50 things that make me happy… by a toddler

50 things that make me happy…
…by a toddler.

Dear Mummy, I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently. What really makes me happy as a toddler? It’s not the same as an adult surely? I have no real concept of money, status or power. I’m sure my mummy’s list would differ greatly to mine?

Thank you to PickingUpToys for tagging me for the 50 Happy Things challenge! There are lots of people participating in this at the moment so I hope you like getting to know me a bit better 🙂

So here’s my list of 50 things that make me happy is a simple list of things that bring pleasure to my day.

1) My Daddy and Mummy (obviously!).

2) My Grandparents.

3) Sunshine and dry weather.

4) The outdoors and getting fresh air.

5) Puddle jumping with wellies on.

6) Kiss chase with the boys at nursery. (shhh don’t tell daddy! He’ll have them shot!)

7) Cake (like in my #Betterwithcake post – see the video for a giggle).

8) Disney’s Frozen (I love signing “legit goooooooo, legit goooooooo”).

9) The Gruffalo and anything to do with the Gruffalo.

10) My Dollies (I like putting them to sleep and saying Shhhhhh).

11) My sleep (I think this brings more pleasure to my mummy than me!).

12) Bananas.

13) Grapes (only the red ones).

14) Hats.

15) My plastic motorcycle (broom broom).

16) Turtle (I hope we’re not drifting apart!).

17) Making tea.

18) Reading books.

19) Gurgle Magazine.

20) Turning the radio on and dancing.

21) Feeding crisps into the DVD player.

22) Taking “selfies” with mummy’s phone when she’s not looking.

23) Blowing kisses.

24) Giving hugs to everyone…even strangers on the street. If they ask – they get!

25) Watching Mr Tumble and his spotty bag.

26) Drinking my bottle.

27) Sucking my thumb.

28) Making trumpet noises when sucking my thumb.

29) Bear.

30) Gizzy my cat.

31) Messy play and handprints.

32) Red berries nicked from my mummy’s Special K.

33) Stealing toilet roll.

34) Trying to wipe my mummy’s bum while she’s on the loo (I’m a bit of a stalker).

35) Exposing my tummy.

36) The National Trust (They’ve been there every step of the way on our adventures).

37) Car snoozes

38) Throwing myself off the sofa or anything that gives my mummy a heart attack.

39) My mummy’s nail varnish collection which I have been secretly eyeing up when she’s not looking.

40) Those iddy biddy marshmallows which my mummy puts on her hot chocolate, they taste yummy.

41) Pulling faces (I’ve only just learnt how to do this from daddy).

42) Stickers! What kid doesn’t love stickers??

43) Stars (ok, so they are fake stars on my ceiling but don’t tell my mummy I know that, right?).

44) Crayons – I like to stick them in my ear.

45) Happyland characters – I like to stick them in my ear.

46) Hide and Seek.

47) My bouncy chair in my nursery.

48) Tickles from Daddy.

49) Airplane with Grandpa.

50) My own space…well I am a toddler after all.

Love Bella x

Check back next week to see what my mummy’s list looks like….I wonder how different it’ll be to mine?

Mamaduckquacks

The FiBs 2015 #freshvoice

The FiBs 2015

Dear mummy, so where was I before I got engulfed by all this BiBs 2015 Awards malarkey? All the razzle dazzle made me take my eye off the ball and I got sucked in thinking I could compete in this popularity contest. Oh yes Blogging. Blogging for me and blogging for us.

What’s occurred to me is that mummy bloggers stick together. The awards were announced 3 weeks ago and the knives are out and the pressure is on. Friends have voted for friends. Circle and Linky partners have voted for each other and suddenly the little voices are left out in the cold. However I’m not bitter, just relieved.

One of my sensible tweeters helped me see the error of my ways just two days into the voting. Half way though drumming up votes on my Twitter DM campaign trail, she stopped me in my tracks – and left the conversation. Oh dear mummy….have we upset her. Damn it.

