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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Hemi-Demi-Semi Colon and other such brilliance.

As a self-confessed grammar-aholic, coming across these new punctuation marks on Twitter, via Peonies and Polaroids, brightened my day no end.

Here for your enjoyment, I share the Hemi-Demi-Semi Colon, the Sinceriod and other such brilliance.





For the rest of your punctuation needs, click here.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

8/52

"A portrait of my baby, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Discovering the velcro on her nappy. Uh oh!
(And oh, all those scrummy baby creases!)

As ever, joining in with Jodi.

My other 52 project photos are here.

Friday, 22 February 2013

This week - February#4









1. SUNSHINE! Such a lovely few days of blue skies, crisp mornings and glorious light.
2. Thrifty finds - two huge embroidery rings, and four teeny books. All bought for pennies. I love charity shops.
3. Poorly sausage. A streaming cold turned into bronchiolitis so we've had a very subdued and grouchy baby. I'm looking forward to R being around this weekend so we can share the nose-wiping, baby-cuddling, and medicine-giving duties. (A sneak peek of the scribbled on vests I made this week too!)
4. Caffeine was a necessity.
5. The sunshine disappeared and the icy winds and snow arrived. River Cottage's Curried Red Lentil soup was just what was needed to warm us up.

How has your week been? Any weekend plans? We'll be cosying up at home to get this little one properly better. I'm planning on cooking Jamie Oliver's Thai Chicken Laksa, digging out my sewing machine to make a start on some birthday/Mother's Day projects, and enjoying some quiet family time.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Recharging the batteries


A chance to enjoy the quiet.

Stillness.

Warmth.

A dip in the jacuzzi.

Heat in the herbal sauna.

Not brave enough to go under the ice shower.

Chatting over lunch, looking out over the snow.

A long, hot shower, uninterrupted.

Reading a book. 
(The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for any bibliophiles out there).

A wonderful spa afternoon with my mum.

Batteries well and truly recharged. 

After a week of very disturbed teething nights, the chance to stop and enjoy the peace was a huge treat.  



Image from here.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

7/52


"A portrait of my baby, once a week, every week, in 2013."
She crosses her legs, one foot resting on the other.

Joining in with Jodi at Che and Fidel, and everyone else taking part in the portrait a week series.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

This week - February#3








1. A full house over the weekend with my mum and dad staying with us and both my brothers visiting. We then decided to get out some of the toys that had been stashed away since Christmas. Cue one baby who is slightly overawed by the performing elephant, and rather intimidated by the massive tiger! 

2. Pancake day! Baby I wasn't overly impressed with her crepe-like pancake, but wolfed down the mini apple pancakes. (I can't wait until we don't have to eat our dinner in the living room anymore!)

3. Someone found all the wires under the sofa this week... (I'm amazed it's taken her this long to be honest!)

4. I was a lucky girl on Valentine's Day. Jugs of these have been brightening up the living room and kitchen this week, bringing some much needed colour inside.

5. My Saturday morning started excitingly with a parcel arriving...it was my Any Other Woman book swap books! I love them all and can't wait to get reading. Thank you very much to the mystery Jess! Must post my books next week.

9 months

Dear Baby I,

We've reached that tipping point - you've now been in the big, wide world for as long as you were tucked away inside me. Time is flying past so quickly; I sometimes have to remind myself to ensure I'm making the most of my days with you and savouring your baby-ness. As everyone tells me, in a flash it will be gone. But when you're damp from the bath, wrapped in a towel and snuggling into my arms, I can almost imagine you're that tiny newborn once more.






At 9 months, we are having so much fun together. You are...

...chatting all the time. Everything you do has a sweet narration of 'ba ba ba ma ma da, eeeeeee'. Making your tea yesterday evening, I was treated to a constant stream of 'ma ma ma ma ma ma mmmmmm ma ma ma' which makes me oh so happy.
...showing little interest in crawling, instead still favouring standing up by leaning against the sofa or an obliging helper. You've started doing a funny bum wiggle dance while standing which makes you and us laugh! Your daddy went straight to walking, so perhaps you're following in his footsteps (literally...). Saying that, you did start going backwards today, so maybe we will have a crawler soon.
...playing peekaboo. With squares of fleece from your fabric bag/my scarf/bibs/your jumper - anything will do, as long as you can hide away and then laugh at the 'boo!'
... perfecting the head bob. Midway through every meal, you get a sudden burst of energy...aaaaand...nod nod nod nod. All done with your eyes scrunched in smile. You funny girl.
...giving kisses. As wide-mouthed and dribbly as they are, they are still so sweet and I love them.
...clapping! And looking so pleased with yourself when you do it!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Image from here via Pinterest

Whether you embrace everything heart shaped, glittery and Valentine-tastic, or see it as over the top lovey-dovey schmaltz, I hope you've had a lovely day!

