Project Life Tuesday: Jan 23rd - 29th

Another week, another link up for Project Life! I was going to post fortnightly, but have moved to weekly (except when things get kerazee!) so I'll be more likely to get it done!

The Mom Creative

Thank you as ever, Jessica, for bringing all us Project Life-rs together!

January 23rd: First things first, I skipped out Sunday 22nd - my pages and weeks were getting skerwift, so I skipped a day and went straight on to Monday. A.K.A. the day when one of my lovely students crafted me a 'Queen of Badgers' crown. Amazing.

January 24th: My lovely colleague Margot bought me these daffodils for my classroom. Aren't they blooming up beautifully? Love their flash of yellow! They really cheered me up as I saw how they were getting on as I packed up my classroom at 8 p.m.!

January 25th: Such a busy day! Lots of learning, lots of fun, lots of reciting this at my class as we worked on fast and slow clocks, haha!

January 26th: Tea, cake and Scrabble with Eileen, yay! Love our girldates and the crazy chats we have. This girl is quite the scrabble fiend, however - cross her at your peril ;). I'm okay with being the resident loser though, I know that means Monopoly can't be that far off!
January 27th: Another awesome badger present from a pupil - a badger necklace! I love it so much. My boys are far too good to me :)

January 28th: SUCH a fun day! The beautiful Naomi came to stay and we hung out and generally had a fabulous time. We went to see the Strictly Come Dancing tour (go Harry!), snacked, knitted, chatted, and met another friend from Durham, Henry, for a drink too. Super fun!

January 29th: A chilled day with lots of work and letters and blogging. I also popped down to the Manna Society for some volunteering. I think Matthew was highly amused that I did two hours worth of I *hate* to do dishes at home! Haha, it's different when it's for charity, non?

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Tagged for 11

It's been a wee while since I've been 'tagged' for anything, but on Friday the lovely Amy tagged me for a meme that seemed fun! I have to share 11 random facts about myself, and answer 11 questions set by Amy too. Then I get to tag 11 people and set some questions of my own. Just a little fun for a Sunday evening, ready to post on Monday!

Random facts:

1. As a child I was major league accident prone. Falling out of trees, falling off of bikes, grazes, cuts, bruises...I was quite the thrill seeker!

2. I read the Boden and Lakeland catalogues for fun. Thank heavens for understanding boyfriends!

3. When I reach a long, straight, empty bit of pavement and my iPod is playing some good strutting music (Gaga, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Madonna), I love to do a little catwalk shimmy. Tyra Banks and Ms J would be proud.

4. My least favourite chore is hoovering.

5. I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate. I can enjoy it, but it's really not my favourite thing. Cake, however, I love entirely too much.

6. I will read pretty much anything available. This does, on occasion, include toothpaste packages, pasta bags, or anything else that's to hand!

7. I can, at times, find E News! oddly hypnotic. I think it's the fact that at least 50% of the people they cover I've never heard of!

8. I have an unhealthy obsession with the seminal 1990s classic U Can't Touch This. Please, Hammer, don't hurt them!

9. I have the worst memory for languages. Naturally, this means I'm blessed with tonnes of fabulous friends and a boyfriend who excel when it comes to linguistics! Ha! Never mind, at least it teaches me a lesson in humility! I do try, but I am distinctly remedial in this area.

10. When excited, I often speak in an odd French accent. As you'd imagine, given point 9, this is odd. French? Non. French accent? Mais oui.

11. I was born with dark, chocolate brown eyes. It was only after a couple of weeks that they became blue.

And now for Amy's questions:

1. What food are you craving right now?
Chewie's red velvet cake, which I seem to be having something of a torrid nom-affair with! Thank heavens the shop has odd opening hours and I work a lot or I'd be in major trouble!

2. Biggest guilty pleasure?
Chick flicks. I already know 90% of what's going to happen, but it's the whole cuteness/kisses/weddings/friends combo that drags me in every time!

3. Go-to Saturday outfit?
If I'm just hanging out at home with Matthew, or volunteering, then jeans/joggers and a tee. If I'm out and about, a cute Boden dress, cardi and flats.

