What we're reading | the spring edit

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Snuggle the Baby

There's nothing I love more than reading a book in the sunshine. On a beach, in the garden, or a park; I'm not fussy. 

It's fair to say this never happens any more. Never. I took a book to the beach with the kids one day last summer. Hahahaha! 

Anyway, books and sunshine are a perfect combination, if you ask me. Albeit a rare one. I try to refresh our bookshelf a little each season. Although Ayden has other ideas and still insists on reading a book from our Halloween collection every night! These books aren't exactly spring-themed, but they're bright, colourful and we love them.

Moomin's very big lift the flap book

I was a huge Moomin fan as a child and so excited for this book to arrive. I wasn't disappointed. The illustrations are adorable and the fact it's a lift-the-flap book... well, it doesn't get much better than that, if you ask me. 

Moomin's very big lift the flap book

All three of my children sat down to read it and took it in turns to lift the flaps and ask Ayden what was underneath each one. Ayden really enjoys the book and asks to read it most nights. After Dracula!

Snuggle the Baby

I'd seen Snuggle the Baby on a few of the Instagram feeds I follow, always with rave reviews. They were right. This book is really unique and interactive. It's become a real favourite in our house. Ayden is fascinated with babies at the moment, so I knew he'd love it. Meryn adores it too and reads it to him most days. You can lift pieces out of the book, like a bottle to feed the baby, and change the baby's nappy. It really is a lovely book.

Tom Gates books

After a particularly rainy, Xbox-intense morning during the Easter holidays, I asked Dylan to turn it off and go read a book for a while. His reply was that "books are rubbish". Say what? Nuh-uh. Not on my watch matey. So I set about re-igniting Dylan's enthusiasm for reading. 

We've always read to our children every night since they were babies. They have school books to read to themselves each week, but other than that, we read to them. I was such bookworm as a kid and remember getting hooked on a series of books and being desperate to read the next one. I wanted to find a series that would help Dylan and Meryn to feel the same way. We've read most of the Roald Dahl and David Walliams books to them, so I did some research and came across the Tom Gates series. Mission accomplished. Dylan has read four books from the series in as many weeks and is hooked. Meryn is reading them too and loves them just as much. I can hear them giggling away in bed as they read and it's the best sound ever. So, thank you Liz Pichon. My little bookworms approve. 

I'm always on the lookout for new book recommendations for my little ones. What are you reading at the moment?

♡ Little bits #21 ♡

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

1. How beautiful is this little girl? I realise I'm pretty biased, but I think she's wonderful ♡
2. Florals and pandas... what's not to love? This has got to be the perfect spring outfit for girls. 
3. So in love with my Kikki K planner. I feel so much more organised when I use it. Ironically, I really need to plan in some time to update my planner every week, or it doesn't get done.
4. This little pickle's last sleep as a one year old.

5. My baby is two!
6. Being two is hard work. Loving his birthday outfit ♡ sweatshirt by Hugo Loves Tiki.
7. Enjoying his new toys. 
8. The perfect birthday cake? It was so simple and definitely has the wow factor. Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe this week.

9. After the best day celebrating his birthday, my little man came down with a tummy bug. It's so awful seeing such a little one feeling so poorly. He's on the mend now thankfully, but wasn't the best first week of being two :(
10. Then it was my birthday! I woke up to these little beauties. Mmmmm.
11. Krispy Kreme heaven.
12. A birthday date night was much appreciated after a few days of quarantine. We went for mexican street food and margaritas at Wahaca, followed by adventure golf. It's lovely to get out with my handsome husband and just be the two of us for a while. And that margarita was seriously good!

The Ordinary Moments | my poorly babies

Monday, 20 April 2015


Keep away! The lurgy has struck.

On the evening of his birthday my newly two-year old little man started being sick and he's been pretty poorly ever since. 

Just as Ayden's symptoms started to improve, Dylan and Meryn woke us in the night with the dreaded "mummy, I feel sick".

*heart sinks*

It's never easy when your little ones are sick. We've all been there. Covered in vomit and/or snot. Drenching anything that'll stay still long enough in Dettol. Endless wash/dry/wash/dry cycle. Broken sleep (even more so than normal). 

But the cuddles... it's all worth it for the cuddles. Ayden is such a busy little man, its been lovely to just lie on the sofa and hug him. And Dylan and Meryn have been extra snuggly too.

Thankfully, they're on the mend now and starting to get their appetites back. Energy levels are still pretty low though, so I'm making the most of the cuddles before they're bouncing round like Tigger on Red Bull again. 

