Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

WAIT- How did my baby turn EIGHT?!

My baby. My beautiful baby girl.

How did we arrive here?

How is it that I find myself buying a gold, foil number 8 balloon and watch you with your bouncy bunches skip off to school chatting excitedly with your sister and your mates?

school 2019

bethan tenby teddies


It’s mere minutes since your daddy and I brought you home in your car seat and lost hours marvelling at your tiny fingers and toes and beautiful bow lips.

Rosalind Grace Photography
Bethan, my darling, I loved you before you existed. I loved you as a bump and as a wincy wee. I have loved you every minute of every day since your inception and I will do until my last breath and then again from wherever I go next.

That doesn’t make me a perfect parent and it doesn’t make you a perfect child. Perfection is a myth so just be real. You aren’t bothered a jot about what you wear, the way you look or what others think. Cling on to that Kid- it’s gold dust.

You are you with your abstract imagination, your love of colouring and Lego and reading and Harry Potter. I am me with my baffling brain, my love of learning and literature, my permanent need for a fluffy bed sock and a brew. We are we with our books and our blankies and our Bake Off and we are all the better when we are doing all of that or anything else as a four; Team Leary 😊

NE Beach

chill factore

maui waui


Bethan- you have more gifts than I care to count and more will reveal themselves to you and to me and to the world as you grow. Thank you for your gentle nature, your whimsical way of seeing the world. Thanks for your jokes, your patience with your sister and your cousins. Thanks for your zest for life, your efforts at parkrun and cricket and at everything!

parkrun girls (3)

glasgow transport museum

Sometimes aloof, sometimes breath takingly empathic. Thanks for noticing when I’m a little fraught and for speaking to me gently as though you’re the adult.

You blow my mind. You always have.

Bethan 2
There will come a time when I don’t have the privilege of seeing and being in your life so much as I am now- you might travel, you might take a path that I don’t totally get and, that is just as it should be but, know this my love, that decision is yours. Me and your daddy will be here, in as much of your life as you want and need forever.
Happy Birthday Bethan Gwen.
We will love you until the seas run dry.
And that will never happen.
Love Muma.


PS- Just in case you are reading this years from now, your 8th birthday was a weird and wild time politically… look it up! WOWZER.

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Happy Birthday Dad.


Somewhere, in some weird and wonderful parallel universe today I should be sitting in a delightful beer garden somewhere family all, watching my dad blow out the candles on his 70th birthday cake. Actually; we may have opted for Royal Ascot where we could dress up and lord it up on Ladies Day all paid for by him of course because…that’s what dads do isn’t it- they look after their brood….That’s my understanding of a father.

Instead, my mum and my sister and I will raise a glass to the man we miss and each of us will wonder what life would have looked like if things had been different. But that’s not what life is- you can’t pick and choose it all; we’ve all seen Back to the Future*


And; whilst this is and always will be very sad, we have had over 30 years to grow around our grief. To manage its ebbs and flows and to smile at the few memories and imaginings of memories that we have stored away for safe keeping and; whilst that will never be enough, whilst I will always, always wish we had been gifted with more time it also IS enough.

It is enough because I know that I was loved and, in that respect I guess, a dead dad is better than a bad dad.

I appreciate that sounds hard and unfeeling but it might be true… I have seen the damage done by not knowing- the young people I used to work with had so many questions and were often so desperate to know more about their past and their parents that it was destroying their future. A file provided by a professional with as much blacked out as there is to read isn’t the same; your family is part of the fabric of who you are.

My mum and our friends and extended family give me that. They have furnished my sister and I with memories and the security of knowing that our daddy loved us and, had the choice been his to make, he would have been here today. I know what songs he loved (Brothers in Arms as todays ‘Blast of absolute class’ brought me to tears; someone else recalling early 80’s car journeys with their dad singing along to Dire Straits). I recall watching him get ready for work much as my girls do with Mr L today. I remember going to his office, I remember he made me feel safe and happy and loved. I never saw him fail, I never saw him frail, I never saw him fade into a shadow of the man he was. How lucky is that? To have that knowledge and to have people reaffirming it when I question or stumble or worry or forget is a massive deal and, without that I would have been a very different person.


