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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy New Year! Another year passes but for me, it doesn’t feel much different from last year. On top of that there’s one thing from last year that we can’t yet shake off… the pandemic. However, we do have the vaccine being rolled out so it won’t be long until they are able to do this successfully throughout the country.
Shifting my focus for 2021
Right now, the UK has risen to the ranks of what is dubbed as ‘Tier 5’ (basically a national lockdown) to try and take control of the pandemic. So whilst the government are busy battling with that, I’ve set my intention – not resolution because they never last – for this year to focus on TAKING CARE.
Taking care of my…
Mental health Teaching myself about self-care and learning to look after my mental wellbeing by stressing less, trying to become more mindful and embracing the slow pace.
Family Looking after myself and my family in the best way possible. Spending more time with my children, to really connect with them and build on our family bond. We’re loving the extra time to do activities as a family unit.
Skin Winter’s really put my skin out of balance thanks to the central heating (I get really cold due to poor circulation) but my skin is so dry! I’m stepping my my skincare game to include at home facials with creamy moisturising masks, serums and using active exfoliants to gently slough off dead skin cells and resurface the skin.
Home My living room is slowly turning into an urban jungle and I love it! My monstera that I bought last May has given off so many babies I’ve now been able to cut and propagate. (I can’t wait until these cut-offs start rooting and growing in spring!) Also being back on furlough means more time to declutter the flat and spruce it up with new paint and DIY home projects.
The highlights of 2020
It’s always good to see the silver lining in everything, including a pandemic. Here are the highlights of 2020 that I think people should think about before dwelling on only the negative things that happened:
Rising demand for climate change With the focus shifting to climate change, many laws and regulations were put into place to help stop climate change including more cycle routes implemented and the switch to only electric cars announced
Becoming a plant parent Not only are they great for the environment (plants are natural air purifiers), they can help boost our moods and keep us busy and happy
Looking after our health With hand sanitisers everywhere you go, I’m sure places are more cleaner now than they’ve ever been. We’re also learning to look after our own health better with multivitamins, lemon, honey and ginger tea and other natural and homeopathic remedies
Re-learning the importance of family Family is always there but in these difficult times it’s ideal to reach out to those older relatives or family members you haven’t spoken to in a while
When will we travel again?
THIS is the million dollar question for me.. when will travel resume back to ‘normal’ – or at least as normal as can be – which noone seems to know the answer for. The travel industry has been hit so hard I can’t imagine what it’s like.
I might have to look back at my old travel posts just to get a little nostalgia! Our last official holiday was a staycation to Kits Coty Glamping which was amazing! If abroad doesn’t look as promising this summer, we will definitely opt for another staycation close to home. Failing that, there are a lot of small businesses that offer at-home experiences so if you have a back garden or communal area that you can use, you could hire an ‘igloo’ for dining/hosting, a campfire set, a home jacuzzi experience and more!
Photo Credit: Jakob Owens via Unsplash
My top posts of 2020
CGM Hair Posts Well, you guys seemed to really enjoy my Curly Girl Method hair posts! 🙂 I really didn’t expect as many readers to these posts but because they’re doing so well, I will continue with working on more content for 2021 and don’t forget to check my Youtube channel for video uploads
Beauty Related Posts Particularly my beauty box reviews – I guess they’re really helping you out! 🙂 I love reading other blogger’s beauty box reviews too, it’s a nice way of getting to know the types of products you can get from these subscription boxes
Days Out Reviews I guess with everyone trying to live their best life as much as they can post-first lockdown, family day trips and days out where high up on the list of things to do. At the moment, these days out are on hold for the beginning of 2021 but soon it’ll be reopened and hopefully we can start visiting these wonderful places again by Easter 2021
If you’ve not heard of it then just type the hashtag into Google or any social media platform and you’ll find an array of things. Black Pound Day was set up to encourage people to discover, buy from and support black-owned businesses on one day a month. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from doing it everyday or regularly – it’s completely up to you.
Following the wake from the BLM movement, the energy seems to have died down a little but I am positive that more and more people are doing their bit to help out. The first Black Pound Day was held on 27 June and will be every first Saturday of the month going forward. The next one is 1 August which is this just around the corner!
