April · Cockapoo · Ed Sheeran · family time · Friendship · happy · positive thinking · reflection · Sunshine · Thankful · Uncategorized

7 things that made me happy week 13

1. New wellies day! During the winter I live in my wellies, to walk our dog in, to go to the stables to take T riding in, even just to do the school run in when it’s rain and snow. My lovely wellies have been through a lot with me, and it showed! Over the last couple of months more and more holes have developed until Scott could take my complaining no more and used a recent sale to buy me some more! Now we have the hottest day of the year so far I’m really pleased I have new wellies πŸ˜‚

2. Date night! Wedsnesday evening was lovely and after a healthy dinner of grilled chicken and rice we walked to the local pub and had a drink next to the golf course. I’ve missed sitting in a beer garden relaxing in the sun and am so happy these days may be coming back!

3. Our Ed Sheeran tickets arrived!! 😁 You know when it gets close to a gig and you start to worry if your tickets will arrive ok? Well no more worrying for me because I think the neighbours in the next street now know they have arrived! Super super excited for this day to come around.

4. Warm weather! Our day off this week was a beauty! 24 degrees and wall to wall blue skies meant to was time to turn the heating off and dust off the shorts! β˜‰After spending the morning stocking up on suncream, school summer dresses and sunhats for T I mowed the lawn and cleaned the fire place out ready for Summer! We had lunch in the garden and it really felt like summer was on its way!

5. Our tree came into blossom. It’s always this time of year it really starts to feel like warmer weather is on its way when our tree blossoms. It just makes our garden look so pretty and I love the couple of weeks we get of it.

6. We had our first dinner in the garden! It was so nice to eat outside again and we all really enjoyed it.

7. I had friends over for dinner! Friday I had three friends over for pizza and drinks and we had such a fun evening! It’s been ages since I had an evening like that where everyone turns up, everyone is in a great mood and everything just goes to plan! After a few people people letting me down at the last minute for a night out last year for a little celebration meal I had felt disheartened and haven’t really tried to arrange much with more than 1 or 2 people since. Last night reminded me why it is good to have friends and it really was good for my soul.

I hope you have all had a great week and I would love to hear what you have got upto that made you happy!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

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April · Cockapoo · Family · Husband · lucky · making memories · Marriage · Parenting · positive thinking · reflection · step parenting · Thankful · Uncategorized

7 things that made me happy week 12

1. Cooking for my Nan. My Nan has lived on her own a long time and doesn’t have anyone cook for her much so I was really pleased to be able to make dinner and get all tidied up without her having to do anything.

Here is the chicken, garlic and thyme traybake I made with squash, tomatoes and new potatoes. Served with soft fresh bread it was so tasty!

2. Seeing the bond between these two. T and Poppy are best friends. They adore each other unconditionally and there is nothing that could replace this bond. T won’t ever have a brother or sister so she treats Poppy very much like a baby at times cuddling her and carrying her around but she has also had a big part to play in her training and is great at telling Poppy what to do, I don’t know where she gets that from! The responsibility of having a pet is something I am so glad we have been able to give T and she has developed this and not only has a dog but also a companion for many years to come.

3. Watching T and Scott’s together. T is very much a Mummy’s girl but if we have a week off she will often end up a lot closer to Scott by the end of the week. This week has been no different. Yesterday Scott bathed her and washed and dried her hair while showing her how to use her new snorkel in preparation for holiday and I washed my car. They were completely fine without me and got all cuddled up together on the sofa watching tv in the evening. I love their bond and feel blessed they have been able to get so close up until now. Here is a photo of them back in 2014.

4. Spending time with my Nan. It’s no secret I’m not close to my Mum and often think of my Nan more as my Mum. I ring my Nan a couple of times a week,She’s the one I text if anything is wrong or one of us has had an achievement. She is a massive part of our lives and knows what we are all doing because she involves her self. The only thing is she lives 2 hours away so we don’t see her anywhere near as much as we would like. I often envy Scott being able to go and see his parents on a day off as I would love to just pop to see my Nan but have to make do with video calls. Spending these few days with her was really great and I now can’t wait to take her on holiday with us in June.

