Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Saturday Update

We've had a great festive week here.

Christmas started on Christmas Eve with the opening of the first present. Isabella loved that Santa had been.

We had a lovely day on Christmas Day with lots of present opening, delicious food and drink and quality family time.

Boxing Day and Tuesday were quiet. Isabella loved her time with grandad - doing jigsaws, playing games and prancing around in the garden.

On Wednesday we took Isabella for her second haircut. She loved chatting with the hairdresser and the walk home.

Dad left on Thursday after a last shopping trip. I took Isabella to the playground.

Yesterday I took the kids shopping and to the bank before dashing home for coffee/a playdate with some friends.

This week Isabella goes back to nursery and I need to practice for being home alone with the baby!

Friday, 30 December 2016


Made me laugh.

Looking on the bright side.

Learn to switch off!

Cute kids gift.

I like to see people get what's coming.

A review.

Ideas for when winter arrives.

Looking forward.

Interesting take on praising children.

A lovely Christmas story.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

December Goal Review

Here's how our month went:
  • Find our groove as a family of four. - done.
  • Celebrate our first Christmas at home. - done!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The Fourth Trimester Magazine

My first issue of this magazine arrived today. I came across it on social media because someone who I went to school with had written an article in this, the third issue of the magazine.

When Isabella was born, I started to follow more blogs and websites about motherhood. After Joshua's birth, I'm remembering how crucial such links, contact and support are for a mother's mental well-being.

I'm still at the beginning of this issue but I can already say I'll be ordering it again, along with the back issues. As with the Unmumsy Mum, it's so good to be reminded that I'm not the only mother who can struggle at times. At a time when the internet and society is often used to bring people down, it's good to know that there are niches like these, building people back up.

The articles are well-written and varied and the illustrations are beautiful.

If you're interested, look here.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Kirchweyhe Christmas Market

As I mentioned, we rounded off the nursery year by meeting some of Isabella's nursery friends and their parents at the local Christmas market.

There were four children (five with Joshua, though he slept in the carrier) and eight adults. We started the evening with a catch up at the big Christmas tree. The kids literally ran rings around us which helped tire them out.

Suddenly, Isabella ran up with a gingerbread Santa. A nice lady and her toddler grandson were handing them out as advertising for a local garage. We shared it out among the four children.

After a while we headed to the carousel where we all bought tokens and the kids must have had ten rounds and a go on each different part of the carousel. They loved it and it was a joy to see them together having so much fun.

Santa never showed but between the rides, the punch and food, the kids never noticed. I hope we can make plans to meet the others more often in the new year.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Make it Monday - Art Therapy

It's been a quiet craft week around here. I did receive a crafty Christmas gift in the form of this Anti-stress colouring book and I finished page one already! It's good that I can do it one handed, I'll see if it reduces stress...

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Season's Greetings

From my house to yours, a very merry Christmas.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

The Saturday Update

We've had a lovely week here. First we relaxed a lot and (touch wood) we're feeling better than last weekend.

Isabella had four good days at nursery and a fun trip to the Christmas market with three of her nursery friends yesterday evening. She must have been on the carrousel ten times.

Joshua's settling down a bit. This means I'm managing to get a bit more done. He's more and more aware every day.

Nico and I planned Christmas dinner, did a lot of shopping and got tidied up.

Dad arrived on Thursday evening and settled straight back into Grandpa duties.

Today we'll be doing the final preparations for tomorrow. Nico's family are coming tomorrow and I'm excited for our first Christmas in our home.

Friday, 23 December 2016


Shopping here would freak me out.

Sometimes I miss the divide.

Interesting (Mum).

Thinking about this when I go back to work.

Learnt something new here.


So much truth.

More parenting advice.


A new journaler to follow. And another.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Children's Books

Since I last posted on this topic, Isabella has developed a few of her own favourites. Here are some of her current ones.

The Gruffalo

So much fun. She loves the book and the film and knows it off by heart!

The Children's Atlas

Lately, this has been hwr favourite bedtime 'story'. To be honest, it's getting on my nerves but we flick through looking at all the pictures. There are lots of animals and she's actually learned lots of new vocabulary thanks to this.

The Snail and the Whale

This is also one of my favourites and from the same authors as the Gruffalo. It's about a snail who travels the world on the tail of a whale.

Peace at Last

We had this book when we were little about a bear who can't sleep. It's a cute story and she joins in with the reading.

