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


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

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.







Cholmondeley Castle Gardens – Days out with the dog

With the recent spell of nice weather we decided to take Cholmondeley Castle Gardens up on their kind invitation to have a wander around the stunning gardens in Cheshire. The teen didn’t want to come, as usual. But the good news is, the gardens are child and dog friendly and the dog never says no so off we went.

cholmondeley castle gardens

The day was a bit overcast but the grounds looked stunning despite the weather. The gardens are far bigger than I thought and there’s space for everything, children play areas, picnics, running around or relaxing. There is even an area for dogs to be off the lead. I think this is quite rare regarding visitor attractions.

There is plenty of parking, including a disabled area. We parked in view of the castle and first headed towards the Tower Hill woodland. Here Ralf the dog could have a quick run around after our drive.

The gardens are a real mixture. From meadow woodland to formal ornamental gardens. Structural features mark paths and walkways.woodland meadow at Cholmondeley castle

The Late Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley developed the gardens. Reflecting the character of the Castle, and her interests as a plants woman of an extremely high order. Her Ladyships interest in the landscape and use of trees and shrubs is reflected literally in her scheme for the development of the now famous Temple Garden.

The Temple Garden is my favourite, I could have sat there all day. I found a little bench tucked away on a terrace overlooking the lake and admired the view.

Temple garden at Cholmondeley

Continuing our walk we decided to head towards the Chapel. Taking approximately 20 minutes this might be a bit far for some. I later learnt you can drive down to it, great for anyone with limited mobility. The route is very picturesque as you pass through the arch of Somerset Lodge towards the chapel.

somerset lodge arch at cholmondeley

The white screen gates across from the tea rooms are another architectural feature of the gardens.

architectural white gates at cholmondeley

We all enjoyed our walk around the Castle gardens. The house is a gothic villa designed in 1801 in a romantic castle style. Though not open to the public as it is a private home.

Like every good walk we finished off with tea, which I have to say was a really good cuppa.

It was great to be able to take Ralf the dog with us, he definitely enjoyed his day out too.

Thanks again to Cholmondeley Castle for our day out, If you’d like to visit the gardens you can find more information here.

Cholmomdeley Castle is hosting Dogfest with Noel Fitzpatrick on 16/17 June 2018







Stylish shirts for Spring

Well, just as the snow storm arrived so did my order of spring shirts from Zara. I may have been a bit hasty but eventually spring WILL be here ….. honest.

shirts from Zara

Here is my selection of shirts for Spring, what I’ve bought and what I’d like to buy.

First is something we don’t often see, a reversible shirt. One day navy stripes next day red, this shirt feels lovely on and is quite roomy so hangs nicely and technically two shirts for the price of one.

Zara reversible stripe shirt

Zara £29.99

Next we have more stripes and although a bit ‘pyjamaish’ I love the red trim on the blue and white stripe.

Zara blue & white striped shirt with red trim

Zara £29.99

When looking for a white shirt I came across this one. Again detail caught my eye, this time it was the velvet trim and beads on the cuff.

Zara £25.99

Next are my wish list and dragging myself away from stripes I found another favourite, denim. I have a shirt like this but it’s definitely on its way out as it has been worn so much, this looks like a fab replacement and will be lovely in summer.

mango denim shirt

Mango £29.99

Something a bit more expensive but very wearable is the Ellen safari shirt. I have some tops from Baukjen and the fabric is always excellent quality with a lovely feel and drape. Perfect for home and holidays I think.

Baukjen khaki shirt

Baukjen £99.00

I’ve recently rediscovered my love of shirts as I wasn’t happy with the much loved breton and wanted a change in my casual wear.  I think these shirts will be great through spring and summer, and being quite classic shapes and colours they are all assets for your wardrobe.


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