Being present in the moment

Recently I’ve been making small but significant changes in my life .. The main one being – leaving my phone alone more.

When my little Ruby said to me one day ‘No phone mummy’ as she tried to pass me something – it made my heart sink. I don’t want to be someone that ignores moments in the real world for random pointless scrolling through timelines in social media.

I don’t want my girls drawing me holding my mobile phone and I don’t want them to think my phone is more important to me than being present in the moment with them.

I think it’s really sad how many kids/adults you see staring at their phones everywhere they go, never really engaging with the real world and the people around them. Never looking up and just breathing in their surroundings, smiling at strangers and noticing the details and beauty around them.

What matters to me is my children, my husband, my friends, my family. Being present with them, looking in to their eyes, talking face to face, smiling, hugging, kissing, laughing, crying – sharing real emotions – not just emoticons 😁😳😂👌

I’m starting to get messages from friends worrying what’s wrong with me, as my vacantness on facebook is strange to them. The truth is I’m feeling happier and more connected with what’s important to me – enjoying the real world and all the things I treasure in it.

Don’t get me wrong – I do still use my phone and social media but mainly at the moment I use it to take photos and tweak them on Instagram. I’m not taking photos for anyone else’s appraisal, they are for me, as a visual diary of memories. (That’s why my Instagram is now set to private)

Facebook is a great and quick way for me to quickly catch up with friends and connect with people but I try not to linger and scroll and scroll and get absorbed like I used to. I did try quitting facecrack once before but this lasted an hilariously long 15 hours or so!!

Those of you who know me, know I’m a creative person, a photographer, an artist. I love seeing beauty in the things around me.  I’ve starting drawing again, writing stories for my girls and baking more.

Why do I write on this blog? .. I’m not entirely sure!  I write my posts usually early in the morning (between 5am & 6am) and like now – when I’m pinned to the sofa with a sleeping cubby on me.

I created this blog nearly two years ago when Ruby was born. It was somewhere I could ramble on and post photos, ideas and my food art pictures! Often writing in the middle of the night during the marathon boobing sessions!  I’m not blogging much at the moment but hopefully you’ll understand why now.

imageHave you tried being more present in the moment? Would love to hear your stories too.

Thanks for reading! X



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Morning moan ..

Ok .. I promise to not be long .. But I need just a little moan this morning.

So today I am grumpy. Yep.. Mrs grump face. This mornings activities have been quite typical for me for a long time.

2am – large child wakes screaming that she’s not tired. I stumble to her room. Takes a while to get her to settle.

3am – small child wakes crying in her cot next to me – having a nightmare. I comfort her. Now Shhhhhh …

3.30am – hubby starts snoring loudly … I try and find ear plugs in the bedside draw .. Quietly.

4.20am – small child sits up and demands cuddles. She gets in bed with me, well on me actually with her head squished as tight as possible in to my throat. I can’t breath but she doesn’t mind. She’s happy.

4.30am – Small child starts kissing my arm and rolls off me on to the bed. But she doesn’t want me to touch her now – even though she’s falling off the bed.

4.35am – small child wants to climb back on me. She kisses me then bites me a bit.

4.50am – I think small child is asleep. Hubby definitely is – loudly.

5.10am – small child frets in her sleep about something she’s sharing with her sister. She now wants to sleep cuddling my arm. I’m not allowed to touch her though, or move, or breath.

5.20am – I hear large child whimpering .. Again

5.30am ‘Get uurrrp mama’ loud loud shouting – right in my ear.

I get up. I scrabble around for warm things. Carry small child in to the lounge. She demands juice. I get her one. She demands her rabbit program on the tv. I turn to on … It’s ‘too bright mama’. Cries a bit.

5.35am – I pop kettle on .. Need tea or I may just keel over.

5.37am – ‘fooood’ demands small child. I fetch food. And feed cats.

5.45am. Small child’s cold- I fetch blankets. She’s now hungry again .. I fetch more food.

I sit for 5 mins with tea – I’m happy.

5.50am – small child wants her sleeves rolling up. I roll them up. Now she’s got cold arms. She demands I make them warm … Omg.

6am – large child wakes up. I fetch her. She’s cold, she’s thirsty. She wants her socks, she needs food, she wants her program on. She wants to know ‘Is it morning?’

‘no it’s not’ I answer.

Then every 5 mins since then I’m getting more demands .. And more grumpy. It’s now 6.45am.

Is it bed time yet?



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Frozen Rainbow cake


Did you spot the rainbow cake I made for Ruby last April? (blog post with recipe on here) Well here is my second attempt at a rainbow cake. Made and scoffed last weekend.

Rosie asked me to make her a rainbow cake for her party last weekend. She also wanted it to be a Frozen (sigh) cake.

I followed my last recipe but just stuck to blues/greens for the sponge colouring.

Rosie helped me decorate it with sweets and little Frozen figures, and we finished it off by spraying it with edible silver glitter.

Even though these cakes are quite time consuming to make, I do think the result and enjoyment from eating them makes the extra effort worth while!

Have you made one yet? Please share links to your rainbow cakes here. I’d love to have look.

