Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Saturday Update

Short update this week. Dad was with us until Tuesday - we were sorry to see him go but it will soon be Christmas and there will be plenty of visits next year too.

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty regular days - I'm finding it harder to find time for crafting since Isabella is more aware and demanding at this age.

On Friday we had a lovely afternoon with a friend and her one-month-old baby girl. It was lovely to meet her little baby and catch up. Can't wait until the girls are old enough for real play dates.

Next week we are away for our first family trip and then visiting family. I'm really looking forward to the break.

Friday, 24 October 2014

November Birthday Cards

Again this month I used the tape for the birthday cards. I'm finding it really good for cards for men.  For some reason though - I always find myself making men's cards with straight tape while mixing it up for the ladies...

I'm considering it for Christmas this year too...we'll see.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

30 Things - Cook a Family Dinner

As you may have guessed from this week's recipe, I did a roast chicken on Sunday while Dad was here. It was my first ever roast and apart from not having perfect timing, I think it went very well.

We got the chicken from the new butcher we found for just 2.99 and Nico helped me with the spices, sauce and advice.

Looking forward to lots more family dinners.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Rainy Day Activities

This is the view from our flat this morning. I'm busy with my to do list anyway (as far as being indoors allows) but I thought I'd share some ideas for what to do when you're stuck inside.
  • Play a board game or cards.
  • Do a jigsaw.
  • Ring a friend - I'll be catching up with my gran today.
  • Write a letter.
  • Get crafty! Painting, sewing, knitting...
  • Have a hot bath.
  • Experiment in the kitchen. Try to make something from your cupboard ingredients (saves shopping in the rain).
  • Have a clearout - that wardrobe is still on my list.
  • Read a good book.
  • Watch a film.
The possibilities are endless. I'm off to get cracking!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Dad's Visit

We've had a lovely week with grandad here. It was another quiet visit - we'll plan more trips and walks next time dad. The weather was a bit hit and miss but the main thing is that dad and Isabella got lots of time together. 

Last time dad was here, Isabella was just a couple of days old so there was a huge difference this time. Not only has she grown a lot but she's much more aware and playful now. She loved having grandad here.

We had one day out in Bremen and grandad bought Isabella her first swimming costume and armbands - can't wait to try them out! We also had a lovely lunch at Dean and David's again.

Looking forward to the next visit already!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Recipe:Roast Chicken Dinner

Ingredients:

  • A whole chicken
  • Salt, pepper, paprika, thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Beer (optional)
  • Onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Stock
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Honey
  • Green beans
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Sauce thickener
  • Smoked salt
Instructions:
  1. Clean the chicken and place it in a roasting tin.
  2. Mix the spices and oil and use it to rub the chicken, inside and out. Reserve some of the mix and the beer to baste the chicken later.
  3. Put the stock in the bottom of the roasting tin.
  4. Put the garlic and onion inside the chicken. Tie the legs with string.
  5. Roast the chicken at 175℃ for 90 minutes, turning half way through and basting regularly.
  6. Boil the potatoes for thirty minutes. Coat with oil and salt before adding them to the roasting tin when turning the chicken. The fluid from the chicken should run clear.
  7. Cook the vegetables in time to serve it all together. Add butter and the smoked salt to the green beans and honey to the carrots.
  8. Reserve the stock from the tin and add the cream and thickener to make the sauce.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Saturday Update

We've had a lovely week around here.

We met up with an old friend for coffee on Monday, and met her six month old baby.

Dad arrived on Tuesday and we've been out and about lunching, shopping and generally having fun since.

On Thursday we took a big step in our secret next big project - more to come on that!

Dad's with us until Tuesday, then we are planning catch ups with a couple more friends and working on some more of those monthly goals - busy times!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Why I set goals

source
Since 2012, I've been quite big on setting goals and sometimes I do get a little overwhelmed or have to force myself to take a break but on the whole, I enjoy the process and here's why I do it:

  • It makes me feel like I've achieved something. There are times when days fly by and I don't feel like I've done anything. With my lists, I can look back and see exactly how much I achieved.
  • It keeps me on track. There are so many times when something pops into my head that I need to get done and promptly flies back out again. Writing things down keeps those things at the front of my mind.
  • It makes me accountable. I share my monthly goals on the blog which makes them public and therefore makes them feel more important and often helps me get them done.
I can't recommend goal-setting and sharing enough, especially to A-types like me!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Sewing Project 2014: 19 - Changing Bag

 Here's my latest baby sewing project. I really enjoyed it - it was probably the most complex one yet. I decided to use the same materials as I had for the changing mat even though the PVC made it a little more difficult.
There were a couple of new techniques with this project too - box pockets and pleats so I feel like I'm learning lots too!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Currently...

...enjoying family time with grandad.
...loving watching Isabella progress.
...getting excited about the future.
...starting to prepare for Christmas.
...drinking lots of coffee.
...trying to get out every day.
...reading the classics.
...(still) devouring DVD boxsets.
...listening to wonderful baby giggles.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Baby Massage

A couple of weeks ago, Isabella and I took part in a baby massage course. Werder Bremen runs a baby club and the course was part of that (next up, baby gym). 

