My Sunday Photo #26

So we’ve been sofa shopping this weekend and trying out newspaper shapes and sizes in the lounge. The criteria for the sofa was that it needed to fit all four of us so we can cuddle up and watch films together. Our choices are quite limited as the room is open plan, one wall has the playroom door, the other the windows and the third a fireplace. I originally thought a L shaped sofa would work best but having seen it in the shop and the paper shape, I think we’ve agreed on a different design in a blue which looks amazing. The newspaper trick definitely helped our decision.

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September #littleloves

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September for me as a mum and teacher is a month of new beginnings, new routines and an intense time at work.  Work has been tough this month, there have been evenings when I’ve been in bed at the same time as the children but home and work life are now both settling down into a new routine.  Mr S also has a new job,  he’s enjoying his new role and with both of us working part time, it does make home life easier.

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No matter how busy I am, I always to try and fit in 5 minutes of reading anywhere, whether it be waiting for a child to finish a club, at swimming lessons, relaxing after tea (I call it role modelling!) I write this as despite a busy month, I have managed to read 4 books and have nearly finished a fifth.    Two were brilliant, Mike Gayle’s The man I Think I Know a story of two old school friends who meet up unexpectedly in circumstances neither would ever have envisaged.  It’s a brilliant story of male friendship, and is emotional and life affirming.  I also really enjoyed Alain de Botton’s The Course of Love.  Its a really different style of book, a love story with a commentary, as the author says, we all focus so much on the beginning but what about the course of a love story, the nitty gritty of daily life.  The book analyses a relationship from meeting to middle age and there are many bits familiar to anyone in a long term relationship where you agree, laugh and get angry with the characters. 

This month I’ve had cinema dates with both my children, I saw the Incredibles 2 with Little Miss and Hotel Transylvania 3 with Little Man.  I loved the Incredibles, another genius Pixar film on so many levels. 

The autumn tv schedule has also begun and two of my favourite programmes, Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Bake Off have returned to make me very happy. For me television needs to light and relaxing, I may be one of the few not to have watched any episodes of Bodyguard this month, its too dark and demanding for my Sunday nights, which as a teacher is invariably spent on prep for the week.  

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This month began with a lovely family trip out picking blackberries, it was an abundant harvest and I have made crumbles, cakes and even jam with the fruit.  It was my first attempt at jam and it was a lot easier than I expected. 

Little Miss and I both made bakes for a MacMillan event, as her class organised a coffee morning which raised more than £350 for the charity.  I made Blondies and they were one of the best bakes I have ever made, it was a BBC Good Food recipe, simple but so moreish.  Little Miss made red velvet cupcakes with a very generous icing!

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Finally, I created a fancy dress costume for my son’s school trip to a Victorian house where they took part in role plays in a school house, a kitchen etc..  I managed to find an old tweed cap in our dressing up box at work, so I borrowed it for the day, we had grey shorts and a white shirt and then I sourced a waistcoat in a charity shop.  I have got some great fancy dress finds in charity shops.  The costume looked great and only cost me £2.

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September has generally been a sunny, warm month with the odd very cold and wet day randomly thrown into the mix.  Its been a month for layers as you’re not sure how the weather will develop through the day.  I did a little shopping trip and bought a stripy midi skirt from H&M, its not my normal style but I loved it when I tried it on and feel great wearing it.  Clothes should always make you happy.

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Most nights I listen to a podcast in bed and this month, I have discovered a new podcast, Books of Your Life with Elizabeth in which she invites a guest to recommend three books which they discuss.  The recommendations have been really interesting and a few have been added to my to read list. 

I’m looking forward to October as I finally get to enjoy my 2017 Christmas present from my parents, tickets to see Wicked.  Its also half term and it will be good to relax and catch up with family and friends, my social life was put on hold in September as I was just too tired to go out, I’m feeling better now and have some dates pencilled in the diary, there’s lots to catch up on. 

Thank you to Morgana for Little Loves

This was the summer …

Whilst its another day of bright sunshine, I think its nearly time to say good bye to the summer of 2018, the summer of sunshine, heatwaves, flip flops, sunglasses and so many happy memories.

