Five Reasons You Should Choose a Heat Pump for Your Next Heating System

Five Reasons You Should Choose a Heat Pump for Your Next Heating System

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When it comes to selecting a heating system for your home, the options can be overwhelming. There are traditional gas boilers, electric heaters, and solid fuel burners, to name a few. However, one heating solution that has been gaining popularity in recent years is the heat pump. Heat pumps are energy-efficient, versatile, and environmentally friendly, making them a compelling choice for your next heating system. In this blog post, we’ll explore five reasons why you should consider a heat pump for your home.

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The Ultimate Guide to Men’s Dinner Suits

The Ultimate Guide to Men's Dinner Suits: Choosing the Perfect One for Different Occasions

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Dressing well is not just about looking good; it’s a statement of respect for yourself and others. When it comes to formal occasions, few garments match the elegance and timeless appeal of men’s dinner suits. But choosing perfect dinner suits isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Different events call for distinct styles and details. In this ultimate guide to men’s dinner suits, we’ll explore how to select the ideal one for various occasions, ensuring you always make a lasting impression.

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Health and Beauty

Everything You Need to Know About Laser Tattoo Removal

Everything You Need to Know About Laser Tattoo Removal

Tattoos are a form of self-expression, but as life evolves, so do our preferences. What seemed like a great idea in your youth may not align with your current self-image or lifestyle. Fortunately, laser tattoo removal has emerged as a safe and effective solution for those seeking to erase the past. In this blog post, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about laser tattoo removal, from how it works to what to expect during and after the procedure.

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DIY · Home

The 3 Steps To Set Up The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

The 3 Steps To Set Up The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

Photo by Maria Orlova

Outdoor kitchens have become a favorite among homeowners and for good reason. When you have an outdoor kitchen you can prepare your favorite dishes while enjoying the fresh air and company of loved ones. Instead of being satisfied with throwing a few burgers on a grill, you can have a gourmet experience out in the yard. 

Setting one up can take on a lot of different forms, yet, there are a few essentials to get right to make sure that you are creating the right space. You have the option to set it up under a pergola, use your back deck, or create a unique space. In this article, we will give you several tips on how to set up the ultimate outdoor kitchen to enjoy. 

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Expert Plant Parenting Tips For Beginners

Expert Plant Parenting Tips For Beginners

Photo by Prudence Earl on Unsplash

If the plant-parenting trend has reeled you in, there’s no doubt you’re eager to visit your local nursery and start your journey. However, plant care is not as straightforward as some might assume; you’ll need a lot more than a selection of vibrant plants in cute pots.

Some plants are hardy and can thrive with little water and hardly any sunlight, while others can be exceptionally picky, demanding daily watering and perfect soil conditions. So, to help you avoid losing your houseplants soon after you welcome them home, we’ve rounded up a list of expert plant parenting tips for beginners.

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How to Spot Fake Mansur Gavriel

Main image courtesy of Shopbop.

Mansur Gavriel is an iconic brand. Worried about getting a fake Mansur Gavriel? We have all you need to know about authenticating this top designer brand!

Mansur Gavriel is one of the most popular designers when it comes to beautiful, well-made Italian leather bags and purses. Their iconic bucket bag is one of the most sought-after purses by celebrities and regular folks alike, and once you’ve owned one yourself, it’s easy to see why. Because their bags have such a following, this also means there’s a higher chance that you may encounter a fake Mansur Gavriel. While some people may actively seek out a knock off (because of the lower price point) most customers don’t want to be duped into paying hard earned money for a piece that isn’t authentic Mansur Gavriel.

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Opinion · Parenting

For shame (or “Why Marketing to Children Should be Illegal”)

You know how there are those professions which discerning, self-respecting people would never go near? You know the ones, traffic wardens, ambulance chasers, defence lawyers who work for paedophiles, Conservative politicians…well I’d like to take this opportunity to formally add one to the list. Todays entry is Marketing Executive, specifically those who work for toy companies.

As I’ve mentioned before, we let Sausage watch telly, and as much as Husband and I favour CBeebies for its no-advert, generally educational programming, Sausage’s favourite shows are mostly on Nickelodeon, which means that she’s subjected to a barrage of targeted, and sometimes not so targeted advertising. When we first had Sausage, I always vowed to never let her watch the channels with ads after my sister-in-law recounted a story to me, which at the time, I found horrifying. She was in the kitchen one day, doing some cleaning and her son, who must’ve been about three at the time, walked in and said “Mummy, why don’t you use Cillit Bang? I gets rid of the grease every time”.

