Tag Archives: Happy Monday

Happiness is a bunch of balloons.

Yes, I have travel photos that make me ache for a place or time.  Yes, I’ve got arty photos that capture an experience.  But if I were to choose a photo to use as cover art for something I personally would really like to read at this moment in time, it would be this one.

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The book would be on the art of simple fun with babies and toddlers.  Not a glamorous coffee table tome, admittedly.  But I bet it would be a well-thumbed favourite with stay at home parents and mums on maternity leave! Even ‘yet-another-rainy-weekend’ parents looking for inspiration would probably be quite grateful for a little peek at it!

The little girl is mine, absolutely beside herself with happy excitement when I surprised her with a big chain of balloons, tied together with string.  We played with it for a whole afternoon over the weekend.  Swooshing it up in the air and watching it fall, running around with it, spinning it round and round her until we felt dizzy.  She squashed it and pulled it and played peek-a-boo from behind it, and generally just had a brilliant time.  All for the cost of a packet of balloons.


‘I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things in life which are the real ones after all.’

(Laura Ingalls Wilder)

It can sometimes be hard to resist the pull of the commercialism of childhood.  I am not immune to it.  We absolutely do buy toys, books and games; probably a few more than really necessary.  But we also try to keep things simple and have fun with our imaginations.   Musical instruments made out of old water bottles, each filled with different materials like pasta, rice, toothpicks. Sensory exploration with jelly, blocks of ice made from glittery water, stodgy mashed potato. Hours of fun with a bowl of soapy water, two plastic cups and a whole heap of towels to mop up afterwards!  All cheap and simple to prepare, and so much fun for little people.

I love finding interesting ways to help my little girl learn, grow and have fun.  But I confess that it can be hard thinking of endless things, searching for age appropriate ideas.  Having favourite activities is great – balloons in our house are a guaranteed hit, and are a relatively lost cost, low effort endeavour for me.  But it’s good to ring the changes too and keep things exciting and engaging.

So a book with age specific chapters, crammed full of fun, simple, low-cost ideas to try, adapt and develop into family favourites would be a very welcome addition to my bookshelf.  I’d certainly spend a lot less time on Pinterest!


‘Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.’

Oscar Wilde


My entry for this week’s WordPress Weekly photo challenge, ‘cover art’.  An inspired theme by guest host, Pete Rosos of 2812 Photography.  Other interesting cover art entries can be found here.

Green stars, growing.

The gorgeous flower buds of the sedum plant.  A butterfly favourite when in bloom, this shot shows the tightly knotted flower bracts before they open into their full starry pink beauty.

Sedum is one of my favourite flowering plants of the late summer and autumn.  They flower for such a long period of time; right up until the first frosts usually.  A bee and butterfly watching bonus!  It was a plant I treasured in my garden when I lived in England, as at this time of year you really feel the bee and butterfly spotting opportunities slipping away as the days get shorter and colder.

Also known as the ice plant, I thought the iced minty colours were perfect for this week’s one word photo challenge: mint!


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A paint pot of floral sunshine.

Well, it has been an exceptionally wet and miserable 24 hours here.  Not the best weather to combat the Sunday blues and kick the week off with a smile!  The rain has been absolutely thundering down, making it hard to go anywhere.  Apart from a quick dash out for a playgroup session this morning, we have been cooped up, waiting it out.  So while my daughter has her lunchtime nap, I’ve been in search of my own home-made sunshine.

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I got a Mac a little while ago and Apps are turning out to be a real treat! I am just beginning to dip my toe in the water, checking out some of the creative photo-processing options available.  I follow a blog called decocraftsdigicrafts by a lovely lady called Raewyn.  She recently shared some water-colour style images that she had produced from some of her photographs, using the Waterlogue App.  They were brilliant – I knew I had to have a go!

‘There are always flowers for those who want to see them.’

Henri Matisse


It turns out that not every app works for every Apple product, which I’d never have thought about before I got one myself! Waterlogue seems to be one of them. Typical! But I found something similar (I think!) called Aquarella.  I got it over the weekend and have been having a lot of fun playing with it.  I get an almost childlike thrill, watching my photos instantly turn into ‘watercolours’ and then tinkering about with the settings to get them looking how I want.  Yes, I know, I really do need to get out more!  But honestly, there is no way I could ever actually paint anything so well, so this gives me the chance to imagine my inner artist!

‘I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.’

Claude Monet

So here are a selection of the photos I’ve experimented with.  Of the handful I’ve done, most of them are yellow.  I think I must be channelling my hopes for an end to the rain and a little bit of sunshine.  Producing sunshine-y images…a modern day rain dance in reverse for the technology era perhaps?!  Fingers crossed!


‘Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.’

Vincent van Gogh