The Dinky Duvalay | A caravan must have for kids

It’s that time of year folks! Spring is finally here which means it’s time to dust Dolly down and get her out of her winter hiding place. Hurrah — adventure awaits. I think we can safely say that I love my caravan; and since we bought our first van —  Dolly 1 — I’m always on the look out for a clever gadget or caravan accessory. Last year I found the number one essential item — the Duvalay — literally the best thing I’ve ever come across for camping in a caravan. I wrote a whole post about it; singing it’s praises. Then at the end of last year Duvalay launched a mini version for kids; ‘The Dinky Duvalay‘. It sounds a bit over the top but this simple bit of kit has literally revolutionised our lives. Just like the original Duvalay, it’s Dinky counterpart is essentially a posh sleeping bag. It comprises of a memory foam mattress, bottom sheet and duvet combined; but unlike it’s plainer big brother, the Dinky Duvalay comes in a bright, unisex animal-print. It provides a comfy, portable layer, that you place on top of a caravan bed to give the best night’s sleep. And neatly rolls up in it’s own bag. Since we traded Dolly in for a bigger version a… Read More

On life lately {and why making Easter bonnets is good for the soul}

I began this blog 4 years, 5 months and 8 days ago. To the day. When I started writing I had no idea that it would become such a permanent fixture in our lives. Or be the bearer of so many amazing and wonderful experiences and life-changing opportunities. It was just an online diary, to share my thoughts and feelings. A cathartic escape, if you will. But over time, it’s become the keeper of our big family milestones and ordinary moments. A place to document the boys’ early years; for them to look back on when they’re a little older. I don’t tend to write about sad or negative things on here. This is my happy place after all. But when life-changing things happen, I do occasionally cover them on the blog. I wrote about the time my dad was gravely ill and rushed to hospital — and about losing our furry faced child Widget. I wrote about the death of my grandad and losing my nana. So whilst this little corner of the internet is mostly about the good things, it does occasionally bear witness to the bad too. Accidents Will Happen If you don’t follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may not know that I fell on… Read More

Our stay at the Hotel Aiguille Percee in Tignes | With Mark Warner

For someone — like me — who’s never been to the mountains before, the coach journey from Grenoble airport to the ski resort of Tignes was pretty spectacular. Winding through the French Alps, looking down over vast canyons and valleys — all smothered in a thick layer of snow — was breathtaking. And as we pulled in to Tignes-Le-Lac and the coach stopped, we were able to get a proper look at where we were going to be spending our first ever family ski holiday. Tignes is located 2100 metres above sea level; and due to the high altitude offers skiers the chance of fabulous snow, even late on in the season. We arrived on 12th March and — apart from the roads which were clear — everywhere else was covered in a dense blanket of snow. The coach dropped us off and we walked up the footpath to our home for the week; The Hotel Aiguille Percee. Looking every inch as chalet-like as I’d hoped, we were warmly greeted at the front desk by Wayne — the lovely general manager — who checked us in and let us know when, and where, all the welcome meetings were; plus the times of the meals etc. The Accommodation We stayed… Read More

Home Etc #94

Welcome to this week’s Home Etc! We’re on the countdown to the long Easter weekend and I’ve already started feeding my face with mini-eggs. Easter — along with Christmas — is one of the few times of the year when it’s perfectly acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast. It is isn’t it? Not just me? Anyway. Back to this week’s link-up. For those not in the know, Home Etc is a weekly blog-hop for bloggers who have written content that include interiors (wish lists, room tours or DIY), garden or allotment ideas, plus crafting or up-cycling. This week it’s hosted by myself and the lovely Kerry from Noah and The Girls. HOME ETC FAVOURITES The first Home Etc favourite from last week come from Steph who blogs over at Life at 139a, with a gorgeous allotment update. And the second comes from Fionnuala at Three Sons Later, with the second part of her kidney table upcycle. I’m always amazed at the things Fionnu manages to find in skips and flea markets. This little table is a gem and she’s really given it a fantastic lease of life. Do pop over and have a read of both of their posts if you missed them… Read More

