Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Looking Forward

When T started school I changed over to using an academic diary, instead of the traditional January to December variety. 
It was an easier way to keep track of dates for each of the different terms and holidays as the year became carved up in portions of, approximately, six weeks.
As I started working in a school last December these cycles have even more relevance to us.
Whilst out at the weekend I spotted a range of academic diaries in The Works and bought a pretty peppermint coloured one.
Next job is to find a quiet hour so I can fill it in.
I get quite excited about that.
I feel the same way when I start a new notebook.

One special date I can add is a trip to the theatre in October for me, G and S. We have booked to see Coppelia, it will be the first ballet experience for us all.
It's always good to have good things to look forward to.

Sunday, 27 April 2014


I hope everyone had a good Easter and if you were lucky enough to have had time off then routines being re-established this week wasn't too much of a shock.
As normal I am playing catchup and this post is a brief selection from our second week of the school hols.
Sunday morning we took ourselves off to the car boot and it was the first huge one of the season. 
Two of my best buys cost £1.00 a piece.
The ice cream motif is on the front of a knitted top from Miss Selfridge. I would somehow like to chop this about and use it on the front of a cushion.
The Mousie Mousie game is brand new still in it's the cellophane wrapper and will be given to a little boy for his 5th birthday later in the year. This game has given our family hours of fun over the years and I hope it does the same to our friends.

We did have some lovely warm and sunny days over the Easter holiday which this pairing show. The first from an afternoon in our back garden and the second from a 4 hour trip to the park with S and her friend L on the Wednesday full of the best kind of fun.

The original plans for Thursday fell through and both children were getting a bit crotchety so I printed off the Easter scavenger hunt clues from the Nature Detectives site and said we were going out. I can't say it was a complete success as there was a fair bit of moaning but it got us outside for a walk.
As we approached the park we saw this post on the right showing the letters N and Y. 'Wouldn't it be funny if the other two sides had T and O on,' I said. And they did. T assured me he hadn't been out with the paint. He was secretly a bit pleased, although he wasn't going to show it!

We had to find something green and I vetoed grass and trees as too boring (you can imagine how that was received!) but thought bowling green was a good example as it wasn't quite so obvious. Despite the warm and dry weather the bits we had walk through which were muddy were really muddy.

On Good Friday I escaped for a couple of hours and went to visit a friend. It was her birthday the following day and so I had to deliver her present. I made up a set of practical but pretty items for her. A heart shaped bucket, CK washing up cloths, a beehived washing up brush, a tea towel which said 'Save Water, Drink Champagne' and a book with a bit of a vintage feel to it on Household and Organisational tips. On the bucket handle I attached a tag with said 'Pretty things should be used even for the boring jobs!'

S and I made some daffodils with the help of a pattern from Martha Stewart, which were given out to aunts, uncles and grannies. The flowers were cut from card and then a yellow cake case stuck to the centre and filled with mini eggs. A chocolate ladybird was sellotaped to one of the petals and we were really pleased with the end result.

We had our Easter egg hunt on bank holiday Monday as we spent the Sunday in Salisbury with G's family. We invited my mum and my sisters over in the afternoon for coffee and cake cake and the children then got down to the serious business of solving the clues. They soon worked each one out and dashed (or in T's case gently ambled) around the house and garden. The clue which got the biggest laugh was the last one and the one of which G was most proud.....
Mars Bar, Twix, Crunchie, Snickers
Look where mum keeps her knickers.
Childish humour goes down very well in our house. Hope it gave you a giggle too.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Monday to Friday

The first week of the Easter holiday has passed at a gallop.
We started Monday with a lay in and then carried on the day with a fair amount of general lazing about. The afternoon saw a bit more action when we had a new kitchen window and back door fitted.
Our old door was a wooden one and let in so many draughts and the kitchen window was the last wooden framed one in the house which needed to be replaced with a double glazed one. 
Not that exciting as far as home improvements go but we are so pleased to finally get these two jobs done.

Tuesday was chosen as the day to go and pick up my mum so the four of us could go on our annual Easter trail at Itchen Valley Country Park.

