Saturday, December 25, 2010

WIshing you all...

... a very Happy Christmas!

Sophia is very much enjoying this, her second Christmas, so far. (We've let her open a few presents on the days leading up to Christmas, so she's getting the hang of this tearing off wrapping paper thing!) I'm sure there will be some photos to share in the next few days.

Let's have a wonderful time celebrating Jesus' birthday.

Monday, December 20, 2010


We went out to play in the snow. Sophia was unimpressed.

"Uh, so why are we out here Mummy?""Maybe we should try over there?"
"No mummy, I really don't like this".
"But if you blow raspberries at me, then I might manage a smile for the camera"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm still here, oh little blog of mine

Just doing lots of mummy things and getting ready for Christmas things. I think of you often, but mostly as I fall asleep at night, and thus many posts have been written, but only in my imagination. I will be here properly soon, I hope.
I'll leave you with some of Sophia's words...

Hup! (meaning up, to be picked up)
Gees (keys)
Da-dad (Grandad - he's the first member of the family to be named other than mummy and daddy)
Ess (Tess, Nan and Grandad's cat)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It works for me

I'm still in my p-jams, but have been a bit productive this morning. I made pumpkin risotto and I've got my second lot of stock going in my crockpot (I used some of my first batch in my risotto). This lot is chicken and vegetable. I had to make it cos my freezer was getting full of vegetable peelings! (Check out those links if you're confused!)

Anyway, while I was cooking I was making great use of this and these both bought on Etsy. The former is a oven mitt made by my good friend Bren of goodkarma and the second set are two mitts made by Buggie (as I call her! Who is also a good friend) of LadybugsDesigns.

I actually bought both sets a couple of years back when I was young free and single. But they get used all the time now. I use them to hold my metal pans when cooking, but I also use them to hold Sophia's bottles when I take them out of the steamer.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say (and I know I'm saying it a bit late, but there is still time!) is that although I actually bought these things for myself*, I have also shopped online for presents for Christmas this year, and shopping on places like Etsy and Folksy** (UK version of etsy) works for me.

*It occurs to me that actually although I bought the mitts from Buggie, I believe that my sister paid me for them and gave me them for Christmas. So thanks HB :)

**I bought a present on Folksy this year, but I can't link to it, cos that would spoil the surprise!
(Do check out some of those links. I wish I had time to give you lots of links to friendly folk over there, but Sophia's crying so I gotta go)

I'm linking this up at We are THAT family for Works for me Wednesday

Friday, December 03, 2010

jumbled thoughts

Today's a pyjama day.

Sophia is currently sat on my lap, holding my phone to her ear and saying "hi hi hi!".

This evening I've got a "Mum's night out" thanks to Teeny Tots, the mums and toddler group that our church runs. I'm looking forward to Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings. I think Menard will be having something like cheese on toast, but I only feel a little bit guilty!

Christmas shopping is going well, especially thanks to the internet. Good old online shopping. Only a couple more things to get. Time to start wrapping, although that'll probably be easier when Sophia's in bed.

Sophia's currently making her own additions to the master Christmas list - I'm the coordinator for the extended family. Maybe she's adding what she wants. That'd be handy, cos she's one of the few people I haven't bought for yet!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thanks Julie and co for my new coat

"Ooo, new coat!"

"It keeps me warm and cosy, mummy"

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Trying to be frugal

Being a stay at home mum is one of the best jobs ever. I wouldn't give up the quality time I have with Sophia for anything. However, realistically it means that less money is coming in to the household that before I had a baby (I won't even bother to try to figure out the child care versus my wages calculation, cos that wasn't a route we wanted to go down).

I've always been a bit of a saver. If I was given money for birthdays or Christmas I would often end up paying money into my savings account and then forgetting about it. Of course this has come in handy now that I'm a married adult who needed to find money for things like deposits for landlords etc. I loved to read household tips books growing up and one of my favourite books to dip into was 'More with Less'. (I can't find a good link for that, but it's a book by a lady called Doris Longacre sharing thoughts and ideas from herself and others about living in a way that better stewards the resources God has given us). Nowadays I'm also into frugal blogs. Some of my current favourites include Frugal Hacks, The Path to Frugality, The Common Room, and The Simple Dollar.

I've been making stock now and then for ages - my mum does it, and so I do too, but a post on The Simple Dollar inspired me to be more intentional about it. He (Trent) posts about how they have bags (or it might have been boxes, I use bags) in the freezer and any time they have bones or leftover vegetable peelings or scraps, they toss them into these bags and freeze them. Every once in a while, when the bags are full, they crank up the crock pot, toss them in with some bits and pieces, and the result is delicious and nutritious stock. That's just a quick summary, so go over and read the original post 'Turning kitchen waste into something sublime'.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I haven't posted lately about how Sophia's communication is developing. It seems like every day she learns a new word, either to understand or to say for herself. The current favourites are "uh-oh" and "ooos".

'Ooos' are quite obviously shoes, and since mummy often counts them as we put them on "one shoe" and "two shoes", Sophia can frequently be heard saying "ooo ooos" (two shoes). [It's always really hard to represent sounds accurately, given that there will be variations in the regional dialects of those reading this post, but you can read 'ooo ooos' as pretty much the same as 'two shoes' but without the 't' or 'sh' sounds]

But my favourite is "uh-oh". We've always been parents who down play little tumbles by saying "whoops-a-daisy" or "uh-oh!", so that Sophia can learn for herself that she's fine, she can pick herself up and carry on. Obviously we're there to offer assistance if she needs it, but we want her to learn that she doesn't need to be picked up and soothed for every tiny little thing.

"Uh-oh" tends to be used when something has been accidentally dropped, and Sophia's picked up this meaning with glee. Two case examples...

The other day I was cooking in the kitchen and Sophia was sat in the corridor with a basket of toys (right outside the kitchen, so I could keep an eye on her, but outside the babygate to keep her safe). Sophia had been playing for a while when she decided a fun game would be to drop her toys over the gate, and as each one went over she gleefully called out "uh-oh!".

Yesterday I observed Sophia at the point where she's got bored of her dinner and decided it was time to show us that. She said "uh-oh" and then (after she said it) she threw her cup on the floor.

