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Internet and Kids: Survival Guide

Internet and Kids: Survival Guide

My two little monkeys are at an age where they’re dabbling with internet, playing games, using Skype and it’s sometimes worrying.  I’m not the most technical minded of people so this kind of advice is invaluable.  Online safety is just as important as safety in every day life.  I thought this article was particularly useful and informative.  I hope it gives you some helper pointers.

The current generation of children will grow up online, becoming far more knowledgeable about this promising new frontier than we can ever hope to be. But before they reach that stage they’re going to make a lot of mistakes, and the net can be a dangerous place to make them. It’s for this reason that so many parents are worried about their children’s online safety, desperate for a way to make learning to use this vital resource just that little bit less risky.

Here are four steps you can take to safeguard your child online. Not every step may be for you – in fact it may be that your ideal lies in your own unique combination – but every step is something available right now that will make your children safer.

1. Discuss the risks on their terms

For any safety measures to work, your child needs to understand why they’re there. Knowing why certain things are dangerous helps your children develop their own judgement, so they can be safe even when the risk is something you didn’t foresee.

Remember, children lack experience of the world’s darker side. They don’t understand the potential dangers of the net, so focus on the things they can understand and give them a sense of responsibility and agency about avoiding them. Make it crystal clear that harmful content will often be made to seem tempting and safe, and that good web behaviour doesn’t just protect them but the whole family.

2. Install great antivirus software

Every computer needs a decent antivirus software; in fact every device that connects to the internet should have some kind of protection. Antivirus software will steer your kids away from risky content and outright block things like viruses and dangerous websites. Most examples of antivirus software will also come with additional features you can use to increase safety.

3. Restrict content with parental controls

Antivirus software usually comes with some kind of parental control system. This allows you to define what is and is not appropriate for your child to see. It can’t catch everything, but it does make it much less likely that your child will accidentally visit somewhere they’re not safe.

4. Monitor web behaviour

Many makes of antivirus software allow you to track where your children have been online – browsers have their own ‘history’ folders, but kids will very quickly figure out how to get around these. You can use this to track and steer your children’s behaviour or as an observation system they know is in place.

Whether you choose to follow all of these steps or just a few, always remember that communication is the most important protection you can give your child. Knowledge allows them to adapt on the fly, and an informed and cautious user is safer than one who has all the protective software you could hope for but no idea what to watch out for.

This is a guest post.

Be Kind To Your Mattress

This may sound odd, but I’ve been very busy working on my most ambitious chainmaille project ever, and I’ll post pics soon to justify my absence.  It’s not quite armour but nearly ;o)  Anyway, summat about beds.  I have never been to anyone’s house where they’ve left the plastic sheets on the furniture, but I guess I just don’t know the right kind of people, *chuckles*.

Be Kind To Your Mattress

jumping on bed.

There are some things in life worth skimping on, and other things that just aren’t. If you’ve ever missed out on a decent night’s sleep, you’ll probably agree that beds (especially mattresses) fall into the latter category. It only took me a single night in a terrible hotel to come to the conclusion that, in terms of beds, you get what you pay for. Not that that means they have to be hugely expensive; I’ve recently been looking at the Bedstar website for inspiration, and while a decent mattress doesn’t have to break the bank, there’s plenty you can do to prolong the life of your existing bed – assuming it’s in good condition in the first place.

Airing

Moisture is the enemy of bedding and mattresses, and unfortunately for allergy sufferers (and people who are not too keen on sharing a bed with creepy crawlies) it’s also the friend of  dust mites. People are moist – it’s a proven fact. One good way to minimise unpleasantness is to pull back all the bedding and let the air get to it for a while, first thing in the morning. It’s a good idea to protect your mattress by using a washable cover; you can also buy mite-proof zip-up covers for mattresses and bedding.

Turning

Mattress turning is a bit of a chore (especially if you’re trying to turn a double on your own) but it’s well worth doing once in a while – say, four times a year. Don’t forget to swap it over side to side as well as end over end. It’ll keep the mattress more comfortable for longer, and as one of the most valuable large pieces of furniture we’re are likely to buy, we want to protect our investment!

