Our day at Godstone Farm

Our day at Godstone Farm

I have been visiting Godstone farm since I was Georges age. Over the years it has just got better and better, whilst keeping hold of it orginal charm that makes me so nostalgic. So last week, I made the brave decision to take ALL my children for a visit. Even though we live on a farm, there is nothing like a day out at Godstone Farm.  We are so fortunate that it is just fifteen minutes from us. Considering it was the middle of the summer holidays, it was relatively quiet, which helped me stay sane. The farm is divided into areas that makes it easy to explore. They have all the animals you would hope to see on a farm.  Horses, donkeys, pigs, goats, llama and cows. They have a wonderful selection of birds and smaller animals. Chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks, rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs aswell as a few reptiles. Activities are ran throughout the day such as animal talks and feedings. Have you ever watched Pig and feret racing?  The kids loved it! I had to giggle when the boys announced, on seeing the piglets… ‘Look mum, this pig has more babies than you!’ -yep, she looks in better shape to! Always a magical part of the day is the barn where you can hold the babies and small animals. They have baby chicks of different ages, rabbits and tortoises. Aswell as making sure no little darlings throw the chicks across the barn, Godstone farm employees are on hand to answer any questions the kids have. My kids loved this area, particularly George. Lets talk about the outdoor play area that gets even the adult visitors excited. The playground alone is worth the enterance fee. (How amazing is this swing!?) It has everything from zip wires and large slides for the older kids (and adults), to a sand pit, climbing frames and ride-ons for the younger ones. It is perfect to plot up and have a picnic, but, if like me you are not that organised, they have a sandwhich hut serving coffee, tea, cold drinks and ice cream. We spent about two hours here, and I still had to drag the kids away kicking and screaming! If the weather is bad, There are also two covered play areas. One is a huge soft play area set up in one of the large barns.  The other area is smaller with a climbing area and slide, set up for younger children After wearing George out in the play area we headed to the Dino Trail. Dotted around a path, and looking over the llamas, at the bottom of the farm are large model dinosaurs.  Each one is accompanied with facts on the animal. With a toddler and an eight year old obsessed with dinosaurs, this was a great suprise! Who knew that a baby T-Rex could have been born with feathers? We ended our day in the large sandpit for younger children with a portion of chips and an ice cream. I spent most of my time here wrestling George as he tried to take every tractor toy in the sandpit away from the other tots.  Always making time for a trip to the shop, the boys bought some water toys to play in the sun. Apart from all the activities, I was impressed with the general appearence of the farm. The landscaping is beautiful, the facilities were clean and there were plenty of hand washing points. We had a great day at Godstone Farm.  As always, it provided a fun and educational day outdoors, enjoying the great British summer. For more information, please visit http://godstonefarm.co.uk/ *I recieved free tickets in return for this review. However, as always, all my opinions are entirely honest and without biased.

