Investing in our memories. My Olympus Pen E-PL8.

I realised in the process of writing this blog post that my mum & dad were the original ‘vloggers/bloggers’ of their day!

As well as keeping a daily diary( my mum always had a camera to hand for every milestone, birthday, family event. And as my brother & I grew older our family invested in a ‘camcorder’ to capture those still moments as moving images.

(Cut me some slack on the fringe, I was only five & had no say in the matter okay?!)

At the time, my ten year old self just found her annoying, intrusive, a fun spoiler, making us wait before jumping into the Spanish sea so that she could ‘film’ us!!

But, now that I have precious memories captured by her of my babies, just minutes old, their first steps, words, cuddles, it all makes sense & I cherish those DVD’s.

We have albums full of photographs from as far back as when my mum was pregnant with me, each one with a note underneath in the neatest handwriting of where we were or what the occasion was, and the date.

My dad & uncle both had amazing cameras & the photographs are of fantastic quality.

Which leads me to the title of this blog post!

I’ve just got a new iPhone 8 Plus, and it has a fab camera, and huge memory space, but with 20,000 photos on it(I couldn’t bear to leave them on my old phone!), I needed to have a word with myself.

I can be terrible for snapping away ten of the same image & ‘loving’ then all too much to delete any. What’s the point in that? Will I ever print them? Nope. Will I share those memories with my family? Nope. I wanted a ‘proper’ camera, (not just to take pretty pictures for IG) so that I can have far fewer images, but ones I’ll want to cherish. That I’ll actually print out. Perhaps just a handful a month?

I chose the Olympus Pen E-PL8 as for me it sits somewhere between a basic digital camera & an SLR.

I wanted something smaller than a DSLR but with more functions than a regular digital camera.

I LOVE the fact that it has Wi-fi allowing me to connect it to my iPhone & instantly grab a few photos to add to my Instagram or send to my husband. And although it’s quite heavy, it fits nicely into my changing or handbag.

I received so many compliments on my recent ‘snowy’ pictures, so I must be doing something right, but at the moment I have a lot to learn, and have really only scratched the surface of the Pens functions! You’ll find me sat in bed from 8.30pm with my iPhone in one hand and camera in the other, using blog posts I’ve found explaining the most useful functions, trying to figure it all out.

I mainly have it set to auto for now, but I then use the functions within the touchscreen to lighten the image before I start snapping-or to blur the background. It’s pretty foolproof really.

The screen flips down for great selfies, although if you wanted to use it as a vlog camera & mount it on a tripod it wouldn’t be ideal as the tripod fits in front of the screen!! Something I wonder if Olympus will improve on in future models.

You can buy different lenses, which perhaps when I learn a little more I may do. But Poppy is about to embark on a GCSE photography course which we’ll be buying a DSLR for so I may just keep the Pen basic & use her camera for special occasions.

My camera came with a strap, but not all do. You can buy alternative ones which I will do soon, I also need to buy a proper case for it as I’ve already managed to scratch the rear screen & i’m really annoyed with myself!

I can’t yet give you any great tips on the Olympus Pen, but I’m really happy I’ve got it, & I love playing around with the functions & would recommend it!

Please do leave me a comment if you have any burning questions, and I’ll do my best to answer!

Much love,

K xx


Paultons Park

It’s a hoot hoot, at Paultons Park!..Showing my age there, that used to be their tag line you see. Having grown up living locally to the park my whole life, I have lovely memories of what must have been monthly visits, mainly with my mum, and or my Uncle, Steve, who was/is, a fireman so worked shifts, and took me & my cousin Ali as often as possible & we absolutely loved it!! (There were even dinosaurs there back then!)

Of course, the park(let’s call it that to save time shall we?) has come a loooong way since the 80’s, and is now most famous as being the home of Peppa Pig!

After recently buying season tickets for myself & Will, I thought I’d write a little blog post to give a bit more info in case any of you are also planning a visit?

I wanted to firstly say that although PP world is fantastic, the park as a whole has SO much more than just that to offer.

Many local hotels & B&B’s do a deal with Paultons where by if you book a night with them, you get a second days entry into the park for free! If you go on the Paultons website, it has all the links there for you. Personally if I didn’t live so close(the farm is actually part of the Paultons ‘estate’) i’d definitely do it over two days. (You can just buy a two day ticket if for example you are staying locally with family).

