#nourish

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This month was all about nourishing the mind, body and soul in the great outdoors.  It was Easter holidays and I know that our family relaxes best with being outside, that’s walking through the forests, following a trail, hiking to a local landmark and we embraced all such activities this month. There were also a few, bright days which led to beach adventures.

We also got good nourishment from a family get together for Grandad’s birthday where we ranged in ages from 9 – 87 but all enjoyed good company, warm sunshine and ice creams on the beach!

Given it was Easter and then a busy time at work, I didn’t get my planned nourish day, that’s the reality of being a working mum but I felt relaxed and chilled by the month, the outdoors is where I get to be happiest and grounded.

outdoors

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Little Loves : The April Edition

img_5382This year it felt that April was a month of anticipation, waiting for a late Easter celebration.  Thanks to my part time hours and bank holidays, I felt like I was on holiday for a lot of April.  Our Easter holidays were full of activities and celebrations, from the sporty, swimming, tennis and loads of walking to family days out at the aquarium and local attractions and then a family birthday and Easter celebrations.  April was a lovely month topped off with a heatwave for Easter weekend, just perfect.

img_5375-1I’ve finished reading two books this month, The Closed Circle by Jonathon Coe and The Language of Kindness, a nurse’s story by Christie Watson.  The Closed Circle is a sequel to the Rotters Club which I really enjoyed, a story following the fortunes of a group of school boys (albeit pretty much all middle class and white).  I wasn’t so taken by the sequel but it was interesting to look back retrospectively at the late 1990s, particularly through the political events, New Labour etc..  It was quite satisfying that the privileged backgrounds didn’t bring success or happiness in all cases.  The second book was much more inspiring and heart breaking, you do need a box of tissues on hand and this book will only deepen your admiration for the nurses in our hospitals.  The book takes the reader from birth to death through different stories, I learnt so much in this book from the history of nursing to some new medical information.  I really recommend The Language of Kindness.

This month I have also read the online updates from my parents who are doing the Camino Santiago.  I’m so proud of them for having completed it. The children and I followed in our Atlas, ticking off the route as they progressed.
img_5379-1On television, my husband and I finally succumbed to all the hype about Line of Duty and are totally hooked.  Its the first series we have watched and can’t wait to the finale next weekend.

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At the cinema, I took the children to see Shazham, about a teenager who can turn into a superhero by saying Shazham.  I loved it, its funny, has a decent story line and great effects.  Its also great to see a film where the foster family have such a positive portrayal.  Its a fantastic film.
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For Little Miss this month it was her final Easter bonnet parade at school so we made a fascinator containing chocolate, she was made up.  Little man had a farmer look.

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On the final weekend of the holidays we had a family get together for Grandad’s 87th birthday.  As it was at the end of the holidays, we had time to plan our outfits and all felt that little glow you get from a well chosen outfit.

My dress is from Boden, who do the comfiest and stylish dresses in fantastic prints. I bought the small basket, ethically, hand woven in one of the art galleries in town and the scarf is an old favourite.  Little Miss’ skirt is from Fat Face and the white daisy top and rainbow trainers are from Next.

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This month, I spent an evening each with the children making their Easter bonnets, its nice to have 1:1 time on a little creative project.

I also planned and made the Easter lunch.  I wanted a simple, fresh meal as it was the day after the big family celebration for Grandad so I knew we would have eaten well and perhaps a little indulgently and also because I knew there would be lots of chocolate and treats being consumed too.  I was really pleased with the menu and food, it suited our Easter Sunday celebrations perfectly.

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https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1I4XU9bbskKkVDLBhmGk3Q?si=jLYWKog1RGG3JSu1wzPGVA

Continuing with my #19for2019 theme, I made a playlist for Easter.  Its strange how some songs have such an emotional effect on you and I found in this playlist, that there are a few songs which have special family memories.  Whilst they may appear as random choices, for me there’s a story behind them, from my dad singing ‘Tulips from Amsterdam’ to me when I was a little girl, to ‘Easy Lover’ being no 1 and on the new Now album we got for an Easter to the deep, spiritual effect of the hymn ‘Were you there..’ This #19for2019 is having a special meaning for me, that I wasn’t expecting.  img_5386-1So May starts our busy, busy time of the year, our calendar is looking pretty full in the upcoming months, holidays, school and cub camps, SATS (grrrr) and a few secret surprises.  This is my favourite time of year, I’m just looking forward to feel the warm sun rays on my face and slipping on my favourite flip flops.

