Friday, 29 May 2015

Family fitness

A few months ago, we were asked by Argos to be apart of their family fitness campaign. We were set trackers and fitness equipment to encourage us to to get fit. I am a big fitness fanatic as you would know if you are a regular reader. I love running and interval training. I received a polar watch which i have actually wanted to a long time and was on the verge of buying. It is a heart rate monitor and watch that tracks your actual calories burnt so you get an accurate reading and can make sure that you are training within your right heart rate zones for maximum calories burned. I also got a skipping rope with a counter and some 3kg weights that i use for squats, lunges and ab work. I chose the garmin vivofit to track my steps and sleep for the week also. Elle picked the misfit flash to track her sleep and steps and she also picked a light up ankle skipper which she loves. On the first day, she couldn't do it but as the days went on, she practiced more and more and could do it for a few minuets at a time.

We had a great time tracking our fitness for the week. We were doing over 10k steps a day and on one of the days, we had a day out exploring London and both did over 20k steps each! I loved tracking our steps. Sometimes it would get to the evening and i would just walk up and down the stairs to get to the goal because i wanted to make sure i did my goal steps for the day. During the week, we also had two days out at soft play, a day in the woods and lots of time in the park near our house. The trackers also told us how long and well we slept for. I would be shattered by the end of the day and i went to bed earlier that normal which meant i managed to get a better sleep. I was quite restless during the night and had lots of waking periods but i woke feeling refreshed.

We absoutley loved being apart of the campaign. I love fitness and it is a huge part of my life now. I want my girls to grow up to be fit and healthy and i want to set them a good example. It is so important to me for them to grow up loving themselves, staying healthy and learning about exercise. We regulary go for walks as a family and the girls are always seeing me doing my workouts. Sometimes they join in with me. They put on their gymnastic leotards and jump around trying to do the moves. Elle has been asking lots of questions about what exercise is and i am so glad she has been. I am glad that i can teach them to embrace fitness and i will always encourage them.

I hope you like the video we made. Argos will be releasing their own videos with clips of all the participants in the campaign and also the data of the trackers. I cannot wait to see the results on their website!

(this is a collaborative post with argos)

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

September, please don't come

It's 11:20pm as i write this. I put up a tweet about half an hour ago saying that i was wrestling with myself to wake up Mia to bring her in with me. I just felt this intense feeling of missing her and i have been thinking about September all evening. I have this huge sadness in my heart. Just after i wrote the tweet, i heard a little cry in her room. She was calling for me. I called back out and heard her open her door followed by a "where are you mama?" i went into the hall way to scoop her up and placed her next to me in bed. She asked for her lullaby straight away so i have put on Wanderlust by Elle Graham. It is her favourite and mine too. Our special song together. It is on repeat and i can hear her whispering it as she lays next to me. I keep looking over at her little face. She has tiny freckles all across her nose. Her tongue keeps sticking out as she smiles at me. Her eyes. Her disney eyes as we call them. They are so big and round. So blue. I cannot believe this tiny little girl will become a big girl in September. She will follow her sister into school and i will be left with no children at home. I am really struggling with this. It was hard enough sending Elle to school but i knew i still had Mia with me. When Mia goes, that is it. I am not ready. Not at all. I joke about having all this time to myself but inside, i am struggling. Alot. I have invested every part of myself into my girls since the second Elle was born nearly 7 years ago. I have always had them with me. I have had a purpose. I just cannot get my head around the fact that in just a few months time, for 6 hours a day, my girls will be together at school in this whole new world. A whole new world without their mama. I won't be apart of this world and i will be left at home without tiny hands around my neck every few minutes.

How am i going to ever be ok with this. How do you prepare yourself? I keep turning my head to look at Mia. She is so sleepy and just keeps smiling at me. Elle is a big daddy's girl but Mia is a mummys girl. She relies on me for everything. She needs me and i need her. She is amazing. She is the funniest thing and such a loving little girl. Will her teacher see that? Will her teacher know everything little thing about her? The tears are going to come on and off for the next few months. People have said to me that it is a great time, that i get to do what i want. That i am free but i don't feel any of that. I don't want to be. I want to keep them at home, to homeschool but i know that i cannot do that and both of them are very social butterflies. It wouldn't be right to keep them at home just because i don't want to let them go because i don't think that day will ever come where i feel happy with letting them go.

