Easter Decorations 2016

Easter for me is a much loved celebration.  Growing up it was a very special long weekend often shared with our extended family, so lots of cousins and fun.  I find Easter to be a spiritual time and I hope that my celebration of Easter always recognises this.  This weekend’s light box message is He Is Risen and in the Easter egg hunt, the children had to find a stone with a cross, representing the cross Jesus died on and the stone which was pushed away from his tomb. The children have lots of chocolate and treats but the true message of Easter is present.

As a child, we always decorated our home for Easter with fresh flowers and little hanging ornaments on an Easter tree normally made of pussy willow.  I love to decorate our house for Easter, full of colour and fresh flowers and this year I have displays in our kitchen, the true heart of our home and the living room.

The kitchen

imageIn our kitchen we have two beautiful large windows which take up most of the back wall making it a light and airy room.  By our kitchen table we have this smaller window which looks out to the front and is perfect for displays.  I’ve gone for a chick theme here, I love a theme and I think this is my favourite display this year.  The little chick lights were from Poundland and the crochet chicks are from Cath Kidston, my favourite addition to our decorations this year, found in the CK Summer sale last year.  The hanging hatching eggs are from a local shop, we may not have the shops where I can buy life’s essentials but it’s quite easy to pick up knick knacks in our seaside town.  The tree is perfect for all the delicate small decorations, I think these rabbits are probably Grisela Graham and the knitted chicks were made by my Mum.  The daffodils have bloomed brilliantly for today, Easter Sunday.  It’s a fun, bright window.

The Living Room

The fire place is such a lovely focal interest in the room and the simple decorations here I hope add a touch of elegance. It was the perfect backdrop for the Easter hunt photos.

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As the living room is open plan the side window lends itself for a display too. I love the simplicity of the pussy willow tree and tulips, it wouldn’t be a display of mine without a little bunting!  Sadly there have been few blue skies over the weekend to beautifully fill the frame!

We also have another Easter tree here, my driftwood tree which gets recycled for Christmas too, I’m loving the Easter bunny egg decorations, simple and pretty.

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Little Sparkles

I’m not sure what has happened to my blogging recently as I’m struggling to write posts, not from lack of inspiration but a real lack of time.  Time is such a precious commodity and I try to be very organised but an early Easter has caught us out.  I know both at my work and at the children’s school that what should be a lazy last week full of Easter celebrations has been something different this year as we try and fit in all the pre Easter jobs normally spread over a few more weeks.  At the children’s school this week I have had parent teacher consultations, a phonics testing meeting and an annual review in addition to the Easter parade too.  It feels like I’ve spent more time at this school this week than my own!  If you fit in all the after school clubs with their viewing classes too it’s not surprising I’m feeling rather frazzled.  I love Easter and have missed the preparation and anticipation of the celebration this year, it just arrived rather suddenly.

Sparkle 1 : Easter Bonnets

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Our sparkles are mainly seasonal this week and start with the annual Easter parade.  This takes place at the children’s school and is a tradition which dates back through the history of the school, which is nearly 120 years old.  It is a big thing and also one of my favourite things of the school year, cute beyond description.  This year we kept the bonnets simple, Little Miss wanted a pretty and traditional bonnet whilst as in previous years Little Man wanted to include something personal, he chose Minions and we used some of his Kinder Egg Minion toys which were just the right height as Easter chicks, it was a great effect together.  There were some stunning bonnets, I loved a huge fried egg made from some kind of builders foam, a beautiful blossom fascinator and a crochet rabbit.    Such traditions should be continued and valued, they are the little things which make life sparkle.

Sparkle 2 : Easter Preparations

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Another seasonal sparkle is getting the house decorated for Easter. I will do a post on this as this is me in my element, but in the meantime here is a selection of my decorations, there are more!

Sparkle 3 : Hot Cross Buns

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The final Easter sparkle is hot cross buns on Good Friday and more traditions.  As a child I always remember going out with my Dad to buy hot cross buns from a local bakery on Good Friday morning.  This year Little Miss and Mr S went out to do this at our local bakery whose buns are perfect, nothing beats opening a white paper bag and the sensory delights of fresh hot cross buns.

