Our Home Renovation: Week 1

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Well, the first week of our renovation has flown by and the builders have moved on at a fantastic pace. First task was to demolish the rear patio and pergola, and instantly it was amazing to see how much brighter the kitchen was. I wish we'd taken it down years ago! We are living onsite for the first 6 weeks of the project, so we've slowly adjusted to living on a building site. The boys have absolutely loved it, and have spent hours at the back door, watching as the mini digger dug the foundations. Our first week wasn't without its stresses. The speed at which our project went from being planned for late summer to just after Christmas left us ...

Riding The Rails on The Watercress Line

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There's nothing I love better than revisiting the places that hold such fond memories for me of my own childhood. I very clearly remember our trip on the steam train on The Watercress Line, and we first took our boys last year (we'd been meant to go the previous Christmas too, but sadly Max got chickenpox, so we had to abandon that plan). When I tasked my husband with choosing an activity for us to do over the post-Christmas break, I thought his suggestion of a trip on The Watercress Line was a brilliant one. At 4, Max is very into trains, and I knew that Ben (18 months now) would love it too. We arrived at Alton, ready to catch ...

An Instagrammer’s Floral Year: A Seasonal Calendar

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Instagram acts as a visual and creative diary for its users, so it's no surprise that flowers form a key feature throughout the year. I love seeing the seas of bluebells pop up in April, and giving way to peonies and then lavender. If you want to be prepared for the floral trends as the seasons change, here is a little prompt that should help (snappy calendar image at the end of this post), and perhaps give you some inspiration during those trickier months. January & February The first two months of the year are all about the snowdrops for me. They're the first sign that spring is on its way, and such a welcome sight after a long winter. The start ...

Nature Play with Willow and Wild Box

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When I was pregnant, I imagined myself as the perfect Pinterest mum, doing all kinds of crafts with my children. As it turns out, Max isn't really into crafting at all, and is far more excited to get outside and explore, or learn about how things work. When I first heard about Willow and Wild's Subscription boxes, I knew they'd tick the right boxes for both me and Max, with their focus on teaching children about nature and the world around them, with a little bit of craft thrown in too. Willow and Wild is a monthly box which fits through your letterbox, and is filled with a huge range of activities to help children learn about and engage with nature. ...

Things to Consider When Buying a Front Door

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This is a paid advertisement feature No matter how attached you are to your entrance door, there comes a time when it must eventually be replaced, either due to technical reasons or simply because it’s no longer looking its best. Once you have decided to replace your front door, it’s time to do some research as there are thousands of different front doors to choose from. In order to find the right one for your home, here are the things you should consider when buying a new front door. Material The most popular building materials for front doors are timber, plastic and steel. While all of these materials offer different benefits, they also have their drawbacks. Timber doors are favoured for their ...

That Time I Said I’d Never Do Video…

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When I started writing Hot Pink Wellingtons, I remember very clearly saying that I would never do video. As much as I love writing and taking photos, I've always been far too self conscious to contemplate doing anything in front of the camera. But slowly and surely, I've been experimenting more and more with little bits of video, and I've come to realise that video can capture some things in ways that photos and words just can't. Over the last year or so, I've been looking back at little videos we took of Max when he was younger. Of those first wobbly steps as he tried out walking, of his funny little belly laugh when we tickled him, of his ...

Why I’ve Been So Quiet Lately

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You may have noticed that I've been very quiet on the blogging front lately. I wrote a couple of posts in December, but apart from that, I pretty much took the whole of the month off to enjoy Christmas with my family. We had a wonderful Christmas together - we spent Christmas Day at home, and it was amazing to see both boys so excited about it all. I think Max has reached peak Christmas excitement age, and Ben seems so much more into it all than I remember Max being at his age. But then I suspect the excitement of his older brother rubs off on him quite a lot! But there is another reason why I've been so quiet. ...

How I’ve Changed As A Parent {with Johnson’s Baby}

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This is paid collaboration as part of my Ambassador role with Johnson’s Baby Perfectionism is an impossible thing when it comes to parenting. I’ve always been a perfectionist. I was the child in school who always got 10/10, and I’ve gone through life always aiming to do my absolute best. But more than anything else, being a mum is the thing that I’ve wanted to be perfect at. I’m sure it’s something that all new parents feel - that overwhelming sense of responsibility as you realise that you are the person that needs to look after this tiny, helpless little being, and everything in you wants to be the very best parent you can for them. In that first year with Max, ...

New Year, New Kitchen: What to Keep and What to Replace

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This is a paid post The start of a new year is the perfect time to reset, reassess, and declutter all areas of your life. When it comes to your kitchen, this means taking stock of everything in it and figuring out what needs replacing, and what you can keep for another year.    Dinnerware Your dinnerware will have likely taken a considerable battering over the festive period and now is the time to check if it’s still in a presentable state or if you should invest in a new dinner set. To get 2019 off to a good start by making sure that you invest in a quality dinnerware brand like Corelle. Both chip and break resistant, a high-quality dinner set from Corelle ...

Me and Mine: November 2018

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After a long old October, November seems to have gone by in a flash. We've started our Christmas celebrations early this year, so it feels appropriate that our November Me and Mine photos are from our trip to Lapland UK. It's not the best family photo of us I've ever seen, but it's reality - there's always one member of the family not looking at the camera! I can't work out whether Ben is looking at Santa, or at John. Lapland UK was definitely the highlight of our month. It was wonderful to make a return visit when Max really was the perfect age for it all. I hope that one day we'll be able to go back when Ben is ...