A Lovely Love Story

This walk has a story to it, when I was 14 I started walking here with my mam in preparation for my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. By the time I was 16 this was a place I’d come to just get some space, and when I was 17 and got together with Mr B we came down here every time we met up at mine for a walk, or a picnic, or just a chat. Three months into our relationship as we started this very same walk he surprised me with an eternity ring, he later admitted he just liked the ring and had no idea of the symbolism but hey, it obviously was meant to be!

We moved into a flat down here 5 years ago and got Tobydog, so started to walk this 30 minute loop every morning and night, and soon we were making it round in 20 minutes, we’ve done it ever since, and in 2011 he proposed on the grassy knoll over looking the Tyne. In May 2012 we took our darling daughter for her first ‘path walk’ – I was terrified, was she too hot, too cold, did she needs more layers, was I going to be a good mother… Almost two years on she loves coming out here almost as much as we do, lots to see even on a rainy day when I took some of these snaps! Consequently I never want to leave this place, so many good memories! #lovelylovestory

Share the Love: Valentine’s Linky


Valentine’s Day is upon us, the feast of St Valentine associated since the High Middle Ages with courtly love. My Mam used to do something special on Valentine’s Day when we were children, either a heart shaped cake or a treat after dinner, it’s something I have fond memories of. Here’s a secret *whispers* I have never, ever received a secret Valentine card, I also think it’s a classic card sellers holiday, but I do however like the idea of a Valentine treat either for yourself, a loved one or both!

This is an ad-hoc one off linky, open until the week after Valentine’s Day for you to share a lovely love story post, it could be about if and how you celebrate Valentine’s Day, it could be about your love life, the love of your life, a pet, your children, anything really, as long as it’s a #lovelylovestory

Please use the #lovelylovestory hashtag on twitter and I’ll retweet and share your posts, read and comment on each others, and share my linky button if you like! I’ll be back with my own lovely love story very shortly!

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Toys of the past!

I’m 30 next month and true to my 80s kid roots I’ve been reminiscing over some childhood photos, I always come back to the toys that feature in the pics, retro chic! Once I get thinking about Hamble and Jemima, Alf, Harry and the Hendersons, Thundercats…that’s it, you’ve lost me!

About ten years ago Mr B bought me a repro Carebear after my toys came to a sad end (loft insulation man took them by mistake, bye bye lovely memories) it’s now Joss’ prized possession:


So this post is a rundown a ‘toys I’ve loved and lost but remember fondly’ if you will!

My top five rundown in TOTP style (do the presenter’s voice, you know you want to!) starts with Polly Pocket, frustrating though it was that Polly’s only movement was to bend in half in the middle I used to love these little cases, I’ve always been a sucker for compacts!


Then in at four there were Keypers, we had a snail and a swan given in a bumper pack of hand-mi-downs, I vividly remember my excitement at these, so good!


In at three, Cupcake Dolls and Strawberry Shortcake, these were scented and every now and again at a really unexpected time if I get a whiff of a really artificial synthetic strawberry smell I’m suddenly six years old again!


A controversial entry at two, around since the 60s with a heyday in the 90s I don’t care, (I love it) my Skip-it brings all the kids to the yard:

And finally this week’s new entry straight into number one, it won’t be everyone’s favourite but it’s mine, My Little Pony, can’t wait for Joss to get into these!


Disclaimer: I am now raising a child who I don’t believe should only play with the classically ‘girls’ oriented toys that I did and am a fervent supporter of the Let Toys be Toys campaign!


I used to be one of those folk that loved to shop, lived to shop in fact, then I had a child and a) it stopped being fun and b) suddenly life was about moments not things and c) money was tighter to.

Now I love to do food shopping instead, we don’t have a car so do it daily, and it seems Joss is partial to a trip to what she calls Laldi as well. We chat about food, what we’ll have for lunch, choose fruit and talk to the person at the checkout, boring everyday stuff but a world of opportunities if you’re not yet two and spot raisins on the belt!

I wish I had a decent photo for this post, but this will do, she grabbed her toy bag yesterday, popped it on her shoulder and said “have a nice day, bye bye!” When questioned she said she was going shopping, then tired of that and wanted a carry in the bag instead!


29 – 34/365 – a round up for my Joy in the Mundane Project 365

Catching up on a few days now!

29/365 – homemade mini pizzas, these vanished in about 30 seconds for lunch one day last week!
30/365 – I watched the Joss and Daddy show while they were behind the ‘TV’ daddy made from a box and some clingfilm, hilarious!
31/365 – a rare snap of Joss getting a piggyback (or just jumping on my back shouting horsey!)
32/365 – A nonchalant walk with piggy on the nicest day all week
33/365 – A rare night out, no hangovers please!
34/365 – And finally a surprise, and my What’s the Story photo, you may remember this post from earlier in the year, I never fail to be surprised by our little yarden, I had planted snowdrops three years ago and forgot about them, nothing ever came of them and so the pot was popped to one side ready to be planted with something else later. I was surprised to pop out today to put some rubbish out and see green shoots from the old pot, snowdrops! Along with lily of the valley they are my favourite flowers and so this weeks ‘Joy in the Mundane’ series ends on a high!

