Imaginary Fred

Reading a book is one of Martha’s favourite activities and is an absolute staple in our bedtime routine. I love nothing more than watching her browse excitedly through her book collection, in her baby grow while she chooses the book we read before bed. Some of her favourites are by Oliver Jeffers….


Martha loves penguins and stars so “How to catch a star” and “Lost and Found” are her usual choices!

When this new release “Imaginary Fred” arrived I was very excited to see one of our favourite authors had teamed up with the highly successful Eoin Colfer.


Imaginary Fred is such a great story about friendship and the somewhat cheeky style it is told in will entertain a range of ages.  The story is about an imaginary friend called Fred who floats around waiting for any child to summon an imaginary friend. Sadly, when they find a real friend he begins to fade as he is not needed anymore. He wishes hard for a friend just like him and he finds a wonderful friendship with a little boy named Sam. They have so much in common and they spend all their time together.


Everything seems perfect till Sam meets a girl called Sammi; like Sam she also loves art and music, even though Sam says he will never let Fred go he begins to fade. However, Sammi bring along her invisible friend Freida who is a perfect match for Fred! Eventually the pairs drift apart and despite the fact they shouldn’t exist Fred and Freida stay the best of friends and they never fade because….. “friendship is friendship. Imaginary or not, the same laws apply.”


The illustrations are the typical sketchy, quirky style from Jeffers. The characters are loveable and the story is very sweet. It is now another firm favourite of Martha’s and I love it too! It is also worth mentioning that the beautiful hard back edition we were sent would make a beautiful gift with Christmas coming up; as a parent I love nothing more than a book as a gift for Martha.

We were kindly sent this book by Mumsnet for review – I was not paid for this review and as always all opinions are my own.

I’m done!

Hello there!

I haven’t blogged in a while…. when half term arrives all bets are off! The routine goes completely out of the window and mornings are stretched into lounging sessions of tea and Sarah and Duck, usually followed by a mass cleaning/ pulling the house back to order or an attempt to get out of the house before Martha’s nap so we can have a fun day out together!

We managed to accomplish a little of all, including a dash around Hamley’s Toy Shop in Cardiff (Martha was utterly enthralled by the experience) and we managed to get some Birthday and Christmas presents in one go!

The Autumn watercolour of the countryside, the crunching leaves and the bare branches with promise of winter has left me feeling a little reflective and I have come to a few conclusions. The most prominent being “I’m done.” Lately I’m tired, tired of so much and its pulling me down. I’m fed up of perfection, it’s overrated! So join me if you will…..

Im done…. with punishing my body for the way it looks, my stomach is stretch marked and my cesarean scar is none too pretty, but it brought the best piece of happiness to my life and for that I am bloody grateful.

I’m done…. with dieting, I’ve been self punishing myself all my life over every cake, takeaway and treat since I was a teenager. The truth is I do like to eat healthily and I cook from scratch, I am a size 10 and spend most of my days dragging an impossibly heavy pushchair, laden with bags up and down the hills; I have a good lifestyle. Having a baby has pushed my mental and physical state to its most extremes, in many ways and on both counts I never fully recovered. Would I change my decisions for a flat stomach or a less chaotic existence? Obviously not, my life is more complete than it ever has been, but I’m done!

I’m done with criticising and punishing my body because it did something amazing and every day it gives me another day and for that it deserves my upmost respect.

I’m done…. with guilt; at work, at home; I’m doing my best and that’s all that matters.

I’m done…. with people who do not like me; cheap praise, muttered criticisms and those that make me feel less than I am worth simply are not worth  it.

I’m done….With advice, in many ways it is useful but often utterly conflicting. When Martha had chronic eczema on her legs, people would constantly question why it was there and what was I trying, the second a Doctor prescribed a mild steroid as a last resort suddenly opinions swayed and criticism rained in! Incidentally, it fixed it in two days after struggling for almost two years! As I mum you just can’t win, so my only piece of advice is to follow your instincts no one else can do your job and no one knows your baby better than you. Worrying tells you you are a good mum embrace it and zone out the commenters.

And finally I am done…. with looking back, regretting and worrying over what has passed, all that truly matters is this moment and I intend to live for it……..

It’s easy to criticise ourselves as parents but we forget all the amazing little milestones we nurture and accomplish every day. So I’m done with seeking perfection, as a Mummy, in my relationships, at work and with myself. It’s time I stop punishing, taking notice of those who seek to pull me down and instead loving those that love me and giving myself just a little bit of credit for the juggling act I perform every day (even if I drop the ball every 10 minutes!)

It’s easier said than done but I intend to surround myself with good people, love my little one with every once of me and stop the worry because “I’m done!” To get things started I didn’t stay late at work the first day back, I picked my baby up and we feasted on the biggest lump of chocolate cake we could find.


It’s a start…Martha was deliriously happy with this arrangement and  do you know what? So was I!

Stay Happy, truly, as happy as can be!



Please don’t say that!

