayfair spoke to, 71% said that the sofa was the most important item of furniture in their home.

We do love our sofas and TV moments! 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wayfair UK - What is Home?
What is Home? / Source: Pixabay

To me, home and family are synonymous. One cannot be without the other – remember that there is a difference between a home and a house. As much as I love my peace and quiet, I love the feeling of lots of friends and family coming over for a social gathering. A home also can’t really be complete without a sofa, to be honest.

“We hit the streets of London over the Easter weekend equipped with an armchair and a microphone to find out what home really means to us! The findings were both insightful and heartwarming, exposing that our homes are much more than just buildings or places, they are family, comfort, inspiration, happiness and much more.”

– Wayfair.co.uk

I remember when we first moved into our home in Greenwich.

Baby Girl wasn’t born yet and LO was still a baby. We had no sofa for a month and had to sit on the floor for dinner and TV time. We didn’t mind as it was only short term but it definitely didn’t feel warm and inviting without a sofa around so I completely understand why it’s the most important furniture in the home.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wayfair

Do you remember the first time you moved into your home and the point when it started to feel like a home instead of just a house?

What does the word “home” mean to you?

Let me know your thoughts below…

The Wandering Mother | Guest Post

Educational games for kids: Clothespin Drop!

Sometimes it can be difficult to find educational activities for children that are both fun and engaging. Sometimes your child will just want to play, not learn and play at the same time.

However an online website called Education.com offers a wide range of learning resources for children from preschool to primary school age. They offer fun and educational games, worksheets, stories, songs and activities like the one they’ve given me below.

I am more than happy to present to you “Clothespin Drop” – an educational game that will help preschool-aged children to learn about colours, sorting, pattern matching and counting. I have also added a couple of alternative suggestions, just look for the pink text below to see what they are. I haven’t changed much because it’s pretty good the way it is; a why-fix-it-if-it’s-not-broken kind of thing.

I’ve been wanting to give this game a try as it looks so cool but I haven’t gotten round to doing so with LO as work’s been busy (will be more so in the lead-up to summer!). I hope you like the activity below – if you decide to give it a try, let me know! Education.com may be providing me with more games and activities to offer you guys so keep an eye out for them as they’ll be exclusive to this blog. 🙂

If you fancy checking out there other games, visit their site: www.education.com/resources/geometry/


The Greenwich Mummy | Educational Preschooler Activity: Clothespin Drop

Activity: Clothespin Drop!

Age: Preschool children (2-4 years)

Encourage your preschooler to practice color recognition, counting and pattern matching with this fun and colorful clothespin drop game. This is a great way to get your child excited about learning the basics of math.

What You Need:

  • 5 Coffee cans (or Bisto gravy cans or anything else similar)
  • 5 Sheets of construction paper (red, orange, yellow, green and blue)
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors
  • 25 Wooden clothespins
  • Tempera paint* (red, orange, yellow, green, blue)
    *you can also DIY with some egg yolk and food colouring – cheap & cheerful
  • Markers
  • Paintbrushes
  • Stopwatch, or digital clock

What You Do:

  1. Help your child cut down each piece of construction paper to the size.
  2. Roll one color of paper around each can and tape it in place.
  3. Have your child tell you which color is on each can, while you write the name of the corresponding color onto the paper.
  4. Ask her to separate the clothespins into groups of 5.
  5. Have her paint each group of clothespins a different color. Let dry.
  6. Line up the cans on the floor in a row, in the center of a room.
  7. Scatter the clothespins, mixing the colors around in the cans.
  8. Encourage her to see how quickly she can separate the colors and put them in the corresponding can. Time her to see how quick she is!
  9. Dump them out again and mix them up. Tell her what her last time was and shave off a few seconds. Yell, “Go!” and have her re-sort them. Yell, “Stop!” at the end of the time allotted. Did her speed increase? The more she practices, the faster she’ll get!
  10. Practice creating patterns by timing her as she places clothespins in the colored tins in a specific order. As she continues, try to introduce more complex patterns.

Enjoy!


Contribution post by a guest writer at Education.com 

24hr Giveaway! Win Two Tickets to the Ideal Home Show in London Olympia


Yes you read it right.
Your eyes have not been deceived.

One lucky winner will receive not one but two tickets to the Ideal Home Show, thanks to CLC World Resorts.

This is one show that I keep missing each year it gets held, last year I couldn’t find childcare in time (I found out about the show very lastminute.com) but this year I have been given the chance to go and check it out… AND have the opportunity give away tickets too!

The Ideal Home Show is held at London Olympia (Hammersmith) and the event will be running until April 9th 2017. It’s a show event that is ideal for anyone who is interested in home improvement, food and drink, new technology, fashion and beauty. So whether you’re an interior designer or a foodie fanatic, it is an event is not to be missed.

“From kitchens and bathrooms, to bedrooms and basements, fixtures and fittings to fine food, gardens and the latest high tech gadgets, to fashion beauty and gifts, you’ll find it all under one roof at this award-winning show.”

– Ideal Home Show

Continue reading “24hr Giveaway! Win Two Tickets to the Ideal Home Show in London Olympia”