Dame Judi Dench – when you’re in good company…

I don’t know about you but I love and admire Judi Dench – I think she is an amazing actress as well as being incredible for her age – I mean who wouldn’t want to look like her and have her enthusiasm and passion for life at 81?

AND she only goes and gets her first ever tattoo on her 81st birthday no less!!

Dame Judi Dench

‘CARPE DIEM’ – it’s her motto in life!  Woohooo how fabulous is that.

Seize the day, or Seize each day.

Her daughter gave it to her (or I guess paid for her to have it done) for her 81st birthday – what a present and how totally cool is she.

If I wasn’t so totally scared of the pain, I might even be tempted… but can’t actually ever see that happening.

Two of my loveliest friends posted the article straight to my Facebook knowing that this would totally resonate with me, which of course it did and brought a huge smile to my face.  Thank you to them and they so know who they are.

Thank you Dame Judi for bringing me back to my roots and embracing what my whole blog is about – seizing each and every day.

Oh and her birthday is the day after mine … although it has to be said she’s a few years ahead of me.

Go forth my lovely friends and Carpe Diem x

This image was borrowed from the BBC News




I’m back and here’s a little catch up…

Branksome Chine beach

Gosh it’s been a long old time since my last blog post and I think the longer you leave it the harder it is to get back on and post.

But here I am after a little break… lots of things have happened, but it’s all good and I want to get back into posting regularly on my little blog.  I want this to be my on-line journal where all our special family memories, my thoughts, feelings and inspirations are captured and can be looked back on in years to come.

I received a notification from WordPress that my annual renewal was due, and if not renewed my blog could be deleted.  Yikes, all gone!  So this is what really prompted me into thinking ‘come on girl, get your act together, otherwise there’s gonna be a whole big part of your life missing on this ole blog of mine‘.  So here I am.

Christmas came and went in a flurry and we celebrated New Year’s Eve with some lovely friends.  It’ll soon be Easter and I’m feeling quite festive (if you can feel festive about Easter) and looking forward to a bit of time off with the family.  Oh and there’ll be chocolate eggs of course too – though not too many for me!!

But what I’m really looking forward to is – – – SPRING!  I can’t wait!  Leading on to some lovely summer months; pleeeease.

So looking forward to getting our garden sorted and being able to sit out and enjoy it – bring it on Mr Lovely Weather.

Last weekend we headed down to our beach hut and it was bliss.  It was a sunny day and in the shelter was really quite warm.  I even fell asleep in the sunshine on the balcony.  So, I’m planning to spend more time there this year.  If it’s looking like a nice day, I’m gonna pack up my bag, grab Kipster and head off for a chill at my little beach haven.  It’s such a beautiful place to be.

For now, I’ll leave you with some pics taken down at the beach to give us all a flavour of hopefully what is to come.

Branksome Beach

sand from the beach

shells at the beach hut

Kipster on the beach

Hope you’re all good and wishing you a wonderful weekend.

It’s MrD’s birthday tomorrow, so we’re off out for a nice birthday breakfast.

Carpe Diem x

My Captured Moment #22

If you follow my blog you will know that I love linking up with Heledd who blogs over at Running in Lavender with her linky ‘My Captured Moment’.

This is where you link up with a photo or a series of photos that have captured a special moment in time – one or ones you haven’t and won’t ever forget.

It’s my favourite linky because it makes me think back to such special times and I always end up with a great big fat grin on my face.

I’ve missed a couple of weeks due to being away on holiday, but I’m pleased to be back this week with …

My Captured Moment #22

Barnaby on the train to London

Apologies if you spotted this one on my blog already, but it’s my absolutely most favourite pic of MasterB at the moment.

This was taken on his birthday as we were heading into London for a few days.

Here’s another taken at the same time…

Barnaby on the train to London 2

Oh man, can’t believe this gorgeous boy of mine is 11.

I’m so utterly proud of him each and every day and he makes my heart melt with love.

