Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#Project365 - Picture Number 354 - 365 ♥

 The look of love for his Mama.

 Bubbles and wonder at bath time.

Guess how much I love you?

 Splash splash for blue eyes.

 Rifling through his Christmas Eve basket.

 Toys galore! Thanks Santa!

 Cranky toddler and an awkward family...

 Sleeping soundly cuddling bunny.

 My little sleeping angel.

 Long lashes.

Happy bunny.

Playing us into a new year.

This post marks the end of my #Project365. It's been amazing seeing my son grow through each picture of this project, he's grown from a 10 month old baby on January 1st 2014 to a fully fledged 22 month old toddler on December 31st. These photos are ones I will cherish forever and which will someday soon make it into their own special photo albums as a forever keepsake of a year of Tyler Lee's life captured in a daily picture.

Thank you for following my #Project365 journey, I hope you've enjoyed the story behind each picture and seeing each one just as much as I've loved taking them.

Happy New Year!


Our Year That Was | 2014 ♥

Today is the last day of 2014, I really can't believe that, this year really has flown by. This year has been quite a hard one for me and to be honest I haven't been completely happy this year at all so I really hope that 2015 is a much happier year for my little family and I. I wrote a post similar to this last year where I reflected on my year in 2013 and I loved looking back at all our memories so this will be a tradition I will keep up every year. Below are some of my favourite memories and significant moments from 2014.

I began the new year with a poorly baby, he had an ear infection, viral infection and an inflamed throat, my poor little cherub. This was the first picture I took this year and the beginning of my #Project365 project. January was a quiet month for me, I was enjoying all the LUSH goodies I got for Christmas, beginning new projects and making preparations for my boys 1st birthday party but I was also suffering from the New Year blues. In January Jacek and I also found out that we were expecting our 2nd child, we hadn't really had time to get our head around everything at the time as we were busy with Tyler Lee and getting ready for his birthday but we were looking forward to life as a family of four.

In February we celebrated Tyler Lee's 1st Valentines's Day and I had a mini photo session with him covered in lipstick kisses - too adorable! We also celebrated baby boy's 1st birthday on the 16th and we had a lovely day celebrating with family and friends even though my boy was still feeling poorly, the poor little dote. The day after our wonderful celebrations, however, I suffered a miscarriage and lost our 2nd baby. It was such a hard time for me and I felt so alone. Luckily I had the help of some thoughtful friends to get me through and they let me know they were thinking of me with messages of support and a wonderful surprise hamper. February also marked Tyler Lee's first trip to the beach and where he's love of the sea and sand began. He's a beach babe until this day, definitely a little Aquarius!

In March I celebrated my 24th birthday and received lots of lovely gifts. My boys and I had a delicious meal at one of my favourite restarurants - The Elm Tree and then took a trip to the freezing cold seaside! It was such a great day. March also marked Tyler Lee's 2nd St. Patrick's Day and luckily this year Jacek had the day off so we all celebrated together watching the big parade in Cork City.  My boys and I took a trip to one of my favourite places - Blarney Castle, where I took so many gorgeous pictures of Tyler Lee amongst the daffodils, I love these pictures. Tyler Lee and I also had our 2nd Mother's Day together and I reflected on the day and what it means to me. March 27th marked my 1 year blogiversary, a milestone I was delighted to achieve, I can't wait for the 2nd blogiversary this coming March.

April was another quiet month for me. It was a month filled with lovely moments with my son, moments I was so grateful to have with him. We also celebrated Tyler Lee's 2nd Easter and went on an Easter egg hunt in the beautiful Fota Gardens with my aunt and cousin, it was such a lovely day! I also put together an Easter basket for him and he loved everything he received.

In May I began planning The Cork Meetup with the lovely Sarah from At the Beauty Desk. I also began my Herbalife journey and was really enjoying it. I toned up a lot and lost some weight, I actually felt amazing during this time. My boys and I also had a lovely day out at Fota Gardens where I got some beautiful pictures of Tyler Lee taken amongst the daisies.

