Fun Outdoors in the Sun

We have had lots of warm weather lately and it has been really lovely to get outdoors and have some fun in the sun. Monkey, and I’m sure most kids, just love being outdoors, running around, exploring and doing all sorts. The great thing is that there are so many ways for them to play outside without having to spend any money.

This is just a few of the things we have been up to outdoors while the sun has been shining!

Playing in his new playhouse! A good old second hand purchase from ebay, and a slightly early birthday present for Monkey which he loves!! Lots of peepo and playing house. Hours of fun in there at the moment, and a nice shade spot if the sun gets too hot 🙂

WP_20140514_12_32_49_Pro WP_20140514_12_33_15_Pro WP_20140511_16_59_45_Pro WP_20140504_17_22_36_Pro WP_20140504_17_17_42_Pro


Playing in sand and water next door with his friend

WP_20140514_11_07_42_Pro WP_20140514_11_06_22_Pro WP_20140514_11_02_34_Pro


Popping out for an ice cream on his trike! As Monkey would say, Um Yum!


Playing in our newly renovated back garden – having fun in the sand pit

WP_20140514_12_46_42_Pro WP_20140514_12_48_59_Pro WP_20140518_17_36_11_Pro

And, slightly random, but after giving the buggy a good scrub I left a sponge out there and now Monkey lives giving the floor a clean, hehe 🙂


We also got the paddling pool out at the weekend, and I think the water may have been a teeny bit cold for him as it was a bit of a trauma at times, but he did have fun in there too! (Though I think Daddy got more wet than Monkey did!!)

WP_20140518_10_59_12_Pro WP_20140518_11_00_29_Pro

There’s also just been some general running about with a ball now that we are actually allowed to go on the new grass!

WP_20140517_11_31_08_Pro WP_20140517_11_30_32_Pro

And of course, some fun picnics and playtime at the park!

WP_20140509_11_10_03_Pro WP_20140516_12_38_29_Pro

The Reading Residence

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Nostalgia Toys Meme

Ages and ages ago the lovely Iona at Redpeffer tagged me in a Nostalgia Toys Meme, and I immediately started thinking what to write. But with one thing and another I never actually wrote it! Rubbish! But, here it is, better late than never, right?

We (and Monkey in particular) are really lucky in that our parents have kept some of the toys that we had as kids!

Hubby’s parents in particular have kept LOADS and Monkey adores going round to their house to play with all of the toys! They kept loads of brio and duplo (and apparently there is a box full of lego in the loft too) and cars, and just wow. There’s a farm Granddad made for hubby and his brothers, and just loads of stuff. Shows how long toys can last!

WP_20140314_12_47_14_Pro WP_20140314_12_55_29_Pro WP_20140112_16_22_05_Pro

A few weeks ago they got a whole bunch of cars out of the loft and hubby and his brothers were loving getting them all out and reminiscing!

WP_20140330_12_47_01_Pro WP_20140330_12_45_44_Pro WP_20140330_12_41_59_Pro WP_20140330_12_28_33_Pro

Monkey was so happy with them all too, particularly when he found a mini postman pat van! He adores that little thing! We split the cars up between our house and his uncles houses so there is always cars to play with! Having two brothers I remember many happy hours spent playing with cars, building elaborate race tracks and slopes for them out of sofa cushions and I am sure we will be creating many more with Monkey over the years!

My mum didn’t keep nearly as much as with moving house a few times lofts were cleared out, but she has kept some fab toys. We have some blocks that my uncle made for me when I was a tot – my auntie made the bag and it has a lovely C on it hehe. I don’t remember playing with them particularly but they have lasted so well! Monkey loves them, particularly knocking over Grandpop’s towers!



We also have a fab dolls house that again my uncle made and that Monkey adores. It brings back so many memories for me as some of the wallpaper was leftover scraps from my Grandparents’ house! Some of the furniture hasn’t lasted so well, but it is so lovely and it is really sweet to see Monkey playing with it too!