Easter 2019

I’ve written in previous years, more detailed posts about Easter, our traditions, memories and it’s importance to me for spiritual and religious reasons.  This year, it seems Easter was a long time coming … It’s the last weekend of our two week holiday, so we did lots of Easter activities at school in the last week of term and then had a long wait for the festival.

In the last week of term we made Easter bonnets for the school parade.  This is a big local tradition going back more than a century and as it was Little Miss’ last parade we wanted to do something special.  Little Miss has always wanted chocolate to feature on her bonnet and upto this year I’ve always refused, however with the promise that she would share the chocolates with her friends, I allowed her some eggs,  We came up with a nest on a fascinator, with the nest full of small chocolate eggs.  It worked well.  Little Man went for a farmer theme, we used his straw hat from last year and glued on fake grass and carrots.

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Around our home I have used many of my favourite decorations, the fireplace and side window of the lounge are decorated, whilst I also have a feature window in the kitchen with my beautiful Easter wreath.  I did treat myself to a few new pieces which were presented on a table in the lounge.  I love my new table cloth, it’s hand embroidered and I picked it up in a vintage shop at a very reasonable price.  I’ve been looking for something similar for years so am delighted with my find.  The other new decorations are from a local store in town, it seems that there’s a rabbit theme to my designs this year.  The rabbits with the creme eggs are labelled with the children’s names and from a little shop on Etsy. I thought this was a more lasting gift than a bigger egg and it’s safe to say they’ve both had lots of chocolate today.

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As it’s been a late Easter, we have also celebrated my Father in Law’s 87th birthday this weekend.  We met up with him and other family members on Saturday, enjoying a meal in a country pub and then having a little potter around Lyme Regis, in the most gorgeous sunshine. We all wore our new Easter outfits yesterday, I love the look Little Miss was wearing an embroidered blue skirt and simple white daisy top with some fabulous rainbow pumps.  Little Man was really pleased with his sequin skull tshirt, though I’m not sure if it was quite in keeping with the joyful celebrations.

After such a long day for Easter Saturday, we did a lot of travelling, we were all a little tired and we kept things simple at home today.  The children enjoyed the sunshine playing in the garden and paddling pool, our neighbours popped over and we had our traditional Easter egg hunt.  For the first time we had to be careful with the hiding of the chocolate as it was so hot and shady spots were needed.  I created my hand drawn instructions again this year. I’m not an artist but it’s just something I’ve been doing every year and it wouldn’t be Easter without my sheet. I also created a playlist of suitable songs for the hunt and dinner, I love having the music to complement the celebration. Our day finished with an Easter dinner, a red onion and goats cheese filo tart accompanied by seasonal Spring vegetables, I enjoy planning  a special menu for special days. For me Easter is about celebrating with good company, delicious food and treats and this year it has been a lovely weekend of family and simple pleasures.

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My Saturday Read

Every Saturday, normally just after lunch I sit down and read Caitlin Moran’s column in the Times magazine. I love her writing and each week, her piece is refreshing, honest and often, amusing. I’ve kept many columns for Little Miss to read in the years to come, to encourage, inspire and comfort.

This week’s column made me smile and remember the music, films and books which shaped me in my teens. I’ve made a little collage of some of my likes, I’m not embarrassed these are the songs, books and films which made me me!

Date day

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Whilst we like to do lots as a family, Mr S and I do ‘dates’ with each of our children to give them special time with us individually.  Today was one such day and it was my turn to take Little Miss out whilst Mr S and Little Man went to their favourite museum, with lots of interactive exhibits.  The children get to choose where they would like to go and Little Miss knew exactly where she wanted to go, the cat cafe.

Last year we came upon the cat cafe by accident when we were in a neighbouring town, the only problem was that it was closed.  However I did a bit of research and found the cafe online.  It’s a really interesting project, a cat rescue centre for 12 cats with a cafe within run by volunteers, many with learning difficulties.  You pay an entry fee of £5 per person for the care of the cats and then order from the menu.  I’m not a cat person but Little Miss was in her element, she was so happy stroking and playing with the cats, chatting away to the volunteers learning the cats’ names and characteristics and just loving it.  The cafe was busy with customers all keen to do similar. The building has been beautifully prepared for the cats, lots of  beds, toys, stunning playgrounds, everything has been done to make the cats very well cared for.  Little Miss’ reaction to our trip was simply ‘amazing’ and she hasn’t stopped talking about the cafe.  Her reaction shows why we do these dates, to let them choose something to share with us and have a little treat.