Friday, 30 June 2017


I try not to be political but ... this.

A beautiful travel photography project.

Saving this list for later.

Some yummy pasta recipes.

Love these.

Never really thought about this fruity controversy.


My kitchen cleaner becoming famous stateside.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

June Goals Review

Here's how I did this month:
  • 2 letters - 1 done
  • 3 recipes - done!
  • Plant flowers in the garden - done!
  • Make soap - done!
  • Register for the C1 exam - done!
  • Cycle tour - done!
Not bad for such a busy month with a week away and a week of third birthday celebrations.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


 This week, dragging my poor family out in torrential rain, I finally got some new plants for the garden. I don't have the best luck with plants but I felt the terrace needed some colour so I'm trying again!

I love the front of our house much more since Nico repaired this bench and we added a bit of deco and green.
 Fuchsia is my favourite. The colour is amazing and fills a spot on the terrace.
 I still love this archway in the garden. The clematis is really growing in now and the new hanging plant should bring even more colour.
 I still love this hanging planter too. The pop of colour matches the flowers below and lifts the eye.
I'm really looking forward to these lillies opening. I've never had them in a pot before. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Recipe: Feta and bean salad

- 2 packs of feta cheese
- 2 cans of kidney beans
- Half a cucumber
- ca. 8 tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Rosemary
- Thyme
- Seasoning


Chop and combine the cheese and vegetables. Rinse the beans and add them. Dress with the oil, lemon juice, herbs and seasoning.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Make it Monday - Potato Print Cushion Covers

 Inspired by the colour scheme of a Mollie Makes project last year, I've been trying to incorporate more pink, turquoise and grey into Isabella's room. Her Ikea furniture is white and pink, she has a grey rug, a turquoise weaving and a painting with all three.
 Following yet another Mollie Makes project, this time from the 2017 calendar, I made three cushion covers for her bedroom too.

I ordered linen in the three colours with enough left over to hopefully make a quilt. I picked up cushions from Ikea. They are fairly large and comfy.
 Adapting an old envelope cushion pattern for the size of the Ikea cushions, I sewed them together yesterday. It's an easy pattern that I have done before.
 To jazz it up I got out a potato and a couple of pastry cutters. I settled on this clover shape as it's not too plain, nor too complicated. I had some white fabric paint to make a nice contrast. Then I got creative! With some help from Nico, I came up with three different patterns.
I'm really pleased with the results. Here's a tutorial if you want to try.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Weekly Wisdom

If something is not working, change it.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Saturday Update

What a crazy week!

We celebrated Isabella's third birthday with family on Sunday. The weather was glorious and she was spoiled.

On Monday she celebrated at nursery and we took lots of cake.

I went in to school on Wednesday, cleared my desk and said goodbye to pupils and colleagues. Afterwards we headed straight up to my in-laws' for Nico's brother's birthday. As usual, it was great to catch up with family.

On Thursday we drove home after a morning of DIY, a thunderstorm as dark as an eclipse and some lunch. We hit a bit of traffic from the Hurricane festival but not too much.

Yesterday was Isabella's first official dentist appointment and she did really well. The dentist and her assistant were fantastic, letting her 'help' with my inspection first.

Today we are preparing for Isabella's second birthday party, this time with four of her little friends and so far the weather is not playing along....

Friday, 23 June 2017


There's a lot of truth in this.


Must try this when I go back to work.

Really enjoy finding a good blog to explore.

Fascinating soap products to try one day.

Enjoyed reading about these famous mothers.

Beautiful photography.

Must take note!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Children's Birthday Parties

On Saturday I'll be hosting Isabella's first birthday party with just children (and parents) and I've been trying to remember all of the things we had at parties when I was little.

Pass the Parcel.

Looking forward to this one as it's fun and Germans don't have them so it will be new too.

Party Bags.

We picked some up at Ikea, just need to fill them now. So far I have balloon, sweets, bubbles...


I'll be doing that recipe for the third time this week...


If we have both Nico will be in charge of it. I have the candles already.


Hokey cokey any one?

Wednesday, 21 June 2017


...enjoying the sunshine.
...saying goodbye to one phase of life.
...making plans for the next one.
...chasing around after our little crawler.
...preparing for 3rd birthday party #2.
...spending more time in the kitchen.
...drinking decaf.
...eating too much cake.
...watching the new Orange is the new Black.
...dreaming of a holiday.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Recipe: Summer Trifle

A friend made this for us recently and I pinched the recipe for Isabella's birthday.


-strawberries, chopped
-250g whipped cream
-250g quark
-pack of chocolate chip cookies


Whip the cream. Fold it into the quark.

Starting with cookies, then the cream mix, then the strawberries, layer the ingredients in a bowl and allow to set in the fridge for an hour or two.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Make it Monday - June Birthday Cards

I kept it simple this month with some pretty butterfly cards.

I don't often get to see first hand if the recipients like my cards but Isabella's expression was brilliant when she opened hers.

