Love the Little Things 26.09.14

READ

It’s been one of those weeks where I haven’t picked up a book or magazine at all. Best blog posts: What random searchy things people bring to my blog over on Hurrah for Gin. This one made me literally laugh out loud which is exactly what you need after the bedtime bunfight (that and a large glass of gin?).
I also loved Lucy’s Shine on you Crazy Diamond over on Put up With Rain. It’s a really lovely exploration of her daughter’s character (which sounds irrepressible!) and a heartfelt plea to her not to be ground down by the world – to retain her shine.
I’ve also read a lot of posts dissecting the MAD Blog Award experiences (as well as enjoying the Instagram pics on the night!) and I almost feel like I was there too so thanks to all who took the time to share and congratulations to everyone who was even nominated because you are all fabulous!

WATCHED

I’ve been catching the odd little bit of this and that – a few X factor hopefuls (sadly no Ella Hendersons this year) the absolutely hilarious Ofsted inspection episode of Big School and Jo Brand’s Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice which always makes me chuckle. I began watching a programme about men who have many wives one night which looked quite fascinating but then the hubster came in and switched over! I think I’d quite like to be one of many wives – especially if the other wives were a good laugh!

HEARD

The new tune from Wilkinson (loving it!):

MADE

As Google informed me that it was officially the first day of Autumn earlier in the week I thought now would be as good a time as any to cook up a big batch of beef casserole. I cooked this one slowly on the hob for about 5 hours.

Beef stew

AND LASTLY…

Some of the lovely moments in my week include eating lots of cake at the weekend over at my dad’s allotment where he won first prize for his tomatoes at the Autumn Social before being treated to a lovely Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall inspired marmalade gammon roast with the family (thanks Mum!); having a coffee and catch up with my cousin and her adorable 17 week old baby (who proceeded to puke down my top – one of the only situations in life where it is acceptable for a man to vomit down your cleavage); and last night (after a somewhat frantic school run/in-law drop off) whipping over to Kingston to meet up with the lovely Elfa from Californian Mum in London for John Lewis’s Autumn blogging event promoting their beauty and fashion ranges (where I also met the lovely Steph from Sisterhood and All That who is frankly, beautiful and looks great in bright red lippy 🙂 ). All in all, not a bad week!

Happy Friday Little Loves!

 

butwhymummywhy

Cbeebies – it’s a love/hate thing…

From the sublime:

Sarah and Duck

To the ridiculous:

kate and mim mim

I know a lot of people have had some pretty harsh things to say about Postman Pat. The man is clearly an incompetent nerd. However as a piece of programming, the commissioners have gone right somewhere (see: my five year old glued to back to back episodes on the iPlayer). I know all about the secret chucklings at the mere mention of Mr Tumble’s spotty bag, – love him or hate him, he gets bums on seats. And when it comes to Topsy and Tim – well, just read this post and you’ll see that not everyone is as forgiving as me when it comes to annoyingly perky twins banging on about their big house move for SIX YEARS*.

But the latest addition to the schedule is a step too far even for me. I’m thinking of starting a petition to get Kate and Mim Mim banned from the box for good. I have not spoken about this to a single person but I know I can’t be alone in finding this the freakiest, most badly conceived idea ever. It follows the adventures of ‘feisty’ five year old Kate and her favourite toy bunny Mim Mim – essentially a cute teddy right up until the moment he morphs into a giant fricking weirdo with an accent which appears to be half Australian, half Dick Van Dyke circa Mary Poppins. Meanwhile her imaginary world (Mimiloo) appears to be housed by Pixar’s scariest alien rejects.

Take this example of a typical episode: “A Case of the Giggles” – in which the dynamic duo are tasked with finding a “Merry Berry Bush” in order to make it laugh (I kid you not – and this, my friends, is surely a prime candidate for Scott Mills’ Innuendo Bingo – poor old Mary Berry, it’s just a bit personal really, isn’t it?). (For anyone not familiar with Innuendo Bingo try this clip with Gerard Butler – you can thank me later):

But you know, it’s irrelevant what I think about it (or any of you discerning parents either for that matter). As long as the kids love it, it doesn’t matter if Mimiloo is actually my personal ‘Event Horizon’. Oh, but here’s the thing: my kids LOATHE it from the sincerest bottom of  their Postman Pat-, Peppa Pig-, Thomas the Tank-loving hearts. Respect to the munchkins.

On the other end of the Cbeebies spectrum, one of my all-time favourites has to be Sarah and Duck. What is not to love, I ask you, about a small girl who hangs with a duck, bakes a cake and gets baking tips from the cake itself, doesn’t appear to have parents but seems quite pally with a woman known only as ‘scarf lady’ (whose bag is pretty friendly too) and gets to know an animate umbrella who doesn’t like getting wet and has to borrow one of her wellies to get home? Christmas this year will be all about the Sarah and Duck merchandise – BBC Shop? I’ll be your bitch.

*that might possibly have been six months…

 

Love the Little Things 19.09.14

READ

Over the weekend, in snatches and flashes, I managed to finish reading my current book on my iPhone (thanks Kindle App! Loving it!). I mentioned A Landing on the Sun last week, a somewhat eery ghost of a life, played out through reports read and old reels of tape discovered in a dusty loft room deep in the heart of Whitehall. But don’t worry, it’s nothing to do with politics, more with the politics of happiness, and the overall answer seems to be that happiness can only ever be truly experienced in microcosm. So stick that in yer pipe and smoke it!

I’ve contemplated starting another of Frayn’s novel’s on my reading list, Skios, but also been toying with some of the less aerodite ones from the Booker shortlist, particularly We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (who wrote The Jane Austen Book Club). Oh and I also absolutely snorted in the optician’s waiting room this morning when I read this catalogue of disasters over at Secret Divorcee HQ: Last Night Was Like a Miranda Sketch… bless Lottie she really did manage to get herself in a bit of a pickle over at Wagamama’s the other day!

 

We are all completely beside ourselves

WATCHED

After catching part of my Twitter feed on Saturday night I couldn’t help but tune into the repeat of the X Factor this week to see what Katie from Hurrah for Gin was on about when she said ‘Bit slutty, Cheryl’! I have to admit that the guy breaking into a perfect rendition of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On did lead to an utterly cringe-making display!

HEARD

Other than the above, I discovered Ten Walls this week. I’m not sure everything this guy does is instrumental, or worth labelling ‘house’ (personally I’m still not sure what the difference is between house and garage and still wondering when someone’s going to come out with something from the Carport (cutting edge…). But I digress – I defy you not to agree that this is the perfect background music – try it out, leave it playing while you read the rest of this post… I’m also loving dipping in and out of some new and old Live Lounges from Radio 1 – particularly liking Foxes covering Pharrell’s Happy. Nice.

WORE

I couldn’t resist any longer, I had to go and have a little look at some of what’s out there in the new autumn ranges and ended up buying myself this little flippy skirt from M&S Indigo to wear with boots and a denim jacket on the school run:

New flippy skirt

MADE

I didn’t really have time to try my hand at any fancy baking or recipe wrangling this week so I returned to an old favourite that I haven’t cooked in ages: my version of a cassoulet. I thought I’d make this as I’d bought some chorizo style pork chipolatas from Tesco recently in a BOGOF and they needed using up. I have to preface this picture (which is also self explanatory 😉 ) by saying that although this looks very much like beans with mini sausages, it is in fact, a million miles away in flavour, being so very yummy and delicious which I’m afraid I just couldn’t convey in the medium of photography!

Cassoulet

AND LASTLY…

It’s been a bit of a challenging week – particularly with bedtimes round here! – but I’m so looking forward to spending a day with my littlest boy and enjoying some time all together at the weekend. Colds seem to be kicking in and we all need to recharge our batteries.

Happy Friday Little Loves!

