Friday, 30 January 2015

Bye bye to January #littleloves

How good does it feel to be into the last few days of January?  I find January quite a tough month.  Most people are feeling very motivated and full of enthusiasm for new goals and challenges but I feel like I take a bit longer to get going and generally feel much better once January's out of the way.  The nights are already getting lighter thankfully (couldn't believe it was still semi light at 5pm yesterday) and there's the anticipation of Spring everywhere you turn - fashion, homeware and even things for Easter are cropping up already.  These have all brought a smile to my face this week.

My other #littleloves getting me through the last week of January have been...

'Capture by Lucy'.  A blog I've only just discovered this week, when I stumbled across a post of her's called 'Real Life Vs Insta Life'.  Its such a clever post showing a comparison of real life pics and the ones that appears on Instagram.  It really made me smile and was a refreshing reminder that what we see on Instagram is only one part of life.  The part that person chooses to show the world.  If you haven't read it I'd really recommend a nosey.  Her blog is also full of fantastic photography which is also definitely worth a look.

Modern Family.  This might actually be my favourite show.  Its such an easy watch and is fast replacing what Friends was to me.  That programme that is familiar and comforting and is guaranteed to draw a smile, no matter how many times you watch each episode.  I don't think I could pick a favourite character, they are all written and acted so brilliantly, but Mark's is 100% Phil Dunphy.  His one liners are hilarious and I kind of love the fact that Mark would be only to glad to turn into him one day.  Its one of few programmes that Mark and I often sit down and watch together and laugh out loud to.

This week I've managed to ditch the changing bag a few times in favour of one of my own bags and its felt great.  Granted its been on short trips to the shops, etc when I'm pretty sure I won't need anything for Charlotte, but its amazing how not having a bulging changing bag hanging off you can make you feel a bit more like you.
I love this bag from Fossil.  Its a classic design which won't date and is just the right size.  Enough space for everything I need without it being too big and there being the temptation to over pack.

Not something I've loved about this week but probably the thing I've heard the most, has been coughs and sneezes.  Both Lucas and Charlotte have been coughing and sneezing all week, the poor wee toots.  I saw on BBC weather that we were due for another big dump of snow in the next few days so I made a dash to our local Tesco to stock up on Calcough, snuffle babe and plenty soft tissues.  Needless to say our house smells very Eucalyptus'ee ( not sure that's a word, but you know what I mean) at the minute.  I will be so glad when cold and flu season is over.


Lucas has been making lots of towers out of Charlotte's stacking blocks.  He has a whole room full of his own toys but loves playing with Charlotte's ones and getting her involved.  Its lovely to watch the two of them together now that she's getting older and is sitting up and able to play a bit.  I've had to stop myself laughing though when Lucas gets half way through building a tower and Charlotte knocks it over.  She screeches with delight, while he huffs with frustration and starts the process all over again. He's nothing if not determined.

And lastly...

Thank you for all the lovely comments people have left me on various posts this week.  I'm still fairly new to this whole blogging thing, so I really appreciate how lovely so many of you have been.

Don't forget you can also find me on


Hope you all have a great weekend.  I'm hoping ours is much less eventful than last weekend.




Monday, 26 January 2015

The ordinary moments - peekaboo and laughter

This weekend I have never been so thankful for the 'ordinary moments' with my family.  The little things which happen every day and are so special, but are sometimes overshadowed by the bigger, more exciting events like holidays, birthdays and milestones.

Something as simple as watching Lucas and Charlotte, my two babies, laughing and playing with each other yesterday was the best thing in the world after our weekend got off to a terrifying start.

Friday evening was one of the worst experiences of my life.  My little Lucas was rushed to hospital with suspected meningitis.  Before I go any further though, you should know that thankfully he is absolutely fine and is currently still tucked up in bed fast asleep while I write this.

But for those few terrifying hours on Friday I would have done anything, given anything, just for my little Lucas Bear to be alright.

Lucas bounded into the house at Friday teatime filled with excitement from his latest football practice and the added bonus that his Daddy had been to watch him.  Within 10 minutes he was complaining of a sore neck which quickly turned into him being very sick and becoming almost unresponsive, sat slumped on Mark's knee on the bathroom floor. 