She’s indecisive, temperamental, constantly throwing a strop when she doesn’t get her way. She wants all the attention all of the time, she’s so demanding and fussy. Whenever we go out together there is always some sort of Drama!

If what I have just described was an adult you wouldn’t want to know them! What I have in fact just described is my daughter. She is almost two years old and officially at ‘terrible two’s’.

Martha is a bright, happy and fiercely independent little girl. She wants to be doing something all the time, she hates sitting for too long and is eager to explore (particularly outside.) She loves Peppa Pig, Postman Pat and more recently Bing. She loves books, being read to and can often be found browsing and reading in her own little way. She knows lots of words and is coming out with new ones almost daily. She says “ove yuuu” (love you) and runs for kisses and hugs. She passes me my slippers in the morning so I will get up, plays with my hair and loves to play hide and seek. Her favourite thing is music and will often dance spontaneously to any little tune.

She is very fussy with her food; will often like something one minute and not the next, she loves cake and blueberries and will often sit screaming for them when I’ve just made her tea. She will cling to me like a chimpanzee in the mornings at the childminders, causing a delay at our drop off, leaving me full of guilt about leaving her as I dash to work late – again – only to throw the biggest tantrum when I collect her because she does not want to go home. She will make no bones about screaming in public, flailing and kicking and throwing herself flat out on the floor. She follows me constantly saying “mummy?”  makes completing most tasks impossible and yet the second I try to put her coat on to leave, she runs away – this is not amusing when I’m already running late for work and we haven’t done the drop off yet!

Why am I telling you this? Well because it’s the essence of what being a parent is and as bloggers/ vloggers it’s important to show the reality that raising a child entails. The sublime and the ridiculous in one neat little package. However, I feel a grave sense of responsibility in what I am doing, Martha has no idea of what I document and I think to be fair to her a little caution is necessary. You won’t find pictures or footage of her screaming; it’s not that I don’t want to remember those times, those times have made me and taught me well. I want to look back on what I create here and smile and for Martha to feel how wonderful our time has been together.

There seems to be a trend surfacing of public moaning about our children and yes a good moan does do us all good; particularly when your running on two hours sleep for the fourth day in a row, on your 6th cup of tea by 8am, they are working on your last nerve and Peppa Pig on replay is slowly killing your sanity! I get why a little trend has developed whereby people are saying “he’s being a twat” or “behaving like a nob” but you know what? They aren’t, they are just children; they are learning and they are looking to you for guidance. This world is tough and your little one is attempting to understand it. Have patience, be kind; in what you say, what you write and what you choose to share with the world, before they have a chance to say whether that is ok or not. I know it’s relatable to a lot of people, I get it, it’s only a joke – but to me it’s in the worst possible taste. Reserve the name calling for the adults still behaving like my petty screaming toddler who should know better 😉

Stay Happy!

Autumn is here!

Ah Autumn….That moment when summer begins to slip away and suddenly the seasons click. The air becomes much crisper, the lush green turns to a medley of russet and gold and hot chocolate is now mandatory.

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Martha has just discovered two seasonal new favourite activities; picking up leaves (saying “leaf” each time) and posting them over peoples walls. Our walk home takes twice as long with said activity! Also, finding conkers – I don’t seem to find many Conker trees in our area, there is just one I know of and we can now no longer walk passed it without searching for new ones.

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I have to say, I completely understand Martha’s keenness to explore during this season; Autumn is the perfect picturesque landscape to get into nature, take a little time out and crunch through the leaves before the icy winter sets in. We went for a Sunday amble; fed the ducks, kicked through the crunchy leaves, picked most of them up and split all the conkers we could find!

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The perfect off-duty, doesn’t require much thought, mummy outfit is essential for this type of exploration…

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Yes, I’m wearing my little rose gold bumble bee necklace – I’m a bit obsessed with him!

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What I wore: Star print top – Zara (old), Jeans – Zara, Chambray shirt – Topshop, Bumble Bee necklace – Alex Monroe, Star print pumps – Primark (ancient!)



Goodbye Summer…

As the sun begins to fade into the distant days of summer and the warmth is replaced by crisp mornings, falling leaves, knitwear and boots. I thought I would share a little throwback post to a lovely day spent at the ice cream farm cheshire, this summer, with a lovely whimsical, floaty dress.

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Please ignore my hair I had been swimming that morning with baby B and it was doing its own crazy thing! So lets talk about the dress – it’s definitely a statement, I love the fluted 60’s style sleeves and the boho detailing. It doesn’t require much styling as it speaks for itself really.

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This place has come such a long way! it used to be a little family farm with a small ice-cream stand now the ice cream options are out of this world and the huge expanse/variety of play areas for little people is just endless. We ate ALL the cream, bounced on floor trampolines, visited the animals, rode on tractors and crawled through tunnels. Baby B was in her element!

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The perfect way to say goodbye to summer and my dress (until next summer – I love it so much!)

What I wore: Dress – Topshop, Peach Sandals- Primark

These boots were made for walking!

