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Investing In Your Future

Hey Cats,

So we are constantly on the look out of ways we can make investments and save money. We are constantly seeing sites that say things like buy gold now or buy silver bars online. Which to be honest can be and investment in itself if you really make sure you pick up the right bullion you can surf the web to find the right online silver bullion for you. Aside from that though how else can you invest in the future?



It may sound super cheesy but if you work on your own future and how you can progress through education and work then you can increase your salary and job prospects. This takes time and hard work but it can pay off when you get there. This can be anything as little as taking an NVQ at work to getting great references so you can apply for your dream job. If you have the experience and the confidence to know your worth you really can move forward. So the most important things to invest in is you and your family because those are the things that matter most.

Stocks are becoming more accessible and with the help of apps they are easier to understand. You don't have to be a billionaire to invest in stocks but take the time to learn about what you're investing into and know when is a good time to hold onto the stocks and a good time to let go of them too. You never know who will be the next apple but other stocks can also be steady earners too.



Believe it or not your pension is an investment and it may seem like a long way off but opting into a higher rate than the government requirement will increase your chances in being better off in the future. If you can afford to then get a private pension out too and it always pays to have life insurance to have a sense of security for your loved ones.

what are you investing in for your future?



*collaboration

Bespoke Jewellery From Jana Reinhardt plus Giveaway

Hey Cats,

I have always been amazed by the work that goes into jewellery it really is an amazing craft. From statement pieces to simple elegant items that mean the world to you. Jewellery has always been a token we hold onto with a special kind of love. Jana Reinhardt manages to capture that magic and this husband and wife duo created some stunning pieces. One of which I want to offer to you!

Rings

I fell in love with their collection of rings a real love of nature and magic is clear featuring foxes, wings and best of all unicorns. Is there anything more magical than a unicorn? I adore their unicorn horn ring which comes in silver, gold and even rose gold. I think this is such a stunning piece and would look just beautiful on any finger.  A classy subtle nod for any unicorn lover to be able to wear daily. Jana also designs bespoke wedding and engagement rings if you want that special touch for your big day.



Earrings 

Continuing on that nature vibe my favourite peice from their vast earring collection is this beautiful paid of frogs upon a lily pad. They have a really retro tropical air to them which would be a fantastic addition to any spring or summer outfit. I would rock these on holiday pool side taking in some sunshine. There is also an unusual and unique paid of hooped snake earrings which would be an all round any season for me!


Necklaces

I adore the simplicity of the necklaces, don't be fooled to think this means they lack detail as far from it they are lovingly finished. I love this classic silver penguin necklace that I actually want to give to you guys! This cute little penguin is made from sterling silver and is a great addition to any animal lovers collection.



You can enter below! good luck


a Rafflecopter giveaway


What is your favourite piece?



*item gifted

What makes a great barbecue?

Hey Cats, 

Recently I told you all about Dickeys barbecue pit franchise and the amazing barbecue food brought to you by Roland Dickey Jr. I am super jealous of the states and their Dickeys barbecue franchise so it got me to thinking about what makes the perfect barbecue? If you love spicy food then check out This post.

A Decent BBQ

If you just want a simple get together then you can BBQ even on a disposable kit but if you really want to make an impact with your food then invest in your tools. Get a good quality barbecue that you can use for years to come and look after it. Be sure to look for features that make it easier to clean out. I recently got my babe a smoker drum barbecue and it was a fantastic investment we used it all through the summer and have had lots of delicious smoked meats. Even Roland Dickey barbecue had to start somewhere.



Variety Of Meats

Keep your guests interested at your barbecue by having a great selection of meats. Out with the burnt sausages and bland supermarket burgers, instead pack in some real flavour. Make some family time out of it and create your own flavourful burgers, Fill them with oozing cheese or dice in some chilli whatever you do get creative and fun with it. Steak is great in the barbecue just be aware of your cooking times. Remember when cooking meats like chicken to be extra careful to give it the full cooking time needed. You can cook a delicious piece of fish on the barbecue too. Of course there are lots of no meat options and be aware if you are doing some veggie or vegan options to either cook them on a separate grill or make them first to respect the wishes of your guest. 




