A New Bike {Ordinary Moments Week 15 – 12/04/15}

Whilst visiting friends last week they advised us their daughter no longer required her first bike and asked us if J wanted it. We have been talking about her riding a bike for ages and were unsure whether to purchase a balance bike or one with stabilisers so this was lovely and gratefully received

After a little trial at home on Easter Monday and lots of squealing in excitement by me we took J on it down the park and she was soon whizzing by! It really is difficult sometimes to remember that she is only 2 and I really am just so proud of her and all she has achieved so far. The hubster stayed with her until she got the hang of it but she was beaming from ear to ear as she mastered the pedals

I keep looking at her and thinking, where did my baby go? She really has grown up in the past couple of months, well, since we potty trained her and she came out of nappies. With each day that goes past she is fast moving away from toddler to child

The hubster and I shared a brief moment of looking at each other in awe and I had a proud mum moment with a few (several) tears in my eyes. It sounds so silly and perhaps insignificant to people, but for us it’s a big thing, and one which will stay etched in my memory

I am looking forward to doing more of the same over the summer and we have been out a couple of times since, usually followed by a stop at the park. Once I learn how to successfully upload videos I’ll add that but we only really took a couple of photos as we wanted to absorb the moment

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This photo has pride of place on my desk at work

Sunsets and Sunrises

Whilst in Puerto Rico I spent much of my time indoors attending meetings and out for dinner that I didn’t get to really see much of the island. Our hosts for the week wanted us to experience as much culture as we could in terms of food and provided us with some local sweets, plantain chips (very nice!) and one of the meals the islanders like to eat; red beans and rice

I arrived in San Juan late Sunday night and the drive from the airport to my final destination was approximately 1.5 hours and in darkness, so I couldn’t see much of the island on the way in. The return to the airport was in the afternoon, and I thankfully got to see the island and the local areas in daylight. A couple of pictures from the car ensued!

We managed to get to the boardwalk in La Guancha for a very quick stop and some photos before heading for dinner. One of the guys we were with explained that it comes to life on a weekend, and that was the best time to visit as it was very quiet when we were there midweek

On Friday morning, the last morning before leaving the hotel I decided to get up at 5:30am and take some photos of the sunrise and ‘Coffin Island’ (Isla Caja de Muertos). Unfortunately I did not have insect repellent and was in desperate need of antihistamines the following day when I returned to the UK, but the photos were certainly worth it, don’t you think?

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A very early morning image before the sun started to poke through, actually one of my favourite images in a while
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Coffin island in the background and some fishermen on the rocks just outside the hotel
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A clearer view of coffin island

 

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I just love this picture of the clouds ‘shining’ with the sun behind them
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The sun starting to shine through
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I really like this one, with the birds in the image
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The sun arrived! it was such a quick, yet beautiful experience and I don’t think the photos do it complete justice

 

Fun With Friends – York for Easter {Ordinary Moments Week 14 – 09/04/15}

For the past 4 years we’ve had a bit of an Easter tradition with our friends who live in York where we take it in turns to visit each other. It’s such a long journey and we all have small children so a 4 day break is the ideal opportunity to get together. In 2013 we managed to do a summer house swap which was ace and we got to see more of the local area while they saw the South Coast. Both adults know the hubster from school and I feel very lucky to have been welcomed and accepted into their longstanding friendship

They have recently had their third child and moved house so we opted to visit them this year as opposed to them coming to us. Normally the hubster and I would book a few days off work around Easter though this year we are very restricted on holiday due to having 3 weeks off later on in the year (eek! Very excited!) We set off at lunch time Thursday and made good progress until we hit the M1 – which seems to have never ending roadworks! Nonetheless we arrived at theirs at 7ish and J just instantly settled in with the children and went off to play

Once the children were finally in bed (way past J’s bedtime and theirs we heard) we sat down for the most epic lasagne cooked for us. I have to say, these guys are real foodies and the food served was delicious and plentiful!

Good Friday arrived and so did the rain! We opted to go to an indoor play park called Creepy Crawlies, which we are told has the best pizza in York. This was our second time at Creepy Crawlies and pizza we had once more…yum! It’s a great play park and has all abilities welcome, in the sun they have an outdoor petting and children’s play area though it was far too wet to go along to this! J whizzed round and quite often left everyone including her friends as she darted to go on the giant slide again

Continue reading “Fun With Friends – York for Easter {Ordinary Moments Week 14 – 09/04/15}”

Easter Egg Hunt with Nanny Sharon

We weren’t quite sure what to expect for Easter for J this year as last year she was allowed very little chocolate and the year before she was a bubba

My mum had arranged for an Easter Egg Hunt with her on the Thursday she has her before Easter, though we had decided to drive to York and realised the weather was not going to be on our side, so mum and I decided to run the hunt on Wednesday morning

J and mum had spent the last couple of months preparing an Easter bonnet and a basket and J instinctively knew what to do, as soon as she had put it on she was out the door!

