September’s Month in a Word: School


An easy choice this month, September was all about school in our household. The children returned to school this month, joining Years 2 and 4, whilst I started a new role in my school.  I now work as an Assistant Head leading Key Stages 2,3 and 4.  I’m still working part time, one of the key themes of our ethos is creating a family friendly work environment and I am leading by example. It is demanding, exhilarating, interesting, intense and so much more.  It’s safe to say that thinking (worrying) about my little ones and their transition to their new classes and then my new role too, most of my thoughts this month have centred on school.


Yes I can, a new playroom and work clothes #littleloves

So the routines are ticking along this week, the excitement of going back to school has passed and we’re back to clubs and the usual buzz of the week.  I’ve been on domestic goddess duty this week.  During the summer it felt we were hardly in the house just passing through and only the basic housework was done to keep the house clean and tidy, however this week I’ve been blitzing the house, washing curtains and blinds, sorting clothes and toys etc..  The house looks and feels refreshed now and ready for the coming month.  We even had our boiler serviced this week ready for those cold days.




Work is hard at present, so my reading needs to be light and fun.  Since I had my Kindle I have been trialling Kindle Unlimited and have downloaded a few books, one of which is Fat Chance by Nick Spalding.  Its about an overweight couple trying to lose weight through a local radio competition, I’m about a third way through and its just what I need at present.


This advert has been broadcast on Channel 4 during the summer and I love it.  On Wednesday I led an assembly at work on the Paralympics and we played this video and then after watching it and all feeling wowed our students communicated what they can do.  It was really one of those lump in your throat moments and I’m not sure how I managed to stay composed.  I work with Special Needs students and for them to see such a positive and inspiring video telling them yes they can definitely makes it my watch of the week.

Other watches this week are sitting on a bench at the quay on a beautiful sunny evening watching Little Man having his first go at kayaking with the Beavers which was a great success and of course, episode 2 of my current TV favourite, Cold Feet.


My theme tune at the moment is Jess Glynne’s Hold My Hand, its not a recent release but its words resonate with me at the moment.


 I made space in the children’s play room this week, we are redecorating it this weekend and are trying to theme it to a more junior theme.  I’ve recycled some old games and the big lego has gone too, its rather sad as it seems they are growing up too quickly.  However I am excited about our plans and Mr S starts decorating tomorrow.


I’m still in my shorts and flip flops but have been smartening up for work in my new senior role, this week I enjoyed wearing a lovely full striped skirt matched with a smart black top and have also purchased a new navy smart skirt in New Look.  My work wardrobe has to be quite flexible, smart for meetings but I go to support in class a lot so I need clothes which can be cleaned easily, durable and will enable me to help in interventions.  New Look is good for reasonable priced work clothes. I tend to wear a lot of leggings and converse pumps at school too.


We’re busy decorating this week, I love the final touches and making sure it looks just right so I’m doing some browsing and buying a few sparkles.

This week I’m linking up with Morgana and her fab team of #Littleloves at




A little Autumn style for Little Miss

I really enjoy reading blogs showing different styles and looks for children. This weekend we did a bit of clothes shopping for Autumn and whilst I am unable to show Little Miss modelling her new clothes I thought I would show a few of my favourites.  I try to go for a colour theme to make it easier to mix and match, this year it’s an unusual choice for me ochre, grey and dark denim but I love this combination.  We had a little fashion show yesterday and it all looked fab together.  I love Little Miss in a dark denim pinafore for winter with a long sleeve top underneath, we’ve had versions from Boden and Next and both were durable, washed well and looked gorgeous. This year we’ve gone with the Next shift dress, same idea with a long sleeve top underneath but hopefully reflecting her age.  The denim is so nice and soft in this dress and at £9 was excellent value from Next. The afore mentioned long sleeve tops are from Tu Clothing, the photo does not do them justice the dog print is delightful and I really like the dotty version too.  The plain ones are useful against her London Boden pinafore from last year, I bought it big so it should be perfect this year and fits into the colour scheme. The grey quilted skirt is from Sainsburys Tu, again a choice to reflect her age, it’ll be paired with leggings or tights. My final purchase has been her Awesome hoodie it’s always nice to be reminded how great you are and can be worn with any of the outfits or jeans. Little Miss is delighted by her new clothes, although she had to be persuaded not to wear any today as we enjoy a bright, sunny day and a bonus shorts day! 

The Back to School edition #littleloves

So having not written a little loves post in the summer holidays, here I am a day early writing my piece.  Summer was a blast but now we’re back to school and life is back to routines and order.  I loved the spontaneity of the holidays but I also like the order and organisation of the autumn.  Whilst summer is my favourite season, I like autumn.  As a teacher its a new beginning, new years resolutions are made and plans developed both professionally and at home. So far its been good at school, the children have settled well and seem happy and of course the emails have been pinging in with details of clubs, trips and special events.



