30.4.13

What Wilf Wore..Suddenly

two posts in one today!

What Wilf Wore:

Fox Hat - c/o My Knitting World
Jumper - Gap Kids
Skinny Jeans - Zara
Trainers - Asics (via Sue Rider charity shop as found by Tom)

Suddenly:

You talk so much! I would guess that you have a vocabulary of around 50 words. You can name lots of animals and make their noises.  You say 'cupatea!' almost as soon as you have climbed into our bed in the morning, and so I turn to Tom and say 'well he said it!'.. (I have trained you well). 

You wave and wish our cats 'hello Ro Ro!/Mo Mo!' when ever you see them and say goodbye to everyone you meet. You say 'uh oh!' to comic effect and charm many a stranger with your toddler babble. 

You are a comedian, once after running almost completely around IKEA you dropped with exaggerated exhaustion to your knees and started crawling, 'What are you doing silly billy? You're not a baby!' I said. You chuckled and said 'baby' and carried on crawling knowing you were being funny, you have continued this joke for past couple of days.

You eat with gusto when you are in the mood and if not then you wont eat at all. I've learnt to be ok with that. You had a play-date with your friend Alfie the other day whilst I popped out and I was told on my return you licked the bowl clean on your THIRD bowl of pasta! 

You are sleeping much better, still waking once or twice and always up before 6am but you love your bedtime routine and will generally sleep through from 7.30pm until 3 or 4am. You have even started napping for long stretches (just when we are about to drop the second nap but hey ho). It's incredible the amount you can achieve when you have a baby that naps, long may it last..

You are loving, you kiss and cuddle and stroke our hair, you smile so wide with that goofy little grin of yours and my heart melts for the 100th time that day. You are gentle, you stroke our cats so carefully, you help your friends when they have fallen down and even kiss them on the head when you are in the mood. You adore your big cousin, as soon as you have gotten the concept of 'sharing' I think you guys will be the best of friends.

I say this every stage we are at but I am so loving sharing my days with you. Everyday just gets better, and easier and so much more natural. Wilfyrd Cadno we love you so much xo

29.4.13

Our Weekend In Pictures 27/4/2013


Our weekend in Pictures

Still cold but warm enough at least to do some outdoor play..with coats and hats, oh British weather..

We make the most of our Saturday mornings before I trundle off for my shift at the pop up shop. I've been inspired to create so much more since starting there, so even if I'm not making the big bucks (far from it ha!) then I'm taking it as a positive experience all the same.

I get home at quarter past seven and tip toe up the stairs to find Tom and Wilf snuggled up reading books (or hey lets get real watching a little Dora on the laptop). Wilf hears me on the last step and looks over, you know what the first thing he does? Not smiling and waving and crying 'mama!' like I day dreamed  about on the train home, no its the little fist clench pump sign for nursing of course. Hurrah the milk maid is home!

Yesterday was spent doing Sunday things, eating together, a run around IKEA (yes on a Sunday we are IKEA natives we can handle it) and a little tidying. Then Tom heads off for a quick catch up with friends, Wilf is tucked up in bed, I head downstairs to feed the cats to find..
..the cats already eating their dinner, a beheaded mouse! Poor poor little thing.

So after calling Tom in near tears ''I could have saved it if I was only a little quicker *sob sob*'' I hide upstairs, as Tom is the meat eater of the household it's only fair he deal with dead animals right? 

Only Tom got home and the mouse is gone, no where to be found.

Can cats eat a whole mouse? Tail and all? Or is (as I'm imagining) there a dead mouse somewhere in our home..oh gawd

27.4.13

17/52

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

'Your Ouma brought you back some Moroccan trousers from her trip away. They look so comfy I want a pair myself..although I think you would always pull them off better than me'

As a side note Wilf is wearing a T shirt from my new collection 

This week has been another super busy one! My favourite portrait from last week was the beautiful Amelie on her first birthday! If you don't follow Josie's blog then you must, she has the cutest little family and the loveliest blog. 

25.4.13

What Mama Wore


What Mama Wore:

Coat - Dahlia
Hair Clip - Moonbeatle
Margot Tanenbaum Badge - Moonbeatle
Dress (you can just see a peek of it) - passed down from my mum
Clogs - c/o Moheda 

I look pretty grumpy in these pictures..because I was a little! You know when you have these arguments that are about nothing but you are just so mad at each other you drag up every little thing that annoys you about one another? The feelings being tossed around at the time are so strong you think, this is it, this is how I feel about you. Then an hour or so later you cant even remember why you felt so cross or what it was even about? That.

Sometimes its tricky working out relationships as an adult, with a family. I'm confident that we are not the only ones to have these moments and I know, thankfully that they are only fleeting. 

