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