235 weeks and 2 days | Our cool caravans are in print!

Exciting news! Dolly 1 and Dolly Too (that isn’t a spelling error, by the way, she is Dolly ‘also’) have been featured in this month’s issue of Reloved magazine! SO amazing to see our cool caravans immortalised in print. I was expecting a little mention but incredibly there’s a 4 page article on the two Dollys! It makes me feel so proud to see them in the pages of a magazine. But even prouder to receive so many lovely messages from people, to say that our caravan makeovers have inspired them to do the same with their own vans. There used to be such a stigma surrounding touring caravans. And they have certainly always been regarded as the poor relation when it comes to VW campers, that’s for sure. Campervans have an air of cool about them whereas caravans have always been seen to be a little bit dowdy and —dare-I-say-it — embarrassing. Not any more though. People are swiftly realising that campervans and motorhomes are costly to run; you have to pay road-tax, insurance, MOT.   Plus there’s the inconvenience of getting to your destination and setting up — only to have to put everything away again if you… Read More

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

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 Tiger Who Came To Tea and Frugi Bedding

Summer has been a wash out so far hasn’t it? As I’m sitting here, typing this, the sky is a steely grey and the rain is drumming a tune on the roof of my new office. Its a far cry from the sun-drenched picture in my head, when I think of summer. Not many days in the garden so far, that’s for sure. Well, actually, that’s not strictly true. We’ve had days in the garden but we’ve been wearing macs and wellies at the time — not shorts and t-shirts. It’s such a shame. The boys have got a lovely tee-pee from GLTC that a couple of of our lovely friends bought them for their naming day. It’s into it’s third year now and comes out every summer. Although so far, this year, it’s been up just a couple of times. Sad times indeed :( So to rectify this, the other day when it was raining (again), I made a little indoor camp for the boys. I created a tee-pee, using some gorgeous bedding we’d been sent. We read a couple of books and they had a little tea-party, with some of their toys. Given the fact we were pretending to camp out, it… 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