Tag Archives: lifestyle

Family baking on a Sunday afternoon.

Hi guys, it is Sunday all over again with us. Euan is back home from. A trip out to sea and the family is reunited once more. Most excellent, I am always at my happiest when we are all together and taking g in part in some family fun. After all, life is too short to have anything but fun.

As it is the end of January, the bank balance has hit a bit of rock bottom and what we can do with limited funds is well, limited. Trying to stay positive through January to beat the blues and continue to have fun together.

What’s on the cards today? Well, it’s been a slow paced one with us, going at a rate we can cope with and taking it easy. I’ve had a few gins over the weekend and we have had a couple of walks, a trip to the farm which I will share later and are now onto something late afternoon baking after a wee snooze.

Sunday is essentially my favourite day of the week and definitely a day for family time. We picked up a gluten free cake mix while out shopping which makes around twelve fairy cakes and have set about mixing this up for an after dinner treat. Mm, I don’t know what I love more the dinner or dessert?

Anyway, keen to get all three of us involved, we picked up a set of fairy wings for Eleanor as we are making fairy cakes after all, and got the cake mix set out, added a egg and butter, mixed it together with a little help from Eleanor and a helping of cake mix over each of us. Oh, not to mention the floor. Baking with a toddler even the most easy of bakes becomes somewhat of a circus act.

Ta-daa, a few short minutes later, I spooned the mixed into cases, shamelessly licked the spoon and into the oven they went ,ready to bake for around fifteen minutes. During this time we will get the dog fed and go on a walk while they cool off, ready to decorate later.

Eleanor will have fun I’m sure, probably a bath will be calling soon after but not before we get to devour some cake together. It will be an early one from us as I’m back to work tomorrow while Euan has the day off with Eleanor. I’m ready to spend the evening snuggled up on the couch watching a movie before Rolling into bed with a stomach full of fairy cakes.

Happy Sunday, hope everyone is having a good weekend, I sure am.



Love, Keren.

Valentine’s Day planning.

Before leaving on a work venture for the best part of January, Euan surprised me with news of a Valentine’s weekend trip to Glasgoe for some shopping, live music and good food. Perfect, I was..I mean,I am delighted.

As a couple, we love Glasgow and make time to visit yearly. It’s a City where we have so many memories and essentially fell in love in the first place. From drinking grappa at Jamie Oliver’s, to karaoke with strangers in a pub I’ll never remember – we always have a blast whike visiting.

Visits these days tend to be more tame than a wild night out but it suits our lifestyle just fine. We enjoy dining out, having a browse of the shop selection and going to music gigs. In this instance, we are off to see CHVRCHES which I am really excited for. A long time fan since the first album, I’m hoping for good things and have high expectations.

My Husband is pretty good with booking gigs for us to go to and even more so with his hotel selection, we’ve not stayed anywhere terrible yet and we have stayed lots of places over the years. I’m really keen to go back to Glasgow once more and look forward to catching up with all our favourite spots and shops (ahem, urban outfitters).

A trip away just the two of us on the most Romantic weekend of the year will be perfect. It’s so important to take time out together and remember why you fell in love. It’s nice to be able to get out from Parent duties, let our guards down and get a bit of time to relax and enjoy a nice cocktail or two.

To eat alone while at a restaurant without having to pick up spoons from the ground, wipe food from your clothes or have your child pull at your hair in a plea to escape from the high chair is something to take full advantage of. We don’t often head out for meals at home as the reality of having a toddler and sitting out to eat, is not a very pleasant experience. You rush food, you get stressed and all bothered and to be honest you leave wondering why you ever thought it would be a good idea, or at least on my case this is how it goes.

As we head to Glasgow soon , I’m looking for an insight on restaurants to try, pubs to spend some time sitting in and even cocktail bars to sample if the mood takes us! I don’t know how we will work out way through everything I would like to do in just a short twenty four hours but, I’m keen to give it a shot and make the most of the time we have.

