Dear 2013


Dear 2013..
We want to say that we've had a really good year and you've been kind to us, and admittedly there have been a handful of highlights, but in reality, we can't wait to see the back of it. The year didn't start too badly with some perfect days spent with the family, drinking endless hot chocolates and deciding that actually jeans for women weren't so bad. Even when papa got admitted to hospital for a short while, things still carried on as normal with blog events to attend and weekends away with close friends and you gave us the pleasure of being awarded Highly Commended Best Blogging Duo for Company magazine. Little R was learning things he shouldn't, and becoming man of the house, and Schmidt was happily spending his days wrapped in his bedding stashing away sunflower seeds. And however happy I looked, it was the start of many evenings spent crying at home with the thought of work the following day and the fact our cottage was slowly falling apart in front of us. Towards the end of May after a sun filled month of countryside walks and family BBQ's, things started to get harder with Little B's grandad taken ill but as always life carried on with evenings spent hiding under a makeshift den, and discovering Krispy Kreme. Sadly in June we dug out our best black outfits and headed back to Little B's family home to mourn the loss of his grandad. Weekends were spent helping sort through boxes and furniture, and with Little B's birthday round the corner we decided to book a weekend in Brighton. To get away from it all. And that we needed, when in July, we lost Little B's other grandparent, so suddenly. Her funeral was beautiful, and if anything it brought everybody even closer. We put our heart and soul into appreciating the smaller things, and redecorated the living room in the cottage to hide the problems of the property, but it didn't stop us attending another funeral of a family friend. The summer was coming to an end, and we were more than ready for our week in Spain with friends where we re-evaluated our life and decided some things had to change. I began job hunting, and Little B decided to shave his head and take up golf. Things were slow and it was becoming a low point, especially when September came and we were served our notice to leave the cottage. It came at the wrong time, but in hindsight it worked out for the best, where we moved back in with my parents and needed our help with papa admitted to hospital again. We really started to feel like things weren't ever going to be better, but luck came on our side when we ended up signing papers for our very own house, that we owned. It was a bittersweet feeling none the less, and was put too one side when Papa made the life changing decision to have a below the knee amputation after eleven years of feet problems. It wasn't easy to take in, but it proved that as a family we could get through this and in November he underwent surgery. Only days before did we suddenly lose Schmidt, and although he was nearly two years old, it was a huge shock. One that we struggled to deal with, with everything else happening including the loss of a family member and the start of my new job. Quite honestly, this was the lowest point of the year, and seeing your parents at their lowest was hard. Extremely hard, but together we all pulled through and when Papa said that he was lucky he still had another leg, we realised that there are people far worse off than us. And this stuck with us. December came round quickly where we moved in to our house, and once again our family were incredible, helping us decorate and choose new furniture, and just being the best they could. And for that we're eternally grateful, so 2013, you may have won and taken some wonderful people from us and thrown us many challenges, but it's only shown us that whatever we may face, we can get through it, and we have. Because we're still here. Cancer may be a bitch, but not as much as you 2013.

Dear 2014..
I'd really like to hope that you're nothing like last year, because our families and us think that this should be our year. We're not after the world, we've learnt to appreciate the smaller things in life but we'd quite like a steady ride. One that's filled with family and love, friends and laughter, a perfect home for the two of us and kitty, and some wonderful weekends away together. We promise to take better care of ourselves this year, if you promise to look after us. Dear 2014, we're ready for you even if we're celebrating in our pyjamas.
This week I did something for the first time that I've never quite been able to do (let's not start on the stupid jokes).. I lit my first ever candle on my own.! And now I just can't stop (Little B always had to light them for me ha). This one Kim bought me for my birthday has been my ultimate favourite - the smell is incredible.

Today for the first time in quite possibly seven months, I wore a fitted outfit. I'd treated myself to these buys yesterday after Little B agreed to buy them for me (I knew he wouldn't say know with it being a slim outfit!) and no better reason than to wear them straight away. It's fair to say I felt a little cool. And trendy too.

 On Sunday we managed, with the help of both of our parents, to move all our belongings into the house, after a week of painting. As soon as the last box touched through the door, we popped open some champagne, because well this time it was the real deal. And we couldn't be happier. We are officially grown up's now.

 Little R has settled into the house pretty well, and declaring the bath his place to chase his tail (and eat the chain plug!). It seems that his sink obsession is still on-going and actually likes the kitchen - he's definitely the only fan (we're already saving for a new one!). As of next week he's going to head outside alone. For the first time!

