My Sunday Photo #2

Yes this really is an electric whisk. I’ve exhausted my Easter photos in the previous post and wanted something original in this series. Oddly, before January I had never owned an electric whisk and since I’ve had it my recipes have become more adventurous and technical, soufflés, meringues etc .. I love it and it’s made cooking just a little more fun.

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My Sunday photo #1

It’s that confusing day of the year when my body clock is out of sync with the time. However today heralds the start of summertime and the promise of longer and warmer days.

The Beast of the East part 2

So today we have surprisingly woken up to more snow. The children have now seen more snow in this month than in all their years preceding. Today the atmosphere is different, there’s excitement, there is no horrible, dangerous thick black ice. We have the opportunity to go out and play in the snow. No worries about work or fulfilling diary dates, it’s Sunday and it’s a fun day.

A life in the day, snow and an arctic expedition … #littleloves

This time last week, I was planning a rather uneventful week, looking forward to World Book day and just the normal rhythm of life.  That seems so long ago now, the week proved to be very memorable as we had snow and we never get snow in our little seaside town.  Not only did we have blizzards, thick lying snow, we also get the most vicious freezing rain which meant our whole town became an ice rink leaving many of us house bound and then it was high tides too and a temporary flood barrier had to be installed to protect the town, so quite an eventful week thanks to the Beast from the East and Storm Emma!  As well as all the drama from the weather, I got sick and had to take time off work, again this never happens, a couple of days in bed did the trick and I’m feeling much better now with just an annoying cough.  Despite all the drama of this week I finish this week feeling really positive, sometimes difficult weeks bring out the best in people.

img_5375I managed to read a book this week, illness and the weather were conducive to this success.  It was a fantastic read, the autobiography of the journalist and writer Hunter Davies.  It appeared on my Kindle deal of the day with some rave reviews so I popped it in the basket and what a choice.  Davies’ career started in the 60s and continues today so there is a great mix of social history, culture and ‘celebrity’ in the book. Its so easy and entertaining to read, you just want to keep going on to the next chapter.  His love for his family and devotion to his wife, the novelist Margaret Forster shine through.  It was great to read something different and a non fiction title for a change, variety is the spice of life!

hunterimg_5379Well this week it was simply about watching the weather, the snow, the skies, the sea all were mesmerising.  Until I lived at the seaside I never realised the subtle daily changes in the sea and how it is never the same shade twice.  The surf has been incredible on the sea this week and it has been quite hypnotic looking out to the waves.  My office looks out onto the sea and there are times I just got lost in the view.

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img_5378So the year when I finally aced it for World Book day, we had a snow day at the children’s school!  Fortunately all the WBD events are being rearranged so the children will be able to parade in their costumes.  I have a bit of bug bear about WBD fancy dress, I like to go old school and do the lets raid the fancy dress box, old clothes and mum’s accessories to create a look.  I read an excellent comment that the costume shouldn’t cost more than a book and I’m pleased that we were able to do this, my only expense was £3 for the sequin fabric cut off which I have plans to reuse after WBD.

Little Miss is going as the White witch from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  It took a lot to persuade her to wear a dress, this really is not her look at present! For the costume, we made a wardrobe out from an old shoe box, when you open it up the back is a sparkly blue paper and decorated with Welcome to Narnia.  Little Miss also decided to make some pompom snow balls from some old wool for her snow, if only we had known we would have had the real thing!

 

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The lion, witch and wardrobe, my 80s Madonna gloves and pompom snowballs.

 

Little Man was quite reluctant to embrace some of my ideas, he would have been so cute as Paddington, but liked the idea of the Wimpy Kid, so we made a mask for him.

img_0991img_5384I  can honestly say that I have never worn as many clothes as I did on my walk to and from work on Thursday which was the worst day for us.  It was so cold, it was only my eyes visible hidden under hats, scarves, layers upon layers.  I mistakenly took my glove off to answer my phone and seriously thought i was going to get frost bite, it was so cold.  On the way home, I walked through crazy snow conditions, snow, wild winds etc.. it was scary and took 40 minutes rather than the normal 15.  As I wrote in my last blog post snow days aren’t an option at our school so we all try really hard to get in.  I felt like a proper explorer, ruck sack with supplies, lots of clothes etc..

img_5380When I was poorly in bed I listened to a radio 4 play, An Instinct for Kindness, a true story of a woman’s journey to Dignitas.  It was superb, sad, thought provoking and very dignified.  Its well worth a listen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09snwmr

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Well after this week its hard to predict what next week will bring… Hopefully the ice will thaw, we’ll get out of the house and all routines will be back in place.  I am so over the snow, I like routine, order and predictability!

Thanks to Morgana for hosting #littleloves and i hope all the contributors have had safe, snow weeks.

