Tag Archives: Familyfun

Eleanor’s First Birthday.

IMG-20180831-WA0013Firstly, I’m going to apologise for my lack of online presence, it’s been such a busy eight weeks and to round it all off, the past two weeks have been full of celebrations and joy. Celebrating all things family and all thegood in life. With a lot of blogging to catch up on and some spare time to kill on the drive back to Amsterdam from Bruges, I’ll begin with the first in the run up of events. Eleanor’s first birthday, one of the best and most exciting days I have ever had. What a buzz around a First birthday, we had an absolute blast and I’m now more in love than ever.

Yes, you read correct, on the 31st of August my baby Daughter turned one and I don’t quite know how to handle that. A year has past so soon, so sudden and I’m not sure that I am ready to let go a little more. Motherhood, It’s a process and it’s an emotional challenge. It can be lonely, it can be scary but most of all  it can be so, so rewarding and the love that consumes you is something quite euphoric. My baby girl has brought so much to the World that I live in within in such a short year and had made the process of becoming a Mother so very easy for me. She leads the way, and I follow.

There are few words to explain just how Eleanor has changed my life in such a short space of time, all for the better. This tiny little baby appeared and suddenly everything becomes so different and the life you knew is no more. We have to change and adapt, grow and nurture, it’s not easy to get to grips with but before you know it parenting is second nature and I wonder if we need these tiny babies more than they need us. Or at least in some respects. What a crazy year it has been and I can only thank Eleanor for the life she has brought to me and the joy she has filled me with.

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As a new Mum, I’m so grateful to have the time that I do with Eleanor to raise and watch her as she grows. Keen to capture it all and document her firsts, her achievements and her happiness is just so important for myself and my Husband, Euan. Oh, yes, you read that right.. Husband. I’ll elaborate later.

To celebrate the first year of Eleanor’s life and the good she has brought to us all, we decided to have a morning of present opening followed by Eleanor’s favourite breakfast, pancakes and Yogurt. Messy but absolutely delicious, she is a girl after my own heart and our love of pancakes will bond us forever more. I picture life with Eleanor ahead and can see us sitting around a cafe table washing down our favourite food with different juices and coffees, it makes me smile to have all of these images and ideas of happy family life full my head and I feel warm.

My baby has brought so much to our lives and her soul is just so alive and pure. Charismatic, friendly, loving, cheeky and more, Eleanor really does make for quite a special little girl. I’d be lost without her and life would certainly not be half as bright. I can’t believe how such a small person can have such a big presence, Eleanor lifts and lights the room, I love her.

Looking like my big little girl, all dressed in her pink Birthday dress which I had purchased the day prior, what follows was a family day trip to a local family soft play center and outdoor play area, den in the Glen. A coffee stop on the way was essential however as without coffee i wouldn’t have made it.

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A place familiar to myself from childhood play dates. We walked around the grounds as it was a lovely and sunny day, pointed out each artefact and piece of nature to Eleanor and just went at our own pace taking it all in. I think I was trying to digest my baby being one to be honest, something that I am still trying to get my head around.

After a walk around, I nursed Eleanor in the car before heading into the soft play area for a wee seat, a spot of lunch and a play in the open space that was suitable for both babies and parents. The hall was busy, families were enjoying lunch together, babies were nursing or snacking and of course, the play area was full of small children and adults, running around, splashing about in the ball pit and having a good day to themselves.

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Having not been to soft play previously, I didn’t know what to expect really. A lot to take in and afterward Eleanor was so exhausted that we went out in a drive to Stonehaven to kill time and allow for a car nap. If left without a nap and over tired it can be an absolute nightmare and I wanted Eleanor to be able to enjoy her day as much Euan and I were, after all it was a day all about her.

In the evening we heading up to my mums to enjoy a birthday tea full of everyone’s favourite snacks and nibbles, Eleanor included. There were sandwiches, pizza, chips, falafel. You name it, we had it. An exceptional spread hosted by my Mother. I brought the birthday cake which I had baked the previous day, a lemon sponge cake in the style of a Victora sponge with buttercream..

