Saturday, 30 May 2015

The Saturday Update

We've had a lovely week here. We did lots of bits and bobs done over the long weekend including finally finishing those heat cushions.

We also spent some quality time outdoors. Isabella loves exploring and we love watching that.

My first two work days of the week were spent rennovating our school hostel. It's really lively there and it was nice to see colleagues in a different setting.

Yesterday was back in school and the normal routine of things. 

That's the last of the bank holidays over and Monday sees the start of a new month and the long slog to the summer holidays so I'll making the most of the weekends now more than ever.

Friday, 29 May 2015

May Goals Review

Here's how I did this month.

  • Take a family photo - done!
  • Finish making the thank-you gifts for our moving helpers - done!
  • Finish the nursery paperwork - done!
  • Get to 10,000 steps twice per week - not even close.
  • Finish unpacking - done!
  • Finish setting up the office - done!

Health needs to be a priority for June.

Thursday, 28 May 2015


For a week now, Pete has been free to roam the neighbourhood. One cat fight and two dead birds later, he's still enjoying his new found freedom.

Meanwhile, Nico and I are like parents of a teenager when he stays out late and Isabella can't work out why it's one rule for him and another for her.

It's nice to see him out and about though - he definitely missed the outdoors. 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Garden Corner: Flowers

It seems like every time I go into the garden, some beautiful new flowers have opened up somewhere. We're so lucky that the previous owners of our home had such good taste and skills in the garden.

A couple of weeks ago there was a huge hairy flower bud which opened up inti this beautiful poppy like flower.

I LOVE this season and I LOVE our home!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Recipe: Spinach Salad

On Saturday we harvested the spinach from our garden to make way for the tomatoes this week. We got lots and will definitely be planting it again. 

We made this delicious salad with our first pick. Lots of spinach, feta cheese, walnuts, pear, oil, mustard, lemon juice and seasoning.

Perfect for this season.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Make It Monday - Knitted Loop Scarf

This weekend I finally finished this scarf for my gran. I know it's not the season but she is 92 (this year) and feels the cold.

The knitting itself wasn't difficult - a repeating knit two, pearl two pattern called chess board pattern in German. I like the effect and it is very warm.

I've got lots of future knitting plans lined up but I may revisit this one for Christmas presents.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Saturday Update

We've all had a very busy week in our house this week!

Following the long weekend and our day trip to Cuxhaven, I had a full work week. It flew by though and I have a few projects in the pipeline which I'm looking forward to.

Nico had a busy time with work arrangements for September. Yesterday he built Isabella's birthday slide. I can't wait to see her on it.

Isabella started walking!! She just takes three or four steps at a time and often when she thinks nobody is looking. She also plays guitar and applauds her own musicality.  I love watching this one grow.

Pete got his jabs this week. That means he's allowed to go outdoors now. Since Wednesday he has alienated the neighbours cat and brought home a tasty bird for tea. He's also extra protective of Isabella right now and she eggs him on with his shenanigans which is both sweet and scary at the same time.

We're eating from the garden and I'm finally eating without my toothguard for the first time since February!

The long weekend runs until Tuesday and then I have a quiet work week with two days at our school hostel in the countryside. Looking forward to it.

Friday, 22 May 2015


As I've mentioned before, my one little word for this year is 'thrive'. I wasn't surprised to find out that others have also chosen this word and some for the same reason.

One lovely American lady who also shares my name has a congenital brain condition called a Chiari malfunction. This week she faced her third surgery. The American healthcare system is not as good as ours and being a student, this has been an expensive time for Jen.

I saw this T-shirt on Jodie's instagram and immediately loved it. When I read the story behind the T-shirt - that it was raising funds for Jen's surgery, I snapped it up for my birthday.

The good news is that the T-shirts are available again and you can find them through the links above.

Here's wishing Jen a speedy recovery from her operation.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Garden Update: Order Up!

Look what we nibbled on last night - our radishes are ready!

They tasted great - a little hotter than the supermarket ones but very fresh and delicious!

So excited for all the tasty veggies growing out there right now. Next up - spinach salad!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


At the weekend we drove up to Cuxhaven to join Nico's parents for the first day of their holiday.

It was Isabella's first trip to the coast and she was suitably impressed by the beach. She didn't eat the sand luckily (I did as a baby) and we played with her sand toys for a bit.

Next we headed on to the playground and had lots of giggles on the slide (guess what someone is getting for her birthday).

There was a lovely restaurant nearby where we had fish and chips for lunch before buying postcards and icecream for dessert.

All in all we had a lovely day out and I'm looking forward to many more family trips.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Reading Review

The Key & The Tower - Simon Toyne

These were the second and last books from the Sanctus trilogy. I originally picked these books up because they looked like the kind of book I usually read - adventure with a bit of history thrown in. On that front, I wasn't disappointed. 

It was quite a page turner that kept me guessing throughout. The religious side was more extreme and required some suspension of belief. 

On the whole a good read that I would definitely pass on.

The Whitstable Pearl Mystery - Julie Wassmer

I came across this book because Julie is a friend of the family. I read her story a few years ago and we stayed at her holiday home in Whitstable for Nico's 30th so I was keen to see what her new book was all about.

It's a really nice detective story set in the coastal town. As well as keeping you turning those pages to find out 'whodunnit', Julie really sets the scene and gives the reader lots of background about the area without being overbearing.

I really enjoyed the story and the characters and I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series later this year.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

This is the latest from the classics list which I am still working my way through. I was keen to read it as I like the many adaptations which have been coming out lately and was keen to compare.

I was disappointed at first when the cases seemed so easy that I could figure them out but I kept going and the more difficult they became, the more I enjoyed it.

