The adventures of Jack Jack

The adventures of a first time Mummy and my son Jack.

Country kids (29/03/14)

Today I am joining in with County kids, the fab linky from Coombe mill.

To join in all you need to do is blog about fun you and the family have had outdoors, away from technology. Dont panic, I can feel some of the kids shaking at the thought of ipad withdrawals and lack of facebook but theres a big wide world out there so lets enjoy it.

Jack and I certainly have with the recent good weather.

We practiced Jacks throwing and catching in the garden.



We took a long walk in the woods near our house. I was very impressed that the first time I let Jack go for a toddle that wasn’t round the garden and he walked 2 street lengths and almost up a hill, not bad for testing those little wobbly legs.

We collected daisies, pine cones and leaves for future craft and messy play projects then enjoyed a little rest on the swings near home.



We ran riot round the tots area at the park, well Jack did (mummy enjoyed a rare sit down).






Mother’s Day Memories

Mecca Bingo have come up with a fab competition for bloggers. It’s called ‘Mecca’s Mother’s Day Memories’ and you can be in with the chance of winning a £250 amazon voucher!

All you have to do, is create a collage of family memories – ideally from past mother’s days, or treasured memories, the more creative the better!  You could include images and say why they are important to you, or perhaps what you were doing when you took these pictures, for example were you on a family holiday? Birthday celebration? Etc. What’s the story behind your memories? You could also explain what your mother means to you, or why you love being a mum.

Your post also needs to include a mention of the competition, and a link back to Mecca Bingo and then send your completed post to for your entry to be included. 

The most creative and imaginative post will be picked on the 31st March, and the winner will be announced on the Mecca FaceBook & Twitter page.

The closing date for this competition is Mother’s Day (Sunday 30th March)

So here goes……

While I love my mum to pieces I don’t have any pictures to show you and don’t really like to write about my childhood so Ive chosen to write about being a mum.

Being a mum means everything to me and is chocked full of memories already even though Jack is still under 2. When that sweet little voice calling ‘Mumma’ reaches my ears I can’t help but smile, thats my boy, thats my baby.

My most treasured memories are mostly tied to Jacks milestones but there are some that were spur of the moment and made me teary eyed.



This is Jack just 2 days old. He had been 2 weeks late and I had spent nearly 4 days stuck in hospital being induced and was very close to having a c section when my waters broke, 15 hours later those beautiful eyes were staring up at me. We had to stay in that night as I was having problems bringing my temperature down but in the morning we were fine to go home. We popped into the parent in laws, where we had asked everyone who wanted to see newborn Jack to meet. He was your usual newborn, smelly nappies, hungry and gorgeous but it was later that night when we were finally home and I had gotten my head down for the first time in nearly 3 days that we noticed a problem.

Changing Jack at 1am I noticed some blood in his nappy and woke Daddy. We thought maybe it had been left over from birth or even urate crystals (commonly called “brick stain” by doctors they are a combination of calcium and urate, substances normally found in urine). We called 111 and they sent an ambulance which took us back to the hospital we had just left where it became apparent that unbeknown to us Jack hadn’t been getting any milk from me and was severely dehydrated. After an exhausting night in the hospital trying to express to help my milk establish and get a urine sample from Jack in between feeding him an ounce here and there of formula, with the help of my angel of a mother. We were finally allowed home with the equipment to combi feed Jack and took the mother in law up on her offer to have us stay at hers for a few nights to catch up on a weeks missed sleep.

Once we arrived she shepherded us off to bed and took over looking after Jack, which we were very grateful for. Later that night after a good rest and meal that wasn’t hospital food we finally got to enjoy being a family. The above picture was taken that night, when I finally got the chance to bond with my baby after all the drama. He has eyes that capture your attention and at that moment, as I gazed into my babys eyes all the drama seemed to disappear.



This was Jacks first Christmas and his first Christmas dinner as I had to wean him early due to the problems mentioned above and an insatiable appetite. He enjoyed gnawing on a parsnip and even had a go at a brussel sprout, but soon spat it out. I love how his eyes capture the light in this picture and some how heightens the innocence of little ones at Christmas, when everything is still magical. His second Christmas was totally different as he had learnt to walk and talk to some extent. I admit I had to leave the room at one point as I got a little teary eyed watching his face light up as he unwrapped chugger after chugger and a track from his favourite program Chuggington.

