Category Archives: the simple life

Five on Friday – Mama’s Day Off

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Hey friends,

I had a much needed day off yesterday!

We’ve been so worn out recently & I’m so thankful to my husband for deciding to take the day off work so I could have some much needed time & space to myself.  I have a good man right there.

I decided to spend my day in the ancient town of Sherborne in Dorset.

It’s a town I’ve visited many times over the years & love.  We chose a hotel in the town for our Wedding Reception in 2008.

This visit I wanted to take my time, cherish the day all by myself & also regain some inspiration which has been abit lacking recently! So I decided to go off the beaten track & explore a bit.  I found some new little gems & learnt some lessons I want to share with you today.

O N E – STOP & LISTEN

I don’t normally stop & listen to people busking on the streets.

I don’t know why I stopped this time.  Maybe it was because the sun was shining & I was free to stop; but something in the sound made me pause & listen & I’m thankful for it.

BUSKER FOLK SINGER VICTOR CHETCUTI

The sound was blissful.  I listened to one song, called Together Free. It got me right. in. the. soul.

I went & spoke to the guy after he’d finished & he told me was his name was Victor & I could search for Victor’s Tunes to find him. which I did as soon as I got home.  Turned out he has 5 albums, & he chose to sing for me yesterday.  You can listen to what I heard HERE.

Victor Chetcuti – A true talent in my opinion.

Etiquette with listening to buskers on the street? If you stop & enjoy listening to their song you owe them a coin or two! Just sayin’!

Website // Facebook

T W O – EDWARD OLIVER VINTAGE FURNITURE

TRENDLE STREET

I went exploring down some side streets I wouldn’t normally wander down.  Aside from that, isn’t just ‘wandering’ a great thing?  I don’t wander anywhere, usually I dash!

Anyway I’ve digressed.  I wandered down Trendle Street through an archway &  into this lovely vintage furniture place.  It had a cool, young & calm vibe.  Old fashioned & restored furniture & vintage pieces carried out with thought, design & obvious experience in every piece.  Set in an old stable I wanted to buy everything in there!

TRENDLE STREET EDWARD OLIVER SIGN

TRENDLE STREET EDWARD OLIVER LAMPS

TRENDLE STREET EDWARD OLIVER ARTWORK

My eyes came upon a large painting of Pulteney Bridge in Bath in a repainted frame tucked in the corner.  I saw it & I bought it!  It now hangs in my kitchen & I know it will give me joy for years.

Think you know a town? Go down the side streets you’ve never gone down before, you never know what you might find.

Website // Facebook //

T H R E E – GATHERED HANDMADE

I saw a sign in the street saying Champagne & Macaroons, come upstairs! How could I refuse an offer like that?!

I went up the stairs & found myself being warmly welcomed by the two girls of Gathered Handmade situated on Cheap Street & being offered a glass of pink prosecco & an English macaroon.

GATHERED HOMEMADE CLOCKS

I instantly liked the style the shop offered for babies, kids & cool lifestyle. Since I’m gathering ideas for a mood board for a playroom for my littles, I asked if I could take pictures, which they obliged.  I must say I didn’t expect to find design like this, I love these lights! I’ll be popping these on my Pinterest Play Room Ideas Board.

GATHERED HANDMADE LAMPS

I also fell for these bright, dotty cusions!

GATHERED HANDMADE CUSHIONS

Pop in for a browse & get a warm welcome or visit them on their website

Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest //

F O U R – LUNCH ON A BENCH

Lunch on my own in the sunshine? Oh if you insist!

I popped into Waitrose & treated myself to sushi, Pellegrino & a lemon yumyum & sat on a bench with the sun shining & just watched the world go by for half an hour.

SHERBORNE LUNCH ON A BENCH

My sushi was delicious & my yumyum pleasantly surprised me by having lemon curd in the middle.

Lunch usually consists of a soft cheese sandwich & a packet of Quavers which are hovered up asap, so you can see how this is a different league luncheon.

This was my view from the bench.

SHERBORNE VIEW FROM A BENCH

SHERBORNE VIEW FROM A BENCH 2

F I V E – BUY A PLANT & LEARN HOW TO LOOK AFTER IT

I was driving home after my lovely day & remembered that I saw a plant cutting for sale outside a house last week.  I’d not seen a plant like it in this country before it’s shocking pink! I knocked & asked what it is, it’s a Bourganvillea I’ve mostly seen in France & Spain, not cold & wet England!

