My little corner


Over this past week, I have been undertaking a little upcycling project to transform my bureau into something more in keeping with our newly decorated lounge.  The bureau was the first piece of furniture I bought for our new house when we moved in 13 years ago, it was second hand and I carefully, sanded, primed and varnished it to complement our lounge.  The bureau is the hub of my life and I sit at it daily to write, organise and plan.  It also contains so many treasures and memories, as well as every essential.

The upcycling was a simple job to undertake and a good distraction.  I chose a paint by Rust-Oleum, clotted cream, which didn’t need the bureau to be sanded or primed but simply painted and then finished with varnish.  The paint has a chalk like finish but must be stirred carefully or it can become quite lumpy in places. I used 2 coats all over the bureau.

The children were both keen to help me in this project so there are a couple of (hidden) places where the finish is not quite as precise as I would have hoped.  Its a compromise I was happy to make.  I took the children individually to the garage where we chatted and worked, simple pleasures and its lovely to see how proud they are of their work.  In addition to the paint and varnish, I also changed the handles for a slightly different look.

My bureau is a treasure trove of my special things, below is a small selection of some of the things I keep in it.  Firstly is the bag of chargers, I have them organised and neatly labelled.  Next to the bag is a postcard by Matisse, I saw this painting in L’Orangerie in Paris when I was 20 and loved it, I’ve had the postcard ever since.  I have quite a few special postcards of paintings, people, patterns, inspiring quotes etc.. in my bureau. Some I send to friends, often for no reason just to let them know I’m thinking of them, others I keep and others become book marks!  The plastic folder is full of articles in magazines or newspapers that I’ve enjoyed, cards from friends, tickets from special events, a little memory box to make me smile. My Filofax and Clipbook are the key to my organisation and used daily, I’ve tried to streamline into one but I prefer both, the Filofax is for dates and deadlines, the Clipbook for more creative projects. The small notebook computer is my daily computer for admin and bits and pieces.  Our family computer and accessories are elsewhere so this computer is simply mine for admin and it’s size makes it convenient and accessible. I cannot resist good stationery and I have a lot of pencil cases and pens and pencils, .  This is my favourite pencil case at the moment by Poppy Treffey which stays in my bureau, I also have a small pencil case in my bag (Cath Kidston) one for my work bag (gold Sparkles) etc.. I am addicted!  The small make up bag contains aromatherapy oils, as I often diffuse them at my desk. I bought this in Melbourne on our first trip to Australia, my family nickname is Skippy hence the design.  The bits and pieces bag does as it says, glue, sellotape, blue tac, scissors, tippex, stamps, small sewing kit etc.. The letter rack is for daily admin, cards to be sent, correspondence cards and even a cheque book for those really rare times when you have to pay by cheque. For some random reason I also keep the name labels here, I always seem to be labelling something. There are always lots of little me things in my bureau, pin badges, photos, stickers, candles etc..


I am really pleased with my little upcycling project, the colour works well in the new lighter room and I feel back at home in my little corner.


A working day in my life …


Last weekend, I wrote a day in the life of a typical Saturday in the Sparkles household. Today I am writing of a typical week day to illustrate my working week and the demands of trying to juggle family and a working life. I work in a special needs school as part of the senior management team, but have a flexible working agreement so my hours are 9 – 2.30, 3 days a week and until 5pm on our meeting night, I have one full day off a week normally a Thursday but I do change it depending on work demands.

6.15am        The alarm goes off and I get up. I’ll never be a morning person but once out of bed, I’m fine and simply get on with my day. The first job is always to put the kettle on, I need at least two cups of tea in the morning to make me feel myself, and whilst I wait for the kettle, I unload the dishwasher and start to set the table for breakfast. The radio has to be on and I’m a big Chris Evans fan, I grew up in my 20s listening to his radio 1 breakfast show and now in my 40s he’s still my breakfast dj.

6.30am       Shower time. My routine is quick and organised, I can shower, dress and put on basic make up in around 20 minutes. My hair is short and needs minimal styling so this helps. Little Man awakes around now but is happy to potter around in his bedroom or pop into the kitchen for a drink. I may have a cheeky glance at Twitter but that’s dangerous for my timings as I easily get drawn to blog posts.

