Plastic Poppies: A Remembrance Day Craft

It used to be that all Remembrance Sunday or Remembrance Day poppies all looked the same. Occasionally you would get a handmade one, but they generally just followed the same uniform design. Then it seems the internet came along. The combination of sites and apps like Pinterest and Instagram seems to have coincided with more people making (and showing off) their own creations.

I’ve crocheted my own poppies before, but this time round I’m making plastic poppies as part of a piece of work that my WI is undertaking for a local event. I’ve set up a bit of a kitchen table production line to make plastic poppies which can be done very simply from plastic bottles. Here’s how.

What you need

How to make the poppies

Firstly, use the knife to carefully cut the bottom off a plastic drinks bottle. I suggest cutting just above any dimples on the base of the bottle. These give the finally poppy a bit more shape. The remaining part of the bottle can be recycled.

Plastic Poppies Remembrance Day Remembrance Sunday

Once you’re bottle bottoms are detached, use either the knife or sandpaper to remove any sharp edges. If you’re planning on doing this craft with children you might want to do everything with the knife before getting them involved.

Plastic Poppies Remembrance Day Remembrance Sunday

Paint the inside of the bottle bottoms with two (or more) coats of red acrylic paint. Experimentation told me that two was sufficient to give complete coverage, but you may need to do more depending on the plastic bottles you are using.

Once the red paint is dry, use either black paint or black sharpie to colour in the centre of the poppy. The texture of the original bottle may mean that one method works better than the other.

Plastic Poppies Remembrance Day Remembrance Sunday

And there you have it – plastic poppies, made from recycled drinks bottles. An easy, yet effective, Remembrance Day craft, that also makes use of plastic that might otherwise end up in landfill.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Pregnancy Diary – Week 17

After a week in which I hardly had time to think about being pregnant, week 17 has been the complete opposite. Loads of time to concentrate on the little one growing inside me and how it feels to be pregnant.

Aquanatal

Firstly , after a couple of weeks off I was finally able to go back to my weekly aquanatal class. I’ve gone back to exactly the same class that I did when pregnant with Little Miss C and Master C and it’s so so lovely to be back. A 45 minute long weekly class run by a midwife from the local hospital and it is just perfect. There’s so much I want to say about the benefits of aquanatal (and I will write that post very soon – especially since Zoggs have given me a couple of maternity swimsuits to review!) but as well as loving the woman who runs it, I just find it a perfect once a week treat to indulge in being pregnant.

Pregnancy Diary Zoggs Maternity swimming costume

It’s also great exercise (if hard work at times!) and wonderful to meet some other women who are expecting babies at similar times. It is a little strange going back as so much has changed since I was last there six years ago. But at the same time it’s nice to also have a bit of a link to my past pregnancies too.

Midwife Appointment

Also this week I had my 16 week midwife appointment down at the doctors surgery. My maternity care has been a bit all over the place so far this pregnancy. Having moved house I had to register with a new doctors practice, and I chose one based on having a community midwife attached to it so that I don’t have to go to the hospital (and pay for their parking) every appointment. They got my notes transferred over and booked me in for a first appointment and there were no problems. At this they organised for the midwife to come to me at home for the booking appointment, but unfortunately a family bereavement meant she had to cancel and then the appointment was picked up by someone else a week later. All fine. These things happen I thought.

That booking appointment all went fine – despite struggling to take blood samples from me – and I was then booked in for the 16 week appointment (in week 17 to avoid having to take the kids with me during half term). To be honest though I’m not really all that sure what the purpose of the appointment was. Yes my blood pressure was taken and a urine sample tested for signs of protein, but that was pretty much it. She looked at my blood test results and told me they were all ok. She also told me to go and book myself in for a whooping cough jab with the nurse, but that was it. No listening to baby’s heartbeat. No asking how I was even.

I left feeling a bit surprised and I guess let down. Pregnancy always comes with a few worries, so I was hoping to at least be measured and his or her heart listened to just to know that everything was OK in there. For our own peace of mind we’ve bought a doppler online, but I’d much rather have had a professional just tell me if you see what I mean.

I have my 20 week scan to look forward to, and she told me that they will finally listen to the heartbeat at the week 25 appointment. Both of those just seem so far away right now.

