2017 is all about Living Lagom……..

My names Vanessa and welcome to my blog! Thanks for stopping by.

2017 is all about Living Lagom……..

Towards the later end of 2016 I was lucky enough to be chosen by Ikea to take part in their live Lagom project. What did this mean, a chance for me to look at my current living situation and think about how I could  do something positive, make a few changes and help my environment by living more sustainably, so naturally I jumped at the chance.

I was brought up in a household where my dad grew his own vegetables, we never wasted food and my mum batched cooked. These skills I have tried to adopt  throughout my adult years – well the batch cooking at least. I knew there were other ways I could reduce waste and save money in my household. As a single mother with a growing 14-year-old boy, the other reason for joining the Live Lagom project was to encourage my son to consciously take care of his environment too.

After my initial home visit, towards the end of December my son and I met with the lovely Kerry from Nottingham Ikea to carry out our big shop. Admittedly, I had spent hours on the website aswell as trawling through the Live Lagom catalogue trying to figure out what would have the best impact on my household. Essentially I wanted to reduce my bills, keep the warmth in and assist with my batch cooking. With a £300 budget this seemed highly  achievable.

Just after we’d finished the shop

So this is what we brought……

2 pairs of Blekviva curtains, and Glansnava – curtain liners, these will be used in the front room. I have a conservatory with double doors leading off the front room and windows at the front there for the aim is to keep the living room snug with the curtains covering both sets of glass.

1 large Sanderum rug – For the living room floor, to make it feel more warm. A plethora of LED bulbs – most the bulbs have now been changed in the house. Senior casserole pot with lid – this has so far enabled me to do a lot more one pot cooking in the oven, reducing gas consumption and aiding with my batch cooking. I love this pot and intend on purchasing the larger one too!


SORTERA waste sorting bin with lid x 3

EKARP Floor lamp base. My fave I love this beautiful lamp.


So with the shopping complete, I just had to sort where they would all go.


So, what have we learnt? 

I started this journey with several objectives to make my home uber efficient, to save money on bills and to be more conscious as a family of ways and methods to help the environment. It has been an eye opener and an enjoyable journey.

It’s the little things, ironically that have made the difference. Like having enough storage containers to enable my batch cooking to continue at full throttle.

Turning off the tap when brushing our teeth to save water. I can’t believe how much water is wasted just by brushing your teeth for two minutes with the tap running, that soon stopped.

Only using lights when needed, with the added factor of having LED’s, has led to peace of mind and smaller bills.

OOH! the curtains have meant that I haven’t had the gas fire on in the living room since December believe me this is a great achievement; my house has never felt homelier. Additionally, by having the walls coated on the exterior with secoflex I have been able to retain some of the heat, as it improves the thermal resistance of the house’s brickwork and masonry by keeping it completely dry. oh, and has given the house a lovely new paint job.

When out shopping, each product I buy I’m already thinking about packaging and what recycling bin it will need to be sorted into for each of the packaging’s component parts, to ensure that it is recycled properly… I make myself chuckle sometimes as I’m going through my thought process.

I have also looked at ways that I can live more of a healthy lifestyle by what I consume. I’ve always considered myself to have a healthy diet, but things can always be improved right! So, in the spirit of “the right amount is best” I have been making my own nut milk. Instead of buying cow’s milk, which would only really get drunk with coffee or if Diontai wanted a glass…. As I think I may be slightly lactose intolerant and have never been able to stand cow’s milk, we’d end up throwing milk away as a 1litre bottle was never fully finished. So, in a bid to get more nutrients into my body I’ve turned to nut milk, homemade almond milk.



It’s simple enough to make

  • Almonds soaked over night
  • Rinsed, then blended with fresh water
  • Once blended strain through a muslin
  • Add the liquid back in the blender and mix with Vanilla

Job done!!

I use this Milk for my morning Matcha green tea latte. Mmmmmm!

All in all, it’s been a positive experience and one that will definitely carry on in the Simpson household.


Next stop, sorting the garden.




Missed Blog post April/ May 2017!!!

Sunday 9th of April, the lovely Kerry took us through growing our own in small spaces.



