Getting Hygge

This last month has seen the nights draw in and  the woolly hats come out. Mid November and I am enjoying getting hygge. I know its not everyones cup of tea, but a little part of me really enjoys the nights becoming darker and having the excuse to cosy in. I have been doing lots of…
Lighting candles. I love to light candles in the evening whilst we have dinner, watch the tv or have a bath. It adds a level of cosy to whatever we are doing.FullSizeRender (5)
Drawing the curtains. Last year I made some long curtains to divide our front room in two. We had been toying with the idea of putting the wall back up between our front room and middle room, but decided having the flexibility of an open large space in the summer/ day and drawing them in an evening to create a more cosy, snug space has been a great decision. I love pulling them across and feeling in a little snug of my own.
Roast dinners. Today was the first day of the winter I have cooked a roast. I really enjoy putting some music on, getting the nibbles out and pottering around preparing a mid afternoon feast. And eating it…!

FullSizeRender (4)Lighting the fire. Last year we had our chimney swept and lit our open fire in the front room for the first time. I love it. I would have it lit all day every day if wood was in constant supply and Husband Dave didn’t complain of it being ‘too hot’…

Rugs. I love snuggling up on the sofa with a soft rug. I prefer to not wear a jumper and have a rug as there is something so comforting about snuggling in under a rug!
Walking the dog. We walk the dog in all weathers but I do love a dog walk in the Winter. The thought of a walk in the chill doesn’t massively appeal, but once I am scarfed, hatted and coated up I find a real peace in wandering the streets and a real sense of warmth coming home and putting the kettle on.
Cooking with Theo. During the Summer I drag Theo outside at every opportunity, but in IMG_0286the Winter I try and find more inside based activities. I have loved the last few months how Theo is really into baking and doing crafts with me. We have both learnt so much…!
Christmas. I love Christmas. And mid- November seems an ok time to start really getting excited. For me. I love scouring cook books and planning what I am going to make, cake and bake over the next few months. I am looking forward to cutting down our Christmas tree, making cards with Theo and our traditional wreath-making with friends.
Stocking up on nice slippers and PJs. For me, buying a snuggly pair of slippers is the start of Winter. These are my pair I bought with a voucher I had from last Christmas for White FullSizeRender (6)Stuff. Theo is particularly chuffed with his crocodile Jim Jams.
Hope you are all embracing the colder months and getting hygge,
Big Love
Holly
xxx
Advertisements

Outdoor theatre date night.

Last night Husband Dave and I ventured out on a rare date night of the year. An outdoor theatre production of Shakespeares ‘A comedy of errors’. Sounded lovely when HD booked it in the heat wave of June.

Last night it was torrential rain. Not just spitting but massive downpour, running to the car with a plastic bag over your head sort of rain. GREAT. I did phone ahead to double-check it was still going ahead. ‘Only cancelled if high winds/ electrical storms’ Heavy rain definitely a goer. Perfect.

We opted not to ‘take a picnic’ as the theatre had suggested and instead ate our dinner FullSizeRender-1with Theo at 4.30pm. Ultimate date night.

Then it was to get ready…Gone were any vaguely date night attire (HD had put on a shirt and I laughed inside) as I reached for my wellies, plastic trousers and waterproof coat, and a woolly scarf I could wrap over my head for if I was really cold. (I did wrap it over my head). Saturday night baby!

We took a flask of tea, a slab of chocolate and some fold out chairs (not a picnic blanket as we had previously planned) and headed out into Exeter town centre to find the ‘theatre’.

FullSizeRenderWhen we arrived I was happily surprised to see at least 40 other keen theatre goes, most booted and waterproofed hiding under massive golf umbrellas. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud- I couldn’t imagine any other country thinking this was a good idea…! There was one lady especially  who had obviously not got the ‘bring you own chair’ memo and literally hid in a bush the whole 2.5  hours. It was so sad (/hilarious).

