Sunday, 29 March 2015

Ella loves Elephants!

So one of the things I've wanted to do most since Ella was born is give her a lovely little room of her own! When we lived in Scotland she was just in a cot in our room because she was so little and then we moved to my parents for 6 weeks so when we landed in Wales I wanted to make a special space for her!

When you're in rented accommodation, it's difficult to sometimes personalise things the way you want so the bunting on the door was a good start! It was bought from a lovely gift shop in our favourite little village of Ironbridge thanks to Granny Jones.

Ella was gifted a lot of elephant things when she was born and we thought Ella sounds similar to elephant so it was a good place to start with a theme for the room! plus I always knew it had to revolve around animals, since she loves them so much!

This was the handprint she did at Chester Zoo on her birthday day of fun that got turned into an elephant! I kind of love it!  Thanks to her Great Granny Jones for helping us have the funds to get it done! and the special number 1 that her Grandad painted for her dessert table on her birthday!

This amazing frame was gifted to me at Christmas by my lovely thoughtful friend Laur - it has a printed spot at the bottom saying Ella's name and the date she was born and 12 perfect little spots that we filled with her monthly photos we took.  This will definitely get hung on a wall at some point when we're allowed to put nails in walls wherever we end up!

My most recent addition was this gorgeous gorgeous elephant mint coloured lamp that I fell in love with, and Granny Jones helped us make it happen! Ella loves it - and still points at it everytime we walk in the room.  This super cute personalised elephant photo frame was from Auntie Mara and it holds a pic of Ella in her special dress from her blessing day.

I am also a little bit in love with this elephant laundry basket! We already had a plain one for her...but when I spotted this one in T.K Maxx I knew it belonged in her room! 

The heart bunting is from Granny Jones and the lovely blanket on the bed is her special homemade blanket from Granny Kathy of all my favourite onesies of hers from when she was born.  

This snow globe was a special gift to Ella from Granny Kathy when she was still a bump in my tummy, and Uncle Cam gave us this gift for Ella - again before she was born, and I've filled it with super cute pictures of her from every month - isn't it so adorable!

This is our little nappy changing station and a super cute elephant gro-bag from Auntie Mara!

Auntie Mara also came up trumps with these little elephant characters, that we've placed above her cot.  Ella loves to point at them and make her little elephant noises! and those amazing name letters are from Granny Kathy all the way from Tanzania! Specially painted and handcrafted by some local artists.  I love all the different animals on each letter! 

Auntie Mara also gifted me at Christmas with this gorgeous blanket I'd been eyeing up for a while on etsy! It's handmade and has super soft furry material on one side and this gorgeous animal print on the other! The little cuddly elephant was a gift from her when Ella was newborn, and of course Monkey needs no introduction - he's well known around these parts!

Uncle Ja bought this teddy bear for Ella for Christmas and she thinks it's very funny to make it drink some of her bottle of milk before bed! She did it one night randomly in the middle of us saying prayers and we had to try not to giggle as we saw her doing it! and that cute little cushion with the e on is from the Ides - Ellis even has a matching one.  Those E's have got to stick together!

and this gorgeous lampshade is also from our day of fun at Chester Zoo - Granny Kathy bought it for Ella's room and she is still as mesmerised with it now as she was on the day we bought it! I think it is one of my favourite elephant items in the room! 

Since we don't have any wardrobe space in her room, her under drawer cot has come in very handy to store all of her clothes! Grandad Kevin got us this cot and it has been amazing! 

Just writing this post has made me realise how much love has gone into her room! Nearly everything that's inside of it has been gifted to her by special people in her life, and she's one lucky girl to have so many people spoiling her! 

I wanted to make a record of this so she would always have some photos of her first little bedroom - where she started out in.  As I said I can't wait til we are more settled one day and can really paint walls and do all the fun stuff you dream of doing for your babies rooms! but for now, I'm more than happy with this cute little animal loving haven we've created for her :)

Hope you enjoyed the tour! 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

We LOVE visitors!!!

Oh how we love visitors! and February was the month for them! every week brought new people which was ever so exciting! You can see from the picture above what Ella thinks about visitors too!! hehe! Our first visitor was Granny Kathy, who had been staying in the UK since Christmas for Ella's Birthday before she headed off to her new house in South Africa.

