A Haven In Your Home

As the mother of two, I am fast becoming aware of one fairly important fact. I no longer own my house, it belongs to my two little darlings. My last haven? The bathroom and you can bet I’m holding onto it for dear life. In fact, I’m currently in the process of planning an extensive room improvement. It’s going to be the place where I retreat from the world of parenthood into adult pleasures. I’m talking about long soaks in the tub, sensual showers, bubble baths and candles. I want heated floors, stylish designs and maybe a sauna. Intrigued? Then you might want to follow the plan I’m going to take.


Step 1: Choose A Budget

I’ve decided I’m only going to spend about a thousand on this improvement. If there are any designers out there reading this, they’ll be shaking their heads right now. You can’t improve a bathroom properly for anything less than five, supposedly. Well, I’m going to prove them wrong and stick to my budget. I advise you do the same because home renovation projects can quickly grow out of control in both time and money. So, just under two it is. Yes, I added on a thousand because I’d like a brand new set of furniture. More on that further down…

Step 2: Talk To A Designer

Well, I decided I’d try and speak to a designer and let them know what I wanted. I just thought I’d see if they could work in the budget I had chosen. It turns out they could, but they also advised there was no way I’d get the effect I wanted. Well, we’ll just see about that.

Step 3: Choosing The DIY Option

So, I’m going to start by repainting the walls. I’m going to mix cream and black by having white walls and a black floor. I’m also planning on getting coal black fixtures like the bath, the shower, the sink. I also plan on getting these fixtures to match by buying the furniture in a set. To find this, I’ve been looking at bellabathrooms.co.uk. They offer some great sets, one of which I’m sure is going to look great in my new, improved bathroom.

Step 4: Luxury Features

I’ve been told that a jacuzzi is a waste of money. They clog up, they break down and eventually you are just left with a rather smelly mess. Particularly, if you try to make one yourself. While I accept that premise, I haven’t given up. There are some great modifications you can buy for the bottom of a bath. That way, you save on space, and you still get some bubbles when you bathe. It’s really the best of both worlds. Aside from that I’m also looking at some jets you can install in the shower that look awesome.

Step 5: Add Some Accessories

My final step? That would be to go out and buy some home comforts. I’m talking about bath salts, candles, bubble bath, and soaps. If this is going to be my home haven I’m going to feel complete serenity when I bathe. I can’t wait to try it when the project is complete.

Decorating a Shared Bedroom – Colours and Ideas

I love playing around with interiors, though where we currently live has limited space; with just two bedrooms, my children have no option but to share.  At present, this isn’t a problem. They are five and six years old and spend relatively little time in their bedroom anyway.  At the moment, they have a cabin bed each, but we are redecorating at the end of the month and will be giving them bunk beds instead so we have more space for storage in the room. We have chosen this bed from Homebase as it can be separated into two single beds when we are eventually able to give them their own bedrooms. To go with the bed, we have two of these single mattresses, which are great value and super comfortable.244682_R_Z001

As the bed frame is white, I am looking for the rest of the furniture to also be white; I have bought white shelves for books and trinkets, ordered a white bookcase, and will be choosing two wardrobes and one large chest of drawers shortly.  With white furniture, I can afford to be a little more adventurous with the walls.  We are using Valspar paint probably in sea green colours to coordinate with their new blind.  The carpet will be a neutral colour with a brighter rug on top.  I particularly love the ranges available from Rug Mountain, and can imagine that this one would get lots of use from my little boy:


To add another splash of colour to the room, I would like to use these letters from Not On The High Street to spell “siblings” across the chest of drawers:


Where I am struggling is with lighting options.  There are so many to choose from but the majority are either typically girly or very boyish.  What I would like is a pale blue or green coloured shade, preferably without any images on.  If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to know!

