Two months of the year have gone by already! I am starting to really enjoy the monthly process of digging out the clips of film I have shot and putting together my One Second Every Day video.

This month there was a small disaster, as somehow I managed to delete the video footage I shot of Theo at the beginning of the month dancing around the garden enjoying the few flakes of snow we had. I was sad and cross all at once, but I was also quick to remind myself that I wouldn’t have shot it at all if it hadn’t been for this project.

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As I sat down to edit the clips today, I was struck by the small and insignificant moments in our lives that I have caught a tiny grab of before they passed and were gone forever. Things like our morning walks, cooking meals, traveling to places and a little boy’s grazed hand. There is something about these moving images that takes you right back into the moment in a way that photos do not.

Have you started recording your 2015 yet?

It doesn’t have to be brilliant or extraordinary to matter. Just whip out your mobile phone wherever you are and shoot a few seconds before the moment is gone.

You’ll love it when you can sit back and watch all six minutes a the end of the year. Here’s my video for February to whet your tastes buds…


Other things you might like…

A post about where I got the idea from and my first One Second Every Day video

My YouTube playlist of my One Second Every Day videos

  • March 4, 2015 - 8:03 am

    Bex Jenkins - This is so lovely, Clare! Are you having to make a real effort to video everyday? My phone is always so full that I never have room for video. But there is something so lovely about the moving image. I’m trying to take more but not sure I can manage a second a day yet! XReplyCancel

    • March 4, 2015 - 8:19 am

      claremansell@mac.com - Don’t start me on the storage thing! Mine is the 5c so only has 8GB. I think that’s how I accidentally deleted the snow footage. Regular clear outs/back-ups are definitely a necessity! In answer to the effort thing, I walk the dogs every morning, so I always do something then and try and do more if something more exciting happens during the day…ReplyCancel

I’m a bit late with my Monday post today, but with good reason… This weekend we were mostly childless (and dogless) as we escaped to the centre of London for a good friend’s 30th birthday party. Although I spent years working in the West End, these days I only go to London a couple of times a year.

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My big city survival skills still kick in again pretty quickly (standing on the right on escalators and weaving through pavements packed full of tourists) but it’s always busier than I remembered (or maybe it is just getting busier full stop?) and after 24 hours I’m usually glad to be back on the train heading home past all the tightly packed housing in suburbia and dreaming of a bit of space and peace in the countryside.

While we were away, Theo spent a night with his cousins, which he always loves, but it meant less time for the three of us together and less time to leisurely take photos on our weekend walks. So instead we sneaked out this afternoon to look at spring flowers and get a photo for Living Arrows.

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The snowdrops are a sign that spring is on the way and soon we’ll be casting off our winter layers. As much as I love Theo’s little quilted jacket, I feel I have seen a bit too much of it in photographs over the last few months and I would welcome a little variety in the clothes I photograph him as well as the return of some colour to the landscape! It won’t be long now…

Living Arrows
  • March 2, 2015 - 7:12 pm

    Benedicte - OH SO BRITISH! Love these photos xxReplyCancel

  • March 2, 2015 - 7:47 pm

    Karen - Hope you had a lovely weekend! Know what you mean about photos in the same jackets are getting boring, I can’t wait to see more colour & shed the lawyers. Loving the snowdrops xReplyCancel

  • March 4, 2015 - 8:30 am

    Alexandra @dontcallmestepmummy - Beautiful photos. I love this. Gorgeous snowdrops. #livingarrowsReplyCancel

In the next few weeks some beehives will be being installed on community land in our village. It’s a project which everyone is feeling excited about. They’ll be more bees in the local area pollinating the plants and the chance for people to buy locally sourced honey. At a time when the decline of bees is grabbing headlines, it feels like we are doing a small bit to help.

When we first moved here I toyed with the idea of having a hive in our own garden, but I was put off by the investment and work involved and (lets be honest) the potential of being stung too! However I have discovered that there is a small way we can play a part by providing a home for solitary bees.

Bee House

What are solitary bees? When I first heard about them I thought they might be sad dejected insects which had been cast out by their colony, but no, they are a different species to honey bees and there are nearly 200 varieties of them. They still pollinate plants, but they don’t sting and because they live on their own and don’t produce honey, they don’t need to be managed.

In the wild solitary bees make nests in old trees, but like birds you can encourage them into your garden by providing them with a ready made home. Our lovely yellow Bee House was given to us by Flamingo Gifts and they have given me another to giveaway to one lucky reader (see below)

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The first solitary bees will appear in the garden as early as next month which means this is the perfect time of the year to create a home for them. Bees like warmth and shelter, so it is recommended you hang the Bee House in a south-facing spot on a wall. Our southerly aspect faces the sea and gets a bit of a hammering in bad weather, so we decided to tuck our bee house under our veranda on the east side of the house.