So; whilst I can, and do, wish that our dad was still with us, his absence allowed me to create a picture perfect person because, when we die, we can never disappoint, we can never fail. We can only be remembered. Death, particularly when the person is young or it is unexpected creates romanticised ideals that are impossible to live up to. Over time the rawness of grief softens, the memories become more technicolour and, in my experience become mixed with happy dreams of imaginings of things that maybe never were. Those left behind are simply imperfect humans that have to pick up the pieces, do their best and keep on keeping on;  That’s the tougher gig by far.

And so; here we are, our unit of three that has swelled to a 9 doing our best to make memories for the next generation.

family photo yellow dresses

He lived, he loved and was loved and the legacy he leaves means I know what a good dad is and every day I get to see Mr L making my girls feel just as safe and secure and as loved as I ever was. To get that lucky twice is something special wouldn’t you say and that, for me, has to be enough.


one of a few precious pics which is why making memories is so important to me. 



Happy birthday daddy.

You are loved and remembered every day.

Tiny Tears. x

PS: Since you’re here- I’ve got a favour to ask… give someone you love a call today and tell them. There’s never a bad time to tell someone how glad you are to have them in your life.

*If you haven’t seen Back to the Future- please do!








Get set for Geronimo 2016!!!


GERONIMO 2016.png

I’m so excited. And I just can’t hide it. Don’t panic, I’m not about to lose control but I definitely like it! GERONIMO IS BACK for 2016- Hooray!

Last year we were lucky enough to be invited to be one of the official bloggers at the first Geronimo festival at Tatton Park. We had an absolutely brilliant day and I know that lots of you did too. Due to last years success the festival has expanded and the fab festival will now book end May with a weekend at Harewood House, Leeds on 1-2nd May and then, at the end of the month Geronimo will be back at Tatton Park. That’s the bank holiday entertainment sorted then!

Wondering what’s in store to entertain your brood? Geronimo is aimed at families with kids of 12 and under and focuses on family time and imaginative play in beautiful surroundings.

Last year the 3ft and Under Zone was a real winner for us- there were chilled out tents for feeding, changing and just letting the little ones catch their breath- it was really well thought out! Not surprising given the event organiser is a dad of 7!! This year the little ones can enjoy a fun class with Tumble Tots, take a ride on a balance bike or take a dance lesson with baby ballet. For the tiny tots, simply chill out in the baby yoga tent. Bliss! 



geronimo bethan


Now the girls have found their feet and are certainly getting way more daring and adventurous I fear the calm of the baby zone will be lost on us but that’s ok- there’s loads more to look forward to…

There is an incredible array of different zones and activities but here’s the top 5 of what we’re most looking forward to this time around:

  1. The Adrenaline Zone will challenge even the bravest adventurers with tree climbing, den making and a thrilling zip line that will reach speeds of up to 60KPH! For those who like things a little less fast paced, there are fencing and archery taster lessons and Parkour sessions where Geronimites can learn how to jump and roll like a Pro.
  2. The girls were absolutely in awe when we took them to a circus last year in New Brighton so I know that the Circus Zone will be a hit- there’s a breathtaking aerial trapeze show and the chance to give plate spinning and stilt walking a go…Plate spinning is basically a metaphor for my life so I should have that one nailed in no time! This zone also includes a full circus show and Circus fudge will also be performing his show from Glastonbury festival – don’t miss it!
  3. Bethan asked me today when she could go on the telly to do some cooking, talking and singing so I am sure we’ll be spending some of our day in the Theatre Zone, with Pocket Story Theatre – winner of the primary times children’s choice awards at the Edinburgh Fringe. Fabularium is the most eccentric of travelling shows and Les Enfants Terrible present the Imaginary Menagerie; travel with Dr Longitude as he regales you with his strange stories and takes about his travels….I just hope they can get a word in when ours are there!
  4. Drums make me happy- I was reminded of that during last weeks Winter 10km so I can almost guarantee that I’ll be doing some embarrassing mum dancing in the Library Zone where we can join in some Bollywood dance classes or shake our booty at Zumba or enjoy a gigantic drumming session. I will be trying to beat a hasty exit before the Frozen singalong though. So. Over. It!!
  5. Last year we loved taking a load off and getting involved with the cooking and Creation Station workshops and I am sure we’ll be all over the Funky Junk Zone.  this time around also. The girls are all about card making, cutting and sticking and any sort of making at the moment and when you add hair braiding, face painting and fairy making workshops into the mix this has got ‘coffee break’ written all over it for me and Mr L!


