Tag Archives: Family

summer is here…

Sorry I’ve been very quiet lately, I’ve had a bit going on in my life generally and time seems to be passing by too quickly.

I have a new boyfriend, although at 27 years old the word boyfriend sounds a little childlike. He is lovely, so kind and thoughtful and he gets on great with my family and friends. I’ll Call him Mr J for now as i’m not sure that he will want me to talk about him, I don’t think he’s found my blog yet although I could be very wrong. ( Hi if you have found me)
It’s only been a month but it feels like i’ve know him for years and we get on so well.

I still need to meet his family and friends properly as we just havnt seemed to find the time to meet up with them yet.

Me and C went on a fantastic holiday in Towyn, North Wales at the end of last month with Danii and my cousin Ste as well. ¬†We had loads of visitors and got to have a catch up with friends, new and old. We made the most of a wet caravan holiday (took me back to childhood ūüėÄ ) playing in the arcade and jumping in puddles.

Here are some of my favourite pictures from the week.

We made a flag :D

We made a flag :D

Frozen frustration!

Frozen frustration!

Missing their friend :'(

Missing their friend :'(

The play area, who cares about a little water!

The play area, who cares about a little water!

I can see you!

I can see you!

Just had to be done ;)

Just had to be done ;)

On the Ferris wheel.

On the Ferris wheel.



This next one is my favourite thanks to a little filter ūüėÄ


Don’t they just look so cute! not a care in the world, just looking out at the sea.

C breaks up from nursery on Thursday then the real fun begins, 6 weeks with no school! Although I still have work :( so I need to sort the babysitting list out.
My mum is my usual childcare but she isn’t too well at the moment so roped Mr J in as emergency childcare for today. ( didn’t I tell you he was good, think I got lucky with him) need to try and sort something else out though for other days.

I have also started a separate blog about my journey to becoming in nurse as I start my training in just 2 months time, I will be posting on Not Just a student nurse so pop over and have a little look and give me some love over there.

I’m going to try blogging more to keep a journal of the years if nothing more.

Love to all, Ellie

Family is everything

Scrolling through my Facebook news feed while in work today ( shhh don’t tell anyone i had my phone out ūüėÄ ) and this quote came up…


and I had to share it with you as it got me thinking.

For the 1st time in a while it’s inspired me to write. I stopped because I just didn’t feel as if I had the words to say anything interested and didn’t just want to write for the sake of it. So i took a break.

This quote as well as something about my grandparents that my cousin Stephen shared a few days ago really hit home. ( i’ll see if i can share his post on my facebook page if you want to see it)

Family really is everything. 

I’m very lucky that I have a close family, ever since I can remember we have got to see my grandparents at weekends, mum’s family on a Saturday and we used to go to my dad’s parents on a Sunday until they moved to Wales. It was routine, as a child you take it all for granted, that’s just what we did.
We are still one of those families who all go to my Nan’s on a Saturday and see each other for a few hours. We celebrate birthdays and Christmas’ together, go on holidays and trips.

As I’m getting older, and have a daughter of my own I realise how important your family is and how quickly time passes.
As a kid the summer holidays seemed like 6 long weeks, that lasted forever, As an adult you realise that it goes quicker than you think, the last 6 months seems to have passed in the blink of an eye.

Looking back on my time-hop I see how much C is changing over the years but I also see how other family members are getting older.

My nanny Annie ( my mum’s mum) isn’t very well at the moment, 3 years ago we were told she wouldn’t last the night and although she is still with us her health is deteriorating, she is suffering from dementia.

I saw a picture of her 2 years ago on my time-hop, even though she had been through so much and should have been here, she looked healthy. ¬†She had an appetite, she loved to laugh and joke with us, she could easily join in with our family chats and enjoyed it all. It makes me sad to see how quickly a diseases like Alzheimer’s can take a person that you love away, even when they are still sat in the room with you.

Two years ago

my grandparents 61 years ago on their wedding day

 my grandparents 61 years ago on their wedding day

now :-My granddad looking after my nan

now :-My granddad looking after my nan

My Nan is still here, my amazing granddad looks after her even though he is 83 and his health isn’t what it used to be.
We all still go on a Saturday and see them during the week too.
We get them shopping and take them to their appointments.




The saying ” It takes a village” is usually applied to looking after and raising kids but I think it means the family as a whole, looking after and supporting each other, celebrating and ¬†commiserating together.

