28 September 2015

Exciting developments..

...in the boot world!
Baby only napped for an hour, Boy doesn't finish school until 4pm on a Monday so...what's a girl to do on a chilly Autumn day other than head to the shops?
My previous post made me so mad at myself (procrastinating about boots, still!!) so I bit the bullet and headed to Dorothy Perkins where lo, I found myself a pair of tan ankle boots for £26.10!!!
Granted, they aren't real leather. They're not even pretend leather. But for £26.10 I really couldn't give two hoots. Even if they only make it to new year's I'll be happy.
They look like this:
And next to them was hanging this:

One happy Mama!!

Falling into Autumn

Ooh yay, it's Autumn! I love, love, LOVE this time of year, it is officially my favourite. That said, I do find the first few weeks hard work knowing what to wear for the day ahead. Yesterday, for example, we woke up to early morning fog, dewy grass, a distinct nip in the air. The boys and I had some spare time before heading to the local park for a rampage so we spent a happy 45 minutes sorting through their drawers and sifting out the short sleeved tshirts and shorts...so long, summer clothes, we don't require your help any more, see you next Spring.
Or so we thought!
We bundled ourselves into fleecy joggers, scarves, hats and jumpers and even put the cosy toes on the Bugaboo. Off we headed and we were nice and cosy for a few hours...until the blazing hot sun came out. Not only were we all melting but we looked like RIGHT idiots next to all those smart people who had either a) checked the weather forecast or b) left the house at a more reasonable hour and were skipping around having icecreams in their tshirts and summer dresses.
All that aside though, we have made a proper start on our Halloween shopping and this week I am definitely getting out the Autumn leaf wreath for the mantelpiece. Can't wait.
On Thursday I'll be recapping on my September goals and setting some more for the month ahead, but today my mind is all wardrobe (probably due to the clear out we had on Sunday!)
I know I've mentioned them repeatedly, and by the time I get round to choosing some and buying them I'll be over them, but I am still stuck on ankle boots that are comfy enough to run around after Baby in yet not totally flat. I am bored of posting photos now, so just take my word for it when I say, these are still on the 'want' list!
I also haven't had any joy with skinny black jeans but DID buy a replacement pair of dark blue skinnies from M&S on Sunday because as I pulled on my trusty pair that very morning the right knee split open. Almost cried!
The latest additions to the list are these:
Still lusting after a denim dress and this one from Boden currently has 25% off. With leggings and a huge plaid scarf? Oh so cute!!
 And I need a denim jacket in my life. I have one, but every time I put it on I feel like an 80s pop star...something to do with the colour I think? Not quite the right shade. My Dad bought it for me in the Gap in NYC in 2004, so yeah, possibly time for a new one?!
 Mmmmm the cosy tights from M&S. Had these last year and wore them to DEATH. Literally. They died. Thick enough to look like leggings and oh so warm. Buy them now. You won't be sorry!
And this one I've been thinking about forever. My tall Uggs (also bought in NYC in 2004) finally went in the bin when we moved in April. They need replacing ASAP, I miss them in my life and I didn't realise quite how much until it was time to head out the door this morning. Autumn fog will do that to a girl!!
And the aforementioned plaid scarf from Zara. Cute! And only £19.99. What a cheap and cheerful instant pick-me-up!!

So there you have it. It is Monday. Baby has only napped for an hour and is now hollering BUT there is chilli in the slow cooker and jammie dodgers in the biscuit barrel so...you know, life could always be worse. This still made me laugh though...
Am off to pick up Rumpelstiltskin! Wish me luck!

25 September 2015

Friday Favourites!

Happy Friday Everyone! A quick one today, just five little favourites for this sunny, autumnal Friday before the weekend starts. (And I apologise now if the pictures are all squiffy, I have no clue what's going on with the PC today??!!)

It's the WEEKEND and man, I've always been a fan but now it means I get Boy back for a whole 48hrs+ I am delirious every single Friday at 3.30pm. I miss him like a physical pain in my chest throughout the week. This weekend I am determined not to let him and Husband fall out, this weekend will be sunshine and lollipops and love and laughs. I will ensure it!

One of the reasons this weekend will be so much fun is because...we're off to Bristol tomorrow morning bright and early for a little friend's second birthday party. My city. Can't wait!

Am loving these Sweaty Betty yoga pants which I recently treated myself to. Slouchy, comfy and look shit hot. Winner!
Totally different look, and am not convinced I won't look like a crazy lumberjack, but have bought myself a plaid shirt. We shall see. It's only a cheapy one from F&F so I shan't be gutted if I hate it on... might wear it tomorrow and see what the general reaction is (aka if anyone asks me to cut down their tree I'm binning it immediately!) 

And finally, there's 30% food at Pizza Express on Sunday after 5pm this weekend. Who doesn't love free doughballs? Am going to suggest it to Husband for a treat.

Like I said, quick and easy this Friday. Hope you've all had an epic week? Am off to quickly finish this laundry and then walk to school in the sunshine to collect Boy. He has been practising his sight words so much and fingers crossed, will have a reading book today! Baby has a new gilet which he is dying to wear out for the first time (read: Mama really wants to dress him up like a little doll!) so we will be marching down the High Street like a catwalk.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone, enjoy x

22 September 2015


Oh. Good. God. Baby was up at 1.19am and wailed on and off until 3.30am (when, I must admit, I just konked out in the rocking chair, he may well have carried on past then??) He then stirred again at 4.15am, 5.50am and I woke him up for the day at 7.10am.
I have no clue what woke him up, he usually sleeps 7pm-7am like a dreamboat, but he would NOT go back down into his cot. Each and every time I tried to lie him back down he just screamed blue murder. Big, fat, ploppy tears rolled down his cheeks and he just would not be left on his own. When he started up again just after 4am he wound up in our bed (cue much huffing from Husband, selfish pig!) but since he has never spent a night in our bed ever, this just proved a novelty and he decided to wake up even more to explore. Cue Baby sitting on my pillow singing a little song and patting me gently on the forehead. Groan!
Needless to say, I am in a filthy mood today and he is the grumpiest little grump you've ever met. I didn't want to venture too far from home incase he fell asleep in the car (ruin naptime as well as a shit night's sleep? Don't think so, buddy!) So we have pootled round Waitrose to kill time and are now chilling at home. He seems quite happy so far, has a Bosch toy drill and some work goggles on at the moment...let's see how long it lasts! I foresee naptime beginning at 11am!

21 September 2015

September wardrobe additions

So, in the interests of updating my wardrobe bit by bit, month by month, here are the latest additions...
The oh-so-gorgeous Hush catalogue arrived a few weeks ago and I have spent many a happy hour online poring over their latest offerings. If only I had married a millionaire, or stayed childless, or thought of my own fantastic invention for Dragons' Den...then I could buy one of everything. Alas, alack, none of the above occurred so here we are, just dreaming ;-)
Live in blue jeans so thought these black biker jeans would be a welcome change. I have tried to add black skinnies into my wardrobe before to no avail (they were from Next, shrunk in the wash and turned an odd grey colour...?) Am aware, however, that although these are truly beautiful they are simply black skinny jeans with a small zip detail...worth  £70?? Not convinced. May look elsewhere for a similar version...
Am still on the hunt for the perfect ankle boot and am still torn between tan and black... These from seven boot lane are divine (and would go perfectly with my new black skinnies, see where I'm headed??)

And since noone seemed to tell me that now my child is in school it is the LAW that it rains between 8-9am and 3-4pm every. damn. day! I have been forced to head out and purchase a new raincoat from Joules. I already own a winter coat and a knee length Boden rainy day mac but sometimes the weather just calls for a waist length version, you know? Went with classic navy (as ever!) and do in fact wear it most days with the same Breton top as the model below!!
Naturally, Baby has also needed a new rain onesie as, when I tried to squeeze him into the old one from last winter, he protested rather loudly (something about circulation being cut off in his groin??) So he's now rocking this one from Mothercare (photo is appalling, do something about your website Mothercare, it's actually a lovely navy with brightly coloured vehicles on it??) 
So there you have it, nothing too exciting this month and we remain on the hunt for black skinnies that actually fit and don't fade in the wash!! I don't hold out much hope...


