50 Things that Make me Happy!

When I first realised that I was tagged by the lovely Pennies Add Up I was completely thrilled. But when I thought about and I  wondered could I think of 50 different things that make me happy? 

So I put my mind to work and tried to come up with as many things as I could.  

 So here we go:

  1. My family – My hubby and my kids. They completely drive me around the bend most of the time but I know deep down that with them in my life I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now! 
  2. Sunshine – I love sitting in the sun and I adore watching the sun rise and set. 
  3. This smile – I can’t look at her smile without feeling all warm and fuzzy.  
  4. Wine – a nice big glass of red wine to relax with when the kids are in bed.
  5. The Disney film The Little Mermaid – I put this film on when ever I am ill or I’m feeling pants because it’s one of my favourite and I love it.
  6. My best friends Maggi and Kate – I call them my wives because I love them to pieces and they always make be feel better or talk sense into me when I’m feeling down!
  7. Listening to rain tapping on the window, car roof or when you in a tent.
  8. My kids telling me they love me
  9. Flowers  
  10. I love relaxing in a bubble bath, so bubble baths make me happy
  11. The Outdoors – that feeling you get after a long walk, or when your stood and the edge of a hill or cliff looking out are the view in front of you. It’s beautiful.
  12. Going swimming
  13. Chocolate – but that speaks for itself 
  14. Dancing – nothing makes me happier then blaring out music and dancing around like a crazy person. I even have a Happy Dance.
  15. Trying new things – figuring out and knowing I can do something new really makes me happy.
  16. Come Dine With Me – it’s one if my favourite TV shows and I love wTching it even if it does make me hungry.
  17. My house when it’s freshly decorated, decluttered and clean.
  18. Cuddles   
  19. The song Happy by Pharrell Williams
  20. My pyjamas – I love nothing more then buying myself a new set and I could live in them all day, every day. If it was possible.
  21. My mum and dad – my mum drives me round the bend and some days I want to scream at her because she isn’t listening or still treats me like a child but she can be lovely, helpful and there if I need her.
  22. Shopping – going in a shopping spree and spending money in a new pair of shoes or and outfit for myself. Even when I go shopping for the kids I love it because I can plan it all out and normally I try to go when I’m “kid free!” That makes it a real treat.
  23. Date night – my home and I try to have a date night steady once a month because we need time for us as well as time as a family. 
  24. Clouds – nothing better then lay on the grass on a warm summers day making shapes out of the clouds.  
  25. Kisses – whether it’s a smooch off my kids or a sneaky snog off my hubby kisses always leave me smiling. 
  26. Presents – come on who doesn’t like been given a gift.
  27. Seeing my kids happy!
  28. A cold beer, fresh from the fridge at the end of a hot day.
  29. Daffodils – every year I love see the daffodils because it means the start of spring.
  30. Halloween – I always try to go all out at Halloween. I decorate my garden, my house and sometimes myself. 
  31. Reading a story to my kids at bedtime and me seeing them read for themselves.  
  32. My bed – I love curling up in bed even though I find it hard to fall asleep sometimes.
  33. Being pregnant – although there were moments I completely loathed being pregnant, through out each and everyone pregnancy I alway had a feeling of contentment and happiness.
  34. Finding a bargain or getting a great deal on something.
  35. Bubbles – I love watching and blowing bubbles in garden with the kids.
  36. Hearing my kids say “I love you, mum!”.
  37. Watching E eat watermelon – she loves the stuff and always eat a slice that is almost as big as her head. It very amusing to watch.
  38. Listening to P!nk – she is one of my favourite artist and I just love her music.
  39. Sunday Morning snuggles with kids when they climb in my bed
  40. Coffee   
  41. Looking at stars – it fills my with a sense of amazement and happiness to stare up at a beautiful sight as the stars.
  42. When someone likes my blog posts or when I break my most views in a day record.
  43. When I think about the day I got married.
  44. Making new friends.
  45. When I try a new recipe and it works out well.
  46. Watching my kids sleep – it’s just so peaceful. 
  47. Seeing my kids learn something new.
  48. Climbing into freshly changed bedding.
  49. Sitting my candle light in winter.
  50. Being told “I’m the worlds best mum” or “the best mum ever”

I want to say a massive thank you for tagging me and even though my post is little bit late. It’s only because it’s take me so long to thing about what to  put and what makes me happy.

I will pass on the joy and tag:

@Brummymummyof2

@zenas_suitcase

@liquoriceuk

@IcklePicklex

What 50 Things Make you Happy? 

Nikki x

    #Project365 – Week 15

    This week has been the start of half term and although I have tired to stay busy with the kids. I haven’t always remembered to take snaps of what we have been up to.

    But here is my week minus a few really awesome pictures I wish I had taken. 

    Day 96 

     Here is Baby, enjoying the sun and her first time on a trampoline. She isn’t normally in just a vest but in the midday sun it was really warm. I must say I love his the static has affected her hair, she looks so cute!

    Day 97 

    This was my attempt at a healthy breakfast after to chocolate fest that was Easter Sunday. I know it’s not really healthy but it has fruit in it. 

    Day 98 

    Tuesday I thought I would share how amazed I was that baby could sleep in such I weird positions on a regular basis. I know this is all part and parcel on her low muscle tone, which cause hypermobility, which is part of her Down syndrome but it’s still amazing watching her do the splits or sleep hugging her legs etc. 

    What do you think? 

    Day 99 

    I love flowers and I buy myself a bunch every week when I do the shopping, just because they make me happy  and my house smell lovely. Plus they are amazing to snap a quick photo of, if I’m in a pinch and need a bit of inspiration. 

    Day 100 

    The boys wanted to go camping but because it was short notice, I don’t drive and it was after 6pm, they had to settle for a night of sleeping with me in a tent in the garden. 

    I only agreed because I thought they would give up and say they wanted to go inside after a hour or so. But they didn’t and they adored the whole night and slept outside on the hard ground, much to my dismay. I coped by dreaming of my bed.

    Day 101 

     I realise I take far too many pictures of food but this one was actually for #snaphappybritmums and it’s #betterwithcake prompt. I know it’s not cake but it had to do.

    Day 102 

    Here is Baby enjoying her first trip out on her sisters hand me down smart trike. I would have brought her, her own but E is much happier with her peddle bike which means I can save money and they both can enjoy the fun.

    So that’s my week, how was yours? 

    Nikki x 

    TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

    Parenthood is the best rollercoaster!

    Parenthood is a amazing, exhilarating, stressful and terrifying experience and one that I didn’t truly understand the gravity of whe I took on the job of being a mother at the young age of 17.  

     

    It is full of  high speeds decisions as you try to multi task nappy changes, bottle making and house cleaning, while trying to enjoy the thrills as you ride out the good times of cuddles, kisses and learning new things.

    Most parenthood journeys start out slowly as you enjoy the excitement of your pregnancy, new bump and eventually your baby. The joy and adrenaline builds  as you watch your children learn an grow, and they climb the milestone track reaching the peak as they learn to smile, crawl, sit, walk and eventually fall!

    It is then that the tears, scream and terror starts as you plunge down into the tantrums, the endless sleepless nights and the dreaded teenage years!  

     

    As you whizz along your daily lives, bending round the different curves and challenges as you try to figure out which parenting path to take. Knowing you will make mistake along the way as you try to figure out what is best you and your family.

    The fast paced loop de loops of life leaving your head spinning and you confused as youtry to figure out what your 2 year old is trying to say to you and when you fly through the water pit and your hand go up to protect yourselves from the onslaught of unknown bodily fluid the mini person will try to share with you on a regular basis. 

      

     

    There will be times of total elation and you feel an overwhelming rush of love and happiness as you hold your little bundle wrapped up in your arms and all you can think is how awesome you must be for being able to help create this truly estounding and beautiful human being in front of you.

    As the round the last few corners and you reach the end of the being a full time parent. You will think back over the wild ride your children have taken you on, the scary and stressful bits long forgotten and the happy memories remain. You will then look at your children and realise they made you into the best thing you could be a mother, a father, a parent!

    And that’s the scariest rollercoaster ride ever!  

    Nikki x

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    Super Busy Mum

    6 years today, we made it official! 

    6 years ago today my hubby and I made our relationship official. We had meet a few weeks before and had been seeing each other almost constantly. (When he wasn’t at work, I wasn’t at college or my boys were awake)

    When I first met my hubby I wasn’t looking for a relationship, I was happy being a single mum to my 2 boys. We had a great set up were T was in school and P went to nursery while I went back to college full time to redo my GCSE’s.  

