30 things in 1449 days

I love a list. I make a list for anything and everything. So it only seemed fit I create a list of things to do before I turn 30. I wanted to make it realistic, fun and a bit stupid. There are quite a few people will think ‘wtf?!’ but they are personal to me, and I am hoping to blog about as and when I tick things off!

30 things to do in 1449 days from today, 07.05.16

  1. Learn to shoot on film
  2. Visit the lake district or the Peaks
  3. Stay in a yurt for a night
  4. Take part in a colour run
  5. Visit a photography exhibition
  6. Throw a summer party
  7. Spend the night in a treehouse
  8. Make a dress for myself
  9. Upcycle a piece of furniture
  10. Grow some veg
  11. Spend a whole weekend with my bestie
  12. Organise a styled shoot with local businesses
  13. Participate in the sixty second photograph project for 1 year
  14. Travel through France with a tent
  15. Complete BBG
  16. Make a scrap book for each of the children
  17. Photograph a sunrise
  18. Own a bright coloured coat
  19. Try freelensing
  20. Get a record player
  21. Begin a new photography project
  22. Take a boat trip – Kos ’16
  23. Take a trip to New York
  24. Go on a weekend retreat by myself
  25. Go to a festival
  26. Find my abs again
  27. Start yoga or pilates
  28. Go paintballing
  29. Host a murder mystery party
  30. Own a pair of Louboutin’s

Char x

Me & Mine April ’16

April is soo crazy busy for us as mentioned in my last post so we were bloody ON IT this month and took these photos right at the beginning of the month.

If you haven’t already guessed, we love to go on walks and find new places to adventure in and let me tell you this, this little gem hidden away in a village where my husband grew up definitely won the winning ticket for us this month. We have since been back a couple of times and it seems even when its over cast it still looks beautiful.

In the small village we live in there aren’t many walks at all. 95% of the time we end up driving to somewhere to then walk and I have to say its one of the very few things that bother me about where we live. That and the fact you have to drive 15 mins minimum to reach any sort of civilisation! We can’t have it all though!! 😉

So this month was full of birthday celebrations and the end of the Easter holidays, it has been so busy and so so fun. It also comes with a lot of heartache for our family and the day before my birthday is the anniversary of my sisters death. 9 years this year and it was one of the hardest this year. All I wanted to do was curl up and cry into my pillow, but instead I put on a brave face and had breakfast at my in laws to celebrate everyone’s birthdays. We then went for a walk in the afternoon just the 5 of us which is exactly what I needed.

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I had a little moment during our walk and I had this overwhelming sense of being free. I haven’t felt like it in years and it dawned on me this week that for once I just sat, enjoyed the air around me, I had no camera, I put my phone away and just watched the children playing. I was sitting on a bench and I felt like I could breath again, like a weight had completely shifted. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was or why I felt like that but feeling like that more often would be great please body! I’m sure it had something to do with that fact my mind wasn’t wandering, it wasn’t stressing about the usual mundane crap and I was just living in that moment, feeling proud of my babies and loving my family and wishing my sister could be their aunty for real and enjoy them too.

Gosh, life is bloody hard isn’t it!

ANYWAY. Here are our family photos of this month!

Char x

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Turning 26

April is mad busy for us in terms of how many birthday’s there are. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said we have about 900 birthdays in just one month…

Joe and I have birthdays 3 days apart and were both born in the same year, which makes it exciting for upcoming special birthdays as we can celebrate together properly! This year was, I guess, a turning point for me in my mind. I constantly feel like I am being judged or looked down upon, I know that actually i’m probably not but it does feel a lot like I am categorised as ‘a young mum’ instantly before anyone gets to know me. Instantly assuming I am not as ‘put together’ as someone 10 years older than me.

I am very fortunate to have amazing friends from when I was young and also new found ladies since the children started school so the thought doesn’t cross my mind as much as it used to and I think as you get older people don’t calculate your age and the ages of your children so much as they do when you really are quite young. Even though the gap remains the same, looking at a 26 year old with a 7 year old doesn’t seem quite so shocking as a 17 year old pregnant girl.

Turning 26 means I am one year closer to the big 3 0, I am not in my early twenties anymore and I am a step further away from being that teen mum I once was. I am by no means wishing my life away and I am feeling very lucky to have done all the things we have done whilst we are still young parents.

