Stig, Capes and Dens #Littleloves

Deep breath time, I’m actually live and writing in a real life linkie! It’s scary and I’m a little nervous but here are my first tentative steps.

Little Loves is my favourite linkie, I’ve been following it for ages and Little Sparkles was my personal attempt to note down my favourite things of each week. I was just a little shy to join in the real linkie. Each week, I’ve been quietly noting down recommendations from Little Loves and it’s taken me to so many wonderful things I wouldn’t have read, listened to, watched, worn or made otherwise so thank you to the lovely contributors. Here are my #Littleloves for the week.

READ

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My first read is a post which really struck me this week, from one of my favourite blogs, Life as Our Little Family, all about change.

A change is as good as a rest…

I love Kerri-Ann’s style and she often has me nodding in agreement. I love the theme in this post that we can’t always make the huge life changing decisions but sometimes just making a change can have so many positive effects. Kerri-Ann has definitely inspired me this week.

I am finally coming to the end of Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop. It’s been one of those lovely books which is a slow and gentle read as you immerse yourself in the beauty of the prose. As most of the book is set on a canal boat trip, the pace seems appropriate. I love the idea that the boat, normally moored in Paris is a ‘literary apothecary’ and that the bookseller, Jean listens to his customers and prescribes books.  It is also a story of lost love and souls, with three men as the main characters which make it an interesting perspective to read from.

I am also reading Stig of The Dump at bedtime with Little Miss as it seemed a good fit with her Stone Age school topic. It’s a bit more delinquent that I remember, smoking, crashing cars, a fox hunt, but is a fun read with a few pieces of advice thrown in from me to counter what the characters get up to!

WATCHED

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Monday is my busiest day of the week, so I’m delighted the Great British Sewing Bee is back on at 9pm, perfect timing for me to collapse onto the sofa and be inspired. I was quite taken with the children’s capes this week.

MADE

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Mr S and I have been making lots of plans this week, we booked a weekend away for June and bought tickets for an outdoor event in July. I love when the calendar is brimming with fab things to do and living at the seaside the summer is a really special time with lots going on.

I have also been making dens this week, which seems to be the favoured play idea. I was proud of my den building when little Man had his friend round to play, but rather than getting to play inside it I ended up having to play the scary monster prowling outside, cue lots of laughter from the boys but I think I earnt a few bonus mummy points.

WORE

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I wore new make up this week, as I did one of my rare trips to ‘big’ town and pottered around the beauty counters of the department stores. Sadly as I’m getting older my natural make up look is needing a little more specialist help to be achieved.

HEARD

I was in the car with the children and heard Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus. The memories came flooding back of a school trip to France with a coach load of teenagers and the constant playing of that song and Atomic Kitten’s Whole Again. It was one of the best school trips ever, so in homage to my ex students, I sang loudly and tried to explain to the children what a teenage dirtbag is.

AND LASTLY

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Half term starts today for the children and we’re off to Butlins for the week, we’re all very excited as it is one of our favourite places to visit and we have so many happy memories of previous stays, here’s to a week of splashing, playing and laughter together. Happy half term.

I’m linking up for the first time with Morgana at http://coffeeworksleeprepeat.com and all the other fantastic bloggers for this week’s #LittleLoves.

http://coffeeworksleeprepeat.com/category/little-loves/littleloves2016/

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Seaside Sparkles The Way Forward

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Image via Pinterest, Quotes in Polka Dot

I’ve been happily writing this blog for nearly 2 years now and my aim was to simply record our family memories and happy times.  When I started I saw it simply as a digital diary, I have always liked to write diaries and the ease of adding photos appealed.  However as I started to write my blog I also started to read blogs and these blogs gave advice, ideas, inspiration and reassurance.  I have learnt so much from the blogs I read.  The beauty of blogging is the little community it creates, yet I write an anonymous blog and have been apprehensive about joining in with linkies, linking and opening up my Twitter account etc.. My reasons for my anonymity remain, our children are adopted and I wish for them to have a safe, protected childhood and I do not want to have to worry that their digital presence will lead them to being traced.  Over the past few weeks I have done some reflecting and am hopeful that as long as I continue to respect the guidelines I write by, no town name, family names or anything else which could identify us, its pretty safe to join in the blogging community, life is not about sitting on the side lines its about joining in the adventure.

Little Sparkles

Today I feel so relaxed and relieved after a hectic week at work.  Anyone who works in education will know that teacher recruitment is a strange business, only really understood by those in the sector and this week we’ve been very busy recruiting, that’s been had an ad published in TES, shortlisting and interviews in ONE week.  The adrenaline has been flowing and I’m grateful we only have such a deadline annually.  Fortunately we have very good staff retention so we don’t have this madness every year, I may need a few years to recover! However the good news is that I have a fortnight’s holiday now and am looking forward to a week of pottering around at home and then a family holiday to Butlins.

