Tommy Week 1

So our favourite little elf has returned for his fifth year and is as charming and magical as ever. Here are the photos of week 1 of his 2018 adventures.

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Poppies, Dragons and Winter Coats November’s #littleloves

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This November has been a lovely little month, we’ve had fireworks and camp fires, a trip to the theatre, family visits and the general whirl of life.  This is the month when I get organised for Christmas, I prep up in November so I can relax and enjoy all the Christmas fun in December, so its been evenings with lists and jobs.

img_5379-1 The month started with a fireworks night with the cubs, there is something special about being wrapped up on a clear night, with stars shining brightly and watching pretty fireworks in the sky, its a British tradition which I love.

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I took Little Man to the theatre this month, I would have taken both children but Little Miss had a diary date.  We saw the play ‘You’ve got Dragons’ based on the book of the same title.  The dragons in the title are your worries and it was exceptionally well done to help the young audience understand their fears and how they can ‘tame’ them.  I was so impressed on a number of levels, firstly the cast had two deaf actors so it was fully signed and had lots of screens to help understand the story too, it was great to see an inclusive play.  The children also got little gifts as they left to help them be more mindful, a wristband, sheet of activities and the all important sticker! Little Man did grasp the theme of the play and has since spoken about his worries with me and we’ve come up with ideas to help.

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My final watch this month was our town’s remembrance parade and short service at the war memorial.  Our town embraced the centenary of the armistice and there were poppies and flags everywhere for remembrance.  The town’s shops and businesses were asked to place a poster in their window to remember one of the ninety nine local men killed in World war 1.  The results were stunning, with many doing extra research of ‘their’ soldier and making very poignant displays.  Little Man paraded with the cubs and took it very seriously.  I felt truly moved as I watched the wreaths being laid.  There was a large gathering around the memorial, and as we stood in silence as dusk fell and the gentle waves lapped on the beach, there was a profound feeling of peace and gratitude.

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img_5380-1This month I really enjoyed a 5 part serialisation of Michelle Obama’s book Becoming.  Its available on the BBC Sounds app.  Michelle’s warmth, wit and intelligence shine through the series and although this was just highlights, I am looking forward to reading the book soon.

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img_5375-1Despite reading 42 books so far this year, I have not finished a book this month.  I’m currently reading Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult and am finding it uncomfortable but compulsive reading. Many evenings I’ve been planning Christmas where I have read a few recipe books and magazines for foodie inspiration.

img_5384-1Although the majority of the month has been unseasonably warm, we got a few stormy days and I have loved wearing my new winter coat.  To buy a warm, winter coat was one of my #18for2018, I always intend to buy a winter coat but can never find one, put if off because of price, or think that my current one will last one more season.  In the Beast from the East earlier this year, I realised my coat was not warm enough and in a rash move, recycled it, it was one way to ensure I bought a new one.  My coat is a technical design for temperatures upto – 20, it is so cosy with the biggest hood and I am so happy with it.

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img_5378-1Its been a month of homemade casseroles, soups and meals to warm body and soul.  I’ve also made lots of lists, orders, plans all checked and ticked in my Christmas book.  It keeps me sane and ready to enjoy December.

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So November was a memorable month full of lovely local events.  I’m ready and excited for December, my diary is bursting with special events and I can’t wait for the sparkle, lights and songs to begin.

Poppies

Remembrance day is always a well respected event in our town but this year, being the century of the armistice something beautiful is happening.  Everywhere you look there are poppies, made by all members of the community.  Outside the Girl Guides hut is a display of poppies made from red bottles and buttons, a church has a huge cross of poppies displayed outside, whilst another church has 99 ceramic poppies in their gardens.  Members of the community have been invited to tie a ribbon to the large poppy on the pier made from chicken wire and wood, the effect is spectacular.  In addition, local businesses and shops have taken one of the 99 local men killed in World War 1 and are displaying posters with their name, rank and age in their windows, many have created a window display with added details from their personal research which only adds to the care and respect we have for ‘our’ soldiers. One restaurant has hung 99 poppies in their window, it is a haunting but superb display.  There are many events organised in the next few days to commemorate the end of World War 1 but I think the use of the poppy in so many creative ways is a fitting tribute.

Fireworks and Sparkles

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My only picture from tonight, as sometimes you just need to watch life in real time and not behind a camera.

Tonight we have been to the Scouts’ firework evening, a blazing fire and camp songs followed by fireworks, in the deepest, dark countryside. I really love the multi sensory delights of Bonfire night. The warmth and cosiness of new hats, gloves and scarves, the crackle and dancing flames of a fire, the smell of hot dogs and soup before the main attraction of the sparkling, colourful fireworks all on a crisp, clear, dark night. This is my favourite autumn night’s entertainment.

#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)

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Halloween decorations 2018

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Halloween lunch box, including the pumpkin and ginger cake.

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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!

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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.

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

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Thanks to Morgana for the inspiration behind this linky.

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#blogtober18 : Day 20, Ten facts about you.

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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

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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.

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A few examples from my wardrobe.