Friday, 29 August 2014

Last Minute Camping!

So last week I planned on blogging over the weekend, but on Friday we decided to head off to Clark's Village, an outlet shopping center near to our home for a day of shopping. We passed some friends who were towing their caravan and heading down to Doone Valley for a camping weekend. The Husband and I usually join them, but we had decided to give this year a miss due to having a young baby and a car that's really too small to fit us all in plus the camping gear! I suddenly felt really sad we wouldn't be joining them and The Husband and I started discussing how we would fit everything we needed in the car and before we reached Clark's Village I told him to turn around and go home, we needed to pack for our camping trip!

We arrived home at 12pm, fed the girls lunch and by 3pm were all packed up and ready to go, we just needed to make a quick stop at the supermarket and we would be on our way. Pop had other ideas though, just as we left the super market he poo'd, not a little poo but a massive, fill his car seat, up his back and down his legs, he's going to need a bath poo! We rushed home, I dunked him in the bath and got him changed while The Husband and the girls waited in the car and by 4.30 we were definitely ready to head off.

We arrived at the camp site at 7pm and I was very grateful for the volunteers that were only too happy to have a cuddle with Pop and also to help us put up the tent. Due to the last minute nature of our camping trip, there were so many things I forgot like a lighter for the cooker, a dust pan and brush and mine and the girls tooth brushes! (luckily I remembered before we got there so we were able to make a quick stop to get some new ones!) Despite all the things I forgot, we really enjoyed it! It wasn't scorching hot, but it was dry and not raining and that was good enough for us. The girls loved splashing in the river and playing with Benjie, a friends dog, and as always The Husband and I enjoyed having no phone signal and being completely cut off from phones, social media and work for just a few days.

On Sunday afternoon the decision to pack up and come home was made due to the rains that were on their way, we packed up in sunshine and at times I doubted it was going to be that bad! Sure enough when we woke up on Monday morning in the comfort of our beds and brick houses the rain was unrelenting. I am so glad we made the last minute decision to join our friends last weekend, it was just so much fun!

One thing I'm really annoyed at though, is despite taking my camera I didn't once get it out! I have no photos. Is one thing i'm really trying to improve this year and am gutted I fell into old habits and didn't take any pictures.

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

My trusty companion

A couple of days after I passed my driving test, my mum took me to visit some car garages in Bristol. I test drove a few cars but driving felt scary and new, I was nervous and the cars just seemed so big! We went to the Fiat garage in Brislington and went to inquire about a car I liked the look of, when I saw it. A light blue gorgeous Fiat Panda. It was a 4x4 and had bright yellow seats inside. When I test drove it I didn't feel scared and nervous of driving, it just felt right. It was love at first sight and I had to have it. 


That was 8 years ago and it has been my trusty companion ever since. It's been there through heartbreak and happy times, its the car I was driving when I first met the Husband and the car we drove from our wedding in. It's been there as we have bought each child home from the hospital, and the car that has kept them safe on journeys ever since. My car waited patiently on the drive when I couldn't drive during Big Girls pregnancy and again after I had my seizure. In good times and in bad my car has been there. 

After Pop was born The Husband and I realised we had out grown my car. The Pushchair didn't really fit in the boot, but I squeezed it in anyway, there was never any room for the weekly shop, but that's what laps were built for surely!? There were only 4 seat belts and there were now 5 of us, but I didn't mind leaving The Husband at home! Eventually I had to agree, my car was too small for a family of 5, so last week I waved goodbye to my car as my brother came and picked it up.

He's just starting out on an exciting adventure working in Chorley and going to uni in Liverpool, he needed a trusty companion to join him on his adventure and my car was only too happy to volunteer! I'm sad to lose my car, but I quite like my new, slightly bigger car and am so pleased my old car has gone to a new happy home.


