Last year I set myself the New Years Resolution of getting outside more, even in bad weather. I wanted to get outside more by myself as well as with the kids. I ended up running my first 10k as an ambassador for Women’s Running UK and starting a veggie plot. This year I know I’ll continue to get outside just as much, though I have different challenges now that I’m at work 4 days a week. My main aim is to get my veggie plot as productive as I can, creating at least one meal a week out of ingredients I’ve grown (more in summer, hopefully).
At a time when air pollution is in the news alongside a courgette shortage and Brexit causing prices of fruit and veg to increase, this is also my way of making sure what I eat is as environmentally friendly as possible. That’s not to say I won’t keep buying blueberries for the kids in winter – obviously I will – but at least growing my own keeps me in tune with where my food is coming from and what tastes best when. Almost everything tastes better when it’s freshly picked.
I currently grow a little bit in my own garden and in a few beds at the community garden. I’ve got quite a few strawberry plants, a rhubarb plant, I’m growing garlic, turnips, kale and purple sprouting broccoli as well as a few herbs – lavendar, mint and chives.
Last year my most productive plants were my courgettes, we use this as spaghetti and also in my artichoke stir fry so I’d be happy if we got so much again this year. Peas were a big hit with Annie – we had some growing at the community garden and some in our back garden which she loved. I’m planning to do the same again this year.
I’ve bought quite a lot of seeds and couldn’t wait to get started so there’s quite a few seedlings on my windowsill already. There’s a lot of space at the community garden so I’ve bought enough squash and pumpkin seeds to get a good patch going. Even if I end up growing far too many for us to eat, I can share with the other gardeners down there. I’ve also got multi-coloured carrots, beetroots, popping corn and sweetcorn, french beans, shallots, cucamelon, tomatoes and lots of flowers too. I’ve also got seeds for asparagus and artichoke plants – planning ahead for next year, because we eat this a lot.
I’m going to be updating regularly on my instagram but will do seasonal updates on here too. Let me know what you’ve got growing, I love hearing about garden plans!
He doesn’t appear very often on my blog or on my instagram and I rarely write about him, we don’t need to publicly declare our love and it goes without saying that he’s a great dad. But actually I am going to say it. If this little blog is going to be a record of how our life looks now, then this picture of Annie and her daddy says it all. JORD got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to review their wood watches and I decided it would be a great chance to give my lovely husband a thank you gift for being so amazing.
The past couple of months since I’ve been commuting to an office once again, he’s had to pick up all the slack at home. He always helped out anyway, we’ve probably shared school and nursery runs 50/50 but now it’s pretty much always him. And when Annie was first born he did a 4 day week to spend time with her, so he’s pretty happy to be doing the same now with Evan. He likes being with the kids as much as I do and you can tell they love us equally. I know not every child is so lucky to have both parents be so hands on. So this is my public thank you to my husband, please consider this your valentines / father’s day and birthday present for this year!
Anyway, onto the review. I chose the Conway Kosso & Midnight Blue for him because he couldn’t decide, he liked the Sawyer series and the Dover series and pretty much every colourway of them all. I thought this one would go well with his navy blue suit as well as a couple of his shirts and jumpers. It arrived quicker than I expected from the US, around 2 weeks I think. There was a customs charge of about £16 because it costs over £135, so make sure you order when you’ve got time to get to the post office. Luckily my husband was pretty excited about this arriving so he offered to get it!
The packaging is gorgeous, it’s a solid wooden box which will now be living on my husbands bedside table. The watch itself is so much nicer in real life than I was expecting but I think wooden items always are – it’s such a tactile material. The colours are exactly what I was hoping for, it’s such a rich coloured wood and it goes beautifully with the midnight blue face. My husband is made up, he’s wearing it at every opportunity.
If you’d like to win a $100 gift code to spend on a JORD wood watch, enter via this link: https://www.woodwatches.com/g/anniebobs
N.B. Thank you to JORD for sending the watch in exchange for an honest review.
