Packing up the camping gear for winter with Zoflora

Dan and I are definitely fair weather campers. As much as we love the idea of going into September / October putting down the tent in the rain is not fun. Especially when you do not have the room to be able to dry it out properly. So after our camping trip over August bank holiday weekend we decided to pack everything up for winter.

For Dan, the main thing is making sure the tent and other components are dry and that the tent is rolled up nicely and put away in its bag. Don’t get me wrong we always try and get it in dry after each trip but when you know you are going a few weeks later sometimes it’s easier just to ram it in the bag with the guy ropes hanging around. So as we packed up on the Monday morning Dan went round and tied all the ropes up properly and gave the inside of the tent a good old clean making sure bugs, dry grass and other bits had been removed from every inch of the tent.

Whereas for me, it is definitely about making sure everything is clean and sorted ready to grab and go in the Spring of 2017. I empty our box of bits and clean it out, disinfect the cool box, wash all the sleeping bags and rugs and all the cooking stuff, cutlery and plates get thrown in the dishwasher.  That way I know it’s all spotless going away.

We have a massive scuba box that we keep all the bits and bobs in so that when it comes to a camping trip we can grab and go. It usually houses things like toilet roll, the kettle, cutlery, firelighters, gas etc. All the bits that are awkward to pack and store away so we store it in one box that we can throw in the car.

Before our first camping trip of the year, I also stock it with tea, coffee, washing up liquid along with other bits that I am always likely to forget. It’s much easier to throw it in at the beginning of the year so if we have a spontaneous trip we literally can grab and go. So at the end of the season I need to give this a bit of a clear out. I literally empty the box and then disinfect it then re pack it. Anything like tea, coffee, baby wipes etc tend to go in the bin or I store in the kitchen cupboards.

I also give the cool box and any other plastic items (beer holders, plastic tubs etc) a good old disinfectant with Zoflora as well. The folks asked me if they could send me some to try out and I genuinely have to say that it’s a game changer in the world of cleaning products. I know that sounds like a bit of a cliché unlike other disinfectants, it’s concentrated so it has be mixed with water. Therefore, I can leave everything to soak rather than having to wipe it down and as it soaks it doesn’t stink the house out.  Unlike other disinfectants, Zoflora is all about the smell. I’m partial to the smell of bleach, it says to me that something is clean. However, for those of you that don’t like bleach Zoflora is for you. It smells floral and fresh like the outdoors. So for anything that you are storing away it’s perfect as it doesn’t give you that stale smell when you open it up.

Zoflora

Needless to say the house is now getting the Zoflora treatment. The recycling boxes, the bin, you name it its all being cleaned. I cannot get enough of this stuff and it will definitely be a staple in our house especially after looking at all the different fragrances you can get. It’s like the Yankee Candles of the disinfectant world.

xoxo

*In collaboration with brand*


My five favourite things about autumn

Am I the only one that he’s excited about Autumn? Don’t get me wrong I love Summer, who doesn’t love the light evenings and trips to the pub… but I’m more a cosy clothes and chunky knits kinda girl. So, I thought I’d share my five favourite things about Autumn (aside from it being the countdown to Christmas)

1. Pumpkin Spiced Lattes 

I don’t feel I need to say anything else. They taste incredible and as the days get cooler, these are a given! No matter how much effort I put into staying away from sugary lattes these always pull me in.

2. Roast Dinners

Summer is all about salads and barbecues so when September strikes so does the return of the roast. There is nothing better than a chilled Sunday followed by a big roast dinner and a movie. Roast spuds, Yorkshire puddings and chunky roasted veg just brings an instant smile on face

3.  Warm colour palettes 

One of the reasons I don’t like summer is the bright colours. They don’t suit my skin tone and I struggle finding dresses long enough. So when the time strikes to pull on my jeans, chinos and leggings combined with chunky knits and autumnal colours I’m in a slice of heaven. I cannot wait to spruce up my wardrobe and embrace the warmer tones

4. Long walks 

On Monday, Dan and i went for a walk around Westonbirt Arboretum. Whilst the trees haven’t started to change, it’s lovely to wrap up warm and go out in the crisp chill air. Even though it’s been an unusually warm September, we cannot wait for the trees to change so we can go on more long walks after work. It’s such a gorgeous time of year and unbelievably colourful.

5. Amazing TV Dramas 

So when we aren’t out and about, eating roast dinners or drinking Gin, Dan and I love nothing more than plonking out butts on the sofa. Snuggled under a blanket it’s great to get stuck into a gripping TV drama. It’s no secret that summer TV is awful so the return of the dark nights and gripping dramas is welcome in our household. One of the programmes I’m looking forward to is Hunted. We loved the first series so can’t wait for the second to start. I know it’s not a drama but incredible to see how the psychology pans out.

