A Letter To Little Squirrel – On Your 4th Birthday

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4 years has gone by in a blink of an eye. It seems like no time since we welcomed you into our world and brought you home to our little West End flat.
A lot has happened in that 4 years… we moved from Glasgow to Lenzie, you have become a big sister, and you have grown into a clever, beautiful and funny little girl.

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Celebrating 1st, 2nd, & 3rd birthdays

You are strong and determined, which most definitely brings its challenges for Mummy & Daddy, (currently struggling with outfit choices on a daily basis) but I really hope you keep these traits as you will go far little one!

You are kind and caring, and you love to look after people. Your most recent favourite game is to play Doctors with your medical kit, and you have the loveliest bedside manner as Dr M. My heart swells with pride when I see you gently cooing over the newest baby arrivals in our circle of friends.

Loving our friend’s new baby

You love to sing and dance, and my heart literally sings with joy when we sing along to our favourite songs from Moana, Trolls and Frozen. Music was a huge part of my life with my Mum, and I look forward to the day when I can sit beside you on a piano stool and play a duet with you like I did with my Mum. Keep singing little one!

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Enjoying a trip to Glasgow to see Moana at the cinema

You love your friends and I love to watch your friendships grow. You have a special bond with Noah, Heather, and Holly, whom you have known since you were all tiny babies and I am very grateful for the special friendships I have formed with their Mums.

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Martha & friends!

You are protective of your little sister.
Just last week we were out in Princes Square in Glasgow. Before I had you, I used to watch all the little ones running round and round in the little sunken area in the basement of Princes Square, and would daydream about watching my own children enjoy this space.  On our most recent trip to Princes Square a little girl ran up to you both and screamed in your faces. My heart swelled with pride when I saw you put your arms around your little sister and watched you usher her away in the most protective and loving way. Of course, as all siblings do, we also have to referree your squabbles with each other. But those moments when you look out for each other make all the tough moments worth it!

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Sisterly love 🙂

You love your family. Your little face lights up when we visit Granny & Grandad McKenzie in Langbank, and Grandpa Møller from Ireland. You don’t get to see Grandpa as much as Granny & Grandad because of distance, but your bond with him is remarkably strong. I am so happy that you have a special bond with each of your Grandparents. I only wish you could have known your Nanny Møller. She was a very special lady who would have loved you very much. I look at you and I see her in your big, deep, long-lashed eyes. She has most definitely gifted these to you!

My darling girl… we love you to the moon and back! Xxx

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A Letter To Littlest Squirrel – On Your 2nd Birthday

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Today you turn two years old! It really seems like no time since all this was happening…

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On the day you were born

The change in you over this last year is hard to believe. You have grown into a little person with a large personality!

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You make us laugh every day. Your smile is infectious. You are mostly a happy little squirrel, but your fuse can be short and your temper is a force to be reckoned with! We couldn’t love you any more though!

You love your bunny and your muzzy (blanket), you love cuddles, you love books, you love pushing your baby doll Violet in her pram, you love Maui and Tamatoa from Moana. And we love you!

Your relationship with your big sister is really blossoming. It is clear to see how much you care for each other, and when you are not winding each other up, you are making each other laugh, dancing with each other, singing together, reading together, hiding together and comforting each other when the other is upset.

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Sisters

My little darling, we are all so lucky to have you in our lives and we love you with all our hearts and are extremely proud of you.

Have a wonderful birthday my darling girl!

Love Mummy xxx

Masha & The Bear – Holiday On Ice DVD Giveaway

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The Little Squirrels love Masha & The Bear so I was thrilled to receive a copy of their latest DVD collection, Holiday On Ice, to review, and a copy to giveaway.

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We first became aware of Masha & The Bear on Netflix, and both girls instantly fell in love with Masha, a cheeky little three year old who lives in the forest, and her gentle and kind friend Bear, an old circus bear who yearns for a quiet life.

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Bear does his best to guide little Masha and keep her out of mischief, but often ends up the unintended victim of her escapades. Alongside an unlikely band of animal friends Masha & the Bear share adventures, friendship, and fun.

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Find out more about Masha & the Bear’s friends on the Masha & The Bear website

This special, seasonal collection features the following episodes:- Holiday on Ice, One, Two, Three! Light the Christmas Tree, Picture Perfect, Tracks of Unknown Animals, Watch Out!,
First Day of School, No Tresspassing, The Snow Maiden and The Wolf and the Fox.

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Picture Perfect

This is a really lovely collection of Christmas/Winter-themed episodes to entertain your little ones. If you would like to win a copy of Masha & The Bear Holiday On Ice – head on over to my Instagram account for more details on how to enter…

A Woodland Themed 1st Birthday Cake For Littlest Squirrel

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When planning a celebration cake I often turn to Pinterest for inspiration. For the Littlest’s 1st birthday cake I knew I wanted to stick with the squirrel/woodland theme that I followed for her big sister’s 1st birthday cake, but wanted something new and different.

It was through Pinterest that I came across these two cake designs, and I knew immediately that this was the theme that I would follow…

I loved the stronger colours of the cake on the left, but loved the details of the cake on the right.

It had been two years since I had last baked and decorated a celebration cake, so was a little nervous. On top of that I was coming down with flu on the day the cake was to be baked and decorated, but I had been planning this cake for months, so just had to push through and get it done!

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I had already made the little figures to decorate the cake. The trickiest bit was getting the lettering completed. I am a little disappointed that the finish isn’t as clean as I normally aim for, but I was feeling so ill I just had to get it done!