Love the Little Things 12.09.14

READ

Due to unforeseen circumstances I have had a little time on my hands this week and took the opportunity to pick up my current book A Landing on the Sun by Michael Frayn, managing to get about half way through. It’s an intriguing concept which gets you thinking about what we mean by terms such as happiness and quality of life.
It’s also JJ’ s first full week at school and he’s already been sent home with a little book so he can practice recognising the words ‘the’ and ‘and’. I think it’s going to be hard going!

the puppy

WATCHED

Big school

Great British Bake Off! Nobody binned anything this week but the tension is mounting now it’s down to the final six. I’m also loving Big School with David Walliams and Catherine Tate. I watched the first series and loved the gentle humour and nutty characters but I have admit I’m missing the extravagant science experiments – maybe they decided they couldn’t stretch that joke any further!

HEARD

After reading the top ten albums of Denise over on Listen, Watch, Read, Share I was reminded of a couple of great Moloko songs from the early noughties. Which then made me think of a couple of great Portishead songs from the early nineties. I still find this one absolutely mesmorising after all these years – some songs are just timeless…

WORE

JJ SWAT

Nothing new or exciting for me this week but JJ was treated to this amazing S.W.A.T team fancy dress outfit from Costco (apologies for the fuzzy phone photo!). Not the cheapest at £16.50 but considering it includes a full police kit of walkie talkie, binoculars, cap, sunglasses, handcuffs, baton, whistle and even a working torch I thought it was pretty fab!

MADE

I’m gutted that I didn’t have time to link up last week now because I made so many great things for JJ’s pirate party and this week I have put my feet up a bit and don’t have much to show for my time.

AND LASTLY…

I’m just so happy that JJ seems to be enjoying his new experience of being a big schoolboy! Nothing has phased him – in the words of Moloko he has given himself up into the moment, and the time *is* now!

Happy Friday Little Loves!

 

butwhymummywhy

Love the Little Things 29th August 2014

Read

A landing on the Sun

This week, after recently finishing ‘One Step Too Far’ I decided to steer away from more properly ‘light’ summer reading (the summer is after all, more or less over) and I clicked into another book I downloaded on my Kindle several months ago: A Landing on the Sun by Michael Frayn. Frayn wrote one of my favourite books, ‘Headlong’ so I knew I would like his style of writing which tends to take you right along on a journey with the main character, as if you are inside their mind and a fly on the wall to their thoughts and discoveries. I was introduced to this book after reading The Happiness Project back in February and it was one of the books on the recommended reading list so, despite the fact that it is set within the walls of Whitehall and deep inside the grey civil service there is an element of mystery and intrigue and I’m fascinated to know what the secret ‘strategy unit’ project is and how it relates to happiness.

Watched

GBBO

After tonight (Thursday!) I’m hoping that I will have had a chance to catch up on this week’s GBBO. I love that show and I also love puddings so this is right up my street!!

Heard

I’ve quite enjoyed listening to Scott Mills and his partner in crime Chris Stark filling in on the R1 Breakfast show this week. They have the potential to be genuinely funny.

We’ve also been treated to several new words from EJ whose language skills are finally picking up!

Wore

Fave winter boots

I rediscovered my current fave winter boots this week which is a bit of a sad thought – August isn’t even over yet! I also wore my raincoat quite a bit during the first part of the week when we were treated to a brief reminder of last winter’s floods.

Made

Epic fail on this front! It’s been one of those weeks where it’s either non-stop children or work and not much in between.

And lastly…

Cousins!

We finally got a chance to catch up with my sister in law and nephews this week. T is ten so quite a bit older than my two but O is just a couple of months apart from EJ and it was lovely to see them play together and make friends (for the most part!). We took them swimming on the rainy bank holiday which was fun and then were treated to lunch by my mother and father in law. They are moving back to the UK from Germany this week and waiting for their new house in Wiltshire to be ready to move into so we had the opportunity to share two days in their company before I had to return to work.

