The New Year Tag

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So today really is the last day of the year. 2014 was fabulous for us. I really enjoyed looking back at the year, month by month and picking out my highlights. In case you missed it you can read my year review here.

This week I was chosen by the lovely Mrs H at Mrs H’s Favourite Things to take part in The New Year Tag. It’s always lovely to be chosen to be part of something by fellow bloggers. So here are my answers…

What was your highlight of 2014?
Without question, it has to be the arrival of our beautiful Lola. She entered our world 2 weeks into the new year so it’s fair to say that this year really has been a whirlwind of emotion, new beginnings and excitement.

I’m more exhausted than I’ve ever been.

I’ve cried more than I’ve ever cried.

I’m more proud than I’ve ever felt.

I love more than I’ve ever loved and my heart is more full than it’s ever been.

Our family jigsaw is now complete.

What are you excited for in 2015?
I’m not sure if ‘excited’ is the word for it right now; apprehensive maybe? Anxious most definitely. But our biggest moment of 2015 will be Harley starting school. How is it possible? That gorgeous little boy who could honestly make me shed tears of love every day, is starting school!
The thought of him in his smart little uniform, carrying his lunchbox, makes my heart ache. Yet I’m so excited to see him grow and develop. His whole future will begin and every door that could possibly be open for him, will be. Good luck, little man.

Any New Years resolutions?
I recently read a brilliant piece of writing about New Years resolutions, by the lovely Katrina who blogs over at Cool Bananas. “New Year, New You… What was so wrong with the old you?” And it’s so true. Nothing’s wrong with me (well, no comments please dearest friends and family!) Of course, I will endeavour to lose weight and I will TRY to start running which I hate with a passion, but rather than set myself unrealistic and unmanageable goals that I won’t be able to achieve, I’m going to stick to the promise that I made my children when I returned to work after maternity leave.

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So rather than setting a New Years resolution to change myself, I’m going to set a New Years resolution to be myself and the ultimate goal for myself is simply…
Ali, do more of what makes you happy.

Blogging high?
Wow. The sheer fact that I’m writing this, 8 months in to starting my blog. Is a total high. I never for a minute dared to think that my voice would be heard by so many or my words be read by so many.
It’s an amazing hobby and a special memento of our extraordinary family life that just by chance, has led to some fabulous opportunities. My highest point was definitely being approached by Paultons Park in the Summer, to write on their website. It’s a theme park that I used to go to as a child and now enjoy even more as a mummy, seeing my children have bundles of fun. If you’re kids are crazy about Peppa Pig or love rides and rollercoasters, or you simply want a super family day out, it’s hard to top it. So I urge you to take a visit. You’ll take home some very happy memories.

We were then given the opportunity to return at Christmas to visit their Christmas Wonderland. Magical. And to top that off, I found out yesterday that I had made it into their Best of the Blogs… twice!

Picture of the year?
This is such a tough one, when Lola was born, Luke and I made a conscious effort to take more photos and videos, so choosing one photo of the year is tricky.

After much deliberation, it’s this one:

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Taken only this week. Harley and Lola. They are so close and I think this photo encapsulates their bond. He looks out for her. She looks up to him. And about 30 minutes after this photo was taken, we witnessed the most amazing sunset over the water.

So we look forward to 2015 with excitement and wonder at what the new year will bring us. I hope you all have a very happy new year and I’ll leave you in 2014 with this …

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If these lovely bloggers would like to take part in The New Year Tag, I’d love to read your answers:

Steph at Diary of a Midlife Mummy

Karen at Let Kids Be Kids

Kerri-Ann at Life As Our Little Family

Tim at Slouching Towards Thatcham

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New Shoes. First Shoes.

Yesterday we had a shopping trip that I won’t forget in a hurry.

 Since she was 10 months old, Lola has been cruising around and likes to be up on her feet so the time had come to buy her first pair of ‘proper’ shoes.

Not just the cute little shoes that you can buy off the rack that are for 6-12 months, but properly measured shoes.

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Off to Clarks we went. Apart from navigating their bizarre glass lift and being unable to open the door straight away; helplessly trying to catch the eye of fellow customers to get us out, the whole experience was altogether, pretty special.

Lola’s feet were measured as a 3 and a 3.5 F. Poor girl, she’s going to hate that half a shoe size difference later in life if those little feet don’t even themselves out!