Sparkle 1 : Country walks, castle and picnic.

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Sunday was sunny and bright so we had a day out in a local village famous for its castle.  We parked at a lovely picnic spot on the outskirts and walked into the village through the woods and fields, it really was picture perfect.  We went into the castle and there was a Viking village set up in the  grounds so the children got to learn how to be a warrior, try on costumes, mill flour, etc.. After a return walk to the picnic area we enjoyed our lunch al fresco and played a few ball games in the fields, a lazy and relaxed Sunday.

Sparkle 2 : Premiership Stadium Tour

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I was inspired by a school trip to a Premiership football stadium tour for my Light box quote this week, this phrase ‘Together, anything is possible’  is displayed throughout the ground.  I have done stadium tours before Anfield, MCG in Melbourne etc.., but this was fascinating as it was a school trip and the stadium is not normally open to the public to visit, we got to see so many little details.  The over riding theme was the positive nature of the ground so many positive phrases displayed in the team areas, evidence of a real team ethic and strong leadership, lessons for us all.  However my big revelation was the state of the away team’s changing rooms, the club have made them basic, very basic and it was hard to imagine the star players of Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd having to use such simple facilities.  They were so basic, our school changing facilities are majestic in comparison!

Sparkle 3 : Forget Me Nots

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There is a local community project to raise funds for a local dementia charity by making and selling these forget me not crochet brooches.  Whilst I cannot crochet (yet, its on my wish list) I can sew so I have sewn the brooch pins on 43 of the little flowers.  I enjoyed the sewing, it was a labour of love in memory of my lovely Grandma who suffered from dementia in her later life.

Sparkle 4 : TMS

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The international cricket season has begun and so I have been tuned into TMS which is one of my favourite listens on radio.  Whilst I was not able to listen to it live, I downloaded the TMS tribute to one of their co commentators the Bajan, Tony Crozier, it was incredibly moving and highlighted the professionalism and joie de vivre of a very talented man.  Looking at the picture above, its sad that many of these famous voices are no longer alive, but I am thankful to have enjoyed their work and still love the broadcasts by their successors.

Sparkle 5 : Wedding Bells

This weekend one of my colleagues is getting married and we’ve all enjoyed talking with her about her plans and preparation.  In one conversation she said she would love to see what our colleagues had looked like on their wedding days, so with the help of these colleagues who brought in wedding photos I created a little movie of our wedding photos, quotes on love and marriage with a soundtrack of Stevie  Wonder’s For Once In My Life to show at this week’s teacher meeting.  It was lovely to watch what we all looked like on our wedding days, a lot younger, hair colours were different and you could guess the era by the style of dress but there was a lot of love and happiness in those photos. It was a great little project to brighten a busy week at school.

And finally

I’m a list person so next week I’m looking forward to writing and ticking off my list, I have some events to plan, holiday clothes to buy and maybe a few new blog posts to write.

Little Sparkles

This week has a domestic feel after a disastrous weekend where all I touched seemed to break, this has led to some new purchases and a possible new bathroom project.

Sparkle 1 : New Toys!

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Whilst it was an unfortunate coincidence that our  domestic appliances broke at the weekend, all except one which is under guarantee were old and realistically were going to need to be replaced fairly soon.  I did try to fix the vacuum over several days but had to admit defeat.  The positive is that we now have new appliances and as is so true with technologies the improvement in performance is remarkable.

Sparkle 2 : Desert Island Discs

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I do enjoy Desert Island Discs but this was a fantastic episode this week with Tom Hanks, he spoke so eloquently of his childhood and expressed clearly the difference between loneliness and solitude. Kirsty Young is such a skilled interviewer and this was a very special episode.

Sparkle 3 : A brownie guard of honour

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Little Miss and her Brownie pack were so excited to be the guard of honour for their Brown Owl’s wedding this week.  It was lovely and Brown Owl looked delighted with the gesture.  She was a stunning bride, with a real 50s vibe to her outfit, so stylish and beautiful.

Sparkle 4 : A little bit of Miss Swift

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I had no weekly theme for this week’s Lightbox so went to Miss Swift for inspiration. Shake it Off is such a kick ass song and just the best for dancing around the kitchen.  It’s also great advice!

Little Sparkles

Whilst this was the bank holiday weekend it was the final push of Mr S big work project, so he left for work at around 5am on Sunday for 4 days and by one of the strange quirks of my job I had to work on Monday too.  Fortunately, my parents came down to help with the children and spoilt them and me too.

Sparkle 1 : Star Wars Day

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As Little Man is such a big Star Wars fan I couldn’t resist this quote in my Light box with a few characters surrounding it.  I like making us smile!

