Wednesday, 31 May 2017

May Goal Review

Here's how things went this month:

  • Our first family trip away - done! Loved it!
  • 3 letters - done!
  • 3 new recipes - 2/3
  • Application - done!
  • Cycle tour - to do, when we get cooler weather.
  • Try soap making - hopefully this week.
  • Plant more flowers around the garden - Nico did some, I want to fill the planters in June.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Recipe: Asparagus and lemon risotto

Yesterday we had this yummy risotto for tea. I love risottos but this was new in that I've rarely cooked with asparagus. I really liked it but I would cut it smaller next time.

You can find the recipe here.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Make it Monday - Citrus Iced Tea

With the hot weather and having guests over this weekend, I decided to try this recipe.

It's English tea with orange juice, lime juice and sugar. It was tasty and thirst quenching but for me it needed either more sugar or less lime juice.

A delicious start to the Summer.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Weekly Wisdom

Our job is not to toughen up our children to face this cruel and heartless world. Our job is to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Saturday Update

We had a lovely week here, with a lovely long weekend. Nico is on paternity leave now and we can have some lovely family time.

The weather has been glorious again. I had a flat tyre on my bike on Monday so Nico took us to Kirchweyhe and we walked and shopped before and after taking Isabella to nursery.

We were back on the bike on Tuesday and I had a lovely brunch with the mums from yoga. The babiea are all so active now!

Wednesday was a quiet day.

Over the last couple of days we have been doing various jobs around the house and garden - feeling very productive here.

I've been running again. Joshua is starting to move forwards, though I wouldn't call it crawling yet. Isabella is fun and frustrating in equal measures at the moment.

Next week is our first full week together, though Isabella's at nursery. How is June on the doorstep already?!

Friday, 26 May 2017


Parts of this it home.

Who said these are for kids?


Love the song but didn't know this.

Looking for a new home / project?

In two minds about trying this recipe.

Handy advice.


Thursday, 25 May 2017

A message

Following the Manchester terrorist attack this week, this open letter on Facebook seems particularly poignant. It sums up how I feel today, how I felt after the Paris attacks and the message I try to give to my pupils and their parents as well as my own children of course.

My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones.

Dear Baby Boy,
The news this morning about a terrorist attack in Manchester is breaking my heart. For the victims. For their families.
For you.
For you, your friends, and your generation.
I fear that these incidents are only going to happen more and more as you get older and it makes me so sick to think I cannot protect you from the barbaric individuals who do things like this.
As you grow up, you may think that it makes more sense and is safer to just 'stay in and not do anything'.
As your mother, who loves you so much it hurts, I have this message for you.
'Do not do that. Go out.... and do EVERYTHING.'
Do everything you want to do.
Go everywhere you want to go.
See everyone you want to see.
Go to that party at the club, go to school and university, go travelling and get on that plane, ride on the underground and go to that sports match, go on that holiday and see those sights, go to that shopping centre, go to that concert, go see that movie, go eat at that restaurant....
And you may think that is a strange thing for me to want you to do.
But my reason is this:
All your life, my job... is to protect you. Protect you from monsters. Most of those monsters, I can keep away from you, scare off, reassure you have gone away and won't come back.
But not these monsters.
These monsters do horrible things all over the world.
These monsters I cannot always protect you from.
And as a parent, that is the hardest thing in the world for me to come to terms with and admit to you.
But if I cannot fight these monsters for you, I'm sure as hell gonna teach you how to do that yourself.
By. Just. Living. Your. Life.
They don't want you to do that.
They don't win if you do that.
So do it.
Never be afraid to enjoy yourself and live your life to the fullest.
I cannot guarantee that one day, you may not come face to face with their horrors and destruction. I cannot guarantee that you may not know someone who is killed in a terrorism related incident, or god forbid, are hurt yourself in their bid to injure and kill people.
But remember this-
They cannot kill strength.
They cannot kill determination.
They cannot kill love.
And your generation are going to be the strongest yet. You are going to be the most determined to beat this .
And you are going to have the most love to give, because we will teach you that you mustn't be afraid of these monsters. No matter how scary they seem.
Remember that in every story, there are goodies and baddies?
Look for the goodies, my darling.
Look at those who, like last nights attack in Manchester, are helping others.
Look for the doctors, the nurses, paramedics, hospital staff, police, emergency services who are at the scene and working to save and protect people.
Look for the hotel staff, taxi drivers, bus drivers... all offering to help at no cost.
Look for the passers by who are looking after each other and hugging strangers.
Look for the parents and families who have lost their children to this tragedy, speaking out to show solidarity and unity instead of hatred and revenge.
Look for the strength.
The determination.
The love.
I will not always be there to protect you from the cowards in this world who pray on the innocent and defenceless, but I will teach you to find reassurance in the courage, hope and bravery you see.
I will teach you to be brave yourself.
We will teach you, our children, not to be afraid and to live harder, happier and stronger than any of us ever did.
We will hold your hands and lead you through all of this.
We will show you the heroes always beat the villains.
We promise.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

New Terrace Furniture!

