29.09

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It’s always the small moments of joy that make a day, isn’t it? Whether it’s that first sip of coffee in the morning, or finding that your favourite top is hanging washed and ironed in your wardrobe, or waking up feeling rested after a great night’s sleep (the MOST important thing to me these days!), there’s nothing quite like being able to look back at a day and realise that it was full of moments of simple happiness.

The best kinds of weekends are the ones that have an abundance of those kinds of moments, and last weekend we were lucky enough to spend the day devoting ourselves to chasing life’s little victories in a brand new, very beautiful car! Vauxhall loaned us one of their swish new Astras, and challenged us to spend the day as a family using the car to seek out some of those little ‘wins’ that never fail to bring a smile to our faces.

And so, our happy day began first thing Saturday morning, with a hop into the car and a quick drive into Guildford to go and view some houses…

(Sidenote- did I tell you yet that we’ve sold our house and are moving?! Things are happening fast so I need to do a proper update soon…!)

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Now, I think I’ve told you before how much that baby girl of mine just HATES being in the car. Unless she’s sleepy and ready to drop off straight away, I can pretty much guarantee that she’ll get cross and loud about how unhappy she is to be strapped into a seat with nothing to look at but the boot of the car within about 5 minutes of our journey commencing.

And so because of this, I plan any day involving car journeys that’re going to last longer than 10 minutes or so with military precision! The outward bound journey ALWAYS occurs during Ottilie’s morning nap, and we head home after lunchtime and a few hours of play when I know she’ll be about ready for another doze in the carseat! And when all goes quiet in the back and I know she’s fallen asleep? Well, it’s bliss!

I used to hate driving, but with a sleeping babe in the back and an audiobook running through the speaker system? It’s basically a holiday!

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And speaking of media systems, I’m pretty sure the Astra’s is a fancier bit of kit than the laptop I’m currently writing this post on! It’s all touch screen and totally intuitive, with wireless connectivity that lets you play your best Spotify playlist loud and proud through the car’s speakers!

We made use of it to lull Ottilie off to sleep with a few rounds of her favourite nursery rhyme playlist, and she was asleep by track three…

…which left Jason and I free to switch over to Haim’s new album and enjoy the heated, MASSAGE seats the whole way over to Guildford! I mean, it was such a little victory, it pretty much turned the journey into a date!

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With houses viewed (we’ve since had an offer accepted on one and I honestly can’t wait to share it with you, it’s our dream home!), car parked (with the help of the Astra’s reversing camera- a GODSEND for those of us challenged in the field of car-parking!!), and little legs stretched, we made our way up into town and in search of lunch.

And where do you head when you’re all juuuusstt edging into ‘hangry’ territory and need feeding with something delicious and quick?

To Franco Manca, of course!

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Seriously, does it get any better than Franco Manca? That base is just the best! Jason likes his pizza with ALL the cheese and meats…and for Ottie and I, we like our veggies!

I think my obsession with olives has been passed on to this baby girl, because she honestly can’t get enough. The ones in Franco Manca were so delicious but so salty I felt guilty letting her have more than one or two, and you should have seen the strop she had when I wouldn’t let her eat any more…

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We followed our pizzas with a portion of the gelato, and Ottilie couldn’t quite decide whether she liked it or not at first!She gave it her best effort though, and after the first couple of mouthfuls was like a little baby bird opening her mouth for spoonful after spoonful!

I was so precious about her not having sugar for the first year, so I think she’s enjoying being one now!! ;)

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After a mosey around the shops running a few errands and falling in love with expensive homewares in Anthropologie, we headed back to the car and loaded up ready to drive back home. Oh, and speaking of loading the car up, check that boot space! We could’ve fitted both dogs in there with the pushchair and change bag no problem at all, and they’d both have been happy with plenty of room!

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With the end of Saturday traffic beginning to build up on the main roads home, and an Ottilie who was about ready for another snooze in the car, we decided to use the Astra’s sat nav system to show us the best route home.

And so with our car guiding us back home through beautiful orange leaf tree-lined country lanes and not a hint of traffic in sight, we had a calm, peaceful end to the day.

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And if that doesn’t count as one of life’s little victories, I don’t know what does.