WP_20140110_16_41_24_Pro WP_20140110_16_45_52_Pro


We’ve recently bought monkey a play house for the garden, second hand off ebay, and it reminded me of the houses my dad used to make for us. He was a cardboard box salesman (yep slightly random) so our garage was always FULL of cardboard. Which was great for making all sorts of things, and obviously as kids we loved it. The cardboard wendy houses in particular were great. He made this one when my older bro and I were little…


and then it got a whole lot more elaborate when our little bro had his made! I think his may even have had some carpet in it!! Lol! My mum worked for Woolwich at the time, hence the flag!




It’s lovely to think that even though technology has come on so much since we were kids, and with so many toys doing all these amazing things, sometimes, the simple toys are the best. You don’t have to go crazy or spend loads of money on a toy for a kid to be happy.

So there we have it, I have finally written this post! I though it was perfect timing to link up with Iona and Jocelyn for The Theme Game with this week’s theme of Childhood! Sorry it’s so late Iona!

I’m not going to tag anyone but if why not join in ? What were your favourite toys as a kid? Have you or your parents kept any of your old toys that your kids now play with?

The Reading Residence

A glimpse into our home…

I’ve talked a lot about our garden recently, and there will be another update about that on Thursday! I’ve also recently shown you Monkey’s bedroom, but as the theme for The Theme Game this week is “home” I thought I would give you a few sneak peeks into our house, by just showing you a few of my favourite things, that make me feel really happy to be hom.

Starting in the hallway, where we have a hanging I bought on my travels, in Xi’an, China, to be exact. I just love it.


Also in the hall is a lovely montage of is and our family. We try to update it fairly regularly, and we like fairly candid shots if we can, just all of us having fun :). The frame was a wedding present from my big brother, and its a bit dodgy now as it fell off the wall in our old house and broke 🙁 but we still love it.


Into the downstairs shower-room. We converted what was a really dingy little toilet, and a hall cupboard into a little shower-room. it’s all very simple and white, with just a fun hint of colour in the form of sparkly tiles in the shower and behind the sink.


Into the living room, and you start to see how much we love colour! We have a bright blue wall, and a gorgeous mirror which I just adore. Lots of colourful blankets and cushions, a little area behind the sofa for Monkey’s toys and some of his millions of books! We also have a gorgeous armchair in about the funkiest fabric we could find, and I love the framed picture of the coordinates to our home (though hubby has decreed I am not allowed to publish that picture, in case someone looks up where we live!).

lounge 2

Off sideways into the kitchen, another room we completely renovated, and just a simple shot out of the kitchen window. I love looking out at all the fresh green at this time of year.


Through into the dining room, where we have our most grown-up piece of furniture, a gorgeous dresser, and our photo wall, which again we try to update regularly.

WP_20140428_11_00_42_Pro  WP_20140428_11_01_04_Pro

Upstairs we have our spare room/office, otherwise known as the map room, for obvious reasons! It’s quite often a mess and covered in laundry and paperwork but it’s such a tranquil space to spend some time when it is actually tidy. This picture was taken when it was first decorated, as it is a right mess in there at the moment lol!


I won’t show you too much of our bedroom, but I love this photo. I took this picture of the door of a temple in Luang Prabang in Laos. And I adore it. I have had it in my bedroom for years and all of the walls and bedding and accessories are themed around it.


We have one room upstairs which is basically a tip – full of all sorts of bits and bobs that haven’t yet been thrown out or made it to the garage or loft. But that will have to change soon as that is to become the new baby’s room, so at some point this year we will have to get around to painting it (it is currently decorated in a dark grey) and putting some flooring down!

So there you have it, just a sneak peak into our home! Reminds of that old Lloyd Grossman programme, Through the keyhole. “Who lives in a house like this?” A generally happy little family, that’s who :).

The Reading Residence


#AllAboutYou Link & Pin Party Mama and More

Super Busy Mum

Book or Kindle?

I love reading, always have done.  I always had a high reading age at school and by the time I hit secondary school I was well and truly into adult fiction. Bizarrely it was mainly horror – James Herbert to be precise. I think I’ve read everything he has ever written and most of them when I was a teenager. If I re-read them now some of them seem so grisly it’s a wonder I wasn’t terrified of them , but I loved them.

