‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
{And why Lapland UK is better with friends}

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, Every creature was stirring, As they’d all been kept awake by two very excited little twin boys. OK — I know that the old rhyme didn’t go *quite* like that but that is definitely what’s been happening in our home this evening. I’ve always loved Christmas — and have had a childlike fascination for all the myth and legend surrounding it. Everything from the birth of Jesus to Father Christmas. I love it all. But the festive season kind of takes on a different slant when you have children. And since we’ve had the twins, we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy Christmas through their eyes too. For me, the whole of December means a glorious excuse to spend time with friends and family. The lead up to Christmas presents golden opportunities to do fun things. Weekends are (very well) spent, getting into the festive spirit. Fetching the tree is always a highlight; and something that I’ve loved since I was a small child. But since my boy and I have been together, it’s even more of a tradition. I’d go as far as to say that it’s my favourite day of… Read More

All Things Bright & Beautiful {Bosinver Farm Cottages}

When you think of Cornish holiday cottages, what’s the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to decor? Blue.   Whitewashed wood.   Seaside themed accessories. Certainly not punchy brights, designer prints and funky furniture then? No. Me either. I must admit, they certainly wouldn’t be top of my ‘Cornish cottage decor’ list. So when we went to Bosinver Farm Cottages back in May, I was really delighted to find something a little different from the norm. There are twenty cottages at Bosinver and none of them fit the stereotypical ‘coastal holiday cottage’ mold. They’re all individually decorated — and brimming with colour and pattern. Bright and Beautiful Decor It’s lovely to go somewhere where the decor has been so carefully curated. Very often I feel that holiday cottages rely on the beauty of their surroundings; and the interiors are often a little bit basic or tired. They’re so often just ‘somewhere just to rest your head’ — rather than a place to actually spend time in and really enjoy. Bosinver Farm Cottages are all so homely. The decor is definitely not just an afterthought. I loved how some of the bedrooms had sweet little dolls sitting on the… Read More

242 weeks | Pumpkin Picking and Family Fun #NoDullDays

The clocks went back this weekend. Did you enjoy an extra hour in bed? Or is the change in time wreaking havoc with your body clock? One thing’s for sure. We’ve got a run of short, dark days ahead. In the immortal words of Jon Snow; ‘Winter is coming.’ But dark days shouldn’t have to mean dull days. There are so many fun things to do during the colder months. Last week, during the half term holiday, the boys and I went up to my parent’s for a couple of days. As we were hosting our annual Halloween party, on Saturday, I’d decided we should go pumpkin picking, to pick up some spooky supplies. We found a brilliant place; just a stone’s throw from my parents’ home. Pick Your Own Pumpkins, Bednall was the most fantastic setting for a morning of family fun. For a start, it was free. And secondly we got to spend a few hours out in the fresh air. Top up your levels I’ve found that getting outside is one of the best ways to keep my spirits up during winter. Lack of sunlight can equal low vitamin D intake — and I always feel a bit out-of-sorts… Read More

The Discovery Adventures | Featuring the Land Rover Discovery Sport Part 2

The Discovery Sport HSE LUX might look like a total babe but it doesn’t just have a pretty face; it definitely has a lot more going on than just it’s looks. 4-wheel-drive’s have really come on over recent years. Our Freelander is pretty basic in comparison to the Discovery Sport; which is it’s successor. The car we test-drove, as part of the Land Rover ‘Discovery Adventures’ campaign, was definitely not like the utilitarian, 4-wheel-drive that we’re used to. It was a dream to drive — not too big — and even though it can house 7 passengers it still felt manageable. With über-comfy seats that — I quote: “feel like they’re giving you a hug” Mr D’s words, not mine. Plus, once you’ve set your perfect position you can digitally save it — and come back to it again — simply by pressing a button. Perfect if more than one of you are insured to drive it. All the toys I loved all the gadgets and toys. It had the most amazing in-car computer system. Satnav, parking assist (with rearview cameras) plus, you can pair your phones up by Bluetooth, chat to your friend whilst listening to Spotify on the incredible 10 speaker Meridian… Read More

