I Need Some Reasons to be Cheerful

With all this club business hanging over me like a big black cloud I feel a bit low. I just needed to take a moment to write a more positive post. My council are not being helpful, I've had a fairly standard letter and what I can gather really is that new owners=new chance. Wonder if the council will give me the money to move home when my mental health deteriorates (not so slowly either).

Anyway, I have some Reasons to be Cheerful, of course I do.

It's rare at the moment to see the sun but I grabbed a nice shot of it playing peek-a-boo with the clouds. A sunny day always puts a smile on my face.

I also took some flower photos as these always cheer me up. In my garden I have some Sweet Williams which i'm going to pick and bring in to brighten my home.

3. Myself and Mr had a lovely meeting with our vicar on Wednesday to make plans for the wedding. As it stands now I can crack on with my service books and it's just one step closer to finalising everything. I'm also planning the decoration tomorrow which will be great fun providing I don't become my usual wall flower and let everyone else decide anyway...

4. I got a postcard today which really, really cheered me up. Thank-you Louise.

Cupcake Mumma

My Next Challenge

Last year myself and my neighbours found out we could return to some peace and quiet on a Friday and Saturday night after a year of hell from a nightclub behind us. My house is directly (pretty much) behind said nightclub which, as you can imagine, was not so great.

When we moved here we had no idea we were moving behind a restaurant who had just applied for a license to sell alcohol from 5pm and play live and recorded music in a club they wanted to open until 3am in the morning. I didn't find out about this until I sifted through a stack of post belonging to the old occupants. You can imagine my horror to discover this information after moving from a bottom flat which housed a youth who played loud music every week.

We were lent some money when it got too much and were about to leave our home again when I got the news that the club license was going to be revoked. I was over the moon and the peace of 5 nights a week went back to 7 nights a week. Bliss.

But I find myself now, less than a year on, having to fight new owners of a new restaurant who also want to open the club, under the same name, with the same idea. Play loud, thudding music until 3am and serve alcohol to the same people who last time stabbed a man, smashed cars parked outside my house, ripped off wing mirrors, caused massive sleep disturbance to most of us living here.
There is no sound proofing. To be honest, even if there was it wouldn't stop the thudding I hear downstairs.

The main problem is and the real reason I take such a perhaps over-the-top view to some people, is last time it really badly effected me. Mentally.

I often couldn't sleep until gone 4am and would be plagued by nerves most evenings, even when I knew the club wouldn't be open. I would spend the whole week dreading Friday and Saturday. My nerves upset my stomach, making me physically ill. I would shake. Purely psychological but it's something that is deep rooted. Something I went to therapy for but it couldn't be stopped. The only thing that returned me to almost 'normal' state (I suffer from General Anxiety Disorder which is crippling when a problem like this comes to the surface threatening to take all my hard word work away) was the club being shut down.

Most people I have spoken to are so weak. They don't *think* anything will happen. Do they know? No. They don't. Will they do anything about it? No. They won't. So I will. For the second time, but right from the beginning I am tackling my demons. I have made posters to pop into letterboxes and I won't rest until I know this club won't ruin my life again.

I wasn't a good Mum last time. I wasn't a good partner. The thought of this happening again terrifies me.  Wish me luck!

Homemade Heart Swap-Part 2

Now Louise has received her gifts, I am going to 'big myself' up a bit and post up all the gifts I made as part of the Homemade Heart Swap. I enjoyed making my crafts, especially as I love hearts and making people smile. I love to give gifts but never been confident enough to make and actually hand over a homemade gift until now. Christmas here I come! Even my wedding is getting some of my new craftyness injected into it!

 I reused nice smelly coloured candles I had in my craft box, melted them down and poured them into a silicon heart mold. It took me a few attempts to make these perfect but finally they came out and I'm really pleased with them.

 I used to make jewelry when I was living in the countryside to pass the time when Little Miss was at nursery for a few hours, especially when I became pregnant with Little Man and I couldn't go anywhere without chucking up! I dug out my old bits which there is a lot of still and made Louise this heart bracelet and earring set. I don't know if she has her ears pierced but it seemed fitting to make a set!
 Bird seed. I went through Louise's blog and noticed she liked nature a lot. I just new she'd love something for outside so came up with this bird feed heart. I used foil to make a heart shape, mixed seed mix, flour and water and placed the mixture into the foil. I popped a straw in the top and baked in the oven for nearly an hour. When it was cooled, I removed the straw and when totally cold I put some ribbon through and wrapped it up for its journey!