Insta-love | who I follow on Instagram

Friday, 17 April 2015

With over 600 feeds to choose from, narrowing my Instagram faves down to just five was no easy task. 

Instagram is my favourite social media platform, hands down. Interiors, food, fashion, beauty, kittens... it's got it all. I've discovered so many amazing brands and small businesses through Instagram and met some lovely mamas who inspire me daily.

There are dozens of accounts that I browse stalk on a daily basis, but these fabulous five are my faves at the moment.

Chloeuberkid, MummyDaddyMe, Tomanychildren
Dancewithdirtyfeet, Mariebitsandclips
clockwise from top left: Chloeuberkid, MummyDaddyMe, Tomanychildren,
Mariebitsandclips, Dancewithdirtyfeet

If you're into kids' fashion, amazing interiors and appreciate spot-on photography, you need to check out Chloe's feed. Mummy to four super-stylish little ones, her posts are flawless and so inspiring. Her children's' bedrooms are right up my street and have given me lots of ideas for Meryn's new room.

I've followed Katie's blog for a long time and enjoy reading about her family. Her Instagram feed is just as lovely. Katie's photos always tell a story, which I love. Her two beautiful daughters are always dressed to perfection and she's posted some great shots of her interiors projects lately too. I also have Katie to thank for getting me back into running. Her fitness posts on Instagram and her blog gave me the kick up the bum I needed to dust off the running shoes and get back out there.

Ness is Wonder Woman  I have no doubt about it. Mummy to 11 beautiful children, Ness' feed is full of photos of her lovely home and amazing family. She even manages to make her laundry pile look inspiring. From her spreads of delicious snacks for the kids, to her immaculate kitchen, beautiful brood and collection of pretty floral dresses, Ness' feed is a must-see for me.

I've followed Julie and Birdie's adventures for a couple of years now and they're just going from strength to strength. 'Monochrome magic' is a pretty good description of Julie's feed. Whether its photos of Birdie rocking the latest in black and white chic, to Julie's stylish home and her latest monochrome must-haves. Her posts are always effortlessly styled to perfection and just ooze cool. Just beware, Birdie has the power to convince you to buy that t-shirt she looks so adorable in for your own toddler... you've been warned. 

One of my newest insta-obsessions, but already a firm favourite. Marie is a YouTuber and I've followed her vlogs for a few years now; I'm so happy she's on Instagram. Marie is an inspiration in so many ways. Her outlook on life, no matter what it deals you, is so positive. Her beautiful family, vlogs and photos never fail to make me smile.

So what are you waiting for? Click that app and check them out. I promise you won't regret it. Any recommendations for great feeds to follow gratefully received too. And if you'd like to drop by and check out my feed, I'd love to see you :) 

Flowers for spring | the perfect outfit for my little lady

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Popupshop panda skirt and floral gym piece, Cissy Wears

If I could squeeze myself into this beautiful outfit, I bloody well would. I mean, look at it. It's perfect. 

At least, I think it is. And so does my little lady. The person I actually got it for. Honest...

These are the first Popupshop pieces I've bought and I'm so impressed. The quality is fantastic; the softest, 100% organic cotton. And the prints speak for themselves. The panda skirt goes without saying. How cool is that!? And with the beautiful floral gym piece; I just love it. 

I can imagine Meryn wearing this with some simple sandals and a floral crown in her sun-bleached, wavy hair this summer.

I picked these up from one of my favourite online retailers, and Queen Enabler, Cissy Wears. But proceed with caution. Her store is all kinds of awesome. You've been warned ;)

Ayden is two

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Yesterday, this beautiful little boy turned two. We had a lovely day playing with new toys, eating cake and ice-cream and celebrating at home.

Ayden's second birthday

I started doing a birthday interview for each of my little ones last year. Obviously Ayden is a little young to answer his own questions, so I thought I'd answer a shorter version on his behalf just to document his little personality as a new two-year old.

Favourite colour? As a huge TMNT fan, I'm thinking you're pretty keen on green. As far as you're concerned, anything green is a turtle! 
Favourite animal? Hmmm... turtle!?
Favourite book? We Belong Together, by Joyce Wan.
Favourite TV show? You love watching Strawberry Shortcake with your big sister, after school. You also love Twirlywoos, Care Bears and Dip Dap.
Favourite movie? Toy Story, hands down.
Favourite song? The theme tune to the TMNT movie, 'Shell Shocked'. We have to listen to it every day!
Favourite food? Mashed sweet potatoes, humous, strawberries, kiwis and Barney Bears.
Favourite drink? Water.
Favourite toy? Your big brother's turtle figures.
What did you do on your birthday? We spent the morning opening presents and playing with them. After lunch we went with nanny to get ice cream, before picking Dylan and Meryn up from school and having a birthday tea party at home. 

