Simple Things – Bubble Wrap, Lentils and Plotting

I started recording our Simple Things last week, this week our Stuff Which Costs Nothing But Is Actually Priceless has included playing with packaging, looking closely at the everyday and doing a bit of plotting.

I think that most people know that to a toddler a big pile of wrapping paper is much more fun than the plastic toy it contained and that cardboard boxes provide children with hours of creative and imaginative fun; this week Bonus Boy spent quite some time exploring the (noisy) joys of bubble wrap. He rolled on it, walked on it, stomped on it and jumped on it!

free family fun, bubble wrap, bubble wrap games

Bubble Wrap Games, free family fun

Bubble Wrap Play

My oldest boy’s girlfriend gave him a bubble wrap suit for Christmas – how fab is that?! I tried to persuade him to pop it on and pose for blogging purposes but he was concerned that bubbles would be popped and that the suit would not then be pristine for its debut at a summer festival!

When I was a little girl and visited my Gran on the Isle-of-Man she didn’t have a box of toys for us to explore or things lined up for us to do but I remember spending hours weighing out lentils, rice and beans on her old balance scales. I remember letting the pulses and grains run through my fingers and burying my hands in the jars, I remember lifting up a handful and watching it rain back down – now Bonus Boy does the same!

On rainy Saturday he helped himself to a jar of split peas and one of puy lentils and shoved his hand down inside. We talked about how much they might weigh and whether a cup full of split peas would be heavier than one of lentils. He looked closely at the colours in a puy lentil; greens and browns and oranges, like fish scales. When I wandered off to do something Grown Up and Important in the kitchen I could hear him chattering away to himself and playing for some considerable time. When I cleared up later on I found this

lego and lentils

It seemed a good idea to have puy lentil Bolognese for tea so I removed all the Lego pieces and asked him to check all were present and correct before the boiling began.

‘Argh, no! Mum!’ came a cry from the dining room ‘Gandalf has lost his beard!’

Can you imagine? – Gandalf’s beard, boiled in a Bolognese?

As I poured a long stream of lentils into the pan, out popped an Orc weapon buried at the bottom – I think we were very lucky to escape!

One of my favourite things to do in January is to pour over seed catalogues, gardening magazines and last year’s photos. This week my personal simple thing has been to revist my memories of the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show last summer and to begin dreaming some garden dreams! I realised as I looked back that I haven’t written everything I wanted to write about the show so I’ve made some notes and there are a couple of gardening posts in the blog schedule very soon!

upcycled garden

family gardens

Sunday was kind, the sun came out, we donned our wellies and our gardening gloves and began to prepare our plot. We have primroses already showing their sunny faces and brave bulbs bursting through the earth – it lifts my heart.

What simple things have you been enjoying this week?


  1. A beautiful post-made me laugh too, the image of Gandolf beard bolognese is cracking me up! For us, last week was totally chilled with lots of sunny walks in the park, art gallery visits (post coming soon) and quality family time dancing around the living room to One Direction…we also made delicious spelt pancakes for a lazy Sunday breakfast and stumbled across our new home (fingers crossed)!

    • Ooh, new home? Exciting! Sounds like a set of perfect simple things to me – glad I made you laugh :-)

  2. I love these little things that make up our days and can seem so insignificant but provide the most joy. We discovered the joy of sticking bubble wrap to our floor recently, and even went as far as painting it and printing bubbles onto paper.

    • I LOVE printing with bubble wrap! We haven’t done that for ages, thanks for the reminder!

  3. Ok, That book is the cutest idea!! ive been trying to think of way to make the yard look cute and this would be a cute touch.

  4. Oh I really like this post – jumping up and down on bubble wrap especially. It’s so nice to just do simple things – this is really something we are focusing on this year! It’s so easy to rush past the simple stuff and miss it all together.

    • It is and also to think that the simple stuff is ‘Not doing anything much’ which is, really, the point of it and what makes it so valuable!

  5. Lego lentils made me chuckle and I love a bit of bubble wrap myself. Great photos Chris!

    • Thanks Becky – very happy to have raised a chuckle :-)

  6. I think it doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone loves bubble wrap. It keeps us entertained for ages. It really is the simple things in life that make us happy x

    • LOVE this! And you’re SO right – the simple things are always the best. We’re bubble-wrap jumpers in this house too! Always the most exciting part of any package. The kids love being in the garden with bird food, a spoon & filling all our bird feeders! And puddle jumping never ceases to hit the mark – whatever the age! Getting busy with the recycling and sticky tape is always another hit in this house – of course! 😉 x

      • Puddle jumping is just THE BEST :-)

    • I think you are right, it’s a good stress buster too :-)

  7. I’m still in awe of the bubble wrap suit!! That must be a truly amazing experience.

    What simple things have we been up to? Well I drew a tall Faraway Tree for the girls to decorate so that’s a work in progress at the moment plus I have started the first of two knitted scarves for the twins, they’re only 30 stitches across but I need to up my speed or it’ll be spring before they’re finished!

    I’ve also been thinking about our garden but I’m not as confident as you so will be watching out for future posts for sure, after a couple fo years ‘trying’ I now need to Go Boldy Ahead.

    • Oh I have SO many knitting and crochet projects on the go, I’m rubbish at finishing things but I’ve decided not to care, I love the process probably even more than the finished article! BB and I loved reading the Faraway Tree together, that is such a lovely idea for a craft project!

  8. A bubble wrap suit? How amazing! Your garden looks gorgeous already! Happy plotting! :) x

    • Thank you but it’s not my garden Emma! Those pics were taken at Hampton Court and are inspiring me now as I think about this year! 😀

  9. This is such a lovely idea for a post – the whole thing of gratitude, mindfulness and spending time on things. I would love to see a bubble wrap suit!

    • I’m looking forward to seeing it too! 😀


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