June was such a lovely month for my little family and I. We kicked off the month with a trip to Kilkenny City and Castle, a place I had never been before so it was great to explore somewhere new with my boys. Jacek celebrated his 2nd Father's Day with Tyler Lee and I got such beautiful pictures of them in a meadow. We also had our first family holiday visiting my father and his girlfriend on the beautiful island of Jersey. It was such a great holiday, one we hope to have next year too. It's such a gorgeous place, highly recommend!

July was another great month. Jacek and I saw The Prodigy at Live At the Marquee and it was great to see a gig after so long. Sarah and I hosted The Cork Meetup and it was such an amazing day which thankfully everyone enjoyed. At the end of July my boys and I took a trip to the orchard at Barryscourt Castle, it was such a gorgeous day and Tyler Lee loved running around the apple trees.

August was another amazing month. My boys and I went on our 1st family holiday abroad to The Algarve. It was such a glorious week which we all enjoyed and we can't wait for our holiday next year - where to go is all we need to decide! My baby boy also turned one and a half whilst we were on holiday and he learnt to say "mama".

In September Tyler Lee and I visited our friends in Co. Wexford and we visited the lovely Wells House which was full of fairy trails and folklore. I also went a bit daring and dyed my hair blue, something which has been on my bucket list for the year. On the 24th Jacek and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary and also marked seven years since we first met. We had a lovely picnic on Garryvoe Beach with our boy and it was so sunny and warm. The day after we went to the beautiful Castlemartyr Resort for afternoon tea, something which we had wanted to do for ages! It was such a lovely experience and one which we can hopefully do for Valentine's Day next year.

October was another quiet month for us but we celebrated Tyler Lee's 2nd Halloween. He had a great day digging into his Halloween basket and enjoying his treats. October 16th marked the due date of our 2nd child who we sadly lost in February. It was a hard day for me but rainbows were following me around letting me know I was being thought of.

In November I began preparing for Christmas and put together a new tradition for my son - the book advent calendar. My 1st Years surprised me by asking to sponsor me for Britmums Live and I really was so delighted, I can't wait for the event next June! Jacek celebrated his 31st birthday and I was finally able to get him a watch, something I've been wanting to get him for ages.

December was all about preparing for Christmas for us. We had great fun opening up Tyler Lee's book advent calendar with him and reading to him every night. We were also busy picking up last minute gifts and getting ready for Christmas Day. Our Christmas was a quiet one but so lovely and it was great spending quality time together as a family.

I am really looking forward to 2015 and all it will bring us. Hopefully it'll be a happier year than 2014 and we already have a lot of plans made, including three trips so far, so we have a lot to look forward to. 

I would like to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year 2015, I hope it's filled with happy memories, wonderful adventures and lots of love and luck for us all!

Monday, December 29, 2014

What I Received For Christmas | 2014 ♥

  Christmas is a time of year where I am reminded of all that I have in my life and how extremely grateful I am for it all, especially the love of my little family. It's also a time of year where I like to spoil my family and shower them with gifts, especially my fiance and our son. This year I received lots of lovely gifts from my family and I am so appreciative of them all, I'm a very lucky lady for sure. I wanted to share with you all what I received as I'm sure there will be lots of reviews of these products in the coming year where I'll be airing my thoughts on all these things and letting you know the ones I rate. Let me show you what I received...

 My main gift from Jacek was my Nikon D3200 DSLR camera and I can't tell you how delighted I am with it! I've wanted to upgrade to a DSLR camera for ages now having used a Canon bridge camera all along. I have to admit I'm finding it hard to adjust to using a new camera and trying to work it properly but I'll get there. I had to take these first three pictures with the Canon and the rest with the Nikon so hopefully you'll see a difference with the photo quality. This was such a generous gift and I'm extremely grateful to Jacek for it.

I've had my Pandora bracelet for quite a few years now and it's one of my prized possessions. Every Christmas and birthday I get at least one charm and this Christmas I was delighted to receive three charms from Jacek - the unicorn, fairy tale book and the snowman and one from my mother - the stamp. I love that every charm I have on my bracelet has a special meaning to me and these four are no different. I'll have a full update post on my bracelet soon as it's almost full.