We don’t have a conservatory or green house, so I may need you to join me in praying this beautiful shocking pink thing stays with me for longer than 5 minutes, because I really want this plant to live & thrive.

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I’m thinking that maybe I haven’t done so well with plants before because I haven’t taken the time to learn to look after them.  So I’m going to do my research & look after it as best I can. If you have any tips for me, comment below! I sure could use the help.

Is there anything more lovely after a great day, than rounding it up buying a plant or flowers for your home? I’m not sure there is.

I went in search of inspiration yesterday & found it in the most unlikely places.  Where will your adventures take you today?

Thanks as always to April, Christina, Darci & Natasha.

With my inspiration & positive socks well & truly back on, I hope you have an amazing weekend!!

Lizzie XOXO

As always this post is not sponsored, all opinions expressed on this post are entirely my own. LS xo

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Take a Moment – He is With Us

It’s Monday morning friends!

Time to pause (just for a second or two), reflect, place everything in perspective & move forwards into our day, before the hectic takes over.

Sometimes Monday morning can be the most hectic of all!

Let’s do this together, because we’re family.

Pause
Breathe (in the Holy Spirit)
Focus (on Him/pray)
Give thanks (count your blessings)
Move forwards

Because God wants us to live life to the full.

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It only takes a moment. He is with us. It’s promised.

Until the next time friends
Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXO

It’s the Little Things – Easter Weekend Recap

imageHey friends,

Linking up with Ashley & Jess on this lovely Wednesday!

We have so enjoyed our long Easter weekend.

Being together as a family just filled me with joy.  Also, help with the kids was a godsend after a long two weeks off preschool for Sweet Harry.

We saw both families, ate ALOT of Easter eggs, praised God at Church on Easter Sunday & relaxed at home. Apart from Sunday we’ve had lovely weather, so have been outside most of the time, playing, weeding, planting new plants & having  the first BBQ of the year.

Good Friday was especially fun.  Some quality time together was well overdue so we decided to head out to Montacute House for their Egg Hunt.

We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day & my Mum was able to join us too!

Here’s some photo’s of the egg hunt (sponsored by Cadbury).

Base Camp

We got our trail pack which included a map, pencil & a grid. Daddy, Grandma & SH went round together (while I tramped on slowly behind with SB in buggy + bags) finding the clues & drawing them in the right squares.  There were loads of families doing the trail & it created a lovely atmosphere.

Start

Setting off On the trail

When all 6 squares had been drawn in you got the whole picture.  As you can see it was a bunny!  SH absolutely loved it & when we asked him what the picture was he said it was a donkey!!!  We laughed so hard at that, I guess Mr Somerset isn’t such a Picasso.  Thankfully there is a donkey in the Easter story!

Looking at the clues

Beautiful Donkey

SH then took the picture back to the Trail Start to get his Cadbury Easter egg.  It was so well organised, we’ll definitely go again next year.

The clue was at the end We were there too! Eggsplorer

What did you do over Easter? I hope you all had a great Easter weekend!

Until the next time friends

Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXO

Chubby Legs

Hey friends,

My beautiful Sweet Bea just gets more stunning by the day. Since turning One a month ago she’s changed quite drastically.

One of the ways she’s changed is her pickle nature has been coming out more & more.

Pulling things down that should stay up, wriggling so hard you have to put her on the floor or you’d drop her, throwing her food on the floor for sport. The usual baby transition to toddlerhood really!

The other way is her chubby chubbyness! Those beautiful baby chub rolls on her legs especially. Those squishy cheeks, her big tummy, the fat on her arms, love, love, Iove it!!

Oh how I love Sweet Bea’s chubby thighs. I squeeze them until she giggles that beautiful & infectious deep throat laugh that invariably then comes out of her nose (plus some snot).

She wiggles & I have to put her down, then pick her up & do it all again. What a fun game!! I can’t resist the chubby legs, you see?!

As we were playing this innocent game the other day I said to her ‘I love your chubby legs’ she giggled & we did that over & over again.

A thought hit me, oh my goddess the very thing that I love about my daughter is probably the very thing she’ll loathe about herself when she’s older. Chubby legs? = a total nightmare for a girl, a teenager, a woman, or even very, very little girls.

When does that beautiful innocence go? Where we’re happy with our body just as it is. Where actually we don’t even think about our bodies at all. Where realising our fingers & toes are actually part of our bodies is like, wow wicked! Where pulling things down that should stay up is the most important thing & nothing else even comes into it.

