Cake Smash Time With Layrish Photography

I actually can’t believe its been a year since we welcomed Isla into the world and I became a Grandmother. I have to say that this time has passed even quicker than it did with my own children and because of that capturing and celebrating milestones is something of great importance to me.

When I was asked by Layrish Photography if we would like to take Isla along to a cake smash photoshoot to celebrate her first birthday both Alice and myself were extremely happy to go along.

Layrish Photography offer a whole range of photography sessions from weddings to birthday parties, cake smashes to family photoshoots and so much more. They take place at locations of your choice or for from the comfort of your own home.

Cake smashes are a relatively new concept to me and certainly something I was very happy to experience with Isla as a first for us both.

We were all made to feel at ease as soon as the session began and Isla was eased into the whole process by playing with some toys and chatting before the photography started.

With pretty balloons, bunting and bubbles to distract her attention the first few photos in her pretty dress were taken effortlessly before she became a little restless.
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What better distraction could there be though than a quick change of clothes and the most beautiful cake being placed in front of you!

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A little hesitant a first she poked and prodded around for a while and then dived in…face first!

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I wasn’t long before she got a real taste and was well away digging in with her hands and trusty wooden spoon.

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Once she was sufficiently covered head to toe in cake it was time to wrap up the session and of course sample some of the cake ourselves…I mean it would be rude not to!

If you like the look of this session then I couldn’t recommend it enough for an experience that will stick in our mind for years to come and amazing image to look back over time and time again.

In fact the whole package is finished off beautifully as Layrish Photography send over a stunning case that comes with a handful of images all ready and printed out for you that are tied together with a pretty bow and covered with confetti along with the memory stick continuing all your photos that you can do exactly what you want with.

This was also accompanied with a slideshow that includes live footage of the cake smash that actually bought a tear to my eye when we received it, it was certainly a really lovely and unexpected addition.

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It will certainly be a day to remember for us and I couldn’t recommend it more.

*we were given this session in exchange for this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Three

Im a little bit late with this entry as life has got in the way and things have been sidelined. Last week was full of mundane tasks but I certainly have a few special moments to record.

Isla’s First Haircut: Being a grandparent is a completely new ball game to being a parent and one thing that I have found hard is bitting my tongue when Alice does things differently to I would. I have to hold myself back and remember all those times I got annoyed with my own mother for voicing her opinion so I told myself I wouldn’t be that fussing, interfering mother.
For months Isla’s hair has been growing out of control and I have wanted to take the scissors to it for so long.
Finally this week they decided it was time to be taken for her first haircut and I was so please to have been able to take her along for this experience.

Eyesight Improvement For Frankie: Last year Frankie was prescribed glasses and the vision in the right eye was a lot poorer than his left. The glasses alone hadn’t made any improvement so just over a month ago he was given a patch to wear for four hours everyday.
To be honest I thought we were going to have more trouble getting him to wear it then we have and apart from a few strops he’s been pretty good with it. This has paid off and he had improved by two lines on his sight test last week which was a big win for us.

Shopping With The Boys: Walking round the shops is somewhat of a distant memory for me since having children…well actually it’s only the last two that have put me off shopping with children for life.
All my shopping is done online and it wasn’t until we had a walk down Carnaby Street at the weekend that I realised now the boys are older they actually loved being able to walk around picking out things they like and trying the on.
They both certainly have and know their own minds when it comes to their style and Frankie was over the moon to be able to choose his first pair of ‘real’ trainers.

I’m Going To Be A Nanny!

Yes and not a Nanny of the childcare kind…a real life Grandma in my late thirties!

When someone says Nan or Grandma the immediate image that is conjured up in my mind is a grey hair lady with fluffy slippers on and a set of knitting needles in hand.

Of course I know that this is far from the truth these days and probably a small minority fit this stereotype, but I for one didn’t feel ready to become part of this category.

When my eldest came for dinner with her partner a few months ago my heart told me that the news of the pregnancy was coming.

Those glances to each other, egging one another to break the news was apparent before they had even muttered a word.

The mixture of worry of my reaction and the excitement of their impending arrival was written all over their faces and although for a good few hours before they broke the news I knew what was coming.

Although Alice is only 19, having her own family has been on her mind for a while now even if she had never admitted it to me. 

She has proved me wrong over the past few years by going it alone and creating a life with her partner that I thought would fall at the first hurdle but they have worked hard and created a home together and for them this was the obvious next step.

I was a young Mum myself and know only to well the troubles, isolation and unimaginable life change a new baby can bring.

That said youth does give you that carefree optimism and fresh outlook at everything that is sadly taken away with age.

So many things have been wirling  through my mind for the past few months and having my daughter’s baby shower at the weekend made everything that little bit more real.

All those worries are still in my head about how she will cope and what is she going to miss out on by having a baby so young; but selfishly I wondered where it left me.

