Monday, 21 August 2017

An Interview with Kim from Chalk and Bess

This is my friend Kim, she's a mummy of 4 year old twins and shes just started her own Chalk board and sign business online. Have a look at Kim's facebook page here and be sure to enter this fantastic giveaway to win your own chalk board sign.

I asked Kim to tell me a little more about starting her own business and thought this would be great for other stay at home parents who hope to start up their own business too.

Why did you start Chalk and Bess?

I decided to set up a small business last autumn. I wanted something that I could do while the kids (4 year old twins Freddie and Martha) were at pre-school. I loved being a stay-at -home mum but need to channel my creativity and perhaps make some money along the way. I had been following some great designers and chalkboard artists on social media and thought I could turn my hand to that. I practised my hand-lettering alot before posting any of my boards online myself.

When and where do you work?

I try to work while the kids are at pre-school or when they are in bed. When I am making something I need to get into a kind of flow and with two 4 year olds hanging around there can be alot of interuptions. I work in the shed at the bottom of my garden which I have converted into a kind of studio. All parents need a place they can retreat to and the shed is my creative hide-out.

How do you come up with your designs?

Good question! Most of my designs are a collaboration between the client and me. I make a lot of Wedding Boards that incorporate the wedding colours and bouquet flowers. I also make Baby Boards and Name Boards that always custom designed and handmade. It's nice to think you are making something that people are going to give a as heartfelt gift or hang on the wall and look at everyday. 

What materials do you use?

I use Posca chalkpaint pens which I find easier to use than a brush. I also use different sizes of plyboard which I then paint in chalkpaint or varnish for a more natural look. 

Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to try hand -lettering?

Just give it a go? There are loads of tutorials online. Practise first to get your design exactly as you want. If you make a mistake with chalkpaint pens baby wipes are the best thing to erase mistakes. Find your style and just go with it. 

To be in with a chance of winning this chalkboard simply complete the rafflecopter below. Competition ends 29th August 2017. Good Luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bridie By The Sea

Thursday, 17 August 2017

8 Ways Car Servicing Helps In Road Safety

Car servicing is something that is overlooked by many road users who consider that an annual MOT is enough to keep a car in good working order. Regular servicing is essential to keep all aspects of a car are in proper condition and to pick up on problems before they occur. However, it is also important in terms of road safety. What's more, there are many aspects of car servicing which you can do for yourself without the need for a professional mechanic. What should you be doing or having checked by someone in the know?

1)      Engine Oil Top Ups
Use your dipstick to ensure that there is enough oil in your car. Without it, you might overheat, especially in hot weather on long drives. If this happens on a motorway at high speed, your car's occupants may be placed in danger.

2)      Braking System Check
An essential part of any car's safety mechanisms is the braking system. You can visually check for wear on your car's brake pads by looking for the dust that builds up as they are used. If you spot this, then you ought to take your car to a professional to swap them for new ones. If your brakes vibrate when you apply them, do the same.

3)      Battery Fluid Levels
Many batteries, particularly older ones, need topping up with water or they won't work efficiently. If they dry out, then you may face problems on the road. Use a shop bought filler with the necessary nozzle to refill your battery's fluid levels. Alternatively, top up with distilled water, but never use tap water which is full of harmful minerals.

4)      Tyre Condition Verification

Inspect your tyre tread for wear and tear. If the tread is so worn down that you cannot fit the rim of a twenty pence coin inside it, then you must have them replaced. Another good thing to check for safety is whether your tyres have bulges or cracks on the side. Those that do are more liable to blow out. For proper verification of tyre condition, you can opt for car servicing in London from companies like DATTYRES for a thorough check-up.
1)      Tyre Pressure Check
As well as tyre condition, it is important to ensure your tyres are properly inflated every few thousand miles. Tyres with too little pressure mean you cannot brake properly and may cause you to lose control if you need to swerve to avoid road debris.

2)      Water Reservoir Confirmation
Your screenwash is not just to keep your car looking good. It helps you to see where you are going and is, therefore, an important safety mechanism. In winter you will use more, so keep on top of the level in your reservoir to ensure you don't run out when you most need a clear windscreen.

3)      Lighting Check
Bulbs blow on cars all the time. To remain a safe driver, you must make sure your brake, reversing, fog and headlights all work. Take the time to check your indicator lights, too, which help pedestrians as much as other road users.

4)      Seatbelt Verification
Pull your seatbelt out slowly so that it does not jam. Look along the entire surface of both sides, checking for frayed or split areas. Even minor damage can cause problems. Any seatbelts with worn areas should be replaced entirely and not patched up.
What car servicing tips did you find most effective?

What's on My Summer Want List

 Now we're in August and the Summer is slowly slipping away, there was a lot of things i wanted to buy for the house and still haven't got round to doing it. Some of these things i may still be in the next week or so and some i'll buy in the end of Summer sales ready for next Summer. Either way, any kind of house shopping makes me a happy person! So...

