Tag Archives: lifestyle

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.

Cullen beach.

Last weekend, stumped for what to do with the nice weather but keen to explore we racked our brains for a baby friendly activity to follow through. Something new but fun, easily accessible yet an adventure for the family. Euan came to decide we would take a drive out to Moray and head for Cullen beach.

Loaded into the car, take away coffees at hand, we were set for the two hour drive to the beach and ready to have a day of fun. Eleanor slept the duration of the car ride and we played music whilst chatting away. A nice little break in all honesty, and having the time to just sit back and chill was pretty good.

IMG_20180728_192820_642.jpgNot to mention the lovely sights on the drive, out past the shire everything seems much more scenic. The homes are idyllic, landscapes are heavenly and the air seems so fresh. If it wasn’t that bit too far out I’d consider a move out that side of town,so much to offer and a whole lot of peace from the City hustle.

We made our way to Cullen and parked up at the golf club. I’d never been before, not even as a child but had only heard good things. A small town but absolutely perfect, many beautiful sights to take in, a small town square filled with old antique stores and cafes, let’s not forget the beach either.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0249.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR0250.JPGThere was a wee carnival down by the beach but it wasn’t much of anything really, a small ride for children and a game of hook a duck situated beside a bouncy castle. Fine for bugger children but not really age appropriate for a baby (an excuse to return over the Summers to come). To begin, we sat down for a drink outdoor at the golf club and soaked in the rays while Eleanor had a snack.

A beach walk followed. Eleanor wasn’t in the best of moods, with teething and being hungry for her milk, she was a little grizzly. Euan carried her in the sling and we walked along the beach, playing with the gopro looking to get some action shots. I always forget we have the gopro and have been really trying to remember to carry it with us when we head out for family day trips, to capture all of the moments.

I stopped by some rocks and breastfed Eleanor by the sea, a safe distance from the tide though, don’t worry. Euan hunted for rocks and treasures while waiting. I enjoyed nursing my baby by the sea, I’m aware the days of nursing are over and that as she grows her interest is no longer dedicated solely to nursing. Moving around, playing and exploring new food is all the more exciting and fun.

GOPR0274_1532181371434_high.JPGI’m keen to bask on the last precious months of our breastfeeding journey before it comes to an end and a new journey begins. This means feeding wherever and whenever necessary and reeling in with the moments. I love holding her wee hand as she feeds, petting her head and running my hands through her golden hair,watching her expression and waiting for the drowsiness and sleep to cast a spell over her. Everything about breastfeeding, I love but I’ll explore in detail later, for now I’m all about sharing some beachy snaps.

We let Eleanor drop her toes to the sand but she wasn’t so convinced and would keep throwing her legs up to get them out from the sand, the texture must have put her off. We played and acted silly along the beach front and took on the views together. A chilled out day where we went at our own pace and enjoyed the company and rare summer weather.

As I said, we took the gopro and got some snaps at the beach before heading for a news around the carnival and the town centre. We didn’t leave with much, not even an ice cream.. the queue was out the door which with a baby is not ideal as they don’t really have the patience to wait, not even for ice cream. OK, OK, you got me, I don’t have the patience more like, I’ll stop blaming things on Eleanor, that’s a bit naughty but totally acceptable.

GOPR0254_1532181506838_high.JPGWe left with happy memories and satisfaction from a good day as a family. I can tell you, I absolutely went to bed with a smile on my face that evening, nothing but love for my little family and this life we work through together. I’m  happy that I get to explore and adventure with my two best friends in the world and that together, we relish in taking time out and getting out into the open, taking in a good dose of fresh air while surrounded by great views.

I love nothing more than to be active and outdoors, I hope that this healthy lifestyle will be reflected onto my baby girl and that she will appreciate that life isn’t just about ipads and mobile phones, there’s so much out there to explore that doesn’t always mean from the comfort of through a screen. There is so much more to life and living than any lens can provide you with. Here’s to many more beachy days and family trips, adventuring the unknown together. Hope that everyone is having a lovely Summer time.

 

Keren x

Dad’s day off. Trip to Camperdown wildlife park.

