Friday, 30 September 2016


On my to do list this week.


If I weren't a mum, I'd try this.

Wonder if these work gluten free.


Useful tips for my nesting goals.

A new recipe to try.


Thursday, 29 September 2016

September Goal Review

Here's how things went this month:
  • Finish Isabella's room. - done!
  • Write two letters. - done!
  • Eat more fruit and veg. - mixed results but I've done okay.
  • Organise European Day of Languages at school. - nope, off sick.
  • Continue my crafts and diary. - done!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016


So Autumn is here and somehow it's October on Saturday!! There are lots of things I'm looking forward to this year. The first highlight was Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes that kept me going through the last few weeks, delicious.

If the weather ever stabilises, I'm looking forward to wrapping up a bit more, with extra layers and blankets. We had our first fire this week and thanks to Nico, we're well stocked up on wood for the winter too.

Having a winter baby on the way and finally being on maternity leave, the nesting instinct is perfectly timed for getting the house in order, stocking up, crafting and generally preparing.

Germans really know how to do Autumn. We've got lots to look forward to with Isabella at nursery too, including her second lantern festival.

First up though, two weeks off for some much needed rest and family time.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


At the weekend we finally got the balcony ready for winter. I don't generally do will with plants up there but it went really well this summer until we went to England and it all died off in the heat.

When looking around and thinking what to do next, we came up with winter heather. It does well with drier conditions and should add some colour when it flowers, although I am loving the green in the meantime.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Make it Monday: Baby bib

I've had this cute owl material on one side for a while waiting for a cute baby project to come along. In last month's Mollie Makes, there was a pattern for a bib and trousers.

It was a quick and easy project until it came to the popper. I'd never done one before and certainly needed to practice first. The popper is a bit big so I plan to get some more before repeating this project but I will be repeating it. They make the cutest little gifts.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Weekly Wisdom

Take care of yourself first,
you can't pour from an empty cup.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Saturday Update

Not the best week here. Isabella was not well last weekend and seems to have passed it on to me. I was at the doctor on Tuesday and she signed me off for the week.

Isabella went back to nursery but I'm getting steadily worse despite the quiet and copious amounts of sage tea...

Tuesday was also parents' evening at nursery which was long but informative. It feels strange that Isabella is among the older kids in the group already.

Apart from that I've just been doing the usual bits and bobs. I'm not even ahead on my reading so I must be poorly!

Hopefully a quiet weekend will sort me out for my last work week.

Friday, 23 September 2016


Informative if you want to cook and eat seasonal.

Good tip.

Proving school is not the best environment for language learning.

When I get back to making clothes for myself, this will be high on my list.

Parenting can be hilarious...

...and emotional.

Wish I were a cat sometimes.

If this is for real, I can think of someone.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Carpool Karaoke

Lately, I can't get enough of the Carpool Karaoke videos on youtube. This was the first one I saw and it never gets boring.

Isabella's favourite is 'crazy glasses man' a.k.a. Elton John. She has to have her sunglasses on to watch him and dances around like crazy.

Brilliant concept and some really good guests.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


The above pictures give you an idea what our pantry was looking like a few weeks ago.  When we moved to this house, I was overjoyed at all the storage space we now have.  Nico's family have a cellar and I love how they use it to keep stocked up.  While we don't have a cellar, the pantry is our storage space - food, drinks, kitchen equipment, cleaning supplies... 

The problem is that since we moved in, we haven't paid it much attention and the state of it was starting to really grate on my OCD tendencies.  It was high time to have a sort out!

I finally got around to it and while, you may not see any sense of order in these after photos - especially without the before photos - it's looking much better.  It's vaguely sorted into food, kitchen equipment, cleaning products and 'other'.  It is also by no means finished.  When we finally get around to sorting the garage, I plan to rearrange some things into that space and make a real go of this room, but for now, it is making us both feel more relaxed than we were.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante

This was a surprise gift from Nico. I'd never heard of this author but it was a really good read. It tells the story of a friendship between two girls growing up in Italy. I really enjoyed it and it left me wanting more - which is good as the series continues.

It's very descriptve and has a huge variety of interesting characters. It pulled me straight in.

Gulliver in Lilliput - Lavinia Derwent

Among some of my Gran's things was this little treasure. It's quite an old book, which I love but was clearly written for children at the time. The illustrations are lovely and it's an easy to read version of Jonathon Swift's novel.

