Winter wonderland.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, tra-la-la-la – la, la- la – la – la. …. You know the rest!

So here  we are! Its the week before Christmas and the festivities are stepping up a gear round about now! I wont lie, I’ve mentally checked out. I tried to fit as much work as possible into last week, so this week is pretty much just tidying up those loose ends ready to spend the rest of the month eating and being merry. However, sticking with my promise of re-connecting with the blog this month – I’ve still got plenty of posts to come before 2017 is over! Starting with todays, which is all about our visit to Prestons winter wonderland.



I love how magical this time of year is for them, but I’m also super aware of how long – realistically – I have left of these magical Christmases, before it becomes all moody teenagers and no one believing in Father Christmas. So I’m desperate to squeeze every last little Christmas drip from every year.

So on Saturday, we made our way down to town to visit Prestons very own winter wonderland.

We started off by being separated into smaller groups – which was a very good decision on the organisers part. This meant the children all got enough time in each tent. We started in the Elf workshop, where the girls decorated some baubles. Then it was over to make reindeer food in another tent. From there we visited Mrs Christmas to decorate biscuits and then over to meet Father Christmas, practicing some circus tricks whilst we waited.

All in all it really was a festive way to spend Saturday morning. The staff worked tirelessly to keep the children entertained, the only things that really did irritate me a little was the stampede of Parents (yes actual grown adults) pushing past younger children to get theirs into the next tent first – but that really wasn’t a fault of the organisers, just humanity in general. Ha. It was also a little bare. Not much in the form of atmosphere, maybe a little Christmas music, some more decorations, a snow machine. Something to just jazz it up a bit. We did after all pay £15 a ticket!  The girls however, were made up and that is the most important thing.

I think if they were to do this event the same

again next year I wouldn’t go, but with a couple of minor changes, it really could be something fabulous, I’d just remember to wrap up a bit warmer next time. Two degrees with only a thin Mac on, really wasn’t my brightest of ideas!




The little woman pretends.

The first day of Christmas.

Happy 1st December!

Its this time of year already, and though I’ve struggled to get into the festive spirit recently, today that all changed. Its like I woke up this morning and everything was different. Instead of grimacing under the stress of to-do lists, today I’ve been a cheery little elf, its been all about Christmas songs, organising, ticking off those to-do’s and finishing up the decorating.

I’m actually ready to enjoy this month, and I have got a fair few things coming up to enjoy – but more about that next week.

This year, I’ve broken a record, my own record. This year I haven’t bought one single new Christmas decoration. not one. But yet everything looks different. This, I know is down to the radiator cover re-style a month or so back, and the chair re-paint I did back in the summer. Everything feels much more together this year.

And while I’m talking things I haven’t done this year – be obsessive about the decorations is another. When I dragged everything out on Wednesday night, the girls were of course very excited. Instead of the usual “Its okay, mummy can do it” I just let them crack on. Granted I have had a teen, tiny faff about with those baubles since. but not a lot, really they did a good job!

As always, I’m embracing the traditional style this year.  Its just the style that gives me the most cosy, comforting, Christmassy feeling. I don’t think I’ll ever change it.



Happy first day of Christmas!!!


The little woman pretends.

A rural retreat.

Last week we headed over to the most serene little corner of the countryside. We wound up driving down that bumpy country road last Wednesday after a completely last minute decision. I was supposed to book us a lovely sunny holiday abroad before the holidays even started, but one day turned into two, and before I know we’re four weeks in and I still haven’t found anywhere that doesn’t cost two grand for a week in a 2 star at best. So I went to plan B. Camping.

I have to admit, I wasn’t overly sold on sleeping out in the elements. I mean, it would have been fine was it just me and Sam, I’m low maintenance, cup of tea, a good book. I’m right as rain. The girls however, rather ashamedly are big on their electronics – though our ‘iPad’ break of last year is still standing!- Mischa’s gasp of “But mum, how will we watch TV?!” Sold me on it. I spent my youth wandering the local woodlands, playing on rope swings, nursing nettled legs. My girls are slightly more sheltered. I let them run free, we regularly go out and about. But the actual freedom of spending the whole day from morning till dinner time “playing out” isn’t something my two have really managed to live through yet.