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#ecosparkles2018 : Weeks 4 and 5

image_53930009774866Its been a busy few weeks and I haven’t been able to develop this little project as I would have hoped to.  I’m hoping to do some research on topics relevant to my lifestyle to see how I can make life more eco friendly. Despite the busyness, I have been continuing with the project and here are some of the things I’ve done.

  1. I’ve been to collect my new food caddies.  Our old ones were damaged and unable to be used, so I ordered new ones online and am now saving my food waste again.  I also got a battery recycling bag and lots of leaflets and advice on how to recycle more.
  2. Mr S has been making some new raised beds for growing vegetables and I have helped prepare them.  He has done most of the work, but I did help line them and move them into position in the garden.  We also borrowed a wheel barrow from a neighbour to move the soil rather than go and buy a new one for this job.  Sharing is caring!
  3. Disposable cups used : 0    The most difficult aspect of this is not take away drinks but the water fountain at work with its plastic cups.
  4. Plastic bags purchased : 0   I am being really good at remembering to always have bags in my bag and being prepared for my trip.

I think my focus for the next few weeks is looking at the seasonal foods for February and using less food packaging.  Happy eco living.

 

#Ecosparkles2018 : Week 3

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Its been a quiet, simple week here and I’ve not done anything big for this project.  As promised last week, I went onto the council website to discover all the materials I could recycle.  I was also able to order a replacement food bin as ours is damaged and a bag for recycling batteries. Other green activities last week include

  1. Driving fewer miles.  I’ve calculated that I drove less than 10 miles in the whole of last week after making a conscious effort to walk more.  Living and working in the same small town means that shops, school, work, beach etc.. are all in a mile radius of home, so walking becomes a realistic option.  My main need for the car is mornings when I take the children to school and need to be at work very quickly.  Very few of my car journeys are alone, I either have the children with me or share the ‘commute’ with a colleague.
  2. Recycling foil.  I didn’t know that I could recycle my kitchen foil so that is now being done.  I’ve asked the children to bring the foil home from their packed lunches so we can recycle or reuse but its been met with mixed results this week.
  3. No plastic bags purchased nor disposable cups used.  This is a target I’m trying to maintain for the year, so far so good.

The #littleloves of 2017

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I only have one #littlelove this week and that is for our nhs. If you’ve read my previous post you’ll know that our Christmas was a little different to what we had expected as my Father in law who was staying with us for Christmas was taken very poorly on Christmas Eve. Christmas really took a different perspective this year and I’ll remember that it was the kindness and dedication of people which made this Christmas special.  We are very thankful that my Father in Law is now recovering and feeling much better.

As a consequence of the above I thought I would put together a simple best of #littleloves for 2017. Some categories are easy to choose others i.e. makes show me that perhaps I need to be more focused on my creativity next year. So time for a fanfare as I reveal my favourites…

I like to read  and I’ve managed to read some great books this year. However there’s one book which I can’t stop recommending. It was a birthday present from a friend with impeccable taste. The book is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. The storyline revolves around a simple, reluctant act of kindness and the effect it has on Elinor’s life, it is so life affirming and has all the feels. Please if you haven’t read it do, you won’t regret reading a single word as it is so beautifully written.

My film of 2017 was the last I saw at the cinema this year, Paddington 2. It is delightful, funny and magical. I love the way it embraces the importance of community and how to treat each other kindly. Breathe was an inspiring film too. On tv I have loved my old favourites, Strictly Come Dancing, Call the Midwife and Cold Feet.

My favourite outfit was this blue Boden sunglasses print dress with my flip flop necklace. I loved it because it was simple, comfortable and the print very much me, I’m always in sunglasses in the summer!

Looking back on my makes, there was more of a choice than I realised, an Anglo Saxon model house and costume ( yep school projects ) birthday cakes, meals etc.. However my make is simple because of its spontaneity. On July 4th we made a last minute decision to have an American themed barbecue and I tried making S’mores for the first time. They were amazing but it was the memories of me and the children sitting around the barbie cooking them on a warm evening with some music playing in the background that stays with me, sometimes life is simply about being in the moment.

This year I discovered Spotify and it took my music choices in many wonderful directions. For me the album of the year was Ed Sheehan’s Divide and the song to sum up the year Ariana Grande’s One More Time. Little Miss has always loved this song and following the Manchester terror attack the song gained even more significance. I have so much respect for Ariana and her attitude and actions after the attack, she’s a strong role model to my daughter.

So that was 2017 and I’m now looking forward to 2018. There’s no big events planned for 2018, no big birthdays or anniversaries, simply a year to create our own sparkles.

Thank you to all Morgana’s #littleloves brigade whom have given me so much inspiration in the past year. Happy new year to you all x