Monday, 30 May 2016

Travel | Morrocan Days & Arabian Nights

My darling friend Sammi gets married in just a few short days and I wasn't going to post about the hen party we went on to Marrakesh, Morocco but I found the place so captivating and inspiring that I just had to tell you a little bit about our Arabian adventure!

I must admit that when Morocco was first thrown into the mix I was a little apprehensive and unsure about the location, especially for 11 ladies looking for a bit of a party!  I was however completely surprised about how safe I felt and how much I loved their country.  Morocco has some truly beautiful sights to see and was actually one of the more cleaner places I have visited in the world.

When we arrived in Marrakesh our taxi pretty much dropped us off in the middle of a busy street, full of inquisitive locals wondering who on earth these women were and why one of them was dressed in a tutu and veil!!  
We were lead down a mysterious winding alleyway to a random tiny doorway just a short walk from the main street.  What we found inside was a world away from what we had expected and from the dusty streets outside.  Our riad could only be described as lavish, we had exclusive hire of the whole place which was absolutely perfect for us 11.  Riad Goloboy boasts 3 floors of 12 individually decorated rooms.  I actually spent a portion of the first day exploring every corner of the place wondering how many more rooms it could possibly hold!  They were all so beautifully furnished and each one had its own different personality.  I was very lucky to be sharing with the bride so we had a ground floor room which looked a bit like a honeymoon suite with its white interior.  In the middle of the rooms was a gorgeous courtyard with a fountain where we found the best lighting for our group shots!  We also had a sun terrace complete with comfy sunbeds and a hot tub - which we actually used more as a plunge pool in the 33 degree heat!
We had 24 hour service from the French speaking staff working at Riad Goloboy and they honestly couldn't have been more accommodating.  They walked us too and from the main street every evening and arranged taxis, prepared us food as well as keeping the place tidy.

We booked a tour guide to take us around some of the different quarters of Marrakesh and he spontaneously took us to visit part of one of their lavish palaces.  It was so beautiful and I was completely obsessed with the floors (I have a bit of a thing for good lookin' flooring!) but I must admit the tour did drag a little and we kind of wanted to get onto the souks before lunchtime!  Our guide also seemed to have a little "deal" going with a carpet shop so he ended up ushering us into one for what felt like forever to be shown like 400 rugs that we quite clearly weren't interested in buying, so do watch out for that if you book a tour guide in Marrakesh.
I didn't make it to the souks unfortunately due to the pretty long walk around beforehand and still having to be careful after my surgery.  But most of the girls had a walk around and said it was pretty cool, and some came away with some leather goods and Moroccan oils (the locals don't like you taking photos in the souks so sadly I don't have any to show you either - very mysterious!!)  When wandering around Morocco I think its good to bear in mind that yes this is a Muslim country and it is polite to keep a little more covered up than you usually might in other hot countries.  We found that taking light scarves out with us to throw over shoulders and cleavages was our best bet.

Our first night in Morocco was spent in true hen party style with a slumber party/dinner in our Riad.  The staff thought we were mental, wearing our PJ's to have our 5 course (delicious) meal and drinking shots every time someone said the word "wedding"!!  The drinks flowed and the games escalated so obviously all of those photos can stay hidden on our iPhones :)  If anyone needs some hen party game ideas comment below, as one of the bridesmaids came up with some of the best i've played!!!!

Going out out in Marrakesh was brilliant.  One of our evenings started with another five course meal, this time at a quaint little place called Tobsil.  It was another one of those places you literally wouldn't know existed until someone guided you there and behind the door was a stunning restaurant filled with the smell of Moroccan tagines and sound of traditional music.  We were served various delicious dishes, courgettes, hummus, tagines and honey and almond chicken.  The food was so lovely and the staff spoke impeccable English, I would highly recommend visiting Tobsil if you're in Marrakesh and want to experience a taste of their food and culture.  The lighting was SO dark in Tobsil however so any photos we did get weren't the best quality

We quickly found ourselves in the upmarket and modern part of Marrakesh where the buildings became newer and a lot taller.  We headed into a club called So Lounge which was immediately right up our street!  They had a band on stage with some great singers playing all the classics and latest songs for us to get our groove on to!  Unfortunately for us though we had underestimated how much alcohol was going to cost in these bars and it was most definitely London!  Despite the fact we ran out of cash pretty quickly we still had such a great time and pretty much crawled into bed with giddy heads and sore cheeks from the laughs.

