Hall Makeover With Laminate Flooring

We have lived in our current home for over ten years and in that time we have done a lot of upgrading including replacing the carpet upstairs, putting in a new kitchen and most recently a new bathroom. The next think on our list is a hall makeover with laminate flooring. The hall is the one area in our home that has been completely neglected but I want to transform in into a bright welcoming space that instantly makes us feel at home.

Laminate Flooring

The first thing we will do is replace the dated flooring with modern laminate flooring. With seven people living in our home the hall sees a lot of foot traffic with people constantly coming and going. Carpet just wouldn’t work for us with five children at home. As well as the dirt that gets trailed in from outside, the children manage to create a lot of mess travelling from the kitchen to the living room and vice versa. Spilled drinks, trampled Play-Doh and craft supplies including the dreaded glitter are just some of the messes our hall has to contend with on a daily basis. As well as being stylish, laminate flooring is strong, durable and easy to keep clean. A quick vacuum or mop depending on the mess will keep the floor looking brand new.

 

Accessorise

As well as new laminate flooring we will also be giving the hall a fresh coat of paint to brighten it up and adding some accessories. The main accessory we will be adding is a radiator cover. Radiators are quite ugly to look at so adding a radiator cover is an affordable way to make the whole area look prettier. As well as hiding the radiator, the radiator cover can be used for displaying accessories. These might be purely decorative like flowers and candles or they could be practical like a letter holder and key dish.

 

Finishing Touches

Once the painting is done and the laminate flooring and radiator cover are in place, all that will be left to add are the finishing touches. A storage bench will be the ideal piece of furniture to store shoes along with hats, scarves and gloves. Hopefully it will prevent them from being scattered all over the house! It will also be the perfect place for the children to sit and put on their shoes. It will also mean when they take off their shoes any mud is contained to the hall. With the laminate flooring any mess will be quickly and easily cleaned. We will hang a mirror above the radiator to create more light and make the area feel bigger. A piece of artwork on the opposite wall and a few cushions on the bench to give the area a pop of colour and our hall makeover will be complete.

 

This is a collaborative post.

Looking Behind The Curtain When Home Viewing

Being a home buyer should only be a temporary state. You’re moving home, and you’re currently in the process of searching for a new house. Viewing homes can be a nightmare, or it can be a great experience. Sometimes the seller will try to avoid answering certain questions and other times you’ll see that what they have said previously on the phone isn’t true. Very rarely will a home that looks too good to be true turn out to be that way. Viewing a home and getting an accurate picture of the home in just a few minutes takes skill. Most of all it takes a sharp eye to see behind the curtain and figure out what kind of home it really is. On the surface it could look strong and sturdy, but during the winter the floorboards might creak and crack underneath the pressure. So what do you need to do to get the most amount of information from a viewing in the quickest time?

Never trust face value

It might sound harsh, but the main thing you must not do is believe every word the seller or the real estate agent is telling you. When you enter the home, keep a sharp intellect about you and focus on what you see and what you don’t see. The agent will be giving you a tour but no doubt, they and the seller worked out a deal or a plan to only show the best bits of the home. For example, they will take their time showing you a great garden. However, they will rush through a room that has mould and mildew on the walls, signs of a leaking water pipe as the wallpaper has bubbled and risen off the surface. So, just for good practice, never trust what the person giving you the tour says at face value.

 

Venture further in

When viewing a home, it’s your right to inspect every available part that’s open to you. Go into each corner of the living room, look at the skirting boards, the floor colour in the corner compared to the rest of the room. You should be checking the corner of the ceiling too, and look for cracks and signs of structural fatigue. When you’re shown a window on the 1st floor or any floor for that matter and the focus of the agent is the view, go further in to have a look at the window sill. Sometimes an issue can be right in front of you but the job of the agent is to momentarily distract you away from it. Can you see signs of rainwater leaking in?

Check the logistics

If a home has passed your eye inspection, then call in a professional team that will give you the low down on the logistics of the home. Check out homebuyer surveys and costs to see what will happen when you do. They’ll check the quality of the roof, the strength of the walls, make sure the electric, gas and oil are costed accurately, and also check the quality of the drainage and insulation.