There were quite a few different styles to choose from, none in the sale, unfortunately, but Lola picked out a cute berry coloured leather pair with flowers. She stared wide eyed at the young shop assistant who felt to see if the shoes fitted well.

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Job done. One perfectly fitting pair of shoes.

Clark’s always give you a Polaroid photo of your little one in their first shoes. When Harley had his 4 years ago, they stuck the photo onto a height chart which we still have up in his room now. Lola’s photo was put into a card with her name, date and shoe size. A lovely memento.

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She kept the shoes on (I always loved keeping my new shoes on after I had chosen them in the shop!) and when she sat in her car seat on the way home, she kept lifting her feet into the air and smiling at her new shoes.

She must love them as she hasn’t tried to take them off!

I wonder where those tiny shoes will take her.

Now and in her future.

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Do you remember taking your little one to buy their first shoes? I know she will outgrow them pretty quickly but this will be the one pair that I will keep and store away in her memory (39)

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Mindful Monday ~ Wk 7

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I hope you all had a truly wonderful Christmas.

With a shiny new year just around the corner, it seems only fitting that this week’s Mindful Monday is about looking to the future.

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So with 2015 being the next chapter in all of our books, let’s be a fabulous author and write a good one.

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My Sunday Photo

 This is my first time joining in with this fab linky. I love the idea of sharing a photo, with or without words and I couldn’t think of a better photo to use. photo (15)

Our little Lola’s first Christmas.

We had such a lovely time with her. As she’s nearly one, she was aware of all of the excitement and was able to unwrap some of her presents. She also started saying “Up” when she wants picking up or lifted up onto the sofa, so apart from “Mumma” and “Dadda”, we can say this is officially her first word! Her first word on Christmas Day, we’ll never forget that one.

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2014 – You were pretty amazing

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With Christmas only a panic frenzied 4 days away, it means that the week after is New Year. We say Goodbye to 2014 and hello to a sparkly, shiny, new year. For some, saying goodbye to a fabulous year will be hard and they will have everything crossed that the new year brings just as many smiles, laughter and memories. For others, they will embrace the opportunity to start a new year, a new start and be glad to put this year behind them.

For me, for us, 2014 was an incredible year however it really has been the fastest year of my life. Never before has 365 days flown by quite as quickly as they have this year.

So I wanted to look back at the year that was, and recall one memory in a photo for each month.


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Inevitably this was the most anticipated, exhilarating, breathtaking and overwhelming month of the year. We said hello to 7lb12oz of beautiful pink baby ness. Lola Mae arrived to make our family complete. She taught me that love can grow. Infinitely.


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Was a month where we tended to stay at home as I was still quite sore from the cesarean section. We had some newborn photos taken of Lola with Harley and I remember how romantic Valentines Day was, eating a lovely cooked meal by Luke whilst holding a crying baby!


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March was a month to be oh so proud. When Luke’s not busy being an amazing daddy, he’s a brilliant teacher and his hard work and talent was paramount when he coached his Year 8 girls’ football team to a win at the National Championships at Wembley, no less! He got to walk up the steps where many of his childhood heroes have walked, to hold the trophy aloft.
He’s my hero.


April was when MyLifeMyLove was born. Being on maternity leave, I wanted a way that I could document our special moments and share the things that I love. I never thought that the response would be as great as it was and still is. Blogging has opened up some amazing opportunities for us as a family. We have worked with some fantastic brands and I can’t wait to continue to share our life with those who enjoy reading.


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May will be remembered, not simply for the self indulgent reason that it was my birthday but because it was the first time that we went out for a meal together as a 4. We went to TGI Fridays. I remember that it wasn’t quite the long, relaxing meal, or with as many cocktails as I used to have on my birthday but it had my favourite people around the table. And that’s pretty special.


DK Capture Photography and Studio Hire
At last, we managed to get a photo of us and Luke’s boys altogether. Someone is always usually missing. But we found a super Groupon deal at a local photographers. The boys loved having fun in the box and the pictures really encapsulate their personalities. We loved the final photo.

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Was a real mixed bag of emotion. It marked the end of my maternity leave which was a real wrench. But it was slightly softened by it being our second wedding anniversary. My lovely friend, Sarah sent us to Aqua Sana Spa at Centreparcs for a special treat and it was pure bliss. Just us.