Blogging should be FUN, and not a popularity contest to see who gets the most votes for a contest that is probably rigged anyway. We risked losing the only friends we had on Twitter by doing a stupid ‘please vote for us’ plea.

Never again.

Why do you need an award anyway for doing what you do eh? Pfff.

I told my mummy this last night. I also agreed to make her an award of my own. So today I presented it to her.

BiBs2015It’s called the FiB ‘Fantastic in Blogging’ it might be a lie, as we know my mummy isn’t THAT great, but what it does demonstrate to her is that she is FANTASTIC anyway for doing what she does.

So…bloggers that don’t get through to the stages of the BiBs2015…maybe make your own FiB. You owe it to yourself 😉

Lots of love Bella x

Mummascribbles

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My Life As A Mummy

A quick Easter craft from TIGER!

A quick Easter craft from TIGER!

Dear mummy, on a recent trip into town you stumbled upon a shop called TIGER. It’s like a smaller version of IKEA and has quirky items that you would expect from a Denmark brand. It’s been open since 2005 and the first store opened in the UK in our town, Basingstoke. We feel very privileged mummy! 😉

They have a constantly changing seasonable stock. Which is great for picking up Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter and Halloween inspired gifts. It’s very cheap too. Last year we picked up a teepee tent for £10! They have a great range of outdoor toys and activities on offer at the moment. Everything is priced in whole pounds which makes it easier to shop with a toddler without having to wait for loads of loose change at the tills. TIGER have really pulled their socks up and are stocking their shelves with some really great stuff. My mummy could buy the whole store!

Here’s our top picks from TIGER this Easter.

TIGER-gifts

Today my mummy has been drawn in by the Easter inspired gifts and home-wear. She loves all the spring pastel colours, chicks and rabbits. As she enters the store, she picks up a basket and already is cooing over strange and usual items. Do you really need that brown bunny rabbit mummy?!?

My mummy picked up a cute cheap activity for us to do together as a family.

TIGER shop Easter crafts

It’s a mini Easter Egg DIY decorating kit. They are hard polystyrene eggs with a smooth egg-shell type finish. They do look and feel like real eggs! Eggmazing!

You bought a pack of 4 for £2 and they come with 4 different coloured felt tips and some little ribbon to hang them with.

Easter Crafts at TIGERWe spend a good 30 minutes quietly sitting and decoration these little eggs.

We colour in the pre-printed designs of little birds and plants. A nice clean craft, however I did manage to get pen all over my hands and tried to eat them, so adult supervision at all times is a necessity.

Easter Egg Crafts at TIGERTAH DAH! We hope you like our decorated Easter Eggs! A cool alternative to chocolate eggs this Easter 🙂

Love Bella x

Mini Creations
We're going on an adventure

Working nine to five

My mummy’s decision to go back to work.

Dear mummy, one of the questions you get asked a lot from other parents is why you chose to go back to work after you had me.

My family Dear Mummy BlogI often ask this question myself too, why would anyone want to leave sweet ol’ me?

Your decision has been an easy one to make, which is probably surprising to hear for a lot of parents. You love your work.

My mummy designingYou are a graphic designer and have a huge passion for what you do, yes you could probably work from home freelance, but you love the buzz of the studio and get on really well with your colleagues. I know you would go stir crazy at home trying to entertain me and keep me fulfilled all the time. It’s important that parents have their own space and don’t lose their identities. In addition both mummy and I also have the love and support of my daddy, who also works full time.

The nice thing about going back to work is that you keep your foot in the door, as well. Flexible working is increasing in the workplace and it’s common for parents to come back to work after having a child on a part-time or flexible working contract. My mummy works compressed hours, which means that she works full-time hours (5days) in 4 days. It means the days are very long, but she gets to have every Monday off with me so we can spend long weekends together. You want to get the work life balance right, and I think you are there. 3 full days with my family and 4 days in nursery. The great thing about nursery is that I get to interact with other kids, adults and get to explore the big wide world on my own. I’ve become more independent, social and less clingy. I’ve made new friends and learnt new things. On the flip side my mummy has also learnt new things and made new friends while she’s at work. There is no break in her career CV and she is earning her own money to spend on me and help contribute to household bills. Nursery can be expensive and a lot of her salary goes on nursery fees, but the experiences and education far outway that.

