Tuesday, 29 September 2009

paris day two

OK. Now here is where things start to unravel a bit.

During the night, my watch stopped. And we had the curtains drawn in our triple room and the window closed. And I had one of those disturbed sleeps you get in hotel rooms... and we overslept until 10am! The time I was supposed to meet the lovely Katy from http://sycamorestirrings.blogspot.com/.

I splashed some water on my face and sped across Paris (which sounds kind of romantic... it wasn't - just stressful!). I got to Laduree about an hour late. mmm. Needless to say, I missed Katy. I am so disappointed with myself, and really grateful that Katy was understanding when I emailed... and I lost pretty much the whole morning in Paris.

I did however, get to sample the delights of Laduree.. and brought a beautiful box of macaroons home. They are crispy on the outside/ soft in the middle delicate biscuits with divine flavours like orange bergamot and citron.

The boys have been asking for more of the 'special biscuits' but I'm afraid I have been rationing them.
Today Karlee and Felicity flew home to Australia. It has been a FANTASTIC visit. Karlee is such a brilliant mum and the two are such good friends. It has been fantastic to have them here, we all enjoyed it. (Harry kept saying, as we waved goodbye, 'I want to go with them...' Lots of love and hugs to you both, thanks for staying with us. XXX

paris day one

Here we are on on a cruise down the Seine. Beautiful!

It is so easy with a fast link to St Pancreas from here, then the Eurostar. We stayed in a funky hotel just a step from the Metro at Porte de Orleans.

The first day we headed toward the Latin Quarter, I had a great steak and frites at a lovely Brasserie and we cruised. (The river... ) We spent an hour on the boat - seeing the sites, sauntered past the stalls before loitering around the Louvre and its pools of water. We didn't visit the exhibitions as it was getting near closing time.
Up to Montmatre and a visit to Sacre Couer at dusk with singing on the steps. (We took the funicular up, and the steps down! I remember climbing those steps when I was very pregnant with Freddie. Whew!)

Anyway, we finished the day witha great meal, a bit of a traumatic metro ride with Flis hurting her elbow and me getting a bad head. Collapsed, exhausted!

banana cupcakes

I have planned in some 'blog catch-up' time so here goes.

It was the Early Years' turn to bring cakes to school for the regular cake stall, and here is our offering : courtesy of some soft bananas, buttery icing, sprinkles and writing tubes.
Very easy recipe from www.cooks.com. I added a bit too much butter... it said a cup, I plopped 250gms in. I really should have checked somewhere!
Banana Cupcakes
1 c. butter
1c. sugar
1 beaten egg
1 c. mashed banana
Sift together, then add to first mix and beat well
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Fill lined and greased cupcake tins 2/3 full batter. Bake at 180 C for 15 - 20 mins. Makes 14 large cupcakes.
This is a very moist recipe (obviously especially if you are as generous with the butter as I was!)
And a great way to use those sad bruised bananas in the fruit bowl. If you have some lurking but not the time to bake, then throw said bananas into the bottom of the freezer for when the need arises. Thaw them out in a bowl as they go rather mushy... but even sweeter in the freezer.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Sightseeing... update.

We have had my lovely friend Karlee and her daughter, Felicity, staying with us. It has been great (and a little busy!) We headed into London, visited Waddesdon Manor (always a fave) and spent today in Cambridge. What a beautiful city, and the weather was glorious.

We'd recommend taking a guided punt down the river to look at Kings College and Trinity and all the rest which I've forgotton, good lunch at the Mitre pub, pretty shops and a market...I was congratulating myself on a great day hosting the visitors when we jumped on the Park and Ride bus. To spend a ridiculous two and a half hours in traffic. To cover a 10 min journey. MMMMMM.

We raced back here to join Keith for fish and chips (Freddie had stayed an extra 1 1/2 hrs at a friend's house!!) before preparing for our early morning start to Paris.

So, phew. I am looking forward to falling into bed after choosing a perfect capsule wardrobe for Paris (that will be the only 2 things I have ironed, then). I am going to meet up with Katy from Sycamore Stirrings http://sycamorestirrings.blogspot.com/ (she of the charm quilt exchange). We will be by the macaroon shop. Wow!

So here we come!

Sunday, 20 September 2009


http://www.forestry.gov.uk/Website/recreation.nsf/LUWebDocsByKey/EnglandBuckinghamshireNoForestWendoverWoods] Wendover Woods (just by the A41 and Tring). It is a beautiful Forestry Commission expanse, full of paths, play equipment and picnic grounds. We wandered for ages, the boys noticing spiders and beetles. And collecting the required bag of pinecones, bark and fallen leaves.

A really lovely day!

And now home to prepare for Freddie's first full day at school. He has been 'settling in' with last week introducing school dinners (a huge success!) and this week seeing a 3.15pm finish. I expect a very tired monkey tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

peg-leg zebra (or horse)

This is one of the wild animal crafts from yesterday. It is really effective.

  • Draw and cut out the shape of a zebra.

  • Colour/paint or glue appropriately coloured paper/fabric scraps over its body.

  • Add googly eyes and a wool mane and tail.

  • Peg on its legs!

Thanks, Nicky!

messy monsters

Here is one of the great craft tables at the new 'messy monster' session in Markyate. It is fab! There are 4 stations including messy crafts, easels and playdough. Here is Harry in one of the painting smocks (bargain school shirt, adapted and stencilled using freezer paper).
Nicky and Nicola are doing a great job, and I would really recommend you heading down there if you have a toddler and the timing suits - it's 1.45-2.45.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

more than a mama

I am so pleased to be able to join in the More Than a Mama Fayre at the Harpenden Halls.
Let everyone know...
Thursday 24th September (the same day as my birthday!)
9.30 - 12noon.

And believe me, it is NOT too early to stockpile Christmas presents.

And good luck to Nicky, her new 'Messy Monsters' venture starts tomorrow afternoon at Markyate Village Hall. If you have a toddler (18mnth - 4y) bring along for messy play and arty fun. 1.45 - 2.45. We have just modified some school shirts ready to be painting smocks. And she has taken the kit off to print them using freezer paper... my favourite!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

I have had a mad few days.

The Local Baby Show at Alban Arena went really well. I had heaps of interest and lots of purchases... enought to make it worthwile. I printed off flyers with a yummy Blackberry Cake recipe and also Local places for Families to visit... and they were all snatched up. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that people remember my site for gifts in the future.

The stall was resplendent with a HUGE banner I made (hanging on a wooden frame made by Keith and his Dad). We were all up until 2am getting ready for the day. Thanks you so much to my lovely hubby.

Now I have just checked folksy, to see that I am a Featured Seller whoo hoo! This is very exciting for me. They have chosen my fabric buckets to show as the main 2 photos and I have had a lot of interest in them... and a couple have sold already. This picture is one still in stock.

I am really pleased.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

I have ventured into blogspot territory

I knew I had to give it a go... but I now have a blogspot address. The accompanying blog to my website has been great, I hope you have enjoyed reading it... but to be honest, it is a bit slow and was a bit limiting. I am hoping to help with Search Engine Optimisation (stuff) as well as increasing my hits (!) Or something!

I will leave my posts up on the website http://www.poppyart.co.uk/. so have a look if you haven't ventured there. I have photos and a recent recipe for blackberry cake. worth a look!

Lots going on.. Flea market at St Albans tomorrow and Baby Show Alban Arena on Saturday. This is a proper exhibition, a big deal for me.

I am madly sewing more bibs, bunting and pouches... come one and all. Invite all of your friends and their babies!!