Posts in Easter
Free Floral Easter Phone Backgrounds • Featuring Bettys

Well one good deed always deserves another in my book. 

I've had a little run of bumping into nice people and receiving random acts of kindness and it's infectious. There's been a few occasions recently where people have bailed me out of a hole, met me in a car park after hours (no not that kind of favour) and rushed a deadline to help me meet one of my own. And subconsciously I've gone about my merry way, buying a Best magazine for an older lady in the supermarket who had forgotten to pop it in her trolley and raced to find it at the checkout after she had paid, stopped at the toll bridge on the road out of Bath and helped a stranded motorist who only needed 70p to trip trap over the bridge and I'm hoping I can pass on the kindness of two strangers who let me pick their Magnolia trees to you.

It's not so much of "If you don't ask you don't get" but more of if you don't have a Magnolia tree in your garden I bet someone who does might enjoy being reminded how lucky they are.

It started with an unfortunate car journey. I was racing to Weston super Mare to pick up a new order of backdrops earlier this week and got stuck in a big accident. 

An open topped lorry carrying all sorts of rubbish destined for the local recycling dump had toppled over and spilt it's load all over the road to the motorway, leaving hundreds of us trying to remember our three point turns and pootling off with no 3G to reset our sat navs into deepest Somerset to find an alternative route. I pulled in at the next drive way and stopped the car to wave my phone in the air (it helps to get higher right?!) to see if miraculously it would reroute me towards the M5 and I looked to my left and there was the most enormous pink Magnolia tree outside the entrance to a farm yard full of calves chomping on hay with their heads poking through the bottom bars of their pens. It was a sight.

I jumped out and found the nice lady who lived there and she gave me a new set of directions and then I couldn't resist asking if she minded me picking up the fallen petals from the tree. I explained I love to photograph flowers, make pretty scenes from them for Instagram and she beamed back at me and said pick as many of the flowers as you would like! 

And it seemed very selfish to keep them all to myself. That and the box full of chocolates that arrived from Bettys. Oh yes, chocolate to make you squeal and forbid the children from eating the minty turquoise one because that one is all MINE! 

So here is a fresh set of Easter phone backgrounds for you to download. I'm going with the rule that if there's mini eggs on my phone at all times it's quite acceptable to eat them after school drop off, with a cup of tea at 11, as a pre lunch snack and afternoon pick me up and forget popcorn for movie night it's all about the eggs in this house for at least the next month.

Which is your favourite?! Download the set and swap them over. Just click on any of the photos to save it. I might go for the white Magnolia next. Now's there's another story for that one involving a lovely man and his dog and a 10 minute chat that ended with my handbag full of buds.

I like to describe all those generous strangers I met this week as good eggs. A phrase you don't hear too often these days. But Bettys have brought it back with their printable range of Easter cards for you to print at home and colour in. 

Rich has actually been trying a little mindfulness colouring of late, something I've not given the time to in the past but if you've tried it you will know it absolutely works and you are transported back to your day dreaming school day self!

If you are struggling for a little extra idea why not print a batch and give them as an early present with a set of colouring pencils wrapped up for someone who could do with a little de stressing? I might even make a little book of them for the boys ready for our journey up to Berkshire for the Easter weekend.

You can print your set here. From Bettys, from one good egg to another ;)

And if you download the phone wallpapers I would love to see which are your favourites!

In collaboration with Bettys

Me and Mine - A Family Portrait Project March

This month has been a whirlwind. A wonderful whirlwind of exciting house plans, lots of visits from my sister and a new baby girl in the family! Today, with the house feeling like it is being obliterated one room at a time, rubble down the stairs, a garden that resembles a skip as well as a skip on the drive full to bursting, we fell about laughing. The kitchen is full to the rafters with everything from the utility room which looks like it's been hit by a bomb, you can write your name in the dust on the windows and as we kept bumping into each other carrying washing and moving boxes in slap stick style, we wondered if anyone else has ever felt like they were in such a spin their head might fall off?!

The boys have had a couple of days in a local school holiday club, whilst the worst of the demolition of our bathroom walls went on and the builders are coming in and out of the house carrying great huge panels, and have adored the swimming, crafts and forest school.  I was so proud of Sammy, the club runs for 3-6 year olds with another older children's set of activities for 6-9 year olds which would actually suit him so much better, but he stuck with his slightly nervous little brother and the pair of them have been inseparable for the last week. In fact they've been the nicest and kindest to each other in a good while. They've played endlessly with the table football, been making up shows and stories and just potter around together. We were listening as they discussed which of the kids in Sammy's class Ollie liked the best and he replied "I like Sammy." We can really see a best friendship forming and without tempting fate, another 3 weeks of school holidays, even in the madness of the house, doesn't feel like a daunting prospect. 

I was frantically trying to finish some photography work, Rich had to whizz off to Glastonbury to deliver some tea and we both were rifling through the bags of clothes in the spare room, throwing things from one holdall to another ready to come up to mum's tonight to fly to America in the morning. It's not until you empty all your drawers and wardrobes that you realise just how easy it is to accumulate clothes you will NEVER EVER wear again! 