Breathe

sofa-plastic-cover

We’ve all been to someone’s house and noticed that they’ve kept the plastic covers on the furniture. It’s not a great look, and it’s a very bad idea for mattresses in particular, which need to breathe. Look on the side of most mattresses and you’ll notice built-in vents – they’re there for a reason!

No Bouncing

If your kids are of a certain age, good luck with this next tip; don’t let them jump up and down on the bed! Explain to them how the lifespan of their mattresses will be impaired by this potentially dangerous activity, and watch as their young faces understand and accept your wisdom. Then leave the room and listen to the bouncing noises.

Storing

Finally, if you’re putting a mattress in storage, never roll it up and never put it at the bottom of a pile of heavy stuff. You’d be better off chucking it out and saving the storage fees!

(Images courtesy of onealdwych.com, tlloh.com)

this post is in collaboration with Olivia Prat

Web-Blinds Sleep Easy Guide

Web-Blinds Sleep Easy Guide

'To Sleep, Perchance to Dream...'

‘To Sleep, Perchance to Dream…’

Wouldn’t we all like to sleep better?  I know I would.  Web-Blinds have uploaded a guide to doing just that.  I was asked to help them get the word out, and to see if I could improve my own sleep patterns too.  ‘Yep!’ I said, ‘I’ll happily help out.  Any excuse to sleep more.’

You see, my husband snores like a bad-tempered bear with a megaphone most nights, especially if he has a cold or if he’s been out drinking.  Poor love can’t help it.  He even had an operation to stop him snoring, but two days after the op, my then 3 year old daughter, punched him in the nose and ‘something went crack’ as he put it.  This meant that the operation was totally unsucessful and he simply snores in a different tone now, but just as ear-smashingly loud.  Before I developed certain coping methods, I regularly curled up in a ball on the sofa, at the bottom of the kids’ beds and in sleeping bags in the midst of a drift of toys on their floors.  Anything to avoid sleeping in the same room as him.

This is how I have learnt to cope. Not that I’m recommending it to anyone:

The Hello Kitty thing is full of bubble bath, it's nice to have a bath before bed to relax. A glass or two of wine helps knock me out before bed, as do the the 'Extra Strength' non-prescription sleeping tablets and the Co-Codamol helps a little too sometimes.

The Hello Kitty thing contains bubble bath, it’s nice to have a relaxing bath before bed. A glass or two of wine helps knock me out, as do the the ‘Extra Strength’ non-prescription sleeping tablets and the Co-Codamol. I use earplugs sometimes, but I dislike them because I can’t hear if the kids have a nightmare or throw up and need me.

It’s not good is it.  Maybe the bath and the ear-plugs are ok, but the rest of it can’t be a great long term solution can they?  The problem is I have never found a way around this, and literally the only way I can actually sleep in my own bed is to follow this rather unhealthy bedtime regime.

This guide is actually very helpful, it has made me re-evaluate what I’m doing on a regular basis.  Perhaps I can change a few things, and maybe if I do, I can become so relaxed I won’t mind about the snoring.  Firstly there’s this:

A favourite bedtime supper.  'More cheese Grommit?'

A favourite bedtime supper. ‘More cheese Grommit?’

I am terrible for snacking before I go to bed.  Their tips suggest eating cherries, milk, rice, bananas, turkey, sweet potatoes or valerian tea before trying to get some shut-eye….. not cheese.  Probably/definitely not cheese.  I suppose this means that when I do actually fall asleep I’m more likely to have weird dreams and feel less rested than if I’d eaten properly, which would help to release ‘healthy sleep-promoting chemicals and carbohydrates.’  Not sure if I can face sweet potatoes at 11pm, but maybe I should.

Then there’s this:

I often browse Facebook, Twitter and the BBC news before falling asleep.  I never read celebrity gossip pages though.  Oh no.  I'm far too high-brow for that you know.

