I think I may have mentioned a few times before how much I love my photographs. I have boxes of printed photos from my past, some in boxes, some in albums, some in photobooks, some printed as canvas and some framed. I love them all, so many memories captured to be enjoyed over and over.

In 2016 I got married to my long term partner and father of my youngest three children. It was a very special day for us and I had most of my photos from the day put into a wedding album. I have a couple of favourites which I framed but they are just average size. What I really wanted was a big version of my favourite photo.

wedding photo of me, my husband and our three children

The problem was finding a frame to fit a bigger photo.

Hello Canvas

That’s where Hello Canvas came in.  I could get the photo of the size I wished already framed for me.

Using the Hello Canvas site is really easy. First you upload your photo, then you choose your photo frame size, whether you want landscape or portrait and if you want a passepartout (border around photo.) Then you have a choice of 3 colour effects and 6 filters to play around with. You also get a choice of photo frame colours from black, white, oak and whitewash oak. The end result can look exactly how you wish and it’s all so simple.

On each page of Hello Canvas there are detailed instructions on what you need to do to create your perfect print. It’s really foolproof, and so customisable.

I chose not to have editing of my photo but the option is there if you need it. All you have to do is explain what you want in the box provided while ordering your print. Here are some of the ideas taken from the website.

Black & white with colour highlight, add texts, backgrounds fade, improving colours, delete objects, repair and refurbish old photos. In short, nothing is too crazy!

You get to preview how your photo will look before you order it.  Once you are happy you put through your order and your framed photo will arrive just a few days later.

The Result.

My framed photo came well packaged in cardboard with supports but there was less over packaging which you tend to find these days. The box was recycled by my lovely daughter Boo, so there was little waste.

Once opened I found it was ready to hang so no messing around. The photo was framed by a thick card passepartout which is acid free so it will not discolour the photo, it also serves to enhance the photo. You can choose to not have this but I like the way it looks. I chose a whitewash oak frame, it was difficult to choose as they all looked good, but a lot of my frames are already whitewash oak so I figured it would fit in better. The photo is protected by an acrylic sheet that looks and feels just like glass but is much hardier. It was so clear and shiny I had difficulty taking a photo of my framed picture because of reflections.

my framed photo


If you don’t fancy a framed print, Hello Canvas can also provide you with a canvas, metal print, wood print and floating frame. You can also have a personalised phone case or a poster . Also available is a fabulous selection of World Maps. (I was so tempted to go for one of these, they look great and are so educational.)

a map of the world


The prices vary on which product and size you choose. For example, my framed photo measures 80 cm by 60 cm and would cost £69, but it’s one of the most expensive products. Prices start from less than £10 which is great value.

So what do you think? Do you have a favourite photo that you would like framed?


I received a framed photo from Hello Canvas in return for my honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

We have a lot of parcels arrive at our house, I guess I like ordering online and so do my older kids. The other day I had a gorgeous framed photo that I will be reviewing soon. It was 80 cm wide so it came in a huge flat box. As soon as I opened it I resisted the urge to put the box in the recycling because it just looked like it needed to be made into something else. So I stored it away until Saturday when I could bring it out and ask my children what they thought we should do with it. Boo snapped it up straight away and said that she had an idea.

Imagination At Work.

Boo put the box flat on the floor and fetched her pencils and pens. I thought she was going to create a big piece of art but no, instead she created a whole new world for her Littlest Pet Shop figures.

In this photo it’s still very much a work in progress. She fetched twigs from the garden and little pebbles to make trees and rocky areas, and she used a plastic dish to make a pool.  Star came and helped for  a while and between them they had at least an hour of fun. Boo, however, continued to play for at least another couple of hours. She put it away carefully, then on Sunday morning it all came out again. She has had so much fun with this piece of cardboard and her imagination.

