Cross country training, the promise of spring & a snowy surprise

While the Beast from the East is but a memory now, you’ll still find traces of his visit in the fields and on the side of the road as you drive along the A39, only they’re looking more like cement, a murky brown, or more like mud actually.  And we wonder if he’ll ever visit again?  We promised T that next time we’d be ready and buy a sled if we see one on sale, although I honestly doubt if this rare occurrence will happen again… but you’ll never know and it’s best to be prepared next time.

T together with some of her friends and other schoolmates will be doing the cross-country run together with other schools this Friday.  We’ve been helping her “train”… I’m using the word “train” really lightly here, because it’s nothing hardcore at all.  The Historian does run with her when he has the time, but since he had a lecture in Exeter last Saturday, T was stuck with her mum who has a weak knee and so I just walked behind her.

We were doing rather well.  She’d run ahead of me and I’d walk briskly behind her.  Admiring the promise of spring – the daffodils were out again. Before the Beast’s visit, lovely Spring flowers were slowly coming out and then they were blanketed with a thick layer of snow.  It’s nice to see them out again.

T ran past the small barn and into our neighbour’s farm.  We’re lucky we have lovely neighbours who let us roam freely around their farm.

We passed the other outbuildings  and still she kept running, occasionally checking whether her poor unexercised mum was still behind her.

And into the small woods, past up the hill and then that’s when she saw it.

I saw her stop on her tracks.  She looked back at me and smiled and went for it.

T giggled as she got stuck in the thick snow.  I was really amazed to find this much snow on the side of the lane.  I’m sure it will melt soon especially since temperature has been slowly rising. I let her play in the snow for a while. After all thick snow is rare on our side of the UK especially in March, before reminding her to go back to running till at least the end of the lane and then she can play in the snow again.

After running around in circles and getting stuck in the snow, T and I decided that it was time to head back home…

… for a lovely treat of Oreo Ice-cream.

Isn’t life just sweet? 😉

Hello Beast From the East

The first day of March is “officially” the first day of Spring here in the UK, but because of the Beast from the East, instead of warmer weather, it was bitingly cold.

It was also supposed to be World Book Day, T got up excitedly, wanting to get into her Tonks (a minor character from Harry Potter) costume.  But then we received a message from her school saying that school was cancelled.  While it was cold, there wasn’t any sign of snow till around 2pm and then it never stopped.  T wanted to go outside as soon as it started, but I told her that we’d go out once the snow has settled.  But the snow just kept falling, and falling, and falling….

As you can see, it took only about a couple of hours for the snow to look like this.  T was absolutely delighted.  It has never snowed in North Cornwall like this before.  We’ve had a few dusting, but never as thick as this.

And since we didn’t have any sled, we had to quickly improvise and found an old Ikea shelf that was light and yet sturdy enough to slide down the very icy and slippery road in front of our house.

At first, T was hesitant to use it so her dad had to show her how. Soon enough she was going up and down that icy road, laughing and having so much fun.

I’m amazed with how much snow the beast from the East managed to dump on us within a few hours.  It was absolutely beautiful though …

Everywhere you looked, it was covered in a soft blanket of snow…

And of course, you absolutely have to build a snowman when there’s that much snow on the ground.

T named her Billy, an artist visiting from the East.  As I type this, I look out my window and can still see a mound of snow where Billy used to be standing.

And yes, we had snow-fights too.

At the end of the day, we were all wet and cold, but T had the biggest smile on her face and the snow just kept falling as T watched from the window.

We had two lovely, magical days of snow.  At night, it was lovely to look out the window and see the snow glistening, it actually gave it an eerie glow and as much as I enjoyed it too, I was actually glad to see it melting by Saturday afternoon.  If I look out my window now, I will see patches of snow in the ground and in the surrounding fields too.

If you live in the UK, did you enjoy the visitor from the East?

Country Kids

This Is The Life

Lately I’ve been missing the madness of city living again and if T didn’t love her school and her friends so much, we’d move in a heartbeat.  The yearning comes and goes but on a day like this particular one also reminds me to be thankful of where we live right now especially with a little child in tow and as the ever wise Dr. Seuss once said:

Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky.”

And indeed we are lucky to live where we live.  Beautiful beaches are within a ten-minute drive from our house.  If we wanted to venture out just a bit further, like a thirty-minute drive to our current favourite beach, we’re there soon enough.

Sandymouth beach in North Cornwall is our current fave.  We first discovered it last year.  It’s a lovely beach owned by the National Trust, some may find it a bit rocky, but it has many beautiful features like this lovely waterfalls.  If you’ve been reading this little online space of ours, you might have just read about this slice of heaven in past posts.  It also has a lovely National Trust cafe, so yes, a must-visit if you’re in the area.

