My Instagram in 2016

You may have seen recently on Instagram lots of people posting their ‘2016 Best Nine.’ It is calculated by a website using your username taking the most ‘liked’ pictures into account. Last year was the first year I did the ‘Best Nine’. I instantly loved the idea I knew I would be doing it again next year.

So first up: Here are my 2015 Best Nine.


I still love all of these photos.  But I knew I wanted to post more in 2016.  I wanted to average one a post a day, which as you can see I achieved.

Here are my 2016 Best Nine.


I like all of these photos, of course I do but they are all from the last month roughly. Since this website takes into account your most ‘liked’ pictures I can at least see that my account has obviously continued to grow month on month. This is positive for me to see but I don’t think these are my 2016 Best Nine so I thought I would pick Nine of my own that are my ‘Best’ regardless of likes and comments. Then I realised that I couldn’t stick to just nine because some of my baking pictured are my favourite so I am splitting this into two categories: Family and Food. I will do the Family pictures in this post and the Food pictures will follow later in the week.

Family Best Nine

This is one of the least ‘flattering’ photos I have of Perky but her whole face exudes happiness.  I absolutely love it!

This was taken at RHS Wisley which is one of ur favourite places to go.  Pinky thought this little gazebo looked like a witches house so she had to go in and have a look.

How could I not include with one… Her expression makes me laugh every time! As does the caption.  She used to ask some crazy stuff!

I love this of Perky and Daddy.  They had just gone down a huge slide together, her big sister was too much of a wimp to have a go but Perky kept asking for more!

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Too cool for school 😎 #mysundayphoto

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The caption says it all… Look at that attitude.

This was taken on our summer holiday in Menorca.  This had to make my top 9 as it includes all of us, we all look happy (because we were) and we are all looking at the camera.  All parents can relate to how hard it is to get this shot!

This really does just sum them both up!

This had to be included.  Pinky really began to find a passion in photography this summer, I basically lost my camera.  Her favourite things to capture were flowers and as you can see here things like height difference were not going to get in her way.

This is a recent post but I love it.  Over the past (nearly) two years these two have become closer by the day.  Yes, they bicker and fight, what can feel like all of the time, but they are also each others comfort.  They turn to each other for reassurance.  They give each other their biggest smiles and no matter what has happened that day they always give each other a good night kiss and cuddle.  So when I managed to capture them walking hand in hand chatting away, how could I not share it?

I have really enjoyed writing this and going through my Instagram to choose my favourite photos.  It was unbelievably hard to pick just nine.  I am definitely going to do this again next year (but I may have to pick a few more than nine).

Festive Pine Cones

In a bizarre fit of insanity I thought it would be a good idea to take the girls hunting for pine cones so we could decorate them. I am not very craftsy. I cannot be bothered with the clear up or the mess, so I surprised myself when the suggestion passed my lips… Of course there was no going back on it by this point!

There aren’t any pine trees that close to our house so I figured I would pair it up with an afternoons walk in the woods which always goes down well with the girls. Our local woodland is made up mostly of pine trees so the floor was completely littered with cones. The girls had a bag each to fill with pine cones and they loved picking the best ones they could find.

It had been raining for the couple of days before our little hunt so the cones were completely soaked (plus it is a popular dog walking area so I dread to think what else was on some of them). Once back home I washed them as thoroughly as I could and then put them on foil lined baking trays ready for the oven. I baked them for what seemed like hours (it was probably only an hour) at 150oC. Slowly but surely they dried out and opened up nicely.

I set the table up ready for decorating them… Note to self: Do not buy ‘The Sun’ newspaper for crafts. It might be cheap but it is full of scantily clad women… Strategic positioning of each page got a little tedious!


We painted each with some glue and then rolled them in glitter. It was actually a lot of fun. I then remembered I had some metallic spray paint left over from a little decorating project earlier in the year. I saved some cones for myself and then sprayed them bronze. These actually worked really well and are my favourite ones.

Despite my initial reservations I am really pleased with how they turned out.

The Pramshed
3 Little Buttons

The Night Before Christmas by Rose Collins: A Review

The Night Before Christmas is one of my all time favourite Christmas stories. Or poem to be exact. I actually bought the book for the girls last year but to be honest they weren’t as keen on it as I am. They do both love books, turning the pages, looking at the pictures, but being the modern day children that they are if it can be on a tablet or computer screen they are much more engaging! Plus Perky has developed a nasty habit of drawing in the books…. I’m sure she does it just to wind me up!

This e-book version has changed the girls reluctance to listen to the story. Each page is bright and colourful. There are only a couple of lines on each page so the girls don’t need to maintain their attention for too long before we move on. Having said that there is so much to see on each page it can take some serious persuasion to let me move on with the story.

We particularly love that the family are bears!



I’m so pleased I can finally share my love for this book with the girls and not have its words fall on deaf ears.  This is a remake written by Rose Collins, based on the original by Clement C. Moore.  Many of the words and phrases are more understandable by today’s language trends.  I have found this particularly useful in getting the girls to engage in the book.

All in all this is a brilliant e-book. It’s captivating and colourful, the girls can swipe through the pages at their own leisure and not rip them in the process…. or draw on them!

The e-book is available on:

Amazon Kindle

Apple iBooks


Google Play


Disclaimer: We were given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.