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As it was the Summer holidays, it was so nice to all be together for a whole month. Perhaps my favourite memory was going to Paultons Park and writing some guest posts for them on their website. It was the first time that Harley rode on a rollercoaster and his smile captured in these photos, says it all.


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Back to school! But it was a busy month with Harley’s 4th birthday and going to our lovely friend’s son’s christening. We joke that Jake and Lola will get married, not that I’m into arranged marriages or anything but we are pretty sure they would make a beautiful couple!


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My favourite memory from October was going to watch the ballet with my mum and sister. The ballet was stunning; the men is flesh coloured tights were distracting; the evening was so much fun.


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We went up to Liverpool to have a tour of the Everton ground and watch a game. As an avid blues supporter, it’s perhaps inevitable that Luke’s boys would follow suit. We stayed in a gorgeous family hotel and spa while we were there. And it really was a weekend to remember.


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And so to now. Lola’s first Christmas. She’s walking around so much and is in awe of the Christmas tree and twinkly lights. This year we have Luke’s boys for Christmas so it will be lovely to all be together. The stockings are hung, the reindeer food is made and the Christmas dinner for all 12 people will (hopefully) all be made without a glitch!

2014, you were pretty fabulous. Here’s our year, all wrapped up in 80 seconds. I was quite emotional watching this.

2015, I will meet you with a little trepidation as you mark my baby boy starting school. But I have high expectations for you. And I can’t wait to see what memories you have in store for us.

What was your favourite memory of 2014?

I’d love to see some of my favourite blogger’s year in pictures if you would like to join in, Emma at Life at the Little Wood, Catrina at CoolBananas, Steph at Diary of a MidLife Mummy and Jess at Mummy of Boy Girl Twins

Here’s wishing a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year to all of you.

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Mami 2 Five
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Behind the scenes of a Christmas Craft Fair

Who doesn’t love a craft fair? And a Christmas one at that?

I love craft fairs.

I love discovering a person’s talent. I’m so envious of people who have a talent that they can turn into a self employed business. Some say that my talent is teaching or perhaps writing…? but I’m definitely not crafty, not one little bit. I’m not sure if I have a creative bone in my body. I do my bit to try and be a mummy who does crafts with their children but it’s far from a picture perfect image. Footprint Christmas tree cards ended up a messy splodge in the bin and don’t even get me started on the Make Your Own Snow or Salt Dough decorations!

Fortunately, all is not lost on the creative front because my sister makes up for what I severely lack.
She taught herself to make jewellery and now has her own business making and selling handmade silver jewellery, worldwide.

A couple of weeks ago, she held a stall at the New Forest Christmas Craft Fair and I went along to help her.

It was so interesting to be on the other side of the table and to see all of the hard work and effort that goes into creating and crafting a table that screams, “No, don’t walk passed, come and have a look at my pretty table and buy something!!”

My sister was lucky enough to have a stall in one of the marquees, to say it was warm though, was an understatement. I did have lots of layers on and a sneaky blanket over my legs and a warm flask of mulled cider, was most welcome.

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The marquee looked so bare before all the stalls were set up and I wondered how on earth it was going to be transformed.

The set up begins …

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My sister used a cloth to cover her table that complemented the pale blue boxes that Tinysilver is known for. I was given my orders as to where everything should be delicately placed.

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I bought a sign for my sister as a surprise, she loved it and it looked great hanging on her stall. The handmade wooden signs are made by a very talented friend. You can have a look at Poppy’s Patch Facebook page here for all of her fabulous designs. I can thoroughly recommend.

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My sister used cleverly cut pieces of wood to display various pieces of jewellery. I loved the cute little ring display logs and the cut log to hold the earrings that my brother in law made (you can tell he’s an architect!) The twinkly lights, lit up the table beautifully.

Ta-dah…all ready to go!

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 When the doors opened, I felt strangely nervous that I didn’t want to let her down!

I kept asking how to package everything up and blimey, when she nipped off to get a drink, I was so anxious to be left on my own!!

As soon as I’d made my first solo sale, I felt more relaxed. When someone told me how talented I was to make such beautiful jewellery, it took a lot of strength to not soak up the praise but instead relay the accreditation to the person sat next to me.

The atmosphere was really lovely. Festive, warm and very friendly.

To see the little blue boxes packaged up and fly off the shelves table, made me so proud of her.

Many hours of preparation went in to getting ready for the craft fair. As all of my sister’s jewellery is made to order, she had to make a lot of stock to take along. She has a little studio at home where she designs and makes everything.

