What's the Story - Family Ties

I am linking up again with What's the Story this week over at PODcastdove, I wondered whether to post a sad story but see it also as a celebration of life to those who will never be forgotten. 

I have piles of family photo's, given to me by my late grandmother, thrust into my hands over the years, I was enamoured by them all.  I love to gaze into old photo's of times gone by and wonder about the women in them especially. 

This photo was a family wedding, my beautiful aunt is the one on the far right.  I've taken a magnifying glass to the photo to check out the fashion, my aunt's dress would have been made by my grandmother, I would wear that today, how things come around.  

Sadly my grandmother lost her daughter at age 50, my aunt was the most fabulous lady. She was the youngest of 4 daughters borne to my grandparents, she lived life for all of those 50 years. 

No Mother should outlive their child, it should be a universal law, one written in stone somewhere out there to be abided by for all time.

I was enamoured by her, she was beautiful, vibrant, funny and she bought me my first handbag when I was 10.  I remember my father thanking her as it made me so happy, I have been a lover of handbags ever since!

When visiting my grandmother after, she would just sit and gaze into the distance.  I would look at her and wonder what she must be thinking, remembering.

Remembering her baby girl when she entered the world, her 4th girl, my grandfather famously said he need not lift a finger as he had 5 women to look after him!

Remembering the toddler girl, like TC, racing around, chasing the chickens and goats that she kept.

Remembering the beautiful, blossoming girl, loved by her older sisters, ready to go out into the world.

Remembering the Mother she became to 2 beautiful girls of her own before she became unwell and slipped away....


History sadly repeated itself when I lost my own child, now I envy my grandmother having had that 50 years with her child, seeing her through all that life had to give, except old age.

No Mother should outlive their child, it should be written in the stars.

You are 3!

My darling girl, you are now 3!  I know I keep banging on how fast this time is going, but it does, life keeps whizzing past.  Everyone remarks how tall you are and always feel the need to comment on what you will be, a basketball player, a supermodel!  Whatever you decide on will be ok with me, I have learnt a lot of life lessons and will guide you but also go with a little flow because life really is too precious to be stifling dreams.  My own father did it to me and I won't do it to you.

Watching you grow and blossom over the last year has been a little surreal, I gaze at you often when you aren't looking and get lost in the innocence you still have in abundance, I hope you retain this for a long while to come, it is so comforting and familiar.  I'm already thinking about the things I'm going to miss when you grow up and am bathing in every moment and clinging onto things for just that little while longer, this last year has been a blast, we've had so much fun and we've covered so much ground.

You started nursery in January and loved it from the minute you went through the red door, you took your daddy's heart failure in your stride and have helped him recover with your unconditional love and making him watch endless Peppa Pig episodes tucked up on the sofa together.  You show tremendous ways beyond your years in your love for our dog who needs a helping hand as he cannot see anymore, you help him find his way back home and feed him doggy chews, he loves you especially when you give him the remnants of your dinner in his bowl!

And talking of food, you have a thing for the kitchen and can put together a "meal" for yourself, raiding the fridge and cupboards for biscuits, cheese and fromais frais complete with plate and cutlery.  You are so articulate in everything you do, very precise and like mummy want to get it right first time, we won't always succeed but we'll have fun trying!

Your love of books is growing daily, along with your book collection, you really are like mummy in that respect, we both love reading, although you are still at the picture stage but are beginning to recognise words and I can hear you singing the ABC song every day as you go about your day, still getting a little confused with the U, then double U, usually it's just double, x, y, ZED!

You have become averse to the camera, which is very frustrating for me as I love taking a memory bank of photos and videos for you, one day you will love to watch them and be pleased to have them to show your children.  You are still so comical and make us laugh with your antics and if I'm lucky I catch them on "film", thank goodness for digital camera's, I can click away endlessly then get the few that are great shots.

not another photo mummy!

Your mobile phone and computer skills are amazing and the funniest thing is seeing take photos of yourself, holding the phone in the air, it cracks me up!

You still have very little patience, but are learning, maybe you can teach mummy the secret if you find it! We are waving bye-bye to the Terrible Two's, will the temper tantrums magically disappear, I think not, but you would not 
be who you are without your feisty spirit.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart


What's the Story?

A lovely, shiny, new photography linky has been started by Charly at PODcastdove entitled What's the Story?  

The brief is to share a photograph and describe what the story is behind it. I love taking photographs, good or not quite so good I love capturing an image.

Today is a special day for me and my girl and this is (nearly) where it all started.  This was the scan where we found out she was a girl and although I was at 20 weeks, there were another 20 to go, it seemed like a very long pregnancy!

And today we have woken up to the news that the Royal baby is on their way, we (not the royal we) are hoping that he or she will make their appearance today on this very special day.

Linking up with Magic Moments this week over at Verily Victoria Vocalises too.



Over on Nutritious Deliciousness

Review of Viridian Nutrition products on Nutritious Deliciousness for Mummy and toddler. 


Badger Me!

My toddler girl has very fair lovely skin, she inherited it from my mum's side of the family, I got the light olive skin that tans easily, all my babies got the blue eyes, I got the brown eyes.  

