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Janna Bates, 07/20/20180 Comments
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Housework and Money Saving Hacks

Why write this post?

Well if you are anything like me, you like a clean house, but hate doing it, and do not have enough time with a social life, family and work. I thought I would therefore, share my hacks to speeding up your jobs!  Plus if you like the good things in life, but they are pricey try some of my other hacks!


House Work Hacks

Cleaning the shower

If you are anything like me, I like to clean it thoroughly, all the walls etc, but cleaning it down can be quite messy and you can get wet, so why not clean the shower while you are in it?! I do that way I save time by showering myself and cleaning it out, and then I do not get my clothes wet!

Cleaning the carpet

Use white vinegar with a carpet cleaning machine, such as vax to remove dirt and odours, it will get rid of all food and drink out of your carpet and make sure there is no mould left in your carpets. For small stains that you want to remove quickly, just use water and washing up liquid.

Shiny chrome fixtures and appliances

If you have chrome curtain poles, light switches, oven, microwave, kettle etc like I do, you can see all your finger prints all over them! I make them shiney again with a little bit of baby oil.

Speed up your ironing

If you have shirts to iron, make sure you hang them on hangers as soon as they come out of the washing machine, this will make them much easier to iron.

Unblock clogged plug holes/drains

You can spend a fortune on expensive drain unblockers, when this is unncessary.  Pour bicarbonate of soda, and then vinegar in roughly equal amounts doen the plug hole, leave for 5 minutes, and hey presto - unblocked!

Clean your chopping board and microwave with lemons!

Yes, its true, you can clean a chopping board with lemons to make sure all of the dirt and smells come out of all of the lines where you have been chopping.  You can also get rid of food smells from your microwave by putting lemons or lemon juice in it and then microwave for 5 minutes. You then have a fresh smelling microwave!

In additon, you can freshen up your fridge by leaving lemons in it too to get rid of the strong food smells!

Get rid of moths

Do you hate when your favourite top has a little hole in it from those pesky moths?! Hang small lavender bags in your wardrobe, and have some lavender plants in your house to get rid of them.


Shopping Hacks

Make your own Real Lemonade

Buy some bottles of sparkling water and add some lemon cordial and hey presto! Easy peasy, and tastes yum, so cheap, and no expensive premade bottles or juice mixers required!

Reduce the number of sponges you buy

Sick of buying sponges or forgotten to buy some new ones?  Blast them in the microwave on a high setting to remove any bacteria!

Discounted food items

Having worked in a supermarket myself, I know that the items going out of date, are discounted at 7pm each evening, so make sure you are there ready to bag a bargain! You can then freeze all of the items.

Money off coupons

The best bargains, are the first time you use a home delivery service with each supermarket, so even if you do not use the service again, some of the introductory offers with the money you save are worth it!

Restaurant Hacks

Free birthday dinners

Sign up to the email communications of your favourite restuarants, many of them off free meals, discounts or bottles of wine/drinks for your special day, plus you often get a couple of weeks to use them so you can try a few!

Best restaurant discounts

The best deals, are when many people cannot afford to eat out, yes you guessed...January. If you do have some spare cash, you can eat like a king and hardly spend anything!

Doggy bags

If you like big value meals, or afternoon tea's many places have boxes so you can take the remainder of your meal home with you to eat another time! Great news that the food will not go to waste, and one less meal to worry about.


Follow your favourite restuarants, pubs and bars on social media sites such as facebook and instagram and enter all of their competitions for free meals.



What is Yoga?

Yoga is a spiritual form of exercise, based around physiology and concentration, it has various forms of techniques of controlling the body and the mind which originated in India around 5000 years ago. 

Yoga has developed over time into these various forms:

1. A meditative approach to discovering perception and cognition, and a release from suffering, inner peace and salvation
2. Raising the expansion of consciousness from oneself to being co-extensive with everyone and everything
3. A path to enlightened consciousness enabling one to comprehend the impermanent (illusive, delusive) and permanent (true, transcendent) reality
4. Yoga's goal as meditation-driven means to liberation in tantric practices

The main types of yoga performed in the UK are:

1. Ashtanga - Systematic exercises and self-development techniques for body, mind and spirit

2. Hatha - Focusing on physical and mental strength building exercises and postures described primarily in three texts of Hinduism.

It is advisable to do your research and to choose the type of yoga that suits your needs, as each has a different area of emphasis, such as posture or breathing. Often yoga teachers develop their own style by studying more than one style and merging them together.

No style is necessarily any better nor more authentic than another; the key is to choose a class appropriate for your fitness level and what you want to get out of it.

