Hello Helsinki



As some of you may already know we jetting off from Heathrow on Easter Monday, taking off in a storm (that was interesting) and made our way across Denmark and Sweden to the northern Finnish capital of Helsinki, a place I have dreamed of going to for a very longtime.

We have been invited to live as locals for a week and get to know the real Helsinki and discover it's secrets. On the first day our flight was delayed meaning after we had navigated the fast train from the airport to the city centre and finding our apartment the sun was already starting to set, luckily the wonderful people at Heleates had left us a hamper of local foods including some much needed Good Life Coffee - did you know Fin's drink more coffee than anywhere else in the world!

Scandi style
Chilling on the balcony of our apartment

We spent the first evening taking in the view from the balcony of our apartment and making plans for the rest of the week. My eldest is super excited at the thought of being in the country of The Moomins and together we are looking forward trying out the local food and having a chance to appreciate all the modern architecture dotted around the city while John is hoping to spend some time in the design centre which houses an impressive collection of fashion stores.

So what have been our first impressions so far?

1. This is a very stylish city that captures the Scandi simplicity to a tee
2. It has a fantastic transport network of Trams, trains, metro and ferries
3. There is a huge Coffee and cafe culture with loads of roasters around each corner
4. It's extremely clean
5. There is so much to see and do, with hundreds of islands off Helsinki you are spoilt for choice when it comes to day trips - we have already spent a day discovering the fortress island of Suomenlinna.

We have an action packed week ahead of ourselves including an exciting interview at a local Finish radio station and meeting up with some locals to help guide us on our way of living like a local in this amazing city. Make sure to follow our adventures on instagram

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4 Interior Inspired IG accounts you need to follow


interior instagram

Like most of those who spend time online I find instagram a place of daily inspiration and I find personally I often tend to follower smaller lesser know IG accounts than the big ones and thought I would share a few of my favourite interior and lifestyle inspired IG accounts that have beautiful feeds  to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Roostblog - a collaborative interiors and chic family lifestyle IG account which has only recently launch but already I am loving their daily curated feed which offers up stylish living on a plate.

2. Wild and Grizzly - Lori is one cool mama with a real eye for design. Her feed is full of colour, Scandi love and coffee

3. Don't Cramp My Style - Anna is an interior and lifestyle blogger from Manchester and her love for soft pastel shades of pink and purple show through in her lovely feed.

4. Little Wood Life - Emma lives in a stunning home in Northern Ireland with her equally beautiful children and impeccable taste for interiors, fashion and food - her feed never fails to inspire me.

What are your favourite IG accounts at the moment?
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Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall Part 1



Beautiful windows

Earlier this month we were invited to a short stay at the beautiful Bosinver Farm cottages near St Austell in Cornwall and from what I had heard about this place through other reviews I had read it was going to be a great little getaway. I actually studied half of my degree in Falmouth and have a real soft spot for the South of England and couldn't wait to head back down with the kids. Bosinver is made up of 20 luxurious self catering cottages, spread across beautiful and peaceful Cornish farm ready for big and little ones to explore. With so much on offer at Bosinver there was no way I could fit it all into one post so in this post I am going to focus on the accommodation and outdoor activities.

We managed to drive the whole way down without stopping as the baby fell asleep an hour into the trip meaning we made up some time as we left a little later than expected. Once we arrived we found the keys in the door of Wells Close cottage, the heating had been put on so it was lovely and toasty and absolutely spotless. As it was already starting to get dark we couldn't see the amazing view which welcomed us at breakfast time, as well as cream cake that was left in the fridge and went down a treat.

