me and mine {january}

Daddy is loving
* having time with the wifey in Somerset.
* listening to the Royal Blood album.
* eating mini eggs by the bag load.
* how excited the kids got at the sight of some snow.
* playing Call of Duty multiplayer.

Mummy is loving
* watching The Vampire Diaries and Scandal.
* having an amazing night away courtesy of i-escape.
* reading The Mortal Instruments series.
* doing yoga.
* going on weekly adventures.

The beautiful boy is loving
* telling everyone that it's going to be his birthday soon.
* having 'proper big boy reading books' from preschool.
* dipping tortilla chips in Mummy's speciality mexican soup. 
* playing Disney Jr Play on the iPad.
* visiting the castle in Colchester.

The beautiful girl is loving
* singing and dancing to Shake It Off by Taylor Swift and Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.
* her new big girl bed.
* eating "chocat eggs".
* wearing her wooly hat because it "really windy".
* playing hide-and-seek under her towel after bath time.


him and her {week five}

he loves playing hide-and-seek but always giggles when he's hiding, 
is obsessed with playing i-spy on car journeys,
and is super proud of himself that he has a big boy reading book from preschool now.

she has had her first ever haircut,
has a hilarious habit of running into a room and loudly announcing "ta-daaaa",
and loves spotting and naming numbers wherever she goes.

castle park {52 adventures}

We are all loving this 52 adventures challenge so much. I think you can tell pretty early on with these sort of things whether you'll sink or swim... and I'm amazed at how fast talking about our adventures has just become a part of our family dialogue. Rich, who tries to keep out of all things blog, is coming up with adventure ideas and excited about getting involved with planning our year of fun. And our beautiful boy will ask each weekend what adventure we are going to go on this week. We've always been a family that enjoys time spent together (show me a family that doesn't) but really focusing on making fun memories together every single week seems to be making us even closer, which I love.


me and mine in 2015

It seems to crazy to me that two years ago I set myself the new years resolution to take a monthly family photo during 2013, and that here we are twenty-four photos later, about to embark on a third year of documenting our family each month with a family portrait.

I can put my hand on my heart and say that it is the best little challenge I have ever set myself, and I really don't think I could give it up now even if I wanted to. There is something so addictive about collecting photos of your family. Seeing how you each changed over time, marking those everyday subtleties of what makes you a family. Taking photos for Me and Mine isn't always easy; remotes don't work, people move and they end up out of focus, husbands complain, children get bored, and sometimes the weather just won't play along... but they are always, ALWAY worth that effort when you have yet another family photo to look back on.


him and her {week four}

he loves pretending to be a baby when he's wrapped in a towel after bath time,
keeps offering to hold his little sister's hand so they can dance together,
and seems to be permanently hungry at the moment for the first time in his life.

she sings an amazing mash-up of 'Dingle Dangle Scarecrow' and 'Miss Polly Had A Dolly',
thinks that every meal should finish with a mini Cadbury's Creme Egg,
and has just about the cheekiest face I think I've ever seen.

the swedish interiors boutique {52 adventures}

Adventures, and life in general really, is all in the way you look at things. A trip to the shop might not seem like an adventure to many, but everything is an adventure when you are 3 and 2, and to be honest, a little trip to my favourite swedish interiors boutique is always an adventure in my mind. And Rich wanted me to call this post "the great meatball adventure" so clearly IKEA really does have something for everyone. I did stop short of calling the adventure that... mainly because we were too busy eating said meatballs to remember to take photos of that part of the adventure. 


a little piece of heaven

Time alone as a couple becomes really priceless when you have children. Between dealing with the wants and needs of two young children, work commitments and the general chaos of life; Rich and I have to really grab any opportunity for some valuable "us time" with both hands. Last year we celebrated my 30th birthday and our fifth wedding anniversary with two lovely nights away and having never really been 'mini-breakers' before that, we are now total converts to the beauty of a night away from reality just remembering what came before the children... us.


him and her {week three}

he is absolutely blowing us away with his reading, 
would have purple beans (chilli) for dinner every night if he could, 
and asks to go to "Disneyland Palace" every time he sees the advert... little does he know!

she seems so tall and grown up lately,
has a wild spirit and strong sense of herself which I absolutely love, 
and she sings... oh my gosh does she sing... all. the. time.

siblings {january}

These two simply adored all the time they got to play together over Christmas. Preschool has been good for us as a family, giving the beautiful boy some independence, giving the beautiful girl some more mummy time; and while my worries about it ruining their close friendship proved to be unfounded, it sure is nice to get a break from the routine and go back to them enjoying all their time together again.

And as we get back into the January grind of life, they continue to want to do everything together and it just warms my heart. He will wait to play with specific toys when she wakes up from her nap so they can play together. She wants him to have everything that she has, so always makes a point of asking for two biscuits and two lunches to make sure he has one too.

