Wild woods day


Is anyone else excited about Autumn yet?! I absolutely love this time of year and the weather for the last few weeks has been amazing (even if it is pouring with rain outside the window at the moment!) We have been taking every opportunity to get outside and enjoy it. The atmospheric misty mornings with the promise of warm afternoon sunshine seem like Autumn weather at it’s very best!

I’m sure I have mentioned before that we are lucky enough to live within a few minutes walk of a local nature centre. It works mainly as a environmental education centre for the nearby schools, but also holds school holiday and weekend activities, as well as a forest tots session once a month. We visited recently for Wild Woods Day for forest themed exploring and crafts!

IMG_0020Pictures from bark, leaves, berries and feathers that Mia and Joe gathered in the woodsIMG_0019

There were hundred of little apples (crab apples?) that Joe really wanted to eat!IMG_0017 IMG_0003 IMG_0005 IMG_0006IMG_9969

Processed with VSCOcam with a7 presetWillow weaving was so much more difficult than it looked, but Mia made a lovely willow fishIMG_9998

Now that most schools have banned games of conkers from the playground it seems that lots of children have never played! Mia was a little bit wary when her Dad suggested a game, but she had a go and was really good. Both conkers survived, but I think hers would have been a three-er! IMG_9995 IMG_9992

So many berries, rosehips and sloes, beautiful colourful hedgerowsIMG_9982

Not pictured were bread making and campire cooking, charcoal making and bushcraft skills…during these I was mostly covered in flour or was trying to keep Joe and Mia away from fires. Definitely camera down moments!

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 Mia blue doorJosephA portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015

Mia: coordinating beautifully with a doorway! Such a shame about the grumpy face though…sometimes even Mia is not in the mood for photos.

Joseph: has strawberry gelato on his nose

Linking up with Jodi’s beautiful portraits at Practising Simplicity for the 52 project.

All things pasta…fresh and simple dinner ideas!

For me cooking and meal-planning centre around simple, fresh and healthy food that is quick to put together. Like so many families, we have a busy schedule, and rushing between work, school and nursery means that cooking time can be very limited. Pasta is very often the perfect quick solution! Simple pasta recipes that I can add a fresh sauce and veggies to have endless variations. I absolutely love pesto pasta with penne or fusilli, and Mia and Joe’s all time favourite is spaghetti and meatballs in tomato sauce (or peasketti as Joe calls it!) with lots of stringy cheese melting on top.

Jamies-Italian_V6Jamie’s Italian have created this gorgeous pasta infographic, with details of the unique story behind each pasta shape. Reading about the different pasta varieties and their history inspires me to experiment with some new pasta shapes. How pretty are the corzetti and campanelle shapes!

I thought it would also be fun to share my super-simple tomato sauce recipe. I make it at least once a week, and it is great with lots of different pasta varieties. It is very quick to make and (I think!) it tastes so much better than ready made sauces.


400g fresh or canned tomatoes

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp sugar or honey

1/2 tsp salt

a little freshly ground black pepper

pinch of dried chilli flakes

a splash of olive oil

fresh herbs…oregano, thyme, rosemary


Add the tomatoes to a large frying pan and sprinkle in the salt, sugar, pepper and chilli flakes

Let the tomato mixture cook for 5 minutes on a fairly high heat before adding the garlic, oil and herbs. Lower the temperature so the sauce bubbles gently.

Cook the sauce for another 5-10 minutes until it thickens slightly, adding a splash of water if it starts to stick to the pan.

Check the seasoning, and adjust if necessary, and it’s ready!

Some variations I love are adding a handful of black olives, or parmesan, or some pre-cooked smoked bacon lardons.

I would love to hear your pasta recipes too, what are your favourites?


This is a collaborative post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015

Mia: loves books, but can sometimes be reluctant to read to me…I sometimes find her reading to Joe though which is very sweet, and of course he loves it. 

Joseph: ate a chocolate brownie 
Linking up with Jodi’s beautiful portraits at Practising Simplicity for the 52 project.

This is the first ever post I have created entirely on my phone! I have had a week of tech break downs, which has left me temporarily without a laptop and tablet. I’m trying to remain calm, and hope that both are fixable. Normal blogging will hopefully resume soon!