How lucky we are to have him.

I hope you like my extremely special captured moments this week.

Carpe Diem x

Running in Lavender

Half term – a birthday and trip to London

Apologies, but here’s a belated mini round-up of our adventures during MasterB’s birthday and half-term.

We celebrated young B’s 11th birthday in the morning with presents and croissants – Kipster had to help too!  Although it has to be said she was a little disappointed that none of these were for her.  She’s too used to receiving her own birthday and Christmas presents (spoilt pooch or what).

Kipster and the birthday presents

Once presents had been opened and the last bits popped in the suitcase we hot-footed it up to London for a three day break – although MrD hadn’t planned the timing too well, bearing in mind it was the Rugby World Cup semi-finals!!!  We were subsequently held up in traffic and diverted, but we arrived in London as excited as ever.  MasterB has been known to stand on the platform of the tube station and sigh ‘Ahhhh I’m home‘ – how scary is that – I just know my baby is gonna move to London the first chance he gets.

MasterB on the train

Oh my heart… my gorgeous 11 year old

It’s sort of become a bit of a tradition that during the October half term we head to London where we stay at The Grange Hotel, Holburn.  For us this is perfect because it’s so central to everything and you can even walk to Covent Garden from there.  The hotel is very nice and pleasant without being over the top and has the advantage of a swimming pool and spa.  The boys can go swimming first thing, whilst I enjoy a nice massage – – – everyone’s a winner!

We had planned to go to the London Film Museum in the afternoon where they were showcasing the Bond in Motion Exhibition with actual vehicles used in past and present films.

London Film Museum

I have to say it was really interesting seeing real life relics from the Bond films (including Bond’s passport) and MrD being a bit of a 007 fan was in heaven and enjoyed explaining things to MasterB.

James Bond car

We all enjoyed it very much and it’s definitely worth a visit if you have a chance.

We had a VIP tour of the Houses of Parliament.  A dear friend of mine (who mixes in high circles) arranged this for us and was conducted by a friend of hers, Stephen Benn.  Stephen took precious time out of his schedule to give us an amazing insight into what goes on and we were all fascinated by the ins and outs of parliament.  We really were very lucky indeed (Stephen  is a wealth of knowledge with dates, names and places at the tip of his tongue when recalling stories to us) but did you know you can arrange for your local MP to give you a tour of the HofP?

Houses of Parliament

We normally try to fit a show in whilst we are up in the big smoke and this time we were lucky enough to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I have to say, it’s not my favourite show we’ve been to see, but it was enjoyable and the sets were amazing and the young boy who played Charlie the night we were there was brilliant – well done him!

We had meals out, including the Rain Forest Cafe, Piccadilly on MasterB’s birthday evening as his chosen restaurant where we enjoyed huuuge burgers and ribs.  They also made the poor boy stand on his chair whilst the whole restaurant sang happy birthday to him (embarrassed doesn’t come close!!).

We had cake…


and enjoyed drinks in the hotel lobby after long days on our feet…

The Grange Hotel lobby

I popped in to Liberty of London (my fave store) with a couple of friends whilst the boys did Hamleys.  Again everyone was a winner!  I made a small purchase in Liberty, which I will share with you in a separate post – so look out for that one.

MasterB also attended a comic workshop at the Cartoon Museum where he was helped by a professional cartoonist to create his own character and a comic-strip.  He had great fun for a couple of hours, whilst MrD and I headed to the British Museum.

Look out for the Cartoon Museum’s workshops during school holidays, because it’s incredibly cheap and great fun for them to take part in if you happen to be in London.

On the Wednesday before we headed home, we met up with some other friends for frozen yoghurt (as you do when you’re in London) at fro-go and then headed over to the Shard.

frozen yoghurt

Having promised MasterB we’d take him up the Shard, but hadn’t had time before, we suggested a little trip up to Aqua, one of the bars on the 32nd floor.