Other Sophia words:
Mummy (but still mostly mum-mum or ma!)
Doe-dee (Sophie! Her name for herself)
Oh! or Oooh! (to be used as an exclamation, when pointing at something, just for fun...)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Random Debbie Thoughts

I was driving along the A406 to a friend's house the other day (and that visit totally deserves its own post) and passed under a couple of bridges and got thinking about graffiti. Yes, so I think about odd things when I'm driving.

But anyway, most of the bridges seem to have graffiti on them, and it's usually written so that you can read it from below. Ok, so some of it is just pictures, but I'm talking about the written graffiti. And I suddenly thought, hey, not only has someone been foolish to hang off a bridge to write that (cos these things are way up high above the road), they've also obviously been practising writing upside down! I'm sure if I were graffiting a bridge, what I wrote certainly wouldn't turn out half as neat and tidy cos I'd be hopeless at getting it all even!

(More posts about Sophia coming soon for those of you who don't think a post is worth reading unles it has a cute baby story in it)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Thanks to Auntie Bekki we finally have proof to show y'all that Sophia's walking

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good morning

This morning Sophia woke up at 5.30am. But she slept through until then, so I think it's an improvement.

So far this morning I have

rummaged around for things to put in shoeboxes

counted some of the pennies from our penny jar into money bags

changed at least two nappies (I've lost count)

chased Sophia up and down our halfway about six million times

jumped on daddy (actually Sophia did that, I just watched)

and probably some other stuff too

All before 8am. No wonder if feels like time to go to bed again. But instead I think I better find some breakfast for us (Sophia's had some milk, so she's fine!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pumpkin and Sweetcorn Risotto

This recipe is from Allrecipes

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
225g risotto rice
500g pumpkin or 1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm pieces
2 large fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
pinch of saffron
850ml vegetable stock, hot
150g frozen sweetcorn
125g mozzarella cheese, diced
50g pumpkin seeds

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a moderate heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook gently for 4–5 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the rice, pumpkin or butternut squash and sage leaves and cook for 2 minutes longer. Stir the saffron into the hot stock, then pour about a quarter of the stock into the pan and stir well until it has almost all been absorbed, stirring frequently.

Continue adding the stock, only a ladleful at a time, making sure each is almost completely absorbed before adding the next, and stirring frequently to produce a creamy texture.
With the last addition of stock add the sweetcorn and stir well. Once all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender (this will take about 20 minutes), stir in the mozzarella cheese.

Season to taste, then cover the pan and allow to stand for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the risotto with the pumpkin seeds and serve at once.

How I actually made it, and a few comments:

I did this with pumpkin, you can use other seasonal squashes or courgette (zucchini). You can also add things like carrots - Danielle, who originally cooked it for me did this in hers.

I added cumin too,and I put mixed herbs instead of just sage, cos I didn't have any sage, but the ingredients on the mixed herbs said sage first, so I figured that was the largest ingredient of that anyway! Also I didn't have saffron but put a shake of paprika instead.

I didn't have just corn frozen, so I put in frozen mixed veg (corn, carrots, peas and green beans which are already cut into cute little cubes). That made it look really pretty actually. And I threw in some chick peas, cos I'd been cooking some from dry in my crock pot.

I ended up needing a lot more liquid than the recipe said. I think if I'd cut the pumpkin up smaller it might have cooked better quicker and needed less liquid. I started off with vegetable stock, but for the extra I just added hot water, cos the flavour gets very concentrated, and I figured more stock would be too much flavour.

I didn't have any mozzarella, so I just used grated cheddar cheese. Another time I might use a combination of the two. I'm not sure how much I added, I just went by taste, and it was yummy!

Final few changes (you may wonder if i can actually cook a recipe the way it's written!)

I put in a bit more onion and garlic than the recipe said. I didn't put pumpkin seeds on the top.
And I didn't use risotto rice - rather just long-grain rice!

Friday, November 12, 2010

My thinkings

Well so much for the whole posting every day in November plan - I didn't commit to it out loud cos I wasn't sure I'd manage it, and it's probably just as well!

Random bits and pieces....

This morning I found Sophia cradling one of my shoes, and saying "baby". I knew she had a weird thing for shoes!

Today Sophia had her 13 month injections. There were two, and poor baby is too clever. She watched the nurse intently after the first one, as she was getting the next one ready, and poor baby kept whimpering and trying to get off my lap cos she knew what was coming. Miss Sophia milked it all morning, requesting milk and more breadsticks or rusks, or cheese, or whatever she could see that mummy was putting into the supermarket trolley (we went shopping afterwards cos we needed some stuff and cos mummy needed some retail therapy!). And Mummy had mummy-guilt and gave in to her every need. At least up until lunch, after which she had a good long sleep.

This afternoon I've been making Pumpkin and Sweetcorn Risotto. I'll share the recipe and a link, but I'll do it in a separate post cos I made so many changes to the original recipe! My friend Danielle brought some over for lunch earlier in the week and it was delicious so I got the recipe and gave it a go myself. Sophia loved it too, so I think that's what she'll be having for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

She's a secret cappuccino drinker*

* Well, the froth anyway! She loves to share with Nana anytime she gets the chance

Monday, November 08, 2010

Apple and Ginger Jam

My mum went to stay with her mum recently and brought home a lot of apples from her tree, and she gave some of them to me. I've used some of them for apple sauce for Sophia's breakfast (she has porridge with fruit in for breakfast) and I decided to make Apple and Ginger jam with some of them. Here's the recipe.

2 1/2 lb Apples (weight after peeling and coring)
1/2 pint water
1 - 2 teaspoons ground ginger
2lb sugar

Peel the apples and core the apples and cut them up into small pieces. (I went for sort of cubes)

Tie the cores and peel up in a muslin bag (Now I actually didn't do this, but instead added a dash of liquid pectin I'd bought at Sainsburys)

Simmer the fruit (and muslin bag or additional pectin) with the water and ginger until a very smooth pulp. (I actually still had a few lumps of apple left, but I think that just adds character to the jam!)

