Category Archives: My week

My Week

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Last Saturday was a strawberry day. Gabriel was invited to a friend’s strawberry picking party (what a lovely idea!) and we all tagged along to gather lots and lots for jam-making. Unfortunately, just as we arrived at the farm, the heavens opened and it rained and rained and rained. In spite of the weather we still managed to pick 4kg to take home with us. After a brief sojourn in the village pub for birthday cake, we headed home with our harvest ready for some jam making.

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As usual, my jam-making was a slightly hap-hazard and messy affair. I also misread the recipe and forgot to add the lemon juice. So, although I used jam-sugar with extra pectin, it came out a bit runny – but in a good way. After  some reading around, I saw that Jamie Oliver doesn’t use lemon juice in his either – which made me feel a bit better.

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It was heavenly spread on James’ homemade sourdough for breakfast on Sunday…

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After breakfast we headed over to our favourite ‘lazy car-boot sale’. We’re never up early enough for traditional boot sales, so this one – which opens at 11am – is perfect for us. The sun was shining and we had a good meander round the field, with the help of a bag of doughnuts from the van. The selection of items was a little disappointing. It was very samey, and 1990s themed – with no real vintage gems. I bought this game for 50p which amused me, as James used to be a journalist.

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It’s actually really hard though, and rather boring. Gabriel picked up a few Lego figures and Tom found a stash of little plastic ponies. But it was still a fun morning out.

Monday was The Day of the Missing Pony…

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You probably don’t want to be bored by the details, but let’s just say it involved trudging about four miles in the torrential rain backwards and forwards between the community hospital and school. ‘Brownie’ the pony is now safely back in the family bosom and will henceforth be strung on a string tied to Tom’s trousers!

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On Tuesday I met the sweetest little puppy, which has further fuelled my desire to have a dog. Let’s save that lengthy discussion for a future date though, shall we? I chase my metaphorical tail on this one on a daily basis at the moment.

My Little Riviera Box

One lovely thing that happened this week is the arrival of my second box from My Little Box. It was really great – much better than last month. You can read more here.

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Thursday was a really warm day here and I spent a bit of time finishing off some more pots in the garden. As you may have read here, our new fence panels were delivered this week. Hopefully these will go up this weekend and I can finally arrange my pots where I want them and tidy up the patio. It’s funny how one broken thing can have such a de-motivating effect. Our garden is particularly messy this year. I want to get it sorted, as it should be a sanctuary and we’re lucky to have it.

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I used the special twine that my mum brought me back from Chelsea this week. It was lovely – so soft and silky. It’s called Twool and is made from Dartmoor wool.

Looking back, I think my word of the week has to be strawberries. Better that than ponies.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Lizzie x

The Reading Residence
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My Week

This week has felt much less stressful than the last. James hasn’t been away, and we haven’t had too many appointments to keep. The weather’s been better too, and that always sets the tone for the week, doesn’t it? It’s not been particularly hot, but it has been sunny and that’s good enough for me!

Scented playdough

On Monday, I got creative with play dough. Tom adores the stuff – especially when it’s homemade. I thought it would be fun to play with some exciting colours and flavours this time. I used orange, lemon, peppermint and almond flavourings. Tom was thrilled when he came home from nursery and spent the whole afternoon squishing and squashing it. Keep your eyes peeled for a more detailed post coming soon!

Vintage Ladybird Art

On Tuesday, I framed these vintage Ladybird book illustrations. It really was so quick and easy – I did it while James was reading the boys their bedtime stories! And all for under £10.

Home Etc

Wednesday brought a lovely surprise. For the last month I’ve been joining in with the lovely Home Etc interiors and gardening blog hop, hosted by Jess and Caro. I was absolutely thrilled when I heard I’d been chosen as the winner of the first month! I’ve really enjoyed joining in every week so far, and it’s definitely encouraging me to be more creative. I love peeking into other people’s homes, and it’s so fun inviting people into mine. Do go and check it out – the link-up is open every Wednesday.

Old Fire House, Ely

On Thursday, James had a rare day off. We had the morning to ourselves. The sun was shining and we had a potter into town together – a very rare occurrence! We had coffee in the beautiful garden of the Old Fire Engine House – which is always such a dreamy setting. In fact, we had our low-key wedding reception there eight years ago. It was really quiet and we practically had the garden to ourselves. On such occasions you can indulge in a little fantasy of it all belonging just to you.

I also picked up this little swan in a new charity shop.

