Jools Oliver's blog: Half term at home
As well as pretending to fight the fires of Pontypandy with the kids, Jools Oliver brings us her latest blog with news of Valentine's Day smoothies, and an exciting 7th season of Little Bird by Jools at Mothercare
I know I say this all the time, but I‘m still surprised at how fast the last couple of months seem to have whizzed by and I was pretty relieved to finally reach half term last week - a much-needed break for everyone!
I absolutely adore winter, maybe it’s the cold and snow and all the fab festivities that the season brings or perhaps it’s the prospect of a cosy night in by the fire. The sun did shine (even if it was only for a few hours) during half term and it was bliss to see the children running wild in the garden minus their coats and in Buds’ case his socks and wellies! Pops indulged in her favorite pastime of making little fairy homes from sticks and the new spring flowers, whilst Daisy and Petal made the most of the trampoline whilst it was dry (and Buds fought fires in Pontpandy with Fireman Sam). The Oliver crew were happy just hanging out. I have begun to allow myself to get excited as we creep towards full-blown spring!
As you probably know by now I do like to celebrate ‘an occasion’! No matter how tenuous or small it may be, so of course with Pancake Day and Valentines recently I was in my element. As Jamie was away it was down to me to produce the best batter for my pancakes and be chief flipper, which I have to say I mastered and the kids loved getting involved. Each got a chance to flip and choose their toppings and breakfast went on for what felt like hours. It was such a hit that we have decided to nominate every Monday to pancake morning (although thankfully Jamie will be home for those)!
I love breakfast with all of them, as it seems to be the only meal (especially during the week) that they are all sitting together calm and relaxed, so I tend to make more of a fuss over this one than the others. Most tea times are juggled around various clubs, sports matches and homework all peppered with a bit of bickering from the older girls (must be the age)! So on valentine's morning I secretly decorated the kitchen with the usual valentines hearts and balloons and each child got a little card and chocolate from Jamie and I. They were so excited I even themed our usual smoothie to be a romantic strawberry red with little heart straws.
Amongst all these fab occasions, I managed to get myself over to Mothercare’s headquarters in Watford for our usual brainstorming meetings and this month we focused on the Autumn/Winter 2013 range. I absolutely love these get-togethers as we discuss new ideas or anything that has inspired us and even more exciting is getting to see the little clothes actually hanging up on the display wall. Most of them are still in the sample stage but to see something we have visualized for months actually come to life is fantastic. We are now on our 7th collection of Little Bird and each time I am surprised at how we keep coming up with what I hope are fresh and inspiring ideas. When we finished the Spring/Summer collection for this year and the team asked me to start thinking about Spring/Summer next year it just seemed ridiculous, but after going away, researching and getting inspired by just about everything the ideas just seem to flow.
I am having such a massive learning experience and I keep saying it’s just such an absolute privilege to be part of the Mothercare team and to really enjoy what I am doing with Little Bird. My fingers are crossed big time that you will like what we have in store for you these coming months!
March is officially my craft/costume/baking month and one which I love but secretly dread….the girls have their big Easter school play this year; it’s Midsummer Night’s Dream so Granny and I are currently re –constructing Petal’s princess fairy wings into woodland themed ones (shhh just don’t tell her)!
We also have Easter bonnets to make for the school parade, a war project to complete (Poppy) aka Poppy and ME! Not forgetting the birthday crowns, parties and cakes to plan, 1950’s costumes to rustle up for a school dance and I’m afraid the list goes on!
But for now apparently a fire has broken out in the playroom kitchen so Fireman Sam (Bud) fireman Penny (Petal) and Norman Price (that’s me) are about to tackle it, better run…
Much love Jools xx