Was this just a bug?  Kids go downhill so quickly when they're not well, but this felt different and was scary, so I phoned NHS 24.  After quickly running through Lucas' symptoms, the lady on the other end of the phone said the words no parent wants to hear.  "We need to get Lucas to hospital as he's showing signs of meningitis.  We're sending an ambulance urgently."  I was the parent and had to stay strong and keep it together didn't I?, but I couldn't, I burst into tears and was filled with fear for my little boy.

The ambulance was with us so quickly and by this point Lucas had come to a little and was able to speak to the paramedics.  This was my first ever interaction with paramedics and I was completely blown away by them.  Of course they were professional and immediately started doing checks on Lucas but it was the other things.  They somehow managed to keep Mark and I calm and chatted away to Lucas as if they'd been friends for years.  These guys are worth their absolute weight in gold and I will never forget how brilliant they were with my most precious little boy that night.

Lucas was then whisked off in the ambulance with his Dad, leaving Charlotte and I behind.  This was the first time Lucas had been ill since we'd had Charlotte.  The logistics of having two children when one is unwell wasn't something I'd ever considered. Before Charlotte I would have been straight in that ambulance with Lucas , dropping everything, but this time I couldn't.  We had Charlotte and she needed me too.  So as a parent unit Mark and I split up, Mark going with Lucas and me staying with Charlotte to get her fed and to bed.  This was so unbelievably difficult, watching Lucas leave and just praying he would be ok, but something I guess comes with being a parent.

Once at hospital and checked over, the doctors thankfullly dismissed the possibility of it being meningitis but decided to keep him in overnight for observation.

We still don't know what Friday night was down to but as I picked up my brave little boy on Saturday morning and was met with his smiling face and a cuddle, he told me he was feeling much better and that was all that mattered.

I really wasn't sure whether or not to share our experience on here but decided to as an important reminder to myself that the little things I stress about on a daily basis really don't matter.   Who cares if the house is a mess and the washing pile is overflowing?  No one apart from me, I suspect.  So lets all give ourselves a break and take the time to enjoy the ordinary moments.

Needless to say we've had a quiet rest of the weekend just taking stock of how lucky we are to have him back safe and sound and enjoying the ordinary moments of a Sunday afternoon (playing, snacks and Cbeebies) which events like Friday evening make you feel like the luckiest person alive to be able to enjoy.



mummy daddy me


Friday, 23 January 2015

Perfume, maps and treasure #littleloves

Happy Friday lovelies,

I know everyone has been talking about the weather this week but wow has it been cold.  We're used to freezing cold, wintry weather up here in Aberdeenshire, but this week has been something else.  Yesterday it was still -7 at lunchtime and even my car had given up and decided it was too cold to move (its ok now, thankfully).

But at least its almost the weekend when for once we don't have any plans and its perfectly ok to stay in our jammies 'til lunchtime if we want, so it can get as cold as it likes.

To round of the week nicely I'm linking up with Morgana from 'But Why Mummy Why?' again for this week's #littleloves.  Be sure to head over to her blog to see what other bloggers have loved this week.

So what have been my #littleloves this week?...


Lucas got some new books for Christmas and a stand out favourite has been 'What the ladybird heard'. This is another of Julia Donaldson's creations, so before even reading it we were pretty much guaranteed it would be a hit with Lucas, as all her other stories have been.  I don't think there's been a day recently when Lucas hasn't brought this book to me to read. As you'd expect there is an infectious, rhyming story which Lucas had memorised by about the third read and he loves the illustrations, especially the map which he  dissects every time we read the story.


My husband Mark and I have been watching Babylon this week.  It's a short series we Sky +'d before Christmas and are only now getting round to watching.  The black comedy drama from Danny Boyle, starring James Nesbitt centres round the Metropolitan Police's PR department.  Its quite a strange mixture of a programme and not like anything else I've watched recently, but so far I really like it.  The acting is great, especially Brit Marling who plays Liz Garvey, the new Head of PR.


