We’ve seen a wallpaper revival in recent years; bright wall colours and soft furnishings to match – but what about the floors? Well it’s time to roll out the red carpet, and not for any unexpected A-list house guests but to follow this season’s hottest interior trend!
It takes a big commitment and consideration to go for something new underfoot but if you choose carefully, a bright or patterned carpet will pay off.
Follow our guide to current flooring trends to see if it’s for you:
Top designers are noticing a move from classic and safe neutral colour schemes to bright and beautiful carpets. While louder colours bring a splash of excitement to your rooms, they are also much more practical in a busy household. They can mask a dirty footprint or a splash of red wine with ease in comparison to pale alternatives.
Use your bright new carpet to really make a statement in a room with neutral walls. A red carpet adds an energy and excitement to a room and darker shades bring comfort and a cosy atmosphere.
Once you’ve chosen your bright carpet you can use the same colour as an accent around the room to pull the whole thing together.
Coloured cushions, throws and lampshades are easy ways to achieve this.
Embrace a pattern
Patterns are back. Forget your pre-conceptions of carpets incorporating every colour under the sun – those were left back in the 60s. Modern patterned carpets are fun, stylish and tasteful.
A well-placed pattern does wonders in a large space as they break up the area and add interest to the floor: try running a striped carpet down a wooden staircase or a long hallway to draw the eye through the space.
Children’s rooms are the perfect place to experiment with exciting and bold patterns too. They hide stains and the kids will love it, but don’t feel that you need to go for the loudest patterns throughout your house. Try a subtle grey stripe in your living room or a smaller patterned rug to see how it suits you so that your chosen style isn’t overbearing.
Does your gamer teen want one?
Oh my yes.
Are they worth spending a LOT of money on replacing their came-with-the-PC point-and-click?
For myself? No.
For No.1 son the 15yr old keen gamer?
To a baffled parent, gamer mice just seem to have extra buttons and weird designs. But they do genuinely perform a lot of functions your basic mouse just can’t.
All those extra buttons can be programmed for specific quick-fire tasks for mid-game emergencies.
The response rate is excellent – what your eye sees and your hand requests your mouse actually does (and there’s no mouse drift shooting off to the top left corner as you aim and fire, either).
And they’re usually flexible to be made to fit your hand perfectly, too.
We were sent the Razer Ouroboros to review (I know – mad name). Gaming mice are beyond my skills – for me, if it points and clicks, then it works. So I passed it over to the teen gamer to run it through its paces…
Setting it up.
You actually need a screwdriver to start with, which seems a bit ridiculous. But to make the mouse fit your hand, then you have to loosen screws underneath the mouse and remove the rear panel. This not only gives you access to the (AA) battery compartment, but also lets you adjust the mouse’s length. It was a bit small for me straight out of the box, but it easily stretched out to fit larger than I can imagine my hands ever growing to be (at 15, my hands are pretty big already). There’s also a wheel at the back for adjusting the angle of the palm rest – getting the length and the angle perfect for me meant that this was the most comfortable mouse I have ever used.
The mouse is really well built, and feels sturdy enough to stand up to years of frantic game play. There are also a pair of magnetic panels for the mouse’s sides – obviously I choose to use the pretty shaped ones…
As any parent PC user knows, a normal mouse has two buttons and a scroll wheel. Some Gaming mice go a bit mad and have far more buttons than are possible to really use. But the Ouroboros has two on the top and three on each side – plenty for what I want, but not so many you’re always hitting the wrong one by mistake. Each one is customizable, so you can set them up for quick actions for your favourite games.
The Ouroboros is wireless, and really responsive (I have the sensitivity set to 8200 DPI). However, it can also run as a wired mouse, swhich many prefer – top marks for being both! The mouse’s charging dock serves as a wireless receiver, and plugs into your computer via USB.
I’ve got myself into the habit of making sure I leave the mouse in its dock when I step away from the machine – and the battery life has never been a issue (Razer states 12hrs, which is enough for anyone!).
One of the selling points of the mouse is the fact that it is ambidextrous – my left-handed brother LOVES my mouse. Like many lefties, he’s actually taught himself to use mice right-handed as left-handed mice weren’t available to him. But when he had a try of this he soon flipped it to his left hand, and now keeps trying to steal it from my desk. If you happen to own a leftie gamer, this is a great mouse for them.