For Christmas, Isabella's getting this and Joshua this.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Day In The Life

After my success with the 31 Things project, I managed to squeeze in one more Ali Edwards project - Day in the Life - just before Joshua's birth.

 I ordered the kit directly from Ali's website and it made the whole process very easy - especially since I put most of the format together one - handed while feeding Joshua.
 The project actually documents the day before I went into labour. It was a Sunday and Dad's last full day with us.

I took a photo and made some notes every hour. I wrote the notes up on the cards, printed the photos and added the embellishments - simple!
I love the finished product, I enjoyed using some of my products from Project Life and I'll definitely be documenting Day in the Life again!

Monday, 19 December 2016

Make it Monday - Christmas Cards

This year, with the crazy run up to Christmas that we've had, I decided to keep the Christmas cards simple. Following on from the November birthdays, I used the brown card stock and cracked out my Christmas stamps. I tried some red and green ink to make them festive but in the end I prefered the clearer black.

I also used matching gift tags with my wrapping. It's a theme I may stick with for a while. Unfortunately I don't have a picture for you due to 'baby brain'.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Weekly Wisdom

If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

The Saturday Update

It's been another week of ups and downs here. It's gone so fast and I can't believe it's just a week to Christmas!

On Monday we went to Ikea and Nico rearranged thd kitchen - it looks so much better. In the afternoon some friends came over to meet Joshua. It was good to talk to them.

On Tuesday I took Joshua to brunch with the yoga mums. Again, it was really nice to get out and about and mix. Joshua slept for most of it and it was crazy to see the difference four months makes in the babies. It was a good reminder to enjoy the moment with Joshua (and Isabella) as it goes so fast.

The rest of the week was mainly spent at home but we got lots done - cards and letters posted, presents wrapped, place on a post-natal fitness course booked, Joshua's clothes resorted (pink is out), Christmas lights up, journaling done and two midwife visits.

This morning Joshua's full of cold, I've got some kind of tummy bug and Isabella is still coughing. I'm hoping we can all get some rest and get healthy for Dad's visit and Christmas.

Friday, 16 December 2016


As a linguist, I find this so interesting.

This is so sweet.

On the topic of cats.

Looking for something to watch over the holidays?

Not sure about all of these.

Recently been relearning this.

An interesting read.

We didn't do this but it sounds clever.

May have to get these.

If I weren't breatfeeding over Christmas, I would so do this.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Christmas Lights

Nico recently bought some waterproof remote controlled lights. They're perfect outdoor Christmas decorations and we decided to put them in the garden so we get to see them and they're in range of the house for turning on or off. Extra Christmas spirit!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Surprising things about birth #2

I'm hoping to share our birth story soon - when I have time and two free hands to type more. One thing I know for sure is that I went into the process naively thinking that the second time would be more or less the same as the first. Boy was I wrong. Here are some of the biggest surprises I had bringing Joshua into the world.

1. Yes, I'd done it before, just 2.5 years before but it's incredible how much you forget; the different stages of pregnancy, the pains, how tiny they are, how much longer it takes to change an uncooperative newborn who doesn't 'point their toes' or 'put their arms up'.

2. The after pains. I barely remember them from the first birth but they were as bad as some of the contractions this time. Apparently they get stronger with each birth and women who have four or five births behind them say that they get worse than the labour itself.

3. Boys are different! Apart from the obvious physical differences (I've been peed on several times already), both he and I have rashes from the hormones and apparently boys are louder.

4. The red tape. I saved the paperwork we had to fill out with Isabella to help us out this time but in just 2.5 years the birth certificate application process, the child benefit form, the medical tests, and who knows what else have changed.

5. It's harder with two. I've often wondered how single parents cope, now I'm in complete awe. If Nico hadn't had paternity leave, I'd never have managed. Friends had warned me and it's true, the hardest thing about parenting two is not being able to satisfy both children all the time. It's a good learning curve for us all though.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

My top 3 Christmas Films

As an English teacher, I love having an excuse to crack out the Christmas films with my pupils every year, I'm missing it right now but I'm hoping to introduce Isabella to one on Christmas Eve. Here are my three favourites:

Brilliant comedy, suitable for family watching and full of Christmas spirit.

Love Actually
I love these kinds of films - lots of different stories woven together. This film is so focused on what's important at this (and any) time of year - friends and family.

Home Alone
This one takes me right back to my childhood. I always wanted to fill our house with booby traps too!

Monday, 12 December 2016

Make it Monday - Origami Christmas Decoration

This is my latest project from the Mollie Makes magazine. It was really easy - I think I had it in 20 minutes and I used some of the craft paper that comes with the magazine so it was free!

