This weeks photo has come from the dinner at Down Hall –  which you can read about here, we walked out of the hotel to find that the little trees outside had cute fairy lights and I couldn’t resist taking a picture of them, I made a comment to Mr S about how boring and dark everything is once all the fairy lights come down after Christmas and seeing these just made everything feel all magical.

There is just something so special and beautiful about fairy lights.

Until next time

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Once again I am taking part in the linky that the wonderful Caitylis has set up, which is designed to share photographs that we have taken in the previous month that we just simply love, at the end of the linky time scale she selects her favorites out of those who take part and show case them onto her own blog, its a wonderful idea to share talented photographers and exciting events we have all shot over the course of the month before, you can read my December post here and if you want to join in feel free.. its a great little way to get those shutter fingers triggering.

Here are my picks from January in pictures, a collection of photos to show how randomly different January can be, from brief cold days with pansies battling the frost to surprisingly warm days without a coat, lots of feathered friends and of course macro shots, because they are my favorites!

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Until next time

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On Sunday 28th January, my family had a little meal together, it was part the first meal we had all together since before Christmas as my aunt and her family went to Australia over the holiday period and a meal for my mum who’s birthday was on the 24th.

We had the meal at this amazing house called Down Hall, just outside of Harlow in a little village called Hatfield Heath in the beautiful county of Hertfordshire.. Mr S and I have only been there the once when the hall had an open day many years ago so our experience of it was lots of stalls and didn’t get a chance to try out the restaurant there.

We got there a little earlier than everyone else, mainly because it was Mr S’s first time driving to the location and we didn’t want to get lost, so when we did arrive we went for a little walk around the grounds and explored a little bit, we found a cute little picnic area, amazingly considering this is January we didn’t need coats, it was so mild that it was actually warm, Amelia even complained about being hot.. which is nothing new as shes a bit like Mr S and is a walking human radiator and then found that they had installed a play area with swings so that was the children happy for a little bit while we waited for the rest of my family to show up.

The Restaurant itself was beautiful and what I found the most surprising was how kind and happy the staff were about having noisy children there, I know a lot of ‘posh’ places tend to dislike children but the staff would comment on how cute Robin was and even gave Kai and Amelia some paper and pencils to draw, which came with a foam toy to make.

My starter was this lovely cauliflower soup that smelt amazing and I am in need to make it at home now, however there wasn’t much options for vegetarians, and seeing as i’m the most fussiest person alive and didn’t like Mushrooms I had a roast dinner without the meat and they even provided a jug of gravy for me that didn’t touch the meat which I was grateful for, the meal was nice, but I found the vegetables a little but crunchier than my liking but it did taste really lovely.. the Yorkshire pud’s went down a treat and the children all wanted cheesy pasta which of course Robin gobbled up.

Afters came next, the children wanted the brownie with the ice cream and Robin was going to have the same but she fell asleep and had a much needed nap, I had this lovely trio of ice cream which I actually regret getting all three flavors because while the vanilla was amazing, I found the chocolate and the strawberry far to sweet for my tastes and Mr S (and everyone else at the table) had this Lemon Posset.

Then of course came the cake, they unfortunately walked out with it while my mum was in the toilet so the sparkler 60 candle was lit and went out, but they found some other candles for us and when she finally arrived back from the loo, it was brought out for her, the cake was made by my aunt and once we got back to my mums house was shared out between everyone and like always.. was an amazing cake!

We all had such an amazing time, I did get a little stressed with dealing with the children and it being a posh place but they did behave wonderfully and once Robin had her nap she woke up and was in such a better mood.

I have of course made the request to spend a night there in the future, there is something so magical about an old building with lots of history, and who doesn’t like a little time away from three yelling children haha, it was just so lovely to see all my family again and enjoy a meal with everyone in good spirits.

Until next time

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Did anyone else feel like January was a rather long month? It was long but I also feel like I didn’t actually get much done in it, I had planned to read a book which never happened, I wanted to get my camera out more often but that never happened either.. I guess perhaps the January blues hit me like a sack of uninspiring bricks and left me feeling extremely exhausted.

But anyway, another month gone and a new one is dawning, its time to share with you what I hope to achieve in the month of February.

