29 February 2016

February Recap

So, February has whizzed past us and here we are, on our bonus day, looking forward to March already. I say it every month but it really isn't until you start habitually setting goals and reviewing them that you really notice how fast life speeds by. It's quite frightening!

Anyway, last month I set myself 5 goals.

1. To only drink at the weekend
This started off well then quickly blurred into Thursdays, and horrid Mondays, and then peak of the week Wednesdays...!! Ultimately, the reason I started this challenge was to see if I lost any weight, and I didn't. So screw that, I'm back on the weekday wine!!

2. Celebrate Boy's 4.5yr birthday.
This one I managed and it was such fun. He chose the menu, we invited Nana, I made him half a Ninjago Lego cake...perfect!

3. No clothes shopping for the whole month.
I keep stopping and thinking, 'Did I really manage this one?? Surely there's something that I've bought and forgotten about...?' But no, I think I really did succeed. Granted, I bought clothes for Niece and the boys and my sister, gotta get my thrills somewhere. And I did buy 2 pairs of shoes. Oh, and one pair of Pilates leggings. But other than that, not a sausage. Yay me! Watch out, March!!

4. Take my Floradix and vitamins each morning.
Big fat fail. If anyone knows of a sure fire way to crack this then please let me know in the comments, I am totally crap at this.

5. Read 3 new books.
I read an old favourite, revisited the Gina potty training book and read the nursery prospectus when filling out Baby's forms for September...so not a true win but a start?? Must try harder!!

So 3/5 ain't bad, I'll take it.

With regards to everything else, school is going well and we have Boy's parents evening on Thursday to see how he's getting on. Pick-up drama continues with certain mothers not being happy unless they're being competitive or downright bloody miserable but am trying to distance myself as much as possible.

Baby is pretty much dry in the day now and doesn't wear a nappy for naptime anymore either. He is truly a medical marvel.

Husband has a new PA who brings him sandwiches if his meetings drag on through lunch without him asking. The way he speaks about her, well, I'm not a fan ;-)

And that's it. The months fly by but they're fairly uneventful sometimes! Back tomorrow with some goals and plans for March x

26 February 2016

Five Friday Favourites

HAPPY FRIDAY, EVERYONE. Man, we are so ready for the weekend over here. Boy woke up this morning and half sobbed into his uniform, 'Mama, I just want to stay in BED!'. You and me both, my love, you and me both! Boo!

Here's five Friday favourites to remind me that life is fine...

Bought me some jazzy pilates leggings in TKMaxx this week (turns out sportswear is also exempt from the clothes shopping ban, who knew?!) I can't decide if I love them or look like a prize tit??

Love turning around in my house and seeing random things like this...

Impromptu naked swimming lessons? Excellent! (He was absolutely desperate to get in with his big brother, eventually stripped himself off and Boy's teacher took pity on him!)

Our Boy turned 4.5yrs old yesterday and in this house we will literally celebrate anything with cake and candles. Here he is after half birthday tea with his half birthday cake (it did indeed have Lego Ninjago figures stuck on the top with 4.5 candles!!)

And I love logging onto Instagram and seeing fun, inspirational quotes like this...

Doughnuts and positivity, am going to go and send it to BFF now.

We have a delightfully quiet weekend planned, a totally lazy day pootling around the house tomorrow and then a friend's 3rd birthday party at a playbarn on Sunday morning followed by a film on the sofa. I more than need it after this week; yesterday I was held hostage outside Waitrose while Baby stood in the seat of the trolley screaming his head off for EIGHTEEN MINUTES. Eighteen. Turns out he reeeeeeally didn't want to sit down and go shopping...and then all of a sudden, he did. And it was over. And I needed a drink!

What's everyone else up to this weekend? I hope it's a good one, whatever you get up to x

25 February 2016

Happy Half Birthday, my love

OK, so this might just be our family, but we like to celebrate our boys' half birthdays! Bang on 6m after their big day we have a little half-birthday tea with our close family, blow out some candles and eat half a cake. It's fun, it's silly, but that half a year is kind of a big deal when you're under the age of 10ish?? Am I wrong??

