Shower Or Bath? The Big Bathroom Debate!

Which do you prefer? Shower or bath? Or does it depend on your mood? And/ or maybe the amount of time you have?

Shower Or Bath? The Big Bathroom Debate! title on faded water background image

Personally I love showers! They are quick, easy and refreshing. I don’t have enough time for a long soak in the bath. But to be perfectly honest, even pre Squiggle when I did have far more spare time, I still rarely picked baths; I would almost always opt for the shower instead. I think I just get bored too easily! I would rather spend whatever precious few moments I manage to grab relaxing and pampering myself in other ways.

So therefore, in my opinion, showers are ideal; they use less water, save time and just seem more convenient. Plus I love the smell of the fresh water as it pours down from the shower head and I enjoy the feel of the ‘waterfall’ on my skin. It is both relaxing and refreshing at the same time. I even meditate in there sometimes, it is the perfect place for visualisation!

Here are my reasons why I think showers are better:

• Saves time

• Costs less money

• More environmentally friendly/ less water usage

• Convenient

• I can’t hear the chaos going on in the rest of the house with the shower on!

• I am marginally less likely to be disturbed in the short amount of time it takes to shower!!!

• Sensory experience

Shower image

On the other hand, Squiggle’s dad prefers baths. He sees a shower as a necessity to be clean, smell good (or less bad – his words!) and often to wake himself up, whereas a bath is more of a luxury; somewhere to relax and shut off from the world. His top tip is to add bath salts or magnesium flakes.

He also wrote this tongue in cheek (I think anyway?!) list on why he thinks baths are better:

• Bath salts

• Bath bombs

• Bath paints (I’ll leave this open for debate as to whether he actually means for himself or for kids!)

• Face packs

• Bubbles

• Snacks and drinks

• Reading, music, tv

• Selfies

• Talking to people; either through the door, in the room or on the phone

• Seeing how long you can hold your breath under water

A bubbly bath

Hmmm, some of those can be done in the shower too though! And some are better out of the bath in my opinion! (Wet ipad anyone?)

Anyway, moving on…

As for Squiggle? Well, she prefers showers but she does also like to sit down too! So as I mentioned before, walk-in showers with seating would be perfect for her! But as we don’t have one of those at home, she simply uses our over-bath shower and just sits under the running water in an empty bath! Does anyone else do this? Or just her?!

Walk in shower with seating

Since the results are somewhat therefore tied within our small family of 3, I took to twitter to solve the debate! So which is more popular; bath or shower? The results are in! Drum roll please…

Showers are the clear winner with a whopping 88% of votes, in what was quite possibly the most pointless family debate we have ever had! But still fun… and dare I admit, actually quite interesting!

What do you prefer – baths or showers? Tell me in comments!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

The Importance of Self- Care: Why the Bathroom is One of the Most Important Rooms in Our Home

As a parent, especially as a carer too, it can be difficult to find time to relax. Yet self-care is essential. And that is why, for me, the bathroom is one of the most important rooms in our home. Like for many people, it is a place of sanctuary; whether that is simply a chance to quickly grab two minutes to take a refeshing shower, to enjoy a long hot soak in the bath, or give yourself some much needed pampering time. Here are some fab reasons to retreat to the bathroom…

It has a lock!

For many family homes, this may be the only room in the house where you can literally lock yourself away and get away from it all, while still being in the comfort of your own home. The psychological impact of knowing nobody can barge in any second is actually just as significant as the lock itself. It means guaranteed space to yourself until you choose to leave!

Sense of privacy

Aside from the locked door, it is often more accepted and expected that people in the bathroom should be left alone. Granted, this isn’t always the case, but there is perhaps slightly more chance compared to other rooms… in theory at least! This means you can take some time-out in relative peace. (Hopefully!)

Water is relaxing

Taking a shower or soaking in the bath is a good way to unwind. The water soothes and helps to de-stress both your body and mind.

We all need a little pampering

Whether it is a luxurious bath filled with oils or salts, a gorgeous face mask, or simply doing a quick wax, it feels good to look after yourself. So treat yourself to some lovely pampering then leave the bathroom feeling rejuvinated, ready to take on the world!

A lady pampering herself in the bath

So how to make the most of this ‘bathroom time’ then? Well here are some top tips to make the most of your bathroom…

Set the mood

Dim the lights, add one of your favourite scents and turn on some music. Even if it is just a two minute sanity-saving trip to the bathroom, you could blast out one of your favourite tunes while you escape to let off some steam!

A lovely bathroom with typical bathroom features including a comfy stool

Make yourself comfortable

Consider having somewhere to sit (other than the obvious!) in the bathroom if you plan to be in there for some pampering time, as it isn’t exactly much fun being perched on the edge of the bath for long. A small bathroom bench, or even chair if your bathroom is big enough, would be perfect.

If you prefer showers, you could even consider getting a shower seat if you feel more comfortable sat down. Also, walk-in showers are essential to self- care for those with mobility issues.

