Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September Goals Review

  • Drink more water! - done! I've cut down on coffee and pop and drunk more tea and water.
  • Organise and celebrate the European Day of Languages. - done!
  • Complete three sewing projects. - one and a half done...
  • Take a family photo. - done!
  • Keep up the running. - this kind of tailed off in the second half of the month but I am cycling again.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Recipe: Banana Bread

This is a recipe I first tried a while ago and have made almost every week since. It's great to take to work - filling and healthy. Unfortunately, no photo yet - we eat it too quick!


  • 4 bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • Vanillin
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 200g ground almonds
  • pinch of salt
  • baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Combine the ingredients. Fill them into a baking tin in the oven at 180 degrees for 35 minutes. That's it!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Make It Monday - Patchwork Blanket Update

 I'm just halfway through my next sewing project so I thought I would update you on my knitting this week.

I'm currently working on patch number twenty-one! Above you can see the twenty finished ones. I'm still really enjoying this project and keeping my brain active with new patterns every week.
 These two are my favourites so far. Can't wait to see them all together!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Saturday Update

Another busy week here. Luckily Dad has been here to help us. He's flying home as I write so we're on our own next week...

At work I had parents' evening, European Day of Languages and the Weserhelden sponsored walk among other things. I'm starting to get into a routine but it's still a very busy time and things aren't likely to get much quieter this year.

Isabella had a good week. I even cycled her to nursery twice which was fun. We got her calendar of events for the year and it's packed with fun. I'm excited for this new stage of family life, starting with parents' evening next week.

I managed to get a bit creative again with sewing and knitting after what seems like a long break. I'm looking forward to the holidays for some time for bigger projects.

Next week is even busier with work, nursery, seminars and a whole new month!

Friday, 25 September 2015

European Day of Languages

Tomorrow is the European Day of Languages. As it's a Saturday, I've been doing quizes and lessons on it all week and we're having a whole school competition next week.

We haven't celebrated it in school before but it's important to get the kids to recognise the importance of languages and learn a bit more about them in a fun context.

This week I learned:

  • there are around six thousand living languages,
  • a third of them are African,
  • some sign language,
  • Japanese is written from top to bottom,
  • the palindrome 'was it Eliot's toilet I saw?'.
I'm hoping to make it an annual event in school.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Garden Update

 At the weekend I was lucky enough to have some gardening expertise from Nico's gran as I was clearing out the flower bed in our garden.

Above is how it now looks. It still needs work but after all the flowers (see below) died, I cut them back to the bulbs for next year and ripped up lots of the weeds.

There are still some flowers, strawberries and a bush. There are also a few weeds that still need to come out. I need a big plan for this area before I get stuck in again.

For now it will do and there's something quite cathartic about cutting it all back and pulling it all out.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Reading Review

Watership Down - Richard Adams

This was another one from the classics list. It's supposed to be a children's book but I actually found it to be quite complex.

The story follows a group of rabbits and their adventures to set up their own warren. The story itself is full of adventure and excitement.

There is a lot of technical background to do with rabbits too so it is educational as well as entertaining.

A good read despite being hard to get into.

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

My Mum left this one with me after her visit. I'd heard a bit about it. It's a mystery about a missing woman. I thought it was going to be another Gone Girl but it wasn't.

It's a mystery told in a new and original way. It keeps you guessing to the end and it was hard to put down - a perfect thriller!

Guilt - Jussi Adler-Olsen

The fourth in the department Q series is every bit as good as the first three. The regular characters are still being developed and the cases are always original.

This case links several disappearances in the 1980s. The story flits between now and then and keeps the reader guessing. I really enjoyed reading.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Paleo Pizza

Lately Nico found this idea for a new way to do grain free pizza.

The base is made of mince and it was cooked on the gas barbecue on a pizza stone.

It was delicious and held together perfectly. Now we have a new great way to do pizza and we can experiment with toppings.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Make It Monday - Rosette T-Shirt

 This is a project from this book that I've been meaning to get round to for a while.

