Tuesday, 28 July 2015

In Photos // Dog Walking

I never usually think to take my camera out on our morning dog walk but I really want to do it more often, especially as I only ever seem to take photographs of this place in the snow! So here are a few snaps from our walk this morning. I love all the wild flowers out at the moment, we are so lucky to have such a nice open space so close to our house!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Our Weekend // Longshaw & Ikea

We've had a fairly relaxing weekend which was much needed after a fairly busy (& exhausting!) week.

Today we took a quick trip to Ikea and predictably, we all overdosed on meatballs and came home with a bag full of candles, toys and plants. No trip to Ikea is complete without buying these things though, right?!
Emilia seems to be quite the fan of Ikea and we could barely keep up with her exploring everything she could get her hands on! We've made a mental note of a few things we'll be going back for in a month or two which includes the play kitchen for Emilia and a new rug for our living room amongst other things. 

Yesterday was a more outdoorsy day which we spent at Longshaw just on the edge of Sheffield. We've not been for a while as it gets very busy during the summer but as we were up early (thanks Emilia!), we thought we'd give it a go. The walk down the pond is super manageable for Emilia and there was plenty to spot along the way. Fairy doors, foxgloves and plenty of duck, sheep and dogs! 

I'll leave you with a few photographs from our visit. I hope you have all had a great weekend too! 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Our Weekend // Matlock Bath

Last weekend we took a trip to Matlock Bath which is one of our favourite places in Derbyshire. Amazingly, this is the first time we have been since Emilia was born (although we've driven through it plenty of times!). 
It's an incredibly touristy place and there's always heaps to do and lots to see. My absolute favourite time to visit is during the autumn for their 'Venetian nights' which are complete with illuminated river boats and spectacular firework displays from the cliff tops. Always popular but worth braving the crowds! 

During our visit this time we kept things simple and pottered by the river, ate fish and chips, visited some museums and enjoyed a visit to the aquarium. I'm always elated to see restaurants and attractions that allow dogs in too. I'm certain that Elsie enjoyed seeing the fish at the aquarium just as much as Emilia did! 

Friday, 17 July 2015

In Photos // The Beach

There is freedom waiting for you,
on the breezes of the sky,
And you ask "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?

~ Erin Hanson

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How to declutter without throwing anything away

We've been getting rid of excess clutter in our home for around a year and a half now. The longer we continue with it, the easier it's getting! Rome wasn't built in a day, such truth in that saying. Decluttering properly takes time, dedication and continuous work...... and I'm so determined to keep it up.
I can't tell you how much stuff we have disposed of since we started. Countless items, cars crammed full of stuff and shamefully I can't even remember now what most of it was. Evidently, none of it mattered!

I realised the other day that despite getting rid of so much clutter, we haven't actually thrown a single thing in the bin. There are so many ways of clearing your home without physically throwing anything away! Today I wanted to share some of the main outlets we have been using to declutter.  
By selling and passing on our belongings to various places, we have prevented heaps of items going to landfill. We've recognised that these items still have value even when there's no advantage to us holding onto them any longer and doing this gives our old belongings a new lease of life!

This isn't a comprehensive list by any means but I just wanted to list some of my favourite methods so far. Here we go.... 

Selling online

This has been my main outlet for disposing of higher value items. I have listed clothes, shoes, branded bedding, vintage craft materials, etc on eBay and made a significant amount of money from doing this. According the eBay, the average home has £4000 in unwanted items.... a crazy amount of money to be sat in your home just adding to household clutter!

In addition to eBay there are many outlets for making money online by selling your unwanted goods including Gumtree and Facebook selling groups. If you're looking to sell online make sure you have a poke round to see where will get you the best price! The lovely Emma at "From Aldi to Harrods" recently posted an article on how to make cash from your clutter, it's packed full of great tips and well worth a read.

Selling elsewhere

Earlier in the year we had success selling at a local car boot sale. It was a really fun morning and we came back with a lot less stuff and over £100 in my purse. A great way of getting rid of bulkier items, it's amazing what people at boot sales want to buy!

