Saturday, 31 March 2012

Recent shenanigans

Nothing hugely eventful has happened of late, but a few minor moments where I thought to myself ... yes better get me camera out and take a photo (a great irritation to Gareth - who feels that taking photo's of almost everything detracts from the 'moment').

So the first one of those 'moments' was when we were at Blists hill (a victorian style town) having a family day out, and we popped into the Apothecary. As we slowly browsed the shelves of interesting bottles and historic replicas, my eyes rested on a jar of what looked like twigs labeled 'licorice root'. Then I twigged (yes,pun intended)... this was a treat me and my siblings used to get as children. But I hadn't had it for yonks! It literally is just the root of the plant which you chew on to get the flavour of aniseed. They were for sale at 2 shillings (10p). I HAD to get one to re-live that old memory of chewing away at these old roots. Gareth was quite bemused at my excitement and commented how different our upbringings were... his idea of a tasty snack as a child was a packet of bacon crisps (I would have enjoyed them too had my parents ever bought flavoured crisps).

As soon as I bit into that little aniseed twig I couldn't help but feel like I was about 8 again. Gareth soon wanted to see what all the fuss was about and bit a chunk off (you're supposed to suck on it until the wood is soft enough to chew). Very quickly he regretted his decision and spat it out muttering that he definitely hadn't missed out on anything! As soon as Aniah saw me chewing away on it she started doing the 'please' sign indicating she wanted a go sucking on the twig too. She enjoyed it much more than Daddy, but got bored of it within about 10 minutes. I fondly put it in the picnic bag to enjoy later :)

The second camera moment was when the two kiddies were side by side in the double buggy for the first time. The other day we managed to pick up two second hand pushchairs for a decent price. It has started to get a little tiring getting Zak into the Wilkinet then Aniah into the pushchair. So this will be a HUGE help to me...

As you can see from the pained expression, Gareth LOVES taking pictures (not)!

Well, at least the kids were happy :)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Bake Day - Raspberry Swirl cheescake cupcakes

Martha and I haven't done a bake day in ages, and so it was lovely to get together recently to try out a new recipe. Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes (for the recipe go here)... here is how they turned out.

Yummy scrummy!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I love the sun!

My mood is so much better and my sense of motivation far greater since we've enjoyed the beautiful summer weather the past few days. It's amazing what a bit of sunshine can do for ones soul!

Yesterday I spent almost the entire day outdoors. Gareth was working hard on his assignments for Uni, so I decided to take Aniah and Zak to the town park with my sister Martha and her 6 month old Josh. It seemed that most of the other mothers in Telford had thought of the same idea. It's so lovely watching children playing so happily, without a care in the world. Before we headed home, I grabbed a few gardening supplies so we could start planting some stuff for family home evening.

After we got home, I got out the paddling pool for Aniah (can you believe it - it's only March?!)

Meanwhile I set about clearing out the garden shed. It had become a great place to shove junk I couldn't be bothered to sort out over the winter.

Late afternoon I planted 6 strawberry plants. I've never grown strawberries before, so I hope I don't kill them too quickly, I quite fancy a few fresh strawberries this summer. Then before dinner I got Aniah to help me plant tomatoes seeds. She loves filling pots up with this and that, so this was real treat for her...

I can't wait to show Aniah the seedlings when they start coming through. Here's hoping I can keep her away from the pots long enough to even get to that stage!!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

crochet flower head band

Unfortunately at the moment I don't have a huge amount of time to crochet, but I discovered the pattern for a cute flower head band only takes about 20 minutes to make. This is one I made the other day for Aniah, the tutorial can be found here (that's just the flower part)

DIY goals review

In January I set some DIY goals for 2012 (here). As I was looking through them, I realised I am shooting 3 out of 6 so far... not bad, considering it's only March.

One of the goals was to do a collection of photos in the living room. Here is how it looks...

You will also see that I've made my own word blocks which read 'Faith, Hope, Love, Charity' which was another goal.

The third goal was to learn a new skill - crocheting. I am still very much a beginner and have loads of ideas about what I would love to make. But I'm dead chuffed with what I've managed to do so far...

Saturday, 24 March 2012

one fine day

Today I met up with some good friends due to us all being widows for the day (our men were off playing rugby or airsoft). I'm so glad we did, as it turned out to be an absolutely glorious day. The sun was truly beaming down on us the whole afternoon. Elisabet kindly came to pick me and the children up and we headed off to Ironbridge park where we met up with Rebekah and her children. The kiddies had a wonderful time running wild! We then headed off to a nearby picnic area to enjoy food in the shade. I am truly blessed to have such amazing friends who I admire and learn so much from. I feel sad that Aniah and Zak may not be able to enjoying the friendship of their children as they grow up as we will inevitable move away from the area with Gareth's new job. But we would love to come back to the area to settle in about 10 years time (hopefully)

Poor Elisabet was so patient with a very upset Eden. I watched in awe as she calmly dealt with his tantrum for a good 45 minutes.

What a perfect way to spend an afternoon in the sun... thank you ladies!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Painting with booties!

Today my lovely friend Rebekah brought her kiddies over for some play time with Aniah. I'd seen an idea for wellie boot painting on the imagination tree, and I've been waiting for the weather to improve to give it a go. I was really looking forward to watching the little ones stomp about making patterns. They seemed to have enjoyed themselves...

Alex gets a bit tired from all the fun and frolics!

While the big kids play, the little ones watched...

Run Alex Run!!

I decided to get Zak a bit more involved...

He's so patient with his silly Mummy!

'There's been a MuRRderrr' ...Aniah:  'nope... not me'

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Flour pit!

I've been saying to Gareth how much Aniah would love a sand pit in the garden, but between it being winter and never remembering to buy any sand while I'm out I've not gotten around to it. However, the other day I came across a blog (unfortunately can't remember who's) showing someone who'd used flour instead. Perfect!!

So, while Aniah had her nap, I set about filling up a storage box with a bag of plain flour (54p) and getting a load of random boxes, spoons and things that I thought would give her some scope for fun!

 I prepared myself for a flour covered garden while she ate her lunch. As soon as I opened the box ... she dove straight in... filling pots then throwing it all over the garden path.

As you can see by her face ... she had a lot of fun!

Then came out the sieve ...

She really wanted a go with this... in the picture she's not yawning, but signing please!

Flour face :)

Half way through we got a little visit from Aniah's Auntie Martha and cousin Joshy... doesn't he look cute in his hat?!

 Martha joined in on the fun too!

While Aniah played happily all afternoon in the garden, Zak played with toys and I did some much needed weeding and laundry ...

I realised that this activity was a great way to promote making marks and teaching shapes ...

Towards the end I watched with amusement as she pushed the flour around the box with her hands and ended up clambering in.

Fun times!