Sunday, 23 April 2017

17/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year
Creating crafts




















Easter Monday, before the children headed back to school this week, they kept busy with this Laurence King spaceship set

Sunday, 16 April 2017

16/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year

Esme Grace and Sofia Faith made bunny bunting this week at home...



Esme painted this egg...




















And here is Fia's card.




















Happy Easter!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

15/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...



We went to the Grayshott pottery this week, the girl's really enjoyed it as always, but it struck me how much Fia has grown up in recent weeks. For the first time at this particular activity, she really focussed, concentrating on her layers of colour and design... the result speaks for itself.


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Eric the Oracle series by Kate H.N. - A review


DETAILS:
Eric the Oracle series by Kate H.N.
Illustrated by: Tim Bulmer
Written for Key Stage 1&2 children, 7-11 years



Published by: Blockley Bank Books
Ebooks available from: March 2017
Price: ebooks £2.99, printed copies £5.99 or a set of 6 £29.95


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Medusa Musings of an 8YO

I started the day, with my 8-YO Esme Grace, quoting me the following sentence...
'Look me in the eyes’, chanted Medusa menacingly, her hair hissing ferociously, jiggling about like lots of jelly fish, tentacles all swirling around creating a multicoloured blur.
...Sometimes they just amaze you, don't they!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club - A review


Seeking downtime in the beautiful Sussex countryside? Ashdown Park makes for a wonderful break from routine

Like many working parents, I struggle to find the time to connect with my family, and all too often weekends are spent catching up with the mundane at home. To break that, recently, my husband and I took our two girls away to Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club to spend some time together. What we found was a most relaxed setting and a return to innocent childhood days…

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Friday, 10 March 2017

My London Colour, Draw, Explore - A review

 
DETAILS:
My London: Colour, Draw, Explore by Majel van der Meulen 
Paperback
Published by: Laurence King
Available from: March 2017
Price: £7.99
ISBN: 978 1 78067 9112


My London: Colour, Draw, Explore - well the clue's in the word explore really. Out this Spring, the London themed activity book is the perfect accompaniment for a trip to the capital. It has a whopping 40 pages for children to make London their own as they weave along the river Thames from Big Ben to Tower Bridge, spotting all the famous landmarks, buildings and people as they go. Encouraging imagination, it asks children to, for example, draw the people on the London Eye, design a bridge, create an art exhibition at the Tate, even build a skyscraper; surely this book is any budding architects/artists idea of heaven?

LIFE AS IT IS VERDICT
My London: Colour, Draw, Explore is a fun and unique London themed activity book for children incorporating travel and doodling. It is a journal of sorts, with colourful trendy pages full of London landmarks, and space for children to add their own stamp on them, as they make (and keep) memories. A great souvenir.

Emma Oliver and the GraceFaith girls received a copy of My London in exchange for this review, all ideas and comments are my own.


Sunday, 5 March 2017

10/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...



Stack the bike on the car and set off to a hotel in the countryside... I like your thinking Fia!

Friday, 3 March 2017

A Story of Cancer, Struggle and Hope

A while back, Life As It Is was contacted by a young woman Heather Von St James, a cancer survivor who asked if she could share her story with my blog. I was more than happy to be used as a platform for this cause. 18 months down the line, I have since been contacted by Virgil Anderson, also wanting to raise awareness of Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos fibres, resulting in 43,000 deaths around the world per annumWe know today how dangerous exposure to asbestos is. It is banned in 60 countries. Tragically, it is not yet banned worldwide.

Whether it is the sufferer or their family and friends, Life As It Is for so many people, is one affected by cancer. Here's Virgil's story...

Sunday, 26 February 2017

9/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...



Oh little one shining bright, you remind me of the shooting star you drew this week.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Match a Track - a game review

This game is a great rainy day activity and over half term, fast became one of our favourite pastimes. It's not as easy as you may think either!

DETAILS:
Match a Track
Illustrated by: Marcel George
Suitable for ages: 4-7
Published by: Laurence King
Available from: March 2017
Price: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 78067 964 8

Sunday, 19 February 2017

8/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...



An inset day prior to this half term found us at a pottery painting place. Sofia Faith has really come on in her focus for this. I'd love to say she was responsible for the perfect eyes and mouth but I'd be lying. The lady that owns the shop did that for her, but the rest... great job Fia!

Friday, 17 February 2017

Garden Design - When Mud turns to Magic - Watch Our Space

I am so excited at the prospect of our new outdoor space. Three weeks in and the landscaping is in full force as the transformation on the garden and drive gets well and truly underway.

