Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Four years ago today...

...I married the most amazing man, at a stunning place, in the presence of some beautiful people and it really, truly was one of the happiest, most wonderful days of my life.

Happy anniversary my love, I hope the next four years are as fulfilling and happy as the ones we've just had. 

I love you to the moon and back.

* I think we must have done an awful lot of kissing that day - there are hardly any photos where we aren't smooching! 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

And the winners are...

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Joules giveaway last week. The results are in and the lucky winners are... 

Congratulations : 

Victoria McCullough

Drop me an email at with your postal address and I'll get your journals over to you asap. 

Happy writing x

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Weekend Edition

As I sit here typing this, I feel full of cold, snotty and very sorry for myself. And to make matters worse I have a husband with a bad case of man-flu to deal with. Gah.

And so, I plan to head to bed shortly to read, revel in the comfort that is a winter duvet and feel a bit more sorry for myself before I prepare to be woken yet again at 5am (thank you very much daylight saving).

I will also look back on this weekend with fond memories. Those of attending my nephews impeccably planned and presented third birthday, of watching cousins play like old friends, of driving home late with two sleeping babes, of Sunday morning walks by the canal, getting down and dirty sliding on the sandbank and roast dinners in a house pumped hard with central heating. We all felt the cold this weekend. Hats were out, winter coats put on. Gloves need to be purchased. Autumn has seduced me, I hope winter does too.

I hope you all have a lovely week ahead. We will be filling our days slowly this half term, preparing a little Halloween party for the four of us on Wednesday and packing for a weekend away in the beautiful city of York on Friday.

What are your plans for the week?

Ps. last chance to enter the Joules giveaway. Just leave a comment on the post by tomorrow and you could be a winner. Good luck! 

Friday, 26 October 2012


I have a head full of little bits and pieces at the moment. So here’s me, sharing them with you, today….

: I found the most amazing vintage coffee set in a charity shop the other day. £6. Win. It’s an Alfred Meakin design and I love it. Now to host a coffee morning so I can actually put all twelve {yes, twelve!} cups to good use.

: The children have been sleeping really, really badly so we’re all rather tired. It’s musical beds most nights, thanks to vivid dreams and coughing fits {Ollie} and ongoing teething dramas and blocked noses {Lila}. I hate the constant cough and snot that winter brings. And I hate six teeth coming through all at once.

: Actually, if I could give one piece of advice to a new mother right now, it would be to not get hung up on the whole sleeping-through-the-night thing. Because there will always be times when your children wake at night, no matter how good a sleeper they are and whatever their age. Lack of sleep and children just go hand in hand, and it's so much better to accept that than try and fight it. Right?!

: Despite the tiredness though, I feel really content, which may have something to do with the fact that I am back to regular yoga practice. Only once a week, but it just makes so much difference to how I feel on a daily basis. The teacher is great and this practice has slipped back in to being part of my routine. Gosh it feels good.

: Oliver has settled brilliantly into his new pre-school. His Forest School sessions are amazing, he’s making friends and is so happy every afternoon. He even asks to go on his day off and every weekend. I think that’s a good sign.

: Broad beans. Addicted to them. Currently throwing them into every dish going.

: The camera is going well. I still need to get myself properly using manual, but I have a course lined up that I’m excited about. Actually, this has just reminded me to go and book it.

: I’ve had Mum staying for a few days this week {while Dad is in Sydney on business – sob!}, which has been lovely. I’m sure I could spend weeks on end with that woman and not get bored of her. We’ve taken the children to some lovely National Trust places, have enjoyed girl’s lunches out and celebrated her birthday. And my goodness it’s nice to not have to solo parent all week.

: On the lunch thing, we ate at Jamie’s Italian on Wednesday and I have to say I was mighty impressed. Having never been, I wasn’t sure if it would feel too commercial, but the food was deliciously tasty, I loved the industrial d├ęcor and the staff were all super friendly. Although I think having Lila being all cutesy and saying ‘hiya’ to everyone that walked past may have helped somewhat. If you're going any time soon, the broad-bean, mint, asparagus and other yummy things bruschetta was uh-may-zing.