Now fortunately I have been brought up in a household where my mother and father have always been into growing our own vegetables. the back garden had a no-go zone in case my brother and I crushed dad’s carrots, potatoes, onions, strawberries, cabbage or sweetcorn. but for some reason mum and dad’s green finger’s never rubbed off on me. Unfortunately, I generally ended up just killing any form of vegetation I attempted to grow.

However, the concept of living off the land had been instilled in me from a young age. And I have known that it was something I would eventually attempt and be successful at some point in my life, and it has now been reignited within me. I have been pondering with starting my own vegetable patch for a few years, as I haven’t been able to dedicated as much time to the garden as I would’ve hoped since moving in it hasn’t developed as I would have hoped.

This Summer, the garden is now on my to do list. I have managed to source some reclaimed roof beams, it seems recycling is now deep-seated within me. Driving past a house renovation I asked kindly if I could take them off their hands and they obliged :). I will be using this little beauty and others to create my veg bed.


And thanks to the Kerry and live lagom, I have begun my veg mission one seed at a time, we decorated plant pots to keep us inspired as part of the workshop.

IMG_3949.JPGAnd I planted my Basil seeds to get  my veg bed started, so far they are coming along nicely.




Progress so far…..

Since signing up for Live Lagom, I’ve found myself being more aware of my environment and surroundings.

Every bottle, piece of card, plastic and paper now gets picked up and placed in the appropriate pile ready to be distributed between the relevant bins. As you can see they are filling up nicely.





Its been a mission to get the Diontai to always remember that we are recycling everything, but we’re getting there. It has also meant less trips to the bins outside #bonus :).

Alongside recycling, another element that has changed within our home environment has been the Hive hub and smart lights. As a British gas home-serve customer as part of my sign up deal I was sent the hive hub and two lightbulbs for free……..

Hive makes it easy to control everyday things from your phone. By having the lightbulbs installed within my home I can set timers as to when the lights come on and switch off, allowing me to reduce the amount of electricity consumed. I turn the lights off and on via an app on my phone, so if I leave the house and forget I simply open the app and I can turn them off wherever I am. Amazing!!  

And to make it even better they are LED lights, again cutting the power consumed by the lights, they are dimmable which can also be controlled via the app on your phone, so if you do not have a dimmer switch you still have the option to control the brightness of your lights. I would definitely recommend this product.

Live Lagom Workshop March 2017

live lagom.jpg…….. I nearly forgot, I took mum and Diontai along to the the Nottingham store for our sewing workshop. Luckily as a child I was taught to sew, mum was uber savvy and creative as she used to make our clothes, mend my dads trousers make her own curtains and even made a cover for her three piece suite. She passed her skills onto myself and my siblings and they have come in handy on numerous occasions.



green heart.jpg


The lovely Kerry led the Nottingham workshop, where we were creating draught excluders. I took along the off cuts from the curtains I had purchased as part of my big shop. It was a great morning.


As you can see Mum and Diontai came along and got involved too. We all found it very therapeutic, it was great to sit and just concentrate for a minute and think, whilst also creating something for the house.

Looking forward tot he next workshop…. I will keep you posted on how it goes. #showthelove

New Year, New start!

So far, as 2017 is all about Living Lagom…….. Our new years resolutions are as follows:

  • Reduce waste
  • Reduce bills by reducing heat loss and saving energy.
  • Recycle more

Since christmas I have been in the process of decorating the house, I have slowly but surely been putting the items purchased during our big shop into use. The curtains have made such a big difference to the living room, they really have. It feels so homely and warm already and I only have one pair up, I do love them.

The lamp has added a much need ambience to the room as well as letting us reduce usage of the main light – I purchased the shade elsewhere, combined I think the stand and shade work well together.


SORTERA waste sorting bin with lid – these have been placed under the stairs (yet to be decorated). They just need some labels, but having the bins user the stairs has helped me in terms of sorting my recycling, beforehand I think I was half-heartedly a recycler. Now we have a system in place, even Diontai (my son) has got into recycling, and we are making less trips to the bottle bin outside in the cold, as we are collecting inside first….Winner!



Over the next few weeks I will be sorting my living room floor and then the rug can go down, I can’t wait loving my happy home.

It’s amazing how making a few adjustments can change your perception of your surroundings.