I’m a born and bred Greenwich girl. Literally.

I just love it. And the older I get the more and more I appreciate this beautiful pocket of London.

As a child I remember going to Greenwich Park with friends for picnics, playing ‘it’, hide and seek, sitting on our skateboards and zooming down the hills. Greenwich evokes many happy childhood memories for me. Then as I got a bit older I started discovering the vibrant village and buzzing market. I loved strolling through by all the stalls, making sure I always stopped at my favourite jewellery shop on the corner. And in more recent years I have really enjoyed the food market, my favourite being the teriyaki stand!

Yesterday we arranged to meet Joe’s sister and boyfriend at Greenwich. It had been too long since we had last been to Greenwich together so it felt just brilliant to walk through the park and look at the amazing view of the City. We met up at the Cutty Sark. Joe, Violet and Ezra played chase while I sat down for a breather  (i’m 5 weeks away from having this baby now!). Ezra enjoyed running after the pigeons, exclaiming “LOOK” as if these birds were the most amazing thing he had ever seen. To a 21 month old I guess they were!

Once my sister-in-law and her partner arrived we headed to the market to get some food.

I had my sights firmly set on the teriyaki stall and could practically taste the fresh squid in anticipation. Joe was looking forward to some fresh salmon. To my utter shock and huge disappointment the stand wasn’t there!!!! There was sushi, Portuguese pastries, gluten-free cakes, vegan and raw food but NO fresh squid!!!!!! In the end I got a chorizo bread and Joe had a lentil lasagne. They were both very good but I still feel sad that my favourite food wasn’t available. I wonder if it has gone for good or this was just a blip. Does anyone know?

For pudding I had some Nutella and strawberry pancakes!

This definitely lifted my spirits!

I also visited the drinks stand and got myself a watermelon juice. Joe had a fresh lemonade and gin!

We then walked to the park. Autumn has arrived which I’m not-so-secretly quite happy about. The 30degree heat in London was starting to get to me and I was struggling to cope. This cooler, fresher weather is certainly much more manageable. With autumn the leaves are turning crunchy and one of my favourite things to do with the children is collect conkers. Greenwich Park was abundant with conker trees and we spent a lovely time squashing the fallen shells and popping out bright, shiny conkers. Violet quickly filled any available space in the bottom of the pushchair with beautiful marbled conkers. Ezra also loved running around the trees with a conker in each hand showing anybody who would listen!

Finally we walked over to the playground. This was updated about 2 years ago. Gone are the usual metal framed swings and climbing frames and now there are huge wooden frames, swings, play houses and covered walkways.

The playground really is excellent, with plenty of picnic tables, grass areas, a little cafe and well serviced toilet facilities.

Our last stop in the playground was the sandpit. This is the same sandpit I played in as a little girl so I am fond of it despite not being a huge fan of sand! There is a water pump the children can use to get water into one area of the sand and there seemed to be a lot of buckets and spades which were for general use. Violet and Ezra both really loved pottering about in the sand.

We then trudged up the hill and headed for our car. I could easily have spent so much more time in the park, it’s so huge and there is loads to explore. But for us it was home time.

I absolutely loved our trip to Greenwich and will make sure we go back soon.
Have you been recently? What were your favourite places to visit? And any ideas where the teriyaki stall has gone?!
Capturing Moments

Last week we found out we are expecting a……………….
Actually, I’ll let Violet and Ezra tell you…!

It’s a BOY!!!!!!!!!!!

Over Christmas Violet and I were messing about on YouTube and we started watching American gender reveal videos. Violet absolutely loved the idea of finding out whether the couples were expecting a boy or girl by the colour of the balloons. So when we told her that we were expecting another baby she asked if she could find out whether it’s a boy or girl by balloons coming out of a box. Why not, I thought!

Violet had hoped she would get a baby sister so when we found out he was a boy we knew we had to tell her in an exciting way to quash any feelings of disappointment she may have. I’m so glad we did it like this! It was fun, exciting and so memorable. Violet is SO excited to know she will get another little brother! She talks to him a lot and it asking many questions about what he can see/hear/feel. Ezra on the other hand was just thrilled to play with the balloons! He is still too young to understand what is happening. Hopefully as his language develops he will have some understanding by the time October comes.

So we have a little boy on the way. I am so happy we know! I love him so so much and am so excited to welcome him to our beautiful family.

Here are the small things which have made me smile this week, my Happy Days:

1. I have started my secondment and I’m enjoying it so much! The volume of work to get through is a little daunting but it feels so great to get stuck in, come up with new ideas and try to put some of my creativity into my work. I have 5 weeks left and I know it will fly by. I just hope my colleagues around me are happy.

2. Violet has just got over ANOTHER vomiting bug. That’s 3 in 3 weeks (thanks very much pre-school!). So while I’m absolutely fed up of dealing with sick, I’m happy we are through the latest one!

3. Ezra got his first shoes. More about that one later….

4. Ezra is saying Mama on request. It doesn’t have meaning for him yet but I love hearing sounds other than “uh”! He also sings a little tune which we have sung to him from birth.

5. We have had a few weekends now with no plans. As much as I love seeing friends and family, I really crave time where it’s just the 4 of us. Our weeks are a blur with the daily grind. So to have had so many weekends where we have pottered around the house, gone for walks, explored new parks has been really perfect.

That’s what’s been keeping me happy over the last week, what’s been making you smile?  Tell me about your Happy Days.

What Katy Said

Yesterday was our second wedding anniversary.  Without a doubt 18th January 2014 was the best day of my life and I don’t see any way of topping it.

