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Oasis of the Seas : The Biggest doesn’t even cover it!

| October 18, 2014 | 11 Comments
Oasis of the Seas : The Biggest doesn’t even cover it!

Everywhere in the media has been coverage of the largest cruise ship in the world making its maiden trip to the UK and docking earlier this week in Southampton.  The Oasis of the Seas from the Royal Caribbean a beautiful and impressive ship, that you can see an aerial shot of below.  Yes its huge, and that’s impressive, it really is, but boy this ship is so much more than that.  Continue Reading

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Something for the weekend : Pumpkin Decorating

| October 17, 2014 | 14 Comments
Something for the weekend : Pumpkin Decorating

With Halloween just around the corner, we did a really easy craft after school, pumpkin decorating.  Using some vinyl pumpkin face decals that I cut out using my Cricut Explore, Miss A and I set to work.  This is so simple to do, and looks really effective, I think you’ll agree?  You can make the faces, as large or small as you need depending on how big or small the pumpkins are. Continue Reading

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How to Etch Mirror or Glass

| October 14, 2014 | 8 Comments
How to Etch Mirror or Glass

I’m really proud of this one, and I think I’ve mastered etching mirrors now.  The key is a little patience (not something I have lots of) and a little elbow grease at the end.  So if you remember my last attempt was for my youngest daughter, and it was a Disney crown (from the Cricut Design Space) etched onto a mirror.  So she could be a princess every morning when she woke up! Continue Reading

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Hotter Shoes

| October 9, 2014 | 14 Comments
Hotter Shoes

Don’t you just love crisps bright mornings, full of promise of the day ahead.  Kicking leaves, collecting conkers, long dog walks with the family.  I love this change of weather and autumn and winter, and I especially love the fashion that goes with it.  So every autumn and winter there are always two things top of my wish list – a new coat, and boots. 

I was invited to a fashion evening with Hotter Shoes, together with some other bloggers, to try out the new styles of the season. I’m  already sold on the brand, and I’ve written about my love of the comfort concept that Hotter Shoes is known for before. Last year I was torn between two styles that I loved, and well this year was exactly the same, but more on that later. Continue Reading

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Carpet Trends

| October 6, 2014 | 0 Comments
Carpet Trends

It’s actually incredible, the change to a room that new flooring can make.  A while ago I talked about the different laminate floors that are available from Carpetright.  In this post I wanted to highlight four trends in carpets in 2014. Traditionally changing your flooring is something we look at doing in the Autumn and Winter. Whatever room you are looking to carpet, and whether you have the budget for pure wool or need something more man made and hard wearing, carpet is known for adding comfort and warmth to a room. Continue Reading

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Samsung Camera Giveaway (worth £179) #BirdsEyeViewBloggers

| October 2, 2014 | 10 Comments
Samsung Camera Giveaway (worth £179)  #BirdsEyeViewBloggers

At the Pic Gallery in London this week, there was an exhibition which showcased the best images from a ‘A Birds Eye View’ competition held by Birds Eye. It was an exclusive photography exhibition presented by the world-famous photographer Martin Parr. Sadly I wasn’t able to make it.  Anyone who reads my blog, knows how much I love photography and I would have loved to chatted to Martin Parr and gotten some hints and tips. Continue Reading

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Ana Snapshot : John Lewis AW14

| September 26, 2014 | 9 Comments
Ana Snapshot : John Lewis AW14

Well this isn’t an image I ever thought I’d be sharing on the blog, and what a fab night we had too.  This Wednesday evening (23rd September) we were invited to John Lewis in Nottingham for the launch of its Autumn Winter 2014 Private Label collection.

When the invite popped itself into my virtual letterbox, I couldn’t refuse.  A chance to listen to, and meet the infamous Liz Jones, I think my reply was…HELL YEH! Continue Reading

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Getting the most out of a Soda Stream

| September 23, 2014 | 6 Comments
Getting the most out of a Soda Stream

Oh how we love our Soda Stream! We are all lovers of soda or pop, as we like to call it, at The Ana Mum Diary house.  Gone are the days when the pop man (do you remember him?) in an open backed truck would collect all of the empty bottles and deliver more pop for the week. I love that idea even now, having drinks available for when you need them.