S has been wearing hair clips with bunny ears on all week and lent them to T for a quick photo opportunity.
She was concerned about him wearing them at a slightly wonky angle and here she is trying to help him, all he was concerned about was getting a selfie!

Although I haven't been posting my daily photo challenge here I have been keeping up with it on Instagram.
My drawing skills are pretty rubbish and when S asks me can you draw a horse/pig/cat then the results aren't always very impressive. I found something on Pinterest which shows you how to basic animals and so we had a go.
S's is on the left (including her bird) and I had to share my very woolly sheep.

We live quite close to a branch of The Range and after seeing an advert in a magazine I wanted to check a few things out in store so that's where we went on Wednesday. S had to come with me and in return for her patience I took her to a new (to us) playground where she spent a very happy hour.

There were no plans for Thursday and I did wonder what we would do but in the end both children were busy with friends and I was hardly needed at all. This has happened a few times recently and is a very strange feeling.

Yesterday was lovely. G is now working closer to home and is able to cycle to work. He put in an extra hour on Thursday so he could leave early yesterday and was able to meet us at Royal Victoria Country Park for a picnic lunch.

Good food, good games, good company and good fun.

And another selfie, this time me and S, complete with her bunny ears.

Sunday, 6 April 2014


Emsworth is a very pretty little town and well worth a visit should you ever be in the vicinity. 
The High Street was very busy when we arrived at mid day. There isn't a huge selection of shops but what they do have includes a traditional butchers and fishmongers, a deli, a lovely florists, a bakers, gift shops, 4 charity shops and a happy find for G, a vinyl record shop.
Purchases were made.
The houses in the town centre are just as picturesque as you would expect.

Should you visit and need refreshment then we would recommend The Greenhouse Cafe. Being lunch time when we arrived and we had planned on going on a 3.7 mile walk, we needed filling up first.
G had a big breakfast, S had the all day breakfast and I had bacon and egg on toast. The food was delicious and the staff friendly, the place had a welcoming atmosphere about it. Apparently it was once a cinema, it certainly is an attractive building.
This photo was taken from across the road later on in the afternoon and isn't great, but it was so busy when we left I didn't want to hang around outside taking a photo of people tucking into their food!
Judging by the cakes on display (custard crumble cake!) it would also have made an ideal afternoon tea stop.

Our walk started down at the harbour and to get there we walked past a pub with a sign outside which made us chuckle.

The sun did try and come out a couple of times but it wasn't very successful and most of the day was pretty overcast as can be seen in most of the photos.

We were able to walk along the foreshore as the tide was out and in the middle of the photo below you can just about make out the remains of the oyster beds which used to be a busy industry for the fishermen of Emsworth. Didn't know that until yesterday.

S skipping along the foreshore, brolly in hand which she needed later in the day.

When I took this photo I said to G 'Bloggers like a door photo, especially one set into an old brick wall.' I'm right, aren't I?!

We passed an old boat building yard and then walked along the side of Slipper mill pond which is now a nature reserve and the mill has been converted into offices.

This led us onto the first of two marinas where there is a little community of houses on stilts. Apparently they were originally built as holiday homes but some are now lived in full time. I would like to have a look around one to see what the lay out is like inside.

Then a walk across a field and down a long lane and we came to the second marina, Thornham Marina, as modelled here by S still with that brolly, not yet up although the hood is!

It was here we saw a blue whale, don't get to say that every day.

It was here that the weather turned pretty mizzly. You can just see S's umbrella in the far left. On a clear day I bet the view out across the water would have been lovely.

We left the sea wall just a couple of hundred metres on from the spot above and turned into a little village called Prinsted. According to our walking guide it is one of the most sought after places to live because of it's plethora of thatched cottages and attractive houses. Something we can vouch for after the hand full we saw. I did a quick search for information about it, as again according to the guide, it's name derives from once being a pear orchard. I couldn't find anything about that but did find out that Hugh Grant lives there. 

I absolutely loved this wall and hope you do too Diane! The rows are so solid and textural and it was such a beautiful piece of craftsmanship

and then to have seen the whole of a farm out building constructed the same way I could have looked at it for ages.  
But we needed to press on. Across one more field, past some houses, across a road and we were back to Slipper Pond, 

and within a few hundred yards back to the High Street and the picturesque houses. 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Window box

We've been somewhere different today.
A day trip to Emsworth.
Out in the fresh air for a 3.7 mile walk and blew away some cobwebs.
I will do a proper post tomorrow, this evening I feel too tired (although pleasantly so) to concentrate on doing it justice.
I shall use the last photo I took as my photo a day challenge day 5's prompt, 'not mine.'
This trough of flowers was sat on a ledge at the train station.
It was planted by the local Brownies.
It is very simply done with violas, pansies and geraniums but is so pretty in it's simplicity.
I'd be more than happy it if were sat on my window ledge at home.

Friday, 4 April 2014


Again I will start the post with a photo from the photo a day prompt which is 'good together'.
Tea and biscuits.
Enough said.

Some other things which I think are good together are two presents for two friends who had birthdays a couple of weeks apart recently.
I love stationery, you can never have too much, it's always handy and it's the kind of present I love. It looks pretty and is useful too.

The first present was a set of bird patterned notelets from Sainsburys and a set of sticky notes from Matalan. To see what I put inside the tin bought from ebay, you need to scroll down this post a bit further.
A bought a pack of different coloured pens from Wilkinsons and popped the creamy one in with this gift

and the pinky one with this gift along with two further buys from Wilkinsons, the things to do book and flower shaped paper clips. The writing set came from The Works and the tin was from the same seller on ebay.
I thought these would be perfect for keeping stamps inside but

I popped a Malteser bunny inside each one with a little note for the recipient, so who knows what they may end being used for.

My final good combination is this little gingham jam jar jacket I made, after being inspired by one posted on Instagram by the lady who runs polka dots and petticoats, for my mum for Mother's day

which made the perfect little home for her daffodils.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Button It

Day 3's prompt was shapes. 
I immediately thought about the contents of my button tin when I saw this and a quick rummage produced this assortment.

All lovers of Dr Who will know what I mean if I say today has been designated Fish Fingers and Custard day. You'll just have to believe me when I say I cooked fish fingers for my family tonight as the camera was on charge and so there is no evidence. The plan was to follow that with cake and custard but instead of baking a cake this morning I met a friend for coffee. Never mind the thought was there!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Day 2

Today's prompt for the photo a day challenge is 'in my hand' and not long ago I hung up this new tea towel which had been in my hands for longer than I would have liked!
A bit of an unusual design for a tea towel I thought but pretty even so.

From the days of the year website we learn it's Children's Book Day as it is Hans Christian Andersen's birthday. 
T has never been a reader which saddened me as I have always loved books and I always hoped my children would develop their own love for them.
Of course we did read to him when he was younger. How many times I had to read Bob the Builder stories, this was his favourite character when he was 3 years old and we first became a family. He still has quite a pile of the Famous 5 adventure stories which he G read to him at bedtime when he was a little older.
He then progressed to listening to stories on tape and CD at bedtime, things such as Dr Who and Stormbreaker.

Although not an avid reader S does enjoy settling down with a book now and then. This is her current read, JW has always been popular with both children due to Tracy Beaker.
S also has her own little collection of stories on tape too, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Tilly Beany have been listened to more times than I can count.

One of my favourite books when I was young was Little Old Mrs Pepperpot and I was thrilled to bits to find the exact same copy as I had back then at a car boot sale last year. S is now discovering her too.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

1st April

I need to get back into the photo taking habit and so I thought I would try and join in with fat mum slim's photo a day challenge. 
Today's prompt was 'something purple' and I decided to go with a ribbon wrapped bead from one of my bracelets.

Another website which I thought may provide a bit of inspiration is daysoftheyear.com.
According to the website today is Batman day and to mark that I downloaded some free printables and without further ado here is Cat Woman, Batman and The Joker.