My 29th birthday.....look how different Henry is here!
So in less than 2 weeks I turn 30......I will no longer be a 20 something! I'm not freaking out about this fact as much as I thought I would be, but I guess there is still time for the major panic attack to hit me! I'm not big on my birthday usually as my exasperated family will tell you.....ever since I was a child my birthday usually saw me in a grumpy mood! It's not an ageing thing, but rather a pressure thing. I always felt pressured to decide what would be the 'perfect fun day' and to really
enjoy myself. This pressure would always result in me not being able to decide or regretting my choices & thus being moody by the end of the day. However over the past few years I have started to enjoy the day a bit more by keeping the day simple & just doing something relaxed & low key. Last year I spent the afternoon relaxing in the sunshine & having a lovely Sunday Lunch at The Ethicurean
which is possible my favourite place to go locally. I always feel so relaxed & at peace when I'm there so I'm very tempted to return there for a relaxed celebration of the big 30! I'm going away for the weekend before my birthday to Aberdovey
to relax by the sea which I am so excited for! We intend to do NOTHING except eat good food, drink good wine & go for long walks on the beach together (I'm also planning on knitting lots!).....It may not be everybody's idea of a great time but to me it sounds just blissful! This year has been crazy busy & we haven't had anytime away to unwind so this will be long overdue & the perfect remedy for any pre-birthday blues!
My birthday signals the beginning to Autumn to me & Autumn is my favourite time of year! I love waving goodbye to the muggy excuse for summer weather that we have & greeting the cooler crisp Autumn air! I dig out my boots & thick tights with excitement at being able to wrap up warm in cosy jumpers & scarves without really feeling too cold! Autumn is the perfect season for knitting, the nights draw in & I happily curl up with my needles & knit beautiful things that will become Christmas presents for my nearest & dearest. I also adore the delicious foods autumn brings.....out comes the slow cooker ready for a season of stews & casseroles full of squash & root vegetable!
Anyway my excitement at Autumn & my birthday has had me going a bit crazy on Pinterest
about what little things I would like to get to kick start Autumn.....so here is some of my autumn birthday wish list. If you know anybody who is just DYING to buy me a present here are some ideas! hahaha!
The Autumn/ Birthday wish list!
1 hour cinnamon rolls for breakfast!
I love this Print by Lucy Smith!
I love this bag......perfect present built to last!
Knitting necklace....a must have for me!
Lion print dress! Roar!
Salted caramel cookie bars instead of cake?
Before having Henry Father's Day was never really a big day of celebration for me. I haven't always had a great relationship with my own dad, after my parents had a very messy divorce when I was 6 years old. Things weren't always handled very well by everybody involved and the result is that as an adult I don't have what I would deem a normal or easy relationship with my Dad. It will always require effort and has never reached a point where it is unconditional or easy for us both.
For this reason it means so much to me that Henry has Ken as his dad. From the moment that Henry was born he became the most loving, reliable and just generally amazing Dad, I really couldn't have wanted anymore from him! He will get up at 6am just to play with Henry, will do whatever he thinks is necessary to make him laugh & he misses our son when he is away from him for a single day! I know that no matter what happens in our lives Henry will always have his Dad's unconditional love and support, and this means the world to me and makes me love him even more! I know this is all terribly slushy and mildly vomit inducing and I apologise for that, but their relationship really does bring me joy.
To capture the specialness of their relationship I commissioned the very talented Abby Wright
to do this amazing portrait of the two of them. It's fantastic isn't it! They both look so happy here & I'm sure that this will be up on our walls for many decades to come. A moment of perfection captured by a very talented lady.
Portrait by www.AbbyWrightIllustration.co.uk
We had a lovely day together yesterday having Breakfast with Ken's parents in Bristol before heading over to Cardiff together for the afternoon. We managed to eat very well for very little money thanks using 50% off vouchers at Carluccio's for breakfast and Ask for dinner. I love a bargain! Ken seem remarkably perky and hangover free considering he had been on a day long stag do on Saturday! The Man-Hamper that Henry & I made for Ken took the likey occurrence of a hangover into account! including everything that we thought he might need to perk him up for the day!
