Recent Articles

Ana Snapshot : John Lewis AW14

| September 26, 2014 | 6 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

Share

Getting the most out of a Soda Stream

| September 23, 2014 | 4 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

Share

Giveaway : Win £250 to spend at Furniture Choice

| September 17, 2014 | 8 Comments
Giveaway : Win £250 to spend at Furniture Choice

Its competition time again, on The Ana Mum Diary and this is an amazing one.  I’ve teamed up this month with Furniture Choice to giveaway £250 to spend at the on-line store.  So if you are looking at buying a sofa, dining table or even a new bed why not put this fantastic prize towards buying a new piece of furniture for your home. Continue Reading

Share

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

Continue Reading

Share

Getting Ready for Autumn and Back to School : Clarks Shoes

| August 20, 2014 | 8 Comments
Getting Ready for Autumn and Back to School : Clarks Shoes

Not long now until school starts again.  Are you one of those parents that waits until last-minute, or plans in advance with all the back to school buying?  I tend to be fairly organised, I panic if I’ve not done things, and I think the summer holidays should be all about  relaxing  and having fun, not panic…well that’s the idea anyway.  This year I’ve had to be extra organised, as I’ve two at school, one of which starting secondary school, so its meant lots (a crazy amount) of new things needed to be bought.

Shoes were a breeze this year, as we (as usual) got ours from Clarks. We booked our in store fitting online.  I can’t tell you how easy that makes it.  You simply register on the site, enter your postcode, so it finds the closest stores to you.  Chose one of the store options.  We went for one in the town center so we could combine it with a trip to the cinema.  The slots are every 15 minutes, you just let them know your name when you arrive.  So simple! I even received a text message reminder. Continue Reading

Share

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

Share

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.

Continue Reading

Share

National Trust Discoveries : Belton House

| July 15, 2014 | 3 Comments
National Trust Discoveries : Belton House

We went on another National Trust road trip recently and discovered, the perfect country house.  Tall Dad loved the symmetry of the architecture, he has a bit of thing about this, and our own house is (nearly) symmetrical.

These are just a few images from a trip we did a couple of weekends ago to Belton House in Lincolnshire.  It’s not too far from where we live and it’s definitely not going to be our last visit, we were there all afternoon, and didn’t manage to see everything. Continue Reading

Share

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

| July 4, 2014 | 18 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.

Continue Reading

Share

Instagram and Cushion Love : Yellow Velvet

| June 19, 2014 | 1 Comment
Instagram and Cushion Love : Yellow Velvet

Amongst my loves (and I have many) I  have a passion for Instagram, I think its my favourite form of social media, and this comes from someone who disliked it with a passion to begin with.  If you ask Tall Dad (my hubby) he would say its more like an obsession. He berates me every time we go for a meal, and I have to instagram before anyone can tuck in. Continue Reading

Share

Finishing Touches : Vintage Cutlery

| April 4, 2014 | 8 Comments
Finishing Touches : Vintage Cutlery

I thought I would include a series on the blog about finishing touches.  Having bought a house, you then might need to rennovate, or simply decorate it, you may be lucky enough to just need to move in.   From this point though, you want to take it from a house to a home.  Give it some personality, and fill it with things that you love. Continue Reading

Share

How to keep your pets safe as the nights draw in

| September 30, 2014 | 0 Comments
How to keep your pets safe as the nights draw in

With autumn well and truly on its way now it is important to remember that your pets need to be looked after too. As the nights start to draw in and the weather changes we are all more susceptible to falling ill or, in the wet weather, simply falling over and our pets are no different. Continue Reading

Share

6 Reasons to Love a Bijou Home

| September 30, 2014 | 0 Comments
6 Reasons to Love a Bijou Home

There comes a moment in everyone’s lives when they look around and wonder if their home has got too big for them. It might be that all the children have flown the nest or that you just don’t throw as many parties as you used to, but whatever the reason you can soon find yourself considering downsizing. Continue Reading

Share

Creating a luxurious and Relaxing Bathroom

| September 29, 2014 | 0 Comments
Creating a luxurious and Relaxing Bathroom
Clean, refreshing and relaxing, that’s what my dream bathroom is like. With a few extra steps though you turn your bathroom into something incredibly relaxing and luxurious.
I decided  to write a post about the things I would include when trying to create a relaxing, luxurious bathroom, and when I say relaxing I mean one that you can stay hours in and feel rejuvenated after using.  I’ve recently completed my own en-suite, and the process though stressful created some great results.
My first recommendation would be:

1. Lighting

I can think of nothing more able to make or break a relaxing mood than the lighting.  Of course you could go for a beautiful feature light in a bathroom, something that says wow, however you do need to be sure that its suitable for a bathroom. There are some beautiful bathroom chandeliers available if you are looking for a an opulent and vintage look.  How about something simple like lots of candles though, even ones that are scented.  Candles throw off a gorgeous flickering warm light, that is so relaxing.  Large glass hurricane lamps with candles in look really  good, or how about making some of these sea shell candles to dot around.
lighting in a bathroom
Source : Babble

2. Bubbles

Or how about relaxing in your very own whirlpool bath. You can find different designs to suit your space on the Bath and Shower website.  We had a Whirlpool bath in our previous bathroom, and I think if you enjoy long lazy baths then they are perfect to ease away the days troubles. Just sit back and let the bubbles work their magic.
creatinga luxurious and relaxing bathroom

3. Lotions and Potions

Bath oils, bubble bath, bath bombs and face masks these are products I think about when I imagine relaxing in a bath.

Using essential oils in the bath is an extremely effective way of influencing your mood, you just need to remember to add it to the bath water just before you get or the oils will evaporate. I would advise you look up the recommended dosages of the oils, as it can vary greatly from oil to oil.

how to make bathbombs
 Source: A Residence
I found this perfect recipe to make your own bath bombs if you are feeling creative.  Have them on display so you can smell the relaxing lavender and chamomile.

4. Storage

Whether you have a large or small bathroom, being able to close the door on all the bathroom paraphernalia it essential when designing a luxurious and relaxing bathroom.  The last thing you wants to see when you are relaxing are the children’s bath toys, or the spare loo rolls.

bathroom storage
Source : BHG
It can be a great opportunity to add you personality and passions with the storage. Using vintage pieces like tea cups is something I have used, but also keeping the space light and airy with mirrored furniture.
So these are some suggestion to add luxury and relaxation, what would you add?
Share

Pamper Parcel : I Love Mondays

| September 29, 2014 | 2 Comments
Pamper Parcel : I Love Mondays

Pamper Parcel in a family business selling gifts and treats, carefully selected and delivered in the form of a Pamper Parcel.  There are so many occasions where I both would love to receive a pamper parcel, and when I would give one.  In fact I have twice now used the service, sometimes someone just needs to know that you are thinking about them, and that they are loved.

So in this weeks I Love Mondays I wanted to tell you all about this service and what makes it so very different. Continue Reading

Share