I have been finishing off my last purchases for JJ’s upcoming pirate party and need to make sure I have everything in hand during the coming days.

The most exciting delivery of the week however, was my new iPhone which is the first Apple device I’ve ever owned believe it or not! I’m still trying to get to grips with it at the moment but I love the look and feel of it and I’m so excited that I will finally be able to properly use apps and set up an Instagram profile! Get me – dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century!

Happy Weekend Little Loves

 

butwhymummywhy

Love the Little Things Aug 15th 2014

Read

one step too far

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis. As I was there for nearly 2 and a half hours I made fab progress on the book and I’m now about halfway through (I’m a slow reader OK?!). It’s one of those stories which compel you onwards as you know from the very beginning that something catastrophic happened to the protagonist to set her off on the course she is taking but you don’t know what it was. Having said that it can be frustrating but I’m having fun second guessing it!

Watched

Utopia image

The last episode of Utopia Series 2! I absolutely loved this series – the acting was fabulous, the visual style is inspired and the story is so compelling because actually, it’s hard not to agree that the planet’s over-population issue and the exponential rate of growth of the world’s population are scary to contemplate (although the solution offered by the utterly immoral ‘Network’ is hardly the answer!). There are real heroes and baddies here but they fall into grey areas, morally and psychologically. The scene in which the sinister Terrence meets the mother of a young boy he chances upon at a coach station, and describes in great detail what a massive carbon footprint one human being leaves in their lifetime offering to cut her son’s throat to save her the guilt is both chilling and thought-provoking. I highly recommend this series!

Heard

The one thing I remember hearing most clearly lately was my 15 year old niece and her own beautiful version of the song Sugar Man by 60s American Folk musician Sixto Rodriguez. I looked it up because I’d never heard of it and listened to the original on You Tube but her version is better! In finding out about Sugar Man I also stumbled upon some great reviews for the movie ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ which is essentially a documentary movie (which won an Oscar I believe) following the journey of two Rodriguez fans who were desperate to know whatever happened to their idol after he was rumoured to have committed suicide before disappearing for a couple of decades… I’ll definitely be adding that one to my LoveFilm waiting list! I’ll also be badgering my niece to put her version of Sugar Man up on You Tube!

Wore

Back into work clothes again this week after my holiday to Devon. With the temperatures dropping slightly it’s been long trousers and cardies – #feelslikeautumn

Made

Some serious decisions and had some very all-consuming thoughts.

And lastly…

Although I had a great time in Devon last week with my family, it has been nice to get the children back into some sort of home life routine this week – I have to say I still find it hard work, both physically and emotionally, to be with them 24/7 with no escape to work at any time! My family were wonderful and my mum and sister even took them off on a bus/train odyssey one day so that I could have a bit of a birthday treat one day but the morning and evening meltdowns were a little relentless and EJ’s naps were sporadic. We are looking forward to finally seeing some of their friends later on after a few weeks of summer where everyone has been so busy!

Happy Friday Little Loves!

 

butwhymummywhy

Love the Little Things Week 10

READ

I wish I could say that I’d had my head buried in a good book this week but unfortunately that is not the case. However I have had something lovely to read in the shape of JJ’s pre-school ‘transition to school’ report. According to this he is very sociable, not afraid to approach either other children or adults and initiate a conversation, and his favourite imaginative game (unbeknownst to me) is ‘Travel Agents’! I already know that he is capable of getting dressed and undressed unaided, going to the loo, etc. Essentially he is totally ready for the transition to school (we’re lucky because he turns 5 in September). Momentous events!