This week I have rediscovered one of my favourite perfumes.  Jo Malone's Silk Blossom Cologne.  It was a limited edition fragrance which I was given by some friends last summer as part of my 30th birthday present.  Its quite a fresh, light fragrance and so had been a bit forgotten about lately in favour of some of my more headier, winter fragrances.  But this week I've been all about looking forward to Spring (even though its currently snowing with us), so out this favourite came and I love it more than ever.


Not much to be honest as my car radio/cd player has packed in :(  I never realised how much I enjoy having the radio on in the background on even the shortest trips to nursery or the supermarket until I've had to do without it. We've been making do with a sing song in the car instead though.  Lucas has been belting out his favourite ever song - 'Treasure' by Bruno Mars - its the one song he always asks me to put on, every time we set foot in the car.  I love him pointing at Charlotte in the back of the car and singing, "You are my treasure, yeah you, you, you, you are..."

So just for Lucas, here it is...


How gorgeous are these initial pictures which were made for me as presents for newborn twin girls, by my very creative friend.  The initials are made of tiny paper hearts and stars which are in the prettiest pastel floral prints.  Shopping for baby presents is so lovely but it can be tricky trying to come up with something a bit different that they won't already have.  So I opted for something personalised and these are perfect little keepsakes.  To see more of my friends design's go to the L&L Facebook page.

And lastly...

As the weathers been so cold this week we decided to cheer ourselves up by researching summer holidays.  I can't wait to get something booked and start looking forward to it.  I mentioned in my New Years post that this is the last summer before Lucas starts school and we're able to take advantage of going away during term time (fingers crossed for some better deals).
I'd love to hear your recommendations of family holidays you've been on.  Have you been to a particular country or resort that was good for young families or is there a holiday operator or airline you think are great when it comes to kids?

Have a great weekend!



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A proud mummy week

I couldn't have been prouder of my little Lucas Bear this last week.  Of course I'm always a proud mummy but this week a  few things in particular reminded me how lucky I am to have such a sweet natured and kind little boy, who's only 4.

At the start of the week his nursery teacher pulled me aside for a "quick word" (first thought - what has my little monkey been up to??).  How wrong I was.  The teacher actually wanted to tell me that Lucas had been chosen to be a buddy for some of the new, younger children who had just started and had done a fantastic job which they were really impressed with.  He proudly showed me the special sticker he'd been given for showing the boys and girls where to hand up their coats and bags, where to put their snack cards and how to wash their hands properly.  Its little over 6 months since Lucas started at the nursery and in that short time he's become such a confident, independent little boy.

Later in the week a mum stopped me at nursery to tell me that the night before when she asked her daughter what the best bit of her day had been, she replied, "when Lucas was really kind and helped me at Gym Tots".  I could feel myself welling up right there in the school corridor as she told me, but I pulled it together and just smiled.  As I walked away I had a definite spring in my step and felt so proud of my little boy.  Since then I've really been thinking about what makes Lucas, Lucas....

He's such a character with a great cheeky sense of humor which he is showing more and more.

A few nights ago I'd put him to bed and then went to take my make-up off.  As I stood in the bathroom washing my face, he all of a sudden appeared in the mirror, standing behind me. I jumped out of my skin and he burst into a fit of the giggles "hehe, I scared you mummy!"

And yesterday he burst into the room holding a toy frog shouting,  "what did the frog say when he landed on a pile of books?...readit, readit" and as quickly as he'd appeared he was gone again.

But as lively as he is he's also got a really sensitive side and is always concerned that everything and everyone is ok.  He insists on holding the door open at nursery for everyone, even when I'm shouting at him to hurry up because we're going to be late for football.  He's always the first to ask for a kiss and a "family cuddle" and he has spent so much time this weekend showing Charlotte how to crawl, shouting "Come on Charlotte, I know you can do it".

Some other things that make Lucas, Lucas are he likes his routine to the absolute button, hates a messy playroom and insists on wearing an apron to eat any tea he thinks might get him messy (I'm sure a lot of these things are down to my slight OCD rubbing off on him, which I really hate).

He's no angel though and most days he tests my patience to the limit.  At the minute he just doesn't listen (I'm hoping its a phase which will be short-lived but I think I'm kidding myself) but instead talks at a million miles an hour and asks countless questions from the moment he gets up, until his head hits the pillow at night (if there's ever a silence you can count on Lucas to fill it).  Its frustrating and tiring at times but when I hear these comments from other people about what a lovely, kind boy he is it makes me realise I do take for granted just how good he really is, most of the time.