I often browse Facebook, Twitter and the BBC news on my Android before trying to fall asleep. I never read celebrity gossip pages though. Oh no. I’m far too high-brow for that. Hmm…

Their Sleep Easy guide says a resounding no to this sort of thing.  Their Sleep Guide also says this is a Bad Thing and it will stop me sleeping.  So maybe I should resist the urge to find out about Kanye West and his latest rant about him being God and how he wants to sell leather jogging pants to the world.  Wait a minute, no.  I didn’t mean to say that.  I only ever read things about third world issues and politics really.

I also smoke, not a lot, but enough to probably muck up my sleep according to the Sleep Guide.

Something else I'm doing wrong.  Oops

Something else I’m doing wrong. Oops

I have invested in a couple of things that I hope will improve my sleeping patterns.  Inspired by the Sleep Guide, I thought why not?   One of the reasons I’m not comfortable in my own bed, is that all of our fitted sheets are for a double bed.  We own a king size bed and the sheets ping off the corners all the time, which is really annoying at 3am when you find you’re sleeping face down on bare mattress.  Finally, I plucked up the courage to buy something I’ve always dreamed of. A luxurious 1000 count egyptian cotton fitted sheet, gorgeous.  It fits the bed, it feels sleek and soft to the touch, it’s thick, it’ll last a lifetime – it better had do anyway!

We have a memory foam mattress which I love, and now I have the perfect bed sheets for it  too.

We have a memory foam mattress which I love, and now I have the perfect bed sheets for it too.

So, our bed is now complete.  A good mattress is essential for a good night’s sleep apparently too, so now we have the full set: a decent mattress and something lovely to cover it. So  now, even if I can’t sleep, I’ll be as comfortable as can be.  Snug as a bug in a rug as you might say.

I’ve also bought one of these for my darling husband:

'One Ring To Fix The Snoring' as not mentioned in the Lord of the Rings.

‘One Ring To Fix The Snoring’ as not mentioned in the Lord of the Rings.

This little circle of peace, calm and all things quiet – is an anti-snoring ring.  It works on a principle based on acupuncture.  I really, Really, REAlly, REALLY hope it works.  It arrived yesterday and I have high hopes for it.  Maybe it will save me from a fate worse than deafness and sleeplessness. It certainly fits in with the ‘Keep Unwanted Noizzze At Bay’ section on Web-Blind’s Sleep Easy page.

I’ve read, taken note of and tried to put into practise as much as I can of the Sleep Guide and if it can guide me into long uninterrupted hours of blissful sleep I will be one happy bunny.  Please click on the Sleep Easy Guide if you’d lke to find out more.  I honestly think it makes a lot of sense – apart from the eating sweet potatoes at bedtime bit.

This was written in conjunction with  Web-Blinds.  Thanks to them I may never have to snooze on carpets, chairs or curled up with the dog ever again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MoneySupermarket’s Big Night In!

MoneySupermarket’s Big Night In!

MoneySupermarket recently ran a campaign recently where they gave bloggers £50 to have a Big Night In.  I have to say I jumped at the chance.  I have Little Night’s in far too often, so I thought this would be a nice change.

This year I’m ashamed to say I didn’t manage to do anything for my dad on Father’s Day.  As far as I can remember we were over at our In Laws and although I rang home and had a chat with my dad, I did feel a bit rubbish about the whole thing.  I love my dad and I’d hate for him to think that he’s not appreciated.  What does this have to do with anything you may ask?  Well, I turned this into a MoneySupermarket’s Father’s Day Big Night In. Sorted.

I decided we’d have a ‘Games Night’ and a meal.  Being the lazy moo that I am, I decided on a chinese takeaway.  My dad isn’t a fan of chinese food, so I decided to make a special meal for him.

This lot cost just under £10 from Aldi.

This lot cost just under £10 from Aldi.

My parents arrived at about 6pm and we began perusing the chinese takeaway menu.  I always find them so bewildering (and I’ve never been brave enough to ask what ‘Char Sui’ actually is.

Pretty flower on the menu.  Thought it warranted a photo :O)

Pretty flower on the menu. I thought it warranted a photo.  The geek in me wants to know what kind of flower it is.  A Lotus flower I presume?