Today my eldest starlord turns 4.5yrs old. He is very excited and has requested hotdogs for dinner with Nana (groan!) I can't believe it's that long since we first met in that dark hospital room, the speed with which the days fly by is frightening to me.

Will post some photos later, am off to chop a birthday cake in half, stick a Lego Ninjago man on the top and find 4.5 candles, more as I have it...

24 February 2016

Random Wednesday musings...

As ever, Esther on the Spike types something and immediately I have to act. Last week it was the white trainers (even though she was actually saying she thought that they wouldn't be comfy because they were so cheap...when in actual fact they are super comfy and I love 'em!)

(disclaimer: sometimes I look down and wonder if they look like mental patient uniform??)

Today her post is about paint colours for her new hallway. Not once in the 10 months we've lived here has decorating my hallway even crossed my mind. It's merely a short, narrow corridor into our cottage but all of a sudden I need to paint it. Like, now! 

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 18.39.06
(Esther has gone for the new Worsted from F&B, love it!)

So the hallway might be a different colour by the time Husband gets home from work!!

In other news, I bought some new Girlfriend jeans from Boden at the end of January and hid them in the wardrobe (as you do). This week I finally got round to trying them on and despite them being the same size as my Boden Boyfriend jeans they fall down to my hips within minutes of walking down the stairs?? I don't really know the difference between the styles (one is meant to be slimmer??) but when I originally ordered a 14 they simply looked like odd tight capri jeans which wasn't really the look I was going for, so I swopped them for a 16 thinking they'd be fine after a whizz round the dryer...and the Boyfriend ones are. They have shrunk just the right amount and look baggy but fine. The Girlfriend ones? The other day while chasing Baby I genuinely thought they were going to fall down to my ankles and trip me up. 

(See, it happens to Geri too!)

How can that be right? Anyhoo, all this is just a confusing way of saying, I need to buy a new belt!

Belts are always a conundrum to me as I want to buy a cute one and show it off as an accessory, but then they never get used as the thought of deliberately highlighting my waist is abhorrent. If they DO get used they are hidden underneath a long tshirt anyway so... My jeans are, by choice, quite high waisted and belts worn that high look a bit too 80s-American-tourist for my liking. Maybe I'll wear cute belts when I've had a tummy tuck for my 40th??

(This is an outfit for when I'm older and have had surgery...)

I also need to pick up some new Pilates leggings and am thinking a trip to TKMaxx is in order to grab something like these...

Bit of colour, but clearly I will not be wearing mine with a cropped bra thing. Oh no. I will be wearing mine with a long line vest from H&M and a yoga tshirt on top. You're welcome!

Facebook reminded me this morning that it's eight years since Husband and I got engaged. Be still, my heart! Must grab him a little something to mark the occasion, maybe a new wedding ring since he lost it in 2012 and has been ring-less since?? Or maybe something more affordable like a Mars bar? We'll see what's in TKMaxx...

And finally, it's Boy's 4.5yr birthday tomorrow so am on a mission to shop for his cake and the things he's chosen for half birthday tea (hotdogs, shocker!) He has asked for a Ninjago cake. My heart wants to buy him something like this

But clearly I'll be grabbing a plain white one from Sainsbury's and sticking his Lego men on the top ;-)

So yes, we are off to the shops to run some errands. Baby pee'd at 9am so we're patiently waiting for the 10am instalment and then we can set off without worrying about having to do an emergency stop on the bypass. Livin' the dream, people!

Have a great Wednesday, everyone x

23 February 2016

New JCrew catalogue has arrived!

Granted, this could well be a few weeks out of date as I've only just been to pick up the post from the old house and there was quite a mound...but YAY I now have my hands on the newest JCrew catalogue and have found quite a few gorgeous things to show you. 

