Saturday, 31 December 2016

Me & Mine - A Round up of 2016

Taking part in the Me & Mine project every month is a fantastic way to make sure we have at least 12 family photos in the year. Life can be so busy and hectic, finding time to take photos of the four isn't always high on the list of priorities but it is so important for our children to have these family photos to look back on when they are older. This is why I love taking part in the project. And I love looking back on the year to see how much we've changed. Here's how our 2016 looked:

We celebrated Husband's birthday in January (it's his big 4-0 in 2017!) and took a quick selfie before we went for dinner with friends.

I can't believe how long Zachary's hair is in this photo and Husband's lack of facial hair! And Charlotte seems so teeny here!

Who are the crazy people on the beach in March? That'll be us!

April was such a gorgeous month. I remember a few years ago it was the same come April. The sun was out and it was roasting hot.

Our beautiful girl turned 7 in May...

...and our handsome boy turned 9 in June.

July was a beautiful month. My Sister got married and it was the most perfect day ever. 

The lighter evenings of August.

Another beach shot in September. It was a very windy day!

This year has been filled with celebrations! In October we were all dressed up to attend our niece's Christening.


Family time in December. What a fantastic year 2016 has been. Bring on 2017!

Me & Mine 2016 - December

As we do every December for Me & Mine, our photos were taken in our Christmas jumpers beside our Christmas tree. It's our tradition and one I can't see us outgrowing any time soon.

This December has been quite different from last December. Working full time meant the countdown to Christmas absolutely flew in. I feel like I blinked and it was Christmas Eve. It was filled with nativities, Christmas parties and lots of chocolates. My poor waist line.

Husband and I loved seeing Charlotte in her last ever nativity show at school. It was a wonderful performance and all of the children did a great job. It was emotional too. As much as I'll have years of nativities to look forward to, none of them will involve my own children anymore. But I have the wonderful memories of Zachary as an Innkeeper and Charlotte as Mary.

We had weekends filled with Christmas activities and shopping. We headed to the city centre to explore the markets, ride the carousel and drink hot chocolate. Charlotte made some sugar cookies for Santa and Zachary and Husband went to the cinema to see Rogue One...not very festive but it was a Christmas treat. We watched our favourite Christmas movies and ate far too many sweets.

Christmas Day was wonderful. We had an early start but it was worth it to see the kids excited for opening their presents. They received so many lovely gifts from our family and our wonderful friends and their amazing God Parents. They are so very lucky. Our meal was delicious and we finished the night with more sweets and champagne.

The most important part of our Christmas was spending it as a family. It would be amazing to have all of our immediate family over but we really do cherish our time as a family of four.

You always think Christmas as a child is the most exciting thing ever until you have children and realise that seeing Christmas through their eyes is even more exciting.

I can't wait to see what 2017 holds for us. We're heading into the New Year with amazing memories and a home filled with happiness, health and love. What more could you ask for?

The Me and Mine Project

Friday, 30 December 2016

She Rode Bareback

Look at my girl go! She rode Jocky bareback today; the first time she has ever rode him bareback. She really enjoyed it because "Jocky was really warm" and she asked if they could go for a trot. She is so eager beaver to try all these things at horse riding and I love her enthusiasm and passion.

In January, Charlotte will have been riding for 3 years and she has come on so much in that time. She's going to be an amazing rider when she's older and I can see her having her own horse, whether it's on loan or of her very own, bought and paid for. Her heart lies with her horses and the stables.

366 Project 2016 - Day 364

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Focus on the Good, Capture the Best

How cute is this little camera Zachary made from his Lego he got for Christmas?

It's almost New Year and a time where resolutions are made, plans are laid out and we look ahead to what a brand new year has in store for us.

I'm not one for resolutions. Not because I'm arrogant and think there isn't anything about myself I could improve, because there is plenty. I don't make them because I don't see the point in setting these resolutions just because it's a new year. I give myself goals to reach throughout the year and I find this is a more realistic way to achieve what I want to achieve.

