kids activities · making memories · motherhood · November · Parenting · Uncategorized

Sleepovers for beginners – age 7

So having a girl it was inevitable that one day she would start to want friends over to sleep because the standard two hour playdate/coffee date would no longer be enough. Now I’ve had a few of these I feel I’m ready to share my knowledge of how these things roll with rookie sleepover parents! 

  1. Sleepover- Do NOT be fooled by this word- sleep will be minimal, for everyone.
  2. Excitement is the word of the evening/night/morning. This will be the state of mind at all times and will change normally calm children into balls of bouncing energy with a never ending battery life! 
  3. There is never enough time to do everything on the sleepover, I’m sorry kids but unless we stay up until 2am there is no way we will be able to fit in all your activities! 
  4. It will take at least 30 minutes to get ready for bed. By this I mean change into pjs, clean teeth and wash faces- 30 minutes people!
  5. Don’t be fooled by the fact the little people are ready for bed for it will take upto another hour for them to actually be asleep! During this time be prepared to tuck their cute faces in all snug and say goodnight, only for them to have multiple trips to the toilet, bed swaps, secret talks and anything else they can think of rather than go to sleep! 
  6. No matter what time they get to sleep- in my case only half an hour before I went to bed, yes they are 7- they will still wake up long before the sun the next day full of the joys of spring! 
  7. If you are lucky they will entertain themselves for an hour before the requests for help with activities start again! 

All this said I love that T has friends she can have sleep over because it is the closest she will ever get to having a sister and is the longest she has a play mate for other than in school. Also nowadays leaving them to get on with it and not getting too involved in any disputes encourages them to resolve their own issues which is good for them. 

So to close sleepovers are a necessary thing especially when you have an only child and now I’ve only managed 7 bullet points, who knows how many there will be once mobile phones and boys become involved! Hey it may be testing at times but that’s parenting so here’s to the next 10 years of sleepovers! 😂 Wish me luck!!  

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Blogger · feeling proud · fun activities · lonely · lucky · making memories · mood · motherhood · November · Parenting · Uncategorized

Saturday sleepover 

Today has been a mini rollercoaster of emotions. It started off with breakfast for one in bed with Poppy resting on my feet. We watched a bit of tv in bed and scrolled my phone for a while before it kicked in, I was on my own for the day with not a single plan to my name. It was a really sunny morning, cold and icy but a lovely day, great dog walking weather. All this said I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed. What was the point? No one would know if I stayed there all day, No one would care. With only a few minor errands to do I could get all that done in the half an hour before T came back, why bother getting ready and making the most of the day when I wasn’t going to speak to another person until 4pm? I sank further and further into this hole for another hour until I finally forced myself out of bed.

I forced myself to walk Poppy round the lake which I knew would take nearly an hour. It was windy and cold but it was what I needed. The sun was shining and it felt good to have made an effort although I did keep thinking how easy it would be to have stayed where I was becoming more and more miserable at being alone. I was so thankful I had Poppy this morning.

After lunch I did some more prep for T’s party at the end of December. The pile of homemade Willy Wonka signs, photo booth props and games is growing bigger by the week and I’m feeling more and more prepared which I like.

After lunch and a few chores I had time for some of a Christmas film before T and her friend arrived ready to start their sleepover 😁 This was what I had been waiting for all day, yes I had kept myself busy on my own, I’d managed to motivate myself to pass the hours but this evening I felt like I’ve had a purpose again. 

We started with loom bands then after dinner I surprised the girls by taking them out for Mcflurrys because they had both tried so hard in their riding lessons this week, they were so excited! 

When we got back we played beauty schools, hair,makeup, nails all done on each other it was like a glimpse into the future! In 10 years time these girls will be 17 going on 18, will they be doing the same thing on a Saturday night, I’m pretty sure they will!! It made me smile to watch them and think about their adorable little friendship growing over the years.

After this we made candy canes from pipe cleaners and beads which the girls will use to decorate their Christmas trees once they go up. 

Now they are playing upstairs before bed and I feel lucky. Lucky that I have my beautiful little girl even if I do have to share her and even if those times aren’t always easy. Today I was lucky I had Poppy as my reason to get up. She didn’t know I was lonely and getting more miserable by the second and she only got happier the happier I got. I’m lucky my girl has such lovely friends and is happy and I’m lucky I will get to spend some time with my husband tomorrow afternoon after a whole weekend apart.

Christmas · date night · Family · money worries · November · reflection · Uncategorized

The good and bad in the lead up to Christmas 

Every year we do the same thing, and I’m sure we aren’t alone. I’ll bet at some stage each and everyone one of you has put pressure on yourself to buy gifts you can’t afford. It’s not the amount we spend but simply the amount of people we have to buy for. Why do we do it? We do it because we love to see kids with smiles on their faces and friends and family enjoying nice gifts because of us. The struggle comes with my birthday a month before Christmas and T’s a week after, closely followed by Scott’s son in February- with this year being the big 18 we have had to start planning for this extra early and so have had to spend out for it already. 

