Category Archives: JOURNAL

Life Lately – hey baby.

March 2, 2020


Happy New Year friends! Yeah I know we are already two months deep, but I firmly believe in easing yourself into a new year. And this year I’ve had even more reason to take it very slowly in these first few months of 2020 because towards the end of January we welcomed the newest member of our family.

Indy Shilo joined us after a whirlwind of a journey earth-side six weeks ago. He surprised us and the midwives that evening by being breech, so he came into the world bottom first with his little froggy legs up and feet nestled close to his head. Since that wild, intense, spectacular night he’s been a pretty chilled out little bub.  Happily getting on with the newborn work of snoozing and feeding.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m still breastfeeding a toddler, but he has taken to nursing so well and has pilled on the pounds since birth. He was born at 6lb 8 so he’s by no means a big baby but at the rate he has been feeding I’m expecting to see some cute little rolls soon enough.

At only a month old he already has a number of nicknames – Indy-bear, Indybub, sometimes Shilo because we love his middle name but mostly he’s Snuffle Pig for all those snorts, grunts and snuffles. And of course, he’s “baby brother”.

“Where’s Indy?”⁣
“Indy, are you awake?”⁣
“Indy, Indy, come with me!”⁣

I just love the way he says his name… “Indee, Indeee”. There have definitely been some less cute sibling moments too but it’s safe to say Casper is rather besotted with his little brother.⁣

The first few weeks of his little life have flown by in a blur of joy and snuggles, mamma tears and toddler tantrums, nappies changes and dirty washing, night feeds and nap times. We’ve laughed and cried and loved extra hard as we adjust to our new normal – life as a foursome.

I know we are really lucky as a family that my husband Will gets a decent amount of paternity leave – six weeks compared to the standard statutory two weeks (which is really no time at all!). He is able to split this time so initially, we have had a whole month together. Paternity leave has certainly looked different this time around, especially for Will. With a large amount of time and energy having been spent on keeping a toddler entertained. I know it’s been an exhausting task but it’s also been such a special time. I can really see how their father/son relationship has flourished and although he may not be able to articulate it fully, you can tell how much the fun trips and outings with Daddy are appreciated by our two year old.

Having this time with my husband at home has really allowed me to recover and rest and I have tried my best to embrace that wholeheartedly. For the most part, I have been snuggled up in bed or on the sofa re-learning how to recognise those newborn cues. We had a few lovely first outings as a family but we kept them short so I could quickly return to my nest. In fact, the one day we did venture out for longer to register Indy’s birth and celebrate our anniversary with lunch, I ended up suffering from mastitis which had me feeling awful for a good few days. A stark reminder just how important all the time spent resting and feeding actually is for new mothers. I feel so grateful and privileged that this was an option for me.

Will has now been back at work for a couple of weeks. I’m sad that time is over but also excited to begin to etch out a new weekly rhythm with my two little sidekicks, especially as Spring begins.

My baby Indy has turned one month old. He’s grown out of those first tiny onesies, there’s the hint of rolls where there was new wrinkled skin, his little froggy legs from being breech have found their way downward, he’s getting bigger and heavier and changing every day. He still feels so new but I guess the newborn days are coming to an end.

I’m so very happy that the lovely Hannah of Hannah B Photography came to capture this magical time. Her pics, which accompany this post, are the perfect reminder of the bubble that we’ve sat happily in for a month – snuggling and nursing and playing and laughing. Tired eyes and full hearts. All four of us together at home. Our family.

Amongst the cow parsley

July 11, 2019


Cow parsley in the park in the sunJust like a lot of mammas around the world our local park has become a mainstay of my weeks. But as the saying goes familiarity breeds contempt and I find myself getting rather bored with the idea of another trip to the park. Sometimes I just can’t muster much enthusiasm to walk along the same old street, past the same old shop and cross the same old busy road to get there.

