EASTER HOLIDAYS: on the hunt

 Our Easter weekend has been a full one. Crafting, gardening, hot cross buns and fish and chips on Friday, road-trippin' and parties on Saturday and a big ol' family gathering today complete with plenty of chocolate, a delicious lunch and an Easter egg hunt. Tomorrow, it's time to relax. I can't wait. 

Josephine has also had her real first taste of chocolate and, unsurprisingly, it was a big hit. We decided that with plenty of sweet treats coming her way from the family, our gift would be the other kind of sweet; a vintage-style paper egg packed with mama-made pompoms and felt Mama and Papa birds and the obligatory flurry chick. She loved it all :)

We hope you've all had a wonderful weekend too x



 "A portrait of Josephine, once a week every week in 2013".

Mud on her face, after she fell into the herb patch in the garden head first, only adds to her charm. 

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.


EASTER HOLIDAYS: hoping for spring

Today our Easter holiday started. No fancy trips away or extravagant excursions planned; just me, the boy and our little bird hanging out together. All day, every day, for ten blissful days. 

We all need this break. Ben needs a rest from work, I need a little me time (aka a couple of lie-ins!) and Phiney wants 24 hour distraction from the blasted teeth that just need to pop through already. Which largely comes in the form of sticking to her Papa like glue. This afternoon she happily followed him around the garden, digging and carrying tools where she could, watching the birds and kicking her ball.   

Over the coming week, after Easter celebrations have passed and I've eaten my weight in chocolate, we have little adventures planned and I would love it if spring decided to join us. I want to feel the warm sunshine on my face if you don't mind Mother Nature. 

I hope you all have a lovely Easter break and get the chance to eat plenty of sweet treats :)

Josephine, as you can see, has decided to rock her/papa's sunglasses whether there's sunshine or not this week, rarely taking them off over the last few days. She's too cool for school, this one. 



 "A portrait of Josephine, once a week every week in 2013".

No hat is safe, as the hat obsession continues. Today she wore Papa's hat to the shops and back and then for another 20 minutes after we got home. The girl wears it well. 

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.


RAINY DAYS: bird watching

It has rained here, consistently for about 24 hours. And it's cold. And windy. Spring, where are you? 

Right now Josephine is obsessed with birdsong and trees. In this horrid weather we spend so much of day stood at these windows. Phiney loves to watch the trees sway in the wind, listen to the birds sing and get very excited when one lands in the garden. When a wood pigeon swept down from the wall the other day, she almost jumped out of my arms. 

It's awesome to see the world through Josephine's eyes. To witness the joy she finds in new discoveries. Everyday with this girl is a reminder to see the wonder and beauty in the small things. 


HAPPY CIRCUS: knitted bows and beautiful people

As well as being a wonderful diary, recording our lives together, firstly as a newly married couple and then as new parents, this blog has bought with it new friendships; the opportunity to meet lovely people who just so happen to live on the other side of the world to us rather than just round the corner. People with whom an an email conversation is as fun and easy as a catch up over a cup of tea.Tim and Kesh are two of those people. They are good people. We are so excited to have them come visit when they're in the UK in the summer; to see our babies play together and show them our little corner of the planet.Having Tim shoot these pictures for Happy Circus, and Kesh model, is awesome. And I hope you'll agree that these shots are awesome too. I think they are. So, thank you guys for your time and kindness. Roll on the summer :)ps. I currently have 299 followers - how brilliant! But that odd number is playing on my mind (I like a nice round, even number thank you very much!) so if you're not a follower, go on and hit that button. You know you want to. Go on. Please.



I attempted to write this blog post at the end of last week, and again yesterday. And I never intended it to be  part of the Homemaker Series, but as I thought about what I wanted to write it seemed an interesting topic to touch on as part of this collection. 

The last month has been a little fraught round here. Nothing major, nothing dramatic, just not the easiest of months. The time of year hasn't helped and neither did the beautiful weather a few weeks ago, which tricked us into thinking spring was here before Mother Nature threw snow and freezing winds back at us. Add to that a tense situation on Ben's side of the family (which thankfully seems to be sorted now), a teething 14 month old and a bank balance that is rather lacking and it's easy to see why February wasn't my favourite month. 

I feel a bit like I've been on pause. Spending my days playing with Josephine indoors rather than braving the cold and heading to the park; spending her nap time watching terrible yet addictive TV instead of doing something a little more creative; eating bad (albeit so tasty) junk food and biting my nails again; watching the length of time between blog posts get longer and longer. Uninspired. 

Over the weekend it occurred to me that I needed to make a change, a conscious decision to get myself moving again. And yesterday was a good day. I did a full-on deep clean of the whole house (Josephine was a mostly awesome helper - occupying herself or happily following me drag the hoover around), I made my very first cottage pie - that one up there, photographed with pride - for Phiney, I did washing galore and hung a load on the washing line for the first time this year and, wait for it, I did an exercise DVD when Josephine was napping. It was intense and insane, but boy did I feel chuffed afterwards. I went to bed last night feeling good and feeling satisfied. Not only feeling more like myself, but also feeling a new sense of achievement; of growth. At learning to do something new and remembering the importance of taking care of myself so I can take care of my little family. 