All About The Sides

I am serious don't be fooled that sides are named so because a great selection of nibbles and garnishes can bring the barbecue together. Barbecued corn on the cob is beautiful with some good seasoning, asparagus and mushrooms make a great addition to the grill too. Have a great selection of veggies, buns, pickles, pretzels and of course sauces and you can't go wrong. Have a burger making station for your guests where they can pick a bun and garnishes for themselves and lots of nibbles for them to graze on. Homemade coleslaw is lush with tender meats and juicy burgers. 

Soft Drinks and Beer




Beer goes great and hand in hand with a barbecue and can actually bring great flavour to the foods too. Use beer to baste some of your meats for added flavour and taste. Beer isn't for everyone though so be sure to have some soft drinks to hand or if you are really having a party why not check out my post about delicious gins you could grab. Try to pair your drinks to compliment the meal to give your guests the full experience maybe even create your own signature cocktail to get them dancing. 

Add some family and friends with great music and you have a great barbecue and day on your hands, What do you have at your barbecue?




*collaboration

The Gift That Keeps Giving - I Love Gin Subscription Christmas Box Review

Hey Cats,

So last month you may remember me telling you about 'How to enjoy gin this Autumn' which featured hints and tricks on how to best enjoy different gins in the comfort of your own home. I spoke about the subscription box called I Love Gin and how you can have delicious drinks delivered right to your doorstep. I wanted to share the box I got this month so you can have an idea of what you get for your money.

The box arrives lovely and compact and well packaged to keep your premium gins and tonics safe. It is a fantastic way to try a wide range of ever growing premium varied gins that match the current season. Last month I had the most delicious parma violet gin that I had always wanted to try but not spend on a whole bottle until I had, I actually loved it and now would happily purchase some, You will receive two premium miniatures and two premium tonics. I manage to get four lovely drinks from these but if you prefer a stronger drink then that is two lovely drinks to look forward to. You also get a handy little booklet which tells you everything you need to know about the products which can also help with bar room small talk and increasing your knowledge of gin.


Sadler's Peaky Blinders

I have to admit my first impression just from name of the gin was *eye roll* another Peaky blinder product. I love the look of the label and it looks vintage and fun but I have to be honest I probably wouldn't have picked this in the gin aisle. However upon taste I was pleasantly surprised and the more I read about the history of this Gin the more my love of this drink grew. Now as you may know before I moved to Derbyshire I spent a large part of my life in the Black country in Birmingham, so was delighted to hear that this is where the gin come from.



Sadler have been brewing beers and spirits since 1900 and this gin in particular was produced with a nod the the peaky blinder gang that ruled the streets in history, A loved spiced dry gin that gets your attention from first taste and has a beautiful delicate blend of citrus, ginger and black pepper. It is recommended to enjoy with a slice of dried orange.

Regency Tonic




I have sandwiched the tonic in here between the gins as this box we were sent the same tonic for both gins as usually you have two different tonics which compliment the gins but this tonic was actually perfect for both. This is a low sugar and naturally created tonic that will not over power those beautiful tastes of the gin allowing you to taste those stunning flavours and still get the beautiful aroma. It is disappointing when you have paid for a premium product and then the tonic doesn't compliment the drink and you may as well be drinking anything. This is why it is important to match your tonics to your gin carefully to ensure you get the right blend for you.

Aber Falls Marmalade Gin

I am a sucker for a flavoured gin so I was really excited to try this one. So naturally I left it until last as you do. A lovely welsh tipple the citrus hits you as soon as you open the bottle and when you taste pre mixer it is a pure explosion of flavour which becomes so beautifully delicate and delicious when the regency tonic is added. but don't add too much you really want to enjoy this blend of citrus and oaky juniper.


