28.7.14

MONTHLY PORTRAIT

I can't believe how late I am in posting this. I mean, Coralie is now closer to three months than two, but better late than never...these photos were taken the day after she turned two months, so that's close enough :)

It's crazy that she is already that old, has already grown so much.

Our beautiful Coralie Joe is such a delight. Always smiling, always happy, always so calm and sweet. She coos and ooohhs and aaahhhhs at you, engaging you with her eyes and making you feel as though she really understands what you're saying to her. Ridiculously, she's started trying to pull herself up when she's lying down or sitting in her chair. I remember Josephine doing the same thing...clearly Coralie is just as desperate to get up and play with Phiney, as Phiney is for Coralie to jump up and join in with the games.

The love between these little sisters is the sweetest thing to behold. Gosh, they adore each other.

On holiday she dipped her toes in the sea and didn't even flinch (despite it being ice cold and causing me to shriek a little!) and when Josephine gets a little over excited in the bath and Coralie gets a face full of water, well she doesn't mind one bit. A true water baby.

Every day she looks more like me, and more like my Dad. It can take my breath away. She pulls the same expressions as him and sometimes, it's like he's here with me. It amazes and comforts me how much he lives on in my children. It makes me so proud. 

Boy oh boy Coralie, your Grandpa would have loved you. With your little quiff and funny faces and your ability to trump the loudest! You make us smile so much and we adore you.  

26.7.14

30/52

"A portrait of my daughters, once a week every week in 2014".

Smiley happy people. The summer is flying by with these three.

I am so far behind with The 52 Project. I have photos for every week, but right now they're sat on my computer along with the 50,000 others I've taken over the last couple of months...including Coralie's 2 month portrait. And she's 3 months old the week after next! I will be catching up on a slew of posts over the next week though. I feel like I've got a bit of my blogging/photography mojo back and that the newborn haze is beginning to lift. So watch this space...

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.

25.7.14

^^^








I cannot tell you how much of an essential our Stokke Newborn Set for the Tripp Trapp has become since Coralie was born. It is most definitely our favourite piece for her.

The Tripp Trapp is a must-have for families across the world, in recent years especially, and you can see them in an array of beautiful colours in the kitchens of nearly all our friends. And it's easy to see why. With their stylish and contemporary yet classic design they fit well in every style of interiors, and with the ability to grow with your child the Tripp Trapp offers such great value for money.

The Newborn Set is a brilliant addition to this classic. This elevated seat allows Coralie to sit with us at the table and be part of family dinners, whilst keeping her at a safe height away from stray bouncy balls and the clumsiness of a two year old who insists on running, jumping or twirling around the house but at the same time allows for Josephine to interact with her. And I love the simple lines of the seat. No noisy plastic toys, just a removable arm that you can add your own cuddlies to. Sure the Lamaze toys are garish, but this octopus was a very welcome gift that right now Coralie adores.

From her perch, Coralie is entertained for ages just watching the world go by; especially with the antics of her busy, busy, busy big sister. Including plenty of toe tickling, of course.

This is a sponsored post. Thank you so much Stokke for this beautiful piece. A family heirloom in the making, for sure. One day our grandchildren will sit on that chair :)

26.6.14

CURLS

Her hair is amazing. People stop me on the street to tell me so. She's like a little mermaid.

No doubt she'll hit 14 and want to straighten the life out of it, but oh I how hope she doesn't!

25.6.14

MONTHLY PORTRAIT





Whilst I was pretty rubbish at bump photos when I was pregnant with Coralie, I'm determined to take her Monthly Portrait as we did with Josephine. I've said before that above all else this little blog is a diary for Ben and I; a place to remember all the little things you think you'll never forget, but which you do. I love looking back at those portraits of Josephine - especially the early days when it's all such a blur. Reading about all the new developments and the little characteristics that start to how themselves. It's why I keep at it; even when there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to shower sometimes and even when I relate to and understand this interesting post so much, I am always thinking of this space and the posts I want to write. Anyway, I digress...

To be completely honest with you, these photos were taken when Coralie was five weeks old, and that was two weeks ago. Time just disappears at the moment and it's taken me so long to find time to edit the pictures and sit and write this post. The next one will be more prompt...hopefully.