Here is a little peek at those hours of prep:

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and look how pretty everything is when it’s packaged up:

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Craft fairs are such a great way of supporting local handmade businesses. I absolutely enjoyed my day helping out. I loved being on the other side of the table, but I loved even more, seeing the hard work that my sister puts into her business every day, pay off.

You can take a look at Tinysilver here.

She truly is living proof that having a little seed of an idea can grow into something huge.

I admire her every inch of her.

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Creating Christmas Magic for a little while longer

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Since having children, Christmas has taken on a whole new level for me. The magic of Christmas is undoubtedly captured in the faces of our little ones when they see that they have indeed made it onto Santa’s Good List!

But I’m not oblivious to the fact that those magical years, are no where near long enough, so I intend to make the magic sparkle as much as I can, while the belief and wonderment still exists.

The following are just little things that we like to do to create a little magic in the build up to Christmas eve:

A Letter from Santa

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This weekend, Harley ran into the lounge, excited to see a bright red envelope with his name on it, pushed through the letterbox. It was a letter from Santa, that he believes the elves posted through the door.  My eyes welled up, reading the letter to him and seeing his face light up. We used My Letter from Santa Claus and you can read our review of the letter here. Because the letter is so personal, it’s truly lovely to hear how Santa knows everything them and knows exactly what they want for Christmas!

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We also make a personalised video using the Portable North Pole. Like the letter, you can add any information you like to make it special. There is an option to pay for an upgrade where you can add more detail but I just use the free version.

‘Santa is Coming to’ Book

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I love getting out the Christmas stories and reading them before bedtime throughout December. An old favourite of mine is ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ but we love the ‘Santa is coming to’ books written by Steve Smallman and published by Hometown World. They mention places local to your area and I love adding in the children’s names on the last page. As Harley can’t read yet, he really believes he features in the book.


A visit to see Santa


The magic really comes alive with a visit to see Santa. We usually go to Stewarts Garden Centre where they have real reindeer, but this year we were lucky enough to visit the Christmas Wonderland at Paultons Park. It was stunning. You can read our review of the Wonderland, here.

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On Christmas Eve …

Track Santa’s journey 

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We love using the Santa Tracker to see where Santa is on his journey and to watch him get ever closer.

 Sprinkle Glitter

We like to leave a trail of glitter, down the steps that lead up to our front door, just to make sure Santa knows the way!

Treats for Santa

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Isn’t it amazing seeing your little one’s face light up when they see that Santa has eaten the mince pie or cookies they left out for him and drank the glass of milk…. or Rosé wine as the case may be, this year! We made our own plate for Santa by simply using Sharpie pens and baking the plate in the oven for 30 mins at 175ºC. I also love how it is a constant reminder of how Harley used to first write his name. I wrote Harley and Lola’s ages on the back of the plate as a reminder for years to come.

Reindeer Food

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We also leave out a carrot for Rudolph but just so that the other reindeers don’t feel left out, we like to leave them some reindeer food in the garden. We simply mix oats, granola and of course, glitter to make that all important reindeer food. We can’t have Dancer and Prancer missing out!

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Santa’s Footprints

This is a gorgeous idea that was actually hubby’s. We leave out Santa’s footprints walking away from the stockings. Simply cut out a shoe print template and sprinkle talcum powder around the edges. I didn’t get a photo of it last year but I love these ones from The Party Artisan:

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Magic key

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We always leave out a Magic Key for Santa to get through the door on Christmas Eve as we don’t have a chimney. The jingle bell is the sound of Santa’s sleigh approaching.

and finally…

I saw this on social media this week. We are definitely going to be on the lookout for Santa’s sleigh flying through the sky, so I thought I would share it with you:

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So are there any other things that you like to do, to create that magic of Father Christmas, that I can steal  borrow?

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I have linked this post up into BritMums Christmas Blog Hop. Add your Christmas posts below. xx

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Mindful Monday ~ Wk 5

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My letter to Santa.

Dear Santa …

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Amidst the joy and festivities that are fast approaching, spare a thought for those who will be alone this Christmas or those who will be missing loved (39)

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The Snowman – Thank you Mumsnet and Save the Children

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It’s been so lovely to see all of the fab photos of you and your little ones in their Christmas jumpers, all in support of Save the Children’s ‘Make the a World better with a Sweater’ day. Yesterday, the annual event saw many people, businesses, workplaces and schools, donate to the fantastic charity by wearing their Christmas jumpers for the day. You can read my blog post about it here, and see me and mine in our festive sweaters.

