Sunday, 30 April 2017

The Six of us in April 2017.

The past month has been such a busy one. Our little Didi turned one (still yet to blog!), The kids started Easter half term, and we have just returned from a week away in North Devon, a much needed family break for our tribe. So reflecting back on April, on the whole it was a month of school routines, family meals for birthdays, some wonderful Spring weather including hot enough evenings for us to put out a sheet slide and let the kids go wild on it - so much fun! As I mentioned above, our littlest member celebrated her first birthday (yes I did over consume lots and lots of cake, wiping back happy but bittersweet tears at the fact our smallest and last baby was waving goodbye to babyhood) - I'm still in denial though and she still rocks the baby onesies.

Our big girls and I went to their first joint school disco which they both really enjoyed, they even had me up dancing even though I tried to hide at the back, ha. I'm glad they did in all honesty, I had so much fun with them and it was lovely to see them have a nice time with their school friends out of school hours. Half term was a lovely time, of course there were days here and there when I felt like I would be greeting Ty home with extra eye baggage and grey hairs but we did well I think. Lots of home days, crafts, baking, first birthday prep, some park trips etc, but we did purposely take it slow as we knew we had lots of preparation to do for our holiday the following week when the kids were due back to school (we chose to take them out for four days). I know there's lots of debate on this topic, but I believe that what suits your family is what you must do, our family needed some quality time together, to switch off and for only four days of school time missed - the memories we made are worth it a thousand times over. 

I'll be writing more about our Easter break & holiday adventures very soon, but for now I have lots of things to be catching up on at home, including cleaning (we had work done while we were away) washing (we did the bulk while on holiday but being a family of six there will ALWAYS be washing in the basket) and we have quite a busy week ahead with appointments etc along with being back to school...and I turn 28 next week...eeep!
So here's a couple of our family photos for April 2017. Our first full year of being a family of SIX.

Our four in April 2017

What a year, today is not only the day to share my photos of our little four but it's also our littlest members first birthday today, sob! April last year our little lady make her appearance on the 15th (siblings photo day) couldn't have been more fitting right?

The power of photography and memories never ceases to amaze me for how they can make me feel. I find myself looking back at images daily and even though in that moment, whether it's a month, or year or more I look at the images and think that little Didi was always destined to join our family. It sounds completely random, but you know when you look at some images and it just seems as though she was already there in spirit somehow. And of course watching the four of them these days, it's definitely like she's always been here, she is on the verge of walking so when she's cracked it, I really am going to be looking at my foursome in complete amazement at how they are a tribe now. The littlest baby isn't so delicate like when a newborn, the little chap isn't a toddler anymore, and our big girls are just growing so rapidly that I want time to just slow down for a while. It really does seem to go much faster with the more children you have in a short space of time, that's the bittersweet part of having them close, as soon as one is growing, the next one is, and the next and so on, uncontrollably and it's something I get quite emotional about!

Anyway, we started our Easter holidays on Monday and it's safe to say that time together without rushing has been welcomed, so far this week we've spent a lot of time at home doing crafts, playing, garden time, baking or movie afternoons etc. We've decided not to cram too much into this break as we go on holiday in a couple of weeks too. It's the simple times in which I notice their little bonds and quirks all the more though so for that I'm thankful. We've had minimal squabbles (although some but easily ironed out) and little Didi has been amazing us at how she's developing with standing unaided, attempting to take a step and babbling so much - much to our amusement and "ahhhhhing".
A mix of photos, I have hundreds from this month plus ones from our holiday but here's a few, I just love this last one, It was SO windy and Phoenix was refusing to smile - until we cracked him!