 

Joe and I said ‘I do’ at Cooling Castle Barn in Kent.  A series of interconnecting barns and castle turrets on the drive make this place quite magical.

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I clearly remember every detail of the day… I stayed at a local B&B the night before with Violet, my parents and in-laws.  Hair and make-up arrived in the morning and it was a sudden frantic bustle of rollers, brushes, pins and powders.

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Time started to run away with us and at midday we finally piled everything into the cars and sped off to the venue.

 

Butterflies were kicking in but my main concern right then was that I was half an hour behind schedule and still in my normal clothes!!

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Once we made it to the venue guests were arriving and I had to sneak into my room.  I didn’t have a bag or dress on me, just myself, my maid of honour and Violet who had filled her nappy.  The photographers were tapping their watches but all I could think about was that I needed to change a nappy.  Frantic phone calls to my mum who for some reason had ended up with the nappy bag were made and eventually I was just ‘normal mummy’ again but with make-up, hair and pretty nails!  Phew!

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Once that minor hiccup was sorted, Caroline helped me into my dress.  It did feel absolutely wonderful to put that dress on, it will always be the best thing I’ve ever worn.  It fitted beautifully, pulled me in at all the right places and made me feel incredible!

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After a few photos we walked over to the barn.  The weather was perfect, the sun milky in the sky and no rain.  The Master of Ceremonies was a lady and she talked me through everything that was about to happen.  In truth I felt like I was starting to have an out of body experience by this point but Violet was a wonderful grounding force.

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I could almost deflect my nerves by making sure she was ok and fussing over her rather than feeling like everyone was fussing over me.  Once Caroline, my dad and I had been to see the Registrar and complete the last formalities we stood in the upstairs corridor.  We were ready.  Nothing else needed to be planned or sorted.  All I had to do was go and get married!

 

The music began and I had an instant surge of emotion.  Caroline spoke to me calmly while I tried to compose myself.  Then we walked in.

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I gripped the bannister as I walked down the stairs.  “Please don’t trip” I was telling myself!  This photo is very special to me as on the window ledge you can see a photograph of my dear grandparents.  They were everything to me and would have loved to have celebrated our day.  I glanced over to the photo as I walked down the stairs.

As I started to walk down the aisle I saw so many faces of our friends and family.  Everybody was here to celebrate with Joe and myself.  As I looked down the aisle I saw Joe smiling.  I had to keep a lid on my emotions!  We were ushered onto the platform and the ceremony began.

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Violet could not have been sweeter, she toddled around looking at the decorations, was lured back to my mum with the promise of chocolate buttons but ultimately came to sit at our feet as we said our vows.  It was so poignant to have our daughter at our wedding.  Perhaps we had not done things in the most traditional order but I can say that I will forever feel honoured that our first born witnessed our special day.  Once we were married and had signed the register we walked out to have a brief moment to ourselves and then some photographs.

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The rest of the day was a wonderful amalgamation of dancing, food, photographs, drinks, laughter, friends, family and fun.

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1545771_10152259637411654_1508918045_nFor our first wedding anniversary we stayed at home with Violet and a 7 week old Ezra.  I got Joe a print of our first year together.  This year after work we stayed in again and indulged ourselves with Homeland on Netflix and Ben & Jerry’s icecream!  We will go out in a few weeks time for cinema and a meal.
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Being married is wonderful.  An absolute union and formalising our family unit.  I look back at our day with a smile and also wistfully wish I could fit into my wedding dress again one day!!!!

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Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

 

This year Christmas took on a whole new meaning with Violet being a fully believing 3 year old. Her excitement levels were at an all time high, probably something to do with the advent calendar sugar hit first thing in the morning! With a car full to bursting with presents we drove to spend a few festive days with my inlaws. Our only task to do before Christmas was to assemble Violet’s dolls house. Flat pack sends many a couple into a minefield of allen keys, instructions, screws and arguments but Joe and I worked as a team and here’s the finished result!
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The house even has a lift!!

That night I went to bed to find this…
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The following day we took a trip to Stanwick Lakes. It’s got an amazing adventure playground with sand, slides, climbing frames, tunnels and swings. We were the only family there braving the windy weather but it certainly helped the kids let off a bit of steam and avoid cabin fever.
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We then went to the café which looks over a beautiful lake for coffee and cake.
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That evening Violet was beside herself with excitement. Buzzing around like a bee she helped to set down a glass of sherry and a mince pie for Father Christmas and 2 carrots for the reindeer.
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She then squealed I HAVE TO GO TO BED NOWWWWW!! Once the children were in bed my sister-in-law got to work with making sure Violet’s Christmas morning was truly magical.
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Christmas morning came and Violet was amazed that Father Christmas had been and left everyone a stocking plus some extra pressies for Ezra and herself. She set to work ripping the wrapping paper off and was so happy with what she had received. Ezra also loved pulling the paper off his presents and exploring.
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We sat down to a delicious breakfast of bagles, scrambled egg, bacon, fruit and Bucks Fizz.

The afternoon had the family watching films, opening more presents and dancing!
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Both children received so many wonderful gifts but Violet in particular got some really fabulous presents….a shop, shopping trolley, huge dolls house and baby change bag. All things she loooves playing with!

Once we had spent a few days with my inlaws we went to my parents for Christmas part 2.
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I had worked so hard to get my mum’s crochet cushion finished in time and I’m thrilled with the finished result.

We spent time at home and also took a trip to Greenwich Park.
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Greenwich Park holds so many happy memories for me growing up. But I am now creating new memories with my little family.

Violet and Ezra are such lucky children to have family who love them so much and did everything they could to make their Christmas special, memorable and magical. They couldn’t want for anything more, and neither could I.
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Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows