August 2014 | Modern Mummy

Sunday, 31 August 2014

A Trunki PaddlePak Picnic

A little while ago we were approached by Trunki and asked whether we'd be interested in working with them in the lead up to Christmas. Of course we were thrilled with the prospect of working with a brand that we know so well and love so much, and Daisy and Evie were super excited when they were told they could choose a PaddlePak each to take on a PaddlePak Picnic!

We were sent Chuckles the Clown Fish (for Daisy), Ribbit the Frog (for Evie) and a selection of goodies from Ella's Kitchen (they're bringing out a new range of snacks for older kids, you know!) and told to go out and have some fun! We're already fans of Ella's Kitchen - they were my ready made baby food brand of choice with both girls - and they still enjoy their fruit pouches now! 

PaddlePaks are water resistant backpacks, ideal for little ones to carry their bits and pieces in whilst out and about on fun filled day trips! The fact that they're water resistant makes them perfect for swimming classes, or trips to the beach and they are deceptively spacious too, easily holding picnic lunches, drinks and a toy or three.

The roll top closure is brilliant - you fold it over three times then clip the sides together with a breakaway safety buckle - and then the loop can also be used to hang the bag up. There is also a 'Trunki grip' on one of the adjustable shoulder straps which you can hang your sunglasses from to keep them safe!

We've used our PaddlePaks as overnight bags as well as day bags, and they were perfect when we spent time on the beach (and in the rain!) in Wales last week.

They retail at £19.99 each and are available from the Trunki website here, as well as major retailers such as Amazon, Argos and Halfords - and I'm also very excited to have one PaddlePak up for grabs for one of you lovely lot.

As per my usual giveaway terms and conditions, I'm using the Rafflecopter widget below and everyone is entitled to three entries each, with a bonus five entries for following me on Bloglovin. The competition closes at midnight on 7th September 2014 and the winner will be contacted shortly after. The prize will come direct from Trunki and this competition is open to UK residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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More than the Mouse: Things to do with the kids in Orlando

Year round sunshine, easy access to some stunning beaches and, yes, of course, this is the world’s theme park capital. If you’re considering Orlando as a vacation option but don’t want to spend all of your time upside down on a rollercoaster there are plenty of attractions in and around this major American city.

It’s not hard to see why Orlando was the first US city to hit the 50 million visitors per year level - even New York City could only manage to reach 48.7 million. Orlando’s popularity is undisputed, as is the fact that many visitors arrive with their families primarily to indulge in the ubiquitous theme parks. But once you’ve spent two or three days enjoying the jaw-dropping rides it should be time to explore a little further to ensure you get the most out of your Orlando vacation.

Orlando’s city attractions

If you’re one of the millions of people taking flights to Orlando this year you’ll find that this is an extremely family-friendly vacation city. Orlando offers a wealth of modern restaurants, shopping malls, cinemas, museums and parks to explore. The city offers activities such as swan boat rides on picturesque Lake Eola, the chance to swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove and the opportunity to go ice skating or play basketball at the huge RDV Athletic Club. Visit deep into outer space and view the planets at the Orlando Science Center Planetarium or spend a day viewing over 500 animals at the immense Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Beaches on both sides

Travel to either the East or West coast from the city and you will find some astonishingly beautiful beaches. You’re never more than a 90 minute drive from famous East Coast Florida beaches such as Daytona and Cocoa Beach as well as the three kilometre family friendly Melbourne Beach. However, the West Coast beaches are truly stunning, especially the white sand islands at Fort de Soto Park. These five interconnected islands offer unspoilt beaches, an abundance of wildlife and crystal-clear warm waters; Fort de Soto has been named America’s top beach.

The great outdoors lifestyle

Kids love getting back to nature and there are many excellent parks to explore around Orlando. For some great outdoors activity visit the Blue Spring State Park to spot the famous manatees on a river boat cruise. Shingle Creek is an amazing expanse of Everglades’ with headwater and airboat trips which will allow you to spot alligators and bald-eagles on a guided eco-tour. The beautiful Wekiwa Springs State Park is a 20 minute drive north from Orlando and this is another great spot for kayaking and canoeing along the Wekiva River.

