A Little Bit Lately #32

June 27, 2017

Please read my first A Little Bit Lately post to find out what these are all about, although I’m sure you get the idea. These have been inspired by Sometimes Sweet’s Currently posts so check her out if you like it!


My reading has slowed down again over the last month or so, I’m gearing up now for summer reading and I have oh so many books in my reading pile. I’ll do a post sharing them in the next few weeks as I’m very excited about pretty much all of them. I have just finished Witch For A Week which is a children’s chapter book I was sent to review (you can read more about it here), I’m hoping to start reading it with Lucas this week. I’m also re-reading The Handmaids Tale which I find so much more relevant now than I did when I last read it. I finally read Into The Wild last month which has been on my reading list for a while and I thought it was fantastic. I had no idea what it was about, or that it is a true story and even though it’s so tragic it’s kind of uplifting too.


I picked up The Handmaids Tale again mostly because of the TV series. When the show started I immediately wanted to read the book again. The TV series has been amazing and I think Elizabeth Moss is just fantastic, she is everything I imagined Ofred to be and plays it perfectly. We also watched Arrival last week which wasn’t at  all what I expected, I thought it was going to be much more hard Sci-Fi. I was captivated by Amy Adams, she’s always great to watch and she brought so much heart to this story, I was an emotional wreck by the end. 


I’ve found myself getting into Podcasts recently; I read a great post by Morgana about a few of her favourites and then I saw Wellies on The School Run recommend Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert which I now listen to whenever I can. It’s all about unlocking creativity and doing what you love without the fear, or maybe just embracing the fear and doing it anyway. They are so interesting to listen to and this one with Neil Gaiman is one of my favourites so far. I love getting that insight from a ‘real writer’ and discovering that they have just the same insecurities that we all have. They also talk about how long it takes to write a novel and Liz says she remembers hearing Stephen Fry saying how that first novel, although it may have only taken a year or so to physically write, he had actually been planning it and living it for decades before that. I loved this, although I’ve haven’t sat down and wrote any fiction since I was a child it is always something that is floating around my mind. I hope one day I may actually put pen to paper.


Me and my husband have been talking a lot about our eating habits and we recently decided to try and cut out more meat and dairy. We have a few vegan friends and while I’m not sure we are ready to do it one hundred percent, we do want to eat more of a vegan diet. We’ve been drinking plant based milks for a couple of years now and my husband doesn’t really like to eat meat so it isn’t a massive adjustment. My friend Vicki at Let’s Talk Beauty has been vegan for a few years now and she recommended ‘Keep It Vegan‘ by Aine Carlin as one of her go-to recipe books. I ordered it immediately and I have honestly used it nearly everyday since. If you are looking into going Vegan, thinking about cutting down or even if you love veggie food then buy this book! We have loved everything out of it so far, especially the Mushroom burgers and Macaro-No Cheese. This week I made the brownies and blueberry muffins and they’ve gone down a treat! It’s been about three weeks now and it’s gone really well, I’m enjoying cooking again and I’m loving what I’m eating. This weekend I spotted an article in the Guardian about how more people are embracing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle without the pressure of sticking to it religiously; they’ve been dubbed ‘reducetarians’. This is pretty much what we’re doing for now, trying to make better choices whenever we can – it works for us.


It is about five weeks now until our big summer holiday to France. As excited as I am about going and seeing my Mum again I am a little nervous about the travelling and planning. It is pretty much all I think about! We are driving down to the ferry, staying overnight in France and then we have another big drive down to stay with my Mum. Although to kids are pretty good in the car we have never been as far before so any tips for road trips with kids would be much appreciated. We’ll just have to take it all in our stride so I’m trying my best to stay calm. I know we’ll be able to relax once we’re there! 

Some bits of life lately over on my Instagram 

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  • Katherine

    Hi Hayley,
    As kids my parents and my brother and I used to travel in the car a lot – we went on a lot of uk based holidays all over. My mum used to make us a ‘holiday pack’ we had colourful ‘car seat organisers’ (google it) and she used to put car friendly games, ispy books, colouring books, a new set of colouring pencils etc in there and we always had a brand new audio book to listen to. Our favorites were harry potter but also ‘his dark materials’ etc. I’d really recommend it for your trip. It really started the holiday off early for my brother and I.

    June 27, 2017 at 12:46 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      That sounds amazing, how could I forget audio books?! We already have a few Roald Dahl ones so I’ll have to dig them out. Love the idea of the holiday pack and things in the car seat organisers, I’ll stock up on a few bits and have them ready to got, thanks Kat!

      June 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm Reply
  • Vicki

    YAY so pleased you’ve been enjoying more plant based meals and that Aine Carlin’s ‘Keep It Vegan‘ book has been so useful. I find her recipes varied and super tasty. John wants to watch The Handmaids Tale but you know how I feel about Sci-Fi so we will see.

