Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A weekend in Centre Parcs

We have just returned from a weekend in Centre Parcs with the lovely Snowdon family.


:: MJ learning to use his bike lock
:: Lj scooting far to fast down hill
:: Six baby ducklings at our window
:: Spending precious time with our little niece/cousin
:: Drinking champagne in the evening
:: Sweet pancakes at the Pancake House for lunch
:: M, MJ, Lj and I plunging down 'Grand Cascade' in a rubber dingy
:: People watching and planning time, alone in Starbucks
:: Watching MJ read to his Auntie

and many more...thank you Snowdons for a fun weekend.

Monday, 29 April 2013

A wild adventure

MJ decided he was going on a 'wild adventure'. He packed his rucksack with binoculars, compass, hat and moneybox. I asked him where he was going so he brought me his globe and said he was walking to catch a ferry which would take him to Denmark, then walking across Europe and into Asia, down through China and Malaysia until he reached his friend Freddie's house in Singapore.

We decided it was maybe not best to go on his own so he agreed to Lj and I tagging along. With Atlas under his arm we set off!

He took us off down a path we don't often walk and within minutes we reached the Harvest Moon Pub/Restaurant where he decided we should stop and get something to eat (with the money in his money box!). After a little persuasion we kept going. Every few minutes he would get his binoculars on and check we were going in the right direction...I found it hard to keep from laughing. He also kept asking Lj and I if we were okay...it was just so cute. He took his leadership very seriously!

In the end Lj got tired and I didn't want to stray too far from home so we did a circle at which he was a bit disappointed. As we walked down our road towards home I asked how far we had gotten and with a serious tone he said 'Mum, we didn't even get out of England'.

While I made the dinner I watched as he sat out in the sun with his rucksack, notebook and pencil...goodness knows what he is planning for our next expedition!

'My little artist'

Lj and I took a trip to Homebase to get some MDF and saw blades. Then we had fun cutting, drilling, sanding and painting in the sunshine.

Monday, 22 April 2013


Feeling inspired by the daffodil MJ gave me on the way home from school I experimented with some Homebase paint strips and my new 'dragonfly' punch. I love 'yellow' at the moment and it always works great with 'grey'.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Congratulations Kathryn & James

One of my neighbours asked me to create a wedding present for her niece who is getting married today! This picture was created by layering different plain and printed papers and then cutting away areas to expose the papers below...a little like reverse applique in sewing!

Kathryn & James, have a great wedding day and best wishes for the future.

Make a skirt Workshop 01

 The morning after the night before. I'm still in a great mood after my first workshop. We had a lovely evening sewing together and I'm amazed at how easy it is to make new friends in an evening. Here are some photos of the evening. Thank you to all who came along but also for those who have been praying, wishing us well and all your thoughtful messages. I can't wait to run another Workshop!

Cakes are ready...Lj and Zara helped me make Lemon cupcakes and Corrie provided delicious Caramac peanut squares. Yum.

Table set up ready for the ladies to arrive and choose a fabric.

Happy sewers busy measuring, cutting, sewing and ironing.

One of the finished dresses...well done Sarah, I hope your little one loves it!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Fun day with Lj

For a couple of days I have been considering Lj...

 Last night I was writing in MJ's and Lj's baby book and looking at the photos I had stuck in. I found myself more nostalgic over the photos of MJ when he was little ie. our holiday in Cornwall, his summer hat I made him and the places it went etc...we just seemed to have fun!

Lj is a very capable and determined little girl, she learns things easily and is often happy playing by herself. However I find her hard to discipline as she is not repentant like MJ and I get frustrated, loose my patience and find myself yelling at her to try and break her will. Often unsuccessfully.

Yesterday at Hatfield Forest with friends MJ ran off and we couldn't find him. Thankfully my friends son who is 12 was able to sprint off in the direction he had headed and eventually found him. I went a different direction and told Lj to stay with my friend. When I saw MJ coming back with Isaac I was making my way towards them, considering how to discipline him, holding Lj's hand when Lj broke down and cried 'Mummy, you are not listening to me', she was properly distressed so we had a long cuddle just there on the boardwalk.

