Monday, 25 February 2013

March Newsletter...

I'm just putting the finishing touches to the Bradshaw & Sons March newsletter ready to send out on Friday. Sign up below if you would like to receive a copy;

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Sunday, 24 February 2013


I've wanted to draw my boys for a little while, but I'm not the most accomplished artist! I drew my eldest son back in 2009 for his birthday party invites and I always meant to draw them for my blog header, but I've never found the time to practice. The other evening, I suddenly found the motivation to sketch them out, and whilst it's not perfect, it's a start, I certainly can't draw babies! I want the pictures to reference all those Milly, Molly, Mandy books and Enid Blyton adventures that I read as a child. I'll have another go soon or find someone more accomplished than me that can help so I can create something I'm more happy with but for the moment I quite like the simplicity of the new header. 

Saturday, 23 February 2013


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013

Stanley - is teething again, this time it's his two top front teeth moving around! 

Ted - nowhere to be seen! 

Alfie - digging a hole to bury his chicken who died this week. 

Friday, 22 February 2013

flea market finds...

two small crates to use as shelves in the baby's room
two small warne wildlife identification books
one wooden handled bread knife
and a large real hot chocolate!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Indoor Den Building Update...

I just wanted to share with you these wonderful indoor dens, aren't they fab? If you've made one, don't forget to blog about it and link to it using the widget below and I'll do another update next week. Read more about den building week here.

Saturday, 16 February 2013


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013

Stanley - he is fascinated by Betty chicken and the birds outside

Ted - concentrating so hard on making an island for his 'where the wild things are' school project

Alfie - his freckles came out during all those snow days last month - I love freckles!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

little valentines...

For almost a week now, one of us has been poorly and at the weekend the unthinkable happened, FOUR of us were sick all at the SAME time! We were literally up all night, nursing one child then the other and all I can say is thank goodness we have two bathrooms in this house. It seems we have picked up the winter vomiting bug or noro virus, first the baby then the rest of us one by one and now we have given it to the grandparents too. We are slowly coming out the other side, but feeling lethargic and very sorry for ourselves right now, I can't remember the last time we were all so sick or for as long.

We managed to get dressed today and made some heart shaped soaps for some little friends for Valentine's day. We had hoped to make some jammie dodgers again, but to give food as presents just didn't seem right! So we bought some goats milk melt and pour soap base, melted it in a pan then added some lavender bath milk to fragrance them, and poured into a heart shaped ice cube tray that I bought from ikea years ago and left to set. It was really quick and easy.

it's a really big deal to me...

MAD Blog Awards

I want to be cool and pretend like it's not a big deal and that it doesn't matter. But do you know - actually sometimes it does! To receive nominations for something you love doing is a hell of a big deal and to know that people *YOU* enjoy my blog enough to actually nominate me makes my stomach flip with glee. There I've said it, I didn't want to say it because if I don't reach the finals I'll be embarrassed about being so open and laying it out for all to see, but there we are.

The MAD blog awards are the top mum and dad blogs in the UK and just to be listed alongside of some of these bloggers is awesome (to coin one of my nine year olds current words!) I don't blog to win awards or solicit praise, but when people say they like my photography for example I feel the same sense of pride that my children do when handing me their 'achievement awards' from school! Or as one mum said at the school gate, after discovering my blog "I never realised you were so interesting" - gee thanks!

So thank you so much for nominating me for a MAD blog award, and not just in one category but five! I'm sure I don't deserve the best baby blog or best writer (look how many exclamation marks I use!), but I'm over the moon to rank alongside some great blogs in the best family life and best school days blog and best photography nominations are just the icing on the cake!

There's still time to nominate your favourite blogs before nominations close on the 18th, the four most nominated blogs in each category will go through, along with a judges favourite and then voting will start. Whilst you're over there, take a look at the nominations, especially if you're looking for lots of fab new blogs to follow - my google reading list looks pretty much like the list!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Indoor den building week...

Cath of Bristol Parenting Cafe and I absolutely love making dens, both inside and out. There is a 'den building day' for outdoor dens already, so we decided to honour the indoor variety instead. The type you make with sofa cushions, sheets, blankets and whatever else you can lay your hands on. We did this last year if you remember during a particularly wet and horrible half term.

This year we are up to our old tricks again and inviting you all to take part. So if you make an indoor den over the next few weeks, let us know or better still link your blog using the clever widgety thing below, so we can all visit you and see your creations. You are also most welcome to grab the picture above to use on your blog too, and spread the indoor den building love!

Monday, 11 February 2013

capturing stories...

My love of photography comes from my mother, when I was growing up she had drawers stuffed full of old photographs. As a child I would beg her to tell me stories about the people in the sepia pictures that we'd find; Great Great Grandma Wood (pictured above), who outlived her eleven children, Great Grandfather Stephens who played for Gloucester Rugby Club in its earliest years and got married on Christmas Day in 1900 so he could play rugby on Boxing Day!

She recently found a bundle of negatives in an old envelope and had them developed, they are just wonderful and have transported us back to late Victorian times, where people lived simply and worked hard. We pour over the photographs looking for family resemblances.

I started researching our family tree when I was expecting my first child, as suddenly genetics and family history became more relevant, as well as looking for name inspiration! I was very interestd to find on my Great-Great-Great Grandads birth certificate that he was born 'on the Atlantic' how exciting it sounded, we must be more interesting than I first realised. But after some further research using Ancestry, I discovered that his father came from Stroud (where I live now), moved to Ireland where he met his wife, emigrated to the US and had his first child, only to return to England having his second son on the ship home again! So in 300+ years we haven't got that far.

I am hoping to do some more research as I think we can trace our family tree further back and then collate all the pictures and stories into a book that I can hand it down to my boys to treasure as they grow up.

You Make the Prize...

I love these gorgeous rosettes designed by Shanna Murray and Cecelia Hayes, and available as a PDF download. Make yours for Valentines Day, I think I'm going to make them for my boys. 

Saturday, 9 February 2013


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013

Alfie & Stanley ~ instead of shouting "put him down" I quickly reached for the camera! These two have such a bond.

Ted ~ a trip to the hairdressers where he politely asked for a "Mohican" thankfully Kerry nodded and said, "of course" and gave him a sensible cut with lots of gel added at the end to style it!

Managed to capture all three children this week!

Saturday, 2 February 2013


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013

Stanley ~ he's been poorly this week and we have all had hardly any sleep, so we haven't seen his smile as much as usual. But he's quite proud of his two bottom teeth and big slobbery baby kisses often end with squeals as he nibbles you with them! I took this picture on my phone as he loves looking at himself on it.

the MADS...

MAD Blog Awards

The MAD Awards celebrate the top Mum and Dad bloggers in the UK. The ones that we all regularly read, are inspired by or just gasp by quite how much they reveal on their blog!

Nominations close on the 18th - so you have plenty of time to choose your favourites *ahem* I know it will take me a while to choose mine!


I love finding bargains from car boot sales, junk and charity shops but unfortunately true bargains are hard to find now that charity shopping and car boots have become fashionable. I've just found this first aid box, which still has some of its original contents from 1959 inside! I was going to put our medical stuff in and hang it in the downstairs loo, but I haven't the heart to take out the original contents.
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