I read very quickly too. Pre-Monkey I could read a novel in a day (there’s no way I have enough time for that now) but even now it still often only takes me a few days to get through a book if I am really enjoying it. I love all sorts of books, as long as it is well written and keeps to the point, I get really frustrated at reading pages of extraneous details that actually seem completely irrelevant to the storyline. I love fantasy, chick lit, historical fiction, science fiction, crime, thriller, drama, horror, romance (though I have to be in the right mood otherwise I just find it a bit cringy). It depends what I want. Sometimes it’s nice just to read a bit of lighthearted fun, whereas other times I want to be gripped or challenged, or sometimes I want to learn a bit of history at the same time. I love a good saga that extends over numerous books. Maybe because I read so quickly, I always want to know what happens next!


A great find!

Travelling was amazing as I did book swaps in hostels and read some amazing books that I may never have read otherwise, and what better to spend the hours and hours on a bus, plane or train than buried in a good book (pausing to look at the scenery from time to time too of course!). A few of the books even made it home, some I packaged up and sent home along with other gifts or souvenirs, others stayed with me for the final few months. “Safely Home” is an amazing book, all about Christianity in China, and one I will keep forever.

After watching a TV adaptation of Ken Follet’s World Without End recently I decided to re-read the book. I love Ken Follett’s books, they are very entertaining, but sadly the TV imitation was a poor, poor relation to the book, barely even the same story at times, such a shame! Anyway, I bought World Without End quite a long time ago, not realising it was the second book of a series. The prequel I did not buy until much later, by which time I had a kindle.

Now I know traditionalists love the feel of a book and I get it, there’s something wonderful about a book, but…. a kindle (or any other e-reader I’m sure) is just so much easier.


A Tome!

So I read the first book, Pillars of the Earth on my kindle. Then I dug out my copy of World Without End and well, as you can see, it’s a hell of a book. Huge. Heavy. Cumbersome. I started reading it in bed one night, and with any book of this size I always find the first pages and the last are the hardest to read as you are off balance, a few pages in one hand, a tome in the other. After nearly dropping it a couple of times, hubby just looked at me and said ‘Why don’t you just buy it on the kindle?’ so I did. I picked up my kindle, did a quick search, bought if for a few quid and there it was, downloaded and ready to read.

There are many reasons I love having my kindle. They include:

Portability, I can take it anywhere. usually just upstairs on downstairs but if i do go anywhere it pops in my bag and doesn’t weigh me down all day like a book. Also, if I don’t have my kindle with me at that moment, I have a kindle app for my phone (which is free) so wherever I am, I can pick up my phone, it will synchronise to the page I was on in the kindle and I can carry on. I have my phone with me all the time and when monkey was diddy if he crashed out on me and I couldn’t move, I just had to get my phone out of my pocket and I could have a good read while he slept.

I can personalise the font sizes. I have glasses that I should wear for reading and PC use. Do I remember to take them with me, or even use them when they are nearby? No. With the kindle though, especially I find if I am tired, I can just up the font size a bit so I am not straining my eyes. Which means less migraines! (I’m aware actually wearing my glasses would have the same result!)

Storage space. I love books, and because I read quite quickly, I love keeping them to read over and over. I do give books away when I know the story so well that it wouldn’t be much fun to re-read, or books I wasn’t that keen on first time round. But for the most part, I love hanging on to them. The problem is where to store them? We have some books out downstairs, some on shelves upstairs, some in a cupboard, and loads under the bed in the spare room. But we really don’t have room for any more. I have over 100 books on my kindle now too and I don’t know what I would have done with all of them!


There are downsides. You can’t lend someone a book as easily and in our family books get shared around a lot when we’ve loved them. Hubby and use the same amazon account for our kindles so we can both enjoy the same books (though not really at the same time) without having to buy them twice.

Browsing on amazon can be fun but it isn’t the same as browsing and reading blurbs in a library, book shop or charity shop.

Images aren’t the same on a kindle. If there’s a map or diagram at the beginning or end (or even a reference section of names or a glossary) you can’t flick backwards and forwards as easily on a kindle as you can with a book.