Health benefits of Yoga

Regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains such as lower back and osteoarthritis, core body & muscle strengthening, depression and stress.

Who is Yoga suitable for?

Everyone, young and old! It is good practice for young children to start thwir lives with to learn to chill out, and for older people it is great for muscle strengthening. People of all fitness levels can do yoga to build up strength & improve flexibility.


Why did I choose Yoga as a form of exercise?

I am not a fan of exercise at all; I hate exercise bikes they hurt my knees; I cannot stand the gym; I hate mud so no winter sports for me; and running is not my thing!

When I was looking for something to do that would be of benefit to me, I came across yoga.

For me I decided to choose something that would feel like I have been to the gym, so I chose Ashtanga.

What did I gain from doing Yoga?

The first time I did yoga I was not sure what I to expect. When you do yoga, you often do not feel like you are actually doing exercise, however afterwards I could feel my muscles aching all over, so I knew that I had done some exercise!

Yoga Mats

It is worth paying for decent mats, as you are on the floor, either balancing on your hands or feet or lying down, so I advise you to make sure that you are protecting your body well. Albeit Manduka mats look like an expensive outlay at first, hwoever they are cheaper than expensive running shoes, and you will use them a lot to practice on, here is the link to the website: https://www.manduka.com/


Other Types of Yoga

1. Pregnancy - this type of yoga is designed to stretch and not strain, and will help you to keep calm and with relaxation and to support with breathing exercises ready for birth. It is a safe way to exercise without straining yourself.

2. Dog - a new trend is to do the yoga poses with your dog and is called Doga, in which traditional Hatha poses are performed. The aim is to seek a more positive attachement and greater harmony with your dog.

3. Mother and Child - simple yoga sessions can be a playful way to help your child keep his/her mind and body balanced, that can strengthen the bond of mother and child, and show from an early age the importance of prioritising mental and physical wellbeing.  They often contain some relaxing massage too! Family yoga sessions, also have the same benefits of strengthening the family relationships and bond.


This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.


Ash End Farm, Staffordshire

All about the farm

The farm is easy to find and well sign posted, with a big car park. It has 2 facilities; the farm itself and a large play barn. We did not use the playbarn as our little one is too young!

The entrance is not well sign posted, however you pay in the shop. It is a nice touch that you can buy a bucket of hay to feed the animals for only fifty pence.

There is a decent number of animals to see, these include farm animals, birds and reptiles, some in their pens and some in fields which is nice to see! For older children there is also a tractor ride, a play area and bouncy castles that you enjoy.



The coffee shop is quite small with a small outdoor seating area too. The selection of food and drink is not the best quality, in fact it has to be worst coffee I have ever tasted!!!

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.


Life is precious

Why write this post?

Having attended 3 funerals recently, it has made me think more about how precious time it. I hate housework, so I have outsourced my ironing; the cleaning and gardening are next! The next thing is how much time each day I spend deleting promotional emails from my inbox from shops I bought something online from once, or restaurants that I do not eat at.  So what I have I done to rectify this? Unsubscribing of course!

The next thing I am doing is decluttering my house of paperwork, clothes and junk that I do not need. A little morbid, but if something happened, family members will need to do this, so I am doing it for them. Getting all of my paperwork in order is also important, as well as updating my will to make sure everything I want for my family is clearly laid out. If you can, I would advise that you write a will and get yourself life insurance to make sure that your family are looked after, and there is clarity on what will happen in the future.

Thinking Differently

Over the years, I have lost many people in my life, old and young, none of these losses are easy, however each one has made me think about how I live my life.  I make the most of everything, having a great balance of spending and saving money, and making sure I spent a lot of time out and about with friends and family.  I have a job that I love, and great family and friends around me.

The thing that I learned the most is that life is too short, and do not worry about anything; what is the worst that can happen?! I can sleep on a washing line! I thought I might find it hard to leave my daughter when I need to go out, or go to work to use a keep in touch day, but I do not as I know she is fine! A few texts, yes, but not worry.

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.


Bespoke gifts

About Bespoke or Unique Gifts

I love to give unique and individualistic gifts if I can, and have often bought items from notonthehighstreet. When my daughter was born we received some lovely gifts from their site, including an individually printed book with our daughters details, and a cushion with her name, birth weight etc. What I like about bespoke gifts is that no-one else has the same gift so they are one offs.

Visit the website at: https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/

I have also used the site to purchase christening gifts for my niece and nephews. It is great for them each to have something personal to keep forever.

We have also received some excellent personalised gifts for our daughter, which we have been really pleased with, that people have gone to so much effort to buy personalised gifts.