I know Autumn isn’t for everyone but for me it’s excitement and comfort…..
xoxo


How we celebrated Dan’s 33rd birthday…

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Dan’s 33rd birthday and after an extravagant few years on the present front (on both our parts), I was put on strict orders to batten down the hatches and not go crazy. To put this into context I was taken to Vegas for my 30th and for his birthday last year I took him to New York
Gin and Giraffes - The Shard Champagne

I am a complete lover of gift buying and I think everyone should be spoilt on their birthdays, probably even more so than Christmas. After all, it is the day you were born. So after Dan requesting a new saw thing (I’m not one for power tools) which he needed a couple of weeks early I was at a loss as to what to do. I didn’t want to see it pass with no celebrations so we planned a day trip to London with Noah and then on Sunday I decided to surprise Dan with a day out to one of the most amazing National Trust properties that has been on our To Do list for a long time.

Thursday night (he had a very elongated birthday this year!) we had cake and balloons followed by presents on the Friday and a nice relaxing evening as that was his actual birthday. We didn’t get up to a lot of mischief as we had to get a 9am train to London the next day.

Gin and Giraffes - Birthday Cake

We are massive London fans, and whenever we can hop on the train and take ourselves up for the day. It’s so much more exciting now that Noah has the same bug and you see everything from a completely different angle (plus doing all the fun stuff you want to do but maybe avoid because we are grown up!) We made our way across London and got into The Shard and the views were amazing. We stayed up there about an hour, had a cheeky glass of champagne and enjoyed the views all the way out to Wembley Stadium. Noah loved it – he has an obsession with tall buildings and loved the fact that he was higher than anything else in Western Europe. They give you these funky information guides and he sat at the top watching how the windows were cleaned and found it fascinating. I cannot recommend it enough (it is expensive, but definitely an experience!) and would love to go back and eat at the top.

After dropping Noah back we made an impromptu trip to the Bingo… Well now that Dan is an old man it seemed only right. Although I have to say, it was a complete giggle. We got drunk on Prosecco and Dan ended up winning the full house on the last round so we came out quids in! He is the jammiest person I know so I don’t know why this doesn’t surprise me. After a cheeky cocktail on the way home we flaked in bed ready for an 8am start on Sunday to drive up to Cheshire to visit the amazing Little Moreton Hall.

Gin and Giraffes Little Moreton Hall

If you’ve not been but love a quirky building – you must add this to your to do list. It’s incredible. The building is sinking and it just gives it so much character. Of all the big stately homes we have been to, this has to be one of my favourites. The pictures honestly do it no justice. After a morning stroll we then headed west to Biddulph Gardens for an afternoon walk. I’ve never seen so many amazing flowers and gardens and even managed to get a little wedding inspiration.

Gin and Giraffes Biddulph Grange

All in all, we had the most amazing weekend. We had fun as a family but also we got some alone time and had a really good giggle. There were presents, surprises, prosecco, mojitos and some amazing memories made.

I hope you had a good day poppet…. xoxox


The day I went to Fight Klub

Yesterday I went along to Fight Klub for the first time, well I went to the trial 30 minutes but that doesn’t really count in compassion! I can’t really put it in to words how fun it is, so you’ll just have to watch my vlog!

Would I go again? – Yes! Would I recommend anyone goes? – Yes!  If you want to give it a go, you can book via this link There are classes three times a week, so there is definitely a time to suit. Don’t be put off by the price on the booking form – Laura is always sharing offers so there is nothing to loose….

xoxo


Reliving my childhood…. I Spy with my little eye…

If I cast my mind back to my childhood I always remember the I Spy books. My Mum would hand me one if we were at the beach, going on a long drive or out exploring the woods. Either way I remember furiously hunting for the items holding the most points.  So when I saw that they have relaunched the I Spy book range, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a few. If I’m honest I did this with Noah in mind but really this was for my benefit and a chance to relive my youth.

After a busy few weeks, the perfect opportunity came up for us to try them out when we headed to the Breacon Beacons to climb Pen Y Fan. Armed with our “In the Countryside” book we headed off to see what we could find. It very quickly became apparent that Noah is probably a little bit too young for the books. Although he loves the game and hunting out a few things initially, he quickly got bored and wanted to play the game we all know and love. I made the decision not to mark off our finds so that we can save the books for another day.

Gin and Giraffes - i Spy Book

Dan and I both love the books and the encouragement it gives you to get out and about. As an adult, it’s something you can do with the little ones but also it gives you all some exercise. It really is amazing how much you do without thinking about it. That sixty minutes spent exploring can really make a difference to your wellbeing and how you feel generally. Let’s face it sometimes fresh air really is the best medicine.

Despite Noah being a little bit on the young side, I loved reliving my youth so we will definitely be purchasing some more of the range as he gets a little older. He loves exploring and the books help add some adventure and purpose to a Sunday walk or a long drive.

The relaunch  of the I Spy book range features roadtrips to car badges through to the hunting in the garden. Collins Michelin have hit the nail on the head and I can’t wait until Noah gets a bit older so that we can hunting around Wiltshire to see what we can find.

 

*In collaboration with brand*


How I’ve boosted my energy levels in August with Active Life

I’ve touched on this before but I go through real patches of feeling like my “get up and go” has decided to go on holiday which results in me feeling really deflated. I’ve tried eating better, exercising but I still get these patches when no matter what I try my energy and enthusiasm are through the floor. So when the lovely folk at Pharmaton asked me if I wanted to take on their Active Life challenge, I jumped at the chance.

Pharmaton Active Life is a supplement rammed full of minerals, vitamins and natural energy boosting ingredients such as Ginseng. My challenge was to take one every day for thirty consecutive days and see if there was any change to my energy levels and general wellbeing.

 

active-life-tabs

For the first ten to fourteen days I didn’t notice much change at all and it was not until about week three that I found I was feeling like my energy levels were starting to increase. Despite a return to gym (which has left my physically exhausted), I was finding that I wanted to stay up later. I was no longer getting home, collapsing on the sofa and clock watching to bed time.

Thirty days in and I’ve definitely noticed a difference. Naively I thought I would be bouncing off the walls and full of life but the changes Active Life have given me are subtly yet have made a massive change. I’m a bit more enthusiastic when it comes to moving my butt, I want to get out and do more for longer and Dan has also noticed that I no longer fall asleep with the TV on. I’m no longer replicating the behaviour of a small child fighting sleep to watch the end of a film and best of all – those days of creeping up to bed at the same time as little man when we’ve let him stay up later are over.

The only negative point that I have is that they don’t taste the best. Yes, I know that you are not meant to eat them. However, I am terrible at taking tablets and I’m always left with an after taste which needs washing down with a cup of tea or breakfast. Would I consider using Active Life again? Definitely! I’m not sure I would take it every day but if I know that I’m coming up to a busy few weeks then I would get my hands on some to give me that little extra that I need.

If you want to give Active Life a try, you can take part in the 30 day challenge by registering here and you’ll also get a money off voucher (It’s a no brainer really…)

Let me know if you take part and if you see a change in your energy levels

xoxo

*In collaboration with brand*


The Jomani Wedding Countdown is on……

I cannot believe the wedding is now only nine months away… Time is flying by quicker than you can say boo to a goose and amongst the plans we have been making it does suddenly feel like there is a lot more to do. Early on I felt like everything was in place but as time is creeping on, there is lots more detail that we need to go into and there is not much longer that the pair of us can put that off in favour of enjoying the sunshine. That said, there are lots that we have been doing.

We’ve started to collect table decorations and the lovely folks at Hendricks kindly sent me some goodies that we can incorporate into our flowers, table decorations and other aspects of the wedding.

Gin and Giraffes Hendricks

The favours / keepsakes for the evening reception have also arrived and whilst I’ve ordered them so far in advance, it’s made it a lot easier to get the smaller bits as we go as it definitely breaks down the cost!

We have also made a decision on the cake design and whilst I will keep it a secret – here are some of the sketches our amazing designer came up with:

Gin and Giraffes Cake 2

Gin and Giraffes Cake 1

 

My to do list however is growing rapidly, I need to get the bridesmaid dresses stored in a safe place and re-order one of my hangers that has gone astray (Utterly annoying!) and part of their gifts for the day of the wedding. The flowers need to be organized and I need to touch base with the florist – I know that they are waiting for us but finding the time to do the bits is proving tough at the moment. Honeymoon decisions need to be made, and whilst we aren’t booking it at the moment we need to think about what we actually want to do and start building our holiday because I will most definitely need it by then.

One of the most exciting things we need to do is think about invitations as the venue want to do food tasting soon which means the invitations can be ordered! I think I’m more excited about the food tasting though, part of me is tempted to book into a night at the venue so we can do it over a glass of wine but we shall see!