4. What's your Starbucks order? Or, if you're not a Starbucks junkie like me, your favorite pick me up beverage?
If it's morning and I need a kick start, Venti white Americano (as I don't drink caffiene the rest of the day, you can imagine the jolt this gives!). Evening if I happen to pop in, skinny tall caramel hot chocolate. Such a treat!

5. Best book you've ever read?
Haha, talk about impossible question! I often jokingly tell the boys I became a teacher so I'd have an excuse to keep reading more!

6. What's one thing you're really loving lately?
Zumba. It's madness, but really fun madness!

7. What were you like in high school?
Geeky, timid, self-deprecating, a little scared, fairly well-liked. I had an okay time.

8. What's one thing you don't mind splurging on?
Decent trainers and black opaque tights, and experiences (gigs/shows/holidays).

9. Where would your dream vacation be?

10. Favorite song?
As much as I do obsess over MC Hammer's seminal work, I don't really have just one favourite....more like a mix CD worth of favourites for each mood. Oooh, that's make a good blog series one day!

11. What's your favorite way to spend a Saturday?
With Matthew.

What fun questions! And now for my eleven tag-ees....hope some of you take up the challenge, I look forward to seeing what you write!

Siobhán at Siobhan Claude Van Damme
Christy at Permanent Title Currently Under Construction
Emily at Pretty Pretentious
Wiwille at One Bad Apple
Emily at The Pilot's Wife
Emily (man, I know a lot of awesome Emilys! Emilyii?) at Think Thoughts
Shan at Curled Up with a Good Book and a Cup of Tea
Riot Kitty at...Riot Kitty
Vixie at Matin Lapin
Relyn at Come Sit By My Fire
Ily at Arroz Con Mango

My eleven questions are...

1. Which is your favourite holiday or celebration?

2. What's your favourite song to rock out at a karaoke party? Or, if you're not a karaoke person, what's your favourite song to sing in the shower?

3. Do you wear pyjamas? If so, do you have a favourite pair?

4. Which of the cities you have visited is your favourite?

5. What do you think of the Kardashians?

6. Do you have any tattoos?

7. Who was your favourite teacher?

8. How much sleep do you need each night? Do you sleep well?

9. If you were a Star Wars character, which one would you be?

10. What is your favourite kind of candy?

11. The Simpsons was recently voted the greatest TV show of all time - what's your take on this?

Thanks for the fun meme Amy...if I haven't tagged anyone and you feel like giving it a go, feel free.

Have a fab Monday!

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Advice for life


I saw this quote on Pinterest over the weekend (yep, still totally addicted!) and I thought it was a great one to share with the boys in class tomorrow and through the week. Eight and nine year olds are wicked good fun, but guiding them in how to be good friends and good people (in the small way I do) is a challenging and interesting aspect of my job. I love watching how much a class can grow and change in our ten months together!

In addition to the Whitman quote, I came up with some ideas of my own, and I may just get my class to do the same... The best of my efforts was probably "be confident, not arrogant," and I'm excited to see what my class of badgers cook up!

Have a great week, my lovelies. Stay curious!

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This is a quote I love, which fits so neatly with a lot of what I believe, so on this peaceful pink-skyed Saturday morning as I sip coffee and come to I thought I'd share it with you.


Have a great weekend, all!

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Five Minute Friday: Tender

Five minutes to write. Just write. No (or maybe that should be less?) overthinking, just writing :)

Today's tender.


Tender is the night, lying by your side,
Tender is the touch, of someone that you love too much...

Blur, Tender

Whenever I hear the word 'tender', those words pop into my head. It's about openness, vunerability, kindness, much of what love, and what friendship, is. It's putting yourself out there and trusting that when you jump, somebody's going to be there to catch you.

Life is full of tender moments, and moments where we are called to be tender, to be kind, to give of ourselves.

Whether it's a frightened child, a worried lover or an ill friend, some situations are tender and require that we come at them from a different, more gentle place.

