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These Shoes Were Made For Walking 

A month ago we went out to get Darcie her first pair of shoes, she’d just began walking and I’d seen the most perfect pair of pink bunny shoes on the Clarks website and was thrilled when they had them in our local branch. 

At first she hated them. She’s always been a barefoot baby. Partly because I couldn’t see the point in shoes and socks until she was walking and she didn’t want to wear them anyway so it made life easier to not even try.

Gradually I convinced her that shoes were fun. Putting on shoes meant we were going on an adventure. These days she will even try to put them on herself and I know that means she wants to go outside. She loves being outdoors and would happily live in a tent at the bottom of the garden of I’d let her. 

There’s something very special about that first pair of shoes. I can be sentimental about the most ridiculous things so there was no doubt that I’ll be keeping these shoes to get out and show her when she is older. I had visions of us getting out these beautiful shoes and showing her how dainty and sweet they were.

What I didn’t count on was the dirt. The mud, the sand, the water. These shoes are not going to be a perfect pretty pair of baby shoes to hold onto. But I will hold onto them. Because they will remind me of the adventures she had in them. Her very first adventures.

Her first visit to the farm when she confidently walked around outside for the first time, where she brushed the goat and shouted ‘duck’ at everything she saw.

Her first proper trip to the beach. When Daddy tried to share his chips with her and she ended up with seagulls advancing on her from all angles. She loved playing in the sand but the sea was too cold so we had to make a hasty retreat to rescue those chilly toes.

Our first trips out without the pram, to go on ‘adventure walks’. Taking a Tupperware pot for her to pick up stones and leaves to carry and take home. Except she couldn’t hold the pot the right way up so ended up clutching a leaf in one hand and the pot in the other.

The countless hours we spend in the garden. When she will happily carry rocks around for ages, transferring them between her sandpit, swing and sand and water table. And every time she hands me a rock it’s as if she’s passing me the most precious thing in the world to her. Somehow the shoes (and her feet) have so far escaped having a rock dropped on them. 

Every water mark and scuff holds a memory, each discolouration on the leather tells a story. About these days that she won’t remember but that are the best times of her life so far.

The shoes tell a story of an explorer who has endless energy and enthusiasm, who stops to look at every flower and to admire every stone, who loves being outdoors and messy in nature.

They might not be pristine, but neither is my daughter. She’s a nature loving, scruffy haired wild child and I’m glad that the shoes tell this story instead.

Days Out · In The Kitchen

Strawberry Picking at Pickwell Farm

e9254d42-caf5-402e-8a13-b94731874bdaI didn’t ever quite get around to posting my Summer Bucket List Post, but one thing that I’ve had in my mind that I wanted to do with Darcie was to go strawberry picking. I don’t think I’ve ever been specifically to strawberry fields before but I’ve always thought it seemed like a lovely family outing so wanted to make sure we made it happen and maybe it will even become a family tradition. We live quite close to Pickwell Farm where you can go and pick your own strawberries among many other fruits and vegetables so it seemed like too good of an opportunity to miss.  Continue reading “Strawberry Picking at Pickwell Farm”

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Let Them Be Wild

One of my favourite quotes that is quite often written in beautiful calligraphy and hung up on nursery walls is ‘Let them be little, let them be wild’. I don’t want this to be something that I just frame for Darcie and put on the wall, I really want to make this a motto for how we raise our own little wild child. I want to raise Darcie to be free, to run wild, to finish the day with knots in her hair, dirt on her feet and a crazy sparkle in her eyes. I want to encourage her curiosity and I want every day to be an adventure. When I look back at my childhood I think of spending time outdoors, of exploring and of being creative. This is what I want for Darcie, I don’t want her to be glued to the television, finding all of her joy in CBeebies, I want her to be outside whatever the weather. I want us to go strawberry picking in the Summer and splashing in the puddles in the Winter. I want us to go on treasure hunts through the forest and shell collecting on the beach. I want her to feel free, to not be afraid of the world around her but to feel a part of it. Continue reading “Let Them Be Wild”

Occasions & Milestones

On Father’s Day

This feels like Dan’s first Father’s Day, we hardly celebrated the day last year as we were still very much in the frazzled newborn haze. I managed to organise a card for him but I think that’s where the festivities began and ended. So this year I want to do it properly, I want him to know how much we appreciate his hard work and commitment to his role as Darcie’s Daddy. So this ones for you Dan, maybe this will be the first of my posts that you read to the end… Continue reading “On Father’s Day”

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Why I Love Being A Stay At Home Mum

IMG_7897I’ll be the first to admit that some days I don’t want to be a stay at home Mum, it’s definitely not the easy ride that a lot of people perceive it to be and nothing grinds my gears more than when stay at home mums are talked about in a derogatory way. There are days when I would love to swan off to work in the morning, wear smart clothes, drink hot coffee and talk to adults and then come home to my beautiful daughter who has been worn out all day by somebody else. Ninety percent of the time though, I absolutely love being a stay at home Mum and these are some of the reasons why. Continue reading “Why I Love Being A Stay At Home Mum”

Occasions & Milestones

Darcie’s First Birthday Party // Elmo Party

IMG_6021 (2)Saturday the 13th of May 2017 was Darcie’s first birthday party. Even as I write this a few days later I still can’t get my head around the fact that my baby girl has turned one and had her first birthday party. It was a really lovely afternoon, we had our close family and friends round to our house and had lots of food and entertainment from the guest of honour herself. All of the excitement of her birthday the day before and of the party preparations had meant that her naps were all out of their normal routine but she was still in such a sweet mood and was happy to see everyone who had come. A few weeks ago a big group of people like that would have been really intimidating to her so I was really thrilled with how well she coped with all the attention. Coped is the wrong word, she loved the attention! Continue reading “Darcie’s First Birthday Party // Elmo Party”

Dear Darcie · From The Heart

Dear Darcie 28.04.17

Dear Darcie,

Today you made an old lady very happy. We went to see my Nana, your Great Nana, she’s nearly 91 years old (that’s 90 more than you!) and has got Dementia which means she has forgotten a lot of things about her life and the people that she loves. It must be a very frustrating thing to live with and she has been poorly with various other things too. She lives in a Nursing Home which is a very nice one as they go but still not as nice as living in a house with a family, the way that we do. It’s hard to know how she is feeling but I expect that she feels lonely and sad a lot of the time. Continue reading “Dear Darcie 28.04.17”

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What I Really Want for Mother’s Day 

IMG_5049.JPGI’ve seen a lot of ‘Mothers Day Gift Guides’ over the past week or so, and yes they are full of lovely things that I would definitely like to receive. However it got me thinking about what would actually be top of my wish list for Mothers Day. Assuming that a two week spa holiday in the Maldives is out of the question, this is what I came up with.

A full night’s sleep. I’m talking a full twelve hours please. I think this should be the two nights surrounding Mother’s Day. Continue reading “What I Really Want for Mother’s Day “

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How To Not Be A Nuisance! (When Visiting New Parents)

img_6421It’s a strange time, those first few weeks at home with a newborn. Especially if it is your first baby then your life has completely changed. Suddenly you are in charge of keeping this tiny delicate human alive and happy, your body is completely alien to you, you may be trying to suss out breastfeeding or recovering from a c-section, and you also have to co-ordinate literally everyone in your life coming to visit the new baby. Continue reading “How To Not Be A Nuisance! (When Visiting New Parents)”