Me, my Dad and a garden!

When I was younger me and my sister lived with our Dad, back then this wasn’t a common arrangement-but it worked for us. He was an amazing Dad, he worked 7 days a week, whilst our Nan looked after us, just to keep a roof over our heads.

Me and my Dad were really close, I could tell him anything. I looked up to him like any little girl would, he really was my superhero. As I grew up things stayed the same, I loved my Dad more than anything in the world. We would talk about boys, school and general teenage life but this all changed when I turned 18…I fell pregnant.

I don’t think I actually told him, even though I confined in him about everything, my Mum did.  Things were tense for the first 3 months of my pregnancy but I thought he was getting used to the idea. This was until we had an awful row and he made me move out. I remember that day so vividly, it is probably one of the worst days I have ever had. Luckily my partner’s parents let me move in with them. (Just writing this brings back all those awful memories and tears)

We stopped talking for 7 months, he tried to visit the hospital after I had Gracie but I told him he wasn’t welcome. I don’t know what hurt the most not talking for 7 months or telling my Dad I didn’t want to see him.

When Gracie was 2 weeks old we finally spoke, it was tense but at least we could be civil.

Fast forward to now, 7 years and 2 more children things have only just started to improve. Our relationship is a funny thing, he’s quite quiet with me but I feel how I used to-loved.

This has only began to happen within the last month, he has been helping me with our front and back garden. He loves gardening so I think that passion helped break down the barriers we both had put up.

I think we are on the straight and narrow, fingers crossed we hit any more bumps in the road.

Have you ever experienced a falling out with a family member?

What did you do to amend it?

 

Lots of love,

Charlotte

xx

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A girly weekend away

I’m the first to admit I hardly ever go away, especially without my children. However this weekend was an exception! It was my first official holiday with the girls-well my Auntie, Nan and Sister. It wasn’t a whole weekend, as their daddy had to work, but late Friday to early Sunday.

I don’t know about you but I think us mummies need our “me time” and when I say I needed it, I really did. I have been so stressed what with with managing my business, keeping the kids alive during the summer and keeping the house somewhat presentable. So a weekend away in Suffolk was perfect.

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We arrived at a perfect little cottage in Mildenhall, the views were just amazing! There was 3 bedrooms so me and my sister shared the beautiful four poster bed. The cottage had everything you could need, the owners had thought of everything, including a private hot tub. I am now a self-confessed hot tub addict!

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I just couldn’t resist a hot tub selfie!

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On the Saturday we headed to Bury St Edmunds for a walk around the town.  There are some charming little shops,  a traditional outdoor market and a shopping centre, where all the the big branded shops are. Whilst walking past the market there are shops lining what feels like a medieval streets, it really was lovely. All this walking was making us thirsty so we popped into a lovely shabby chic coffee shop called Really Rather Good and I must say it was. The cathedral was just across the road from the coffee shop so anyone drinking outside would have an amazing view.

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On our way back to the car I discovered the most amazing vintage inspired boutique-Pocket watch and Petticoats. It had clothing inspired from the 1940’s and 50’s. Think petticoats, ankle grazers, wiggle dresses, swing skirts, bardot tops I could go on. There was so much variety even swimwear. I actually had to be dragged out of the shop by my sister (oops) as we needed to head back for a massage booked in for 2.15.

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I don’t get many pamper sessions when i’m looking after my children so a week before we came away I booked us all in for a full body aromatherapy massage. It was a lovely little salon in Mildenhall, it had a retreat around the back where you could unwind without any noise and it was only a 10 minute drive back to the cottage.

The rest of the afternoon was spent gossiping in the hot tub, relaxing and wishing we had just one more night.

We will definitely be going back, possibly in June, but this time the bestie will be coming too.

 

How do you get your “me time”?

Do you think all mums need it?

 

Lots of love

Charlotte

xxx

 

 

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Review-Little Alf

As you know I run my own small business, so when the opportunity came up to work with another small business I decided to do it. When Hannah Russell, the author of the Little Alf books, was asking bloggers to get in contact, to review her books and clothing items-I just had to contact her.

Little Alf was created by Hannah Russell, at the age of 17 in 2014. The idea behind this adorable brand came from Hannah’s miniature Shetland pony who has dwarfism.  He is super tiny but super cute! Little Alf came to live with Hannah in December 2013, she began writing a book series, based on Little Alf, with her first book being published in 2014. The Magical Adventure Of Little Alf – The discovery of the wild pony….’  Hannah has also designed a clothing and accessorises range which features a gorgeous little logo.  These can be found by visiting her online shop. Through Hannah’s work she is helping to support the Riding for Disabled Association.

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About the book

Firstly, we sat down to read The Magical Adventure of Little Alf. This is quite a lengthy book with 77 pages, but it has been written with twelve small chapters, making it easier for Gracie, who is 7 to read. Archie on the other hand is only 4 so his attention span doesn’t quite reach the full book. The books target audience is 6-12 years old.

The Magical Adventures of Little Alf tells the Story of Hannah. who has just moved  to the North Yorkshire Dales. On a day out trekking, in the magical forest ,she spots a wild black pony, she is eager to return and see him again. The official blurb reads:

Hannah has just moved to the North Yorkshire Dales. With a passion for horses, she starts riding at nearby Meadowlea stables. 

When she spots a wild black pony one day whilst out trekking, in her heart Hannah finds herself determined to return and see him again. But what will happen if nobody belives she saw the pony? 

Will she give up all hope?

Embark on her magical adventure and follow Hannah as she enters the enchanted forest…

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What we thought of the book

On almost every page there are beautiful hand drawn illustrations and on the front cover there is a picture of the most adorable little Shetland pony you may ever meet… Little Alf

This was more of a book for me and Gracie to read together. It is written with such enthusiasm that at the end of each chapter we wanted to continue reading, which wasn’t good as she needed to get to bed. It is the summer holiday’s, so I let her stay up a little later.

The one thing, in particular, that we really enjoyed was seeing pictures of Little Alf after reading the story.

What we didn’t like

There wasn’t anything that we didn’t like. It may be a little long for a bedtime story, or for younger children, but overall we were really pleased with this book. This little book will add a lovely little addition to their bookshelf.

Then it was time to read Little Alf-The Magic Helper. We love our books in this house so was extremely pleased to have been given the chance to review two books.

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About the book

This book is the sequel to The Magical  Adventure of Little Alf, it has a similar layout except we love this one so much more as it’s Christmas related. Christmas is a favourite time of year in this house.

Little Alf- The Magic Helper tells us the story of a Christmas mystery. It’s one week until Christmas and a mysterious noise can be heard in the enchanted forest. Something has been eating all the carrots from Meadowlea stables, but who?  The official blurb reads:

It’s one week until Christmas and everyone’s in the Christmas spirit…

But then a mysterious noise occurs in the enchanted forest and something has been eating all the carrots from Meadowlea stables. 

It’s a race against time as Christmas gets nearer and there is dangerous creature on the loose…

Can Hannah and Little Alf solve the mystery before Christmas Eve?

What we thought of the book

We love this book, most of the pages are illustrated with small hand drawn pictures and beautiful Christmas silhouettes. Little Alf also often appears in pictures throughout the book. The front page is absolutely gorgeous, again it is a hand drawn illustration and Little Alf looks adorable. We couldn’t wait to start reading it, although I really wanted to save it for Christmas.

Gracie particularly liked the Dear Santa letter and how Hannah wrote to him to tell him about the mysterious creature living in the enchanted forest. It has a perfect little ending, but I won’t spoil the surprise. This little book will now be a part of our family’s Christmas Eve tradition.

What we didn’t like

There wasn’t anything at all we didn’t like. It has roughly the same number of pages as the first book (there aren’t any page numbers) but as it’s a Christmas book we all stay up fairly late Christmas Eve anyway, who doesn’t?

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Little Alf Clothing Range 

As well as the fabulous books Hannah sent me a few items from her clothing range. We had a jumper (for my son) a hoodie (for my daughter) and a gorgeous Little Alf teddy for my youngest daughter. They absolutely love them!

Of course…they wanted to wear them on our recent day out at Old Macdonalds Farm. The clothing has the Little Alf logo on the front with a warm fleece lining. The material is super soft and super duper comfy! as my Gracie would tell you.

By the end of the day my children and their clothes were covered in mud. They were washed and came out as good as new-lovely,soft and retained the shape.

The Little Alf range will become a gorgeous and colourful little addition to their wardrobe. I may even get myself one to match (hehe)

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I was very kindly sent a selection of items from The Little Alf range for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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Do you ever feel finished?