Day cruises from Orlando

A boat ride makes for an exciting day out and kids will love themed cruises such as the day trip to Clearwater Beach with a Pirate Cruise included. This is an excellent way for parents to relax on board with lunch while the children take part in face painting, treasure hunts and water games. Families who enjoy fishing can indulge in an intrepid four hour deep sea fishing tour, which includes lunch at a riverside restaurant before the fishing expedition on the Gulf Coast. Cruises will depart from Clearwater Beach but the 90 minute trip from Orlando will be included and you can also explore Clearwater’s amazing white sand beaches.

Orlando can provide many memorable vacation experiences if you take the time to fully explore what’s on offer. Families who love the outdoors lifestyle will find something new to enjoy every day in America’s most popular city.

Author bio: Susan Laing is a busy mom of two, flower arranging business owner and holiday enthusiast. She also likes to shop for shoes and handbags, a lot!

Images by josue armando serrano, Chris Foster and Robert Neff used under creative commons license.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

A few days in Wales: A Photo Post

You might have noticed my radio silence last week; the girls and I were in deepest darkest Wales, without wifi and with very limited 3G coverage!

For someone so addicted to social media I did worry how I'd cope, but I really, genuinely, enjoyed spending time in the real world with my lovely family. They're a crazy bunch but I do love them so! ;)

We had wind and torrential rain, then amazing, scorchio sunshine; we went on long walks through Porthkerry Country Park, played on the arcades on Barry Island, learnt all about Welsh life through the ages at St Fagans and just spent proper quality time with the Welshies in our family, just being together

Here are a few photos from our trip:

Going over the Severn Bridge. For the first time ever it was raining in England and the sun came out the moment we drove on Welsh soil!

Nessa's Slots, Barry Island. Well you've got to, right?

I love this mirror SO MUCH! It was in the entrance hall to the little school at the Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagans. Would love to buy a replica!

This little robin followed us around all day!

At St Fagans, there is a row of six terraced houses (built in 1795) that have each been decorated in the style of a different era. This was the front room of the 1925 terrace and I loved everything about it!

Nant Wallter Cottage - possibly the prettiest cottage ever? It also had the most amazing inglenook fireplace.

The view from The Captain's Wife pub in Penarth. Rugged, blustery beaches are my absolute fave.

An inscribed stone at The Captain's Wife, Penarth. Can anyone read the third and second to last words? I think it says "About thirty paces to the westward from this stone stood .... ......... house".

On the beach at Barry Island

Splashing in the waves on Barry Island

The viaduct at Porthkerry Country Park

Splashing in the stream at Porthkerry

Being a daredevil on the climbing frame!

I have to say, aside from seeing my family, visiting the Museum of Welsh Life was absolutely  my favourite part. I'm a total history geek (not sure I've ever mentioned my Masters in Archaeology on here?!!) and this little village is made up of about forty different buildings of historical interest that have come from all around Wales, having been dismantled and rebuilt. If you're ever in South Wales and this is your bag, you really must visit. Best of all it is entirely free! I wish there was something similar in England! xoxo

Have you heard of The Happy's?

Neither had we, until Daisy was sent one last week! (And no, that isn't me being hideously grammatically incorrect either, it's how they are branded!).

Remember those awesome battery operated walking dogs (that also surprised us with somersaults) that everyone had/wanted in the 80s? I didn't have one but I was desperate for one... after all, they were definitely the next best thing to having a REAL dog.

Well these new toys are the somersaulting pets of today!

The Happy's are interactive, faithful and furry toy animals that play with their owners using Infrared Technology. There are four available in the range (three puppies and a kitten), and each one comes with a special treat that enables them to follow their owner and perform tricks..... They even dance to music and talk to other Happy's when they get together!

They're aimed at boys and girls aged 4+ and Daisy was sent Chase the dog who she totally adores.

These toys retail at £19.99 each and are available from all good retailers, including Argos and toy shop The Entertainer.


Friday, 29 August 2014

September #NYNYStyleProject

I'm super excited to announce some changes to the NYNYStyleProject from this month onwards, namely the introduction of Kara from Innocent Charm Chats and Carissa from Little Likely Lads to the team! Both of them have an incredible sense of style and have been regular NYNYStyleProject posters from day one so I'm majorly proud and happy to have them on board!

The school holidays are coming to a close which means that Autumn will soon be in the air, and with the new season comes new fashion; new styles and colours and textures. I love this time of year so much!

