Friday, 22 August 2014

Camp Bestival: The Wagon Diaries

I felt the wagon needed an appreciation post of its own. We bought her off Amazon for a steal, and she served us well getting all our junk to the tipi and back again, as well as save Molly's (and our) legs. Moo bear is a little bit of a lazy princess and demands to be carried very quickly on our walks! 

Halfway through the visit Jamie insisted on buying those horrendous stickers as we hadn't decorated her. Molly seemed to like the look. 

Anyway, Molly ate, made bubbles and slept in the wagon. She became an extension of Jamie's arm. And helped us stay together as a group in large crowds. To be honest I don't think I would ever do a festival with a child without one. We even took apart the sides each night to use as a barrier against the wind in the tipi. And you can't complain for £34! Sadly, when Jamie dismantled her for the last time just before we left, he broke her :( sadly she is unfixable without a welding kit. So goodbye Winnie, you served us well. We shall buy a Winnie v.2 next year and we will actually decorate her.. but shhh don't tell Winnie the first.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

On moving and decorating

Jamie and I are currently in the process of selling up/looking for our next home. We'd like some more space. So, naturally I'm obsessing over decor, pinterest inspiration, rightmove and furniture. This might be the year we do it folks, this might be the one!
SO anyway..
I'm in love with this bed, it's so beautiful. And this time we move (hopefully the last, maybe) we will have a wardrobe area large enough that means I won't have to fill boxes with underbed storage like the current get-up we have going on.
These stairs.. oh how I dream of a banister this crafted, and tiles. Jamie and I found 'the one' just before we went on holiday, except the garden was in no way private and way too open and with a little one you just can't have that. But this 'one' had a staircase to die for like this and stunning original tiles. Makes me want to weep.
I am in love with this home tour. The spacious feel. Though it would not be cosy enough for British Winters, this daybed reading nook is on point.
The rug dreams are made of. On sale. I wish I had pennies, but I can't justify actually buying anything for our imaginary new home yet :(
It's all happening though. Despite a slow start of viewings, it's all happening. Good vibes this please. I'll be doing lots of homely posts I think.. sorry for that. Ha.

*This post was sponsored, as always all opinions are my own. You know how fussy I am with decor ;)

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Camp Bestival pt.1

Last week Jamie and I took Molly to Camp Bestival. It's like the childrens version of the Isle Of White festival Bestival. So imagine the best place on earth for a child.. a big castle, a wagon to pull you around in, ice-cream vans at every corner, story telling in the woods, play grounds, toys everywhere to pick up and play with, puppet shows, bubbles, a childrens catwalk and fairground. THAT is Camp Bestival, and so much more! I took like a million photos, and so did Jamie on his phone so I've split this into two posts, more for my own sanity ha.
So this 'bus'. Basically,, it was these two wagons/trucks connected by this crazy structure made from wood/bikes/kettles/fairylights/amazing junk that all the children (especially me) wanted to hang out on/in. I only got a picture of it as a whole (mostly) at night. But below are the pictures I forced Jamie to take of Molly and I on our bus/truck/structure adventure. Also I'll add here that every time we left the tent or any area of Camp Bestival to move on to another we named 'an adventure'. We weren't going for a wee that holiday.. we were going on an adventure. 
^^ Wouldn't this be the perfect picture if the glass wasn't so glare-y!?
My little safety girl. Also, I'm going to add here, Molly was amazing at taking turns. She had a go on the steering wheel after waiting patiently from some little oiks that had been in the front since Molly and I went on the truck, and after a short go at the wheel allowed another child to play 'driver'. We're almost worried she's too thoughtful.. 
So this little part of the woods had a special part in my heart. As a lover of all things old and junk-like, it was basically a woodland full of activities made with junk. A 'Mud Kitchen' decked out with brass and copper kitchen utensils/cookery junk, a well stocked dressing up den, fairies houses made from glitter and junk, stick people making, a 'theatre' with a wooden stage and toadstools to sit on, small baskets full of little woodland animals and so so much more. I wanted to live there. In my dreams I have a little woodland at the back of my house (nearly happened with that property I saw in Newtown Linford last year but I won't dwell) full of essentially this for Molly and I to spend our days in. It was a forestey junkey dream come true. 
While I was busy being ill (I'll discuss that in the other post) Jamie took Molly on an adventure without me. Broke my heart BUT he did photograph it all for me so I didn't miss out- awwwhhh! Made me well up that did ha. There was another one of those structures that I didn't get a chance to go on, Molly said it was very high. She also made her catwalk debut! 
On the way back to the tent after our first night Molly asked me to take a picture of the 'happy moon'. And you know what Molly I think this was the happiest moon I'd ever seen. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Reflections of a dog owner// Klaus at 21 Months

I haven't mentioned Klaus much really in the past year? Other than the dog bed palava. We just got him a beautiful new one that he's managed to eat.. anyway. 

Liking my dog has taken me a long time. I mean I loved him from the moment he squeaked at me at the breeders house, he was the runt of the litter what wasn't there to love!? (I'm definitely a bit of a runt/underdog-lover). But we just didn't gel. Maybe it was the weeing, or the lovely things he insisted on chewing, or maybe the fact that our personalities weren't matched (I am a cat person through and through) but the bond really took its time to form. 

I took him for walks, fussed him, kissed him and was a good pet owner, but I just didn't get the connection "dog mama's" seem to have. It was nothing like my bond with Molly, though I never expected it to be, but still I thought I'd at least you know, like him. Anyway a year went by and many of my things got chewed, and I was on my knees a lot cleaning up smelly dog wee when I felt I should be making Molly's breakfast and my morning brew. Then suddenly he stopped weeing at night, and the cloud lifted. He calmed down, I mean I still have to put him in the kitchen when my Nain and Taid come to visit but when family members he sees regularly come over there's no fear of him stressing them out or having to clean up his protest wees from the kitchen.