Mia is still so much of a baby. Elle was more than ready to start school. She was so confident and hardly needed me. She would sit and do workbooks and ask every day when she can go to school bit Mia still has a baby voice. She cannot possibly go to school when she still has a baby voice. She cannot say certain sounds still and needs lots of cuddles and reassurance. She still needs me and i won't be able to be there for her. You know, it might get to September and she will bloom and be such an independent little girl but, right now, she isn't. Maybe i am trying to make excuses for the way i am feeling. Does every mother go through these emotions. Do they cry at the most inconvenient times when they think about that month? I cannot control how i feel.

Recently, i have been having terrible dreams and i know it is because i am dreading her going to school. I have been dreaming about her being trapped in a house fire and i cannot get to her and i have dreamt about her going missing but, just last night, i had the worst of them all and i woke up so panicky and upset. I dreamt that i was driving with her in the car and we crashed into a lake. I couldn't open her door to get her out and she drowned. The dream was so vivid. I was pulling her door as hard as i could and she was just looking at me with her arms out in her car seat. I had to go up to the surface to take in air and i had to leave her in the car at the bottom of the lake. Even just typing it makes me feel sick. These dreams won't go away and i think about them all day which leave me with this horrid feeling in my tummy. I think having her close tonight and next to me will help.

So September. I am not happy about you coming up so fast. I won't be counting down the days until you get here. I guess you will be here really soon but please don't expect me to be happy to see you.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Among the cow parsley

Adventures among flower meadows are our favourites. The girls love gathering bunches and looking for little bugs and they are free and in their element. I just love stepping back and photographing them. We went out today to do a few shoots but it never really feels like a photoshoot because the pictures are always so candid. I think these are some of my favourite pictures i have taken of the girls. They completely sum both of them up and this cow parsley meadow is amazing. I use this meadow a lot for my shoots as each month it looks completely different. It is between two branches of the river and has marsh's, woods and cows that graze there. One of the woods the girls has named the fairy wood. They love to play and explore it in and collect sticks to do their fishing in the river. I cannot wait to take them back here during the week with our baskets to collect some of this cow parsley. We bought a bunch home today that Elle made but i would love to fill the house with it. It is one of those plants that dries wonderfully. I want to have some in my wall hanging bottles above my craft desk and have a big bunch on our dining room table!

(We just love these outfits. They were sent to the girls by one of our favourite designs, Milou and Pilou. Elle is wearing the Liberty print georgina dress and Mia is wearing the denim skirt and liberty print shirt)

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Just us

Just us. The Pinks. It doesn't happen enough as my husband is away with work alot. I have decided to join in with one of my favourite bloggers link ups today.

The ordinary moments.

A few days ago, i was sitting in bed alone for the 5th night in a row as my husband was away with work. I decided to read a little back through my blog and i started to wish i had documented more. Documented our bed time. Documented that dog walk where the girls squealed as Rusty shook water all over them after coming out from the lake. Documented that day out at Alton Towers. I have no idea why i didn't but i saw a patten of not including more "family" photographs. I felt quite angry at myself. I do absolutely hate being in front of the camera though and sometimes feel i am annoying my husband and girls by sticking a camera in their face every two seconds. Gilles and i got a whole day to ourselves on thursday and as we had breakfast together, i talked to him about how i want to be in more photographs and to document the ordinary moments and he said he agreed too and so we talked about a family walk in the evening sun after dinner that day. We have many family walks but this time, i wanted to take the camera and allow Gilles to take pictures. He was amazing. He was getting crouching down in the cows parsley and took some lovely photographs and then Elle asked to take some pictures of me and Gilles. They are my most favourite pictures of us ever! She amazes and inspires me every day.

I sometimes feel that i don't share enough of the everyday on my blog. I am not going out of my way to only show only the best days and moments but i do find it hard to share just normal, everyday photographs. I think sometimes it is that fear of being judged or the fear of thinking that people don't actually want to see those posts but my favourite posts on other peoples blogs are the every day normal posts. I am excited to share more of us as a family on my little blog and share more photographs of me and the girls and my husband.

I think i need to stop worrying about what i look like and hiding behind the camera. Both Gilles and Elle have proved that they are great photographers and i cannot wait to see what memories we create and capture together over the summer and many years to come. I want to have albums and albums of all of our adventures and capture everything that i can!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Unique lighting

                                                                    (images from Lampcommerce)

I love unique lighting. We live in a an old town house with high ceilings and i love experimenting with different lighting such as the beautiful lamp and pedants in these pictures from Lampcommerce.
When we moved into out house, there was a beautiful chandelier in Elle's room but it got broken in the move so i bought a cheap lampshade from the supermarket to replace it with the intention of getting her a new pendant lampshade in there. She will also need a new lamp when we set up her working area in the summer. We are looking for the perfect desk at the moment for her so she has enough space to do her homework and crafting/story writing. We are then hoping to get her a wall lamp that she can use without having her main light on.