Team Honk Relay

This week Hannah from Mumsdays was very proactive in organising a NE parenting blogger (pblogger) meet, we overcame challenges of geography and parenting to get together, we lucky three, Hannah, Rita from Three Boys and a Cat and I to get the ball rolling and talk about a very important endeavour.


The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world. An example close to my heart is that £500 could provide six months of support for a young person in the UK with mental health issues.

The Team Honk Blogger Relay starts in Lands End on the 12th January 2014 and finishes in John O Groats on the 23rd March 2014. We aim to raise over £20,000 for Sport Relief. #teamhonkrelay involves over 200 bloggers, their friends and families in a route that zig zags up the UK taking in 38 regional teams and a range of non-motorised transport, and Joss and I are part of the Durham team, getting the Team Honk relay baton from Durham to Alnwick, my girl and I will be taking the baton from Gateshead to Newcastle along the route.

Our plan says that on the 16th March Rita will collect the baton from the Darlington Team Honk team, on the 17th of March Rita will be braving a 20 mile walk in a onesie from Durham to Gateshead via Mammybear in Washington for cake (we like cake, we bloggers!) At the Angel of the North Rita will meet Joss and I for a photo opportunity and then we will carry the baton on foot with Joss in our toddler carrier from the Angel to the Sage in Gateshead and it is hoped that other slingy mams will join us on our walk!



I will take the baton back home with me that evening and then 18th March we’ll be passing the baton on to Hannah who will cycle it from Blyth the 30 miles to Alnwick, phew! If you are a NE blogger who could take the baton from Newcastle to the coast at Tynemouth or further North then do speak up!


How can you help? We have a local target of £500 to raise, and if you’d like to sponsor us you can do, here

You can also spread the word on social media:

Team Honk Twitter & Hashtags: @team_honk #teamhonkrelay

Sport Relief Twitter & Hashtags: @sportrelief #SR14

TeamHonk facebook: #/teamhonk

TeamHonk pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/LoveAllBlogs/teamhonk-2014-relay-teamhonkrelay/

Honk honk!

27 and 28/365 Joy in the Mundane – toddler fixes

In a fix with a toddler? Teething, tantrums, bad weather?

This week has seen all three, those pesky teeth have a lot to answer for though, just getting through the week has felt like our Amazing Achievement! I’m now working three days a week instead of two and trying to re-focus how Joss and I spend our two days together to make sure we get the very best out of them.

It makes me laugh when people assume we stay at home in winter, with no car I guess it would be easy to assume we can’t get out and about but the truth is we’re never at home. With a puddle suit and wellies the outdoors is the place to be for a boisterous 20 month old!


Our next best place to head in a downpour is the library, though we’re not very quiet (shhhhhh….sorry!) we are both bookworms and ours has a lovely community feel


I’ve also been looking at some great pins for play ideas on Pinterest, easy to lose an hour on there, but we’ve made playdough and played with coloured shaving foam in the bath this week and picked up new ideas for the activity list I keep on our fridge to remind me to try something new together

Do you have any good toddler play ideas? We’d love the hear them!

Where’s the Scone? and other My Little Big Town books

My Little Big Town kindly sent us three books for review; the Monster Book of Colours, Monster Book of Numbers and Where’s the Scone?

Given their handy size we’ve taken these books on lots of days out with us, though I think I’d have preferred a hardback book at the rrp of £4.99 the size does make them very portable.


Where’s the Scone? Is Beth Dexter-Smith’s first book, it tells the story of a party where all of the animals bring some food, counting from down from ten to one in rhyme. The characters are beautifully illustrated, really great fun and there are ‘hidden extras’ to spot on each page, three ladybirds, seven dragonflies… The characters are a great mix of popular favourites like apes, bees and swans, but I best liked the nine bream licking icecream and Joss loved shouting ‘where’s the scone…s’gone!’

More fun characters show up in the Monster books, Three Yips, Nine Jib jabs, a Fuzzblot, Noop-Noop, Twiddlypuff and Chubba. Joss loves words so enjoyed the sound of the monsters and did a lot of talking to herself about them when she pored over the books. For me the Colours book is great, clear bright pages, the Numbers book is brilliant up until it reaches ten, but I found it a little hard to understand why the book jumps from 10 to 15, 20, 25 and 50 when so clearly aimed at a younger audience. I don’t want this to detract from Calvin Innes’ illustrations though, as these are a hit with Joss.



Disclaimer: We received these books to review, all views are our own.