You may have caught my last post about how we had some special celebrations coming up. Our boys have just turned 1 and 3 and we were lucky enough to get them Christened on their actual joint Birthday too, making it an really special day for us.

rainbow-cake

We were delighted to have our boys christened in the church where we got married, almost 5 years ago; St. Mary’s in Old Basing. Rev. Sarah gave such a lovely service and it was great to see lots of the little ones involved up at the font while the boys were being baptised.

special-celebrations

special-celebrations

special-celebrations

The boys’ lovely Godparents who each made a very special promise to the boys on the day.special_celebrations

I figured this would be the only opportunity I would have to plan anything remotely “cute” having 2 boisterous boys, so it was a full on rainbow themed party. Lots of bright colours and fun for the children.

party-bags

Mum and I spent a couple of days putting together all the party bags. The age ranges of the boy’s little friends went from 3 weeks old up to 6 years old, so I tried to make the party bags as suitable as possible. I found some really good party bag products from an online website called Party Bags and Supplies which had an absolutely huge selection of really affordable fillers for all ages. They also did these cute tassel garlands and bright bunting as well as loads of other fun stuff for children of all ages. I then went around lots of other shops to find bits to include. I also want to make something for the children to grow over the summer so I made up some Sunflower seed kits for them to plant.

Party-bag-fillers

Party bags

We tried to keep our numbers low despite wanting to invite all our friends. We rented the adjoining church hall to save people traveling to and from, and it was actually a nice size for us all. Although the soft play I ordered didn’t fit the room, and the mini bouncy castle was too loud! My parents and our friend Lucy helped set up in the morning, which was some what of a race against time as we couldn’t get in the room until the morning service finished, but we managed to get it done and the rainbow theme came together nicely. I kept it simple with the food as it was after lunch so I ordered in sandwiches, crisps etc and Stuart’s brother helped organise some sausage rolls.

special-celebrations

childrens-party

I ordered in all the balloons from Balloons 4 U in Basingstoke and founder Suzie was kind enough to deliver them to us on a Sunday morning, on a rare day off for the super busy business owner and mummy of 2, thanks Suze! Lucy patiently tied the coordinating coloured ones on to the party bags, one of those jobs you get half way through and wish you hadn’t started! I love how this looked, thanks Lucy!

Rainbow-balloons

My absolutely brilliant and lovely friend Emily created a total masterpiece for the boys, we were in awe and so grateful to her for their amazing cakes for our special celebrations. 80 cupcakes perfectly designed and delicious. Half of which were banana cake with salted caramel icing and half vanilla with raspberry ripple icing (I ate 4!!)

rainbow-cupcakes

Then 2 large cakes for each of them, with perfect rainbow sponge hiding inside incased in coconut icing. All presented beautifully on this cool grass carpet. Perfection! Emily’s cake business, She Loves The Cake, is coming soon if you would also like something created for a special occasion.

Rainbow-cake

My lovely nieces tucking into some cakes.

sisters-eating-cake

It was so nice to have everyone there to share this special occasion, everyone was so generous with their gifts and cards, the boys will be opening gifts all week! We feel very lucky to have you all! The whole day felt really surreal, and went so quickly I can’t believe it’s all over and we now have a 1 and a 3 year old! Think I will go and have more cake to reminisce some more!

Short vlog of the day is over on my YouTube channel!

special_celebrations

When I was due to have our second child I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy on Google, searching for articles like “siblings born same day” or “babies who share a Birthday” frantically trying to find someone who had been in the same position as me; That, quite remarkably, my due dates were just 2 days apart. Clearly the date 9 months prior to that was some kind of a significant day!?

pregnant

As time went on I got more and more concerned that my babies would have to share a Birthday – nothing worse in the Birthday stakes I thought! (Well, maybe apart from having to share mine 😉 ) I tried everything to induce labour, wanting there to be a couple of weeks or so between them. Then Henry’s Birthday drew closer, and I found myself doing more to try and stop the imminent arrival; no more hot curries or long walks for us, hoping that at least our new baby would be born some time after Henry’s Birthday.