~ This post was sponsored by Vauxhall. Thank you for supporting the sponsored content that makes Cider with Rosie possible! ~

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14.09

Cider-with-Rosie-Ottilies-pram

1. Watching my baby girl trundle along with her pram around the pond outside our house on Wednesday afternoon! She thought it was the best thing ever, being able to go for a walk outside, and it felt like the next step towards her being a toddler and not a baby! My heart actually broke a little when she stopped to wave hello at a builder working a few houses down from ours, the cuteness was just too much <3

2. The piles of fallen leaves we crunched though on our way up to the park after tea a few days ago. Autumn is here!

3. Using this dreamy Aesop oil before bed- it makes my skin GLOW. And aren’t Aesop products the best smelling products going? (It was a gift to me from Tania and Freya for being a Mama for a whole year! Aren’t they the sweetest?)

4. Fresh bedlinen, spritzed all over with ThisWorks Deep Sleep spray. So relaxing!

5. This lentil dahl for dinner, ready and waiting when I got home from Body Balance on Wednesday.

6. Having a batch of homemade cookie dough in the fridge, ready and waiting to be baked. I think it should be a permanent fixture of our kitchen, to be honest!

7. Rediscovering an old pair of shoes. Currently living in a pair of striped French Sole flats I’ve had for a good two years but never really worn, and loving them!

8. Handing over bedtime duties to Jason! Just this week we’ve introduced a bottle for Ottilie at bedtime (rather than me breastfeeding, which I’m still doing in the day), and it’s so lovely seeing her go to him for a bedtime bottle and cuddle at the end of the day. And also so lovely feeling like I’m gaining a little bit of freedom! Ready for another baby now…;)

9. The GIANT bag of spinach and Swiss chard my neighbours gave me from their allotment this week! My Swiss chard is having a lull since I replanted a load of it, so I was very grateful!

10. Celebrating a year of parenthood with our NCT friends last weekend! We had a little party for the babies (complete with mini bouncy castle!), and it was so sweet seeing them all together again for the first time in a good few weeks. We’ll ignore the fact that at least half of them now have colds after having played together last Sunday- I’d forgotten how much germ sharing goes on when you get seven babies together in the same room!

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13.09

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O N   T H E   9 T H   S E P T E M B E R ,   A T   4 . 4 0 A M…

…and I haven’t stopped going on about it for a week solid! All last week my catchphrase was ‘this time last year!’ as I reminisced over the week I was in labour with Ottilie. ‘This time last year my contractions just started and I was rushing to get my hair washed and legs shaved!’ (let me tell you, no rush was necessary!!!), ‘this time last year was the first full night of contractions’, ‘this time last year I was in the birthing pool!’ and so on and so on…you get the picture!

But really, how on earth has it been a year? Watching Ottilie grow from a tiny baby into a miniature- and very, very sure of herself!- little person, has been the greatest joy of my life so far. She fills our days with so much laughter, and hearing her sweet chatter all day long makes my heart feel so full with love I’m sure it might burst.

I still can’t get my head around the fact that this sweet baby girl is all ours, and when she shouts ‘Mama Mama Mama!’ as she climbs the stairs each morning after she’s had her breakfast downstairs with Jason I feel so privileged that it’s me she’s calling for. I never take for granted what a gift it is to be a Mother, and have embraced all the opportunities this year has brought me to grow as a person as I’ve found my way into this new role.

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We decided to have a little get together over the weekend to celebrate this year with our baby girl, and it was such a fun afternoon! My Mum, sister and I spent most of the day before her birthday preparing sandwiches, rainbow skewers of fruit, chocolate traybakes, salads, and then I stayed up super late baking a vanilla and homemade blackberry jam birthday cake! Just don’t ask me about the first batch of cake that went into the bin, okay?

I honestly think could stare forever at these photos below of Ottilie when she first spotted her pretty confetti balloons, the joy on her face makes my heart ache…

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^^ Getting so steady on her feet these days ^^

We bought Ottilie the a beautiful wooden dolls pram for her birthday, and she wants to push it around non-stop now! I ummed and ahhed for ages over what to choose for her as her gift, but it’s been a hit so far! Up until recently she hadn’t been keen to try and walk at all, but since we gave her the pram over the weekend all she wants to do it stand up holding it and trundle it up and down the hallway. I wonder how long it’ll be until she’s off and running? I’m not sure I’m ready for a walking baby!

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We’d been holding off letting Ottie have anything majorly sugary until she turned one, and so I’d been so excited about giving her a slice of her very first birthday cake! But I’ll be honest, she wasn’t majorly interested…I think she’s still a fruit girl at heart! She really just ate the jam out the middle and then mashed the rest up a bit…but hey, she’ll learn! ;)

Also, seeing the way she’s playing with my cousin Emily’s sweet little girl Darcey in the photos melts my heart! Cousins are just extra siblings, if you ask me <3

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See what I mean about Ottilie and her fruit?! We ‘borrowed’ a couple of apples from the tree next door that has branches hanging over into my Mum’s garden, and they were seriously delicious!