We have been testing out the Soda Stream Play (£69.99) for the past couple of weeks, together with the new collection of Del Monte flavourings for drinks. Three new flavours of syrup each one £3.99 – Orange, Caribbean and Tropical, all really delicious. Continue Reading

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A Photography Workshop : Modern, Angles and Clouds

| September 4, 2014 | 12 Comments
A Photography Workshop : Modern, Angles and Clouds

I love photography, its a passion I’ve always had, but blogging has meant I get more opportunities to explore it, and I’ve also now been able to invest in a DSLR, my Nikon D5100.  So though I get more opportunities now, I don’t really ever find the time to experiment. So when I was invited to the Goodman Photography workshop in Birmingham city centre, I was thrilled, as it would mean I could have a day learning and spending time with other people passionate about photography.  DSC_0476

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A Weekend in Amsterdam : My Top Picks and Tips (photo heavy post)

| August 14, 2014 | 18 Comments
A Weekend in Amsterdam : My Top Picks and Tips (photo heavy post)

Earlier in the week I posted about my weekend in Amsterdam, we stayed at an amazing hotel (InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam) thanks to me using up some of my IHG Reward Club points, which even covered the flights too for both of us. You can read all about my experience using my 1 Million IHG Reward club points HERE.

Well in this post, I wanted to share a little bit more about what we got up to.  It took Tall Dad and I a while to get acclimatised, and if I’m honest, some parts of Amsterdam, weren’t really for me.  The red light district being the main thing.  To be so overtly there, at the turn of a corner I really didn’t like.  We even saw a nursery in amongst that area, I did struggle with that concept. We did however see so many other things that we absolutely loved, so here are the top picks! Continue Reading

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A Weekend in Amsterdam : The Video Edition

| August 13, 2014 | 17 Comments
A Weekend in Amsterdam : The Video Edition

We have just returned from a weekend trip to Amsterdam, three days and two glorious child free nights.  What did we do there? Well we flew Friday morning stayed at a fantastic hotel, we ate, drank, sampled the nightlife, canal cruises, we walked…LOTS. We met people, used the metro and trams, we people watched and picnicked on chocolate waffles and stroopwafel washed down with Danish beer. We flew back on the Sunday evening, tired with aching feet, but definitely with smiles on our faces.

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Canvas Holidays : Camping la Croix du Vieux Pont, Berny Rivière Review

| July 4, 2014 | 19 Comments
Canvas Holidays : Camping la Croix du Vieux Pont, Berny Rivière Review

Canvas Holidays (Wyndham Vacation Rentals) has many beautiful and well located sites through Europe.  I think when I first heard about Canvas Holidays, I actually thought it would only be tents.  Now I know this is a really popular way of seeing Europe, and facilities in European campsites are said to be amazing.  Canvas Holidays are so much more than a camp site though, amazing variety of accommodation is on offer, with facilities to match families and couples holidaying.  They offer nearly 50 years of experience too.  That really did show when I visited the French la Croix du Vieux Pont site on a Canvas Holidays trip in June.

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Take the Health Test!

| October 21, 2014 | 2 Comments
Take the Health Test!

As a Mum, I constantly worry about the health of both my children – it’s my responsibility to make sure they eat the right things, go to bed at a decent time and get enough sleep. But I also know the time will come when they grow up and will be responsible for their own choices so it’s important they know what’s right and wrong. Not only do I need to tell them I need to show them too, by being as healthy as I can be. Continue Reading

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Emotional Colour?

| October 21, 2014 | 0 Comments
Emotional Colour?

​​I’ve been thinking about how colour in interiors can evoke a more physiological emotion.  Do you think it does, and do you use it when choosing how to decorate your room? Or do you think its more of a subliminal thing and you choose the colours to match the stage in your life and or emotional state without realising it?

colour quote interiors, life

I read an article recently on The Circle about how to create peace in your home, and there was a section on using colours and sounds to change the vibe of you room, and it got me thinking….

My living room has had the most reincarnations, in terms of colour.  In the 7 years we have lived here, there have been 3 definite different looks. I think I most certainly choose the colours of my living room depending on my state of mind, and I had not really realised it until now.

