A wedding! It is that time of year that at my age there is nearly a wedding every month, sometimes consecutive weekends. The bride and groom have been planning their special day for a year or possibly two (In Sophie's case probably since she was a little girl) to ensure that they throw a wedding to remember. We got a message the previous evening to warn us that there might be traffic so to leave early, which we did.... 7am early!! Luckily we had a pretty smooth sailing journey which got us up to the venue in good time so we got a few hours to admire the beautiful Hengrave Hall. We got shown to our room and whilst we got ourselves unpacked I propped Florence up on the very beautiful bed to watch a bit of Disney's FROZEN. The ipad comes everywhere with us these days, I swore I would never become one of those parents that bring it out in a pub or over dinner but I have succumbed to the 21st century lifestyle (and we get 20 minutes of uninterupted peace). When we were called from our room we made our way down to the most beautiful church. Sophie and Neil most definately did not scrimp on the flower arrangements which were eye catching to say the least. We saw a message on the Order of service which asked for no pictures to be taken in the church...... so obviously this prompted me and my crazy family to do a quick selfie!! On the hottest day of the year that we have had in England I was very thankful that they had not gone for a full mass wedding like my own (2 hours!!) and when got out we threw home made confetti over the new Mr & Mrs Spencer. After drinks on the lawn we made our way through to the hall for lunch, only then did I realise I had not fed Florence for nearly 6 hours.... thats why she was getting grumpy! Next wedding I will remeber a packed lunch for her. I think this was during the best mans speech! And again, had to get a flower picture because they were so spectacular! Now I have not used a pushchair for Florence for about a year now... but we thought it might be useful on this occasion. She slept for an hour at lunch time and then jumped back in it for a rest a bit later. Well worth remembering for toddlers when you have a long day ahead. It also gave me an extra hour of photo booth/dancing and catching up with the family before we had to retire (with a few drinks for the room). Sophie had thought of everything and even supplied flip flops for when the shoes had to come off! Congratulations Mr & Mrs Spencer... see you next weekend for another wedding! Daisy x
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Easter Sunday egg hunt at the Crabtree It is coming round to that time of year where the children have an excuse to indulge in chocolate. A few of you will know by now that my family pub usually does something for most events throughout the year http://www.crabtreesussex.co.uk/. Between 11am and 12pm there will be an egg hunt in the gorgeous Crabtree garden. The bar will be open early for drinks and coffees - So let the kids run around and you can sit down and wake up properly! Flossie loves runing round the garden, fingers crossed for sunshine!! Perfect for a pre - dinner run around especially if your Easter lunch is booked in at the Crabtree! Have a great Easter everyone... hope the chocolate dosen't cause too much chaos! The Crabtree, Brighton Road, Lower beeding, RH13 6PT. 01403892666
We support - CLIC Sargent CLIC Sargent is a charity which is very close to my heart. Seven years ago we lost an incredible little boy Joshua to cancer. Yesterday would have been Josh's 17th Birthday and went out for dinner with the family to mark the occasion. Karina, Josh's mum and my sister in law, is one of the bravest people I know. She dedicated all her time in his last year from the time that he was diagnosed to the time he passed away at the age of 10 years old creating magical moments for him and the family. One of them being a trip to the Caribbean which Jon and I surprised them and turned up on the beach! A charity that helped her through it from beginning to end was CLIC Sargent. They offered unlimited support, and were a huge comfort especially to Josh's parents Karina and Rich. They will never be forgotten in my mind and no money in the world can buy miracles or cures but in Josh's situation they were invaluable. I know many people will be doing sponsored runs/walks/events this year and if anyone is debating which charity to support I hope that this one comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of what they are about... CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. We provide clinical, practical and emotional support to help children and young people cope with cancer and get the most out of life. Who we are Today, 10 children and young people in the UK will hear the shocking news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Being diagnosed with cancer is a frightening experience and the emotional, practical and financial implications of treatment are intensely challenging for the whole family. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. We provide clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. We are there from diagnosis onwards and aim to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment, life after treatment and, in some cases, bereavement. Our history CLIC Sargent was formed in 2005 after a successful merger between CLIC and Sargent Cancer Care for Children. Sargent Cancer Care for Children - founded in 1968 by Sylvia Darley OBE as a lasting memory to the late Sir Malcolm Sargent. CLIC - Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood - founded in 1976 in the south west by Bob Woodward following the diagnosis of his young son Robert with cancer two years before. Sadly, Robert died in 1977 aged 11 years, and Bob went on to dedicate his life to charity work.
Date night with the hubby! It is really important when you have children to make time for each other. Jon and I are always doing something, but rarely sitting down for a meal and a chat with friends... minus a toddler! So when our good friends Zoe and Adam suggested going out for a meal as our Christmas presents to each other we jumped at the chance. All the time that we have had the Crabtree inn in Lower beeding we have been meaning to visit the award winning restaurant 'The Pass' in the gorgeous South Lodge hotel. The service is wonderful from the moment you step through the entrance. We were greeted and taken through to the bar for a pre-meal cocktail. You can see both kitchens for the 'Pass' and the 'Camelia' which is another restaurant in South Lodge. In most restaurants I hate seeing the kitchen but this is a completely different experience. We chose the 8 course tasting menu which does not come cheap at £75 but being the foodies that we are we were happy to splash out for a special occasion. It is like watching an operation when the chefs plate up each meal... the attention to detail is so precise. After our 8 courses, 3 bottles of wine, 2 rounds of my favourite dessert wine from Monbazillac, we got the bill and waddled our way round to the bar for one last cocktail. Usually on a night out me and Jon want to make the most of it and party the night away but we were so full and completely indulged, and after a wonderful evening with great friends we headed home and straight to sleep. Jon and I both woke up feeling pleasantly refreshed and after 9 hours of pure solid sleep we were ready to get our girl back. With two big dates coming up, Valentines day 14th Feb and Mothers day 30th March! It is the perfect place to treat a loved one. Book in advance though as it is very popular.
The honest transition to two: I have to say 8 weeks on from having my second child Charlotte I really do feel like she has been here forever & certainly feel like I've found my feet. I have had to adjust to a new slower pace of life which I have to admit was difficult initially, but now we have got our own little rhythm. I'm not sure how other mums manage but I've found that I have had to just come to terms with the fact that I'm not super woman, reduce the to do list & be more comfortable with the house looking like it's been burgled Getting out of the house I concentrate on getting us all washed & dressed, I ignore the beds needing to be made/ washing/ breakfast dishes & just leave the house. I'm sure some people manage to clean before they leave, but let's be honest the house inspector won't be calling when your out. I catch-up on the tidying up when Oliver is napping in the afternoon Mummy getting ready Oliver has his breakfast & I try to get him dressed straight away, then he's free to play whilst I'm feeding Charlotte & getting ready. If we are running late it's always my time to get ready that's reduced, but a little mascara & hair brush will do for a toddler group
Utilise down time If the weather is nice at the weekend we tend to try & get out in the fresh air in between feeds (I'm breastfeeding, so it takes a while), so often I will pop on some light foundation/ brush my hair, jump in the car & apply mascara as we drive along - whilst hubby drives. I carry a small makeup bag in my baby bag & a few q-tips to clean up any mishaps
Batch cooking Monday I stayed home to catch-up on the washing & cook ahead for the week, I made 2 cottage pies & a double batch of lasagne mince, this means I can have a few free days when dinner just means prepare the vegetables & I get more dedicated time with Oliver in the afternoon Toddler groups My routine with Oliver (2 & 1/2) has pretty much always been an activity/ group in the morning, 3 mornings a week, a play date one morning & I usually work on a Friday so he spends the morning with Nanna. After a busy morning we come home for Oliver's nap & then afternoons is my time for chores/ dinner/ grocery shopping etc. I have tried to maintain the same routine although only going out 3 out of 5 mornings, every other morning we stay home
Having a bath Before Charlotte came along I would jump in the bath with Oliver or after he went to bed, now I find the best time to wash my hair & chill in the bath is the morning. I feed Charlotte, pop her down for her nap, set Oliver up with a few toys & dive in. Oliver tends to jump in after me & I get ready in the bathroom whilst he's playing in the water, it's a lovely relaxing morning Feeding Breastfeeding takes about an hour including the nappy changing winding etc. However I try and make little games up with Oliver to keep him occupied. Such as giving Oliver a shopping list & then he takes his basket & fills it up with those items from his kitchen. I then ask him to cook me lunch & make me tea. I do sometimes end up being hidden under a pile of play food; however he will also happily play with his cars/ other toys on his own which is great.
Overall the strategy is don't try & do too much & be realistic about what can be achieved. Although I have to say I'm able to do much more now that Charlotte is starting to get into a routine with feeding/ napping. If you have any tips you would like to share I'd love to hear them, Michelle X