So, we went back to basics. Well, I say basics. I ended up booking a luxury teepee at the rather gorgeous looking Kings acre glamping. We got a really good last minute deal on Pitch up, £129 for 2 nights. And after creating a mini meal plan of very delicious and non-boring food we cook cook over the fire. we spent no more on £180 for the entire trip!

So, after receiving a very lovely email from Jess (the co-owner) giving me all the details for our stay, I got us packed up and off we went on our journey. The trip took less than 1 hour 10mins from Preston (if any locals are interested.) and the actual campsite was really easy to get too, they’ve even put up little signs to guide you to them.

Once at the site, we parked up and was led to our gorgeous little home for the few days we had the “Little owl” tent, which consisted of a large double bed, two fold out single futons, bedside tables, a chest for storage, a fire pit and enough comfy outdoor chairs for us all. It. Was. Perfect.

We jumped right on in, unpacked, and sat on those chairs out in the sunshine, looking over at the welsh valley views and hearing nothing but the sounds of birds and gentle winds blowing through the acorn tree above. I would go into loads of detail about what we did there, but truthfully, we did nothing for two days. We lazed and ate, we sat by the lake and read. I lay with a cold beer and watched the girls run around freely with the two adorable and completely friendly resident dogs. it was everything I could have hoped for. My only regret is that we didn’t book an extra night!

So, that was it. our little family trip away. If you’re wanting to do something similar before the summers out, here are a few of my best tips.

  • Make a meal plan. For our trip I pre cut and mixed Chicken fajita’s and Garlic n’ herb steak, potatoes and veg. I kept them in a those takeaway style foil trays, in a cool bag with a constantly frozen ice pack. We ate the chicken on the first night (for obvious reasons) and the steak was so beautifully marinated for our second night. I also made cheese and peppered ham pizza pockets wrapped in foil for lunch, you just literally throw them on the fire, turn after a few minutes, unwrap and enjoy.


  • Take a washing up bowl, liquid, sponge and a tea towel. Simple, but it just makes clean up after meal times quick and easy.


  • Take carrier bags for your rubbish. Again, simple but make sit easy to keep everywhere tidy. (don’t forget to find out if your camp recycles before you start just throwing everything into general waste.)


  • Find out if your camp can supply firewood. If they do, use it. Our lovely hosts dropped off a massive wheel barrow of wood for only £5. otherwise we would have been left with the random coal bag we brought. Which will cook the food, but won’t give you a glorious camp fire to spend you’re evenings staring into.


  • Don’t forget to pack entertainment for the kids. We where lucky a few of our campmates let the girls play with frisbee’s and footballs, but really I should have been a bit more organised than telling them they can pack one rucksack with toys – Mischa brought a star cushion ?! Next time we’ll be bringing some more outdoor games.


  • And finally. This is a biggie, but if you can… turn off your phone. Completely for the whole trip. It was the best thing I did, I was completely present for the entire thing, I had no idea what was happening in the world, and even though I had my camera I wasn’t spending the whole time creating Insta worthy shots. It was just us, our little garden and the sweet silence of the countryside. Perfection.


You can see all the shots I took below. I did narrow it down from about 900 photos!




I’m already so excited to book our next trip to kings acre. Bring on the Easter holidays!


The little woman pretends.


A new venture.