We haven't had the need for sunscreen for very much of this year, I remember way back in April when the sun shone a bit but since then the weather this year has been a little disappointing.  Even so I had heard from a friend that Badger Sunscreen was a great product for children so we bought some to try out and finally we have sun and buckets of it!  Apparently it is going to stretch out into the next 6 weeks, which is great news for Miss TC's birthday weekend celebrations.

Our current Badger sunscreen has SPF 30+ and a lovely light Lavender fragrance, ideal for TC.  I'm not keen on that white cast some sunscreens with a higher factor leave on the skin.  Badger leaves no such white mark once lightly blended in, it melts easily into the skin and also is not overly greasy either so 2 ticks straight away.  It is also water resistant retaining its SPF for 40 minutes of water activity (or perspiring!) which is a huge bonus at the moment as TC is water obsessed with her paddling pool.

Badger children's sunscreens contain certified natural and contain organic ingredients such as shea and cocoa butter, olive and jojoba oils, vitamin E and essential oils.  They provide broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays, A is for ageing and B for burning. 

We also have a baby sunscreen with Chamomile and Calendula, both soothing and comforting ingredients with an SPF of 34, both versions smell divine - Lavender and Chamomile my two absolute favourite essential oils.

I don't slather us with sunscreen when we first go out in the sun, sunshine is a vital ingredient for staying healthy and is the best source for essential Vitamin D3, so for the first 10 minutes I let her run around then apply.  We are never out in the scorching sun though (who thought I'd be able to say scorching sun this year!), I make sure she plays in shaded areas mostly, but do like the added protection of a natural sunscreen for those times on the beach where the only shade is our beach umbrella.

Badger sunscreens can be purchased here, highly recommended!

Disclosure:  none needed, I bought my own products because I really like them. All comments are my 100% my own.

What does it mean to You? - The Gallery - Sun

Summer... the best time of the year, when the days are longer and the birds start their chirping at 4am, luckily for them, I am still in the land of nod then.

But summer is so much more, everything flourishes.  The grass goes at speed overnight even though I mowed it the previous day.  The flowers and fruit in the garden make their appearance and make the garden look and smell wonderful. The heat from the sun fills the garden with the sensory delights of Honeysuckle and Lavender.  Every part of the Lavender bush is infused with aromatic oil and I take a deep breath as run down the front path ever in a hurry!

Even our hair apparently grows faster in the summer, there appears to be a correlation between the summer heat and hair growth.  My hair and nails grow like weeds anyway, always trimming or snipping something!

We can fling the windows open for a fresh summer breeze, I like to have the windows open every morning winter or summer, drives Mr J mad in the winter and he follows me around closing them!

We had a picnic in the park on Sunday afternoon with a pile of friends and babies and children, it was warm and sunny and everyone was dressed in summer dresses and shorts.  The children ran around playing only stopping for a drink or a nibble, it was relaxing and chilled, finally the start of summer.

Summer also means dining al fresco. There's something quite lovely about dining in the garden when TC is fast asleep, popping open a bottle of something chilled and unwinding.

Summer ..... the best time of the year.  I sometimes sit in the glow of the sun and remember summer's gone by, lost in my memories.  I..Summer.

Linking up with The Gallery at Sticky Fingers, this week's theme is Sun, what does it mean to you......


Fruity Lollies

With the brilliant, but blisteringly hot weather this week which has actually hung around for more than a day, we've been eating lots of cool foods and probably way too many clotted cream ice-creams at the beach!

I make my own lollies for TC as soon as the hot weather hits, usually I've made quite a few by now, but these are the first this year!

Making lollies is so easy, no added extras just soft fruit (a great way to use up soft and squishy raspberries) in a blender (or mashed with a fork) as fine or chunky as you like, then popped into lolly moulds and frozen.  You can sieve any fruits with pips if you like for babies but at TC's age we leave them in. You can also add water or fruit juice to the fruit puree but we like them without, they don't melt as fast.  These lollies an excellent way of getting pure, fresh fruit into a small child without them getting wise to the fact that it's good for them!

From start to finish these take around 20 minutes, freeze for a few hours. Pop them out of their moulds, we used our Annabel Karmel mini ice lolly set, small but just enough for a toddler.  Store in a freezer bag for lots of frozen, fruity, fun!

How does your Garden Grow? - A Quickie!

I'm typing this whilst TC is snoozing in the background, an afternoon nap a couple of times a week now is all she do, but a welcome hour or so for me to think straight!

It's a very quick quickie this week for Mammasaurus How does your Garden Grow linky. July is turning into a whirlwind of activity every single day so far and something has been added to my diary at short notice that I could not turn down.

I have won a full 3 day weekend pass to Food Blogger Connect courtesy of Lidgates and I am so excited to go, my first foodie blogger event!  So London (home) here I come.  Mr S is very kindly looking after TC and it's only 45 minutes to the event by train so I can be home each night for bedtime, albeit probably a later one for a couple of days.

Snapped a few things around the garden this week plus the local Poppy field which goes on for miles and miles of red carpet, papery blooms swaying and dancing in the breeze.  

The rain and the sun are still tussling for position here, one day beautiful, warm, sunny, the next drizzle, moody, overcast and grey.  I have a lot of outdoor events to go to this month including TC's birthday party at the end of the month so I'm putting in my cosmic order for wall to wall sunshine, it can rain at night if it must!