Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Au revoir British Summertime.

I think it's safe to say that Summer has ended. I've worn tights twice this week and not regretted it for a second, so I know Autumn has arrived, maybe not officially, but in my book, it's here. I quite like Autumn, mainly because you pretty much know what to expect. I always feel so excited about Summer and to be honest, it's usually/mostly disappointing. So here are ten reasons why I'm excited about Autumn 2011:

1. I won't have to battle to get sludgy factor 50 sun cream onto LV and then off my hands.
2. We won't be so disappointed when we wake up and it's not sunny.
3. We've decided to take a trip to the Norfolk coast for the weekend. Yippeeeee
4. I get to wear my tights and nice winter coats.
5. Conkers, I think LV is old enough for her first family tournament.
6. Halloween, I think I'll attempt a homemade costume this year.
7. Using the slowcooker my Mum & Dad bought us this Spring.
8. Watching films all day and not feeling guilty about it because the weather is too horrid to venture out.
9. New Autumnal recipes: pumpkin cookies! Yum
10. Most importantly.....we're getting closer to CHRISTMAS!

Lots to look forward to. Can't wait.

My how you've grown.

I am oh so proud of this plant, it has been through so much, really it has. Look at it now, positively blooming/fruiting...

From this (one on the left) in April

To this...(far left again) in May

To June

To this.....magnificent mass of juicy tomatoes in August

I started with four plants, one is thriving, another is hanging on in there (the one that produced the tomato that tasted like snow!), the others didn't make it, but I have high hopes for next year. Although I must admit, it has been an effort...I feel like I've spent the last five months desperately trying to revive these plants! I might make myself a certificate, I deserve it. 

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Chatsworth House a day-tripping adventure.

We took a trip to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, we haven't visited a Stately Home before, it was very swish. We arrived unprepared, well, I thought I'd done a great job at preparation, I'd packed a picnic, but it seems that there's more to day-tripping than sandwiches and squashy drinks. Both Rob and I had totally inappropriate footwear on, him flip flops, me sandals, this did not bode well on the farm or in the wood chipping covered play area. We were both freezing too, it was lovely when we set off and the forecast was great, but then the weather took a turn and we had to take shelter in the picnic room as all the walking boot/rain coat/combat trouser wearing parents moseyed on by to the animal feeding demonstration. It wasn't worth getting soaking wet for, I'll take LV to the garden centre next weekend and she can watch the rabbits eat there. Civilised. The sun did pop out a few times so I snapped away.

 Gladys basking in a rare moment of sun.

LV was supposed to accompany me on to the tractor, she refused, I was already there, seemed silly to miss the opportunity, who knows if I'll ever get the chance to sit on a tractor again!

Amazing brass light fixture in Chatsworth House.

After Chatsworth we headed into Bakewell, Rob was excited when I mentioned Bakewell was famous for its tarts...cheeky. The weather picked up, we had tea, cake, found a little arts and crafts fair that I whizzed around before Rob had the chance to freak out (he's not a keen craft/market browser like me). Bakewell is lovely.

 I lovely cup of tea. (Note: my new cardi! He got the subtle hint/email!)

Spot of hide and seek.

So lovely, I think I could live here.

In this house! Can you imagine Christmas in this house?! I can.

Note to self: Day-tripping requires waterproofs, appropriate footwear, I can't imagine I'll ever wear combats (maybe there's a suitable alternative?) well as food.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

This weeks thrifted finds.

Some of the lovely bits and bobs I picked up today.

1. The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse, Beatrix Potter.
2. A lovely new to me floral blouse with gold buttons.
3. An Agfa camera.
4. Floral transfer tiles - these are going in my 'when we buy our own dream home treasure trove'.
5. Two more dresses for my vintage childrenswear collection - pictures coming soon!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Spaghetti eis.

The 'spaghetti eis' played a large role in my childhood, in that we ate it, alot. Whenever we talk Germany, we talk Spaghetti eis (if the season's right, obviously we don't talk about ice cream so much in the winter). Now, the strange thing about a spaghetti eis is that it's an ice cream made to look like a spaghetti bolognese...which sounds completely disgusting, but it's made up of vanilla ice cream (made to look like spaghetti), topped with strawberry sauce and sprinkled with white chocolate. YUM. Yesterday I had one and it was delicious.


Thursday, 25 August 2011

A musical moment.

 LV has taken a real shine to my my dads ukulele, we have managed to restrict access to just the afternoons, but she goes bananas for a bit of a jam with 'ol grandad. I'm a bit excited really, I am considering taking the sax back up, an idea Rob is not best pleased about after I exposed him to a few scales on the flute having not picked the thing up for 10 years, he now has a low opinion of my musical ability. We could start a band!


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

George & Georgia.