So, I think, at the tender age of 25 I am finished with having anymore children, I mean does it get any easier after 3?

From an early age I have always wanted children, i’m quite a maternal person and I knew I wanted to be a mummy one day. I didn’t plan to have 3 children as such, it just all seemed to fall into place.

Life with 3 children can be hard but before my youngest was born I was always broody. I LOVE being pregnant, the first tiny flutters into full blown rib kicks, the pregnancy glow, the pregnancy hair and the amazing feeling that you are growing a life inside of you. Oh and that extra attention you get (hehe)

I would see newborn babies and get a pang of jealousy, even though I already had 2 gorgeous children. Nothing would take the unbearable ache for another baby away, even holding tiny babies-hearing the horror stories of the birth, how tired their mummy was and how difficult the baby is. I still longed for, what I thought was, the missing piece to my puzzle.

Fast forward to now I am sitting here writing this post, eating my dinner, in peace and quiet. All 3 of my children are tucked up in their beds and I know they probably won’t wake up until the early hours. This however will be only for a quick cuddle and soothing kiss goodnight. I know in the morning they can feed themselves, well my 2 eldest, whilst I drink a hot cup of tea and then we can all snuggle watching a film or Cbeebies. That is until WW3 starts and my real day begins!

I never thought the constant broodiness would subside. Well I think it has…

 

How do you know when your family is complete?

Do you ever feel finished?

Or are you just in limbo?

 

I would absolutely love to hear your answers.

 

Lots of love

Charlotte

 

xx

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Being Mummy-From the beginning

The first words I hear in the Morning are Mum from 3 little but very different voices. This starts from as early as 5.30 am and this continues…all day long.

My life as mum started on the 21st of June 2009 when I had my daughter Gracie.  She wasn’t exactly planned but I knew I could never lose her. My pregnancy was great apart from suffering from Sciatica in the second trimester. She was born on Fathers day, 4 days early, via an emergency C-Section. She had become distressed and the Doctors realised she was really tiny. She weighed 4 lb 12 oz at 39 weeks, this wasn’t right. I was informed by the surgeon that my placenta had stopped working, around 6 weeks before, no one had any idea why. Thankfully she was absolutely perfect.

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It’s amazing how much I loved such a tiny little person, my heart ached.  I didn’t sleep at all that night, I just stared at her in amazement, watching her breath. We created this beautiful little girl.

So…it happened again on the 26th April 2012. Archie is my rainbow baby, I had suffered a miscarriage a few months before I fell for him. This pregnancy was the pregnancy we all dream of. I was glowing, only put on a stone and a half and felt amazing. He was born via a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) for those who don’t know. I got to the hospital at 10 centimetres dilated and was rushed into a delivery room.  Although the relaxed Jamaican midwife wasn’t in a rush to do an internal, she comforted me throughout my short labour.. Archie was born at a much healthier weight- 6 lb 12 oz.

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I didn’t think I could love another tiny little person as much as my daughter, but oh was I wrong my heart just grew twice it’s size.

Now this is the story I tell everyone…

My third and FINAL pregnancy was the hardest. I went into premature labour at 32 weeks and had to be admitted into hospital. The results of the Fetal Fibronectic test came back positive. I needed the steroid injections for her lungs in case she decided to show an early appearance. This didn’t happen, I had contractions every day until the day she was born instead.

She was born the day before Bonfire Night, the 4th of November 2014. I was having pains, which was nothing unusual, but I decided to venture into my local town and go for a spot of shopping. I jumped on the bus, as I wasn’t driving then, and headed home with my then 2 year old son. I knew at that point I was in labour but I thought I had a few hours at least. My plan was to put the shopping away, tidy up and get some ironing done. Honestly what was I thinking? I tried ringing my mum, I got her colleague. I then knew an ambulance would probably be the best thing I could do with at that point. You know that feeling that you get when you need to push, yep I got that. My 2 year old son was in the front room watching Cbeebies, eating biscuits and drinking water . Thank you Cbeebies you kept him entertained.  I was however, laying towels out on my bed ready to deliver her, I knew I was going to have an unplanned home birth just not with no medical assistance. My adrenaline took over and I delivered my baby on my bed , I helped guide her out. I actually got to see her enter this world. It was the most empowering moment of my life. I was so scared, but more for her, as I was helpless. My son, my superhero, came in to my bedroom, literally seconds after I had delivered her and said “Oh baby sister she’s here, shes’s so cute is she okay? ” He then went and got a blanket for me to cover his baby sister with. Her Grandad arrived just before the ambulance. I don’t know the precise time Casey was born but I know she was a healthy 6 lb 5 oz. Thankfully she was okay and we didn’t need to go to the hospital that day.