My mummy and meShe picks me up from nursery and we’re both babbling away sharing our days. The only downside is that my mummy doesn’t get to see the small things that make up my day, and sometimes she feels she is missing out. Nursery is very good with filling in the gaps with a diary and photos of me.

I don’t think a SAHM (stay at home mum) lifestyle is on the cards for my mummy and right now our family/work time balance is just right. She even has time to blog about our adventures too http://www.dearmummyblog.com

Going back to work can be hard and daunting, and it’s nice to spend all your time with your children, however some parents don’t have a choice and need to earn money to help their families. Would my mummy go back in time and not go back to work? No. She’s made the best choice for me, her family and her.

Bella x

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Visiting Kingston Lacy, National Trust

Visiting Kingston Lacy, National Trust, Dorset.

January 19, 2015.

Dear mummy, this week we headed across the county border into Dorset to visit to Kingston Lacy.

Kingston Lacy National TrustKingston Lacy is a Grade 1 listed country house and estate owned by the National Trust. It’s just on the other side of the quaint Wimborne Minster, off the A31, past Ringwood and the New Forest.

It’s a bright and sunny day so we decide to brave the cold and go on an hour journey down the motorway and into the countryside.

We nearly get lost heading to Poole (which wouldn’t be a bad thing as we quite like the coast and the beach) after doubling back a couple of times we finally find Kingston Lacy.

Huge imposing gates and a long drive lead into the car park right next to the entrance to the visitors reception.

With plenty of space to park, we bundle everything into the buggy (warm clothes, wellies, rucksack, camera and changing bag etc) and head into the estate. The entrance doors are narrow and we have trouble getting the buggy through. We have to get help entering the visitors reception and this is the first hurdle of the day.

Kingston Lacy National Trust 2It doesn’t help that mummy is on her own with a troublesome toddler making mischief – the sun is a blessing on this cold day but also a curse.

It hurts my eyes and I winge all the way to the main house, my mummy tries to walk against the low sun in the sky but it still bothers me.

Finally, I’m let off the rein onto the grass where I have a really good run around, tripping over my own feet in excitement and covering myself in mud.

It seems quiet but then again it is midweek. There are only older couples waking around the estate and I destroy all the peace and quiet with my laughing and shouting.

In fact my shenanigans draw so much attention that people start to walk the other way!! However it does draw some interest in the form of a friendly black cat. He runs over from the main house to give us a big leg rub.

Kingston-Lacy-ReviewWe follow him to the little gardens, past the ancient 6.5m-high obelisk and he mysteriously disappears. Hmmmmm spooky…..We explore the Kitchen Garden and the Japanese Garden.

Unfortunately Lime Walk is closed today, so we miss the carpet of Snowdrops. However, we do see lots of Snowdrops poking out of the brown soil in and around the woods.

We play on the South Lawn and then head into the cafe to warm up with a cuppa.

Hurdle number 2. Doors aren’t wide in the cafe area and a lot of the seating has been sectioned off for NT staff training. So we are squished in this barn/stable style cafe with wonky cobbled floors and chairs all bunched together.

We put the buggy away in the corner and mummy juggles an overloaded tray, soup, hot drinks and while dragging me to find a high chair… while staff look on. It’s a shame really as they could have helped as there where enough of them milling around. We then had the fasted lunch on record, as we felt unwelcome in the silent dining room, attracting unwanted glances from elderly couples.

Kingston-LacyBack outside we explored the courtyard while mummy finished her drink and I was causing mayhem, balancing precariously on little curbs and jumping in puddles. We set off to the woodland walk, my mummy pushing the buggy and me trailing behind her.

