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

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

222 weeks and 2 days | Twin Milestones {Siblings June}

How strange time is. I wrote recently on Instagram about how fickle ‘time’ seems to be. A strange commodity — always the same amount of seconds in a minute, minutes in an hour. But when you’re wishing and waiting for something, time drags it’s heels and takes on a much different pace than when you’re busy and happy. I remember trying to fall pregnant so vividly. Each month seemed longer than the last. Time was governed a small window of opportunity; the four hallowed days when I was ovulating. Then rudely punctuated by the appearance of Aunt Flo; which signified the end of another cycle. A very visual reminder that our wishes hadn’t been granted on that occasion. Time was a spiteful old woman. Sneering at me. Slowing her pace and making me despair that I’d never be a mama. And then we were lucky. Mother Nature smiled kindly on me and time changed tempo again. Slow-slow-quick-quick-slow The first 13 weeks of my pregnancy with the twins was agonisingly slow. Each day seemed like an eternity. And even after we’d had the scan to say that the babies were doing well — and they had good, strong heartbeats — it didn’t… Read More

Bringing Up Men and Positive Body Image

Over on Instagram last week there was a flurry of inspiring posts on ‘positive body image’— my favourite being from my blogging buddy Alison who posted a pic of herself and her daughter in matching swimming costumes. When I saw it I literally did a double take and thought— ‘Wow — she’s so brave’ — and then had to have a word with myself and ask ‘Why is that brave?’. Why is a normal woman ‘brave’ for posing in a swimming costume? If she was a model, would I be thinking that? Nope. Of course I wouldn’t. Then I thought about a photo that my boy had taken of me whilst we were in Cornwall. We’d spotted a fantastically ‘Instagrammable’ wall and I’d been keen for him to take a photo of me standing against it. I was really excited about my photo opportunity — the perfect Kodak moment — and I was very excited about sharing it on my Instagram feed. But when I saw it I was so disappointed. I didn’t look like the woman I was hoping to see. And no filter would make me thinner and taller — stretch my fat little dumpy legs — and turn me into the young, thin beauty that I… Read More

Operation She Shed | #5 The Build {Painting The Interior}

Part 5 of Operation She Shed is all about painting the interior. I said from the start that these posts weren’t going to be that sexy — and I wasn’t kidding — but in order to see the butterfly, you have to begin with a dull old chrysalis. Or something like that. Anyway. Just to put this post into context, we’d already boarded and insulated the shed — you can read about that here. Because my She Shed is — as it’s name would suggest — a shed (and not a room in an actual house) we decided against having the walls professionally plastered. But in order to tidy up the joins and all the screw holes in the plasterboard — and make it look half decent — I used plasterboard tape. It’s like a wide mesh self-adhesive tape — perfect for reinforcing joints and repairing cracks in plasterboard. You stick it over the fissures and then can use a filler to smooth over the mesh. This is the perfect solution if you’re not going to skim over the walls with plaster. Once you’ve sanded it you can barely see where the joins once were, then you’re ready to paint. I filled with my favourite filler. It’s called Toupret and is available… Read More