I tried to wrack my little brain to remember when I realised the world is not as it could be. That we could see beautiful, stunning, amazing girls in love with themselves & who they are. Sadly I couldn’t remember, so I’m guessing it starts at a heartbreakingly young age.

I think it has to start at home with us, her parents & wider family, to validate how beautiful, amazing & loved she is. Remember Bridget Jones being so touched because Mark Darcy liked her ‘just as she is’? that’s powerful that.

Also I will teach my children healthy eating & running about like a loon is good for you, but to be a well rounded healthy child not just to look good by the world’s standards!

When the day comes that she asks me that question ‘Do I look fat in this Mum, are my thighs too big’? I’ll say ‘darling you look amazing you’re perfect as you are’, & then ruin it by saying ‘I love your chubby legs the most in the world’, possibly before dodging a hairbrush being thrown at me across the room!!

I might just have to keep that little gem in my heart instead friends! But I will be saying it in my head, because I really do love her chubby legs the most in the whole, wide world.

Sonnet 43 – How do I love thee? Let me count the ways XLIII

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Until the next time friends
Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXO

I may be mad but I’ve nominated myself (because sometimes the ship comes to you)! I would love it if you would nominate me if my blog has inspired or encouraged you, you like reading about my life with the sweet kiddos, for my home style or the very fact I’m a new blog with absolutely no bells & whistles (still green/learning). I’d be made up if you nominated me, but as with everything with me, no pressure no problem! LOVE LIZZIE XOXOXOXOXO

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It’s the Little Things – Easter 2014

Hey friends,

I’m linking up with Jess & Ashley for It’s the Little Things!

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Today I took my sweet kiddos to town.  I took the bull by the horns, made the decision to go, took a deep breath & packed the bags & went.  No thinking time allowed!!

We had no major meltdowns & made it there & back in one piece. Hi-fives all round please (ala Phoebe with the babies in Friends).

The more I practice Mindfulness, staying in the moment, the more things that are so simple to other people is becoming simple to me too! Now that has got to be worth celebrating on this normal Wednesday, break out the champagne & strawberries (cup of tea & a biscuit).

We went to Wilko’s & Poundland to pick up Easter craft supplies.  I was pleasantly surprised how many little packs of crafts there were, so in normal Lizzie style I couldn’t decide which crafts to get so we got most of them!

I figured I’ll have Sweet Harry for two weeks for the preschool holidays so we’ll need lots of things to keep us busy.

Easter 3

Our Easter dresser looks quite the part.  We’re looking forward to Easter in the Somerset house!

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I went on to the Wilko & Poundland websites & searched ‘Easter’ to pop the links on here, the two websites are quite a contrast!  I think Poundland might have the Easter win on this one, but thanks for selling a Arab Man in Large for £15 Wilko!! Have a peek for a giggle.

What are your plans for Easter holidays? We’ve got a lot of crafts to get through so check you all later!

Have a great day!
Lizzie XOXO

I may be mad but I’ve nominated myself (because sometimes the ship comes to you)! I would love it if you would nominate me if my blog has inspired or encouraged you, you like reading about my life with the sweet kiddos, for my home style or the very fact I’m a new blog with absolutely no bells & whistles (still green/learning). I’d be made up if you nominated me, but as with everything with me, no pressure no problem! LOVE LIZZIE XOXOXOXOXO

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Small Joys – FIVE

Hey friends,

I was going to write about something completely different today but I have to interrupt this hiatus to concentrate on just being so thankful for my good health.

I’ve been poorly on & off since January with a Sinus infection that has been particularly persistent!

I’m so thankful that I feel much better today to celebrate my birthday.

A birthday is a good time to reflect & think about the year just past & our achievements. If you’ve been following this little blog you’ll have witnessed some of that change for the better. When I think of where I was last year & how God has brought me on I’m in such a different place.

But as I celebrate I’m reminded of those who are really, really sick. Those in hospital, taken unwell unexpectedly, those who are ill at home & those for who illness is a daily existence. Two years ago I was really unwell myself & having this awful cold really reminded me of that time.

In this life it’s so easy to get wrapped up in how we feel at any given time in our own little lives. It’s sometimes hard to see outside that.

So today I’m going to celebrate my birthday & really feel joy, with my family & those who are important to me & be thankful for them & my health which truly is a gift today.

Here are my beautiful gifts from my beautiful little family!

