A date with Joules at Badminton Horse Trials

I think it’s fair to say that — for me — the last eight weeks have been tinged with frustration and a little bit of boredom. It’s unlike me too; I don’t get bored easily. If I ever feel my attention waning — and inertia setting in — I tend to just change direction and do something else. But when you can’t drive or easily take yourself off for a walk, it’s difficult not to feel the pangs of boredom. So when my lovely friends at Joules asked me out on a date I literally jumped at the chance (or should I say ‘figuratively’ as clearly I’m not able to jump at the moment!). Best of all, my boys were invited along too — both the twins and my big (man-shaped) boy — so I had my favourite chaperones accompanying me. Our date with Joules We were invited for a day at Badminton Horse Trials, where Joules have had a presence for 27 years. They’ve even got a jump on the cross country course named after them these days. Not wholly surprising as the company actually began life at this kind of event. Tom Joule began selling his clothes at country fairs and equestrian shows and, even though in May 2016 they had 97 stores throughout… Read More

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

The must have caravan accessory | Introducing Duvalay

Since we bought Dolly, our first caravan, we’ve been on a mission to find the absolute must have caravan accessory. Now I’m not talking basics — and I’m not disputing that wheel chocks and kitchen equipment are ‘must have’ items — but I’ve been on the look-out for something a little different, that really makes our tiny box on wheels feel like a proper home-from-home. And we’ve finally found it!!! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… The Duvalay The most simple and genius idea that ever there was; it’s made sleeping in our caravan as comfortable as sleeping in our own bed at home. And — as I’ve spoken about how much I love our bed — that’s a pretty impressive accolade. We have so many friends who’ve got campervans, caravans and motorhomes but out of a fairly sizeable group of camping enthusiasts — and festival goers — only one couple actually had one and the rest hadn’t even heard of a Duvalay. So what is it and why is it the must have caravan accessory? Basically it’s a sleeping bag with a twist. Firstly, it comes in it’s own bag. Similar to the bed-in-a-bag, that we use for sleepovers, but the Duvalay is lighter and more compact when it’s not in use.… Read More

139 weeks and 6 days | A Caravan Makeover with Carpetright

A few week’s ago I wrote about Dolly — our caravan — and how we had performed a caravan makeover, on quite a grand scale. We’d bought her over the summer to replace our original van (also named Dolly, due to the fact that it was impossible to convince our babies that a caravan could possibly have another name). When we bought Dolly home, she was in a sorry state. Ugly, brown wooden cabinetry, beige walls but the worst offender — in my mind anyway — was the flooring. I’m not sure whether it was original but the van floor was swathed in the most revolting red carpet. The kind of carpet that, no matter how may times you vacuum — or VAX it — still looks dirty. A petri-dish for heaven’s knows what — and I’d really rather not dwell on this — the only solution was to replace it. As caravans are often parked up in festival fields or on grassy campsites, it made no sense to me to replace it with more carpet. The best solution to muddy boots and grass is hard-flooring, something that can easily be mopped down and wiped clean at the end of the day. And as an electric hook-up… Read More

136 weeks and 6 days | A Caravan Makeover with Wallpaper Direct

Last month, I mentioned that we’d traded our beloved caravan — Dolly — in for a ‘new’, larger model. I use the term ‘new’ very loosely. The new van may have preceded her chronologically but certainly not in any other areas. If Dolly needed a bit of updating when we first bought her, this new van needed an entire facelift. Pretty she aint. A caravan makeover was definitely in order! **grim interiors warning — the following shots are not for the faint hearted** I have got LOTS more ‘before’ photographs that I could show you but I’ve always tried to maintain my blog as a happy place — a collection of beautiful things — and the pre-makeover photographs set my teeth on edge (and make me feel a little bit queasy) so  I think I’ll leave it there. Little by little over the summer months — with the help of Wallpaper Direct — my boy and I transformed the very ugly little tin box, you see in the snaps above, into something rather lovely. No mean feat when you have twin toddlers in tow, I can tell you ;) We wanted something a little different from our first van; which was a vision in Cath Kidston. For her successor, we wanted something bright and fresh and… Read More

Home Etc #19 — Home and Garden Inspired Blog Hop

Another Wednesday and it’s time for another edition of Home Etc! For those of you dipping in for the first time, #HomeEtc is a weekly linky club for bloggers, hosted by Jess — who writes over at  mummy of boy girl twins — and me. It’s the perfect place for bloggers to share their interiors, garden (or allotment), DIY, crafting and upcycling posts. If it’s any way home related, we welcome you to join in and link up with us. Last week we had some more fabulous blogs linking in. My favourite post  came from my lovely friend Julia from Rainbeaubelle. She’d given a little IKEA children’s table and chairs a new lease of life with my old favourite, Annie Sloan‘s chalkpaint. I’ve upcycled  lots of things using chalk paint over the years and more recently — also from IKEA) — a chest of drawers and a little birdhouse that I turned into a row of beach huts! It was lovely to see what Julia had done with the table and chairs. Such a fabulous transformation and a great way of ensuring it has many more years of use. Jess’ favourite was from me!!!! I’m delighted that she chose my post on Dolly — our lovely old caravan. We have sold her now but have got a replacement though and are working hard… Read More

101 weeks and 1 day | My captured moments {26.07.2014}

These captured moments were taken last year. It was July and we’d taken Dolly (our caravan) to a farm nearby our home,  for a camping weekend with a couple of other families. It was a baking hot weekend and our friends were due to arrive,  from London,  later on in the day. We’d finished setting up camp and I’d wandered off with the camera. Haselbech is such a beautiful place. The view from the hill is magical — there are not many places, in the UK,  that still have views of unbroken countryside. These days, the skyline is littered with pylons, telephone lines and windmills. A little slice of heaven… This is a rare place indeed and we’re lucky enough that the farm is owned by the parents of some really good friends and,  as a result,  we’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time there. There’s been festivals and parties held there and,  since having the Twinkles,  there’s nothing we like better than to head off on a spur of the moment camping trip. Taking the littles camping is something I LOVE. Particularly when it’s to a non-commercial campsite! Being able to kick of your shoes and run about freely — and safely — is a gorgeous… Read More

85 weeks and 4 days | Simple things

This time last week were were all in my mum and dad’s caravan enjoying the last morning of our mini-holiday to North Wales. It was raining and the Twinkles had just had breakfast. Rather than watch TV, we decided to do some colouring. I’d bought some wax crayons and paper the day before so this was going to be a ‘first’ for my two little men. The boys were fascinated by the coloured marks that the crayons left on the paper and there was much concentration as they completed their masterpieces. All in all, for the cost of a couple of quid, it was a lovely activity for them to do on a drizzly morning. It was only after we got home and I went though the pics my mum had taken, that it struck me how old fashioned these images look. Granted, the caravan decor is straight out of the 1980s; the upholstery fabric would probably have been sold on ‘Are You Being Served’. Plus the lighting is off and has that yellow tinge synonymous with old pictures. But mostly, these images look old fashioned to me because my parents have got similar snaps from my childhood! My little sister and I spent many family holidays in… Read More