As I mentioned at the weekend, we spent Saturday cleaning up the terrace and Nico built up our new furniture.

I'm so happy with how it looks and how comfortable it is. We've been out every day so far thanks to the glorious weather.

Hopefully we'll be outdoors a lot more this Summer now!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Make it Monday - Barbie Bedding

 Since getting her first Barbie from the Easter Bunny, Isabella has been playing quite sweetly. My Dad brought over some of my old dolls and accessories and she was delighted.

Among the clothes and shoes was a pillow and a nightdress. I offered to make a new pillow and duvet and Isabella jumped at the offer.

I finally got a free evening and knocked this up from some spare material I had. I made it up as I went along for once and really enjoyed the process.

I can imagine a whole range of projects springing from this one!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Weekly Wisdom

Behind every child who believes in themself is a parent who believed first.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Saturday Update

It's almost been a regular week here. Nico was poorly at the start so our routine was a bit different. He's better now though and just three days to work before his paternity leave!

On Tuesday I had coffee morning with the mums and babies from my fitness course. Joshua loved it, and so did I. It's always nice to connect with other mums.

Joshua was very brave for his check up and jabs on Wednesday. The weather has been glorious so we've been out in the garden more and he loves the change of scenery too.

Thursday was Isabella's playdate with her friend. They spent hours digging and playing in the garden.

Yesterday was baby swim again. It's always hectic but fun. Afterwards our new garden furniture was delivered so we'll be spending today building that!

Next week is yoga mums' brunch and bank holiday/fathers' day.

Friday, 19 May 2017


Interesting parenting advice.

Fun at museums.


A new take on language learning.

A great response to irresponsible journalism.

I never knew all the lyrics.

Yummy recipe to try.

Must try more of this.

Thursday, 18 May 2017


...feeling on top of the to dos.
...eating more fruit.
...meeting more local mums.
...enjoying the sunshine.
...having fun with the kids.
...getting the house in order.
...making the most of the garden.
...trying to make more time to read.
...cycling more.
...exploring opportunities.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Summer scents

Being on the bike in the fresh air feels so good at this time of year and the scents really bring home the fact that Summer is almost here:

freshly cut grass
sun cream
fields of flowers

even chlorine!

28° today and I'm so happy about this new season.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Skincare Update

Two years ago I started using new face creams regularly. My thirties skin is definitely different to the skin I had in my twenties and it really needs some TLC.

I immediately noticed an improvement in my skin just by using a day and night cream.

The hormones during pregnancy had a huge impact on my skin and I developed a red, patchy rash around my mouth and nothing shifted it.

Now that Joshua is almost six months old, things seem to be settling down. I've started using the creams again, drinking more water and eating more fruit and veg. Along with cycling more, it seems to be doing wonders for my skin.

I've also used up my maternity body lotion and am back to my old one which was a Soap and Glory gift. I'm looking out for my next one already.

I used to think I'd hate getting older and having to take care of myself more but actually I'm really enjoying my thirties!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Make it Monday - Girl's Headband

This week's little sewing project was a headband for my niece's birthday. I used this tutorial. It was quick and easy but effective. I love the contrast fabrics.

I'm hoping to make some more for the other little girls in my life.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Weekly Wisdom

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

The Saturday Update

This week has really flown by. We had a wonderful weekend away for our friends' wedding. Isabella loved it and our first trip as four was much nicer, and less stressful than I expected.

I spent the start of the week getting caught up on crafting, the second half of the week sorting the kids and I'm about to spend the weekend getting back on top of things around the house.

Joshua seems to be teething, which is exhausting. Isabella is great at the moment.

May is still shaping up to be the best month of this year so far.

Friday, 12 May 2017


Creative ideas for schools.

Amazing artwork.

Honest business talk.

Did you have to learn poetry at school? I did.

