Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Sticking at things.

Well I have been keeping up with my running.  

We are now on week 7/10 of our beginners group and going well.  I've also been able to manage 1-2 running practices a week in between sessions.  Running with people seems so much easier as there is that element of distraction which inhibits your mind from encouraging you to stop.  Some runs have been easier than others, but I am getting there. I hurt my knee around week 3, and was really disheartened.  My head was telling me not to run on it, but I couldn't bring myself to miss a session.  Thankfully ice and stretching seemed to work and it's been so much better and no pain when running now.  I also treated myself to a snazzy new pair of running trainers (see photo above) to try and reduce the risk of hurting my knee further.  Love them.  I wouldn't have believed the difference a good pair of trainers would make. I did have my gait analysed by doing the run on the treadmill in the shop...I did feel like a wally but I'm sure I looked like a gazelle!  Good job it was a quiet time of day.
I've found a running partner in the village too which helps with practicing and motivation and as of yesterday I have signed up for a 5k Race for Life at the beginning of June.  I'm looking forward and hope this will be the start of many to come.

I have also been to a local free buggy fitness group which sounds less hard core than it is.  But when you're doing your walking lunges, crunches, push ups, planks, sprints etc. you are soon the one that finds yourself wishing you could turf your baby out of the buggy so you can have a sit down and recover!!! 

I have also started a new circuits class that's re-establishing locally.  My first go at circuits and the class was small (just the 2 of us!) so there was definitely no hiding!! My favorite bit was donning some gloves and punching the stuffing out of the instructors pads...what a great stress reliever! 

All this fitness is making me feel a bit stronger in and self esteem.

Making has been a bit on the slow side here as I feel I've just been buzzing here, there and everywhere.  We often are away at weekends visiting people and it always seems to fall in back to back weekends. It's lovely, but I've had enough now and am sticking at home for a while!  
I've been able to make something (a little commission I suppose) but it hasn't been given yet so I'll keep that under wraps for now.

So other makes have been focused on my little man. We have been having some success with sticker charts.  They never used to work, but after potty training, he was still looking for instant rewards, so the implementation of the sticker chart gave him a longer term goal to focus on.  The first was a pirate ship sailing to the treasure, the second a dinosaur.

He loved the idea that he was getting closer to the star.  He got a mini Haribo bag of sweets for each little star which he loved, and for the pirate ship he got a Spiderman Doll (or action figure as I've been corrected plenty of times!) and for the Dinosaur he got  a big Playdoh factory.  It's quite nice as his birthday is Christmas Eve so he gets one big present drop a year, and this is a way of re-enforcing good behaviours but also giving us a good excuse for us to get him some new toys once in a while.
The current one is a snake focussing on getting washed and dressed with NO FUSS! 
 I may be aiming too big as 'procrastinate' is his middle name!  All three year olds are the same I'm sure, but sometimes the battle is so irritatingly frustrating that it deserves a chance to change for the better!  We have had a few mornings/evenings with no fuss whatsoever and all happening in real time which have been delightful (yes three year olds also have no sense of time passing what so ever!).  Some he's still mucking about so he's gone without his reward.  I'm sure with time he might click on to the idea! His reward for reaching this one is a family trip to the zoo so he's quite keen for this one.


Another little project this week was an up-cycle I suppose. My little man had a very cool dinosaur bag for pre-school which broke, but it was too good to throw away.  So I cut out the leather dino's and re-purposed them into a collage for his room.  I had a spare green Ikea frame kicking around so it seemed the perfect use for it for now.
 I used various bits of fabric, wool, ribbon etc.  and we painted the sun, leaves etc. together.  We did use bubble wrap to make some textured paint but for some reason the paper sort of made it disappear.  When he saw it half made he gasped when he saw it and said he really liked it.  When I showed him the finished one he carried on playing...and my husband laughed.  I'll take that criticism as I think it looks really nice hanging in his room so it will stay there until it grows old.
     The pictures not that clear here...and maybe that's for a good thing.  Every time I look at it it looks more and more pre-school!