Natty whipped me into shape over the Easter weekend and in between games and feasts of breakfasts, lunches and dinners she and Andrew worked their socks off to help us move, sort, clear, skip and prepare for the work to the house over the next couple of weeks. We have ambitious plans during school holiday time. We knew it would be hard but it will be so worth it. No more freezing cold draughty winters. We slept on a mattress in the living room which the kids all thought made the best trampoline come the morning and all night could feel the whisper of a breeze coming through the lounge doors. 

It is going to make a huge difference to the whole feel of the house to have windows that close! 

We were all exhausted on Easter Sunday and just spent the day mooching around the garden, watching the children on the swings and listening to the three amigos. Natty couldn't believe how Yasmin never asked for a snack, wasn't hanging off her ankles, was just at home, chasing after her cousins, being part of the big kids gang. Then one of them would see Logan out of the corner of their eyes and race over to smother him in kisses. Sammy repeated "He's the most loveable Logan I am ever going to love" about 15 times and begged me to have another baby so he could have a baby brother too!

Umm no darling was the answer. 

It was magic watching them hunt for the eggs. It's tricky with our boys to stop them shooting ahead, running 8 paces ahead of Yazzy. So instead of hiding treats I did something different this year. I found my stash of plastic fake eggs, divided them equally and wrote each of their initials in washable chalk pen. 

I filled three buckets with surprises, pound shop figures and lots of other non chocolate goodies like half price Littlest Pet Shop pouches (Which I know sounds boring and mean but by 9am they had eaten enough chocolate to sink a ship!) and each time they found a plastic egg marked S,O or Y they ran back to the bucket to claim their lucky dip prize. There was no arguing over who had more eggs in their bags and it made the whole hunt last more than a frantic 10 minutes.

So my Me and Mine has a few extras in it this month. Two small ones who feel like mine! It's easy to say the phrase "I don't know what I'd do without my family" but I honestly don't know how we would have got through the last month without them all. In laws who have the westies at the drop of a hat, for weeks at a time when the house is in chaos and they need to be kept safe (Open doors and gates and our woofers don't mix. I am paranoid about them wandering into the lane.) and who are having the boys for us for 4 days so we can fly to New Jersey and meet baby Juliette. 

Last month I shared this photo and just before I had been in touch with this talented designer Samantha. I have always wanted an illustrated family portrait but never quite found the time to get it sorted. Thank you so much for sending us this beautiful keepsake of our family at this moment in time. I know the boys will look back when they are older and say oh Mum why did we have those haircuts?!!! But I adore them, my dumb and dumber lookalikes with their wildly funny personalities, their sleepy eyes in the morning, their great long bodies draped down our backs when we piggy back them to bed each night. Me and mine xx

Samantha has kindly offered to give away a free portrait for one lucky reader so leave a comment telling us about your family and we will pick a winner at random on the 30th April. Entrees are open until midnight GMT 29th April 2016. 

You can leave a comment on this Instagram photo too if it's easier! 

Join in with us and share a family photo. Capturing and recording our family is the best thing we have religiously done over the last three years, even if some months we get to the very last day and all the Heath boys roll their eyes and say on ho not photo time! 

Pop over and see what Lucy, Katie, Alex, Jenny and Fritha have been up to this month. In the last three years this Me and Mine gang have welcomed new babies, waved big boys and girls off to school and it's a very special project to be part of. 

Last Minute Easter Cakes - Macaron Nests

It can't just be me. Anyone else feel like Easter has snuck up on you this year?! I've usually got the house decorated, our Easter makeshift tree decorated with hanging eggs I have collected for years, but this March I am scrambling in the garage and the loft to try and find the box marked "Easter bits" with no luck at all!

I know they are in there somewhere, but I just seem to have run out of time this year, with a busy end of school term full of activities, haring around the country for meetings with my development hat on and getting the house cleared for the plumbers. I had elaborate plans to make some succulent Easter cookies which will now have to become a spring party idea but I wanted to make something quick and easy that will wow the boys over the Easter weekend.

These macaron nests are totally cheating but I say that is A-ok! Sometimes you need to cut a few corners to give you time to actually enjoy all the seasonal celebrations. 

I bought two boxes of macarons - one set from Lidl in their frozen section, yes frozen but AMAZING and a bargain too.

There is almost nothing to do with this "recipe". Simply cut out a circle shape in the top of your macaron, eat the middle (perks of the job) melt some chocolate and mix with fibre shredded cereal for the nest and top with a mini egg!

You could make the macarons yourself of course but this week that is one step too far! TK Maxx do some great packs in their food department, they don't have fresh cream in the middle but I really like their crunchy texture and bought two boxes of the pink and yellow varieties.

What are your 5 minute cakes ideas, hit me with your suggestions?! Rich loved the grown up chilli crispy cakes I made last year so we might make another batch of them over the weekend. Last year I tried to fool the boys with dyed boiled eggs to look like Cadbury's Creme Eggs but they weren't having any of it! So this year I made an ice cream version!

I'll make sure I get the photos up tomorrow. YUMMY.

First day of the Easter holidays today and we are heading East! Enjoy your count down to the weekend, the chocolate easting and the time with family and friends.