8 December 2016

A FAMILY ROAD TRIP TO SPAIN WITH THE MERCEDES-BENZ MARCO POLO

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As a child I would daydream about life on the road, adventures on Route 66 and other TV induced rose tinted fantasies. In reality I think I can recall a weekend trip to the Lake District and an epic journey to the South of France, three generations squished into a car with luggage bursting at the seams as we tried to navigate the Ordnance Survey map...oh the nostalgia.

When I became a mama it was very clear that I would install this sense of adventure into my kiddo, willing him to see the world. So when we were offered the chance to embark on a family road trip through Spain with the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo there was huge yes from us! We planned a simple route which would satisfy our wish list and flew to Madrid eager to start our journey.
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We spent our first day exploring the city, a world of colour, packed with cool cafes, side street bars and bustling squares. We stopped for Churros *you know when in Spain* and went over our route again, Madrid to Valencia then along the coast to Barcelona. Loving my pink and blush tones I was excited the city obliged us with its eye candy architecture and cultural pit stops.

Being a big fan of the Mercedes-Benz brand myself, I was squealing with excitement at the thought of testing the new Marco Polo. At first I was so surprised how compact it looked from the outside and how sleek the camper van was. As the door slid open I was wowed at the design creating a hotel on wheels vibe.
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There was so much space, easily fitting everything away neatly, and with the addition of under seat storage, cupboards, drawers and even a mini wardrobe it felt as if Mercedes had really thought of everything to create luxury on the road.

The transition from the sprawling city to the burnt orange countryside and dusty tracks fulfilled those childhood route 66 dreams, and we couldn't have felt more safe especially with the excellent navigation system and various cruise controls. After attempting my pigeon Spanish at the service station to stock  the fridge *yep think fully fitted mini kitchen in a van swoon* with treats, we wound our way to the coast.

Oh the palm trees! Valencia was everything I imaged a Spanish city to be, we'd pre-booked a bay at the Coll Vert Campsite allowing us to park up for the night and transform it from van to home in a few minutes, with the back seats sliding into a bed and the pop up roof creating a bed for the boy.
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Valencia welcomed us with fresh tapas and strong coffee, the old city alive and music filling the streets from local buskers. We decided to stay an extra two nights so we could head out and explore the surrounding countryside and orange groves before checking into our next stay along the coast.
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Travelling by road can be liberating, the freedom to explore as you please with no restrictions is definitely a huge plus, and the compact size of the van allows you to comfortably park in the city, making a trip to Barcelona a breeze.
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Roadside cooking, impromptu picnics, armchair style seats and oodles of style, the Marco Polo gives you everything you need for last minute adventures, and if you ask F what his favourite part of the trip was, he still talks about the transforming roof!
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If you want to see more, then check out the short film we made of our adventure with the Marco Polo! Where would your favourite place to explore be?

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*We were asked to test the Marco Polo with Mercedes-Benz. All words and opinions are 100% our own. We'd like ot thank the bradns who continue to support Wild & Grizzly.

** F Leopard Jacket c/o Mini Rodini
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6 December 2016

DIY GOLD GLITTER WASHI TAPE GARLAND

diy garland, gold glitter, DIY christmas, garland making, washi tape ideas, washi tape crafts
When it comes to Christmas I'm all for a bit of sparkle and making a little magic at home, and I have to admit I was pretty quick in getting the tree up in the flat. As well as unwrapping all the treasured decorations I always like to make a few of my own, so I though it would be fun to share this super easy DIY gold glitter washi tape garland, that literally takes minutes to make once you have the materials at hand. 

diy garland, gold glitter, DIY christmas, garland making, washi tape ideas, washi tape craftsIt so super easy to make and you only need a few items:
• 1 spool of gold string or twine
• 1 washi tape with your choice of pattern
• White feathers
• Gold glitter
• Craft glue

First cut 2.5 inches of tape and then fold it over your string/twine and then repeat every 3cm along the string until your create a long line of tape. I then went back along and decorated the edges by cutting small triangles into the end but you could leave it with a straight edge for a more contemporary style. 

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The finishing touch is made by dipping the end of the feathers into the craft glue and leaving to dry. This will be used to make the end of the garland and add a touch of sparkle to the finished piece.

diy garland, gold glitter, DIY christmas, garland making, washi tape ideas, washi tape craftsdiy garland, gold glitter, DIY christmas, garland making, washi tape ideas, washi tape craftsOnce dry, secure the feathers on by trying with a simple knot to the end of the twine and find somewhere to hang your garland. I've used it to decorate this Stag head and bring a bit of colour to the wall.  

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diy garland, gold glitter, DIY christmas, garland making, washi tape ideas, washi tape crafts

There we have it! A super simple DIY gold glitter washi tape garland that is so easy you could even get the kiddos to make it and use it to jazz up plain walls or even wrap around the tree. If you fancy making this yourself why not pin the image below or save it for a rainy day. 

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* Stag Head c/o French Bedroom Company.


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1 December 2016

24 FAMILY CHRISTMAS ADVENT IDEAS

Happy 1st of December everyone! Now it's no secret that I'm a HUGE fan of Christmas and the whole magic of the festive season but I normally manage to contain my excitement until at least the 12th, but this year I have been sooooooo ready for December to arrive in the hopes it will wash away all of the crappier events of 2016. So the kiddo and I came up with 24 family Christmas advent ideas, a little list of all the activities we might like to do this month, so I thought I'd share them here incase you need a little inspiration.

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Aswell as having his Star Wars lego Advent calendar (the boy is obsessed!) we have a few nice family activies popped up on the fridge to keep us going and we can tick them off as we go along.

1. Drink hot chocolate and marshmallows outside.
2. Go Christmas tree spotting on a walk around the neighbourhood.
3. Go tobogganing with friends.
4. Watch a Christmas film under a blanket with popcorn.
5. Decorate the house in fairy lights.
6. Visit a Christmas Market.
7. Go iceskating with friends and family.
8. Write a letter to Father Christmas and post it.
9. Bake festive cupcakes and hand out instead of Christmas cards.
10. Decorate the Christmas tree.
11. Attend a Christmas carol service.
12. Donate to your local food bank.
13. Buy someone behind you in the queue their coffee/tea/drink
14. Make your own Christmas wreath out of foraged twigs and branches.
15. Wear a fun Christmas jumper.
16. Bake christmas cookies for your local postie to say thanks.
17. Volunteer at your local shelter or donate to the White Helemets to help civilians in Syria.
18. Make your own snow globe out of a mason jar.
19. Decorate a gingerbread house.
20. Wrap presents together.
21. Go for a winter walk in the woods and decorate a tree.
22. Make mulled wine or spicy cider.
23. Gift friends a bauble for their tree with a note to say why they are loved.
24. Snuggle in bed together to read a Christmas story.

I really believe that Christmas should be about giving back as well as sharing gifts with loved ones, whether it's small acts of kindness to spread happiness or supporting those who are less fortunate. I hope you like some our the ideas and you can pin the image above as a reminder.

I'd love to hear what you get up to at Christmas?
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30 November 2016

DIY IDEAS FOR CHRISTMAS DECOR

GUEST POST
Christmas decor, design your own christmas, holiday decorations, christmas diy ideas

With a few weeks left until the holiday season really kicks into full gear, a lot of us will be focused on making our houses comfortable and pretty for Christmas. There are always a few staples to put up like a beautiful tree, a few traditional decorations, and perhaps some lights outside. But for those who really get into the holiday spirit, it can be nice to add some special new pieces year in and year out. This is where some DIY crafting effort can make a big difference!

So we wanted to outline a few fun crafting and decoration ideas you might want to keep in mind for this Christmas season.

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29 November 2016

A CREATIVE WEEKEND:IN

Nordic design, scandinavian interiors, rural retreat, creative getaway, womans retreat, creative weekend, inspiration
It's easy as a creative and freelancer to get blogger burnout, where productivity hits a bit of a wall and you struggle for inspiration, or you keep saying yes to everything and then find yourself frazzled juggling it all. I often find I'm at my best when surrounded by a community of like-minded people to bounce ideas off, and although everyone is probably feeling that end of year tow *because let's be honest 2016 has been a bit of a bitch* I am so grateful to have such a wonderful group of inspirational people in this city. 

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