If I had to pick a style for Alice then it would most certainly be traditional and a little vintage. Unlike Megs and her street/sporty style (mini me), Alice has always been a bit more girly and gentle in her look, and as a little baby often suited vintage and girly styles far better than anything else. For convenience I dress her day to day in practical leggings and tops but know she much better suits girly dresses and things with florals and lace!

It was no surprise then that she looked quite the part and right at home in her new La Coqueta dress that was recently sent to us for review. Its beautiful and we all love her in it!

La Coqueta is a spanish brand founded by Celia Munoz, and inspired by the wardrobe gifted to her for her first daughter back in 2008. Many of her clothes were from Spanish designers and possessed a vintage yet timeless feel and this is reflected in everything from La Coqueta. You only have to hop on to the site to fall in love with frills, lace, florals, knits and beautiful little accessories. From dresses, sets and rompers, each is unique and simply stunning, and comes packaged with great care.

Alice was sent the Cantillana baby set which is currently on sale! It was originally £64 but now on offer at £32. I love it for so many reasons!  One of my favourites is the matching little pants underneath that look so adorable when she bends down or climbs the stairs. Next is that I love its not pink, and that they have so many colour options for baby’s and little girls that look super feminine with out been pink! And then the floral print, which helps to carry it through any season, making it a great purchase.

She wore it now in Winter with her tights and little boots, but the florals with little sandals or shoes in Spring/Summer would also look totally fine I think.

I love the double breasted detail on the front, the peter pan collar and the french style lace. But my most favourite are those sleeves…. oooo I just want to squish her with love when I see those teeny hands poking out of such lush little sleeves!

To me this, and many of their other things are a little more high end but certainly worth it, and I am certain that if I had a few extra pounds I would love to kit Alice out completely in their things as they are all so beautiful. But for now I aim to have this (and hopefully a few others) for those special occasions and days where she can really overflow with cuteness and let her vintage girly self shine.

La Coqueta is traditional, beautiful and timeless, and everything has a story behind it. It is personal and well thought out, and uses quality materials.Their things are simply stunning and I would love more in Alice’s wardrobe for her to toddle around in – looking chic and stylish, because I loved how absolutely adorable she looked in her little dress and matching pants…please excuse me whilst I sale shop their upto 60% offers in search of some beautiful bargs!

*We were sent this outfit for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and pictures are my own.

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I remember when Ethan was a tot, and a friend passed on some toys for him. In them were some lovely wooden building blocks, and for days on end we built anything from buildings, to animal houses for his toys, and forts. As he grew he used them to launch at his sister (?!), and they built all sorts together too. Soon they became too tatty and lost, that we decided to get rid of the remaining ones to de-clutter and make space for more age appropriate toys!

How much fun they brought us, and how they drove their imaginations!

Move forward a few years, and little Alice entered our lives! Then, last January whilst sale shopping, I found some lovely colourful building blocks in Wilko for £1.25 and bought them for her 1st Birthday! Like anything you buy for that major milestone of turning 1, it’s often more for the foreseeable future for them to grow in to. And only now (at almost 19 months), has she really shown an interest and a love for them.

Almost every day this week we have had them out. Stacking, carefully placing, clapping and laughing together. We have built all sorts and taken risks with which block goes where! I have loved her meticulous concentration as she balanced one on another. I have loved her eager noises of excitement and cheeky grins as she succeeded! But mostly I loved that I made time with her to play, to build and to share these ordinary moments of childhood development. It was so lovely to spend a good 40 minutes on Wednesday, when the kids were in school and the house was quiet; to be together and giggle, clap and play with building blocks.

Too many times I set her on task with toys so I can do laundry, clean the kitchen or tidy up. But this week I have chilled out and played more. I have tried harder (in line with my goals) to be a more present parent and make more ordinary and lovely memories in the moment.

Alice loves her building blocks – there are so many things she can do with them, and they bring hours of fun. I am excited for more days of building, laughing and “ahhhhhhh-ing” as they fall, as we play together and bond over the blocks!

 

The Ordinary Moments
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Sometimes it is the spontaneous, and very ordinary outings we have, that become the ones that hold the moments we most treasure. And this was certainly true of our little adventure on Saturday.

We had various plans and things to do on Saturday, and yet at 1pm we found ourselves doing none of them, and instead heading up to Sewerby Park (over in Bridlington) for a nice walk and some family time. We decided with the weather being nice, that they could see the animals there, play on the park, and generally just enjoy a little wander together.