 

She was outside and picking the eggs up straight away!

 

The garden had been turned into an Easter Egg haven and J was quickly running round picking up all the plastic eggs she could find, not realising that she had a couple of presents alongside them. In fact, she was so fast I couldn’t get pictures of the garden itself!

My mum and dad are incredibly fortunate to have a huge garden and the hunt took 15-20 minutes before we returned indoors

 

Eggs in her playhouse

 

J had made the basket with nanny

 

Eggs even on the trampoline

 

When indoors we realised just how much time and effort mum had put into the Easter Egg Hunt and there was a lot to open! In each small egg there was a mini chocolate egg and in the presents there were Easter themed gifts and a couple of extras

Continue reading “Easter Egg Hunt with Nanny Sharon”

Feeding the Ducks {Ordinary Moments Week 13 – 31/03/15}

I’ve been a little late in recording last week’s Ordinary Moments and thought I had missed the linky *sob* I still wanted to record it because it was such a nice activity so here goes…

On Tuesday of last week we decided that as the evenings are getting lighter and the weather is improving that it would be a crime to waste it indoors and instead the hubster, J and I took a trip to feed the ducks after nursery and work

We stopped by a local convenience store to purchase some brown bread and made our way down to the pond to feed the ducks

The rain stayed away though I managed to capture some moody shots with the clouds towering above the hubster and J absolutely loves feeding the ducks, although most of the time she’s quite happy eating the bread

This time the bread stayed out of her mouth, and instead there were moments where full slices went in for the ducks to fight over, cue lots of giggles from J!

It really was just a simple, ordinary evening, and now that the clocks have finally moved forwards I am really looking forward to more of the same with my little family

The sky looks so moody

     

Cooking with the Ladybug

After being away from my family the whole of last week I was really looking forward to some one-on-one time with J. A lot has happened in Cooks Cabin, aside from my work trip I have moved to a full time role. A lot of thought went into this and I currently work a ‘late’ shift on Wednesdays to enable me to spend the mornings with J

This Wednesday we started as the hubster left for work with a bath and lots of morning snuggles. I decided that as it was beautiful and sunny it would be great to go out and enjoy the spring sunshine at the park with her. My lovely little ladybug seemed to oppose this idea and it was clear she wanted a day at home with me. So that’s what we did…

We played in the garden for a bit and she used her scooter, chalks and cosy coupe before I asked her if she wanted to join me in preparing lunch and dinner. I have learned very quickly that on a Wednesday evening I like to snack whilst concentrating, so to avoid the vending machine I opt for a healthy salad to pick at. As well as this the plan was to prepare a homemade chilli for my lunch break and family dinner, and tuna pasta for lunch at home for me and J

She loved the idea of helping mummy to cook so we got her stool and set about preparing the salad and chilli. J has her plastic cutlery and helps ‘chop’ the vegetables before stuffing them in her mouth! She must have eaten the equivalent of 1.5 peppers which is not unusual and I always bring more than I need to because of this. She then tried a radish, onion and spring onion and promptly spat them out, before settling for some cucumber sticks and the remainder of the peppers

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At the side helping to ‘prepare’ vegetables

As I was preparing some more vegetables, a little hand went under my arm and wrapped round mine and J snuggled in close to me. She had been stood on her step next to me and without prompting just cuddled in. I stopped in my tracks with tears in my eyes not really knowing what to do, and I just wanted to bottle up that moment forever J is not normally a cuddly child, she is fiercely independent and often declines cuddles, so this was a real treat, and it is clear she is starting to understand and appreciate affection, and perhaps even missed me more than I thought!

Once the salad had been prepared and vegetables chopped, we then decided to finish the tuna pasta off. I asked if she could help put the sauce in and help me stir it, but I looked round and she had the giant wooden spoon in her mouth full of tuna pasta and sweetcorn. It was healthy and I didn’t really have the heart to tell her no! I count myself as being incredibly fortunate that I have a child who eats vegetables, loves pasta and tuna (her dad is not this way inclined!) and that J will often choose pasta over chips

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Tuna Pasta Mayonnaise in her mouth

Finally, as the chilli was bubbling away we decided to make some Rice Krispie cakes to show her nanny and daddy in the evening. We didn’t have marshmallows or chocolate, so these were made with treacle and cake decorations. Again, another episode of a giant spoon in her mouth!