As a person, I try to focus on the good and positive things in life. I can't be bothered with negativity and drama. Life is far to short to dwell on things you can't change or can't control. Of course, when unexpected things are thrown at me, I do panic a bit but I'm always looking for the "everything happens for a reason" and it leading to greater things. For example, I left a job of 10 years in the financial industry because they were forcing us all to change our hours. At first I panicked and then saw it as an opportunity to do something I really wanted to do. Two years down the line, I have a full time job doing something I love. I really enjoy my job and it's enabled us to be financially secure and comfortable as a family. If my old employer hadn't forced us to change our hours, I could have still be there, stuck in a rut.

Life is about living your life, making and capturing as many memories as possible. I love the excitement of what a new year will hold for us and the many opportunities we will have to make amazing memories with our children.

366 Project 2016 - Day 363

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

An Unexpected Extra

How beautiful are these brushes? Husband surprised me with them today as they were delayed in arriving in time for Christmas. They are by the brand Nire, whom I've never heard of however they feel amazingly soft and really good quality. They come in a gorgeous leather case with a silicone brush cleaner and a beauty blender. I can't wait to try them out!

366 Project 2016 - Day 362

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Sharing A Bed

We bought Zachary his new bed today. It's something we've been contemplating for awhile as he was due to get a new mattress for his single bed however he is outgrowing a single bed so we decided to get him a double bed and new mattress. These should last him until he moves out!

Zachary's room is quite big, and whilst Charlotte's room would also take a double, she wouldn't have much more space after that so she was eager to have a sleepover in Zachary's bed. It didn't last long, of course, because she missed her own bed. There is nothing quite like your own bed even at the tender age of 7.

His bed is from Ikea. I think all of our bedroom furniture is from Ikea apart from Charlotte's bed. We're a bit obsessed with oak; our entire house has oak in it from the kitchen cupboards to the wooden frames and skirtings. As much as the modern houses look fantastic with white everywhere, oak is so much easier to keep clean! Our bathrooms are the only rooms that have white woodwork in them. We bought a memory foam mattress as we've found the sprung mattresses too firm. The bed comes with the option of drawers so we got 2 and they are huge. There's also plenty of space underneath the bed to get the low-style plastic storage boxes underneath.

Zachary is delighted with his new bed and couldn't wait to get to go to sleep. To be fair, I don't blame him because I wanted to get in it!

366 Project 2016 - Day 361

Christmas Day 2016

It's over for another year. A day that is so highly anticipated by us all, over in the blink of an eye, but so many amazing memories created in our little family.

The excitement began on Christmas Eve, with Charlotte going to a cooking class to bake some treats for Santa. Afterwards, we all headed to my Brother-in-Law's house to spend the afternoon with our niece. It's her first Christmas and, of course, she was more interested in the wrapping paper and boxes all of her presents from us came in.

We watched our Christmas Eve movie; The Polar Express. I don't think I'll ever tire of watching that film. The kids hung up their stockings and set up a plate of goodies for Santa and his reindeer.

Charlotte was first to wake up on Christmas morning; at 5am! Thankfully she didn't come and wake us up. Instead she woke up Zachary, who told her to go back to bed. They eventually came through to our room when Husband made a cup of tea at 6.30. Still quite early but not nearly as bad as 5am. They opened their stockings on our bed, as they do every year.

The kids were desperate to get downstairs to check if Santa had been, which he had. They opened all of their presents, checking each one out and getting rather excited about what might be next. I've got videos of their Christmas gifts to edit for my YouTube channel so you can see what they got for Christmas.

We had a small finger-food buffet for lunch as we were heading out for dinner at 4pm. Husband picked up lots of goodies from M&S. Everything was delicious!

My Father-in-Law and Brother-in-Law popped up with more presents for the kids. Charlotte was delighted with her horse themed presents and Zachary was excited to receive some Pokemon cards.