Birthday Cake Collage.jpgAll things considered, the cake turned out well, and I was really pleased with the bake. On my friend Frances’ recommendation I used Nigella’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake recipe. Many Thanks to Frances for her advice on this bake. If you love beautiful cakes then take a look at Frances’ blog, her cakes are simply stunning!

As for the Littlest, she seemed to enjoy her first taste of chocolate cake. Now, I just need to decide what sort of cake to create for her big sister’s birthday in March!…

A Letter To Littlest Squirrel On Her 1st Birthday

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Dear Littlest Squirrel

It is hard to believe it has been one year since you arrived in to our world! Like your big sister, you have brought so much sunshine in to our lives.Ciara Birthday CollageYou are my little tiny one, yet you are strong. You are sweet and loving, yet fierce and determined.

You give the best kisses.

You have the cheekiest, widest grin.

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You have enriched all of our lives, more than I ever could have wished for, and we are all completely besotted with you.

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Happy Birthday my little darling. You are so loved!

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Littlest Squirrel

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I have been quiet on the blog lately. We have been busy caring for the newest member of our family and adjusting to life as a family of four.

On The Day You Were Born

On The Day You Were Born

In February Littlest Squirrel entered our world… another little girl! We are now almost 23 weeks in, and we couldn’t be happier. It is hard to imagine loving another little person as much as your first, but Littlest Squirrel has well and truly captured all of our hearts. She is such a joy to be around with her laid back nature and huge beaming smiles. We are truly blessed to have two beautiful happy little girls in our lives.

These smiles!

These smiles!

Having two little ones to look after and entertain certainly does bring its challenges. You have much less time to yourself, and much more tiredness, but I can honestly say it is all worth it. It takes time for your first child to come to terms with the fact that they have to share you with their new sibling, but once they figure it out, the joy of witnessing loving moments and giggles between two siblings is one of the best feelings in the world!

Sisterly Love

Sisterly Love

Now that life as family of four feels normal, I hope to be able to keep my blog up to date with what we have been doing, how we have been coping, and with things that we love!

Little Squirrel’s Guide To Perthshire

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Give me lakes lochs and mountains over a beachscape any day!
Don’t get me wrong… I love a beautiful beach, however I have always been drawn to big trees, the lush greenery, and woodland trails that go hand in hand with a trip to the mountains. Perthshire is known as Big Tree Country, and is the perfect landscape for me.

Before Little Squirrel came along Mr Hungry Squirrel and I have enjoyed several trips to Perthshire. We both love this county, and dream of one day moving to this part of Scotland. This was our first visit with baby toddler in tow, so out were the after dark trips to The Enchanted Forest and out were the white water rafting or kayaking adventures. This holiday was all about relaxing and enjoying time as a family of 3.
We found that Little Squirrel was most happy being in the great outdoors, and was more than happy exploring the grounds and surroundings of our self-catering accommodation at Logierait Lodges & Chalets.

On the Tay Viaduct, at Logierait

On the Tay Viaduct, at Logierait

However, we also found some great kid-friendly spots around this beautiful spot of Perthshire and wanted to share them with you…

We were pretty lucky with the weather during our week, so had a lovely time exploring the woodland, waterfalls, and lochs that Perthshire has to offer.
I have already mentioned our pre-baby trips to Pitlochry for The Enchanted Forest which is set in Faskally Wood. We were keen to check out this location during daylight hours, so off we toddled… Loch Dunmore (within Faskally Wood) is a beautiful setting for a walk with little ones. It has recently been updated to Access for All standards, so is perfect for pushchairs when your little one’s little legs get too tired.

Fun at Faskally Wood

Fun at Faskally Wood

If you love scenic walks then I would highly recommend visiting The Hermitage, near Dunkeld. This is not one for the pram or pushchair, but would be perfect for the baby carrier. We forgot our carrier so we took our pram up, so it is doable, but the path was pretty rocky and uneven.
From the car park, follow the River Braan up to Ossian’s Hall overlooking the Black Linn Waterfall. Along the way, admire the stunning scenery and wildlife, beautiful trees, and just enjoy the great outdoors!

Left - the River Braan Middle - entrance to Ossian's Hall Right - the Black Linn Waterfall from Ossian's Hall

Left – the River Braan
Middle – entrance to Ossian’s Hall
Right – viewing the Black Linn Waterfall from Ossian’s Hall

We had one damp day during our week’s holiday, and headed to the Beatrix Potter Exhibition & Garden in Birnam. I was really impressed with this place and would highly recommend it to visitors with little ones.
The exhibition is housed in Birnam’s Arts & Conference Centre. Outside is a lovely garden with sculptures of the animals that Beatrix made famous through her books.

Exploring the Beatrix Potter Garden

Exploring the Beatrix Potter Garden

Inside is a lovely gift shop with Beatrix Potter themed goods, and a great range of non-Potter related cards, books, gifts, toys, and trinkets…
Downstairs is the exhibition area. This is relatively small compared to other exhibitions/museums, but its appeal for us was the great range of play activities for the little ones. From drawing and colouring on blackboards and at old school desks, to playing shop, playing with puzzles, dressing up, and reading books – this was a great way to spend an afternoon with our little one.

Loving the interactive play at the Beatrix Potter Exhibition!

Loving the interactive play at the Beatrix Potter Exhibition!

I feel this is really geared towards younger kids under 8, but was just perfect for our inquisitive 1 year old.
Upstairs is the Foyer Cafe, where we enjoyed some lovely coffees.
The staff here were really lovely too!

We really did have a lovely holiday in Perthshire, and I can see us going back to stay at Logierait Lodges again.
I’d love to hear from you if you have visited this part of Scotland and have any other recommendations for family-friendly activities…