Hey guys! A busy spell over here with us so I thought I’d share a little of what we have been up to. On Thursday, Euan had a day off so we were up and out at 7am ,ready to adventure on a day trip down to Dundee and hit the animal park at Camper down.

DCIM100GOPROG0040237.JPGI’d not been for years and we have rare opportunities to do such activities during the week with Euan working, it’s just too busy. Sure to make the most of a sunny day, we set about with a plan and followed through.

We arrived in Dundee early, before 9am, and took advantage of a wee browse around the local shopping centre. Or at least I did, I left with a second set of ear lobe piercings.. talk about inpromptu. I blame a mum life crisis if that’s such a thing? Anyway, we grabbed picnic style snacks, some food for Eleanor and headed off to the park around 11AM.

The sun was out, the park was busy and the animals were out to play for the best part. We had the gopro set and ready to go, to capture any moments from the day. Waltzing around the park with Eleanor in her dad’s arms, watching all of the animals in their daily life was quite nice. A chilled out day going at a pace of our own and making me ever grateful for the little family that I call my own and everyday life.

GOPR0243_1532027445953_high.JPGEleanor wasn’t fully aware of all that was going on but she did enjoy watching some of the wild birds and the bears having a bath in the sun. I was quite impressed with the park, small and nothing crazy going on but enough to make the most of your time there. With it being a nice day, we took a slow jaunt around and stopped to look for the wild animals.

Come 2pm we decided to head back home and walk our dog Fern into the centre to grab an ice cream. It is of course so crucial to make the most of the nice weather back here when we have it and ice cream is never a bad idea.

A scoop of blueberry panna cotta for Euan and cookies n cream for Eleanor and I to share. My baby loves ice cream, in fact, her favourite word right now seems to be “Mmm”  a foodie in the making with a definite love for anything sweet. Definitely takes after myself with the food department for now, so long as she picks up a love for pizza and Hallomi we are onto a winner.

Back home, we sat down to a glass of wine and some chill time before preparing for the working day ahead. It’s nice to take a day off together and utilise as a family day now and again as time flies so fast, these moments are precious and not to be wasted. Family is the best part of my life and to take time out together makes my heart so fuzzy and full, I just love it.

G0030235_1532027445953_high.JPGBesides, what is better than watching your Husband (to be) play and interact with your baby? It’s just too bloody special.

I hope that you guys are all good. Does anyone have any ideas of family activities with a small child? Particularly outdoors, as we just love to get up and get out.

 

Keren x

 

Life in the fast lane.

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Right, hello you bunch. I’m going to get real in this blog post and share what’s been going on with family life the past few weeks, there’s a lot to get through and I must admit, I’ve been having quite the time of it all lately, a time that has been overwhelming and most definitely stressful. My patience tested and my sanity questioned. Wait, what sanity?

Why is it that everything comes at once? It seems the past two years have been non stop, from passing my driving test, to a pregnancy, becoming a Mother, an engagement and now a move? I laugh that we have done this all in the wrong order, we are all muddled up with our relationship path and direction. Finally, it’s all coming together but the thing is, how much longer can before I burn out?

Trying to find the balance between being a working mother and spending enough time with not just Eleanor but with my partner too all while trying to keep up appearances with my family and friends can really be a great challenge. With Eleanor being so young and demanding such full on attention, I hardly have time with my partner, never mind any self time to just sit back and relax for a minute. If im not chasing after her every move, I’m trying to settle the constant wails of the dreaded teething. It’s tough, nothing really prepares you for welcoming a child Into the world and the challenges you face can get to be too much from time to time.

I amaze myself with how many times I have to repeat in a day “mummy just needs a minute” as I try to unload the dishwasher or give myself heartburn from having to shovel lunch into my mouth so fast. Yes, life with a baby really is life changing, believe it or not, it is true what they say. Even now, ten months on, I find a new struggle with every waking day. There is no day off, but would I have it any other way? Of course not. This is life now, and no matter how tired, how stressed and how unglamorous, I am living my best life with the people that I love.

