AD|Top tips for cleaning and organisation in the home

This post contains gifted products, all thoughts and views my own

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that my 30s are a mere matter of months away, or simply my current mum lifestyle, but I am now definitely classed as a lover of all things to do with cleaning and organisation. Maybe you just wake up one day and your attitude towards ‘house pride’ shifts, or you just slowly get better at how to adult after trying for a decade or so. Either way, the move to a brand new home has spurred me on to achieve great things inside the place I call my home. I’ve put together some top tips for cleaning and organisation in the home, so if you are feeling a similar way to me, then you’re definitely going to want to take a three minute read… 

Find one cleaning brand to suit multiple purposes

Finding one cleaning brand you can rely on for just about everything may seem like an impossible task at first, but here’s where I introduce you to Delphis. Delphis are an eco friendly, plant-based brand that really produce the best of products from bathroom to kitchen. These products are perfect for a daily spruce or a real deep clean when the oven needs tackling, plus I’ve discovered some handy hacks in the short space of time I’ve used them for. 

Speed up cleaning toilets with a tablet

This is where Delphis have really helped me out in a time of need. Being in my last trimester of pregnancy has slowed me down quite a bit, so just popping a tablet down the loo without having to lift lids, squeeze bleach etc is my kind of awesome. 

Tea variety packs save space in your cupboard

Getting your hands on a box of variety teas like this one will really help save space in your cupboard. It’s the perfect size to store upright or flat, and you don’t need to have ten types of boxes cluttering up your space. You can whip it out and take your pick. This reminds me of hotel breakfasts and puts a smile on my face in the mornings. 

Little trays can go anywhere 

Much to my husband’s disdain, I have become quite obsessed with basket and tray storage for just about anything. From my knicker drawer to the cupboard under the sink, I have things stored vertically in all types of boxes and trays. These are super easy to find online or in store, just make sure you have some time to think about how you store your things as it will change your life. 

Make sure you’re always prepared for guests

I know that in the current covid climate, entertaining guests may not be something that’s on your mind, but we are lucky to have a side gate to our back garden so we can have a few family members round for a bit. Allocate a place in your fridge for those special visits and fill it with drinks for your guests. 

Keep your hands well looked after once cleaning is done

I think you’re either a cleaner who wears gloves or you’re not. I’m definitely not a fan of them when washing up or cleaning, though this can take a toll on your skin. Make sure you look after your hands once cleaning is done. Choosing a nourishing hand wash will give you the extra helping hand and self care you need after a cleaning blitz.

To make things even simpler for you, I’ve found a website where you can order all the products straight to your door! Check out Viking Direct for your cleaning supply needs as well as ordering drinks and products mentioned above to keep your cupboards neatly stocked up.

Thanks for reading top tips for cleaning and organisation in the home, let me know if this inspires you to make a difference in your home in the comments below.

Saharasplash x

Needing more home content to read? Try renovation ideas and updates next!

Ad| Renovation ideas and updates on our new family home

This is a sponsored post, all thoughts and views my own 

We’ve now been residing in our new Suffolk home for a week, though it sort of feels very strange to be saying that. It seems like we have been here a lot longer as travels between homes have been often over the past few months. We had to move everything ourselves in the current climate, luckily we had a trailer to carry the bigger items like washing machines and fridges! I thought I’d write up a little post about how we are getting on in our first family home as well as share some insight into our visions for the property over the coming months and years. (It won’t all be done at once with a baby arriving this August!)

So things we have already ticked off our list are a new range cooker and dishwasher for the kitchen. They look so great, and considering it took us about two weeks to come to a decision on the cooker, we are very happy with the result. I’ve spent this entire week cleaning the cupboards from top to bottom and have almost finished with the utility.

The garden outside has had a good lawn trim, and we’ve got a beautiful playhouse on the way for Alice soon. Our swing still remains at the old house, which we will pick up at some point over the next few weeks. 

Upstairs is pretty bare really, we’ve converted one of the guest rooms into my husband’s work from home office for the time being and guest room two is where we are sleeping. Our master bedroom currently has no flooring down, this is one exciting renovation project we are taking on ourselves. We plan to lay down a laminate flooring before we order a new bed and accessories, so make sure you are following my home Instagram page @Suffolkfamilyhome for all the latest updates. 