Doing the work for us are Ben and Paul of Haslemere Landscapes, who I have to say have so far been great. You'd never think two men could accomplish so much in such a short amount of time... and in such trying conditions.


Sunday, 12 February 2017

7/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...



Esme Grace begins to sew a love heart. But who will she give it to on Tuesday?!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

6/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...



Esme is in love with dophins. That said, I've never seen her draw them freehand before. Good effort girlie!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Life As It Is - This week in Jan 2017 - Sickness & swimming pools

Life As It Is is - well now, that's a thought. How is it? Frankly better that it was. I'm getting over ocular shingles. That's shingles in the eye for anyone that wondered. Triggered by a chest infection and a very high temp prior to that. All of January, Queenie's Cough has played havoc with my lungs, and to think this was supposed to be my year for good health...

Dry January is officially over and thanks to the aforementioned state of me, I did quite well. Only one real night of boozing, and that was civilised. I could conclude that I'm no better for cutting out alcohol, although an underlying and potentially reocurring peptic ulcer would no doubt disagree. Jesus I'm ageing. You know in Spring I'm going to emerge a thoroughbred? My cunning plan is to drink an Apple Cider Vinegar antidote heh heh. It is what I'm currently sucking up (through a straw though, for as well as viruses, it eats enamel).


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sunday, 22 January 2017

4/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...



This week I've seen a shift in Fia's artwork - much more confident - defined as big and bold.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

GREECE is the word

Halkidiki’s best-kept secret


Unlike its neighbouring peninsulars, far from a commercialised holiday destination, Athos, the third leg of Halkidiki, is home to very few hotels. And Eagles Palace is the only five-star in the area…

Landing in Thessaloniki, the onward journey took me by surprise. I had expected a dry landscape, not lush green hills dotted with bright flora and fauna. It’s a picturesque yet dramatic (I arrived to leaden skies) ninety minute ride to the five-star ‘Small Luxury Hotel of the World’ Eagles Palace Hotel & Spa, situated just outside the coastal village of Ouranopolis. 

Next morning, the every which way horizon dawned blue and I looked out to the private pool and the perfectly painted Aegean sea - with an espresso to help me drink it in. And wake up - I've never slept so well anywhere. 


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

First thing in the morning musings of a 5YO

So Fia stumbles in first thing and hugging her father says: "Dada, why do you smell so ponky?"
Made me smile.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Saturday, 14 January 2017

8.5 years and counting

It's happened. You stayed up later than Mummy and Daddy last night.

You were out and we were in.

You went to the Panto with Brownies, and from the sounds of it, had the time of your life.

By the time you got into bed it was nearly 11.

And my girl, you looked so happy - complete with dark shadows under your bright eyes.

8.5 years and counting.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Mayfair Lady

Emma Oliver heads across town to taste the wares of the newly launched Low Tea at The Luggage Room - notably one of Mayfair’s best-kept secrets…


Imagine you’ve seen the latest exhibition at the Royal Academy and just (window) shopped Bond Street. Now you’re ready for something to eat, but have a dinner booking later. What could possibly fill the gap?

Sunday, 8 January 2017

2/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...



Amongst triangles, circles, hearts and lines, Sofia Faith decides interestingly to split the page in two here. One wonders if she is covering symmetry and shape at school this first week back after the Christmas holidays? I really should read that topic letter that came through!

Friday, 6 January 2017

Dream catching

This morning I woke thinking about these two things: My Gran and money. Connecting them both I thought about how she used to give me pocket money - not only as a child, but as a mature student at university, handing me a tenner and saying spend it for me. Those handouts kept me afloat. But my visits to her kept me sane and secure.

Shortly I came down to breakfast - just as the postman delivered a cheque from my Uncle re my Grandma's affairs. It's been five years since she passed away so this was completely unexpected.

Enclosed was a comforting note saying that although not much was left, she had always thought she had the most talented grandchildren in the world, and the idea that she might be able to help them one day, was very important to her.

I wept for Gran. I wept for the fact that throughout her life Gran gave us so much more than money. I wept for the fact that only ten minutes earlier I had been thinking of her; and that even today we have a connection.


Sunday, 1 January 2017

1/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...



The GraceFaith year long art project began at the end of 2013. Primarily I saw it as a chance to capture my children's art throughout their childhood and to watch how it developed over time. Indeed from toddlerdom's paint splodges to a seven year old's more intricate mask design, I've been able to collect it in this way and enjoy it all again and again. What parent can possibly hold onto every single colouring or junk model? One with a bowing loft. Photographing it all has been the perfect way of storing each one of those special designs. More than a record though, this project makes for my very favourite posts on this blog.
Happy New Year everyone!