5
Mar

Get down & dirty with some spring cleaning

The sun is rising earlier, setting later, and slowly the temperature is starting to climb. But that also means that it’s time to get down and dirty with some spring cleaning. For some this can be daunting, and for others a cathartic experience to remove the clutter from their lives. We have some great tips to help make your spring cleaning an easy and simple process.

Before you even start cleaning, there are some steps you can follow to help you through the process:

  1. Draw up a schedule and break up your cleaning into easy to manage portions – by breaking it up over several days you won’t tire yourself out and the process can become more enjoyable.
  2. Tackle your cleaning one room at a time – by tackling one room at a time you can give it all your attention, for example, in your bedroom you can take the time to organise your closet and get rid of things you don’t wear or need.
  3. Get everything you need before you start cleaning to avoid having to stop.
  4. Create multiple piles of items as you go through your house, one for storage, one for charity and a rubbish pile for the things you want to throw out.

BE MASTERFUL WITH YOUR MUCK

The kitchen and bathroom are probably the worst places to clean as the steam from cooking and hot showers can make the dirt and grime more difficult to remove. There are plenty of tricks and clever products that will make this arduous task a lot easier.

  • Lemon cleans stainless steel – Simply halve a lemon and use it to scrub away those annoying streaks and marks.
  • Steam clean your microwave – Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar and a few drops of a scented essential oil of your choice with water and place this in the microwave on a high temperature for five minutes. Not only will it remove those tough stains and food build up, it will smell great too.
  • Organise your refrigerator – Place a lazy Susan in your fridge for bottles, jars and containers, to make it easier to get to the items that you want, and keep your fridge organised. Plastic containers are also a great way to keep your food fresh, and make it easy to see what you have in stock.
Images: Asda, Argos, Wilko

HOME Clip Fresh Plastic Food Containers Pack of 10 £16.99 at Argos
Sistema Multi-Coloured Klip it Food Storer 5 Litres £7.00 at Asda
Wilko Food Container Square 2.3 Litre £2.50 at Wilko

BRIGHT AND BLISSFUL BATHROOMS

Steam marks and water stains can be laborious to clean, and with so many products required for daily grooming, your bathroom is bound to look untidy unless you create clever storage solutions. Look out for storage products to ensure everything is kept neat, while being easily accessible.

  • Get rid of water stains and product build up – Tumble Dryer sheets are great for removing product build up on glass shower doors.
  • Keep your bathroom smelling fresh – Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil inside your toilet paper roll for a constant, pleasant smell.
  • Deep clean your shower head – Regularly fill a sandwich bag with baking soda and vinegar and tie this around your shower head. Let this soak overnight to loosen dirt and grime and use an old toothbrush to scrub it clean.
Images: Sainsbury’s & Wilko

ODIN Bamboo and white lacquer 3 tier storage unit £80.00 and ODIN Bamboo and white 3 shelf corner unit £80.00 at Sainsbury’s
4 Tier Storage Unit White £18.00 and Pop up Laundry Bin £3.00 at Wilko

Images: Wilko, Sainsbury’s & Argos

COLLIER Copper metal over door hooks £12.00 at Sainsbury’s
Wilko Over Door Rack £10.00 at Wilko
Croydex Hookover Steel Shower Caddy £11.99 and HOME 2 Tier Hookover Shower Caddy £6.99 at Argos

SOLVE YOUR STORAGE WOES

For most people, storage is an issue. Either there is not enough storage space at home, or drawers and cupboards are untidy, and things are difficult to find. But there are a few simple steps you can follow to make sure that your bedroom cupboards, laundry cupboard and even your sitting room are neat, and that everything has a proper place.

The great thing about storage, is you can choose whether you want to make it a feature of the room, or if you want it hidden. And when it comes to your wardrobe, vacuum packing the clothes is a great way to clear up some space.

HOME Single 2 Rail Wardrobe Frame £39.99, HOME 2 Tier Shoe Rack £19.99, Protect & Store Mixed Vacuum Storage Bags 6 Piece Set £11.99, and HOME 10 Pocket Hanging Canvas Shoe Storage £5.49 all at Argos

Images: Ryman, Argos, The Works

HOME Large Fabric Ottoman £32.99 at Argos
Habitat Jacobs Upholstered Storage Bench £250.00 at Argos
Really Useful Storage Box 9 Litre Pack of 2 £10.00 at Ryman
Floral Storage Suitcases Set Of 3 £7.00 at The Works

5
Mar

Hop to the challenge of Easter

Don’t let the Easter Bunny get the better of you. Hop to the challenge of preparing the perfect Easter family gathering without falling victim to any unnecessary stress.

Easter is meant to be about new life and regeneration, so let this shine through in your décor and food choices. There are a few simple steps to follow to help you pull of the perfect Easter gathering with as little stress and fuss as possible.

