Interiors

How I do my big Spring clean……

When it comes to cleaning our house, it’s just not something I am very good at. Don’t get me wrong my house is clean and tidy but not show home standards. Unlike my best friend’s house, that is always immaculate and with 3 young boys living at home I have no idea how she does it. Anyway, I like to think of my house it as lived in! My hubby would say ‘we have too much clutter’. I however like it, I think my French dresser is what he refers too, because it is full of things that the children have made and my gorgeous collection of Emma Bridgewater items, including my very much love Royal mugs.

spring-cleaning

The kitchen in our house is connected to the open plan family area. It’s a great space that gets used more than any other room in the house. We entertain friends in there, as it has large patio doors leading out to the garden. Perfect for popping in to top up drinks.

As most of my readers will know, we have big dreams for our forever home, but until that dream becomes a reality I will just have to make do with what we have. Like many homes across the country this time of year is always about the big Spring clean, this year I’m going for the BIG Spring clean for the kitchen space before moving, probably slowly around the rest of the house.

My big kitchen spring clean

The kitchen is the space in our house that is continuously in use, so it also gets cleaned daily. The worktops get wiped down a few times a day as meals and drinks are prepared there. However for my BIG spring clean, everything is come out.

Starting with the cupboards, our plate cupboard is still full of plastic bits from when the children were little. So removing all of the plates, bowls, side plates, pasta bowls sorting out anything that is just not used any more. Cleaning all of the shelf’s then returning everything nice, clean and neatly. I like to keep some of the children’s plastic plates and bowls so when they have a picnic in the garden or they have friends round I’m not so worried about them getting broken.

On to the food cupboards, removing everything throwing away anything that is out of date. For some reason we always seem to have a packet or tin of something I thought was a good idea at the time and just never used it, please tell me I am not alone in that? I wipe everything down and place back in, then try to make a little shopping list of the items that need replacing or that we have ran out of.

The glass cupboard is next, I love my jam jar style glasses however, they all have handles on them which means they do not sit well in the cupboard. So, this year I have given a couple to my Hubby to take into work, to free up a little bit of space. I couldn’t possibly clear out any of the wine or gin glasses!! Same again giving everything inside a good wipe down and then re-cleaning the glass wear to make it sparkle.

My mug cupboard is full of my lovely Emma Bridgewater mugs that I have been adding to over the last few years. It is also home to my array of different flavoured teas, coffee, hot chocolates, marshmallows and anything else I need to find a home for in the kitchen. This time I found packets of cress seeds and little foam aeroplanes for some unknown reason.

The worst job for me is the kitchen drawers. The cutlery draw is not so bad, I remove it all clean it out and then put it all away again. Removing about 10 syringes that have come with the children’s Calpol and still having more than I need left. The middle drawn, is just the drawn from hell! Crammed full of everything, cling film, serving spoons, kitchen foil, baking paper, fabric napkins, paper napkins, birthday candles, food bags, batteries, sellotape, pens, a pencil case and god only knows what else. It honestly is the most untidy draw in the house. However after I have removed everything, binned the bits that are no longer needed and neatly placed everything away, it looks great. Now I just have to keep it that way…………. I wonder how long that will last?

The draw full of the pans, is a jigsaw of fitting everything in. So as long as when you try and put it all back together you pack it nicely it will all go pack in, however stack something wrong you have no chance of closing that drawer. So after a good clean out it’s back to looking like my normal pan draw just a bit cleaner.

On to the cupboard tops, we seem to store the odd extra thing up there, extra cereal boxes, a box of spare wine and gin glasses (I would hate to smash one and not have enough glasses), bags of crisps and any other bits that I cannot find space for within the cupboards. Plus all of the dust that seems to gather up there, meant that cleaning it all took a bit more effort than a quick wipe down.

I pulled out the cooker and the fridge to give it a good clean behind and underneath. Before removing everything from the worktops, giving it all a good clean down before returning it all to place. I have a large solid wooden chopping board that I love, and I would eventually love a solid wooden work top.

Worktop Express have a fabulous range to choose from, they have also given me some fabulous ways to get your big Spring clean started.

How do you Spring clean your kitchen? I know mine takes a lot of kitchen roll and time.

 

*This is a collaborative post with Worktop Express. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

A Royal Wedding to remember with a Royal Wedding Garden Tea Party

With less than two weeks until the Royal Wedding, have you thought about how you are going to be celebrating that day? On the 19th May 2018 HRH Prince Harry will be marrying the beautiful Ms Meghan Markel at the Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, and I cannot wait!

As the country prepares to celebrate along with them, how will you be celebrating the Royal Wedding day? Street parties have been planned it thousands of locations, National Trust properties are showing it wedding on large outdoor screens, garden parties and afternoon teas will also be happening in homes across UK, not forgetting the millions of people sitting in their front room watching the coverage on the TV. Like so many others I cannot wait to see the dress of the year that Meghan will be wearing.

royal-wedding-garden-party

For me, our Royal Family is such an important part of British heritage and it should be celebrated. When Prince William got married to Kate Middleton in 2011 I spent the day at home watching every single minute possible on the TV and this will be no different. However I couldn’t miss the chance to host a Garden Party with some friends even if it was a couple of weeks early, when the sun was shining. I decided not to host my Royal Wedding Garden Party on the day the wedding, because honestly I didn’t want to be preparing the afternoon tea sandwiches and miss out on watching it all happening on the TV.

