Peonie & Me...x

Notes & Thoughts on a brand new Mummy & her Little Monkey Henry x

Thursday, 19 May 2016

#TodayLittleMonkeyIsWearing... Next Summer 2016 x

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” 
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale


I love Next.  Since having Henry it has continued to be one of my favourite baby/toddler brands and I rarely go away empty handed.  (except in January I struggled, but you are forgiven, haha).

Next is  incredible for casual basics, but with such incredible attention to detail, each piece feels lovingly made.  From contrast pocket details, little embroideries and touches of grosgrain in back necks, they all scream added value.  

& this summer they have fuelled my obsession with a good stripe, however I have to admit, now I'm all about the Flamingo motif... & for boys, who knew :o)...
Recently I popped into my local store to pick up some vests (honest Daddy) and came away armed with some key transitional pieces that could be mixed and matched.  Mummy speak for, Daddy will kill me if I need to pop back for, "just one more pair of trousers, to go with so and so".

A month on from my mini splurge, I have to admit, the little essentials have worked their little socks off.  From basic tees for nursery worn with joggers and chambray rompers with super cute motif knits for family days out.  & yes they've all washed perfectly.  I even got strawberry stains out of his t-shirts as I'm still unable to embrace the bib.  Arghhhhhhh - someone find me a cool bib.

Below are some of Little Monkeys best looks (Ok I've added every single one) and the links... us bloggers love a link (cue laughing emoji). 
I know, best dressed for sure x 
Family Day out at Badminton Horse Trials
It takes time to look this moody x 
Nursery Day
Flamingos...Not just for girls x 
Day at Nana's
Not looking up until I get a raisin x 
Family Day at Hawkesbury
Chambray Blue Romper Suit - Sold out online, however still in stores 
If I ignore Mummy, she might go away x 
Keeping it cool at Nursery 
You know x 
Just before an epic breakfast

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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

#FamilyAlbum... Badminton Horse Trials...x

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Daddy, Happy Birthday to you....
All together now...

If you read my blog or follow my Twitter feed, you will know that I'm rather obsessed with stripes. Blue & white preferably (in case you wondered) however this weekend I became rather obsessed with checks. Rather posh tweed checks actually...

As this weekend to celebrate my husbands birthday (welcome to you're mid 30s Ben), we were treated to a day at the Badminton Horse Trials. Thanks Vicky (rather fabulous Mum-in-law) x 
The Horse Trials take place each year at the rather grand Badminton House, home to the Duke of Beaufort and a stones throw from my lovely in-laws.  They're neighbours don't you know (yes I'm putting on a rather posh voice while I type this, I've no idea why).

We were attending the Cross Country event on the Saturday and thankfully the gorgeous summer weather came along for the birthday celebrations too.  If like me, you are not in with the horse in-crowd, the trials are a 3 day equestrian event.  This is an opportunity for horses and riders to complete the competition over 3 days, each day consisting of a different discipline or phase.

The previous day was dressage and the final day was show-jumping, however we were lucky to attend the 2nd day which was a 4 mile cross country run with jumping throughout.  The jumps were spread out across the manor, which allowed you to walk around the track and take it all in.  Oh and catch a few rays and an ice-cream or two.

Alongside the event there was an abundance of shops, not just for horse lovers, but also a lovely mix of arts, crafts and shabby chic boutiques.  I was tempted to pick up a little check tweed blazer, hugely appreciated amongst the horsey set, however up north it would look a little Daniella Westbrook.  Instead the husband and I picked up a bottle of Blackberry brandy and tasted one too many sloe gins. Well we were technically on our holiday and birthday boys shouldn't drink alone.

I had no idea what to expect (I'm not a fan of horses since I watched one pin a protestor to a wall, true story), however I absolutely loved it.  However shouting, "feel the rhythm, feel the vibe" and "you can do it" wasn't really the in thing when riders found themselves dismounted.  But I had fun anyway.