Happy baking! X



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We love baby signing!

I am a massive fan of baby signing. If I had to choose one baby class to recommend as helpful, musical, entertaining and fun- I’d definitely say ‘Sing & sign’.

I joined the wonderful world of baby signing when Rosie was about 6 months old and we started Sing & Sign classes in Leeds.

I’d seen how helpful signing had been to some very good friends of mine – they used if with their son Jamie from about 6 months old. I’ll always remember Jamie’s mummy coming back from a walk, beaming with pride as she told me how her little boy at just 18 months’ish had actually had a little signing conversation with a deaf man in the park. She said the man seemed really happy and amazed at this tiny little boy (who can’t talk yet) being able to communicate with him – obviously at a very basic level! But still .. I was super impressed and decided I’d definitely be putting baby signing at the top of my ‘things I must do while baby is small list’.

So I joined a class and pretty soon within just a couple of months Rosie was signing a few basic and very helpful words! ‘more’ ‘milk’ ‘food’ ‘drink’ and ‘open’ were her her first signs. At just 8 months old I could figure out some of her basic needs really quickly by using these simple signs. Before she turned one Rosie was signing loads of things ..’change nappy’ ‘ouchy’ ‘all gone’ ‘cake!’ And many more words.

I found the class was a great way for me and Rosie to learn together – the songs were really easy to remember and the official Sing and Sign DVD was (and still is) a fab tool to help babies really learn their signing. The main character in the songs is a little cat called Jessie- we actually bought the Jessie soft toy too – which again is still a favourite toy in our house.

If you really want your babies to learn signing you have to remember to try and sign as many words as you can all the time really. It feels a bit odd and ridiculous at first when you don’t get any interaction or reaction back from your tiny 6 month old baby -but I promise you if you persevere the rewards and results can be pretty fabulous!

With Ruby I haven’t actually taken her to classes but I still remember most of the signing and we’ve been reusing the fantastic and hypnotic DVDs again (super handy if you need 5 mins to get some jobs done or just have a simple luxury like have a warm cup of tea)

Ruby is also a massive fan of Mr Tumble – she’s learnt a lot of signing from him too. It’s also helped a lot that my husband and my mum have been signing with Ruby – even Rosie is now enjoying helping her baby sister to sign.

My mum actually confessed to me that when I first said I was going to learn baby signing with Rosie (nearly four years ago now) she thought it was a bit of a strange thing to do – and that she’d feel a little silly signing to a baby!. But soon she became as much of a fan of it as I am when she started to see the amazing results! It really isn’t a daft fad .. It’s awesome.

I think that signing as many words as possibly with my girls and making sure I say the words I’m signing clearly every single time I sign – has been the key to both my girls learning so quickly – they have also both started speaking at a really young age too.

If we are not sure of certain signs for something -we just make something up. Rosie enjoys helping me to make up signs for her baby sister too.

You have to keep remembering signing with your baby is a fun thing to do, that’s there as a tool to help you communicate with your children. It’s not aiming to make you or them in to ‘signing’ professionals! Just keep it fun and enjoy it.

Some people think signing could delay their children’s speech – I think quite the opposite. But each to their own and all that!

Would love to hear about your baby signing experiences too.

Thanks for reading x

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The end of an era …


Feeling strangely emotional tonight as it dawns on me that I will never breastfeed a baby again, I’ll never get to see that beautiful content, relieved and sweet little ‘just got milk’ expression again as I feed and snuggle my baby.

Breastfeeding to me has been a wonderful, exhausting, amazing and frustrating experience. (I’ve written about our problems with tongue tie and breastfeeding support on here previously, let me know if you can’t find the post)

I’m so pleased that I’ve had the chance to breastfeed two babies and will always treasure the memories I have of this super special time.

I never thought I’d be breastfeeding Ruby this long (She’s nearly 18months) I’m feeling pretty proud of this now.

If I’m being completely honest I used to think it was a little bit wierd seeing small children running up to their mums and helping themselves to boob milk .. But fast forward to last week – Ruby runs up to me, pulls on my top,  smacks me on the boob and says ‘I want that one’ … Yep .. It’s amazing how my feelings have changed on this subject!

After a fantastic week on holiday (where boobing came in extremely useful, especially on the plane!) I decided it was time to try and stop breastfeeding Ruby.

I’d been slowly reaching a point where I felt I wanted my body (boobs) back and was starting to feel a bit irritated with the constant pulling on my tops and relentless demands from Ruby. When these feelings started I knew it would be a good time to try and stop.

So 8 days ago I just decided to stop. Ruby looked extremely puzzled when she came up to me asking for boob and my reply was ‘milks all gone’ – she didn’t really cry, she just looked confused.

I was dreading bed time as I had always got Ruby to sleep by breastfeeding.  She cried a tiny bit on night one but I just kept cuddling her and saying milk had all gone and she seemed to understand.  I popped her in her cot and after a little singing and face stroking – she went to sleep!

I’m actually over the moon with how easily Ruby now goes to sleep! It’s amazed me how quickly she adapted to the ‘no boob’ situation and she goes to sleep sometimes in just 5 minutes!