If you're looking to unload baby items then I would totally recommend selling at an NCT nearly new sale. You can find an event near you by clicking here. Last year Polly from Tantrums and Tailoring wrote a great guide to selling at one of these events so have a read if you're thinking of selling. 

Charity shops

Obviously, local charity shops survive on donations of unwanted items. Make sure you only donate clean, good quality items though! Many charity shops will take donations of high value items too and will have specialist staff who will work to get the best resale value via auction or other means. 
Things you can donate to charity shops include clothing, shoes, toys, accessories, CD's, DVD's, books and homeware. Some charity shops also offer a service to collect larger items such as furniture and electrical items to sell on in their larger shops.

Freegle & Freecycle

One of my favourite ways to get rid of items we no longer need. One man's trash is another man's treasure and all that! By using these services we've passed on so many items that I wouldn't have had a clue what to do with otherwise. The previous owners of our house left so much stuff behind including a broken shed, bags of sand and cement, bricks, light fittings, etc..... all of these we listed on freecycle and were claimed within a few hours!

Giving to family and friends

An obvious one but one worth pointing out nonetheless! For many reasons, I do have reservations about doing this. I'll always ask first if anyone wants anything before I get rid elsewhere.
The Possible Pitfalls Of Giving Things Away To Friends and Family and How To Avoid Them is a really great article to read if you're thinking of passing on items to people you know! 

Homeless shelters

Food (non perishable items with clear expiration dates), personal care items (tootpaste, deoderant, etc), clothing, toys and bedding..... all items that homeless shelters will gladly take. Each shelter will have it's own policies on what types of donations they will accept so please do check before you turn up with a load of stuff!

Pet shelters

Items that you can donate to dog or cat shelters include bedding (no duvets or pillows though!), newspapers, towels, blankets, grooming supplies, cleaning products such as paper towels and hand sanitiser, toys and food! Again, check with your local shelter first!

Waiting rooms 

A great place to take old magazines or books.

Monday, 13 July 2015

In Photos // Our Weekend // 002

Latest Free Stuff App Launch

If there's one thing I love more than bagging a bargain it's getting a freebie! Latest Free Stuff are the UK's largest freebie site and today they are launching their brand new mobile/tablet app which will make it even easier for you order those free samples! The app is the first of its kind in the UK and I've been having a play with it over the last few days so I wanted to share my thoughts so far.

The app is completely free to use and once downloaded it's just a case of registering and you're good to go! Inside you'll have access to over 500 freebies from top companies and brands. These freebies are updated daily too so it's worth checking back to see what's new.

The app has an intuitive, simple interface and the freebies are divided into various categories meaning you can just head straight for your favourites! The categories include everything from free food and magazines to baby stuff, pet products, days out and so much more.

What I love about Latest Free Stuff is everything is 100% free and there's no spam as everything is hand-picked to ensure only the best offers make it to the app. You'll find no adverts or anything confusing and each freebie is listed with clear terms and instructions for how to claim them. Some of them are just a case of filling in a form on the website but others are more detailed and might require a voucher being printed to take to a local store in exchange for the freebie. All of this is clearly listed though so you know exactly what you need to do!

There are some interactive elements to the app with direct links to their official Facebook and Twitter pages. There's also the opportunity to leave comments and ratings with an option to browse the latest and most popular freebies in the main menu. Unsurprisingly, the current top freebies include Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Ghost perfume and Cadburys chocolate!

When claiming your freebies, the app will direct you to the external websites whilst keeping you within the app. I really like this feature as there's no swapping between browser and app and it also means you can go straight onto the next one when you're done! 

Overall I have found the app to be super straightforward and it's definitely one that I'll keep on my iPad. As a committed bargain and freebie hunter, a lot of the freebies on there are ones that I already know about especially when it comes to baby products. There are an awful lot on there that are new to me too though and it's lovely to have them all in one place on my iPad which is probably the device I use most often. I look forwards to seeing what new samples and freebies turn up on the app in it's first few weeks! 

You can download the Latest Free Stuff app yourself using the following links: 

Tablet Apps
iPad Tablet -
Android Tablet -

Mobile Apps
iPhone Smartphone -
Android Smartphone -