WATCHED

utopia

I was excited to discover that a second series of the cult classic ‘Utopia’ is being aired on Channel 4 (I’m already a week behind!). Finally, something on telly which credits it’s viewers with a brain whilst at the same time entertaining and shocking in equal measure. For the uninitiated (you need to watch the first series on catch up) it is essentially a conspiracy thriller which kicks in in Series 1 with three young people coming together through their love of cult comics and finding themselves suddenly unplugged from their day to day lives and on the run from a shadowy organisation known as ‘The Network’. To say any more would be a spoiler but it’s fabulously written and directed – think Tarantino – and I love the fact that the writer has, in the first episode of Series 2, tied in real life events from the 70s and even fictionalised a real event – to me, that’s clever and engaging writing. I warn you though, if you love rabbits and are easily upset, this may not be for you! 😉 Apparently this has been picked up by the Americans and is going to be re-made for the US by David Fincher (director of S7even and Fight Club) and written by Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn – that shows just how good it is!

WORE

I’ve been on the lookout for a ‘statement’ necklace for a while having been suitably impressed by several Little Loves posts. Up to now I’ve mostly stuck to classic dainty silver chains with pretty, but unassuming charms and gemstones. But I like the big difference a statement piece can make to a simple outfit and I think it’s worth spending a bit of money on some nice ones and saving money on clothes by sticking to plain tees and tops.

new necklace

When I saw this one (M&S!) I was intrigued. I’m normally drawn to circles for some reason, and not straight lines, so I had to force myself to pick this up initially (I liked it for being so colourful). As soon as I held it up to myself I knew it was ‘the one’. It has an Aztec-y feel to it and I love the way the gold pieces at the bottom of each strand flash when they catch the light.

HEARD

I’ve had this song ‘Changes’ stuck in my head ever since hearing it during the World Cup – never heard of Faul or WAD AD or Pnau before but it’s such a catchy tune and it’s a great one to have as background music – which I guess is why it was chosen as the official song of the FIFA World Cup…

MADE

I didn’t have much free time for cooking this week but the circus party prep has been rolling on and I was very pleased with myself for designing and creating this little beauty from scratch:

Lion ball toss 2

It’s a Lion ball toss game – essentially you just have to see how many plastic balls (the ball pit variety) you can chuck in! I was going to put together a pass the parcel but seriously? What is that all about other than sucking up time and energy with endless shopping for the right prize, all the little token prizes in each layer and then wrapping the equivalent of about 15 presents?? Why do people do this??! Instead I have this lion game, I’ve shamelessly bought a parachute for some more fun activities, EJ has a circus big top tent as a pressie which will be taken along and I’ve got a ‘pin the nose on the clown’ too. Other than that they will have to entertain themselves and make do with party bag goodies!

I also knocked up a few of these:

moustached!

They are probably going to be absolutely destroyed by pre-schoolers in a matter of seconds but I’ve had fun making them and hopefully we might be able to catch a cheeky fun picture or two!

AND LASTLY…

I finally got the chance to visit my lovely cousin and her 6 week old baby this week! I have to admit, despite having two of my own, I’m not really a ‘little baby’ person – they tend to smell the fear on me and scream the second I come near them… On this occasion it was different – I don’t know if I’m more of an old hand having two, or if I just felt more comfortable as he is a member of my family but I loved having a cuddle with him and he even fell asleep on me (! Unheard of – even my own children never did that 🙂 ).

mother and child

Happy Friday Little Loves!

 

butwhymummywhy

Love the Little Things Week 9

READ

Somehow I haven’t found the time to read at all this week. What I have ‘read’ has been the captions on a million amazing and fabulous pins on Pinterest which I have been scouring for ideas and inspiration for EJ’s circus theme birthday party (I’ve become a bit obsessed!). Oh and this:

A day at the circus

WATCHED

So many things I wanted to watch TV & movie-wise but in actual fact, I’ve watched on as a very proud Mummy twice this week, firstly as JJ completed his first 5Km Parkrun round Alice Holt Forest with his daddy and big sister (in the rain!).

JJ's first Parkrun success!

