Sleep. Grow. Decorate. The Theme is Wanderlust.

pastel, travel, decor, interior design, Scandinavian, design, contemporary, d

I feel like it was just yesterday when I was blogging about Cole becoming a big brother, but now here I am with a 9-year-old and 2-year-old and man, I don’t even know how that happened! Seriously, where have the last 2 years gone?!

This is a fact that fills me with a strange sense of sadness. Carter is definitely our last baby – he completes our family in ways I could never have imagined – but I think it’s the realisation that I no longer have a tiny baby, nor will I ever have a teeny, cuddly newborn again, that just makes me feel a bit nostalgic. Now, I have a big, independent, and very often grumpy toddler, who has an even more independent, headstrong older brother. What chance do I have?!

With last month marking Carter’s 2nd birthday, it was the perfect excuse to go shopping and finally pull together the room transformation I’d been planning for him. I had started planning for the redesign of his bedroom over a year ago when we moved into the house, and it was almost as much of a present for me as it was for Carter. My dream had been to create a really special ‘big person’ room for him, that would grow with him over the years, one that we could update as he grows with just a few simple changes.

I do have a soft spot for interiors, so I couldn’t wait to start this little project of mine, transforming Carter’s room from drab to fab! I’d had a year to browse (and drool over things) online, and that had given me plenty of time to put my ideas on paper and draft a plan. This left me with a brief of: Fresh, crisp colours, with a Scandinavian feel.

It was perfect for us. I decided straight away that I wanted a feature wall, and so I spent a lot of hours searching for the perfect one. However, nothing was pulling me in – I was starting to think it was hopeless! It was only when I visited the lovely David at Wallpaperlux, and he suggested I take a look at the Scandinavian brand Mr Perswall. David, David, David… are you a mind reader? You knew exactly where to send me! Within seconds I stumbled across ‘The Cutest World Map’ and it was the one. It screamed adventure (and I almost screamed when I found it, it really was perfect) and I just loved how it tied in with our passion for travelling. The paper is made to measure, so it’s always going to be the perfect fit for your own space too!

So, now we had a starting point to work from, and I began to tie in the interiors based on the gorgeous tones of the map. David who also owns Epitome Soft Furnishings guided me through fabrics and colour palettes to tie in seamlessly with the rest of the room. I’m really glad we chose to go bespoke – having our roman blinds and funky cushions custom made to match the room, it was definitely the best decision we made.


One of the biggest factors for consideration when we designed the room was the bed – a pretty important factor in any bedroom really. We decided it was time to transition Carter from a cot to a ‘big boy bed’. There were the usual worries associated with this, with him still being quite young, which is one of the reasons we were so keen on the Scandinavian theme. I already loved the look of the Scandinavian house beds – they’re so beautifully designed – but they also sit quite low to the floor, meaning if Carter does fall out of bed, at least it isn’t quite as far to fall. That means a better night’s sleep for everyone, and less worrying for us!

I came across Carter’s bed on Instagram, from a lovely page named LC Inspired (no, this time I was not assisted by someone called David). They were amazing at guiding me through all the bed options and designs, and in the end, we decided on a white single house bed. Carter will have plenty of room to enjoy his sleep (and wriggle and sprawl in the way only toddlers can do) and it will grow with him as he gets older too.

I think one of my favourite parts of redecorating was hunting for bits and pieces for the new room – the little touches that really ‘make’ the room. TK MAXX was probably a personal favourite of mine – I know it can be a bit like marmite for some people (you’ll either love it or hate it) but I really do love looking for unique, quirky, or fun pieces in there, like blankets and photo frames. It can sometimes be a bit potluck, and you may not always find what you want, but other times it can be a real treasure trove.

I’ve already mentioned Instagram – it’s where I found his bed – but it is fast becoming one of my favourite ways to look for smaller, more personal businesses, where you can quite often find people who create gorgeous products. These people are often putting their all into their business and it feels amazing to be able to support them, plus the products they provide are more likely to be unique! I was so excited when I came across a personalised dream catcher from Modo Creative and even more so when I saw that the colours tied in with the room décor perfectly.

After a couple of weeks of anxiously waiting, pacing, sitting by the door and waiting for the postman… everything had arrived and it was time to paint like a one-woman DIY SOS team! My very talented dad put up the wall mural, as I fear if I’d tried to do it myself, I would’ve rearranged the continents!