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I’m a bit sad that yet another charity shop has opened in our city (they are so parasitical and impossible to shift once they’re in place – we now have seven) but this one did at least have some half decent bric-a-brac. Proper vintage things, as opposed to the usual collection of empty Waitrose potted stilton jars and ten-year-old bars of soap. It even had a whole shelf of swans (plus more spotted in the stockroom). Still, I’d rather this particular empty shop had been filled with something new and exciting. Maybe one day, it’ll be me opening my own shop – a long-held ambition.

This week I have also been wearing my new denim jacket – a spur of the moment purchase in New Look – which is perfect for this rather cool June. It’s the perfect paring with all my ditsy florals and full skirts. Bit of a bargain too at £19.99.

New Look denin jacket

On Thursday afternoon we suddenly remembered it was a school dress-up and dance day for charity on Friday. The theme? Legends. Your favourite sporting star, fictional character or the ubiquitous 100% polyester superhero. Cue last minute panicking and scrabbling around. We’re not big on superheroes in this house and the Claud the Dog costumes from Book Day weren’t quite right. Gabriel has just discovered the Harry Potter books so was keen to dress up as his new hero.

Harry Potter costume

James still had his old gown from Cambridge in the loft. We dug it out and it was perfect. In my non-Oxbridge ignorance I never knew that undergraduate gowns were special pint-sized affairs – perfect for a six-year-old! It smelt hideously musty and probably still had ancient gravy stains down it – but it had a quick go in the washing machine and survived intact. A neighbour lent us some glasses and I speed-knitted him a rather dodgy Hogwarts tie. He had a great day and now wants to change his name to Harry.

Today – Friday- James had another day off and we caught up with some mundane, but satisfying jobs. Here’s Tom having a little break whilst helping to trim our hedge…

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And now it’s the weekend. Here’s to sunshine, waffles and strawberry picking….

Lizzie x

My Week

As I write this, the weather is hot and sunny. June-like. Proper hot. But a few days ago it was freezing and I was wearing three jumpers, huddled over the electric heater. Yet, just a few days before that, I’d caught the sun and proclaimed it was summer! What’s going on? Give me some consistency weather, please. We’re all getting confused.

Anyway, it’s been a long week – reasonably calm but with a few stressful undercurrents. But we’ve bobbed along ok.

Last Friday we made the most of a brief window of good weather and went out for dinner with the boys. Our local Prezzo (the only place left with any tables free) could only seat us outside on the balcony – which turned out to be the most stunning spot, overlooking the cathedral. It was a balmy evening, and who could fail to enjoy a bowl of ice cream in such grand surroundings?

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Over the weekend, I managed to get the shots I needed of my bedroom and put together this post. This is my favourite interiors post to date, but I still have rather a lot to learn. How on earth do real stylists get bed linen to look smooth? And there’s a few little things that I meant to tidy away, but forgot. It’s quite amusing to spot them – a bit like looking for the Usborne Books duck!

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On Sunday we took the boys to our local Open Farm Sunday event. We saw lots of people we knew, and it was a very successful event. Staring at large tractors is a little dull, I confess, but it was nice for the boys. You can read more about it here.

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This week has also been about drinking lots of coffee, alternated with hot water and lemon…

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There’s been lots of scribbling in notebooks and productivity on the blog. Blogging is already becoming an all-consuming passion for me and I feel like I’m beginning to pass a few personal milestones – which makes me feel absurdly pleased and proud. My one worry is that it’s quite a solitary pursuit, and I feel it’s perhaps making me a little unsociable in the real-world. This will be easier to remedy in September when I have more time!

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My youngest son and I have also been enjoying some happy creative time together. We’ve had one of those lovely weeks  – where our afternoons have passed gently and harmoniously. We’ve not got many of these left as school is looming on the horizon.

This week I have also been enjoying this Sainsbury’s candle. At £4 they are a complete steal and have a very nice, expensive-seeming scent and look. I’ve also tried the Fig, which was lovely. I need to stock up! Whenever I find a cheap source of nice smelling scented candles I tend to panic-buy large quantities of them.

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My crochet hook has also come out of hibernation this week – at last! I’ve bought lots of grey wool and I’m making a start on a large pick and mix style blanket, with lots of clashing colours – tied together with the grey. This should keep me going for a while and use up some of my wool mountain!