     

    But all that changed when I went out for a night out with friends, walked into a bench and as my hubby say “presented him with an opportunity!” (Yes he was being vulgar!)

    It was after that night that we started seeing each other for a while. I really liked my him but I was t young to rush into anything because I had my boys to think about plus I had been hurt when pervious relationships ended badly.

     

     

    My hubby was great and really understanding about me not wanting to introduce him to T and P before I was ready and thought we had something together. He understood why he was only allowed to come see me once my boys were in bed or come and steal an hour to take me for lunch while I was college. 

    He used to be so romantic standing outside my college building with flowers or a single rose (notice how I said “use to”!). It was amazing and I quickly found myself falling head over heels for him, so much so that I blurted out “I love you!” after only being together a month. 

    It was round about then that introduced him to my children and I met his daughter. We all got on great at first and my boys loved finally having someone to wrestle and play fight with. 

    We got engaged after 18 months because I had told the hubby I wanted more and that meant we start trying for a baby or we got engaged. A few weeks later I found out I was pregnant with E and her conception date was around about the day we got engaged.  

     The hubby moved into my house while I was pregnant and when E was born we stopped being in a relationship and became a blended family.  

    We finally got married on the 8th March 2013 after being together nearly 4 years. (I was actually 11 weeks pregnant with baby when I got married). Our wedding was one of the happiest days of my life because finally I was marrying this man that I was so madly in love with. He was some one who loved me for me and had seen me at my worst and still wanted to be with me.

    When baby arrived our family an lives were complete.  

     Now I’m not saying that over the years everything has been easy or prefect because we have both had our low points where we have done or said the wrong things. But even when that happens we tend to try and work through our problems and figure something out. (I said tend because sometime it can take a few nights of hubby on sofa before we are able to forgive and talk about the problem) 

    But one thing I know is that over the last 6 years my hubby and I have changed (not always for the better) loads and I know that because of him I have learnt how to love, trust and let another person (other then my kids) in to my heart. Because of that night I found my soul mate and the person I want to spend the rest of my life. 

    So thank you for the last 6 years of (almost complete) happiness and I hope we have many, many more years to come.

    I love Hubby x 

     

    Nikki x

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    Arguments

    Unfortunately this week my word is arguments.

    T has hi thus peek this week and is giving us the full preteen preview of what our life is going to be like in a couple of years.
    It isn’t pretty 😦

    Everything we had done, said or tried has been twisted around and thrown back at us. Making us out as terrible pedants because he had fine dine thing wrong. It’s has just been at home though it’s also happened still school.
    Where him doing something simple and rather minor ended up turning in a big thing. Something he could of easily of prevented if he had just listened and done as he was told. Turned into him getting a double cooler because he ignored to his teacher, walked away ignoring her and then refused to give her his planner.

    He has hit rebellion city, population T!

    Add that to the fact that hubby and I haven’t been in the best with each other and have been having a few harsh words or disagreements with each other, as of late and my week has been basically full of arguments.

    Hubby and I have worked things out and both agreed we just needed some “US” time. So we arranged a date night and cook ourselves a nice 3 course meal with a bottle of wine. (we may have only been in our living room but the effort was there)
    We took the time yo clear the air and I believe harmony has been restored in that department.

    Now we just need to get through to the preteen with the chip on his shoulder.

    Wish me luck!

    Nikki ❤

    word of the week

    The Reading Residence

    The many mistakes by me

    Life is full of mistakes. (no body is prefect)
    Everyone has made mistakes at some point or another. Granted some people make mistakes more often then others.

    There are so many different types of mistakes that people can make like a bad hair style (13 bleach blonde and with a perm, Yikes!), that bad outfit (nearly the whole of my preteen years) or something as simple as not looking where you are going (and walking into a lamppost!)

    These are all silly simple mistake that most people have done at one point or another. But the thing you have to think about is if you hadn’t of done that mistake or taken that risk. Would you still be who you are today?

    There are also mistakes that at the time seem massive, huge or “let the world swallow me now” worthy but actually turn out to be the best thing to ever happen.

