Getting things done …

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Towards the end of my route, I ran down to this view, the colours of the sea and sky were a dusky grey and pink and it was beautiful


Today was one of those unremarkable days, a day to do chores and get organised on a pretty yucky day, weather wise.  We were all at home today, Mr S had lots of house admin and financial tasks to do (I leave this part of our life to him, he’s great at finding deals, managing finances etc.. although please be assured I’m just as savvy and know all that is going on)  I had housework to do and planning and packing for our break away later this week and two residential trips for the children in the next few weeks, June is going to be a very busy month.  

I started the day with a long (dry) run, it was good, one of those runs where your legs move smoothly and swiftly, you have a great playlist and the view to sea is mesmerising.  After breakfast, we started our jobs and much to their surprise and joy allowed the children to chill with the Wii U so we could get things done.  It was a wet and miserable morning by now, so everyone was keen to be inside.  I had such a useful morning deep cleaning and now I’m ridiculously satisfied with my clean and sparkling cutlery drawers, immaculate surfaces, tidy rooms, empty laundry basket etc.. enabling me to feel so much happier in my environment.  My recent extended work hours mean that the house has been neglected a little and it was great to get on top of it today.  I need a clean and tidy house to feel relaxed and comfortable in my surroundings, its just the person I am.

This afternoon, Little Man and I went over to ‘big town’ for some shopping.  I needed to go to Decathlon for my annual summer shop, UV rash vests, running gear and a sleeping mat for camp. I love the excitement of a Decathlon shop,  on school trips to France as a teacher, we always managed to find one for a quick stop! My son is not the most enthusiastic of shoppers but I felt that we hadn’t had much 1:1 time recently and I needed some time with him.  I let him choose the music and he was happy to chat along in the car, its nearly an hour’s journey so there was lots of time to talk about the important things in his life, Minecraft, cricket, army and as we passed the car garages why I need to get a cool car.  ( Honestly isn’t a C1 cool?) Although he was initially unimpressed by my shopping proposal, when we got to Decathlon he was in element trying so many sports on display, dressing up as a boxer, trying the SUP, it was such a funny trip and an unusual but great mummy / son time.  We popped into Home Bargains for some cheap toiletries as it was too wet and windy to walk the extra hundred metres to Boots and as luck would have it, I found the perfect accessories for Little Miss’ party later this summer.  I’m a bit early, but from experience, I’ve learnt that it is best to pick up something so perfect when you see it.  We are having a watermelon themed party and I’m excited by my new props.

Today was one of those days where everyone seemed to be down about the wet day and being pretty miserable.  My day was so simple but satisfying, life’s not about the big life events but those little things which make you smile.  I smiled today because of a great run, having a clean house, ticking lots off my to dos list and being able to laugh out loud with my son.

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Simple Pleasures

It’s a beautiful sunny morning. So far I’ve run 5k, taken the children to swimming lessons in the neighbouring town, picked up a few bits and pieces in the shops and now I’m here in our little secret courtyard with a new book and a cup of tea. This is my happy time, the excitement and anticipation of a new story to discover, characters to root for and an ending to bring the story together. Of course it’s just a quick pause, it’ll soon be time for lunch and then off to town for the pirate festival but do now I’ll enjoy every minute of my reading break.

Happy Sparkles

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My little attempt at a yellow/ orange themed collage.

I love that there are pops of colour everywhere as Spring starts to shine through the final days of winter.  I enjoy the promise of this season and feel a bit like Dorothy as she leaves Kansas and arrives in the Land of Oz, life goes from black and white to technicolour. The longer days are arriving and for me this is the return of my early morning runs, this is my time and whilst I struggle to get out of bed the satisfaction and mindset motivate me to throw off the covers.  There’s a lot more colour at home too, my new orange teapot is the one of the best presents I’ve received, the style and colour are perfect and just seeing it makes me smile.  I’ve also treated myself to a new Filofax, the colour and design were irresistible and in my defence, I use it all the time, my life is in my Filofax, if it’s not written in it, then it’s not happening! Spring is my favourite season for cut flowers whether it’s a simple bunch of daffodils or my favourite floral treat, a bunch of tulips and there is always a fresh bunch in the kitchen (the tulips in the picture are on day 6 so a little past their prime but still giving me pleasure). I’m also enjoying reading different types of magazines, I’ve gone from the glossies to more thoughtful, creative publications.  I fell in love with the front cover of the Oh Comely magazine, oranges and yellows are my couleurs de jour.  There’s lots to embrace in the Spring and there is a little skip in my step with the longer, milder days and the blossoming of a new season.

Happy times in my kitchen …

 

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Despite the quality of the photo, the icing was duck blue and the stars silver and purple.

One of my favourite things to do in anticipation of birthdays and special events is to plan the cake. I love baking, the flavour and filling are just as important as the decoration and I am always looking on Pinterest for inspiration and tips. Baking in the kitchen listening to my music is one of my happy times and my cakes are baked with lots of love. Mr S thinks it would be easier and cheaper to buy a shop bought version but that’s just not me, baking a cake for my family brings me real joy and satisfaction.

It’s been birthday season in the Sparkles household so here are our birthday cakes for this year. Little Miss had a glitter ball cake. It was an orange and almond sponge with a white chocolate and orange filling, covered in a turquoise icing decorated with purple and silver stars. A simple but very effective design and delicious flavour.

