Family Time

The kiddos and I headed off again last week, just three days after getting back from the Just So, to spend a long weekend with my Dad and Step-Mum. We lucked out with some sunny, warm weather again and had a lovely few days. It was a much-needed break – being away at family for me is a good break – a chance to actually sit down and not have to rush around all day long. The kids are happy playing, there is no housework or jobs for me to do and I don’t even have to cook dinner! The kiddos cousins came down for a couple of the days, the five of them spent hours playing in the garden, Lola was there – even with no photographic evidence {she’s VERY good at hiding from the camera these days!}. All of us had so much fun, we really wish we lived closer to them. I’m seriously thinking about a move back that way at some point, I’d love be to be closer to my Dad. Having family around would be fantastic not just for me but for the kiddos too – growing up surrounded by grandparents and cousins would be…

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Is It Autumn Yet? 5 Ways to Get Through the Rest of the Summer

As the kids begin to head back to school and stores begin selling fall fashions, it is easy to wish away the remaining weeks of summer. After all, you can only handle so much sweating weather before you begin dreaming of brisk fall afternoons and pumpkin spice lattes. Pass the time with some fall and winter prep work so you can make good use of your time and cooler temps. Plan a Holiday Cap off your summer with a getaway to somewhere new in a cooler climate to get your first taste of fall a little early. Head north to the mountains, where temperatures are often lower thanks to higher altitudes or head off the beaten path to a rugged international destination like Iceland. The average temperature in Reykjavik in September is in the 40s, according to the Weather Channel, making it ideal for breaking in those new fall layers while exploring the stunning natural beauty of the countryside. Icelandic airline WOW Air offers surprisingly affordable fares from many major cities around the U.S., so getting there may be less pricey than you’d expect. Rethink Your Holiday Decor If a holiday isn’t in the cards for you, use this time to do…

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Back to School with John Lewis

After almost a decade of home schooling, my eldest went into high school last year, entering half way through Year 9. I hadn’t realised how much stuff she would need, never having to do the school shop before – blazer, tie, jumper, trousers, shirts {enough to not need to wash mid-week}, shoes, a bag big enough to carry everything, lunchbox, drinks bottle, pens, pencils…. It was a bit of a crazy rush around trying to get everything sorted for her. This year she’ll be starting Year 10 in September, and we’re away for the last half of August, so I knew that I needed to get organised ahead of time. Neither of us enjoys shopping, so we were both relieved when John Lewis invited us to try out their Back to School range and kit her out for the new school year. We were really impressed whilst browsing the school uniform section on their website, not only do they sell actual uniform, but everything else from PE kits to backpacks, lunchboxes to hats and gloves. They are a one-stop shop for all your school needs – saving you time and a lot of stress! I ordered Lola two pairs of trousers,…

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How to Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Spa

It’s always nice to have a relaxing place to retreat to when you get home from a long day at work. For many people, that retreat can be a bathroom that they have transformed into a Zen-like spa. No matter the state of your current bathroom, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to transform the space to provide you with that retreat you deserve. Here is a look at some DIY techniques you can use that are designed to provide the maximum amount of impact. Paint the Walls The first thing on the list should be to paint the walls. It doesn’t matter what you do to your washroom, if the walls aren’t a soft, soothing, neutral colour then you won’t be able to achieve that spa-like feel. Common colours people choose are soft warm greys, taupe, beige, and even soft pale green or blue. A Bath Tray That is Fully Stocked The next step will be to gather up all those spa essentials. This includes such things as essential oils, scented soaps and bubble baths, loofah sponges, and a pumice just to name a few. Look for a tray that rests on the sides of…

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Review | Hape High & Low Railway Set

My Beastie boy loves to play with trains, we’ve got a collection of wooden track leftover from when the girls were little – most of it was Lola’s from around 12 years ago as she was train crazy too! He’ll sit for hours playing trains, he loves getting one of us to help make him a big track so he can push the trains around. Wooden train sets are such a classic toy – and how long ours have lasted are proof that they are timeless and made to last. Last week he was lucky enough to get this Hape High & Low Railway Set – it actually came the night we got back from the Just So, though I stashed it away for the next morning as it arrived at bedtime! I think his face says just how excited he was when we opened the parcel! The High & Low Railway Set has over 30 pieces of track, with tunnels, bridges, trees, ticket offices, and signals as well as three speedy bullet trains. It’s a fantastic set, either on its own or to add on to existing train track you might have. It’s brightly coloured which appeals to little…

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