Friday, 25 August 2017

Autumn daytripping #TestYourTreads

My favourite season is a mere gust of wind and a conker fall around the corner, a time when the countryside is looking magnificent in its autumn finery and no better time for days out to enjoy nature's show. But before we leave, time for a few checks of the car to make sure we are safe on our travels, especially the tyres as with all the leaves on the road and damp days, plus the nights drawing in, the driving conditions will be a little trickier - no matter what you're driving.......even if it's the Zombie Response Team bus that I came across last autumn.....well it is the time of year for all things spooky 👻

Zombie Response Team bus

So....what to check with your tyres. to make sure they are safe and legal...
  • Check the tyre pressure, refer to the car manual to see what the pressure should be (sometimes also in the jamb of the driver's door this is shown) Also consider the load the car will be carrying. When we go on our autumn holiday the car will be full of cases and us plus the dogs so the tyres pressure will need to be increased. We have a portable tyre inflator that plugs into the lighter socket in the car, connect to the tyre valve and the digital display advises of the pressure. This is a usual weekend check before a day trip or any particularly long journeys when we check oil, water and engine fluid levels.
  • Check the tyre treads which need to be a minimum of 1.6mm legally but really this depth does not ensure safety and replacements are advised to be at least 3mm. The deeper treads will grip better and have a better stopping distance, especially in wet weather. What you don't want to end up doing is aquaplaning so check these out by looking at the tread indicators on the tyres or there is a check you can do with a 20p as the border on it is 1.6mm, place into the tyre groove to see if yours are above this. 
  • Bald tyres are illegal and carry a weighty fine plus could be very dangerous. Do get them checked out and replaced, have a wide range of tyres to ensure you have the right tyres for your car. Their network of over 700 fitting location and conveniently can replace them at your home or workplace.
  • Check the outside of the tyre for any damage such as cuts.
  • Check for uneven wear on the tyre treads (this could be on the inside or the outside) as this could suggest that the wheel alignment is not correct and requires a trip to a car garage to sort out for a minimal cost.
  • Ensure your spare tyres (if you have them still - we don't as yet have the repair kits that many new cars now have) are also legal and of the right pressure. Make sure you have a car jack, relevant tool kit and the details of your rescue service.

Then we are ready for our autumn day trips to castles, churches, collecting conkers in woodlands and exploring the best of the mellow countryside. 

Remember to #TestYourTreads
Autumn road trip

*Collaborative post, words are my own.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Setting up a new loft room study

Now that I am in my second year of a Post-Graduate diploma I have amassed a massive amount of books, papers, files and other church history related material and need to create an office room where I can arrange my desk and bookshelves. Up in the loft room is out of the way, up a wooden staircase to the room where my son doesn't go and I can have some peace and quiet. 

The room needs a new coat of paint, white to bring more light into the room and a few new items to create a cosier space to sit and do my studying. I already have a bookshelf up there and so with a new stationery and some glitzy homeware items the space will be my reading retreat. I have a VELUX roof window on one side but would like another from to bring lots of natural light into the room and to be able to look across the rooftops and out over the surrounding fields. It's also a great place for watching the night sky and having a relax in the evening.'s the logical place to create my workspace in and I've been looking online for items I'd like to personalise the space.

When it gets a bit chilly I like having a snuggly woolly throw to hand, this geoprint one in goldy tones looks very snuggly and a new mug for a  cup of tea whilst I write my history notes is essential. Keeping with the metallic theme, a few beautiful stationery accessories for the desk to inspire me to plan and make notes, store my history magazines and keep my pencils. Coppery and rose golds tones will make my study area look really feminine and keep with the light and airy feel of the room. The storage boxes from Habitat would be perfect for all the church literature I pick up on my travels and keep them nicely organised as at the moment they are in piles on different shelves and in tatty cardboard files. 
The room also functions as a bedroom so I'd like the study area to not look too cluttered or take over with  With the light from the VELUX windows it is ideal for reading in each season and as a place to rest. I'd add some metallic cushions onto the day bed in here, so the shiny star cushion would add some character and accessories such as the copper globe to break up the stacks of books and add some features to the room. 

As soon as Little Bird is in school this will be part of my home improvement plans, so whilst he is learning and playing I will now be decorating and decluttering. Hopefully before Christmas I will have some new room looks to show you.