Sparkle 4 : Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive

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Surprisingly there has been time for other sparkles too.  I finished Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive and it is a book which will stay with me for a long time, it is excellent.  I started it before the sad events which have affected our community in the past few weeks but it has made me much more aware and compassionate about depression.  The words in the book are so simple and thoughtful, I folded so many pages over, definitely a book to share and recommend.

Sparkle 5 : Little Miss’ First Run

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I have been delighted that Little Miss has been asking if she can come running with me. I love running and all the benefits it offers me and would love her to feel the same about it too.  She has been so keen that I agreed that we would go out after one of my long runs and do a short, flat run.  When I arrived home from my run at 8am there she was in the garden, kitted up and raring to go so we did our first run together which was lovely, she just had one stitch but ran well and strongly.  We’ve got our next run organised and are hoping to do a Junior Park Run when we’ve trained for the 2km distance.   She drew this picture on our return (I am taller than her in real life) and here’s hoping that she will develop a love of running.

I’m looking forward to the Easter weekend, a lovely long weekend with the Sparkles family and one in which I get to plan our Easter holiday mini adventures, this is a lovely long holiday with lots of days out to explore.

Reasons to Stay Alive …

  
Today has been one of those days where as always I had plenty to do but I had nothing in my diary which afforded me some flexibility.  I don’t often have this luxury and I had a lovely little day going with the flow.  A friend was upset at the school gates and it was good to be able to say lets walk and talk, we ended up at a beach cafe enjoying a coffee and both left so much happier and comforted by each other.  I then had a few Mummy Fail jobs to complete, taking some Lego figures in to school for Little Man’s show and tell which we had forgotten was on today and then up to the farm to collect his coat which he had left at a party on Sunday.  Up at the farm I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen for ages and was able to catch up with no time worries. It is so lovely to have time and just be in the moment.  My relaxed day continued after the school run when  we found ourselves playing in the warm sunshine in the garden and after having our first outside tea of the year.  After tea I read in the sunshine whilst the children built a den and I found myself reflecting at such a simple pleasure.  The book is very poignant reading, as our community is mourning two recent suicides of young family men.  Whilst I did not know the men personally I know their friends and family and the guilt, grief and anger is so sad to see.  It really has made me think how we deal with mental health and how we can support those who are ill, there is so much love and care to share.  

Little Sparkles

This is a lazy write up in the hope of catching up with the sparkles of March, its a month which seems to have been pretty busy and I seem to be constantly battling with a migraine and the subsequent nausea and tiredness that accompanies it.  I am in one of those periods when I know I am doing too much but can’t resolve the situation.  I am definitely missing Mr S who is still working away, life is so much easier and fun when its our little team.

 

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Sparkle 1 : My beautiful home made Mothers day cards, I love the blossoms and the messages inside are gorgeous.  I have saved these away to my memory box as precious little memories.  Mothers day is a funny old day, there’s great pride and love but a tinge of sadness too.  Mr S did well and I got the book I wanted Deliciously Ella Everyday, he did comment it was another cookbook but I do love my homemaking and I do use my recipe books regularly.  Mr S also treated us all to Sunday lunch out at a lovely local pub, which was much appreciated.

 Sparkle 2: On Mother’s Day morning we went to the dedication of a family friend’s son at the local church.  It was a warm and welcoming service and one filled with the love of family and friends.  As well as the dedication there have been lots of children’s parties this month so weekends have been organised around these events.

Sparkles 3 & 4 : I had my neurology appointment at the hospital following my referral after my falls late last year.  I cannot praise the NHS enough as the visit was so organised and efficient, I took a book and never had a chance to open it.  I was seen early and after a very thorough consultation went straight for an ECG and had a screening and made an appointment for a MRI scan.  I was delighted to learn with the ECG that I have a resting heart beat of 62 bpm which according to charts is excellent for my age.  I can also start proper running again as the neurologist thinks that my migraines are affecting my balance and its nothing more sinister, this should be confirmed by the MRI, so as long as I avoid running with a headache I should be fine.

