Top six savvy ways to save money

Top six savvy ways to save money

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Festival fever… how to host your own at home or away

Festival fever… how to host your own at home or away

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Make Garden days fun, tasty and creative

Make Garden days fun, tasty and creative

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Get down & dirty with some spring cleaning

Get down & dirty with some spring cleaning

The sun is rising earlier, setting later, and slowly the temperature is starting to climb. But that also means that it’s time to get down and dirty with some spring cleaning. For some this can be daunting, and for others a cathartic experience to remove the clutter from their lives. We have some great tips to help make your spring cleaning an easy and simple process.

Before you even start cleaning, there are some steps you can follow to help you through the process:

  1. Draw up a schedule and break up your cleaning into easy to manage portions – by breaking it up over several days you won’t tire yourself out and the process can become more enjoyable.
  2. Tackle your cleaning one room at a time – by tackling one room at a time you can give it all your attention, for example, in your bedroom you can take the time to organise your closet and get rid of things you don’t wear or need.
  3. Get everything you need before you start cleaning to avoid having to stop.
  4. Create multiple piles of items as you go through your house, one for storage, one for charity and a rubbish pile for the things you want to throw out.

BE MASTERFUL WITH YOUR MUCK

The kitchen and bathroom are probably the worst places to clean as the steam from cooking and hot showers can make the dirt and grime more difficult to remove. There are plenty of tricks and clever products that will make this arduous task a lot easier.

  • Lemon cleans stainless steel – Simply halve a lemon and use it to scrub away those annoying streaks and marks.
  • Steam clean your microwave – Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar and a few drops of a scented essential oil of your choice with water and place this in the microwave on a high temperature for five minutes. Not only will it remove those tough stains and food build up, it will smell great too.
  • Organise your refrigerator – Place a lazy Susan in your fridge for bottles, jars and containers, to make it easier to get to the items that you want, and keep your fridge organised. Plastic containers are also a great way to keep your food fresh, and make it easy to see what you have in stock.
Images: Asda, Argos, Wilko

HOME Clip Fresh Plastic Food Containers Pack of 10 £16.99 at Argos
Sistema Multi-Coloured Klip it Food Storer 5 Litres £7.00 at Asda
Wilko Food Container Square 2.3 Litre £2.50 at Wilko

BRIGHT AND BLISSFUL BATHROOMS

Steam marks and water stains can be laborious to clean, and with so many products required for daily grooming, your bathroom is bound to look untidy unless you create clever storage solutions. Look out for storage products to ensure everything is kept neat, while being easily accessible.

  • Get rid of water stains and product build up – Tumble Dryer sheets are great for removing product build up on glass shower doors.
  • Keep your bathroom smelling fresh – Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil inside your toilet paper roll for a constant, pleasant smell.
  • Deep clean your shower head – Regularly fill a sandwich bag with baking soda and vinegar and tie this around your shower head. Let this soak overnight to loosen dirt and grime and use an old toothbrush to scrub it clean.
Images: Sainsbury’s & Wilko

ODIN Bamboo and white lacquer 3 tier storage unit £80.00 and ODIN Bamboo and white 3 shelf corner unit £80.00 at Sainsbury’s
4 Tier Storage Unit White £18.00 and Pop up Laundry Bin £3.00 at Wilko

Images: Wilko, Sainsbury’s & Argos

COLLIER Copper metal over door hooks £12.00 at Sainsbury’s
Wilko Over Door Rack £10.00 at Wilko
Croydex Hookover Steel Shower Caddy £11.99 and HOME 2 Tier Hookover Shower Caddy £6.99 at Argos

SOLVE YOUR STORAGE WOES

For most people, storage is an issue. Either there is not enough storage space at home, or drawers and cupboards are untidy, and things are difficult to find. But there are a few simple steps you can follow to make sure that your bedroom cupboards, laundry cupboard and even your sitting room are neat, and that everything has a proper place.

The great thing about storage, is you can choose whether you want to make it a feature of the room, or if you want it hidden. And when it comes to your wardrobe, vacuum packing the clothes is a great way to clear up some space.

HOME Single 2 Rail Wardrobe Frame £39.99, HOME 2 Tier Shoe Rack £19.99, Protect & Store Mixed Vacuum Storage Bags 6 Piece Set £11.99, and HOME 10 Pocket Hanging Canvas Shoe Storage £5.49 all at Argos

Images: Ryman, Argos, The Works

HOME Large Fabric Ottoman £32.99 at Argos
Habitat Jacobs Upholstered Storage Bench £250.00 at Argos
Really Useful Storage Box 9 Litre Pack of 2 £10.00 at Ryman
Floral Storage Suitcases Set Of 3 £7.00 at The Works

Hop to the challenge of Easter

Hop to the challenge of Easter

Don’t let the Easter Bunny get the better of you. Hop to the challenge of preparing the perfect Easter family gathering without falling victim to any unnecessary stress.

Easter is meant to be about new life and regeneration, so let this shine through in your décor and food choices. There are a few simple steps to follow to help you pull of the perfect Easter gathering with as little stress and fuss as possible.

  1. Choose a theme – Pick a colour palette, flower or ornament that you want to make the hero of your day.
  2. Decide on the menu – Planning your menu early can help reduce the stress of preparing all the food at the last minute. Select foods and dishes that won’t require you to spend the day in the kitchen.
  3. Organise your shopping list early and buy as much as possible in advance, making the most of seasonal offers in supermarkets and department stores.

FOOD FAYRE

For any gathering, the meal is usually the main focus, and all other aspects should complement this. As a fun way to play on the idea of new life and renewal that accompanies Easter, why not incorporate baby vegetables, like baby carrots and baby asparagus as your side dishes or look for seasonal produce new to the market? When it comes to the main dish, choose recipes that won’t have you slaving away in the kitchen for hours and missing out on the family fun. Dishes that can be prepared the day before are ideal for entertaining the masses and maxing out on family time.

EGG-CITING ALTERNATIVES

Even though Easter will have the kids hunting for chocolate Easter eggs, why not look at an alternative this year and let them hunt for something a bit more egg-citing that will last longer than a quick scoff?

The Hatchimals CollEGGtibles egg cartons are a fun way to keep the kids surprised and entertained. And they aren’t just for the kids. Buy a box and hide them for the adults too. They will make cute desk ornaments at the office.

Images: Argos

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Egg Carton – 12 Pack £24.99 and 2 Pack Egg Carton £4.99 at Argos

You can also share the love this Easter with a fun card or other adorable Easter inspired keepsakes that will bring a smile to people’s faces. Find healthy Easter treat options available from health shops.

Images: Clintons & Card Factory

Easter Bunny Felt Keepsake Gift Bag £5.00 at Clintons
Easter inspired mugs £7.99 and Easter cards from 99 pence at Card Factory

 

Images: Holland & Barrett

Freedom Mallows Vegetarian Mini Pink & White Vanilla Marshmallows 75g £2.49, Vego Organic Hazelnut Chocolate Bar 65g £1.99, and Raw Health Organic Blissed Chocada Truffles 65g £2.49 all Holland & Barrett

PAINT YOURSELF PRETTY

As the hostess with the mostess you’ll need to look the part. Spring is a great time to have fun with your look and experiment with make-up in new colour palettes. Whether you paint your nails a delicious candyfloss pink, or you add ribbons and bows to your hair, paint yourself pretty in pastels.

Images: Boots & Superdrug

Barry M Scented Candy Culture Nail Paint £3.99 at Boots
Essie Matte Leather Effect Pastel Nail Polish Rebecca Minkoff Collection Trio Mini £12.99 at Boots
Maybelline Color Show Glitter Nail Polish 232 Rose Chic 7ml £3.99 and Maybelline Forever Strong Gel 130 Rose Poudre Nail Polish £4.49 at Superdrug

Mini silver glitter bow hair barrette £3.00, Jumbo coral chiffon bow hair clip £6.00 and Baby pink lace hair bow £4.50 all at Claire’s