The Magician's Nephew - C.S.Lewis

I started rereading the Chronicles of Narnia this week. I love these books and they're easier to carry around than the next books I have lined up for maternity leave.

I loved these books as a child and they don't lose their magic with age. I especially like this one because it sets up the series and explains a lot of the history of Narnia. Of course it's also a story in its own right which is a fun adventure too.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Make it Monday - Cotton Knickers

I came across this poject from the New Craft House through Mollie Makes. It's something I'd never made before and it was a small project which was suitable for beginners.

I've never worked with elastic this much and that was the trickiest bit but they're a good fit and I'll be making more in future.

I'd recommend it for anyone who sews and wants to make more of their own clothes. The fabrics from the New Craft House are so pretty and varied.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Weekly Wisdom

The hardest roads lead to the most beautiful places.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Saturday Update

Phew, it's been a long hot week here. We spent the weekend sorting Isabella's room out.

Midweek I got a new timetable which meant overtime this week but two days off per week from now until I finish. Plus school had to close early three days this week due to the temperatures. Normally that would be a bonus in time to use elsewhere but not during the third trimester - I'm just exhausted.

Thursday was also apple afternoon at nursery so we went in for some apple based arts and crafts. It was nice but again, too hot for me.

Isabella and I were both a bit off colour Thursday evening so I kept her home on Friday and we started our rainy day programme.

It's finally raining this morning. We're having a quiet weekend before another busy but hopefully cooler week.

Friday, 16 September 2016


Amongst all the back to school photos lately, this stood out.

Moved me.

Something we should all think about.

Eye opening.

This screams out to my pregnancy cravings.

Grateful for our postman/DHL guy/German logic.

Wanderlust anyone?


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Rainy day fun

At the moment it's hard to think about rainy days in the 32 degree heat. Isabella's been busy in the water in the garden all week.

That said, we are due some rain at the weekend - the days when two-year-olds need plenty of entertainment. Here are some of the rainy day activities I'm planning.

1. Indoor water play

Isabella loves water so a bath can easily take up to an hour with her. She has plenty of toys too.

2. The train track

We're just getting to the stage where she will play with this for longer and by herself providing we make enough space and let her leave it out.

3. Disney films

I bought Aristocats a while back so I'm looking forward to watching that with her. We already did Jungle Book, Bambi, Lion King and Little Mermaid with our little animal lover.

4. Jigsaws

She's also becoming more independent with jigsaws. Unfortunately the regular ones aren't surviving as well as the wooden ones but it's still good fun.

5. Drawing

Isabella's had these for a while. She's generally good at keeping them on paper and they do wipe off the table quite easily. She will colour by herself for a while.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Isabella's Room

 At the weekend we finally moved Isabella officially into her new room. She's been sleeping in there since the holidays and we wanted to have her settled there before we started putting money into the project.
Toys and clothes
 First off, we got the new furniture. It was important that she had plenty of storage that fit in with this oddly shaped room. I'm a big Ikea fan. I like the white and pink theme - the white gives the illusion of more space while the pink makes it girly (we kept her baby room neutral).
Books and doodles
Once the furniture was in I moved all of her things across - books, teddies and clothes - she has more than me! It all fits and she has a cute little corner for drawing. I don't trust her with pencils in her room yet but she has her aquadoodles and loves playing with them.

It's a bittersweet time, she's no longer a baby but a little girl. At the same time it's exciting and she's at a really fun stage. Her new big girl room fits perfectly with that.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Cold Feet

I recently read that Cold Feet is returning to televisions in the UK and used the opportunity to introduce Nico to the show.  What a blast from the past!  It's so long ago that I needed a reminder of some of the storylines.  You can get them here.

I hadn't realise that the series were so short - we're already through the first two.

What surprised me the most was how dated they feel.  The storylines are good - they tend to have a theme for each episode and then look at how the three couples handle that theme.  It seemed strange to see them with no mobile phones for example, cabel television is a big thing for them and the whole family / work balance seems somewhat old fashioned too.

What I'm really enjoying though, is the scenery.  Spotting areas of Manchester that take me right back to my time at university.  So many shows are set in London these days, it was great to see something up north!  The bonus highlight was seeing Lindesfarne at the end of series two, having just been there this summer.

It's well worth a watch and we'll be sticking with it.  Looking forward to seeing how they have updated it too.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Make it Monday- Felt Bag

A while ago I was looking for something new to do for Isabella.  She has so many cuddly toys and we hadn't gotten around to doing her room yet so I didn't want to do something for that yet.  When we were at a friend's house she loved playing 'shopping' with her little friend so when I came across this little bag it seemed perfect.