But the best part of the day was catching up with Ben's family.  Henry got to play with his little cousin Dylan and I got lots of cuddles from the little guy.  Over a picnic of pink champagne, jerk pheasant (see posh), home made pasties (not so posh) and chocolate frappes, we all got the chance to relax and take the day in.

My advice if you do go, get there early, camp at the lake and take a picnic.  Then use that as your base for the day.  Oh and don't forget your checks, however I must say (there goes the posh voice again), my stripes were just as fabulous. x 
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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

#TodayLittleMonkeyIsWearing.... Ladybird Heritage x

"When you see a Ladybird make your wish known to her, and when you see her fly away, 
you know she is off to grant your wish"
Ladybird Symbolism & Meaning 

I love traditional toys.  Rocking horses, story books, abacus frames, wooden blocks, wooden walkers, wooden trains, basically anything wooden.  There is something lovely and nostalgic about a toy that could be from any era, almost like a little heritage piece.  What's not to love about that?

So I was over the wooden moon (I know, awful joke) when Ladybird at Very launched a super cute heritage range for spring summer.  Originally launched in the 1930's and widely associated with Woolworths, its incredible to see the brand still going strong today.

Henry today is wearing their Baby Boys Ticking Stripe Dungaree and T-Shirt Set, which at £14 for a 2 piece is a amazing value (in other words I can tell Daddy the real price).  Cue wide eyed emoji...
This took 2 tantrums and a cup of coffee to capture x 
The little red jersey tee is a gorgeous bold red and the dungarees feel super soft against his skin.  The little pockets are perfect for storing his raisins and the little car motif on the front is just too cute.  The button front is adjustable as he grows and I just rolled up the hem on the shorts (because they just look soooooooooooooooooooo.... yes you guessed it... CUTE). 

The heritage collection is full of washed out linen stripes, little vintage car motifs, bold primary reds (Go Liverpool, that's for you Dad) and my favourite, good old classic navy.  Key pieces include polo shirts, stripe jersey shorts and weather proof (hey it maybe summer inside, but its freezing out) little hooded tops.  

Henry bless his little chunky thighs hasn't really got the legs for jeans, so I'm always on the lookout for comfy alternatives.  The Boys Pique Rompers are perfect for letting my little man loose on terrorising the house and chucking those wooden toys at me... (Ouch) but they look great...

Other key pieces in the collection include:
Birdseye Heritage Polo Shirts
Heritage 2 Pack Jersey Shorts
Boys Pique Rompers - my favourite
Heritage Stripe Hoody

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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

#TodayLittleMonkeyIsWearing... SS16 Zara Baby Boy....x

i am stripes
Zara Boys 2016

Its official, we have banished (well Daddy has) the "boys" tights and Little Monkey is now embracing big boys pants.  Devastated to be packing away his little Shakespeare's,  I have to admit I relished the opportunity to shop.

So having a nose at Zara Boys spring summer collection online I did a little collective haul of key transitional pieces.   & as usual they didn't disappoint... 
Showing off my new white floorboards x 
You know I love a good old stripe and this season they came in the shape of cable knits, drop crotch joggers and super soft sweats.  Favourite pieces included a blue and white little knit with contrast elbow patches and knitted joggers with the same patches (perfect for my little crawler).  

The little stripe knit was finished off with little buttons to the neck and looked super snuggly with the enzyme washed indigo joggers.  I loved that Henry still looked like my little baby in the soft tones, but so grown up in his little outfits.  
Even Bjorn has style x 
I find Zara can be a little pricey when it comes to the knitwear and outerwear, however the printed tees are reasonably priced.  This season they came in an array of prints and designs, however I added the below painted create t-shirt and a little stripe number (obvs).  Other favourites included dip dye powder blue joggers that also look gorgeous with the little stripes.  

