February 2018 | The Northern Irish Mum

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Easter baskets

Easter is one of my favourite times of year. We celebrate it as a family from the religious point but also enjoy the seasonal aspects too, doing crafts and we give the kids little Easter baskets as well as have a family Easter egg hunt. Last year bab's really wanted to make an Easter basket for her Nannie, which I thought was a lovely idea. We didn't go over board as i'm big on not buying things that will be thrown out quickly so we included some beautiful little glass bunny jars which mum has used for make up bits in her bathroom! Some seeds as one of bab's favourite things to do with Nannie in the spring is to plant flowers (my mum's flowers are always stunning) , we added two of nannies favourite chocolates, popped a card in from each kiddo and put them all in a  lovely wooden crate which she has used in her home since as well. I think in total this was under a tenner for everything. A small but nice gesture! I think we will do it again this year! 
I will be sharing my ideas for this years kids baskets in the coming weeks too!

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Freedom, half term

 It was so nice to just hang up the uniform, and have no school run for a few days! We are so incredibly lucky that we made the right decision school wise for babs. She loves it & has loved it from day one, but that doesn't mean she doesn't look forward to the school holidays! And anyone who knows me, knows i'd keep her home everyday of the week if I could! So I was beyond excited for having my gorgeous girl at home for a few days!
We had no "big" plans for the half term break, just to chill and have a couple of home days. Babs had been secretly hoping for a trip up to nannie & grandas and that when there she might get to Barry's (in Portush) but as they don't open until Easter, she's had to put her plans of a trip on the hobby horses on hold for a few weeks yet! Instead we've spent the past few days, rejigging her room, playing with the gorgeous guineas (pigs) Florence and Honey. Crafting & watching films and of course reading. Our girl is never far from a book. As some of you may have seen on my instagram, my poor Hubby hasn't had much of a rest, he has spent the past few days, ripping up our hall floor and putting down the new tiles. But the efforts been worth it, it looks amazing, if I do say so myself!
I've loved not having to get up at what feels like the crack of dawn and onto the school run. Not that we haven't been up at the crack of dawn. The kids are both on team super bright and early wake ups! But its been nice to have time to potter about in pjs, get a cuppa and breathe before starting our days.

Now its back to porridge in the morning! The uniform is set out and ready to go and lunch box packed & in the fridge. I always feel a tinge of sadness when she has to go back to school,I hate that shes away for 5 hours a day but tucking her into bed tonight she said "I cannot wait to get into school in the morning" and that just filled my wee heart up. She's happy, i'm happy.


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

DIY Unicorn Bouquet

I'm a huge fan of a theme, especially seasonal themes! Yes I decorate for Easter, Autumn/Halloween, Christmas, mothers day, you name it, if I can get crafty and add a little sprinkle of fun for the kids then I am all for it! For Valentines day, I normally do a little light hearted breakfast, heart shaped toast that kind of thing and a wee token something for the kids.
Whilst scrolling through instagram recently I saw a beauty brand had gifted an amazing unicorn themed bouquet to a beauty guru. It was stunning but also fun and unique and I instantly thought babs would love that! Now I am no florist, but I do love crafts and enjoy creating different bits and bobs from time to time. Babs loves flowers like me and I thought it would be such a sweet gift for her to have her own little bouquet this valentines.
I love how its turned out and thought id share how I made it!

What I used to create this bouquet:

For the ears and horn I purchased Gold wrapping paper, from Asda £1. Three paper straws, which I had previously from birthday parties etc. The flowers, I purchased two bunches of flowers. A pink bunch of roses and a mixed bunch of roses. Both were on clearance for under £2 Asda. And a bunch of babies breath £1.50 Asda. 

I wanted to find a small white pot to put the arrangement in and had originally planned to make the eyelashes out of black craft paper and stick them on a plain pot. But to my delight I found this perfect little pot in TKMAXX for £2.79 . Eyelashes, blush cheek and even a gold bow, perfect!

 To begin with I played about with the shape I was trying to achieve , loosely bunching the flowers until I had a general Idea of placement.

