Christmas at Standen House | Days out with The National Trust


If you've followed us for a while you'll know our love for The National Trust. I still honestly think signing up last year was the best thing we did - thousands of places to visit for just a few pounds a month!

We've slowly been discovering local properties, and our most recent find was Standen House and Gardens. Located in East Grinstead in an idyllic location, with views across the Sussex countryside,
Standen is an "Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors".

It's extra special at this time of year though. Christmas has arrived!

We only had a quick passing trip, as we were off to a birthday party. But it was still such a lovely visit. They weren't lying when they said the house it set in an idyllic location. The views are incredible!

We sat on the terrace at the quaint little tables and chairs, and just soaked it all in (while the kids ate their snacks of course!). I can really imagine people fighting over these spots in the summer months. But even on a beautiful winter's day, with the sun beaming down, it was just perfect.

There was so much we didn't have time to explore, but it's just given us the perfect excuse to go back. The main attraction for us though was of course the Christmassy additions!

The house is decorated for Christmas - from Victorian decor through to modern day. Wreaths are hung at every spot, and you can even get create and make your very own pom-pom Christmas tree. The main attraction though has to be the Winter Tree in the courtyard.

Decorated by designed Kaffe Fassett, the tree is full of colour. Covered in colourful handmade decorations such as pom poms, tassels and garlands. It's the most unique and exciting tree I've ever seen, and the kids absolutely loved it too.

There's the opportunity to meet Father Christmas in his woodland grotto - something we would have definitely booked if we had known earlier! As well as extended twilight openings, for special tours around the house after dark (until January 2nd).

We had such a lovely Christmas visit to Standen; we just wish we could have stayed longer. We'll definitely be back in the new year!

The Siblings Project | December


How are we in December already? This year has definitely flown by, and I've now shared a whole year of sibling project photos - watching my little pair grow from a toddler and a baby, to a preschooler and a toddler!

I'm so glad I decided to join in with the project. It's made me capture moments I probably never would have before. And it's meant I've got a record of my little twosome from the very beginning to always look back on too.

Looking back at January's photos, it's funny to see how similar they are to the ones I took this month. Lazy days at home, snuggled up together. Although Parker is a lot wrigglier now and it's waaaaay harder to capture the crazy little beans.

These pictures basically sum up our month though. Both of them are currently ill, so lazy mornings snuggling in mummy's bed have been essential. That doesn't mean they've lost their cheekiness though! And they've turned into a fierce little pair.

If Parker does something 'naughty' (jumping on the sofas, flicking switches on and off, destroying the place, etc, etc) Indie will find it absolutely hilarious, and see fit to join in. This then sets Parker off, and you'll find them giggling away at their mischievous behaviour.

Indie is also Parker's mini cheerleader, encouraging him to be a monkey. He absolutely loves the attention though, and honestly most of the time I end up laughing with them too!

I cannot wait to enjoy Christmas with my crazy pair. And here's to another year of sibling project photographs too. I'll leave you with my year of siblings. Just look at them grow!


The Me and Mine Project

What's in our Christmas Eve Basket 2016


We started our Christmas Eve Basket tradition a few years ago now, and it's quickly become one of my favourite things about Christmas. Now the littles are older it's something they can both enjoy too (and I always pop in something for Jack and I as well!).

My Christmas Eve Basket for 2016 is very similar to the one I blogged about last year. I picked up the basket from eBay, and wrapped some gingham ribbon around it to make it a bit more festive. Then the idea we went with for the contents was: something to read, something to watch, something to wear and something to eat. Simple!

I popped the 'treats for santa' tray in too, as the treats obviously get left out of Christmas Eve - and I didn't want the littles playing with it before Christmas! It was only a couple of pounds from The Range, but does the job.

The books I went for this year are Olaf's Night Before Christmas for Indie, and Peppa's Christmas for Parker. Both were reasonably prices from Tesco's. Parker is reaaaaally into Peppa at the moment so I know he'll love this one. And Indie (still Frozen obsessed) loves longer books now, so we thought this would be perfect.

We get a new Christmas DVD every year, and this year's choice is The Polar Express. It's such a lovely film, although I am a little worried it's maybe a bit too grown up for our two. I know Jack and I will enjoy it regardless, and at least we have it for years to come!

Treat wise after the success of last year I bought these 'Snowman Soup' hot chocolates again. I know I could do these myself, but I honestly don't have the time - and these were such a bargain from eBay I thought why not. I've popped in a couple of bags of chocolate coins too, because it's not Christmas without chocolate coins!