Remove the muslin bag (if you used it)

Add the sugar and stir until dissolved

Boil steadily until set.*

Pour into sterilised jars** and put on the lids. Leave to cool

*To test if the jam is set I have some saucers in the fridge, when the jam is beginning to thicken up and look more jammy I dollop a blob of the jam onto a saucer and put it back in the fridge for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile either turn down the jam or remove it from the heat. Use a finger to push the jam on the saucer, if the jam has a skin which wrinkles when you push it, then the jam is set. You can also use a jam thermometer to see when the jam has reached the correct temperature

** I wash my jars and lids in hot soapy water and then put the jars on a baking tray with sides (so a tin I guess, rather than a tray, the sides hold the jars in!) I put them in the oven on a low heat for at least 15 minutes. (140C/275F/Gas mark 1). Some people suggest doing it with the jars upside down, but I do them right side up cos that's what my mummy does.

Friday, November 05, 2010


This evening we had a few fireworks which Menard let off in his Mum's back garden. They were rockets, so very loud, and made me jump every time. We also had some sparklers to play with. Sophia was totally unfazed by the fireworks, she didn't even flinch. Instead she was too busy watching her auntie Yvonne holding a sparkler. And her response to those? Well to point and say "Oooh", of course!

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Sophia's definitely started talking. She says "ma-ma", which she's been doing for a while, but finally she's started saying "daddy". Yep, not just "dada" but "daddy".

Of course, we may have a few identification issues. I just saw her saying "daddy" and pointing to the television at (both!) Grissom and Warrick (on CSI)!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Frugality meets Hospitality

Themes that I seem to have been hearing and reading about a lot lately are frugality and hospitality. I've been feeling challenged to try to find a way to combine two two together into our everyday life.

I want to be frugal, I want to carefully steward the money that Menard earns, which at the of the day comes from God. I am actually one of those strange people who finds shopping exciting. I love the mathematical exercise of comparing prices, not only within store (to find the best price per unit) but also recently comparing different stores. I discovered the site MySupermarket at the weekend, and I've already used it to compare nappy prices and work out which of the stores in our area would have the best deal. A few minutes online saved me having to visit all the stores to find the figures and work out which was best, before having to then return to make my purchase. I love the way that the site allows you to compare individual items, or the whole trolley.

I also love having guests over. Menard and I really desire for this house to be a welcoming place, a home where we can serve others by inviting them into our lives. Cooking in my crockpot, among other ways, allows me to be hospitable, but also frugal.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Dead (wo)man walking

I feel rough. I can't smell or taste. I feel like I can't breathe. My head is full of gunk. I want to go back to bed. Thank God for in laws - we'll be going to visit them this morning so they can take care of Sophia and I can flop on the sofa and die quietly.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Crock-potting across the universe

I've been using my crock pot a lot recently. There are a number of reasons for this, firstly I actually find it to be a lot easier to get organised about dinner in the morning than later in the day when Sophia's getting tired and cranky. On some days when we've had guests over for lunch this has actually meant I've had things in the crock pot by 7am! (well if I'm up with the baby anyway!)

Secondly, I love love love coming home to a house smelling deliciously yummy. Actually, we live in shared flats and you can generally smell whatever I'm cooking out in the shared hallway. I hope other people don't mind too much!

Thirdly, you can buy some of the cheaper cuts of meat and still produce something that tastes fantastic- I've done a couple of pork casseroles with shoulder joints and other nameless parts - just labelled 'stewing pork', bought at a fraction of the cost of other fancier cuts.

Fourthly, using the crockpot has been a great way to ensure that I don't have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing the meal when we have guests over. It's all ready when we are. All I might do is quickly prepare some rice or mashed potato and boom, it's done.

Finally, it's just so easy. Ok so of course there are some complicated recipes out there, but mostly what I've done has been really simple and yet tasted amazing.

Today I'mmaking a variation of this recipe. I'm using four chivken legs rather than a whole chicken, and I changed the spices to what I had on hand. Finally, I put in a pinch or two of salt, not 4 teaspoons like the recipe suggested. It tells you not to add any liquid because the chicken will just cook in its own juices, and I'm glad I didn't because it really had produced loads. It smells delicious, so I'll let you know how it tastes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

-9 (28th January 2009)

Written 28th January after taking a pregnancy test. I'd intended to write more letters, but this was the only one I wrote while pregnant.

Dear Baby,

I've wondered for the last couple of weeks whether there was someone growing inside of me, and this morning I saw that blue cross on the test, and knew for sure. Well, pretty sure. I'm going to do another test in a few days and go see my doctor to be sure sure.

I want you to know that I love you. I will always love you. I will do all I can for your good. But, even when at times when I fail, when I let you down, if I make the wrong decisions, there is a God in heaven who will never let you down. I'm excited about the chance to teach you about Him. I know that he holds your life in His hands.

I love you,
your Mummy

Friday, October 29, 2010

wedding dress pics

Since I seem to be going with some blasts from the past, these are photos of me the day we bought my wedding dress in February 2009. I look pretty rough as I was suffering with some pretty nasty morning sickness that day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

life changes forever

I've been looking through my draft posts which I wrote but never posted. I found this one, which was written at a very emotional time. Reading it made me well up with tears, because I know how it turns out. It's like watching a film but already knowing the ending. I know that God is good. I know Sophia and she is a wonderful addition to my life, to our lives. And I'm still trusting God for our future.

written on 28th January, 2009

Today I found out that I'm almost definitely pregnant. Life is about to totally change forever.
I'm a good Christian girl, I've never done anything this big before. Even last year when I was depressed and full of rebellion, I didn't do anything like this. What went wrong?

I guess the answer is, I slipped up. We slipped up. People do it all the time. Every day people make the wrong decision, they do things they shouldn't, just not everyone's mistakes have such big and such direct consequences.

Right from the beginning I knew for certain that if I got pregnant, I would be keeping the baby. I refused to even think about the morning after pill. Well, that's not quite true. I thought about it, I thought about it a lot, but I knew that there was no way that I could sqare that with my conscience. I belive too highly in the sanctity of life. Even at conception, a life is a life. I know that to the very depths of my being.

So, I'm keeping my baby. I have that Madonna song going round in my head. I wonder how I could have been so stupid. And yet, also, there's a part of me that's excited. Scared wittless, but excited. I know that God has good plans for me, for us. All three of us. I know that although we messed up, God forgives. That God can turn all things around for good. And I choose in my heart to belive that. I don't know what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or next month. I don't even know if this fragile life within me will reach term - I know how fragile it is, and that not all pregnancys will result in a baby. But, whatever happens, I'm going to trust in God.