My favourite part of a project is seeing everything come together. I mean, really, there’s nothing better than seeing all your hard work, expectations, plans, time and effort come to fruition. Let’s face it most of the time these things do not come together quite that easily… But with this project, everything seemed to be going smoothly. I even felt a few butterflies as I ironed the bedding, placed the last few cushions, and hoovered the new carpet – just for the hell of it. Finally, it was all done.


Carter’s little face lit up when he saw the room for the first time, and his only reaction was a big fat “WOW”. My little chatterbox was speechless – clearly, I had done my job! I was thrilled he loved the room, but the biggest challenge was yet to come… would he actually be able to sleep in his new ‘big boy bed’?

Well, there was only one way to find out. I think that day I was even more excited for his afternoon nap than I would’ve usually been. Trying not to let on that anything was any different, I continued with our usual routine of songs and a story. But in the back of my head, I’d told myself he would be out of bed before I’d had a chance to close the door. When I got to the door with no toddler-weight on my ankle, I cautiously proceeded to the stairs, and by the time I made it downstairs to look at the baby monitor, I was fully convinced my toddler was broken. Not only did he stay there for a few minutes, but he slept for nearly three hours. Three hours! So much ‘me’ time!

We’re now three weeks in, and I’m delighted to report that Carter has continued to sleep in his new bed with no issues. The transition has been so smooth that I’m a little bit convinced that there’s magic involved somehow. We’re not complaining though. In fact, we couldn’t be happier.

I’m so happy with his room – it’s brought a whole new lease of life into the house. Carter loves playing up there on his new plush carpet, and his bedtime routine now consists of the two of us snuggling into his bed for a bedtime story, before he drifts off to sleep in a room filled with tranquil possibilities. Now my only problem is, what do I decorate next?!





Mountain Buggy Bag Rider: Revolutionising Family Travel

I think the title says it all! Really – I could just post the title and leave it at that. But, if I did that, then I wouldn’t get to share our experience with Mountain Buggy’s newest product ‘The Bagrider’.

It’s no secret that our family loves travelling, be it near or far, but I must admit that we do have a lot of love for our long-haul holidays. Sure, they can be more stressful, but we’ve gained lots of experience (and maybe even a little wisdom) when it comes to planning ahead.

Let’s face it, travelling is stressful – for anyone. Travelling with a young family can often be the equivalent of trying to win the final sing-off on The X Factor, while baking a souffle on Masterchef. Or juggling knives while on a trampoline. It’s no easy feat. No amount of planning can cover every possibility, so I really was delighted when I stumbled across ‘The Bagrider’ online while browsing for holiday accessories.

Mountain Buggy are a company that truly put the customer first, and they kindly gifted us one of their cases to road test on our holiday. What better way to put it to the test than on a ten-hour long-haul trip to Mexico, talk about trial by fire!

The case arrived just a few days after ordering, and straight away I was impressed with it! The size and quality of the product surpassed my expectations, because not only was it a gorgeous travel carry-on, the liner and harness included to strap in your little one proved to be strong, sturdy and safe enough to calm any fears! Inside there’s plenty of room to pack toys, activities and snacks too, making it the must-have fashion, safety and mobility accessory for your toddler this year!

The case is really easy to use, with one simple turn at the back of the case being all it takes to flip the wheels out, transforming it into a funky ride on case for your little one! It’s generously sized, without being too bulky, and can safely carry children up to 15kg/33lb.

I couldn’t wait to get to the airport – but not just to start the holiday! I was dying to pop Carter on his case and get our journey started (I may or may not have considered letting him ride it at home…). And I just have to say, this case was a head-turner! I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so many people pointing and staring at us – thankfully this time it wasn’t for something embarrassing! Though I must admit, at first, I did glance around, thinking I had missed a celebrity walking in… but no! Soon we even had strangers coming up to us to ask questions too which was amazing – it was great to spread the love, and let more people know that this fabulous item exists!

