Where are you from?

As a young girl, every morning I woke up to most intense, delicious, possibly slightly hypnotising smell of chocolate. As soon as you opened your eyes it hit you, those first few seconds of waking up weren’t clouded by the normal morning thoughts of what did that dream mean? I’m hungry, or even the need to go to the loo – nope it was just pure heavenly chocolate. This is my excuse for being the chocoholic that I am now… And I’m sticking to it!

Why on earth did she wake up to the smell of chocolate every morning you may be wondering? Well, this is one of the many delights of being from York and living in very close proximity to the old Rowntrees Chocolate Factory. Some mornings you may have even woken up to the strange smell of a Minty Aero! I know… Seems totally random, but honestly, it was heaven! I’d give anything to have just one of those mornings again.

Beautiful York

I’ll admit, I’m writing this blog post after reminiscing about my childhood from reading a very touching, brave post from ‘A Girl Called Jack’. She really is talented, her recipes are so yummy – you’ll find her blog addictive! If like me it will give you some inspiration, and you’ll end up writing a total spontaneous post yourself… I hope so!

Something from Jack’s post brought back memories for me and whilst I was initially hesitant in sharing a few childhood flashbacks, something so personal on a cake based blog I reminded myself I’ve done it before (if you read regularly you’ll know what I mean) and there’s no harm in doing it again. I realised that some of my favourite bloggers are the ones who talk about their real lives, add some personality, the ones who are genuine and mix it all up a little.

So I’ll carry on…

It seems so long ago now that I was knocking on my best friend’s door (luckily still a very good friend now too) asking her if she was coming out to ‘lark’! Things were so simple back then! We didn’t have much, but we didn’t need it! Thinking back, we were probably the most easily amused kids around! Jo and I lived down the same street, a street I think both of us are not afraid to admit we didn’t really care about that much at all! We didn’t like any of other kids that much (and they knew it) it was just us – oh and maybe our little sisters if they were lucky and we let them join in! I’m having to really restrain myself talking about the things we got up to as there are some hilarious stories, but I think I should probably save them for another time! I may have to get Jo’s permission for a couple too… 😉

Moving on, and I think what got me started on this post was thinking about my own Mum. She was a young mum when she had me and and at the time of being a child you never quite realise how tough it is for the parents do you? Until you have children yourself and you mature a little more, you just don’t get it! I don’t think my Mum will mind me sharing this, but she was a single mum and times were sometimes really tough! Even though she tried to hide it from us I remember knowing she’d been crying from the stress! Putting the difficulties aside my little sister, and two brothers were always well fed, warm and clean. That’s all that should matter right? I think so.

My mum is a hard worker and when we got a little older she was straight back out there earning so she could treat us more, take us out for the day. I think I totally take my current life for granted sometimes and I wish, actually I hope that my own son realises how lucky he is compared to how little some other families have. I’d like to think I can raise him appreciating the value and meaning of things. Writing this has made me realise one big thing though. I wouldn’t be the person I am now if it wasn’t for my Mum, I credit my openness to hard work, how independent I can be, the fact I know how to stand up for myself all down to her. Oh yeah, and the ability to paint a wall and change a plug…

I’m sat here writing this eating some chocolate (of course) and quite frankly am just a little bit in awe of how different our lives can be from what you ever imagined they could be? Does that make sense? At first I felt a little guilty, but then it dawned on me that I’ve earned my life! I have worked from the age of 15, I had my son at 22 in a not very stable relationship, and I became what I never wanted to be – a single mum! You know when you hear people saying that they want their own children to be brought up the complete opposite to how you were? I was like that. I had this beautiful, warm, comforting little baby boy and I had no plan! No money and living 250 miles from anyone I knew and left in a house I couldn’t afford! What I already was experiencing wasn’t what I had hoped for at all! I’d lost control, but strangely I stayed calm and for the first time in my life I kinda hatched a plan!

I found a job that offered me security, friendship and basically – a life line. I’ve been here 7 years now and I’m totally attached to the place! I run my own little precious cake company on the side (cake has always been another addiction) and having both these incomes allows me to have a different life to what I was brought up with. My son gets to wear the latest football shirt, go to the clubs he’s interested in and I’m now in a happy, stable relationship and whilst none of this was my ‘plan’ I can safely say I am, actually, ‘we’ are happy – and that’s ultimately all that matters!

I’m trying to think what the point of this blog post was…and there isn’t really one… I’ve drifted…. Oh yeah.. Reminiscing, adding the personal touch, sharing a little more about me! Maybe I’ll give my son a taste of my childhood soon; take his iPod, ban pizza’s, make him walk 3 miles to school every day… Nah, I’ll make him street-wise some other way!

If there was one thing I could change though, It would be to move and build a house next to a chocolate factory…

Now that’s the perfect dream.

Natalie xx

PS: if you read this Mum, I love you x



  1. 18th February 2017 / 9:35 am

    What a fantastic blog post!
    You’ve made me remember when I used to wake up to the smell of warm shredded wheat, we live semi close to the factory. Which is sadly now derelict. Gosh I remember driving to school and having the windows open & smelling that amazing smell.

    Now all I smell is cat food from the local cat food factory haha!

    • hellocuppies
      18th February 2017 / 9:39 am

      Thank you!! I really miss it & it’s no longer there either… pretty happy with no smell now though if cat food is anything to go by….

  2. 18th February 2017 / 11:59 am

    I love to see fellow women chasing their dreams against all obstacles/challenges! We are much more than mothers, daughters, sisters etc – we are ourselves! First and foremost, even though not a mother myself. I have many friends who are and often hear on TV women say I feel like I have lost my identity! Keep going girl you will achieve your dreams, Law of Attraction 😉 xx

  3. 18th February 2017 / 5:14 pm

    Aw what a lovely post! My best friend went to Uni in York and I remember the Rowntree’s factory smelling amazing when I visited her <3 Glad your story has a happy ending, too 🙂

    • hellocuppies
      18th February 2017 / 7:14 pm

      Thank you Jess xx

  4. Clare
    18th February 2017 / 9:19 pm

    I really enjoyed your little reminisce it made me smile.

    • hellocuppies
      18th February 2017 / 9:23 pm

      Thanks Clare, I like that

  5. 19th February 2017 / 8:49 am

    Lovely post. Youre right life doesnt always go quite the way we plan but the key to staying sane is understanding some things are just out of your control. Its how we react to what we are dealt with in life that matters 🙂

  6. 19th February 2017 / 10:07 pm

    I love this blog post, Its so lovely to hear about different childhoods. I grew up in Germany as an army kids and know how priviliged I was. But I think I would prefer to wake up to the smell of chocolate …….

    • hellocuppies
      19th February 2017 / 10:10 pm

      Isn’t it just, thank you Vicky I bet Army life had its fun times x

  7. 27th March 2017 / 1:11 pm

    I would love to wake up to the smell of chocolate! That would be a dream 🙂 Such a lovely and touching post about your mum. Mine also had me and my brother at a young age 🙂 Makes us appreciate them more for what they’ve gone through. x

    • hellocuppies
      27th March 2017 / 1:12 pm

      Doesn’t it just! And ohhh id so love to wake up to it again too! Thank you Alexandra x

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