As much as I love my kindle, and find it immensely useful, we encourage Monkey to read from actual books and will continue to do so. In my opinion kindles and e-readers are fantastic and make some aspects of reading much easier… but they aren’t perfect and can’t entirely replace books.

What do you think? Book or Kindle?


Post Comment Love


The Reading Residence

Design Ideas for Operation Garden Renovation – Our Spring Project

You may have read that we have started Operation Garden Renovation this Spring. We had it in mind that we would get going with this project this year and with the sunny weather arriving, we have made the most of it and got out there nice and early.

At the moment it is all about clearance and creating a blank canvas we can work with. It was so higgledy piggeldy before and felt a lot smaller than it is. We had an idea in our head of how we wanted it to end up looking, but honestly, as the clearance has progressed we have changed our minds and are now uncertain of how we would like it to look.


Love cottage gardens

We have to think about how we are going to use the garden. While I would love a cottage style garden or an abundance of wildflowers, that look doesn’t really fit with the space we have, or what we want to use it for. We have a child and hope to have another. We need space for them to run and play and explore as they grow. We want them to learn to ride trikes and bikes in the garden. We’d love them to play football, or have a swingball in the garden. I love the idea of waterfights in the summer.

We need open spaces. A mix of deck/patio and lawn. With some beds of trees and bushes and flowers too.

We originally thought that we would like a large decked area, pretty much where the existing patio was but going off diagonally rather than squared. However we realised that that area is hugely sunny, and actually it may be better to have the seating area in the one slightly shady bit of the garden, which is under the tree, behind the conservatory.

We’re also wondering whether decking is the way to go, or to go for a patio. Not like the rubbish patio that was there before, but perhaps a curved path starting from the garage door, curving round past the conservatory doors, and opening out onto a large curved patio area. There are so many different designs of patios, with a variety of colours and shapes and sizes of stones.

Hubby really likes this circular design, and I do like it, but I’ not sure how you then lead that into a path around the house…


This is quite nice too:


 (Both the above Patio images come from Rose Landscapes in Peterborough)

We want most of the area to be lawned and then will have a few beds, and we would love to plant a few young trees, sort of spread around the edges of the garden, for a bit of privacy as they grow over the years. (Plus I have a hammock and I would love to be able to have a couple of trees to attach it to again! :))

We’d like some trees to give us some lovely colour and texture throughout the year. I’d love some beautiful blossom in spring, and some gorgeous russet or golden leaves in the autumn.

Perhaps a Japanese Dogwood for some nice blossom?

and a Chinese Tupelo, or Oriental Sweet Gum for autumn colours?


These are obviously rather large specimens and we will be starting off with much smaller versions of these!

Then we will think about bushes (love a nice hebe), get some spring bulbs in for next year and plan some summer flowers too.

LOTS to think about with this garden renovation. We are doing well on the clearance front (more to come on that on Wednesday) but I think we will need to get an expert in to help us decide on patio/deck and the designs etc. as we hope this renovation will be the only renovation on the garden and last for many many years to come. We don’t want to make a hasty decision and then regret it within a few years (or months!).

It is good fun though, we have got a real project to sink our teeth into, and a blank canvas so we can make our garden exactly how we want it to be… if we can figure out what that is!!

I am linking this post up with Iona and Jocelyn for The Theme Game, as this week’s theme is Gardens.

The Reading Residence

I am also linking up to the lovely Sara for The Prompt, which this week is all about Spring Projects, and this is very much our Spring Project!

All of the above images (bar one) were obtained from a Google Image search, I do not have copyright for any of these images and are merely using them for illustration purposes

Yellow Belly Mummy

When  I saw the theme for The Theme Game this week, I was a bit stumped at first. Yellow? I thought of Daffodils, but other than just a picture of a daffodil I wasn’t sure what else I would say. Then I’ve had the words to yellow by Coldplay going around in my head all week (thanks Jocelyn and Iona) but the phrase my brain kept coming back to was “yellow belly” said in a pirate’s voice for some reason, as in “argh you yellow bellied landlubber.” No idea if that’s an actual quote from somewhere or if I have made it up but that’s been in my head all week (with Coldplay in the background). But how to relate it to me and my blog?