I guess what I am getting at is I wonder when people will not view me that way!? I wonder when someone will look at me and think ‘Yeah, a Mum of 3 who occasionally looses her shit at life but she’s doing great. Good for her.’ instead of ‘Wow, she’s young and has 3 kids?! Blimey!’ I am one step closer to 30 so it can’t be long!? 😉 I do actually say this every year so expect a similar post in about 365 days time.

And on that note… 😉

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My Siblings | April ’16

March was an epic fail on siblings photos. It seemed either one wasn’t here or one was being naughty (or all!! 😉 ) or I just didn’t have the head space to deal with photographing the 3 of them all at the same time. It is definitely a two man job!

We have spent the best part of the last month together, the 2 week long Easter holidays has been incredible, we have loved every minute and all 3 children have really bonded. We have seen friends and family throughout but their time spent solely together has been on the most part, wonderful.

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Of course we have seen a few scraps, but I kinda like it. Reminds me of my childhood, and it reminds me that they are normal, competitive siblings and I need to take a step back. I have been making a conscious effort to not interfere too much with their squabbles. I think sometimes I add fire to the flames, they seem to work it out between them more often than not and 90% of the time it is harmless sibling banter.

I’ll be completely honest and admit that I always worry that Harvey, our eldest, will feel left out. He isn’t Joe’s biological son and visits his Dad regularly. It is all completely amicable and I try not to talk about it all too much, but seeing as this post is about siblings it seems only right I air my thoughts. I worry he feels left out having a different surname to the rest of us, I worry he feels left out when he goes off alone and leaves his siblings behind. (side note – he loves going to his Dads!) But spending 2 weeks with the other 2 pretty much 24/7 just proved to me that their relationship between all of them is so concrete. The other 2 don’t know any different and it is just part of their monthly routine, and for now, nothing at all in hindered and between the 3 of them they rack up a pretty hefty amount of love for each other.

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So here are our siblings of April.

Harvey, turns 8 next month. Oliver, 5. Elsie, 4.

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Tickling, not strangling… 😉 

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The Me and Mine Project

Dear Elsie.

Dear Elsie.

You are 4 years old! 4! 4 means you start school this year, 4 means you start swimming lessons  with the boys. 4 means you are no longer a toddler anymore.

You have brought so much joy to our family, you make us laugh every single day. You are thoughtful, caring and so independent.

You have taught us so much in the past 4 years. You have made me question my parenting on a daily basis, but not for bad reasons. You have made us chill out, by just being you. You have made us realise that life is for living and loving.

You have made me realise that our bodies are something to be proud of. You have made me aware of my own insecurities and I never want you to feel that way. You should never hate your body the way I do. I will do everything in my power to help you love yourself.

I love your creative flare. You will sit for hours drawing and I can see how much you enjoy it. I love that you think about your surroundings and are so considerate towards your friends when out and about.

I love your fire, I love your willpower. You are determined, you are fierce, you stand your ground. I love that you can go so shy at the flick of a switch, I love that you are switched on and cautious of things you aren’t familiar with.

I love that you have completed our family. I love that you have made our unit so much more wonderful. I love that you have made us a 5.

I love that you are you. Don’t ever change.

 Mummy xxx

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A party for our pink one | Ordinary Moments #11

This week has been a whole load of emotions. We have been feeling ALLL the feels.

A little hectic, a little stressful, a lot exciting and a lot of love. Our littlest one turns 4 next week so we had a weekend of birthday celebrations. She has been counting down to her birthday since Christmas. No word of a lie. She planned it all down to who was coming, what food we were going to have and who would entertain.

Being a Mum of 2 boys first, my knowledge and love for Disney is pretty crap. The boys just aren’t interested in disney princess films and Elsie isn’t a big fan of sitting down and watching the TV. I don’t think she has ever sat through a whole film without getting bored and playing, or falling asleep! However… She has started to take a slight interest in Frozen. Queue me vomming in the corner and holding in every opportunity to shout ‘NOOOO DON’T DO IT, DON’T LIKE ALL THE TAT, DON’T LIKE ALL THE PRINCESS RUBBISH, PLEASE DON’T GET OBSESSED!!’