September is also the sixth month of the Project (it's been running since January but we took a little break earlier in the year) and I'm so glad that people are still enjoying taking part.

I made this little Flipagram of all my favourite snaps from over the past six months and can really see how my style has changed - and how my confidence has increased - whilst doing it. I hope it's had the same, positive effect on those of you that are joining in!

Seeing as we've only two days left before August comes to an end, I guess we ought to launch the prompts for September; I hope you enjoy them. I really can't wait to see your snaps xoxo

New to the #NYNYStyleProject? Read all about it here.

Want to join in? Here's how to play.

♥ Find the day's prompt on the current month's list.
♥ Interpret the prompt as you will, and incorporate your interpretation into your daily style. It can be an item of clothing, a piece of make up or a beauty project that you own or something you've seen and are lusting after.
♥ Take a photo!
♥ Share it on Instagram or Twitter. Don't forget to use the hashtag #NYNYStyleProject so that other people can find your pictures.
♥ Search the hashtag yourself and check out other people's photos. Like what you see? Tell the photographer! It's a nice way to get to know eachother and a lovely confidence boost too.
♥ You don't have to join in every single day! Sometimes it's just not possible - and that's okay! Dip in and out whenever you like, and if you're not able to take your own photos, look at other people's for inspiration.

Most importantly - have fun! - and don't forget to search the #NYNYStyleProject hashtag on Instagram and Twitter! xoxo


Trollbeads ♥

Whenever I'm given, or buy myself, anything, I love it to have a meaning, a story; a reason behind it coming into my possession. I cherish the things I own, and look after them. After all, I want to keep them forever. 

Trollbeads are my latest love, jewellery from a family run Danish company that was established in 1976. At that time it was fashionable to wear a single silver bead on a leather thong around the neck and the family redesigned these beads, letting the leather cord go through them, rather than having them hanging in an eyelet, and then extended their collection to include silver bracelets too.

One day a customer asked for an extra bead on her bracelet and the rest, as they say, is history. Others followed suit and the Trollbeads movement started! 

The idea is that you can create your own, unique piece of jewellery. I love collecting things and adored the idea of being able to make something entirely personal to me. Trollbeads are a little like a modern day take on a charm bracelet, I guess, and I can't wait to add to mine! 

These were the items I chose to kick start my collection:

Bohême Pendant (meant for a necklace but worn on a bracelet), £75
Lucky Knot, £25
All c/o Trollbeads

I chose the Chrysanthemum because both of my girls are November babies, the pearl tassel because pearl is my birthstone, the Bohême pendant because I love life, art and music and like to think of myself as being a bit of a free soul, and a lucky knot for fortune and happiness. Apart from their meanings, they're all really rather beautiful aren't they?

What I love most about Trollbeads is that I can add new beads to my bracelet as new chapters in my life begin and eventually it will tell a wonderful story. I wonder what I'll choose next! xoxo 


Perfect Healthy Lunchboxes with Capri-Sun #Shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

With Daisy starting school next month, the time has come for us to start thinking fairly seriously about packed lunch boxes. I often make the girls packed lunches when we're heading out for the day but SCHOOL lunch boxes are a different matter altogether aren't they? I mean, the competition about who had the best lunch was fierce in my day - and I'm guessing things are still the same now!

It's important for me to give the girls healthy lunchboxes, but equally important to fill them with stuff that they will actually eat. Daisy is going through a fussy stage at the moment and it's very important for me to know that she has a full tummy and plenty of energy so we are avoiding trying new stuff and sticking to the things that she knows and loves.

I got a bit excited when the #CollectiveBias #CapriSunSchool shopportunity came up because this family are all huge Capri-Sun lovers. I can remember when they first hit the market in the eighties and my mum used to put them in MY lunch boxes. They were the coolest drinks around and we used to try and take the straws out of their little film wrappers without detaching them from the drink itself, then piece the bottom instead of the top. Once we'd finished our drinks, we'd blow into the straw to fill the carton with air then carefully put the straw back into its wrapper (still glued to the pouch) and place the drink back in our lunch boxes to fool our parents into thinking we'd forgotten to drink them.

It's funny the things you remember, eh? :)

Anyway, back to 2014!

We headed off to our regular supermarket, Tesco, on our usual weekly shop and half way through our trip found ourself in the juice aisle.