Tom and I have felt an incentive to tick of lists (call it spring cleaning I guess), to start up projects on the house where we left off over the miserable rain and snow of the past months. We are not 'do-ers' really, and despite good intentions things take a while to happen in this house. 

I'm badly organised, Tom finds long lists overwhelming and we are both quite frankly pretty lazy. My friend Ronnie wrote an excellent post on organisation that I really need to sit down and read again (and implement some parts in ours lives too). In the meantime we made the decision to de-clutter, we are two large vintage chairs down and a large school desk to be taken away next week. I really was amazed at how fast they went but I feel good about it. I am by nature a bit of a hoarder but it feels so good to be downsizing our furniture collection. 

So that's our life over the past little while. I hope all of you that are over this side of pond are enjoying the warmer weather! What are your tips for getting organised?

24.4.13

Orbit Challenge - Taking the Orbit off road

When Orbit set this challenge for their brand ambassadors I don't think they had this terrain in mind. Thick heavy snow, the perfect test!


A few weeks ago now Tom, Wilf and I set off to visit my granny in Telford. The trip is around three and a half hours each way so we decided to break up the journey by travelling down the day before and stopping over in Birmingham. Some of Tom's old friends live near by so we met up with them and their toddle at the Birmingham Sea Life Centre before checking into our hotel.

Honestly, I have never seen snow like that weekend. It was intense! With Wilf wrapped up snuggly, snacks in hand and a cup of coffee for me we set off. Again collapsing the chair was a two minute job and there was space in the luggage rack to fit it perfectly even with a packed train and a fair few suitcases. The great think about the Orbit is that is is actually quite high, our previous pushchair would have caught the snow in the rack underneath and have gotten stuck, as it was it was easy to push through and (whilst we didn't think of it at the time) I realise now we could have even have taken the pod out to create a bigger gap.

The wheels did great in the thick snow and ice, although the front ones were taking most of the build up and had to be shaken a little from time to time. 

Wilf as you can tell was not very amused by all this cold white stuff

Taking the pushchair on some of the smaller trains in our journey we were actually able to keep it up in the carriages as it is so slim. Wilf on the other hand wanted to stomp up and down and make friends with all the other passengers..


When we travel we usually find it easier to take our Ergo (due to getting off and on trains/taking up space etc) but I would be happy to take the Orbit on any journey we make now. It also would have been pretty tricky to be babywearing in the snow and ice as we were slipping all over the place ourselves.  

Ergo Baby actually own Orbit Baby which I think is a great fit, we are huge fans of our Ergo and its great to know such an Attachment Parenting company is expanding into pushchairs. The design of both products really appeals to me in both the parenting aspect and also as a lover of attractive well made design! 

22.4.13

Our Weekend In Pictures


Our Saturday mornings are even more precious now I am volunteering in the pop up shop in the afternoons.

Wilf sleeps in the stroller as we take a walk to the park, grabbing a coffee before he wakes. The sun just starts to come out properly, perfectly timed for him waking up and he tells us he wants to get out, out! 
Taking so much enjoyment in just being outside, running, stopping to look at a stone or a leaf. The play park itself is ignored, there is so much more fun in just climbing steps, shrieking with glee just to be in the fresh air.

Welcome Spring, you took your sweet time!

Tom and Wilf are both wearing (almost matching) Vans that the nice people at Allsole sent us. You can see Wilf's here and Tom's here. One of the many perks of being a blogger lets be honest is getting gifts like this. It's one thing getting sent something for yourself but I tell you when someone offers to treat the ones you love, well it goes a long way. And come on don't they look SO cute??

Later that day I went for my shift at the shop. I thought it would take a while to get used to, this being in the working word again, but no it's returned like second nature. One thing I wasn't expecting though was to be alone in the shop when a huge seagull flew in, browsed the fragile items then proceeded to fly into the window again and again. I'm not quite sure how I managed to get him out, it was certainly a surreal moment. Afterwards I stood there at the window in a kind of stunned 'did that really happen?' moment. It did, looking up to find a passer by laughing at me confirmed it. I don't blame him, it must have looked pretty hilarious.

The last time I was stuck in a confined space with a panicked flapping bird I was 14, it was a sparrow, I donned goggles to usher it out and protect my eyes. How do these things keep happening to me? Has this ever happened to any of you??

21.4.13

16/52

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

At last we can got out without hats and coats! You are so enjoying the sunshine, parks and running around. I'm so surprised at how long you can walk for now on those little legs. So lovely to see such glee on your face for the simple pleasure of being outside. 

I'm expecting lots of outdoor pictures from my UK friends taking part in the project. I think we all breathed a sigh of relief to see some sun at last. My freckles have even come out! 

18.4.13

A little catch up

photo completely unrelated to post and taken when I was pregnant. See that, no eye bags, no lines! Oh pre motherhood..