6.50am        Now I’m dressed, I get the children organised. Little Man likes to talk to me in his bedroom as he gets dressed, I normally leave their uniforms ready the night before as every little thing counts in our morning routine.

7.00am        I wake up Little Miss, she’s not a morning person and there’s often a few groans as I open the curtains and air the room. We chat (okay I talk she grunts) for 5 minutes and then I leave her to get dressed and go to the kitchen.

7.10am       I make cup of tea number 2 and get breakfast ready, this is usually cereal and surprisingly we all like porridge so I often make it on the hob. We like it with lot of different fillings, honey, raisins, bananas etc…

7.20am        Breakfast for us all. We’re still getting used to Mr S being home as for the past 2 years he has been away working during the week. Little Man does his calendar and then we all sit down for breakfast.

7.35am       Whilst Mr S supervises teeth and hair brushing, I tidy up the kitchen and finish the lunches I prepped the night before. I make my lunch which is normally a salad as I’m not crazy on sandwiches. I then finish packing the school bags, it’s a busy day today as Little Man needs old clothes for forest school and his kit for football training. Fortunately most letters, permissions and payments are made through the Parentmail app now so there’s no letters to remember.

7.50am        The children play in the playroom whilst I brush my teeth and put a little lip gloss and perfume on. If Little Miss wants a fancy hair style, I help by plaiting her hair or pinning it up. Today’s hairstyle is simple so I’m not needed to help.

8.00am        I get my school bag ready, if everything is calm, I’ll take a quick look at work emails and may need to make a call to work about any urgent issues. This is my choice but by giving me flexible working conditions, I want to help things run smoothly in the department, a quick phone call now may stop my time being used later. I only needed to send a quick message today and there was nothing urgent in my emails.

8.15am        I get coats, bags and shoes ready and ask everyone to go to the toilet. We need to be ready to leave for 8.30am

8.30am        As Mr S is at home at present, I don’t need to do the school run so jump into my car and drive to work, this takes less than 5 minutes, by the time I park, sign in and walk to my office its around 8.40am

8.40 – 2.30pm           Work. Work is always a whirlwind of activity, today I lead our assembly, meet with a colleague from the LEA’s Virtual school to discuss progress and support, visit every class to see all our students and staff, meet with senior colleagues and try to catch up on my never ending list of things to do. It is a really positive day at work but not every day is like this, I have been in tears this week because of my utter frustration with budgets and staffing.  Sometimes its really difficult to leave on time and I often feel conflicted over my role as a senior leader and parent.

2.40pm        Back home and I catch up with Mr S who had to go to school earlier as Little Miss had an accident at lunch time. She fell over and has a nasty deep cut on her foot, he brought new socks and shoes to school for her but decided she was well enough to stay the afternoon. Whilst I always try to walk the school run, we take the car as her foot was heavily bandaged and if it’s still bad we may take her to the local cottage hospital after school.

3.20pm        We’re at school for pick up, Little Miss seems to be ok so we drive home. Little Man is staying at school for football training so I run to his classroom to say hello!

3.30pm        Home and it’s time for a snack and drink. A family friend comes around to see us, she used to babysit the children when they were little and they love her. She married a few weeks ago and has brought around photos and her dress for us to see. Little Miss is allowed to try on the dress which is beautiful and her and the bride dance around and do twirls, it’s just lovely. The bride’s mum is a good family friend and has come round too, it’s a perfect way to end the week. Mr S collects Little Man from football whilst our visitors are here but he is suitably unimpressed by the wedding dress and photos and after saying hello heads to the play room to play Wii U with Mr S. Whilst we have had visitors today, this is the time we either do clubs, have friends around, pop in to see neighbours or play in the garden or inside.

5.30pm        Time to prepare for tea, as its Friday, it’s a very simple tea of fresh pasta,  sauce and garlic bread.