mother-son

Henry was born 9 days late, after a very long labour (I wrote about my labour, having also done a lot of Googling about that too!) George followed suit, arriving 7 days late. Which unbelievably meant that despite that 2 day gap in due dates they both arrived on the 15th May and they share a Birthday, 2 years apart.

pregnancy-announcement

So, for Henry’s 2nd Birthday he got a pretty unusual gift, a sibling. A brother. A friend for life. Baby George arrived after another very lengthy labour; he obviously knew how special that day was to arrive. Luckily we were only at the hospital a few hours so we were able to bring ne baby George home to meet his big Brother on his Birthday, and then have a celebration for him the next day.

newborn-baby

A year on, and with the boys’ 1st and 3rd joint Birthday just a few days away it’s the perfect time to reflect on this most wonderful coincidence. I spent months worrying about them having to share a Birthday, and it took for it to happen to make me realise how amazing it is. With the age gap only being 2 years and them both being boys, the hope is that they will always love sharing this special day and have similar interests for all those joint parties! I’m pretty sure Henners has no idea that this is a particularly rare situation, and I expect he may spend many years thinking all siblings share a Birthday!

siblings-born-day

I couldn’t be happier that our boys share a Birthday so if you’re in the same boat then don’t panic, it’s really kinda cool. I’d love to know if anyone reading also shares a birthday with their sibling, or has children who were born on the same day. What do you think about it?!

siblings-born-same-day

siblings-born-day

This exact time last year, myself, Henry and my parents took a walk out to Micheldever Woods as I frantically tried to capture some last minute bump shots before our then mystery baby arrived! You can see the full shoot here, and thank you again to my parents for helping to capture some amazing photos as memories of Henry with my bump – just what I wanted!

maternity-photography

maternity-photography

Last weekend we returned as a family of 4, with our now almost 1 year old George – I don’t care how cliche this is –  where does the time go?! The woods are in Hampshire, on the A30 from Basingstoke on the way to Winchester. I like to think they are our secret woods, but this particular sunny Sunday was set to prove me wrong as we queued for 10 minutes just to get into the carpark!

Hoards of families walking off their roasts, Dad’s and Son’s on bicycles eagerly setting off on trails and excited dogs tugging their owners, sniffing out the offerings of nature. Not that you would know it once you were in of course, the vast woodland stretches out in all directions and once you’re off the main trail you may not see another person.

micheldever-woods

micheldever_woods

There’s quite a few areas for climbing and jumping around, as well as some great bases which have been made to be explored. Henry was so much more interested in everything inside this time, asking lots of questions; I was nervously looking out for spiders of course! He was thrilled there were so many extremely squelchy puddles to daringly jump into. I love how his imagination is so active now. He is such a funny little dude, and we can have really full on conversations with him now, he’s always making us laugh, surprising us with just how much he knows and bossing us about!

hampshire

hampshire-days-out

I love how caring Henry is towards his little brother. Always going over to give him a hug or a pat on the head, making sure that he is ok – or perhaps just keeping an eye out that his favourite toy isn’t within George’s reach! We are finally feeling fully adjusted to life as a 4 and even though it still feels like George has only just arrived this past year has raced by and I can’t believe my baby is almost 1! I’m not entirely sure Henry understands he will be sharing his Birthday this year and forever more with his new little brother – or maybe he will just think all siblings share a birthday?! Henry is fiercely independent and demanding, strong willed and full of charm. We basically spend our days being bossed around by him!

micheldever_woods

George has such a sweet little personality, he gets so animated and flaps his arms around happily when he’s excited by the slightest thing. Gentle yet determined and noticeably much more affectionate than Henry was at this age. He always comes over for a cuddle or just to clamber on top of us and offers a kiss when you ask. He still wakes once or twice every night, Stuart has been brilliant and shares the night feeds with me thankfully. I secretly don’t mind too much as it means extra cuddles just us with no big brother stealing all the attention. I spend a lot of time kissing his soft little head and he giggles uncontrollably at the very anticipation of me blowing raspberries on his chunky cheeks.

