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BAKES | Candy Cane Cookies

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Just popping in for a quick blog post folks. I hope that you are all having a great Christmas break with your families and making lots of plans for New Years Eve. I'm only popping in because I just couldn't stay away and I wanted to share this really simple bake with you.
Over the last few days I have been seeing lots of posts from people who have already taken their Christmas decorations down, some even on Boxing day. I don't like doing this too early because I just love Christmas and want to draw it out for as long as the husband allows it. But he's assured me they are coming down soon. I have just looked at my tree and seen that I have gone overboard with the candy canes this year, the top of the tree is full of them - the little lady has already seen to the bottom of the tree. I needed to create a recipe that would require candy canes! Do you have lots of candy canes left over? Try this recipe I'm sure they will tickle those taste buds.

You'll need:
125g butter, softened
100g light brown soft sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
Left over candy canes, crushed

1. First things first preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. It's also best to try and prepare your crushed candy canes while the oven is heating up. Put all your candy canes in a zip lock plastic bag, wrap the bag in a tea towel, take a wooden roll pin and bash them. Then set aside until step 4.

2. Cream butter and sugars, once creamed, combine in the egg and vanilla. Sift in the flour and salt

3. Roll into walnut size balls for a more homemade look, or roll into a long, thick sausage shape and slice to make neater looking cookies.

4. Place on ungreased baking paper. I prefer my cookies to be doughy and delicious so I will cook them for about 7 minutes and for these candy cane cookies half way through I will take them out to sprinkle the crushed candy canes before finishing baking. If you prefer harder cookies then cook for 10 minutes until golden brown.

5. Take out of the oven and leave to harden for a minute before transferring to a wire cooling rack. These are great warm, and they also store well, if they don't all get eaten straight away!
Happy Baking!
Don't forget to let me know if you've tried this recipe, I'd love to see your bakes.

Amelia's Christmas Eve Basket

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Can you believe it's Christmas at the end of the week? December has flown by and so I really need to tell you all about my daughters Christmas Eve basket. As with many families, we started our own Christmas Traditions and my favourite one is making up her Christmas Eve Basket. We attempted one last year and it went down really well with her, and so this year I may have gone over the top with all her goodies but I know she'll love her basket.


So what's included?

The Night Before Christmas Santa Plate | Christmas Plate | Rudolph Glass | Minnie Mouse Pyjamas | Christmas Hat With Plaits | Christmas Activity Pack | Christmas Pencils & Erasers | 2000 Stickers Christmas Book | The Girl Who Saved Christmas Book | Elf DVD | Milky Way Selection | Choceur Bunny | Candy Canes | Chocolate Coins | Snowman & Santa Biscuits | Reindeer Food


My Dream Home Office

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Out with the old and in with the new...Around this time of year we all like the idea of changing the old for new, leaving old things and ideas behind in order to make room for new things and new ideas. This whole changing old for new is something that we will be doing in our home in the upcoming new year. I have a two year old daughter  who seems to have accumulated more belongings than both my husband and I, and so it makes complete sense to upgrade the size of her bedroom. But as she goes into the bigger bedroom it does mean that the smaller room will be vacant, no we are not having a man cave, we are have decided to create a home office. I have always dreamed of the perfect office space and I've been putting together some ideas to execute when the time finally comes. So let me show you what I'm dreaming about...

Copper & Pink Perfection


Nothing would be more fitting for my office than layering pale pink with the oh-so-in-the-moment copper hues because they are a match made in design heaven. They are like one of those couples that look good together from the get go and then you can't really imagine them with anyone else. And like most couples they bring out the best in one another - the copper gives the pink a bit of edge and the pink brings out the warm rose tone in the copper. However when the two colours are paired with a grey or a marble effect it really looks so beautiful so let me show you what I have in mind.

Flooring

So if you didn't know already I am head over heels with the colour palette of coppers, pinks, light greys and whites that would work  beautifully. As a base I would paint all the walls a pale pink and have beautiful white wooden flooring to help set off the room. White wooden flooring is such a stylish and an attractive option for any interior design, it's a colour that really goes with a whole mixture of furnishings and would be great for the copper and pale pink theme I have in mind.


Lighting

Staring at computer screens and paperwork is hard on your eyes. Especially if your office doesn’t have windows or a natural light source, so finding the adequate lighting to brighten up my space is a must and will help create the ambience and set the mood in room. I have been scrolling through the internet for the perfect copper lighting that will help bring out the pale pinks and white flooring to give them a certain edge. These are my favourite finds.

