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I’m moving!

Hello! 

I have been writing on Rabbit and Roo for a couple of years now and I love writing about my children, but recently I’ve wanted to get back some of me as an individual, not just as a mum. 

This blog has always felt very family focused but now I feel I need a space where I can write for myself as well as my children – so I have decided to move to a new blog!

The Diary of Emm is now live! and I am attempting to post daily so I would love it if you would follow me over to my new site! 

I am writing about what’s going on in my life day by day which is exciting because no one can know what’s around the corner. As well as regular posts about my chaotic brood and all they get up to. 

I want to thank my followers on R&R for your support so far and hope you will continue on the other side. So please feel free to check it out via the link above!

Thank You! 

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#Baby names I love but won’t be using!

I have absolutely loved watching lots of videos with this tag recently so I thought I would do mine!

We don’t plan on having anymore children so this is my list of favourite boys and girls names that we loved but didn’t choose from when we were expecting our last little baby.

Logan

I put this name on the list after getting into the TV show Zoo. I just heard it on there and loved it – I’m also a big Wolverine fan. I think it was our number two on the boys list this time.

Freddie

I loved Freddie, I thought it was really cute especially for when he was little, but hubby didn’t agree 😦

Phoenix

Now this one is a bit out there and I’d had it on the list since we knew Roo was going to be a boy. This time round hubby still wasn’t having it as a first name, but I very nearly convinced him to use it as the littlest’s middle name. Sadly he changed his mind!

Finally on our boys list is,

Elijah

This is sadly another name that we couldn’t agree on. I love the character in The Originals and I think it sounds really nice. The only thing that put me off was if it was shortened to Eli which I’m not as keen on.

I have always found girls names so much easier to think of than boys and I’ve always found we have looked at more traditional names than with the boys. So here are the four girls names we loved but sadly couldn’t use as we had a beautiful baby boy,

Isabelle

This is the name we would have given the littlest if he had been a girl. I loved it when we knew Rabbit was a girl but strangely didn’t choose it. I love the shortened version of Izzy as well. I think it’s a name that can work for any age.

Grace

This would have been the middle name we chose for Isabelle. I think it’s really pretty.

Scarlet

For all three children this has been on the list. It has been narrowed down by both me and hubby but has never quite made it to the top. I like the sound of it but luckily we didn’t choose it for Rabbit as she ended up having a friend at nursery with the same name.

Skye

This has also been on all three lists but sadly hubby has vetoed it every time. I’ve always loved the way it’s spelt.

So that completes my list of baby names I love but won’t be using! What are yours?

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Our day out! |Croome |West Midlands

We have been members of the National Trust for 3 years now and have enjoyed visiting our local properties of Packwood and Baddesley Clinton. We’ve also spent many days at my current favourite Hanbury Hall. This year however we decided to make a list as there are so many properties, which if we drove just a bit further we would also be able to explore.

Last week we visited our first new property: Croome Court. Now Croome is in Worcestershire and it was just a lovely quick trip on the motorway before reaching the winding lanes which eventually lead to the estate. I love that it’s usually a really picturesque drive to many of these places as they are often slap bang in the middle of the countryside.

I was keen to try Croome, firstly as I heard it had quite a good playground. With three children that is a really important factor for us as they struggle just walking round grounds and gardens all day (hence why we love Hanbury). And I have to say the playground was pretty impressive. Before we got there though we had lunch at the entrance. In fact we had been there for an hour and a half before we even got to the main area. There were plenty of big, good quality picnic tables, and all just a stones throw from the car park we were in, which is handy if you need to nip back to the car. There was also a charming little hall which housed the cafe, however it was a bit of a struggle to get the pushchair in due to the layout of the tables.

Croome was an air base at one point and its links with the RAF are clear from the beginning. Army tents are used at marquees to cover some of the picnic tables and there are war time posters adorning many of the walls around the cafe.

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The one thing I did like were the toilets, I know that’s an odd thing to say, but they were quite posh. Nice big stall doors, three big changing room toilets and the sink area was really well presented, even having little wooden steps for children to use.

Once we got past the entrance we made our way past the gift shop and found the play area. Next to the play area is an RAF museum, which the children went to look round with my Dad but I never had the chance to look round myself so I can’t tell you what it is like sadly.

The play area looks recently done and is also in an air force theme.

 

The kids could have played on this for hours. There were a few benches in the area however the one thing which I thought was bad was as it was on a hill there were only steps leading up to it. Now for anyone with a pram this was a bit annoying, we were left with either having to struggle to carry it up the steps or sit at the bottom and therefore only have a partial view. I thought it would have been more suitable for them to place a slope or ramp up to the play area for buggies, or just have it on a lower level to start with.

