Sunday, 27 February 2011

I love the weekend

I love the weekend, it is a time when we can spend time as a family and not have times to be in set places. Well if you ignore the Saturday morning swimming lessons.
Sundays have absolutely no restrictions on our time. So today we got up after having a lie in, came down I made sausage and egg muffins for breakfast. Whilst eating we decided that we were going to Teston country park. We had lots of fun playing in the mud and puddles there.

This picture was taken just after Dylan fell over in a puddle. It didn't spoil our fun too much, although we did come home quicker than planned as he got, unsurprisingly, cold.

After we got changed we popped to the shops to get some bits and pieces when Stephanie spotted some rainbow wool. She promptly asked "Mum can you make me something with this wool because it is so so cool". Now I have not knitted something since I was a teenager, so bought some needles and decided I can make her a scarf. Lots of head scratching later and I am remembering how to do stocking stitch;

So far its going well, the challenge is going to be the hat she wants to have to match the rainbow scarf. Guess I best start looking for patterns!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Penguins and Meerkats

The other day I said to the children we could have a day out to a place of their choice, the choice was to be slightly more Stephanie's than Dylan's as Dylan chose last Saturday.
They chose to go to Wingham Wildlife Park If anyone reading this lives nearby, or indeed happens to be nearby. It is WELL worth a visit. It was our first visit today, it will not be our last!
sorry about this one, I can't work out how to turn it!

One small section of a fab play area

I really struggled to choose photographs to show for our day out, these are just some of them.
It was fabulous here, the children loved all the animals, Stephanie's favourites- penguins and Dylan's favourites- Meerkats, were here among many other animals. The children played for nearly an hour and a half in the play area, whilst I sat to the side quietly sewing hexies for Stephanie's quilt. An idyllic day all round!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

whats that I hear- is it spring?

Today has been a lovely day, I have been out without my coat for the first time in ages. Look what I found in the garden when I went outside;

Can you see that little pretty flower just peeping out from that photo?

Here is a close up of it for you;

 Such pretty delicate flowers, I love them. Its the only one opened up so far, I can't remember how many I planted.

I brought myself a 4 tier mini greenhouse today so that I could get started on my seed planting.
In here we have salad tomatoes, plum tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, leek, broccoli, lavender and something else, it escapes my memory at the moment, I also planted some carrots in one of my grow bags. You can't quite see it from this picture, but I have used some of my salad pots that shop bought items come in as seed trays, I really am trying to recycle as much as I can. I am hoping to be more prepared this year with my growing, so that I have lots going on in the garden minimising the amount of vegetables and salad I need to buy.

Monday, 21 February 2011

a catch up post

The past few days have been rather busy.
I have taken Dylan to London for the day, we saw the Thames Barriers, St Paul's Cathedral, we went to the Bank of England museum (but it was shut), we shopped on Oxford Street and High Street Kensington, then we had a Pizza hut before coming home. We had a fab day, Dylan chose everything we did on Saturday, it was a fab day and lovely to spend the time with just Dylan.

as we walked along one part of London we saw this little fellow, he was so friendly and came so close.

On the train I spent the journey sewing hexagons together for the quilt. The ticket inspector was very impressed and asked me loads of questions about how the quilt is made, before deciding I was a little bit mad as she would just buy a quilt rather than doing all the work I have been doing.
I sew for the children as I love the feeling that I am making these things myself. This is how far I have got so far;

Obviously I didn't sew all this on the train, I have been sewing almost every evening on this I am so determined to finish it before Stephanie's birthday. I have got lots of other projects I want to get started on, but am trying to hold off until this one is finished.

The last thing I have been doing is tracking down poetry books. I have been looking at poetry in uni; it is an area of teaching I am lacking in confidence in. I am not comfortable teaching it, as I don't feel I know enough about it. I have ordered from ebay some books I have seen in lectures. I am hoping by reading these books I will gain further understanding and confidence in poetry.

Thursday, 17 February 2011


Ok still not quite 'celebrating the boy' but look;

YUM! It's the beginnings of a chocolate trifle for tomorrow. Not sure it quite counts as a celebrate the boy, but he will definately enjoy that I made it :-)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Another Stephanie Skirt

OK so you may have noticed the celebrate the boy button which appeared on the side of my blog last week. This button is linked to all sorts of things to make for boys. I joined this group as I always seem to be making for Stephanie and never for Dylan. Although to be fair Dylan is a funny lad about his clothes and only wears certain colours/ types hence he aways looks the same! I joined in the hope I would find inspiration for something I could make him.And many of the makes over there are very sweet, if only he was still a toddler.

So instead of making for something I made something else

Yes its another GIRL make! does it look familiar? that's because I made it from the off cuts of my dress. I'm quite impressed as I made it without a pattern, I just had an idea in my head of what I wanted it to look like, and its pretty close.

I walked to my QTS skills test today and popped in a little sewing shop along the way. I found these fabrics which I thought would be perfect for the little pirates party bags at Stephanie's forthcoming birthday;
So I will be making something for boys, even if its not MY boy, just yet. Well the flower print is destined for a different project, more of that later.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

So how was your day?

Today on twitter I saw a couple of tweets by Vanessa Kimble which to me gave shocking statistics.

Apparently only 27% of families eat together each day and 20% of people say they use Facebook and twitter whilst eating.

Whilst I know there is plenty of BIG news out there, this really shocked me and I have spent most of the day wondering about it. It is making me ask the question- How do you do dinner times?

