Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Saturday Update

It's been a really nice week here. Last weekend we got our old flat cleaned and handed over the keys on Monday morning. 

Tuesday was water play at baby gym and Isabella loved it. Next time is the last time for me before I go back to work so Nico is coming too.

The rest of the week was quite foodie as you can see from the blog - lots of cooking and baking. We also got various bits done around the house.

We're flying through The Walking Dead even though zombies are not my thing, and I've just finished the second Outlander book - what a cliffhanger! Looking forward to number three.

There will be lots more of that next week as well as catching up on projects and finishing up those January goals.

Friday, 30 January 2015

The first...

...homemade soup in our new house.

Today we made this soup from the autoimmune paleo cookbook. It's snowing here and this was the perfect warming lunch with leek, ginger, garlic, celery root, bacon and the bone broth. Delicious!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Bone Broth

Yesterday I tried my second recipe from the new cookbook. It's a basic bone broth to use as a base in the soup recipes. We want to try the leek and celery root soup tomorrow so now's the time to stock up on this.

Yesterday we got some beef bones from the local butcher and got cracking. I've never cooked with bones before but this recipe is very simple. Can't wait to try the soup next.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Leeste

Today we had a lovely family walk to explore some of the local shops. One great thing about our new house is that it's in Leeste - a lovely, small, friendly village. 

We had already discovered the local butcher but we went there again to get some bones for a soup recipe in the autoimmune paleo book and they were great value. They do lots of little extras too - we got some lovely blue cheese.

Later, we went on to the local farmer's store. We got almost all the fruit and veg we needed for a great price again. We will definitely be heading there again.

It's great to support local businesses and not have to spend more to do it.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Green Smoothie

As part of my 'thrive' project, one of my 2015 goals is to find a nutritional balance that works for me and keeps my ulcerative colitis at bay.

Nico surprised me with this book this week and the first thing I tried was this smoothie with banana, berries, spinach, coconut cream and water. In the book it was purple - I think I messed up the spinach/berry ratio a little but otherwise it was nice.

I can definitely see myself making more of these and look forward to experimenting with this book and paleo recipes in the future.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Make it Monday - February Birthday Cards

This week, I decided to get ahead on at least one project before I get caught up on all the others.

I was a little bit lazy again with the creativity but I played with colour cobinations again and even though this idea seems 'old' to me now, my friends and family with February birthdays haven't seen them before.

Hopefully we'll have our hobby room set up soon and I can get to work in there.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

The Saturday Update

It's been a slow week. We have been to the flat every day painting and cleaning. Hopefully we will get the cleaning finished today ready for the handover on Monday.

Despite being so busy, we also managed to get some bits done around the house and we'll be cracking on with that next week too.

So that's it! - Short and sweet today. Have a good week.

Friday, 23 January 2015

British Comedy

An oldie but a goodie...

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Address Stamp

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One thing I love, even in this digital age, is snail mail. I like to send homemade greetings cards, I have a penpal and I like to keep in touch with friends and family with letters and photos too.

Sometimes I see it in England, but even more common in Germany is writing your own address as the 'sender' address on the back of the envelope. My hand got cramp at Christmas!

Now that we have a permanent address I could finally invest in one of the above stamps. It arrived on Monday, I've used it already and I love the smart, clean effect. You can get yours here.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Cultural Difference No.269

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There are many differences I've learned to live with since moving to Germany. The one that's currently ruling our lives is that Germans paint rented properties when they move out. It can be the difference between getting a deposit back or not and after our previous experiences, we don't want to risk it.

So it's a week of putting all that practice at the house to good use and getting our flat up to scratch.

It's funny - I remember learning about this German trait in sixth form and never thinking it would apply to me! Anyway, by the end of the week I'll be pouring a large G&T and planning never to hold a paintbrush again. It was worth buying a house just to know we won't have to paint next time!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Music!

As of yesterday morning we are officially a musical family. Since we moved Nico has been getting back into his guitars a lot and Isabella loves to listen to him.