This may well be the world's most disjointed post, I have no real clue what I want to say or how to articulate myself... basically I miss Boy and I'm finding this whole school thing really hard work.
It's not getting us all out the door every morning, we've always been quite good at that. My children both wake at 7am and are 'get up and go' kids. We're always fed and dressed before 8am, even at the weekend, so the school run itself isn't posing any real issues.
I think it's just the finality of it all. Over the summer I kept having odd days of heightened emotion where all I wanted to do was sit and stroke his hair or squeeze him so tight he complained...I wasn't looking forward to the first day of school but the need to be enthusiastic for him combined with the sense of excitement/adventure kept me on an even keel. Now the first day has come and gone, now he's 'in', I just feel totally deflated and lost. I feel about this like I do about losing my Dad, like it's some odd never-ending daydream and soon I'll wake up...except once again, this IS my new reality. Boy goes to school. That's just the way it is now.
BFF has had a really hard time with Baby Girl starting school this September, but I understood her upset because it's her third and final child and starting school means that BFF is now home alone all day long (albeit with 3 crazy dogs and a house it would probably take a week to clean top to bottom!) I didn't expect to feel the same emotions because, of course, I still have Baby at home to keep me occupied. Except I kind of do feel the same. I feel like my son is gone, he's slipped away slightly into a world of new experiences, good and bad, he's spending the majority of his waking hours with another person who he will learn to love and respect, he's up to all manner of things that I will never know about because he'll forget and never tell me. Just last week he fell and banged his face on the monkey bars...he didn't tell me until 48 hours later when I noticed a bruise in the bath. He didn't seem at all fazed by this, he's not a particularly fussy kid when he falls etc...but the thought of him smacking his face and noone noticing made me wail when I'd put him to bed.
This emotional state is also causing issues when he misbehaves! Husband can be a bit too quick to shout at the best of times but this weekend when we were all still fighting the remnants of this cold and feeling rotten, tempers got a little frayed and voices did get raised. In hindsight, this wasn't the end of the world and Boy had been acting up, but at the time I just wanted to scoop him up and sob at the injustice of it all.
I don't know what the answer is really, other than keeping mega busy Monday-Friday and ensuring our weekends are as restful, loving and cosy as possible. Am spending my rainy, depressed, dismal Monday morning googling activities for Baby and eating my body weight in Jammie Dodgers to make myself feel better. Here's hoping this grey cloud blows away soon...

17 September 2015

Happiest of Birthdays to my littlest love

You have been with us 365 days now, little one, and we can't imagine life without you. You shriek at my boys, are mesmerised by my dog, know what you want and are determined to get it.
I love you, Niece, you're the daughter I've always yearned for xxx

16 September 2015


Had planned to blog yesterday as part of the 'Which 5 people would you invite to your dinner party?' link-up but then Leeds Dad and his wife came over for a drink when the boys had gone to bed and...well the evening got away with me!
Auntie had been here all day (making a mess, shrieking loudly, generally being 'Auntie') and once the bottle of wine was open there wasn't really any chance of me sitting down at the computer and writing something that made any amount of sense ;-)
So my apologies, I shall be back tomorrow with a little something to celebrate Niece turning 1 but for now, simply this meme which sums up how I felt for Boy this morning as I waved him off to school...

He skipped off without a backward glance but man, this school shit is really monotonous isn't it? It's like, every day!!

12 September 2015

Master bedroom inspiration

Having nagged my way to a new oven, pestered until the shed got finished (made bigger to store yet more of Husband's tat!), cajoled until we got new utility room shelves...I am now moving my attention to the master bedroom. It's only the place we spend half our days, after all!
At the moment it's a very odd shade of cream below the dado rail (dado rail! eeshk!) with mint green wallpaper above. It is, in a word, vile. It is the only room in the house to need decorating though, everything else is an extremely inoffensive magnolia, so I can't complain. 
When we first moved in I bought this bedding set...
...because I knew I wanted grey to feature in the room once it was decorated. In hindsight, this was a bit of an hasty decision that I now regret slightly. Shall explain...
When I hit up Pinterest earlier this week for 'grey bedroom' inspiration, these two images were amongst the ones that came up. 
Don't get me wrong, they are both stunningly elegant and grown up. Main problem? The walls are grey, not the bedding! And they're an extremely light grey at that. Our bedding is more charcoal. I can see why they've gone down this route, dark grey could make the space seem really enclosed and small so would need a lot of white to balance it out. But this clearly won't work for us because we have a) dark grey bedding that we've already bought and b) a black Labrador that would play merry hell with those pristine white sheets.
OK, I thought. No problem. I shall rethink. I can either a) buy new bedding (listen carefully and you can hear Husband groaning from there!) or b) have white walls and try to make it look NOT like a sanatorium (not very likely, I am not gifted in the interior design realm as it is so this may be a challenge above and beyond my remit) or c) try the whole grey walls AND grey bedding look. You never know, it might work?
So I went back on Pinterest and found this...