 I made Louise a little book mark too. It looked a little bare so I thought adding this button would be a bit of a quirky little extra, I do like buttons! I'm going to make myself one soon I think, I've been reading these kindle books for too long and I'm missing turning real pages.

Finally a small little cushion I made from some left over fabric I bought for £2 last time I visited Plymouth. I had no idea what to do with this fabric until the heart swap came along. I've never really sewed before so it's not perfect, but i certainly put a lot of effort (and love) into it!

Hope you like my makes. They've already been put to good use by Louise which is just wonderful, as have mine! Thanks for reading.


Plymouth University Art Exhibition

I went to Plymouth yesterday not to shop (although we did allow extra for browsing the stores and having some fun) but to go and visit Plymouth University's art and media exhibition. I really, really enjoyed myself. I love it when the rooms are empty, this may be seen as a bad thing but being someone who enjoys art and being able to flick through folders and stare at photos or other visual art pieces without feeling claustrophobic or having to move on so others can get a good view it's a good thing.

In this post I give you my favourite pieces from the exhibition. Anyone who lives near Plymouth please go and visit the university and have a look around, there are some fab pieces there.

This is the reason myself and my family went to view the exhibition in the first place. This is a photo taken by my brother, William Goode, one of a series of photographs of Loe Bar in Cornwall. I adore this photo in particular and I'm secretly hoping he'll allow me a copy so I can hang in my home! I think he could sell these prints. This is my favourite because he has captured the colour so well, the blue against the brown and then the scenery in the background. I also love the prints left by horse riders.

There was no name surrounding this art but it was a large black and white print on paper stuck to the wall in the corridor. There were crayons hung up and an invitation for you to add your own little mark. As you can see many people have contributed to this and I love the idea for this reason. I'm sure you can see what I added to this great idea?

Couldn't resist! I've effectively tagged it- hope they like it!

Now this was a powerful piece. There were three large canvases all representing Amy's horse, Rosie, who had to be put down after a fall. It's horrible seeing an animal put down but for horse riders it must be particularly painful. Amy has photographed effectively what is left after the loss of someone she loved. One photo was the riding school, maybe where the horse fell I do not know, the other is this very poignant shot of Rosie's reins. Amazing photography.

'Picture Confessions' was another piece I loved. A group of people have been rounded up and asked to write something on a board, something I would say they have never admitted to in their lives. This ranges from one person admitting they stepped on and accidentally killed a pet, a good looking lad admitting to being single for a number of years...and still counting, to a man admitting he found joy in self harming for a number of years..very interesting. I wonder what I would write?

 Now, below is my favourite piece by far. This is probably because I am a mother, so it tugged at those maternal heart strings. Olivia Edmonds followed a young woman through her whole pregnancy recording in photographs every step, even when her baby was transferred to the neonatal unit shortly after birth. What a difficult thing to go through but yet still allow someone to document this time for you.
This piece is called T.R.A.P which I know sounds odd, but the reason for this is because the woman (Miranda) was not only pregnant again and experiencing those wonderful feelings of happiness, delight and anticipation but she was also grieving the loss of one of her children too.

In Olivia's words:
 'With life and death being the components to our existence, you do not expect to have to cope with these conflicting factors at the same time'
Miranda's very generous bump!

Reminding me of the birth of my babies.
A diary kept by Miranda, baby grows and much more..

I can't imagine my baby being attached to all these wires...
 All in all a really amazing experience. I'm hoping to visit my local college to support the students there and hopefully see some more work and learn some more names to look out for! I got some lovely postcards to remember some of the art work above for my collection.

To round off, we did a bit of shopping before our train journey stopping once for doughnuts and another time to spend just short of £20 on a bear!!

'Pretty Star' She's well loved already.

Homemade Heart Swap Part 1

I was so excited when signing up to Mary's Homemade Heart Swap. The idea was to make and send (or thrift a lovely item) along the theme of hearts. Five presents made with love and thought.