Aside from all of that they’ve brought back the big guns in terms of kids entertainment…Mr Bloom, Andy Day, Alex Winters and Cook and Line from Swashbuckle will be around for daily meet and greets, appearances of the main stage and lots of fun, songs and silly slapstick comedy you know that you’ll be laughing along as much as the kids! 


Totally mixing with the A List. Bloom = BOOM

The countdown is on! 

See you there- keep your eyes peeled for our competition.

Geronimo Bar

Just in case you’re still on the fence! 




Tickets are on sale NOW priced from £18.50pp.  A ticket for Geronimo Harewood also includes access to Below Stairs of the House.




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Weddings with wee ones; my top 5 tips…

This weekend is officially the busiest of the whole year for weddings…

Everyone loves a Summer wedding. It’s the opportunity to dress up, catch up with friends and sink a few shandies…isn’t it?! UMMM…Not if you’re taking the kiddiewinks!

Love this picture...totally glossing over the reality of the getting dressed drama!

Love this picture…totally glossing over the reality of the getting dressed drama!

Sure, it’s all fun and games, photo opps and compliments for the first few hours. The children are excited, they are cute in their posh frocks and they’re entertaining for the masses for a bit but, let’s be honest, there comes a stage when your back is in bits from the feet on shoe dancing, they’re cranky, crumpled and craving attention where as you’re sober and looking longingly at the guests on the dance floor giving it beans to a cheeky rendition of Come on Eileen (I never pretended to be classy!)

This year family Leary have 4 weddings and a blessing. Last year we went to 3 so I like to think that we have learnt a thing or two about how to survive the celebrations when you have kids in tow. Here’s my top 5 tips for getting it right or, at the very least, ensuring you get through the day without wanting to put a stiletto through your eye socket;

Pristine and ready to roll!  photo thanks to:

Pristine and ready to roll!
photo thanks to:

This is the easy bit!!

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Here comes the Summer…WIN tickets to GERONIMO – The Biggest Children’s Festival in the NW!

Last week, in my post about Disney on Ice, I promised you a competition and, despite the meltdowns, the tantrums and the terrible twos, one of my very very favourite things to do is spend time with my babies and Mr L doing something different. Preferably out doors and ideally including ice cream!

Because I am a caring, sharing kind of gal I want the same for you guys so, how about this:

Brand new to the festival scene for 2015 comes Geronimo, a weekend of organised mayhem at Tatton Park in Cheshire, May 23 – 25.

Geronimo Tatton Park

Expect a line-up jam packed with some of the biggest names in children’s entertainment, including CBeebies favourites Mr Bloom (calm down ladies!) Katy Ashworth, Alex Winters and Cook & Line from Swashbuckle. Geronomites will also be able to enjoy den making, zip wires, donkey rides, circus shows, baby ballet, cookie decorating, storytelling, a petting farm, tree climbing, craft workshops, bubble shows and much more.


CAN NOT WAIT- we adore a den and donkey’s, ballet, stories, cookies- all the rest of it.

Tatton Park is famous beautiful gardens and woodlands, it has excellent motorway links and extensive on site parking.

Tatton Park

The whole programme is designed for the under 12s and tickets are on sale now priced £20.00 per person with kids under 2 totally free.

Happily, one of you lovely lot will be able to go totally gratis as I’ve got one family pass (up to four paying people) to give away. You’re Welcome!!

To enter, all you need to do is answer the question below wirh a comment either on the blog or as a Facebook comment.

Q: Where is the 2015 Geronimo Festival taking place?                    

  A: Tatton Park

 A: Lyme Park

A: South Park

Good Luck!!

Have a wonderful weekend, we’re off to my gorgeous cousins wedding where both of our babies will be beautiful, brilliant, well behaved bridesmaids…we hope…watch this space.

Loads of Love,



T&C’s: The competition closes on 23RD April (St Georges Day!)  

We have one family pass to giveaway. Each pass admits 4 people, one person in the group must be aged over 18 (NB children under the age of 2 years do not require a ticket).

