Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Saturday Update

Another busy busy week around here. I had a full week at work. Nico and Isabella had fun at baby group again in Tuesday. She also got a place at swim group which we think she will live judging by her bath times.

I had the sewing party on Thursday which was good fun.  On Friday I took Isabella to work as it was my short day.

Uncle Florian stayed for a couple of days and tooth number eight appeared so it's a busy time round here for the little one.

The to do list is still long but we're heading into March and spring with a positive attitude...

Friday, 27 February 2015

Baby clothes party

Last night I visited a colleague for the baby clothes version of a tupperware party. A friend of hers sews baby clothes in a range of sizes. The quality was very good and I was lucky that I only took a limited amount of cash as I could have gone really crazy.

I picked up two pairs of trousers - one for now and one for next year and a t-shirt for summer. Each guest also received a keyring gift. 

The evening inspired me to want to sew for Isabella again. 

One of the other highlights of the evening was chatting with the other mums - swapping tips and stories and hearing about what fun we have to come!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

February Goal Reviews

  • Get my vaccinations up to date - on Friday's schedule
  • Apply for Isabella's nursery place - done.
  • Two sewing projects - one done.
  • Paint the pantry - done.
  • 2 of my 30 things - not even thought about.
  • Be positive about going back to work - done!
  • Wednesday, 25 February 2015

    Sage and Mushroom Chicken

    Last weekend we tried a lovely Sunday dinner recipe from the paleo cookbook.

    Chicken thighs with crispy skin, roasted with sage and mushrooms in sauce.

    We ate it with the bacon brussel sprouts recipe from the same book.

    While the thighs were nice, we'll probably do the recipe with chicken breasts next time to avoid the fiddly bones.

    Tuesday, 24 February 2015

    Unwanted Advice

    Tonight, after a long day at work we called into the DIY store on the way home. Isabella had been in the her car seat for over an hour and got pretty restless in the store. I got her out of the seat and realised that she was way too warm. As soon as I took her winter suit off and distracted her she was our happy little girl again. 

    Of course it was quite an episode getting her back in the seat to go home so I made the decision to leave her big snow suit off as she was in warm pyjamas and the car was warm. She was much happier.

    It was then all the more hurtful when a random stranger called over to us in the carpark to say she should be more wrapped up. Now I'm used to hearing all of the advice from grandmothers (our grandmothers, Isabella's grandmothers, and random strangers) but this woman was not much older than me. I almost cried on the spot. 

    What makes people think they have the right to comment on how strangers bring up their own children? With few exceptions, I believe most parents do the best they can and while we all do what we think is right, most parenting decisions make little difference in the long term.

    When I told my boss about the nutrition seminar last week her jaw dropped. She brought up two boys with no such support. 

    The truth is that we all know what is best for our own children and I will be putting all my energy into my own baby and saving any advice for those who ask for it, or failing that, my grandchildren!

    Monday, 23 February 2015

    Make it Monday

    Keeping ahead of the game again this month, I made my March birthday cards last night. Another experiment with colour, washi tape and the stamps. For the first time, it's starting to feel like Spring.

    Saturday, 21 February 2015

    The Saturday Update

    This week has flown by! Of course being back at work means I haven't had time to catch my breath since Monday but it has gone better than I thought. Nico and Isabella seem to have found their routine and we set my timetable up so that I have no free lessons and therefore no time to wonder if things are okay at home. Being out all day makes those baby cuddles all the more precious when I get home.

    Apart from catching up with colleagues and pupils, I have found a new dentist, made a trip to Ikea and attended a baby nutrition seminar. Busy, busy...

    This weekend I will be doing lots of boring jobs and getting caught up on bits at home as well as preparing for another work week.

    Friday, 20 February 2015

    Baby Nutrition

    Tonight I went to a seminar on baby nutrition through the Werder Bremen baby group that we are members of.

    It's a seminar we should have taken earlier but it's hard to get a place. Isabella is weaned and eating regularly already. I still picked up some tips and ideas though. 

