Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Family travel and lifestyle blog

21/08/2019

How to add Pops of Colour to any Room


pastel pink

*This post contains affiliate links 

Sometimes you’ll have a room at home that doesn’t do anything for you. It could be that your living room feels a little bland, your bedroom looks a little dull, or your study is lacking inspiration. When you have a room that does nothing for you, it’s usually because there’s no imagination or colour in there. If you read the recent post about home and interior goals for the summer, you’ll know that a bit of paint can go a long way to refreshing any space at home.


In this post, I’m going to be talking you through some unique walls to add a pop of colour to any room and give it some personality. Maybe some of the tips will help you find the inspiration to refresh a room or get the paintbrushes out of the garage. And to start, we’re going to the bathroom.


Consider Wallpaper or Patterned Tiles for the bathroom!


How does having dozens of flamingos in your bathroom sound? A bit silly, right? Well you do have the opportunity to update your bathroom and give it a colourful atmosphere by having a feature wall. Wallpaper is becoming a trendy thing to have in homes as long as you go out of your way to get a bold print and pop it on just one wall. In your bathroom, the wall opposite your bath/shower will have the freest white space to work with. Embrace it and get a wallpaper that has a funky print or pattern that makes the room seem fun.

You can copy this theme in bedrooms as well. I recommend keeping it upstairs as feature walls can be more distracting in the living room and dining room; both spaces you’ll want to keep neutral.
You can find more bathroom inspiration by reading some of the older posts from the blog here.




Radiators like the rainbow


Think about our favourite colour. Now think of a radiator. Can you imagine having a radiator at home in your favourite colour? Well, imagine no longer! It’s now quite common to get radiators in a custom colour. I’ve seen it in trendy cafes, restaurants and shops, and surprisingly it isn’t as dear as you’d think.


Now, this isn’t a recommendation to get some emulsion out and paint over your radiators; in fact, I recommend that you don’t use paint as regular paint doesn’t take well to radiators. Instead, you’ll want to get a custom radiator colour from Trade Radiators. They’re UK based and do free delivery on orders around the country, so you can do crazy with a pink cast iron radiator or get an orange radiator for the downstairs toilet. You could honestly go colour crazy and do the whole house in different colours if you like, although it will only work if your walls are a basic colour, i.e. white or grey; otherwise, they’ll stick out like a sore thumb.


Refresh your kitchen cabinets


I don’t know about you, but for me, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and if the room is looking a little drab it can stop feeling like a fun place to be in. Kitchens also are a bit of a nightmare to redecorate, but there is one handy colour hack that is quick and easy. If you’ve been watching QE on Netflix, you’ll know that one of Bobby’s little hacks for bringing a room to life is simply painting the kitchen cabinets. It’s a relatively pain-free job that is quick and provides an instant pop of colour. I would only recommend going for strong colours if you can handle them.

By the way, if you’re getting a bit fed up with having a messy kitchen, read this post on five ways to declutter your kitchen




Want more home decorating inspiration?

I love finding ways to update my interior. You can see for yourself by looking at all the home posts from the blog right here.

16/08/2019

A Guide to Glamping with Kids This Summer


bell tent


The summer is winding down and you and your family are looking for one last fun adventure to set off on before school is in full swing. Glamping is an excellent way to dip your toes into camping, without sacrificing all of the modern comforts. You and your family can take a weekend to explore, inspire, and enjoy the final days of summer on a budget!

If you’ve never been camping, or glamping with your little ones, then don’t fret! Taking your children out of their element and into the elements can be a bit tricky but kids usually adjust much quicker than adults. This guide will take you through all the best tips to try out glamping with the kids this summer!

Planning Ahead

Planning ahead for your glamping trip is key to staying organized, keeping the kids busy, and really enjoying your time together, although if you don't mind winging it you can find last-minute availability at some places even during summer. If you do have the time it's worth breaking down your trip into the following categories:

Accommodation
Food
Sleeping
Screen-free Activites
Extras

These general categories will help you set the mood for a family break your kids won’t soon forget! Cover all of your necessities, all of your fun activities, and all of the things that will make your trip just a little extra.


Cwmcarn forest pod


Accommodation

Deciding on what kind of glamping accommodation you want to go for will massively impact your glamping experience as each is different & being aware of that is a fundamental step in planning this getaway. There are several options that can suit your whole family. Once you find the right tent, cabin, pods, treehouse and campsite, you can get started on the smaller details.

Tents.

Bell tents or Ready-Tents are great options for glamping. You can find something that can fit the whole family, is extremely sturdy, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Canvas bell tents usually sleep 4 people comfortably although biggers ones can go to 6. Ready Tents are normal tents that are all set up for you with camping beds (and usually sleeping bags too). There are plenty of great options out there just make sure you do a little research and find a site that offers ones in good condition that can fair bad weather!

Cabins or Pods.

Cabins or wooden pods are a great option. There are lots of campsites, national parks, and private grounds that offer cabin rentals for your family getaway! It’s still roughing it, but with a little more modern comforts than traditional camping as they usually have some sort of heating, either with small electric heaters or if off-grid a small log burner and are a bit more insulated - we stayed in a Pod in November and the temp dropped down to freezing and we stayed nice and cosy. There is usually a small space to prepare food and toilets and showers nearby.


yurt Wales


Yurts, houseboats & alternative accommodation

What I love about glamping is how creative some hosts and campsites are, we have stayed in a beautiful Yurt, a converted horsebox, a Military wagon and a traditional Teepee but if you head to booking sites such as Airbnb you can even find houseboats to spend a cosy weekend on, double-decker buses or even hobbit style homes. Of course, facilities will vary and you just have to weigh up what is most important to you. If it's your first glamping trip I would advise not to go too off-grid and have good basic facilities like showers, toilets and places to store food.


Finding the perfect site and the perfect shelter is KEY to planning your glamping holiday! Whether you’re setting off for a weekend in the Netherlands, or finding the best UK holiday destinations, you can find the best spot for your holiday away!


camping coffee


Food

Bringing along the right kind of food on your glamping holiday will make all the difference and keep those hangry moments at bay. If your going away for a weekend do check if the campsite has a shared fridge facility - if not taking a cooler bag with plenty of ice packs will keep things cold for 1-2 days - an extra tip is freezing a 2lt Milk which will naturally defrost over the weekend and help keep the cooler cold for longer. It's also good to note that you should check with the site if they have pots and pans or if you need to bring your own - many places have a shared kitchen or a small kitchenette with your pod or glamp spot but being aware of what that includes is important.

There are lots of options for making your getaway a little more glamorous. Sure, you can make sandwiches and crisps, but you can also have fresh veggies, salad, food to cook over a campfire and why not make your own dips to bring along! Whatever you and your family feel the most comfortable eating under the stars, and in the sun will be best for your holiday.

I would also stock up on some snacks that don't require a fridge such as plenty of fruit and things like olives and nuts, also I always bake either a big banana loaf or muffins as well as flapjack or cereal bars to keep your energy levels up. Don’t forget to try and make everything as eco-friendly as possible - bring refuse bags, try and recycle and use your reusable water bottles!

Your accommodation planned, your food at the ready, you’ll soon be a pro. You can even plan ahead to next summer and do something fun like the family-friendly Big Retreat Wales!


wild child



Sleeping

When it comes to glamping most places provide the basics such as camping beds and pillows but it's always good to check. The Pod we stayed in recently had a full-sized bed with mattress but we needed to bring our own linen and sleeping bags so don't always presume these things are included. Investing in good sleeping bags is essential, we have been using the same season 3 ones for years and they work well from spring right through to autumn.

Some places, however, are very basic and you will need to bring the same as you would if you were camping. Your tent/cabin will set the scale for how big or how many camping beds you can fit into your sleeping quarters. However, spending the night in nature doesn’t have to mean sleeping on the cold hard ground! Find some excellent camping bed options for you and your whole family!


camping with kids


Keeping Kids entertained

What we love most about camping and glamping is stepping away from screens altogether - in fact, we often choose places that have no reception for this reason. Keeping children entertained while glamping is in fact very easy and just the change in routine and staying somewhere new and more connected with nature is all you need.

Saying that there are a few things you could take along to help keep spirits high depending on your location. If you heading somewhere near the woods or countryside do make sure to pack wellies or things you need for hiking as well as binoculars or bug spotting kits. If you're near the beach take sand buckets and spades or if you're in a field then a football or frisbee are really good fun. Really take advantage of being outside and within nature.

Learning not only about the environment, but also about the great outdoors is extremely important. If you can instil a quality outdoor education for your kids to pass on to their children, then you’ve not only done something great for them but for the Earth as well!


eating marshmallows


Extras!

It wouldn’t be glamping without some extras that make go above and beyond a normal camping trip! Finding just the right touches to make your holiday experience memorable doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are a few “extras” that can make take your campsite from camp to glamp!