The winning family can attend on the day of their choice, either May 23rd, May 24th or May 25th. The date must be specified at time of confirming the prize. Travel and accommodation are not included. The prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered. The prize is non transferable and ID will be required at time of collecting the ticket wristband upon arrival. The prize includes all events and activities at Geronimo but not food and drink from any stalls or bar. Winner chosen at random.


Disney on Ice…The Real Review!!

Following on from Friday’s apocalyptic melt down from both little cherubs post the Disney on Ice extravaganza I have relaxed, rebooted and am now able to tell you all about it.
You should know that I will be totally glossing over the aftermath and will be painting us as the quintessential perfect family. Please allow me to reimagine the day with a rose tinted hue!
I should also point out that it is far easier for me to write this from the comfort of Virgin first class as I travel down to London for a day of hen fun. I’d be just as happy to spend the whole day on the train reading, writing and chilling on my lonesome but a gals got to do what a gals got to do. Champagne cocktails here I come, unaccompanied mum alert, it could get messy!

{Brief aside; due to the abysmal WiFi on Virgins trains I was not able to post this yesterday as planned; I know many of you will have waited in for it!! }

Anyway, back to Disney on Ice;

Disney on Ice Echo Arena, Disney on Ice review,
On Friday night, as I relaxed in the bath with Sandi Toksvig; not the actual person, that would be both cramped and awkward; she is merely one of the writers of Good Housekeeping (Yes I do read it, my mum passes on her copy to me each month in the vain hope I will transform via osmosis!) I was reassured to discover that she shares my frustrations about Disney Princesses; they all get rescued by fellas and then, quick as a flash, get an incredible frock and go on to live ‘happily ever after’ but, they do it with such a bloody annoyingly brilliant sound track and amazing animation that it’s tricky not to get swept along.

I held off for as long as I could but we are now fully paid up members of the Dinsey fan club so, when I got the email telling me that Disney on Ice was coming to The Echo Arena, I put aside all of my feminist frustrations and booked. It was expensive at £40 each (3 seats between 4 as the little little is 2) but it was their Christmas present.

It was worth every penny. I loved it. Grandma loved it.

We all loved it.

There was no weak link. It was fantastic from start to finish. In the words of Anna (she needs no introduction)

It is amazing!!!

When the dates were announced initially I missed out on tickets so, when an additional date was added I was on it like a car bonnet and as a result we had the best seats in the house. Literally, we were floor level, front row. Get them if you can.

Only the best will do!!  Front Row Baby!!

Only the best will do!!
Front Row Baby!!

DOI Audience

Mickey and Minnie introduced all of the acts and every single one was fabulous. The dancers really engaged with the children and the big littles arms must have ached from the pointing and waving.

DOI Mickey and Minnie

First up were Anastasia and Dresilla from Cinderella, followed by The Little Mermaid.  We’ve never seen the film but the performance was incredible. When Ariel traded her voice for some legs she left the ice and gave a serious display of acrobatics whilst suspended by a rope. Amazing. I know I am over using the term btw!

After a short intermission Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy were back to get us all in the mood for the next acts;

One of our favourite Disney films is Beauty and the Beast and we can regularly be found singing along to Be Our Guest in the car.
The girls eyes were nearly as big as the plates when Mrs Potts and Chip came out. We booed Gaston, cheered Belle and laughed at Lumiere and Cogsworth. Apologies for the lack of imagery but it is tough to balance a toddler, point, clap and film simultaneously!

There were scenes from Tangled- including Maximus- an actual (obviously not ACTUAL but you get my drift)

Image courtesy of my friend Fi!! Thanks Mate ;-)

Image courtesy of my friend Fi!!
Thanks Mate 😉

then the finale was…Frozen (obv!)

The rink was transformed into a winter wonderland with snow falling from the ceiling  and when Sven and Christophe came on we were all enthralled.

Prince Hans lost his footing which frankly could be karma but he carried on seamlessly. All of the performances were really brilliant and, as Grandma so eloquently pointed out there were many pert posteriors to admire! There really is something for everyone.

I realise that by booking this we are on a slippery slope, I will be keeping my eyes peeled for other events like this, I have already booked tickets for Ben and Holly and I can not wait until they are old enough for festivals and the theatre proper!!!

In May we are off to Geronimo Festival at Tatton Park (keep your eyes peeled for a ticket give away soon) and in August hope to head to either Lollibop or The Just So Festival so, with that in mind here’s my top tips for making sure you don’t miss out on the hottest tickets in town and don’t feel fleeced when you go.

