Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Ophelia's 1 year update

I'm a little bit late in writing this post as Ophelia turned 1 a couple of weeks ago. I honestly cannot believe where the time has gone. It has flown by but what a year we've had when I look back.


She ventured into the world through an emergency caesarean and we didn't get off to the best start as we ended up having to stay in hospital for a week due to both of us having an infection. Whilst we were there my mother in law passed away. It really wasn't the greatest few weeks.





Shortly after Christmas I made the decision to take both the girls to Australia to spend some time with my mum and sisters. I wasn't getting a lot of support from my husband in those early weeks due to him losing his mum so when Ophelia was 5 weeks old, we headed to Australia and ended up staying there just under 3 months. We had such a fab time. Whilst we were there she started smiling and laughing and also cut her first teeth at 12 weeks old.  She got to meet some Australian native animals. She went swimming for the first time and loved time at the beach. 



At around 6 months she decided to start moving, well what she did was commando crawl. We thought she would start crawling properly shortly after but she didn't start doing that until she was nearly 12 months old. She was quite happy with what she was doing. She has a very laid back attitude which I love. She's very content and is always so happy.

We also went on holiday to Turkey during the summer. It's somewhere I have been to often. She absolutely loved it especially swimming in the pool and trying to copy everything her sister did.




She's been quite well travelled this year. We've been to Tenby a few times and made the most of playing on the beach. We also went to Disneyland Paris where she loved all the sights and sounds.




We've had a great first year which is probably why it feels like it has gone so quickly. Now she's 1 here what she's doing:

Talking
Her first word was actually mama!! In your face hubby. I was so pleased. She doesn't say a great deal but she says, mama, dada, kisses, hiya and also tries to say Eva and Alfie. She babbles a lot but nothing very clear at the moment.



Movement
Ophelia is now crawling properly. She pulls herself up and will walk along furniture but she doesn't seem to be in any rush to actually walk unassisted which is fine with me. She can climb up the stairs, much to my horror.


Sleeping
She has 2 naps a day. I'm hoping this will continue for a while. She sleeps all through the night except when she's unwell.



Eating and Drinking
She loves her food. She decided to stop breastfeeding at 9 months, you can read about that here, When baby decided to stop breastfeeding. She still has milk everyday to go to bed with at night. She adores yogurts and any food with a bit of flavour to it.






Personality
Ophelia has been an absolute dream from the moment she was born. She is a very happy go lucky character. She's very content and just happy doing anything and everything. She's always smiling or laughing. Her laugh is infectious. She loves music and dances whenever she hears it. She always tries to get Eva's attention and approval. They are at an age now where they play together which is lovely. They also sometimes fight but I guess that's what their relationship will be like for the rest of their lives.



Clothing
Ophelia is very petite. She is now wearing size 6-9 months.


There you have it. That's my beautiful 1 year old. I'm sure i'll be writing her 2 year update before I know it.




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The Christmas Blogger Interview - Teddy Bears And Cardigans

Next up in my Christmas blogger interview series is Sally from http://www.teddybearsandcardigans.com.




1.Do you have any family Christmas traditions?

Family Christmas Traditions sounds like we actually put some thought into it and not just do the same every year!. We are not religious at all so Christmas is about family and not worship. We do not go to Midnight Mass or any carol services but it always included a visit to the pantomime at The New Theatre.

When the children were small we would leave food for the reindeer and a drink and mince pie for Father Christmas. This was always eaten and sooty footprints would be left near the plate.

We open ALL the presents on Christmas morning as early as possible. I get so excited that I would be up hours before everyone else banging and stomping so they would get up.

Lunch is always Chicken, I’ve never cooked a turkey, with a homemade pork and herb stuffing passed down from my mother and possibly her mother. We must have pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon) but the sausage-meat must be homemade. Christmas pudding is shop bought and always set on fire with brandy.

Crackers! They must have a cheap paper hat, a joke and motto in them. The quality of the gift is truly irrelevant as long as we all groan at the joke they are a good cracker.