Whatever people say, however people treat me, however I'm feeling, I choose to trust in God, because he first chose me.
And I claim these verses for me, and for my baby.
Psalm 139: 13-16
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I had a dream

To really appreciate the funniness of a dream I had last night in the drowsy time I had while feeding Sophia at 2.30am after she woke up with wind, wet and having done a poo (well at least she's multitasking) you need to know two things.

Firstly, lately Menard and I have been watching a lot of the program Grand Designs, where "Kevin McCloud follows self builders in pursuit of architectural brilliance" (I stole that sentence from their summary when you search for them on swagbucks)

Secondly, my house is full of 'value' products from Morrisons, which are all packaged in an attractive bright yellow.

I dreamt that we were building a house, at least I assume that's what we were doing, I just sort of launched into the dream at the point the materials were arriving to cover the roof.

We had piles of black tiles, possibly slate, and they came in packs of ten and packaged in beautiful bright yellow Morrisons value wrapping!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

sort of here

Totally meant to blog this evening (Sophia sleeping, Menard out) but I got caught up with swag bucks.

Anyway, um, hello, this is really just one of those mark the page with something posts (like a cat marking his territory?! Hm, maybe not!) I really want to get back to proper blogging soon, so in the meantime go sign up for swag bucks (and if you do it through my referral link, then I'd be extremely grateful!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm back! (again again, or something!)

Hey lovely blog folk, things have been a bit ick around here. We've all got a horrible cold and I've been suffering with these nasty headaches too. I've come to the conclusion that sugar is one of the culprits for the headaches, so I'm doing my best to cut that out of my diet. And that can't be a bad thing when it comes to trying to lose weight either, so I guess that's a good thing.

Oh, but the biggest news around here is that SOPHIA IS WALKING! She started on the Saturday, three days after her birthday, and she's just got better and better since :)

Friday, October 08, 2010

There has to be cake...

She was a bit confused about the concept of blowing out candles rather that trying to touch them, but we got there with a little help from mummy!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Happy First Birthday Sophia!

One year ago our little baby girl arrived and totally roacked our world. How quick time passes!

(I wanted to compare with an up to date photo, but can't find the camera leads. Will post more pics soon, hopefully!)

Monday, October 04, 2010

A quick link

I have been enjoying making chutney and jam lately (homemade Christmas presents here we come...!)
Today I made caramel apple jam, and judging from the taste of the leftover bits stuck to the wooden spoon, it's delicious!

Friday, October 01, 2010

The much awaited Green Tomato Chutney recipe

Last year my friend Danielle made some green tomato chutney and gave me a little jar of it, and it was yummy! I decided that if I ever got the chance I would either steal her entire supply of it, or even better, get the recipe.

This year, thanks to the heat and then the rain, my in laws had a lot of tomatoes that were refusing to turn red. I asked them if I could have some, and they graciously gave me many many of them, and I also had lots of onions my father in law had grown on his allotment. How could it get better than that? Homemade chutney, made with homegrown ingredients.

Danielle duly gave me the recipe, and thanks to the power of google (actually, come to think of it, it was the swag bucks tool bar I used) I was able to search and find the original website the recipe came from. And since I'm a bit lazy I will just give you a link to the yummiest chutney I know. I took some photos when I was making it, but I'm not awake enough at 6.45am to do all that camera/computer/leads malarkey. All I can say is check out the link and try it! Also, it really is worth dicing up the tomatoes and onions - they pretty much stay the size you cut them, and if you cut them too small it'd just be too chunky.

I made 5 jars, one's going to Danielle, one's gone to my in laws, and I may give one to my mum. The other two I'm fiercely guarding. It's just too yummy!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

hello, oh blog of mine

See, I knew that my blogging streak wouldn't last, but did you enjoy it while it did?

Today I'm at my parents' house. My wonderful daddy looked after Sophia while I got my hair cut. I also looked for some new clothes, but only managed to buy some underwear, but that was needed, so it's all good.

Ok, Sophia's trying to help me type, so I shall leave you with this... a rare photo of Sophia with a hat on (note my arm putting the hat on, and Sophia's hat about to pull it off again!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Who would've thought it?

I don't eat fish. The thought of eating fish makes me feel queasy, even the smell of fish makes me feel sick, I avoid it at all costs. And yet, nowadays I buy it about once a week and cook it, without feeling sick, for Sophia. Wow, things have certainly changed.

I've been making green tomato chutney. I made one batch Saturday night and took some photos as I did it, although they weren't that good. I bought more onions today as I have enough green tomatoes to make one and a half times the original quantity I made. I will post the recipe and my photos once I've got the camera and computer to agree to link up.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I had a funny dream this morning.

I dreamt I'd gone back to visit the school where I worked before I went on maternity leave and didn't go back! I walked into a classroom, which was sort of the one I used to work in, but also differnet. It was Friday afternoon and that's the teacher's non-contact time, so there was a supply teacher there, but she was getting all flustered over teaching them about 'more than' and 'less than' (> and <). I was even getting them to tell me thumbs up or thumbs down or in the middle (or green, amber and red traffic light colours), to indicate how well they thought they understood. I was an amazing teacher!)

Buy anyway, I noticed I could hear this sort of babbling noise that someone kept making in the classroom and I was going round trying to find out who it was. I was getting so frustrated that I found out the classroom next door was empty and sent the supply teacher in there and was in the process of sending the children there with her one by one to figure it out by process of elimination. I was down to a couple of boys and I was looking at them, but none of their mouths were moving, so I just didn't know who was making the noise...

...and then I woke up, and realised it was Sophia chatting away to herself in her cot.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The fun of free food

Guest post by HB my sister:

This summer I have loved eating free foods picked from the wild. My husband and I had a week at my in-laws house while they were away on holiday.
In their garden they have a large number of runner beans, an apple tree and a couple of plum trees. So we had a feast of food to eat!! We'd been instructed to pick the beans daily and eat as many as we could and give some away. Believe me, there were masses of beans, I'm amazed they weren't coming out of our ears!!! But it was lovely being able to give away beans to friends and neighbours.
We picked many plums and apples too and I made a lot of crumbles for puddings while we were there. We were also able to take some away with us to share with my family and to bring back home with us.
On the way back home, we also visited a friend and decided to go blackberry picking along a country lane. By the time we were home we had several bags of fruit to put in our freezer and we are still eating our way through blackberries now!!
I wish I had fruit trees in our garden. Maybe when we next move I'll have to put it on my wish list!! In the mean time I'll just have to carry on raiding my family's gardens and the wild!! I thoroughly recommend you give it a go too :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thinking thoughts

Why, when the weather is about to turn, did I suddenly feel like cleaning and washing everything - like the pillows and duvet cover...? I'm trying to be realistic though, cos I know it's going to rain tomorrow!

