Emma Collins YouTube

Family Camping. Why it’s great!

Since having children of our own, we have tried to have several staycations where the girls will make amazing memories and as we all have a love for nature and the great outdoors, we seem to have embarked on camping A LOT.

Camping has been THE holiday where we all seem to laugh out loud, have a break from technology and ‘rough it up’. We usually camp without electric and we usually pick those fields without any wifi or signal. Although this is horrible at first, we soon seem to slip into not knowing the time or what is going on in the world of social media. We even misplace our phones in our tent and not seem to care.

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Our camping trips have seen us go to Trewan Hall in Cornwall, Golden Cap, Nordern Farm, Rosewall, and  Lymington. Picking a good campsite isn’t easy but we have a criteria to follow now. Nice showers and toilets, on site shop, pub within walking distance, crabbing or rock pooling close-by, dog-friendly, firepits allowed. Having a nice shower and toilet unit is important because no matter how much you are ‘roughing it up’, the only piece of sanity you have is the decent shower that you will get first thing after a rubbish nights sleep.

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My girls adore camping so much and over the years we have added to our camping equipment. Our tent is a pretty good size but we got this tent at an amazingly reduced price so it was a BARGAIN. There’s plenty of places to hunt for a decent tent. We can fit 6 camp beds in a row in the bedroom with our luggage inside and under the beds too. The living room space always fits in all the adults that we usually camp with, which is about 8 of us and all their children. We usually have a games corner, colouring corner, a coat corner and we fit in all the adults chairs. Ours being wonderfully spacious means that we often play host to the group so we can all sit around dry and snug indoors and chat to each other. I now make sure that I take a dustpan and brush because after daily footfall on a large scale and food being consumed, when you shake out the carpet on packing up day we are usually greeted by a three-course dinner – well, usually crushed crisps and bread crumbs.

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I think investing in a good tent, that will stand the test of high winds and rain is important. British weather is a nightmare and when you plan a camping trip in the summer you can bet that it will rain and blow a gale!

We started our camping trip with blow up beds but we found these annoying and they would deflate quickly. We have since invested in camping beds but, although these are better, they are still not comfy. Me and the kids hate sleeping in sleeping bags so we take our duvets which feels much nicer, but our recent trip found me and the girls freezing! No onesies this time and I think they make a difference. I would suggest you add these to your list!

An essential that I would suggest to any first-time camper reading this is a wee bucket – yep! When your child needs a wee at 1am and it’s cold and dark outside and a trek to the toilet, it’s the last trip you want to be making so we take a bucket that we place in the side part of our tent – it’s actually the toilet room and my kids wee in a bucket. I’m guessing there’s something better out there for this but we use a bright orange bucket and we remain warm and dry. Although if they need a poo in the night then I will aslways send hubby.

We have a porch on our tent that we use for the cooking area. A double gas stove, a kettle and a big cool box is essential. Breakfasts are usually bacon, egg or sausage baps and lunch is usually pasta or pot noodles and dinner is bbq/pasta/mince dish. We usually do the cooking as a group because we find that we all eat the same things. This is so much easier. Although someone needs to forget bringing the crips! My waistline does not appreciate crisps and it’s my weakness especially after consuming the essential red wine.

Don’t forget to take a washing bowl so you can go and do all your washing up – i forgot this first time around and it was a pain!

We have a couple more camping trips planned this summer but as yet we are not sure where to go. It would be so nice to have more car space so we can take the bikes with us too.  I like staying active whilst camping and we do find ourselves on long walks which is lovely. I try and take my running stuff too but it’s not always easy getting up and out for a run when on a family camping trip. It does make you feel really good once you have done a run though, especially when living off naughty food.

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Our favourite sites have been Rosewall, Trewan Hall and Golden Cap so far. It’s an amazing way to bond as a family and appreciate home a little more!

 

Emma Collins YouTube

I have no idea how people do the 500 calorie diet

The Diet…

The calorie counting has had its plus and minuses if i’m honest. When I do it, it’s a real eye opener and I have no idea how people do this 500 calorie diet. I can’t seem to go under 1200 calories! On those days I don’t add data to the calorie counting app I feel like I’m free and I don’t eat as much. How does that work?! Anyway i’m 4lbs lighter than last year which is better than 4lbs on I guess.

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Since the new year, I have run a lot. I’m talking 11 miles every weekend and dancing and gym and school runs (seriously I’m counting everything).

I just need to find someone to serve me my healthy snacks and meals – simple!

The House Move …

So, we sold at the end of November and we also bought at the end of November. We are currently so close to exchanging that I’m constantly checking my emails for the solicitor to announce the much-needed news. Argh it’s driving me insane. As both my husband and I work all week we have been doing clear outs, tip runs and packing on weekends around birthday parties and family outings. There is no method to the madness at all. Just tip everything we don’t want and box everything we are keeping. We still have lots to do but we are in limbo. How much do you pack up before you have exchanged? My existing house, of 10 years feels cold and empty now. We are ready to move on. In our minds this move is a fresh start and we want that fresh start to happen now. It’s almost like waiting for a much awaited holiday to come around.  I can imagine myself and my family in our new home – which is incredible when I have only been inside it once and day dream from the images on the leaflet. I also have worries. What if this house is nothing like I remember. The big move and all that excitement for nothing.

We still have lots to do but we are in limbo. How much do you pack up before you have exchanged? My existing house, of 10 years feels cold and empty now. We are ready to move on. In our minds this move is a fresh start and we want that fresh start to happen now. It’s almost like waiting for a much needed holiday to come around.  I can imagine myself and my family in our new home – which is incredible when I have only been inside it once and day dream from the images on the leaflet. I also have worries. What if this house is nothing like I remember. The big move and all that excitement for nothing. The grass isn’t always greener and all that.

Luckily there’s no work to do to the house – from what i remember. I want a wall taken down and the garage to be transformed and new furniture. I want all my girls to have pretty single beds rather than their high sleepers, I want a new bed, something vintage and pretty. A new dining table, A new sofa. I also want new curtains and new bedding, a new desk and a new dresser. I just want to start all over again and buy the things that I have dreamt about for years. I want it all light and white and calm and relaxing.


We spent the last ten years growing up in our house. Wasting money and saving money. Having three children and going from the early days in our careers to wherewe are now in our thirties. Our existing house had been the house that we have been growing up in. We have learnt a lot and created new dreams. Our new house is where we will be grown ups. Our decisions will be better. Our income and understanding of money is better.

The people my husband and I and our children want to be and want to become will happen in this house.

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