Fabulous! Kiko Glass Frame, gorgeous

Kiko Glass Frame

Gorgeous. So clever. I really must buy some of these as soon as possible so I can display a tiny tiny selection of my treasured postcard collection.  Perfect.  Buy them at http://www.nkuku.com or http://www.notonthehighstreet

Prices start from £9.95

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Countdown to Christmas #1 Christmas Cake

Christmas seems like a long way away particularly as the weather is so mild at the moment.  This year the house will be virtually finished (apart from the planned major building work of course) so, despite our retro 1950s kitchen, I’m going to do it properly – starting with the Christmas cake. I’ve never made one before. In fact, I don’t even like fruit cake.  Still, it seems completely wrong to take the easy option and buy one so I’m going to give it a go, 

I’ll be following the original boozy fruit recipe at http://www.thepinkwhisk.co.uk  –  a fantastic foodie blog I’ve been following ever since the first series of The Great British Bake Off.  I’ve bought the dried fruit and tomorrow I plan on soaking it in lots of lovely brandy, 

Wreaths, garlands, nibbles, fairy lights, table decorations, pigs in blankets, mince pies, presents, stockings, sacks and elf dust updates to follow.

 

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Thanks mymumdom.com for reminding me of the important things

I’ve just read an entry on one of the blogs I follow – http://www.mymumdom.com – the author of which I met on the school run a year ago.  From our frequent brief encounters I know she is fabulous, funny, larger than life and one of those people who I feel sure I would be great friends with if only I had the time to get to know her.

Her entry was simple.  It was all about treasuring the memories of your children – her oldest has recently started secondary school.  It’s something I often think about but never spend the time doing anything about. Your kids grow up very quickly.  One minute they are babies, the next they are starting primary school and before you know it they have lives of their own,

Often, school mornings in my household are busy, stressful, fraught and yes, totally horrible.  I frequently arrive home after taking David to school and Chloe to pre school feeling totally exhausted.   The house is quiet.  Louis is content.  I get on and do things without their constant interruptions.   Yet I know this time is short.  I know I must treasure the chaos, commit it to memory and ignore the “to do ” list.  Thanks mymumdom for reminding me of the important things.

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Monster Chutney

It’s that time of year. Apple, apples, apples. As well as fabulous apple pie, the other wonderful thing that can be made out of our very own British apples is chutney. Every Autumn it makes me so sad when I see this wonderful home grown fruit going to waste in thousands of gardens across the country. And if you pop to Sainsburys, you can buy tasteless Pink Lady imported from the other side of the world. Tragic,

Anyway, I spread the word around my local network of friends and have since been inundated with offers of mishapen, slightly bruised, yet delicious apples. I made my first batch of Monster Chutney today. Lots more to follow, including a some for HAWI’s stall at the Pinner Panto night in November. The Pickle Queen is back.

Monster Chutney

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Finally, the sewing machine makes an appearance

I treated myself to a rather nice sewing machine a few months ago when I received an unexpected tax refund in the post.  It’s been sitting in the cupboard for quite some time – calling out to me to be used – but I simply have not had the time since the school holidays started.  I’m also permanently knackered as I’m still feeding L at night and by the time I’ve got all three of them to bed all I want to do is go to sleep myself.

Anyway, yesterday evening, I finally managed to get started on a little craft project – a fabric flower garland.  Photoman sat reading his latest rock band biog (Led Zep this time) and I happily got to work with the sewing machine.  Two hours later and I had produced four fabric flowers – very satisfying.

ImageEversince I bought the machine D has been asking for a crooks sack to hide his loot in and C wants a pink bobbit (bobbit is her toy rabbit).  I want to make a long cushion for the settle, a couple of doorstops,  two laundry bags and lots of cushions.  The list of projects is getting longer and longer every day but at least I’ve made a start.

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Bunny Park visit cut short

We ventured out to Brent Lodge Park in Ealing this morning – commonly known as The Bunny Park.

http://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/200878/parks_in_the_borough/664/hanwell_parks/2

Now that that stage two of our house renovation is almost complete we can finally start dedicating proper time for family days out at the weekend and this was one of them.

The kids loved the butterfly house and burned off lots of energy in the maze and playground until Photo Man received a call from work – unfortunately, his deputy’s grandma had just passed way so he had to go in and take over.  Fair enough, I could hardly moan about it – but it cut short our day out together.  I’m now back at home, bribing the children to be good with jammy doughnuts and the promise of ice cream later.  Sunshineone is building playmobil and daughtershine is making gingerbread men out of home made playdoh.  Sunshinetwo is fast asleep in his car seat in the hallway.  Hopefully the rest of the day will go smoothly.

 

 

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Dehydration at school

As much as I love these tropical temperatures, I’m wondering what I’m going to do with three small children once they are all at home with me.  It’s currently 12pm, very very hot and number three and number two child are both fast asleep in the shade.  I think I may have gone deaf.

Number one child came home from school yesterday complaining of a headache.  I’d also arranged to collect one of his classmates who was coming over for tea – his first visit to our house.  The journey home in the searing sun was terrible.  My son moaned and complained all the way.  He was completely dehydrated.  As soon as we arrived home I put him under a luke warm shower to cool him down and made sure he drank as much water as possible.  His poor friend didn’t quite know what to make of it and and when his Mum arrived at 4.45 expecting dinner as planned they both made a quick exit so I could carry on sorting out my little boy.  Not a good first play date experience.

Surely schools should make sure children drink enough water in this heat?  I queried it with the Welfare Officer at the school gate this morning and she said, “The children can always go and help themselves to water”.  Well, that’s all very well and good if your child understands the concept of heat and dehydration.  All my four year old wants to do is run around like a mad thing in the playground and has no intention of wasting his time at the water fountain.  They should be made to drink water but alas, this is something I cannot control when he is at school.

Hopefully he learnt his lesson yesterday and is now under strict instructions to drink drink drink.  Let’s wait and see.

 

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