He’s forever looking around for his brother, watching what he does and learning from him – good and bad! Henry always asks to go in George’s bed when he wakes from his nap and they jump up and down singing or shouting out random things, laughing their heads off. Once, Henry threw each one of George’s toys over the cot and since then every morning I go in George has done the same and he looks up at me, head tilted to the side as if to say “what, me?” – the first of a lonnnng list of naughty tricks he’s learnt from his mischievous older brother.

I hope they stay forever close, best friends as well as brothers. Me and my 3 boys xx

micheldever-woods

Boho-Betty-Jewellery

Last week I received a lovely email from a lady called Laura, (hi Laura!) who got in touch to say how much she enjoyed reading my blog and said that she uses reading the blog for some “me time”, explaining that since she’d had her baby and then recently gone back to work, time for herself was limited and it was nice to have a little escapism from Mum life. Obviously it was so lovely to receive (and nice to know it’s not just my Mum who reads my blog (hi Mum!)) but it really hit home and got me thinking…when you’re a Mum “me time” is such a rare commodity, something so simple and previously so readily available has become so important, cherished, bargained for!

Boho-Betty-jewellery

Gone are the days where I wake up on a Saturday morning (or any other day, for that matter) and think, ooh I’ll just pop to town to have a little look around or go and get my hair done. Everything I now do has to be pre-arranged, childcare organised. Spare time has to be shared equally, evenly. Of course this is parenthood, and obviously I wouldn’t change my job as a parent for anything in the world. Luckily, Stuart and I enjoyed a lot of time together before the boys arrived, we travelled, we socialised, we were ready to “settle down”. But that’s not to say we don’t need some time to be ourselves, albeit a slightly more exhausted, grey looking version of ourselves!

boho-betty-jewellery

Having gone back to work freelance when George was just a few months old, trying to carve out a new career in digital marketing around 2 small, and very demanding, humans the opportunity to indulge in “me time” is about as regular as a hot cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just directed at us Mum’s! Stuart has no more time than myself to go and get his hair done (!) or knowing him go on some insane fitness mission. But he does at least spend the day with adults, a lunch break to do as he pleases, enjoys a hot drink when he fancies it and hopefully goes to the toilet without an audience.

Boho-Betty-jewellery

Just by doing a few things for yourself can really make all the difference when it comes to feeling refreshed with life and ready to slip into those Mum shoes each day (or in my case milk sick and dribble covered slippers). Pour a glass of wine and call an old friend who you’ve not caught up with for ages, run yourself a bath and apply a fancy new face mask once the littles are in bed, or order that new lipstick you’ve been coveting.

If your budget allows, buying something for yourself can really perk you up. Especially something pretty which you can wear alongside the standard Mum uniform (breton, skinnies & converse, obvs.) every day to keep your pre-mum identity. I’ve been loving a newly discovered jewellery brand, Boho Betty, who are a UK company which create globally inspired jewellery; designed for women who want to express their individuality. There are sooo many different options on the website I could have shopped on there for hours (If I had the time…)

Boho-Betty-Jewellery

 

I love how a lot of the Boho Betty Jewellery is stackable and you can create so many different looks with various combinations, all perfect for layering. I’ve got my eye on some of their gorgeous necklaces next. They come in luxurious little packages which makes them seem even more indulgent. They’d also make really lovely, thoughtful gifts for any new Mum or Birthday girl.

Boho-Betty

Boho Betty have kindly given me an exclusive discount code for my readers so that you can get 15% off of their beautiful jewellery range! Just type in code AOAM15 on the website!

adventures-of-a-mum

What would you choose from Boho Betty Jewellery?

http://www.boho-betty.co.uk

Last week we were kindly invited along to for a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends at the Watercress Line in Hampshire – of course we jumped at the chance! Part of the Watercress Line runs through Alresford, which is one of our favourite places to visit for a Sunday walk, duck feeding and delicious lunch, and is just up the road which is ideal.

watercress-lin

We arrived and were issued our ticket stub by the station master. Everything has been maintained to its original order which I love; the sweet, musty smell of old papers and leather books, all so authentic and old fashioned.

day-out-with-thomas

We had some time before the first train set off, so we had a wonder around the Alresford station platforms. Henry loved going over the bridge and waving to everyone on the other side of the platform, happily calling out to the other excited children.