Star String Lights
Portable Grill (although do check with the site first as they may have some already)
Portable Lanterns
Solar device charger
Camping chairs
Marshmallows for campfires
Some wine for the parents (or Gin)
A good book to sit back and read


The world is filled with gadgets and gizmos that will not only take your camping experience to the next level, but can also bring a little bit of luxury into your outdoor holiday! Soon you’ll be able to make your way to luxury campsites all over the world!

Glamping with Your Kids This Summer and Every Summer After!

This guide can help you plan your first summer glamping trip with your kids, after that, it’s all
up to you and your family! Find the perfect shelter, pack the best foods, plan family fun, and
make sure to include those little extras that make it magical. Soon you’ll be a glamping
professional and you’ll be busy making memories with your amazing family!

family camping

14/08/2019

Larmer Tree Festival 2019 Review


Kids festival

*I was provided with tickets in exchange for an honest review of Larmer Tree Festival

Larmer Tree Festival has been on our festival bucket list ever since my eldest came onto the scene in 2010 so we were really excited to finally be able to tick it off this year. For those who don't know Larmer Tree festival, started in 1990,  is a three-day music, comedy and arts festival that takes place yearly at the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens and is known for being very family-friendly.

While Larmer Tree isn't as small as The Big Retreat Wales we went at the start of summer, the fact it's capped at 5000 festival-goers means it's still really manageable with young children. This year they had a stellar line up with artists such as Kate Tempest, Gomez, Josie Long and family favourites such as Andy and the Odd Socks. I do have to be honest though and say when we attend a festival as a family we usually just play it by ear and not schedule the day too much as children have a limited attention span when it comes to watching live music, especially when there are so many activities and workshops going on and we like to go with the flow and let the kids lead the way.

Bell Tents Larmer Tree

Lostwoods Larmer tree


As I was attending the festival on my own with my two young boys, 4 & 8, with this being my third solo-parenting festival, I have learnt how to massively prioritise what we do and do not need when camping for 3 days especially when you're limited on what one adult can carry. If your thinking of attending a festival on your own with kids I would recommend looking into glamping options - yes they cost more but it massively reduces the stress of carrying & setting up a tent, which is usually the heaviest thing to carry.  Larmer Tree has plenty of options, including Campeazy which has already pitched and set up tents starting from £125 for the weekend. We stayed with Honeybells bell tents and I can't recommend them more, the tent was beautiful and having thick duvets provided again meant lugging less from the car to the site, which when your on your own is a massive help.


Larmer Tree Festival

Larmer Tree Festival


The campsite and festival site are adjacent to each other and only a 30-second walk away - again great for families and there was plenty of free water stations, toilets and hot showers. Inside the festival, they had some excellent catering options this year with a vintage fire truck that had been converted into a Mac and Cheese store, as well as the popular double-decker tea shop, along with pizza, crepes, burgers and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options - we felt spoilt for choice. As with most festivals, food is a bit pricey but we always make a point of packing for breakfast and a light lunch and treat ourselves to an evening meal out.

Larmer Tree, like most festivals, had different sections or areas, some more family-friendly than others with our favourite being The Wilds and Lostwoods which hosted plenty of crafts, workshops and stories next to a campfire and this is where we spent the majority of our time. We made wands and origami moons in the Wolly Woods, relaxed in the forest reading nook, played musical instruments in the Lostwoods and my youngest absolutely loved the Peachick tent aimed at the younger festival-goers which had an abundance of toys and sandpit area.


Larmer Tree Festival

Larmer Tree Festival


We also spent each evening enjoying the circus skills workshops in the village green, roamed around the Water gardens which offered a lovely haven of peace and tranquillity when you're in need of a moment of calm and made clay animals with the Pottery Parlour. On the last day there is also a vibrant and colourful parade which while we didn't participate in we loved watching and seeing all the creative costumes. There was an endless amount of things for families and kids to do that we literally didn't have enough time to do all of them.

Life music festival

Kids outdoors


While Larmer Tree offers loads for kids it is still very much a festival for all ages and there is still a mix of more teenage/adult performances, comedy and cinema shows in the late evening meaning if you have older children they will be equally entertained and offers scope to return year after year. We really enjoyed our weekend at Larmer Tree and look forward to returning in 2020 and really recommend this festival if you're looking for an action-packed weekend that's not too overwhelming and offers something for all ages.

You can join Larmer Trees Mailing list to be the first to know when tickets are live for 2020 which is taking place 16th-19th July. There are a few options and a payment plan to help spread the cost and under 6's go free.


Glamping Larmer Tree

*I was provided with tickets in exchange for an honest review of Larmer Tree Festival
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