Posts from the “home” Category

Pancakes disaster

Posted on 17 February, 2015

I feel this blog is getting into a trend of calamities well today is another one!

I had a vision of how cooking pancakes with Ewan would be, let us say that reality did not live up to the vision! He missed out last year on eating pancakes and I thought this year we’ll have the works. Nutella, blueberries, sugar,lemon, bananas it was going to be smörgåsbord of tasty delights with perfect pancakes bringing it all together.

In reality this is what happened….

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Take this as a visual representation of how the afternoon went. I have no idea why it went so wrong I used the same recipe as last year, and the year before that, and I have the same child as yesterday ( oh, what a delightful day yesterday was!) but alas something went terribly wrong. Initially, I blamed the frying pan but after making a mess of three frying pans and one skillet that argument seems thin. Then I blamed Ewan for his incessant repeating of “hunnnggrrrryyyyyyyy” with a tone that could win him an Oscar for a chilling personification of starvation but once I used Fireman Sam as a babysitter and I was no longer subject to his demands that excuse failed too. Basically, I have no idea how it all went so pear-shaped, the afternoon just land slided all the way to me throwing a very private and very insane adult sized tantrum in the kitchen which actually involved me jumping up and down miming ” aaahhhhhhhhh”. After I pieced together a random selection of things for Ewan to eat instead of pancakes I decided that we both needed out of the house.

In desperation I suggested going to the park. Of course I forgot that it’s across town, in traffic. Nevertheless, on we ploughed into the traffic with Ewan alternating between saying “snacks” and “paaaarrrrkkk” all the way. We got out of the car, both of us rather cheery only to be greeted by a man approaching us with speed. “Where are you going?” He hollered at us. (I fear he is yet to gauge how close you have to be to someone before you can start talking to them). Ewan legged it off into the grass in pursuit of a stick. “What?” I replied frazzled. After much too-ing and fro-ing he informed me that the park was closing soon and if I didn’t want to get locked in I was to stay by the playground and be gone in 10-15 minutes. After my recent locked out experiences  I was not keen on an over-nighter in the park. So we hurriedly ran around the playground at toddler Olympic speed,Ewan picked a souvenir stick and we were off. So in a cruel exchange 40 minutes in the car resulted in 10 minutes in the park.

But now it’s done. At 7:27pm I’m calling this day done.

The two pancakes I braved eating are congealing in my stomach, the ones Ewan refused to eat have solidified in the bin and all is calm again. The house is quiet with Ewan asleep and I am adopting a zen-like feeling and living in the present. The tantrum filled afternoon is gone  and  tomorrow is a new day with new food that isn’t pancakes.

 

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Record Player Kitchen

Posted on 27 January, 2015

 

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Months ago at a car boot sale I bought a broken record player. The man who sold it to me was incredibly honest and said he had tried to fix it but didn’t manage to. I had no reason to buy it. I am not a qualified electrician, a repair man nor am I known for my proficiency with wiring. Nevertheless it was a fiver and red so I obviously wasn’t going to leave it there!

Since then it has sat in our hallway. There are many reasons I never tackled fixing it, the primary one being fear of electrocution but the second also important fact is that we own a functioning record player and so we really don’t need another one.

So after much thought I decided to make it into a toy kitchen for Ewan. I wanted to make a toy kitchen for a while but all the bought options require floor space we don’t have so I decided to use what I have instead.

 

The first step was to remove all the electrical bit and pieces. I tackled this job after a frustrating time trying to get Ewan to nap and my frustration powered me on to rip the thing apart in record time!

Once everything was out including the broken cigarette and comb that I found inside it I gave it a good clean I set about covering the inside and making an insert for the hob section to sit on. I kept the rubber grip from the record player to make the hob and the record lever makes an excellent wire rack!

It’s unlikely anyone reading this has a broken record player in their hallway that they need to transform into a diy kitchen so I won’t bore you with the steps but instead here is a montage of the steps.  (Bringing Steve on board for the drilling the hole for the record lever was clearly a good idea!)

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And here’s the result…

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I’m pleased with how it turned out. I need to buy different hinges to attach the hob sheet to the player but that’s a job for another day. For the moment we have it placed on top and lift it off to put things underneath.

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Check out how the record lever swings around!! That’s a little ergonomic feature I’m pretty chuffed with.

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The pots are from the shop. I think stealing from your own shop is one of those allowable things, right? I unlisted the items and gifted them to Ewan and his new kitchen.|X

We do have a slight problem that we both keep leaving the “gas” on but other than that it’s a big hit. Chopping and moving things from pot to pot are the highlights. He’s already developing quiet the menu with offerings of truck stew, apple or eggs.

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IMG_9420And most importantly when the kitchen is closed  for the night it fits nicely on the settle in the kitchen!

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A week in photos

Posted on 9 January, 2015

I thought before the week is out I’d drop in and say hello…

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This week has been filled with rainy days so any break in the weather and we are up and at ’em before you can say “umbrella”IMG_8939 IMG_8997Christmas and New years were delightful but I have to say I’ve enjoyed getting back into the regular routine. We are back swimming, music group and the parent toddler group are back in full swing and myself and the wee man are getting used to just each others company again.

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Without a host of grandparents and visits life is quieter around here but that has it’s charms too as we lounge around in pj’s for longer than the civilised world has deemed necessary.

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I have saved the biggest news of the week until last. My friend Dee gifted me the Catherineholm teapot that I was so unattractively jealous of. There was many “I can’t take it, it’s yours” ” I’ve decided you’ll just have to take it” “I can’t!”. This went on for some time. In the end the deal was clenched when she said that she likes it but I will LOVE it and it would give me great happiness. I still can’t quiet believe it. It is amazingly generous of her and I am so grateful. The accolade of finding a Catherineholm piece in the wild is all hers. I’m just thrilled to get to look at it. But I have already warned Ewan that he is not to get notions, on my death it is going straight back to it’s rightful owner Dee! IMG_9085In case you are wondering I bought the yellowCatherineholm  bowl from Etsy a few years ago at ridiculous expense when I had more money than sense! And also it’s worth noting that the tea pot pours like a dream and yes, tea definitely does taste better from it!

 

Brankie

Posted on 28 December, 2014

Everyone keeps thinking it is over but I’m not ready to say good bye to Christmas quite yet.

This Christmas was a rosy cheeked delight! Ewan has only had two Christmases but he has mastered the technique of continuous eating with relative ease. He spent Christmas day wandering between all his grandparents, hugging his new toys and randomly declaring “hurray! “. I think it is safe to say he loved it too.

As for me, I made a new word which captures my Christmassy happy place, “brankie”. Brankie is the perfect combination of both brandy and blankie. If  you add in family, a box of quality street and a fire the result is this very smug selfie!

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Once we left the house and sought daylight again the frost nipped  at any bit of skin showing. Despite the cold I couldn’t resist stopping at every leaf and hedgerow we came across. Here are just a few of the frosty offerings.

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Making and Doing

Posted on 16 December, 2014

With the cold weather outside and a make and do fire in my belly I’ve been keeping myself busy inside. First, there was the early morning soda bread baking.

white soda bread, avoca soda bread

 

Then I  finally bought a tiny little tree to tie to my dinky Mini that I picked up at a car boot sale . It is bizarre how long I have wanted to do this. I bought the Mini this year but before that I had a little blue and white bus that I wanted to do the same thing with and that was back in 2007! Getting a tiny tiny tree was clearly a low priority item! But now that I completed my little car carrying a tree dream it makes me so happy!! (I’m a girl of simple needs)

 

dinky mini cooper with a tiny bottle brush tree

 

As I mentioned last week  I have a huge list of projects, recipes and pretty things all  bookmarked sitting on my computer. My bookmarks are highly disordered and range from roast potatoes to corrugated iron art. So without any hope or desire to tackle them all, I am taking on the ones that tickle my interest now.

Given my new found festive cheer I set about making this sparkly Cheers sequin sign I found by A Beautiful Mess. If you don’t follow that blog I’m not sure you are using the internet properly!