I keep meaning to sit down and write a proper post, an update of all the business that's been going on of late. And then I finally sit down, and its 9pm and my back hurts and all I want to do is sink into bed or lie in the bath and switch off. Still here I am, glass of wine in hand, ten past nine and I'm going to start this little update (even if it's finished on another evening). 

Life has been busy lately! After our lovely relaxing stay at Tom's mum we came back to everyday life with a bump. I had signed up to feature my work at the pop up shop Paper Scissor Stone and although I had had months to prepare somehow it was only five days before I needed to deliver my work and I had a mountain load to do. So it was that the next few days saw me manically labelling, printing, framing, updating spreadsheets and getting lost in codes. 


Although I sell my work via my Etsy shop and through some beautiful boutiques in the UK this would be the first time I had contributed to venture like this. The way it works is that each artist contributes five hours of their time to work in the shop each week. I haven't been in a working environment for a year and a half now and the idea of getting back out there was quite daunting. 


Long story short I managed to get all my work done and set up for the launch and have since completed my first 'shift'. I am so glad I decided to get involved in this project as my first day was so much fun. I am working alongside some inspiring artists who were so welcoming and friendly. I also remembered how much I love working in a boutique, my dream of owing my own shop one day still hasn't quite left me. One day, one day..



The other bit of news I have been sitting on is that I have enrolled on the Princes Trust Enterprise programme to help me set up my own business. The opening session was last week and despite the fact I was a good ten years older than everyone else I am feeling really positive about the course. I wont be actually attending until the start of June which fits in quite well with my workload and other projects at the moment and gives me time to work out what I'm going to do re: childcare over those four days.


All in all I am feeling very excited about the future! I'll post again in more detail about both of these projects but I am aware that I've been all pictures and no real words lately and was starting to feel a little disconnected to my blog and you guys because of it. 


Thanks for reading! 

p.s if anyone has any experience of doing similar projects I'd love to hear how you found them! 

16.4.13

Interior Design - Bathroom Wish List


My essentials for my dream bathroom are a roll top bath, lanterns, wicker lots of natural light and clean white walls. 
Our bathroom is nothing like this, but a girl can dream hur? 

1, One
2, Two
3, Three

15.4.13

Real Men Love Cats

Tom says this photo is his 'football coach stance' 

A little while ago I went to watched a film call 'Babyhood'. Whilst there was lots of interesting topics to discuss (that I'm hoping to get round to posting about) from that film one of the points in it really hit home for me. 

It was something that Carrie Longton - Co-founder of Mumsnet said about partners. How when she first became a mum it was her and her husband working as a team. How at the end of his two week paternity leave it was him showing her how to change a nappy or sooth their little one. A few months later it was a completely different story, she was snipping at him for not doing something 'right' or feeling exasperated that he didn't know something she did. It's not fair on the parent that has to return to work to miss out on all this.


I actually felt a real lump in my throat as I heard her discuss this as its something that really rings true in my experience with Tom. We were lucky enough that Tom got six weeks at home with us at the beginning, a lucky coincidence that meant paternity leave fell around Christmas holidays and saved up holiday days. 


Tom was the person that kept our family going in those early days, issues with breastfeeding, exhaustion and if I'm honest, mild depression. He rocked and sang to Wilf into the early morning, he changed his nappy, carried him around in a sling, bathed him and took care of me. I remember the panic of knowing he would be returning to work and not knowing how I would cope without him. 


Fast forward a month or so and all I could say was 'you're not doing it right!'. I remember vividly snarling at him when I instructed him to massage Wilf and saw he was massaging him in the wrong direction, scolding him for messing it up. I can't imagine how much that must have hurt and I know there have been so many similar instances that I have shut him out. 


The first nine months or so the night duties were largely mine but there was really nothing Tom could do at the time (being that he cannot breastfeed and at the time that was our go-to sleep solution). Now however breastfeeding has almost completely lost its sleepy time magic and Wilf often fusses when he co-sleeps with me but will happily snuggle into Tom's armpit. Wilf is getting older and his bond with Tom is getting so much stronger, they can play games, run around, kick a ball. He enjoys cuddling with him, reading books. They have a bath-time routine and bedtime stories I know nothing about and am not part of. I love that they have these special moments together and that their bond is getting so strong. 


I know that at times being a mum (stay at home or working) is hugely difficult/emotional/overwhelming job but I also think that not enough praise is given to dad's who also do such a fantastic job. So here's a little thank you from me x

Giveaway with Nicola Rowlands


We have another amazing giveaway over here this week, this time from my large sponsor, talented illustrator and all round lovely lady Nicola Rowlands!
Wilf and I are big fans of Nicola's work, Wilf even has one of her rockin Bandana's and I LOVE her pocket man friends. 

