Advent candle


One thing I love about Advent are Advent candles- the ones that have the days marked on the front which, if you light every day, gradually burn all the way down to the 24th- Christmas eve! I bought two from our church today as I have been meaning to for the last couple of years, but never actually have! 
The rich red is a charming nod to the traditional colours of Christmas festivities and is certainly very eye-catching. Noah keeps spotting these and wanting to pretend they are drumsticks...mmm, not ideal!

But, speaking of my little mischief maker, these are a great way to remind young children of Advent and to teach them about this season of waiting for that special morning. You could light these on your dining table as a reminder when you eat your family meal together, or, simply pop them up on the mantel piece and burn them in the evenings. Either way, I am excited to finally have some in our home this year! 

Love Bunty


First Christmas house preparations

Hello everybody, happy Advent! I'm so happy the season is finally here, so much so that I just couldn't help myself getting started on the seasonal decor in the house this afternoon. 
I have created a bit of a 'Christmas' shelf on our dresser. I like to use the top shelf normally to light candles and have a bit of a pretty display going on, as oppose to it having an actual functional purpose.
 I recently bought some pretty fairy lights from Wilkinson's which I decided to weave in-between some glass baubles, my candle holders and my two candle lanterns. Above this, I tapped three nails into the wood and hung individual glass letters which have a gorgeous mercury finish. It's not quite screaming 'Merry Christmas' yet, but I don't think it will be long till the whole house does! haha!


Our Advent Tree

This year, we have decided to have a little 'Advent tree' in our lounge. The idea being that gradually throughout Advent, we will add decorations to the tree in anticipation of Christmas day finally arriving-a bit like an Advent calendar in reverse!
The tree itself is one I found in Next and has fairy lights running all the way through the branches. Noah absolutely loves this as, at 4 feet high, it is the perfect size for him to get up close to. I also have two metal reindeer which were the first decorations to go on. Noah keeps taking them off and 're-arranging' them elsewhere on the tree...he seems to prefer it when the reindeer share a branch, haha!

The star at the top is one I have had for several years now, I used to pop it on the top of my own family Christmas tree before I was married. It really has special sentimental value to me and is a nice reminder in its own way of the true Christmas story.
I love that we are starting to create our own family traditions as our family expands. What are your favourite Christmas traditions?

Love Bunty



Made for Glory

With Advent beginning tomorrow, I must confess I am very excited to start getting our Christmas music playlists out, start thinking about decorating the house, and more than that, talking about the much anticipated season! 
However, I do find that it can be hard to maintain focus on what the season is all about during December. With all the pandemonium of 'black friday' deals, constant store offers and hardly having a conversation about Christmas which doesn't boil down to shopping lists, it can sometimes seem like December just vanishes in a haze of shopping discounts, and Christmas arrives without much personal preparation. 
With this in mind, my husband and his best friends, (one being his brother), have put together a series of short videos, one for each day of Advent, which will explore the bible and draw upon different themes in the hope of really preparing us for Christ's coming at Christmas. 
Think of it as an authentic Advent calendar which will offer you far more than a small piece of chocolate each day. 

Take a look at the first video here and join us for the whole journey through Advent! 

Love Bunty


*Holidays in association with Patience Brewster*

 Patience Brewster, a designer of Christmas ornaments and gifts helped inspire this holiday traditions post. Patience has some seriously beautiful work on her website which is well worth a look!

Family is something that both Patience and myself hold dear, and when I think about it, I have so many photos I could offer as a favourite, I wouldn't know how to narrow it down. So, therefore, I have decided to choose a few favourites which, for me, summarise the anticipation of Christmas, the Christmas season itself and family.

(I hope you don't mind my severe lack of decisiveness, Patience!)

First up is my cheeky Noah. This was taken last year at Christmas time when he was completely besotted with our tree and the fairy lights and decorations. We kept turning around to find him trying to get under the tree in his little walker! I'll cherish those memories forever!

Some close up's of our tree: The lighting always makes me feel so christmasy and festive. Our old lounge used to look beautiful lit by candlelight and fairy lights during winter and our tree just made the whole space come alive.

These candles became a bit of an advent feature in our home last year. They constantly reminded me of our anticipation for the final countdown and what Christmas really meant. 

Yes, these photos are pretty much all tree related, but at the heart of decorating the home comes our tree in all its glory. I just can't wait to get this year's up!