Other times the situations themselves are so tender, so precious, so special...first 'I love yous', newborn fingers around your finger, watching a child you've helped to learn and grow soar, blinking back tears (or often in my case bawling my eyes out ;)) as two people you love start a new life together as man and wife, sunrises which stretch forever over the blue-grey sweep of the firth, 'kindred spirit' moments with friends, fond remembrances.

Thank heaven for tender and all it teaches us.


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Things I Like Thursday, January 26th

With a linky below as ever, in case you feel like joining me in counting up the things that make it all better.

1. Matthew. As ever. :-)

2. Getting better at sleeping. Slowly but surely I'm moving my average up from 5.5 to 7 hours a night, and I feel so much better for it!

3. It's payday! Woo! We always get paid early before Christmas, so January always feels loooooong. Yay for pennies!

4. The fact that it's just over a fortnight till half term, and exactly a fortnight until the lovely Shona comes to visit.

5. The fact that the delicious Mme Muir (a.k.a. the artist formerly know as Mlle Wilson) is coming to stay at the weekend, and we're going to see the Strictly Come Dancing tour!

6. Balsam tissues. I have such a cold at the moment and soft tissues are helping a bunch!

7. Home based daydreams.

8. Lovely Henry is coming to London town and I'll be able to hear all his chat over a coffee.

9. Le Pain Quotidien's green tea. Mellow, refreshing, and oh-so-moreish....

10. Working my socks off and keeping on top of things.

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If I were in charge...

...things might be a little more chaotic, but undoubtedly more fun.

Play would become more important.

So would fresh air.

It'd be harder to be very rich...but harder to be very poor, too.

Everyone would be required to volunteer in some way - mentoring, helping practically, picking up an old lady's shopping.

We'd talk to our neighbours and build stronger communities.

There would be fewer TV channels, and more libraries.

We'd take more time to sleep and rest...and spend less time on facebook and reading celebrity magazines.

As well as dispensing medicine, we'd have places like pharmacies where you could pop in for a cuppa and some sound advice.

We'd send more letters. We'd compare ourselves to others a lot less. And shopping would change from national pasttime to something you do when you need or want stuff and you have money to spend - whether you find it fun or not is less important.

Just thinking out loud really...and realising that there's not much I can do in a 'bigger picture' way, but that I can, like Ghandhi said, try to "be the change you wish to see in the world."

So I'm going to try and work on the things I am in charge of.

Sleep more, gossip less (I've shrunk my gossip quota year on year on year, and this year I want it finally, totally gone. Understand that here I mean negative gossip, rather than anything of the "OMG, I love her dress / they are such a sweet couple / ooooh, have you heard the wonderful news? ilk. That stuff is golden). Work hard, and really try to enjoy all aspects of my job. I'm going to spend less time at home wasting time online...and when I do spend an evening lolloping the internet I'm actually going to enjoy it rather than feeling guilty! I'm going to read more and volunteer more and write more. Talk less and listen more. Shine and polish my little 'Claire bubble' as best I can so I become a person people smile when then think about. More smiling, less worrying.

Small changes together make big changes. At least, that's what I'm hoping!

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Project Life Tuesday: Jan 9th-22nd

The Mom Creative

So I'm sticking with Project Life, and am loving that it's reminding me to take photos! It's a really neat way to look back over the weeks and months. I'm linking up once again with the lovely Jessica's Project Life Tuesdays, as I hope to do every fortnight. Keeps me focused to catching up with the project every couple of weeks at least, and I love seeing how others are getting on. Enjoy!

January 9th: A skinny vanilla latte and the walk home. As we start to realise that we'll be leaving NW3 at some point over the next year (we hope!) for a home in East London, I'm taking the time to really enjoy and savour the little joys of NW3. Walking home from school is definitely one of them.

January 10th: My Christmas present from Matthew was this gorgeous planner from Erin Condren - personalised with badgers, of course! The front badger is for work (most serious) - the one on the back is frolicking and ready to play!

January 11th: finally made it to the pool. Hence the mad hair!

January 12th: a fun day! Work was busy (seriously, is it ever *not* busy?), then I popped into dance class before meeting Eileen for sushi - my first proper sushi, actually! Fear I may now be addicted...