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Rice Krispies time!

We finished the morning off with J sat on my lap, again snuggled in to me, watching Mr Maker on CBeebies, and some ideas which we may put in place for craft activities next Wednesday (I’m really not very good at craft, this is something my mum is much better at so I will be making an effort to improve these skills)

We also saw a quick and simple boat to make which we then set about doing and then blowing them across the floor of the kitchen which was great fun! It was such a simple day and completely stripped back, but these days are sometimes the best days. I love my girl x

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Me and my girl

A Different Sort of Mothers Day {Ordinary Moments Week 12 – 22/3/15}

This years’  Mothers Day I spent in New York in the morning and flying to Puerto Rico in the afternoon whilst the hubster and my ladybug were at home in the U.K.

I was quite emotional waking in the morning because it was my first Mothers Day away from my little lady and I felt guilty for leaving her (a little jet lag probably helped with the emotions!)

I managed to get a message to my mum first thing in the morning and a FaceTime with the family before I headed up the Empire State to view New York. The saying that it’s the city that never sleeps is not true, in fact it sleeps at 7am on a Sunday morning – there was no one about!

The hubster detailed his weekend’s adventures via a couple of emails and there was a heartwarming post on Facebook to me from my lovely two to make sure I knew I was being missed on the Sunday with a picture of them to make me smile

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At lunchtime we checked out of the hotel and it was a case of so long New York, Puerto Rico here we come and so a trip to JFK ensued. We flew to Puerto Rico at 4pm and arrived some 4.5 hours later due to runway issues. As soon as we arrived and collected our luggage we met with our other colleagues and climbed into our taxi to the south of the island.

The heat just hit you coming out of the airport – it was approximately 23C in the evening and I was in a thick jumper and jeans combo following my Manhattan adventures! I was met with some laughter at the size of my luggage (I don’t travel often, so when I do I like to have absolutely everything with me…it’s the mum in me of course!)

Jet lag and 13 miles of walking in 24 hours caught up with me and I fell asleep leaning on my hand face down in the car. The arrival at the hotel was some 1.5 hours later and after some difficulty checking in I finally unloaded in my room and went to the bar for some dinner and a Cuba Libre (very nice I must add) before returning to my room for the night

I hadn’t noticed the beautiful flowers on the side in my room were marked for my attention, or that there was a cake and some writing on a plate saying Happy Mothers Day until I was ready to climb into bed. I also hadn’t noticed a card attached to the flowers until looking at them in detail after returning from dinner. It transpired that my lovely hubster had arranged flowers for me for my arrival in Puerto Rico and the concierge had delivered them to my room and also arranged for the cake

I was unbelievably emotional at seeing these, and burst into tears on the phone to him. He had wanted for me to not feel so alone on such an important journey or time of year. I am one very lucky lady, and they were simply beautiful, I adore lilies and sunflowers, and more importantly I adore my family

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My hotel room in Puerto Rico. I took this photo as soon as I entered the room before heading down for dinner conscious that it would be the tidiest the room would be during my stay! – I honestly did not notice these flowers were not part of the decor, I was so tired!
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My beautiful flowers, I really am one lucky lady

A Cookie in New York – Part 1 {Ordinary Moments Week 11 -16/3/15}

It is currently 5am in the morning US time and my body is screaming at me thinking it’s 9am (at home I would have been up for 3 hours by now due to Sunday being the hubsters lie in day)

Because I’m missing Mother’s Day today we are celebrating it next week so I will dedicate a post to that. For now it’s all about NYC!

I arrived at JFK airport yesterday and before catching an internal flight to my final destination, in true Sherry style I have tried to fit in as much as possible during my 24 hours in New York

I am staying at a hotel on Madison Avenue and was wondering last night before bed why my feet hurt, it turns out that I walked over 5 miles yesterday!

Today, in just shy of 3 hours I will be climbing the steps of the Empire State building if they allow me to (yes I’m crazy, but I can say that I have done it)

When we arrived yesterday it was raining heavily and you could not see the skyline but it cleared up emough for some photos…So here’s yesterday in pictures, these are taken from my iPhone because I forgot to bring the adaptor for the DSLR memory card so I’ll add those pics at a later stage

The first stop on my walk was Grand Central (I mean, you can’t stop in New York without seeing it). It is breathtakingly beautiful and I took several more pictures on my DSLR