Standing Copper Stars | Copper Bedside Lamp | Copper Work Lamp | Couple's Initials Carnival Lights


Windows

In our soon to be office we have a large window space and we currently have nets and some black out curtains, and we are looking to upgrade our windows and we know that the company VELUX offer a wide range of options. So we can finally get rid of those nets and have beautiful windows and some blackout roller blinds from VELUX Blinds Direct, my favourites are the pale pink and light grey. With VELUX you can combine them with other products they offer, for additional heat protection, we can simply install an awning blind or a roller shutter. During the summer, we could have an insect screen which will protect us from any annoying pests like flies and wasps.

You really are spoiled for choice with the company VELUX so why don't you take the time and see what they have to offer, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.  

Décor
I have so many Pinterest boards that would be the perfect fit for my dream copper and pale pink home office. And as much as I would love to fill my office with lots of décor I don't like clutter, I know with a toddler too. Everything in my home has it's place and dare anyone try and move anything, haha. I know that I will be exactly the same with my dream office but I would like to try and be creative with the space I have and so I have put together a few pieces that will be copper and pink perfection.

   
Rose Gold Binder Clips | Marble Effect Clock | Modern Rose Gold Colour Block Cushion | Pink Geometric Holder | Copper Diamond Weave Storage Basket | Ombre Planter Trio | Blush Pink Storage Cube | Peonies Pink Parfait In Vase
 
What do you think of my dream home office? Do you like the colours? Let me know in the comments

BOOK REVIEW | The Girl Who Saved Christmas by William Thomas Thach

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One of the most magical parts of Christmas has to be the stories and my daughter adores books. Every night we will read a bed time story together and she loves them even more because they can take on a Christmas theme. I was thrilled that my daughter and I got an opportunity to read a new magical Christmas story, The Girl Who Saved Christmas. What would happen if one year all the children found themselves on the naughty list?


I was very excited when the book arrived in big red packaging with a beautiful thank you note from the writer - a lovely touch. The book cover was a deep red velvet that was embossed with gold writing, it also had a gold read ribbon and a privacy clasp which made it all the more festive and will be sure to become the perfect Christmas classic.

The Girl Who Saved Christmas is a festive tale that begins with Santa being disheartened after finding out that the world's children have been naughty. Santa decided that no children would receive presents and orders the elf to load the sleigh with coal. That was until he meets a very good little girl called Molly McAme who reminds Santa the real meaning behind Christmas 'marks the birth of a glorious child' who taught us that it's best if we learn to forgive. Little ones will fall in love with Molly McAme and the magical story of Christmas forgiveness, this story is such a remarkable treasure that lifts your spirit and reminds us of the joy of Christmas.

My thoughts on the book

Even though the concept of all the children being bad and forgiveness went over my daughters head. The story, the language and the illustrations kept her attention and she would point out what she could see as we read each page. A wonderful story with a beautiful message conveyed through one little girl who was filled with so much love and her power to forgive gave Santa the message so that misbehaving children would still receive gifts from Santa.

The playful rhymes and illustration immediately captured my daughter's imagination and held her attention right up until the last page where she asked if we could read it again, of which we did of course. I also liked the fact that there was a glossary at the end of the book for all those words that children may not understand, and there was also a page for my daughter to write down her Christmas list to Santa. A truly beautiful Christmas tale that's suitable for all ages.

The book is currently only available in America on Amazon.com – however, the e-book version will be available shortly in the UK. In the meantime, you can listen to the full story on YouTube.  It’s the perfect Christmas book to read whilst snuggled up on Christmas Eve in new PJs with a festive hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream.

#MOTHERHOOD MONDAYS FEATURING MUM OF 2 POINT 5

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Hello everyone,

I hope that you've had a lovely weekend and well on the way in getting organised for Christmas. Thankfully we finished Christmas shopping for our relatives so we can miss the mad rush next week and enjoy the last week leading up to the big day. I am beyond excited! Anyway let's get back to why you're here. If you follow Mimi Rose & Me you will know that we are trying to launch a new series on the blog, Motherhood Mondays! If you would like to find out more or think that it's something you'd like to part in come and take a look at our first post in the series.


