29 November 2013

through the seasons

As I get older and my memories from childhood get further away I start to remember things not in specific events but as general feelings and things that spark my memory through my senses. I realised that certain seasons and months make me remember different stages of growing up and with that the associations are formed with my memories.

For me even though I have fond memories of being a child in Summer, of the seemingly endless warm sunny days, trips to the beach, holidays in french campsites and playing in the paddling pool in the garden I associate summer with being older, and teenager. Where we used to spend all day hanging out at 'the tree' and making bonfires as the night drew in and have parties where everyone gathered together. We'd go to festivals, we'd have picnics and bbq's or we'd do nothing at all other than lay around on some grass. In my memory our summers lasted a long time and we somehow fitted in so much despite having no money.

I feel like spring time reminds me of the most recent me. It really is special to me as it symbolises changes and something I can only really come to terms with in my recent years. I look forward to it being upon us and I know that I will always look back on Spring time as the time when major changes happened in my life.

But this time of year is what makes me really remember being a child. The smell of bonfires in the air transports me back to helping my dad build his, climbing trees in the garden and feeling that first chill in the air. We'd go to bonfire night and have sparklers in the garden, we'd collect conkers and go for walks wearing our coats zipped right up and gloves for the first time. The excitement of Christmas would start creeping up and we'd decorate the house.

I guess now that Theo is hear I can remember these things more vividly, as I'm seeing them through his eyes, but it just seems there is so much about this time of year that transports me back to being a child with him. There's so much I want him to see and make memories of too and that just excites me so much! 

28 November 2013

christmas gifts

It's been quiet over here as I've been in bed for a few days with the flu...I can't remember the last time I felt so ill!

I find it horrible feeling so completely useless, there's so much that needs doing. My car is up for its MOT, the house needs cleaning, washing needs to be done and I haven't even began to think about the fact it Christmas next month. I had high hopes of making a fun, homemade advent calendar for Theo, but I don't  think I have time anymore. We haven't started any shopping or gift making and I'm started to get a little worried that we're running out of time! Last year we did quite well and most things were wrapped up by December but this year it's all got a little left behind.

I think I have an idea of what to get most of my family members but there are always people I struggle with, such as my Dad and grandparents! Last year we made Rob's grandparents a calendar with pictures of Theo which went down well, so I'm guessing this year we may carry on the same theme.

Here is a little guest post of ideas:

Best presents for your elderly relatives
No matter how close your family is, buying presents for your relatives can prove to be a tough task - particularly when they're a bit older. You'll often find that people will insist that they own everything they need and they don't want a gift, which is quite endearing, but not very helpful! However, there are many gift ideas that can improve an older person's life.

Your older relatives can benefit from an electronic device as much as anyone else. Handheld games consoles such as the Nintendo DS cater well to the elderly market by offering puzzle games such as Sudoku, which are a brilliant way to keep the brain ticking as well as being good fun. Alternatively, you could opt for an electronic tablet, which might be easier to handle. These can be used for watching videos, playing music and games and storing photos. They're designed to be easy to use, so with a bit of practise they can be operated by even the biggest technophobes! Shop tablets at Isme to find the model best suited to your relative's needs. For book lovers you could also consider an e-reader, which you can pre-load with classic favourites or anything you think they'd enjoy. 
If your relative enjoys getting out and about, grab them some tickets for a surprise getaway. Think of destinations that you know they like: perhaps they have a favourite hotel, are into cruises or there's somewhere they've always wanted to go. If you don’t want to dive right in and book the trip yourself, you could always purchase hotel or travel vouchers so that they can organise a break at a time and place that’s right for them.

Give your gift a special touch by putting together a photo album or a CD of their favourite music. Simple but heartfelt, a personalised present shows that you pay attention to their tastes and opinions. Whether you're working with a big budget or are making the gift yourself, finding something to suit an older relative is far from impossible. They might think they have everything, but chances are they'll still be delighted with an inventive gift that also makes their life easier or brightens up their day. 

This post was written in collaboration with Kira. 

24 November 2013

forty - seven / fifty - two

- A portrait of my child once a week, every week in 2013 - 

Theo requested that we go to a farm, and to the farm we went. It was a bright, crisp and fresh late Autumn day and we soaked up the last of the sun before retreating home to get cozy on the sofa and watch a movie. 

23 November 2013

waiting for trains

I'm so very behind on this poor blog, I feel I've been neglecting it slightly. Once you have a little break I find sometimes it's hard to get back into it. But I'm trying, I have plenty of things I want to write about so perhaps I should just get on with it yeh?

Last weekend we visited Devon once more and as usual this involved some sort of train spotting activity. After we'd had our fill of a few passing trains we took a little stroll through the woods, spotted some deer and admired the autumnal trees, before returning home for some good food and tea. It was a perfect way to spend a Saturday!

19 November 2013

a little gift ...

 When I was contacted by Thorntons to gift a box of chocolates to someone special I of course leapt at the chance. I didn't really have to think hard about who I would like to give them to, as I knew straight away that it would be my dear mother!

I'm lucky to have a good relationship with my mum and of course have her around in my own journey of motherhood. When I was pregnant and had just finished University I went to live with her in the summer before moving down to Bristol to live with Rob. She was there when Theo was born and has already done so much to help for our little family. My mum will always try her hardest to help us out, take Theo off our hands when we need it most and offer advice when I'm feeling a little lost.