In my house everyone eats around the dinner table (shock to my brother in law over Christmas!), I have a ban on mobile phones/ laptops/ actually all phones at the table. I also do not have a TV in the kitchen. For me dinner is a time to talk to each other. We waffle about all sorts, I try and prise snippets of information about each of the children's days at school etc, I must say I am pretty successful at getting them chatting now. We talk about our plans and suggest things we could do as a family, or just plan the next days dinner. Anything and everything gets aired at the table.

Last night we discussed having this for dinner;
Lasagne is Dylan's favourite, however, Stephanie and I don't like it. So we decided to have Jacket potatoes, which Dylan doesn't like.

Tonight's discussion contained, amongst other things, that next time I make lasagne Stephanie would like to try a little (she couldn't today as I had used a tin of tomatoes with citric acid in) and a decision that tomorrow's dinner would be chicken curry.

So go on share your routines- how do YOU do your dinner?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

eco cleaning power!

OK so after today's dinner I thought- My gosh I need to clean that oven!

So a quick root through the cupboard and I had none of my usual oven cleaner. I though I could not do it, but I vaguely remembered that Bicarb and vinegar are often used to clean by some people, mix them together they kind of fizz and foam a bit like oven cleaners? Do you see where I am going with this?
Yep I sprinkled bicarb on the oven then shook vinegar all over. Look what happened:

I am so impressed with how well it has come up. It only took 5 Min's in total, no scrubbing required. All I did was wipe round with a damp cloth.

So I will NEVER need to buy yucky nasty chemical concoctions to clean the oven again.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

A new dress

I have done it- I have made myself an item of clothing.
I love it.

OK if I am truthful (and for the more observant of you) its a shop bought dress which I altered as I didn't like the mid-calf length of it. It now sits just above my knee where I am much more comfortable wearing it. I will make myself a whole garment sometime soon, but for now I am planning a tiered skirt for Stephanie with the cut offs from this dress...

Friday, 11 February 2011

This moment


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see
this post was inspired by soulemama. if you are inspired, leave a comment with you moment below, and swing over to her blog for a look

Thursday, 10 February 2011

crafting day

I spent most of today at the Royal Engineers museum, where I have been on placement at recently. Today I was mostly getting the room ready for the special children's event that is happening over the weekend. They are having a Chinese New Year craft workshop. Which I am now running.

So today I have made Chinese lanterns and strung them up all around the room we will be using, as well as egg box dragons. I am hoping to get some Photographs f the work I have done over the weekend. As the larger dragons will be hung on the ceiling for me tomorrow afternoon, whilst I am at uni. They couldn't be hung up today as there is a grown up function in the room tomorrow morning and they didn't want too much of the children's bits up. I don't see why not I think the room looks much more interesting with the decorations.

I'm a very proud Mummy tonight as Dylan won the Ju-jitsu club trophy for trying hard, and helping others where possible.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

forward planning

I realised tonight that I need to start planning my veg garden. I bought seeds in September/ October last year ready for spring planting.

So tonight I thought I had better start the planning;

I found that quite a few of the seeds should have been planted last month (aubergine, leek, tomatoes) and lots more need planting this month. Now most of them need planting on window ledges so I need to start thinking where these window ledges are going to appear from! I don't have too much empty window ledge space. So as well as thinking about how to plant the garden this year, I also need to organise the window ledges....

Monday, 7 February 2011

new life

I have learnt how to do lots of new things in the past 9 months, I can now put up shelves/ cabinets, I have dug over the garden and grown vegetables, built a trampoline but the skill I have learnt and used to do is how to take cuttings from existing plants. I learnt this from my friends mum.

This is Stephanie's new plant, she painted the pot, it was a Christmas present she received, and she helped to take the cutting and set it on the window ledge until we could replant it. She is so very proud of this plant, she is particularly impressed with the pink flowers, she ran straight up to her room with it to put it on her window ledge.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

mmm cake..........

It has been ages since I last made cake, quite possibly Christmas. So today to distract myself from what I should have been doing I made cake;

I think I made too much icing, but don't think there will be any complaints :-)
There were a few questions from the children when they got home
1. is that for my birthday? - no dear your birthday is not for 2 and a 1/2 months.
2. why isn't it chocolate flavoured?
3. can we have it now?
4. why not?
5. not even a small taste?

you get the picture, right??

Saturday, 5 February 2011

repurposed comfort

I have been busy today making some new comfort items for the lounge. Well OK they took 45 Min's each max but you get the point.
They are made from some old table clothes that I was given, they used to go on the children's Nans coffee tables (which I also acquired). However I did not want coffee tablecloths in my lounge so I made these instead;

They are fab! The photo is not a very good one, I really need to learn to take decent shots. Still that is one less item on my to sew list for the year (well unless I find the third cloth I'm very certain exists in my airing cupboard!)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

decisions, decisions

Today my fabric swatches came, remember the ones I ordered Monday. They were from Terrys fabrics I'm very impressed with the super fast delivery and the fabric swatches themselves, now I just need to decide which to use!

I'm thinking either the stripy one, or the one with the pale background and green flower outline for the kitchen.
The lighter of the suede reds for Dylan's bedroom (I do need to check with him first) and the pink princessy one for Stephanie's bedroom.
So the decisions to be made are;
1. strips/flower for dining room
2. light/dark red suede for Dylan
3. Which do I order first?

I also realised my error on my Monday blog post, I said on item number 3) I hadn't made any furnishings for the house last month, which is actually untrue. I forgot I had made net curtains for the hall and the living room!