The subscription is well worth the £14.99 to get to taste lots of different gins now I would be happy to go out and purchase the ones I have tried over my two boxes so far. You can join Ilovegin.com and join me on this tasting journey...we can even compare notes.

Have you tried any of these?



*box gifted for review

Stunning Books With A Difference - Paperscapes Review

Hey Cats.

I am a total book worm and love nothing more than curling up with a good book. I love indulging my imagination in fiction but have always been an advocate for non fiction. This is where we get to learn about the magic of the world we already live in. From what makes the human mind work to the creatures of the world they all have their own story to tell.



As A kid I adored pop up books and now my love of both interactive and stunning books and non fiction have been combined. Carlton books have created a dreamy collection Paperscapes where you can transform your book into a work of art. There are four books currently in the series packed full with stunning illustrations.

The perfect gift for any nature lover take a walk in the forest with a book of trees while you learn more about the different types all around the world. I adore the flower garden a great gift for any keen gardener! The best thing about all four of the books is that they can be cross referenced using the bird book you will discover new bird but in the process may find an amazing tree or find a beautiful butterfly resting on a stunning flower.



I love the interactive element of the books which you can use to check off each bird or tree you have learnt about or even use them as a fun spotting guide where you cut out the flowers you have seen or butterflies that flew past. Giving you the perfect excuse to connect more with nature and really enjoy being out in the open. Even if you have to cheat a little and visit a garden centre or a butterfly farm there is lots of fun to be had.

The illustrations are simply beautiful and they are worth the price tag alone. A stunning book for any book shelf and a great learning tool.

Have you checked out Paperscapes yer?





3 Ways To Cut Down On Your Car Expenses!!

Hey Cats

Last year you will remember one of my goals was to get driving and I am not ashamed to admit that I haven;t managed to achieve that just yet! However I had a real good think about why that is and I realised I let the fear of how much it would cost get in the way. So I broke it down in ways to save money on car expenses and here are my top 3. 

Buy second hand

Buying a well looked after second hand car could actually save you a fortune rather than buying new. So many people assume that new cars are the way forward but you are actually paying a fortune just for the pleasure of having a brand new car and it can be tempting to get into debt and leasing new cars. As soon as you drive that car away the value drops instantly so why not save some money and try out a second hand car?



Making sure that you know the history is vital so buying from a trusted dealership means you can get advice and find out more before you buy. When buying from a dealership they would have already checked the car over for any faults and will have a mechanic you can chat to on site in most cases. Plus you can take the car for a no pressure test drive.  KAP Motors has an amazing range of used cars in Brighton. Browse their website and book online now. I tend to find this option more appealing as buying a car off someone you don't really know when you don't have amazing car knowledge is hard plus with a dealership it is much easier to return and get help if you have any problems. 

Shop Around for insurance

You can't be alive without knowing who the meercats are and one great thing they have taught people is the importance of shopping around. Don't just jump on the first deal you're offered as it may not actually be the best option for you! There are lots of comparison websites around for you to look at and compare different premiums. There is an affordable plan out there for everyone it just takes some looking sometimes. 

Use When Needed

The biggest thing with driving is it is amazing for creating independence and expanding your opportunities but it can also make you start relying on it. The best way to save money is use the car for those more important trips if you can get there by walking then do it still. If work is 5 minutes away take that walk you will save money and get fit at the same time. It can be super tempting to have the safety net of your own space but using your car for needless trips will have you spending more than you need on fuel. 

What are your tips for saving money on your car expenses?

Dickys Barbecue Pit

Hey Cats,

For all my UK readers who love to travel like me and love to eat a place you must go if you hit the US is Dickeys barbecue pit franchise. The Dickeys franchise was is tun by Roland dickey jr. and Laura rea dickey and not only is it a restaurant but a great family business.


