AFTERMATH: the post-christmas clear up

And so begins the sorting. Josephine got a haul of the most wonderful wooden, secondhand and handmade presents as well as some lovely clothes to grow into. But where to put them all....

And it's not just the gifts that need sorting. With several nights of very tricky sleep, it would seem that this little bird just doesn't want the party to end. Here's to a quiet one tonight Phiney, please?!



From our family to yours, we wish you all a very happy Christmas. We hope you've had the most wonderful of days full of fun, food, love and laughter. And here's to amazing adventures in 2013.

Thank you so much for visiting our little space this year, your comments and support make me smile everyday.

Much love folks xx

Josephine's reaction to discovering her stocking this morning. Our first Christmas Day with this little sprite has been magical and hilarious. She's loved every second, and so have we. She's the bestest present ever and we love her so.

Gorgeous babygrow courtesy of Joules.



I'm sure you'll have noticed by now our very lovely main sponsor, Joules. This awesome British brand is packed full of beautiful and classic designs, colourful and fun details and lovely pieces for the whole family. When they became an advertiser they were kind enough to send Josephine some of the sweetest little things to try out.

Josephine is an avid animal lover, and this adorable top got her smiling from the moment she saw it. She regularly looks down and points to her tummy when she's wearing it, happily chatting to the little cat. At Joules it's all about the attention to detail and the contrasting neck, hem and cuffs, the poppers and the beautiful applique are what make this top so sweet. Plus the thick 100% cotton stripes are super soft. We were also lucky enough to get this lovely babygrow. It's still a little big but will make the most colourful pjs in the months to come.

There are plenty of pieces I'd happily take right now (how gorgeous are these pillowcases...and how sweet are these ones?) and with their amazing sale now on, you can get your hands on some really good quality items for a fraction of the price. What's not to love?!


MONTHLY PORTRAIT: eleven months

Here we are, the last Monthly Portrait before Josephine turns one. It's been a month full of "this time last year I was decorating the tree with a massive bump" and "this time last year we were finishing the nursery." How fast the last 12 months have flown. How amazing they have been.

This has been a difficult month for our little bird. Namely because she's spent the majority of it ill (hence my lack of blogging). Last week she was put on antibiotics for a chest and ear infection and they really seem to have worked. She's (mostly) back to herself and it's lovely to see her happy again after a lot of gloomy days.

Over the weekend, with her medicine kicking in, Phiney started back on the walking journey and has completed some pretty impressive treks. Seeing her walk is the most crazy thing. She's still so small! It's awesome to see and she has the biggest smile on her face as she paces the room.

There are also more words being spoken, animal noises being impersonated (she does a great monkey, lion, dog, snake and duck now) and antics being shown that make us realise she's quickly, too quickly, becoming a toddler. Including the odd tantrum, which it's hard not to laugh at I must admit. The girl can be ever so dramatic when she wants to be...

As Christmas gets closer and closer, Josephine's excitement is growing. I think she's picking up the festive vibes Ben and I are giving off and is enthralled by the Christmas tree and opening her advent calender. It's going to be so lovely watching her over the coming week, as friends and family visit and presents are given and received.

I can hardly believe her next (and last) Monthly Portriat will be 12 months. We'll have a one year old! How did that happen? But before all that, we have an amazing few weeks to look forward to. Christmas is so much more fun with our tiny dancer around :)


FIRST CHRISTMAS: new traditions

Today Josephine met Father Christmas for the first time. We went to a lovely little garden centre that had been turned into a winter grotto, with my Nan, sister, cousin and her little girl. Phiney looked at the lines of trees, thousands of sparkling lights and the two reindeer, Stardust and Twinkle, with wonder. Christmas truly is magical when you have a baby in tow. Just watching her take it all in, hearing her 'ohhh' and 'ahhh', was the sweetest thing.