    For me that was the night I walking down road not watch where I was going and walked right into a bench! Yes a bench.
    I wanted to die at that moment of embarrassment because my friends and hubby (not at the time) were walking behind me.
    But if you ask my hubby when was the moment he noticed or fell in love with me. He will say when I walked into the bench. (with a few other innuendos)

    I know I have made my fair share in my life time and I’ll make loads more in the future. It’s just a part of life.

    But we should learn from the bad mistakes and enjoy the great!

    Nikki ❤

    The Prompt

    mumturnedmom

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    Routine

    My word for this week is routine.

    I know to many this word will seem really late as school started over a month ago. But September and start of October in this house is always a super busy time and trying to put a serious routine in place. Is like trying to collect water in a shiv. It’s not going to happen no matter how hard I try.

    So I have spent most of the last month running round like a headless chicken, forgetting nearly everything (including a friends son’s birthday, all plans I have made if they haven’t been put in my phone and my head most days).

    Also during this chaotic time of my kids birthdays, back to school and me slowly going loopy. I cleverly decided I needed more on my plate and got my boys to join the scouts. T is in Cubs and P is in beavers.

    IMG_3853.JPG

    This is as well as P’s football training and both the boys swimming lessons. Then add E’s and Baby’s play groups, early development groups and doctors appointments. I am busy constantly.

    IMG_3855.JPG(here is a screen shot of my calender, each dot is a day that normally has at least 2 appointments, play groups or after school activities)

    I have been in desperate need of a routine that I can stick to and Baby needs a nap routine that woks around all these appointments and group. So I can start getting stuff done.

    Luckily I have spent my time this week sorting out some of my routine and although I had a blip with it tonight I have done well.

    This is all going to be thrown if to chaos again soon though because today we got the call to say E’s date to start nursery has been move forward and is starting in November instead of January 🙂 which is great because she is so ready for school 🙂

    But I guess setting up a routine will be a lot easier when there is just one at home through day 🙂

    Nikki ❤

    word of the week

    The Reading Residence

    Difficulties in life

    Day 27: Have you had to overcome something difficult?

    This prompt had me thinking about the all the things I have found difficult in my life and that I had overcome or just learnt to deal with them.

    Growing up I found a lot difficult because I was teased, tormented and bullied throughout my childhood. Primary school was horrible because all my bullies lived in my area. Which meant I couldn’t escape them. I barely went out because if I did I would be followed and teased. They would throw stones and mud at me, at my house and I didn’t help matters by getting angry and screaming, shouting or rising to their bullying.

    When I went to upper school I thought it would be a fresh start and a new me.
    Unfortunately I ended up going to same school as my bullies and was even put in the same form class as most of them. Upper school was rough until I reach 14. By which point I had made a group of friends and I started going out away from my area. I would go iced skating on a weekend where I made even more friends.

    Just before I went 15 I started hanging out with and older group of people and going out to the pub and night clubs. (I would lied to my parents saying I was sleeping at friends or my sisters and would lied about my age to get in)
    I know now it wasn’t the cleverest thing to do but back then just knowing I had somewhere I could go to be me, have fun and meet new people really helped my confidence. (it also helped 15 year old me survive my school days. It was the fact of knowing I had been out clubbing all weekend while my bullies where drinking cider on cold park benches because they couldn’t get in to clubs and I could. Petty I know but I was 15)
    After high school things looked up. Obliviously I didn’t do very well in my exams due to partying nearly every weekend and not revising or working in class due to bullies.

    I got in at a local college doing art and finally managed to get away from my bullies. I was happy for a while. Until I ended up meeting T’s dad and fell pregnant at 16 and very early into relationship. He was only 17 at time and we had a very volatile relationship (not all his fault). We weren’t good for each other but stayed together throughout the pregnancy and afterwards. After birth I was suffering from postnatal depression and didn’t really want to be with him or him me but we stayed together for T and because I was petrified of being a single teenage mother. Mainly due to the stigma that is attached to being a single teenage mum, I already had people commenting on bus or giving me stares when I was shopping.
    Eventually we called it a day when T was 18months old and I was left alone, broken and with a baby to look after.

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    I hit an all time low. Fortunately I had a great friend who dragged me out of my depression and helped me learn to love myself, my life and figure out what I really wanted. (read about it here)

    After that life still had some difficult times like when I fell pregnant with P at age of 20, while I was still a single mum and I had to go through the pregnancy, birth and raising 2 children on my own.

