Monday, 4 December 2017

Christmas Jumper Round Up 2017 - Grown up edition

Christmas jumpers aren't just for the kiddies!  I LOVE getting my festive wear on all through December.

Links are included below pictures for your convenience, some of these are affiliate links.

For the ladies...


L-R: Sequin Star Jumper - £32, M&Co., Red Prosecco Jumper - £15, MatalanWake me up Jumper - £16, Asda

I love the sparkly stars from M&Co (who currently have 25% off and free delivery!) and that one can be worn all winter.  The others have sequins too because what's Christmas without some sparkle!?

And for the menfolk...

L-R: Penguin Jumper - £26, NextSanta Jumper - £18, MatalanSanta Beard - £30, Next

And for something a little different, why not get a personalised family sweatshirt from Ellie Ellie, a local Brighton based company?  I like this bauble design but they also have other options.


Obviously one of my absolute favourites is the Little Bird Fairisle Jumper from Mothercare because it comes in Mummy size too.  I like to occasionally match the twins to each other so for me to be able to join in too is fun and they love it!  I said before that this one is maternity but I find it fits fine as a baggy jumper (I bought XL) without the belly being too baggy as there's no ruching at the sides.  As it's Fairisle and not overly Christmas themed, it'll be great all winter too!


Friday, 1 December 2017

Santa at The Llama Park - review

Santa has arrived at The Llama Park in East Sussex and he is amazing, as he should be, because he's definitely the real deal, no Santa's helpers here.


We were invited along to Santa's Grotto at The Llama Park for the twins to meet Father Christmas himself on Sunday.  I wasn't sure how they'd take to him, having previously refused to even enter the same room, leaping into our arms and not even accepting presents from him (1-year-old Priya even threw her soft toy back at him on the train the first time they met him).  Luckily they seem to have gotten over it, a new understanding of presents may have something to do with it, they are now big fans!

As we entered Santa's Grotto, we found ourselves in a mystical forest with elves in the trees before we made our way into an igloo at the North Pole, surrounded by twinkling lights and with places to sit and draw.  By Santa's cabin, we were greeted by two friendly elves who invited the twins to write their Christmas wishes for Santa (we skipped that since they can't write yet), before we were taken in to meet the man himself.



Santa's cosy little cottage was beautifully decorated, he was surrounded by letters from children, his own little Christmas tree and decorations as well as his sacks of presents of course.


The twins were quite happy to stand and chat with him, cheerfully accepted their presents and said thank you.  Not so keen to stand next to him for a photo though but they did climb into his sleigh for a few pics afterwards.



They couldn't wait to open their presents!  Priya received a set of butterfly wings and Kalyan a dinosaur egg to hatch.  They also both received a book about Santa which we've been waiting for December to read to them, although Priya did take over in the grotto when K opened his!


I was really impressed with the grotto, it's so beautifully decorated and Santa is wonderful, he was great chatting with the kids and so patient with them, you can tell he loves children and enjoys talking with them.  The twins were so excited to go in and loved all the twinkling lights.  You can also see another one of my photos from Santa on this month's Uckfield Matters magazine out next week!

After we left the grotto we explored the Llama Park itself, finding Santa's reindeer, the play area with bouncy castle and playhouse as well as the shop and of course Llamas!




There are beautiful views across Ashdown Forest and some gorgeous Peruvian gifts in the shop, it's a lovely place to visit.


Family tickets for Santa's Grotto cost £38 for 2 adults and 2 children which includes entry to the Llama Park to see all the animals.

Santa is there every weekend from now until Christmas Eve and on weekdays from 11th December and you can call 01825 712 040 to reserve your Grotto visit and/or Christmas lunch.