We sat on our wooden chairs with our hoods up, HD with a plastic bag over his legs and both of us sitting on our hands. We sat half sheltered by a tree but I think we got more wet from the massive splodges falling from the leaves. We were soaked by the first ten minutes!

We had a welcome toilet break in the dry library half way through where I spent a little too long with the hands (/head) under the hand dryer and managed to eke out a second cup of tea to hold for another ten minutes.FullSizeRender-2 Continue reading “Outdoor theatre date night.”

Cornwall.

Last week we got back from our first family holiday in Cornwall as a four (Rosie the dog inc).. It has been lovely.  Here are the highlights:

Exploring some of the beautiful beaches where I spent as a child.

Seeing  Rosie and Theo play excitedly together. They are in LOVE.

Watching Theo splash in the puddles. Overjoyed is an understatement.

Wolfing down the cream tea that was our welcome to our Air B&B. My favourite cake combo.

Cooking up a full fry up every morning as we were in an actual B&B.

IMG_0096
Having a ‘relax’

Having a ‘relax’ on the beach and getting mobbed by Theo and his lunchbox.

Hearing Theo chant ‘Beach Beach Beach’ whenever we got in the car.

Meal planning so we each chose and cooked ‘surprsie’ meals for each other.

Eating soggy sausage sandwiches outside an art gallery whilst Theo was screaming in his pram having a meltdown.

Tracking down the house that ‘About Time’ was filmed in. It is more beautiful in real life than in the film if that is possible.

Husband Dave and I sipping  wine as we played backgammon. Our fave game. ( For the record I won much to HDs disappointment).

IMG_0097
At the ‘secret hut’

Sipping the most amazing hot chocolate at the ‘secret hut’ on Portscatho beach. My new favourite place.

Eating Pasties on the Mevagissey harbour.

Holding onto Theo for dear life as he enthusiastically splashed on the harbour steps.

Snuggying up on the sofa and watching films in the evening.

Chatting through our plans for minimising and decluttering our house/  life.

Making a packed lunch every day and heading out to knowing where we would eat it.

Feeling thoroughly refreshed after a few days away and feeling like we never have to go anywhere else on holiday again.

Big Love,

Holly

xxx

IMG_0071
He feels he can adventure anywhere with his snuggie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Holidaying’ with a toddler

Last week we went to Spain to stay with my parents-in-law. With Theo.

To say I was apprehensive about flying with a very active toddler was an understatement. I am not the best ‘Flyer’ as they go, let alone with the potential of mass chaos from my son.

So. I had researched different ideas to keep toddlers entertained on flights.

IMG_9880

Seeing as Theo seems to have absolutely no interest/ attention span for anything digital (To Husband Daves disappointment) …My main go to items were

  • Snacks. Lots of them. Naughty ones too for drastic measures.
  • Etch a sketch ( no droppable pens)
  • Playdoh

The flight out couldn’t have gone better. The moment we took off Theo fell asleep for an hour (as did Husband Dave), so I had some rare sleepy cuddles and quietness to read my book (although I didn’t have my book as I had not predicted this) so I sat not moving for

FullSizeRender-16
Me and my boys fast asleep ( and fellow passenger)

an hour, pretty uncomfortably. When Theo woke up he was awestruck by the view out of the window, and etch a sketch also had an excited look in. …We didn’t even touch the playdoh! I was pretty pleased it was fair to say; I may even have been a little smug. What was all the fuss about? Flying with a toddler. Easy. I would do it every week. Of course I was expecting this same level of enjoyment on the way home.

