A stroke of wedding luck.. Our church and venue!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Not too long ago I started to draft a blog post titled 'things aren't going to plan'. It went a little something like this....."Once the date was booked, I thought it would be all systems go with wedding planning but we seem to of hit a brick wall. All venues within a reasonable driving distance from our church are booked up, or cost more than our full wedding budget. We are currently seriously considering sacrificing our summer date.. That's the level of desperation that we are at!".

I gathered any wedding dream strength I had left and gave things one last shot. I contacted our dream venue and vicar and by some miracle.. They could both fit us in on a new date! A new SUMMER date!

Ladies and gentlemen we are now getting married in July 2018!

We are opting for a traditional church ceremony, followed by a barn reception. Barn weddings are quite the 'in' thing right now, but you can ask anyone who has ever talked to me about weddings and they will tell you it's a childhood dream of mine. So much so, that when bringing our wedding forward was suggested to my terminally ill father, he discredited it and told me I was to not sacrifice my dream. So we have had a stroke of wedding luck, I like to think it was more than odds working in our favor.

Mam Tor

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The peak district is one of our favourite places to explore as a family. Me & Craig had the pleasure of returning to the spot in these photos the day after, for our first day out alone in over four years..it was very serene, although eerily quiet without the boys at times.

We've always preferred this type of day out but now that we are saving for the wedding I have a feeling this is what our weekends are going to mainly look like. And I for one aren't complaining!
Rio has started full time at a new school. I booked two weeks off work 'just incase', but turns out I was more worried than him

Here comes the bride!

To most people, the words 'next on the list', don't sound very romantic. But for me, they were words I'd been longing to hear.

I met Craig during my GCSEs . I guess most people would call us 'childhood sweethearts'. Four years later I had our first son Rio, and a proposal closely followed on my 21st birthday. Since then, between having another child, buying a house, and a few cars in between, our savings have been pretty much spoken for.. Until now!

Craig saying the wedding is 'next on our list', means all systems go. It means I can stop pinteresting and start planning. So in August 2018 (our village church summer dates are pretty booked up) after being with Craig for 11 years, I will finally get to say I do. I will marry my soul mate, and have the same surname as my boys. I'm finding it hard to contain my excitement!

Pushchair friendly for a change!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Yesterday was my first fathers day without my Dad. There is no consolation for this, I stood at his graveside heartbroken, but if there was.. it would be Craig! Not only is Craig my best friend, he is also the best Father than I could of ever wished for for my boys. So we headed to the peak district to spend the day as a family, in the calm away from it all, it really is my happy place!

Walks are harder now that Niall doesn't like the carrier so we opted for a pushchair friendly route. Of course as sods law goes, he walked liked a trooper, but it was a pleasant route non the less so we didn't miss out too much. We called at Craig's favourite place for tea on the way home and I think Nialls face on the last picture sums up how content we all felt by the end of the day.

DIY vase!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Its no exaggeration when I say that we spent all of our savings buying and furnishing our new house at the beginning of the year. Thankfully our bank balances have crept up and I've been able to buy a few bits to make the place more homely over the last month or so. But as much as I love buying something new, I also love finding a charity shop bargain, or better still, upcycling!

Take this bottle for example. I kept hold of it when we visited the bluebells the other week.


This morning, after finding it stashed under the pushchair, I peeled off the stickers and washed away any sticky residue/left over orange juice.

I then... well, nothing, that was it!

Behold, the most simple DIY that I know!

upcycle, simple diy, home decor

Yes I know, you can pick these up for a couple of pound in most shops nowadays but what's the fun in that? Every time I pass by/refill this little DIY vase I'm going to remember that day and smile!

Feeling fancy? You could always take it one step further by adding twine around the top and creating a hanging vase type wall d├ęcor. Why not stagger three or more in a row up your staircase?

Back to the bluebells

Sunday, 8 May 2016

This time exactly a year ago we visited Renishaw Hall & Gardens to explore the bluebells. I posted about it here but what I didn't mention in that post was the fact that we mainly went to clear my head. As you now know a little before that post my Dad was diagnosed with incurable cancer. So today on route, when I realised it was this exact weekend last year that we went, it really hit home how sudden things had happened. A lot can change in a year, but what hasn't changed is how fantastic this place is to explore... especially at this time of year!

Rolling down the hills! Craig was spurring him on to do roly polys but the 'cotton wool mum' in me was yelling at him to not even dare!

Time for the bluebells!

bluebell wood

bluebell wood

They didn't disappoint.

I had envisioned letting the boys play amongst them, allowing me to get candid shots, but I couldn't bring myself to in case any were damaged. Instead we found patches where other people had already been and I was in photos for once. I real rarity, and something I need to do more!

The boys had so much fun exploring the woodland area. Niall even attempted the balance type obstacle course. He was a little unsure at first but within a few minute he was bouncing up and down adding to the excitement. BOYS!

The number hunt was the same as last time so we didn't actively participate but it was still great to see the characters as we went by.

There were cows everywhere this time around. I hadn't realised until now how loudly they actually moo!

The last time we was here Rio said that the chimney on this little out building might be for Santa. Some type of rural workshop? He didn't forget. As soon as it was in his sight he told us all about it. He doesn't forget a thing, and that never fails to make me smile!

The view from the tree trunk seat was as pretty as ever. I always feel really blessed surrounded by my little family from here. It goes unnoticed to a lot of passers by because at first glace it does just look like a tree, but I guess that's the hidden beauty of it.

After sampling the coffee cake last time we couldn't go home without making a cheeky pit stop. Rio wanted chocolate cake, a firm family favourite, but I also liked the look of this lemon and white chocolate one so we bought both.

 Although I haven't posted for a while the country kids link up is one that I will always love. Letting your kids be kids and enjoy their childhood outdoors is something that I try to practice as well as preach. It's good to be back!
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Fool proof butterfly buns

Sunday, 1 May 2016

I'll start by saying I'm not the best baker. I have a habit of ruining even the ready made box kits. But Rio enjoys it, and deep down I want to be that Mum that fetches out freshly made cookies when kids are over to play. The other week I mastered biscuits, well I thought I did until I tried making a second batch the next day, and was back to failing miserably. Mary Berry I am not! But I made it my new years resolution this year, so here I am giving butterfly buns a go.

If you want to know how to make a better version of what I am about to try and concoct, you can find the recipe here.

We measured out the ingredients and pre heated the oven. I had a little play with the whisk settings as my Auntie has only very recently gave me it in an attempt to make my baking better! ..Like I said, I suck!

I then re read the recipe to double check I hadn't missed an additional step like 'refrigerate for 30 minutes'. Experience has taught me that said steps aren't in fact 'pointless'.

The whisk was a game changer. Things looked very much like they were meant to!

I put them into the oven and it was at this point that Rio asked if they would go upstairs to play while they cooked and cooled.

I was chatting away to my sister who had popped round and before I knew it...

 ..this had happened!

I growled for a few minutes at my stupidity and the total waste of ingredients. No, I wasn't wasting them.. I ate one out of pure stubbornness and do you know what? They actually weren't bad. My sister spurred me to attempt another batch and VOILA!!


This batch was not only edible, it was scrummy! They were so light and fluffy that I made everyone try one and tell me that id done okay!

Gloating aside, baking with the boys is great. Even when things don't go to plan Rio will go to bed telling me that he has had a lovely day. Maybe one day we will laugh together over our baking mishap memories, but for now we will have fun creating them!

DISCLAIMER: Rio sometimes point blank refuses to let me photograph him, which is also why my Instragram is slacking, this was one of those days.

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