Please please do your research via the app & website before you visit-there is just SO much to see & do, you will benefit most if you plan your way around before you visit.

I’m speaking with experience of visiting with a two & six year old, so you may want to adapt the info to suit your kids. But at the moment Annie still sleeps from 12.30-2.30, and won’t just fall asleep in the pushchair-well, she will, but not till 5pm after a full day out-and as we all know that’s serious danger nap territory! So now that we have a pass, we can arrive for the minute the park opens(around ten or ten thirty, check the website for the opening time on your chosen day) have fun for a few hours & then head home to bed…her not me!

There’s a huge car park, but even if you parked on the farthest side of it you’re still a very short stroll into the park entrance(arrive at 9.30 for 10am opening is my advice…you really don’t want to queue for three miles with kids in the car!) On entering the park you’re greeted with a beautiful tree fountain display and instantly notice how immaculately clean the area is-a theme i’m happy to say is continued throughout the park!!

Once you’ve purchased your tickets you can either eat breakfast in the Rainforest cafe, or head straight for the fun.

Most people with under fives will go straight to Peppa Pig world, not strictly necessary at some points in the year-but if you’re visiting on a weekend, or during the holidays & want to avoid thirty minute queues on the main rides in PP world, this would be my plan of action.

Download the Paultons app-it has a map so that you can carefully plan your route;which I strongly advise, and a queue time tracker which I think it brill at peak times!

Peppa Pig world is really beautifully laid out, with Madame Gazelle’s school house, and , Ducks, rainbows on the floor, (plus Peppas house of course) they’ve thought of all the little details & I actually really like it despite never being a fan of the TV show!

You need to check the website for height restrictions if you want your older child to go on rides in PP World alone but I think they have to be a metre tall for George’s dinosaur ride, the rest are fine as long as you’re accompanying your little one.

Georges spaceship indoor play zone(soft play) can get a little cramped but it’s well catered for all ages with separate bits for toddlers & older ones. And is always spotlessly clean. There is also a phone charger station and small cafe within the soft play area.

I should mention here about food. If you’ve spent the morning in PP World, your little one may now be flagging. The cafe inside George’s soft play sells things like sandwiches,crisps, pizza bread, fruit, and teas and coffees, but, expect to pay ‘theme park’ prices! Personally, I’d take lots of picnic food, or stop at the petrol station very near by which has a Co-Op shop selling lovely sandwiches as well as all the usual stuff. I just can’t justify spending money on expensive take away food with such a big family. The main ‘Wild forest’ cafe at the entrance is again expensive in my opinion. Expect to pay around £60 for lunch for a family of four?

(There is a McDonald’s restaurant located at the afore mentioned petrol station, plus two pubs within about 100 yards of the park, so you may want to end your day there with a good meal if you have a long journey back home?)

Moving on from food, you’ve visited Peppa, so where now? You could ride the carousel, watch a penguin show, or head to new attraction ‘Little Africa’ which has some unusual animals as well as Meerkats which are so close you can practically touch them! Annie absolutely LOVES little Africa and although it’s quite small we can easily spend 40 minutes strolling through talking about all the animals!

Will loves the train which departs from the station cafe, you get a lovely look round from a slightly different view! He also loves the parks, of which there are a few dotted around(some have brilliant fountains for the summer, Muddy puddles and water kingdom!) and would happily spend a couple of hours in the sand pit!

The Dinosaur theme park world ‘Lost Kingdom’ is also fairly new & offers close encounters with amazing(slightly scary) animatronic Dinos, as well as thrill rides for a range of ages.

There are a few big, fast rides which I’m way too chicken to go on, Cobra, Velociraptor & flight of the Pterosaur will satisfy the healthiest of appetites for speed!!!

But if, like me you prefer a gentler approach to fun, there are rides such as the sky swinger, Dino chase and Viking boats to enjoy.

Obviously there are too many rides to list them all but the website has the whole map for you to study & a key to show whether each is for family, thrill, or kids.

There are beautiful animals, and carefully tended gardens throughout the park, Annie particularly loved the tropical birds.

As a Mum, things like clean loos & good changing facilities are very important to me, and I found them to be immaculate, the toilets even have a toddler seat which you can put down, they’ve thought of everything!

