party of five

The other day, when I posted Little M’s birthday interview on twitter with the title Five, this was the response I got from Gemma:

Well funny you should mention that Gemma…

No, I am NOT pregnant.

I repeat, we are NOT having another baby.

At least not a human one.

Mum always said that the time when you would naturally be having another baby is a dangerous time. When my brother was about three, she came home with a kitten, much to my dad’s disgust. I have wanted a puppy for a while, and I think Mr TOPP was kind of worried that he would come home from Italy to find one already moved in.

There was no puppy, but he has agreed that there can be.


In August we will be welcoming home our fur baby, and thereby becoming a party of five.


We are currently in negotiations about his name. I have the baby dictionary out, and suggestions are being made left right and centre.




survival of the ginnest – a review

I’ve never been much of a reader. I mean, I enjoy reading, it just takes me a long time to find a book I really want to read. In a bid to get myself to read more, I bought myself a kindle last year. One of the first books I downloaded was by my good twitter friend and online drinking buddy, Aimee Horton.


Here’s the blurb:

Meet Dottie Harris. Dottie spent her late 20s working her way up the career ladder, but things are about to change. In this modern-day diary, Dottie, after announcing her pregnancy, turns to social networking to build a new social life. She quickly begins to rely on it—along with gin—as a way to reach out and remind herself of the funny side of the frustrations of motherhood.

I recognised Dottie instantly. The sleepless nights, the baby sick, the trying-to-deal-with-small-children-while-slightly-hungover. The book is written entirely in Facebook status updates, which at first I thought might get annoying. But they don’t. In fact they make the book very quick, easy and fun to read. I laughed out loud, I tutted, I nodded as I read. I’m pretty certain I have posted at least 75% of Dotties’s statuses in not so many words over the years.

If you are looking for a quick, fun read then I can highly recommend this debut novella from Aimee.

And exciting news people! Survival of the Ginnest has just been published by Velvet Morning Press and you can now buy it in actual book form from . Whoop! Head over here to purchase your very own copy. You can find out more about Aimee, and up-coming Dottie news here.

Disclaimer: Aimee sent me a free copy of Survival of The Ginnest to read for the purposes of this review. I already had it, but I thought you should know that…



Today our littlest M is 5.


How on earth did that happen?

As is now traditional in the TOPP house, my baby big girl and I sat down last night for a chat…

Me: Hello Little M.

Little M: *Looks suspiciously* Um, hi Mum.

Me: How old are you today?

Little M: Five.

Me: No… How old are you today?

Little M:  Five.

Me: Today?

Little M: FOUR!

Me: Yes, you’re four. How old will you be tomorrow?

Little M: Five.

Me: What’s been the best thing about being four?

Little M: Going to school.

Me: Going to school? Do you love school?

Little M: Yeah.

Me: What’s your favourite thing at school?

Little M: Hmmmm… Painting.

Me: And what have you learned to do while you’re at school?

Little M: Letters.

Me: Anything else?

Little M: Work.

Me: What’s your favourite colour?

Little M: Pink.

Me: What’s your favourite number?

Little M: Ten.

Me: Why ten?

Little M: Because I just do.

Me: Who loves you.

Little M: Nathaniel.

Me: Nathaniel?!!!!

Little M: *Gasps* *Puts hands to mouth*  Um yeah.

Me: Who’s Nathaniel?

Little M: He’s in my class.

Me: Is he your boyfriend?

Little M: Yeah. And he’s going to marry me.

Me: Is he? I did not know that. That’s pretty exciting news. Do you think you should have invited him to your party if you’re going to get married?

Little M: *shrugs*

Me: Does anyone else love you?

Little M: No.

Me: What? Nobody else in the whole world?

Little M: No.

Me: Well who do you love?

Little M: You.

Me: And do you not think that I might love you?

Little M: *nods*

Me: And does anybody else love you? Daddy? Big M?

Little M: *blinks*

Me: So who else do you love?

Little M: My cousins E and J.

Me: Dad?

Little M: Yeah.

Me: Big M?

Little M: Nope.

Me: Of course you do. What’s your favourite food?

Little M: Ummmm… potato.

Me: Any particular type of potato?

Little M: Boiled.

Me: Boiled potato is your favourite food in all the world?! What do you love about Daddy?

Little M: He’s good at making my birthday cake.

Me: You hope… What do you love about Mummy?

Little M: *thinks* *thinks some more* You’re nice to me.

Me: What do you love about Big M?

Little M: She plays with me.

Me: And what do you love about you?

Little M: Um… Playing with my friends.

Me: What are you going to have for your birthday tea?

Little M: Green pasta. Maybe with tuna and sweetcorn.

Me: And runny grobbles for pudding?

Little M: NO! Birthday cake.

Me: What kind of cake are you having?

Little M: A fire engine.

Me: Yum. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Little M: A teacher. But a teaching teacher, not a music teacher.

