31 December 2016

Me And Mine Project - Our Year In Review 2016

This year has flown by for us and I absolutely love that due to joining in with The Me and Mine Project I have 12 family photographs to remember 2016 by. I can't believe how much my little family has grown and changed, we have had so much fun together and made lots of memories to really treasure. It's also been an exhausting year with very little sleep, a year of lots of change with Miss Boo starting school and me returning to work after a 5 year break and just getting to grips with being a family of 5, but all in all a very happy one which i'm grateful for.

The highlight for me was our trip to Disneyland Paris, it was simply magical, something I will never forget and I really hope we can go again one day. Summer with my girls was just gorgeous and one i'll always remember; slow, lazy days exploring and adventuring in the sunshine together working our way through our summer bucket list. Taking the girls on the train to London on a whim to see James Bay was possibly slightly crazy but i'm really glad I did it. We explored lots of the UK with lovely family holidays to Centre Parcs and Scarborough and we took the girls to where we got engaged on Holkham beach in Norfolk on our wedding anniversary this year which was really special. We welcomed a new niece to the family and Oli's sister got married this October, two amazing things i'll remember about this year.

My highlights are not about the places we have been or the things we have done necessarily; just that we have experienced them together as a family. At the end of the day that's what it's all about, family - something that has been engrained in both Oli and I by our parents and grandparents and together we wholeheartedly embrace with our little ladies. Family time is, and remains paramount to our values and I feel that is what has been captured in our Me and Mine photos.

Here are our 12 months in pictures, they're not perfect, although they do improve slightly as the months go on and I've got the hang of capturing the 5 of us (or someone else has taken the picture!) but they are us, they are me, and mine who I love so dearly.

Wishing you all a very happy New Year and all the best for 2017

Taryn, Oli & The Little Ladies xxxxx

The Me and Mine Project

7 December 2016

Adventures with Boo

Childhood is such a magical time, full of imagination and adventure, the little ladies make believe and play for hours pretending to be fairies or pirates or hosting tea parties. We read so many books which inspire their own stories but none have captured their imaginations quite like the beautiful tales of Belle and Boo. If you haven't come across the wonderful world of Belle and Boo before then you are in for a treat. Belle and her rabbit friend Boo will take you back to your childhood of simple days where children are children and imaginations run wild. I'm a firm believer in letting the little ladies be little and giving them lots of opportunity to explore the world around them. They were over the moon when three little Boo's arrived to come and live with us and they honestly haven't left their sides since hopping out of the boxes.

Boo is the most gorgeous vintage looking toy with super soft fur and the cutest little face. He arrives with a promise "to be your best friend, make you laugh and smile and comfort you when you need me to. We will play together as knights and pirates and mermaids and mammoths, stomp through snow and slide down rainbows." The little ladies couldn't wait to share an adventure or two with their Boo's and got to work setting up a birthday tea party for him just like in their favourite Belle and Boo story 'A Birthday Surprise'. They sat and coloured cards for him and set out tea cups and wooden cakes. They insisted that I wrap him birthday present - which was a carrot in a box in case you were wondering. It was something they all engaged in and enjoyed doing, their little imaginations were truly ignited.

One of my favourite lines from the Belle and Boo stories is " Belle and Boo are always together on sunny days, dreamy days and lets-be-lazy days". Boo makes the most lovely companion whatever adventures your Little's are having. We took Boo out to climb trees and rocks and play hide and seek. The girls took great delight in finding spots for him to hide and exploring with him. We try to get outside as much as possible whatever the weather and this was made even more fun by taking Boo along to join in with the adventuring.

As well as adventures we love 'yummy scummy days' in our house. You'll often find us in the kitchen baking up a storm. I love it when we bake and the girl's comment on the lovely smells that drift through from the kitchen as our creations are cooking. I hope it's something they'll always remember about their childhoods when they are older, it's the little memories like this that are the most special, a favourite in our house are cookies and banana bread, they just smell divine. We decided on one of our recent baking sessions to make some baked apples inspired by one of Boo's own stories 'Yummy Scrummy Day'.  We collected some cooking apples from their grandparents orchard and after I helped  core them they loved filling them with blackberries we had collected earlier this year and sprinkling them with sugar. After baking them in the oven we enjoyed them warm with ice cream for pudding.