This is a shot looking up at the Shard – it really is an amazing glass building.  And look at that sky for a November day too!

The Shard

Unfortunately, we just missed out on the last table (as children aren’t allowed to stand at the bar) and as we hadn’t booked, grrrrr, we weren’t able to stay.  But I did manage to get this shot before we left…

view from the Shard

How spectacular is that!  It’s fabulous up there and next time we will definitely be booking a table.

We crammed so much into this visit, we all came home exhausted.  Happy but exhausted.

London really is an amazing place – there’s just so much to see and do all of the time.  Every time we go we experience new things.

China Town London

It certainly was a birthday to remember for MasterB!

Do you like visiting London?  What’s your favourite place to go?

Carpe Diem x

Happy Birthday Barnaby

Happy Happy Birthday Barnaby!

Today is our darling boy’s 11th *big intake of breath* birthday.

Where did that time go?

He’s grown from this; a premature tiny babe

baby Barnaby

… to this; a strapping gorgeous 11 year old!

Barnaby Oct15

It’s so true when they say that time goes waaaaay tooooo fast and you have to make the most of each and every day – it’s so precious.

So today I am sending my love with special sparkles and the biggest hugs to my boy.  We are all off to London for a few days and I hope you have the bestest time ever.

Love forever

Mummy (soon to be known as mum I have no doubt) xxxxxxxxxxx

Carpe Diem x

What I’ve learned being a parent to a nearly 11 year old…

What Ive learned as a parent to a nearly 11 year old

Parenting is an ever-evolving learning cycle.

You think you’ve cracked it, but little did you know the next big thing is about to hit you right in the middle of the face!  Boom!!  And off you go again.  Into the unknown once again.

As our darling MasterB turns 11 towards the end of the month, I thought I’d share a few of the top things I’ve learned along the way:

  • There is nothing as important as Minecraft!
  • You are embarrassing  just because you are his/her mother – end of!
  • Homework is a battle – get over it.
  • You should know where he/she has left his/her phone, iPod, iPad, headphones and anything else electrical that is used on a daily basis.
  • On a similar note, you should know to ensure that all electrical devices are fully charged.  How could you possibly not know to charge them just when they are running out of juice and wanting to be used immediately?!
  • There is nothing as important as Minecraft!
  • The door will always be shut and you should cough and perhaps even knock before entering.
  • You should definitely learn that putting your clothes in the laundry basket is a totally ridiculous unreasonable request.
  • Music CANNOT be played at a reasonable level.
  • If your tween has friends over, do not under any circumstances attempt to make a joke – in fact it’s best to avoid all forms of communication and just let them be.  A difficult one I know, but trust me it’s for the best.
  • Your tween will definitely know how to download stuff from iTunes and the internet better than you.
  • Do not under any circumstances question whether teeth have been brushed for goodness sake!
  • Be prepared for the same conversation or should I say moan, each and every morning (or night) when attempting to get him/her in the shower.
  • He/she will tell it as it is – if you’re not looking your best, be prepared to be told, if he/she doesn’t like your hair, be prepared etc etc!
  • Kisses on the lips – few and far between.  Absolutely make the most of them when they do happen; they are precious.
  • There is nothing as important as Minecraft!
  • Your tween is not old enough not to throw a complete and utter wobbler!
  • Although nothing-else in your tween’s bedroom/playroom is played with, touched or even looked at, the mere suggestion that the lot could be got rid of is ridiculous!
  • You will not be called mummy in front of friends or when out and about.
  • Enjoyable family time is a rarity and as such one that should be embraced wholeheartedly when it does occur.
  • Even though your tween is nearing 11, you should still attempt where possible to let them win at board games.  The sulking really isn’t worth anything else trust me.
  • There is nothing as important as Minecraft!

… and finally

  • There is nothing in this world that compares to the love you have for your child (no matter what age) and when you get that rare and spontaneous cuddle and/or kiss and even those words that melt your heart ‘I love you mummy‘ it makes everything worth while.