We tend to keep it low key - a card and a bunch of fleurs if I'm lucky (R had hidden a bunch of tulips in his car last night so that was a nice surprise when I walked into the living room, bleary eyed, this morning). A Gu chocolate pud and a cup of tea rounded off the day nicely. Now if the baby could just sleep through until 8am, that would be the icing on the cake! 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

6/52

"A portrait of my baby, once a week, every week, in 2013."
 This girl loves a screen. Getting to play with the buttons on daddy's laptop is a huge excitement. (And just look at that raised eyebrow! A trick inherited from my side of the family I think).

Friday, 8 February 2013

This Week: February#2







This week we have...

...finally cracked out the 6-9 month sleepsuits - at 8.5 months old! She's a long skinny minny like her mama (used to be...) it would seem.
...made ginger snaps using Laura's recipe. Gorgeously chewy with a crunchy edge. Proper tasty with a cuppa. Go on, make them this weekend. Do it!
...enjoyed days of sunshine and blue skies. Although bizarrely, it did snow on Thursday morning. 
...made homemade guacamole to go with our beanchiladas, and enjoyed a sneaky ale with R.
...shared an apple with my girl. The squiggly shudder after each of her bites was priceless!
...felt like 'me and my shadow'. Baby has only had eyes for her mama this week. I know I need to make the most of this time though, as tiring as it can be, as before I know it, she'll be 13, rolling her eyes at me and saying 'Muuuuuuummmmm, you're so embarrassing!'

Apologies for those that follow me on Instagram - you'll be having photo deja vu! After a few weeks of constantly having my camera at hand, I've taken less photos this week so decided just to use my phone snaps.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Baby: Spinach and Cheese Drop Scones


I've been on the hunt for some lunchtime inspiration for Baby I. There's only so many times you can serve up something-on-toast without feeling like you're in some sort of weaning groundhog day.*

After reading about drop scones on this website, I had a go making some with spinach and cheese stirred through them. They took about 5 minutes to make, and about the same amount of time to disappear - they were very popular! They were best hot from the pan (what?! I had to test them to make sure they were okay...), but were pretty good even after being frozen, defrosted, and then warmed in one of those toaster bags. It's been really good having a stash of these in the freezer for the days when I need a speedy lunch for her.

Spinach and Cheese Drop Scones

1 egg
300 ml milk
Self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 or 4 cubes frozen spinach (This stuff is brilliant and so useful to have a stash of in the freezer!) I'm sure wilting down fresh spinach and squeezing out excess liquid would work just as well too.
As much grated cheese as you would like (I used extra strong cheddar which was surprisingly popular!)
A little butter/oil for frying

Whisk the egg and stir in the milk. Mix in the flour until it makes a thick batter. Defrost the spinach (I find a quick zap in the microwave does the trick), squeeze out excess liquid and stir through the batter with the grated cheese. Heat the butter/oil in the pan and spoon in dollops of the batter. Once bubbles start appearing on the surface, they're ready to flip over. Once they're cooked through and browned on each side, they're done. Enjoy!

Original recipe inspiration from here.


Baby I seems to be a bit of a banana fiend (think excited noises, waving arms, open mouth and grabby hands as soon as a banana appears anywhere near her!) so I think I might try making some banana drop scones, perhaps with a dash of cinnamon. Peas, chopped up broccoli, sweetcorn, grated carrot, and grated courgette could all work too I reckon. I'd best get cooking!

* I know, I know, strict baby led weaner mums would just be giving the baby a bit of what they're having for lunch. But if that was the case, Baby I would mostly be subsisting on chocolate spread on toast, mini cheddars and bagels. I am rubbish at my lunches when I'm at home! Hence the need for inspiration!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Pool-side (lack of) glamour

Every week, Baby and I head to the pool for a freezing dunking complete with splashy toddlers, chewed bath toys and the obligatory post-swim hot chocolate (me) and milk (her). 