Learning about bees has been a lovely project for Theo and a great way of learning about the environment. If you have older kids you could also give them a compass and ask them to find a good spot in the garden that faces south

Bee House

If you’d like to have a Bee House of your own you can enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize is one Bee House, it will be delivered within 28 days of competition close. Open to UK addresses only. No cash alternative. If the winner does not respond to their winning email to claim the prize within 7 days, a new winner may be drawn.

  • February 25, 2015 - 3:43 pm

    Dawn & Bean - Great giveaway Clare! We have a bee box for masonary bees and our August ‘Green Bean Challenege’ will be all about bees, so we’d love to win this!ReplyCancel

  • February 25, 2015 - 3:44 pm

    Dawn & Bean - PS, we’ve also sponsored a hive this year and will be getting updates throughout the year!ReplyCancel

  • February 25, 2015 - 8:03 pm

    Morna piper - What a lovely giveaway. We only managed to attract a wasp nest last year. I would much prefer a bee!ReplyCancel

  • February 25, 2015 - 9:44 pm

    The little woman pretends - Oh, this is just adorable! great facts about bee’s.. I assumed all bee’s made honey & that all bee’s stung. Its great to know I no longer have to run, screaming like a maniac every time one flies near! How many bee’s would this attract though? just a few or like a swarm?ReplyCancel

  • February 25, 2015 - 11:15 pm

    Lilinha Espindula - Such a lovely idea to give home to bees. My dad has beehives in our garden in Brazil xReplyCancel

  • February 27, 2015 - 6:25 am

    Patchwork Polly - I’m a bee lovin’ hippy (I’d be a bee huggin’ hippy, but I don’t think they’d appreciate it) and am obsessed with making sure everyone knows that our fuzzy buzzy friends are in peril. Here’s hoping your project makes many bees happy :).ReplyCancel

Hello everyone, I hope you had a great weekend. Our weekend has mostly been about digging… and what little boy (or big one!) doesn’t like having a mini-digger on hire for a couple of days?

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We hired the digger to do the final push on a project we started nearly two years ago. Along our boundary we have an area that originally contained a very overgrown hedge and a flowerbed. The first time we viewed the house, I decide we needed to rip it out and turn it back to grass. It took us 4 years to even get near it (as we weren’t living in the house) and another 18 months from the start of the work till now. The ground was riddled with tree stumps, bricks, rubbish, patio slabs, gravel and very heavy clay soil.

Part of the delay was because we didn’t want to do anything to the garden whilst we had building work going on last year, another part because we simply can’t afford to tackle all the jobs we have at once (a contractor quoted £1200 for this job!) and finally because we weren’t sure we could actually get a digger on site without removing fencing. Then after some googling we discovered doorway diggers, which yes, you guessed it can fit through a doorway, or in our case a front gate… and so we hatched a plan!

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After two days of digging and then leveling, the ground is finally clear of rubbish and we can think about sowing grass seed on it ready for the summer. The area is pretty big, about 20 metres by 5 metres and it’s also going to be really useful addition to the garden. Jim’s done a great job getting it this far (at a fraction of the cost of having someone in!) and I’m really looking forward to seeing it as a finished grass surface.

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Tomorrow the digger is being collected and all the junk and tree roots are going to the dump. After that I’ll be researching grass seed, honestly I had no idea there were so many types for so many different sorts of lawns. You can even get custom mixes!

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I think these two have quite enjoyed having a digger to play with for the last couple of days…

Would you like to read more about our home?

Linking up with….

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Living Arrows

 

 

  • February 23, 2015 - 8:45 am

    You Baby Me Mummy - Such wonderful pictures. Your house looks incredible xReplyCancel

  • February 23, 2015 - 9:46 am

    the house that never rests - What a beautiful house and such an amazing view. We like to do our own improvements where we can too as it keeps the expense down. Beautiful pictures. :)ReplyCancel

  • February 23, 2015 - 9:54 am

    life as our little family - What a transformation on the house. So much bigger. I look forward to seeing what you are doing with the garden. We need some inspiration. I love a good house/garden renovation #livingarrowsReplyCancel

  • February 23, 2015 - 11:36 am

    Carie - Oh wow what a transformation – it’s going to be a lovely spot with grass over it in the summer, especially with what looks to be a rather gorgeous view!ReplyCancel

  • February 23, 2015 - 12:18 pm

    Karen - Wow looks like a huge transformation already but can’t wait to see when it’s finnished. Looks like lots of fun as well as hard work xReplyCancel

  • February 23, 2015 - 1:35 pm

    Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk) - I think your 2 boys will miss the digger! Love the last photo =) #livingarrowsReplyCancel

  • February 24, 2015 - 8:27 pm

    Vickie - Wow what an amazing transformation on your house! I’m looking forward to seeing the finished result with the garden too.