But seriously I would recommend it with a word of caution. It is guaranteed to make you feel wholly inadequate. Those girls churn out so many DIY projects that you can’t help but feel like your wasting your life and that there are actually more hours hidden somewhere in the day that you just haven’t found yet.

It took me 7 years to get around to buying a tiny tree and tieing it to a tiny car. 7 years! If I was them I would have bought 50 tiny trees, bleached them and dyed them a range of cute and complimentary colours (they actually did that and it looked amazing!) See, sickening!

But you do have to hand it to them their DIY projects are cheap and in this case very cheerful!

 

 

You can see their full tutorial here. I got a bit confused at the first step with figuring out the correct text to use. They advised using Function Pro Bold. I’m guessing this is a choice on Apple computers? Being a Microsoft Word girl I didn’t have that font option so I went for Arial and sized it to 600. This worked for me.

diy cheers sequin sign, a beautiful mess

If you do fancy making this be sure to stretch your sequin trim as you go. I didn’t and ended up  used 4 metres of trim while they used one yard (less than one metre!).

gold sequin trim

The big pluses of making this were I got to play with my glue gun, it’s doable in one nap time  (if you have enough trim!) and it actually turned out like it was meant to.  The end result has sparkled up the hallway and makes me smile every time I pass it.

gold sequin trim cheers sign DIY gold sequin sign

 

 

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A week in festive photos

Posted on 12 December, 2014

This week has been the most Christmassy I have felt in years. Ewan is old enough this year to start getting into the excitement of it all. He doesn’t fully understand the hullabaloo but he knows it comes with lights, balls (baubles) and horsies (reindeers).

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To add to the Christmas cheer Santa came to the parent and toddler group today. I, for one, was crazily excited about the whole thing.

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Ewan was not too sure at all but the tears were few and short lived so I’ll take that as a roaring success! In between the festivities I’ve been making a few more trips to the post office thanks to a few new customers of the shop.

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After last week it is so good to be back to normal and be able to go out and about again. Oh how I missed the outside world.

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Oh me oh my what a wreath

Posted on 24 November, 2014

Last week a goodie pack arrived at my door from the Oh me Oh my DIY team. They have made their very first DIY home tutorial video. It’s a floristry online workshop which talks you through how to make a festive wreath. Once you purchase, they send you a kit of  the bits and bobs you’ll need and a code which allows you to watch the tutorial given by Jill (the nice florist from the workshops) who walks you through each step.

In the interest of all things true and Christmassy I will declare that I got mine for free. But I did resolve not to blog about it unless I actually liked it and thought that other people might like it. So as you may have guessed by the fact I’m blogging about it I’m pretty pleased with myself and it smells amazing!

On the website they don’t seem to give you a full list of what’s in the starter pack so I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Well okay  I might just spoil it a little because here’s a sneaky look at some of the goodies….

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.. and I will spoil the surprise a bit more and  say that all you need to add is greenery.

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Greenery is also where I went wrong. On my first trip out foraging I forgot/ ignored Jill’s advice and just picked anything green that wasn’t grass. This was a mistake.  Once I listened to the video again I realised that this nothing like what she said. Jill is wise in all things floristry and I should have listened! The first result was a sad wreath that  withered as I was making it. Undeterred by my poor attention span I set off again this time listening to Jill’s advise and getting some extra advice from Ewan’s Oma (whose garden I also raided).

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Hydrangeas were not part of the original plan but they are just so beautiful that I ad-libbed a little!

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As I’ve attested here before Jill is a great teacher and mixes in the tips and tricks with gentle reminders to just get creative. I took ages doing it, not because it’s hard, but because it’s really fun.

