The times they are a changing; new beds, new theme

We were talking last night about buying the boys some new beds. The little cotbeds that have served us so well, up until now, are beginning to look a little ‘pinched’ — for want of a better word. There is still a little bit of room, between their feet and the end of each bed; but not much. It seems like yesterday when we bought them. I remember thinking that 4 years seemed like ages away, when the lady in the shop said that they’d probably last until the boys went to school. But in the blink of an eye my babies are grown. We’re preparing for them to start school in just 6 weeks time and the little cotbeds have been outgrown. *sobs* But anyway. I think we’ve pretty much settled on the idea of bunkbeds  but it’s got me thinking about redecorating. I’ve always loved their room; white and brights. The perfect combo for little people. As they’re a little older, I think now’s the time to lose the colourful wallpaper (maybe?) and try to think of a theme that will carry them through the next 4 or 5 years. My godson is now 10 and he’s recently… Read More

Tips for decorating a caravan | Painting and wallpapering the interior

I regularly receive emails from fellow caravan enthusiasts with questions about Dolly 1 and, more recently, Dolly 2. Very often, they’ve stumbled across my blog posts — or Pinterest pins — and ask for tips on decorating a caravan. I’m asked what kind of paint we used on the walls and cupboards and what we used to hang the wallpaper. So finally, I’ve decided to make a little list of tips for decorating a caravan interior. It’s super simple and the look that can be achieved is fabulous. I’m going to split the content into various posts — painting and wallpapering the interior, then all the fiddly bits like sinks and fittings, the upholstery and, finally, revamping the exterior. There’s way too much content for one post — and there’s also a LOT of photos!! So here goes… Decorating a Caravan » Part 1 Painting Woodwork and veneer covered walls: In most older caravans — and even bright shiny new ones — the interior seems to be a sea of brown (or worse, orange) wood. In some cases it’s real. In a lot of cases it’s chipboard; covered in a plastic wooden-look coating. The doors in both our vans have been solid wood but the surrounds… Read More

Tasty Crushed New Potato Salad with Créme Fraîche, Lemon and Dill

Mid July. What kind of images does that conjure up to you? Sweltering days and balmy nights. Paddling pool in the garden and alfresco dining. Barbecues and cocktails. Or grey skies and thunderclouds? Over the weekend the sun did a bunk and it didn’t resemble summer in the slightest. I had one of my oldest friends come to stay and although I had envisaged the sun beating down as we had a long, lazy lunch in a beer-garden somewhere, we ended up huddling indoors as the rain beat down outside. But even though it’s not paddling pool weather every day, we can still enjoy delicious summery food when the rain stops play. I wanted to share a little potato salad recipe that I’ve been making recently. A bit different from the norm — the dressing is made with a blend of créme fraîche and mayonnaise; which makes it a bit lighter than usual. It also uses dill — rather than chives or spring onions. Dill is definitely not to everyone’s taste but I love it. It’s such a fresh and fragrant herb and it goes so well with potato; it definitely shouldn’t be kept just for fish. Although this simple… Read More

Home Etc #108

Last week saw the news that my friend — and co-founder of Home Etc — Jess, will be stepping down from hosting. Next Wednesday will be her last official day. It’s sad but totally understandable. Jess has taken on such a lot of social media work over the past few months plus her blog is more fashion focussed these days too. She won’t be too far away though and will still also be linking up periodically! Home Etc will continue to be hosted by myself and the lovely Lins from Boo and Maddie, on rotation. Home Etc Favourites Last week we had some gorgeous blogs linking in. Special mention to Becky at Pinks Charming who shared a brilliant tutorial on how to create a fantastic breakfast bar using stylish hairpin legs that she’d sourced online. Such a cool idea. I love mid-century furniture and this modern take on the classic designs is genius! Second favourite came from Kara who blogs over at Innocent Charms Chats. Her post on the merits of peach interiors made me smile. As a fifteen year old with very strong ideas on interior design, my bedroom was a vision in peach and silver. It’s definitely not… Read More