One massive job that was completed before our move was the paintwork. We had the entire house painted from top to bottom in a Dulux Pure Brilliant White so it was like brand new (highly recommended if moving into an older style home). One project we are looking to start fairly shortly is the entrance hallway and bannisters. We plan to paint the top rail a dark grey or black, leaving the spindles white and put in a stair runner with black edging. I cannot wait to start this one! 

If you are looking for a new feel to your home, why not take a look at what TuffX Glass manufacturers can do. I am loving these glass balustrades from TuffX Glass, so maybe a few years down the line we will choose to go with a toughened glass effect for our inside entrance hallway! They handle bespoke work for conservatory glass and roof lights too, perfect for letting as much natural light in as possible.

For the living room, we decided to split our L-shaped sofa into two parts, as this style only works in a certain shape or sized room. Our living space is quite square, and has a fireplace that sticks out (soon to be gone!) so breaking apart the sofa was the only real option. This room is the only room that’s left with original wallpaper and chair rail as we are yet to decide what to do in here. I was hoping to get hard floors to match the rest of the downstairs and keep the chair rail for a half and half effect around the room. But do we paint over the wallpaper or tackle the messy job of removing it all? Let me know what you’d do/have done in the comments below! 

I’d like to thank everyone for all their well wishes so far, and expect more home, style and organisation blog posts to come this year. 

Saharasplash x 

You’ve been reading “renovation ideas and updates on our new family home”, check out my previous blog post here 

AD| “At Home Hairstyles and Tips”

*Contains gifted products

When at home it can be so easy to just forget about everyday normalities such as getting changed out of our pjs in the morning. The same can be said for hair routines- why bother if no one is going to see it right? But the funny thing is that the simple things in life such as getting dressed, doing our hair or makeup can make a huge difference to our self-esteem and mood. I’ve written a short and sweet blog post called “At Home Hairstyles and Tips” where you can have a five minute read that might get you itching to give something new a go. 

I must admit, there are days where I stay in yesterday’s joggers. It cuts down on the washing pile and there’s not much I am finding comfy at 23 weeks pregnant. Although it can be so easy to slip into a mindless stretch of uneventful days if you are out of work (or childless!), that doesn’t mean to say you should neglect your old ways of how you went about your day-to-day life. Humans are creatures of habit, and as much as the list detesters will protest this fact, a bit of structure to the day makes everything so much better. We feel a sense of pride upon accomplishing tasks, and these can start as soon as you wake up and head to the bathroom. 

Here’s where hair comes in. Take a look at mine, in all its natural glory. It is multi-toned, my fringe has grown out to the length of my nose and it is flat as hell. I want to talk about how to take care of your hair, not just during lockdown, but after it has lifted too. Use this time wisely to perfect your hair care routine, or change it up if you already have one. 

Different hair means different rules and subsequently different tools. Everyone will have their own mane to maintain, so what works for me may not for you. I’m just here to show you how much effort I put into keeping my hair on track no matter what the day holds.

Use the right tools for the job

You need to know your hair type and pick the right products that will maximize your results. Make sure you are using a brand that leaves your hair feeling great after each wash. For me, that’s Joico. I have been using their range for years and my head loves this new moisture recovery shampoo and conditioner. My hair needs hydrating constantly, so these are perfect for me. 

During each wash, I use my Tangle Teezer and head wrap from Soap and Glory. I always wrap my hair and let it dry naturally too because this ensures no heat damage, and gives my post-shower products time to absorb properly. 

It shouldn’t end with conditioner 

Aftercare is a must, especially now we can take time to do it. Post-wash hair products I use are from the Dove Advanced Hair Series collection. Just a few pumps and I run this through my wet hair before leaving to dry. This will really help give your hair a new lease of life and make you feel like you’ve just left the salon too, something we are all missing I bet. 

Now I have two super easy at home hairstyles to show you step by step. Note these require no hairdryers, wands or straighteners- you just need a brush, a few hairbands, grips and practice. 

Half and half French braid style 

This is such a great style if you have a pesky fringe that you cannot be dealing with. Just start plaiting it and stop once you’ve reached your ears and tie with a little gel band. I like to have my hair like this at night too to help protect it from back of the head knots and frizz.  

A twist on the bun

This simply is a bun that is twisted before being wrapped. It is the coolest hack I’ve learned in 2020 for doing a bun on flat, straight hair that won’t keep in place. Simply twist, wrap, pin and scrunchie. 

Have you got your hair under control or are you longing to see your hairdresser again to make it all better? Whatever your first move is when lockdown is over, from visiting top hairdressers in Manchester to signing up for a local hairdresser course to DIY, be safe, have fun and look after your hair! 