  
Even if the weather has been a bit unpredictable, it is definitely summer-time in the world of TV listings. There is literally nothing I want to watch. So I’ve been re-watching an old DVD of the Camomile Lawn, which I haven’t seen for a while. Which, in turn, has got me thinking that it’s time to dust down the Mary Wesley collection on the bookshelves and re-read a few of them.

  

Our garden is still a complete tip, but I’ll leave you with some Love in a Mist – looking stunning amidst the chaos.

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My Week

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Last weekend was a lovely end to a busy half-term. On Saturday, the weather was good, so we devoted the day to the garden. First, we went to the garden centre and stocked up on new pots and summer plants. We also indulged in one of their delicious ploughman’s lunches before heading home with our car boot full of plants! We spent a happy afternoon planting out the first of the pots. The boys particularly enjoyed helping to create a little miniature garden each in a new pot – in which they’ve planted a sunflower, strawberry and some thyme.

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Sunday was wet and cold again, but it didn’t matter as my sister, brother-in-law and niece were coming over for lunch. We did a really relaxed Sunday lunch – ham, new potatoes, salad and freshly baked bread.

We (slightly) inadvertently ordered a ginormous ham which wouldn’t fit in even our largest pan. So instead of boiling then baking it as usual, it was cooked slowly in the oven (under foil) for 4 hours. It came out absolutely beautifully, and I think we’ll carry on using this method in future! My word of the week this time has to be ham. Such was the size of it, we’re still eating it now!

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For the bread, James made the sweetest miniature loaves:

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For pudding we had the gloriously retro trifle – which tasted disconcertingly of bubble gum but was really very nice. I think it really needed some raspberries or strawberries in it though. Next time!

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The boys really enjoyed seeing their cousin Beth, who is now five months old – that perfect age, where they can sit up and be interested in things, but can’t crawl or get into trouble yet! Despite, the wet weather, we had a great day.

Monday was the last day of the holidays. It managed not to be too gloomy, but it’s always going to be a bit flat. Tuesday morning dawned, and we all managed to get up on time – although actually leaving the house was a whole different (and very painful) thing. Hopefully things will click back into place again soon.

Tuesday was also a particularly cold and miserable day. Here’s Tom having hot chocolate and marshmallows – on the 2nd June!

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On Thursday, the summer switch finally got turned on! The boys even went off to school in shorts. Will it last? Can we officially say it’s summer now? I daren’t just yet. But for now, I’m going to enjoy sandals and sunnies while I can.

Also this week, I bought into the patterned trouser thing. They’re everywhere, although the selection in Ely wasn’t great. I choose this pair from New Look, which were only £9.99 – so it won’t matter too much if they turn out to be a mistake.

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I kind of like them, but they do feel a little pyjama-like. Maybe flowery ones would’ve been better? Although I guess then they’d feel even more like pyjamas. I’ve worn them out a few times this week, but I suspect they will probably become summer house-trousers.

Also this week I have been enjoying the contents of my lovely parcel from Laura of Laura’s Lovely Blog.

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We were both taking part in the Bring Back Paper activity organised by Jocelyn of The Reading Residence . It’s a mail swap, designed to spread a little happiness via the post. And Laura’s wonderful parcel certainly brought a smile to my face! I’ve been enjoying using the pamper products this week in the bath, and the chocolate and wine may have vanished too. Thank you Laura! You can read all about what I send to Laura here.

So that was my week. I hope you’ve all had a good one – here’s to a sunny weekend!

The Reading Residence

My Week

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My word of the week has definitely been perseverance. Half term is very close, we are so nearly there…but there have been a few tears this week and a general lack of enthusiasm. There have also been a lot of dull appointments to keep, and an awful lot of rain and hail. I think April and May got in a muddle this year and swapped places!

The weekend was a very quiet, restful one. James had been abroad for a couple of days last week, so we were all happy to batten the hatches down and keep things simple. We had a nice lazy morning on Saturday and then the brief excitement of going along to an open day for a house we’d seen for sale. It was lovely, but not quite perfect enough to tempt us out of our comfort zone.

Afterwards, we had a little stroll along a nearby footpath and a picnic in a meadow. The above view looks almost French, don’t you think? Not too Fen-y for once – although it’s actually just about a mile and half from our house. And the cow parsley was frothing away….

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Saturday was also an exciting day as my first My Little Box arrived from France. Review to appear shortly!

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On Sunday we had another chilled out day. James made the most amazing homemade English muffins, which we had for brunch. I can’t quite convey how amazing these were.

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I also got my paints out, more of which here.