After a very busy day we snuggled our Boo's into bed and the girl's told them bedtime stories. They didn't stay in the box for long though as they all wanted to snuggle their Boo's in their own beds and who can blame them? Our Boo's really have become the little ladies best friends and are much treasured. I love that they love them but most of all that as they carry them round by the ear, or the paw or cuddle them close that the magic of childhood present in the Belle and Boo stories is present in my home.

Belle and Boo have a truly beautiful collection of things from homeware to clothing to stationary along with these super cute Boo bunnies which would make the most lovely of gifts for any little adventurer.  Just for Christmas each cuddly Boo will come with a Christmas letter for his new best friend. Boo's Christmas letter comes in a red envelope and not only includes a lovely poem but also a satin ribbon, sparkles and ideas to create a beautiful friendship garland. If only I could have waited their bunnies would have been adorable poking out the top of their stockings on Christmas morning...

Wishing you and your Little's magical adventures.

Me x

*This is a collaborative post*

2 December 2016

Happy 5th Birthday Ellie

Dear Miss Boo,

It feels like no time at all since I was writing your last birthday letter, yet so much has happened in the space of a year and you have continued to grow and blossom. I'm glad I've decided to write to you like this each year because there is so much I think I'd forget otherwise.

I actually cannot believe you are 5. I expect I shall say that each and every year...

This year was the first birthday that I haven't spent the whole day with you as this year you were at school. It felt particularly poignant this morning as I drove you to school thinking about the very same time 5 years ago when you had almost made your entrance into the world. As the school bell rang at 8:55am and I kissed you goodbye as you stood front of the queue so excited to spend your day at school with your friends, I couldn't help but think of the moment 2 minutes later at 8:57am that you were born and when we first met. It felt strange walking out of the playground without you but also filled me with pride that you're growing and flourishing and finding your place in the world.

The fact that you went into the classroom quite happily this morning in itself is pretty momentous as we are still often having wobbles in the morning which I'm not going to lie have been slightly heartbreaking. You absolutely love school once you are there and settled, it's just the saying goodbye bit. You are such a home bird and love your family and I think the simple fact is, you just miss us. But you are having fun and learning so much - I can't believe that in such a few short weeks you can read some words. I love the little discoveries I find in your book bag each night, there are often drawings in there which are always so happy and cheerful and filled with hearts that you have recently mastered drawing. You are super creative and really enjoy colouring and making things, you're always giving your masterpieces to friends and family. You still love books, even more so now you are learning to read and as predicted you are already reading to your sisters which is just beautiful to watch. You are asking so many questions about the world at the moment with a real thirst to learn. You recently asked me if I believed in something and I said yes, you replied with this little gem:

"If you believe in something in your imagination mummy then it becomes real in your heart".

Your imagination is so strong and I love seeing the world through your eyes. You're at an age now where everything is magical and its just brilliant to watch. You are so kind and thoughtful. Only this morning on your birthday you invited your sisters to help you open your presents and took real joy in sharing the moment with them. You're super affectionate and give the most lovely of hugs. I cried last week when I started my new job and you hugged me, told me I was doing my best and it would all be OK and ran to get me a tissue, of course this only made me sob more but this time with pride at the lovely little lady you are. You are old before your years and quite frankly amazing.

This year you asked for a bike for your birthday and I can't wait to help and watch you learn to ride it. You're so keen to learn and I hope it brings you much happiness peddling away with the wind in your hair. As you power forward know that I'll always be there right behind you just in in case you need me in every sense of the word.

We love you more and more each day and based on what 4 brought we can't wait to see what 5 brings.

Happy birthday my darling, I hope you had the best day,

Mummy x