We lost my Pops, ( Granddad John, my dad’s dad) last September, he also suffered from dementia. We didn’t get to see them as much when they moved to wales in the early 2000’s but when his condition worsened and he was no longer able to remain at home being looking after by my Nan, he was moved to St Luke’s care home in Runcorn, we were able to visit more regularly. It was lovely seeing Charlotte getting to know her great-grandparents.

C is really very lucky, up until¬†September¬†she had all 8 great grandparents, as well as 4 grandparents and loads of great aunties and uncles, auntie’s and uncles’, and cousins ( various times removed).

 Even though she is the only little person in the proverbial village, she helps to take care of everyone just as much as any adult does.
Her spirit, her smiles and laughter, her joy are what my granddad Eddie calls ” his medicine” she helps to keep us all young as we watch her get older.

So many times I have said to her ” please stop growing” and she always answers ” No, i’m going to get bigger and bigger”.

I’m just happy that we have so many lovely photo’s to look back at and remember when we were all younger ūüėÄ


Sorry I was AWOL again.

I have been quite again recently and I am sorry for not posting. I just don’t seem to be able to find time to write very much.
I know that I don’t have to post often or at all really but I like to post and to share what we have been doing. It helps to keep me sane, helps to remember special things and events. It also¬†is a way¬†keep everyone who wants to know¬†what we have been up to in the loop.

So here is some of the things that we have been dealing with:-

– My Granddad John Caldwell aka Pop’s passed away on the 21st September. He had been in St Luke’s nursing home in Runcorn for a while,¬†being cared for as he had advanced Dementia, his funeral was on the 5th October.
It was a lovely send off, and although C and I didn’t go to the Church we attended the Cremation¬†and wake. She behaved so very well and I was so proud of her.


C in her Funeral outfit looking so grown up

РI have also been working extra shifts in work to cover holidays as well as going to University open days and trying to sort out my UCAS application as I want to go back to Uni very soon.
I will be shadowing some Nurses over the next few weeks as well to get some extra experience for my application in the hopes that it will improve my chances of gaining a place on the course.

– We have started Potty Training C as well as a visit from the Dummy fairy. (I will write more about this in another post.)

– I am going away to London on Friday with my best friend as a belated birthday treat so I look forward to telling you about that as well.

I will try to post more often and keep up to date with posts as best I can.
I have plans about post to add in the run up to Christmas, so watch this space.

Preping for Guide camp

This weekend we are taking some of our Guides to camp, we are going Saturday to Monday so it’s only a relatively small camp but with 14 of us including 3 adults and a toddler going it is going to take a fair amount of planning and equipment.

We went last week and bought a new tent as our old one had broken when Dan went to LAN last year.
We went to Decathlon and had a good look around and chose a Quenchua Arpenaz 4.2 XL Family tent Р4 man  which was £179.99

Photo taken from Decathlon's website http://www.decathlon.co.uk/arpenaz-42-xl-family-tent-4-man-id_8330641.html

Photo taken from Decathlon’s website http://www.decathlon.co.uk/arpenaz-42-xl-family-tent-4-man-id_8330641.html

It’s a 2 bedroom tent with storage areas on each side and a large “living” area in the centre.
I havn’t put it up yet, that is a job for this weekend so I will let you know how that goes next week.

I already have a sleeping bag and have bought C a few bits in ASDA


We have a thing about owls ūüėÄ

We have a parents meeting this week and I will go and do the food shopping on Friday for the weekend, I hope the weather is good but I highly doubt it.

C is all ready for what will probably be a very wet weekend camping


Wish us look!

Parents – Working, stay at home or a mixture?

When I got into work Tuesday¬†morning there was a conversation on the radio about how there is a decline in stay at home mums, and that now only about 1 in 10 mums are now stay at home mums, but the number of stay at home dad’s apparently hasn’t risen in the last couple of decades.
I might have gotten that wrong or miss heard as I was in work with people about and the level was low but I’m pretty sure that was the gist of the conversation.

It was on BBC Radio¬†Merseyside and they were asking people to call in and give their opinions.¬†As I was in work it wasn’t appropriate for me to do so but it was something that I think everyone should have an opinion on. I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the last week, so I though I would write a post.