  1. Choose a theme – Pick a colour palette, flower or ornament that you want to make the hero of your day.
  2. Decide on the menu – Planning your menu early can help reduce the stress of preparing all the food at the last minute. Select foods and dishes that won’t require you to spend the day in the kitchen.
  3. Organise your shopping list early and buy as much as possible in advance, making the most of seasonal offers in supermarkets and department stores.

FOOD FAYRE

For any gathering, the meal is usually the main focus, and all other aspects should complement this. As a fun way to play on the idea of new life and renewal that accompanies Easter, why not incorporate baby vegetables, like baby carrots and baby asparagus as your side dishes or look for seasonal produce new to the market? When it comes to the main dish, choose recipes that won’t have you slaving away in the kitchen for hours and missing out on the family fun. Dishes that can be prepared the day before are ideal for entertaining the masses and maxing out on family time.

EGG-CITING ALTERNATIVES

Even though Easter will have the kids hunting for chocolate Easter eggs, why not look at an alternative this year and let them hunt for something a bit more egg-citing that will last longer than a quick scoff?

The Hatchimals CollEGGtibles egg cartons are a fun way to keep the kids surprised and entertained. And they aren’t just for the kids. Buy a box and hide them for the adults too. They will make cute desk ornaments at the office.

Images: Argos

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Egg Carton – 12 Pack £24.99 and 2 Pack Egg Carton £4.99 at Argos

You can also share the love this Easter with a fun card or other adorable Easter inspired keepsakes that will bring a smile to people’s faces. Find healthy Easter treat options available from health shops.

Images: Clintons & Card Factory

Easter Bunny Felt Keepsake Gift Bag £5.00 at Clintons
Easter inspired mugs £7.99 and Easter cards from 99 pence at Card Factory

 

Images: Holland & Barrett

Freedom Mallows Vegetarian Mini Pink & White Vanilla Marshmallows 75g £2.49, Vego Organic Hazelnut Chocolate Bar 65g £1.99, and Raw Health Organic Blissed Chocada Truffles 65g £2.49 all Holland & Barrett

PAINT YOURSELF PRETTY

As the hostess with the mostess you’ll need to look the part. Spring is a great time to have fun with your look and experiment with make-up in new colour palettes. Whether you paint your nails a delicious candyfloss pink, or you add ribbons and bows to your hair, paint yourself pretty in pastels.

Images: Boots & Superdrug

Barry M Scented Candy Culture Nail Paint £3.99 at Boots
Essie Matte Leather Effect Pastel Nail Polish Rebecca Minkoff Collection Trio Mini £12.99 at Boots
Maybelline Color Show Glitter Nail Polish 232 Rose Chic 7ml £3.99 and Maybelline Forever Strong Gel 130 Rose Poudre Nail Polish £4.49 at Superdrug

Mini silver glitter bow hair barrette £3.00, Jumbo coral chiffon bow hair clip £6.00 and Baby pink lace hair bow £4.50 all at Claire’s

5
Mar

Glorious gifts for Mother’s Day

Ahead of Mother’s Day on Sunday 11 March we look at some glorious gifts for even the most discerning of Mums. Besides the customary chocolates and flowers, it can sometimes be challenging to know what to choose to be your gift to her. She has done so much for you, the least you can do is show your appreciation and love with a well-thought-out gift she will love that she may not splurge on for herself.

MAKE MEMORIES

If your mother is notorious for her love of photos, then buying her a camera to capture special (and even mundane) family moments may be just the right gift for her. Why not help her access these memories in an instant with the HP Sprocket Printer or an instax camera? – and if she isn’t so hot to embrace new technology, then don’t worry! An alternative for your photo loving mum is to get a special family photograph framed for her, or get a photo printed onto a bag, cushion or mug, or something else she will use and cherish.

Images: Argos

HP Sprocket Photo Printer £119.99, HP Sprocket Zink Photo Paper 20 Sheets £9.99, and HP Sprocket Mobile Printer White Accessory Bundle £129.99 all at Argos & selected retailers

Images: Argos

instax Mini 9 Camera with 10 shots in Smoky White £74.99, and instax Mini 70 camera with 10 shots in White £99.99 both at Argos & selected retailers

Images: Max Spielmann

White Natasha 6×4 inch Photo Frame £7.00 (plus cost of printing the photo), ‘Love You Mum’ Make Up Bag Large from £30.00, and Square Plastic Photo Keyring from £4.45 all Max Spielmann

SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND

While diamonds may be beyond your Mother’s Day budget, jewellery is a great way to show her how much you love her, and it’s a gift that she will treasure for years to come. Keep your eyes peeled for bargains ahead of Mother’s Day, as many jewellers have special offers ahead of the day.

