The Theme Game #3

It’s Theme Game time!  The time to be creative and possibly win a little prize too, courtesy of The Reading Residence and Red Peffer’s linky.  This week the theme is ‘Play’.

The main feeling I get from the word play, is of it’s universal nature.  Play is classless, cultureless, sexless, ageless and is not bound by species. 

Children play….

Kids playing

Baby picture

Adults play….

Adults playingAnimals play…..

Kittens picture

Panda pictureIt seems we all have an inbuilt need for play.  Play teaches us social skills, perseverance,  helps us to learn and develops our creativity and flexibility.  Play can combat loneliness, but it can also teach us how to work with others. 

I think this quote sums up how important it is for all of us

play quoteMaybe we should all try to take time out to play more?  Follow the lead of our children.

We could always say we are doing research…

einstein quote

the theme game

Word Of The Week -3 #WotW

I am linking up again with Jocelyn from The Reading Residence.  The idea of #WOTW is to find one word that sums up your week.

The word of my week is


This week I have an over riding feeling of being ‘blessed’.  I have been struggling with a few things this week and it’s easy for these feelings to get out of hand.

Then I stop and think of what I have.  Things that money can’t buy.  My wonderful, supportive, loyal husband, who is genuinely my best friend.  My beautiful baby, who lights up our world and makes us so very grateful to be her parents every single day.

I know others who are having a very difficult time at the moment and this reinforces this feeling for me.  I am so lucky and I am so very very grateful.

WOTWMy previous words of the week have been Organised and Overwhelmed

Getting things into Perspective

Creative thinkingAs I have previously blogged about I am trying to improve my photography.  Trying to use my big camera more and improve my images in general.

Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence has started a series on just that – improving our photography.  This weeks lesson was on perspective, so I have been taking some pictures from different angles, getting high up and low down.  Here are my attempts;

Baby PictureBaby with her Sheepy

Baby Picture‘Mummy, What are you doing?’

Baby picture ‘I love my Sheepy’

Baby picture‘I am quite attached to the green triangle’

Baby pictureNow what are you doing?’

Baby picture

Do you think she has enough toys?

Baby pictureSo I hope you like my pictures,  I really enjoyed being more creative.  Next weeks lesson over at The Reading Residence is light, so I am looking forward to that one.

Baby is 10 months old today

10 months old

Wow!  Time really does fly.  Its quite extraordinary how the days and weeks whizz by.

Baby is amazing, she has a light inside her that everyone seems to notice.  Wherever we are she tries to talk to people and seems to make everyone smile.  We have spent the last month doing lots of clapping and high fiving.  She expects everyone to return her high fives, even strangers.  This was slightly embarrassing in the Doctors!.

I am so in love with Baby, she is my sunshine.  We have spent lots of time dancing together round the living room.  She loves it.  She has a certain smile, as if she is trying to be a proper ballroom dancer and laughs with delight when I start to sing our dancing song.

Her crawling has developed.  She now get herself in the crawling position, but she goes back to her old style (albeit using both legs) when actually moving.  She is NEVER still and is already into everything.

I am so grateful to be her mummy.

My Wedding Story #ShareYourWedding

Welcome to the start of my new feature all about re-living our weddings and reading the stories of others.

I thought I would kick things off with a trip down memory lane for myself.  My story will be slightly different to those which follow, as it is slightly weird to interview myself!  So here goes.

Let’s Set The Scene

I used to work with Mr Hubby’s (or as he was then just ‘Mr’) sister ‘Up North’.  She was leaving the company and invited him to her leaving do in Chester (he travelled up especially).  We met there and started seeing each other straight away, alternating ‘North’/’South’ weekends, until I moved in with him 3 months later.  That was almost 15 years ago!  We got engaged 6 years later and married less than a year after that.

The Vital Statistics

We got married on 1st September 2006.  The over riding influence of our wedding was our lack of wedding funds, so everything had to be budget.  We got married in a lovely market town registry office with stained glass windows, right beside a church (handy for the photo’s!).  We had only 14 guests at the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, just our really close friends and family.  One of my best friends was my bridesmaid and my sister-in-law was my Maid of Honour.  The girls were lovely and bought their own dresses,  I didn’t want to dictate what they wore, so as long as they didn’t class, I didn’t mind.  Our wedding breakfast was in a lovely restaurant close to the registry office, called ‘Coles’.  We had the mezzanine floor, which had it’s own decked outside space, which was great for pre-dinner drinks.  It was very informal with no speeches, as we didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable.  Our food was amazing!