Bosinver farm cottages


Bosinver farm cottages

The accommodation was fantastic and more than we needed with Wells Cottage being able to sleep 6, spread over one double bedroom and two twin rooms as well as two bathrooms and a stunning open plan kitchen diner and lounge with a box full of toys, a very popular feature with the kids. These cottages have been furnished to a very high standard and with kids in mind, a large cot had been placed in one of the rooms before we arrived along along with a high chair and spill mat for meal times, there is also Nanny Pat's guide to Cornwall on the coffee table which lists all the best places to go to in the local area. Wells Close also had beautiful floor to ceiling windows in the lounge and each morning we would have breakfast here basking in the natural light flooding in and looking across fields and watching rabbits dart back and forth which provided a wonderful calm start to the day.

We all slept very well during out stay as like I said these cottage have been furnished to a very high standard and we could not fault anything about Wells Close, the only thing we had an issue with was the Wifi which we just couldn't seem to get a reliable connection too but saying that they do have a computer room next to reception with a printer for guests to use. 


Bosinver farm animals

Bosinver farm

Each morning Farmer Dave encourages children and adults of all ages to come and help feed the farm animals, something which was a real highlight for my eldest who really enjoyed getting up close and personal with all the different chickens, ducks, sheep, goats and guinea pigs. At the end of the feed each child also gets to check the chicken run for eggs which they get to take back to their cottages for a little mid-morning snack.

outdoor adventures

Bosinver farm

wild child

As a family we are passionate about the outdoors and it's something that is really encouraged here and on our first full day we didn't leave Bosinver but instead explored the outdoor play areas, Gruffalo trail and the tranquility of the lake. Mr A made a bee-line for the Zip wire which he absolutely loved and I think he would of been more than happy to have played on all day, alongside the big enclosed slide, these are both for the slightly older children and Mr A is just about big enough to enjoy them but just down from that is the Gruffalo trail which is suitable for all ages - just remember to bring your wellies as there is plenty of mud squelching fun to be had.


building dens

There is also another playground situated near the entrance of the Farm cottages which again offers something for all ages including a very cute little wendy house which Babg G spend hours sweeping and pretending to cook food in while my eldest pretended to drive the tractor and combine harvester. There are also longer walks on offer including a Wellie hunt, woodland walk and a hidden animal trail.

Wendy house


They also offer pony rides once a week, usually on a Tuesday, unfortunately my eldest was a little under the weather that morning otherwise we would of done this and the great thing is all of these activities are included in the price of your stay, unlike other places which encourage you to spend more money it's fantastic to stay somewhere that really is all inclusive when it comes to activities such as their fantastic pool and indoor play barn which I will talk about more in part two. During the peak summer months they also offer Wild Kids club with pond dipping, den building and all sorts of fun things, just remember to pack your all-weathers but if you do forget they have a small shed full of waterproofs, wellies and umbrellas for guests to use.

We really recommend Bosinver as it's truly a family friendly place that encourages and inspired families to connect with nature as well as offer a peaceful environment in which to de-stress, most of the other guest we met had been before and there is a good reason for that and it's certainly a place we will be looking to return to in the future.

Thanks to Bosinver for inviting us to stay and provide an honest review.

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Hello Spring, Easter and Biscuiteers



I cannot put into words how happy we are that it is officially spring - I think we can safely say in our household we are not huge fans of winter in the UK, especially for myself being a Southern Hemisphere expat. Perhaps if it always snowed and we could go snowboarding every season like our European continent counterparts I would feel differently but alas that is not the case in wet and windy Wales, so the sunshine and warmer days are a very welcomed sight.

What I love about when the seasons change is being able to bring back to life some long lost clothes such as this Levi's shirt which has been hibernating for a while. I have paired it up with some black jeans from TopShop,  Supergra trainers, F&F sunglasses and a beautiful box of Biscuiteers Peter Rabbit handmade Easter Biscuits - this box is so beautiful if I could somehow make it into a clutch I would.

Spring of course also means another fun celebration that is Easter and every year we indulge in some crafting, baking and of course a little Easter Egg hunt, as well as slowing down and enjoying some quality time as a family. Like I said we usually do a little baking and often make these simple biscuits which Mr A loved to decorate although if you don't have time or are looking for something extra special and truly beautiful then check out these stunning Easter boxes from Biscuiteers which you still have time to order as they do next day delivery. Last year I was given a truly tasty biscuit card from a friend and since then have been a fan as it's a real touch of London luxury in the home.