Can anyone say 'bachelor pad'??? Groan. 
All is not lost, however. Just as I was about to shut down the computer and stomp around the house bemoaning all things grey, I stumbled across this little image here:

 ...which I love! The bedding is similar to what we have already and the introduction of white throw pillows breaks it up beautifully. Unfortunately, the image didn't show us the rest of the room (what IS that wallpaper on the left hand side, I need to know!!!) so I did some intensive digging and BAM!

Behold what our master bedroom is going to look like. Except with a different carpet. And a different light fitting ;-) And probably a bit more clutter on the bedside tables!! I love how dark dark dark the walls are and it's managing to look cozy and lived in whilst still being fairly minimalist in its approach.
I'm going to start sourcing the bedside tables and white pillow covers immediately. Wish me luck! I shall post photos once we get going (Husband hasn't agreed to this project yet and I just KNOW that even when he eventually does he's going to try and get the dado rail to stay in place to make it an easier job, bless him, he'll learn!)

10 September 2015

What a day!

Today my beloved Dad should have turned 80. It probably would have been one hell of an affair, fanfare, fireworks, whiskey, live band...the man loved a good party and didn't act or feel his age. He would have been the one buying rounds at the bar, the last one to bed after dancing with all his friends' wives and telling far too many stories and jokes. 
Alas, not to be. Fucking cancer. But life insists on carrying on, whether we can manage or not, so here's a photo for you, Dad. Here's your boy, the apple of your eye, bravely marching over the little bridge to his first day in Kindergarten. You'd have been so proud, he didn't shed a tear and his first comment in his home book is 'What lovely manners, George'. 
We love and miss you Dad, happy birthday xxx

8 September 2015

Scotland 2015

OK, you'll have to excuse the random selection of photos. I try to keep the boys anonymous online and as such only chose pictures where their faces were obscured or out of shot. Apologies for the annoyance!! Here is our wonderful cottage...
You can find details about it at www.guisachanholidays.com. Seriously stunning location, lovely owners, open log fire...bit outdated decor wise but that is easily overlooked when the local pub food is so good, there's a swimming pool up the road and the view for your morning coffee is a herd of wild deer following a stag through the glen in the mist. Wowzers!

Urquhart Castle in the drizzle. Next to a big sign that said 'Please do not touch the Trebuchet'!!

Skimming stones at the lake where my Dad's ashes were scattered.

Holidays with kids means a lot of visits to local playparks. This was Drumnadrochit.

Dolphin spotting at North Kessock (didn't see a damn thing, and the only cafe around had a massive sign saying 'NO PUSHCHAIRS'. Inviting. Grr!)

Some raccoons at the world's worst wildlife park. If you are ever in Inverness and are even THINKING about visiting the Black Isle Wildlife Park, do yourself a massive favour and DON'T.

Admiring the inside of the abbey in Beauly. He is genuinely not peeing in this picture, it was just an odd angle ;-)

Here's Baby enjoying the trampoline in Cannich. Seriously, this village has approximately 7 children in it. How come their parks are so much better than those in much bigger towns down south?? I really don't understand??

And here's my beautiful Boy, patiently awaiting his ride home. He was a superstar the whole way there and back, helping me with the suitcase, holding doors open, sharing his iPad with Baby...he was a little horror whilst actually ON holiday but the travelling bit was a dream ;-)

So there you have it, a tiny glimpse into our week away in the Highlands. They both got the obligatory 1-midgie-bite (for some reason Nana and Husband always get eaten alive, I never get touched?? Lucky for the boys they seem to take after me!) and loved sharing a bedroom. Maybe I'll move Baby into Boy's room sooner than I'd planned??

7 September 2015

Hello Autumn!

