8 Frugal Ways To Organise Your Kitchen 

8 frugal kitchen organization tips. How to organise your kitchen without spending a fortune. Interior design and home decor tips for getting your kitchen organised. Guest post by The Home Makers Journal.

This is a guest post kindly written by Elizabeth Plumb from The Home Makers Journal.

It has started to get a bit chilly at night where I live, which has me in a fall cleaning frame of mind. More specifically, I’ve been yearning to get my house in order. Since I didn’t really feel like buying a whole bunch of organization products to get started, I decided to see what I could come up with that would satisfy my need to get organized without spending a lot of money.

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Kitchen is used to prepare food stuff. So naturally hygiene conditions must be ensured while preparing food. Prolonged exposure of kitchen surfaces and items to dirt and dust may spoil the appearance and cleanliness of the kitchen. As a professional organizer, I am excited that I get to share both my love of organizing with you today, as well as the tidy, frugal ideas that I use to simply keep my sanity in my own kitchen.

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Maybe you can use some of these solutions, too? Here we go…

Remove Cabinet Doors

Remove a few cabinet doors to have easy access to dishes. Contrary to what you might think, these dishes don’t get dirty simply because they are out in the open. They are frequently used and don’t sit still long enough to gather dust.

Use A Cookbook Stand

Use an ordinary plate easel as a cookbook stand. It keeps your book open, clean, and in view while you are creating your newest culinary masterpiece.

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Use creativity, not cash

Frugal organizers think past the label and outside the box. Even when they must purchase an item to complete an organization project, they make creative use of common products like eco-friendly lighting in the kitchen.

Ever notice that the same item, say, a plastic box with dividers and a lid, can have three different prices when labeled as a box for fishing tackle, a box for small hardware items, or a box to hold cross-stitch thread? At home, the frugal organizer realize that the expensive plastic holders aren’t necessary!

Keep Only The Best

Keep only the best of your kitchen helpers. These are literally all of my casserole dishes and pie plates. I never need more than a few of these at a time. You can read more about kitchen cookware choosing tips on thehomemakersjournal.com

Storing Utensils

Store your utensils out in the open, in a pot, crock or ceramic pitcher, so that they will be easier to find and to use and to be returned after being cleaned.

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Shop your home for baskets and bins

I sort of have a basket addiction. They come in handy a lot around our house, so when I needed a little more food storage, I put a couple of baskets from our living room to good use. They were only holding clutter anyway, which forced me to organize that little bit too. While searching our house for other baskets, I found a couple of wire ones to hold my cook books and Lola’s pet supplies too. And I repurposed a galvanized bucket sitting on a bookshelf that served a better purpose as a potato bin.

Fill the Sink

Always fill the sink with hot and soapy water before putting in the utensils. This will not only save the cost but also the wear and tear of your dishwasher. Other benefit of practicing this is that it will allow you to speed up your cooking process as you can wash and go without having to worry about a big pile of pans and pots.

Use of Lids

Making use of lids is also an innovative way of maintaining cleanliness in the kitchen. Lids of various containers can be used as a mat for jars and containers which contain sticky liquids. The reason behind it is that it helps to clean only the lids rather than cleaning the whole shelf. This eventually saves time and energy.

Author Bio

Elizabeth Plumb loves to share ideas on parenting, home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and traveling. She writes over at The Home Makers Journal. You can find her on facebook, twitter and pinterest.

Top 5 Space Saving Tips For New Furniture

Maximise space with these five top tips for dressing a smaller room…

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Space can be at a premium. From car parking outside your home, to garden space, and space in individual rooms. Not having enough room can mean that we feel hemmed in, and make the area full and cluttered. But with these ‘space-saving’ tips you can have a stylish and open feel to a room. It is all about colour and choosing furniture carefully, so that it blends and works well together.

Lighter Impact Furniture

This may be a phrase you have not come across before, but it is a concept that is all around you. To maximise space in a room, you need to show as much floor space as possible. And this means choosing furniture that is not block like, but lighter on its impact on, and in, the room. For example, consider the wingback chair; iconic in shape and style. You may think the wings make it feel big and cumbersome in a smaller living room. However, it doesn’t and that is because there is a gap between the floor and the underside of the seat. It appeals to the eye because it does not close down the floor space. Simple when you think about it – try it!

