Huxley’s 2nd birthday!

Huxley turned 2 yesterday! Crazy I know! We had a party for him on Sunday at our house and Nick & I took him to Marwell Zoo for the day yesterday. We became members of Marwell too which is cool because we can go whenever we want now without that pressure of having to rush around to make sure you see everything to get your money’s worth. You’ve got to visit 4 times to make it worth becoming a member and we’ve already been twice so I’m sure we’ll get value for money out of it!

Huxley’s cake on Sunday was a little bit of a fail. He’d asked for chocolate cake so that’s what I made and it turned out really well, nice and soft and the icing was YUM. But, I’d bought some icing and was going to attempt to cover it and make it look like Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc but not having practised it and with the clock ticking away, the pressure was just too much for me and I chickened out. Nick suggested that I make a little Mike to stick on but I was too worried about how dreadful it would look so Nick made it instead. Although it could totally appear on cake wrecks, I’m glad Nick did it because Huxley LOVED it and kept calling it his ‘Mike cake’ so at least he recognised what it was meant to be!

Huxley's birthday partyHuxley-birthday3Huxley-party

We got Huxley a Duktig Ikea kitchen for his birthday and his little face was so sweet when he came downstairs and saw it! He went all shy and bashful but quickly got over that once he started ripping open the rest of his presents! I’ve been gorging on Pinterest looking for ideas to give his little kitchen a makeover! I’ve saved some of my favourites to my new Duktig kitchen hack board!

Hux-birthday2Giraffe at Marwell ZooHux-at-Marwell-ZooMarwell Zoo houseMe-&-Hux-at-Marwell-ZooWe finished the day off with pizza and ice-cream at Pizza Express in Southampton.

Huxley at Pizza Express


Design charity wellies for Joules & win a £5k holiday!

Popular British brand, Joules, is running a competition to win a £5,000 luxury break with Forest Holidays. All you have to do is get creative and design a pair of wellies!

The main prize is a 3-night stay in a golden oak treehouse cabin that sleeps up to 10 people (with various locations to choose from), a voucher for a Forest Ranger activity (for up to 10 people), an in-cabin chef for a night, 5x 1-hour spa treatments, Prosecco and chocolates on arrival, 5x Go Ape passes and a hamper filled with Joules items and surprise treats from their partners. There are also 10 runners-up prizes of £250 gift cards.

The winning design will be made into a real life welly and sold on All proceeds from the sale of the limited edition winning welly will be donated to our charity partners via CHARITABLY JOULES.

So get your creative juices flowing and submit your designs to before 4th December for your chance to win! (You can submit up to 5 designs per email!)

Joules welly design competition

Here’s me rocking my favourite pair of Joules wellies at last year’s Open Farm Sunday!


Weekly Vlog #1

As mentioned in my previous post, I’m quite good at carrying my camera around and taking lots of photos but I’m a bit rubbish at turning those photos into blog posts these days. So I thought I’d try my hand at vlogging instead as I’ve always found editing quite easy – I just need to get used to the insane YouTube upload times! If any veteran YouTubers have any tips on how to get that down they’d be more than welcome!

This week consisted of the following:

Monday – Hux & I went to playgroup and then we went to my grandad’s house to dig for worms in the garden

Tuesday – Huxley was at nursery in the morning and I went shopping (on my own!) in the afternoon. We had Rosie & Tom over for fish & chips too.

Wednesday- The weather was BEAUTIFUL so Hux & I went for a little adventure around the forest. It was quite hard work lugging his bike up all the hills and dodgy uneven paths but it was so worth it. It’s my favourite place in the world. Also, my brand new nephew Ben was born!

Thursday – Huxley was at nursery in the morning and so I painted the office. We spent the afternoon at my sister’s house meeting the newest member of the family, Ben!

Friday – On Friday I went to Ikea in Southampton with Huxley to buy him a play kitchen for his birthday. He was such a good boy and was really helpful so I treated him to an ice-cream at the end.

Saturday – A guy came to fit a new door on the office in the morning and then in the afternoon we went to Burley in the New Forest with Nick’s family as his brother and sister-in-law were visiting for Huxley’s birthday.

Sunday – We had a little birthday party at our house for Huxley which was really fun and he was very spoilt by everyone. Nick’s friend was here in the morning laying carpet in the office for us and he only finished about 10 minutes before everyone walked in the door!

