Sunday, 30 June 2013

Sunday cycle

Today I broke free at 8am (having put the little one down for his morning nap and left him with a sleepy daddy - I know it seems early for a morning nap but he was up just after 5am -  eep!) I went round to borrow a bike from my mum and cycle! I didn't know how far I would get but I headed out over the fields towards the sea. 


I made it to the sea, along the front to the end of the prom to the castle AND back! Phew, jelly legs and a bit of a sore crotch aside, feeling fab! 


It was a glorious day today and the feeling of the sun on my shoulders, wind in my hair and the sparkle on the river and the sea was incredible. It felt like another world. It was a brilliant start to a great day.

We went on to spend some time in the garden, at the beach with family (the little man going in the warm sea for the first time) and to end the day having a BBQ in the garden just us three. 


It was a great day made even better by the sunshine. 

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Saturday stylings

I'm not the most fashionable girl in the world but I do like to wear cool stuff now and then. Since having the little man a year ago I've been trying to find my own style again as my body has changed a bit and my wardrobe needs to be a bit more functional too.

Like lots of ladies I think I've got too many clothes and loads that I never wear so I think it's time to say out with the old and in with the new. 

This month I got some gorgeous new red wedges from Next (£30) the platform makes them really comfy as it's really big at the front so I can wear them in the day and the night. 
The style I'm going for is a bit of retro brights, the wedges make me feel all vintage and look cool with my pale red / orange lip gloss and the bright yellow cardi really brightened up my morning after a shaky start. I saw a yellow cardigan like this in a really cool shop where I live, it was a Nice Things one and was £69 but really lovely and the girl in the shop was saying how it really goes with anything. I loved it but couldn't quite swallow the price so when I went in H&M and saw this one in the sale for £10 and almost identical I was pretty chuffed. 

Team these two new pieces with my oldest pair of jeans which I love and have been repaired time and time again and a grey T and we were good to go! MAC pinky/red nails were the icing on the cake, although after less than 12 hours it's already chipped! I guess that goes with the mummy/housewife territory! 

Nothing outrageous but making a little effort brightened up my week! I'm hoping to continue my #saturdaystylings next week too so watch this space! 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Family resemblance

Just had to share this... 

My mother in law showed me a picture the other day of my husband and his older brother as kids. I remembered a photo I took a few weeks ago where our little one and his cousin's resemblance to their dads is incredible! 

Get your eye peepers around this... 


I think the resemblance might be more to those of us who know them but what do you think? Nice similar pictures anyway and we didn't pose it either... 

PS look at this gorgeous pic of Jacob's dad - if Jacob looks like this in a couple of years he'll be a handsome chap!


I love the quality and vibe about these old pictures, it's kind of a shame that these days we take so many snaps that each one has slightly less significance, although I do love them all. I might have to choose some to print and make into a photo album. They're easier to treasure that way aren't they? 



Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Our little man Grows Wild!

We've entered another competition with moneysupermarket.com which meant we got sent a free gardening kit! (Handy bag, watering can, gloves, fork, trowel and seeds!) I know the little man is a bit young for really understanding  gardening but he loves messy play and this was an ideal opportunity to get outside and spend some fun time together.

Getting this kit provided us with a new and fun activity that we can continue with as he gets older and it meant we had some structure to our play which was really great and different (It can be hard knowing how to occupy a baby / 1 year old on your own sometimes!). Without being given this kit I don't think I would have done gardening with Jacob, I just wouldn't have thought of it on my own. So I really enjoyed this one and the pickle did too!

First we found and cleaned an old planter that had been neglected then we had fun digging around in the soil and getting it ready for the seeds.


When the soil was thoroughly dug we sprinkled on the seeds and some more soil. 


Then the really fun part - water! Jacob seemed very interested in his new watering can and enjoyed looking right inside as well as grinning happily as he watched the water sprinkling out of the spout ..



Once all seeds were sewn we positioned the soon to be gorgeous planter in front of Jacob's playhouse and put some windmill flowers in until the real ones grow. (I can't wait to show him his flowers growing: He was 'kissing' some roses from a bunch I gave my mum the other day so I'm pretty sure he will like them!)

Then time to play in the sunshine in his new paddling pool, with watering can of course!  


What an excellent and unexpected afternoon :) Have you got any ideas for great or unusual activities to try with a one year old? Let me know... Maybe baking next? I thought he would be too little but maybe not! 

This post is an entry into BritMums' #KidsGrowWild challenge.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Playhouse & Parties


This weekend was our little man's FIRST birthday party. As a first time mum I was finding the prospect of having a kids party a bit daunting. Luckily most of the babies, being around 1 year old, don't expect too much and the other kids were pretty forgiving too!


