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 😊

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Birthday · Charlie and the Chocolate Factory · Family · fun activities · homemade · motherhood · Parenting · Party Planning · Uncategorized · Willy Wonka

Party planning Willy Wonka style!

Every year T has a birthday party and every year I plan and plan, make things myself, think up activities, design decorations and manage to pull it off, with a little help from friends and family anyway!
This year T wants a Charlie and the Chocolate factory birthday party. This is one of her favourite films and she has watched it so many times each time finding it just as exciting. Its a pretty common theme if you look online there are a whole host of ideas for Willy Wonka parties and it’s at this time Pinterest becomes my best friend and most commonly used app!

Some people wonder why I plan parties at home designing the decorations and games myself, spending weeks planning the food, Party bags, games and invitations but when you have a little person who has a favourite film/book/person why wouldn’t you want to create a magical fun filled party for them to enjoy with their friends at home? After all they aren’t this small forever and give it a couple of years every year we will be spending parties elsewhere at a cost I’m sure!

Last year we had Princess Tiana as the theme, standard really as T stands for Tiana and before that we have had a Princess Belle party also. Don’t get me wrong we have had parties out, for her 6th birthday she had a pamper party at a beauty salon where all the little girls got their hair plaited and sprayed with glitter and had their nails painted pretty colours. It was so much fun for them and all I had to plan was the cake and party bags so I’m really not against parties that are entertained for you I just love creating a party myself!

So this year so far I’ve got planned the following games;

Treasure hunt
Balloon burst to find golden ticket in violet
Guess how many in jar
Eating doughnuts from string
Make your own sweetie necklace
Pass the parcel
Photos in the wonka tv
Musical statues & bumps
Wonka wordsearch
Balloon game

I’m sure more will be added along the way as it takes quite a few activities to entertain about 10 little girls for an 1hour/1 hour 30! I thought the Wonka wordsearch could be used while i’m preparing something else and maybe the top three quickest will receive a small prize. I’ve already printed these wordsearches for free online so that is one small job done!

screenshot_20171020-115722618182053.pngHere is some more of  my inspiration from online, there will two golden tickets inside two balloons on Violet and the lucky winners will receive a prize, along with the winner of who can eat their doughnut first without using their hands!

I’m planning to try and make a Willy Wonka hat from cardboard and tissue paper and obviously the plates and cups will need to be as bright as possible to fit in with the theme of the chocolate factory!

I’ve also found some golden ticket invitations that you can print from Pinterest for £1.20, this gives you a PDF editable download of a golden ticket along with the outside cover of a Wonka bar so you an actually make a Wonka bar with a golden ticket inside as the invitation! It also helpfully tells you that the cheapest place to go for the chocolate is Asda as it comes already in silver foil! I will post pictures of these once they are done.

I think the below will be fairly easy to make as we have an old swimming float that is no longer used and Scott is going to try and get me some long cardboard tubes from work, we can also decorate paper plates with stripes to look like lollipops too.

The paper sweets will take two minutes with some tissue paper and tape too.

This is the cake I am having made for the party and the cupcakes will be party favours along with a toothbrush! (An idea I saw online and thought was really cute, after all the kids will be eating a lot of sugar at the party!)

So this week I had a mini meltdown when I learnt that my usual helpers will not be around for this party! After a day of feeling completely and utterly alone, even asking family that live an hour away with no joy, I’ve decided the party will go ahead and even if I have to do the whole thing on my own I will manage and T will have a great time!

I have a couple of months before the big day which is perfect for me as I hate being rushed at anything and this way I can take my time doing bits and bobs each week and fitting it in around Christmas shopping also!

Any ideas, suggestions or tips anyone has on this I would love to hear!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

 

 

 

Blogger · Children · Family · feeling proud · Long distance families · Parenting · Uncategorized

Mrs M made the week!

So this is it, the last day on my own! While Scott has been away on his annual windsurfing trip all week and I’m ready for him to come back now! I feel like this week out of all his trips I have felt more comfortable in my own company than any other before. Me and T have had a busy week with her having a party, two playdates, ballet, riding and first week of choir at school. To add to that I’ve been to work, attended a meeting at Ts school, managed to maintain the housework, seen lots of friends and yesterday finally managed to take Poppy out for longer than 20 minutes! 

It’s been a good week but the highlight has to be visiting my brother on Thursday. He is leaving for Japan on Sunday for his 3rd year at University studying Japanese. He will be there for a year minimum studying so I really wanted to take a trip to see him before he went. It was a rush to get there and get back before the school pick up time at 3pm but I managed it and we had a really good catch up over hot chocolate and cake! 