Who said I can’t drink ten cocktails In ten minutes? Right? Well, that said I can barely drink one in a hour so yes, ten would be a push but who knows, of I’m feeling it, I’ll really make a go of it. Anyway, any recommendations of haunts to stop by for a nice meal or some leisurely drinks please do send your recommendations my way, I’d love to hear them.

We like anything quirky, something with a spin to it and a relaxed but plesant atmosphere. Nothing too busy nor too loud (I am not a teenager anymore and crowds bother me). Certainly no place where you spend half an hour queuing to get your orders in, we don’t have the time for that.

Here’s hoping I can pull together a light intinery or magical places to visit and enjoy some live music in the flesh. What’s on the cards for your Valentine’s Day?

Keren.

Making conscious changes; Life with anxiety and IBS.

Hi guys, I thought I’d share some information with my general health and a recent diagnosis I’ve had after several years of discomfort and flare ups. It’s been a confusing ride and trying to read what your body is trying to tell you isn’t always easy, especially not when every symptom you have, Google seems to diagnose you with cancer or heart failure. Real nice, huh?

Anyway after way too many weeks of suffering and losing sleep over horrifying Google searches, I booked in to see the GP and get some answers. It was decided that I have IBS, something which so many others suffer with and runs through my family. My diagnosis really wasn’t too difficult as I have most of the tell tale symptoms of IBS so when going to the GP , I already had a good idea of what was going on but wanted to be certain so that I could treat this best as possible at home and make the necessary changes to help improve my situation.

A diagnosis meant that I could stop stressing uneccesarily over my health and perhaps be able to sleep at night rather than lay awake worrying if I’ve had a heart attack or have tumours growing, not exactly great for my anxiety levels and definitely doesn’t help with the fatigue I suffer. With a diagnosis I can now commit to proper plan of action to battle the bloat and improve my health. What was suggested was to follow a low fod map diet – avoiding certain fruits, vegetables and gluten and to eat a healthier diet. I eat well generally speaking but I am ready to improve myself and do better in order to tackle my stomach troubles. Anything to get rid of the dreaded bloating.

Around three years ago I was on a gluten free diet as I had trouble with bloating, stomach pains and cramps but I was never diagnosed other than by myself. I ate gluten free and mostly survived on porridge oats and fruits, salads and gluten free pizza. As a couple, myself and my Husband tend to eat well and excercise a lot through walking. Euan has recently been diagnosed as having a gluten intolerance so I suppose we are on a similar page with regards to health and at least we can help to guide and support one another through this and live a gluten free lifestyle together . I suppose this does make the weekly shop a bit easier (if only more expensive). When Euan first stopped gluten, I was curisng him as it was a run around trying to think of meals to have, foods to get in and then of course the making of different meals for each of us. Now here I am, on the exact same boat and kicking myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to care for and nurture my family and I don’t mind making meals and organising the breakfast and lunches but what I do mind is the time that is consumed by doing so. Trying to be health conscious and really consider what I am buying is time consuming and it is very well time I could have with Eleanor or reading a book yet it’s time I now don’t have spare. To shop for three different people’s needs and get healthy choices, prepare good meals and try to be on top of my game at all times while running around after my wee girl is not easy. To stay on top of everything while working and running a busy schedule is tough as everyone knows I’m sure. Life is super busy and every year just becomes even more so, as they say; life won’t wait.

We are a health conscious family and we really try to be the best version of ourselves both mentally and physically, making changes when required. We are rather fit and try walk everywhere and pass on good habits to our Daughter with regards to her health and fitness. We live for the outdoors and fresh air. To be so active and on the move non stop yet feel blaoted and unwell all of the time really does bring me down and plays havoc on my self esteem and body image. Not exactly what you need when you are crippled with anxiety as it is and over think, worry non stop. The last thing I want to worry about is how I look but with my IBS I really do worry about how my stomach appears, especially at the end of a busy day.

