Monday, December 30, 2013

My Year That Was - 2013 ♥

Today is the last day of 2013, can you believe it? No, neither can I. It's true what they say, time really does fly when you're having fun and I really do think 2013 has been my best year yet. So many wonderful things have happened to me this year and I am both grateful and amazed by them all. This post is reflective, pin-pointing a highlight from each month of 2013, something which touched me and really stood out in my mind and also revealing what I have learnt from this year.

January wasn't a very exciting month for me, I was heavily pregnant awaiting the arrival of my baby boy and my busy getting things organised and ready for his birth. I guess the highlight of January was being pregnant and carrying a healthy baby boy who I was so excited to meet, hold and see what he looked like!

This was the month that I met the love of my life, my beautiful little angel Tyler Lee came into my life on February 16th after thirty-one long hours in labour, you can read his birth story here. I actually think that February may have been the best moment in my life, to become a mother is the most amazing, joyous thing that has ever happened to me. My baby boy is my world, I love him more than life itself and I thank God for him everyday.

My birthday month and this was my first as a mother. I spent a lovely day shopping and having lunch with my fiance before heading home to a lovely dinner and a cosy night cuddled up on the couch, yes I'm officially old. The day after my birthday was my first Mother's Day also so it was a very exciting weekend indeed. I got two gorgeous Pandora charms to remember these precious days, a peace charm for my birthday and a mother and son charm for my first Mother's Day ever. March also brought baby's first St. Patrick's Day and Easter where I dressed him up in adorable outfits. March 27th saw the creation of my little blog Dolly Dowsie which has since turned into a big passion in my life. March had a lot of highlights for me!

Another quiet month for me which I spent minding my baby boy, writing letters and becoming good friends with great people. My baby boy met his grandfather (my father) and his babsia (my fiance's mother) for the first time in April and I was delighted that he was able to meet them as they live on the other side of the world and the other on an island next to France.

My baby boy was christened on the 4th of May. You can read about his christening here. I was so proud of my little angel on his special day and he looked so beautiful in his christening gown which I also wore for my christening, he went vintage for the occasion! 

My fiance and I took our baby boy to Fota Gardens for the first time, a beautiful place close to our home. The sun was shining and the weather was perfect, this was the best weather we had for years, the Irish summer had well and truly improved, usually it only lasts a day!

My fiance and I went on holiday to Crete, Greece and had a fantastic time. To relax on the beach, falling asleep on a deck chair, soaking up the sun after some Smirnoff Ice and a delicious lunch was absolute Heaven! I still miss the warm water and the views of the beautiful island. I was glad to visit a new place and I fell in love with it.

I met my best friend for the first time, my lovely Cheryl and her gorgeous baby girl Amelia, who we joke is Tyler Lee's girlfriend, they look so cute together! Cheryl is one of the kindest people I have ever met in my life, we have so much in common and a similar way of thinking, she's my soul sister and I'm honoured to have a friend like her in my life.

This month the gorgeous weather continued in Ireland and my fiance and I took our baby boy to some great places around our county, namely Barryscourt Castle and Fota Wildlife Park. On September 24th my fiance and I celebrated our two year anniversary and also this day marked six years since we first laid eyes on each other - romantic!

This month brought mine and Tyler Lee's first holiday together. We visited Cheryl and Amelia in Co. Wexford, my first trip down to that part of the country and it was great. The babies had their first Halloween while we were down there and Tyler Lee went on a swing for the first time, his little face lighting up as he flew high into the air is etched into my mind forever.

My fiance graduated as a legal executive. I was and still am so proud of him as he now continues on his studies to become a solicitor. After his graduation we went to Pandamamas, a Chinese restaurant in our city where the food was fabulous! I was very impressed as this was my first time there, I'll be back!

On December 7th I attended my first ever bloggers meet up which was in my city and it was fabulous to meet other bloggers.This month we also had baby's first Christmas and it was wonderful, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect festive season. I got the best gift I will ever have in February when he arrived into my life but I was still spoilt on Christmas Day when I opened my gifts. If every Christmas is like this one we have many joyous times to come.

So those were my highlights of 2013, it's funny what stays in your mind. 2013 has taught me -
How to be a mother
That it's okay to be myself
To stop living in the past
Who is important
Who my true friends are
What my passions in life are
What I want and how to get it
How to set goals and achieve them
That sometimes I need help and need to accept it
How to do everything with one hand
How to bake

I will now begin working through my Bucket List 2014, wish me luck in crossing everything off my list! I would like to wish you all, my darling readers a very Happy New Year! Lets hope that 2014 is our best year yet, if it's any way as good as 2013 it shall be amazing!


What I Got For Christmas ♥

This Christmas I was one lucky duck receiving a whole array of goodies which left me feeling well and truly spoilt. My fiance was more than generous to me and picked me up some of my favourite things - Soap and Glory makeup sets and a bath and body set, nail polishes, Yankee candles and oil burners, an Urban Decay customisable palette with three eye shadows, a gift voucher to Brown Thomas and lots of chocolate! My mother got me two more gorgeous charms for my Pandora bracelet which is now two thirds full, new pyjamas and slippers and my brother also gave me a gift voucher to Brown Thomas, the MAC store was calling me! On St. Stephen's Day morning my fiance and I braved the sales and I picked up a new MAC blush and six gorgeous lipsticks from my vouchers. My fiance also got me my long coveted The Sparkler from The Body Shop and as these were half price he got me two for the price of one! I was delighted with everything I received and have been using them all in turn, I feel well and truly beautified and pampered this festive season!

