Friday, 14 May 2021

Finn and Cora's Shared Bedroom

We have lived in our house for nearly 4 years and this is the third change to this room as we try to work out the best way to use the space.  It was originally a shared nursery for the little two, it then became Finn's room alone with a king sized bed taking over most of the space and now, with Cora's room repurposed into an office, and us becoming more aware that neither Finn nor Cora like sleeping in a room alone, I have tried to create a unisex shared bedroom for them.

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor, childrens mural

Finn is 6 and Cora will be 5 next month.  I wanted a room that gave us options, storage and space, and that could grow with them.  We are limited by the fact we are in a rented house, but we decided to go for one feature wall which could be repainted if we decide to move.  I chose a fun design from Murals Wallpaper and they gifted us the mural.  I liked this one as I could pick out different colours for accessories and it wouldn't be outgrown.  The room is small but I love how it adds colour and fun.

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor, childrens mural

I bought the bunk beds and kallax unit from Ikea and Finn already had the white Ikea chest of drawers.  As well as the kallax boxes on the bottom row, I found the fun crates at The Works and loved how well the colours co-ordinated with the room.  Both children have their own set for storing their 'special things'.

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor, childrens mural

We were sent the most beautiful Picca Lou Lou pompom garland from Luna and Cash and it is so incredibly soft.  I need to put some proper hooks on the wall for it.  I love the rich colours and it looks great above their bed.  They also sent a beautiful Fabelab animal cushion which matches the bright mustard on the wall and is taking it in turns between the children at the moment!

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor, luna and cash, pompom garland

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor, luna and cash, pompom garland

The four prints I bought from Desenio, and the wooden dolls house and make up set are preloved toys from friends who had outgrown them. The cosy corner is made up of things that were in Cora's room before, purchased from a variety of stores.  I wanted to reuse as much as we could.  

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor, desenio

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor, cosy kids corner

I wanted the bedding to be as easy as possible, so I bought coverless duvets that can be washed and tumble dried as they are (it might sound lazy but to me it sounds genius!).  I bought them from Fine Bedding and got the matching pillow cases (unfortunately they have to be removed from the pillows before washing).  They are wonderfully soft and they have slept well in them.

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor

I love how their room has come together.  It is colourful and Fun and the space works well for sleep and play together.

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor

unisex bedroom, shared bedroom idea, childrens decor















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Monday, 10 May 2021

Days Out in Essex // Clacton Pavillion

We recently visited Clacton-on-Sea and of course our trip wouldn't have been complete without visiting the beach and the famous pier.  I had left it until the last day as it was meant to be the sunniest and we arrived down there by 11am.  Clacton Pier itself didn't open until midday, but we walked along the gardens that line the seafront and explored.

Just in front of the pier, we found Clacton Pavilion.  In contrast to the big and exciting rides that the pier offers, the pavilion had a collection of smaller rides aimed at younger children.  Mine are 4,6,8 and 9, but my eldest prefers gentle rides over anything adventurous and I was soon inundated with requests for the bumper cars.  The pavilion offers wristbands which offer unlimited rides for the day (it is open 11-5) for £8.99 and it seemed like the most cost effective way to enjoy the day.  When we later explored the pier, it was around £3- £4 per ride for the bigger rides and my children were much happier having unlimited smaller rides.

Clacton pier, clacton pavillion, days out in essex, clacton with kids

Clacton pier, clacton pavillion, days out in essex, clacton with kids

There was around 12 choices in total and the bumper cars were a big favourite.  There were only 5 cars but the park was quiet (it was Kent school holidays when we visited but the Essex school term had restarted) so we never had to queue.  Cora at 102cm was tall enough to go on every ride without a parent and Dylan at 9 (152cm) was only too big for one ride.  Everything was close together and they could easily move between rides or I could watch two on one ride and two on another.  

Clacton pier, clacton pavillion, days out in essex, clacton with kids

Clacton pier, clacton pavillion, days out in essex, clacton with kids

I can't begin to guess how many turns they had but I do know I was dragging them away when it was time to leave and they have been desperate to return ever since!  

Rather than getting lunch at the hot dog huts in the pavilion, we walked down to the beach and had fish and chips from a little cafĂ© there.  I wanted a break from the noise and lights so we spent some time playing in the sand and enjoying the views.  We also went for a walk all the way along the pier to the end.  To get through to the outdoor area we had to walk through a huge arcade that the children were desperate to play in (all indoor activities were shut due to Covid measures when we visited).

Clacton pier, clacton pavillion, days out in essex, clacton with kids

Clacton pier, clacton pavillion, days out in essex, clacton with kids

Clacton-on-Sea seafront is a wonderful place to visit with young children.  There are huge stretches of beach, all the fun of the pier and we loved our day out at the pavilion.

Clacton pier, clacton pavillion, days out in essex, clacton with kids

Clacton pier, clacton pavillion, days out in essex, clacton with kids

Clacton pier, clacton pavillion, days out in essex, clacton with kids

Clacton pier, clacton pavillion, days out in essex, clacton with kids



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Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Little Adventures with Regatta

This post features clothing sent to us to promote

As the world opens up a little, we are enjoying exploring somewhere different, visiting attractions that we have missed and seeing people, but we are still making time for the simple things, the little adventures close to home that were available all along and kept us going through the past year.  The beach is my favourite place to be and we are lucky enough to live within walking distance.

Whilst it is a fun summer day out, I have written regularly about how we enjoy the beach in all weather and this windy bank holiday weekend was no exception.  We met up with my parents and my nephews (they are a childcare bubble) at their beach hut and spent the day building sandcastles, eating chips and splashing in the sea.  Cora was sent a raincoat and wellies from Regatta's new Peppa Pig collection and whilst there were no muddy puddles to jump in, there was a sandy sea.

regatta, peppa pig, regatta kidswear, adventure ready kids

Cora prefers wearing wellies to shoes as she can take them on and off easily and it means she is always prepared for puddles and adventure (are you a parent if you haven't tried to prevent a child in inappropriate shoes not to jump in a puddle?).  These boots have an adjustable toggle so you can fit them snuggly around the legs which should stop water splashing into the boots on the biggest jumps too!

regatta, peppa pig, regatta kidswear, adventure ready kids

As the weather is warming up, the children are keen to ditch their bigger coats (as is the person who seems to end up carrying them most of the time), and we are looking for coats that protect from the elements without being too warm or bulky.  Cora's Peppa Pig raincoat is ideal for this, it protects from showers without getting in the way of climbing, running and sea splashing.

regatta, peppa pig, regatta kidswear, adventure ready kids

We are looking forward to a year of adventures closer to home (we haven't risked booking any foreign travel yet) and with the British weather so unpredictable I think wellies and a thin raincoat are going to be essentials!  The Regatta Peppa Pig collection is available  in size 12-18 up to 5-6.  Cora is a petite nearly 5 year old in age 4-5.  We found the wellies were generous sizing so don't size up!

regatta, peppa pig, regatta kidswear, adventure ready kids

regatta, peppa pig, regatta kidswear, adventure ready kids

regatta, peppa pig, regatta kidswear, adventure ready kids

regatta, peppa pig, regatta kidswear, adventure ready kids





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Friday, 30 April 2021

Days Out in Essex // Colchester Zoo

When I booked the children and I a week away in Essex earlier this month, I had no idea about the area or what was local but after a quick Google I discovered Colchester Zoo was a 30 minute drive away from Clacton and I could only find great reviews from friends that had visited.  Because of Covid reopening, I was online at 8am the weekend before trying to get tickets and managed to get 5 for the Wednesday right in the middle of the trip.  

Colchester Zoo was easy to find and parking was free. We had a 30 minute slot for entry and there were very few people around the entrance.  My tickets were scanned through my phone and we were sent inside.  I don't know how busy the zoo usually gets to comment on, but we never felt crowded or too close to others, but when it came to wanting to eat, it was very challenging to find somewhere to sit! 

Colchester zoo, visit Essex, Colchester with children

We found the zoo difficult to navigate at first and my phone didn't get enough signal to get the online map up. I did see other people with paper copies though so they must have been available at the entrance.  That being said, we had no real agenda other than seeing as much as we could and we enjoyed wandering and seeing what came up next.  