Neutral Tones and Colours

A small space may not be the place to experiment with dark, moody colours and tones (but we will take a look at this concept in a moment…). So if you crave space and light, then the answer is lighter, neutral tones throughout. That includes the walls, the ceiling, and the floor. Avoiding dark colours means light is not absorbed by the room but reflected within it. And this goes for furniture too. However, it doesn’t mean that patterns are out of the question. But use darker colours sparingly in the fabric, keeping fabric choices light and airy; perfect for making a room feel and look bigger.

A Dash of Dark Colour

Interior trends come and go. And when trends dictate darker colours, it can be hard to ignore. But small spaces and dark colours are not natural bedfellows: dark colours soak up light, leaving precious little for the remainder of the room. It can draw a wall or ceiling into the space; unless that is the look you are opting for, it is not a welcome effect of using dark colours. So when you want to add a pop of colour, use it sparingly. For example, in the bedroom, opt for a large, dark coloured fabric headboard and offset this with the rest of the room in light, neutral but complementing tones. In the living room, you could add a dark coloured armchair or two, or maybe add a burst of colour with a rug. Think smaller portions of dark colour rather than a whole feature wall.

Clever Furniture Choices

As already mentioned, furniture choices play a large part in how well dressed a room looks. Not opting for block armchairs and sofas that meet the floor helps the feeling of space by maximising the floor space. Choosing low impact furniture helps create a sense of space too but this can cause practical issues that need to be taken care of. In a small space, wall-to-wall furniture seems to ‘just happen’ because, after all, you need storage space. But be clever in your choices of furniture and opt for ones in which there is storage included. For example, forsake the sideboard for hiding away clutter with an ottoman coffee table. And when you do choose additional furniture, such as shelving units for example, keep the overall design ‘open’ so that it doesn’t feel like it is closing down the space.

Think Vertical

A room feels cluttered when the eyeline seems cluttered. And it feels small when the ceiling appears not too far from the top of your head. The feeling of space in a room comes from vision, not necessarily from the physical dimensions of the room. And that means tricking the eye into thinking there is more space than there actually is. Do this by magnifying and emphasising the height of a room. There are many ways of achieving this, but the traditional design ideas still hold water:

  • Light colours on ceilings – stick with brilliant, clean and crisp white if you can, or if that feels too stark, use a light shade of cream – but no darker. 
  • Hang curtain poles just below the ceiling – the long swathes of fabric will give the instant appeal of the room being tall and the room spacious. 
  • Vertical stripes may seem obvious, but they work – choose a muted striped pattern for wallpaper and if you don’t think it will work throughout the room, use it on one wall for a striking effect. 

Space saving and space maximising tips are all well and good, but which ones can you live with?

Sloane & Sons have a range of chairs that give any room, large or small, massive appeal. Traditional and iconic, the winged chair is a piece used in modern interior designs too and is ideal for use in a small living room or bedroom.

*Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Sloane & Sons.

How To Give Your Home A Summer Makeover #InteriorInspirations 

The weather may still be unpredictable but summer is officially here, so it is the perfect time to give your home a fresh new look! This summer, why not go for some of the following ideas:

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Stock Image

Bright and Bold Colours

Whether you opt for one or two select colours, or grab yourself a whole rainbow of items, choosing bold colours will really make the room pop and give you that summer feel. On my pinterest board below, you can see how this works particularly well on plain, neutral backgrounds. Contrasting colours also go beautifully together too if you are working with brightly coloured walls.

Flower Designs

Pretty flower patterns, give any room an outdoorsy summer vibe. From upholstered furniture to simply throwing a few cushions onto a sofa, and rugs to huge wall hangings, anything on this theme really creates that summer feel you are looking for.

Bring Nature Indoors

Moving on only very slightly from the flower theme, bringing nature into your home is another great way to get that summer look. I have written before about nature print wallpaper to bring the outdoors inside. This works well all year round and summer is certainly no exception. Real or artificial plants and flowers finish off the summer look perfectly in any part of your home. See my pinterest board below for some creative ways of doing this.