Baylis & Harding Skin Spa - Cherry Blossom
Soap and Glory - Once Upon A Lime gift set
Soap and Glory - Girl-O-Whirl
Soap and Glory - Eyes Box
Pandora - Passport dangle charm and beaded pink heart dangle charm
French Connection - Nail polish gift set
Fearne - Nail polish gift set
Yankee Candle - Snow In Love and Christmas Eve
Yankee Candle - Snow In Love, Christmas Memories and Christmas Eve oil burners
MAC - Peachykeen blush
MAC - Who's That Chick (Limited Edition), Bombshell, Pink Pear Pol, Fan Fare, Lovelorn and Fabby lipsticks
Urban Decay - Customisable rose palette with Melt eye shadow included
Urban Decay - Mildew, Zodiac and Snatch eye shadows
The Body Shop - The Sparkler in bronze and pink

I love absolutely everything and have been burning my Christmas Eve Yankee candle since Christmas Eve, it makes my living room smell festive and feel cosy. I've also been wearing each of my MAC lipsticks in turn and used my Urban Decay Snatch eye shadow for the first time today. Reviews to come in due course on all the beauty products.

Stay pretty people!


Baby's 1st Christmas ♥

I'm back! I took a well deserved break from all things internet for the past five days, I didn't even log onto Facebook, can you believe it?! No me neither. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, if you celebrate it and enjoyed some quality time with those you love. This year my my ten month old baby boy Tyler Lee's first Christmas and I can honestly say Christmas was complete this year with my precious angel in the house. I bought Tyler Lee a lot of festive outfits and luckily he was able to wear each one at least once. Him and I were alone for Christmas Eve as his daddy was working but it was lovely to spend some time alone with my angel and have lots of cuddles and story time. I must say, I think he knew something was up because he was so well behaved on Christmas Eve, he slept a lot, didn't cry at all and sat on my lap as I read to him, usually he's mad for road moving all around the place! I gave him his Christmas Eve basket before he went to bed and out of everything all he wanted was the tube of white chocolate buttons! 

On Christmas morning Tyler Lee woke at 5.30 am and we were so excited to bring him downstairs to show him what Santa Claus had brought him. When he saw all his toys he was so bewildered, just crawled over and sat next to them, afraid to touch anything! We eventually coaxed him into playing with them and he seemed most impressed with his tractor and farmyard, a typical country boy! After visiting my grandparents house and seeing all of our relatives we went to my parents house where we had a delicious traditional Christmas dinner, even Tyler Lee had some turkey! Baby boy went to bed at seven o' clock on Christmas Day putting an end to our first Christmas together as a family of three, it was simply perfect.
 From Santa Claus Tyler Lee got -

Fisher Price 3 in 1 trike
Keepsake rabbit and dog from Tiny Kooka, made out of his newborn baby grows
Turtle and lamb softie from Hugs and Stitches
Large hare from Melody and Me
Knitted Big Nutbrown and Little Nutbrown Hares with 'Guess How Much I Love You' snuggle book also from Melody and Me
Stacking cups
Wooden blocks in pull-along wooden tray
My Pal Scout
Farmyard and moving tractor
Bright Stars Bee ball
Babog Bear, an Irish speaking teddy bear
Vtech pull-along luggage which teaches English and French

He was a lucky baby boy and hopefully these toys will keep him well entertained, for a little while at least!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Red Velvet & Triple Chocolate Chunk Christmas Cupcakes ♥

This is the final instalment in my Christmas baking series and today I'm showing off my Red Velvet Cupcakes with vanilla icing and Triple Chocolate Chunk cupcakes with chocolate fudge icing. I decorated these seriously delicious cupcakes with the same Christmas themed sprinkles I used on my Christmas Devil's Food Cake With A Twist and I love how they turned out. The red sprinkles with the silver ball sprinkles give a wonderful twinkling effect in the light and each cupcake is ornate with a sugared festive symbol, my favourite being the Christmas tree. I also decorated the chocolate fudge icing with silver spray which gave it a gorgeous shimmering effect. These smell and look delicious and I can't wait to share them out with my family tomorrow on Christmas Eve.
This will be the last post from me until Christmas is over as I'm taking a break from the internet and spend some much need quality with my family, fiance and my baby boy to celebrate his first ever Christmas so I want to wish all of you, my lovely blog readers and followers a very Merry Christmas, enjoy it, have fun and make wonderful memories with all those you love.

May your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be white.


Festive Decor ♥

It's Christmas week! Can you believe that this time of year is upon us, it seems the year has just flown by and here we are in my favourite time of the year. I love the cosiness Christmas decor brings to a home - the twinkling lights, sweet little ornaments, candles lighting and beautifully decorated trees, to me it's simply perfect. I wanted to give you all a glimpse of my Christmas decor. There are four Christmas trees in the house this year and each one is as beautiful as the next. As you can see each room has a different colour scheme. The kitchen is decorated with gold pieces including star lights, a berry wreath, decorations over the hearth and on the little tree, one living room is decorated with black and gold decorations, another living room has wine and gold decorations and of course, this year we have Tyler Lee's special blue and silver decorated tree for his first Christmas. I hope you like my many pictures of my festive decor!

If you're celebrating I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!

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