Archives for August 2018

Create a Home That’s Easy to Keep Clean

Create a home that's easy to keep clean

Whether you live alone or you’re raising a family, chances are you spend more time cleaning than you’d like. Or in my case, always chasing my tail knowing I need to do more! While it’s an inevitable part of adult life, there are ways you can make things easier for yourself and cut down the time it takes you to get your home spic and span. While life isn’t perfect and few of us manage to achieve a show- home look at all times, here are some of the ways you can keep things in order more easily.

Replace carpets with hard floors

Carpets might be soft and cosy underfoot, but they’re difficult to maintain. Mud from shoes, pet accidents, food spills and general build up of dirt and grime means they can wear out, get stained and hold onto smells. If you don’t want to spend extra cleaning time scrubbing carpets, why not replace them with hard floors? Solid wood, laminate, ceramic tiles or natural stone are all far easier to keep clean and will last longer too. You can always add some rugs for comfort and warmth, if you go with cheaper varieties you can replace them when they wear out which is cheaper than replacing entire carpets. One trick is to have hard floors downstairs, but carpets upstairs. That way you get the cosiness in bedrooms, but can impose a no food or shoes upstairs rule.

Go with a minimal decor scheme

The more stuff you have in general, the more cleaning will be needed. Shelves of ornaments will mean lots of time spent dusting. Lots of items of furniture will mean vacuuming around them or moving them out the way. You can save money with these life hacks from vouchercloud in regards to vacuuming, but in general the less you have the easier it will be. A more minimal aesthetic will make your home look more spacious and make it far easier to keep clean. Stick with the basics and avoid anything too fussy or hard to maintain.

Invest in good storage

One reason that our homes can accumulate mess and clutter is because we don’t have a proper place for everything. Items can end up in piles or thrown in drawers and before you know it you’re overflowing with stuff you don’t know what to do with. Invest in good storage, and assign a place to everything. Coats, bags, umbrellas and shoes for example could all be stored in a downstairs cubby- fix some hooks to the walls and a shoe rack on the floor to make it easy to put things away. Use drawer dividers, baskets and pots to categorise and neatly store smaller items and stop them from getting jumbled up. Have a drawer or hanging space for all of the clothes that you wear. Going through and decluttering first is a smart move, as you free up space for the things you do use and love.

Do a little each day

If you do a little each day, it’s easy to keep on top of things. A quick vacuum, wiping kitchen worktops, putting bleach in sinks and toilets and picking up loose items from the home only need take fifteen minutes. That way, when you come to clean properly you have far less to do.

Horrible Histories Barmy Britain – Part Four

horrible histories barmy britain part 4

We headed into London again this week to see Horrible Histories Barmy Britain – Part Four live on stage!

This is a show that’s been running for a long time, changing and evolving, and we’ve always wanted to see one, so we were very excited to be finally going.

Horrible Histories began life as a series of books and magazines describing the gory and horrible side of life in Britain a long time ago! They are hilarious and gross in equal measure… written by Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown, they have become a firm favourite with kids of all ages! The bestselling books cover every terrible time in history…. it’s ‘history with the nasty bits left in’!

Arriving at the Apollo theatre, we couldn’t wait to go inside and take our seats!

horrible histories barmy britain part 4 london stage theatre

This is the seventh year Horrible Histories has been in the West End and each part… one, two and three… have been sell out successes.

The stage show is directed by Neil Foster at The Birmingham Theatre Company who, since its foundation has staged over eighty productions and become one of the world’s leading producers of theatre for children and their families.

Only two actors play all the roles. Neal Foster the director is one, and Anthony Spargo is the other. Both utterly brilliant  and hilarious playing a variety of gross yet incredibly interesting characters.

I wasn’t sure what to expect initially or if my twins would like it, as I knew there’d be some gory bits and they can be a wary, but right from the off, the performers had them laughing out loud! The humour was right up their street. Good old toilet humour… literally! There’a a little bit at the start of the show when one of the actors ‘farts’ and the other one tries to copy him! Certainly broke the ice!

Then there was the insult song, which encouraged audience participation. Reading out this lot of lyrics was brilliant fun for all the children watching! Lots of giggles.