I hate to look down and see what resembles a pregnant tummy, to suffer terrible nausea and migraines each day and struggle with fatigue. A mixture of stress and anxiety and IBS has really taken toll on my health and most days I feel miserable right now and my mood low. With a New Year and a fresh start I’m out to get on top of my health issues and start over. I am going to make more effort to practice beginner yoga – I’ve dabbled with this before during pregnancy but not a lot and certainly not since birth and I am going to revise my eating habits while working with a therapist to ease my anxieties and try to take back control over my mind and body.

I certainly aim to work on my anxiety and try to improve life for myself , I’ve never suffered anxiety until after a few months post partum which ever since I’ve been crippled with horrible thoughts, worries at all times and real bad palpitations. I break out in a sweat, become clammy and panic often so much so that feel that i can’t breathe at times and melt down. I have terrible social anxiety and I dislike social situations, I become nervous and jittery and feel like I can’t cope, I become agitated and visually distressed and can become quite rude and snappy. I can’t deal with busy places and will either not enter to leave when I’m faced with a busy place such as the supermarkets.

I once ran across the road without thinking while there was incoming traffic and nearly got hit by a bike, I was so wound up by this that I went to the local supermarket to grab some juice but the self scan wasn’t working, it wouldn’t accept the bar code, my heart was racing and in a midst of anger and panic I grabbed the juice and ran out of the store without paying. I had stolen a tin of juice while blinded by a haze of panic and palpitations, not a big deal on the grand scheme of shoplifting but I’ve never stole in all my 25 years u til this moment and I think I was always feel terrible for doing so. Anxiety got the better of me and continues to do so, so much so I avoid certain situations now.

I’ve only have anxiety since having my Daughter and I would really like to get ahead of the game and take back my life. This can become bad at any time, like everyone I’m only human and I have good days and bad days but lately most days are bad and I cannot sleep for stress plaguing my mind. My head races, my body aches and I am so run down I can’t be the best version of myself which is no good for me and feels like I fail my Daughter from time to time. I need to get on top of my health, listen to my body and get strong.

To aid my anxiety as mentioned, I have been to a session of cognitive behavioural therapy to help cope and have set out to have a session each second week to work on coping mechanisms for stress and find out what triggers my behaviours so that we can then learn how to prevent and ease behaviour. Between therapy, medication and my change of diet, I hope to see a Great improve with my mind and my health. I don’t expect miracles but they say that anxiety and IBS go hand in hand, if I can work on my stress and try to better my anxiety I would hope this would have a positive effect not only on myself but for my IBS, that’s the plan anyway. Fingers crossed, I’m real tired of having to feel so worried all of the time and have my moods fluctuate not even daily but sometimes hourly. It’s not easy to live in such a way where you lack control.

When I became pregnant In 2017 flare ups with IBS and bloat didn’t bother me anymore and my stomach was absolutely fine, no pain and minimum bloating. I assumed I was doing okay and allowed myself to eat most foods again, besides meat as I became a vegetarian. However neatly two years post partum, old troubles are creeping back, the bloating is fierce and the mood swings even more so. It’s time to say goodbye to all things gluten once again and try to replenish my stomach health.

I won’t miss gluten in honesty as I’ve done this whole diet before, I know what I enjoy and I know what I can and can’t have so it’s just revisiting old habits for myself and really trying to remain focused. With low fod map diets it is important to avoid certain foods that can trigger the IBS so as well as avoiding gluten,I will be skipping on certain other foods from each food group. It is always tough to change diet, especially while raising a young family but as mentioned Euan is too gluten free meaning we can share the same food and eat the same meals to save having to make three different meals, three times a day.

Eleanor will have most of the same food as we do, especially with the little amount she does eat but I won’t be giving her a gluten free diet as this could cause trouble with her body while it still develops and I’d hate to cause any disturbance with her health. What we have as gluten free such as pasta for instance, Eleanor will have with the gluten.

Has anyone else reading this suffered with post partum anxiety and IBS? The two go hand in hand as we all know but I’m looking to seek some help and advice from others who may be suffering too and to reach out to those of you who suffer in silence. I’m here to try to create a support network of possible and I’m available to chat all times, just send a message my way and I’d be happy to share more of my story as I would be happy to hear your advice and thoughts. If you happen to have gluten free meal recipes, coping mechanisms for IBS and ideas of what to do to aid IBS please do, fire away. I’ll always try to remain my most open and honest through my blog and if I can help someone reading this, that always means a lot too.