Today I dug out a plain T-Shirt of Isabella's, some fabric scraps and a button and got stitching.

It was quick and easy and we both love it.

I can think of some more babies to make some more of these for soon!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Saturday Update

Every week, I think the next week can't be any busier and every week it seems I am mistaken.

We had a full on work week and still don't have final timetables.

We met our neighbours. We had a really nice evening and supper at their house. It's good to make new connections here.

Isabella stayed a little longer at nursery each day and even managed Friday alone although she did keep the others awake at naptime with a little song and dance routine!

I had a nice lunch out with Dad on Thursday while we waited to pick Isabella up.

Today we have various DIY jobs on the list and Nico's family are coming to help out.

Next week we have to try to make our routine work without Dad. He's still with us in case of emergencies but has to think about leaving soon. (Unless Isabella has an accident with his passport and the shredder...)

Friday, 18 September 2015

Friday Links

A push to get creative again?

I LOVE this idea.

Another good blogger / parent / creative type.

Must try to see these.

So many paper projects, where to start?

A new addictive Instagram feed.

Something to look forward to.

It's next week already!

Thursday, 17 September 2015


On the topic of home improvement, Nico built his long planned spice rack in the kitchen. It looks brilliant, is more easily accessible and frees up essential cupboard space. It's fantastic!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Getting things on the walls!

After eight months in our new house, we finally got things on our walls in August.

I can't tell you what a difference it makes. It's just so much more homely.

 We changed those large frames with prints from our time together. Above is a landscape from our first family holiday to the Harz. That's hanging in our living room.
 In our dining area is this landscape from our honeymoon in Scotland.
 We framed this portrait of Pete for our hallway.
 Opposite is our world map. I love the way the gold foil ties in to the frame of Pete's portrait.
 I changed out the multi-frames and we hung them on the stairs (see below) and landing.
 For a long time I wanted to get something like this to complete Isabella's room. I showed Nico, we picked out this Dr Seuss quote and he used his programming skills to make this. I love it.
The stairs were completed with this family portrait on canvas. It was taken at Isabella's christening.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Recipe: Layered fruit gazpacho

This is another recipe we found on the paleo website. It's easy, delicious and great in Summer.

It's basically three fruit purees: kiwi with lime juice, melon, and red berries with honey - yum!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Make It Monday - Nursery Doll

I can't claim this project. Dad did all of the work. At nursery, each child has a cuddly doll and one child hands them out as a kind of register every morning.

Isabella's teacher told us that the grandparents normally sew them while they're helping the child settle in.

I sewed the main body on the machine (a little too small thanks to a misunderstanding. Dad picked out and attached all the design and Isabella loved it.

It's such a nice and special little tradition at a really important time for Isabella. I love it.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Saturday Update

Despite having two days off and dad helping with Isabella, it's been another mad week here. We're finding our feet with new routines but we still have a way to go.

Isabella started nursery and she's doing really well. She stayed a little longer each day and it would have been longer had she had her own way.

Work is the same as ever, highs and lows, but it feels good to be getting back into the swing of things.

We took Isabella swimming yesterday - another routine we want to build in. Today we are going to the harvest festival with Nico's family as his cousin is the harvest king! Another new experience.

Next week is another full week - work, meeting neighbours, birthdays...and we'll be starting the handover from granddad to us with the nursery pick ups and drop offs. Here goes!

Friday, 11 September 2015


...enjoying having granddad here to stay.
...nervous and excited about Isabella at nursery.
...drinking more tea.
...planning and working hard for school.
...getting crafty for nursery.
...developing my camera skills.
...clearing out mine and Isabella's wardrobes bit by bit.
...feeling lucky to watch this little one grow and learn every day.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Isabella's First Day at Nursery

Just writing the title to this blog post made me shiver so I am sure you can imagine how I felt yesterday at work while our little baby had her first day at nursery.

Granddad is staying with us at the moment to accompany her to nursery until she gets settled in so she's not alone but after a year of one or the other of us being at home the whole time it was definitely a funny feeling.