I've decided it's high time I bought myself a new swimsuit to replace to saggy, ill fitting one I currently hurry from changing rooms to water in. 

So yesterday evening, the search began. Something tells me that Topshop's target market doesn't include parent & toddler swim session attendees...! 


The jangly stars would provide the perfect baby occupier.

No toddler would dare run along the side of the pool with those eyes staring at them.

Surely everyone needs horse-crotch bikini bottoms?!



Oh dear... I think I'd better keep looking!

If you know of any good sources of swimwear that is pretty yet practical, and doesn't cost the earth, please shout!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

On sincerity


This post has been in my mind for a while, and after reading Pip Lincolne's post on a similar subject, and then Nell's thoughts on her blog On the First Day of Marriage last night, I decided I had to put pen to paper (so to speak).

Recently, I've been thinking more about why I blog. Why I want to be sharing some of the minutiae of my life with strangers on the other side of the world. Whether I should be sharing photos of my baby with whoever stumbles across my little corner of the internet. (I'm going with yes - I'm sure you're all lovely folk!).

I started my blog as a way of re-engaging my brain as I emerged from the newborn baby fog. A way of recording some of those precious baby 'firsts' and connecting with a community of mamas all finding their way in the dark that is parenting. A way of rediscovering my love of the written word.

I've found so many like-minded individuals through blogging, and I love seeing their beautiful photos, being inspired by their crafting, reading wonderful words and discovering people that are going through the same ups, or downs as me.

But as I read more, I discovered the competitive, and sponsored side of blogging that I had previously been oblivious to. I got fed up with reading posts only to discover 'this is a sponsored post' in tiny text at the bottom of the page, or seeing post after post about this month's sponsors. It detracts from the honesty that attracted me to the blogging community - sharing thoughts, experiences and the little details of life with others in the same boat. That's where the word sincere comes in. I don't want to read something only to discover it to be a huge fabrication, and similarly, I want to write things that are true to me.*

It's too easy to get caught up in the stats/comments/followers. To compare yourself to others and feel demeaned because you don't feel as popular. It's the nerdy girl in the playground all over again. I sometimes have to remind myself that my self-worth is not caught up in my blog. It's just a bonus in my life.

So I'm vowing to make sure I'm just blogging for me. To write because I love it. And if other people like my photos/find it helpful/enjoy reading it, then that's great. But it's not the be all and end all. Real life is more important.

(Sorry for all the seriousness - I'll be posting a picture of the baby scrunching her face up/a slightly squashed looking cake/another corner of our house in dire need of renovation soon, have no fear!)

*Let me say though, I completely understand why people take on sponsors - it would be very easy to spend all day, every day working on a blog - so why not let it pay? 

Edited to add: I should also say, there are many, many bloggers that I read and enjoy who do make use of sponsors and adverts - but they do so with integrity and transparency, whilst maintaining the true personality of their blog. 

5/52

"A portrait of my baby, once a week, every week, in 2013."
A peaceful moment. I love those oh-so-squishable baby cheeks.

Joining in with Jodi at Che and Fidel, and everyone else, with the portrait a week series.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

This Week: February#1






This week we have...

...been on a Sunday stroll around the local woods. I spent a few happy minutes taking photos of all the lovely textures and colours in this log pile.
...waved torches around in the dark (all in the name of art you understand!). Playing with shutter speed has never been so fun!
...got a clapper! She looks SO pleased with herself every time she does it, it's so sweet. She's also gone kiss mad - you end up with a mouth full of dribble when she does it, but it's so adorable and lovely, you don't mind!
...pulled up the carpet in the dining room (we've ticked off two jobs this week in our bid to get the dining room sorted! Woo!) and discovered these tiles! I have no clue as to whether they're original (that would make them Georgian/Victorian), or more modern. I think we're going to keep them though as they're in pretty good nick, just a few cracks in the mid section.
...enjoyed the SUNSHINE! I felt like a right misery guts in my last post, whinging about the grey weather. The sunshine has really cheered me up today - I've been running round the house getting my spring-clean on.