There's such a huge choice when it comes to the different cartons and bottles of juice. This is where Capri-Sun stands out - for me anyway. The foil pouches are one of a kind - and I love, love, love that they come in large boxes of ten, rather than just three or four. I also love that there are regularly deals on boxes of them, as was the case when we visited our local store on this occasion. They were a third off, down from £2.96 to just £2 for ten! 20p each for a carton of drink is just brilliant, in my opinion.

Back at home, we made a trial lunch box for Daisy to take on a picnic with her friends. I packed one and a half rounds of sandwiches, two little yoghurts (one is never enough!), two plums and a banana. Everyone draws faces on their bananas, right? Of course we also added a Capri-Sun and my top tip when it comes to lunch box Capri-Suns is to freeze them; firstly so that they act like a disposable ice pack and keep everything else nice and fresh - and secondly because after around four hours they're a delicious slushy treat! (We actually took three cartons of frozen Capri-Suns in our Camp Bestival cool box and they stayed cold for the entire four days we were there!)

Of course, we couldn't only let Daisy in on the Capri-Sun fun, so we also let Evie take a couple when we went to Victorious Festival last weekend ;)

Capri-Sun Juice Drinks come in 200ml pouches and are perfect for lunch boxes, days out - or just for treats. They contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and are available in eight different, equally delicious flavours.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Our Autumn Bucket List ♥

You've probably noticed that Autumn is my favourite time of year. I've been talking about it pretty much constantly over the last week or two, now that the heatwave is {finally} over and the evenings are starting to get chilly again. The colours! The clothes! The food! The crazy, unpredictable weather! Sigh. I just love every.single.thing. about it.

I say the same thing every year - that I really ought to make the most of this beautiful season, seeing as I'm so fond of it. You know. Get out there, spend quality time with the girls, take lots of photos, embrace it! So this year I've come up with a list of twelve things - things that I'd love to make annual Autumn family traditions - and we're going to do them all! 

In no particular order, this is what we're going to be getting up to over the next few months....

 Go on a nature walk, collect conkers and jump in the leaves
 Wear a scarf and hat
 Go blackberry picking
 Visit a pumpkin patch and pick, and carve, some for Hallowe'en 
 Go on a hay ride
 Light our log burner for the first time
 Have a bonfire and make s'mores
 Eat toffee apples
 Make fancy coffee (pumpkin spiced anyone?)
 Go to a firework display
 Drink warm apple cider (me) and hot chocolate (the girls)
 Go apple picking

I can't wait to get started, and to share our adventures with you all! xoxo


Considering a Cruise Holiday? The Pros and Cons

The first recorded leisure cruise took place at the end of the 19th Century. Since then, this type of holiday has flourished through the turn of the millennium and now stands as an industry with a reported worldwide market of over £20billion. For some, this type of package holiday is perfect because of the wide range of possible locations and impeccable amenities aboard the ships. Nevertheless, some may want to research before they set sail off into the sunset on their first cruise. Below is a collection of advantages and disadvantages that can help you to answer your questions if you’re considering embarking on cruise holidays in 2015:

Knowing the cost in advance
One of the most widely recognized benefits of cruise holidays is the security of knowing the cost of the holiday before leaving. Voyagers may want to spend money when they arrive at destinations on the cruise, but it can be comforting to know that travel, accommodation and food is all accounted for beforehand. 
No constant packing and unpacking!
Another fundamental advantage is the fact that the cruise will no doubt visit many different ports in which passengers can disembark and explore, without having to check into a new hotel every night or worry about transporting luggage from location to location. Time in each place is restricted, as the ship will have a scheduled time to move onto its next destination, leaving some people feeling as though they’ve not had the chance to appreciate the locality fully. However, this can be beneficial because passengers can get a taste for the area they visit and decide if they’d like to plan a journey back without time restrictions imposed by the cruise’s itinerary.

Never a dull moment
Cruise ships are famous for their entertainment, with many having performers on board to keep travellers engaged while the ship travels from port to port. Also, if holidaying as a family, kid’s clubs provide children with the perfect chance to socialize and have fun — and the parents some time to relax! Many modern cruise ships also have swimming pools, play areas and fitness and spa facilities to keep all the family (and the exercise enthusiasts!) happy.