The whole family had a great day of celebrations and feasting and Eleanor had a blast. Turning one hasn’t ever looked so good, our baby was spoiled rotten with love and attention while being catered for with all of her favourite foods. I’m usually quite strict with treats and snacks but a birthday is an exception and an excuse to go all out.

To wind down at the end of the day, we headed home and it was straight to bed. Yes, 8.30pm and my baby and I were off to enjoy a cuddle and a snooze together while Euan sorted out some bits and bobs. I don’t know how much longer my baby will nurse from me, accept my cuddles and hold my hand as she falls asleep but for now I’m not ready to wave goodbye to those special moments. I’ve let go of our first year together and that’s quite enough for right now. It’s been challenging, hard work and an emotional roller-coaster.

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There’s been good days, bad days, days where everything just falls out of place and goes wrong but I would do each day all over again if I could. As they all say, blink and you miss it and I can fully say that the statement is so very true. A moment will pass at the blink of the eye but a memory can last a lifetime. That’s what I’m keen to continue to do as Eleanor grows, to make memories and capture as much of our time together as I can.

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Happy birthday baby girl, for I love you so.

Eleanor’s holiday closet.

As we approach holiday season and count down the days until we set off on our first adventure as a family of three, you can imagine the excitement and the hype.. and nerves, that are flying around the household. It is like Christmas all over again, only with the added benefit of a wee break to the sun.

Now, one thing that is getting me super excited for the holiday, not just the idea of some vitamin D and a spell of t-shirt weather but the holiday packing. I have been working away on Eleanor’s Summer wardrobe and picking up holiday bits and bobs as I’ve been on my travels.

As a bit of a fashionista myself with a love for all things girly and sparkly, I can’t not share my favourite pieces of holiday clothing for Eleanor. I can’t wait to see her in some of the wee dresses and her little sun hat. Too cute, though I’m sure with a seven month old, nothing is destined to stay on long. Especially with meal times, often these days a meal time requires a stripping off and full change of clothes, some days even a bath. Ahem, how do babies get food absolutely every where, by the way? I am sure the energy provider loves us with all of the additional washes and hot water usage. .

As I have said, I’m going to share some of my favourite pieces that I have picked up from various stores and online markets. Baby girl shopping is simply irresistible, so many adorable pieces, especially for the Summer.  I am the first to admit that I have no self control when it comes to shopping and treats, especially not for my baby.

I favour what I call a pay day treat, each pay day that comes round I go out and pick up a treat for Eleanor. It is never much, but I always choose a dress or a wee cardigan.. you know, something pretty from my favourite baby store, Next. It makes me feel good to be able to go out and pick her up a treat at the beginning of each month. I think this is a ritual that will stick.

I’m a little jealous of some of the collections I’ve picked up for Eleanor, if I could fit into the dresses, you bet I would! So much gorgeous colour and quality pieces. Below, I will snap shot my favourite items and tag the store which they were purchased. Most purchases have not exceeded £15 and I have sourced many budget buys.

With a maternity wage and a pending Wedding to pay up, I am all for bargain over luxury. I mean, the most we get out of clothes are three months with the rate Eleanor grows right now so I don’t feel going all out and buying expensive baby clothing is necessary.  There is such a wide range of High Street baby clothing that is inexpensive and yet stylish, I love to snap up any pieces that I find pretty as soon as I see them. I hope you enjoy this little post and it gets you feeling in the mood for Summer.

 

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Dresses – both Primark.

 

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Cardigan – Next

Backpack – Cath Kidson

 

 

Dress – Next

Chinos – Next

Shoes – Disney @ Primark

 

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Swimwear – Boots UK

 

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Shorts and Sunhat – Next

As you can see, I’ve got several different styles and items to get packing. Along side this I do have a selection of baby grows, t shirts, leggings and a variety of other clothing pieces. I’ve only chosen to share my favourite items. Much of the holiday wardrobe is lightweight but still covers Eleanor up well to avoid any sun damage. We have picked up a stroller with sun protection and a light fabric and have plenty of products to aid with keeping Eleanor comfortable and cool.

