Almost a month ago now, on the 19th of July, our little rainbow and baby of the family (Miss Alice) turned a big 2 years old! Like last year, I meant to write about it around when it all happened, but as it always falls so close to the end of term and at busy time of year, we unfortunately got so busy and swept up in the start of the Summer holidays that writing about it all just passed me by!

I suppose being an end of July baby, this could be a sign of things to come. Thank goodness she has her Dad’s laid back tendencies with things!

This year it was another simple affair, which I am also quickly realising seems to go a long with Alice’s chilled nature. As it was her 2nd birthday (and by family tradition we would normally have their first party), we soon realised unlike her siblings she doesn’t particularly mingle with any kids her age on a regular basis that we would think to invite. She has a couple of girls at church but barely will go near anyone, and then her cousins are all spread out and so we decided that we would have a simple family picnic on the green and a family day out at the weekend.

The weather was great on her birthday and I spent the day with her at the Deep in Hull with a friend and her son from the village whilst the kids were at school. She loves fish and animals and had a lot of joy and excitement from this trip. That evening Grandma Smith came over and we headed to the village green for a picnic tea with lots of her faves. It was so chilled that we didn’t even have a cake for her, but rather she was simply delighted with a little chocolate cupcake and candle (that she soon realised was not edible!).

At the weekend we headed to the coast and took her on a boat ride, followed by chips and an ice cream on the Harbour. It was a lovely evening and a great way to celebrate Alice. She quickly cottoned on to what “A Happy Birthday” meant and she thoroughly enjoyed it all!

At 2 I want to remember her belly laughs and how she laughs at “goggys” (dogs) whilst signing “dogs”!

I want to remember how she stands on her tippy toes to put the bathroom taps on and then laughs her head off as water sprays every where!!

I want to remember her brilliant horrified face and the way she turns her nose up at any foods you push her way that she doesn’t like.

I want to remember how she says “bah-bye” to anything that disappears, how she adores her daddy and watches him leave for work from the bay window, whilst shouting “bah-bye daddy”.

I want to remember how she goes nuts and panics over the teeniest of creatures and calls them all “piders”!

I want to remember how much she loves playing with her siblings, how she fights them back and how cheeky she is with them!

I want to remember how loving and kind she is and how every morning on the way to school she signs birds as she hears them in the trees!

I want to remember how she climbs up on to the counter tops and then sits on the window sill to help herself to the fruit bowl!

I want to remember how she loves to pick daisys on the school run, hates being in the pram and can undo her car seat and climb out (every journey!).

I want to remember how she snuggles, holds my little finger instead of my hand and how she hold my shoulders when I carrier on hikes!

I want to remember how girly and pretty she is in style and how everyone loves her big blue eyes and blonde curls.

Happy 2nd Birthday Alice (even if it is rather late). You are fierce, loving, really nuts and life is better with you in it!

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This week was our last of the Summer term and we are now well and truly into our “Summer Holidays”! It has been a really great week, with a mock wedding performed by Ethan’s class at the beginning of the week to celebrating our little Alice turning 2 on Thursday! We have had more wonderful weather, picnic teas, and I have had some lovely long chats with great people and friends.

We have been to the Deep again in Hull, ate lots of Ice creams, and I literally skipped all the way home after our final school run on Friday (yahoooo!!)! Yesterday we enjoyed some time at the coast together and had a boat ride, some chips and ice creams, as part of our birthday celebrations for Alice. I am so happy school is out and we have a whole 6 weeks ahead of us to relax together, enjoy some adventures and generally just have a great time!

Grateful For …

This week I am grateful for Alice and her warm, fun and loving presence in our family. It was an absolute pleasure to celebrate her on Thursday as she brings us all so much joy! I am grateful for her love, her healing presence, and that she lets me squidge and kiss her when I am sad or just need a boost! I am grateful that she is so lovely and so much fun to have in our home and lives.

I am also grateful to be moving forward with feeling better myself. I have recently being diagnosed with PTSD and whilst it makes a lot of sense it has been so hard – you can read more about it here.

Succeeded At …

We succeed at finally cleaning out the car – it was awful! But there was no way that we were going to start off our Summer hols driving round in a bin on wheels. The kids were so helpful, clearing it out and then with some anti bac wipes, they willingly scrubbed all of the surfaces!

I also succeed at getting the kids to tidy their rooms  and they have done it twice already this week! It took a lot of perseverance and strict mummy, but and the house looks better for it and everyone is a lot happier – especially me!

Finally (and my most favourite) I succeeded at winning the To Tuscany blogger competition. This means we will be heading to Tuscany some time soon(ish) to stay in one of their gorgeous villas and we are going absolutely nuts over it! What an incredible opportunity and wonderful treat for us all – I am still pinching myself!

Found Beauty In…

The mock wedding Ethan’s class did at the local church on Tuesday afternoon. They were all dressed in wedding clothes, playing their parts, and we sung the hymns and joined in as “guests”! Ethan played the part of best man and he was great. The whole experience was so funny, brilliant and simply gorgeous!