I plan to do something similar for the kids' rooms and look forward to doing a project like this with them. Isabella was very impressed when she saw this on the tree.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Weekly Wisdom

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Saturday Update

Well another week has flown by in a whirlwind of feeds, nappy changes and naps. Joshua is thriving. Isabell is full of beans despite having a tummy bug. Nico is doing a great job looking after all of us.

I took Isabella to nursery on Wednesday and it felt good to get out. We also walked to the shops yesterday - our first outing as four. We discovered two new ways to settle the baby - walks and the vacuum cleaner!

We got our house decorated and the Christmas shopping done and even a bit of crafting.

Next week we have a few more appointments and outings planned. Here's hoping for another restful but productive week.

Friday, 9 December 2016


Almost starting to miss work.


A positive side to the patchwork family.

Let's take note!

Some of these look like fun!

Important message for our daughters.

An interesting idea.

A fun map!

Thursday, 8 December 2016


Loving this band at the moment - amazing talent. Already bought their album for Christmas presents.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


 Amazingly between feeds, changes and naps, we've also managed to get our house decorated for Christmas. This is always something of a highlight for me.

My in-laws always buy me decorations so the collection is ever growing. This year I had totally forgotten the big snowman from last Christmas. I love it!
The growing collection fits nicely into the house. I feel like we're getting more rooms into the spirit.

Another highlight this year is that Isabella gets it. She's been so excited with advent and Nikolaus and she loved helping to decorate the tree. I think it turned out quite well considering how high a two-year-old can reach.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016


 For obvious reasons we were a little late setting up for Advent this year but yesterday, I finally got around to it. Like last year Isabella has a daily and weekly calendars.

She also has a chocolate one from family.
Here in Germany it's tradition to put something other than chocolate in there which I love. (Although she will be disappointed by the time January gets here...) Since she's old enough to get it, I found her a 24-piece jigsaw. Some pieces barely fit but she's so excited already.

For the weekly one I got her a couple of little figures, a car and a mini-torch. Can't wait to see her face when she opens them.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Make it Monday - November Birthday Cards

This was my first attempt with new card stock and stamps. I kept it fairly simple which I liked but the names made each one individual.

I like the new neutral stock and I have since made our Christmas cards with it too. Amazon had some great offers on card stock this month so I was in luck.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Weekly Wisdom

Winter is for home and hibernation.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Saturday Update

We had a life changing week here. After a weekend of walks and visiting the local Christmas market, Dad left on Monday morning.

By evening I was in labour and Joshua was born in the early hours of Tuesday. It was a quick labour in the end and he is like Isabella in so many ways but much louder!

We came home on Thursday and we're still finding our feet but it's getting a bit better. I'm so grateful that Nico is home with us and that Isabella is taking the changes in her stride.

We had our first visitors yesterday. Joshua barely noticed - he's a real Mummy's boy, but Isabella loves having family here.

More settling into the new routine and getting ready for Christmas next week.

Friday, 2 December 2016


Might need this soon.

Love these.

Glad I'm out of this for a while!

How different some of these films might have been.

I've learned this lately!


Going to try this.

Continuing the Christmas theme. (It is December now...)

Thursday, 1 December 2016

December Goals

Here are my plans for this month:

  • Find our groove as a family of four.
  • Celebrate our first Christmas at home.
And that's it! This year has been manic and wonderful and I feel we deserve some time for ourselves to recharge the batteries and find our way into a brand new stage.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

November Goal Review

Here's how my month went:
  • Isabella's photo wall - done!
  • Get out and wash baby clothes - done!
  • Sort out the office/guest room - done!
  • Pack hospital bag - done!
  • Start planning/buying/making for Christmas - in progress
  • Date night - not done, but this was a bit over ambitious this month.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

It's a boy!

He's here! We welcomed our son Joshua to the family early this morning in what turned out to be a very quick labour after a week of waiting! I'll write more once we're home and settled. For now, we're settling into life as four.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Make it Monday - Constellation Embroidery

Here's my latest Mollie Makes project. It's embroidery which is still quite new to me but as with my knitting magazine, I love that they provide clear tutorials both through the magazine and on their website.

I finally feel confident with French knots - you can see how many there are in the pattern above.

The white on a dark background was new for me and I love the effect it has too.

It's inspired me to crack out the embroidery books soon.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Weekly Wisdom

And she gazed at the sky, the sea, the land, the waves, and the caves and the golden sand, 
she gazed and gazed amazed by it all, 
and she said to the whale 'I feel so small!'

Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Saturday Update

Still waiting! We had a fun weekend swimming last week and getting ready for baby. All week we've been in the usual routine for Isabella while walking lots and attending lots of appointments.

I'll write about the birth once it's over but I will say already that it's not true that it goes quicker the second time around. Maybe the active bit will but I've been having contractions for four days and still no baby.

It's turned really cold now but we're going for a walk later and then it's back to the waiting game...

Friday, 25 November 2016


Excited to try this next year.

A lucky story.

True - I didn't get it as a kid.


I'm a big believer in karma.

What a great record to break!


Funny and a bit tragic.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Operation Christmas Child

For the second year in a row, we took part in the German version of Operation Christmas Child. This was last year's as I forgot to take a picture but it's such a good cause I wanted to blog about it again.

Basically you take a shoe box and fill it with gifts for a child who otherwise wouldn't have many presents. The project came to our attention through Isabella's nursery and you have to specify whether the gift is for a boy or girl and what age. I always go for a girl Isabella's age.

We filled it with a variety of fun things and then wrapped it up. There was a huge tower of boxes at the end of hand-in day. So many more happy children. Our first bit of Christmas cheer.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Photo Walk

The fields near our home.

Such a peaceful street
My walking buddies
This is a small river
More fields

Even relaxing at this time of year

An old farmhouse

Our local church
Some photos from a recent walk to try and get baby moving.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Advent Preparation

Getting ready for baby number two has brought some of my festive season preparations forward and I'm all ready for Advent this year.

Advent is a much bigger deal here and it starts next week! Isabella has two calendars - this daily one that I made last year, and a weekly one.

She was a bit young for the whole experience last year but she's already picking up on prearations this time. As always, we're trying to combine traditions and part of that is moving the focus off chocolate. In her daily calendar, Isabella will be getting one chocolate and one piece from a 24-piece BieneMaya jigsaw.

For her weekly one, I've rounded up four small gifts - a torch, figures, a car. I'm so looking forward to her opening them!

Just Christmas to finish sorting now!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Make it Monday - Mini Owl

This is the little decorative project Nico got me at the Handmade craft fair back in October. It was a fun little one to do.

It's really tiny so most of it was done by hand which was fiddly but fun and I think it's so cute! I would definitely do more - they had a variety of these mini figures which could be tree decorations, keyrings or stand alone decorations.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Weekly Wisdom

Patience is not the ability to wait, it's the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

The Saturday Update

Quiet week around here. We had a quiet weekend to get over feeling under the weather.

I got lots of nesting done at the start of the week - tidying, washing, finishing up projects.

On Wednesday we went to visit a friend and her daughter for coffee. It was nice to get the girls together. In the evening Dad arrived. Unless the baby comes really late, he should be here for Isabella when we go to hospital.

On Thursday we had a busy day. We walked to Isabella's nursery to encourage the baby - no luck yet, just really tired. We had a nice lunch out with Isabella and then I went to accupuncture.

On Thursday evening I went to a seminar on dealing with temper tantrums. It was a bit more theoretical than I was expecting but interesting nevertheless.

Yesterday we took it easy - all a bit tired after the week and Isabella getting up more at night.

We may go swimming this weekend and then back to the waiting game...

Friday, 18 November 2016


Try it!

This is a relief because I never do...

An interesting read for the hard times.

Sometimes I worry about this, especially for our children.

Another new blog I'm enjoying.

Here's some perspective and inspiration. (Get the tissues ready.)


Getting real now!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

31 Things

After over a year working on this journaling project from Ali Edwards, I finally finished it this week and I am so pleased with the results.

As you can see, I'm still waiting for the album to arrive but otherwise it's complete. Next time I'll be ordering direct from Ali.

The project is based around 31 prompts from Ali's online classroom which are designed to get you writing about yourself.

It needn't take a year to complete; in fact Ali recommends a month but that's the thing I love about this kind of project - everyone can work at their own pace. Since I was working again and started at a busy time of year, I broke it down into baby steps.

First I wrote in a new notebook, addressing one 'thing' per week. Then I typed these up, three per week, editing as I went along. This took 41 weeks.

I then moved on to the photographs and did these over a couple of weeks. I really want to improve my photography skills. Sometimes it was hard to find a fitting subject for a particular theme but it worked out. The important thing is to find something that gives a small insight into life at the moment.

Finally I completed three layouts a week. I stuck to the suggested layouts and used the recommended materials. When all 31 were done, I did the front page (above) and stamped the sides.

I'm really glad I did this project. I think it helped my writing. It certainly helped me reflect this year. It also inspired me to look for more journaling projects though I really want to do something that focuses more on us as a family next.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Reading Review

Maternity leave has done wonders for my reading so far. Here are my latest books.

The Fiery Cross - Diana Gabaldon

As ever epic in both length and content, this latest installment in the Outlander series had me gripped.

Gabaldon is great at mixing new characters with the old, mixing description with action and providing an informative historical perspective.

I did miss the change of scenery in this one - until now, each novel was more or less set in a different country - but it was still full of fresh sides to the story and new developments.

39 Steps - John Buchan

I received this book as a 'children's classic' many years ago and finally got around to reading it now. Luckily it is fairly short so it wasn't too arduous to read but I really don't know why a child would read this.

It's a wartime spy story following the protagonist as he flees from German spies from London to Scotland and back again. The story itself is good but it's couched in pages of description and landscape which really hold up the narrative.

What also put me off were the numerous typos in my edition, even though it was not printed in a time before spellcheck!

The Horse and His Boy - C.S.Lewis

Continuing the Narnia series, I flew through this one in a couple of days. I had remembered this one as the odd one out of the series but it's really not. The main characters are new but they link up with the main characters from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the narrative takes place in the same world.

The story follows Shasta and his flight from a miserable life of slavery to discover his true past. It's a true adventure story and I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to Isabella reaching a suitable age for us to read these together.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Lantern Festival

One of my favourite things about being a mum is joining in with celebrations like this one. Maybe because I miss Bonfire Night so much, Lantern Festival is one of my favourite traditions - a celebration of light to cheer up the long, dark nights.

Last year was our first one. Isabella was new at nursery, I was helping inside with the PTA. This year was very different. A whole year older, she managed to walk the whole route herself. She carried her lantern proudly and held hands with her friends.

After the walk, we sang around a little fire and some of the staff acted out the St Martin's scene. The children were treated to pretzels and fruit punch and ran around together.

It was a bit drizzly and our camera battery had run out but you can see this year's lantern above. I'm really looking forward to advent and Christmas next!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Make it Monday - Spiral Scarf

This is one of the few 'big projects' I've completed from my knitting course since I finally got caught up on the blanket patches thanks to maternity leave.

I loved the spiral effect and the colours and the whole thing was much more simple than it looked, it just took longer than I'm used to.

I'm hoping it will make a nice Christmas gift. I'm also hoping to make a second one soon as I have enough wool left!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Weekly Wisdom

Happy mind, happy life.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Saturday Update

It's been an eventful week! We had a quiet weekend so that Nico could get some work done.

On Monday I got various jobs done round the house.

On Tuesday I went to a union training day. It was good to be out and about and kind of in a work atmosphere.

Wednesday was a lovely day meeting up with the other ladies from pre-natal yoga and their sweet babies. I'm the last one expecting so it was a lovely reminder of what's coming. It was also nice to be in touch with other local mums.

After my check ups on Thursday, another highlight was the lantern festival at Isabella's nursery. It was cold and a bit drizzly but it was wonderful to see the kids together and the difference a year has made in them. Isabella has two little boyfriends who were fighting over holding hands with her. They ate pretzels and drank fruit punch. It was lovely.

Yesterday, I got some chores done, made our Christmas cards and gave my last tutoring session until after the birth.

This weekend I'll be trying to keep Isabella entertained and tidy up a little bit to be ready for next week.

Friday, 11 November 2016


A great christmas gift for a bookworm.

Some interesting pedagogic tips.

A new fabric shop. (I love their tweeds)

Food for thought at the moment.

Made me laugh.

What a moving story.

Thought-provoking photos.

I can totally relate.

Really want to try a gluten free version of this.

Feel like trying this (even if I weren't a parent).

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Coming soon...

Looking forward to this!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Photo Wall

This was an idea that Nico had a while ago. I wasn't so keen because I don't like these plastic holders but I've come round to the idea, we did it, and we're all really pleased with the results.

Isabella has had a lot of change lately with nursery friends moving on to Kindergarten and soon there's going to be an even bigger change in her life and we wanted to do something that gives her a bit of reassurance.

She loves photos and people and we've managed to fill over half the photo holder with pictures of friends and family. We've gotten almost everyone in there, though some of the pictures are a bit older.