(Friday) 13th January: Eek! A busy day at school, where amongst other things I taught the boys about friggatriskadekaphobia. Never let it be said we don't strive for a rounded education. Was shattered by the end of the day so I headed home and finished a book in a night. This book was terrifying!
14th January: Matthew and I headed up to Forres for the 30th birthday of my dear friend Erin, who was having a party with another girl from school. We spent most of the night (when not cutting a rug on the dancefloor to 90s cheese!) chatting with Sam and Julie in the naughty corner. Fun night!

15th January: Ah, the wait at Luton for your taxi. Matthew and I are now seasoned pros at this!

January 16th: After work Eileen and I headed to a book reading (with *quite* an interesting crowd...) to promote a new book called 'Tired of London, Tired of Life'. After that we headed to Trojka for soup, latkes and awesome pancakes.

January 17th: In 'Mystery Club' the boys and I made collages about words we wanted to focus on in 2012. Mine is 'reading' and this is the work in progress...

January 18th: One of my favourite things to do as a teacher is to call, write or email when a boy is doing really well. This was the perfect day to break out the 'A Note From Miss Thornley' postcards.

January 19th: One of my focuses for this half term with the boys is appreciating and celebrating differences. Skittles and blue cakes are but two of the props I used for this.

January 20th: Actually a pretty stressful day with a to-do list as long as my arm....but everything seems a lot simpler and happier when you're cuddling a cute bunny brought in for show and tell!

January 21st: Had lots of fun on my first DIAD (Done In A Day) with the Junior League, painting a hallway and some doors for the sweetest lady. No photo on the blog, but it was super fun. And later in the day Eileen and I went for cake and I had the best red velvet. Seriously, just typing the sentence is making me crave it!

January 22nd: On birthdays and suchlike, the boys often bring in cakes. One boy brought these darling personalised cakes in - could they be more precious? I saved mine till Sunday so Matthew and I could enjoy it with a cup of tea, and I may steal this idea for a future birthday of mine!

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Oh, George

Picture found here.

"Do you have a celebrity crush?" asked Ily.

Why yes, I commented. For me, it's all about Clooney...and what better way to kick of a week than with a picture of the man himself? Talented, intelligent, charming...lovely.* The red velvet cake of movie stars, if you will.

So, friends, who is your celebrity crush?

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* in fact, he's almost as wonderful as Matthew. :)

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Pinterest: Dream Home/38

The 'Dream Home' and '38' boards on my Pinterest are potentially the busiest of all. The combination of insanely beautiful homes to drool over and actual practical tips I can, you know, use in my home is quite the heady mix! Here's a few faves...and by a few, I mean at least a dozen ;), or more:


Love this cute and colourful kitchen layout. I've warned Matthew that if and when we buy a home there will be a lot of shelf-putting-up and furniture building in his future. :)


Framing a chalkboard would never have occurred to me, but when I saw this on Kelly's blog it made perfect sense!


Scrabble pillows! #wantwantwant


Any cushion that Matthew gets very excited about *has* to be an entry on the 'to buy one day' list!


Love this clock!


Such a clever project - I'd love to do this with a map of the world.


Think I'm going to do this with a couple of our end tables.


I love rotary phones!


Definitely need to get this for Matthew!


Drooling over this kitchen is a bit like drooling over an Aston Martin or George Clooney. Entirely rooted in fantasy, but delicious nonetheless!


Love this build in - beautiful finish and great colours. What a fab spot to curl up and read in!

From: michaelanoelledesigns.blogs

I love our current bedroom colourscheme (blues/browns/creams) but this grey and white combo looks so fresh and inviting!


If and when Matthew and I feel brave enough to visit Ikea, we are so grabbing some square 'expedit' shelving to do something very like this!

From: Uploaded by user

Dude. If I ever win the lottery...


Love this idea! A double homework station. I would have gone nuts over this as a kid.


I have loads of these drawers for crafting, school stuff, etc. - isn't this a groovy way to update them and make them look cooler?


What it's all about, ultimately!

So that's what I've been daydreaming

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