: The clocks changing this weekend will be a bit of a shock to the system. Dark at 4pm. Urgh.

: Although, let’s talk about Christmas. Mere weeks away. I’m still undecided about what to get the little ones. They really don’t need more stuff, so I like to find things that will either be played with for a very long time or will add to something they already have. Does anyone have any great present ideas you want to share?

And on that note, that’s all folks. Thanks for listening to my brain dump and apologies for the lack of photos in this post, I kept meaning to take some but was too busy chatting with my mother. 

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend whatever your plans,

ps there's still time to enter the lovely Joules giveaway. Gorgeous floral journals - who doesn't want one of those?! (it's open to all you British lovelies and the odds are looking pretty good at the moment!).  

*in case you weren't sure, this is not a sponsored post. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

snap it {fresh}

I have a little obsession with Autumn at the moment. Seriously. I can't stop taking pictures of leaves and sometimes the scenery around here just takes my breath away. 
October truly is a beautiful month in this country. Just ask Nina - she'll tell you. 

Most days we take a walk in the woods or the parks close to our home, enjoying the air on our faces, the fresh scent of newly fallen leaves and that feeling that only Autumn can bring. 

Joining in with other people getting fresh over at Sarah's

And psssst... don't forget to enter this giveaway

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

On why I haven’t bought any clothes for my little girl {and a GIVEAWAY!}

Actually, that’s a bit of a lie. I carefully shopped for her 'going home from hospital outfit' and have bought her a summer coat, some onesies, a few vests, some leggings, a couple of denim pinnies and bits and bobs from the charity shops along the way.

Not exactly much for a girl who just turned thirteen months. But this girl, she has more clothes than me, Paul and Ollie put together. 

How? I like to call it Extreme Upcycling.

You see, when I was pregnant with Lila, it just so happened that I had three lovely friends who had also recently had girls and who weren’t planning to have any more.

And so they off-loaded all of their unwanted baby clothes to me. Which is how I found myself swimming in a sea of girly onesies, tiny tees, cute dresses and lots of pink, way before Lady Lila graced this earth with her presence. It was really quite amazing and I spent many, many hours pre-birth happily nesting away, getting all teary whilst washing and folding tiny clothes.

Now I’m a big fan of second-hand, upcycled, recycled {whatever you want to call it} clothing and I am soooo grateful to my friends for all that they have passed my way. Particularly as all three had great taste in girls clothing. But the only problem with Extreme Upcycling, is that the clothes go on and on and on. And on. And although I would have loved to have splashed out on many new things for my little girl, I just haven’t been able to justify it. Until now.

Because the upcycled stash has all but run out, we have a new season well and truly here and Lila finally needs some new big-girls clothes {hurrah!}. And let me tell you, I am thoroughly enjoying putting together her winter wardrobe.

Right now I’m particularly loving dresses with bold prints in deep colours, paired with tights and chunky knits. I can’t quite imagine how cold winter is going to be, but I know Lila will need a fleecy coat to keep her warm. And hats, oh how I love babies in hats.

Shopping in this country is so much fun and there are some truly gorgeous brands to choose from. So much variety. So much choice. So much cute.

I’m trying not to rush out and get too carried away all in one go, so I'm starting with a list. I love lists. And lucky for me I have the perfect place to write it - a gorgeous new journal that I won over at Lottie's the other week. 

And you know what's even more exciting? I have five more fabulous floral-print Joules journals to give away to you, my lovely readers.

To win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Yes, it's that simple! For extra entries you could also share the love on twitter, instagram and Facebook and leave a comment here to let me know that you have done so. Good luck! 

Now tell me… do you upcycle? Or do you prefer new clothes all the way? What’s your favourite go-to for children’s clothes?

*This post is sponsored by Joules, who sent Lila some items from their new, utterly adorable A/W children’s range (like the amazing floral dress in the pictures above). All words and opinions are my own.

