Christmas · Christmas Traditions · date night · December · Family · family time · Friendship · making memories · Parenting · Uncategorized

Christmas Update!

So I’ve been a little quiet but it’s been all go around here full of Christmas activities, catch ups and just generally getting ready for the big day! 

Here’s a little update on what I’ve been up to;

Christmas date night- this time of year gets a little crazy with friends, family and Scott’s work being really full on so I decided a month or so ago we needed to make time for ourselves just to save the Christmas stress from getting too much. With a meal in and some Bailey’s hot chocolates along with the film Collateral Beauty we had a really relaxing evening by the fire. 

Christmas jumper day at school- T had her Christmas dinner and was able to wear her Christmas jumper in, she loves this year’s jumper and I’m sure you can see why!

Thursday was the last ballet lesson before Christmas so we decided to jazz up the ballet bun a little with some Christmas hair accessories!

Friday was a day for cake! Firstly Scott and I took advantage of a couple of hours before he left for work and grabbed a Christmas coffee at Starbucks with a glittery Christmas tree brownie on the side.

Then it was time for a catch up with two friends with tea, Christmas jumpers and mince pies! 

The evening saw a Christmas carol concert from T’s school choir at a local farm, although very cold it was so lovely to see them singing all the songs they had been practising 😊 I was very proud of T and the effort she put in, you could see she was really enjoying herself.

When we got home I got a little creative with my advent candle and made us a little table display. I’m planning to add some holly to it in a couple of days but for now I think it looks great.

Today was our first family get together this Christmas, we travelled to my Mums as a few weeks back she unfortunately broke her ankle and so has been unable to drive! With presents, food and a walk for my Mums dog Xena it was a lovely few hours. 

This week promises to be just as busy with T finishing school and me work and a few more catch ups scheduled along with wrapping the final few presents ready for a nice relaxing weekend before the madness starts 😊

Have a great week and thanks for reading 

Lou x

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Cockapoo · cockerpoo · December · dogs · Family · family time · Snow day · Uncategorized · Winter

Snow day fun!

So yesterday we had snow for the first time in years! Not a tiny bit, not an icing sugar style dusting but real snow that you can actually make a snowman from! 

We were staying at a friend’s so driving home in the morning was a little treacherous but once we got home we were super excited to get T back and get outside! Within an hour the snowman was made and T had her first experience ever of sledding which she loved!! It’s harder than it looks pulling a 7 year old along though 😄

Poppy had her first experience in the snow and the cold seemed not to bother her with her playing around in it and often laying down to rest for a minute! 

Here is a little video of her playing with our friends dog Monty in the snow, they are both the same breed and a similar age so had a lot of fun.

Here are a few pictures of our snow adventures! 

Christmas · Cockapoo · cockerpoo · December · dogs · Family · Uncategorized

A hello from Poppy

I thought I would write a little post about our dog Poppy as I’ve not mentioned her much for a while and who doesn’t love cute dog pictures! 

Poppy is approaching a year and a half and loves her family but most of all loves her T. She is smothered in kisses and cuddles daily and puts up with it gladly loving every bit of attention. 

She will snuggle with T every chance she gets and their bond is unbreakable.


It’s not just T she loves to be around, she is also my little shadow too, her she is sitting at the breakfast bar next to me oh and barking at her own reflection of course!

As a fluffy little thing she has a groom every 6 weeks and is always happy to pose for photos afterwards!

Poppy loves a run off the lead and we regularly go to our local park which happens to only be about 10 minutes walk away, her favourite thing to do is chase a ball but it’s getting it back off her that is the problem!

Poppy loves not only to snuggle with us humans but when it’s bed time she will happily be tucked under a blanket and go to sleep in her bed and now it’s colder she is also a big fan of the open fire.