JCrew is a bit cool, a bit funky, a bit grown up and a bit, well pretty expensive really. I've only ever shopped here when the sale was on (and currently only own one of their tshirts) but I do check out their outfit inspirations a lot and then try to replicate it from other high street stores. Sometimes. Not often. Coz I'm not cool enough. But sometimes!

Here's some of my favourite images from the latest catalogue...

Love the blazer and trainers combo, great bag, not sure I'd be brave enough to try a pink blazer??

How cute would this be for a summer wedding? Totally elegant and classy and so-not-the-bog-standard-Coast-dress (disclaimer: I love the bog standard Coast dress, just sayin'!)

Am in the market for some black capri trousers and am also noticing nude ballet pumps everywhere...roll on Spring!

Am STILL lusting after some Aviators but every time I try some on I chicken out and walk away...I'm just not sure they suit my face shape?? Which is a shame, coz I love 'em :-(

The Boys only wear blue in our house which makes shopping pretty tricky sometimes (all my own doing, I'm not moaning!) but I like this top from the Crew Cuts section. It has a speedometer on the front.

And I loved this zipper-shirt-jeans combo...could this be the year I allow Boy to wear denim?? We'll see!

And finally, I just wanted to throw this in because, after years of mocking people who put massive bows on their daughters, this photo made my heart explode!! It's possibly (entirely probably) that it's just my ovaries talking, I want me a girl, but man that's a cute look for Easter Sunday. Ha!

That's it. I didn't take much notice of the Men's section because I don't really 'feel it' for Husband when it comes to JCrew. Nothing in there ever looks like him, you know? It's a bit 'pretty' and my Husband, while handsome, is more Crew Clothing/Patagonia/classic British Boden.

So there you have it. They've sent me a sneaky 20% discount code so I may well have a small mooch about and see what they've got to fill my wardrobe holes...but obviously I won't buy anything until 1st March!!

What about you? Are you a fan of JCrew or, like me, do you just use it for inspiration??

22 February 2016


Was running around getting ready for Pilates this evening and caught my foot on what I assumed was a splinter in the dining room. Hobbled along the high street to class, in such a rush that I didn't really notice the pain, but when I kicked my Uggs off I saw that my heel was bleeding slightly. Ouch. 
Managed to bend and stretch my way (clumsily) through class, hobbled back home and investigated...guess who had a chunk of glass sticking out of her bloody foot?
Am now drinking wine for medicinal purposes and cursing Husband who decided that stacking Peroni bottles on the bottom shelf of the fridge was a sane idea (when I unpacked the shopping on Sunday one jumped out and smashed all over the kitchen floor...I guess glass travels quite a long way...)
Just thankful it was my foot and not one of those precious, pink, fat little ones that scamper round all day long. Then Husband would be sleeping in the shed!!

20 February 2016

Saturday afternoon animals

Boy finally managed to complete a whole swimming lesson without screaming (at Mama's insistence he took three extra sessions over the half term break and boy, was he pissed about it!) so he finally earned a trip to the cinema with Husband. Baby and I went with them up to Telford town centre for a jaunt. In my head we would drop them off at Cineworld, walk happily around the shops, maybe stop for a latte, chat about current affairs for 90mins...I forgot that a) adverts makes a normal length film last forever and also that, you know, b) Baby's not yet 2 and as such hates shopping and all it entails. Why did I think leaving the Bugaboo in the boot was a good idea...my back kills!

Anyway, we did indeed have a small mooch around the shops, bought some cute trousers for Niece, grabbed a latte, discussed the EU referendum...that kind of shit...and we all headed home in time for Baby's nap. Which he promptly refused. Apparently it's dry pants or naptime. You choose, Mama. Sob!

So far he's powering through though so can't complain. We've had a lovely afternoon of Lego models, Netflix kids (groan!) and Schleich animals at the big table while Husband has zipped back down to Heathrow to collect Nana who is staying the night. Am expecting big shrieks of glee when the boys bounce downstairs tomorrow at 7am...is it really wrong to blag a sneaky lie-in?!