2. What’s your ultimate Christmas movie?

Oh that’s hard because there are so many really good ones. I love It’s A Wonderful Life but we would probably watch whatever was the most Christmassy one on TV.

3. What 3 songs would be top of your festive playlist?

Number One Fairy Tale of New York by the Pogues. I just love it and if it was the only Christmas song I’d be happy. We have a Christmas CD we put on full of cheesy songs that the children groan at but I know they love it really, so anything from that too.

4. Are you an online shopper or do you go to the actual stores?
A bit of both. If I had young children I would do it all online in October and have it done with. When ours were little we would have a day off work at the end of November and buy everything on that day. That gave us a month to search for the toys that every child wanted but wasn’t in stock.

5. Do you make shopping lists or buy things when you see something nice?
When the children were young I would make a list, now I leave it until the last minute wishing I’d started earlier and just buy something I see that I think they would like. I also ask what they would like so they get at least one present that they really want.

6. Do you send Christmas cards?
Very few. Our immediate family live away so we send cards to them, I deliver a card to everyone in our close (only 11 families). When I was working I didn’t give cards to colleagues a group of us would donate to a different charity each year instead.

7. Do you have an elf on the shelf? What do you do with it?
Haha! No we don’t. This is a new “tradition” that may appear when Bear is a little older and understands what Christmas is.

8. Do you have chocolate advent calendars or something else?
Always had chocolate advent calendars and until recently I still bought one each for my grown up children!

9. Do you do a Christmas eve box? If so what’s in it?

No. I find this a strange new tradition. I come from a generation of post war austerity and toys were only given on Christmas day and birthdays. Some people may have opened their presents Christmas Eve or after lunch on Christmas Day but they still only had one sack of toys. Christmas Eve was all about going to bed early to make Christmas Day come quicker!

10. Do you make any gifts?

I don’t think I have since I was a child myself. I do not seem to have the skill or time to make it look like a genuine gift rather than a botched try.

11. Do you do any Christmas crafts?

I used to make the decorations for the tree but that was because I always wanted to change the colour scheme and it’s expensive to buy everything brand new.

12. If you could only eat 3 things from your Christmas dinner, what would they be?
Chicken with stuffing and cranberry sauce. We only have Christmas stuffing at Christmas so it is special.

13. What’s your favourite festive tipple?

Brandy and dry ginger. It’s the only time I drink it. It smells and tastes of Christmas.

14. Where are you spending Christmas this year?

At home. I was a nurse for over thirty years so always had to work a shift at Christmas so we have always had Christmas at home. All our relatives live too far away for a quick visit and it would mean going for a few days.

This year, the first since 1982, we will not have either of our children here on Christmas Day. Before anyone says “oh no” or “how sad”, no, it’s fantastic!

Of course I would like them all here but they have their own homes now, and like us all those years ago, they want Christmas day to be just their family. They can then start their own family traditions.

I said at the beginning that our Christmas is about family. It is. It is about giving not taking, so my children have the gift of spending Christmas day wherever they choose without having to feel guilty or make an excuse.

Boxing Day, that’s different, they are all coming to me so we will have the Christmas CD on loud and have chicken with the traditional stuffing. We’ll pull crackers and play a silly game. We will laugh and make memories.

15. If you could go to any Christmas market in the world where would you go?
I’m going to sound like a complete bah humbug but I don't see the fun in Christmas Markets. Although a lot of the products are handmade they are very expensive and it’s cold! Every year Cardiff’s Christmas Market gets better but I have only ever bought one gift from there. Bears real name in wooden jigsaw pieces. If I did choose though it would have to be Germany, where I think they started and possibly Dresden.


Thank you Sally for taking part. You can find Sally by clicking the following social media links:

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Monday, 5 December 2016

Cardiff's Winter Wonderland - Festive Family Fun

We were very lucky to be invited to the opening evening at Cardiff's Winter Wonderland. It's something we visit every year and even more frequently now we've had children. All four of us went to see what they had an offer this year.