After much to-ing and fro-ing we made our menu choices and I badgered Horace into ringing up and ordering.  I got on with cooking Dad’s meal then.  I’d be awful in a restaurant – I asked him if he wanted his steak ‘Burnt or Rare,’ as my culinary skills are a bit dodgy if I’m truthful.  He said ‘Medium’ I think, so I put it under the grill for too long and forgot about it. Doh!  Luckily, in the midst of a game of dominos, I rescued it.  ‘Steak-a-la-very-lightly-burnt’

Belated Happy Father's Day , Dad! x

Belated Happy Father’s Day , Dad! x

We had a huge pile of games to choose from.  The kids got rather over-enthusiastic about it all and brought half of their toy boxes downstairs too.

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Dominoes was fun, Darlek got the hang of it very quickly and so did Sausage.  The only problem was that Sausage was determined that the point of the game was to end up with the most dots on your dominoes and no amount of reasoning could persuade him otherwise.

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Next was ‘Go’, which is a game I have to admit I detest.  I’m terrible at it as it involves proper strategies and fings and I have to use this tiny brain of mine.  Plus Horace always wins when I play this game and I’m a sore loser.    Darlek battled against Horace and to be honest, I’m not sure who won as the takeaway arrived and we were all very distracted by the opening of tupperware tubs and the passing of plates.

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Mum and Dad tried prawn toast for the very first time, both agreed that the toast didn't have any prawns in and were a bit puzzled I think.

Mum and Dad tried prawn toast for the very first time, both agreed that the toast didn’t have any prawns in and were a bit puzzled I think.

We had a quick game of Jenga where everyone cheated all the time, and then we settled on Junior Monopoly.  Sausage got this for his birthday and I have to say, it’s absolutely brilliant.  You use $1 notes for everything and the highest number you need to keep track of is $4, perfect for kids who can’t count so well.  Instead of buying properties you buy Party spaces, and the rent is simply the amount you paid for it.  It’s loads of fun and very easy to play.  It’s just as competitive though, all hell broke loose when I tried to suggest that my Get Out of Jail Free card was worth $1.

IMG_0201We do love our food, our family motto has always been that we ‘Live to Eat, not Eat to Live’ so in the whole spirit of excess, we devoured a trifle too.  Here’s Darlek decorating it, very artistically too, I’m sure you’ll agree!

...squiggle and .....swirl....and pschhhhhh....and curls.  Darlek had a whale of a time with this.

…squiggle and …..swirl….and pschhhhhh….and curls. Darlek had a whale of a time with this.

All in all, we had a really lovely belated Father’s Day, thanks to MoneySupermarket and their blogging challenge.

The kids want to know when we’re going to have another games night, it really was a huge success and we all enjoyed spending time together.  My only grumble is that we have two missing domino pieces now.  I think the sofa might have eaten them.  Perhaps it was envious of us all stuffing our faces and thought it’d have a snack too.

Oh and Dad, I love you loads.  I hope you enjoyed your belated Father’s Day.  x

Really Massive Towels

Really Massive Towels

We tried to make them fly, like Magic Flying Towels, but they wouldn't.  I think these towels might be broken?

We tried to make them fly, like Magic Flying Towels, but they wouldn’t. I think these towels might be broken?

All my life, ever since reading the Hitch-Hikers Guide to The Galaxy, I have been searching for the perfect towel.  Here’s what the Guide says about towels and why they are so important:

“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

But now…….I am now a woman ‘to be reckoned with’ as I am the proud owner of four Really Massive Towels.  John Lewis kindly sent them to me, what a nice man John is.  ‘Thank you John!’

In the spirit of Douglas Adams, I decided to see what alternative uses Really Massive Towels have.

In the spirit of Douglas Adams, I decided to see what alternative uses Really Massive Towels have.

The first thing me and the kids decided on was ‘Hide and Seek.’  Can you spot the child under here?  Probably not.  Towels are great camouflage and should really be used by the military during stealth operations dontcha think?  I may write to the government and suggest this.

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Don’t stick your hand in there, they bite sometimes.

The second use for Really Massive Towels – they make great dens for small children.

Really Massive Towels are great for playing at Spooky Ghosts.  If there were sound effects on here you'd be listening to 'Woooo, WOOOOooooOOO!!!!!!!!'

Really Massive Towels are great for playing at Multi-Coloured Spooky Ghosts or Towel Zombies. If there were sound effects on here you’d be listening to ‘Woooo, WOOOOooooOOO!!!!!!!!’

Darlek shelters from the sun under a Really Massive Towel.

Darlek shelters from the sun under a Really Massive Towel.

And erm…finally, they’re very good for when you get out of the bath and need to get dry.  As I’ve said, I’ve spent almost all my life looking for decent towels – I’ve had hand towels, mid-sized bath towels, face towels, dog towels (just for the family dog, not for me), tea-towels, baby towels with hoods, all sorts.  None of them are a patch on these.

You have to say this bit out loud in a kind of seductive, half whispery voice like on the Marks and Sparks advert.  Are you ready?

‘These aren’t just towels… these are John Lewis, Egyptian Cotton Towels in Copper….Fuschia…..Chilli and …..(long pause for dramatic effect)……… Sage’

They retail for £25 each and are really lush.  If you’d like your own set, please click HERE.  

I’d like to thank ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’, ‘Marks and Sparks’, ‘Dawn of the Living Towel Zombies’ and ‘Winnie the Pooh’ for inspiration.  I’m sure Winnie the Pooh owned a Really Massive Towel at some point. (You see, I’ve been reading Winnie the Pooh recently And He Capitalises Really Strange Phrases, so I’ve just continued with the trend)

John Lewis sent me these Really Massive Towels to review, no other financial reward was offered.  This is a sponsored post with lots of Towels in it.  I can now face the apocalypse (via zombies or Vogons) with confidence. And yes, before you ask, I know where my towel is…

Wigging It!

Wigging It!

Todays blog topic is wigs and wigging it.  ‘Wigging it’ is my new turn of phrase, it means ‘to wear and wander around in a wig.’   You see, that’s what I did today.  Today I Wigged It.  Yup.

logo

Anyone who knows me, knows I’ve had issues with my hair.  My ulcerative colitis is managed by medication, some of which has knackered my hair over time.  I think I noticed it far more than other people did, but it still really bothered me.  My shoulder length blonde hair gradually thinned, slid out from the roots when I washed it, became limp and lifeless and I absolutely hated it.  So I cut it all off in a ‘Britney Spears’ hissy fit stylee.  To be honest, I just wanted a new start.

I’m still on the same meds and will probably be on them for the rest of my life, so I may as well resign myself to having moderately crap hair for the rest of my life.  Soooo, when I saw that Wonderland Wigs were looking for reviewers I jumped at the chance.  It’s not that I think my hair is so terrible it needs hiding, it’s just short – but I miss having long locks of hair swishing around my shoulders and actually feeling feminine.

After much perusing of wigs and lusting after blue hair (which I love, but which would make me look like a loon), I chose one. Here’s how it all went.  This is me pre-wig:

It doesn't look really horrific or anything, but I just feel a if I look 'boyish' rather than feminine.

It doesn’t look really horrific or anything, but I just feel a if I look ‘boyish’ rather than feminine. (I had just had a shower, so that’s why it’s so fetchingly stuck to my scalp)

And this is me, post-wig:

IMG_0117I have decided to call this wig ‘Bob’, when it sits on the table just sitting patiently waiting to be worn, I swear it looks like a small furry animal.  The wig is actually called ‘Catherine’ on the website and is very similar to Kate Middleton’s hair do apparently.

Let me get this straight, I am not a beauty blogger.  Never have been and never will be – I couldn’t tell you the difference between a £2 lipstick and £20 lipstick.  Beauty is not my thing, but practicality is. And I have to say this wig is actually practical and wearable too.  In fact, I wore it on the school run.  I’ve heard it said that ‘you should do something that scares you every day’, I’m not sure if this includes wearing wigs in public places or not, but I thought I’d try it anyway.  This is how it went:

It was 3pm and time to pick the kids up so I took a deep breath, flicked my new luscious long fake hair behind my shoulder, pushed my glasses up my nose (not literally, they wouldn’t quite fit if I did that), straightened my back and slowly stepped out of the front door.  It was scary and the world and my wig, felt very big.  Not to be dissuasuaded, I walked down the hill with the wind in my hair, feeling very exposed, which is strange considering how much hair cover I actually had.

