Tuesday, 2 October 2018

5 great days out for your next school trip

Learning outside of the classroom is vital for children as they can get hands-on with real world challenges, lessons and ideas. I love it when the children come back from a school trip, as you can guarantee they’re enthusiastic, motivated and ready to learn more about the subject. Hopefully these ideas will inspire your next trip, so come back and tell us how it went, if you choose any!
The Making of Harry Potter
Inspire your class with the secrets behind the films, with Warner Brothers Studio Tours of the Making of Harry Potter. Not only will your children receive a one-hour lesson taught and planned by teachers in the onsite classroom, but they’ll also have the chance to fly their own broomstick! Unlock their creativity with this unforgettable experience and bring the magic to life. The day is part of a cross-curriculum education programme, meeting learning objectives across the Key Stages. You’ll receive resources to use before and after the trip, documenting everything from the arts and props used in the films, to the special effects and technology.
Harry Potter Diagon Alley

Stratford-upon-Avon
Home to history's greatest playwright, this quaint town is guaranteed to spark interest in William Shakespeare’s work. Take a trip up the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Tower and see for miles around, before exploring the town and all its hidden alleys and charming attractions. Then, enjoy an atmospheric backstage tour of the theatre, where the stories and legends are bound to captivate the entire class. Finally, settle down for a production and show your class the mastery of the Bard. His plays were written to be performed, not read and seeing them on-stage truly brings the stories to life.

Science Museum
Give your class a hands-on approach to science and all the wondrous things it contains. From deepest, darkest space to practical everyday experiments, the Science Museum inspires learning at any age. With specific itineraries depending on your Key Stage, you and your entire class will love the interactivity and immersion. Plus, there are plenty of shows and demos throughout.
astronaut


Local farms
Do some investigating and see whether your local farms – or maybe ones further afield – offer school trips. Getting out into nature and learning where food comes from is a vital part of a child’s education. Farmers have a huge wealth of knowledge to share and whether they’re helping your class identify birds and butterflies or showing them new-born lambs, every child is guaranteed to have a wonderful day. Places like Odds Farm and Countryfile’s Cotswold Farm Park are specifically designed for visiting schools. They’re the perfect place to introduce your class to everything from soil and erosion to caring for animals.
Autumn farm pumpkins


Imperial War Museum
Let your class relive history at the incredible Imperial War Museum. From evaluating sources on the spot to meeting veterans and evacuees, you can take your textbook learnings and transform them into reality. Depending on the tour you book, your class can speak to people who were alive during the periods of history you’re studying, giving them real insight to what they’re learning about.
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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Simple interior tips for your home

Interior tips


Sometimes a space is just in need of a little refreshment. There’s nothing like the start of a new school year to inspire you to wipe the slate clean and inject some fashionable freshness into your interiors scheme - I always feel more like it’s a new year at this time in September than I do on December 31st!

In the spirit of newness (but keeping things to a tight budget), I’ve compiled some super simple ways to add a touch of luxury and transform every room in your house this season.

Bedroom

There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to leave you feeling fresh, revived and ready for anything. And as the days get shorter and the nights darker, we’re going to need all the help we can get to feel energetic and in high spirits! I always find that I sleep better if my bedroom is neat, tidy, and just a bit zen. On my peruse for ways to improve my boudoir, I came across this stunning velvet headboard and must admit, it’s shot straight to the top of my wish list. Grand, glamorous and undeniably gorgeous (plus in this season’s on-trend emerald green shade), it is a simple way to instantly change the look of a plain bedroom and adds instant luxury to getting a good night’s kip.

Living Room

If investing in a piece of statement furniture is looking like too much hard work (not to mention money!) then adding some chic living room accessories to your space is the answer. Beautifully soft blankets and throws add comfort and texture to your sofa or armchair and are ideal as the weather starts to turn - there’s nothing nicer than getting snuggly under a woolly throw with a cup of tea and a good book.
Sofa with throw



Kitchen

If your kitchen or dining room is looking a little lacklustre, why not do as the Portuguese do and invest in some colourful tiles to brighten up your space? I am obsessed with the Lisbon way of interior decorating - when in doubt, add tiles! These beautiful Casablanca Mix tiles show off various eye-catching designs inspired by Morocco and are sure to cheer up a quiet corner in your kitchen immediately.