 First up we have the lovely Katie Mulford from Mum of 2 Point 5 who is fairly new to the wonderful world that is blogging and is finding her feet with her fantastic blog and I am so excited that she wanted to get involved with our new blog series.



A little more about Katie and her blog. My name is Katie and I am mum of 2.5 kids.  Why 2.5 you ask? That's impossible right? Well, I have 2 kids plus a stepdaughter who is with us for half the time – hence the 2.5 kids!  So that’s that part out of the way.  Now to introduce my little monsters….. I mean darlings.  My stepdaughter Lilian is 9 years old, my daughter Lois is 6 years old and our little man of the house Cody is 3 years old.  Daddy to all 3 and my co-pilot on this crazy parenting adventure is Danny.  As a family we love to get out and do things and visit places but with such a wide age range this can sometimes be tricky. 

I absolutely love this post from Katie because as she says being a parent is the hardest job in the world and it's not always fun and games. But we've all been there when little ones think is hilarious to push those boundaries, my daughter can be quite the madam when we are out and as much as it makes me feel bad I have to stand my ground with her, even with that smile of hers. Katie, you are most definitely not a horrible mum, you're doing an amazing job.

I Am A Horrible Mum

I wrote this over the weekend then changed my mind about posting it as I was worried how people might take it.  I think its important though to be realistic about life as a parent.  It's not all plain sailing. Its not all fun and games. In fact sometimes its down right lousy and can leave you feeling like utter crap. Its important to realise that all Mums have been through it at some point and we all need to support each other and make it ok for people to be open and honest about how hard it can sometimes be. So here goes…..
Today I have been a horrible Mum. I’m not proud of it. In fact I feel heartbroken. Today has been one of  those days where my darling beautiful son has driven me (and half of Ikea) to the brink of insanity. Today he is tired after an exciting sleepover at Auntie’s house last night. Today he is grouchy as he is full of cold and my God hasn’t he let everyone know about it.
We walked into Ikea and within moments it began. I’m looking for our number to be called at the customer service desks. As I glance round, all of the cushions from the waiting area benches have suddenly vanished. “That boy has taken all the cushions” I hear a small child say to his Mum. That boy was my boy. After a wrestling match that WWE fans would have been proud of, I finally manage to return the cushions to their benches and rapidly remove ‘that boy’ from the area. We head over to the touch screens to search for the items we are hoping to purchase. Only every time we get close, a little finger appears from nowhere and taps randomly over the screen sending our product search all over the place. Not just once. Oh no. This has become too good a game. Picking him up I hold him in a vice grip so he can’t reach the screen and he screeches at the top of his voice for all to hear. And I look like a horrible Mum. Product search abandoned. Let’s get some food.
Stood in the queue for hot dogs and  meatballs to keep us going on our trek round the Ikea showrooms, he spots the doughnuts. I say no he can’t have one. And he screams. I am a horrible Mum. He screams and cries for the next 25 minutes while we try to eat until I abandon him with Daddy and go back to the queue (which by now is half a mile long ) to get a drink. I’d have preferred something stronger but coca cola will have to do. I go back to the table and he’s whinging that he doesn’t want his hotdog. Daddy takes a bite and suddenly he’s screaming because he wanted that hotdog. “There’s space in the crèche?” I say hopefully. I am a horrible Mum.  “No he’ll be fine.” Famous last words.
We head up to the show rooms and the real fun begins. So many things to touch, so many places to run, so many places to hide. We hand out stern warnings in that ‘don’t frickin mess with me’ voice saved for public areas when you really are ready to lose it but try desperately to hold it together and look like you are in control. And then I said it. “That’s it. Enough is enough. You’re not going to your friend’s birthday party this afternoon”. I am a horrible Mum. I am a horrible mum because he has been so excited about that party. And his little friend has been so excited about him coming to her party. And I feel awful. I am a horrible Mum but I have to make a stand. Amid hysterical tears and tantrums we pay and leave as quickly as possible  (much to the relief of the Ikea staff I am sure) and get in the car. He falls asleep. I knew he was tired. I am such a horrible Mum. He sleeps all the way home and I message the birthday girl’s mum to let her know we wont make it. He is too tired and grumpy. I am a horrible Mum.
At dinner he’s perked up and seems in a better mood but the devil is in him once again. He sits swinging his legs and repeatedly kicking the chair next to him. I ask him politely to stop and he does. For a second. Then he grins and carries on. I tell him again to stop. He doesn’t.  I warn him there will be no pudding unless he stops. He doesn't. “Right, no pudding.”  More screaming. You see its not just any pudding. It’s the apple crumble made by his big sister that they’ve been so looking forward to trying and his favourite custard. But I don’t give in. We eat our pudding and ignore his screams. I am a horrible Mum.
You see my darling boy, you have to learn boundaries. You have to understand that certain behaviour is not acceptable and it is my job to teach you right from wrong. There are times you will think I am a horrible Mum but please know that it is for your own good, because I want you to grow into a wonderful person.  I hope one day you will understand. I am a horrible Mum, but I love you unconditionally, with all my heart, tantrums and all xxx