We tend to not go over the top with regards to our kids and sugar and apply our ethos of less is more when it comes to these things and go for quality over quantity, so we will be sharing this biscuit boxes alongside one medium sized egg each, while we used decorated paper mache eggs for our hunt. This year is going to be especially special as it's the first time Baby G will be involved now that he is walking everywhere and I am sure he is going to find the whole thing very amusing...and tasty.

What family traditions for you have for this time of the year? Do you celebrate easter or do you welcome spring in a different way?

We were sent the Peter Rabbit Easter box in return for an honest review

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Family, Finance and the Home



Having a family has changed my view on money

I can still remember the moment I found out I was pregnant with my eldest, up until that point I only had to think about myself, what I earned I would either save to go travelling or spend on things like clothes and eating out but as soon as I saw those two blue lines a switch went on inside of me and I knew straight away I would have to save every penny and that the way I viewed money needed to change.

I think I have always been fairly sensible and have never got in over my head when it comes to money although I did have some student debt and minor spending on credit cards but nothing too unmanageable. If debt had become too much, I would have sought help from professionals (click here), to reclaim control of my finances. At the time of my first pregnancy, neither John nor I were earning very much so I wanted to make a point of really getting on top of things, clearing debt, and saving for essentials. I became very frugal and learned how to upcycle, would pick up charity shop bargains, cooked meals from scratch, and kept my eye out for any specials that would help keep our monthly outgoings down

I have always tried to have some kind of savings behind me, even just a small amount for those "in-case" days and believe me we have had a few of those over the past few years such as the washing machine breaking or the bath leaking and needing to be replaced and even last week the car suspension went and I think if your prepared for the inevitable setbacks life throws up every now and then you will feel far more secure and be able to deal with them better.

Have you felt that you have changed the way you view money since leaving home or starting a family or do finances still overwhelm you? Aviva has put together a fun and easy quiz to work out your financial personality and lists your superpowers and your nemesis and I found mine to be pretty accurate. I came up as the "The Super Stretcher" where my frugal powers mean I can make the pounds stretch but I have a weak spot is being too generous or over-spending when it comes to those special occasions such as Birthdays or Christmas and I do find that even though I have never been over materialist I sometimes spend too much on on or two higher-end products as I can sometimes feel guilty for being so frugal the rest of the year.

We have been saying for a fair few months that we plan to move soon, but we really are getting close to putting the house on the market and this Personality Quiz has really helped put the pro's and con's of our personal savings and spending into clear perspective and has offered us advice on how to move forward. There are some really fun questions that put together what kind of person you are, where and what you like to spend your money on and how you approach saving, in a non-intrusive way that offers really useful advice.

I do find that being self-employed and working freelance has certainly to a degree made me more nervous about my finances but I think this is only normal and I think that perhaps relaxing a bit more and being more moderate at times. I feel that I could be making my money work harder for me and plan to spend some time researching ways to save, invest and be more knowledgeable about things like stocks and shares ISA's which Aviva offer, all in all however I am pretty happy with how I view money and the changes I made after starting a family.

When it comes to finances having a clear picture of your outgoings and what you can actually afford is really important as well as good communication with your bank, partner, family etc. If you really are struggling or have accrued a lot of debt and need professional advice on things like bankruptcy, or consolidating debt then please get in touch with a reputable company or citizens advice.

Life with at some point throw you a curve ball so having a little saving can really help, although sometimes that is harder said than done. There is plenty money saving advice online and is well worth a read. 
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Mickey Mouse

Meeting Mickey Mouse at Disney World in Florida

I have always been a dreamer and a believer in fantastical things, amazing adventures through magical lands on horseback encountering trolls and dragons and good always defeating evil in the end. I was one of those kids who easily got lost in the world of make believe, my imagination often ran wild and I would happily re-enact these adventures in my bedroom for hours on end. As you can imagine growing up I was a huge fan of Disney films and books as they had everything I could want in a story and seeing them come to life in such a vivid away on screen instantly captured my attention.

