When did blogging become so bitchy?


When I started this blog 2 years ago, I knew no one in the blogging community. After several months, I gradually came to get to know other people (predominantly other parenting bloggers), through their blogs, chatting online, and then at events and conferences in the flesh. 

Overall I have found it to be a supportive place, and yes, I have made some lovely friends and friendships that have now crossed over into real life. 

But the last 6 months or so, I don’t know, there seems to have been a real shift. Lots of background sniping. Lots of face to face sniping. Bitching on social media. Bitching at certain events. Mainly over people’s blogs. People’s opinions of other blogs. People bitching that so-and-so didn’t deserve X opportunity because their blog is ‘crap’. People bitching about other people they don’t believe to deserve a blogging award/nomination. 

All of which drags the whole community down. Even if you didn’t think you were involved in the first place, you feel it.  

I’ve seen some of the most outwardly positive people be the worst for it.

It leaves a lingering bad vibe.

And if you’re privy to it, it doesn’t half make for awkward listening/reading/viewing, especially if it’s about someone that you either like, or don’t especially have an opinion on. 

Because let’s face it, most people haven’t spent any significant amount of time with these bloggers of which they cast their judgement. So why do we judge? 

But I’ve felt more and more negativity these past few months, and I’m really quite drained by it. I know I’m definitely not immune to being mean from time to time, I’m only human. 

My case in point was a few weeks ago, when I saw something that another blogger had said on social media. It was something that I still believe to be eye-roll inducing, but instead of keeping it to myself (and rolling those eyes), I screen-shotted it and sent it to a friend. In that moment, I became a massive cow-bag, because I don’t even dislike the person, and there was no real need to share it.

I had been bitchy. And it was something I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing not that long ago.

And did it make me feel good? Not a bit. 

So why does it feel like something has changed in the blogging world?

Are people more competitive because there are more blogs than ever about these days? Do rankings bring out the worst in people? Why does it feel like EVERYONE has opinion on someone, on other blogs? Why can’t we all just rub along together, whatever our niche?

So many questions that I certainly don’t have the answers for.

But what I will say is this.

So you have a blog that showcases your gorgeous recipes, dreamy home, or your honed crafting skills?

Then good for you, you will be inspiring thousands of readers who are looking to enjoy and improve on their living space and hobbies.

If you don’t like it, DON’T READ IT.

So you have a blog that highlights the good times, shares photos of your lovely family, and focuses on the positives in your life?

Then good for you, you’ll be making thousands of readers smile with your uplifting take on things.

If you don’t like it, DON’T READ IT.

So you have a blog that is on the sweary side, rants a fair bit about how hard this parenting lark can be and raises a glass (or three) to bedtime?

Then good for you, you’ll have thousands of readers nodding along (and possibly full on laughing out loud), with a wry smile, and you’ll make them feel like they are not alone after a tough day.

If you don’t like it, DON’T READ IT.

So you have a blog that is very ‘Mum and baby’ focused, possibly has lots of reviews and giveaways for people with little ones, and tales of sleepless nights/weaning/potty training?

Then good for you, you’ll be a help to thousands of new parents and parents-to-be who find what you have to say ridiculously helpful and reassuring.

If you don’t like it, DON’T READ IT.

You get the idea.

Of course, I have personal opinions on what I like to read and don’t like to read, It’s only natural. 

But I’ve found more and more lately that bloggers themselves are writing about, or bitching about on social media what they feel should be the status quo in the blog world. What people SHOULD be blogging about. What the ‘tone’ SHOULD be. How bloggers SHOULD conduct themselves.

I read quite a spiteful blog post yesterday, one that was rather scathing about people who called themselves ‘Professional Bloggers’. I think was trying to be funny, and in one or two parts it was, and I did nod along to a couple of things the writer was saying. BUT the overall tone was pretty nasty, and really dismissive about people who now legitimately call blogging their job. For the record, I don’t call myself a pro blogger (maybe a part time one!) but I know decent people who do, some of whom have taken big risks jacking in their jobs to go solo, or taken huge pay cuts to make it work. Not all are ‘kept women’ as the writer implied. But anyway, I digress. The point is that surely bloggers should be supporting other bloggers in their dreams, and championing them (whether or not you think what they’re writing is shit). If they’re that crap anyway and you’re above it all, then why does it bother you so much?

I’m all for freedom of speech, but surely it comes to a point where people should just shut the hell up?

So much bile about other people is disguised as “well, I’m just being honest”, and I feel you often can’t move for sneering and bitchiness right now.

Kindness is definitely an under-rated virtue. 

Why can’t we all support each other, even it someone’s blog doesn’t float your boat?

Concentrate on what YOU want to write about, and how you want to live your blogging life.

There is room in the blogging community for everyone to write/work/play together nicely, without there becoming a ‘divide’ between those who do things one way, and those who do things another. Sometimes we agree with things people say, sometimes we don’t. That’s life, and is as it would be in any workplace up and down the country. 