6.00pm        Its teatime and a catch up for the 4 of us, it was the first forest school so Little Man is very chatty and Little Miss is keen to talk to about weddings.

6.30pm        Tidy up time in the kitchen and a little bit of kitchen dancing for me. Fortunately, it’s just loading the dishwasher, washing a few pots and then emptying lunch boxes today, I love Fridays no packed lunches to make! I put in a wash of very muddy forest school clothes as Little Man will need them again tomorrow as he has a forest birthday party.

7pm       I settle down with the rest of the family to watch the end of the Lego Master final.

7.20pm Mr S does Little Man’s bedtime routine whilst I do some jobs at my desk, sorting out lifts for tomorrow’s party, sending a few emails etc.. Little Miss reads quietly on the sofa.

8pm       I take Little Miss up to bed and listen to her read before tucking her in and kissing her good night.

8.30pm At this time, I might read a book or blog, tonight I start typing up this post but stop for ..

9pm       Cold Feet, its one of my favourite tv programmes and makes my Friday night!

10pm     I continue to write this post for another 30 minutes and switch off the tv to listen to Sounds of the 80s on the radio, I’m an 80s girl and love the Friday night nostalgia.

10.30pm     A final quick tidy up, clothes into the dryer, switch on the dishwasher and then it’s up to bed, I check that both children are sleeping peacefully in their beds.

10.45pm     After a wash, change and a quick game of Scrabble on my phone, I settle down to sleep for around 11pm.

This was a pretty good day, but I was very grateful for Mr S being around and being able to do the school run, go back to the school when Little Miss hurt herself and then collect Little Man from football. If I had to do those things which I quite often do, it would have made the day much more demanding and stressful. For me there is no easy way to juggle work, family and running a house, I simply rely on lists and being incredibly organised. It would be nice to have more time in my day but I’m sure all mums feel like this and it’s a matter of making the best of the situation you are in. It would be interesting to complete this exercise in another 5 years to see what a day in my life looks like when the children are both in secondary school. I’m sure I’ll be missing those precious times such as the school run, cuddles on the sofa etc..

Lykke, Strictly and Muffins #littleloves


I’m finishing this week feeling a little sad, it’s been a tough week for Little Man at school which I wrote about here However it has reminded me of the importance for looking for the joys and sparkles in every day, there always special things if you look.


Last year I enjoyed the Little Book of Hygge so I have bought the follow up The Little Book of Lykke. Like Hygge I think that much of the content is perhaps things that we already know, do or aspire to do but it’s a nice read with inspiring case studies.


I’ve been read some of the World’s Worst Children 2 this week, it’s not only me Little Miss reads to, her toys are all lined up in bed to listen attentively too.


I also read a lovely email from a friend this week, we may not see each other as much as we would like to, but she’s an exceptionally generous and lovely friend. Excitingly this week, we’ve set a date for a weekend together and I’m already counting the days down!


Whilst it was only the launch show, it was the return of Strictly Come Dancing. This is my absolute joy and I love everything about Strictly; the music, dance, make-up and hair, the sparkle and glamour. I am so excited for the new series and of course, the return of Zoe on It Takes Two. As well as Strictly, Cold Feet was back again, another old favourite. It seemed like a bit of a catch up episode but sowed the seeds for some good storylines through the series and as always it had a cracking soundtrack.


As Sunday was such a wet and miserable afternoon, we chose an old Nigella recipe to inspire some baking with lemon and raspberry muffins. The Domestic Goddess continues to be one of my favourite cook books and the muffins were delicious and so quickly consumed I forgot to take a photo.img_5384


It was the last craft fayre of the season this weekend and having missed the big county show this year I wanted to visit my favourite jewellery stall for a little treat. Each year I buy a little something from the same silver stall, my daisy, flip flop, heart pendants have all come from here. This year I chose a delicate flower and branch to go on my necklace. I’m really pleased with my choice as I love simple silver designs.


Folk music! It was festival this weekend so there was lots of music and dancing all over the town. There was live outdoor music in the evenings too and on Friday and Saturday night I could hear the music from the bay as I lay in bed, it’s a nice way to end the day.