Now that we are ready to get the suitcase out and get packed the reality hits, our first family trip and Euans 30th birthday. I feel some time in a new setting with new scenery will mark a milestone birthday and the end of maternity leave pretty well. I know it won’t all be fun and games, there will be challenges to overcome but I’m hopeful with the time that we have, we can make the most of it and make happy family memories.

Certain not to miss any of these little moments, I’ve got my digital camera and the go pro at the ready. I don’t plan to be active on social media during our time away as a family but as soon as we return, I will share all the details with you.

 

Happy Spring x

The most wonderful time. My top Five Christmas favourites.

Now that we have entered the festive period and December is in full swing, I thought I’d share with you all my top five favourite things about Winter and the Christmas run up.

The count down to Christmas is in full swing, my excitement is growing it only seems right to talk about it. By the way, it’s totally acceptable to get the Christmas playlist on the go now, right?

To pick just five favourites from the season seems unfair, but if I don’t draw the line somewhere, I’d end up going on forever. I really love Christmas time and the whole sense of togetherness it brings. It’s just so special and has the ability to make people feel special. Family is everything and a little kindness never goes a miss.

A white Christmas – First on the list, obviously. Who doesn’t love a waking up to a fresh white Christmas morning with droplets of snow falling? There’s something magical about watching the snow fall, even more so on one of the most important days of the calendar year. It’s just so dreamy. I love it. I love walking the dog on a snowy Christmas morning with family and embracing the freshness in the air. I think that snow, definitely makes Christmas day feel like Christmas day. A winter wonderland truly is wonderful.

I won’t lie though, after the Christmas period has ended, I’m happy to be rid of snow and the bitter cold that it too brings with it but for now, I’ll lap up all the snow days I can get.

With being off on maternity leave, fortunately, I have no place to go and can embrace a lie in from time to time if Eleanor allows it and we can spend the days watching the snow fall from the comfort of the window.

 

Kindness – All too often we are consumed by materialistic lifestyles and can get way too caught up within ourselves that we forget about others. I like that Christmas brings a level of compassion, care, love and support for those around us that we hold dear. Christmas is a time to give, a time to share and a time to bring kindness to all, no matter who we are. It’s so magical how the time of year can bring people together in such a special way. This year,

I feel even more excited for family and making the most of family time as now I have a family of my own, everything really is that extra bit special and I will be making the effort of going the extra mile to make this year a Christmas to remember.

I love to give gifts and spoil people a little but it can get out of hand to keep buying gifts and my pockets aren’t full so come Christmas, I find it so satisfying to treat the ones I love with a little something I have picked out especially, knowing that they will really love it. I like to make others feel special and give good treats. I put a lot of thought into the gifts that I give, I always have.

As a young girl, I’d sit in my bedroom and play Christmas music, watch the classic movies and wrap my gifts I had got for my family. I’d stick a sign on my bedroom door to warn mum and dad not to enter and get to work. I was a terrible at wrapping, this is something that has not changed but I always done it with a sense of pride.

Now that I can take on the roll of Santa too, I feel even more excited. Eleanor is still too young to understand but that doesn’t mean Santa won’t be paying her a little visit on her first Christmas. It just makes everything so much more exciting. Christmas really is for the children and I can’t wait to watch her excitement as she grows to understand over the years.

 

Christmas decorations – I am a self confessed magpie. I love glitter, sparkles and anything that shines. I have an eye for all things pretty and the festive period certainly meets my inner diva needs and fills my wee heart right up with cheer.

Christmas lights are all around, the streets are lit up, coffee shops have the festive cups out to play. Trees decorated on every corner, wreaths hang pretty on front doors – only a matter of days before I hang mine! Squeal!

There are stockings to hang, santa sacks to fill and so many festive candles, so many festive scents. It’s heaven. It’s busy. It’s love.

Christmas decor is great, I can’t get enough of little bits and bibs to hang and grace the tree with. From a young age,  I’ve always taken great pleasure from viewing the Christmas lights and the decorations that surround us all. To this day, it still excites me to dig out the decoration bag and get going with it.

This year, we are taking the day off on the first Saturday of the month and spending the day putting up our decorations around the home while having some festive hot drinks and watching good old classic Christmas movies. Eleanor is so little this Christmas that she won’t understand what is going on but I’m keen to entertain Christmas early and teach her all about it from a young age so that for years to come it remains a special occasion that holds many memories.