With my youngest bearly out of nappies and my life still revoving around mums and toddler groups and school runs I didn’t feel ready to move onto that next phase in my life.

I am quite content with being a mum of young children and had hoped that as mine grew and that empty nest feeling began to set in I would then be able to sit back and enjoy my grandchildren, not whist I’m very much in the preschool phase of my life.

All this said I know this is the right thing for her and once my first grandchild is born I will not look back and will be there to love and support them every step of the way.

I am however still trying to find a slightly cooler name than Nan as this is still not sitting well with me!

Point And Shoot:Love

As a family we are very close and not a day goes by that I don’t talk to my parents – well actually I annoying them several times a day usually!

They are always there for us and we love spending as much quality time with them as we can.

This weekend we took a trip to visit Santa and this was one of my favourite moments.

The laughter and love on their faces is just infectious.

You Baby Me Mummy

A Night At The Movies

 
 The biggest and most important thing in my life by far is my family.  I’m so lucky to be close to my parents and only sister who live a stones throw away.

A wrote a post a while ago now about the huge role my parents play in my family’s life and really feel that children can learn so much from the older generation.

They can recall stories from days gone by and give them an insight into things they will never be able to experience themselves.  They can bring back fond memories of family that are no longer with us and most importantly share that unconditional love that only a grandparent can give.

We spend a lot of time out and about with my parents but don’t very often have the chance to settle down and share a movie together.  Thanks to Gracewell Healthcare who kindly sent us a ‘Night At The Movie’ package we were able to get together as a family and share a movie together.  I hope that this is something my parents will remember as they get older and a story that my children will be able to relay to their own children in years to come.

 

We were sent a DVD and sweet selection for the purpose of this post. 

Back To Our Roots

  

My Dad has had some time off over Christmas and decided he wanted us all to take a trip to East London to revisit his birthplace.

I remember trips there as a young girl and have driven through over the years but have not had a proper visit for a very long time.

We started at Spitalfields Market where my Dad had worked as a young boy.  It was nothing as he remembered; in place of all the fruit and veg stalls and wholesalers there are now trendy shops and restaurants in their place.

   

  

  

 

My husband was the king of bartering and managed to get a bargain on a beautiful fur coat and some ornaments for my Mum whist we were there so they were welcome changes for me!

  

My Dad lived and spent a lot of his time on Brick Lane which is now a hive of hip and trendy shops, cafes and restaurants again a far cry from the years my Dad had spent there as a youth.  The roads are full of fabulous street art that is now one of its iconic features.

  

    
    
    
   

We went to stop at Pellici cafe where my Uncle had worked on a market stall right outside of and my Mum and Dad had many trips to when they were courting.  It was also a regular haunt for the infamous Kray twins.  Unfortunately it was shut for Christmas so we made our way down to have pie and mash.  

     

  

I love pie and mash washed down with a strong cup of tea but the kids were far less impressed with this traditional East End meal!

When I was a child we always passed the Museum Of Childhood and never visited no matter how much I begged.  As an adult I know had the upper hand and went to have a look with my own little ones.

   
    
 
 They got to look at lots of toys from over the years and got to get hands on with the activities set up around the museum.  

My Dad had mixed feelings about making a return as things had changed so much over the years but it was lovely to show the children where my Dad had lived, gone to school and spent many a happy year growing up.

Love 2 Read Personalised Book Review

  

 

I know most people will think the same thing but my Dad really is the best Dad you could ask for.  The children absolutely adore him so when we were asked to create a book by Love 2 Read we opted for a story about Grandad.

This is such a great concept and there are lots of other stories for you to chose from.  It is all done by simply selecting your pictures and text to create your own perfect book.

I’m a real techno phobe and this was easy even for me.  I love the fact you can chose your own personal message to put in the first page to make it feel that bit more personal.

The older children were suprsingly impressed with this and loved looking to see where they featured inside.

  
It has fastly become a favourite bedtime story for the younger ones and number five is still in shock each time we turn a page to reveal another familiar face.

  
They are more expensive than your usual paperback book coming in at £14.99 but it is more of a keepsake and is well worth the money to see the expression on your little ones faces.

  

We were given this book by Love 2 Read for the purpose of this review.  They are all my own honest opinions.

Wizards And Witches At Bocketts Farm 

It was the perfect day for a trip to the farm today with this beautiful autumn sunshine.  

I only had the two little ones today so Mum and Dad joined us as we set off to Bocketts Farm in Surrey.  We have visited here once before but this was a special trip to see what had been put on to celebrate Halloween.

   
 

On arrival we were given a spooky quiz to fill out on our way around the other attractions that could then be handed in to the pretty pumpkin who was handing out treats for completing the quiz.

We arrived in perfect timing to walk straight into the wizard’s magic show.  Number four is massively into magic at the moment so this was perfect for him.  

   
 

He kept all the children engaged throughout the show and there was lots of audience participation which is always great when there is a young audience.  Number four was in awe throughout and is still questioning how his wallet set on fire!!

We played in the indoor play area which is normally one of my pet hates, but the boys loved riding on the tractors and bikes, climbing through the soft play and whizzing down the huge slides.

   
 

All the areas were spotlessly clean and well inclosed which is a must for my escape artists!

The boys then had a quiet five minutes in the craft area where they made some cool witches hats to get even more of a feel for the Halloween theme.

   
   

Next up we made our way out to the animals.  The boys had a wonderful time petting the rabbits and Guinea pigs, feeding the sheep, goats and cows and looking at the super cute piglets that had not long been born.

   
         

We made good use of the vast outdoor play area with the air pillows being the biggest hit!

   
   

The boys were finally prized away when there was a call for the start of the pig races.  They had a brilliant time cheering them on and number four was more than happy when ‘Bradley Piggins’ came in first place!

  

Hungry from the busy morning we made our way to the tea rooms for some lunch.  There are a wide range of hot and cold foods and a really good children’s menu that offers more than just the normal sandwich or nugget meal.

  

Number five tucked into a yummy macaroni cheese while my little allergy boy was well catered for with a hot meal to keep him going.

We finished our day with a peek at the creepy crawlies in the reptile tent that had been bought along from Amazing Animal Encounters and a trip around the farm on a tractor ride which included a creepy wood especially for Halloween.  The boys loved all the lumps and bumps on the way round whilst the adults took in the stunning views.

     
     

We had a fabulous day at a fantastically run farm with super friendly and helpful staff who’s passion for the farm and the animals really shone through. 

If you are looking for Halloween themed day out for your little ones then Bocketts is the perfect place to go for the fun side of Halloween rather than a scare factor.  The Wizards and Witches event runs until 1st November and got a massive thumbs up from us.

   
 

We were given entrance to Bocketts Fsrm for the purpose of this review and these are my own honest opinions.

Flower Show With More Cream Teas

Every year a wonderful house in the pretty village of Chipstead in Surrey opens its grounds to allow the local flower show and fun run to take place.

This is always a favourite for our family as it feels like a step back in time with a traditional brass band, coconut shys, cream teas and Pimms tent.

   
     

We took a wonder around the gardens of the owners grand home and had a look at his collection of exquisite classic cars that number four wanted to have a drive in!

   
     

Next stop was a jump around on the bouncy castle, trying our hand at the tombola, a successful throw on the coconut shy and some cupcake making.

   
     

We had a pit stop and endulged in a scrummy cream tea whist listening to the fabulous brass band.

  
It really feels like you are on the set of something like the ‘Darling Buds Of May’.

There are lots of games and shows put on in the centre of the main field and plenty of stalls selling lovingly handcrafted goods, flowers and lots of yummy food.

We saved the show tent until last and left the little ones outside with my Dad so I could have a good look around without the worry of one of them destroying someone’s entry that they would have put so much time and effort into.

   
   

My Mum was a keen flower arranger many years ago and I am really getting into photography do next year we are thinking about entering ourselves!!

  
 

Fruit Picking With A Tipsy Afternoon Tea

 

Our family all love fruit and we especially love our annual fruit picking trip.

Today was perfect weather for it so we set off to Flowers Farm in Godstone to start our day.

I only had the two little ones today so it was easier to keep an eye on the amount of fruit that was going into the mouths rather than the baskets!

   
       

Number four was quite reserved and only snuck a few, number five on the other hand didn’t get the concept at all and had to have his basket removed!

We got a fabulous crop of strawberries, raspberries and cherries and had a fantastic time running around the fields trying to find the best fruit.

   
       

 

Once we were all done we had a short drive up the road to the newly opened Oldpost.

I had been a while ago and had a beautiful Valentines afternoon tea here and wanted to take my parents and Sister as I knew it would be right up their street.

They were not disappointed as we walked into the beautiful, serene courtyard and picked a table by a tranquil water feature.

   

   

To my Sister’s delight they had a Wimbeldon themed menu which consisted of a scrumptious scone with cream and jam and a glass of processo or Pimms.

   
 

The staff were extremely welcoming and even though the setting was wonderful they were more than happy to accommodate my two over active little ones!

My Sister made a new best friend when she received a complementary top up on her prosecco.

  

Tummies full and slightly tipsy we had a walk around to see what else Oldpost had to offer.  There is a wonderfully stocked gift shop perfect for something a little different, a light and airy studio which offers a wide range of exercise classes and also classes for little ones; plus a beauty room offering a good array of very reasonable priced treatments.

   
       

With my birthday coming up next month my sister and I have a girly day there planned with another few glasses of prosecco to celebrate!