Images: Pandora, F. Hinds

Best Mother Charm £25.00 and Love for Mother Charm £35.00at Pandora
Three Silver Floating Hearts Necklace £19.95 at F. Hinds

A BAG FOR EVERY OCCASION

Whether your marvellous mum is a fashionista, or more of a practical lady, a handbag as a gift could be ideal. Whether you opt for a luxurious evening bag or a handy daytime tote, this is a gift she can use and enjoy. Visit her favourite fashion or department store to find the perfect arm candy in a hue she will adore.

Images: New Look, Dorothy Perkins, Peacocks

Black Metallic Trim Structured Tote Bag £27.99 at New Look
Women’s Grey Bar Bag £25.00 at Peacocks
Rose Pink Mini Bow Tote Bag £20.00 at Dorothy Perkins

PAMPER HER PRETTY

What woman doesn’t love to be pampered? There are some great at-home pamper products on the market at a range of prices. Look in department stores, specialist beauty & bath products stores, bargain shops, and of course high-street chemists for luscious bath bombs, delectable body lotions and potions, fabulous facial products and sensational fragrances. Giving her some “me-time” and the gift of indulgence and relaxation is priceless.

Images: Boots, The Body Shop

Clinique Smart Indulgence Gift Set £42.00 at Boots
Ted Baker Blush Bouquet Cosmetic Bag Gift £24.00 at Boots
Strawberry Heart Gift Set £10.00 at The Body Shop
British Rose Head-to-Toe Collection £25.00 at The Body Shop

Images: Boots, The Perfume Shop, The Fragrance Shop

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Eau De Toilette 50ml Spray £22.80 at Boots
Calvin Klein CK One Eau De Toilette 200ml Spray £32.00 at The Fragrance Shop
Lancôme Miracle Eau de Parfum for her £62.99 at The Perfume Shop

THE WRITTEN WORD

No gift can convey to your wonderful mum how you feel about her more than the written word. When it comes to choosing a card, choose wisely. Whether you choose one that comes with a message, or you get a blank card to write your own personal and special message, there are lovely Mother’s Day cards available to tell her just how much you love her.

Images: Clintons, Card Factory

Special Mum Bouquet Mother’s Day Card £3.50 at Clintons
Mother’s Day Card Mum Large Letters Floral £2.50 at Clintons
Mother’s Day Card – Butterflies £1.99 at Card Factory
Mother’s Day Card – Mummy No One Is Half As Funny £0.99 at Card Factory

30
Jan

Bring the love into your home

Valentine’s Day is the day that many couples look forward to, to show each other how much they love one another. While dining out can be a wonderful treat, it can also be expensive. So why not do something special at home instead? You will certainly have the place to yourselves, be able to indulge in your favourite foods, and take your time over your meal. Valentine’s Day at home doesn’t have to be boring or drab. With the right table décor and music, you can create a magical night.

SET THE SCENE

For any special meal at home your table décor is important, this includes any cutlery and crockery that you use. As it will most likely just be two of you on the night, you can always go out and buy special tableware, and keep it to use again next Valentine’s Day or for your anniversary meal. There are a number of retailers that sell loose plates, bowls and cutlery, or you can splurge on a dining set and ensure you have spares if something breaks.

Images: Tesco

Luminarc Trianon dinner plate (28cm), side plate (20cm), and bowl (12cm) £2.99 each at Tesco

Images: Argos, Asda

Home Hearts 12 piece porcelain dinner set £22.99 at Argos
12 piece Cross Stitch heart dinner set £15.00 at Asda
16 piece heart cutlery set £8.00 at Asda

FINISHING TOUCHES

Once you have all your crockery and cutlery sorted, it’s time to create the right atmosphere with candles, flowers, and any other special mementos that mean something to you and your Valentine. The soft glow of candle light will help enhance the romantic atmosphere that you are trying to create.

Images: Primark, Poundland, Argos, Asda, Tesco

Scented love heart candles £3.00 at Primark
Flickering tealight candles (4 pack) £1.00 at Poundland
Sainsbury’s Home large candle (Wild cotton & Ylang) £6.50 at Argos
George Home taper candles (10 pack) £2.00 at Asda
Tesco Basic tealights (100 pack) £2.00 at Tesco

The final touch to any table is napkins. No one wants to be left stranded when they accidentally mess something at the table. And with so many great designs available, you can find something to match your colour scheme for the evening.

Images: Tesco, Sainsbury’s

Tesco Red Napkins 33cm (50 Pack) £1.50 at Tesco
Bird Napkin 33cm (20 Pack) £1.50 at Tesco
Sainsbury’s Home Heart Repeat Lunch Napkin (20 Pack) £2.00 at Sainsbury’s

On the day, getting some fresh flowers to add to the table could be a nice touch. Roses can be pricey, so if your budget won’t stretch to roses, you can always get your Valentine’s favourite flowers. It will be more personal and mean so much more to them.