I can hardly believe that our teeniest girl is already seven weeks. Her birth (the story of which I am starting to write) seems like yesterday and yet it feels like she has always been with us. In the last week she has changed so much. Is smiling so often, sometimes chuckling too, and has a look of wonder in her eyes as she looks around and takes everything in. She coos to herself and to us all, a happy little soul.

Her black hair is slowly falling out in places and is getting lighter too, and her little cheeks are getting rounder.

She hates having hiccups and yet gets them all the time; she adores the bath and smiles the moment her toes hit the water. Everyone says she looks just like her Mama, and sometimes I see flashes of my Dad in her. This makes my heart swell, with happiness and sadness all at the same time.

She has long skinny feet and toes, a double chin to be proud of and the tiniest little pixie face. She adores her Daddy, gives Mama the sweetest smiles during 4am feeds and is besotted with Josephine, completely and utterly.

From the moment Josephine was born, she didn't stop moving; never slept in case she missed something, she was always busy. A new soul for sure, taking in the world for the first time - wanting to know everything and anything right away. Coralie has a slower pace about her; I can feel it and see it already. She'll sit and watch, and she'll happily sleep in the quiet of her moses basket, drifting off as she looks out window at the trees. I feel myself relax when I hold her; I take a deep breath and feel calm in all the chaos. I love how different our girls our, and how alike me and my sister they seem to be. I, like Josephine, am always on the go, wanting to know the next move and unable to sit still; my sister has a stillness about her, she's happy to sit back and watch. Despite being quite different, we're the best of friends and I hope so much our girls are the same.

I can't wait to see more of the little person you're becoming my darling and yet don't want these newborn days to end. We love you so much, sweet Coralie.

Josephine's Monthly Portrait: one month. I love looking through these. Seems like only yesterday that Phiney was the same age as Coralie.

24.6.14

THE HOMEMAKER SERIES: SPACES

Ever since we moved into our house I wanted to paint our kitchen white. Yes. My name is Nell and I'm a white-paint-everywhere-aholic. For me, nothing offers a lighter, cleaner foundation to work with; to add colour and personality to, and one day we'll own a house where all the walls are the crispest of white. Well, finally, after about two years of saying we were going to paint, we finally have. And I love it. 

As I mentioned, we moved the sofa from Josephine's room into the kitchen and, in the process, utilised what was wasted space and created a lovely second living area that we all adore. Still covered with that amazing vintage quilt I found in a charity shop for about £4, I made a couple of new small cushions and then we hung more of these brilliant wires above to display Instagram print outs (which are my favourite) and paintings, postcards and artwork torn from Frankie Magazine. I love these. So simple yet effective, and so easy to change as and when we want. 

The retro table has been in our kitchen forever, but we moved the dining chairs and got some of these folding ones from Habitat instead to create more room in this little space, and the metal flock of birds above was an amazing gift from my Grandparents at Christmas. It's such an awesome piece. 

We bought one of those great Ikea ledges to display some beautiful prints, one of Josephine's best pieces of artwork and one of my favourite pictures of my Dad, my sister and I. I'm so happy with how it looks, and how the green and blue hues all compliment eachother. 

We've arranged our glass jars so they all stand together - a look I've always loved and one that looks really cool, even if some of them are half empty ;)

Finally, our fridge is now plastered with Instagram picture magnets. I gave Ben and Josephine some each for Christmas, and after my Dad died we printed more of him for Josephine. So she can see his face everyday, and never forget that beautiful smile of his and the fun she had with him. I talk to his pictures here every morning and evening, and throughout the day. I love seeing our happy faces all together whenever I'm in the kitchen. 

We're so happy with how this little area of house has finally come together. Being right next to Josephine's room, it's given our home a whole other place to hang out as a family; watching Daddy cook, reading books and hearing Phiney play the most amazing games next door. 

23.6.14

25/52

"A portrait of my daughters, once a week every week in 2014".

Josephine: Becoming a big sister has bought Josephine so much happiness. You can see it in her smile when she looks at her 'little one'. She thinks her baby sister is just amazing, especially as this week Coralie has started reacting so much to her. She will stop crying when Josephine talks to her, and gives her the biggest smiles. It's the most beautiful sight.
 
Coralie: Visiting Ben's ever so sweet Grandparents, Audrey and Salvatore, where they met Coralie for the first time. There hadn't been a girl born on Ben's Dad's side of the family in more than 40 years before Josephine was born, and Audrey is loving the opportunity to buy even more
pretty girl's clothes!

