Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Birthday Treats...

A quick little post today, but I thought I'd share some pictures of my birthday weekend. What a great one it was! It is not often that I like to be made a fuss of, but my friends and little family really did spoil me rotten this year. I think 36 should definitely be the new 30, no??
Anyhow, have a little flick through if you'd care to - once again I'm so thankful to have this blog as a record of all the milestones. I'm quite sure in years to come I'll glance back at these pictures and wonder why I was so worried about wrinkles, and what the flip I was wearing!
So - here's to more lines, more dubious fashion choices and more memories in this brand new year...

This picture is a little blurry, but Mr M picked this card from the kiddos, mostly because there were three little kittens - and one little ginger one! :)

We got a chance to have lunch out child-free, and it was amazing.  As you can see, I'd already tucked in to my scallops before I remembered to take a picture!

Obligatory birthday selfie!

New birthday shoes!!

And Noah made me this 'Portable DVD Player'.  Have you ever seen anything nearly half as magnificent?? ;)

I'd been lusting after this Hush hat for an age.  Thanks Mr M!  Of course this would be the September that it is positively tropical...

Birthday cheesecake! He really is a sweet one, my Mr!
E x

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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Pizza and Patisseries...

If there's one food option that's always sure to be a winner round our way, it's pizza pie. And a sunny Saturday with a bare fridge and a Mama not feeling the best, most definitely calls for easy comfort food that requires no making. You don't need to mention it twice in our house.
There'll be kiddos with coats on faster than you can say 'Margherita'.

We trotted off to the seaside for our little family lunch date, and hit up one of our favourite places for fivesomes to chow - Little Wing in Holywood.
This is a chain restaurant, in and around Belfast, but we had never been in this branch before. Housed in an old bank building, it is full of industrial charm, from the exposed pipes to the brickwork and art.
We loved it, and the added bonus of having an in-house Patisserie Mimi went more than a-ways to brightening the red, puffy eyes of this cold-filled Mum.
Macarons should be dished out on the NHS. They really should.

Some photos of our morning below, if you'd like a look...

Can we just take a second to appreciate the attitude here! :) Model in the making??

Building up the immune system with some garlic bread!

Ummm, one of each??

E x

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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hot Chocolate and Homework...

As a mum of three, it's often difficult to find times that I can spend with each child individually.
I'm sure you maybe have the same struggles, if you are negotiating this parent minefield en masse.
I think, in some regards too, Mr Noah gets the least of my time. It's possibly due to the girls being the divas that they are, or possibly due to his easy-going, middle-child ways. I do worry sometimes though that I don't take enough interest in the latest details of Minecraft, or muster enough enthusiasm for all his little quirks and stories.
Everything really is AWESOME when you're seven, don't you know? ;)

On Wednesday evenings our girls go to GB, and as Mr M drops them off, Noah and I have developed a little tradition of having hot chocolate while he reads me his school reading book.

It is perhaps a tiny, insignificant moment to most, but those moments curled on the sofa, listening to my boy, are some of the very best in my week...

I am mindful that raising boys and raising girls are two very different processes. The teenage years, and beyond, will no doubt stretch our bond - test it and tug it.
His heart will not always belong to me, his cuddles and kisses will be shared as he grows.
But for now?
On our sofa. On a Wednesday evening.

I'll enjoy being the only girl he has eyes for.

E x

Linking up today for The Ordinary Moments with Katie at MummyDaddyMe.

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Friday, 26 September 2014

Love the Little Things #27

Happy Friday!!
And it's my birthday!
21 again.
Being a bit crap at Maths really does have it's advantages in old age.

Anyhow, I'm sure you'll maybe have sussed that I write this post on a Thursday. But today - Thursday (keep up now!) I have had a lovely child-free day with Mr M.
We had lunchtime cocktails and EVERYTHING.
So, pardon me if this is short and sweet - I have gin-induced sleepiness and my jammies are calling!

But, as ever, today I am linking up with lovely butwhymummywhy for #littleloves.
This week, the little things that we have:


I finished my book! Oh, it was so good. If you are in search of a new, very lighthearted read do try The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me by Lucy Robinson.  I'm not normally a big fan of chick-lit, just because it can be the same old, same old, can't it? But this is quirky and funny and very contemporary. Thoroughly recommend!