Yellow Belly means Coward.

I can be quite a coward (and therefore a yellow belly). Especially when it comes to meeting new people, and, the dreaded messy play!

I’m rubbish at going to new places on my own and talking to new people. I much prefer to keep to myself and people I know – but as a mummy I’ve had to push myself to do what feels unnatural to me. To talk to other mummies and fake confidence, for Monkey’s sake so he gets to interact with other kiddies. We go to groups where I try and chat with other mums (sometimes I don’t succeed) while he plays with the other children. Thankfully I have some good friends who are mummies so we do a lot of play-dates where I can relax and I don’t have to fake confidence when I am with them!

I feel more relaxed with interacting via blogs and social media, probably because you have time to stop and think about what you want to say. You can edit yourself if it sounds stupid. You can delete if you decide you don’t want to join in after all. I can be braver hidden behind my computer screen

When it comes to messy play, I love it in theory, but the thought of actually doing it makes me shudder a bit. I am a yellow belly messy play avoider. I don’t like the thought of trying to contain the mess or cleaning it up afterwards. I create excuses why not to do it. I come up with other, non messy play related things to keep us busy.

But, I am trying to change, which is why I have come up with the Creative Challenge linky. A way for me to challenge myself to be braver with messy and creative play, and then share it with other mummies. The scope of the linky is a bit broader than that in that I want to know about anyone challenging themselves creatively – whether it be being more creative with their kids, or creative with something else, baking, decorating, improving their photography. Anything really.

Sorry I digressed a little there! The point is, I am trying to be less of  yellow-belly and face my fears. I try to be braver than I am. But really, I am a yellow-bellied mummy 🙂

(I just found this book about a yellow-belly, maybe I should buy it :))

The Reading Residence

All about Cake – from a Novice Baker! #TheThemeGame

The Theme for The Theme Game this week is Cake! This has got to be my favourite theme so far, by miles!


Early days of baking

As you may have seen on my blog before I do enjoy a bit of baking since I have become a SAHM, but this wasn’t always the case, and I rarely get it right first time! I had never even baked a cake before I met my hubby 31/2 years ago! I love cooking and am quite slapdash whereas there is a science to baking which scared me, and I still don’t understand. You can’t just throw in a bit of this or that like you do with cooking as it can make it go horribly wrong!

I am definitely a recipe follower rather than  a recipe writer but even then I can get it massively wrong!  Hubby is a much better baker than I am and he taught me the basics.The first time we baked together, it didn’t go very well as what I thought was a tub of sugar turned out to be salt, so we had a very salty cake batter! Thankfully we tasted it before we cooked it so we could start again and we ended up with quite a nice cake in the end.

Caroline and Nic-16 July 2011-Colour-63

I got bitten by the baking bug after that and have spent the last couple of years trying things out. We spent a lot of time baking in the run up to our wedding as we didn’t have a traditional cake. We asked our mums to bake our favourite cakes and then we made (with the help of one of our lovely friends) lots of cupcakes and the top tier. It was all very bright coloured and imperfect but we loved it. There was so much cake!

I’ve enjoyed expanding my repertoire and trying out new things and I’ve definitely learnt that if it goes wrong the first time, learn from it and try try again! As you can see with our fave Chocolate Cake recipe and the Red Velvet cake, it’s taken more than one go to perfect the method. Other times, like with the Angel Food Cake, I fluke it and it goes well first time!


Doing it wrong! D’oh!

Today is a great example of where I was over-confident and then messed it up royally! I decided to make some Cadburys Creme Egg Brownies. I’ve found some great recipes online – but I decided, in all my wisdom, that instead of following one of these tried and tested recipes, I would wing it a bit and use our existing fudge brownie recipe and then just chuck in some creme eggs. It didn’t get off to the best start when I didn’t even follow that recipe correctly! I was supposed to melt the butter and chocolate together, but I just melted the choc and then had to fish the butter out of all the flour etc and then melt it. Definitely an oops moment!

