Thursday, 27 December 2012
Today she inspires me with her boundless joy, amuses me with her endless wit and makes me amazed at my own capacity to love another person so much.
Happy birthday, my beautiful firstborn girl.
Monday, 24 December 2012
Tonight we'll be having a big fish pie before Nana Muddle, Big Muddle and I go to the candlelight carol service. I've always done a 'one-pot' dinner for Christmas Eve and used to do lasagne, but last two years I've done fish pie and it always goes well.
Tomorrow breakfast we'll have sausages, grilled tomatoes and eggy bread, made with ciabatta slices and duck eggs (nom!) to keep us going in the long morning slog!
Then the main event is prawn, pomegranate and grapefruit salad (from this year's Christmas Good Food mag) followed by:
- Turkey with lemon & sage butter (buttered today)
- Pigs in blankets
- Sausage, cranberry & lemon stuffing balls (prepared today)
- Brussel sprouts gratin (I don't like sprouts, but eat loads of this!)
- Honey roast carrots & parsnips
- Mulled red cabbage (cooked today)
- Cranberry & bread sauces
- Gravy made with stock from giblets (made in slow cooker today)
Saturday, 22 December 2012
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
|Big Muddle's Zingzilla book|
|Baby Muddle's 'Sing a Song of Sixpence' book and jigsaw set|
They have an entertainer (who's puppet Big Muddle stole!) and Santa comes back through the train to have pictures taken with the children after he's given out the gifts.
|Its a puppet!|
|Very pleased with her cookie!|
All in all its well worth while. I've really got my eye on one of their grown up dining services though, for some vintage luxury, but that will have to wait a while yet I think!
|I don't think she was that frightened of him, honestly!|
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
The cast included Sheila Ferguson from The Three Degrees as the Fairy Godmother, John Partridge of Eastenders fame as Prince Charming and the Grumbleweeds, who I didn't know, Big Muddle certainly didn't know and even Grandad Muddle scratched his head to remember! However, it was the latter who really were the stars of the show, I can't remember the last time I laughed so much!
The performance was fantastic, great effects including a flying horse and the costumes were stunning. Sheila Ferguson's solo was fab, Big Muddle said, "she sings vevee vevee beautifully"!
Because the Grumbleweeds were the main comedy duo, it did leave the Ugly Sisters with more of a sinister edge, so Big Muddle was a little scared of them, but that's really the most negative thing I could say!
It's my first panto in a long time and we'll definitely be looking into booking for 2013's performance of Peter Pan!
Friday, 7 December 2012
This morning we took a bag of food donations to our newly set-up local food bank. I find it incredibly hard to deal with that there are people that are going without basic groceries, and I want to instill into the Little Muddles that it is so important to be aware of, and look after, those who are less fortunate. We spent little over a fiver in Sainsburys and got plenty of store cupboard basics. I'm sure they will be of use to someone. I'm hoping to make the donations a regular monthly, if not fortnightly, thing, as its such a simple thing to do that makes such a difference on your doorstep.
We also received delivery of my Secret Santa present, organised by a forum I'm a member of. I couldn't believe how much care and effort my Santa had gone to. As well as three presents just for me, the girls each got a gift of a handmade crocheted tree decoration and a chocolate Santa lolly. I received a lovely bar of chocolate, a pack of glittery felt sheets, ready and waiting for Christmassy crafting, and a beautiful needlecord handmade roll for crochet hooks. I was overwhelmed by the generosity.
I think 'random' and charitable giving adds so much to the Christmas spirit, I know I've ended the day feeling very festive indeed!
Monday, 3 December 2012
Yes, that's why I've been awol from the blog for so long! In order to get this finished everything has been terribly neglected, the house is more cobweb than home, the children run feral and the cat has left in search of a full food bowl.
But it is more or less there now. Obviously I can't share with you as yet the contents of the glittery parcels, but I will definitely do a roundup after the big day!
On Saturday me and two friends had our second, and last, co-op crafting day for our hampers. This is positively the BEST way of making Christmas hampers, I would highly recommend it! It's so much more inspiring and motivational than doing it on your own and it's soooo much fun to actually be able to catch up with my mummy friends without the little wonders interrupting every five minutes!
I'll leave you with the words of my ridiculously sensible Big Muddle, when taken to see Santa this Sunday:
"Yes I do like chocolate, but I don't want lots or I will feel poorly"!!
She is far too old for her years sometimes!
Thursday, 25 October 2012
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Monday, 22 October 2012
She had so much fun opening her presents first thing, and immediately tried to put on the 'Little Sister' top Big Muddle had chosen for her. (Funny how different children are, isn't it? Big Muddle was no way interested in dressing herself at this age...) Then she emptied out the treasure basket we'd bought/made for her and filled it with her cards!
As we'd been up since 5.30am (yawn!) we were pretty ahead of ourselves with the food and party prep, so sat twiddling thumbs until people arrived at 11! We had a lovely lunch of hot dogs with honey mustard onions and potato wedges with cheesy dip.
And, of course, the birthday cake! This was my first time working with fondant icing, so I actually made it on Thursday night for fear I'd have to buy a ready-made fallback from Asda but it was actually a lot easier than I thought and I was pleased with the result.
