#littleloves February 2019

 

img_5382I’ve enjoyed February this year, yes there have been grey and wet days but generally its been bright and fresh and we’ve spent a lot of time outside, exploring and playing.  Its been a lovely month socially, a cocktail party and lots of meet ups with friends and family.

img_5375-1So my goal of reading a classic title a month is already needing to be changed, I’m now going for a total of 12 classics in total this year.  I finished I Capture the Castle, a romantic fiction, matchmaking the daughters of a poor bohemian family and their new rich, American neighbours, it was amusing but dated.  I didn’t start a new classic this month, I needed something a little more contemporary.

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I read Still Me by Jojo Moyes this month and LOVED it.  Lousia is one of my favourite book characters, I love her vintage style, sweetness and determination, the perfect half term read.

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There’s a bit of a Jojo Moyes theme developing this month as I chanced upon the film ‘Me Before You’ one Sunday night.  It was one of those gadget zapping moments when you’re planning an early night, just seeing what’s on and 2 hours later, tears drying you end up late to bed.  Emilia Clarke was perfect as Louisa and I thought the film complemented the book beautifully.

I’ve also become a little obsessed with Death in Paradise this month.  Its something I’ve not really watched before, but last summer on holiday, Little Man watched it and absolutely loved it. This series, I’ve watched it on Thursday to check its okay for him to watch on Friday mornings (such a motivator to get up dressed and ready for school v quickly) and I’ve got hooked.  The scenery, simple story device, just make for a relaxing evening.
img_5378-1As it was Valentines day, Little Miss and I made a sweet treat for all her class mates, a little packet of Love Hearts with a nice personalised message to everyone in her class.  So I didn’t set myself up for years to come, we decided that it was just for Year 6.  I also made Valentines themed packed lunches, including heart shaped sandwiches, strawberries and a few of the jelly heart sweets in the lunch boxes.  Mr S was excused the heart shaped sandwiches but did get the sweets!

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I’ve also made lots of tea in my new teapot.  I fell in love with the colour and style and it looks perfect in my kitchen.  I really enjoyed going to the tea emporium and smelling all the different brews. I’m not a huge coffee fan, tea is definitely my drink.

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Its been a quiet month fashion wise, although I did buy a pair of pyjamas for the sleepover we hosted, I didn’t want to embarrass my daughter with my very old and well worn nightwear.

For the cocktail party, I wore an old favourite, I don’t have the opportunity to dress up much so am happy to wear something which I’m comfortable and confident in.

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img_5380-1One of my #19for2019 was to create playlists for special events during the year.  I did one for Valentines day, I’m not a soppy person but it did contain some of my favourite love songs and I’ve listened to it a few times.

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February was a great month and after a long, long January it seemed short and sweet.  I’m looking forward to pancakes next month and the blossoming of spring, there’s no big plans it will simply be a month to surprise us.

The inspiration for the blogpost came from Morgana at coffeeworksleeprepeat.com and is now hosted by Anna Marie at Mummyheartsyou.com

 

 

 

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#nourish

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One of the frustrations of writing an anonymous blog is the lack of opportunity to post photos of our family.  Its been a terrific half term week, I feel rested and relaxed and we have enjoyed lots of special moments.  My nourish list may be a little longer this week, but holidays give us the chance to get out and explore.

