Wednesday, 29 April 2015

My Thursday Breaktime #2

Last Thursday I stepped out of my comfort zone and started something new. Something I'd been thinking about starting for some time but just hadn't plucked up the courage to do so. This something was a new weekly project on Instagram. A project to celebrate the importance of taking a break, some time out, a little R&R, during the day under the hashtag #mythursdaybreaktime.

We live in such a busy old world. I'm forever amazed at how quickly time flies and things only seem to be getting busier.
I really value having quiet moments in the day and am hugely protective about keeping a quiet house during precious naps times. Yes, I'm afraid I have been known to put a note on the front door to warn the postman to knock gently!
Last Thursday while Wilf was at nursery and Anwen napped I enjoyed a peaceful hour pottering around and then some time with a cuppa in the garden. I challenge anyone who says that being a Mum isn't a full on job (particularly when a nursery dash is involved.) So if I get the opportunity for a sit down after lunch I grab it with both hands.
I was delighted that so many of you joined me in capturing your own moments on Instagram. Scrolling through the gallery there really was a sense of every one kicking back and enjoying a break and some downtime. Cups of tea featured heavily, of course, but also the sunshine! What glorious weather we've been having and it was lovely to see so many people getting out and enjoying the outdoors.

I loved these images which captured both the essential cuppa as well as glimpses of the garden.
@Kikuhouse • @hopeandrainbows
@ceramicmagpie • @lovingthelittlethings

It was this relaxed and carefree image by This Is Lullaby (check out Vicky's gorgeous shop and feed) that particularly caught my eye though. This little lady's interest in the snail reminds me so much of Wilf's fascination with all garden creatures at the moment. It also made me look forward to plenty more days lazily enjoying the sunshine (snails optional) in the months ahead.
I'd love it if you shared your breaktimes this week. Anyone can play along, just post a photo at any time tomorrow (Thursday). It must be new and your own and tagged with #mythursdaybreaktime. Do tag me (@littlemaldod) too so can see all your lovely images.

I hope you enjoy joining in!

Lowri x

Monday, 27 April 2015

Finding Solace and Muddy Toes on Allotment 2b

We were fortunate enough to acquire an allotment in our village back in December. After a 6 year wait on the Council list we were overjoyed when we were finally offered allotment number 2b. Our overgrown, neglected, weedy little patch. In a few short months its a space we have grown to love and has already provided so much fun and enjoyment.
Every time I go down there my soul feels refreshed and I leave with mud under my fingernails and a smile on my face. In the last week it has also proven to be a place of great solace.
On Saturday morning my Gran very sadly passed away. She'd lived a long and happy life and our family have felt comforted in the knowledge that she left us peacefully and without suffering.
While my parents were with her that morning, my husband, sister and I stayed home with the children. While the weather stayed dry we decided that getting out of the house and to the allotment would do us all some good. And good it did.
We sat and enjoyed cakes from the bakers before getting down to some digging (yes I know you're supposed to have the treats after you've done some work!)

With a spade in hand, the allotment boss (Sam) allocated jobs. I was in charge of raking the freshly dug soil and preparing the ground for sowing spinach.
Wilf was in charge of collecting worms that were dug up and adding them to the compost heap.
The dog was in charge of basking in the sun.
And my sister was in charge of keeping Anwen occupied and out of the mud.
As you can see she eventually ignored my request to keep her clean, and I'm very glad she did.
I'm sure that if my Gran had been there to see my two children with muddy toes (hands, feet and faces), she would have approved. When I think about this and look back at these photos I smile.
Apart from fruit and veg, I have no doubt that our allotment will bring our family years of joy and provide us with a little green haven in the ups and downs of life. The fact that we have a shed with a stove and kettle to make a cup of tea to enjoy it with, makes it even sweeter. And I certainly know Gran would drink to that.
If you fancy seeing more of our allotment tales you can follow @allotment2b or take a look at #allotment2btales on Instagram.

Thank you for reading today. X

Thursday, 23 April 2015

My Thursday Break Time

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I love taking part in weekly and monthly photo challenges. I shared recently about Styling the Seasons, a monthly project which constantly inspires me. I also love a weekly project by Capture by Lucy under the hashtag #capturingcolour. This week's theme is cups! Now who doesn't love a gorgeous mug, especially if theres tea in it?!
A recent theme was 'from where I stand' and it made me look and notice the paths below my feet all week. 
I love the community that can be found through Instagram and have 'met' some lovely people and made genuine some friendships. 

As a Mum at home with two young children, I've found it a lovely way of 'connecting' with like minded people and often others who are experiencing similar challenges, joys and adventures as me. 

When my son is at nursery and my daughter naps for an hour or so, I tend to juggle housework, sometimes little maldod orders but always try to make time for a sit down with a cuppa. I find being a Mum physically as well as mentally (and emotionally) exhausting, thankfully not always all at the same time! 
I've found that making time for me, taking a little break and allowing myself to recharge has become invaluable in my day to day. I really notice when I've not had that quiet time on days when my little boy (now a non-napper) is not at nursery, phew! 
We've started to enjoy a little quiet time together though, as I find that a rest and break from running around always does him good too.

One of the things I love most about Instagram is the little glimpses you get into other people's lives. I'm rather nosy and love knowing what other people are up to. I'm also sure that I'm not alone in enjoying the quiet moments and a little break (or two) during my day.

That's why I've decided to start a little weekly project of my own. I'd love it if you'd join me in sharing what your Thursday break time looks like.
Be it, a peaceful moment on a park bench, a coffee at elevenses in a bustling cafe, a quiet cuppa on the sofa after lunch or maybe even a sneaky shot of a real life 'diet coke break' moment!

