Top tips for visiting Hampton Court Flower Show 2017

We had such a wonderful time at Hampton Court Flower Show 2017. I went this year (my second time) with my youngest (now 2.5 years), who was able to really enjoy it this time, as opposed to last time when he was only 6 months old and it was an extremely hot day which was quite tough on us both!

Tips if you’re going to Hampton Court Flower Show:

Arrive early if you need to park your car. Traffic in the surrounding area may slow you down more than you expect.  I arrived at 9.30am and was able to get a space easily in the main car park, but there was a constant flow of cars arriving and parking so it was filling up steadily.

Bring cash for parking (it costs £15 in the main car park opposite the main entrance to the palace). I am not sure about the other car parks. You may be able to park for free at Bushy Park and walk.

Wear a sun hat and sunscreen. Bring a bottle of water, which you can refill on site. Wear good walking shoes or sandals.

Buy a show guide (£5). It comes with a map, and is very useful for finding whichever bits of the show you’re most interested in.

 

Hampton Court Flower Show

There is a cash point within the show grounds.

If you have small children they might enjoy the children’s play area, which is quite small but does have a little ball pool and some soft play type items, some giant Lego bricks and giant Jenga. There are also various activities for children, especially on the weekend.

Don’t miss the butterfly dome! My toddler was excited though a little wary of these beautiful creatures. Bring a camera!

Blue butterfly

Check out the scarecrow competition, I was really impressed with all the creativity and detail. Each entry is from a different school.

There are loads of great food and drink options at Hampton Court Flower Show and you can get everything from champagne to churros with chocolate.

The restaurants require pre-booking but there are plenty of stalls where you can get various interesting foods, and free samples of treats like fudge. I tried some gin fudge which I must say was very tasty! The Allium Cafe is undercover and doesn’t require pre-booking. The queues were a little chaotic though, and they had run out of all the salads we wanted so we had to choose different ones at the last moment. Though we enjoyed some very tasty chicken and vegetable pies (£5.50).

There is of course a lot of shopping to be done, if you’re so inclined. Save some time to do this as lots of vendors offer special discounts on products if you buy it at the show (and you can bring/buy a crate on wheels to carry it in if you don’t have a buggy with you in which to stash it!) I came away with some lovely palazzo trousers and matching scarf, and half a dozen small potted succulent plants.

Have fun! I found the whole day flew by and I soon had to leave to get home for my older children. Till next time, Hampton!

If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read about our trip to Center Parcs!  Click on the link below:

Center Parcs Longleat – amazing family break

 

Twin Mummy and Daddy

 

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Konmari and how it has changed my life (so far)

About a year and a half ago I read this book, called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, a Japanese organising and de-cluttering guru who, as the media says, has taken the world by storm!

I won’t go into all the nitty gritty details as there are many articles online now devoted to this (and youtube videos as well).  But I wanted to mention it as it really has made a profound difference to my life in one significant way…the way in which I organise and fold our clothes.  This extends from our own wardrobe, to the children’s chests of drawers, to the way I pack for holidays.  I am constantly telling friends about it, which probably is incredibly irritating, but I am really that enthusiastic about MK’s methods, or Konmari as she has dubbed it.

So far I haven’t managed to do the full Konmari on my house, but I have taken on some of the principles and hope that one day I’ll have the time and dedication to make it happen.  In the meantime, I am satisfied that life is just that little bit more organised with the new folding method.

Here is how it looks in a drawer:

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And here’s how it looks in a suitcase:

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The benefits may not be readily apparent, and it may seem to take a lot longer to fold each item the Konmari way whereby it is supposed to stand up on one end unaided and be the same size as the next item (this doesn’t always happen for me!) but trust me it’s worth it.  The advantages for me, are as follows:

  1.  The clothes take up much less room.  After I folded my daughter’s clothes this way, lo and behold, I had an extra drawer that was now completely empty!  Previously it seemed to be stuffed to the max.
  2. You can see all of the items in the drawer at once, just like when you look at books or DVDs on a shelf.
  3. You can then pick the item you want, and remove it from the drawer, without upsetting all the other items irrevocably so that they turn into a crazy mess in the drawer (the pointlessness of which has always put me off bothering to keep any semblance of order in a drawer)

Even my husband, who thought it was a little ridiculous to start with, is now a convert and has been seen to be folding his clothes, her way, on occasion.

It really is incredible, and life-changing.  So thank you Marie Kondo!

I highly recommend reading the actual book.  She describes her early life too, and it is fascinating to find that she has been into tidying since she was a child.  It also puts you in the right frame of mind, to only keep the things that “bring you joy”, and to enter the process the right way, by categories rather than room by room.  Happy organising!

 

If you wish to take a closer look click on the picture of the book below and it will take you to amazon.co.uk where you can read more reviews or purchase the book. Please note it is an affiliate link, so amazon will pay me a few pence if you click through and buy. However please note I only ever endorse any products and places I truly rate highly and believe to be worth recommending!


Mummy Times Two
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Bullet Journals

I’ve recently had my eyes opened to a whole new craze in organising, known to those in the know as the “bullet journal”. What is this thing you speak of, I hear you say!

Well, I’m just on a journey of discovery myself so I’ll keep you posted, but for now I have gathered the following and can tell you this much – it is a place where people who tend to have a lot of lists floating around can keep all of their lists together in one place! It’s a personalised fully customisable system. And it’s an excuse to buy a gorgeous new notebook (mine is a moleskine I picked up at TK Maxx)… It’s basically ideal for me, as I am an obsessive list-maker, but I often forget to look at my lists as I misplace them or lose track of them. The jury is still out as to whether this is going to work for me in the longterm, but so far in 2 weeks of using it I think it’s having a positive impact on self-organisation and stress levels!

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Check back later to find out more about my bullet journal journey!

You can also read lots more about this concept on this website, written by the original inventor, including a video which teaches you how to get started www.bulletjournal.com

There are plenty of other useful websites – two that I like a lot are https://www.tinyrayofsunshine.com/ and http://www.bohoberry.com/.  These ladies really know how to make their bullet journals look beautiful!  Of course that isn’t actually necessary in order to get organised, but I find that if you love how something looks, then you’re more likely to use it.  So to that end I have bought myself some colouring pens!  Not ones for the kids, ones that only I can use (unless they ask me very nicely, and promise to put every single pen lid back on!)

 

If you’re into organising, you might also like to read about my other obsession, with Marie Kondo’s tidying methods.

Konmari and how it has changed my life (so far)

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