    IMG_3198.JPG
    But when P was 4 months old a friends of mine asked me to go to a college open day with her and we both signed up to redo our GCSE’s.
    It was that day that my life started to turn around. I was finally doing something for me to better myself and I loved it.

    From then on my confidence grew and I realised I learning was fun and how much I had missed out on in school. Plus 5 months down the line I met the love of my life (my hubby). We have had our ups and down like any normal couple but he has made me the happiest I have ever been. With his help and support I finished college 3 years later with 5C grade or above GCSE’s, 2Alevels and 3Aslevels. I also left college heavily pregnant with our first daughter (not that we knew she was a girl at time).

    After that I spent my time being a mum and I planned to look for a job when E was a bit older. She had other ideas though because when she was 3 months old she was rushed into hospital with a high temperature which was caused by a water infection. It was after that she was sent for test and found to have vesicoureteral reflux and duplex kidney. (you can read about it here and here)
    Although it was easy to live with and just meant she was prone to water infections or UTI’s. As long as she took her antibiotics she would be fine unless she became resistant (which she did twice!).

    One of the most difficult times though was when she was 10 months old. We had gone to hospital because she had a high temperature again and we were sat talking to nurse, when E suddenly went ridged in my arms and started to seizure because her temp had spiked.

    IMG_0661.JPG
    At the time I had never felt so helpless and scared that I would lose one of my children. The hospital were great though and whipped her into a room and brought her temperature down.
    Or the first time she a was put to sleep for a cystoscope and screamed to whole time fighting against me, the mask and the doctors. She was strong for a 1 year old. Eventually she settled and went limp in my arms because she was asleep. I left the room with tears streaming down my face because of how upset she had become and because I couldn’t be with her.
    E has since had more tests another op and is doing well on her antibiotic.

    But for me personally the day Baby was born and the weeks after where the most difficult things I have overcome. (read about it here)
    You see after an easy pregnancy and semi easy birth (or as easy as birth can be) I was given the shocking news she had Down’s Syndrome.
    Because of me not knowing much about down’a syndrome I was scared of what it meant. I had never really been round anyone who had a Down’s Syndrome. I thought my life was over, that people would blame me because I had carried her for 9 months, that my husband would leave me saying it was all my fault. I was scared I would reject her and that I wouldn’t be able to fully love her because of her condition. I worried that I wasn’t a good enough mother to be able to cope with everything she would need because I didn’t feel like I was a strong enough person. I was scared for her and what kind of life she would have and this was all within an hour of just giving birth.
    I hadn’t even had a chance to properly clean myself up and I was already having to change and reprocessing all the dreams and hopes I had thought up while I was pregnant. (or so I thought at time before I researched and learnt more about her condition and realised DS isn’t anything to be scared of)
    My head was a mess of confusing and conflicting thoughts because when I looked at her I still saw my baby, I had created her, I wanted the very best for her and she was apart of me no matter what. She was mine!

    So as I held her in my arms and tried to make sense of it all plus get her to latch on for her first feed. During which she started getting very sleepy or so I thought. Within seconds I noticed she wasn’t sleeping but turning a grey colour and her lips were going blue. (the scariest moment of my life so far)
    My mother and husband ran to get doctors and she was whisked off to neonatal to be given oxygen support.

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    She deteriorated through the night and went from only needing a bit of support to be completely ventilated on nearly 95% oxygen. She stayed like that for 2 days and in hospital until she was 23 days old.
    I wasn’t able to stay with her in neonatal and was left in a room alone with only my ever confusing thoughts.

    The hardest thing I have ever had to do was leaving her in the hospital when I had to go home. That night walking into my house and seeing everything I had laid out for her was torture because at that point I didn’t know if she was even going to make it home. (you can read about it here)

    Eventually Baby got better, came home and quickly expelled all the fears I had after she was born. She showed us just how amazing she is.

    So here are some of my most difficult and scariest moments of my life. I know to some they might not seem that bad or difficult but they were to me and I have overcome them all.

    One thing I know is that I am glad for all the difficult times I have had in my life because they have taught me something about myself, shown me how strong I am or made me realise something I was missing.

    Did you learn anything from a difficult time in your life? Did you come out the other side a stronger person?

    Nikki ❤

    blog every day in August

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    What I look forward to.