The history of Afternoon Tea

I love an afternoon tea, finger sandwiches, cakes, scones, china tea cups and a glass of fizz to go with it, so what better way to start the wedding celebrations than with a traditional very British afternoon tea.

Did you know that afternoon tea was first served back in1840 to the Duchess of Bedford, who started to get hungry about 4pm between her lunch and then her dinner at 8pm. So she requested a try of bread and butter, cakes and a pot of tea be served to her room at that time. As the years followed she invited friends to join her and by the late 1880’s ladies would have afternoon tea parties, but be dressed in beautiful dresses, hats and gloves for the occasion. Since then afternoon tea has been a quintessentially British tradition, with hotels across the country serving them and visitors from around the world wanting an afternoon tea when they come to UK.

Royal Wedding Garden Tea Party

For my Royal Wedding garden tea party, I invited some of my closet girly friends round, my 4 year old daughter and baby niece to share the fun.

An afternoon tea is made up of various finger sandwiches, mine included, salmon and cream cheese, ham and the cucumber, with a mix of white farm house bread and a seeded batch loaf. All delicious. My scones were served with clotted cream and my home made plum jam from the fruit trees in our garden. Then a variety of cupcakes, french fancies (my sisters favourite), Viennese whirls with lots of little flags, that I added in extra. I have a lovely collection of cake stands, that I have been collecting for years. The cake dome is a new addition from ProCook, I love it, it’s perfect for cupcakes, a larger cake and even for cheese. I even borrowed my Hubby’s Gran’s vintage glass cake stands.

As the day was the hottest of the year so far, I decided that pots of hot tea was not what we needed, so instead I used my Royal Wedding tea pot filled with ice cubes and my new favourite William Chase Gin. I borrowed my Hubby’s Gran’s pretty little china tea cups, added ice and then topped them up with Fentimans, Connoisseurs tonic water, that works perfectly well with the William Chase Gin. As you all know I am a big lover of gin, so trying out a new gin and another of Fentimans fabulous tonics was great for me, my friends are all gin lovers too, I guess you have to be to fit in at our house. It’s not often people come round and the gin isn’t out.

No cup of tea, even if it is gin, is complete without a biscuit on the saucer. These luxury biscuits by Elizabeth Shaw are amazing, I was sent the raisin and hazelnut plus the mint and cocoa. Although both very tasty I loved the raisin and hazelnut ones the most, however all of the biscuits got eaten very quickly. Yum!!

As my little girl was joining us, she was drinking water with fruit filled ice cubes. However, I was slightly concerned about her having Gran’s vintage china tea cups. So, she was using some glasses that have been toughen and are also designed that if they so smash they will shatter into cubic pieces to reduce the risk of injury. Perfect for my little girl to think she is more grown up drinking from glass cup, instead of her normal plastic ones.

No Royal Wedding Garden Tea Party would be complete without the addition of Union Flag bunting hanging from the trees. I managed to find mine on amazon for about £6.99 they have a real vintage feel to them, plus they are fabric which I plan to use in my son’s bedroom, when we eventually get round to decorating.

Every celebration includes a bottle of fizz and for my Royal Wedding garden tea party I used Prosecco, which is a favourite among my girly friends. I added fruit to the ice cube trays when I froze them, to add a bit of colour to the ice bucket. Placing the Prosecco into the ice bucket helped it to stay cold on such a hot day. Plus we used the ice to add to the gin and tonic throughout the afternoon, the fruit in the ice also flavoured the gin as the afternoon went on.

Well that’s my Royal Wedding garden party! How will you be celebrating?

 

*Some items within this post were gifted to me, in exchange for being included within my post. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Moving in with Your Partner for the First Time

For most couples, the first big milestone in their relationship is when they decide to move in together. A lot of people will tell you that this is one of the most testing periods in your relationship, and you will probably dismiss them and say that it will be fine. What is the worst that can happen? Well, no matter how much you love each other, when you bring two people together that are used to having their own way, arguments can commence. To try and keep everything as smooth and positive as possible, read on to discover some useful tips…

Be prepared to let some things go – This is the number one rule when moving in together. You need to be prepared to let some things go. Not all fights are worth having. Not everything needs to be said. You need to avoid nit-picking with one and other. You are only going to put your partner on the defensive if you question their every move.

Don’t rush into buying a home – A lot of people decide to rent before they buy because they want to trial living together. While this is a good idea, it is not for everyone, and you may wish to purchase a home. If you go for the latter, you should not rush into it. Buying a home is a huge commitment, so make sure the property is right for you and choose a reputable company like Prospect Homes. You will be much better off waiting for the perfect property than rushing into it simply because you can’t wait to live with one and other.

Take your space – No matter how much you love someone, you are going to need some time to yourself. So, make sure you take your space. Set aside some activities for you to enjoy by yourself. Coordinating alone time is just as pivotal as ensuring you still have date nights – which is another tip for moving in together by the way!

Divvy up the chores ahead of time – Yes, chores are boring, but they are part of living together. Cleaning can become a massive struggle, as you simply end up waiting for the other person to clean. Not only this, but you may find that you and your partner are on two completely different pages with regards to what is clean and what isn’t. This sort of thing needs to be sorted ahead of time.

Don’t assume you will naturally get more time together – Just because you are living together does not mean you are going to get quality time together. People lead busy lives. When you get home from work, there is dinner to make, things to do, showers to have, and so on! You will be surprised by how little quality time you get.

Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for life with your partner. There are going to be some ups and downs along the way, but if you follow the advice that has been provided, you can avoid some of those downs. Good luck!