Monday, 20 October 2014

Big Energy Saving Week with British Gas - Plus Win a Hive Active Heating Kit

This week is the Big Energy Saving Week with British Gas and Netmums , so I have been thinking about what we do around the house currently and what we else we can do to save energy.

Firstly what we do, well one of the big things for us is the telly, internet, and stereo, which were difficult to turn off individually and sometimes got left on. We installed a switch from Belkin which allows us to turn everything off at the flick of one button situated next to the front door.

Around doors where there are drafts, we have draft excluders, this ensures the heat stays where it needs too. They don’t have to be boring, we have these fun ‘giraffe’ excluders around a few doors.


Our front door is wooden and lets in a terrible draft, we can’t really afford a new UPVC or composite door at the moment, so we have installed a thick curtain which blocks some of the draft.

A few years ago we had loft installation installed free of charge through a government grant, we also added some reflective material to the inside of the roof for more insulation.

These small things help to keep rooms warmer which means we don’t need the heating on as much.

When we do have the heating on we also dry our washing next to it, this means we don’t need to use the tumble drier.

We have also replaced the majority of our lightbulbs with LED ones and for those that aren't, we use energy saving lightbulbs or newer halogen ones. It goes without saying we turn lights off when we leave the room but this means that when we are in them we aren't using as much electricity.

So what could we do to improve our energy consumption? There are a few things in our house we are looking to improve over the coming year, firstly although we can’t do much to change the door we can change the letter box which currently lets a lot of cold air in.

We also have a single glazed window at the bottom of the stairs, although it is currently blocked up with some polystyrene and a curtain we need to replace it and this will add some heat to the hallway.

We also have a fireplace we don’t use, really because of the gas it uses but it also lets a lot of cold air in, we need to find a way to stop the cold air coming down the chimney.

At the moment it’s about making small changes that add warmth to the house, saving money will come I think as these changes mean we don’t need the heating on as much.

We currently put it on a set temperature so it comes on to get it up to that temperature, this means it may come on for half an hour or an hour at a time maybe a few times a day. This seems to work for us and over the last 5-6 years our gas and electric have stayed about the same even though the cost per unit has gone up.

We had a new boiler about 4 years ago and this has improved our overall usage as it is much more efficient. None of these are big changes but I think with something like this it is about small changes that don't necessarily cost the earth but save you energy.

These are just a few of my changes, this week is about the small and the big changes you can make to your home to save energy, there is so much going on over on the BritishGas Netmums hub. Room by room they will be looking at ways to save energy. 

I also got to ask a question about saving energy mine was:

What is the best way to set your heating, we have radiators all through our house:
"Set your timer 15-30 minutes before you need your room to be warm, when you wake up in the morning for example, so that it has time to reach your chosen temperature.Turn your heating off 30 minutes before you leave home or go to bed and the heat already built up will keep your house warm"
And finally, I have a competition to win a super Hive Active Heating Kit with Installation from British Gas for one of my readers, it is worth £199 and allows you to control your heating from your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

By entering via the Rafflecopter form you agree to and accept the Terms & Conditions of the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NB: I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to write about products and brands on their behalf. I may have been paid expenses but retain all editorial control. 

This is a Netmum's sponsored review.To find out more click the button:

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Pumpkin Picking Fun

After a trip out with my brother today, we visited Maxeys Farm Shop in Kirklington for a spot of pumpkin picking.

First of all, we looked at the rather awesome huge pumpkins that they'd grown, quite how I have no idea!

Next up we walked up the pumpkin and halloween themed path to where all of the pumpkins were grown, all the pumpkins on the path had been carved so it gave us some ideas.

There were so many to chose from so we had to walk around and check them all out.

There were some really perfect pumpkins...

Some rather knobbly pumpkins...

And then some really rude pumpkins...

I love how Maxeys has setup the pumping picking area, it's fun and gets everyone into the spirit, there are wheelbarrows for you to carry your pumpkins back to the car and and a little something extra for the kids. We certainly had lots of fun choosing them and can't wait to carve them in a few weeks for halloween.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Welly Wish List

My old wellies have seen better days so I really need to pick some up this year, I have been looking for some welly inspiration and there are lots of lovely ones about.

First up I love these ones from Joules, simple but I love the stripes - £39.95

I would love to own a pair of Hunter wellies and I adore these blue ones, very much like my gorgeous cyan Sun Jellies - £90

I love these matt purple ones from Rockfish, a British brand that have some fabulous colours and boot styles - £59

And finally another British made boot, the styles and colour ways a fabulous. The brand is Evercreatures and at between £36-38 from Funky Wellington Boots they are really affordable.

I've been putting together a Pinterest board of my favourites.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Boys & Girls Raindrop Dress from Sidneyboo Review

I blogged about Sidneyboo, a fabulous online boutique a while back when they launched and bought some gorgeous shorts for my daughter from them. So, when Sarah from Sidneyboo asked if I’d like to review a dress for my daughter, I knew she’d send me something pretty special. 

And she did, this most delightful raindrop dress from Boys & Girls is the perfect Autumn outfit, my daughters first impression was that she loved the colours of the raindrops. Her normal favourite colours are pink and purple, but even so she loved this print.

The fabric is similar to sweatshirt material, so it is really snug and warm, and being organic cotton it is super soft. I loved the cuffs, so chunky and perfect for keeping the cold out and little arms warm.

The attention to detail is divine, with the Girls & Boys logo sewn on the outside of the dress. Although not unisex as it’s a dress the colours don’t sway to those of the normal run of the mill high street colours, which for me is great, as it has opened my daughters eyes to other colours.

At just £24 this dress is perfect for dressing up with tights and pretty shoes or down with a pair of jeans. Great with jellies or wellies we love this dress and it has been a hit with both my daughter and I.

Not only is this dress gorgeous but it washes well (we should know, as we had a major chocolate incident in it) and with the philosophy behind Boys & Girls being Out to Play it allowed my daughter to enjoy being a child in comfy fashionable clothing,

She absolutely adores this dress and was so happy to run around showing it off.

It really is the perfect exploring, running, jumping and being a child kinda outfit!

I absolutely adore everything from Sidneyboo, with brands such as Indikidual, Gardener & the Gang, Tootsa MacGinty and Slugs and Snails there is something for everyone.

And finally Sarah is offering my readers 15% off with code MUMMYDIARY15 so why not pop on over and see what you can find to brighten up a rainy day.

NB I was sent this dress for review, however all words and opinions are my own,