    One that we are going to start straight away is getting Isabella to drink more at meal times - either water or tea - and from a cup rather than the bottle.

    Also, I want to start to cook more from scratch for her. Now that we have a freezer, we can prepare a lot in advance. I'm just waiting for the seminar notes and recipes.

    Also, we already let Isabella chew on toasted bread - it soothes her teething pains. Tomorrow we're going to try apple quarters. I don't trust her with a spoon yet so it will be good for her to try feeding herself more.

    Exciting (messy) times ahead!

    Thursday, 19 February 2015

    Back to Work

    As I've mentioned, it was back to work for me on Monday. Half of me was dreading it and the other half was really excited to go back.

    As I'm sure all mums feel, it's a huge step to go back full time and I'm very lucky that Nico is at home now. I don't think I could have left her at a childminder's or nursery yet. I found the mornings okay and actually felt more emotional coming home for cuddles and play time. Luckily we worked my timetable out so that I have no free lessons and that means I'm distracted all day.

    The teacher part of me has really enjoyed being back in the classroom. It's been great to see my old pupils and meet some new classes and use my brain for more intellectual purposes. I've also loved seeing colleagues again and having conversations outside of the realm of babies.

    I'm starting to feel more balanced again. I feel like I can be a much better mother when I've got other roles again. I'm still tired at night but I have a very different energy during the day.

    Wednesday, 18 February 2015

    Salmon and Leek Spread

     Recently, Nico's mum bought us a recipe book for spreads. There are lots of ideas that made my mouth water so while we don't normally make our own spreads, we'll be doing more of it from now on.

    Our debut attempt was this easy salmon and leek spread, although we decided to serve the salmon on top rather than mix it in.

    It's basically a finely chopped leak, 300g cottage cheese, 50g plain yoghurt, salt and pepper.

    It was delicious and we used up the leftovers in a bake.

    Tuesday, 17 February 2015

    January Project Life

     Our first family portrait of the year (and second ever) was perfect to enlarge and start the new year of project life. I love this photo from the christening - one of the few with a smile on Isabella's face.
     I stuck to the plan of focusing on the stories. This month was our family dinner on New Year's Day and Isabella's christening.
    There's a nice balance of photos and journaling and extras include the hymn sheet and some project life cards. I really like this spread.

    Monday, 16 February 2015

    Make it Monday

    This week I turned to a past project for a couple of little gifts (birthday and engagement) for a couple of friends who I didn't send these to last year.

    They are hand-stitched lavender hearts for pillows or clothes drawers. I love how simple but nice they are. Ours still smell nice after a year.

    Saturday, 14 February 2015

    The Saturday Update

    It's been a busy last week of maternity leave here. 

    We went to baby group as a family, which was fun. I'll miss it next week.

    We painted, cleaned and prepared the pantry. The shelves are going up today and hopefully we will get downstairs straightened up and the last boxes unpacked this week.

    We got various projects done - sewing, cooking, baking, gardening...lots of exciting times coming up in those areas too.

    Our little sweetheart cut her sixth tooth this week without a peep. We only realised when we caught sight of it. We've got one brave girl on our hands - must get it from daddy!

    So it's back to work on Monday. I'll be glad when Friday comes around and I'm used to the routine.

    Friday, 13 February 2015

    The first...

    ...homemade loaf of bread.

    Nico made this delicious loaf of gluten free bread on Monday. It lasted until Wednesday... Delicious!! I love how inspired we feel in the new kitchen and it's not even completely set up yet!

    Thursday, 12 February 2015

    Reading RoundUp

    Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander 2) - Diana Gabaldon

    This was the second book in the Outlander time travel series and was every bit as good as the first. I was wondering how Gabaldon would keep the story new and interesting but she did it. There were new characters as well as favourites from the first book. To top it off, the ending was a brilliant cliff hanger, leaving me excited for number three.