Alas, Elsa and Anna were invited to come and join the party on Saturday much to my good friends enjoyment who will spend every given moment to teach her all things disney princess. (She won’t be my friend for much longer… 😉 )

We had a magical day with all of her friends from pre school and outside of pre school too. I thought I would actually lose my marbles beforehand at the thought of 29 children in a village hall high on chicken goujons and haribo, but it really was so enjoyable. Having someone come in and entertain was such a life saver and meant we could enjoy the party and sit back and watch. It is the first time we had entertainment and I have to say I would do it again, with all the usual ups and downs thrown in for good measure.

We did have a little (massive) moment of ‘Oh my gosh our youngest child will be 4 real soon’ over the weekend too. Having 3 children so close together has meant we have always had a baby or toddler roaming our house. It has suddenly dawned on us that our little baby girl isn’t so little anymore and we don’t have a toddler to chase after. Our baby days are over and its a mixed bag of so deeply sad and completely elated. I am clutching on to every little ounce of baby still in her, I am so incredibly proud of her and almost in awe of how wonderful she truly is. It is a euphoric feeling knowing you have raised 3 children who are so well balanced and just really bloody awesome.

So this week I am raising a glass of gin and tonic to us, and you! Being a parent ROCKS!

Char x

Nothing fancy in these, just a few snaps for her to look back on. And an incredible cake my very clever Mum made! Yes, I had a slice for breakfast this morning. 😉

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You can also watch our weekend video!

Christmas Activity List

In previous years me and the children have written a mini bucket list over the holidays. We did one for Easter last year and they absolutely loved crossing things off and deciding what to do the next day. So after seeing my sister in law’s Christmas bucket list we decided to do our own too!
We adore this time of year and I’m adamant that the lead up will be as stress free as possible. So here is our do-able bucket list for the festive period.
– Bake gingerbread biscuits
– Visit Father Christmas at the garden centre
– Go to the farm
– Have a movie night with popcorn (duvets downstairs included!!)
– Make some treats to give to neighbours and friends
– Make Christmas cards for family
– Go to Panto!
– Make a dried orange garland
– Make toffee apples
– Take some family Christmas pictures
– Video the Christmas week(s)
Oliver also wants to add on go to the Zoo but that is highly unlikely!!

The baking side of things is the main thing I struggle with. I don’t ‘do’ baking with all 3 kids at the same time because I find it unbearably stressful! Joe is the complete opposite and loves it so I am determined to banish all the fears and get baking with them this holidays!

We will no doubt add to it as we go along too!

Be sure to check back on my youtube channel in a few weeks for our videos.

Char x

Details

I feel like sometimes I lean way too far towards the more ‘proper’ photographs of my children and forget to capture all the small details that in 20 years time is the one thing I will want to look back on. 
Thick eyelashes, freckled cheeks and little, still podgy, fingers.
The posed ‘everyone stand and smile’ photographs are great every so often but my mission to finish off the year is to capture the imperfect details too. For anyone wanting to capture their little beauties in a more unposed and relaxed approach, just focus on the little things and big things will happen! (cringe.)
Not only will it bring out your creative side, you will get some beautiful snaps too! Now I am off to start lens shopping, it has been a good 6 months or more since my last lens purchase I feel a new one is imminent.
Char x

*Disclaimer : No fingers were harmed by goats. Promise. 😉 


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What I have learnt since quitting Facebook.

