Friday, 31 May 2013

This Week: May#5

 1. Party decorations. Last Sunday morning was spent stringing up bunting, madly cleaning the house and cooking up party food before our families arrived. Sunday afternoon was spent out in the garden, in the sunshine, with a very happy party girl.
2. Bank Holiday wanderings. The list of plants I'd like to put in our garden is getting longer and longer.
3. As beautiful as they may be, I won't be putting any peacocks in our garden though.
4. My green-fingered mum brought me some runner bean seedlings when she came to visit as I had never got round to starting any off. Yay for mums! The beans are growing rapidly now and the slugs and snails seem to be staying away so far...
5. I'm so happy to see teeny baby pears starting to grow on our tree. Fingers crossed they don't all turn black like they did last year.
6. Sunshine on daisies. After days and days of rain this week, today's warmth was very welcome.
7. This little one had her 12 month jabs yesterday and has been very cuddly today. Lots of hanging off my legs, and if she could talk, she'd be saying "muuuummmmmeeeeeeeee" in the whiniest voice possible. (Who can blame her really, she had three prangs in the leg yesterday). (She's also wearing a polka-dot jumpsuit today. Just wish I could get away with wearing something like that, but instead I shall be living vicariously through her outfits!)

So much green in the photos this week!

Sunday, 26 May 2013


"A portrait of my baby, once a week, every week, in 2013."
With a happy girl in tow, I spent an hour or so this week sticking photos and pictures up on her bedroom wall. Her family gallery has become a firm favourite already.

As ever, joining in with Jodi.

My other 52 project photos are here.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

This Week: May#4

1. This is her 'I'm SO happy I've got my teddy' face.
2. Scrummy podge baby arms.
3. Digging over the garden in preparation for planting out some veg. These weedy flowers were pulled up, but had to come into the house as I loved the purple colour...
4. ...and they had such sweet heart shaped petals.
5. Serious face. (And look at that hair! Finally!)
6. No window! And look at what we discovered, hidden in the sides of the window...
7. Evening sunshine.
8. Finally getting round to putting up some pictures and decorations in little one's room - I love this bird by Mark Hearld. See more birds here.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

This old house...

...is full of surprises! One of the things I love about our house is the history it has. The different people that have walked through its doors. The lives lived here. We're lucky enough to have the original deeds for the house, all written in fancy ink-pen script with wax seals, so we even know the names of the people that bought the land and built it. Before we bought this house, I had dreams of doing up a wreck of a place. Peeling back carpet to find beautiful tiles, wrenching off plywood sheets to find a perfectly preserved Victorian tiled fireplace. You know, like they sometimes do on Homes under the Hammer...ahem. Well, this house wasn't quite a wreck, and we haven't found any perfectly preserved fireplaces hiding behind plywood - more perfectly preserved pigeon nests hiding behind dangerous gas fires. Not so good.

Anyway, yesterday, we did get a lovely surprise. We found shutters! I'm sure you're wondering how they managed to stay hidden for so long - shutters are pretty big and hard to miss. Well, on either side of the windows in our dining room and living room are these pillar like, 'corrugated' wooden panels. We assumed that at some point in the house's history, the owners took inspiration from neo-classical fashions and wanted to bring some Rome to their home. That still may have been the case, but yesterday, while some of our windows were being repaired and the manky old secondary glazing was removed, we found hinges. Hinges that implied something could move... So after some investigation, cutting away at the old paint and silicone and with a bit of brute force, the shutters were free! I was almost squealing by this point, I was so excited! The paint is very yellowed as you'd expect, and they're missing the bar that locks them together, but they're in really good nick seeing as they're about 170 years old. A bit of paint stripper on the hinges to remove the layers of paint that have accumulated over the years, a sand down (carefully, as the paint may well contain lead) and a repaint, and they'll be good as new!

We've often looked into the windows of other houses on our road, gazing enviously at the shutters folded back. Now we can do the same!

Have you ever found any secret treasures in your house? Old photos in the loft? Beautiful tiles hiding under dodgy 70s swirly carpet?!

Oh and while you're reading...white walls AND white mantelpiece? Weird, or good?! We're struggling with paint colours and can't make our minds up. All the pale greys we've tested are actually purple/green/blue/brown, so we're back to the idea of white walls. Ready to be splattered with tomato sauce, no doubt.

(As you can tell, it was a very grey morning here, hence the rather dingy photos!)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Green petals: Nature in the Home

Green petals for a green theme. Helleborus argutifolius. These hellebores have been going since late February - they're definitely earning their garden keep. So many shades of green in one plant - the bright yellow-green of the stamens; the pale lime green of the petals; and the shiny dark green of the spiky leaves.

One of my favourite things about the Nature in the Home link up is the way it makes me see my garden in a whole new light. I'm discovering new colours and textures in my garden that previously I hadn't noticed, or looked at so closely, and I'm loving bringing the garden indoors - little pops of colour dotted round the house. So thanks Lou!

Joining up with Lou's Nature in the Home - I'm early for this week's green theme, perhaps I'll have to find something else green next week!

Saturday, 18 May 2013


"A portrait of my baby, once a week, every week, in 2013."
For this week's photo, it had to be a birthday shot. My one year old girl. I didn't take many photos on her birthday morning - we were too busy breakfasting, hearing our birthday shout out on BBC 6Music (thanks Shaun Keaveny!), unwrapping presents and playing in the birthday tent. This colourful shot is a favourite though.

As ever, joining in with Jodi.

My other 52 project photos are here.

Friday, 17 May 2013

This Week - May#3

1. Good morning sunshine.
2. I was a woman armed with a power tool this week. It felt good! I was on a mission to get the birthday tent finished...
3. ...and I managed it! A sneak peek...I'll share more soon.
4. Teddy tags along wherever we go.
5. A new pose.
6. The sunshine we had last week gave way to lots of rain. It's not all bad though. Raindrops on these leaves are so beautiful.
7. Daddy's working away this weekend. This is her 'waiting for Skype to connect' face so she could see 'daddy-in-a-box'.

A busy birthdayish week. After a week of drilling, chopping, sanding, sewing, baking and wrapping, me and my one year old (feels very odd to say that!) are having a quiet weekend at home. Fingers crossed the sun makes an appearance so that we can get out into the garden or down to the swings. Enjoy your weekend, however you spend it!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

12 months

Dear Baby,

Today you turned one. 12 months old. 365 days. 4 seasons. Those newborn days still seem just moments away, yet are so far back in your history. You've changed so much, learnt so much, grown so much. Much more of a little girl than a baby. 

You have been thoroughly spoilt by all those that love you. So many thoughtful cards, messages and presents. A day out to the local animal park, time to play with new toys, and then meatballs and carrot cake for tea. Happy birthday sweet one! 

At 12 months you are:

...Trying to get EVERYWHERE! You are now a super-speedy crawler and cruiser with no fear. You love to walk up and down the length of the sofa - one hand holding the cushions, and the other clutching whichever toy has taken your fancy that day (normally a ball from elefun or the teaball from the treasure basket!) You love to crawl through the living room doorway, with a backwards glance just to check if I've seen you. You're desperate to be able to climb up onto the sofa (especially if you've spotted a remote control) and took great delight in using daddy as a step-up as he lay by the sofa this afternoon. Steady there mountain goat!
...reorganising our shelves/bags/boxes. With all these new found crawling and cruising skills, comes the chance to discover new things. Some of your favourite activities at the moment are pulling all the books out of the shelves, unloading all the nappies from their box, or sifting through the nappy bag in search of treasures.

...chatting all the time. We walk round the supermarket to a narration of 'mamamama / rararara / dadadada / tschtschtsch'. You seem to have whole conversations with yourself now, complete with arm waving gestures. It's SO sweet!

...so in love with teddy. You are always happy to see him and grab him, with a big grin on your face, for a cuddle at every available opportunity. You've even started sharing him - offering teddy to me for a cuddle, but swiftly reaching for him again if I cuddle him for too long!

...starting a new pre-nap game. After much eye rubbing and thumb sucking, I put you down for a sleep. All goes quiet for a few moments, then I hear some excited squeaks over the monitor, and the sound of toys hitting the floor. Then the tears start. I go back up to find you stood up in the cot, pointing at the toys on the floor, saying "daa" (down?). I pick up the teddies and lie you back down. Then you sleep...  

...Loving: tiptoes, drinking the bath water, playing with mummy's watch, keys to jingle, watching the neighbourhood cats in the garden, peekaboo (still!), round-and-round-the-haystack, pears, watching the bunnies at the local pet shop, fiddling with our eyelashes (funny girl!).

...Not liking: wearing sunhats, brushing sore gums (fair enough!), being moved away from something fun (aka dirty/dangerous/both!)

I was going to stop writing these monthly updates when we reached a year, but I so love having them to look back on, to see how she's changed and grown, so I'm going to continue :)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Pink hearts: Nature in the home

As soon as I saw the pink theme of this week's Nature in the Home, I knew exactly which plant from the garden I wanted to bring indoors. Beautiful pink hearts.

Tomorrow, my not-so-tiny baby girl turns one. So these pink hearts are on her mantelpiece to greet her on her birthday morning.

Joining in with Lou's Nature in the Home.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Woodland wanderings

On Sunday, we took a gap in the rain showers as our cue to head to the local woods. We'd heard that the bluebells were out in force, so armed with the camera, our wellies, and a pocketful of raisins and breadsticks to keep a certain little girl happy, we set off.

Our bluebell-information-sources weren't wrong - the woods were carpeted with them. And the smell that perfumed the air. Beautiful! (Although it did make R start sneezing. Darn hayfever!)

Then, as the heavens opened once more, we quickened our pace and made a hasty retreat to the pub!