But these aren't the only reasons I felt like I needed to say thank you and to give a little gift to her. Over ten years ago my mum suffered with a stroke, thankfully because of her young age she survived but it wasn't without it's effects. She was no longer able to work or even drive and a massive part of her independence was taken away. I can't really imagine how hard it must be to have your life rocked by something like that and have to re-build the way you live your life. She still suffers from conditions related but I am amazed at how much my Mum has managed to achieve. Along with her husband Andy, (who you may remember got married last year!) they have travelled, moved house and created a beautiful garden. My mum has also gone back to college to study art and has created lots of beautiful pottery and paintings. It makes me feel really proud to see her doing what she loves, creating and studying art and being able to follow her passion. 

So here's to you mumma, thanks for everything you do!

Thank you to Thorntons for providing me with this opportunity! 

18 November 2013

forty-six / fifty-two

- A portrait of my child once a week, every week in 2013 - 
This weekend we visited Rob's grandparents in Devon once again. We passed the weekend going for a walk, looking at trains (naturally), eating lots of good food and resting! Theo absolutely adores his Granny and Grandpa (his great grandparents) and I feel so happy that he is able to have such a close relationship with them, they really are such a special part of his life. 

16 November 2013

conversations with theo

Recently we've been having some pretty good conversations with Theo. I really love having this little insight into his imagination and memory, and only wish I could record them all!

Just today we were driving along in the car and Theo started to say that someone was called 'O'

Me: Who's called O Theo?
Theo: The dolphin
m: The dolphin is called O? Is he your friend?
T: Yes, he's my friend
m: Where did you meet him?
T: In the water
m: In the sea over there (pointing as we were driving along the coast in Devon)
T: Yes
m: How did you get there?
T: In a boat
m: Did you row?
T: Yes
m: What did you talk about? The weather?
T: Yes Mummy, its cloudy
m: Did you talk about your favourite food? What's the dolphins favourite food?
T: Umm yes, toast
m: What does he like on his toast?
T: Chocolate
m: Is Chocolate your favourite too?
T: No Mummy, I like butter.

The other day we had a full conversation about our wedding, and even though it was quite a while ago now he was able to list all the people he remembered there, riding on the big green bus (his personal highlight) what he ate and even what was in and what colour his party bag was.

He has funny little phrases that he comes out with such as "oh thank you Mummy that's really nice" when you give him something, or "oh that's perfect!", or holding up his hands and flapping them about saying "wait wait wait" before rushing off to get something to show you. If you ask him if he wants something he'll say "umm no thank you Mummy" or "umm I don't know". He will tell you about what he has eaten and that it's in his tummy, and does an excited squeal and proclaims that "mm it's yummy!". He say's "I'm scared" and when asked what of "the monsters..." Poor thing! He likes to tell us about his emotions, "I'm cross, sad, happy". He will cross his arms and scowl saying "hmpf I'm cross" he also likes to proclaim that he thinks he's pretty funny!

He has little conversations with his friends, and I often hear him asking if they are ok if they've fallen over, or when he wants them to listen or play something with him. I can't wait for them to start having even more full on conversations and making up their own little languages together.

It really is a fascinating stage and even though some of his pronunciation isn't perfect he can repeat and remember most words and phrases, remember words to songs and make up his own full sentences. I really do love hearing what's going on in his head and he's one observant little boy, there's not much that will get past him! 

14 November 2013

the summer in film part three

This is strange little set of pictures is back from our little holiday to Cornwall at the beginning of the summer. Such a perfect holiday, it makes me long to go back!

The film was a bit of a gamble and the results were a surprise as its a cross processed slide film that had been kept for over 25 years in the back of Rob's parents fridge. In fact I think it was even older than me. Put through our trusty OM40 slr on a few over cast days by the sea, and these are the results! I think they're rather peculiar but special all the same... 

wrapping up

Image via pinterest
 If any of you follow me over on Pinterest you may have noticed my slight obsession with the changing season fashion! It really is my favourite time to dress, to pull out my bug jumpers and cardigans and layer up. I love days when it's not quite cold enough to wear a coat and days which catch you by surprise and leave you longing for a big scarf to wrap up in. It's my favourite time for colours too, oranges, yellows, browns and greens all make me feel pretty autumnal! 

I have been mainly lusting over big knit jumpers and cardigans, trying to find the perfect pair of cheap skinny denim jeans to layer them under and finish it all off with the perfect pair of boots. Even though I am enjoying being outside in the days I've gone into hibernation mode a little bit in the evening and as dusk creeps in earlier and earlier all I want to do is hide under the covers and get cosy...I'm a little ashamed to admit that I actually wouldn't mind having a women's winter onesie to snuggle up in...
Image via pinterest 
Images via pinterest

This is a sponsored post but all words and thoughts are my own! 

11 November 2013

forty - five / fifty - two

- a portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2013 - 
Last week flew by what with the start of preschool for Theo. Suddenly it seems as though our two full days together are rather precious! On Friday we took the train to Bath to visit our friends Lia and Indy for a little rainy day play. We had lots of fun and it's always an adventure getting the train!

09 November 2013

so long october

We've visited yaya and been on walks in Malvern, painted and carve pumpkins, been trick or treating, jumped in puddles, walked through the woods with little friends. October has been good to us, quiet, busy, cozy and adventurous. We're getting excited about the coming months, but I'm a little sad to say goodbye to one of my favourite months and the end of Autumn...
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