And then as he dressed up in gown and mortar board for his pre-school graduation, stepping up onto a little makeshift stage to receive his scroll (or ‘telescope’ as he described it). Too cute! The end of an era. Because we weren’t allowed to take pictures of the children (instead an official picture will be sent out to each individually later) I’ll share this little self-portrait from the Class of ’14:

JJ's self portrait

WORE

I have to say being a part time worker does mean that I get the excuse to dress a bit nicer than I would otherwise, make the effort with accessories, etc. Today I wore white trousers to work feeling very summery, then later on, they got covered in ketchupy stains from EJ’s grubby little hands. It’s a schizophrenic existence!

HEARD

I have been enjoying Gekko (Overdrive) by Oliver Heldens and Becky Hill. I have to say I’m loving all the collaborative choices Becky Hill has been making and it’s nice to see a former talent show contestent come out of that process and do something a bit different. This is the kind of music that I love and it’s had me pondering on what is age appropriate and whether I should care. I’m sure my parents were listening to classical by the time they were my age but I don’t understand how your tastes are supposed to change overnight. Any thoughts?

MADE

This week I ended up making two more batches of the wheat-free banana oat muffins that I tried out last week as they went down a bit of a storm with the children (unexpectedly!). On Saturday I got the Girl (who was staying over with us) to help me and then on Monday after preschool JJ wanted to have a go (they’d all been eaten by that point) but I was winging it by then and forgot to add the yogurt which made them a little bit smaller and drier (still edible though!).

I also made another filling soup which was probably the easiest soup ever. I poured boiling water over sliced courgette, peas and fresh spinach then added some cooked rice and chicken and that was it. The magic ingredient is adding a swirl of fresh pesto on top before you eat it – really lovely!

Then there was this:

Slow cooked balsamic pork

Another stupidly easy but really delicious recipe – pork tenderloin in a slow cooker with a crushed garlic clove, some soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and honey (supposedly Worcestershire Sauce too but I didn’t have any of that).

I’m also stupidly pleased with myself for creating this little bunting birthday cake topper for the circus-themed cake I plan to bake:

bunting cake topper

AND LASTLY…

I have to share this brilliant bit of advertising (It’s smarter to travel in groups and here’s why…):

Happy Friday Little Loves!

Love the Little Things Week #8

READ

Still deep in summer reading mode! I’ve started reading One Step too Far by Tina Selkis – I thought I’d better give myself an Emily Barr break! This is the third of three that my Kindle recommended to me when I’d finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, the first being The Husband’s Secret by Lianne Moriarty (bit pants) and the second being Emily Barr’s Sleeper – neither of which were in the same league as Gone Girl in my opinion. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel about this one – apparently it has a serious twist to it!

Blogging-wise I really enjoyed Emma’s Who Decides What a Successful Blog is Anyway?, Lucy’s Jolly Good Sport and thought Sian’s Bully was really brave and honest.

WATCHED

I started watching my latest offering from LoveFilm – Now You See Me:

Now you see me

This essentially seems to be an American, big screen version of Hustle. I always enjoyed a bit of Hustle – total ‘check your brain at the door’ lighthearted entertainment so I’m looking forward to the rest of this!

WORE

At the weekend I was out with the JJ (see Sunday’s coming Ordinary Moment!) and just happened to notice this unusual top from Phase Eight as we were leaving John Lewis:

(I think I might be slightly more ‘curvy’ than the model!!). With a sizeable reduction in the sales I thought there was no harm in trying it on and ended up buying it. It’s great with leggings and I always love an unusual piece of clothing – asymmetrical skirts or something with a little novelty to it so this was right up my street!