He inspired me to get the keyboard going again and I spent some time learning 'Imagine'. It turns out that Nico can play it on guitar so we can play together soon. 

Isabella is not as convinced about my piano playing though - she just wants to join in. So far though, I'm tipping her to follow in Uncle Florian's footsteps and play the drums.

I forgot how destressing playing music can be. It takes your mind off things quite literally as you have to concentrate but it's quite relaxing too and when you pick up a new tune, it's a great feeling.

Making time for more music is going to be a priority this year - it really fits in with my Thrive theme for the year.  I'm just gearing up for my first guitar song now!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Make it Monday - Crochet Hat

While I was home over Christmas my gran was admiring my purple crochet hat. I made her one over the weekend. I used the same wool and unfortunately it ran out a row and a half before the end but she has a smaller head than me so I hope it will fit okay.

I like making things for others - lots more of that on my list this year.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

The Saturday Update

After a hectic start to the week with the christening and friends and family staying, we had a slower few days so it's actually been kind of relaxing.

On Monday we showed my brother Bremen and had a nice lunch in the city. He and my dad also stocked up on Hachez chocolate at the factory store - a local production.

We saw them off on Tuesday and visited Ikea on Wednesday for a blind so that the nursery is finally done. (Except for the many craft projects I'm dreaming of.)

Today we are gearing up for a visit from friends with their adorable little girl. Next week will be all about getting our old flat ready to handover. Then we can really concentrate on our house!

Friday, 16 January 2015

The first...

...cake in our new house!

In preparation for friends visiting this weekend, my amazingly talented husband baked this cheesecake (gluten and lactose free) and made two batches of ice cream. I am one lucky, well-fed lady! 

We're loving our new house and kitchen by the way.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Links!

Creative help.

Interesting kitchen inspiration.

So excited for this product launch.

A new goal for the new year.

Lovely.

Loving reading these books with Isabella.

Saving these for later.

Looking forward to working with minds like these again soon.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Christening

On Saturday we had our little girl christened by the priest who married us in Nico's hometown. We had a lovely day with family and Godparents. 

Thesedays, not as many babies are christened, and that meant we had a little struggle finding Godparents, but it was important to us to give Isabella a good start spiritually.

Many people believe it should be the baby's choice when it gets older but the tradition of confirmation is much more widespread here in Germany and, for me, that's when the baby (or young adult by then) has the chance to decide for themselves.

Something that I also found special, was the sense of tradition.  The gown pictured above was first worn by Nico's brother (who is Isabella's Godfather) and all the names are sewn in. The pink ribbon is from our wedding, which was another nice touch.

Bringing this girl up is such a blessing every day.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Currently...

...drinking hot lemon to stave off winter bugs.
...enjoying family time.
...recovering from a lovely weekend.
...watching Doc Martin episodes and dreaming of Cornwall.
...settling into 2015.
...eating slightly better after the festivities.
...reading the Outlander series again.
...playing like a baby with our little girl.
...setting up home.
...planning lots of new projects.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Make It Monday - January birthdays

A little late this month, here are my January birthday cards. For most of them, I kept on with the washi tape - mainly for ease at the moment and also to use up kit before I buy more. This time I experimented with colour more and I like the effect.

The front card is for Nico's grandma so I wanted something more subtle and I'm really pleased with it. I may focus on that next month.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Saturday Update

Our first week off work together was very productive. We got two more rooms painted, almost all of the furniture built up, and lots more boxes unpacked.

Pete had his jabs, Isabella had her check up and our guests arrived and helped us out big time around the house - thank you!

We celebrated dad's birthday and had a lovely meal at a restaurant in our new neighbourhood. We'll definitely be eating there again.

Today is Isabella's christening and it will be busy. Then our guests will start to leave and it will be back to finishing up our move.

Friday, 9 January 2015

January Goals

Here's what I want to achieve this month:

  • Take Isabella swimming.
  • Unpack all the boxes.
  • Complete another sewing project.
  • 2 of my 30 things list.
  • Enjoy family time for the christening.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Favourite series of 2014

The Newsroom:

Love this series. The dialogue is brilliant, the events are current and the characters are lovable. The episodes are longer but packed full and enjoyable.