Moroccan tiles

Bathroom

You can’t have failed to notice the trend for round rose-gold or copper mirrors exploding on the interior design front recently. I love the Art Deco feel of rounded mirrors, and they also have something pleasingly nautical about them too, making them absolutely perfect for the bathroom. Adding one of these to your washroom will instantly transform it into somewhere far more luxurious. Paired with vintage-esque tiles, there’s no better bathroom combination and this one from H&M is an absolute bargain.
Large round bathroom mirror
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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Blog room update - bees and birds

I have mentioned last month about my new blogging room and how it is coming together. I want it to be full of curiosities and vintage items, old prints, interesting things that I come across in charity shops, auctions or junk shops and stalls. It's coming together slowly I feel, I'm so imapatient and want it full of shelves like a museum right now. I want the room to have some new too since I can't take away my love for plastic unicorn lights and fluffy pens.

 The latest addition is just what I needed, a mirror for sorting out my hair or putting some lip gloss on and also throwing some extra light into the room, I love candles flickering seen in a mirror too on a autumn day. And so I found this super bee printed mirror from Red Candy which ticks my vintage nature inspired items box too. It's a good size for the room, the mirror is approximately 42x30cm and the design is perfect for the Victoriana / museum look that will eventually knit together as I collect more items. You can see the lovely new lamp shade too, the swallow design and the mustard colour goes really well with the bee. The design of the mirror is simple, classy and vintage and would look equally as good in the hallway but for the moment I'm keeping it here.
Vintage bee mirror

This wall mounted shelf was from a local vintage shop and was found lurking outside by the main shop, my eyes spotted it straight away and I knew it would be perfect to showcase all kinds of things. As you can see below, it's ideal for my random trinkets accumulated over the years, Fisher Price vintage radio toy, a glass Christmas decoration or two, spiky pot plant, kitsch religious items and funky pink pineapple light and not forgetting a voodoo doll.
Blogging room display

Red Candy are such a cool company to source eclectic and exciting homeware items from so I had a further scout about the website to find items for the blogging room. Sweep wants an old school telephone and I love this grey and orange one. The candle, I've seen before, Pyropets, they burn down to leave the metal skeleton inside so that fits in with the spooky home vibe. Also anything school or sciencey related so the apothecary jar and conical flask to pop a succulent into would look great. Finally a bird skull jewellery holder which I would just use for display as I'm not a blingy person but it would go with the actual seagull skulls we picked up on the beach recently and I can't resist a fox in clothes and this autumnal one could have my blogging cake on it or actually it would look gorgeous on display too.

Currently I am adding to the room with Halloween items, it's the best time of year to sort out the decor for an all year round spooky home....more of this to come soon.....
Red Candy items

*Collaborative post

Friday, 7 September 2018

Happy Boo Day

Happy 1st birthday Boo
Or Boo Pumpkin as your full name is.
Or the other names you get called like Bookin, schnabbing thing, Booky-boo, Boosaphine, ginger shedder.

August saw one year of our Boo bear, feisty orangeyness, shoe thief, toy snatching jealous paws, bouncy as a tigger, bed burrowing duvet cave sleeping dog, a cosy hot waterbootle.

So we had a little doggy party.
boo dog's 1st birthday

From little pumpkin cupcake of gorgeousness to lion pawed sausage dog impersonator. Furrowed brow and ears that make her head look square when she is alert.
Boo as a puppy

Such fun you bring Boo and you are adored. Some mishaps over the year like your tendency to break out into hives, the slicing of your leg requiring stitches and getting out onto the road. Oh and burning your ear on a candle (not the cake candle) or so we think that's what you did. Your energy gets you into trouble, jumping onto the worktop and stealing food, bouncing around the house, tearing aound with your doggy sister and new brother. We've had training together where you started as the unruly pupil but you learnt to work well with me and won the trainers' hearts. You may have slipped into bad habits again but we love you so much.

