Category Archives: Review

Since the kids broke up for the summer, we’ve driven over 1000 miles across the country visiting friends and family and I now consider myself something of a travel expert! Along with keeping the smalls happy on the journey, I have a system for packing the boot Krypton Factor styley and can fit an impressive amount of stuff in there. Pink Lining have asked me to share some of my top tips for travelling with your family.

pink lining-002As our family live a fair distance away, the children have been used to long drives in the car from early babyhood. When we can, we travel at night so that they’ll (hopefully) sleep for most of the journey, all cosy in their onesies (best things EVER – totally recommend them!) but obviously, this isn’t always possible. We make sure they don’t travel on an empty belly and I always make sure they have water and dry snacks for the journey (raisins were banned a few years back – wayyy too sticky). Hangry kids in a car isn’t fun for anybody! Hate to say it, but the iPad is a lifesaver for us, we load it up with kids films and their favourite apps and bring it out when they start to get bored. I’ve brought colouring books and crayons along before and for us, they’re a bit of a nightmare! The crayons end up everywhere and they lose interest so quickly. They much prefer bringing along some small toys and their teddies and chatting to us.

pink lining-001I try and pack as few clothes as I can so I’m a big fan of a capsule wardrobe – greens and blues for him, pinks and blues for her, a couple of dresses/smart tops, a jumper each, one pair of shoes/Converse, sandals that go with anything and some long sleeves and jeans, just incase. I always wash stuff when I’m there too, this year we’re staying with family but when we go away we’re usually self catering or we’ve stayed in a hotel that provides a laundry service (I checked in advance!). I leave the things we need first until last (wash bag, nightclothes, chargers – priorities!) and pack them on top so that I can open the case once we’re there and get what I need out and leave the rest until later if I need to. The children pack their toys and whatever else they want in their own bags, I pack their books in the suitcase so they’re not weighed down. We have a small child’s suitcase but one of us ends up carrying it and it takes up too much room so their own bag is a much better solution and means I can fit more in my own bag. When we’ve travelled abroad, I’ve packed a change of clothes, too. We’ve been abroad once as a family of 4, when our youngest was a baby. The experience has scarred us for life, which is why we haven’t been on a plane since. Just kidding! We went to France and both children were sick on the plane (while the seatbelt sign was on – horrendous!). Luckily I had spare clothes for us all because I’m paranoid that our luggage will go missing. You never know! I was SO GLAD that my “crazy overpacking” meant that I had a clean t-shirt! I go for soft clothes to travel in, they roll up easily and I dress them in something bright too so they’re easy to spot in a crowd (I do this for days out too!). Obviously I didn’t have to worry on that holiday about the littlest wandering off – she was only 3 months old at the time.

I’m a big fan of buying what you need when you get there, especially when it comes to things like nappies. I’ll take enough for a day or two and then stock up once I’m there. Same goes for things like travel cots, I’d hire one there rather than take mine along (not that they even slept in it!). We’ve hired pushchairs before too but I’d much rather take ours along so that I have it in the airport as that was when I wanted it the most.

Pink Lining very kindly sent Bevan one of the backpacks from their children’s range. I knew they made the Yummy Mummy bags that my friends love but didn’t know they made goodies for kids until now. The colours are lovely and bright (easy to spot), it’s wipeable (genius) and the straps are thick and padded, just what you need for little shoulders. He has managed to fit an impressive amount of stuff in there so it would seem it has Mary Poppins qualities, too.

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This post is in partnership with The Natural Curtain Company

As soon as we saw our house, my husband just knew “this is the one!”. I took a little more convincing but the roll top bath and the view from the garden did it. We swapped our London maisonette with a view into the flat across the street for a view of the Bedfordshire countryside and the sight of it still makes me smile 9 years later, especially during golden hour when the sun shines through the trees. I love looking out onto a field of fresh snow or seeing it all golden in the autumn but my absolute favourite time of year has to be spring when the rapeseed is out and it’s the most glorious shade of yellow.  When we extended the downstairs, we decided to have the living room on a split level to really make the most of the view and we added bifold doors that we’d seen on Grand Designs in place of a window so we could open them up in summer and feel like we were outside. We didn’t put curtains up because we thought it would change that feeling when you opened up the doors but now we have them I wonder what we were thinking! They finish the room off beautifully and with a lick of paint, the room has been transformed and it has a lovely feel to it now.

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frame my view-004We chose Snowcap curtains from The Natural Curtain Company‘s ready made collection. I really loved the Azure print, I love all the shades of blue and I think they’d have looked great in that window against all the green but it wouldn’t match our sofas so we went for something simple and I’m really pleased with our choice and that they had curtains that were big enough! I know it’ll be so nice and cosy in here in the winter with the curtains closed and the room filled with tealights.

frame my view-003 I asked some friends on Facebook to send over the view from their window and they sent photos from all across the country and the globe! I absolutely loved seeing what they were looking at from their windows and a few have left me feeling a little green, I must admit!

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I’ve also been sharing beautiful views and windows on my Pinterest board (I’m shutterflies_uk over there if you’d like to follow).

Follow Hayley’s board Frame My View on Pinterest.

Pinning beautiful views is terribly addictive but it also made me think that there’s this amazing and beautiful world out there that I haven’t seen nearly enough of. I’m filled with wanderlust and would maybe swap the field and woods for somewhere near the water. Or Paris. How I long to go to Paris and drink my morning coffee with a view of the Eiffel Tower. What view would you like to wake up to?

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To celebrate Samsung’s new Galaxy K Zoom smartphone, Samsung have launched 100 days of family which we’re so happy to be joining in with! I do love a gadget and I love using different mediums to snap our family so I was very happy about being sent one to try out. For us, the summer holidays are all about spending time with friends & family and we’re really excited that Samsung are sending us to Alton Towers in a couple of weeks so we can capture some great family memories. The K Zoom has an impressive camera and is the first phone to feature a moveable zoom lens so I was really expecting it to be huge but it’s not much bigger than an iPhone. I really love some of the features and modes, especially the virtual tour! As soon as the chaos of decorating is over, expect to see a house tour!

In the meantime, a few snaps from the last few days. I’m still getting used to having a zoom lens, all my lenses are a fixed focal length so it’s a bit of a novelty for me!

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Thanks to Samsung for sending me a Galaxy K Zoom to use to capture our summer family adventures.