I was delighted to be contacted by Mumsnet and Save the Children to say that I had won 4 tickets to see the gala performance of ‘The Snowman’ in London! Readers of my latest post The Christmas Tag, will know that one of my all time favourite Christmas movies is ‘The Snowman’ and I watched it with Harley last week; it was magical to watch him be in awe throughout the film, just as I was when I was little.

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So I was absolutely over the moon, to hear that we had the opportunity to see it, live on stage. Regretfully, the performance started a little too early for us to drive up from the South Coast after work. But I was so pleased to be able to pass on the tickets to a friend and her boys. She sent me some photos of the evening which I’m delighted to be able to share with you.

When they arrived, the boys decorated gingerbread men with Save the Children before the show started, which they thoroughly enjoyed.

Look at that fab Xmas Jumper

Look at that fab Xmas Jumper

They were even treated to a visit from the Snowman himself.


The boys absolutely loved the show and didn’t want it to end. They had a fab view from the stalls:

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and their favourite part was the iconic scene when the snowman started flying!

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On the opinion of a lovely friend, if you’re looking for a firm, festive, family favourite (what about that for some alliteration!) we can thoroughly recommend the spectacle and magic of The Snowman; expertly brought to life through spectacular lighting, super choreography and performed by a live band. The Times are quoted as saying, “Sheer theatrical magic. Go see the Snowman and melt,” I love that.

The Snowman is currently showing at The Peacock theatre, Holborn, London, until 4th January 2015. You can book tickets if you click here.

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So on behalf of my friend and her gorgeous boys, I have to send a big, big thank you to Mumsnet and Save the Children for your generosity. What a lovely Christmas treat.

Disclaimer: I was gifted complimentary tickets for the show and was not asked to promote the show or theatre, Save the Children or Mumsnet.

Did you join in with the Christmas Jumper day? Have you seen ‘The Snowman’ live?

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The Christmas Tag

I recently saw The Christmas Tag on the lovely blog Tinyfootsteps and I enjoyed reading Jenna’s answers, so I thought I would have a go too. Who doesn’t love Christmas? And being asked about your favourite time of year…. well that’s pretty fab!

1. What is your favourite Christmas movie/s?

I love Home Alone. It epitomises Christmas when I was growing up. Can it really be 24 years old?? Funnily enough, I watched it with Harley last week when we got out the box of Christmas movies. I did worry that the idea of a boy being left alone in a house that it is being targeted by burglars, might be rather frightening for him but I think his innocence allowed him to just see the humour in it… and proof that I really have become an emotional wreck since having children… I cried. I cried, in Home Alone when his mum returns home to see he has decorated the house all by himself!

I also love Nativity. What a brilliantly funny and very touching Christmas film. Who doesn’t enjoy hearing children sing and perform? If you haven’t seen it before, I really recommend that you do. It might just top that favourite Christmas movie list of yours, or at least make it into the top 3!


But my absolute favourite Christmas movie, if not only just for the music, has to be The Snowman. To me, nothing depicts Christmas more than this film. Watching Harley watching the film, was magical.

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2. Do you open your presents on Christmas morning or in the afternoon?

We always open our stockings first thing in the morning and then presents from the rest of the family, in the afternoon.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

Two years ago, I noticed a present sticking out from under the tree. It caught my eye because it was in different wrapping paper to everything else, so I knew I hadn’t wrapped it. Intrigued, I remember peering under the tree to read the tag …

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Being a step mum, is possibly one of the hardest jobs in the world, but that message there; that sentiment; those heartfelt words, meant everything.

4. Favourite festive food?

Pigs in blankets are definitely my favourite thing on the Christmas dinner plate. I’m not a lover of Christmas cake or Christmas Pudding, but my Gran’s trifle is on another level. Her secret weapon was always a top layer of Dream Topping sprinkled with hundreds and thousands. I’m blessed to still have my grandparents happy and well, although often now, big family gatherings are a little too much so they prefer to stay at home. But Gran’s trifle would still make it’s way to the table. I’m debating whether or not to give it a go this year. I’d have a lot to live up to!