Luxury Wooden Watch
You might remember back in September, when it was still warm, I reviewed some coats by Lighthouse. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen that my Reva coat has had a fair bit of use out of it now so I thought I’d add to my review of it and confirm that yes I still love it.
It’s my go-to coat for the winter, even above my beloved Zara coat from last year. It’s really warm, long enough and the hood actually works. I’m not normally a hood fan but I forgot my umbrella this morning so unfortunately had to test it out on the way to the office. I love that it’s a bright colour, perfect for gloomy wintery days. And it’s been well tested around the Lake District for warmth – it’s freezing up here at the minute!
The kids also got coats from Lighthouse – Evan’s had slightly more wear out of his Ollie jacket than Annie has out of her Ellie rain coat, but that’s because she’s at school most days so she wears a bigger coat just in case. They’re both more suited to the Autumn / Spring than winter as they’re not thick coats, so they’ll both be in them more once the weather warms up a bit.
If you’re in need of a decent coat, I’d really recommend these – plus there’s a sale on now (link below). For more pictures of our coats, take a look at the original review post here.
Lighthouse Winter Sale with up to 35% Off!
UPDATE: This competition has now closed and the winner is Liam Bishop. Congratulations!
If you hadn’t already noticed, I love taking photos. I especially love taking photos of my adorable little kids. Using photos to personalise gifts means that I get to use those photos and reminds me to print off a few for myself too, so they don’t all stay on my phone / camera. Every Christmas I buy a calendar filled with pictures of the kids for ourselves and our parents and normally a few prints and cups too. I previously reviewed the canvas I got my sister from Printerpix, which she loves, I’m happy with the ease of use of their website and the quality of their prints so I’ll be using them for my Christmas gifts this year.
With Christmas creeping up very quickly, now is the perfect time to buy personalised photo gifts for your nearest and dearest. There’s a Cyber Monday sale on Printerpix today too, saving you up to 85% on the normal price. You can even buy it now and create the gift later if you’re short on time. Definitely an incentive to get the Christmas shopping done earlier this year – I’m normally very last minute!
If you missed out on the sale, you can enter my competition below to win a £100 Printerpix voucher. Spend it on a calendar for the family, a photobook of this years holiday or fill your cupboards with picture mugs – whatever you like.
To enter you can either leave a comment below telling me what you’d use the voucher for or you can enter via Rafflecopter (multiple entries are permitted, details and full T&Cs can be found via the Rafflecopter link below).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
N.B. Thank you to Printerpix for providing the £100 voucher and for compensating me for my time. All opinions are my own.
Messy Me make wipe clean products for babies and toddlers in a range of stylish prints and useful products. They asked if I’d review one of their products and I chose The Messy Mat in Olive Grey, I love the grey and white star print. As the name suggests it’s a mat that’s used in places that will get messy, I’ve put this one under the children’s table in our living room. We regularly have snacks here and do craft sessions but for messier things that might ruin the carpet we use the kitchen table so the living room stays cleaner.
With the mat underneath I thought I’d let Evan have some soup in the living room, I didn’t really consider that he would then be very close to his toys – poor Mickey got a bath in tomato soup! The mat did it’s job and the soup was cleaned up easily from the wipe clean fabric. We also recently had our very first mince pie of the season and it turns out that Evan really likes them! Bob did the clearing up for me, scavenging under the table for any crumbs he could find. Normally I’d have to hoover up after a snack like that but again the Messy Mat (and Bob!) made sure the crumbs didn’t reach the carpet.
The size of it is perfect for under our little table or under a highchair, any bigger and it would be a trip hazard. I just leave it under the table but it does fold quite small so you could just as easily get it out each mealtime or use it when you’re out and about.
If you have a baby or a toddler then you need things that’ll make cleaning up after them easier and that you don’t mind looking at for potentially a few years, until you know your house is safe! I really like Messy Me products and think you will too, to view their collection of products click here.
N.B. Messy Me sent me The Messy Mat in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.