Also, please note the crumbs of something or other in my hair in the first of those two photos above! I nearly edited it out, but then I thought, hey, it’s representative of Mum life!

(p.s. I’ve had a lot of questions about the dress I’m wearing in these photos! It’s from LK Bennett, I bought it in the sale at the end of June. As far as I can see it’s no longer on the website, so I’ve put a few alternatives, at a range of budgets, in the widget below :)


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Tania, Freya and their other halves came down from London to celebrate with us, which of course made me the happiest. I’ve missed being able to be spontaneous and pop up to London as much as I used to this year, and so having them come down to visit is the best! In fact, Tania Freya and Lizzie’s visits when Ottilie was a tiny baby were complete lifesavers- they used to come down for the day, take over Ottie-cuddling duty and send me off upstairs for a relaxing bath! I have the best ever friends- fact.

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And that’s it, my baby is one! It’s been so lovely sharing her first year of life and my first year of motherhood here with you all, and I’ve been so grateful for being able to turn to this community for support and advice along the way. Here’s to year number two!

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Posted in BABY, BIRTHDAY, OTTILIE

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03.09

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A   L O N G   W E E K E N D   I N   F R A N C E

I was looking back through my camera album on my phone last weekend whilst ordering a batch of prints and when I came across my photos from our trip to France a couple of weeks back, I suddenly realised I never shared any of them here! Bad blogger!

Back at the beginning of August Jason and I took Ottilie on her first ever holiday, and went down to stay at Tania and Lizzie’s beautiful family home in the South of France. It honestly was the nicest way to spend a long weekend- Tan and Lizzie have been some of my dearest friends for years now, and their extended family welcomed us in with open arms, swept Ottilie off for a thousand cuddles and as much delicious bread and homemade hummus as she could ever want, and gave Jason and I chance to relax and enjoy time in the countryside!

Sadly, my photos from France aren’t the greatest because, like the complete fool that I am, I managed to bring my camera all the way to the airport…and then leave it behind in our car. I guess that what comes when you’re carrying luggage, a baby, and about 8 kilos worth of snacks and toys! So you can thank Tania for taking and sharing with me the only decent quality photos in this post, since she managed to achieve what I didn’t and got her camera all the way from England to France!

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I think a good 75% of our time in France was spent sat at the dining table underneath the canopy outside…and I wasn’t complaining one single bit!

What with our tiny early riser who goes by the name of Ottilie Dorothy, we were usually up before every one else each morning. So we’d come downstairs, feed Ottie some cereal or toast or fruit…and then as Tania and Lizzie and the rest of the family woke up and joined us in dribs and drabs for coffee and more toast…Ottilie would just keep eating. One morning she ate a continuous stream of food from breakfast until lunchtime. But what with the homemade jams, the delicious peaches so ripe the juice would drip from your elbows whilst you ate them, and the sourdough bread so perfect for toasting, who could blame her?

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^^ This particular chicken has decided she’s too good for the hen coop and has made herself part of the family! ^^

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We spent most of our afternoons lazing round the pool, baking in the beautiful sunshine and dipping in and out of the pool to cool off.

Hector the labrador wandered around looking for cuddles and attention, and every hour or so would Tania’s Maman appear bearing trays of watermelon and iced tea or a pot full of the most divine homemade herbal tea. It was complete bliss. I could practically feel stress floating away from my shoulders!

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Totally in love with these two photos of my little family. Ottilie was so happy whilst we were in France, and seemed to learn a new word every day! I’m totally in awe watching her grow.

And she just dotes on her Aunties, which is the sweetest thing to see. There’s something so special about watching your baby love your friends as much as you do!

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When Ottilie went to bed each night, we spent our evenings drinking ice cold beers and chilled rose, giving Tania’s horse Hugo all the back scratches he could ever want, playing fierce games of badminton (Jason and I played a doubles game against Tania and Michael that nearly cost us our friendship ;), and, of course, eating the most delicious food.

Tagines, couscous, curries, pasta, the best tomatoes I’ve ever eaten from the vegetable garden…I’ve never been so full and happy in my life.

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It was the dreamiest long weekend, and totally the best first family holiday we could’ve asked for! We all came back happier, more relaxed, and ready to plan our next family adventure.

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Posted in FAMILY, FRANCE, SUMMER, TRAVEL

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