Tots 100

Pregnancy Diary Tots 100 Round up

My final bit of baby related news for the week is that I’m delighted to be the new Tots 100 Pregnancy Round Up Editor. As I’ve said before, being pregnant feels so different this time round. I’m also realising how much I’ve forgotten over the last 6 years so reading pregnancy blogs has filled a bit of a gap in my knowledge. I’m really looking forward to following other blogger’s pregnancy journeys, and continuing to pick up all the things I’ve forgotten from them all!

Being Mum

Pregnancy Diary Unicorn Cake

And in-between all that baby-related activity the week has really just been all about being a mum to my other two. Lots of taxi driving services for swimming lessons and Cubs, as well as a very important 8th birthday to prepare for. I somehow managed to pull off making her the much wanted unicorn cake. Not totally sure I would have succeeded had it not been for B suddenly revealing amazing cake decorating skills that I didn’t know he had! Look out for a “how to” post coming very soon.

Pregnancy Diary – Week 16

I’ve been meaning to start my third pregnancy diary ever since I first got those blue lines back in March. But the thing that I’m quickly discovering is that when you get to a third pregnancy you don’t really have much time to think about being pregnant!

Week 16 coincided with half term. And also a trip to Rotterdam with Bonn to attend a blogging conference. Not exactly time to stop and put my feet up.

Rotterdam was amazing fun, but the trip really made me realise just how much I need to listen to my body and slow down a bit.

We took a bit of a roundabout route to get to Rotterdam. We were late to sort flights so instead decided to take the ferry and save money. I’m so glad we did as it was so much more relaxed than flying. I liked being able to get on when we were ready and having a cabin to retreat to. Sleeping in bunk beds was absolutely fine although the early morning arrivals did mean daytime naps were necessary. I’m a huge fan of ferry travel though and there will be a post and video about the journey very soon over on Penny Travels.

For the conference itself I really realised the benefit of a good comfortable seat. My back was killing me at the end of some of the sessions. I also quickly discovered that whilst The Netherlands are fantastic for the availability of non-alcoholic beer, they don’t have much by way of decaffeinated tea or coffee. Luckily those handbag supplies of decaf Yorkshire Tea was very much appreciated!

One of the best things we did was buy travel card equivalents for the tram network. It meant that we could just jump on the tram for short journeys which was so invaluable with it being about 28 degrees most days. Our days were quick packed with the conference schedule but we still squeezed in a spot of sightseeing between the naps and talks!

Pregnancy Diary Rotterdam

When we got back from Rotterdam my kids and step-daughter came to stay for the rest of half term. My mum also came for the last weekend, although a full house meant she stayed in the hotel at the end of the road! It was lovely having a long chunk of time with the kids, but boy did it make me miss them when they went back to school and their Dad’s on Monday.

It was also so much help having Mum to stay. Things like the washing up and the laundry just happened and I was able to properly put my feet up for a bit. Whilst we popped to town to sort out some mobile phone contracts in town she got all the kids doing a spot of gardening too. I really need to learn how she actually gets them to do what she tells them to do – as I seem to fail at that.

Pregnancy Diary Pendolino

We had some great days out too. Whilst Little Miss C was at technology camp one day, Master C and I did a day of train travel. He’s been desperate to go on a Pendolino for ages, so we managed to fit in a trip from Watford to Coventry. A good couple of hours were also spent watching trains at both Watford Junction and Coventry stations. He had an absolute blast, and it was lovely to spend some time just the two of us, but I was shattered when I finally got home.

All six of us spent a lovely day at the National Trust’s Waddesdon Manor too. We got gorgeous weather and the kids really enjoyed the playground there in particular. The hour it took us to go round the house was a bit like hard work on my back, but Mum enjoyed seeing it for the first time and the kids also enjoyed the children’s trail around.

The highlight of the day was a visit to Colourscape in the grounds. It’s one of the hardest things to explain, and strangely one of the best explanations possibly can be found on Wikipedia.

Pregnancy Diary Colourscape

It’s basically a large inflatable structure of 56 interlinking chambers, where each one is a different colour. Visitors go in barefoot and wear a coloured cape as they wander around. In our case there was also musicians in one chamber and their music was piped around the whole structure. It’s probably worth a whole blog post in itself, but it was in short an amazing experience. If a somewhat bizarre one!

Pregnancy Diary Colourscape

The colours make everything look and feel so different. Slightly trippy I guess. It makes for some fantastic photographs though. And I loved the fact that everyone from five year old Master C up to his Granny thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The queuing to get in was hard work for my back, so so worthwhile.