    I wish I could offer some advice on the grass seed. We’ve been through several different types in trying to reseed our rock hard lawn area but nothing seems to take.ReplyCancel

  • February 24, 2015 - 10:09 pm

    Emma T - Wow, your house is beautiful. Love the blue.

    And yes, a digger is an amazing toy for any boy. When we had cement being laid on the farm, the digger came to wreck the existing concrete and remove it, level it out. N and his cousins pulled up chairs in the barn to watch!ReplyCancel

    • February 25, 2015 - 8:33 am

      claremansell@mac.com - Thank you Emma, the house is an amazing sort of colour that changes with the light and can vary from blue to grey depending on the day!ReplyCancel

  • February 25, 2015 - 9:01 am

    Mary @ Over 40 and s Mum to One - Monkey could tell you all about doorway diggers – we have seen them in a library book. Bet your son loved having one in his garden. Looks like it’s coming on well now. I envy you the space, will be fab.ReplyCancel

  • February 28, 2015 - 5:45 am

    Alexandra @dontcallmestepmummy - Wow!!! That looks like so much fun :) You must feel so pleased that you’ve finally been able to get it done. These photos are amazing memories too for when Monkey grows up and sees he helped redesign the garden ;)ReplyCancel

  • March 1, 2015 - 2:45 pm

    Hayley from Shutterflies - We hired a rotavator last year and my husband was literally beside himself with excitement. They never grow up do they?

    I love the bokeh in that first photo. Lovely! xReplyCancel

I love sleep and by that I mean really love sleep.

I am lucky in that most of the time I don’t have too much trouble nodding off, but I think a lot of that has to do with the changes I have made over the years that have turned our bedroom into a sleep sanctuary.

Here are a few of the things that work for me…

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Buy the biggest bed you can fit in your bedroom

I have no idea at all how two people manage to sleep in a 4’6″ bed without constantly elbowing each other. Superking’s have only been widely available for about the last 15 years, but at twice the size of a single bed they make complete sense for two people and even more sense if you occasionally have children in your bed. The only down side to buing one is that once you have experienced their expansive luxury you will feel a little cheated when you have to sleep in anything smaller. Hotels and B&Bs are catching up slowly with the demand for 6 foot beds, but I find we still have to shop around a bit when booking acommodation (unless we are staying in America or Canada!)

Treat yourself to a mattress topper

I presume everyone must have one of these by now, surely?! If you haven’t got one but you have a spare duvet kicking around you can do a good cheats topper by laying that across the mattress under the sheet. Our spare bed currently has a really cheap mattress on it, but we put a spare duvet on it and it completely transformed it. No longer was it springy and hollow, instead you sink into the down topper and don’t feel what’s beneath it

Cast aside your prejudices about heated blankets

When we were posted to Cyprus, my parents bought us a heated blanket and we thought they were mad! Then winter came and suddenly “turning on the bed” became a nightly ritual like lighting the fire. It’s like getting into a pre-warmed bed and if you live in an old or drafty house I can’t recommend it highly enough. We generally turned ours off as soon as we got into bed so there were no fears about over-heating during the night, but it is a lovely luxury

Get an alarm clock with a display that turns off

I’m a great believer in having a dark room to sleep in and if you still have a bedside alarm clock (or does everyone use their phone?) it’s great to have one that allows you to turn the display off at night so you don’t have a big glowing light shining in your face. You have to hunt quite hard for one with that facility, but this one does have that option. Some people like to know the time if they wake in the night (in which case you can switch the display on briefly) but personally I’d rather not know the time, so I don’t count down the hours I have left.

Read a book (and I don’t mean a Kindle)

I have nothing against Kindles or eBooks in general, but late night reading on them has two disadvantages. Firstly it (mostly) means staring at a backlit screen which has been linked to insomnia and secondly it’s easy to get distracted from the book and start browsing the web or social media. When we slept in the cabin during the build one of the biggest frustrations about sharing a room with Theo was not being able to have a light on to read before I went to sleep. I find that even if it’s 10 minutes the time spent reading helps me unwind and switch my brain off.

Written for Carpetright

  • February 20, 2015 - 9:33 am

    Myrabev - I finally found a blame for my insomnia, I read my books on kindle even my ipad apps before bed and now i know why my insomnia is getting worse. These are great tips and love the duvet tipReplyCancel

  • February 20, 2015 - 7:02 pm

    Lilinha Espindula - I need to be warm and cosy to get a good night’s sleep. I can’t sleep if I’m cold, so you will always find me wearing socks to bed! xReplyCancel