These two. Practically impossible to get them looking at the camera, smiling nicely. As is the way with all 6 and 8 year old boys, I guess. My Nan asked me to snap a picture of them last weekend for a frame on her wall, and this was the best I could get. 

I love it. It's sums them up completely and perfectly. 

Today is Coby's birthday (well, his faux birthday, he was born on February 29th) and tomorrow is Tyler's. Tonight it's party time and their presents have literally just been delivered by the postman. Phew. 

We love you boys, especially a certain two year old who thinks you're both the bee's knees and the coolest cousins around xxx



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

Josephine and her bestie, Oliver. I think we must spend half our week at the meadow watching them run around together. These two kiddos are so awesome; the games they play, the laughter they share. I'm so happy he, and all his beautiful family, are in our lives.

I (not-so-secretly) joke that one day he'll be our son-in-law! 

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.



While sweet cotton rompers are at the top of my list clothes-wise, warm knits are a must when you live in the UK. In the middle of summer you can wake up to pouring rain and cold temperatures, so snuggly jumpers and cardigans really are essential.

British clothing company Joules recently sent us some amazing pieces for both Baby and Josephine to road test, and this sweet cable knit cardigan is perfect for a boy or girl. I'm really drawn to muted, earthy tones for this baby, so this is ideal. 

I could have chosen so many things from the baby section of the shop; sweet welly boots for girls and classic dungarees for boys, plus i'd actually already got these booties in store (and adore the delicate floral print of the girl's version too), which are so lovely. 

With quality fabrics and quirky details and prints, Joules has something for everyone, and I was pretty tempted by this dress and this blouse for when the bump has gone and Baby has arrived. Stay tuned for possibly my favourite ever skirt on Josephine, plus a raincoat she wore indoors for hours on the day it arrived in the post. Great pieces from a lovely shop :) 



A few weeks ago, Josephine and Ben got messy in the bathroom (our painting room of choice...it's huge and has easy to wipe clean laminate floors!) and created some amazing pieces of artwork. One is hanging in her bedroom and the other is still taped to our living room wall while we find a frame big enough to house it forever.

Phiney got so many amazing crafty bits and bobs for Christmas and her birthday, she created this piece using some foam stamps and to begin with we just loved the colours. Then, after we taped it to the wall, we realised it looked like a tree on the left. A few days later, it occurred to us that the bit on the right hand side looked remarkably like a man and woman, flying away from the tree; her wearing a bonnet with a trailing skirt, and him in a suit, both wearing sunglasses. Fairies, in the forest; Titania and Oberon.

Can you see it? I hope so! It's such an amazing piece. We will cherish it forever.


WHAT PHINEY WORE: birthday girl

WHAT PHINEY WORE: Dress c/o the little plum // Hair Bow h&m // Tights lcoqueta // Necklace two little vikings // Bag italian market circa early 1990s

Nearly a month after her birthday, I'm finally getting round to posting the pictures of What Phiney Wore, the party edition. Every little girl needs the perfect vintage dress to wear on her big day, and this adorable one came from lovely Etsy shop, The Little Plum. Josephine wore it on Christmas Day too (because tartan is a must at Christmas time!) and I can't get over the sweet lace cuffs and collar. 

Her amazing lion necklace was our birthday present to Josephine, which I managed to score at one of Two Little Vikings' sales of the #pray4trax necklace. I've tried to buy one before but they all sold out in just a few minutes. Second time around I was determined to get one, and Ben and I loved the colours of this design. As soon as Phiney opened it on her birthday, she put it on and hasn't really taken it off since. It's worn with PJs in the morning, every new outfit and not much else before bath time. The cause is an amazing one (raising money for a little boy in America with Cystic Fibrosis) and the necklaces are made my a very clever Mama and her little boy. Make sure you check out her Insta account (mrs_paulie_) for details of the next sale - I'm so tempted by the matching Mama/child versions...

Teamed with our favourite tights (I don't think i'll ever buy tights from anywhere else again), her red velvet hair bow and my old little bag, and Josephine was most definitely the belle of the ball :) 



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

Our little woodland pixie, forever playing hide and seek in the trees. 

