A Blogging Hiatus {Ordinary Moments – 9/10/16}

My last post on here was June 2016 which was over 3 months ago. A lot has happened and changed in those 3 months – probably far too much to mention. My Timehop frequently  pops up the blog post I created the previous year and I am often reminded of the amazing memories we made, or how much J has changed. I just want to kick myself for not recording those beautiful moments as frequently this year

After 3 months off, I am back with a fresh mind, I no longer feel unwell, and I am focused and recharged, ready to continue my online diary, knowing that I will continue to look back on J’s childhood fondly as I do when these little reminders pop up

The other day I was chatting to someone and they said how happy they were that Autumn was bringing with it some sun as Summer was a wash out. I had to disagree with him, not about Autumn (it is by far my most favourite season) but about the summer. I remember long sunny days, going through bottles of suncream, fun in the water, at the park and probably too many ice creams to mention. Yes there was the odd wet day, but it was the warmest July and August that I can remember for a long, long time. Quite simply, a beautiful summer here in the south

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Me and Mine {June 2016}

Okay so my first question is how are we in the middle of 2016 already? This year has passed so quickly that I really would like for it to start slowing down! The end of June marks my birthday, we all have a day off and are spending some much needed time together as a family

The month itself was once again plagued by illness, I had urgent x-rays and blood tests, Lexi is wearing the cone of shame and on antibiotics and J had chickenpox. We managed to get off lightly with the pox, they were all over her body but not clustered and not as itchy as we were expecting and she bounced back very quickly

June also bought with it the most historic moment we have experienced as a nation in my lifetime and I woke very early on the 24th with a feeling in the bottom of my stomach that just hasn’t shifted. I don’t like to talk politics outside of the 4 walls of my house, but I saw a nation divided in opinion, and people using social media to bully each other based on their views and it was just a horrible day. In this period of uncertainty we need to stick together, get our heads down and get through this challenging time we are now facing as a country

For our photo this month we went to Netley Abbey. the camera was set up, the sky was looking moody with a bit of sun poking through and it was perfect. The only problem was my remote stopped working so J and I kept going to and from the camera to set it and run back which made her giggle lots as she kept racing past.

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We took a couple of different shots this time and mixed it up a bit with walking and our rainbow umbrella out. It was purchased as a joke  for the hubster but actually we all love it and we all fight for it when it’s needed, in fact we have since purchased a second!

Just as we opened the umbrella the rain started! We continued taking photos as the rain was still light but all of a sudden we heard thunder, the rain got heavier and people started running out from behind the abbey walls and back to their car. I picked up the camera and tripod and ran back, while the hubster and J carried on sitting there giggling under the umbrella. They did join me pretty soon after and literally just before a mammoth hailstorm started

It made us all laugh so much so we had a car picnic while watching it and the car park was soon a mini pond. You just have to love the British Summertime don’t you?

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The outtake for this month was when we were posing under the umbrella. Lexi decided she had enough of sitting still and started running around us in circles.  J, with the best intentions, tried chasing after her while the hubster and I stayed there and just laughed

I really am enjoying participating in this monthly project and forcing myself in front of the camera each time, aside from the lovely family portraits that I want to hang on my walls, it’s created some pretty funny memories

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July holds another Center Parcs trip – this time with our friends from York, Eastbourne and Crew, and a very big week for me at work. We are also off to Camp Bestival after I managed to convince the hubster to take us

Lots of BBQ’s and sport featured in June and moving into July it will continue to, as I am a sucker for Wimbledon and big football events, the hubster however is not so keen!

I have a feeling July will go as quick as it came but lets hope the sun shines more than it did in June!

Linking up with Lucy at Dear Beautiful for the Me and Mine Project

Also linking with Lucy’s cohosts Alex, Fritha, Jenny, Katie and Lucy


The Me and Mine Project

My Sunday Photo {Week 9 – 28/2/16}

We have been making the most of the days J is feeling on form and last weekend she asked to take the hubster and Lexi to Mottisfont Abbey for a walk. We walked through the fields and along by the river, taking in the beautiful scenery before stopping at the house for a quick break and some refreshments before heading out again

I took so many photos and have a lot of appreciation for Mottisfont Abbey that it was hard to chose just one, though the below shot is one of my favourites of the day

Lime Tree walk is an area within Mottisfont Abbey that unless you walk behind the house you won’t see and we actually missed it the first day there. In the summer there are flowers and leaves, but I really liked the bareness of the trees in the winter



Me and Mine {January 2016}

The past year I have spent a lot of time reading other blogs and looking at various link ups. I’ve always really admired the Me and Mine linky which is run by Lucy at Dear Beautiful as it encourages a family photo. I’m a little bit ashamed to say that I’m in very few photos with J and this year it’s one of the things I’d like to improve

Taking photos is definitely a passion, and although it lapsed throughout 2015, the start of 2016 has seen me get back into taking photos of the people and things I love most, my family, my dog and the great outdoors. I see my family as perfection (most people do don’t they?) and I like to photograph this and hide my imperfections behind a lens

This year I am going to overcome my fear of my imperfection and be in more family shots, so here I am for my first ever Me and Mine for January 2016. A family portrait every month and the hope I will be able to look back with fond memories of the month that passed