Of course we have had all year to prepare for this but you know how it is, you have a family holiday, two new pairs of glasses for little old me, then with an operation for your dog and some routine flea treatments, worming and yearly jabs thrown in there goes your extra income for a couple of months! 

Now it’s fair to say all this spending has got us in a bit of a spin this week but as much as it’s affecting us we have now got it under control and are back on track again.

So here are some happy moments from this week, T finished her entry into the colouring competition with a ballerina. 

We had a much needed date night in ❤

I went Christmas decoration shopping with my friend Lisa, This has become a yearly tradition now and it’s always really nice to browse the decorations and have hot chocolates together even if we only come away with one new decoration each. 

 Now the day has ended with T having a very tough riding lesson, she had a lot of challenges to overcome today and a fair few of them she managed but some beat her and the she got a little upset. I think after a good chat and a cuddle she will be ok and is ready to try again next time. Now I’m just looking forward to her coming back tomorrow so she can have her friend to sleep over as she is super excited for this 😊

I hope you have all had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend, 

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Family · Parenting · reflection · Sisters · thoughtful · Uncategorized

Family relationships over 2017

As we approach December I find myself starting look back on my family relationships during the year. Let’s face it families aren’t perfect wherever you are in the world and I’m sure mine have less problems than most but that doesn’t stop me trying. Trying to create the ‘perfect family relationships’. If there even is such a thing. All I know is another year has passed and I find myself no closer to that family bond I feel like I’ve been searching for forever. 
Ok with my sister in New York and my brother in Japan I don’t expect to be going round for tea every week, I would just like to be in touch more. As it is at the moment the only contact we have now is through Instagram, which I only installed so I could keep up with their lives as they are both too busy to message occasionally to see how we are. I understand everyone is busy and I have to admit I’ve even given up slightly this year on my sister’s side because it’s always so hard to get a response or a conversation going when I do message, it’s easier to just not message and then I won’t be disappointed when I don’t get the response I was after. My brother I made a big effort with before he went off to Japan and was in contact regularly, went to visit him and contacted him regularly through his first few days and weeks just to check in but still he was a day late saying Happy birthday to me.
I feel like he will go the same way, I will end up not messaging so I don’t get disappointed.

Closer to home my extended family is still something I’m struggling to feel like I belong in. I think at the start of Scott and my relationship I made a massive effort and had playdates, coffee catch ups etc. As time has gone on it has felt like no one else really wanted to make this effort so I stepped back slightly. I feel like they have a lot in common with each other that I’m not a part of, they have been family for a lot longer than I have been we are talking over 10 years here compared to my 4, but I feel like this year I’ve felt more on the outside than ever.

I guess this is a continual process that will hopefully grow as my years in the family grow, for now I’m left feeling almost nervous when we do meet up because I just dont have the closeness they have.

When it comes to my immediate family my relationship with my mother continues to be up and down as it always has been. The fact is we are different people and have completely different ways of thinking, she would never think to make herself available for my daughter’s birthday party wheras when I am a lucky enough to have a grandchild I will be the first one in line at their party, and any single time grandparents are invited into school you just think about stopping me! Once again I never give up trying, asking for these things but always end up disappointed when they don’t happen.

My Nan is my rock,my closest family member. We talk all the time and she knows everything about me, she knows when T has a parents evening or I have the orthodontist, she knows how hard Scott and I work and how we always put everyone else before ourselves hence why money is often tight. She doesn’t use this against us and sees us for who we are, always being there, without judgement,  with unconditional love for all of us.

I don’t know how many more years I will go on wishing my family bonds were closer but I know it’s been years so far and still the relationships remain the same. All I can do is show T myself how close a family unit should be and hopefully when she grows up we I will finally have my close family unit I’ve always wanted.
Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Adult braces · Blogger · Dentist · goals · November · Teeth · Uncategorized

Adult Braces 11 months in

Today was my 8 week orthodontist appointment and I was quite looking forward to this one! (I had obviously gone too long between appointments, who looks forward to that chair?!) The reason I was looking forward to it was because my last remaining tooth had moved into the space made for it and was today being attached to the wire. When I look back at my day 1 photo 11 months ago it’s so hard to believe how many different directions my teeth faced in, some were infront some behind and all different lengths and angles. Now my top teeth are almost all forward facing and with this last tooth being brought forward my bottom teeth will be too.
But obviously this movement comes at a price and today the instrument of torture was a chain across my top 4 teeth to bring them back into my gaps. The chain is clear so it’s only slightly visible when you get close and most people won’t even notice it’s there I doubt. Once this moves my teeth into the gaps where my extractions were there will be small gaps at the front which my orthodontist will then work on closing.