Merry Christmas to you all with love from Poppy xx

Childhood · Children · Christmas · Christmas Traditions · December · Family · fun activities · making memories · Parenting · Uncategorized

What Christmas Means To Me

Cosy evenings in– full on pjs on, open fire, hot chocolate, candles lit and cuddles in front of the Christmas lights.


Christmas activities with the little one
– anything from Christmas cookies to cards, seeing Father Christmas and the Christmas lights in town, anything with the C word at the start of it we will give a go!


Singing Christmas songs at the top of my voice, badly
– I will sing along to most songs when in my car but as soon as 1st December comes around my play list is nothing but Bublè, Nat King Cole and Slade and I will sing to these every opportunity I get, including Christmas morning while the dinner is cooking! 
Family gatherings– bring your earplugs because when the women im my family get together we get louder and louder the more presents we open the louder we get and that’s even before the prosecco starts! It’s not often we are all in the same room together so when it happens it’s nothing but loud, crazy chaos but it’s my family and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Making people smile
– giving presents to people I love makes me smile, no matter how tight things are for a few months after Christmas I will always make sure my loved ones know they are loved on Christmas morning. Whether it costs a little or a lot if you mean something to me you will have a gift at Christmas.


Time off work
– being only part time I don’t work as many hours as most but I always book my Christmas off as early as I can. It’s so important to me to be at home with my T as much as possible while she is small because these are the years she will remember and I want her to look back and just remember me being there.


Taking another chocolate from the box and not worrying one iota about it
– Christmas is a time for eating good food, cheese with crackers and chutney, chocolates, biscuits, nibbles and buffet food. Don’t get me wrong we do eat fruit too but no one can deny good food tastes better at Christmas and this is not a time to count calories!


New board games to play
– we love board games in our house but it’s always fun when new ones are thrown into the mix, there are usually tears or strops followed by me pacifying T while she learns the ropes but it’s all good fun!


Silly hats and bad jokes
– who doesn’t love Christmas crackers! They have been around since day dot and never seem to get any better no matter how much you spend on them but that doesn’t stop every table having some on at Christmas and everyone putting on ‘that hat’ to eat their dinner while making the rest of the table groan at yet another snowman joke!


That magic moment when Santa has been
– there are no words to describe the excitement when T realises he’s not only been and loaded her stocking again but it’s all the things she asked for! I live for this moment and I think I will actually cry when the magic is no more!


Making memories with my little family-
giggles, movies, excitement, happy times, smiles, fun and love. Christmas is all of these and more!

Merry Christmas to all of my 100 followers, thank you for following!

Lou xx

Childhood · Christmas · Christmas Traditions · December · Family · family time · making memories · Uncategorized

Christmas Traditions 

Lighting an Advent candle– I’ve had one every year since I was expecting T, she was due on Christmas day so I wasn’t only counting down to Christmas that year but also to meeting her too! It just happened she was 8 days late so I kept counting beyond Christmas but I’ve had a candle every year since.

Christmas films– every year we have a few must watch films that we simply have to find time to fit in before the big day, The Snowman and The Polar Express are just a couple of them and there is nothing we love more than to cosy up with a fire and put one of these classics on.

Christmas playdate- This will be the third year in a row that T has spent a day at my friends house with her little girl right before Christmas. They are two girls the same age that both love horses, barbies, arts and crafts, dolls, JoJo bows and anything else girly! This playdate is usually for creating all things Christmassy and just generally for having fun together for the last time before Christmas. This year T is sleeping at their house the night before so she is extra excited! Here they are on their first Christmas playdate 3 years ago!

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Visiting Father Christmas- as you might have already seen we love to visit our local Winter Wonderland every year and will do until the day T says she doesn’t want to go any more!(that day I will cry big Mummy tears that my baby has grown up, but until then the magic is alive and it’s something that has to be done very early in the Christmas season!)

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Reindeer food- Christmas eve we sprinkle porridge oats mixed with lentils, raisins and a little bit of glitter to light the lawn for Santa’s reindeer so they know where to land. T leaves no blade of grass untouched in the sprinkling of this food and knows undoubtedly that it is the reindeer that eat this during the night!