It astounds me that companies who make cleaning products advertise on kids’ TV, but it goes to show that it still pays off for them, when even kids end up touting their wares! But it’s the toy adverts that bug me. Fortunately, Sausage is still largely unaffected by them, she hasn’t quite hit the “I Want” stage yet, but Husband and I still try to stay abreast with whats out there for kids, so if we see something which we think Sausage will like, we’ll inevitably look it up and see how much it costs. It was on one of these “Ooh, she’d love that” occasions that I found out about those toys on the market which are so cleverly advertised, but prohibitively expensive.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce the Puppy Lane range. This range of toys is extensive and includes a cottage and dog, sofa, garden, kitchen, postal set, car, which combined will set you back around £250. Then when you factor in the Strawberry Stables add-ons, you can almost double your money. Now, just for the added effect, in the advert, these things are all pictured together, which means when your kids see it, they want the whole kit and caboodle, which is only natural. It’s just such terrible blood-sucking behaviour from the toy companies and it’s the parents who pay for it, with both money and guilt. Shame on all you Don Drapers out there.

Husband and I have always gone out of our way to make sure that Sausage has everything she needs, without turning her into a spoilt brat. Our families are also hugely generous as she’s an only grandchild on my side, and one of three on Husband side. The girl has MOUNDS of stuff. But on principle, we’ve steered away from the Puppy Lane gear. If she were to say that she desperately wanted it, I’m sure her Daddy and I would crumble, but ’til then, Worlds Apart wont see penny one from us.

It’s the families who have more that one child that I feel sorry for, the ones who have to please more than one set of big, pleading eyes. It must be tough, and I know you could argue that they chose to have that many kids, but by the same token, the toy companies chose to price a lot of us out of the game.

So, you, Marketing Executives will be added to my list and forever more be added to the Douchebag Hall of Shitty Professions. I hope you can live with that.

(Just for the record, these shit-heads earn a ridiculous amount of money, and so probably never worry about the price of things, and sleep soundly in their big houses, whilst the rest of us rant about Strawberry bloody Stables. Knobs.)


Husband has just reminded me of a quote from a man who could, quite frankly, say everything better, more concisely, if a little swearier than me. Looks like I’m not the only one:

By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising…kill yourself. Thank you. Just planting seeds, planting seeds is all I’m doing. No joke here, really. Seriously, kill yourself, you have no rationalisation for what you do, you are Satan’s little helpers. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show. Seriously, I know the marketing people: ‘There’s gonna be a joke comin’ up.’ There’s no fuckin’ joke. Suck a tail pipe, hang yourself…borrow a pistol from an NRA buddy, do something…rid the world of your evil fuckin’ presence.

The late, great Bill Hicks.
Humour · Personal

The Truth About Me

The Truth About Me
  1. I am absolutely shit at housework. No, scratch that, it’s not the housework I’m bad it, any idiot can work a Hoover. It’s the inclination I lack. And the fact that it all needs doing over and over and over again is what gets me. No sooner have I got the house tidy, someone changes their clothes or wants a meal, or some other inconsiderate thing and it all starts again.
  2. I watch way too much telly. I have a core rotation of shows that I watch every week (Misfits, Desperate Housewives, Being Erica, Life Unexpected, Criminal Minds, The Simpsons, Come Dine With Me, Grand Designs to name but a fraction) plus I supplement these with regular viewings of whatever is on the Good Food Channel, and at least an hour of Friends re-runs every day. God, looking at all of that, it actually scares me to think that I watch SO much telly…
  3. I’m self-deprecating to a really annoying degree. Like, I really hardly ever say anything nice about myself, and I take any opportunity to make a mean joke or take the piss out of myself. This is a skill I have honed over 20-odd years, and I am really good at it. I can make a self directed insult out of the most tenuous of prompts. Husband hates it.
  4. Being a wife/mother/daughter/daughter-in-law/friend is the only thing that really means anything to me. You could take all the other shit away and just leave me with the people who I love and I’d still be as happy as a pig in the proverbial. And no, that wasn’t a fat joke. For once.
  5. I’m ridiculously sensitive. Husband says I could start a row in an empty room with no windows or doors. I have this innate flaw which means I alway think that people are getting at me. This is one of the things I really wish I could change about myself, but don’t really know where to start.
  6. Despite my declaration about my loved ones, I’m actually really rubbish at staying in touch with people. I get this thing where I go a bit reclusive for a while and don’t contact anyone, and then when I come out of my cave I feel like I’ve left it too long and people will be mad at me and I don’t want to call people if they’re mad and maybe I should just stick my head in the sand and pretend everything is okay and there aren’t any phone calls I should be making.
  7. Sometimes it’s really hard work being inside my brain. Above, being the perfect example. I’ve always been afflicted with an ‘over thinking’ problem.
  8. I don’t make friends very easily as I wear my heart on my sleeve and tend to take it as a sign that others don’t like me if they aren’t the same way. In real life, this translates to me meeting someone, telling them my life story, then assuming they don’t like me when they don’t reciprocate. See? Hard work.
  9. I love writing a blog but have become a little obsessed with my site stats. In fact, sometimes, if I write a post and don’t get many hits that day, a tiny part of my brain tells me to stop blogging. But I don’t stop and then I have a good day and am glad I didn’t stop.
Christmas · Shopping

God Bless the Internet; a Semi Retraction

God Bless the Internet; a Semi Retraction

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

If you’ve read my blog before, you may have seen this, where I slammed the internet for being full of weirdos and a generally dodgy place to be sometimes. And I still maintain that, if used in the wrong way, the internet can be dangerous, especially to those who are still beautifully innocent and unencumbered with the shittier aspects of humanity. But this past couple of weeks, I have gained a little bit of context and it’s reinstilled my faith in Al Gore’s greatest invention.