    Middlemarch - George Eliot

    Another classic ticked off my 100 list. It took me a couple of attempts to get through this. I did enjoy the story but it wasn't one of my favourite classics and it didn't really stand out from some of the other classics of that time.

    Death on Safari - Jessica Hill

    This was an e-book I picked up because it's written by an old school friend. That probably made me read it with an extra critical eye but actually, I soon forgot who the author was and was pulled in to a thrilling whodunnit. The story had me guessing until the end. It was a light, interesting read that I would really recommend.

    Next up Ulysses and the final book in the latest Ken Follett trilogy.

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015

    Carrot and Ginger Soup

     This week I tried a real winter warmer of a soup from the paleo book, carrot and ginger. It was really easy too - carrots, ginger, garlic, onions, vinegar, stock, cinammon and salt. Yum.

    Tuesday, 10 February 2015

    Project Life - December

     This month was very photo heavy. With that in mind, and running out of the usual page protectors, I decided to do another month of mini squares.
    There's no journaling this month - most of the photos explain themselves. I also got some xmas paper and the December calendar in there.

    I'm looking forward to this project in the new year but I'm  planning on changing up focus a little to 'tell the story' more. I'd like to get back to a good mix of photos and journaling telling the stories that make up life, and getting our family portraits in too.

    Monday, 9 February 2015

    Make it Monday - Toybox

    Here's my latest project from the Mama sewing book. I used the same fabric as the other baby projects so we have a kind of theme going.

    It's not perfect but I'm pretty pleased for a first attempt. It's also a little different to the book as they used a much thicker filling but I wanted to use up old stock before I order new.

    I think this is going to be really useful in giving us some space back after bedtime and in teaching Isabella to tidy up!

    Saturday, 7 February 2015

    The Saturday Update

    Summary of the week:

    -21 baby meal times
    -1 delicious cheese cake
    -4 seasons of the Walking Dead
    -1.5 sewing projects
    -3 grandmas visiting for coffee and cake
    -1 trip to the nursery
    -225 pages of Middlemarch

    Friday, 6 February 2015


    ...getting excited about trying more new paleo recipes.
    ...drinking plenty of hot lemon.
    ...reading another classic.
    ...playing with Isabella's toys more than she does...
    ...slowly catching up on projects and goals.
    ...welcoming more greenery into our home.
    ...watching the Walking Dead back to back.
    ...enjoying blowing raspberries with Isabella.
    ...liking our extended family time.
    ...sewing in our hobby room.
    ...staying warm with the log fire while watching the snow outside.
    ...feeling happy for friends with good news - exciting times!

    Thursday, 5 February 2015

    Project Life - November

     Finally getting caught up with this. November was actually pretty short but sweet. Isabella started to be more mobile and we packed, got our keys and started renovating.
    I'm actually almost out of my usual page protectors but I liked trying new formats. I like the photo heavy balance. I like that Isabella takes centre stage for this spread too and the colours tie in nicely.

    Wednesday, 4 February 2015

    February Goals

    • Get my vaccinations up to date.
    • Apply for Isabella's nursery place.
    • Two sewing projects.
    • Paint the pantry.
    • 2 of my 30 things.
    • Be positive about going back to work.

    Tuesday, 3 February 2015

    January Goals Review

    • Take Isabella swimming - kind of done. We had water week at baby gym - Isabella loved it.
    • Unpack all the boxes - not quite but there aren't many left.
    • Complete another sewing project - done.
    • 2 of my 30 things list - not by a long way.
    • Enjoy family time for the christening - done.
    It looks like a so-so month but I do feel that January was crazy round here and we got lots done.

    Monday, 2 February 2015

    Make it Monday - Door Stopper

    This week's project was another repeater. When we moved, we decided we needed three more for our kitchen and living room. I ordered some new fabric a while ago for a spring kitchen blind and used some of it for these.

    The hardest bit about the project was finding time to do it - after baby bedtime. Otherwise the stoppers were straight forward with no new techniques but it felt good to be sewing again.

    I can't recommend this book enough.