No such thing as an empty stomach

It’s widely known that food on board is usually abundant and varied to satisfy everyone from the adventurous to the fussy each day. Since most meals are taken on board, some may feel as though they are missing out on sampling regional cuisine or delicacies and may prefer the chance to eat in local restaurants. 

Potential sea sickness (but don’t worry, there’ll be a doctor)
An apparent disadvantage of cruise travel is the potential to be sea sick. Due to the sheer size of most cruise ships, sea motion is largely dispelled. Severe weather conditions can, of course, cause the boat to move considerably and in certain areas, such as the Atlantic, it’s more likely to encounter larger waves. There are many different types of medication that can be prescribed to combat the symptoms of seasickness and often, if not always, there’s a doctor on board the ship who can help with motion sickness or any other ailments.

Ultimately, deciding on a cruise is a personal choice, and like any other holiday, involves careful consideration and planning. For some people, being in a totally different place every day is exhilarating and looking far out to sea each night is peaceful, picturesque and the perfect holiday.

This is a collaborative post. Images by David Nitzsche, Pierre Mangin and Samantha Beddoes used under creative commons license.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Daisy's First School Shoes

In September Daisy starts school for the very first time.

We already had tears (mine, naturally) on her last day at nursery, and I just know that there will be more on the momentous occasion that is her first day at school.

The school uniform has been bought, as has the book bag and the PE bag, and on Saturday we headed off to our local Clarks to buy her very first pair of school shoes. Spirits were running very high before we left the house. After all, you only get to buy your first school shoes once; you've got to make the right choice!

Me on my first day at school in 1984 wearing Clarks shoes

I always knew I'd buy Daisy's first school shoes from Clarks. Her first walkers came from there, her first winter boots, and almost every pair ever since have too. Even MY first school shoes came from Clarks, over thirty years ago! Clarks are, without doubt, my most favourite children's shoe store.

Having been warned about just how busy Clarks stores can get towards the end of the summer holidays, we pre-booked an appointment. I didn't actually know you could do this until someone mentioned it on Twitter and I will most definitely use this service again (they even send you a text message to remind you of the date and time which is great when you're a bit scatty like me!).

I promised Daisy that she could choose her own school shoes. She has pretty good taste so I wasn't worried about her going for anything inappropriate (not that Clarks would sell anything inappropriate of course!). This made the whole event even more exciting and made Daisy feel super grown up.

After having her feet measured using Clarks' clever new iPad foot gauge, our sales assistant brought out a selection of shoes that were available in her size. I really like how Clarks do this. Of course you're still free to browse their displays for something you like, but it's nice to know exactly what's in stock too.

Shoes c/o Clarks

Daisy chose a pair of shoes that I genuinely would have chosen for myself; a pair of Dance Step Junior's in black leather with patent toes and velcro straps so that she can easily do them up and take them off without any help.

We also bought a pair of Cross Dart Junior trainers for PE (they're hot pink and turquoise and were, of course, handpicked by Daisy) and a pair of Ella Sweet First t-bars in patent black for Evie, who's feet had grown a whole size and a half since we'd last visited the store just two months ago!

Arms laden with shopping bags, we set off for home, where Daisy proceeded to try her school uniform on in it's entirety, complete now with shoes. Of course whenever I try and take photos of Evie for kids style posts she never co-operates but on this occasion she insisted on photobombing every picture of Daisy!

Cute though, eh?

This year, Clarks have partnered with classic publishers Ladybird to create a bespoke memory book called 'Let's Start School' which comes free with your child’s first school shoes. The book enables you and your child to document their excitement about starting school - and to record all the milestones reached over that first year in reception class.

Daisy was thrilled to be given this in store and can't wait to start filling it in.

Thanks to Clarks for making the whole school shoe shopping experience pleasant and stress free, and super fun too xo

Daisy's Daily Outfit ♥ Oh Baby London

Multi-stripe skater dress by Oh Baby London, £10 (sale - what a total bargain!) - Daisy Chain Baby
Party shoes, Monsoon (hand me downs) - similar here


Five Favourites: Black Boots

Whether you like it or not (I LOVE it!) Autumn is a-coming - and with it comes layered clothes, chunky knits, woolly tights and boots.

I love, love, love winter boots. A ridiculous amount. I love it when they first start replacing all the sandals and flip flops in the shops at the end of the Summer.

