Thursday 30 September 2021

The Most Important Sights in London

Photo by Nicole Baster on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

London is a living blend of grandeur, history, style, and culture that becomes more and more enticing each year. Charming with royal parks, world-class free art galleries, and wooden-fronted pubs with delicious real beer. The ancient streets of London and the majestic architecture take you to the days of the past. Then, the illuminated signs of the West End theatres, designer shops, and the emerging innovative food space that is considered one of the world's premier choices bring you right up to date. Some of the best family hotels in London are a sight to behold too.

London is a place of diversity, with people from all over the world making up the population. Filled with British emblems, the ubiquitous presence of black cabs and with the towering limestone peaks of Parliament, London combines a colourful history and tradition with extreme creativity and true multiculturalism. Whether exploring one of the famous markets or relaxing in a lush park, you will see people from all over the world.

Culturally, London is unique, with its galleries and museums, some of which are the best in the world. Many of London's cultural attractions are free to enter and there is a great variety of attractions. From the Victoria and Albert Museum to the Natural History Museum to the Tate Modern to the London Transport Museum. There is something for everyone.

Everyone will have a different idea of what the premier sights are to visit when you're in London and many will go straight for the Royal sites like Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, but read on for three great places to visit that are rich in history and a joy to explore. 

Saturday 25 September 2021

10 Reasons to Fall in Love with York

Ten reasons why you need to plan a visit to York. It has something for everyone and is easily accessible.

In early August we were lucky enough to spend a weeks holiday staying at a friends house (a vicarage no less) on the outskirts of the city of York, which is the traditional county town of Yorkshire. I absolutely fell in love with the place and considering I no longer consider myself a townie, having lived in the countryside for the last eight years, I think this is a bit of a feat and therefore I wanted to share just a few of the reasons why I think York is a fabulous place to take a city break, or in fact, to set up home.

1.  There is so much history

The skyline is dominated by the 13th-century Gothic cathedral, York Minster. It is absolutely stunning with gorgeous stained glass and working bell towers. It seems to have been preserved really well and is humongous in stature, being the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. If you wish to view it as a tourist there is a charge, or you can go along and enjoy one of the daily services without having to pay. It is also quite fun that there is a walking ghost tour from outside the Minster each evening at 7.30pm. 

People meeting outside for the evening ghost tour

Sunday 19 September 2021

A Room fit for a Teenager with The Fine Bedding Company

{This is a review post - we received a duvet free of charge for the purpose of an honest review}

My twin girls are now 14 and boy are they growing up quickly. Both of them are absorbed by Tik Tok, Instagram and everything glamorous, shiny and modern. If we had infinite money I can just imagine what their bedrooms would look like, they'd be beautiful; but this is real life and we don't have loads of disposable income. So it is time to makeover the girl's bedrooms in a creative way.

Miss E has been asking for a double bed for a long time now, she even started to save up her own money to buy it herself but I was loath to waste a good single bed and thus we have held off. Then JJ's bed broke and was beyond repair so he happily had Miss E's bed base and a new mattress as he can't fit a double in his room and this left an opening for us to get a new double bed for Miss E. 

She knew exactly what she wanted and we shopped around and found a good double divan with drawers and pocket sprung mattress for an excellent price, so we were very pleased. Of course, she then needed some new bedding to go with it and luckily The Fine Bedding Company had been in touch with me about reviewing one of their duvets.

Friday 17 September 2021

Fantastic Steak at Flat Iron, Denmark Street, London

Review of our weekday evening meal at Flat Iron Denmark Street, London

Have you heard of the London based restaurant brand Flat Iron before? I hadn't until last month when they were recommended in a theatre group on FB. My family were heading up to London for my husbands birthday and after the theatre, I wanted something nice for us all to eat that wasn't going to cost the heart but that felt like a bit of a treat. Well, steak always feels like a treat but normally it costs a fair amount too. Not so with Flat Iron!

Monday 13 September 2021

8 Considerations when Planning to Move into a New Home

Eight essential areas to think about before you move into your new home. Planning now will make a difference when you move in.
Photo by Roselyn Tirado on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

Buying a new home is always exciting but it can be a little daunting too, as there are so many factors you need to think about and often new houses come with a to-do list as long as your arm. You probably chose your new home due to its location and/ or size but that doesn't always mean it is all ready for you to move into. 

So here are some pointers for a few areas to think through once you have secured your sale but prior to moving in -

1.  Insurance cover in place 

In England, once you have exchanged contracts the house is your responsibility to have insured, so make sure you have good building cover ready to go. You don't want anything to happen and then not to be covered, that would be the worst, incurring costs without ever having moved in. 

2.  Renovations

Does the layout of the house meet the needs of your family? Would it suit better if it had an open-plan downstairs, or do you need a small extension to convert into the granny flat? If you have the money available it may be easier to do these kinds of renovations before you move in and have all your belongings everywhere. Or maybe it would work to just move into the upstairs of your home whilst the downstairs is worked on. There are lots of possible solutions and it is definitely worth speaking to your architect or builder as they may offer solutions that have never even occurred to you. Remember they've probably seen and done it all before.  

3.  Decorating required?

What redecoration is needed and how quickly do you want to get it done? Plan out a timeline of when you'll be doing the decorating or do you want someone to come in for you? If you want someone else to do it seek quoted in good time as the best tradespeople get booked up well in advance. It might be worth leaving one of two rooms empty or with just boxes/ furniture in the middle covered with dust clothes so you can decorate before they get in the way and you don't have to be moving things unnecessarily. 

Sunday 5 September 2021

Embracing the Great Outdoors with Regatta Edgepoint Walking Boots

{This is a review post: we received the walking boots
free of charge in exchange for an honest review}

It's so important to me to get outside and to be amongst nature. I know that I am calmer, less anxious and more happy when I have spent time walking through the forests or exploring somewhere new. Getting out for a nice long walk also provides me with a great excuse to spend some time with my nearly 18-year-old son. I'm becoming very aware that I only have a year before he'll head off to university and I'll only see him occasionally. 

Today we headed out to Herstmonceux Castle which isn't too far from home but JJ has never been there before. I was excited as it was just the two of us and he had his new Regatta walking boots to wear in, before he heads off on a long hike next weekend. 

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Helping your Teenagers enjoy a trip to National Trust Beningborough Hall, York

Teenagers, they are a funny thing. In my experience, one minute they are still your little child, holding your hand and cuddling up to you on the sofa and then the next they want nothing to do with you and you are so embarrassing! Despite this, I actually love being a parent to teens and I find them great fun to be around. I've known from the start that my job as a parent wasn't to be their friend, it was to train and nurture them, so they grow up to be great human beings.

I know many parents have given up trying to get their hormonal teenagers to go out for the day with them, but I am persevering and as long as we have a nice treat in the cafe they tend to be quite tolerant and enjoy their time out with me.

Whilst we were on holiday in early August we headed to Beningborough Hall, a very nice National Trust site in York. I had the normal groans when I announced that we heading there, but they soon got into it and had a good time. 

I thought it would useful if I shared a few tips for getting your teens to enjoy going out and spending time with you. I tend to be quite relaxed with them, as I find the tighter I try to control the outing and their behaviour, the more they want to be contrary.

Give your teen space to be who they are. 

We're all different. We wouldn't expect our adult friends to like all the same things as us, so why would we expect it of our children? On the day we visited my twin teens were pretty tired and they both decided that some of the benches looked like good places to have a lie-down. Not something I'd do but they weren't hurting anyone, so why not?