Saharasplash x 

Why not check out my latest recipe on the blog:

This is a sponsored post, all thoughts and views my own

AD|My favourite ‘quick and simple’ recipe for fussy families

As a coeliac, a wife to a fairly picky husband AND a very opinionated two-year-old, meal times together can sometimes be difficult. The ideal meal for my husband would honestly be chicken dippers, potato waffles and a load of ketchup. Although we do cave and have the odd freezer meal when time is rushed, I try to add a little more excitement to our plates at dinner time. One thing that has definitely helped out in times of need has been ready-to-go spices and recipe mixes.

So, here’s my favourite ‘quick and simple’ recipe for fussy families. The great thing about this recipe is that you can switch ingredients out according to your liking. I am going to show you how I create a delicious, one pan rice meal that is so easy and quick. My ingredients are:

  • 4 chicken fillets
  • 2 tbsp Schwartz BBQ seasoning (available at Tesco)
  • 1/2 tsp of all spice, salt and pepper
  • Cooked basmati rice (approx 500g or 2 packs of microwave rice)
  • 1 veggie or chicken stock cube (I use the knorr stockpots)
  • 250ml water
  • 100ml chopped tomatoes
  • Any veggies I can find like peas and sweetcorn

Like I said, you can easily switch up the veg or meat to your family’s liking if this isn’t to taste, but the beauty of rice is that it pretty much goes with everything you can throw at it. Onto the method:

Dice the chicken up into thin strips, add a generous dash of oil plus all the seasonings. Again, this amount is totally up to you. Mix together until completely coated, cling film over the top and pop into the fridge for a minimum of 1.5 hours. Once ready, take out and pop the chicken into a large frying pan or wok, either will work fine. Cook on a med to high heat until turned white, then it’s time to add the rice, stock cube, water, tomatoes and veg.

Gently stir and turn down the heat until the pan is gently sizzling, but not going crazy. Now it’s just a waiting game for all that water to evaporate and leave you with all the juicy flavours. I tend to like it a little bit sticky, so once you can scoop a spoonful out and it’s not dripping off the edge, it is ready to go!

Super quick and simple, full of protein, good carbs and veg. My husband and daughter love it, and so do I with very minimal cleaning up time!

What’s your ‘go-to’ recipe that’s a family favourite? I’d love to know in the comments below.

Saharasplash x

If you liked my favourite ‘quick and simple’ recipe for fussy families, why not see how I celebrated Veganuary at the Cosy Club in Ipswich??

This is a sponsored post, all thoughts and views my own

Starting the new decade right with Boxclever

This post contains gifted items, all thoughts and views my own 

Happy 2020! I’ve been away for what feels like my longest break in blogging. Sometimes we all just need to take some time out and chill, especially during the festive/NY period. Though I can assure you it was more non-stop than relaxing, I am starting this new year with nothing but positivity. There are lots of changes coming in 2020 for the Schaefer family, and I cannot wait to share all the details. It’s going to be an interesting beginning to the decade to say the least so I need to get myself organised. Starting the new decade right with Boxclever has got me motivated and going in the right direction for 2020… 

SAHARASPLASH - Starting the new decade right with Boxclever

Boxclever are a brilliantly British stationery company who specialise in designing the most beautiful calendars, diaries and wall planners. I was thrilled to be gifted the 2020 weekly family planner calendar (£11.99) to show you. It has a handy 16 months so you can start using before the new year begins, six columns for all the family members and is designed in a week-to-view style. 

This family planner calendar is just so easy to use, they really have thought of everything. You can add recurring activities on the plastic overlay and it comes with a host of stickers – from doctor and dentist to birthday and exclamation marks – for those things you just cannot forget! Alice was so eager to help me put the stickers onto the right days, so it’s something you can get your kids involved in to help them learn the fun of planning. 

It’s so simple to follow as the planner is nice and strategic, yet it has a graceful charm that you will want to hang on your kitchen wall for everyone to see. I know exactly where mine is going to go. This is a no-fuss, super organised calendar that just fits within my family life. Where has this been in years gone past? Guaranteed I would have forgotten a few less things! 

SAHARASPLASH - Starting the new decade right with Boxclever

Boxclever have a design perfect for any household and decor so why not take a look on the website and find your 2020 match, there’s no excuse to not get organised! 