Simple tips for an easy bathroom makeover

Although I wouldn’t call myself a slave to interior trends, I love mixing things up on a fairly regular basis. Richard would roll his eyes at this point. I think ‘fickle’ might be a good description. Our bathroom has had more mini-facelifts than I can count on one hand. I guess that’s a lot when you consider we’ve only lived here for 6 years. That said, they’re not huge renovations each time. A bathroom makeover doesn’t have to be expensive and, if you follow these simple tips, you won’t have to retile or change the hardware every-time you want to alter the feel of the room. Before you know it you’ll be able to easily give the smallest room in the house an inviting new look, as often as the season’s change. 1. Give yourself a neutral backdrop. I love colour but I also get bored easily. By painting a room white — or choosing classic, plain white tiles — you can regularly refurbish the space. And introduce new key colours or patterns, simply by changing the accessories. If fixed elements — like walls and tiles — were bold, patterned or bright, it would be so costly to keep altering them… Read More

A week at Bosinver in Cornwall

After our St Mawes adventure in February, we followed it up with another trip down to Cornwall in May. This time to Bosinver, near St Austell. I wrote a little post saying that we’d booked to go, back in September of last year, and we’d been looking forward to it for the best part of 8 months. That said, when you book so far in advance you can’t always guarantee the weather and even though the days leading up to our holiday were warm and dry, the week that we were there was not. It rained and rained. Perfect weather for ducks in fact. But the wet weather didn’t dampen our spirits and my three boys and I had such an amazing time. Bosinver Farm is almost like a little village in it’s own right. There are 20 separate dwellings on the site; everything from chocolate box cottages to a state of the art eco-house. I’m going to write a dedicated post about the accommodation. I was lucky enough to check out a few of the houses whilst I was there and they’re so beautifully presented they definitely deserve a little write-up of their own. Plus I took far too many… Read More

Sticky Glazed Chicken Drumsticks {Featuring Hellmann’s Ketchup Sweetened with Honey}

My favourite kind of food is the sort that you eat with your fingers. Lip smacking, finger licking, tasty food that can be shared with others. Simple food that isn’t formal or pretentious. The kind that works for picnics and family barbecues. We have a favourite recipe that we bring to the table every year but I just thought I’d share it here on the blog, as it’s just had a little facelift, thanks to a new product that’s recently hit the shops. It’s a Sticky Glazed Chicken recipe and two of the key ingredients are ketchup and honey. But those clever bods at Hellmann’s have just combined the two, which means their Hellmann’s Ketchup Sweetened with Honey works perfectly! No need for two separate ingredients. I love the fact that this new ketchup is sweetened only by honey. Plus it contains 30% less sugar than regular tomato ketchup too and has 36% more tomatoes, which means more of the good stuff and less of the bad.  It’s made my Sticky Glazed Chicken Drumsticks even easier to make and even more delicious (if that’s possible!). Here’s what you do. HOW TO MAKE STICKY GLAZED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS FEATURING HELLMANN’S KETCHUP SWEETENED WITH HONEY You will need: 6-8 chicken… Read More

Regaining my mum style and my sense of self

Mum style. It’s a term that gets bandied around a lot these days doesn’t it? Women pushing against the ‘frumpy mummy’ stigma and trying to remain cool and fashionable, with little ones in tow. Personally, I don’t feel as though I’ve ever been particularly ‘fashionable’ — even when I was in my teens and twenties. I like fashion and I love clothes but being a slave to the high-street — or cutting edge trends — has never really been high up on my list of priorities. But one of the things I do notice about my style since I had the boys, is that there seemed to be a list of things that suddenly became off-limits. I stopped wearing very pale colours. I had my colours done a few years ago and weirdly white was on my list of shades never to wear — but suddenly other pale colours like cream, ivory and stone also got shelved when I had the twins. Long necklaces too, because they always got tugged by tiny, grabbing hands. Anything in a lacy or delicate fabric that could pull — or damage easily — also got put to one side. I didn’t wear too many clothes that needed dry cleaning either; why would you when they’d… Read More