Sparkle 5 : The television is really poor at the moment and on my ironing afternoons I have rediscovered some classic films.  I loved watching Strictly Ballroom, I have such happy memories of going out with my Uni housemates to watch it at the local Indie cinema, we left so exhilarated and one of those magic moments is us dancing in an underpass spinning each other round and singing Love is In the Air, the echoes just added to the atmosphere.  Such a random moment but one 24 years later I remember so clearly.  I also caught 10 Things I Hate About You, another classic and the scene with Heath Ledger singing Can’t take My Eyes Off Of You on the sports field is one of my favourite cinematic moments.

Sparkle 6 : March saw World Book Day and I was pleased with our costume efforts as Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and 2, simple and effective.  Perhaps next year I can persuade Mr S to dress up too!

Sparkles 7 and 8 : This was our Poppy Treffry embroidered picture for Mum as a Mother’s Day present.  In her new house she has a room nicknamed the Sewing Room so this seemed the perfect present.  I love that it is hand made in the UK and such a pretty picture.  As you can read from the text message, she liked her present.

Sparkle 9 : My Lightbox has been changed regularly this month, first we had the phrase above, followed by Be Awesome Today and now we’re on Terrific with a little spider and web from Charlotte’s Web.  It keeps me happy!

 

 

 

World Book Day

There are many days celebrated through the school year but today is one of my favourite as its World Book day (WBD) I love the walk to the children’s primary school on WBD as everyone embraces the fancy dress code and its great guessing the characters and then talking about the books with the children. This game is continued into school where the staff are dressed up too.  The costumes were stunning today and it did feel that the children were dressed as book characters rather than superheroes and princesses. I wonder if as we’re quite remote we have to be more creative, no shops to run out to last night for ready made costumes (unless you fancy a 40mile + round trip), just the charity shops and craft supplies available in town.  Our costumes were very simple to make we have the red clothes and I just made Thing 1 and 2 badges to sew on.  I picked the wigs up cheaply in town and they were the only expense, costing less than £5 for the pair.  My favourite characters this morning were TinTin, Pippa Longstocking, Mad Eye Moody from HP and Mary Poppins.  This year I decided that as I had Thing 1 and 2 to walk to school I may as well add to the effect and dress up as the Cat in the Hat, this was quite simple as I have a cat mask and hat (that’s teachers for you!) and just wore black. The overall effect was great and I’m really pleased I made the effort, it was fun and sometimes life is about being part of something not simply observing. As much as I love the dressing up, WBD is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate books and reading. One of the lovely parts of my job and being Mummy is discovering and rediscovering children’s books, they are so good and their stories stay with you. I love reading books to children, it is a privilege to share the stories and do the voices, rhymes, facial expressions etc.. Reading books is definitely one of my happy times, a warm fuzzy feeling. At their school, the children are having a character parade today and lots of book themed activities and then tonight we’ll pop into town with our vouchers to buy a new book and appreciate a new story together.

Month in a word- February

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FRUSTRATION my word and feeling of the month but also a game we’ve liked to play this month!

 

My word for January was Homemaking and despite all my hopes for a fun, frolicking February I think it’s another f word for February, frustration! It’s been a month of domestic disasters, I’m pretty realistic and sanguine that these things happen but it’s the frustration to get things resolved that has caused the problems. It’s been a month of waiting and waiting and waiting… days have been wasted on the phone and stuck indoors waiting for engineers and second visits and deliveries (and redeliveries)

I don’t like to dwell on the negatives so away from the frustrations this month, I have loved the half term break and all our little treats, particularly our theatre trip to Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat which was amazing and very memorable. During the month, we’ve had pancake tossing, a lovely Valentines meal out and now we’re all having lots of fun with the new football goal in the garden which replaced our slide broken in the storms. Here’s to the Spring and blossoming of March.