Happy 1st birthday wonderful Boo!
Boo 1 year

Cone head dog Puppy sleeping pup in a bow

Monday, 3 September 2018

Family garden adventuring

After moving this year I have a new garden to work with and turn into a family space, for both adults and children, namely my 8 year old who loves the outdoors. I don't want to lose his interest in nature, mucky hands and bugs so next year me and the OH (Sweep) are going to put some plans together to create a new garden from scratch. Up until now the front area of the house was just paving stones with a few planters but over the summer I created a container garden full of herbaceous perennials to attract the bees and the hoverflies, my son loves nature as we do too. But how to add areas for children to burn off energy yet keep the garden looking lovely and keeping it safe too. I have a few ideas for the elements we are considering that will offer solutions to keep all of us happy. 


Choose non poisonous plants
Do a little homework around safe plants as many are surprisingly poisonous. Foxgloves can prove fatal if ingested, delphiniums are also toxic and other plants may cause skin irritations such as euphorbia. Check out safe plants with the RHS. Many seed companies have a children's growing range, fun to grow, educational and safe options such as calendula, sunflowers and snapdragons. We have dogs too so it is important that no accidents happen with leaves or flowers being munched. I'm going to remove the foxgloves to the flower bed outside and make sure that the flowers within the garden are nothing too nasty. Look out for anything too thorny and prickly too for small hands and paws. 
happy garden dog



Play equipment
My boy needs some interesting outdoor play equipment to exercise and engage his imagination. I've been looking at the inspiring range from Wickey, a family run business who make wonderful wooden climbing frames, play houses, sandpits and more. The range is immense, different types of climbing frames, castles, seaside huts, space rockets that you can choose the colour of the slide and the tarpaulin to suit your garden which I think is a great way to choose equipment that compliments the home and garden. The website allows you to change colours to see what it will look like. Then there are tons of accessories from ship's wheels to climbing holds for little feet. I really love the playhouses with their cute chimneys (my Sweep will love that feature), they look like something from a fairytale and will delight the imagination of any child (and parents too) and will complete the look of a garden. I'd add swathes of wild flowers around them or tubs of pretty annual flowers. It's great for children to be encouraged to get outside and play, stimulating the senses and helping with motor and coordination skills but also great to have a pretty garden so these wooden climbing frames give an organic look amongst your flowers, shrubs and trees. There are different sizes, designs, all full of activities to climb, slide and swing from. I think even our dogs would love to whizz down the slide.
Wickey climbing frames



Creativity
We are also looking to add some creative areas of the garden. Even though it is relatively small, we are going to section the garden into different rooms so one area will have a seaside element where we add plants such as pink sea thrift and keep little displays of the shells, pebbles and even seagull skulls that we have found whilst beach combing on holiday. We have been around a lot of village open garden this year for inspiration and found some interesting use of found objects on our travels, dolls set into walls, vintage garden tools, skulls and other peculiar items set amongst the flowers. I like creating pockets of areas with different themes, as we like collecting things and I hope they add to my son's sensory and imaginative play. He is very tactile and enjoys discovering so shells and bones add to exploration.
skulls in a garden


Wild areas
We love wildlife too and have greatly enjoyed attracting lots of different species of hoverfly, bees and some butterflies. From just a few planters, we added more and more to create borders of containers, swapping them around and adding new ones all the time for extra colour. Next year Sweep is making a bird table to encourage them into the garden. We were lucky to have swifts nesting in the eaves this year, then soaring each evening, squealing as the sun started to set. Blackbirds made a nest in an old rake propped up in a recess and the wood pigeon was our cherry blossom tree resident although sadly with no success. A wild flower patch and log pile would be great too for other insects and perhaps the village hedgehog that we have called Chippy because we always see him/her by the chip shop. It's a rural area so I'm hoping that we get lots of wildlife venturing into the garden. 

With the limited space it will be tricky at times to accommodate all our needs but with some clever planning and using all the nooks and crannies, I'm confident that I can show you my ideal garden next year that is also a super play space for a young boy.
courtyard garden





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