At the beginning of this project for 2014 it was my aim to post pictures of Josephine with the special people in her life, but it's occurred to me that sometimes I just don't get those shots and that sometimes I get pictures of Phiney by herself that are just too good to ignore. So, going forward, it will be a mix. I hope. 

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.




Second time around, the list of baby essentials is very different to when we were pregnant with Josephine. We have the pram, cot, reusable nappies and hoards of white babygros. Second time around, I feel the list is a little more frivolous; things we really want, not just need. And over the next few months I'll be revealing my top baby essentials, from big buys to vintage goodness.

Today, it's all about my current favourite piece of baby clothing...the romper. While I was pregnant with Josephine, due in the depths of a very cold and snowy winter, it was all about knits; jumpers, cardigans, leggings and dungarees. Baby number two is due in the midst of spring, so light cotton rompers and bloomers are topping my list of must haves. These vintage beauties are treasures found on eBay and at The Apple Bopper, one of my favourite Etsy stores - so many sweet rompers on offer, as well as a whole bunch of other goodies. 

I've also found a vintage pattern to start whipping up a few of my own. I'm determined to make more of Josephine and Baby's clothes this year, and I love Talia's In Stitches project for 2014 and hope to take part as much as I can. 

As we sit here, freezing cold and wrapped in a hundred layers of knits, the thought of summer time, my babies in the garden and tiny rompers are making this Mama pretty happy. 

ps. Happy Valentine's Day to you all. Hope it's filled with a whole lot of love xx


PARK LIFE: the promise of spring


Sunday afternoons are often filled with walks in the park with Nanny and Auntie Dora, and with a break in the rain and some clear skies, there's nothing better for a certain two year old than to run around, stamp in puddles and explore the bridges and secret pathways of the Botanical Gardens. 

With the little crocus and snowdrops peeping out through the fallen leaves, the promise of spring is something I'm welcoming with open arms. I long for a warm sun and some heat on my back, little naked legs and cotton dresses rather than waterproofs and welly boots. 



It's now been more than six weeks since we lost our beautiful Dad, and more than two since his funeral. To say that time has been surreal is an understatement, and I feel as though most of it has been spent shrouded in thick fog. Some parts seem like only yesterday, and others seem like years ago already. I can't help but go through how I found out again and again in my head, and before I go to bed at night my heart leaps into my mouth as I turn my phone onto silent never again wanting to experience that dreaded early morning call that will change your life forever. 

My sister and I have both started writing journals to help us work through the crazy mix of emotions you feel when you loose someone so beloved, so suddenly. Dora has been writing down happy memories, but at the moment, I'm finding my journal is a place I can scream into. To write to my Dad about how much I'm hurting and how much I miss and love him. I know the happy memories will follow, but the therapy it's giving me to get all that pain out of my head and onto the page is incomparable. Days can pass when I don't write a thing, and on others I can write numerous entries, each just sentences long.

I'm not really sure how much I want to write here, about it all. This blog has always been a happy space, somewhere we can look back through in months and years to come, to remember the little things that make us smile everyday. And in all honesty, I want to keep it that way. To keep it somewhere I can escape to. Where I can talk about the hilarious things Josephine's been up to, the cute clothes she's wearing and the fun adventures we've been on without side notes of bad days and tears. Hanging over everything in our lives is the deepest sadness, the knowing that someone amazing has been taken from us, so to have a space where I can focus on the happy and positive and frivolous seems like a blessing.

My Dad's dear friend George, who lost his own Dad when he was not too much older than me, summed up this strange new beginning we're all experiencing as 'A new chapter of the same story'. That despite the fact we're all having to pick ourselves up and start again, Dad will always be with us, a huge and important part of everything that happens in the future, as he was in the past; never ever forgotten. I've been thinking about that so much. That, even though he's not here anymore, he's playing a part in all our decisions and is part of us all. WWD/JD (What Would Dad/Joe Do) has become the family's motto in the last few weeks, and it's a comfort to us all to think of the advice and support he'd be giving us if he were here...another of George's suggestions :)