Strong Geometric Patterns

Duvet covers, throws, cushions and other home decor items in strong geometric patterns using bold colours on a light background are not only eye catching but undoubtedly summery too. This even works on an entire wall if you want to turn the striking meter up to the max!

Set the Scene

Another tip is to use world maps, beach or ocean prints that instantly draw your thoughts to travel and vacations; you’ll feel like you are on your summer holidays without even leaving your room!

Don’t Forget Your Other Senses!

Last but by no means least, remember it is not all about looks! Fragrance your room with a smell that reminds you distinctively of summer, play some relaxing ocean waves sounds and choose some cool summer textures to fully complete your makeover.

Chill insurance are encouraging people to share their summer interior tips using the hashtag #InteriorInspirations on social media. They have also produced a fabulous ebook too, full of great ideas! 

Do you have a favourite summery item of home decor? Or perhaps a top tip for keeping interiors cool in the summer? Get involved in the discussion on social media and/ or leave me a comment!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. 

Needlite: Bringing Daylight Indoors 

Needlite are a small, Danish start-up who invented and designed a unique daylight desk lamp, which launched in the Nordic market just under two years ago. The idea is simple: provide the user with efficient work light and provide the much-needed daylight at the same time.

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The Needlite has a simple, modern design. It is easy to use, either via the sensor or by downloading the iphone app. One simple touch allows you to turn it on/off, and change the brightness. There are various other functions too. I love how funky and modern it is!

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But there are more important benefits to the Needlite. Did you know that many people in western countries spend more than 23 hours indoors per day on average, all year round? That is not enough daylight! Yet humans need daylight for numerous health reasons; including energy, mood, digestion, sleep, recovery from illness etc… General indoor lighting is poor on quality and never contains daylight; the blue wavelength is not present in traditional lighting, which makes Needlite different to other indoor lighting.

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So whilst it might not seem very relevant to consider investing in a daylight lamp at this time of year, it is actually beneficial all year round. I am going to be trying it out further over the coming months and will share my thoughts with you in an update post later this autumn, but I can already see how it would be useful!

Needlite is sold in the UK through www.wellworking.co.uk at RRP £399 (although it is currently on sale at £359 at the time of posting). Check the Needlite website for stockists in other countries.

*Disclosure: I was sent the Needlite daylight lamp free for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Personalise Your Walls With Colour Graphics (£150 Custom Wallpaper Printing Giveaway)

Are you looking to brighten up your home? As I have written about before, I do love unique interior designs and I think that photo wallpaper can be so eye- catching! A well chosen design can really create the atmosphere that you are looking for in a room; whether that be a nice chilled out vibe, a fun place to play, or even to provide some extra visual stimulation to a sensory room. Whatever your aim, customised wallpaper can help you to create the look you want to achieve. 

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Credit: Colour Graphics

This custom wallpaper by Colour Graphics looks brilliant and would undoubtedly transform your walls and brighten up your room. It comes in traditional wallpaper, which requires standard wallpaper paste, or a handy self-adhesive version that doesn’t require anything else; it is almost like putting up a giant sticker! The design can be printed in whatever size you need too.

One lucky reader can win up to £150 custom wallpaper printing from Colour Graphics; to be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, simply enter via rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition closes on 5th April 2017. Entrants must be over 18. UK residents only. One winner will be chosen at random via rafflecopter. Other T&Cs apply. 

Appealing To The Buyer’s Senses: Sell Your Home Fast This Spring

Spring is the most popular season for selling a home which makes sense as all the flowers start blooming, people want to be moved into their new home before winter, they have just got over the stress of Christmas and there’s a little time to go before summer holidays. It certainly makes sense to put your home up for sale this season and figures from the Office Of National Statistics shows a 0.3% rise in the amount of property transactions made at the same time last year, and we’re only just in March!