Let me know what you think of my video – I’d love to hear your thoughts! (I’ve already noted that I REALLY need to stop saying ‘okay, so’ at the start of EVERYTHING)

Weekend Snapshots

Just a quick photo-laden post from me today with a little update from the weekend. On Saturday morning I went to the local garden centre with my sister as they had their Christmas display out and I wanted to have a look. This is quite unusual for me as I’m not usually overly into Christmas (don’t lynch me!) but I’m feeling extra festive this year. (I think it’s thanks to the new house!) Huxley spent about 10 minutes chasing Thomas the tank engine round and round the main display and got nice and dizzy!

In the afternoon we made the stupid mistake of attempting a ‘quick’ trip to Southampton at about 3pm to exchange our faulty tent and to buy Huxley a play kitchen from Ikea for his birthday. Unfortunately there was nothing quick about it. The traffic was insane. We ended up rushing around like crazy people and didn’t get home until 8pm! And Ikea were sold out of kitchens – what a nightmare!

Sunday was a very different affair. We had a lovely chilled walk through the woods to my mum’s house where we played football in the garden with Huxley and ate an enormous roast dinner. On the way home we made a quick detour into the countryside to say hello to the sheep and cows.

Autumn oak treeWoods2WoodsHuxleyME-&-HUXHux-with-footballFootball-with-nannyFootball-in-the-gardenHux-footballBritish Blackberries

In other exciting news, we’ve now had the office plastered so that should be painted and carpeted by the weekend and the outside of the house has been rendered and painted so hooray! It finally looks loved on the outside now! House-wise we’re like 99% finished now. We’ve just got to fix the back of the house as half the render is hanging off, we need to get the driveway sorted out and the garage roof needs rebuilding at some point in the future. I’m not too worried about the garden as that’s kind of an ongoing work-in-progress that will evolve and develop as and when we have the time.

Also, I’ve started recording a weekly vlog (inspired by amazing #girlboss Brogan – she’s up to 23k subscribers now! Woop! Go girl!). I’ve got no idea how it will turn out but last week I said I wanted to try and blog a bit more and that just hasn’t happened. I’m quite good at remembering to take the camera out and about with me to snap photos but I’m just rubbish at finding the time to turn them into blog posts so I thought I’d give vlogging a go again but it’s very strange to get used to! It’s a bit weird walking along talking to a camera so I keep having to find quiet little alleyways to nip into for updates. I also have no idea what to talk about!

Also in #girlboss news, my other amazing friend Louise (Pauper to Princess) has just launched her very own website to help inspire you for the upcoming festive period called Impossible To Buy For. Seriously such a genius idea. Go check it out!


Marwell Zoo

We’ve wanted to go to Marwell Zoo for AGES. Huxley is actually obsessed with animals and will watch Madagascar and Lion King on repeat. He’s got a load of little plastic animals and he’ll just sit for hours lining them up around the house or sliding them down a plank of wood in the garden. Also, with Nick breaking his leg and being so busy working on the house all summer, we hadn’t really spent any proper time with our best friends Lauren and Ben and our goddaughter Lexi. All our get-togethers had been last-minute spare afternoons grabbing a quick cup of tea somewhere. We were well overdue a proper day out with kids.

It was a really fun day but also a bit stressful! Huxley has been a bit under-the-weather and I think the excitement of all the animals and being with Lexi just overwhelmed him and we spent most of the day wrestling him away from each enclosure as he kicked and screamed. To say we were exhausted by the end of the day is a massive understatement!

But, watching him grin from ear to ear as the penguins darted in front of his eyes under the water and hearing him and Lexi giggling their heads off as they held hands and ran around made it all worthwhile.

We’re thinking about becoming annual members so that we can go more often and then it’s not as stressful because you can just take your time and if Huxley wants to spend a whole hour watching the owls then he can because we wouldn’t be rushing around trying to fit it all in and get our money’s worth.

Boden Fairisle Cardigan Abercrombie Flared jeansBoden Fairisle cardigan flared jeans converseMarwell ZooPenguin at Marwell ZooIndoor penguins at MarwellHuxley & Lexi at Marwell ZooGiraffe at Marwell ZooHux & LexiHux-driving-a-truckHuxley-on-the-train



Autumn in the New Forest

Saturday morning started nice and early with a knock on the door from my sister, who is currently suffering from pregnancy insomnia. It was 7.45am. I was still in bed. It was about time for me to get up anyway though so I made my way downstairs, brewed a cup of tea and started getting things ready for breakfast. Sarah was pretty chuffed to have stumbled into our weekly ritual of pancake Saturday, especially having never had thick American-style pancakes before (I know, right?!?). We also whipped up a batch for the guy rendering the outside of the house and the guy fitting our new bathroom door – they were pretty chuffed too!

Nick had to stay in all morning due to the workmen being there and so as we were eating she talked me into a quick shopping trip to Bournemouth. To be honest, I think Nick was happy to have some alone time playing with Huxley as he’s been so busy recently he feels like he’s hardly seen him. We hunted for a blanket cape in Primark that wasn’t a L or XL, picked up a new MAC concealer and grabbed a Lush Comforter bubble bar because they’re the best thing ever. Now I’ve just got to find time to have a long luxurious bath without Huxley!

Once I’d come home, had a cup of tea and a sandwich we jumped in the car and drove out to Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. Personally I think it’s the best place to see the New Forest trees in Autumn as it’s full of massive redwoods and makes me feel like I’m back in California again. (I’ve written about it previously here, here and here)

New Forest TreesNew Forest in Autumn with toddlersRope swing in the New ForestNew Forest Trees in AutumnHuxley eating banana cake in the New ForestNew Forest in AutumnCattle grid New ForestToddler

A sunny September Saturday at Moors Valley

One of the things we were most excited about this summer was going to Moors Valley a lot. Then Nick broke his leg. So we haven’t been since June. But, the stars aligned at the weekend and we had no plans (as the renderer had let us down) and the weather was beautiful so we decided there was no better way to spend it than playing in the forest.

(You can see our previous trips to Moors Valley here, here and here!)

We parked at the local park and stomped our way through the puddles, holding onto bread for the ducks and got on our way.

PuddlesWalking to Moors ValleyNick & Hux

It’s so much fun now that Huxley can run around properly and really enjoy it. He was SO happy when he spotted the Gruffalo statue. He ran up and held his hand for ages. Bless him. He kept asking where mouse was too.

Gruffalo at Moors Valley

Nearby, there’s a hollowed out log and he spent ages exploring all the different tunnels and entrances and sliding around inside.

Huxley in log at Moors Valley

We set off around the play trail which consists of lots of different ‘mini’ playgrounds hidden in the forest. It’s great fun and well and truly wears the whole family out! Huxley’s memory has suddenly gotten really good too. When we turned up at the second play bit, he started asking for his tractor as when we’d gone there in June he’d had his tractor with him and pushed it down the slopes. I have no idea how he remembers things like that!

Hux at Moors Valley in SeptemberTrees at Moors Valley

Flowers for Grandparents Day

I love my nan & granddad (obviously). I know some people who see their grandparents once or twice a year but I’m lucky enough to live right around the corner from them now so we see each other at least once a week. When I was at school, I’d walk home to my nan’s house and she’d make me salmon and cucumber sandwiches while I sat and watched CBBC and/or CITV on her sofa.

Since I’ve had Huxley I’ve been round much more frequently. Seeing the look of complete and utter joy on their faces as they chase him round the lounge or sit patiently drawing zoo animal after zoo animal for him makes me so happy. So when Appleyard London got in touch asking if I’d like to try their flower delivery service for Grandparent’s Day on 4th October I jumped at the chance to brighten up their day.

Appleyard Harmony Flower Bouquet

My lucky grandparents have been in Sardinia for two weeks so I had the flowers delivered to my house on Monday morning and took them round later that evening. The postman knocked briskly on my door and handed me an enormous, very swanky looking cardboard box. After carefully unpacking it I was greeted with the most beautiful bunch of flowers. I’d chosen the ‘Harmony’ bouquet which is a scented bouquet of white freesia, lilac roses, purple trachelium with ornithogalum and avalanche roses. This bouquet comes in at £46 and has a free box of chocolates included. Personally, I think it’s a great choice if you want to send flowers to someone for a special occasion. You can also order next day flowers if you’re one of those last-minute, forgetful types ;)

Grandparents Day Harmony Bouquet from Appleyard LondonNanThe lovely people at Appleyard have given me discount code to share with you all too. Just type ‘BLOG33′ at the checkout to receive 33% off your bouquet (excludes the flowers-by-post range)

*The flowers were sent to me to review by Appleyard London but all opinions remain my own

A day at Kingston Lacy

A few months ago my sister won a family ticket to Kingston Lacy so on Friday we packed up the car and went on our way. It’s only about half an hour from my house but I haven’t been since April 2013!

The weather was absolutely perfect. Warm and sunny without being too hot to walk around. My sister is 8 months pregnant so she doesn’t fair well when it gets too hot! We started with a stroll around the grounds and through the beautiful Japanese tea garden towards the kitchen garden.

Kingston Lacy National Trust Wimborne DorsetSarah

Our first stop had to be to see the pigs. We put 50p in the donation box and picked up some pig food. Huxley thought it was wonderful throwing an apple at the big pig for him to eat. There were also some adorable little baby pigs.

PIg at Kingston LacyPiglet at Kingston Lacy

You can buy produce from the estate at the kitchen garden and I picked up some an apple and 3 pears (although I was very tempted with the rhubarb!) for a grand total of £1! So much cheaper than the supermarket and very delicious!

Apples and pears from Kingston Lacy estate

Our next stop was the tractor play area which is full of toy tractors that kids can ride around a track. There’s a bridge, some bumps and some puddles to go through and Huxley laughed his little head off as I pushed him around.

Tractor play area at Kingston Lacy

After all that pushing him around on a tractor I felt I’d definitely earned a cream tea in the cafe! It was delicious! And the scone was the size of my head!

Cream tea at Kingston Lacy

Our last stop for the day was a walk around the house. Unfortunately Huxley was pretty tired by this point and he had had a late night the night before with his cousins so we only made it about halfway round before he had a huge meltdown because he’d spotted a tea set he wanted to play with. It’s hard to explain to a 2-year-old why they can’t play with a 100-year-old antique! Luckily one of the lovely members of staff had spotted me wrestling him down the stairs and rushed over with some chocolate coins to save the day! Instant quiet! Thank you lovely lady!

Kingston Lacy gardens view from top floor nursery

Needless to say that we both had a little afternoon snooze on the sofa when we got home!

Catch up!

Erm, so I haven’t been very good at blogging more often! I have made an effort to take more photos every day with every intention of blogging more but our internet has been completely poo for the past week and it’s so frustrating having the connection drop out every 5 minutes that we’ve been doing our work at quickly as we can and then putting the computers away because we were getting far too cross. I spoke to Sky this morning and hopefully they’re sorting it in the next 72 hours.

Huxley was really ill last night so we’ve got a day on the sofa today so I thought I’d try and catch up with what’s been happening.


Monday was a bit of a fail! My plan was to go to the local toddler play group but I ended up walking to completely the wrong place and it was nearly finished by the time I got to the right place! Oops! Silly mummy!


I had an important social media strategy proposal to write while Huxley was at nursery on Tuesday morning. When we picked him up we went straight to the local garden centre to pick out a new plant for our lounge (which is now finished! Post coming soon!). Wasn’t the weather spectacular that day? We had some incredibly vibrant rainbows while we were eating dinner.

Stewarts Garden Centre BroomhillGruffalo watering canRainbowWednesday

I literally can’t remember what happened on Wednesday and I have no photos from that day so who knows?!?


I had a client meeting on Thursday morning while Huxley was at nursery and then when I picked him up we walked across the park to feed the ducks. I’ll be honest, the ducks weren’t bothered in the slightest. Then we played pooh sticks on the bridge. Thursday night was spent babysitting our niece and nephew, Elsie and Hadley. It was so fun watching them all play together (if a little tiring!)


Anyway, now that my internet connection is back up and running (for now!) I’m going to make myself a nice cup of tea and do a spot of online shopping. The new Autumn collections over at Esprit are looking particularly good. I’ve got my eye on a rather dashing wool plaid coat (here) and some ankle boots (here) and I’ve fallen for a couple of their kids bits too which will definitely be going on Huxley’s birthday list!