I hope you’ve found this useful.

Enjoy your day!

Carpe Diem x

Disclaimer:  this is by no means an exhaustive list… trust me.

I’m linking this post with You baby me mummy and Mum’s daysThe List‘ linky…

You Baby Me Mummy

When your tween decides to join in with the conversation…

Last night we went out to eat as a family, mostly due to the fact that our kitchen is currently being reinvented (a post about that will be coming soon once it’s finished *squeals*), but also as it’s the holidays it’s nice to go out as a treat every now and again.

Lovely… you’d think.

But that moment when you all sit down at the table and your tween folds his arms and has that face on.

You know the one?

The ‘I’m completely totally and utterly bored with this (already) and to be honest with you feel embarrassed to even been seen with you both.  The meal will no doubt completely and utterly under-whelm me and I can’t wait to get back home to my computer’.

Yep that one.

Oh great I thought to myself, I’ll have to make conversation with MrD whilst MasterB sits there sinking further into a tweenism – Oooh I just made that word up and rather like it.

But it all changed once the conversation turned to what we would be doing in the October half term – this includes his birthday.

Suddenly, MasterB came to life and I’d go so far as to say joined in rather excitedly.

It doesn’t really matter what the conversation was about, it was just sooo nice to see him animated, chatty, even smiley.  Hooray!  It made the whole dining experience so much more pleasant and I felt we all bonded as a family a bit more too.  It was like we were out with the younger B when he used to love going out to eat and would chat away the whole time.  Our happy lovely boy.  These days we’re lucky to get a nod in acknowledgement and a grunt here and there.

It seems that these tweenisms are inevitable and we just have to accept them for what they are … try to think back to when we were that age and have plenty of Blush on hand.

All joking aside, it was lovely to see my darling boy happy and chatty – yay!

My fun loving boy

My fun loving boy…

Are you having to deal with tweenisms?  How do you get through them… chocolate? wine? deep breaths?

I’d love to hear from you.

Carpe Diem x

If I could… the day-dreaming post

I’m quite excited to write this post, because it means I can let my imagination run riot.  Yay!!

I was tagged by my gorgeous blogging pal Lisa who writes over at Into the Glade for this ‘If I could…’ meme – it was started by Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence who called it ‘the Walter Mitty’ post.  Now I have to admit to not knowing what this meant, sorry Lisa, so I asked good old Google.

For those of you heathens like me, this is what Google had to say on the matter…

Walter Mitty is a fictional character in James Thurber’s short story ‘The secret life of Walter Mitty’.  Mitty is a mild-mannered man but with a vivid imagination.  He imagines himself as a pilot, emergency room surgeon and a devil-may-care killer.  The character’s name has come into more general use to refer to an ineffectual dreamer and appears in several dictionaries – I seriously did not know this.  The American Heritage dictionary actually defines a Walter Mitty as ‘an ordinary, often ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs’

Ooooh I love it!

Ok, so now we’re clear on that I can get on with the post in full imaginative mode…

I usually day-dream (or night-dream) and let my thoughts run away with me when I’m trying to get off to sleep.  I think of all lovely things, like how our home would look with a mahoosive extension and what it would be like to have a ‘holiday’ home somewhere nice and hot and ……. ok you get the gist.  I am a dreamer it has to be said.

So, onwards and upwards with answering the ‘if I could’ questions…

If I could live anywhere…

If I could live anywhere it would have to be somewhere warmer.  As much as I love Dorset (we sooooo have the best of everything right on our doorstep with the gorgeous beaches and the New Forest in the other direction) I really don’t like the weather here in the UK at the moment.  I mean this summer so far has been rubbish!

I thrive in the sunshine and was definitely made for the spring and summer seasons and if I had that more of the time imagine what a happy sparkly person I would be… *sighs*.

I love Greece and a Greek Island somewhere would be divine.

If I could have any home…

Ok, I love love love our home so I have two scenarios here.