Let's Create x 
Some quick tips....
  • Zara boys trousers come up short in the leg (buy a size up)
  • Look after the knitwear and it will look after your little one.  They wash lovely, however avoid popping them in the dryer 
  • If you invest in one thing, buy the crossover white vests, I'm still obsessed with them and they wash beautifully 
  • Always have a nose at the girls section (or boys) as they sometimes have lovely pieces that are unisex.  In particular stripe knits, hareem trousers and little tees. 
Get Henry's Look 
Striped Pocket T-Shirt
Create T-Shirt

Ombre Trousers
Striped Leggings
Flecked Trousers - These come up very small
Enzyme washed joggers - similar here

Kimono Vests

Striped Knit Sweater
Stripe Knit Jumper - similar here
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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

#MummyDiary...the day Henry fell down the stairs x

I'm a Mummy Blogger. A mummy blogger who was gifted a Lindam Safety gate. A mummy blogger who was gifted a safety gate and wrote a fancy review about it. I'm a mummy blogger who was gifted a Lindam safety gate, wrote a fancy review about it & then one day forgot to close it.  & my Little man fell down the stairs.

Yesterday whilst I was frantically getting ready for work, I took my eye off you whilst you were playing.  Instead of keeping you safe, I let my guard down.  & during that moment, I heard a noise I hope I never hear again. It was the sound of you falling down the stairs, falling so far away from me, banging your poor developing head at the bottom.  Mummy let you down...
Little Moo & his big bump x 
I've relived the moment a 1000 times little man. The realisation you are falling. My frantic run down the stairs half naked, me picking you up, screaming over your screams. Telling you I'm sorry, whilst screaming for my phone to call an ambulance. Your little tear stained face, all scrunched up in pain and disbelief.  

Somehow I pulled myself together to call an ambulance and the lovely lady on the phone pulled me together so I could relay my stupidity.  I took my eyes of the most precious thing in my life and I could have lost you.  

Holding you so tight, you are snuggled into my chest. Going quiet but still alert which I thanked God for. The lovely ambulance medic arrived and whilst tears streamed down my guilt ridden face, you were so brave. Brave whilst the medic checked you over and brave when you sat on his knee so mummy could dress. 

In the ambulance snuggled up to me your little anxieties came back, you clenched your little hands whilst sitting in this big new strange car.   But whilst your vitals were checked and I answered questions, you were so brave.  All snuggled up on my knee, your little toes feeling the tickle of the monitors and equipment.  

When we got to hospital you kept close to my chest, all the smells and sounds so new. But rather than crying and becoming afraid, you came alive. Your little eyes took in the new sights, your little nose the new strange scents and you finally found your little voice again and chatted on my knee.

Your little eyes grew wide and excited on seeing your Nana coming through the door to save the day. Or to at least put your mummy back together and show you extra security that you were missing a few hours earlier.

After being checked over and over and over and given the all clear for broken bones and head trauma, we were moved to a ward for observation. Taking everything in your stride, you loved playing in your new super sized cot. You found milk tasty, food yummy, toys funny, drawing entertaining and little brum brum cars so much fun to play with. 

Inside I was replaying the awful moment over and over again, blaming myself for being so careless and occupied when my eyes should have been on you. And now they are. Looking at your sore head, tiny little arms and legs and ragile little self. & I apologise a thousand times.

Thankfully you just have the bumps and grazes to show for your accident. Mummy's scars run deeper, but I promise you, it will never happen again.

Now home. Snuggled asleep on my knee.  I pray to keep you safe xxx

Thank you Liverpool Alder Hey Hospital for looking after us x 
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Sunday, 10 April 2016

#FamilyAlbum...Henry 0 to 1 x

"Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them"
Bob Dylan

This Easter weekend, Little Monkey along with family, friends and his Mummy & Daddy celebrated his 1st birthday.  Suddenly my little baby looked incredibly grown up sitting in his high chair and I felt incredibly sad wondering where the last 12 months had gone.

I also found myself remembering so many lovely things, that I had completely forgotten about.  Such as my little sleeping Houdini, always trying to escape his crib or the time we set up in the park with his toys, only for a dog to run away with his teddies.  Everything happened in such a blink of an eye and created moments I never want to forget.

