Monday, 22 September 2014

Some Days Things Just Big Fat Sucks....

Dear Diary,

This has to be vague. It isn't my sadness to share. Yesterday I heard some sad news. I saw somebody I love feel pain. She heard somebody she loves feel pain. In turn, it hurts my heart that this beautiful world- this precious life, can be so cruel. It gets things so wrong. It assumes it knows best- It can't always know best. It pushes people to face the hardest times. It picks the most undeserving people to challenge. I simply don't understand why. I'm clueless.

I am twenty seven years old. I haven't been tainted by the world yet. I haven't hardened to it. I still believe that everything happens for a reason, I believe that when one door closes another one opens, I believe that it is better to be kind than to be right, I believe in second chances and sometimes more, I believe in change, I believe in nature, I believe in good, I believe in choices, I believe in happiness- it's hard to feel like that today.

Sometimes when Matt leaves for work, I shout from the top of the stairs "Byeeeee, see you tonight!" and I take for granted that I will. As much as I forgive, I seem to remember anything that has ever upset me- I assume I have time to forget it all, Often I will put off today what I can do tomorrow- What if that never comes, I will use the excuse 'life gets in the way' too often- I think that I have realised that the only thing getting in the way is me. I constantly doubt myself- why, what is the worst that could happen? I never think I am good enough- Psssht, I will only get one shot at this life, why do I waste time paying my insecurities any attention at all, nothing good can come of it. I hold myself back and for what?? It could all be gone tomorrow. I could be gone tomorrow. 

I know that I am probably awful for questioning the way of the world, so far it has been so kind to me.

I wish I had something profound to say about such sad times. I wish I had the answers. I wish I could make things better. I wish I could stop the hurt. I wish I could........... I don't even know?!!! I wish maybe I could stop the world being so unjust and so unfair I guess.

As I said, Diary, this isn't my direct sadness but I can feel the sadness in the air. The loss. The memories floating around in the atmosphere, trying to find where they fit in now and where they are meant to be for the best. 

Where are the answers to it all? Why don't we get to know them?

x Maria x


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Magic Monday #6

Hey hey you wonderful people...

Another week, another fresh batch of smiles!!

Beauty Crushin'
Who else has tried the Lush'Bubblegum' Lip Scrub??? Who loves it as much as I do??? I can't get over just how amazing this smells and how, because of its literally edible ingredients... it tastes!!! I am in love. This product is going to be a definite Autumn/ Winter staple for sure. You would think that being a lip scrub it would strip any moisture from your lips but it absolutely does not. This bad boy polishes and hydrates my lips all in one. If I blast my lips with this at the beginning of my make-up routine, by the end I am either good to go and face the day or I can pop on a bit of lippy and it looks fab. My lips felt good smiling about this little Beaut that is for sure. Even though it can get a little messy, I would highly recommend it- I can't wait to grab the 'Lush Mint Julips' to try next, that looks great too.

Blast From The Past Smiles
It feels so strange to me that I have only had my little Blog just over five months. I honestly can't imagine my life without having this part of my life now and I can't really relate to my life before I was a 'blogger' either. At the beginning of last week, I had such a beautiful, personal message from an expecting first time mother, who had only just come across my blog and stumbled across the post 'A Poem To My son Before I Met Him' (of course you can read it HERE)- It warmed my heart to know that something that I have written has touched somebody. Somebody can relate to the words that I wrote and the way I felt in such a special time was worth writing down. I felt very emotional and overwhelmed. I hope that, that wonderful lady reads this because I want her and everyone else who read it, to know that of all of my posts, before publishing that one... I was at my most vulnerable. I was unsure how the internet would treat me for opening my heart up to the world and putting my feelings out there for the world to see, to criticise. The absolute kindness matters quite greatly to me and I know that it always will. It is a nice feeling knowing that over five months on, my first posts have not been forgotten. The support from everyone since then has been unbelievable and I am so thankful... I may cry again now... Yep I cry all of the time... You lot are awesome.

YouTube Thumbs Up
Everyone needs to show these guys some serious love. I know I am late on the bandwagon with this video but I stumbled across it for the second time yesterday and it hit a nerve. My children are small.... I know that! I know that I have time until Noah brings home his first 'girlfriend' who won't be good enough for my him and before Ellenah attempts to bring some spotty, awkward lad through my front door- I'm sure every parent can relate to this?! But when I listened to this absolutely genius version of this song,  I stunned myself. I take for granted that my children, at present are small. They rely on me for everything- guidance, love, care, essentials, a shoulder to cry on and sometimes someone to cry and shout at when life isn't on their side. I wouldn't have it any other way. How on Earth am I ever going to cope when they hit their teenage years and someone wants to take my place? Is it completely terrible that I never want such a time to come even though they could find such happiness? Is it completely awful that at this point in my life I am vowing to despise anyone who could ever be a potential threat to the relationship between my children and Me? - Ha ha, dramatic aren't I? Anyway... I love this song and I hope for whichever reason, you do too.

Nature Love
A couple of days ago.... we found conkers on our way home. This made me smile greatly. I love it when Summer comes but I have to say, I love it even more when it goes and Autumn is upon us. It has been rather warm and some days hot considering we are nearing the end of September so when I saw that conkers had ripened and naturally fallen from the tree, I was like "Yes!" with a cheeky little fist pump. Noah and Ellenah scurried around collecting them up and we gathered a few together to cluster near the windows at home. I don't care if it's an old wives tale, I need to keep those spiders away. My house backs on to a woods and we get some real beasts making their webs and using my house as some kind of prop- to the point, I walked out of my conservatory a few days back, straight into a MASSIVE web and almost ate the gigantic spider living there. I screamed. I ran. I cried... yes, I'm that girl! Anyway, they can have outside but they simply can't come in. Prevention is the best cure and all that jazz! I digress- I love Autumn and I'm glad that there is another sign it is coming other than a handful of leaves changing colour. You can check out my Autumn/Winter Bucket List HERE to see what I am hoping to achieve and get up to over the fresher seasons, if you would like of course.

Ooooh a little ramble this week... Soz!!! I hope something in here made you happy like it did me. I hope you all have a super smashing week and lots of things make you grin.

Check out last weeks Magic Monday HERE.

Lots and lots and lots of love
x Maria x

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

What Ellenah Did #2

Awwww I literally had such a gorgeous day with Ellenah yesterday. I was VERY tired by the end of it but all for good reason. Last week, I started a consistent post named 'What We Did Yesterday'... even though I have tweaked the name of it slightly to 'What Ellenah Did', it is exactly the same idea- trying to see life through my daughters eyes and documenting some real quality time together. You can find last weeks post HERE (check it out if you haven't already, this one may make more sense if you do).

It was so interesting to really take my time looking at things with Ellenah yesterday, like I was seeing them for the first time. Without sounding, well, too much, the world is a pretty beautiful and spectacular place. One that we most definitely take for granted I have to say.

We spent the day not rushing, eating naughty things, talking, playing, laughing and smiling. It was quite simply, wonderful.

Ellenah Ate- Naughty Things and Fruit

It wasn't all naughty, I did make Shepherds Pie with plenty of vegetables for dinner (not that she ate very much of it... I wonder why?!!!!)

Ellenah Wore- Mama's Boots

Ellenah Felt- Like Closing Her Eyes For A Little While

Clutching her bag over her wrist and with her big Cousin's 15th Birthday card in hand... she shut her eyes and dreamed of all of the amazing things she saw yesterday. It's tiring being so small when there is so much to see.

Through Ellenah's Eyes

Honestly, every single thing is amazing to my girl. She see's wonderment in everything around her. My usually busy little being is silenced and inspired by the nature that surrounds her, bright colours, different textures, smells... She becomes peaceful, and calm. I found myself walking past the same trees and foliage that I do every day and feeling like I never had walked there before. All because Ellenah encouraged me to stop...and take a better look. I suddenly feel like I walk around each day with my eyes shut and oblivious to the world around me. I learned a lot yesterday. I learned so much from my baby girl and how she see's the world.