1) Sign up to the mailing list for your local theatres, arenas etc and you’ll get priority booking and will be the first to know when new acts are announced.

2) When Aunties, Uncles, Grandmas, Grandads and God Parents ask what to get the children for birthdays, Easter, Christmas, consider asking for tickets to the next event they’d enjoy. They might even offer to take them…

3) Get a loyalty card such as the ATG theatre card and save on all the booking fees. If you go to more than one or two performances a year it is well worth it.

4) Take your own snacks. Do not try to justify the £7 it costs for a drink because you get to keep the cup. £4 for candy floss with a cardboard Olaf head?!

5) Blindfold your kids on entry and exit to add to the occasion. A happy side effect of this game is that they won’t see all of the stuff that they are selling; no one needs to spunk £10 on a cup, a swirly light thing or plastic horse. You really don’t.
A double bonus here is the money you save on tat is money you can spend on the next years tickets plus, you’ll save on Big Yellow Storage fees in later years 😉

Have you been to Disney this weekend? I’d love to know what you thought…

Have a wonderful week.




Time to say Goodbye.

So, it seems that my sole surviving grandparent, my Grandma is dying. She has been sleeping since late last week and we don’t expect her to come round from this state. She has neither eaten or drank and is being medicated round the clock to keep her as free from pain as possible.
What a sad, sad end to a life so well lived.

There is a beautiful poem about death by Canon Henry Scott Holland, it begins like this;

Death is nothing at all.

Hmmm; what do we think about this?

Death maybe nothing at all; but what of dying?

I wish that death could be as painless as switching off a light. Of planting a kiss on a loved ones cheek, wishing them well until you meet again but alas, that is so rarely the case.
Dying is messy, emotional, inconsiderate, inconvenient, inevitable and often awful. For everyone.

It is the opposite of nothing at all.

My glorious Grandma has ebbed away, she is a shadow of the wonderful woman that she was and it is so bitterly unfair.

I wish so deeply that she had not suffered the pain and indignity of this death. That she had not had her memory pilfered, stolen away from her piece by piece until she could no longer remain in the home she loved, could no longer recall our names and half of her history.

I wish she had not stayed quite so long at this party and her family and friends were saved the grief of this period.
The dying bit.
It is the natural order that you get old and you die; I am not mourning that.
I am mourning the interim period where the person you love is in pain, frightened and unable to manage even the most basic of functions alone.
Gone in all but body but with enough remaining to feel the physical pain.

That is not nothing at all. That is simply awful and feels inhumane.

I know that one Grandma has passed away time will heal this hurt.
I know too that the remainder of this beautiful poem will hold true and, as a family we will be able to share jokes and fond memories and cherish the long life she lived but for now I just feel so very very sad.

Sad for her. She would not have wanted this and we don’t want this for her.

I want her to go to her new home now, with her son and her husband, watch the birds from her easy chair with an earl grey and a slice of lemon cake.
I want her to look in on us occasionally and smile before going back to the crossword and perhaps having a cheeky sherry in front of Songs of Praise.

I want to be able to smile at the memory of baking with her and my cousins, of visiting her church at Easter and making the model of the crucifixion and the tomb.
I want to recall the hot chocolates and bedtime stories, the different voices and her soft soft skin which smelt of Oil of Ulay.

I want to have a wry smile when the girls wear something ‘too grown up’ and recall our shopping trip to “Tammy Girl” and her request for cutlery in McDonalds.

I want to replay her 90th birthday and her face when I told her she was going to be a Great Grandma and I want to remember her seeing the girls on her birthday last year. She was delighted with them.

I want this bit to be over now. Not because I don’t love her, but because I do.


God Bless Grandma.
You are loved.

**Grandma passed away on Wednesday night so is now at peace at least.**

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Everything’s Premier but the price?! OR; a post that makes me sound a bit ‘Hopkins’.

There’s a school of thought that when you have children nothing needs to change.
In my PC (pre child) days I was one of those people. I believe the word is, in hindsight, delusional.
Delusional for me on quite a few levels as it happens.

I envisaged that we’d be globe trotting like good’uns as soon as the babes were dry- why I expected this when we were too skint to holiday much when it was just the two of us is a mystery, but I have always had some pretty high ideals!
Like the posters say; dream big and all that.


