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 ...

Tinpo: Inspiring Curiosity for Preschoolers

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This is a paid review post When it comes to TV programmes, I always know what is likely to appeal to Max, and without fail, it's the science-based, problem solving programmes which capture his attention. Tinpo is a relatively new kids TV programme, having first aired in December 2018, but it's already proved a hit with Max. There are 5 brand new episodes airing next week on CBeebies, and we had a sneak preview of them, which Max was over the moon about, jumping around the room, shouting "TinPO!" We were also sent a few colouring activity sheets, and it says a lot that Max, who usually hates colouring, was more than happy to get stuck in and give them a ...

Designing Our Perfect Kitchen

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When we started thinking about our home renovation plans, the thing that I think my husband and I were most excited about was a new kitchen. We've lived with our current kitchen since we moved into the house 5 years ago, and it's fair to say that we've always hated it. It's not our style at all, and it's now hugely showing its age. The cupboard doors are warping and cracking from water damage, the pull-out larder door scrapes against the wall when you pull it out, meaning that the wallpaper has scraped off, leaving a bare patch of wall. Our oven dials have all failed, so the exact temperature of the oven is always an exciting mystery. And the ...

Introducing Frugi SS19: A Summer of Scillyness

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I often find that children's clothing, and boys' clothing in particular, can be rather dull. It's always a ray of sunshine to find a brand that use colour and print really well, and Frugi get it spot on. Their colourful clothes are distinctive and can't fail to put a smile on your face when you see them. I was invited to have a sneak preview of the Frugi Spring Summer '19 collection and it didn't fail to disappoint. Inspired by the Scilly Isles, it's full of cute animal designs, gorgeous colours, and childrens' clothes that are perfect for play. I had the opportunity to talk with the people at Frugi who design their clothes, and it was amazing to learn how ...

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 ...