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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Baby Pictures with Emily Beale photography

When Pop was about 2 weeks old we went along to see my very talented friend Emily, from Emily Beale Photography, in her home studio to have some baby pictures taken. 




Emily asked if there were any props or pictures I would particularly like her to take and I mentioned I'd quite like to have a picture taken with him wrapped in his baby blanket and she was only too happy to oblige. 

I joked about him being the 3rd child and because of that I didn't have any pictures of me with him so, despite my initial reluctance, she insisted that I had one taken and spent time making sure she captured the perfect mummy and baby shot. I'm so grateful for these and the time she spent getting it just right as, apart from the odd selfie I've taken, these are the only photos I have with him to date!


Emily is so great at listening and interpreting exactly what you want into pictures. She has produced some beautiful, natural and simple baby pictures, exactly what we asked for. She instinctively knows what to look for in a shot and has a way of making you feel so comfortable in front of the camera. We are thrilled with our baby pictures and want to say a huge thank you to her. We have decided that we are finally (after almost 4 years of saying we will!) going to book on to one of her Family Photo Sessions as we just love, love, love her work!


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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Great Blogger Bake off ~ Bread Week

My sister is around 17 months older than me, because of where our birthdays lie this means she was in the year directly above me at school. Academically my sister excelled, Maths, English and Science she was great at and always top of the class. Practically she was gifted too, Music, Art, Sewing were all 'her' subjects and physically in Drama and PE she always gave her all and no matter what had a positive attitude, which meant the teachers just loved her, she was a star pupil.

She was a hard act to follow. I seemed to have all the teachers she did, and even if they hadn't taught her they all knew about her. My sister and I look alike, we sound alike and many people, and this is a problem I still face, expect us to act the same. Teachers expected us to be similar academically, and the truth is, we couldn't be more different!

I am not academic. In Maths, English and Science I was distinctly average. My teachers expected more of me, and would get angry and frustrated when I couldn't give it. They were adamant I was a lazy student when in reality I was giving my all, and they weren't afraid to tell me what they thought. 

Cookery class became my strength and my escape. Cookery is where I excelled. I looked forward to each lesson and loved getting lost in recipes. I loved my cookery lessons, that was until we started a new topic. Bread.

For some reason I just couldn't get it right. My dough would be too wet, then too dry, it refused to rise and I would be the one in the corner with the flat, dense, inedible, hard as a rock yet strangely raw loaf of bread. As an adult, I invested in a bread maker, a perfect solution I thought! Yet somehow, despite following all the instructions and googling to within an inch of my life I still ended up with flat, unrisen dense, raw bread. 

When I decided to join in with this challenge I knew bread week would come and I have been worrying about it so much I came up with a plan. This week my recipe is very easy, anyone can do it!



Ingredients

Money around £1-2 will cover it
Some form of transport, some like to walk or get the bus, for me I like to use my car.

Method
  1. Take your chosen from of transport to your nearest supermarket, bakery or corner shop
  2. Pick up your favourite variety of bread. I love granary rolls so I've chosen them
  3. Take them to the check out and purchase with your money
  4. Take your bread home and enjoy

I'll see you next week for deserts. 



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Sunday, 17 August 2014

What A Week!

I am not sorry to say goodbye to this past week! I've barely blogged and haven't been around much on Instagram or even got my camera out, its just been one long, never ending week.


It started with The Husband going off to Copenhagen for work and us not knowing what shoes to wear as the weather just couldn't make up its mind, and I managed to capture a beautiful picture of the children together for this months Siblings post then the week went down hill. Maybe the clue should have been the pants in the fruit bowl?

I woke up on Tuesday morning with a really bad stomach ache and ended up waking up on the bathroom floor with Big Girl on the phone to my Mum, my Dad on his way over and no idea what had happened. I'm very grateful Big Girl was able to get the phone, she says I phoned Nana and told her to 'talk' and I must have done, but I don't remember it. I've spent the reminder of the week teaching her how to unlock my mobile and call for help in an emergency. I'm suddenly very aware that I'm only human and my girls need to be able to get help if anything happens to me. 