We received free tickets to Santa's Grotto in return for this review.  As always, all reviews are our own honest opinion.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Christmas Films for kids & big kids ;)

I LOVE a Christmas movie.  I'm a big fan of Christmas and the time leading up to it and have done for years, even pre-twins.  Now that the kids are that bit older, I'm hoping there will be even more magic in it for them too and I'll be introducing them to some Christmas films this year now that they've finally succumbed to my brain-washing on Disney and other fab films.  Not really brain washing but they were never interested before and only wanted Bing (WHICH I HATE!) but I persevered and after an inital love of only "Froggy" (The Princess & the Frog), they now love Tangled,  "Monsters" (Inc.) - I adore it when Kalyan says Mike Wazowski - I NEED to get that on camera!

So here are some of my favourite Christmas themed films suitable for youngsters (not necessarily toddlers though).  Please tell me yours and which ones you would recommend for 3-year-olds!?


Home Alone of course, such a fun film with adventure, silliness, plenty of Christmas spirit and a bit of cheesy love stuff.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

SANTA!!!

On Sunday we met Santa at The Llama Park, he's the real deal.  I believe.

Full review of the experience to follow but here he is, in his beautiful, cosy cabin...


I'll be sharing more photos of Santa and his reindeer in our full review soon but one of my photos is exclusively gracing the cover of Uckfield Matters' December issue (I've seen a sneaky peek and I love it)!  Out early next week, look out for your copy filled with exciting local news, stories and events.  I'm looking forward to joining the writing team next year too!  :)

Monday, 27 November 2017

Preview from Laura Aziz - twin family session aged 3

It's that time of year again, when we invite the awesome talent that is Laura Aziz of baby, picture this, to hang out with us for a couple of hours (sneakily extended by me offering to pick her up half way so we could natter in the car!) while she makes beautiful art out of our lives.

She knows I've booked her every year until she retires and here's why...


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Into Mills 20% discount code

As promised to those of you who didn't win our recent giveaway of Into Mill's gorgeous mugs.  Sally has kindly offered Olive Dragonfly readers a whopping 20% off! 

Photos by www.bexphoto.com

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Mums The Word #WildChild Halloween Party - event review

This has taken me longer to write than I hoped but it's the busiest time of year for me with the twins birthday right before the lead up to Christmas, plus my day job has been extra busy and a bit stressful lately plus I'm working on getting bexphoto up and running properly so I'm wearing pretty thin at the moment!  I've also got my first radio chat with Jacqui at Uckfield FM this morning at 11:30!  You can listen in live on the website if you're not local, just follow the Uckfield FM link and click on LISTEN LIVE at the top of the page.  (There's a webcam too so I better get myself organised so I don't look a mess!)

Anyway, as well as being my most busy time of year, October onwards is also one of my favourite times!  I love Autumn, the light and the colours but especially Halloween!  As well as the twins' birthday party being a little early this year with a Halloween theme, we also attended a massive Halloween toddler/baby rave party near Tunbridge Wells at Salomon's Estate.  Run by Mums The Word Events, #Wild_Child parties are events designed just for little ones and their parents.  I first came across them at Joy Festival back in May where they held one in the woods with bubbles, dancing, crafts galore and generally a lot of colour and fun.  I was there without the twins but thought they'd love it so I was thrilled to be invited along to photograph and enjoy their Halloween event with the whole family after meeting the lovely sisters behind Mums the Word at a Mamas Meetup in Brighton (another one I've yet to write about as well as their Mamas Supper Club quiz which was a great laugh).


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Blackberry Farm birthday party

The twins were invited along to a birthday party at Blackberry Farm last weekend and had a great time (in between tantrums and clinging to me that is)!  It wasn't our party so I'm not going to "review" it but I will say it was awesome and the twins and all the other kids had so much fun!  I have permission from the Mum to share a few photos with you of her little boy's awesome day out with his friends.

We started off meeting by the cafe before all heading through to the petting area with rabbits and guinea pigs.  Most of the little ones were great, sitting down patiently waiting for their turn to hold or stroke the animals.  The twins were in a bit of a funny mood (possibly related to my stress dealing with a poorly timed tantrum as we left the house - all Priya's fault declaring that it was HER birthday and no one else could have any cake, setting Kalyan off crying and complaining to me that Priya said he couldn't have cake, me telling her it was Eliot's birthday and his cake to share triggering her meltdown - the joys!) so they didn't want to touch the animals and were pretty clingy with me so I didn't get many photos here as Daddy was at work so my camera was swiftly tucked away again.