An interesting scent.

While I do worry about the bugs, I'm looking forward to camping!

Some new drink ideas.

Really want to try this before I go back on a diet.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Reading Review

Heidi - Johanna Spyri

This is one of my favourite childhood classics. There were lots of parallels with The Secret Garden in that contact with nature does wonders for children's health.

Of course there are lots of moral notes to the story. It's a wonderful children's classic.

The Keeper of Lost Things - Ruth Hogan

My Mum passed this one on to me. I had bought her it for Mother's Day having read rave reviews online. We both really enjoyed it.

It's several stories really. The main thread is about a man who collects and saves things that other people have lost. The book follows the attempts made to reunite them with their owners.

It was a nice break from the classics and I'd really recommend it.

The Call of the Wild - Jack London

This is another children's classic but one that I can't really recommend for children. It's brutal from the start, the language is difficult and the story isn't particularly exciting. It's not often that I don't enjoy a book on some level, but I didn't enjoy this one.

The only positive I can take from this book is that it tries to show things from the dog's perspective. I've often wondered what happened to our cat before he came  to us. This is an imaginative tale of what happens to a dog kidnapped from his comfortable, family home.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Fun Wedding

 This weekend we drove four hours to Arnstadt in Thuringen to celebrate our lovely friends' wedding. If I'm honest, I was dreading it - four hour drive, hotel with two little kids, a full on wedding day with said kids. I couldn't have been more wrong.
 These two put a lot of pressure on themselves to provide their guests with a fun day of activities.

After a beautiful ceremony, in which they were married by the same registrar who married the groom's parents, there was a group photo and a delicious lunch.
 After lunch we broke into two groups for a guided tour of the town. One group had a Russian translator for the bride's family and friends.

Arnstadt is actually the hometown of the composer Johann Sebastian Bach. He worked as an organist in the above church. There are also links to Martin Luther. The tour was really interesting.
After a chance to change we drove up a mountain for a treasure hunt. We were split into groups and we were with another young family with an easy route.

When we found our treasure, we let Isabella 'dig' it up; she was over the moon. It was fun and the weather was glorious all day.

After another quick change, we drove to the reception for some traditional fun, food and dancing.

It was a wonderful day for a wonderful couple.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Make it Monday - Purse

This week I adapted a Mollie Makes project to make a little birthday gift for my aunt.

The French script didn't really appeal so I embroidered a flower instead. It's not perfect but it's cute. You could embroider initials or anything on there.

It was an easy and quick project to follow. It might be an idea for Christmas stocking fillers.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Weekly Wisdom

You can do anything today, but not everything.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Saturday Update

Well, after feeling a bit down last weekend, May got off to a much better start.

We had a bank holiday Monday, just chilling out as a family with good behaviour all round. I even went for my first jog since Joshua was born.

From Tuesday to Friday, I got into the routine of taking Isabella to nursery on the bike and then steadily getting jobs done through the day.

Joshua is up to three meals a day, I'm eating better and drinking more water, the exercise is doing me good.

From my fitness course, we set up a Whatsapp group and it feels good to be setting up more links with other mums. One good thing to come from this is baby swimming. Joshua and I went yesterday and he loved it! It was exhausting but fun.

Yesterday afternoon we drove four hours to Arnstadt - home of Johann Sebastian Bach - for our friends' wedding today. Looking forward to helping them celebrate.

Thursday, 4 May 2017


Lately I can't get this song out of my head:

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Children's Activities

My children now officially have busier social lives than I do!

Last week I took Isabella to the children's reading at the library. She loved it and I find that she's nicer at home when she's busier.

She also went to the children's theater at the weekend and next week she has a picture book cinema, a playdate and a trip to the children's farm coming up.

Joshua starts swimming this week and will be making friends with my post-natal fitness course friends' babies next week!

I love this stage with the kiddos, being more social and being a mum!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

May Goals

Here's what I would like to do this month:

  • Our first family trip away.
  • 3 letters
  • 3 new recipes
  • Application
  • Cycle tour
  • Try soap making
  • Plant more flowers around the garden.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Make it Monday - May Birthday Cards

I mixed it up a bit this month and made the most of some of my Mollie Makes papers. I love the Spring theme - it feels nice and fresh for the new month and new start.

It was also easy to make a card for my uncle that didn't feel too girly.

I was taken right back to arts and crafts at school but I think the results look good. I'd love to get a card like this. Now to work on some gifts!