My 5 presents arrived yesterday. I waited until the evening when all was calm so my lovely gifts wouldn't get trashed by the Little One's. I was really excited to open my huge parcel and find these beautifully wrapped gifts:

I didn't manage to get a photo of the big heart you can see, but Louise made a fairly big wooden heart for me and wrapped it up beautifully. I've even kept the twine and bobble on because they look so great!

My gorgeous little felt pillow. This is hanging on my bedroom door. I have been looking for ages for something to hang from our door with no luck so thank you Louise! The fact she has chosen pink is just perfect!

How cute is this! I love buttons and I have hung my button heart in my hallway for all to see next to my newly applied wall art.

A cute mini cupcake cushion! I was thrilled when I opened this present because it is so thoughtful. I like to rest my arms on it in the evening whilst nursing a hot chocolate.

Another wonderfully wrapped item. Louise has popped a map of my home county (Cornwall) into a frame and placed a small heart exactly where I live!
'Home is where the heart is'
So true. So thoughtful.

Thank you so much Lousie for my lovely gifts and thank you Mary from MaryPoppins for organising such a wonderful idea.

I'll be blogging 'Part 2' soon to show you what I posted off for the lovely Louise!

A Beautiful Blog!

I've been given an award! (The Beautiful Blogger Award) by Jess who has a lovely blog Catch a Single Thought. Please have a read! This is my first award so I'm very pleased and nicely surprised! I'm more than happy to accept and pass it on.

In order to accept this award there are 3 things I am required to do:
1) Thank the person who gave it to you and link back to their blog
2) Tell seven facts about yourself
3) Nominate seven worthy people for the award and let them know why

Seven Facts About Me:

1. I love history. I am totally fascinated by being in the same place or touching/holding something that was held by somebody many, many years ago. I love learning (shame I don't retain it so well, that's what cameras are for though right?) and I have list on Pinterest with some of the places I would like to visit. 

2. I already have my fiance's surname and I am already a 'Mrs' yet I have not actually married Other Half yet, that comes in August! I changed my surname (because I disliked it and think my Other Half's name is a good, strong name) and I figured we'd never bother to get married but I didn't like being referred to as 'Miss' it makes me feel really, really young!...Then we had children so figured it would be a good thing to do. We love each other of course!!

3. I've watched The Inbetweeners so much I often mindlessly talk along or do that annoying thing where the character has a pause so I kind of jump in with their next line...because I'm a bit sad.

4. I like to always have my toenails painted. I can go a while giving my fingers a break but I hate not having my toenails painted. Usually I will also make sure they are either matching or one shade lighter/darker than the colour on my fingers!

5. I collect postcards. I have a tin under my bed getting nicely full of postcards from all over the world thanks to some lovely people. I also buy a postcard whenever I have day out, even it's to a local attraction.

6. I hate loud music. I'm not a fan parties but I'm more talking about loud music in cars (whether I'm in them or out of them), music from houses/clubs/bars etc. I just find it annoying!

7. I have a book kept safe where every month I write down thoughts and prayers. In every month I always have the same prayers, I always ask forgiveness but my thoughts change and sometimes I add another prayer. I'm not sure why I do it, but it just feels right.

Now to pass this award on.

Mama Syder is a wonderful blogger who is so welcoming and friendly. I've said all of this before and she knows it (is probably fed up of it!) but honestly, if you haven't read her blog why!?

Bex at BusyBeeBex. Bex writes about her 2 gorgeous children and in particular her little boy. She is beautiful, honest and i love checking in with her blog.

Kat at KatSighs. Kat's another blogger I only followed recently but I love what she writes about. Mainly her family but a lot of thoughts go into her blog which I love reading and replying to too.

Lousie at Louise'sWestOxenWorld. I was recently paired with Louise for a Home Made Heart Swap which has been so much fun. I cannot wait to receive my gift and feel I've made items that will be suited to her. That's why i nominate Louise, because we 'met' very quickly and yet from her blog I feel I've learnt many a thing about her already.

Lucy at LeopardPrintMommy.It's always great catching up with Lucy's blog. I love reading what she gets up to with her handsome little lad and she's always writing something which interests me and gives me something to chat about!

A Cupcake Mum. Vicky gets up to so much and I really enjoy reading all her posts. Not only that, but she has a really fab risotto recipe, has the word 'Cupcake' in her name and is an all round beautiful blogger!

