Katie

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Aah, finding yourself whilst travelling. How cliche does that sound, and how many times have we heard it all before? Somebody comes back from their gap year wearing pyjama-like trousers covered with elephants, and claims that they know the meaning of life now. Yet it doesn’t have to be like this, and there are many ways to actually find out who you are and what you like by travelling, and seeing the world for yourself. We’ve put them down here so that you can give…

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Christmas With Hever Castle

It’s become a bit of a family tradition to start off our festivities at Hever Castle. This year was our third visit and it’s just as special as the first. 

Hever Castle is just gorgeous on it’s own, but when it’s filled with lights & Christmas it is even more incredible! We arrived just as it was getting dark so the tree lined walk down towards the lake felt like a real winter wonderland. 

The lake joined in this year too, with a huge light show happening across it. I could have sat and watched it for hours with a cup of mulled wine and a mince pie! 

Christmas With Hever Castle

Christmas With Hever Castle

Even though we’ve been in the castle many times before, it never gets boring. The history is just amazing, walking around the rooms, seeing the furniture, paintings and artefacts that were actually around in the days of Henry VII and his wives – I love it! 

This year we were greeted with said mince pies, mulled wine, mulled apple and even hot chocolate. Which felt very decadent, walking around the castle drinking! I imagine it’s how Anne Boleyn felt….

Christmas With Hever Castle

The theme this year was Dickens, and the Christmas Carol story. The walk around the grounds meant we met lots of characters from the story, and, being interactive, we got to speak to a few as well! The walk is always so beautifully laid out, they think of everything, with the characters taking their roles very seriously, no matter who they’re speaking to, adult or child. 

After the walk we had the chance to meet the big man himself, Father Christmas! We found the grotto hidden away down the walkway, with candy canes galore and once inside we were treated to a hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream – it’s obviously freezing in the grotto! 

FC’s chief elf met us, and, luckily, found Charlie’s name on the good list, which meant we were allowed in. Charlie was able to draw a picture for Father Christmas, for him to put up in the grotto. 

You know sometimes when you visit Father Christmas and you come away feeling a little, shall we say, deflated? Not at Hever. He was, for want of a better word, magical. Charlie was in his element and came away feeling very proud that Santa had complimented him on his manners and how polite he was. He left with a board game for us all to play! 

Christmas With Hever Castle

Christmas With Hever Castle

Christmas With Hever Castle

Christmas With Hever Castle

Christmas With Hever Castle

Once we left the grotto we headed back to the lake, via the Huskies that were visiting, just to take in the views one last time. 

We all adore visiting Hever Castle for the Twilight Christmas – it signals the start of the magic for us, adults, teenagers and little kids alike. There is nothing quite like it, and I think it’s going to be a tradition for a long time to come. 

Christmas With Hever Castle

We were invited along to the Hever Castle preview this year, but all views are mine! 

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My Gallery Wall With Desenio

We’ve been in our new home for a good 4 months now, so we’re feeling really settled and more like we actually live here, rather than ‘borrowing’ someone else’s house. Now it’a all about putting some personality into each room, especially on the walls, it’s really important to me that the house has character and feels like it belongs us. 

The walls are all gorgeous, bright white which I love, despite moving from a house where I wanted to paint every wall a dark colour. I think, because this house is so full of light, it suits the white, pared back look. It’s a complete contrast but one that we all love. Plus, we can change the character of the room just by changing the furnishings and details, a lot cheaper (and easier) than painting the walls every time we fancy a new look!

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

I love art, and a gallery wall has always been on my room checklist. We had a small one in the old house, but we have a separate dining room now, which felt a little bare compared to the living room, so I really wanted to fill an entire wall with images that suited us as a family. 

Desenio very kindly sent me a voucher to use so I could design our gallery wall from scratch. 

I knew I wanted black frames, I love how they pop against the white wall, and there had to be at least one large framed print as the central image, but apart from that, I was fairly open minded about what images we’d use. Desenio is amazing for inspiration, maybe even a little too amazing! It took me hours to decide. 

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

The best part for me, was being able to design how the gallery wall would look, with several layouts to choose from, and giving you the chance to add prints you liked, to see if they worked well.

I managed, in the end to whittle it down from the thousands Desenio have available and I chose a LOVE typography print as the largest image, because that’s what family is about. Obviously there had to be a quote in there, I didn’t want too much text as it would have been a lot of black and white on white walls, but the one that stood out to me the most was the Change your thoughts one. PMA baby!