(Adult changing facilities are also available, which I’m very happy to report-I wish more places could offer this!!)

There are small kiosks throughout the park selling sweets, drinks & ice creams(I had to sample one to write this-a tough job but someone had to do it, plus season ticket holders get 20% off food so..?)…in the summer it’s a lovely treat to grab a cold lolly!

Lots of rides have photos you can buy afterwards, you know, the ones where you look windswept & terrified… And there is a chance to meet Peppa & George at certain times of day so you can even get a photo with the pig herself! (100% recommend the Paultons app to be able to see times & create a ‘plan’ of action for your visit).

In May two new rides are opening within PP World, the Queens flying coach ride & Grampy rabbits sailing club which both look brilliant, I think ticket prices are fair given how well kept the whole place is & the investment in new rides & attractions.

I’m sure I could go on, but in summary, I love Paultons Park & other than expensive food & overpriced gift shop toys(just as you’d expect of a theme park) I can’t fault it, my kids absolutely love it! This isn’t a sponsored post, & we paid the £118 per season ticket ourselves, but I think it’s a great investment as it lasts for a whole year & I won’t feel guilty about popping in for an hour after school in the summer!

If you’re thinking of visiting-do book your tickets in advance as they’re slightly cheaper. And if you have any questions about any aspect feel free to leave me a comment, email or DM & I’ll do my best to answer!

I’m sorry this was so long, there was a LOT of info, but I hope it’s helpful to some of you!

Lots of love, Kirsty x

Ergobaby OMNI 360

I’m definitely one of those people who, as soon as they find out they’re pregnant, writes a list as long as their arm of all the things they *need*; A bottle warmer (I breastfed all my babies) a swinging, vibrating, musical, colour changing, bouncy chair (which she hated) & which I had to remortgage the house for, the latest trendy changing bag(with so many compartments I could never find the dummy/keys/teether when i needed them)….you get the picture. But if I had a pound for every time i’ve told someone ‘IF YOU ONLY BUY ONE THING FOR YOUR NEW BABY’…make it an Ergo carrier…i’d be rich!

Aside from the obvious practicalities of wearing your baby(two hands free?YES PLEASE) i find it hard to describe how having them so close actually makes me feel? I just love how cosy it is-Annie likes to tickle me, or play with my hair & stroke my face, we have little chats about where we’re heading & what we’re doing, & she loves being up high enough to take in exactly whats going on! Did you know that babywearing aids in a baby’s development, both physically and emotionally, and also promotes early language development?! (so that’s why she never shuts up!)

I started using my current Ergobaby(360) carrier when Annie was six months old, preferring a wrap style carrier up to that point over the ergo’s newborn insert which neither of us could quite get the hang of. Since then, we haven’t looked back. Whilst the 360 model has been fantastic, I was so excited to try the new kid on the ergo block, the OMNI 360 (omni meaning all, or every) that I practically ripped open the box when it arrived last week! Ergo have taken all the best bits & incorporated them into this carrier, plus they’ve added a handy pouch to the design-something which, for me was really lacking in the past when i wanted to leave the house with just my phone, keys and bank card!

Living on an arable farm with two dogs, there are places a pushchair simply can’t go. But I wear the ergo at home as often as I wear it out & about. You know those days when your baby is NOT going to be put down to allow you to hang the washing out or cook dinner?…

I opted for the midnight blue OMNI for no reason other than I love the colour, but for me personally, comfort is more important than style when choosing a baby carrier(although the OMNI is gorgeous). On a shoot day i can be carrying Annie for four or five hours non stop. At two years old and 11kg she’s not a tiny baby anymore, so I need something with lumbar support and strong shoulder straps for me-but one which is also ergonomically safe & comfortable for her too? The OMNI ticks those boxes for us both. In this new style, the shoulder straps can be crossed over at the back which is great and the switch from inward carry position to outward couldn’t be simpler, just move the velcro tabs et voila. Along with the cushioned and foldable head & neck support, the tuck away hood is great for times you know your baby will want to sleep in the ergo as it perfectly supports their head from flopping once they’ve drifted off to sleep(just use the poppered tabs to fix it to your shoulder/s). It can also shade against the sun or be used for privacy when feeding.