Baby Muddle was so pleased with her day, especially the Cosy Coupe she got bought (a note of caution though, do not buy one of these if you're of a nervous disposition regarding flatpacks - total nightmare!)
On Sunday, after I escaped to the gym, we took the girls to the park to play on their bikes. It was Baby Muddle's first outing on the trike and I think she really enjoyed herself!
The weather was lovely and bright. I love this time of year, when the leaves turn such vivid reds and yellows, they always look amazing against a blue sky.
Thursday, 18 October 2012
Happy birthday to my gorgeous, spirited child.
I remember so clearly this day twelve months ago when I birthed you into my arms, and you'd stay there forever I think if you could!
I can't wait to see what your determination and enquiring mind leads you to as you grow.
Hope you have a wonderful day my sweet.
We decided on Derby in the end as we wanted somewhere very nearby but we don't end up going there that often as we usually shop in Nottingham. We found a great deal at the Jury's Inn, who have lots of rooms suitable for families, so booked and off we went!
We went for lunch before check-in, at the food court in the Westfield Centre (who I must say, have made great provision for parents in their baby change and parent rooms) and popped to Build-a-Bear Workshop to get a new outfit for Big Muddle's teddy.
Then we checked out, after having a quick drink in the hotel bar. Its a very impressive looking hotel, with fabulously decorated public areas and the reception and bar staff were spot-on. Our room did not disappoint either, on the seventh floor with beautiful views across the city towards the cathedral.
Then it was off for a bit more shopping and dinner at the always fabulous TGI Fridays. This was the first time we've been to their Derby branch and we weren't disappointed. Once back in the hotel Big Muddle stayed up with us to watch Strictly Come Dancing before finally dropping off to sleep.
The next morning we were met with a fantastic buffet breakfast, one of the best hotel breakfasts I've had, before a teeny bit more shopping and travelling home.
Think I especially needed a bit of a reconnect with Big Muddle, as we'd been at loggerheads somewhat over the previous week or so and it really seems to have worked which is good. And Baby Muddle seemed to enjoy her first hotel experience, or at least the concept of a buffet breakfast! All in all a fab one night holiday :-)
Monday, 8 October 2012
Pitta bread with tzatziki and hoummus (both recipes from this book)
Red pepper wrapped halloumi
Prawns with spring onions and garlic (adapted from this recipe)
Then it was on to the decor! Having had a trawl around Pinterest I decided on doilies as place names and lace wrapped jam jars as tealight holders, as I wanted to keep it 'grown up' and leave plenty of table space for the food!
The cake was an easy one. Mum had missed out on a piece of the rainbow cake for Baby Muddle's naming day so that was that, and another Pinterest trawl (addict, moi??) inspired the decoration.
Good time was had by all, and most importantly by Nana Muddle :-)
Saturday, 6 October 2012
Our 'teacher' for the day, Emma, explained the basic techniques to us, asked us to sign a waiver (yikes!) then we were away. She was extremely helpful, guiding us along the way with hints and tips, but allowing us to experiment as we saw fit.
I ended up creating 6 felted beads (to be threaded for a bracelet) and had a go at a little owl at the end. I had to finish his eyes at home as I ran out of time, but we were allowed to take enough materials to finish our projects off, plus the needles we'd used.
It was so cathartic, spending 3 whole hours learning a new skill and I've come back feeling so energised and inspired.
The course cost £25 and included refreshments and materials, as well as a 10% off voucher to use in the shop.
Thursday, 4 October 2012
This culminated the other day when I found her in the downstairs loo...at the top of the ladder-style radiator! After stifling my giggles and telling her why that might not have been the best place to practice her spidey skills, she said "But I was very brave". I had to concede that yes, that was true, and she had done good climbing, but this maybe wasn't the time and the place!
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
But also, I find it hard to work out what "my style" is now. I've had so long limited by clothes having to be maternity or nursing-friendly, and my life has changed so much with becoming a Mum, and then deciding on being a SAHM, that I'm just in a bit of a confusion with it all! The shops I used to buy from all seem a little too fashion-forward for me now, but I also don't want to go for stuff that's too old for me, or dull as ditchwater either.
I could do with finding a Gok-style genie in a lamp, that'd be good!
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Not only that, but she's also decided that 5am is her natural waking time. Despite the blackout blinds in our bedroom.
This walking stage can't come soon enough!
I don't like to come across all 'pushy parent' but she seemed pretty good at it too. OK, she didn't want to pretend to be a witch, and she absolutely cannot skip, whatever she told the teacher! But she concentrated very hard and nailed quite a few of the bits I never would've thought she would. Very proud.
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
|The butterfly wand she got for being so good on the train!|
|The obligatory 2p machines!|
|Rides, rides and more rides!|
|Barney at the Little Big Club|
|Meeting the Redcoats|
|Facepainted as Candi from the Skyline Gang|
|Skyline Gang 'Magical Masquerade' show|
|First donkey ride|
|The excellent panto - 'Jack & the Beanstalk'|
|Showing off her Skyline Gang t-shirt|
|On stage at Reds bar playing a boys v girls balloon popping game!|
|King Meets Queen in Reds bar|