This was the summer when

  1. We stopped needing to check the weather forecast, it was hot and sunny every day and we planned outdoor events weeks in advance knowing it would be ok.
  2. Sports day took place on its allocated day, unlike last year’s 3 attempts.
  3. The grass wasn’t lush and green but yellow and straw like, running took on unusual hazards such as minding the cracks in the dry ground.
  4. Every item in the summer wardrobe was worn, for months no long sleeves were needed.
  5. The school summer uniform was revised to simply an open topped shirt and shorts, no ties.
  6. Everything happened on the beach, Brownies, Beavers, school lessons.
  7. Ice cream became a temporary food group, even better if it was a fruity flavour, thus surely counting as one of your five a day!
  8. We decorated our house with a St George’s cross, wore England tops and even painted patriotic nails to cheer on the football team. England made us all proud at the World cup with their young, talented and eager team.  The cricket team played brilliantly too.
  9. Mum created the costumes for her little cat and dog in the school play, Little Miss shone on stage remembering all her lines and Little Man enjoyed singing.
  10. Mum, Grandma and Granfer enjoyed an alfresco lunch on a roof top with a stunning view to sea.
  11. The dance show rocked the town and sold out for 5 performances.
  12. Dabbing and flossing were key moves of the summer.
  13. Baby shark and 3 Lions were the ear worm songs of the season.
  14. We went to a festival in a field and listened to some amazing local talent.
  15. Mum learnt to kayak.
  16. We ate salad and vegetables grown in our garden by Mr S and his gardening squad.
  17. We screamed and shrieked on the rides at Paultons Park and Crealy.
  18. We splashed and squealed our way down lots of water slides at the water park.
  19. We rock and rolled at roller discos.
  20. Little Miss and Little Man went on adventures on school and Beaver camps.
  21. We swam at a retro inspired lido.
  22. Mum got a spa treat at Butlins and found the snow in a heatwave.
  23. We trained, played, watched and scored cricket.
  24. The girls sang and danced in their seats at Mamma Mia 2
  25. We celebrated lots of birthdays and anniversaries.
  26. Little Miss finally reached ear piercing age!
  27. Little Man and Little Miss learnt to drive Junior Segways and do the High ropes at Butlins, making a summer of thrills and spills.
  28. We loved exploring Cornwall, playing on the beach, walking through the dunes, swimming outdoors and enjoying ice cream sundaes and chip shop chips.
  29. Our hair became blonder, faces more freckled and our bodies a little browner

Summer 2018 you absolutely rocked!  

My Sunday Photo #24

Our new toy but look at the blue skies too, summer is still here.

Whilst I went back to school on Monday, my two had another 2 days of holidays. On Tuesday morning Mr S sent me a little video of the children shooting a few hoops and dribbling with a basketball. It was a bit of a surprise as when I had left a couple of hours earlier we didn’t have a basketball post and hoop! The three of them had been planning a morning of chores and on taking some things to the dump (aka Recycling centre) they had discovered this basketball post in the upcycling corner. I don’t know if this is a feature of most dumps but at our centre anything reusable is put in a section for people to take as needed. Over the years it’s been a great place to leave things that were useful but just not suitable for us anymore, stair gates, table, chairs etc.. It is amazing what you find in the upcycling section, it is a great community initiative and benefits our environment.

So we are now the owners of the basketball post and it has given us so much fun this week, I’ve been going old school and practising my netball moves whilst we all are finding hard to resist a shot as we walk past it. A freebie which has brought a smile to us all this week.

August #littleloves

So August was the month we needed to relax and just ‘be’ after a hectic few months. It was a quiet August but it suited us perfectly, at the start of the month we had a long weekend at Butlins and then later a holiday in Cornwall. The rest of the time was spent simply pottering around at home.

Little Miss and I finally got to go the cinema to see Mamma Mia Here we Go Again. I loved it for what it was, a cheesy, feel good film with a cracking soundtrack. Yes the plot was a bit flimsy but it was escapism and sometimes you just need 2 hours to smile, laugh and lose yourself in a film. The audience all cheered and clapped at the end and everyone including us left a little more summer sparkly.

I enjoyed watching the children trying new activities this month, Junior Segways, a High Rope course, Aqua jets, an aqua assault course. Summer is for new adventures.

I don’t have a credit for this image but it’s an excellent reminder of being the change you want to see.

It’s not a surprise that during my month off I read so many more books than normal. I read in the evenings as I normally do but also read in bed in the morning as I still wake up early and then take a reading break at lunchtime for 20 minutes. I only wish I could keep these habits up during term time. This month I’ve read 8 books and there have been some cracking reads. I gave the books on the top line of the photo 5* reviews on Good Books, they are all brilliant in very different ways. The Perks of Being a Wallflower has such strong characters and storyline, Notes on a Nervous Planet discussed the worries of our society whilst This is Going to Hurt is such a powerful snapshot of our wonderful nhs.

The children have also been reading lots, they did the summer reading challenge and gave just got their medals.

Another month of shorts and t-shirts, flip flops and sunglasses.

Little Miss wore earrings for the first time as she had her ears pierced after years of persuasive arguments and also enjoyed lilac highlights in her hair as a summer holiday treat.

A lot of our garden vegetables have been harvested this month and I’ve been trying to use our fresh food in recipes. Sometimes it’s simple recipes which are the tastiest, frittata with home grown peas and spring onions was delicious and it was accompanied by a salad containing our beetroot.

I like to plan ahead in August so have been making lists and priorities for the rest of the year. I’ve lots to look forward to.

After Mamma Mia, we’ve been playing the soundtrack and other Abba classics in the car, I like a good sing a long as I drive. Happier by Gretchen Ruben is one of my favourite podcasts and she’s done two great episodes this month on your signature scent and a Labor Day special themed on work, these are always interesting and inspiring.

So now it’s time for back to school. I am a summer girl so feel a bit sad as the season ends but it’s been the best summer with lots of happy memories and I’m ready to embrace the autumn and all its delights.

Thanks to Morgana for creating the Linky

My Sunday Photo #23

Today we had a lovely family trip out to pick blackberries. It was only a few minutes walk down the lane from home but it was something we were all doing together on a gorgeous hot and sunny morning and all appreciated just having fun in the moment. We did really well collecting blackberries and the children and I then made a crumble for tea with our pickings. Sometimes it’s the simplest things which can give so much joy.