I love the fact that either myself or Nigel can wear this carrier-he finds it as comfortable as me, its SO easy to extend the straps to make it big enough for him-it can swiftly and simply be done one handed…Plus i think he likes the closeness-they have little private chats which i’m not privy too whilst she’s on his back!

Did i say its machine washable too? We all know what mucky little creatures kids are, and i can vouch for the fact that despite numerous washes, my original Ergo looks as good as the day i bought it. Despite a days beating last Saturday I haven’t yet had to wash the OMNI but I’m confident it’ll be just as tough!

The OMNI is suitable from 0-36 months(or up to 15kg), and offers four different carry positions. Although the OMNI was a gift from ERGOBABY, all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own…I absolutely LOVE IT!

lots of love,

Kirsty (and Annie) xxx

P.s (I just wanted to add, the positions I carry Annie in are what work for me & my body shape. So don’t panic if you’ve been doing things a little differently. If you’d like more info on any style of ergo carrier, there are some fantastic videos on their YouTube channel which have taught me methods & features I wasn’t aware of in the past)

Star Baker

I’m not ashamed to admit that trying to keep my children alive by way of feeding them healthy nutritious meals is a battle im constantly fighting,,,and loosing.

Not one to give up, I tirelessly argue, coax, encourage, force(?!) two of my little darlings to eat the food i’ve lovingly prepared. If your kids are fussy too(two of mine are, two are not) you’ll know how gut wrenchingly upsetting it can be to run this gauntlet on a daily/weekly/yearly basis. We’re all just trying to do our best for them yet they continually rebuff our best efforts of making food enticing enough for them to at least TRY some of it?

So i thought id write this post to possibly help out another parent who may be upset and frustrated, possibly just to confirm ‘yep, we’re all going through the same shit’.

In my mind, i feel like if the kids can be involved in what you’re making for them there’s a teeny tiny chance that they may be more up for trying it! Quite often now ruby helps me to prepare tea. of course there are still things which she’ll point blank refuse to eat(pasta!). At age 12 she is obviously a lot more capable than a younger child, but you’ll know what your child can & cant get involved with.

In the winter its far easier to make meals with ‘hidden’ veg i think? They can be blended into bolognaise, soup, shepherds pie, stews. This week though, i wanted to try making a pie, which i hoped most of the family would enjoy. Having a family as big as ours, i have to keep to a budget when planning meals, and often adapt recipes i find online to make them more affordable for us!

For our pie, we used a bag of Iceland frozen chicken breasts, there’s no difference in flavour to fresh ones & the’ye far cheaper(if you’ve never tried them, trust me on this one!) I also wanted to add some leeks-a vegetable none of us ever eat, mushrooms, & onions. We also had a big chunk of an Aldi gammon joint leftover from earlier in the week so i added an equal amount of ham to chicken(yep, we’re big meat eaters if you haven’t already guessed!).

(Gorgeous pie dishes available from Sophia Victoria Joy)

As this is a made up recipe you can pretty much wing it as i did and add whatever you like, the basic principle will still be the same.

Fry off half a bag of frozen chopped onions(ain’t no mother-of-four-farmers-wife got time to stand around chopping onions), two large leeks, we chopped these up TINY to be more child friendly (read as unrecognisable) and a punnet of mushrooms. If you have a toddler-they can easily chop mushrooms!. In a separate pan i gently fried the chopped up chicken pieces.

Now you need to make up some stock, we used two oxo chicken stock pots, with 1000ml of water. Once all of your ingredients are cooked through, its onto the next stage, mixing it altogether!

Firstly, sprinkle three tablespoons of plain flour over the chicken pieces and slowly add the stock, stirring all the time, once its all gently blended bung in the veg. Hopefully you wont get any flour lumps, but for a definite lump free mixture you could make this in a separate pan with a sieve on hand to rescue any disasters(i speak from experience here!).

I then gently let all the flavours swish about in the pan for five minutes, you can add also add in some garlic, or bay leaves, whatever you fancy really at this stage. Then its onto the pie construction.

We used one pack of Aldi puff pastry, which was just enough for the two dishes we used. I think in future, i’ll buy two packs, but, you live and learn.