One thing we are yet to master here in the UK is the art of a great barbecue restaurant. Using great quality meats and sides and creating simple but wholesome foods. I love trying all kinds of different smoked meats and the meat industry in the UK is huge so should we be encouraging Dickeys to bring themselves over here too! I love the fact that Dickeys is a family owned business currently based in Dallas Texas.

It was first founded in 1941 and has now grown to be the largest BBQ franchise in the united states. The amazing thing about a franchise is that it isn't just a restaurant but an opportunity for people to join an amazing team and help grow themselves and reach their own potential. At the heart of the business is also a charity foundation which helps firefighters. I always really respect when a business gives back to the community



Eating at Dickys you can typically find yourself tucking into an array of meats such as pulled pork, beef brisket, pork ribs, polish sausage, hot link, chicken and spicy cheddar sausage. These are typically cooked over burning pits which are hickory smoked to pack in that extra flavour. The best bit about a BBQ is all the sides though and there are a great selection to choose from. You can find yourself filling up on green beans with bacon, barbecue beans, waffle fries, jalapeno beans, corn on the cob, salads, Okra and so much more. I think a quality selection of sides is so important as I love to mix and match.

As a growing business we can only hope it finds it's way across the ocean but until then I know where I will be planning a trip to for all my BBQ needs. Have you been to Dickys? Whats your favourite BBQ foods?



*collab

Take On A New Challenge

Hey Cats,

It is coming up to the end of the year and it is always a time where we reflect on the year gone by and the goals we set for ourselves. Did we manage to achieve everything we wanted to and even if we didn't that is fine because life happens and we never know what it will hand us from one day to the next. I think no matter what it is still important to keep setting those goals for ourselves and keep striving to achieve more. I was asked by hydrosolar.ca and Northern Mat & Bridge about new skills that are never to late to learn. So lets explore a few.

A musical instrument



We all envy that person that's amazing on the piano or guitar and our instant reaction is usually...."Oh I wish I had learnt to play" but what is actually stopping us from learning to play now? It is all about practise and you may find you have a hidden talent or you may have to work hard at it but until you pick up that instrument you will never learn it. Ontario Conservatory of Music help thousands of people learn to master their musical skills every day. However in a technical world online tutorials you can learn to play almost any instrument out there. I had the awesome gift of a melodica a few Christmas ago and I have to admit it has been gathering dust but this next year I am going to pick it up and learn even just one song and then annoy the hell out of everyone until I learn another.

Climb that mountain

This could be literally or even metaphorically I know every year I threaten to take on a big challenge be it actually climbing a mountain or planning a huge fundraiser or even both. Stop putting it off and do it there are lots of great ways to break down a big challenge. I am a big fan of mapping out the idea and then thinking about all the things stopping me and breaking down those barriers one by one. Maybe you would love to start a new job but need a new skill to get there and the end goal seems so far away? Break your goal down into manageable ideas then it won't seem as far away as you think when you focus on one step of the goal at a time,. For example, I really want to learn to drive but to get there I need to first get my eyes tested to see if my eye condition allows me to so instead of panic and worrying I need to book an eye test and then worry about the next step when the time comes.




Learn something physical

Getting physical doesn't have to mean going to the gym all the time. You can get physical by learning a new skill like archery or cross bow shooting like on this website. You could go on long walks with your friend while you catch up on some gossip. When we think of getting physical we instantly think of the gym when there are so many more options out there. Challenge yourself to find something both entertaining and physical that you can do on your level and work on it.


Is there anything you're thinking about putting on your goal list this year?




*collab 

Can The Legalisation Of Cannabis Bring Business?

Hey Cats,

The world is every changing and seems to be moving at the speed of light with how fast things are progressing. Our American and Canadian neighbours and some parts of Europe have moved forward in allowing cannabis to become a legal product. The question is if we do the same can it bring us business?

The fact is that the UK needs a booming economy we have an amazing health care system to support and nobody wants to take that away as it is something that makes us an amazing country. We have a growing problem with poverty and homelessness and a spike in income for the country means a spike in taxes going into the system which can help use provide a solution to problems instead of a plaster.