I mentioned briefly over on the Facebook page about my new little venture and anyone who follows my insta knows all about it. But I thought I’d bring that info over to the blog with a little more detail. Last Autumn I started my Level 3 in photography, that along with over 3 years of practice has amounted to me finally setting up my own photography business. I’m still learning as I go, every day brings new challenges – though thankfully all have been in a good way- but overall I think, I might have just found my job.. ‘the one’

It all came about once I had finished my course, that combined with the fact that Izzy starts school full time this September means its finally time for me to head back into the working world.  I had three options. 1) Continue further education by going to university to study photography. 2) Start up my own business. 3) Find a completely unrelated job and keep photography as a hobby. I obviously went for option 2.

I thought it would be the easiest option. And though I’m not technically wrong – I’m not right either. I know a lot of you have followed all the way from when this used to be a handmade childrens wear site. Back when my 18 hour days were spent locked in a sewing cupboard trying my best to build something from my love of sewing. It was hard, no… thats an understatement. it was exhausting, it zapped my energy, my creativity, I was wracked with ‘mummy guilt’ constantly. And so I switched to blogging as a way to both keep me sane and give me time to run my house and mother my kids in the way I wanted too.

This is a business, so yes. Yes it does take a lot of time to run. But my sessions are pre-booked, my editing expected and planned for and other than that its all about building online. Which I both enjoy and do anyway with blogging stuff, so its no where near as full on as it was last time.

In the four weeks its been since I made the Facebook page live. I feel I have achieved so much, its pushed me to plan better, to apply myself harder, to use my imagination as much as possible and actually, after hearing and seeing reactions on shoots I’ve been doing. To believe in myself a little more.

Im sure a bad day will crop up soon, one where I ask myself why I started another business. But I’ll remind myself of the old saying…. “its not work if you love what you do.”

So what does the future hold? I hear you ask – probably- Well, I will say honestly, I’ve no idea. I know its not wise to start a business up with no real plan, but thats what I’ve done and what i’ll continue to do until I feel I’ve got to do otherwise. I’m keeping it very simple, get those sessions booked in, stay creative with each and every one. I rope in people when I want to try something new and share my shoots on social media. Thats it. My one real plan for the future is to get the website up and running for Autumn so I can share it all in one place.

Highlights of the past month, have been Going over to Ravenous in Preston town centre for an early morning menu shoot!


Shooting my amazing sister giving birth to my niece – yep that was every bit as terrifying as you could imagine!


And, I think being asked to shoot one of my oldest friends kids amongst the fields that we used to wander round as youngsters. It was a day full of many laughs!


So far its been a pretty amazing Summer! And Autumn is already looking pretty special, from organising a giant look-book shoot in Manchester with a children’s wear brand, shooting what I hope will be many posts photographs for a local fellow blogger, to a family christening and SO much more in between. Its all pretty amazing really!

So, thats what I’ve been up to!

I’m keeping to a pretty relaxed blogging schedule at the moment, with the plan to post just once a week, I can tell you now though, next week’s post is going to be pretty brilliant! I’m off to London later tonight for some AMAZING blog work – all will be revealed next Monday!



The little woman pretends.



Seasonal living: January.

I had planned the first seasonal living post to go a little differently than it has done, but the seasons aren’t always how they’re supposed to be, sometimes its freezing cold and raining in Summer, sometimes its blue skies and warm sunshine in October, with that in mind, this month, I’ve just kinda’ gone with the flow.

Around the home:

I’ll have to be honest, I’ve not really achieved much in the home month. The ‘Drain people (?!)’ were supposed to be coming early on to sort out the drainage issues with 90% of the garden whenever it rains for more than 2 hours. My back garden is a bog.

Once this was drained and re-turfed, the plan was to then be able to build up the back of the garden for the chickens, which would then make room for the Veg patch. Of course, nothing this month has really gone right, so I’ll just try and get all that done next month.

So, I may not have ticked anything off the garden to-do list, I have however been putting a little bit of effort elsewhere into living seasonally.