Having never written a recipe blog post before, things are coming to me as i go along, so i’m just gonna add, before you fill your pie dish, turn it upside down on top of the laid out sheet of pastry to make sure its going to cover it!…

Then transfer your meaty, veggie mixture into your chosen receptacle, whack the pastry on top, brush the pastry with egg wash(one whole egg, whipped up with a fork in a mug) so that it goes golden as it bakes…..ET VOILA! I have an electric oven, so i baked it on 180 for about twenty five minutes, just take it out when the pastry is golden brown.

Now, if you’re lucky, you will all have survived with your sanity.  Before setting out to create the chicken pie of dreams, i thought my main problem was actually getting everyone to eat the sodding thing. But if you’ve come here via my Instagram page, you’ll know, that that was the least of my worries.

you may have noticed that there are no carefully staged, beautifully shot photos of me & Ruby baking this meal, my reality is i don’t have an insta husband stashed away who can take those kind of photos for me, i was a sweaty sweary mess, poppy was too busy trying to keep Annie alive to take any, and the kitchen was a non insta friendly shit hole, so please accept my apologies.

Despite the above, i can confirm that five out of six of us ate (& ENJOYED) the chicken pie of dreams!

So if you do give it a go, & by this stage you’re not too pissed/its not midnight/you actually remembered to buy some as well as the other ingredients on this list, you could opt to serve some vegetables with ‘the pie’, just, ya know, thought i’d add that in there for sarcastic effect.

Much love,

Kirsty xxx

A Happy Sunday.

I’ve been looking forward to Sunday all week! Breakfast out is a rare treat, breakfast out without two small cheeky children is even more of a treat…so today with a rare day off Nigel was assigned to full dad duty whilst me Poppy & Ruby headed to one of our favourite local tea rooms(It’s more of a luxury log cabin actually) The New Forest Lavender Farm.

Whilst(what appears to be) the entire rest of the country is covered in a thick blanket of beautiful white snow, we have the darkest, windiest, wettest, coldest day ever!! But, this did give me a chance to test out my new Fat Face togs to their full potential!!

The ‘heritage gilet‘ was one of the new pieces I was most excited to wear! I’ve had my current navy fatface one for about four years & it has served me well. The main design hasn’t changed, but it is now made with prima loft rather than duck down(good news for ducks!).

Picking out a new one in the gorgeous rustic red felt so perfectly seasonal, I also grabbed the ‘farah‘ fairisle jumper which compliments it perfectly.

We sat with our backs to the cosy log burner & enjoyed a slow morning of chatting & eating. It’s not often I get proper quality time with my big girls so it was lovely to spoil them for an hour without being interrupted by little people!

The hot chocolates were just what we needed to warm us up & breakfast was yummy! The cabin had been beautifully decorated for Xmas, & filled with usual gifts(we may have picked up a couple of special things!) as well as handmade wreath candle arrangements.

But reality calls, & we have a full afternoon ahead. So it was back out into the rain(I didn’t mind my luxury fleece lined fur hood kept me perfectly cosy!)Me & the girls are heading to my in laws to wrap all the prezzies & the boys are off to chop more logs, we’re gonna need them if we ever get some snow!!

Lots of love, Kirsty x

*This is a sponsored post and FatFace kindly gifted me these items. However all words are my own & this is a brand I buy from regularly!

How I style my hair!

Every time my hair is wavy I get a fair few inbox messages asking me how I style it & what products I use, so I thought I’d write a little blog post on it.

Since my lovely friend Charlie at Eden hair kindly gave me the chop, I’ve spent more time than ever actually ‘styling’ my hair!!

You see, I’m not good at ‘hair’ I blame my mother, she wasn’t gifted in the styling department either & so I think our family is sadly lacking that gene!

When my hair was longer i never did anything with it. I never wore it up(a boy in senior school once asked ‘what HAVE you done to your hair?!’ When I wore it in a pony tail & it crushed my confidence of ever wearing it up again, which is a shame as my husband prefers it up, what did that immature 14 year old know!!) but now it’s short I actually love styling it!!

So, starting with my ‘in shower’ routine! I don’t use expensive hair products. I swear by the Aldi £1 shampoo & conditioner & use it daily, (my hair is naturally very greasy) but have used the Aussie miracle hair detangler conditioning spray for literally the last ten years & I absolutely love it (my local Superdrug only had this one last time but it does a similar job).

