8 Small Changes to Improve your Home


Wouldn’t you just love to renovate parts of your home that are starting to wear out? Maybe the paint on your walls is starting to fade and you want to replace them, or perhaps you’re tired of your bathroom decor and want to give it a thorough makeover. Sadly though, the reality is that we often don’t have the time or money to perform these large renovations. Even though it could provide us with more functionality at home and also more comfortable surroundings.

However there are other ways to get the same desired effect, without spending much time, or money. Small improvements can still make all the difference! In this article, I'm going to share some small and easy improvements you can do, that will hopefully make a big difference in your home.

Add some inexpensive potted plants - Potted plants can add an inexpensive splash of colour to any room and they're also suitable decorations that kids can get involved with too. You can place them virtually anywhere and they’ll last a while (as long as you continue to take care of them).

Add some door stops - The last thing you want is a door or the handle slamming into a wall, damaging the wall by creating dents and scuffs. Invest in some door stops to prevent this from happening - you can either pick basic standard stops, or even go a bit quirky and pick a colourful animal door stop, whatever fits your decor!

Replace your welcome mat - The first thing you see when you come back home will often be your welcome mat. If it’s littered with dirt and grime, and the lettering is fading, consider getting a new one to make your home a little more inviting. There are so many options to choose from!

Use felt pads on furniture if you have hard floors - Whether you use laminate or hardwood floors, make sure you use felt pads (especially on heavy furniture) in order to protect your flooring. This will prevent marks being made if you move furniture around, and also stop deep marks being left in flooring too.

Change the door handles in your home - You’d be surprised at the effect quality door furniture has on your home. Not only will your doors look nicer, but you'll enjoy using them too. Considering how often you open doors around the home, this is definitely a worthwhile investment.

Hang some pictures or paintings around the house - Be it your child’s art projects in their bedroom, or pictures of you and your family in the living room, a few framed pictures can be a quick and easy way to add a little personalised decor to your home. Mix it up with different frame sizes and styles, and inject some colour with bold prints too.

Use the power of fragrances - Fragrances are powerful ways to change the mood in a room with ease. You could consider using a diffuser, candles or even an automatic air freshener to brighten up the smell of a room. Diffusers are quickly becoming a popular item now too - different oils can be used to create different feelings in the home.

Manage your cables - Cable management is fairly easy with the right tools. You can buy clips that can be nailed or stuck onto walls, to make them look neater, and you can buy sleeves which hold cables together (such as the ones coming off your TV or computer). Hiding unsightly cables instantly improve the look of a room.
This is a collaborative post.

National Trust days out in the South East | Kent, Sussex + Surrey


We have been National Trust members for a few years now, and I still believe it's the best money we spend each month. And living in Kent (and the south east in general) we are lucky to have a whole selection of different NT properties and gardens, right on our doorstep!

I have shared posts about many of these locations on my blog before, but I thought it was time I collected all of these posts in one post. Creating somewhere you can come to read about all of the different locations, and what they have to offer. I also enlisted the help of some fellow bloggers, so you can see what they think too!


Scotney Castle, Tunbridge Wells

Scotney Castle features a 14th century moated castle, country house and a romantic garden all inside a beautiful wooded estate. With over 770 acres of woodland and parkland to explore there's plenty to keep the whole family busy! You can read more about our visit here.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, near Cranbrook

We mostly visit the grounds outside the castle gardens (buggies aren't allowed in this area), but there is so much to see at Sissinghurst. Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson fell in love with Sissinghurst Castle and so created a world renowned garden. You can also visit the top of the Tower, where you can see vast panoramic views of the land and area, as well as enjoying woodland walks outside of the castle gardens.

Chartwell, Westerham

Chartwell was the much-loved Churchill family home and the place where Sir Winston drew inspiration until the end of his life. We've never actually made it into the house itself, but the gardens have so much to explore. If you venture out to the woodlands there's also natural play areas that little ones can explore. You can read more about Maria's visit to Chartwell here.

Emmetts Garden, Sevenoaks

Emmetts Garden is an Edwardian estate that was owned by Frederic Lubbock. It stands on one of the highest spots in Kent so offers panoramic views over the area, as well as some great walking opportunities. The biggest draw for us is the lovely natural play area at the top of the gardens - it's opposite the cafe too, so win-win for everyone!

Knole, Sevenoaks

Knole Park is probably our favourite and most visited National Trust properties - it's where we were when we signed up for our memberships. Set within Kent’s last medieval deer park, Knole offers something for everyone. You can explore Knole House with it's grand courtyards and tranquil Orangery, or wander the winding paths in the parkland - just watch out for golfers! The best thing about Knole is that you don't even need to be NT members to visit. You can park by one of the many outer gates, and enjoy a walk in the grounds completely free!

Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks

Ightham Mote is a romantic moated manor house, previously owned by Medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians. The house is surrounded by lovely gardens with an orchard, water features, lakes and three estate walks. For little ones there also the natural play area - complete with stream for paddling! Lauren had a fab day out there recently.

