Wicked Wednesdays

One of the most frustrating things I find is how perfect everyone's lives seem when you peer through a looking glass on social media. And of course it's going to be like that. We all have days where we look a mess (ok, for me, that's everyday), when our kids are grumpy, when our pinterest-inspired works of art look more like something scraped off the kitchen floor. But those aren't the moments we tend to share on the internet... unless of course you're joining in with Wicked Wednesdays by Brummy Mummy of 2 .

Now, this stuff is REAL life. You know, the moments when your nearly three year old is screaming 'Daddy's not being nice' because he put her down for a nap and you look over at your husband and both of you fail to stifle your laughter. Or when there is a tantrum because they didn't want a cherry on their ice cream, and so you ate the cherry, and they cry because they wanted the cherry. You get the idea...

So, here is an old favourite of mine. What was meant to be a cute photo of my sweet girl and her teddy ended up as this:


Sharing our weekends

Who doesn't love the weekend? Of course, as a parent there is no lie in, and nights out are a distant memory but so what? Weekends are family time. My husband is home. All day! I can eat cake (not all day obviously, but in the absence of alcohol I wish I could).

I thought I'd share my favourite moments from our weekends together. Sometimes it might be fun days out, trips to the park or cinema, but because my life isn't always that exciting, it might be just the simple moments of a Sunday morning at church followed by a lovely roast dinner.

So, without further ado... I present my three favourite moments from last weekend. Why three? Because today is my daughter's third birthday- hence the abundance of cake in my photos (it's not just because I like cake, promise).

Eight Photos of Happiness

Today I was inspired by this post by You Baby Me Mummy, one of the blogs I've followed for a while now and inspired me to start blogging myself.

I've always loved to write, but in recent years I have found the old adage 'a picture speaks a thousand words' to be more apt. Ever since I started taking photos of Lily I've found photography to be my preferred method of documenting our family life and sharing it with others. Despite not blogging, I enjoyed taking part in the Living Arrows photography challenge via Twitter, and so when I saw this post I was sure I could find eight photos that show happy moments for me - the problem was narrowing it down to just eight photos!

Childhood Holiday

This is me (left) with my sister Louise and our Daddy on holiday in Spain. It's the only holiday abroad I can remember as a child - I remember my Mummy sunbathing, my Daddy taking me down to the jacuzzi with him in the early morning, the bar in the middle of the pool. I remember the sand being so hot it hurt my feet and eating 'Dracula' ice lollies which stained our clothes with blackcurrant juice. I remember being happy.

Past Posts - Sand and Water Play (2014)

Lily absolutely loves playing outside. In fact, we aim to get out of the house every single day, rain or shine. As long as the weather is dry I like to keep the back doors open and allow Lily access to the back garden for free play and encourage her to explore the plants, smells, textures and sounds that nature provides.

With the weather heating up I decided that what we really needed this week was some water play. Rather than rushing out and buying a brand spanking new water play table, I improvised and grabbed an old plastic storage box and some bath toys. It was simple, but effective and Lily had a great time splashing around in the sunshine.

Then, a couple of weeks ago we were blessed by one of the Mum's in our weekly church group who gifted us with her children's old sand and water table and lots of old toys. At first we stuck to water play, but this weekend we moved onto sand using two bags of play sand bought from Poundland.

Review - Lilymae's Play Cafe

In August, something very exciting occurred for parents in High Wycombe. The opening of a brand new 'play cafe' in the town centre - Lilymae's.

Firstly, don't confuse a play cafe with 'soft play'. There are no large pieces of padded equipment, everything being on a much smaller scale. When you enter Lilymae's it appears to be much the same as any other cafe - a bright and airy space with a kitchen and counter area to one side. There is, however, a small area safely cordoned off for small babies and an abundance of books and colouring for bigger kids. Upstairs there is a bigger play space, an activity table and a sofa in addition to more tables for seating.

Secondly, you need to be aware that this is not the finished product. Lilymaes is currently a trial project supported by HWBIDCo and stationed in the Enterprise HQ building. If successful, then the owners, Ricky and Roxi, will hopefully extend the lease or find another premises in which to continue.

However, even the temporary set-up there is great. On their website, Lilymae's describe themselves as being a 'combination of a safe play area' and a 'town centre cafe' and the menu offers you the usual range of hot drinks alongside a decent selection of sandwiches, snacks and cakes which are all prepared by the chef. I can recommend the cupcakes - a great selection of flavours prepared on site that go down well with both kids and adults.

Autumn Exploring

I always aim to get out of the house in the mornings. Most days that means meeting with friends at toddler groups or the play cafe in town but today we headed to the park, just the three if us, to make the most of a bright and crisp morning.

On the way down the hill we stopped by the railway bridge to wave at the trains as they passed. Lily loves trains and had a great time counting the carriages. Of course, it took us twice as long to get to the park that way but we got there in the end!

We're really lucky in Wycombe to have The Rye. It's a great open space perfect for running around with two play parks, ducks to feed, squirrels to spot, a lido and an historic water mill. Today we played in both parks and then explored by the mill. I'd never taken much notice of it before but it is a nice secluded spot which I imagine is good for picnics - although I'd be keeping a constant eye on the children around all that water! We visited the ducks and swans and then went conker hunting and leaf collecting before heading back into town for lunch and a bus up the hill...

Past Posts - Potato Printing (2014)

My Mummy was a 'stay at home Mum' and she did a damn good job!

I have many fond memories of craft activities, baking, history lessons and play. Despite my parent's divorce when I was still very young, I still look back at that time through a golden haze and remember the feeling of contentment.

So, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that I take a lot of direction from my own childhood when raising Lily.

And so, I had a go at one of Mum's old favourite activities - Potato Printing!

A letter to Lily - what's in a name?

I struggled when I returned to work after maternity. I'd missed my job, my colleagues, my routine for the previous months and was looking forward to getting back. Then I arrived back, and it wasn't the same job I'd been missing. I often felt like my whole world had changed, but that everyone else was still the same. I missed my daughter so much it ached (as did my breasts, but that's way too much information). In my loneliness, I would often take time out during the day to 'write' to her.

8th May 2013

Dear Lily

It's been a really busy day today. My boss has been out of the office in Hong Kong since yesterday afternoon and I have been using the opportunity to catch up on all the bits that I don't usually get to do when he is here. I really have to do the filing, but I don't really like doing that, so I'm procrastinating.

A deep breath before the plunge

So, you may notice that my first blog post was in 2014! Yes, it has taken me this long to decide to actually publish my blog. I'm still not sure if it is the right thing to do, or even if I have anything worth saying, but I've taken that first little step of hitting 'publish' and we'll see where it takes us.

via Tradlands