It was summer the last time we were here.  Imagine T’s surprise when we came back and found the waterfalls over-brimming with water.  Last time we were here, it was a mere trickle.  Just look at these photos:

i just love the expanse of this beach.  It was nearing high-tide when we arrived, so we couldn’t really venture out further, but there was still enough beach for a lovely stroll.

From where we were walking, you could see people up in the headland enjoying the view.

After walking around, we spread our picnic blanket on top of the rocks and just enjoyed the scenery before us.  This is the life.  This is all you need.  The people whom you love the most and a flask of tea.  What more can you ask for?  Okay, maybe enough money to buy a house in the city 😉

“The beach is not a place to work, to read, write or to think”

  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Poor Doc – we weren’t able to let him off leash since there were a few families around with little kids.  Sadly, he still hasn’t outgrown the “jumping on strangers” with an eager beaver face.

After having our fill of quiet solitude and hot tea, we decided it was time for cake at the cafe.  While demolishing a lovely piece of chocolate cake, we noticed this really brave Blackbird perch itself up a few tables from where we sat outdoors facing the sea.  It didn’t seem to be bothered by our presence at all.

And then it was time to explore that headland, which we’ve never had the chance to explore till now.

That’s the National Trust cafe and parking lot (above photo).

Waterfalls seen from above.

What do you think?

Would you exchange all this for city living?

Country Kids

And Just Like That…. Half-term Break is Over

Photo above is what the weather is currently like at the moment.  We are enveloped in a sea of mist that really looks like a set in a movie based in one of Stephen King’s novels.  I’m just really glad that the weather wasn’t like this during the half-term break.  We had a few days of glorious sunshine it almost felt like spring has sprung.

February half-term is only a week and we didn’t really do or go anywhere special but at least we managed to visit the beach a couple of times.

Went to Widemouth, our go-to-beach when we want an easy stroll on the beach.  I’ve mentioned this beach a lot of times on this blog, maybe because it’s such a short drive from where we live.  It has a nice long stretch of beach even when it’s high tide.  Perfect for a lovely stroll to blow off some cobwebs.

Was it cold?  Yes, it was.  But we were dressed for it.  After all, winter isn’t really gone yet.  We stayed till it started to rain before heading back home again.

Do you like going to the beach in the cold?

Country Kids

An Up-date on decluttering: I did a Toy Story 3!

Last week I finally started to go through T’s toys in her room,  I actually went through them one by one.  If you have a child in primary school you’d understand how tedious this is.  Why do kids love small itty bitty toys?  I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t throw away her favourites.  I did bin a lot of heads, limbs, arms (probably from her old monster high dolls), lots of plastic crap from Happy Meal toys.  It’s amazing how much rubbish our kids accumulate over the years.

Let’s just say by the time I was going through the big box in the conservatory where she keeps some of her toys,  I wasn’t as keen to go through them as thoroughly as I did hours ago.  By this time, I tipped the remaining rubbish (or so I thought) in the bin bag.

Later on though, my husband told me that he managed to fish out a small Woody and Jessie, and Ham (from Toy Story).  Back story:  my husband and T absolutely love all Toy Story movies.  They used to watch it back to back together.  T has all the toys from that movie in all sizes.  She has a big Woody and Jessie safely sitting on one of her shelves in her room.

My initial reaction when my husband told me that he fished out some toys was “Oh you just want to keep them for sentimental reasons!” but then I realised. OMG (as my seven-year-old) would say, I just did a toy story!   He replied, don’t worry.  I’ve rescued them.  If you’re a Toy Story fan or your kids love them too, you’ll be familiar with the dumpster scene from Toy Story 3:


Darn it.  Too much watching children’s movies!  I really need to watch more grown-up movies, preferably without toys talking and having adventure after another.

Do you throw out old toys too?


I still have more de-cluttering to do.  I’m going through all my crap things little by little.  I’m sure I’ll get there eventually 😉

Uber Sonic Electric Toothbrush, A Review

I’ve been using my old electric toothbrush for a few years now and when it packed up (refused to charge), luckily for me, before I managed to buy a replacement, the lovely folks at Uber Sonic (a British Oral Care subscription service), got in touch and asked whether I’d sample their new product.  I said yes, of course.  Here’s what I think of their Award Winning Uber Sonic Electric Toothbrush:

What I like about the Uber Sonic Electric Toothbrush:

  • I absolutely love the unique aluminum design.  It’s so sleek and looks ultra modern and stylish,(not that a modern and stylish looking design should factor in when looking for an electric toothbrush to buy).  But I must admit, it certainly caught my attention!
  • I also like that it’s really lightweight.  I’m used to my heavy toothbrush, so was really surprised when I picked it up and found it so light!  It makes brushing your teeth even easier to do.
  • I like that it’s less noisier than my old electric toothbrush.
  • I also like that it has a 30sec buzz function which reminds you to change from one jaw to another.
  • I’ve only been using this Uber Sonic Electric toothbrush for over a week now and so far haven’t had to charge it again.  It boasts of a long-lasting charge, but I haven’t had the chance to prove that one yet.
  • It has a really soft brush which I wasn’t really sure of when I first tried it.  Perhaps it’s because I was used to my old one, which seemed to have a “harder” and sturdier brush.  But then again, this only made me more aware to brush my teeth “longer” and “harder” to make up for the “soft brush”, so it really depends on you whether you’d think of this as a positive or negative.

What I don’t like about the Uber Sonic Electric Toothbrush:

  • It has a soft brush.  (See details above), as mentioned not really sure if this is a negative, but still worth mentioning.

My box also came with two refill heads and covers, at least I won’t have to worry about purchasing replacements.

If you’re on the look out for an electric toothbrush, why not give Uber Sonic Electric toothbrush a try?  Uber Sonic Brush sets from £19.  With a refill plan of two brush heads from £9 every 2 months and all members receive a free Ubersonic toothbrush and whitening kit every year.  I think that’s a fab deal, you won’t have to worry about having to replace your toothbrush!

What do you look for when searching for an electric toothbrush replacement?

Do you go for design, trusted name or price?

Do share.

*I was kindly sent the Ubersonic Electric toothbrush for the purpose of this review.  However, all photos and opinions are by yours truly.

A New Year’s Resolutions: Declutter!

I only have one new year’s resolutions this year worth mentioning, admittedly I do have a few, but I don’t plan to even write them down.  They will remain in my head, but to me the most important one is to declutter.

My one dream is to live in a minimalist house and have a minimalist lifestyle. But I know that won’t happen. Why?  My husband and I are both sentimental creatures, him more than me actually.  We keep things that have sentimental value even though they really ought to be thrown away.  And we have too many books, we buy too many books, we love books too much to stop buying them.  And that’s precisely the reason why I’ve long accepted that we won’t ever have a minimalist household.

I also have to go through all of our books.  We somehow manage to duplicate our books.  I have two books of Letters of Ted Hughes.  One was given to me by my lovely in-laws.  Any takers?  My husband and I used to dream of owning our own bookshop.  It’s a lovely dream which won’t happen unless I win the lottery.

My desk as always is a mess.  But I’ll do my best to declutter and get rid of unnecessary things like Folio Society book  catalogues I’ve already looked through numerous times.  I don’t know why I even bother to keep them when their website is already bookmarked in all the gadgets I use.

T’s toys are also on the list.  She has too many toys she doesn’t even play with anymore.  Before her birthday, I did manage to either throw or give some of her toys away.  Toys she’s outgrown and since Christmas has just happened, it means more toys.

And lastly, clothes.  I’m going to go through all our clothes and get rid of or donate clothes which don’t fit us anymore.  Who am I kidding?  I’m never going to be a size 6 again, so why keep them?

This holding on to too many material things is actually weighing heavily on me now.  I can feel the physical heaviness on me as if I’m literally carrying all these clutter in my arms.  Isn’t that a bit strange?  Maybe because this whole decluttering business has been on my mind for several months now and I really just need to do something about it.

What about you?

Do you also have the need to declutter?

January Musings

American author Karen Joy Fowler writes in her novel, Sarah Canary:

Lots of people go mad in January.  Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June.  But January is your most common month for madness.

I don’t like January either.  It’s too drab and cold and long.  February isn’t too bad, especially since it’s such a short month.  And here in Cornwall, we’re lucky that spring happens early.  Unless of course, global warming changes that too.

And just like that, Christmas is over.  I’ve taken down all our Christmas decorations last Thursday when T went back to school.  I usually find that a sad account.  But since my Christmas vibe never came this year, I was happy to take them all down. I wanted to do it on the first day, but my husband said to wait a while longer.

The house looks bare of course, but I’m fine with that.  It doesn’t affect me the way it did past years.  Oh dear, what’s happening to me?

Do you do New Year’s resolutions?  I used to do it when I was younger, especially in my teens and as a young adult.  It’s been ages since I’ve done any but I still did them in my head.  Ran a list of things I want to do this year and bad habits I want to to get rid of in the dead of the night like writing more, reading more, that sort of thing.

I have no big plans for this year, except hopefully write more creatively.  I’ve always been a bit slow, I do little steps, hence the blog name.  Some have thought that since I started this blog when T was barely two, it was going to be all about her.  It was for a while, but this was supposed to be all about the little steps we take in life, now it’s mostly about our little life here in North Cornwall and I’m fine with that.