First up we headed to the ice-rink. Hubby and I took it in turns to look after Ophelia whilst the other was skating with Eva. It costs £9.50 for adults and children aged between 3 and 7 are £6.50. This year the ice rink is under cover which is great as you'll still be able to skate even if the weather is bad.




Eva couldn't wait to get on the ice. We had a penguin which helped support her (and me) whilst skating. There are also plenty of helpers there for encouragement and support.




We had so much fun. She didn't want to get off. She stayed on there for a full hour and she loved every second of it.




Next up we headed to the Alpine village to sample some festive food and drink. Hubby and I had a mulled wine in the cosy bierkeller bar. It has a lovely atmosphere in there. I think if we didn't have the kids with us we would have happily stayed there and relaxed all evening.




All of us had a german sausage roll for food. They do smaller sizes which both the girls ate and of course we had the normal sized ones. 



Next up was a go on the big wheel. I'm not very good with heights but I went on because Eva really wanted to try it. The views are great and I imagine they are much better in daylight. At £5 per person I do think it's rather pricey though.



Then we headed for all of the rides. There are lots to choose from and there were plenty that were suitable for Eva's age (nearly 4). Her favourite was the helter skelter which she went on with daddy (i'd had enough of heights for one evening). They also loved the dodgems. It was lovely watching them together on there. All you could hear was laughter and squealing. I actually had a go on the snow slide which I thought was fab. 




We finished up by getting ourselves some hot chocolate and doughnuts to enjoy on the walk back to the car.


Overall, we had a fantastic time. It's things like this that transport you back to being a child again and allow you to relax, laugh and enjoy some quality time together as a family. We will definitely be going back. My mum, stepdad and sisters are coming back to Wales for a holiday this Christmas so we plan to head here again on Christmas Eve to get in the festive spirit.


*Thank you to Cardiff Winter Wonderland for inviting us in return for our honest opinion*
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Stocking Fillers for Preschool Girls

Here are some ideas for stocking fillers for preschoolers. The list contains some things we have already bought for our daughter Eva who is nearly 4 and some things we plan to buy. 







We always put a little teddy in Eva's stocking and these ones are the perfect size. She already has Scooby Doo, superheroes and some christmas ones but we'll look at getting her some others. There are lots of different ones available such as Star Wars characters and Marvel characters. They make great collectables. 



I like to try and put some clothing into her stocking but it always has to be something small like socks, knickers or a t-shirt. This year she has become obsessed with Scooby-Doo and annoyingly you can't find a lot of 'girly' looking things. If you're a regular reader if my blog you'll know Eva loves pink. I managed to find this fab t-shirt on Character.com and also some pyjamas so i'll definitely be ordering those. 



A stocking isn't complete without some chocolate. We like to get Eva a special chocolate at Christmas. One that she wouldn't normally get during the year. This chocolate slab from hotel chocolat has caught my eye. 



Eva is rather curious about my make up. When I say curious I mean she sticks her fingers in it and uses it constantly. No matter how much I try to hide it, she still manages to find it. This year i'm going to give her some make up of her own. 
I love this lip butter gift set from Baylis and Harding. The packaging is super cute. 




Eva started collecting Sylvanian Families last year so we like to try and get her some whenever it's her birthday or Christmas. I used to play with the all the time when I was younger and I'm gutted I didn't keep hold of them. This year we want to get her a new family to put in her stocking.


Eva absolutely adores Monsoon. She spends ages in there browsing all of the pretty party dresses and all of their accessories. She's a typical girly girl so when I spotted this pink fairy castle bag, I knew it would be perfect for her stocking.

I also plan on getting her some new stationary, books and a dvd. What do you put in your child's stocking?

*These items were gifted to us but all our opinions are our own*



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The Christmas Blogger Interview - Kelly Allen Writer

Next up in my blogger series is the lovely Kelly from https://kellyallenwriter.com.