Monday, 17 April 2017

First Birthday cake - Red Velvet with Strawberries

The weekend was a special one in our household, our little Didi turned ONE! (I'll be sharing about her birthday very soon!) ...So to say there was lots of cake is a definite understatement, this included the delicious cake we made in collaboration for the first birthday of My Little Piccolo too.
When My Little Piccolo got in touch asking for us to be one of their ten bloggers to join in the celebrations of their first birthday I just knew I wanted to get involved and I knew my girls would love to get baking, they're also such a great brand that we've worked with before when introducing Didi to weaning. We were sent a lovely package including a gorgeous mixing bowl, personalised wooden spoons, an adorable tea towel, and some finishing touches for the cake including mini sparklers, and a fab happy birthday candle. 
You can see below, the original recipe idea baked by their in house chef Alice, which we also baked at home but I did decide to use our choice of pouch instead of the cherry one & also substituted the raspberries for strawberries which are our kids absolute favourite. You can view & download the first birthday cake ideas for free at the My Little Piccolo website. Here you will find some wonderful inspiration from ten bloggers including myself each incorporating the pouches into the the end result whether thats the sponge or decoration.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Spring and things I'm loving lately.

Spring has arrived and it's definitely a time of year I really enjoy. Not only this, but it's also a special time for me even more so now as our littlest baby was born in this season and turns ONE this weekend - excuse me while I sob in the corner. Quite fitting really as so many new things are making their arrival. Including our bulbs in the garden, blossom on the trees and green appearing everywhere. I've really been enjoying the lighter mornings as well, giving me that little bit more motivation to get going (even though my sleep deprivation state hasn't changed! Thanks baby!)

I thought I'd make a little round up of other things I've loved lately too:

Watched: Tyrone and I watched the three part series of 'The Replacement', I really enjoy watching things that keep you gripped, the only thing I found difficult was when the baby was crying, or anything Motherhood related and it would set me off!

Calm: My love for lavender oil, along with other essential oils still continues as I rub some on my wrists, or rub on my pillow (even the kids pillows) to help create a calmer atmosphere in the evenings.

Weather: The sunnier days with that lovely Spring breeze in the air, also perfect for hanging fresh washing on the line, so therapeutic!

Style: I took the plunge and got my hair cut last weekend, a whole TEN inches chopped! I'm donating it to The little Princess Trust so hopefully it can be of use to them as for me, as much as I love long hair, after a year - it needed cutting and I just never get the time to spend on it making it all styled!Also...anyone else enjoying wearing sandals? I love having my feet out, my favourite is to be barefoot on the beach though! more style issues...I feel like I'm in a complete style rut at the moment, but I really do love to search across ASOS, ZARA, H&M and a few others, of course adding items to my basket, then never purchasing, something I need to change...

Thankful: I loved having a chilled out Mothers day this year, first year as a Mama to four so that was extra special.

Friendship/support: I created a small but lovely little group for some wonderful bloggers a few months back, I love chatting to them, and how we all bounce ideas & support one another.

Simple activities: Doing things that don't necessarily cost much, or anything at all, the simple things in life are free I guess, My sister and I took the little two to a local museum the other week, Phoenix is dinosaur obsessed so he was in his element being 'Andy' from the prehistoric adventure programme, we even sang the song there! The museum is great (better in term time as its not so busy) and it's free! I did buy cake though but all worth it for the look on his little face.

Green: As ever, I absolutely love having plants & flowers in our home. I have this habit of picking one up any shop I go to! Being in the garden lots more has also been so great, I decided to re-do a patch in our garden the other weekend, we all spent about 9 hours out there pottering about, cutting and planting, it was fab!

Home: Something I'm really interested in doing soon is making our own products for around the house and for us for now though when it comes to the kitchen, I've been loving the smell of the new ECO range from Waitrose, the Grapefruit & Eucalyptus scent is amazing!

Memory keeping: Gradually working my way through my gigantic photo and movie clip back log (along with making my Dads travel films), One of the best things is watching a complete film of memories or to flick through a printed book of photos (that are of course backed up too!). It's a long process, but a worthwhile one!
I could literally go on forever, of course there has been some stressful moments, days even. Where I feel really out of balance and sleep deprived which doesn't help anyone, lack of self-care too but focusing on the good things is always nurturing for the soul right?
What have you been up to lately?
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