October 2015 | Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet

Friday Nuggets.

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1// This week has flown by. Quicker than normal I might add. I've been trying to keep the kids busy during half term and I think I've succeeded. Everyday we've done something different so today we've had a lazy-watching movies-kind of a day and it was much needed. Yesterday we went to the zoo. I'm not sure who was more excited, me or the kids. I've never been to a zoo before so I love that I got to experience it for the first time with them. 




2// I've been looking into self hosting my blog and after a day of researching I am already overwhelmed and have no idea where to start. Domain names, hosting sites, wordpress.. It's all starting to sound the same to me.. I am not a tech savvy person and my biggest fear is that I am going to loose all of my posts here. Either that or not redirect traffic properly.. I need to find someone that knows all about this! 

3// Emilie starts nursery this coming Monday! I am part excited and part terrified. She is just excited. She's only going for an hour on the first day and we will work up to three hours twice a week. Monday and Fridays. I can't believe she is starting nursery already. She is a little bit younger than James was but she is a lot more clingy than he was so I think it might do her good. If she doesn't settle in then we can always stop and wait a while. That's the only reason I am not freaking out completely!

4// Halloween is tomorrow night! The kids both have their costumes. I cannot wait to be the crazy Mum taking loads of photos. James is Frankenstein and Emilie is a witch. We'll see how long James lasts with his costume. He isn't a fan of dressing up so I was surprised when he agree to choosing an outfit. Watch this space for photos...  

Happy Friday :) 



 
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When Life Gives You Rain.....

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.... Jump in the puddles.. 






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When Something Is Wrong With Your Child...

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As a Mum, there are a few things worse than something being wrong with your child and there isn't a way for you to fix it. If they have a fever you give them medicine. If they fall over and scrap their knee then you put a plaster on it. If they are overstimulated and overtired then you give them a cuddle. What do you do though when there is something wrong that you're unable to fix?

Last year James was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. I've written about his epilepsy but I don't think I've ever mentioned this newest diagnosis. Since he was a toddler, I'd had my suspicions. Sudden loud noises would always send him into a tail spin. Certain doors always had to be shut. I mentioned it to the health visitor at his two and a half year check but because his talking was advanced and he was already learning his alphabet and numbers, she never took it any further.

James has always been advanced for his age. He taught himself to read when he was three, at the same time he learnt to spell and write. Everyone always commented about how well he was doing. What they didn't see was him waking up at 3am because he had to recite the alphabet over and over again. They didn't see him rocking back and forth on the sofa when some builders came to instal our new boiler. They didn't see him chewing holes in his t-shirt when something worried him.

In three days he learnt every flag of the world. Literally. If you describe the flag to him then he will tell you the country. If you show him a flag, he'll do the same. If you name a country he'll describe the flag in detail. He also memorises number plates.

Don't get me wrong. None of these are a bad thing. In school he is flying. Some days he comes home from school and tells me something that he taught the teacher.



What hurts though? Watching him suffer in certain situations. If we're out and about and it's too crowded, I only have to look at James and I know that he's not coping. I've lost count of how many times we've had to leave or take him to a quiet spot so he can calm down. It's hard watching him not being able to control his emotions. Something small that we wouldn't even think about can completely ruin his day. I never know which James I am going to get from day to day. If he's had a bad day then the rest of the afternoon follows suit. It hurts when I take him to a friends party and he spends the first hour sat in the corner, only allowing me to sit with him.

I can't fix this for him and it hurts.

I do think that we're lucky though.. On the autism spectrum we're at the better end of it. He is so intelligent and so funny. He is loving and sweet. On particularly hard days once he's fast asleep in bed I sit and feel like maybe I should have had more patience during a certain melt down. Maybe I shouldn't have put him into time out for shouting at me. I'm trying to find a balance between teaching him what is right and wrong but also allowing room for his emotions that he has very little control over and doesn't understand. Some days I succeed and other days I fail miserably.

I want to be able to fix it and I can't..


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Chicken Noodle Soup.

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It's soup weather! No one in my house is a massive fan of tinned soups so I'm having to get a little bit creative to try and please everyone.. Anthony likes meat with every meal. James won't eat mushrooms or onions if he can see them.. (Cue me cutting them into the teeniest tiniest pieces), Emilie, well she just throws all her food over the floor so I may as well just serve her up bananas and cheese..

Saturday night I decided to try making a Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner.. It was a massive hit :) James said it got "five out of five stars" and Emilie said, "Best cook in world Mum.." I'm taking that compliment and running with it.