What I’ve been doing:

One of my main goals this month was to get outside, and even before everything started to get a bit crazy round here, we had definitely accomplished that one. Mischa isn’t super keen on my new “Lets explore” mentality, in fact on one of our vistits to beacon fell earlier on in the month, she told me it was the worst day ever. It was pretty cold… and we were sat eating sandwiches on the very tip of a high hill…. I know, I know… I’m such a meanie. I did however promise her that by the end of the year she will love our adventures out. I’m really going to have my work cut out with that little promise.



What I’ve been eating:

Food wise, I’ve been keeping it simple, For the best part of the month, I’ve been trying to cut down on our meat consumption, so we’ve been quite happily doing two meat free dinners a week, this slow cooker mushroom risotto was a firm favourite, as was the Leek and potato soup (Just switch the chicken stock for vegetable) For all the other meals its been stews, stodgy puddings and homely comfort foods. It is after all January. One of my favourite new tries this month has been this Somerset stew with cheddar and parsley mash. I popped some sausages in and WOW. This is the ultimate in winter comfort foods.


How I’ve been feeling:

This one is obviously a difficult one to answer normally this month (You’ll find an explanation in this post for why) But If I try and ignore all of the crazy stuff, and just focus on our household, and how everything was prior to the giant explosion that went off the middle of the month, I’d have to say fresh… I had and still am feeling quite refreshed. January is quite a miserable month for so many people and for so many reasons, but I haven’t been feeling that, the first week or so was just met with relief that the Christmas season was over. And now, the days are finally getting that tiny bit longer, just noticing that has give me a little boost and helped appreciate the time of year we are in.


All in all, its been a cosy January, but I’m ready to prepare for spring now, February is already looking to be busy.

How have you been living seasonally this month?


The little woman pretends.


The year of seasonal living.

I’ve always had a fairly simplistic approach to life. I, like most have a dream, my dream is to build a big beautiful house (New England/ranch style) out in the middle of nowhere, to have a flock of hens, maybe a couple of pigs, probably a goat… a library, a vegetable patch I can tend to all summer long, a beautiful kitchen to prepare wholeosme meals. Its all very simple. And whilst I can’t do anything about the house building part just yet – other than day dream – I can start on all the other stuff.

Back in July last year we got our first chickens, three beautiful girls who give us the freshest eggs possible every day. They’re such a dream to have (not including the current Avian flu outbreak thats left my girls on lock down since the beginning of December) very easy to look after and the rewards are really the tastiest rewards ever – Boiled eggs & soldiers on a drizzly winters morning. Is there anything more cosy?!


Last year was a turning point for me, I’ve always had a certain wildness, one that has caused me a fair bit of trouble as a young un’, but as I’ve got older, I’ve learnt to channel that wildness, 2015/2016 were the years I started listening to my body more, I realised just how much balance and mental clarity having a good diet and regular exercise gave me. It was over this last year I also started to notice the seasons a bit more, though having developed an obsession with taking my camera everywhere, had an awful lot to do with that.   All this combined created an interest, something I’ve spent a fair few hours researching, Pinterest-ing, reading about and trying to better understand.  By the end of 2016, I was eager to get started on this years big plans.

To spend the year living seasonally.


I’m not being strict about all this, it isn’t some religious thing I must live by every single day, For me, this includes eating more locally produced -in season food. Growing my own – or at least trying too. Spending more time outdoors, making it a priority to surround myself with the natural life and embracing the calm it brings. I want to spend winters evenings snuggled up early with candles, books and tea, I want to live an entire Summers day out in the woods, staying out long enough to see the sun-set instead of rushing home to get the kids settled. I want celebrate the individuality of each season, the weather it brings, the food it brings and the way you live because of it.

It might all sound a little bit hippy dippy, but the simple life really does appeal to me more than any other way. Its something that already in-built, its just now I’d like to make a little more of an effort acknowledging it.



So, this year I’ve devised a plan of action and at the end of each month I’ll keep you all updated with a blog post. Beginning with my first post at the end of January.



I hope you’ll join me in a little Seasonal living.


The little woman pretends.