The pocket man listed in this giveaway is George - George is a magician and a pescatarian. Likes his shoes shiny and his trousers pressed. An elusive chap, but a gentleman at heart

Nicola is giving away
'cheesey apron with pockets, grab bag of cards, kitty postcards, taco time pocket mirror, cat stickers, Pocket manfriend George, unicorn brooch and capybara pillow ornament (It's what people need in their lives)

To be in with a chance of winning the incredible bunch of goodies pictured above just enter the below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

13.4.13

15/52

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

Wilf admiring a picture of himself as a six month old and his cousin the same age he is now (16 months) I wonder if he recognised himself in that funny chubbly thing?

edit - my favourite portrait from last week was welcoming little Zoe into the world

12.4.13

Potato Printing


Next up I tried some T-shirts


This post has been sitting in my drafts for over three weeks now, poor lonely little post.

I've already posted some pictures of Wilf wearing the trousers I made him on Instagram but I thought I should go ahead and show you the process anyway, seeing as I made the effort to photograph them and all.

The trousers were a triangle design cut out of a potato, I love bright colours and think the yellow and greens work really great against the turquoise. I also think this design could be really effective with a grey or black triangle against the bright block colour of the trousers. I think I may try that next time. I also made Wilf a T-shirt in the same design. Once Tom dressed Wilf and paired them together and he looked a bit mad. 

Next I decided to branch out with a bit of sweet potato printing to see how it differed from your everyday run of the mill potato..and well, it wasn't as good for sure. It was harder to carve and more textured that a regular potato but I still quite like the little fox design (although they maybe look like devils in the first picture).

Some designs looked a lot better in different colours. I think the cloud design worked well in black but may have worked just as well in another colour where as the fox design looked a lot more fun in a bright colour.

I purchased the trousers for £3 from a charity shop (I love their elasticised bottoms) and the T-shirts are fair-trade Organic cotton from Mantis world. I used Pebeo fabric paints for the designs and ironed them for a good three to five minutes to set the colour after they had dried. 

My friend Sarah also made some T shirts for her little boy that you can see here 

I hope you like them! Do any of you made homemade clothes for your kiddo's? 

11.4.13

What Mama Wore


What Mama Wore:

Jumper - Vintage Quarter in Bridport 
Skirt - ASOS
Boots - c/o Hunter 
Hat - borrowed from Tom's mum (Marks and Spencer

10.4.13

Orbit Challenge - Grandparent Challenge - can they dig it?


It's funny when Wilf was still tiny, a few weeks/months old perhaps, I used to feel very panicky about anyone other than Tom or I pushing him in his pram. Its not that I thought they would let go or endanger him in anyway, I can't really describe it actually but the first time a member of our family took the handles I wanted to burst into tears in the street. 

I don't feel that way anymore, in fact I always feel quite touched that a family member wants to walk along and chat to him as I do. 

I mentioned it a little before but having a pushchair that had a parent facing seat has always been really important to me. I didn't do a great amount of research pre baby into the benefits of parent facing seats, instead just instinctively felt the need to be able to see and chat to Wilf past the early baby-stage and onwards into toddler-hood. I later discovered however that most brain development occurs between birth and age two, which is when babies and toddlers need the benefit of a 'language-rich start to life'. Considering that on average a baby may be in their stroller for two hours a day, it makes sense that it would be more beneficial to have the seat facing you where you and your baby can communicate with each other.  

For me though it was always a case of what felt right to us, I love being able to smile and chat with Wilf when we walk along. Sometimes I find we have both been day dreaming to ourselves and I catch him finishing his train of thought and shooting me a smile before moving on to the next interesting topic in his head (what do toddlers think about I wonder?). Having our little chats on our outings are some of my favourite times. 

I asked Tom's mum what she thought of the Orbit and she agreed she loved the parent facing aspect to it. It was something she thought very important when she helped her daughter buy her first stroller too. We bumped into one of her friends on our outing and they chatted about how pushchairs are so different now to when they had babies. Everyone agreed that the snack tray attachment was a stroke of genius. 

In terms of ease of use it is brilliant and simple to use for all age ages. Also for people who may not use a pushchair in their everyday life. 

Grandparent challenge unlocked! ;) 

I am testing and reviewing the Orbit G2 in collaboration with Born. In doing so I am completed five different challenges and recording how I found them. For more details check out this post

9.4.13

Post Holiday Blues


This post is brought to you with a giant *SIGH*

I have post holiday blues. 

We didn't go anywhere exotic, there was no lying on a beach getting a tan burnt and no sangria being drank but I felt more relaxed than I have done in such a long time. 

No deadlines to worry about (I left that until our return hence a little bit of stress right now..) no laundry to do, a house that needs cleaning and guilt about not getting round to cleaning it..

Having quality time to spend with my family without the other stuff in life getting in the way. You know that boring stuff like work and bills and everyday chores.

Cant wait until we win the lottery already

Did you all have a relaxing Easter break? xoxo
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