I am a part time working mum.
Although I only work part time at the moment and my work hours do vary week on week, I work some daytime shifts as well as evenings and weekends. So I know how it feels to be out working and also at home.
My boyfriend Dan works morning shifts 5 days a week, so childcare is split between us and our families.
we are lucky to have the support network of family and friends that gives us the able to work without having to spend extortionate amounts on childcare. Continue reading

Busy weekend ahead.

This weekend is going to be a busy one. Tomorrow morning I am doing an Indoor table sale ( car boot but inside), My cousin Michael is joining me and we have to be there for 7am!
I sorted out a lot of things to sell this afternoon and will pack up the car once I’m home from work at about 10.30 tonight.

I’ve just been writing a list of things that I need to remember to take as well for tomorrow, like change and carrier bags.

I haven’t done a car boot sale for years and the last table sale I did was at a baby one, which turned out to be a disaster, there were barely any buyers there. I’m hoping this one¬†tomorrow will be better and I just need to figure out pricing for things.

I have sorted C’s old clothes into sized boxes and I am going to say 40p each or 3 for ¬£1, in the clothes boxes. I also have bags of vest and¬†sleep suits that will be 5 for ¬£1. Continue reading

Holiday cards*

We always buy holiday cards for all our family, since Dan and I getting together and having C the list of cards that I need to buy has increased. I have bought a few but still have at least 20 more to buy for grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins etc.
I still have at least 20 that I need to buy and write, sometimes I think that it would just be easier to do like they do in American movies and programs where they get dressed up in jumpers and hats, and all pose for a picture to put on their cards to send to family and friends.

I’ve always though it was a fun idea to have something personal to send from your family¬†to others. It lets them see how your are all growing and changing, and means that they wont have multiples of the same store-bought cards and I wound have to battle my way through a crowded card shop with a toddler trying to help.

I wanted personalised cards when C was getting christened but I couldn’t find any that I likes and that fitted in with our style, so a I ended up making my own.

I’ve been looking online at Christmas cards and seen some absolutely lovely photo holiday cards that I would just love to get to send to our family and friends so that could see just how much C has grown.
We have quite an extended family who are scattered all live the country and who we don’t see as much as we really should sending them a card like this would at least mean they¬†can see what an amazing little girl C is becoming.

These are a few of my favourite designs that I have seen in my browsing :-


Whirlwind Christmas card $2.84 each (for 25)¬†from minted.com ¬†–
I love the simplicity of this card, just your photograph and the message.¬† I love how they can each be personalised¬†with¬†photo’s and wording inside and out,¬†allowing them to be completely personal.
I would choose to have a folded card as they are the style I prefer but you can get it as a flat (postcard style) card instead which is a little cheaper.


Destination luggage tag holiday photo card¬†$2.84 each (for 25) from minted.com –
This is such a pretty luggage tag style card, I have seen this style of design of a few sites including www.minted.com and www.funkypigeon.com.
I really like the luggage tag style cards although they are less traditional in style and the older generations might not like them, they appeal to me.


Joyful holiday wishes card $2.84 each (for 25) from minted.com ¬†–
Again this card can each be personalised in photo’s and wording inside and out,¬†allowing them to be completely personal. You can also select different wording ( holidays or Christmas) as well as different colour ways.

The Minted cards are from an American company so the prices are in dollars and have a minimum order of 25 but they do ship internationally, and at the moment have a free personalised envelope offer on when you order cards which makes them just a little but more special.

I think I have left it a little bit to late this year to get these cards made to send, but I might get them for next year if I manage to get my butt into gear and get things sorted earlier.

*disclosure – I have been offered money off products from minted to write this post. All written thoughts and opinions are unbiased and my own*

So are you planning number 2 yet?

This is the major question that I seem to be fielding most recently.
It comes in many different forms and wording, “So are you planning for number 2 yet?”, “Are you feeling broody?”, ” Don’t you think C needs a sibling?”,¬†but the meaning is always the same.

“Don’t you think its time you had another child?”

It seems a common thing that once you have had a child and they get the a certain age that is around 18 months old people start asking when your having more.
I think its a similar thing to getting to a certain age and being in a relationship, people ask when you will get married/ buy a house /have children ( delete as appropriate).

It is just the done thing and the next step that people are expected to take.

So my answer :- Yes I do want to have another child at some point, but right now is not the best time for us.
I have things that I want to do before I expand my family, I want to go back to Uni, I want to get a better paying job, D needs a better paying job as well and we need to move into our own space.
I also need to take D’s opinions into account, weather he want’s more kids or not.

