LIFE: The week that was captured.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sunday: Father's day: I had hoped to take Callum and my Dad to  a new restaurant  in Worthing called Crab Shack, but they weren't  serving food for a little while so we headed to Giuseppe,  where we also bumped into Ophelia's  Grandma! After lunch (and the best banoffee pie ever), we headed to  a park on the beach. Was a lovely day and Ophelia was unbelievably  good throughout; sitting on a bench with the adults for dinner, she was so excited but well behaved. She also loved walking with my Dad through town in the sunshine!

Wednesday: First day solo parenting whilst Callum was at Glastonbury.  It started with Ophelia locking us in our bathroom!  I went to pick Ophelia up early and couldn't see her anywhere, it turns out she spent her first day up in the bigger children class, her nursery workers said she knew we are relaxed and wouldn't mind them doing it without asking. Ophelia was like a duck to water and when I was watching her without me knowing, she was sat quietly with the other children, watching them and rolling out playdoh.  Our first journey home just the two of us wasn't great (1/.5 hours!) thanks to a census during rush hour?! Mum and Dad came to fix the stair gate on Ophelia's door and I decided to take the side of her cot! Bed time then meant lots of excitement at being able to get in and out of bed independently, it also meant she fell asleep without me holding her hand, however she still continues to wake during the night which has meant no time for myself, or any sleep for that matter.

Thursday: Our day off together started with quite a few tantrums but the beach seemed to disolve those, digging is obviously therapeutic! We then went for brunch where Ophelia stole my eggs benedict and sat really well behaved reading books whilst I finished eating.

Friday : We popped to our local park where we happened to bump into some old friends and their daughter who is a week older than Ophelia. They had never met each other before but they got on so well together, following each other from toy to toy, waiting for their turn and even sharing the steering wheel on the play truck whilst sitting next to each other. It was so cute when they both stood up and excitedly jumped up and down with one another, pointing at the sky as Ophelia shouted "'elecopter!".  Soon after new best pal left, a boy ran up to Ophelia and pushed her really hard into a metal pole. Ophelia has been pushed before and just ignores it, but this time it scared her due to the force.
In the evening  i had my best chums over for Chinese and sangria! Ophelia had a whale of a time playing with them all, she's a particular fan of my friend's  10 year old daughter!

Saturday: After yet another terrible night sleep (she has only slept through one night since we ve been here-a month!), we relaxed before heading Worthing Art trial at Ashdown road, except Ophelia was gumpily napping and waking so I ended up heading home! Thankfully Mum turned up as I was exhausted and grumpy.  We tried to put our garden furniture together and upon completion we were proud we managed to do it, until we realised the legs were on wrong:(.I bought Ophelia a little gardening set that also doubles as a stool/bag, which she was pretty over the moon with!

Sunday: We waited for our Ikea order before venturing out to kill some time until Daddy returned.Grandma and Nana and Grandad popped over at various points too.

LIFE and HOME: Outdoor advenures- in our garden

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Whilst we had a garden at our last house, the ground was in terrible condition and the local cats had evidently been using it as their communal toilet for years, so we barely used it.  

Originally I was concerned our new outdoor space would be too small, whilst Callum was already plotting to pull up the paving to lay lawn.  The more time I spent out there, the more I feel it's the perfect amount of outdoor space, but also I feel glad it isn't lawn.  

It's so accessible for Ophelia to pop out there and potter around without much worry, and the maintenance is fairly low, leaving more time for us to enjoy it.  

I've always been keen to spend time with Ophelia exploring nature, gardening and senses associated with adventuring outdoors, and have big plans for further ways to involve her in our outdoor space.  Our family have already kicked started that journey thanks to a kind house warming gift of a big pot of herbs which Ophelia waters every day using her own watering can.  The below photograph is her with mint in her mouth, she picked a handful, gave it a big long smell then shoveled it into her mouth to try! 

 Today I bought her this gardening set- it is a bag for tools that doubles as a stool, she is already in love with it- carrying it around over her arm like one of her (many) handbags!  