HEARD

After mentioning the fact that I’ve been loving Mr Probz Waves as a total feel summery song this year I started thinking about my own summer anthems of past years and I’ve had a little nostalgia fest! Who didn’t love Ace of Base All That She Wants?!! Any song that talks about lying on the beach and having fun is alright in my book (but I definitely don’t want another baby 😉 ). Then there was Lola’s Theme by the Shapeshifters, Summer Breeze by the Isley Brothers and, for me, there was this little spate of fab tunes from 2000 which remind me of my ‘big’ wedding (the first one!) – the best bit of which was dancing the night away with my besties (which probably says something about the fact that the marriage was doomed!!) – Woman Trouble by Artful Dodger, Don’t Call Me Baby by Madison Avenue and Lady Hear me Tonight by Mojo. Here are some of my all time Summer faves for a bit of a blast from the past:

MADE

I went a bit mad this week in my spare time and decided to try my hand at three new things – firstly, due to my current avoidance of wheat and craving for cake I knocked up these banana oat muffins:

Wheat free Banana Oat Muffins

I wasn’t expecting the children to be interested, but they confounded me by nicking a couple off the cooking rack – a sure fire sign of success!

Secondly I wanted to try out some ‘overnight oats’ – a new discovery for me – and attempted this ‘apple pie’ version (I added some strawberries):

Apple pie overnight oats

This has oats, greek yogurt, almond milk, apple and pinch of cinnamon. I enjoyed it but for my sweet tooth it could have used a little honey. The next day I made the same base but added some honey and then in the morning mixed in some banana and pecans and it was so yummy and filling!

Lastly I wanted to continue my pursuit of healthy eating and I remembered a good tip from The Fat Tummy Club book which really advocates soups as the way forward. I know soup is often thought of as a winter food, but the Fat Tummy Club has a lovely recipe for a Portuguese chicken, mint and lemon soup which receives rave review and ticks that summer food box too.

portuguese lemon and mint chicken soup

I halved the ingredients as I only wanted two portions for my work lunches but this came out (for me anyway!) basically a risotto, not a soup! I was worried that it might be a bit overpoweringly lemony for my tastes but actually I did quite enjoy it and it was great to be able to jar it up for work – really very easy!

AND LASTLY…

My boys have been bonding this week – when I got up for work this morning I could hear EJ calling to his brother from the cot which was cute. JJ slept right through it! I can see them having the same kind of relationship as my nieces used to, with the youngest always wanting the eldest to be there as a playmate and the eldest sometimes wanting a bit of space!

JJ had his transition to school sessions at big school this week. It didn’t start off too well to be honest – at nearly 5 he was clinging on to my leg and crying whilst 3 year olds gleefully ran past him without a single look back at their mums! Once I left I knew he was going to be OK because I had a sneaky look through to the playground and he was smiling and riding a bike!

I was very happy to finally have got my act (slightly) together and sent out invitations (OK, created Events on FaceBook I admit it!) for both kids’ birthday parties! Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to need for each (and EJ’s is only three week’s away – eek!).

On Tuesday I had an impromptu meet up with one of my good friends and her boys after JJ asked if we could invite ourselves round to their house when I picked him up from pre-school. It turned out she was going into town to take the kids for a sneaky ‘child friendly’ tea and so we all met up and the kids ate together and ran around like loons whilst we had a lovely catch up.

I had marinaded a lamb steak earlier in the day with olive oil, dried oregano, crushed garlic and fresh lemon juice. I’ve never done this before and I wasn’t convinced that something with such simple and few ingredients would be anything to write home about but I have to say it blew my socks off! I grilled it on my George Foreman and it tasted absolutely amazing – just like the taste of Greece – the taste of summer. I can’t rave highly enough about this although I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who will be well aware of the awesomeness of this classic combination.

I’ll leave you with this little quote my lovely sister put up on Facebook last night – and frankly, I’ll be happy if I only ever use quotes by the Cookie Monster from this day forward:

Cookie monster mindfulness

Happy Friday Little Loves!

 

butwhymummywhy

Love the Little Things week 7

READ

This week I finished Emily Barr’s The Sleeper after only starting it last week!! It must be a record or mean something significant. Whilst it wasn’t as good as Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn) it had the same sort of vibe and it was enjoyable enough for me to have sought out another book by Barr which I’ve now got all loaded up and ready to go on my Kindle. This one is called The Life You Want and tells the story of a mother of two who has a seemingly perfect life but feels like she’s cracking up and escapes to India to rediscover herself. I am really into summer reading mode now and I love the premise because who hasn’t felt like that at some time and wanted to escape alone to somewhere exotic?