Bespoke Baby Gifts

We have received some brilliant gifts for our daughter from my 1st years. We were really happy with the quality of the gifts, and the price of them is reasonable too! From order to delivery, the site is really quick.

As you can see from the photo we have a bathrobe with our daughters name on, and some shoes with her name on too!

Everything arrives looking very presentable, in a branded lovely sturdy green box with a magnetic lid, wrapped in tissue paper.

Visit the website at: https://www.my1styears.com/

Other Gift Sites

I have also bought bespoke presents from other websites, and bought picture frames and books that are bespoke to the recipient. These have been purchased from Prezzybox and Penwizard.

Visit the websites at: https://www.prezzybox.com/ and https://www.penwizard.com/

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.


Umberslade Farm Park, Warwickshire

About the farm

We decided to take our four month old out to meet some animals, she is very aware of her surroundings and learns a lot, so thought we would give it a whirl. Thankfully, it was not too busy, so we managed to get around quite easily, without queues, and got a table easily in the cafe, perfect when you have a young baby who sleeps in the day still! The approach to the farm, down the driveway is lovely, and the farm buildings are lovely. We had a nice time, and the little one enjoyed it, and thankfully, was not scared by the animals. We would definitely return to the farm again.


We were really pleased that our little one was not scared of any of the animals. We stood really close to pregnant sheep that were really noisy and she did not flinch!
It is great that there are a lot of demonstrations for you to see how the farm works.

The membership passes are great value, if you want to visit several times per year.

Visit the website at: http://www.umberslade.com/

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.


Boston Tea Party

The Grand Opening!

I was super excited to find out last year that Boston Tea Party was opening in my town, I was chuffed to be selected to attend the trial event before the opening day! I love this place, but was not always able to travel to Birmingham or Stratford.  The concept is great; so family friendly (and pet if that is your thing!) I love the menu and the ingredients are ethically sourced, tasty and fresh.

At the trial event I got to take someone with me. We both ordered off the all day breakfast menu. The scrambled egg was divine, and the food was cooked just right and both meals were really tasty. The service was great too!


It is great that the cafes are committed to their core values, as well as sustainability, and work with local groups and charities in each community that they operate, which is part of their attraction; it is fab that they are banning plastic straws from June 2018 onwards.

Here is a link to their website: http://www.bostonteaparty.co.uk/

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.


Why do I keep receiving data protection emails?

What is GDPR?

This is legislation that is over and above the current Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), it strengthens the legislation for consumers giving more rights and protection than previously. Companies are making important updates to their privacy policies, and therefore sending emails to every user that are registered with them.

Why is this?

  • Due to new EU data protection laws, all EU countries require all businesses to update their Privacy Notices to clarify how personal data is collected, shared and retained
  • Companies now need new policies on how they use your data
  • From 25th May 2018 companies have to commit to new rules under the GDPR regulations, fines for non-compliance will be much larger
  • There are new safeguards when data is moved in a company across various the countries it operates in, particularly those outside the European Economic Area
  • You need to be informed how companies use your data to inform you about their products and services

What will this mean for me?

Everytime you sign up to something or somewhere you do business with already, such as your bank, the company organisation will collect a lot of personal data such name, date of birth, address, email.

You will find that many companies are sending you emails at the moment, advising one of two things:

  • Do you want to receive our emails? If so click further for more information to confirm to the company your requirements
  • We are updating our policies, and here is how we will treat your data

This means that it will your choice to agree to further direct marketing communications, such as ticking a box or agreeing over the phone. All companies will have to provide you with the opportunity to opt out of all future communications. It must be clear what you are signing up to when you sign up. Your positive opt-in should not then mean that later down the line your data is misused or that you are contacted for something that you did not sign up to.

What will happen to my data after Brexit?

    • If you process data about individuals in the context of selling goods or services to citizens in other EU countries then you will need to comply with the GDPR, irrespective as to whether or not you the UK retains the GDPR post-Brexit.
    • If your activities are limited to the UK, then the position (after the initial exit period) is much less clear. This is one to watch!
    • The UK Government's new data protection legislation, which will implement the vast majority of GDPR is currently working its way through debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords and is subject to amendments.
    • There is an expectation that the legislation will largely follow the GDPR, given the support of the regulation previously given by the UK Government. This will be necessary to continue to do business with other EU countries, so the UK will not be able to move too far from the GDPR guidelines


Then what next? Why should we care?

Businesses can be fined huge amounts of money for future misues of your data and data breaches, so it is important that everyone is aware of this legislation.

Once the legislation is in place, if you feel aggrieved about how your data is managed, you can complain to the company directly or contact the ICO at:


This post is not sponsored and is for information purposes only.