Creamy Christmas Fudge recipe

I decided to re-post this old recipe without all of my old waffling (gosh I did used to go on about all sorts of random stuff in my blog posts back in the early days!), this one was from Dec 2011, my first married Christmas when I went all out with the festivities, it was so much fun!  This recipe was from the Hairy Biker's 12 days of Christmas recipe book which I love!

Ingredients:
150g butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
50g mixed dried fruit (I used cranberries, apricots and raisins)
3 balls of stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped
100ml dark spiced rum (e.g. Captain Morgan)
1 cinnamon stick 2 star anise
1 x 397g tin of evaporated milk
500g granulated sugar

Method:

Grease an 18cm square cake tin or 26x16cm tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.  Grease the parchment and set aside.

Put the dried fruit, ginger and rum in a small non-stick pan with the cinnamon and star anise. Bring the rum to the boil and cook until it has completely evaporated/absorbed by the fruit, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.


The twins 3rd birthday - Globalls at Brighton Marina - review

After a fun morning opening their presents on their birthday, we all got ready for our family day out in Brighton.  We gave Kalyan and Priya some options, including bowling or the cinema, and they chose dinosaurs so we went to Globalls Jurassic mini golf at Brighton Marina.  We'd never been to the Marina before but with lots of activities, free parking and loads of places to eat we thought it would be easy and fun.  

It was amazing, the Jurassic mini golf course already had the Christmas theme added with Santa and gingerbread men amongst the neon dinos.


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Hunting of the Snark with Eastbourne Theatres

We were invited along to Devonshire Park Theatre last week for the twins' first ever theatre trip to see The Hunting of the Snark, based on Lewis Carroll's poem.  The theatre was easy to get to and we managed to park right outside on the street (it's free after 6 but we were there in time for the show at 5pm so it was £2).


Sunday, 19 November 2017

Giveaway winner - Into Mills mug gift set

Thank you to all who entered our giveaway with Into Mills.  We are thrilled you all liked the mugs so much, I obviously chose a good set for you guys to win!  ;) 

Without further ado, the winner is.... @owlgatherround!  Congratulations Emily Clark, I hope you enjoy your new mug set!  Please get in touch with your address and I'll get the set in the post to you asap.

Everyone else, don't despair!  The lovely Sally from Into Mills is going to give me an exclusive discount code for all you lovely readers/followers in time for Christmas so watch this space!


I've also got another giveaway coming up with tickets for a family festival in Kent and I'm sooooo close to hitting 2k followers on Instagram so when I do, I'll see if I can cook up something special for you.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Guest Room makeover plans - Home Inspiration in East Sussex

This post contains some affiliate links.

Our spare room has been largely left since we moved in.  It's well used as Nik's parent currently stay over every Sunday night to look after the twins while I work on Mondays, or when my parents visit from Malaysia or any other guests like when Gems and Aldo come to visit (and on the odd occasion of snoring/illnesses meaning Nik or I use it)!

I made a little collage which shows a few products I like (some of which I've already bought).

Top L-R: Human print - £28 - Violet & Thistle, "Stiffkey Blue" Paint - £43.50 - Farrow & Ball, 
Archie Table Lamp - £49 - M&S, Zzz LED Lightbox - £27.50 - John Lewis
Bottom L-R: Hexagon Gold Mirror - £25 Oliver Bonas, Irving Bedside Table - £29 - Asda, 
Designer's Guild "Quill" Wallpaper in Cobalt - £59 - John Lewis, 3 Cactus Ornaments - £39 - Love Frankie

Sunday, 12 November 2017

GIVEAWAY! Mug gift set from Into Mills homewares in Lewes.

Just in time for Christmas, you could win a gorgeous colourful gift set of mugs worth £24.95 for a loved one (or keep it for yourself) from Into Mills!