Feeling guilty incase he doesn't know how proud I am of him, I cuddled up to him on the couch to tell him and make sure he knows what a good boy he's been recently.  His reply... a casual "I know".  I couldn't help laughing...a typical Lucas remark.  So maybe I shouldn't beat myself up too much.



Friday, 16 January 2015

#littleloves 16/01/15

Happy Friday everyone!! Another week down, another week closer to Spring.  I know I shouldn't be wishing the weeks away but I'm really longing for the light mornings and nights already.

This week we've properly been back into the swing of things after the Christmas holidays and have settled back into our routines nicely.  It was lovely having a break from our busy schedule of nursery and activities but I really think we all, especially Lucas thrive on routine.

The weather has still been pretty awful up here in the NE of Scotland - gale force winds and snow but that's given me the excuse (if I ever needed one) to keep cosy, have plenty of cuppas and cake with friends and snuggles on the couch with my little family.

But what else has filled my week...


One of my favourite books at the minute is 'Design bloggers at home' by Ellie Tennant.  It's such a lovely coffee table book full of bloggers' stories and interior design inspiration.  I could lose hours flicking through books like this (I should be so lucky) with a cosy throw and a cup of coffee.  I find it so interesting having a sneak peak into people's houses and understanding more about all the bits and pieces that make up a particular look or trend - this book does just that, so to me its perfect.  As you'd expect it also has fantastic photos from the various blogs featured too. My Scandinanvian Home is included in the book ,which is one of my favourite interior design blogs.


I haven't really watched much this week (not unless you count CBeebies).  I did catch a bit of the 'The Voice' on Saturday, even though I'm not a huge fan of it.  The best bit of the show for me is and his weird and wonderful metaphors.  Not sure yet what I think of Rita Ora as a judge...


I love my Chelsea boots.  They literally go with everything.  Skinny jeans, leggings, a cute dress and tights.  They're so easy to chuck on whether its to go for coffee/ lunch date and shopping with a friend or doing the nursery run.  They have definitely been my go to shoe for Autumn/ Winter.  They're starting to look pretty scuffed up but I actually like them more this way.


This week I've been listening to some of my old favourites, including 'Lucky Now' by Ryan Adams.  Its a couple of years old and I hadn't listened to it for ages so I'd forgotten how lovely it is to just have on in the background while I'm getting on with things or stealing a moment or two relaxing.  For Mark's birthday a couple of years ago we went to see him at a really small venue in Edinburgh and he was one of the best live performers I've ever heard.


I'm not a great cook, but my husband is and so he does a lot of the cooking in our house.  I would love to be more confident in the kitchen though and so have been pushing myself to cook more and just give it a go.  A weekly favourite which I have been making and getting pretty good at, I think, is Jamie Oliver's Chill con Carne.  Even I find this really quick and easy to throw together when we get in from nursery and I'm proud as punch that the whole family really likes it.  An added bonus is that its a great way of getting some sneaky veg into Lucas.

And lastly...

I surprised myself this week and did something I never thought I would...signed myself up to run at 5K later in the year.  Now I know its only a 5K but to me even signing up and committing to do this is a big deal because lets face it, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to exercise.  But I do want to shift the last of the baby weight this year and so I figured giving myself something to aim for is what's going to get me off the couch once the little ones are in bed and get moving.  I hear everyone talking about 'the running bug' so lets see if I catch it.

Have a great weekend everyone!



Tuesday, 13 January 2015

My Winter skincare essentials

These last few weeks have been so cold up in Aberdeenshire and my skin has really been suffering.  I hate that uncomfortable, stingy way my skin gets at this time of year when its so dry from going between a house/car with the heating whacked up, to out in the icy cold wind and snow.  There's been a few products in my daily routine that have really helped though, so no matter how much of a rush I'm in I'll make sure to use these few things.

1. Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
I have used this for years and every time I've been lured away by a new product, I've always come back to this.  Its so gentle and completely fuss free, and the cosy muslin cloth to wipe away the day is so comforting.

2. Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly
This is something new to me.  My sister gave me it and wow, I love it.  Its not like anything I've ever used before.  Its a clear gel consistency which you need a pea size amount of and it just disappears into your skin instantly, leaving no residue behind.  I've been using this in the morning and its a fantastic make-up base too.  Its supposed to lock moisture into your skin and so far its doing a great job.

3. Clarins Face Treatment Oil Lotus
When I was pregnant with Charlotte I went for a 'mum to be' facial at the Clarins Spa at Crieff Hydro and this was one of the products they used.  The smell is so relaxing and when I put this on before bed, my skin feels so soft in the morning.  Its not the cheapest product but you only need one drop of it each night.  I've only used two thirds of the bottle I bought last March!

4. Korres Jasmine Lip Butter
I'm a big fan of the Korres range.  It's all organic and doesn't contain any parabens,mineral oils, etc.  The lip butter is light but really moisturising and goes on without any stickiness.  The jasmine flavour, which is the one I have, also leaves a really subtle pale pink wash on the lips which brightens even the dullest winter complexion.  It lasts too, so need to keep applying and even with the icy cold winds of the North East of Scotland my lips have not been dry or cracked while using this.

5. Korres Almond Oil and Shea Butter hand cream
My hands at any time of the year can be really dry.  I think when you're a mum you wash your hand so many times a day, they don't really stand a chance.  Once the winter weather kicks in too, well that's when my hands this year have been unbelievably sore.  I hate thick, tacky hand creams though where you can't touch anything straight after applying it, which is why in the past I've been so bad at putting them on.  But this one from Korres disappears as soon as you rub it in.  No greasiness and it feels really nourishing - perfect.  I also really like the subtle almond scent it has.  A nice change to the usual floral scent of hand creams.

I'd love to know what winter skincare you swear by and if I'm missing out...


Saturday, 10 January 2015

# Little Loves 10/1/15

When I started blogging late last year one of the main reasons I decided to do it was so I would have a record of all the special little moments, funny stories and milestones we share as a family but too often forget about or take for granted when life is so busy. So during a late night catch up on some of my favourite blogs  I stumbled across a new one to me, 'But Why Mummy Why' and a weekly post Morgana who's blog it is does called #Little Loves which is all about exactly this - appreciating the little things which when pieced together make up your week.  So I thought I'd give it a go...


A new blog I've come across this week and been loving is 'Bump to Baby' and in particular the post 'Two years of blogging'. As a new blogger its so interesting to read about why other people started their blog, the journey its taken them on and how they feel about it now. Alex from 'Bump to Baby' talks in the post about what a nice community the blogging one is to be a part of and I have to agree. In the short time I've been writing my blog people have been so supportive and friendly.


Browsing through Netflix one evening we came across a docu-film called Black Fish.  Its not our usual kind of thing and to be honest Mark was more interested in watching it than me, but I stuck with it.  It actually ended up being one of those "I'll just watch 5 more minutes" but you can't stop watching it.  The film is pitched as being the truth behind Sea World's treatment of the Orca Killer Whales.  Whether it is in fact the truth or just what the film makers believes to be the truth, its definitely an eye-opener and easy to see why its such a controversial film.  Its not an easy watch, in fact at some points it was pretty uncomfortable and upsetting, but its something a bit different and worth a watch.


My Links of London Sweetie bracelet.  I was given this as a wedding present from my Godmother and really love the simple style of it.  When Lucas was born I was given the 'L' charm (I still need to add a 'C' to it) and at Christmas I added to it again.  My Auntie who lives in Hong Kong sent me a silver charm which has Charlotte's footprint on one side and Lucas' handprint on the other.  Its from a company called Small Print and is something I really treasure.


Our whole family loves the new Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars song, Uptown Funk.  On a wet, dark, miserable morning you can usually find Lucas and I having a little sing and dance to it in our kitchen over brekkie while Charlotte giggles away in her highchair.