Then, well it just didn’t work! The creme eggs melted completely so that the gooey centre just infused the whole brownie. It was still very tasty but pretty chewy and you got these lovely egg shells randomly throughout. Not what I intended but hey ho, I’ll know better next time. Note that I am all mellow and calm about this – well I’m sure hubby would testify to my stomping around the kitchen grumbling and berating myself for being so stupid. I can be quite hard on myself sometimes in the moment but usually get more rational when I’ve calmed down a bit!

WP_20140216_10_04_32_Pro WP_20140216_10_05_09_Pro

So, if you think that you can’t bake as you’re hopeless in the kitchen, you really should give it a go because if I can do it then anyone can!

Here’s a very simple recipe to get you started, but even if it doesn’t g0 too well, never mind, try, try again and think about all the cake you get to eat while you try and perfect it. (I actually have to limit my baking these days or I will put all the weight I have lost back on!)

4oz Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
4oz Soft Margarine (we use Stork)
4oz Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2-3 drops Vanilla Essence

Preheat the oven to Gas 3 or 170C

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until light and creamy.

You can either use this to make fairy cakes or a sponge cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven). It should be golden and if you press gently in the middle of the cake it should bounce back.


Do you bake? Or do you prefer eating cakes? Have you had as many baking fails as me?

Tasty Tuesdays on

The Reading Residence

The Theme Game – Glass

I am loving the theme for The Theme Game this week, it’s all about glass.

My immediate thoughts are about reflections. I love reflections, particularly on water. Here a couple of my favourite pictures of reflections, with a few I took while travelling…




…and a couple that I took last week.  I love reflections, even in muddy puddles!

WP_20140207_11_18_05_Pro WP_20140207_11_18_54_Pro

A reflection I like less is the reflection of me – some days. Some days I don’t mind what I see in the mirror, others I like it a lot less and turn away (often depending on how much make up I have put on or if I have done my hair!). Some days I think that the reflection in the mirror is ok, and then I see a reflection of myself elsewhere and I recoil. I can look in a mirror and be semi-satisfied – but then see myself through the lens of the camera in a photograph taken by a friend and wonder who that person is. Is that how people see me? Do I really see myself so differently to how others see me?


Other times it is reversed and I hate what is in the mirror, yet a photo of me surprises me in a positive way. Which is true or is neither true? Glass not only reflects but it can distort depending on the angle you take.

Glass also provides transparency. A way to look inside, so on that note I will end with a little window into my world and a few things you may not have known about me.

1. I studied Television Production at university and actually worked as a TV Producer for a short while, I decided to change career for many reasons…. and many times I have doubted that it was the right thing to do, but I am happy where I am now so overall no regrets.

2. I travelled the world solo for a year.  In 12 months I visited 19 countries, flew on 19 flights and slept in 189 different beds. It was busy but amazing and I made some of the best friends of my life.

3. While travelling I did a skydive, a bungee jump and a canyon swing. It’s bizarre that I now get heart palpitations at the thought of messy play!



What does ‘glass’ make you think of?

Linking up with The Theme Game, and as this post is all about me I am linking up with the lovely ladies of All About You

The Reading Residence

A Blank Page #TheThemeGame

The Theme for this week’s The Theme Game by The Reading Residence and Redpeffer is ‘White’.

I thought of lots of things for White – Snowdrops, White walls, Weddings and then I thought of a fresh White Page (or screen in terms of internet blogging). It made me think of sitting down with my laptop, staring at the white page and working out what to write. As a kid I used to write stories all the time and there was something really exciting about starting with a blank page. Looking at it at wondering where it would take you – what adventure it would lead you on. Sadly my imagination isn’t quite what it used to be!

blank page screenshot

I’ve thought about writing stories again like I did as a kid, but somehow never know what to write. It’s not because I don’t have any ideas – I sometimes feel like I have so many ideas that they are spilling out of my brain. The ideas come at inopportune moments and then seem to drift out again and I can’t remember what was so exciting about that idea or what the plot was going to be. When it comes to my blog I have so many drafts of posts with just a headline or an idea hastily typed in to be filled out and written properly at a later date… but many of them never get that far.

drafts list

Time is one reason. Being a SAHM I only have so much time I can dedicate to writing my blog, and even then I sometimes feel guilty for using that time for blogging when there is so much else that needs doing. Since branching out with my blog at the beginning of the year I have discovered a wonderful blogging community and so many wonderful linkys and blog-hops to join in with, with some wonderful themes and ideas behind them and I love to join in as much as I can. But sometimes I have to stop myself – because I don’t have to time to write that many posts in a week.