Up on the cliff tops and overlooking the bay, it is a place we have visited numerous times and love….An ordinary part of my childhood and now an ordinary part of theirs. A place full of lovely memories and ordinary moments, nature and beauty, and something for us all. Of course when they realised where we were they burst with excitement to be there!

 Alice however is a bit of newbie to Sewerby Park, and whilst she probably came with us as little baby on previous visits, she certainly wouldn’t have remembered or gotten much out of it. I found that this time it meant we had an opportunity to see it all with new eyes and see it from her perspective. The kids enjoyed pointing things out and coaxing her to see things they thought she would love! It started when I decided to let her out of the buggy to explore with her siblings, we were in no rush and I wanted to let her wander to see what she did – She wandered around, not after them, but on her own, and loved her new found freedom. It was so lovely to watch her, and then to watch them all together; Ethan and Megan trying so hard to coax her in to following them! It provided several moments I wanted to bottle up and treasure forever.

She wandered to the animals and shouted as if we’d never seen them before, and wandered with eyes wide, in awe at the sounds, the sky and the world around her. She wandered from pen to pen on a mission, with her little finger pointing as she went, and then so expressive as she peered in at the animals behind each fence…. “oooing” and “Ahhhhhing”!

She wandered her own way and at her own pace and I had no choice but to follow and allows her her independence.

 There is always something lovely about going to familiar places filled with wonderful memories, and these are made more when you can see and appreciate them with fresh eyes. It’s crazy to think how quickly time is going and how fast Alice is growing and changing. I feel we are now in this wandering stage… exploring all we can and taking in the sights and sounds of the world. It takes a little longer, but I love these moments when we can slow down and remember how great the ordinary stages and moments are. This little wanderer certainly brings so much to our lives and our family with each step she takes in a new direction, and with each new thing she points out to us.

The Ordinary Moments
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Part of our weekly routine now includes playgroup on a Friday morning, and we love it. Whilst taking toddlers and preschoolers to playgroups is an ordinary moment for most, it hasn’t been for us until now, and its taking some remembering, but we are now really getting into it.

Alice is obviously my 4th child, and the 3rd we are raising, and in some ways I am doing things differently. With the “Ethan and Megan at home” years, our routines were very similar for them both. We went to baby massage, Yoga, music sessions and soft plays – it grew with them. Despite being surrounded by various playgroups, I never accessed them or perhaps went sporadically but never felt a part of it. I guess I was a little nervous to break into what I assumed were already formed friendship groups and worried that i’d be a loner on the edge so just didn’t bother. With friends I already had, and family I already saw, I didn’t feel a need for it in my life as I had enough contact with other mums and tots! Either way it wasn’t until my sister in law told me how much her kids loved playgroup, that I felt perhaps I was missing out there and made a mental note to go … one day!

When we moved here and I received the list of the village baby and toddler groups I spotted that a playgroup ran every Friday and was rather excited! Despite that (and several invites from mum’s in the playground) I only made the effort to start going just a few weeks ago. Like all things here in the village I was made to feel so welcome, had plenty of people to talk to and get to know better, and we have both enjoyed the lovely little group that meet weekly for playgroup.

I think in a lot of ways it’s different to other playgroups I tried to go to, because it has that familiar community and inclusive spirit running through it that we have really loved here, and grown accustom to! Such welcoming, kind people instantly relaxes you and makes you want to return because everyone is just so lovely. For a newbie/outsider and first timer like me, that has made an incredible difference.

I am glad I went and continue to go… walking up after the morning drop off, because I have loved watching Alice become more and more comfortable over the weeks too and get into the flow of it all. Her confidence has grown, and she has gone from clinging to me on the first week, to now where she now plays for ages with prams, trikes, and her fave – the little slide! I love to see her waltz in, and see her at break time sit with the other kids drinking her juice and eating her biscuit (custard creme is her preference apparently!), and then running around with no real direction. Every week she ends up on top of the tables whilst I am engrossed in nattering, and every week at approximately the same time she whines at me to say its almost nap time and we need to hurry up and leave!

I love that she loves playgroup, and that we have both slotted in and have an enjoyable time there. I love we have these moments together that are so different to what life was like with the others.

Play group has never been an ordinary moment for us, and perhaps I missed something there with Ethan and Megs, but now it is with Alice, and we both enjoy it and I am grateful for that. We look forward to our ordinary moments of playgroup each Friday morning, from the friends we meet there and the fun we have, to snack time, and of course those custard cremes!!

The Ordinary Moments
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