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On the way back from Grand Central we saw the Kneeling Fireman statue. This was commissioned by the Firefighters association of Missouri and arrived in New York 2 days before September 11th. It was never meant to stay in New York City and was only supposed to pass through but never left. It was presented as a gift to the city after the 9/11 attacks but spent a large chunk of the last 14 years in storage until being allocated a permanent home in front of Emigrate Savings bank between Madison and Fifth Avenue. It’s the only publicly accessible memorial to all of the victims and first responders of the 9/11 attacks

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Walking up 5th we saw the Atlas statue which is located in front of the Rockefeller Center opposite St Patricks Cathedral. It was installed in 1937 and depicts the Ancient Greek Titan Atlas holding the heavens. I didn’t stop to look at it because I was on a mission to get to Central Park but managed to capture this image

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After a brief stop in Tiffany’s we found the Apple Store on 5th. This is one of their flagship stores and is all glass outside. I simply had to get a picture for the hubster before nipping into F.A.O. Schwarz to purchase J a teddy. An F.A.O. Giraffe of course, my favourite animal. I didn’t have a go on the Big Piano but so wanted to!
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Here’s the Big Piano and J’s present

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After this my colleague and I parted ways and I visited Central Park. I was on my way to the pond when I heard some music playing. It was 4pm and the Delacorte Clock. I was drawn over to it as it was simply beautiful

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After the music had finished I walked over to the pond which was still largely frozen over still after the big freeze New York had a few weeks back. There was mist coming from it and there was also a small area where part of it had unfrozen and the ducks were on it next to the still largely frozen part. It really was quite something to see and I don’t think the images do it justice! I took loads of photos on my DSLR because of this. I really liked the very small element of Central Park I saw, there’s something quite nice and surreal about being in a park in the middle of all of these sky scrapers

 

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On the way back to the hotel I passed the New York Public Library and took this photo. It’s a shame I didn’t have much time because it would have been nice to look inside

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You can also see how foggy it was because you can’t see the top of this skyscraper!

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We then went to Times Square. It was loud, bright and busy! But best of all it had a M&M’s store! 2 whole floors of goodies, and a lot of people! I won’t lie, I got a small bag of almond, peanut butter and pretzel M&M’s (these are now gone, oops!)

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The grumpy looking man in the photo was my travel companion, who was hungry, jet-lagged and in need of steak (which we didn’t end up having because the steakhouse was closed!) He also had a slightly over excited person with him who had just been to the M&M’s store…hehe!

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I am looking forward to coming back to New York in a few years (hint hint Mr Hubster!) because I didn’t get to really visit it all, but the photos for now give me some memories

On the way back to the hotel I took this photo, this is my adventure for the morning…hello Empire State Building, see you for my trek soon!

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A weekend of birthdays and family {Ordinary Moments Week 10 – 10/3/15}

I have been a little late in recording this week’s Ordinary Moments as it’s been very busy in Cooks Cabin. This coming weekend I am flying to the states for business, returning the following Saturday. It will be the longest I’ll have been away from my family, I’m going to miss my ladybug so much. We then team that up with my move to full-time hours and we are all over the place…

With all of the above in mind we entered the weekend hoping to have family time and had made very few plans. On Saturday we popped in to see my sister, dad and J’s great grandparents who are still going strong in their late 70’s / early 80’s. Every time we see them they recite tales of their youth and how things have changed. I really must take some photos of J with them next time we go round as I don’t actually think we have any of them with her so far

The madness known as “multiple birthday parties” started on Sunday as we had 2 to attend at the same time. I can sense that trying to coordinate weekends when J is older will be interesting!

My cousin’s little girl L turned 1 and our friend’s little girl E turned 2. Both parties were different but great, L’s was a quiet family affair with a small cake and party games, and E’s was a hall with a bouncy castle and a whopping Peppa Pig cake. As they were both being held at the same time and 15 miles apart we stayed at each for just over an hour before dashing off to the other one.

J has been singing “Happy Birthday to You” over and over since the weekend, it is incredibly cute but is becoming a bit repetitive bless her

I didn’t take many photos this weekend which is unusual, though here’s one of J trying to “help” me wrap

 

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Wicked Wednesdays – Car Selfie – 5th March 2015

Teaming up with brummymummyof2 for my first ever Wicked Wednesday

Not the best image but one of the funniest in a while of J…we were at a standstill for quite some time waiting to leave a shopping centre car park and decided to capture a family selfie, except J had an issue with this being done!

She is normally so good when we are in the car but for some reason just wouldn’t tolerate shopping or the joys of sitting in a car in a city full of traffic lights. I’ve pretty much convinced myself that shopping is much better on your own without hubster or toddler in tow

What a cheerful little soul I have, here’s to the next one!

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She was probably wondering why she had to share the camera with mummy and daddy…
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