We decided to be brave and put our buggy in the hold, with the intention of freeing up our hands for just our hand luggage – but we knew this could massively backfire if a tired toddler meant that walking wasn’t an option. In this sense the case was a life saver because once the excitement started to wear off and our little one grew weary he could ride on instead of being carried! The fact that the case is hand luggage size just made it even better – Carter could ride around right up to the aircraft doors, meaning we got on the plane with rested arms and a happy toddler. What more can you ask for?!

I’m usually filled with dread at the thought of landing after a long-haul flight, as the customs lines are usually so long that, with an already overtired little one, it becomes a form of torture. However, this time when we landed in Mexico 10 hours later, we were excited knowing that although we would have to endure the long lines, they would be a little more bearable with this little magic case. Tired and weary, Carter soon perked up once we brought out ‘The Bagrider’ again at the airport, allowing him to whizz around while we waited for our cases, and while we solved “the mystery of the missing buggy.” By the time we left the airport, Carter was still happy, and we both still had all our sanity.

We had a wonderful holiday, and it really was made so much better by the fact we had such a pleasant travelling experience. I don’t think the trip would’ve gone quite as smoothly without this amazing product, and I cannot wait to break it out again next year for our 3-week break to Mauritius.

What we loved: The ride-on feature, keeping Carter happy and safe through the airport. The case is reusable, even just as a case when Carter outgrows the ride-on function. Stylish. Quick arrival.

What we would change: The wheels could be a little bigger, making it sturdier, and giving more control over uneven areas. Cocktail dispenser. 18+ of course. Got to keep the parents happy too!

Buy yours by clicking HERE

FOLLOW our family adventures HERE



travel, tips, blog, toddler, family, vacation

Mama Murphy’s Top 10 Tips For Surviving Travel With A Toddler

Call me crazy, but I love to travel with my young family. I want my boys to see as much of the world as they can. All my favourite memories are from our family holidays hence why I’m always looking for the next adventure.

When Cole, our 9-year-old, was younger we waited until he was nearly 3 before attempting a long-haul flight but this time around I’m much more relaxed and in the YOLO stage of life so I decided to start travelling long haul when Carter – now 23 months – was 10 months old.

With 3 long haul holidays under our belt in the last 11 months, each time we are a little more organised and arrive a little bit saner (well almost).

Here are our top 10 tips to travelling with a baby or toddler and arriving with your sanity intact:

  1. 1. Pre-book your seats as soon as possible.

Upon booking ask your travel agent how soon you can pre-select your seating. Never assume you’re going to be sat together, especially if your baby is under 2 years old. Airlines have no obligation to sit your partner next to you and the baby if you haven’t pre-booked your seat. Some airlines and travel agencies include seat selection for free, some have a small charge to do so. It really isn’t worth risking being sat on your own with your baby on your knee, whilst sitting next to a stranger.

Another consideration is your position on the plane. For me being closer to the front is easier, as it’s less waiting when you arrive and also means you have the advantage of being closer to the front of security and immigration queues. Some airports (including Cancun) have introduced an immigration line for families with children under 5, which was a godsend after a 9-hour flight. The only downside to being seated at the front of the plane? You’ll likely be close to a toilet, which means there can be a lot of traffic going past your seats with people going back and forth to the bathroom – which can get noisy at times. But on this one the pros may outweigh the cons, especially considering that will also make it easier in case of any spills, sickness or accidents, being able to whisk the little one straight into the bathroom, without having to get them down the aisle in a mess. Just remember, there will only be a limited number of front seats available, so pre-booking early on is really important here.

As well as pre-booking seats, it is also well worth purchasing an extra seat for your little ones. The costs can be off-putting, but when you look at the big picture, and consider how much sanity it may save you… suddenly £550 for an infant seat really doesn’t seem that bad. Our return trip from Cancun went a lot smoother with that extra space, freedom and movement, and it really was worth every penny.

  1.  Plan with precision.

This is something I’ve gotten better at over the years… if only I can master the skill of not overpacking! I think by the time my kids have flown the nest and I no longer have to pack spares of absolutely everything, plus snacks, and entertainment for every waking minute… I think packing will suddenly become a lot simpler! But that’s a long way off, so until then, thank goodness for excess baggage payments.

Planning is key when it comes to travelling with a toddler – starting with streamlining your travel bags. We always split them into functional bags: One bag for comforters and sleep essentials, one bag for snacks, and one bag for technology (i-pads, headphones etc). Splitting them means that in a meltdown moment we can locate something instantly and hopefully avoid a full-scale nuclear explosion. Being away from home, nothing is where it should be, and everything is unfamiliar territory. So, by keeping your bags organised and categorised you can at least keep some semblance of order and make it that much easier in a crisis!

Prioritising your bags will also make it easier on board to figure out what you need and when, and saves lots of trips up and down in the overhead storage throughout the flight. Because when they say “items may shift in the overhead compartments during flight” they don’t actually mean by mum and dad getting up 6,432 times to find something their little one just has to have.

My pro packing tip is to pre-order your nappies and formula (if needed) from Boots at the airport. Once you clear security, you can collect it straight away – saving time spent in the store – and the bonus is it isn’t weighed as part of your hand luggage.

If it can be lost, pack a spare. Pack extra comforters, because those things just walk away by themselves! We always pack an extra packet of Dummies and the extra Bunny that Carter loves was packed in one of the cases as a backup.

  1. Keep Calm!

Let’s face it, travelling can be stressful for the best of us – the pressure of trying to remember everything, making a list (and checking it twice… is it too early for Christmas jokes?) of things you need to do before the big day, plus a couple of excited kids, more luggage than you can fit in your baggage allowance, and soon that to do list is as long as your arm, which is almost enough to put off even the most experienced of travellers forever!

This is going to be my most important piece of advice: You can pack all the fancy gadgets, and write yourself one million lists, but having the right attitude is going to shape everyone’s experience and make travelling a heck of a lot easier. You may not think it, but kids really feed off your energy, keeping calm and collected will set the tone for the trip.

Things may not go to plan, they rarely do, your flight might get delayed, you are likely to leave something at home, but it’s important to remember that more often than not, these things either won’t be needed or can be replaced once you arrive, and so the very best thing you can do is relax, and not let the little ones feed off of your stress! All that you need to have a wonderful holiday is your own little family and a new destination to explore. Everything else simply adds colour to the journey.

I used to worry about people sitting next to us on the plane, especially that unlucky person who was sat next to us in the row of 4! What we have learned over the years is that people are a lot more understanding and considerate than you may think. On our most recent trip, a lovely gentleman behind us offered to carry off a piece of our hand luggage as he could see our hands were full. On the return flight another couple offered to help us to our seat, and held Carter’s hand up the aisle. There really are lots of lovely, helpful people out there, so don’t be afraid to take them up on the offers of help. I know when we are older and start to travel on our own again (gosh that seems a long way off) I will be offering young families help, as I know how much of a difference it can make. Even if they say no, it never hurts to offer, and you may end up making someone’s journey so much easier.

  1. Choose your luggage carefully.

Function over fashion all the way! Most often you’ll find that you’ll have a few large cases to transport as well as hand luggage, and a buggy too. It’s really important to plan ahead with your luggage, as crazy as it sounds. It will just help make your journey that much easier.

We now travel with Tripp 4 wheel ( These cases are well made, and look nice too, but they also glide so well in the airport and can be pushed with one hand. Which really is perfect, because if you’ve ever travelled with little ones, you know that you actually need about 7 hands, so this got me one hand closer to the goal!

Backpacks are also a great option for hand luggage as they free up your hands too. For the mamas out there, they are usually big enough to squeeze a normal sized handbag into too, meaning you can get two pieces of hand luggage for the price of one!

One complaint we’ve had in recent years is not having the little one’s buggy until you get to the luggage belts. This has caused many stressful hours waiting in Immigration and security lines with a tired and grouchy baby on our hips. Not the start you want to your holiday at all.

So, you can imagine our delight when we found that Mountain Buggy have designed a hand luggage case ‘Bagrider’. With the turn of a switch it transforms into a ride-on case for toddlers, and with a 5-point harness and padded seat, it was the best thing we have ever used in the airport. Our buggy was packed safely into the hold and Carter enjoyed cruising through the airport in style, leaving our hands and our hips infant-free. (Full blog to follow)

  1. Plan activities for the flight. 

I would say this is the most important part of your planning. Keeping the kids as busy as possible throughout the flight is key to a stress-free flight. I have compiled a list of our best tips for keeping the kids amused on board.

  • Pre-load cartoons onto a tablet or I-pad. If you have a Netflix account you can download as many Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol episodes as your heart desires. Your little one can then watch the episodes without needing Wi-Fi. They also have a great selection of films on there for older children (and for adults who need entertaining during long flights too!)
  • Buy child-friendly headphones. The headphones provided by airlines often aren’t a great fit for little ears. We usually take our own set for the kids to ensure they can hear the I-pad properly and are comfortable for the flight.
  • Pack a variety of activities to keep switching up experiences – Netflix is great, but it will only keep them busy for so long! We decided to try out the Keep Em Quiet activity pack for the boys this time, and they were a lifesaver for keeping them engaged throughout the flight. They arrived in a great drawstring bag and they’re packed with activity and colouring books, stickers, jigsaws and little toys. As soon as Carter started to get frustrated we would pull out a new activity, which worked a treat! His favourite was the Thomas and Friends sticker scene!
  • You can find Keep Em Quiet’s full range here:


  • Invest in a few new toys that can be introduced throughout the flight. You could pop to your local pound shop and purchase a new toy for every hour of the flight, introducing each one every hour to keep things interesting. After hearing lots of amazing reviews, we purchased Bucky Bucky Toy from Amazon. It comes with lots of little buckle belts and zips to play with, and Carter loved how soft and cuddly it was too. He decided to sleep with Bucky the whole trip (so sweet)


  1. Snacks, snacks and more snacks.

I think the title says it all, but snacks will be one of your biggest assets to ensuring the kids are happy and satisfied throughout the journey! Although there should be food available on most flights, either free or to buy, in most cases the food on offer is less than appealing to little ones (and let’s face it, us adults are often less than impressed!) So, a bag of goodies will go a long way to preventing any hangry toddler moments on the journey, and save you from feeling like you’re suddenly in a Snickers ad (you’re not you when you’re hungry!)

It’s also worth remembering that if your child is under two, then they won’t be entitled to the meal anyway, so get that bag stocked! Just remember not to stock it until after you’ve gone through security – unless you want all those lovely snacks to go straight in the bin!

Even if your child is entitled to a meal, most airlines don’t automatically order them a kid’s meal, so it’s important to arrange this before you go with your travel agent, or the airline itself

I always take a variety of snacks that I can unleash throughout the flights. My favourites are mini cheddars, crisps, raisins and of course a little bit of chocolate for those melt down moments.

Remember it’s not just the kids who need to stay fuelled throughout the flight – parents need to be in tip-top shape to tackle all the travelling fun that remains before the real holidaying begins. It’s important to drink lots of water and keep hydrated, your body will thank you for it once you’re off the plane!

  1. Clothing Comfort Vs. Style.

We all want to look our best and feel good when we go on holiday, and we often feel the same when it comes to how the kids look. But it’s always wise to consider comfort over fashion, especially for a long-haul flight.

Planning my travel outfit is the only time of year I plan for myself before choosing clothes for the kids. If your little one is on your lap for the journey, what clothes will enable you to feel good as well as endure them stomping, sweating, and most likely smearing food on you? I usually opt for a maxi dress, nothing too fancy but it’s enough to make me feel good and loose enough to feel comfortable with the little one on my knee for a considerable time.

For the kids I usually opt for soft cotton slim fit joggers and a cute T-Shirt. They are soft and comfortable but not too hot, which is great when going to a completely different climate. For Carter I usually pack a change of clothes, which I change him into before we arrive.

To try and minimise meal time mess throughout the flight we love the Funky Giraffe bibs. They are made with 2 layers; one layer is a super soft brushed cotton and the other layer locks in any moisture which means nothing leaks through to the little one’s clothing. We also used the wipeable, long sleeved version at all meal times, we loved how it could be washed down afterwards. They are really practical and we love that they come in so many cool patterns.


  1. Tire them out!

The airport can be a really exciting and stimulating place for little ones! It’s unfamiliar territory, and therefore is a playground just waiting to be discovered. Use this as an opportunity to tire them out ahead of the flight. Let them explore the airport by looking for airplanes taking off and landing, look for little soft play areas that will let them burn off some energy, and perhaps allow them to choose a new toy from duty-free to start off the adventure.

It’s important to remember that they will be confined to a seat for the next few hours, and possibly a lot longer, so allowing your little one to walk and run as much as possible will let them use up all that excess energy, and hopefully have them nap-ready by take-off!


  1. Help your little one sleep like a baby.

Sleep, what’s that you say? Okay, so we might be ever so hopeful but the excitement of travel will eventually wear off, and along with an earlier rise, or change in sleep schedule you would hopefully see your little one nap at least once or more depending on the length of your flight.

Most long-haul flights are in the morning, so we always try and keep Carter awake until we get on the flight. We buy a little carton of milk from the shop before boarding and pour it into his favourite cup as we take off.

One of the best things we have invested in for flying is the Jet Kids Bed Box. It comes in a cool ride-along case, which is super fun for the airport. You can also pack your little one’s favourite blanket and comforter inside. But the best part of this product, is that it rolls out to extend the seat and makes a little bed meaning your little one can have a proper rest. This was our second journey using the bed box and again it was a total lifesaver. Carter slept for 4 hours of the 9-hour flight, which meant hubby and I could indulge in a movie and relax.

Taking comforters and a little blanket on the flight will make your little one feel at ease in a new environment, by bringing a piece of the familiar to this strange new world they’re seeing.

  1. Enjoy!!!

Above all else enjoy this experience from start to finish. Your holiday starts when you enter that airport. Soak up every bit of excitement and help your children to embrace the experience with you.

I recently read that we only have 18 summers with our children, and it really struck home how important it is to make the most of each and every trip we take. Sure, we may yearn for the days when they’re bigger and there’s less to pack, and they can do more for themselves while we’re away… but I don’t want to waste any of those summers yearning for the future. I just want to make living (and travelling) in the now as easy as I can.

Travelling opens up so many new experiences for your children, so make the most of every second, as life is way too short to regret not getting out there and really seeing the world.

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read over my Top 10 Travelling Tips, I really hope you find them useful.

Much Love,

Lauren x

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travel, toddler, family, holiday


Age gap love…

When my first Son Cole was born in March 2009 I thought my heart would explode with love…

Every parent will remember that gush of love you feel for your new baby and how your life changes so suddenly that you forget what you ever did with your time pre-baby, your baby becomes your entire life.

We spent the next 7 years as a family of 3, an unbreakable trio who took on the world making the most incredible memories along the way. Quite often people would ask me if I was going to have another baby and my answer was always “Not yet” Quite honestly I would have been happy for the rest of our lives if we only had Cole, thinking about having another baby felt wrong in a way when our world evolved around Cole.

Fast forward to December 2016 when we found out we were expecting baby number 2….

My first thoughts turned to Cole, how would he feel about not being the only child anymore? Would he be upset? and then my own thoughts crept in, I worried I wouldn’t be able to love another baby as much as I loved Cole and for those first weeks leading up to us not knowing baby’s gender, I felt somewhat disconnected.

When we found out our baby was going to be a little brother, we finally could start to picture our new lives as a family of 4. My little bump continued to sprout and I loved every minute of planning his nursery, buying new baby clothes and doing all the fun stuff every Mum-to-be does.


I often chatted to my clients who had more than one baby, almost looking for reassurance and it always struck with me when one Mum had commented “Your heart has room for all your babies, it just expands”

Our second Son Carter was born on the 19th of August weighing 5 lbs 15oz and was the most perfect little baby.

The most precious present we could have ever received as a family. The moment I laid eyes on him I knew that my heart had enough room to love him just as much as I loved his brother. He had filled a gap we didn’t even know existed.

People often comment about how they fall in love with their partner or husband when they see them as a Father, which I can whole hearted agree on but what was more profound for me as a Mum is the overwhelming love you feel when you see your babies together. It doesn’t matter if its the first time or further down the line, I have to hold tears back when I see how much Carter lights up for his big Brother. I can already see their bond and I’m sure Cole will agree that having Carter is the best thing thats ever happened to us as a family.



So this blog isn’t about me running off with a 90 year old man (that would be interesting)  It’s for all those Mama’s who have the same worries as I did. Please don’t worry, I promise you, having another baby will be the best decision you ever made.

I look forward to living life as a family of 4 and making memories with the most amazing guys by my side. Who knows what the future may bring, now I know how much you can love another baby, baby number 3 is never going to be ruled out, we will see 🙂