It’s a party weekend and as it’s at a venue in a different town, I think Little Miss and I will be looking for a little café for lunch together whilst Little Man enjoys the party with his pals. Apart from the party it’s a quiet weekend which I think is needed after an emotional week, we need time to enjoy the little things together.

Thanks to Morgana for her inspirational linkie.


Sometimes your heart breaks when you’re a mum …..


Artwork by Little Man

This is a different post to my normal entries. Writing has also been a release so today I’m writing how I feel about our amazing little boy. Sadly I had one of my most heart breaking moments with him this morning and I’m still trying to make sense of it.

Our little man has always loved school, learning, playing and just being with his friends. Today, for the first time ever he cried and said he didn’t want to go to school, however not only did he say he didn’t want to go to school he also took his school uniform off. After much comforting and cuddles our little man explained that he didn’t want to go to school because for some of his learning he is separated from his friends and has to do other work. He wants to sit at the big table and not his little table, play on the interactive whiteboard and not his iPad and get to do 3 digit numbers and not 2 digit numbers. In Year 3 we are beginning to see what we have always been worried about the widening academic gap between him and his peers.

From the moment we adopted him, we knew Little Man’s future could be uncertain. He was a one year old but could barely crawl and was developmentally delayed in many areas. However with hard work and perseverance from little Man and lots of professionals he has made amazing progress and physically and socially is on a level with his peers. I think this is the difficulty for him he loves his friends and wants to be able to do his work with them rather than his 1:1 TA. However his learning difficulties mean he needs the extra support and help, particularly in maths and literacy.

I’m being irrational today, so angry with his BM for drinking heavily and how much it affects our little boy, one of his diagnoses is probable FASD. I’m also raging against an education system where academic work is so strong for 7 and 8 year olds, he’s said he’s missing his play this year and he learnt so much through play in KS1, why stop a successful strategy? I’m just so sad too that I can’t protect him from the reality of his world where he will always be judged on the things he can’t do not what he can. I know how brilliant he is at making his Lego models, solving jigsaws, remembering details about his school topics, how well he can kick a ball or hit a ball in cricket, my little boy is amazing but there’s no academic levels for these achievements.

The school is outstanding in its support. Little Man has had 1:1 support from his first day and his TA is superb with him, he has made so much progress with her hard work. We went into school today to hand over our morning and speak to her and I think she was as upset as us that our bright, sociable and fun boy was feeling so sad about going to school. We’ve agreed some quick fixes so he gets to sit on the big table and try some simple 3 digit numbers but I think we all know this is simply the beginning and we need to work together closely to make school an inclusive experience for him. I’m also going back in to see the class teacher today and discuss more strategies with her.

Sometimes it’s heart breaking being a mum and trying to protect your children. Little Man has been in my thoughts all day today and I really need to see him and just hug him. Tomorrow is their ‘fun’ day with their favourite teacher in the morning and then forest school in the afternoon. Fortunately the forest school is somewhere he will thrive and not be the special needs child so that will get me through tomorrow. I think this is going to be a tough year but I just hope Little Man is secure and confident that he has family and a school team all rooting for him.

A Lazerquest Party


This year we held Little Man’s party before the school holidays. We have discovered that when you have a birthday in the holidays it’s quite difficult to get all your pals together on the day itself, so we tend to plan his birthday celebrations for the weekend before the end of term and celebrate as a family on his special day.

This birthday was an easy one to organise, a morning at Lazerquest followed by lunch at McDonalds. Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas which are the most fun for all. We took both our cars and had our two children and four guests in our party.  I made the party invitations, with the Lazerquest logo and using the Typorama app and laminated to finish them off nicely.

Lazerquest hold a 2 hour children’s session on a Sunday morning, teaching the children how to play and then playing lots of different games. it’s very much aimed at younger children so was perfect for our little group, no teenagers playing roughly and lots of helpers on hand. We booked in advance to guarantee our places but it was a quiet morning when we went. The session is very well organised with a game, a short break to look at scores, have a drink which is provided and then back to a new game. We played four games in total and in the second break we had the birthday cake. Lazerquest are really amenable to parties and were fine with us bringing in a cake.


