Monday, 1 September 2014

Me & Mine ~ August

This is our first ever family photograph with all 5 of us in. Its only taken me 4 months to get around to it!


Baby Pop turned 17 weeks, hes a happy smiley baby and can now grasp toys with both hands and put it in his mouth. Hes now wearing 6-9 month clothes and we've switched him to reusable nappies as he seems to have very sensitive skin

Baby Girl is still adjusting to life as the middle child. It turns out she is quite a little Einstein, her maths skills rival her sisters and she is getting to grips quite rapidly with her numbers.

Big Girl is excited about starting 'school' again next month, she is starting to sound words out and can confidently add and takeaway to the value of 5! 

The Husband has been working in Copenhagen and enjoying the sites, while trying not to let on to me that he loves his new client! He's really looking forward to walking up Snowdon next month and is hoping he doesn't end up in hospital again.

I enjoyed celebrating my 27th birthday and am looking forward to teaching the girls again in September and we have lots of fun projects coming up before Christmas like the human body and hot & cold. I'm really getting in to the swing of being a mum to 3 and cant wait for my uni course to start. 

September is going to be another fun month for us all. 

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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Chocolate Fondant With Plum Sauce

Have you ever checked the cupboards made sure you had all the ingredients begun to make you recipe, only to realise you should have checked the cupboards more thoroughly? I'm going to pretend that all of you are nodding along in agreement, purely because it will make me fell better about myself!

I followed my recipe and when it came to adding my sugar, my heart sunk. The bag of sugar I had spotted in the cupboard earlier was almost used up. I breathed a sigh of relief when I got 100g of sugar out of the bag and even had some left over. Phew. Then it was time to add the flour. I'd opened my cupboard, seen the 12 (yes, I really do have 12 bags of flour in my cupboard, although not all of them are open!) bags of flour and assumed one of them would be plain flour. This weekend i learnt never to assume anything! not one of the bags were plain, so I substituted it for self raising, telling myself that if it all went wrong, exploded in my oven or burnt my kitchen down at least it would make a funny story. Thankfully it didn't and out came a rather nice looking fondant.

When I moved on to the plum sauce my heart yet again sank as I realised that the sugar I was happy to have left over, was needed. Unfortunately I only had 40ish grams left, and was surprised it worked just as well. I've left the original amount in the recipe below, but if you prefer less sugar, try the sauce with 40g instead of 60g.


Ingredients

For the fondants

125g butter
125g dark chocolate
4 eggs
100g caster sugar
60g plain flour

For the plum sauce

4 plums
50g caster sugar

1) melt the chocolate and butter together over a pan of simmering water
2) whisk the eggs and caster sugar together until light and fluffy
3) fold the chocolate mixture and the flour into the eggs, take your time making sure there are no pockets of chocolate or flour left unmixed
4) spoon the mixture in to dariol molds (the little round pudding dishes) until they are 3/4 full
5) place the molds on to baking trays and bake at 180c for 8-10 minutes until just set.
6) While the fondants are baking, de-stone and slice up your plums. In a non stick pan, place the plum slices and sugar and leave to dissolve over a low heat. You may need to add 1-2 tbsp's of water to help the sugar dissolve depending on how juicy the plums are.
7) Just before the plums are about to break down take off the heat. Run a knife around the edge of the pudding mold and turn out on to a dish. Serve with a scoop of ice-
cream and some plum sauce.

Enjoy.


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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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