5. Favourite Christmas gift?

Don’t laugh at me, but I do have the memory of a gift that sticks firmly in my mind. It’s from 1991 (are you impressed I knew that?) when in my stocking was Cher’s album, Love Hurts on cassette. It even had The Shoop Shoop Song on it. As if I didn’t already think I was the coolest kid around, now that I had the Cher album but I also received a mint green Batwing Jumper. Man, I was so happy!

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
It’s got to be the smell of a real Christmas tree, hasn’t it? The smell that fills the living room when you come downstairs first thing in the morning. It’s my only regret of having an artificial tree.
Last Christmas I bought the Festive Spice oil burner from Next. It’s gorgeous and very Christmassy, with notes of juicy orange, red berries and festive spices. I can definitely recommend.

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7.Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

We don’t really. But my favourite thing about the build up to Christmas day, is leaving the mince pie and carrot for Santa and Rudolph. Last year was the first time that Harley understood the concept of it and my eyes welled up as he was getting the plate ready. I like the idea of a Christmas Eve box and I may well start up this tradition, next year.

8. What tops your tree?
Always, a silver star. It was adorable to watch Lola place the star on top of the tree this year, for her first ever Christmas.

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9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

I don’t think I ever asked for something crazy, in fact I just text my mum to ask her but she said I didn’t either. There, I was a very modest child. And I think I was pretty damn lucky growing up, because I always remember getting the things that I did ask for. Santa was a gem!

10. What’s the best part of Christmas for you?

Without a shadow of a doubt, it has to be watching the kids’ faces the moment they realise Santa has been. We have Luke’s boys this year so all 4 of them will have a stocking. Blimey, it’s an expensive year but I’m all giddy at the thought of Christmas morning.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

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A Parent’s 12 Days of Christmas!


To be read, or sang if you’re feeling particularly festive, to the tune of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
A large glass of Rosé for me.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Three Christmas fairs
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Four bags of sprouts
Three Christmas fairs
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Five spare packs of batteries
Four bags of sprouts
Three Christmas fairs
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Six late nights spent wrapping
Five spare packs of batteries
Four bags of sprouts
Three Christmas fairs
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Seven family visits
Six late nights spent wrapping
Five spare packs of batteries
Four bags of sprouts
Three Christmas fairs
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Eight trips to Toys’R’us
Seven family visits
Six late nights spent wrapping
Five spare packs of batteries
Four bags of sprouts
Three Christmas fairs
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Nine essentials that I’ve missed
Eight trips to Toys’R’us
Seven family visits
Six late nights spent wrapping
Five spare packs of batteries
Four bags of sprouts
Three Christmas fairs
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Ten last minute panic buys
Nine essentials that I’ve missed
Eight trips to Toys’R’us
Seven family visits
Six late nights spent wrapping
Five spare packs of batteries
Four bags of sprouts
Three Christmas fairs
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Eleven Christmas movies
Ten last minute panic buys
Nine essentials that I’ve missed
Eight trips to Toys’R’us
Seven family visits
Six late nights spent wrapping
Five spare packs of batteries
Four bags of sprouts
Three Christmas fairs
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Twelve table settings
Eleven Christmas movies
Ten last minute panic buys
Nine essentials that I’ve missed
Eight trips to Toys’R’us
Seven family visits
Six late nights spent wrapping
Five spare packs of batteries
Four bags of sprouts
Three Christmas fairs
Two excited children
And a large glass of Rosé for me….. phew!

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Merry Christmas y’all.

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Me add three

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Mindful Monday ~ Wk 4

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Food for thought if you’re facing a tough week…


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Lola celebrates with a Letterbox Cake

When I was approached by Baker Days to try out their letterbox cakes, I was more than a little bit intrigued. Us Simpsons all love cake but a cake that can be posted through your letterbox? How would it fit through the letterbox and not get squashed or damaged as it fell to the floor?  Let’s just say I kept a keen eye on Mr. Postman since I placed my order.

Baker Days provide delicious personalised cakes delivered straight to yours or a lucky receiver’s door.

The cakes come in a round shape but there are 4 different sizes to suit your requirements:

Letterbox Cakes 3-4 portions
5 inch cakes (12cm x 2.5cm)

Small Party Cake 10-12 portions
7 inch cakes (17cm x 5.5cm)

 Medium Party Cake 18-25 portions

9 inch cakes (24cm x 6.5cm)

 Large Party Cake 40-55 portions

12 inch cakes (30cm x 7.5cm)

The website is extremely easy to navigate and placing that all important order is so simple and clear.