The problem is, selling it isn’t guaranteed. Even with the best estate agent, right price and sale timed exactly right; there could be around 160,000 other homes for sale or more at this time of year to compete against. Therefore you really need to have your house presented in its best possible light, and then some. One of the easiest ways to approach getting your home ready for sale is by ensuring you are appealing to all the different senses of the homebuyer, including that extra sixth sense too! So here are some tips to help get that sale…

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Sight
The visuals are always the first thing anybody thinks about when they prepare their home for resale, and quite right to, because the majority of buyers will look online at homes before booking any viewings, so what they see of your home in those few photos counts for a lot. So really, before you get into any depth with your home aesthetics, you must make sure your sale photos are as good as they can be. Don’t be afraid to ask your estate agent to retake them.

The second visual a buyer will see is when they see the outside of your home either when driving by, or when they come for a viewing. Curb appeal does still exist and it really does matter, so invest in a lick of paint, clean those windows, get any clutter removed, and trim that garden up – buyers are very quick to make judgements.

Other key changes to make relating to sight are:

● Light, Light, Light – get as much natural light in your home as is possible as nobody likes a dark home. Clean those windows, get those pot plants off windowsills, open the curtains and invest in ambient lighting for the evening as one downlight is not flattering to any space. If you have lots of block doors between rooms, consider switching them for an internal bifold door with glass in, which keeps the rooms separate, but still lets in lots of beautiful light.

● Clutter – you have to depersonalise and declutter your home so that potential buyers can see themselves living there. They will struggle to imagine their own chapter starting in your home if your story is splashed all over the walls and mantelpieces.

● Details – Little details like a dirty tea towel or a grubby kitchen corner will catch a buyer’s eye. Try and have someone come over to point out all the potential visual issues you might have stopped noticing, so you can adjust accordingly.

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Taste
Clearly, food and drink has nothing to do with selling your home, so we’re going to instead talk about personal taste in decor, which does have a lot to do with selling your home. Your taste may well appeal to a lot of buyers if it is fairly neutral and modern. If your taste is quite strong and you have say, leopard print bedding, 80’s pattern wallpaper, a large collection of gnomes in the garden, or a Barbie pink bathroom, then you need to do a bit ofredecorating before you put your house up for sale. You will absolutely be surprised at what a lick of paint can do for one room. You might love your statement wallpaper, or treasured Victorian wall tiles, but somebody else may be completely put off by them and struggle to see past them. For a more saleable home, you have to neutralise your taste in interior design.

Sound

If you play music when a buyer comes round, they will think that you are trying to cover something up, like a noisy neighbour or road sounds. Instead, try to avoid noises that may disturb the feeling of tranquility, like the sound of a washing machine, or perhaps your barking dog. Where possible, have animals and children with someone you trust during viewings, and keep noisy appliances off.

Smell

Any smells that are too strong will again, just like with sound, seem like you are trying to cover up the smell of damp or rot. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim for a fresh, clean smell, or have a natural smell running through the house. Avoid heavily bleaching when you clean, or using chemical air fresheners and instead use standard cleaning products, have fresh scented flowers about the house, and if you do bake regularly, it will do no harm having the smell of freshly baked bread or brownies running through the house as somebody comes over.

Touch

Even though a surface can look clean, it might not be clean, so try and make sure all surfaces have at least been wiped down. A buyer might run their hand along a surface only to find it is sticky, which will then make them wonder about other things that aren’t as they seem. You might also want to add ‘touchable textures’ to the home, like faux fur throws, thick knit poufs, silky curtains or fluffy towels, which will provide a subconscious air of luxury, which is sure to impress buyers.

The Sixth Sense

When you sell your home, it is important that you try your best to work with the sixth sense of the buyer. The sixth sense is; ‘gut feeling’, the ‘funny feeling’ the ‘it just felt right’ sense. Although you cannot control the feeling a person gets for a home, you can control the feeling a person gets for you and the way you present your home. Nobody is entirely honest when selling a home, as in they don’t point out the flaws. However, there is a line between covering up issues, and simply making the house look its best and focusing on its highlights. A truthful, but positive representation of your home will appeal to a buyer. There’s this underlying fear of being ripped off when buying a home because estate agents don’t have the best reputation for telling the truth, and there is a lot of money involved. Buyers will always be seeking the truth and the practicalities of a home, and they will also be open to possibilities and suggestions. Be truthful, and talk about all the parts of your house that you love, or the different ways you have used different spaces. If you aren’t running viewings yourself, pick an estate agent with personality, who will ask the buyer questions about themselves and make suggestions. If you can appeal to their sixth sense, you’re already a long way towards getting an offer.