For dinner, we headed to our favourite Italian restaurant. We've been going every year for the past 4 years and it is such good fun and so enjoyable. I had red pepper and goats cheese bon bons to start, fillet steak for mains and crème brûlée for pudding. I also had a latte with our petit fours. It was an amazing meal and the atmosphere was lovely; very relaxed and cosy. Charlotte had her spaghetti bolognaise, as usual, and Zachary ate a full fillet steak to himself!

We arrived for our meal at 4pm and left at 6.45pm. My hairdresser goes to the same restaurant with her family every year and we always end up sitting next to them so the kids go off and play whilst we catch up. It really is that relaxed! We had such a good time and an excellent meal, of course, we booked up again for next year.

When we got home, we were all shattered. We got changed into our jammies, watched the end of Home Alone and fell into bed around 8.30pm. Another amazing Christmas over and done with, just like that.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Boxing Day Dinner

Does anyone else not bother with cooking a meal and order in something delicious instead on Boxing Day?

Actually, we weren't too bad as I did make the curry myself. The chips and fried rice on the other hand...

366 Project 2016 - Day 360

Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas Eve Eve

This is a terrible picture but I won't apologise for it because it was taken in the moment. The beginning of our Christmas holidays.

We ordered Chinese food and watched Elf. It was so good.

I think we might make this our new Christmas Eve Eve tradition.

366 Project 2016 - Day 357

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Christmas Party Round Two OOTD

Another Christmas party, another Christmas outfit. It was Zachary's turn to celebrate the festive season at school today. He had a great time and I heard there were a lot of "dabs" happening. 

Husband picked him up from school at lunch time so he could get ready at home. That very rarely happens when it's Christmas party time but with Husband being on holiday already, we took advantage of being able to bring them home instead of getting changed at school. 

Zachary's black polo shirt is from Polo Sport and we picked it up in Florida for around $40. His jeans are from Next and are in a slim, super skinny fit. His boots are Timberland. 

He's a pretty cool looking kid, even if I do say so myself. 

366 Project 2016 - Day 356

Christmas Wish List - A Bit of Luxury

When it comes to designer labels and luxury items, I do like to save up and spend a bit more on things I know will wear well, last longer and are generally of a much better quality. Of course, it would be lovely to receive some of my favourite luxury pieces as a Christmas gift too. These are some of the things that are high on my Christmas wish list. Whether I'll get any of them is another story but a girl can dream and there is no harm in a little online window shopping.

Nude Christian Louboutin shoes

These are quite high on my Christmas wish list. I already have a black pair and would love to add a nude pair so I have the two staple colours in my wardrobe. I love the style of the Pigalle or the So Kate in the 100 heel. These are so elegant and sexy with the flash of red on the sole. These shoes start at around £455 but they will never go out of fashion. A great investment piece and a great Christmas gift!

Chanel Boy Flap Bag

Not only do I have a huge love for shoes, I also love handbags. I don't own any high end, luxury bags but a Chanel bag would be high on my wish list and the first luxury bag I'd go for. Again, like the Christian Louboutin shoes, they are timeless and a great investment piece because they always increase in value. My favourite style is the Chanel Boy Flap bag, a modern take on the classic Chanel Flap bag. It has such beautiful hardware and I think it looks quite biker chic which is definitely my style. It comes in different colours, designs and sizes but it isn't cheap. Prices can start from around £2900 for a small bag and can go up to over £4000. They do hold their value though; not that I would sell one if I got it!

Jimmy Choo Miami Trainers

Yes, River Island probably have a pair identical to these but I've been lusting after a pair of Choos for ages and in particular, their Miami trainers. On the sole of the trainers are beautiful gold stars and the Jimmy Choo logo is visible on a gold band across the back of the shoe and on the laces. The Miami trainer comes in a variety of colours but I'd definitely go for a very bold or very sparkly pair, like these champagne glitter ones. These cost £350 however, unlike Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo holds a sale at the end of the season so there is a chance you could hold out until after Christmas and get them a bit cheaper. 