5. Feeling closer as a couple. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this but life is busy, tiring, stressful and sometimes hard work. We all need time away to unwind, relax and remember why we chose to spend the rest of our lives together in the first place. Having this time together makes us feel more connected because there is no rush to get things done before going to bed early to get up for work, we can take the time to just enjoy being together as a family and as a couple. Things are so often all about being parents that it’s hard to make time to appreciate each other but this is important. Just for a few days to put aside all the stress makes the world of difference and before you know it you have fallen in love all over again.

6. T’s innocent and funny little mind. A few days ago we were all watching TV and someone said ‘if there is something you want to do you should just go and do it, don’t let anyone stand in your way’, She sat up and said ‘ Well that’s not right because I want to be a unicorn but I can’t can I!’ πŸ˜‚

Yesterday she was eating breakfast when she dropped her toast in her beans and just said ‘faceplant!’ πŸ˜„ I didn’t even know she knew that word.

7. Attending a Christening. Today was our friends little girls Christening and it was a lovely little ceremony. T loves Sienna to bits and enjoyed giving her a little cuddle afterwards. It was really nice to see so many people showing love towards this little girl and I was very impressed with how brave she was when the water ran down her head during the ceremony! I always get a feeling of security after a Christening, It’s like you know that little person will be alright now, They have Godparents to help guide them through life too.

This is one of the reasons I decided to give T Godparents even though she wasn’t Christened. It’s nice to know she has people in her life who she can turn to should she need them that aren’t her parents.

T and Sienna

I would love to hear something that has made you happy over the last week, looking past the obvious usually makes me realise there is so much more to be happy about than you first think.

Thanks for reading

Lou x

April · Ballet · Children · Easter · exercise · fitness · fun activities · homemade · kids activities · Kindness · motherhood · Parenting · positive thinking · Thankful · Uncategorized

7 things week 10

1. Completing our 40 Random Acts of Kindness! I was so happy we finished this on a day where we could get out in the sun and feel like we made a difference. This project showed my little girl that giving is just as much fun as receiving and it’s not about getting things back in return but making other people happy with our random gifts. This is something that will stay with us for a long time.

2. Workouts with my girl. This month we smashed 13 workouts using kettlebells and our own body weight. A combination of HIIT and Ab workouts with some cycling and walking thrown in has meant this has been our best month this year and I am so proud of T’s commitment and enthusiasm even when she has had a long day she will always do just a few little exercises. Her confidence is improving and so is her strength. Next month we plan on changing it up a bit with new exercises to beat the Easter chocolate bulge!

3. New hair day! I decided to go lighter for the summer months and am so happy I did. Not only am I pleased with my hair but I also got a really good deal at the hairdressers so ended up getting two items for free which made my day even more!

4. My little ballerina made her Grade 1! 4 years of ballet and 4 exams later and she is now a Grade 1 and finally got her shield. Happy days!

5. Girls day. Friday we played beauty salons and made the most of no school for two weeks with hair chalks, braids and painted nails! After a great riding lesson we watched David Walliams Mr Stink and played games until T went to bed. I loved this day with my girl and will keep remembering it all week while she isn’t here.

6. Easter playdate! Our friends Zoe and Ruby came over for lunch and Easter fun, the girls had a great time making lots of Easter crafts and hunting Easter treats. I made the hunt a bit more testing this year and they had to complete an exercise for 30 seconds for every treat they found and with about 7 treats each that really got them moving! They were giggling and I felt good they managed to squeeze in some exercise even with the terrible rain we have had for the last two days.

7. Easter day with my girl. I picked T up from a sleepover this morning and when we got back the Easter bunny had been so we had the wettest, coldest Easter hunt I can remember round the garden! After counting up the bounty we stayed in the warm colouring for a while before braving a 2 mile walk with Poppy. We found a love rock on the way so it was all worthwhile! T was super happy with her new body warmer we got her for Easter too even if it wasn’t quite warm enough to wear it on the walk!

20180401_111828554783850.jpg
We were really pleased with how our Easter table turned out!

I will miss this little face now until Friday, it’s been so great spending the last few days with her but I know she will have a lovely week and hopefully I will get to talk to her at some point.

Being happy isnt as easy when you are suddenly all alone but it’s these times when it’s good to look back on the fun you’ve had and the happy memories you’ve created together. Still, sharing never gets any easier and I will be counting the days until she is back home again.

I hope you have all had a wonderful Easter and I’d love to hear what you got upto,

Thanks for reading

Lou x

Children · confidence boost · Family · February · feeling proud · fitness · Kindness · Parenting · positive thinking · reflection · Thankful · Uncategorized · weekend

Today is a good day!

There are new books in our library! We only created the tiny community library in the shed next to our house yesterday and there are already 3 new books there! We are all so happy! I feel inspired that people have taken to our idea, Scott feels inspired to start reading again and T is thrilled to bits people might have read her sign!

We have been listening to the soundtrack to the Greatest Showman on repeat since we watched the film yesterday and the words of two or three of the songs just make me feel empowered!

‘This is me’ has to be my favourite,

“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down

I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out

I am brave, I am bruised

I am who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come

And I’m marching on to the beat I drum

I’m not scared to be seen

I make no apologies, this is me”

T and me just did our 4th HIIT work out of the week! Ok we had coffee and cake on Friday but it’s half term and it’s rare we go for a treat like that, plus with how much we have taken her out on her scooter this week I think we have burned off the cake πŸ˜‹

It’s a grey, miserable, foggy day outside and I have a few hours where I will be on my own today but I feel good.

I’m going to catch up on my guilty pleasure of “my 4 wives” and get in that reading nook and carry on reading The Hobbit so I will soon be able to start one of the new books that has been left in our library!

Have a great Sunday everyone,

Lou x

Ballet · Children · family time · February · feeling proud · happy · homemade · horse riding · Hygge · Parenting · Photos · positive thinking · Staying in · Thankful · Uncategorized

7 things – No 2

Hi guys,

I enjoyed sharing my 7 things that made me happy in 7 days last week so I’ve decided to make it a regular feature on my blog.

It’s so good to look back at the week and say ‘meh, I didn’t get up to much’ when if you look back at all the little things there is a lot to be thankful for.

So here are my 7:

1. Having a family party for Louis 18th. Last Sunday we all suprised a very embarrassed 18 year old with balloons as big as him, Well almost, a cookie cake which is his favourite, a few token ‘You are 18 now so you need one of these’ gifts and a big fat family sing along. It was cheesy, embarrassing and he loved it. Job done.

2. T got over her sickness in just one day! The little trooper took just one day in pjs to kick that nasty bug into next week and was back at school before we knew it. A day off work affects the whole household and having a poorly person to worry about does too so I’m so pleased she didn’t take long to bounce back and is now eating normally again, which brings me on to my next point….

3. Cooking good food. This week has been one for tasty meals that you can’t wait to eat. Food that you are desperate to be ready and sad when it’s gone. The sort of meals you take your time over every mouthful and make those ‘mmm’ and ‘oooohh’ noises when you eat. We started the week with Tarragon chicken, had a delicious steak with sweet potato jackets Wednesday and today had slow cooked gammon, delicious!

4. Watching T in her ballet. 4 years ago this week my little dot started ballet lessons. She was so excited to go and do ballet like she had seen Darcy Bussell do on her ballet DVD and hasn’t stopped loving it since. In this time she has been in 3 major productions and taken 3 exams with her 4th scheduled in a months time. Sometimes she might get a little grumpy if she can’t get a step right at first but she is a determined little thing and won’t give up on something until she gets it right. I was so proud watching this week, we only get to watch the lesson right before an exam, with Scott, his Mum and Ts Dad all there to see her too I was beaming and so happy to see her enjoying her dancing so much.

5. These pictures.

I got sent them and told how much I was loved and it made me very happy ❀

6. T had a fantastic riding lesson and her confidence continues to soar 😊Today they did pole work for the first time and she had a great hour. Her instructor is leaving at the end of this month which we are very sad about but I’m hopeful whoever takes over the class will see how much she tries and how far she has come.

