So that was 2017!!

I haven't done a round up like these for a few years now, I had such good intentions but it fell to the way side the year before Mabli was born and then I felt like because I had already missed one year there was no point continuing. I'm a bit done with that kind of thinking though, just because I had a bit of a break no reason not to start up again. So here were go, a round up of our year 2017!

This year was such a big one for our family with some real life changing milestone moments. It felt right to record what went on because if anything its a reminder how much can be achieved in a year and how far we've come as a family.

We started January with some house improvement. This felt like a big deal for me because I had been able, on my own to save up a large sum of money to completely re-do and resign our bathroom. I might sound a bit boring and middle aged to be so excited about a bathroom re-fit but it signified the fact that my business had grown so much and that I had worked hard to be able to earn and pay for something like this myself. I think it meant a lot because prior to working for myself I had only worked in low paid jobs and never would have imagined I would have any money left at the end on one let alone save up enough to do something like this.

You can see our bathroom refit here.

In February I started getting interested in fashion blogging again. I often find that the first year after having a baby I'm so baby-focussed that my other interests take a bit of a dip. I started working with Lauren to take more professional photos and loved the process so much.

(you can actually still buy this top and it's only £17.99)

In March we took a trip to Old Lands in Monmouth, it was such a lovely wholesome weekend. We fed chickens, boated on the lake and generally just chilled out.

I did a campaign with Fat Face which was one of my favourite of the year, I just love combining Bristol with good clothes and great photography. Fat Face are a really great ethical brand too so it was lovely to get to work with them a bit more.

Some of my favourite photos of me and Mabli in March (bit of a tongue twister). Wilf naturally features a bit less during term time as he's at school.

April - We visited my littlest sister Serin in Italy where she was studying at the time. We went to both Bologna where she was in Uni and also Venice all together too. It was a lovely trip although Venice was a bit of a struggle with two little kids!

Some fashion posts I loved this month were this one and this one 

We also had a little Easter party with Monsoon and did some filming for the West End

In May we worked with Fat Face again, visited Cornwall, went on an Instagrammer's sleep over at a stately home. We also went on a sponsored trip to West Hampstead and came across pretty much my favourite retro cafe/bar ever!

I also did this shoot with Lauren which I LOVE

In June we celebrated the warmer weather arriving, being able to go to the park after school and generally hang out a bit more as a family.

July was a great month for us, we started to think seriously about Tom leaving his job and being at home with us so I could work more. The idea came about after talking through my finances with an accountant who told us that it would be silly NOT to take the leap if Tom wasn't trying to build his own career. Whilst he liked his job fine it was never his passion as much as this blog is mine so he took the plunge and handed in his notice.

Me and Lauren also did this photoshoot together - one of my absolute faves!

I wrote a little more about our decision to work together as a family here.

We worked with some of our favourite companies like DFS and Joules. I also got to judge the Ethical Style Awards with Veggie Magazine.

In mid August Tom finished work and we took a trip down to Dorset to visit his family. We hung out in Bristol as a family and generally got to enjoy Wilf's first school holidays with both of us at home.

September felt like a super busy month work wise which was timely as I finally had enough time to do it. We worked with Baby Jogger this month and we still love this stroller so much. Have a read if have a toddler and enjoy city living.

Me and my friend Lucy did a 'five minute make up' video together which was a lot of fun. We also visited York very fleetingly, I spent 7 years of my childhood growing up in Yorkshire so it was lovely to visit the area. I really want to go back for a bit longer in 2018!

In October (my favourite month I think!) we spent the weekend in the Forest of Dean. We stayed with Forest Holidays, I think they have locations all over the country and would definitely recommend as a super chilled weekend. Even though it was storming and raining we still had a lot of fun!

I let the kids do my make up...

We also took a fleeting trip to Lisbon, definitely want to return there! I wrote a little about being an introvert and spent more time than ever as a family trying to work out this freelance/sharing parenting equally mix. There have a been a few 'what are we doing?!' moments but mostly it's been going swimmingly!

