Wednesday, 24 January 2018

25 BEFORE 25

I've seen a few of these lists floating around at the moment, mainly on YouTube, and I really like the idea of them so I thought I'd join in! I wanted to decide on 25 things for me to do before turning 25, rather than 25 things for Freya or 25 things to do as a family, and it was actually really hard! It's been so long since I thought about what I want to be doing that I struggled quite a bit! A few things on the list are involving Freya or our family but I think I've done quite well to keep them to a minimum. Hopefully if you're thinking of writing a similar list and you're struggling like I did, this will help give you some much needed inspiration! 

25 BEFORE 25 

1. Have another baby
This one speaks for itself, doesn't it? I turn 22 this year and Freya's third birthday is at the end of the year, so I'd love to introduce a fourth little member to our family at some point over the next few years. 

2. Dye my hair blonde (again) 
A few months prior to falling pregnant with Freya I spent almost three hours in a salon having my hair transformed from dark brown to blonde and I absolutely LOVED it! By the time I needed to book an appointment to have my roots done I was in the early stages of pregnancy and hyperemesis gravidarum was setting in so sitting for hours in a salon that smelt of chemicals just wasn't an option. 

3. Go on our first family holiday abroad 
Lewis has been begging me to do this since Freya was about 6 months old and I've just never been brave enough, but I think I'm ready now. Ideally I'd like to do this before we have another baby because the idea of taking TWO little ones to a different country is a bit too much for my brain to handle. 

4. Be happier with my body
I didn't want to write 'lose weight' or 'get to this weight/clothes size' but I am following Slimming World at the moment and I am hoping to get to a point where I am happier with what I see in the mirror. 

5. Get another tattoo 
 I currently only have the one tattoo - Freya's name on my left wrist (cliche I know *eyeroll emoji*) but I really love it and I'm glad I have it. I'd love to add something a bit girly and pretty to that tattoo but I've also got the itch for a new one so we shall see which comes first! 

6. Learn how to drive 
My plan has always been to learn how to drive before Freya starts primary school as the schools we like are about a 30 minute walk away versus a 5 minute drive so it just makes more sense for me to be able to drive her. However, Freya will start her reception year in September 2020 which is just after my 24th birthday so I really need to get my skates on and start my lessons. 

7. Start making more money from my blog / Instagram 
This may sound a bit wankery but I'm a stay at home mum and any extra income I can bring in is always welcome. I have started to make little bits of money here and there but I'd really like to start making it a more regular thing in the next few years. (Sorry for sounding like a dick) 

8. Look into going back to some sort of education 
I've been undecided about going back to education for quite a while now but I'd at least like to research my options and look at the different ways I could get back into the swing of things. 

9. Visit Disney Land Paris
In a dream world I'd love this to be Disney World Orlando but realistically I don't think we'll make it there in the next few years. Disney Land Paris, however, seems much more achievable. I think we'll probably start seriously planning a trip in 2019 with the view of going at some point in 2020 after Freya's fourth birthday. 

10. Visit 5 new UK/Ireland cities 
Travel is something I really wish we did more of. Lewis works incredibly hard and we tend to save his holidays for important occasions like Christmas and birthdays, but over the next few years I'd like to book some more days off so we can have a few long weekend city breaks. Edinburgh is already on our list, as is Dublin. We just need to decide on a few more and hopefully we'll be off! 

11. Purchase a better camera and improve my photography skills
Currently I take all of my photos on an iPhone or an instax mini which both do the job but don't really produce the wow factor that I'm looking for with my photos. The main problem I have is that I've got no bloody clue where to start! If you're into amateur photography and have any recommendations for cameras please, please let me know! 

12. Decorate the flat to make it a home
We've lived in our flat for about 10 months now and haven't really done anything when it comes to decorating. The only room that's anywhere near finished is the bathroom and even then I'm not entirely happy with it. The walls were all freshly painted before we moved in so effectively we have a completely blank canvas to work with, we just have no idea what to do or where to start!

13. Keep a houseplant alive 
Another cliche I know but I'm just so shit at keeping the bastard things alive!!!! I even killed one of those bloody aloe Vera plants from Ikea that only need watering once a week or something stupid like that. Stupid fucking things - who even needs them? I'll just buy a fake one and pretend. Moving on....

14. Learn how to knit or crochet 
I've not decided which one I'd like to learn yet (I'm trying to find out which one is easiest) but once I have, you can bet your bottom dollar that every person I know will be getting a scraggly homemade scarf for Christmas!

15. Redo my wardrobe 
Now at the risk of sounding dramatic, I have no fucking clue what's in fashion and what isn't. The last time I had time for fashion people were wearing chinos and army boots ffs. What hope do I currently have of looking remotely fashionable if that's what's in my wardrobe? I think I'll have to do this one slowly and on the sly though, to stop Lewis from catching wind of it, haha! 

16. Have my tragus re-pierced 
My tragus piercing was one of those rebellious teen things that I did to piss my mum off (along with my numerous nose piercings and ear stretchers) but I really miss it! I don't really bother with lobe earrings but I think tragus piercings can look quite pretty with minimal effort - you can just forget about it! 

17. Have a romantic overnight/weekend trip to London and go to the theatre
Since becoming parents Lewis and I have only ever had one night away from Freya and that was our wedding night, so I'd love to be able to spend one or two nights away just the two of us in a big city, and I love the theatre! I used to see shows fairly often as a child and especially as a teenager when I was studying drama, but the last show I saw was in February 2013. (Billy Elliot, if you were wondering. It's my favourite film and Lewis was still trying to impress me as we were only three months into our relationship). 

18. Write a book 
This has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I've written a few books in my time but none have ever been publishing worthy. I started trying to write books when I was about 11, and I even remember being super proud of one and printing it off so I could give it to my form tutor to read. When I fell ill towards the end of 2012 I lost my love of writing, and then some really big life events happened (a long term hospital admission, moving 300+ miles across the country, having a baby) and I just didn't have time to rediscover that passion. But with Freya in nursery one day a week, which will hopefully increase to two next year, I think I might be ready to start again.

19. Find a skin care routine and STICK TO IT
Forgive me lord, for I have sinned. I take my make up off with a baby wipe and I have no idea what a toner does. Someone PLEASE help a girl out and save my skin from my lack of care.

20. Replace the contents of my make up bag 
It's gross. Honestly. There's stuff in there that is YEARS old. Enough is enough really. 

21. Go to an escape room 
I had to have some trivial stuff on here didn't I? I've loved the look of these since they became popular a couple of years ago and why not stick it on my 25 before 25 list. 

22. Find a regular volunteering position
I used to volunteer a LOT when I was younger and I miss it! While I don't think my mental health is up to a full time, pressurised job, I think something part time and without the pressure of needing my wages or anything like that would be super good for my soul. 

23. Go to a salon for a proper haircut 
I've not had my hair cut professionally since before Freya was born and it's a bit embarrassing really. Get me to a salon ASAP. 

24. Own a car 
Not much use in me being able to drive without having my own car is there? Pretty obvious one this is.

25. Learn how to ask for help
This one mostly refers to when I need a break from parenting. I know there's people who will always help if they can but for some reason my brain prefers me to carry the burden on my shoulders alone which is completely fine and manageable until it gets too much and I crash and burn. No more of that, please. 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


On the 25th of November 2017, exactly 5 years after we first started our relationship, Lewis and I said 'I do' in front of our most loved friends and family in, quite possibly, the most relaxed, stress free ceremony ever. Neither of us had felt nervous the morning of the wedding (and considering our ceremony wasn't until 15:15 we had a lot of time to start panicking!) and just took it all in our stride. 

For those who don't know, Lewis and I had a long distance relationship for the first two years of our life together before moving into our first flat together at the ages of 20 and 18. A lot of people thought it wouldn't last. That Lewis would soon be back at his mums house and I would be back in Kent, 300 miles away like I was before. But we did it. Three and a half years later we are still living together, in our third home, and (mostly) loving every minute. 

Five months after moving in together we discovered I was pregnant with Freya, which obviously was a massive shock for two people so young who hadn't even been living together for half a year yet! We obviously made the decision to continue my pregnancy and now she is the most amazing little gir I know. She is kind, inquisitive, caring and the cleverest little thing you'll ever meet, and I am so grateful for being given the privilege of being her mummy. 

Lewis asked me to marry him when Freya was two months old and of course I said yes, but we both shared the view that it wouldn't happen for a good few years as neither of us were in any sort of rush. But then something just changed and in May 2017, 6 months before our fifth anniversary, we booked our wedding. Yep, you read that right. Six months to plan a whole wedding. And it was stressful. Soooooooo stressful, like beyond belief. But we did it. And with a lot of help from our friends and family, we had a really lovely day. 

Our first dance was to 'You and Me' by Lifehouse and we all filled up on pizza and chips from a local takeaway, before tucking into the most beautiful naked sponge cake and matching cupcakes I've ever seen (and they tasted pretty damn good too!). You might be able to tell now that we're not ones for big, traditional weddings. We did things our way and love every second.

Now don't get me wrong, we fight like cat and dog and bicker almost non stop, but I really do love the bones of this man. He may drive me up the wall and I really wish he wouldn't talk about work so much, but that's what makes him, him. And I wouldn't change him for the world.

Monday, 1 January 2018


I know, I know. I'm rubbish at writing here on a regular basis. We've just been soooo busy over the festive period (has anyone else felt like this has been the longest Christmas week EVER, by the way?) and I never want my blog to become something forced and unnatural. I love writing and I especially love sharing things on here but if the spark ain't there, it ain't there. 

Anyway, usually at this time of year I would be dicking about on Facebook or Instagram writing about how this year is gonna be the year I change fifty million things about myself and become a completely different person before giving up on the 3rd of January and feeling like crap for the next 6 months. But not this year. Don't get me wrong, I have decided on some resolutions for 2018, but not the whole 'new year, new me' kind. Just a few things to try and make my 2018 a bit nicer. 

1. Make the beds every morning. I am APPALLING at making the beds in our house. Like, seriously. It's horrific. Sometimes they only get made half an hour before Freya's bed time when Lewis comes in from work and does them for me. 

2. Give Slimming World a really good try. I've tried slimming world a fair few times before and although it's worked, I've never been in the right mindset to carry it on long term. So this year I really want to give myself that chance to better my health and see how far I can take it. 

3. Write everyone's birthdays down in a diary and send birthday cards ON TIME. I am notorious for sending birthday cards days late and pretending they must have been held up in the post somewhere but no more! I am an adult now and I must start adulting...

4. Do something nice for myself once a week. Even if that's just have a bath or read a chapter of my book or put some makeup on. Just something to remind myself that I am 'me' as well as 'Freya's mummy'. 

5. Make more of an effort to keep my nails looking nice. I've picked at my nails and the skin around them for as long as I can remember and I'm a bit fed up of it to be honest. I just want to have nice, lady like hands from now on please!

Thursday, 7 December 2017


Anyone who knows me in person will know that Slimming World and I don't really have the best history. I've joined a group a total of 4 times now, and my previous three attempts have been disastrous. Tomorrow is my first weigh in of attempt #4 and I'm actually excited! This is the first time I've ever stuck to plan 100% in my first week (shocking, I know) but I fee different this time. I feel like I WANT to be making these changes in my life, not like I SHOULD be like every other time. So since I've been loving Slimming World this week I thought I'd share my first week meal plan with you all. Enjoy! 

B - Fried egg and bacon wholemeal roll (HexB) with 1 syn of ketchup.
L - Chicken Tikka Subway Salad with 1 syn of Sweet Onion sauce and my Healhy Extra A of grated cheese. 
D - Slimming World Ready Meals

B - Fried egg and bacon wholemeal roll (HexB) with 1 syn of ketchup.
L - Chicken Tikka Subway Salad with 1 syn of Sweet Onion sauce and my HexA of grated cheese.
D - Sunday Roast consisting of chicken, roast potatoes, broccoli and carrots with 2 syns of gravy.

B - Cheese on toast in a cafe on my daughters birthday (estimated 15-20 syns)
L -  N/A
D - Jacket Potato with beans, HexA of grated cheese, huge side salad and 1/2 a syn of salad dressing.

B - Tinned tomatoes on a wholemeal roll (HexB) with 1/2 HexA of grated cheese.
L - Jacket Potato with beans, 2 syns for a cheese slice, side salad and 1/2 a syn of salad dressing.
D - Creamy Cajun Pasta packed full of vegetables with my HexA of grated cheese.

B - Tinned tomatoes on a wholemeal roll (HexB) with 1/2 HexA of grated cheese.
L - Jacket Potato with beans, 2 syns for a cheese slice, side salad and 1/2 a syn for salad dressing.
D - Slimming World Ready Meal.

B - Tinned tomatoes on a wholemeal roll (HexB) with 2 syns for a cheese slice.
L - Toasted cheese, ham and broccoli weight watchers wrap (5.5 syns or HexB) with a side salad and 1/3 a syn for salad dressing. 
D - Pasta Bolognese with 2 syns of reduced fat mozzarella and a side salad with 1/2 a syn of salad dressing.  

I haven't included Friday as Friday is weigh day so I probably won't eat much before my session and I'm not sure what we'll be doing for dinner yet. You've probably noticed that my breakfast and lunches are quite repetitive and that's because I find it easier and cheaper to do it that way, although I am probably eating more potatoes than any human needs, haha! 

