Are you a hero in our village?

Last night I read this post by Carrie Grant and I cried a few tears. I’m sad to say that I can relate to this post, the fear and ignorance shown by some parents towards adopted children is simply heartbreaking. I cannot explain how awful it is to watch a child desperately want to be invited to tea or to a birthday party and to be ignored each time. Every year my children have a birthday party and invite friends, one of my children is always invited to parties and play dates, the other none and it hurts.  On Halloween many of the class tricked and treated together, it was a big deal and the talk of class. It was sad for my child not to be invited but even worse was that they came around to our house. I can’t believe parents would be so hurtful to a young child, however I’ve come to realise that they are sob focused on their own child not mine. I also to have remind myself it’s not just me there’s lots of internal rifts too! 

My children go to the same school, one class of parents are warm, friendly and so encouraging to all children, I couldn’t ask for my child to be in a kinder or more supportive class.  The other class of parents is very different. My child is bright and talented ( this is not a boastful claim ) and I’m beginning to think that in a class where competitive parenting rules this simply doesn’t fit into the poor adopted child stereotype they would feel comfortable with. There are some parents who appear to expect the worse in adopted children.  A few weeks ago my child was accused of stealing by a supply teacher (a parent of another child in the same class) Whilst nothing had been reported as being stolen, the teacher suggested that my child had acted suspiciously by another’s desk and had their bag searched. I raised this with the Head but the damage has been done, other parents watched in the playground as my child had to open their bag and prove they hadn’t any stolen items in it. My pertinent question to the Head was would the teacher have done that to any other child in the class? 

I was quite emotional today after Carrie’s post and the comments posted back and spoke about it to a good and wise friend. She reassured me and I’m hoping that secondary school will allow my child to find their ‘tribe’ and experience true friendships not based on parental vetting. 

I agree with Carrie that it does take a village to raise a child and though there are a small minority of parents who are ignorant and unkind, we do have the support of many wonderful people, friends, neighbours and fellow parents to help support our children. I am proud to have these people in our lives and know that our children’s lives will be enriched by their kindness. 



I’ve now completed #blogtober17. I’m so chuffed I managed to publish a post a day in October on themes given to us by Mandi @hexmum

I’ve  never written so regularly on my blog and I even wrote a few posts in advance and scheduled them so I wouldn’t miss a day.  I know real bloggers do this but it was new to me! I really enjoyed the challenge, the creativity it inspired and being taken out of my comfort zone by the topics, some posts I really enjoyed writing whilst others were tougher. The prompts on social media also made me realise that I need to do a bit of homework on the etiquette and tools of these mediums.  The challenge also introduced me to some new bloggers and this was a real highlight of the project.  

I am now looking for a new blog challenge, I’m pondering a 12 days of Christmas theme, the A – Z of my life etc… @bucketsoftea has written a great post on ideas too

I would like to thank Mandi for a great project and all her hard work in creating and driving #blogtober17. Same time, same place next year? 

The Two Week Half Term holiday

Today is the end of my two week half term. This is something my school has had long before I started in 2005 but this year it seems that more schools are adopting the idea too. Our school has always had the additional week to reduce the long summer holiday. We are a specialist special needs school and for our students and families the long summer holiday can be challenging with changes in routine, respite care etc.. and our shorter holiday does help.

I have always liked this two week holiday, before children we often went on sunny holidays or visited family and then I would have time to potter and relax. Now the first week of the holiday is spent en famille and the second week gives me some very rare me time as the children return to school. It is a week I really look forward to, I start my Christmas planning, do any little jobs I’ve been meaning to do in the house, meet friends, do a few trail runs if the weather allows and enjoy simple pleasures, a trip to the cinema, reading etc.. It is lovely to have that me time and although the week in summer takes a little organising, it’s workable in our family, particularly with my part time hours.

However, I was thinking what if my children had a two week holiday in October and less in the summer? Whilst it works for me, I’m not too sure it would work for the children. The summer holiday should be sunny and warm and it is easy and cheap to keep the children amused on the beach or in the park. There are long days and evenings, lots of time to be outside, to play, to swim, to relax. At the end of October, there are fewer opportunities for outdoor activities, days are shorter and it would be costly to fill a two week holiday with trips to the cinema, indoor skate park, swimming and other sports. More school in July would mean hot and stuffy classrooms, lots of distractions and very tired children. Our school’s curriculum in the summer is specifically designed for our students, with lots of outdoor activities, enrichment and project work to compensate for the later finish, generally our formal learning finishes at the start of July.

Whilst I like my two week holiday, I would prefer that my children have a week half term and continue to have the traditional long summer holiday with time for summer adventures at the beach and to enjoy the warmer weather outside. It’s an interesting debate on how to distribute the thirteen weeks school holidays to best suit pupils, staff and families.

Halloween, The Invisible Child and Breathe #littleloves

Well hello #Littleloves lovelies, sorry it’s been a long time but I’ve been busy with #Blogtober17 for the past month. I have been reading all your posts on my feed and many have given me inspiration and ideas.

This week is busy in our little family, with my Mum’s birthday, Halloween and Mr S birthday all falling within a few days. Fortunately, I have a two week half term so it’s not been as crazy as it could have been with work too. My extra week holiday has also given me the time to focus on Christmas and I have done a little shopping and lots of lists.


#Blogtober17 led to some serious discipline with writing every evening, so my reading reduced. I have really enjoyed The Break by one of my favourite authors, Marian Keyes. The break in the title refers to a 6 month period in which the main character’s husband wants to go travelling and have an open relationship for the time. It’s a great read and Marian has created a stellar cast of characters in her book and a few questions for everyone’s relationship.


I have also read the Invisible Child, a Moomin story republished by Oxfam to raise funds and awareness for women’s rights and empowerment in the world. It’s a very clever little story, which Little Miss understood but has so many levels it is a thoughtful read for adults too. The Little Girl in the story is invisible and it is only when she is shown love, kindness and learns to play that she starts to become visible to everyone. The book is available in Oxfam and is worth every penny for the story and project.


I’ve been to the cinema twice this week, this never happens but I really wanted to see the film Breathe. I took a bit of self-care time and combined an early Christmas shopping trip with a trip to the cinema so I could see it, to me an afternoon on my own at the cinema is a real luxury. Breathe is a wonderful film, based on the true story of a young man, Robin Cavendish who contracts polio and is paralysed from the neck down and on a respirator for the rest of his life. It’s a film about hope, love and determination. I did have a little cry in the film, not for the sadness but the positive messages it shared. Breathe more than made up for our family trip to see Lego Ninjago, its unusual that I don’t like a children’s film but this one just didn’t rock my boat.

img_5378img_0064It’s been a busy week for makes all inspired by Halloween. On Monday, the children and I had a baking session using the pumpkin from our carvings on Saturday, we made pumpkin and orange muffins and pumpkin and cheese biscuits. As it was back to school on Halloween, I made special lunches for the children, their lunch boxes were decorated with Halloween stickers and contained sandwiches cut into scary shapes, skull shaped cheese biscuits, pumpkin cakes, a little satsuma with a pumpkin face drawn on and a sensory toy spider. It was all a surprise for the children and it’s these little things which I love to do.


It’s that time of the year, when my hats and scarves come out, I love cosying up in my warm knits on the school run. There’s definelty a nip in the air now and the dark nights inspire a little hygge!img_5380I do love a bit of a theme so I made a Spotify Halloween playlist for our Halloween day on Monday, Ghostbusters, Thriller, the Monster Mash etc.. nothing beats a kitchen disco.


Mr S is busy decorating our dining room this week, so the weekend may be spent making the finishing touches. I am back to work on Monday but do have an appointment for minor surgery in the afternoon, I have a really busy week so I am hoping there’s little recovery time needed.

Thank you to Morgana for being the host of #littleloves, hope everyone has a fabulous week.



Halloween 2017

img_0081Halloween was unusual this year as it did not fall in our half term and the children were back at school.   Fortunately the day before was an Inset day for us and with Brownie and Beaver themed activities on Monday night too, Monday felt more like Halloween than the day itself!

I decorated our kitchen with my Halloween decorations and finally got to use the Halloween wreath which I had got in a sale in John Lewis last January, I loved it and it was well worth the wait to display it. The little tree has now been used as a centre piece for Easter, Halloween and Christmas, it’s a really useful decoration, thus making it great value! I still love the little felt decorations which were hanging from it, the witch’s hat and stocking, ghost and bat. I would love to add more to my collection but haven’t seen anything similar this year. One thing missing is some nice fabric Halloween bunting, I have seen some paper versions but would prefer a cotton design.


We had a little family pumpkin carve off, the girls used a template whilst the boys went free style so as we had both taken different approaches both were declared winners. The small plants next to the pumpkins were a present from our neighbours to the children for Halloween, the scarecrows are a nice fun feature and the plants themselves have tiny orange and grey balls, looking like baby pumpkins.


On Monday, the children and I did some Halloween baking, of course with a Halloween soundtrack. We used the pumpkin from the carving in some recipes, we made pumpkin and orange cakes and cheese and pumpkin cheese biscuits. Both were adaptations of simple recipes. The biscuits were cut into bat and skull shapes and decorated with raisins. Whilst we had some on Monday, they were also used in a Halloween themed school packed lunch on Tuesday, in which I cut the sandwiches into bat shapes and decorated a little satsuma as a pumpkin, it’s the little things which make life sparkle.

The children both had Halloween themed activities on Monday night. The Beavers went to a local castle where they all dressed up and did a haunted walk, whilst the Brownies celebrated a Day of the Dead party. I was quietly pleased (and relieved) with our effort at face painting, Little Miss only had 40 minutes to have tea and get ready after ballet (Monday is manic in our household) but we managed a simple Day of the Dead make up design, a white base, black eyes and lips, squiggles and a few brightly coloured flowers and hearts drawn on the face.

After all the fun of Monday, Tuesday with the return to school was a lot quieter and it is also a difficult day as Little Man is genuinely scared of Halloween night. I had to contact his teacher to ask her not to read any spooky stories at school, especially about witches, his real fear and its for the same reason that we avoid  trick and treating too. I was surprised how well Little Man had coped at the Beavers walk, for which we had a contingency plan. However, Tuesday night was different, even with the slightest strange noise, he was afraid and when there were trick and treaters at the door, he cried and screamed. Mr S set up Little Man’s bedroom with all that was required to keep him safe, a glass of water to ward off witches, his toys lined up to guard him, the radio up loud and all the lights on bright. Fortunately it did work and he had a good night’s sleep.

Halloween could be difficult in our household, so we focus on the decorations, baking and pumpkin carving, all these help create happy and warm family times and memories. The magic of family times is making the celebration work for you.


#blogtober17 : Day 31 : You Tube 

This will probably be my shortest post for Blogtober, I’m feeling pretty rough today and I’m not a huge You tube fan but I am so keen to make sure that I have written every post in October, I can’t fail on the last day! 

I’m not a vlogger and I don’t watch many videos online.  It’s just not me, I’ve loads of admiration and respect for those creative enough to film, edit and produce videos, it’s a real credit to their talent and they deserve the recognition and credit for their work. 

I use You Tube a lot for work, every assembly usually contains a very short video to introduce a topic or a song linked to the theme, so I appreciate the medium for the help it gives me at work. I also enjoy Ted talks which cover so many topics, there is always something to inspire and reflect on Ted. 

So that’s it for #blogtober17, I do want to write another post about the project and to thank Mandi for hosting it, I’ll just save that for a day when I’m not feeling so nauseous.

#Blogtober17 : Day 30 : Pinterest


Excluding Google, I think that Pinterest is my most visited website.  I was a very early fan of the site and it has given me so much inspiration, ideas and advice on so many topics over the years. However, it is full of so much information that I recently started a revamp of my boards and follows as it was becoming too big to allow me to use it effectively. I still have more work to do on this, but it seems that my account is becoming mine again.

There are bits of my life which overlap and it felt at times that the fun had gone out of my Pinterest feed as a lot was themed on education, adoption, special needs etc.. all very useful and serious but there are times I need to switch off!   I have now got a professional account for these topics  to allow me to have more fun on my personal board and I use the professional one on my work laptop.

My favourite boards are my seasonal ones, inspiring ideas for different celebrations throughout the year.  I’ve used so many of the pins on these boards, they simply are not for browsing and looking but trying, adapting and enjoying.  The Elf on the Shelf has his own board and I have been indebted to these ideas as I plan our scenarios.  Other useful boards are those for my running, journaling and books.

Like Instagram, my Pinterest account is not linked to my blog in any way, except name, it is just the things I like and am interested in. Pinterest is such an inspiring and fun website and one I love to use.