My littlest in now sitting for long periods, weaning is going well, and he is still rocking on all fours!
He is also getting into trouble around the house determined to reach for all of his big brothers toys.

My time on maternity leave is coming to an end with a return to work at the beginning of June.  My uniforms still fit (just).  That will be a whole new phase to adjust to... trying to keep all those balls up in the air.  I could stay off forever to watch my little people grow and learn. 

Enough for today.  I'm enjoying soaking up the warmth in my little sun room, making the most of nap time.  So I think I'll pop some more music on and enjoy some me time.

Love from me and my little men x

Tuesday, 7 April 2015


Happy Easter!

I hope everyone's had a nice Easter Bank Holiday.  We've been semi-confined by the pox (which I can thankfully say took a turn for the better on Saturday) which we think is mostly scabbing over, but as he does look ridiculously spotty we were a bit worried of the general public reaction to his smiley spotty face.  We instead stayed local, lots of nice walks, a trip to the seaside including an obligatory ice cream, and some gardening time too.  

I think it was really nice just to be still for a bit, and when the kids are happy we are happy. 

Easter bonnets. I'm not sure where this tradition came from.  It's a bit of a weird one for boys.  For girls you can get pretty bonnets, stick some flowers, chicks, eggs etc. on and they look immediately cute.  Do that to a boy and there's a very good chance he'll get laughed out of the playground!  At only 3, my little man is oblivious to the hilarity of this weird lets get the bonnet made and cameras out!

We initially thought we'd go down the decorated crown route.  
This is our effort from last year...

We paper mached a crown which was all a bit gloopy and fun.  Then I made some rabbits and stuck them in the grass at the top (this was a night before jobby as I did think we'd miss playgroup due to the pox).  Here it is...
The crown was a tad small and he did not want to wear it! Oh well...never mind.  I'll try again next year.  But then in the shower I had an epiphany...could I convert my straw hat into something he'd wear?  With 15mins until needing to was a bit like challenge Anneka!  So with sellotape and wool flying everywhere, lots of giggling and panicking, we transformed the hat from this...
Me modelling the hat in 2013. this.....
He loved wearing it for the bonnet parade around Hythe, holding on for dear life in case the wind blew it off!

Bunnies nestled in the grass...maybe should have used more sellotape...
What a Mess!
But a winning mess all the same!  THIRD prize! So he was delighted with his bag of eggs that he won.  First prize went to someone who had encompassed more of the religious side of Easter. Second to a cute girly hat.  We'll take Third...and now I'm pleased we had the hilarity of the 15minutes of woolly Monday morning madness before playgroup.


Easter eggs are all well and good, but who really needs all that chocolate?!  After ploughing through the chocolate still lingering from Christmas in an effort to cleanse the house of any chocolate impurities, the thought of another onslaught of chocolate is just a bit sickening.  Especially with the pressing issue of trying to get rid of a post baby belly.  My little man likes chocolate, but he doesn't have it that often, and he would never eat loads in one go, so I thought we don't need to buy big chocolate eggs or anything, but I did want to do an Easter egg hunt.
So a little bit of an alternative egg hunt I suppose.  We had a rock painting craft session, where I painted some rocks in Easter themes with the plan to hide them around the garden for a hunt with a small pressie at the end.
Enjoying the painting session.
The finished rocks.  You can tell who did the monster one...

Finding them around the garden.

The finale was quite fun.  After all rocks collected and counted, he had to lower his prize down from the tree.  He had a great time.  The best part about using the rocks is that we had about 4x different hunts that afternoon.  Then they were used to load in his trucks upstairs.  I found one in my boot this morning, so I guess he still is enjoying hiding them!


He's been busy in nursery making Easter cards.

At home we made some Easter cakes for ourselves and our two neighbours.  They were delish.


I'm also working on something a little different...Running.  I achieved couch-5k after my first was born, and now I need to get back on it.  I've joined a weekly beginners running group which started on the 30/03/15.  The people I've met are really nice.  So far I have done 4x runs.  I don't feel as bad as I thought I would, and I'm looking forward to achieving something at the end (hopefully!).   If I lost a little post baby belly along the way I wouldn't complain...
Add caption
I hope you all had a good Easter!