While we watch in awe at Josephine grow, it's easy to forget that we're growing all the time right now too. Learning everyday how to be better partners to each other and better parents to a toddler who's changing all the time. Sometimes I think a pause is necessary, to rest and rejuvenate. Because, ultimately, if I'm feeling happy and at my best, I can be better at all this homemaking stuff. 

Today I did that exercise DVD again, I received two really exciting emails regarding Happy Circus, Josephine and I wrapped up warm and headed to the park and Ben and I enjoyed a delicious curry and plenty of cuddles on the sofa. 

Despite the rain and cold, spring is most definitely trying to break through. Just look at these sweet blooms in the garden. Soon warmer weather and sunshine will be here, and I can't wait for everything that season will bring. 

ps. I've just announced the winner of the giveaway over here :) 



 "A portrait of Josephine, once a week every week in 2013".

Mischief-maker, caught in the act. She is the sweetest creature but you can't take your eyes off her for a second.

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.

ps. don't forget to enter the giveaway. I'll draw a winner on Tuesday :) 


GIVEAWAY: felty goodness

So, earlier today I realised that my last post was my 350th. Wowza! To say thank you to all you lovely people who stop by this space and leave lovely comments, I thought I'd offer one of my colourful felt garlands as a little giveaway. These have seriously been flying off the shelves since I launched them in the shop, and they really do look awesome hanging on the wall. Just check out the one hanging in little Emma's nook (thank you for the lovely picture Carine!)

All you have to do to enter is...
^^ leave a comment below
^^ become a follower (if you're not already one)
^^ head over to Facebook and 'like' the Happy Circus page

I really do appreciate your support and thank you for taking the time to say hello round here. Every comment makes me a very happy blogger :)

Good luck to you all - the winner will be drawn next Monday xx

This giveaway is open to all our readers, near and far.




"A portrait of Josephine, once a week every week in 2013".

A happy soul.  

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.


PARK LIFE: t-bars


On Monday my Mum and I set off to buy Josephine her first pair of proper shoes. Boy oh boy is that a harder task than it should be. Firstly, the reason it's taken so long to buy them is because she has teeny feet and they just didn't make any shoes to fit them. So wellies it was. And that was fine, until the sun started shining and she decided that she really only wanted walk everywhere

Then there's the fact that unless you want pink shoes plastered with butterflies and flowers you're, well, screwed. Seriously. Thankfully Startrite stocked some English Classics that were glitter free and our local store actually had some to fit Phiney's little fat feet. 

And finally....bloody hell they're expensive! Thank goodness for Nannies who want to buy their granddaughter's first shoes ;) 
Yesterday as the spring sunshine shone down, Josephine and I took her new shoes for a test drive at the park. To say that she loves these shoes is an understatement. She must have stopped and looked at her feet about 15 times. It was the sweetest thing. 

PARK LIFE: wellies

HAPPY CIRCUS: grab yourself a bargain

I just wanted to pop in and let you know that, after a serious hit to the vintage section over the last few weeks (thank you lovely customers :)!!) there are just a few pieces remaining. To make way for the new stock I'm planning on listing soon, i've heavily reduced these last few gorgeous items to ensure they find their way to a good home. So head over here now and find a bargain for your little one xx



When we decorated Josephine's nursery, she was still nestled in my belly. I'm so glad we finished her space before she arrived because, despite not even knowing whether she was a boy or girl let alone what her likes would be and what toys she'd love, I'm not sure when it would have got done otherwise (it took me at least 6 months after Phiney was born to clean the whole house in one go let alone decorate).

But as the last year has gone on, Josephine has gathered notes and postcards from penpals, photos of her buddies and certificates from her swimming lessons; she's been given a whole bunch of toys and books, and has created some spectacular artwork. So, we decided it was time to make a few little changes in her room; to reflect her personality and to store all the lovely things she's gathered since she's been here.

^ Toy storage was a serious must after Christmas and her birthday, and while we're very happy to choose secondhand and vintage pieces for the vast majority of things in our house, for this piece we headed straight to Ikea (thanks to my Dad and some of the money he gave Josephine for her birthday). Not only do these drawers come in sweet colours but they're light weight and perfect to get out each morning for Phiney to access her toys as she wants, and quick and easy to put away each evening. Being the anal person I am, the top green box stores wooden puzzles, building blocks and dominoes, the pink box holds random toys and the large white one all the teddies and dolls. We also bought a second green box to slide under the chest of drawers with her cardboard books in. I adore that it's the book box she normally rummages through first. 

^ Empty bowls and shelf space has now been filled with Josephine-related artifacts. Hairbands, clips and bows sit on the chest of drawers in the sweet bowl Ben bought the bump when we were in Cornwall the summer before Josephine was born, and I framed a photo from her first birthday of the three of us to sit pride of place on the window sill next to her ever-growing book collection and her rabbit night light. 

^ Finally, I hung a simple piece of string from two little brass hooks to display sweet notes and pictures that are special to Josephine. The paper heart garland was a little gift from her  penpal Poet and my sister made me the tissue paper flower at least 15 years ago...I love that it now sits in my daughter's room. 

As always, we wanted to create this more personal space on a serious budget (ie. free!) but I'm really pleased with how it's turned out. It's such a lovely place to be and we all spend very happy times in there.