Rosies Coffee Lounge, Lingfield

Rosies Coffee Lounge, Lingfield

Today I found what might be one of my favourite places as a mum of a toddler and a baby! I have to share this little gem with you because I have been waiting over 10 years to find somewhere like this! Rosies Coffee Lounge in Lingfield is every parents Haven. The front of the shop is set out like a usual coffee lounge with a lovely vintage theme and on arrival you wouldn’t necessarily expect much more than a great breakfast and cup of tea. It is the back of the shop that left my speechless, I can only describe It like a mums ‘speak easy’ coffee shop. At the side of the coffee Lounge is a babygate that leads into a lovely ‘play room’ full of dressing up clothes and toy boxes. On the other side of this lovely room is a fantastic, covered, outdoor area with tables and chairs and a contained soft play area for babies and toddlers. Perfect for a rainy day, you can sit and catch up with friends or just enjoy some time indulging a coffee and slice of cake while the little ones crack on and play. Rosies offers even more to us parents on a sunny day with a gorgeous outdoor garden. Completly covered in fake grass it feels a little like being in teletubby land. They have ride on toys, benches, bouncy castle and lots more to keep the children entertained. I honestly couldnt find fault in this wonderful place. The decor is quaint, cosy and vintage which makes chilling in their garden all the more relaxing. Baby gates and fencing everywhere means there is no way of children escaping which takes the anxiety out of enjoying your cuppa. When i normally take George out for coffee with the girls i’m forever having to wrestle him into staying in a high chair, chasing him round like a lunatic before he starts stealing food from an unassuming diners plate or running out the front door. If I am lucky enough for him to sit still he is usually screaming like something out of the exorcist for a biscuit, that once I give him, he chews and spits back out 😣 The toys, grass and equipment at Rosies are spotless which I am completly in awe of as I have never found a kids space that I am happy to walk around without my shoes on. If there was a coffee themed Masterchef, my friend Rosie and I would be the Greg and John and with our vast experience I can tell you Rosies Coffee Lounge capuchinno is one of the best we’ve had. The jackets potatoes and breakfasts were great too. On top of all this, the staff were so wonderful, welcoming and patient with the children (and parents) it made the whole atmosphere even more enjoyable. Rosies also offer children’s party packages and events. Take a look at their website for more information. https://www.rosiescoffeelounge.com I should add, don’t be put off of you have no children. As I mentioned earlier, the font of the shop is a great area and when I was there, not a child in sight! It’s important, given my glowing review that you know I did not recieve anything in return for this review. In fact, I went ‘secret shopper’ style and didn’t even mention Modern Mum to them. So, if you want to find me between the hours of 9-2 this is probably where I will be plotted up with Rosie, my laptop, a copy of OK or If I’m feeling like a particularly good mum, I might even be playing with my children 😉 Let me know if you take a trip down there and what you think and tell them I said hi 🤗 Peace Out.