Me: Oh. Ok. Are you looking forward to being a grown up?

Little M: Yeah.

Me: Do you think you could stay little a little bit longer?

Little M: No.

Me: Oh.


Happy of happiest birthdays my little big girl. You’ll always be my baby, no matter how grown up you get.


Previously on Little M’s birthday…






quotes of the week

Me: It’s nearly time for us to go home to bed.

J (my nephew): It’s not even dark yet.

Me: That is true, the sun is still up but it’s time for me to take the Ms back to go to bed.

J: But it’s not even dark blue!


4.45am, Bank Holiday Monday

Little M: Mum, is it time to put the TV on yet?

Me: No.


5.23am, Bank Holiday Monday

Little M: Mum, is it time to put the TV on now?

Me: NO!


6.02am, Bank Holiday Monday

Little M: Mum, is it time to put the TV on now?

Me: NO! And if you ask me again there will be no TV all day.


7.04am, Bank Holiday Monday

Little M: *whispers* Big M! You ask Mummy if we can watch TV yet.

quotes of the week


Little M: Guess what? Nathaniel does this *puts hand under armpit and pumps other arm* and it makes FARTING noises!!!!!

Big M: What?!! How? *tries it*

Both Ms try vigourously with no success.

Big M: Can you do it mummy?

Me: No. And it’s one of my big life regrets. I think daddy can do it though.  You’ll have to ask him how to do it when he comes home.


My brother phones for a chat.

Me: So, I have a very important question from the Ms Uncle T.

Uncle T: Ok, shoot.

Me: Can you make farting noises with your armpit?

Uncle T: I don’t know. Let me try. Ummm…. No.

Me: Oh. *sigh* Never mind. We’ll just have to wait for Daddy to come home.

Uncle T: I am SO glad you’re getting some adult company this weekend.




made by me in april

This month has been a bit quiet on the making front. With Mr TOPP being away, life is suddenly an awful lot busier, and by the time I have done all my jobs and finished my work for the evening I am ready for my bed.

All together…


Still, I have been making steady progress on a blanket I decided to make. I have got some cheap wool from eBay and am making this. I need 192 squares. I have 3 colours which gives me 8 colour combinations, so by my reckoning I need 24 of each combination.



So far I have 29 in total. I’m hoping to be done by winter…

In other news, my sewing machine has been out again, and I made me a dress.

It was great to be sewing again, and now work is settling down a bit I am hoping to be doing more.

In fact, it being May tomorrow, I have been thinking about Me Made May. Last year I pledged to wear one thing a week that I had made myself. I was hoping to be able to pledge a whole lot more than that this year. But sadly not.

Instead, my Me Made May pledge for 2015 is to wear at least one item I have made myself each week, AND to make myself at least two more items of clothing by the end of May.

I have plenty of fabric just sitting waiting to be made into something beautiful. So hopefully in a month’s time I will have added to my wardrobe.

What did you make in April? Have you any must-make patterns that I should know about as I attempt to extend my self made wardrobe? I’d love to know!




tiddlyompompom made: moneta from colette patterns

Recently I seem to have lost my sewing mojo. I haven’t had the machine out of it’s bag since my superhero performance back in November.

My making time has been taken up with my new found love crochet, and I seem to have forgotten the beatuiful stash of fabric I have tucked away in my bedroom.

just look at all that pretty

just look at all that pretty

For my birthday back in March, Mr TOPP and the Ms gave me a course at Guthrie and Ghani in Birmingham. Because he knew he’d be away when the course was on, he’d even arranged for a friend to have the Ms for the day while I went. He’s a keeper :)

Anyhoo, the course was yesterday, which was perfect timing after the week we’ve had.

We got the choice of a skirt or a dress to make. Using the overlocker.


I haven’t got an overlocker, and have always been a little bit scared of them.

I chose to make the dress (Moneta from Colette Patterns). Because I am totally disorganised busy I had not managed to get any fabric before the day. Luckily, Guthrie and Ghani has a fine range! I had a few to choose from, but ended up with a pretty floral number.

By the end of the day I had an almost finished dress and a new found love of the overlocker. In fact, I am now almost positive that I need one in my life.

Totally inspired, I have dusted off the sewing machine today and finished off the armholes so that I now have a completely finished dress ready to wear.


introducing my glamorous assistant, Rita


The moneta is a lovely pattern, and one I will definitely be making again. For now, though, I fully intend to raid my stash and see what I feel like making next.

I forgot how much I love sewing.

It’s good to be back.




number crunching

Black eyes sustained by M’s: 1

Bump forms received from school: 1 (see above)

Shelving units to fall off the wall: 1

M’s underneath falling shelf unit: 1

Broken limbs: 0

Things I needed to achieve this week at work: 7,843

Things I actually achieved this week at work: 4

Number of times I cried: 3

Swear words muttered under breath: 1,673,289

Swear words said out loud in boss’s office: 5

Bottles of wine drunk: 2