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

 

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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 #6

READ

(disclaimer: some of the things I will mention here may bear a resemblance to things I talked about last week, the difference being last week I was thinking about them, this week I’ve put them into practice!)

While I’ve The Sleeperbeen away I’ve been trying to make a bit more time for leisure reading – fiction. In the past choosing good summer reads was part of the fun of preparing for a holiday but nowadays the chance to find the time is rare. Nevertheless I have put down my more literary tome and picked up The Sleeper by Emily Barr. I’ve only managed to read about a fifth of the book, mostly before dropping off to sleep last thing at night. It’s a bit of a slow starter if it is to be a mystery thriller – so far there has just been a very small hint of more interesting things to come. She does however really get you inside the mind of her protagonist so you feel like you might be able to predict her later moves. I’ve read some books by this author before so I feel confident that the plot will pick up soon!

WATCHED

Well, despite promising myself that I would take a step back from blogging this week I have ended up still doing a lot of reading and commenting, but in the background has been a lot of international football (Spain’s out – shocker!), Chuggington, Topsy and Tim and Swashbuckle (I’ll be talking like a pirate for some time – ah-harr me hearties!)

WORE

I’ve been mostly sticking with the red, white and blue theme this week – unfortunately our holiday weather hasn’t been very warm and sunny so most of my new pretty lightweight outfits have just hung in the wardrobe of our holiday house. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some wear out of them when we go off to Devon in August… Here’s a pick of myself and the boys sporting a range of stripes:

Norfolk stripy tops

HEARD

Paulo Nutini. He’s one of those singers, like Aloe Blacc, who have the most amazing, god-given voices – eminently listenable, and some of his songs thrill me – I’m thinking Last Request and New Shoes. His latest release, Scream (Funk my Life Up) is pretty good, but I’m still not sold on some of the other songs from the album. In the old days I would just buy the album and then it would grow on me, but in this age of downloads and digital ‘tasters’ I am often left a bit undecided…

MADE

I’m on holiday so time in the kitchen has been reduced and I certainly haven’t cooked anything as such. I have the makings of a great holiday album though and I helped make a little family of Supermen by buying the hubster a T-Shirt for Father’s Day which matches those of the boys just for fun!

The Supermen shirts

AND LASTLY…

It’s been a week of highs and lows as holidays with small children are wont to be – the worst thing being that both children succumbed to chicken pox – EJ from Day 1!

Highs though, have included visiting Norwich Cathedral during the filming of Judi Dench’s new movie Tulip Fever – a book I loved by Deborah Moggach. I’m excited to know that when I watch the film I will be able to pinpoint the scene where we were tucked in to a side chapel just behind the action with our fingers crossed that EJ wouldn’t suddenly squeal at the top of his lungs! (He didn’t!).

Visiting the beautiful Blickling Estate one sunny afternoon and playing giant lawn games with the boys was awesome.

And a lovely little (short!) journey on the North Norfolk Railway culminating in me taking pictures of the toilet (a genuine Crapper!):

Norfolk Weybourn rail 'Crapper'

Capturing a fab butterfly shot outside whilst waiting for the train back:

Norfolk railway butterfly 1

And then a lovely stroll down Sheringham High Street which (whilst somewhat heaving with the older generation!) was like taking a step back in time with lots of green grocers’ stacked with beautiful looking and smelling fruit and veg outside, baker’s shops with tempting treats, ice cream parlours and adorable gift shops which made me sad that I wasn’t there with a girlfriend for the purposes of browsing through the scarves, homewares and intriguing little bits and pieces. There also seemed to be a bit of a lobster theme going on there:

So now I just need a holiday from my holiday and I’ll be a happy woman!

Happy Friday Little Loves! X

 

butwhymummywhy

Love the Little Things Week 4

Read

Because I’ve been trying to squeeze more healthful things into my life this week I have found it very difficult to keep up with my blog reading and it makes me feel bad to say so but all you lovelies out there have been quite, quite prolific this week and I just wish so badly that I had more time to catch up with each and every one of you. I’ve been researching and reading lots of online articles on weight loss and diet and perusing maps of my local area in the search for the perfect cycle route!

I have to read a lot as part of my job and sometimes what I read is intriguing or frustrating, sometimes heartbreaking and inevitable. This week I read of a girl with mental health issues who carved the words ‘Evil is coming’ into her arm. Some of the things you read stay with you.

Watched

The last episode of Happy Valley! I got around to watching the Hugh Jackman/Jake Gyllenhal movie I spoke of last week, ‘Prisoners’ – the story of two families who’s young daughters disappear one Thanksgiving day and the search to find them before it’s too late. Brilliantly acted by those two most watchable of movie stars and a really gripping story that has you right up to the very end. I also discovered that Dexter Season 8 is finally available on DVD/streaming and watched the first episode on Netflix. I have been a Dexter fan since day 1 – see my tribute below…

Wore

Ice Truck Killer nails!

After reading Brummymummyof2’s Summer Mummy Army post last week it got me thinking about my nails and the fact that – aside my toes, I never really ‘do’ nail polish. To rectify that I nicked Rita Ora’s style (I’m sure she won’t mind – Rimmel have done very well out of this turn of events!) and in tribute to the Ice Truck Killer storyline in Dexter I went for the cheeky alternating rainbow colours! Yes, yes, I realise I am reverting to my teenage years now…

Heard

I love anything that makes me feel summery even when the weather isn’t playing ball and Mr Probz ‘Waves’ is definitely doing that for me right now. It reminds me a little of the song ‘Last Wave’ from my old Beach House CD which is always my go to collection to take away on holiday! (Just try not to think too hard about the fact that he feels like he’s drowning…:-/)

And here’s Hed Kandi Beach House mix (the first four minutes being ‘Last Wave’)

 

Made

As part of my health kick I tried out a few smoothies and juices this week both inspired by others and just thrown together. Here’s my carrot, orange and ginger juice and my blueberry and nectarine smoothie…

And lastly…

I’m feeling pretty invigorated this week as I have finally got my bum up off the sofa, dug my bike out from under a big pile of garden toys in the shed and made my first tentative steps (or should that be ‘revolutions’?) into health. I put off the change for a long time but once I get into the idea I actually quite enjoy sourcing healthy meals and snacks and testing myself to see what I’m capable of and where the border lies between health and happiness…

The hubster treated me to a gourmet burger and chips at a lovely canalside pub in the sunshine on Tuesday when we were child free – mini date-night alert! (But not at night, obvs). (And before you point out that this wasn’t exactly on the diet plan – well, we all need a little treat and I had just burned off 40 minutes worth of calories! I guess the border between health and happiness is closer than I thought – either that or I just have no will power whatsoever!).

Pint of shandy!

I am also very much looking forward to our family holiday in just over a week’s time – next week I will suddenly realise that I have prepared *nothing* and panic! And I’m also very much looking forward to meeting up with the lovely Elfa from Californian Mum in London on Saturday night for a little drinky on the newly renovated Kingston riverside! Can’t wait!!

Happy Friday lovely Little Loves X

 

butwhymummywhy

 

Love the little things

I’ve been a voyeur into this linky (run by Morgana over at Butwhymummywhy?) for a while, feeling like I couldn’t possibly join in because it would actually involve doing something other than childcare, work, housework or blogging. Then I realised that I actually need someone to give me a reason to pick up a good book, watch something entertaining, listen to some music I love – basically just re-gain a bit of balance in life.

So here is my week of little things:

READ

So I finally got around to picking my current great read back up, winner of the Costa Novel Award, Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. Its the story of a girl who gets to live and re-live her life over and over again, making up for each mistake along the way. Its set across the war years and the writing is so typically witty and on the money for Atkinson. I’m really enjoying it.

WATCHED

Well, I fell down somewhat in this area. I really wanted to re-watch one of my fave films, Sideways, then I realised that the DVD was at my parents house. I have had the film Side Effects from LoveFilm sitting on the shelf for two months now and I really must find the time to watch it as, looking at the synopsis again, it does actually sound quite intriguing!

WORE

Well anyone who has been reading my former posts this week will already know that I finally got to dust off my ‘Dorothy Shoes’ last weekend for a party no less (unheard of these days!):

More Dorothy Shoes!

HEARD

I’m really loving my recently purchased Rudimental album – my favourite track probably being Powerless featuring Becky Hill (of former ‘Voice UK’ fame), but I just watched Right Here featuring Foxes (who is pretty hot right now in her own right) and I thought the video really added to it – just look at those Tigers and that kung fu action! I love it when a video tells a story.

 

MADE

This week I wanted to try my damndest to get some vegetables into my children by hook or by crook so I went in for a few sneaky options – I’ve got lasagne lined up which not only has carrot and celery but also a cheeky little spinach and pea puree mixed in too – completely unnoticeable under all that yummy cheese sauce! And I tried out this recipe from Sainsburys Little Ones, to which I added some grated apple and missed out the grated carrot. They all got eaten up so I guess I did alright!

chicken and sweetcorn burgers

AND LASTLY

I was very upset last week to find that I’d double booked our family holiday over the BritMums Live dates, having already spent my £98 on my ticket and looking forward to it soooo much (sob!), expecially after reading all the buzzy comments surrounding Blog Camp and Blog On, but I’ve mentally brushed myself down and actually managed to sell my ticket on to the lovely Tinuke of circusmums.com so something good has come of it and I hope I can be there next year instead.

 

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