Long gone are the weekends spent at the pub with friends or the endless shopping trips with my Mum or even just taking some time to enjoy a hot bath and a wine. Life has turned upside down and unfortunately time doesn’t wait for nobody. There is no catching up, all stations are go and on a 24/7 basis.

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Onwards and upwards though, and I’d not have it any other way. I mean, as much as I’d like to belive that I miss the partying, the friends that would come and go and the tireless walking around the shops I don’t miss it. Not for a minute would I change my situation, I can’t imagine ever not having my Eleanor, life before her was non exist ant. Sure, there are parts I’d do differently but that’s all part of learning and the journey into Womanhood, into Motherhood and my past mistakes make me grow to be stronger than ever and rise above issues (or crumble to the ground in a pile of tears – depending on the hormones).

With some further exciting news, the past week in our household has been filled with excitement, nerves and anxiety. We have recently received word of our application to rent a new property going through and depending on the status we take after a viewing we can move immediately. The property has two bedrooms, a balcony, and en suite. It provides us with the extra space that we need for our family right now all while being secure tenancy which means we can move without the worry of being left on the street at any time. The properties are not far from where we call home and ideal for a utilising as a family home for the future. Though not a forever home, it provides us with the steps we must take to get to that stage all while it buys us time to save and time to grow.

With the idea of a move to a family home, a fresh start all very exciting and new, it does bring a great deal of sadness and anxiety. I mean it’s great, yes and it is what we were working towards, only we thought we would have more time on our side. Walker Road has provided us with so many good times, it will be very hard to part ways but with everything in life, you have to move on and grow. It’s time for our family to grow into a new home, start over with a new chapter and really embrace those precious family moments.

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The surrounding buildings are full of families which will be great for bonding and making friends, Eleanor can grow up with children her own age around and can have the space she needs to express herself and play. There is a play park and a spacious area of grass where Fern can run around and play too. The homes look direct onto the river, a phenomenal view on a blue skied day. Everything we could want, need and more is in the palm of our hands, when we can let go of now and move on to a better future, I think our quality of life will greatly improve. After all, they say that change is good.

It is a busy time, but we can get through it together. A move, our babies first birthday, our wedding and honeymoon all coming in before the Autumn months arrive, time will fly. I have returned to work part time to get a break and to enjoy some adult company, to be my own person a few hours in a week, only it seems I’ve ended up with less time than I’ve ever had before and a lot less unsure of the person that I am. Go figure?

With all the nerves and the excitement, the fear of change and the huge lifestyle choices we have had to make, it really can become overwhelming and I’m looking for ways to still grab some time out for myself while I can, before I do lose my mind.

A coffee trip to mull over my thoughts alone, light breathing work to try to stay calm and practicing some basic yoga moves to stay focused and remember to remain positive in every situation, no matter how exhausting or stressful. To have a calm and a clear mind will always be better than having a mind filled with a tangled mess or worries, fears and stresses.

I do struggle to remember to breathe with all the crazy sometimes but I’m trying to remember to focus and keep a clear mind as with this busy period in mind, a clear head to think and a positive outlook is all very important. I like to reflect good vibes for myself which keeps my spirits up and can be especially good for Eleanor to pick up on.

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A busy time for sure but with the move becoming finalised, the wedding done and dusted, I’d like to believe we can move on as a family and work toward a better future for ourselves with time. Together we are able to do whatever we put our minds too and there is no right or wrong direction. We are going to go with the flow that life drives us in and to see the future with an open mind.

aaaand, breathe.

Tell me, how do you relax when times become all too much?

Keren x

Sunday at Scolty.

Not such a bright and sunny morning though sure to make the most of it, Sunday moring and we woke early, got ready and headed out to Banchory for a trek up Scolty hill. How come it is never the weather you want when you make plans? Typical Scottish Summer.

Fern and Eleanor were in tow, we got all loaded in the car and hit the road around 930AM, set for the day. I’m back at work now so family time is even more important. Keeping active and being outdoors is something we can all enjoy and allows Fern to have a good run. It makes sense to get out and have some scenic walks.

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I’ll keep this post short and to the point. We hiked up Scolty taking around two hours with one stop mid way up the hill to feed Eleanor and take a breather. Euan was carrying her on his back so it takes toll on the shoulders an extra 7kg, believe it or not. Yep, our baby is not such a wee baby any more.

