#littleloves : October 2018

img_5382October turned out to be a wonderful month.  The weather was unseasonably mild, full of bright sunshine and blue skies which made a beautiful contrast to the rich red, yellows and browns of the falling leaves.  We spent a lot of our time this month outside, participating in a ‘beat the street’ initiative and then at half term enjoying lots of nature walks, trails and even crate stacking.  Crate stacking is something I wasn’t familiar with before but turned out to be a lot of fun, if not a little scary at great height, balanced on a crate (you wear a harness for safety)

Halloween decorations 2018



There’s a theme to my non fiction reading this month, joy!  A book which really had me reflecting was Ingrid Fetell Lee’s Joyful : The surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness.  It is so interesting and if you have an interest in interior design its a must read, with so much about shape, colour, texture.  I made lots of notes on this book and its made me think how to develop our home.  I also read Susan Calman’s book Sunny Side Up : A story of kindness and joy, it is so uplifting and positive, just what’s needed on dark nights.



This month I finally got to use my Christmas present from 2017, tickets for Wicked.  It was amazing and so different to my expectations.  I loved the way it developed the story, I was expecting a good vs evil story, but the stunning plot has left me thinking about it for many hours since.   I appreciated the links to the Wizard of Oz which complemented the story too.  The music, costumes, lighting etc.. were stunning and it made for the perfect day out with Little Miss.  We really made an occasion of the day, new outfits, dinner out together, I loved it and am planning our next trip to the theatre.


So it was half term and the project homework was to make a Victorian invention.  Little Man chose the London underground.   In our model, we created London on top of a shoe box and when you opened the box, you discovered the underground.  I’m proud of our creativity!  Little Man made an underground train for the tunnel and there is a hole on the side so you can peer into the tunnel too.


Halloween is a bit of a tricky time for us as Little Man gets really scared.  Rather than trick or treat, I made a treasure hunt, inspired by Little Man’s request for an Easter egg hunt for Halloween.  It included the traditional swinging sticky pudding, apple bobbing and lots of treats hidden around the house to find.  It was a lot of fun and enjoyed by all of us.


I also made one of my favourite bakes ever, a pumpkin and ginger cake.  The flavours were perfect together and a brilliant way to use up pumpkin from the carvings.

Halloween lunch box, including the pumpkin and ginger cake.


I do like to theme an outfit for an event, I had hoped to wear emerald green shoes to Wicked but my poorly foot meant it was back to Converse pumps.  However, I did manage to coordinate for a trip to Slimbridge Wetlands, where I wore my swan jumper!



Well after our theatre trip, my big listen has been to the Wicked soundtrack, we know the words well enough to sing along now.  A you can see I love everything Wicked this month.


Just to leave a few photos here of some beautiful days we’ve enjoyed this half term.



Thanks to Morgana for the inspiration behind this linky.



#blogtober18 : Day 20, Ten facts about you.


I am shy and whilst this blog is anonymous because our family was created through adoption, I’m not sure how open I would be otherwise as I am a private and quiet person.  Today’s challenge is 10 facts about you, so here goes ..

  1. I live in a small seaside town in the south of England.  Its a gorgeous town and I love our local community. Mr S and I have lived here for 14 years now and have no intention to move.  The seaside is my happy place.
  2. By the age of 18, I had lived in 3 different big towns and attended 5 different schools. I crave security and stability now.
  3. I really like football, I have attended league games since I was about 7 and been a season ticket holder for many years.  My team is Bristol City, although I also like the local team which my son supports.
  4. I am a Francophile.  My degree is in French and Politics. During my degree I worked as an assistante in a French school.
  5. I can communicate in the sign language, Makaton.  I use it at school where I am  a special needs teacher and can tell stories and sing songs in Makaton. I love this skill.
  6. I am a list person, I have a plan and list for everything.
  7. I am scared of rats, however spiders don’t worry me and I am chief spider remover in our house.
  8. I love the smell of lavender.
  9. I enjoy the peace of trail running, I pop on my music and just run through the fields.
  10. My favourite room in the house is the kitchen, I write here, do craft projects and bake.  Its my little space and retreat.

I think this post is a nice place to end #Blogtober18. I am behind and suddenly feel a pressureto do it, this isn’t how I want to write.  I am leaving it here for this year and hope that October 2019 may be a little less busy, with time for daily writing and musings.  Thank you to #bigfamilyorganisedchaos for providing the inspiration for this project and sorry that mine is a slim downed version.

