Our 2015 Mini Break Wish List - Win a night with Travelodge

Sunday, 23 November 2014



Photo credit Pinterest

We have been quite fortunate this year to get away with our little ones on a few family mini breaks.  I do love a little break away, I love the planning, even the packing, both our little ones get really excited about going on an adventure and I do love a night or two in a hotel. It leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything, it also makes us all appreciate our home a little bit more.

I have already been putting together a bit of a wish list of places in the UK to visit in 2015, yes I know it should be all about Christmas right now, but I do love to plan our travels well in advance to get the best deal and also to have something to look forward to.

But money is a big factor and getting away does not come cheap, however there are ways to save on accommodation and next year we plan to use Travelodge for some of our city breaks as they have refurbished over five hundred of their hotels with a modern and contemporary feel and above all they are family friendly. So with that in mind I have put together a little wish list of some of the places we would like to visit next year.

Windsor - Legoland is a must for next year.  I am thinking a long weekend as I have always wanted to visit Windsor Castle and I have heard the shopping is good too.

Torquay, we love Devon and it has been a regular mini break for us over the last five years however we always tend to visit North Devon, next year we are heading South as super keen to explore the English  Riviera.

York - Keen to head up North as I have always wanted to visit York and Harrogate so hoping a long weekend, as shopping in both cities looks wonderful maybe My Mister and I will do this city break kiddy free??!

Newquay - I haven't been for such a  long time and Travelodge have a hotel  right on the sea front with some great places to visit close by and also it's a good base to visit so many lovely places in the area, Padstow, St Ives and  Eden Project are on the list.

Hastings - We love Sussex and had a lovely mini break in Brighton earlier this year and keen to visit more of the area, Hastings is another seaside town I have always wanted to visit, a good friend of mine stayed there in the half term and said it was lovely, with sweet cafes and shops it's definitely on the list for a long weekend.

To read more of my posts on holidays and mini breaks click here and I have put together a Pinterest board to keep our wish list of places to visit in the UK and further a field..



So where would you like to visit in 2015? You can win one night in a Travelodge of your choice by entering this competition I am hosting, entry details are below and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




This is a collaboration with Travelodge, but the content and opinions are my own.

Stills - A Weekly Collection

Sunday, 16 November 2014

I haven't managed this for ages.... So here is a collection of Stills from my week. If you want to see more from previous weeks you can click here

                                                          Seven Things,  Seven Photos,  Seven Days













1. A pretty window box I treated myself to a few weeks ago and its still going strong which is good for me as I am not very green fingered! 
2. Orders are coming through thick and fast now especially via My Not On The High Street Store which I am thankful for as I want to start Christmas shopping next week. 
3. Tilly is so reluctant to sit at the table with snacks!! A few testing times this week!
4. Reminding my little ones of a few meal time rules this week, especially trying to get George involved with helping to clear the table.
5. A charity shop find - such a lovely book with great illustrations on how to help our world, a wonderful find for 25p!
6. Reminding myself to do something I love every day, taking five minutes out for myself to sit and flick through a favourite interior book, paint my nails, put a face mask on, go to bed early with a hot chocolate just something little every day ............
7. This weeks masterpiece a sweet poppy painting by George x 

I hope you have had a lovely week. 
Cathy xo 

An exclusive discount from Starling Store

Sunday, 9 November 2014

I love to discover unique and independent on line stores so I was super happy when Nicola of Starling Store got in touch with me to introduce some new lines.

I simply love the look and feel of Nicola's store,  I think she has hand picked some beautiful items for her collections and here are a few of my favourites.













Starling Store is the perfect place to shop for something a bit different for your home, so if you are looking to treat yourself or start some Christmas shopping then I am happy to tell you I have an exclusive online discount of 15% off (excluding sale items) until Monday 17th November 2014 all you need to do is quote the code MYSWEETTHINGS15 at the checkout. 

Big thanks to Nicola for providing the discount and happy shopping everyone! 

Cathy xo


Our Happy Half Term

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

We were all ready for half term, George was exhausted and so ready for some time at home, Tilly just joined in with her brother asking 'when is half term mummy.....?'   I just felt like I needed them at home. The first half of the term after the summer holidays always feels like a long stretch. Like a lot of mums I am not a fan of the school run in the morning and I was feeling desperate to spend some time with the two of them without the rush of school and routine and I was also looking forward to my Mister taking a bit of time off work.