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I have also been seeking some comfort in some old favourites this week. I’ve re-watched the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice for the first time in ages. Really glad I did. I thought it was ruined after watching it about a thousand times as a teenager. But the break has done it good.

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I’ve also been re-reading Riders by Jilly Cooper. Again, it’s been a while. I think it must be the third or fourth time I’ve read it. Dear old Jillly never disappoints.

This week has also heralded the return of the Daily Mail Lego. Though it pains me deeply to hand over my 60p for that paper, it’s worth it for the Lego. In other news, James randomly decided to make some toffee apples. I’m still not sure why, but they were very nice and he didn’t make too much of mess.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and half-term holidays if you have one. We have a big adventure planned for next week which I’ll share with you soon.

Lizzie x

The Reading Residence

My Week

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Last weekend, James was away. After a long week, we needed a bit of company, so we headed over to Castle Acre with my parents for the day. We started with a look around the ruined priory, followed by a pub lunch in the village. The boys had a lovely time racing round the castle after lunch – lots of hills to roll down and a wonderful grassy moat to run around. On Sunday, we had a great time meeting up with friends in our local park.

Here’s my eldest looking very grown up…

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On Monday I started trying to eat slightly more healthily. Last week, with poorly and injured children, there was a lot of white sliced bread and marmite. I’ve cut out the snacking this week and eaten much better – especially at lunchtime. Here’s a lovely frittata and salad…

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Our lovely lilac bush is blooming. Tom and I spent a happy hour painting it. Here’s mine…

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Later in the week, my latest fluffy teddy went off to his new home…

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On Thursday I made some giant gingerbread men for the boys to decorate after school – they had a great time with the icing pens…

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I also had fun decorating these hearts. How great are the neon sprinkles? I had them shipped over from America. I’m sure they’re made from something hideous, but they look amazing. It makes you realise how wishy-washy English hundreds and thousands are!

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The weather has turned horribly cold and wet here. I’m not sure what’s going on. I wore sandals today and it was not a pleasant experience. Hopefully things will begin to feel a bit more May-like again soon.

Lizzie x

My week

It’s been another wet and blustery one here!

We had a really nice bank holiday weekend, despite the weather being a bit iffy. You’ve already heard about our outings to the Devil’s Dyke and the Fitzwilliam Museum here. On Sunday we saw family and enjoyed looking around the Ely Food and Drink Festival. It was incredibly busy, and they’d run out of fancy scotch eggs, but we got to have some rather delicious salt beef and drippy-but-nice ice creams.

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On bank holiday Monday, the boys went for a Lego-fest at their grandparents house and James and I went for a walk at Houghton. It’s really pretty there and the cream teas (the scones are freshly made with flour from the mill) are amazing too. I then persuaded James to drive another half an hour to take me to the Cath Kidston factory shop near St Neots. I’ve been wanting to go for a while and I picked up plenty of bargains – it was great!

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On Tuesday it was back to school for the boys. After school Tom gave us all a nasty shock when he fell off the slide in our garden and cut his head open. It is was all very scary as there was a lot of blood, but it quickly became apparent that the cut was actually quite small. We had a panicky trip to the minor injuries unit where he had his head super-glued. There followed an anxious night of checking on him, but he was absolutely fine the next day. I’d only been saying the other day that we hadn’t had many accidents. Well, now we have  – and it was scary. Minor injury units really are fantastic and we are very grateful for ours which is five minutes away.

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Unfortunately on Wednesday night, poor Gabriel had a nasty bout of sickness. What is the best solution to duvets and pillows that get soaked in sick twice in one hour? I’m yet to find it. A mad dash to Tesco’s to buy new ones at midnight ensued. Of course, the next day I remembered we had some spares hidden away in a blanket box. Oh well, at least they’ll be some new spares in place for next time (if I remember). No school for 48 hours, so there was lots of Bovril on toast and Lego-building. I was particularly impressed with this castle that the invalid made in about 15 minutes…

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Then on Thursday, it was Election Day. I managed to get out to vote on my own and decided to follow my heart rather than my head. I think we were all a bit surprised this morning, weren’t we? I really did think it would be a messy, close-cut thing. It all seemed a bit sad, actually – even if you don’t agree with someone, it’s never nice to see them losing their seats after many years. Three party leaders resigning in one day is pretty unusual too, isn’t it? All a bit unsettling, but life goes on…

Hopefully we’ll have an uneventful weekend now and be back on top form for Monday!

What Katy Said