Monday, 7 November 2011

Son Rise

Since the clocks changed last weekend Joel has been getting up an hour earlier all week, that's a 5.30 start to the day! Not for the faint hearted! We had hoped that after a couple of days he would gradually adjust back to 6.30/7 (or later!!) but it's only today that he managed it. However gruelling the pre dawn starts to the days have been two things have made each one special.

Our boys beautiful smiling face, thirsty for a new adventure (and porridge), something to climb on and a morning pat of Myrtle.

It took me forever to find a button up dressing gown for him
and the beautiful Cumbrian sunrises, even Joel points and says 'ooooooooh' at the amazing bright pink sky and the birds ('tweet tweets' as Joel calls them) singing the start of the day.

The view from our kitchen window
It's all worth it though :)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

It's a date!

Mr B and I have finally gotten around to setting the date for our wedding. We have sent out save the date cards, an American custom which I think fits well into British correspondence etiquette. We bought a beautifully crafted hand drawn stamper from Emililies on etsy, and used some posh ink pads from our local art shop to stamp on vintage style blank postcards. We are well chuffed with how they look.

So now the hard work starts, planning a wedding with a 15 month old boy who climbs on EVERYTHING trying to help. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Harvest for the home

The other day I was a bit bored in the kitchen and decided that, even though I'm not religious, I wanted to celebrate the harvest. My mini bounty consisted of windfall cooking apples from my mums garden and bargain pomegranates from the supermarkets 'oops' section (wrinkly, injured or unloved products) It was grey and rainy outside yet colour radiated from the fruit, arranged on my lovely vintage cake stand. A moment to just stop, take stock and appreciate what we have. Not just in terms of food but the aesthetic quality of life, even on the dullest of days, can brighten the home and enlighten your heart.

Bags of Fun!

I was given a lovely little project a while back which I haven't had the chance to tell you about. When our friends got married in September I was asked to organise party bags for all the children attending, along with snack bags too. Organised fun at it's best, in a bag!!

I got all their names and ages so I could tailor fill each bag to best suit the little guests. I found some really good stuff on the indoor market, brilliant joke/party stall which seemed to have stock from about 20 years ago (in a good way though) funny masks, squidgy toys, bubbles, fortune telling fish and whoopy cushions to name but a few of what I used.

This bag was for a 7 year old girl.

This bag was for the brides 7 year old nephew.
I kept the snack bags on the healthy side with home made heart shaped vanilla choc cookies, natural corn crisps, cheese, fruit and raisons and some delicate little round sandwiches made with half brown and half whites slices of bread. Fun.

There were some new babies there too so I gave their mummys some bubbles, a light up wand to keep baby entertained along with an energy giving biscuit (which I wrapped in baking paper and stuck with pretty tape) for them to munch during the speeches, feeding your baby starts with feeding yourself.

Monday, 24 October 2011


For the last few years I've had something on my list of things to get sorted, finally last month it got done. My Grannys charm bracelet (a present from my Grandad) had been sat tarnished and tatty in it's original box for around half a century.

I'm sure you'll agree that it was money well spent getting it all cleaned up and the charms re soldered on. Tradition is that a new charm would be added at each Anniversary/Birthday/Christmas. I doubt my Granny (at the grand age of 95) can remember which was bought when but there is no doubt a story behind each one.

I couldn't wait to wear it out somewhere and did so the first chance I got, to a lovely dinner with Mr & Mrs B to mark (that) Mr B's return from America. We had a really nice evening out thanks to Millie and Nick taking up their roles as 'Best Auntie and Uncle' by babysitting, we left them a nice vege cottage pie in the Rayburn to take the winters chill off the evening. Full tums all round. Lovely friends X

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Mr & Mrs B

No not us, well not just yet, our friends got married and became Mr & Mrs a month ago.

It was the first wedding I'd been to since I was a child, and what a lovely one it was. The ceremony was at the most divine little village church in the heart of the Lake District, the bride looked amazing in her 1950's length dress and dinky glittering Cinderella slippers. The groom was not to be sniffed at either, suited and booted he looked proud as punch. I think us girls had a smile and a sideways tilted head for the majority of the day, well worth the cricked neck though, whatever your beliefs are it was a wonderful moment, thank you for letting us share it with you x

Grandad B's Birthday Bash

Mr B's Dad was 70 last month, we wanted to mark such a special birthday with a family party. He has 3 children and a fair few grandchildren (Joel being the youngest) who are rarely all gathered together in one place.

Instead of making a birthday cake we made birthday muffins and arranged them in a 70. Half were strawberry cheesecake and the others were triple chocolate, I got the recipes from a great little baking book by Good Housekeeping. It meant everyone could eat one flavour and take the other one homefor later.

The North Pom made this pom pom garland (dubbed 'the new bunting') in colours to complement our kitchen. The colours looked so good you can now order them yourself.