Friday, 10 November 2017

Spiced Pear & Walnut Chutney recipe

I do love Kirstie's Crafty Christmas programme and this recipe featured in 2016 was one that caught my eye as something yummy which would go well with our Christmas cheese board as well as making nice little gifts.  I thought I'd post it now as it takes at least 1 month to mature so get cooking in time for Christmas!

On the programme last year was a chutney recipe by Angela Malik.  I previously made her chai spiced chocolate baked cheesecake from an old series.  Unfortunately I couldn't find her chutney recipe online anywhere and after rewinding and pausing the TV a few times, it seems they don't actually give you all of the information to make it!  Very annoying but I managed to figure out the main points and have made up the rest!  So here's my recipe inspired by Angela Malik, it's delicious!



Friday, 3 November 2017

The Framptons Tunbridge Wells, review by Bex

Mum and I enjoyed an afternoon out on our own on Wednesday as I'd taken the afternoon off following a staff meeting in the morning.  The twins were at the childminder for the day (making gorgeous glittery firework pictures) so we enjoyed an afternoon of freedom with lunch and shopping in Tunbridge Wells without worrying about children getting bored or hungry or potential meltdowns or naps!

I'd recently discovered new cafe/restaurant The Framptons in The Pantiles via Instagram and their food looked amazing, we'd tried to go before but couldn't get a table (and had hungry twins with us then) as we hadn't booked.  This time we were lucky and got to enjoy a delicious lunch which filled us up for an epic afternoon of shopping!

I had a latte when we got there and Mum had a cloudy cider while we perused the menu.  

Lots of things on their new winter menu sounded lovely but I was most excited to try The Pantiles Crumpet - Homemade crumpets topped with 14-hour oak & whisky smoked beef short rib, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and pickled shallots for £9.  I also ordered a glass of Malbec to have with it.


Thursday, 2 November 2017

New adventures with Uckfield FM!

I am delighted to announce that I have joined the team at Uckfield FM!  I will be doing a new monthly chat slot with Jacqui Rushton (who interviewed me last month about the blog).


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Raindrop cushion - Pin It Do It & Tutorial

Well, here's a post I started writing in November 2014.  I'm sure you can imagine why that was such a busy month (what with the twins being born!) and it never got finished.  But, we have the return of #pinitdoit, I was reminded to finish this one and I recently shared a pic of the cushion on Instagram too.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Toothy Tips - Sneaky Sugars

I started this Toothy Tips series with tooth brushing tips for toddlers and I've already been asked for advice about sugar and snacking.  It seems a good time to be posting this with it being Halloween today and Halloween often meaning lots of sweeties and treats!  As always, if you have any queries about teeth or sugars, consult your own dentist, these are just a few tips based on what we do with the twins and my knowledge as a dentist.

Priya adores cashews as a snack, especially in the woods.


Sunday, 29 October 2017

#wild_child Baby Rave near Tunbridge Wells

We went along to our first ever "Baby Rave" type event run by Mum's The Word today at Salomon's Estate near Tunbridge Wells and had an absolute blast!  Full review to follow but here are a few favourite pics from today :)



Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Toddler Christmas Jumper Round Up

I'm posting this already as I find the best ones often sell out quickly so get organised if you want some new festive clothing this December!  I've included links below pictures for your convenience, some of these are affiliate links.

I find Asda always have loads of choice and at very reasonable prices.  Next have some lovely ones too and I've also found some in Matalan, M&S and of course, Little Bird by Jools at Mothercare.

First off we have this gorgeous light up sweatshirt from George at Asda, I missed out on their similar one last year so I've already ordered some for the twins this year!


Monday, 23 October 2017

Twins' 3rd birthday Halloween food plans!

The most important foodie item at any children's birthday party is cake!  Of course, there will be two cakes as usual for the twins.  They're already excited this year about their cake and blowing out all their candles (we've been to a few parties recently).  They've both asked for carrot cake, I think because they remember Mummy's birthday cake at my BBQ in June which they loved and helped me blow out the candles on.  