We made it to the top without much fuss, other than slight grumping from Eleanor as she was hungry and Teething.. not a great combination, I’m sure every parent out there will know. Fern loved the walk and all the scents, she was bounding around the fields and scrambling around. I couldn’t keep up, my stamina just doesn’t match a Springer Spaniel.

The nature was lovely, there was so much to see and take in. The plants, the flowers, so much colour even on a dull day. I really do love the outdoors, fresh air is the best medicine,good views are an added bonus.

Once at the top, we didn’t hang about as Eleanor was a bit restless by this point so we headed back down the hill and the rocky steps making animal noises and all sorts of crazy talk to entertain and distract Eleanor which kept the tears at bay. Who knew a simple ‘neigh’ could bring so much joy?

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Back at the car, I gave Eleanor a small feed to satisfy her and we headed back home. A busy morning but a great way to spend a Sunday. A dose of fresh air and spectacular views to take in with the family is quite special.

Off to make a vegetarian moussakka and enjoy the afternoon with my gruesome twosome. I’m sure we will find some chaos along the way. Hope you enjoy my images from our walk.

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Happy Sunday.

Cinebabies.

What is there to do on Saturday morning with a baby? Well, turns out, a lot. For example, a trip to the cinema for a baby friendly screening. On this occasion to see the Star Wars, Han Solo installment.

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Yep, you read that correct. My nine month old had her first trip to the cinema at 10AM this morning (I’m amazed we made it). I think the selling part may have been the popcorn for Euan. As both avid cinema fans, when we heard that a baby screening was to be going ahead, we booked up right away. If we can holiday with a baby, surely we can go to watch a movie? Brilliant.

There was a whole bunch of excitement, firstly to catch the next Star Wars and secondly, to take Eleanor along with us and experience the big screen first hand. We got up and sorted, had breakfast and headed out on a sunny walk to the cinema. I grabbed a coffee for the road of couse, fuel as I like to call it these days. Without coffee, I’m nothing. Good old cuppa Joe.

Not over sure how the experience would be, I fully expected to be upping and leaving soon after entering the screen. I was fully equipped for a disaster of sorts, prepared the baby bag with snacks and a spare change (you never know). As a new Mum, I find I do often over plan and over think, I worry and I stress over every situation. Big or small..I’m working on it.

The cinema was full helpful and friendly staff, there was a Pram drop off point and we were reassured that breastfeeding is okay and that the atmosphere was relaxed. Almost too relaxed, at one stage I was near asleep. There were several families and young babies.

I won’t lie about how much of the movie I did or didn’t see, but I can say that I got to at least sit down and watch the screen for the full movie duration, something which doesn’t often happen at home. It was nice to feel comfortable and at home on a trip out, this is something that can often be stressful on any given day with a young baby. I felt totally at ease at the cinema and had a joyful experience. All three of us did.

The Han Solo movie is probably my favourite of the Star Wars bunch to date. I watched it happily and even found room for a little laughter here and there, I missed the start due to tending to Eleanor but it wasn’t too big a deal and caught up easily a short while later. The babies were better behaved that any regular screen and there were little interruptions. Some babies were roaming around with parents, some sat on the floor and played and some much alike Eleanor, fell asleep on parents laps.

The atmosphere was very much chilled out, you wouldn’t ever imagine a cinema screen full of babies as calm, huh? Oddly, it was super chilled out and the relaxed feel made you feel at home and at ease. There was no pressure and as a parent, it was nice to get some time back in a day to enjoy a past time of ours with our baby.

I hope to return again soon for another cinema experience with the baby club. I’ll ensure Euan keeps a tab on what’s coming out and when there will be showings. Prior to Eleanor’s arrival, we spent much time at the cinema and I’m keen to enjoy family days out to see a movie, a good bonding experience and the cinema snacks are always welcome at any time of day for that matter. Early morning ice cream? Why not?

Have a lovely weekend, I’m off to enjoy some sun and family time. Winding down before my return to work. Stuck for things to do with a baby? Need to get out? Check your local cinema for baby screenings. I can happily say the experience was great and I will be returning.