Happy selling! 

Do you have any top selling tips? I would love to hear them – share in comments! 


*This is a sponsored post

Why Our Rooms Are #NotCompleteWithout Texture: The Importance of Tactile Input

As a parent of a child with SEND, including sensory processing issues, I have spent alot of time thinking about how our home environment meets Squiggle’s needs. We have created a specific sensory area in one of our rooms as a space for her to relax whenever she wants and it also offers her sensory stimulation that supports her specific individual needs. 

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One important part of this is through different textures. Squiggle is very tactile. She really likes soft things, so we have a big selection of fabrics available with various different textures to provide her with the tactile input she needs.

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We have a mismatched assortment of colours and styles to also reflect Squiggle’s other sensory needs too; for example, in terms of visual stimulation, she prefers a variety of colours and to have lots of interesting styles and patterns to look at, especially in her sensory chillout area. So we offer her a bright and colourful, albeit somewhat uncoordinated, environment in that particular space at least!

Of course, like most people, we prefer to stick to more of a specific colour theme and therefore have coordinated the rest of our rooms in a more ‘typical’ organised way! But providing Squiggle with a variety of textures to touch and feel is essential for her sensory integration nonetheless, so we have tried to incorporate her tactile sensory needs throughout the rest of our home too; in particular through our choices of home decor. Cushions, throws, drapes and blankets in a variety of different textured fabrics really adds another dimension to our home. The truth is though, even without SEND, it is great for everyone to have a variety of textures in the home environment. It feels good! 

On this note, Julian Charles are also taking ‘the finishing touches’ very literally and asking what interior design a room is #notcompletewithout, especially in terms of texture. They have just released the most beautiful style guide to give you some brilliant ideas on how to incorporate textures in your home.

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I also love this neutral and beautifully coordinated room decor I found on their instagram too, with all the wonderful textures that have been included. It demonstrates perfectly what a difference that textures can make to a room; check out that gorgeous rug and the lovely textured bedding…

Do you have tactile home decor ideas to share and inspire others with? Join in the conversation on facebook and twitter using the hashtag #notcompletewithout… and of course you might also find more inspiration for your own home too!
*This is a collaborative post. 

Bring The Outdoors Into Your Home With Pixers Wall Murals

It is certainly no secret how much we value the importance of the outdoors and our natural environment. Even when we are at home, we still like to be reminded of the world outside! One obvious way to do this is through wall art. 

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For example, PIXERS have a lovely selection of natural wall murals that would brighten up your home and give it a nice relaxing vibe. There are lots to choose from, such as these beautiful ocean scenes that I really love.

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The website describes the self-adhesive wall murals as ‘tear- and crease-resistant.’ Apparently they are easy to stick on and can be removed then relocated several times too; the website states “you can easily install them unassisted, and then move them from place to place as often as you please, whenever you want – you’ll see how simple this is.”

We are in a rented home so generally we are very limited in making our own interior design choices. However, I wonder if these wall murals could be a solution to this? They can be used to style your interior in the way that you personally want and transform ‘your’ home, even if it is not really yours. As long as they are easy to remove and don’t leave a mark, I think maybe they could be a good answer for renters? But whether renting or not though, they sound like a really simple and effective way to create your own unique look. 

The photos can also be edited and customised to really make them feel like they are more your own too. Or you can even use your own photos, so the possibilities are endless! I like the idea that you can properly make them into your own individual creation.

The wall murals can also be ordered in a range of sizes to suit your room. Entire walls can also be covered with photo wallpaper, like this example.

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There is even a washable version that can be wiped down easily; handy for family homes. They also state they are eco-friendly and ‘print in the latest ecological HP Latex Printing technology. The inks we use are odorless and 100% safe.’