I would usually be so focussed on getting things done, sticking to routine, rushing around.... always rushing. Well i'm sick of rushing. Is there really any need for me to do it all of the time. Will the world stop turning if I give myself a chance to breathe every now and again? I don't think it will... Life doesn't have to be like that. I want to live it! Not sprint past it and only remember a blur.

I know that last night, I went to bed happy. I went to bed smiling, treasuring the warmth in Ellenah's heart, just because I spent some real time with her. I went to sleep recalling her pretty smile. I giggled as I drifted off, thinking about her cheeky laugh that comes from the pit of her stomach, the kind of laugh that knocks her balance so she struggles to stay on her feet. I nodded off being a content, happy and incredibly lucky Mother. 

And... even though my house is a mess, errands are building up, exercise is to be done and many other things need my attention... I spent my day the the very best way indeed- with my Princess. 

Bundles of Love
x Maria x

Monday, 15 September 2014

Magic Monday #5

Maria Noell sings "It's just another Magic Monday, I wish it were Sunday, That's my fun day"... well, thanks for the (slightly altered) song The Bangles but actually I quite like Mondays, it's when I get to reflect on all the glorious things in my previous week that has made me smile. Yay, it's Monday!!!

Sweet Caroline Smiles
I had quite a sociable couple of nights over Thursday and Friday last week. On Thursday night, My Mum, two Sisters and I went to our local indian restaurant- The Raj, for a meal and a couple of glasses (bottles) of wine to celebrate surviving Summer in our school uniform shop. It was touch and go for a moment there but we got through it. We toasted a few times, filled our stomachs with delicious cuisine and had a good giggle. Lovely stuff! Then, on Friday night with My Mum, two Sisters, Brother-in law, Niece and Auntie in tow, we teamed up to have a go at a local charity quiz night. As complete quiz night novices, we only expected to answer a few questions right but when we got there, our competitive heads went on and we only went and won the thing. Yay! Due to a rather epic moment in the Song round, we went on to name our team 'The Sweet Caroline's with waving arm gestures for good measures. We had such a great time and again, more wine and ended up celebrating at the pub opposite to finish the night off in style. The laughs and 'Ugly face' photo's were worth the sore heads the following day.

Beauty Crush
I have been using my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette a lot lately and I have been loving all of the different looks that I have made. This palette is made up of twelve 'freakin hot' neutrals and I have used it for my subtle, matte everyday make-up look and then been able to switch things up for a glamorous, smoky eye with a little sparkle for an evening look. Check out the beautiful colours below. My favourites are Foxy (Cream bisque matte), Chopper (Copper shimmer), YDK (cool bronze shimmer) and Half Baked (golden bronze shimmer).


T.V Gold
I have been having a few nights in front of the television lately (so unlike me!) and I have a couple of favourites to mention. The first one is 'The Killing' which I have been watching on Netflix. I know that I am behind here as there are 4 seasons and the last one wrapped things up very recently. This is an American crime drama which has me addicted. It is so clever and reminds me that people are SO clever. I don't often watch anything about crime because it freaks me out. The thought of watching something that potentially happens everyday in real life worries me but this one has sucked me in. I would definitely recommend this to anyone hooked up with Netflix.

The second one is The XFactor. I absolutely love this show. I love this years judging panel. Mel B is a legend, I heart Louis and it is brilliant to see Simon and Cheryl back. There is something about watching people's dreams come true that makes me happy. I have been watching one audition over and over again and that is Monica Michaels. She sang an original song which she wrote about her little Sister. It made me cry the first time I watched it and since then I have watched it over and over... It still makes my eyes well up. She has a beautiful voice, she is edgy and raw... I love her. Watch it HERE, let me know what you think- I for one hope that she makes it one day.

Kid Joy
I know I mentioned this already in this post HERE but I absolutely loved watching Ellenah at her ballet lesson on Tuesday. She looked beautiful and had such an infectious smile on her face. She has talked about dancing all week and I can't wait to take her next time. I never knew my little play in the mud, jump in puddles, football playing, lego pull-a-parter cherub could be so dainty and enjoy it. Proud Mama!!!