My hair is very thick so it gets very tangled after being washed & this makes it a really quick job to brush! I also use a purple shampoo & conditioner once a week(mix a blob into your usual shampoo, a little goes a long way, thanks Jo my colourist for the tip!) which you can actually buy in the pound shop, I need such a small amount that these tiny bottles suit me fine!

I like to leave my hair to dry naturally a bit whilst I put on my makeup/wrestle a toddler into her clothes/make toast, then tip my head upside down & blast it dry with the hairdryer for a bit of volume to finish it off.

So I should also say, I naturally have and until this year, id never found a product which could give me a curl for more than an hour or so, no exaggeration. Now this is NOT an #AD I just bloody love what I’m about to show you!!

It’s this nifty little gadget which transforms my poker straight locks into Sam Cussick style bouncy gorgeous waves, it’s called the the Babyliss pro curling iron & I’m sure if you do a quick google search you’ll find it for about twenty quid, which is a BARGAIN! (Mine looks slightly different as it’s super old!)

So i section off my hair & bit by bit twist small sections round the wand(it heats up to 200 degrees so be CAREFUL) holding each for about ten seconds depending on the size of the section, then leaving each one to fall naturally before going on to the next. It probably takes me twenty minutes to do, and lasts two to three days(you may want a waft of dry shampoo in between if you have naturally greasy hair like me!) sometimes I do it before I go to bed & then the waves are a bit softer the next day.

I never put anything on top once it’s curled, ie hairspray as A. It doesn’t need it to keep the curl & B. I like the soft feel not the crunchy one!

And that’s it really!! If like me you have every hair curling gadget going but are yet to find ‘the one’ I urge you to try this for yourself, I’m pretty confident you’ll thank me later!! (I know there are newer versions out there which are probably even better!)

Love Kirsty xxx

Insta ‘stuff’

This past week I’ve felt completely overwhelmed with the whole ‘Black Friday/cyber Monday’ ad’s, posts, instastories, which have deluged my phone like a huge heavy mud slide of spam.

My email inbox is full of ad’s-sometimes more than one a day from the same company shoving their discount codes in my face, never before have I sent so many to the ‘junk’ folder. (Note to self, must remember to reinstate ones from The White Company in the new year though!)

The world seems to have gone mad with the whole sell sell sell, buy buy buy ethos! Now I’m not suggesting that I’m not someone who doesn’t love a discount code induced bargain now & again, but, who ARE these people who can afford to buy themselves allll this new ‘stuff’ so close to the big day(25/12)?! Is it just the fact that I have four children & a small budget I save towards all year to buy gifts which means I have nothing left in my pocket for treats?

At the risk of sounding like a complete negative Nancy so far, I’m not. And if you CAN afford treats for yourself as well as your loved ones at this time of year, that’s fantastic…but I feel like the pressure of ‘having to’ is weighing heavy. My opinion doesn’t come from a place of jealousy or anger, I just feel a bit, meh, like it’s got a bit too much, too intense, too ‘keeping up with the jones’s’ ?

We all want to be in with the ‘in crowd’ to wear lovely things or to buy beautiful candles, fresh flowers weekly, a new TV…but jees, don’t get into debt for that new suede clutch/leather boots/trip to a winter wonderland’ is all in saying.

Not to mention the pressure small brands must be under? I’ve seen people on Facebook asking multi million pound brands why they’re not taking part in the mad Black Friday discount scramble, which I can understand more than those asking independents the same thing! I think it’s very unfair, & I’m happy to see some of my favourite insta buddies doing so flipping well over the couple of months without the need for a gimmick to draw people in.

On the flip side to this I’ve loved watching stories of people picking out their trees, or enjoying a festive hot chocolate whilst watching their towns big light switch on. Experiences are what make memories, not ‘things’ & I hope over the next few weeks I’ll get some time with the kids to be able to do some Christmas crafts & have fun putting up the decs!

(Snowman cookies made by the girls with their Auntie at the weekend!)

Below is one of my favourite little Christmas memories, a tiny photo I keep in my wallet taken a few years ago(pre Annie!) at the girls’ school Xmas fair-the essence of ‘shopping small’ buying beautiful handmade trinkets & gifts crafted by your own kids is just a lovely lovely tradition, & i treasure the things they’ve made me over the years.