The estate at Croome is massive and sadly we didn’t get to do half of it. Our youngest thought it would be a good day to not want to lie in the pram and so I ended up carrying him down the long walk to the house and around most of it so by the end of that I was quite keen to just go back to the top as I was worn out!

Like I say the walk down is quite a long walk and so if you have very young walkers I would suggest a pushchair or waiting for the little golf buggies to take you down. When you are at the top of the hill you pass a lovely chapel,

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Now my mum had warned me about the property being empty and she wasn’t wrong. Sadly nearly all the vast rooms are empty of all furniture, which if you are looking for a genuine recreation you may be very disappointed as I was.

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It is such a shame really to see such a beautiful property almost sat being wasted. I think they are hoping to restore it to its former glory one day but as you can imagine that would cost a lot!

There were a couple of interesting points in the house. Down in the basement as well as another tea room, you will find a shoe display. I found it rather odd and I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be historical or artistic but the wine celler has several little boxes housing their own little displays. My favourite were the mosaic and Harikrishna shoes:

There was also a sculpture made out of chairs in the entrance hall which was unusual:

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Croome was owned at one time by the 6th Earle of Coventry. It is a real shame that it didn’t appear at it’s full potential as the decoration of some of the walls was just beautiful…

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Sadly we didn’t have time to look around the walled gardens or explore the vast landscape further. I know we will definitely make a return trip soon though. Overall I thought the grounds and facilities at Croome were brilliant and you could definitely spend a whole day there. But if you are just going to look around the property I hate to say it, but I think you will have a wasted trip.

I would give Croome 7 out of 10 overall for what I have seen so far, but a full 10 out of 10 for the facilities and children’s playground!

I hope you enjoyed this review, I hope to do more as we use our membership more this year!

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The nursery is finished hooray!

Hello hello! (Sorry if this is a long one!)

When we moved into our house we rushed to paint the box room pink for our 18 month old daughter. It was pretty basic but it was fine for her. So when we found out we were expecting baby number 3 I was secretly hoping for a girl just to save on the DIY but fate had a think and went “nah lets give them some work to do!”.

Jax is 3 months old and not in his room yet but I wanted to get it ready for when he was. It felt like it was going on forever at the start – as you know the prep work is so laborious!

With the pink embossed flowery wallpaper on all walls we needed to strip it down and once we got on with it it wasn’t too bad. There were plenty of holes to fill in mind and once we had done that and added a couple of layers of damp seal to some areas it probably took about 10 evenings to get there (baring in mind I did most of it on my own at first as my husband decided I’d started so I would be finishing!).

 

All was going smoothly so to speak, until we came to wall on the side of the stairs. Late one evening we came to strip it and a massive chunk of plaster came away. Feeling the surface it almost bowed under pressure in some areas and we were scared to touch any more. Cut a long story short we attacked it one morning and managed to get off most of the paper and in some areas just left the lining paper from the top layer as protection. This wall was a mess and could have easily crumbled in our hands, requiring a full plastering and a lot of money. Thankfully we had a narrow escape, but this was the wallpaper underneath which was pretty cool as it was probably from the 40’s when the the house was first decorated!

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With the prep done it was time for the fun part! I chose to paint 3 of the walls and have a wallpapered feature wall behind where the cot would go; I chose a brick wall. Now a few people have given me funny looks or gone “really?” when I tell them, but I really couldn’t be happier with it. It’s given it a neutral, contemporary feel and I love it!

Going with greys and whites I felt I needed some colour. I knew the bedding had a pop of red and yellow but I knew that would change. It was only when I went to a local shop and found a mint coloured money box which I thought was so cute, that I found a colour to add and also an animal theme.

All in all I think it’s a mix of themes with colour, animals and textures featuring but I really like it and I hope you do too!

Below is the finished nursery and I’ll add where things came from and approximate prices in case you want to do something similar 🙂

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  • So this is the brick wall! The wallpaper had a lovely texture and grey tone to it- B&Q I want to say around £15 a roll (luckily we only needed 2!).
  • The bedding is Winnie the Pooh range from George at Asda and we had the quilt and bumper as a baby present and I bought the sheets and rug (see below, various prices).
  • The cot was my daughters, I want to say we bought it from Babies R Us but I can’t remember the name or the price now…
  • The paint on the other walls is B&Q colours – Grey Hints in silk and we had an offer of 2 for £20.
  • The elephant on the left at the back was from Home Sense £7.99 and the little baby one, which squeaks is Ikea around £2-3. There is a third elephant in the cot which you can’t see from this angle it is a plushy pyjama case and a gift for my older two but they don’t use it so I nabbed it for Jax’s room as it’s also grey and mint.
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The rug

