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

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

207 weeks and 2 days | Me and Mine {February} featuring Joules

February. A very short and very memorable month for me and mine. We’ve done some decorating. Been  planning and getting very excited for our upcoming ski trip with Mark Warner. And, of course, we celebrated our wedding anniversary down in Cornwall; at lovely Dreamcatchers; courtesy of St Mawes Retreats. It is definitely one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever had the privilege to stay in; but bricks and mortar aside, Cornwall was breathtakingly beautiful. Even in early February. The sun shines differently on that little corner of the British Isles and even on the darkest, stormiest day, the little fishing village of St Mawes was bathed in a magical, clear light. Inside, outside and exploring… We took some family with us; my sister-in-law, her husband and our niece — who is the Twinkles big cousin — and her husband. Spending time with our nearest and dearest is always something I treasure; our annual family BBQs are something I really look forward to and it was lovely hanging out with them for a few days. Really freeing not to have a fixed agenda for a change; to not have to be at a particular place; at a particular time. To have leisurely lunches, bimble around the little towns; browsing shops and… Read More

162 weeks and 1 day | At the allotment {Siblings April}

So we’re mid through April and what a busy, busy month we’ve all had already. From the 1st of the month, my tiny boys moved up from the ‘two’s room’ — to pre-school —  and started doing 4 long mornings a week, instead of 2. But this week one of our cars has been at the mechanic’s (having some major work done — yawn) so the boys have done three full days — from 9am until 5.45pm. It’s a long old week for two little tots who are used to being at home every afternoon. They don’t tend to have a nap every day anymore but they do go down for a couple of hours every other day — or when they look like they need it — so a full day at nursery has been a bit of a shock to the system. I’m grateful that it’s just a temporary thing, to be honest. We’re so fortunate that I work from home. It’s been a busy month for us too; I mentioned in my styling the seasons post that my in-laws have just moved out of their home of 25 years, so we’ve been backwards and forwards — for various reasons — and even left the boys with their nana and papa for a weekend. Which… Read More

We’re going on an Egg Hunt (we’re going to catch a big one)

Easter. Religious connotations aside, what’s the first thing you think of? Bunnies and bonnets? Hoppity-skippety lambs and fluffy yellow chicks? Personally I think of chocolate immediately — but that’s no surprise, given my greedy nature. Lots of lovely chocolate eggs. And egg hunts. The boys have been invited to a few egg hunts over the last couple of years and I’ve come to the conclusion that, whilst they’re a fun way to while away a morning, they’re not always weighted fairly for the littlest members of the party. More often that not all of the chocolate eggs have been located before the toddlers have even grasped what they’re supposed to be doing. Plus, reading egg hunt clues out to two year olds has proved to be somewhat ‘challenging’; cue blank faces and the realisation that they don’t understand the majority of the words your using, let alone unscramble a riddle. So with this in mind,  I thought I’d share my fail-safe tips for the perfect egg hunt for little (and big) children. 1. Gather together a selection of vessels to collect the ‘treasure’. Bags, boxes or baskets — you can trawl charity shops for traditional wicker baskets or buy Easter themed bags from places like George at Asda. 2. You’ll also need a selection of… Read More

The perfect spring jacket | Featuring Joules

What do you need from the perfect spring jacket? Something waterproof, stylish and lightweight with a hood — particularly if you live in the UK — to keep your barnet dry during the frequent April showers ;) There are a few things — fashion-wise — that I absolutely love. Stripes, florals and the colour yellow. Not necessarily in that order plus it’s really, really rare to have all of them together in one garment. So imagine my excitement when — on a mission to track down the perfect spring jacket the other week — I came across this little beauty from Joules. In Celebration of the perfect spring jacket I *may* have squealed (just a little bit) when I clapped eyes on it and — even though they had a cornucopia of other gorgeous raincoats — I didn’t need to look any further. The Coastprint waterproof hooded jacket has a lovely boxy shape — in a shorter, hip-skimming style — with front pockets and taped seams to ensure I’ll stay cosy and dry.  Plus a toggled hood for when the wind picks up. Favourite features are the sleeves that can be rolled back, to show a cheeky glimpse of the sunny, yellow lining plus the monochrome floral pattern in the hood. All in… Read More

135 weeks and 1 day | The Joules in Milton Keynes’ crown

Last week I was invited to go down to the opening of a new store — Joules in Milton Keynes. For anyone who’s not come across Joules; firstly, where have you been? Secondly, if you’re a fan of print, pattern, stripes or colour, you’re in for a real treat. The brand — in it’s current guise — has been around since 1994 but Tom Joule first took over his father’s business — Joule and Son — in 1989. Initially they began selling their wares at country shows and fairs but over the years Joules’ presence on the web has increased and their high street stores now stand at 99 — their 100th store is opening in Dublin next month. Joules have that knack of making lovely, covetable clothing — and homeware — in such a distinctive style. Breton stripes teamed with colourful florals, bright block colours that sit happily alongside quirky patterns and appliqué. Basically, it’s the kind of clothing that puts a smile on your face. Which is exactly what I had last Tuesday when I skipped along to the new store in Milton Keynes. SO much loveliness under one roof. And amidst all the colour and lovely things to buy, there was a fabulous in-store ‘Design Your Own… Read More

Colour Your World | #13 Pantone Treetop

It feels like an age — 2 months in fact — since the last Pantone post in this series. I’d hoped  to have the full series finished by now but the year has been rolling on and life has been so busy, I just haven’t had a chance. We have just 5 colours left in the Pantone spring/summer palette for 2015. The next in the series is Pantone Treetop. As it’s name suggests it’s a leafy green — fairly dark in tone — and reminds me of the glossy green leaves in the hot house at Kew Gardens. As the last post was interiors, I thought it would be nice to concentrate on a bit of fashion and — as we’re off to Camp Bestival in a week’s time — I thought that a little nod to festival fashion might be in order. The term ‘festival fashion’ is an odd one actually. It never ceases to amaze me what people wear. Basically you can wear anything — in any combination — and you’ll fit in just fine. The ‘oddest’ attire I’ve ever seen was at Glastonbury last year. In amongst all the sequins, denim, clashing patterns and mud — oceans of MUD — we spotted a man, striding towards… Read More