Me without You.  For my birthday in the holidays I got a Kindle PaperWhite and I love it, I have read lots in the holiday and this week finished the book Me Without You by Kelly Rimmer.  I’m not quite sure how I chose this book, possibly on a Kindle offer as I don’t often read a romance but it was a good read, something to escape to each evening and I particularly liked the setting in Sydney. In one part the characters are on a boat in Sydney harbour on New Year’s Eve watching the fireworks, Mr S and I did this on NYE 2002, so I got nostalgic and romantic myself!


Cold Feet.  It seems like its been a bit of a nostalgic week as Cold Feet returned. I adored this series when it was out in the 90s and 00s and was genuinely excited by its return.  It was brilliant, such a good mix of humour, emotion and friendships and I can’t wait for episode 2 next Monday, it had a cracking soundtrack too.


Packed lunches. This year we have returned to packed lunches.  Little Man is a fussy eater and we decided that we need to develop his menu, so its back to packed lunches and a family meal every evening.  I’ve tried to be creative, there have been salads in the lunches and we’ve had a different sandwich filling every day but my favourite thing has been writing the children little notes for them to read at lunchtime, yes its soppy and I don’t know for how long they’ll let me do it but for the moment its a little thing that makes us all happy.


New school uniforms.  Normally my children continue to wear their summer uniforms until the end of September.  However at the start of the week the weather was so cold and wet, not only were they wearing their winter uniform, I also had to put them in last year’s winter coats (I don’t normally buy this year’s coat until half term)  Fortunately the weather has improved so they’re back in shorts and gingham dresses today.



The Archers has been required listening this week, its been a heart-breaking week with a domestic abuse case in court.  Last night, I was listening on the iPlayer in bed and a little tear rolled down my cheek.  I’m not a TV soap fan but my daily 12 minutes in Ambridge is one of my guilty pleasures.


We’re all looking forward to a quiet weekend in the Sparkles family, this time is often lovely in our town, the tourists have mainly left and the weather often improves so we all head to the beach to squeeze in as much beach time as we can.  Fingers crossed for a sunny weekend.

Thank you to the lovely Morgana at for hosting this link and to all the bloggers who offer ideas and inspiration.


August month in a word : Play


As the summer holidays continued, August’s word of the month is play.  Whilst Mr S worked much of the winter and spring away from home, our reward was him at home for summer.  Although he did have to work a couple of days a week at home, the rest of the time was family time, including our holiday to Mallorca in August.  With the gorgeous weather, we seemed to be outside as much as possible, at home we played swing ball and cricket in the garden or played in local and country parks. On holiday we played on the beach and in the water, there was swimming, splashing and some legendary water fights. 

August was wonderful, full of days out and our holiday and we really enjoyed each other’s company, there was lots of playing and laughing and proper family memories were created.  It was one of those summers which I think we will be nostalgic of in years to come, the days really were hot and sunny and we did those magical things together as a family. 



Image from,uk

On our holiday flight, Little Miss starting voicing her concerns about our joureny.  Saying out loud the questions to worry the nervous flier, what happens if we crash, how do planes crash, what if we’re over the sea?   Fortunately, I’m a confident traveller and her questions didn’t worry me.  I am of the opinion that if anything were to happen its unlikely that we would know and as I now would only fly with my family we would all be together which is of some comfort.  I answered Little Miss’ questions patiently and gave her lots of reassurance.  I told her I’d been on lots and lots of flights and never had a worry.  Her response was of course to ask even more questions, how many flights had I been on, where had I travelled to?  The question of the number of flights got me thinking and I started to tot up my flights, something which ended up being quite an interesting social history.  Little Miss is only eight yet has already been on eight flights, at her age I had not yet been on a plane and all my childhood flights total less than her score so far in her little life.  By my calculations I have done 64 flights but I’m sure I may have missed the odd journey.  I have gone as far west as the Caribbean and to the other side of the world, Australia twice, thanks to Mr S passion for cricket.

I find it unbelievable now but my first flight was as an unaccompanied minor aged about 9 with my brother to Scotland.  We were dropped off at Heathrow by my parents and collected at Edinburgh by my grandparents, my abiding memory of the flight is being forgotten by the BA chaperone on the plane.  I waited more than five years after this for my next flight, when after years of ferry and road trips around northern Europe my family finally discovered the sunny package holiday and we had three before adulthood.  Of all my flights the most popular destinations are Edinburgh and Paris.  Paris is much to do with my studies and Edinburgh because both Mr S and I had relatives in Scotland whom we liked to visit. My flights reflect different periods in my life, there are the city weekend breaks, hen dos and weddings, long haul flights to exotic destinations as a couple and now the family holidays.  Air travel is so much cheaper and accessible that flying is so much more routine.  I love to travel and am always planning new destinations, my dreams for the future are to visit America, I thought a trip to Disneyland/world in Florida or Orlando  (a bit more research needed) would be perfect to celebrate 10 years as a family in 2020 and my big dream trip is to fly into JFK and explore New York.  I love flying and the opportunities it allows to discover our world, despite Little Miss’ questions I will continue to enjoy every flight I take with a sense of wonder and excitement.