I've never questioned why my mum and dad have a large paper mache giraffe in their hallway, it's been there so long I can't remember a time when it wasn't there, in fact before the hallway I think it was in the living room. His name is George, George the giraffe. It was LV who asked "why?"....I was stumped so I asked mum "well, I bought it for your dad for his birthday", hmmmm like you do. What shall I get my husband for his birthday...I know, a massive paper mache giraffe. So, that explains George, but there's not just one giraffe, there's two! Georgia is a smaller paper mache giraffe. So I assumed this must have been another birthday present, me 'oh so Georgia was a present for dad the year after?" mum " oh no, that one was just in the sale!" Obviously. Watch out Rob I'm from a gene pool of interesting present buyers, you best be clear if you have a present preference otherwise there might just be a paper mache animal coming your way!

Regardless of why my mum and dad have two paper mache giraffes in their hallway LV loves them! We had to draw the line at taking the giraffes out in the car with us, but LV is having a great time with these two:


Sunday, 21 August 2011

1 more sleep....

Until my birthday....yippeeeee. I still get super excited about my birthday, when I was little I used to always celebrate my birthday away on family holidays and it was amazing - BBQ's, sun, swimming..

For the last few years I've celebrated my birthday at work, not quite the same. This birthday is special, because I'm flying home to Germany tonight and I get to celebrate my birthday tomorrow with my mum and dad, I haven't done that in over 10 years, I can't wait...

This is me on my 1st birthday, it seems this is where the cake addiction began.
ps - I still have my fingers crossed for the cardigan.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Happy Birthday Rob!

I always get mega excited about Robs birthday, mainly because it means that my birthday is just 2 more days away. So, last night whilst Rob was still at work I set about baking him a birthday cake. Now, I have pretty much mastered muffins so think I was lulled into a bit of a false sense of security and stated 'no, I'll bake a cake!' when Rob suggested we get a nice shop bought cake. I really wish I'd listened. So, I attempted a Vanilla sponge sandwich cake, I've made Vanilla cup cakes and they were delicious so I was pretty sure it would be a breeze. It was not a breeze.
All was going well with the first sponge:

I felt excited.

I made the second sponge and popped it in the oven and went to put my feet up, when I returned to the kitchen my first sponge had taken a bad turn:

A crater had appeared! 

I didn't panic because I thought I'd just fill the crater with jam and butter icing and then plonk the second sponge on top. I removed the second sponge from the oven and all looked well so I left them to cool. On my return I discovered that the second sponge was nowhere near baked and under the cooked surface lay a mass of uncooked cake. Oh God. So I had to bin the second sponge. The problem I faced now was that Rob was due home in 20 minutes so I whipped up some vanilla frosting and smothered the top of the cake in jam and frosting. You can imagine how much there needed to be to fill the enormous hole! Rich. 

Once decorated it looked totally fine. I haven't mentioned the chaos that lies beneath  and hopefully Rob will be polite enough not to mention it, tehe. 
Another cake bites the dust. 

Friday, 19 August 2011

A bear called Jemima.

En route to nursery this morning LV and I were discussing the toys she might like to take on our imminent holiday to Germany. I realised we still called one of her teddy bears 'teddy' so said:

Me: 'Maybe we should give your teddy a nice name? what name do you think'
LV: 'hmmm I don't know'
Me: 'How about Jemima?'
LV: 'I like it, Vagina'
Me:'Oh no poppet, it's Jemima'
LV: 'Yeah, Vagina, Vagina'

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh stop saying Vagina. I'm not going to mention this again, I'm going to call her bear 'Teddy' and hope for the best!
Lesson learnt, there's nothing wrong with a bear called 'Teddy'.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Nits at nursery.

I collected LV from nursery yesterday to be told the dreaded news that there were nits at nursery, and that the child that had been sent home was one of LV's pals, and to keep an eye out for the little blighters in LV's hair. So, I was a little peeved, do you really not notice if your child has nits? So I got LV home, combed her hair with a nit comb but found no evidence of them. phew. When I collected LV from nursery today (groundhog day) I asked whether there had been any other be told that the nit invested child had returned to nursery that morning to be turned away. What was this parent thinking?! Did you not get the memo? Your child has nits....please don't force it upon the rest of us. I am furious. I can appreciate that it's difficult to take time off when your child can't attend nursery, but seriously? to send them back into nursery  to inflict this on more people is just selfish.

I have combed again tonight and still nothing...fingers crossed. It makes my head itch just writing about it...yuk.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Computer says no.

Our laptop is broken and I'm distraught. I don't think there's any coming back from the type of broken our laptop is, the screen has gone wacky. Now, I was the last one to touch it, so I know the dear husband blames me. I on the other hand know I was last one to touch it (I unplugged my i-phone) but I can't see how that destroyed the screen?! So I blame LV, I caught her standing on the laptop the very morning the screen died, however in her defence, it was the husband that left the laptop on the floor for LV to stand on. In summary, we all played a part in the demise of our four month old laptop. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we're covered on our home insurance. Nightmare.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Strawberry and Almond muffins.