I love the Ouroboros. I really properly love it. But… the price IS high. I wouldn’t buy this for a 10yr old minecrafter unless you have money to burn.
But if you have a teen who takes their gaming seriously, this could be a the Christmas Present that is filled with joy for them.
If I had to pick the best features from gaming mice and build my own – this is probably the mouse I’d come up with. It costs £100, but if you want to buy your son or daughter a gaming mouse and can afford this? You should buy it.
The Razer Ouroboros Gaming Mouse is available from Amazon for £99.
This delicious set from Daisy Roots does both by the bucket load!
The 3 Stars beige shoes are absolutely gorgeous – and essential for winter babies who do not appreciate chilly toes. Team it with with the matching 100 % Organic Cotton top, and you’ve got a perfect little gift set that any parent will be thrilled with.
With the shoes being from Daisy Roots they are obviously of the very highest quality chrome-free leather – and are renowned for actually staying ON those wriggly feet.
Available direct from Daisy Roots, the 3 Stars Gift Set can be yours for £32.
“Ding dong merrily on hiiiiigh…”
Behind door number fifteen of our 2013 Advent Calendar is a competition to give away a £250 Yankee Candle on-line voucher to one lucky winner!
So much of Christmas is invoked by warm, spicy, delicious smells and Yankee Candle know this as well as anyone. Their selection of Christmas candles and accessories have Christmas all wrapped up!
To enter this competition, please answer the first three questions in the Rafflecopter box below. You will then be able to generate more entries by completing the other, optional, entry options. The closing date for this competition is Monday 20th January 2014 and only entries received on or before that date can be included. The winner will be the first entry, chosen randomly, with the correct answer. Good luck!
Now here’s a gift which will never get shoved to the back of the wardrobe.
Not for the children – but how many times have you heard someone say “Oh, I’d LOVE to learn French/Spanish/Japanese”?
Well, now you can offer them the chance!
Rosetta Stone are a brilliant self-learning programme – the leading language-learning software in the world in fact.
They approach language learning the same way that you first learn when you’re a toddler — using a natural method that teaches new language directly, without translation. That means no more confusing grammar explanations or mind-numbing vocabulary lists to memorise!
No.1 son is setting out to learn Japanese in the new year – what language would you choose? There are 24 to choose from, and an online e-course for one starts at just £20 a month for a year’s course.
Simply visit the Rosetta Stone site, choose the language they want to try and hey presto – they’ll love you forever for it!
If there’s one thing I LOVE it’s making the presents look achingly PRETTY!
Loving this ribbon set from Lakeland – one box with all the ribbon you need for the presents, and probably some left over for the table, the cake, and the gift food items you made.
You can see the various designs and widths – they all come in the easy-access dispenser boxes and you actually get six 4m (13′) lengths.
The Red & Gold Ribbon set can be yours for a bow under £7 if you pop over to Lakeland now.
“We three Kings of Orient aaaaaaaaare….”
Hillier Jewellers is one of the largest online retailers of watches, jewellery and china offering a larger selection of products than most web sites. Their promise has been and always will be great brands at great prices with many of their items heavily discounted or at an agreeable price.
To enter this competition, please answer the first three questions in the Rafflecopter box below. You will then be able to generate more entries by completing the other, optional, entry options. The closing date for this competition is Sunday 19th January 2014 and only entries received on or before that date can be included. The winner will be the first entry, chosen randomly, with the correct answer. Good luck!
Do you use Blurb Books? I love them. Every year I create my In Laws an album of everything we’ve done during the year – they live nearly 200 miles away, and don’t see the children anywhere near as often as we’d like. So to replace all those Grandparenty-photos they don’t get to take by being out and about with us, the children choose all their favoutites form the year to create a book for Gangy & Bumpa.
The I use Blurb Books amazingly whizz-bang awesome system to create the book online (seriously – you need NO clever skills, it’s so simple and straightforward, and you can endlessly move things around to make it exactly the way you want it) – then hit ‘buy’.
The book arrives about a week later with fantastic printing, amazing quality cover and paper – and is quite probably their very favourite gift each year. They have a shelf devoted to these books from the last fourteen years (the first ones were the old fashioned stick-a-photo-inside type).
You can choose a softcover or a hardback, there’s six choices in the paper, there’s total flexibility on the number of pages you want to put in… And price? Bargainous.