For the past few years I've opted for brown boots, starting with a pair of dark brown over the knees (which Daisy calls my pirate boots!) back in 2012 and then some chestnut brown riding boots last year. This year it's all about black boots for me.... I've picked up some super cute vintage (winter) dresses during over the last few months that will look perfect with black tights and boots to match. Here are my five favourites xoxo

1. Idil Knee Length Boots, Daniel Footwear - £169 // 2. Minster Echo Leather Boots, Clarks - £150 // 3. Gershwin Waterproof Boots, Ugg - £225 // 4. Stitch Detail Boots, Boden - £179 // 5. Sanita Talma clog boots, Lotta from Stockholm - £99

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Simple Things #3

Sometimes the simple things really are the best.

As part of our role as Bigjigs Play Patrol Agents, last week we were sent a wooden jigsaw puzzle and challenged to play with it together, as a family.

I can't tell you what a lovely half an hour we spent playing together, drinking hot chocolate and giggling, while the rain poured down outside. Not only was it amazing to watch Evie's mind ticking as she worked out what jigsaw piece went where, it was also utterly lovely to watch Daisy help her little sister when she got stuck.

There's a three year age gap between the girls and this particular jigsaw (the Number & Colour Matching Puzzle) was perfect for them both; Evie was able to match the colours, while Daisy practised her counting and matched the numbers.

There really is so much to be said for taking just a little time out and spending time together as a family.xoxo

One of the main reasons we love Bigjigs Toys so much is because it's a family operated business that has never lost sight of its roots. Their toys are excellent quality, safe and affordable, and encourage exploration, creativity and learning. Most importantly they are really great fun! We are honestly so thrilled to be part of the Play Patrol team.

Building Blocks

Recently Daisy has become obsessed with Lego. She has amassed quite a collection over the past few months; she inherited a pretty awesome starter kit from some friends and has been adding to it by saving up her pocket money to buy Lego friends packs. She is constantly building and dismantling, studiously following instructions, copying pictures and then being inventive and coming up with her own designs. I actually find it pretty amazing to just sit and watch her; she is so incredibly creative!

Of course it goes without saying that Evie wants part of the building action too, after all she likes to do everything that her big sister does! But the teeny tiny pieces of Lego that have been appearing all around our house are a too small for her to get to grips with, and she is also a complete monkey that likes to pretend she's eating the bricks which gives me heart failure on a daily basis!

So we decided to treat Evie to some Mega Bloks - construction sets specifically for pre-schoolers, that are made up of slightly larger blocks that are easier for little hands to grab and stick together - and bought her a Big Building Bag in pink and the Lil' Princess Sparkling Tower set from our local toy shop to get her started.

She completely loves them and now her collection (which has expanded to include the First Builders Big Building Box - 220 pieces in a super handy tub that you can tidy away into and has a lid that you can build on) is permanently kept in our front room as they are her most played with toys.

Building super high towers is awesome fun.....

As is knocking them down.....

And sitting in the tub is pretty cool too!

DISCLAIMER: We were sent the First Builders Big Building Box by Mega Bloks, but were already fans and had bought the two sets specified with our own hard earned cash! The Big Building Box is currently better than half price at Argos and, at £22.94, is well worth the money in my opinion! All thoughts and comments in this post are genuine and my own. 


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Our Bathroom Renovations: An Update

At very, very long last the time has come for our horrendous bathroom to be redesigned and redecorated. 

I won't bore you with extensive details about just how awful and antiquated (and not in a good way!) it is - you can look at past posts for some lovely before shots here and here. The long and short of it is  that (1) that our bathroom is very tiny, (2) our bathroom is a peculiar shape, (3) our bathroom window is in a very annoying place and (4) the room has not changed whatsoever since its last makeover in 1961!

There is SO MUCH I'd love to do to it; some of which we are going to take into account during these renovations, but the majority of my ideas will have to wait until we have a bigger bathroom and a bigger house (boooooo!).

The current layout is a nightmare, with everyone at risk of banging their head on our boiler as they get up from the loo, and the sink being under the window, so no space for a mirror (that's one of the things that really annoys me). We also only have a bath which, as I'm sure all you parents out there will agree, is a complete nightmare when you have two small children and just want to nip in and out of the shower in a couple of minutes. So the big changes (aside from the decor) will be the switching of positions of the loo and the sink and the introduction of an over bath Mira power shower!