I will be creating a series for Black Pound Day as there are so many great black-owned businesses out there and they’re all waiting to be discovered and supported so here’s my list of five businesses that I’m sharing with you this month…
5 black-owned businesses to support & buy from:
Food: P’s Place
P’s Place is a family-run business in South-East London. If you’re a big fan of seafood and never tried a seafood boil… you are missing out! P’s Place offers seafood boil bags, seafood platters and chicken platters. With a range of sides to accompany your main, you’re almost spoilt for choice. Daddy P and I are a BIG fan of the seafood boil bag – it’s delicious, so well seasoned and the boil bag is big enough for two to share. The kids LOVE the creamy pasta and plantain bites. We’re having a birthday party for Little Man and they’ll be catering the day for us – there’s going to be some serious food-scoffing happening that day!
With platters starting from £10.00, if you’re able to collect from South East London, I’d highly recommend giving them a try! Follow them on Instagram @_psplace for food updates, orders and enquiries.
Food: Neema Food
Neema Food makes authentic African chilli pastes from their family recipes from DR Congo. Daddy P is from Republic of Congo so it would be interesting to see whether the two dividing countries fair up. I love heat and spice but unfortunately I’m a bit of a wimp but I can see they have a sweet green chilli paste which offers a medium heat. It’s vegan too!
There’s also a mini taster set of three different pastes for only £6.00! That’s going into my basket this weekend. Not sure what to do with your pastes? There’s even recipes on their website for some cooking inspiration to get you going in the kitchen. Amazing!
Beauty: Naturally Perfect
I have to thank my friend and fellow blogger, NahdzAdventures for introducing me to Naturally Perfect because that’s exactly what they are! Little Miss Ams suffers from eczema and I have been really lazy with keeping her skin moisturised and combined with the summer humid weather, it’s caused her skin to flare up. I have been using just shea butter but it wasn’t enough so I decided to give Naturally Perfect Sheena’s Gold – The Remedy a go. I know how great shea butter and lavender can be for treating skin conditions like eczema but it seems that Naturally Perfect’s combination of essential oils and natural rich butters are just magical.
Little Miss’ eczema looked much better within a week and with after continuous use, her flare-ups are gone. The butter smells so good, everyone in the house uses it and it really lasts! If the jar is a bit costly, you can purchase the butter in a tube bag which halves the cost – it’s saves so much money and you can even use ClearPay to help you pay in installments. My next treat will be the Sweet Summer edition!
I really love the Bouclème and can’t get enough of their products. There’s another black-owned brand that I like called AfroCenchix (I was lucky enough to meet one of the co-founders once!) but they’re slightly out of my budget and Bouclème also offers a brilliant range.
Bouclème is a British brand (yay!), completely natural (double yay!) and completely ethical in their approach (triple yay!). The products are available from Look Fantastic however as it’s for Black Pound Day, I’d advising buying straight from the brand’s website. For new customers, you can get 10% off your first order by subscribing to their newsletter. Our fave Bouclème products are the curl cream and curl defining gel – if you’re not sure, they sell travel-sized products and travel sets too so you can try them without splashing out.
Gifts: Cherish Me
I am in LOVE with Cherish Me products! It all started off with me looking for a gift for Little Miss and I wanted something that she can keep and cherish as she grows older. I looked at affirmation cards and came across the ones from Cherish Me and they were so adorable! The little illustrations are super sweet and the cards are a perfect size for small hands.
The collection is available only on Etsy and they also sell cool tshirts, prints, cards and more. These NYKS empowerment cards are super sweet and would make great gifts or keepsakes for young girls.
Want to have a look at other businesses to buy from?
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:
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.
Roda Feline Cushion by World Menagerie
Gonzalez 3 Piece Giraffe Statue Set by Alpen Home
Cervantez Lion Figurine by Rosdorf Park
Mahoney Elephant Metal Strape Trunk Up Figurine by Happy Larry
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.
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/
Luxe Cushion in teal by Symple Stuff
Berkshire Cushion by Canora Grey
Ione Cushion in ochre by Rosdorf Park
Monstera Floor Foliage Plant in Pot
Throw in charcoal by Christy
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.
P I N T H I S P O S T !
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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! 🙂
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.”
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.
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?