1 pint of vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
3 chicken breasts diced
1 tsp chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 packet of wheat noodles
1 tin of sweetcorn
5 mushrooms sliced
3 spring onions, chopped roughly
2tsp soy sauce - extra for serving
basil leaves for serving.

Pour the stock into a pan and add the garlic, onion and chicken. Bring to the boil and simmer for twenty minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken from the pan and using two forks pull the chicken apart into bite size pieces.

Return the chicken to the pan and add the noodles, mushrooms, sweetcorn, soy sauce and half of the spring onions.

Simmer for 4-5 minutes until the noodles are cooked.

Serve with the basil and a sprinkling of soy sauce.

Enjoy!



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Things To Do.. Autumn Half Term.

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I've been sat here thinking of ways I can entertain James & Emilie this coming week. The summer holidays are easy. The weather is better so spending days outside is the key to working off all that excess energy that comes with kids. The end of October though? The weather is colder, the days are shorter and entertainments becomes slightly more difficult.

1// Bake Halloween treats - If your kids are anything like mine then they love it when they can get messy in the kitchen. These look like an easy and fun way to pass an afternoon.

2// Go on an Autumn walk - We're lucky in the fact that just a 30 second walk from our house is a field that leads into a woods. Put some wellies on, bundle up in your coats and off you go!

3// Make a collage - Whilst on your walk collect leaves, twigs and anything else you can find, come home and bust the glue out!


4// Carve pumpkins - An obvious one. I am not a fan of this. The insides of a pumpkin freak me out but I enjoy the rest of it. I've seen some amazing creations over the years.. 


5// Make Halloween decorations - Head to Pinterest for some creative ideas.. Mine never end up looking like theirs does but it's the thought that counts, right?

6// Indoor picnic - If the weather means that you cannot get outside then have an indoor picnic! I only have to mention the word "picnic" and my kids excitement level goes into overdrive. Throw some blankets on the floor and go for it. 

7// Take a day trip - Day trips work out expensive. Once you've factored in travel, admission, food and everything else that comes with leaving the house with kids but you can get some good rail discounts or cut costs in other ways, maybe by taking lunch with you, instead of eating out. 

8// Have a Halloween Party - Put those decorations that you've made and treats that you've created to good use. Invite some friends around and have a little party. It'll wear the kids out and you may even be able to get some grown up conversation in! 

9// Duvet & movie day - Every school holiday should include one day where you stay in your pj's, snuggle under duvets, watch Disney movies on repeat and eat cereals for dinner. 

What's on your list for this half term? 

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Currently.

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Reading... I'm still reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Truth be told I've only picked up a book once this past week. I've just been too busy. 

Watching... I went to bed early last night and watched some more Once Upon A Time. I've now reached the current season and it's gotten even better! 


Trying... To kick this cold that I've had for four days now. It's wiped me out but no sick days for Mummies! 

Cooking... I've promised everyone a fried lunch. Bacon, sausages, eggs, mushrooms, the works.. 

Drinking... A cup of tea. I've been doing really well with cutting down on the caffeine but with this cold and feeling so rubbish I need all the warm drinks! 

Eating... I haven't eaten anything yet today. Nothing sounds good. Maybe because I can't smell or taste anything at the moment? 

Loving...
 The autumnal weather. The cozy feeling in my living room right now. The plans I have for next month. Lots of exciting things going on :) 


Thinking... That I am not a fan of the clock change. Last night we went back an hour and at 5am this morning I had two wide awake children giggling and shouting in their bedroom. I know from experience that it's going to take them a few days to adjust. A fun few days ahead.. 

Feeling... Cold. A little bit hungry. As bad as I feel though I am also feeling very motivated and enthusiastic. 

Hoping (for)... Two children that sleep later tomorrow morning! Thank goodness we are now on half term..  

Smelling... The clean washing that is drying next to me. My dryer is broken so as much as it's a pain having to dry it around the house, it does smell awesome. 

Ordering... Food shopping and theres a few books that I want to get. I've also been looking at blogging planners on Amazon. 

Wearing... Gym clothes. I have no intention of going to the gym but they're warm and comfy. Enough said. 

Writing... Blog posts and more blog posts. 

Clicking... I've tried to make a conscious effort this week to take more photos of the normal moments. Things that might not seem important now but in years to come I am going to miss. 



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Thursday Tidbits.

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I had planned on posting a whole makeup centred post today but I woke up this morning with a stinking cold and right now it's 9pm and I'm already in bed. My only aim today has been to keep the kids alive. As soon as they went to bed, that's where I went. It always amazes me how a common cold can knock you for six. So, in lieu of my original post (that will teach me for waiting until the last minute to write it) I'm going for a Thursday Tidbit kind of deal..

