30.1.15

THREE: a walk at dusk








After the fun of Josephine's family birthday party, we spent the afternoon just us four. We went for a walk at dusk, wrapped up against the cold winter air, and we told Josephine of the day she was born. Unable to believe our little baby is now three.

29.1.15

THREE: party time









For Josephine's birthday this year, we decided to throw Josephine two parties - one with all her little friends a few days before her birthday and one with family on the day itself. We chose a wild animal theme, packed cardboard lunch boxes with yummy treats, iced cupcakes and devised a treasure hunt. It was an hour and a half of absolute madness (and I barely took a single photo!) but the children loved every second. If only we'd remembered to do the birthday cake...after everyone left, we discovered it on the kitchen worktop!
 
*Josephine's invitations - any excuse to get stamping!
*My sister beautifully illustrated every party-goer's lunchbox.
*Animal masks for the treasure hunt.
*Ben and I devised a treasure hunt for coloured scrolls with stickers inside (again drawn by my clever sister) that, when put together, made an animal face. We had no idea if it would work, but it was an absolute success.
*Everyone 'adopted' a cuddly animal as a prize for completing their puzzle.
*Balloons make everything festive.
*Tiny glass bottles (that my best friend had her Dad save from his pub for us!) and paper straws. The children adored them!
 

28.1.15

THE LITTLE LETTER PROJECT: the search for a penpal

There's few things nicer than receiving a letter in the post. Not a bill or piece of junk mail, or a catalogue full of things you wish you could afford, but a sweet handwritten letter; written with care and love and with the ability to bring a smile to your face and brighten your day. Over Christmas Josephine and I wrote cards and letters together, and she burst with excitement whenever we received one.

For a couple of months now I've been meaning to ask all you Mamas if any of your children would like to be penpals with Josephine. And after seeing her reaction to those letters at Christmas, I knew I had to finally get round to putting it out there.

For us snail mail loving grown-ups, there are a few projects on offer right now. Oh Comely Magazine's Perfect Strangers project and Capture by Lucy's Springtime Surprise Project (yep, I signed up for both!) are each wonderful. But what about our kiddos?

The community, the village, I've found myself in, through blogging and Instagram, is a true blessing. It's a wonderful place to be, full of support and advice, ideas and inspiration, friendship and connections and it seems only right to extend that to our children. To allow them to connect in a way that generations before them have (before email and FaceTime, as awesome as they are!); to exchange stories and reveal new traditions and cultures to each other.

Plus, it's a wonderful focus for crafting; writing paper can be painted (like we did earlier this week) and cards can be drawn; artwork you're not sure what to do with can be sweetly wrapped and sent to new friends in faraway lands.

I've had some ideas if a few people decide to get involved, and am putting together a few more details to ensure every child involved would get a letter they'll cherish, but first I thought I'd put it out there and see what you all thought. It really would be lovely to get our children writing (or dictating!) letters and connect children who would be friends if there wasn't thousands of miles between then :)

So, if you're interested if finding your little one a penpal just pop me an email, or leave your email address below, and i'll send out more details. No matter how old your children or where you live, get involved xx

ps. to ensure only genuine penpals are assigned, an established blog or IG account is needed so let me know your account name or URL too.

26.1.15

MORNING SUN


Our little pixie, basking in the morning sunshine. So happy to just sit and play and watch and soak in the world. Wrapped in Nanny-made knits.


23.1.15

MORNINGS








The beginning of the week was the laziest few days we've had in a long time. And they were glorious. Making plans and seeking out adventure is a wonderful thing, but so is lazing around indoors, while it's freezing outside, and spending hours building train tracks and snuggling under blankets watching Disney movies and reading and dancing and drawing.
 
Soaking up every second of our babies. The best kind of adventure.
 
I plan on doing a lot more of nothing with these girls in the coming weeks and months. And I can't wait.

ps. their little hands in that first picture. Oh, my heart!

18.1.15

THREE


Today our girl turns three.

Time is going so fast and this birthday seems quite momentous. I know so much will change this year, as Josephine gets older, and it's only the beginning. She's just started her dance classes and after Easter she will start at nursery, three mornings a week; then next year it will be school. I dare not even think about that!

I have felt a little teary at how quickly Josephine is growing up. I want her to stay this age forever. To always want me by her side, to spend her days with me, for me to know everything about what has happened in her day. I plan to drink up every moment this year, more than ever. These little ones of ours don't stay little for long, and I don't want to miss a second.
Beautiful Josephine, you made Daddy and I so proud as you floated around in your little dancing outfit. And how you joined in with the class almost straight away. You make us proud everyday. You truly are the most wonderful, funny and brilliant child. How lucky we are to call you ours.

We hope this year holds fantastic adventures for you darling, and that you continue to grow big and strong and healthy, and lovely as ever. Although, you will always be our baby.

We love you more than words can say.
Happy Birthday tiny dancer xxx

12.1.15

MONTHLY PORTRAIT


 








 

WEARING: vintage Laura Ashley bloomers, Zara cotton top, H&M tights, Amy & Ivor Moccasins, Coco & Wolf bib.

Our sweet Coralie! Eight months old already, and we can hardly believe it. I have failed miserably at keeping a monthly record of what you're doing and how you've changed, but I promise for the rest of your first year, I will record each month here in our journal.


Firstly, you are the happiest child. Always smiling, always pleased to see people, always entertaining yourself with your toys or simply by watching the world around you if we need to get on with chores. You have a basket full of your toys boy upstairs and downstairs, and you sit for so long just rummaging through it, chewing everything you pick up. Always chewing (including your shoes!)...you'd think a tooth would appear, but still no sign of any.