As beautiful as our Riad was we spent one of the 33 degree days at Beldi Country Club which was simply STUNNING!  I mean like breathtakingly beautiful, you really have to see it to believe it.  After lounging off our hangovers on their cosy sunbeams, we enjoyed cocktails and lunch in their little restaurant whilst we presented our Hen with a book of special messages from everyone involved in this special trip!  Its safe to say we all shed a little tear and some laughs at the photos and lovely things everybody had to say to our gorgeous Bride

I cannot praise Marrakesh enough and Riad Goloboy for making our stay one to remember. Now onto the main event and where the fun begins.. The Wedding!!!!!

Tips if you're travelling to Morocco:
  • Change up your money when you get to the airport in Morocco as the rate is so much better
  • Take light scarfs as you will need to cover your shoulders in the old town/souks
  • Get an exchange rate app or calculator, I was the only one who had it and we would have been stuffed without it as its not the easiest currency to convert
  • Bear in mind that drinking alcohol in Morocco can be expensive
  • Take tablets for upset stomachs with you as we did find that we all had a dodgy belly at different points of the holiday
  • Take TONS of anti-bac!

What countries are you visiting this year?? Have you been to Morocco?


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Favourites #2

Zoeva Rose Gold Vol.2 Brushes - I think if you’re going to spend a large slice of your monthly salary on make up like i do then you need to have some decent tools to apply with.  Step in Zoeva brushes!  I was treated to the beautiful rose gold collection, which included this stunning rose gold pleather bag, for Christmas and they have changed my whole makeup game.  I still use and love the Real Techniques brushes occasionally but for me the Zoeva brushes really do apply makeup like a dream.  The buffing brush and my CT Magic Foundation are a match made in foundation heaven and the brow brush seems to work wonders with every single brow product I team it with.  They are pricey but with some basic TLC these brushes will last you forever, and my god they are worth it

Wunderbrow (I use the shade Brunette)- This was a product I never in a million years thought I would try let alone fall in love with.  I saw endless budget adverts on TV for the stuff as well as the usual Facebook plugging but when I saw Lauren use this (she does awesome little videos for The Sun Beauty) I suddenly looked at Wunderbrow a little differently and thought perhaps it was the product for me.  I wasn’t wrong and I fell head over heels the minute I stroked it onto my brows.  I don’t use the applicator directly onto my face as I feel you have no control over how much product you are applying.  I find it easier to use my own brow brush dipped in a little bit of the gel and using soft strokes is the best way for me personally.  It stays on so so well and is removed with an oil based cleanser.  If you want these bad boys to last you more than a day you will need to steer clear from using an oil based products on your face

Una Brennan Oil - This brings me swiftly onto my fave oil of the moment and that is the Una Brennan Cleansing Oil.  I love love love using oils on my face I find them so hydrating, they remove dirt and makeup better than anything else I’ve tried and most of all my skin seems to adore them too.  I use a small pump of the oil directly onto dry skin, which instantly lifts any makeup from my face.  I will then use a hot flannel to remove it as well as a good few splashes of warm water to make sure no residue is left.  The only problem I have with the Una Brennan Cleansing Oil is that I do find it gets into my eyes a little bit and I find they do seem slightly irritated by it so i have been avoiding using this in my eye area (even though the bottle states this should be fine) 

Forever 21 Necklace - I bought this necklace last year as just a little add on buy to a big Forever 21 shop and I've just dug it out!  Its a choker style necklace that can be worn slightly longer if you get that claustrophobic feeling that sometimes comes with this style of necklace!!  I've been wearing it with everything and so many people keep asking where its from.  Unfortunately I don't think this one is available anymore but I just wanted to mention it as Forever 21 does so many nice necklaces

Topshop Cactus Shirt - I feel in love with this succulent shirt from Topshop the second I saw it!  The material feels a little dressy and luxe but would look great with a casual outfit or tucked into a leather skirt with heels for a dinner out.  I think I will be wearing the sh*t out of this little number this Spring/Summer!

