Summer 2019 bucket list

Last June I created a summer 2018 bucket list in the hopes I'd do lots of fun, summery things that I always talked about but never got around to doing. Unfortunately last summer took a turn for the worse a few days after I published that post and we ended up going through a really difficult time meaning I didn't end up ticking anything off the list. So this year the list in back pretty much in its same form and with a couple of new additions in the hopes that not only can I tick things off but that this summer is much better. Now all I need is for the weather to pick up because last summer was glorious and this year I'm sick of seeing the rain!

Have a BBQ
We got a brand new BBQ last year and never used it, we've only ever had one BBQ whilst living together and we've been in this house almost 3 years now. So this year I'm determined to have a really nice BBQ at the end of a lovely day.

Make sangria
To go alongside our BBQ I want to make some sangria. It's a drink that always reminds me of our first holiday abroad together and I'd love to have a go at mixing up our own and sipping on sangria whilst we're sat out in the garden.

Have a picnic
When Josh and I were at uni we'd often pack up a picnic and go off somewhere, because we had no outdoor space it was nice to get out when the weather was nice. It's something we've not done since we left uni 6 years ago! So this summer I want to pack up lots of yummy food and go and have a picnic somewhere.

Local walks
This is actually something we managed to partly achieve last summer and we went on two long walks that were really fun. I'd like to do more walking this summer and discover some new routes. It's always nice to get out of the house and have a good walk and now Josh works from home it'll make a good break for him too.

Go to a food festival
A local farm holds a big food festival every summer and for years I've been saying I want to go to it but either through forgetting or being on holiday when it's on we've never made it there. So fingers crossed the weather is good this year when it's on because I'm determined to make it to the food festival this year.



A new wedding blog for budget brides

As some of you may know I'm getting married next year and we're having a very small budget, non-traditional wedding. A short while ago I began blogging about wedding things on here and found it was something I really loved talking about, not just my own wedding but hints and tips, inspiration and a real honest look at wedding planning and how expensive it can all be. Whilst weddings are something I still really want to talk about, I don't want it to take over this blog so I've took the plunge and set up a brand new wedding blog.

The Thrifty Bride is may place to talk about all things wedding related, I'll be sharing lots of posts from my own wedding planning, DIY's and eventually the actual day itself but I'll be also sharing lots of hints, tips and advice and discussing anything related to weddings. I've got lots of ideas for the future of The Thrifty Bride so it'd be great if you could follow along with my new project. The Thrifty Bride was set up to show people on a small budget what can be achieved. I'm a firm believer that you don't have to throw thousands of pounds at one day and I want to help other small budget brides have their perfect wedding.

The Thrifty Bride is only a couple of weeks old but there's quite a few posts on there to get you started and new content is added 2-3 times every week. I'll still be sharing some little personal wedding bits over here but just not as often so all things wedding related will be found on my new blog. So if you're getting married or know someone who is then please check out/recommend my new blog. Your support is very much appreciated! 

The best flooring for busy homes | AD

This post is in collaboration with Flooring365
If you have a family home, frequent guests or pets then interior choices can be tough. You still want your home to look nice but you need things that can withstand a busy environment whether that be from children's sticky fingers or pets muddy paws. When it comes to flooring you need something that can easily be easily cleaned whilst still complimenting your home.

Wooden flooring

Many people opt for wooden flooring but with lots of different options even within that category it can get a little confusing over what would suit your home the best. Engineered wood flooring is a great option for busy homes as it's long lasting and moisture resistant (which is great for any spills!) and has the same design and finish as solid wood flooring. Whilst it maintains the beauty of solid wood flooring it's a fraction of the price which makes at much more budget friendly option as well. Engineered wood flooring is really easy to keep clean too as it can be swept, vacuumed and mopped and it'll still look great. It's the perfect choice for homes with pets where fur would be a problem and for homes with children or frequent guests as it's so easy to keep clean. If correctly cleaned it keeps its high quality look for many years despite wear and tear. There are lots of different colour options too so whatever style you're going for with your decor you'll find flooring to compliment it. 

It can be used in any room

With the exception of bathrooms, engineered wood flooring can be used in any room in your house including kitchens and conservatories. That's because it's very resilient to temperature changes so won't warp or swell meaning it can also be laid over underfloor heating. The layers created for engineered wood flooring mean that it can trap moisture better than regular wood flooring. Whilst it's not advisable to go throwing loads of water on it every day, spills and mopping won't affect it so if you have a few clumsy fingers in your house then it's the perfect choice. 