And that, in a flash, was week 16. Basically a week in which the main reminders of being pregnant were back ache and the need to nap! Oh, and Master C trying to insist that I drink 4 pints of milk a day as he’s concerned that I’m not drinking enough for the baby to get enough. Bless him!

Bank Holiday Monday Spur of the Moment Car Boot Sale

There we were this morning, heading along the A12 back towards home from the ferry port at Harwich. The ferry from the Hook of Holland had docked at 6.30am and after a brief wait for the local Morrisons petrol station to open and sell us some breakfast we’d assumed we’d just drive straight back and be home by 9. Our plan was a quick nap before cracking on with everything on our to do list. Plans changed somewhat when we spotted a car boot sale in a large field just to the side of the dual carriageway.

Car Boot Haul

We turned round at the next roundabout and quickly found a cashpoint to make sure we didn’t try and pay for anything with Euros, before heading back. And I’m so glad we did.

It’s ages since I’ve been to a good car boot sale. And amazingly this was also our first one together. Round where we live they always seem to be very overpriced, and to be honest the last couple I’ve gone home pretty much empty handed. This one was very very different though! Well worth the £1 entry fee.

We’d done no planning at all as to what we were looking for, so it really was all down to what we spotted and what took our fancy. There was certainly proper car boot gold to be had though. Take a look at what we found.

One of the most refreshing things was the prices. Ok, so there were some things that I walked away from as I thought they were charging far too much, but on the whole process were good. Certainly far better than they often are in Hertfordshire.

Some of the vintage board games will probably be cropping up soon over on Penny Plays, so make sure you’re following us to see more of them. We’ve plans for some features, some reviews, and also some videos and podcasts around the games that we’ve been picking up. Certainly lots for any vintage board game fans out there.

Early Man Model Making Challenge

I’m pretty sure Nick Park is going to be on the phone just as soon as he seems my entry to the Early Man Model Making Challenge. Or maybe not!

There’s something about Aardman Animation films. They always just manage to totally hit the spot in terms of family entertainment. Ever since the first Wallace and Gromit film of my childhood I’ve been hooked.

I loved the trailers for Early Man in the cinema, but missed out on going to see it on the big screen as the kids went with their Dad instead. They both loved it and were talking about it loads when I spoke to them on the phone that night. I can now get over that disappointment though, as the film is released on DVD today – 28th May 2018.

To celebrate I’ve been asked to take part in the Early Man Model Making Competition. The aim was to design my own Early Man character using the model making kit provided. But, as someone who hasn’t yet seen the film – and also who doesn’t have an artistic bone in my body – I thought I ought to make a start with something a bit simpler.

Early Man DVD

I went to follow the instructions for making Hognob and set off thinking “how difficult can this be?” Turns out that the answer is very! Especially if you’re pretty rubbish at making things from clay.

Early Man DVD

At least my finished result is recognisable as Hobnog. Although, I wasn’t convinced it would be when I was half way through the process! Maybe I should have just googled first and found this handy video guide to doing so from the Aardman team. I’ll know better next time.

We had to then rush off to get over to Rotterdam for Traverse, so coming up with our own creation will have to wait until we are back home later today. Let’s just say that I’ve been putting some thought into this…

Early Man is out on DVD and Blu-ray today, Monday 28th May. You can click here to buy it online.

Early Man DVD

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Early Man on DVD, and a bunch of Early Man goodies for taking part on the Model Making Competition. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Reducing environmental impact with Zoggs Ecolast

It’s about six months now since I first started to look at Zoggs in a totally different way. That day, sat in a hotel conference room near Heathrow airport, was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me in terms of how I saw this global swimwear and swimming accessory manufacturer. When I was then invited along to another event to celebrate their new Ecolast range I was excited to see and hear what they were up to next.

Zoggs Ecolast

What is Ecolast

What Zoggs are doing now with Ecolast is taking plastic waste from the oceans and turning it into a yarn. This yarn can then be used to make swimwear. This ocean waste would otherwise cause damage to our planet, seas and marine life. Ghost fishing nets, carpets and industrial waste are rescued from the oceans via a variety of initiatives. Once the nets have been cleaned and shredded they are turned back into a raw material which is transformed into Nylon 6 polymers to produce yarn. The Ecolast fabric is formed from 78% of this ENONYL yarn, and 22% LYCRA EXTRA LIFE. The result is a swimwear fabric that has outperformed competitors’ fabrics. It has also been proven to be 15 times more resilient to chlorine than standard swimwear fabrics.