I also have to think about relevance. I started this blog as a way of charting my journey through motherhood – and particularly coming to terms with becoming a SAHM. So it’s about the day to day life as a SAHM, food, playing, me-time, housework, crafts etc. Of course this is quite a wide arena anyway but sometimes the things I want to write about just don’t feel relevant to the original focus of this blog. But does it matter?


Maybe I use relevance as a way of managing the fact that I don’t have enough time to write everything that I want to. Because I don’t have time to write everything, I want to try and aim for the posts I do write to be relevant to my original aims – and let’s face it – relevant to the lovely readers of my blog. Because it’s not all about me. I try not to worry too much about my page views but I love to see that people are reading, and I love it even more when people comment as I feel that then they must have connected to my post in some way. Which I guess is what it is all about.

Quality rather than quantity maybe?

So I will try and get some of those draft posts finished… but others I think will stay as they are – just drafts! Ideas not quite fully formed.

How does a blank page make you feel? Do you have lots of ideas? Or do you struggle to find inspiration for what to write?

The Reading Residence

What’s New this week – The Theme Game

I am linking up with two lovely ladies, Jocelyn at The Reading Residence and Iona at Redpeffer for The Theme Game. This week’s theme is New. There is so much you can right about with this theme that I have been wondering what to write about… and I have been thinking about how New is quite transitory. Nothing stays New forever and there is always something New… so in that vein I thought I’d write about a few things that are New in our house this week.



My New crochet project. I haven’t done anything since before Christmas so am excited to get going with my crochet hook again! This will be a cushion cover… though not quite in the same colours as the pattern as I want to use up the wool I have… and I have a weird thing about colours being in the right order of the spectrum… anyway, I’m sure I will write more about this as it progresses.




I have finally bought a New Family Recipe book. We love cooking and baking in our house and have a book to write recipes in, but it’s a bit of a hodge podge so it’s difficult to find what you’re looking for. It also has Jamie Oliver’s face on it, and nothing against Jamie Oliver but I’d rather have a family recipe book that doesn’t have his face on it. I’ve been looking for ages and just wanted something simple. I know it doesn’t look much, it’s just a plain notepad, but it also has a handy pocket on the front to put some of the handwritten recipe cards from our mums in. Anyway it may not seem like a big deal but it is new and exciting to me.


Our New Yellow wall in the conservatory. Since we moved in it has been quite a depressing shade of grey green and was a bit patchy and peely. We’ve planned to paint it since we moved in (2 years ago in April) and finally got round to it at the weekend with leftover paint from Monkey’s bedroom. It’s mainly used as a playroom so we wanted it to be a bit brighter and more fun. It just makes the room feel so much brighter, it’s lovely! We still need to paint the wooden doors into the house, then the little bits of wall under all the windows, but small steps and I am pretty pleased with it.





Our New Scrapbook, for our Days Out Scrapbook idea. I will make a bit of a cover for it and then need to get some pictures printed from our day at Lyveden New Bield but I love the thought of a New project and I hope that Monkey will love to look back on it as he gets older, and that it will be something we can do together too.



WP_20140121_19_08_40_ProNew Play-doh – it was on sale for 50p a pot so I couldn’t resist. We play with play-doh a lot in our house and even when you remember to put it away each time (which sadly, we don’t) I find it doesn’t last that long, so it is good to stock up while it is cheap. I have made homemade play-doh before but at 50p a pot it’s much less effort to just buy it!


A New music group. Nanny and Grandpops took Monkey to a new Rhyme Time group at a local Library on Monday. Lovely ting for them to do together and they all really enjoyed it. So much so that they want to take him every week – Yay for me as it also means I have a New hour of me-time to clean/blog/whatever 🙂

So there you have it, some of the things that are New this week, but by next week will have lost some of their novelty value.


Redpeffer The Theme Game