We've recently started weaning Charlotte and so out came our Annabel Karmel book which was our go to book with Lucas.  Charlotte was definitely ready for solids and has been gobbling up the basic fruit and veg purees no problem.  I felt like she was starting to get a bit bored of them though, so this week we introduced chicken with Anabel Karmel's  'One Pot Chicken' recipe.  This was a real favourite of Lucas' and so I was hoping it would be a hit with Charlotte too (it was).  Chicken, onions, carrots and sweet potato cooked in low salt chicken stock and then blitzed up with the hand blender.  So easy and so yummy for Charlotte.

And lastly

Thank you so much to all my readers and followers, whether its on Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  I've only been blogging for a little over a month and am still finding my feet but am loving it and am looking forward to really getting stuck in this year.  I'm so excited to see how it all goes and would love you to come along for the ride!




Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Happy 2015

A very belated Happy New Year and welcome to my first post of 2015!

I love Christmas and everything that comes with it, but a big part of me was glad on Saturday when we packed away all the Christmas decorations for another year and got our house back to normal, ready for getting back into our normal routines.

The Christmas and New Year period was the first time we'd had a decent amount of time together as a family since Charlotte was born so we decided to really make the most of it.

So what did we get up to...

Christmas got off to a great start with the arrival of my sister who lives in LA.  Lucas loves spending time with her and was especially excited that she was spending Christmas with us.  He was even more excited on Christmas Eve when she unveiled the most amazing Christmas Eve box full of American treats for him and Charlotte.  Pajamas, hot chocolate and marshmallows, a DVD, sweets, stickers and colouring in, to name just a few things.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day were lovely.  Surprisingly laid back which was great and allowed us to really take it all in and enjoy the special moments.  Lucas was, as you'd expect - high as a kite and his excitement didn't dip throughout the day -  I wouldn't have had it any other way.  His little face as he unwrapped each present was amazing and the best feeling in the world.  And Charlotte's first Christmas just passed her by in her usual content and smiley way.  Watching her, watching Lucas and every so often let out a little high pitched squeal  of excitement at something he was doing was so special and made me look forward to our family growing up together even more.

On the 28th we upped sticks and headed south with some friends and their children (and the dogs) for a week away in Stirlingshire.  We'd never been away for New Year but decided early in 2014 to book a big house in the country for some chill time with friends who also have young children.  Lets face it, trying to get a babysitter on New Years Eve is near impossible so we decided to bring the party to us.  The house and its surroundings were perfect.  Plenty of space for the children and dogs to race about burning off the last of the Christmas energy.  Our days were made up of  going for walks, chatting, eating plenty of delicious food and in the evening once all the babies and children were in bed, settling down with a few glasses of wine and our board game of choice for that night - perfect.

On the car journey home I asked Lucas what his favourite bit of the holiday had been.  His answer - "splashing in the puddles with mummy and helping Megan (one of my friends) bath Rory (her little boy)."  Proof that the simplest of things make them happy - which I need to remind myself of the next time I have a case of the 'mummy guilt' for not doing something different with him every week.

And so in the blink of an eye we're in 2015...

I don't usually make New Years resolutions - I think because any time I have, I've broken them, so this year I'm disguising them as my '2015 goals' instead, in the hope I stick to them (it makes sense in my head).

My 2015 goals:

1. More me time - as a mum its easy to lose yourself in mummy duties and with a new baby I think this happens even more.  I think its important though to have something just for you  and this year I'm really looking forward to spending time on my blog, as well as learning more about photography.

2. Lose the baby weight - I don't know about other mums out there but I've found after both my pregnancies that the first bit of baby weight falls off quite quickly but its that last bit that's hardest to shift.  The 'mummy jiggle' as I call it.  Well this year I'm determined to wave goodbye to the jiggle - or at least some of it.

3. Family holiday  - what with saving for our new house, moving, being pregnant and having Charlotte we haven't been on holiday for a couple of years.  This summer will be our last chance to take advantage of not having to go during the school holidays as Lucas starts school in August, so we'd be stupid not to make the most of the cheaper deals, right?!

4, Dates with the husband - I mentioned in my last post how much I still, even after all this time enjoy us spending time just the two of us away from the children, but it always seems to be at the bottom of the list of priorities.  This year we're determined to kick this habit and get some dates organised.  One a month is the goal, so lets see how we get on.

I've got a good feeling about 2015... I wonder what it holds?