    June 27, 2017 at 12:52 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      It’s not really sci-fi, I think you’d like it. Very interesting in the current climate and so well done. Oh, that recipe book is just amazing! I find it so easy to follow and everything I’ve tried so far I’ve loved, thanks so much for recommending it and for all your vegan tips 🙂

      June 27, 2017 at 1:02 pm Reply
  • Gail

    Love that you are enjoying the Magic Lessons podcast, Hayley, and thanks so much for mentioning me on here:) I haven’t seen (or read) The Handmaid’s Tale but I’ve heard lots of good things about the tv adaption. And definitely with the comment above on audiobooks for the kids on long journeys:) Your trip to France sounds amazing, I bet you can’t wait! xx

    June 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      I’m going to dig out our audiobooks and see what we have – love a good audiobook. I just love listening to the podcasts, I wouldn’t have found them if it wasn’t for you so thank you. And The Handmaid’s Tale is well worth and watch and a read 🙂 xx

      June 30, 2017 at 11:37 am Reply
  • Mini Travellers

    How interesting about the vegan diet, I’m not sure we could but I love the way you are bringing it in. I hope you have the most amazing time in France, the kids will be fab and I am off to listen to some of your recommended podcasts. I am also loving handmaids tale!

    June 27, 2017 at 4:02 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      It’s not a massive adjustment as we didn’t eat much meat anyway – obviously won’t be keeping it going in France with all the cheese 😉

      June 30, 2017 at 11:50 am Reply
  • Cat

    A pleasure, as always! I don’t think I can any more books to my ‘to read’ pile as I’m already over the quota! Might try the veggie idea though. Any vegetarian books you’d recommend?

    June 27, 2017 at 7:12 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Oh I have way too many books to read, I just can’t keep up!! The Keep It Vegan book is really good – I do think you could use most of the recipes anyway even if you’re not Vegan, all the ingredients are things we have in anyway!

      June 30, 2017 at 11:52 am Reply
  • Notmyyearoff

    Everyone that’s reread Handmaids tale has said the same thing about it, that it feels so relevant now and that’s a bit scary isn’t it? I’m loving the series and so glad they’re making a second series. France sounds so exciting. I always get nervous before a big trip with both the boys but we somehow do it. And that reading pile sounds so good!!

    June 28, 2017 at 5:20 am Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      I think it’s because this is the first proper holiday we’ve been on in years, just have to remember how to do it all…and this time with kids!! Yours always seem to travel so well, I’m hoping ours will take it in their stride 😉

      June 30, 2017 at 11:53 am Reply
  • Lyndsay

    We have just done a road trip to the South if France with our 5 year old. I put together some activities for her, such as making car bingo sheets as well as finding some online travel bingo games, I laminated them and stuck a magnet on the back for her to use with the cookie tray she had. The cookie tray was fantastic for all sorts of activities; she had magnetic numbers and letters she could play with, and she had magnetic small storage tins that she would put on there with stickers in to ensure that she didn’t lose them whilst making a picture. We put a seat back organiser on the back of the front passenger seat for her to keep things like her sunglasses, handheld fan and DVDs in. We also had a plastic caddy for the seat next to her (she’s an only child) where she had her cookie tray, magnetic letters & numbers, notebook, paper, pencil case and book to read. She had a DVD player (we don’t use it all the time, however sometimes it is needed with her incessant question asking. She also had her iPod loaded with plenty of music and audio books. We had audio books in the front too to put on and listen together as a family. She had a cuddly toy and blanket, not that she slept once in the car! We put her Trunki on the floor on her side of the car with a cushion on top so that her legs were raised a bit so that she wasn’t putting too much pressure on her thighs, as they can become painful. I had extra activities hidden away that I would give to her periodically to give her something new to do, as we were in the car for hours at a time. We made sure she had her favourite water bottle to drink from, and took healthy snacks. We tried to stop every 2 1/2 – 3 hours for a loo break, stretch of legs, play on the play areas (in France) and to change driver. One of those stops would also be to eat, more often than not a picnic as we travelled from campsite to campsite. Wishing you all the best for your drive, and have a great holiday.

    June 28, 2017 at 9:26 am Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Oh wow, that is so helpful thank you so much! I love the idea of the magnets and travel bingo game. Someone has leant us DVD players but I know they won’t just watch them the whole way so will be great to have some other things to do. We have a car organiser so I think I’ll buy another and work on filling them. Good tip about keeping their feet up too, so many great tips and good to know someone who has done it! We have about a six hour drive once we’re in France, still not as bad as the South but more than we’ve even done before.

      June 28, 2017 at 9:33 am Reply
  • Susan Mann

    That is great that you are enjoying the Magic Lessons podcast. Must check that out. I have watched a couple of episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale it’s really good. Audio books is great. Must look to get those on for the kids while we go away. I hope you have a wonderful trip, sounds amazing xx

    June 29, 2017 at 5:11 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Thank you, I know we’ll have a fun time it’s just the travelling I’m nervous about! I’m telling everyone about the Magic Lessons podcasts, I really do think they are great for inspiration. xx

      June 30, 2017 at 11:55 am Reply

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