Wedding foodwedding table

The evening ‘do’ was a relaxed affair at a local pub.  They had a terrace with twinkly lights overhead, which played host to our BBQ and disco for about 60 friends and family.  Our first dance was slightly odd, as Mr Hubby doesn’t dance and so I had my first dance with my old boss to Wild Cherry Play that funky music.  A little unorthodox!

WeddingDancing with my friends

I really enjoyed sourcing low-cost items for our wedding and making it beautiful on a budget.  My shoes were unused from Ebay for £10.  Our orchid bouquets and button holes (3 of each) were £40.  I pimped up some Tesco’s plain white cakes and borrowed a stand.  Made the place settings myself and the biggest bargain of all my dress!

The Dress

I thought I wanted an ethereal dress.  I imagined flowing sleeves and silky fabric.  My sister-in-law (J) and I went ‘just to look’ at dresses.  After trying a couple on, I saw a dress that was the antithesis of what I thought I wanted, but I loved it.  J cried when I put it on, so I had to have it!  The only issue was although it was reduced to £200, it was two sizes too big, so a lovely seamstress remade the dress for £95.  I got the veil and tiara for about £40 in a sale.

Wedding DressThe bodice has lots of beads stitched on and the skirt was many layers of tulle with sparkles sewn in round the bottom.

It didn’t all go to plan and there were a few mishaps.  We had chosen music that we loved, to be played at various points.  Just as I was about to go down the aisle, they told me my CD wouldn’t work and so I had to walk into a classical piece I didn’t want!  We had chosen for me to walk into Katie Melua ‘Call off the search’, sign register to Jack Johnson ‘Better Together’ and walk out to Madness ‘It must me love’.  Our photographer was awful, we didn’t buy a single picture, but luckily we had some budding photographers in our wedding party who saved the day.  Also two weeks before the wedding our chosen venue for the evening ‘do’ informed me casually that the didn’t have an entertainment license and so we couldn’t have our DJ!  Cue lots of stress and me running around trying to secure another venue and then telling all the guests (luckily we didn’t have a huge wedding).

We bought each other presents, which we opened on the morning of the wedding.  Mine to Mr Hubby was a silver watch, engraved with ‘See you at 12’.  I received a heart necklace.

If we could have our time again, I would love it if our music would work.  I think I would make some different choices now, but your taste evolves as you get older.  I would love it if we had had a large picture with a surround that people can write on, as I think that is lovely.

I would advise people to just enjoy it and try to take it all in, as it goes really quickly.  Try to eat something and accept your face will hurt from all the smiling!

WeddingWe had our honeymoon in Ireland.  Stayed the first night in a lovely hotel in Dublin and then hired a car and toured round southern Ireland.

If you would like to share your wedding please email me at

Share Your Wedding

Blast From The Past – Ten Top Toys

What was your favourite childhood toy?  Last night Mr Hubby and I took a trip down memory lane, trying to recall all our favourite toys from our youth.  It was prompted by looking at this great site from Oxford Open Learning highlighting toys, fads and crazes of days gone by.

I collaborated with Mr Hubby, to get a balanced view and here are our top ten picks.

Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch kidsHave they always been that sinister looking….?  If I remember rightly they came with their own little birth certificate.

My Little Pony

My Little PonyAwww I still think these are quite cute.  Not surprisingly I had quite a few of these little lovelies.

Matchbox Cars

Matchbox carsApparently this is what the boys were playing with.  Mr Hubby wished now he had kept the boxes, as they can be worth a bit.


SmurfsMr Hubby (who is older than me) reliably informs me that these used to come with petrol from the National Garage.  He quite liked a Smurf or two!

Sindy & Barbie

BarbieI had Sindys and Barbies and the horses they rode in on! I remember making them a house out of a cardboard box.

Care Bears

Care BearI loved my Care Bear! Do you remember Cheer Bear, Wish Bear and Grumpy Bear?  With their belly badges giving them the power of the Care Bear Stare when they stood together, spreading happiness.  I used to watch the Care Bear programme too.