So for you Henry, here are my top 32 perfect moments...(why 32 I hear you ask? 50 seemed too many, haha)...
1. Welcome to the World.  Daddy calls you our Little Mushroom head because of the shape of your poor little barnet when you were born.   Once all the swelling and scarring had gone down, it revealed your button nose and truly scrumptious lips.  This today is still my favourite picture of you at 3 days old.  

2. Home Time.  The day we took you home, you looked far too tiny for your little car seat.  I loved dressing you in your yellow knitted cardigan and little hat.  You hated hats from the day you were born, I used to joke that they reminded you of the forceps.

3. Tickle Tickle.  You had the tiniest and most ticklish feet, just like Mummy.  Even now we have to tie you down to cut your nails and you love playing, Mummy is going to eat your toes, it leaves you uncontrollably giggling.

4. Quack Quack.  Excluding your first ever bath (lets just say, you didn't enjoy it), this is one of your favourite routines of the day.  Lately your beloved rubber ducks have been replaced with bubbles and you no longer enjoy laying back for a soak.

5. I like to boogie.  Obviously you got your moves from your Mum and love a good little dance.  Also very early on you loved to roll about and keeping you on your back was mission impossible.  

6. Side by Side.  I'll never forget the day your health visitor proclaimed, "he's far too young to decide how he wants to sleep", after I admitted you slept on your side.  Still to this day you prefer to sleep on your side or face planted in our bed.

7.  & Stretch.  Ah the day we completed a full class of Baby Massage (whoop whoop).  During the first course, you were plagued with nappy rash and would sob throughout as I tried nappy off time during the class.  I also didn't know your routine yet and would try singing to you, when you were desperate to sleep.  However this day I had everything perfect and we nailed our class.  High five little man. 

8. Mummy's little Houdini.  Whether its sleeping on your side, or just wanting to escape feeling confined, you always have your own way of doing things.  & finding your way to sleep is no exception.  Even now you sleep face down, arms tucked under and your little bum sticking out.  

9. Tummy Time.  3 in the bed and the little one said, roll over...roll over... We never had to worry about tummy time with you.  From the moment you perfected your first roll, we had more trouble keeping you on your side.  

10. Stretch, stretch...cuddle.  Every morning when we do your first nappy change of the day, we have our little rhyme and routine.  Stretch arms above your head, to the side and then cuddle in tight. All together now...  stretch, stretch, cuddle...

11. Mirror Mirror on the wall.  Or should that be, "your so vain" as you love looking at your reflection and Nana is always telling you, no, no, no when you put your finger prints all over her beautiful mirrors.  

12. Park Life.  Getting out the house was my mission everyday when you was teeny tiny.  This particular day the sun was out and we took a walk to Reynold's Park to set up for the day.  Blanket, big umbrella, toys and milk all at the ready, I just wasn't ready for the doggies stealing your toys.  We still had a lovely day.  

13. Milk drunk.  Ahh this no longer happens and I miss your little milky drunk moments.  Your little head would loll about and your eyes would flutter asleep.  You are still a little milk monster.  

14. Who chills in a Jumperoo?  Thank you to my beautiful best friend Julie for loaning us her son Kasper's Jumperoo.  It's a life saver when it comes to getting ready in the morning.  I just pop you in and you chill watching CBeebies.  

15. Our bed is your bed.  1 year on and we still battle to get you out of our bed.  I think its my fault from snuggling up to you on the sofa in the early days to help you sleep.  Hopefully when I do your 2nd year update, you are finally in your own bed (for the full night).

16. Good as gold.  You are a little dream.  Even on your first flight to Portugal, you were so good on the plane.  You lit up everyones face around you with you gummy smile and big brown eyes. 
17.  Beach Life. Our 1st family holiday abroad and you took to beach life like a duck to water.  Ironically you hate the sea, but loved rolling around your beach towel.  However keeping you from eating the sand became a mini battle..which leads me perfectly to no. 18.

18.  Henry led weaning.  We knew you were ready for food when you started to put anything and everything into your mouth.  First foods included crusty bread, cheese squares, banana puree and a lemon wedge.  You also demolished a HUGE piece of watermelon with Nana & Grandad.  