As Little Man loves his cricket I had made a cricket pitch cake complete with him as the little cricketer. The grass was simply dyed desiccated coconut on a green buttercream base and the wickets were made from candy sticks ‘glued’ with icing. I got the figure on the internet with the colours matching those of his cricket club.

After a successful morning at Lazerquest we walked to McDonalds for lunch. The boys all loved their food which were simply Happy Meals of their own choices.

The games had tired the boys so it was a quiet journey home in the car. I did get to hear all the gossip about school so it was highly amusing!

As a thank you I made cards from two of my favourite photos of the day, dressed up in Lazerquest gear and then dabbing in McDonald’s. It’s a simple thing to do but a lovely momento. It’s also a really reasonable idea, costing the price of a photo print.

I was really pleased with the Lazerquest party, simple but fun. Now all I have to do is think of an original idea for next year.

A water party

My apologies if you’re reading this post about a hot, sunny day if its a cold and miserable Thursday afternoon and its been raining for days.  This is the random post which I write on the day after the birthday party but then post on an unrelated date so birth dates cannot be deduced.  These are some of the problems adoptive parents have online, its not just names and photos but key information such as dates of birth which need to remain secret.  This party was for my daughter’s birthday, we celebrated her birthday with a family treat at the weekend and then we held a tea party for 6 of her friends after school.

I love the planning and preparation of a party but as the years have progressed the themes have become more difficult to think of as we have done each one, Hello Kitty, Princesses, Ballet, Butterflies, Mermaids just to name a few.  It was really difficult to think of an original plan this year, we’re reading Harry Potter but we were hoping to have a water party and it was difficult to link the two.  After much thought, I realised that every night after we’ve read our story together, Little Miss always takes a Beano annual or comic to bed and with a few pranks and water pistols I could entwine the two ideas.  I did wonder how the guests would enjoy the theme, it wasn’t a very pink party but they loved it and their party bags of tricks, a whoppee cushion, magic putty, water balloons, stretchy toys etc..  went down brilliantly.

For the invitations I produced a Minnie the Minx design and then laminated them.

img_6285 I was using primary colours as I didn’t want a red and black theme which features prominently in some of the party ware available.  I only used red and black stripy napkins and bunting and used the bright colours elsewhere.  The birthday cakes ( yep plural because they were a bit smaller than I anticipated) were iced white and then I decorated them with personalised cake toppers.


I continued the Beano theme with a timetable of events to let everyone know what was happening.


We started with cocktails on our return from school, I did two jugs one tropical and one summer berry, the girls loved the ice, fruit and decorations.  The nibbles were crisps, breadstick, crudites and dips, simple and tasty.  As it was a boiling hot day the girls were really keen to cool down in the pool and I let them just splash around for half an hour, I had a basket full of  water pistols, so they could all have a water fight.  After all cooling down we started some water games from ideas I had from Pinterest.  The first was the bucket game, the teams had to pass a cup of water over their heads down the line and place the water in a pail, the catch was there was a hole in each cup and they had to do it as quickly as possible, a fun game.  Next we played water balloon bullseye, I drew three circles within each other and put a score in each circle,  the girls had two balloons each and threw them to get their score.  The final game was a surprise hit, I placed marbles in a bowl of water and the girls needed to remove them from the bowl using their toes, feet fishing, the focus and concentration was intense and it was highly competitive against the clock.   After the games the girls played in the pool again whilst I prepared tea.

I wanted to enjoy the party so kept the food very simple, an assortment of pizzas and a salad bar which they could help themselves to.  We were able to sit on the grass and enjoy the food.  The make your own ice cream sundae was great, my ingredients included mini meringues, marshmallows, berries, strawberry sauce and there were lots of second helpings.  As well as the birthday cake I also added our family tradition of top hats, they are marshmallows, topped with melted chocolate and a smartie and have been a feature of every party menu since I was a little girl, its not a party without a top hat!