Love from me and my little men x

Friday, 3 April 2015

Surviving the Pox

In my last post you saw my DIY heart picture which I think looks pretty spiffingly awesome (even if I do say so myself).

It's now sitting on my new shelves in my lounge.  New Shelves! Yes...I'm quite excited about these as ever since we have moved in (that's about 5/6years) I have been plagued by a blank wall and had no clue as to where to start with it.  How can a blank wall be so difficult? Well I find it easier to cosy up/decorate the small nooks in a room, rather than make a commitment to a large part of the room with the risk of getting it very wrong.  I decided to make a bit of a gallery wall so I could mix up the artwork if I wanted to.  I think these picture ledges are perfect and I am really pleased with them.
Love these pictures.
There are my two home made ones in the middle!

Unfortunately you don't get a picture of the shelves in context with the rest of my lounge as it is all a bit "plastic fantastic" below this photo line.  That's the baggage of having children...the hundreds of plastic toys that adorn your living room.  The added problem of having boy children is that none of those plastic fantastic toys are particularly pretty... Cranes, pirate ships, racing cars... 
My shelves can be my bit of prettiness amongst all their crap!


We've been plagued by chicken pox in this house.  The eldest got it and I think we got off lightly.  He was a bit of a grump bag and tired, but apart from that not too irritated by them.  We are paying the price now as our newest boy on the block is absolutely covered head to toe with amazingly big blisters.  He has screamed for the past two nights with an unbreakable fever and has been in obvious discomfort.  Absolutely heartbreaking to watch and not be able to do anything to make it better for them.  However, I think the fever broke this morning, and he has had a sleep for 4hours solid today.  So far he is settled in his cot, so all we can do is keep our fingers crossed that he has a more restful night.  I can't wait for him to be on top form again, and I can't wait to stop finding splashes of pinky/white calamine lotion everywhere (I came back from picking one up from nursery to see I had calamine splashes all up my jeans...not a good look).


Our little one has also cut his first two bottom teeth!

He's been pulling the funniest faces feeling around for his new toothy pegs.  We've also started the very messy adventure, of weaning.  
Hmmm....I'm not sure who won that one...!


Me and my little man have also been playing with Sensory Writing.  Something I saw from the Imagination Tree  and kept us amused for ages.  Perfect for pattern copying, letter copying, oh...and digging in!  Yep, there was a lot of digging and flicking with salt and glitter flying everywhere, but that was cool.  
Little people are learning all of the time.
Mixing in the blue glitter.  We need to stock up on crafting goodies.

No kitchen foil in the house to make a shiny background so picked a nice sunny yellow.

After plenty of digging my little man achieved his initial!  
He was super pleased.

A few more things to jot down, but I'll save that for another post.  What better way to spend a pox ridden bank holiday weekend by having some blogging time.

Now for more tea.

Love from me and my little men x

Monday, 16 March 2015

Family Love.