Be on your guard to sweet talk when you’re home viewing. The agent is working for the seller, and they both want to get paid. By polite but be sceptical also. Call in the experts when you think you have a winner and venture further in to inspect every nook and cranny.

 

This is a collaborative post.

Turn Your Living Room Into A Giving Room

For those of us who aren’t blessed with the largest property or the most expansive rooms in our humble abode, we need to think outside of the box when we are decorating. While we may not feel like we have enough room to swing a cat, we may be able to utilise some nifty space saving techniques that can also save a bob or two. Our living rooms are our sanctuaries. These are the spaces that you kick back, relax and spend most of your time in, whether it’s catching up with your favourite soap on the box, reading a book with a glass of wine, or having a good old catch up with pals. Take a look at how you can transform your living room into a giving room.

More Uses

Your living room may be a one trick pony at the moment, especially if you are struggling in terms of space. However, your lounge interior doesn’t have to just be that area where you sit on the sofa watching mind numbing TV every night. Consider creating a couple of zones within the room. Choose one corner to situate your TV rather than having it mounted onto a wall. This way, you are cordoning off your gogglebox capabilities. In another corner, invest in a comfortable chair. You might want to opt for a mid-century style vintage egg chair or a Scandinavian rocking chair. These are perfect for relaxing in with a cuppa or reading. A bankers lamp to the side or a floor lamp can make a pleasant change from being forced to read with the main light on.

If you have kids and you don’t have enough square footage for a playroom, an extra large rug will fill the space within your living room and give them enough of a play area for their toys in the centre of your room. While not ideal, trying to make your living room fit your lifestyle is the perfect solution for those more cramped pads.

Storage

No matter what size your property is, you will inevitably struggle with storage, and the dreaded clutter can always begin to encroach on your environment. The type of furniture and storage solutions that you try to incorporate into your living space can transform your lounge from a simple one dimensional space into a multi-functional room that can make your life easier. Footstools can come Ottoman style with storage under the stool. You might want to look at period pieces that merge drawers storage with a coffee table. These Danish inspired sleek designs utilise every iota of functionality and can ensure that your knick-knacks don’t clutter up your space.

If your kids are of an age where they have a ridiculous amount of lego and bricks and other toy paraphernalia, you will be keen to ensure that your living room doesn’t morph into a playpen. Get hold of a toy box that doubles up as a window seat or hide all of that kid clutter under the stairs. Storage solutions don’t have to look like filing cabinets or exposed shelves. Instead, you can find those nifty storage ideas within pieces that offer up both form and functionality.

Your living room is the most heavily utilised and enjoyed room within your home. Give it a new lease of life and turn it from a living room to a giving room.

 

This is a collaborative post.

Five Ways to Ensure That Your Food Business Is Successful

Small restaurants have it rough when it comes to becoming successful. Both medium and small sized restaurants have a tough job of maintaining a satisfied customer base while also trying to ensure that they have room to grow. So to help you out, we’ve prepared five unique tips to help you ensure that your food business is successful, even if you’re just in the planning stages.

1. Ensure that there is an excellent customer experience

Your patrons are going to expect you to deliver a top-notch quality experience. This includes impeccable service and excellent food. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to make everything absolutely perfect for the customer. As a small food business startup, you’re allowed to be more laid-back and casual. As long as your customers aren’t being treated poorly, your food, service and the experience as a whole will spread and you’ll get plenty of positive reviews.

 

2. Focus on food safety to build customer trust

Customers aren’t going to trust you if you’re not following any kind of food safety procedures. It doesn’t matter if you are following them either–the idea is to show that you’re actually following them and show that you’re following them by using signs. Catering signs promote food safety and they’re visible to both staff and customers. This puts the customer’s faith in your ability and it also keeps your staff reminded of how to handle food in your business. Be it the kitchen, in the dining room or even while serving, it’s often important to remind your staff of standard food safety practices to ensure that they’re following protocol.

 

3. Utilize social media as much as possible

One of the most underrated ways for small restaurants and food businesses to grow their brand name is to use social media. While it might sound strange, social media can be a fantastic way to grow a user base and get more people interested. Not only that, but if your products are successful and popular, then they’ll quickly spread throughout social networks and you’ll start to see more and more customers popping up thanks to online recommendations from influencers and friends of theirs that have visited your food business. 

