Monday, August 13, 2012

New Blog Challenge Starting September!!

I know you all enjoyed the 31 Day Blog Challenge back in May, so I am in the process of working on another.  If you would like to join in you will have to stop by my NEW blog home....on Wordpress.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

I Moved To Wordpress

So, if you guys still want to read my posts, then visit and update your feeds or follow by email! :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

This time last year...

I've never taken part in Mama Kat's Writers Workshop before and I ventured over today to see the prompts.  I've been lacking a little inspiration when it comes to blogging lately.  The very first prompt was to recycle one of your favourite posts from July of any year you've been blogging.  I went through my archive and it was only on going through my posts in July of last year that I realised....

On this day last year, I reached the 12 weeks milestone in my pregnancy with Nate (My 3rd pregnancy in our attempts to have a second child).  12 weeks was a milestone I craved but never fully imagined I would reach.  I had assumed, probably to keep further heartbreak at bay, that we would never be so lucky as to have another child.  There was the milestone. a small but visible bump and strong symptoms.

I wrote "Woohooo! I made it! 12 weeks is that milestone that a lot of people feel relaxed enough to tell family about. The rate of miscarriage drops to below 2% at 12 weeks also!! Next week is the start of my 2nd trimester and I am excited to get some energy back!"

I wrote that I'd lost half a stone in weight due to nausea, that I was craving indian food, strawberries and cheese, that my boobs were bigger and I was having mood swings!

Looking back at all we went through in trying to have a second child, I can't believe we are where we are today.  I sometimes think to myself that although what we went through was unbelievably heartbreaking, not once, but twice... our family wouldn't be the family we have right now if we hadn't gone through it.

So, the post from last July was not really a post to recycle... more a post that made me realise how truly lucky I am today.

I frickin love my boys.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Boy Mum Blog-Hop!

Hello!  I'm Emma, a 28 year old mum to TWO bright little boys... Ollie (Oliver) just turned 4 and Nate (Nathaniel) is 6 months old today.  I've been a stay at home mum since Ollie was born and would like to call myself a housewife too but I'm crap at being domestic.  I've been married for 5 years to my awesome hubby James.  He's a geek...

We got pregnant with Ollie soon after we were married and the pregnancy went by smoothly (and the birth, though a little traumatic).  It took us a lot longer to have Nate... 2 years and 2 miscarriages to be exact.  For this reason, our family is complete... we don't ever plan on trying for anymore and I love being the only girl in the house.

I LOVE being a boy mama.  I have fun everyday and am definitely kept on my toes.  They are already great friends and so funny when they are together... and I look forward to bringing them both up to be good husbands and good fathers.  I love our life filled with trucks, trains, spiderman, mud, pee on the toilet seat, random rocks found in pockets and standing on legos!

Some posts that may be of interest to you are the following:

Ollie's birth story
Nate's birth story
Being a mummy to two boys

Let me know if you stop by so that I can visit you also!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Strawberry Cake

6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) milk (though I use soya milk)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 pound (450 grams) strawberries halved
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and butter a 9 inch cake tin.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl.
  3. In a larger bowl beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. 
  4. Mix in the egg, milk and vanilla until combined and add the dry mixture gradually.  Mix until smooth.
  5. Pour into prepared cake tin and arrange the strawberries, cut side down as closely as possible in a single layer.  Sprinkle some sugar onto the strawberries.
  6. Bake cake for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 325F and bake until golden brown.
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Am I young to be settled with 2 kids?

I don't think that I am.  But according to the statistics the average age in the UK to marry is 28 1/2 and the average age for women becoming first time mums is 29 1/2.  I'm going to be 28 in a fortnights time though I've been married for 5 years and have both a 4 year old and an almost 6 month old.  I'm DONE having children before I'm 30 (as far as I can see!!) and I feel happy to be done with that stage of my life, having my complete family here now and for us all to grow together.

I was 21 when James and I got engaged, 22 when we married and 23 when I had my first child.  I don't feel like I missed out on anything getting married and having children younger than the UK average.  I sometimes think about how else I would have spent the last few years had I not followed this path.

When Ollie is 27 and Nate is 23 I will be 50.  The same age difference between Ollie and I as there is between me and my mum.  Me and my mum are very close.  I can tell her anything and I think it's her age that makes the difference in how close we are.  She is still young enough to do fun things with me and young enough be a super trendy fun Grandma.  I hope to be the same when I am her age.