The life you want by Emily Barr

WATCHED

This week I watched the final episode of Amber on BBC4 as recommended by the lovely Emma of Life at The Little Wood. Like everyone else I had a hole to fill after Happy Valley ended. I enjoyed this in the way you enjoy any suspense thriller – you kind of hang on in there to find out what did happen to that missing girl. I don’t want to give away spoilers if anyone intends to watch but it has the kind of ending you will either love or hate… I am also intending to watch a DVD I’ve had from LoveFilm for a while now, Saving Mr Banks – the Tom Hanks/Emma Thompson one all about Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers and her meeting with Walt Disney to discuss the adaptation of her story to the big screen. I loved the trailers back on cinematic release and I’m really looking forward to this!

WORE

Nothing particularly exciting this week, I was all about getting comfy after work and I’m loving these new jersey harem-style pants I got recently from Next:

Harem pants

HEARD

I heard this Avicii song Lay Me Down on the radio on my way to work the other day and I love it! I’m not sure if it’s a previous release, new release or what but I know its the kind of music that gets me up on my feet. I think Avicii would be amazing live – you can see from the atmosphere in the video that he creates that festival vibe – Wake Me Up has always seemed like the perfect festival song to me because of its anthemic chorus. I only just found out that the vocals on Wake Me Up were by Aloe Blacc!

 

MADE

I thought I was having a little lightbulb moment this week after trawling Pinterest for ideas for good stuff to make into ice lollies – I’m thinking alcopopsicles, smoothie and milkshake lollies and frozen yogurt. I noticed that some people had just literally stuck lolly sticks straight into yogurt pots and frozen them and I suddenly thought of Frubes and how perfect they would be as yogurt ice pops! I ordered some with the weekly shop only to discover that I am clearly one step behind the Frube marketing department:

Frozen Frube

This went down pretty well with the boys!

I did actually attempt some home made lollies too using a recipe which mixes frozen banana, peach (I used tinned), almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla essence and agave syrup. Its healthy and free from too.

Banana Peach lolly

I had used a very over ripe banana so it was particularly sweet! JJ wasn’t too keen but I liked the flavour. The problem is that most home freezers don’t freeze stuff fast enough to avoid that prickly icicle effect that you get when you make your own and these were no exception. The recipe I got this from made a good point in suggesting you freeze your banana in advance – I just didn’t get mine in the freezer fast enough because I had to run out and buy some moulds! I might experiment with freezing the peaches next time too – I believe that the colder it is to start with, the quicker it will freeze and the better the final texture…

With some of the leftover almond milk (I’ve never tried it before but its OK if you don’t drink it straight up) I quickly whizzed up this strawberry banana smoothie and added a little vanilla essence & sprinkled some cinnamon on top which was actually really nice:

Strawberry banana smoothie

AND LASTLY…

I had fun with mum and the boys at the big playground in Bushy Park, South West London and noticed that the deer are getting tamer and tamer – I even saw them eating out of peoples’ hands! Not sure if this is a good thing mind you…

Deer in Bushy Park

EJ has finally started getting his appetite back and being cute and happy again – hurrah! And JJ’s brain seems to have finally received the memo that says ‘turn off the waterworks at night’ – a whole week of dry bedding – hurrah times 2!!

I treated myself to one of these:

aerolatte

Some of this:

Tesco salted caramel sauce

and whipped myself up both an iced version and hot version of a caramel latte with lots of lovely froth! Delicious!

I’ve also (I think) re-negotiated a mini-break to Suffolk to see my bestie Sophie and get our kids together at the end of August which is going to be brilliant!

And I’ve wasted no time in bagging myself an earlybird ticket to the Mumsnet BlogFest in November – woohoo – November 8th, November 8th, November 8th (If I repeat enough times I might even remember this one 🙂 )

Happy Friday Little Loves!

 

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