7. A Friday night movie night in with my family. Usually every Friday Scott will work a late and T will be at her Dad’s so I am mostly alone. Tonight they were all home 😁 We lit candles, had a fire and watched UP while munching on fruit pastilleeees- fruit pastilles to the rest of the world that aren’t 8 years old. It was so nice to have them here.

8. I know it says 7 but I had to mention I finished my book and it was good I have a whole post planned for it this weekend so watch this space.

Thank you for reading,

Lou x

Birthday · January · Love · making memories · motherhood · Mums · Parenting · reflection · Thankful · Uncategorized

Today my baby girl turns 8

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!

All our love

Mummy & Scott

Children · Christmas · Cockapoo · craft · December · family time · fun activities · homemade · making memories · Parenting · Party Planning · Thankful · Uncategorized · Willy Wonka

Happy New year,so the festive season is over!

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 😁πŸ₯‚


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,

Lou x

family holiday · family time · happy · making memories · Sunshine · Thankful · Uncategorized

MIA

The time has finally come after months of planning, excitement and waiting it’s that precious, wonderful time we call holiday! 

To me holiday means:

Hours of playing in the pool 

The excitement of exploring your destination 

Staying up late, no matter how little you are!

Dressing for the beach in the day and dressing up at night 

Trying the biggest ice cream you can, just because you can

Always finding out a little bit of history, still a history geek!

Trying all the cocktails on the menu, well it would be rude not to right?

Eating far more for breakfast than you would ever eat for lunch at home

Playing games by the pool, in the evening before the show starts, on the plane, in the airport…. tv? What is that?

Only having Wi-Fi once a day in reception or your room and not really caring!

Eating your body weight in food because after all it’s free! 

Dancing your self silly at a kids disco because you actually enjoy the music and the dance moves just as much as the little person!

Teaching the little person just a tiny amount of the local language but enough to make them feel proud 

Spending a whole week actually together, no interupptions, tiredness from work, no homework, routine or housework, just being a family and loving every minute of it!

Our last family holiday abroad 2 years ago

See you in a week guys!  πŸ˜

Lou xx

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.

Love · Mums · Parenting · Thankful · Uncategorized

This Love

From the moment I brought you into this world I knew I would do anything for you. The pain I was going through to get you was nothing like I had ever felt before and I knew I would keep going because it was for you. That moment I looked into your eyes and got lost in those big beautiful pools of blue staring up at me, while asking why you weren’t crying like I thought you should be. Because she’s happy I was told. 

From that moment I was finally left alone with you and I knew you were mine to keep and that fear and panic crept in, no matter how many books I had read I still had no idea what to do with you! From then I knew I would try my damn hardest to do my best for you even when I didn’t know what I should do for the best. From the moment I made my first choice on how to parent you and held you close all night in that hospital I knew I would keep you close forever. 

When I first saw you smile at me and hold your arms out I knew it was because you felt the same. I was your comforter, protector and guardian and you felt safe with me and always will.

I’ve watched you fall over and I’ve picked you up. I’ve taught you rules I can’t remember ever not knowing. I’ve given you knowledge and shown you how to love. I’ve created friendships for you that have grown over the years. You have learned how to make people laugh and how to comfort them when they are sad. You know the value of money and have known when I’ve had limitations I’ve still always done my best to give you happy memories.

You know the difference between right and wrong and watch the news intently pointing out the wrong in this world and questioning me as to why it happens. My beautiful girl I wish I could hold you tight forever and it makes me so sad that one day you will grow into a woman and show all this to a family of your own. I long for these times but I also long for my baby to stay in my arms for ever. I’m torn between wanting you to continue to grow and nurture you through life’s experiences and keeping you small and protecting you forever. This love is endless and so for now I will keep you close and have another girls night and sleepover in my bed and wake up being smothered in kisses and cuddles for you are and always will be my angel, my perfect girl, my best friend, Tiana x