Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Three Beautiful Things

1.  Yoyo brings home this little weaving from school.  It takes pride of place on the mantlepiece, and anyone who admires it I exclaim 'Don't you think it shows an eye for colour?' - just like one of those Mums who think their children are gifted.  At least I can laugh at myself.

2. My eldest places an order with his Granny for the Easter cake sale (20 fairy cakes, 10 white, 10 pink, 5 with jelly tots on top, 5 with smarties) he is appealing to the wider market through diversification.  Thanks Mum.

3.  The Queen of Clean's reaction when I ask him if he wants to colour co-ordinate the book shelves.

Big plans

There are big plans underfoot for this little corner of my garden.

I am sure my wonky picture above confirms my intentions.  We are going to build raised beds this weekend for vegetables (everything to make Shepherds Pie with except the cow, according to the Queen of Clean).  So carrots, potatoes, onions.  And of course non-shepherd pie ingredients of lettuce, broccoli, radish......and am sure there will be many others.

We are a bit worried about this area getting enough light, but thought 'what the heck.....let's have a go'. If nothing else it will have been fun trying.

Eventually we will also have a shed here - at the moment we are storing kids bikes etc in the playhouse, making it very unhomely......which makes me very sad.

I'm getting lots of inspiration from this fantastic blog, My Tiny Plot.  Do have a look if you are into growing your own.

Sunday, 28 March 2010


We went exploring today.  Back to the birdwatching place that it was just too cold for back in February.

Didn't get any birdwatching done, but lots of exploring.  This nature reserve is literally just around the corner from us, and we had yet to discover it.

We responded to this invitation.........

and found these...........(littlest one very excited and declared this was just like Indiana Jones)

............and these feathers and pinecones (kids were less impressed, but I thought it was all very Soulemama).  Perhaps my kids just don't get pinecones?

And the little window of the cabin was painted like this..........

And this was the view outside.....

And the most exciting discovery (yes even more exciting than the above) was this.........

I tried to convince the Queen of Clean to knock one of these up in the garden for us.

I think he may have said a bad word in response.

So no birds seen at all in this birdwatching reserve (forget to borrow binoculars for this visit), but still had much fun.   I am sure we will be back soon (if only for Queen of Clean to get a proper look at the construction of that willow hut).

And sorry....I am still 'tweaking'.  It's been a busy weekend, and I haven't had the chance to focus on it properly.  Still work in progress..........

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Making a few tweaks

Please bear with me whilst I make a few adjustments using the fab new blogger template designer.

It's work in progress, and as I don't have more than 30 seconds uninterrupted at any time it is likely to take most of the weekend to get it all 'just so'.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The Force

Star Wars has become an overnight obsession with the children in this house.  They caught a glimpse of the original 1977 film recently and since then well, they are hooked.  Particularly my littlest one.

This morning he played his usual casting director role.  He of course is Luke, Yoyo is Princess Leia, My eldest is Han Solo, The Queen of Clean C3-PO (he does a fab impression), and I am.....Chewbacca.  It could have been worse.....apparently Jabba the Hut was on the cards at one point.

But despite my disappointment over his casting choices....Littlest One has made me smile this evening as I am surrounded by all this paraphenalia.

He has drawn the pictures below and proudly stuck them on the living room wall (usually things get put in his bedroom, but obviously he wants these little sketches more visible).  I'll turn a blind eye to the blu-tac.

His favourite thing is this makeshift light sabre (in a previous life it was a giant bubble wand that I nearly threw out last month), that he takes everywhere with him.

Even to bed.

And on those nights when he strays into our bed in the early hours.....the light sabre comes with him.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

I love.....

 ......these boots.

But more importantly I adore the little toes that belong inside them.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Here we go again........

Am starting the Apartment Therapy Cure this week....again.  I did this in Autumn with some good results, although I had to admit defeat by week 7.  This time I will last the course.

I'm not really focusing on one room, it's going to be a general organisation of the whole house.  Things don't run smoothly here when we're cluttered, which I suppose is much the case for everyone.

To find out more about the cure see here.

The picture above is the otherside of the playroom, the one with the map mural etc.  Posts about this room are here and here.  And these shelves, well they're just not working for us.  Endless rows of books the kids don't read (their faves are in their bedrooms), muddled up playmobil, photography equipment, craft supplies (that we can't reach), boardgames, puzzles (yes with missing pieces...why do I hang on to them?), toys outgrown or broken, paperwork that I forget to action.

So if nothing else...these shelves will be fabulous by the end of the cure.  To start with we'll be painting them white, and then I'll be seeking inspiration from all my favourite organising blogs to make this area function properly. 

Any tips or ideas please go ahead and share!

Sunday, 14 March 2010


Shallow I know...but there is much joy in a new sofa. 

After much deliberation following the collapse of our sofa on Christmas Eve, we decided to go ahead and buy a new one.  And it arrived yesterday...along with a whole set of rules about not jumping on it, eating on it, drinking on it.  Sitting is permitted!