I envisaged that both myself and my children would leave the house looking serene and polished with hair pulled back into a thick, glossy, swinging ponytail. I look which, frankly, I have never pulled off. Even when I was only in charge of one birds nest barnet.


I envisaged my life would be yoga, lunching and weirdly minimal wiping up of sick and snot and vom. It’s not quite turned out that way and I do know how lucky I am to have a part time job, two gorgeous girls, a wonderful husband and a happy family life so don’t roll your eyes at me too much. I realise things are far from dire straits.



However, I did not, not ever, envisage that I’d be dining on Valentines Day in a Brewers Fayre before falling asleep pre 10pm in a Premier Inn family room…no I was all about Mr and Mrs Smith boutique B&B’s, White Company sheets and adjoining rooms…
Clearly someone told me that child rearing and lottery wins were basically one and the same thing!

They’re not.

I have no idea why I’m like this; I was raised like a regular human with a love of The Little Chef, Harvester and Beefeater- anything food related really (except beans)
Perhaps my experience as a nanny for the well heeled has given me a misplaced sense of what’s normal!
Anyway, if you are still living in the same fantasy world in which I reside- despite having no pension to speak of or private fortunate to secure my old age, rest assured, the real world is pretty ok too and this is how I know…

Our Valentines Adventure to The Premier Inn…

I appreciate that everywhere looks a little bit shit when it’s cold and grey and you haven’t had a valentines card but I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn to say the sun would really have to be cracking the flags to brighten up the retail park and surrounding docks that we drove through to reach our destination of The Premier Inn North Shields!

We walked in and were greeted with a real North East welcome- hooray, people that actually seem happy to be working and interacting not only with the public but with children.
Dean and Anne were quick, efficient and friendly.

Our room was a really great size and, when the big littles first words were
“This is amazing, It’s just like Ibiza!”
My heart melted a little.



I relaxed in the bath whilst the girls chatted to me and Mr L made some Twinnings tea…plenty of tea bags- take note The Grove!!

We headed over to the pub to meet our friends for dinner and again, the staff were really brilliant- orders taken and divided into families to prevent hassle when paying the bill.
Speedy service and no mistakes but, because I knew we were in a place designed for families I wasn’t panicking every time the girls spoke; which they didn’t really because they were too busy in the soft play.
Small gripe here; why does all soft play seem to have inaccessible areas which kids can post rubbish into but the cleaners can not reach to clean.
I don’t want to be asked to retrieve a ball or toy or a raisin from a minging concrete floor covered in fluff, dust and other kids haribo. It’s grim, end of.
Happily, the bits the children are messing about in are totally fine which is more than I can say about many of the other soft plays I’ve endured enjoyed.
The toys and activities I (for once) remembered were redundant and it was brilliant to see the girls holding their own on the slides and tunnels. When the big littles hairband fell out 3 boys all decked out in Newcastle shirts clamoured to be the one to return it.
Ah- young love!

The food was standard pub grub with pasta, salads, burgers and meats from the grill and the Dennis the Menace inspired kids menu went down well with our girls; what’s not to love about spaghetti Bolagnaise, ham and pineapple pizza followed by jelly and ice-cream?!

Walking back to the hotel (is the Premier Inn a hotel?!) meant we could both have a drink though the fact that the little little seemed to wake every hour between midnight and five made us grateful we hadn’t filled our boots.

I suppose we could have complained about the noise and claimed a refund thanks to the ‘Great Night’s Sleep’ Guarantee but it would take the Mickey slightly given that only noise we heard was from someone we willingly brought along!

We bought breakfast on the day and we were impressed that it was made to order; something else they didn’t do at The Grove! Kids eat free too and ours certainly made the most of that with fruit, cereal and toast to sustain them.
Mr L had the works and I had two boiled eggs which were soft but not snotty. Lush.

We headed off to gorgeous Patricks Christening at 10ish but could actually have stayed until noon which is pretty generous (and unnecessary if you’re with the bairns!)

I’ll level with you. It was a wicked way to spend valentines. I loved it, probably because when it’s quality time with the fam it doesn’t really matter where you are- cue a little bit of sick in your mouth!
I’m looking for reasons to book another break at a Premier Inn, Lenny Henry tells me there’s many an excuse; I think I’m finally coming down to earth and happily, I feel a lot more chilled out here.

