Tag Archives: Favourite things

About A Boy

No, not the film. Nor the book.

Ha – did you even know there was a book??

This is all about my little boy… he has just hit 10 months. That’s getting dangerously close to the one year mark. It means he’s cute and interactive and lots of fun, but it also means he’s not going to be a baby for all that much longer. Sniff sniff.

But this post is a celebration of all the cool things about him at the moment.

It’ll probably definitely be pretty boring to anyone who isn’t immediate family, so here’s a big fat

The Little Man 🙂

*He has seven teeth. Gosh darn it they make for a cute grin.

*He can clap his hands (at last! He started at 9 months 30 days, lol)

Squint through the blur and you'll see he's clapping. Really.

*He eats solid food (at last! I finally gave up even trying him on pureed stuff… he just skipped that stage entirely and is on the Mr Independent I-will-only-eat-it-if-I-can-pick-it-up-and-feed-myself)

*He walks holding onto the furniture, stopping periodically to bang any flat surfaces as hard as possible. This is often accompanied by loud shouting lovely singing along.

*He plays rough-and-tumble games with his Pappa, and laughs his head off the whole time 🙂 This YouTube video clip shows it better than photos can.

*He waves and ‘calls’ to people. And dogs. But not to other babies – he doesn’t seem to know what other babies are for. What do you mean play with them? Huh?

*He likes to take turns and ‘share’ whatever he’s playing with. No matter how soggy and chewed-up. We humour him, but only cos he’s cute.

*He can say nanannananananrarararararararararaaaaaaooooorrr. Oh, that’s not a great baby achievement? Oops, strike that then. Sorry.

*He turns the pages of books. This is obviously very exciting for him, as he’s not at all interested in the story, the pictures or the funny voices we put on for each character.

{No photos of this one… it’s usually at bedtime. Bringing out a camera at bedtime would be far too exciting, and totally ruin our bedtime routine…}

*He’s getting the hang of a ball. Daddy’s boy, for sure.

What a legend.

Happy 10 months

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Therapy

*blush blush blush*

On Friday I posted about gorgeous French handwriting. I used an image that I found from Flickr by doing a Google search. The handwriting was gorgeous.

And I made a very amateur blogger (which I am!) mistake… I didn’t translate the writing before posting the picture.

I thought about it. But didn’t do it because I was in a baby-related hurry.

LOML is a French teacher. And he kind of freaked out (in a patient, my-wife-is-loony kind of way) when he saw my post.

They were not very nice words. Not very nice at all.

I’m so embarrassed.

It’s actually pretty funny, as long as nobody was offended, but I think I’m still smarting from the humiliation of doing something so stoooopid.

But I have certainly learnt my lesson.

And yesterday was a lovely bank holiday so I took a blogging break, licked my wounds and did some Pinterest therapy to make myself feel better.

So here are some real pretty things to soothe my bruised pride and hopefully smooth any feathers I may have ruffled {if any French literate readers noticed the rudies. Or indeed if anyone read my post at all! Never before have I so heartily wished that nobody read a post!}

Red Velvet Cupcakes » Annie's Eats

Green felt stamped muslin clip - Ciao

And with that, I bid you adieu. Au revoir?

Or should I say ciao?

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French Fancy

As you may already know, I’m kind of a Francophile. I love all most things French. Including the handwriting! [But not all of the cheeses. Heehee, writing ‘cheeses’ reminds me of the joke at Christmas with the little Babybel cheeses lying in a manger. Baby cheeses. 🙂 ]

I’ve had French student teachers helping out in my classroom a couple of times as part of their training, and I always ogle and drool over their perfect handwriting. I mean, we learnt cursive at school, but it’s an art form over there. They dedicate lots of lesson time to getting it right. And everybody gotta geddit it right. {I was saying that in a weird tough guy accent. Don’t know why. But read it that way anyway. Try it out loud 😉 }

aNyWaY… I’ve decided I’m going to work on my handwriting. I want it to be all purdy and curly and lovely like French writing.

These days so much is done on computer or texting, and I think handwritten things just add a nice personal touch to gifts and cards.

Wow, I’ve not tried cursive in about 15 years. It shows!

I’ve forgotten lots of the joins and capital letters.

Hope fully I’ll be able to show you an improved ‘After’ shot before too long.

If I can get it really pretty, I’d love to make something like this…

By Three Red Apples via Epheriell Designs

the tiny bird and co, Etsy

Excuse the hurried end to this post, and the very boring ‘Before’ shot of my handwriting… no time for editing – the Little Man is waking up.

That means I have some warm-sleepy-baby-cheek-kissing to do.

And maybe some tushie-squeezing and toe-eating too 😉

Have a lovely weekend, y’all!

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Thursday Embracing

Embracing the camera this week… hanging out on the sunny patch on my bed with my two boys – Little Man and LOML (camera man).

Our favourite part of every day is when ‘Pappa’ gets home from work and we can all be together 🙂

Head on over to Emily’s blog to see who else has been embracing the camera…

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Recipe Book Update…

In a very long and blabby post a little while ago I mentioned my recipe book. I know, how boring. But it’s important to me, mmmkay?? I’m going to need a new one soon….

And so far I’ve found the following ideas:

I think this is my favourite in the practical stakes. I’m not a big fan of using a file, but I think that’s the way to keep things organised, for sure. Also, not keen on having to rewrite recipes, but I suppose I could just stick a recipe cut out in the big space.