 On Wednesday we had the living room flooring put down, and the furniture put up. It's officially become my favourite room in the house with the biggest transformation from what it was a few weeks ago. I surprised Little B with a coffee table last night and with a few rice lights and candles lit, this is the ultimate cosy room.

 Yesterday me and Mama went out for some last minute Christmas bits/new house pieces, and after treating her to a lovely new dress, I thought with the year we'd had that maybe I too deserved some nice things (do I ever need an excuse?!). Of course you can never have enough leather skirts and stripe tops, and this dress was too beautiful to walk past and ignore. And black boots? There's always room for new ones..!

Last night was a takeaway kinda night. After living in the town next to where we are, and Domino's delivery out of bounds, could only call for a cheeky delivery to the new house. And incredible it was. We definitely enjoyed a feast alongside some fruity cider and wine, and accompanied with some Christmas films. Ideal.

And just because I think this is literally the best text I've ever received in my entire life. Little R has a tendency to eat people's food when they're not looking and Papa was getting a little fed up with my parcel deliveries daily throughout the month. So this message is actually genius. And the fact that Papa eats fish fingers..
Little Me wears: A 6KS coat*, Topshop jeans and top, New Look boots and Miss Luxe satchel*.

It appears that after declaring myself not a coat kinda person, I've adopted two new ones in the space of a few months. Now I'm going to get this constant debate in my household out of the way first and say that no it's infact pretty different from my Boohoo one. For starters, this one's grey and my other one's black. That one's long and this one's shorter. This has zips on the sleeve and that one has zips on the sleeve... And well, yeah, it's not the same. Actually it's even slightly warmer which has made those cold mornings better already.
It's also made me realise that the outdoors are far more fun that I remember and that taking walks through the pretty villages near us, with the crisp cold air, are perfect for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I'm still working on the heel situation, but for now, they'll stay put on my feet. Some things never change!

At the weekend my pretty little friend Kimba came to visit for some birthday fun and a slice of cake. I took her to my favourite farm shop for an incredibly tasty bowl of soup and some fresh juice thrown in, and spent time catching up in between pottering around The Potting Shed looking at all things jar shaped (I just can't get enough of jars. I think I've issues...). The rest of the weekend was filled with a new house tour, too much cider consumed and a cheeky pancake breakfast ready for her journey back home. Que tears as she's now off to Australia for a year, and my little soul will dearly miss her little face and her pretty awesome wardrobe (sharing's caring!)
It's weekends like these that make me hugely appreciate the things that blogging has brought. Not only some incredible opportunities, but also people I feel that I could quite possibly call my best friends. Because you know what? They get me. I get them. And they don't say anything whilst I'm taking a photo of my food. They do it too.
Little Me wears: A Missguided jumper*, River Island skirt and New Look boots.

As you'll probably have gathered from reading this blog, I'm not really a crafty soul so you can imagine my face when Missguided emailed me asking if I'd like to take part in their Crafty Christmas jumper competition by making one myself. If I'm being honest, it takes me as long to thread a needle as it would somebody to knit a jumper, but with my wardrobe lacking anything Christmassy I thought it was about time that I sorted these two issues. And I would learn to sew (funny, considering I took textiles at school - amen to the superglue!). Plus what better excuse than getting Little R dressed up into his Christmas hat that's slightly too big for him, and his big ears.

As a child I spent many hours cutting out those little garland people, so with a little help from Mama and her super duper steady cutting skills (I'm a pretty shaky person!) we made four little gingerbread men and spruced them up with Christmas hats and pretty little bows to finish them off. But we felt we couldn't stop there and after discussing our pet hate for printed tops with plain backs, we begun the same process again, and those four little gingerbread men soon turned into cheeky chappies from the back of the jumper! Mama definitely sewed their bumcracks in - for added effect she said. And you know what? I'm pretty chuffed with how it turned out. Although I feel it's slightly lacking some pretty glitzy charms and after browsing Charms Direct I feel that maybe I need to purchase a few to give it that final sparkle that Christmas is all about. Either that, or I'll end up buying a charm - because hey, this Christmas I'm a changed lady.