I remember when I was a child I would play with anything to hand. Often my mum would have a glass jar full of loose change,  a ‘jar of coppers’ as she called it. I would tip out all the coins onto the floor and play with them for hours. First I would count everything and put them into neat piles. Then my imagination would kick in and each coin was given a personality or rank and they would be lined up or put into groups or families. A (rare) silver coin would become royalty and the smaller coins would become children. Those ‘coppers’ would become my toys in my imagination.

Does Technology Hinder Imagination?

I worry sometimes that today’s children have their imagination dampened by the use of video games and screens. I do try to limit screen time but it’s hard. In particular for The Little Man who seems the worst afflicted. He complains bitterly about being bored if he’s not playing one of his games or watching You Tube videos. The girls will watch You Tube and learn how to make stuff, whether it’s slime or accessories for their Littlest Pet Shop figures. The Little Man however, watches You Tube because it makes him laugh, and some of the stuff he watches his just plain stupid!

So, does the age of technology mean my children are losing their imaginations? The girls show obvious signs that their imaginations are still strong with their games, but they don’t like to include The Little Man, he doesn’t do as he’s told and ‘messes things up!”

He doesn’t lack imagination though. Today I watched him build his own game on Roblox and I was amazed at how good he was at designing it and figuring it all out. I don’t think I have those skills. He showed imagination too, it was all his own design. Yes, he gets inspired from his games and You Tube, but he still uses his own imagination.

Yesterday he got a ban from using the laptop. It’s always a fretful time when we do this because he’s going to need a lot of attention when he’s not glued to the screen. Even when he has  his breaks he does nothing but complain. He can say “I’m bored” fifty times a minute I’m sure. But a whole day ban made him think more and although his idea of playing is different from his sisters, he still knows how to occupy himself and it was lovely to watch his imagination in full swing as he worked out how to attach two of his sisters toy houses together and get them to move along like some kind of double caravan. (oh yes, an insight of a mind of a seven year old boy!)

He loves his art and craft too, but unlike the girls who will just get on with it, he needs direction and a project to complete. Give him the stuff and tell him what you want him to do and he’ll do it, it’s only then that his imagination sets in and he starts doing it his own way.

Someone said to me on Instagram,

“Children are the true creators of worlds they want to enjoy until us adults mess it for them!”

The Mind Mentor

How true, Children do live in their own worlds, full of imagination and the things they enjoy. Then Adults come along and want them to behave like them, taking away all that awe and inspiration to fit in and comply with society.


“We think we understand the rules when we become adults, but what we really experience is a narrowing of imagination. ” – David Lynch

If I had one wish, it would be for my children to keep their imaginations intact and continue to enjoy spaces of their own making, being creative and just enjoying themselves.

School Runs and Shopping Trolleys
Naptime Natter


my three children sitting on an extra large chair together


Hello, and welcome to my new look blog! I’ve a confession to make, I’ve stolen my Sunday photos this week from my Big Brother. He took them while we were out having a family meal together last week. He took some lovely photos of the kids outside the pub. So in this first one is Star, Boo and the Little Man sitting on a rather uncomfortable looking chair!

two children looking over the back of a very huge chair with trees in the background

This is The Little Man and his niece looking over the back of the chair. Now, let me explain something, the little girl in the photo is a year older than The Little Man. She is actually the daughter of my eldest brother’s son. So, my brother’s son is the Little Man’s cousin, and his daughter is his cousin first removed…or to put it correctly, his niece! Confused yet?  haha, our family does get confusing. I have two much older brothers which means their children are not really that much younger than me, in fact my eldest brother had a son born before my younger brother was born! Then there is me, I have been married before and have two older children who are both old enough to be parents to my younger three. I guess it’s a good job that my older children don’t have children themselves yet, it could get even more confusing.

Now if you are s still with me, one more photo to share of Boo and her niece.

two little girls looking over the back of a huge chair with trees in the background

Boo is a year older than her ‘niece’ and they get on like a house on fire!

The trees in the back ground belong to a local attraction the, Lickey Hills. They are not too far from our home and we have had many fun days exploring the hills and trees. In fact, I’ve lived around here most of my life and spent a lot of my childhood in those hills too.

