Living Arrows – 34/52!

Living Arrows is about celebrating childhood. The project originally took it’s name from a poem by Kahlil Gibran, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”
This week my photo is a special on being that it is of all 5 generations!  We are lucky enough to have a very healthy and happy Great Great Grandma to baby Milo.  In the photo is obviously my son, Benjamin, my mum, my nana and myself.  I think this one deserves a post all its own!
Linking up as always with What the Redhead said. Please pop over and join in too!
Living Arrows

How Screed Flooring Can Increase Your Property Value

How Screed Flooring Can Increase Your Property Value


Essentially, concrete and screed are formed using the same basic material – cement, aggregates and water. The difference between them is the size of the aggregates, the cement grade, mix consistency and, of course, their intended use.

Screed is used in domestic and commercial premises, and is also commonly used to cover underfloor heating pipes and so on. With the right mix and installation, a screed floor can bring many benefits to you and your property.

One is that screed flooring can increase the value of your property. But why does this type of flooring make such a difference?

#1 Flat, versatile flooring surface

Firstly, your property value increases when potential buyers can see that it is well-maintained, with basic structures such as flooring is intact. It is also a versatile flooring surface. It can be the underpinning ‘strength’ of the top layer of flooring or in some cases, painted, stained or polished it can be the top layer of flooring.

#2 Easy to keep clean

Carpets and rugs are all well and good but, despite the number of times you vacuum or brush, carpets and rugs are never really clean. Small critters and creatures can make their way into the fibres, enjoying the humidity within and remain living happily ever after under your feet.

The common dust mite, for example, enjoys the cover and humidity of carpet, as well as a ready food supply close by. But with screed flooring, dust mites, fleas and so on, find it almost impossible to survive with no cover, no humidity and so on.

For people who have allergies or asthma, screed flooring brings so many health benefits as keeping the flooring hygienically clean is so easy. When prospective buyers see a polished floor they find it attractive for many reasons, including the fact that they know these kinds are floors are healthier.

#3 Easy to keep looking good

There is something satisfying about a floor that has been recently mopped and/or polished. The high gloss shine is simply delightful but what makes it even more delightful is the fact that it took minutes to get it looking this way.

Regularly mopping and buffing of a screed floor ensures that it stays looking good thus, buyers will know that this kind of flooring is simply perfect for ensuring the whole of the property looks fantastic.

In terms of commercial properties, the floor is a major hazard in a health and safety risk assessment. A poorly maintained floor, or a poor flooring surface can be an expensive repair but one that will be a priority to prevent slips, trips and falls.

A screed floor present very few issues and so for potential buyers of commercial premises, knowing that the screed floor is safe and sound, as well as strong, will be a box ticked, making your property look and feel the right one to buy.

#4 Robust, strong and very long lasting

The three ingredients in the screed flooring mix react and combine together to create a material that is incredibly strong, robust, hard and, more importantly, long-lasting.

Place yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer: buying a property is expensive. Not only is the money to be found for the property itself, there are all kinds of fees, including legal fees that can creep up into thousands of pounds.

They want a property that they can move on into and either live or work in it straight away. There will be all kinds of aspects to a property to consider but replacing flooring is possibly one of the most expensive ones.

Now imagine they see a screed floor in your property. Buffed to a high shine, or painted in a commercial setting and note the relief as they understand that there is no need to spend hundreds or thousands of pounds replacing or repairing the floor.

#5 Versatile

How many other flooring options can you think of that can be changed without digging or ripping it up? Very few, we imagine but screed flooring is one of them.

Buyers can change how the floor looks, either by painting it – most commonly found in commercial premises – or in the case of a domestic property, a top layer of chemical treatments can create a completely different look or colour.

More and more people are opting for screed flooring and find that when they do, they make their property far more desirable when it comes to selling it too. Will a screed concrete floor make a difference to your property?

Midland Screed Floor have over 30 years’ experience installing and laying screed flooring in both domestic and commercial properties. No screed flooring is too big or too small for Midland Screed Flooring, bringing a versatile flooring surface to a project that will last for years and years… 



5 simple tips to make your hallway more inviting!

5 Simple Tips to Make Your Hallway More Inviting to Guests

You want your home to look smart and on-trend; you also need it to be functional, practical and safe.
You also want it to be a place where people enjoy being, including your guests. The first space they will come across as they enter your home is usually the hallway. Even if your lounge is stylish, your kitchen designer and your bathroom to die for, frankly if the hallway is cluttered, dingy and dark, then the impact is lost.
Balustrade Components understand the need for the hallway to be stylish, yet functional, welcoming yet practical. But how do incorporate all these elements into a room through which traffic constantly flows – including muddy boots, wellies, coats, school bags and more?

#1 Lighten the colour
The hallway is a busy place; it is the space you will pass through several times a day (and possibly night time too) and so we tend to this practically about the space, which is a good thing.
Unfortunately, that makes us think darker colour for the walls because this will surely hide the sins of muddy splashes, dog and cat hair, scuff marks and so on.
In some ways yes, but in most homes, the hallway is a small space and in desperate need of light. This means being brave – but you will soon see that your fears were ill-founded – and opt for a lighter colour.
We are loving the brightness and warmth of duck egg blue, or if you are unsure, opt for a pleasant biscuit-beige.

#2 Let there be (more) light!
Now you have taken the plunge with a lighter colour, you need to make sure you add as much light into the space as possible. As you would expect, we have some great suggestions;
• Glass balustrades – a balustrade is essential on a staircase and having an open balustrade design makes the hallway look and feel bigger. However, it is an essential safety feature so doing away with it completely is not an option. Glass infills are the perfect option. Robust and strong, they make the perfect safety barrier as well as being a reflective material that bounces light around your hallway.
Frankly, they also add the wow factor to a space that can be sadly lacking in design and stylish features.
• Chandelier lighting – the chandelier design has made a comeback in recent years and the reasons are obvious. With LED bulbs and cut glass or acrylic, when you flick the switch, large swathes of your hallway as bathed in light. This is not only adding more light to a sometimes dark space, but it is also a safety aspect to it too.