Christmas eve is for chilling and Christmas day is for family- even before T I’ve never once been out drinking on Christmas eve. For me Christmas eve is for watching films with the heating on and for getting excited for the morning. Christmas day is also one for being excited about, for getting up early to open presents and talk to family, I’ve never spent it with a hangover and don’t intend to any time soon. I’m not saying people who go out with their friends on Christmas eve are wrong it’s just not for me.

Christmas morning walk- Ok so last year was the first time we did this because it was our first with Poppy here but I have a feeling we will be doing it every year now. Once the presents are all opened and the dinner is in the oven there is no reason we can’t all go out for a 15-20 minute walk, weather permitting of course, and then get into some pretty clothes when we get back. Last year we wished a Merry Christmas to everyone we met and it was a really nice experience.

Christmas dinner at home– I have made my own Christmas dinner on and off since I left home at 16. There have been the odd years where I have been at someone else’s but for the last 5 years consecutively it’s been at home. Some people dread it but for me it’s a meal I look forward to cooking and start to plan in early December! This for me is the best meal I will feed my family all year round and their faces when they see the plates is all I need to keep wanting to cook this meal for them every year.

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Christmas dinner last year

Father Christmas Traditions – So I know its different for everyone but here is how we do it; we leave a mince pie, a glass of milk, a couple of chocolates and a carrot for the reindeer on a tray on the coffee table. T leaves her stocking on the end of her bed and all her presents from Santa come in that, sometimes its too heavy to stay on the bed and ends up on the floor next to her bed, it all depends on how starfished she is in bed that Christmas Eve! I’ve heard of people leaving a bottle of beer or a glass of whiskey for Santa, the stockings being under the tree or a magic key being left out for Santa so he can unlock your door, we all have our own Christmas Traditions and that’s what makes this time of year magical for everyone.

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I’m looking forward to my Christmas Traditions growing and changing as my family does.

I would love to hear your Christmas Traditions, what is it that makes Christmas special for you? Maybe there is something we could start this year that you couldn’t imagine not doing? 

 

 

 

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

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

Cockapoo · cockerpoo · dogs · Family · Love · October · perseverance · positive thinking · Puppy · Uncategorized

Poppy is back- her operation story 

So three weeks ago we had Poppy spade, something we did not decide on lightly and even left until she was over 1 to do as we couldn’t fully decide. What swung it for us was the risk of puppies was no longer there. We could have managed the season every 6 months but Poppy loves to run and if a male dog had got to her we just felt we couldn’t have looked after puppies while working so it wouldn’t have been fair to her.

So the operation itself was a success, We had a rough night the first night with lots of crying and whining from poor Pops but the very next day she was already starting to look a bit brighter. 

The below is day 1.

So we followed the rules and kept the cone on, we walked her for 10 days with that thing on and every other dog barking  at her while their humans ‘aahhh’d’. 

We went at 10 days at got her stitches out and everything looked great. The cone came off and we started walking and running again. She was so happy.

Then 5 days later a red lump appeared on her wound. The vet couldn’t tell if it was an infection/her body reacting to the stitches inside or what had happened so we were given antibiotics for a week and the cone had to go back on!

Poppy was sad again.

So every night and every day when we went to work we put it back on and looked at her sad little face. We had to get this wound sorted so there was nothing else we could do. My neighbour who let’s her out every day at lunch time had said Poppy wouldn’t even take a treat from her for 2 days which I think showed how sad she was! 

But I’ve given the tablets religiously twice a day for a week and we are now finally healed! The wound is looking great and the cone is finally banished forever 😁

Yesterday she had her first run in a long time and she loved it! 

Today Poppy is having a bath to get that stinky smell of the cone gone completely! 

We are so pleased to get out puppy back to strength, it’s been a long 3 weeks for her but it’s finally over 😊