One Year on…

Unsure about posting this as it is a very sensitive subject.

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Around this time a year ago, I got the most shocking phone call ever. My beautiful, sweet and darling Nan had passed away. It was absolutely heartbreaking, and the thought still crushes me. At that exact moment, it felt like the world stood still. I’d lost my Grandad back in 2011, but he was very unwell making it less of a shock. It’s not the first loss I’ve ever felt and it sure will not be my last.

As a way of dealing with my grief, I started a personal project to take a photograph that would depict my feeling’s of loss. I titled this photograph ‘Living with death’ because every day I live with the decay of losing her.

A year, 365 days have passed. My life has changed so much in that year,  many things’s I have not been able to share with her like I never had the joy of showing her around my first house or her seeing Amelia turn 3.

At first, this loss felt like a kick to the floor, and for a while, it was almost impossible to get back up and carry on with my life. It was hard to see my family hurt and not know how to support them. I visited her grave every week for about 3 months trying to find a way to accept her loss. It didn’t feel as if she was gone it felt like I was just waiting for her to come back from one of her holidays. Then I realized that I’d been honouring her death and not her life.

We all have things we wished we had done more of,if it’s spend more time with someone or not have caused that argument. We are human’s we make mistakes, we care too much, we can be selfish and sometimes we forget what’s important…

We are all her living memory, she lived a life full of happiness, joy, and family. Now it is my turn to live and grow as a person, I can use my experiences to learn and try to make something of myself.

I wish I could say the pain went away. But the truth is that it doesn’t, you just learn to live with the pain and carry on. Not everything needs an explanation. Sometimes things just happen, life is complicated. The minute it starts to make sense, something happens to prove you wrong. You have to make the best of a terrible situation. You have experiences that will feel almost impossible to get over but you know you have to.

Make them proud by doing everything you can to make your life better, do what inspires you! Follow your heart! Spend time with your loved ones. Make mistakes and learn from them. Make your own dreams and wishes come true.

Life is so so short, you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.

I love you, so much.  Everyday, you make me smile and you motivate me to do my best for Amelia. I don’t need to see you I feel you in my heart and I know I’m not alone.

With love always…

Blue Planet Aquarium

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I’m not one for loving fish, but they are simple creatures and my daughter quite admires them. This was our first time all together at Blue Planet and I’ve got to say I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting as It must have been at least a decade since I’ve been, but this is up for debate as I’m adamant that we never went.

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We decided to leave early so we could get there when it was not packed as it was a weekend. We packed up all our camera gear and packed lunch the night before. I was not willing to pay extortionate prices for lunch. £2.55 for a bottle of Coke which you find in most public places so I prefer to pack my own.

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Inside the atrium was a sign about children’s height being under 90cm for free access. In my last post I told you my daughter has recently turned 3, she is 93cm. I don’t see why you are paying on height and not age. So if your child is tall like mine then you’re paying.

We wandered slowly around the whole of Blue Planet making sure we looked at everything that is on offer to us and trying to photograph it which proved to be a lot harder than it looked mainly because of the low lighting and shooting through glass. Even though I had this problem I still really enjoyed looking at all of the fish and creatures they had here.

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There was one tank which was open and quite low down. I remember thinking it was a bit like Finding Dory with the kids poking the fish. My daughter had no qualms about this and dunked her hands in and swishing about. Luckily none of these fish ate toddlers or at least they did not eat mine.

It was nice to see Amelia using her VTech Camera I got her for her birthday and taking her own photographs of what she seen. Her favourite was the ‘Baby Froggy’ that she squealed aloud for. They had a room full of frogs and also a room with corn snakes, tarantulas, turtles and even an axolotl.

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We sat and ate our lunch in the Aqua theatre, while we were waiting Amelia got incredibly jealous of anyone who stood near the same fish as her telling them to come back to her. The show we watched was a targeted feed which meant we got to watch Manta Rays get fed and also the regular fish. I thought the show was great they introduced the scuba divers and even explained some equipment that they use on jobs.

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The Manta Rays being fed was my favourite thing, it was amazing to see how they opened their mouth and practically slid a full fish down it. Amelia seemed to enjoy it, when he fed the regular fish he used a squirty bottle with Krill in and it was like a food frenzy was happening. It really was a mesmorizing experience that I am so happy to have watched.

One of the last things we did was go through the underwater tunnel which I found interesting with it only being 6cm of acrylic, The track that you stand on to not walk through was broken so it felt like we were in there for a long time. The fish, sharks and rays were completely going over our heads it was amazing! I did think I was actually underwater for a minute and felt incredibly ill so I can only imagine how real it was for Amelia.

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I bought 3 packs of shark teeth containing 3 teeth in each, a pencil, pen, fridge magnet with a clownfish on and a Manta Ray teddy for Amelia. Which she loved and named Ray (how original). She has a cat named cat, a teddy of course, but still very unique naming process we have going on.

I really enjoyed myself at Blue Planet it was a lovely fun family orientated day out, Amelia was well behaved. James was well behaved even when he was told fish have no eyelids. I’m starting to wonder what school he did not go to.

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Don’t ask why but I sniffed a shark tooth I purchased. It smells of toothpaste… I spent my Sunday evening sniffing a tooth and Googling ‘sharks brushing their teeth’.

I also was very pleased to announce today to Amelia that we are now expecting our own baby froggy’s as I have found frogspawn in the pond in the garden. Our very own army of tadpoles so we shall see.DSC_0017-2.jpg

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Alice in Wonderland 3rd Birthday Party

I hosted my very first tea party for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. As this was my first ever children’s party, I tried to do it on a budget and also almost everything was handmade/DIY not all by myself but with help from my family and friends. I was very very stressed about the build-up to this party. I’ve never done anything like this before and all the more reason too when I’m finally in my own house. I had so many deliveries coming and I felt like I was waking up early to open my packages, I found a lollypop inside a parcel which I’m still not sure is actually a lolly pop.

I decided to do an Alice in Wonderland themed party as I got bought the book in 2016 read and loved it, I watched both the Disney (1951) and (2010) this year. I fell in love with this story and I believe to see a bit of Alice in not only myself but also in my daughter. She is the Alice to my Wonderland.

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The White Rabbit drew by my mother, welcoming you into the dining room which I transformed into Wonderland. This was the best thing that has ever happened to my dining room as it is hardly ever used and there’s only a table, chairs and a couch in it. For people who cannot draw you could always trace the characters to create cheap and handmade decorations for a party. My mother is amazing at drawing and occasionally I can draw but those genes are not recessive.

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Talking doorknob from Alice in Wonderland – I made this myself with inspiration from this pin I found on Pinterest, I don’t have a printer so I just had to try judge my own measurements and try to adjust it as I don’t have any handles in my house which are knobs. I also used googly eyes instead of drawing them, as I have a bit of an obsession with them. I own 1,800 of them but that’s a story for another day.

 

 

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I got the 5ft Backdrop from an Amazon company named Dazzle The Party Store and the dangling hats and teapots from an Amazon company named parties2amaze. They were really funky and transformed the room into the Wonderland I hoped for. Luckily for me, my boyfriend is tall and white tac works wonders otherwise these would not have made it onto the walls.

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I tried to wear this as an actual hat throughout the day by bouncing underneath it and making it rest on my head. I am the mad hatter. I also wanted to stretch it over to the Mad Hatter Drawing so he was wearing a hat. I like to think I’m funny but I make myself laugh.

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I have an open plan dining room which leads into the office which I wanted to block off so I bought a pack of cheap cards, with the idea to hang cards to create a door curtain with them so this is what I and my friend came out with. All you need is a hole punch, some chunky string, a pack of cards and a willing friend (victim) to help you. This was actually made the day of the party as it goes we didn’t have a hole punch so it was very last minute but I think the result was quite good.

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My amazing friend made these beautiful flowers and tried to recreate a scene from the original (1951) film. Here is a link to how to make your own https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K34F_-R-Uk and some accompanying music to go with it.

We’re painting the roses red…

 

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To decorate my table I used my Lewis Carol Alice book, a glass I bought from The Works, little eat me and drink me bottles I had made, Heart Confetti and a checked tablecloth I got off Amazon. Looking at the checkered tablecloth made my eyes go funny and I still have a headache, I was worried about it not fitting the table as it did not have dimensions.