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Jacks first birthday was an emotional affair for me, I love watching him grow and learn new skills but I was slightly sad that was no longer my baby. At first he was wondering why everyone was sat in a circle watching him but when he saw the mountain of presents waiting for him he soon forgot. He was a very lucky boy, receiving a smart trike, chuggington pajamas and box set, a shoebox full of Car’s vehicles and a working train set among others. Watching him play with his 5 cousins (ranging from 16 to just 7 months older than him) put a smile on my face. My brother lives over an hour away and while Daddys side of the family are only 10 minutes away they are out in the country so without a car we cant really visit. I worry sometimes that Jack doesn’t get enough time with them but when 6 boys of such a wide age range can sit and play with one train set I have nothing to worry about.


I could waffle on for days about my fond memories of being Jacks Mummy but I am sure I would bore you dear readers, so here is my last memory for this post. The above picture is of Jack’s very first steps!

He had been teasing us for weeks, cruising the furniture then suddenly letting go. Will he, wont he?

It was during one of our photo sessions while I was trying to take pictures of Jack testing out Huggalugs leg warmers that he suddenly pulled himself up and toddled over to me. My heart was in my mouth, was he going to fall and hurt himself? Would I catch him in time?

No I needn’t of worried as he toddled straight into my open arms and, looking ever so pleased with himself planted the biggest kiss on my lips.

Nothing stops this boy now, he can run, climb, jump and even kick a ball. But to me he will always be my baby.

Disclaimer: This is my entry for Mecca Bingo’s Mother’s day memories competition.

Homemade Mothers day gift idea’s

Mother’s day is this Sunday and not all of us have the money to splash out on expensive cards and gifts. Lets face it all most mums want, myself included is a lie in and being able to go to the loo without an audience.

So what if the kids want to make their own gifts? Well look no further….

Homemade cards

The ideas are endless for this, from simple cards with drawings of ‘my mummy’ to pop up cards praising mums best features.


Let the kids take the lead, mum will love a card from her babies no matter what’s on it.



Gifts can be a little tricker to think of but there is a long long list.

Why not have a go at making your own bath bombs for mum to enjoy during a well deserved soak.

Emma magazine featured these dried flower bath bombs using just 8 simple ingredients, you can view the full recipe here.


Eat,knit & diy made their own bath bombs using an ice cube tray as a mould, full recipe here.


Barerootgirl made copycat versions of Lush bath bombs for a 6th of the price with the option to add lots of different ingredients, find out how here.


Something as simple as a hand and footprint with a little message or poem would put a smile on any mums face.


Here’s a poem Jack and I made for Fathers day last year which could be adapted for Mothers day.



Photo’s work well as gifts with a little imagination. How about taking a photo of your child/children holding a letter to spell out a word or name.



For Valentines day Jack and I did some heart printing using a shaped toilet roll tube. You can read our full post here.



A cut off celery stalk works brilliantly for printing roses, according to Maureen Cracknell Handmade bunches of leafy lettuce will also work.


Attachment mummy featured Mother’s day biscuit cards, which you can read about here.

Mother's Day Biscuits


How about breakfast in bed? Martha Stewart has a delightful recipe for heart shaped eggs and toast which you can find here.


Hopefully this has sparked your imagination and the mum’s in your life will have a fab Mother’s day.


My tv moments with TalkTalk

Most of us like to watch tv at some point in the day, whether its watching the news during breakfast, letting the kids watch cartoons so you can get a few things done or catching up on your favourite programs once they’re in bed.

TalkTalk have found that there are eight different types of TV viewers or ‘TV Tribes’ ranging from ‘Family Guys’ who enjoy nothing more than bringing the family together to watch their favourite programmes to ‘Secret Viewers’ who tell everyone they watch the likes of Newsnight but secretly revel in trash TV.


I took their ‘Tv Tribes’ quiz and here is my result:

The ‘Me – timer’

I like to watch TV on my own with no disturbances; I hate it when people interrupt. I download and binge on boxsets. I love watching TV in a separate room for a bit of peace and quiet. I often watch TV on a laptop or tablet with my headphones on and love to get stuck into a good TV drama, watching episodes back to back. I never miss an episode of my favourite shows. 