The back of the wig.  I love the curls and the waves.

The back of the wig. I love the curls and the waves.

Walking into the school yard was about the scariest thing I think I’ve done in years.  Even when I shaved all my hair off and was completely bald I felt more confident.  I think it’s something to do with a fear of pretending to be something I’m not. Am I really the type of person who has beautiful hair?  Insecurity is an absolute pain in the arse.  Then again, being shameless is an absolute bonus, and one outweighed the other….so I stood in the school yard and thought ‘Buggerit, stare if you like, I don’t care.’

Darlek turned white and said ‘Mum, get it off!’ and refused to walk with me, although she later admitted that she was getting used to it and that it actually didn’t look so bad.  My son said ‘Mum, you’re wearing a wig! I’m going to go and tell Declan that you’re wearing a wig!’ and ran off.  So I erm, think it went well?  I had to go and talk to Darlek’s teacher at one point and rather than pretend everything was normal and that I’d suddenly grown copious amounts of brown curly hair overnight, I just bit the bullet and said ‘Whaddya think?’ or maybe it was ‘I don’t look a complete tit do I?’, something like that anyway.  I know I put her on the spot, but she did say that it was different, that if she didn’t know me, she wouldn’t have known it was a wig and was generally nice about it.

My sister literally giggled for about 2 minutes none-stop between trying to make polite conversation about the weather and if the wig stayed on my head ok or not.  Thankfully, she did also say that it was probably because she’d never seen me with long dark hair before, so it just looked strange to her.

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One of the mums just grinned lots and walked past me, she usually says hello, so I’m not sure if she just didn’t quite know what to say.  Anyway, I did it and I think I shall do it again.  I LOVE having long hair again.  I just find it a bit awkward when people who know me, know it’s a wig.  I don’t see why I should be ashamed of wearing one though, people have fake boobs these days and boast about it, why shouldn’t I boast about my lovely long fake hair?

This is what it looks like on the inside of the wig:

I wore a very fine mesh cap under the wig to hold my own hair in place and then put the wig on top of that, keeping it in place with the little hooks at the back that you can see here.

I wore a very fine mesh cap under the wig to hold my own hair in place and then put the wig on top of that, keeping it in place with the little hooks at the back that you can see here.

All in all, I’m so impressed with this wig.  I do think you can tell it’s a wig if you look closely enough, but it’s not immediately obvious at all.  It looks natural and it feels quite natural too – I suspect I’ll only be able to brush it very carefully or maybe just with my fingers because I am just a little concerned about the fibres stretching and going fuzzy?  I do need to check on the aftercare instructions to make sure I keep my new hair in good condition.

I am so grateful to Wonderland Wigs for giving me the chance to review one of their wigs, today I actually felt girly and feminine for the first time in months.  I have so missed my long hair, it’s lovely to have it back, even if it in’t really mine.

If you’d like to have a look at some of the other products they stock, have a look at their website HERE, there’s loads of hair accessories, wigs, 3/4 wigs, hair extensions, false eyelashes….all sorts of things.  They’re also really friendly and if you need advice on the best wig/product for you you can chat to them on the Twitter handle  @WonderlandWigs.

They’ve given me a discount code to pass on too, if you use CHAOS when you checkout you’ll get 10% off the price of any 3/4 wig or full wig.   A full wig is only around £25 on average so it’s only the price of a pair of shoes really, worth a go I say! :O)

I feel like 'me' again. :O)

I feel like ‘me’ again. :O)

Wonderland Wigs sent me a wig to review, no other financial reward was given.

If you wear a wig, I’d love to see what it looks like and how you felt the first time you wore it?  Is it normal to feel this nervous? Please feel free to tweet me @Chaoskay or comment, it would be great to share experiences.

Housework and a bit of Unique Interior Design

Housework and a bit of Unique Interior Design

(Sorry for swearing, ‘Housework’ is not always a word that people take kindly to)

I pride myself on my housekeeping and interior design skills.  I’m ace at it.  In fact, I’m so good at it, I  feel I should share my expertise with you…..so you too can be as accomplished as I am.