East Sussex

Sheffield Park and Garden, Uckfield

Sheffield Park is another property that we still haven't explored to the full - it's huge! The gardens themselves have been created through centuries of landscape design - four lakes form the heart of the garden, with paths circulating through the glades and wooded areas surrounding them. Outside of the main property there are woodland walks and a children's trail, as well as a family friendly tearoom. You can read more about our visit here.

Bodiam Castle, near Robertsbridge

Bodiam Castle is definitely a place to relieve your childhood dreams! Built in the 14th century, it is one of Britain's most picturesque and romantic ancient monuments. Although a lot of the castle is ruins now, you can still explore some of the towers, see the giant fish in the moat and wander through the impressive gatehouse (which is actually the castle's original wooden portcullis!).

Bateman's, Burwash

Bateman's is a 17th century house, surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald. The family home provided a much needed sanctuary to the world-famous writer Rudyard Kipling. The house has been left to feel as if the Kipling family have just popped out, and is lovely to look around. The gardens have lots of explore, as well as the three estate walks - all of which are perfect for families and dogs.

West Sussex

Nymans, near Haywards Heath

Nymans is one of the National Trust's premier gardens, and was a country retreat for the Messel family. Located just off the London to Brighton M23 / A23, it was probably the easiest properties we've driven to from Kent! We've only been lucky enough to visit during the summer, but have absolutely loved both visits - exploring the ruins of the old house, the beautiful gardens, and enjoying an ice cream in the beautiful outdoor cafe. There's also the woods to explore, although we've not made it into these yet.

Standen House and Garden, East Grinstead

One of my favourite prosperities to visit over the festive period is definitely Standen House. Each year the courtyard is taken over by a large Christmas tree, and the house is decorated beautifully. It's just as lovely in the warmer months though, as the grounds are lovely to explore. There's the natural play area, croquet on the lawn, and a hidden play room which are all perfect for little ones. Make sure to take a carrier with you though, as a lot of the estate isn't buggy friendly.


Winkworth Arboretum, Godalming

Winkworth was created in the early 20th century by Dr Wilfrid Fox, and has built up an internationally significant collection of more than 1,000 different species of shrubs and trees, over the last 60 years. The most impressive displays are in spring, with magnolias, bluebells and azaleas in bloom!

Boxhill, Surrey Hills

Boxhill is the perfect place to discover a family walk and explore the Surreyhills. Forming part of the North Downs, Boxhill has views across the surrounding countryside. The are a number of different walks, suitable for all different abilities and ages. Kate enjoyed a visit with her family, and took one of the family-friendly routes.

Hopefully this post has given you some inspiration for wonderful National Trust days out in the South East. And if you're still not so sure, why not check out this post to see why you'll love the National Trust if you have children!

The Siblings Project | January 2019


I have loved taking part in the Siblings Project linky these last fews years, so of course I aim to capture another 12 months of my trio this year. I had intended to capture some outdoorsy shots of our three for this month's post, but I'm actually so pleased we took these instead!

We celebrated Lilah's first birthday last week, so of course we did a little DIY cake smash for her (just like we did with Indiana and Parker on their first birthdays). They were far too excited to just sit back and watch, so once Lilah had tried enough of the cake herself, we let them join in and help her. Cue cake smash carnage!

Looking back on these photos makes me realise just how big Indiana looks these days. She's really growing up into a beautiful little girl, and school has definitely changed her - mostly for the better, although the attitude is probably something we could have done without...

Lilah absolutely idolises her big brother and sister though, and I think their relationships are really going to change over this next year. Especially with Parker starting school in September - Lilah is going to really miss them!

To Lilah, on Your First Birthday!


Happy first birthday our little Lilah Bear! 

How a year has passed since your whirlwind arrival I do not know. A year that has been full of the happiest moments watching you learn and grow. But also a year that has taught me so very much, not just about myself, but about this crazy journey that is mama hood.

From the moment you were born you have filled our days with so much joy. You truly are the happiest little girl I know, and absolutely everyone you meet falls for your charm instantly! With your toothy little grin and cheeky smile, how could they not though?

There is not a milestone you have met that hasn't made your dada and I beam with pride this year. Watching you learn to roll, army crawl (just like your big brother and sister), cruise, and then of course walk. But also the little things, like the first time in your big girl pushchair, or dipping your toes in the sea on holiday! And of course watching you learn to love your food - just you wait until you discover the wonders of chocolate now you're one baby girl.

And although your first year is over, there is not a day that's going to pass when I don't think of you as my beautiful baby girl. Please don't grow up so fast this next year, okay?

Thank you for choosing me to be your mama Lilah Bear, I love you so much little one!

Mummy xxx

How to Prepare for a Summer Pregnancy


If you have just found out you're expecting, congratulations! The likelihood is you’ll be due in the summer, and are already thinking about how you're going to cope being heavily pregnant during the hot months. So with that in mine, here are a few tips on how to cope when the time comes.