34% of people belong to this TV Tribe

This describes me to a tee, I do indeed save my programs for later once Jacks in bed and if its something the hubby doesn’t want to watch I’ll watch it on the lappy or even my phone.

We don’t have a freeview (due to a dodgy aerial) or satellite tv so all our tv viewing is from Netflix and Amazon’s lovefilm. This can be handy if theres a certain series you want to watch because you can save them to your watch list and you only need to press play once. However if you don’t know what you fancy watching it can be hard to find something where as with freeview or satellite you can flick through channels.

We enjoy watching Disney and childrens films together and Jack has his tv time to watch Batman or Chuggington but once he’s in bed Daddy and I love to snuggle up watching Grimm or Jonathan Creek. We’re not a soap or reality tv watching family, its our idea of hell but we enjoy a good documentary. I have been a massive fan of David Attenborough all my life and I regularly sit and watch life in the undergrowth or frozen planet with Jack (his favourite). I know a lot of parents (and those without kids that like to tell us how to bring them up) worry about too much screen time and that their children are not learning. Watching documentaries with Jack I know he is learning about the world around him and I am happy for him to enjoy a cartoon or two as a chill out time after our daily messy/ sensory or craft play sessions. After all little ones need time to relax too, this gives them a chance to process what they have learnt and helps them to learn to unwind which ultimately helps at bedtime.


Watching one of his favourite films, Alice in Wonderland.

When I eventually get the tv to myself I enjoy watching supernatural dramas such as Hex, Charmed and Angel. Documentaries as mentioned above but also those that touch on topics my little boy is too young to learn about at the moment such as the Titanic Disaster or Storm chasers.

Our perfect family tv moment is snuggled up together watching a family film and listening to my son giggling and enjoying the movie. Having a toddler with ants in his pants makes this moment even more special as its one of the  very rare moments to spend some time cuddling together and what Mum doesn’t enjoy cuddling their babies?

What do you enjoy watching? Any guilty pleasures that you wouldn’t normally admit or do you find yourself watching cbeebies long after the kids have gone to bed?

Why not take the test and find out which tribe you belong to at

This is my entry to the Tots100 TV Tribe competition.

Loud ‘n’ proud

How many times have you been in the middle of writing a tweet or Facebook status about your child’s achievements only to delete or reword it because others may think you’re bragging or showing off? Loud ‘n’ proud is a blog linky run by 4 wonderful bloggers: 3 Children and It, Mum of Three World, Secrets of the Sandpit and Not My Year Off, where you can shout to the rafters about your or your child’s latest achievements.


So with that in mind I want to blog about my son Jacks latest triumphs. Jack was a pretty lazy baby, happy to be carried everywhere and didn’t make an effort to crawl until he was 10 months old. Since then he has taken off with his development. He is now nearly 21 months old and walks, runs, jumps and holds conversations with me. I’m very proud of the fact he can put his own shoes on and in the morning he pulls his top on, brushes his teeth and hair and washes and dries his face all by himself. I didn’t have the best childhood but that has made me even more determined to make Jacks the best it can be. He is my superstar helping me overcome my social phobia and confidence issues due to my past.


My father had been ill throughout my entire pregnancy and passed away when Jack was just two months old, yet through all of that my little ray of sunshine was there to give me strength. When I was upset or stressed while organizing my fathers funeral my little boy was there playing with my hair or snuggling up close.


I am extremely proud of my son and how caring he can be. If I’m having a down day he will hold my hand and say “Mummy mwah?” before giving me a big hug and kiss. When a cat with a lump on its head wandered into the house during the recent sunny weather Jack gave the cat some fuss saying “awww Kitty”. I can only hope he keeps his empathy and respect for all living creatures as he grows up.


Also linking in with Magic Moments by the fab Oliver’s madhouse and What’s the story by podcastdove.

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The rights and wrongs of being a parent.

From the minute we see that faint positive line we are bombarded with what we should and should not be doing as a parent. So what are the supposed right and wrongs?