On the bottom I have a “piggyback” link which is pulling my one remaining tooth forward into line with all the others and once this happens she will work on getting them all the same height.

So with these new devices all fitted and my orthodontist very happy with my progress off I skipped to enjoy my day! Now I’m getting used to the pain part and know I’ve got a good few hours before it kicks in so I got as much done as I could possibly fit in before said pain hit. I even had a friend round with her boys who had a play with T and ate tea at ours. It was all going well until they left and then bamm it hit me like a freight train! Maybe it was because I stopped and actually started to notice it but wow notice it I did!!

Right now the pain is travelling down my jaw and up across my face. Moments like this it have to focus on how far I’ve come in the last 11 months, my top teeth look amazing and I’m actually smiling with my mouth open at times, a complete no no for years before this.

So here it is my 11 month progress picture!

Onwards and upwards with this process!

New glasses this week to complete the geek chic!
Birthday · Choccywoccydodah · Dream Girls · family time · friends · making memories · November · Uncategorized

Dream Girls, London & lots of cake!

Sunday I turned 33 and what an awesome weekend I’ve had, so here goes I’m going to share my weekend with you all.

Thursday-

Two friends and I went for a drink at a local pub to celebrate all three of our birthdays in November. We each got each other a little present and card and had such a giggle catching up for a couple of hours.

Friday

After a busy day at the opticians, getting my nails done for the weekend, watching T ride and getting Poppy groomed I had two friends over for fajitas. My best friend bought me a beautiful bunch of flowers and a bottle of pink prosecco so we of course drank that and had a really fun evening. Nothing wrong with a few filters to get the giggles going!

 

Saturday-

Today Scott and I were off to London! The last time I went to London was January for T’s birthday so I was super excited to go back. We were also going to visit a few places neither of us had been before which was great. We started off in Carnaby Street. This eclectic mix of shops and restaurants was draped in the Carnaby Christmas Carnival decorations! It looked great with its vibrant colours and shapes!

Next we visited Choccywoccydodah! This is a chocolate shop and restaurant which fits right in on Carnaby Street, with its bright red walls and 3 foot high made entirely of chocolate statues and cakes in the entrance way its definitely one to remember! We went straight upstairs and I was really excited to get a table right away as I’d seen online you have to take a ticket and come back at busy times.

After looking at the menu I decided on a melted chocolate hot chocolate and a piece of chocolate cake, I know it sounds a lot but we were in a chocolate shop! Wow it was delicious, totally scrumptious but I have to say it beat me! Even so this place is well worth a visit for somewhere different to go in London and it wasn’t even too over priced.

Little tip if you do visit take a trip to the bathrooms, they are decorated like a secret garden and it really is something else once you shut that door!

 

23472720_10215159941971312_6443019816105680307_nNext we visited Liberty of London. This shop is 140 years old and the building is quite impressive on its own. You could spend hours there as they stock the high end of everything from clothes to homeware to makeup and Christmas decorations. As we were on a schedule I wanted to look at the Christmas displays so after walking up the 4 flights of stairs as the lift was busy, well we had to work off that cake somehow, we made it and they had some beautiful decorations! We bought a small Christmas present and a little present for T, she loved her little nutcracker and said she will always remember it came from Liberty bless her.

23376401_10215159942451324_4343892963367431247_nThen we went for lunch at Fire & Stone in Covent Garden, neither of us were very hungry but as lunch was already paid for I managed to eat some of this pizza topped with spicy beef, sour cream and guacamole.

 

 

 

Next it was on to our main event, Dream Girls at the Savoy Theatre! I have been so excited to see this show for such a long time and couldn’t contain my excitement even just arriving at the theatre! We had great seats and the show was epic! The performance of “I am telling you” was so emotional that by the end the crowd were all on their feet and cheering and crying! By the time the interval came I felt emotionally exhausted from the show in the best way possible! It really was one of those shows where you felt that all the actors gave 100% all of the time and I can’t recommend it enough! It really was the perfect end to my birthday day out.

Sunday-

Sunday I turned 33! My little T came back at 9.30 and I was treated to breakfast in bed before opening my presents, I got so many lovely things from family and friends I really did feel very lucky. Afterwards we went for hot chocolate and cake, marked the two minute silence for remembrance Sunday and had a lovely sunny, if a bit windy walk with Poppy. In the afternoon we played board games and stayed in the warm while Scott cooked dinner. It was a great day with my little family.