High School Transition

High School Transition

Year 6 children were recieving their high school decisions last week and everyone of them and their nervous parents were in my thoughts. This time last year we were in that position. Waiting desperately to find out if we had been given a place at our first choice. When we received the email informing us both twins had been offered a place at Oxted School, the school we were hoping for, I thought that was the end of our stress.  A bottle of champagne and a nice dinner out marked the end of a stressful couple of years of reseach, opinions, school tours and Ofsted reports. About three weeks after we found out the boys had got into Oxted, a Facebook post appeared on my thead. ‘Latest Ofsted Report shows school is failing its pupils’. Our first choice school had recieved a ‘Requires Improvement ‘ grading from Ofsted. I looked through the report and managed to rationalise most of it. In fact, the report didn’t concern me half as much as some of the comments being made by parents and people from the community about the school on the facebook post. Comments were being made about ‘teachers turning a blind eye to bullying, knife threats, picturing a school that worries more about uniform that its student welfare. Pupils being assaulted and nothing being done’ it just sounded like every mums worst nightmare. It was too late to apply for another school so I turned for a brief moment to the thought of private education….for all of 10 minutes. I worked out it would cost about £850,000 to send all our children and that is before University costs! Everytime I popped into town and met someone with a child at the school I spent 15 minutes quizzing them. I spoke to ex pupils and current pupils and everyone gave me the same feedback. It is a large school (over 3000 pupils) and there will always be bad stories, unfortunately the good stories never tend to make it to social media, but overall the feedback was positive. I emailed the head teacher with my concerns and ten minutes later I recieved a reply inviting me to pop in and see her. She explained exactly where she felt the school was lacking and how she planned to tackle the issues Ofsted had raised. She assured me that the door was always open if we ever had any more concerns. Right. I was reassured. I could start looking forward to my twin sons new life adventure.September arrived but, unexpectedly, that first week was probably the hardest of my whole ‘mum life’. We were so excited, the boys had all their uniform, pe kit and lesson equipment ready and off they went. I had spent the previous two days watching all my other mum friends from primary school post what a great first day their kids had and I couldn’t wait to do the same. I spent all day with an excited knot in my stomach, waiting to pick them up and find out how their first day at high school had been. I couldn’t wait to hear about all the friends they had made and wonderful teachers that they had met. It was nothing like what I had expected. They hated it. They told me they had made no friends and they wanted to move to the school that all their old pals had gone to (they were the only ones from their primary school to go to Oxted). They were so upset, both of them, they were crying and begging us not to send them back. I was devestated, and even though Mike is much more laid back when it comes to schooling than me, he couldn’t hid his dissapointment too. I completly and irrationally thought back to the Facebook comments earlier in the year and decided, despite spending two years researching secondary schools, I had screwed up. My boys were not happy, and that was the one thing I wanted for them. I posted my feelings on Instagram. Negative posts is not something I usually share but a friend had told me, as a parent blogger, it is important to share the sad times of parenthood aswell as the funny. It really helped me and acted more as reach out for some support. I was shocked at how many other parents said their children were experiencing the exact same feelings. Even though I felt like crap, I didn’t let the boys know, I adopted my usual positive manner. ‘It is your first day, you didnt have any friends on your first day at primary school, look at you now.’ ‘It seems hard and strange now but give it a couple of weeks and you will feel differently’ ‘I felt exactly the same on my first day at High School’ They were not convinced so I made a deal with them. I told them if they threw everything into this half term, if they joined extra curricular activities (enrichment) as the school calls it, and If they tried their best with school and homework and by the October half term they still felt the same I would look into different options. I had no intention of moving them unless it was really effecting them but it was important for them and our relationship that they understood I was listening to them. After that I became a ‘pushy mum’. I found the list of the enrichment activities and went through all the various clubs with them. They offered everything from science, art, drama, dance, table tennis and all sorts of sports. We agreed on a few each and I insisted they try, even if it was just once. Harrison went to Football and Rugby after school, Mikey went to drama, trampolining and hockey. Mikey put himself forward for the Christmas play and had a great time at the school roller disco. Harrison joined cross country and was invited to a inter-school meet within his first three weeks at school.I honestly believe that the enrichment activities they have put thselves forward for has helped their transition in secondary school. Needless to say, by October they had completely changed their mind about leaving Oxted. I am hoping this might help other parents struggling with children moving into secondary school. Extra curricular activities not only helps new pupils create friendships with people with similar interests but representing your school also embeds a sense of pride in your child and their school. Within two weeks the boys were happy at school, within two months they were really enjoying going into school. Now, half way through their second term, they love school. They have made incredible friends, represented the school in various sports and drama. They enjoy their lessons and learning and respect their school and teachers. Their parents evening was fantastic and I am so complementary and over the moon with the school.The parent – teacher communication is spot on, the oppertunities are in abundance and the standards and expectations are high. The school is also wonderful at sharing and celebrating students achievements, whether they in school or out of school. here is what I have taken from my first experience as a mum moving from Primary to Secondary school. – Don’t stress to much about other peoples opinions. What suits others may not suit your children, just go with your gut instict. – Encourage them to embrace all the oppertunities that the school offer. If they resist, push them. It is nerve racking for them, but it is well worth it and a good life lesson for them to push outside their comfort zone. – Keep an eye out for newsletters and emails. My boys are not always great at relaying information from school and gone are the days a letter is popped in their book bag. – When you hear about kids fighting at a school, don’t panic straight away. The boys have witnessed a few fights in their seven months and I worried at first. Untill they explain that the ‘fights’ are basically a couple of pupils pushing eachother and getting their handbags out. – If you have any questions or concerns go straight to the school. Headship teams understand parents concerns and should be on hand to put your mind at rest. – Become part of the school community. I dont mean you have to join the PTA (everyone who knows me knows that is not me). However, offering to help at school events means you are helping support and becoming part of the schools community. – Speak to your children. The boys and I have a very open relationship. I ask about their day at school, friendships, teachers, schoolwork, social media and general life. When they speak to me I try to never judge. I dont want them to ever worry about telling me something. – Keep in touch with friends from primary school. It is important for them to still have the familiarity and safety their old friendships bring. – Have realistic expectations of teachers and the school. Educational bodies are under a huge amount of pressure and need your support. Oxted School has been, so far, the best decision we have ever made for our boys and I hope it continues. I absolutly thrive on watching them grow, the friendships they are making and the experiences they are having. I am not suggesting it is a perfect school, but after a year of analysing I have come to the conclusion that no school is. Please share or tag any friends you have that are going through this transition. I would love to hear what tips you have for making the transtion smoother for year seven pupils and parents. Prehaps my other post on choosing a high school might help I asked aome of my wonderful blogging community for their top tips on starting Secondary School and here is what they had to say. Sarah at www.kippersandcurtains.com If they are walking to school – do a few practise walks over the summer hols so that they get used to the time it takes and the route. Find out if the school has a club on during the hols so they can familiarise themselves with the building and won’t feel so daunted. Debbie at www.myboysclub.co.uk Practice the journey to school and getting ready including full uniform, packing a bag and leaving the house at a certain time – especially as if it is different. Our morning routine totally changed. Also keep giving them more responsibility for their own routine. https://www.myboysclub.co.uk/2018/08/preparing-your-child-for-secondary-school.html Claire at www.mymoneycottage.com My son started high school last September. Take every opportunity you can to visit the high school with them before they start so that they know their way round as much as possible before they start. Cherry at www.thenewbytribe.com There are a number of things that will really help! Firstly, make sure you accept any open days/evenings/holiday dates etc that the secondary school offers your child – they’ll often put on several things for up coming Year 7’s and if you can get your child to them all then it’s a great way for them to get to know the school and other children. Also, spend some time going through the new school’s website – look at the photos, check out the newsletter and the comings and goings a the school – it’ll help your child get to know what the school is up to, and will also give them a chance to know names and faces of teachers before they start. If they are starting somewhere they will have to walk to or bus to, do that trip a good few times before they start so that’s one less thing to worry about on the first morning. Also, most Primary schools will do lots and lots of transition – they’ll learn how to read timetables, how to read maps etc which always helps!