Living in the countryside means a few things: You will never get anywhere without tackling at least one muddy hill and you NEED a pair of boots. Flat boots, heels are no good here, unless tottering about delicately on muddy paths, struggling with a pram and all the time in the world is your thing. For me I need sensible footwear and I don’t have time to dawdle! But let’s be honest, sensible footwear is all well and good, but we still want style with our comfort!

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Check these beauty’s out……

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I am obsessed with these boots! I have been after a pair of black knee high boots for a while. You see, I can be a bit picky and finding boots that are sturdy enough to cope with the countryside terrain, comfortable enough to pound the path with a pram and still look nice, can be a little tricky. These boots from Shoezone tick all the boxes. I love the rounded toe, buckle detail and quilted effect. They are simple, classic, great quality and very reasonably priced (always a welcome attribute!)

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These are also undeniably the perfect ‘Mummy’ boot as they don’t require too much thinking to style, the flat heel makes them casual and functional, while the classic design keeps things fairly smart. Perfect for dashing about in!

What I wore: Jumper – Topshop, Leigh Jeans – Topshop, Boots – Shoezone, Rose Gold Bee Necklace – Alex Monroe.


Shoezone kindly offered me the chance to pick out something from there website; I was not paid to write this post and as always all opinions are my own.

All the glitter!

“Oooooh!” that was Martha’s reaction when we unwrapped the parcel containing this wonderfully colourful, sweet and glittery book!


Can you blame her really?!

This is a picture book called Princess Mirabelle and the Dragon Pox, written by Julia Donaldson  and illustrated by Lydia Monks. The story is about a little girl called Ellen who has chicken Pox; she goes to the mirror to scratch her nose and her reflection tells her not to. Princess Mirabelle comes out of the mirror, who also has chicken pox, but hers is called Dragon Pox. They begin concocting many different cures for their chicken pox, wreaking havoc on the bathroom, until Ellen’s Mum comes in and Princess Mirabelle disappears.


This is a very sweet story; it doesn’t rhyme like other Donaldson books, but is has more of a fairytale plot. It is clearly marketed towards girls; very pink and with ‘glitter on every page!’ The illustrations are wonderfully quirky, colourful and the whole book is visually packed with interest. Martha is obsessed with this book, she just loves studying the colourful pages!


We love it, it gets a big thumbs up from Mama and Baby Bear!



This book was kindly sent for review; I was not paid for this review and as always all opinions are my own.

Having a moment

It doesn’t take a lot for me to ‘have a moment’, since Martha arrived I find myself ‘having a moment several times throughout the day. As parents we are fascinated by our children; everything they do is completely overwhelming/ picture worthy/ heartbreaking. The first time Martha stood up, the first time she said “Mummy”, the time she made her way into the sudocrem and was trying to hide in the changing table utterly covered! There are so many little achievements and moments it becomes acceptable to be utterly consumed with admiration and we are forgiven for our ‘little moments’ (whether it be squealing with delight, clamouring to take a photo or having a little weep!)

However, something happened recently that I just have to get down because for me it is so significant and I need to be reminded of it daily. If you have read my blog before you will know that the aspect I struggle most with (as I know a lot of parents do) is mastering the ever complex work/ life balance. I work part time and find myself desperate to fulfil both aspects of my working and Mummy life. I try hard, I really do, but most days I wonder if I was successful at all. On my days off there is not much excitement for Baby B, no family nearby to visit. I just hope she treasures the time alone with me as much as I do with her.

On my working days, the days disappear with the chaos, Martha is left with a childminder and I am left feeling like I have lost a limb. I still struggle immensely with leaving my daughter, it has and continues to be the saddest part of my day. It leaves me worried about what I am missing and how quickly time is passing.

thumb - 1All this thrown it amongst the day to day living had left me a little down in the dumps lately. So as
Martha and I sat down for our breakfast on my first day off that week; I couldn’t help feel a little sad as I watched her happy little face; she played with her spoon, giggling, picking the blueberries out of her porridge and babbling away in her own little language. Going back to work has been hard I thought and it doesn’t seem to get any easier, I just want to be her Mummy.

Suddenly, Martha looked up to a group of pictures that were hung on the wall next to her highchair. They are a collection
of pictures of Martha and one in particular of me holding Martha at the hospital. It is an emotional picture for me; we were visiting the hospital when I was still very ill and Martha was having trouble feeding. We took the photo because after crying for hours on end she finally settled in the waiting room of the children’s ward and despite the fact I knew I looked awful; so drained and exhausted with worry it was a ‘moment’. My baby needed me and finally I had calmed her.


With Martha chattering away excitedly I stopped and studied the picture, feeling a little sentimental. “My Mummy.” Out it came and my heart almost stopped, Martha says “Mummy” at least a hundred times a day but this was different. I asked “Martha who is it?” and more assured she said it again and pointed at the picture…… “My Mummy.”

And so it seems I need not worry, to my little girl I am exactly what I want to be; at work, at home, stressed, frazzled, tired, silly, funny Mummy. What a moment, our most defining yet.