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  • I bought the book shelves originally for the older kids room but that’s yet to be started so will now need to buy some more, oops! These are cool though – Ikea Mosslander picture ledges, can’t remember how much possibly around £8 each but don’t quote me! Most of the books were my daughters.
  • The elephant money box is what started the colour scheme! Home Sense around £7.99
  • The lantern I thought was really cute and a great colour match. The plant is plastic (who has time to water plants!) and the pot is actually supposed to be a hanging candle vase but who would know  – oh yeah you now do! All from Ikea, can’t remember the prices or the unpronounceable Swedish names sorry!
  • The blind is also from Ikea and is cord free and black out! We were intending on adding curtains but somehow managed to pick up the brackets, the ends and leave the pole so they are yet to be mounted! I want to say the blind was around £15.

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Love this wardrobe – Ikea £80! I nearly bought one that looked half as nice for £50 more! Can’t off the top of my head remember the name but it was in the kids rooms section of the show rooms.

 

  • On the left is the new carpet, as you can see the original matched the hall (right bottom corner) and was fine for rented property but we wanted him to be able to sit comfortably and read when hes a bit older so went for a thicker pile in a lovely contrast grey – local carpet shop 7×8 ft £120 with fitting.
  • The light, oh the light, I love this light and bought it months ago, in fact I had only just found out I was pregnant. It is so pretty! – You guessed it Ikea!
  • Now I read somewhere that pictures of family can help calm children so thought I’d have a little photo wall – trying to hang these all straight, most frustrating. thing. ever! The frames were from B&M pack of 3 for about £3 I want to say… The word art was done by moi although I nicked the tiny toes phrase off my baby album.
  • Now you know what I’m like I had to get some crafting in! So I bought an MDF letter J from Hobbycraft for £5 and then scratched my head as to what to do with it!

 

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As you can see I decided to paint it but used one of the darker greys from the testers we bought as a contrast to the wall it would be on. And then added some of the wallpaper, cut out and glued on with Craft PVA also from Hobbycraft.

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I did love this effect I really felt it stood out and pulled the wallpaper onto another wall.

My final project for this room was that I initially wanted to put some word art in the space by the wardrobe. Looking online I narrowed it down, but they were charging a fortune. So I replicated it on an app, printed it on photo paper and framed it myself. It’s not identical but I’m really happy with the result and I saved about £30! The frame was from Wilko for around £5.

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I love this song and I sing it to him a lot so it was perfectly fitting!

So that is it (wow it would have been so much quicker if I did YouTube)! I hope if you have survived this seriously long blog that you have enjoyed the room and maybe even been inspired.

Thank you so much for making it this far you deserve a rest haha!

You can check out a video room tour on Instagram @rabbitandroo

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We’re running late – again!

Hello Hello!

I was having a chat with a friend the other day and we got onto the topic of school runs – you know the story, three kids and yourself to get ready and out of the door and no matter how early you get up you feel like you are always trying to beat the clock; well we got onto discussing make up routines.

I used to always go one way or the other, either full coverage, what I would wear on say, a weekend, or absolutely nothing. But I started feeling like I looked terrible when I wore nothing, but often didn’t have time to do a full face – I needed to find a compromise and so this is what I’m using at the moment as a mum-on-the-go, my go-to essentials for days when I don’t have time but don’t want to look like the walking dead either!

My skincare routine really isn’t up to scratch at all, I just quickly wipe round with a 3-in-1 facial wipe (usually whichever is on offer or at the supermarket I’m shopping in) and I don’t moisturise – I know, I know smack my hands!

I’ve started going for a BB cream as it’s getting into Spring and decided to go for the Garnier one – yes it’s anti-age, this was a complete accident although maybe the universe is trying to tell me something!!!

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I sometimes apply a concealer but usually don’t bother (who has time for another product!) I add some blusher, currently I use L’oreal Le Blush and its shade is Rose Sandalwood,

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I don’t bother with eyeshadow all the time, and at the moment when I’m running late I really don’t have time, so I just go straight to mascara and I’ve been using the same brand for about 10 years. I am using the Maybelline Great Lash in ‘Blackest Black’

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I have been finding my lips are getting dry and so have started popping on some balm, I have never really worn gloss or lipstck so this is great for just popping on in a rush as there isn’t much of a colour so if you get it everywhere it’s not that bad – haha! I got this one for Christmas off my parents, it’s M&S Blackberry balm and it smells amazing!

