Love the Little Things 19.09.14


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


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!


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.


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


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!



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


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


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!


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…



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!


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.


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!



How to shine

Choose to shine

Over at Mum turned Mom HQ this week, Sara has gone for a word as this week’s Prompt: Shine. I didn’t immediately know what to say about this and wasn’t going to enter the link up this week, but I find myself with a little time on my hands and started contemplating what ‘shine’ means to me.

The dictionary tells me that to shine is to emit light, to glint or glisten, to excel or to be immediately apparent. When I think about what it takes to shine, as a person, it takes confidence, it takes a happy, outgoing spirit who is not afraid to put his or herself on the line, and, to be more philosophical, it takes a person who can accept that they have a light inside them which can be directed out into the world, to counteract the darkness.

It’s not easy to shine or to feel like you are capable of it. It takes a lot of encouragement and championing but maybe some people are just born to project themselves and their light into the world from an early age (natural born confidence?).

It might be easy to shine if you are born with an innate talent, an innate beauty – but for the rest of us plebs here on Earth it takes a bit of practice. As a mother, how do you shine when every day seems to be about cooking and laundry and school runs and work? You challenge yourself, you shine through your actions, you attempt to bring a little light, however small, into the lives of others.

At the beginning of the year I spent a lot of time thinking about ‘random acts of kindness’. I even contemplated starting up a linky all about encouraging others to both do and share their own RAOK. I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and was very taken by the notion of happiness coming through giving of yourself, and now I’m reading a book she recommends A Landing on the Sun by Michael Frayn and the concept of ‘happiness’ is once again in the forefront of my mind (and I’m not missing the parallel here of the Sun – a metaphor for happiness, and the one word which we most associate with the descriptive ‘shine’).

So go forth and emit your light, people! I know you can do it.



Love the Little Things 29th August 2014


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.



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!!


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!


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.


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…


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