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

Looking as young as you feel | Sanctuary Spa Products Review

I’ve spoken before about my beauty regime and how it’s changed over time. Much as I still like acting like an overgrown child — cavorting around a festival field wearing a glitterball on my head — my body and skin (annoyingly) are definitely not still in the first flush of youth. These days, I need a little bit of help to keep them looking as young as I feel. Water intake definitely improves skin-tone and elasticity — there’s no doubt about that.  Good diet and exercise too. But what other things can you do? Once your twenties and (whispers) thirties are behind you, you need a little help to keep things looking their finest. Sadly, the days of slapping a bit of cheap moisturiser on and hoping for the best are long gone. So in my endless pursuit of a more youthful complexion, I’ve recently been testing out some products by Sanctuary Spa; and I’m so excited about them, I wanted to share my findings with you. Salt Scrub Now, I’ve been using their salt scrub for years. I think I may have first bought it when I was getting married — and that was in 2001 — and I’m faithful to… 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

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

Stairway to heaven {how to create a gallery wall up a staircase}

Since we decorated just before Christmas last year, the majority of the walls in our home have remained bare; and most of our framed pictures have been stacked up on the floor, waiting to be rehung. We used to have a ‘stairway photo gallery’ going up the staircase. Dozens of black framed, black and white photographs — in various shapes and sizes — containing the smiling faces of our friends and loved-ones; plus memorable places we’ve visited (or lived in) over the years. But after taking them all down I decided that I was ready for a change. We visited a really cool hotel last year and they had a gallery wall up a staircase. It was really impactful. Instead of a large collection of small pictures, the pieces they’d used were really large. So I decided to do the same up our stairs. I searched on Google for how to arrange pictures on staircase walls — and also on Pinterest for inspiration — but most of the gallery walls on there had a theme; either by colour or frame style. There always seemed to be a common thread tying all of the pieces together, plus there were lots of tips on creating a gallery wall but, more often than not, they were very contrived and the pictures… Read More

A Little Slice of Heaven | Introducing Bosinver Farm Cottages

Since we’ve been a family of four, all of our holidays — apart from our amazing first family abroad to Sardinia in July — have been in and around the UK. Luckily, Britain is such a beautiful island and, arguably, there’s nowhere more picturesque than Cornwall. So much to do — sweet little fishing villages to explore plus bigger attractions like the Eden Project — all surrounded by glorious coastlines. Miles and miles of unspoilt sandy beaches, plus coastal walks along rocky cliffs and windswept hillsides. It’s always gorgeous to gulp in the fresh sea air and get those cheeks glowing isn’t it? Being beside the seaside is the most amazing tonic and the perfect way to blow the cobwebs away. So imagine our delight to be asked to stay at one of the loveliest locations in Cornwall — Bosinver Farm Cottages. A little slice of heaven on earth, offering self catering holidays on a luxury scale. With 20 ‘homes-from-home’ to choose from — everything from eco-homes to beautifully designed cottages and farmhouses — holiday makers looking for the perfect getaway will be literally spoilt for choice. As well as the gorgeously appointed accommodation, Bosinver boasts beautifully landscaped gardens and 35 acres of wildflower meadows — fingers firmly crossed this will be in bloom next spring… Read More

A dining room makeover | Featuring Laura Ashley

I mentioned a couple of week’s ago that I was planning a dining room makeover. I’d put together a little mood-board, picked out the wall-paint and chosen a couple of bits and pieces to give the room a bit of a refresh. The room was OK before — not hideous — but it was all a little bit bland and mismatched. The carpets were old and tatty, the paint was scuffed and the lights and chair cushions had certainly seen better days. The biggest thing that needed to be done though was painting the dining room table and chairs. I decided to freshen it up and get rid of the fagnolia cream finish that it had had since we bought it, in favour of a cotton white shade from Laura Ashley. In the past I’ve used Annie Sloan chalk paint but decided to try something new; Laura Ashley’s decorative furniture paint was fabulous. Really easy to work with and gave a lovely chalky finish. It was quite a big task as the table is fairly large and there are 8 chairs; all with lots and lots of surface area. I took the rattan seats off the chairs, gave all the surfaces a light sand with medium… Read More

On new rugs and being indecisive | Featuring My Rug Store

Back in July I chose a new rug for my she-shed. I spent a long time deciding on the colour, size and style. I deliberated over patterns (I wanted something quite geometric). Mulled over sizes (I needed something large enough to cover the main area of my work space to keep me cosy in the winter months). Then after trawling the internet (for what felt like an age) finally found the perfect one from a fantastic online shop, aptly named My Rug Store. The rug arrived quickly — all wrapped up in it’s plastic covering — then literally sat in the corner, patiently waiting for my shed to be finished, so it can be laid out in pride of place. Poor rug. Until now. Last weekend, with my dining room makeover almost complete, I suddenly decided that my new rug would be the perfect finishing touch. So I’ve essentially ‘stolen’ it off myself!! Is it even possible to do that? It’s SO gorgeous!!! I’m totally and utterly delighted with it. My Rug Store had a fair few geometric designs to choose from but I had plumped for the Medina rug in black; a Kilim rug with a bold black and white diamond pattern. On paper it could have been fairly dark, busy… Read More