The details

So you know it looks good, you know it's budget friendly and easy to clean but how do you really know that it's made to last? Well let's talk about the nitty-gritty of the flooring: how is it made? Each board is 14mm (1.4cms) thick and is made up of several layers of plywood topped with a generous layer of veneer. Not only does the plywood guarantee that the flooring will be strong and durable, but the veneer will make it look good throughout the years. So much so that should the flooring become tarnished or superficially damaged, you are able to sand and refinish it up to 3 times. Rest assured though even in a busy household the flooring should last many years before needing to be sanded and refinished. Most engineered wood flooring also comes with a click lock system too which makes it super easy to install.

Overall I don't think you can go wrong with engineered wood flooring in a busy home as it really is the best option if you're looking for something that will still look good in years to come.

Make My Blinds Review (AD - Gifted)

We've wanted new blinds in our house since moving in, the blinds we have are the ones that were left here when we bought the house and quite honestly, they're awful. They're cheap looking and don't really go with what we've done in the house so far but replacing them just became something we never got around to and three years after moving in we're still stuck with the same horrible blinds. When Make My Blinds got in touch and offered me the chance of receiving two new blinds in exchange for an honest review I jumped at the chance!

We decided to replace the living room blind (as we obviously spend every evening in there) and the spare bedroom blind. The spare bedroom is actually an office, Josh work from home and at the weekend I spend a lot of time in there working on my blog so it made sense to have something nicer in that room too. We decided on the same blind for both rooms as it fits really well with the decoration in both of the rooms plus they're both at the front of the house so the consistency looks nice from the outside too. We went for the Golden Pecan wooden blinds.

Ordering was super easy, we took recess measurements according to the instructions on the website which were super clear and easy to follow as there were also quick videos to show you what to do so it only took us a couple of minutes to measure both windows. We actually looked at measuring for blinds about a year ago and Josh commented how the instructions on Make My Blinds were much easier to follow than anything we've come across before. About a week after ordering the blinds turned up, again they came with clear, detailed yet easy to follow instructions on how to install the blinds. This is where I had to bow out, DIY is not my thing at all, I have the vision and Josh brings it to life! So Josh installed the blinds, he's pretty handy but obviously we've never put blinds up before, Josh did say it was really easy though, he said the clear instructions made it much easier and it didn't take him long to install both blinds.

Living Room (before)

As I said the blinds all came with the house when we bought it. The blind in the living room was a cream aluminium Venetian blind which is probably the best one out of all of them in the house but it still wasn't the best, I prefer a warm, homely look in a living room and aluminium doesn't really fit with that feel! The valance strip at the top that covers the mechanics of the blind was also broke (it was propped up against the wall when we moved in which was a good start).

Living Room (after)

The new Golden Pecan wooden blind is a much better fit for the decor of our living room, we have a wooden floor and some wooden furniture and the blind perfectly complements all of that. I really couldn't be happier with how well it goes with our decor and how much better it looks, plus it makes a nice change after 3 years with a broken blind in this room!

Office (before)

O.K. this one is a big contender for the worst blind ever (with the exception of the fuschia pink beauty in the downstairs bathroom...I really should take that down). As you can see it's a dark purple roller blind that's frayed around the edges and covered in marks. Attractive. As it's a rollerblind on light or sunny days we also had no choice but to close the blinds fully as our desk is right in front of the window which meant we were working looking at the horrible blind. Not the best working environment at all.

Office (after)

I can't tell you how much this room has been transformed, again the blind perfectly compliments our wooden desk and shelves but it's made such a difference to the feel of the room. It feels so much lighter and like it's really opened up and it feels a much nicer working environment too as we can block out the bright light without blocking out the world. I keep popping into the room just to look at it because I can't believe how much different it looks.

Overall I'm super impressed with our new blinds from Make My Blinds, it couldn't have been an easier process from measuring to fitting and the blinds themselves look so good and are really nice quality. Price wise I actually think they're very reasonable as well, certainly one of the best we've looked at. I'm always honest when it comes to things like this but we honestly love the blinds, so much so that we're looking into buying some for our bedroom and the upstairs bathroom because we're that impressed!