Here's what i've been after... do let me know in the comments if you bought any of these recently and where the best deals are!

The best Barbeque we've ever owned is a £20 Bucket Barbeque from Argos, every Summer i say i'm going to buy a really big fancy one but it never happens, and so far this year it hasn't happened again! I'm not giving up yet though, here in Devon the weather can be lovely until mid-october. So if i buy a Barbeque now i'll still have plenty of time to get a lot of use out if it and then we'll put it away for next Summer and i won't need to worry about getting one!

I really like this Jumbuck Franklin Charcoal Barbeque from Homebase, and it's a really good price!

Another thing I say i'm going to get every Summer but never do, Black out Blins for the children's bedrooms. My little ones usually go to sleep really well, but through the summer months that hasn't been the case. The sunshine is still shining through their curtains at 9pm and they arn't going to sleep until an hour or 2 after they have been put to bed. This really sets me back as their bedtime is my only chill out time and the only time i get to write. So i've been having a look at the VELUX blackout energy blind online and i'm thinking we'll need to buy some pretty soon so we can all have some peace and quiet time!

Yankee candles have become my newest obsession, specially as we are about to become pet owners for the first time as a family. I was lucky enough to be asked to review some Yankee candles and they're really nice, summery scents. Like this Cuban Mojito candle which i'm loving! The sad thing is the candle has almost finished and i don't have any reserves, so i plan to go candle shopping really soon! It simply MUST be Yankee though, no others will do :-)

Have you bought anything you always wanted this Summer? Please let me know in the comments :-)
Thanks for Reading!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Siblings in August

 August already! I'm starting to feel a little sad that there is now only 3 weeks left of the Summer Holidays, it's been so lovely having all 3 of my munchkins with me every day, and getting so much time to do fun things and just not to have those horrible school runs and pre-school runs every week day!
We've had such a lovely time together so far and we have so much planned for the next few weeks.

We have just got back from a 5 day visit to my parents house in Liverpool, we did so much there and had a great time. Liverpool is such an amazing city with so much to see and do. We were really lucky with the Weather too which was a bonus!

I grabbed an opportunity to take some siblings pics outside of the world museum and Liverpool central library, A and L's favourite place in Liverpool!

Summer siblings picture have such a lovely warm glow to them, although i do love the Winter pics too when they're wrapped up in scarves and jumpers and cute hats!
Today i caught myself thinking about Christmas.. yea, that was scary!
I'm trying to slow down and enjoy whats left of the holidays with my 3 little ones before they have to leave me to return to pre-school, year 3 and year 6. Booooo!

                                                  Thanks for reading :-) Enjoy the Summer

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

My Favourite Flowers

All the family enjoy spending time in our garden, relaxing, & taking in the fresh air & warm glow of a summer's day. We don't have a huge garden, & a fair amount of it is taken up by our decking/seating area, but we use the space well & fill it with as many shrubs & plants as we can.

To me, the garden is the most important living space in the home, & surrounding yourself with the beautiful colours & soothing scents that flowers bring, provides a calm, peaceful place.

Living in the countryside, we are surrounded by stunning wild flowers, especially in the summer months.
We love to replicate some of these flowers here in our garden, & a favourite of mine is Foxglove.

Foxglove, or to give them there posh name "Digitalis Purpurea" (I admit i had to look that up), grow up on tall spikes, & are most commonly, Purple or white.
Being a woodland flower, Foxglove are well suited to shaded areas of the garden, out of direct sunlight.
We have limited space in our garden, so put some in an old wooden wine crate, which makes a great planter.
I could spend a fortune on flowers, & of course, they also make great gifts, A good place to shop is Flying Flowers (not that i'm dropping any hints or anything!).

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

In Review: Oonies Station Starter Pack

 This week we have been trying out a really exciting product from Character. I'm not really one for messy things like Chocolate Coin Makers and all the usual 5 minute wonders that my kids ask for every Christmas and only ever play with once!

However, the Oonies station is completely different, it's not messy and it's not complicated and it's really fun for children of all ages!

It's a great way for children to develop fine motor skills and co-ordination. The pack contains easy to follow instructions, the oonies station, oonies (small balloon like things!) and some accessories.
Unfortunately there are only enough accessories to make 2 Oonies characters, you can order more online or at Smyths Toy Store for £14.99.

I supervised my 3 and 7 year old while making their oonies but i think after a few goes my 7 year old will be able to create her own oonies without my help!

What exactly are oonies?

Oonies are the inflatable mini balloons that join together to create a whole world on miniature characters.

How does it work?

Choose your colour oonie, you may need 2 depending on what you want to make.
attach your oonie to the station using the easy to follow guide.
Inflate your oonie to the suggest size.
Start sticking your oonies accessories (ears, eyes, mouth, fins)

                                                                 Thanks for Reading :-)