Here’s to more ramblings in 2018, I’m surprised people read this, but honestly, I’m grateful to all of you, especially since I’ve somehow managed to earn from this little blog of mine, to all the brands/PRs we’ve worked with a big thank you to all of you.  Here’s to more collaborations!

And to all those who email asking for free links and exposure in the words of my seven-year-old – accompanied with the most exasperated tone a little one can muster “Really now?”  Please be fair. 

To the rest of you lovely folks, hope all your wishes and dreams are granted this year!

What about you?

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?

Note:  Photo above was taken last year in Dartmoor.  While it’s been snowing in the rest of the UK, it never really snows here in Cornwall.  I don’t think it even did up in Dartmoor this year.

Our Christmas Holiday: Holed In

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and also enjoyed your New Year’s celebrations.  As for us, we spent the whole Christmas break hibernating inside our home.  We were supposed to spend the holidays with my in-laws, but just before little T finished school, she was struck with the nastiest cold and cough she’s ever had.  Before long my husband was down with it too.  On the morning of the 23rd, I realised that it would be best for everyone if we just quarantined ourselves inside our home.  My in-laws are old you see, I’d be horrified if they caught it.  It’s taken T and my husband the whole of the holiday to shake it off, can you imagine what it would be like for a couple in their late 80s?

My poor husband had to go out on the 24th and do an emergency shop since we didn’t have any food at home, after all we were all ready to drive-up country.  The shops ran out turkey, so he had to make do with whatever he found that day.  Thankfully, none of us were in the mood for roast, our diet then consisted mostly of home-made soup, the kind one eats when poorly.

This has been us, holed in, watching movie after movie.  Playing games after another.  I’ve just realised that T and I are really crap with playing charades, but she absolutely loves playing it.

We had plans of doing loads of winter walks, but the only time we’ve ever been out was today, to do some food shopping.  That’s about it.  T seems a lot better, she still has a bit of a cough.  The husband’s cough has also improved, so we’re hoping to do our first and only holiday winter-walk tomorrow.  Weather permitting, it happens.

As you can see, we still have Christmas presents under our tree.  Those are for family up-country.  Luckily, my husband has a meeting there over the weekend, so he’ll be able to drop by to give them their belated Christmas presents.  Lucky for us too, we also get to open ours from them.  Christmas has been extended for us this year.

What about you?

What was your Christmas break like?

#PresentPatrol with ADT and Little T

*A sponsored post in collaboration with ADT

It’s five days before Christmas, can you believe that?  I bet most of you are ready.  Here in our little cottage in the country, we can say that we definitely are!  Our are decors up, Christmas crockery is out, our Christmas tree is up and most importantly presents are wrapped under our lovely Christmas tree.

But what if burglars crept into your home and stole all your Christmas presents?  Sounds like a bad tv movie?  It can happen you know.  Not to worry, lucky for T, ADT sent her a package filled with different kinds of cunning tricks to thwart the evil plans of any would-be-burglar.  It’s called project #PresentPatrol (Up-sound: Mission Impossible soundtrack).  Here’s what they sent:

1. A floor plan to plan the attack. 2. Four sets of “ideas” on how to out-smart those evil present-burglars! 3. A jar of marbles to do the “Mad Marble Medley”. 4. Water Balloon Drench Defence 5. The Ultimate Tickle Bomb 6. Spidey Intruder Sensors

The Master Plan

Step 1:  Use floor plan to plan the course of attack.  Little T drew our Christmas tree on the plan, “That’s where it will all happen, mum”, she said excitedly.

Step 2: Hide the Spidey Intruder sensors or just plain creepy spiders on the presents to scare the burglars away.  Hopefully, they are scared of spiders!  If not, the sensors will alert the police just in time to catch the culprits.

Step 3.  Use water-bombs to drench defence around the Christmas tree.

Step 4:  Use feather bombs or the “Ultimate Tickle Bomb”.  Hopefully it will either tickle them to death or make them sneeze so loud they’ll wake up Doc or little T’s grumpy dad – that’s enough to scare anyone away! 😉

I think we’ve managed to fully protect little T’s presents from those evil burglars!  How dare they even think of stealing little T’s presents.  Thanks to ADT, her presents are safe and ready to be opened on Christmas day.

Do watch our little video below.  T and I had so much fun doing it.

What about you?

If burglars were in the area, what would you do to protect your Christmas presents?  We invite you and your little ones to come up with your own fun and exciting plan to keep your presents safe.   Click  on this > ADT Floor Plan if you want to also use the floor plan.