Thursday, 31 March 2016

March Goals Review

Here's the progress I made this month:
  • Sort out / clear out the bedrooms - two out of three done.
  • Date night - done!
  • Run once per week - three out of four weeks and we walked a lot in that week!
  • Upload family history photos - done!
  • Write two letters - done!
  • Sew, knit, journal - done!
  • Family photo - done!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Refreshing Summer Drink

Despite the long to do list this morning, I'm feeling nice and refreshed having lit some relaxing scented candles and my wonderful husband providing refreshments.

We've had a soda machine for a while and Nico recently ordered some new syrup flavours. Today I'm enjoying a summery, refreshing mojito. Yum!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Easter Fire

 On Sunday we visited the Easter fire in Leeste.  We arrived really late last year and missed most of the action.  This year we met up with one of Isabella's little nursery friends and his parents and it was really nice.

First we went to the main bonfire.  It was huge!  The little ones enjoyed it and had a little run around.  Then we had some chips and drinks before heading over to the hill to prepare for the main event.
It took forever to get dark and set up and that  was the worst bit for the kids but it was worth it.  Here in Leeste, they prepare big rolls of hay, set them on fire and roll them down the hill.  Isabella was stood right at the front of the crows and thought it was brilliant. 

She was asleep before we even got back to our street and had a lie in on Monday morning!  This will definitely be an annual outing.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Make it Monday - April birthday cards

Not too many birhdays this month. Looking for some new inspiration for May as I need to stock up on materials and I'm sure the men I know are sick of cards with stars by now.

One theme I like are these photo cards. Having little ones make birthdays a good opportunity to send new photos and updates to relatives we don't often see. A bit of sparkle and voila!

P.S. Hoping to have a big project finished by next Monday.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

The Saturday Update

What a week!  I can't believe we are already half way through the holidays.

We had a relaxed and yet somehow productive weekend, working in the garden, getting set up for Easter and changing Isabella's room around.

Then we had a fantastic week in Stockholm.  After an early trip back, we spent most of yesterday recovering.

Today we hit the supermarket early to avoid missing out in the Easter weekend rush.  (Supermarkets here in Germany were closed yesterday and will be closed until Tuesday.)  We got unpacked and tidied up and Nico is back in the garden so it hasn't been relaxing and I think we'll be going to bed early - especially with the clocks changing tonight.

Tomorrow we are planning on meeting a nursery friend of Isabella's to go to the Easter fire here in Leeste.  Isabella goes back to nursery on Tuesday so we will be getting on top of work things and a few other bits and bobs but mostly relaxing for the rest of the holidays as April is going to be another busy month.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Stockholm!


 We've just got back from a lovely week in Stockholm.  We wanted to try a new place and my Dad and I like to visit capital cities.  As he could fly from London and we could fly from Bremen, we decided to give Stockholm a go and we weren't disappointed.
 We had three full days there.  On the first day it snowed, which was very atmospheric.  We visited the Vasa Museum dedicated to a ship that lay under the waters of Stockholm harbour for 333 years after sinking on its maiden voyage.  It was really interesting.

 On the second day we stayed in Gamla Stan - the old part of the city where our hostel was.  We visited the royal palace and saw the changing of the guard.  The palace is still used by the royal family.  There are several museum section including the underground area which is dedicated to the original castle which burned down in the 17th century.

 On the final day we wandered around Södermalm before heading into the centre to visit the history museum to learn more about Sweden.  This museum was especially good for Isabella.

 We had a good time and enjoyed some of the local cuisine.  Although prices are a little high, I didn't find them too bad compared to capitals like London. The people were friendly and everybody spoke English.  The hostel was basic but clean and the other guests were generally friendly.  This was another highlight of the trip for Isabella.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Easter Garden

 On Sunday, Isabella and I decorated the garden ready for Easter.
 We did the traditional German eggs and bunnies and her gifts are ready and packed away.
 It also feels refreshing to see the Spring flowers blooming.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Isabella's Room

As I've mentioned, one of my goals is to get our house in order and this month it's the bedrooms. At the weekend I cleared out Isabella's old clothes, put her toys up there so we have our living room back, and together with Nico, changed her bed to a junior bed.

She's growing up so fast it's crazy.

She's got a lot more space now and we put the teepee in there for bed time stories.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Veg Patch

At the weekend we prepared our veg patch for the new season. Over winter it's gotten quite grown over. Nico turned the soil and then we planted this season's crop - onions, garlic, carrots, spinach...

It looks bare at the moment but there'll be plenty going on soon.

Meanwhile the tomato nursery (aka the office) is going well too.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Make it Monday - Knitted Blanket Update

I'm currently working on patch number forty for this blanket!

I don't really treat this as a project as it's one I keep plodding away at week after week and suddenly it hits me how big it's getting. When I get to fifty, I think I'll start preparing and joining them.

I think it's going to look really nice when it is done and I'll be proud of the technique it shows.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Saturday Update

Holidays! Holidays! Holidays!

Apart from my languages competition day out on Wednesday, work was as stressful as ever this week. That's why I'm glad I was only there for two days.

Since finishing on Wedneday I've gotten things ready for our trip, relaxed a bit, gotten on top of the to do list and visited Nico's family.

It was great catching up with family. I love seeing Isabella with them. This time we were in bed by eight while the little lady stayed up with Oma.

So looking forward to the next two weeks - equal parts exploring, relaxing, and getting things done.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Cleaning up

 In keeping with this months goals, I put the first day of the holidays to good use sorting out our spare room.