What or where have you been pleasantly surprised by- are there more hidden gems we need to wake up to?

Have a Happy Monday.

Muma. XxX


For my Cheeky Baby!

It’s been some time since I wrote my last blog post. First there was the Frost Fair, then there was Christmas, now we’ve had New Year and, being honest- I simply can’t understand how I had time to fit it all in before- I have every intention of writing and getting back into it but for some reason it hasn’t quite happened- until now.

There was probably only ever going to be one thing that forced my hand and that is the fact that you can’t do something for one child without doing it for the other. Thankfully I’m already a shamefully bad mother in the sense that neither of the girls have baby books and I’m dreadful at photos too but, hopefully writing an annual birthday blog will go some way to amending all of my other short comings…

This time last year I wrote about my first year as a life of two in Happy Birthday Beaut  and, the journey of the arrival is already more than adequately documented so the only thing left to do is this…

For My Cheeky (quite literally) Baby.

Kate Jade Photography




I can’t believe our baby girl’s already turning 2.
To celebrate I wrote this post- especially for you!

Creation station

Getting ready for a bit of DIY!!

Now Hannah darling it’s hard to know just where I should start.
I suppose a good place might just be
To say you melt my heart.

Don't worry about presents, just bring a cake!

Don’t worry about presents, just bring a cake!

Thank God you do because sometimes you drive me bloody barmy.
I think when you’re a teenager I’ll pack you off to the army.

2 brushes are better than one and, now I've finished the cup, I think I'll start on the highchair!

2 brushes are better than one and, now I’ve finished the cup, I think I’ll start on the highchair!


They say that no two are ever the same and this is very true.
You compliment each other though and you’re perfect through and through.



littleme teepee


Tanya & family-54

You wear your heart upon your sleeve.
We know when you are cross.
I think it’s also fair to say you’re actually The Boss.

Who doesn't love a hat!

Who doesn’t love a hat that says it how it is?!

Don't panic Muma; I'll get breakfast!

Don’t panic Muma; I’ll get breakfast!


Your smile just sets my heart alight you’re cheeky through and through.



I love you and you’re perfect.

Very few can carry off a  tutu on a trike.

Very few can carry off a tutu on a trike.

Don’t ever stop being you.




Tanya & family-58
(Unless that means that you don’t cry every single time you have to have a pull up on or I have to brush your back teeth).
Apart from that, we’re good.


I love you my darling.




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Tutu’s & Teepees.

When one reaches a certain age, it is considered unbecoming of a lady to prance down the street in a tutu.
Don’t ask me why, it just is. And, since I don’t want to be judged in the way in which I judge adults that wear Disney items or those weird fleeces with wolves on, for now at least I am conforming with societies expectations. Call me weak, it’s just the way it is.It is for this exact reason that I am now living out my fashion (and all other) dreams, vicariously through my delicious offspring.So, for this birthday, the only worthwhile gifts we could possibly get our daughter were:

  • A teepee (or 2!)
  • A tutu and
  • Some very fierce shoes.

Who doesn’t want to read magical tails in a wonderful den whilst channelling your inner awesome?

I’ll tell you who. No one.

little me teepee review

All set up for the Birthday Girl.

littleme teepee

Bedhead birthday cuddles.

If you go down to the woods today...

If you go down to the woods today…


...You're sure of a big surprise!

…You’re sure of a big surprise!


You'd better be in disguise.  (or at least an amazing outfit!)

You’d better be in disguise.
(or at least an amazing outfit!)

Or two...  check out the sulk!

Or two…
check out the sulk!

Catching some massive bubbles!

Catching some massive bubbles!

check out the tutu and boots combo!!

check out the tutu and boots combo!!


Thank you so, so much to everyone who made our Birthday weekend such a special one- proper Thank you’s to follow…probably!

And, for all those wondering where these items of amazingness hail from; you can get them here:

Tutu– so soft it is basically like wearing a cloud: Angels face

Bother Boots– The one and only Dr Martens, obvs.

Indoors Teepee– The wonderful Janine at Littleme Teepee

Teddybears Picnic Tent– The delightful, nothing on this earth is too much bother, Katie at The Celebration Tent


Happy Monday People!



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