I will admit it, I was obsessed with social media. Completely and utterly hooked. I had made attempts to ‘cut back’ before but it never really worked. I said to myself so many times that I would limit the amount of time spent on it but I’m just not strong willed enough.
Not that long ago I realised that not only was Facebook (and instagram) pissing me off, it was also bringing me far more sadness than happiness. Yes it was great to connect with friends and family but I can do that via email, texting, PHONE CALLS, or whatsapp!
So here is what I have learnt in just 2 weeks.
1. I am way more productive.
This is the biggest thing for me. I used to think I wasn’t that bad. But I really was. The mornings seem less stressful, the evenings I spend working I am getting things done far quicker and during the day I am getting. shit. done.
2. Going completely cold turkey was the way to go.
Deleting the app off my phone means I can’t just have a little peek. I have to log on for work but only on my laptop, and I have found myself getting frustrated when I log in and see my top news feed topic and it makes me even more sure I have done the right thing. I go straight to my work page or school page and stay on that until I am finished, and come straight off. I have kept messenger on my phone as it means I can still stay in contact with important group chats.
3. It is purely an ego boosting platform.
I would say 90% of what people share and yes,what I used to share too, was purely to show off. I didn’t think about it that much whilst I was on Facebook but now I am not on it, and I think about something that has happened that I would have normally shared I realise it has little interest for anyone else and actually it is purely for boasting about. 
4. The pressure of life has gone.
That sounds massively extreme. But no more feeling guilty that I haven’t donated to Joe Blogg’s half marathon charity or that I haven’t sent a birthday message to someone I barely know or I haven’t responded to an event that is happening in 2 weeks time that has little interest to me. No slapping me in the face with petition after petition. And breathe a sigh of relief. 
5.  No one is reading this blog.
This is quite an amusing one. I wasn’t surprised that since quitting Facebook my blog stats went hugely down. Before, whenever I blogged, I shared the link with everyone. Now that isn’t happening, I have lost the ability to shamelessly self promote but thats okay. I am fine with that.
I guess the big lesson for me is that it is totally okay to lead a private life and it is okay to not share every little detail with the world. You can make decisions without consulting 300 ‘friends’ and you can lead a life that not everyone has to know about. And I really quite like it. Although I do REALLY miss instagram.
No pictures from me this week as I have been so busy with work I haven’t had a chance to grab the camera at home. Promise I will bombard you next week to make up for it.
Char x

Fashion Christmas Wishlist

I absolutely LOVE reading about what people are after at Christmas time, especially cute ideas for the children. So I thought I would do a series of my own, starting with my fashion wants this Christmas!
First up is me. Of course. I literally have a list as long as my arm each year of things I quite fancy. It’s terrible. I am terrible. But hey, if you can’t have a good wish list at Christmas when can you!?

I really feel like i’m getting into my groove with fashion lately. I never used to like it that much and I think it was because I was never very good at finding things that suit me. I definitely know my body shape now and know what suits me and the colours too. I tend to sway towards block colours rather than patterned clothing and all the autumn winter colours are what suit me best (wahoo!).
Black/grey/cranberry/navy. Yum.
I decided to use Next for my day time outfit choice as their new winter catalogue came through and I loved everything in it!!
Orange & Navy Check dress / Next / £32
Cable tights / Next / £8
Grey pom pom hat / Next / £10
Grey scarf / Next / £14
Tan chelsea boots / Next / £55

I am totally digging cheque at the minute and this long shirt is right up my street. I adore burnt orange and navy together, I think the colour combo goes so well! I have been after some tan chelsea boots since the cooler weather kicked in, I may have to treat myself early with these!!

For evening wear I went with a mixture of different high street stores. With such a gorgeous dress you can really dull down your accessories. I couldn’t actually find a clutch that i thought went perfectly with it but i thought this one would do, and it IS christmas time so you can’t go wrong with a bit of gold!
Myleene Klass sequin dress / Little woods / £87
Close toe pointed ghillie heels / Boohoo / £30
Navy pearl drop earrings / Debenhams / £6
Gold clutch / Boohoo / £10
Kids Fashion

I dress my boys in very similar clothing although Harvey (my eldest) suits the darker colours whilst Oliver (middle) suits brighter colours.

Navy blue turtle neck / Zara / £3.99
Red Chinos / Zara / £17.99
Knit sweater / Zara / £19.99
Brown Chelsea boots / Next / £28
Grey scarf / Zara / £8.99
Bobble hat / Matalan / £4.00

I absolutely LOVE Zara for kids clothes. Especially for little boys. They are such amazing quality for a really reasonable price and they also fit my kiddies perfectly due to their very slim waistlines!

I absolutely love kids in scarves, I think it looks so adorable. I am a scarf fanatic so I guess that has rubbed off on the kids too! I was told about these hats by a client, she bought them for her kiddies and matching for them too for their Christmas photoshoot and they looked adorable. Matalan are selling these hats and 100% of the profits are going to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Charity. The campaign is called Beanie Vs Bobble and they are all gorgeous. For £4 each you really can’t complain, feel warm and look cute this winter knowing you have donated to an excellent charity.