That's one of the advantages though - the photos are easy to change out over time and soon enough, she'll be able to organise it herself. I really recommend it!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Funny things she says

Isabella is talking more by the day. She often uses full sentences now and she parrots a lot. I love that she is developing her own character and expressing herself. She's bilingual and often makes me laugh. Here are some of my favourites.

Me: Don't be so bossy.
Isabella: Bossy madam!
(The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!)

Going down the stairs:
Isabella: Mama, halt fest! Sonst fällst du over (Mummy, hold my hand! Otherwise you'll fall over!)

Talking about a TV series storyline over dinner:
Nico: It's all the same!
Isabella: All the same!
Me: (laughing) Is it?
Isabella: (serious) Yeah. Maybe one day...maybe Monday.

Me: You're my favourite girl.
Isabella: And your favourite food is Gruffalo Crumble.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Make it Monday - October Birthday Cards

This month I used up my card stock. Lots of girls' birthdays this month and little boys'. I used lots of stickers up too. I like the outcomes.

Now I'm looking for new card stock and a new direction as I get ready for Christmas.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Weekly Wisdom

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, 
and the best thing you can be.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Saturday Update

It's been a long, slow week here. I'm struggling to feel motivated at the moment, despite the extra time on my hands.

Monday was a quiet day.

Tuesday was busy with appointments. I registered at the hospital. By a lovely coincidence, I was greeted by the midwife who delivered Isabella. I had a blood test, did some shopping and called in at work.

Wednesday was lantern workshop at nursery. It was nice to see the other kids and parents and I'm looking forward to lantern festival next week.

Thursday was my weekly checkup - all good. I also got some errands done.

Friday was another quiet day. A friend of Nico's called round in the afternoon and we had a takeaway. I also got four washloads done and a project for Isabella's room.

We're having a quiet weekend with all of us needing some rest.

Friday, 4 November 2016


Beautiful animals.

Made me laugh.

Life in Germany.

I'll be reliving these soon!

Sweet dinner ritual.

Teacher life.

If I'd had more energy over Halloween...

So cute!

Interesting. Can't believe I never noticed #14!

Amazing report.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Reading Review

What Katy Did - Susan Coolidge

This is a classic that was given to me as a gift when I was a child. I must have read it at the time but it's so long ago, it may as well have been completely new to me.

It follows the story of twelve year old Katy Carr in 1860s America. She's the eldest of several children and is learning several life lessons. It's a good read as an adult but I think even better as an older child.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S.Lewis

One of my absolute favourites. I continued the Narnia series and I was surprised how short this book was. It's such a sweet story of friendship and bravery and I always enjoy it. Looking forward to continuing the series.

The Calm Birth School - Suzy Ashworth

A former school friend who is now a midwife recommended this to me. I'd read a lot of rave reviews about hypnobirthing and wanted to understand it more to see if it may be something for the upcoming birth.

It was a really interesting read and I'm still mulling things over. I think the concepts can be really useful but I think it's something you have to be 100% committed to and I'm not sure I can be but I'm going to read it again and try some of the techniques.

A lot of the theory is about taking the fear out of the birth process but having been through it once, a lot of the fear is already gone as I have a better idea of what to expect. Let's see.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

World Savings Day

As I mentioned at the weekend, Friday was world savings' day. I don't remember this being such a big event in England but here in Germany it's especially fun for children.

We set up a savings account for Isabella when she was about six months old. There are only so many toys she can play with at that age and she often receives money as gifts. Since she has all she needs, all this money goes into her money box or her account. One stipulation to the account is that a monthly payment is made so we give her a little something too.

It's really important to me that she has a good financial upbringing and avoids debt. Bringing her up in Germany certainly helps as banks here are much more responsible in not throwing credit cards at you.

On world savings day, children take their money boxes to the bank to be emptied into their account. As a reward they can choose a gift. Isabella picked this cute seal to go with her owl from last year. She also received a balloon animal and discovered the play corner in the bank.

It was really busy but it was fun and a tradition that we will be continuing.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

November Goals

How are we here already?! This is going to be a big month for us but there's still lots to do:

  • Isabella's photo wall
  • Get out and wash baby clothes
  • Sort out the office/guest room
  • Pack hospital bag
  • Start planning/buying/making for Christmas
  • Date night

Monday, 31 October 2016

Make it Monday - Meditation Cushion

In the October holidays Nico and I finished our first joint project - meditation cushions.

We've both been getting into spiritual hobbies; yoga for me and tai chi and meditation for Nico. The cushions really help to make things more comfortable.

We found this tutorial online and altered it a bit as we want to make seperate covers so that they're easier to wash. These are filled with chaff (the by product of wheat) and zip up. I think it took two days but was easily possible in one. I broke a needle on the zip but I was being rather gunho - slow and steady is a better idea.

Isabella loves them so I'm looking for a child friendly version - a beanbag seat maybe? - to make for her.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Weekly Wisdom

Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Saturday Update

It's been a quiet week around here. Contractions started on Sunday but eased off again overnight. I never had ‘practice contractions' with Isabella so I was taken by surprise but the doctor said everything else was quiet and I should just take things easier.

So I have. I've started having the odd nap, reading lots, I finished my knitting and did some sewing. I had a regular check up on Thursday where everything was normal and apart from nursery runs, I've only seen Nico and Isabella.

Highlight of the week was Friday again when we took Isabella to the bank with her money box for world savings day - more on that next week.

This weekend we're spending some time with Nico's family as it's his mum's birthday.

Friday, 28 October 2016



A new blog I'm following that reminds me of home.

One for the dads.

Good sewing tutorial.

I think we have different names for them in the UK but I've often wondered about this.

More drink trivia for after the birth.

Trying to be mindful in all things lately.

New recipe I need to try soon.

I don't normally go for this type of post but this one really caught my eye.

I feel like 10, 11 and 17 are my life right now.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

October Goals Review

Here's how I got on this month:
  • Get the baby's room ready. - done!
  • Write two letters. - one done.
  • Skype. - done!
  • Have a haircut. - done!

Made me laugh...

A new channel to while away maternity leave.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Handmade Craft Fair

This weekend was our second visit to the handmade craft fair in Delmenhorst. Last year I bought a sewing set for one of Isabella's Christmas gifts there and I was hoping for more of the same. Unfortunately, my favourite stall wasn't there and I'll have to resort to looking online but there was still plenty to see.

Nico booked our tickets online which saved us some euros.

We started in the big hall where most of the shops are. There were many stalls for wool and quilting. We're quite well stocked with knitting at the moment though and while I love quilting, it's an expensive direction to go in - not something I'm looking for right now.

I bought a little Christmas decoration project and that was all this time. Probably a good decision given what's coming our way between now and Christmas.

There were stalls for crafting tools, machines, material. What I really go for are sets - patterns with material and that was a bit lacking this time.

In the museum hall there were stalls with paper quilling, jewellery making and food products. They would make lovely Christmas presents.

In the night school building was the cafe, workshops and a few more stalls with material, soap, honey and wooden products.

I'm really glad we went, I'm looking forward to my decoration project and we'll be visiting again in future years.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016


This is our local church. After living here for two years we finally got around to going to a service on Friday evening.

We're not very religious but we both have some roots in the church. We married in Nico's family's local church and Isabella was christened there but now seemed like a good time to move things closer to us.

We'd like to go on Christmas Eve and to take Isabella more regularly but we hadn't managed it on a Sunday yet. Then we looked into it and discovered that they have a monthly youth service with lots of singing and it seemed perfect for our little music lover.

We wrapped up after dinner on Friday and headed over. Isabella was excited as she is with all new experiences. Her little face when the band got going made my week. She loved dancing, singing and flirting with the many teenagers.

It was nice that the youth congregation planned and delivered the service and I really liked the choice of songs and got into it myself - even though I hate singing in public.

Isabella gets excited just driving past the church now and we're really looking forward to our next visit.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Make it Monday - Scissor holders

I saw this tutorial online a while ago and it was a lovely easy project. It's perfect for sewers of all levels. It took me under an hour and is a great new home for keeping my different scissors in one place. I would fold it slightly more accurately next time and maybe even try to embroider it as a nice gift.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Weekly Wisdom

Do good for others, it will come back in unexpected ways.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The Saturday Update

What a week! Our first week in a routine has been very up and down, and very productive.

We'd had a quiet weekend but Isabella was a little poorly so she stayed at home with me for two days. We spent Monday watching Care Bears and on Tuesday she did some cutting and sticking while I did a lot of journaling.

On Wednesday I drove a lot, dropping off and picking up, calling at the hospital, the doctor and the shops. It was a busy day.

Isabella's nursery had kite festival on Thursday. We went in in the afternoon to bake, sing and craft with her.

Yesterday my friend called over for a good catch up and in the evening we went to our local church for the first time for the youth service. There was lots of singing and Isabella loved it. It was very uplifting and even the baby had a good wriggle.