She came a few days before Ella's birthday so she got to spend some time with the birthday girl one on one.  Ella thought she was pretty great to have around!

Books and cuddles before bed! 

and she also joined us on our birthday trip to the Zoo too! 

On a very late Thursday night after a very long megabus ride from London which she almost missed, Auntie Mara arrived! We wasted no time the following day, and since it was a blue sky day we headed for the mountains!

which were covered in snow!!! Unfortunately it had rained the night before and frozen the melted snow back into ice, so the path we usually climb to get to Cwm Idwal was super slippy.  So slippy that By kept falling over with Ella in the backpack, and Granny Kathy didn't have suitable footwear so her and Ella chilled out in the visitors room whilst we had a quick walk up to the lake.

I think this was my very favourite trip to Cwm Idwal because everything just looked so beautiful in the snow.

Mara and By did the daredevil stuff like stepping out on to the lake! which I was a little bit horrified at! and then Byron started throwing himself down on his belly and sliding along the ice...and I was getting even more panicked! but it was pretty solid ice, we threw rocks at it and it didn't even crack!

Mara got to live out her childhood dreams of being an ice skater sort of! 

Ella was all smiles after, once she was warm and cosy and not slipping over on ice!!

The next morning, the complete Braithwaite/Jones/Ide gang arrived for Ella's party! so we were a full house! Whilst the babies napped, we told everyone of the fun that had been had at the frozen lake the day before so By and Mar went off for round 2 with Cam and Ja and Mel!

Even more snowy and beautiful than the day before! 

Mara and Cam showing off their moves! 

and catching an awesome sunset just before they left! with all limbs intact, thank goodness!

On a lovely Sunday afternoon the following week, our friends Laura and Javan came over for lunch.  They were in our church congregation the last time we lived here in Penmaenmawr...but they've since moved about an hour away so it was fun to have them come visit...and see Esme all grown up and baby Jude in action! 

Ella was in 7th heaven having Esme chase her over and over! she kept requesting more and Esme kept obliging, a great little set of buddies! 

What a bunch of little cuties! Ella sure does love having other children around! 

The following week some of my uni friends came to visit and check out some of the Welsh scenery! I was madly checking my weather app the whole week leading up to their trip as knew they were keen to do some hiking but every day I looked the weather for Saturday got worse and worse! 

Eventually Saturday came and it was pretty sunny and pleasant where we live on the coast, but the mountains were still forecasting heavy rain. We went to Cwm Idwal anyway and fortunately it didn't rain, but we did have crazy gale force winds! 

It proved a bit much for poor little Ella so she chilled in the car with her Daddy whilst we had a quick hike around!

All smiles, despite the crazy weather! The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying lots of yummy food, and homemade desserts! and games were on the cards but we just got too busy chatting! Love these friends of ours and wish we didn't all live so far apart! Really appreciated all the driving they did to reach us! Some of the Londoners only arrived at 3am!! Now that is dedication! 

The last of our visitors was Laur, one of my besties from back home.  I was especially excited about her and Sam and Lilia coming to visit because they were bringing a very important Rosie! 

She's the camera shy one passed out on Laura's lap! hehe! We started our day at Hickory's for some steak and shake fun! Laur is a big milkshake lover like me so we always like to indulge when we get together!

A giant steak and a snickerlicious milkshake for only £10? I'll take that Steak n Shake Tuesday's!!

Lilia and Ella loved their balloons!

and back home we got the babies to do some posing! The last time I saw Lilia was last summer so it was lovely to see the adorable little girl she is turning into, and she is quite the chatterbox these days - loved her cheeky little personality coming out! 

I love this one, it's like Lilia and Ella are really fussing over baby Rosie! 

It's easy to see why, she's completely adorable! look at those gorgeous blue eyes!

So fun to get to catch up and have fun with all the babies! 

Had to snap a little pic of the recently turned 4 person Brooker family! Aren't these guys lovely! 

Ella wasted no time in showing Lilia how her toys worked!

and baby Rosie did what newborns do best...and slept the day away - what a peaceful sleeper! Their visit certainly made us excited for the day when our family expands!

We've been on quite the lonesome comedown these past 2 weeks since our last visitors left! but oh what fun it was having so many people come to see us! We don't really have any more visitors lined up for now...because we will be departing these shores in around 8 weeks, not that I'm counting or anything ;)