Lavender Play Doh, Hot Air Balloon Chimes & a New Book

This week, the girls and I called into a little garden my friend introduced us to 🙂 I love when no-homework day arrives and we can do whatever we like after school 🙂 The girls played for a long time and I walked around, admiring all the handiwork of the people involved 🙂 My daughter gave me a flower and it made me think about all the little gifts they give me. My kids are always picking flowers and shells/drawing pictures and making me things and it’s nice that without spending money, they find ways to show you they care 🙂 It inspires me to give more handmade gifts 🙂

We went for a tree-climb and a walk and the light was really beautiful that day. I had to stop and take some pictures of it cutting through the branches 🙂 I love seeing the lough when we get into the hills. There is something about being above Belfast and looking down on it that makes you realise how insignificant each worry is in the scheme of things 🙂 I followed the girls and they wandered into a graveyard. They were very interested in it and wanted to read the plaques. I find graveyards such a tranquil place to be, and I was glad they did too 🙂

At the weekend, we went to the beach for the day. It was gloriously sunny through the window and freezing once we got there 🙂 It didn’t put the girls off and they did lots of climbing on rocks and sandcastle building 🙂 We had some pains au chocolat and tea on our picnic blanket and tried to stop it blowing away 🙂 My daughter got out all her sand moulds and buried them so she could dig them up again as treasure 🙂 We went to the playground and were the only ones there, so I played on the swings and slide too 🙂 Sometimes I find it so hard to get out of my head and playing like a kid seems to cure that – for a little while, at least 🙂

My daughter was excited about the number of daisies and made a little bouquet out of them 🙂 There is something about seeing a full spread of daisies on the ground that makes it feel like summer is nearby 🙂 We went for a walk along the beach, looked in rockpools and then found a picnic spot for lunch. The girls love those little wrap kits you can get where you assemble your own wraps. I’m guessing they are even more appealing because they contain no fruit or vegetables and come with ketchup 🙂 After lunch, we walked to the pirate ship playground and then drove to get an ice-cream before heading home. Going to the beach, even just for a few hours, makes me feel like we have been away on holiday, even if the temperature doesn’t match up 🙂

When we got home, I made some more Paris cookies with huge chocolate chunks 🙂 They are the ultimate comfort cookie and the girls always devour them too 🙂

On Sunday, the girls painted some stained glass hot air balloon chimes my mum got for them 🙂 They just used acrylics and it kept them focused for a while 🙂 Since we were already painting, they finally painted the clay sculptures we made when they were off school. (I still have to paint mine too :))

Then, I made some lavender play doh. I just added some lavender cuttings from our garden and it gave the play doh a lovely scent 🙂 I like making my own play doh sometimes because you can add whatever colour/scents you like and it only takes a few minutes to make it. The girls did another “Bake Off” play doh challenge when it was ready.

This week, I published my new book “La Fourche.” It will be available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon. The book is fictional, inspired by my time spent in France. It is about a girl that moves to France and works in the banlieue (ghetto) near Paris. It’s about the lessons she learns while she is there, learning a foreign language, working in an area with a bad reputation and deciding what to do with her life. It shows the two different sides to her character and to the city of Paris. I’m working on another book at the moment too, so I made time to write today while the girls were at school with the necessary accompaniment of strong coffee and a chocolate croissant 🙂

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