Thomas-the-tank-day-out

Devious Diesel was chugging his way up and down the track taking passengers for a ride while they waited for the big trains to pass through, so we excitedly queued to jump on board. It was such a sunny Spring day, just perfect for a family day out. I love how there were older people without children there too, just sipping on a coffee taking it all in, the sun shining on their faces, the smell of soot and steam hanging warm in the air.

Devious-Diesel

The trains run along 5 stations in Hampshire; Alresford, Ropley, Alton, Medstead & Four Marks and you’re free to jump on and off all day. We boarded the locomotive from Alresford, with the powerful steam engine up front pulling the carriages along, smoke billowing out of the chimney tooting its way out of the station. Everything was genuine and original and Henry was beaming from ear to ear that he was ON A TRAIN!!!

thomas-the-tank

As we arrived into Ropley, having scoffed our “train picnic” whilst enjoying beautiful views across the Hampshire countryside, we disembarked to find a real carnival buzz of fun things happening. There was lots to do both inside and out, which would have been great had there been bad weather. We trundled up the hill and looked down onto the station, giving us brilliant views of all the activities going on at the station. Workmen busily painting old carriages, restoring them to their original conditions, and shovelling bins full of coal, soot falling to the floor in clouds of black smoke. Henry spotted the teacups so off we went for a ride. Everything on offer is included in the ticket price, which makes it real value for money, there were minimal queues also which was great. (as you may imagine with an excited toddler and overwhelmed baby in tow!)

day-out-with-thomas

It wasn’t quite warm enough for an outside picnic, but I can picture families lining the banks of the stations with their sandwiches and strawberries when Day Out With Thomas returns in the summer.

Once we had finished our rides on the teacups we felt the excitement in the air as crowds gathered at the look out, peering down for a glimpse…Thomas had arrived!

thomas-the-tank

Henry’s face lit up – I wish I had caught it on camera, it was magical. We raced down to the track to meet him. It was great as although it was a sunny Saturday there weren’t too many people – we chose not to take the pushchair as we weren’t sure what it would be like but lots of people did and they could get on and off just fine – we definitely would take one next time as George didn’t get to sleep the whole day so was exhausted but just couldn’t give in to all the fun going on around him!

thomas-the-tank-engine thomas-the-tank-ngine

Once we had finished exploring all the activities, we realised the Big Man himself was on the other side of the platform – the Fat Controller!! He certainly lived up to his name and kindly signed a certificate for Henry and George to say they had travelled on Thomas. Henry was thrilled to have met him – thank you Sir Top Hat!

fat-controller

You can book online or simply pay on the day, which makes it ideal if you change your mind last minute. As far as I know they don’t tend to ever be fully booked.

FARES
Adult £18
Child (age 2 – 16 yrs) £12
Family (2A+2C) £54
Child under 2 yrs FREE

The travel ticket includes all the above and much more – it’s really good value for money as everything for the whole day is included. We packed a picnic but there is food available.

  • An entire day’s travel on the big steam trains that run up and down the whole line.
    (These trains run approximately every 30-40 minutes from 9:35am to 4:30pm).
  • A free Thomas sticker and Day Out With Thomas certificate.
  • Unlimited rides behind Thomas in his carriages or in Toad the Brake Van
  • Unlimited rides with Iron ‘Arry and a friend of Diesel’s – you can even get in the cab with the driver!

LOTS of FREE activities!

  • Thomas themed children’s entertainer
  • Rides on the Minature railway
  • Bouncy Slide (age 3+)
  • Tea Cup ride
  • Story corner and daily story time
  • ‘Thomas & Friends’ Transfers
  • Imagination Stations with Thomas playsets, colouring and DVD shows

We’ll definitely be returning! Let me know if you are thinking of going too! More info can be found online xx

watercress-line