It's supposed to be a mummy - daughter project (very simple and a plastic sewing needle with precut holes on the fabric) but she's still too young for that so I made it for her.

It was easy and fun to make and while she hasn't been shopping much with it, I think she will get some use out of it too.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Weekly Wisdom

See the good in the world.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Saturday Update

It's been another hot and busy week here.

We had a lovely weekend with Nico's family. They all seemed well and Isabella loves seeing them.

We got the bus to nursery on Monday which Isabella loved but tired me out. At work I just can't do Mondays any more. I just can't get up the energy to get started. Luckily I had the evening off tutoring.

Tuesday was my long day with meetings until five.

Wednesday was fine. I got back into the swing at work.

Thursday was busy - lots of little jobs at home and then a scan before tutoring. Isabella thought it was great as the baby was so active. I love that she's understanding it more.

Yesterday it was too hot to do much after work. We just relaxed.

This weekend is all about getting Isabella's room set up. Let's hope the heat lets up soon!

Friday, 9 September 2016


...making decorating plans.
...trying to relax more.
...learning Peace at Last off by heart.
...drinking Heppinger water for heartburn.
...getting back into Spanish.
...reading, writing, knitting...
...thinking about Christmas plans.
...enjoying the late summer weather.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

How many...?

At the weekend we visited Nico's grandparents' farm. They recently got two young cats. They are sooo cute and friendly. Isabella loved them and they were great with her.

I grew up with two cats who got along great and we've often wondered about getting another cat but with Pete being a tomcat and getting on a bit in cats years, we don't know how he'll take to a little friend.

We've pretty much decided to take the plunge and see how it goes but not until baby number two is settled in. Maybe Pete will appreciate the company if it rebalances the numbers!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


A while ago, I was talking to a colleague and we discovered that we both have a love of classics. I prefer reading but also enjoy seeing books brought to life. My colleague prefers the BBC adaptations and has a lot. She lent me a lot of them to watch and I've started with one that I haven't yet read - Little Dorritt.

I'm four episodes in and really enjoying it so far. It's nice to not have read the book this once - watching without knowing what to expect.

It made me realise how few Dickens novels I have read. There will be a few more going onto my list: Little Dorrit, Bleak House, Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop.

Sometimes I wonder if the classics are really good or just became so popular because of the times they were written in but with Dickens, he's just so brilliant. The intricacies of the stories, colourful characters, I think he'd be as good writing today.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016


I've been waiting for this for soooo long - over the last couple of weeks, our little girl has finally started to let me put her hair in ponytails for nursery.  It makes such a difference - she looks like a real little girl.  Of course, she never keeps them in until home time but it's a start!

I remember my mum doing my hair for school and I remember driving her mad because I wanted it doing a specific way or to do it myself.  Of course, you get what you give and my two-year-old is already demanding to brush her own hair which normally ends in tears and knots.

The cutest thing is that she is becoming something of a trend setter.  When her friend Henry came to pick us up for nursery last week, he had also demanded a pony tail like Bella!!

It will be pleats and hair straighteners before we know it!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Make it Monday - August birthday cards

This month I experimented more with the patterned paper from the Mollie Makes magazines to make some nice cards for various ladies (and one man). I was really pleased with the results - they look good with the minimum of fuss.

For the kids I used the felt stickers again - they're good fun and look nice too.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Weekly Wisdom

When you're on the dark side of the world, remember that the world is turning.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The Saturday Update

Another busy week here. We had a full work and nursery week.

We had a quiet weekend which included a daddy-daughter camping adventure.

I was tutoring on Monday - that went well. I also cooked and baked on Monday.

Tuesday was short for a change. We did some shopping on the way home.

Wednesday was another full day. We spent a bit of time at nursery as she was sleepy and eating when we got there.

Thursday was quiet with no appointments. I got a fair few jobs done and took Isbella to the library.

Yesterday was the usual wind down to the weekend.

In between I got some knitting, crafting, journaling and planning done so very productive even if my list isn't cleared yet.

This weekend we're staying with Nico's family for the first time in ages before another busy week.

Friday, 2 September 2016

What does the fox say?...

Keeping us entertained this weekend:

Thursday, 1 September 2016

September Goals

Here are my goals for this month:

  • Finish Isabella's room.
  • Write two letters.
  • Eat more fruit and veg.
  • Organise European Day of Languages at school.
  • Continue my crafts and diary.