** Competition is open to British residents only. Entries close at 8pm on Tuesday 30th October and five winners will be chosen at random. Entrants must provide a first name and some way for me to contact you - either via email, your blog or social media.

Friday, 19 October 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. 

Linking up with Soulemama.

A little bit of news...

Hi all. Hope you're having a lovely Friday so far? Ours has been wet, but good. We've had playdate with Lila's new little playmate, freshly baked banana bread (a little slice of Australia in Autumnal England), a trip to the shops with Mum and a very gorgeous package arrived from the lovely Lottie (thanks Lottie!). And yay, it's the weekend. 

Anyway... I just wanted to drop in and let you all know that I have recently joined the wonderful team over at Mindful Mum as one of their blogger contributors. I'm thrilled to have been asked and my very first article has gone live today. 

I'll be posting there every fortnight or so, so I do hope you'll stop in from time-to-time to see what I'm waffling on about. 

Until then, have a fabulous weekend all. Do you have any exciting plans ahead? 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


I wasn’t sure if I would continue with these monthly updates after Lila turned one, but then she seemed to be twelve months one minute, thirteen the next and I’m enjoying using this blog as her (very detailed) baby book. And what with toddler-hood and all the fun it brings just around the corner, I want to enjoy and remember every last drop of Lila the baby. So here we are.

And Lila this month? Well, there has been:

: Up! It’s her word of the moment and is getting a great workout. ‘Up’ to be picked up. ‘Up’ to climb the stairs. ‘Up’ to get out of her high chair. Up, up, up, up, up. She also said 'flower' this week too. The girl is learning fast.

: Walking. Well, kind of. Her furthest walk to-date is about eight steps in a row, which she’s now doing all the time, arms waving in the air and a big smile on face. She is SO very pleased with herself and I guess it’s only a matter of time before she properly takes off.

: Eating. Brilliantly. She devours most things and eats hearty portions. Except for breakfast, which she’s rubbish at. She went off cereal and would only eat toast, now she flicks the toast about and has a few mouthfuls of cereal here and there. But only if it’s doused in yoghurt. Avocado remains a constant, fruit is hit and miss. She’s one of the only babies I know who doesn’t like banana.

: Feeding herself. As long as it's sticky and sloppy, give her a spoon and she proudly feeds herself the whole thing. Yoghurt EVERYWHERE. Weetabix EVERYWHERE. Even the dog ended up with some on her back after dinner tonight!

: High fives. Paul taught her this one. Cute.

: Cuddles. So many of them. She actually seeks out your lap, climbs up and lays her head down on your chest. There have also been many, many night-time cuddles in our bed. Usually in the wee hours just before sunrise. And as much as I hate broken sleep, my god I love waking up curled around my sleeping baby.

: Reading. Her favourite book is currently ‘What the Ladybird heard’ by the unbeatable Julia Donaldson. She delights in pointing out the ladybird on each page and gives us her full repertoire of animal noises as we go through. Have you read it? It’s a winner.

: Lilie Bear. A new nickname. It’s sticking around I think. Ollie has also taken to calling her Crossy Bum when she cries and Cheeky Boo when he’s loving her up.

: Swimming. She has taken her lessons all in her stride these past few weeks and my goodness is she a little water baby now. She throws herself off the edge when seated, steps straight in from standing and doesn’t bat an eyelid when she goes under. Just like her brother, but with far less tantrums when she has to float on her back.

: Making friends. Ollie in pre-school has bought us time to do things just for Lady Lila. We’ve both made friends, had play-dates and trialed new playgroups. Lila is loving the interaction and is such a smiley social little thing.

: Playing. She’s a playing machine at the moment. Mostly with anything that is Ollie’s or that Ollie is holding or that Ollie wants. This week has been all about Duplo blocks. Breaking them apart, trying to put them back together, tirelessly emptying and re-filling the Duplo box.

: Colouring: It’s still a winning pastime. She loves it.

And we love you Lila Boo. You’re continuing to astound us daily with your beautiful nature, your smiley face and your love. I can’t wait for the next month with you. 

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