Are you still with me? Well done! We're almost there ;)

November, I wrote about making the decision to leave Channel Mum ( a network for YouTube I had joined 6 months earlier) and the importance of being you. It feels scary sometimes to quit something, especially when it's something that seems like a good idea for others. Moral of the story - Just Be You.

I also worked with some of my favourite brands this month like Etsy, I love supporting creative and handmade businesses so this felt like such a great fit.

My favourite post from this month was definitely this one! 

I posted about if I thought blogs were dying and I loved reading your thoughts on the matter (spoiler, I don't think they are!). Me and my friend Lucy spent 24 hours in London and visited YouTube. We also explored Cardiff a bit more and made out mind up to move there in the New Year (hopefully by summer!).

Ok finally December! This is such a busy month for us with both the kids Birthdays and of course Christmas! I also wrapped up my Pandora ambassadorship and attended the Christmas party with my friend Charlotte which was a lot of fun.

Thank you SO SO much to everyone who reads this blog, whether you have been reading for 8 years or 8 days. I appreciate it more than you can imagine. It's because of you guys we have been able to create the life we have with our children and I will forever be grateful and I'm so excited to share 2018 with you all too!

I also made a little video round up in case you fancy watching that too! xx


For the Kiddo - Sale Wish List

It's kinda funny, I used to LOVE dressing Wilf as a toddler and since he started school he spends most of his time in his uniform (we are totally the family that get into PJ's at 4pm) so I've really missed buying him bits and bobs. Now Mabli is two I've got that bug again and it's so fun to pick out pieces for her, especially when they are on sale ;)

Here's some of the things I have my eye on at the moment :

Boots from here we had the exact same pair for Wilf when he was about three and I can't wait for Mabli to wear them later in the year. They are a pretty high price point but are SO well made.

These dungarees are so gender neutral I love them

I would 100% wear these high tops myself

Is it wrong that I basically want all these things for myself? If I only I could fit this coat

I'm such a fan of Tiny Cotten design, especially these overalls  

Classic Tootsa, we have this jacket for Wilf already and it has detachable sleeves!

Lastly this Noe and Zoe jumper.

Hope you liked what I picked out!


Writing for a living when you are Dyslexic and Dyspraxic

Firstly why do they make those words SO hard to spell when thats the definition of the problem? Feels like such a cruel joke ;)

I was thinking of this and that over the Christmas holidays and it occurred to me what a funny thing it is that my job is writing for a living when I struggle with writing at all. I thought it might make for a fun post if only to show that labels don't define you and not to let anyone tell you what you can or can't do. We all need motivational posts in the the new year right? I am nothing if not cliche.

I have both Dyslexia and Dyspraxia to varying levels. I was always told I have a reading age five higher than normal and a writing age of five years lower. I'm not sure thats how they grade people once you've left school haha (I mean should a 37 year old be able to read better then a 32 year old? ;)) but I guess its a good marker to describe the fact that issues reading are not a problem for me where as writing definitely is.

I've always LOVED reading, we didn't watch a huge amount of TV as child (we didn't have one for the longest time and after that what we watched was selected by my parents and time limited) and I was a bit of a loner friend-wise so I spent pretty much all my free time, reading or drawing. I also used to write my own stories, something my parents encouraged a lot but ones that were littered with bad spelling and grammar.

Once I had started school I was taught pretty quickly that I wasn't 'good' at writing. People would tell me the more I read the easier it would be to learn to spell but it just didn't work that way for me. Throughout school although I was bright enough I struggled massively with poor confidence and a lot of stress about my spelling. My vocabulary is quite wide but I struggle to communicate that when writing, opting to chose words I know I won't get wrong.  I can't tell you how time consuming googling how to spell a word that spell check doesn't recognise is!

I also started to realise at some point in my teens that I struggled to find the words I knew I knew when speaking. I put it down to anxiety about speaking to anyone but the thought of my mind going blank or 'umming' when trying to reach the right word gave me even more anxiety so I preferred to speak as little as possible. It felt like the word was always there but just hiding in some part of my brain I couldn't reach, so again I would simplify my language to substitute.