You can also have your favourite songs playing in the background, as well as having your favourite movie on stand-by if you want to cuddle up on the couch after your romantic meal.

A LOVE LETTER

With all the effort you’ve put into planning your Valentine’s Day meal, you might not need to get a gift for your Valentine, but a special card would not go amiss. Head into Card Factory to find a wonderful selection of cards, with messages targeted to husbands, wives, fiancées, boyfriends and girlfriends.

Images: Card Factory
30
Jan

Spoil him this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is often focused on women, enlisting men with gift ideas of what he could buy for the special lady in his life, with flowers, jewellery and chocolates being popular choices. But for a woman, Valentine’s Day is also a time to show her love and appreciation for her special man. Hearts and flowers are not something that most men will appreciate, so to make your Valentine’s Day gift shopping easier, we have found some great gift ideas for men in some of your favourite stores.

THE TECHY ADDICT

If you’re willing to spend a lot of money on his Valentine’s Day gift, new tech is a great way to go. He might have dropped some hints about the gadgets he wants, but if he hasn’t, we have some tech options you could consider.

A great pair of headphones are ideal for the man who loves music, gaming, or watching movies and box sets on his laptop. A new gaming console might be outside of your budget, but if gaming is his thing and your budget can stretch to it, there are some brilliant games consoles to consider.

Images: Argos, Game

Bose Quiet Comfort 25 Headphones £253.99 at Argos
Xbox One X 1TB Console £449.99 at Argos
Nintendo Switch Console £279.99 at Argos
PlayStation 4 500GB FIFA 18 with Second DualShock 4 Controller £279.99 at Game

A more affordable gaming option is to buy him a new game for the console he already has. There are a number of highly anticipated games for 2018, unfortunately most of them won’t be released in time for Valentine’s Day. But there are still a few new releases and soon to be released games that you can consider as potential gifts.

Images: Argos, Game

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom for PS4 available 19 January £42.99 at Argos and Game
Dragon Ball FighterZ for Xbox One and PS4 available 26 January £43.99 at Argos and Game
Monster Hunter World for Xbox One and PS4 available 26 January £41.99 at Argos
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT for PS4 available 30 January £41.99 at Argos
Shadow of the Colossus for PS4 available 6 February £29.99 at Argos and Game

A SCENT SENSATION

Fragrances aren’t just for women. A designer fragrance could be a great gift option, especially if this is something he likes but wouldn’t normally purchase for himself. You can pick up some great deals and gift sets in the lead up to Valentine’s Day that the special man in your life will adore.

Images: The Fragrance Shop

Gucci Guilty Pour Homme Eau De Toilette 50ml £48.50, Paco Rabanne Invictus Eau De Toilette 100ml £58.00, French Connection UK Friction Him Eau De Toilette 100ml Gift Set £20.00, David Beckham Intimately Eau De Toilette 75ml £12.00, and Versace Eros Eau De Toilette 100ml £69.50 all at The Fragrance Shop

Images: Boots

Boss In Motion Eau De Toilette 90ml £34.56, Diesel Only The Brave Tattoo Eau De Toilette 125ml £37.00, James Bond 007 Eau De Toilette 75ml £16.00, and Givenchy Gentlemen Only Absolute Eau De Toilette 50ml Gift Set £35.32 all at Boots

SUPER STYLE HIM

Clothing may be considered a more intimate gift item, as fashion is a personal choice, but if you feel confident enough to choose something for him to wear, then shirts and jackets make great gifts. However, when it comes to shirts, avoid anything too flamboyant and rather stick to muted colours and simple patterns like check and stripe designs, as this is more likely to be well received by your Valentine than a bright pink floral shirt, unless that is something that they would usually wear.

Images: New Look, Blue Inc. Officer’s Club

Black Check Pocket Front Shirt £19.99 at New Look
Industrialize White and Navy Check Shirt and Tee Set £16.99 at Officers Club
Twisted Soul Black Long Sleeve Nep Shirt £10.00 at Blue Inc.

Images: New Look, Blue Inc. Officer’s Club

Black Shearling Aviator Jacket £59.99 at New Look
TS Heritage Blue Denim Sherpa Jacket £20.00 at Blue Inc.
Soul Star Navy Blue Quilted Bomber Jacket £19.99 at Officers Club

22
Aug

Love is a new lunchbox

As the new school year approaches at a slightly alarming rate, uniform and backpack-buying duty looms. If your kids’ lunchboxes have seen better days, or you’re giving into their demands for new kit, read on to discover our new-term favourites. These boxes and bags are suitable for pre-school, primary and secondary school students, combine clever, leak-free compartments, wipe-clean interiors and some serious insulation.