With businesses ranging from recreational to medical there are a range of products that are not just wanted by the general public but in some respects also needed. There are lots of medical uses for cannabis which can help people with chronic pain there are already American and Canadian companies catering for this such as bcbudsmedical.com and healingempire.ca but also recreational companies like WeedAF and click here

Personally I think filling this need through a taxable business is a fantastic opportunity for the UK. People already recreational use cannabis for either relief or pleasure. Whichever the reason if this was brought above board and taxed in the same way alcohol and cigarettes are not only would the income be great but so would the safety aspect. So many people complain about the idea that cannabis is a gateway drug that could lead to harder places but if you don't go meet a strange person in an alley way who may have malicious intent and dubious strains of weed then some of this fear is taken away.


When cannabis is bought and produced illegally there is no monitor on what goes into the growing and production. This means that harmful pesticides or even other drugs can be laced into the product. If this became legal then growing and distribution could be monitored and maintained safely. This would also produce jobs and trade for those in need.

What do you think?



*collab


Upgrading Your Home To Make A Work Space

Hey Cats,

So often as we lead up to the new year we start thinking about all the changes we want to make and sometimes that includes home improvement. Part of my new year plan is to convert one of out rooms into a home office for both my blogging and Body shop and just have a nice space to go and get creative! If you have some home improvements plans in place then here are some great things to keep in mind.

Plan It

One of the most overlooked but important things when making any changes at home is making sure you plan it all out. Get your mind mapping on and think realistically about your budgets and what changes you can make with the space that you have. You don't need huge spaces to have a great usable space there are lots of organisation hacks that can make the most of smaller places. Disensors.com suggesting making sure you use the right tools to measure out the job properly so you can make sure that you can make practical use of all the spaces you have. If you're a crafter use some calibration weights so you know how much your materials weigh so you know how Strong draws have to be as you would be surprised how heavy materials can be and if you check all these things out early you can make sure you have quality storage in place.



Invest

If you're going to be using a home space for work then make some investments to make it really comfortable. I don't just mean a cosy chair and a cushion or that instagramable sign but things you don;t often think of like a better Heat-line. Think of those cold mornings or long days and the extra impact you will putting on the heating system by working from home. I say as I sit hugging a radiator on this freezing morning.

Another investment you may need to make is better software https://librestream.com have some great deals and can have you covered for this. Making sure your home office is up to date and means you can do any work at home will get you productive and stop you nipping off for a brew all the time.

Action

Now you have all the ideas in place all you have to do is put them into action. This may mean streamlining some of those plans into what is affordable for right now. Then get the ball rolling and lets be honest the easier and more functional the room the more productive you will be when working in it. I need a great organisational system to ensure I do not end up with a ball of mess to work with.

Do you have any home improvement plans for the new year?



*collab

Get Your Business In Order

Hey Cats,

This one is going on to the high flying business folk so if that's not your bag you have permission to skip this one. However if you need some help moving that business forward with a few tools then this could be the post for you so keep reading. This isn't really one for small businesses but those that are in the need to move from small to big when there is lots of staff jumping on board and things need to move to the next level.

Get Your IT In Order

Lets face it we live in a digital world now and any business can't avoid using IT at some point and especially anywhere processing orders you will need to buy professional IT services. This means having a proper system in place and being more organised but it also gives you the added security of a helping hand. An IT service isn't just a system you use but also a way of backing up all your important and hard work and having a support network if something goes wrong. It services are continually adapting to bring you the most streamline and easy to use systems and buy working with a service you continue to get those updates instead of having to upgrade your systems at an expensive cost all the time.



Contractor Bonds

 For any contractor bonds you can check out https://bondsexpress.com/performance-bonds/ who have you covered for performance, bid bonds and payment bonds. Perhaps you want to be considered for a job then you can get put into the bidding system to get more work from a reliable place even if you already have a contract you can get added to the list. Companies like Sprott inc. buy gold use similar methods.