I will of course be making said carrot cakes (although K has also mentioned chocolate cake) but need to somehow make them Halloweeny, I'm thinking this monsters will be easy enough and can be made with any kind of cake.  When I mentioned monster cakes to the kids and asked them their favourite colours, P insisted on red and K would like blue or purple.  (I've already bought the right Wilton nozzle for the furry one on the bottom!)



Sunday, 22 October 2017

Little Bird by Jools Christmas jumper twinning at Ashdown Forest

We went to Ashdown Forest this morning for a walk in the lovely sunshine and to take a few photos for a project with Coastal Kids Magazine's Christmas issue.  Here are a few of my favourite photos and look out for my Christmas Jumper round ups soon!  (Kiddie and grown up versions!)


My Sunday Photo - Picking Pumpkins at Sharnfold Farm

I have loads of photos from our trip to Sharnfold Farm yesterday to check out this year's pumpkin display but here are a couple of favourites for now.

We were lucky to get some dry spells and even sunshine amidst the squalls and gusts of wind but the twins loved it despite the weather!


Friday, 20 October 2017

Norman's Pond - Local places, hidden gem review

We first heard about Norman's pond from a friend and were then reminded of it at Maresfield Village Fete where they were promoting it's existence.  Last weekend we finally made it along for a walk and it's a great hidden gem!  Had I not been told about it I'd never have known it was there.  It's near the recycling centre by the Maresfield Bypass hidden away amongst the trees.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Twins' 3rd birthday Halloween party plans!

The twins are nearly three!  I know, how did this happen already?!  The last year has gone even faster than ever before and I'm back in full on party planning mode.  As I'm busier than ever these days with work, the blog and bexphoto (I've had to call in help on Baking Club and Book Club as I just can't cope!), I have decided to combine their birthday party and Halloween as I just can't manage two parties this year and yet don't want to miss out on a Halloween one, you know how much I love Halloween!

So, not only are we having a fancy dress Halloween party for their birthday, but we're also having it a couple of weeks early as that also coincides with when my Mum is in the country (to visit my brand new nephew who I'm heading up to meet after the party weekend).  I'm still leaving things a bit late as all I've managed to do so far is pin some ideas and book the awesome face painter we met at Wakehurst's Science Festival.  I've provisionally booked a hall (as I don't want 20+ toddlers smearing painted faces on my sofa/carpets/anything else) and have some ideas for activities and food but I really must get organised!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Food Rocks Lewes

I'd heard of Food Rocks as they ran the Weald on the Field food festival in Uckfield this summer and having met some of their usual vendors at Joy Festival, I heard about their regular food market in Horsham but I only recently realised they also run one in Lewes every 2nd Sunday of the month and it's obviously much closer for us!

We went along to check it out with the twins and weren't disappointed!  It was set up on the main pedestrianised area of the High Street and had plenty on offer to tempt us.  We are all big foodies in our family so we love to find new food markets and love street food in particular.  It's taking us a while to discover more variation in the food around where we live now.  It used to be so easy in Glasgow where we had SO much choice with new restaurants opening all the time and so many tastes covered.  In Uckfield we're lucky to have some great pubs offering good food plus we've got Italian covered, Chinese and now Thai.  Nik and I love Chaula's in Lewes for Indian food but we have missed having more variety.



Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Hempstead Park, Uckfield - local park review

Hempstead park is one of our favourites in Uckfield.  It's at the end of Hempstead Road, next to the Guide HQ, and has a car park right next to it which I've never had a problem parking in.  Again, it's got the usual things you'd expect - see-saw, swings, climbing frame (they actually have two - a little one and a bigger one), roundabout (again, two of these in different designs) but it also has a tunnel in a little hobbit hill with tree stumps to balance on, a webbed net climbing frame which also spins, a large webbed swing for multiple kids to swing together and a springy jeep and it's all enclosed and has spongy flooring covering most of it, although the bit by the jeep tends to get very muddy.  There's also a big green area next to it which has a very tall slide, a zip line, adult exercise machines and a big rotating swing set.  Kalyan loves to push me on the roundabout and make me feel dizzy!  