Primark Heeled Sandals - I wasn't actually sure if I liked these tan sandals when I bought them but once I had got them home and teamed them with all of my holiday outfits I fell in love.  They are literally the perfect sandal, you can wear them super casual with jeans or shorts for a stroll in the sun or you can dress them up with a skirt or dress for an evening out.  The heel is the perfect size for me as I don't really "do" platforms (granny) and the best thing about them is that they were SO cheap and no one can believe I bought them in Primark! As you can see i've been wearing them to death!

The Girl with no Past - You will probably find that books are a staple in my favourites posts as I tend to go through them rather quickly and reading is something I really enjoy!  The Girl with no Past was a bit of a random pick for me and came up on my “recommended” page on my Kindle.   To sum up what it is about, Leah is a 20 something year old girl living a very boring, simple life with a massive secret and a dodgy past, when someone begins to torment her and shake up life as she knows it.
I found myself completely sucked in from the get go with this one, although you don’t find out the whole story until right near the end, so much happens so you don’t feel like its a slow burner at all. 

Broadchurch - I know right how behind???!  I am one of those annoying people who shun these cult series until I hear so much about them I end up binge watching and regretting not watching them in the first place! Broadchurch was certainly one of those and what put me off was the fact that Dr Who chap is in it.  However i actually fell in love with his character and thought he acted the part really really well.  Again I don't want to give too much away because its all about the shock factor with Broadchurch but series 1 kicks off with the murder of a school boy and its filmed over Jurassic Bay, Dorset which is possibly one of the most picturesque places in Britain!

Pancakes - I'm eating tons of pancakes lately, which I used to be so awful at making!  However I found a foolproof delicious recipe via Pinterest and I now stick with it and make like 20 pancakes at a time to reheat in the toaster as and when I want them.


Friday, 6 May 2016

The Sunny Days

Sunny days call for bright colours, new funky shoes and all the parks.

Since having my surgery a month ago I haven't been able to do much at all with my little bud. Not being able to lift him means no trips out together alone and not being able to drive means not venturing further than Waitrose cafe or a crappy local park.
Luckily friends and family have been awesome with lifts and we were also blessed with some glorious sunshine over this last week so we have spent some lush bright days in basking in the heat.

We discovered a little farm shop just 5 minutes drive away from where we live in Basingstoke called Wellington Farm Shop. Toddler mums you are going to love it. There is a kid friendly huge cafe offering reared and butchered on site meats, home made breads and cakes and the best breakfast I've had in AGES. Also the coffee is to die for!!  But outside is where this place really outshines most farm shops and cafe's as it boasts a gorgeous little wooden play area and tiny farm complete with horses, sheep, pigs and chickens.  I find it quite hard to take Harry to cafe's when there's no entertainment for him, I often end up taking an iPad with me which ideally I'd like to avoid where I can! He is however getting better at sitting up as the tablet when he's bribed with sausages and promises of cake

Top - Mothercare  |  Shorts - Gap  |  Trainers - Puma

For the first time this year I managed to get a pair of shorts on Harry's ever growing legs, teamed with this gorgeous little tee from the Little Bird by Jools range at Mothercare. I am so obsessed with it and would put him in it everyday had he not spilt jam all over it! The whole range is so unique and really recognisable with its slight 70's retro style and brightly coloured vibe.  I couldn't resist letting Harry wear his Cookie Monster Puma trainers with this outfit, they matched his top perfectly!  They are a little too big but he adored them so much he almost ended up wearing them to bed that night!! 