I think you really have to give it time. To be honest, stubborness is what made me so insitent that I wouldn't get rid of him. I mean it would have broken Molly and Jamie's hearts but as I was at home with him 5 days a week and it was me who was finding it hardest; a few times Jamie did half-heartedly offer to let me give him up for adoption. But what stopped me was the saying 'dogs are for life' and if I couldn't put up with him, who else would have our terrible dog!? And I am SO glad I stuck by him. He may have taken his time potty training, but he has a heart of gold and he is so so gentle with Molly. Their bond is incredible to watch. And I think Jamie loves him more than me.. so there's that.

AND... I love my dog!! I mean I always loved him but he quite often made me cry, but now, now I LIKE him! And I haven't cried in frustration in a good six months! Whoo. I don't know how it happened, or when it happened, or why. But I fell in love with him. And now we're best buds. 

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that being a dog owner is not all photo ops, despite my pet pinterest boards. It's a nightmare for the first few weeks in between dog naps and to be honest with you I'm not always sure how I got through the first year, but it is so SO worth it. He's our family dog, our second baby. He'll be two in October and I must say watching him get out of the puppy stage has been a pleasure. If you do get a dog, remember that he/she will be an absolute terror while they're a puppy. No one tells you this. For some reason I think it's the biggest kept secret.. like why wouldn't people warn others!! I went through a small phase of thinking everyone must hate their dogs but are saving face because puppies are an absolute nightmare. 

Tips for keeping your dog and keeping you sane in the process:
- My biggest piece of advice in hindsight would be to let go of the toilet training. It will take time with some breeds and that's that. Keep using puppy pads if its not an easy surface to clean (buy in bulk). It won't magically happen in a month, or even in 12 ;)
- Buy a pretty dog bed, it's much nicer to look at a pretty bed being ripped apart than an ugly one :P
- Lots of dog toys and chewable treats, they teethe for two years, and although it won't stop them from eating your favourite hand knitted blankets it does help.
- Oh yeah, hide the nice blankets for two years..
- Good pet insurance, vets bills are insane. We have had platinum cover since we got Klaus.*
- Regular walks, I'm talking twice a day if you can while they are a puppy, we went about a week once not giving Klaus a long walk due to business and it was a week of hell. Always find the time and if you can't don't get a dog or get yourself a dog walker which is what we will be doing once I am working full time.
- Scented candles, dog shampoo and conditioner. A lifesaver in the winter!!

*This post was sponsored. All opinions are my own. We have in fact been using and paying for Argos Pet Insurance since we brought Klausey home so I thought this was an ideal endorsement. 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

July Portraits

Had I kept up with a picture a week every week of Molly, these would be the pictures I'd have chosen. 

The I promise not to forget moments in my phone prompt me to remember that time Jamie and K-man were lying on the floor dosing when Molly looks over and goes 'Look Mummy, look at the sweet boys' before she went to join them. And the way that she asks me to 'give' her a story, and what a privilege to give her that gift each night. They also remind me of when I was strapping her into her carseat after we had paid for our petrol and she just told me she loved me, out of the blue. And of course not forgetting the ponies, my own little girl to play my little ponies with. I loved my little ponies, and anything horse related as a child and my heart just swells playing ponies with her. I have also found that I want to buy her everything My Little Pony as I am living out my childhood pony fantasies through her. HA. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Strawberry Picking

Aunty Chaz is home!! Chaz is one of my people, you know the ones that just make you happy being around them. She's kind and funny, and typically lives in Abu Dhabi.. BUT she's home for the summer and every year we've said we'll take Molly Strawberry picking, and so finally we did! 

Molly only wanted to pick white ones?? But had a lot of fun doing it. And then had more fun in the £2.50 play area that had a tractor, fire engine and 'tree house' only dreams are made of, so I can sort of forgive her ;) I quite fancy going again actually, even if it's just to have a tea while Molly plays/rearranges treehouse furniture (.. for £2.50 grumble grumble).

Chaz took some beautiful pictures of Molly and I that I am in love with but I'm gonna save those for another post.

On another note, I am seriously embracing this weather. If only we could guarantee it every year I don't think anyone would have to fly abroad ever! Though I am a sweaty mess at the end of everyday.. a small price to pay I think :P

Anyway, the point I am trying to make at the end of this is, don't put off Strawberry picking because it's reasonably priced and the strawberries are much nicer than the supermarket boxes.  

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Flowers around this house

I would love to make this a series, but I can't afford to buy flowers and thus far haven't grown enough in our garden to justify cutting them to put in our living room! Ha. These were a gift I brought back with me from Dolgellau from a close friends garden. There is nothing more special than flowers from friends gardens. 

We go away at the end of this month and we are thinking about moving. Something I have been thinking about since we moved in here, and something we have on-off though about over the last 12 months. I'm not sure what will happen, finding the right place then finding schools aren't right, then finding the right one in the right school but not being able to move quickly enough. We might just stay here. It's a great house. It's a good house. And it's become our home. Slowly. Just not the home. 

Taking Stock:

reading// nothing I just finished Oryx and Crake and I need a rest. I'm thinking #girlboss next though, nice and easy
watching// Molly in the sun. No time for tv in the summer ;)
making// A chunky winter blanket. I'll be finished sometime next year.
drawing// Nothing, I need to get on that. Maybe a unicorn for Molly.
feeling// Strangely calm despite the chaos.
traveling// To Camp Bestival at the end of the month
wanting// To get better, I can't shake this illness.
remembering// Jamie's boss' Wedding, it was perfection. 

*Taking stock inspired by Sydney though I made up mine because cba to go searching through her archives.