Finally both littles have brand new pyjamas to wear to bed on Christmas Eve. Parker's are Christmassy as these ones from Asda were too cute to resist - he'll be out of them soon enough too, so I didn't think it was a problem. I went for regular pjs for Indie as I know she'll be wearing them for a long time - these are sparkly though so they're kind of Christmassy right?

I cannot wait to pop the basket under the tree on the morning of Christmas Eve. Jack will be home this year so we can all enjoy it's contents throughout the day. It's such a lovely way to start Christmas!

Indiana's 3 Year Update


It's been a couple of weeks now since we celebrated Indiana's third birthday, and a whole year since I did a proper written update on her. So I thought it was time to write a three year update.

A lot has happened this past year. She's really turned from a toddler into a little girl, with absolutely nothing left of that little baby we knew not so long ago. Fully potty trained, no dummy, no pushchair and one very grown up girly!

A little update on her stats:

- Wearing a combination of 2-3 and mostly 3-4 year clothing (this is a massive change as she was so little for so long!)
- Size 7 feet
- All 20 teeth, that the dentist said are perfect

Routine wise we have been very blessed with Indiana and her sleep. She sleeps through from 7pm until morning; now with the help of a Gro Clock which means we don't hear from her until 7.15am! She still has an afternoon nap, and can still sleep for up to 2 hours. I know this is very rare, and we should probably start fazing it out. But honestly she's such a grump without it, and it's not affecting her sleep at night, so I'm not worried!

BIG changes this year have been potty training and removing the dummy. We started PT at 27 months back in March, and she picked it up really quickly. By July she was dry through the night. We are so proud of her and how well she's done - it's just a normal thing for her to be in knickers now, and she just takes herself off to the loo when she needs to go.

The dummy was also relatively easy to remove. We hid all of her dummies, and just told her that she was a big girl and no longer needed them. She was so exhausted that night she just went to sleep. She does still have her comforter though - Bunny isn't going anywhere and we don't plan to remove him anytime soon.

Turning three hasn't been all positive though. With developed speech and knowledge came serious attitude and a lot of talking back. The sass that we get from her sometimes is unbelievable, but I know it's all just part of her growing up.

Over the year I've seen Indie grow in confidence, and I am so proud of her I could burst. She's so outgoing and has made a number of little friends this year. She loves dancing, singing, role playing and her current favourite thing is Paw Patrol. She LOVES being a big sister and although we have had our issues with the two of them, overall she's great with Parker. 

I just can't believe she's three!

Parker's 16 Month Update


With all the excitement of Christmas, I almost completely forgot that Parker turned 16 months on the 4th. It's been a big one this month, with P really learning how to communicate. And he's most definitely turned into a terrible two year old already...

A little update on his stats:

- A mixture of 12-18 and 18-24 month clothing
- Size 5+ nappies (Christmas ones of course!)
- Size 5 feet
- 12 teeth - 4 at the bottom, 4 at the top and all his first molars through
- Getting tall - his feet now reach the foot bar on his highchair!

This month has seen a huge leap in Parker's temperament. He's still such a sweet, loving boy. But something has changed, and he's becoming a lot more hard work! Tantrums, screaming when out, escaping his highchair, being 'naughty' on purpose (he'll do things, check to see if you're watching and then give you a cheesy grin), and just generally being pretty exhausting! By the looks of things though, Indiana was exactly the same at this age.

On top of that we've had some rough nights with teeth and him being poorly. There's been a lot of co-sleeping, extra cuddles and treats this month as a result. Although I'll be honest and say I do actually quite enjoy co-sleeping - just not when he's kicking me in the face!

I know he's just testing boundaries, and learning he's the master of his body (thanks Wonder Weeks!). We're hoping if we keep giving him rules to follow, and be consistent, he'll soon learn that we're boss. I'm also hoping that once Indie starts preschool and he gets free reign of toys and me, he'll calm down a bit too. Wishful thinking?

Nothing is stopping this boy when it comes to his speech. He chats away all day, mimicking words like a little parrot. He can say:

mummy, mama, daddy, dada, nanny, nana (Indiana), doggy - and woof, quack quack, down, stuck, up, uh oh, wow, nummy (dummy), Peppa - and snort like a pig, no, shoe, grandad, are you (where are you), love you, did it, gone, teeth, kiss, knock knock, biscuit, narnar (banana), cheese, mine, hi, bye bye, star, row row, duck, poo, bubble, and juice.

This month Parker has loved Peppa, running around outside, the Christmas tree, cars, sleeping with mummy and daddy, reading stories, advent calendars and painting. He's hated his eczema returning, his highchair / pushchair / being restrained, teething and wearing hats!