Thursday, 29 September 2016

Clearing out and growing up

I've spent the last few weeks clearing out the last of our baby stuff.  With toddler girl heading to school next year and our son nearly eight, we no longer need the buggy and travel cot we've been storing for so long.

A few bits we've given away, and a few we've sold.  Our son's old workbench that our daughter inherited ended up on eBay, and I must admit to feeling a bit sad to see it go.

Both the kids have played with it, but I think it's because it was such a big part of both their rooms and now it's not there.  The person who bought and collected it said it was for his grandson, which helped let it go.  I'm glad it's gone to a good home, and we now have a bit of space for the birthdays and Christmas coming up.

And yet, and yet, I'm not sure when our kids got so grown up.  How is it possible that days can pass by slowly, but the years have just melted away?

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.