Hayley from Home blog

I am so pleased that we have finally managed a picture of the five of us and a little ashamed that it has taken nearly ten months! Still, we’ve done it now and I’m making a commitment to get a new one every month and join in with Me and Mine so next year I will be able to look back on a year’s worth or family photographs. If you haven’t heard of Me and Mine please go and have a look at the lovely Dear Beautiful’s blog; the idea is to capture a family portrait and focus on capturing your growing family each month, whatever the photograph.

This one was taken a few weeks ago on our trip to the pumpkin patch. I realised I could effectively trap all three children in the wheelbarrow so we could get the photo and the boys had the most fun sat there playing with the straw. I am certain we will never get one when all three boys are still or looking at the camera but I’m really happy with this one. It was such a great day and it felt like we had turned a bit of a corner with our family trips out; it is getting easier! I think Autumn is a favourite season for all of us so it seems perfect to start our me and mine journey amongst pumpkins in October.

I’m looking forward to capturing more each month and will gladly take any of your tips for getting a family photo!

dear beautiful

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Carved Pumpkins

This half term for us has been all about Halloween. We never do anything big but it has been quite nice to have the week off before to do some Halloween bits and bobs. Last week we went Pumpkin Picking which was great fun and meant we had some fantastic pumpkins to carve and play with. Pinterest in great for pumpkin carving ideas and I keep adding pins to my Halloween board. I went for a little house with a ghost in and my husband did a traditional scary face which I love. We have one left to do so still trying to decide on the final design. In the past we’ve had trees, bats and Jack the Pumpkin King, I’m thinking we might let Lucas decide on this one.

I also got some Halloween goodies from Aldi, they had some spooky window gel stickers which kept Lucas entertained for ages while we decorated the front door. I just had to get the cute cupcake decorations too so we had a go at making our own Halloween Cupcakes which were quite tasty and incredibly sugary!

I’ve picked up a few more Halloween treats as I’ve seen them; Asda have some cute kids t-shirts for only £2.50 so I bought a Frankenstein’s monster one for Lucas and also couldn’t resist some bright orange dribble bibs for the twins (not pictured as they would not stay still!) The little trick and treat bucket was from Wilkinsons and we have filled it with some sweeties and some healthier snacks too as Soreen sent us some of their Halloween Lunchbox Loaves to try. The Chocolate Lunchbox Loaf and Toffee Apple Lunchbox Loaf are perfect little snacks, the packets have a little witch and a pumpkin on to make them extra spooky. I must confess I have already bought more several times from Asda, especially the chocolate ones which are so good!

We get a few ‘trick or treaters’ on our estate and they have all been so nice in the past I don’t mind getting a few treats in ready, even better when I get to eat the leftovers! So Halloween night we’ll be having a cosy night in with our treats, lighting our pumpkins and watching Hocus Pocus. What do you get up to at Halloween?

Halloween Cupcakes Halloween Pumpkins Lucas Halloween Soreen Halloween Lunchbox Loaf


 Disclaimer – We were sent our Soreen treats for review but all thoughts and opinions are always my own. Everything else we bought ourselves. 

6 Comments + Posted in: Events


Living Arrows 15


I quite like having pumpkins around the house and so do the boys. We’ve painted one with blackboard paint so we can draw on it (or eat chalks in the case of the twins) tomorrow we will be busy carving them and we are going to paint some of the little squashes. None of these activities would have been possible without half term and my husband for reinforcements and most of them will probably end it disaster but still, I’m sure we’ll have fun!

living arrows

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Nine Months

Dear Arthur & Brandon

Yet again I am getting behind with your updates and tomorrow you are ten months old! So what has happened this last month? Well an awful lot of crawling…so much crawling! You are getting so quick and you scoot around everywhere. It turns into some kind of sitcom sketch when I am trying to keep you out of somewhere and I scoot one of you out the way only to turn around and find the other one there. This can go on for sometime before I finally move one of you much further away then run to do the same with the second baby before you can make it back! As exasperating as this can be it still makes me laugh.

You both have your two front bottom teeth and there are signs of the top two being on their way. We’ve really been very lucky with teething as it rarely wakes you at night, you just have days when you are unsettled so I’m hoping it carries on like this. Brandon you can wave and clap but only when you feel like it, it never happens on demand. Arthur you are usually too busy exploring to sit still and wave at us. You have started to take some interest in Lucas’ Cbeebies shows now and Baby Jake is a favourite. I can’t say it is Mummy’s favourite but luckily you also like Postman Pat which goes down well with everyone in our house.

You both have some really cute little quirks; whenever music comes on or even if we sing, you have little jigs. Brandon you kind of bop up and down and Arthur you swing from side to side. In fact that is one of the ways we tell you apart; occasionally we have mixed you up. When you are both together we can tell you apart but separately we sometimes struggle, you seem to be looking even more alike this month.

You are so close and rarely stray far from each other but this doesn’t mean you always get on…the scraps have started. If you both want the same toy I can hear you grunting at each other then a wail as one of you loses out. There hasn’t been any lashing out but you will grab quite fiercely. I imagine this is something I will have to get used to as the years go on!