 

 

I made my own cupcakes very easily using a simple cupcake recipe on BBC website, I added cocoa powder to make them a bit more flavoured rather than the plain sponge and decorated them with handmade cupcake toppers I had made. Turns out I’m not great at piping which meant my icing had to be spread on. I forgot that you need to stir the icing before putting in the piping bag otherwise you have made cement.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/cupcakes_93722

 

 

My first Birthday Tea party was a fantastic day with memories we will have forever. Amelia had a fantastic day playing with her friend, playing pin the tail on the white rabbit, blowing bubbles, dancing and most of all eating food. Even the dog seemed to enjoy the party especially the bubbles.

Not once did I ask someone if they wanted a drink? Maybe I’m not a great hostess but I made a good Wonderland in a singular room and that’s pretty much the same thing? I made party bag’s I didn’t even give out, so that was a waste of time. I spent 20 minutes blowing up balloons that I forgot to even bring into the dining room, they are currently congregating under my living room table as I write this.

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Amelia’s dress was also handmade by my mother, which is just fantastic. The birthday cake was made by a friend, I don’t think I could have stuck any more candles on it if I’d tried then I thought I had spelled it wrong. I was carrying the cake into my daughter and I’m mentally telling myself don’t drop this cake on your child’s head, I was wondering why I had been left in charge of this task as I have no coordination whatsoever. I’m walking in, everyone is singing, the candles are starting to go out and I knew then, there was no turning back, I was in way too deep. I could not have made this happen without all these fantastic people who helped contribute towards Amelia’s big day.

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Isn’t she beautiful? Bit cheesy? Sorry, she melts my heart.

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To conclude the day my daughter got to sing and dance with Elsa. I have never seen her so happy, completely in her element. I cried when she turned to me and said ‘Mummy, Elsa is in my house’ it was very overwhelming for me. For those of you who have noticed, my daughter is not in her costume because she had an accident…

I’m so happy with the results of this tea party which felt like a college project. I’m still waiting on a delivery of a Cheshire Cat who decided not to arrive on time. Where are you? You’re late, You’re late for a very important date.

I hope this post has helped anyone trying to plan a party on a budget or even just to help give inspiration. Please share, comment and browse through my other blog posts!

Winter Wonderland in February

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Anyone with a child around the same age as mine will understand the Frozen obsession, Amelia loves frozen, she loves the snow in it, the ice, the snowmen etc. Finally my little girl got to live that experience, living in England we don’t get a lot of it. It was such a lovely surprise to wake up to see the snowy scene of my front garden. I told James he was lying to me and I was not getting out of bed, how wrong I was.

Bedroom window view of the snow

As I’ve mentioned previously I have a Siberian Husky who is now 9 years old called Katushka. She has seen snow before but I wonder how many more she will see. The first thing she did was make yellow snow. Not quite the Disney reaction I had in mind. I wanted her to prance and gallop in it. I guess shes too old for that now. Even still my first baby makes a beautiful model.

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It was the best surprise of all for Amelia, we got to open the curtains in a very dramatic reveal, I have never seen her so excited to go out, she didnt even want to eat her breakfast. She threw snowballs at us, fell over once but she was just so estatic. We came inside and she begged to take the dog out. She doesn’t even bother with Tishka she just didn’t want to stay in. While she was out she did start singing “Let it Go” and enthusiastically waving her arms and romping round like Elsa. I can only imagine the magic and joy that her imagination was running wild within herself.

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All that Joy and Happiness which was conveyed through the most angelic of smiles. She was constantly beaming from ear to ear! watching your baby, somebody who you care so deeply about get so much joy is one of lifes greatest moments. We all converted back to children, it was definitely one of our best experiences together so far.

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We are the youngest in my road, it made me very pleased when I saw the neighbour smile to us when she saw us all running around mad in the garden. It may seem dull to some but this was one of our firsts. Our first snow experience and I’m glad that it was spent in our first house together.

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I hope you have enjoyed this short post, please share and feel free to comment with your magical winter experience.