I gave him a few small but thoughtful gifts along with some Yen to take with him and he was really chuffed. 

I got a reluctant photo of the both of us, he’s really not into photos for no reason as he calls it, and this is a smile for him!

Quirks and all I’m super proud of him for what he has achieved, all be it winging it a lot of the way he has still done all this and is going to live on the other side of the world on his own, something I couldn’t imagine him doing a few years ago.

T also had some good news this week in that she got a place on a 3 day residential trip in March with her school. She was super happy and I’m pleased for her, I feel it will be a great experience and she will love the freedom and independence it gives her. This was her happy face when she found out the news!

We also marked 4 years at ballet for T with the customary photo, my baby seems to small to have done anything for 4 years but she has!

All in all its been a good week, I feel like I’ve been able to create a good balance between Mummy and T time, Me time and Poppy time. Don’t get me wrong it’s been busy and a lot of work at times just the two of us but I feel like I’ve created a little routine and we have adapted just fine. 

Half way round the lake yesterday though I wished I had someone to share this beautiful view with!

Come back now Scott we are done with skyping you!

Anniversary · cockerpoo · dogs · Family · Looking back · Love · Puppy · Uncategorized

Poppy 1 year in- Its a cockerpoo life 

So it’s a year today year since we brought Poppy home and it seems like she has always been here. She’s T’s best friend and my furry companion. She is always so happy to see us come home, we are her family through and through and she would do anything for us and loves just being where we are. 
It’s crazy how much a little bundle of fluff can become part of your family and how you can’t ever imagine life without her.

Here are a few of my favourite Poppy moments over this summer:

Tea and a cockerpoo in bed, what could be better?

Running with me!
Windsurfing with Scott!

Agility with T!


Happy 1 year as part of our family Poppy we love you! 

Beautifully British · Clacton Air Show · Family · school holidays · Uncategorized

Clacton Air Show our family day out!

This summer we decided to pay a visit to the famous air show in Clacton on Sea, Essex. This is the last free air show in our part of the country and over two days it brings in a whopping 250 thousand visitors to the small seaside town. I have had family in the town since I was born and used to be a regular visitor to the air show growing up but this was going to be Scott and T’s first time.

We arrived at the sea front about 1pm and with the planes set to kick off about 2pm it was already heaving with people, the normally quiet beachfront had not a spare inch of space and there were people everywhere. It was a great atmosphere with music playing from the loudspeakers and commentary telling us exactly what was ahead that afternoon.

We met my Mum and Brother and eventually found a spot to stop and watch the show. First of all the East Anglian Air Ambulance were on display and they got a huge cheer from the crowds as their helicopter flew up and down while we were told of the amazing amount of rescues and serious incidents they had attended over the last year.

Over the next couple of hours we were treated to displays from a plane that could land on water, a helicopter that had appeared in a James Bond film, a Mig, a Spitfire and a parachute display team!


Finally it was time for the main event, The Red Arrows display team! They were truly amazing from the moment they came over our heads as announced by their team leader and the crowd went wild they did not disappoint!

From loops to flying round each other they did everything from flying in the shape of Concorde to a move they called the serpent to drawing a love heart in the sky! Their trade mark red white and blue smoke came on and off at exactly the right moments and had the wow factor it was meant for.

They would fly off between stunts and thanks to the brilliant commentary we always knew what direction to look in to see them approaching back from, We could normally hear them before we saw them though! They wowed us at every turn and their finale was simply amazing when they all flew up in different directions going out in the shape of a fan.

wp-image-1445490511wp-image-858032097wp-image-132772695wp-image-2046297792

We loved our experience of the air show and will most definitely go back again but this time will make a whole day of it.

For a free family day out I would give it 10/10!

Always time for a hot doughnut after!
Blogger · challenge · Family · fitness · friends · goals · horse riding · making memories · Parenting · school holidays · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fun

My 20 mile week and more summer fun!

So in my last post I mentioned a walking challenge I had signed myself up to with my husband and best friend. Now I knew I had stiff competition as I’m more of a little and often walker/runner whereas those guys just go for it! So every day last week i made it my mission to get about 3 miles in, yes every day! My legs were aching by the time yesterday’s walk came and ordinarily I wouldn’t have made the effort to go but I felt I couldn’t let myself down when Id made so much effort the rest of the week so off Pops and I went in the sunshine racking my total miles for last week to just over 20! I’m so chuffed with this and now just need to keep the momentum going through the rest of the month! 