I also found beauty in Alice playing with my friends dog, loving the fish again at the deep and playing with her little pal on Friday. The most beautiful thing though this week, the thing that made me calm and my heart sing, was being on a boat all together yesterday as a family. We travelled up to Bridlington to have a boat ride and some seaside treats as part of Alice’s birthday and it was so lovely. The sea was super calm, the coast line beautiful and it was a really nice end to the week. The kids loved and so did we.

I am going to be signing off for a week now – I have wanted to have a break from blogging and social media for a while now to clear my mind (its only for a week or so) but with having a few collaborations I needed to do I haven’t had the opportunity as I have had to work and wanted to get on top of things. I have done that and now with the first week of the Summer holidays starting and no urgent posts to write, I am going to schedule a couple of things, and then I am going to switch off until next weekend! I am looking forward to stepping away from social media and seeing what difference it makes to my well-being and life generally (if at all).

I  hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a joyful first week of the Summer holidays – let me know where you are planning on going on holiday to this year – I love hearing about people’s adventures and find it inspiring!

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It feels like it’s been ages since I wrote an Ordinary Moments post. Remember my weekly blogs that talk in more depth about those little regular and ordinary moments in our lives that make life what it is? The moments that make you smile, and the moments you notice your children grow, achieve and change. The milestones and the traditions, the little habits of the family unit and our little ordinary love’s that day in day out all seem just that – so ordinary. But when focused on and remembered, accumulate to become the grand picture of life together!

We have had a rather extraordinary few weeks, and I suppose when you are busy packing for a holiday, and travelling, life is far from the ordinary and as a result those things are just taken for granted or overlooked. Life is dominated by the new, and the exciting and the ordinary moments just go with the flow. It’s only now as I look back on these weeks and adventures that I see that there was one obvious and constant ordinary moment that couldn’t be overlooked. There was one particular thing that throughout all of the new, all of the excitement and long drives from state to state that was ever present, and it was the thing that everyone noticed and commented on (aside from our English accents), and that was our little Daddy’s girl – Miss Alice!

I often joke with people that once I finished breastfeeding her at 9 months, that she deemed me as useless to her and began to gravitate towards Nath. But seriously, I swear she just tolerates me during the day til he comes in from work, and will often squirm when I pick her up or just scowl at me and toddle off!

We of course have lovely moments during the day; our silly mad moments of laughter and play, and we take wanderings around the village and adventures on the train. We have little dance sessions in the kitchen or lounge, and fun with snacks and games. But it is plain to see that despite these moments, she would much prefer to have her Daddy rather than Mummy, and that is just the way it is!

When she’s sad it’s always “Dada” first before me, and when he leaves the room she chases after him in a mad panic.

She cries when he goes to the bathroom (and waits outside if she can), and is heartbroken when he goes out to work.

She repeatedly kicks me out of the way if he brings her into our bed for snuggles, and dhe literally sprints to the door when she hears him return from work or a trip just to the car.

Alice will follow her daddy with her eyes around the room whilst he goes about his business and soon as he makes a wrong move, she jumps down to investigate where he went.

She is always watching, always wondering, and always following after her Daddy!

As soon as Nathan is in the room she lights up and a huge grin spreads across her face. If she is able to then she will run to him, and if not she whines with outstretched arms and wriggly legs; beckoning to him to come get her! When he picks her up to his 6ft 3 height, she nestles on his chest and looks so smug  snug!

She wants to be by his side always, or up on his shoulders, or just sat on his lap. She yearns to have him hold her in his arms and whatever he is doing she just wants to be a part of it.

She is allowed to play with his watch, his phone, and whatever she wants really. All she has to do is look at him with her pouty lips and big blue eyes, and much to her siblings dismay, will usually get her own way because she’s just “so cute”!

At bedtime she will lay in her cot crying “a-dada….dadaaaaa” until he comes and reassures her. If I go into her she is more sad, and then points at the door asking where “a-dada” is?!

She misses him when he’s out of sight, and adores to have him near when he’s home. She is the ultimate Daddy’s girl and is most content when by his side – it has been a dream for her to have him “home” for the last 2 weeks!

Megan and Ethan didn’t particularly favour either one of us in such a fierce way as Alice does with her Daddy, and even now it’s whoever didn’t say no, or made them do a chore that is the fave (it changes hourly)! But Alice on the other hand is all about Nathan, all of the time and has been for a while. Everyone sees it and most people comment on her being “A daddy’s girl”! Even from being with us for even a short few hours (sometimes minutes) they start commenting on how Alice is “A daddy’s girl”, and we all laugh and nod along that she totally is.

To us it is ordinary now – she adores her daddy and wants to be with him always and he is often the answer to her tears and despair! He is way softer with her than he was with the others and will often give in quicker too. He panders to her more than we ever did with Ethan and Megan, and it’s plain to see that the tiniest member of the family has him round her finger and wrapped up in her heart!

I find it quite funny sometimes, but mostly I love the ordinary moments of seeing Nathan with his cheeky little “Daddy’s girl” by his side! Its really cute and beautiful and also is rather convenient at bedtime and when we are out as it means I am hands free!

 

The Ordinary Moments
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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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