Firstly, I dream of when we win the lottery and can at last afford the extension of my dreams.  We’ve done a fair bit to our house, having lived here three years now and completely changed the look of the exterior, decorated and re-carpeted throughout, put a stove in the lounge and plantation shutters throughout (I’ve always wanted shutters, but never had the right house before, but when we moved here it was top of my priority list).

Our home having been renovated

But an extension.  Now that would be the piste de resistance (said in French accent obvs).

So, my extension consists of knocking the whole of the back of the house out and having THE most amazing ultra modern glossy kitchen with sparkly silestone tops.   There would be a fab breakfast bar with six high stools, a wine fridge that was always fully stocked with Blush (my favourite tipple) and a HOOOGE dining table with mis-matching chairs.  The lounge would be extended to incorporate a separate day sitting area where I would while away many an hour drinking tea and looking out at the immaculate garden.  Everything would be incredibly shiny and sparkly including the lighting – I love atmospheric lighting and it can change a mood with the flick of a switch.  There would be glass bi-fold doors right the way across the back of the house opening out onto decking where my beautiful garden furniture would be strategically placed.  The roof would be glass and being south-facing the house would be so light and airy.  We would of course have in-built automatic blinds for when we wanted to block out some of the sunshine.

We’d also have a glass staircase put in, oh and I want a big laundry room where all the clothes can be dried properly when the weather isn’t nice enough to put it out *breathes big sigh*.

Now my second fantasy would be the ultra-modern villa in Greece that we either lived in or jetted off to as and when we felt like it (or more to the point, when time permitted).  It would be beautifully designed inside with all mod-cons but still have a Greek air about it.  There would be different decked and patio areas surrounding the house, for different times of the day, and obviously we’d have an infinity pool with the most amazing view over the bay.

If I could have any garden…

My garden would be beautifully landscaped, again with different areas for different times of the day, for chilling and dining.  There would be an abundance of pinks, purples and whites with a very green lawn that was always mowed in those beautiful stripes of which we would be very proud.  MrD would no doubt have a ride-on mower.   There would be a small orchard in there somewhere too and probably a side paddock for my beauty of a horse.  I think there might even be a sloping bit at the bottom down to the jetty where our little pop pop boat was moored up ready to head around Brownsea Island (or if in Greece off to explore coves and tiny little beaches) *sighs*.

If I could be on holiday right now…

All joking aside I think I’d transport us back to our villa in Kefalonia that we stayed in in July 2014.  It was absolutely perfect for us with a gorgeous infinity pool and we had the most wonderful holiday.

Our infinity pool in Kefalonia

If I could have any job…

I’ve always dreamed of having my own business with what I call a ‘Sammy shop‘  That’s not it’s name, just how I describe it.  I haven’t decided on the name just yet.  Now my shop would be a super sparkly wander of delight with a whole host of beautiful desires inside that would become wants to my fabulous customers.

I would (somehow) source the most amazingly different products not found anywhere else and there would be a definite hand-crafted section where I would support crafters with their beautiful makes.

I’m sure there would be a small coffee shop inside too (I’m guessing this is a fairly big shop then) with delicious home-made cakes, tarts and pastries.  There would be proper baristas to make to die for lattes and cappuccinos and of course only the best teas served in fine bone china.

Perhaps surprisingly my shop would definitely have a more spiritual side to it too with beautiful crystals and Angel cards.

Gosh I do like to day-dream don’t I?

If I could have any talent…

Years ago, I would have wished to be the most amazing professional dancer.  Being a dancer as a youngster at a fairly good level it would have been amazing to continue on with this.  However, for right now I think it would be to be an extremely talented crafty and arty person who could put my hand to sewing, art work, designing and come up with THE most amazing makes – that I would then sell in my shop of course.

I sometimes call myself a Crafty Diva as I pretend to be ever so slightly crafty but I’m not really.