Thank you so much for taking part Katie! And you my lovely readers don't forget to check out Katie's blog and follow her on her social media platforms.

Travelling With Toddlers

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Today is the day! We are finally all packed, everything is in the boot and we are on the road. But before we are even at the end of the road I can hear this little squeaky voice in the back 'Ooooh' 'Mum, look' 'Raisins please'! Any car journey with a toddler can be difficult and so I thought that I would share my top tips in surviving those car journeys with them. So sit back and relax, we got this.


As with most car journeys being prepared is a must as you may never know what these little people can throw at you -  an unscheduled nap, a meltdown because they've dropped their favourite toy, becoming hangry little people (we've all been there), explosives poops or even vomming everywhere. It's best to be prepared for EVERYTHING. But you do have to bare in mind that even with the best planning in the world little ones will pick and choose their own routines. My daughter will normally be asleep after an hour or so of travelling so we will try and prepare for this by making sure that she's comfortable, has her yellow blanket and we are prepared for a later night time routine.

Timing is everything. It goes without saying, but I will anyway, try and avoid rush hour. Even though some delays are inevitable but by leaving an hour earlier or an hour later can make a big difference to journey times and stress levels. Plan to travel at a time that includes nap time if possible. Then, get your favourite tunes on, relax and let the miles go by!

Distractions. You will need lots of them with a toddler. My daughter has pretty much taxed my kindle and we do have a portable DVD player and so before we set off we will always make sure that they are both fully charged or have enough leads in case we need to recharge. My daughter has a fantastic app on my her kindle and this is perfect for car journeys, you can find my review here if you'd like to know more. Obviously you don’t want your little ones plugged in to screens for too long so ration their screen time and use it as a tool for rewarding good behaviour if necessary.

I have found from our car journeys that keeping a stash of books, toys, and dummies in the front is the way forward because let's face it most toddlers like to drop and throw things, don't they? But even if they do you'll be ready with your secret stash in the front. We also have this backseat and pushchair organiser which secures to the back of the driver or passenger car seat and it's the perfect distraction for my daughter. It has several compartments to hold drinks, toys, snacks and so much more. We have also decided to do something a little different this year because it's Christmas and wrap up a few gifts for my daughter to unwrap along the way, nothing too expensive a few crayons, colouring books, stickers and perhaps a new DVD to help keep her occupied.

Food. As parents we are not supposed to use food to bribe our children, but on long car journeys, regular snacks can help alleviate boredom and keep little ones happy. A hungry travelling child is NEVER a happy travelling child. Dried fruit, crackers, rice cakes and cubes of cheese are all great choices for snacking. Avoid anything too sticky, because a few chocolate buttons were a great idea to give to my daughter.

Take regular breaks! It always a good idea to stop for regular breaks because you don't want your toddler to become a grumpy bum and consequently becoming grumpy parent for the rest of the journey. So make sure that you take breaks, so sit back and give everyone a change of scene, refreshments and a chance to stretch their legs.

Make sure you are fully equipped. You have packed your suitcase so the last thing you want is to pull out your heavy suitcase to try and get a change of clothes for your little poop machine, so be sure to have some essentials in your car.
  • A change of clothes, without a doubt. Make sure the changing bag is in the front with you to prevent any inquisitive toddlers pulling everything out and eating all your prepared snacks.
  • First aid kit. You never know what could happen so best be prepared. My daughter is going through a stage where if she so much as bites her own fingers she needs a plaster. But it's always a good idea to keep any medicine to hand should you need it.
  • Portable Potty. Even though we are not fully potty trained and most of the journey due to napping she will be in her nappy it's always an idea to take a potty along for the car journey.
Happy Travelling!!!