It’s funny having twins as I can’t even imagine now what life would be like had we just had one baby, it seems normal to us now to have two together and all the fun that comes with that. I love seeing you grow up together and you have changed so much this last month. You reach out to be cuddled now and even rub your faces next to ours for kisses. I feel like you are really aware now that you are a part of our family and you are very much loved by us all.

All My Love



2 Comments + Posted in: Arthur, Brandon, The Funny Things You Do, Twin Baby Diary, Twins


Back when our love was new you wrote me a letter. You were upset with something I’d done and found it easier to write your feelings down. I wrote back to you and so it began; for the next five years we wrote letters to each other; during spells when we saw each other every day and during the three years we were both at university.

When I read these letters it reminds me of who we were then, just two teenagers hopelessly in love, it was so easy to express our love. The things that upset us make me laugh now, some things I can’t even remember and just a few that have a slightly deeper hold. It’s all documented; our budding relationship through such innocent writing. It isn’t poetic and it would never set the world alight but it us us. It’s the start of our journey. When you’ve grown up together it’s hard to remember how far your come, you just are! Along the way we’ve changed but we’ve changed each other, taken paths that maybe we wouldn’t have taken without each other and survived things that maybe we couldn’t have faced alone.

The letters remind me of a shy sixteen year old girl and an even shyer eighteen year old boy struggling to tell each other their feelings so they write it all down. Some of it makes me cringe, well a lot of it actually. Some parts make me cry and feel ashamed of the hurt both of us could cause and how deeply it was felt then. Most of it makes me smile and laugh as I see the world through our young eyes; we were so carefree really but could make a drama out of the smallest of things. Mostly they make me love you even more…maybe I don’t write out song lyrics anymore, instead it is a quick ‘I love you’ before you leave for work and last thing at night. Instead of so many passionate and heartfelt words to show our love we have the life we’ve built around each other, a happy home and three of the most beautiful boys I could ever have hoped for.

When I met you we really didn’t know were life would take us. we always wrote how we would be together forever, get married and have children. We were so young but I remember truly believing we were meant to be, that something was just different with us. After all these years I am writing you one more love letter; for the man I love, always. Happy Anniversary.

Love Letters


2 Comments + Posted in: Memories


I love being a Mummy to twins, it is without a doubt the most tiring thing I have ever done but having two babies growing up together is incredible. I find it hard to put into words just how special it is, the feeling I get from seeing them together is indescribable. Every stage has brought sometime different, new challenges and new joys. Some times I feel like things are getting easier and lots of things are…then they started crawling. They had both been up on hands and knees for a while rocking around and commando crawling. Arthur started his true crawling movements first and Brandon followed on just a few days later. They are never far behind each other with reaching milestones. Once they had learnt to crawl they obviously decided it was about time they learnt to sit up by themselves, they had been very relaxed about the whole thing up until then. I had no idea they were anywhere near doing it until I went in to get Arthur from his nap and he was sat up in his cot grinning at me, then he started to reach out for the bars and pull himself up. Not to be outdone Brandon started doing exactly the same just a few days later.

It’s been about four weeks since they’ve been crawling I can honestly say my level of exhaustion is reaching the same as the new born baby days. It’s not that I’m particularly sleepy but I spend a good amount of my day chasing them round the house, telling them not to touch the oven/router/radiator, not the eat a bit of fluff they have discovered on the floor, not to the throw the books of the bookshelf. I can’t take my eyes off them, even when I think they are relatively safe in their high chairs they find things to reach and grab for.

Honestly, I have never known children so into EVERYTHING. I don’t know whether they are particularity inquisitive or if it is more the fact that there are two of them that I really do need eyes in the back of my head. Lucas was pretty moochy at this age but he has always been really into his toys and will sit and play for so long. Arthur and Brandon while liking toys seem to only give them limited attention before dashing off to find something they shouldn’t have. Non-baby items seem to be like beacons to them and if one finds one the other rushes around to join in the fun. As soon as the bathroom door opens they both make a bee line for it so while I am trying to sort Lucas out they are pulling shoes off the rack and grasping at the toilet roll.

And still I can’t help but chuckle at them, even when they are driving me demented! They are so cute, so full of smiles and they certainly know how to turn on the charm. I must laugh in exasperation at least ten times a day and I get a little dimpled baby grin back. How can I resist their little twinny charms?

You can tell from these photos that they are virtually impossible to catch sitting still so I have to apologise for the quality but I couldn’t help but share their adventurous ways.

crawling twins

4 Comments + Posted in: Arthur, Brandon, Twins


pumpkin picking

I love this time of year, when you can feel the seasons changing and see the different colours all around. I love digging out all my woollies and wellies and getting wrapped up to go out in the cold weather. For some reason this season always brings back childhood memories, I remember crunching through the leaves and collecting conkers, picking up pine cones and puddle jumping. This year I really wanted to start a new tradition for Autumn; pumpkin picking. We don’t do anything wildly exciting for Halloween but we always carve pumpkins so surely we should have a go at picking our own.