The Discovery Adventures | Featuring the Land Rover Discovery Sport Part 1

My blog has been the bearer of much happiness over the years. It’s brought a change in career, amazing friendships and good fortune. Plus extraordinary opportunities that have made my head spin. Too many to list but most notably: The message that asked if I’d like to become a member of the GLTC testing team. Finding out that the recipe I’d created for Hellmanns had been featured in The Lady magazine. Given my nickname has been ‘Lady’ for the last 20 years, this caused much hilarity amongst my friends. Getting the notification to say that I’d been appointed a Mark Warner Mum Tears and squealing for that one. And, more recently, an email to ask if we’d like to review a Land Rover Discovery Sport. Erm. Let me think about that for a moment… Definitely not an opportunity that I’d turn down, given my past association with Land Rover. We had a Series 1 Land Rover when I was a child. It had a canvas roof (with plastic windows) and I used to play tents in the back of it. I loved it. That was followed by a Series 2. My long-standing memory of this one was being taken ice-skating… Read More

Just So Festival {the best family festival for first timers}

A question that I’m often asked is;  ‘Of all the festivals you’ve been to, which is the best family festival for first timers?’ It’s a tricky question to answer; depending on the kind of thing that would suit you. Are you seasoned campers — happy in large crowds — or would you prefer something on a smaller scale. Would you be keen to experience something eclectic and left-field or do you prefer something a little more mainstream? After going to Just So festival, last month, I’d probably say that it’s definitely one that covers most bases and (in my humble opinion) of all the festivals we’ve been to, it would scoop our award for the best family festival for first timers. Just So is one of the smaller UK family festivals — with a capacity of just 5000 — which makes it a great first festival to cut your teeth on. If you compare it to Camp Bestival for example — which has a capacity of 30,000 and is a much bigger beast — it’s positively tiny. But good things come in small packages and even though it’s diminutive in size, Just So has got a lot going for it. The… Read More

7 More Sleeps to Just So Festival 2017

Just So Festival

So whilst Camp Bestival may be over for another year, festival season is still in full swing — hurrah — and the boys and I are now counting the days until Just So Festival, which is on the 18th-20th of this month. We’ve never been before and I am beyond excited!! It’s now in it’s 8th year; our friends have been since the first one and always wax lyrical about how much fun they have. We’ve always wanted to go but it falls the weekend before Shambala, which we’ve been going to for years. And much as we love them, we’ve always been a little bit hesitant to do two festivals back to back. But we vowed to fill this summer with as many good things as possible, so this year we are going to both! Just So is a different kind of offering to the festivals we’ve taken the boys to before. Underpinned by a strong arts and theatre vibe, I’m getting the feeling that it’s going to be more like a huge, interactive art installation; or a crazy theatre production where festival go-ers find themselves as part of the cast. Childhood Dreams Full of wonder and magic, Just… Read More

229 weeks and 2 days | Camp Bestival 2017

Camp-Bestival-2017

What makes Camp Bestival 2017 stand out from any other year we’ve been? It rained. And rained and rained and rained. But as a very wise man, called Gilbert K. Chesterton, once said; ‘When it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.’ And I think that perfectly sums up Camp Bestival 2017. Festival Fun Yes, it rained. Yes it was muddy. But there was still so much colour and fun. The soggy conditions didn’t manage to dampen the humour and spirits of the families that braved the weather this year. It was nothing short of extraordinary to see thousands of adults sitting in a field — literally getting soaked to the skin — watching Dick and Dom, live on stage, to keep their children amused. We British are stoic when it comes to appalling weather conditions, aren’t we? It almost had a different feel to other years, in that there was even more camaraderie and good spirit (if that’s at all possible). Everyone was in the same (leaky, soggy) boat. Most people had young children in their party to keep entertained; and everyone was sick of the British summer trying to spoil things. But… Read More