BAKES | Christmas Gingerbread Men

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Nothing says 'It's Christmas' more than baking gingerbread men and not forgetting the amazing smell they leave behind. A good gingerbread recipe is always a delicious bake to make with your little one, and this recipe is super easy to follow that will give you perfect little gingerbread men every time. My daughter loves baking with me and this recipe would be a great way to get your little ones in the kitchen to help create those festive treats.

To make these you will need:
350g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g butter
175g light soft brown sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp golden syrup

Start by sifting the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon then add to a food processor. Add the butter and mix together in a bowl until you have a crumbly consistency , then stir in the soft brown sugar. Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together before adding to the food processor, blitz and then work together until a dough forms.

Wrap the dough up in cling film and refrigerate for an hour. When you're ready, pre-heat the oven to 180c and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Then lightly flour the surface, roll out the dough to 1cm thickness. Use a cutter to cut out your gingerbread men in the dough and arrange on the lined baking tray making sure you leave a gap in between each shape.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown, leave on the tray for 10-minutes and move to a wire rack to finish cooling. Then you can get creative with the children and decorate with icing and cake decorations. We used icing and chocolate chips after taking this photo but hey were so good that we forgot to take a photo of the finished gingerbread men! Why not try - swapping the ginger for cinnamon or vanilla essence if you don't like ginger, or swap the golden syrup for treacle?


Happy Baking!!!


MOTHERHOOD MONDAYS | I would love to hear your stories

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My daughter will be turning two and a half on Christmas day and I cannot actually believe it, how can this be? Its been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for all of us, we've laughed, we've cried and even played with toys at 4am in the morning. We have watched her through the milestones and created so many great memories as a family of three. I know it's what everyone says as they watch their babies grow up, but time really does fly by...

Due to being such an emotional prat, please tell me that I am not the only one? I thought that it would be a perfect time to begin a mini series on the blog, featuring real stories from those who have experienced how tough, rewarding and confusing motherhood can be. After all its the hardest job in the world. I would love to hear your stories whether they are good, bad or ugly, please message me and share your stories for Motherhood Mondays!




Let's kick off the first post of the series about my journey into motherhood.

This next part of this post has been in my drafts for some time and I have been in two minds whether to share this part of my life on my blog . I would read the post over and over and steer clear of that publish button, however today for some reason or another I wanted to share this part of me.

I have said it before on the blog nothing can really prepare you for being a mother. You can read all the books, attend antenatal classes and listen to the vast amounts of advice, but when it comes down to it you never really know what it's like to be a mother until you are one. For me, becoming a mother has been one of the biggest accomplishments that I have made and probably will ever make in my life. Any decisions that I have made have never brought me so much joy and so much love into my heart. I'm pretty sure many will be with me on this one when I say that I thought I knew what is was to love another, but being a mother is a love like you have never known. An unconditional love, a love that's impossible to break. But our journey into parenthood has by far not been the easiest.

In order for you to understand I need to take you briefly back. I promise it will be brief. Ever since I can remember I have always been at the doctors, the hospital or seeing specialists at one time or another. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have had to show people me down belows, one time there was at least five doctors down there having a gawk. As I'm sure you can imagine, it was terrifying for a young girl. All these appointment were for a reason, right up until the age of sixteen I would have random bleeding patterns from my down belows, which was a cause for concern for my parents and the doctors. But after all these appointments there wasn't much that they could advise until I began puberty and my menstruating cycles, which wasn't until I was sixteen.

Back in the same old room, legs akimbo, doctors having a gawk, scans and more tests we finally got some answers. I was told that both my ovaries were extremely small and that they weren't developing as they should. Then he went onto say that it would be very difficult for me to conceive naturally, when the time comes. At sixteen years old, children were the furthest thing from my mind but I knew I wanted to be a mother with out a doubt, but not yet. However as I got older and everyone around me started to have their own families, my thoughts led me back into that doctor's office. I began to convince  my family, friends and myself that I didn't want children and this would be the best way not to show that part of me, but while I was holding their babies, it broke my heart as I knew that this may never be me.

This was also the same time my husband came into my life. Ssssh don't tell him but I knew pretty much straightaway that he was the one for me and we soon became attached at the hip. I knew that it was getting serious between us and it would only be fair to him to tell him that I may never be able to have children of my own. After a long time building up the courage to tell him he was just perfect and told me that we would concentrate on building a life together and deal with that side of things when the time comes. Life was pretty busy after that. I graduated, my husband completed his engineering degree, we moved out of our parents. We got engaged and finally we got married.  We enjoyed holidays, spending our spare cash on whatever we wanted, enjoyed lay ins and arranging things on a whim. It was such a wonderful time.