Street signs

Pregnancy – too much or too little exercise

 Last year I read this story of Lea – Ann Ellison, who posted pictures of herself online lifting weights while eight and a half months pregnant. This caused a stir while the world decided this mum needed criticizing and reminding that pregnancy is all about baby. While pregnancy is a time to take things easy it’s also important to keep fit to help with labour and those early days. As long as you maintain your fitness level from before pregnancy there is no reason exercise would be dangerous to you or baby. Some mums spend most of their pregnancy suffering spd, morning sickness or chronic back pain while for others the urge to ‘nest’ is so strong they find they can’t sit still. Every pregnancy is different.

Birth – natural or c section/ Pain relief or at one with nature

Natural birth while desirable is not always possible for some mums. Those that have c sections have the horrible ‘too posh to push’ stigma and its often seen as the easy way out when its not. Equally some people like to remind us natural birth is ‘like shelling peas’ with scant regard for those that experience difficult and traumatic births. Some mums during labour want to be at one with their body and without drugs while others, like myself are screaming for everything going. Does it matter how baby got here as long as they do safely?


 If you give in your weak and asking for horrendous morning sickness, if you stay strong you’re depriving baby of what it ‘wants’. I ‘gave in’, my baby “wanted” pickles so thats what he got. Of course giving into Pica, consuming inedible items such as soil or sponges, is dangerous for you and baby but if thats what you crave then you’re going to eat them regardless.

Scan – Find out the gender or a surprise

We originally wanted my pregnancy with Jack to be a surprise but we got fed up of white and neither of us are that fond of yellow or green. I lost count of how many times I was told I should find out what sex baby is so I can get everything pink or blue. Once we found out we were having a boy we had people commenting that we shouldn’t be so nosey and wait to see what nature decided for us.

Baby clothes

If you buy everything blue for your son or pink for you daughter your gender biased. If you buy everything neutral you have no imagination. Cute costumes and outfits with funny slogans are a whole new ball game ranging from envy at how cute your child looks in their gruffalo costume to disgust that you would dress your child in a cute little top that reads tiny terror.

Milk – breast feeding or formula

If you breastfeed, especially in public, you’re labelled a tramp or flashing too much and people get offended but if you formula feed your lazy. If you extend breastfeeding past 6 months the opinionated amongst us like to remind you you’re a hippy and only doing it for your own selfish needs to maintain the bond.

Nappies and wipes – cloth or disposable

While cloth nappies are brilliant for the environment and kind to baby’s bottom they are not for everyone. Disposables are great for traveling or visiting family when you may not be able to do a wash. They give you the freedom to go places you wouldn’t be able to or would find very difficult with cloth. Some parents choose to use disposables during the day and cloth at night, the fact is there is no wrong choice as long as baby’s bottom is covered by something.

Potty training

If you hold off potty training till little one gives you the signals you’re letting them rule your life and if they’re still in nappies past 2 you’re a lazy parent. If you push them to get dry your damaging them and imposing yourself upon them.

Weaning – purée or baby lead/Jar or homemade

I had to early wean Jack on the advice of my health visitor due to an insatiable appetite but you’d have thought Id started world war 3! The puree stage was horrible (all that mess) but at 4 and a half months old Jack was too young to be nibbling on pieces of bread or soft fruit. Even though I had a reason to early wean my son some silly old bag in the supermarket still felt the need to tell me I was harming my son by forcing food down his throat so early. I hated that buying jars made me look like a lazy mum even though I cooked him fresh dinners too. We don’t all have the time to puree carrots and saute pears although its obviously the healthier option.

Sleep – cot or co sleep

Jack went straight in his cot the day we came back from the hospital but due to my back injury when he was around 8 months, we started co sleeping so I could look after him in the night as Daddy doesn’t hear him. He isn’t spoilt and our sex life isnt dead however I will agree with the stigma that you spend most of the night with a toddlers feet or bum in your face. Some mums have a problem with baby going straight in a cot as they see it as not bonding with baby as well as you would if baby was in a moses basket or crib right next to you. Jack was in his cot on the other side of the room and we have a brilliant bond.

Bedtime – pamper or control crying/Dummy or self soothe

If you rock your baby to sleep, like I did with Jack, you’re spoiling your child and letting them wrap you round their little finger. If you use the control crying method your cold and heartless. Using a dummy labels you stupid for jeopardising your childs teeth but letting your child gum or nibble their hands to death makes you daft for not giving them a soother!