BEST FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES

Sistema Triple Split Lunchbox £10.95 Tesco

This multi compartmental BPA-free plastic lunch box is simple, durable and comes in a range of bold and bright colours. Split into three compartments, a large section for a sandwich or roll and two smaller compartments for snack or fruit and a 150ml screw top yoghurt pot that fits neatly into one of the smaller compartment, it is sealed tight with sturdy clips.

Images: Tesco

Polar Gear Lunch Bag and Bottle £11.99 Argos

The Polar Gear lunch set comes complete with a spacious 2 compartment cool bag and 650ml tritan bottle. It is great for everyday use at work, school or just out for the day and can be wiped clean easily.

My Little Lunch Urban Camouflage Lunch Bag and Bottle £17.99 Argos
This urban style rucksack lunchbag comes complete with a water bottle. The My Little Lunch fun camouflage style lunch bag is fully insulated with an easy wipe, food safe lining, keeping food fresh and cool and has a matching sports bottle. Well worth the price tag!

Images: Argos

 

Playpiece Lunch Bag £6.99 (reduced from £11.99) Trespass

The Playpiece kid’s lunch bag keeps food cool and safe. It’s also ideal for picnics at the park or a day out exploring. Designed with a clip on carry strap that can be easily removed and a carry handle on top, the Playpiece bag has a full zip and comes in a cool helicopter design or funky flower pattern to suit your kid’s tastes.

Images: Trespass

 

Smash Heart Bag & Bottle £7.00 George at Asda

Bring fashion and design to lunchtime with this bright and colourful heart bag from Smash! Smash Insulated Cases are made from durable Polyester with an extra thick foam insulation to keep contents colder longer. Food Safe and BPA, PVC with a lead free lining, the leak proof bottle is also included.

Images: George at Asda

 

BEST FOR OLDER KIDS

Polar Gear Bento Lunchbox £6 Wilko

Available in pink or black this versatile bento style lunch chiller helps keep your lunch cool and fresh. It comes with a fill at home ice pack and a fork and spoon included, and boasts 3 separate food compartments ideal for storing salads, sandwiches, sushi as well as snacks.

Images: Wilko

Bergner Black Cube Lunch Bag £22.99 Argos

The stylish and most compact of all lunchbags, this set includes two lunch boxes of different sizes, one all-purpose tray, two cotton napkins and one cooler bag. It has a wide padded shoulder strap and carrying handle and the case features an aluminium and foam layer for heat insulation.

Images: Argos

BEST FOR LITTLE ONES

Polar Gear Kids Insulated Lunch Bag 9.99 Shoe Zone

The fabulous Polar Gear Kids 3D Insulated Lunch Bags pack a healthy lunch. The 3D is insulated which will keep their food cool and fresh for longer and food safe, plus it also has a wipe clean PVC free lining, Choose from a colourful Owl, Cupcake or a Football design.

Images: Shoe Zone

Disney Frozen Elsa Lunch Bag £12.00 Claire’s

We love this pretty Disney Frozen lunch bag. With glitter detailing, a zip fastening all the way around and 2 grab handles, your little girl’s friends could mistake it for a super trendy handbag. Currently when you buy one item at Claire’s you’ll get a second free.

Paw Patrol ‘Chase’ 3D Lunch Bag £9.99 Deichmann

Entice your active little boy to sit still long enough to eat lunch with this 3D insulated lunch bag that feature’s Paw Patrol’s Chase. It’s a must-have for Paw Patrol fans.

Images: Claire’s and Deichmann

 

Sistema 1.5L Slimline Quaddie Pink £4.00 Asda

The Slimline Quaddie is part of the Sistema Lunch range and has been specifically designed for packed lunches – ideal for school, picnics and days out. There is a large lower section for sandwiches and other lunch items. In addition there are two smaller sections in the top for snacks and smaller items of fruit. A further top section contains a small water bottle.

Images: Asda
22
Aug

Store and restore for the new season

The last throw of summer is the prime time to de-clutter your home. For many, the end of the long summer holidays and the beginning of September marks the start of a new era and the perfect opportunity to restore your home to a calmer state. Not only is a clutter free environment less hazardous, it’s so much nicer to live in and will create a positive mind-set for every inhabitant. So when it comes to the shared spaces in your home, where should you begin?

HAZARD-FREE HALLWAYS

A clutter-free hallway makes life easier. Imagine walking in and out of your home without tripping over a pile of shoes and seeing coats thrown over the stair banister or a chair. How about having a designated place to put your mail, a spot to empty the contents of your pockets into, and a nominated place to drop your keys?