The spirit of Christmas isn’t to *spoil* ourselves & our loved ones. It’s to be present, thankful & to be happy with our ‘lot’..

Lots of love,

Kirsty xxx

Little Adventures

I worked out the other day that Annie won’t be going to pre school until around January 2019. Which sounds like forever away!

At the moment she’s growing & changing daily, a non-stop chatterbox, a little sponge who absorbs everything around her. Her memory is unbelievable, if there was a horse in a field we visited recently & we go back there she’ll remind us of details we would have long forgotten! 

On the 9th of November she’ll be two years old but our ‘baby’ somehow already seems older than her years? Maybe it comes from having so many older siblings, she seems to gallop on to the next ‘stage’ before we know it, a sociable little character who I have no doubt would flourish If she were to start pre school now! Her brother started when he was two, he was ready for adventure, & I felt it wasn’t fair to keep him at home, following me around as did housework when he could be learning & growing & spending time with his peers.

Maybe it’s because Annie is our last, that I’m keener to hold onto her at home for as long as possible? The school days sure do feel like a long slog, although having said that I suddenly somehow have children in year eight & nine?!

The small errands we run seem to turn into the biggest of adventures with Annie. She finds wonder in the world at every turn, her excitement at finding a feather or an acorn is infectious! Maybe my brain has let me forget my past experience of this toddler stage, which is fine by me as I’m loving reliving it….most of the time. We occasionally like to live life on the edge, when she decides to ‘help’ me make a cup of tea when she realises the kettle is boiling, so drags her own stool over to the worktop, Or puts on her own wellies & exits the open back door the the garden to walk the dogs by herself whilst I nip to the loo. ‘Eyes in the back of your head’ was a phrase made for Annie!!

But I think we can learn a lot from little people, as you age, you loose the curiosity, the appreciation & the beauty in the world around you. When she excitedly told an old man in Aldi that she had ‘new socks’ I think it was a little lost on him, but I was happy that she was happy! 

So although some days are hard & leave me counting down to bedtime I will always have a warm feeling on the good ones; that I went on a new adventure with my little bird, however small it may have been!! 

Butterflies, Bees & Bathtime….

We’re all really proud to be part of the farming community in our household. I guess my insta name is a dead giveaway ‘the farmers wife’, although, i’m sure they’ll be people who’ll think that I’m not what they picture a farmers wife to be.

I don’t bake a cake a day, have chickens in my kitchen, or drop the kids to school in a tractor. You’ll all be fully aware that it’s my husband & his team who do the hard graft, and the hours & hours of toil outside.
But we do love our lifestyle, being outside a lot, getting mucky, and climbing haystacks in the sunshine, ask the kids where they like to be best though, & riding alongside Daddy in the tractor will be their number one choice!
We were recently approached by a lovely lady named Pip, of Butterflies & Bees, who asked if we’d like to work alongside her & her friend Islay who make the loveliest hand embroidered children’s home accessories.
I love the fact that they’re a little business with their own identity-who don’t just follow the crowd, and unexpectedly-the items we chose are not only beautiful-but are of a quality I could only have dreamed of!
I don’t have a huge budget for children’s clothing(who does when you have four) or bed linen & towels, but I do believe you get what you pay for. I know that the primark duvet covers I have will last the best part of six months-rather than the six years I’ve had out of my Laura Ashley ones.
And in this case, it’s obvious that Pip has taken the time to select the thickest, softest cotton to make her products from. To be specific they’re made from a luxurious 650 grams per square metre of 100% combed Turkish cotton. Whoa. Fluffy.Towel.HEAVEN.
The items we chose were a white towelling bathrobe for Will, & a white bath sheet for Annie. The idea behind hers(its ginormous but stay with me), is that it’s kind of an heirloom piece, which she can pack off to uni with her, or wrap her own children in one day & relive the memories of splashing in Grandmas pool, or warm post bath cuddles with her own Daddy!
Will, of course, wanted to be just like his old man-lads together, post rugby showers, wet hair & a warm robe to wrap up in, although he hasn’t quite mastered doing it up himself quite yet (luckily Daddy doesn’t make the same mistake !)
Both pieces will not just be used poolside, but all year round! I love a huge towel to completely wrap Annie in, toes & all after a bath, & Will’s just like his Mama, insisting a dressing gown is essential attire morning & night!
The motif we chose, well, it was a no brainier wasn’t it??
The chunky tractor design looks fab in both Wills bright red ‘Starry Skies’ & Annie’s vibrant deep blue ‘Cornflower Capers’ & i’m thrilled with the scale of it-it makes a wonderful impact & really goes well with the decor of our bathroom & the children’s shared bedroom.
Of course, there were lots of choices on offer from the website, I counted seventeen different fabric options, available as either a motif or an initial(or two!), towels, bathrobes, facecloths, aprons..& I hear a whisper that Pip is working on some brand new lines too!!
I’m already thinking ahead to Christmas & gifts for new babies due this year, Pip’s customer service has been faultless & her family ethos shines through in her words & work.
So next time you see an Instagrammer or blogger ‘plugging’ an item, you can have a little faith that the products they’re reviewing might just be all that they’re cracked up to be.
The products we’ve been fortunate enough to receive are beyond lovely, & we’re really grateful to have been offered this opportunity.
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So thank you Pip & Co, our new additions now have a place in our daily routines, & will do for years to come.
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Lots of love,
Kirsty x
P.s William is 6 and is wearing age 7-8  for good snuggle room!

Sunny Saturday

Last Saturday was all about my big girl.


After being blown away at parents evening last week, I thought she needed a treat. No little brother or sisters to distract us.

I was born in the beautiful city of Winchester & my mum still lives there(very convenient babysitting opportunity) so it seemed the perfect place for an afternoon out.

With rumbling tummies we couldn’t wait to get to the hottest breakfast/brunch spot in town, Josies Cafe! My brother has been raving about this place for months, I just hadn’t had time to try it out myself!


Winchester can be a tricky place to park in, always busy, barely any parent parking spaces so it’s lucky there’s a car park directly oppposite.

Once inside we joined the queue(I’m told there’s always a queue!) & were quickly greeted by Kate, one of the lovely waitresses who took our name & said we’d be seated asap.

We perused the menu in the ten minutes we were stood waiting -which went by really fast, I don’t know about you but I’m very happy just people watching. A gang of students celebrating a birthday, a young family with a little boy sat drawing, & an elderly couple sharing a slice of cake-warmed my heart!! We were then shown to our table & got our order in quickly..


I went for the breakfast grilled cheese signature sandwich, & a peanut butter hot chocolate, totally indulgent i know, but it’s not often we get to go all out guilt free like this! My toasted sarnie was packed with bacon, sausage, egg, beans, & cheese, it was AHmazing…my bro told me to go steady with the hot chocolate, to pace myself, did I listen? Of course not. I struggled to eat the second half of my sandwich, even though it was so.bloody.good.


We also ordered a double stack of the special pancakes to share-which were peanut butter & chocolate on the day we went, well, they didn’t disappoint. Thick but fluffy, they were almost like a light doughnut, I want to try the summer fruit stack next time!


I loved everything about our trip to Josies.  The food was wonderful-there were lots of healthy choices on the menu for anyone not wanting to go ‘all out pig’ & the juices & smoothies also looked delicious!

I loved the interior decor-industrial but warm & welcoming, the array of home baked cakes behind the glass counter looked so fresh & inticing-I should have got one to take away.


The staff were polite & friendly, flitting about at a fast pace, serving & clearing the busy little hub, with a smile on their faces, I really do appreciate good customer service-wether I’m buying a car or a sandwich!

I thought the prices were very fair for the fresh, cooked from scratch food that we sampled, not a microwaved tin of Heinz beans in sight!!!

I didn’t realise it but I’ve been told this is Josies second cafe, the first being in the Hampshire village of Bishops Waltham, so if you’re ever in our lovely county, hopefully you can find your way to one or the other.

And Poppy? Well she had the loveliest time. After we’d been to Josies, we mooched round primark & new look, in our own time, & just enjoyed each other’s company. Teenage angst & a very busy household can mean I sometimes feel distant from my eldest baby, we needed this time to reconnect, yeah she told me how embarrassing I was making an insta-story about my hot chocolate, & yeah she hated every item of clothing I suggested for her, but, she thanked me, & told me she’d had a wonderful time, what more can you ask for?

Lots of love,

Kirsty xxx