How to be Happy

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I’m not a person who is naturally happy - I find that I have to work hard at being happy, that it requires effort on my part. And lately that effort has slipped somewhat and left me feeling in a bit of a rut. I think it’s something that happens to lots of mums – you find yourself so wrapped up in dedicating your life to looking after another little being that you neglect to give yourself the care you need and before you know it you’ve lost that sense of self that grounds you. As an introvert, I’ve found the constant companionship of a baby the most challenging part of being a parent – I crave that time alone ...

Harvest Weekend at RHS Wisley

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We are lucky to live close to the RHS's flagship garden, RHS Wisley, and we visit frequently throughout the year. Last weekend was their Harvest Weekend, with tonnes of produce available to buy from various stalls and traders - apples, pumpkins, honey, chillis, it was a veggie grower's heaven. I think the world and his wife had the same idea as us as I've never seen Wisley quite so busy! The highlight of the Harvest Weekend for us was the hay bale maze - Max loved running around this and thankfully it was fairly easy to negotiate so Max's frequent forays in the wrong direction didn't hamper us too much.   The reward at the centre of the maze was a huge pile of pumpkins, ...

5 Happy Things #3

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Happy Monday everyone! We had a lovely weekend - the kind where you go into it with no concrete plans made so get the chance to just gently potter around the house and garden, getting jobs ticked off the to-do list that have been hanging around for ages. Life clutter cleared! We managed to sneak in a trip to RHS Wisley as well for their Harvest Weekend and had a great time negotiating the hay bale maze and seeing the autumn colours. Things that have made my week last week: Watching Max become a little artist. Not in the traditional painting or colouring way, but observing him intently arranging things – carefully laying 3 plastic bin bags on the floor, making sure ...

Tips for flying with a toddler

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We recently returned from a blissful week away in beautiful Sardinia and although I’d been looking forward to it for ages, I have to admit to a certain sense of dread at the thought of a flight with a now fully mobile 17 month old toddler. We had taken full advantage of not having to pay for a seat for Max (under two’s can just sit on your lap and you just pay a bit of tax), but I was very nervous about the chaos that could potentially ensue and nervous about how Max would handle his first trip on an aeroplane.   In a mad panic I did lots of research into people’s tips for flying with a toddler and got ...

Liz Earle Limited Edition Pink Pepper and Mint Cleanse & Polish

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I’m a huge fan of Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, so when an email popped into my inbox last week announcing the launch of their new Limited Edition Pink Pepper and Mint version, I hopped right on over to order a bottle. I’m a long term user of Cleanse and Polish but I’m a sucker for their slightly fragranced editions and this one sounded right up my street – plus the hot pink packaging is always going to be a winner with me.   The pink pepper gives a slightly spicy scent, while the slight hint of mint adds an uplifting and refreshing note. One thing I really appreciate with the Liz Earle range is the subtlety of the fragrancing – it’s ...

Diary of an Eyelid Eczema sufferer

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Eczema and me Throughout my teenage years I always considered myself blessed to have inherited my Dad’s olive skin and rarely had any skin problems other than the odd hormone related spot. However, this all changed when I turned 27, and the next three years marked a complete changearound as I battled with eczema on my eyelids. Eczema is a condition that arises when allergens are absorbed into, and irritate the skin. The skin becomes incredibly itchy, red, sore, and often results in bleeding. I wanted to document my problems here in the hope that it might one day help someone else with the same problem.   How it started…   It all started with a little bit of flaky skin on one eyelid. No ...

5 Happy Things #2

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It’s funny the way just when life seems to be going swimmingly it has a habit of throwing you a curve ball. This week has been a bit of a rollercoaster with Max coming down with the dreaded Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (no relation to the more well known Foot and Mouth) which has resulted in a grumpy Max and more than a few sleepless nights for everyone. So it’s been lovely to look back at the little snippets that have made my week and realise that it’s not been so bad after all. Things that have been a little ray of sunshine this week:   Stopping off for a hot chocolate halfway round Virginia Water and thinking, ‘That woman coming ...

18 months…

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18 months has gone by in a blur, but it's the big milestones that make you stop and take stock of everything. At a year and a half I've suddenly realised that my demanding baby who couldn't be put down, fed constantly, and had no concept of sleep has become an adorable little person who is a real joy to be around. I find it amazing to see all the wonder in the world through the eyes of a toddler – everything is full of joy, whether it's seeing a pigeon outside or picking up a handful of dirt! It’s charming to see him picking up the little tasks and routines we have in everyday life – he loves to ‘help’ with putting ...

Comfort food – Apple & Blackberry Crumble

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Follow my blog with Bloglovin   Is there any dish that more perfectly encapsulates autumn than apple and blackberry crumble? Just the word ‘crumble’ brings up thoughts of walks in the crisp autumn air, beneath golden and red leaved trees, collecting conkers and kicking up leaves in our path. Our neighbour is helping out with the autumn feel, having a very large apple tree with an abundance of apples which he kindly donated a portion of it’s current crop to us (we reciprocated by donating some of our crumble!)   I must admit I am a recent convert to the charms of the fruit crumble as I’m not keen on cooked fruit, but this recipe by Raymond Blanc has me sold – the pre-baking ...

5 moments of happiness

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What a productive week this week has been! We’ve finally managed to make some progress on decorating the spare room, which is the last room in the house to get the makeover it so desperately needed, and will soon become my office. Soon we will be able to clear the office clutter that is currently forming a trip hazard in our dining room and we’ll regain two whole rooms, an office and a dining room!   Autumn is well and truly here – there is something magical about the feeling that the changing of the seasons brings, the anticipation of all the little joys of autumn on the horizon – bonfires, fireworks, conkers, crumbles, and snuggling up in pyjamas with a lovely ...