Then the questions began...when are you starting a family? Ooh isn't time you had a baby? Is there a bun in the oven? Obviously we wanted to start a family but nobody knew that part about us. One negative test after another, it was disheartening and I think it's because deep down we knew becoming parents may never happen for us. Our future in becoming parents was bleak and we decided to stop because trying for a baby was the only thing we were focusing on and it had taken it's toll on us and our marriage. We began focusing on us again, trying to discover what we wanted to do with our lives and then something amazing happened. I was incredibly fortunate to become pregnant with our daughter Amelia, a true blessing that I would never ever taken for granted. I just stared at the positive pregnancy test trying to comprehend what I was seeing. I was finally going to be someone's mummy.

The only way that I can end this post is to say, be thankful and appreciate the things we have in life and remember whenever we meet new people to stop and think that they could be fighting a battle that you know nothing about, so be kind!

If you'd like to be part of the series then please feel free to send me an email to mimiroseandme@gmail.com  and I'd be thrilled to get back to you with more information! Please get in touch even if you don't have a blog and you would simply like to share your story.


Remembering The Early Days Of Parenthood

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My daughter will be two and a half on Christmas day and it's hard to believe, even now, that I can remember every moment with her during the early days. After what seemed like forever we were finally holding our daughter in our arms and immediately fell in love, we were so happy that we had become a family of three. Those first few days as new parents was an emotional time for us, with exhaustion taking over one minute and then feeling total elation the next - and there was much that neither of us anticipated.

I guess we were feeling so over whelmed to really understand what we were actually going through in the early days of parenthood. Even though we were ridiculously prepared, nothing can quite prepare you for becoming a parent - the exhaustion, the black poos, understanding each others needs, and more importantly making sure that our daughter bonded with both my husband and I.  Our daughter came into the world and turned our life upside down and right side up again but we didn't mind, we were very thankful for her. So remembering the early days of parenthood...

 
Tiredness is relative.
 
Every new parent is sleep deprived. It was pretty much all we were told at our antennal classes, midwife appointments and by family. But I guess until you have actually been awake six days straight you cannot really understand the sheer exhaustion new parents feel in those first few days. I was actually that tired I thought I was going to die, I know it sounds a little melodramatic but dealing with that type of exhaustion is just awful. Being that exhausted does make me wonder how on earth did I manage to still function like a normal human being I think that there's just something that drives you, that and lots of coffee!!!
 
Everyone has an opinion.
 
On everything! Isn't she too hot? Is she cold? If you keep cuddling her you'll make a rod for your own back, it never ends! I quickly realised that it was best to smile, nod and accept unwanted advice, gracefully. For whatever reason, people love to offer their advice on babies - everyone has an opinion and everyone likes to share. Don't get me wrong I knew that most of the advice that was given was well intended, everyone wants you succeed in getting this parenting malarkey down - no one is out to get you. I spend nearly every waking minute with my daughter and majority of the time she was happy in the early days and when she wasn't she would soon tell me. We created our own ways and they have been working ever since.
 
I wanted it all.
 
Just because I became a mother doesn't mean I was going to completely give up on myself. I remember wanting to find a way where I can be a great hands on mother and also be happy with myself, my career and anything that gives me a fulfilling life. But life and situations change and after much thought I became a stay at home mum, but it has also lead to doors opening and leading me into directions that I never thought was possible. After all I need to be happy and my daughter deserves to have the best role model I can possibly be.
 
Reading blogs and exercise kept me sane.
 
All any new mother needs is a little time for themselves, my husband and my family made sure that I had a few hours off mum duty, and it made all the difference for me. It helped with my stress levels, helped me feel more refreshed, energised and more motivated which was the perfect combination to tackle the early days with a new born.
 
Baby giggles.
 
Aren't they the best sound in the world? Except at 3am, no noise is good at 3am!!!
 
Often quality was worth it.
 
Having a baby without a Moses basket and other such baby items is like building a house without a hammer or a drill. You will still find a way, but it's a lot more difficult. I found that by talking to other parents, family and asking them about what they couldn't do without and then going out to buy those items helped us prepare for her. Some baby items don't come cheap but they are so worth investing in. I can't put a price on our baby swing, slumber elephant or rocking chair! But even though there were items that we couldn't have managed without we still bought so many baby related items that we really didn't need - did we really need two different play mats? What about that special net that was a must have in Mothercare for the Moses basket? How about that gro egg room thermometer? No, No and No!
 