It feels like I spent most of the week recovering and trying to catch up with washing and tidying, I was so grateful to see The Husband when he walked through the door, although I don't think he was happy to walk into the chaos.



Finally on Friday I was back on top of things...well almost.  Baby Girl went quiet, then bought me her doll, what is it they say about quiet children! After feeling rough all week I decided, as a treat to book an appointment at the hair dressers to get Baby Girls hair cut, my hair restyled and Big Girls fringe trimmed. My blood ran cold when I went to get my purse out of my bag and Big Girl said 'your purse is at home' she went on to explain that Baby Girl had taken it out that morning and we had been in such a rush to leave the house I had forgotten to check it was there. I was mortified and made to feel like a criminal, I had the hairdresser follow me home to get my purse, then on to the cash point to get some cash to pay her. I was so embarrassed and I will never be going back there, she didn't even do what I asked, but in proper British style, I sat there and let her do it then told her it looked lovely and I was happy!


On Saturday I made some cookies for the great blogger bake off and breathed a huge sigh of relief that the week was over. Along with Pop waking up every 2 hours during the night, some thing he hasn't done since the early weeks, this week has exhausted me! I did manage to end the week on a semi high when for the first time in a very long time I managed to slip my wedding rings on. I am so grateful to welcome a new week today and I really hope this one is better than the last!


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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Biscuit Week - The Great Blogger Bake Off

I wanted to do the 'show stopper challenge' this week, I had great plans for a colourful 3D ginger and short bread structure, it was a work of art! However after waking up on the bathroom floor with big girl on the phone to my parents earlier in the week (sometimes I am grateful children can use technology better than adults!) and being very ill, I decided to keep it simpler than simple.

This recipe is a family favourite, on Christmas Eve we gather at my parents house and bake these before the turkey goes in. The kids all take sneaky bites while they think the adults don't notice, but it's Christmas so no one minds! It's a recipe that has so many memories and emotions, it was the first recipe my mum gave me and the first recipe I baked after leaving home as I was feeling home sick!

Its such a special recipe for me, I'm actually quite nervous to share it with you, but without further ado, here it is in 3 simple steps


Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
2 egg yolks
vanilla extract
3/4 cup coconut
chocolate chunks
4oz (approx) melted butter

Method

  1. Put all ingredients apart from the butter in a bowl mix together and add the butter until combined. Don't let the mixture be too wet and don't let it be too dry!
  2. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees for 10 minutes, or less. Take them out just before they have finished cooking and allow them to finish cooking on the tray for 10 minutes. 
  3. Transfer to a wire rack and enjoy.


I hope you like them as much as I do! I've never been very good at bread without a machine (and actually even with not that great!) so lets see what next week brings!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Siblings ~ August

My duo have been a trio for 3 months now, I've been really impressed with how well the girls have accepted Pop into our family and although we have had a few issues, we haven't really had any jealously towards Pop. Although Baby Girl did make me laugh earlier in the month when she was climbing on me. I was feeding Pop at the time and asked her to be careful because she was going to end up hurting someone. She looked at me with big innocent eyes and said, 'no, only Pop.' It's good to see he's fitting in just how a younger sibling should!



I thought getting 2 children looking at the camera at the same time with smiles, clean faces and nothing in their mouths was hard until I tried to take this photo! I started taking the photo at 8.30am and, in between feeding, nappy changes, changing camera and techniques, lunch, and tantrums, we finally managed to get a decent picture at 3pm! 

I'm very grateful for this project as it has made me stop and take a photo of all three children which is a rare opportunity at the moment. I usually get one or two children, but rarely the three of them together. I've also carved some time out in the diary so we can join in with Me & Mine this month, because we haven't actually had a family photo taken since before Pop was born!
dear beautiful

Wot So Funee?

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