It's funny - with Josephine I was always so keen to achieve the next 'thing'; her teeth starting to come through, her sitting and crawling and walking. But I'm so much more relaxed this time round. In all honesty, it doesn't matter. When you get teeth and start walking, your not my tiny baby anymore, and I'm more than happy for you to stay this little for as long as possible. Plus, it's so good to be able to put you down and know you'll be in the same spot when I turn back round. Life with take on another level of chaos when you start moving, little one.

We thought you might bypass crawling completely, but today you leant forward (reaching for a toy) and held yourself in a crawling position for at least a minute. I wondered if you'd move, but instead you face planted the floor! Smiling the whole time, of course :)

This weekend you started to say "Mama", which makes me so happy! I remember the first time Josephine said it as if it were yesterday, and I'll always remember being sat at the dining table as that little word was muttered for the first time. Josephine looked at each other with huge smiles on our faces and clapped and cheered you, much to your delight.

You mostly call "Dadadada", but you also wave and say "hello" and "bye bye". It is the cutest thing. Josephine is determined you'll say her name next! We'll see about that!

You're a passionate little thing, and give such good kisses and cuddles. You pull me in to you with my hair (ouch!) and plant the most slobbery, open-mouthed kisses round on my mouth. It's totally heart-melting. And when you cuddle, you snuggle right in. Don't ever stop giving cuddles like that.

As you grow, Josephine loves you more and more, and adores the fact that she can play with you more now. Last week, she packed you a pretend picnic and then sat offering you pretend After Eights from the empty box. You smiled the biggest smile, not really a clue what was happening.

We are all besotted with you, Coralie. I truly cannot believe you've been here for eight months already. It has gone so fast. You bring smiles and happiness my darling, and it's a joy to spend my days with you.

We love you xxxx

9.1.15

52/52

"A portrait of our daughters, once a week every week in 2014".

Josephine: Dancing in the most beautiful Christmas Eve light.

Coralie: Watching the world around her in awe, on her first Christmas Eve.  

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.

I've just caught up with The 52 Project, and have realised that I've managed every week but 4. I'm kind of kicking myself that I missed out those few portraits, but never mind - that we have 48 is miraculous! If you'd like to see the catch-up portraits, just head here.

After some thought, I've decided I won't continue this project this year. I absolutely love the idea of it, but right now, it's too much pressure. It would be just another thing to add to my to-do list, which is the last thing I need. I will cherish the portraits of the last two years though and think I will try a monthly picture of the girls together in the same spot at least, because I love to see how much they've grown right in front of our eyes...time goes so fast, it's so easy to miss.

I think I've ended this project on a high though - I love these two portraits. That one of Josephine especially has to be one of my all time favourites :)

Happy weekend everyone xxx

INSTA-DECEMBER

1. We spent the morning with best friends at such a happy place - the little airfield we visited a lot with my Dad. So many funny times - it's where i introduced Ben to my Dad all those years ago. We talked all about Dad and smiled so big. Always such a mix of emotions - such wonderful memories, but such sadness too. I miss him so much.
2. These girls will break hearts, no doubt. So sweet and so beautiful. Such a lovely pre-Christmas meet up, with two of our favourite ladies
3. Our poorly babe woke up from her nap this morning in a much happier mood...wiggled out of her sleeping bag, managed to unpop the poppers on her babygrow and get herself wedged sideways in the cot. She thought it was all very funny, and so did Josephine!
4. Her first trip to see Father Christmas
5. Today's trip was on a steam train, and Father Christmas visited us in our Hogwarts Express style compartment. I cannot tell you how much this little one adored every second of the train journey...still a bit wary of Father Christmas, but the train was a definite hit!
6. A day at the aquarium and hanging out with the man in her life. You can see how happy she is about him not being at work
7. Amazed by the fish
8. My Daddy's Christmas bouquet - a new tradition. A beautiful yellow rose for my Papa and a flower chosen by each of us. The pink rose for Josepine, the little pink roses for Coralie, the orange rose for Ben and the green for me. All together at Christmas, in flower form at least :) Such a happy bouquet
9. Christmas outfits are my favourite. Beautiful vintage and knee socks. So sweet
10. Gasp!! Trying to take a picture of these two not looking hilarious is pretty much impossible.

I've added the Insta-month features for the last 6 months too, if you'd like to see them, head here...catching up, bit by bit :)

4.1.15

CHRISTMAS EVE: new traditions








On Christmas Eve, as Ben cooked up a storm in the kitchen in preparation for the next few days, I took the girls on a very special outing to mark the year anniversary of the last time we spoke to my Dad.

On the way to the Botanical Gardens, we stopped at a little flower shop to pick up two very special bouquets. The first, a beautiful package wrapped in brown paper, was a small posey of tiny yellow daffodils. I wanted to lay some flowers at the Gardens to mark this day, and these yellow blooms were perfect. I also wanted to buy a bunch to sit on our mantelpiece over Christmas, and selected the most wonderful, happy bouquet that i'll show you more of soon.

The girls and I wandered round the gardens, soaking up the beautiful winter sun and talking about Grandpa and that last conversation; all the giggles and fun. And as we walked, Josephine laid a stem on the most beautiful spots she could find; moss-covered steps, secluded overgrown nooks and twisted tree trunks. It was lovely and sweet and a wonderful thing to do with my girls. Something we will do every Christmas Eve; a new tradition for my Papa.