As always, looking forward to hearing from you all.

Keren.

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

I will put my hands up and be the first to admit that the festive period has brought with it much indulgence that otherwise without the excuse of Christmas, I’d frown upon. Two years ago I was pregnant, last year I was nursing a new born so when this Christmas came around, there was no stopping me falling off the rails a little and enjoying rich foods and an evening tipple every other night.

When I say falling off the rails, I don’t mean I’ve gone full alcoholic and been rattling down bottles of grey goose or crying into my gin glass, but I’ve enjoyed myself with a glass of prosecco, a late night gin (7pm) when the baby has been bedded and I’ve snacked on all things I dare not to think of (I’m basically half human, half chocolate bar) .

Anyway, I was going to use this post to share a wee insight of how I spent the last weekend of the festive break. It’s been an amazing two weeks off with Euan and Eleanor, at home surrounded by family and close friends. I’d not have spent this any other way and it may be the best Christmas yet. The time off to wind down together after a busy year yet again has been so special. On our last weekend of the holidays before I head back to work and Euan offshore, we planned to have an afternoon out just the two of us and had Eleanor over at my mum’s for a sleepover.

A sleepover, yep! We had free reign to do as we pleased and we tried to make the very most of it and squeeze in everything we enjoyed. We got dressed up and headed off out for an adventure. This began with a walk to town and a coffee to go as we browsed the stores. Picked up a few bargains and some holiday goods and it was nice to be able to think while shopping without having to rush out of the store with the baby crying or trying to grab at anything she possibly could.

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Next up was the cinema, a firm favourite outing of ours. Obviously we went for a popcorn and juice to share, mixed popcorn and an ice cold tango orange. Bliss. We went to see Holmes and Watson, a comedy take on good old Sherlock. Not a movie I’d ever give the time of day to again but it made us chuckle and wind down together. It was slim pickings while choosing a film so we opted for silly over anything else and though the movie was poor, we had a rare time giggling at the bad jokes and snacking.

We then decided to go for cocktails at a local haunt, las iguanas. A chilled out atmosphere, good company and a great range of seriously delicious cocktails – oh and a handsome Husband on hand, it was perfect. We each had two cocktails, both packed just enough of a punch without being too deadly. Just the right amount of a hit to get our mood elevated and prepare us for our dinner booked for 8pm.

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It was amazing to sit, take in the outside world and relax in our own wee zone, not something we can do very often or like to do when we have Eleanor around. We love alone time together, but without our Daughter, we are lost and tend to pine for her while she’s away as she’s part of us, she’s on our team and to be apart from her is really quite difficult even if we do cry out for alone time when times are hard and the pressure rises.

To be out on a date day and enjoying one another’s company is the therapy we needed as it is always so important to take time out for one another and just be at peace. We had booked a table at the buffet for 8pm, a risque move as we never leave feeling too well. Having had little to eat during the day to set ourselves up for a night feast we were ready to take on any challenge. We managed a few plates of food each, a variety of all sorts just as you expect from a buffet.

Finished up with a dessert plate , though as I filled up on noodles,I couldn’t manage a lot more, my tummy was aching and likely craving fruit but I still took one for the team and tried a little of various pudding. I done my sweet tooth and my stomach proud.

Before heading off we grabbed some fortune cookies for the road, one for Eleanor too but before we could leave we found ourselves engaged in conversation with a couple who had been sat next to us, low and behold one hour later we were just catching the bill, not only did we over indulge with food we were spoiled for company, an unusual situation and one we made the most of. It’s nice to get chatting to strangers from time to time. I’ve never left a restaurant so late (10pm) to be precise.

We got back home, got ready for bed and I can safely say, I had the best sleep I’ve had since pregnancy. To be able to stretch out, cuddle and sleep in without any disturbance from Eleanor through the night was amazing. I missed her dearly of course but the time alone as a couple was just a real treat.

Proud to say that I kept my end of the bargain with my New Year resolutions to be more generous. I treated Euan to cocktails and dinner before he leaves for offshore, a gentle thank you for the best two weeks of Christmas and all he does not just over thet holidays but every day.

Here is to being generous and keeping up good habits, life’s too short to be anything but kind. Now to get back to saving for a house, wish us luck!!

New Year? New resolution.

Ah, Hogmanay, you came around fast! Yes, that’s right, we are at the time of year again where we make peace with the cards that were dealt, the resolutions we didn’t keep up and the diet we failed. Yet, here we are, making more resolutions we won’t keep, signing up to the gym we won’t commit to and making plans that won’t happen. 2018, you’ve been alright but it is time to wave goodbye and move on.

This time a year ago, I was sat on the couch with my young baby and waiting for Euan to get in from work, it feels as though the New Year was just mere weeks ago, I’m stunned to be seeing the end of 2018 so soon. I suppose as it’s the time of reflection and looking back, I will join in along with the crowds and share my cliche resolution, though this is something I don’t plan to quit on and I want to follow through, not just because of the New Year approaching, but because I feel as though I owe it to my friends, family and myself. I’m going to start the New Year not with a BANG nor great deal of excitement and ‘I wants’ but with a sense of giving, generosity and kindness. 

There won’t be no partying until 5AM here, I’ll be comfortable and cosy at home with my family, playing with my baby on the floor, drinking a hot chocolate with marshmallows and watching a Christmas DVD with the last of the Celebrations. Years ago, I’d be horrified at this idea of the New Year but I’ve come to be quite at peace to be at home and with my family because that is after all what makes my heart happy and I’d not have  it any other way.

My New Years resolution is to be more kind and generous. This year I have received a great deal of kindness and patience from those around me and now, I want to give back a little. No, this isn’t just another cliche or something to take lightly, moving forward with life as one must, I am stepping into a New Year with a new perspective. I’m going to consider others and act with kindness this year, It’s not that I am unkind, mean or greedy but I just want to give a bit more and to feel at peace doing so. 

My Mother is such a kind woman who thinks of anyone but herself and though this trait comes with it’s own faults and downfall (think disappointment for instance) I want to share just a glimmer of her kindness and to be more people orientated, to consider and cherish others more than I do of myself. I’ve come to realise I don’t need anything and that pleasure in life comes from the little things like making others smile, sharing a meal, taking a walk on a beautiful day, watching my baby grow and play. Happiness doesn’t come from things nor greediness, happiness comes from within to those who seek it. 

I’m moving forward into a New Year as myself but working on being a better version of myself and if I can bring a little joy to those around me in the process, I’ll treat that as having been successful in my resolutions. I don’t have many hopes, aspirations or dreams for the pending year, I just wish to become at peace with myself and to bring happiness and love to those who I love. Oh and Euan, if you are reading this, I’d like to have a baby and a Yorkshire terrier to add to our wee family…just saying. 

Please god let me have a teacup terrier. Alright, enough. Now that I’ve shared my resolution, how about letting me in on yours? Anyone have any hopes, plans or aspirations for the New Year?

 

Keren.

My go to beauty products of the moment

Hi guys, I’ve abandoned the old blog of late, it hasn’t been an intentional break, more just a lack of time. Being back at work, tending to a baby and going between two homes is a bit crazy. While I’ve got a minute to spare, I thought I’d ease myself back in with a plesant wee post on my top beauty picks of the past three months.

I’ll get into a real talk blog soon, I just need Eleanor to nap to give myself the required time to think and write, for now though, I’ll keep it simple with a little but bit of glam for you all, I’m going to show and share all about my beauty products that are getting me through the dark Winter. Here goes..

As a lover of all things beauty products and make up, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been using lately, my favourite and most trusted make up products that can be used all through the year, day or night wether you are on or off duty. Just the right amount of glossy without over doing it, I’ll call it every day glam but as it’s Winter and the party season after all we can also go with Festive glam. Whatever works, either way, I can assure that these products wont disappoint by any means, you can rely on them through any make up triumohs and disasters. Once in your make up bag, they will be there to stay. Promise.

First up; Benefit – Roller Lash.

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A Christmas gift from my Mum and a top pick. I always love Benefit make up, it is my go to counter and never fails.

This mascara gives a full lash look without the clumping, one application is enough and it stays put all day. In fact, it can be tough to remove so make sure you have a good eye make up remover involved in your bed time routines. This is absolutely fabulous and I’d not be without it, my best mascara yet and I love the fact it doesn’t clump or make my eyes look too bulky. Well done Benefit, you’ve done it again.

Urban Decay – Illuminated

 

If you are like myself and love a glowy look, this is the highlight for you. Subtle and light, it gives a gentle coverage which can be used all over or just on points which you wish to highlight such as the bow of the lip, the cheekbones and above the brow lines.

However you like to highlight, this highlighter can do it all and provide a light to heavy coverage depending on application. The highlight isn’t too powerful and doesn’t have the immediate wow factor which makes it great for an easy going, day to day glow. Suitable for wearing to and from work. It does require topping up to keep your skin glowing but as it comes in a compact and with a brush, you can reapply throughout the day.

MAC – prissy princess palette

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An eyeshadow palette I can wear time and time again . Filled with earthy hues, metallics and nudes you really have all you need. This can create so many looks and can take you from a subtle day time nude to a party smokey eye in just a short application.

A mix of several different sized shadows in various shades and gorgeously packaged, what more can a girl want? This palette would make for a gorgeous gift but be warned you might just want to keep it for yourself! Seriously gorgeous packaging and a real treat no matter who it is for, there is little not to love.

The colours are vivid and bright and give a lasting coverage. I apply my eye shadow after I prime my eyes so my shadow stays for the day but you don’t need to prep and prime as this shadow goes on really smooth and takes straight away. My only fault Is that the palette doesn’t come with an eyeshadow brush.

Benefit – Porefessional.

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A favourite of mine since the beginning of time and one of my first ever purchases at the Benefit counter. A discreet tube filled with a cream like serum in a shade suited to any skin tone and type. Porefessional may not look like much but it packs a punch and gives the perfect prime and finish to any look.

I like how versitile this is, I mean, you can wear it alone to give the impression of a smooth complexion, beneath make up as a primer to make for a super silky look or even on top of make up to finish your look off with a matte coverage all around.

You need only a small amountaand it works wonders. I love the silky feel it has to it, makes putting on make up a real treat. With such a small tube it’s also easy to throw into your bag and use to top up your make up through the day.

What’s even better? As it’s not a powder, there isn’t even any mess left behind or the need to dust off your top afterwards. Hallelujah. All your make up prayers have been answered. At around £25 it can be quite pricey but definitely value for money and it does a good job – you’re welcome

 

Eleanor’s First Birthday.

IMG-20180831-WA0013Firstly, I’m going to apologise for my lack of online presence, it’s been such a busy eight weeks and to round it all off, the past two weeks have been full of celebrations and joy. Celebrating all things family and all thegood in life. With a lot of blogging to catch up on and some spare time to kill on the drive back to Amsterdam from Bruges, I’ll begin with the first in the run up of events. Eleanor’s first birthday, one of the best and most exciting days I have ever had. What a buzz around a First birthday, we had an absolute blast and I’m now more in love than ever.

Yes, you read correct, on the 31st of August my baby Daughter turned one and I don’t quite know how to handle that. A year has past so soon, so sudden and I’m not sure that I am ready to let go a little more. Motherhood, It’s a process and it’s an emotional challenge. It can be lonely, it can be scary but most of all  it can be so, so rewarding and the love that consumes you is something quite euphoric. My baby girl has brought so much to the World that I live in within in such a short year and had made the process of becoming a Mother so very easy for me. She leads the way, and I follow.