Other things I’ve been upto this weekend is dinner at my best friends house, secretly trying to fatten me up so I will do worse at the challenge, which was a really nice evening. You can’t beat hanging out with your best friend, daughter and the partners sometimes and it was really good to spend time with them.

Saturday I also picked T’s friend up and took them both to the library to continue their summer reading challenge. They really enjoyed being together and planning their sleepover for next Friday, wish me luck! 


With the good weather I used some time to get a few things done in the garden too, Scott is in the middle of painting our shed a really pretty green so can’t wait for that to be finished and tie in with all my other pretty areas. I’m just waiting for it to be warm enough that we can actually spend a whole evening out there! 

This weekend was new nails day and I don’t normally share my nails but I’m so in love with this pink design I thought I’d show you all.
Yesterday T had a great hack out for her riding lesson and I made lasagne and salad for the in-laws followed by cheesecake which went down a storm! One busy weekend over and our busy week off begins! 

Have a great one everyone!

Lou x

Family · family holiday · Parenting · travel · Uncategorized

Kids club abroad

So I have never been a fan of kids club abroad, I mean why pay for a family holiday if you are going to dump your kids in care several times during the week right? And whose kid really wants to go anyway? 
So the first two holidays we took to Spain T took one look at kids club and said nope, no way, She did absolutely no way, not one chance want to stay there! I could kind of see her point , It was full, and by that I mean crammed, of children of all ages who spoke all languages none of which seemed to be English. The workers weren’t English either and didn’t seem too fussed if we stayed or not. They had some activities out on tables and a play park attached but no real plan it was kind of just a free for all/do what you want sort of session and so for a 4/5 year old it must have seemed very daunting!

This year was 100% different. Firstly the welcome meeting at our hotel was a walkabout so we actually got taken to kids club where several staff members took the time to explain the sessions and how we signed up, What they do, How much fun they have. T was mesmorised! It was a boiling hot morning and she didn’t even once mention the glaring sun we were stood directly in while the explained, in maybe a little too much detail given the conditions, each aspect of the kids clubs for varying ages.
We took the forms and didn’t think much more of it, I wasn’t going to pressure T to go because being a family holiday I was quite happy to spend the whole week with her, after all it’s what I came away for right? But sure enough she asked to go. So the one day we knew would be cloudy I queued up first thing and got her a space in the morning session for 2 hours. She was thrilled.

We arrived and they took down our contact details and asked for T’s name and age and introduced her to the room, “This is Tiana from UK she is new today” 😊 She went in all smiles and seemed happy enough so we left.

Now what to do in a family resort without a child for 2 hours! We went and treated ourselves to a fancy coffee,took a walk along the beach, explored part of the hotel we hadn’t seen before and then waited until we could go and get her!

She had a great time! She came out with all sorts of artwork and had taken part in lots of team games inside, outside in the shade and in other areas of the resort. She had been given a t-shirt and water bottle that she was to wear to kids club if she went again and was hers to keep, again she was so happy about this and even bigger news…. She wanted to go again!!

I couldn’t believe it here was I doing everything i had ever stood against, putting my child in kids club on a family holiday! I wanted the difference to be that she wanted to go though, I was never going to force her. So again we left it a day and she asked again to go. One more morning session down and she had a great time once again.

As we were only there for a week I felt two sessions was enough not to interrupt our holiday too much so we didn’t let her go anymore and she understood why.

I am just still so shocked as to the turnaround in her this time. I think this was just the right kids club for her, the friendly faced encouraging staff really made her want to go and it seems so was made to feel so welcome she wanted to go back! The structure and controlled activities is just what she loves and I’m so pleased we let her have this positive experience, If she never goes to another one again she will always have that.

Children · Family · family holiday · Parenting · Uncategorized

Things I have learnt about T on this trip

She has the independence I knew about but is now growing the confidence to go along with it, during meal times she would happily go off to get her own drink and would get her own food and sit at a table on her own if I let her! Once I even had to chase her back to the poolside as she walked off to see where Scott had got too, this was day 2 and she had been at this pool once before! I don’t know why but she must have felt so immediately comfortable where we were she just seemed to forget all usual rules about not walking off alone.


 She can sing anywhere and not feel self conscious about it. Not loudly but quietly along to herself occasionally accompanying it with a dance move or two. Unless in the car when we get the full surround sound of whatever is going through her head phones, no need for radio!