When we first moved I choose lots of black in my fixture and fittings, and darker colours in my soft furnishings.  Looking back it was a tricky time for us as a family.  We had moved to a much bigger house and the cost of it all was a worry.  I think those colour choices, were my way of grounding myself, setting roots down and anchoring of my emotions.  Black is supposed to be the colour that reflects sensitivity and security definitely something I was feeling and needing.

It was after this that my youngest daughter was born, and the darker drabber colours were replaced with reds and hot pinks.  The clashing colours were an unusual choice, but I remember being adamant that was the way I wanted to go.  Pink reflects the caring, gentle and compassionate part of me that was nurturing my new born daughter, worrying about dividing my love equally, after having just one child for so long.  The red for determination and bravery, as I was making some big decisions in my life at this point, and I certainly needed to feel brave and optimistic in them.

Fast forward to the colours I have now, golds and teal.  I was shocked to realise the colours I have chosen again, really do reflect what is happening in my life.  The blue teals I have chosen in my pillows, and ornaments represent tranquillity peace and making things orderly.  Well that something that I can say I have definitely been consciously trying to achieve in my life in more recent years.  The gold, encouraging, happy excited and creative as my work has developed and I have become more successful.

So what do you think? If you choose a room that has changed its colour focus a few times in your home, can you map the influence of colour?

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Bedroom of the future #BedroomTech

| October 20, 2014 | 0 Comments
Bedroom of the future #BedroomTech

I love my bedroom, from a quick glance, it looks like any other bedroom really.  It has a vintage vibe, with patterned wallpaper feature walls, and a Lloyd Loom style rose wood bed and matching bedroom furniture.  However we’ve added a few technological touches to make it work and feel more 21st century.  In the evenings if I step up to the bed, I have lighting on sensors that guides my path either to the en suite or into the bed.  We also have a special stereo, alarm and radio system that we can control from our phones or tablets.  Small touches but ones that make the bedroom work for us.

How about pushing this concept even more though, what will our bedroom look like in the future?  Fitted bedroom retailer, Betta Living has teamed up with a technology expert from Gadgety News and the results are really interesting!

bedroom of the future

So this is how they see a bedroom of the future looking like.  Well there are some features that I would definitely like to see happening really soon.

The mirror to the right of the image above, shows an image of you, and your whole wardrobe, so you can choose what to wear.  It gives you style advice by grouping items that work together.  It’s also linked to your diary, and knows what the day’s weather is like, making sure you don’t get caught out in a down pour.  If you have trouble finding that all important accessory to go with the outfit, it will take you to an online store to buy it with just one click.  As online shopping is getting easier and quicker to deliver, its seems so feasible in the future that these will soon be delivered within minutes too.

By the flick of a virtual switch your virtual window pane will also show the vista you want.  Who wouldn’t want to wake up to rolling hills and glorious sunshine or a beach and the sea.  This is something that I will actually be experiencing later in the month on board a cruise ship, where all of the inside staterooms will have a virtual and live view on a screen that looks like a window.  So not that far ahead a concept I feel!

bedroom of the future betta living

I also love the idea of this floating bed, giving light and space making a small room look larger.  This bed however does more than that, and they predict it will rise up to the ceiling and therefore be hidden, giving you even more space.   Coupled with temperature controlled and self ironing bedding with pillows that incorporate SAD lighting.  The mattress will be dual adjustable, depending on what each partner needs.  All of this would all be welcome additions to us, my husband suffers with SAD, I am always cold, and like a soft bed, and my husband the opposite.  The audio arrangement is similar to our own, with Bluetooth speakers, alarm and radio all in one.

bedroom of the future betta living

Instead of photographs of your loved one, how about these 3D images.  I saw something like this being made in America and if its done well, I really like this concept.  Even the ornaments in the room, will be designed by the home owners to their exact requirements, and then delivered to their door.  I have always wanted to do something like this, having such flexibility really appeals to me.

Most intriguing to me, as I have been watching the development of this carefully, is the cleaning of a room.  Well that’s got to be done by a robot hasn’t it!  To have those annoying jobs taken away from you, are my kind of improvements and I look forward to a future with them.

Finally, Betta Living have a fantastic Bedroom Gadget Giveaway on Facebook.  The prize worth £1500 which includes iRobot vacuum, Tivoli radio alarm clock, iMakr 3D mini-you model, Gym in a box, SAD Light, Lightwave RF products. You can follow Better HERE, and enter the giveaway HERE.

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