The last couple of years I have really enjoyed making my own advent calendars. I made this one for my first married Christmas in 2012 and it was a favourite as it sat in our old kitchen where I passed it all the time. I'll always treasure this photo as a reminder of my first christmas as a married wife and the excitement we shared as we prepared to celebrate the season together for the first time.

So those are some of my favourite Christmas holiday photos. They aren't particularly conventional in that they don't show the whole family around the table pulling crackers. However, to me, they represent much more than just Christmas dinner itself. They are more of a personal journey from the last few years and I just can't wait to add this year's photos to the collection!

What are your favourite holiday photos?
Don't forget to check out Patience's website here!
You can also have a read of her beautiful blog here.

Love Bunty


Family day out

Hi guys, happy weekend! Today we had a lovely family day out planned with friends and the morning was wonderful- until poor Noah got sick! We had to come away early and we've been nursing a very teary, poorly baby this afternoon. 
However, we managed to get some lovely photos of him as we explored HMS Warrior in the historic docks at Portsmouth. The Victorian market has taken hold of the historic dockyard this weekend and what little we got to see of it this morning was magical. Roasted chestnuts, carousals, ladies and gentlemen in quaint victorian dress and don't even get me started on the food! Just before Noah got sick we all polished off the most amazing turkey, cranberry and stuffing baps!
The Christmas season is getting in full swing here in Portsmouth and I can't wait to get started on our home this week!
Love Bunty



Friday night date night

Tonight Eddy and I are going to a friends for dinner- minus the baby! It's the first time we have left him at home officially being babysat for us. What a treat! I have decided to wear my favourite winter colours again: burgundy and tan. (Surprise, surprise!) My tunic is from Next, although it is not a maternity item, I just bought a couple sizes larger than usual to accommodate my enormous belly! I'm hoping to get away with it! Haha, my boots are my faves from Hobbs which I got a few weeks back. 

Here's to a lovely evening! Happy weekend everyone!
Love Bunty

Hold your husband up

I remember chatting to my mother in law a few years ago and she was telling me how, as wives, we sometimes have to be all things in the domestic home. But one of the most important things we have to be is a consistent support to our husbands. For us mums who work at home raising the family, it is so important for us to also be available to our husbands when they get home, as an ear to listen to. There are times when we have to boost their morale and build them up to be able to go out the next day and strive to succeed in their work goals.
For my husband, today has been one of those days where it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong, has gone wrong. Sometimes it's just rotten luck, but it can feel like your world is crashing around you when life's problems build up and looking for clarity seems fruitless.
In spite of what has become quite a stressful day for us, I feel remarkably calm in knowing that there is a plan in all of this. We just don't have the answers today.
One thing I do know is that God has been present in our home this week. I often feel most aware of this when life isn't going to plan and this week has been a shining example of that. Miraculously, I have felt calm and collected when my husband has needed it most, which, if you have seen my recent pregnancy posts, may seem hard to believe!
 But I think there is a real miracle of family life when we trust God in the good times AND the bad, for better or for worse.

Whilst our American friends across the pond are celebrating 'Thanksgiving' today, I feel compelled to be consciously thankful for such wonderful friendships Eddy and I are blessed with, for their unfaltering support of us. I'm thankful for my husband, my family and most of all our faith, which sustains us through thick and thin. 



Lunch in two seconds flat!

Sometimes I really rely on a quick and simple lunch solution- especially if I am about to run out the door in a hurry! For busy mums, professionals in a rush, or really anyone, simple sandwiches like this one are such a Godsend! They take a mere matter of seconds to prepare, taste delicious and are relatively healthy...compared to the other 'quick fixes' that popped into my head!
Today I made sandwiches on wholemeal seeded bread with Philadelphia cream cheese spread, salami slices and mixed green leaves. There was virtually no preparation time as the salad was from a fresh bag and the salami was sitting in my fridge waiting to be opened! I had this with a yoghurt and an orange and felt really satisfied after munching this down- Delicious!

What are your favourite quick fixes?
Love Bunty



29 weeks pregnant

Good morning everyone! Today i'm posting my 29 week pregnancy update. I'm off to see my midwife shortly so I might have to make this one a bit snappy!

How far along? 29 weeks!

Total weight gain? So after not weighing in for a couple of weeks, this morning I weighed myself and I have gained 25 lbs so far. Now, although for my height this is completely on track with my 'recommended' weight gain; looking at the number staring back at me is, well, kinda scary! Even though I know for sure I haven't piled the weight on the same way I did with Noah, it is definitely a personal struggle of mine to mentally accept that this is OK and NORMAL! That said, I seem to fluctuate quite a bit during the week as my weight goes up and down several pounds, so I am kinda just working around averages here, haha!