And so with us being pretty pleased as punch (and pretty much wearing it all the time now!) we've decided that we quite like sewing and getting crafty. I'm already raiding my wardrobe to see what's next to customise!
If you like our jumper, and think that we deserve to win (there's definitely some good ones in there for sure) then you can simply like our photo here. Whether we win or not, we're taking our cheeky gingerbread men for a right merry Christmas this year and maybe, just maybe, think that Little R could have a matching one...
 This week has flown by. Since having the keys we've attempted to blitz the house that was once just a man filled place and after long evenings of intense cleaning, painting, wallpapering and tearing up carpets, it's finally coming together. The next mission is to somehow get all our belongings there whilst working 6 days and finishing off the painting. Oh and let's not even mention the words Christmas shopping. But it's OK because on Sunday night we WILL be in there.. Along with Little R too. He's going to love it!

 Although we're being sensible and now buying door handles and flooring we did embark on a little cheeky treat the other morning in the shape of childhood favourite cereal Lucky Charms. When walking down the Tesco aisle I just couldn't resist buying a few tubs, because there is never a better time to eat marshmallows in your cereal than in the morning (and every other meal possible in my eyes...!).

With it being my birthday yesterday, Thursday was spent baking cakes for the office and considering they aren't exactly festive, I think they went down quite nicely at work! And on Friday afternoon this beautiful little bag of flowers was delivered from the one and only Mr Little B - he's turning into a good egg alright.

Little R the tinker as my Papa calls him. Since being at my parent's, it's fair to say he's turned into a little attention seeker and likes to get in places he shouldn't. This week, his new found favourite makeshift bed is perched on top of the kitchen cupboards. That way he can look down on my parent's kitty and pounce upon his friend... Whilst opening all the cupboard doors along his way!

Yesterday one of my favourite ladies came to visit and help me celebrate my birthday along with two of my other beautiful ladies also. Last night was spent surrounded by cider, wine and some squished intense dancing. Sometimes it makes me sad having a birthday in the month of Christmas, with it always being overshadowed, so it's always nice when you're friends are there to make it the best it can be. And that's why I love them all for that.
White Apple ipad - Available in Argos

Life seems to have gotten to the stage where I'm admitting that there's just not enough hours in the day, and of course with a 9-5 job (actually I start at 8am), moving house and numerous other life related things, blogging has most definitely taken a back seat (we do sincerely apologise for the lack of our sporadic blog posts and not reading yours). And as you'll probably know, I'm not really that much into my modern technology, so carting my 17inch laptop about isn't ideal even from the kitchen to living room .So in fairness when my delightlful postman knocked at the door with this Apple iPad mini I think the first 15 minutes were spent staring at the box unsure what on earth to do with this glamorous paperweight. It was only 6 months ago that I upgraded my Samsung phone which required sending a text to update your Twitter status, let alone be part of the Apple crew.

Once I'd figured out how to turn it on (Apple, I salute you for keeping things similar to the iPhone - I can just about work that!), and realised that the apps wouldn't magically appear I did the usual blog/girl thing and downloaded my favourite ones with the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin. This would have been an easier process if Little R hadn't been so interested in a new smell to figure out. When he'd finally figured out that it didn't do that much for him, it only seemed right to check out the camera. Because I'm sure that's what most people do with these things right? And the bigger the screen for selfies (or cat snaps) the better I say.

To be quite honest, if somebody had told me two months ago that I'd have joined the tablet party I would most definitely have laughed in their faces especially considering the amount of laptops I used to break in my youth (not on purpose mind!). But with having this more than just a glamorous paperweight for under a week, it has completely made not only my blog life but daily schedule plan so much easier. The fact I can keep up to date with my emails and reply without adding extra letters into my words is a lifesaver already. And finally being able to catch up on blogs properly, tucked up comfortably in bed makes for a perfect cosy evening in. So now if you don't seem to find me for days, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be hiding under my duvet in a variety of positions with this incredible little tablet (even if I can't figure out how to lock the rotating screen!)

In collaboration with Argos
Little Me wears: A Whistle & Wolf dress* and Primark shoes.

I guess you could say that I've always been classed as a fancy dresser even on casual days (my kinda casual still involves heeled boots - unless I'm not heading outside then it's leggings and a jumper!) so I tend to struggle a little when it comes to the evening, because everything I own I class as day wear even if I purchased it from the party dress section. Of course this means that I could style it up differently but you know, boots and a leather jacket are as far as I go for day and night. But last week when out shopping with Mama Mcfred I found these shoes and decided that maybe it was time to spice things up and get some real proper party shoes.