  1. Swimming at the Splash Centre. When I was growing up a trip to the Oasis swimming pool in Swindon was a big treat, the wave machines, slides etc..  We go to Butlins at least once a year so my children get to experience similar at their pool.  However we found a pool with slides, disco and rainbow, a water play pool and large pool near my parents and enjoyed a morning there.  My parents watched whilst the children and I had lots of fun in the water.  My two both love the water and it relaxes and calms them.
  2. A quiet read.  This week I devoured a book, Still Me by Jojo Moyes in a few days. For me there is nothing quite getting lost in a book and the joy of a great story. Following the book, I’ve been dreaming (and writing a bit of a plan ) of a visit to New York and vintage clothes.
  3. Grounded by Nature.  This week has been a fantastic week weather wise for half term, bright sunshine and a little warmth.  On Wednesday the four of us went to the local forestry commission and cycled for a few hours in the forest.  Yes the uphills are hard but the joy of cycling down a hill, wind in your face and legs out is one of the best feelings.
  4. A sleepover.  This week we held our first sleepover at our house, 2 girls stayed overnight whilst one just joined us for the daytime activities.  I was a bit worried but it turned out really well, we started at the park, home to ‘hang out’, made homemade pizzas and ice cream sundaes for tea and then chilled with music and films.  I was asleep at 12 to a quiet house.
  5. Old friends.  None of the friends I was closest to at school live in our home town and we are scattered across the continent.  I love my friends from school, they helped to define the person I became and whilst we stay in contact through email and cards and letters, its not quite the same as seeing them.  At Christmas I wrote to a friend and said that if she was ever in England to let me know and we would try to meet up.  She did respond to say she was visiting family this weekend, in a town 2 hours drive from me and by coincidence the same small town where one of my lovely aunts lives. As our boys are away at Grandads, Little Miss and I went on a little road trip.  We met up with my aunt first, she has lived in the same house for the past 35 years so it was full of memories of growing up with my cousins, its quite a feeling to be transported back to your childhood.  It was lovely to see my aunt and spend time with her, worth the trip in itself.  We then met up with my friend who was accompanied by her eldest daughter who is a similar age to Little Miss, they hit it off so well and we had a brilliant time together.  Whilst we might be older, greyer, we’re still those 14 year old girls.
  6. Time Out.  With the sleepover on Friday and a road trip on Saturday, I knew today needed to be quiet.  I planned our week so all my housework is done, the children’s homework, projects and all, were completed by Thursday, PE kits and school bags are packed and my Sunday ironing was done on Friday morning.  I even popped into a M and S food shop yesterday for our lunch today (this is a big treat)  Sometimes you need a day with nothing on the to do list.

 

Life Lately ..

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I am a summer girl and so find winter the most difficult of the seasons, early winter brings the excitement and sparkle of Christmas but January and February can be cold, dark, long months.  The quietness of the season means our little town feels like a ghost town, many independent shops shut up for a couple of months and road closures mean that we have been even more isolated than normal this year.  I never quite feel myself in these months and this has been noticeable in the sunny, warmer days we’ve had this week which have made me feel so more alive, purposeful and productive.  This is not to say that I’ve spent the last few months in a dark place, just a different place! We have been lucky this year, no Beast of the East (however I’m mindful that the bad snow last year was in March) and we have had some bright, crisp days.  We have managed some lovely days out at the weekends, cycling in the forest, visiting a local animal sanctuary and long walks.  I’ve had fun in the kitchen cooking some lovely family meals and perfecting the art of meringues often with a little helper or two.  There’s also been time for life admin and to make a start on some projects.  Yes we’ve been pottering on but the zest and energy of the spring months have been missing.

This week has been half term and a bright and warm week.  Last weekend we spent a long weekend with my parents in Somerset, the highlight was the Splash World at a local holiday centre,  with disco and rainbow slides (I loved them), water play area and pool.  My children love the water and happily played whilst my parents watched.  We’ve also had a session at our local sports centre called Inflatable fun, which was the Sports hall filled with a variety of inflatables, a simple but really fun idea.  Wednesday was our only day together, just the 4 of us, so we went to the local forestry commission and hired bikes for a 2 hour ride in the forest, there is something so grounding and calming about being in nature.  Today has seen us split up, Mr S and Little Man have gone to Grandad’s whilst Little Miss and I are at home.  As I write this, I’m hosting 3 of her friends for a sleepover, they’ve ‘hung out’ at the park, we’ve made pizzas from scratch and created some lovely ice cream sundaes, there are now makeovers happening upstairs and then it will be film time with The Greatest Showman Singalong.  I’m hoping for some sleep tonight as once our visitors leave in the morning, Little Miss and I have a little road trip to see my aunt and an old school friend before a very lazy Sunday.  The PE kits, ironing and homework have all be done and we’re ready for the return to school on Monday, so there really is no reason not to simply rest and relax on Sunday.

As the lighter days develop and the warmth radiates us all, I’m looking forward to the coming months, we’ve been making plans during the winter and its nearly time for action!

 

 

 

#nourish

So 5 little morsels of nourishment from my week …

1. A day out at the animal sanctuary. A day full of winter sunshine and lots of small and farm animals. My personal favourite, definitely the goats.

2. Valentine’s Day Treat. To try and quell the slight hysteria from Year 6, I suggested to Little Miss rather than choose one person to send a Valentine why not her whole class and to focus on everyone’s qualities. I bought mini packets of Love Hearts 💕 and I typed a label as she chose a special quality for each person. The comments weren’t romantic just nice, you make me smile, I like your style, you’re a great gymnast etc..