Me and Orson Wells - Once again I was a bit distracted by the old iPad, but Mr M really enjoyed this.
Will I be excommunicated for saying that I really don't get the whole Zac Efron thing though? Not a patch on the Gosling, in my (aged and) humble opinion. ;)


Wait for it... Wait for it... We 'made' French Toast!
I know. I'll not use it as my audition tape for GBBO, but compared to the shizzle I normally pull out for this one I'm even impressing myself here.


I'm trying my very best to take part in Becky's #30daystylechallenge this month, whereby you wear only items currently in your wardrobe - nothing new - for 30days. It's all been going swimmingly so far...


- Lunches out, both en famille and a deux...

- Cuddles with gorgeous new little babies (Awww!)

- Suddenly becoming aware of how much the kiddos are learning in school. Did you know there are 206 bones in your body? That little nugget c/o Mr Noah. He'll take payment in chocolate buttons if you win your local pub quiz.

And that was our little week!
This weekend the birthday celebrations continue with brunches, and dinners, and more cocktails. I can't wait!
I hope yours is every bit as fun-filled!
See you next week!

E x


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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Marriage is ... Hot Buttered Toast

If you're new to Life at the Little Wood, you'll maybe think that I've lost the plot a tiny bit. But I'd love it if you'd take a wee sec to catch up on my marriage posts here, here and here. All will become clear!

Off you go ... We'll wait!
Back? Here we go then...

One of the great things about living with someone is that there is very little that is unsaid or unknown. And this co habitating, although at times frustrating and argument-inducing, can also be the very greatest source of comfort. 

Like hot buttered toast.

When I was in the darkest days of my work life, and the stress swirled and mounted, the thought of my evenings with Mr M, tea, biscuits and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes, really. Don't you judge now.) was some days, all that got me through. I think when you are unhappy at work, home becomes your haven, doesn't it? The place you escape to.
My friends and I used to giggle at how walking out of work on a Friday afternoon was akin to the closing scenes of The Shawshank Redemption. I mentally played that music in my head Every. Single. Friday. And the sight of my front door on those afternoons could beat any beach in paradise.
If Andy Dufresne had traded dragging himself down a sewer for wading through action plans and target setting, I dare say my front door would have sufficed.

But Home is much more than bricks and mortar, isn't it? Much more than the comfort of familiar objects and smells. It is kicking off your shoes on a Friday, and making that first cup of tea. It is closing your eyes for a sec and feeling totally safe. It is knowing that you will hear a key in the lock, and that might possibly be the best part of your day. It is where plans are formed, and chats are had. It is sharing KitKat's and arguing over what to watch on the telly. It is going to bed too late, and that first, bleary eyed smile in the morning.

The familiar, the comforting. Our normal.
And if marriage could be summed up in a feeling, that's what it would be for me.

The things in life that make you smile, and take stock, and breathe, and believe it's going to be OK.
The things that warm you, right down to your toes.
Wrapping your gloved hands round a takeaway coffee on a bitterly cold day. Mashed potato and gravy by a roaring fire. Soft socks, a baby giggle, the cuddles of your children.
And hot, buttered toast.

Because even when everything else is a bit rubbish, there'll always be the carbs and the Golden Cow.
There'll always be home.
And there'll always be a person to share it with.

E x


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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Foodie Sundays...

My children are definitely not known for their culinary tastes and love of trying new things.
I hope it maybe reassures you to know that we eat more than our fair share of Potato Waffles and cheese toasted sandwiches.
I realised a long time ago that food was a battle I was most unlikely to win.

Anyhow, one sure way to get them to at least attempt something new is to cut it into tiny pieces, put it on a stick, and get someone else to serve it to them. I love how they're a whole lot less suspicious of a stranger giving them snacks than their OWN MOTHER.

We were invited to the Tesco NI food fair in Custom House Square, a couple of Sundays ago, by the lovely people at Graham's Bakery. It is an annual event open to the public, and totally free, which showcases some of the best local food suppliers. The busyness of it had put us off in previous years (it was a bit hectic!), but with bigger children, less likely to get trampled on, we attempted it this year.

Here are some snaps of our day, if you'd like a look...

Making Smoothies with Bike-power!

Slightly random to have an animal attraction at a food fair but, y'know, who are we to argue?
Don't they just look DELIGHTED to be photographed with that Alpaca?? ;)

Life is good when there is cake. Making your own? AWESOME!

We tried lots of new things (my favourite was the Glenisk berry smoothie, Mr M loved the Honey Irish Whiskey!), rolled our own Swiss roll, and left with a bag of goodies.
If you're local I'd definitely recommend a trip next year, but go early and prepare yourself for crowds.

Happy tummies = happy faces though, eh?

E x

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