Until the next time friends.
Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXO

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Small Joys – FOUR

No biggie today (they are small joys after all) but this year saw Sweet Harry start swimming lessons.

I don’t know why but I’ve always found taking SH swimming a bit of a logistical nightmare.

Who gets changed first? Do you get yourself dry & sit the baby/preschooler on the floor with a towel around them? Or get them sorted while shivering & dripping on the changing room floor?

Anyway I’m glad to say thanks to Saturday swimming lessons (meaning Mr Somerset can come too) & the fact we go to a private pool (oh yeah) makes it a much less stressful experience.

We decided firstly to take Sweet Bea when she was a little baby as I felt the earlier you start them the better. The guilt then set it that we hadn’t taken SH from a young age.

So we now take both kids to their swimming lessons on a Saturday & they absolutely love it!!!

It’s a real joy to see the kids enjoying the water & going under water, also seeing hubby with SB having a splash & having that Dad/Daughter time.

I take SH in & he’s practically a pro already. So much more confident than I gave him credit for.

The water is so warm & the wonderful instructor & the way the company operates makes it so easy for us.

I’m so glad we found Water Babies. That’s our Saturdays sorted!

http://www.waterbabies.co.uk

Until the next time friends
Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXO

Small Joys – ONE

Hey friends, as promised all this week I’m going to be publishing short, sharp posts about what’s been floating my boat this quarter!

Are y’all as happy as me Spring is just around the corner?  I can’t wait for the longer days.

At New Year I inferred this little blog might be getting a cute redesign, it’s still very much in the infancy stage but I am really enjoying searching Pinterest for any inspiration that I think suits my personality & what I want the blog to look like. It’s a way of getting across to my web techy friend what is in my head without trying to describe it & failing to get across what I mean.

It has to look like me, you know?

Have a look at my mood board so far. It’s all about colours & patterns, & I’m using anything & everything as inspiration. Tiles, art, design, home decor, nature & even wedding pins & other blogs too.

Feel free to send me any pins you think I might like, I’d love your input.

Have you ever had to design a website or blog? What did you look to for inspiration?

Until the next time friends
Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXO

An unintentional break

Hey friends, first apologies for neglecting you all, sickness has hit me yet again & I’m at long last admitting defeat & taking myself to the doctor.

I’m more than hopeful I’ll feel better for my birthday on Friday!

So this week to show you a little bit of the joys I’ve enjoyed over the last couple of months I’m going to be posting some short blog posts over the week.

I hope you enjoy them!

Lizzie XOXO

Thankful, but

Hi friends,

I hope you’re having a great week!

I know the title looks unfinished but it’s on purpose. ‘But’ is the silent word in this case, that always seems to be there after the word ‘thankful. I can only talk about myself & my situation, but I struggle sometimes with being thankful.

I read a post by one of our leaders at Church who wrote about being thankful in our social media updates. Negative updates have a way of really bringing people down & I try (& sometimes fail) to write positive status updates, so this post really resonated with me.

You know me friends, I’m all for being positive, but it got me thinking about being thankful & how truly thankful I am for what I have & my situation.

Whenever I start saying ‘I’m so thankful for my house’ I say in my head, ‘but it will be even better when…we get the bathroom done’, or…’we get a patio in our garden, THEN it’ll be really amazing’.

I’m the same with the kiddos! ‘I’m so thankful for my sweet children’ ‘but it’ll be so much easier when they’re older, can walk, can talk, sleep through the night, go to school’.

My goodness, I have to wonder with my seemingly inexhaustible list of ‘but’s’ am I truly thankful??

The bible says be thankful for things just as they are, that includes in times of trouble. When you’re unwell or plain dog tired, being thankful is tough! No, ifs, buts or maybes about it! Am I thankful? I’m working on it, seriously.

I have to conclude that being thankful & being content are one & the same! I’m also thinking that He calls me to not complain (which is a hobby of mine). Are they all tied up together?

I’m not theologically minded, but I know when things make sense. When we’re content with our lives just as they are, with all of life’s up’s & down’s, surely we are more open to being thankful?! Is the silent ‘but’ actually a complaint?

I don’t have the answers, I’m just talking out loud. Let me know what you think.

‘Today I’m thankful for…….,’ shouldn’t have a silent ‘but’ after it, just as an apology with a ‘but’ at the end isn’t really an apology!!!

For me, I’m going to practice being content, & thanking God for my situation even when I want to say ‘but’. I’m asking Him to prompt me to say ‘thanks’ instead.

Until the next time friends.
Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXOXO