Laura and Cardiff fashion in Very Magazine



Wow really excited to be in this months Magazine as part of a street style segment about Cardiff. I also contributed the Top 3 places to shop, eat and drink in the segment. It's always really fun when these kind of things happen and it's one of the lovely perks of being a blogger.

Very magazine

My outfit is fairly typical of my style - a Nine west breton striped tee with a gifted faux-leather jacket, Max Studio trousers and Clarks brogues with a studded black bag, a sort of French inspired style with a little bit of NY street thrown in. In the feature is also two other lovely Cardiff based bloggers - Nina and Mia, do check out their blogs

street style

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Monday Travel Inspiration - Arisaig



inspiring landscape

A few years back I spent a few months working in the West Coast of Scotland in two different remote villages. I talked about my trip to the Isle of Eigg last week and thought I would share some photos of my time in Arisaig, a small village with around 300 people. When I was there is had one hotel which also housed the local pub, a post office and a nice cafe. The real attraction however was the stunning landscape which never failed to inspire me. I use to take long walks and see no one for 2-3 hours, may a time I across Stags and deer and found the place incredibly peaceful.

Beautiful view
beautiful coastline

It's one of those places that I hope to visit again and take the family this time. The train from Glasgow via Fort William on the West Highland line which is famous and incredible and should be on every bodies to do list as you pass by lochs, rugged landscape, mountains and hours of countryside. In fact it was voted the top rail journey in the world by readers of the travel magazine Wanderlust in 2009 and I have to say I agree with them.

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Keeping fit with your kids




t is hard to get your children interested in sport if you do not involve yourself in it as well. If you leave the decision to your child they may never pick up a sporting interest and as such could miss out on the social element, that team sports provide, and of course the fitness element which is vital to your child’s lifestyle. You want to actively encourage your child to pick up a sporting interest not force it. 

vintage tennis racket
Beautiful tennis rackets (image)

Tennis is arguably the best sport to involve yourself and your child in. There are plenty of local coaches out there dying for increased membership and as a result they provide a fantastic service. With 584 calories burnt an hour from playing tennis both you and your children will have had a decent workout. If you and your child are both novices then tennis is a very good place to start, there shouldn’t be too many discrepancies between you and your child, meaning they could actually beat you and this friendly competitive nature increases the retention rate for both of you, a friendly family rivalry is a good thing. You never know, your child could one day be one of the favourites for Wimbledon.

Swimming is a great way to keep fit with all the family (image)

Swimming is absolutely brilliant. Not only is it a full body workout it is also a key life skill that your child needs to learn, nobody wants to be an adult that can’t swim. Sixty minutes of front-crawl would see you burn 514 calories, and it is one of the most complete workouts you can do. Swimming will strengthen the muscles in both yours and your child’s legs and arms, as well significantly improving the heart. Once your child learns to swim you can both go down to the baths and go off at your own pace, once your child is an adequate swimmer supervision is not vital. Swimming is a life skill that all children should be taught.

outdoor fun

Football is the main sport in the UK and even though we don't have any interest in the sport what so ever we do think it's great to kick a ball around with the little man at the park and it's something we can do as a family that is fun, easy and cheap and it's also a brilliant bonding tool and great for foot-eye co-ordination.

It doesn’t matter what sport you get your child involved in as long as you get them involved in sport, it is of paramount importance that you prod your child in the direction of healthy living.

This post contains a sponsored link but thoughts are 100% our own
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Free range fun and beach adventure part 2

free range child

Last week we had so much fun in all the glorious fun that I simply could not fit it all into one post and  since we had more than one visit to the seaside this weeks country kids post is about our adventure to Penarth Park and Pier.


outdoor fun

Whenever we go to Penarth we park near the town centre and walk through the park first before heading down to the beach and pier. It's a lovely park with wooden sculptures, a small bird avery, pond and little play park with a hedge you can climb behind and is always popular with children. 

Penarth Park

ice cream

We then headed down to the pier and had a little bite to eat followed by a ice-cream to help cool the little man down after all that running and since he doesn't get ice-cream very often it's always a lovely treat. We had only been on the Pier for around 10 minutes when we heard a a loud noise and could see part of the cliff near the pier come down, fortunately no one was hurt but it was pretty exciting to see and within about 15 min there were 3 fire engines and police vans, very exciting for a toddler.

Penarth cliff landslide
Penarth Cliff Landslide

active toddler

outdoor fun

I cannot wait for more simple and fun days out over the spring and summer.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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The Many uses of Velvet Fabrics



velvet fabric

Velvet is one of those things that cannot help but conjure up thoughts of luxury in our minds. Like gold and marble, the use of velvet around the home has long been regarded as an indication of personal wealth and class. This status comes from the early 19th century when it was only the very rich that could afford such luxuries and this image of opulence has stayed with us ever since

grey velvet
Pale Grey Velvet worked really well in this stylish and simple room (image)

Over the years there have been many uses for velvet fabrics. From dresses to upholstery fabric, velvet has adorned such an array of things that it can be difficult to know where to start. Embossed velvet used as upholstery fabric is still hugely popular today and embossed velvet is also enjoying a renaissance in many areas as a wall covering too. When using velvet fabric UK homeowners are no doubt searching for that image of luxury that was afforded to the upper classes back at the turn of the 19th century.

velvet curtains

Another very popular use for velvet is curtain making. Curtains made with either plain or embossed velvet perform far better than other materials when it comes to blocking out daylight thanks to the thickness of the material. When buying velvet fabric, UK interior designers know that velvet curtains can add to the luxurious feel of a room considerably. They will often match the curtains to the embossed velvet upholstery fabric used on the furniture pieces within the room to give a uniform richness to the space. With clever use of velvet fabric, UK designers can create an illusion of wealth without necessarily breaking the bank.

living room
A stylish living space with a velvet couch, works really well (image)

Of course, velvet fabrics are not restricted to the home. They have been used for centuries to create some of the most fabulous evening wear imaginable. From royal robes through to the most modern of prom dresses, all have used velvet fabrics as their primary material. Even handbags and scarves have been made from velvet throughout the ages, proving not only its universal appeal but also its versatility too.
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Solving an interior challenge with a bedroom makeover


After doing a social media shout out to my followers and having a great response, I was really excited to be working with young couple Rhian and Gareth, who have only recently moved into their first home and need some help in turning their uninspiring bedroom into a place that showcases their personalities and brings a little bit more style and colour into their home.

They are planning their wedding later this year and have no budget to do anything with their bedroom which made the makeover that little bit more special. I discussed with them what they wanted to achieve and we put together and inspiration board of ideas. We also discussed simple storage ideas as there was a little bit of an issue with clutter.

“By simply organising books and beauty products into stylish storage cases it really makes the room feel more streamline and spacious.”

bedroom makeover
Bedroom before the makeover

We were really excited to see what we would find at HomeSense and went in with an open mind and ended up being really spoilt for choice. The main focus of the room was of course the bed so we went with stylish designer bedding that had a lovely Moroccan style print which is a huge trend this season. Some new pillows and cases were also purchased, as well as a chic new lamp, storage boxes, a vase, candles, picture frames and books to add those personal touches.

bedroom makeover
Stylish bedroom after the makeover 

Overall the bedroom look really fresh and inviting and all the pieces worked really well together. It brought in some colour without clashing and created a sense of order and calm in the room. Rhian and Gareth loved the experience and found HomeSense to be a real treasure trove of unique and inspiring pieces.

Next week, I'll be spending an afternoon at my local HomeSense store in Cardiff, so pop on over to my HomeSense Inspiration Day on Tuesday 29th April between 1-3pm! You can also see the article on Huffington Post 

Rhian was really happy with the results

Love Chic Living and Love Your Home
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How to stay within budget when travelling with kids


train adventure
Train trips are always fun with the little man

In Mr A's three years we have already been lucky enough to do a few adventures, some short city breaks and others a week away in a rural cottage or camping at a festival and travelling with a toddler is an adventure in itself and we have learnt a lot along the way. Being savvy travellers anyway, especially when I managed to stretch £1500 into pretty much 2 years on the road I thought I would put some key tips to the test when it came to travelling with Children.

Mr A and I having some high speed train fun

Of course now it's slightly different not only because we have a child but because we are no longer travelling as individuals but as a family and couple. I am pretty happy to stay in backpackers or couch surfing (personally have had AMAZING experiences doing this) while John prefers more comforts and luxury but we have to be realistic and come to a middle ground that works for both of us and our son.

Welsh adventure
Us outside Raglan Castle during a trip to Mid-Wales

So here are out top tips

1. Research Accommodation - We have stayed in some amazing hotels in cities but we never spend more than £100 a night for all of us, this does not mean however we go for low end budget, oh no, for example when we stayed in Z Hotels right in the heart of London Soho, we had a small but stylish room in an equally chic boutique hotel for around £90 and by researching reviews on places like trip advisor I was pretty confident of what to expect and it was perfect for a quick night away. The basis of this is ALWAYS research hotels and check out various reviews, look for customers photos, this way you have a clear idea of what your getting yourself into and making sure your not spending money on a dive, this works equally well for backpackers too.

hanging chair
Me chilling in the courtyard at Hotel Z

2. Find Free Sights - every city has an array of free sights and activities and it's always worth making a list of these before you leave. We always try and make a trip to an outdoor space, like a park to run off some steam and enjoy the outdoors and most destinations have lovely open spaces, especially in Europe, that are very inspiring and free.

3. Know the Cost - If you are planning to go to vista sights and attractions that have an admission charge it's a good idea to know exactly what it's going to cost you before going so your not heading for any nasty surprises. London does 2 for 1 on may popular attractions for those who travel to the city on the train and in Europe there are often free days at museums once a month.

creative festival
Mr A enjoying some free creative fun at Wychwood Festival

4. Always Carry Water - buying drinks out and about can become very expensive and unnecessary especially when carrying a bottle of water on you at all times mean's you can stay hydrated on the go. In hotels where the water is safe to drink or at designated water fountains work as perfect places for filling up your bottle, otherwise picking up a few from a local supermarket still always works out cheaper and when children get thirsty they get thirsty.

5. Always Carry a quick bite - This really will save you money! If your staying in a hotel with breakfast make sure you eat enough to feel full (don't stuff yourself but be comfortable) than carry around quick snacks which will get you too lunchtime without having to stop and pick something up. We usually always have no-perishables on us such as dried fruit, nuts, naked bars and fruit pots, most of which are child friendly and it's great to be able to sit down in a park and pull out a cereal bar and some fruit, re-energise and enjoy the moment.

rural wales
Enjoying a lovely winter walk on our week break in rural Wales

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Putting the fun into kids bedroom interiors



stylish kids room

A child's bedroom should be a place of wonder and whimsy, a place where imagination can flourish and fun is the name of the game. It needs to be approached in a different way to other rooms in the house and you need to realise that it's a place to play and things don't need to be perfect. In the past two years we have gone through three house moves, renovating and redecorating and our first port of call has always been Mr A's room as it was important he felt comfortable in his space.