Hope you've all had a wonderful Saturday. Potty training has meant we've stayed pretty close to home this holiday and actually, I've loved it. Am desperately trying not to think about tomorrow and then the impending Monday morning school run, muchos wine tonight I think.

Enjoy what's left of your half term/weekend, whether you've got little ones to soak up or whether you're footloose and fancy free!

19 February 2016

No dogs were harmed during this post!!

My dog is a bastard.

Unpacked the Dakota shoes from Seven Boot Lane. They fit, as we all knew they would, like a friggin' dream and look awesome on. I adore them. Totally worth the £120 price tag and I am really pleased I took the plunge.

Husband, on the other hand, would not be. So, like the thoughtful wife I am, I diligently put all the packaging back inside the delivery box, shredded the invoice, put the box in the boot (the house recycling is for rookies, it'll need to go to the skips one morning after school next week to truly avoid detection...) and carried the beautiful new shoes upstairs to my dressing room to place them on my shoe rack and therefore make them look like they've lived here forever! I was just walking through my bedroom when Baby called 'Mama, wee wee' so I popped the shoes on the floor at the end of my bed, screamed 'I'M COMING!!!' and ran back downstairs to race him to the toilet.

That was my fatal error. Choosing puddle prevention over shoe detection.

When Husband came home from work two hours later, Dog leapt off our bed where he had been snoozing, looked around frantically for something to present his beloved master and GRABBED ONE OF MY BRAND NEW FREAKIN' SHOES.

Not only did he drop my new prized possession right at Husband's feet (the guy is anything but observant but this might rouse his suspicions) but now my right shoe has the faintest of faint dribble marks on the side. Thank Christ he's not a chewer or he'd be living outside from now on.

Upside: I will no longer be precious about them and will wear and enjoy them as nature intended.

Downside: I will always look down at my feet, smile at my lovely shoes and then squint to see if the dribble mark of 2016 is still visible.

Bloody dog!

18 February 2016


Shoe update:

Black flats from Next did that weird gaping thing down the sides. Why do some flat shoes do that and others not? Bizarre. Anyway, back in the bag they went.

White trainers from Next were huge, beyond huge. I normally take a 6.5 or a 7 so I thought, trainers come up big, I'll order small, ordered the 6.5 and almost fell over when I tried them on and walked across the dressing room. Back in the bag!

These little beauties arrived from H&M this morning, I ordered a 40 and bam, they fit, they are comfy and they DON'T make my feet look mahoosive (which is always the danger with big white trainers, I feel?) Have worn them immediately and adore them. I was worried they would be mega uncomfortable because they only cost £22.50 or some such nonsense, but touch wood they're fine. Love. Am tempted to buy a second pair to keep for next summer because I doubt they'll last...they are def a cheap and cheerful wardrobe updater...

(*Disclaimer: please ignore dirty kitchen floor and pale, scaly ankles!)

And the holy grail of shoes, the Floridas from Seven Boot Lane, haven't arrived yet. I guess the more you pay, the longer you have to wait...ooh the suspense!!

More as we have it...

16 February 2016

Footwear loophole, yay!!

Now, in a fog of 'new month, new goals' hysteria I remember saying something about not buying any clothing for the month of February...? Turns out, footwear was exempt and is therefore sin-free shopping (I made the statement, I can alter it at will, ok?!)

Therefore, because it is half term, and because Baby is potty-training, and because purchasing new shoes will undoubtedly revamp and revitalise my ENTIRE wardrobe therefore eradicating the need to buy clothes and therefore actually HELPING me keep my initial promise, I have gone ahead and ordered the following...

Twisty front trainers from H&M because the originals are swoon-worthy and totally out of my price bracket!

White Lace-Up Trainers

White trainers from Next because I can't bring myself to drop £70 on some Stan Smiths!

Black Feminine Loafers

Black loafers from Next simply because I don't have any black shoes. At all. None. Apart from slut-heels, which don't really work on the school run so...?!