Mother day spoilsI’ve had a truly enjoyable weekend.  I’ve been spoilt by my two boys for Mothers day. Homemade cards and flowers had my little man busy in nursery all week.  A lovely breakfast and a roast dinner cooked for me, and bunches of flowers brightening up my day.
Hand made Rose
Usually I am a bit of a flippety jibbet on weekends wanting to clean and then go out and herd the boys to various locations and ultimately feeling like I need another weekend to recover, however this weekend I was very much happy to go with the flow and just chill.  We went out shopping (a trip to Ikea for some bits and bobs), we went walking, we played, and I even had time for crafting.
I am so lucky to have my family and they whole heartedly reassured me that I’m not doing a bad job of being a mummy (and I’m sure that’s something that most parents question at some stage).
Love. Love. Love.
I had to buy some photo frames from Ikea for some pictures I had recently bought.  On opening the smaller one, I was most surprised to find there were two frames in the pack! That find made me instantly smile, almost like finding treasure. So with all the family love I’ve been feeling this weekend, it seemed fitting for this make.
I’d recently seen this Valentines heart card idea on Pintrest, and thought it would look fitting in a frame for a pop of colour in the living room.  I had all the ingredients…a frame, cardstock (cut to the size of the frame), needle, and embroidery cotton in red.  I had contemplated a different shape, but actually I really liked the heart so I forged ahead and traced a heart template on my card.
I picked the first needle I came to…Small eye and thick thread – NIGHTMARE!  It was fine, but threading the needle took more time than the project in total probably!
Heart project
So making this evenly spaced, threading the cotton through the outer shape through a centre point and repeating around the shapes outline.  It was a nice one to do in front of the TV last night.  The thread did start to get a bit congested toward the end so I employed some pliers to pull the needle through a bit more easily.  Surprisingly, it took quite a lot of thread to complete. Thankfully I had enough red, otherwise I would have had to do a 2 tone heart.
Heart project
Heart project
 Here in it’s frame…shot taken at night time so a bit dull…so here’s one in daylight with it sitting nicely in my living room.
Heart project
 A simple but effective project.  I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and it makes me smile to look at it
Love. Love. Love.
More things to show soon.
Love from me and my little men x
PS..I'm not sure what's happening with my blogger but the layout keeps going all excuse any bits that look odd!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015


I have turned THIRTY during this time away from my blog.  That's right the big 30!  It's not as bad as I thought it would be.  I do feel old...but then that might be due to the new family addition.  I have a few more wrinkles setting in, and considerably more grey hairs. 

My family were down for my birthday, but generally celebrations were low key.  I had lovely pressies and cards.  Hubby bought me a lovely new watch (he took initiative and sneeked on my pintrest for ideas...he gets brownie points...), and promise of a family holiday (which we've just returned from, but I'll tell you of that later!).

Of course we had the obligatory trip to the fireworks where we won a goldfish.
 Barry was probably the most expensive goldfish ever. Won on a darts fair game.  I doubt the RSP of fishes would be in support.  You'll notice this was Barry...he decided to take a leap of faith behind the sideboard...and that was his demise.  We had him for 4 months...not bad...I just wonder how much longer it will take Wills to notice that Barry is no more...yes he's been gone a month and he hasn't even asked where he is!

For my birthday an amazing gift from my family...a new sewing machine! It's a Singer Confidence -  electronic and a bit posh!  Lots of knobs, buttons, was like Chinese torture...a fabulous present that you have no time to use!!!  So I've been slaving over Pintrest lining up some projects in waiting.

My fabulous husband took the boys away for a weekend to give me some space.  I couldn't believe 3years the first time I've been in the house on my own for a whole weekend!  It was a little strange.  I did a massive clean on the friday night to ensure I wouldn't need to lift a finger over the weekend.  And then I chilled, slept, crafted, watched movies...! I loved it.  It was nice to stop for a minute, however I did have the feeling I was waiting for them all to come back.

I then set about to do some projects.  I felt a bit daunted getting to grips with a new machine...but once I set it up and had a go I LOVED it!  My sister helped me find a few tricks to the machine (she has the same one). 

I wanted something simple and quick just to get me back in the throes of sewing. 
 Dummy clips - an essential!  We are indeed a dummy family - it works for us.

 I like the solider one...fantastic fabric for a boy.

 I also dabbled around in making a nappy clutch.  I've started using a nice brown leather bag as a nappy changing bag, but things do tend to get lost in there.  I thought a clutch/change mat would be useful to keep bits together.  I set off and ended up making this.... keeps nappy/wipes and a change of clothes, and then the dark blue is an oilcloth so that it is a wipe clean change mat.  I am pleased I used that oilcloth - I deconstructed a Cath K change mat that was far too bulky to use in a bag.  It works well, apart from lack of fastening to hold it together.  Since using it I now think a zippered pouch would be more useful for me with the change mat separately just for ease of access.  So that's the next project in the pipeline.

Not too bad for dibbing my toe back in the water.  I'm sure that now I've started I'll hopefully get back in the groove of making bits and bobs and keeping my blog updated as a record.

Must dash...naptime is over!