The GLTC Skinny Oxford Desk {not just for the kids}

Since I’ve been on the GLTC testing team I’ve come across so many of their products that cross over from being just a ‘kid’s thing’ to something that seamlessly fits into any location. Take the Pigeonhole Wall Shelf that I featured a couple of month’s ago. Use it in the hall, bathroom, nursery. Or pop it in the kitchen, study or garage. It works everywhere. So, these days, when I’m looking for a specific piece of furniture —even for a room other than the boys’ bedroom — the Great Little Trading Company is often my first port of call. So many of their products are so much more than ‘just’ for the kids. I decided just after Christmas that one of our guest rooms needed a little desk or dressing table. Although there is built in shelving and other storage in there, it felt a little bit basic and sparse. It’s a lovely room, situated up in the eaves. But the quirky angles and beams — coupled with the fact that it’s not the largest space — make it tricky to find things that suit the scale and style of the room. I took some measurements and the piece I needed had to be fairly short — and not… Read More

212 Weeks and 4 Days | Little Loves in April

I have been meaning to join in with Little Loves for a while now. It’s a little prompt created by the lovely Morgana who writes over at the blog Coffee Work Sleep Repeat. She has linked up with me for Home Etc before and I’m finally getting around to joining in with her linky and sharing what I’ve been doing recently. So — in no particular order — here are some of the things I’ve been up to in April. Read I’ve read magazines — namely Living Etc, Red and Marie Claire — but I also began reading a book that I was kindly given by the Mumsnet Book Club. The title drew me in — ‘How to UnF*ck Your Habitat’ — by an American author called Rachel Hoffman but after just a couple of pages I realised that it wasn’t for me. I thought — by the home inspired title — that I’d love it. But I found the style of writing and the content really irritating. To be fair, I think it’s aimed at young adults and those leaving home for the first time. It would probably appeal to a young reader without kids; but, as a woman with a family, I found I couldn’t relate to it… Read More

Colour Your World | #23 Pantone Lilac Gray

I’m so behind on my Pantone posts. I didn’t manage to complete all the colours from last year’s colour predictions — even though I’ve already showcased this year’s colour of the year. But made a pact with myself to carry on with them. So, here’s the next in the series; Pantone Lilac Gray. Of all the colours I’ve showcased so far,  it has been the most difficult to source products for. Slightly more red than standard ‘grey’, this warmed up shade has definitely more than just a hint of lavender. It’s such a beautiful, restful colour — and I found quite a few interior pieces to fit the brief — but fashion was a different story altogether. Although grey is HUGE at the moment, most of the pieces available online are your bog-standard school uniform kinda grey. Not this subtly different  shade. So please bear with me. Whilst these picks are not ‘exactly’ Pantone Lilac Gray, they certainly give a flavour of it. The gorgeous sneakers from Air and Grace are a winner — they’re metallic silver leather but have the most amazing iridescent detailing that looks silver-grey in some lights, lilac in another, so I figured that was all bases covered! Colour Your World |… Read More

Home Etc #92

Morning home lovers!!! I’m back at the Home Etc helm after what feels like YEARS away. A week’s skiing — and a week off with a knackered knee — has an amazing way of making you totally lose track of time!! The last time I hosted Jess and I had just announced that we were expanding our team and we’d be hosting with two of our favourite Home Etc regulars; Lins from Boo and Maddie and Kerry from Noah and the Girls. So this week I’m hosting with the lovely Kerry! HOME ETC FAVOURITES Faves from last week came from Sarah — who writes over at ‘Extraordinary Chaos’ — with the most gorgeous post; Gold is the New Black. We also loved Fionnuala’s — from Three Sons Later — post. She wrote about the faded glory of, Georgian gem, Lionsden House; just outside the village of Longwood in County Meath, Ireland. Such a grand old beauty —my dream kind of house to be honest. But for all the house’s amazing internal features, I especially loved this external yellow door!! Congratulations Sarah and Fionnu — you’re both now in the running to win this month’s voucher from our fabulous sponsor, Laura Ashley. HOME ETC HOUSE-RULES 1) Please include our lovely #HomeEtc badge at the bottom of… Read More