It took place in one of the boxes with a spectacular view of the stadium and, more impotantly, a lush green carpet where we spread out our blankets and towels.

There were six babies and mums. The lady running the course showed us some different techniques. We followed her carefully and I took mental notes.

To be honest, I wasn't sure it was having much effect. It was the first time Isabella had mixed with other babies and she spent most of the time sympathy crying or craning her neck to see what the other babies were doing. When we were finished, she was completely relaxed and slept for ages though.

Since the course, we have tried the massage at home and with oil. She still enjoys it and the tummy massage is good when she is struggling in that area.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Recipe: Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients:

  • Wraps
  • Oil
  • 300g chicken
  • Onion
  • 2 peppers
  • Old El Paso spice mix
  • Lettuce
  • Old El Paso salsa
Instructions:
  1. Chop the chicken, onion and peppers into small pieces.
  2. Brown the chicken in the oil.
  3. Add the vegetables and spice mix.
  4. Chop the lettuce to serve.
  5. Warm the wraps.
  6. Serve hot and combine the chicken and veg mix with lettuce and salsa in the wrap to eat.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Saturday Update

It was a pretty standard week around here:

We had a lovely lunch and catch up with my Russian friend on Tuesday.

I spent a lot of time filing those resources on the laptop.

Little miss started eating carrots and has been fighting off a cold - I think we have both been high on Eucalyptus oil.

We visited family in Schneverdingen, which is always nice.

We're relaxing this weekend before a busy week with coffee with another old friend and her baby, baby gym, and grandad's visit. Can't wait!

Friday, 10 October 2014

30 things - File my resources responsibly

It took me the best part of two weeks but I finally filed all of my resources. Everything from my PGCE year onwards is now organised for easy access when I get back to work. I came up with a system that should be more logical for everyday use and save me some time with preparation. It almost makes me excited to get back to work...almost!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Sewing Project 2014: 18 - Door Stopper

This was a really quick and easy project from the baby crafts book that my friends bought us. It stops the door from slamming when there is a draft or if someone is a little careless. This one is on the nursery door but I plan to make some more and in differet colours. Love it!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

East is East

source
A while ago, we watched a great film called Almanya about a Turkish family who migrated to Germany. It had some really funny parts but also made some serious points and was quite moving.

It really reminded me of East is East about a Pakistani family in Manchester. At the time, I couldn't get hold of the DVD but recently I did.

It was every bit as funny as I remembered but also had some very serious scenes and there was also much more swearing than I remembered - I probably couldn't use it at school as I had planned.

If you haven't seen it, you're missing out!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Project Life - September


A fairly short spread this month. It was a quiet one as we found our routine again. There are lots of pictures of our babies.
I used the seafoam kit again and tied in the beige theme. There are also some cafting photos in there.

Short but sweet this time.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Recipe: Salmon and potato cakes

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 potatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • Oil
  • Salmon
  • Lettuce
  • Cream cheese with herbs
  • Lemon juice
  • Horse radish
Instructions:
  1. Grate the potatoes and drain any excess fluid.
  2. Finely chop the onion and add to the potatoes along with the seasoning and egg.
  3. Use the mixture to form cakes and fry them in the oil for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  4. Chop up the lettuce.
  5. Combine the cream cheese with pepper and lemon juice.
  6. Serve the potato cakes with salmon, lettuce and the cheese sauce.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Saturday Update

Thanks to the loong bank holiday weekend (reunification anniversary), it was a short work week and yesterday saw an early, productive yet relaxing start to the weekend.

It was our four year anniversary yesterday - can't believe how much has happened in that time!!

Isabella had her check up and vaccinations this week and showed us how much she can roll.

We continued house hunting - watch this space!

I started progress on my October goals before October even started.

My boxset addictions continued apace.

We're going to continue our relaxing long weekend and get on with those goals again next week. Lots of posts lined up...

Friday, 3 October 2014

Sewing Project 2014: 17 - Bird Mobile

After making the blue birdie back before Isabella was born, I made two more last week in pink and purple.

We wanted to hang something over Isabella's cot that she can look at. I bought a wooden ring at Idee and we attached them and hung it in her room.

She loves watching them move. I might develop this idea some more with different colours.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

October Birthdays

Finally back to making my own greeting cards this month and that felt really good.

As usual, I struggled at first with ideas for a man's birthday card. In the end, I kept it simple with tape stripes and  liked it so much, I used it for a girlfriend's card too!

I'm reallt pleased with these and will definitely be doing them again.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

October Goals

Here are my goals for this month:


  • Plan Isabella's christening.
  • Repot the lemon and avocado plants.
  • 3 of my 30 things.
  • Clear out my wardrobe.
  • Start planning for Christmas.
  • Put out the Autumn decorations.