Backpack - Cath Kidston

Socks - Primark
This weekend we are hoping for more sun, a walk and perhaps a little dip in a pool as Harry has some new swim shorts to try out (Little Bird by Jools ones of course)

 Have you found any toddler friendly local spots lately??


Monday, 11 April 2016

I am the 1%

I really thought our bad luck was over and we would see the back of hospital beds and saline drips for a while but unfortunately for us that wasn't going to be our story. I was just getting back into posting all the normal "mum blogger" junk as well as planning some actual You Tube videos, and letting go of the painful year we have just started to get over.

I feel compelled to share with you the reason for my brief social media absence (if anyone has noticed!) and it wouldn't seem right if I didn't talk about the very thing which has consumed me and my family lately, and I also have a feeling you lot will have all sorts of words of kindness and positivity that I need right now.  No pressure.

It started the Monday evening, after work, before dinner when I started to get the most indescribable and excruciating tummy pains. It was like a swelling sensation as well as feeling extremely faint and all together pretty rubbish. I had indulged in sashimi for lunch and instantly thought perhaps I had got food poisoning and just needed to "sit on the loo" so to speak. The longer I sat there the worse I felt and I eventually curled up in a ball on our very cold bathroom floor whilst Mr H administered some paracetamol and ibuprofen. I was then tucked up in bed with a hot water bottle and the pain seemed to ease slightly. Before I had gone up to bed however I did notice that my stomach seemed to be hard and bloated but again this could have been my body reacting to a bad bit of fish. I spent the whole night curled tightly in a little ball with the hot water bottle pressed tightly against me, until morning.

The morning seemed better but not without pain so I decided that I would take a day sick from work and drop Harry with his childminder. Once Harry was settled in front of the TV I showered and kissed Mr H goodbye as he was late for his train. 
The moment I stepped out of the shower was when the searing pain in my tummy returned and after a quick glance in the mirror my lips had turned totally purple. I staggered into the living room where I knew if I didn't lay on the floor I was going to collapse!  I called for Harry who immediately knew something was wrong and dropped to my side with the sweetest look of concern. I asked him to go and find my phone which miraculously he did so I could phone Mr H and tell him something was seriously wrong. Thank god he picked up, as his train was just pulling up to the platform and he sprinted home making a dozen phone calls on the way.

During this time my darling and clever baby boy sat stroking my arm, he fetched his little wooden doctors kit and "listened to my heart". He gave me his absolute favourite comforter his stuffed elephant Ellie and signed to me not to cry. In such an awful painful moment it was one of the most proudest few minutes of my parenting life and I couldn't have loved him any more. 

What happened next was a bit of a blur but I was taken to A & E and seen pretty much immediately.  I told them through gritted teeth all of my symptoms and as I was speaking I could feel the pain travel up through my right arm and shoulder. As soon as I told the nurse this symptom she wheeled me straight into an emergency room and asked me to gown up. I was asked a thousand questions at that point with the main one being "could you be pregnant?"
There was no way in my head that I was pregnant, I had just had a period, on the pill and we weren't trying, I had felt completely normal before today. I did a sample for them anyway which they whisked away to test and in the meantime the doctor then proceeded to tell me that extreme pain like that travelling to your right shoulder is a strong indication that there is internal bleeding in the abdomen. This would usually be caused by appendicitis or more commonly ectopic pregnancy. 

My test result was positive. I was pregnant. But was I.. Because in the same sentence they had told me I was pregnant they also told me I wouldn't be within a few hours.  I was having an ectopic pregnancy (fancy explanation here) which basically means the embryo attaches itself to your Fallopian tube which is about the width of a drinking straw and not a possible place for a baby to grow and is basically not good my friends. 
I was high as a kite on morphine and confused, scared, angry at myself for not knowing when we had conceived and guilty because my body had failed me.  Scott and I cried together and tried to make sense of what the doctors were telling us whilst a consent form was thrust my way and I signed my life into the hands of the surgical gods. Within 2 hours of arriving at the hospital I was taken into the operating theatre and put to sleep.