  1. Do you have any family Christmas traditions?
  2. We have an Elf Box that magically arrives on Christmas Eve with new pjs for everyone, snacks, dvd and a book! We leave treats out for Santa and Warren jingles bells outside their room when I've finished reading to them on Christmas Eve


  3. What’s your ultimate Christmas movie?
  4. Elf and It's a Wonderful Life. I can't choose between them.


  5. What 3 songs would be top of your festive playlist?
  6. Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth – David Bowie and Bing Crosby.
    I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day
    Jingle Bell Rock



  7. Are you an online shopper or do you go to the actual stores?
  8. Both! And we try to make things too.


  9. Do you make shopping lists or buy things when you see something nice?
  10. Both haha!


  11. Do you send Christmas cards?
  12. Sometimes!


  13. Do you have an elf on the shelf? What do you do with it?
  14. Nope.


  15. Do you have chocolate advent calendars or something else?
  16. Yes, and this year we have a kindness jar and a wooden advent calendar :/


  17. Do you do a Christmas eve box? If so what’s in it?
  18. Hehe see q.1


  19. Do you make any gifts?
  20. Yep, magnets, mugs, trinket jars this year.


  21. Do you do any Christmas crafts?\
  22. ALWAYS!


  23. If you could only eat 3 things from your Christmas dinner, what would they be?
  24. Sprouts, roast potato and chicken.


  25. What’s your favourite festive tipple?
  26. Baileys…


  27. Where are you spending Christmas this year?At home, first year in 7 years we will be 'just us' on Christmas Day.

  28. If you could go to any Christmas market in the world where would you go?Birmingham, I miss my home town!

Thank you Kelly for taking part in the series. You can find her on the following social media:


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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Me and Mine Project - November 2016

I'm a little bit late in writing this post but that's because we have had a jam packed November. We had a few special birthdays and we also had a last minute weekend away in Disneyland Paris.

November is a month that we are hit hard with birthdays. We have at least two a week. In fact one week we have 6 birthdays!!! On the 4th November it was my father in laws 70th birthday and the following day was my dad's 60th birthday. That was a pretty stressful weekend with 2 surprise parties and lots of family get togethers. 
Next up was my husbands birthday. We kept that quite low key seeing as we were going to Disneyland the following week. Immediately after our weekend away it was Ophelia's 1st birthday. We had a family tea party in the house to celebrate. She seemed pretty pleased with it all. I'm gutted as we didn't get any family pictures on her birthday.

In November we were also invited to the opening of winter wonderland in Cardiff. It was such a fun, festive evening. We all went ice-skating (except Ophelia). We went on lots of rides and of course ate and drank the yummy food and drink. Eva had an absolute ball. We definitely want to go back as it's such a lovely place to have some family time.




If you read my blog regularly you will know that we are a massive Disney loving family. I am the biggest kid of all when it comes to Mickey Mouse. We headed to Disneyland Paris for a quick festive weekend break with my sister in law and her husband. I won't talk too much about it as i'll be writing a blog post about our trip but we had a fantastic time. It was cold but it was worth it to see Eva's face. We saw lots of the parades, shows and went on quite a few rides. Eva loved meeting Santa there and she talked his head off. 







It's a small world! Not sure why hubby and I are still smiling. This was about the 3rd go on it and the sing is rather repetitive lol!

We were also invited to meet Santa at Hamley's at the end of last month. I must admit he was one of the best Santa's i've ever seen, he must've been the real one. Ophelia is still not to sure about him but she's curious enough.


As you can see we've had a busy month as a family but a pretty good one. I am really looking forward to this month as my mum, stepdad, sisters, aunty, uncle and cousin are all coming back from Australia to spend Christmas with us. It'll be our first one together in 8 years. I'm sure i'll have lots of pictures to share.

Together this month we've loved:
Dancing
Disney
Pizza (we seem to have eaten a lot if it)
Story time
Playing peekaboo
Santa and all things Christmas


The Me and Mine Project
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