After the food, we relaxed with a party playlist and the girls danced in and around the pool, impressing me with their singing and dancing, it was lovely to see and showed the rites of passage that we’ve all gone through.  The party then came to an end as parents arrived for 6pm.

I think this has been one of my favourite parties to organise and host, the Beano theme was fun and it was a brightly decorated party.  The water games were perfect on such a hot and sunny day and the mix of structured games and play worked well, the time flew by.

A day in my life …

When we were doing our adoption home study, one of the activities was to write a day in our lives. I think the aim was for us to think about how our daily lives would change with a child in our house. There were quite a few activities like this during the home study and our patience was tested a little, however it became another activity to complete to satisfy our social worker that we were ready to welcome a child. I was thinking about this activity a few days ago and whilst my original isn’t to hand to compare with, I decided to blog a day in my life to look back on in the years to come. I chose yesterday, Saturday, it was a very ordinary but typically busy day in the Sparkles’ family.

6.30 am, I am woken by Little Man stirring at 6.30am, no matter what time he goes to bed he is always up, bright as a button at 6.30am. He’s really good, he pops to the toilet and then plays with his toys in his bedroom. When Mr S gets up 10 minutes later to make a cup of tea to bring back to bed, Little Man potters down with him and I can hear them chat away in the kitchen.

6.45am, Tea in bed, courtesy of Mr S and the three of us awake talk about the day’s plans.

7.00am, Up and dressed for a run. I’ve tried to run at different times of day, but this works best for me. 7 – 8am is my hour on Saturdays and Sundays and I run off road through the local country park, it’s one of my favourite times of the week, great views, great music and just me.

7.15am – As I leave for my run, Little Miss wakes up and asks if she can join me. I agree to run past the house at 8am and if she’s ready she can do the last mile or so with me.

8am – Little Miss is dressed and keen to run with me so we head off for the last part of the run together. She’s a good running partner and we chat away whilst running.

8.30am – Back home and Mr S is making breakfast. We all sit down together to eat.

9am – Shower, dress and apply some simple make up.

9.30 -10.30am – Household jobs, laundry, tidying etc.. I try not to do much housework on a Saturday but this hour gives me time to do the daily jobs and keep on top of things.

10.30 – 11.30am – Little Miss and Mr S pop out to visit a friend and Little Man and I walk into town for our normal Saturday routine, the children return and choose books in the library, we go to the bakers for fresh bread for lunch and WHSmith for the Times, (I buy it for the excellent column by Caitlin Moran, Nadiyah Hussain’s bakes and the weddings page!) We might pop into a café, but today Mr S phones to say they are now at the festival field and we go to meet them and pick up a takeaway coffee here. In our town there are festivals and fairs most weekends in the summer, but this is the last and a really popular one for locals, our good bye to the season.

11.30am – We meet up with Mr S and Little Miss and there’s a great atmosphere in the field, we bump into lots of friends and acquaintances and its lovely to catch up and potter around the stalls. There’s also live music and story telling for the children in the late morning sun.

1pm – Back home and lunch is a little later today than normal after our trip out. In the autumn and winter its always fresh soup and bread for lunch at weekends. My lovely Father-in-law bought me a fantastic soup maker so 25 minutes later we sit down for lunch.

1.45pm – I have a cup of tea and read Caitlin Moran’s column and Nadiyah’s recipe in the Times magazine.

2pm – Normally I wouldn’t do homework on Saturday but the weather forecast for tomorrow is awful and we need to do a nature walk to collect examples of seeds and fruits in our local environment. I did a little reccie on my run this morning, so I return to the country park and the children enjoy finding the seeds and berries and burn off a bit more energy running around and climbing trees.

3.00pm – There’s a craft fayre in town today, again the last of the season, so Little Miss and I head down to look around, whilst the boys stay at home to do some Lego. The fayre is excellent, definitely the best of the season and I buy a necklace and some greeting cards. We may have sampled the fresh fudge too!