The star attraction was the little one's new Elms Valley Cabin Playhouse. I have become slightly obsessed with it over the last month or so, lovingly and painstakingly painting it, finding pictures for it and getting my Dad to build a base and floor for it (with carpet)

The kids of all ages LOVED it. The babies were excited by the surroundings, the one year olds enjoyed crawling in and out, playing with the toys, opening and closing the curtains, peeking out of the windows and checking out the posters and pictures inside, the 3 - 7 year olds had great fun with role play and using it as their little den to hide from the grown ups!


The house is recommended for children from 3 - 10 years but it has been (and will be) enjoyed by ages 6 months - 70 years! It was a breeze to put together and looks great. I'm glad we opted for a wooden Wendy house as the quality feel and look of it is definitely worth the small price increase compared to plastic ones. I know that our pickle will have years of fun playing in there with us and his little mates!

As a teacher I know the value of role play and the development of children's imagination and this playhouse will be invaluable is helping our little man to develop in this way. I think that spending time outside is also so important for children and living in England anything that can encourage children to play outside when the weather isn't too great must be a good thing, there is so much fun to be had in the garden once you get out there!

The party was a success, Jacob had the best time crawling around the garden getting lots of attention and playing with his friends and his new toys and I really enjoyed throwing the party. We kept it quite small with mostly family and children but it gave me another outlet for my creative side; I loved decorating the garden with bunting and balloons and making the little one a special birthday cake. It was so nice to see all our friends and family together and everyone had a fab time.






This post was sponsored by Garden Games who provided me with a discount on our Wendy house and who can provide you will all sorts of outdoor games and accessories for fun in the garden! All opinions I have expressed are my own and entirely truthful.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Surprised by tears (Dear baby J)


Dear Baby J,

I won't be able to call you 'baby' for much longer so I'm going to make the most of it. Now when mum's say "they are always your baby" I know what it means. 

You are 1 today. It's going too fast, I feel happy, sad, crazy and so proud all at once. 

Because we're not doing anything 'special' today (just our normal Wednesday fun - every day I have with you is special) I wasn't expecting all the feelings that have hit me.

The tears have taken me by surprise. When your daddy cuddles me and we look at you today I well up with feelings I didn't know I had and I didn't expect, maybe I hid them from myself. 

They are tears of joy and wonder and happiness. You are the most gorgeous and special person. My love for you grows every day. You are always happy, giggling and smiling and you have brought such love and wonder into our lives. We are so lucky to have you. 

I wish you the most fun and happy birthday, my baby boy. 

All my love 

Mummy 

X

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Feeling crafty....

Well since my room for improvement challenge I've been feeling increasingly crafty... I've always been like that but I think having a little one has given me the perfect outlet for my arty side. I can make silly childish bits and bobs and no one will think I'm odd! 

I've had some really nice feedback from my pervious post which included my dinosaur paintings. I got talking to the owner of the fab shop Milestones in Whitstable and I will be featuring as her 'artist of the month' in August! 

I was also mentioned by Actually Mummy who writes for BritMums 'Newbie Tuesday', I was so chuffed i think it spurred me on a bit! 

Recently I've made (or customised) a play house (interior decorating included!), a toy chest, lots of various art work for the little one's room and I'm currently up-cycling a vintage chair. Tonight I have made our little man's friend a small toy as a christening present!


It's by no means perfect but I think the little fella will like it! What do you think? Have changes in your life ever made you get crafty? 


Saturday, 1 June 2013

Room(s) for improvement



Moneysupermarket.com gave me this...


So that I could make this...


... into this...


.. and hopefully win a £500 B&Q voucher!!

With my £50 I've also personalised a toy chest for our front room transforming a plain wooden box into a toy chest / padded seat! It's functional and hides all the little man's toys so we can have a stylish and grown up area again when he is in bed! 




For the toy chest...
£20 for nice pine flat pack toy chest from Homebase (on a 2 for £40 offer).
£1 for grey felt to make the deer detail.
Foam and wood for seat scavenged from my dad's garage and fabric salvaged from one of my sisters old projects.

For the little man's room...
£27 for blackout dinosaur curtains from Dunelm Mill ( on a 20% off offer).
Old curtain rail taken down from when we moved in (2 years ago!) = £0
£4 for 3 blank canvasses from The Range which were then designed and painted by me! 


So what do you think? I know it adds up to £52 but a £2 overspend isn't too bad! I think what I've done makes a huge difference to both rooms. I'm really pleased with all my efforts and was so happy to get this opportunity! 

Thanks to moneysupermarket.com and my dad for all his help :) 

(This post is my entry into moneysupermarket.com's room for improvement competition)