  • Save Money –  I have a feeling this will endlessly be on my goals, Mr S and I have decided to plan a birthday party for Kai when his birthday comes around in March and its going to be rather expensive so time to set some cash aside ready for that.
  • Get a new piercing – Not sure if I have already mentioned this but I want to get a new piercing done in my ear, the plan was do it in January but I just never found the time to go sort it out.
  • Be More Organised – I am a mess most of the time, very forgetful and utterly useless with everything.. I need to write down everything that needs doing and create a check list.. which my Bullet Journal will come in handy with.
  • More family trips – Pretty simple, we now have a car so we need to get out more.
  • Buy lighting equipment for photos – I live in England and the weather at the minute is just rain, dark and cold.. so I haven’t had the chance to take many blog photos because the lighting has been so bad.
  • Put my phone down – I will hold my hands up and say, I use my phone far to much and I want to change that a little, I will still use it but not like I used to
  • Sort out a play room – Tiny flat means no space for anyone, all the children’s stuff is in their room, clothes and toys and I want to move things about and turn our large cupboard which houses a fridge and various other things into a play room for the children’s toys to go, so their bedroom will have some much needed space and hopefully move Robin into their room.

A part of me wants to complete all of these for the next month, but I know some of them will cross over into March and probably beyond as I am a professional procrastinator haha.

What plans have you got set for the month ahead?

Until next time

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Another month is gone, just like that, but I will say how slow did January take to end? was it always 70 days long? perhaps its just my age catching up with me finally, but this month has been full of new favorites and old faithfuls making January a little easier to deal with.

Products (Covering hair care and makeup)

Bed Head Shampoo and Conditioner – I got these, surprisingly not at a salon or some fancy shop, but Home Bargains at the wonderfully cheap price of £7 each! considering you can buy a single bottle from a salon for about £20… I am happy with my little bargain, these two are perfect for dyed hair but they did other hair types too.. if you see some, I recommend grabbing some because good product at a good price is very hard to come by.

Maybelline Colossal Mascara – I have not changed the brand of mascara I use since I discovered these, in the days of those tiny brushes I loved the bigger brush.. less likely to poke myself in the eye if I use one of these and when everyone else was doing those tiny brushes, they did the big ones and I love them.

Home

Fake Flowers – I hold my hand up, I am a flower killer, I cannot keep anything alive in my home, its amazing i’ve managed to keep three children and a cat alive if i’m honest, but flowers and plants… do not seem to last very long, so I have a wonderful collection of silk flowers that last all through the year and if you see them from far away, you cannot tell the difference. I got this stunning lot from Amazon shortly after I murdered a tomato plant (which you can read about here if you are interested) and since then its grown from this little bundle to some fake Gerbera Daisies, which are my wedding flowers, and some delightfully realistic but fake succulents for the bath room and I don’t care that I am the worst flower mother in the world, my home is full of fake ones and that’s good enough for me plus they make wonderful flat lay photo props!

Children

Baby Boden – I am an eBay addict, I use it almost all the time for anything from things for the home to when I did up my Bugaboo Frog.. but I have been using it to find clothing for my youngest and Baby Boden have so many wonderful items with the humble robin on, seeing as that is her name it was only fitting that I find all the outfits I could locate with a robin on them and I think I did very well don’t you?

Gel-A-Pen* – I did a little review of this product which you can give a read here but Amelia has been obsessed with it since, shes sat with me and made some bracelets and has asked me to get some more pens and being the wonderful.. pushover that I am and that I also enjoy playing about with these pens.. I have!

Entertainment

Image found on google

Top Gear/The Grand Tour – I discovered Top Gear back in 2007, I must have watched it earlier on because its been on British television since the 80’s, but when I found them again I was welcomed into a fandom, a world full of other fans who loved these three idiots in fast cars and I fell in love with them and their dynamic and when the Top Gear I knew and love ended I noticed a little hole in my life, I didn’t realize how much these idiots meant to me until a fracas happened and they were taken off air to be replaced with other people, BUT they got lucky and The Grand Tour started, which is on Amazon Prime, and my world started to feel better.. and then during a time when some bad things happened in my life, which of course I wont go into, but it caused me to have multiple panic attacks a day, I started using Top Gear to take my mind off it all and I came away from a day of binge watching Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May feeling better and briefly anxiety free..

Its sad that these three men brighten my day, make me feel better and never EVER fail to make me smile and laugh.. even when my day feels dark and lonely.

Elder Scrolls Skyrim – I have sort of spoken about Skyrim before here in a silly little tour of the world but I love this game, I have spent hours upon hours playing it and I have restarted the game many times over.. this time I have modded it and it looks stunning! its at least 7  years old now but stepping back into that world when it was remastered for the xbox one, was like stepping into the world the first time I played it! if you are ever looking for a little escape I highly recommend you pick up Skyrim.. its just the best game I have ever played.

Music

Rainbow – Sia – Back in October my mum and I took Amelia my middle child to see the My Little Pony movie for her 6th birthday and naturally I brought the soundtrack because I actually enjoyed the film and the music that came with it, this song was played at the end of the film and it actually makes me a little weepy when I hear it but its also been stuck in my head for about a month when it came on random on my ipod, its such a great little song and I love the beat that it has.

and there you have it, my monthly favorites for the month of January, what have been your favorite little treats from this month?

until next time

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