Zoggs Ecolast

Effect of mankind on our seas and oceans

2018 has very much been the year in which public attention has been drawn to the effect of mankind on our seas and oceans. The BBC’s Blue Planet gave many here in the UK an insight into what was happening. Over on the other side of the world children like DorkyMum’s eight year old son have also been inspired into helping. It’s wonderful to see a huge global company like Zoggs (based where DorkySon is in Australia) doing their bit.

The Ecolast launch is also supported by Susie Rodgers MBE. Susie is Paralympic Gold Medalist, a genuinely lovely woman and also a huge supporter of work to look after our oceans. As she says there is a “beautiful cycle” behind the idea of taking abandoned fishing nets from the ocean and recycling them into swim suits. Swimmers love the water, as much as all the animals living in our oceans do.

Not the only environmental step

Bringing Ecolast swimwear to the market isn’t the only thing that Zoggs are doing though to help the environment. They are also donating 10% of their Ecolast profits to charity. In addition to this is a commitment to create packaging that reduces their environmental impact. From 2019 they will reduce the plastic used in goggle packaging by 57%. By 2020  they are aiming for 100% of their packaging to be sustainable. These are big environmental commitments. Ones that will make a real difference.

Zoggs Ecolast

The swimwear itself

Last time I was with Zoggs I was blown away with how good all their swimwear looked. Previously I’d seen Zoggs as being a bit “practical” in their offerings. How wrong I’d been. And this second fashion show proved that once again.

Zoggs Ecolast

Ecolast swimwear will be introduced in Autumn Winter 2018 and rolled out from January 2019. Around 40% of their Spring Summer 2019 swimwear sold will be made from Ecolast. Just think about the environmental impact reduction from that.

Once again the Zoggs fashion show that I went to blew me away with how much fun their range is. As well as being practical. There are some great colours and designs, and the children’s DC Super Heroes range is brilliant.

My swimwear might be limited to maternity costumes for the six months or so, but I’m thinking that a nice Zoggs Ecolast costume might be something to aim towards for summer 2019.

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to the Zoggs Ecolast press event. All opinions remain my own.

Taking that mojo and moving forwards

Coming home from Blog On can be a bit of a strange feeling. Coming away from a blogging conference like that you feel bursting full of ideas. Your head is completely full of blog posts that you want to write. Whilst your notebook is full of lists for things that you want and need to do on your blog. Time though never seems to be on your side!

For me Blog On this year was a bit of a re-launch too. I’ve been to about five of these so far, but that was always with my Being Mrs C hat on. Following my divorce I’m not Mrs C anymore, so I really needed a new blog name and it seems time to have a bit of a fresh start. Hence Penny Blogs (and various other Penny … sites) were born.

It was also the first blogging conference where I’ve taken someone along with me. After travelling to Salford with me last September, Bonn popped his blogging conference cherry and came along as a proper delegate this time. I’m delighted to say that he too came alway bursting with ideas and all motivated. We’ve some blog ideas and plans that we’re both really excited about, but we just need a few more hours in the day to make them all happen as quickly as we’d like.

Drumroll please…

There’s also another reason that is going to be eating up our time later in the year. We’re expecting a baby in November! We’re thrilled, but it does mean that I’ve been spending my evenings fast asleep on the sofa rather than digging into the depths of WordPress. First trimester over though I’m hoping that I’m going to get a bit more energy and be able to get back to my to do list properly.

Blog Blogger countryside walk

I’m making a real effort not to let work take over every waking moment though and making time for walks in the countryside and even Aquanatal classes too. Crafting is also very much back on the agenda. Both on my own crocheting, sewing and trying to finished the huge UFO pile that I seem to have moved house with, and also with the kids. When we were squashed in the flat we didn’t really have space to do much, so I’m making the most of being able to spread out now.

Blog blogger crafting with kids

I’m having one of those days today when I’m feeling on top of the world. Totally invincible. I’m therefore trying to put that motivation to good use by cracking on with all the jobs that I’ve been stalling on. Blog admin is never anyone’s favourite thing to do, but it’s necessary.

Posts, posts and more blog posts

I’ve a million and one planned travel posts in my head for over on Penny Travels (so far I’ve only managed to get the one up following an amazing 24 hours in Guernsey). There’s a half written up trip to the Isle of Wight that I also want to share. Later this month we’re headed to Cork (B for work) and also Rotterdam (to attend Traverse 18 – so do say hello if you’re going). Being late to book flights we’re literally taking the slow boat to Rotterdam, rather than flying. But I’m actually as excited about the journey as the destination.

