04.01

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We did it, our first proper grown up Christmas where WE were the hosts! I’m still kind of in shock that I’m an actual real life adult with a toddler, but now that I’ve hosted Christmas and cooked lunch for 11? Well that’s it. Feeling pretty swish these days ;)

In all seriousness though, we had the best time having Christmas with our family in our new house. Jason and I worked out that this was the first time in eight (or is it nine? I lose track…) years of being together that we’ve stayed in one place for the whole of Christmas Day, and it was so lovely!

And having Ottie running round was just the best, she was such great entertainment all day as she opened up parcel after parcel of beautiful gifts and said ‘wooowwweeee’ each time. In typical toddler style of course, her favourite thing to play with at the moment, despite our living room now looking like a JoJo Maman store, is the jam funnel that she goes and pinches from the kitchen cupboard every morning after breakfast. She likes to carry it round and shout into it like it’s her own mini megaphone, and it’s hilarious and deafening in equal measure!

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Silk Spotty Blouse (now on sale!)

If you can believe it, this was the one and only photo of Ottilie and I from the whole Christmas! And isn’t it a corker! ;) It was taken right at the end of our meal, when Ottie had just woken from her glorious two and a half hour nap and arrived downstairs just in time to polish off a portion of peanut butter and chocolate pie!

Speaking of food, this was my first vegan Christmas, and honestly I barely noticed a difference! My favourite part of Christmas lunch has always been all the veggies anyway (Brussels sprouts! Braised red cabbage!), and my Mum makes the most delicious veggie stuffing so was in charge of that this year.

The only thing I ‘missed’ was that normally I’d eat myself until I was almost sick on cheese late in the evening, but as I’m not a major fan of most vegan cheeses (though want to make some nut cheeses this year, Tania raves about them!) this year I just had a few crackers and the tasty vegan garlic and herb cream cheese that Sainsbury’s sell, and then went all out on the chocolate instead!

For dessert I made Minimalist Baker’s chocolate and peanut butter pie, and it was amazing! I’d absolutely make it again, though with just a touch more sweetness added to the pie filling as it was ever so slightly too savoury from the peanut butter for my taste.

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Our Boxing Day was quiet and slow to start, with plenty of coffee brewed and rounds of toast made and panettone eaten by my husband who might be panettone’s biggest fan.

My Mum and her partner Rob had stayed the night at ours, and once we all were up, dressed, and ready to go, welly boots and thick coats were donned and we all wandered up the lane to stretch our legs and burn some energy off the dogs who’d been thoroughly treated with leftovers the day before!

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You know what goes great with a Boxing Day walk? A hip flask of two year old homemade sloe gin!

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We stopped for a good twenty minutes to give these darlings some Christmas cuddles, which is basically my favourite part about every dog walk these days! There are a couple of young horses in the field just up the lane from our house and they’re the sweetest, most affectionate little things. I could honestly stay there all day!

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Oh, and last but not least a photo from my birthday! Which is three days before Christmas and so I always forget about it all together in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the festive season, but I actually remembered to take a quick, very awkward outfit photo this year!

I’ve been telling everyone I’m 27 all year, for some reason, which is unfortunate given that I actually only turned 27 two weeks ago. But hey! I’m thinking of it as gaining a year! I spent most of my day working on a really fun last minute project that came in the week before Christmas, and then got spruced up and headed out for a pizza and cocktails with Jason later in the evening. It was perfect.

~ ~ ~

I hope you all had the very best Christmas, and a wonderful start to the New Year too!

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07.11

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The relationship between these two little cousins is just the sweetest, sweetest thing! There’s about a 9 month age gap between Ottie and Bea (I was 6 weeks pregnant when we went to visit Beatriz in hospital the day after she was born!) and they absolutely adore one another. If either Jason or I ever go over to visit Jason’s brother and wife without Ottilie, the first thing Bea asks is ‘Ottie? Ottie Dots?’ and looks so disappointed not to have her playmate there for a visit!

I’ve treasured my relationships with my own cousins all my life, and feel so lucky that those relationships have developed and strengthened as we’ve grown up together. I mean, cousins are basically just extra siblings aren’t they? I really hope Ottilie and Bea treasure each other just as much :)

And judging by the spontaneous hand holding and looks of love between them going on in these photos from last week, they certainly seem to! <3

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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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Posted in FAMILY, GUILDFORD, Sponsored

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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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