Supportive network.
 
Not everybody is blessed with a supportive family, but you do have control over the family and friends in which you surround yourself. It helps to have people around you that truly care about your happiness and the success in getting this parenting thing down. My family and friends did everything the could to enable me to be there for my baby, it's a great feeling knowing that you have people you can count on during these special moments in your life. I wouldn't be the mother to my daughter if it wasn't for them.
 
I actually liked my daughter.

Now I know what you may be thinking. Of course I love my daughter that's unconditional but I actually liked her during those early days, she was so much fun, and even though she would sleep during the day and be awake most the night she would always find a smile for me during feeds, nappy changes and the night time cuddles. This is pretty much the same now that she's two and a half years old, she makes me smile, she makes me laugh, she amazes me everyday.
 
I love being a mother.
 
Nothing can prepare you for being a mother. You can read all the books go to the antenatal classes but when it comes down to it you never know what it's really like to be a mother until you become one. There are loads of things that I would love to have done before my beautiful daughter came in our life, but you know what, I wouldn't trade places with anyone. I am so lucky to have an amazing little girl, to me she is perfect and I couldn't possibly imagine my life without her.

Can you remember the early days of parenthood? If so what stood out for you?

My Top 5 Christmas Films

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Happy Thursday everyone! Can you believe that we are already in December. Where did November go? Better still, where did Autumn go? All those gorgeous golden crisp autumn leaves have turned into mulch, and the days you could get away with a thick knit jumper have well and truly gone. There's a fresh, crisp, chill in the air for sure. Now I look forward to wrapping up with blankets, hot chocolates, candy canes and turning the heating up to full, it's December so we can!
 
 
With all this festive excitement I thought it would be a great idea to share our favourite Christmas films of all time, and there are so many fantastic ones to choose from. I have been asking all my family and friends about their favourite Christmas films and there seems to be quite a few popular ones in this list. So let's get to it...
 
The Muppet Christmas Carol
 
Ever since I can remember this has been a sort of, tradition in our family. My parents would settle us down with blankets, hot chocolate and sweets in preparation for our Christmas Eve film and this would always be our choice. The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic Charles Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol which is a tale of an old and bitter miser's redemption of Christmas Eve. A must see for all families especially because in this adaption there are some modern songs, who doesn't love a good sing-a-long?
 
The Polar Express
 
I actually watched this film for the first time with my Nan, a few years ago. I can always remember how much she adored this film and know that this would be the perfect film for families over Christmas. My daughter and I watched quite a few films during our Christmas Eve film marathon and this was by far her favourite one. This exciting adventure is based on a children's book by Christ Van Allsburg. The film takes a young boy on a magical train journey that shows him that wonder of life never fades, if you believe!
 
The Santa Clause
 
This was a film that my little sister loved when we were younger and because she watched it so many times, it became a favourite of mine, too. This film is about a Dad, Scott Calvin, who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve. When he and his young son, Charlie, finish St. Nick's trip and deliveries, they go to the North Pole where Scott learns that he must become the new Santa and convince those he loves that he is indeed Father Christmas.

The Grinch
The Grinch is a film from the beloved children's tale by Dr. Seuss. We love Dr. Seuss in our household my daughter is obsessed with the Lorax, I can't even hazard a guess at how many times she has made me watch the Lorax. This year we are going to introduce her to The Grinch who is a grumpy ole bugger who hates everything  do with Christmas. So much so that he lives so far into the mountains with his dog so he can't be disturbed. But, one day he has an idea to steal Christmas. The Grinch then travels down to the village and tries stealing everything he could and meets a little girl, Cindy-Lou. Can she change his mind about Christmas?
 
Home Alone
 
A timeless favourite! In my opinion Home Alone 1&2 are the best films out of the sequels and they would always get me excited about Christmas. When Kevin McCallister acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother makes him sleep in the attic. After the family mistakenly leave for the airport without Kevin, he wakes the find the house empty and assumes his wish to have no family has come true. But soon not all is what it seems as he realises two con men plan to rob the McCallister residence, and that he must protect the family home.
 
What are your favourite Christmas films?

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