Little Loves: September 2019

September seems to have been and gone in the blink of an eye.  The girls are all back at school and we’ve begrudgingly settled into our term-time routine of homework and after school clubs and counting down the days until the weekend.  Half of me definitely wasn’t ready for summer to be over and half of me is now actually quite looking forward to autumn and jumpers and boots and comforting food and snuggling on the sofa in front of the tv and blustery walks and golden leaves and October half term and all the traditions the season brings.

September is usually my favourite month of the year but 2019 has been a strange one so far and this month has been no different.  I’ve felt curiously flat about pretty much everything, I guess because we’re stuck in limbo waiting to find out when we can move house and having to be patient whilst all the legal side of things goes through.  There have, in fact, been lots of lovely things to enjoy this month so this Little Loves post is quite timely as it makes me focus on and celebrate them.

Here are all the little things I’ve been loving lately throughout September…


Sadly there has been very little reading for pleasure this month.  I’ve mostly been reading long and complicated emails and letters from solicitors, going through our mortgage offer with a fine tooth comb and  comparing quotes & contracts from removal companies!

City of Girls:  I did manage a few more chapters at the start of the month and I’m determined to stick it out to the end!  It’s gradually growing on me.  I’m very curious to find out what others think of it.  I’m wondering if maybe I’m struggling because it’s in hardback, as daft as that sounds?  I much prefer paperback books as it’s far easier to carry around with me and read at opportune moments like waiting in the car to pick the girls up from school.  Hmm.  Either way, hopefully in next month’s Little Loves I’ll be able to triumphantly share that I’ve finally finished it.

I am absolutely determined to finish this book!



Mimi start high school:  Watching Mimi start high school was like re-living last year all over again when Ella first started.  All the worries and nervousness about this next stage of their journey that I had tucked away inside me conflicted with the confidence of knowing that whatever happened they would be absolutely ok.  It’s such a strange thing, this sudden step towards greater independence and responsibility and I’m still not used to the fact that there are whole portions of their daily lives that I have no knowledge of, even though they’re both (usually) pretty good at giving me a post-school debrief of what they’ve been up to.

Thankfully Mimi has settled in well.  She’s still relying on other people to help her find where she needs to go for each lesson but she’ll gradually learn to find her way around with time and practice.  There have been quite a few stresses about the volume and complexity of homework she’s being set but otherwise she seems happy enough and appears to be coping ok, which is a huge relief.  It definitely helps that she has her core group of friends from primary school there with her, and she’s starting to make new friends too.

Ella and Mimi on the first day of the new school year

Television:  I really don’t watch much TV at all but September heralds the return of two of my favourite TV shows – Great British Bake Off and Strictly Come Dancing.  There is something so cosy about GBBO.  It’s easy to watch and it really is the perfect Autumn viewing.  And Strictly wins my heart every year.  I love it so much and cry most weeks at how beautiful some of the dances are, I think because it’s something I would really, really love to do myself.  I promise myself every year that I’ll find a dance class to go to so I can learn and I always let fear stop me from actually taking the plunge.  I need to find some courage somewhere inside me and just do it.  Learning to dance is on my ’40 Things Before I’m 40′ list so I need to make a start.

September skies:  There have been some absolutely stunning sunrises and sunsets this month – September’s mixed weather always provides the perfect conditions for spectacular beginnings and ends to the days.  Sunrise has always been my favourite time of day, there’s something so peaceful about watching the world wake up.  Here are a few of my favourites:

One of my most favourite sunrises I’ve ever seen – it looked like the sky had been painted!

A golden sunset

I loved the ombre effect of this sunset – purple fading all the way down through pink and orange to yellow. Just so beautiful

This sunrise was snapped out of the car window on the M6 as we headed down to Southampton for the weekend!


Baby news:  I had children much earlier than my best friend and where my eldest daughter is almost thirteen years old now, her daughter is still a young toddler.  We visited them a couple of weekends ago and she shared with us the happy news that she’s pregnant again and we’re all so excited!

She is the closest thing I have to a sister and we consider each other to be family so now I’m counting down the days until next spring when I’ll be getting a new baby niece or nephew to coo over.  My own baby days are done so it’s lovely to be able to buy all the cute baby outfits and talk about breastfeeding and cravings and reminisce over the miracle that is growing a new life.

This cute little redheaded toddler is going to be a big sister next Spring! I love this photo of Ella with her – I like to think she was giving her advice on how to be an awesome big sister just like she is 🙂


Apple and blackberry crumble:  The weather at the start of the month was pretty good on the whole and we had plenty of gorgeously warm, sunshiney days.  The second half of the month has been incessant rain and so I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen baking because that’s pretty much what Autumn is made for, right?  I find baking quite soothing and calming to do and it has definitely helped when I’ve been feeling a bit stressed or anxious about things.  This apple and blackberry crumble is my Mum’s recipe and it always disappears within a couple of days.

Blackberry and apple crumble

Caramelised apple cake:  I also decided to try out this recipe for caramelised apple cake which I’ve had tucked away inside my recipe folder for years.  It was ok – nothing spectacular.  If I was going to make it again I think I’d add in some cinnamon for just a hint more flavour.

Caramelised apple cake

Cape Cod vlog:  We’ve been home from this years ‘big trip’ to Boston and Cape Cod for four months now and I’ve finally ‘made’ our Cape Cod vlog.  With no international family trips currently in the diary to look forwards to, it’s been lovely instead editing it all together and looking back over the fun we had during our four days there.  It is such a beautiful place and I know we’ll make a return journey there one day as there was so much we didn’t get to see and do.  You can read about what adventures we had on Cape Cod here and here.



