Today my baby girl turns 8! 8 years ago today I saw those big eyes looking up at me for the first time and I have been completely in love with them ever since. Somehow my squishy faced chubby cheeked little baby is growing into a funny, clever, loving, thoughtful and determined little lady. I love every minute I get to spend with this beautiful little human whether we are watching dvds, spending time as a family, walking Poppy, creating arts and craft projects, baking or just tidying up! Somehow this little human loves routine, planning and order as much as me and enjoys nothing more than a good sort out of a cupboard! Her determination and perseverance to do well in her school work and hobbies is something I am so proud of and the good friend she is turning out to be is the reason she is loved by many not just her family.
All this said her cheeky comments and fun sense of humour keeps us on our toes daily and as much as we sometimes have to keep her in check we would be lost without her making us laugh all the time.
Happy birthday baby girl, we hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy your trip to London at the weekend, we can’t wait to take you!
Happy New year to you all! It’s sad to think that in a couple of days it will be back to normal, back to routine, school runs, dog walking, chores and general adulting!
It’s been a wonderful festive period in our house, we had a great Christmas day at home starting at 6am when the little person ran in excited that the big man had been! What followed was a couple of days of presents, followed by food and repeat! We really did have a great time and as always T had the best of both worlds with her time split between home and her Dad’s. It’s not always easy to let her go this time of year but I have to remember she deserves her time there just as much as here and so does he.
Here are just a few of my favourite pictures.
Christmas was quickly followed by T’s birthday party, those of you that follow my posts will know I’ve been planning this for some time and I’m pleased to say it all went without a hitch! It was a Charlie and the chocolate factory themed party with myself as an oompa loompa and T’s Godmother as Voilet! We played burst the balloons on violet to find the golden ticket, make your own sweet necklace, pass the parcel, sort the good nuts from the bad, the balloon game, along with a Willy Wonka wordsearch, musical statues and eating doughnuts with no hands! It was a fab party and I’m so pleased we pulled it off.
This New Years Eve was to be the first one we didn’t have T home since we have been together so we decided to make the most of it and went out. We went to a pub/restaurant not far from us and had a beautiful meal and drinks followed by a disco and the customary linking of arms with complete strangers at midnight 😁🥂
I’d just like to wish you all a wonderful 2018, I hope you all continue to have lots of adventures whether big or small, enjoy time with your families, learn valuable life lessons and make many happy memories and keep blogging about it all!
Happy New year and Thank you for your support in 2017,
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 😊
This week has been full of Christmas feeling, We have our trees up, we have one in the living room and T has hers in her playroom, and for the first time ever we have lights on the front of our house and a wreath on our door! Yep we are in full on Christmas mode! The morning routine now consists of turning off the outside lights that have been twinkling all night and opening the advent calendars!
We had our first fire of this Winter on Sunday and it was good! Until you have one you forget how good the crackle sounds and how the smell of the logs just reminds you of Winter nights in. Poppy particularly enjoyed this fire sleeping in her bed in front of it for some time!
This girl loves her cuddly reindeer and will sleep with him all through December!
Yesterday we went for the annual trip to see the Christmas lights in town with my best friend. We have done this every year since T was small and it’s always a lovely experience. We take in the lovely decorations inside and then always take a few pictures with the tree in town square.
This year we also handed in our gift to the gift tree so a little girl who might not get a Christmas present due to her family struggling to make ends meet will have present to open Christmas morning. We chose a few things to buy for this which she will hopefully like and enjoy doing. When we handed the gift in the lady at the desk told T she was very kind which made our day and we felt so proud we had made a difference.
Today was Christmas craft day! After helping out with the school Christmas sale and taking T to riding we had a girls evening in and made Christmas cards with ideas from Pinterest and baked Christmas cookies, something we have done since she was small. It was an exhausting but fun day and I loved spending so much time with her doing different things. Now we are both crashed exhausted ready for a weekend of wrapping presents and seeing friends!
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!
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!
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!)
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.
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.
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?
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!
Sleepover- Do NOT be fooled by this word- sleep will be minimal, for everyone.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Next 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.
Then 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 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!
We have always loved Halloween in our house, right from when T was tiny we started by having a couple of baby friends over and they all dressed up as cute baby witches and vampires. From then on we have always carved pumpkins, decorated the house and looked forward to the trick or treaters. Over the last few years the pumpkins have got more elaborate but T is always the happiest with a medium sized one with a wonky and simplistic face, it’s the little things.
These are our efforts this year
We also have a tradition of taking a photograph of T with her pumpkin every year So we can look back and see how much she’s grown so here is a snapshot of T every Halloween from age 2 to to 7.
In the past we have had Halloween parties, Been to Halloween fireworks and bonfires but this year T went trick or treating for the first time with her Dad. She has never wanted to go before now but her Dad’s partner has two children of a similar age and so I think she was excited to go with them so she wouldn’t be alone. As much as I was sad she was experiencing a first without me I was also excited for her to go and have fun. No I wouldn’t be there to hold her hand but I had to take a step back this time and just know she would be alright.
Here she is ready to go tonight.
Besides someone had to stay at home for the 8 lots of trick or treaters we had calling!! It must have been the pumpkins that drew them in, or maybe the bats in the windows or Halloween stickers on the door! It was great to see them all dressed up and even the older ones were all so polite 😊
Even though I didn’t have my T today it has really felt like Halloween with chocolate and sweets at work and even a few Halloween Krispy Kremes! I hope you have all had a great Halloween! Here’s the scariest filter I could find and my final use of the 🎃 emoji for this year!