Once I was happy, I secured the bunch with two elastic bands. I then cut the stems to fit the pot. 
Re-placed them into the pot and worked on filling out the arrangement now the flowers were secured. I wanted the bouquet to be a bit whimsical and fluffy around the edges. Imagine unicorn hair, that's the look I was trying to achieve. 
Once I was happy with the flowers, I sketched a very simple ear template on the gold paper and cut these out, securing them to paper straws which I cut to size once I had decided on a place in the arrangement for them. 
Next I made a simple horn from the same gold paper. I say simple but this took three attempts to get the correct size and the shape right. Again I secured this inside to a paper straw, cut to fit and placed in the arrangement. And wha la. Unicorn bouquet 

I'm super pleased with how it turned out. It was super simple to do and quite therapeutic to sit and work with flowers for 20 mins too! (I'm already thinking an easter bunny bouquet might be cute!)

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

A little walk to silent valley

It's spots like silent valley that make me take a wee moment and really appreciate just how beautiful this little country of ours is. We have some of the most breath taking scenery! 
Hubby first took me to Silent valley when we were dating way back 12 years ago. I instantly loved it, Its gorgeous, like a scene from a movie. It's a great place to take a family trip out to.
It has a fantastic play area, which bab's had an absolute ball in! There is a really great long walk around the waterside if your up for that! Or a couple shorter walks.  We only walked a bit of it as babs was "too tired" in reality she had past the park to get to it and was desperate to get back there to do ninja warrior on the equipment. So we had a quick dander up the hill, which is an epic hill, especially if you walk up on the grass, Yes there are steps which are equally as tough going if like me you had a snoozing baby strapped to your chest in a carrier. But once up at the dam it was so much handier carrying him in the carrier than pushing him in a pram.  The amount of people I seen struggling up the steps with prams was unreal and then navigating back down again looked a nightmare! Babywearing for the win again! But just look at that view! The scenery is amazing!
I love taking the kids to places like this, that I always loved going to with hubby back in the day.
We are trying to get out, into the great outdoors more as a family, especially as the days are starting to get milder and we are on the brink of spring. Babs is a big picnic fan, she loves nothing more than packing up a wee bag and then laying everything out in her chosen spot! We didn't bring one this time much to her disappointment, but I've promised her the next visit here we will!  I'm sure we will be heading back here in the coming months, next time hubby's carrying baby boy up the hill though!!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

I always wanted a pony

I did! All my childhood I had that quite sterotyped dream of having my own pony. It didn't happen, but babs, well she's one lucky little lady. Lucky in two ways, lucky that one,  her nannie & granda live in the countryside with space around them and two that she has an auntie who is a horse mad enabler!
 Bab's mentioned a few times around the age of three she'd like a pony, she has been around her aunties various horses since she was a baby and has always loved them. My sister being the horse lover that she is latched onto this idea and within a matter of a few weeks, little Tiny had arrived!

Tiny by name but not by nature! This little pony sold to us by a particular gent with a southern brogue quoted hes probably ten year old?! In reality he's more likely twenty! With the most beautiful wee face and soulful eyes. He's a bit of a manhater, he point blank refuses to take any instruction from my dad and will occasionally listen to my brother but is besotted with my mum and will follow her on voice command.

He's a fusspot, he doesn't like pink lady apples? Have you ever in your life come across a pony that would sniff an apple and eat it if it is say a gala but you offer him a pink lady and he wont let it cross his lips?! Well you have now. He's spoilt rotten, my mum treats him like a prince, he's regularly let into the garden for a change of scenery from the field or stable! He's never really ridden, he's in his retirement home after all! He's given the best of bedding, food, treats, you name it. king tiny is well looked after! He's even had a little walk into the house once, if you follow me on instagram you'd have seen this! And despite one unfortunate incident with a cattle grid due to a farmer, the less said about that the better, his life since he arrived with our family has been and continues to be pretty darn perfect!
Joking aside I feel really blessed that my little ones are lucky enough to have their own pony and be able to enjoy learning how to look after and care for him! 

And secretly I'm so glad at 28 I finally got my pony! 
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