Jennifer from Jennifer's Little World. Jennifer shares lovely posts on her blog and gets up to all sorts with her family. Also on Jennifer's blog is a weekly '3 To Read' where she lists bloggers that she follows and a link to their post which has caught her eye. I think it's a great way to meet new bloggers and discover new posts to read which is a really lovely idea. I've been featured once, so thank you Jennifer! Hope you can think of 7 more facts haha!


Calling All Penguins!!

"Follow me brother"
Okay, okay, more like my fellow readers and followers who have a little cuddly penguin perched on a wardrobe, laying at the bottom of an overflowing toy box or sat in that charity bag in the cupboard.
If they're in good condition but lacking a bit of love, why not send them off to become famous little penguins featuring in a vlog by the lovely Kay who blogs at BrinkofBedlam before being packaged up and sent off to some truly wonderful boys and girls through the charity PostPals?

To find out more about PostPals please click the image below. It really is a lovely charity allowing people to bring smiles to some very poorly children and young people.

Post Pals - Putting a Smile on Childrens Faces

Now, I don't own any penguins (shameful really as I do quite like them) so I'll be going on my own little penguin mission to find some little fellas who need re homing for a bit of love and cuddles (and, of course, to be made famous- lets not forget that)

If you fancy joining the 'Penguin Amnesty' then please, please do! And it's not limited to just cuddly toys either, oh no, many companies have already come up trumps donating penguin themed products.

Why not join The Penguin Amnesty and bring a smile to a child's face?
Check out the Penguin Gallery so far, something wonderful is happening right now. Be apart of it, I promise it's worth it!

You can find Kay on her blog: BrinkofBedlam
On Twitter: @Chaoskay

CupcakeMumma xx

* Please reframe from sending real penguins, apparently there isn't enough bath space and penguins are too noisy for a family home. Although that would be a good vlog i'm sure!

What We Did Today: Fathers Day

Today is Father's Day so I hope all you men out there have had a lovely day with your families.
The children woke Other Half up this morning with big grins- that's not unusual, they didn't even know that this Sunday was a bit more special than our usual Sundays!

We all got up together and I settled down with the children at the kitchen table to help Little Miss write her card out and wrap up Daddy's gift. I know this sounds terribly dis-organised, and I suppose it is but it added something nice to our morning instead of our usual television watching so I wasn't too bothered and Other Half was more than happy to catch up on the football matches he misses because of work.

Here's what we made together.

Daddy was very happy with his wallet and of course, how many don't love a giant chocolate bar? Little Man certainly doesn't miss a trick!

We also went for lunch today which was very much a spur of the moment thing. I never hold out much hope when eating out because of my 'special diet' but I was really, really surprised today and had a lovely meal. Most importantly Other Half had a nice meal and the children, for the most part, were really well behaved considering there was a 40 minute wait before our food arrived.

Because I'm a bit sad, I whipped out my iPhone and photographed my delicious dinner which I will be having again. So much better than egg, chips and salad! The Man had his beer as well so I think the day was perfect for him!

I hope everyone else has had a lovely day too. 


Slow Down Babies!!

Why do children grow so darn fast? In particular mine (because they are mine). I mean how did Little Miss go from this:

To this?

And, more to the point, how does Little Man get from this:

To this!!

I can tell Miss is growing up very quickly because September is approaching and we all know that for most 4 year olds, this means leaving nursery and going up to reception. Yep, we're making our first steps into education here people. She isn't too bothered about it as a few of her class are coming with her It's really not that big of a deal either to be honest. She'll still see all her old friends and nursery teachers in the playground after all.

Then there's the questions. You can tell they're growing up when all these bloody awkward questions suddenly come flying at you from all angles! She's already asking me about babies and there is no fooling Miss with 'the Stalk.' Oh no, we may not know how we get there, but we know how we get out! Which is fine, I just wasn't expecting her to ask these things so early.

Then the backchat. Oh my the back chat! I don't remember back chatting...Ah hell I was 4 I wouldn't remember but I still maintain I was practically an angel until at lest 11! (I was peeved at my parents for moving all the way to Cornwall...I know, the horror right?) but holy muffins can this girl back chat! I'm not really sure how I feel about this. I just take a stern voice and let her know who's boss which works. Sometimes.
I think when Miss hits her teens she'll get a bit hormonal like her Mother. I have terrible mood swings so that's something to look forward to huh?