But once I’m through the gates and the traffic give way to leafy green, and I’m walking through the avenue of grand plane trees, or spotting heron at the pond as I circle with the buggy or witnessing the pure toddler joy as I push him on the swings I never do regret to making the trip.

It’s a big park with plenty of different routes to take. My favourite section has been left to grow quite wild and when taking this path you can easily feel that you are walking in woodland, not an innercity park. Bluebells and wild garlic appeared in the spring and right now there is an array of tall grasses their seed heads turning brown.

But in May there was cow parsley; swathes of green with those delicate lacy tops that seemed to glow in the evening sun. The days were getting longer and hinting at the summer yet to come.

Thank you April: monthly gratitudes

May 7, 2019


Toddler in the sun

I just love the timelessness of the pictures I’m sharing alongside this month’s gratitudes. They remind me of photos of myself as a toddler, sat in a washing up bowl of cool water on a warm sunny day. I’m sure the exact same scenes sit in your old family albums too don’t they?

I don’t know about you, but to me, it seemed as though April just flew by. In that way time has a habit of doing when your days are full of trips and activities. Busy but in a good intinional way. With the sun coaxing us outside, there were picnics and park visits and a beautiful long Easter weekend spent with friends and family in the gardens of my childhood. Much to feel grateful and thankful for…

  • Frothy blossom everywhere.
  • Our first park picnic dinner of the year.
  • My own mamma coming to stay and Casper spending sweet quality time with his Granny Annie.
  • Launching my newsletter (finally!)
  • Baking biscuits with my little bud but deciding that we both prefer the unbaked dough so rebranding them cereal bars instead.
  • Casper and his cousin’s first Easter egg hunt together.
  • Planting seeds and bulbs in our little urban garden. Spending time with my hands in the earth and the smell of damp soil.
  • Best friends becoming parents and getting to snuggle their two-week young squidge.
  • Toddler making animal noises all day long. Moo! Baa! Quack!
  • Woodland walks in dappled sunlight.
  • Water play.
  • Our first trip to children’s A&E being thankfully only a precaution.
  • That beautiful sunshiney Easter weekend.
  • Too much chocolate!
  • Me and both my siblings in the same place at the same time – a rare occurrence.
  • T-shirts, sunhats and the smell of lotion on warm soft skin.

What little joys did the month of April bring for you?

Toddler in a bucket paddling pool the sun, he looks away from the cameraBreastfeeding mother nursing her toddler in the shade of a small treeToddler and daddy kiss in black and whiteToddler in the sunWomen standing next to a cherry blossom tree. She has a toddler on her hip and they are both look up at the pink frothy blossom.Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Journal pages… An October Afternoon

November 3, 2018


Autumn leaves in a park with a row of trees portrait of a 10 month old baby eating an apple on a park benchBlack and whit portrait of a 10 month old baby leaning over park bench portrait of a 10 month old baby eating an apple on a park bench

Walking through our park on an October afternoon.

Not just the park any more but *ours*. Mine and this bub’s. Newborn’s first outing around the frozen lake, picnics with friends, daisy chains and eating grass, snoozy feeds under shady spots, squeals of delight on the swings. Somewhere in the future, there are steps to be taken, ducks to be fed, ices creams to eat and a scooter to ride.

But here and now we’re walking through our park on an October afternoon. The leaves on the trees may be dying but they seem oh so full of life as they gently fall. The sun is warm, unseasonably so. Low in the sky, it casts a magical glow whilst I collect autumn treasures. I pass them to baby to discover; crunchy leaves, pine cones and shiny conkers.

We stop on a bench under the dappled light. Play peekaboo through the gaps. Share an apple, big bites and little bites. Wave at the people walking by with their dogs. We spot squirrels and birds and hear the breeze in the treetops.

This time last year I sat in the autumn sun full of anticipation, with little kicks keeping me company in my rounded belly. All these echoes in time swirl around me like the leaves. All golden in our park on an October afternoon.Autum in a park old fashioned lamppost

Dear April…

May 1, 2017


Bristol Botanical Gardens LilypadsOh how we love to dwell on the weather! But wasn’t April a month of two halves weather-wise though? It’s funny to think given how cold it’s been again recently that at the beginning of the month we were so sure summer had started.