Glo Worm

Glo WormI had forgotten all about Glo worms, but I remember I used to really love my Glo Worm and used to take him to bed with me.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Sinclair ZX SpectrumBoth Mr Hubby and I had one of these bad boys.  Games were loaded from an external tape recorder and if the volume wasn’t set exactly right they wouldn’t load.  Mr Hubby apparently used to spend hours playing with his Jet Set Willy!


conkersGood old fashioned Conkers.  Mr Hubby let me in on the secret to win.  He would soak them in vinegar or put them in the oven!  Victory assured!

Panini Football Stickers

stickersMr Hubby has a sticker book to fill up and would swap duplicates at school.

Also not quite making our top ten are these little gems

Guess WhoToyGarage toy

So what was your favourite childhood toy or craze?

This post was written as part of a bloggers competition with Oxford Open Learning.

Wednesday Words #3

It’s Wednesday so time to link up with Crazy With Twins Wednesday Words feature.

How long will I love you

This week has been quite difficult for me.  I am struggling with some anxiety.

This Sunday will mark the anniversary of the day Matilda Mae was cruelly taken by SIDS, she simply went to sleep and never woke up.  My heart breaks for her family every day.  It makes me hold my baby tighter.

I love this song and my eyes fill with tears whenever I hear it.  To me it is my song to my baby and I feel it is a song for all the babies who have been taken, especially Matilda Mae.  Wherever they are we will always love our babies.  They will always fill our hearts.

If you would like to support the Lullaby Trust, who are working to eradicate SIDS, you will find their website here.

Wednesdays wordsWhy not check out Wednesday Words #1 and #2

Banging Banana Bread – Recipe

I felt the need today, so I baked this tried and tested Banana Bread.  Baby helped (well threw stuff around the kitchen, whilst watching me).  This recipe is quick and easy, so I thought I would share it with you all.

Banana bread

What you will need

75ml milk

1 tsp white wine or cider vinegar

250g bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

110g unsalted butter

195g caster sugar

2 eggs

250g mashed banana (about 3)

75g of choc chips (but I used the packet which was 100g)

What you do

Preheat oven to 180º/gas 4.  Combine milk and vinegar in bowl and leave for 10 minutes.  Butter and flour a 23xm x 10cm, 7cm deep loaf pan.

Sift flour, bicarb and salt together in large bowl.  In another bowl cream butter and sugar, until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs one by one mixing well after each.  Fold in the mashed banana and choc chips.  Then add the sifted dry ingredients and the milk mixture alternately until well mixed.

Pour into tin and bake for 50-60 minutes.  In my oven it’s done after 50 minutes.  Make sure a skewer comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then on a rack.

Then scoff with a cup of tea!

Why not check out some other yummy recipes.
Tasty Tuesdays on

A Homemade Valentine

I love the romance of Valentine’s day, but what I don’t love is the over commercialisation of it.  So with this in mind, I am having a Homemade Valentine’s this year.  I actually think this means more.  Taking the time to create something with love, surely that can’t be beaten by any shop purchase?

I have spent some time browsing the web for inspiration and ideas and here are my favourite’s.Valentine's ideas

1. 52 Reasons Why I Love You – I LOVE this idea.  The link takes you to the site where you can pay to download the template.  However, if you look online there are free templates you can download.  Then all you have to do is type or write in your reasons and cut and paste onto each card.  Punch holes and either use a couple of scrapbook rings or just some ribbon to make the cards into a book.  Perfect homemade present!.

2. Love Birds Keepsake Jar – This is so cute and the tutorial can be found here.  A lovely unusual gift and can be personalised any way you wish.

3. This is a cute way to create an effective storage solution of all hubby’s belts.  A wooden hanger, some hooks and job done.  I cannot find the original source, but here is a tutorial.  Rather self explanatory.

4. Valentine’s Day Coupons – These can be as simple or as ‘posh’ as you want them to be.  They could be saucy or just include simple things that hubby will like.  Ideas include – a lie in, a night off baby duty, breakfast in bed and they can be redeemed at any time.

5. A very simple idea, but really sweet.  Some chocolate coins, a cellophane bag and a personalised note.  Ideal for leaving near hubby’s keys in the morning.

6. This is along the same lines as the 52 reasons idea.  A glass jar, decorated as you wish.  Then slips of paper or heart cut outs if you are feeling adventurous, any number you wish.  Write or type all the reasons why you love hubby and pop them in.

If you are planning a homemade Valentine’s, I hope this gives you some inspiration.  Mr Hubby is getting a few things from this list.  I would love to know what you are doing for your other halves?