I always get really excited when I see quirky and cool items that just screams fun but is also chic and stylish and perfect for an inspiring children's bedroom and interior. So when I came across these playful and colourful wall pieces from Urbanara I just knew this would go straight on my list of things to get for Mr A's room. They are handmade with wool felt and made using an appliqué design, there are six different animals heads to choose from, my favourite being the woodland inspiration that is Mr Fox as well as the African Giraffe and Elephant.

chic kids interior

Don't be scared to mix bold colours and unusual patterns together, just don't go over the top in terms of over stimulation and clutter as less is always more and start with a white base and layer on top of that to create a magical interior for your child.

quirky pillows

It's the small touches and finishes that make up a room and I really love these beautiful hand woven pillow cases with cute little appliqués on them, from African designs to Anchors, they would fit perfectly with the animal wall decorations and if your looking for some unique lighting check out the Whale print lampshade or ethically produced and handwoven pendant which is made from recycled straw and plastic and would light up a kids room beautifully.

ethical lamp shade

kids lamp shade

The main thing to remember when styling and decorating a child's bedroom is it's not like an adults bedroom, there needs to be a fun factor to it and it's a great opportunity to take risks and bring some colour into the home.

This post contains a sponsored link but words and thoughts are 100% our own
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Easy Ethical style


ethical fashion

We are huge fans of anything that brings fashion and an eco friendly ethos together and it's really exciting to see more and more stylish and ethical fashion brands popping up and so many chic pieces. I am really into simple design this year and thought I would put together this mini inspiration board. From top, left to right

1. Women bamboo viscose and organic cotton tee from Continental Clothing
2. Mata Traders Fairtrade handmade necklace
3. Narrow Brim Fedora made from palm leaves
4. Free People Stela Patchwork backpack
5. People Tree Freya Button Top
6. Eileen Fisher Boyfriend jean in Organic cotton

What is your favourite ethical brand?
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Travel inspiration and simple pleasures

Helen Keller
A quote to live by (image)

Life is too short to not do what you love, what makes you happy and what makes your soul smile. I know life does not need to be humdrum and boring and with each day you can find some magic. Growing up in South Africa was like growing up in paradise with long summers spent on the beach, hiking up mountains or making dens in the garden for months on end, coupled with mild winters that meant I could surf all year round and that outdoor ethos that was engrained in me as a child is something I want to pass onto my son. Before having our son and when I moved to the UK a few years ago I spent more than 2 years travelling around Europe, making amazing friends and living very simply, spending a summer in Cornwall living in a very small camper van and John has also been to some far-flung places and now together we are making new adventures and just because we are now parents it does not mean the pursuit of happiness, wanderlust and sharing what we have learnt has to stop if anything its made us want to do it more, the world is our oyster for which to share with our son, as they say travel is the best Education.

Wychwood music festival
John and Mr A enjoying music at Wychwood last year

Since Mr A was born we have been embarking on various outdoor adventures, get aways, train trips, travels and lot's of camping. There is nothing better than waking up in the morning under canvas wether it be a tent, teepee or glamping pod and hearing nothing by birds in the trees, seeing the mist rise, going outside and starting up the camping stove and making coffee and choco-milk for the boys and seeing the little man in his element, helping out with the dishes, running around outside in his PJ's and wellies, looking for snails and dew in morning glades and smiles all round, nothing better, such simple pleasures. This year we really hope to do some glamping or camping fun further afield such as France or Italy and I love the look of the family friendly and inspiring Glisten Pods in the South of France which really seem to capture the ethos off free range childhood.

strolling on the beach

forest play

outdoor fun

We are looking forward to another summer filled with music, fresh air, walking barefoot and slowing ourselves down for some quality and wild family time.

Travel Tuesday

This post is part of our entry into the #GlistenMoment blog competition with Glisten Holidays
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Happy Easter



Happy Easter everyone, hope you are all having a wonderful day, filled with laughter, smiles and treats. We started the day with two mini craft projects which distracted the little man long enough for the easter bunny to visit the garden and put out the eggs for the hunt.

toddler crafting

easter bunny

This was the first Easter we have had in our new house and the little man was really excited. Over the past few weeks it's almost as if he has gone from toddler to little boy, the way he runs, the funny sentences he comes out with and how he just "got" Easter this year. Our hunt included crafted eggs we painted, a few plastic eggs as well as painted boiled eggs which bulked up the hunt as oppose to just chocolate eggs, although he did get a large chocolate egg which he was blown away with.

easter egg hunt

easter love

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