I love encouraging her exploration of the world in this way of wonder, for example today whilst I carried her in her Ergo carrier, I was pointing out flowers, letting her pick them and watched her as she sniffed and described the flowers.  I just watched in pure amazement.

The next step is for me to explore more toddler friendly garden activities, and I would like to buy some flower pots at toddler height to encourage her to independently garden with ease.

Do you and your child enjoy outdoor adventures?  I have been finding weeding both therapeutic and amazing- how do the roots go so very deep?!

LIFE: 7 Reasons why Worthing is better than Brighton

Friday, 26 June 2015

Worthing beach and pier

We've been living back in our home town for almost a month, something both of us were dreading doing.  Whilst walking through town to go to the beach this morning, I suddenly realised how content and relaxed I felt.  And it got me thinking, what is better about Worthing than Brighton?

The beach- Not only is there no steep slope of pebbles to navigate to get down to Worthing beach, but it is also really quiet! Unlike Brighton beach where as soon as they sun comes out it's elbows at dawn to find a pebble spare to sit on!

Parking- Cheaper, more widely available... what's not to love?! I couldn't believe it when I only had to pay £20 a year for our parking permit! We were paying more than that quarterly in Hove, and even then, it was impossible to park nearby.

Low property prices- I've already seen an increase in this, as it appears more and more people are moving out of Brighton to Worthing, however the low cost of property means more money for fun times, er I mean saving.

Less tourists- Whilst they do get lots of foreign students and oldies down for their beach holidays, it is nothing compared to Brighton where you have to fight your way through the sea of matching backpacks.

Slower and quieter- Don't get me wrong, I love living in a City and do miss the hubub of city life, however I also love the way that on Saturdays you can walk around and the roads aren't backed up and there is still lots of places to park.  Yes, all I think about is parking.

People care about Worthing (ish)- I know a few people who are really trying to improve Worthing and making the most of its potential, this really seems to be paying off because there is an increase in music venues, Brighton style cafes and pubs, and just generally less chavtastic tat!

Less awesome people- Ha, but seriously.  Everyone in Brighton is so; bohemian/creative/crazy/quirky/interesting/well read but in Worthing... not so much.  Therefore you feel even more awesome than you already are.

Peanut and chocolate hottie milkshake

Thursday, 25 June 2015

As a kid I was never all that bothered about milkshakes, I think it was because you really only could get the bog standard flavours; chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Yawn.  I seem to be making up for my previous lack of milkshakes though, and this is aided by the ability to make peanut butter milkshakes! Yes, there is the traditional method of popping a blob of peanut butter in the blender but the consistency doesn't always come easily.  Thanks to peanut hottie though, that problem is no longer an excuse! 
When I first got the hottie stuff, I really couldn't imagine it being very tasty cold, so I was slightly cautious! I needn't have been though, as, blitzed up with ice and milk- it left my sweet tooth and my thirst, suitability quenched.  Next time I decided to try the peanut and chocolate mix, this time being a bit more ambitious and naughty by adding in a banana and popping cream on the top. Heaven.  Although, very indulgent!

Peanut hottie, chocolate and banana milkshake
1 x table spoon of peanut and chocolate hottie 
1x banana
Whole milk
Cream and marhmallows on the top, just because!
Mix it all together,  easy as!

CRAFT: Book review, Super + Super Crochet and paper cutting

Saturday, 20 June 2015

You may remember a mere few months gone yonder, I blogged about some new craft books on the block.
You may also remember I may have slightly embarassed myself by how, uhm, over keen I was in that blog post! Hey, enthusiasm runs in the family. What can I say?! But brace yo' selves peeps, because Amy and Claire have just released two more books! And i've been rubbing my grubby mitts all over them.  Sick.

I won't go into detail about the layout, asthetics or perfection of the latest books because they are similar to the other books in that way. Which, FYI, I love! It's nice to feel like the books all belong as part of a girl gang, because it makes me feel all happy inside.

Now is probably a good time to admit that these two books scared me far more than the previous two, and this is because....a) my mum always jokes all scissors should be hidden from me (Hiya wonky fringe!!!!) b) Just hearing the word crochet makes me cross- a craft i long to manage but cannot progress past foundation stitching!!