How was your week? What had you smiling Lovelies?
Lots of Love
x Maria x

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

What We Did Yesterday #1

Words can honestly not express how much I love Tuesdays. Since Noah started school, Tuesdays has been the one day every week that I can dedicate all of my time to my baby girl, Ellenah. Ha, when I say baby girl... She will be three in December (She will always be my baby no matter how old she is).

As much as I don't have to trot off to work on Wednesdays either, I have to use that day to run errands and get the grown up tasks done for the week... boring! Anyway, back to the point... Tuesdays are special to me for a few reasons but quite importantly, I am very aware that when you have your second child, as much as you may kick against it- second child syndrome is a real thing. I am often rushing poor Ellenah along on the school run, whizzing her around when she desperately wants to stop and look at things, as much as I hate myself whenever the words leave my mouth, I often have to tell her that 'There isn't time right now, it will make us late" when all she wants to do is show me a fly stuck in a spiders web. I detest the fact that sometimes (and I know that often, it is just the way life has to go), she has to slot in (eurgh!)

I don't think I have ever hated a paragraph I have ever written in my life until just now...  the last one irritates me! My little Lady has not in any way been born to 'slot in' to this world. We will not bring her up to simply exist. I want her to live her life with abundance and to know that she is important too.

Last night, I was thinking that I want to document our special day together every week and thus "What We Did Yesterday" has been born and will be a permanent fixture here on my blog. When she is older, I want her to know that I tried my best to make every possible moment with her that I could, count! I want her to see the ten minute school runs, took an hour because we talked about every single flower on the way home. I want her see that we embraced the beauty of all seasons. I want her to see that she had choices about which way to walk when on our adventures. I want her to see the fun we have. I want her to recall the books that we read and the pictures that we made together. I want her to see the cakes we made and the mess that we got ourselves in. I want her to know that time, mess, chores, errands and daily nonsense were irrelevant. Our special day each week meant the world to me and so did and does she. I want her to know that I put in the effort to see the world through her eyes, took the time to truly know her and really enjoy the special moments that she brings to my life... I really hope that she will see that here.

We Went- To Ballet
Yesterday, Ellenah started her ballet classes back up again. She went for a few lessons last September but wasn't quite ready. Yesterday just proved how much she has grown and already matured (boohoo!). She was like a different girl. She thoroughly enjoyed her lesson and she talked about it all day long. She also looked incredibly cute and loved looking like a Princess. All day she was saying "I a dancer like Princess... I played dolly... I sang 'Pull Pull Pull' (Wind the bobbin' up)". She was as good as gold and it was such an enjoyable experience because I could tell that she was having a wonderful, happy time.

We Played- On The Trampoline
Ellenah can jump soooooo high. She literally has no fear at all. I envy that about her. I'm scared of everything. I hope and pray she never loses that confidence in herself and in her abilities.

Best Bits- Pretend Sleeping, Jumbles and Huge 'Poser' Hugs
While we played on the trampoline, Ellenah kept prompting me to close my eyes so that she could wake me and and tell me 'Mama, it's sunny today... Wake up, wake up'. I sat in the middle of the trampoline and Ellenah jumped on me, squashed me, squeezed me, played with my hair, kissed my cheeks, 'beeped' my nose and said 'I love you Mama'. After that, I got some beautiful big cuddles from my littlest one. The best moments ever. 

I had such a perfect day with my little Angel Pie... I can't wait until next week.
x Maria x

Monday, 8 September 2014

Lemon And Blueberry Drizzle Cake

Nothing beats a good old fashioned piece of cake and a brew in the afternoon, does it? Actually, nothing beats a good old fashioned piece of homemade cake and a brew in the afternoon. I'm not sure if it is just me (I very much doubt it) but the same time most days, about three or four o-clock, I start to really crave tea and cake. That is when I feel like I need to relax for ten fifteen minutes. Obviously, I don't do this every day (because that would be terribly bad for me!) but every now and again doesn't hurt.

So on Saturday, while Ellenah played and Noah practised his writing (yes, he considers this fun!)... I donned an apron and spent a little time in the kitchen whipping up a Lemon and Blueberry Drizzle Cake. It was only the second time I had made it- well actually the third because on my first attempt I forgot to add eggs... I'm aware how ditzy that makes me sound but sadly it is a trait of mine. Anyway, this one turned out particularly well and I think I may have nailed it.