I was extremely impressed with the wide range of designs on offer. From the classic birthday cake to anniversary cakes, celebration cakes and Good Luck cakes to new baby, new job and new home cakes. If you think of the range of greetings cards on offer, Baker Days matches all of those in the form a cake…. yes, cake!

I was so intrigued to try the Letterbox cake as I couldn’t fathom how a deliciously looking cake on screen, could arrive just so, through my letterbox!

Once browsing the website I decided that I wanted a cake to celebrate Lola’s first Christmas. I opted for the ‘Christmas Teddy’ cake and chose the wording ‘Happy 1st Christmas Lola xxx’ on the cake. The cakes come as a sponge cake but there are options to change the style of the cake as an added extra.

 Chocolate Chip Sponge Cake  made  only  with Belgian chocolate

Chocolate Chip Sponge Cake made only with Belgian chocolate. Add £1.50

Fruit Cake

Fruit Cake. Add £2.00

Gluten Wheat Free Cake

Gluten Wheat Free Cake. Add £3.50

Dairy Free Cakes

Dairy Free Cakes. Add £3.50

I think for me, it was the anticipation of the cake dropping through the letterbox which I was most intrigued about. I was so unbelievably impressed with the packaging of the cake. It comes well wrapped in a gorgeous tin and arrived in perfect condition. I loved the extra touch of a cute Christmas cracker inside the box too.

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I think you’ll agree that this looks gorgeous even before it’s been devoured!

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I wasn’t quite quick enough to get a photo of Lola with her special cake, before she managed to sneak off a piece of icing!

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Almost too pretty to cut into, the cake was absolutely delicious and regretfully, incredibly moreish! The chocolate sponge was so light and yummy, it satisfied all of my naughty sweet taste buds.

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The cake had just the right amount of icing too. I think these piccies show better than in words, just how delicious we found the cake …

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and just when Daddy thought that he would get the last slice … it was gone.

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 Not only was the cake delicious, I loved how personal it was and how you could tailor the cake to your requirements. Baker Days range of personalised designs is extensive, in fact I challenge you to find a design that they don’t do! They can even have photos printed onto your cake here, or boxes of cupcakes here. Prices start from £14.99.

I even loved the tin that the cake came in. Perfect for keeping little biscuits in!

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I can’t think of a more lovely way of putting a smile on someone’s face when amongst the bills that have landed on the doormat, they find a gorgeous letterbox cake with a personal message on it.

If you would like a chance to win a Letterbox Cake and you use social media, just include the hashtag #bakerdays and let them know what your best Christmas gift. One lucky winner will be chosen by Baker Days to receive a cake design of their choice.

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary Letterbox cake from Baker Days however all words and opinions are my own.

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Family Fever
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We have a walker … and my heart is aching!

All parents remember when their baby reaches all those major milestones that are recorded in the baby book. The first time they smiled; clapped their hands; ate solids; sat up unaided; crawled; got their first tooth even when they first slept in Pyjamas as opposed to a sleep suit (or is that just me?!)

But perhaps the most momentous occasion is when your baby takes their first steps.

When Harley took his first 5 little steps, we caught the moment on camera. It is still one of  my most precious moments and I love it that we have the moment forever.

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Harley was ten and a half months when he took those first tentative steps out in the garden.

When Lola was born, I wanted to preserve that baby state for as long as possible. However she is already a girl who appears to want to defy her parents as she is most certainly not wanting me to allow her to remain a baby for as long as I would have liked.

At 9 months old, she stood unaided and took 3 little steps.

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She then realised that it took a) a lot of unnecessary effort and b) unwanted ooohing and ahhhing from her parents, to bother trying anymore. So she just carried on crawling everywhere.

However, this weekend, at 10 and a half months old (just like her brother) she did it. She took 6 steps and now she’s off.

My baby is now one step further away from being that baby that I want to preserve. She is so incredibly proud of herself, once she travels forward and then falls down. She gives us such a lovely smile while we all clap and lift her triumphantly into the air.

Lola, you will always be my beautiful little baby, but please let Mummy enjoy this precious stage in your life for a little while longer.

… and if anyone has found any of that ‘Stop Growing Powder’ in all good supermarkets….. please pick me up a bottle.

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Mami 2 Five
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