Bristol is famous for it's colourful houses and it's something that really adds character to our beautiful city. It always makes us smile when we go out for our walks around our neighbourhood to see these cheery colours and they make for great backdrops too! Lots of houses in the city are victorian and although I absolutely love victorian architecture for it's character and detailing one downside is they are often fairly dark and natural light it hard to come by during the winter months. Often houses like these extend to the attic to create an extra room but it can be tricky to keep these from not feeling too small and lacking in brightness. There are tricks to help increase natural light in our homes (adding mirrors can help a little to bounce off what light makes it in from the windows) but if you are thinking of a renovation then a sky light is a great idea. It is important to set these up with good roof blinds especially if its a childs room so as not to let the daylight in too early! Black out blinds truly are a godsend for parents, best tip we ever learnt! It can be pretty pricey to pay for home improvements though so looking for a loan can often be a great way to help with these type of projects. Applying for one can actually be pretty consumer-friednly, with peer-to-peer lending platforms in particular offeringAPRs starting from as low as 5%. Another trick for brightening up bedrooms is to make sure you use clean soft colours for the walls and furnishings. Try and embrace white with a few pops of colour rather than a varied colour theme so as not to make the space seem smaller. the is an associated post
Bristol Zoo has undergone a magical transformation as we get closer to Christmas this year.
We paid a visit to see how the animals would be celebrating over the festive period and were greeted with wonderful themed Christmas lights across the zoo grounds, which our children really loved.
The animal shaped light displays really bring lots of festive cheer and are great for little ones to spot and try and identify.
The main walkways into the zoo grounds are also filled with lights, so it makes for a magical experience as you explore around the different animal areas.
The enchanted Christmas evenings also promise to add more sparkle to proceedings at the zoo this year. Running on the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th of December, you can see Father Christmas live on stage, get up close with four reindeer and enjoy seasonal tunes being sung by choirs both on stage and around the site.
There are also Christmas stilt walkers and entertainers which promise to create a marvellous atmosphere. To top it all off there is story telling for children and special festive food and drinks, including Bratwurst sausages, hot mince pies and mulled wine and cider for the grown ups!
You can also visit Father Christmas in his special zoo grotto. Of course, there are plenty of animal themed scenes and frescos to wonder at as you enter the grotto, before you get to meet the man himself and hopefully find out that you're on the good list this year!
Children will love the experience and come away with a gift.
There's lots of brilliant activities to make your Christmas even more special, and it's lovely to remember that the Zoo will be making sure the animals have a great festive time too.
You can find our more about all the activitieshere.
Here at Bristol with Kids we love pinning our favourite children's room interiors to our pin boards. Thankfully both Nichola and I have similar taste when it comes to aesthetics and we often agree that one of our musts for our children's rooms is wooden flooring and clean white walls. I think this gives the perfect base in which to accessorise the room with colour and texture.
I love this room (found viaOh Happy Day) and especially the storage solutions for those beautiful toys!
When my partner and I did up our home one of the many decisions we had to make was on the flooring. We initially carpeted the top of the house and left the bottom with wood. Slowly we have been ripping up the carpet though as we really do think it adds character to the place. The bottom of our house had to have new wooden flooring put and choosing a type and quality can be a minefield! I wish we had chosen a company that could send us samples to experiment like theLuxury Flooring and Furnishings company. They have so many different varieties and prices to try from which is so helpful when it comes to something as important as the floor in your home!
Bristol has seen its fair share of energy and water bill rises this year. In fact the city has weathered some of the biggest bill hikes for water, compared to other parts of the country.
So as winter approaches, here's the Bristol with Kids run down on keeping your bills in check and making sure the festive period only comes with nice surprises.
Make friends with your boiler Over fifty percent of your energy bill is generated by that big tank in your airing cupboard so it's really important to ensure its performing as best it can. Treating to a service can help save money and give you a heads up on the possibility of a break down.
Switch it off! How many rooms have lights on right now which aren't being used? Encourage a switch off game for your family, getting little ones to look out for rooms which are empty. It can really help drive down your electricity costs.
And don't just stop with your lights. All the appliances in the home on standby are costing you money. Turn them off and feel the benefits on your bills. These are just some tips tosave energyand helping to stop energy bills spoiling your winter.
Get an extra layer We all need an extra layer in cold weather, and that's true for your home too. Its amazing what a rug on a wooden floor can do to keep the heat in, as well as taking more obvious steps like wall and roof insulation.
Take your thermostat in hand! For many homes you can control home much heat goes to certain rooms. There could be times in the week when you can switch off the heat in parts of the home, without it affecting anyone, and helping bring down your bill. Tap into savings While we're using more hot water in the winter months you can still keep the bills under control, by keeping your showers to a set time or making sure your dishwasher or washing machines are being used for full loads. Simple steps can make a huge difference. Here's a Water saving calculator to show what you can save.
The Bristol with Kids girls and boys headed out to the Bristol Hippodrome to catch Peppa Pig and friends who are back stomping and splashing in a lovely new theatre show.
This is a brilliant fast paced show filled with muddy puddles and all of Peppa's friends. There are songs and fun for everyone in the family from young to old.
The Peppa Pig's Big Splash show begins with Peppa’s game of hide and seek, a discovery that the nursery roof is leaking, a fete to raise the money for the repairs, and ending with the world’s biggest puddle jumping competition.
The cast of the show are all skilled singers and puppeteers and bring all of the characters to life. My personal favourites were a dancing and singing Mr Potato and Mr Bull who wants to "dig up the road", and there's also appearance from Polly Parrot, so children who enjoy the cartoons will see almost every character they know and love.
The puppets are a brilliant way of bringing a multitude of characters into the show including Peppa, George and Mummy and Daddy Pig. The sheer variety of songs and action keep everyone entertained.
It's a really well paced show which is easy for little ones to follow. And there's a great finale which gets everyone cheering and when Peppa does her award winning jump at the end even the audience feel the effects!
You can find out more about the Peppa Pig's Big Splash showhere.