#blogtober18 : Day 19, Style for Autumn and Winter


Ha, me as a fashion stylist is an interesting concept!  Typically in the summer, I’m a shorts and flip flops girl, in the winter, leggings and a tunic or dress with layers as needed.  There’s no style tips here, I go for comfort and practicality, although I love patterns.  My favourite shops to buy in are Fat Face, White Stuff and Sea Salt and to browse its Boden, unless its sale time!  This season, I’m needing to buy more maxi skirts and dresses and fewer trousers, I’m awaiting an operation and with my foot due to be in plaster for some time, they’ll be my only option.  As I won’t be able to drive I’ve invested in a very warm winter coat too.  I do love accessories and hats are my thing, I love a bobble hat and bright colours suit me best, clothes wise I stick to navy and neutrals so the accessories inject colour and humour.  I still have last year’s fuscia pink bobble hat and now have similar in lilac too.

My footwear is very limited this year, normally I enjoy wearing my boots in winter but this year with said foot injury (again) its Converse pumps as my only comfortable option, although I have a variety of colours now.  I hope that when I have a little more time when the children are older, I will be able to become more interested in fashion and try new styles, I’ve always fancied a session with a personal shopper to challenge my style and encourage something different.

A few examples from my wardrobe.

#blogtober18 : Day 18, Respect Everyone #worldvaluesday

Gosh, what a theme for today, such a simple concept yet one which seems so tough in today’s society.  I don’t know if its the influence of social media, politics and some world leaders’ actions and values but tolerance of others seems to have worsened over recent years.  Religious hatred, racism, sexism seem so much more prevalent.  Social media has many positive traits but the anonymity means people say things that are cruel, ugly and evil, hiding behind a mask.  They then find an ally and believe that their views are just and proper and hatred develops.  It’s up to us to call out such prejudice and hatred and to promote tolerance, to show that such views are not acceptable.  This poem is one of my favourites and whilst from World War 2, is still relevant today.


#Blogtober18 : Day 17, Quick Hide the Wrappers, #chocolateweek


There is no doubt about it, I am a chocoholic.  I love chocolate, white chocolate the most but I’m very happy to nibble on other varieties too. I like it plain, flavoured, cheap bars, expensive bars although oddly not in a rich chocolate cake or pudding.  My ultimate favourite would be white chocolate and raspberries. We live in a town with a specialist chocolate shop which makes their own bars and chocolates.  You can peer through the factory window and watch as they blend flavours together and when you order a coffee in their café there’s always the monthly special on your saucer. I don’t drink due to medication I take for preventing migraines, don’t smoke so chocolate is my vice and one I don’t intend to give up.

#Blogtober18 : Day 16 Perfect Recipe for You #nationalbakingweek


Okay,  a confession, last year I was really disciplined and organised with Blogtober but this October life has taken over and I am writing this retrospectively.  I’m now 13 days behind, but with a few quiet days in my diary and short posts I’m hoping to catch up as I don’t like having incomplete projects.

I am a baker and have always loved to find solace in the kitchen.  There are a number of recipes which are my favourites.  As a little girl, my grandma taught me how to bake cherry scones and these always remain a special treat, it is the recipe I will pass to my children.  My mum wasn’t a baker and I would teach myself from her cookery books, I always remember a recipe from an early Good Housekeeping recipe book for a fruit cake with a surprising addition of melted chocolate, the best recipe for fruit cake I know. I’m gutted the book was thrown away before a house move as I would love to have the original recipe.  The only bake I remember my mum making regularly was a kiwi cheesecake from Family Circle magazine in the 1980s, kiwis were new and it was so exotic! In my blog I’ve written of the recipes and flavours I use in my bakes, I am a fan of fruit flavours often with chocolate.  When I discovered Nigella’s lemon and raspberry muffins in her Domestic Goddess cookbook , I was inspired to try more combinations and my baking became more seasonal.  This recipe book is one of my favourite reads, well thumbed, stained and loved.  This week, which is Halloween week due to my tardiness, I’ll be making a seasonal cake with our fresh pumpkin, a pumpkin and ginger bake, rich with treacle and warmed by spices, perfect for dark, cold nights.  To me a freshly baked cake is one of life’s little pleasures.

Bookmarked, mucky thumb prints and well read, this is how a recipe book should look. 