Have I missed out on the student lifestyle?  Living with friends?  Travelling the world?  I don't think so.  I was never a big fan of going out and getting so drunk I pass out.... I also don't mind that James is the first person other than my family, that I have lived with.... and as for travelling the world?  I like to think that James and I did the family thing young enough that we will be in our early 50's when the kids have moved out and have families of their own... 50 is young enough to travel the world without responsibility... plus I envisage we will have more money in savings etc then than we do now, so travelling won't be such a struggle financially.  I'm looking forward to raising my children first, and living out retirement with my husband :)

So in answer to the question.... I don't think I am young to have got married and had children... it suits me perfectly and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Snail Mail Friends! Join in NOW!

So I mentioned last month (in this post) about gathering some people interested in having a snail mail pal and doing a mix and match.  I had also thought about giving our kids snail mail pals too... and as I've been thinking about this, I thought it would be nice to have pairs... you know, a mum and kid who want to take part writing to another mum and little one.... that way only one envelope has to go in the mail and it would be a nice activity for the mum and little one to do together.

There were about 10 or 11 of you interested on the last post, so hoping you're still interested now!

If you are interested in joining in, please leave your email address in a comment below stating whether it's just for you or for you and your little one.  I'll then get in touch with you all once I know how many there are going to be taking part!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

'What To Expect' Series Review and Giveaway!

I will hold my hands up and admit that since the day and hour I found out I was pregnant with Ollie, I have LOVED baby books.  Pregnancy advice, parenting advice.... the whole shabang.  I have a bookshelf full of books to cover every aspect of raising a child!  I don't take them as gospel, I just like to feel informed and reassured!

What To Expect When You're Expecting has been dubbed a 'pregnancy bible' and I have to agree.  There is nothing the book forgets to mention.  It informs you yet doesn't overwhelm you, and its nice to read through month by month as you progress through your pregnancy.  Pregnancy is scary and exciting but full of unknowns... there is so much going on inside your body that you just can't see... I was so reassured to know what was happening with baby.

Once baby arrives.... what's next?  Well, What To Expect have another book to follow their pregnancy 'bible'.... What To Expect The First Year!  What To Expect The First Year covers your baby's development month by month.  It gives hints and tips and answers questions that EVERY new mum will have.

What To Expect The Second Year is a lifesaver too, when things start to get.... interesting.  Topics like tantrums and talking... socialising your baby and when they finally get on the move!  It's also reassuring to know where your kid is developmentally... are they meeting their milestones etc.

All three books offer so much information and advice, but as I mentioned before, it doesn't overwhelm. The books are easy to navigate and cover just about everything you could think of.  If you don't have the books you can check out the website: What To Expect.. packed full of information for mums and dads to be and those who are mums already!  You can also follow What To Expect on Twitter @whattoexpect.

Now I've told you what I think of the series... why don't you find out for yourself.  TWO lucky readers will each win the whole set of 3 books.

Not pregnant/ been there done that?  Enter anyway!  A set of all 3 books would make a lovely gift!

2 people will win a set each of all 3 books!!

Giveaway closes on Saturday 14th July and the winners will be drawn that night.  Winners will be selected at random and contacted via email (please remember to include your email address in your entry!).

1. Please leave a comment on this post.

For 3 extra chances to win:
2. Follow me here.
3. Follow me on twitter @emmaleehughes84.
4. Tweet about the giveaway and include link.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fathers Day 2012

We had a lovely Fathers Day this year.  I made James banana and chocolate chip baked oatmeal for breakfast and we all ate it in bed together.  We had a relaxing morning... James took Dexter for a walk and when he came home we all got ready and went for lunch in Nandos.  We LOVE Nandos.  I honestly don't know why we eat anywhere else... it's delicious.

After Nandos we went to Lady Dixon Park (at Ollie's request) and spent time having a wander, having a swing and playing in the sandpit.  This was followed by icecream at Barnams.  Nate even got to have a little taster.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


James and I have been married for 5 years now and recently (brought on by James recent time away in London) I've been looking into ways to keep the marriage alive and keep the spark going good and strong.  What makes it hard is that James and I are TOTALLY different in terms of personality.  He doesn't understand the need for romance etc whereas romance is something I love!  James doesn't do romance in a way that is stereotypical... chocolate and flowers etc... his way is unique.  I came up with a few things that we could do that weren't necessarily romantic... but that would keep us close and loved up.  So... non-romantic ideas for keeping the spark in a non-stereotypically-romantic marriage.

1. Together Hobbies

We lead very different lives... he with his career and me with my SAHM life... and so our hobbies differ also.  He loves music, anything to do with computing and technology...  I love reading, baking, watching chick flicks etc!  We came up with a few hobbies we could share including geocaching (neither of us have tried this yet but are both eager to try it out!) and watching the top 250 movies on IMDB!