We liked how interactive the zoo was, with things that can be climbed on, information designed for children and interesting displays around the zoo.  We visited the feeding area where the children could feed some of the animals including goats.  This was a real highlight for the younger two who like to get involved where they can.

Colchester zoo, visit Essex, Colchester with children

My favourite part of the zoo was the African area where giraffes, zebras, rhino and other animals that naturally coexist were in a larger area together.  You could walk most of the way around the area and there are opportunities to pay to hand feed the giraffe and elephants (£20 for a family/group of up to 5 people).

There were a few enclosures and areas that were not open to visitors, anything that was fully inside was shut due to Covid guidelines, but we spent many hours at the park and didn't feel like we missed out.  Some areas were undercover but with open sides so masks were required (alongside social distancing of course) but they were open and clearly signed. There were also no keeper talks or timed feedings to avoid crowding

Colchester zoo, visit Essex, Colchester with children

The boys favourite part of the zoo experience was the 'Lost Madagascar' train which took us around an area of the park and gave us a unique view of some animals.  The train was cleaned between passengers, there were perspex screens between each group and there was a great narrative from the driver.  It was ideal after a long afternoon walking around!  We ended the day at the big playground near the exit.  Designed for school aged children it was secure, big enough to keep my elder children (8 and 9) happy and had plenty of seating.

Colchester zoo, visit Essex, Colchester with children

We had a brilliant day out at Colchester Zoo and would really recommend it as a family attraction in Essex.  We spent over 6 hours in the zoo and the children have all asked to return! As we visited on a week day, my adult ticket was £21.24 and the children's tickets were £15.30 each.  There is a large store that you can visit for gifts and souvenirs on the way out, but you can avoid going inside at all and use the exit at the side.

Colchester zoo, visit Essex, Colchester with children

Colchester zoo, visit Essex, Colchester with children

Colchester zoo, visit Essex, Colchester with children

Colchester zoo, visit Essex, Colchester with children

Colchester zoo, visit Essex, Colchester with children

Colchester zoo, visit Essex, Colchester with children









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Tuesday, 27 April 2021

A Gaming Themed Shared Bedroom

The older boys have had a London bus themed bedroom since they were 2 and 3 years old and their bus bunk bed was well loved and played with, but as they have gotten older and are heading towards the tween years, I wanted to change their shared space into something a bit more grown up for them, something that reflected their interests more and that will hopefully grow with them.  Both are avid gamers, although the games they choose are different, so I used this as a base.

Archie is very into the colour black and we already had some furniture in the room which was white so I chose to go with a mostly monochrome theme.  We live in a rented house so my options for the walls and floor are limited and I went for decorations that are easy to remove and change up.  I bought them each a single MALM bed from Ikea with black under-bed drawers and started putting the room together.

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

We were sent a custom designed piece of steel wall art from Narla and it is probably our favourite thing in the room.  I chose to have it made in the shape of an X-Box controller and it has green lighting so it works well as a nightlight too.  It is amazing quality and something that should last them a long time (They have a gamer dad too, so I am sure he will be using it if they ever don't!). I bought some pictures from Etsy as well as the Vinyl 'eat, sleep, game, repeat' wall sticker and the black letter bunting.

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children


Their built Lego is displayed on top of the taller Kallax unit and Red Candy sent them a giant Lego brick which has all the loose pieces in ready to play.  We were also sent a Nintendo Switch dual charge base which stores their consoles.  

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

Storage is Key and most items are Ikea.  The black and white storage chair was actually given to us by a friend looking to get rid of it and it goes perfectly with their room.  They have under-bed drawers for toys and plenty of Kallax boxes so I am forever hopeful that their room will stay this tidy for a while!  

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

I didn't want to theme the room too much around particular games that may just be a phase so all the art work is generic gaming and the duvet sets are from Asda.  The boys are really happy with their room and I think it will work well for them as they grow older and want to spend more time up here.  I would have loved to have done more with the walls and flooring but we are limited at the moment with that. I have been meaning to look at dying their blackout curtains black too, but it never seems to be top of my priority list!

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

What do you think of our gaming themed bedroom?


gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children

gaming themed kids bedroom, gaming room for children








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