Unfortunately that’s when I fell, tripping over my wellies in my eagerness to hold onto the buggy. I split my lip on the gravel path 😦 a lovely ‘off duty’ National Trust staff member came over to offer us help which was nice and my mummy probably appeared rude refusing. A kind ‘on duty’ lady from reception came over to point us in the direction of the toilets while my mummy tried to comfort me and stop the bleeding.

Kingston Lacy Woodland WalkOver tired, with the sun in my eyes the rest of the afternoon was an upset one with our woodland walk rushed, we decided to head home and chill out on the sofa.

A long way to go for us but it was very pretty at Kingston Lacy. We can’t always have brilliant days.

We’d like to go back when the house and Lime Avenue is back open and when the Kitchen Garden isn’t as bleak. With safety in numbers I’m sure we’d have a lovely time with friends and family.

Bella x

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

The colours of my mummy’s life

My mummy sees things in black and white at the moment with the odd speckles of grey.

Halftone colours on a blank canvas.

We’ve had an interesting start to the year already. Self doubt, sickness, stress and all round ‘meh’.

This new year I want her to see the rainbows in her life. All the colours that life has to offer.

Red, not like anger but family. Blood is thicker than water she needs to make more of an effort with her family.

Orange, like the ones I eat, the little segments each representing an aspect of her life. Husband, me, work, routine, personal time, hobbies, sleep. All parts of the orange together makes her whole.

Yellow, not just sickness (like the colour of my nappies) but the goodness and caring. Having the patience, courage and strength to be a better mum when things get tough.

Stephanie Block Artwork RainbowsGreen, not just jealousy but hope and the realisation that everyone else has their own journey to live. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Blue, not just sadness but new horizons. Blue skies and sunny days are hopefully lying ahead.

Purple, the colour of Cadbury’s chocolate wrappers. In life you can NEVER have too much chocolate! Life is like a box of chocolates as someone famous once said…you never know what you’re gotta get. This new year, don’t limit yourself with things you can’t have. Silly fad diets and restrictions on things that make you happy. Just be happy.

Stephanie Block Artwork StarsWe love this artwork from Stephanie Block, a local artist in Hampshire. We proudly hang it in our house and it serves a gentle reminder to put things into perspective when life gets tough.

Dear mummy, always look for the rainbow after the storm.

Love Bella x

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Cuddle Fairy

My Brrrrrr Winter Wonderland Trip

Winter Wonderland London 1

Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park Dear Mummy, thank you for being brave enough to venture into the big smoke and take me to London’s Winter Wonderland, I’ve had a really great time! It’s not often that we brave London … Continue reading

My week in pictures #8

My week in pictures #8

Dear mummy, I’ve linked up with makedoandoush for her weekly #TWTWC (The week that was captured) linky. It’s been another fun filled week. I visited Marwell Wildlife for their #SunsetParty, took my Daddy shopping for Fathers Day at the impressive Bluewater Shopping Centre. Went to a village fete and had ice cream and watched a thunderstorm while my mummy helped with The Isle Of Wight Festival Set-up. Join me next week to hear about our holiday adventure in Gibraltar 🙂

Bella x

#TWTWC 9

#TWTWC 9 1

#TWTWC 9 2

#TWTWC 9 3

My first trip to Petworth

Petworth House

Dear mummy, wow! What a day! This was the first time we’d gone to Petworth House inbetween Midhurst and Shipley on the A272 in West Sussex. Petworth House is a 17th-century mansion owned by The National Trust. It’s set in … Continue reading

My first trip to The Vyne

The Vyne Deck Chair

Thursday, June 6, 2013 Dear mummy, thanks for taking me to The Vyne! We were very lucky with the weather and it was another beautiful sunny day. The Vyne is owned by The National Trust and is located just outside … Continue reading

My first trip to Mottisfont

Smelling the roses

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 Dear mummy, What another beautiful day. You surprised me by taking me to a new place today. Word on the grapevine is that Mottisfont has a beautiful walled garden with loads of sweet smelling roses. Mottisfont … Continue reading