Thanks for stopping by, hopefully I'll have a big loss to tell you about next week!

Grace x

Friday, 25 August 2017


Some of you may know that I currently share a bed with my 20 month old daughter overnight, and have done since she was around 9 months old. Our journey to full time co-sleeping probably wasn't how you'd expect it to be. Freya actually slept in her own moses basket or cot from the day she was born and only occasionally came in to our bed if she woke up and wouldn't settle, but when she developed a chest infection at 9 months old, one night of co-sleeping turned into two nights which then turned into a whole year of bed sharing. When I was pregnant I never planned to co-sleep at all, let alone co-sleep with a toddler of almost two but it's lovely: It really is an amazing experience - to know you have the ability to provide every single ounce of comfort that your baby needs is a such a wonderful feeling.  To know your baby feels both the most calm and the most confident they physically can when they're laying next to you can so easily fill your heart in ways that I never even knew were possible.

Putting the lovey dovey parents' feelings to one side, there are actually many benefits to co-sleeping with your children beyond infancy. This article from Natural Parents Network highlights some of the more common benefits. My favourite being that everyone sleeps better. We used to have awful nights when Freya would sleep on her own. We'd be up two, three, four times a night, sometimes for hours at a time, with an inconsolable baby who just wanted to be with her parents. Lewis would end up downstairs on the sofa at 2AM while I waited for Freya to calm down and eventually fall asleep with her in my bed once the birds had started to sing. But now? Freya goes to bed at 7PM, I join her at 10.30PM and I don't see her again until she wakes me up somewhere between 6-7AM the next morning. And those 8 hours of sleep are a luxury I'm not quite ready to risk losing yet! 

It has been hard though, don't get me wrong. There's been numerous occasions I've cried over not wanting to share a bed with her anymore. I've cried over wanting to share a bed with my fiancĂ© like a normal couple, rather than kissing him goodnight outside the spare bedroom before he goes to sleep on his own all night. But every time that's happened, I am reminded by my sweet baby girl that this won't last forever. She won't be seven years old and still clambering into my bed every night. Or maybe she will, and maybe she will still need the comfort only I can provide for her for years and years to come. But I hope not. I'm hoping I will have given Freya enough confidence so that, when the time does come for us to transition her into her own room and bed, she's happy to do so with the knowledge that mummy is right on the other side of the wall, waiting for her if she needs me. That's the dream. 

But for now, we are happily co-sleeping with a toddler and will continue doing so until the time is right for us. Do you co-sleep with your baby or toddler? Or are you experiences totally different to mine? I'd love to know! 

Thanks for reading,

Grace x

Wednesday, 23 August 2017


I'm a real sucker for a pretty baby name. There's few things I love more in life than finding an amazing name that I can jot down somewhere and add it to my list of potential future baby names. I don't think im particularly traditional in my baby name tastes, but I'm also definitely not in the camp of loving baby names that no one has ever heard before. I've seen this tag floating around the YouTube/blogging world a couple of times and thought I would do it here on my blog, just as a regular post rather than a tag. There are 15 questions in total and before I start I'd just like to say I'm really sorry if I end up offending anyone! I really don't mean to, this is just my personal preferences when it comes to names. I know loads of people who hate double barrelled names, yet Freya's first name is double barrelled and I love it! So please, please keep that in mind when you're reading. Here we go....

1. What is your favourite boy and girl name from the top UK names list (2015)?
My favourite boy name is number 41 on the list and it is Sebastian. I don't think I'd ever have the guts to call my son Sebastian but I think it's lovely, and I ruddy love it being shortened to Seb! My favourite girl name is number 96 on the list and is Orla (Freya is higher up on the list but I've ignored that since I obviously already have a Freya). Again, I don't think it's a name I would ever use but it is absolutely beautiful.

2. What is your least favourite boy and girl name from the top UK names list (2015)?
My least favourite boy name is number 50 on the list - David. It's not that I dislike the name as such, it's just a little bit old for my personal taste. My least favourite girl name would be number 99 - Skye. It's just not to my taste and I can't say much more other than that, haha! 

3. If you had twins, what would you name them? (G/G, B/G, B/B)
This was actually really hard! I did do a bit of cheating and had a little look on google but even that didn't make it much easier! I think for girl twins the names I would use are Addison and Avery. I just think those two names sound stunning together and I'm quite the fan of sibling names starting with the same letter. Sticking with the same initial trend, my boy/girl twin names would be James and Julia. I adore the name 'Julia' and James is such a classic British name without sounding too old fashioned or outdated and I really like how they sound together. Now choose boy twin names was most definitely the hardest of the bunch! I heavily relied on google suggestions for this one, but I think I've made a decision on Jacob and Joshua. Again with the matching initials that I quite clearly have a thing for, and I love that they could both be shortened to Jake and Josh. 

