10 August 2014

Holi One Festival

The first day of our summer holiday was spent child free together at the Holi One festival in Leeds, with one of my old college friends who I haven't spent any quality time with for absolutely ages, Steph.

Set in the grounds of the beautiful Harewood House in Leeds, the Holi One festival is based on the colourful Holi festival in India where people colour each other with abeer and gulal and throw it in the air.  This tradition of colouring each other and throwing paint powder is adopted by the Holi One festival and therefore to make the most of the colourful celebration everyone is asked to turn up in white clothing.  

Looking windswept in our clean white clothes before the paint was thrown. Luckily they were giving away bandanas with drinks at the bar so that saved my hair from the wind. 

The Holi One festival however has the added bonus of music and the English festival vibe thrown in.  We turned up to a small fenced off area that the festival was set within. In all honesty, when we turned up we were a bit disappointed, I think we had all been expecting a larger setting and a bigger event.  Once the festival got going though and the atmosphere took off we had so much fun.   


The music was mainly dance music which isn't my usual choice of listening material but it was quite nice to have a dance around and pretend I was 18 again.  The atmosphere was really friendly with strangers coming up and throwing paint powder at you.  We were all also mixing the powder with water (or beer) to make actual paint as the wind was just blowing all the powder away so people kept coming up to us and putting paint on our faces or leaving cheeky hand marks on bum cheeks. Being so small made it a really intimate, friendly festival. I think this was quite apt as the Holi festival in India has ancient origins in celebrating triumph of 'good' over 'bad' and bridges the social gap.


We were blessed with a glorious day (apart from the wind) and danced and laughed in the sun for a good 5hrs before we called it a day (5hrs of dance music can be a bit much when it's not really your thing).  We also managed to get some rock n roll dancing in for good measure and Steph was throwing some Charleston moves to one track too. 


It's safe to say by the end of the day we were absolutely covered in paint (Ant even had some on his man parts) and when we went to Tesco on our way home we got a few laughs and turned a few heads as I'm sure you can imagine.



It was a perfect way to start our two weeks off together and a great way to catch up with Steph and reminded me just how much I've missed our crazy fun together. 

We will definitely be going again next year! 

4 August 2014

Living Arrows - Cress

Apart from paintings stuck to the fridge, nothing screams "I have a child" more than a little decorated pot of cress sat on your kitchen windowsill? 

Luca brought his first (of many I'm sure) pot of cress home on Thursday and within just a couple of days we already have little sprouts (?) of the stuff popping up. Can't wait for it to really take off and we will make egg & cress mayo together and hopefully put it in sandwiches to take on a picnic on our summer holiday if the weather picks up again. 

If you had of told me that I would be excited over a little pot of cress growing on my windowsill before I had Luca I would have thought you were seriously insane but being a mum does strange things to you and I can't wait to make use this cress in our food. After all, it's Luca's own little bit of horticulture in our kitchen and a right of passage for every child.


living arrows

31 July 2014

Me & Mine July 2014

This month has been hectic but fabulously hectic.  It has been Luca's birthday and my parents very kindly paid for a week away for us with my brother and his girlfriend.  We had an amazing week in a log cabin in Sherwood Forest and celebrated Luca's birthday whilst we were there.

The day after we got back we had a party for Luca with all his friends.  Then I've had a couple of interviews and managed to snag myself a new job, plus play dates and days out in between all that, with a bit of bad news thrown in for good measure (coz you know I might have been enjoying life a little too much otherwise).

On our week away though I managed to get some gorgeous photos of Luca and all of us and our me and mine is from the very start of the month on that great week away and I think it is one of my favourites so far.  It's not perfect with Luca munching on bits of cake he was stealing and looking the other way (we had to do it in one shot as I didn't take my battery charger and didn't realise my brother would get hooked on taking photos and kill my battery and they were taken right on the very last bit of life left in it) but that is what makes is special for me, it will always hold that memory.  

I simply love this photo of me and my boys, my family, in July. 


dear beautiful

Luca is 2!