I am quite fussy when it comes to girls clothing. I am not a fan of character clothing or anything with motifs (mainly cats and rabbits!!) so I do find I look around so many shops for Elsie more so than the boys that quite often I find things in the first shop I look.

Red chord dungaree dress / Zara / £10.99
Ecru ribbed roll neck / La Redoute / £7
Knitted pocket cardigan / Zara / £15.99
Mustard tights / Zara / £5.99
Patent Lace up Boots / Zara / £17.99

I am completely obsessed with cranberry and mustard together, I know it may look a bit full on but I just can’t help it!! The boots are just hilariously adorable too, I am not normally a fan of glitzy or shiny but I really love these for the winter. Elsie isn’t a pink sort of girl so this outfit suits her down to the ground!

And thats that! I hope you enjoyed reading. I was going to do a mens fashion wish list too but Joe has no care for fashion at all and it would be all me wishing he would wear it… Pointless!!

Next week will be my make up and skin care wish list!

Have a great week,

Char x

October Favourites

October literally whizzed by, I can’t believe we are in November now and the countdown to Christmas is officially ON! I am usually quite hyped about Christmas but last year I just wasn’t feeling it, and this year I am pretty much the same so far. I actually find it a huge effort! We are really calming down this year on presents for the kids. We spend so much money to then spend the rest of the year moaning about the extent of toys in the house that never get played with and end up de cluttering on a 6 monthly basis.
Anyway, October is always a difficult one skin wise for me. It is right in the changing weather period and my skin really doesn’t cope well with change. I have to take extra care through October and November and really treat my skin, especially on my face.
Which brings me to my first favourite this month.

Skin care

Body shop Drops of Youth Bouncy sleeping mask

I have had this since the summer but I haven’t truly appreciated it until recently. This stuff is literally amazing. It says its a mask but as my skin is so so dry I use it like a moisturiser, sometimes twice a day! It has a real clingy bouncy feel which I think some people probably wouldn’t like, but I love it and it sinks into my skin so nicely giving me a great base for my make up or a real nourishing feel through the night. If you suffer with dry skin at this time of year it is a MUST HAVE!!

Body shop / £22

I have also been loving the dead sea spa magik range. I discovered this range in Tesco as our local store expanded their beauty and skin care section to mammoth size and now have a real good selection of all things beauty. I was dubious as I have tried sooo many day to day moisturisers but this one really does beat all. I use the rich moisturiser which is £8.20 on feelunique and it is so soft and lasts most of the day!

I haven’t been loving anything particularly different in the way of make up in October so I am skipping straight to clothing!

Fashion

I have got into a real rut recently with outfits so after a trip to Primark to spruce up my autumn wardrobe I was quite excited and really loving the autumn colours and layers.

I got a couple of ribbed turtle neck tops, one in burgundy and one in black and I have been pairing them with either black skinnies or denim jeans and an oversized poncho or cardi.

I also got a couple of baggy v-neck tops, long sleeved and super soft. One in khaki and I went back again and got another one in a burnt orangy/cranberry colour as I loved them so much. They have an ever so slight bat wing and a seam down the front, perfect for hiding those extra few lbs I have put on recently!!!

Another piece I have been loving, also from Primark, is my tartan scarf. I have pretty much worn it every day and it goes with so much of my A/W wardrobe! At just £5 you really can’t go wrong and it turns a boring outfit into something a bit more colourful! It is really soft and more of a blanket scarf so its really wide, and snuggly!

Home
I have been loving stocking up on little Christmas bits this month too and I recently got these copper ball fairy lights from Sainsbury’s. I am a sucker for fairy lights and I do love them around the house all year round, so I have put them around the fireplace already! They look so pretty in the evening and the kids think its super cosy to have them on. They especially love the patterns it makes on the walls!
You can pick them up for £12 in their Christmas section
And I am going to end on a bit of a random favourite.
Aldi.
Okay, so I haven’t actually been in a store yet but we decided to make the change a month or two ago and Joe does the weekly food shop (reason 7357 why I love him.) and we both can’t get over how much of a saving we are making. What usually would be a good food shop in Sainsburys for about £70-£100 is now nearer £60-£80, or less, which really isn’t bad for a household of 5! The only thing we don’t like so far is the sausages, and the onions have been going off quicker than usual too. But other than that, I am total Aldi convert! Wahoo!
Char x