Going out – buggy or sling (babywearing)

If you put baby in the pram while out for a walk or doing the shopping you’re not bonding or engaging with them but if you carry them in a sling you’re a pack mule. I did both until Jack became to heavy to fit in his sling.

Stay at home or working parent

If you stay at home to look after your kids your sponging off the system and too lazy to do anything. If you’re a working parent you’re putting money before the needs of your child and let someone else raise them.

10 kids or just 1

If you have more than 2 kids you’re ‘asking for trouble’, if you have just 1 they will grow up spoilt (apparently!). More than 4 kids and the comments about “haven’t you figured out what’s causing it yet” start appearing.


Its time for some truths, there are no right or wrongs. You as mum or dad know your little one best and what works best for your family, what does it matter if you breastfeed till little one is 3 as long as their healthy. Does it matter that your child takes a little longer to get dry than Mrs Bloggs son did?


No one can tell you how to raise your child. Your a great Mum/Dad, keep up the good work!

I went for gentle strolls while pregnant, I had a natural birth after induction with an epidural. I ate what baby craved, I found out the gender. I bought gender biased clothes and cute little outfits. I breastfeed, got into difficulty and turned to formula. I use disposable nappies mixed with cloth, I tried potty training (Jack wasnt ready). I weaned early (always consult your health visitor), I co sleep during the night and put him to bed on his own. I used the pick up put down method, I gave Jack a dummy, bear and a blanket! I use the buggy, baby wore when he was smaller and now he walks when he can. I am a stay at home mum for a while, enjoying the time with my son while working on my blog. I have just the 1 child at the moment and we are working on number 2.

If all that makes me a bad mum then a bad mum I am, but my son is happy and healthy and I’m not about to change that to please others.



Heart printing (Valentines craft)

We love messy play here at TaoJJ and with it being Valentines today what else could we do but print hearts.

This activity is great for toddlers and very simple. All you need is paper, paint, old clothes or coverall bibs for little ones and a toilet roll.

To create the heart shape simply flatten the toilet roll


 then push one edge into the roll and tape.


Then set your little one to work, dipping then stamping.


This activity helped fill an hour during a rain storm and was a thrifty way to celebrate Valentines day. Jack had fun stamping but as usual got a little freaked out by the paint on his hands. Never known a child not to like getting their hands messy.

Expect mess!


We gave our painting to Daddy but you could use yours for cards, wrapping paper, decorations, the only limits is your imagination. For slightly older children you could try stamping using glue then sprinkle glitter over the top.

Happy Valentines!

Cranberry and oat cookies

Yesterday we got peckish and with not a lot in the house we decided to make some cookies. An all time favourite in this house is cranberry and oat cookies, they’re crumbly, moreish, golden bites of awesomeness.

Jack decided to be the supervisor and supervised by sleeping on the job while Mummy did all the work (with a little muscle for mixing from Daddy).

To make a batch of around 2 dozen cookies you will need:


  • 2 bowls
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Greaseproof paper
  • 2/3 cup (76g/2.6oz) of softened butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup (146g/5oz) of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 (128g/4.5oz) cups of oats
  • 1 1/2 (192g/6.7oz) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 5oz pack of dried cranberries (you can use more or less depending on your taste, we used a 7oz pack)


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/ 375ºF
  2. Beat together the butter or margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy.1800984_10202852619374895_1515628986_n
  3. Add the eggs and mix well. Dont panic if you end up with lots of little lumps of buttery sugar swimming in egg, just beat it with a whisk for a while and it will sort itself out.1898983_10202852549733154_1597956734_n
  4. In a separate bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda and salt.1903247_10202852550773180_1889344371_n
  5. Add to the butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Stir in the dried cranberries, heres where Mr muscle (Daddy) came to help me because the mixture becomes very sticky.1899126_10202852548013111_657478862_n
  7. Drop using two teaspoons on a tray covered in greaseproof paper. We tried as hard as we could to flatten 1608858_10202852547613101_147385041_nours out so they were cookies but they turned out more like cakes, still as yummy though!
  8. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Ours took 20 minutes because we couldnt flatten them.
  9. Cool and a wire rack and try not to eat, we failed ;)1781339_10202852547333094_1691940845_n

These were a big hit with Jack who cant get enough of cranberries and I know there isn’t tons of sugar or salt in these.