Their age gap seems to get smaller by the day, with her exploding language and understanding and they really do play as equals now. I expected to feel a little left out as they began to play more independently of me, but I love it. They really do have something which despite my giving it to them, is theirs and theirs alone. Giving my kids a sibling was the most amazing gift, and I am so proud that they treasure it so much. 


windy walk {52 adventures}

We aren't a family to be kept indoors by the winter months. During the summer months it feels like we live outdoors, but in colder times of year we still try to get outside whenever we can... even if those moments tend to be a little more brief.


siblings in 2015

Last year, seeing all the beautiful sibling moments linked up with Siblings each month was a real highlight of mine. A warm and fuzzy kind of highlight, full of the love and the friendship of siblings, but also the push and pull that relationship so often entails. It didn't seem to matter what the gender or age gap or age of the children, whether they were snaps taken on a phone camera, or beautiful portraits taken with a fancy DSLR; all the photos seem to show the same thing... what a beautiful and precious relationship it is to have.

I, for one, can't wait to get stuck into another year of monthly photos of my two together. Throughout 2014 their relationship really blossomed and grew into something that at times manages to take my breath away, and documenting that is so close to my heart... I want them to have these memories to look back at and laugh over together as they grow older.

This year to make it easier to remember to take your photos and to also help bring a real sense of community, we are launching a Siblings community page on Facebook. We'll be sharing photos and inspiration, reminding you when the 15th is fast approaching (oh yes and we're moving to the 15th of each month this year by the way), and we'd love you to be a part of it. So like the page and be sure to share your photos and your links each month. And if you aren't a blogger then you can join in at the Facebook page too, by sharing your favourite sibling photos on the page's wall and taking part each month without the need for a blog.

And if you're taking part on twitter or instagram then be sure to use #thesiblingsproject so that we can see all your photos there too.


him and her {week two}

he is utterly thrilled to be back at preschool with his friends,
seems to be eating enough to feed an army at the moment,
and likes excitedly telling us that it will be his birthday soon.

she keeps singing rousing renditions of 'Jingle Bells' and 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas',
absolutely loves saying "I no like it",
and was over the moon to be back at her baby ballet class after the holidays.

{captured memories} the original me and mine

Family photos mean the absolute world to me. And I'm sure that that is, in part, because I come from a bit of a camera mad family. We take a lot of photos, we have always taken a lot of photos. And I will forever be grateful that so many of my childhood memories are preserved because my mum and dad always thought to get the camera out. Just the other week we went out for the day and took 5 cameras with us, not including phone cameras. If that isn't a family commitment to capturing memories then I really don't know what is.

Some of my favourite old photos are ones of the four of us together through the years... and I'm sure it's no coincidence that I've become obsessed with taking photos of my own little foursome, knowing how many lovely memories are held in photos of my original foursome; my original me and mine.

This photo was taken on New Years Eve/Day of 2008/2009. We had gone away to Center Parcs to celebrate and we had such a fun time. 2008 was my last full year as a Bennett, before getting married in 2009, so I think it's really lovely that we thought to capture this photo of our little gang.

I have no idea why my dad is wearing my mum's hat... I think we should probably blame the alcohol that had been consumed in the evening before we headed out to watch the fireworks on the beach at midnight. I have great memories of what a fun night it was. All us mad Bennetts dancing dancing on the sand, kissing my fiancĂ© at midnight and screaming "We're getting married this year!!!", my brother Matt and I swigging champagne from the bottle and shouting "HAPPY NEW YEAR" with random American accents. 

If my kids have half the amazing memories captured through photos that I do, then I'll consider myself to have done a good job.

fresh air {52 adventures}

Every year, between Christmas and New Year, there is this strange piece of time, where you are calming down after the excitement of one celebration and getting ready for the next. No work or preschool or clubs to dictate our time, the children have new toys to entertain them, we lose track of the days and just enjoy time together. And every year it always ends up being my favourite part of the whole festive season. A time with no commitments apart from fun and family; which lets be honest are the best kind of commitments around.


{little christmas moments} the big festive build up

Christmas is a magical time, I don't think anyone would argue that point (at least not in my ear shot) but it isn't just about the one day on December 25th. The magic of it builds throughout December, as the world becomes seemingly overrun with festivities, and the calendar fills up with Christmas activities and days out.

This year the build up to Christmas was completely amazing for us. With a son who totally 'got it' this year, and a daughter who was happy to go along with the excitement, we were always going to be set for a good one. But it surpassed my expectations in every way. It was complete and utter magic. For them... and for us. As we got the pleasure of witnessing it all and seeing it through their eyes, and as we helped to create the best Christmas ever, both for the children and for us too.

We had so many lovely moments during December; from the first nativity to a magical time travelling bus tour, from making peppermint bark to enjoying hot chocolates by the tree. And we had a beautiful evening at Somerset House and a fun-filled festive day at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland too.

I spent December recording all the tiny moments which make the build up to Christmas so special, to store up all the memories of the magic of Christmas with little ones. And it seemed a shame not to put them all together and share our Christmas build up with you too.

And if you pop back later in the week then you'll get the second part of the video, because I stopped short on this one just as it was getting to the good part, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

him and her {week one}

he is just in such a charming stage at the moment,
absolutely adored his ride on the train to London,
and is obsessed with playing his new games.

she has learnt how to do a proper high-pitched scream,
which she enjoys using when things aren't quite going her way,
and is completely in love with all the 'little toys' she got for Christmas.

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