There are a few farms near us opening their pumpkin patch to the public but we opted for Poplar Farm near Ormskirk. This is such a great little site but it was very busy so be aware you may have to wait for a wheelbarrow. We donned our wellies, picked up a very pretty pink wheelbarrow and set off in search of the perfect pumpkin.

It was quite an overcast day but I liked that, it all added to the atmosphere. It was fantastic to look out over the fields and spot the orange dots. My husband set off in search of the perfect patch for us and he was eagerly darting amongst the pumpkins, only the very best would do! He may have been the most excited out of all of us. Lucas loved it and Arthur and Brandon sat quite happily in the wheelbarrow as if it was the most fun they had ever had.

We were there longer than I thought we would be and it was such a fun afternoon. I would really recommend that you hunt out your own local pumpkin picking site; Lucas was so excited that he could pick his own and we would be taking it home with us. It also gave me a chance to trap the munchkins in a wheelbarrow so I could get a photograph of all three of them, it didn’t mean they would stay still but they had a great time! Brandon kept throwing his hands in the air like he was on some sort of rollercoaster and I’m sure they would have sat in there all afternoon giggling at each other.

On the way home with three sleeping boys I just kept saying how much I had enjoyed it, not only the pumpkin patch, which was fantastic but it was just so lovely to get out as a family. It is getting easier now the twins are older and we can start to really enjoy our time outdoors (with Nanny for reinforcements!) I feel like we’ve started a little family tradition that the boys will look forward to every year and hopefully they’ll remember it fondly when they are all grown up. I now have four very large pumpkins sitting in my kitchen but the memories we made from picking them are really rather special.

pumpkin picking fun

Daddy Pumpkin in the patch Nanny path perfect pumpkinriding that one thumbs toes wheelbarrowpumpkin field


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

6 Comments + Posted in: Family, Memories, Nature, Outdoors


Living Arrows 14

It always seems to be Lucas featuring in my Living Arrows posts but as difficult as it is to catch a photograph of him it is virtually impossible with the twins. Even if I manage to spot them being relatively still if they spot me and the camera they are on the move; I have so many photos of them that are blurry or they have their eyes shut. They are always exploring whereas Lucas will have moments of calm, like this one here. Since he was small if something scary was on the television he would hide behind the sofa. Now he is a little taller so it isn’t so much hiding as he can see right over the sofa but he will still go and stand behind it at the scary parts (such as the horrible next door neighbour in Toy Story). He is so engrossed in whatever he is watching but all of a sudden he will hop off the chair and scoot round the back of the sofa to a safer viewing position. I love these little quirks in his character, little things that make him Lucas.


living arrows

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Living Arrows 13

This weekend we walked up to a spot where I remember taking Lucas on our first Autumn in this house, he played in the leaves for so long that day. Sadly the grass had just been cut so the leaves were a little sparse. Instead he started a game of hide and seek which was mostly a game of running round the trees. He would lean against the tree with his eyes closed and count to three (definitely not giving us enough time to run away!) then peek round and chase us usually telling us which way we should be running. I had Brandon in the Ergo and he thought it was the funniest thing when we turned round and chased back after Lucas. I missed the blanket of Autumn leaves but still a lovely spot to play.

living arrows

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I’ve always loved weekends; the chance to spend time together as a family and relax the routine a little. Now Lucas has started pre-school the weekends seem extra special. We have two whole precious days together as a family. Sometimes we are busy, there are things to be done but other times things just fall into place and we have the perfect family weekend. Nowhere to be, no work to be done, no rushing through lunch so we can get to school on time. Instead we can stay in pyjamas as long as we like, go for a walk and play hide and seek behind the trees, make a mess playing with toys just because we can. I love that we don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time.

I don’t think I fully appreciated it until my days have been interrupted with the school run, it takes over my entire day and means that we get very little else done. We have to have lunch early so I have time to get them all out and walk to the school, when I get back home I have some lunch and then it doesn’t seem long till we are going out again to pick Lucas up. Then we are getting ready for tea and bedtime and Lucas has been so tired he often is nodding off on the sofa. He needs chance to recharge after his busy week, as much as he loves it he is tired come Friday. Arthur & Brandon are getting used to being bundled in the pushchair but it’s nice to have a day where we can take our time. If we want to go out we can and we can do it when we’re all ready.

I love that the lazy weekends give the boys chance to spend so much more time with Daddy, they all go to him when he gets in from work. They all seem to benefit from the slow days and the extra time they can all spend together. This has been the first weekend in a long while were I feel like we have all managed to wind down and take a breath; it improves everyone’s moods and energises us for the week ahead. Isn’t it funny how some days you seem to get on top of each other a little bit then others you feel you couldn’t be any happier than just being in each others company?  It’s nice to remember those days were nothing special happens but just being together is enough.




5 Comments + Posted in: Family, Memories, The Ordinary Moments

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