1// I am officially obsessed with Once Upon A Time on Netflix. I could seriously loose five hours a night watching it. I love it when I find a great series that I can get my teeth into. Feel free to send any suggestions my way for what I can watch after I'm all caught up with Once Upon A Time.

2// Do you think someone was eager to get to school to meet their brother? I swear it's her favourite part of her day.


3// Talking of James. We got his school photograph today. I dug his previous ones out and looking at them makes me equal parts happy and sad. Happy that he is growing and thriving and sad wondering where my little boy went. It feels like it was just last month that I was sending him off for his first day at school. 


Please someone assure me that I am not the only nostalgic Mummy out there?

4// For the past two years I have wanted an Erin Condren planner but have never taken the plunge and purchased one. I've been looking on the website tonight and I think this year I am going to do it. Now I just have to try and choose one. They all look so amazing!

5// I really want to go to BlogFest15 this year. I wanted to go last year too but my anxiety wasn't really under control well enough so I didn't even entertain the idea. This year, I think I would get a lot out of it and it looks exciting! Putting faces to the blogs that I read, meeting new people and learning new things. It's in London, so it's not too far away and is easily accessible on the train. Now I just need to figure out how to finance it.. If I don't make it this year then I am promising myself that I will be there next year...

... Now I need to go and take some cold medicine and try to sleep..

Happy Thursday! Friday is almost here!

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Two Little Girls.

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My sister had her daughter, Eva, four months before Emilie was born. At the time those four months felt like a big age gap. We all know how much babies change in four months. As time has gone on that gap has seemed less and less and now that they're both two years old those four months seem like nothing at all.





Aimee and Eva came over yesterday morning. James was at school, so it was just the girls playing and it was so sweet watching them together. As soon as they arrived Emilie went running out shouting "Eva Bear!" She loves her cousin :)


I think both raising daughters together has made our relationship stronger. We're both going through the same things at around the same time, (potty training for one!) and we are constantly on the phone with each other, bouncing ideas around or just venting our frustrations. 


In the words of Emilie - "We're having a pic-a-nic"


Before Aimee had Eva and I only had James, Aimee use to say to me, "You will never understand how much I love my nephew. I love him like he's my own." And although I did know how much she loved him, I didn't really understand until she had Eva and I got to be the Auntie. I know that she isn't mine but I love her like she is. My little Eva Bear, and watching her with my own children just makes it all the more special :) 




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A Pain In The..... Foot.

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For a few months, on and off, I've been experiencing pain in the ball of my foot. It's never been too bad and only ever lasted for a few hours or so. This past Saturday, I woke up and my foot felt a little sore but I figured the pain would go in a bit.. As the day wore on though, the pain got worse. I found it really hard to describe how it felt. It was like a burning in the ball of my right foot which spread towards my toes.. My toes also felt kind of numb but with feeling.. It was the strangest feeling. By bedtime I was nearly in tears with the pain. By yesterday afternoon I decided I needed to see a doctor. I felt stupid walking, well hobbling, into the surgery. There were no marks on my foot, no brushing and no swelling. What did I expect him to do?

I sat down and as soon as I described the feeling he knew exactly what was wrong. Morton's Neuroma. I'd never heard of it but in laymen terms it is a thickened nerve between the toes which causes intense pain. I've been scheduled in for an ultrasound so they can see exactly how bad it is. I've been told that the two treatments available are either steroid injections into the foot (ouch!) or surgery to remove the affected nerve. The ultrasound department at the hospital also informed me that the waiting list for the ultrasound is 4-5 weeks.

In the meantime, I'm resting my foot, as much as I can whilst running around after two kids, popping pain killers and hobbling around like an eighty year old woman. I've already noticed that the pain is worse if I walk barefoot, and also as the day wears on the pain gets worse. It's going to be an interesting several weeks...


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Autumn Bucket List.

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I've been wanting to do this post for a while but it just hasn't felt Autumnal enough.. Today though, it's perfect Autumn weather. It's chilly outside but cozy inside. I went outside with my Mum earlier and we both commented that it 'smelt' like Autumn. Don't ask me what Autumn smells like because I couldn't tell you, but it did.. (Also how many times can one woman write Autumn in a signal paragraph?)



1// Carve pumpkins with the kids. Emilie has never done this so it's going to be interesting.

2// Make these snacks.. 

3// Finish Christmas shopping. I don't want to be rushing around mid-december trying to get last minute presents.