Sleep? This week I have slept much better, I think general fatigue is just knocking me out when my head hits the pillow. I haven't struggled to get comfy as much this week, but like I said, I have felt far more physically tired so it is probably more a result of my need for sleep that has led to quality sleep!

Best moment this week? Noah has been picking up loads of new words recently and he has really started trying to sing along to his favourite songs which is adorable. He really likes Frozen's 'let it go' (What kid doesn't, right?!) and keeps running around singing 'goo goooo!'- such a poppet!

Miss anything? Being skinny?...There, I said it! haha

Movement? I'm getting loads of movement these days. Lots of kicks, punches and somersaults are going on a whole lot of the time now. It's really cool, I can literally sit down and watch my belly make all these jiggly movements as and where the baby's limbs are protruding with each ninja move...quite a theatrical little one I think!

Food cravings: Nothing specifically, but I'm hungry a lot!

Anything making you feel queasy or sick? Heartburn has stepped up a notch this week which makes me feel pretty groggy. I feel like my stomach is so squished now that any jerky movement, like rolling over in bed or bending over makes me feel a bit green in the face.

Gender: Boy!

Labour signs? Nothing! 

Symptoms: Quite a few this week. Like I just said, heartburn is pretty fiery after most meals. I feel like I just don't have the physical space in my tummy for much food in one sitting, so it is much easier to eat little and often than to have a great big meal in one go.

Also, this week has been the first week where I have really really REALLY wanted to take an afternoon nap. I just feel completely exhausted in a way that I didn't with my first pregnancy. Running around after Noah is probably the route cause of it to be honest, but yeah, feeling really tired at the moment. My energy levels just don't seem to be where they were a few weeks ago, so it's probably time to start slowing up a bit. 
The other weird symptom has been my tummy muscles feeling sore and stretched at the end of the day. Granted, I probably don't sit down very much during the day, so by the evenings, I'm finding my tummy actually hurts with heaviness. 
It's not ideal because I'm finding all these symptoms really kick off just when my husband gets home from work- yay for him! It's all I can do to stay on my feet and not collapse into bed sometimes! I'm great company these days!

Belly button in or out? Out!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy/moody most of the time? Happy, but very hormonal too. I spent three hours cooking lasagne yesterday (don't ask!) and Eddy came home to find me bursting into tears because it didn't go to plan. But, I might add, my berry crumble was divine! 

Looking forward to? CHRISTMAS! I really can't wait for December and the Christmas season to begin properly! 

So that is everything for this week's update! Don't forget to check in next week for my 30 week update! 
Love Bunty



Couscous salad

This week, we are trying to have a bit of a 'detox' and eat more healthily in general. Now, that is not always easy to do when you are almost seven months pregnant and seemingly starving all the time! But there are a few foods that I have found to be really satisfying lately and, what is more, thoroughly healthy and delicious too! 
Tonight I made a simple couscous salad which I served with fishcakes. This was so easy to make, but so enjoyable too and, as I made loads it should also keep nicely for our lunch tomorrow. 
After preparing the couscous by adding boiling water and allowing it to sit for five minutes, I chopped up some tomatoes, spring onions, red peppers and green olives. I added these to the couscous and then I also chopped up some mint leaves and parsley for some extra flavouring. To garnish the mix, I added some roasted red peppers, olive oil and the juice of one lemon and gave the couscous a good stir. 
And that was literally it! Hearty, wholesome, healthy and super easy!

I'm planning on doing a lot more cooking as I really need to get to grips with this part of domesticity! I will keep you updated with more recipes and food ideas, as and when I achieve them. 
What are your favourite couscous recipes?!

Love Bunty


November Favourites

Hello everyone! I hope we all managed to make it through monday unscathed...it always feels like the hardest day of the week with the following weekend so far away!
Tonight I thought I would collate my November favourites and share them with you. These are all products that I have been enjoying specifically this month as, apart from the Bio-oil, I purchased these all this month. 