Say goodbye to an unruly mess of shoes at the front door and keep them stowed away neatly in a specialist shoe storage cupboard. You’ll have less dirt and dust trampled through your home, plus the top of the shoe cupboard can also be used to store keys, letters and loose change. If you have the space for a console table then invest now. Those small drawers will hold a bucket load of small objects you don’t want to be on view. Lastly invest in a coat rack, be it a freestanding one or a wall mounted one, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.

Images: The Works, Wilko, WHSmith; Argos

9 Drawer Wooden Chest £10 and Decorative Wooden Box £5 from The Works; Laura Ashley Grace Gold Floral Print Multi Drawer Unit £13.99 from WHSmith; Wicker Letter Holder £6.00 from Wilko; Hygena Lydiard Gloss Shoe Cabinet £134.99 from Argos

LIVING ROOM LOVE

Dual-purpose furniture is the way to optimise storage of your belongings and keep your living room tidy and clutter free. Make your coffee table work harder for you and invest in one with shelves or secret compartments.

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Alternatively a wooden chest or dresser with drawers where you can store bits and bobs, and ottomans and footstools used to store away your winter blankets, cushions, board games and magazines, are all great investments towards reclaiming your sanctuary. Also think about optimising your walls for storage. Floating shelves, cubes and hanging racks will help create more space and work brilliantly for books, plants, ornaments and photo albums.

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Images: Wilko, B&M Stores, Argos

Clovelly Coffee Table Grey £150 from Wilko; Multi Compartment Shelf £9.99 from B&M Stores; Habitat Bumble Coffee Table £119 from Argos; Ladder Bookcase £70 from Wilko

A STRESS FREE WORKSPACE

The big challenge when de-cluttering your workspace or home office, whether you are working from home, or your kids are using it for homework, is managing all of your paper clutter. Paper clutter is a beast, so whether you decide to keep it or trash it, you’ll need to file it or shred it.

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To make your work area work for you, create filing storage either with drawer inserts, collapsible boxes or a separate filing cabinet, utilise drawers for stationary and equipment, desk tidies, cable ties and invest in a shredder to sit nicely underneath the desk on a specialist under desk storage stand.

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Images: The Works, WHSmith, Argos; Ryman

New York Collapsible Storage Box from The Works £6.99 or 2 for £10; London Underground Collapsible Storage Box from The Works £7.00 or 2 for £10; Safco Wire Under Desk Printer Stand Black £75 from WHSmith; Rexel Style Plus Shredder £69.99 from Argos; Bisley Cabinet 5 Drawer £51.99 from Ryman; Totally Tropical Pineapple Pen Pot £7.99 Ryman

CRAFTY KITCHEN TIPS

The most used and the most sociable room in the home can be a huge challenge to keep clutter free. Because the kitchen has so many different types of items stored in it from food to appliances to Ziploc bags and utensils, everything needs to be stored logically and in its correct zone. Begin the de-cluttering process by choosing either a zone or a type of item and then work on the list from there.

Why not organise your countertop with specialist racks for spices, mug trees, storage bottles and containers and free up your cupboards for food, crockery and pots and pans?

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Images: Poundland, B&M Stores, Wilko, Argos

Large Glass Storage Jar £1 from Poundland; Retro Tea, Coffee & Sugar £8.99 from B&M Stores; Vertex Copper Finish Fruit Basket and Mug Tree £28.99 from Argos; Hygena Tea, Coffee and Sugar Stacker £17.99 from Argos; 6-piece glass spice rack £6.00 from Wilko

Seek out clever solutions for creating tiers within your cupboards and products that can utilise the inside of doors, under the sink and the top of the fridge.

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Images: Wilko

Corner Plate Rack & Hanging Shelf Storage each £3.00, Telescopic Stand & Overdoor Pan Lid Rack each £2.50, 3-tier Kitchen Organiser £4.00, Overdoor 2-tier basket £5.00 and 2-tier Storage Rack £8.00 all from Wilko

KEEP A LID ON THE KIDS ZONE

Whilst we know it’s hard to get your little one to keep their play area tidy, you can always arrange toys and books into brightly coloured cubes and fun, colourful storage units. Look for ones with plenty of drawers for toys and arts and crafts so you’ll be able to keep clutter to a minimum.

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Images: Argos

HOME 3 Tier Childrens Basket Storage Unit £29.99 and HOME Beech Effect Sling Bookcase £19.99 both from Argos

Stackable storage boxes are perfect for storing toys and games and will also save on floor space. Pop-up tidies are a great invention as they can hide a multitude of toys and they can be folded away as a flat pack when you’re not using them.

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Images: The Works, Poundland, Wilko

The Hungry Caterpillar Storage Suitcases – Set Of 3 from The Works £6.99; Plastic Clippy Boxes £1 each from Poundland; 3-Pack Stackable Dinosaur Boxes £10.00 from Wilko

17
Jul

Beauty heroes with plant power

Celebrate summer by going back to nature and embracing plant power. Whilst products using the purest plant extracts were once exclusive and expensive, priced at between £70 and £200, you’ll now find a number of naturally derived and sustainably sourced facial serums and moisturisers at more affordable prices. From £5 to £40, we bring you the best tried and tested available in-stores now.