My Girls

My Girls

​I was explaining to a couple of friends over a Baileys (don’t judge me) how I feel like I’ve lost my mojo a bit when it comes to my blog. I always love sitting down with a cuppa and boring you all with my life tales, but lately I just haven’t been able to motivate myself. I have reviews I want to do,  subjects I want to write about but everytime I sit down I either fall asleep or end up catching up on Facebook gossip. When I was telling the girls about this today they did what my friends do everytime,  pulled my head out of my arse,  cheered me up and motivated me. My friend Kate wrote a list of subjects on my phone she thought would be good to hear about. I was just going through them when I realised what I want to write about first is how special my friendships are and how they help me cope in life.  This pregnancy had sent my hormones round the twist. I feel myself snapping and narking at anything and anyone.  Last week I screamed at one of my really close friends in the bakery Isle at Aldi for taking the last tray of fairy cakes! I found myself crying my eyes out when Band Aid played on the radio and then again when the heroine addict on Jeremy Kyle agreed to re hab! The other little treat I have found I have  with baby six is my honestly filter has disappeared. If your lipstick looks shit you will probably get told, If I need a Piss I will probably let you know If you are boring me, my eyes start rolling You get the idea. That being said,  my friends are amazing, they have put up with my bullshit hormones and even laughed at them.  When I doubt my parenting skills they reassure me and don’t hold back correcting me if I need it. They understand when I don’t text straight back because I’m up to my elbows in baby shit and housework.  They understand if I blow them out because after three sleepless nights with George I just want to curl up on the sofa. They understand if I forget one of their birthdays because my brain is like a squashed melon. They understand when they come over and I haven’t got dressed properly. I have no bra on,  hair scraped up in a messy bun (and not one of those sexy messy buns) no make up and toothpaste down my top.  I would like to raise a glass to friendship and my girls 😘 God know what I would do without them! Right,  I’m off now to work on my blog 😉

Saint Nick popped in for a cuppa!