4. If you could change your name to any other name, what would it be?
I don't think I would! I genuinely can't think of another name I would rather be known by- is that a cop out answer?

5. What is your favourite animal-inspired name?
I love, love , love the names Wolf and Fox for a boy and TigerLily for a girl (that counts, right?)

6. You have four children, any gender, what would their names be? 
I think I'd probably go with Ava, Oliver,
Lucas and Emmie.

7. What is your favourite colour-inspired name?
Greyson for a boy and Olive for a girl. I think Olive is such a pretty name!

8. What are your top 3 favourite boy names?
My top three boys names would probably be Hudson, Oliver and Jackson.

9. What are your top 3 favourite girl names?
I'm actually going to keep my absolute number 1. girl name a secret in this post in case I ever get to use it because my heart is SO set on it but my almost top three would have to be Spencer, Niamh and Meredith.

10. What is your favourite celebrity baby name?
It has to be Harper Beckham! I love the name Harper but, like a lot of people, would never use it now because of the association with the Beckham's.

11. What is your ultimate guilty pleasure name?
There isn't one specific guilty pleasure name but I really enjoy old lady names. So names like Ethel, Nora, Edith. I just love them all! 

12. What are your most hated baby names?
I'm hesitant to use the word 'hate' as I don't want to offend anyone but I really dislike the names Lexie, Ronnie, Rhea and names with X's in them like Jaxon, Daxton etc. 

13. Choose a baby name based on a food/drink.
I love Cherry for a girl but I can't think of one for a boy! Please tell me I'm not the only one who struggled with this one!?

14. Choose a baby name based on a month.
June has always been a favourite name of mine, along with May.

15. Choose a baby name based on a film.
Some of my favourite films ever are the Harry Potter films so I'd have to go with Harry for a boy and I also love The Great Gatsby so I'd pick Daisy for a girl. 

So that's it! All 15 questions done and dusted. As I said before, I won't be tagging anyone in this and just using it as a stand alone post but please feel free to use this on your blog as a tag if you should wish to do so! 

I hope I haven't offended anyone too much, and apologies if I have! 

Thanks for reading, 

Grace x

Thursday, 17 August 2017


Now I don't know about you, but purchasing a slow cooker changed. my. life. For real! It's the most convenient thing in the world. I love being able to throw some ingredients together in the pot when Freya goes down for her nap, and not have to worry about dinner again until 5 o'clock that evening. 

I tend to use my slow cooker around 2-4 times a week at the moment, although at the moment I do have a whole week of meals planned using it, so today I thought I'd share with you my top five go-to slow cooker recipes!

Probably my all time favourite slow cooker meal! There's something about cooking a lasagne slowly that makes it so much more amazing, it almost melts in the mouth. I use this recipe from All Recipes and it never fails me. 

Who doesn't love a good pulled pork sandwich? I serve my pulled pork in a brioche bun with coleslaw, accompanied by corn on the cob, salad and potato salad (my mouth is watering while I type this...). This is my favourite pulled pork recipe from Delish.

Freya absolutely loves curry but I find the jars can be spicier than expected, and it's so easy to do a homemade one in the slow cooker! We use this recipe from Damn Delicious (although we leave out the chilli powder and use half the amount of curry powder) and serve with boil in the bag rice (sorry mum), poppadoms or naan bread and mango chutney. 

I don't cook this recipe as often as the others because Lewis won't eat it and I'm not about that cooking-two-meals life, but it's perfect for those times Lewis is working late, or has other plans (very rare, haha!) and Freya loves it just as much as I do! We use a trusty Netmums recipe, and serve ours with rice, sour cream and either plain tortilla chips or tortilla wraps depending on what we have in. 

This is a new favourite of mine - I love it! It's pure cheesy, garlicky goodness! This is another Delish recipe, but we use chicken breast instead of thigh and white potatoes instead of red. The biggest thing I love about all of these recipes is how easily they can be adapted depending on your personal tastes or what you have in the cupboard that needs using up. For example, I'd be tempted to throw some broccoli, or another vegetable, in with this recipe if I had some lurking in the back of the fridge that needed using up.

And that's it! My five favourite slow cooker recipes all in one place. I think this post might be more helpful for me rather than you, haha! 

Grace x