Thursday, 19 February 2015

Toes & Tums

by Bex

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Earth Conscious reusable breast pads review

by Bex

I was recently sent a pair of washable bamboo breast feeding pads from Earth Conscious.  I've mostly been using Lansinoh disposable pads despite buying a set of reusable ones so I was keen to try another brand.  The ones I had previously were fairly stiff and quite uncomfortable but I found the Lansinoh ones much nicer to wear and had good results from them.  I haven't had much of an issue with milk leakage, most likely due to the fact I feed the twins on each side at the same time and they like to eat often, therefore my boobs manage to keep up but rarely have enough excess to leak!  I do find breast pads handy for a quick mop up after feeding and to prevent any nipple sticking to bra incidents though.  Ouch!

These new breast pads from Earth Conscious are made from lovely soft bamboo fabric which makes them very comfortable to wear.  They're much more pliable than the thick stiff fabric ones I bought and although they have a towelling side, I haven't had any problems with sticking.  The reverse side is a nice soft velvety fabric which helps hold them in the right place.

I was offered black or cream and since my other ones are white and sometimes poke out the top of my bra/top after a hasty re-covering when feeding in public, I went for black so they'd be less obvious when wearing dark tops.  Unfortunately they come with a wide band of white stitching over the edge so they are still obvious if showing.  It kind of defeats the purpose of having two colour options in my opinion, they'd be better if finished with black thread.

During the twins' illness recently I had much more of a problem with leakage as they were having trouble feeding while all bunged up so they often had to stop during a feed (frequently getting sprayed in the face as a result, who knew boobs could spray?!) and they had less of an appetite so I was constantly full of milk!  These pads had no problems preventing me getting soaked through during/between feeds.  They also wash well and survived the tumble drier!

They're currently in the sale at just £4.99 for 3 pairs.

Monday, 9 February 2015

The Forever House - our finished Kitchen!

by Roz

The kitchen in the house is finally finished!!!  I am so excited to share it with you as so many of you helped me out with advice on paint colours, splash back colour, which worktop to go with, the lights...I hope you all like the finished room.  If you remember the room wasn't a kitchen when we bought the house, as shown here, so we got to plan the layout exactly how we wanted.  This was obviously great as we didn't need to have our sink or oven in a certain place as we needed to run new plumbing and wiring, but did mean we had endless discussions over how big to make the island and if we had space left for a table in the window. I shared our ideas for the kitchen here and I think you'll see we've stuck with a number of them, as well as picking some different finishes.

I thought it would help to include a few before shots, it seems strange looking back at how the room was!

We are so happy with the finished room and I just know we are going to spend so much time here making fabulous memories. I think back to all the work we did in this room, from the hours we spent ripping up the carpet, and underlay that was glued to the floor, removing the layers upon layers of wallpaper, chiseling out the chimney breast to allow our units to sit flush against the the work we got tradesmen to do, such as the knock through, the plastering and the plumbing and wiring, it's certainly a complete transformation.

Our kitchen units are from Ashley Ann, who make all their own units in their factory in Scotland and also have a showroom in Glasgow which was handy for all the planning meetings! We went round a number of kitchen suppliers, including Ikea and Howdens, once we decided we wanted the high gloss white doors and Ashley Ann came out with the best price for the taller units we wanted for the room. Their service has also been excellent and I would highly recommend them.

It took us forever to pick lights for the room. There were plenty of lights I liked but as we needed three of them, the cost  ruled out so many of the ones I found. In the end we actually picked these lights in a pale purple colour, only to order them and find out they had been discontinued. Arghhhhh! It was choosing the green lights that resulted in us agreeing to paint the kitchen walls a pale green. The colour is Celtic Forest 4 from Dulux and it's lovely and calming and works so well with all the white in the room.

The oak floor up close 

I'm also very happy with our choice of floor. We went with an engineered oak board, that runs through our kitchen and lounge, in a super wide and extra long plank. The colour is perfect, it's a brushed and oiled finish, and is so much warmer and softer underfoot than a tiled floor. We had engineered wood floors in our flat, so we know how hard wearing they are, yet we also have the option to sand and reseal the boards at least once in the future.

If you look in the before picture, you can see there used to be a door (to a cupboard) on this wall. We knew the kitchen units would make this unusable, but B came up with the idea of utilising the space and creating a book and wine rack. It's genius and so very handy. We made it out of unfinished mdf and then just painted it in white eggshell to match the rest of the wood in the room. Having my cook books on show does actually temp me to use them a bit more often rather than just cooking one of the 10 meals we eat most often!

I took the photo below the day after the knock through between the kitchen and our lounge. It took us a long time to find someone to make the oak glazed doors I pictured in my head for the opening. Most of the places we tried in Glasgow were very expensive and in the end we found a excellent firm called Premier Joinery in Falkirk. Our doors are beautiful and I could not recommend the guys more.

Most people comment on the ovens when they come in to the kitchen for the first time. Yes three ovens might look a bit over the top. But this is my dream kitchen. Our flat had two ovens that were constantly in use when I cooked for friends or family on a regular basis. So we went with three for the forever house. They are Neff ovens and I might be a little in love with them. The single oven in the middle has a slide and hide door :)

My ovens!
The ovens are all slightly different, we have a microwave combi, a single oven and a steam oven combi. We went with Neff as the appliances in our flat were all Neff and we'd never had any problems with them and liked the way they looked. Neff however is not a cheap brand. Up steps B and manages to buy all three ovens and the two warming drawers from our kitchen company as ex display appliances. Saved us a fortune! We went with much cheaper brand for our integrated fridge, freezer and dishwasher and with hindsight it would have made sense to at least read some reviews before ordering these as we already miss our old dishwasher.

I really love having a table in the window. A eats all his meals here sitting in his fab tripp trapp (bought second hand on eBay) and we find ourselves doing the same more often than not. It's great family time. B and I disagreed about the table versus a dropped section on the end of the island. Personally I'm so glad he was happy to go with my preference of the table, as sitting looking out to our garden or to the Campsies in the distance is just lovely. The table is a small, cheap one we picked up in Ikea and I think it actually looks quite small in the space. It works for us just now, especially with A knocking lumps out of it every meal time.

Our induction hob lives on the island and was a real splurge.  Again we had one in our flat, are you seeing a theme?! We love cooking on it and how easy it is to keep clean and the safety aspect is great too. We also have two pop up sockets on the island which come with usb ports for charging phones, iPads, etc. The island is so big that it is usually covered in clutter though, do any of you manage to keep your kitchen clean all the time? Going to bed early usually wins over me loading the dishwasher.

We went with a grey blue colour for our splash back and I really, really like the colour.  A local firm did it for us and it was a much cheaper option than tiles as we only needed one cut out in the glass.  I really like how it looks against the white gloss units and our grey quartz worktop. Our tap is a boiling tap, something B really wanted, and it's great not just for making hot drinks but when you need to fill a pan for cooking.

The stainless steel sink is probably the only think I dislike. I love the size of the sink, it's deep and wide, and I love having a half sink again, but oh my is it scratched. Very scratched already. Urgh. It's an under mount sink and our quartz was cut around it so we have no option to change it. It's minor in the grand scheme of the kitchen, as you can't see the scrapes unless you go inspecting the sink, but I certainly would not recommend a stainless steel sink to anyone.

One area of the kitchen I was very excited about was our pantry. I pinned so many images of beautiful shelving and neat, orderly food and drink. Let's just say one day!

The pantry door...

...that hides the mess!!

The room has a window and is a great size. It has lots of potential for the future!

Well I hope you all liked the finished room, it's been great writing the post about it :)

Roz xx

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