We don’t have any plans this Sunday but I do hope that we get to go out with the family for lunch again sometime soon, it was such a lovely day. I even bumped into my niece (actual niece, not cousin first removed) that I haven’t seen for over 20 years.

I hope you have a lovely Sunday, see you next week.





Sunday Snap


Don’t you think it’s nice when you get something in the mail that’s not a bill? Maybe a card or a letter? You may think why, when you can keep in touch by Social Media or Text, or maybe call each other, but there is something special about a letter received in the post, even if you have to wait that little longer for your reply.

These days it seems that ‘snail mail’ (mail delivered in the post) is left for bills and circulars which is very sad. I spent my younger days enjoying my penpal relationships. I had friends all over the country and even further afield. I would write down my letter, pop it in the post and then wait for a couple of weeks for a reply. Some of my long distance friendships dwindled away quite quickly, others I wrote to for several years. I used to love receiving my letters and always made sure I was settled down cosy before opening and reading them.

Besides my penpals, I would also write letters to my friends. They mostly lived on the same street so I could pop my letters through the door without a stamp. It was still special though we could tell each other how much fun we’d had together and what we were looking forward to most when we got together again. Then later on I would write letters to my boyfriend on days he couldn’t get over to see me. These were days when mobiles and internet did not exist, and if I wanted to speak to him on the phone I’d have to walk to the corner and use the payphone. Of course, he would write to me too and yes, I had a stack of love letters.

If you feel you need a break from the digital age why don’t try something different and send a card or letter to a friend or loved one.

February 7th is Send a Card to a Friend Day, which is the perfect opportunity to grab your pen and write a lovely note to someone special in your life. Over on Hallmark they have a lovely range of friendship cards that would be perfect.

a selection of friendship cards from Hallmark

So, what would you write on your card? Well, sometimes it’s easier to write words down than to say them so why not write something straight from  your heart. Tell them how you feel, tell them you are so happy they are in your life. Talk to them about the things you love doing together, or even invite them for  a day or evening out. Give them a boost, let them know how great you think they are. I’m sure that whatever  you say they will be thrilled to receive your card.

Do you want to include something else, a little gift maybe? It could be something real simple like a bag of sweets with a charming note, like this.

a bag of sweets with a sticker saying, life is sweeter with friends

Or maybe a little momento that lets them know how you feel about your friendship, like this.

a ceramic heart with the text, people walk through our lives but only true friends leave footprints on our hearts
Or if you like to catch up with a brew, why not send a token tea bag with a lovely message.
a teabag in a little bag with the words, love is brewing the ultimate gossip tea for best friends catching up

Or even a small soft toy, like an Itty Bitty, there are loads to choose from and I’m sure you could find one that reflects your friendship.

the lady and the tramp itty bitty soft toys

Would you send a card or a letter to a friend? What would you say?

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by ‘Send a Card to A Friend Day and Hallmark Cards.



Hello, it’s me!

I’m here with a brand new look, I hope you like it.

I’ve not only changed my look, I’ve changed my server and my blog platform and I’m still getting used to it all so do forgive me if I mess up!

I designed the header myself, It’s not incredibly different from my last header. I’ve changed the font and although I still have seven butterflies they are all different. Each one represents a member of my family.

I love butterflies, not only are they beautiful but they are delicate and show us how short life can be so we have to live it to the full and be the best we can be.

My tagline, ‘what if I fly’ is inspired by the quote from Erin Hanson, “What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” I am determined to keep on trying and not be afraid from falling and that is partly what my new blog is about. I’m not going to be afraid anymore, I’m going to write what I want, I want to fly.

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson

I’ve not had a good week with a migraine at the beginning which lost me two days and then a lot of pain as my last treatment has worn off. But I guess it was a good time to hand over my blog to the lovely Laura from blogger2wp.com who managed my move from Blogger to WordPress for me. And here I am with my shiny New blog. If you are considering a blog move I’d highly recommend Laura, I had a huge blog to move and she did a great job.

The Reading Residence