I finally got to make good use of my bargain birdy glasses (£2 for 12 at a really soggy car boot sale) when we did a champagne toast to the tune of 'Happy Birthday!'


It's been a busy few weeks since I last posted, many a blog is queued up in my 'drafts' folder but I'm not sure if they will see the light of day now. Probably best to give you an abridged version of recent life.

Joels first encounter with Swans, he didn't believe me when I said they were birds. Well who would?
Lakeside fun
I've been slowly adding to my china collection, these 4 cups cost 50p and they are really old.  No saucers but they will be perfect for serving puddings in

Joel got some molars, nasty things.

I spotted this baby Toad in our front garden just the other night, he was diddy! Remember the difference between frogs and toads? Frogs have webbed feet and Toads have toed feet.
We ate blackberries straight off the brambles, they were warm in the evening sun. Joel loved them but got frustrated when I couldn't find them fast enough.
My love of all things miniature continued with an investment in this delightful little knife, perfect for topping my morning eggy weggs with
We were glad when the summer hols were over and groups were back on.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Washer Woman

The Washer Watcher in action!
 The weather has been pants lately, adding to the frustration of not being able to go out wandering as much as we'd like is the ever growing stacks of wet washing with no where to go. Drying indoors just isn't glamorous, unless.......
You spend a rainy day totally re vamping your washing room, whilst avoiding all other housework!

I started on this little baby airer. It's been with me for years now, a bargain find in a Nottingham junk shop. I saw an idea recently in a magazine for tying ribbon around the joints but I thought I'd go one better and replace the tapes with fancy trimmings, from my collection.

Here is the finished article laden up with Joels 'real' nappy's
...drying off in front of our lovely blue Rayburn

I also got my lovely selection of old tins out of storage and set them out along the high window sill. I used some of Joel's building blocks to spell out WASH

Hanging from the ceiling are these fabric print paper lanterns which used to block a street front window at my old house.

and our traditional big airer. Where would we be without it!!!
The finishing touch was covering Myrtles crate with some bright red, spotted oilcloth. The Orla Kiely Tesco bag for life is perfect for emptying the machine into as I can carry it over my shoulder to the line whilst holding Joel. Much better than a wash basket.
So all in all I am very pleased with my efforts. Who said utility can't be pretty?

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Birthday Boys

One thing which has kept us very busy since our trip down south was planning for Joel and his friend Rory big birthday bash!

Rorys mum is planning her wedding so I took the lead on the boys do. After a couple of weeks of planning the big day came, we'd chosen the local village hall as the venue, sent out Mr Bs beautifully designed invites

We requested no gifts as we wanted as many people as possible to share this special day and didn't want it to cost our friends to attend. Birthdays are about get togethers not spending money.

I baked lots of buns (adult and wee sized ones) as well as some extra chocolaty cornflake cakes (oh my they were VERY good) this was my first try at baking, I figured as a mummy it's essential to at least get buns right. Mr B and Uncle M were on hand to help decorate them.
Unfortunately in all the rush to get things made I didn't get to photograph the fab eats and layout before the party started. I can assure you they looked and tasted fab!

Joel with his cousin Sophie. Rory and the two Mr Bs are in the background
It was a brilliant day, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the boys were wiped out come 5pm. It's been the fastest year of our lives and quite rightly deserved a massive get together, I can't wait for next years shin dig!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Good news

The news is so depressing at the moment, it's making me feel so sorry for all the people who have had their lives turned upside down in the cities. I am glad that we live in a lovely rural area. Last night Mr B and I thought how lucky we are, in so many ways. So I thought I'd cheer us all up over the next few days by writing about the nice things in our lives.

Mum and Son fun on a Camel at one of Kendals playgroups.
I feel that Joel and I have really hurled ourselves into the world of mum and baby socialising, something essential for keeping your sanity! We had a slow start on this as the total shock to the system of having a baby, teamed with physical recovery and problems establishing breastfeeding meant we didn't really surface from Oakbank until some 6 weeks after he arrived. Before we knew it we had lots of places to go and friendly faces to see. Yet this wonderful world of play sessions and interaction only exist during term time, thus assuming all mums have more than one child! This leaves new mums who have built up networks of support and activity suddenly stranded. Who would have thought that when your children aren't yet at school the timetable has such a hold over what you do?

With this in mind I decided to take over the local baby/toddler groups booking at our village hall, Tots Tuesday Summer Club was born. I've managed to get enough mums each week to cover the hire of the hall (it's a non profit group) without doing any advertising. We have loads of space for little people to travel around (by tummy, crawling, bum shuffling and walking, however they like) a kitchen for the all important brews (I serve the tea from a hatch!) and a fab outdoor space (though unfortunately it's in full sun at that time of day so not ideal for new skin) It is small scale but I've really enjoyed it, I love making up groups and clubs and partys so am already thinking of my next venture :)


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