Real Housewife of Suffolk County

Friday, 3 July 2015

Five Things | Why June 2015 Was The Best Month EVER.

I don't usually feel sad when a month passes by. But saying goodbye to June this year was hard.
I felt like June was MY month. I'd been looking forward to it for so long and had such high hopes and expectations for it, so there was a lot of pressure on the month.
It all turned out better than I expected.
From the 1st of June all the way through until the 30th I had something to look forward to. It was a busy month. I fell behind on blog posts, blog deadlines, lost school letters, missed appointments and turned up 7 hours early for my Asda Click and Collect order.

New Kitten

It's been quite an adjustment having a kitten in the house. Walter has lived with us for just over a month now and the boys are still not over the novelty of having a small cat who will let them coo all over him and let them play with him. This can be adorable, and it's lovely when they can take over the role of "entertainer" for Walter so I can take a break from play duties, but it's difficult when Walter is trying to sleep, or if they want a cuddle and he wants to play and one of them (the boys) ends up getting hurt.
We're still unsure as to what our older cat, Jasmine, thinks of Walter. I'm pretty sure she adores him, but as he is so playful and just wants to keep jumping on her she hasn't really been given the chance to cuddle up with him and I think he hasn't really given himself the chance to get to know her. She has never been the playful type, and I expect that given she is now 10 she will be less likely to appreciate a bop on the tail and a kitten jumping on her back and biting her neck.

New Passion

On June the 3rd I took my first solo flight and headed to the Isle of Man to be greeted by my brother. He had invited me over to have a holiday with him whilst the TT races were on. I had watched a documentary film based on the Dunlop family and from the moment I started watching it I knew there was not only something special about this family, but also about this sport. I hated to admit it, after all I didn't really like motorbikes up until that point, especially not watching them race but that film made me think differently. It was part of why my brother invited me, so that I could experience it first hand. It was incredible, and so so so much better than I expected. I don't think you can really prepare for it. No amount of Youtube videos can prepare you for the sound, speed, smell, the atmosphere and adrenaline you feel as those bikes fly past you.
Leaving hurt so much. I cried all the way from the point we were standing at in the photo below, to the airport, on the back of my brothers bike. Seriously, sobbing with a helmet on is interesting. The visor almost looked like it had been raining. I cried for the entire plane journey home and for days after....and still cry about it now.
Next year can not come around quickly enough.

New Memories

One of the best things about going to the Isle of Man was the memories I made with my brother. He is so incredibly important to me, and I realised how lucky I am to have a brother like him when people revealed their surprise at him asking his sister to go on holiday with him. 
He really looked after me, and made me coffee in the mornings and most importantly, he made sure I had the best view of every race we saw that week. As a result, I had the best experience I could have had.
He made me feel really special by introducing me to everyone he met, even if it was the first time he was meeting them. He would inform them that it was my first time there and that I became interested after watching Road. The loveliest thing about this was that I felt important, and as though he was proud of me. And that feeling beats any other.
I love that I can share this passion with him now. Ok I'm not into bikes as much as him, but I know quite a bit about the TT now and have got books on my Kindle because I am interested to learn more about the races, about the history and about the racers too. 

New Experiences

I know, I know, I know. I keep on talking about it and still, two weeks on, I am not over it. In fact, I still think that mentally I am still in London, I am still surrounded by a fantastic community, and I am still introducing wonderful sessions and speakers. I am still trusted by the team and being supported by them. 
It was such a fantastic experience, and it's funny how different a conference can look and feel from the other side. And as much as I loved being an attendee the last two years, this year was my favourite. I much preferred this feeling. Comfortable, confident and happy.
I adore this beautiful photo below of Jen and Susanna taken (with permission) from The Purple Pumpkin Blog. I respected these two ladies a lot anyway, but since I walked into the Brewery and they welcomed me as though I was always one of the team and kept giving me supportive looks, smiles, knee squeezes and hugs throughout the weekend I now respect them even more. I owe them so much for how happy me being room moderator has made me feel.

New Friendships

With the TT and Britmums Live being such big experiences for me, they were both made even more special by making new friends. It's funny because blogging sometimes can seem so small, the community and so on, yet there are always friends to make and people who you haven't yet met.
My new blogging friends are not newbies, they are the ones who started blogging before I did. The ones whose blogs inspired me to blog. The ones who showed me what I could be capable of and the ones that introduced me to the community.
And the TT, the TT was wonderful because you make these "temporary friendships". The ones who you will be best friends with for your time there, or even for one evening, and then never see again. Or there are the ones that you add on Facebook and spy on every now and then.
I've spent time with my two local best friends too this month which has been great. They've both really been there for me when I need them and have made me realise how special friendships are and how essential it is to have people there for you.

A 30th Birthday Wishlist

In just over 2 months time I am turning 30. I'm ok with that, so many people seem to freak out about it. But I'm ok to leave my 20's behind. I feel like 30 is time to be an adult though, and at the moment, with my mid-life crisis, I'm not quite sure I'm ready to embrace this adulthood full on.
However, the positive side to it, and something I am quite looking forward to, when it comes to the adulthood thing, is that I feel I'm at this stage, even as I approach 30, where I am completely in control of my body and decisions I make regarding my life.
Well, of course having a family means not all decisions are my own to make, but where I can, I like that I'm resposible and capable to make my own decisions.

