This post has been drafted for months and I have never got around to publishing it – sorry! It is a little sneaky peak into our home and a look at what we did with our girls bedroom when we moved in last Summer. I am hoping to show you a few more (as and when we add the finishing touches) but as they are both getting older now, and with Alice soon coming out of a cot and most likely into bunk beds, I wanted to show you (and preserve the memory of) their little girls unicorn bedroom!

A Unicorn Bedroom

The kids rooms were the first to be done, and we got them done quite simply and quickly. Ethan has his own room (which I will post about soon) and the girls share. Megan was adamant when we were moving that their room would be pink and unicorn themed – the rest was up to me! I was sure that it would be simple and classic whilst incorporating the unicorns. I most certainly didn’t want big characters everywhere and we didn’t have time or the energy to faff with wallpaper or anything, and so we painted it all pink (from the olive green it once was), knocked out the fitted wardrobe and built in a make shift one using Ikea units! This way it felt fresher, was a better use of space and was certainly more age appropriate for a 1 year old and then 5 year old!

I decided to put their beds opposite to one another and next to the window. It seemed to use the space well and I also wanted Megan to have a side and Alice to have a side as at times she has been known to whine about sharing a room with “a baby”! Alice’s bedding was the cloud set from Ikea – which I felt went well with the unicorn theme, whilst keeping it classic and baby like for Alice! We then painted an Ikea spice rack above Alice’s cot for her few baby books, and a Kallax unit at the end where we put her toys, nappies/wipes and vests in various baskets!

I bought Megan’s bed spread from Primark for about £12 – I liked it because it had a retro feel to it and the pastel colours toned down the unicorns. Above her Ikea bed (which I bought second hand for £30) we put up 2 white ikea picture rails to display unicorn tat and little bits and bobs. This was her favourite part of the room as it was her special place that Alice was too small to reach and tamper with.

I also made a small “princess dress up” zone between the end of her bed and closet area. It was super simple and easy using a rail from Ikea that cost a couple of pounds and adding a mirror that was from our old room over it.

Since moving in and getting settled, and as they have both grown up a little (and Alice can climb up on things) we have had a little shift around in the girls room recently. We have maintained the unicorn them, but dismantled the hanging area to swap over Megan’s bed to that side of the room. She likes her little nook, and an added unicorn garland (£1 from Hobbycraft)!

The shelves that were over her bed now hold lots of books and Alice’s cot lies at a different angle with us building a hanging space in the corner where her book shelf was!

I expect in the next year or so this room will love very different, as we move Alice from her cot and them both into bunk beds. As they grow and need more space, we will also add in a wardrobe and proper drawers and possibly a small desk too for Megan to do homework at!

Our new home is very slowly coming along, and whilst we are not doing any major renovations to it, it is still hard work to put our stamp on it through style and decor. I am full of good ideas and have a colourful home style, however both Mr Smith and I are not that great at DIY and so it never looks as good as I imagine! For now though I am really pleased with this simple unicorn bedroom for our girls and the rooms we have almost finished that feel rather lovely!

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I am someone that absolutely loves and very much needs my sleep (just ask Mr Smith). In recent years this has been made much harder by 3 things – Kids, a snoring husband and restless nights on a springy tat mattress! Whilst I can’t do much about the first 2, the change of our mattress to a Simba Hybrid, has made a world of difference to how well I sleep!

When we were first married I slept very well – we had at that time a lovely memory foam topped mattress that brought me sheer comfort every night, but when that reached the end of it’s life during Mr Smith’s final year at University, we could only afford to buy a cheapo one from Gumtree (of all places)! Of course there was no shopping around, no testing out, no reading reviews – it was an essential and it was cheap, so it was a done deal! After the first night we knew exactly why it was so cheap and vowed that we would never scrimp again on a mattress!