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

I added a leaf print with gorgeous greens and pinks, the most beautiful Frida Kahlo one which I am obsessed with and, of course, there had to be a moon imagine in there. La Lune. I also added a New York print for the hallway and a tiny “Stay Weird” postcard sized print in bright pink for the living room.

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

Because you must always let your weird flag fly!

The finished result looks amazing and they fill the blank wall perfectly, it’s changed the whole feel of the dining room now, just 5 framed prints and the entire room feels complete and more us.

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS // LA LUNE // PALM PRINT // LOVE 

FRIDA // STAY WEIRD // NEW YORK

What do you think? I have already been eyeing up some prints for the bedrooms! 

The code “LIFEDAILY” gives 25% off posters* on all of our sites between November 27th and 29th.
(Except for frames and handpicked-/collaboration posters)

 

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Three Ideas For An Italian Mini Break

Italy is a great option for getting out of the country, even if it just for a short break such as a 3 day weekend. The food is wonderful, the people are friendly, and the climate is all around comfortable. It draws millions of visitors, all in the pursuit of “La Dolce Vita”.

For your next Italian mini break, here are three ideas of where to go:

Sicily

Sicily is not just any island. It has beautiful beaches, a volcano, Greek temples and other UNESCO World Heritage sites. The food is incredible, the people are friendly and it is a wonderful place to spend a holiday. Getting there is not difficult, as there are two main international airports and budget airlines such as Ryan Air fly there. To make your trip that much more special, you can check out the luxury villas in Sicily for rent on websites like Wishsicily that list all of the ones available. At a villa, you will have the privacy and space that helps shift to holiday mode and surprisingly, they can actually save you money from their base price as well as the money you can save just by having a meal or some snacks made in your own kitchen.

Three Ideas For An Italian Mini Break

Umbria

Umbria is a special region in the heart of Italy. It is often overlooked as it is so close to Tuscany, but it is a place that will keep you wanting to come back. It is green with gorgeous countryside and historic cities such as Perugia, Assisi and smaller villages scattered throughout the region. You can happily spend 3 days in Umbria eating and drinking your way through the region, visiting the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi and stopping off in whichever village appeals to you.

Veneto

The most famous part of the region of Veneto is understandably the city of Venice. With the canals, colorful homes and Piazza San Marco, Venice is a magical city that is unlike any other place in the world. If you have already been or want to avoid heavy tourism during your mini break, there are plenty of other cities and sites to see in the region as well. For example, you could spend one day popping over to visit the islands of Murano and Burano. For another day and with just a quick train-ride from Venice, you can visit the charming and well-kept city of Verona.

These are only three of the many options that Italy has to offer for a mini break. If you want a trip to the mountains, the Dolomites are gorgeous to visit. If you want pure seaside, there is always the Amalfi Coast (that is especially convenient to get to from Rome and Naples). If you prefer lakes, Lake Garda and Lake Como are beautiful. One of my favourite parts about Italy is that the landscapes, cuisines and even cultures shift as you go from region to region. So whatever you may dream up for your holiday, there is a good chance that Italy offers it, plus the special characteristics that make it a destination in Italy.

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What's Your List Like?

Thank F**k it’s Friday. 

That’s all I can say. It’s been a long week! Anyone else feel like last Friday was at least 2 weeks ago? Just me? 

My weeks tend to run to the same familiar pattern. 

Monday: Day Off (ha! oh how we laugh at this term) 

Tues//Wed//Thurs: Kids, work, kids, dinner, kids, sofa. 

Friday: Day off to plan all of the relaxing things we’re going to be doing at the weekend.

Like clearing the garden of a gazillion leaves, serious question, do they actually mulsh (that’s a word right?) down into nothing and magically feed the grass or do we have to pick them all up? There are a LOT of leaves. Clean the car. Go to football. And squash. Take the teenager to a shopping centre. Food shop. Dog walks. Washing that doesn’t get done during the week because the days zoom by and before you know it the basket is overflowing and no one has clean socks. 

Except me, I don’t wear socks. 

See. Re-lax-ing. 

We might even throw a little bit of DIY in there somewhere, there are always things to do, in the garden, especially, I’m led to believe, in the lead up to winter. Apparently you should be ticking things off your list like clearing the gutters, finding companies like Drainage Services UK and all sorts. 

I’m not really that kind of DIY’er though. I’m more than happy to leave that to T and I’ll concentrate on things like where to put the Christmas tree, what colour tinsel (I hate tinsel but I have a plan) will go round the banisters and how many fairy lights do you need for outside. These are the kind of projects I’m down for. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love a list. I really do. But wouldn’t it be nice if that list was more of a “get hair & nails done” and less of “we need to order another recycling bin”. 

But we really do need another recycling bin…..

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