But then there's Little Man.

He's just started to walk which feels so wrong looking at him. People say he's tall but i think he's a bit small. He has long feet and is bulking out a little but he's no chunky little baby oh no, he's built how was when I was little: long and lanky so I can't help but think how vulnerable he looks tottering around on his own! Not like Miss, she was really chunky and could hold her own!

I don't get to feed Little Man anymore either. Be it his bottle of milk or helping with his food. Sometimes I think he senses my feelings, takes pity on me and hands me his fork so I can pop that bit of fish finger in his mouth..then he crawls off whilst he thinks I'm not looking to spit in the fire place returning to replace it with a piece of his choosing...

But I'm not completely redundant! Looking at it properly I never really will be. I mean, I still need my Mum and Dad maybe for a chat, a couple of pounds (rarely!) hell, I still need my Mother to give me a lift to the dentist (it's really far, don't judge) so I know my children will always need something from me in some way whether big or small.

Little Miss isn't so mature yet that she's embarrassed to see me on the loo (I wish she would however), she still cries out for her Daddy when she misses him at night but he's out working hard at the factory. She still needs me to reach things that are too high and likes to be sung nursery rhymes with Little Man at night. And she still fights me every tea time.

Little Man is only 1 but the way I talk anyone who doesn't know me would think he was turning 17 or something. No, he just walks around looking all grown up, he's trying to say words and knows what he wants. He still clings to me like a limpet though, and I still have all the baby tasks as before, nappy duty, watching him like a hawk because he's so mischievous, and I still have to share my food with him. Equally he still likes to surprise Mummy in the shower or demand to sit on my lap while I pee which is never great (don't worry, there are no 'toilet cuddles' in this house- I've not totally lost the plot)

Anyway, I've gone on enough. Are your babies growing too fast? I know a lot of the blogger's I follow are welcoming the end of GCSE's and university for some of their children and some can't believe their little one's are already a few weeks old. However old our babies are, they will always be that to us.

Love you my Little Monkeys!

Smiling at the Simple Things

I've been paying attention to the smaller more simpler things in life this past week. I've had massive moments of feeling pretty low if I'm honest due to one thing or another and just when I was about to write it all down I thought about all the bad and wrong going on recently and I stopped myself. Who wants to read my 'sorry for myself posts' anyway? I certainly don't want to go back and see them.

Here are a few things that have made me smile. Probably a bit weirdly. Probably followed with Mums whispering to their children that I'm not all there and should be avoided. I am all here though..or there. Just in case you were wondering....

1) I often look out of my bedroom window and usually after I've put the children to bed. There appears to be a quiet that sweeps the town for half an hour or so in the early evening and I like to take advantage of that. Peace and quiet makes me smile but that wasn't on my list. What I did see was two elderly ladies walking gingerly along the pavement gripping the shopping trolley bag in front of them. They were nattering away but concentrating ever so hard at the same time. Maybe they were sisters? Or just two close friends. I hope that, aside from my future husband, I too can have a dear old friend to grow old with.

2) I was sat on a bus watching a little girl being totally doted on by her Grandparents. It was just so lovely to see 3 elderly people look so young and happy all because of this little bundle. I would say their Grand daughter was about 9 or 10 months old and she was the cutest little thing ever. I can't imagine my parents ever taking my 2 out like that, not to be horrible of course i just think it's rare for many these days but so wonderful to see.

3) Before Little Miss went to sleep on Friday night we were talking a bit about going to the theme park the next day. She was really excited about it but was a little disappointed when I told her that unfortunately if the sun doesn't come out for a bit then we probably wouldn't be able to go. I sat in my room for a while as I usually do and it warmed my heart to hear her talking to the 'Sun Fairies'. It worked though, we had a lovely weekend!

Finally, my pen friend had her baby. She had a gorgeous little girl and I defy anyone not to feel a little warmth when looking at a tiny new life being brought into the world.

Many things have honestly got to me this week. Not just personal things like people I miss but cannot see but on a larger scale too. All the news of so much crime at the moment and most recently all of the atrocities in Syria, it's just terrible. We sometimes need to look at these more 'easier to miss' moments, write them down and treasure them.