Anyone can join in on Instagram, simply share a photo (which is new and your own) with the hashtag #mythursdaybreaktime and tag @littlemaldod so I can see all your lovely photos! 

Here's a few 'break' moments I've captured recently.

I can't wait to see your moments and do hope you enjoy playing along.

I'll share a few favourites here and on my Instagram feed each week. 

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your break time today.

Lowri x

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Herbs with a Helping Hand

We enjoyed a brilliant trip to the RHS Show in Cardiff on Friday. Having been on two previous occasions we were looking forward to a day full of all things green and garden inspiration, this year did not disappoint. 

We strolled and marvelled our way through the floral marquees, picniced in front of the band stand and swooned over the incredible show gardens.

One of my favourites was this gold winning garden, complete with a pizza oven. It looked like the perfect spot for a bit of Summer alfresco dining! One day...

With the children in tow we didn't spend the whole day there, although we easily could have done. Whilst we restrained ourselves most of the way, as we passed the nursery stands we couldn't resist some quick purchases, loading up the buggy with blooms before heading home.

One of the stands which I enjoyed most was by 'Herbs in Wales'. Stacked full of a huge range of herbs, I had great fun picking out some pretty floral as well as useful herbs for our garden. 
Thankfully the sun was still shining yesterday so I set to potting on my purchases... along with a pair of helping hands. 
I couldn't resist the delicate blooms of this lovely Thyme. When I was planting it I was instantly transported to the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon when there's a roast chicken cooking in the oven! 
I also loved this gorgeous butterfly lavender. I bought two small plants which now look lovely either side of our back door. I love the way the blooms dance as the wind blows through them.
Wilf loved making himself useful by loading up his barrow with compost and mixing up the vermiculite. He couldn't resist 'making it snow' so needless to say it was all over the place by the end.
A few years ago I bought an old vegetable crate which I lined, filled with compost and turned into a mini herb box. Its been sat on our patio and is close to the back door so is handy for quickly popping out for herbs when cooking. I decided it needed a bit of love having been neglected over the winter. This is the box before I started.
I removed a woody, straggly Sage (will prune and pot it somewhere else), a pot containing mint and gave it all a good dig over. Wilf befriended a worm at this point who he took off for little rides around the patio on his trike. 
I added some Thyme, hot and spicy Majoram (imagining some tasty pizzas this summer), a little rosemary and some Chocolate Mint. They've joined some Chives and Lemon Verbena. 
I expect I'll have to take one or two things out as they start to overcrowd each other and my husband has already advised me to contain the Mint in a pot. But for now I'm happy. 
I absolutely love picking fresh herbs, they add so much extra to food and you can always tell when they've been used. I've always fancied making fresh mint tea and had that in mind when I added this Moroccan Mint to my basket on Friday. 
I thought it looked too nice in its blue pot to be left out on the patio, so for now its sitting pretty up on our mantle piece. Until I fancy a cuppa that is....

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend and had a chance to soak up the lovely weather. Here's to a great week ahead. 
Lowri x

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Sun Filled Days

Hi there, 

What a wonderful couple of weeks, and oh did the sun shine! It felt amazing to slow down the pace of life a little, a break from the ever rushed nursery run was most welcome, and have some sun on our faces.

Thought I'd share a little round up of what we got up to.

Stopping for a cuppa on a rare afternoon spent at the allotment, minus the children.
We spent a wonderful weekend in Brecon celebrating the wedding of some very special friends.

Egg hunting started at the Easter Sunday post wedding 'after party'...

...and continued at home on Easter Monday.

We've started a lovely tradition of hosting an egg hunt for our wonderful neighbours and friends on our street.
This little poppet took her first steps over the Easter weekend.
Lots of time was spent pottering at home, perfect!
10 minutes in the sun, very well spent.
I headed to the South Coast last weekend so see a good friend's beautiful new baby. How I love Sussex!

Spring has sprung in the garden and I'm loving it!

Child free lie ins (thank goodness for grandparents!) first picnics, outdoor adventures, paddling pools, seed sowing and plenty of chocolate, all made for a wonderful start to the Spring. I hope you had a great time too.

Here's to many more sunshine filled days to come.
Have a wonderful week x 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

This Little Shelf Of Mine

Over the last few months, since December in fact, I've loved joining in with a great photo challenge on Instagram called Styling the Seasons.

Hosted by two lovely ladies Katy (@aptapothecary) and Charlotte (@lottsandlots), the challenge is simple- style a surface of your home to represent what that particular month means to you, using the hash tag #stylingtheseasons. I'm constantly inspired when I scroll through the gallery and have insights into the wonderful creativity of those joining in, and their beautiful homes of course!
This month is extra exciting as there's a chance to win a place at a Spring floral workshop in London later this month. If only I didn't live so far away otherwise I'd definitely be joining in the competition. 
You can find out more over on Katy and Charlotte's blogs (just click the links on their names). 

I have a little shelf in my hallway which seems to be the surface that I'm drawn to each month. Its one of the first things you see as you walk through our front door and I can't resist tinkering with it and styling it as the months change. 
When the door is open, it fills the hall with light so it also makes it a great spot for taking product photos for the shop.
I thought I'd share a few photos that I've taken for Styling the Seasons, mostly involving flowers! When I scroll back through my photos I love seeing the impact that the seasons have on my home and particularly this little shelf. 
Joy in December
Clean and fresh in January
New growth for January too
The arrival of Spring was early in February
Simplicity for March
An Easter product shot in March
Rarely does the shelf stay the same for the whole month as I play about with it and replace flowers when they fade. 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my shelf and maybe even have a go at joining in too. 

Have a lovely day.
Lowri xx