 

Festive drinks – Mulled wine, hot chocolate, you say? Em, hello?! What is a festive period without plenty of hot mulled wine and hot chocolate? It’s a festive essential and with it being so bitterly cold, the hot drinks really help to warm us up. I especially favour a good cup of hot chocolate. Or candy juice as I like to call it. I’ve been having one frequently for the past few weeks and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Next weekend, we are going to hit up the local Christmas Market and I will be hoping to catch a good cup of hot chocolate as long as a glass of mulled wine to keep me cosy.

What’s the festive period if you can’t enjoy a good treat?! It is really a time for indulging and spoiling yourself.

 

Christmas movies – Old or new. Any Christmas film is acceptable in my eyes, so long as it comes after the first of December. It’s okay to binge watch elf on repeat if it is December. I’m excited to spend the weekends indoors, cosied up with blanket forts, candy juice and snacks to make for good TV viewing.

There is something about Christmas movies that really get you in the spirit and make the whole festive season quite special. It’s been a ritual since I was young to watch all the movies based in Christmas. A wonderful life, home alone, elf.. Yep, I’ll be watching them all this year and for years to come. A movie day with plenty of snacks is a great way to spend time with family and remain warm at the same time.

Top tip, ensure plenty of snacks are around. Once the movies begin, you won’t want to move.

 

Christmas Dinner – Last, but certainly not least, the best part of Christmas is family and the Christmas Dinner.  I can’t wait to spend time with my little family just the three of us and have our first family Christmas at home. I plan to out together the a Christmas dinner (my very first) and have the whole day with my family to myself. Yes, I’m greedy for not sharing them with anyone else.

In all seriousness though, what is better than having Christmas day watching old movies, being warm indoors and enjoying a feast full of delicious goodies with your loved ones? I loved waking on Christmas morning as a child and sneaking down stairs with my brother, checking to see that Santa had been and watching Arthur Christmas on the tele.

Pigs n blankets? Duck fat roasted potatoes? Honey glazed veggies?! Yes please! Fill my plate up and delight my tummy.

Now, I’m no master chef and I don’t claim to be, as I will be making the dinner this year round the pressure is on. Luckily though, I’m only hosting for the two of us, if all fails, I’ll be sure to have plenty of snacks to pick from and there will be a selection of wine.. for good measure.

It will be rather strange not being with my own family on Christmas but I wanted this year to be with my own family, the three of us and to make our own Christmas ritual and routines. To make our own memories that we can share for the future.

I’m super excited for that precious family time and the whole of the run up to the big day. I’m trying to keep myself busy and get into the spirit of Christmas. With the snow fall having began, I’m ready to throw on the Christmas playlist and get dancing around the tree.

How are you spending Christmas day? Do you have any family traditions that you love and follow each year? What’s on your dinner menu?

Merry Christmas guys, Keren x

Signed and sealed. Our first family holiday has been booked!

22158112_346803399104363_471383024492085248_n Booking a family holiday , or any holiday for that matter is always super exciting and brings something to look forward to. Last Sunday, we set ourselves the challenge of finding and booking a family holiday – our FIRST family holiday. Squeal.

Euan was set the task of finding someplace that we could all enjoy, a place to relax for a week and take that ever important time out together, just the three of us. Now, we usually enjoy a City break and holidays that involve lots of activities and walking however, with a baby in tow this time around we had to keep it tame. We didn’t want to be exploring a big City with a baby quite yet. As much as I am taken by Rome, Budapest and all the popular European destinations, we fought against it and opted for a more sensible approach.

The thought of pushing a stroller through big crowds brings a great deal of anxiety, going to the local shopping center on a busy weekend with a stroller is bad enough. The carnage of a busy City would have been too much and we want to have a holiday that we can enjoy and remember. It will be our first family holiday after all and I am all for making memories.