Well, I'm pretty sure if any book was going to make me a crocheting pro, this is the one! With clear pictures, well written, clear and sensical directions and projects for a variety of skills.  By the way, THANKS GIRLS for using short sentances in your instructions, i find it impossible to follow instructions when there are big blocks of text or long sentences.

There are quite a few paper cutting projects I would like to do,including the bunting and bicycle seen above! I've yet to find out if my patience can withstand such projects, but we'll have to wait and see! I think the skill would be such a good one to learn, I bet they are simply breathtaking when received on cards or invitations.

*Books gifted, views my own.

Home: Must haves when moving house

Sunday, 14 June 2015

 Green and black chocolate!
Thanks to the frankly "sweet like chocolate, boy" folk at Green and blacks we had some of this ready on our kitchen side the moment we walked through the door. Unfortunatly I missed what sounded like a fun event due to boring life stuff like buying a house! The chocolate was not only a decadent treat, but fuelled us through a long day of lifting!  FYI the salted caramel is ridiculously good!

Wonderful family
I honestly couldn't have managed the move without my parents and Callum's mum. Mum and Dad dedicated their whole weekend to continuous journeys loading cars and vans ,carting and carrying whilst Callum's mum looked after Ophelia.

A good local pizza place
It's a theme of our house moves that we order takeaway pizza on our first night. I cannot tell you how excited we were to return to our roots and order from our irreplaceable Italian kitchen. Imagine how devastated I was when I called and discovered it's a Mexican!!
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Mexican but it's no Italian kitchen!

A box of essentials.
There's nothing worse than moving and not being able to find the ohmygod-i-need-that-immediately items like toothbrush, tea towels or coffee. Hence why this time I started a box of essentials to avoid such travesties! It really was a great idea, even if I do say so myself (I don't have them often so thought I best celebrate!).

Strong boxes of appropriate size.
Weak boxes and ridiculously big boxes are my moving bugbear! Big boxes if filled are not only difficult to carry but also heavy!

Peanut hottie milkshakes.
Because, Peanut. Milkshake.  

What are your moving house essentials? 

* Chocolate and peanut goodness kindly gifted.

LIFE: The week we bought a house!!! #lifestylelinkup

Monday, 8 June 2015

It only bloody happened! We did it. We are now the proud owners of the large sum of debt that is a morgage.  Can I get a woop?
The final Saturday in May we picked up the keys to our very own home!!

No more landlords
No more bank breaking rental costs.
No more estate agents and no more paying £120 a year for the luxury of parking several roads from home.

It does also mean though, no calling the landlord to fix stuff and not being in the greatest City in the South, but we're not far!!

We re still settling in and unpacking after two weekends of moving furniture, but already we love it!

What has amazed us more than anything is how ridiculously quickly our cat, Inara has relaxed into life here. The last two moves she has taken at least a week to venture beyond the sofa, whereas here she was already jumping the bannisters to the ground floor on day two! It's great to see and I can't wait to buy her a new bed and toys! We re even considering letting her out the back courtyard because she seems keen to.

I've already found benefits from living here, I've spent lovely days out with Lauren and her children, I went for a truly wonderful dinner with my pals on Friday, and on Saturday we had a BBQ with friends:). We also went up to Highdown yesterday with our friend and Ophelia, it was the perfect wind down before the working week. Ophelia was desperate to get at the " 'orses" though, and kept trying to feed them her sandwich.

I've also noticed that i've been walking way more than I had been, not only at work (I now am locuming in a hospital on the 9th floor and always use the stairs), but walking to the car/town/shop regularly.  Work life balance has been vastly improved, although the extra commute for Ophelia isn't so great and I usually have to either bribe with a magazine or sing the same nursery rhymes over and over. 

Unfortunately Ophelia became unwell yesterday so the evening was a write off. I thought she was better as she hadnt been sick for 20 hours, and then she threw up when I went to register her at her new nursery. She was sick all over the manager's office, they won't forget her name in a while!

What have YOU been up to? 

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Fizzy Peaches