Half Term Wash Out!

I was going to wait until the end of the week to post about our half term but considering the weather hasn't exactly been on our side and it doesn't look like we'll be doing much other than duvet days, movie nights, baking and colouring (unless Saturday brightens up) I figured I may as well post what we have done now.

The Jubilee weekend was great wasn't it? We watched all those wonderful boats and barges travel down the Thames, Little Miss started singing 'God Save The Queen' everytime she heard it sung on the tele which was really sweet. They'd been learning it in school you see.

On Saturday it wasn't just the Queens Diamond Jubilee but also my Gran's birthday which we celebrated as a big family down at the pub. It's a lovely pub but it was apparent by the end why I don't visit pubs (a part from the rather frosty atmosphere if you don't appear to be a regular- heaven forbid if you're not a local!) it's also the fact that there isn't anywhere to change your children. This goes without saying, it's pub, I don't expect anything different but I didn't think about it until the time came when, with Little Man still a bit unwell decided to fill his nappy. The poor boy had to be changed on the sink side in the ladies room! I was very annoyed with some unhelpful comments made by family members and it did ruin my good mood slightly but altogether we had a lovely day.

Little Miss loves putting on some nice clothes. She chose her lovely daisy top and accessorised herself with the headband. What you can't see is her tutu which I made on her nursery dress up. I made a ladybird one and added white and blue especially for the Jubilee.
I actually got to wear some nice shoes. These cost 6 pounds and I bought them a year ago! 
My Aunt, Mum and Gran at the top of the table waiting for their starters. Gran had a lovely day and enjoyed her chocolate and card that Little Miss helped make and wrap.

 Pops had to share his starter with a rather impatient and hungry Little Man. The landlord didn't hear us order the children's meal either so they had to wait even longer for the main course which he was most apologetic for! There was just so many of us ordering i didn't blame him!
My Aunt is a vegan and always gets served this special dish for her whenever she eats at this pub with my Mum. I believe inside this pineapple it is literally stuffed full to the top with risotto.
I settled for haddock with chips and veg which was okay. The chips were nice (I'm really fussy with chips) the veg was great too as it was slightly undercooked giving me that crunch I love. It was the haddock I didn't enjoy because it was just so bland and thin. I prefer my frozen smoked fillets!

Still, as I said it was a lovely day and luckily we got some sun on Monday too so we did lots of waiting for buses to get to the theme park Flambards. It's really expensive (for a family on a tight budget) but we saved the pennies specifically for this day out. Can you believe we were ALL charged though? Even my 1 year old who couldn't actually go on anything? Okay they do have the younger rides but they are pants to be honest and as much as Little Man would've liked them I would've struggled to get in ALL of them (and I'm not even big OR tall)

Little Miss had fun though- she loved the log flume and went on it again and again. Daddy also took her on the go carts which she thought was a laugh and we went on the roller coaster together which scared her a bit to start with but by the end she was laughing. If the que wasn't so long we would've gone again! We purchased some photos from the photo booth set up by the log flume (with hilarious consequences!) and both children had so much fun in the ball pools. I wouldn't use the big play area because you have to pay and again, it's just too expensive for us.

We brought food in for the children which was lucky because at £3.75 for 8 big chicken nuggets I nearly cried (well, if i bought them I would've done!) Other half and I settled for some nice fries then carried on with our day. Little Miss was very upset to leave which is always a good sign! You do get to validate your ticket at the exit which is great because you can then return to the park once during 5 days from your visit for free. Due to the weather though we may have to give that a miss sadly!

I'll leave you with some photos of our day out which overall was a great success, especially for Little Miss and Man which is the most important thing and we could still go again because there's no way we were bored after just one visit. There was face painting and other bits and bobs we couldn't do because we were short of a few pennies which we would make sure wouldn't happen again!

This sensory room is so much fun. The mirrors are great!

Riding on the indoor cars. This was his first time on the
 ride ons and he loved it!

On their way round...

At the top!
And splash!
I spotted this flower on the way to the museums. How beautiful?
 I hope you're having a good week despite the weather! I've really enjoyed looking through everyone's Jubilee photos and reading what you've been up to, it's been wonderful!