You are probably already preparing for the baby and everything they will need, but don’t forget about yourself. While you’re pregnant, you need to make sure you get enough fluids, and this is especially tough in the hot summer months. Staying hydrated is especially important anyway, and you should be drinking at least 2.3 litres of liquids every day - you need to add 8 ounces for every hour you spend in the heat during the summer months though.

Your calves, ankles, and feet are susceptible to swelling during the heat and pregnancy. To help reduce this, make an effort to keep your legs up whenever you can - even when you’re at work. There are some natural foot and ankle exercises which can also help, and if you try to lay off the salt, you should retain fewer fluids. If it’s really bad, then try eating watercress, celery, citrus fruits or small bits of parsley, which may act as natural diuretics.

The Heat
You’re likely to feel overheated anyway, but add in the summer heat too and it could make you feel pretty miserable. If you have already or can get an air conditioning installation, then do it. You’ve got time now to get everything ready, and it will be useful for the baby too when he or she arrives. If you have access to a pool, use it. This will not only lower your body temp, but the buoyancy will also ease the stress on your organs. If you don’t have access to a pool, try a paddling pool. But make sure you've got sun cream on while you're outside.

Sticky Sweat
Luckily for you in the summer you can wear lightweight, comfy maternity clothes. Choose loose, light-colored clothes. This will help keep you from overheating and allow sweat (especially beneath and between your breasts) to evaporate, preventing nasty rashes.

The simplest way to keep your body temperature in check is to stay indoors in the cool, but that’s usually easier said than done and can be incredibly dull! To keep you entertained make sure you’ve got plenty of fun films at the ready - Baby Boom? Or how about my all time favourite Father of the Bride Part II? Enjoy them from home so that you can to pause to walk around to ease your aches (or when you need to go to the loo every 10 minutes).

This is a collaborative post.

Top Tips for Decorating with a Young Family


When it comes to decorating your home, it can be hard to know where to start. Should you embrace the vibrant sofa trend for the new year, or upgrade the art in your living room? Thankfully there are lots of places where you can find some inspiration though, with Pinterest, Instagram and lifestyle magazines absolutely full of ideas.

However if you’re a parent (or even a pet owner), then decor decisions may not be something you're most concerned about. Most luxury items such as cream sofas and decorative trinkets are out of question, and expensive items are usually locked away or left gathering dust on top shelves. But there are a few simple things you can do, that can help you to make the most of your interior during the early years of your family. So here are my top 6 tips for decorating when you have a young family!

Remember Things get broken!
Young children and young animals (and even older ones) can make a lot of damage. As many parents testify, it doesn’t matter how careful you are, things get lost, broken or altered in ways you didn’t even think were possible. If you have expensive or treasured items, make sure to keep them out of the way of little hands. Maybe purchase a cabinet to display these items, but also keep them safe.

Add a Splash of Colour!
The most natural reaction when you consider the risks, not only for your children but also for your precious belongings, is to go for a bare interior style. You can however bring some personality to your home without putting the things you love within reach of small hands. You’ll be surprised to find out how much a feature wall can transform a room. From accent colours to bold wallpapers, you can get creative at home without breaking the bank. And if you’re worried about fingerprints or enthusiastic drawings on the lower half of the walls, you can buy washable wall paint to use!

Forget About Carpet (for now)!
We are so used to having carpet everywhere, that it’s easy to forget the health risk that comes with it. Dust, pet hair, dry skin and other particles find their way in between the fibres of the carpet and are almost impossible to dislodge with a standard vacuum. Children and pets are more likely to stain carpets too (especially when potty training!), meaning that your beautiful white and fluffy floor can rapidly turn grey and stained. Why not consider flooring solutions that can easy to manage, such as micro-concrete floors from Carrcrete for instance.

Don’t Overspend on your Children's Bedrooms!
It’s not uncommon for new parents to invest more in their child’s bedroom, than they would in the renovation or remodelling of a bathroom or kitchen. While there’s no denying that your baby will need a plethora of items, you need to be careful about how much you spend on decorating and preparing the room. Babies and young children grow up quickly though, so you'll find yourself having to redecorate that beautiful nursery in no time. Instead why not invest in smart furniture and design, such as an extendable bed or neutral walls.

Child (and Pet) Proof Everything!
Injuries can be frequent during the first few years as a family, so it’s a good idea to build a child (and pet) safe interior. Start by keeping every chemical products out of their reach – you can use magnet-operated locks for your cupboard doors for instance. Sockets and cables need to be hidden away, and sharp corners should be covered too. While this reduces your options for beautiful furniture, you can add a small creative touch by painting the doors of your kitchen cupboard to freshen up the look. Chalk paint also works wonders on battered furniture pieces!

Family Photos make Great Decor!
When your children are too young for a fragile and sophisticated decor, you can replace art pieces with family memories. Hanging frames with your favourites pictures can go a long way in injecting some personality to your home. Why not frame some of your children's art work too, for some unique but special displays.

Decorating with a young family can be a challenge for most homeowners. But it doesn't have to be! Just remember that during these years, less is more for your home style. And you'll soon have your home back to style just the way you like it.

This is a collaborative post.