Having officially given up with summer a few weeks early when the persistent drizzle and grey skies just would not leave, I am pleased to say that Autumn has now officially arrived and we can embrace the boots / scarves / open fires / stews / fireworks / cozy blankets section of the year. Hurrah for all the above. I don't like the rain but can cope with the cold no bother (am an avid skier so it would be madness if not!) and there is a definite air of 'chill' when you wake up each morning now.
September has always been a favourite month. The new school year brings stationary shopping (my fav!) and fresh, new exercise books. In the kitchen we get to bring out the slow cooker (easy dinners? Gets my vote every time!) My wardrobe gets an instant update with a few new scarves and a new pair of ankle boots. The boys look so damn cute wrapped up warm in new coats and welly boots. The list of reasons to love this season goes on and on!
So, since it's already well under way (why am I always so tardy with these posts??) I shall share my list of goals for this lovely, crisp month.
Cope admirably with Boy's entry into the world of academia when he starts Kindergarten on Thursday. So far I've been OK if I deal with it all in small, manageable pieces (shoes one day, jumper the next, book bag the next week...slowly slowly little monkey!) but I really don't want to fall apart in tears on the playground. I am also going to TRY try try super hard not to micromanage every single second he is there. Way back when, I used to be a teacher, and Lord knows I really bloody hated those parents who clearly thought I didn't know what I was doing. Boy has a experienced, kind, sweet teacher in his room, alongside two wonderful and caring TAs. He will flourish, at his own rate, if I can just try and leave him to find his own little groove. I mustn't let my anxiety cloud my view of little niggles, small wobbles, tiny, insignificant issues in the first few weeks... I really want him to love school and want to work alongside the staff there in order for him to achieve his best. I am NOT going to compare him to other children who are totally different individuals with totally different skills and abilities. But first, shall just focus on not crying like a baby when he walks in the doors!

I also need to reign in my inner Doris Day and not volunteer for every single, tiny, little job going. It's my nature to stick my hand in the air, it's practically an involuntary movement (read: illness), I can't help myself, and it's got me into many a pickle in the past (fish pie for 30? no probs. easter egg bingo for 80? bring it) so this year I AM NOT GOING TO BE THE SUCKER!! No sir. I woke up last night at 2.36am thinking 'Gee, I really need to type up a class list for every Mama to add their contact details...' NO. DESIST! Step away from the super-Mama cape and get me some wine. 

Get both boys back in the pool. Enough said. Have dropped the ball and we are now experiencing a water-wobble like we've never seen before in Boy. Am hoping his first lesson on Wednesday goes well, and that mine and Baby's first lesson on Friday goes even better (as I've never taken him before, it was always Husband's gig) Give me strength!

Can one of my goals be to just shift this damn cold ASAP? I have a stinking headache and a throat so sore I am trying to avoid speaking. I have antiseptic throat spray, lozenges and mouthwash. Be gone nasty germs...just don't jump onto Boy as I don't want him ill for Thursday!

Get back into running. Have purchased a running pram from a friend and now just need to take the damn thing out (have stage fright!) Am telling myself that once Boy is at school I will have more time to fit it into my schedule...just need to go at a time when Baby isn't going to fall asleep?! Hmmm...must get this sorted in the next 23 days!
Invite some school friends over for tea. Want this to be a sweet tradition we start, friends over for tea on a Friday after school. Am excited about getting this one up and running WHILST ALL THE TIME not letting it snowball into becoming the social secretary of the whole damn class ;-)

Read a book. A real life book, from cover to cover. Not a parenting manual or a board book. A grown-up, thought-provoking piece of literature. If you have any recommendations then please leave them below as I find choosing the damn thing takes longer than reading anything...

Moisturise my body every night before bed. This has been an on and off goal for, ooh 15 years? But this Autumn and Winter I really want to crack it. My legs currently look like discarded snake skin, gak!

An ongoing goal this one, but I would really like to sell our old house. I appreciate that the initial part (getting an offer) is decidedly out of my hands, but IF we get an offer then my goal is to do everything in my power to get the sale completed as soon as possible. Husband really does not want this hanging over us come Christmas, and I can see his point. Keeping our fingers crossed for some movement soon...

Get Boy to eat his vegetables. We've tried counting mouthfuls, we've tried ignoring it, we've refused him pudding, we've done praising the baby, picking out our own in the store, helping prepare them for dinner, putting our foot down and having a battle of wills (no thank you, far too painful)...he is having none of it. Time for the tough love (which isn't really that tough once you remember he only gets 30mins TV a day in the week anyway...) But from now on, we have decreed that if Boy refuses to eat his vegetables at teatime, there is no TV. None. Nada. Baby will watch 'In the night garden' and Boy will have to play in the playroom on his own until we go upstairs for stories. I'll let you know how it goes. Groan!

So there you have it. 10 goals for this month. It will be busy, but then aren't they all? Happy September, everyone. May your scarves be cosy and your slow cookers save your soul!!