I cannot believe that just over 2 years ago my life was to be completely changed in the blink of an eye. Two whole years has passed since Luca came silently into this world, lay on my chest with his huge blue eyes just staring into mine and made my life complete.  

Two whole years of love and laughter, moments that are gone forever but never to be forgotten. 
Two whole years of finding my feet in the all encompassing role as a mother. 
Two whole years of watching my tiny baby grow into a perfect toddler. 
Two whole years of rediscovering the world through a child's eyes. 
Two whole years of loving someone more than I ever knew was possible. 


At two years old you are truly a little boy now. All those little traces of my baby are gone. We have done so much in your two years but this is where we are at right now.  


You are still my little chatterbox. Constantly yattering away to whoever will listen and even in your sleep you talk.  When we aren't talking we are singing, currently Wheels on the Bus is your favourite song to sing in the car.  Being my son though you don't like the original version, instead we remix it and sing lines about Auntie Ash, Nona, Papa and Lyla as well as all your friends at the childminders. 

Very recently you seem to have taken it into your own hands and decided that we are toilet training. It is something I haven't pushed on you, I haven't wanted to rush you into it and hinder your progress in the long run but it seems you are ready now and your already doing really well just a week or so in. 

From 12 weeks of age you have been going to swimming lessons.  I am so very proud of how confident you are in the water and feel my decision to spend all that money has definitely been worthwhile. I am also in turn more confident with you in the water so it's been a good thing for us both. As this term came to an end though I made the decision to stop taking you. You don't want to join in with the active teaching, instead you just want to jump in and play.  Now you have the basics such as holding your breath and being able to kick your way to the surface, I am happy to indulge you and from now on your weekly swimming will be you just having fun with either me or Daddy and we will start lessons again when your a little older (if you haven't already taught yourself by then).

Your getting fussy with your food recently, and constantly nagging for chocolate or an ice lolly. However, your not so fussy that I'm worried and you still eat relatively healthily and well. 


You seem to have inherited a bossy streak (I have no idea where from!?) and like to tell everyone what to do.  One of my favourite lines you say when your trying to do something your not allowed is 'It's alright!' As if you have given yourself permission so I don't need to stop you.  You have also started to tell me to 'Go away Mummy' or 'Don't look Mummy' when you want to do something you know is naughty. 

You are still animal crazy and still a book worm, both traits I adore and hope stay with you as you grow. 

You get funnier every day and your personality and sense of humour are really starting to shine through.  It's not uncommon for us to all laugh a lot together and sometimes you laugh so hard that you make yourself sick.  In fact you did it three times in the bath the other night. 


I know I say this for every update I have done so far but I really couldn't be prouder of you my little man, you really are turning into a beautiful, polite and intelligent young man and I couldn't ask for anymore.  

I love you! 



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28 July 2014

Living Arrows - First Cut is the Deepest

This weekend saw Luca have his first properly worrying accident.  He found his fishing net in the house and took it outside to fish in the paddling pool. As he walked past the table he managed to swipe a glass bottle onto the floor, it fell in front of him and as it smashed he stepped onto it. It was one of those moments that I saw coming and just couldn't get to him in time. As I grabbed him off the floor all I could see was these huge pieces of shattered glass and my heart dropped, I thought we were going to end up in A&E but luckily it was just a few little cuts and once his feet were washed of all the glass and I'd stopped the bleeding he went straight back outside to play. 

Although it was a horrible experience, more for the fear of what could have happened, it has made me a very proud Mama as Luca was one very brave little boy. 


living arrows

24 July 2014

Summer Holiday at Home

This year we won't be having a proper holiday as we are putting money away to save up a deposit from our first house together.  Instead we will be holidaying from home, we have two weeks to make some fabulous memories together and fill to the brim with fun activities. 

We already have a few ideas. 


However, I thought it might be nice to get other suggestions from you lovely lot, what are your favourite things to do as a family day out. Do you know any hidden treasures to visit, places that are off the beaten track.  We love a good adventure so get those suggestions coming. 