3. A new hair colour. To hide the grey I regularly have my hair dyed and a new colour makes me feel happier and more youthful. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up on all the news with my hairdresser.

4. Friday 2.30pm. The start of half term and the anticipation of a more relaxed week for me.

5. Macarons. We’re at my mum and dads this weekend with lots of treats. For tea on Saturday we had these delicate macarons. One day I’ll pop into Ladurée in Paris for the real delicacy but for the time being they were a lovely alternative.

#Nourish

In choosing my theme for the year, nourish, I wanted something which would embrace mind, body and spirit.  Each week will have different elements, this week there is a social theme, which has nourished my spirit and heart.

  1.  Cocktails and a cosy pub ….

This week, I’ve enjoyed two nights out (and one on a school night too!). On Saturday I was at a cocktail party, I don’t drink but was so impressed by the mocktails put on for us, not only delicious but beautifully presented.  It was a lovely party, a great disco soundtrack, fantastic company and a wonderful excuse to dress up and sparkle.  Tuesday night was more intimate with just three of us out, but we got to sit in front of the fire in the pub on big leather sofas and catch up.  I really enjoy the company of these two women and feel inspired and relaxed with them.

2.  The little things ..

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On Friday we had Storm Eric and it really was wild.  By the school run time, the rain was of biblical proportions and even though it’s the one night of the week when Little Miss walks home alone, I couldn’t let her do that so drove to school to pick her up. I remember the feeling when I was little and would look out of the classroom window and see my mum’s or my friend’s dad’s car and the relief and excitement of getting home quickly.  Sometimes nourishing someone is about making people realise that they are the centre of our lives and we will show our love in whatever way we can.

3.  The calm after the storm

Apart from storm Eric it’s been a pretty yucky week weather wise.  However on Thursday (my day off) and today we’ve had some gorgeous blue sky winter days.  We had a family day out on the bikes today and the crocuses, daffodils and snowdrops were all in bloom. They’ve shown the glimmer of the spring to come and have raised spirits with the anticipation of the new season.

4.  A space (room) of one’s own

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My bureau is my place in the house, it contains my  diary, writing books, lots of stationery and everything that I might need.  I added a couple of cacti this week for decoration. and replaced my used winter candle with a new spring aroma,  lime, basil and mandarin.  It’s these little things that nourish my soul.

 

 

#19for2019, 2 down, 17 to go …

It’s always nice to be able to tick off items on a list (or is that just me?) My #19for2019 includes some activities which I’ll work on over the year but others which I can quickly tick off. So far in the first six weeks of the year I’ve managed to tick off 1 and 3, bake a meringue and prepare a cub blanket for my son.

I used this meringue recipe from BBC Good Food which is my go to foodie website and it worked perfectly.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2445/ultimate-meringue

I chose a meringue as I wanted to try a new technical challenge. The meringues were that beautiful mix of crispy and chewy. I’m always keen to develop a theme so whilst this recipe ticked off make a meringue I also want to try a Baked Alaska and Lemon Meringue pie this year to perfect my technique.

My second item to be ticked off was the cub blanket. I needed to take the badges off my son’s old Beaver jumper and start his cub blanket ready for camp later this year. It was a comforting activity, sitting with it in my lap as I did the job and knowing its something he will snuggle under too. I suppose it’s part 1 as when he moves to Scouts I’ll need to do the same with his cub badges. He loves scouting and it is such a positive experience for him.

So that’s 2 of my 19 ticked off, I wonder what will be next …

#nourish

For my theme of nourish, I decided that once a month I would have a ‘nourish’ day, set in my diary for my self care. Inspired by the book, Self Care Project by Jayne Hardy I realised that this didn’t need to be a day of massages and pampering but simple things to please me. I have some great ideas for the ‘nourish’ days in warmer weather but given the very hectic month, poor weather and the feeling of being overwhelmed, I designed a day I needed. I met a friend for coffee (and her gorgeous baby, what’s more nourishing than the wonder of a new life). I watched a film that’s been on my to watch list from the comfort of my cosy bed and completed the cub blanket I’ve been doing for my son, a little creativity in my day. It was just what I needed in January.

Other nourishing activities this week have been playing Lego with my son; our trip to a local attraction inspired some great builds. I also helped at cubs this week, I think volunteering is at the heart of a strong community.

We’ve also had a number of appointments this week. Whilst they’ll remain private, I felt comforted by attending them and addressing our worries.

Last night I read my new magazine and loved the quote below from the Simple Life magazine.