Sunday, 18 September 2016

New football boots are #MySundayPhoto

Our son has played football for a long time, but has only recently joined a local side.  With lots of his friends, he's started playing in matches at the weekend.

We were hanging on getting his some proper football boots until his birthday, but this weekend he was nearly not allowed to play in his trainers.  Off we went to a local sports shop and let him choose his very first pair of football boots.

As soon as we got home he had to try them out at the park, he couldn't wait to get there.  Now they've taken pride of place in his bedroom, right in his eye-line as he lies in bed and next to his beloved new football.

Is there anything better than new football boots when you're a young lad?  I'd love to know if you think there is!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Late summer sunshine in the garden

Earlier this year we had our garden completely updated and overhauled.  It was long overdue, and I've been glad all spring and summer that we had it done.  I just love it.  The addition of a pizza oven and lovely social table and chairs has meant lots of time outdoors this summer, and for the first time not at the park but at the back of our house.

The seasons have really changed this week and the weather's gone from very hot to quite chilly and autumnal today.  But the garden looks great whatever the weather.  I took this picture earlier in the week when it was sunny, but not boiling hot.  This border is on the slightly shadier side of the garden, and the plants have grown so nicely.

I love the wooden sleepers too, and the horizontal lines of the fence.  I can't wait to see what it all looks like next summer, when it's had even more time to mature.

What's your garden looking like this summer?  Leave a comment, I'd love to know.

Friday, 9 September 2016

A more grown up, updated bedroom

It's been a clearing out few weeks.  After returning from the bliss and space of Cornwall a few weeks ago, our house felt unbearably cluttered.  Rooms filled with stuff, lots of it not even ours.

Our son's room in particular didn't have enough storage and had books absolutely everywhere.  And I mean everywhere!  So an update was in order.

We ordered a massive new tall and thin bookcase for the end of his bed, the biggest Lego head we could get to store lots and lots of Lego and some lovely bucket drawer type shelves for cars, games and other general stuff.  Two shelves complete the room, which are ideal for the many football trophies he has!

It all came from Argos, and came in at  about £170.  It has really smartened the room up, given us lots more storage, and looks more grown up and just right for a nearly eight year old.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Testing out HECK 97% pork sausages

Sausages are fab aren't they?  Our kids both love them, but the quality can vary so much that I'm really picky about those I give them.

I always choose good quality sausages with a very high percentage of pork in.  So we were all pleased to try out Heck's 97% pork sausages.

These sausages look great in the packet; they're a good colour and look really meaty. They're dairy and gluten free too, so ideal if there are any allergies in the family.  

I love that HECK is a small independent firm, and use fresh ingredients (fresh herbs always taste better!).  It leads to a very farmers market feel to these, but with the consistency you'd expect from a brand stocked by supermarkets.

I always grill sausages, I love the charred marks it makes on them and it allows any fat to drain off, making them as lean as possible.  As you can see from my picture these are lean sausages, but still very moist and tasty looking.  

And the verdict from us?  These taste like old-fashioned sausages, the type you had when you were younger when only pork sausages existed with no extra flavours or artisan-ness added.  These are a classic, tasty, meaty sausage that are top quality and deliver great banger-ability.

I highly recommend these with some fried onions, mash and tasty gravy, or as our kids like them, with chips and beans.  It's a classic, isn't it?!

Have you tried HECK sausages?  I'd love to know what you thought of them.

You can find out more about HECK food on its website at, or follow HECK on Twitter @heckfood and Instagram @heckfooduk.

Disclaimer: HECK sent us a box of products to try, but all words and thoughts are my own.

Monday, 5 September 2016

The steady beat of school days

Today, the steady beat of school days started again.  Our son was ready to go back, and was really excited to see so many of his friends in one place again this morning.

I am ready for the routine again, I think.  It's been a relief over the summer not to have daily reading, weekly homework and busy weekends filled with parties.  But now, the routine of the days, clothes, expectations are welcome.

Work will again settle into a busy day and week filling pattern, the dates from school will fill our calendar and once again I'll look forward to swimming on Saturdays which always marks the start of the weekend. 

With everything labelled, even the pencil case, the days leading to autumn and Christmas have started again.  We're ready.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Teddy and Lanny the owl

Last week we visited the rather wonderful Lanhydrock National Trust property in Cornwall.  It was a lovely day, so we decided to do a garden trail with the kids.  It was lovely walking around in the beautiful weather looking for clues and answering their puzzles sheets.

At the end of the trail each of them chose a small prize.  Toddler girl opted for a yo yo, and our son went for a small cuddly owl which he called Lanny after the property.

Later that day I went in our son's bedroom and saw he'd snuggled his new owl up with his much loved old Teddy. 

I thought this was so cute, and really shows what a caring lad he is.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Lunch at Boston Tea Party, Stratford upon Avon

We were recently lucky enough to win a meal for four at the Boston Tea Party restaurant.  BTP has restaurants around the UK, and our nearest is Stratford upon Avon.  We love Stratford and regularly go, so this was a lovely prize for us.

The restaurant is quite centrally located in the shopping area of Stratford, very close to Shakespeare's house.  It doesn't look very big from the outside, although the two floors inside are really spacious with lots of relaxed seating.  The ground floor is light and airy, and the top floor very much quieter.

The bar area where you order food is spacious too, and we were served quickly and very politely.

We went for lunch, and had a really good sized meals.  Husband went for the ultimate burger, and I had a veggie burger.  Both were served with fresh hot fries and coleslaw.

Our kids went for macaroni cheese and a sausage bap with chips.  They always share half each because they always want each others' meal!

All the food was fresh and served really quickly.  It was a really lovely pitstop lunch, and the BTP cafe had a very relaxed vibe, despite being quite busy.  I love the Boston Tea Party's ethos too - to be a modern indendent cafe serving good things in great spaces.  Our visit definitely mirrored this vision!

You cand find out more about Boston Tea Party on its website, or you can follow them on Twitter.

Let me know if you visit a Boston Tea Party cafe, I'd love to hear about the other restaurants.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Holiday hamper for teacher gift

At the end of the summer term, a few parents got together and contributed some money to put towards a gift for our son's teacher.  The idea was to create a holiday hamper from all of us which we thought would be better than lots of boxes of chocolates.

I love doing things like this and was happy to volunteer to pull it all together.  I wrapped it all in celophane with a nice ribbon too, but typically I forgot to take a picture of it finished!

The contents of the holiday hamper, all themed white and blue where:
  • Blue beach towel with red detail, Wilko.  This is underneath the contents propping it all up.
  • Blue with white polka dot beach bag, White Stuff
  • Blue detail sarong, Accessorize
  • Blue detail flip flops, Accessorize
  • Nivea sun cream and after sun, Wilkos
  • Travel guide (we had sneakily found out where she was holidaying this summer!), WHSmith 
  • Plastic basket weave type stationery storage box, Wilkos

The whole thing cost about £40, but I think looks really effective.  What do you think?