The Perils of Buying a Second Hand House

So it’s the middle of the night, the hottest day of the year and in fact it’s Summer Solstice, yes that’s right the longest day of the year and I’m lying here hot, tired, sweaty praying for some sleep before the morning routine starts again.  Just as I start to drift off for the 23rd time tonight my dream comes true, you know that inbuilt sprinkler system you wished you had above your bed that gently sprays cold water over you to cool you down in this sweltering heat.

Oh HELL NO!!!  Sitting bolt upright I suddenly realise that I haven’t fallen back into the land of nod, I do in fact have water splattering in my face from my ceiling above my bed, soaking my duvet that has casually been pushed to the bottom of the bed throughout the night in my bid to cool down.  Until the droplets appeared on my face I hadn’t concluded what was going on lower down my bed and the main trail of water appears to be coming through scarily close to the chandelier light fitting in the centre of my bedroom leaving my duvet pretty much drenched!

Rushing to my feet in utter horror, I run up the attic stairs and see that the loft conversion bathroom floor is swimming in water and spreading a couple of feet across the main room carpet. Help!!  At this point my 9yr old comes running up and I yell at her to grab some towels, find the mop, just anything and she starts telling me about her tooth fairy visit that happened in the night (well about 10am – shhhh!) and is trying to read me the note the fairy has left her!

Next mission is to find the cause of my middle of the night rain shower, bearing in mind it now feels like I’m in 100 degrees heat, the attic should be reincarnated as a sauna in its next life I tell you, the sweat is now dripping off my face faster than the water dissipating through the floor!

Bingo!!  Mummy struck gold – well not literally – but I have single-handedly resolved my current predicament and discovered that due to the sink tap being left on with a very slight drip and a missing aerator under the bottom of the sink tap, the water didn’t actually drip into the sink but came back on itself under the tap and went over the edge of the sink causing the sea of mayhem I’m in right now.

Quite frankly, this is the story of my life with my recently purchased second hand house.  At first glance it looks ok, nice area, great layout, large extended space downstairs, amazing garden,  just a little modernising required here and there, a touch of tlc and a fresh lick of paint and you’d think it would be a lovely family home.  But no, once you move in you find out that a previous owner who carried out the loft conversion, downstairs extension and all the other botched DIY jobs that we come across quite literally bungled his way through fixing things up, ditching official tradesmen along the way to add his cheap mismatched fittings, and scrapyard finds, leaving doors hanging askew, unfinished jobs and to put it bluntly extremely shoddy workmanship in every aspect of our house.  So of course with this attitude, who would care if a little thing like a tap aerator fell out – you wouldn’t bother putting it back in or buying a replacement would you – well not if you were my previous owner!!!

It just goes to show how little things left undone can escalate into substantial issues for the future.  Running through my head I wonder what would have happened if I’d just gone to work for the day….   Please fix any problems as you find them, don’t leave them.  Not only does a slapdash attitude send a house into a downward spiral of DIY disarray, the jobs seem harder and costlier to fix in the long run ultimately devaluing your home.  Houses are a huge investment and one I want to continue to grow for my future.  The events of the early hours of this morning are proof of that – with some love and care I WILL turn this house into a home!

P.S. My 6yr old slept through the commotion – oh to be young again!

Festive Ice Cubes with Filtered Water from Brita

At Christmas time it’s nice to present food and drink a little differently, a bit pretty with a festive touch, so I’ve been preparing some festive themed ice cubes ready for my guests to enjoy in their drinks on the big day.  Using filtered water from my Brita Marella Silver Jug I was already feeling the festive spirit and couldn’t wait to get started.

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For Christmas inspiration I purchased some blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and rosemary to give that festive zing!  I started by setting up my beautifully festive and pretty Brita Marella jug with it’s filter and water and putting this in the fridge to chill.  The glittery silver design on top is particularly pretty and brings a sparkle to my fridge and adds a shine at Xmas.

britaI then added various berries, herbs and filtered water to my ice cube trays and tried to choose trays with appropriate shapes for the festive season such as stars and long oblong shapes that would sit prettily in glasses.  What I love about these is that they are so versatile and you can use them in plain water, lemonade or cocktails.  The choice is yours.  I added a drop of orange juice to some of the star cubes for added flavour but love that all the ingredients add both flavour, texture and a really attractive addition to your Christmas drink!

brita-3 Using water is so simple but adds an interesting touch to drinks at Christmas and is something that all your guests will love.  With the water being filtered you know it has a better flavour and your ice cubes will melt perfectly into the drink.wp_20161211_16_37_13_pro

We’ve enjoyed using Brita filtered water to create our festive ice cubes and can’t wait to share them with guests over the festive season.  Why not try some too, it’ll add a bit of fun and fruity delight to drinks that guests will love!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

 

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Aquabeads Design Creations Beginners Studio

Aquabeads are a brand we’ve never tried before although have done very similar crafts, so were keen to see how these faired.  When Come Round offered us the chance of holding a party to share Aquabeads with some of the children’s friends we couldn’t wait to get inviting and have a few friends round for some Aquabeads fun.

aquabeadsMy two children were keen to get started so helped me set things out ready to show our guests when they arrived.  To keep everyone happy we gave everyone an Aquabeads mini playset and a few demo packs to do as we had enough of these for everyone.  I have to say I was really impressed with the mini packs as they are small and compact but once you open them up, there is a good choice of beads and you can make quite a few mini creations with the set.  My little boy couldn’t resist making the turtle as this is his favourite animal.

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Here’s my two children in action, busy beading away and they loved spraying the water on at the end and seeing the result of their work.  What I like about Aquabeads is that the designs come to life really well and by just placing a few beads together you get a lovely finished piece.

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Once everyone had made a few creations I put them out on a couple of trays in the garden to dry and it was really sunny and warm.

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Once we’d had fun at the party with the mini kits, it was time to check out the Aquabeads Beginners Studio.  This is a large kit with over 800 beads and a really useful storage case.  It has a pretty shooting star style tray area to house all your different beads with extra storage underneath for all the extra accessories.  The lid comes off to become your work station with an attached template with a slit behind to put your design sheets.

aquabeads-4We really loved the bead pen that comes with this.  Although you can easily do the designs with your fingers, the pen makes it a whole lot easier and the children loved using it.  My children spent the rest of the day after the party making designs with the beginners studio and I’d definitely recommend it as a great kit for anyone interested in Aquabeads.

aquabeads-5This set includes four sheets of designs although you can of course make your own up. The beads in this set are also a mix of plain solid coloured round beads and translucent jewel beads which gives a really nice mix and finish to the creations.  All the finished pieces are brightly coloured and really give children a sense of achievement.

september-blogThis is a really fun craft that helps with fine motor skills and following a pattern.  It also covers a range of ages too, as the designs can range from simple to complex, anything goes with Aquabeads!  The other parents of children that came to try Aquabeads were really impressed and loved the little creations their children made and took home so they were an all round hit with everyone.

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What’s great is that you can get refill packs of Aquabeads so if you do have the beginners studio then you can refill your beads at any time and continue making fun designs!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review and also share with others as part of our Come Round party.

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BRITA back to school hydration challenge – Results and Giveaway

Following on from my post last week about the Brita back to school hydration challenge, Miss M has now successfully used her Brita Fill & Go bottle for a whole week at school so I’m keen to share with you how she got on. #BetterWithBRITA

Brita Some of the facts Brita found out about children and how much water they drink are:

  • Almost thee quarters of parents (73%) do not know how much their children drink whilst at school
  • Two thirds (66%) do not know the recommended daily intake of fluid for children
So 7yr old Miss M went to school armed with her new bottle, it can be used with or without the internal straw, but she prefered without and just liked to tip it up.  Each day after school I asked her to show me how much water was left in the bottle and how many times she had filled it up.
brita MThe bottle holds 600ml and it’s recommended that your child drinks two of these during the school day which I do think is a lot.  I was surprised to hear that Miss M had filled her bottle two times every day last week and each day she only came back with about an inch of water in the bottle which I think is excellent – she must have been drinking at least a litre of water during the school day which even she said is much more than she usually does.
The stickers on the side of the bottle definitely helped and she was motivated by them and wanted to drink the amount of water as per the guide on the stickers.  I think talking about it with her each day also helped as it kept her focused on how much she drunk and she was eager to show me her bottle at the end of each day.
I think the Brita Fill & Go with stickers has really motivated my daughter to think about how much she is drinking and also drink more than usual.  It’s a great idea to get children motivated into keeping themselves hydrated.
For more information about the Brita Fill & Go check out their page HERE.
I have one Brita Fill & go bottle including stickers to give away to one lucky reader.  Just fill in the Gleam form below:

We received a Brita Fill & Go bottle in order to join in with this challenge

BRITA back to school hydration challenge

The BRITA back to school hydration challenge is a great way of getting children to drink more water during the day, and see whether they are achieving the amount they should be or not.

This activity is to highlight the importance of children’s hydration throughout the school day with water and provides a fun way for children to learn about what they should be drinking and at what points in the day, based on official guidelines (the ruler outlines the amount of water that needs to be drunk by 1st break, lunch, 2nd break and home).

BritaWe received a Brita Fill & Go bottle to carry out this challenge along with some stickers to add to the sides of the bottle to show the amount that should be drunk during the day.  7yr old Miss M was very excited by this bottle and couldn’t wait to take on the challenge this week at school.  She loves the butterfly and flowers design of the stickers on the side and was eager to start drinking from the bottle straight away.

Brita 2The bottle will be used everyday at school with Miss M showing me how much is left in it when she gets home and telling me how many times she filled it up.

I’ll be revealing the results of her Brita back to school hydration challenge next week, so keep an eye out to see how she gets on or check out the hashtag #BetterWithBrita for updates.

We received a Brita Fill & Go bottle in order to join in with this challenge