I can't tell you how long I was in surgery but I was in recovery for almost 6 hours. I was in and out of sleep and weird conversation with the nurse attending to me. The next thing I remember is being wheeled up to the women's health ward and seeing Scott's face. The surgeon had been to see him and he really couldn't believe I was still here. The Fallopian tube where the pregnancy had attached itself to had ruptured on the Monday night and my stomach had been bloated because it was filling up with blood. Somehow I hadn't bled to death during the night otherwise I wouldn't be writing this post today. 
There was over 2 pints of blood in my abdomen so my surgeon had made the decision to cut straight across under my bikini line instead of the usual key hole surgery commonly used in ectopic pregnancy to drain it out and I received a blood transfusion to replace what I had lost.

Due to the rupture my left Fallopian tube had to be removed completely but he saw that my right tube was in tact and healthy, as well as my ovaries being totally fine. This means that my future chances of conceiving are only very slightly reduced.  I'm no scientist but the general consensus is that your egg and his sperm will find their way via your remaining tube and get down to it.. Or something like that anyway.
I was in the 1% club, that's the risk percentage of your pregnancy being ectopic. The risk of a repeat ectopic pregnancy once you have had one does go up by around 5% which is a little scary but I have been reassured that I will be closely monitored/scanned in those early weeks next time.

I was allowed to come home to my boys just a couple of days after my surgery, it felt like Harry and I had been apart for weeks and his beaming smile when our eyes met was almost enough to take all the pain away. 
I won't lie, I'm in absolute agony!  I can barely walk, I can't lift more than a glass of water and I'm bloated like a Buddha.  The cut is not dissimilar to a c section wound but instead of stitches I have staples which I can't bear to look at right now. My surgeon was very polite in the fact he made sure the cut was super straight and neat and he managed to join it to 2 hernia scars I have from when I was little! It's silly really to care about the cosmetic side of things when you're life has just flashed before your eyes but it helps to know you won't look like you've had a battle with a tiger once it's all over 

I'm one tube down with no backup but I'm doing OK.  I have never felt so loved in my life, my house resembles a florists and I've got a cupboard full of chocolate and biscuits ready and waiting for me to pile back on the pounds when I'm up to it!
I couldn't ask for a better nurse, flower arranger or chef in my partner Scott who, despite everything he has gone through, is doing m an amazing job as the mum and the dad! 
  I have yet again learnt that I am brave which isn't a bad thing I suppose, and that the human body can be a confusing mess of failing you and then being a miracle worker all at the same time. 
I've accepted that this experience is now a part of my life story as well as all the other struggles we have somehow managed to trudge through! I'm naturally a positive person and I won't dwell on this or let it take me down, its just another path I can say I have walked down and I can tell you I will be a hell of a lot stronger for it


Monday, 4 April 2016

Favourites #1

I have never done a proper favourites post before and I thought it would be nice to share some of the things that have been getting me through life lately!  I’m going to try and make this a regular/monthly thing as I am really quite passionate about things that I love and I really enjoying sharing those things with my blogging buddies

Emma Hardy Face MaskI have been using this mask as an overnight treatment more than I have a proper face mask.  I pop a little bit on after my regular night cream and it has a similar result to the ever popular Origins Drink Me Up, it leaves my skin super hydrated and just a bit less dull looking! #winning

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation:  I’m now on my third bottle of this stuff and I’m still just as in love with it as I was with my first.  It blends in seamlessly and effortlessly leaving a demi matte but still relatively dewy finish with great coverage but a breathable feel (I use a shade 6) I like to mix mine with a dash of Soap & Glory highlighter which works really well together and sweep it onto my skin with my Zoevva Foundation Brush, heavenly.