It's fair to say that Mama Mcfred had a right old giggle in the shop whilst I (attempted) tottered around declaring that these were a perfect fit and with that these were bought as an early birthday treat - they're definitely still getting wrapped up because we love nothing more than unwrapping things. It seems I didn't just stop there, and upon donning this beautiful dress at the weekend I pushed the boat out and sported an up-do... So it's not exactly anything fancy, but hey, it's a step up. And you know what? I don't half quite like this look. Some would even say a little Zooey D (although I'm sure her feet see the sun more than mine ever do).
And as much as I love getting ready for a good old knees up, it's fair to say I'd swap my dancing shoes for a night in with the girls anyday, and it seems I'm not the only one with 70% of women preferring this. At the end of the day, I'm all for a cheeky cocktail or two, but nothing beats a tasty hot chocolate and those warm slippers.
Little Me wears: A Sugarhill Boutique top*, Matalan shorts, H&M Blazer and Ash boots.

There comes a time in your life when you want to feel like a real true grown up, so you dress like you're going places and as though you know everything and anything. Well, today was one of those. Although in reality, I forget things every five minutes, I don't know a great deal and I really don't have a clue where I'm heading at any time of the day, but at least I felt like a fancy pants. An Autumnal fancy pants.
Now I'm not sure if it's the blouse that had this effect on me or the shorts, but considering I wear shorts on a regular basis and I definitely potter around with a puzzled face - it's fair to say that the blouse has made me feel important. It's a pretty cute blouse at that too and it seemed like a match made in heaven teamed with my scallop hem shorts and my delicious new Ash boots, which work have now renamed them as the kinky boots.!

I'm pretty darn chuffed with this top, because if you know my wardrobe (I'm sure you probably know it better than I do) it's full of dresses and shorts, and tops are things I lack - Somehow I don't get that excitement as much as a dress, however I have found myself opting for blouses to wear to work which does secretly make a nice change. Maybe this is officially my moment of turning into a grown up even if it's an animal printed piece.. And although Little Schmidt wasn't a mouse, this top's for him!
It's been a pretty busy weekend - but thankfully from the comfort of my own home. We've had lots of visitors in the household, so endless cups of tea have been consumed and mama's fresh baked cakes have gone down a storm. And tonight is finished off with a Wispa hot chocolate topped with more handfuls than possible of marshmallows.. It's weekends like these that make me love living back home!

Little R has been a tinker lately and decides that by climbing (and opening every cupboard on the way up) onto the top of the kitchen, he can't be seen so therefore did nothing wrong. I'll openly admit that I give in too much to him - it's his adorable nose. And the way he snuggles under the covers with me every night. I just can't refuse..

 As usual Little B has been working (I may just buy him a bed for there), so it was a rare treat that we had date night on Wednesday. It was made incredibly better with JGL joining us as we decided to watch Don Jon. There's no better evening at the cinema than the biggest Ben & Jerry's milkshake, a blanket and a good movie.

These flowers have been a huge delight sitting in the kitchen for the last few weeks. My blonde friend and her Dobbing (or Little B's boyfriend - whichever) surprised me with these at my last day of work and of course it reduced me to tears with the sweetest words inside a card. And this is why I call her my best friend.

 I'm most definitely Little R's favourite (even if Little B feeds him more!), so it was nice to come home from work on Tuesday evening and find them having man time in the kitchen. Plus it was a rare moment to see Little R sleeping - and Little B taking it back to his roots, and reading an actual book instead of his Kindle.
Little Me wears: A Fashion Union dress*, New Look jacket and boots and a Miss Luxe bag*.
Little B wears: A Topman shirt and jeans and Peacocks boots.

So with finally admitting that I'm a bit of a predictable one in my smock dresses, leather jacket and boots combination, I thought I'd mix it up a little today.. and urm, wear a shift dress instead! I know, I know, I'm totally living life on the edge and especially considering that I wore a fitted dress for a meal (we're not always out for dinner, not normally anyway!) this week! To be honest, I had a slight naive moment when choosing this dress - forgetting that shift dresses are actually more fitted than I remember. This of course delights Little B being able to see those curves of mine but I'll tell you now, the napkin at dinner stayed firmly over my stomach! Nothing gets in the way of me and a good meal. And this is why I'm dating a chef...

Going out for dinner is always a nice excuse to get dressed up (even more dressed up in my case - I apply lipstick.. OOH!) and Little B always heads straight to his ever growing shirt collection with that secretly excited look in his eye. One of these days he WILL have a day job that involves shirts and trousers and I certainly won't be complaining when that day comes. There's no chance I'm turning a man down in a dashing suit.
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