19.  Two front teeth. At 7 months old you got your first 2 front teeth.  However if we were to believe Nana, you were teething from the day you were born.  3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 came quickly after, however at age 1, we are still waiting patiently for no 8.  Cheese. 

20.  The day we lost Bjorn.  Still to this day I am convinced you know that the new Bjorn's aren't real.   Three silly little imposter's trying to mimic your beloved little bear.  Now and again you throw in a cuddle and when I look in your eyes, I think you do it just to please Mummy. 

21.  Mummy's little pumpkin.  I was so excited for your 1st Halloween and it was perfect.  We welcomed friends and family into our own ghoulish house (red, green & salmon walls) and had a little party.  You looked super cute as a pumpkin and stayed well behaved too.  Chocolates for everybody. 

22.  1st Christmas.  Hands down my favourite ever Christmas.  On the lead up to father Christmas visiting we had our own little adventures.  From  Christmas Jumpers to visiting the real Santa clause.  So many of my favourite days start with us all snuggled up in bed as a family before the day starts. 

23.  I hate my pram.  I've no idea why, but you hate your pram.  If we are lucky to manoeuvre you into your seat to leave the house, you are not afraid to let us know, you are not happy.  It doesn't matter whether we go the park, the shops, or for a walk in the village, you look back at us with the grumpiest little face.  

24.  Boys in tights.  I couldn't do a memory mood board without paying homage to your "boys" tights. Now you are the big 01, Daddy has put a ban on all Shakespeare's being worn on your little legs.  I will miss them greatly, especially as you refuse to keep your socks on.   

25.  Let me in, let me in.  Sooo excited to get into the bath, its a fight to get your clothes off before you soak your little arms into the water.  Looking forward to getting a new bath in the house, so you can enjoy all the extra space.  

26.  All fall down.  You love to knock down blocks, pots, cups, bricks, anything that we build up for you.  Sometimes Mummy just wants to build a house before you come and push it all down.  I'll get over it.  

27.  What chores?  From watching the washing machine go round and round, to helping Mummy load and unload the washing, you make all the chores fade away to lovely little bonding exercises.  I'm lying, other than 5 minutes peace whilst you watch the machine, you mostly just knock down all my lovely washing.  You Little Monkey...

28.  Soft play.  You hate the swings...you hate the slides... hey you hate the park, but thankfully you love soft play.  From the ball pool to the... no wait, other than the ball pool, you hate everything else at soft play.  

29.  Banana boy.  Banana porridge, banana biscotti, banana rings, banana custard... just banana... you love banana. 

30.  Peek-a-boo.  You will play on your own so contently when Mummy & Daddy have little jobs to do.  In this little picture you were so happy just clapping your little hands and throwing the balls around the tent.  I purchased the tent and balls after a day at Bubbles Soft Play and we ended up being locked out of the house.  Thankfully we created our own ball pool in the car while we waited for Daddy.

31.  We have a stand-a-uppera. Short of being 1 years old you started to stand up all my yourself.  Each day you grow in confidence on your little feet and I suspect you will be walking in no time. Just stay away from Mummy's Chanel.  

32.  Hey my name is Iggle Piggle.  Who's not in bed?  Its usually you as you watch your favourite bedtime TV show.  Even now when I type this, Iggle Piggle is playing on the TV whilst you get ready for bed.  Good night Little Monkey, I look forward to 1 to 2. x 
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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Happy 1st Birthday Little Monkey x

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Henry,
Happy Birthday to you....x 
All together now.... x 

Last week my Little Monkey hit his first milestone birthday and turned the big 01.  Gone is my  button nosed swaddled baby and in his place is my beaming little boy, full of beans and starting to find his teeny feet in this world.

If I want to remember one think about his 1st birthday, it has to be his toothy grin and abundance of energy throughout the day.  Celebrating his special day with family and friends, Henry was full of smiles and showed so much love and affection for everyone around him.  He was such a pleasure to watch.