Saint nick popped in for a cuppa

​Deck the halls! We have had a really special,  festive weekend full of friends,  wine,  mince pies, sausage rolls, tinsel, The Pogues and Santa Claus! Back in November I looked into which Santa to take the kids to visit. I looked into local garden centres, National trust venues and shopping centres. I know most of them are great experiences but when you have 5 children they are also really expensive. It got me thinking,  how much would it cost to bring the big guy to us!? I hit Google and found a company called Hiresanta. They sent me a few videos of different Santa auditions and the relevant price for each Santa. Obviously, the best,  most realistic was the most expensive….. And typically the one I set my heart on. The price tag for our Santa came at a wopping £300, but,  considering I was going to spend £100 for 2 minutes with a half decent Santa at the local garden centre, I thought I’d give it a go.  He didn’t disappoint! The children were absolutely blown away (and so were the adults). Turns out our Santa was a professional actor with credits such as Eastenders, The Bill, Frost, Londons Burning and Casualty just to name a few. He spent two hours talking to the children,  listening to each of their presie lists and told them a lovely Christmas story. We are definatly going to book again for next year. Some of the older kids were suspicious but he was pretty convincing and left even the most defiant believers wondering….. Could he be!? So I can confirm we are now officially in the Christmas spirit! If you can get a few friends together and split the cost it is a great experience and a chance to make special memories that last forever. It’s also a great excuse for the parents to get together with a few bottles of wine and let a jolly man in a suit entertain the children for a couple of hours. Only one problem, Santa left his belt on my bed!…. Try explaining that one too the kids 😆🙊🎅 HO HO HO!!!! 🎅 http://www.hiresanta.co.uk

My Last Week of November

My Last Week of November

Its been a while since I wrote a totally self centred blog post with no point to it at all.  A post that is completly unhelpful, except to let me use it as a diary…so that when I look back one day will be able to remember that week in November 2017.  Lets start with George.  This kid is growing into the most charismatic, gorgeous  pain in the arse I have ever come across.

I dont call him a pain in the arse lightly.  I am a mum of six, i feel like i have a patience level to rival a reception class teacher. But George is a whole new type of toddler.

He will scream to get what he wants, yet remember to thank you with total sincerity if you give in to him. He will push and push and push me until I shout at him, and then will put his arm around me and ask if I am ok.

So, as a little xmas presie to myself…and George, I have booked him into nursery a couple of mornings a week.

I’m not going to lie, my intention was two FULL days.  But the nursery teacher suggested it might be a little much to start with so we agreed on the morings… until January!

If I doubted whether I was doing the right thing, the wink, high five and about-turn we both participated in when I left him on his first morning, made me certain he needed it as much as me. He has loved it! I have loved it! and it has given me a chance to spend more time with Arthur and appriciate my time with George more.

The nursery teachers loved him. He had played nicely with the other children, joined in with the activities and was so polite. They even told me he is a credit to me….a credit! It felt amazing when she said that.

Then he went home and ripped my £100 roll of Sanderson wallpaper off the wall! Charlie has started a new school two weeks ago.  I have been conscious of how i will cope with school run logistics when the twins start high school for a while.  I started some tentitive research last month and was surprised when our school of choice happened to have a space availible for Charlie to start straight away and Libby in January.

The new school is everything charlies old school is not. It is a small village school with a one class intake and strong christian values.  So far, Charlie has settled in like a dream and it is as though he has always been there.

The twins turned eleven!!! I honestly can not believe how quickly time passes by.

Having children is like a constant reminder of this.  No huge celebrations this year.  I did offer them a big party as it will be their last year at primary school but they werent interested.

I actually think they are worried I might show them up on the dance floor….which I would.  The problem is, I actually think I am the coolest mum ever and the kids are proud to show me off.

The reality is that they think I am a total embarrassment and actually mc-ing to DJ Luck and MC Neat is not quite the crowd pleaser it used to be!? Note: @indenialmum!