School uniform:  The start of September signalled the return to school for everyone, so we’ve mostly been wearing school uniform this month.  I’m used to seeing Ella in a blazer and tie now that she’s been at high school for a whole year but seeing Mimi in them too has taken some getting used to.  Thankfully Lola still has a couple of years left at primary school before I have to wrap my head around her wearing it too!

All ready for their first day back at school

New glasses:  We found out at the start of the month that Lola needs glasses, so that’s all three of the girls now.  Lola only needs them for distance (things like seeing the whiteboard at school, watching TV and going to the cinema) so she doesn’t need to wear them all the time, but she loves wearing them when she does need to put them on.  She looks so grown up in them and I still can’t get used to her wearing them.  Doesn’t she look gorgeous?!

Lola proudly wearing her new glasses


I’ve been doing my best to make sure we made the most of the sunny weather whilst we still had it before winter descends, so we’ve managed to get out and about at weekends to various places quite a lot over the last few weeks.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens:  We kicked off the month with one final sunshiney family adventure at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  None of us had ever been before and I was pleasantly surprised – they were lovely!  We happened to visit on a day when there was a ‘Line and Country Dancing’ event being held, so that was fun to watch (the girls swore they would disown me if I got up and joined in so I decided not to embarrass them but I LOVE that kind of music having grown up  listening to the likes of Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson with my Dad).  It was also the last day that the Butterfly House was open before it closes for the winter.  It didn’t quite compare to the place we visited in Stratford Upon Avon several years ago, but they were pretty nonetheless.

Line and Country Dancing event at Birmingham Botanical Gardens – I loved watching everyone join in!

Love this shot of my people (and a genuine smile from the husband too!) 🙂

There was lots of variety at Birmingham Botanical Gardens – you could easily spend a whole afternoon there

Cannock Chase:   I always try and do something special on the last day of freedom before school starts up again properly.  This year we decided to do one of our favourite walks on Cannock Chase.  There is always lots of beautiful heather during the summer months and we all enjoyed feeling the warm sun on our faces and letting off some steam in the fresh air.

One of our favourite locations on Cannock Chase.

I really love this shot though I can’t really put my finger on why. I think I just love the freedom of it.

Capturing the details like this will always be my favourite

Canalside Farm:   A weekend of sunshine is not to be sniffed at, so we headed to one of our favourite places, Canalside Farm, one Sunday to go for a little walk along the canal and have a mooch around the newly extended and refurbished Farm Shop.

A Sunday stroll down the canal in the sunshine

I love this photo of the girls. We always have to stop at this little lock to watch the canal boats go through – they are absolutely fascinated by the whole process!

Visiting friends in Southampton:  It was the husband and I’s 15 years together anniversary in August and we were supposed to be going to stay with friends in Southampton for the weekend. Unfortunately work issues arose for the husband and we were unable to go, so we postponed it to mid-September instead and I’m so glad we did – the weather was fantastic!

It’s always good to catch up with my best friend and the girls love playing with their two dogs and helping to look after their toddler daughter. We went for walks in the sunshine at local nature reserves, spent time at the playpark, chilled out in their hammock in the garden and, a first for all of us, they took us inflatable kayaking and crabbing too! We had an absolutely brilliant time and the girls are already asking when we can go and visit again.

Walking the dogs at the Lower Test Nature Reserve

Saying yes to a new adventure – trying out inflatable kayaking!

Relaxing in the hammock at golden hour

And now we’re already into October, the last warmth of summer has definitely departed and we’re all looking forward to half term.  We still have no idea when we’re likely to be moving so I might have exciting news for you next month or we might still be in our current house – who knows?!  I’m trying to embrace the uncertainty and use the opportunity to declutter and let go of some things that we don’t need any more.

Joining in with Sincerely, Anna and Little Loves.

More Posts


  • Reply October 7, 2019


    What lovely photos of your girls, and your adventures, Chloe. And – your baking looks fab. I have City of Girls on loan from the library just now and I’m hoping to read it on our holiday. Will have to compare notes with you in November! I’ve read some good reviews so far. xx

    • Reply November 2, 2019

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you Gail! I have to confess…I didn’t love City of Girls. I feel like a bit of a traitor saying that as I adore Elizabeth Gilbert, but this book just didn’t capture my imagination at all. Looking forward to finding out what you thought of it!

  • Reply October 7, 2019

    Jenny Taylor

    Wow look at that food and all those skies. … SO SO PRETTY…. Can’t believe we are into October now.

    • Reply November 2, 2019

      Chloe Ridgway

      The sunrises and sunsets have been absolutely beautiful so far this season.

  • Reply October 20, 2019


    What a lovely round up this month! Your sunset pictures are gorgeous! So pleased the girls have settled back into school, Gracie will be heading to senior school next year and I am already having a mild panic about it. Glasses have come along way since those metal NHS ones I used to have! They really suit Lola! Beautiful photos as always. Adore reading about your adventures. Thank you for linking up this month xx
    Anna-Marie recently posted…how to make a house your homeMy Profile

    • Reply November 2, 2019

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Anna-Marie. I’m sure Gracie will be ok – kids handle things so much better than we adults do sometimes don’t they?

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.