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

Links!

Beautiful.

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

Church

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

Links!

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.

Eerie.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Gratitude

 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.

...my 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

Currently...

...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.
...nesting.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

TLC

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.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

First haircut!

Yesterday was yet another first with our little girl - her first haircut.

After almost a year, I decided it was time for me to have my hair cut and I thought it was a good opportunity to try Isabella out. Her godmother was disgusted with our homemade efforts and says they're never to young for a professional cut. Since she could barely see from her fringe again, it was time.

I thought I'd go first as an example. She came with her hairdresser to see me get my hair washed and we discussed what she needed - fringe and a trim at the back. Then off she went to her own chair under daddy's watchful eye. She got a colourful cape and watched everything but stayed really still, even when I sat next to her.

She was treated to gummibears and watched careful as I had mine cut and dried. As it was her first cut, it was on the house and she can definitely go again. I'm hoping it'll help her with other visits like the dentist and doctor but for now, I'm over the moon.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Recipe: Paleo Lemon buns

Ingredients:

6 eggs
30g rice flour
30g cornflour
80g melted butter
60g honey
50ml lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp baking powder

Instructions:

Mix all off the ingredients together. Spoon into bun tin (we made twelve). Bake at 175 degrees for thirty minutes.

As we've found previously with some paleo recipes, these are a little bit eggy. Next time I plan to put in fewer eggs, add some coconut shavings, and more baking powder.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Make It Monday - Christmas Angel

This is my first Christmas project this year. It came with the latest issue of Mollie Makes and I love it. Generally I prefer warmer colours for Christmas decorations but the gold makes it pop.

It was very straight forward and all done by hand. The embroidery with pattern paper was new to be and the golden thread was difficult at times but I enjoyed the process and love the finished product.

I really enjoy these freebie projects from Mollie Makes.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Weekly Wisdom

A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

The Saturday Update

Well the good news is that I'm feeling much better this week. We've still been resting and relaxing but we've actually gotten a fair bit done too.

Monday was a bank holiday so we had a really quiet day.

On Tuesday, we kept Isabella off nursery add met Nico's parents at Dodenhof shopping centre. She loved the toy area and we got a few bits and bobs.

Wednesday was another quiet day with lots of jobs at home.

After we picked Isabella up on Thursday, we went wool shopping, ran some errands and had a family visit at the dentist.

Yesterday was quiet again. We popped to Ikea for some lights now that autumn is setting in and we're both crafting. We finished Isabella's wardrobe and she was great.

More of the same next week!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Links!

Made me laugh.

Sad but informative read about a great man.

So heart-warming.

I try not to be political here, but this made me chuckle.

If we had one of these, I would definitely cycle more.

A big topic in our house at the moment.

Sweet.

This brought back childhood memories.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The dentist!

Today was Isabella's second trip to the dentist.

She came with me a year ago after a friend recommended taking her along to get used to the dentist. She screamed the place down...

This year, hoping she'd forgotten last time, hoping all the staff had forgotten last time, and hoping she may be old enough to participate, I booked a family appointment. At least if she kicked off while one of us was in the chair, the other could take over. Nonetheless I've been having sleepless nights. And...

...it went better! She played nicely in the waiting room. I went first and she sat on Nico's knee while he explained everything to her. Then we swapped. In the end, she didn't want her own go in the big chair but she doesn't have to until next year and I'm just glad she didn't get upset this time.

I'm glad we tried again and it went well. In future, we'll be sticking to family appointments. I hope it goes even better next year and the dentist gets to check her too.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Language Learning

The other day, while avoiding jobs on my to-do list, I was flicking through Duolingo. It's a language learning app that I've written about before. I use it to practise German, Spanish and Turkish every day.

They're always updating it and I added some more languages to my list. I dabbled with Swedish before our Stockholm trip in March. It's great for picking up the basics quickly before a trip.

I repicked up Russian. I first took a Russian course at my last school six years ago and was suprised how quickly I could get back into it, though the keyboard may eventually present a problem.

Finally I had a little go with Esperanto. This is an artificial language created as a simplified language for all. It was different and interesting having things in common with other languages but at the same time, using them differently.

Have a go here!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

October Goals

Here's what I plan to do this month:

  • Get the baby's room ready.
  • Write two letters.
  • Skype.
  • Have a haircut.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Make it Monday - September Birthday Cards

Only male birthdays this month.

I'm loving the stickers for children's birthday cards.

For the adult ones, I've been using craft paper but I'm on the lookout for new ideas and hope to find something when I'm craft shopping this week.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Saturday Update

It's been a long, slow, sick week around here with only Isabella healthy enough for the normal routine.

We've been doing the bare minimum and dosing up on herbal remedies in an effort to get healthy again. Meanwhile, we're caught up on lots of shows and I've been knitting like a machine.

The new Spanish assistant arrived on Thursday so I popped into work. It was good to meet her and get her settled but also exhausting.

We've got bank holiday weekend now and then holidays with very little planned so hopefully we'll be back on form soon and can be spontaneous and make use of the time.