 Now I know what you're thinking - why has a 24 year old gotten Sylvanian Families for Christmas? Well this was a bit of an inside joke between my mother and brother. I always asked Santa for Sylvanian Families at Christmas as a child and unfortunately they were too expensive for him to bring me, I've harped on about my lack of a SF and my disappointment for years now so my mother and brother thought it'd be hilarious to get me the nursery bus and the celebration cat family to go into it... I'm secretly (or not so secretly) delighted though! My inner child is so happy right now!

My Nana got me the Soap & Glory Soap For the Best! gift box and this is such a lovely little box, I'll definitely be storing some beauty products in it when I have these ones used up. It contains four medium sized products and a new pom pom - just what I needed as my last Soap & Glory one is in need of replacement!

 Jacek also got me Soap & Glory's The Next Big Thing gift box which contains 10 full-sized products, some of which are my favourite from the Soap & Glory range. I'll use everything in this box except for maybe the Heel Genius and the Sexy Mother Pucker - I'm not big into pampering my feet or wearing gloss but everything else will definitely be used up, especially The Righteous Butter - my favourite!

This Christmas I received a lot of LUSH products and I couldn't resist their Christmas sale either so I have 5 more gift boxes arriving soon... crazy I know! One gift box I received from Jacek was First Snow which contains 7 gorgeous products - Snowman Fun, Rock Star, Shimmy Shimmy, Bubblegum Lip Scrup, Snow Fairy, Baked Alaska and First Snow Dusting Powder. I've never used 5 of these products before so I'm looking forward to trying them out.

 I also got The Christmas Penguin, Magic Wand, Santa's Lip Scrub, Christmas Eve and Butterbear from Jacek.

Jacek also got me two of one of my favourite LUSH bath bombs ever - Holly Go Lightly. These are amazing, if your local LUSH store still has some of these I highly recommend picking one up, you won't be disappointed!

Jacek also got me two bottles of Snow Fairy - I'm stocked up for the year on Snow Fairy, yay! As well as Luxury Lush Pud, Magic Wand, Northern Lights and Golden Wonder.

 Jacek also got me the Snow Fairy gift box which contains 4 products - Snow Fairy, Godmother Soap, Snow Fairy Sparkle Massage Bar and Magic Wand. I love the box these all come in and shall be keeping it for storing beauty bits.

This Christmas I treated myself to a LUSH gift box (tell me I'm not the only person who does this?!) - Think Pink, not knowing of course that Jacek was going to get me so much stuff! This box really appealed to me as it was so pretty and contains everything pink from the LUSH range. The box contains 13 products - Bubblegum Lip Scrub, Turkish Delight, Think Pink, Helping Hands, The Comforter, Pink Fun, Twilight, Sakura, Godmother Soap, Creamy Candy, Rock Star, Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment and Fair Trade Foot Lotion. I can't wait to use them all, so much pink!

 Finally, my very generous Jacek also got me the Merry and Bright gift box from LUSH. This box contains 12 gorgeous products, eleven of which I've never used before - yay for trying new things! It has Sparkle Tooth Tabs, Celebrate Body Lotion, D'Fluff, Rub Rub Rub, Snowman Shower Jelly, Baked Alaska, Red Fun, Green Fun, Happy Hippy, Dirty Springwash, The Olive Branch and Magnificent Soap. Everything looks and smells amazing, I really can't wait to get using them.

I'm so incredibly grateful for everything I've received this Christmas. After a year of money worries and not being able to buy myself anything new it was so lovely to be gifted with so many lovely things, I seriously am overwhelmed by it all. I'd like to thank my family and Jacek for their beautiful and thoughtful gifts.

I hope you and yours had an amazing Christmas and have an even happier New Year!


Living Arrows - Week 52 ♥

I did it! I completed the Living Arrows project! 52 weeks of capturing the magic of childhood through my son, all his little expressions, movements and actions. This has been an amazing project to take part in and I think I will continue it into 2015. I loved capturing every moment of my son this year and it's been amazing to see him grow from a small 10 month old baby to a fully fledged little 22 month old toddler during this project. Below is my final picture for Living Arrows 2014.

Of course the final picture for this project in 2014 had to be taken on Christmas Day, Tyler Lee's 2nd Christmas. I love this photo, even if it is a bit blurry as he never stops moving, it focused on his face and I love the bokeh effect of the twinkling lights in the background. This is one of my favourite photos of Tyler Lee ever, even with all it's imperfections I think it captured the spirit of my boy perfectly - a whirlwind of a boy that never stops, not even for a photo. I also love that he's sitting by the piano, something he was playing just moments before this picture was taken. I hope he loves music and learns to play several instruments in his lifetime, he sure does love making noise so hopefully playing music will be something he embraces.