But…The flight back was horrendous. Couldn’t have gone worse…

  • We were an hour and a half delayed for take-off after we had got on the plane… YES. This meant Theo was strapped to me for an hour an a half before we had even taken off… He hardly sits on me for two minutes without fidgeting his way off. Let alone an hour and a half.
  • This resulted in MASS melt down from Theo like I have never seen before. Arms flailing, uncontrollable crying, kicking his legs, arching his back. All the signs of a very unhappy boy. For an hour and a half.
  • We attempted stuffing cake into his mouth mid screaming. Surprisingly. This DIDN’T help. I just had lots of looks from other passengers..
  • WE tried walking up and down the aisle; Just carrying the screaming around for everyone to see/ hear. Im sure a few people got the brunt of a foot or elbow blow…
  • Husband Dave and I took it in turns to go to the loo whilst the other one stood
    FullSizeRender-17
    Just before we boarded the plane. (We have no pictures of the nightmarish flight suprisingly!)

    outside with a screaming Theo. We got into an argument about who was going first (after an hour and a half not being able to go). I thought I should go first, (‘I have a weakened bladder from giving birth to said tantrumming toddler’). HD said he should as he (‘had drunk too much water’). Somehow HD got to go first. I felt sorry the old man who was also waiting after this result. The stress levels were high.

  • I debated pulling the emergency handle to take a jump out.
  • Getting stuck behind the tea trolley. Asking ‘Chantelle’  if we could just squeeze by to get to our seats- as I motioned behind to a flailing Theo in HDs arms- desperate to go to sleep. She turned away and turned back and said ‘well if he is like that you will only be stood up again anyway’. I was incredulous. WOW flybe the service.
  • We also had a crying 5 month old behind us. The mum and me kept looking at each other in solidarity. We are in this together. I don’t think we showed a good picture of ‘It gets better’….! to her -It doesn’t.
  • Husband Dave and I ended up singing ‘Frere Jacque’… One of us directly into each ear. In harmony. until finally he went to sleep. (‘There was NO WAY I was standing up again anytime on that flight with Chantelle watching. humphhh.)
  • Obviously, as soon as he fell asleep I couldn’t help think ‘WOW’ you are amazing. I made you.’  ‘I love you’ etc etc…and promptly shook myself back to reality…
  • He woke up screaming.
  • I definitely regretted not bringing more hardcore treats. sweets, chocolate buttons. The organic, sugar free bars were not hitting the spot!

When I have told people this story who know Theo they say they can’t imagine him like this… well its TRUE. We have decided that we are not taking any baby/ toddler/ teenager on any aeroplane again. Sorry Theo / any future kids. That is it. Theo has only gone and done it. Big style. (Even if we did have a lovely actual holiday).

Big Love

Holly xxx

 

 

A home weekend.

I love a weekend where we have nothing booked in. After a busy week at work I was looking forward to a lazy few days where we could go at our own pace pottering through. ‘A rarity’ Husband Dave often grumbles.

Friday evening I met Husband Dave on the way back from his work. We took Theo and Rosie for a play in the park. Theo loved splashing in the puddles.

IMG_9831
Splashing in his wellies

Dunking Theo in the bath and seeing him giggle at his bedtime story. The love for him…

Husband Dave went to get takeaway whilst I settled on a film… ‘The Invitation’ only because of the stars… I hadn’t read the blurb at all…. (It was a  horror… We were both in shock by the end…)

Struggling up at 8am to Theos increasing noises next door… A nice lie in as they go.

Pottering downstairs. Slowly getting more harassed by Theo getting out everything possible to play with and Rosie getting more and more energetic wanting a walk. Not the best combo.

Feeling relieved when Husband Dave surfaced.

Heading off to the beach for a walk and sausage butty. Theo was mixed between running into the sea and wanting cuddles. I can’t imagine how big the sea must feel to him!

Keeping Theo awake in the car so he would sleep in his cot at home.

Putting Theo down for a nap with stories and more cuddles.

Heading off to Sainsburys to buy some bits for the next few days, and to find some entertainment for Theo on our trip in an aeroplane next week. I am dreading 3 hours with a toddler on a plane…

Settling on… Etch-a-sketch and felt tips and a sticker book. ( I fear I may regret the felt tips…)

Coming home to find Theo awake. Unlike him, he has refused to go to sleep…Running wild in his nappy.