My Lady Dior Bag

I told you I had a thing for bags and shoes! Dior is one of my favourite designer brands. I love their make up and I adore their perfumes. I recently discovered the My Lady Dior bag and what I love about it is you can customise your bag with 3 lucky badges from their own selection. They clip on to the shoulder strap so they will be visible as you wear your bag. There are quite a few colours available and different types of leather too. It's not the biggest bag in the world but it's really sweet and I think would be the perfect going out bag. It costs around £2500.

Christian Louboutin Fifi Botta Calf

These are definitely "going out" boots. I love black knee high boots and have a few pairs of them but they are flats and I wear them more casually. If I owned these boots, they would certainly be kept for best. They are so beautiful. I've tried them on before and they look amazing on but the size 5 was too tight on my foot and they didn't have a 5.5 or a 6 for me to try. Christian Louboutin are notorious for not being true to size in most of their styles so unless you've tried them on in the style you want, don't be asking anyone to get you a pair as a present. When it comes to my shoes, I do like to keep classic so I can wear them year after year and my boots are no exception. Louboutin has some quite quirky styles but I just love the simplicity of these boots. These cost £795 which is pretty good for the 100 heel size. For a 140, you're looking at almost £1000.00. 

Whatever is on your Santa list, I hope you get what you are wishing for.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

What I Ate Wednesday

I've tried so hard to not eat rubbish but with it being Christmas and a never-ending supply of chocolate and biscuits at work (perks of the job), it has been really tough. Still, I do workout four times a week but I'm missing all the walking I used to do.

I started off well today with weetabix, fresh fruit and a smoothie. I also took my vitamins and drank 2 cups of water.

By 10am I was pinching Quality Street from the sweetie tin. I only ate 2 though.

For lunch I had a small tin of ravioli, a toasted bagel, fruit and a Brunch bar for a chocolate fix.

Dinner was seabass with the most delicious roast potatoes (cooked in olive oil) and fresh vegetables. It was so, so good. But not filling enough.

Once the kids were in bed, I had 2 wraps, a small cake, 3 Thorntons caramel sticks and a bowl of Rice Krispies. Not good!

I have been drinking a lot of water so my skin is looking so much better than it has been. Once Christmas is over with, I'm going to make a real effort to not eat as much junk. A treat is nice every now and again but every day isn't good!

366 Project 2016 - Day 355

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas Party OOTD

It was Charlotte's Christmas party at school today. Husband picked her up at lunch time (as he's already on holiday, the lucky boy!) and got her ready. He was panicking about doing her hair and wouldn't have had a clue what to dress her in so I left him instructions and Charlotte picked out her dress herself. 

She wore a very simple grey dress from Next. I think I got it last year and this is the first time she has worn it. It has lovely jewel detailing around the neckline which I think makes it perfect for a Christmas party. Her tights and shoes are also from Next. You really can't go wrong with Next for party clothes...unless someone else ends up in the same dress! 

Her jacket is from boohoo kids; we recently reviewed some clothing for them and this jacket is one of the pieces we received. 

Her headband is one that I had made by a local crafty person. You can't see it but it has jewels in the centre of the flower and I think it goes really well with the outfit. 

366 Project 2016 - Day 354

Monday, 19 December 2016

Away With the Unicorns

Charlotte was super excited to tell me she got "pupil of the week" at school today. They receive their award at the assembly in front of the whole school so it's a very special award to get. 

She received her award for working hard and behaving well, and trying to set a good example which makes me a very proud Mum. She's usually away with the unicorns when it comes to working hard in class; her Primary 3 teacher must be pretty strict if she's managing to get Charlotte to concentrate in class. I wonder if we could keep her for the rest of her school journey? 

Whenever the kids receive an award at school, we get them a small treat. Charlotte decided that for her treat, she'd like to "open one of my Christmas presents!" Ha ha! No chance!

366 Project 2016 - Day 353

Christmas Night Out

You can't beat a good Christmas night out. Everyone is feeling festive and looking forward to the Christmas break. I haven't been to a work's night out in quite a few years so I was really looking forward to going along to Husband's night out at the very fancy Champagne Bar in Glasgow.