The sunshine during the first weekend of the month drove us out into the garden and we spent a beautiful Sunday cutting back and clearing creepers, shrubs and weeds in our small back yard.  It’s going to be the first full summer that we’ve had an outside space to call our own and I’m already appreciating it so much.

The following weekend brought the first barbecue of the year and a day of drinking prosecco in the sun to celebrate a friend’s birthday. This was quickly followed by our second barbie of the season, as Will had got his heart set on making maybe the most ridiculous meat dish I’ve ever had. Moink Balls, as featured in our Grillstock BBQ cookbook, involve homemade beef meatballs wrapped in streaky bacon, basted in BBQ sauce and cooked on the BBQ grill. They were kind of incredible but also definitely made me want to have a meat induced lie-down.

Rachael Seth Style

This month I had the great pleasure of meeting a good Instagram friend in real life. The lovely Rachael ( stopped over in Bristol on a week of travels and we had a great time hanging out and chatting away over iced coffees at Little Victories. I’m always so full of gratitude for the connections and friends Instagram brings and transitioning from online to in person hangs is just the best.

For the four-day Easter weekend we headed to Devon to catch up with family and friends. The mini-break brought lunch out, walks to the local pub, a BBQ (yes another), foraging for wild garlic, a fair deal of chilling out and plenty of Easter chocolate!

Bristol Botanical Gardens Palm Leaves

The next weekend brought more friend catch ups and a wonderful visit to the Botanical Gardens. I can’t believe I hadn’t paid them a visit before, the beautiful gardens and glasshouses were a joy to look around and are a Instagramer’s dream! 🌿💚 Mooching around in beautiful surroundings with your favourite ones followed by an evening of good food and putting the world to rights – it was the sort of Saturday that had me saying “I’ve had such a lovely day” over and over.

Maximo Park Bristol

Not to be out done the last week and weekend of the month were just a full and lovely at the rest, especially as my favourite band were in town for a little in-store gig. Although I have tickets to see Maximo Park them on their tour next month I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see them in such an intimate setting, say hello and have them sign my new vinyl. I love them so much I even named this blog Once, A Glimpse after one of their songs <mega fan-girl>

We rounded off the month with another long weekend, which was definitely more chilled than the previous few. A walk along the river was a highlight, I’ll always love how easy it is to escape the city in Bristol.

Dear January…

February 1, 2017


Dear January, Hot mug of tea in hands with CraspediaDear January, for me you were a month of contrasts – busy yet slow, pretty darn damp but also “dry”, not particularly blue necessarily but undoubtably bleak. At times I’ve wanted to bury my head in the sand and ignore what’s going on in the world, but at others I’ve been unable to tear myself away from the news.

The new year brought new clients and exciting new work opportunities. Aware that so much newness all at once could threaten to overwhelm, I did my best to “arm myself”- meditating before starting work most mornings, trying to managing my time well, leaning into the business and enjoying my full days. It’s a constant learning curve.

As much as your weekdays were busy, your weekends were quiet and slow; reserved for movies, lie-ins, mooching, friends and cooking of course. There was the therapeutic new year clear out, continuing the epic decluttering that began in 2016, each purge feels more and more freeing. This year even unwanted Christmas presents went straight into bags for charity, taking with them the usually inevitable feeling of guilt that comes months later when these items have had no use. Smug ex-hoarder here – sorry!

charlie swift, craspedia billy ball flowers

You then went oddly musical in the middle there January, as I greeted grey mornings with bursts of ‘Another Day of Sun’ and spent days singing along so loudly I’m sure I drove my neighbours La La!

January, your last day felt much like your first – minus the hangover – grey, damp, dreary. But underneath it there’s something more, daffodils in the shop, fresh growth in the garden, longer days , with a promise to soon bloom and bring brighter days.

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