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

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

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

Chiaroscuro | Decorating with dark walls and mirrors

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we’d painted our snug. And if you happened to be flicking through my Insta Stories, that day, you’d have seen the action taking place; and the paint actually going onto the walls in real time. The room had been a mid-dark grey for quite a few years but in a fit of wanting something lighter and brighter. And being swayed by all-white interiors over on Instagram (pop and have a look at the lovely feed by love, tears and teepees to see what I’m talking about); I painted the room in an icy (almost white) grey, just before Christmas. Oh. Dear. Not one of my best moves. But hey, it’s only paint. Easily rectified. Never one to do things by halves, I decided to buck the trend and go the polar opposite — dark, dark walls. To which everyone, that I ran my idea past, solemnly shook their heads; ‘You’ll regret it! The room will look poky and dark!’ Well. It’s the strangest phenomenon. You’d assume that very dark walls would make a fairly small room — that doesn’t get a great deal of light — feel even darker and even smaller. But quite the opposite has happened. The room feels… Read More

Home Etc #89 — and some news!

This week has felt very springlike indeed. And with spring comes newness and change. Talking of which, Jess and I have some really exciting news to share this week! Our little Home Etc team is growing! After almost two years of hosting this little linky each week, by ourselves, we’ve decided that the time has come for us to expand a little. So we’re delighted to announce that a couple of our fave Home Etc regulars — Lins from Boo and Maddie and Kerry from Noah and the Girls — will be taking turns, with us, to host each week. Exciting! Next week Kerry and Lins will be taking over the helm and you’ll find the Home Etc link up over on their blogs. Jess and I will be hosting the following week and we’ll alternate each week thereafter! We’re hoping it won’t cause too much confusion and will just mean that we’ll have a broader reach and will grow our lovely community even further! But back to this week. Home Etc Favourites Faves from last week came from Nancy — who writes over at ‘Hello Nancy’ — with the most gorgeous peek into her trip away to south Wales. And Karen who writes over at the… Read More

Home Etc #88

Happy, happy 1st March! And welcome to this week’s Home Etc! I’ll make no apologies for being a little bit giddy today; for me the 1st March signifies that spring is very nearly here and the dark, winter days are nearly over. Plus my little Welsh man is always very happy as it’s St David’s day. Hapus Dydd Dewi! Back to this week’s Home Etc. For those not in the know, Home Etc is a weekly link up for bloggers who have written posts that include interiors (wish lists, room tours or DIY), garden or allotment ideas, plus crafting or up-cycling, hosted by myself and my good friend Jess! Home Etc Favourites Last week’s favourites came from Lins at Boo And Maddie with the most stunning door wreath I think I’ve ever seen. It’s from the Big Door Wreath Company and is a work of art!! SO gorgeous and the perfect thing to welcome in the spring! Another favourite came from Suzanne over at Inside, Outside and Beyond. She showed us her cosy and stylish snug. Such a beautiful room. A far cry from my own snug, where the floor is often covered in a sea of Lego! Very well done ladies! Your names… Read More

A good nights sleep | Featuring Order Blinds

Getting a good night’s sleep becomes as evasive and mystical as the unicorn, when you’re a new parent. Sleep deprivation is most definitely a form of torture and ‘sleeping through’ is a hot topic of conversation; discussed in every playgroup up and down the country. Those first few weeks of life with a newborn can be  pretty exhausting. And then once you’ve managed to get your angel into a good routine — BANG — teething starts. And so, your good night’s sleep is disturbed once more. And again when they’re having a growth spurt. Or ill. Or when the clocks change. Aaah the clocks changing. The clocks going forward has always been one of the highlights of my year; a clear signal that winter is finally over and long light days are ahead. But when the boys arrived, putting the clocks forward was something that threw us all out of kilter. Losing an hour was bad enough but trying to put them to bed in the daylight was awful. Even a black-out blind — and curtains with black-out lining — couldn’t stop the light shining around the window frame on sunny mornings, like a halo. And as the sun greeted the world, so my little sons awoke… Read More