Instead Harri had some friends over for a sleepover (I still tried to play cool mum….I even let the watch ‘Swearing Peppa Pig’). Mikey is off to Kidzania in a couple of week to continue his quest to become the next Richard Branson. My Christmas decorations are up, they have been for two weeks…standard.  I am the biggest fool for Christmas that ever there was!  My ultimate aim is to recreate National Lampoons decore extravagance with Home Alones class….you see the look I am going for?!

My News:

I turned to the dark side.  It is amazing what looks you can create when you trust your hairdresser!  When she suggested a dark balleage i wasn’t convinced…but i let her work her magic……..

I am so pleased with my new look.  If you are local to London, check out Laura at Lalo….she is even a stylist to the Stars!


My Modern Mum Event went Live this week….there will be a blog about this over the weekend. In short, I have organised a night out for local-ish ladies to come and meet local businesses ran by hard working women and hear what they have to offer. It is a chance to network, socialise and have a great night There will be chances to meet lots of beauty industry pros who will be ready to pamper us aswell. Today I am suppose to be out beating on a shoot with the kids and hounds. After my nightmare night with Arthur and a whole two hours of sleep….I bailed! Instead, I put an xmas movie on for the kids, put George and Arthur down for a nap and I have a Blissful Bath waiting for me.

I also made a kick-ass pate this week. I have a freezer full of offal from our pigs, lambs and cow.  We like liver and bacon, but not even a family my size can consume that much! This is the recipe I used.  I used pig liver instead (by accident) but it was lush with a crusty bread, chutney and a Baileys.

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/27125/beef-liver-pate.aspx How has your week been…..are you ready for a Merry December? Love Kate Xxxx As always, if you have enjoyed my self regarding post, please share

What a week

What A Week

What a draining and eventful week. Not only for me, but the whole country! Britain voted to leave the EU! Who saw that coming? Ironically, the remainers are accusing the leavers of dividing Britain. Although, it is this attitude that I believe is making a divide. Don’t get me wrong, I am as nervous as everyone but the backlash has disappointed me slightly. Ever the optimist, I would have liked to think that now is time to come together and make our children’s futures as great as we can. Anyway, enough of politics, I’m sick of it! After spending Friday night celebrating a friends hen do I spent all day yesterday on the sofa. I haven’t had a hangover like that since I was 21! What was I thinking!? Surely the fifth sambuca shot should have been enough! I have no business behaving like that now, I’m a mum of five!…. F#@k it, it’s because I’m a mum of five I behave like that! Saturday night I watched Anthony Joshua defended his title without breaking a sweat and Adele had me in tears watching her at Glastonbury. George is teething badly at the moment. Our house has a constant moan in the background, poor little mite! Calpol has been stocked up and the powder that looks like cocaine wraps. To finish the weekend we have spent a lovely day at the school fete. Reminding me of everything I love about British tradition, spending a overcast summer afternoon with family and friends, drinking pimms and playing Tombola!



​So this weekend something happened that will change my sex life for the next 20 years. After telling the kids to ‘shhhhhhh’ for the 58th time in the six berth camper we had hired for the weekend, finally silence fell. …..until Harrison asked loudly, in a disgusted tone: ‘urgh, are you two having  S….E……X!? Because of you are having  S…..E……X. You need to stop.  It’s just gross, with your kids here,  close those curtains,  this is grossing me out!’ 😱😰😳😩😫😭 What the fu#k!? Firstly we actually were not having sex, any grunting noises had come as a result of me clambering up the shit#ing ladder to get into the coffin style bed above the drivers seats. Secondly, the space from our bed to the ceiling was about half a foot, i could barely turn over let alone anything else!! Thirdly…..I was too tired 😜 So the next morning I questioned harri on what is S….E…..X? His answer…. ‘its when a man and lady are naked in bed, kissing and making noises’ who was rocking the caravan last night?’ I had to think on my feet. ‘oh,  i thought you were asleep (true!)  there were some naughty boys outside pushing our caravan.  Did you hear dad go out and shout at them?’ ‘no, but thank God for that,  I thought it was you two having S….E….X.  i hope those boys don’t come back tonight! ‘ No fear of that son…they have well and truley got the message😒 So we are now looking for locks to put on our bedroom door and I’m trying to work out how to approach the proper birds and bee’s talk with them …..wish me luck! 

