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

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

130 weeks and 6 days | Our cool caravan {Dolly}

When I was younger, I had numerous pet hates. People who don’t thank you when you hold the door open for them — the sliver of ear that pokes through certain hairstyles (mainly on women) — bourbon biscuits — touring caravans… the list was quite extensive. Roll on a few years and it’s amazing how age mellows a person and these little irks are no longer, well, irksome. And in some cases I’ve done a complete 360° turn and the pet hate has morphed into a pet love (although this will never be said for the ear thing — I still hate that). And Bourbon biscuits. However, touring caravans have redeemed themselves to such an extent, I actually shed a little tear when we waved goodbye to our last one. Who’d have thought it? Not me, that’s for sure. But that’s genuinely what happened. Our cool caravan Dolly — funny little box on wheels — had became such an integral part of our family life that I was gutted when we sold her a few weeks ago. A vision of shabby chic — probably more shabby than chic — and the catalyst for so many amazing adventures. She offered the most comfortable bed and shelter from torrential rain (I’m thinking Glastonbury… Read More

109 weeks and 5 days | 50 things that make me happy

A little meme has been doing the rounds recently called ’50 things that makes me happy’. The clue is in the name; what makes you happy? I have been tagged by my lovely friend Aby, who blogs over at YouBabyMeMummy, to give my answers. So here goes… 1. My three boys — tiny boys and big man-shaped boy. 2. Pottering about at home. 3. A new, unread, interiors magazine. 4. Blue skies. 5. Family get-togethers (especially our big summer barbecue). 6. The smell of freshly cut grass. 7. Picking my babies up from nursery and seeing their faces light up when they see me. 8. Holidays; in the UK, abroad, even bank holidays. I love them all. 9. Festivals. A weekend of joyful revelry. 10. Dancing in a field in my wellies. 11. Glitter. 12. My lovely friends. 13. Collecting the eggs from our hen-house. 14. Dolly — our beautiful little caravan. 15. Seeing Dolly pull up outside the house = adventures :) 16. A cup of freshly brewed tea. 17. My cats (AKA furry faced children). 18. Beautiful stationery. 19. Designing new things and feeling excited about sharing them. 20. Blogging. 21. Baking. 22. A busy, noisy house full of our nearest and dearest. 23. Fresh flowers… Read More