Sunday, 14 September 2014

Happy Sunday | Week Twenty Six

Whether or not you think Sunday is the end of the week, or the beginning of a new one, I thought it would be a nice idea to look back on the week that has just past and to look at the things that have made me happy and made me smile.
I think it can be easy to look back on a hard week and miss out on those things. A week of bad weather for example can really make it seem as though the whole week was a complete fail. But it probably wasn't. We must all smile at least once a day. I know I do, even if I forget it.

Things that made me happy this week:


It was my birthday on Thursday and I absolutely love the cards that my husband got me from him and from the boys too. The words are lovely in each of the cards which makes them that extra bit special.


My mother in law kindly gave me some Joules vouchers for my birthday so, this weekend with the 25% discount offer, I popped to the Southwold store at the first available opportunity to purchase some Wellibobs. I've wanted a pair for sooooo long and am delighted now I have some! I think I will wear these a lot, as a regular pair of boots throughout the Autumn and the Winter. And look at the pretty floral pattern too.

The Originals

I didn't get to see my mum on Thursday so on Friday I suggested a night in with her and my brother. My brother was staying at my mums this week so I requested one of our favourite dinners and we all watched Captain Phillips together.
I absolutely loved it, and spending quality time with the two originals in my family was fantastic and made me feel very content.
(Also, high fives for two Tom Hanks films in a row this week. Saving Mr Banks on Thursday and this on Friday. Go me!!)

Little Miss

My mum bought me a pair of sunglasses early on in the Summer as an early birthday present, as a result I didn't have anything to unwrap on Thursday, but you know...when you are a grown up it doesn't matter and a card is truly enough. However she did give me a little something on the day and I absolutely love it.
My boys love the Mr Men books and for Harry's birthday his Grandad and Grandma bought him the complete collection. I think these are wonderful books and my mum bought me the Little Miss Twins book. It is so cute and I did laugh when I unwrapped it. (I'm a twin if you didn't know, although I have a brother not a sister)


Harry started preschool this week and on Monday it was his turn for a haircut. I never know what to ask for as 'short on the sides and spiky on top' isn't really that simple as you then have to give numbers and lengths and it's all so faffy. I ended up asking for a number 2 at the sides and for it to be long on top. I think it looks really cool and it wasn't until we saw my brother later that day that we realised they have similar styles.

New Jumper

I ordered a new jumper from H&M. I am a bit obsessed with their clothes at the moment and love this floral design. I ordered it in a large and it is HUGE but I am going to keep it as I quite like the oversized look of it, especially when teamed with skinny jeans. I think it will be ideal when layering in the colder months and will be extra snuggly at night time.

What made you happy this week?

Linking up to:
The Ordinary Moments: Mummy Daddy Me
My Week That Was: Make, Do and Push

Saturday, 13 September 2014

It's Not a Myth

I clearly remember before my wedding day, everyone told me to enjoy it and soak in every second because it goes so quickly.
They were right. It goes so quickly and you definitely miss so much.
People said the same about having children. That time goes so quickly and before you know it you are waving them off to school.
This didn't seem true during the newborn days. The long sleepless nights, the long days full of numerous nappy changes, hour long feeds, watching the clock until it's time for your partner to get home from work so you can go to the toilet by yourself.

This month saw some big changes in our house. Charles returned to school and joined Year 1. Year 1 seems like "proper school", not that reception wasn't, but now it's time for learning and it's exciting. He is excited which is the best bit for us.
I love it when he comes out of school with a new "Mummy, did you know......" and then telling me all about the facts he learnt that day.
I don't love the mornings where he takes forever to get ready, with me having to remind him countless times to brush his teeth, put his shoes on, or to get daddy to sort his collar out. But walking him to school, kissing him goodbye and giving him a tight squeeze, wishing him a good day and saying 'I love you' as many times I can before I really need to leave, I realise that actually, those newborn days don't really feel that long ago.

As I now do the same to Harry, and drop him off at preschool, a proud smile beaming across my face at the boy who wasn't at all daunted by his first day and week at preschool and got himself settled within minutes, already claiming to love his keyworker, and everyday so excited as I tell him it's time to put his tshirt on and get ready to leave.

It doesn't seem like long ago that we were dropping Charles off at that very preschool, in the same colour tshirt, handing him over to the same keyworker who he also fell in love with.

