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
 


28.5.14

BUMP TO BABY


18 weeks / 19 weeks / 20 weeks / 25 weeks / 27 weeks / 29 weeks / 31 weeks / 32 weeks / 36 weeks / 37 weeks with my best friend / 41 weeks / She's here!

Three weeks old today. Our sweet Coralie, how you have captured all our hearts. We love you completely and utterly adore you, little one. 

Considering how good we were at capturing my growing bump when we were pregnant with Josephine, my second pregnancy was nowhere near as well documented. Thank goodness for Instagram or I wonder if they'd be any evidence at all! 

Actually, I rather love the simplicity of this little series. The monochrome, the same view point, Josephine photo-bombing the occasional shot :) I'll treasure it forever. 

25.5.14

20/52: catch up





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

Josephine: My cousin's dog had puppies a few weeks ago and Josephine has been desperate to meet them. It was love at first sight.

Coralie: We visited my Dad's girlfriend last weekend for a beautiful family dinner, and to take Coralie to their house for the first time. We all feel so close to my Dad there, and to sit in his study with his new granddaughter on my lap, surrounded by his books, guitars and records, was so special but so sad. I wish with all my heart he was here to meet her, but she will still grow up knowing how awesome her Grandpa was, for sure.

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.

24.5.14

19/52: catch up

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

Josephine and Coralie: I hope you become the best of friends, as my sister and I are. Already entirely besotted with each other, and bringing the biggest smiles to your Mama and Daddy's faces. We love you both with all our hearts and souls, our beautiful girls.  

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.