There are also a few secrets up my sleeves that I won’t share with you just yet – but the next few months leading up to Christmas are going to be very much focused on getting some of the bigger jobs done before all the expense starts to roll in next year and I get sucked into wedding excitement!

xoxo

 


Why I took a break from Blogging

I briefly alluded to this the other day, but it’s been a busy few months for Dan and I and as a result my blog has been seriously neglected. Sometimes in life, other things become more important and my time and brain power has had to be elsewhere. I won’t lie, I also out of love with blogging for a bit due to all the drama that is currently flying around. I’m getting really fed up of the follow / unfollow regime that’s been going round and hypocritical bloggers that give you all the advice in the world and then do the opposite. Blogging should be about fun and the love, rather than drama, competition with other bloggers and trying to be the next big thing. So I’ve had to sit myself down and remind myself of this. I’m a sponge when it comes to other people’s emotions and drama so I’ve had a break, cleared my head and had some quality time with the people around me.

Apart from enjoying life, I have been reviewing products and have so many reviews to share with you in the next few weeks. From the I-spy book range we loved as a kid, to amazing disinfectant from Zoflora (who thought it could smell so good!), Pharmaton Active Life tablets and the amazing storage from Neusu. Alongside a massive pile of raw video footage that I need to spend some time with, preferably with a G&T in hand

Gin_And_Giraffes_Bike

I’ve also been busy with the family on some cool days out, holidays and getting myself back in shape so I’ll be sharing all my antics with you. All in all, it’s been a fun busy summer with a bit of drama along the way. I’m determined to get some blogs written and scheduled as the next few weeks I’ve got lots planned including a weekend in Essex with A Penny for Them, Alice in Wonderland afternoon Tea, a Hen Do, wedding and hopefully my friend Bethany is coming down for a weekend. I don’t know how I am managing to function throughout the week. It’s scary to think that all this is going to take us through to November and then it is not long before we are off to Vegas again. I also need to sit down and really get on top of some of the jobs that need doing for the wedding like cakes, flowers and a whole heap of other bits and bobs. It’s safe to say that I am not great at “adulting” and will happily avoid all the boring jobs in favour of having some fun and causing mischief.

That said, it’s a new month, autumn is upon us and I am ready to cosy up on the sofa, under my blanket, mug of tea (or maybe a G&T) and do some writing and edit some videos for you all… But for now, I shall leave you to enjoy the rest of your day….

xoxo

 


I’m still here…..

Life is getting in the way at the moment and as such the blog has definitely been neglected. There seem to be a lot of blogging politics going around and aside from being busy, I have wanted to ignore the playground antics. So I’ve taken a bit of time out and I’m back with a bang to refocus on why I started blogging to begin with. I’ve a few posts in my head and some videos to put together so watch this space.

Gin and Giraffes Pen Y Fan Family

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Warehouse Storage Solutions

As some of you may know, Dan and I used to run our own business and I often dreamt about the office we may have one day with the army of employees running around us. Having the flexibility of being our own bosses and the independence it bought was so much fun but the stress soon got in the way and turns out I wasn’t great at selling! However, I still cast my mind back to the dream office so I thought I’d share some of my dreams with you. It may sound odd, but I always thought we would end up having a quirky old warehouse or barn somewhere and then build the office into it. We were never going to start out with a huge office room so for us to get a small space and make clever use of the space was always the way forward. You can get a small barn somewhere and then use a company such as  Warehouse Storage Solutions  to make clever use of the space with a mezzanine floor.

Ok, I know you are reading this and thinking what are you on about Sian…. but bear with me. Think cute barn in the country, amazing views, team office space below with an office for Dan and I overhead on a mezzanine floor. It would combine the old and new perfectly and you can make the space really industrial, clean and modern to encourage employees to work. I can still picture it now…

Gin_and_giraffes_Office_barn

I would have some snugs or chill out areas because I know as an employee you really do just need to get away from your desk but you also need somewhere creative to think and explore ideas. I’d also have a good kitchen / dining room area where the team could have a decent lunch (there is nothing worse than having just a kettle at work!) and have a bit of space during their lunch breaks. That and a coffee machine… instant is never fun on a Monday morning! Furthermore, I would make sure that the space was practical. Fill it with clever storage ideas, make it modern and funky and somewhere people want to go.

On a practical level, I would want to try and make it economical. Try solar panels, encourage recycling and plant a nice garden out the front for the summer days. Have bright windows to let natural light in and make it feel less like an office and more like a creative place to come and work in.

However, as much as I would love this to be a reality, it is very much a dream. But, you never know

xoxo

 

*In collaboration with brand*