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.

Grief is strange

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Grief is strange. Before my Dad passed away I had an expectation of what losing someone that close to you would feel like. Throughout his illness I stayed strong, partially for my children, but mainly for him. He found it hard for people to be upset, although he could never truly forget he was terminal I guess he liked to try to. So I wore a brave face, until I no longer could.

In those last few days when his illness got very bad very fast and carers were sent to help me my wall began to crumble. I think I cried more then than I did when he actually died.

That's what I mean.. grief is strange. Sometimes I have my moments, generally laid in bed on a night, but mainly there is calm. A calmness that still to this day scares me. But I know its how he would of wanted it. A friend once described it to me as "compared to what you did for him, tears mean nothing".. or something along those lines. And I think that's what kept me sane.

Rio at four!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Rio has recently celebrated his fourth birthday. I feel like four is the age you stop saying you have a toddler, and say you have a child, though you probably have for quite a while. We're "Mum", and "Dad", 50% of the time now and strangely I'm okay with that. He's starting to write and do basic maths which I why it saddens me that our new village school didn't have a nursery place for him. He was really starting to blossom at our old one. With reception only around the corner, and nursery being non compulsory, I'm not overly worried however. I think we will start claiming his 15 hours free soon whilst I am at work to give him the social aspect of it back.
He's still a very thoughtful and loving little boy. His love for football is back and he is due to start training this coming weekend now that he is old enough!
He's started to come out with little phrases, not quite back chatting, but the type where you think "you cheeky little so and so, how did you learn that?". I usually grab him in a cuddle and tell him to stop growing up, to which he giggles and I know he is still young.

He loves bird watching at Potteric Carr and goes most weeks with my in laws whilst I'm at work. He has such appreciation for the beauty of the world around him and I always say he will make one heck of a husband one day!

He took the loss of my Dad really well which is something I was dreading in the months leading up to it. They were so close with us living together all of Rio's life but he really was a trooper. If he asks to chat to me while I'm in the bath I know he's thinking about him and wants to reminisce a few memories with me. Which is nice because I know by the time he is older those memories will be few and far between because of his age.. unfortunately.

I think I speak on behalf of both myself and Craig when I say this little dude changed our lives for the better, as did his brother two years later. Seeing them together makes everything worthwhile.

Living room interior

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Most people believe that the heart of the home is the kitchen, my other half being one of them, hence why we bought a house with a 12ft conservatory adjoining that very room. But I disagree. I love being warm and cosy so for me the heart of the home is the living room. Rio shares my love for pyjamas so if we aren't out on a family adventure you will generally find us chilling in here.

 Curtains: Next  Wicker storage: Next 
 Sofas: DFS  Rug: Ikea

 Sideboard: Oak furniture land  Vases: Next   Roses: M&S  Candle: Zara

When our offer was first accepted on the house I envisioned our living room interior to be very grey and white thanks to Instagram but as you can see we had to steer away from that with us having two young boys, my mind just couldn't cope!

I now plan to complete my bedroom like that, yay!

Are you a first time home owner? Id love to see your transformations!


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