Ken's father's day hamper which included his favourite home baked blueberry & white chocolate muffins & lots of 70% Coco dark chocolate.
Ken & his folks at breakfast.
All getting wet in the fountains.......not my idea!
Strutting the streets of Cardiff together.....
Mama did more colouring in than Henry!
This picture cracks me up.....Cheesy smiles & Henry just looking annoyed that we've interrupted him eating ice-cream!
At the end of the day I went for a pamper session at the Lush Ltd store in Cardiff which was amazing, but I'll tell you all about that later!
Anyway I hope you all had a lovely weekend & had fun whatever you were doing! xx
Mother's day was a non-event in our household this year as it fell on the weekend that we were finally moving into our (unfinished) new house. We were too busy trying to make the house safe & habitable for us all to stop & celebrate. However we normally try and make a big deal out of these days of celebration as being a Mama & Daddy is really important to us. However if you are anything like us there can also be a sense of dread as any special occasional looms as it inevitably means spending money, which is really tight lately. For this reason I have decided to use my imagination and make the day as special as I can without going over budget, and i thought i'd share one of my projects with you so that you can give it a go too! I'm also sharing with you the gift we gave Ken last year as it is a really nice idea for new Dads, Ken loved it & it doesn't cost much at all.
I am making quite a few little things for Ken which are art & craft based to enable every present to be a personalised one of a kind. Also Henry is now 16 months old & loves drawing, painting & anything messy, so I'm always looking for projects that a toddler or child can do. I don't think it's ever too early to get children involved in creating & crafting so even babies can get involved. I'm only sharing one of this year's projects before Father's day as i don't want to spoil all of the surprises. I can't wait to show you all the other things Henry & I have done for Ken though!
I know that posting this on friday night when father's day is on Sunday is a little bit short notice for making presents, but these really are super quick to make & are great if you've forgotten to get anything & can't face buying cheesy I ❤ Dad chocolates!
Father's Day DIY: Salt Dough Medals....
These are a great idea to do with toddler's as it's just like playing with play dough for them. I'm pretty sure that most people will have flour & salt in their cupboards......and that's pretty much all you need so these really won't break the bank!
To make the salt dough:
All You'll need is -
1/2 Cup of salt
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of plain flour
Mix all of the ingredients together to form a dough......
Mix it into a ball & knead it for about 5 minutes. It will become smooth and resemble play dough.
Roll the dough out into a thin sheet & cut out what ever shapes you fancy. I went for big circles & little stars.....and a lion!
Now get the little ones to put their stamp on to the dough. You could do footprints as well if you feel like it & then write their name & the year using the tip of a knife.....that's obviously a job for the grown-ups.
Once you've finished designing your medals together use the knife to make a hole in the top so you will be able to put ribbon through it.
There will be loads of dough left over so get creative and make whatever shapes you feel like. Henry liked rolling out snakes. Bake everything in the oven for about 4 hours on a low heat about 140℃ or gas mark 1.
I also used the Lion cookie cutter that I was given by Hels Martin as a thank you for baking cakes for The Lionheart magazine launch to make our very own Lionheart! I'm inspired to make lion heart cookies like this now for the release of issue 2!
Another present idea which is ideal for new dads:
Last year for Father's day I gave this picture to Ken for father's day. It's a photo of him holding a newborn Henry, however to make it special I typed out all of his tweets from his @Codename21 twitter account from the first few weeks after Henry was born. These were a great record of how he was feeling at the time & are a really great memento for both Ken & Henry. Obviously not all new dad's use twitter, but text messages or Facebook status updates could also be used. The important thing is to make sure the date is next to the quote!