Love from me and my little men x


What a long time it has been.

The last time I wrote I was awaiting the arrival of our new baby last October.

I'm sure you can tell by my absence that he is most definitely here!!!

 He arrived on the 12th October weighing 7lb11oz fit, healthy with a head full of joking...a serious mop. He is delightful.

We forgot what it was like to have a baby...but we soon got into the swing of things and the sleep deprivation doesn't seem so bad second time around.  To be fair he's quite a chilled out baby with smiles in the main, and now we are past that dreadful first 3 months (one word...colic!) things are a little more settled.  

My little man is loving having a baby brother, and already they are a little gang.  As a parent of two I think it is one of the most special feelings ever to see your two children playing with, sharing with, and caring for each other (soon to be hitting, fighting and shouting at each other no doubt...but I'll keep my naivety for now!)

So now with two boys I should consider changing my blog name to "mylittlemen"...but I'll keep it in it's origins for now.

So my family have been keeping me busy - not a chance of crafting!  However, now we are getting into a rough routine (Henry does not like long naps unfortunately so I may have to exercise a bit of speed crafting!), hopefully some crafting time will return and some important time for me.

Love from me and (..wait for it...) my little men x

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Gardening with Giraffe's

Still here awaiting baby's arrival.
I'm not in any rush...but it would be nice to know when they plan to make their arrival.

I've been super uncomfortable the past couple of days, and yesterday I was up at 2am and failed to get back to sleep.  So yesterday was spent on the sofa, being lazy (I've been told I'm allowed to be a bit lazy!), watching the House box set (which I am thoroughly enjoying!), and doing a little bit of crochet on one of my new projects. 

Here is a sneaky glimpse of my new project...
Crochet project
I am hoping it will be ready for autumn/winter...but no doubt as I've started a project I would like to finish, family life is likely to get in the way.  I fear I may have forgotten about the demands of looking after a baby...and I have a toddler to contend with too now!

We have had at least 2 weekends in a row of being at home, which has meant we have been able to get on with some much needed chores.  The garden being the most important in order to get it wrapped up ready for autumn/winter.  We have done a lot of pruning/weeding in the front and back garden.  There's still plenty of jobs to do, but at least we are looking tidier for a while.
My little man has been very helpful...

These little critters have been not so helpful...(can you spot him?!)!
 A rather large black legged one scuttled across our new rug under the sofa the other day before the husband could jump to his feet and dispose of it...he is lurking sure to come out again soon!

We have bought a new rug...something to warm up the lounge, and to offer us a comfier space to play with our little man and our new arrival. It has made the lounge look much bigger and is so comfy/warm and our little man is enjoying rolling around on it already...a big hit!

So on to some crafting.  
I mentioned in my last post that I had done some more crafting for a baby girl expected to arrive in December.  The couple had recently been on holiday and had fed some I thought I would embark on a giraffe taggie for their baby.  There are lots of patterns etc available if you google giraffe taggie...I decided to go off pattern and just wing it.
I picked my fabric, and then drew my giraffe template...
Giraffe Taggie
I then cut out 2x giraffe pieces (material doubled over so they would match!), and put right sides together...
Giraffe Taggie
 I chose my ribbon ribbon selection is quite limited, and this pink/yellow ribbon fitted best.  I would have done different colours if I had some good coordinating ribbon.
So the tag ribbons were pinned in place, and then I stitched around the giraffe, making sure not to stitch the tags down when sewing down the opposite side of the neck!
Giraffe Taggie

I left a small hole for turning, and then turned inside out and stuffed.
I have sewn closed things before, but I thought I would try and learn how to do it professionally to get the "seamless" look.  I found this tutorial for invisible closing seam...I am informed this may be a ladder stitch?!?  I tried...and it worked! 
Look at this.
Invisible seam
Very professional even if I do say so myself! I am pleased with it as my first proper attempt.

So here is finished giraffe taggie...

I am pleased with it and it has been well received.

I am going to try and buy some nice boy fabric to make some stuff for my men...they are overdue a make!

Speak to you soon.

Love from me and my little man x