Growing up in South Africa we had limited access to the most recent collections and anything that came out in the cinema in places like the UK and US would only make it to our screens around a year later so when we came to visit family in Wales we would stock up on a few classics and then I would spend the next two years watching them over and over again on the weekends and after school. Its hard to pin point a favourite although I think I watched Sword in the Stone the most and it actually influenced the naming of our eldest son. I loved the legend and folk-law of it and being small in stature myself it also had a strong message of not judging a book by it's cover and that no matter how small or weak you may appear within you can be great strength. Other favourites at the time were Dumbo, The Jungle book and Peter Pan. My love for Disney didn't stop when I went into double digits at the age of 10, I remember still being enthralled throughout my teens with classics such as Aladdin, Hercules, The Lion King and Mulan.

Dinosaur costume
My son loves Disney and dressing up as some of his favourite characters

At the real hight of my childhood love for Disney, when most of my storybooks and toys resembled characters from the films, came that magical moment when your parents sit you down at the kitchen table, just before supper and quietly whisper that in a few weeks time we would be boarding a plane and flying to America to meet the big Mouse himself at Disney World in Florida. I was 9yrs old at the time, with an autograph book in hand on a mission to meet all my childhood heroes while wearing a Daffy Duck hat non-stop for what was one of the most memorable weeks of my life. Its one of those once in a lifetime experiences that I will never forget and it;s equally exciting that we are starting to talk about plans to take our sons to Disneyland Paris in the next two years once the baby is old enough to enjoy it as well.


The amazing thing about Disney is its continuous development of kids films, it moves with the times without losing the magic and continues to capture the imaginations in the same way today as it did with its first feature film in 1937. We keep screen time pretty low in our house but we have a family tradition of doing a movie night on Saturday evenings and its wonderful to watch our sons eyes light up at recent films such as Cars, Planes and Rataouille and even as adults it never seems like a chore to watch a Disney film as they nail it on the head when it comes to family viewing.  

What is amazing today though is unlike when I was a child and had to wait for what seemed forever to see the most recent Disney productions, now you can pretty much how the whole catalog and much more at your fingers with DisneyLife - the ultimate Disney App which has the biggest collection of films, box sets, books, music and apps and will sure to be a massive hit with families of all ages.

Do you have a favourite Disney film or memory? Why not share it on social media using #MyDisneyLife

I was asked by Disney Life to share my Disney memory 
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Easter interior inspiration


Egg cup
How cute is this wooden bunny ears egg cup from Not On The HighStreet 

Easter is one of our favourite times of the year, not just because of the chocolate but because it marks the end of winter and the begining of spring and new adventures. It's also a great time to bring a pop of colour to your breakfast table and your home, enjoy a spot of crafting and baking. Even if your not a chocolate lover there are plenty of ways of celebrating Easter in the home and I have put together a little interior inspired wishlist for the home this Spring.

easter wishlist

1. John Lewis Copper Kettle £40
2.  Ben De Lisi Egg Fried Egg Cup £6
3. Freya Été Good Egg Mug £10
4. Ashley Thomas Stoneware Bunny Salt and Pepper Shakers £12
5. Lila and Lola Rabbit Print £5.17
6. Peter Rabbit Biscuit Card from Biscuiteers £10.95

Another little traction we do around Easter time is have a few bunches and bouquet of fresh flowers weather it be wild flowers or a few daffodils I feel it's a great way to let in Spring. We also collect sticks to paint white and decorated with painted eggs - a simple but wonderful craft for kids.