Getting stuck in to packing for our holiday. Laughing at my past self who never thought I would have to spend a day packing with a long list of bits like nappies and bath toys… The things I have to pack! Looking forward to the day I can travel with one roll-a-long again…

Cheering with Husband Dave at seeing The Exeter Chief rugby team make it through to the finals.

Putting Theo to bed with bath, milk, stories, cuddles, white noise, snuggies….an hour long process.

Welcoming my nephew over  for a sleepover.

Reading him a story and kissing him goodnight. Pretty amazed it was that easy.

Cooking dinner. I attempted a re-hash of our date night meal at cote last week. I made this Chicken in a creamy sauce, with roasted rosemary potatoes and a green salad. I will definitely be making this again!

FullSizeRenderWatching ‘Three girls’. One of the most amazing/ unbelievable documentary-dramas iv ever seen. Life changing. A must see.

Waking up to my nephew knocking on our bedroom door. A new experience…Bit nicer than a scream!

Husband Dave taking the kids downstairs whist I enjoyed a lie in. Slurping a cup of tea in bed whilst I watched the last of the ‘Three girls’ series. Again. Unbelief at what happened there.

Having a cuddle with Theo before I headed off to church.

Enjoying the music and talk at church. Feeling refreshed.

Heading into town quickly to buy some shampoo for the holiday. Having to divert to show a lost Italian lady Primark… obviously the place to go if you’re from Italy.

Heading home to throw together this salad. A Jamie Oliver special with watermelon and feta we had at our friends BBQ last week. A lovely summery twist on a salad.

Heading over to our friends for the second BBQ of the year.

Feeling like we are in the south of France. Enjoying good food and company.FullSizeRender-1

Heading off to walk Rosie. We make it up to the University Campus grounds where I spend most of the walk pulling either Theo or Rosie away from a pond. Failing with Rosie… The better of the two to take a dunk I feel.

Feeling so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

Heading home to give Theo a late dinner. Not that he needed anything as he has been scoffing BBQ fodder all afternoon…

Going for a quick run down on the quay in the sunshine whilst Husband Dave dunks Theo in the bath. Coming home for stories and milk with Theo.

Feeling ready for the week ahead after a sunny few days of good food and time together. Looking forward to more chilled weekends.

Big love,

Holly xxx

Date night.

Friday night was  Husband Dave and I’s first real date night of the year. We have found it hard to get a date in that wasn’t for someones birthday, seeing friends or having a family get-together. So. we arranged a babysitter and headed out for dinner.

The feeling of heading out just the two of us was amazing. I can’t actually remember the last time we had been out just ‘us’. We practically skipped out the house…I think that HD was a bit too enthusiastic though as as we left he crashed the door… Which woke Theo up (although we didn’t know this at the time…!).

We had a wander around town and landed at Cote, overlooking Exeter Cathedral. It is a beautiful spot ( but mainly chosen as we had nearly expired vouchers as a christmas present). But… before we had ordered our babysitter rang saying that Theo was awake, that she had been rubbing his tummy for the last 20 mins… was there anything else that might work… Oh no….! I was ready to run home but she said he was fine, he was just not going to sleep… would the muslin on the floor help? YES. That is the secret …When he had this he fell straight back to sleep.

We chatted through the evening about jobs, us, future, Theo, more jobs, what was making us happy / sad. It felt so good to have time and space to properly connect. HD was trying to work out when we would be able to do this whenever we wanted again… and thought it was when he would be 60 years old. I reminded him that he wasn’t in fact 45 as the math would equate, but 33… mmmm… he is obvs feeling OLD!