 

4. Friendly and knowledgeable staff

It’s also important to have staff that are knowledgeable and capable of delivering excellent customer service. No one wants to visit a restaurant that is unfriendly, boring and where the staff has no clue about the menu. If one of your waiting staff is asked “What do you recommend?” or “What’s the special for the day?” then they’re expected to know.

 

5. Good food is a must

The atmosphere and the experience are also important, but perhaps the most important aspect of starting a successful food business is to actually have good food. The food will ultimately be the star of the show and no matter how good your restaurant or store is, the food is what you want all of your patrons to remember you for. Without good food, you don’t have a foundation on which to build your food business!

 

This is a collaborative post.

Eco by Naty Disposable Nappies Review

Over the last ten years I have tried a lot of nappy brands! Having 5 children with all with sensitive skin it’s been trial and error to get a nappy that doesn’t bring them out in a rash.  Eco by Naty disposable nappies were one of the first brands I tried over ten years ago with my first baby, back when they were Naty by Nature Babycare. I mainly used cloth nappies with my first baby but found disposables to be more convenient for night time, holidays and days out.

For various reasons I haven’t used cloth nappies with my youngest two children. I use supermarket nappies as it is convenient to buy them when I am doing the weekly food shopping. I was pleased to get the opportunity to try Eco by Naty nappies again recently when they sent me some to review.

 

About Eco by Naty

Eco by Naty are a Swedish brand founded in 1994 by a corporate lawyer turned ecological entrepreneur who wanted to create a disposable nappy that wouldn’t have a detrimental effect on the Swedish environment. As well as selling biodegradable and environmentally friendly nappies, Eco by Naty now produce a whole range of products including baby wipes, nappy pants and skin care.

The nappies are made from natural and renewable material. The cornstarch film is naturally breathable which helps to prevent nappy rash. The wood pulp which is the main absorbent in the nappy is FSC certified. The nappies are free from chlorine, latex, TBT and fragrance. They have numerous certifications including one from the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association.

 

What We Thought

I loved Eco by Naty nappies when I first tried them ten years ago but they have definitely improved. They are soft and fit Baby Girl perfectly. They are just as absorbent and comfortable as our usual nappies both during the day and at night. I will be honest, I expected them to leak overnight. Baby girl sleeps for 12 hours at night and our usual brand of nappy occasionally doesn’t last that long. I was pleased to find that the Eco by Naty nappies survived the full twelve hours.

The nappies have a lovely simple design. We tried the size 4 nappies which had a leaf pattern with a larger leaf on the front. Other designs include a flower pattern and a cloud pattern.

We were also sent some baby wipes to try along with the nappies. The unscented sensitive wipes come in a pack of 56. They are made from 100% natural materials and are enriched with soothing Chamomile and Aloe Extract. The wipes are larger and thicker than the brand I usually use meaning I need half as many at each nappy change. They are soft and gentle on the skin and are very effective at cleaning. The wipes are also available in a lightly scented version and in a handy travel size pack. We also tried the rash cream which is made from plant based, natural and certified organic materials. The cream is gentle enough for daily use and soothes irritated skin and reduces redness. Baby Girl doesn’t suffer from nappy rash but does occasionally get a little bit of redness on her bottom. I apply the rash cream at the first sign of redness and it clears it up quickly.

As well as nappies and other baby products Eco by Naty also sell a range of family products including hand cream, body lotion and shampoo. I was pleased to be able to try the hand cream as I get dry skin on my hands from washing them often throughout the day. My hands were noticeably softer after just one application. The cream soaks in to the skin well and doesn’t leave a greasy film.  I don’t like my skincare products to have an overpowering smell so I was pleased that the natural ingredients in this cream give a lovely subtle fragrance.

Overall I am really pleased with all of the Eco by Naty products we have tried. It is reassuring to know that they are gentle on my baby’s sensitive skin as they are free from harmful chemicals. If you would like to try Eco by Naty products you can use the code Jansfamilynotebook at the Naty webshop to receive 15% off your shop! (This excludes the subscribe and save box and the trial box).

*I  received a selection of Eco by Naty products for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.