Communication Systems

The most important thing in any business is being able to communicate efficiently and that means having great communication systems in place. The IT system may help with your data consolidation and emails but you also need a fantastic telecommunications system for one on the go click here. Owners and management should be able to be reached on the go so there is no breakdown in communication. It is also vital to be able to have face to face contact with both clients and staff a like and that any information especially about products and payments is clear and easy to understand. A break down in communication can ruin any company and cause lots of sets backs that could have been avoided.



Great Staff

The key to great staff is an excellent recruitment system and getting to know your existing team. Take your time when interviewing no matter how small the role and don't be afraid to take on people who need training. Often starting with no experience can actually be an advantage as long as you have an excellent training system in place. Taking the time to get to know your staff and encouraging team bonding sessions and rewards will create a more motivated environment, Reward outstanding behaviour and give regular praise for good work. Keep in mind you and your staff spend more time at work than you do at home and if great incentives are in place and staff feel content and motivated the quality of work will be incredible.

Do you have any business advice?



*collab

Get Organised Before New Year

Hey Cats

Every year I swear I am going to be more organised and in control for the next year and every year I seem to slip back into old ways and when you bring old things into the new year you kind of feel like it is dragging you down. It really just takes some organisation and taking 5 minutes to sit down and organise your day is so important for your own sanity.

Write it 

First you need somewhere you can write it all down be it a notebook, a diary or a spreadsheet. I work best on paper so have notebooks and diaries and love them. I am determined to start a bullet journal this year as they are the best form of planner you can have they are adaptable to you and encourage you to get creative. I always seem to buy a planner and then forget about it half way through the year and the beauty of a bullet journal is if you have taken so long working on it you will not forget it and even if you do you can just start on the next page without the guilt of having to go past all those empty pages. Take some tips from rebeccamountain.ca she helps get your life on track.



System 


However you choose to organise yourself it is a great way to track all your progress from drinking enough water to getting that important bill paid. If you have a system in place and reminders set you can't forget to do those important things. Stop putting off sorting out those injury claims valentlegal.ca can help you out. If you need organisation at work then bciworldwide.com have some great logistic systems that can get you organised there too. The main thing to keep in mind is if you put a system in place you can work through those jobs you have and they will not seem as bad.

De-clutter

De-clutter your house of items you don't need or use anymore and go into the new year with a more open space and mind. This is a fantastic time of year to give to charity more as it is a time they struggle and your donations are vital. That pile of books you read a million times or that dress you never liked can be loved by someone else and raise some amazing money. Perhaps you need to hold onto some big items but they are cluttering up your space a great way to do that is use a storage place like the Calhoun super structure this is especially good for those big bulky items you don't use all year around.



Action

The most important step to all of this is actually putting your plans into action. So if you say you will check out all your bills then do it. If you want to see your friends more then give them a call or if you want to give your blog a make over then jump on it! It is only you who can action your goals and get them moving! Just focus on little steps to get to your bigger picture.


How do you get organised?





*collab

Don't be Lonely This Christmas

Hey Cats,

Christmas time is the time of year when it is easy to start over thinking and feeling down. It is a time when people celebrate the love of their families and those around them. This can often make you feel like you have nobody or can add extra stresses financially which can put a strain on your mental health. First it is OK to take a moment to remember those you have lost in fact it is really important and taking some time out to think of those loved and lost can be hurtful but is important. I am not really a religious person but every year I go light candles for friends and family lost. Just remember that it is absolutely OK to take that time and you can do this in your own way!

Take the time to let people know how you feel. If you really think that you don't have anyone to talk to there are people out there and sometimes it can be easier talking to a stranger. The Samaritans do some amazing work and are always there to listen.