And then, because I didn't get hold of the gorgeous Dakota shoes last summer, and because, well just because I'm an impulse-buyer who gets Tuesday-trigger-finger and clicks 'Add to Basket' without thinking, I've ordered the new version of them, the Florida shoes from Seven Boot Lane. Turns out I will drop money on things if I like them enough, now we've just got to see how they size?? The guilty part of me is praying they're too big in a 7 and too small in a 6...ha ha!

So there we go. 4 pairs of new shoes to try on. Am hoping the cheapy white ones jazz up a few boring outfits and bring them up to date and into Spring without breaking the bank. And I'm also hoping the Florida ones are...if I'm honest I'm hoping that they're as beautiful as they look and that I adore them ;-)

Am off to make some Lego models with the boys, put away 4 baskets of laundry (woo!) and walk to Waitrose for some random bits and pieces. Yesterday (swimming and a walk at Attingham in the freezing cold sunshine) was awesome but by bedtime we were all close to tears and ready for a lazy morning at home. Holidays are designed for hibernating, I would do well to remember it!

Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone. I hope you've got some relaxed plans too x

12 February 2016

Almost the weekend!!

Weeeee only a few hours left and then it's the weekend BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY it'll be half term holidays. Be still my heart!

We have 9 wonderful days with Boy and, determined not to spend all of them following Baby around shrieking 'do you need a wee??', we have made some plans...

I wish this photo meant a holiday abroad. It does not. On Saturday we need to take Nana to Heathrow!

We have a birthday party at a soft play on Saturday evening. Hellish. Baby isn't going because it's too late...am tempted to send Husband??

Day of Love on Sunday when naturally Husband and I will gift each other beautifully thoughtful and meaningful gifts...pfft. He is not, shall we say, gifted on the gift front and as such I refuse to participate. Valentines can do one!

Extra swimming lessons on Monday morning...

...followed by a trip to Attingham on Monday afternoon with friends from school. Muchos fun. If Baby doesn't wet himself...

Tuesday is plan-free so I plan on doing lots of Lego models, possibly walking the dog for a few hours and blowing away some holiday cobwebs, visiting the local bakery for a yummy lunch, just generally soaking up my Boy and spending lovely time together.

Wednesday brings us to coffee with Yummy Mummy (Boy's godmother) and a long overdue catch up while the boys play with her youngest and terrorise her 2 cats!!

Thursday we're seeing BFF and goddaughter. I just googled 'best friend tattoos' for an image and this one came up which could not be more 'us' if it tried. She is safe and calm, I am impulsive and brash. Perfect combo!!

Friday means a romp around Cannock Chase with Art Mama and her boy (who was born 18m after Boy and 10m before Baby, they look like a funny little army when they're all together!)

And before we know it, it'll be Saturday again and lo, Husband is back off to Heathrow to collect my mother. For people that never fucking travel we sure like to rub salt in the wound!!

And there I am, Sunday evening, pissed off at the education system in Britain. But, let's face it, probably also just sobbing about the amount of wee on the floor over the last two weeks, boo!

(Disclaimer: After being dry all day yesterday, Baby has pee'd on the floor twice today, once at breakfast when he clearly told Husband he needed a wee and Husband replied 'just eat your banana!', moron, and once this morning in the kitchen when he simply forgot. He did, however, stop himself and run to the loo to finish up so am taking it as a 'not total fail, just a mini fail'!!)

Has anyone else got half term next week? And are we all excited or just point blank dreading it? 

I. Can. Not. Wait!!

10 February 2016

A quick one...

Can't stop and type for long because, let's face it, every second I sit here is a second longer Baby has the chance to wee in his big boy pants AND HE'S CURRENTLY SITTING ON MY SOFA!!

Doing well so far, only one tinkle on the bedroom floor (4mins after Husband supposedly took him to the loo, I'm saying nothing...) and we've even managed the school run and a trip to Waitrose. 

Wish us luck and feel free to leave any stellar tips in the comments, I need all the help I can get!!

9 February 2016

Netflix sadness...and de-cluttering!

I may have got a bit over excited yesterday...

It turns out, as with all exciting things designed to fox you and ultimately disappoint, that there is an AMERICAN version and an English version and lo, all the shit hot shows are...not on the English one. FFS. So if you read yesterday's post and thought 'ooh, how lovely, Mad Men and Parenthood, they sound delightful...' then I can only apologise. I blame the Baby and his Ryder obsession for not letting me research accurately before I hit 'publish'! All that aside, I can now attest to Paw Patrol being thrilling viewing (today some baby turtles narrowly escaped death) and that IS available on the English netflix. So, you know, every cloud...

In other news, these arrived for Baby...

and are super cute, even in a size 2-3yrs. You know how some clothes just scream 'baby' and look daft on kids who are clearly walking and talking and about to potty train (don't ask, am in mourning for my carpets!) Well, he was desperate for new trousers, I don't like my boys in jeans and had a voucher code for Boden (G7B5, 20% off, you're welcome!) so I went ahead and ordered these even though I feared they were going to be exactly as I described above. And they look great on him. So that's a relief because a) I'm inherently shit at returning clothing if it means going anywhere near a Post Office and b) I really liked them!

These have also arrived...

and are as revolting as they look. My children categorically do not wear items of clothing with characters on, the exception to this is pyjamas and pants! Baby has been pooping on the potty for a couple of months now but is going through a small regression. I wasn't sure if this regression was because I'd started him too soon (he's not 2 until April) or if it was the natural reluctance all children exhibit once the novelty wears off and they realise you're expecting them to use the potty each and every time. There I was, pondering and questioning myself when he skipped across his bedroom, naked after bathtime, wee'd on the floor, then skipped right back to tell me about the puddle! Yes, I thought, you know exactly what to do. Let's crack on... Send wine!

Other than that we're having quite a quiet day at home (aforementioned pants are in the wash so have kind of caved and he's wearing pullups and being shown to the potty every 15 minutes...am a wuss, I know, I know!!) 

(We may well confuse your child but at least, with us, you don't get piss on your new sofa cushions!)

Uni Girl visited at the weekend, walked into our playroom and exclaimed 'God, you could open a toy shop!!' which made me laugh but also hit a nerve. This is a topic I really struggle with. Our children are very fortunate, they do not want for anything, and while I try really hard not to duplicate toys, to make sure everything we have has some sort of educational slant and isn't just 'plastic tat', I do sometimes feel that they are drowning in toys. The playroom is, whilst tidy, very full and very 'busy'. Subsequently, when she left I spent hours online and on Pinterest searching for articles with annoying patronising titles such as 'minimalist playroom', 'montessori playroom' and 'how to create a playroom that will keep your children entertained and stimulated just the right amount without taking 4 hours to tidy up each damn night when they've buggered off to bed and you're left to sort it'. That kind of stuff!

And the conclusion I've come to? What I already knew, really. They have too much stuff. Children don't play with things properly if they are too distracted in a busy room or if they have to 'dig down' to find the bloody thing in the first place. And whilst these two toys (both of which we own...)

are both beautiful and well-made and used...they do the exact same thing, no? Baby hits ball, ball moves by magical power of gravity, appears at bottom. Does he really need two toys that do the same thing?? The answer, as much as it kills me, is no! In the words of Marie Kondo, does it spark joy? If not, it really just needs to go. This bloody thing, for example...

I hate it! I bought it because, well because I was out shopping and they didn't have it already (at least it wasn't a duplicate, eh?!) But neither of the boys have ever really played with it, it just doesn't spark their joy, it just sits on the window ledge looking sad and dusty. And so, it is now in the bag for nursery. I thought I'd be sad (Husband always is when he sees the stuff destined for the charity shop!) but actually I find de-cluttering quite freeing. The sticking point with the playroom will come when I include the boys, I fear. What 'sparks their joy' won't always gel with my idea of purposeful, educational, aesthetically pleasing toys...we'll just have to learn to compromise I think?! 

Wish me luck!!