Pixi Glow Tonic:  I can’t rave enough about Pixi Glow Tonic its done wonders for my dull skin!  I use a sweep of it on a cotton pad every other day after removing my makeup/cleansing which gently removes dead skin cells, and I find I wake up with a clearer, less grey looking face.  I have had my bottle since Christmas and I’m not even a third of the way through so it will definitely last a good while if you use it every other day like me.

Molecule 01 Perfume:  I mentioned this amazing fragrance in my Valentines Gift guide and I am as obsessed with it now as I was then.  Corrie introduced me to Molecule 01 and I’m so so happy she did!  I don’t know the science behind it but it smells different on everyone who wears it but it does have a distinct scent at the same time, so I ALWAYS know when someone has it on!  It’s on the pricier side but it’s so worth it if you fancy treating yourself or a loved one as the scent lasts on your skin all day.  I pretty much wear it every day and I’m constantly being asked what smell I am wearing!!  (which I think is a compliment?!)

Rimmel Scandaleyes Pencil in Nude:  I have always been a huge fan of lining my waterline with a white pencil but I've noticed that it looks heaps better when lined with nude.  Its really a must have beauty product for tired mama's and I have found Rimmel's to be the most pigmented and have the longest staying power

Joe Wicks Lean in 15:  The whole of Jan we signed up for Hello Fresh boxes to be delivered every Monday.  As much as we were enjoying the meals. The time it took to prepare most of them just wasn’t working for us so I got myself the kindle version of Joe Wicks Lean in 15 cook book (side note: I wasn’t allowed to buy the physical book as according to Mr H I have too many on my shelf!!)  Most of the recipes in here are so quick to make and really quite cheap as well as you don’t need anything fancier than a jar of coconut oil. There is also a HIIT workout section at the back… I haven’t quite managed to check that bit out yet.. Joe has the best Instagram account as well, full of recipes and fitness motivation.  My favourite meals so far have been his spicy sausage pasta and the filo chicken pie.. mmm mmm!

GossipGirlYes its years old but YES I’m still completely obsessed with it and having missed the last 2 seasons the first time round I’m now reliving the upper east side dream and re-watching from the very beginning over on Netflix.  If you haven’t heard of GG or seen it, it’s a very tame, very unrealistic series about a bunch of rich guys and gals and their tales of heartache, cheating and lies!  The fashion is unreal and Blake Lively should be everyone’s woman crush

The AffairOh good lord in heaven please make season 3 of The Affair come back onto our TV screens sooner than the fall!!!  I binged watched both seasons of this brilliant American TV show like crazy and finished it within a few weeks and it is one of my favourites yet.  It is based around Alison and Noah, both married, who have an Affair but that really is just only the half of it.  There’s heartache, murder and just a little bit too many raunchy scenes but it is so enticing and well filmed there is no way you can’t adore it.  I am now in mourning as I have finished it with nothing to move onto!

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh:  I am an avid reader, I can’t sleep unless I have read at least a few lines from whatever book I’ve got on the go.  When I first started I Let You Go I really wasn’t sure if it was for me or where on earth it was going.  It felt a little dry and boring but within a few chapters my opinion completely changed and I was hooked.  I don’t really want to say too much at all as there are twists and turns but it’s a real gripping and emotional read that I guarantee will either have you in tears or hiding under the duvet with fear to the very end!  If you like Girl on the Train or Gone Girl then you will love I Let You Go

Olivia Burton WatchThis was a gift from my other half whilst he was poorly to say thank you for looking after him.  He didn’t need to get me a gift but of course I didn’t turn it down!  I had been wanting an Olivia Burton watch for so so long and he actually bought me 5 to choose my favourite from!  I chose the smallest one as I have a few chunkier watches that I find I rarely wear anymore as they just aren’t practical when running around soft play after an energetic toddler!  I also worried I would catch Harry on one of my larger watches but this one is so so light and small that its so comfortable to wear every day and its beautiful!