Clinique dramatically different moisturising lotion: As you're probably all aware from the sheer amount of times I have mentioned it now, my skin is super sensitive this pregnancy. It takes hardly anything for me to break out or to suffer red patches and that horrible stinging sensation if I use too harsh products on my face. Clinique are a brand I have come to rely on as their products are consistently gentle on me. I have used this moisturiser in the past, but after my Clarins sensitive skin moisturiser (more on that here) ran out, I decided to give this one another go. It was far more cost effective too as this bottle has loads in it- a whopping 125mls. I have, or rather, my face has been loving using this in the mornings and evenings. It makes a really nice base for my makeup, absorbs into the skin quickly and just makes my face feel so soft and happy. 

Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Cleanser: I must confess, I bought this product on a bit of a whim. Last feb I had a 'skin consultation' with Estee Lauder and they used this product to remove my makeup with. I remember being all over the scent of it and wanting to buy some right there and then. However, at the time, I restrained myself! Although I wouldn't use this as a primary makeup remover,(nothing beats Garnier's micellar solution for that!) it is a really nice product to cleanse your face with. It has a beautiful light scent and a little goes a really long way. 

Bio-oil: Now this, my friends, is bottled gold as far as i'm concerned. As you can see from the photo, my bottle is nearly completely used up! I love using this when I'm pregnant and when I'm not pregnant too. It is so silky and light but seems to thoroughly moisturise my skin and really does help fade marks. I use it on my pregnancy stretch marks from first time around and so far, I have been lucky to escape new ones this time around. It's not the cheapest body oil, but boy oh boy, it's good stuff.

Tangle Teezer: I have been wanting to get one of these for ages and this week I finally did! I was not disappointed either: it's functional, practical and hot pink- what's not to love?! It really does make de-tangling your locks much less of a task and for holidays or travelling I think it is the perfect accompaniment. 



Comfort and Joy

Hello everyone and happy sunday! Today it has literally not stopped raining since the moment I got out of bed and peered out of my bedroom curtains. It's wet, dark and looking very dull out there so we have played it safe and had a bit of a 'sofa day': chilling out and watching a few favourite box sets, before we head out to church tonight.
 Much as I find I do have a bit of a guilt complex when I do absolutely nothing all day long, it has been pretty nice not to have any plans and to be a couple of geeky loners...for one day! Haha!
Alas, the weather is not improving so I have popped the kettle on to prepare some afternoon tea. On the menu is a beautiful walnut cake (I wish I could claim to have baked it, sadly not!) But it's still delicious with a hot cup of Earl or Lady Grey. 
My tea set always cheers up the darkest days and reminds me of home too as my mum bought each piece for me on different occasions. If you're wondering where I tend to indulge my love of bright colours in chinaware, Daisy Park is my number one 'go-to' for brands such as Cath Kidston, Emma Bridgewater and Pip Studios. 

How are you all spending your sunday?
Love Bunty



Transitioning home decor

While November draws to a steady close, I like to start thinking more about getting the decorations out and making the house that extra bit 'festive' in anticipation of Advent and the Christmas season ahead. 

I know you're probably thinking it's far too early to even be thinking of Christmas decor but let me explain...We never actually celebrate Christmas in our own home (we alternate between our two families) and therefore, the Christmas season always feels as if it zooms by in our own home. Normally we only enjoy about a week of having our own Christmas tree up and decorations in our home. As a result, I like to start getting the house prepared a little early and gradually build into a fully decorated home ready to celebrate Christmas wherever we happen to be.

As we have a few things planned for early December: namely a Christmas lunch we are hosting for some friends and our annual celebration of Sinterklaas on the night of the 5th of December (more on that soon!), I want to have our home prepped and ready to get into the festive spirit of Christmas. 

Today I have been sorting through some of my oversized glass baubles that I just love to decorate the home with. I got these in TK Maxx a couple of years ago and liked them so much, I ended up decorating with them throughout the year. I love their large sizes and they look so beautiful next to flickering candlelight- perfect at this time of year when candles are a seasonal must!
These baubles are quite a good 'in-betweener' decorating tool for when you want to move away from autumnal style and closer to Christmas decor but in a subtle and gradual way. They take you a step closer to imagining the tree aglow with fairy lights and decorations. Yes it might all be crazy early, but I'm far too excited to stop now! Haha!


Family getaway: part 2

As promised, here are a few more snaps from our week away at Center Parcs. We didn't really take Eddy's camera around the venues much as there was nowhere safe to leave it, so most of our photos were taken from and around our woodland lodge.
 I hope these photos give you a sense of just how snuggly and cosy our week away was. I've always loved the idea of a 'winter break' and this one summarised everything I love about the dark and wet November weather here in England....

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