It's true, I'm a bit obsessed with putting ground almonds into muffins, I think it's because I've not yet made muffins without ground almonds and because the muffins I've made so far have all turned out so delicious I'm convinced it's the key ingredient. Only time (and making muffins without ground almonds) will tell.

We've made blueberry muffins, cherry muffins but strawberry muffins were a new one for us and let me tell you this, they are my new fave!

LV was super keen to help and she had a great time, usually making muffins takes me about 15 mins prep time, with LV in tow it was a good hour..I'm definitely getting better at this patience thing.

I'd love to post a picture of our delicious delights but 'computer says no'.


Friday, 12 August 2011

Cardigan love.

I love this cardigan.


It just so happens that my birthday is right around the corner (10 sleeps!), so I have very casually started a 'buy me this cardigan' campaign in the hope that Rob will do the honourable thing and buy his dear wife (me) this cardigan. Firstly, I very subtlety left the laptop open on the right page (nothing , too subtle), so I tried acting all cold whilst stating that 'the temperature's dropping, Autumn's on its way, I'll need a new jumper' (he looked at me like I was crackers), so, with my birthday only one week away I have taken a more direct approach: i have emailed him a link to it, with my size and mentioned that this would be a perfect birthday gift if accompanied by a nice box of chocolates. There, so I've not asked for it (verbally), Rob hasn't mentioned it (I hope he's read the email..!) so the element of surprise is still intact. I'm so excited.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

This weeks thrifted finds.

Some of the lovely bits and bobs I picked up this weekend.

1. 1970's Hornsea jar.
2. Vintage brown leather waist belt.
3. Vintage Paddington Bear teaching clock
4. Vintage fabric - for the projects I'm yet to start..soon, promise.

Monday, 8 August 2011

I'm blue.

I match the wall.

"Mummy, you spit in my eye!"

Firstly, for the record I have never (intentionally) spat in anyones eye. Now, I'm not saying LV is a liar, it's possible that in my fluster of packing our shopping into bags at the Morrisons check-out while trying to placate LV with promises of chocolate if she remained in the trolley rather than attempting to scrabble out that maybe, just maybe I accidentally spat in her eye. This, however was not the issue, the issue was that I didn't apologise, I denied it:
Me: "Mummy didn't spit in your eye, now sit still please"
LV (shouting): "Spit, spit mummy you spit in my eye now say sorry please"
Me: "OK, sorry, I didn't mean to spit in your eye"
LV: "That's ok mummy'
All the while the check-out lady was in obvious judging mode of my flawed parenting techniques, oh well, I will try again tomorrow.
Happy Monday.xo.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Perfect Sunday Breakfast.

Pan au raisin and a carton of apple juice.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Is that you Nemo?

LV was up at the crack of dawn "I'm ready mummy, lets go see Nemo!", it was 6.30am. Hmmmmm did we really promise to take LV to the Aquarium if she slept in her own bed all night...yes, it seems that we did. LV has been glued to Finding Nemo for the last few weeks, she loves it, I'd say she probably loves it as much as I love 'The Notebook'. So, we got ready and off we went:

Are we nearly there? uhhhhh no.

The journey took a little longer than expected, even with a sat nav Rob and I are the worlds worst navigators. We'd passed Birmingham, realised the sat nav hadn't 'spoken' for a while and joked 'can you imagine if the sat nav was just showing us where we were going, the route we were actually travelling rather than showing us the route we should be following...', well, that's exactly what it was doing. We re-inputted the postcode and had to turn around and head back, 2 junctions, brilliant. Eventually we arrived, it was pretty quiet so we started to work our way round. LV loved it, she squealed 'NEMO, mummy it's Nemo, look look', cute.

She wasn't massively interested in having her picture taken in front of a big fish tank, I was keen so I persevered, we got there in the end:

Again, the whole saying 'cheese' and being unable to keep eyes open scenario.

We thought it would be fun to take LV into the 4D cinema, they were showing a 12 minute clip of Happy Feet, she loved the glasses:

She hated the show. Oh well, the fish and the turtles were a hit, what more can you ask for...apart from maybe a more sensible admission price, but we had fun and that's what counts.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Happy feet.

These were mine, even back in 1983 I was a trendsetter! Good old Clarks.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Paint me.

In April I picked up this proud pair, I painted them and they looked fab....I'm sure you'll agree.

I planned to find another painting project, but quickly realised you don't find these types of projects, they find you!
Introducing Percy, he cost 50p and he's crying out for a makeover. I still have plenty of purple spray paint left over, but it doesn't feel right, I'm thinking turquoise! So this weekend painting project part deux will commence.

I can't wait. While we're talking projects I thought it worth mentioning that our growing project (tomatoes) is going swimmingly, the 'sweet & juicy' plant is blossoming which I'm thrilled about. The plum tomato plant has been tricky from day one and there was the incident with the space hopper, but despite its past we harvested one big red tomato last night, we ate it and it tasted like snow. Weird. Thankfully the sweet and juicy ones are just that. phew.