A crafty diva heart

One of my crafty makes…

If I could live any day again…

That’s a really difficult one to answer as there’s so many days that I’d love to be able to live and enjoy every moment of again.

But I shall choose the day we brought our baby B home from the hospital.  Unfortunately it can’t be his birth because it was all rather traumatic with an emergency csection with a premature baby.  We were in hospital for just ten days and the doctors signed us both off and said we could go home.

I remember just crying and crying.  I phoned MrD to tell him to come pick us up and couldn’t even speak.  Poor boy had no idea what was going on as I was crying so much he couldn’t understand me.

It was the most amazing day to be taking our tiny baby home with us (I had been so scared that I might have to leave the hospital without him) and I literally sat in the back of the car with him and cried all the way home.

When we got home, I cried some more.

I would re-live this day and tell myself not to cry; well at least not quite as much and actually enjoy every moment of that day with my two boys.

It was so amazing and I remember it all so vividly.

Taking MasterB home from hospita

Tiny MasterB was too small for his going-home suit

If I could have any super-power…

Oooooh how exciting to have a super-power.

I’m going to be greedy here and pick two – I hope that’s ok.

The first one is only for a day so I think that’s acceptable.  I’d love to be able to follow MasterB everywhere with him for one day as he tootles off to school – obviously I’d be invisible.  I’m so interested to see how he interacts with his friends and peers and what actually goes on at school (seeing as he never tells me!).  It intrigues me immensely.  I’d love just a little looksee in for one day.

But my main super-power would be what I like to call my ‘magic booth‘.

My magic booth is where I would pop every morning, or if I was going out in the evening, and I would be magically beautified – showered, hair, make-up, clothes, the lot.  It would literally take a few moments.  I could even do the wonder woman thing of spinning around a couple of times and then pop out the booth looking A-maz-ing!!!

Actually I’m not sure this is a super-power at all, but an invention… but none the less I dream of having one.

I think that completes the questions and if you think I’ve gone completely over the top with this post, please let me know… ha ha!

Ok, so now it’s my turn to nominate some of my blogging pals, so I shall choose

My lovely Ali over at My Life My Love

Of course Lyn with her super new blog The Adventures of the Bown family

The very sweet Jess from Mummy of boy girl twins

and action packed lifestyle/parent blogger Stevie over at A Cornish Mum

I’d love it if you ladies would like to play along – it’s such fun honest – but understand if you’re too busy right now or don’t want to.

If you do though *jumps up and down* let me know so I can pop over and have a read and a day-dream with you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little bit of dreaming.

Why not have a go yourself – let your imagination run wild.  It really is such fun.

Have a great day.

Carpe Diem x

My Captured Moment #13

I love linking up each week with Heledd who blogs over at Running in Lavender with her linky called ‘My Captured Moment’.

It’s where you link up with a photo or series of photos that have captured a special moment in time – one you haven’t and won’t forget.

It’s my favourite linky because it makes me think back to special times and then I have to search for a particular picture I know is there on my pc somewhere. To date, I’ve actually been quite good at remembering the year of the photo and being able to find the one I’m looking for fairly quickly – go me!

Here’s this weeks…

My Captured Moment #13

6th birthday party

Apologies that this isn’t the best quality picture, but never-the-less I love it.

It had been MasterB’s 6th birthday party which had a Halloween theme (his birthday being late October).  We had over 30 zombies, witches, skeletons, cob webs and spiders running around our local hall.

They had a great party with a magician thrown in who completely free-wheeled and took on board the whole Halloween theme – well done Mr Merlin.

I adore this photo of B with his lil pal MissE as they followed each other around after the party collecting up all the balloons.  You can almost feel their sadness that the party is finished but they’re determined to take as many balloons home as possible as a special memento.

How totally adorable are they both.

For a bit of fun, here’s me dressed up for the occasion – – – and trust me this doesn’t happen often!!


I hope you enjoyed my captured moment this week.

Carpe Diem x

Running in Lavender