I'll be leaving all that to the professionals (my husband and my dad) so that I can concentrate on the pretty stuff - and I so can't wait.

Where do I start with that? There are so many beautiful bathroom ideas out there (have you SEEN my bathroom Pinterest board?!! I've been a little obsessive about pinning onto it recently) but unfortunately the space limitations will put a stop to most of my favourites.

Follow Katy from Modern Mummy's board Bathroom Ideas on Pinterest.

There are a few things I've decided for definite though and the colour scheme is one of them. We'll be going for black, white and turquoise - with lots of plants for an extra splash of green. I'd also like a shower curtain, rather than a shower screen (everyone keeps telling me I'm mad but I hate cleaning glass and would much rather be able to pop a curtain into the washing machine - plus I think a curtain will soften the whole look of the room and add a real vintage feel.... Your thoughts?) and I already know I'm going to have to be super clever when it comes to storage. I've pinned two images of over door shelving for towels and under bath stowaway storage and it would be brilliant if we were able to incorporate them both.

Just because our bathroom isn't ideal, there's no way I'm compromising on any of the finishing touches. This bathroom is going to be my haven and I'm determined to make it as luxurious as possible! XOX

This is a collaborative post.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

We heart Brandon Wagons

When I got back from Camp Bestival last year, the one thing I knew for certain was that we would be taking a wagon with us when we went to our next festival. We'd taken an off-road buggy with us that time - which was great - but we wanted something that both girls could hitch a ride in, and also something we could use to help us cart our camping gear from car park to camp site!

I had no intention of being a fair-weather festival wagoner either! I liked the idea of a wagon generally; something we could use in the garden or when going to the meadow for a picnic to carry all our picnicky things. 

We were thrilled to be announced as Brandon Wagons Ambassadors earlier this year, and even more excited when our wagon arrived the week before Camp Bestival!

It required some assembly (which I confess I had no part in ;)) but the husband put it together in less than half an hour while us girls went to the Cupcakery in town and that suited me just fine!

When we got home the girls insisted on being taken out for a test ride straight away and we headed off up the road, receiving compliments from every single person we passed.

Before we became Brandon Wagons Ambassadors I'd looked at other brands of wagons but, in all honesty, it was Brandon Wagons that I liked the most; and this mostly because of the size. I drive a Mercedes A-Class, which has a notoriously tiny boot and, with all the other camping and baby paraphernalia we'd be taking with us to Camp Bestival, I worried that we wouldn't be able to fit it all in, plus a wagon too!

I needn't have stressed about it though. It fit in our boot completely perfectly - and we didn't even have to remove the handle as we'd expected which was brilliant.

Once we arrived at Camp Bestival, it really came into it's own. It's able to carry up to 300lbs at a time so we loaded it up with our bits and pieces and made our way down to the camp site. After just two trips (compared to the four we made with the buggy last year!) we had all our gear with us and were ready to set up home for the weekend!

After it had been worked super hard, we decorated it with bunting and fairy lights - and half way through the weekend Daisy decided we would start collecting stickers to cover the cart (if anyone has any cool ones they'd like to donate, we'll love you forever!)

Then, of course, there was the whole reason we were so keen to get one..... to cart the children around! We were camping in a group of 16 (8 adults and 8 kids) so there were plenty of rides to be given. Generally we let the littlest littlies ride in it (Evie, who is 21 months, and her friends Jimmy, aged 27months and Orlaith, aged 33months) although everyone had a go - and the best bit of all was that the bigger kids liked to pull it!

With that being the case, its fairly obvious that these wagons are super easy to pull and steer, and they also have ten inch pneumatic wheels with grips on the tyres that, I am told, make it perfect for use in snow, as well as on rough terrain (I can't WAIT to try this out come winter!).

The size of the tray was perfect for both Daisy and Evie to curl up and snooze in at the end of a long, busy day at Camp Bestival. We lined it with cushions and took a blanket for them to snuggle up in and that's exactly what they did - every night we were there!

We are completely head over heels in love with our wagon and can't recommend it highly enough! It's a super versatile piece of kit and we couldn't be without it now.

Brandon Wagons retail at a very, very reasonable £65 plus P&P and are available here

DISCLAIMER: We are Brandon Wagons Ambassadors and received our wagon for free but all 
thoughts are true and our own.
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