She can laugh at herself, unless she is tired then she gets grumpy.

She has a determination that makes me proud-we saw this with her swimming, sea swimming.

She is young enough to still say things wrong and make us laugh but old enough to be able to go sightseeing in an old town and not complain.Some of the highlights of holiday were 

“Runaway track” – runway 

Sunball – the sun

“I’ve got dots on my screen!” – she is swimming and water has splashed her sunglasses!

Air freshener – air conditioning!
She is happy with hers and our company and doesn’t set out to make friends, She would have been friendly towards anyone that we met but as no one approached her/us to play she was happy to play at the park/in kids club etc on her own. This must come from being an only child but I’m pleased she isn’t needy of other kids attention and can be happy having fun with us for now.

Is too polite a lot of the time and often lacks guts/balls/just a bit of umph! She gets pushed infront of in lines and doesn’t speak up when I’m a group of kids until it’s too late and someone has already been chosen for the activity.

She isn’t boastful, T was lucky enough to get a suitcase scooter for Xmas that we could use around the airport and a lot of other kids commented on it how cool it was, they wanted one. She just smiled and looked at us proud of her new toy, one little girl even threw a tantrum because she wanted one right then! She was only about 3 bless her. 

Family · making memories · motherhood · Parenting · Uncategorized

Why the build up to our holiday is so bittersweet

Now we are down to under a week until our holiday we are all feeling ready. Ready for adventure, sunshine, a pool and a beach and most of all just ready to be together. 

We love spending time together as a family more than anything else in the world. Making happy memories and building a childhood for T is what our days off and time together is all about. The work Scott does means this time is even more precious because usually public holidays and fun family events like Halloween, Easter, and every weekend he has to work. We are used to this routine now and use this time to have all the more fun Mummy and T days, but when she knows Scott will be off too she gets super excited. It’s amazing for me to see the bond they have now, it’s like a love that has grown over the years they have known each other and is now blossoming into something long lasting and wonderful.

Now as we are going away for a week with her it was only fair she see her Dad for 2 nights this weekend instead of one. Not only that but then Monday and Tuesday night too, Just so he gets to spend lots of time with her before we go. 

So Sunday night T will be home for a big family bbq, she will have friends to play with and the house will be busy and full. Monday morning I will take her to school and I won’t see that gorgeous little face again until Wedsnesday evening after work.

Now this was all my idea so what am I feeling so sad about? 

This is the right thing to do.

We have to share, she enjoys going and spending time there so this is good for her too.

All this is true but it still doesn’t mean I will miss her any less. She has been away with him for a week before and it hurt like hell but it was made better by the fact I knew she was enjoying herself. I think this is worse because I know she will only be at school during the day. I think I just need to focus on getting ready for the holiday and fitting in as many workouts as I can to feel as good about myself as possible before I go. Walking Poppy will help as a distraction too as I will still walk her in the mornings like I would do on a normal school day. 

I just need to think once I have that little body back in my arms she is ours all ours for a whole week and then the fun can really begin. 

Family · making memories · motherhood · Parenting · philosophy · Thankful · thoughtful · Uncategorized

Finding time to make memories because life is short

These days time is even more in short supply, with the constraints of a working life, hobbies, keeping relationships with friends close, adding in playdates for your children and just generally maintaining your house where do you find time to make memories and just have fun? 

We are all guilty of just wanting to sit and zone out while we mindlessly scroll through pages of social media, it’s just the way people relax these days but it’s far too easy to forget our little people grow so quickly and are not little for long. Time is precious and so even if it’s for a few minutes at a time I always make sure I take the time to put my phone down and actually listen to what T has to say, properly listen. 

Only when we are fully in the moment can happy memories be made and fun times had. 

Like when I climbed the tree house Sunday to eat my ice cream with T, there was no social media, no distractions, just for a few minutes it was just us two eating ice creams in her den. Perfect.

Don’t get me wrong little people can talk, and talk, and talk about mostly pointless things but sometimes it does us good to just listen. To remember what it is like to be little and how important it is to cherish those funny things they say because one day they will realise how silly they sound and stop saying them. 

T a couple of weeks ago ‘I am growing up you know Mummy!!’ We couldn’t stop laughing! 

So take a minute, inbetween loads of washing, on the way to school, after dinner and homework to just appreciate the little things, build those happy memories because life is short and moments matter.

RIP to the zookeeper that lost her life yesterday at the zoo we happened to be visiting at the time. 

Make every minute count, You never know what is round the corner.