You can then only imagine how much I leapt for joy when Simba came to the rescue and asked us to review one of their Hybrid King Size mattresses. The Simba Hybrid is like no other – With a unique combination of 2,500 conical pocket springs, responsive memory foam, a “simbatex” layer, a perfectly engineered support base and a temperature control hypoallergenic airflow sleep surface, it is 5 luxurious layers designed to fit you and help you get the quality of sleep you’ve been dreaming of.

Together these 5 layers provide freshness and comfort, cool and gentle support, and it’s engineered support base has 7 different zones to ensure a perfect night’s sleep for all. The Visco memory foam moulds expertly to your body shape and it’s basically like a mattress that is tailor made for you. Whatever position you choose to sleep in, this mattress is engineered to offer optimum comfort and a fab nights sleep like never before!

Its complete luxury (and yet very affordable) and was just what our bed and lives needed!

The Mattress came in what I would consider a small box for a King size mattress!! I stood there in amazement wondering how the heck a King Size mattress had fit in there and why was it even in a box? Little did I know the surprise that Simba had in store for us!

Once you have taken it out of it’s little box, Simba needs time to settle into it’s new home. We removed all of the cellophane, laid it on the bed, and then the magic happens! The Simba Mattress begins to expand and settle – its all rather fascinating really! Within minutes you have an inviting mattress sat looking at you, and beckoning you to jump on. And then, a few hours later it is settled and ready to use, and you begin to see what all the hype is about.

100 night sleep trial and a fab warrenty

I don’t need 100 nights to tell you that this mattress is not just good, but absolutely blooming fantastic!

But if you aren’t sold by the end of this post, then know that Simba not only make a wonderful mattresses, but they offer you 100 nights to to make sure the mattress is just right for you. If then you are not 100% happy with it for any reason during the 100 day sleep trial, they will arrange a free pickup of your mattress and fully refund you the cost of your purchase – no questions asked.

I also love that Simba offer an amazing warranty too which is something else we love about them as a company. Every Simba mattress comes with a 10 year guarantee and if your mattress fails during the 10 year warranty period, they’ll exchange it for a brand new one.

Our Verdict

We have had the mattress now for almost 3 weeks and are sleeping in absolute luxury – It has turned our master bedroom into a haven of happiness!

During these last few weeks one of the biggest things we have noticed is that we barely feel one another turning over or moving around. This is because of the Simba Hybrid’s flexible zoned base and unique patented springs, that respond individually to each sleeper so that your movement doesn’t affect your partner, and as a result we are sleeping incredibly well. One night last week Nath brought Alice into the bed, and again I didn’t even feel or notice her presence as I would normally do, instead I slept right through!

The mattress is medium to firm and I love it. It offers great support for both of our backs, and I definitely have noticed a difference on my hips. They have been achy since having kids and if I walk a lot during the day, I really feel it at night. The Simba Hybrid offers instant support and on busy days especially, I can’t wait to hop (or rather crawl) into my new dreamy bed!

We are both side sleepers and I especially have noticed that once in position, I barely move all night. I sleep well, in a deep long sleep and wake up feeling way less achy and groggy than I did with our old mattress! I found after the first week my body felt better, and now 3 weeks on I have noticed I feel really rejuvenated every day. I wake up feeling rested, even if I have gone to bed late! It certainly proves to give quality sleep to us both!

So in a nutshell – We basically sleep a hundred times better on the Simba Hybrid Mattress than we were doing – even with 3 kids in the mix!

I can’t get enough of my bed now! It is optimum comfort to sleep in, so comfortable to work from (yes I am writing write now from it!) and watch movies in, and I love how you just sink into it and feel instantly happy and at ease! We both love it, and I could quite easily spend my whole day in bed. Some afternoons I have a sneaky lay on it, just because it feels THAT nice!

Sleep (and the quality of it) affects so much of our lives. If I am tired, I am grumpy – I feel sluggish and achy, and generally have a miserable day! I need my sleep and our new Simba Hybrid is ensuring that that is attained on a level I haven’t experienced in years! Having this dream of mattress means I am able to sleep wonderfully and spring out of bed in the morning ready to face whatever the kids are throwing my way! As the young people of today would say – It’s “on point”!

How about £75 off your Simba purchase? 

Simba believe that if everybody was a little more rested, the world would be a very different place. Happier, healthier, more productive and better decisions would be made. They are re-imagining every aspect of the sleep experience one bed at a time and would love to offer all of my readers a hearty £75 of their purchase of a Simba Hybrid Mattress! Simply click the link, and look forward to an amazing nights sleep for less ———-> GIVE ME £75 OFF MY SIMBA

* We are working with Simba in an affiliate partnership and were sent the Simba Hybrid complimentary in return for both a review and social media work. Thank you Simba for such luxury – All pictures are my own! 

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There is nothing I love more on these icy cold nights, than rushing home with the kids from school, kicking our shoes off and getting snugly together with a Christmas movie. We have a sneaky hot choc or herbal tea (yes before dinner), and all grab a blanket each, before diving on to the sofas, shutting out the world, and reconnecting from our busy day before it all starts again for dinner and bed time!

As I wander around our village to and from school, I have been noticing more and more that lots of people not only have wood burners going (yes please) but also have beautiful shutters on their windows… I never really noticed it in the Summer, but there seems to be something so lovely and cosy about them (especially adorned in twinkly little Christmas lights). Wood burners and shutters – they both seem to be a thing here, and both are things I do not have but which I can only imagine add to a cosy home on cold Winter nights in! With this in mind, and our new love of cosy movie nights after school, I have put together a few essentials I see to having a cosy Winter home. Some of these things I can, and do do now, others will be DIY jobs hopefully done for next Winter.

Creating a cosy Winter Home

Blankets – Before having a family and owning our own home, I always imagined I would love to have a basket filled with throws and snugly blankets for the winter time. I wanted people/us/our kids to be able to come in and get cosy, and feel relaxed whilst we sat around talking, reading or watching films!

Only now has this become a reality, and just last week I pulled out all of our blankets and folded them neatly  chucked them into a basket by the fireplace. It instantly brought a cosy feel and made me immensely happy too.

Candles – I love candles burning at this time of year. It instantly brings a warm glow and lovely scents that scream “cosy room”! I have a love for Winter smelling ones, like cinnamon or gingerbread! A lovely bunch of burning candles on cold nights definitely bring the cosy factor!

Warm Socks/Slippers – These are such a small thing, and probably one we take for granted, but cannot be underestimated either. I love a good pair of chunky sock to snuggle in on cold winter nights (and days too for that matter). I love to see the kids take off their shoes and pop on some cosy socks or slippers. You know you’re home and can just feel all warm and cosy. What a treat for your freezing little toes!

Fire – I love a good fire in the Winter. It is super relaxing and inviting, and feels so homely and cosy! I think a good fire, especially now we live in the countryside, is an essential to creating a cosy Winter home! Whilst it isn’t a project we plan to carry out this year… we most certainly want a wood burner in time for next Winter. I have been pinning a few ideas and can’t wait to live the cosy Winter dream!

Shutters – This is something new on my list of ideas, all thanks to my nosy wanders around the village! But I think they look so beautiful and homely, and are incredibly beneficial too. Not only do they look modern and fresh, but keep the room warmer in the Winter and cooler in Summer!

I would like to get some in the bay window downstairs, and then work up to the bedroom windows. I remember on holiday in Italy that they made the rooms so dark, and it felt nice to shut the world out! I think shutters would be a lovely addition to making a home cosy at Winter, especially when you throw in some twinkling lights too. What a lovely way to shut out the world and create a little place of happiness!

Winter isn’t my favourite of seasons, but it is one I love for all of the cuddles and snuggles, the beautiful scenery, and the opportunity to get cosy! I love making my home Winter ready and relaxing with blankets and little candles by the light of the Christmas tree. I love to gather my little family together and shut out the world, and I look forward to accomplishing more of our DIY goals to make this even more cosy and joyful!