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I knew this time I could love another tiny person just as much as my other 2, but I didn’t know how frightened I would be of losing her. I think it was her birth that made me feel this way.

I was the local celebrity for a couple of weeks, especially at my local hospital’s jaundice clinic. The paramedics had told other medical staff what had happened and it seemed everyone knew. I wasn’t complaining.

I have experienced every emotion becoming a mum, I’m sure some days when they do something new I can feel it all over again. That overwhelming love you just cant describe. I’m sure you know it.

I would absolutely love to hear your experiences on becoming a mum or your journey of motherhood.

P.s all my gorgeous pictures of my pregnancy and post birth pictures are all stored away, I must remember to get them out.

Lots of love

Charlotte

 

xx

 

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I’ve got this!

So it’s officially the Summer holidays, and I have no idea how I am going to pull this off! For those who don’t know me I am a mummy to 3 beautiful monsters (ahem children) and I run my own handmade business from home.

We are only in week 2 of the holidays and  we have already had 2 accidents (one of which has resulted in a big bruise, swelling and pack of frozen peas) a WWE wrestling match,  a toddler meltdown over a CUP!, a permanent marker tattoo, and a game of who can ride the fastest off this ramp!  So it’s safe to say I can only work when they are fast asleep in bed.

This is my second year working from home during the Summer holidays, last year I had not long started so I didn’t have as many orders to fulfil.  I didn’t plan any days out, they just happened. This year needed to be slightly more structured, so I had few hours to work in the evening, instead of clearing up the massacre created by my little people.

On the first day of the holidays, we took a trip to the V & A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, I didn’t realise how stressful this would be on my own. I made our pack lunches in the morning, packed the changing bag and got ready to go. I had already pre-booked a bargain parking space 2 minutes from the museum (£5 for the whole day) so this made it slightly easier, until I took an hour to find it! Once we were in the Museum they all really enjoyed it. We had the best ice-cream ever and then headed to the Museum gardens for our lunch.  This was when I realised I had forgotten one of the main items a 20 month old needs. Nappies! So a quick getaway was needed.

During the first week, we had been to the beach, a carnival and a Funday (all of which I had my Auntie to help) these were easy compared to the Museum.

This week they have been helping me and their Grandad with our front garden.  My dad has cut down the bushes and got the ground ready for gravel to be laid down. They, of course, wanted to help so have been sweeping, digging and pulling the weeds up. I never knew I had such a green fingered little family.

For the remainder of the Summer I have literally 5 more days planned. A trip to Weald Country Park, a day at the Paddocks on Canvey Island, a day trip to Clacton, another carnival and another beach day at Dymchurch.

I have bought a few arts and crafts items and a few outdoor games for them to do, on the days I need 5 minutes peace.

So, I wish all you parents and carers the best of luck. Enjoy making memories.

 

Lots of love,

Charlotte

 

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My learning curve

So, at the rip old age of 25 I decided to open up a Facebook page and set up my own handmade business. Little old me thought it would be easy, that was until I realised all the legal requirements that were NEEDED!

Are you thinking of joining the crafting world? Well i’m here to share my own experiences with you, which includes my mistakes, one of which was only this month!

Did you know you need declare to HMRC that you are selling products? Yep even as a hobby, the good thing is you don’t pay tax until you earning up to £11,000. You will also be classed as a sole trader, you will run your business as an individual and are self-employed. You are able to take on staff if needed to- Being a sole trader means you are responsible for the business, not that you work alone.

Did you know you need insurance?  Product and public liability is a MUST. This covers you and your business if your product harms a customer. I would recommend direct line, it’s around £5 per month, and also includes any craft fairs you attend.

Did you know that certain crafts require certain qualifications, certificates and rules to stick to? I learned this the hard way. In my experience it’s glittering alcohol bottles and glasses. With the glasses you must leave a glitter free rim for the customer to drink from(their lips are not allowed to touch the glass) this of course is up to them but you must state if glittering the whole glass it’s for decorative use only. Now this is the hard part..