In addition to the travel, Blog On also gave me loads of new and renewed contracts with toy brands which are going to be fantastic over on Penny Plays. I’ve also had loads of success in charity shops lately with some vintage games. Now B has finally put our dining table together post move (the delay not his fault I should add!) we hope to get playing and reviewing those too.

Not everything in life goes to plan though. I’ve a series of meetings dotted throughout today, so planned to spend the time in-between working in coffee shops. That plan normally works fine. Apart from the fact that I’ve managed to head out without a fully charged laptop and without a power cable for it! I blame pregnancy brain…

They weren’t lying about the suitcase! Blog On X #BlogOnXGoodyBags

When you go to Blog On for the first time everyone tells you not to forget your suitcase. I guess it probably seems like some strange in joke or something. The whole idea of turning up somewhere with a large empty suitcase probably just sounds plain odd. But, trust me, it’s exactly what you need.

Blog On BlogOnXGoodyBags

Blog On is a conference run by bloggers for bloggers. As a result I think it’s one of the best blogging conferences out there.

As well as an excellent mix of sessions on technical and creative subjects, at Blog On you also have a brilliant “Brand Den”. Here you find top brands who work with, or want to work with, bloggers are available to network with. Some come with freebies, some with samples for bloggers to feature in reviews, and some just come to have a chat. Every time I go away with a list of people to contact after the event and a notebook packed full of ideas and inspiration.

What’s in the goody bag?

I’ve blogged before (over on my old blog) about what to take to Blog On, but here’s a look at what you got to bring home from Blog On X.

Bonn and I are staying an extra night in Salford, so hot footed it back to our hotel room and decided to open our Goody Bags on camera. We hadn’t even had a sneak peak before this, so it’s very much a “live un-bagging” experience.

There are some great goodies in there, and a few things that made me realise just how out of touch I am with kids collectables! I’m totally expecting the kids to stake claim to quite a lot of the contents, and might have to hide a few things away in a separate part of the suitcase before our journey south. The chocolate and wine from the Co-op definitely belong to the adults though!

Huge thanks to Laura and the Blog On team for putting on another amazing conference. Thanks also to all the brands and speakers. Roll on Blog On XI. We’ll be booking tickets and a hotel just as soon as the date is confirmed.

A first lick of paint… discovering Frenchic

Sometimes something drops into your inbox at exactly the right time. That was the case with an invitation from Frenchic to their Blogger and Media Showcase event in London, which took place last week.

When I first received this I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation about the new house we were in the process of buying. At that point though, despite everything being in place from our end, our vendor’s solicitor was still fast asleep! I didn’t know if accepting the invitation would be tempting fate or not. As it happens, it was probably one of the best things I could do.

Our new home

The house we now own had the same family living it for nearly 50 years. It’s fair to say that nothing has been updated since the 1980s. There are some interesting carpets, lots of floral wallpaper, dated tiles and some very dark wooden doors. It’s not a property with what estate agents would call “character features” but instead has tonnes of potential. We realise that that equates to lots of work, but we are thrilled about the idea of a challenge. We want to be able to put our stamp on the place.

I’ve watched enough upcycling programmes to know that it is possible to do a huge amount with a bit of imagination, lots of enthusiasm and a limited budget, but finding the right materials can be key to success. And that’s where I think Frenchic is going to pay a key part in our home’s transition into properly becoming ours.

Introducing Frenchic

Now, before last week I wasn’t really familiar with Frenchic. The name rang a vague bell, but if I’m honest that was all. A massive lack of funds means that I had been staying out of the shops recently. A fear of jinxing things with the house had stopped me from even pinning interiors ideas on Pinterest.

The fact that the Frenchic day took place just a couple of weeks after moving really make it perfect timing. Since coming onto the market in December 2014, Frenchic’s eco-credentials mean that it has become a firm favourite with everyone looking to update their home or up-cycle in as environmentally friendly a way possible.

Frenchic

There are no hidden chemicals in Frenchic paint and it simply lacks that paint smells that I got so used to using chalk paints in the past. It goes on like a dream, and their range includes genius ideas like an Al Fresco range for use outdoors and also their Lazy range (genius name!) even has the wax already in the paint. That means that once it is dry you don’t need to wax it, just buff it up. In addition to these and their standard chalk and mineral paint, they’ve also got a wall paint, one for trims, and additional products like a crackle glaze (to use between paint coats to give a crackle effect) and waxes and a finishing coat product.