I got the recipe from a friend of my parents. She brings these little gems to our family BBQ every year and they are so delicious. So, I wanted to share the joy with the world and pass on the recipe. 

Preheat the oven to 180C (for fan assisted ovens 160C)/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20cm/8inch square cake tin and line with baking paper.


(For the Sponge)
225g/8ozs softened butter
225g/8ozs castor sugar
4 eggs beaten
250g/9ozs self-raising flour, sifted
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
200g/7ozs fresh blueberries

Juice of 2 lemons
115g/4ozs castor sugar
55g/2ozs icing sugar

First you will need to beat together the castor sugar and butter in a bowl. It should be light and fluffy. Little by little beat in the eggs (YOU DO NEED TO DO THIS OKAY?). Once this is done throw in a touch of flour to keep things smooth (we don't want any curdling around here!) Next you need to throw in the lemon rind and beat it in. Fold in the left over flour and blueberries and get the lemon juice in there too (you should end up with a dropping consistency). Spoon the mixture in to the cake tin and bake for about an hour.

For the topping you will need to mix together the lemon and castor sugar in a bowl. Literally as soon as the cake is done, take it out of the oven and prick it all over. You will then need to pour the lemon mixture all over the sponge. Next up and quite simply you need to mix the icing sugar with a little water, mix it all up and drizzle over the cake. You can then either cut it in to squares or have it as a big old cake... This is your call. Whatever you choose, make sure that your cake is completely cold before you attempt to remove it from the tin... I wouldn't want you to fail at the last hurdle.


If any of you attempt it, I would love to know how you got on. Find me on Twitter or Facebook... Let's be friends while you are there.

Huge Love
x Maria x

Magic Monday #4

Okay Okay...hands up, I missed last week... I'm sorry! It wasn't all doom and gloom as THIS POST would suggest. I did still smile over some things (and quite genuinely too!)

Let's kick this off shall we?!

Blog Hearts

You guys really need to check out Extraordinary Chaos. Not only is Sarah's blog wonderful, so is she!! When I was M.I.A for a while over Summer, she went out of her way to message me on twitter to check that everything was alright? I thought that was just such a lovely thing to do. and I hugely appreciated it. It is what gave me the kick I needed to get my self back in the Blogosphere so I am truly grateful. Thanks Sarah! Her blog has got everything you could possibly ask for. Travel-check, Reviews-Tick, Parenting- Yep and Lifestyle posts- Sure thing!!! I often find myself over there with a cuppa in hand. It's a happy, easy going place to be.

Superhero Fun

Last Wednesday, I got to look after my niece and nephew for the day. It didn't take long for all of the children to disappear upstairs and dive in to Noah's toy box. After about twenty minutes I heard a little bickering, so up I went. As it turns out, they were having a few mild disputes on who was going to be which character from the dressing up box. They figured it out in the end. My Nephew , being the big boy and 'protector' that he is wasn't too fussed that there wasn't a costume to fit him because he is and I quote "Too cool for a costume anyway!" -That I can believe.

Kid Joy

On Friday, Noah returned back to school to start the new term as a year one. Awwww, it breaks my heart how fast he is growing up. I know I say it all of the time, but I am so very proud of him and of all that he achieves. Els wanted to see Noah off on his first day back with a smile and a big hug with her big brother. Heart melting stuff. 

Cat Lovin'

On Saturday morning, Puddle and Forrest ventured out for the very first time in to our garden (the one that backs on to the woods!), these were nerve-wracking times for me and mine. These pictures from Instagram got a lot of love so I definitely wanted to share them with you again here.



We did have a moment when Forrest became very brave and ventured down to the woods. Matt got himself in a frenzy because 'he was obviously lost and never going to find his way back home'.... but he did and knowing that he chose to come back to us made me smile massively. The cuddles when we all snuggle down for the evening suddenly feel a lot more wonderful too. 

I'm sure that isn't all of my best bits but thinking back on those moments make me smile (a little goofy!) all over again. What were your best bits this past week???

Lots of Love
x Maria x