Christmas time is THE time for giving and receiving presents, and it’s lovely, most of the time.
I love buying presents for family and friends. I love thinking about what they might like, what they have, what they need, what they would use…. it’s just lovely putting time and effort into buying those presents.
There are other presents that are hard to buy, like the office Secret Santa where you have got someone you don’t really know all that well, a very limited budget and not a whole lot of inspiration. You are looking for presents that are both nice and impersonal, lovely but not offensive. I don’t like the idea of just buying something, wasting money in something that you know will end up in a drawer – it’s such a waste of money! I just can’t.
I have made up a list with ideas of things to buy that are thoughtful, in budget and will not end up in a dark corner.
For the guy who likes to work out at home – Hand weights
For the guy who is always taking photos in his phone – 3 in 1 Lens Set
For the guy who has not grown up yet fully – a Rubber Band Gun
For the guy into Superheroes and coffee – a Batman mug
For the football aficionado – a Football Beanie
For the gambler in your office – a poker set
For the guy who knows how to look after himself – beauty products
For the foodie in your office – a cooking book
I hope that this list will provide you with some inspiration to go out and buy a nice gift for all the men in your life, including the newbie in the office, and thus freeing some time to enjoy the Christmas chaos and shenanigans with loved ones.
When Mr B and I bought our current home nearly 6 years ago, our house had previously belonged to another family and although the style was very neutral, we wanted to put our own style stamp into the house. When we moved in, I was 7 months pregnant with our second child so we only had time to unpack what we needed before Chaotic Monkey was born.
Since then, we have been trying to update our house to reflect our personalities. After living in the house for few years, we have a very clear idea of how we use our spaces, where things are more comfortable, what is needed and what can go, and we have been doing just that for the last few years.
Updating your home and making it more personal is a long process. Mr B and I were both working full time then, we have two young boys who we wanted to spend quality time with and we don’t want to spend our weekends working on the house, but we still wanted to make changes (there is only so long you can look at magnolia walls for!) so you start small. Updates don’t have to be time consuming, big or expensive to make a big difference in your home.
These 10 ideas will help you update your house on a budget:
# 1 – Spray Paint the door knobs.
Replacing door knobs or painting doors can prove very costly but you can easily update the look of your doors by spray painting your door knobs.
# 2 – Paint your furniture.
When we first moved into our home, the whole house was a homage to pine. Kitchen units, kitchen table and chairs, wardrobes and most other surfaces that you can think were pine. I painted my kitchen table and chairs and it has made a massive difference to the space in terms of light and style. It feels more airy, bigger and brighter. It is amazing what a lick of paint can do.
# 3 – Paint the tiles.
Whether you inherited some ugly kitchen tiles or your bathroom tiles are too “vintage”, you can completly transform them with some tile paint available in most DIY stores.
# 4 – Decorate with plants.
Plants give any space instant warmth and personality and, if you don’t have green fingers, you can replace them very cheaply.
# 6 – Update your cushions
Keep an eye for special offers in cushions and change them regularly or update them with with some felt or buttons.
# 7 – Add some pompoms to your lamps.
A simple pompom braid, some ribbon or washi tape can give a lamp an instant update to any corner of the house for only few euros
# 8 – Make your own wall collage with your own personal items.
The beautiful thing about wall collages, is that you can include anything and everything. From brand new decorations to second hand finds, from tissue flowers to family treasures. It is a lovely way of displaying your possessions and dressing your walls.
# 9 – Update your lights.
Lights and lampshades make a huge difference in a space feels. By investing a little in nice fixtures, your spaces will feel far more homely and more personal.
# 10 – Make your own headboard.
I know this might sound daunting, but iut is far easier that you would think. It can be done at a very low cost and it can be updated easily. What is not to love?
Front-door mats are essentially something useful that we have just outside our houses to get rid of some of the dirt in our shoes.
But just because they are useful it doesn’t mean that they need to be plain. Nowadays there is a huge variety of front-door mats in both style and price range. There are real beauties out there but I can never justify spending much money on something that essentially collects dirt when you can get one that serves the same purpose for much less. You can’t have your cake and eat it. Or can you?
In this case, you totally can.
1. All you need to personalise a very inexpensive mat is the mat, some spray paint and some cardboard.The design can be as complicated or simple as you want. I decided to go for a simple design, our house number and some circles. 2. You can print the numbers on a piece of paper, copy it to the cardboard and cut the numbers out. I decided to draw my own numbers to make it more personal. 3. Place the cardboard where you want the numbers to appear on your mat and secure with some tape and pins. Spray from the top. Small little sprays work best. 4. I made another stencil with circles and sprayed them around the numbers. 5. I finally used some acrylic paint to define the edges of the numbers. 6. I am loving my new personalised mat – it feels very summery and fresh.
Will you make one?