4// Take the kids to the firework display. We've never taken them because it's way past their bedtime but this year I am going to tell my type-A personality to do one..

5// Overhall this little space of mine.

6// Bake puddings on a Sunday. Last week I made apple crumble with apples from the tree in our garden and it was amazing. It made me want to try baking different things.



7// Whilst I'm on the subject of food. During the autumn/winter months I make a lot of homemade soup and also warm breakfasts.. I think this coming week it's time to introduce them again.

8// Switch the kids into our bedroom and us into theirs.

What about you? Any plans for Autumn?

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Currently.

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Reading... Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I started it a few weeks ago and then had to put it down whilst I was busy with other things. I picked it back up yesterday and am already so engrossed in it again.  

Watching... I watched Case 39 on Netflix last night. I love scary movies but for some reason this one really freaked me out. Maybe because the 'demon' was a child? 


Trying... To organise the house. Sunday is my cleaning day. I like to get things all fresh and ready for the week ahead. 

Cooking... Tonight I'm doing chicken. I'm not sure what I'm putting with it yet. Maybe some roast potatoes. It all depends what I can find in the cupboard! 

Drinking... Water. I've really cut down on my caffeine lately. 


Eating... Some Danish cookies. We use to have them at Christmas when I was a kid and I haven't seen them in years. I found some in the shop yesterday and just had to have them. 

Loving...
 I've been writing a lot at the moment and I love it. I wish there were more hours in the day sometimes. I always seem to be rushing from one job to the next. I've recently started drawing too. I've always been artistically challenged but lately I've been spending a lot of time with a pencil in my hand. I can see a slight improvement.. 


Thinking... About James' hospital appointment tomorrow to get his EEG taken off. I'm not sure who's more excited about it. Me or him. 

Feeling... Excited for November. I'm going to be working with Samantha from The Samantha Show and cannot wait!   

Hoping (for)... A calmer week than last week. 

Smelling... I have my 'Christmas Treats' Yankee candle burning and it smells amazing. I normally prefer the cinnamon smelling ones but this one isn't bad. 

Ordering... Books, Christmas presents and the food shopping. 

Wearing... Jeans, black boots and this top from New Look, it's so comfy. 

Writing... Blog posts, lists of ideas for posts & notes for a book I have forming inside of my head. 

Clicking... Through blogs on bloglovin. I've recently found some more new ones to follow. You can never have enough :)

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James' EEG & The Terrible TWO's

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The past two days have been stressful. Yesterday morning James had his EEG fitted and to say he's unhappy about it would be an understatement. He was so good whilst the nurse attached all the wires and didn't fidget around like I was worried about but as soon as it was time to leave the hospital he suddenly realised that people outside would see him. He put his coat on, his hat and then his hood up and only then would he venture outside. At home he isn't too bothered by it, although sleeping last night was difficult for him, and therefore me. I'm running on about four hours sleep and struggling!

We had to go out this morning for some surgical tape and outside James turned into a different child. Defiant, back chatting to me and generally just being naughty. I know it's because he's conscious about what people think. He says he feels silly; but with so little sleep I found it hard to cope with. Needless to say this afternoon we are staying indoors. A snuggly afternoon with maybe a Disney movie is definitely called for.

We're back at the hospital tomorrow so they can download the past 48 hours data and then again next Monday and hopefully they'll take it off then. I can't blame him for not liking it. I can imagine it's not the comfiest thing and then having all the wires attached to a box, which he then has to carry around in a shoulder bag just adds to his discomfort. If it gives us some answers regarding his epilepsy then I know it is all worth it. It's just hard to explain it to a six year old.



Whilst I'm on the subject of children lets talk about the terrible two's. My already demanding daughter has spent the past week basically in one long temper tantrum. Okay, maybe not, but it feels like it's one big long one. Anything at the minute will set her off, running around the room screaming until she finds the nearest piece of furniture to throw herself on, kicking and thrashing. Her favourite word is 'No."

I know from experience that the terrible two's don't last forever and just like I did with James, one day I'll sit there and think.. "Wow, Emilie hasn't had a tantrum in three days.." At the moment though that time feels a long way off.

So for now I will look forward to bedtime. I will hope that James sleeps better than he did last night and I will not feel guilty for the Disney movies that we are about to watch.

One day at a time Mama's.. Or in my case this week, one hour at a time :)

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Autumn Makeup.

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I love taking a peek into other people's makeup collection. I love to know what they think is good, what they think works well with other products and what they're wearing that season. On that note, I thought I would share with you some of my Autumn pieces. These are the pieces I'm reaching for every day at the moment.













