A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

Garden Inspiration: Celebrating 300 years of Capability Brown at Highclere Castle

Garden Inspiration: Celebrating 300 years of Capability Brown at Highclere Castle

You can always rely on a taxi driver to set the scene when you arrive in a new place. On route to a press day at Highclere Castle I discovered Hugh Bonneville, of Downton Abbey fame had also sat in my cab, a rescue mission by my driver, after he refused to be driven a mile further by the reckless driver who had picked him up in London. As well as Hugh, hoards of Australian, Japanese and American tourists had also sat in the back of the same cab. One woman from New York flew in and out in a day, just to see Highclere, after managing to purchase a ticket for the castle online; pre booked tickets sell out fast, but there are also limited tickets available on the door.

As we left the main road, the vast swathes of land the castle inhabits came into view and my taxi driver told me about the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb. As we rounded the bend and the castle appeared, my driver told me that one car load of young girls actually screamed at this point. I felt like a disappointing passenger, the view was incredible, but I wasn’t sure when to admit that I have never watched Downton Abbey, which was filmed here. It slipped out later, when I was chatting to the 8th Earl of Carnarvon about Egyptian relics over scones and tea. Continue reading

Reflecting on what makes a happy home #happyandhome

Rope mirrors from Wayfair UK with printers block reflected

What makes a happy home? It’s a quest I have been on for a few months now, I’ve looked at homes in different countries, considered my own home, I have loved reading other people’s posts about finding the happy in their homes. My curiosity has now got the better of me,  happy homes has become a research project. In case you missed it, I’ve moved Happy and Home to Tuesday. Continue reading

#happyandhome is moving to Tuesday

HappyAndHome 6

Just a note to say #happyandhome will be moving to Tuesdays from now on, Monday is always such a busy day, it makes sense to move it a day.  My quest to find out what makes us happy at home continues tomorrow!

Bloggers – if you have a post full of love of things happy and home – a happy moment at home, gardens, crafts, food, interiors, home makeovers, entertaining family and friends, relaxing or enjoying life at home – do come and link up a post tomorrow.

Giveaway: Garden Games Giant Dominos

Garden games - giant dominoes

Lazy weekends in the garden are becoming a more regular thing, the summer holidays are not too far off on the horizon now, time to get ready for a summer of family fun. But it can be hard to find something all the family wants to do together.

Dominoes is such an easy game to play for all ages, it is one of our favourite quick to play games that doesn’t end in arguments or require lots of setting up. I always remember playing it at my grandparents when my brother and I went to stay for the weekend, and it brings back such happy memories.

Wayfair have lots of lovely outdoor play equipment, including garden games. How about a giant wooden tower of bricks – my two love to build with these as well as playing jenga, or how about croquet, quoits, play parachutes or tin can alley? I have vivid memories of playing croquet as a kid, on the modest front lawn of a very normal housing estate, it may seem unlikely, but seeing up new croquet courses kept my brother and I entertained on many sunny days.

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Giveaway: Achieve Garden Lighting Nirvana

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I have been having a little rummage at Wayfair for lights for my garden and stumbled across these beauties. Wayfair actually have masses of garden lighting options, but I love these because they are solar powered and don’t require any complex DIY to install.

Garden lighting giveaway

To celebrate I have either a set of these Nirvana Decorative Lights worth £49.99 or £50 to spend on garden lighting of your choice from Wayfair.co.uk. Do check out my other garden giveaway too! Continue reading

Church Pine vinyl wood effect flooring from Harvey Maria

New flooring - wood effect premium vinyl in Church Pine from Harvey Maria

It looks like wood right? But it’s vinyl. I wanted to share a few more pictures of my office floor today and explain how premium vinyl wood effect flooring worked for me, in case you are thinking about it.

I’m really pleased with it, I really love wood, but we have floorboards downstairs and it is draughty underfoot, and dirt engrains and the polish soon comes off. Vinyl feels like the best of both worlds, the look of wood but vinyl is durable, warmer and easy to clean.

If you want a proper look around my new office please be my guest here, this is the fantastic magnetic blackboard wall which kickstarted the whole project, the flooring really sets it all off. Continue reading

Have you tried switching it off and on again? #happyandhome

 

Rooms Made For You Magnetic Plaster Office Wall Reveal

On Friday night I whisked the kids home from school, gave them free reign over the telly and went back to my computer to meet a deadline. Just as I was nearing completion, an almighty wail arose from my youngest, big fat sobs and proper tears. Fearing he had hurt himself, or another goldfish had died, I ran to see what was happening.

There he stood in the hallway, iPad dangling limply at his side, head raised to the heavens screaming. Continue reading

Get Inspired: 14 Amazing Spray Paint Ideas and Projects

Get Inspired: 14 Amazing Spray Paint Ideas and Projects

Spray paint is such a quick and easy way to transform your home. If I get an upcycling idea in my head I want to make it happen fast, before the next idea comes along and I lose interest. I know, I’m a Gemini, too many ideas going on at once! Spray paint effects and colours have exploded recently, making spray paint a brilliant alternative to slaving over a tin of paint. I’ve asked some of my favourite interiors bloggers to share their projects today, I’m betting they are going to inspire you to spray paint something…but what? Continue reading

Camp Bestival: the festival with a foodie line up!

Camp Besitval foodie line up

Camp Besitval foodie line up

Music drifting through the August haze, flags waving in the breeze, sun kissed family sprawled on a picnic rug spread with food from around the world. After a morning of sword carving and willow boat making, circus games and watching acrobats walk the high wire we’re ready to eat. I dig into poached egg with gilled aubergine in smoky sauce atop sourdough toast. Mr A has the best of what DJ BBQ is spinning and the kids are feasting on simple sandwiches just how they like them, and cake from the WI tent.

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Smokey sauce, grilled aubergine and egg poached in front of me, in a giant pan of smokey sauce, all piled big on a slice of sourdough and topped with fresh coriander

I will let you into a secret, I only have a quick glance at the music line up for Camp Bestival, I am quite happy to trust that Rob da Bank has that sorted. Much as we love music, there is so much to do that we have often spent the whole weekend pottering and making stuff, dropping in on the odd band. But one line up I have had a proper look at is the Camp Bestival food line up – yes this incredible festival actually has a foodie line up –  because as a veggie and a foodie, the catering is a huge highlight for me.

Festival catering means we can try loads of different restaurants relatively cheaply – I use the word restaurant because the caterers truly are incredible  –  while the kids eat whatever appeals to their more limited palates. Mr A and I also have totally different tastes as a carnivore and a veggie. Everyone is a winner.

We’re really excited to be Camp Bestival Bloggers again this year. We’re displaying the badge with pride!

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