I am a Christmas fiend and make no apologies for it. I adore this time of the year and have already started with my prep.

First up, the house. I love interiors as much as I do Christmas and so in November each year I start thinking about sorting the house out. There’s the obligatory decluttering sessions, the carpets have been cleaned downstairs (local people – look up Heaven Scent Cleaning Services, Michelle worked magic on my cream carpets and was unbelievably affordable!) and then onto revamping the lounge and dining room.

I’ve stolen this absolutely gorgeous piece from my parents and given it a little tart up. This is one of those solid pieces that you loved as a child and cherish when older. The photographs don’t do it justice so I’ll take some more pictures in December when it’s all covered with Christmas decs.

 

Next up, my bargain of the year (which again will be re-snapped when dressed properly), a new, solid and rather gorgeous extending dining table. An Ebay find from a local seller which was a steal, even including hiring a van man to fetch it for me.

New Table

Of course I needed new Christmas tins. No Christmas is complete without Christmas tins crammed full of fabulous goodies and these beauties were just 3.99 from my favourite supermarket, Lidl. Lovely aren’t they?

 

LidlTins

And the first new additions to our Christmas decorations (although I suspect these will stay out all year). A real steal these lovely owls from Ribbons and Bows look just fabulous.

New friends

I have Taylor’s birthday on Sunday and Roy’s next week so the “proper” Christmas prep will start in earnest after then. I’ve ticked a fair few bits off the list this week though and just can’t wait to pull it all together with my Christmas decorations and favourite pieces.

None of this cost very much in the grand scheme of things and will all add to our wonderful family home at Christmas time.
How are your Christmas preparations coming along?

 

If like me you love all things festive head over to Festive Friday, a wonderful collection of posts from fellow Christmas friends, led by the ever inspiring (and quite lovely)  Chris Mosler.

Festive Friday at Thinly Spread

There are many things that are true and typical in the UK; if it is going to rain it will do so on the school run, we always moan about the weather, we’ll always have at least one quirky royal (I’m still in awe of Charlie and his plant-chatting antics) and moaning about getting a dentist appointment is a common pastime.

The latter for many however has slipped off the list recently with the Toothpick service changing the way that people can search for a dentist. This tool will, instead of having you gnashing your teeth, have you smiling as not only may you find details of local dentists, you will also find reviews about them.

 

tp2

Searching couldn’t be easier on this fresh and clean user-friendly site as you simply choose what service you are looking for (for example an emergency appointment, a general appoint / consultation, you have toothache, you want to see a hygienist or talk about teeth straightening…), then you choose your area by postcode.

Your results are clearly displayed, offering a number of choices near to you, a map, review information for each and it is easy to tailor your search further.

Just to show you how the site works I’ve chosen to find an emergency dentist in London (given that quite a few of my readers come from down that way). I’ve altered my search to look for private rather than NHS dentists and I want one who treats children and who are experienced in dealing with nervous patients.

And voila….

tp1

 

I’m really quite tickled by how easy this site is to use, especially given how many times a week I see someone on social media asking about dental recommendations, where to go in a certain area, who is good etc. This type of tool takes all of the “bumf” out of the search so that unlike when you use a search engine to find this information you don’t have to trawl through pages of advertisements and have to search site after site to see what is on offer, then other sites to check reviews and recommendations.

This is the perfect example of how we should be able to search for our health care providers in 2014 and I hope this format is taken up by professionals in other sectors. If you’ve struggled to find a dentist in the past do you feel this type of tool would be useful? I can’t imagine spending time surfing the internet fruitlessly for information when your face in on fire and your cheek feels the size of a melon is much fun.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Now, I wonder if Toothpick could be encouraged to do something about the way our GP appointment system works………

No, I don’t have a huge pool with a real shark in it (although on reflection what better way to keep cold callers at bay?). I’m talking about the Shark S4501 Steam Mop in white which was quite the bargain find thanks to that clever lot at Suppose.com.

Usually retailing at £99.99 (still a decent price given how easy to use and effective the Shark S4501 is) using suppose.com to search for this product finds the most affordable option from a reputable retailer making this available for just £29.98. I received this product in exchange for writing an honest and unbiased review of Suppose and yet this is exactly the kind of item I would buy myself and I doubt I would have found this type of saving myself.

steam_mop

If I am being honest I hadn’t heard of Suppose.com until they approached me to tell me about this service and the savings I could possibly find. The idea behind the site is that you decide what you are looking for and it finds the cheapest price for you, saving you both time and money.

Another example of how this could save me money (if Roy gets his way) is to look for an Xbox One. I’m considering getting him one for Christmas however the prices vary all over and being such a big item it is stocked by many retailers. I have this saved in a basket for £349.99 ready to click buy and yet Suppose have located me the same bundle for £319.99, effectively saving me £30. Roy might get his fancy Xbox after all.

xbox1 suppose

 

I personally have used shopping comparison tools online before and while they have been “ok” I wouldn’t recommend some of them and they certainly aren’t as easy to navigate as Suppose; and I’ve never before seen one which allows you to save searches and more. It could be that this is one of the sites I’ll be writing about soon as a top moneysaving tool. Time will tell whether it will save me money long term however I have to say that so far the site looks promising.

 

*Sponsored post

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