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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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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02.10

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W E E K   T H R E E  !

We’re getting bigger over here!

Ottilie’s gained half a pound in the three weeks since she was born, and I’m pretty proud to think that my body made those 8 ounces! I was never sure if I’d get on with breast feeding or be able to manage it, but it’s going so well and I’m just loving it. Ottie’s milk drunk face is my favourite thing in the whole world <3

What else is new? Well, we managed our second week without Jason around! I was very glad though that Jason’s family all happened to be nearby to help me out a couple of afternoons, because flying solo is no joke!

Ottilie and I have been getting out of the house at least once every day, and she’s getting pretty regular with the times she takes naps which is helping me plan our outings. We’ve managed errands, shopping trips (for Jason’s birthday next weekend!), trips to visit friends from our NCT group, and, as is obligatory when you’re a Mama, many a coffee shop visit too ;)

Oh, and Ottilie went to Grandma’s house for the first time this Sunday! It was so special seeing her in the house where I have so many amazing memories, so we decided to snap a few photos to remember the occasion.

I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend! Is anyone else super pumped that the weather’s turning? I’m so ready for Autumn!

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Posted in BABY, FAMILY, OTTILIE

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26.07

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C E L E B R A T I N G   B A B Y   C H A P P E L !

So, this weekend, I had a baby shower! And it was amazing!

All of Sunday morning Jason had been chivvying me along through the errands we had to get done, and I couldn’t understand it.

We were due to nip over to my brother and sister in law’s house to shoot their six month baby photos (or so I thought, at least!) at around midday, but Jason was dashing around like a man on an important mission all that morning! The timings aren’t that important, I remember thinking!

I was a bit confused about why Jason was so insistent on driving me over there and also that we be there at bang on midday, but it all became clear when I opened the door to Russell and Clare’s living room, and was greeted by my Mum, sister, mother in law, Clare, cousins, Auntie, and best friends (plus all the babies too!), all shouting ‘Surprise!’!

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Clare had decorated the room *so* beautifully it totally blew me away!

There was a whole table of homemade sandwiches and cakes and popcorn (the stickers say ‘Ready to Pop!’- how cute!) plus some family favourite sweet treats made by my Mum.

Fun games and activities were set up in every corner (wooden blocks to be decorated for baby C, & a pin board of baby pictures I had to identify!) and, of course, all the babies had scattered their toys far and wide across the floor!

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We spent our afternoon playing ‘guess the baby’s weight/sex/due date’ (most guesses are for girl right now!), eating mountains of cakes, passing little Beatriz around for baby cuddles, and watching one year olds Darcey and Dylan toddle around the room holding court!

Oh, and the baby (and I!) were so spoilt with so many beautiful gifts. In fact, I don’t think I’ll need to buy a single sleep suit, blanket, book, or toy for this lucky baby for another year!

Though who am I kidding, I totally will…;)

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The whole afternoon was just so lovely, and I was so touched by the effort all my family and friends had gone to to celebrate the impending arrival of our baby that once I got home I cried like a baby myself, ha! So grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life, all ready to love this baby come September.

Thank you x1000 to Clare for organising me the greatest baby shower, and to my friends and family for making it so special.

And now, Baby Chappel, you can just keep cooking in there for another four weeks, and then feel free to make your appearance at any point! We’re all waiting! <3

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