Sparkle 2 : Beach weather!

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At last we got some summer weather, so it was straight to the beach to enjoy the sun.  We are on the beach all the time but in winter its for walks, this week was the first week we could sit and play on the beach in shorts and t-shirts wearing flip flops and sunglasses.  That’s nearly a month later than last year.  On Thursday morning, I got a take away coffee and sat on the beach wall with the warm sun on my face, it was blissful.  This end of the beach by the shops is quite stony with seaweed at present but today, Saturday we sat on the beach further down which is so soft and golden.  As you can see we have our beach kit well planned and I was very comfy in my chair with my new magazine.

Sparkle 3 : New Egg Cups!

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I saw these egg cups in a shop window and loved them.  I didn’t go to buy them straightaway but having thought about them I returned to the shop to make the purchase.  They are an Orla Kiely design and are gorgeous. I do believe in the William Morris quote about only owning things which are beautiful or useful in your home and I think these are both.  At my sister in law’s house, she had some fantastic vintage egg cups which Mr S remembered from his childhood, I would love to have these cups in the family for such a time.  The quote is from Marie Konde, I heard a few interviews with her earlier on this year and have just started reading her Spark Joy book.

And finally

So Mr S has now finished his contract and is now my house husband for a few months, it’ll be nice to have him back home.  We may pretend he’s a bit grumpy but we love him loads and miss him a lot when he is away.

 

Little Sparkles

So another Little Sparkles with nothing else written in between, that’s just how life is moving at present.  However its been a week of simple pleasures as illustrated below by my highlights and a moment of remembrance.

Sparkle 1 : Fresh flowers

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I was lucky enough to receive two bunches of flowers this week.  The first was a little posy of flowers which little Man picked on his way home from school, a mix of wild and garden flowers.  He was very proud of his flowers and presented them to me with a lovely big kiss and a I love you Mummy, I just melted.

The second was a kind thank you gift from a colleague who was taken very poorly at work and I waited with her until the ambulance crew arrived.  Whilst she is much better now, she detioriated quickly during the wait and I did find myself mentally rehearsing CPR.  I was so relieved to see the ambulance arrive and have so much respect and gratitude for all our medical professionals.

Sparkle 2 : My Saturday morning run

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7am on a weekend morning is my time, my hour to go for a run.  It is at this time of year when it is a perfect time to be out, the sun is bright, the trails quiet and spring is blossoming all around you.  Saturday morning was just fantastic this week, a warm, bright sun, little sailing boats bobbing along in the sea and brilliant running conditions.

Sparkle 3 : The Cricket Club

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Cricket training has now moved outdoors and the cricket club is a perfect place to be on a Saturday morning, whilst the youth teams train, there is breakfast for the adults and the wonderful opportunity to sit in the sun, talk and relax.  Having done my run and then on to the cricket it was a pretty perfect morning.

 

Sparkle 4 : My Light box

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The lines this week were for Mr S.  To the children it was simply a quote but it had a far more poignant meaning for Mr S.  This week the Hillsborough families finally got the unlawful killing verdict in the new inquests and much of the evidence of the time has been discredited as lies, incompetence and cover ups. . I cannot fully express my utter respect and admiration for these families who have worked tirelessly for 27 years to get this result.  For Mr S, Hillsborough is not simply a national tragedy, he was there with three friends, courtesy of tickets from his best mate’s cousin who played for Liverpool at the time.  We have been together nearly 20 years now and only once has he ever spoken about what he witnessed on that day, what he told me was indescribable horror and has haunted me ever since, I cannot imagine the effect it has had on him.  Mr S took some time out on his own on Wednesday evening, after all the news reports, he needed time alone to reflect and grieve.    This quote was my little sign to him to let him know that I know this was a tough week for him and we’re all here together for each other.

 

 

April, Month in a Word

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April has been a much more relaxed and happier month.  It’s a month I always like, it’s normally a holiday month and with the weather slowly improving and longer days it’s one of the fist opportunities of the year to get out and explore in sunshine and light.

This month’s word is family as we’ve been fortunate to spend much of this month with our close family.  Firstly, Mr S has done fewer weeks away working and took a few days off during the children’s holiday to allow a few trips out together en famille.  We’ve had Grandad to stay for Easter which although was in March, I’m still sneaking it in.  Then the children and I had a lovely week with my parents in Somerset when Mr S was working away, a great way to spend part of the Easter holiday. And finally April ended with Grandad’s birthday weekend in Devon with my sister in law, her husband and their youngest daughter who has achieved goddess status to Little Miss, she loved the teenage culture of selfies and fashion and is regularly sending her cousin emails which are so sweet.

I feel so blessed to have such amazing family around us and it’s been a good month to be bathed in family love, laughter and good times.