4.00pm – Back home and I’m preparing dinner in the kitchen. I love my kitchen and Saturday is the day to try new recipes or make more special dinners. I have Zoe Ball on the radio and it’s another of my happy times and places. After a busy day, it’s a simple tea, I’m making a potato gratin, with fresh veg and gammon steaks. Normally I have a helper but both children are busy playing a new game on Wii U.

4.30 – 5pm – Tea prepped I’m watching the football scores come through with Mr S as the children continue to play. There’s a late winner for Bristol City so I’m happy with the day’s results.

5- 5.30pm – Back to the kitchen to cook tea and set the table etc..

5.30 – 6pm – Tea around the table in the kitchen. I am a stickler for all the family around the table for meals. Whilst we have had a healthy menu today, we do have treats too, last night was pizza!

6- 7pm – Whilst Mr S does showers and pyjamas I tidy the kitchen before sitting down with a cup of tea to read. My current read on my Kindle is Amy Poehler’s Yes Please.

7pm – Strictly time. I LOVE Strictly Come Dancing and it’s my time that nobody dares to interrupt. Fortunately the children love it (and secretly Mr S too) so its family time around the television. Mr S takes Little Man to bed around 7.30pm for a story and Little Miss and I cuddle up to watch the rest of SCD.

8.40pm – As Little Miss watched Strictly with me she managed to get a later bedtime, it’s a quicker bedtime routine and the promise that she’ll go straight to sleep. She’s really good tonight, but I think she’s hoping that if she’s good this first week, she’ll be able to stay up late in the weeks to come.

9pm – Mr S and I sit down together. I get out my laptop and finish the Little Loves post I’ve been writing since Thursday, it’s been a busy week. There’s nothing much on the tv and we end up watching sport and chatting before bed.

11pm – Bedtime. On my way to bed, I always go into the children to check on them and to tell them I love them, I want the last thing they hear everyday to be something reassuring and loving. When I’m in bed, I rarely read but prefer to listen to music and often play a game of scrabble on my phone before sleeping. I’m lucky in that I never have any problem falling asleep and will sleep straight through to 6.30am

Back to school, coconut bakes and new projects #littleloves

And so just like that, it’s back to school and the start of a new school year. With the turn in weather too, it feels that autumn has arrived. Whilst I love summer, its time to embrace the new season, so it’s been autumn inspired menus this week, cosy knits and tights.


As we start a new school year, I love to read the children Dr Seuss’ The Places You Will Go. I only discovered Dr Seuss as a SEN teacher but his books are brilliant and well worth a read as an adult for their sage advice and humour. This book is inspiring and a smart message for the children going into their new classes to work hard, take opportunities and learn that whilst things get tricky with a good attitude and hard work you will succeed. I love this book so much that I’ll continue to read and quote it to the children until at least their college days!



The autumn schedules have started and I’m so looking forward to my favourite series Cold Feet later tonight. Continuing on the education theme I’ve been watching Education Manchester on Channel 4. Whilst I have worked in a special needs school for the last 12 years, the first half of my career was in inner city comprehensive schools so I can relate a lot to the schools in the series and have nothing but admiration for the amazing professionals. This series is introducing some tough themes and the mental health aspect was key in this week’s programme. Sadly, mental health is a huge issue in special needs ed too and so much more needs to be done to support our young people.


Last weekend the children went blackberry picking so we used the fruit in a blackberry crumble with a few extra ingredients. I used some coconut in the topping with a bit of orange zest, delicious. As I still had coconut left I added it to a bread and butter pudding too, again it gave a nice touch. I also made our first vegetable casserole and dumplings of the season, simple but one of my favourite meals and the perfect tea on a cold and wet evening.


Rain macs and winter knits, please can we have an Indian summer.


As I’ve written before Little Miss is always on my Spotify account and adding music. This week she is loving 1000 years by Christina Perri, it is a beautiful song and it does give me a warm, fuzzy feeling when I hear her singing and humming it around the house.


It’s nice to get the first week of school done, the children have had a really good week back and my working week has been positive too. At home the decorating has been finished and I’m now planning the final touches, cushions and throws and planning a possible furniture project too. It’s a new season and new plans….

Thank you to Morgana for hosting #littleloves