Here is a little insight into our incredible day and some of the amazing gifts Henry received from Family and Friends, thank you x 

Wakey wakey rise & shine...
Still enjoying the luxuries Mummy & Daddy's bed has to offer, Henry woke us up full of his usual bouncing energy, whilst kicking us both in the head.  Thankfully the sun had started to come up, so the 6am start wasn't too scary.  Thank goodness for the clocks going forward (said no one ever).

From Nana & Granpa....
After breakfast and about 100 exclamations of "We have a one year old!!!" we settled down onto the sofa for cards and presents.  Henry was such a cutie with his cards, he opened each one and gave a little speech as if he was reading his messages aloud.  He was having so much fun, my husband and I grew bored and as we just wanted to get stuck into his gifts...

Not just for kids...
For Henry's main gift we got him tickets to In the Night Garden Live as he is a huge Iggle Piggle fan and we thought it would be a perfect gift for this summer.  Henry has also found his feet the past week, so we thought a baby walker would be perfect for perfecting his moves.  I'm currently obsessed with wooden toys, so I was delighted when I found this Janod ABC Wooden Walker from Spotty Giraffe.  It was an instant hit, literally, Henry chucked one of the blocks from the walker at my head...ouch.  We had a lovely morning (5 minutes at least) playing with his gifts before stress hit in and we started to prep for the day. 

"Big Balloon, Big Balloon, Higher than the sky and moon...."
Daddy was sent off to collect the balloons and I crazily tidied the house and tried to get Henry down for his nap.  We had this great (stupid) idea the day before to paint the kitchen.  So I also had the decorating tools to clear away and masses of masking tape to pull up.  Thankfully the kitchen looks super light after we updated the red/green/salmon walls from the previous occupiers.  
There's and Elephant in the room...
After his morning nap, we were all thankfully dressed and ready and Henry looked gorgeous in his Next Linen Dungaree's set.  For his birthday lunch we went to The Elephant Bakehouse and Pub in the heart of Woolton Village.  One of our favourite family friendly restaurants and they had the added bonus of a petting Zoo that day to celebrate Easter.  

The venue put together a long table for us and it was decorated with mini pots of daffodils.  It was perfect for my easter theme, so I just added in my little bunnies, chocolate filled eggs for the guests and birthday cake full of easter treats.  The cake was a simple chocolate nest cake from Asda and I decorated it with more mini eggs from M&S. 

Meet Ninnie, Nana and Nanny...
The guests were a perfect mixture of Nana's & Grandads, Nanny's and Ninnies, Godparents and aunts and uncles, cousins and friends.  Henry little face was a little pleasure, lighting up each time new friends arrived.  He couldn't believe how all the people he sees each week, were all in one place.  He sat proudly at the top of the table with his balloons and I have to say, he was a dream all day.  

For lunch we had a mixture of Elephant signature burgers, freshly baked pizzas, fish and chips and steak sandwiches.  Henry had the kids prawn and chorizo risotto and demolished it.  Posh tastes my little boy.  The food as ever was delicious and we were really looked after by the staff.  

Henry's godmother Gemma and my Mum made Henry a bobble topped hat that I had seen on Easy.  I was over the moon they had stayed up the best of the night to create it.  It lasted around 10 seconds whilst we sang Happy Birthday, before he pulled it off.  But we managed to catch a quick picture. 

Old McDonald had a farm...
After the food we all headed down into the beer garden to meet the animals from the Petting Zoo.  I was adamant Henry wasn't going to like the animals and scream his little head off.  But I was so wrong.  He loves stroking the goats, nosing at the chickens and loved the dwarf rabbit.  The rain thankfully went away for long enough for us to appreciate the little zoo.

Champagne for everybody...
When the rain started again, everyone came back to our freshly painted and rather fumed filled kitchen for champagne.  Henry and his little friend Kasper enjoyed playing with his presents while we sat around saying "can you believe he's one already?".

Once everyone had left for the day and Henry was tucked up in bed, Ben and I snuggled up exhausted after a long day.  It felt like such a celebration for us too for coming a long way.  Henry is the best thing to have come into our lives and I look forward to the next chapters x 
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