Through speaking with other parents I think we are especially good at prioritising other events over a date night out….and I always think a date night ‘in’ will bring the same effect, but it is so different. However much I completely love being a mum and all it brings, I didn’t quite realise that I wouldn’t be able to go out whenever, wherever… and that this won’t change for another 20 years! More regular date nights are definitely the way forward!IMG_9800

Other events of the weekend were…

Cooking a mass load of cheese scones. Tripling the recipe thinking it would be good for the freezer. Not realising *just* how many it would make (60).

Heading down to our local park to play rounders for my best friends birthday. Taking it a bit too seriously. I think I have pulled most muscles in my legs and arms.

Taking Rosie for an evening walk. Getting caught in a monsoon rain. Rosie shivering all the way home. She is not the hardiest of dogs…!

Having a chilled evening in and an early night. HD made dinner and gave me lots of cuddles before I headed upstairs for an early night.

IMG_9796
Rosie… Before the rain hit

Doing kids work at church. Mainly managing lots of energetic toddlers from having multiple meltdowns.

 

Heading to a friends for the first birthday BBQ of the year. Sunning it up and eating burgers and cake was a winner end to a beautiful May weekend.

This evening I have been on a mission hoovering, putting laundry on, sorting laundry, generally resetting the house ready for a another week. Ooh and eating cheese scones for a snacky tea (This may be for the next week as well)….

 

Big Love

Holly xxx

 

Lurgy remedies.

This past week I have been hit by the lurgy. It has knocked me horizontal. Literally. I have found it hard to get myself off the sofa to do anything. Which is a tough one when I have an active toddler on the move at all times, and a bounding puppy, let alone Husband Dave to chase after…! A few things that have helped to keep me sane the last week…

Long bubble baths. Im not usually one of a bubble bath, but when your body aches and you have the fever chills, nothing can beat a soak in the bath.

Taking moments when Theo was napping to snuggle up in bed for a snooze.

Not getting out of my pjamas all day.

Mary Berry fruity loaf and honey and lemon tea

Showering and washing my hair. One of my favourite feelings after a poorly few days.

Drinking lots of honey and lemon tea.

Popping paracetamol to keep the aches at bay.

Having early nights, I have really enjoyed sinking into bed at 9ish and reading my book.

Watching day time tv, something I havnt done since before Theo was born. Oh how I have missed homes under the hammer.

Later mornings…Thankfully Theo has been in touch with what we have needed too. His morning awakinings have crept upto 9 o clock on some mornings which is unheard of. But very much appreciated.

Using some energy to sort books to go the charity shop. Persuading Husband Dave if he hasn’t re-read a book he didn’t enjoy the first time round ten years ago, perhaps it could go to the charity shop?

Having cuddles. I need lots of cuddles when I am poorly, usually after I have cried for no reason, … Husband, baby, puppy hugs… any of these will do.

Making a fruit loaf. For some reason when I feel poorly I crave a good tea loaf… I tried this one by Mary Berry this time, and loved it. A bit too much.

Lighting the fire in the evenings… I had cleaned it out for the summer a few weeks ago, but it has been brought back to life again as it has felt so chilly again in the evenings.

Husband Dave has been perfecting his fry up in the mornings (Amazing followed by a midmorning nap).

Taking Rosie for little walks to the park at the end of the road and watching her get exhausted from playing with other dogs

Making some comfort foods. This honey and lemon chicken is a family fave. Quick and easy but so tasty….

Having chilled days just pottering round the house, lazing in the garden when the sun is out.

Theo showing off his new smile… and shoes

Riding the bus into town, saving the energy it takes to walk the 15 minute uphill route. Buying Theo new summer shoes. I am fully in love with these beauties.

After a week now of feeling pretty pants, I think I am on the mend. I think listening to my head when it comes to staying off work and taking it easy doesn’t come easily to me. I usually try to push myself to carry on regardless…but I think since having Theo I know that if I don’t take it easy straight off, I wont get better -I think my body has less of a tolerance to ‘pushing through’ now… and I cant call in sick to having to look after Theo!

Hope you have all a good week,

Big Love,

Holly xxx