“Mmmmm yummy”


Lego adventure (CarCraft challenge)

Jack loves his megablocks and while still too young to play with Lego I couldn’t help but jump at the chance to join in with the CarCraft challenge and have a toy ready for when hes a little older.

We were sent the Lego high speed police chase set to create our own adventures with for the chance to win a Lego set worth £100.

As soon as the set arrived Jack decided it needed hiding from Mummy so I spent a while trying to find where he had stashed it. Once I did find the set it only took me a little time to build and then it was lights camera action!


The Lego town bank had been broken into by Dastardly Dan and he was in the process of getting away!


Staff at the bank triggered the alarm and PC Plod is on his way.


Dastardly Dan is one step ahead and runs into an alleyway……


……where his partner in crime, Raven the robber, is waiting to make their escape.


Meanwhile PC Plod has arrived at the bank and the staff have informed him of the crooks escape.


Soon he is in hot pursuit of the crooks when suddenly…..


A giant appears, intent on wrecking the city and causing havoc. But look, up in the sky, its Iron Patriot!


PC Plod briefs Iron Patriot on the situation and they form a plan of attack.


Unfortunately the giant captures Iron Patriot and disables his suit, leaving him defenseless.


Using his anti focus powers the giant plays with our hero like a cat with a ball of string. Will Iron Patriot escape? Will he ever stop the giant from his destructive rampage? Tune in again to find out.

This is my entry to the CarCraft Lego competition.

Moments that mattered 2013

Wow what a year 2013 was! For me it started with sadness at the loss of my father in September of 2012 but things soon improved with my first mothers day in March. It might not seem like much but to me it meant the world, Jack means so much to me and to have a day all about being his Mummy after such a rubbish start to the year was lovely.


In July Daddy, Grandma, Jack and myself visited Vale royal falconry centre in Cheshire for my birthday experience day. My birthday is in October but with Dad dying things got put on hold.  Jack was going to be babysat by his Nanny but again plans don’t always work so he ended up coming along too. We all had a great day flying the birds and Jack loved meeting Dennis the eagle owl and Willow the little owl. By the evening Jack could hardly keep his eyes open and I wasn’t far behind him.


A few days later was Jacks first birthday, we had a lovely bbq while trying to keep cool in the heat wave. Jack had a mountain of presents including chuggington pajamas, chuggington boxset and even a chuggington cake. We blew bubbles with his cousins and played on Daddys space hopper and even managed to squeeze in an afternoon nap in the hammock. Its hard to believe how quickly his first year of life flew past and I am now planning for his second birthday.


By the end of July we were off to the Heckington show in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. This was Jacks first experience of village fairs so it was only right we started with the biggest and the best. There was plenty to see and do with rides and events, stalls of every description and lots of livestock.  We watched the heavy horse display (my favourite) and Jack was shaking with excitement watching the steam saw mill in action, Grandma then treated us to springbok and wildebeest burgers and we set off to the showground to watch the band, fireworks and spitfire fly over. Unfortunately the flyover was cancelled due to bad weather so with everyone very tired we came home earlier than planned. We can’t wait for this years show now Jack is walking and running.


In November Jack learnt to walk. He had been building up suspense for over a week by cruising round the furniture then letting go but it happened when I wasnt paying attention. Bent down to put a film on for him when he lets go of the chair and walked about 5 steps towards me and gave me a massive hug. He had the biggest grin on his face as if to say “I did it Mummy”. Now theres no stopping him from walking, running and even jumping, my little monkey.


Last but by no means least was Jacks second Christmas, no first Christmas decorations or keepsakes but in some ways it was more special this time. On his first Christmas Jack was only 5 months and spent most of it asleep or being fed, this year was like a mini tornado had entered the room. The presents, the fun, the excitement and the look on his little face when he opened a new chuggington stack track and a full set of chuggers.


I cant wait to see what 2014 will bring.

This is my entry to the Lloyds bank ‘Moments that mattered 2013′ bloggers competition.

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