You NEED a personal licence and a premises licence to legally sell alcohol, even like me from my little kitchen. In January I passed the course to apply for my personal licence, I applied for my DBS and paid the fee to council for my licence. YAY I thought i’m almost ready to sell alcohol. That was until my licensing officer informed me I needed a premises licence too. The fee for this would be around £1000 and an annual fee every year. So now my plans have been put on hold until I can afford it. To say I am gutted is an understatement,  but now you know you wont make the same mistake as me.

There are lots of other types of crafts which you are able to start doing but please do your research. Make sure you know exactly what you need and what is required.

 

Good luck

 

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not giving up!!!!

Now we all go through stages where we feel like nothing is working, currently it’s my business. I know why it has happened but it has been completely out of my control…

It all started with my I phone breaking! I lost all my pictures and my editing apps. I had no phone for about a month so I couldn’t upload any pictures to my business pages. When i eventually got a phone it was an old Samsung with a rubbish camera!!! So no lovely edited pictures for my page.

Secondly my youngest daughter got hand, foot and mouth AGAIN, which apparently can happen. She was really quite poorly with this and so clingy, so I couldn’t work on any new products or getting my page seen.

Thirdly my son got chickenpox AGAIN, which again can happen. He was covered from head to toe in spots an only wanted his mummy so no work again for me.

Then this was a life changer, my eldest was rushed into hospital with suspected meningitis. We were kept in hospital for almost a week where she was given treatment for meningitis through an intravenous drip. This alone scared the life out of me. Thankfully she was okay but I was a nervous wreck. I developed quite bad anxiety and lost all motivation for my business.

And finally to top it all off I started feeling okay and trying to concentrate on my business then my youngest daughter caught chickenpox. She was really poorly with this and now has 2 small scars on her nose. This I think was caused by the Neurofen I was giving her. I never knew it was so lethal given when a child has chickenpox. So please make yourself aware of this.  I was only made aware the last few days of her having chickenpox.#

All this in the space of 4 months has been really tough and made me question whether or not I could carry on, but I have come so far and have made myself and my family so proud that I just cant give up over a few set backs. So if you ever feel like giving up please sit down and think about all the amazing moments you have created (even write them down)

Now i’m going to try and get motivated and work on all the things I need to do to get myself back on track.

#staypositive

xxxxx

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What’s your name?

We all know how hard it can be deciding on a name. It could be your child’s or your pets name but your business name, well that’s a tricky one.  So I thought I would let you how I decided mine.

It wasn’t straight forward at all, actually it was originally a whole different name for almost a year. That was until one day, just before Christmas, I just knew I needed to change it.

When I first started my business was called All about that glitz, which is okay I suppose, but it lost its spark as I was just gaining mine. I picked that name at the time as I was glittering alcohol (provided by the customer of course) and matching drinking glasses. So hence the glitz part and the rest was because of the song All about that bass as it was still catchy at the time.

I started to feel a little uneasy about the name when friends or family asked what the name of my Facebook page was. It felt unatural to physically say it and was a bit of a tongue twister (I was so used to saying it in my head)

The final straw was I knew my business wasn’t all about just glitz and glammer, it had become quite chic at times. So on came my thinking cap. I wanted to include glitter, as I still work with it quite alot, but needed a softer approach. I managed to come up with the name The glitter boutique but that was taken by an American clothes company. So I played around with words and out popped little and box. Hey presto! The Little Glitter Box.

I then found an amazing logo designer who helped me with my vision. I wanted a clairabella style to it and he suggested having a box somewhere on it. So through lots of trials and errors he designed the perfect one.

It’s safe to say I love the name and logo and will not be changing it. Ever!

I would love to hear the stories on how you came up with your blog names business names.

 

xxx

 

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My current popular item

Since I started The Little Glitter Box in February 2015 I have tried almost every craft going and I have settled on two I’m comfortable with… Glitter and wood.

I am currently waiting for my personal alcohol license to be finalised and then I’ll be able to legally glitter and post bottles and matching drinking glasses. I can however at the moment glitter the bottles if they are provided.

At the start of the year I started working with acrylic paints instead of just glittering wood. This has been a big change for me and is currently my most popular make. To be honest I love not constantly being covered in glitter and finding it everywhere (even in my daughters hair 🙈)

This keepsake was a really popular item for mothers day I must admit both the nannies got one too as I literally was too busy to leave the house.

I would love to hear what you think of this.

 

xx

 

 

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