2. In The Bedroom.... (family may not want to read this bit!)

We all know that S-E-X can get fairly routine and lacking in spice, when our lives are crazy full of work and kids... sometimes the last thing you want to do on a weekday is swing from the ceiling after the kids are in bed... much easier to slob in front of the tv with some junk food and have an early night. I like the idea of making things more interesting by instigating a 'no sex in the bed on weekends' rule.  I'll leave that one to your imagination!

3. Married Book

This is a very new one for us.  We have a little Moleskin notebook that we have decided to keep as our married book in which we can write a note to one another... draw a doodle... stick a photo... anything goes, so long as it is directed at the other person.  I thought this would be a nice no pressure way of each thinking of something nice to say to the other person, without the gushiness of saying it face to face (James is not a fan of gushiness!).  We have each made one entry so far and so far we both like the idea of the book.

4. Dating!

James and I had a crazy fun date this month... dinner and a movie.  The meal was amazing, the movie was average... but we had a REALLY good night out together.  We haven't had a date like that in a long time and it didn't matter that the movie wasn't very good... we were out together, alone and it was lovely.  We are making it a monthly thing now.  Dinner and a movie/ something else at least once a month.  Dates don't have to cost a fortune... I know that now.  Even a hot chocolate and a pastry would suffice.

Our marriage is by no means perfect... but most of the time it runs smoothly and happily... it is evident though that a marriage really does take effort.  Effort to keep things fun and interesting and to leave no doubt in a spouse's mind that they are indeed very much loved.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Picture Perfect

My dad is a press photographer and it has always come in handy anytime I want a photoshoot done PROPERLY... seeing as though I'm not quite as good with a camera yet.  Below are my favourites out of the recent set that he did.  I love black and white.  I don't print off a lot of the photos that I take, but these are definitely going on the wall.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nate is 5 Months

At 5 months old Nate is:

Chatting!  It's the cutest sound
Still has blue eyes
Is no longer bald!
Pretty much fits 6-9 month clothes
Is still enjoying weaning....
...and prefers sweet fruit rather than savoury food
Loves smiling at his big brother
He is the most ticklish little boy ever
Still learning to sit up
Is a chubba bubba!
Doesn't really like his dummy much anymore...
Still wakes in the night for a full feed
Stands with assistance
Is so so sweet 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ollie's 4th Birthday

We celebrated Ollie's birthday properly on the Sunday before his actual birthday on the Tuesday.  Sunday was the day of his party so we figured we would do the whole shabang that day for him.  He woke up and we wished him a Happy Birthday and we went downstairs where he opened all of his presents.  He got a spiderman costume, a Bruder fire engine, Jake and Cubby from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, 2 Usborne lift the flaps books, a couple of Spiderman figures and a couple of other bits and pieces.

After the presents were all opened, James took Ollie to the cinema to see The Avengers, while I got the house tidied and started to prepare the party food!

When Ollie got home he changed into his Spiderman costume... pretty much his favourite present out of the lot!

He had a lovely (small) party.  We had Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and just a couple of our friends over for it.  I put out some lovely food (mango and avocado salad, cocktail sausages, baked potatoes with all the fixings....) and for dessert I put out a Minecraft Creeper cake that I made myself (SO PROUD!)... Ollie loved it.  He is a super fan of Minecraft at the moment.

Everyone left before bedtime except his cousin Conor who spent the night.  Ollie's first ever sleepover. The boys were totally hyper before bed but the sleepover went well... they had so much fun!

I can't believe my firstborn is 4!!  Holy crap, how'd 4 years go that fast??

Pickie Park Fun!

Ollie's birthday fell on the Tuesday that James had to leave for Norway (for work), so we made the most of the weekend instead.  On Saturday, we enjoyed a day out and on Sunday, we had his birthday party and he opened all of his presents.

Looking at the boats in Bangor Bay
The weather was looking good so, we decided to head to Bangor for the day.  They updated their Pickie Park recently and we had never been so decided to go there, to do something new!

As well as a playground, they have a few things to entertain kids including a splash park (too cold for that though), water zorbing, a tiny steam train, swan boats and go karts.  Ollie had a go (or 2) at everything except the water zorbing and the splash park.  He went on the train twice... and LOVED the go karts.  He got the hang of it very quickly!

Ollie and I on the steam train
Ollie on the go-kart.  Look at his concentration face!
James and Ollie on the swan!
James and Ollie on the train.
After spending time in the park we went for lunch in The Rabbit Room.  It is a quirky little pub that has a restaurant upstairs in the evening.  The food was delicious!  We each had a burger... Ollie enjoyed his, I think it was the first proper burger he has ever eaten.  Mine had a mushroom, caramelised onion jam and brie on it.  Mine came with sweet potato fries and we ordered a side of sesame onion rings and some calamari.  Delicious.

Such a fun and memorable day out!