Happy New Years……Resolutions? 

Happy New Years Resolutions

​2016 has been an exciting year for me.   My new addition, George has given me his first giggles, crawled, taken his first steps and become a fully fledged toddler. watch my beautiful sister in law get married on one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.I spent a fantastic weekend in Dublin with some of my favourite girls. found out we are expecting baby number 6 and started my Modernmum blog. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and encouraged me throughout my blogging experience.😘 I have met some wonderful new people through this journey and still feel it is only just beginning. Looking forward to seeing you on the other side…2017! 🎊🎉 I was chilling in the bath earlier,   thinking about what my new years resolutions will be for 2017. I’ve never made NY resolutions before (mainly because I know I’ll never keep them,  why add pressure!?) But this year, I feel like I want to challange myself,  to see if I am capable. So here it goes….

-Being pregnant I’m not about to put pressure on myself to lose weight,  however,  baby is due in April.  By next Xmas I would like to be pre pregnancy weight. #goals

-Stop convincing myself Libby’s messy bun is an acceptable school hairstyle.   Actually start brushing and tieing it up neatly every morning.

-Take George to more toddler groups and less coffee shops.

-Start working at a desk rather than on the laptop infront of the TV.

-Always make sure the kids have lots of paper/supplies for homework projects.  They get so embarrassed taking in a scrappy bit of A4 when little jonny looks like Monet has done his homework.

-With the children,  sign up to at least three charity fundraisers.

-Stick with this blogging lark, I am really enjoying it and maybe even double my followers (feel free to share away😘)

-Get my arse into gear and make sure we have turkeys here in the summer.  Next Xmas we will be supplying your Xmas dinner) -Laugh more,  love more and try harder. So what’s your news years resolutions?  Or like me in the past,  do you just not bother? Happy New Year, Lots of Love Kate xxxx