Topshop Necklace:  I have been wearing this rope style Topshop necklace for weeks now after picking it up on a bit of a whim to go with an “out out” outfit!  It fulfils all my copper/rose gold dreams and seems to go with absolutely everything I have been wearing.  I couldn't find my rose gold one online unfortunately but I have linked the equally pretty gold version

I would love to know what you have been loving lately, so please let me know in the comments!!


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Easter Festivities

Miss Etoile "Enjoy" Tin

Easter is definitely up there with one of my favourite holidays of the year.  Not only do most of us get to enjoy a long weekend away from the stress of work but we get to spend some quality time with our families – usually in the spring sunshine – and of course we get to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!

I have so many great childhood memories of Easter, one of the main ones being egg hunts at my grandparents’ house!  My granddad would find immense enjoyment in hiding little foil covered chocolate eggs in the most obscure and difficult to reach places around the garden and we would spend what felt like hours hunting them down!  Being the youngest by 7 years my sisters would beat me to it every time and end up with a bowl full way before I had even found one, but my g’dad would cheat and give me a few extra right out of the packet!  We would never ever find them all and the adults would forget where they hid them all, so sometime during the summer we would be playing in the garden and would find a melted mini egg stuck to the rose bush or in the cracks of the patio!

Another fond memory I have of Easter is making Easter bonnets which I don’t think is much of a tradition these days!  It’s such a a shame as we used to get so into it and create some really elaborate fancy hats complete with fluffy chicks, colourful feathers and mini eggs to take into school the next day! 

Of course we were always spoilt with chocolate eggs but being the weird kid that I was I never used to eat them and they would sit in the cupboard until they eventually got thrown away.  But as I got a bit older I went through a stage of melting them in a bowl and eating them with a spoon!  I told you I was a bit odd..

I feel like the build up to Easter and the whole celebration of it gets bigger and bigger every year.  We have always spent time with family during the long bank holiday weekend but I don’t remember there being so much merchandise around and we definitely never had an Easter basket like the ones people put together these days!  I hadn’t bothered making Harry an Easter basket in previous years as he has just been too little to get anything out of it, but this year I am fully embracing this Americanised trend!  I will do a separate mini post about whats in his basket soon!

We will be spending the Easter bank holiday with our families and there will be egg hunts on the agenda for sure but it feels like Easter already in our house as we have already started our festivities.
Amara, the online deparement store, have been kind enough to send us some beautiful things from their tableware and baking collection to use this Easter and I chose some pieces from the gorgeous Miss Etoile.  This is such a girly and fun collection stocked with gorgeous cake stands, teacups and saucers as well as milk jugs and tins.

Miss Etoile Egg Cup & Plate Set
Miss Etoile Mini Bird Bowl

For some reason we only seem to have boiled eggs at this time of year so we have been starting our days with boiled eggs and soldiers in these cute little egg cups and we have been nibbling on chocolate mini eggs for days already!!!

Miss Etoile Mini Plate on Stand
Miss Etoile Gold Heart Serving Plate

I had pinned a billion ideas for some great bakes, so we made some little chocolate cornflake nest cakes as I think these are pretty much fool proof and easy to do with a toddler (nothing can get burnt) We also made some shortbread which didn't really turn out as planned and my chicks and bunnies look a little mutated!!!  I tried..
I think the Miss Etoile gold heart serving plate I have displayed them on looks like something straight out of Kate Spade and it could be used as a trinket or jewellery dish as well as something to serve your Easter cakes upon.


Here are some of my favourite Easter activities to do with a toddler

Easter Egg Hunt:  Mini eggs are cheap as chips if you pick them up in the £1 shop and even the littlest ones will enjoy an egg hunt.  You could even use their Easter baskets as egg holders

Easter Bonnet Competition:  You can find some really cheap wicker hats in crafts shops or make your own with some card or paper.  All you need to do is get creative with paints, glue, chicks and feathers!

Easter Card or Picture Making:  Stock up on the paint and googly eyes and give your relatives some Easter pictures or cards to put on their fridge!