DSCN0231 Having ruled out a City break and anything too manic we decided to look towards finding a package holiday, someplace suitable for families with facilities for a baby, an all inclusive food package just in case we can’t get out and explore too often and local places to explore. Of course we looked to find a hotel with a good pool and evening entertainment too, I suppose we will be spending the most part of this holiday in a complex, lazing by the pool. Taking our time in no particular rush. Hell, that is fine with me. A break will be so welcome.

 

We researched the typical package holiday destinations; Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Malta, Majorca and finally we came across Paphos; a small harbor town with lots of ancient history in Cyprus. A destination neither of us have been to. Having explored the area online and read up on hotel reviews we took the leap and made our booking. Cyrus had us sold. Paphos, a family friendly area not too far from the airport hitting around 23 degrees in the month of April, not too hot for a baby yet not too cold for us either.

There seems to be much to do in the surrounding areas and a lot of interesting history, if we do get out to explore a little we have a choice of activities to choose from, Turtle bay, Pafos Zoo, visit a local Archaeological park, take a trip to an ancient Monastery. The list goes on therefore we won’t be stuck for choice. I also ensured that there was a local shopping mall close by, who doesn’t love to shop??

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We will be staying at Mayfair Gardens hotel, a three star holiday destination that supplies us with all that we were looking for. We didn’t want glitz and glam, we done all of that back in Vegas at the beginning of the year. We simply wanted a clean hotel in a central location with a good choice of entertainment, a sizable pool and some scenery outwith the complex. Having checked out reviews on trip advisor and holiday sites, it seems most travelers were happy with their stay, that is good enough for me. When it comes to holidays, I don’t make a fuss, I am simply happy to be away from home and taking some time out.

The holiday is set for April 2018, just a little over six months from now and we couldn’t be happier. It is timed perfectly for being away when Euan turns 30 and celebrating the end of my maternity leave from work as I will be due to return to work in May 2018. This holiday is to celebrate 2017 and 2018, there is so much for us to celebrate right now, 2017 has definitely been my year and I only hope that 2018 shapes up to be just as great. Passing my driving test, becoming new parents, getting engaged and Euan reaching the milestone that is 30.. it sure has been a busy one and will continue to be so. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

DSCN0241 Travelling abroad and enduring a five hour flight with an eight month old may be a bit optimistic on our part but people do this all of the time, it cant be that bad, (can it?). Even if we don’t have a great travel experience, it will be something to embrace none the less. We will never get this time back as the three of us and to make the most of each moment and each day as it comes, good and bad, is so important to me, to us. After all each day is a learning experience and we each learn more and more about one another and our baby girl as the weeks go by.

This holiday may be our last for a very long time as I will be back to work and we will be looking to try to save as much as we can for other commitments, it is so important to take what may be our last trip for some time and live it up to the full. I am certainly ready for a week in the sun, taking some well deserved time out with my loves and drinking the ice cold pina coladas that I crave by the pool.

I may not be beach body ready quite yet (or ever again for that matter) but I definitely feel that I will make time pre holiday to squeeze in some all important holiday bikini shopping. An essential to any beach holiday.

 

Eleanor Paisley Ross – Through the lens. Week one.

I have chosen to share some of my favourite photographs of Eleanor in her first week as a newborn. I couldn’t wish for a better baby, what a little gem. Yes, she cries. Yes, I have had sleepless nights but that’s all part of the package and the fun. I couldn’t have wished for a more content baby girl. My little acorn. 

I am completely smitten. 

The first days ♥

Snuggles with Dad ♥

Precious sleepy moments – as rare as they may be! ♥

Approving our engagement (I think) ♥

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I can’t wait to document life with my baby girl, my new best friend and share my experiences, joy and photographs on a regular basis. The highs and lows. The good and the bad.

Family life is going to be an adventure,that is for certain.

 

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Five years of friendship, two years of bliss, one baby and an engagement later..

_20170907_211238.JPGAround five years ago by a chance encounter on my birthday night out, I bumped into Euan who was out on his brothers stag do. Now I don’t recall much details of this night, it was my birthday. I was young, drunk and celebrating. Euan claims he can recall the whole night, much of it spent propping me up to stop me stumbling. My bad.