SUPER SERUMS

Botanics Radiant Youth Serum £4.00

At a purse friendly £4 for 30ml, Boots Botanics Radiant Youth Serum contains natural plant extract Gingko which is packed with anti-oxidants to help counteract free radicals and helps keep skin looking younger, protecting it from environmental stresses such as pollution, temperature and sun.

Sukin Super Greens Facial Recovery Serum £13.95

A refreshing daily facial serum with detoxifying green actives of kale, spirulina, chlorella and parsley providing antioxidants and vitamins to help encourage a healthy glow. At £13.95 for 30ml this super serum also contains grape seed oil, avocado and vitamin E, which lock in moisture for a dewy complexion, and added acai berry for youthful looking skin.

Superfacialist Neroli Intense Facial Serum £16.99

At £16.99 for 30ml maintain youthful and radiant skin with this silky textured wrinkle smoothing Intense Facial Serum. It contains a breakthrough apple derived stem cell ingredients proven to actively protect longevity of skin stem cells with a collagen stimulating peptide to help to firm the skin. Plus it has moisture boosting Hyaluronic Acid combined with Hibiscus extract to help restore your complexion’s natural radiance and healthiness.

The Body Shop Nutriganics Drops of Youth Concentrate £26.00

This certified organic miracle serum has a price tag of £26 but it is worth every penny. Just a couple of drops added to your daily moisturiser to combat the first signs of ageing and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Daily Moisture Balancing Serum £40.00

This antioxidant-rich, replenishing serum is instantly absorbed by skin to give an instantly brighter, smoother complexion. It protects the skin’s barrier with nutrient rich botanicals, addresses the signs of dehydration and at the pricier end of £40 it smells gorgeous too.

CREAMS TO COVET

Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Day Cream £5.25

Green tea’s antioxidant rich nutrients makes it a valuable asset in the fight against ageing and Simple has harnessed this skin-saving goodness for its Age Resisting Day Cream, plus has added SPF 15, to fight wrinkles and lines. At only £5.25 it’s a brilliant budget buy.

Botanics Hydration Burst Day Lotion SPF15 £8.99

The new Hydration Burst range from Boots Botanics is a nourishing formula, rich in Clary Sage extract, that comforts and soothes dehydrated and sensitive skin. At a purse friendly £8.99 for 50ml, the lightweight texture absorbs quickly, calming skin and leaving it feeling supple and smooth, and hydrated for up to 8 hours.

REN Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream £20.00

At £20 for 60ml this award winning moisturiser is an absolute necessity. Not only will it fit into your hand luggage it contains vitamins P and F to decongest skin and reduce sensitivity. Ideal if you’re going to be exposed to the sun.

Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream £23.00

Each 30ml tube of this rich day cream contains over 1075 organic rose petals, Beautifully scented and especially rejuvenating and regenerating for mature skin, it also has a calming effect on skin that has been over exposed to the sun. Snap it for £23.

Origins New Smarty Plants CC SPF20 Skin Complexion Corrector £29.00

This super-smart plant formula CC cream from Origins helps perfect the appearance of pores, minimises excess oiliness, and lightly hydrates to smooth away fine, dry lines. Priced at £29 for 40ml it also has SPF 20 to help you keep your youthful good looks longer.

17
Jul

Save on schoolwear & tear

Even though the summer term has only just come to an end, prep for the new school year has started and so has the high street’s hard sell on school uniform. With September a steadfast 6 to 8 weeks away it’s not to early to get your kids kitted out in their new threads, and it needn’t be costly, with stores like Aldi and Lidl promising an entire head-to-toe combo of four pieces for £3.75, and trusted uniform suppliers like Marks & Spencer and Debenhams having already run early bird promotions in June. There’s no need to suffer from fear of missing out, wherever you choose to shop you’ll find deals, but don’t leave it too late as great uniform at even greater prices sells out fast!

INNOVATION BUZZWORDS

From worn out patches to loss of shape, rips, tears and ink-stains, if you want a uniform that is durable, breathable, stain resistant and easy to care for, look out for these buzzwords when you’re considering where to buy and make sure the uniform you choose for your kids goes the extra mile.

ALL ROUND VALUE & QUALITY

Needless to say, the high street offers fantastic value for money when it comes to school uniform. Established suppliers like M&S, John Lewis, Next, Debenhams, Argos, Mothercare and Peacocks are all strengthening their offering, not only providing great value multi-buys and buy one get one half price offers, but pioneering enhanced fabrics, greater sizing options, and a variety of fits, whilst supermarkets like Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury are all in on the act offering even larger multi-packs at bargain-basement prices.