During this instalment of Barmy Britain Part Four, we learned all about Richard the Third and the funny reference to Shakespeare.. who was branded boring in comparison to this King; Henry the Eighth’s war’s and the fact that 7000  of his men walked away from battle because there was no beer; Queen Mary and Mary Queen of Scots… there was a very funny song telling us that these were in fact two separate Queens! Who knew?

horrible histories barmy britain part 4

And King James, who was once a Scottish King but was brought down to be the English King!

There are so many facts and tales about all of these people plus lots and lots more. Did you know there was a job that entailed shovelling out your poo from your bucket toilet at the end of your garden or yard? Totally gross!

horrible histories live on stage london theatre

We learned about the last woman to be burned to death in England as punishment for a crime and the fact the King James was an avid believer in witches and witchcraft.. he had thousands of women killed who he believed were witches and even wrote a whole book on demonism!

Another gruesome moment was when we were told that if someone was found dead and the police had no identity, they would put the dead persons head on a pole and ask members of the public if they recognised him/her!

horrible histories

There were tales of pulling one’s own teeth out with pliers, barbaric operations and a bit of dance flossing thrown in too!

I could go on and on describing every single scene but I won’t. I don’t want to give TOO much away but it’s honestly so good and moves at a very fast pace, keeping my children totally engrossed from start to finish. It was funny and fascinating…. I only wish I’d seen all of the other, past shows too! Although you don’t need to have seen them to enjoy this one… it’s all brand new!

Horrible Histories Barmy Britain part 4 is on at the Apollo theatre until 1st September…. do go and see it.. it will be a massive hit with the kids! It’s one that young AND older kids will enjoy! Tickets can be booked through Nimax or any other retailers.

Three Tricks for Keeping Mess Minimal in Your Home

When you have children, keeping a tidy, organised home can feel like a mammoth task, one which no matter how often you try and truly declutter and clean, it never stays that way for long. After all, children come with an astounding amount of toys, clothes and mess, which you don’t want to restrict or curtail their creativity. So, what’s the solution? By keeping in mind a number of handy tricks, you can ensure your home stays mess-free for as long as possible (which will hopefully be more than one day!). Below are three such tips to help you turn your home from kid-chaos to minimal wonderland.

Storage, Storage and More Storage

You simply cannot underestimate the feeling of having every single toy put neatly in its place, books put away from the bedroom floor, and clothes arranged tidily in the wardrobe. How do you get to this point, however? By utilising clever storage hacks in every room! For example, your children’s room can be transformed from an area of disaster, with a mountain of toys and clothes piled in a corner to somewhere which evokes feelings of calm. Why not invest in a beautiful toy box, personalised especially for your kids? Alternatively, why not make use of all the wall space by attaching a variety of boxes to the walls, where books, dolls, teddy bears and stationery can live in harmony? Don’t forget to use under bed storage for children of all ages.

Create Themed Rooms

To truly keep the mess to a minimum, it’s worthwhile to create separate rooms for every member of the family. For example, rather than your children having their toys in the living room, why not adapt a spare room or a room you don’t use as much, such as a formal dining room, into a playroom? This way, the toys (hopefully!) stay in the correct room, instead of them being spread around the house.

This method can also work well for pets, particularly if you have a large dog. Dogs, especially after a long walk, can be muddy, wet and overexcited, meaning the mess can end up all over the house. By creating a dedicated space where your dog can dry off and be cleaned, you can minimise the amount of mud and dirt in other rooms. A utility room can be the ideal space, especially if it has easy to clean floors, such as hardwood floors from Kensyard.co.uk.

Create a Cleaning Schedule

This trick is rather simple but highly effective. How can you keep your entire home clean, tidy and mess-free if you don’t know exactly where to clean? You may have a rough idea, for example, cleaning the kitchen after every meal, but creating a schedule can help the whole family stay on task. If you have older children, setting cleaning chores are a great way to teach them responsibility and the life skills of keeping a home tidy and clean. Why not put together a schedule which accounts for every family member, from the youngest to the oldest? Your toddler may not be able to vacuum their rooms, but your teenagers certainly can!

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