I go home and sit there and as I'm getting on with my chores (apparently you're not allowed to sit and watch tv when you're children are at school, you have to be productive!) going through the boys washing I look at the size of their tshirts, the labels that say age 3-4 years and 5-6 years and wonder where on earth those days went where I was looking at 3-6 months.

I keep thinking back to time before school, and how we filled our days. I have a lot of regrets, a lot of things I wish I did. I was always the "there's no rush" or "we'll do that tomorrow/next week/at the weekend" kind of person and those things never got done.  You don't get that time back.
And although I sometimes feel sad as I wave goodbye to my boys and watch them settle into this place where they grow without me, where they don't need me, the place that limits our time together I remind myself how well they are doing, how much they have grown and what a good job we have done to turn them into these confident children who are excited about learning.

The best part of my day is meeting both boys from school and getting the biggest cuddle from them. These cuddles mean so much more to me than ever before and each time I try my best to hold on just a little bit longer and a little bit tighter, and appreciate it a little bit more.

Fairy Non Bio wants to encourage all mums to make the most of those super soft and special moments with your little ones, as they grow up so quickly! Give your babies an extra soft cuddle today. #Powerofsoft

This post is sponsored by Fairy and their #Powerofsoft campaign

Friday, 12 September 2014

Lust List: The Coffee Table

Since we moved to our house we've constantly made changes. I'm not sure we will ever be fully satisfied or happy with everything but it's fun trying to get to that point.
Our lounge has been one area where we are constantly making changes. Due to having two babies we were limited with what we could accessorise with. Flowers had their heads ripped off, candles were scratched with pencils, and vases were constantly knocked over.

With the boys now older and able to understand when we say "DON'T TOUCH!" I've been thinking of different ways to decorate using accessories to really make the room a little more homely and lived in.

This cute Cath Kidston House Lamp would look lovely as a centre piece on a coffee table.
We are one of "those" sailing families. The ones with yachts and anchor pieces dotted around our home. I adore this Fulmar boat from John Lewis. The colours and style of the yacht are exactly what we like to see on the Norfolk Broads, so it would be a lovely reminder everyday of our hobby.
Debenhams stock a beautiful wood unit with ceramic drawers which would be perfect for little, but important, bits and pieces that end up left on the table. Hairbands, jewellery, and marbles....and the odd toy car.
Every lounge needs a scented candle right? I am really into Yankee Candles so the vanilla lime housewarmer candle available at House of Fraser would have to feature.
I'm picky when it comes to coffee tables and like something that not only looks nice, but something that is super practical. This soft grey and oak coffee table from Cookes Living Furniture is really practical with 2 shelves and 2 drawers. I love the grey colour too as I feel it gives a real rustic look.
Seeing as I am obsessed with Joules I wouldn't be able to not have one of their items proudly displayed on a coffee table. I think this cake stand is so pretty and is something I wouldn't want hidden away in a kitchen cupboard.

With a couple of Kirstie Allsopp books placed on the shelves underneath I think the coffee table would look perfect.

What would be on your coffee table lust list?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Twinty Nine

For 12 years I have spent my life with a wonderful man. We've had ups, downs, adventures and more. We've chosen to spend our lives together and to have a family.
For 5 years I have spent my life with two wonderful boys. We've had ups, downs, adventures and more. They've shown me that there is a hard, tense, in depth love that you can only feel for your children.

And for 29 years (and 9 months in the womb) I have spent my life with someone who was a wonderful boy and is now a wonderful man. We've had ups, downs, adventures and more. He is one of the most amazing people I know and I feel incredibly lucky that he is my brother. My twin brother.

I know the majority of people love their siblings, and I am one of those people.
I don't think I've ever had a real fight with my brother, or stayed mad at him for any longer than 24 hours.
He really is the best brother I could ever hope for and wish for and recently I've thanked my mum for not only having me, but for giving me not just a brother, but a twin brother.

I do feel like we have a special bond because we are twins. Not that it makes our relationship any more or less significant to any other Siblings relationship, but I like the fact that we grew together, and that 4 minutes after I wass born he clearly missed me so much and decided to join me again.

It's hard as an adult to be so far away from him. It's hard to not have your brother right there all the time, and for him to not be in the same town because sometimes, I just need to see him. For no reason at all. Even if it meant sitting in a room with him in silence whilst we both do whatever we do on our phones or laptops. Just being in his company is enough for me.