I made apple cake and Menard says it's yummy. I'm trying to avoid eating any, but it does smell good.

Sophia is getting better at walking with her push along toy. I'm sure she'll be doing it by herself anytime soon.

I'm starting to think about Christmas. I know it's still September, but I figure at least this way things will be ticking over in my mind and I'll be all organised. Worth a try anyway!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Holday smiles

(Thank you Grandad (aka my daddy) for letting me raid your photo collection!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm addicted... to my slow cooker

I have a copy of 'Fix it and forget it lightly' and I decided that I wanted to start using my crock pot more, this is apparently a match made in heaven!
Last week I made bolognaise sauce and then on Sunday I tried a recipe from my cookbook, and this is the one I made and loved...

Lemon Garlic Chicken
(makes 4 servings, ideal slow-cooker size 3 1/2 quart)

1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 chicken breasts (I used turkey breast steaks cos that's what I had!)
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup water (I put more like 1/2 cup)
3 Tbsp lemon juice (I put about half a lemon, but didn't really measure!)
2 garlic cloves, crushed (I used 3 cos Menard loves garlic)
1 tsp low sodium chicken bouillon granules (I used vegetable)
1 tsp minced fresh parsley

(can you tell I'm one of those people who uses a recipe just as a basis?!)

1. Combine oregano, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the chicken. Brown chicken in the butter (or margarine) in a skillet. Transfer to slow cooker.

2. Place water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon in skillet. Bring to the boil, loosening browned bits from the skillet. Pour over the chicken.

3. Cover. Cook on high 2 - 2 1/2 hours or low 4 - 5 hours.

4. Add parsley and baste chicken. Cover. Cook on high 15 - 30 minutes, until chicken is tender.

Per serving 180 calories

(Also posted on One Weigh or Another)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Very Hungry Catapillar...

I seem to be creating my own version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar on the top of my fridge...On Satuday he ate through three pears, four avacadoes, some crossaints and a box of plums...

Saturday, September 18, 2010


There are a whole bunch of blogs which I read intermittently (because sometimes I forget about them and sometimes I just don't have time to read) that I've been thinking I ought to add to my blog roll.

So here they are...

We are that family - I started reading this blog when Works for me Wednesday moved from being hosted by Rocks in my Dryer to here. I got hooked by the posts about real life, real love, real faith, and I'm still reading.

The Diaper Diaries - I remember following a link from someone's blog to find this blog. Probably Shannon's blogroll over at Rocks in My Dryer (before she changed her blog around and I had to start finding other people's blogs for myself!). I have dabbled a little into her 1 Cor 7:5 challenge, and would recommend it to other Christian wives!

The Common Room - I first came across this blog while living with Blest for three months (My Texan adventures!). I have come to recognise that The Deputy Headmistress, as she calls herself, writes wise, thoughtful and thought provoking stuff both at this blog and at Frugal Hacks. I might not always share her opinions or come from the same background, but I always come away with some little nugget to chew upon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

switching off, one plug at a time

Ok, I have a question. I'm sure I could google it and read lots of articles, but it's more fun to ask my readers...
I've got a bit obsessive about turning off switches in this house, especially in the kitchen (although obviously not the fridge or freezer). But I generally just switch them off, I don't remove plugs from the socket. Do I actually save energy/money by doing that? Or should I be unplugging things where I can as well?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Less than 12 hours old

How time has flown.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Debs thinks about blogging

I am a blogger. I still blog. I write blog posts ALL THE TIME. Problem is it's usually when I'm lying in bed, or sat in the car, or even on the loo! When I sit at a computer there are way too many things to distract me from the actual sit down and type it bit. There's facebook and twitter, my blog roll and other people's. And then there are all the blogs that I read that I really need to get around to adding to the blog roll. Then there's replying to tweets and checking my @debsenglishrose messages. Then making some comments on facebook, checking my emails, saying hi to the goigs, looking at ebay to see if any of my stuff has sold, and then refreshing the page to see if anything else has changed in the past ten seconds. And... no wonder I'm better at blogging in my head than at the computer.

Well, I'm trying to change. I love blogging, and I love the feedback I get from other people. People who have similar lives to mine, and people who are totally different. People who comment, and people who don't so much (but who I would love to hear from once in a while, especially if you knew me in a past life, so to speak - Esther, Imogen, Bud I'm talking to people like you..!)

I have so many blog post ideas wandering around in my head. Things like showing you photos of Sophia that have finally been uploaded from my phone, we're talking early days here people, blast from the past and all that! Not to mention photos and stories from our holiday just recently. And then (I like those two words today) there are ideas that are just forming. Ideas that I'm trying to get straight in my head, that I'd like to blog about, but I'm hesitant to do so cos I don't want to be shot down (for example, thoughts on contraception). And then there are the random, out of nowhere, silly thoughts that surely my blog ought to be a good outlet for.

Ok, so I'm trying. Watch this space. And if nothing happens, go away for a few days and do your own thing, and then come back and watch some more. I'll be here, eventually. Blogging's in my blood, I just can't help doing it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Does not compute

I was reading a post on Kathleen's blog yesterday about buying school supplies (at least I think I was, I just looked and I can't see it anywhere now, did I just dream it?) and it reminded me of the same thing I've thought every time someone talks about school supplies at this time of year.
"What? You have a list of things that your child has to have for school?!"

You see, over here (by which I mean my limiter experience of British schools) sure you get ready to go back to school, but you decide for yourself what you need. At primary school (age 5-11) I recall that we were mostly encouraged not to bring our own stuff from school, but rather use the school's pencils etc. I can understand that thirty 5 year olds arguing over which pencil case belongs to which child is not really ideal. I think that towards the end of primary school we were considered sensible enough to bring in our own stuff to use, but again, there were school resources there to use, and we were encouraged to use them.