#Blogtober18 : Day 15, Ones who couldn’t stay ..


Today’s theme is for #babylossweek.   I have never written my full story and I won’t be today, people deal with grief in different ways, to me it is just too heart breaking.  I will repost the links for the two posts in which I have mentioned the loss of our baby boy on this blog.  By not writing does not mean not remembering, ten years later, I think of him and I love him with such intensity and depth, words simply can’t describe my feelings.



Sending my love and thoughts to all of who have lost their precious children x


#blogtober18 :Day 14, Never Doing That Again ..


Well this has to be one of the most difficult prompts, I’m not one for either risks or regrets and there’s very little that I would never want to do again.  I wish I had a hilarious story of a drunken night where I did something mad and had vowed to never do it again, but I was always the friend who just stayed that little bit less drunk to make sure everyone was ok and safe.  I’ve never done anything high adrenaline, no parachuting, parascending, simply because its never really rocked my book, I prefer experiences shared with friends and family.  I’ve done things that I’m not keen on, again I wouldn’t do them again out of preference but its not such a strong dislike as intimated in the title.

I suppose the only thing I can think of for this post is never eating meat again.  However as I’ve been vegetarian for more than 30 years its also something I can’t imagine now. I don’t like the taste and texture of meat and even as a child I would hide meat under my knife and fork rather than eat it.  I’m also not a huge fan of vegetarian meat alternatives, such as Quorn it serves a purpose and is useful in some recipes but my veggie favourites are vegetables and pulses, cheese and eggs etc.. There are amazing veggie recipes which can be made so simply with fresh produce.

#blogtober18 : Day 13 : Movies you have watched a 1000 times …

First of all, I am choosing films I have watched in pleasure.  As a cinema usherette there are some films I watched so many times I could understudy any of the actors, Silence of the Lambs, Terminator 2, Mermaids, etc.. basically anything released between 1991 – 93 I’m pretty familiar with and good for in pub quizzes. However my personal list is slightly different.

I think the list of movies I’ve watched lots has definitely changed since I became a parent, children films feature heavily in my list now but I love them.  Children’s films are spoilt on children, they are so clever with brilliant stories and lots of magic.  Is there a better way to spend a wet afternoon than watching a favourite film with your children cuddled up next to you?  In compiling my list I also realise that a couple are Christmas traditions, Love Actually and Miracle on 34th Street, films can be about a feeling, a belonging.

I can’t decide on my most watched film, it is only between two, Grease and Dirty Dancing, like wise I can’t decide which of the two is my favourite.   Music plays a big part in my favourite films, you can’t beat a great soundtrack.

So in no particular order, my most watched films are


Dirty Dancing

Love Actually

Cinema Paradiso

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Four Weddings and a Funeral




Toy Story series

It’ll be interesting to see how the list develops over the years, I think Paddington 2 and The Greatest Showman may feature strongly soon.


#blogtober18 : Day 12 : Loving These Right Now …

I’m playing catch up on #Blogtober18, I’m just a couple of days behind so for speed its a list for this post and it may become a bit random.  These are a few of the things I’m loving right now ….

Strictly Come Dancing.  This is my favourite television programme, I love the dancing, music, costumes, make up, the sparkles and all the feels it gives me.  Mr S isn’t a fan so I follow the commentary on Twitter and it just adds a little extra to the show.

My new candle.  I picked it up at a local craft show and the sweet orange and chilli pepper aroma is so warming on cooler autumn evenings.

Lauren Laverne of Desert Island Discs.  Kirsty is the Queen of Desert Island Discs, but her ‘cover’ in Lauren Laverne is superb and making this series an excellent listen.

Wicked.  I saw the musical on Saturday and can’t stop thinking about it.  The story was so unexpected and my interpretation of the characters changes the more I think about it.  The songs, costumes were all stunning and this musical will stay with me for a long time.

Converse Pumps.  I am awaiting surgery on my foot and despite my best efforts to find a shoe to fit, converse pumps are the only ones I am able to wear.  I have an old navy pair but have embraced colour with a lilac pair and bright red for fun.

The walk home from school.  I always love the walk home with the children, but with the  unseasonably mild afternoons and the sensory fun of crunching through the fallen leaves the autumn walk home is one of life’s simple pleasures.  I’m also embracing the final year of my two walking home together, this time next year Little Miss will be at secondary and I’ll be missing this time to walk and talk together.