I have seen a wall light that the boy would absolutely love.  I really do not think it will fit with the colour scheme of the room, but I may have to get it for him anyway!  He’s superhero-mad at the moment and this would make him so happy:


He will also need a shelf at the end of his bed to house his money boxes (he has quite a collection!) and other random stuff that he seems to collect out of nowhere.  Miss J will be getting the room’s built-in store cupboard to use as her den.  It currently has doors but these will be replaced by a beaded curtain for easier access and so she can safely spend time in there.  She loves her “secret space” beneath her cabin bed so this gives her the option to keep that privacy whilst giving me more options with the limited space on offer.  The boy will keep his train table in the room and house his huge vehicle collection in the storage drawer beneath the bunk bed.  We will probably keep the car mat too.  As for soft toy storage, I am not too sure.  The children both love their stuffed animals but I am not keen at all. They collect so much dust and are bulky, which makes it tricky to store them.  A shelf above their window may possible work to store some of them, and their favourites can stay at the end of their beds.  A white toy box would be lovely, if we have the space leftover.  Finally, I would like to create a photo wall behind their door – I have so many lovely photographs of them that sit on my hard drive and aren’t seen often enough.

I think that covers the majority of my ideas.  The colour scheme is clear in my mind and I am just really excited to get started now.



A Day At The Races

Great Yarmouth Racecourse is situated on the northern edge of Great Yarmouth only a few minutes walk from the beach. Great Yarmouth is one of the only racecourses in the country to feature a straight mile, making it an important racing venue in both trainer’s and spectator’s calendars.

The Great Yarmouth Racecourse has recently been modernised and now offers a three-storey grandstand, seven bars, a restaurant, extensive public lawns, two viewing grandstands and a fast food court with a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, which attracts serious race-goers and holidaymakers alike.


With a number of racing fixtures throughout the year, from Ladies evenings to Family Fun Days, it really is a great way to spend a day.

If you would like to spend a day at the races, then why not enter the competition being run by Greater Yarmouth Tourism for a holiday for up to 8 people staying at Haven Seashore in 2016 with no date restrictions. Not only is it a fantastic holiday but there are lots of attraction passes, including a Day At The Races.

Enter here:


Good luck!


Home Learning

I’m a big fan of home learning as a supplement to state education.  I wish I could say I was brave enough to try homeschooling but I think we all benefit too much from the respite school affords us to give it a go.  My ideal situation would be to have a mixture of both – one or two weekdays at home and the rest in school.  Obviously, I can see that this would be way too much of a headache for schools to ever actually be offered as an option, so I try to make the most of after school time, and school holidays, leaving weekends free for family fun.


I think one of the common misconceptions about learning at all, but especially at home (or in “free time”) is that it needs to be organised and produce results to be worth the effort.  Extra-curricular activities, handwriting practise, workbooks… these all have their place, but I truly believe that the best way to learn is by experimenting and playing. My children do participate in a number of after-school clubs but we have three afternoons a week free for other things.  Activities such as reading, playing board games, building with LEGO, dressing up, sensory play (moon sand, Gelli Baff, coloured rice), and small world play are all great learning opportunities without any of the pressure that comes with work-based learning.


Here are some more of my favourite home learning activities:

Beach school – beach combing and researching/describing/drawing finds; making collages from shells/seaweed; paddling; digging; making sandcastles with moats; running/jumping; exploring.

Forest school – climbing; tree-rubbing; leaf-collecting; bug safari; den-building; learning to build a fire (assisted); puddle-splashing; orienteering.

Art and craft activities – the only limit here is your imagination!

Science experiments – making butter; build your own volcano; Mentos and coke; grapes in the microwave; mug cakes.

Gardening – growing fruit and veg; identifying plants and flowers; building a bug hotel; digging/planting; learning about where food comes from; learning responsibility by being in charge of watering and feeding plants.

Baking – sourcing recipes; inventing recipes; writing the method (handwriting and spelling practise); weighing the ingredients (maths practise); buying the ingredients/working out the cost (budgeting practise/learning the value of money and how much things cost); independently baking a recipe (with adult supervision) to learn self-sufficiency and increase confidence.


Home learning really does take many forms and is, I believe, a hugely important part of any child’s education. Yes, your child may want to be a doctor, dentist or teacher (or a vet and a rockstar like my two!) when they grow up, but they have to start somewhere, and making learning fun is as good a foundation as any.