Geoprint throw, Matalan £15// Shiny star mug Noth £20// Metal storage boxes Habitat £50// Geometric design magazine file WHSmith £6//Rose Gold Kate Spade notebook £20//Copper desk organiser RedCandy £23.50// Copper Globe Asda £15// Copper succulent plant pot George £5// Shiny star cushion eBay £12

Monday, 21 August 2017

The Psychology of Colour in your home

What is your favourite colour in the home? I love dusky pink or grey and yellow is a colour I love to accent with, bright yellow cushions and fluffy throws on the sofa. Yellow makes me feel cheerful, a happy colour and one that lifts a darker space. This weekend I came across a bright yellow front door on a pretty house and I thought to myself, what a great colour to invite people in with or simply make passers-by smile. According to the below interesting infographic from Thomas Sanderson on the psychology of colour, the colour yellow in a home is great as it helps release serotonin, a great colour for social spaces in the house such as a dining room. The guide shows how colour in the home can influence mood and the psychology behind it.

I like to use a lot of colour in my home, I mainly have white walls but then accessorise and furnish with heaps of colour. I have white walls and a painted white floor in the family room, with a relatively new purple sofa that really stands out. Apparently purple is an appropriate colour for relaxation so I planned that perfectly! The rest of the house has a lot of vibrant red and cools blues, a real rainbow all the way through but not too much, just a painted chair or an eye-catching accessory. I'd like to buy a new bookshelf and arrange books by colours - maybe not practical for finding books but it would look very pretty against a white wall. Have a look at the infographic for some insight into colours in your home. 
Psychology_of_colour_small *Collaborative post

Saturday, 12 August 2017

A weekend pause

A slow moving winding waterway runs through the verdant flat plain of mid-Cheshire, the River Dane, a name derived from Old Welsh dafyn which means trickling stream. Here in Northwich it joins the River Weaver, the confluence being in the centre of town. But before it does, its last meander is through the middle of farmland, past cows who clumsily dip in for a drink or to cool on a summer's day.

As part of a Sunday afternoon drive, the first stop is at a farm that over looks the Dane although it cannot be seen, just picked out by the trees and denser plants that flank the river. A looping greener way into town so sinuous it's as if the river couldn't quite make its mind up until deciding that town life and merging forces with the Weaver was the better option after all. 

Shipbrook Hill where I stand is the site of a Norman Castle and local folk have told me of some ruins of it being within the farm's garden. I found no trace but on this escarpment is the treasure of a view on this fluffy sky day with the steeple of the church in the distance piercing cumulus and equally cotton wooled sheep frolicking in the nearby field. On an ox bow beyond are a herd of cows, tails flicking and swallows squeal above and swoop enjoying the weather. By my feet, pink mallow stretches up and tickles the fence posts, clover flowers like baubles are bobbing about with bees and the rolling carpet of grass from shades of deep green to end of summer yellow stretches on towards the town.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Jacamo clothes for summer

Summer clothes for Little Bird's dad, a treat from Jacamo for adventuring towards autumn, perhaps up spiralling castle stairways and running down hills with much giggling.It's usually LB that has the clothes quota but this time dad could choose some items. 

First up was a chambray shirt, chosen as it is smart casual and can be worn for work which has a relaxed dress code and also for an evening at the pub or taking LB on a trip out on a cooler day, of which we are certainly having plenty of this August! The cuffs are navy on the underside so can be turned over for a different look.
Jacamo shirt

Next were some chino trousers and denim shorts. The chinos are not those ones that I remember half the IT department that I worked in wearing but are surprisingly now on-trend and an essential for any time of the year. These are charcoal ones with a twisted fit to the leg, great for work again and can be dressed up or worn as casual. In fact he will wear them with the shirt and add a smart pair of shoes for when he goes out with friends. 

charcoal chinos
The last item chosen was a pair of jean shorts which will be the best summer item for taking LB to the park and generally messing around on boy's days out with the other two lads in the family. Usually kicking a ball around and fooling about, the shorts will be perfect for that and are machine washable, like the other items. The detail on the short's pockets was particularly nice and the casual look of them will coordinate with t-shirts and shirts, and a pair of retro trainers.
Jacamo clothes Jacamo have a wide range of clothes and footwear, all at reasonable prices and whatever your style is. Sportswear, lots of brands and offers such as 2 x £35 on hoodies and chinos. On your first order there is free next day delivery and after that, it is £3.99 or click and collect for free from a Jacamo store or a MyHermes Parcel Shop (orders over £40), which is good if you are usually out during the day.

Items were gifted for the purpose of the blog post, views are my own honest opinion.