Thursday, 17 April 2014

Happy Easter From Us

He was a damn sight harder to photograph than last year (oh how cute!), but he's my lovely boy. And I can't wait to spend four whole days with him.

I hope that, whatever you do this Easter break, you are happy and loved.

And you have chocolate to share with your toy sheep too.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Win a Holiday with Parkdean Holidays

It's somewhat of a running joke in my family that my geography is terrible. I've never quite understood the basic map of the world and I've lost many a debate on the locations of places and landmarks. I value my reputation, so that's something I'll leave there.

But, if you reckon you know your UK from your Ukraine, you might want to have a little go of the quiz below.

Parkdean Holidays have devised the Home or Away Quiz, which you can play to be with a chance of winning a week's holiday, worth £750, at one of 24 award-winning holiday parks in the UK. All you need to do is click on the pictures that you think are UK destinations. There's a few sets of pairs, and you'll need to be better than me at Geography (I only scored 419 points...).

Enter to win a fantastic Parkdean Holiday worth up to £750

Good luck!

The Pipe Dream: My Living Room

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you'll know that my house is a little bit of a project. I've got so much energy to unleash onto it. I want to fill in doorways and open up the space. I want carpets younger than I am. And I want a kitchen that is built for baking and making a mess with my little family around me.

But that sort of stuff costs money. And money I do not have in spades right now.

I've promised myself that, somehow, I will have my lounge done by Christmas. And while that seems like ages away, I know it will creep up on me before I know it. And I need to get saving and planning.

Unfortunately, as is often the case at number 44, this isn't a quick lick-of-paint job. I need some skimming doing to the walls, a fireplace removing and a whole load of wood chip wallpaper needs dragging off the walls too. I'd also like to fill in one of the doorways (we have two as the lounge/diner used to be two separate rooms, or so I'm told) so I can utilise the space better.

I don't want this room to be Mummy's sanctuary. I want it to be the sort of room where we squish on the sofa together as a family and there's room for William's toys and Mummy's books and trinkets. Speaking of sofas, while I have two leather sofas, that were handed down to me, I will fulfil my longstanding desire for a big squishy corner sofa.

Every time I watch Gogglebox with Mark, we keep saying to each other how we want a big squishy sofa where we'd all pile on as a family and watch a film together. And I have to keep reminding myself to make that happen. Because, while leather sofas are easy to wipe down with mucky toddlers around, they aren't half chilly to sit on.

As for the colour scheme, I'd like to work around some heart-shaped bunting I already own, which you can see above. I like the idea of having a neutral room, but with touches of red and blue and perhaps a few other colours, in there amongst the oatmeals and the creams. I want it to have that county feel, and that "come on in and kick your shoes off and relax" vibe about it. I don't want toys to look out-of-place and I want there to be a huge tumble of throws and pillows so everyone can get comfortable.

Storage is massive for me - so the EXPEDIT shelving unit (which I don't stop going on about) is huge must on my list. I'd fill the bottom shelves with boxes for William's toys and the top shelves would be full of my books, photographs and special odds and ends. I'd also finally have somewhere to keep things like keys out of reach of William too. The wicker trunks would be great storage for extra books and toys, and perhaps one of them would work nicely in the middle of the room as a sort of coffee table.

Because it wouldn't be a room in my house without something unusual, I need to add this stag's head and these hexagonal shelves to the mix. I like having things that make people wander over to look closer. And I like the idea of popping succulents or ferns on the shelves to add some colour and life to the room. And that stag's head is getting draped in fairy lights - we all know it. I think these touches, combined with my chalkboard fireplace, will make this a bit of a special room.

My next decision depends on the floor. I can't quite make up my mind between carpet or oak style laminate flooring, like I have in our spare room. I think that carpet may be the way, as it's warmer, but I fear William's mess levels.

We'll just have to see.

In the meantime, I've got some saving up to do and some wallpaper to strip.

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