New Kitchen

New Kitchen

When we moved to the farm three years ago It was a wreck. Mike had just finished the refurbishment at our old home and just as we were starting to enjoy it he asked if we could go and view this ‘bit of land with a house’ he had seen. It was a complete dump! a tiny four bedroom house that the estate agents were describing  as ‘unliveable’. But, we could both see the potential and given that it could offer us a life we dreamed of (and the fact we both have a screw lose) we took the plunge. I will write a post about ‘surviving an extension / refurbishment’ but for now I’m just going to brag about my kitchen. I say ‘brag’ because after living with a tiny ‘unliveable’ kitchen for over two and a half years and then a building site for another three months I feel like I earned it. I can’t offer much advice on how to cope with having a new kitchen fitted because, quite frankly, I’m not sure I did cope! Our builders were great and made sure I always had a cooker and a sink (most of the time).   Although,  I won’t lie,  we became great friends with our local restaurants over that three months! I ll let you know how I got my perfect kitchen….  I knew I wanted a country kitchen that was in keeping with a home on a farm but anyone that knows me will tell you there is a bit of a Essex girl in me fighting to get out and that girl loves a bit of glitz and glamour. So I’m going to say the look I settled on was classic, country glamour. I Googled and looked through pintrest to get an idea of what i wanted. There were a few things I knew I needed to include before the planning started : -The Amtico flooring that I have throughout the rest of my downstairs was a must for the kitchen.   We love to entertain and the kitchen is always the hub of our house. With five kids, six dogs, a husband that loves shooting and given where we live we need a hard wearing floor that doesn’t show every speck of dirt. Our Amtico Tradional Oak Spacia is perfect for that.  It is so easy to keep clean and always looks smart.  I ordered this off the internet, if you go into your flooring shop and ask for a quote you are likely to go into cardiac arrest! -I love stone worktops.  Granite, marble, Composite, Quartz, I love them all!  I don’t love the price but I do think it adds something to a kitchen, and as long as you don’t pick black (a mistake I made in an old house) it is easy to keep clean and always looks lush. -I bought a rangemaster induction cooker when we moved into this house.  Given that is was only a couple of years old and we were on a budget  I had to keep it.  Once it had a professional clean looked fabulous. Induction for anyone that doesn’t know is an instant heat hob that is heated by a magnet.  Food doesn’t burn onto it so its really easy to clean and if you put your hand on the hob it doesn’t burn you (great for the kids and husband) . -My fridge/freezer is Fisher and Paykel.  They were the only manufacturers that had a fridge/freezer that had a water dispenser but didn’t loose the space inside the fridge to store the ice and water tank.  With a family of seven, soon to be eight we need as much room as possible.  The Ice drops straight into a drawer in the freezer section. So again, the kitchen had to be worked around that. found a local kitchen supplier (Cathedral Kitchens, Sanderstead) who did a great job at planning the kitchen.  I knew roughly how I wanted to lay it out but he suggested the curved units and building a unit around the fridge. I gave him a budget and a rough idea of what look I wanted and he showed me what he described as his ‘kitchen that never dates’.  He has been selling it for years, a Crown kitchen in the Heathfied range. I knew I wanted copper accessories and when I was shown the copper handles I knew they would be the perfect finish. The kitchen units and handles came in at a great price.  If you think that the local independent kitchen shop is going to be expensive, go and check it out, I think you might be surprised. I’m an online budget shopper so I had fun searching for a few bits… Our two worktops are solid wood which I ordered from Worktop Express online.  They were so much cheaper than any shop or local supplier and the quality is really good.  At the price I paid a few people questioned what they would actually look like but my builder said they are great quality. The three lights over my island I ordered off Ebay for £39.99 each and they are a talking point of the kitchen.  In the evening when we are all sitting around the Island having a drink, the lights (on a dimmer) really create an atmosphere. tractor stools were from Melody Maison online and cost £54.50 each.  They add that rustic farm feel to the kitchen. My two copper effect radiators were £100 each off an Ebay heating shop, a total bargain and a bit different from an average radiator. The focal point of the whole kitchen has to be the Island worktop.  I rang various people from online companies to local people and I was quoted anywhere from £5,000 – £8,000 for this. It was money we didn’t have but a part of the kitchen I wasn’t prepared to compromise on.  What made it even harder was that mike wanted an edging to the stone that nearly doubled the price. I called a local company to us who store their own stone in a huge warehouse.  I couldn’t believe my luck when they showed me an off-cut, big enough for my Island. The only problem was, because it was granite, a natural stone, it had some slight orange markings.  This meant it would be hard for them to sell, but with my copper finish I thought it would look great and  As it happens you could barely see it. managed to get my Island worktop, made and fitted for under £3000!  If you live in the South East and would like more details on this company feel free to email me. and a small wash sink in the island with a boiling water tap, a total necessity for any new kitchen (tea and coffee on tap…literally and no kettles taking up worktop space) my kitchen came together! Unfortunately, dispite having a fantastic decorator, by this stage money was tight and I decided to paint and paper myself.

I am a nightmare for wallpaper! I love it and every room in my house has at least one wall papered. Because the French doors all open up to our garden and fields I knew I wanted something which brought outdoors indoors.  A tree theme preferably in a green that would set off perfectly with the copper and cream. After browsing the net I found Sanderson Waterperry, Its not cheap at approx £44 a roll, but It was only for the one wall and I have Sanderson wallpaper in my lounge and the quality makes it worth it. One of the things I hadn’t thought about when we were doing our kitchen was how much it would bring us back together as a family.   Now instead of everyone going of into seperate rooms we all spend time together, playing,  cooking, eating or just chatting in the kitchen. If you want any more details on the kitchen or our fabulous builders,(S.W CONSTRUCTION 07956161721) who I can not rate highly enough please email me katethompson485@gmail.com.