Do you think my little cushions and throw look at home there?  It seems to me they were almost bought for it, even though I've had them years.  Okay well I confess, the linen and felt daisy one may have caught me eye yesterday whilst out shopping in John Lewis.  But I stopped at just the one.

There has been more than enough spending now. Back to reality and making do.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Stuffed tigers and polar bears

We have this museum in my town, an offshoot of the Natural History Museum and it is literally like stepping back in time.  I used to go there lots as a child myself, and now take my kids there frequently (I will admit they have probably been over-exposed because it's a free!).   

There are endless victorian glass and wooden cabinets with rows and rows and rows of stuffed animals, fish, reptiles.

We all took a walk there on Sunday and I got these pictures.  They are such familiar sights to me, the stuffed tiger and polar bear, the endless cabinets of butterflies and spiders...but as I was walking around I realised just how surreal it all is.

I'll let you into a secret...I know someone who works here and he admitted that they often have to put the tiger in the deep freeze to kill off the bugs!  Yikes. What a job!

Above all I love that my family are enjoying exactly the same attraction that I did as a child, completely unchanged.  And I am sure it will stay exactly the same for years to come..........

What do you think - fascinating or freaky?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Biscuits and Waves

We ordered some prints on Saturday....it's rare we both agree on what we like artwise.  So when we do agree it's good to take decisive action and purchase!

The one above is for me.  Because I agree with the sentiment, and it makes me smile.

And this one.  Well it's a long standing joke that The Queen of Clean won't engage in any meaningful conversation with me in public.  Careless talk costs lives and all that.  Something I've come to find amusing.  So this one is perfect for us.

Both of these are from Keep Calm Gallery.  A fantastic website...just adore almost everything on there.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Okay, okay.....I know the right thing to do would be to tell Jasper off, but it just makes me smile so I let him carry on.  And then run and grab the camera so I can share with you.

He will watch for hours and hours and hours.

Sunday, 7 March 2010


The Queen of Clean and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary yesterday - the children were packed off to Grandparents for a sleepover and we had an entire day and evening to ourselves.

After getting over the guilt and getting used to the freedom, we went for a lovely lunch in St Albans and purchased chocolate supplies from Hotel Chocolat.  Raspberry and white chocolate fusion.....Bliss.

I was surprised with some flowers.....

.......no really, I was surprised.  We are not the sort of couple who are good at presents or surprises.  Not in our remit. So this gesture threw me.

However, in a moment of inspiration/desperation to reciprocate,  I stumbled across the wonderful Wordle website.  And created this....an image with the lyrics of our favourite James Morrison song, 'You make it real for me'.  I am going to print and frame it when time allows. 

Gosh, all seems a bit twee and loved up doesn't it?  Please be assured that by this evening we will be bickering over whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher............but for the moment, I'll enjoy that 'loved-up' feeling.

Friday, 5 March 2010

This moment - Yoyo's bed

{this moment}

Photo project by Soulemama - A single photo, no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment, a moment that makes you want to pause, savour and remember.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Harry and the Orla Kiely bag

My friend Harry comes round most Wednesdays.  It's a historical arrangement - to make sure we get to see each other and also it's the night The Queen of Clean goes out biking. 

You know the friend you can literally snort with laughter with?  That's Harry.  Last night we nearly choked on our dinner for various ridiculous plans that would be lost in translation in this post.  Harry if you are reading this I can hear your sigh of relief!

She's not really called Harry but my kids think that's her name.....it was a non correctable point of confusion somewhere along their development. 

So we all call her Harry now.

And so on to my point of this post and the picture above.  Harry covets labels and things.  She won't mind me saying that.  And above, sits her pride and joy.  The Orla Kiely handbag. 

There is ongoing banter between Harry and The Queen of Clean about the handbag....he is incredulous about how much it cost (secretly feeling smug that his wife would not ever consider owning such a thing....little does he know!).  Last night whilst Harry was reading Yoyo her story upstairs, downstairs The Queen of Clean made this little addition to the bag - a homemade Orla Kelly Dymo label.  And he attached it to the bag (brave man - I wouldn't have dared).

Proud of his handiwork he tipped me off and we both waited with bated breath for the reaction..........

'Have you been buying knock off hand bags again Harry?' he asked her...

.........and then there was more laughter.

Monday, 1 March 2010

To dos

In my attempt to get more organised I must confess I had a small, but necessary stationery splurge.

I bought the notebook above for work (It's A4 so a decent size) and before the end of each day I write my To do's for the next day.  Well that's the idea.  Sometimes it all merges into one endless, never-ending stream of 'To dos'.

Somehow though those cheerful plump Russian Dolls make all of those troublesome To dos more achievable.  Even though they do look rather alarmed.

Also in my splurge was some Lotta Jansdotter stationery.  You know stationery so nice you can't use it?  Well this stuff falls into that category.


Just can't bear to use these post it notes - occasionally just get them out of my drawer at work to stroke....and try and impress my work colleagues.

                    And a lovely journal book like the one above - just look at the inside..........


So will these things help me in my quest for organisation?  Probably not....but it will have been fun trying.

Everything here available on Amazon. 


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