There are few words to explain just how Eleanor has changed my life in such a short space of time, all for the better. This tiny little baby appeared and suddenly everything becomes so different and the life you knew is no more. We have to change and adapt, grow and nurture, it’s not easy to get to grips with but before you know it parenting is second nature and I wonder if we need these tiny babies more than they need us. Or at least in some respects. What a crazy year it has been and I can only thank Eleanor for the life she has brought to me and the joy she has filled me with.

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As a new Mum, I’m so grateful to have the time that I do with Eleanor to raise and watch her as she grows. Keen to capture it all and document her firsts, her achievements and her happiness is just so important for myself and my Husband, Euan. Oh, yes, you read that right.. Husband. I’ll elaborate later.

To celebrate the first year of Eleanor’s life and the good she has brought to us all, we decided to have a morning of present opening followed by Eleanor’s favourite breakfast, pancakes and Yogurt. Messy but absolutely delicious, she is a girl after my own heart and our love of pancakes will bond us forever more. I picture life with Eleanor ahead and can see us sitting around a cafe table washing down our favourite food with different juices and coffees, it makes me smile to have all of these images and ideas of happy family life full my head and I feel warm.

My baby has brought so much to our lives and her soul is just so alive and pure. Charismatic, friendly, loving, cheeky and more, Eleanor really does make for quite a special little girl. I’d be lost without her and life would certainly not be half as bright. I can’t believe how such a small person can have such a big presence, Eleanor lifts and lights the room, I love her.

Looking like my big little girl, all dressed in her pink Birthday dress which I had purchased the day prior, what follows was a family day trip to a local family soft play center and outdoor play area, den in the Glen. A coffee stop on the way was essential however as without coffee i wouldn’t have made it.

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A place familiar to myself from childhood play dates. We walked around the grounds as it was a lovely and sunny day, pointed out each artefact and piece of nature to Eleanor and just went at our own pace taking it all in. I think I was trying to digest my baby being one to be honest, something that I am still trying to get my head around.

After a walk around, I nursed Eleanor in the car before heading into the soft play area for a wee seat, a spot of lunch and a play in the open space that was suitable for both babies and parents. The hall was busy, families were enjoying lunch together, babies were nursing or snacking and of course, the play area was full of small children and adults, running around, splashing about in the ball pit and having a good day to themselves.

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Having not been to soft play previously, I didn’t know what to expect really. A lot to take in and afterward Eleanor was so exhausted that we went out in a drive to Stonehaven to kill time and allow for a car nap. If left without a nap and over tired it can be an absolute nightmare and I wanted Eleanor to be able to enjoy her day as much Euan and I were, after all it was a day all about her.

In the evening we heading up to my mums to enjoy a birthday tea full of everyone’s favourite snacks and nibbles, Eleanor included. There were sandwiches, pizza, chips, falafel. You name it, we had it. An exceptional spread hosted by my Mother. I brought the birthday cake which I had baked the previous day, a lemon sponge cake in the style of a Victora sponge with buttercream..

The whole family had a great day of celebrations and feasting and Eleanor had a blast. Turning one hasn’t ever looked so good, our baby was spoiled rotten with love and attention while being catered for with all of her favourite foods. I’m usually quite strict with treats and snacks but a birthday is an exception and an excuse to go all out.

To wind down at the end of the day, we headed home and it was straight to bed. Yes, 8.30pm and my baby and I were off to enjoy a cuddle and a snooze together while Euan sorted out some bits and bobs. I don’t know how much longer my baby will nurse from me, accept my cuddles and hold my hand as she falls asleep but for now I’m not ready to wave goodbye to those special moments. I’ve let go of our first year together and that’s quite enough for right now. It’s been challenging, hard work and an emotional roller-coaster.

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There’s been good days, bad days, days where everything just falls out of place and goes wrong but I would do each day all over again if I could. As they all say, blink and you miss it and I can fully say that the statement is so very true. A moment will pass at the blink of the eye but a memory can last a lifetime. That’s what I’m keen to continue to do as Eleanor grows, to make memories and capture as much of our time together as I can.

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Happy birthday baby girl, for I love you so.