The support Ben has given me over these weeks has been indescribable. And I am more thankful than ever for our babies. Josephine is truly the happiest distraction, so like my Dad in so many ways and able to make me laugh through my tears like nothing else. She talks about 'Grandpa' without prompting and I find myself being able to tell her funny stories and tell her how much we all love him with pride and happiness in my voice, rather than sadness and longing. How much she loves him is both heartbreaking and heart-mending, all at the same time. The adventures they should have shared and will no longer be able to is one of the hardest things for me to think about. But we talk about him everyday. And our newest song to sing on car journeys is one we used to sing with my Dad when we were kids. Whenever I sing it I'm sure he's there with us, smiling away. And our tiny baby has kept me thinking about how many glorious things we have in our lives, and how many more there are to look forward to. About how there are so many things to be grateful for, despite everything.

My Dad is with me in everything that I do, and knowing that has allowed me to get up each morning and carry on. To still smile and laugh and be happy. To make plans for our future, to ensure we carry on his motto of living life to the full and grabbing every opportunity with both hands. To have fun. And that's what this blog will continue to be about, as it always has. To honour my wonderful, incredible, inspiring Papa.

I've missed writing here properly. I really feel this space has become part of me over the last few years, giving me the opportunity to continue writing, and the reason to keep on taking photographs when my camera could easily just sit in it's case on the table. I can't wait to be back more, my little corner of the internet to escape into. Thank you for sticking with me and for all your support. Your words both here, on Facebook and on Instagram have made me smile and cry and have offered so much comfort. Much love to you all xxx



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

Girly giggles with my cousin's little girl, Kacie, and my cousin, Matilda. Josephine and I visit my grandparent's house for lunch and playtime every Thursday with these two pickles and their Mama's, and Josephine loves their time together. It's awesome to see the next generation growing up together as me and my siblings, my cousins and my auntie did. And, with my cousin expecting her second just 8 days after us, it won't be long before there are five cheeky monkeys taking over!

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.



On January 18, our girl turned two. Despite everything, we decided to go ahead and have a little party for her. It felt right to have all our family and friends together, and my Dad wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

I can hardly believe Josephine is already 'two years old' as she'll happily tell everyone. It seems only yesterday we bought her home, so tiny and new. And now here we are, getting ready to bring home another addition to our little family.

Josephine, our beautiful girl, we are so proud to call you our daughter. You light up the world around you, even at the darkest of times, and you bring happiness when it feels like there is none to be found. You are funny, so so funny, and clever, and you astound me hundred times a day.

You are such a copy-cat right now. Always saying and doing the same as those around you. Yesterday morning, as we cleaned our teeth, you stood at the sink holding back your hair as I do. The sweetness slays me.

You're asking what, why, where and how questions all. day. long.

"What you doing?"
"Where you going?"
"What you seeing?"
"How you feeling?"

And, over these last few weeks, you ask me with your little head tilted to one side, "you sad Mama?" When I answer yes, you give the best cuddles. Squeezing with all your might. So much love to give.

Right now we wonder if you'll be a engineer or architect. You love nothing more than playing with a calculator, building towers and cars with Duplo and if we drive through a tunnel it makes your day. In fact we've spent many a journey then pretending to drive through more tunnels. But then again, maybe an astronaut. You love to look at the moon, so much, even braving the icy air when Daddy puts the bins out at night, to see a glimpse of it.

You want 'dancing' (music) on all the time, and watching you rock out in your chair at the table while you eat is amazing. You close your eyes and let the music take you.

You're so excited about becoming a big sister. Always talking to Baby and wanting to feel it move. Asking to do this and that with it when it arrives; pushing it on the swing being the thing you seem most excited about.

You're the bravest kiddo I know, the most beautiful and the kindest. We learn more about you and the person you're becoming everyday, and we learn more about how to be better people from you.

Happiest of birthdays Josephine, may your year be filled with the best adventures. We adore you, love Mama and Daddy xxx



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

Josephine with Tyler, her oldest cousin. She's never more than a few inches from him when they're together. And he is the sweetest seven year old, never tiring of playing games with her and always willing to hold her hand. She thinks he's pretty cool...and with those orange Chucks, she's absolutely right. 

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.