Yesterday was a bleak wet and windy day but we caught a break in the weather for a stroll around the National Trust gardens at The Courts.
The magnolia was starting to bloom, its creamy pink petals providing a delicate splash of brightness when captured in black and white.
The weather, and state of mind, has definitely turned a corner for week 13 of Project 365 2015.
The sun has played a prominent role in getting us outside and giving me some extra motivation.
Project 365 #13
It was a glorious Spring day and we ended up making the most of it with some garden time, shack Spring cleaning and just chilling. Lunch was consumed lazily outside and it was then I spotted a little snail sunning itself on one of my shack doorstops.
Following a gentle run yesterday with the girl, where we did 1.8 miles round the block, I headed out on my own today. Happily, I upped my distance, length of time running and overall speed. I will be taking it slow this time though and doing just a little bit more each time and hopefully the knee injury that kept me out for a year will not reappear. I'm also hoping the addition of yoga will help - that definitely makes me smile!
Another sneaky run as I know tomorrow is a long day at work. The sunshine was beautiful when I got back and the sky was looking amazing with fluffy white clouds.
A sunny drive to work today so sunglasses were necessary. I also dug out my Battleborn CD by The Killers - there was much singing aloud.
A quick snuggle with the boy on the sofa this evening before bed.
Friday and it's the holidays! Despite being shattered after work I pushed myself out on a run today. I bought some Nikes last year which I love and this rather odd looking image is me stretching post run.
The weather turned so it was a bit of an indoor day before catching some fresh air at The Courts. The children got crafty at home earlier so I joined them and made some more bunting for the end of the garden.
The one thing that always impresses me about Camp Bestival is the array of music they have lined up every year, I like to see it as a musical smorgasbord, and 2015 is no different.
The Castle Stage has something for everyone of all ages and musical tastes. My picks this year are actually the headliners for every night. So that should, hopefully, see me settled on the Castle Field on my picnic blanket with children chilling ready for a diverse musical experience from Friday through to Sunday.
Friday sees Clean Bandit...
'A fusion of classical arrangements, intelligent house beats and soulful sensibilities, Clean Bandit are like no other act around, as good, if not better in the flesh than they are on record the Clean Bandit live experience is filled with virtuoso musicality and captivating rhythms which are specifically designed to move you'
Saturday sees Kaiser Chiefs - who I loved when supporting The Killers in Hyde Park in 2011...
'The band burst onto the scene as part of the last decade’s golden generation of indie bands, with a ready made arsenal of singalong anthems and in Ricky Wilson one of the most charismatic front men to ever grace a stage.'
And Sunday gives us, the act I'm most looking forward to, Underworld...
'Live, the boys continue to be as dynamic and original as ever, pushing the envelope of what it is possible to achieve with their breathtaking live show which promises to be a career spanning set of techno anthems, what better way to bring another wondrous Camp Bestival adventure to a close than in the company of such greatness.'
And finally, one to make the girl smile, is the recent addition of Ella Henderson, whose 'Ghost' song is regularly murdered by us at home!
The beautifully crafted door to the old brewery at Lacock sits heavily on its hinges.
Its cold handle hangs still.
The craftsmanship, defying the years, called to me to be captured in black and white; highlighting the wood grain, the metal studs, and the history it holds.
Week 12 of Project 365 has been a happy one finding some focus for me but also learning to let go.
Project 365 #12
A wonderful Mothering Sunday today with perfectly chosen gifts of flowers, fudge, lemon curd, mini pegs and a heart stamp. The day was spent in part relaxing but also putting in some hard graft in the garden - which required a much needed tidy up.
I had some time to fill today so I did some baking making up my own Cherry Bakewell Green Tea Cake - which you can find here!
Inspired by the lovely Karin over at Embrace Happy, I decided to sit quietly and create some focus for me today. I had a play with props and backdrops using some of the goodies from the recent Blog on Cymru.
The girl went off on her three day residential today. Seeing her suitcase in the lounge made me momentarily sad with the realisation my children are getting older by the day and with this are becoming more independent and not needing me so much.
Working on embracing happy and finding a focus, I prepared a happy package to drop off the next day!