These photos show just one corner and at first glance probably don't seem very different but it's much tidier, slightly emptier and most of all, I feel better for it.

We've been in the house for over a year now and there are still things we unpacked into certain spots for the time being and never looked at again. It feels good to be getting on top of things again.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Competition time

Today I took six of my Spanish group to the Bremen languages competition.

They were really nervous but they did me proud. There were better and worse groups but despite some technical difficulties, mine represented their groups and the school well.

We were really impressed with the entertainment from the school and with the competition.

All groups received prizes and certificates, which was nice. There were lots of exciting prizes so we've agreed to go back with an English entry next year!

I think both the pupils and I am more prepared for the next time and it's so important to do these 'extra' things for languages.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Cat life

 Lately Pete has been in the wars. We don't know what happened but he had definitely been fighting. He got this nasty wound on his face which became infected and swollen.

It took the vet and three assistants to shave his face enough to inspect and clean the cuts. He had a few jabs and some pain killer drops.

After a few (hilarious) days of walking around like this, he was allowed back out again. All in all it was an expensive fight.

Today he was already fighting with the neighbour cat again...I'm glad we'll be on holiday and away from trouble soon.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Make It Monday - Painted eggs

Today Isabella and I had the kitchen to ourselves so we decided to practise for an Easter project and paint some eggs!

In keeping with our girly theme we made them pink.

Isabella loved watching and tasting. We'll definitely be doing some more in the holidays.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Saturday Update

It's been a straight forward week around here. The usual stresses at work. 

I've been crafting a bit more so I'm on top of things there.

The highlight has been catching up with friends. We had dinner with a couple we know last weekend. It was really nice to be out and about again. Then Isabell and I went for a coffee and play date with a friend and her little girl. Doing things outside of work brings much more balance to life at the moment.

This week is short. We're winding down for the holidays and I'm taking two groups to the languages competition. We're also planning for our Stockholm trip - exciting!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Reading Review

Buried - Jussi Adler Olsen

The latest in one of my favourite series certainly did not disappoint.

This one is based around a criminal gang operating around Copenhagen and has links to Africa. It's a whole different story to the previous ones in the series and really kept me guessing.

The regular characters were also back. I love how they are a continuous thread through the series but also each have their own little twists and turns in each book.

Looking forward to the next Department Q installment later in the year.

The Enemy - Lee Child

This was my first Lee Child's book and if I understood correctly, it's the first Jack Reacher book, chronologically. It's based in the nineties which was interesting because we're so used to crime novels using technology to get their guy and that was limited here.

I really enjoyed the story and it was another one that really kept me guessing. I'm looking forward to reading more Lee Child.

The Alchemaster's Apprentice - Walter Moers

This is the fourth book I've read from Moers and I can never get over what an amazing job the translator does. The language is so clever and complex that it's difficult to believe it wasn't written in English.

This time, the story is based around a cat, or a crat (a cat that can speak any language) and his adventures in Zamonia.

The illustrations really bring the story to life. It feels like a children's book because of the fantastical ideas but there's so much darkness and adult humor that it's quite clearly not for children.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Tune

Haven't been able to get this one out of my head since I heard about it. I really like Corinne Bailey Rae, so I'm glad she's got some new work out.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Sweet phase

Isabella learns so much at nursery and I'm so glad she got a place there.

Lately it seems she's been learning to apologise and make up with her little friends.

Sometimes she says 'sorry' though I think she more often means we should say sorry to her - for forcing her to have her nappy changed for example.

The sweetest thing is that she has started coming up, cuddling my leg or arm and then giving it a little kiss, completely unprovoked.

It's not so sweet when she does it to the wardrobe or table but with her dolly, it's adorable. I love this age.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Currently...

...loving the gluten free chocolate brownies at Starbucks.
...looking forward to the holidays and Stockholm.
...listening to all Isabella's new words.
...feeling grateful.
...liking the lighter mornings.
...getting back into crafting.
...planning Easter crafts with my girl.
...catching up with friends again.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Make it Monday - Lavender Pouch

This week I got back into an old hobby - cross stitch. I think this is the first one I've done since Isabella was born.

It was quick, it's cute and kept my hands busy. I've ordered another bigger one too.

I love watching these come together. I think it will make a lovely gift.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The Saturday Update

It's been a mad week here. It started with a heavy couple of days at school after which I was off sick on Wednesday.

Apart from that, Pete has been fighting and we've had two vet trips to deal with a nasty infected wound on his face.

Otherwise, there's nothing new here.

We're catching up with some friends for dinner tonight and Uncle Florian is coming to babysit.

Next week is very busy at work again. I'm looking forward to the holidays.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Links!

How did I never notice number 2?

Ideas for a future trip?

There's hope yet.

True.

Interesting and strangely calming.

May buy myself a mother's day gift.

Once again, Rachel sums up the inside of my head.

Looking forward to this in Summer.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Parent fantasies

Trying to organise our social life this month I can totally relate to this!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Baking with kids

I went through a long unproductive phase where I felt like I was making a daily choice between looking after Isabella and getting things done.

She's finally at a stage where I feel like I can involve her in things without having a breakdown.

On Monday we baked together. It was fun. She watched everything I did, helped and tasted where she could and then laughed herself silly playing with the egg carton for ten minutes.

She'd done less mischief while I baked than she would have managed if I'd been sat on the sofa and we both got something out of the experience.

So far, I'm loving this stage.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

March Goals

Here's the progress I plan to make this month:
  • Sort out / clear out the bedrooms
  • Date night
  • Run once per week
  • Upload family history photos
  • Write two letters
  • Sew, knit, journal
  • Family photo