Via The Kitchn and Pinterest

I like the cover of this binder/file:

Via Prudent Baby and Pinterest

Again, not so keen on using a file, but plastic sleeves (UK: plastic wallets/pockets) solve the problem of different sized recipes (cut out from magazines, handwritten on scrap paper, etc).  Bonus: on the website I can download the templates for that pretty file cover free 🙂

This one is pretty much the same idea, except without the plastic sleeves. She’s prettied it up with scrapbooking paper and things like that, and prefers to type up her recipes. Won’t be doing that.

From See Jamie Blog via Tip Junkie

Inside the binder (See Jamie Blog)

I love the vintagey look of this lettering:

From On Awesome Avenue via Tip Junkie

Oh boy. I think I’ve found my winner. Even if it weren’t the perfect solution, uh, it’s a Cath. And I love a Cath.

So it wins.

Image via Paper Posey

This is the info about what’s inside:

Via Amazon

The outside is pretty (pretty – check)

On the inside cover it has conversion charts (useful – check)

Tabbed sections to categorise recipes (practical – check)

It is a ring binder but also has pockets for cut-outs and ready-to-use punched pages for writing out recipes (works for all the different kinds of recipes I have – check)

*sigh* perfection.

Trust Cath xxxx

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Not A Spring Chicken

I am no longer in my 20’s, people!

I had a lovely day with my little family celebrating my entrance to my thirties 🙂 We’ve kept our birthdays very low-key this year because we want to save up to go on a family holiday near the end of the year when we’re (hopefully!) sleeping better at night and more able to cope with a bit of  travel with the Little Man. We’ll either be visiting friends in the south of France, or family in South Africa. Still figuring out the details, but excited either way.

Anyway, it was great having a long weekend – everyone’s in a holiday mood. In fact, in South Africa (where my family lives) there’s another public holiday tomorrow, so they’re feeling it even more!

Look what I got –  a m p e r s a n d  🙂

I haven’t decided exactly where it’ll go, or if I’ll decoupage or add anything onto it, but for now it gets pride of place with my little ‘vignette’ in the living room…

Okay *deep breath* you’re going to think I’m weird. Weirder than perhaps you already think I am. A large proportion of my 30th birthday present has been edible. ‘That’s not so bad’, I imagine you’re thinking, ‘as long as it’s something proper posh.’ Well, it’s not. It’s a bar of chocolate and a jar of peanut butter.

There, I said it. LOML is highly embarrassed that I consider that a suitable gift. But it’s what I wanted!

They’re both from SA, and the peanut butter is like nothing you can find in the shops here in the UK. The chocolate (in SA we call it a slab of chocolate – how great does that sound?? Way better than a prim and proper ‘bar of chocolate’ here!) is a layer of white chocolate on top of normal milk chocolate and it is awesomeness.

The absolute best gift was a Skype video call with my mom & dad, and my brother, sis-in-law, nephew and niece. We sent my parents a webcam as part of my birthday present 🙂 They all sang happy birthday to me, and my little 1 year old niece was clapping her hands like crazy and I got appropriately choked up…

With all the bank holidays, the rest of my present from LOML is running a bit late. I chose it so it’s not a surprise, but I’m sure I’ll pop something about it into a blog post once it’s arrived.

Hip hip hurray for birthdays 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

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Filed under Oh Sweet Chocolate, Oh Sweet Life

Happy Easter All…

Well, it’s a luvverly long Easter weekend… and it’s my 30th birthday tomorrow!

Happy birthday to me 🙂

I wanted to share a great hot cross bun recipe for Easter. I haven’t made any this year because the weather’s been so lovely –  hot cross buns feel like they should be eaten fresh out of the oven on a cool day with a cuppa, and we’ve been out and about so much in the sunshine that I’ve not really had the time (or the inclination to be around a hot oven).

That means that obviously I don’t have photos to put on the post, but I’ve scanned taken a photo of the picture from the actual recipe (cut out of a magazine)… Scanner software has gone on holiday too, it seems.

I don’t know about you, but I like to see what the finished product should [but probably won’t in my case!] look like. So here goes:

Ingredients:

450g strong white bread flour

1 tsp salt

1 tblspn mixed spice

50g butter (diced)

75g caster sugar

1 sachet (7g) instant yeast

150g sultanas

300ml [half and half] milk & water

vegetable oil for brushing

FOR THE CROSSES AND GLAZE:

50g flour (self-raising or cake/plain)

2 tblspn caster sugar

Method:

Sift flour, salt and spice in a large bowl.

Rub in the butter with your fingertips.

Stir in the sugar, yeast and fruit.

Make a well and pour in the milk and water, gradually folding in the flour mixture until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth and elastic, then shape into a ball.

Brush the inside of a bowl with oil, put the dough in the bowl and cover with cling film/damp tea towel.

Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour and a half, but rising times vary – it could be 2 hours, or more, in a cold kitchen).

Brush a large round cake tin (about 25cm diameter) with oil.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and shape into balls, keeping the tops smooth.

Arrange in the cake tin and cover with cling film – leave to prove like this for about 30 mins (again, in a warm place until doubled in size).

Preheat oven to 200 deg C (180 degF/gas 6).

Make the crosses: Mix flour with 4 tblspns cold water in a small bowl until smooth. Spoon into a freezer bag, snip off one corner and pipe crosses on the buns.

Bake for 15 mins until golden*

Prepare the glaze while buns bake: Heat the sugar with 4 tblspns water in a  small pan until the sugar has dissolved.

As soon as the buns come out of the oven, transfer to a wire rack and brush with the glaze.
Leave to stand in a warm place until the glaze dries.

*I always land up baking mine for about 20 mins, as the underside is still a bit raw and squishy after 15 mins.

Happy Easter, and happy baking 🙂

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