I've been thinking recently of the Christmas traditions we'll build as a family, and I think taking Josephine to see Father Christmas will definitely be one of them. We're already starting to develop little rituals - we open Phiney's advent calender together every evening, with the Christmas snow globe playing Walking in a Winter Wonderland and she absolutely loves it - but I'd love to know what your family's festive traditions are. Where does Father Christmas deliver your children's presents (living room? bedroom? help, I can't decide!) Do you leave him a glass of milk or a tipple of whiskey? Do you open presents before or after lunch?

Ohhhhh...I'm getting excited just thinking about it all :)



This afternoon was one packed with playtime, buddy-time, festive-times and walking; the most Josephine's done so far. 17 steps from me to Ben. It's time to get this gal some shoes...

Feeding her bear / mama-daughter selfie / the ornament Phiney chose at the Christmas market / she sits watching the lights twinkle for much of the day / never very far from me at the moment / "tree", as Josephine likes to shout (about 100 times a day!) / so dramatic / three buddies born just days apart / festive treats for the Mamas / feeding Tony the Toadstool (made from this awesome book) / building her own tower / mesmerised by the tree once again.



Come rain or shine, this girl loves a ride on the swing...


MONTHLY PORTRAIT: ten (and a half) months

Josephine's Monthly Portrait. Taken in her nursery on the 18th of every month. Or there abouts...

This has been one crazy month. Our little baby suddenly appears to have become a little girl. Her face has changed, her hair's got long and so curly, she's making new sounds and saying new words and she's playing a whole new range of games. Oh, and SHE TOOK HER FIRST STEPS!! Last week her balance became more steady and one day she just took four steps. Then five steps. And everyday since she's become even better at standing on her own, and has been taking little steps here and there. Not quite walking, but soon they'll be no stopping this girl.

It's so amazing to think that this time last year, as we put up our tree and counted down to Christmas, we were yet to meet Josephine. And now here she is, developing into the most awesome of little people.

Her imagination has really kicked in over the last 6 weeks too, and you can find her playing with her toys in a whole new way nowadays. She's feeding her teddies and dolls with a spoon, 'mmmm-ing' and 'num-num-ing' as she does; she reads her books so seriously, chatting away as if she's reading to herself, studying the pictures so carefully.

It is the most wonderful thing to spend my day with Josephine, even better to spend our days all three of us together. Phiney's face lights up when she's sat in bed with Mama and Papa, playing Peepo under the covers and having cuddles a-plenty.

We are so in love with you Josephine. More every minute of everyday. And we love the wonderful, sweet and hilarious person you're becoming.

ps. Jodi...the dungerees finally fit, hooray!

HAPPY CIRCUS: christmas sale

Still searching for a special gift for that little person in your life? Well, head over to Happy Circus now and get a whopping 20% off all our vintage pieces for the next 24 hours only. Just enter the promotional code VINTAGECHRISTMASSALE to claim your discount.

Discount applies to vintage clothes only, not knitted or felt goods.



Hello! After a week of constant headaches and sinus pain, today I feel like I'm properly back in the land of the living. Plus Phiney has slept through the last three nights, after more than 2 weeks of getting up at least once. After 2 months of undisturbed sleep, getting up in the night again has been tough and I'm hoping we've now turned a corner and are back to getting lots of lovely sleep. That's until the next tooth decides to break through of course...

Anyway, with being ill and launching all the new Happy Circus goodies, I realised I haven't told you more about our lovely sponsors. If you're still stuck for some Christmas presents ideas, look no further...

Firstly, the ever wonderful All About Heidi. You know how much we love these gorgeous shoes in our house; you can see Phiney wearing them here, here and here. And whenever she wears them, people come ask where they're from. They're beautifully made and come in the most fantastic range of colours. It broke my heart a little when Phiney grew out of hers, but we'll be back come the spring to buy another pair...or two. So if you have a little one in your life who's feet deserve only the loveliest of shoes, head to All About Heidi.

Next up is Little Green Shed. You all know Lou, right? She's one sweet lady with a sweet shop selling very awesome prints and other pieces for your house. Her blog is always a funny, honest and pretty-to-look at read and her designs are a must-have for every stylish home. Right now I'm wanting this print...it's on my Christmas list, for sure. Plus she just got more of her brilliant teapots back in stock, which are sure to make the ideal present this year.

