Choosing artwork for your home

When I was looking for some light artwork for the living room I decided to have something made. I’d seen the floral artwork by a local artist Claire Pitt, and wondered if she could make something for our home.

Claire specialises in personalised items, initials, gifts for weddings, births and anniversaries. Her Mother’s day pieces make beautiful presents. But as she was talking about expanding her range I approached her with an idea.

floral H artwork

Usually specialising in hand crafted delicate floral initials I commissioned some word art which fitted in with her usual style.

artwork in progress

We discussed colours and flower styles, she uses real pressed flowers and skeleton leaves, gilt and crystals, all combined to make an individual piece.

the layout of letters

The finished work is now on our wall and we love it. It’s perfect for the space and unique as no two hand made pieces are ever the same.

You can find Claire on Etsy at CRPittDesigns


The Wives – Lauren Weisberger, book review

The Wives is the latest novel by Lauren Weisberger of The Devil Wears Prada fame.

The Wives by Lauren Weisberger

This book continues the life of Emily Charlton, once assistant to Miranda Priestly at Runway Magazine. Now a highly sought after stylist to the stars.

But all is not well…

Emily’s business is taking a hit from an up-and-coming social media whizz. At the same time Emily is avoiding Miranda Priestly who is persistently hounding her to plan a prestigious event. Emily sees an item on the news and escapes to help a friend in need.

Old friend and Model from the Runway days Karolina, is now the wife of a US senator. She is arrested for drunk driving while ferrying children home from a party. She is NOT drunk, so why have the police ignored her plea for a breathalyser and put her in a cell overnight.

Is it a set up? Where is the Senator?

As the story unfolds Emily’s expertise in people management and with the help of their lawyer friend Miriam, they head off into the suburbs to piece together the awful truth.

This novel, although set in a glamorous world, is a tale of friendship, love and family. There are funny situations and heartfelt moments throughout and with the added mystery I found it a very good read.

Although there are some references to The Devil Wears Prada this is a totally stand alone novel, ideal for old & new Lauren Weisberger readers. I highly recommend it.

My Rating ✭✭✭✭✭

The Wives – Lauren Weisberger – pub date 12/7/2018

(USA title – When life gives you Lululemons)

You don’t have to be a Cheshire Wife to enjoy Cheshire life

If there’s ever been a county that has a vast variety of house prices it’s Cheshire.  From Halton to Alderley Edge, Warrington to Wilmslow, there’s something for everyone.

We have all heard of the Cheshire Wives and their mansions but there are lots of us in lovely locations where property prices aren’t as expensive.

Outside Warrington alongside the Bridgewater Canal our location is close to some lovely Cheshire countryside and villages. We’ve been here for 21 years and it’s been a fab place to bring up our boys.

With the new Mersey Gateway Bridge commuting is easier than ever.  This means it’s now easy access to Liverpool as well as Chester and Manchester, and these transport links are keeping the housing market strong.

Local highlights are:

Walton Hall Gardens, situated amidst 32 acres of parkland and award winning Green Flag gardens and Children’s Zoo.

Daresbury, the birthplace of Lewis Carroll has a museum dedicated to Alice in Wonderland. As depicted in the  stained glass windows of the near 150 year old All Saints Church.

There are a number of nature reserves. Moore village comprises almost 200 acres of woodland, meadows, lakes and ponds. Home to many diverse species of plants, animals, birds and other wildlife. A wonderful area for walks with the family.

The medieval museum of Norton Priory is a haven for children’s activities and wildlife adventures. A very family friendly venue with a stunning walled garden and grounds.

Then for a bit of retail therapy there’s Stockton Heath with shops, restaurants, cafes and canal side pubs.

Wether you want a detached house or an apartment there is such variety you’ll find something in your price range. Even new developments fit in with the environment. One of the smaller Laurus Homes developments is within easy access to all the locations mentioned, and some great primary schools too. Which is often top of the list for family home buyers.

They did some research and produced this infographic. #ExploringCheshire

Cheshire #exploringcheshire infographic

Father’s Day gift ideas for outdoor dads

If you’re anything like me then this week will be spent looking for father’s day gift ideas.

When it’s present time for the Dad in our house we always try to find something that he really wants or might not usually buy for himself.  As funds won’t stretch to a 3D printer here’s a few less expensive ideas for Father’s Day gifts.

1.For outdoor Dads who like camping or like us, boating, there’s always a need for decent reliable torches. This Varta indestructible torch and lantern are ideal for boating and camping. The Torch incorporates a bottle opener, which seems to be essential in the summer outdoor life. The lantern has 4 light settings, a hanging hook and is waterproof so that’s an asset for our summer. This would be great in the garden too. The Dad in our house LOVES torches 😊

truprint personalised cushion

2.Something personalised is always a good idea. Truprint and their #swapsocksforselfies campaign are encouraging us to put extra thought into our gifts. Instead of socks for Dad how about something with a family photo or happy memory on. There are lots of items to choose from. I’d choose a cushion with this photo, the day he took the boat over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Llangollen.

pontycysllte aqueduct at Llangollen

3.For Dad’s who like activities how about a traditional skill or craft day. Norton Priory have craft days from willow weaving to fruit tree grafting or the very topical Meet the Bees workshops. I’m sure your local National Trust or Conservation Centre will have information.

4.How about a special day out. A boat trip on The Anderton Boat Lift in Cheshire is certainly unusual. Built in 1875 this feat of engineering takes narrowboats from the Trent & Mersey Canal down 50ft to the River Weaver. The visitor centre is also a great family day out.

anderson boat lift

5.This is something I thought of after Dad had been gardening and he was stretching, but it’s also great for any active football, running or even golf Dads too. The Rehab Room for sports massage or rehab, a bit of beneficial relaxing time is not just for professionals. This is definitely a useful present, considering we have pamper days how often do we think of this for the men in our lives.

Hope you find these ideas useful, and although these are Cheshire based there will be similar where you live …but if all else fails the World Cup starts on 14th June so you could always buy him a football shirt.







Inflata Nation – giant inflatables for all ages

When school holidays come around it’s hard trying to keep the kids entertained. The weather has been so mixed recently, so outdoor and indoor activities need to be on the list of fun things to do.

I recently took the teen and his friends somewhere new, and as you know teenagers never usually want to go anywhere with the parents. But this was a bit different.

The new Inflata Nation inflatable theme park has opened in Cheshire. When I asked if they’d like to come along to the preview evening our teen and his friends ‘jumped’ at the chance.

The beauty of Inflata Nation giant inflatables is it’s for all ages. Even adults who never usually get a chance to join in the fun can fly down those giant slides.

What I like about this venue is you can tailor it to your family. As well as the general sessions which have an under 4’s area they are planning to have different sessions. Tailoring them to fitness classes, grown-ups only and disability friendly sessions.

There is a seating area that overlooks the arena if your kids are old enough to bounce without you. You can have a coffee while you watch, as there’s a cafe serving drinks and food. And they can cater for parties, groups and schools. Imagine a school trip to Inflata Nation!


If you’re looking for somewhere for the kids to let off steam, a party venue or even a fun night out with friends then take a look at the new Inflata Nation.