Thursday

Home days // Slow living

Slow home days are my absolute favourites. Early morning starts and quiet breakfasts with Olive, the birdsong and the radio on low with a hot cup of tea whilst Olive enjoys her porridge and banana. Pure bliss.
We then go into the living room for a while and read books, play with blocks or her babies until it's time to wake Sebastian up with a coffee. In which Olive excitedly runs into the bedroom, climbs on the bed and snuggles into him with the biggest cuddle and kiss and a "morniiin". It is THE cutest wake up call. Until she starts bouncing on the bed and then I have to guide her out back into the living room so Sebastian can wake up in peace.
^^^ Beautiful wooden musical instruments by Djeco (best 1st birthday gifts!).

We spend the rest of the morning listening to the record player usually instigated by Olive with her requests for Mary Poppins "Chimm Chimnee!?!". Sometimes we dance, sometimes we play with musical instruments, sometimes we do both. I love how much Olive loves music. Sebastian and I both play a complete variety of music to her and she loves it all. It will be interesting to find out what will be her very favourite type of music when she's older.

During a peaceful 2 hour nap, I am able to get a few tasks ticked off my To Do list, get in my comfy loungewear and then stop with a cup of tea and my book. 
When the little lady wakes, we make some lunch together. Usually toast, a "samidge", a mix of homemade savoury snacks or a yummy dippy egg with buttery soldiers. Followed by a selection of fruit.
Olive's favourite thing (aside from eating ALL day "Snak?! Yeh pease!?!") is colouring in. Whilst we're still sitting at the table Olive loves to scribble a big ol rainbow mess on a blank piece of paper or two or three. Some days we will have some time to paint which gets a bit messy and a whole lot of excitement as Olive wants to use every colour at once. I have to control the painting with small instalments of colour! We have great fun though and she creates some colourful pieces which we stick up on our hallway wall aka the giant gallery wall.

Last week we made tiny cupcakes together (on her half birthday!) and I decorated half of the batch with buttercream, blueberry jam and blueberries. On our slow day together we decorated the rest with a little icing and sprinkles whilst listening to Classic FM. Olive did pretty well, however as soon as she finished decorating the last cake she took the paper case off and started eating it! ... and then half way through that one she started nibbling a second. Haha. Whilst I tidied up she had a cup of milk and then snuggled up on the sofa together and watched Cinderella for the first time (She loves the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo song when we listen to Disney music).
It was the perfect grey, chilly Summers day for decorating cakes and watching a film. These days are my favourite slow days. The gloomier the weather the better the excuse to slow right down and enjoy the quiet. No plans on weekends too are my number one. Unfortunately Sebastian had to work most of the weekend but it makes it more perfect when he gets home to us. Especially when we have cute toddler cakes to give him.
I can't wait for my next slow day filled with toddler fun, cake and movies.


What do you like to do on a quiet day?

Sunday

London adventures in Spring

Back in April I left my two favourite humans at home and hopped on a train for a day to be 'just Charlotte'. The beautiful Alice met me at St Pancras and we started our adventure and headed to Victoria tube station to visit Peggy Porschen for some pink frosted treats and a catch up.
We arrived when our tummies started to rumble and ordered ourselves a pot of tea and a stunning pastel pink slice of deliciousness. I had a piece of Lemon, Raspberry and Rose cake whilst Alice enjoyed a slice of their classic Glorious Victoria. We had a good catch up on life over much needed breakfast tea.
So Peggy Porschen is my new favourite place. Not only are their cakes the most beautiful and delicious I have ever had, the whole place is a pink dream! Everything is pink!
After a good old natter, in between mouthfuls of cake, we set off to Borough Market for some browsing and ... more food!
Stalls of fresh fruit and vegetables, produce, cakes, doughnuts, turkish delight and homemade scotch eggs tempted me all afternoon long but we settled for fish finger sandwiches because we just cannot refuse them!
After spending some pocket money on turkish delight we wandered the little streets of London and went exploring.
We also did a little bit of shopping, spending some of my birthday vouchers on Jo Malone perfume, dresses and pretties. It was lovely to buy myself some things for myself for a change. Something other than shampoo or cake!!
We popped into Liberty and browsed the delicious chocolate shop (I refrained!) and then down to Carnaby street for a visit to Monki and a stop for tea before catching my train.
I had such a lovely day out. We have already planned our next adventure together in the big city - We want to picnic on Primose Hill with cupcakes from Primose bakery and to wander amongst the pastel lined houses, eat good food and go to a gallery or a museum.
I cannot wait.


Do you have any favourite London tea and cake stops and cute wanders for lovely snaps?

Wednesday

Everyday life goals

Firstly, Where the heck have I been? - I have been trying to do this thing where I am more in the moment and thinking a lot less about what I feel I "have" to be doing. The more I focus on how bad I am at not being organised or creative or productive - the more I am inclined to curl up in the fetus position and watch something really uneducated on Netflix, whilst nibbling too much birthday chocolate - aka wasting time!

So.. I started doing this thing about letting go and being a little more slow and so far, it's working.
I actually took some time for myself a few weeks ago, and had a long soak in a relaxing bubble bath. It was full of soothingly scented bubbles and I was surrounded by low sunset light and a couple of deliciously calming candles. Instead of enjoying the pure silence I decided to watch 'Minimalism' on Netflix and boy was I left inspired.
I absolutely love that idea of having less of the meaningless 'stuff' and more of what brings joy to your life. I have so much around me that has me feeling claustrophobic and untidy that I would be happy to fill a skip and ship it off to the secondhand shops. The closing line was everything; "love people and use things, because the opposite never works." *insert heart eyes emoji!!*
This perfectly coincides with the book I am currently reading; Simplicity Parenting. I have always dreamed of a slow life and always imagined my children having a very little amount of 'things'- A few special wooden toys and puzzles - those that would last. A childhood with little television and technology and so much room for imagination and exploring. Some days I find myself with an overstimulated toddler who demands things, who will ask for a certain song to be played on my phone or for her TV show to be put on and refusing to change her nappy coherently without holding the tube of Bonjela or a ride in the pushchair without having a snack. All these things I have used once or twice to make my life easier some way or another and now it's coming back at me and biting me in the bottom. Apart from the snacks in the pushchair, she rarely got the outcome she desires unless it was on my terms, however it sure as heck opened my eyes to what I was trying to avoid before her arrival. I am proud of how her childhood as been so far. She's bright and has an incredible vocabulary, she wants to learn and her memory is a sponge! She asks for the radio on when we're in the kitchen and the record player when we're in the lounge. She loves to read books and play independently. She sleeps well and eats well. It's wonderful. But those tantrums and moments we have can be quite testing, however I realise it's usually when she's tired and overstimulated, frustrated when she can't do something herself or if I'm have a quick scroll through social media.
On some days I feel grateful of the tantrums purely because it reminds me to be more in the moment, to put the phone down and to give Olive the right amount of attention, with fewer choices of toys to play with. This book is helping me to do that as are a few 'rules and curfews'.

A few weeks ago I decided to give my phone a curfew of 930pm as well as lights out before 11pm. This way I get to switch off and escape the huge distraction that is social media and I feel and sleep so much better. I also make sure I give myself a little time to read my book before falling asleep - time to switch off, which is something I haven't done since way before Olive was born.
I also have other scheduled things to make my life as 'tidy' as possible; Laundry days, days for batch cooking for Olive and evenly spreading out Olive's play dates/Toddler groups and quiet slow days. I feel more relaxed, in control, organised and well slept!
I also hope to schedule some blogging time in as I have thoroughly missed it. I have so much to share, write, record here and I am making time to do that, for myself, for you - if you're still out there reading this that is!


What do you do to tidy your mind? What do you think of the minimalism process? 
Parents - Are there any tips for simplifying your children's/family life?