Supermarkets are not to be shunned for school uniform. The Tu range at Sainsbury and at Argos has over two hundred options with a wide range of colours. Polo shirts in packs of three are from £3.50 per pack, trousers and skirts are £7 for a pack of two and sweatshirts start at £4 for a pack of two.

BARGAINS ON BASICS

If your child will be sporting the basic uniform rules of either navy, grey or black trousers, skirts or pinafores, a white or blue collared shirt or a plain polo shirt, and a green, navy, grey or red knitted V-neck or cardigan, then the high street can accommodate your every need. And if your child has to wear school regulation shirts and jumpers embroidered with their school’s logo, you can still be savvy and stock up on basic trousers and skirts, PE shorts, plain tees, football shorts, vests and socks, offered by high street retailers at incredibly low prices.

8
Jun

Take on the Tee trends

Men’s summer staple T-shirts in hot-to-have styles will sizzle in town, country or at the beach and there are many trends to choose from. From standard issue camo prints and tie-dye, to hot tropical palm and floral prints, tattered and torn tees and rock & roll band tees, the high street is flooded with some serious styles you can slide into your wardrobe with ease, and at purse friendly prices.

DRUMROLL

The rock & roll band tee is a major player for the summer. Whether you’re chilling out with headphones on, or partying to the coolest tunes at a festival, parading your favourite band or musician across your chest is the style du jour.

Images: Amplified at Sports Direct

Amplified T-Shirts £14.99 each at Sports Direct or 2 for £20.00
Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Guns N Roses

 

Images: Primark

Rock Tees at Primark
Guns N Roses £10.00, AC/DC £9.00, Pink Floyd £8.00

 

The rock & roll style shows no sign of slowing down so get involved with the classics or keep it retro with rock inspired tees in graphic prints. You’ll find plenty of classic styles inspired by old-school gig-wear in the shops, and non-band specific so you can look super cool without pledging allegiance to any one band.

Images: Sixth June, Supply & Demand at JD Sports

Rock inspired tees at JD Sports
Sixth June Bleach Washed T-Shirt £35.00
Sixth June Acid Wash Band T-Shirt £30.00
Supply & Demand Metal T-Shirt Was £20.00 Now £15.00

 

HOT TROPICS

T-shirts turn tropical and palm prints and florals come into full bloom this summer. Raise your style game with some botanical coolness across tees and vests with oversized palm leafs, modern and oriental florals and Hawaiian prints. This trend is all about pops of colour and a touch of street. Pair with mirror shades and distressed denim for added attitude.

Images: JD Sports, Primark, New Look

Supply & Demand Burgundy Rose Fade Vest £16.00 JD Sports
Tropical Flower Vest £6.00 Primark
Black Floral Print Tee £12.99 New Look

 

Images: Blue Inc., New Look, Primark

Soul Star Palm Print Tee £9.99 Blue Inc.
Orange Palm Print Tee £12.99 New Look
Hawaii Palm Print Vest £6.00 Primark

 

TIE DYE

The freedom of summer brings a new Zen like mindfulness so why not channel Woodstock with some tie-dye? From rainbow splashes to muted dip dye and modern splashes, a tie dye tee offers a laid back take on bold blasts of colour. This trend is ideal for festival frolics or city-friendly weekend breaks, where you want to stand out and blend in at the same time.

Images: Primark, JD Sports, River Island

Rainbow Tie Dye Vest £6.00 Primark
SikSilk Curved Hem Fade Tee £40.00 JD Sports
Orange Tie Dye Tee £12.00 River Island

 

TATTERED & TORN

Call this look what you will, ripped, shredded, distressed, tattered, look uber cool in a semi slashed t-shirt or tread cautiously in a tee with just a little bit of destruction. Take this trend straight off the catwalk and into your closet for ultimate street cred.

Images: JD Sports, Sports Direct, New Look, Primark

Sixth June Whippy Destroyed Tee £30.00 JD Sports
Fabric Distress Drop Tee £3.99 Sports Direct
Pink Ripped Longline Tee £12.99 New Look
Grey Ripped Tee £8.00 Primark

 

STANDARD ISSUE

If tropical prints aren’t your vibe, then consider a camo print tee as a pleasingly masculine alternative. Integrating some military machismo into your wardrobe and going all-out squaddie in an all-over camo print might seem like overkill, but plenty of brands are now producing contemporary digital camo designs that will work well with denim and neutral toned shorts.

Images: Supply & Demand, Nanny State and 11 Degrees all at JD Sports

Camo at JD Sports
Supply & Demand Crawl Tee £20.00
Nanny State Dawson Vest £12.00
11 Degrees Geo Camo Tee £40.00