I’d never made a wreath before and they are always pretty pricey so I’ve never bought one either. For my first ever wreath I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the end result!  (Also I’m not sure if they did this on purpose but I got so much stuff in the goodie bag that I’ll have enough for next year too! )

So if your wanting to bring a bit of DIY to your Christmas cheer this year but like me you haven’t got a green finger on your body then I can definitely recommend giving Jill, and the bumper pack she comes with, a go! She’ll talk you through the twists and turns of making your very own Christmas wreath. God, I wish Christmas was tomorrow!!!!IMG_8383

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Big news in Bubbles

Posted on 14 November, 2014

Prepare to be wowed!! Bubbles stick to the wet ground outside!  I had looked at bubbles in the bath and popped my fair share in my time but the fact they stick to the ground outside blew my mind. I mean this actually made me squeal!

After googling it (yes, I had to google it!) something wet can touch the wall of a bubble without taking any water away from the bubble but something dry absorbs the water and makes a hole. You may already know all this in which case life must be pretty great and you must really enjoy damp weather!

I am a total big child but look….

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Now, that I’ve shared the perfect mix of magic and science I’m off to watch some pure magical Harry Potter.

Have a bubbly weekend:)

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Harder than it looks

Posted on 10 November, 2014

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Today has been a test. It’s one of the very few days when I miss going work. I met up with a friend and ex-colleague today and just talking about my old job gave me a fire in my belly. Being a stay at home is definitely the right choice for me at the moment and I think because I’m clear about that I have been reluctant to admit that I do actually miss work.

I used to work as an advocate for people with disabilities and I think regardless of what field I end up working in it will always be an area I feel passionately about. I  felt really privileged in my job that our focus was on working with the person with a disability to help them achieve what they wanted for themselves. We had no other priority and that part of the job was an absolute honour.

Other aspects of the job were less pleasant and often when I think back on the job I think only about the stressful parts. Today I realised that  the job gave me an awful lot too and that it’s okay to miss those parts.

As a stay at home mum I am constantly learning which is great and exhausting all at the same time. Sometimes it feels that we are the perfect team and other days, like today, I feel at sea.

I think part of owning my decision to be a stay at home is to be honest about it all. Yes, sometimes it feels so easy and wholesome with cookies in the oven and sing songs and other times it’s so incredibly hard that going outside feels like an ordeal.

Today, the penny dropped that it’s okay to miss parts of my old job too. At some point I will want to work full time again and the more I think about what I enjoyed about work the easier it’ll be to think about what kind of job I want to go for.

The end of the day called for bringing out the iphone for a round of selfies and ,now that he’s in bed ,a VAT OF TEA. To coin a cliche tomorrow will be a new day.

 

 

 

Cupcakes

Posted on 9 October, 2014

Yesterday, I decided to have a day without biscuits. It has become quiet the cheeky habit for me to eat biscuits while hiding in a corner so that Ewan won’t try to climb me to get one. Knowing that a hard core biscuit habit is probably not the best health plan I decided to tackle it. I had successfully eaten us out of good biscuits leaving only the plain digestives.  As plain digestives are essentially a waste of a potentially good chocolate biscuit I felt they would be easy to resist and so I embarked on my own day of slight deprivation.

There was a flaw in my plan. It turns out my subconscious and sweet tooth are cleverer than I am and before I knew it I was Googling “quick cupcake recipes” and checking if the flour was in date.

The sweet tooth must be satisfied!

So with a children’s recipe for cup cakes on I went.  Supplies were low and the rain was heavy so I made a few substitutions. The caster sugar was replaced with a mix of demerara and granulated sugar. Butter was scraped from the butter dish to make up the right amounts (well close enough anyway). And maple syrup stood in for vanilla essence (a substiution I would make again).

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Ewan woke up just in time to help decorate them while missing out the cooking part. He has good timing!

(You’ll notice he’s supporting a massive bruise. I have been warned by everyone that this will be the first of many and so I should get used to it! )

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I sloshed on the lemon buttercream icing while he plopped the funny wafer flowers on top. He of course taste tested each bit of icing and seemed to think all his dreams had come true to wake up to a bowl of the stuff.

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The end result is so butter laden that I imagine a biscuit is probably much better for me but somehow baking manages to make me feel wholesome. So I’ll take a good feeling over a calorie count any day.

Plus I think the fact that there are still some cupcakes left today is nothing short of a triumph for my self restraint.

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