Buying a new car, what I looked for…

*This is a sponsored post, as always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

A few months after we bought our first house almost 10 years, we bought a new to us car a Honda Civic. It was only 3 years old and at the time offered us very thing we wanted. Something a bit bigger to fingers cross start a family with. I loved that car, even after my Hubby went to buy a brand new car a few years later, I kept my Honda Civic. Until about 4 weeks ago when at 12 years old my car needed to be upgraded.

Looking for a new car isn’t always easy, it can be a minefield of choices, make, model, colour, engine size and the list goes on. For the last few years I have been wanting a 7 seater car, we only have two children and no plans to expand our family beyond having nieces and nephews. I am a bit particular about car seats, and I also don’t really like the children sitting in the front seat of the car, I’m not sure why but just don’t. So I felt that with a 7 seat car it would mean I am able to invite the children’s friends out with us, while still ensuring that can have a proper car seat and also not have to sit in the front.

What I looked for when buying my car…

When it came to looking for a new car, I already knew that I wanted a 7 seat car, which really narrowed down my options. We had a budget to work too, which I also knew wouldn’t stretch to a new car, but would get something less than 2 years old.

I really don’t know to much about cars, so the Hubby and I discussed what we wanted from our new family car.

  • 7 seats
  • diesel
  • bluetooth contection
  • low road tax
  • dark colour – no red, no white,
  • high spesification
  • parking sensors
  • amazing condition
  • less than 2 years old

With this criteria for a new car, we started our search. I test drive a couple of different cars, a Toyota Verso and a Kia Carens.

My Hubby currently has a Kia Sportage, which he loves, we bought it from new almost 5 years ago and it has so far been a brilliant car. It was the Carens that first made me want a 7 seat car, really spacious and doesn’t look like a mini bus. However, new they were really quite over our budget and when we first looked they only had a white used one and one that was already 4 years old which wasn’t what we wanted.

The Verso we both really liked, we owned a Toyota Yaris a few years ago and loved it. The car garage was what let the Verso down. When we first went to look at the cars, we sat down discussed our needs and our budget. After we had test driven a brand new one, having been told about various different schemes being ran that it would fail within our budget. When it came down to it, they couldn’t match our budget and we walked out. I was so unhappy with the service, that I would now never go back there.

Luckily after walking out of the Toyota garage we popped back over to Kia, who had just taken delivery of a black Carens, top of the range, diesel car that was as only 15 months old and within budget…. yay! We test drove it, loved it and bought it within about 30 minutes of visiting the garage.

A month later I still love the car, it’s fabulous to drive and now the colder weather is setting in the heated seats are something I wouldn’t be without.

What do you look for when buying a new car?

Alternative Christmas Tree decorations

It’s very almost time for me to go up the loft and get out all of the Christmas decorations. Not forgetting all the new ones I’ve got hidden in places around the house and after black Friday even in the boot of my car. Just so the Hubby doesn’t see them.

Alternative Christmas Tree Decorations

I love my Christmas tree, I am very particular about it and where each of the decorations sit, when the children help, I often have to make a couple of changes … no a lot of changes so it is just perfect. I normally wire the decorations on so they all sit perfectly. I have been collecting decorations for years and this year I cannot wait to add some extra special ones from our trip to Lapland.

Every year we add chocolates to the tree, sometimes a couple of candy canes get hidden in there too. When you have children you have to add them don’t you?

This year however I have noticed a trend in adding slightly more alternative decorations to your tree with various alcohol based ones becoming popular.

We have bought the children Lego baubles from our recent trip to Legoland a few weeks ago. One has the bricks to build a reindeer and the other to build a Santa, I’m looking forward to the children spotting them on the tree.

As you all know I love a glass of gin and this year it seems to be very popular to have Gin baubles. Pickerings Gin have a lovely box of 6 gin baubles that they kindly sent me to add to my tree. I am thinking about not only adding them to the tree but using them on the table. I always add little gift to the table for each of our guests on Christmas day.

For years ever since I was a child, there have been little foil wrapped chocolates on the tree. Now you can even get full chocolate baubles that The Grown Up Chocolate Company sent a couple out for me. They smell amazing, you are able to add them to your tree in their clear boxes or take them out to hang. I’m not sure they would last too long, especially with the kids and my Hubby about.

So many companies are now making little Christmas tree gifts, make-up, socks, bubble baths, nail varnishes and just about any other small item you can think off. Although I don’t think I would add them to my main Christmas tree, I really like the idea of having a gift tree. A smaller or even table top tree that I would buy lots of little hanging gifts for friends and family to enjoy.

Are you adding any slightly different decorations to your tree this year?


*I was kindly sent items to include within this post. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

A very Winter Blush Christmas with Amara

Have you heard of Amara? Well, Amara is an online store that has very thing you could possibly need for your home, your lifestyle, offering that bit of luxury to suit every style. So many ideas to get your creative juices following.

My sister has recently moved into her first home and is getting everything ready for the first Christmas and has started buying decorations. She has decided to go for a a Winter Blush theme, pale greens, pale pinks, whites and silver colours.

Christmas with Amara

Amara have a fabulous range of Christmas decoration in their Christmas shop. With so many different items that will be perfect for my sisters Christmas theme.

My Christmas with Amara top picks

Amara have a full range of gorgeous winter blush decorations, with a beautiful faux snowy tree to display all of your stunning new decorations on. Plus they also have a lovely wreath to hang on her front door to go with the tree.

The beautiful pinks, creams and pearly shades are just gorgeous, they will all look perfect at my sisters this year. The winter blush is a modern on trend take on a the traditional Christmas style, with beautiful baubles and tree decorations. Hanging a stocking up is for me a Christmas tradition and I think whether you have children or not you should hang up a Christmas stocking .

If you wanted to extend your winter blush theme across to more than just your Christmas tree and decorations. Then you could add in some gorgeous blush accessories, cushions, vases, candles so many items you can use to bring the your winter blush dreams all together for a magical festive season.

What do you think to the winter blush theme for Christmas? Is it something you would have or would you prefer something more traditional?


*This post was made in collaboration with Amara. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Christmas all wrapped up with Melody Maison

When it comes to finding Christmas gifts and accessories for the home it sometimes can be a minefield of beautiful online shops. Melody Maison is the perfect place to get Christmas all wrapped up. They offer a lovely online shopping experience for any occasion and Christmas with Melody Maison is your one stop for this Christmas.

Melody Maison

Melody Maison offer the shabby chic, French style that is very popular in homes across the country. It’s very me, I love having that vintage feel to in my home, so when it came to me shopping online, I soon filled up my basket with items. Have a look at my top picks of their Winter items.

Christmas Decorations

This year I am having a bit of a change in the decorations we have in the house. These are my top picks for Christmas Decorations that you can get your hands on at Melody Maison.

The star candle holder has to be one of my favourite items I have seen this year. I cannot wait to place it on the fire place with a pillar candle on it. Each year I look for a table centre piece but I have always used a candelabra that I was given at my best friends wedding. However when I spotted this lovely gold antler wreath that will look perfect on the table for Christmas, I knew it was a must a have. I always have candles burning in our house, I love them in so these little tea light lanterns are great for dotting around the house and having on the mantlepiece. I really love flickering candles on a cosy winter night in front of the log burner.

At Christmas I often go out into the garden a cut some fresh holly to place on mantlepiece or on top of the picture. However I normally end up hurting my fingers picking it, then again when trying to get them in place. So when I saw this lovely garland I thought I would save my fingers and also it will last all of the festive season, plus I can add extra items to it depending on the theme I am going with each year.


My wish list gifts

I always ask for chocolates, champagne, socks but this year I thought I would ask for some bits for my dressing table. I rarely sit at it to do my make up, it is normally full of my daughters toys. So I thought I would pick some nice items to make me use it more.

My top picks are this beautiful floral style gold frame, I plan to put a picture of my Mum into it. A lovely set wooden drawers so I can store some of my jewellery inside then on top pop my perfume bottles. A stunning french style boudoir tray, perfect for popping my watch and jewellery at the end of the day, so it is all kept safe and sound. Then of course no dressing table is complete without a beautiful mirror, so when I found this gorgeous one it went straight onto my list.

Melody Maison

Melody Maison offer so much more than just gift and Christmas decorations. I can’t wait for us to move house so I can add items of beautiful furniture and fill my home with fabulous shabby chic items that I love so much.

What do you think to my top Christmas picks from Melody Maison? What would you put on your Christmas wish list?


*This post was made in collaboration with Melody Maison. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*