This weekend we're hoping to visit the annual craft festival in Delmenhorst. I'm hoping for some Christmas inspiration.

Friday, 21 October 2016


I don't know if this is cool or just means celebs are lazy.

More childhood memories, clearly my parents weren't creative enough!

So moving.

Trying hard to put things like this into practice.

A new sewing project.

Some good parenting karma.

Numbers 1 and 3 are creepy!

Getting some post-partum inspiration lined up.

Made me laugh.


Thursday, 20 October 2016


 I've been taking stock lately. Sometimes I still use my diary as a gratitude list, writing down things that I am grateful for every day. I wanted to share some of those things here today.

I'm grateful for...

...friends who are there despite the separations of time and space. health.
 ...this one who is growing so fast and makes me laugh every day.

...the one growing inside me who will take me on this amazing journey called motherhood all over again.
 ...that we have the resources to keep our family warm, dry and fed through winter. Something many of us often take for granted.

...hobbies that give me time for myself.
 ...this amazing man and our six years together. He puts up with a lot!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Family Time

So we're exactly two days into our new routine and while they have been a really productive two days, or maybe because they have been so productive, I'm exhausted. Then again I'm eight months pregnant and Isabella has been home from nursery. During my first pregnancy I wondered why we get six weeks of maternity leave before the birth, now I know!

Our new routine has had one big positive though - we've finally started eating dinner at the table together on an evening. When we were both working, we were just glad to collapse on the sofa in front of the TV. Now I have time to prepare something.

Isabella loves getting to sit at the big table, which I figure is good practice to gradually get her out of the high chair. We really talk about our days and, without the distractions of TV or the internet, we really listen to each other. I feel like it's brought us closer after just two days and it's something I really want to keep up.

Tonight is pizza night!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

First Games

Isabella has been over the moon the past few weeks with some new games.  Nico did a little research online and came across a couple of games suitable for two year olds and older.

The first one was this fruit orchard game which is designed to practise colours.  The very first time we played, she was a bit thrown by the whole concept but from the second time on, she's played perfectly - in both languages.  She finds it really fun.

Inspired by the success, Nico then ordered a farm game to do with counting which has gone down just as well.  She loves anything to do with animals and is also counting in both languages - though not always in order.

It's a goal of ours to start having a regular games night again and I love that she is finally reaching the age where we can do this as a family.  Both the concepts of colours and animals have been big projects at nursery so the games mean that we are reinforcing their good work at home, plus, she will hopefully not feel left out when the baby comes along.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Make it Monday - Baby Trousers

Along with the baby bib pattern from Mollie Makes a few weeks ago, there was one for baby trousers. As a friend recently had a second beautiful baby girl, it seemed like a lovely newborn gift given that they are size 0-3 months.

It's been a while since I made baby clothes but it's something I want to do more of and these are a perfect start. I used the same material as for the bib and I like the colours.

The pattern was easy to follow and I found the jersey easy to work with. This is something I'll be doing for future gifts too.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Weekly Wisdom

You've got to be willing to do the work.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Saturday Update

Another slow yet productive week around here. Isabella had nursery, Nico's been recovering and I've been doing a bit of everything.

I had a good meeting with the council on Monday about getting fresh catering at the nursery.

Tuesday we were at the hairdressers.

Wednesday I had drinks with the other parents from Isabella's nursery group.

Thursday was my prenatal check up - all good there.

And yesterday was working through a big to-do list at home.

On the whole there were lots of little things going on this week that don't seem like much but on the whole it's been productive and the house looks good.

Now we're enjoying a similar sort of weekend before starting a new routine next week.

Friday, 14 October 2016


...making the most of time with Nico before school starts again next week.
...enjoying the fireplace.
...reading a new Outlander novel.
...preparing the house for some big changes.
...spending time with Isabella and appreciating every moment.
...crafting like a machine.
...drinking hot lemon with honey.

Thursday, 13 October 2016


There are lots of things I feel like I should be doing for myself at the moment but just don't find the time or money.

  • More exercise
  • A facial
  • Better eating habits
  • Pedicure
  • A hot bath
  • ...
Up until Tuesday, I hadn't had my hair cut in almost a year and I can't explain how much better I feel for it.

Some things, like running and painting my toenails, have to wait until the new year but I'm going to start taking better care of myself right now by drinking more water and eating more fruit and veg. 

They're goals I've set before but being ill, and life in general has knocked my determination a bit lately so I'm renewing this promise to myself.