The following photos have all been taken over the last year but clearly on different days.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Parties Taylored 4 You

We were invited along to check out a toddler party run by Parties Taylored 4 you in Uckfield recently and the twins had a great time (once they got over being afraid of Spiderman!)

Parties Taylored 4 you organise various themed parties as well as offering personalised children's party services for birthdays or special occasions.  The event we went to was a fancy dress disco with crafts at Ridgewood Village Hall and there was so much for the twins to do!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

A Vogel herbal remedies - review

I was recently sent some A.Vogel products to test and although I tried out one right away, the other one had to wait until I needed it in order to give you my honest opinion on how it works.


The first one was the Bioforce herbal hand cream which has a yellowy tinge, presumably due to the herbs used, but smells quite nice.  I found it soaked in quite quickly and definitely made a difference to my hands.  I suffer from pompholyx eczema when I'm rundown and/or stressed which seems to be pretty much all the time lately!  As a result I need to keep my hands moisturised so this was ideal as it's a handy size to carry around as well as being gentle and not heavily scented.

The second item was the Po-Ho inhaler which contains essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, juniper, caraway and fennel.  I loved the smell of this as soon as it arrived and actually find it quite relaxing and as soon as Spider Season hit (OMG those blighters are huge this year!), so did the cold so I was able to test it out.  It is basically like the oils I've used before on a hanky or my pillow, a similar scent but in a handy lip balm sized inhaler you can pop in your pocket although it does also come as an oil.  It definitely seemed to work the same as other brands I've tried in the past and I found it very useful to keep on me when I was out with the kids and feeling bunged up.

I love essential oils (apparently peppermint oil keeps those spiders at bay too!) and have always liked herbal remedies like arnica cream for bruises so it's nice to have a couple more herbal treatments up my sleeve.  The A.Vogel products seem very high quality and they have a great philosophy with their Naturally Beautiful Promise: "Our beauty experts use fresh, active plant extracts to bring you luxurious skincare products. We make our products with love, care and respect for nature. Our beauty range is 100% vegetarian and we do not test on animals." 

Have you used any A.Vogel products before?  Do you have any herbal remedies you swear by?

Friday, 13 October 2017

Spiced Parsnip & Orange Cake Recipe - The return of Pin It Do It! #ODPIDI linky

Its back!  Pin It Do It was requested in my recent survey and I am delighted to bring it back.  I missed it myself and have PLENTY of inspirational pins to utilise and get off my boards to real life.

Original Pin

To make it easier for you to submit your own Pinterest inspired projects, I've added a linky to this post so you can just upload a link to your own post.  I will then choose one or two favourites to feature the following month.  We also have a badge to put on your post (and in your sidebar if you wish), just click on it to be taken to the HTML code you need to add it to your own blog.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Rose & Olive Tearooms in Uckfield - review by Bex

I've been wanting to check out Uckfield's beautiful new Tearooms, named after one of the owner's grandmothers, since they opened back in May but I only recently managed to visit.  It was worth the wait, such a beautiful venue for a relaxed catch up with a friend!


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Olive Dragonfly Relaunch

Hopefully you can tell I've been working on this here blog lately and I'm posting more regularly again.  It's true I lost my way a bit after moving 400 miles and the birth of the twins but over the last year, things have settled down, I've found my place, my tribe and I've found me again.  I'm loving being back doing more of what I love.


Now that the twins have started pre-school, I envisaged more time for the blog to really make it a success again and while I have managed to get readership back up to our previous levels, the blog itself is still not what I want it to be.  Unfortunately I'm far too ambitious and rather than having loads of spare time to spend on the blog now that I have two free mornings a week, I decided to launch a business so I've been super busy setting up bexphoto with a new website, building my client portfolio with some reduced rates for lovely friends and working on some marketing materials.  Things are going well and I am absolutely loving it but I love my blog too so I'm hoping to somehow balance my two favourite hobbies (and lets face it the photography ties in nicely with picture perfect blog posts) around my other part-time profession and first and foremost, being a mother to my two favourite toddlers.

The design for my first flyer.