I created FORTY TWO Page book, and selected the 25 x 20 cm with the Premium Paper Lustre finish.
Cost? £19.95. UNDER TWENTY POUNDS!
Honestly – who wouldn’t want one?
Here – take a look at the one I just created this afternoon for this year (I think you only get to see the first 15 pages):
Best of all – there’s a 20% discount code currently valid – and still time to make one for Christmas!
With priority shipping, the last order date is the 17th December (though the discount code is only valid until the end of the 15th) and the discount code you need is
Go on go – sort some pictures out and make a present that’ll last a lifetime. Just go to Blurb and follow the instructions.
We have a HUGE turkey – a 20lb-er – and turning it mid-morning is a serious operation, with myself, my husband and my Mother-In-Law all helping. And an oven really isn’t big enough for three sets of hands.
We’ll not talk about the year it got dropped.
(or the fact that my oven gloves are always RUINED with hot soggy oily turkey juices once it’s accomplished)
But not this year.
Because I have THESE amazing babies from Lakeland.
Roast lifting forks.
Turning the turnkey wil be a breeze – and lifting it from the pan will no longer mean dipping the same sad oven gloves back in hot turkey juices again.
They’re a really strong and sturdy stainless steel, so aren’t going to faint at the job if lifting my turkey – and if they can manage that, I’m pretty darned sure they can handle whatever else I ask of them.
Foundover at Lakeland, the Roast lifting Forks are a gravy drop under £15 – and now an essential part of my pre-Christmasn kitchen kit list, I’d say.
The Harumika thing had totally passed me by – but I understand it’s a bit of a ‘thing’.
And when I saw this, I realised why!
It’s actually a ‘fashion craft kit’ – but it’s pretty clever. But forget the scissors, glue, thread and sewing machine you normally associate with dress designing.
All you need is the fabric, accessories and your imagination! Pick your material, wrap it around the dressmakers dummy and using the stylus tuck it into the back where it’s held in place by the special silicon strip. Add another layer, then customise with a sticker. It’s as simple as that! There are lots of different sets so you can create your own fashion show! And this beautiful Style Studio carry case means you can store all your materials safely and display your favourite design in the window.
The cheapest we’ve found the Harumika Style Studio is on Argos online, where it’s reduced from £30 to just over £20.
spogo, the online sport and fitness finder, are offering the chance to win £100 of spa vouchers – go on, be pampered, simply answer the three questions below and you could be the lucky winner. And, if you decide you don’t want to be pampered yourself, then we bet you know someone who would be delighted to receive them. The winner will be able to choose between a selection of relaxing treatments and experiences at a location of their choice.
spogo makes finding local sport, fitness, activities and venues simple with its easy-to-use online search facility. Register to discover 110,000 listings at the touch of a button, read inspirational stories and find local health and fitness centres, great offers and discounts, team sports or a new activity for the children to try just down the road from home.
LittleStuff have recently supported spogo as part of the mission to raise awareness of fun family days out that also involve physical activity – you can see our article about it here. With 38% of boys not getting enough exercise, and 63% of girls not meeting the recommended amount, there has never been a better time to sign up to Spogo.
To enter and win an indulgent £100 of spa vouchers, please answer the first three questions in the Rafflecopter box below. You will then be able to generate more entries by registering for spogo and completing the other, optional, entry options. The closing date for this competition is Friday 31st January 2014 and only entries received on or before that date can be included. The winner will be the first entry, chosen randomly, with the correct answer. Good luck!
“O holy night! The stars are brightly shiiiiining…“
Behind door number thirteen of our 2013 Advent Calendar is a competition to give away a truly fantastic toy bundle from Ella James to one lucky winner!
The toy bundle includes;
- Tea For Two Table Top Set
- Wooden Teapot Doll’s House
- Pink Wicker Dolls Pram
- Wooden Play Folding Cooker Set
- Vintage Style Floral Suitcase
- Fabric Mouse House and Family
- Paint Your Own Teaset
To enter this competition, please answer the first three questions in the Rafflecopter box below. You will then be able to generate more entries by completing the other, optional, entry options. The closing date for this competition is Saturday 18th January 2014 and only entries received on or before that date can be included. The winner will be the first entry, chosen randomly, with the correct answer. Good luck!