Wednesday, February 28, 2007

RNLI Italiano

When you have out of date pulses and odd bits of pasta threatening to take over your kitchen, there's only really one option. Break out the PVA and let the children loose. So I present to you, Mark's take on a lifeboat.

What do you mean you didn't know what it was?!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Thanks for all the cat cupcake love. The photo of them got featured on the Flickr 'explore interestingness' page. Is it sad to be so excited?! Even if it is, I am.

The other thing that has got me all excited is planning a trip to the County Living Spring Fair. Samantha of Plump Pudding fame is going to be exhibiting - I'm looking forward to saying hello in the flesh. Anyone else likely to be visiting on Sunday 18th?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The week that was

Busy busy, so busy that I haven't yet had a chance to settle down and enjoy an unexpected treat from Caroline.

Or a lovely surprise Valentines package from Amy. Although I did manage to find time to eat the chocolates which she thoughtfully included - funny that.

Party preparations were in full swing. Making 'litlit lellow cats' for Johnny to go on his cupcakes cake for his party.
The birthday party was perfect for him - low key, not too much fuss, a select few chums. He is a child who fully embraces the simple pleasures. Long may it last.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Miniswap, maximum joy

Thanks for all Johnny's birthday good wishes - it was so sweet of you to comment. He sends you all a large slice of virtual cake (it comes in egg, dairy and gluten free varieties too).

Actually thanking is high on my list of to-dos today, because we received an incredibly thoughtful miniswap 2 swap package. Our partners were Louise's beautiful girls, Chloe and Lucinda (even their names are lovely) in Melbourne.

Look - chefs outfits! And the most amazing assortment of goodies which I haven't managed to round up and photograph - yummies, cookie cutters, badges, buttons, road signs, stickers, books and maps, stationary and my own personal favourite, a stuffed wombat.
He has been christened (somewhat unimaginatively) Wombie and has set up home next to a radiator because the boys know it's chillier here than in Australia. Mark is also fascinated by the idea of time difference and it tickles him that Chloe and Lucinda are getting ready for bed as he's getting up to start the day.
I love these child centred swaps - seeing the boys trying to figure out the logic of how someone, often in another country, who they have never met, cares enough to send them wonderful treats which amazingly co-incide with their current passions. That's blog-magic children.
Now, please will you join me in yelling "Louise, hurry up and get a blog!". She's procrastinating, but take a look at the wonderful things she makes over at Flickr. I view it as a personal crusade, to convert all non-blogging but wavering swap partners to the dark side. Right Tasha? Right Sarah? Could this make a perfect hat trick?

Sunday, February 18, 2007


It's strange to think of Johnny so grown up so soon. I feel a little sad for all that we're moving away from. Chubby arms locked around my neck, little voice calling 'me neeeed roo mamma', the giggling and wiggling when I pretend to eat him up. It passes too quickly.
Happy Birthday baby boy. Some malteaser cake should cheer us all up - that and your party on Thursday.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines calamity

We tried to make a special something for Valentines Day. Shaved crayons, warm iron, eager children. If only someone had told me that waxed paper and greaseproof paper are NOT the same thing. We don't get waxed paper in the UK (correct me if I'm wrong brit-bloggers) and greaseproof paper does not work.

Pretty patterns, yes, but the paper peels apart scattering crayon fragments like confetti all over the house. Believe me, more mess is not what we need round here.
But Happy Valentines to you all anyway - didn't you know, it's the thought that counts.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Frankly speaking

We've been away for a few days visiting my folks in Whitstable. It's a funny little seaside town - very old fashioned in certain respects but quite cutting edge in others, especially the boutique shopping. One of my favourite places was featured in Living Etc recently as 'shop of the week' and I have to agree.

I didn't know Frank had a website, so pop over and take a look at the lovely goodies. Quite how I managed to resist buying anything, I'll never know. Well, maybe it had something to do with Johnny simultaneously clinging limpet-like to my left leg and touching everything in sight. My boys just aren't built for shopping - it saves me a fortune.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Extreme baking

When Johnny got too chilly playing in the snow, I felt some cinnamon-y baking therapy was in order. The bread maker had a recipe for hot cross buns. Approximately seasonal - check, ingredients in the larder - check, assistant on board - not so sure.

The problem, you see, lay in the buns' name. He just didn't want them to be cross. Hot happy buns? Yes, those would do nicely. Although slightly demonic buns may be a slightly more appropriate description. He insisted on doing the faces, and re-shaping the buns. But they did love them, and I think 'hot happy buns' has a certain ring to it.....
Can't believe I posted that picture. My culinary credibility just dropped off the scale.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Reasons to be cheerful...

There's been nothing crafty going on around here recently. I used up some child-free brownie points by escaping on Saturday to meet up with Monica and Caroline.
I could spend a week with those guys and it would feel like five minutes. And they came bearing gifts, as if time spent with them wasn't enough! A goodie bag from Caroline:
and a hard-to-find magazine and heart shaped pastry tin from Monica - dreaming of Valentines treats to bake in that one!
And as if that wasn't enough, I won a little give away over at paper and string recently and the sweetest, most gorgeously wrapped parcel arrived today.
Bloglife is so much nicer than real life sometimes.