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I am delighted to report that we are finally cracking on with our DIY projects in our new home in a hope to spruce it up before our first Christmas here. I think, as it’s a big project, we might just leave the lounge until the new year, because I want it to be right and not rushed! But at the top of our list was to organise the porch/entrance hall as you will see from the below picture I took, it was complete chaos and on some days it was a bit of a struggle to even open the front door!

It now looks so much better and I couldn’t be happier – this little space makes me so happy and it wasn’t very expensive either, as in true frugal style… most of it was from Gumtree or Ikea.

Thankfully Mr Smith has little opinion on our home style (if it was up to him it would stay the same), and so he’s totally okay with me doing my thing! My home style is rather like me – a little crazy, colourful and the odd piece of bling! I love patterns, I love retro and I love glam (though the latter is nigh impossible when you share a home with wild animals kids). And so I decided that from the first step inside our home I wanted to create a look that let them know they were in our home. I went for a monochrome look with a statement mirror and it came together simply and well! Of course I looked around for a few deals, and am very pleased with the areas where I got a good deal and saved us a few quid…

Our Porch

For so long I have wanted an area to keep shoes and coats. A place to walk in and kick off our shoes before going into the lounge. Our old house was a back to back and we were constantly cleaning mud off everything!!! The coats were hung by the door, but that also meant they too were in the lounge and it just felt messy and all out of sorts. I LOVE that now we have a porch/entrance way … separate to our lounge where we can store wellies and shoes, coats and bags.

I originally wanted a locker room style hooks, and have a really colourful wallpaper, however we realised this would be too faffy and so instead opted for white walls (as its a little dark in there), and then with that I wanted to incorporate the lovely black and white stripe fabric from Ikea, so that kinda created an immediate monochrome look!

I wanted an oval or circular mirror and found this amazing one on Gumtree for £20 which I just love! We bought the storage box on Gumtree also for £25, and then the hooks, shelf and fabric for the cushion are from Ikea! I saved money and made it my own style by making the cushion on top of the storage box. It only took me like 10 – 15 minutes to do and I like the pop of pattern in the room.

The baskets are both from Homesense – The smaller one on the shelf was £9.99, and the bigger one in the corner was £14.99! I had some love2shop vouchers so I guess technically they cost me nothing.

Finally, taking inspiration from my sister in law, I decided to put 3 little hooks down low for the kids which they absolutely love too, and they have been eager all week to actually hang their coats up after school – SCORE! These were from the Yorkshire shop Boyes for £2.60 each.

How to make a Pom Pom Light shade

My most favourite touch to our porch is my lamp shade. Firstly because it is blumming awesome, and secondly because it was a right bargain too! The lamp shade is from Ikea and when I bought it earlier in the year I only paid £2.50 for it (I believe they’re about 3 now!). Then, with inspiration from my mother in law, I bought just over a meter of black pom poms from BOYES which cost £2 and glued them round! I just love it – and it adds a little something funky!

So lets get our craft on and make one. It is really simple and quick if you have everything organised.

You will need:
*Chosen Light shade
*Pom Pom trim
*A glue gun

To start just get the shade you want and then choose your pom poms (colour/size) from a local haberdashery (or ebay have them too). I think a crazy pattern one would look cool with bright pom poms if you were feeling ambitious!

Next using a glue gun, just carefully glue small sections to the bottom outside edge of the shade and stick it round a little at a time, making sure the cord marry’s up with the edge of the light shade so as to be neat and professional!

Once you have gone all the way around cut off any remaining pom pom cord and stick the two edges so as to not look tatty. And hey presto – a beautiful and stylish light shade on a budget!

Having a beautiful home doesn’t have to cost a lot when you adopt a thrifty mentality. You can have lovely things, your own individual style, and create beauty on a budget with a little planning and shopping around! I love our new porch and can’t wait for the next project!

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