Finally is the brilliant Tori Hancock Photography. You can read about how much we love Tori and her beautiful pictures here, and see more of her amazing work here and here. If you're looking for a very special gift to give this Christmas, or perhaps want to give your family something wonderful in 2013, a session with this lady will be a present you'll cherish forever. Tori is a very lovely person. She is happy and easy going and fun and takes truly wonderful pictures. I can't say enough good things about her and her talent, so go and check out her work.

Thank you to these lovely sponsors for all your support this month, and I'll be back later in the week with more about the ever-so-stylish Joules. There are still a few spaces left for advertising in December, so please drop me an email for our media pack. Our rates are nice and low and we'll be offering a little Christmas discount too if you're interested.



The rain round these parts has been insane over the last few days. There has been flooding all around us, roads have been closed and there's been a scary number of emergency vehicles speeding past our window. Getting in the American spirit of things, I'm thankful today that all my friends and family are safe in their warm and dry homes.

All this wind and rain has mostly kept us indoors this week - that and the horrid colds Josephine and I have been nursing. Still, we're both on the mend and the amazing response to the new pieces in the Happy Circus store has kept me smiling when a never-ending runny nose and banging headache could have really got me down. We're already at over 100 likers on the new HC Facebook page, which is amazing, so thank you all so much. If you haven't already, head over here to keep updated with all the goings-on in the store and visit the shop now to solve any Christmas gift issues you may be having. My favourite blouse and dress are still available, and I'll be super-duper jealous of whoever bags these (is it bad that I'm secretly hoping no-one will so I can keep them for Phiney?!)

Tomorrow Ben has the day off and we have such a fun day planned, so I'll be back tomorrow with (festive!) pictures galore. Thank you all once again for your amazing support - a blogger really couldn't ask for a lovelier bunch of followers xx

Pictures of our (actually not so) tiny girl on the verge of taking her first steps, we're sure. There has been lots of falling over and bumped heads as a result, but it's amazing watching her on this adventure. And, yes, she turned 10 months on Sunday and I still have posted her monthly portrait...next week, I promise!


ROLL UP, ROLL UP: christmas shopping at happy circus

After months of really hard work and hours of scouring charity shops and markets, I am so pleased to announce the launch of a whole host of new goodies at Happy Circus.

Firstly, after the increasing requests and success of my hair bows and bow ties for weddings, I've designed a new range of bows for boys and girls, men and women, that are perfect for everyday and those special occassions. For the boys, the bow ties now feature knitted bows on carefully selected cotton fabrics with classic bow tie fastenings, while the girls can enjoy hair bows without ties (no more clumpy knots at the back of your head) in the classic size, oversize, little girl size and bow clips. I've also replaced synthetic wools with beautifully soft, plump cashmerino and almerino yarns in sorbets, tweeds and faded vintage hues.
Next I've added a new material to the ranges here at HC. I've loved working with felt over the last few years in an array of different projects, so I'm really excited to bring some of my designs to the shop. From multi-coloured triangular felt garlands to fun wall hangings that will look awesome in your child's room (or any other room in the house for that matter) these bright and colourful additions make me smile everytime I look at them, and hope you find the same.

Finally, I'm so excited to launch the second Happy Circus Vintage event. Over the last few months I've been gathering items for boys and girls of all ages and there are more than 30 truly awesome pieces on offer this time. The sweetest smocked dresses sit alongside chunky knitted jumpers while delicate blouses work perfectly with classic Osh Kosh dungerees.

I hope you'll go visit the shop and discover some treats for yourself, your kids, your friends and family this Christmas. I'm very happy to be offering you all a 10% discount off all your purchases over the next 48 hours - just become a follower if you're not one already and go 'like' our new Facebook page here, where you'll be first to know about new pieces, special offers and all behind-the-scenes news. Then enter the promotional code HCChristmas at the checkout to receive your discount.

Thank you as always for your support with my little shop. I'm really excited to see what 2013 brings in developing the store and hope you'll enjoy wearing your purchases as much as I did making and sourcing them.

Happy Monday everyone :)