Tip Number 1:

I recommend keeping a fully stocked bookcase next to the bathroom.  That way you'll never be short of something to read, even if that does mean the ocassional dash with your pants around your ankles.

I recommend keeping a fully stocked bookcase next to the bathroom. That way you’ll never be short of something to read, even if that does mean the occasional foray onto the landing with your jeans around your ankles.

This is a great interior design idea because it also means that you have to walk slightly sideways at the top of the stairs in order to pass the bookcase without knocking books onto the floor, causing a ‘Bookalanche.’  Bookalanches should be avoided, especially if they involve large hardback slippery books.  Small paperbacks are not as dangerous, although are still to be treated with caution.  Either type can cause you to fall head first down lots of stairs.  *Slippery-slip…Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy ….’OW!’*

Tip Number 2:

This is my jewellery box, I like to keep everything together in one place so I know exactly where to find things.  No separate drawers or boxes here!

This is my jewellery box, I like to keep everything together in one place so I know exactly where to find things. No separate drawers or boxes here!

‘Everything in it’s place!’ as my grandma used to say.  Well, this is the place I keep my jewellery.  I can instantly find whatever I want to wear which is really good. Then again, I can very rarely disentangle whatever it is I want to wear, so perhaps this isn’t actually all that good after all.  Hmm….  Dear potential burglars, this is all worth about £2 and is mostly home-made and charity shop fodder.  Just sayin’

Some of my beads and bracelets have ended up on the floor, not because I’ve put them there though.  They just like it there I think.  As long as I use the vacuum cleaner carefully and don’t disturb them it’s all fine.

Tip Number 3:

Cardboard boxes with old consoles in make wonderful mountain climbing ranges for cats.  Kitties love sitting on very fragile 15 year old consoles.

Cardboard boxes with old consoles in make wonderful mountain climbing ranges for cats. Kitties love sitting on very fragile 15 year old consoles.  They particularly love clawing boxes that have been lovingly preserved by anally retentive husbands who think that they’ll ‘be worth a fortune one day.’

Most people look on cardboard boxes as temporary things, the sort of thing you use when you move house and then chuck out afterwards.  Not us!  My mum used to be a school dinner lady, so we have inherited frozen chip boxes which are mega strong and useful.  My sister used to work in a factory that made biscuits and cakes, so we probably have a few labelled ‘Cake’ too.  These boxes are good and strong and will last for years, so why shouldn’t we have at least 5 of them in our bedroom?  When the ceiling lights aren’t on at night, and we can’t see very well, they’re fabulous for falling over.  Now that’s practical interior design for you!  Don’t throw away boxes!  Just work around them. Like forever.

Tip Number 4:

Keep clutter to a maximum.

Keep clutter to a maximum.

You’ve heard the phrase ‘Tidy house, tidy mind!’   Well, I can go one better.  ‘Cluttered house, cluttered-interesting-but-full-of-really-rather-random things…mind!’  That’d be my house/me.  Oh and dusting is pointless, if you dust it just all floats up into the air and then settles again.  Besides, I like writing in it.

Tip Number 5:

You don't need paint or wallpaper if you just cover a wall with shelves full of stuff.

You don’t need paint or wallpaper if you just cover a wall with shelves full of stuff

We like playing Tetris with things, you should try it.  Really.  Just wear proper shoes if you have a full on game because when stuff falls off the shelf it tends to be heavy and hurt your toes if you’re not wearing shoes.  I know this from experience.

Tip Number 6:

IMG_0096

Pile things on your kitchen sides, lots of things, of different shapes and sizes. Just because you can.

Beware of piling things on top of the microwave though, I was once told that it can cause it to blow up.  This interior design style, otherwise known as ‘teetering’ is perfect for really narrow kitchens.  It stops our cat jumping on the sides too, because there are no sides to jump on to.  Clever eh!

We are interior design geniussess, I’m sure you’ll agree.

(This is a sponsored post and this is actually my home.  If there is such an organisation as the ‘House Police,’ I think we may be arrested shortly.)