L'oreal True Match foundation in golden ivory. 
Barry M Super Natural eyeshadow palette
L'oreal Paris Colour Riche Collection Lipstick - J Lo's Nude
Tanya Burr Rosy Flush cheek palette
Barry M Showgirl Super Lengthening mascara


If I had to choose a favourite out of all of these I would have to go with the Barry M Super Natural palette. The shadows are so pigmented and blend lovey.. Although the lipstick smells like the sweets Parma Violets so thats got come a close second.

Any suggestions for Autumn makeup products are always welcomed :)

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Weekends.

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I love weekends. Especially at this time of year when it feels like the whole world is slowing down. No school runs. No deadlines. Just slow mornings, cozy evenings and a whole lot of nothing in-between. I tend to try and fill the Summer with lots of things so by this time of year I am ready to hibernate. To feather my nest and spend the days with family. 





This weekend we have been talking about what to do with the house. We only have two bedrooms and two children.. Add a Mummy and Daddy into that and well the maths doesn't add up.. We've come to the conclusion that we need to switch bedrooms with the kids.. It's a mammoth task but I'm thinking that I can de-clutter at the same time.. Win-win right? I'm itching to start it right away..

This week is busy. James has a 7 day EEG set to start on Wednesday which means lots of trips back and forth from the hospital and a week off school. Wish me luck. If I still have hair by the end of this I'll consider it a success..


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Five Things On Friday.

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It's Friday! The weeks seem to be whizzing past at lightning speed. I swear every year goes by faster and faster. Am I the only one that feels that way? Some things from this week...

1// This article made me smile. An American guy came to England and listed all the differences he noticed. Take a look :)

2// James is going into hospital next week for a 7 day EEG. Luckily he is able to come home but every 48 hours we have to go back to the hospital. He was meant to have it fitted this coming Monday but he has a school trip on Tuesday that he really didn't want to miss so we've changed it to Wednesday.. It's going to be a long 7 days.. It's got to be done though.

3// I purchased two products from Tanya Burr's new range the other day and this is honestly the best cheek pallet I have tried so far. A bronzer, blush and highlighter. All in beautiful shades. It's now my go to most days.



4// The weather for October is A-MAZ-ING.. Considering how awful the end of August/September was I am not complaining about this turn around. I wonder if it can last until December?



5// I've been reading Big Magic. The new book by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm not even a quarter of a way through it yet but already it has made me see fear and creativity in a completely different way.  I cannot wait to read the rest of it..

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Currently.

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Reading... I have just finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and am about to start The Girl In The Photograph by Kate Riordan. 
Watching... I've been re-watching Charmed on Netflix. I never tire of that show! 
Trying... To keep my cool. The kids have been pushing my buttons today. 
Cooking... Sausages and roast potatoes. 
Drinking... Water. Water. Water. I haven't had caffeine in two days. A record for me. 
Pinning... We all know my love-hate relationship with Pinterest. At the moment I'm trying to stay away from it. 
Tweeting... My tweet from yesterday... Shopping with a toddler is stressful... Shopping with a toddler when you don't have your contact lenses in is just insane..
Loving... At the moment I am loving my night times spent with my nose in a book. I love reading but never seem to have enough time.  
Thinking... As usual about my overwhelming to-do list. 
Feeling... Tired. Stressed. Overwhelmed.  
Hoping (for)... Everything to calm down. 
Smelling... My dryer has broke so I'm drying all the washing around the house. It's annoying for the obvious reason of washing everywhere you look but it smells pretty amazing. 
Ordering... Book, some tools for Anthony and some christmas presents for the kids. 
Wearing... Black sweat pants and a hoodie.. It is Sunday after all. 
Clicking... Through blogs.. Trying to catch up.   

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October.

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October. Yesterday I started Christmas shopping for James & Emilie, not quite believing that it was that time of year already. For the past week the weather has been so warm and not at all autumn like, which makes it even harder to believe. Today is a little chillier and more autumnal, which I am not complaining about. The boys are out so it's just me and Emilie, we've had a cozy, relaxing day.


This is definitely my favourite time of year. It feels like everything goes at a slightly slower pace. It's getting dark now around 7pm and I love it. Blankets & movies. Warm drinks. Slow weekend mornings. Early nights. It's the nice part before the winter and cold weather arrives.. I'm not a fan of that.. 


All of us are suffering with the sniffles. Neither of the kids seem to have a full blown cold but they've got noses like taps at the minute so I'm making my go-to dinner for when everyone feels a bit under the weather. One pot pasta. Today is the perfect weather for it too..

Happy Saturday!



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