Following the morning eclipse, which I caught a glimpse of at work, the warmth, light and whole day changed. The Spring sunshine made the day a happy one and it was so nice to fling the conservatory doors open back at home.
Today we did the morning chores; swimming, MOT and library. Then I had a chilled afternoon whilst the boy went partying and the husband disappeared on his bike. Some colouring in with the girl and I blew the dust from the sewing machine to make some bunting to hang at the end of the garden.
I have recently jumped on board with the delightful Karin, and her mission, to Embrace Happy.
It's been just over a week since I started to look for the positives in each day through #3goodthings on Instagram.
This is working well but I also want to focus a little bit more on my own use of time to find happiness and fulfilment in myself.
I was inspired by a recent photo from Karin on Instagram.
I liked her starting point ideas but felt I needed to adapt them a little to suit me.
I took some time to just sit, be still, be quiet and think.
I wanted to hone in on just a few things that I could try to achieve through a week, things I could do and things I would want to do.
After some scribbling and crossings out I wrote up my FOCUS goal.
This is now washi taped to the fridge door as a reminder, not just to me but the rest of my little family, that I am doing this.
I am a big lover of tea.
Earl Grey, milk and one sugar being a favourite.
Recently I have been trying to cut down the caffeine and sugar in my diet so I thought I'd give green tea a whirr.
I will be honest with you - I don't think it's that great.
I have discovered that green tea can taste good, and my most recent favourite is Cherry Bakewell Green Tea from Twinings - this is not a sponsored post but I'm not yet aware of a cherry bakewell flavoured tea from any other tea manufacturer!
Today I was in the mood for baking, not really the best way to cut down on sugar I know. But I'd done my yoga and walked to school and back so I thought I'd give myself a treat.
I had glacé cherries and ground almonds in the cupboard so went for it and made up the following which I like to call...
In my absence yesterday, when I was learning new photography skills at Blog on Cymru, the husband and kiddos carried on with their development of the end of the garden. Today I saw that they had tested the fire pit and chopped wood creating some seats for us. I envisage us all down there by the fire enjoying hot evenings this Summer!
Today I made myself get the yoga mat out and find my favourite sessions on YouTube. I am so glad I did as my hips and legs - and my mind - needed a good workout.
I am trying to embrace Tuesdays more and not let the cloud of forthcoming work days interrupt my time. Today the sun was shining and the bread bin needed topping up so after the school run I took a power walk to town to buy some bread. On my return as I walked through the underpass, not the most pleasant spot in town, I noticed the sun shining through towards me bouncing off the graffiti on the walls. It put a spring in my step!
Back to work day made easier by a pile of goodies in the staff room. I also started joining with Embrace Happy too and am trying harder to be more positive on Wednesdays!
A lovely day at work where we invited mums - and honorary mums - in for an early Mother's Day celebration. The tedious part of the job never stops though so a pile of books went home with me tonight.
Leftover daffodils from work yesterday once every child had taken one home for mum.
The husband has flipped his work days this weekend so I get my Mother's Day tomorrow. I had a lovely walk to town with the kiddos then back home to read the paper and drink my new Cherry Bakewell green tea.
It's always amusing to look back at past Spring plans for the garden and realise the planned picket fence to keep the chooks off the veggie plots hasn't come to fruition and the boundary fence with the neighbour is still precariously being held up by tree trunks growing through it!
So onto 2015 and our Spring garden plans!
I'd still like that picket fence to divide off the end of the garden - especially now the husband and children have turned their attention to making an end of garden hangout complete with log seats, fire pit and twirly things in the tree!
The husband dug a fire pit a couple of weeks back and we have plans to cook and eat al fresco.
Log seats have been collected from a friend's wood yard and wood has been chopped.
We rescued this twisted Willow from near death years ago when it was found beneath a ravaging Laurel bush. It now stands, suitably decorated, in pride of place at the bottom of the garden ready to provide cover in the Summer months.
Elsewhere the daffodils remain fenced off for their own protection and are beginning to emerge from beneath the ground ready to brighten up the bottom of the garden - I now await signs of the tulips and alliums also planted here.
Closer to the house we have more pots atop the piano.
An iris and crocuses add to the colourful display already provided by the potted daffodils.
This is such a wonderful time of year.
A time to make plans and look ahead to those warm heady days of Summer!