I‘VE never been one to make life easy.
Which is why when I was heavily pregnant with Elsie, I – together with my husband – decided it would be a really good idea to buy a house that needed tons of work doing on it.
A project home. Something we could both get our teeth into.
CHRISTMAS is coming…the goose is getting fat.
(Or something like that).
But are you ready? And more importantly, is your home ready for the festive onslaught?
It might feel yonks away yet, but let’s face it, Christmas is almost upon us.
And so it’s time to get prepared.
I love this time of year – even if it does involve a lot of work – because, well, it’s just magical. Especially when you’re a mum I think.
And so, even though we aren’t even in December yet, I’ve been busy getting ready for Christmas with the help of one of our favourite retailers, John Lewis.
Whether you’re feeling stressed out about the impending festivities or excited about what’s coming, here are some of my tips on how to prepare your home for Christmas.
And if you like the sound of them, please do have a nosey at my Pinterest board which I’ve also created which is full of inspiration to make your home feel extra festive this year and was my starting point for these ideas!
HOW TO GET YOUR HOME, PREPARED FOR CHRISTMAS
(Blanket: Avoca Silken Throw)
The nights are dark, the weather can be miserable and it’s only getting to get chillier, so embrace it! Christmas is the perfect time of year to make your home super cosy, for you and your guests.
Think, could your home do with a little extra warmth and comfort?
I know ours did.
I’ve treated our dining room to a new plush multi coloured rug, perfect for in front of our log fire as well as a luxury blanket to make sure both guests and us, feel warm and snug over the next few weeks.
(Rug: Scandi Rug)
Soft furnishings like thick curtains or faux fur cushions go a long way to making your home feel inviting at this time of year so if you need to up the cosy stakes, do it!
Your guests will love you for it.
INJECT SOME LIGHT
The long dark nights are the perfect excuse to go wild with lighting. And at this time of year, really you can’t introduce enough to a room, I don’t think.
Our stunning shell table lamp is really helping to lighten up our evenings, together with our fairy lights. Don’t forget fairy lights can be used anywhere too!
Hung on a wall, draped across a mantelpiece or even popped inside a glass vase with flowers or pinecones. So pretty and so festive.
And of course, Christmas would not be Christmas without plenty of candles.
I love to group lots of glowing tea lights together all over the place at any time of year and I can’t wait to light our suitably scented Winter candle soon to help ramp up the festive feel.
CHECK YOUR CUPBOARDS
Have you enough glasses to host a party? Could you do with some new crockery for Christmas Day? Have you a pretty enough dish to display your prize turkey on?!
If you’re planning on entertaining this Christmas (and let’s face it, who isn’t?!) don’t forget to have a nosey through your cupboards beforehand and check you’ve got everything you need.
Advance preparation equals an easy life! And nothing is more stressful than realising you haven’t got enough plates, cutlery or glasses for your excited guests.
This year I know I’m going to be having friends over for a many a festive champagne cocktail so I’ve gone and ordered these stunning cocktail glasses – a set of four different shaped glasses to suit all cocktail needs! I love this! – and a new mason jar style cocktail shaker.
Complete with some Pinterest recipe inspiration, these will be the perfect tools to help me serve a boozy tipple or two.
I’m not joking to say I’m thrilled to be bringing this post to you today.
Because if you’re anything like me, you will love gorgeous gardens but have no real idea of where to start with one.
When we moved into our home about two years, our garden was a jungle. Truly a jungle. A jungle which hadn’t received much love for many a year.
Thankfully, with a little help from family, we managed to cut out way through and reveal it’s beauty again (you can tell that previous owners past took great pride in it as the flowers, shrubs and trees we have inherited are phenomenal), however make no mistake, there is still heaps to do. Heaps!
Which is why I’ve decided to run a new garden series this summer, kicking off with this post!
Over the next couple of months, I’m going to show you how we’re doing our best to transform our garden, not just into a half decent space, but into an outdoor place worth celebrating, worth playing and worth al fresco dining in. I have big dreams people! ;-)
It’s not going to be easy and I’ll be ‘real’ with you, I’m also kind of dreading it. It’s going to take quite some work, but hey, it will be worth it in the long run right?!
Anyway, for those of you whose fingers aren’t so green (like mine), here are some top tips on how to get started with gardening, brought to you, from the clever people at Tesco.
Mental notepads at the ready? Ok here we go…
There are a few simple things you can do this summer to ensure that your garden looks fabulous.
While you might have to get your hands dirty now, it will all be worth it in the end when you can barbecue out there without blushing!
If you haven’t done any gardening before, don’t worry, these pointers should help you get started:
Prepare the Ground
Whether you’re planting vegetables, herbs or flowers, pick a sunny spot in your garden and clear the ground of sod, weeds and any other rubbish you can see.
Improve the quality of the soil with organic compost before digging it over with a fork. It’s good to give it a week or two between each of these stages to achieve the best results.
Plan your Planting
If you’re starting a garden from scratch you’ll need to decide whether to plant from seed or use nursery plants.
Going along to your local garden centre or Tesco to buy seeds and plants can make for a fun day out, although you might end up coming back with more than you bargained for!
An easy way to do keep your garden in check is to keep your lawn nice and tidy. Lawns need plenty of sun, moisture and drainage.
Care for your lawn – don’t scalp it! The optimum length for a lawn, according to gardening svengali Monty Don, is around the inch mark.
Bring life to your beds with plenty of organic matter. Organic fertilisers, compost and mulch will enhance the nutrient levels in your soil and encourage worms and friendly microbes.
Use these products liberally and treat your garden worms with love and respect – they’re helping your petunias flourish!
Whether you have an eight foot hedge to tackle or an ornamental window-box, it’s essential to do some pruning. Use hand held clippers or larger electric shears depending on the size of the job. Remove withering flowers as often as you can as this will increase the flowering season in your garden.
Follow these basic gardening tips and turn your back yard into a colourful playground for you and your family. You don’t need to be an expert to give it a welcome boost!
Hope your found these top tips as useful as I have! Good luck novice gardeners. Now go and get ‘your prune’ on! ;-)
Disclaimer – this is a collaborative post.
Hello! I'm Kate - an award winning family & lifestyle blogger, freelance writer & mum.
1st book & 2nd baby both due in 2017. (Yep, I'm a little excited.)
Here I share my tales of how I try to strut my way - but often find myself hobbling (don't we all?!) - through life & parenting.
I do hope you'll enjoy what you read. Thanks so much for popping by. x