    I am linking up with Emma at outnumbered as part of the #BEDAoutnumbered challenge.

    Day 23: What are you looking forward to?

    With this question I was wondering does it mean in the near future or dies it mean out of life?

    See in the near future I am excited about my kids birthdays. In less then 6 week T, E and A (my stepdaughter) are all having their birthday, but after that it is Baby’s 1st birthday 🙂

    I am super excited because I love the kids birthdays (even if my bank balance doesn’t)

    T and Baby have to big birthdays though because T will be 10 and baby 1 🙂
    It’s hard to believe I will have a 10 year old in a matter of weeks 😦 (that makes me feel old) .

    Out of life I am looking forward to the day my kids are grown up and I can go off avid see all the things I ever wanted too. I look forward to the day I am told I will be a grandma (hopefully not too soon!) and I look forward to spending it all with my loving husband.

    What do you look foward too?

    Nikki ❤

    blog every day in August

    My 10 favourite blogs

    I am linking up with Emma at outnumbered as part of the #BEDAoutnumbered challenge.

    Day 21: What are your 10 favourite blogs?

    I have many different blogs I read and link up too but my 10 favourite are:

    1. Life As Alice
    This is the blog of Alice. She is an amazing person who is a mum of 2. She has a teenage son, who has Down syndrome also. I love reading her blog seeing her pictures and just generally see what she gets up to. (not in a stalkery way) We became friends first through a DS support site and it was through reading her blog and her advice that I was able to create mine. I have never met Alice but I hope to one day and her amazing son. Her blog gives me hope, makes me smile and let’s me know that sometimes it’s ok to cry about DS. Her blog is worth a read I promise.

    2. mumturnedmom
    This blog is by Sara. She is a lovely woman from Scotland who has moved over to America with her family. She run a weekly linky called #theprompt I try to join as often as I can or when the creative juices are flowing. I’m not always able to come up with anything though but she still includes me in her list every week to ask me to join. I love reading all the different ways she is creative with her prompts. Writing poems, short stories or just telling is about her life. It in a great read.

    3. The Reading Residence This blog is run by Jocelyn and is a great read. She blogs about life, about family, reviews and competitions too. She also host pleat of Linkys such as word of the week which I try to join every Friday and bring back paper I love reading what she has done over the week on a Friday and I try my best to join in to her linky.

    4. PODcast
    This is a blog run by Charly. She is a amazing a other who has an great talent for taking photographs. She runs and joins a number of Linkys join so I can’t help but come across her amazing blog. It’s differently worth a look.

    5. Onedad3girls
    This is a blog run by Darren. He is a father of girls and loves taking photos. He has run a linky #mysundayphoto that I join religiously every week and I love looking at his photos on a Sunday and reading his blog posts if I have time.

    6. Zena’s suitcase is a blog on a mother who has an older childer plus 2 younger children close to E and Baby’s age. She hold some Linkys that I have joined in the past but have be absent from recently 😦 (I should really aim to finish the draft I have been typing for this linky) I live reading her post and because I know that we go through very similar things. She has helped me a lot in past too answering my nearly endless questions about blogging and adding me to groups on Facebook.

    7. Downs Side Up
    This is a blog run by Hayley. She is a fellow DS mummy and I have only tweeted her a few time but I love reading her informative posts about life with a child with DS. I have also watch her and her daughter on TV join her linky for #TeamT21 when I type a post that involves DS or my daughter.
    Her advice and post gave always help be through times of uncertainty.

    8. The Oliver’s Madhouse
    Is a blog run by Jaime, she is a mother how write review and blogs about parenting. I love see all the thing she gets up to or reviews with her family and have used some of her views when I have been looking at or pick something out to buy. Great blog!

    9. brummymummyof2this blog is run by Emma or Em. I love reading about her adventures with her kids and the thing did gets up to. But the thing I loved the most is her sarcasm and wit. Most of her post have me Laughing Out Loud and always manage to out a smile on my face. Trust me she us a blogger you don’t want to miss out reading.

    10. internetburnette I have this linky #BEDAoutnumbered to thank for this one. Because without this linky I probably wouldn’t of found this blog but I have really enjoyed reading about her life abc getting to know some more about her. So much so I have started following her blog.

    So there you go my 10 favourite blogs.

    What are yours?

    Nikki ❤

    blog every day in August