I wore one of my favourite dresses, a recent purchase, from Lipsy. I didn't get a full length shot of my outfit because I was rushing out the door to make the train on time! I wore my black Carvela peep-toe shoes and a beautiful faux fur black coat, also from Lipsy. As a treat to myself, I had my makeup done at a local beauty salon. Again I didn't get a close up shot of it but I think it looked amazing and a million percent better than anything I would have done. I didn't want quite heavy eyes because I've never had my makeup that smoky before so I went for a more natural look with winged liner and a bit of silver glitter to tie in with my dress. I also had lashes put on which I loved!

The Champagne Bar was amazing. The room in which the party was held was beautifully decorated. It was lovely to meet Husband's colleagues and their partners and everyone looked very glamorous and smart. 

We had our dinner there which was OK. I'm not a huge fan of turkey so I didn't eat a lot but it was really well presented and the portion sizes were quite good too. 

There was a live band and they were fantastic. Usually I prefer a DJ whenever I go out but the band played some really good current covers and had everyone up on their feet. I was swaying back and forth (to the music not from the drink) because those darn shoes were killing my feet. I really need to wear heels more often. 

The party was in full swing but we had to leave to get the last train home. I was ready for bed. This working full time can be exhausting! Now the countdown is on for the big day and I can't wait!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Malteser Meringue Pudding

The day after a night out is always a bit of a lazy day. I was in bed until 12pm, watching Zoella on YouTube and enjoying a bowl of Rice Krispies. After a shower and a bacon and poached egg roll, I caught up with Hollyoaks. It was 6 episode marathon as I never have the time to watch it in the evening. The candles were lit, the Christmas tree lights were on; it was cosy and perfect.

We had roast chicken for dinner followed by Malteser meringue gateau. It was so tasty! The cream in the middle of the meringue tasted exactly like the inside of a Malteser. Delicious!

And now I'm eating more junk because it's almost Christmas, it's Monday tomorrow and I have one more week of work left before the holidays!

366 Project 2016 - Day 352

Movies For Her Gift Guide

Grab the mistletoe and get ready to find the perfect gift for that special someone this Christmas.
Warner Bros. has the ultimate selection, whether you’re looking for him, for her, or for festive favourites to get the whole family in the Christmas spirit.
Get ready to snuggle up with these heartwarming titles for her, including Me Before You, The Intern, In The Heart of the Sea, Wizard of Oz and How to Be Single.

Me Before You was definitely one of my favourite books to read last year and one of my favourite films to watch this year. It's such a moving story; you'll definitely need the tissues for this one. 
I love the Wizard of Oz and I can't wait to watch it with the kids for the first time. With catchy songs and a heart-warming story, it's a great film for all of the family to enjoy.
I haven't seen the other 3 films but I do love a chick flick so these films sound right up my street. 
Do you like a DVD for Christmas? Which one is on your list this year? 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Bath Bombs and Cookie Dough

I'm so glad it's Friday. It hasn't felt like a long week but I've been looking forward to relaxing and not having to get up at 6am tomorrow morning. 

The boys are at the cinema watching Rogue One. Charlotte has just gone to bed and I don't think I'll be that far behind her. We've had such a chilled evening of pizza, a huge bubble bath complete with Lush goodies and finished off with The Good Dinosaur and B&Js Cookie Dough. 

Staying in is definitely the new going out!

366 Project 2016 - Day 350

Thursday, 15 December 2016

The Scent of Christmas

During the summer months, I don't burn candles or melts. As soon as the darker evenings arrive however, I have candles in every room in all different sizes and scents. I don't have a particular favourite brand or scent; usually I just smell it and, if I like it, I buy it.

One of my current favourites and a smell that I would say screams Christmas is Spiced Orange from Glade. It cost me £2 in Asda and it smells amazing. I know a lot of people associate Christmas with the scent of cinnamon but I'm not a fan and I think the spicy yet fruity scent of this candle is definitely the aroma of Christmas.

366 Project 2016 - Day 349

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