Happy birthday beautiful boy ♡

Birthday piñata cake

Birthday piñata cake

Birthday ice-cream

Second birthday presents

Birthday outfit - Cissy Wears, Hugo Loves Tiki, Bobo Choses, Buffalo and Bear

The ordinary moments | last days of babyhood

Monday, 13 April 2015


Tomorrow this little beauty turns two. 

No longer a baby. 100% toddler. And to say I feel emotional about the whole thing is a colossal understatement. 

I'm pretty sure most parents feel pretty bittersweet about the first few birthdays, as your precious little one races from one milestone to the next. The fact that Ayden is baby number three makes it no less emotional. If anything, I feel more so this time round as he may well be my last baby. (possibly...)

Ayden is our happy, bright, clever, handsome, funny, loving, gentle, cherished little boy and we all adore him more than we ever thought possible. With every week he just becomes more wonderful and we feel so lucky to have him. 

These photos were taken in his last week as a one year old. Dancing and playing on the beach with his heroes, his big brother and sister. 

If anyone needs me, I'll be sobbing into the last half of an easter egg wondering where the bloody hell the last two years have gone.

♡ Little bits #20 ♡

Friday, 10 April 2015

1. What a weekend! What a brilliant couple of weeks in fact. Sunshine, quality time and a boat load of chocolate. Doesn't get much better than that.
2. This little man comes to life on the beach. His imagination takes over and he just plays. It's lovely to watch. At home he spends as much time as he can get away with plugged in to his Xbox or iPad, so I love taking him away from that, into the fresh air. 
3. Obligatory Easter nest making. Meryn loves to help in the kitchen - in fact, she made these all on her own pretty much. With a little help from the tiny one on the right ;)
4. Ayden's first selfie!

5. Aargh! Playdoh colours mixed together. Wrong. Just, wrong.
6. We had the beach pretty much to ourselves. I feel so lucky to be able to spend so much time by the sea.
7. My four little beach buddies love to play together.
8. This little girl gets more and more beautiful every day. Inside and out.

9. The big one. The one they've been waiting for since 26 December! Easter Sunday. There was chocolate. A lot of it. Ayden couldn't believe his luck.
10. Team work for the egg hunt. And Dylan embracing his role as chief egg taster.
11. Ayden enjoying his stash in the sunshine.
12. My kinda Easter haul :)

Have courage and be kind

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

I sat watching Cinderella last night (which was wonderful!) and it made me think. What would be the one piece of advice I would give my children, over all others?

I spend so much of my time trying to teach them things - always be polite, play nicely, share, be yourself, try your best, eat broccoli - but if I could leave them with only one thing, what would it be? No pressure.

But first, the film. Wow. 

I must admit, I'm starting from a pretty fluffy place - I love everything sparkly, magical, sugar-coated, Disney. It's right up my street; so I was never going to dislike Cinderella. But it really captivated me. Everyone knows the story and, you know, Disney loves a good moral. But something about the way the characters were portrayed really struck a chord.

Cinderella's mother tells her daughter to always have courage and be kind. This sums it up pretty perfectly for me. To be brave in life and brave in love, but not at the expense of someone else. To treat others as you want to be treated yourself. To be kind-hearted and fair. All things I value in other people and hope my children will grow up to value themselves.

Yes Cinderella was relentlessly positive, but she's no sap. She looks for the good in people and sees the world not as it is, but as it could be. Good for her.

It's easy to sneer and criticise someone for being 'too nice' and that really bothers me. Since when is it a weakness to be kind? I'm all for assertiveness and confidence. I want my children to be strong and stand up for themselves and what they believe in, but to always be a kind person. In my opinion, there's way more strength in accepting other people, rather than judging and bitching about them. Holding on to bad feeling (even if it's justified) only leads to more resentment and sadness. Easier said than done, I know, but isn't it better to just let it go? (Hmmm Elsa really ruined that phrase for everyone else didn't she?)

I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this, truth be told. But I've always found it slightly odd when people say someone is too positive. That it's a weakness. Isn't it harder sometimes to try and find the positive in something? 

Wow, that got deep pretty quick. Back to the reason I started rambling in the first place. One piece of advice I would give to my children.

Image: Pinterest
I saw this quote a while ago and it stuck with me. I'm not sure it would be my last parting words of wisdom... I'm still quite partial to Cinderella's mum's choice, to be honest. But, as an alternative, I'll go with it. 

What would your words of wisdom be? I'd love to hear :)