For Little Man, I made a football cake with a football figure, no 9 Harry Kane who was his world cup hero.  His cake was a lemon and lime marble sponge topped with a green icing and white icing for football pitch markings.  He loved it although I would have preferred something less plain as to me it did look like it was missing a little something.

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Whoops I forgot to get a good picture of the cake and most have my Little Man in blowing out his candles.  This is part of the cake, imagine a football pitch with cut out icing letters spelling out his name and age. 

Whilst birthday season is now over, I’m already planning a Halloween cake with a spicy orange flavour and then a special design for Christmas.  I think this has to be the year when I finally make a Christmas cake!

Happy Moments

img_1818Sometimes there are times when life seems tough for those around you and I often send a little card to let that person know that I’m thinking of them.  However today I had one of the most joyous card shopping trips I’ve had in ages for a family wedding, a healthy baby boy and an clear from cancer card.  The last card was just brilliant to be able to buy as its for a much loved and respected colleague from all of us at work.  The atmosphere when we heard the good news yesterday made us all feel so tingly and happy.  It just reminded me that we should all take time to celebrate every piece of good news and simply cherish every day.

The first day of summer …

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So it looks like we’ve skipped a whole season and summer has started today. It’s been the hottest April day since 1949 and it’s been blissful.  Its strange to think a month ago we were snowed in!

The sun can change everything so here’s a list of things I’ve done today on our first hot and sunny day of the year…

I’ve dressed the children in their summer uniform, I love the cuteness of summer uniforms, a gingham dress for Little Miss and grey shorts for Little Man.  We didn’t need coats today either.

At work, I changed my lesson plan and took my class outdoors to do their lesson.  It was spontaneous and fun and turned out to be a really good lesson, sometimes you just have to go with the idea and embrace where it takes you.

Instead of heading home, I took Little Man for an ice cream and a walk whilst we waited for Little Miss to finish her music club after school. We admired the blossoms and looked for other signs of spring, Little Man played in the little brook and I may have dipped a toe into the water.

As soon as we got home the children changed into shorts and t-shirts after school.  Is there a simpler outfit and I love all it symbolises, sunny days and outdoor playtime.

During the afternoon, Mr S had set up Swingball in the garden after it had been stored away for winter and we all played it in the garden before tea.

After tea, Little Miss and I went for a walk on the beach, the outdoor café was busy with people enjoying a drink in the warm weather and the beach was filled with people enjoying a bonus play.  The atmosphere was so relaxing and happy.

When we got home, I sat in the garden and read.  My summer soundtrack were the birds chirping and the hum of people happy pottering around in their gardens and outside.

There is no doubt that I am a summer person and a day like today just fills me with happiness and sparkles.  Here’s hoping for a wonderful summer in 2018.

What’s in my bag …

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Photo from mehappyme.com via Pinterest

Being quite small and having quite wide feet, clothes and shoe shopping can be frustrating and disappointing.  However, I love a bag and am always on the search for the holy grail of handbags.  Buying a new handbag makes me happy and is my guilty pleasure, ‘guilty’ as I don’t always reveal the true price!  My best handbags are an everyday green leather tote from Boden, I no longer use it daily as the leather is worn and battered after years and years of use but the colour, size and style were perfect and a beautiful vintage silver bag I found in a charity shop which I use for special occasions.

 

My current favourite is a large, navy bag from Clarks, I would prefer a better material but the size, colour and style suit me well.   I also keep a small, bright bag in it which is perfect for keys, a purse and my mobile for the school run etc..

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My bag is my mobile office and I try to have all I need in it.  Today my bag contains

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  1. A zip Filofax for keeping myself organised and plans. It also doubles as a card holder for loyalty cards, stamps, membership cards etc..
  2. A small cosmetic bag full of essentials – NYR
  3. A spare shopping bag – Eden Project print
  4. My iPhone
  5. A purse containing cash and my bank card- Cath Kidston
  6. A pencil case containing stationery essentials – Emma Bridgewater
  7. Water bottle, sometimes I swap this for an insulated cup if I’m likely to want a hot takeaway drink.
  8. Sunglasses for driving or if I feel a migraine coming on.
  9. My Kindle, I am often waiting for a child to finish a club and have learnt to fit in 5 minutes reading wherever I can.

I also have a pack of tissues in the bag which is missing from the photo.

My cosmetic bag is key and gets transferred to my gym bag, rucksack for days out etc..  It is my mum kit!

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  1. Hair brush.
  2. Bach Rescue Remedy, because some days just become a rescue remedy kind of day.
  3. Hair bands, I have short hair but my daughter always needs one.
  4. Painkillers.
  5. Wet wipes.
  6. Inhaler for my son.
  7. NYR travel rollerstick, I get bad travel sickness and roll this on pulse points for journeys.
  8. Liz Earle face spritz to refresh my skin and a little pick me up.
  9. Pacifica lipstick.
  10. NYR defence hand spray (this is amazing, it lasts for ages and feels and smells so much nicer than the antibacterial gels)
  11. Tampax.

In the summer this bag will also contain a mini bottle of sun tan lotion.

I like feeling organised and in control with a well packed bag, I can deal with problems as they arise and use any unexpected free time well.  I suppose my bag is my super hero’s cape, wearing it I can do anything!