January has seen us head out for lots of winter walks and recapture the magic of getting out with the family and enjoying the great outdoors. I love getting all wrapped up in scarves, hats and gloves, feeling nice and toasty on the inside but with a chilly rosy nose that would rival Rudolf’s on the outside, and just getting out there and enjoying the fresh air

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My Sunday Photo {Week 3 – 17/1/16}

I’m linking up with Darren at Photalife for the first time for My Sunday Photo. This year I’m planning on getting back on the photography wagon and my dSLR is starting to accompany me when out and about once again

This week we made the best of the sunny wintery day and went for a walk to some woods with Lexi. Both J and I are known for being clumsy and this week she managed to fall in the muddiest part of the walk and I managed to hit myself in the nose with the camera

No photos of my bloodied nose but one of J and her body of muddiness, ahem

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Thank You 2015

It’s New Years Eve and for the first time in 5 years we are going out. We’re off bowling, which may sound naff to many, but actually it’s great fun, you don’t have to squeeze into a club for overpriced tickets and overpriced drinks and it’s a good laugh

It’s going to be a very sober New Years Eve, as having been poorly for the entire Christmas break and without voice (again) I am finally on antibiotics which really do not mix well with alcohol, so I’m designated driver

The hubster has asked me to rest today and once again has taken J out to the park on their scooters. He’s been really good to me this Christmas break but I’ve really missed having quality time and going out for family walks over the break

I entered December with high hopes for recording memories on the blog, but I’ve been pretty slack through ill health and being so behind on Christmas (I did my shopping on the 21st December and 22nd December and only wrapped presents on the 24th!) Next year I am determined to be organised and will have at least 1/2 of the shopping complete in November

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A Cookie in New York Part 2 {Ordinary Moments Week 45 – 8/11/15}

I’m writing this a lot sooner than I thought, having already been to New York once this year in March. It’s only a short visit, a quick stopover before I transit to warmer climates for 5 days but I wanted to once again make the best of the time I had in the Big Apple

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Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere {Ordinary Moments Week 43 – 30/10/15}

We’ve been a poorly household this week. The return to ‘normality, a crazy Saturday night last week and the weather suddenly turning cold hasn’t helped, although before all this happened last Saturday I took my little lady to pick a pumpkin at a farm shop where they run pick your own

I really am a big fan of pick your own food, having a small stoney garden and very little time to tend to an allotment means that there isn’t much opportunity for J to learn about where food actually comes from. I hate the idea of her thinking vegetables come from a supermarket shelf and that’s why I go every year with her for peas and strawberries and whatever else they are growing at the time of my visits. It also helps support the local economy which can’t be bad either

On Saturday the hubster had some quiz prep to do for our annual Halloween event and as he isn’t as fond of pick your own as us we decided to have a girls adventure to the farm. The idea being J would pick a prized pumpkin to take home and show daddy ready for the evening’s festivities ahead

Last year I was too late for pick your own, and the farm we go to had the fields stripped from pumpkins during half term. This year I was organised and went before the break was in full swing, and more importantly the weekend before Halloween (apparently there’s been a shortage of pumpkins this year?!?!)

There were a couple of pumpkins at the field...
There were a couple of pumpkins at the field…

As we pulled up J declared that she wanted a small pumpkin, which was good news to me because all of the wheelbarrows were in use! This soon changed as soon as she saw the masses of pumpkins in the field and the sheer size of them and I was left carrying a pretty heavy, large pumpkin through the fields and into the farm shop

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Home, Tired and Proud {Ordinary Moments Week 41 – 11/10/15}

After an amazing 3 weeks away as a family we are home, slightly (very) jet lagged, slightly sun kissed and slightly apprehensive about Monday and the week ahead. The last 3 weeks feel like a long, happy dream and I’m not quite sure I’m ready to head back to the madness that is our weekly routine. It’s the longest time we have had off together since J was born and I am certain it will be some time again before we have that amount of time off as a family

We had our first ever flight with J and in typical Cook fashion we didn’t do it by half and went long haul to Florida. I was so concerned about that initial flight out; 9 hours, confined with a toddler who loves nothing more than to run around and be free, but J was fantastic and made me so proud. It is perhaps the most feared part of any parent’s holiday – long, drawn out travel, but J sat well, played games, coloured, looked at the clouds outside the window and even fell asleep on the floor under our feet

Asleep on the floor on the way out. A grainy iPhone photo but we didn't want the flash on
Asleep on the floor on the way out. A grainy iPhone photo but we didn’t want the flash on

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Just Keep Cycling…

Last week I decided to purchase a new bike and trailer. Partly for a commute, partly for health, and partly because I wanted to be able to take J out on my own on the bike, whether to nursery or to a country park, or even the shops. I just wanted the freedom that the car doesn’t always give me

My commute from work by car is variable as well, sometimes it will take me 20 minutes, sometimes 45 minutes (and more!) and that doesn’t include childcare stops! More recently (even in the school holidays) it’s taken in excess of 30 minutes and is ridiculous, so after a bit of persuasion and some lengthy discussions the hubster and I agreed to purchase a new bike for me

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