As my lovely American blogging buddy Elfa would say:

Don’t be an Ass Clown. 

Best piece of advice ever.

Am I alone in feeling this way? What do others think?


As you were… tomorrow will resume in all it’s happy, interior-loving glory! 

*quote picture by All Posters

Coffee and Pecan Cake


So the kids have been all about the baking at the moment, which in a fit of I’m-missing-you-as-you’re-at-school-so-of-course-you-can-do-any-activity-you-like-as-long-as-it-makes-you-happy, misty-eyedness, I have given them free-reign of the kitchen, with maybe a teeny bit of input from me. 

In this case, I had a bag of pecans that needed using up so decided to make this DELICIOUS and what feels like a proper grown up afternoon tea treat, Coffee and Pecan Cake. Which the children still really enjoyed, despite the coffee. Note to self: Letting children lick a coffee-laden bowl might make them ‘lively’. You have been warned. 

Serve to friends with a proper cuppa and enjoy!

Coffee and Pecan Cake
Serves 8
A delicious teatime cake, best served with a decent cup of tea!
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
  1. 175g Self-raising flour
  2. 125g Butter
  3. 175g Golden Caster Sugar
  4. 1 Tbsp Instant Coffee Granules
  5. 2 Large Eggs
  6. 50g chopped Pecans
For the icing
  1. 1 tbsp Instant Coffee Granules
  2. 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  3. 75g Unsalted Butter
  4. 175g Icing Sugar
  5. Several Whole Pecans, to decorate
For the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 190c/375f/Gas Mark 5.
  2. Lightly grease the inside of 2, 18cm circular sandwich tins.
  3. Sift the flour using a sieve, and set to one side.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.
  5. Dissolve the coffee in 2 tablespoons of hot water, and then allow to cool.
  6. Lightly mix the eggs with the coffee mixture, and then gradually beat into the creamed butter and sugar, adding a little of the sifted flour with each addition.
  7. Fold in the pecans, the divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until well risen and firm.
  8. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes for turning onto a wire rack.
To make the icing
  1. Blend together the coffee and cocoa powder with enough boiling water to make a stiff paste.
  2. Beat into the butter and icing sugar.
  3. Sandwich the two cakes together using half of the icing.
  4. Spread the remaining icing over the top of the cake, and then decorate with the whole pecans to serve.
  5. Enjoy!
The Spirited Puddle Jumper http://www.spiritedpuddlejumper.com/

Things that have made me happy this past month


I’ve written several posts in the past about certain things that have made me happy in any given week, the little things to cherish and be grateful for, and I always love seeing them on ‘paper’ (this counts as paper, right?!) to remind myself of happy times, especially if I’ve had a tough day or have been in a bit of a grump.

This past month has been a great one, I think our family has really thrived getting back into more of a routine since school started/preschool began again. I loved having them around in the holidays, but by the beginning of September we were all ready to crack on with the usual regime! I’ve felt great the past few weeks- The children have settled into school/preschool brilliantly, I’ve been fortunate to get some decent blog work, plus I’ve joined a gym (more on that in a bit) that has been a positive step in terms of getting me fitter, something I’ve been wanting and needed to do for aaaages.

Talking of positive, I’ve read a couple of cracking blog posts the past couple of days that have focused on just that. Jess wrote about being positive about parenting, which I loved, and via Jess I saw that Fritha wrote the other month about being positive and having a positive outlook in day-to-day life. Both touched on something that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, about how my day and mood affects our family life, and how I’m trying not to let little things put me in a ratty mood. Whilst I’m definitely overall a happy, glass half full person, I’ve definitely found the last few months that when I’ve been moody it really does impact on the children. Jess hit the nail on the head when she says that she reckons that 99% of the time, children’s behaviour and how it’s managed is down to us, and I’m inclined to agree. Being more positive has certainly made parenting easier in our house.

So I can conclude that cheery is good, people! (I will come back to this post when I’ve had a shitty day, and remind myself of this 😉 )

Anyway, these are some of the things, big and small, that have made me happy this past month:

1. Freddie absolutely LOVES his new school. He is thriving, and really enjoying it (especially the school dinners, apparently!). We knew he was ready, but it does make you breathe a big sigh of relief when they like where they’re going to going for the best part of 5 days a week.

2. Sasha has settled back into preschool much better than expected, no clingyness or tears at all. I was worried how she was going to be without her brother by her side, but I actually think it’s been a good thing. She’s formed closer friendships in her own right, and is always delighted to see her teachers and friends. Happy days!

3. Experimenting more with cooking and baking. Adam and I love our food, but we’d got stuck in a rut having the same old salads and stir frys. This past month has seen more curries, Jambalaya and pies cooked from scratch, along with baking a tasty coffee and pecan cake with the children.

4. Sorting more of the house out, including what will be (hopefully soon!) the new office. I’ve cleared this space, and now just need to find the perfect desk and storage system for all my crafty bits. So satisfying!

5. Buying munchkin pumpkins and Autumn-scented candles for the home- I ADORE this season, making our home all cosy, and the fact that it’s just a sleigh-ride to Christmas 😉

6. Joining the gym. I used to belong to a gym up until Freddie was a baby and I became pregnant with Sasha, and that’s when I QUIT THE GYM, Chandler-from-Friends-stylee i.e. belonged but never went, and finally actually did quit. Now I’m fortunate that I have more time, what with F being at school and S at preschool, and I’ve carved out an hour three mornings a week to get fit. I’m a classes girl, as I need someone there to motivate me, and so far am enjoying Zumba, Body Combat and Spin, and boy do I feel bloody brilliant for it! It’s not just the getting in shape aspect, but the fact I’m just buzzing afterwards. Exercise really does give you a natural high. Long may the endorphins run free in my body!

7. Picking the last of the runner beans and tomatoes- they’ve been the gift that’s kept on giving this summer!

8. Freddie starting football club, and Sasha starting ballet. They’re both things they wanted to do, and it’s lovely seeing them gain confidence and blossom in new areas. Freddie will be even more sorted if he stops watching planes mid-training session 😉 Also, high five to our little lady, who can now do a width of the pool on her own without stopping, using just the floats- big moment that was! They are so happy, and confident right now, it’s a joy to see.

9. The fact that Downtown Abbey has started again. I realise that makes me a huge saddo, but I don’t care. In front of the telly, with my husband and a cuppa= bliss.

10. Having an ace time at The MAD Blog Awards. I was a finalist in the ‘Best Home and Interiors Blog’ category, and even though I didn’t win (the lovely Kerry from ‘Oh So Amelia’ was the well-deserved winner), it was a lovely night out despite having perhaps had a bit too much to drink, whoops!

and finally….

11. Some great, soul soothing nights out with friends/lunches with family. Always does you good to spend time with the best people!

I’m sure there’s more, but these are what’s tickled my pickle this past month!

What has made you happy lately?

My Favourite Seasonal Homeware picks from ‘Next’ and WIN a £50 Next Gift Card

Okay, okay, I appreciate it IS October, and that you might have Halloween and all that jazz to get out of the way first, but you can’t deny that Christmas is really only just around the corner! I’m a self-confessed Christmas nut, so I’m always happy to get thinking about Crimbo once the children are back in their September routine (don’t hate me). But come on, it surely pays (literally) to spread the cost, right?! Which is why I start looking at a few festive bits and bobs of the homeware variety, so I can make my picks and budget for them (and therefore, enjoy them), before December is out. 

Browsing through the NEXT catalogue last night in search of cardigans for Sasha, I ended up getting sucked in to buying a Festive one for her, and then a Christmas jumper for Freddie (essential, obvs), before taking a peek at the Seasonal homeware. And what a treat it was! 

Next aren’t paying me to say this, I promise, but they really do know a thing or two about styling their Christmas homeware section! Browsing through, I felt like I NEED another throw for the living room, and that this is THE YEAR to purchase (semi) novelty yuletide bedding for our new loft room. And heck, I’m damn well going to do it.

Here are some of my favourite festive Next buys:

next homeware collage 1 next homeware collage 2

  1. 6ft 88 led lit birch tree
  2. 12 piece Arden dinner set
  3. Children’s Christmas bed set
  4. Grey Over-sized check rug
  5. Lit gold glitter ivy leaf garland
  6. Red check double bed set
  7. Red check printed reversible throw
  8. Set of 4 mulled wine glasses

So, do you fancy any of the above? 

As part of my second blogoversary celebrations, I’m giving away a NEXT gift card(s) worth £50 for one lucky winner, so you can fill your boots with glorious Christmas homeware (or whatever else takes your fancy!).

All you have to do is answer the following question:

“What is the best way to make your home more festive? ”

Leave me your answer in the comment box below, and confirm you have done this using the Rafflecopter widget. You can also gain extra entries by following me on Twitter, Pintrest and Instagram!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions: Competition closes at 12.00am (midnight) GMT on Saturday 31st October 2015. Entries received after this time and date will not be valid. UK residents only. Entrants must be 18 and over. Winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter after the closing date and will be notified within 3 days of competition end. Only entrants received via the Rafflecopter widget will be considered valid. Winner will receive gift card(s) for Next to the value of £50. This giveway is not in association with Next- I’m just feeling generous in the run up to my second blog birthday!

Day trip to Hever Castle

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but actually I’m glad I’ve left it until now, as it’s nice to look back on some of the fun we had over (what was quite a wet) summer. Living in the SE London/Kent borders, our family is lucky in that we can hop 20 minutes or so on a train to Central London, but we’re not actually too far from the M25, and that beautiful ‘Garden of England’, Kent. There are so many places to visit, and things to do in Kent, that we are still constantly writing a ‘to visit’ list, and ticking off the ones that we do manage! Some are old favourites, and Hever Castle, about a 45 minute drive from our home, is one of them. 

Situated in the picturesque village of -wait, you’ve guessed it- Hever, the castle and surrounding grounds are over 700 hundred years old, and were the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Some people might think that a ‘stately home’ is an unsuitable place to take a 3 and 4 year old, but there are lots of things to for this age group (themed activities, date dependent), gorgeous gardens to run around in, a maze, an adventure playground and a very child-friendly cafe (with the most AMAZING cakes for sale). I also personally think it’s important for children to appreciate history from a young age, and to realise that sometime the grown ups in their lives want to have a nose at otherwise boring stuff too- a day out should be for everyone! 😉 (even if the tour around the house ends up being, er ‘fleeting’!)

I visited on a weekday in August with the children and my Mum, which was busy but not crazily so. Scroll on down for some snaps of our trip out!



After parking the car, the stroll across to the castle is a welcoming sight. Like horses who haven’t been exercised and are chomping at the bit, my two terrors see grass and leg it! And here is fine to do just that. Acres of safe lawns are just the ticket to wear out lively small people. The castle really is so beautiful, and everything you imagine it to be- visitors just stop and stare and snap away for ages.

005 008 010012


We stopped to grab a cuppa and delicious brownie at the main cafe in the grounds. It’s extremely child-friendly, with either ‘pick 5 items’ lunch boxes for about a fiver, or child-size portions of adult hot meals. We chose to have lunch here later on in the day, as we weren’t sure if it would end up being picnic weather on the day we came (also a good option), and my two chose mini fish and chip portions, which were great quality, something you don’t always get at other attractions.


After our snack, first port of call was the adventure playground (always a favourite). It’s great now that my two are a bit bigger and can go and explore a bit themselves, although S still preferred to tackle the section for the younger adventurer.

015 016 021

The playground is tucked within a wooded area, and gives a real feeling of being among nature- it’s an almost soothing experience for a parent! 

027 032 035030031

The gardens around the castle. For 50p a bag, you can buy a small bag of food to feed the ducks and the HUGE koi carp in the moat with. This was really popular, especially with Freddie, who could have done this all day!

036 039


After taking a stroll further around the grounds, we came across some archery, where for a few quid anyone from 2.5 years upwards could have a go. I must admit, I was a bit skeptical that my two would be any good at their ages, but since they were keen to have a try, we went with it. 

052 053

Sasha, bless her, actually did pretty well with some help, although lost interest after a couple of arrows, declaring that Freddie could have the rest of hers! 


Freddie, on the other-hand, was BRILLIANT (not just me, the lady helping him said so!). He really got into it, listened well to the instructions, and could fire his arrow really far. He was rather excited by this, and we had to come back again later on in the day to have another go with several arrows. We could have a young archer in the making here! It was an unexpected thing to have a go at, and was the highlight of Freddie’s day. 

041 050

Whilst F was honing his skills to become the next Robin Hood, S got stuck into some shield painting and design in the tent next door. This was right up her street (she’s a bit of an art lover!), and we could leave it to dry with the girls’ running the tent for the day, before picking it up again before we left. This was a fiver, which I thought was perhaps a little expensive for what it was, but worth it since she wasn’t so fussed about the archery. 

056 057 058 062 065 063

Post-lunch we went for a walk around the grounds, including the stunning Italian Gardens. I’m not a big gardener, although I enjoy pottering about at home and watching my Mum but even I could appreciate how much time and effort goes into maintaining these gardens (and the house itself) for everyone to enjoy. There is a another fab cafe, plus an ice cream stand situated here, and since it’s slightly further away from the main castle, tends to be slightly quieter. A stroll around here was ideal post-lunch, the vibe is so relaxing. 

This is a bit of a whistle-stop tour of Hever Castle from the perspective of a family with two small children. We’re looking forward to bringing our wellies and coming back soon to explore the Autumn Colour Trail one weekend (prices from £13.50 per adult for entry to solely the gardens, children 5-15 from £8.50, and under 5s are free). 

We highly recommend a visit to Hever! 

Have you ever been before? 

Hever Castle, Hever, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7NG – 01732 865224

The start of a blogging new year!

slogan photo 1

For other people, January 1st signifies the start of a new year, and the chance to make resolutions and focus on change (or continuity) and hopes, dreams and challenges for the 12 months ahead.

For me, September is my January 1st equivalent. After a slightly soggy summer of fun with my children, I’ve felt slightly glad to get back into a bit more of a routine, and get that work/life balance back that I struggle with over the summer months. It’s a time for me to focus on how I’m going to work with my social media clients over the next year, as well as where I want my blog to be heading, what I want to write about, and potentially what sort of companies/brands I want to be working with. 

I must admit that I spent a fair bit of the summer feeling grumpy and disillusioned with blogging, my/other people’s motives for doing it, and very ‘out of it all’ and having a bit of writer’s block. After thinking about it, I’ve decided that it’s not actually the blogging world at all, but more ‘me’ and not really having time to do anything over the summer makes you lose your mojo a bit. Hence why I love getting back into more of a routine! I’m someone who definitely works better with one, and now Freddie is in school, and S is in preschool for 3 full days a week, I now have more time in which to work, as well as fit in some much-needed exercise (I joined a gym, people, a gym!). It means less doing stuff in the evenings, and I can really enjoy my Wednesdays and Fridays with my little lady, as well as focus solely on my after school time with F.

This year, blog wise, I’m going to make a few changes, and have a few goals. These are:

  • Take the whole 2 weeks at Christmas off, bar maybe a couple of pre-planned posts, so I can fully enjoy the season. If I have time to do some posts then great, other wise I’m not going to worry. 
  • Ditto next summer. I intend to take a whole month off and not even worry, again, bar a few pre-planned posts. It will reduce my stress levels and I’m hoping make me really appreciate the time off with the children. 
  • Continue to focus on my home and interiors posts, and incorporate more home-organisation, as well as continue documenting our holidays and days out. I enjoy writing about the children and our family, but I’m aware now that since Freddie has started school, and Sasha will next September, that I don’t feel comfortable writing about them in too much detail anymore. 
  • Be a more supportive blogging buddy, and start commenting more on the blogs I love. I feel commenting has reduced all round since the beginning of the year, and even though time is precious, we should all share the love a little more! 
  • Have the guts to approach brands I love and see if they would be interested in working together. You’ve got to be in it to win it, right?!
  • Enjoy it! It’s easy to get caught up in blogging politics and the (frankly not important) minatue of the blogging world, and worry too much about what’s going on. It’s supposed to be fun, not mega-stressful, and it’s a really great part-time job, so ENJOY!

Aaah, that feels good to write that down and get it out! 

Do you have any goals/aims over the next year for your blog? What are they? Let me know, in case I’ve forgotten any good ones! 

The best Autumn Candles and giveaway: WIN one of 3 ‘Apple Pumpkin’ Yankee Candles!

Whilst writing this I am holed up in my kitchen, sipping hot tea and peering out of the window at the biblical rain that has befallen us here in South-East London. I would put a LOT of money on the fact that summer has well and truly said “so long”, and that Autumn is here. Which to be honest, apart from the rain, is fine by me, as Autumn is definitely my favourite seasonAlong with the joys of leaf kicking, wrapping up warm and comfort dinner dishes, I love that fact that come evening, you can draw those curtains, snuggle up on the sofa with a hot chocolate with dimmed lighting and an appropriate candle on the go.

Which brings me to a favourite thing of mine when it comes to home blogging: research! The last month or so I have testing out a few different scented candles myself (and enlisting a few friends too) – some old favourites, and others new discoveries. I definitely think that smell is the sense of ours that evokes most memories, by taking us back to a certain time in our lives/time of year. By choosing an autumnal scent you love, it means you’ll be able to get it out, or re-purchase year after year and create that familiar, cosy feel. 

I have to admit, that although possibly a bit cliche, some of my favourite candles are Yankee Candles– the scents are beautifully blended and they actually keep their smell. You only need to burn them for a short while to fill the house with the most beautiful fragrance. ‘Apple Pumpkin’ and ‘Autumn Leaves’ are just delightful! I also became the welcome recipient of some gorgeous natural soy candles by ‘LollyRocket’, which were bought for Adam and I as a wedding present. I adore the ‘Brown Sugar and Fig’ candle in their range, and this is definitely ‘up there’ when it comes to scented beauties that I think fit the Autumn candles brief.

Here are some of my favourite Autumn/Fall candles around right now… please scroll down to the bottom to enter my giveaway to win one of 3 Apple Pumpkin Yankee Candles! 

Autumnal candle collage 3 autumn candle collage 2

  1. Yankee Candle – Autumn Leaves
  2. Diptyque – Feu de Bois
  3. Lollyrocket – Brown Sugar and Fig
  4. Jo Malone – Incense and Embers
  5. Yankee Candle – Apple Pumpkin
  6. Emma Bridgewater at M&S – Tea and Oranges
  7. Can to Candle – Fig and Orange

To get you and your home in the Autumnal swing of things, I have 3 large (623g) Yankee Candles in ‘Apple Pumpkin’ to giveaway! 

All you have to do is answer the following question:

“What is your favourite thing about Autumn?”

Leave me your answer in the comment box below, and confirm you have done this using the Rafflecopter widget. You can also gain extra entries by following me on Twitter and Pintrest!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


Terms and Conditions: Competition closes at 12.00am (midnight) GMT on Friday 23rd October 2015. Entries received after this time and date will not be valid. UK residents only. Entrants must be 18 and over. Winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter after the closing date and will be notified within 3 days of competition end. Only entrants received via the Rafflecopter widget will be considered valid. Winners will receive one of 3 ‘Apple Pumpkin’ Yankee Candles. This giveway is not in association with Yankee Candle- I just love them and am feeling generous in the run up to my second blog birthday!

Sasha’s new bedroom: A tour!


Ever since we completed our new loft bedroom, I’d been itching to get my hands on our old bedroom to transform it in to a brand new space for our little lady (she had previously drawn the short straw of the tiniest room in the house, what with being the youngest), and turn it into a haven fit for a 3 year old- and beyond! The room already had plain white walls and exposed floorboards, and whilst in need of fresh coats of paint, it was essentially a blank canvas.

When it came to deciding on a theme/colour scheme for the room, I obviously enlisted the help of my mini-me, who immediately requested “a purple room please, Mummy!”. Which I’m not going to lie, made me want to headbutt the sink, and is my idea of a nightmare when it comes to tasteful decorating. However, I wanted to stay true to my, ahem, ‘client brief’, and began to scour the internet for non-migraine-inducing purple wallpaper. Whilst I absolutely adore all the scandi-themed black and white children’s bedrooms I see on Instagram and the like, I always get the feeling (and sorry if this offends anyone, I don’t mean it to!) that the rooms are very much done for the adults and not the children. And when you’re 3, by golly do you have an opinion as to what you really want! Plus, whilst I’d like to say we have a room sparsely accessorised with carefully chosen wooden toys, carved by the fair hands of Nordic pixies, alas, we worship at the alter of plastic crap. So with this in mind, the room needed enough storage to hide said crap and keep clutter to a minimum.

So the challenge was set: To create a room that was very much my little girl, yet could pass-off as vaguely stylish AND practical, and I hope I’ve achieved that. Please do come and have a look around! 


Our rug is c/o of Benuta who stock some AMAZING rugs for the home, and who also have a hug selection of wonderful children’s rugs. I could have bought several, and could imagine styling them in various little one’s bedrooms! I chose this rug because the different colours of the triangles had accents of the main colours in Sasha’s room. I was a bit worried about selecting a patterned one in case it was a bit ‘much’, but it’s actually worked really well. I definitely think in children’s rooms that have floorboards you need a decent rug or two (with not too much pile so toys can stand up okay!) for them to play on. We also bought a car/road play mat from Ikea that is different from the one in Freddie’s room, so we put this down too sometimes for them both to play on. Who says cars are just for boys?!


As I mentioned previously, finding the right purple wallpaper was my biggest challenge, and after several evenings of searching online, I found THIS beautiful one by Hibou Home, from Not on the High Street, and it’s called ‘Enchanted Wood’. At £70 a roll it’s not cheap (we needed 3 rolls for 3 walls) and was probably the most indulgent splurge on the room, BUT I think it was worth it. It’s so lovely and S adores it and I think it really ‘makes’ the room. I’ve actually come around to liking purple! All I can say is though, is that there is definitely a niche that is not being filled for classy purple wallpaper if any designers out there want to do something about it….

The cardboard market stall is my favourite recent bargain buy, and only just over a tenner from Ikea! It almost made the trip driving though Croydon worthwhile for this alone. I was perplexed at first as it didn’t come with any instructions and was tricky to assemble. I eventually found them online, but not before spending 15 minutes wrestling with the bastard thing and nearly slicing my finger off in the process. However, all was good in the end, and Freddie and Sasha LOVE it and I love the look of it and it’s pretty sturdy, so a win-win here. 


Sasha’s sleigh toddler bed is from Amazon and is by Kidkraft. The chest of drawers to the left are from Ikea and are the from the Nordli range. I love these as they are ‘soft close’, which means no scope for tiny fingers to be trapped whilst on the hunt from PJs/Swimming gear/ballet clothes. 


This is the end of Sasha’s room opposite the window and nearest the door. If it doesn’t look like this ‘goes’ with the rest of the room, then hold fire- a photo a bit further should show you how it all works! I just thought 4 walls of the wallpaper would make it look too enclosed and ‘busy’. The Expedit is also from Ikea and was from Sasha’s old room, but this design classic has now been discontinued (RIP, Expedit). However, the Kallax range from there is pretty similar and would do a job. I love this unit, as it holds so many toys, plus it’s easily accessible for little ones. 

The black letters are from Not on the High Street by a company called ‘Bimbly’. I’m such a stylishly original blogger, right? 😉 Seriously, I do like these, and they’re doing a great job at the moment, but they’re a bit of a stop-gap for now until I decide what I want to do with this space. I can’t decide if I want to buy another Miffy print (these are c/o Miffy) to go in the middle of the two featured here, or create a bit of a picture wall with some other prints. I just don’t want to be drilling holes all over the place until I’m sure!


The crate is a nod to mine and Adam’s wedding back in June, which we used for cards from our lovely guests. It’s actually quite big we weren’t expecting much, honest so I wasn’t sure where to put it in our home, but didn’t want to get rid of it for sentimental reasons. Since Sasha’s room doesn’t have a proper bookshelf yet (Freddie has a big one in his room, plus they have 3 shelves on ours in the living room), I thought this might be a good compromise and it actually holds quite a few books. I’m also going to get away with whilst a.) she can’t read and b.) she isn’t too old yet to think of her parents as being terminally uncool, and therefore wouldn’t touch this with a barge-pole. The crate is also from Not on the High Street (I should totally have a loyalty card for that place), and by a company called Plantabox.


This trusty Trofast storage is from — wait, you’ve guessed it– Ikea, and is the same as in Freddie’s room. Like his bedroom, since the wallpaper is bold and detailed, I decided to keep the boxes plain white. I am officially a flat pack furniture queen now!

The Miffy night light is something I’ve been coveting for ages, and I knew Sasha would love it as she’s a genuine Miffy fan. It’s fab as it dims, so you can have it as bright (or not) as you want, which makes me sleep a little easier at night as she’s a bit of a 3am bed-hopper. So annoying as it is, I have peace of mind that she’s not going to take a wrong turn and stack it down the stairs in the dark! This is from Not on the High Street too, from a seller called Nubieand was probably my second biggest splurge. 

The green, pear-shaped honeycomb lantern is from Ikea too, and this and the pink one add a little extra ‘pop of colour. 


So there you have Sasha’s new bedroom! 

I must admit, I’m pretty chuffed with it, as I love it, and most importantly, so does she. I hope I’ve shown that can have childlike AND stylish, without compromise. I’m also crossing fingers that this room has several years of life in it, but what’s good is that because the furniture is plain white and quite classic, and the floor white too, it actually wouldn’t be too much of an expense if she does want to change the walls at some point in the future. 

Do you like it or is it too much for you? I’d love to hear your honest opinion :-)

The importance of sleep for children with Sealy


*A 6 month old snoozing Freddie!

As a mum to a 3 and 4 year old, I have always been a big believer that sleep, or lack of it, has a HUGE impact on their mood, behaviour, and general well being. Freddie and Sasha generally go to bed about 7pm, the main reason being that they are children that no matter what time they go to bed, they will be up between 6am-6.30am. We have had times on holiday, for example, where they would be going to bed as late as 10pm, and they would STILL wake super-early, and therefore be really grumpy for the rest of the day. Props to the parents out there who keep their children up late to spend as much time as possible with them- I love the bones of my two, but by the evening I’m spent and like to enjoy some peace and quiet!

With their lark tendancies, I know mine definitely are happiest and most alert after a lengthy sleep. Of course, all children are different, but it’s interesting to know how much sleep is appropriate for your little (or not so little) one. So I found myself nodding along (and making a few mental notes) when Double Which? award-winning mattress company, Sealy, got in touch to talk to me about the importance of sleep for a growing child. 

As members of both the BCA (British Chiropractic Association) and the Orthopedic Advisory Board, they really know their stuff when it comes to getting a good night’s kip.

Sealy mattress

Here is their advice on childhood sleep, and how much your child should be getting each night, developmentally appropriate for their age:

New-born (0-3 months)

A new born baby will sleep approximately 10 to 18 hours a day (depending on the individual) in an irregular schedule with around 1 to 3 hours awake at one time alone. Sleep at this stage is dependent solely on physical instinct such as when they need to be fed, changed and nurtured.

A baby at this stage will mostly sleep in the REM (rapid eye movement phase) stage when sleep is lighter and more easily disrupted. REM sleep is considered incredibly important for a new born as it is thought to be necessary for the development of the brain. Furthermore this is when a child learns face recognition and initially bonds with the mother, and forms the first social interaction where individual behaviours occur. If sleep is disrupted significantly at this stage it could affect a child’s association with the initial world and their social bonds later in life.

Infants (4-11 months)

At this stage, an infant will sleep at more regular times than a new born and generally through the night for approximately 9-12 hours with a couple of 2 hour naps through the day. At this age infants start to develop their social skills significantly and sleep can often be disrupted due to the brain being overly alert to these social situations.  If an infant feels secure and attached to their parent then they generally have better sleeping patterns. This is important to emotional development and could affect how someone sleeps and acts when they are older.

Toddlers (1-2 years)

At this stage a toddler will get approximately 11-14 hours of sleep a day, with nap times decreasing to only once a day. At this age a child is learning their own independence and their motor, cognitive and social skills start to speed up. This can often affect a child’s sleeping pattern as they become over enthused with all new situations that they refuse to sleep and become moody and irritable, causing a knock on effect on their behavioural skills. It is important that a child doesn’t get too frustrated and lose out on quality sleep as it is detrimental to development and if a child doesn’t get the required sleep then it may affect their progress in the future. It is essential to maintain a consistent regular bedtime routine to ensure the process is stress free as much as possible and to calm down the activity in the brain. If this is achieved the toddler will have better quality sleep and a happier sleep routine in the future.

Pre-schoolers (3-5 years)

At this stage, pre-schoolers will generally get around 11-13 hours’ sleep a night with most not napping after the age of 5 years of age.  Pre-schoolers often develop their imagination at this age and this can sometimes have a knock on effect on sleep as they are disrupted by nightmares through the night. This can possibly lead to anxiety about sleep and can affect their quality of sleep.  The association of sleep with anxiety can be damaging to a child’s health as it can lead to a lack of sleep and the body doesn’t have time to recharge, which can possibly lead to a weaker immune system. Therefore by ensuring their sleeping environment is relaxing and stress free, a child will less likely associate anxiety with sleep and their health should be better. A better sleep routine can also prevent future problems with sleep and ensure their cognitive and behavioural development isn’t affected, as well as their physical health.

School children (6-13 years)

Generally, school children will need approximately 9-11 hours of sleep a day. At this stage children become more open to outside factors such as TV, media and internet. This can have a massive effect on a child’s sleeping pattern, especially if they are allowed to use these more regularly, particularly before bed time. Studies have shown that children who watch TV before bed often struggle to sleep and have bad sleeping patterns which can often lead to them not getting the required amount of sleep they need.

At this stage sleep disorders are most prevalent and can lead to behavioural problems such as ADHD. When someone doesn’t get enough sleep, they often become irritable and moody or even angry. With children of this age it is even more damaging, as they are still learning social and behavioural skills. Consequently maintaining a routine sleeping regime is vital to make sure a child develops naturally and happily.


For further information on the effects of sleep deprivation on children, what to look out for, and how to prevent it, go and check out their full article HERE – it really is an incredibly useful read, and as someone who was a nightmare at getting to sleep as an older child, I found it particularly insightful. 

I’m reassured to know that we’re helping Freddie and Sasha get into good sleeping habits by having a consistent routine, and also by trying to reduce screen time before bed (we have milk still and stories to wind down after a bath). 

What time do your children go to bed? Do you have a set ‘bedtime routine’, or do you go with the flow?


A big thanks to Sealy for partnering with The Spirited Puddle Jumper, and helping pay for those bedtime stories!

For the love of Miffy

In our house, when it comes to character ‘additions’ to the children’s bedrooms, one face I’m more than happy to see is that of that mouthless, big-eared pal, Miffy. When it came to the recent decoration of Sasha’s new bedroom (post to come next week), I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when she said she didn’t want anything Frozen-themed (praise the Lord!), but instead was quite keen on either Hello Kitty, or the Miffster, what with being the owner of a few HK/M books and toys. 

This made one mummy happy, as I had secretly been coveting the large Miffy Nightlight for eons, as well as eyeing up a few Miffy prints for the plain white wall in her new room. Whilst I am a sucker for a Disney film, I have to admit that Disney decor makes me wince slightly (I don’t really know why?), so I find that Miffy and co are a great compromise when accessorising a bedroom for a 3 year old. Surely the coolest cartoon rabbit, no? The lack of mouth screams nonchalance I reckon (she says, probably reading far too much into the personality of a cartoon rabbit).  

Anyway, it seemed like it was accessorising fate when the guys at Miffy got in touch, not long after I’d made that lamp purchase, to show me some of the ace new Autumn 2015 Miffy print collection. And come on, what’s not to love?! 

 IXXI Nijntje-Miffy 123 ixxi Nijntje-Miffy abc ixxi Nijntje-Miffy celebration IXXI Nijntje-Miffy Coloring ixxi Nijntje-Miffy height meter ixxi Nijntje-Miffy in the museum

I absolutely ADORE the  Miffy tile picture (above), and feel I may have to purchase the Miffy height chart very soon- just need to find the perfect space to put it now! 

You can pick an existing wall design, such as a poster-style single image, height chart or collage, or you can customise your own creation to fit the available space.

The modular wall system is designed in the Netherlands, and uses durable, waterproof paper squares and connecting crosses. You can choose the detail, shape and size of the IXXI.

The Miffy wall tiles are made of Synaps (high quality synthetic paper, 0.3mm thick); the material is UV resistant, waterproof and it does not tear or warp. The tiles are easy to put up (a complete assembly kit is included) and do not require nails in the wall. They can also be changed over time, with new ones added, thereby ensuring a fresh, updated interior.

You can buy the above, plus many more Miffy prints and accessories from IXXI Design

Are you a Miffy fan? Which of the above is your favourite? I’d love to hear from fellow Miffy lovers!


Thanks to to the gang at Miffy for collaborating with The Spirited Puddle Jumper!