Or course at secondary school you had to bring your own stuff. I remember the days when my pencil case had been the one thing that hadn't been stuffed back in to the weighty overpacked bag and I'd have to spend the day blagging off over people. Pretty much you were on your own with that. But no one ever told us buy this folder and not that one, or buy such and such. Actually, to be truthful, I vaguely remember being told what sketch pad and pencils to buy for Art lessons, but that's about it. Oh, and maybe an apron for Food Technology.

But really, this whole list of exact specifications of what to buy just does not compute in my brain.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Those of you on twitter, or who pay attention to my twitter box on my sidebar may have noticed that charity shop shopping was the thing to do while on holiday this year. My grand total in the end was 51 charity shops, two children's stuff second hand shops and one general second hand shop. These were found in a number of towns and cities, including, but not limited to Exeter, Exmouth, Sidmouth, Topsham and Cheltenham.

And boy, did we find some good stuff. The photos below show some of the stuff we bought, but not a lot of the stuff my parents got, cos it was getting a bit ridiculous, besides, my mum could only distract Sophia for so long while I laid it all out.
There were lots of toys and books. Notably one on baby signing, and I've now taught Sophia to ask for milk (blue book on the left). The best toy buys were probably the yellow box of Duplo (the small people's version of lego) - 90 pieces for £3, and the box to boot. And the ride on/push along toy. We've been thinking of getting something like that for Sophia to practice walking without us (and she did for the first time today, photo to follow at a later date).
We also got lots of clothes. Actually, a lot of my clothes finds were actually on the final Saturday, and therefore after I'd taken this photo. Here we have several dresses and tops for Sophia, and a cardigan which she was in great need of. Towards the left you can see a blue top and a black with flowers top which are mine. And one of my favourites, the hat at the top, which has strings, so I can tie it on Sophia and she can't take it off again in the next mili-second. It was a total bargain as I got it for 10p!
Finally, a lot of the stuff I found were named brand items. I got clothes for Sophia from Next, Gap, and more... and at prices like 50p or 99p. Sounds good to me :)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I'm back!

But tired and recovering from food poisoning (yeah, not what you want when you're driving home).
Hopefully tomorrow I will be eating proper food and blogging again :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On holiday

Although we have wi-fi in our flat, I couldn't get Menard's I-pad to let me write a blog post. So this is me writing a quick one on HB's computer. We're loving being on holiday with my parents, especially the bits where Nana looks after Sophia at 6.30am and lets us go back to bed. Nana is definitely flavour of the month so far as Sophia's concerned. Mummy's useful when it comes to the serious business of milk, but otherwise Nana is Top Dog!

Back once we're home, with pics (hopefully, my camera is about to die and I forgot the lead to charge it, but my dad's got his camera too)

Friday, August 20, 2010

photo catch up

It was Sophia's dedication* on the 25th July and we had a wonderful party at her Nan and Grandad's house afterwards (that's Menard's family). Little diva that she is, she even had an outfit change mid-party.
* We chose not to have Sophia Christened as we don't think that we can decide for her whether she wants to follow Jesus and be a Christian. That's a decision she will have to make for herself a bit later on. However, we do want to recognise that she is a wonderful gift from God, and to thank Him for her, which is why we 'dedicate' children in our church.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's the giggle that gets me

I'm still nursing Sophia and will be for the next however long until she and I are ready to stop. Early on I wasn't producing enough milk for her so we had to give her bottles as well, but I was determined not to stop breastfeeding, and I haven't. I got through sore nipples and mastitis back in the early days, and now mostly it's smooth going - although there was some experimentation when she first got teeth! I generally dumped her down on the floor if that happened, and she soon learnt that if she wanted the milk, she had to keep those teeth out of the way.

Anyway, I was thinking about all this at about 5am this morning. We had a rough night. Two nights ago she actually slept right through, but not so last night. So although she's mostly night weaned, sometimes she gets some extra, just so that she can get back to sleep and mummy can get some zeds too. She woke at 5am, screaming and soaking wet as her nappy had leaked. I brought her into the living room, changed her and calmed her down, and then we headed back to bed for some milk. As soon as she lay down and I pulled up my top she gave this little giggle. It's a wonderful sound, it's the sound that tells me she's happy, she's excited that she's having some mummy milk, that it's like she's having a special treat. And that giggle is one of the reasons I'll continue to breastfeed. So long as I enjoy it, and she enjoys it, we'll keep going.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gone fishin'

Sorry to have been awol for a few days. To add to my dodgy ankle, Sophia ran a really high temperature from Tuesday evening til Friday morning. It's back down to normal now which is a relief. We did get her checked over by the doctor and he said her ears, throat, chest etc were all fine and that most likely it's teething related (added to the slightly funny nappies and runny nose evidence).

We can't see the tooth/teeth as yet, but you can sort of see something on the top gum that looks like it might be something trying to get through, so we shall wait and see, and hope for a normal temperature and good sleeping in the meanwhile.

I drove a bit yesterday and today, and my ankle is bearable. Still doing my best to avoid driving and walking around too much, and trying to rest with it up as best I can.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A little whine

My ankle hurts. It hurts, it hurts :( When will it be better?

Monday, August 09, 2010

Monday was a tiring day

I drove to the supermarket (emergency toilet roll trip, and a good excuse to try driving). It was not a success, and I don't plan to be driving again for a few more days. My ankle is very sore again this evening.

Check my beautiful bubba sleeping on Grandad (my dad) on the afternoon of her dedication.
If I'm not here, you may find me over there.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

bits and pieces

Thanks all those of you who left concerned comments on my last post. My ankle is still sore and aching. The bruising is still progressing in colours - we're now at the darker, more boring green sort of end of the scale, with a few areas of purple. I'm hoping that it will stop aching soon, because it's very wearing. I actually stayed home from church this morning and went back to bed cos the constant pain (even if just a throb) was getting me down, and I was just exhausted. Menard's also taken Sophia to his mum's house this afternoon, so it's been a lovely break. I went back to bed and slept for more than two hours, and this afternoon I've cooked some food that I can reheat for lunch for the next few days and now I'm pottering around on the computer.

Last week I was very blessed to have several visitors. Especially at the start of the week when I could barely walk, let alone walk holding a baby. Luckily she's an excellent crawler now. In fact she's probably still faster than me, even though I am able to limp about a fair bit now. So big thanks to my mum, Danielle and Rachel & James who kept me sane.

I'm feeling a bit more inspired to blog, so hopefully I'll be around a bit more than I have been recently. Talking about blogging, some of us are blogging again over at One Weigh or Another. We will be weighing in on Monday, and taking it from there. I am very much ashamed to admit that I put back on all of the weight I had originally lost, and a bit more. But, I'm making a fresh start, and it's going to work! I know that last time around one of the things that kept me going was being accountable to folk online and their encouragement when things got tough, so feel free to drop by over there to say hi, or to join us in our weight loss journey if you would like to.

Friday, August 06, 2010

An Eventful Afternoon

It was a gloomy Saturday afternoon when it happened. She was shopping with her family, trying to finally buy a highchair for the baby. She wondered where time had gone, how had Sophie got to be nearly ten months already? Anyway, it was definitely about time, and so that's what they did.

They'd exhausted the range in Mothercare, rejecting this one because it was too short, and that one because it was too light and flimsy. There was one that seemed to be right and they asked the saleswoman for her help. But calamity, there were none in stock, not in that branch, or in any of the local branches. There was the ability to order it in, but they decided to try another shop, and if they had no success there, they would order online.

After another false start at Argos, they set off for the bright lights of Tesco Extra. Surely this vast store would offer the goods that they searched for. She parked up, having stopped at the recycling zone to discover the delights of an electronic recycling machine. They exited the car and headed for the store, only to be greeted with the sounds of an alarm and crowds of people being herded out of the shop. They could not enter, this was certain. No matter, instead they found shelter in the cafe inside M&S next door. Bellies full, and nappy emptied (or rather replaced) they again tried their luck and this time were rewarded.

Tesco was open, and they were welcomed inside by the swish of the electric doors. Briefly she separated from her husband, him to look at electronics, and her to select a new pan to replace the one she had burnt a few days previous. Reunited they set off once again in search of a new highchair. She found the aisle and they moved along it. Past any number of equipment for babies, and finally to the treasure they sought. Having consulted with a helpful sales assistant they agreed to purchase said item.

And now the moment of calamity was close. She volunteered to fetch a trolley for which to use to transport the highchair, and she headed towards the door. She had so nearly reached this point when all of a sudden her right ankle collapsed somehow beneath her, and she found herself upon the floor in a heap. A security guard was asking "do you need a first aider?" and after checking her ankle she agreed, that yes, she did. Her ankle was beyond standing for the present time.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

sprained ankle, busy week, back soon

Who can resist this cheeky grin?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Anyone out there?

My email system is online, and can be downloaded to something like outlook, but I've not set that up since I got married. The problem with it is that it automatically deletes emails which are more than three months old. This means that even if I should have your email, I probably don't anymore.

So, if I know you, particularly people like the folk from One Weigh or Another, I would love the chance to get back in touch with some of you. But many of you I've lost your emails and or links to your blogs and stuff like that, and I don't really know how to get in contact with you. But if on the off chance you're still reading my blog, maybe you'll do me a favour and get in touch with me!

Leave a comment or email me white-elephant AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk (this may not be the email you've had from me in the past, but it's one that does not include my name, which is why I'm putting it here)
I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I'm still buying reduced. I gave up trying to work out how much I was saving each shop cos a) I didn't have time to stick it all into a spreadsheet and b) half the time it's not possible to know what the original price for something was. However, I have a pretty good idea of how much certain things cost, and how much I'm willing to pay for them. I think I probably have pretty low (or is that high) expectations of price for some things. I won't buy something like raspberries or strawberries unless they're very reduced. I saw some strawberries reduced to £1.19 today and just laughed.

As well as buying as much reduced as I can I've also set myself a budget to stick to. This is just the first week, and I'm only halfway through, but it's going well I think. I decided to have a certain amount of cash at the beginning of the week, and that's my limit (although I've still got my debit card in my purse for emergencies, or really good offers!). I think that using cash gives me a better idea of what I'm actually spending, rather than just blindly handing over my card and not really taking any notice of how much I'm spending.

Sophia's had a nasty cold since Tuesday evening, and Tuesday night was a really rough one. Last night was better, and she's down for the night tonight, but she's still not right. She was coughing a lot when she first went down, but that seems to have stopped for now. I think Menard may be coming down with it too, so hopefully we'll all get over it quickly. Especially since Sophia's being dedicated on Sunday and we're having a party afterwards. It would be a shame if one of us were not able to be there.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

They really do exist!

Aftera fewinteresting outtakes
we finally got the "I have two teeth" shot.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

more drivel?

I've got writers block. I stare at the empty blog post and my mind goes empty. I blog all the time in my head, but when I'm face to face with a computer I forget all the things I wanted to say.

I want to write real things, about life as a mummy and wife. Life trying to lose weight. Life being me. But I also want to protect my daughter and husband and not make them live in a goldfish bowl.

I want to write as a therapy to help me move on in life. Not that I'm in a bad place, but that I know that writing my thoughts helps me to analyse them. I don't know how to do that at the moment.

This blog has been a lot of things. A place for photos and to record family events, a place to share with the folks back home what I'm up to. Somewhere to show off our little gift from God and how she's growing and changing. A place to muse and ask opinions. I've been a mummy for over nine months, but I don't feel qualified to call myself a mummy blogger. I've been married for 15 months, but is that long enough for me to share my thoughts, opinions and advice about marriage?

As an aside I'll tell you what Sophia is currently doing. She's sat on the floor in front of me with two spoons - one a dessert spoon, the other wooden. She keeps holding them out in front of her with her arms outstretched and then banging them together and singing. Occasionally she'll give one or the other a lick, but then continue banging and waving them. She's so totally engrossed in what she's doing, and totally enjoying it. I'd like to be that about blogging again, just for a few minutes of my day. To sit at the computer and write, and enjoy it, be satisfied with what I'm writing. That it's not just drivel. That's all I seem to be able to come up with at the moment.

Monday, July 12, 2010

can we pretend

that I didn't neglect the bit of my mental do-to list (over a week ago) that said "auto-post some pics and stuff so that your blog isn't left without posts for a week or so"

I'd write something more now, but I'm in post-dentist appointment state, and since I had an injection, it's not pretty (it tends to leave me feeling pretty rough).

Back soon, with, I think, at least one pic of Sophia on the beach on holiday

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get

In the boot (aka trunk for y'all across the sea) of my car there are lots of things that probably don't help me to get the most economical use of my car, but it also means that I don't have to store them indoors. For example Sophia's buggy, my walking boots, a couple of picnic rugs, shopping bags...
There are also a few other more random things, including the orders of service from the last few weddings that we've been to. These include Bekki and HP (now HB)'s weddings. [In case anyone doesn't know, or is unfamiliar with the term an order of service is basically the outline of what will happen in the wedding service and song words, who will do what, etc. It's a lovely way to help people know what's happening on the day, and to look back on afterwards].

I started thinking about the orders of service as I drove over to my mum's house yesterday. We didn't have one for our wedding, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me explain...

They say that women start to dream about the perfect wedding from when they are little girls. Certainly, it's a role play game that little girls are often found playing. I remember our dressing up box with old net curtains being great for making veils and dresses etc. I'm not sure that I exactly ever 'planned out' my wedding ceremony, but I did have certain expectations of it. In my early teens (or even earlier) I was a part of our church's choir. This was a Church of England church, with a set wedding service. If people requested a choir for their ceremony we got to sit up in the choir stalls to sing, and got paid for it. That seemed like easy money to me! But anyway, the point is that I got used to hearing the Church of England wedding ceremony, and can still quote back lines from it.

HB and her Steve did get married in that church, they had the traditional wedding service and I enjoyed the chance to be a part of their wonderful day. I was the 'pregnant bridesmaid' on that occasion. But for Menard and myself we decided that rather than get married there, in my local parish church, we wanted to be married in our own church - Jubilee Church. This has what you might call a less traditional typical Sunday service, and consequently our wedding was less traditional than HB's.

We got married in a cinema! How many people can say that?! And who would ever dream of that from an early age (although some of the current young folk in our chuch may!) We didn't have the traditional wording for the vows. We did choose a couple of the songs, but I can't actually remember what they were. As proof of that, someone in my family said to me a while back "we sang this at your wedding" and I said "did we?!". We didn't have an order of sevice for people to read on the day and keep if they so wanted to. We actually had to additionally have a registry office ceremony as the legal obligations of the marriage ceremony could not be fulfilled in the cimema at that time. In many ways it was entirely different to what I would have expected of my wedding.

But I'm so glad that our wedding was different. In a way it prepared me for the fact that marriage itself was in many ways entirely different from what I'd been expecting. Oh, it's not a bad thing. I love being married. I'm just not sure I really understood what getting married would mean in the long term. Having a wedding is one day, a marriage lasts a lifetime. I love Menard with all my heart, and I hope and pray that this is 'until death we part'. But it's entirely different to some of my expectations.

(I will be blogging more about this soon)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


... I got to meet two wonderful sisters (and their parents) who I got to know online through Etsy and who are over here from the USA for a short time. They are Ace and Mags (online nicknames) and the former has an etsy shop (which is currently set on vacation mode as she's away, and has just moved house).

(L to R Mags, Ace, Debs and Sophia)

Unfortunately my mum and my camera's auto focus don't get on well, so this is the best shot I have of us at Covent Garden yesterday.

It was also Sophia's first time on the Tube. She was a little overawed, but kept the whole carriage entertained with her sheer beautifulness!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Much overdue thanks (part 2)

This post is another big thank you to an Etsy seller who so lovingly donated something so that I could have free stuff! Today I'm thanking Kim of the shop kjmSILKS. She sent me the beautiful silk scarf which my mummy is kindly modelling for me in this photo. I meant to take a close up of the detail, but I didn't, and I want to get this post up, so I'm afraid you'll just have to trust me when I say it's truly lovely.
Thanks Kim, I really appreciated your gift :-)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Much overdue thanks (part 1)

Way way back, around 8 months ago (!) I had the privilege of receiving some parcels from across the seas, thanks to Etsy and a wonderful idea of an esty baby shower. This week I finally managed to capture Sophia with two of the four things that I was lucky enough to receive, and so I'm finally writing the blog post about them that I promised.
I know that they're not the best photos ever and I apologise to littlealouette and Maryum for that.

Maryum of the etsy shop SweetDesignsbyMaryum sent the adorable dress that Sophia is wearing. She was diligent in checking the size and specification of what she would be making to ensure that it would be something that we could use, and as you can see Sophia and I are very happy with the result. Better still, because she made it with a fairly large size vest as the basis, Sophia has been able to wear it when she was small, and it still fits her now, and is actually perfect for the spring/summer weather we've had recently.

Joe and Amy Sharp from the shop littlealouette sent the wooden teether that Sophia is holding. Although she was seemingly more interested in my water bottle and camera strap, Sophia actually loves this teether and it's had lots of use both being chewed on and also just as a fascinating toy to hold and play with.

Thank you so much to both shops. I really appreciated your kindness and generosity. Sorry it's taken so long for me to return the favour! Readers, please click over and check out their shops :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

random thoughts

Why do they always talk about the torque a car has on 5th Gear, but never mention anything like that on Top Gear?

Similarly, why do they list car stats on Top Gear by saying time it takes to go from zero to sixty mph, whereas on 5th Gear they talk about 0 to 62.

Sophia loves it when you tickle her face with your hair.

My glasses make me feel like I'm living life in HD, and I'm not sure I like it. Hopefully my eyes will settle down and accept the new norm soon.

I've been having lots of random but vivid dreams lately. Some of them I can work out where they came from, other times I wake up and I'm all "you what?!".

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

unimpressed by mummy's new glasses

They're purple and everything. Not sure you can really see that properly in this photo. I can't make up my mind on the date stamp. I wish you could have it on, but then remove it if you wanted to for individual photos.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Reduced dinner

Everything we ate for dinner last night was bought reduced. Now, I know that we were meant to be 'eating what we'd got' for the week, but I had to go to morrisons to buy toilet rolls - they're one of those essentials you can't hold off buying, and of course I checked for good reductions, and I found lots of things.

Actually, before I left the house I looked at our almost empty fruit bowl and had a passing thought that it might be good if I were able to buy some reduced fruit. And I found loads - bananas, apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. As well as those new potatoes you see on my plate and also the mushrooms. And some pork chops and turkey which I've put into the freezer for another day.

But back to our dinner. I reckon the total cost of the actual dinner - meat, veg and the fruit in the smoothie, can be no more than a couple of quid for both dinners. And it's only that high because the pork was over a pound for the two pieces (one each).