So the first few days we spent at home, colouring, playing, meeting friends, enjoying the autumn sunshine and the lack of routine.



John was off from Thursday so we took a drive out to Ragley Hall for some annual pumpkin carving, which is always great fun our little ones love it there.








On Friday we went to a good friends Halloween Party which the children loved and had great fun. I dressed up as a witch, but Tilly kept telling me ' you're a good witch mummy!'




Saturday, we headed to London for a few nights, it was rather a last minute trip but we really wanted the opportunity to see the poppies at the Tower Of London and we haven't been down for so long. We stayed at a Novotel hotel, we were made so welcome when we arrived and the lady on reception was very sweet with the children, which is always lovely as sometimes it's hard to find a nice hotel that accommodates little ones! Our room was great, lovely comfy beds and enough room for us all.





So after settling into our room we had a little wander down to see the poppies, the crowds were immense, it was so hard to get a good view and photos but it was breathtaking, it made me feel really emotional, I am so glad we got to see them. You can follow this link to read more about this major art installation at the Tower Of London and watch a short video.  If you do get the opportunity the poppies will be there until the 11th November 2014 it is so worth the visit, truly amazing to see.







On Sunday we also did the typical tourist thing and took advantage of The Big Bus London Tour, because the weather wasn't great we got to stay dry and see the major sights from the bus and listen to the guide who was great and really informative, I learnt a lot about London even with a wriggly toddler on my lap!




Unfortunately it was raining when we got to Buckingham Palace, Tilly and George were most disappointed the Queen didn't pop out to say hello, they kept asking where she was!!



Next stop was Hamleys which to be honest I found a bit over whelming and I couldn't wait to get out!!



But we did get to see some pretty impressive lego. But as you can see I think even the kids were a bit over whelmed too!! We managed to escape with just two purchases some lego for George and a Princess Peppa for Tilly!


Next stop was brunch in a lovely restaurant just off Regents Street we were so ready for a sit down!





The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying a walk down South Bank, we sat and watched the London Eye and paid a ridiculous price for a cup of tea!! As you can see from the photos the weather still wasn't great but it didn't matter we still loved seeing all the sights.







We took a river boat cruise tour back down the Thames to Tower Bridge, by that point Tilly was absolutely exhausted and fell asleep in Johns arms, she didn't even wake when we got off the boat and poor John had to carry a dead weight all the way back to the hotel, she then woke up as bright as a button just as we had ordered a glass of wine from the bar!!

On Monday the plan was to take them to The Natural History Museum but the queue was ridiculous, it was also raining again! So we headed to Knightsbridge, luck was upon us and we managed to park and headed to the Disney Cafe in Harrods for lunch which was very over priced but the staff were lovely with the children and they really enjoyed it.





We then met up with a friend in Notting Hill for coffee which was lovely and then the long journey home, I don't think it matters what time you leave London the traffic is always crazy!!So all in all it was a great few days in the Big Smoke, I was a little nervous about taking the little ones but they were great, they both get so excited about little breaks away and being in a big city didn't phase them at all, so it has inspired me to book more city breaks with them next year.

So all in all its been a great half term, a busy one and George is ready to go back, there has been quite a lot of squabbling and whinging this afternoon, I think they are starting to get on each other nerves now!! I am pretty tired and ready for some time to myself again but completely happy they have had fun and we have enjoyed some much needed quality family time.

If you have been off with your little ones what have you been up to?

Thanks for reading.

Cathy xox

Linking up with Hannah from Make Do And Push The Week That Was Captured.




A quick hello & our afternoon exploring Wyre Forest

Monday, 20 October 2014

Oh my its been a month since my last post, I am not doing very well with keeping up with regular posts. I am not going to lie I think I lost my mojo a little, I find it hard to blog in the evening as often I have orders to pack, there are other chores or I just simply flake out!! So here is a little update on what we have been up to.

Well,my little Tilly has been a bit of a handful, oh yes terrible tantrums and melt downs. I keep telling myself it will get easier but my goodness she has been testing lately.On the plus side we have been potty training  which apart from a few accidents she has got over that milestone, I am so proud of her, she has been a super star at adapting to it so fingers crossed it will continue to go well. I am relieved as I was not looking forward to it at all and I am so happy I am no longer changing nappies, yay!

George is absolutely loving his new school and everything it has to offer, he is enjoying a few after school activities and started rugby which he loves. He is doing so well with his swimming and his reading and writing has come on a bundle, he came home with two certificates last week, I am so proud of him.




We had a lovely family  afternoon a few weekends ago at Wyre Forest and enjoyed the Gruffalo Trail.


Great play area for the little ones.





They had so much fun exploring.


And they found him fast asleep!



After exploring in the woods we were ready for our tea and cake.



The forest cafe was lovely and we really enjoyed the  woodland area. I am  looking forward to visiting again soon, I would definitely recommend a visit as there was lots to do for all ages or you can check out other Gruffalo trails here

I do love to get outdoors with the little uns, we are lucky where we live with lots of wonderful places to explore. I am busy planning for half term and looking forward to lots of day trips and pumpkin carving! Hope you have a great week and as always thanks for stopping by,

Much love
Cathy xo


House Love

Sunday, 21 September 2014




Since my little ones have gone back to school and nursery, I have been able to spend a bit more time at home just pottering, which has been really rather lovely.

I have managed to grab a bit of time to enjoy my interior books,  I love nothing more than grabbing a quick cuppa and flicking through some of my favourites.




I have been updating my Pinterest board which has given me lots of inspiration, I am so happy our bedroom makeover  has almost come together. I also have a few ideas for some more changes around the home. I can't wait to make a start on George's room and plan to make a start pinning to have all my ideas in one space. For now here is a snapshot of my house love board which I will be adding too.

Follow Cathy's board House Love on Pinterest.

I have also had some time to clear out the clutter which always makes me feel better, I feel like I can focus and enjoy our home more when its a little more in order!

So have you been enjoying your home this September?  If you have a Pinterest page feel free to share.

Thanks for reading

Cathy xo

Bedroom makeover update

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


 
 
Slowly but surely I feel like our little bedroom makeover is coming together. I really wanted to make this room feel less cluttered and calm so we repainted all the walls in a chalk white homebase paint. We have invested in a new king size bed, best thing we ever did especially when we need to make room for little visitors who want cuddles!!
 
We went for a matress topper for extra comfort and upgraded all our bed linen with a 100% cotton hotel quality range, I shopped around a lot for this, I do love the White Company but their prices are out of my reach, so I went to my local Home Sense and picked up some real bargains. I have to say having luxury bed linen does make a real difference. My main aim was to go for a boutique hotel style bed and I have to say I love getting to bed even more now and when we are not woken by little ones we both really sleep well! I also went for a white throw over the bed to give it a lovely finish, I am a huge fan of throws as it just gives the bed a finishing touch and also because I am lazy and I don't iron duvet covers so the throw saves me from looking at chreased sheets!
 
In terms of looking after the bed linen I always use Fairy as its soft and gentle and smells lovely too.
 
So our bed is sorted, we have started to add some more changes. We got some new curtains in a lovely pastel grey colour from Ikea they were a bargain and really good quality, the black and white cushion is also from Ikea.
 
 
 
 
Here are some other new accessories I have added to our room.
 
Picture wedge - Ikea
You've got style print - Tea & Kate website
Love my husband was a card to My Mister from - Not On The High Street
C & J letters are from England At Home
Dream banner was made up from a banner kit from - This Modern Life
You look lovely card - The People Shop
Varse - Junk shop find
 
 
 
 
The clothes sack which is really useful to put ironing in, is from my online store Simply Chic
 
I still have a few more finishing touches and here is my final wish list, some items have been ordered some I am still saving a few more pennies for!
 
 
 
 
Bedside Lamps - Habitat
 
 
 
Print - Tea & Kate
 
 
 
Wall Decal  - Etsy - Made Of Sundays
 
 
 
 
Radio - Amara (I wanted a pink radio My Mister wouldn't let me!)
 
So we are almost there! I am looking forward to putting the finishing touches together and I will take lots of photos to show you all. Next project -  George's room!
 
Cathy xo
  

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