If nature art is not your thing, there are many other types of designs too. For example, I spotted some really funky abstract art designs and patterns whilst I was browsing the site. It seems like there is something for everyone! I have never tried these but it sounds like they might be worth checking out.
*This is a sponsored post.

A Quick Cuppa With… Stephanie (Avec Amour) 

Today, the wonderfully creative and very lovely Stephanie from Avec Amour is chatting to me about her recent wedding and honeymoon, and how she found herself running a lovely little business selling gorgeous handcrafted home decor items and gifts shortly after…

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Thanks for taking part Stephanie! Tell me about yourself and your business…

My name is Stephanie and I’m almost 23 years old. I live in a town called Workington which is in Cumbria, North West of England. My hobbies include: animals, shopping, photography, horror movies, travelling (especially to USA) and anything that involves creativity! This year has been a very busy one for me because in the summer something wonderful happened; I married my best friend, Joe.

Joe was my high school sweetheart and we have now been together for over 8 years! Like all relationships it has been a roller coaster but I’m lucky and grateful to have such a loving, caring and family-oriented man for a Husband. We are planning to travel a bit more before we start our family.

After leaving school, I took (a few more than average!) wrong turns in my life. Joe started an apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering which he absolutely loved, so I thought an apprenticeship would suit me too after hearing so many great things about them. I was an apprentice teaching assistant in a primary school for one year and then they didn’t have enough funding to keep me after that.

For a while I took some time to think about something else I could maybe try. I thought that because I am a very organised person, maybe office work would be suitable for me. I worked in three different office environments in 2014 and 2015 and because I was young with a sensitive personality, I was picked on and bullied in all three of these places with the last one being being the worst. It got so bad that Joe and my parents told me that they wanted me to leave, so I did for my sake of my health.

I have since got my health back on track and I’m much happier! My creativity started to shine through at the beginning of 2016 and at least once a week I got the urge to be creative. The results were handmade wedding invitations and a lot of handmade wedding decor; and subsequently many compliments from our wedding guests!

We spent our honeymoon in Florida. We did the lot, including Disney World and Universal Studios, which includes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! My Husband and I are both huge fans of Disney and Harry Potter. We thoroughly enjoyed our honeymoon; Joe even more so, because it was his first time in the USA.

So after getting home I got the urge to create some Disney and Harry Potter themed home decor items, and then I thought… I love doing things like this, maybe I could start a little hobby business, because why not? Take a risk and do it, because life is too short. Joe was 100% for it too because all he wants is for me to be happy. Then I gathered up all of my ideas and started my business.

Wow. That’s such a lovely answer, thank you for sharing!

Do you have any specific goals or hopes for your business this coming year?

My only goals are: to create items that brighten up the days of others and to continue to gain joy out of it. If I’m inspired enough to come up with any ideas for a brand new product then that would be a bonus!

Love it, what a great goal!

Tell me one random fact about yourself…

A random fact.. I’m addicted to drinking tea!

What is your favourite outdoor activity?

I will admit that I don’t do lots of outdoor activities at the moment but I enjoy the occasional long forest walk with my Husband.

A lovely long walk in the woods is very relaxing I find! And you live in such a beautiful part of England too; fabulous for outdoor walks I’m sure! So if you could tell someone visiting your part of the country for the first time just one outdoor place they simply must go, where would you suggest?

For someone visiting Cumbria for the beautiful outdoors and scenery, I would recommend Whinlatter because the forests are absolutely beautiful and Go Ape! is also there, which is great fun for families/couples.

Sounds amazing!

Thank you so much for chatting to me Stephanie, and all the best with your fab business. 

Check out Stephanie’s beautiful range of items at www.facebook.com/avecamourx  

She has generously offered a wonderful prize to one lucky winner, consisting of a pretty Lace & Ribbon Candle Jar (with a choice of 10 different ribbon colours) and a gorgeous Themed Picture Frame (either Disney, Harry Potter or Wedding themed). Enter via rafflecopter below. (T&Cs apply)

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I’m sure she would appreciate some love over on her page, so do pop over to take a peek!