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.

18.6.14

23/52 + 24/52


"A portrait of my daughters, once a week, every week, in 2014."
 
Josephine: When the sun is shining, a best friend whose family owns a house with a pool is all kinds of awesome. These two had so much fun splashing and playing together. Besotted, for sure.
 
Coralie: Whether you're smiling, frowning or staring at her with a look of confusion and puzzlement, you don't take your eyes off your big sister when she's around. You love her and she loves you, and that melts my mama heart.
 
24/52: Us four. The first picture of us all together. So much love and happiness right there.

Linking up with Jodi's 52 Project. 

10.6.14

THE HOMEMAKER SERIES: SPACES


Over the last couple of years, Josephine's room has grown as she has. And, when after Christmas, she moved into her 'big girl's bed', her room changed again. Not only did the cot get taken down and replaced with a secondhand steal of a bed (thanks eBay!) but we moved the sofa into the kitchen and created a huge play area for her. With a new baby on it's way we wanted to ensure a space downstairs where we could hang out more - Josephine in her room and me in the kitchen - so it made sense to create a second living space in the kitchen (more of which to come soon) and a bedroom with a playroom feel for Phiney. That way I can get on with doing the housework or feeding Coralie, without leaving Josephine with nothing much to do. 

The space left after we moved the sofa was huge, and allowed us really sort her toys out. We're pretty picky with her toys, and I make regular trips to the charity shop with gifted toys that just don't interest her. Still, after Christmas and her birthday, we were left with so SO many toys that she (and we) loved that we needed to get organised. These Ikea shelves are perfect for Josephine - the ideal height that allows her access to her things without Mama or Daddy's help, and a clearly dedicated place for each thing, ensuring tidying up is easier than ever. 

We're not bothered about how messy her room gets during the day - if she's having fun and is happily occupied, who cares about things covering her floor - but before nap time and bedtime, this Mama likes to have a place to put everything; and it makes engaging Josephine in the tidying up process much easier. 

Her books have been divided into those we read together (special books, older books and vintage books - because I can't bear to think they may get a little ruined!!) that still sit on the window sill and then books she loves to read herself that have a special cubby in the new shelving unit. Her toy basket has random bits in, the box is fill with Duplo and building blocks and the vintage house is easy to get to, as is the garage and her abacus. Her other toy boxes are now dedicated to puzzles, dressing up and teddies. Each with it's own box, each easy to access and clear away. 

The picture on the window sill of my Dad and Josephine is one of my favourite corners of this room. I completely love this picture, for so many reasons. I truly feel that my Dad is with Josephine, and all of us, the way he is here; holding her, and our, hands - looking over us, protecting us and walking alongside us, listening, whenever we need him. Josephine and I blow kisses to this picture all the time, and tell Grandpa how much we love and miss him, and cool he was :)

I'd spotted Josephine's bed a while ago and when my friend Amy bought one for her little boy Bertie, I fell in love with it. Before we made the trip to Ikea, I checked out eBay on the off chance there was a bargain to be had, and I found one for about a third of its original price. Score! For bedding, my Nan made the duvet and pillow cover from a vintage sheet I found and my Mum created this amazing quilt for Josephine for Christmas. It will sit on her bed always, and will be treasured forever. A true heirloom and so beautiful. 

Sweet postcards we decorated Josephine's room with before she was born have now made way for another washing line to hang paintings, pictures and postcards from her buddies on (idea stolen from here) and the huge painting above her door was created by Daddy and Phiney one rainy crafternoon; it's massive and awesome! 

Of course the arrival of her new kitchen has occupied a bit more space (again with a handy space for everything...anal Mama much?!) and her little vintage cradle and pram created a sweet little house for this little wannabe Mama. 

We all love this room. It's light, bright, fun and relaxed. And the perfect space for our little girl to grow.  

The Nursery
Changing Spaces

8.6.14

21/52 + 22/52


"A portrait of my daughters, once a week, every week, in 2014."
 
21/52: Nothing better than Sunday mornings in bed with these three. If only weekends lastest forever.
 
22/52: Me and my girls, in the Botanical Gardens. How my heart swells with love for them.
 
Linking up with Jodi's 52 Project