Not only is he an amazing brother, but he is also a superb uncle and I hope the boys appreciate him as much as I do.
Looking back at my childhood it makes me so so happy that I have lots of positive, happy memories because of him. Silly things that now we look back on and think "why was that even funny?!"

To my amazing twin brother. 

My life wouldn't be the same without you.

Happy 29th Birthday.

Thank you for being you. And being the best twin brother I could ever hope for.


Explorer to House Cat

Before I met my husband I was not a cat person, whatsoever. I don't think I am now really. I am just someone who owns a cat who I adore.
We got Jasmine in 2005, a couple of months after we got married. We had another cat at the time who was sadly hit by a car in 2009. We briefly had another cat in 2010 but he was only with us for a couple of months as he was very poorly and we had to get him put down, which was devastating.

We decided to not get any other cats and to just enjoy Jasmine. She was always an explorer, although not so much a hunter. She would instead find something already dead and bring it home and pretend she had caught and killed it.
She's always been very wary of people and only in the last 3-4 years has she acknowledged my husband.
So when our neighbour told us that Jasmine kept just walking in her house and sitting on her bed we knew this wasn't the complete truth.
This went on for a long time. We would go over there to see if the neighbour had seen Jasmine but no, she hadn't, and 15 minutes later there would be a knock on the door and who would it be?! The neighbour, with Jasmine in her arms fighting to get away.

After a while we got frustrated with the neighbour not listening to us, we had to take Jasmine to the vets because she developed a poorly tummy and we now have to keep her on a controlled diet. Of course, telling the neighbour this didn't help whatsoever and she continued to feed her.

The day came when we had had enough. We decided that from now on Jasmine would be a house cat. It was a big decision and we did feel guilty because we were taking her freedom away, but we had to be selfish and we had to think of the pros and cons.

We did do a bit of researching online just to check we were doing things right and that we weren't neglecting her in anyway.

We basically had to go back to the days when she was a kitten and start from scratch.  I find in situations like this it is much easier to buy online at specific pet shops, such as Swell Pets, because I find it easier to search for products, to research products and prices, and also to make sure I have everything I need and haven't missed anything out.

Thankfully she took to it quite well. She has her routine of sleeping in the kitchen/playroom or more recently upstairs somewhere, and in the daytime she will go into my room and hide under the bed.
It took a lot of adjustments and still even now we forget about the litter tray sometimes and a late night dash outside to grab it in is needed.

Not only did we have to get used to having a litter tray, but when Harry was a baby we had to get another type of litter tray, one which was almost like a cat box, and this was proof to us that we have to constantly keep an eye on Jasmine's needs, more so than when she explored outside.
We have to make sure we give her enough things to keep her stimulated and to prevent her being depressed. Thankfully she is quite a bizarre cat and doesn't really like toys, much preferring to play with an emery board or giant nail file.
Her food was something we had already looked into because of her being poorly on and off and she was restricted to dry food. We have to watch that she doesn't have any fish or meat that we do as she will get poorly again, so for us a positive of her staying in is that we can control her diet easier.
We can also ensure that she is getting enough water. Again, because of her tummy we are unable to give her milk. To make her diet a little more exciting we simply just change the flavour of her cat food every fortnight.

We've also now got into a routine with her which has been good for all of us. She has never been keen on the boys and prefers to shut herself away in the daytime and sleep so she will go and sit in our bedroom. At night, one the boys have gone to bed (or when they are at school in the afternoon) she will leave the bedroom and come and sit downstairs with either my husband or me and have cuddles and fuss.
We knew from the beginning to respect her needing her space and wanting to be away by herself during the day. We didn't want her to feel she was forced to have the boys fuss over her and for her to get so fed up about it that she would run for an open door at any given opportunity.

If you are considering a house cat you may want to also think about:
Vegetation e.g. a source of grass
Scratching posts
Scent stimulation e.g. catnip
Fresh air e.g. keeping a bedroom window open slightly for the cat to sit near.

Although we were unsure at first we soon realised what a positive change our decision made to Jasmine.
Not only was she not poorly anymore, but she seemed happier, she let my husband fuss over her more whereas before she didn't want to know him at all (even after 7 years!), her weight seemed better as at times her tummy would be quite round where neighbours had fed her. And in general she looked a lot more healthy.

If we ever got another cat, we would definitely go for a house cat again.

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