Easter Cake Baking:  You could get really fancy by making a speckled egg cake or like me go simple with some chocolate egg nests

Egg Painting:  Pinterest has some amazing Egg painting ideas whether you paint real egg shells or cheat like me and get some wooden ones!

Easter Colouring Pages: I found some great ones here that you can print out for free at home!

What are your favourite Easter activities??

*This post was written in collaboration with Amara


Sunday, 6 March 2016

A Mother's Day Salute

Just a short one today to say a very Happy Mother’s Day to all you mums out there.
To my online “Mama tribe” and my nearest and dearest best friends.  To the working Mum enjoying her weekend off and to the stay-at-home Mum still trying to work out if it is in fact the weekend.. and of course to my own Mamma Mia

I wish you all breakfast in bed washed down with hot tea and OJ, well behaved babes and toddlers and a day off of doing mundane chores

Happy Mother’s Day buddies, enjoy it, savour it, live it... it only happens once a year!!!

Friday, 4 March 2016

A Year of Sound | Harry's 1st Hearing Birthday

To my darling Harry,

Today, 4th of March 2016 marks your very first "hearing birthday" and my my, how you have changed since that very first sound you heard.  I still can't believe that 11,000 people have watched your special moment at your big "switch on" on YouTube.  One whole year of listening to mummy sing her silly made up songs, telling you off when you're naughty and chatting to you about your day.

I always knew you would be my best friend even before I had met you.  When you were fresh and new in my arms I instantly couldn't imagine a life BH (before Harry) and your colicky cries!  I knew you would be a real mummy's boy always willing to give me an extra kiss and cuddle for another biscuit.  You absolutely adore your daddy too though, he likes to wind you up just before bedtime with play fighting and running up and down the living room like a loony!  

You are saying so so much now, words like "peppa" "more" "biscuit" and "get down" among so many more, and if you don't know the word you will sign what you want to tell us.  You also insist profusely on calling me "Lucie" which I think you are now doing on purpose the more I tell you that I am mummy!!! You love to sing along to Frozen and Paw Patrol (at 5.30 in the morning) and lots of annoying songs from random videos you find on YouTube!  Cute!

You aren't all milk and cookies though.. You have the wildest temper on you that you most definitely get from your Daddy!  You throw a strop at pretty much anything, sometimes resulting in smashing your own head on the floor, throwing things and screeching!  You're 100% a typical two year old and you know how to play us up and get our blood boiling!!

But the best thing about you Harry is that you are so very kind.  Its the sort of kindness you don't always see in little ones your age.  Don't get me wrong you can be one hell of a pickle, you lash out when you're angry and you struggle with sharing but you will always give an upset child your toy or offer them a few of your precious raisins. You hate to see people upset and you do your best to make them smile, usually by giving them the biggest cheesiest grin or a stroke on the shoulder. You very rarely pass up the chance of giving people a smooch and one of your most used words right now is "cuddle".  You are ever so friendly and you'll play with anybody that will have you.  You love to run after the bigger kids, especially your cousins Lily and Issy who dote on your every move!  I'm just waiting for the day that they start to find you annoying and the raging fights begin, but for now I'll relish in the beautiful relationship you have with them.

In a way I feel so lucky the world decided you would be deaf and that I would be the one to take care of you.  I've felt tremendous pain for you, felt so incredibly sad but mostly felt pure happiness and wonder.  You have opened up a whole new horizon for us as a family, we've met people we would never have met, done things we would never have had the opportunity to do and ultimately lead us down a path I never imagined we would be walking.  That path has been really really special and actually pretty fantastic and you have had so many people by your side cheering you on every step of the way. 

Don't be afraid to be different my love, you were born to do something unique and distinctive.  You are going to grow up to do some really amazing things, I can see it in that sparkle in your eyes and I'm so excited to watch it happen.  

Happy First Hearing Birthday Harry, I love you little bug,

Mummy xx

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