These are just 25 of my favourite pictures from the challenge but being honest I really did love them all. I love the range of expressions, places, colour, black and white, moods and moments captured in these pictures and I love that this collage gives a glimpse into just how much Tyler Lee has grown and changed over the past year.

Thank you for following me on this challenge, I hope you've enjoyed looking at the pictures just as much as I've loved taking them. Hopefully I'll capture just as many great moments in 2015!


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Our Christmas 2014 ♥

I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas (if you celebrate it, of course), ours was quite simple and quiet, a time to just spend time as a family and take a break from everything and for me that included a much needed break from blogging (the 12 Days Of Christmas Blogging Challenge really burnt me out), I really couldn't justify blogging on Christmas Day or St. Stephen's Day, it just wouldn't seem right to me. For me Christmas was a time to take a breather, reflect on what's important and spend lots of time with my boys - and that's exactly what I did.

 Our Christmas Eve was very quiet. Jacek had to work all day so we decided to give Tyler Lee his Christmas Eve basket early in the morning, I wish we could had done this before he went to bed but I really wanted Jacek to be there when he saw everything too. Tyler Lee was most impressed with his chocolate buttons - I swear this boy has a real sweet tooth! We then watched my favourite Christmas film The Grinch and just spent a lazy day together. My boy also spent ages in the bath with his LUSH Christmas Eve bath bomb, he wouldn't get out of the bath he loved it so much! We finished the day watching The Snowman and the Snowdog, something we have to watch before Tyler Lee goes to bed on Christmas Eve, I think it's a Christmas Eve institution really! After some bedtime stories it was time for Tyler Lee to drift off to sleep and await Santa Claus' arrival whilst Jacek and I exchanged gifts as part of his Polish tradition. We got so many lovely things from each other and my family on Christmas Day, more on my gifts to come in a separate post.

 Our Christmas morning began early when Tyler Lee awoke at quarter to five, he must have know Santa Claus had come. We lay in bed together for awhile, Tyler Lee was so happy that his Daddy was there too because he's usually at work when he wakes up, then went downstairs to show him all his surprises. I decided to record the moment on camera this year instead of just taking pictures as I think the video will be lovely to look back on in years to come. I think Tyler Lee was rather overwhelmed by everything Santa left for him, he was so happy with everything though, especially his new In the Night Garden characters and his kitchen - he hasn't stopped playing with them all since, it's so lovely to see him enjoying everything.

  After all the fun of playing with toys we got ready and went to visit my grandparents house - a Christmas tradition for us. All of our relatives were there and it was great to chat, exchange gifts and enjoy some wine, I must say I was slightly 'happy' heading to my parents house for dinner, but sure it was Christmas after all! Dinner at my parents house was so delicious, if I had it now I'd eat it all again. Christmas dinner has to be the best dinner of the year for sure but I surprised myself by not being over-indulgent with the treats like I have in other years. I've only had a few Cadbury's Roses and biscuits - very strange for me! After spending the rest of the day with my parents and brother it was time to head home and put myself and Tyler Lee to bed, we were exhausted - Jacek stayed up watching films, I wish I had had the energy to watch the Christmas Day soaps, I missed them this year again...

St. Stephens Day was another very quiet one for us. After a lazy morning of watching films and playing with Tyler Lee's toys we went to my parents house for dinner again. We tried to get some family photos but Tyler Lee was having none of it, we had to settle for snaps of Jacek and I instead. When we got home I did some online shopping (I couldn't resist the LUSH sale!) and finally got to watch some of the soaps and see all the drama - seriously, can no one have a nice Christmas in soapland?!

As you can see our Christmas 2014 was a rather quiet but family orientated one. Hopefully next Christmas I won't be so tired and will be able to enjoy Christmas Day in full without going to bed early! I wish we could have had more family days like this during Christmas time but Jacek went back to work today - the joys of working in retail!

I hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas and that you'll have an even happier New Year!

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