Got this one for my birthday and binge watched nine series. It's a good medical drama. It differs from others because there's no one character I identify with but the cast as a whole works and the stories are very good.


Another good crime drama. I can't help but love a series with Tom Selleck.  Ever since he starred in Three Men and a Little Baby - he brings a certain avuncular quality to his shows. The storylines are good and the characters strong.


A blast from the past, one of my favourite comedy series growing up kept us going when we finished our other series. It's almost a guilty pleasure but I love it.


Another guilty pleasure I enjoyed on maternity leave, I used to watch this as a teenager. I love that they jumped forward in time for the later series, which made it more relevant for me. Jamie's still my favourite character.



Wednesday, 7 January 2015

2015 Goals

Here are my goals for the new year:

  • Get into a regular execise routine.
  • Become a civil servant.
  • Decorate/furnish/set up our house.
  • Find a reasonable system for my memory boxes.
  • Get our garden going.
  • Take at least one family photo per month.
  • Find a diet/supplement balance that works for me.
I have some more general goals too but the above are my main goals and all fit in with my One Little Word.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2014 Goal Review

Last year I set myself six big goals for the year. Here's how I did:

  • Complete the quilting course - done! I loved that course and am still planning future quilting projects based on these.
  • Learn Turkish - in progress. I am using Babbel to practise little and often. I'll never be at the level I am in my other languages but it's nice to pick bits up at work and in public.
  • Pay off credit cards - in progress - still working on this but getting there.
  • Complete three sewing projects - done! I did almost two per month last year and with our new hobby room, I hope to do even more this year as well as knitting and crochet.
  • Continue Project Life - done! Admittedly, I need to get November and December done but I did continue this and enjoyed it and plan to continue in 2015 too.
  • Grow our family - done! I still can't believe it! What a difference a year has made.
I'll be sharing my 2015 goals soon, based around my One Little Word.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Make it Monday - Kitchen Blind

My first project in the new house was this kitchen blind. I had planned a yellow and green theme but I found this material very Christmassy and I like the effect.

It was quick and simple - I cut the material to fit the space, ran a hem up both sides, sewed along the long edge with right sides facing, and finally turned it the right way around and closed the sides, leaving 5cm open on each side for the rod.

I've got a lovely green material lined up for another one in Spring but may have to find a pattern or idea that still looks good on both sides but lets more light in, we'll see.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Saturday Update

We've had a hectic couple of weeks. We had a lovely Christmas catching up with friends and family. 

There were lots of firsts for Isabella: first flight, time in England, meeting her aunt, uncle, cousins and great-grandmother, Christmas! She's now cut four teeth and gotten used to a walker as well as moving like lightening on all fours. All in all, it's exhausting for all three of us.

Since we've been back we've had a quiet new year's eve, gotten a little more straightened up in the house and had Nico's family over for new year's day dinner.

The next week is going to be just as busy, if not more so. We hope to finish painting the house, unpack as much as possible and empty the flat. We have a meeting with our priest, baby gym restarting, Pete's jabs, Isabella's check-up, guests arriving, Dad's birthday and Isabella's christening! Phew!! Good job we're both on parental leave!!

Friday, 2 January 2015

One Little Word

It's been a couple of years since I took part in Ali Edwards' One Little Word.  I didn't do it in 2013 or 2014 as we were busy enough getting engaged, planning a wedding, getting married, going on honeymoon, getting pregnant, having a baby, receiving a big health diagnosis and buying a house... phew!!

Bearing all that in mind, and the fact that we are already being asked when baby number two will be arriving(!!), I really want 2015 to be something of a break. I want it to be about enjoying life and our family and learning to make the most of what we have before we do anything else.

I was struggling to find 'one little word' to encompass this idea of being, living and enjoying until I was browsing through Ali's archives and found it:

Thrive

So watch this space for lots of thriving in 2015!