Ruby still wakes a few times in the night but all I have to do usually is say ‘mummy’s here, go to sleep’ and she does!

Ruby’s really good at signing most things (I’ll probably write a post about how awesome I think baby signing is!) she’s also saying quite a few things now too. If Ruby asks for a cuddle I’ll always give her one, no matter what time it is, how tired I am – if my baby wants a cuddle I won’t deny her. As I know soon enough, I’ll be the one pestering her to cuddle me (like I do with her big sister!)

Oh and for any mamas wondering about how my boobs coped – I just made sure I expressed the lumps away a few times a day to begin with and I think they are nearly finished making milk now.

Would love to hear about your experiences on this subject! Feel free to share xx

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Sleep sleep sleep!


Firstly I just want to say sorry for the lack of posts on here recently. I’ve actually found the last year pretty exhausting and I’m now starting to feel a bit more normal again (well the closest to normal I’ve ever been anyway)

Wierdly I’ve just noticed that my last post about sleep was exactly one year ago! In that post I was talking about the 4 month growth spurt taking forever – Little did I know it would carry on for another year at least!

Ruby was 4 months old when she started waking me up every 1-2 hours for milk. She’s now 17 months old and there’s not been much change … Until 4 days ago! I decided enough was enough, I was actually on the verge of loosing the plot – dreaming, needing and craving sleep like crazy!

I decided to try and keep Ruby in the cot all night (next to my bed) rather than pop her quickly in bed with me to feed as soon as she woke.  I knew it was going to make me even more tired (if at all possible) but I figured I should give it a try.

Here’s how it’s going so far …

Night one – she cried a lot, all night – I felt terrible but kept holding her hand through the bars and telling her I was there. Kept offering her water and popping the stars projecter and music on.

Night two – she cried less, woke only twice and was easier to settle – the stars projecter and music helped a little bit more and she even accepted a drink of water.

Night three – she slept all the way to 4am!!! This is the first time I have slept for 6 hours since she was born.  I also managed to persuade her to go back to sleep after a few sips of water.

Last night – she slept until 2am’ish but was quick to get back to sleep with reassurance I was there and would hold her hand.

She has stayed in her cot from 8pm to 6.30am for four nights now and I’m over the moon with this progress!

I’m thrilled with the results so far. I wish I’d tried this sooner actually but we were in such a routine of boobing to sleep and I was worried I’d actually get less sleep if I risked changing things.

Hopefully, fingers crossed – we are through the worst of the sleep deprivation and things will continue in the right direction.

Gosh these small people are so incredibly tiring but totally amazing and in my opinion worth every wrinkle and grey hair.

To any struggling / sleepy parent reading this blog .. I send you buckets of energy, patience and preserverance – follow your heart and things will get easier with time xxx

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Rainy day snack plate

Rainy day snack plate

Rainy day snack plate

Today it’s raining .. So I’ve made the girls a rainbow each to brighten their day.
Made super quickly with peppers, carrot, cheese, frozen peas, sunflower seeds and bread.
Simple, easy and healthy

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Twit twoooo


Made with: grapes, banana, Cheerios, strawberries, rice cakes and chocolate drops


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Balloon ride for breakfast

Balloon ride for breakfast

Balloon ride for breakfast

Made with
A crumpet, grapes, sultanas, wiggles dried strawberry, Cheerios, banana, satsuma, strawberries

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Rainbow cake

Ruby's rainbow cake

Rainbow cake

I am so pleased with the rainbow cake I made that I just have to share with you how I made it!
6 food colouring gels/pastes (not ordinary food colouring)
9 eggs
18 oz white sponge flour
18 oz caster sugar
18 oz butter
Baking powder
Vanilla essence
2 tubs of Cheese style butter icing (Betty croakers)

Turn oven to 160 fan oven
In a blender mix 3 eggs, 6 oz flour, 6 oz caster sugar, 6 oz butter, 1tsp baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla essence & 1/4 tsp salt.
When whizzed and smooth- divide mix in to two bowls (I weighed this out to make sure it was even)
Add food colouring (I got specialist gels from Dodgsons in Otley) .. Don’t try using natural food colouring – it’s too weak and won’t work (I had a failed attempt before I figured this out!) just the tiniest bit of food gel/paste colouring is all you need.
Once you are happy with your two coloured cake mixes then pop them in lined 8 inch cake tins (I like removable base tins and I cut baking paper to fit the base)
Pop in oven for approx 12 mins – keep checking with a skewer – when it comes out clean they are ready.
Pop on the side to cool.
I had to remove mine from cake tins straight away to prepare the tins for the next bake. Always flip cake on to it’s top to help make it settle flat.
Repeat mix as describe above to make 4 more cakes (I made six layers)
When all cakes are cooled (don’t put in fridge) start layering them up by glueing them together with the cheese style butter icing.
Then use the same butter icing for the sides and top.
Rosie enjoying helping me stick smarties all over the cake to finish it off.
It looked fab! And tasted delicious. I’ll be making this again!
Please share photos of your rainbow cakes if you give it a try.


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