From that night forward we remained in touch and built a firm friendship online yet never went on to be anything more. We would spend days and evenings chatting on Facebook or texting but didn’t get around to meeting up. A lot of it was down to my reasoning. I didn’t want to be involved with anyone in a romantic way at that stage of my life. I was having too much fun with my friends to care for another. It was silly. Had I taken up the advances sooner, we may have been celebrating a seven year anniversary! Scary.

After several attempts to try to meet up and many conversations, I finally bit the bullet two summers ago and decided to meet for coffee and cake. I was certainly very hungover and not feeling my best, I didn’t know what to expect of the date. We chatted for a few hours and instantly, I knew. From the moment we began to converse to being dropped off back home afterward. I knew that someday we would be married.

Since the first date we were almost inseparable spending as much time together as possible. Weekends were spent going to the cinema, taking our dogs out for long walks to the beach, chilling at each other’s home and generally just enjoying getting to know one another more and more. I think for the first time I was truly at ease in someone else’s presence and felt happy. He made me feel special and continues to do so on a daily basis. Even if I don’t always tell him that. Shh.

After months of dating and relaxing together, we finally got together on September 4th 2015. Euan had just moved into his home and little did I know, I would soon follow. In the March of 2016 on our way to out first holiday together to Tenerife, I was asked to move in. It wasn’t long into our relationship and I was a bit uneasy. I had never lived with a male partner before and didn’t know what was to come of this. However, being with Euan was where I wanted to be and since we spent each day together it seemed right to give it a try. I am so glad that I did and proud of all that we have achieved together since doing so.

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Several holidays were enjoyed. A visit to London to meet friends and attend a star wars convention, a birthday trip to Prague and a valentine trip to LAS VEGAS. (I really am spoiled, unnecessarily too!). We have owned a dog together but that didn’t work out and sadly, we had to say goodbye to Penny as her temprament was just too wild to keep up with and when we found out we had a baby on the way, it was the sensible approach no matter how difficult.

In December 2016 I fell pregnant with our first and only child, Eleanor. It was a time of mixed emotions and feelings. It was testing and hard. I couldn’t get my head around the idea of becoming mum and dad, especially not so soon and I didnt know the pressure that this could put on our relationship. I was so wrong, if anything our relationship became stronger and better. I have never been more loved nor have I been so in love. Getting through a pregnancy and child birth with Euan by my side made me realise how lucky I am to be as fortunate to have someone like him in my life. So compassionate, so kind, loving and gentle. I was, I am in love with my best friend.

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On 31.08.17 at 7.36pm we welcomed our gorgeous little baby girl, Eleanor Paisley Ross into the world. Instantly my heart was full. It was happy tears all around. I am so excited for the future together and family life. I have a feeling it will be pretty great.

The morning of our second anniversary September 4th 2017, four days after our baby was born and two days into settling at home,  I had assumed we would be celebrating quietly at home and enjoy a take away in the evening. I was in for a shocker. Standing half dressed and frizzy haired in the kitchen, desperately trying to cool myself down (breastfeeding is sweaty business), Euan approached me with a sleeping Eleanor in one hand and before I knew it, he was down on one knee and had asked if I would be his wife. EM,  WHAT?

A proposal on our anniversary. I was to be engaged. A fiancée and someday a wife. My heart can’t handle all of this love. I’m hopelessly tired and full of excitement for now and the future. After the good news and a lot of squealing, we decided to take Eleanor to the Registrars and register her birth on our anniversary.

September fourth will now forever remain the most important day of the year, our anniversary and the day we registered our baby girl. Who knows, when the time comes for wedding bells this could be our save the date!

For now, I am going to take it easy. We will take it easy and enjoy the time out we have as a family and getting to know our Eleanor. Already at one week old she is changing daily. Wedding planning is definitely on hold, there is simply too much going on and we are in no rush to walk the aisle. I can’t take any more excitement, I’m all out for now.

What a week it has been and one I will forever hold the closest. I couldn’t be any happier or more in love if I tried. I’m ready for family days building forts, long walks with our dog Fern, playing dress up with Eleanor and bedtime stories.

2017 has been the best year in my life to date and it isn’t over yet. Already I can’t wait for what 2018 has to bring.

Here’s to family life and a whole lot of love.

Keren x