When it comes to my birthday I'm not really the type to want to be whisked away somewhere for the weekend. Top of my wishlist is a hybrid bike, and the best celebration would be to go out for a bike ride with the family ending up at my favourite restaurant in the evening.

So, of course, there comes a little outfit wishlist with that, and other than a bike the only other thing I want for my birthday is the camera charm for my Pandora bracelet....all of the items below.

  1. Joules, Navy Peony Oralia maxi dress 
  2. Joules, Navy Marl Gigi vest
  3. Jones Bootmaker Sandals, Kalymnos Wedge Heels
  4. Etsy, Stop Stressing Meowt tee
  5. Pandora Camera Charm

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

An Interview with a Six Year Old

Now that Charles' birthday has gone it was time to film his "Interview with a six year old" video. I made the mistake of filming it when Harry was with us, so lots of interuptions, and a crisp packet rustling in the background as well as the occassional dog barking.
However, they are still good to look back on.

You can see our past videos here:

Interview with a 3 year old
Interview with a 4 year old
Interview With a 5 Year Old

Storage Ideas for a Small Bathroom

Do you have that one room in your house that you know will never be what you want it to be?
I find with the more modern houses that any renovations are limited. Houses are made smaller these days.
There's that third bedroom which is more often than not a "box room" which you struggle to fit a single bed in.
Dining rooms are a thing of the past and are now pitched as play rooms, offices, and  the dining room is incorporated into the kitchen space, therefore reducing worktop space.
For us, well at least for me, the bathroom is the "problem" in our house.
Storage space being the main thing, and with it being a square floor plan we are too limited with rearranging items so have to work with what we have.

My ideal kitchen would have an island in the middle of it, and I feel like the bathroom alternative to this is a vanity unit. With units available to fit in any space, around any size or shape sink, and in a variety of colours and styles, I think they are the perfect addition to the bathroom and are the ultimate in bathroom storage, for me anyway. You can see a range of beautifuvanity units here.

I am an absolute horder of wicker baskets. They are all over my house, and the content of them are constantly changed. I've often wondered about placing them on the bathroom wall as a shelf, but didn't consider putting them up as per the photo above.

When it comes to bathroom storage hacks, this is probably the best one I have ever seen. 
Add an extra shower curtain rail over your bath and hang some plastic storage baskets. Perfect for children's toys, and items such as razors which need to be kept out of reach.

What are your storage tips for smaller rooms?

New Shoes for Summer | Review

Every year as soon as Summer hits I have the urge to buy all the sandals. I want flip flops, wedges (black and tan), strappy flats, jellies in a range of colours (yet still only own black). And don't get me started on the new wardrobe I want too.

This year top of my shoe lust list was a pair of black sandals, preferably something with a heel.
Brantano contacted me and asked if I would like to choose a pair of shoes from their site to review. We are very familiar with Brantano, in fact when it comes to shoe shops it is a favourite of mine...and my mums in particular.
The boys school shoes tend to come from there and it's always our first port of call if we need any other kind of footwear for them.
What we love the most about Brantano is that there is a wide range of brands available, and because of this there is obviously a wider selection of styles as well the fact that there are shoes available for any budget.
I'm not a shoe snob by any means and will look at the cheaper brands depending on my needs. When it comes to sandals, particularly black ones which I know I will wear a lot, I want to invest in a quality pair, and will be strict and choose leather because you know, plastic shoes + sweaty hot feet = all kinds of yuk.

Already owning a pair of tan Clarks wedges I headed straight to the Clarks section and fell in love with the Rusty Wish Wedges. The wedge is a little smaller than I usually like however I think it then means these work as an alternative to flats as well as being an ideal heeled shoe for more dressy occasions.
These women's two part sandals from Clarks, combine a modern wearable 5cm cork-effect wedge with an eye-catching lattice design. Black leather straps cross over the toe while an adjustable riptape strap fastens around the ankle for a secure fit.
They are so comfortable, and I was straight away able to wear them for a 2 day conference in London without needing to break them in or require blister plasters. And I was also able to wear them all day when we visited Alton Towers without needing to pop back to the hotel to change into my Converse.

Harry was also offered some shoes to review. I was really keen on getting him something quite "boy like" and robust. Something with good structure, that reflected his personality, and was suitable for playtime, sailing and also smart enough to wear for a meal out.
I narrowed down some choices for him and he ended up selecting these bright Adidas Advantage trainers. The three velcro straps make it easier for him to be able to put the trainers on himself without having to worry about laces.
The bright colours make these trainers a little less grown up, which I think is good for this kind of style.
The range of trainers available for boys in Brantano is fantastic and I love that we can shop there for school shoes, day to day shoes but also for trainers without needing to visit a specific sports shop.
Even better, Harry loves them. Which for a very fussy a relief!
Thank you Brantano for sending us these shoes to review.
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