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5 Fantastic Theatres in South Wales



The Sherman
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

When visiting Wales for the first time or the hundredth time, the one thing you will most assuredly want to do is have a night out at the theatre. If there is one thing the UK is famous for around the globe is the amazing theatres that offer everything from Broadway musicals to family theatre to opera. Whether staying in Cardiff or any of the outlying cities and towns, you will find some of the best entertainment there is to be found while getting a taste of culture, Welsh style of course! Here is a sampling of some of the favourite theatres Wales has to offer.

1. Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff

The Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff opened back in November of 2004 and over the past decade has been host to a great number of theatre events including such things as ballet, opera, musicals and comedy events. The centre itself is an arts centre that is located on a total land area of 4.7 acres and there is always something on that will draw massive crowds from around the UK as well as around the globe. You just can’t get a taste of Cardiff without seeing a live performance at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Millenium Centre
Relaxing outside The Millennium Centre, Cardiff

2. The New Theatre, Cardiff

Beautifully situated on a corner, this unusually shaped building is a tourist attraction in itself. Within recent months the New Theatre Cardiff has hosted shows such as the acclaimed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Last Tango and Footloose. This is one venue you won’t want to miss and once you return home from your travels you can leave a comment on their Facebook page to tell the world what you saw and of your stay in this capital city of Wales.

The New Theatre

3. Memo Arts Centre in the Vale of Glamorgan

Billed as a multi-purpose venue for the arts, this theatre is actually the largest in all of the Vale of Glamorgan. Recently the venue hosted the Royal Opera House Live: Boris Godunov which was well attended. At an event like this you will want to wear semi-formal to formal attire and if you didn’t bring any along for the trip, go online to quickly order the perfect dress for the occasion. Being a small nation, you can have your dress by the very next day, on time for your evening out at the opera. If you’ve come unprepared and need the perfect formal wear, click here for more info. Don’t miss out on a great Welsh experience simply because you didn’t pack for the theatre!

Sherman Cymru
Mr A and I enjoying a night at Sherman Cymru

4. Sherman Cymru

We have been to many shows at The Sherman Theatre in the heart of the city and have never been disappointed. Their main focus is on showcasing and supporting Welsh talent and is always fantastic seeing such professional home grown productions come to life. They also offer most of their shows in both English and Welsh meaning this theatre has some real importance in providing a home for Welsh language performances. They also regularly offer family friendly features as well as shows for toddlers and babies.

5. Chapter Arts Centre

Located in the creative suburb of Canton only a short walking distance from the City Centre, this place is a hub for community projects, art house cinema, art exhibitions and independent theatre productions. You are never short of things to see or do at Chapter plus they have an amazing cafe bar serving up a lot of local produce. 

So there you have just a sampling of theatres in Wales. Whether you are looking to bring the kids along for a family event or seeking a night out at the ballet, Wales has much to offer around the entire country. London may not be more than a few hours ride away, but you will find just what you need right here in Wales. Save London for another trip and enjoy your time here in Wales now. You’ll be glad you did.

South Wales

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Beatrix Potter Easter Blog Tour & Giveaway



This year marks 150 years since the birth of the beloved children's Author, businesswoman and conservationist Beatrix Potter and I have been asked to share my favourite memories and what her stories mean to us in this lovely Easter Blog Tour alongside some amazing bloggers and if you enjoy my post do make sure to stop over at The Gingerbread House tomorrow for more chances to win some Peter Rabbit Goodies.

Even though my childhood was spent in South Africa, Peter Rabbit was a well know and well loved story in our household, along with Jemima Puddle-Duck, Squirrel Nutkin and Mrs Tittlemouse. My mother being an Expat made sure we had a good dose of British culture in our lives and I am so glad that Beatrix Potter was one of them. Her stories always captivated me from a young age, I have naturally been a lover of the outdoors, nature and the magic of woodland setting with all it's animals and wild adventures to be had. My favourite Beatrix Potter memory to date has to be when I was pregnant with my eldest and the first purchase I ever made for him was his own copy of Peter Rabbit, for me it was an exciting moment, to be able to pass on a childhood favourite and relieve it again with my own children - this is the beauty of her timeless books. 