I don’t think we will be ready for another child for a few years at least, but if it should happen sooner then I will be happy.
I have never wanted C to be an only child and have always imagined having more children but what will be will be.

For now I am thankful to have my happy and healthy little girl who I love so much!


*Guest Post* Katie from Mami2Five – How a Decade Can Change the Shape of Family Life.

How a Decade Can Change the Shape of Family Life

¬†Hi, I’m Katie and I am so happy to be here with this guest blog while Ellie has a lovely break on her holiday. You can normally find me over at my blog, Mami2Five.com.

¬†It took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to write this post about. After all, my family’s circumstances are so different to Ellie’s. In the end I realised I should embrace these differences and this post was born.

Ellie, her boyfriend and baby C live with Ellie’s parents. They need to live with family so they can raise the money to put down a deposit on a house. Sadly, this isn’t an unusual state of affairs. Rising living costs and astronomical house prices mean that owning a home is a luxury often denied to many.¬† For a lot of parents also, one or two children is the maximum they will ever be able to afford, even if their hearts desire a whole football team. High mortgage payments, plus childcare costs can be crippling for those with one child, let alone two or more.

With hindsight I realise we were lucky to start our family when we did. We live in an area with lower house prices than most now, but back in 1999 we turned down even viewing a house up for ¬£25,000 as it was too expensive! That’s pocket change nowadays! We got married in 2000, on my 18 th birthday, and within 12 days I was pregnant. With twins!¬† Back then you had 6 weeks, yes WEEKS, maternity leave. But it didn’t matter, once they were born, there was no way I could leave my babies. Even if I had wanted to return to work it wouldn’t have been feasible, our childcare costs would have been more than triple what I earned at the time!

Many people wonder at how we could afford to have so many children, but honestly? When they are little they cost pennies to keep (okay,that might be a teeny tiny underestimation there but you catch my drift). They eat miniature portions of food, clothes don’t need to be designer, or even brand new. Getting a black bag of hand-me-down toys and clothing can be as exciting as Christmas morning to a child, and their mother! As long as they are loved and get to have lot’s of fun they don’t really care.

Now my children are older they do cost more to keep. My eldest daughters are taller than me, they eat adult portions of food and wear women’s size 6 clothing. Their feet are bigger than mine so shoes cost more (I can actually still buy kids shoes!). But the fact that our income has gone up but our outgoing household bills haven’t changed too much means that we are doing okay. At least, with three girls, until the weddings start rolling in!

But lets pretend things had been different. Pretend I had stayed on to do my A-levels instead of going for a job interview the afternoon I got my GCSE results and started working the following week. Pretend I had gone to university, like my father wanted, and went on to get a really good job. Pretend I didn’t meet Lee until we were much older and I was in my late twenties or early thirties before we married and decided to have kids.

If all those things had happened?

There’s no way we’d be able to afford the children we have.¬† For starters, if we bought our house now it would cost us four times more than it cost us 15 years ago, if we’d bought it five or six years ago it would have been five times more.¬† Right now, we would probably be in a rented house or both working to pay our mortgage payment each month.

Let’s pretend we still had the twins first. That’s instantly double the childcare costs. In reality we went on to have another baby just after they turned two. Three children in childcare? I really can’t see how anyone could afford that! In this pretend family of ours this would either mean that my eldest daughters would be our only children, or we would have waited quite a few years until they were in school to possibly have only one more. I find it really hard to think that had our lives together been postponed by just a decade we probably would never have had all of our children. How different would this family photo be?

2014-08-31 14.04.05 (3)

What about you? Has your life turned out differently than you expected, purely because of house prices and childcare costs?








Socialites|Electronic Cigarette review*

I am not a smoker, but my brother is. We have asked him to stop smoking numerous times but he hasn’t yet.
I personally want him to stop smoking as I hate him coming in smelling like smoke especially when he is around C.¬† He also¬†lost his job last July so he¬†doesn’t really have the money to continue smoking.

I recently saw that a company was looking for bloggers who wanted to quit smoking or with loved ones who they wanted to quit, so I applied. Anything to help him quit will help us all in the long run.

 We were sent a Socialites Electronic Cigarettes  platinum started kit, this is the closest to his usual cigarettes in flavour.

IMAG1639 Continue reading