A shower cubicle with seat

Don’t forget supplies

Grab yourself some snacks, and pour yourself a drink. Perhaps even take in a book or magazine. And of course don’t forget whatever bathroom goodies you intend to pamper yourself with too!

So there you have it! My essential guide to making the most of your bathroom for self- care, and why you should definitely consider the bathroom to be of the most important rooms in your home!

What are your best self- care tips? And why do you love your bathroom? Let me know in comments!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Mud & Bloom Nature Crafts and Gardening Subscription Box: Review, Discount Code and Giveaway

Mud & Bloom is a fab new monthly subscription box for nature lovers. Each month the box contains two seasonal activities; a gardening activity and a nature craft. There are also quizzes, spotting cards, information sheets and so on. The boxes include everything you need to complete the activities, except occasionally for everyday items that would generally be around the home anyway, such as finding some kind of pot for planting – a yogurt pot or other such item would suffice. It is aimed at approximately 3- 8 year olds and costs £7.95 per month with free UK shipping.

Mud and Bloom nature crafts and gardening subscription box - image of contents

About The Creator

This lovely idea came from a mum of 2 young children, Anja, and was inspired by her love of nature. The activities have been created by qualified teachers and are influenced by various educational approaches.

About The Box

The box I reviewed (February) contained the following activities; grow your own cherry tomatoes, grow your own basil and paint your own pebbles. (This doesn’t get old even if you have done it before!) The only things we needed to get ourselves were the actual rocks and pots for planting, plus a plastic bag.

It also contains a nature spotters activity for things you might see in February, which is a nice little activity to do whilst outdoors on a nature walk. (And might encourage you and your littlies to venture out in the cold even if you don’t usually!)

A Sample Activity

We have only done the grow your own basil activity so far. (Squiggle is still unwell and hasn’t felt up to it but was keen for me not to do it without her!) It was a simple activity that children of any age can enjoy doing.

Grow your own basil - mud and bloom - packet of seeds and instruction card image.

The instructions are detailed but still written in a straightforward way. They are well explained and easy to read/ follow. They are high quality and very well produced in my opinion!

Image of Squiggle reading grow your own basil instruction card.

I liked the fact that it came with soil pellets that are part of the fun – and save messing around bringing soil in from the garden!

You just put them in warm water for 10- 15 minutes and they expand. I used that time to grab the stuff we needed (pots and a plastic bag) while Squiggle watched them grow.

An image of everything needed for grow your own basil. Soil pellets expanding in water.

Squiggle did find it tricky to get the seeds in the hole – you would think we have never planted seeds before! However it would be very simple if she had been carefully pinching a few seeds from her hand or the packet with thumb and forefinger, rather than just pouring them – I would think this goes without saying generally though of course, she just wasn’t quite with it bless her!

Our Verdict

We really like these boxes! The packaging has been carefully thought out to avoid waste wherever possible. The activities are good for a range of ages and are still fun if you have done them before. The instructions are clear and everything about the contents feels high quality. I personally feel they are reasonable value for money given the price includes postage and the subscription is flexible; it can be stopped or paused anytime. They get a thumbs up from us!

Discount Code

For 50% off your first box please use the code LIVINGLIFEOURWAY

Giveaway!

One lucky reader can win a 3 month subscription to Mud & Bloom. Enter via rafflecopter below. UK only. Ends 25th March 2018. T&Cs apply. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: I received a 3 month subscription in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Living Greener In Your House

Living a little greener throughout our lives is something we think is hard to achieve. Companies like to croon all the time about how energy efficient they are, and yet when you have all that money behind you it seems so easy to keep that up! However, a huge lifestyle change doesn’t have to be in swing here, and some simple changes are just as effective as taking to a cabin in the woods. We already know a child friendly home with a bit of flair is possible, but what about living as green as possible whilst still being comfortable?

A vase of flowers on a wooden table in a large bright room.

Check Your Appliances

Checking your appliances means going around your house in the last five minutes at the end of the day and making sure everything is turned off and unplugged. It’s something simple and yet so effective, and you’re not going to be donating valuable hours to it. You see, even when something is plugged in and switched off, there’s a very good chance it’s still using power, considering how popular the standby function is these days.

At the same time, make sure everything you use has a good energy rating. When something is in the A band for electrical use, you’re not going to be wasting any energy simply as a byproduct of chilling your food in the fridge for example. And that also ends up saving you some pennies, which all add up at the end of the month.

Start Recycling Everything

Of course, not every material out there is yet capable of being recycled. But recycling as much of your waste than ever before means you’re going to be doing a great bit for the planet.

Sort through your clutter! If something is using the space you need to live harmoniously, it’s definitely going to need passing on. Make some effort on reducing your carbon footprint; don’t throw away anything that could be avoided. Make sure any electronic waste you have laying around, either on the side tables or in the attic, are being disposed of or sold off. Those old laptops are never going to see the working world again anyway! Sometimes you can make some cash, sometimes you just have to part with an object responsibly.

