Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Bell Tent love and camping essentials  
Images via Junkaholique.... love this blog sooo much!

To cut it short, we have been lusting after bell tents for a while now. We just love camping as a family. For me it's the back to basic approach and no clutter that I love, plus the expanse of green fields and blue skies as soon as you step out your tent. I'm pushing all those wet, grey days to the back of my mind of course. So we decided that a bell tent would be the perfect solution for us as a family. Ten minutes to put up really did sell the vision to me. Especially after it took us over two hours to put up our huge family tent and all the stuff that goes in it last year. Such a waste of time!
Now in my typical, I love to write lists fashion. I have compiled a list of all the essentials we will need. But for this adventure I'm sticking to the mantra of beautiful and practical to guide me. I hate all that plastic camping stuff. So everything I have compiled is what I want to have around me not just because it's practical. No tables or chairs (erm now have my eye on a vintage folding camping table and stool set) but cushions and cosy blankets are still a must. I have also focused on investing in things that will last the test of time... Hey I'm planning to go camping for many, many more years. So this has made me create a list of all the things I actually want to have around me. And yes, it has given me a chance to lust after more enamel kitchenalia, it's fast becoming an obsession.

Now, as a child we used to go on camping adventures every summer. I can't remember much about the tent but have many fond memories of the adventures and fun we had. For some reason it was always hot and sunny. So, there is something really special to me about camping. Every year I revert back to a child when we set off for our adventures. That feeling of excitement is fantastic. One of our best holidays started with us packing the car in torrential rain, in fact it rained the whole journey there. But once we arrived the skies cleared and we had ten days of blissful hot sunshine while at home it still rained and everyone thought we were mad. I also LOVE having no tv, no internet connection or ties to technology other than a camera that is. A chance to switch off and step back from the fast pace of life. To spent time relaxing, talking and doing fun things together. So, we are this year, going to buy a Bell Tent and aim to slip away for weekends at every opportunity... Especially those weekends when the weather is perfect.

After discovering a fantastic book earlier this year I decided it is possible to tackle those problem issues of camping when planning is done.

Here is my essential list of what we will be taking...

Flask of hot chocolate or something of that sort and cake to have once the tent and camp is set up.

Tent... And hammer of course
Wind breaker: planning to make this as I hate our normal ones.
Air beds, though I do have my eye on these mattresses
Sleeping bags, we have tried duvet but they are just not cosy enough.
Wool and fleece blankets
Sheep skin rug for my little boy as he loves it
Cushions: making these
Folding stool for hubby, to perch on when cooking
Cobb BBQ, love this it's amazing!
Mini stove and gas cans
Metal tin with matches inside
Large water bottle
Coffee pot
Enamel milk jug
Enamel mugs, bowls and plates
Enamel bowl for washing
Cleaning cloths, scrubbing brush, tea towels and pegs oh and washing up liquid
Chopping boards
A couple of knives
Jug for mixing
Wooden spoons
Enamel saucepan
Cheese grater
Salt and pepper pots
Cool box and ice packs
Wooden crates: use for storage then as make shift tables for the stove etc
Tea, coffee and sugar in little tins
Picnic bag
Picnic rugs
Little dustpan and brush
Torch and lights, we will be trying solar fairy lights too
Large rubber tub, storage for the tent and a bath for the kids ;)
First Aid kit
Beach towels

Children's Essentials...
Playing cards
Magnifying glass
Bucket and spade
Pencils, pencil crayons and paper
Diggers and tractors essential for our toddler
Fishing net
Bug box
Nature guide

One of my favourite quotes is from this book... The Happy Campers

Recipe for happy children

1 grass-grown field
Half a dozen children (or more)
Several dogs (and puppies if available)
1 brook

This quote is so true. All we then need is some finds from the beach or walks to create games and craft activities.

Other things that we will take but could stay at home

Cake tin
Little stool
Jam jars for flowers

It does annoy me though how lots of room is taken up by clothes but you do have to pack for wet weather too plus colder evenings. Umbrella, Welles, Waterproofs for the kids, Sun hats and sun cream for us all are essentials that must be taken.

My personal essentials are a note book or two, pencils, sketch book, camera, a couple of good books and my knitting lol. I try to carry these around with me always when we go away. My husband will often say, do you really need that? To be honest I don't often get chance to use them however, it makes me happy that I can use them if a spare minute arises and if they have been forgotten people or cloud watching are always fun too.

Rose tinted glasses, check! Now is there anything else we need?


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

May + Gardens

I can't quite believe that May is here, but I'm so grateful for the warmer weather and sunshine... I love this month. The abundance of flowers I see each day is beautiful. Whether it be in other peoples gardens on our morning walk to school or an abundance of wild flowers when going for a walk. It really is lovely to see so much colour.

I'm also loving spending so much more time in our garden... Abet a small garden but still lovely. We have lots of flower seeds growing and vegetables too, waiting for transportation to the allotment. My little boy has managed to grow some french beans however he is more interested in constantly pulling the onions up then squealing as he doesn't like the roots. Thankfully, said onions are still growing even though they have been replanted a dozen or so times in one week. His other favourite job is watering the plants, in particular the lettuce leaves. Especially when he spots a snail or two hiding. His fascination with creepy crawlers makes me laugh. He is never happier than digging in mud, making mud pies and playing with water, sensory play is the best lol.

Our new garden collection is also proving very popular. As I really love enamel accessories, this new range was an instant hit for me... Mix enamel with a beautiful way to store all those bits you constantly use in the garden and a storage solution you want to use and display and I'm happy. Practical and beautiful!

I'm also loving the new BBC2 allotment show, The Big Allotment Challenge... I only came across this show by chance but I'm really enjoying it. It does make me think twice about growing some plants but I love the whole vibe of the show, plus I'm picking up lots of tips for growing things at our own allotment... Carrots in sand not soil? Going to try this! If you have not seen the show yet it's available here on the BBC iPlayer, and is well worth a watch.

I hope you are having as much fun getting out in your gardens as we are... Loving this hot weather too, roll on Summer!


Enamel Seed Box

Greenhouse Caddy

Allotment Tool and Tuck Box

Bird Feed Tin With Scoop

Shed Tidy Trug

Gardener Gubbins Pots