In our living room, i would love to get some corner lamps. I want to try and make the room cosier because it is open plan, it can sometimes lack that homely, cosy feel. Having a floor standing lamp will give the room a whole new feel in the evenings. I like to curl up in the corner of the room on the sofa and either do my work or read a book. I would also like a floor standing lamp on the other side of the dining room so when we are having dinner in the evenings, we can use the lamp instead of the main lights. I have been trying to add more of a cosy feel to our home and love this article which shows all sorts of different ways in which you can create that kind of atmosphere.

We have recently renovated our kitchen. We have replaced the floors, changed the colour of our cabinets, painted the walls and added tiles on the wall also. I have always wanted a country kitchen and when we first moved in here, we had green cabinets and a black and white chequered floor. We now have a wooden style floor, off cream cabinets and lovely white tiles. It is looking more like how we wanted. We have also changed the lighting. Before we had halogen lights but they were not energy efficient at all so we changed them t low energy LED's which i love. They are not as bright and give a better light in the kitchen. You don't feel blinded every time you walk in! I love baking in the evenings when the girls are asleep and i just love being in our kitchen now. We have also added railway sleepers as shelves for all my baking books! After 5 years of living here, it is finally looking how we want it to.

Another thing i would want to change is that we have an amazing black chandelier in our living room which is open plan with our dining room but we have a small glass shade in our dining room above the dining room table. I would love to a chandelier there also. There are so many fittings around the house that i would like to change and have bee pinning ideas for the house! Pinterest has really been my new best friend recently and filling me with lots of inspiration. I cannot wait to start giving this house a little spring makeover!

(this is a collaborative post)

Friday, 22 May 2015

French Loaf

                                                               (All photos from Frenchloaf)

As a family, we haven't had a family holiday on our own since the girls were born. The last two years, i have gone on holiday with the girls and my family whilst Gilles worked away. Some years, we didn't even get to go on holiday at all due to finances and Gilles's working hours. The last time i went abroad was for our honeymoon 8 years ago! We went to Mauritius and i actually had my 21st birthday out there as well. It was completely amazing and i will always remember that holiday. I think a place can really make a holiday. Even though we were on a resort, we ventured out of the resort and few times to explore the local town and we walked long tracks along the beach. I love exploring and finding hidden places. I love going to new cafes and markets.

I am craving adventure and family time. I am craving making and capturing new memories. Exploring new places and experiencing something amazing with my little family. We are ready for an adventure and ready to just be together, the four of us. I have talked a lot recently on my blog about how i love creating little home movies and films of the girls and i would love the opportunity to make one of our family adventure holiday. I really cannot wait to find and book a holiday and having that exciting run up to it. Counting down the sleeps, talking hours into the night about what we are going to do and how wonderful it is going to be, making a film of our holiday, taking thousands of picture. Of course, we have been excited about our other holidays but this will be our first as just the four of us. We don't have to worry about what other people will want to do and we can spend our days just doing what ever we fancy. Going to bed late, sleeping late and finding new café's to have cake and pastries in. Hiring out bikes to explore the towns and countryside around us. finding new woods for the girls to run around in and perfect picnic spots

French loaf is a boutique family holiday company that we have been looking at. It bridges the gap between boutique hotels and traditional holiday lets but at affordable prices and equipped with everything that a family will need. The properties look amazing and i have completely fallen in love with the interiors and beautiful surroundings. I can just imagine the exploring we would do! French loaf started when an english couple fell in love with lot region and made it their home. They know the area's inside out and can create the most perfect family adventure due to their own experiences and knowledge. They currently have four beautiful properties to rent out but they are looking to expand.  France is always somewhere i have wanted to take the girls. I have only ever been to France on school trips which included Paris and disney land. We did stay in Normandy one year and remember sitting on the beach by our hostel and being completely blown away by it all. I loved the history and we visited a few museums and the war cemetery. France has always fascinated me, especially the south of France where i have heard of other friends amazing experiences. To be able to take the girls here would be a dream.

(this is a collaborative post)