She is so social that we weren't too worried about how she would mix.  She's had taster days and been around other children at playgroup and she loved both.

We rushed home from work for an update yesterday and of course, all had gone well.  For her first day, Isabella had breakfast with a classmate and then her main carer spent some one on one time playing with her while the other carers took the rest of the group to play.  Isabella really enjoyed it.  She was there for a little over an hour and then slept all the way home.

She'll go a little bit longer each day and mix more and more with the group.  Granddad will be here for a while and then he'll start to leave her more and more until she is completely settled.

Going back to work has been a huge change of pace for us and Isabella's integration is a key part of our new routine.  One thing I notice already is how much I miss her and how much I appreciate the evenings and weekends with her.

While I know she misses us, she is also settling quickly with other people which is an important part of her development so I am glad that it's going so well for her.  I'm so excited to watch her grow and learn new things in this new environment for the next two years.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Summer Manifesto #6 Read more

The last on my list was the most constant one. I read a lot this Summer. I don't know if it was as much as I thought but then, I'm such a bookworm, I could read all day if given the chance!

I definitely mixed it up more with some magazines and different blogs as well as my books. It was just nice to sit out with a book a little more often.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Recipe: Apple Smoothie

Towards the end of the holidays we tried this smoothie. It was great to try something new, tasty and healthy for breakfast.
It's basically made up of apple, almond milk, honey, cashew nuts and cinnamon so it's filling and fits in with paleo.

Looking forward to making it again.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Make It Monday - Table Mat

Mum recently gave me this book. I love that you don't need much material to complete the projects and they look really nice.

Today I finished my first one - a star shaped table mat. I used some of my orange fat quarters from last year. It's not quite as autumnal as I was going for but I like it.

I can imagine making some more of these for Christmas.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Saturday Update

What a week!

It was back to work with a bang this week. I had three days of meetings and training followed by two days with my class. It was good to get back to it. There are lots of new and exciting projects going on and I'm keen to get involved.

There was an added complication of us having to take Isabella to work this week. We're lucky both that our bosses allow it and that Isabella is a relatively 'easy' baby. She only had one bad day with teething. Grandad arrives today and we're wondering how we can hide his passport...

Nico's had a good start with his new school and class and it's been good to travel together. Not sure how possible this will be long term...still waiting on our timetables.

We haven't had much time for other projects but I got a bit of sewing done and I'm hoping to share it with you on Monday.

Next week my new timetable starts on Wednesday, Nico has a mixed week and Isabella starta nursery! Thank goodness Grandad is here!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Cold Brewed Coffee

Recently, I've heard a fair bit about cold brewed coffee. It being so hot this summer and us living with a one year old, Nico did a bit of research and we decided to give it a try.

The difference between iced coffee and cold brew is that iced coffee is normal, hot coffee cooled down with ice. Cold brewed coffee is brewed for twenty-four hours before it's filtered.

It's definitely different - milder, less acidic and very refreshing. I think we'll be doing it again next summer too!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Summer Manifesto #8 Listen to more music

This one kind of fell into place with very little effort on my part. Normally, I listen to the most music in the car and I go through phases of listening to certain albums on repeat. To be fair I've been quite good at switching it up and listening to new things over the last few months.

Despite not being in the car as much in the holidays, we've had lots of different music on while we sit on the terrace and it's so much more relaxing than being in front of the television. I may need to keep this one up in some form even when it's too cold for sitting out.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Recipe: Paleo Plum Cake

Last week I tried this recipe with plums. It was very easy. I mixed the dough, let it rest while I cut the plums, put them on top and then in the oven for 35 minutes. I'm really pleased with the result. I think maybe I'll put some fruit into the dough next time though and then experiment with different fruits.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

September Goals

Here are my goals for the month:

  • Drink more water!
  • Organise and celebrate the European Day of Languages.
  • Complete three sewing projects.
  • Take a family photo.
  • Keep up the running.