 

Keren x

 

A change of heart.

First of all, I’ll apologise for my lack of prescene online. With a growing baby  demand for my full attention at all times has become a first priority. Eleanor is now on the move, vocal and ahaving a spell of nap refusal. We have 5AM wake ups and 8PM bed times. I began a book way back in March and I don’t think I’m half way through as of yet, it’s terrible. Call it laziness, call it busy, exhaustion, whatever you like.

The point is, I have so little time to think right now, I don’t have the spare time to blog,when I do get that minute peace, I nap because frankly, it’s the only hope of a good kip. An active and demanding baby and an active family life has left myself with little free time to blog or even concentrate for that matter.

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I return to work in a few short weeks and my priorities right now are making the most of this time out in the sunshine, playing at the park and being with my baby. I’ll never get this time back, my blog can take a back seat. I think that’s fair? Anyway, as I mentioned, I’d keep you all in the know with any wedding plans and change, so here I am, posting about a change of dress as Eleanor has a feed.

I was set, good to go. A white dress, inexpensive, drop hem, little lace.. It was perfect..until it wasn’t. With the Wedding drawing close and free time running low, I was on a tight time scale and budget to find the dress for me. Sure, the white was lovely but I’ll stats that say for a Summer day. It wasn’t right to wed in, it’s just not enough of me, it was much too ‘safe’, and I’d hate to look back and think I wish I’d worn another dress. Scrolling online, I came across the perfect dress. It would have been wrong not to try it on for size. As the title of this blog implies, I had a change of heart. It was instant.

The Friday afternoon that it arrived, I was ecstatic. I didn’t expect it to fit so well or look as it did but its just right. I’m sorry option one, in the closet you go. This dress is to die for, a cowl neck, a slinky material that hugs all the right places made from my favourite material. Modest in length (longer than the first) and my favourite colour. Correct I’m not wearing white on my wedding away. The accessories I have match perfectly and I have a faux stole coming my way to finish my look off. I’m hoping for an old school, glamour look. A little modern take on a vintage bride. Birdcage veil included.

With mention of the birdcage veil, I’m still unsure of a hairstyle? I think a ballerina bun, scraped back from my face and held high. Classic and simple yet practical with a small baby who tugs at my hair and face non stop. Right now. I’m unsure wether to incorporate a braid for some modernism or to just let my hair hang loose in beach style waves with the veil draped down my face? I have some time to play around and an appointment with the hairdresser on the day on my wedding to get my favoured style put in place.

I have collected some little accessories here and there. Vintage Bobby pins, a blue brooch to fit the something blue trend, a garter hand made from Etsy by the most lovely lady and some small rhinestones which I’m not quite sure what to do with yet! I’ll find a use though, my Mum said you can’t have too much sparkle on your wedding day and I’m going with that. Although she returned her dress as she claimed it was too much sparkle for a day time..

Euan and I have a photographer booked tnow too, something we weren’t originally going to opt for but with only having one wedding day in your life time to gtt it right and have it just as you would dream it, we decided to go with a local woman who took beautiful images of Eleanor back at the beginning of the year. It seemed only right to re book with Eni, and to remain an intimate ceremony and celebration. I’ll be grateful to look back on our Wedding photographs come years and cherish all of the memories, especially of Eleanor being with us.

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(I think she is feeling as excited as I am for the big day when Mummy and Daddy get married, don’t you?)

We are set to meet the coordinator at the hotel reception on June 3rd before I return to work and get all of our plans, table set up and decorations in place. I’ve got all the little bits and bobs that we will use to decorate the room, now just to hand over the supplies and get the menu’s down to a tee for the big day.

I’m real excited as time reals in on us. I can’t wait to have a lovely day with my love, my baby and our close family and friends. I’m so happy with how our plans and ideas are taking shape, my dress and whole look has come together on a whim and how small and intimate we have kept the day in general. Now just to wait for the day to come around and seal the deal. How did you spend your Wedding day? Has anyone had a fiasco with a Wedding dress last minute?

Keren x