Love the Little Things Week 9


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


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


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!


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?


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


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

Happy Friday Little Loves!

Chased by a Gruffalo!

Gruffalo at Alice Holt

The Saturday just gone was a real experience for my little JJ. His dad is a Parkrun devotee and has been a regular at many of our local parks, Guildford, Frimley, Rushmoor and Alice Holt Forest for the past couple of years. We often go and watch him and cheer him on, especially if the run takes him past a nice little playground or cafe :-). The idea is to do a timed 5K run with other like minded people (lots of families, children, even dogs and kids in buggies being pushed around for the ride of their lives!). Its not a competition but a chance to try and push yourself to a personal best each week. The hubster is, quite frankly, obsessed with the whole thing.

So lately JJ has been doing little pretend ‘parkruns’ up and down the corridor at both our house and my mum and dad’s. We have to shout, cheer and clap each time he comes past. He loves it!

Last weekend his dad finally decided to let him have a go himself. His ten year old step sister has done one or two of the runs in Guildford before but JJ, at just 4 (and 9 months) has always been deemed a bit too young up to now. I have to say I was extremely sceptical because he can be quite lazy at times, complaining that his legs hurt when expected to walk for five minutes, etc., but he was extremely keen and got very excited when his dad registered him on the website and printed him off his own little barcode (which they scan to record your time).

The reason that last Saturday was a greenlight for JJ was because his dad (the crazy nut) was working a night shift the night before and didn’t want to miss a parkrun but at the same time knew that he wouldn’t be up to much speedwise, hence giving him the perfect opportunity to run with his little son at his pace. Excitingly Alice Holt was the perfect venue as they were holding a special run featuring the Gruffalo (see above).

In the event the forecast was not good. As we pulled into the car park the heavens opened and the hubster was seriously contemplating giving up and heading home, feeling extremely tired after two hours sleep. The look on JJ’s little face was enough to convince him to brave the weather though – he was so keen and would have been so disappointed!

The rain quickly eased off and we gathered at the cafe to listen to the announcements. Just then a life size Gruffalo appeared behind the speaker which EJ was absolutely thrilled about! And then it was positions please and they were off!

It felt a bit strange just me and EJ heading to the playground alone but soon we were back out watching the runners as the fastest of the bunch began to speed by. The Gruffalo soon appeared and was making us laugh and EJ clap and cheer with his funny antics and comments! The idea was that any child who beat the Gruffalo would get a packet of sweeties!

After about 20 minutes JJ and the hubster appeared and EJ and I clapped and cheered! JJ sensibly decided to call it quits after the first of the two laps which, under the circumstances seemed like a good idea – a run of over a mile for a four year old is no mean feat and we were all very proud of him. Soon after we waved the hubster off for round 2 the heavens really opened with thunder and lightning and a torrential downpour! JJ definitely made the right decision!

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures as the wet weather had put me off taking my camera and I have had to nick the photo above from another attendee. Instead, just to illustrate, here is a picture of JJ doing a pretend parkrun:



Not My Year Off

Saturday mornings…

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that the hubster is obsessed with taking part in the Saturday morning Park Run initiative – a weekly event offering runners of all abilities the chance to get together and push themselves to a personal best over a 5K course. The runs take place in numerous parks around the UK, and the hubster’s latest favourite is Alice Holt Forest in Hampshire which is actually quite nice for the rest of us as Alice Holt is a lovely place to take children.

A couple of weeks ago we were incredibly lucky with the weather, waking to sunshine and blue skies on Saturday. We sprung into action, managing to get the kids dressed, fed and out by 8.30am (which is some achievement believe me!). When we arrived at the forest, the boys waved Daddy off and then we headed back to the lovely wooden play area – complete with pirate ship, log cabins and wooden train. At that time in the morning we had the place almost to ourselves and this made it easier for me to chill and let them run off in different directions.

Here are some of the shots I took:

All in all a very lovely way to spend a sunny Saturday morning!
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall