Thursday, 25 October 2012


This is what awaits if you send your preschooler to choose their own clothes! At least we're not going anywhere this morning!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Christmas Countdown - Crafting

Now Baby Muddle's birthday has gone, its time to focus on Christmas Crafting! I've already made a start on some hamper contents, this year I'm doing a cooperative effort with two friends, and will be making more headway on that this Saturday as we're having a crafting day to make some more goodies. Unfortunately I can't say too much about the hampers on here as some of the recipients may read this but will give a full run-down after the event (this MSE thread is worth a look if you're after some ideas for yours).

Last year my big sewing project was an advent garland and Christmas stockings for the girls. I followed this tutorial and I'm really pleased with the result, but if I never sew another felt stocking it will be too soon!

This year's big sewing project is going to be a cloud pillow each for the girl's gifts from us. I saw it on this tutorial after seeing a link on Natural Mamas and I just can't resist a good rainbow! Now, just to get some free time at the sewing machine...

Monday, 22 October 2012

The Weekend That Was

Well what an epic weekend! First there was of course Baby Muddle's first birthday! I had decided to keep it relatively low-key and keep the food veeeeery simple, so that I could really enjoy the day too.

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.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Baby Muddle Is One

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.

Mini 'Love-Bomb' Weekend

Last weekend we had the landlord coming to do some work on the roof and repainting Big Muddle's room so we decided to take the opportunity to treat the girls to a night in a hotel. We've been meaning to go since Big Muddle and I stayed in one the night before our wedding last year as she loved it so much so off we went. It was also a little bit of a 'Love-Bombing' for Big Muddle who seemed to be getting a bit overwrought with everything at the moment and was being a little overlooked.

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

Nana Muddle's Big Greek Birthday

Yesterday was my Mum's birthday and I organised a little get together at our house for her. Decided on a Greek menu as it was something a bit different so ploughed Good Food's website for ideas! Ended up with:

Pitta bread with tzatziki and hoummus (both recipes from this book)
Red pepper wrapped halloumi
Greek Salad

Followed by:
Beef Stifado
Prawns with spring onions and garlic (adapted from this recipe)
Lamb traybake
Gigantes Plaki

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

Felting Frenzy

This afternoon I went to a dry felting workshop at The Bead Shop in Nottingham. I've been to a course there before, for my hen do actually, but this was the first of their open workshops I've been to. The room they hold them in is above their shop and is a lovely bright room with plenty of inspiration around in the form of sample makes on pinboards and crafting magazines on their well stocked shelves.

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

"I am Spidergirl"

This is Big Muddle's new ambition, since she went to a comic book shop on her day out with Daddy Muddle. Admittedly an improvement on wanting to be a Princess when she grows up, but still I am getting a little tired of having to say "Yes, that is a thing" when she declares her ambition to passing strangers, and of watching her run around rooms 'practising'!

This culminated the other day when I found her in the downstairs 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!