Be back soon with a few more life updates, 
Saharasplash x 

Did you catch my epic trip to see WICKED! with Official London Theatre?

A Frozen themed blog post

Items in this blog post have been gifted. All thoughts and views my own. 

It’s no secret that this family is kind of Frozen obsessed. When Frozen first came out in 2012 (in a pre-Alice world) I absolutely adored it and went to the Disney store to get some licensed gear that same week. I was captivated by the music, the plot and characters and nothing brings me more joy than being able to share this love with my daughter. It is definitely her favourite Disney film by far, though we haven’t quite got round to seeing them all yet! Needless to say, I have been gearing up for Frozen madness all summer and it is now time to let it all go in this Frozen themed blog post. I’ll be covering Alice’s second birthday, our trip to see the latest movie in the cinema AND our top gifts for a very merry Frozen Christmas. So without further ado, let’s head over to Arendelle in a Frozen themed blog post! 

Alice’s second birthday

Alice celebrated her second birthday not long ago, and I started planning it in my head like all events I’m in charge of running about 6 months prior. For Alice’s first birthday, we did an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party which was such a hit. I re-booked the same venue for her Frozen party, and invites went out in August. I contacted a local soft play service called Little Angels Soft Play (based in Essex). On the day, they provided and set up an amazing soft play area for the children (all Frozen-themed) as well as a ball pit! 

I found a gorgeous dress for Alice, though it proved difficult to find anything Frozen related and in her size as she is so small. I got this tie-dye effect dress second hand from Depop, and then decided to get an Elsa dress for myself! My good friend came dressed as Anna, and we also had an Olaf suit going around as well.

We had a photoshoot area with snowballs and a cut-out Olaf which proved very popular. Snacks included popcorn “snow flurries”, carrots as “Olaf’s nose” and some beautiful snowflake lollipops made by Sparko Sweets

I decided to save some pennies and decorate a store-bought cake. I bought the Frozen base/stand along with balloons from Children’s Party Shop and used blue food colouring, icing sugar and white chocolate snowflakes to decorate. I finished off with scattering Frozen figurines around the cake, which Alice now has in her toy box! 

Our Frozen 2 cinema experience 

Our trip to see Frozen 2 has been a much anticipated moment on my 2019 calendar. Ever since I booked the tickets on presale for the five of us (Alice, Paul, auntie Evie, James and me) to see it, I had it on countdown. A cinema trip with a two year old is never an easy feat, so I was pretty anxious on the day that everything would be ok and we wouldn’t have to leave early. I decided to put a little film together of our real life experience which you can see on Alice’s Instagram page (link below). She absolutely loved it. Just one toilet break needed, and she was singing along to the latest hit “Into the Unknown”. We had lots of popcorn and snacks to keep her occupied, and even though I was a little miffed to have forked out almost £70 for about three hours, it was worth it.

Frozen gifts for Christmas 

If you are just like us and love everything about Frozen, here are some perfect gift ideas for you, your kids and anyone you know who has been enchanted by the magic…

Olaf blanket and Bruni- Disney Store

Bruni is the newest addition to the cute selection of characters. He is a salamander that represents fire in the second movie. Granted this wasn’t a Christmas present for Alice, we picked him up as soon as Disney released him in October and she goes to sleep with him every night. I can’t seem to find the little critter online anywhere except for eBay, but if you really want him I think that Disney will stock him again so keep checking!

We have saved this fluffy Olaf blanket (£15), and it will be waiting under the tree on Christmas morning for her. It looks like a cushion, as it folds up into the case oh so cleverly. 

Frozen puzzle, water bottle and duvet set- Aldi

Aldi have released a huge selection of Frozen gifts this season. Take a look online and in your local stores for more of the range, but here is a lovely selection from kitchen and bedroom to play time. The duvet set is £12.99, puzzle is £1.99 and water bottle is £3.99

Frozen pjamas and Christmas cards- Matalan

We have just bought our Frozen Christmas cards from Matalan. You cannot go wrong for £2.50 for 20, plus right now they are on a 3 for 2 offer along with other Frozen gifting items too. Also, I just love the range of Frozen pyjamas starting at just £7 for sets, robes and nighties.

I hope this Frozen themed blog post warmed your heart, much like Olaf’s warm hugs. Please leave a carrot out this Christmas not just for the reindeer, but for Sven too! And if you see any snow, it was definitely Elsa. 

Saharasplash x 

Check out my Christmas Gift Guide 2019 which is out now before you go!