Whilst I was diagnosed with Dyslexia at around 13 it wasn't until I was 18 that I found out I was Dyspraxic. Those words that were there were still there but my brain just didn't acsess them in the same way as other people. Likewise the bruises I constantly found (and still do) on my hips and side of my legs were because my brain just couldn't work out where I was well enough to not bump into things. It sounds quite comical (and is to be honest) but if you see me walking through a door I'll more often then not bump myself on the frame as I pass as I didn't realise how big I was or where I was in relation to it. Clinically Clumsy is the way I like to explain that part!

It always bugged me that studying art for my degree still meant I would be graded on spelling. I finally left with a 2:1 a couple of marks from a first and those lost points pretty much all due to the fact I had to write a dissertation.

I never disclosed on any CV that I have either of these conditions because I'm fairly certain despite whatever policies are in place that is a sure way to not get picked for a job. I still remember a colleague watching over my shoulder as she asked me to write an email and pointing out misspelling after misspelling until she demanded to know if I was dyslexic because 'you really should have disclosed this if you are' and assuring her I wasn't. I'm pretty good at covering up when armed with spell check and google to double check. Saying that I'm sure this post must be littered with mistakes I'll only notice later.

Anyway the whole point of this post I guess is that life is funny, I love telling stories and I love reading them. I love writing and being creative but in any kind of system 'school / employment' that probably something I'd be told I shouldn't be doing.

I started this blog sharing pictures with maybe a sentance or two. Now I find myself just pouring out my thoughts and knowing it doesn't matter, no one is grading me on making sure I'm adding the right punctuation. I even get paid to write for other sites from time to time! So if you're told you can't do something because someone had given you a label then I'd be inclined to take no notice. The internet can be a funny old place but it's helped me just let me be!

I'd love to know if any of you have the same issues are were able to work around them! 

A little snapshot of our Christmas Break

I've finally got the bug for taking pictures again which is such a lovely feeling. That might sound a bit odd considering I'm posting most days on Instagram but lately I've been really passionate about capturing little moments from our day. I think it probably has something to do with having Wilf home for the past couple of weeks. It's his first day back at school today and we all miss him a lot!

I been having a bit of ill health over the past week or so and so on the last two days before term started again we just spontaneously decided to book a couple of nights away down the road in Bath. It was just what we needed to get out the house and the general day to day tasks and tidying. I don't want to be going on about how I'm feeling but being really mysterious about it but I'm off for some blood tests today to hopefully get a bit closer to whats up.

Anyway, we booked a Airbnb right in the centre of Bath on New Years Eve, right opposite Wagamamas which if you know me well you'll know how happy that would make me ha!. We ordered take out (yasai katsu curry for the win) , played snakes and ladders, read a lot of Harry Potter and even sneaked in some naps.

It rained for most of the two days which suited us just fine really, we ran out for breakfast over the road then later that day to the park. Mabli fell in SO much mud that we had to throw her tights away and there were a few tears but it was mostly a pretty successful mini break. It's nice sometimes to not be too sensible and just say 'why not' and get out of the normal routines. Nicer still to be home again in under an hour when we finally checked out.

We are on the Prisoner of Azkaban and it's pretty gripping. I've read them all when I was a child but it's something else to experience your favourite books through the eyes of your own children.

I posted a picture from here on IG and got so many messages asking where it was. It's Comptoir Libanais which is a Lebanese chain restaurant, their interiors are always so perfect.

Tom joined instagram (which he's probably checking in this picture haha) he even took a shot of his feet against these tiles. What have I created?! Anyway if you want to follow him this is his account.

And now we are back to normality, the tree is down, the mass sorting has begun. My emails are finally getting looked at and Wilf is back at school. Plans are taking action for the year ahead, I'm excited for what it might bring!

Hope you all had a lovely break! xx
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