I have had such an amazing birthday weekend and feel very lucky to have spent it with those that actually wanted to be there. For some reason I let it bother me that only 1 person I work with out of about 12 I am friends with online wished me a happy birthday. Its not like I am new to the company having been there 6 and a half years and I always take the time to wish everyone a happy birthday if  see it come up but does it matter? no! I had a wonderful weekend with family and friends and have been treated, if not spoilt so I really am very lucky! I think the lesson here is focus on what you have got not what you haven’t!

The closer I get to my mid thirties the more lessons I am learning so if you are approaching your thirties or just starting them out, its great but there are a lot lessons to learn!

Thanks for reading everyone,

Lou x

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The Poppy at Kings Cross Station London.
Birthday · Blogger · Family · friends · happy · Uncategorized

Getting old, the birthday build up!

Hi everyone, this week has flown past and I think I was willing it to because this Sunday is my birthday! It doesn’t matter how old I get I still get just as excited about my birthday every single year! It’s not a big one, 33 is a pretty unexciting age I think but still I can’t wait for Sunday. What’s wrong with looking forward to that one day of the year where everything is all about you? Where you get to spend time with family and friends who pretty much all go out of their way to make sure you have an amazing day. 

Here are a few of my favourite things about birthdays:

  • Family time- whether it’s going for a coffee and cake, playing games together or taking Poppy for a walk on this day I get to choose because it’s my special day.
  • Seeing friends- ok so as I’ve got older my birthday celebrations have toned down but I’m ok with that, you come to realise that it’s better to have a few close friends than try to arrange big events that cater for everyone. Unless it’s your wedding there are always reasons people can’t come so instead of getting upset when you invite them and they give their excuses just see the people that you know actually want to be there. You will have a far better time in a relaxing enjoyable atmosphere than worrying how many people are going to actual turn up to your event!
  • Presents – throughout the year I do my best to make sure all my loved ones get thoughtful presents I would love myself and although I don’t give to receive I’m very lucky that on this day it’s my turn to get spoilt with wonderful things! 
  • Cake – everyone loves cake and on this day we have an excuse to eat lots of it! 
  • Getting older doesn’t have to be  bad thing- as far as I see it getting older is a fact of life, it happens to us all so we might as well celebrate it and not worry about our age, why not use it as a chance to make happy memories instead!
  • It’s a day to just have fun! There is no boring stuff like housework, cooking, no being a responsible parent, this is my day to just do whatever and I intend to make the most of it! 

This weekend I’m lucky enough to be seeing friends, taking a trip to London with Scott to see Dream Girls- I am so excited for this I cannot tell you, and spending my birthday with my little family! 

I will let you all know how our trip goes but for now I hope you all have a great weekend and thanks for reading! 

Lou x

Birthday · Charlie and the Chocolate Factory · Cockapoo · dogs · Family · family time · homemade · love on the rocks · November · Party Planning · step parenting · Uncategorized

Weekend round-up – a family affair!

This weekend my Nan came to stay for a few days which really was great as she lives a couple of hours away we don’t get to see her as often as we would like. We made the most of having her here and took her to lots of places she doesn’t normally get to go, even a trip to a huge pet store with her dog Baker was an experience for her as they do not have anything like it in her sleepy seaside town!

I baked an apple and blackberry crumble and some cinnamon swirls for her visit and it was all so good!

Friday we went shopping for my birthday gifts and ended up getting really ahead in the Christmas shopping too, we stopped for a caramel latte which was delicious! In the evening we all went out for dinner and had a really great evening. It was just nice to get dressed up, eat good food and be out with family. 

Saturday we took the dogs for a walk and Nanny played Love on the Rocks with us as we kept finding rocks to hide everywhere we went so had a bumper hiding session which Nanny and T loved 😊

We also got ahead of the game in planning for T’s birthday party, It’s a Charlie and the chocolate factory party at the end of December but I feel good we have already bought plates, cups, banners, balloons and hooters and made a start on the decoration making! 

Last night we celebrated bonfire night by eating hotdogs and chips outside and having some sparklers, T loved it and it was a fun evening for all of us.

Today Scott had a race so we took both the dogs to go and watch him run, it was a beautiful day but very cold! We took the dogs on the dog agility course at our local park while we waited for him to race and they had a great time. I can see why they call this season of racing the frostbite series, I’m just glad I wasn’t out there running in shorts!

Today we spent the afternoon choosing a bike for Scott’s son Louis Christmas present, he is nearly 18 so family never know what to buy him but this was a really straightforward shopping trip and he came away with a very smart bike ordered! He has his driving test tomorrow so fingers crossed for him passing that! After we all went to Scott’s parents house with all the family for a nice roast dinner then off to watch some fireworks. 

Now T is at her Dad’s until tomorrow evening, Scott is asleep and so are the dogs so it’s just me and some Blue Planet 2, well after such a busy few days who needs a rock and roll Sunday night hey! 

Thanks for reading 

Lou x