This year we are hoping to make it up to the Lake District to visit Hill Top, Beatrix Potters 17th Century farm house as well as take the boys to The World of Beatrix Potter attraction which brings to life all of her stories in a fun and interactive way.

If you love Beatrix Potter and all her wonderful stories then you will love this amazing Giveaway consisting of some beautiful Peter Rabbit goodies including a Peter Rabbit Newborn body suit, Hat and Mitt set, a beautiful Grey Shawl and Peter Rabbit Milestone Cards (worth £47.99) and tickets to the new Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground at Willows Activity Farm worth £76. Give-away ends on the 25th March.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Visualising your dreams



We all have dreams and goals we want to achieve, some are far more realistic than others but if you don't actually put down the ground work you are never going to make any of them become a reality. Over the past few years I have narrowed things down to what I really want to get out of life and I having a real clear direction on where you want to go and visualising and what you need to do to get there is absolutely essential if its something you really want to do. Wether it be time spent travelling, a big purchase or a career change have a focus and try and not deter from that.

Three things I would like to achieve within the next 10 years are

1. Purchase a small rental property or Holiday bolt hole
2. Learn how to Sail
3. Buy a Camper Van

I have over the past two years been actively saving for the camper van - I had a one berth van before kids, I bought it in Glasgow and drove down through the Dales into Wales, past Snowdonia down to St Ives and Lands End in Cornwall and spent a summer camping besides lochs and later on beaches in the south before the gearbox fell through and it was just not finically viable to fix. 

Cornwall camper
My old one person van in Cornwall

This time around I want to make a better investment, by a decent van that can accommodate all of us and see us through many summer adventures in the UK and further afield. I am almost there although as per usual something happens, such as the suspension going on our car this week, that throws a spanner in the works and then my savings pot get's eaten into. This year though is the year I am going to make it happen, I am determined. 

In the run up to this I have been trying to make sure I have most things paid off, I no longer have any credit card debt and I am coming to the end of my student loan repayments. It's very important to make sure you are on top of things before committing any big purchases. I plan to buy the campervan in full although I know when it comes to making a rental property purchase, work will need to be done to that property and in that case I would be looking to take out a personal loan of a fairly small amount. I really like the idea of peer to peer lending which offers very competitive, easy to manage, low interest rate loans from companies such as Lending Works.

Whenever I feel like I am getting of track though I remind myself of my goals. I have put inspiration boards together, printed out photos , started to make plans and have gone through all the pro's and con's and I feel like laying down this ground work has made my dreams feel closer to reality. 

What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?

This is an associated post

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More from The George Home



George at Asda home

As you may already know we were invited to view the new George By Asda homeware and furniture collection a few weeks back, it was a fun filled day with activities for the kids, a scrummy lunch and some chit chat with four other lovely bloggers while taking in the beautiful styled home in North London. I have written about the day here but felt as there was so many beautiful details that I wanted to share a little bit more with you as well as the Vlog I have put together about the experience. 

As I have said before this collection really stands on it's own and both John and I were very pleasantly surprised with the quality and design of all the products with may on trend pieces at reasonable prices.

George sofa

There was a real Scandi feel in the living spaces and when we move into our new home, hopefully later this year, we are planning to purchase one of their stylish sofas. What also caught our eye was their lamps and light fittings, especially the copper effect table lamp which would be perfect in a home office. 

wooden toys

Blonde boy

They have also added a whole range of colourful and creative wooden toys as well as soft furnishings for children rooms, which was a huge hit with all the kids. We have our eye on the wooden George Home Rocket as well as the reversible activity table which would provide hours of fun.


This is by far the largest collection George Home have done and ever piece has been thoughtfully designed for every room in the home. I have put a little vlog together all about our wonderful day spent in North London with the George Team.

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