Once Upon a Time… Fables and Fairy Trails at The Lexicon {AD}

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This is a paid post in collaboration with The Lexicon My shopping habit has been somewhat hampered lately. An impatient 4 year old, and an inquisitive toddler have made the shops a difficult prospect for me. I always love a shopping trip - it's called retail therapy for a reason, I always feel happier when I've visited the shops, even if I've not bought anything! The Lexicon in Bracknell has been open for a year now, and it's fast become one of my favourite places to shop. It's not too big, so you don't need to walk miles, it's filled with so many of my favourite shops, and because it's nice and new, the parking is brilliant, with nice big spaces. The ...

How to captivate your reluctant reader: Story School at Chessington World of Adventures

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Last week we were thrilled to be invited to Chessington World of Adventures to take part in a Room on the Broom themed Story School, ahead of the opening of the new Room on the Broom attraction on March 10th 2019. The storytelling workshop was hosted by Master Storyteller, Kevin Graal, along with Binky Felstead and her daughter India, and aimed to help parents bring books to life for their children and guide parents on the most effective story time tips and techniques. Chessington recently conducted a survey, which revealed that 36% of UK parents feel nervous about reading stories to their children at bedtime. I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I would absolutely include myself in that 36%. ...

Interior Design Trends Everyone Loves But I Don’t

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In making decisions for our current home renovation project, I've realised that there are certain features that seem to be on everyone's wishlist, but that I really don't like. I read a thread on Mumsnet recently where people discussed exactly this, and it was fascinating to read - there were so many things on the list that I love, that other people didn't, and so many that I agreed with, despite them being considered must-haves by estate agents all across the country. What it definitely showed me was that taste is such a personal thing, and when you're redesigning your home, there's no point in trying to cater to what you think other people want, as you'll never please everyone. ...

Tips to Get Your Kitchen Organised

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This is a paid advertisement post We are currently planning our new kitchen, and I'm determined that this time around I'm going to be organised from the start, with a place for everything. No more searching around in the depths of the drawers for the right sized tuppaware lid! Make Use of Door Space There are so many things that can be stored on the inside of a door - you can find racks to attach for herbs and spices, saucepan lids, cleaning products. All of those small things that don't take up too much space but tend to be clutter in a drawer or cupboard are perfect candidates for a door mounted storage rack. Saucepan lids are my bugbear - I'm always ...

7 Tips For Taking Better Photographs of Your Children

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I think the single best thing that blogging has given me over the years is the photography skills I've developed which have allowed me to capture so many beautiful moments of our boys growing up. 3 years ago, I'd barely picked up a camera, and my photos definitely weren't anything to shout about. Over the years, I've discovered a love of photography, and I'm staggered by how much you can develop in a short space of time (I wrote about how I went about improving my skills in this post if you fancy reading). But while undoubtedly the biggest step for me has been learning how to use my camera in manual mode, there are a number of fantastic tips ...

Where To Find The Best Snowdrops In Surrey

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Snowdrops are one of my favourite signs that winter is ending and spring is on its way. After a long winter, I love when February arrives and a visit to see the snowdrops has become one of our annual traditions. Although the best snowdrops I've come across have been at Welford Park in Berkshire, Surrey also has some wonderful spots to see them if you know where to look. Gatton Park Gatton Park in Reigate has to top my list for the best snowdrops in Surrey. The Capability Brown designed parkland is open on selected days in February for visitors to see the snowdrops. Runneymede and Ankerwycke The Ankerwycke yew is said to be where Henry VIII proposed to Anne Boleyn and each spring ...

We finally got snow!

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Ever since we moved to Surrey, we've never quite been blessed with snow. In Max's nearly 5 years on the planet, the first time he saw snow was last February, and even then we only got a sprinkling - not enough to make a snowman (or even a snowball). But we had high hopes this year when we saw the weather forecast last week - the temporary move with my parents in Berkshire came at just the right time for the snow! We went to bed on Thursday night, full of anticipation as to what might greet us when we woke up. And sure enough, we opened the curtains to a blanket of snow! We had a message from Max's school to ...

Our Home Renovation: Weeks 4 & 5

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Weeks 4 & 5 have felt like a mixture of slow going and great progress. The steels to support the rear French doors have gone in, and we've seen the brickwork go up and the roof structure appear. Given the rainy and very cold weather, work has been somewhat stop and start, but our builders have been fantastic and at the end of week 5 we are actually slightly ahead of the project plan. It feels like huge progress when you start to see walls going up and get a better sense of what the space will be like once the project is finished. But the most significant development for us this week is that we've moved out. We didn't really ...

Walking the Bath Skyline

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Before our children came along, a long walk was one of our favourite things to do. I love following a guided walk, ticking off the milestones, and feeling like you're the only people around for miles. On our recent child-free trip to Bath, we'd been recommended the Bath Skyline walk as a must-do. It's a 6 mile circular walk, which takes you around the West and South of Bath, offering fantastic views of the city centre. It also skirts around the edge of Prior Park, a National Trust landscape garden, which had been on my list to visit while we were there, so I was very keen, despite the drizzle which we awoke to on the Saturday morning. The Bath Skyline ...

Our Home Renovation: Week 2 & 3

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We've just come to the end of Week 3, and the last two weeks have definitely been much less stressful than Week 1 was for us. All of the admin setup has been ironed out, and we've seen the blockwork put in, damproof course laid, drains being installed, and the concrete base poured (and then at least 3 animals then proceeded to walk across it, leaving loads of footprints). It really feels like things are moving on quickly. It's definitely feeling like a building site though, with our much loved garden covered in bricks, mud, diggers, and various other bits of building related material. The benefit of doing it over winter I guess, in that we don't want to use the ...