#3 De-clutter
Coast, boots, wellies, dog leads, school bags, the Wi-Fi router, you name it, anything that cannot find a permanent home anywhere else tends to have a designated spot in the hallway. Unfortunately, this means that in a small space, it can soon begin to look cluttered and untidy.
The time has come to de-clutter and find spaces and storage for things that really don’t need to be in the hallway. The one aspect of a hallway that can really lift it, is to de-clutter the floor.
You need practical flooring solutions in the hallway and by not having things on the floor, it deceives the eye into thinking that the space is bigger than it is.

#4 Bespoke storage
Following neatly on from de-cluttering is getting the storage sorted in the hallway. It is the one space in the house that if you have the budget, spending it on bespoke storage solutions is well worth it.
We have seen some great ideas and love the idea of taking up wall space for family members to have their own open locker space. Shoes go in the bottom box (no more ‘lost shoe hunts’ in the morning!), pegs for coats and jackets, shelving for school bags etc. and also a small board for notes and messages that are important.
Or, if that sounds too fussy, investing in a bench for the hallway, complete with ‘hidden’ chest like compartment to place things in, is certainly worth looking at.

#5 Add a mirror
As well as glass infills on the balustrade, adding a mirror or two (or more!) is the ideal solution to throwing light about a space.
Opt for the biggest mirror your walls can hold for an effect that elongates the space.
How would you make your hallway look and feel bigger?

Balustrade Components is an online retailer of components, fixings and glass panels that are perfect for creating balustrades for stairs, balconies and so on. Glass balustrades are perfect in any hallway, timeless and elegant, complementing any interior design scheme.



Gusto Newcastle – review.

We were lucky enough to be invited to try out the menu at Gusto, which is on the Quayside in Newcastle and any conversation that starts with ‘grab your coat sweetheart, we are having a date night’ makes me smile!

Since we don’t get to have many date nights we love to know that the venue is a little bit special and boy we weren’t disappointed when we turned up!  We were greeted with aromas wafting from the downstairs kitchen as we ascended the staircase to our table, the table we were seated at gave us an excellent look out point over the Tyne, practically adjacent to the swing bridge (which we took our first stroll along after dinner!)

gusto7 gusto9b

Our server came over and introduced herself with a smile and genuinely looked happy to be waiting on us for the evening (bonus points as we hate bad service!)  She explained the specials for the evening but having already looked at the menu and settled on what we wanted to eat we went with our original choices (although I’m sure the 25oz steak or whole lobster would have been delicious!!)

For starters Stuart ordered the Creamed garlic mushrooms with grilled ciabatta and crispy shallots while I opted for the Mussles cooked with white wine, cream and garlic also served with grilled ciabatta.


Look at the size of those monsters!! Those of you who read my blog regularly will already know that I love seafood but more often than not it does not love me back!  Stuart rolled his eyes when I ordered mussels and while eating them he just kept saying how I would regret it later!  Well, I can safely say these were darn good mussels and THEY LOVED ME BACK!  No upset tummy – nothing… there is now one place and one place alone I will eat seafood…thank you Gusto!


Having devoured our starters we expected quite a wait while our mains were prepared, I had ordered the Roast lamb rump with truffled cheese flavoured piccolo ravioli and tomato sauce while Stuart chose the Gusto Burger in a brioche bun with melted mozzarella and fries.  I ordered a size of the courgette fries … they’re courgettes in batter whats not to love!   We were in for a surprise though as our mains were served just minutes later – again bonus points for the service!

Stuart is becoming a bit of a burger aficionado so I knew we were hoping for a winner tonight since he had that look in his eye saying ‘bring it on’!   He was silenced after the first bite and when finished, declared it the best burger he has ever eaten.  His exact words were, ‘How a burger should be, not greasy in the slightest, plenty of flavour and well seasoned’ and apparently the sauce that was served with it was AMAZING!

 Bravo Gusto you did it again!


The presentation of my lamb was first class and again cooked to perfection, I asked for pink but not too much and they outdid themselves with delicately flavoured slices which worked well against the truffled cheese parcels and tomato sauce.  They tasted delicious as stand alone ingredients but when eaten together the flavours exploded!


Courgette fries – nuff said *be still my heart*


Knowing full well we were almost full to bursting we took a look at the dessert menu will all intentions of having something light.  Turns out when you see something you want you just go for it – hubby went for the Bambolini – homemade mini donuts with orange chantilly and chocolate sauce – which he said would have been nicer had the donuts been sweet instead of more like dough balls (…he ate them all so he didn’t complain too loudly if you know what I mean!)


I went for the lighter option of the Almond Milk panacotta with honeycomb, flaked almonds and lemon curd.  One word – MOREISH!  This was a delicious combination of cream and almond with bursts from the red currants and lemon curd!


After dinner we sat back with a coffee and watched others dining on food that looked more and more delicious with each dish they brought out, we will most definitely be back and it was lovely to see lots of families dining too!  At first we presumed it was more for couples but after reading the daytime menu we will be taking the children too, I know they will love the homemade pizza!


Since it was just the two of us and we were yet to walk the swing bridge we decided a selfie was in order to mark the night we escaped without the children!  You can just see the pink of the sun setting behind us which finished off a fabulous night!


A beautiful night and Gusto comes highly recommended from both of us!



We were invited along for a complimentary meal, all opinions and views are our own.