Unless you’ve been living in a subterranean bunker (or, say, another country…) you’ll be aware that the UK received a rather unseasonable coating of the white stuff which has, more or less, brought the country to a standstill. This couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time, as we’re all deep into the consumer frenzy that is the build up to christmas. This, however, has not been a problem for me. I have managed to do all of my christmas shopping on the internet (save for a couple of things that I got at Peacocks, my sister works there and gave me a voucher for 40% off!). I considered venturing out to buy a christmas tree, but with Amazon selling a 6ft tree, at only £9.99, reduced from £32.50, leaving the house seemed a unneccesary embuggerance!

I’m not one of those people who does well with the christmas shopping experience. I hate queueing., and hate people who cut queues even more. I hate the crowded shops, I hate the way the shops think it’s a great idea to cram as much shit down one aisle as possible, making it impossible to navigate with a pushchair, and a toddler who just loves to grab things off of the shelves as we’re walking by. I hate the rudeness that christmas brings out in people too. If I’ve held open one door, only for people to waltz through without saying thank you, I’ve held open half a million. And I’m not the type to take it lying down, so I generally spend my day shouting “YOU’RE WELCOME!” after rude arseholes who think a woman with a buggy is just an elaborate doorstop.

So this year, the internet has been an utter godsend. For the past 4 years, we’ve sworn that we’ll start our shopping early and do it all on the ‘net, and just never quite got ourselves organised enough to actually do it. But this year, I finally understand why we’ve been promising to do it all this time! The only thing I need to actually leave the house for is tinsel and baubles, and that’s only because I fully intend to go to the Pound Shop to get them as I begrudge spending lots of money on what is effectively shredded shiny paper and painted lightbulbs. Also, there’s no way in hell I’m going to pay for delivery! We’re even planning to do our food shopping online, although judging by the shit that Tesco have been pulling lately, we’ll be lucky if even half of it arrives.

So there you go, people, that’s my guide to stress-reduced Christmas. Although, I just know my luck, it’ll all go really smoothly, until I get to town and find that there are NO tree decorations left in any shop, except the really expensive designer ones. In which case, we’ll be making our own.

(Note to self, remember to save all of the cardboard tubes from toilet roll, in case of emergency tree-fairy construction)


Dear Santa…

Dear Santa…

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

This year, my one Christmas wish is to be able to find Husband a really awesome present. Budget restraints rule out a Porsche/holiday/Alienware gaming PC, so I have to be a little bit more inventive with what I buy.

The trouble is, Husband is bloody brilliant at buying me gifts. Gifts from the last few Christmas’ and birthdays include a Tassimo machine, a camera, an iPod Classic and dock and a mobile phone, amongst other things and if you know me, you’ll know these are all really great gifts for me. And these are just the big gifts, he always manages to surprise me with really thoughtful little gifts, out of the blue, too. At least three times a year, I’ll answer the doorbell to find a man with a huge bouquet of flowers, just because Husband wants to tell me that he loves and appreciates me. When I was in hospital, the day after having Sausage, which also happened to be our wedding anniversary, he turned up with a foot long Subway and every single book written by Stephen Fry.

I suppose the reason that Husband is so good at buying me gifts is that he knows me so well, coupled with the fact that he has an amazing memory, so he remembers every time I say “Wow, I really want a ….”, and manages to drag the information from the recesses of his brain at crucial times to surprise me. The trouble is, I have a shit memory, and am fairly self-involved, which means when Husband says “I really want a …” my brain goes “Ooh, yeah, that reminds me, I want one of these…”, and come holiday-season, I’m screwed.

The other problem I have is that I take things too far. Earlier in the year, Husband mentioned that he’d like a pad to sketch on. So I went on the internet and found a handmade, leather-bound journal, with organic unprocessed paper and a brass padlock. Now, I’m sure, with hindsight, that he just meant a run-of-the-mill pad of plain white sketching paper, but I saw an opportunity for an awesome gift and I ran with it. Only it’s not an awesome gift, is it? It would probably just sit there, looking all precious and too nice to tarnish with actual sketches.

I just don’t have the gift for buying gifts. I’m gift-impaired.

I know for a fact that Husband has bought me two Christmas presents already. And I just know that they’re going to be awesome and perfect, and something that I desperately want and don’t even remember mentioning to him. Which means that the pressure is on. I need to find him the perfect present, so that I deserve all the “wonderful wife” bouquets that I know he will buy me next year.

To the drawing board….or the Liverpool FC shop!