A friend passed on a lot of stash so I'm hoping to mix it up a bit next month.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Weekly Wisdom

Healthy body, healthy mind.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

The Saturday Update

We've had a lovely week in England with family and friends. It was great to see everyone. I also took a trip down memory lane clearing out some old boxes for my Dad's upcoming move.

We had a nice open afternoon at my Mum's, did Race for Life at Ilkley, had a fun afternoon at my best friend's house, had lunch with lots of family, did a bit of family history, took the kids to tropical world with my Mum and had a trip to the local park.

My favourite is always catching up with the little ones - my nieces, nephew and friends' babies as they change much too quickly. It's fun seeing how our two fit in.

Today we're going to the petting farm with Isabella's nursery then we have a full week with three birthday parties, an interview, a leaving do and the dentist!

Friday, 16 June 2017


Nice ideas for grown-up birthdays.

How to calm a baby.

This is nice but shouldn't be a news story.

We need more teachers like this...

...fewer exams like this...

...and more students like this!

As a parent, I found this attempt by one school to remove parental control shocking.

Whereas this New York parks department is getting it right.

Thursday, 8 June 2017


Yesterday we had a family day and decided to go to Ikea and pick up a few things. It was lunchtime so we decided to have lunch there too. Anyone with two kids under three will know that this is brave but we went for it.

Of course I'd forgotten to pack Joshua something to eat and figured he could nibble from ours and have some milk. Then, while browsing, we spotted that they sell jars of baby food. Day saved!

We polled up at the till with our meals (Isabella's bio pasta just 1 Euro!) and paid. The lady removed the lid from the baby food, explaining that she had to, Nico replied something like 'for safety', thinking of people accidently putting metal in the microwave and the saleswoman explained, 'no, to stop people taking them home, as they are free'!

Already over the moon with such fantastic, family-friendly service, we headed for the microwave only to discover cutlery, plates and bibs for the little ones. We got Joshua a high chair and enjoyed our first family meal as four outside of the house. It was one of those perfect moments, two happy, satisfied children and two relaxed parents. Well done Ikea!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Bike ride

Here are some pictures from our beautiful bike ride to Bremen on Monday. I love that we are so close to water and nature. Now that we have the trailer for the kids we have to do this more often.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Reading Review

Labyrinth - Kate Mosse

Having recently picked up the third in this trilogy, I wanted to go back and start again. This book tells the stories of Alice, working on a dig in the South of France and Alaïs, a soldier's wife in medieval Carcasonne. Their lives are intricately linked.

I really enjoyed rereading this one. I love historical fiction and the story and characters are really gripping.

Peter Pan - J.M.Barrie

Another of my children's classics, this one really opened my eyes to what Disney can do to a story. I hadn't realised how different the original story was and in places ir's quite dark and, especially for a child, difficult to read.

The Steps up the Chimney - William Corlett

I honestly don't remember where this book came from and have no recollection of reading it as a child, though I must have.

It is about three siblings who spend Christmas with their uncle on the English-Welsh border and discover some magical secrets of the old house he is renovating.

I enjoyed the story but it is the first in a series of four and really leaves the reader hanging. I felt like I was just getting into the story when it ended.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Make it Monday - Soap

Nico's paternity leave meant that I finally got around to making my first batch of soap. The biggest hurdle was getting my head around the science part.

I hunted around online and between this blog, this calculator, and my scientist husband, my plan came together.

The process itself was quite fun and I'm looking forwatd to experimenting with recipes, scents and dyes. I'm keeping a soap journal to have a record of what went well.

I cut the soap into rough bars. I quite like the rustic look but may experiment with molds at some point.

Now they have to dry for four to five weeks before I can use them and see how they turned out. Loving this new hobby!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Weekly Wisdom

Stop fighting yourself and start fighting for yourself.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Saturday Update

It's been a great week with Nico home. We got various things done around the house and garden and I finally found the bottom of my to do list.

My sport course restarted after a two week break, I caught up with some friends at a birthday party on Wednesday, I made soap on Thursday, and three of us went to baby swim on Friday.

I got ahead on paperwork for our upcoming travels and put some thought into plans for my future.

Joshua is moving more, teething and (finally) taking a bottle.

Isabella is excited about all our upcoming plans, especially her birthday.

We've got lots on next week including catching up with friends, more crafting, future planning and traveling to England.

Friday, 2 June 2017


Summer goals.

Powerful images.

I'm picky with sandals but on the lookout for some of these closer to home.

Love this tradition.

What a fantastic home project.

This brought a tear to my eye, and some perspective.

Another new seasonal recipe to try?

Why I don't cycle in the UK. At least the rules are clearer here in Germany.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

June Goals

This is going to be a really busy month for us with our trip to England and Isabella's birthday so I'm keeping it fairly simple:

  • 2 letters
  • 3 recipes
  • Plant flowers in the garden
  • Make soap
  • Register for the C1 exam
  • Cycle tour