Sometimes even just asking a friend over to have a coffee and a chat. Everyone has their favourite coffee expert Roland Dickey Jr or Anthony Expresso are just a few, so you can stay in the comfort of your home or if you need to get out it is a great excuse to go try all the new Christmas flavours. If  friend can't come then even just getting out can really help and lots of people go to coffee shops alone. Getting out the house and being around people can really help even if you're just reading a book or doing some work. Sometimes when I can't write I love to go to a coffee shop and it really helps clear my mind a little.


If you have any older people in the family check this out it may help but mostly remember the importance in including them and making sure they have the right support this Christmas too! If you can't make it to see them and they are in a home at least send a care package so they can have a few luxuries. Reaching out to others in need at this time of year and any time of year is priceless and so important.

Look after your own wellness (thewellnesstemple.ca has some tips on how) you can feel alone in a crowd of people so make sure you keep toxic people to a minimum. It is OK to remove yourself from difficult conversations and to stand up for yourself when someone tries to shame you for having that handful of celebrations. 



*collab

4 Ways You Can Make A House Feel Like Home

Hey Cats,

Moving into a new property can be a stressful experience. Everything from furnishing to decoration, from setting up bills to allocating rooms and finding schools for your kids (if you have any) needs to be considered, so it pays to approach a move with a clear and focused mind. You should know exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it while you move; once it’s all done, you can relax and enjoy a hot drink while you congratulate yourself for your achievement.

C:\Users\james\Downloads\shutterstock_1186176787.jpg

After the initial move, though, there’s still the question of how to make your house feel like home. In order to truly take ownership of your property and start building a life there, you’ll need to decorate, furnish and generally give the place your signature aesthetic. Here are some tips that are guaranteed to help you make a house feel more like home. These tips work for a new place or an old one, so don’t feel like you can’t follow them just because you aren’t moving!

Custom art

There’s nothing that spruces up a room quite like art on the walls. Art can say a lot about a person; what kind of art you like and where you place it in the room speaks volumes about your personality and preferences. With that in mind, why would you settle for something generic or obvious? You’ll benefit greatly from shopping off the beaten path, looking in thrift shops and less obvious places for artwork that screams “idiosyncratic”. Even better, why not install some custom art? Find yourself a great photography studio and schedule in a photoshoot for you, your family and perhaps even your pets! Having pictures of your nearest and dearest on your walls won’t just make the house feel more homely, it’ll provide a great talking point for guests and visitors and give you a warm feeling every time you enter the room.

Unique furniture

While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with furniture from flatpackville, it’s not particularly inspired on the aesthetic front. Most build-it-yourself furniture is designed to be functional, not beautiful, and although the minimalist visual style has an appeal of its own, it’s never going to beat the kind of elaborate creations which custom DIY furniture studios are capable of. Again, if you’ve got the money, find yourself a great DIY furniture place which will assemble bespoke furniture for you and schedule in a consultation. Most of these places will work closely with you to discern exactly what you want in a room, and will create a custom arrangement that’s purpose-built for you and you alone. Why fill your house with the same stuff everyone else has when you could make a bold, individual statement?

Decoration

So you’ve got some nice art of your family on the walls, and you’ve built a custom shelving arrangement that works for you. What next? Well, now it’s time to fill the shelves. Again, what you fill your shelves with will speak volumes about who you are, so this is your chance to express yourself through decoration and adornment. Are you a sculptor? Why not line up a selection of your best pieces on your shelves? If you’re a musician, you could decorate your shelves with miniature instruments and models of musical objects, or you could find a quirky way to express your musicality through unusual artifacts and antiques. Perhaps you love gardening – if so, why not install plants around the house? Plants are a great way to make a house feel homely, and they’ll also improve the air quality of your house, which will make everyone inside feel better.

Get a pet

This only works for the animal lovers, but if you do love our furry friends you’d be amazed by the degree to which they can enrich your life. We’d strongly recommend you adopt rather than shopping, as there are plenty of adorable animals who need a forever home. Adding a smaller and furrier member to the family is a great way to create an everlasting bond – if you’ve got kids, they will absolutely love the little scamps, and they’ll learn a valuable lesson about friendship. Having a cat or a dog scarper about the place lends character and charm to a house, and it’s a great way to entertain guests too! Make sure you’ve got the resources and patience to look after a pet if you’re going to adopt, though, because – as the old saying goes – a pet is for life, not just for Christmas.

These are just four ways you can spruce up your house and make it feel more like a home. There are plenty of other methods through which you can do this, but these are (relatively) easy, no-fuss ways to help you settle into your new place or add character to an old house.

How do you get cosy when you move somewhere new?


How To Enjoy Gin This Autumn

Hey Cats


You may be asking yourself "Kelly, is this blog really necessary, no one needs to know how to enjoy gin, Spring, Summer, Winter or Autumn" and maybe you are right but never the less, I am going to share some ideas with you about getting your "warm and fuzzies" from gin as the colder temps set in.


Maybe if I paint you a little word picture you will feel better? Okay, it's Friday, it's been a long week.
You just got home, you took your uncomfy shoes off and you took your bra off through your sleeve like the classy badass babe you are. Pjs on, take out ordered, there is perhaps a pair of slipper socks involved, a scented candle or 2, you wanted Anthropologie but you settled for Primark candles, still good enough and you think, " you know what would complete this picture?- Gin".

Got you hooked? Let me reel you in. Any old gin won't do, you have worked hard this week babes, you need
a gin with a little extra flare that creams autumn and makes you feel all happy, warming your cockles as you sit back, relax and enjoy a chilled night in!


There are a couple of awesome ways to enjoy gin in the autumn, warming things up for a start, you don't have to settle for a classic G & T, although that's always welcome, you can also enjoy a hot toddy with a twist! It
might not match your Chinese takeout in terms of flavour but maybe enjoy my recipe with the aforementioned takeout first then move onto one of the other 2 recipes for afters. . .  let's dive in.

The Ultimate G & T- Orginal
What You Need:
- Gin
- Ice
- Lemon Peel or cucumber, depending on the gin
- Tonic

Take a tall glass and pack it full of ice. Take a measure of your favourite gin.
Garnish wise, this depends on the gin and your preference, I recommend a slice of lemon for a gin-like
Gordons or a slice of cucumber of a gin-like Hendricks. Then top this off with a tonic on choice. If you want to elevate the drink, take a lighter to a slice of lemon peel, this releases the oils of the lemon.


Hot Ginger and Cinnamon
What You Need:
- Stem ginger
- Gin
- Water
- Cinnamon stick

Place a measure of gin per person in a saucepan. Then add one ginger (from the stem ginger pot) chopped up into the pan. Add in a tablespoon (per person) on the stem ginger sugar syrup from the pot into the pan too.
Bring everything to simmer then strain to remove the bits of stem ginger.
Serve in a tumbler and garnish with a cinnamon stick and a fresh piece of lemon peel. Delicious, sweet
and heartwarming.



Spiced Cider & Gin
What You Need: Cider
- Cloves
- Cinnamon
- Gin
- Water
- Sugar Syrup

This is a little American meets Britain autumn (or fall) collaboration. Place a cup of cider per person in a pan. Pour in a measure of Gin person. Add in a couple of cinnamon sticks, a couple of cloves, a couple of tablespoons of sugar syrup and a cup of water. Let this all come to simmer. Serve in a tumbler and garnish with a cinnamon stick, sit yourself down, open a good book, sit back and relax.

There you have it, I just planned the perfect Friday night for you. I hope you enjoy sampling the recipes, being experimental and investive yourself, as well as trying new recipes for yourself. Let me know how you get on in the comments section below.

This article was written with my friends at ILoveGin.com, discover all the amazing gins they have and sign up to try different gin samples every month! Perfect for the colder months.  Plus they have some more super delicious Gin recipes and plenty of imaginative ways to enjoy.