Friday Focus 12/05/17 – Celebration time!

There’s been a couple of reasons for celebration this week. The first was my birthday. I always like to try and celebrate it with my twin sister on the weekend nearest to our birthday. We had a lovely time last Saturday visiting family and enjoying a birthday barbecue at Auntie Fizz’s house.


Celebration - this week's word of the week. A cartoon of the word "celebration" with doodles of a graduation cap, wine glasses and a birthday candle

Hubby took the girls shopping on Sunday to choose my birthday present. Sophie didn’t quite manage to keep their visit to the Build a Bear shop a secret from me but the actual details of the toy they made did remain a surprise. I love the rainbow-coloured cat they choose and named “Heartsie” and I love hearing my girls’ rendition of Happy Birthday every time her foot is pressed. We finished off my birthday celebrations on Tuesday with a trip to a local all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. Unlimited crispy duck pancakes – mmmm….!



On Wednesday, I had my graduation for the HR course I completed last year. It was lovely to have an evening out with hubby and celebrate my achievement.


Me wearing cap and gown at my CIPD graduation ceremony
There’s a couple of things to celebrate on the blogging front too. My Tots100 ranking this month is the highest it has ever been. It was 53 when the rankings first came out although has dropped down to 62 after the usual shuffles in rankings that happen in the first few days. As well as achieving my highest ever Tots100 ranking, I’ve also been selected as one of the official Chessington Blogger Ambassadors for 2017 which I’m thrilled about. We’re looking forward to enjoying some days out at Chessington and sharing our adventures there.


Chessington Blogger Ambassador 2017 badge


Things I have loved this week:

  • ​Listening to Jessica reading and seeing how much more confident she is becoming.


  • Sophie doing little dance shows for us.


  • Watching Jessica playing schools with her cousin’s Peppa Pig figures and giving a lesson on “bigger and smaller”



Sophie holding her egg box flower garden and grinning


  • The girls singing Happy Birthday to me repeatedly on my birthday.



  • Enjoying a walk with Sophie in Langley Park and seeing all the pretty rhododendrons in bloom.


A pink rhododendron in bloom


  • Seeing Jessica in her school summer dress.



The Reading Residence


  1. May 12, 2017 / 8:29 am

    Congratulations on your graduation Louise and a very happy belated birthday. I’m not surprised your blog is going from strength to strength as your posts are always so uplifting and positive. I love how proud Sophie looks in that photo. Have a lovely weekend. #WotW

    • Louise
      May 12, 2017 / 9:54 am

      Thank you Angela for such a lovely comment. Hope you have a good weekend too 🙂

  2. May 12, 2017 / 10:10 am

    Wow, what a week! Happy Belated Birthday, how lovely your girls made you a bear. Well done on your graduation, isn’t it a fantastic experience. I was 34 when I graduated. I love the photo with Sophie and her flowers x And congratulations on your Tots ranking and Chessington ambassadorship. Good luck in the Bibs x

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 8:43 pm

      Thank you Anne. It was quite a week – so many lovely things to celebrate! 🙂

  3. May 12, 2017 / 10:19 am

    Congratulations on graduation and a late Happy Birthday – wonderful times for you.

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 8:44 pm

      Thank you Carol 🙂

  4. May 12, 2017 / 10:58 am

    What a wonderful week of celebrations! Happy belated birthday to you, sounds like you had a great time. My daughter’s good at keeping secrets and my son is just oblivious to what is bought! Congrats on your graduation and what a fab blogging week, too! So pleased for you, great week x Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 8:44 pm

      Thank you Jocelyn – it was such a lovely week 🙂

  5. May 12, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    What a great week. Well done in your course and we love chessington – we’re Merlin pass holders and go there pretty often. Jane love he’s the Gruffalo!

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 8:45 pm

      Thank you – my girls love the Gruffalo too. We’re looking forward to lots of lovely days out at Chessington and I’m sure the girls will be keen to go on the Gruffalo ride again! 🙂

  6. May 12, 2017 / 12:50 pm

    Ohh! Happy Birthday!
    What a fantastic week you have had. So many wonderful things going on. Congrats on the Tots score and the Chessington ambassadorship. #WotW

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 8:45 pm

      Thank you so much Kim. It was such a lovely week 🙂

  7. May 12, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    What am amazing week for you! Well done on graduating, your tots score and becoming a Chessington ambassador. Next week will have to work hard to beat this!! xx ‘wotw

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 8:46 pm

      Thank you Louisa. Not sure this week will top that but so far it’s been another good one! 🙂

  8. May 12, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    Oh! Congratulations for everything. Your smile in your graduation photo says it all. Well done on your score and ambassador role. How exciting. I can just imagine Sophie being unable to keep the birthday secret. They are priceless at that age were secrets are concerned. #wotw

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      Thank you Cheryl. It was such a lovely week. Sophie was just bursting to tell me what they bought – it was so sweet even if it did mean it wasn’t such a surprise! 🙂

  9. May 13, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    Ah well done you! I love the picture of Sophie with teh garden egg boxes. Must try that with my daughter. I’m sure she’d love it! Oh and happy birthday of course! #wotw

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Thank you Carol. The egg box gardens is such a lovely craft – both the girls loved doing it 🙂

  10. May 14, 2017 / 9:14 am

    Happy belated Birthday. A Chinese meal sounds delicious. Well done on graduating and all the things you’ve accomplished. #WotW

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 9:34 pm

      Thank you Helena. It was a lovely week 🙂

  11. May 14, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    Happy birthday and congratulations on your graduation. I hope you enjoy your days at Chessington too #WotW

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      Thank you Jane, we’re looking forward to them 🙂

  12. May 15, 2017 / 4:30 am

    Hi Louise, it sounds like you know how to celebrate your birthday! A barbeque and a night out to a Chinese buffet. I would happily do the both too. Your Birthday Bear sounds lovely and something you can keep forever….. Congratulations on passing your course and for improving your ranking.

    You’ve had plenty of other things to love too this week. I love that photo of Jessica. She is so cute.


    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 9:43 pm

      Thank you so much Debbie. It was such a lovely week 🙂

    • Louise
      May 15, 2017 / 9:44 pm

      Thank you so much Merlinda 🙂

  13. mummy here and there
    May 17, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    Lovely to read all the positives and well done on graduation X #wotw

    • Louise
      May 29, 2017 / 7:15 am

      Thank you so much 🙂

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