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This is it for my make up but just to add I also use Palmer’s hand cream (on orders of my mum!) as my hands are soooo dry all the time, and if I remember I’ll have a spritz of perfume, which at the moment is one I got for Christmas as well – Nina (the pink apple).

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And this is the finished look – excuse the flat hair and awful eyebrows!

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It’s simple and subtle, but it makes me feel a bit more human. Let me know if there are any hacks you rely on or products you recommend – especially for eyebrows!

Speak soon!

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A belated Easter roundup!

Hello hello!

Aren’t you just loving this weather at the moment? For those of you not living in the U.K.- this week we have had snow! A day where I left at 14°c and by the time I came home two hours later it was 2°c! And next week it’s hitting 18°c – wtf!

So the kids are back to school this week after the Easter holidays and we managed to have a really nice time. Personally I think I totally over did things as I’m now totally exhausted but I felt so guilty for not taking them anywhere last holiday when Jax was born – yes he is 2 months old! 😱 I need to figure out how to slow down time…

 

 

As you can see he is now smiling and I’m loving the little coos he has started, we have a right little chat some times.

The Easter holidays bought bowling and Power Rangers, plenty of time in soft play and seeing friends and family. We didn’t really do any crafts though this year, although Rabbit would probably have a go, I’ve completely lost Roo to the Xbox and the dreaded Minecraft. Don’t get me wrong he is strictly limited to time on it but once he’s on, the sky could turn green and he wouldn’t notice! We also bought the hilarious game where you have to wear mouth retractors to say funny phrases (there is a name but it escapes me at the side of the pool during swimming lessons!)

We have had a busy few weeks and I am a little glad for the rest now they’re back in the swing of it. I just need to get my end of year assignment written and then I can have a bit of ‘time off’ (what ever that is). I’m secretly dreading the six weeks holidays though this year, as I will be off on maternity leave with all three kids at home, I used to enjoy escaping to work a couple of days a week, but hopefully we can have more family days now I’m not sharing the week with hubby. Fun times to come!

 



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Where am I going wrong?!

As I sit here I feel like I could burst into a pool of tears. The calm has finally just descended on an enormous tantrum from my 7 year old to which he was that mad he was shaking. This happens on a regular basis and while he seems to be able to clear the mist and move on, I often find myself left with nerves of jelly. I don’t know where I’m going wrong with my children, specifically the 7 year old. I feel like I do nothing but love and care for him, he is not spoilt and I thought I set clear boundaries, yet he is constantly ignoring me and pushing his limits. My 5 year old has her moments but she very rarely acts out like he does. He has anger inside him, he has for a few years and when it rears its head it often rips mine straight off. He shouts, screams, slams the doors, throws anything within reach, has several times attacked me physically, and nothing can get through to him. The only thing I haven’t faced (thank goodness) is him swearing to my face.

Tonight it all kicked off because we said they could go to the park after school, it was sunny but not too warm and we thought it would be a nice treat. We had to stop off home, and instead of getting changed like I asked him he decided to kick off and was then physical with his sister so inevitably the park got put on hold. In his rage he then started demanding to watch the TV on or to go on the computer. Now we have a ‘strict’ rota in place so there are no arguments over the telly but one thing we say is nothing on a Wednesday, and they are encouraged to play instead, but tonight he wasn’t having it. So I found myself saying the classic “If you don’t play with your toys they are going in the bin, and you won’t be getting anymore next Christmas”. But it suddenly hit me, why should I get rid of the things I want him to play with, when I should be confiscating the technology instead!

I had a friend at school who didn’t own a TV. I used to think it was really odd that she didn’t but now I’m a mum it totally makes sense. She was well read, had a wicked imagination and was never bored. She had been bought up to entertain herself not rely on technology to do it and I can’t help but feel that it’s ruining my children’s childhood. I wish it was just my decision but I can’t imagine my husband agreeing to such cave man ideas.

As for the anger I am seriously considering seeking help. I know it is probably ‘just his age’, but I don’t know how long I can continue to accept this behaviour. He is rude, ignorant and down-right nasty for no reason sometimes. He can be the sweetest boy in the world but I feel like this demon is just taking over all the time. I worry for his future, especially at school. He is going to have such a shock when he gets to secondary school. He walks all over me and clashes with his dad. I just hope if I could get him to see a counsellor of some sort that he would have someone to talk to because he won’t talk to us. I tried to talk to him earlier about how he could play making an assault course in the garden for his Lego car and all I got was the response “it’s a pull-back car, d’ya think its remote control huh? do ya? NO!” …Who am I bringing up…

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