We are based in West Yorkshire so nothing too far, although we are willing to travel (just not to Lands End for example).

So come on, what would YOU do? 

23 July 2014

Crossing Off No4!

If you remember I posted a to-do list instead of a New Years Resolution this year and have since given you a little quarterly update and mini update.  

Now I can officially announce that I am crossing off No4 from the list. This is the one I really, really wanted to cross off and makes me pull this face! 



No4. Get a new job! 

In my mini update I told you all I was going for an interview, well unfortunately that wasn't to be and I wasn't successful but turns out fate was on my side as I have since been offered a job that I am ridiculously excited about and will challenge me in the best possible ways. 

It's taken me a while to find the right job to make me take the jump from a relatively well paid job, that is reliable and permanent to a job where I am working 'independently' again.  It's just been too risky and nothing has felt quite right or worth it.  This one however ticks all the boxes for me.  

On paper this job doesn't make any sense, it's starting on a fixed term 3 month contract with a really complex child. It will be physically and emotionally demanding, so much so that it is split between two tutors as we couldn't work a full school day as it's just so tough and lastly, Ant has had to schedule his day off during the week to a set day so he can look after Boo as our childminder can't fit him in the day we need.  This in turn means I will get to spend the day with Ant once a week but only on the weeks he doesn't work a Sunday!
However, when I went to meet the school head and the child I knew I wanted it. In fact needed it.  Luckily they felt the same and pretty much hired me on the spot pending a few queries. 

Yesterday I went and signed my contract and filled in all the necessary paper work for me to begin work in September and today I told me boss I am leaving and I officially hand in my notice next week.  It's now all official and I am going to do a job that I think will push me to my limits as a tutor, really challenge and test me but also help me develop in my career and push me further in the direction of that Doctorate I have my eye on. 

I am absolutely over the moon and cannot wait to start but before that I have 3 weeks holiday to spend some quality time with my family and then the last week to myself before I embark on the next part of my career journey.
Mama and More
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21 July 2014

Living Arrows - Ice Cream Stop

It has to be said, I hate the ice cream van. Guaranteed on our walk home from the childminders he pulls up where we have to walk and Luca begins the "Mummy I want an ice cream" mantra. I usually don't have money on me so we have moaning and whining all the way home until I give him something from our freezer.  

Last week, we were playing on the grassy knoll on our walk home with Daddy and Uncle Mark, playing stepping stones & crocodiles on some bits of old flag that had been left there by some kids from the night before, when low and behold those dulcet chimes from the dreaded van.  Luca scored lucky this time as Uncle Mark scooped him up and treated him to an ice cream.  This photo was taken as he had a rest on the stepping stones in the sun enjoying his cold treat. As much as I hate the ice cream van as a parent, if I think back those tinkling chimes are one of the joys of summer as a child. 


living arrows

19 July 2014

Me & Mine June 2014

June has been a fun filled month for us. Packed with work nights out, a Robbie Williams concert, Father's Day, 1940's day at Lotherton Hall, days out with Daddy and a day out at Honley Show.  In fact June seemed to fly past in the blink of an eye (as is July, hence this late post). 

Our photo for this month was taken on a day that we spent with Daddy. The sun was out and we had nothing to do so we took a stroll down the canal. One of the owners of a canal boat is a carpenter and has made a few sculptures that are on display near his boat. One of these is the Gruffalo (in fact there are 2 Gruffalo and a Gruffalo's child) which all the children love, obviously.  Our photo was an iPhone selfie taken in front of the Gruffalo and I absolutely love it! 



dear beautiful

16 July 2014

Living Arrows - Who Knows Who's Nose?

On the days when I work and Luca goes to the childminder I always try to do something engaging with him in the hour we have together before bedtime. This was a new game that Luca received for his birthday and he absolutely loves it. We have managed to find a few different ways to play with it and even pretending to be the animals with the noses on our faces.  
I was amazed by how quickly Luca picked up the game and had it mastered in no time with very little help from me, he's my little genius in the making and I could spend hours watching him play. 

living arrows