The magic of the book is in trying to figure out the complicated cases only to be pipped to the post by Sherlock and is inevitably simple explanation.

I was surprised to see how many Sherlock Holmes books Conan Doyle wrote, but I look forward to reading more of them.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Make It Monday - Knitted Blanket

I don't have a new finished project to share with you this week. I haven't lost my creative drive but I'm working on a bigger knitting project and still sewing those heat cushions.

Instead, I thought I would show you how my knitted blanket patches are going. I'm up to eight now. Each one has a different technique or stitch ans I am loving in. Number nine is sat on our craft bench waiting to go when the bigger project is done.

Knitting is really good for me at the moment - very relaxing. I was surprised to discover that many colleagues are knitters too. It feels good to still be learning new skills and keeping my brain active.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Saturday Update

We've had a lovely week here. It was a short work week thanks to the bank holiday. We had parents' meetings with our class this week which is always a good chance for reflection.

Thursday was bank holiday and father's day here in Germany and we had a nice relaxing day.

Yesterday we both took Isabella to her swim class and in the afternoon we had a lovely barbecue with our friends and their baby. The weather was beautiful and the company great.

Today we're chilling out again and considering a trip to the coast tomorrow if the weather holds out.

Friday, 15 May 2015

If you're happy...

Guess who learned how to clap! Now I have this song stuck in my head since bathtime. I'm sure it's a sign of things to come!

Thursday, 14 May 2015


Today is German fathers' day. We don't go in for commercial holidays and we're having a quiet day here. Nevertheless, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate the best German father I know on his first Father's Day.

He doesn't always have the easiest time of it with two demanding girls in his life but he looks after us and we love him very much.

Happy Father's Day Nico!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Garden Corner - Balcony Update

Green shoots are appearing in the balcony boxes! I love the magic of new signs of life. So far these have been relatively low maintenance - I just water them after a hot day.

I think these are pansies (there are also forget-me-nots in there). So looking forward to seeing the colour.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

New Glasses

As I mentioned, after over ten years and several new prescriptions, I finally invested in some new specs.

I wanted something a bit more modern and a statement rather than something that's hard to see. There were lots of colours but I wanted something neutral.

They've taken some getting used to but I'm really pleased with these ones. The quality is much better and I feel safer driving in these too.

Another positive step on my intention to 'thrive' this year.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Make It Monday - Girl's Summer Dress

It's my niece's 5th birthday this month and I wanted to make her something special. I remembered this project from last year and I had this lovely summery material just waiting for the right project.

I'm really pleased with the finish and the size - I just hope she likes it!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Saturday Update

After a lovely long bank holiday weekend, it was a pretty regular work week. 

We had some lovely weather, which meant we could get out in the garden and get to know our neighbours a bit better. Isabella especially liked playing with the other kids.

In pockets of time I've been sewing, knitting, colouring and reading.

The little one is clapping, swimming and standing a lot more. I'm enjoying this stage with her as much as all the others.

Next week is a very short one at work with another bank holiday and parents' meetings. I'm looking forward to a coffee with friends, more crafting and some quality family time.

Friday, 8 May 2015

The Election

Both of my countries are in election fever right now. I am not voting because I'm not eligible here in Germany and I haven't set up postal voting for the UK. I don't even know if it's possible from abroad. I'm a big believer that voting is important but it also seems a little hypocritical to vote for politics which, for the most part, won't apply to me.

It seems that there has been much change in the UK overnight with labour and lib dems losing out big time, especially for Ed Balls in my home town, which has a long labour history.

My social media is full of criticism of the results, so full that I wonder who voted for the conservatives at all. With a turn out of around 65% though, it's safe to say that those who stayed away from the polls could have made a huge difference so they shouldn't complain now.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Garden Corner: Veg Patch Update

Exciting news! Here you can see our spinach and radish leaves coming out. I can't wait until we have our first harvest. For now it's good to know that I didn't mess anything up with the planting!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015


...enjoying the sunshine.
...playing nurse to an increasingly adventurous baby.
...eating barbecue style.
...wearing more dresses.
...sewing a special birthday gift.
...playing bodyguard to an increasingly harrassed cat.
...reading this.
...indulging in some art therapy.
...catching up with friends.
...getting used to my new glasses.
...making plans for the next months.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


For my birthday, Nico bought me a waffle machine. Two weeks ago we tried plain (gluten free waffles) and I seized the opportunity to recreate the red, white and blue pancakes I had in New York. The fresh fruit really lifted the flavour and Isabella loved it too.

Last week we tried waffled banana bread from this book, and I'm eyeing up some new recipes for next weekend.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Make It Monday - May Birthday Cards

In a rare moment of creativity while looking through my stock, I remembered my star cutter and made some 3D pop-outs with some of my pretty card stock - prettier than this photo makes it look.

I like the new, clean, different feel of it. It seems a bit better than the washi tape.

It's also something I can adapt for boys or Christmas cards depending on the card stock. So May is off to a good start creatively!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The Saturday Update

This week was a nice short week at work, with the bank holiday yesterday. We relaxed and had some nice family time together.

I picked up my new glasses. They're different and I'm still getting used to them but they're nice.

Isabella is standing by herself more and more, which is exciting and fun to watch.

It finally feels like I'm finding my routine and work-life balance. Lots on the agenda for this month but it's relaxing.

Here's to a good start this week!

Friday, 1 May 2015

May Goals

  • Take a family photo.
  • Finish making the thank-you gifts for our moving helpers.
  • Finish the nursery paperwork.
  • Get to 10,000 steps twice per week.
  • Finish unpacking
  • Finish setting up the office