Open Up Your Curtains

If you have curtains, make sure they’re open for as long as they can be during the day, and then close them at night. Keeping a room warm is a lot easier when you’re using the insulating material over the windows to full effect after all. You won’t have to turn on the heating so much when you’ve got your curtains on a tight schedule, and it just takes a bit of arm work to pull them open and closed when the time comes to it.

There’s a lot of little changes you can make to your daily routine to make sure your house is as green as possible. Try to incorporate these moves as soon as you can to save you time and money.

*This is a collaborative post.

How to Style Your Garden Furniture for Seasonal Changes

Garden furniture deserves some thought and yet, we so often simply opt for what we see as a ‘bargain’. But it can be so much more than this, which is why you need this guide to making seasonal changes with your garden furniture!

A picture of garden furniture and decor.

It’s a long-standing joke in many gardening circles that we spend hundreds of a garden bench never to sit on it. The same goes for some of the more expensive pieces of garden furniture we opt for. We spend so much time keeping them covered and free from the effects of the weather that we rarely take the chance to use them.

But times are changing and with new technologies and manufacturing techniques, garden furniture is now truly all-weather. And so you can have the rattan cube garden furniture out in the garden to enjoy, whether it is bright sunshine or a cool spring evening.

Fabrics
As seasons change, we round up the garden furniture and hide it away, unsure whether the autumn rains will see it melt. But it won’t because there is a new fabric on the block that is making a huge difference.

A material used and developed for yachts is now used in garden furniture for soft furnishings. Fantastic at being able to withstand all kinds of weather, the only real enemy of sail fabric is the sun, more so when the fabric is crumpled, with rain and damp not allowed to evaporate. A wash down with warm soapy water and allow to dry – choose a breezy, warm day – and it’ll look as good as new.

Protective covers are an ideal investment, especially those that fit over the furniture exactly as this increases their protective abilities. But again, before you cover it for the winter months, make sure that the furniture is dry.

Design
Whether you hold summer garden parties for friends, family and neighbours or you consider your garden your own private sanctuary, there is no excuse not to style your garden – and that includes choosing the design of your garden furniture. When summer is in full swing, you will nothing more than a jug of your favourite summer cocktail and maybe the odd scatter cushion or two or your all-weather garden sofa. Come late summer or even early spring, add style and aplomb, as well as a hint of practicality with a few pretty and warm throws.

Warmth
An eco- friendly shortwave infrared electric outdoor heater is an ideal choice to warm your garden so that you can enjoy your garden longer into the evenings. Patio heaters are another option and a common sight in outdoor cafes and pubs. However, if you are concerned about environmental impact, you might need to take a look as to whether a patio heater, fuelled by canned gas, is the best option for you. Expensive to run, they are an investment that many, however, choose to make.

Materials
Waterproof fabrics make life so much easier when it comes to garden furniture but as well as the soft furnishings, you need to make sure you have the best in structural materials of outdoor chairs, tables and sofas.
There are only two real contenders:

Rattan
A natural material, most rattan is sourced and imported from sustainable sources. A thorny plant that grows fast and strikingly tall, its long fronds are allowed to dry naturally in the sun. They are then weaved together around a frame, made from wood or bamboo, or something a metal structure, to create fantastic stylish pieces for the garden.

Hardwood
There is no compensation for investing in hardwood tables and chairs as dining sets for the great outdoors. Cheaper imitations are made from softwood, the grain of which is much bigger and looser. This means that you can literally leave a dent in it with your thumbnail, the texture is so soft and malleable.

But, there is one issue with both: they don’t like the cold. Both materials come from hot climates and thus, water finding its way into the structure, which then freezes on a cold day or night is not good for structural integrity. Keep both covered if the winter months are icy or frosty.

Seasonal changes impact on your garden furniture but, choose the right material and take a little care over it every now and then, and you will have garden furniture that allows you to continue to enjoy your garden.

Rattan Direct understand that the garden is not just for summer and so, these fantastic seasonal changes are available from their online store. Connect with them on Twitter to remain ahead of the game @RattanDirectLtd

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Our Week in Pictures

Here is a snippet of some of this week’s activities…

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Writing
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Art group
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Being creative at home.
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Playdough
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We even found some unexpected educational fun in Asda looking at life cycles. She also got to meet a character, which she loves doing!
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Other activities at home.

Eco Science Toys- Gravity Robot

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Squiggle really enjoyed this science activity and it was of educational value in various ways. I think possibly on average it may be more beneficial for younger children than it states on the box (it says ages 8 plus, my daughter is 5), although this is for safety reasons rather than the age it is aimed at for educational purposes. In other words supervision may be required.

My main gripe was the possible promotion of fizzy drinks to children but it might have worked with a substitute item such as a cardboard roll, we didn’t try this because Squiggle wanted hers to be similar to the picture on this occasion. Other than that it was a simple but fun activity that she got alot out of doing.