These things and others are making me think that I need to change my way with her. That perhaps her naughtiness is a reflection of my mothering.

 I know that I put off doing things or going on trips if MJ is at school and not able to come with us. I convince myself that there is no point doing it, such as swimming if MJ is not there. So we wait til he is free and then go away for the day, or go swimming all together.
Because of her capabilities and the fact I now have 2, sometimes 3, sometimes more kids to keep an eye on I expect a lot of her and am not patient if she is simply being a 2yo.

My thoughts continue but today as I'm not looking after my niece I decided that Lj and I were going to have some fun and create some mum/daughter special memories.

We had fun riding to toddlers on my bike, Lj telling me to go faster as we speeded downhill or laughing as we went over the speed bumps.

We stopped at the park on the way home because she wanted too and I stopped myself trying to tell her we needed to get back home for lunch...who cares if we had lunch 20mins later!

We made muffins and I tried to refrain from telling her a million times to watch as she stirred, not to spill the mixture.

I let her do the washing up and rolled up her sleeves, secretly (not verbally) whispering ' please don't get soaked...or break anything'!

And now...now she is fast asleep on the sofa and I'm planning more 1:1 activities that I can do with my precious daughter.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Fly swatter sewing

 Feeling inspired by Childhood 101- Kid friendly sewing last night we went into town today looking for something which the kids could use to learn how to sew. As we don't have a craft shop I tried the 99p shop and the best I could get was the head of a fly swatter. Two fly swatters for 99p...bargain!

Stripping the heads off the fly swatters, locating some wool and two darning needles we were ready for action. I was surprised how quickly they took to it and the concentration they had for it. Both got frustrated that the wool came out of the needle and I had to re thread a number of times...that is a skill they will need to learn in time! After a while free style sewing I drew a basic boat shape for MJ on the fly swatter. He spent quite a while sewing the boat outline and I was really impressed with how he got the idea of going in one hole and out the next hole. His boat outline was amazingly neat!

And yes, Lj did wear her dancing dress, with wings all day today...if you can't get away with it as a 2yo, when can you?!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Easter break in N.I.

 I have just returned from a trip to N.Ireland with my Wildflower girl and Boat loving boy!

Without room in our hand luggage for my camera, here are a few holiday snaps taken with Dad's camera.

We visited the snow in one of my favourite parts of N. Ireland, The Mournes. Afterwards we had lunch in 'not so sunny' Newcastle followed by ice cream...we didn't feel it was right to go to the seaside and not have ice cream...even if it was a chilly day!

I spent a few mornings scanning old photos for a future, surprise birthday gift and found this one of me and my brother...I'm sure I look a little like Lj ( I would have been a similar age to Lj now)...What do you think?

Lj helping Grandad plant his potatoes. She ran up and down and quite often over the rows in her bare feet...my little Wildflower girl loves to feel the dirt between her toes!

Grandad kept the children amused with his cardboard box collection, while Mum and I stayed indoors refitting a dress!

MJ loved the boats in the harbour at Howth, and we all enjoyed the chips!

I am really going to have to squeeze my camera in next time as there were so many other happy memories which weren't captured...

:: Brainstorming ideas and dreaming of the future with an old friend as we walked the roads
:: Catching up with school friends and their growing families
:: Amazement at how quickly my newest little nieces are growing up
:: BBQ N.I. style (indoors)
:: Discovering the artist John Luke at the Ulster Museum, Belfast
:: Visiting Bitty Button...an inspiring craft/gift shop
:: The kids playing happily as we waited for our delayed flight, well past bed time.

and many more.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Happy Birthday Shai!

Our little friend Shai is one today...
What an exciting year lies in front of this little man...walking, talking and a new sibling on the way!
I can't wait to experience a little of it with you.
Happy Birthday buddy.