I was blown away at the blogger day when everything was demonstrated to me. As I sat there I was making a mental list of the various parts of my house that need things doing and the products I could use to transform everything. There are wooden fitted wardrobes that need refreshing, old bathroom tiles that need updating, a wooden banister to cover, dark wooden doors that need a lighter shade and a whole 1980s kitchen that is incredibly functional, but as ugly as sin.

Frenchic

I kept my project for the day small to allow me the headspace to come up with more details plans of what I could do where. Encouraged by some of the Frenchic stockists I decided to try my hand at using some of their paint as the base on a little birdhouse. I then went on to decorate with decoupage (another craft that I have strangely never actually tried my hand at).

Decoupage

I kicked off by using the Al Fresco range on this simple wooden birdhouse (available from The Works here). One top tip was to use a light colour if you’re going to decoupage over it, as otherwise your background colour will swamp your decoupage detail.

I then set about with a pile of paper napkins to choose my decoration. Inspired by a birdhouse that one of the staff had already completed, I went for a bumble bee theme. I quickly set about tearing out bumble bees. The trick to decoupage using napkins is to use just the top layer of three ply napkins. Normally this is the only layer that has the picture printed on it. All you need to do to separate the layers I wet your finger and thumb and then press them hard onto the napkin, and hey presto – when you separate them again the napkin comes apart.

I was then taught how to simply use Frenchic Finishing Coat to attach the napkin. Paint a thin layer on then lightly lay your napkin detail in place. Then use some scrunched up cling film, to work from the centre of the picture outwards to squeeze out the excess finishing coat from underneath and also expel any trapped air bubbles. On a bigger surface you can even put a plastic bag over your hand to smooth it out.

Frenchic

I decided to use a complete sheet of napkin to cover the roof of my birdhouse. Then I added further details to the front and sides by tearing out some of the bees. I also added some plants on the sides from a different napkin design. What is strange is just how addictive the whole process was. Suddenly I felt my creative juices flowing and away I went. Several people stopped as they passed by to tell me how much they liked what I was doing. That just seemed to inspire me even more.

Back home

I’m delighted to have come home with a gorgeous finished birdhouse. I am planning to hang in my kitchen to constantly remind me of my first project in this house. There was also a goodie bag packed with Frenchic products, so I can start putting our own stamp on this house. As I sit writing this a week later I’m delighted to say that project number one is already complete. Watch out for a blog post on just that very soon, and I’ve got a couple more planned. I’m also back to pinning like mad on Pinterest for inspiration of what else I can do.

One of the Frenchic team also introduced me to their fantastic Facebook group. It is full of people sharing their Frenchic projects, and is so inspiring!

Be warned, if anything stays still in this house, it now stands a very good chance of me painting it!

Disclaimer: I was delighted to be invited along to the Frenchic blogger and media day. This post includes affiliate links.

Coming home

We’ve just had a quick mini-holiday to round off the school Easter holidays. I say “mini-holiday” but I might be exaggerating things a bit. We were actually only away from home the one night, but squeezing in a bit of fun around B’s work trip to the Isle of Wight felt like a perfect little holiday and certainly recharged my batteries.

There’s so much to share about our trip (which will be happening very, very soon, over on my new travel blog) but the main thing I’m focussing on today is what it felt like when we got back. B and I have been lucky enough to travel loads in the time that we’ve been living together, but this week’s little adventure was the first time since we moved house and it’s felt very different.

There’s no way that our new house is sorted yet. The living room still seems to be full of boxes, and three quarters of the garage at our old rented flat still needs to be cleared, but it is most definitely our home now and every day we’re making more and more little steps towards making it the perfect family home that we’ve been dreaming of for all these months.

Isle of Wight ferry home Wightlink

As we headed back on the ferry over the Solent yesterday as well as feeling a little bit sad that our trip was drawing to a close, I also felt completely refreshed and looking forward to going home. I’d not realised just how much moving had physically and mentally taken it out of me, but a bit of us time and relaxation has made a huge difference.

And that’s the thing. For the first time in months, possibly longer, I realise that I now have somewhere to live that properly feels like a home. We may not have made it perfect yet, but a home isn’t just made by the state of the decor the possessions you have in it. It’s made with people and love.

We always said that we wanted a home full of love and happiness and that’s exactly what it felt like we came home to last night. This week’s challenge is just make make it a little bit of a tidier home!