Thursday, 21 January 2010


I can't seem to gather much energy at the moment, but here is an update from the household.

1. tonight we made banoffee pies with leftover shortcrust pastry.
  • Cook some pastry shells in the oven and let them cool. Slop on some magic dulce de leche - straight from a carnation tin! Whip up cream before throwing in sliced bananas (Freddie sliced and slopped). Dollop cream mixture on the top. Luckily there was only enough pastry for four small pies or we may have been overwhelmed by the excessive (and addictive) sweetness.

2. general boyish hi-jinks at bathtime.

3. and a scene from Tuesday night. Keith was out for a curry and I gathered a few village-girls for an impromptu pizza night. It was very casual - I made a big salad, the lovely Dawn brought along a watermelon and all brought drinks. I picked up a few pizzas (Pizza Express ones from Tesco are very nice in case you are wondering) and we collected £41.50 for Haiti. Just off to donate it now. The evening was lovely, it is nice to relax without children interrupting and we had a good giggle.

Monday, 11 January 2010

giveaway and playdough (!)

Sew Scrumptious has a lovely blog and she is giving away a beautiful fleece blanket suitable for a baby or toddler. Very soft and cuddly! I have put my name down for a pink one for the cuddly Isabella (my 3 month old niece). Have a look.

We bought this kit before Christmas... and took it along to Centreparks to provide a little entertainment. It is fantastic. You wouln't believe how long it keeps the boys busy! Oh, and me. I love making teeny tiny banana splits. And it involves food, so much loved by Freddie in particular. It has come out a few times with this staying-in weather we've been having.

It was on offer if you buy two sets (both don't have to be the snack bar option) so worked out quite reasonably... and came from Toys 'r us (a place I usually manage to avoid!)

Included are : lettuce press, tomato press (!), onion ring press, waffle iron thingy, knife, little sundae/spilt bowls plus tiny sectioned plates like you would have with school dinners. Freddie is often seen cutting up the pressed vegetables into 'salad'. And making peas. The play dough colours are suitable so it all looks realistic.

Whew - after that promotion, I need a rest.

Friday, 8 January 2010

There is a wonderful patchwork artist to be found here at pink penguin.

Here are her puffy pouches - I have just ordered some flex frames to have a go myself at some stage....

I love the way she mixes up natural linens and lots of printed fabrics... especially with text. I love a bit of text, me.

Worth a visit.

And also thanks to

haptree for her guide to clickable links... I hope it will make this blog much easier to navigate!

Monday, 4 January 2010

welcome to bob and shirley!

my lovely in-laws have entered the world wide web... and are probably surfing as i write this.
we had a great christmas together and here they are wandering through a snow covered ashridge.

and some photos from today's visit to the zoo.. the boys getting up close to the lions. the lioness looked on harry with particular interest. he would be quite tasty, i expect.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

two birthdays!

Born on the 28th Dec, Freddie is 5 already! And Harry turned 3 on the 29th. They are getting so grown up. Being so close to Christmas, I'm afraid the birthdays are quite low key and we have a summer party. We try to make it all a bit special but am I alone in bemoaning the HUGE quantities of presents we seem to have?? I am trying to encourage some proper appreciation, and we do space them out. Mum and her husband John bought the boys a great scooter and marble run earlier in the year and it really gave them a chance to take notice of the gifts.

Oh well. it was our poor planning, anyway!

Freddie had a Ben 10 cake, which Harry promptly ate all the icing off. Then Harry enjoyed bought cupcakes which I glittered and iced with jellybeans. There just didn't seem to be time for homemade cakes.

We had a brilliant day on the 29th in London, visiting Hamley's, watching the Gruffalo at the Apollo and Haagan Daas (?) Busaba was a fave - with sweet/spicy noodles for the boys and head clearing curry for us. Here they are with obscene amounts of icecream.

the snow

We have really tried to keep ourselves busy.. but it is so cold, we don't linger too long outside. hence the boys have been getting a bit stir-crazy. we ventured to Ashridge and walked down the very steep and icy incline to pretty Aldbury ... there is an annual Boxing Day event with tug-of-war between the Greyhound pub and the Valient Trouper - losers usually ends up in the pond.
Here is my sad short snowman, apparently made too quickly after snowfall. the word is you need to wait a bit for the snow to clump together a bit. an hour or so after my moulding, the carrot and bits of coal had migrated southwards - damn the local youths!

And our not so angelic snow angel!