And so, Olive Dragonfly, my 6 year old baby.  What plans are afoot.  Well, I am bringing back Pin It Do It by popular demand!  (This time for any PIDI submissions, I'm setting up a linky so you can just add your own and I'll choose favourites to feature the following month.)


I will be posting more regularly and in a planned fashion rather than ad hoc as it has been for the last 3 years.  I am hoping to focus it more in general as I have trouble describing what it is I actually write about.  I'm not sure anyone wants to read a blog about "um, all sorts of things, whatever takes my fancy".

There will continue to be guest posts about various home makeovers.  Namely Amy's gorgeous Pink House in Essex, hopefully we'll get some more updates of Roz's epic Glasgow mansion and we're soon to see the new addition of Gemma's stunning Victorian home in London as well as a 10 bedroom, Grade II Listed Sussex abode that I'm hoping to include which is being turned back into a country home after being five flats for a number of years.  And of course there's my own home which pales in comparison but I'm doing a few tweaks in at the moment (you may have seen a sneaky peek on my Instagram stories which I've only recently started to use and have fast become addicted to)!

I mean, seriously - HOW gorgeous!?

I'm hoping to include other guest writers too and have lined up another local Foodie Dad after Alan struggled to find time to write his recipes for us.  Stu will be joining in with some of his favourite recipes and I can assure you he is an epic cook!  (If you're reading this and think you have something to contribute too, please do drop me a line.)

There will be more Twin Updates again including Twin Togs (toddler fashion) although with a reduction in the sheer number of photos, I promise.  I'll also be adding the fun extra of our YouTube channel featuring our family days out or just cute/funny videos of the twins and possibly me rambling about various things.  There was only one reader who wasn't so keen on all things twin related, almost everyone else who took my survey wanted more twin stuff but hopefully with the return of more of everything else, there will be plenty to keep everyone interested.


I'll be writing more in my Toothy Tips series too which so many of you found helpful which is great news!  And I'm hoping to include more recipes again too.  There will still be the odd random post such as my TV binge watching habits and seasonal stuff like Halloween and Christmas decor/party ideas as well as any product reviews I think might interest you like Priya's fab Dinosaur and Rainbow dresses and any associated giveaways and/or discount codes.

There will continue to be local reviews of places to eat, festivals, events all featuring my photos as we love exploring and sharing everything we find going on in our amazing local area and these feature in my Uckfield News column.  As a result of my local posts, I'm also going to be interviewed on Uckfield FM about the blog this coming Thursday (12th Oct) at 11:30am which is simultaneously super exciting and nerve wracking!  You can listen/watch live on the Uckfield FM website too if you're not local.


I'll be adding an email subscription option so you can receive updates directly to your inbox and keep up with what's happening.  I've already created easy to navigate indexes for various topics such as recipes, Local Roasts, restaurant reviews and festivals so it should be easier to find certain posts and topics.  I'm still working on pages for Twin Life - twin specific posts (advice and life updates), Homes & Interiors, Travel, Fashion, Toddler Fashion, Pin It Do It and other tutorials and crafts.


In order to be a bit more consistent, my plans over a month will be to include:

Pin It Do It
Twin Togs
Recipes (from myself or Stu)
Local Roasts review
Local Park review (or other free local activity if I run out of parks!)
At least one Home related post (mine or one of the others)
Toothy Tips
Life/Twin Update

Bonus posts may include:

Personal posts
Parenting (how I deal with it)
Event & Restaurant reviews
Product reviews
Seasonal Inspiration
Photography update
Vlogs
Craft tutorials (for kids or grown ups)
My own fashion
Healthy Eating/Fitness posts (I need to get back on this)
Adventures/Travel

I can't promise when the proper relaunch is going to happen, as I mentioned, I'm still pretty busy with various other things, especially with the twin's 3rd birthday coming up (how?!!!) so I'm in party prep mode but I am beavering away in the background and hope to have the blog up to scratch asap!  Changes will probably continue to trickle in as I work away.  It's exciting and I can't wait to see how it all goes.  I hope you'll be along for the ride!

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