Showing posts with label Life love and little things. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life love and little things. Show all posts

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Life, love and little things - April 2017

Yes, yes, I know. Nothing for weeks. I feel like I should apologise, and provide a fulsome and thorough explanation for my absence, but what does one say? Potty training? Toddlers? Decorating? Gardening? Coughs? Colds? Scratched eye? Does that cover it? Hopefully.

Anyway - the toddler is sleeping (for now, at least), a veg packed chilli is in the oven, a Vegan Peanut butter chocolate chip banana bread is cooling, my smoked mackerel salad is coming to room temperature and I have a litre of water. All of this points to sitting down and getting on with a blog post.

I've not done a 'Life, love and little things..' post for months, which is silly as they are far and away one of my favourite things to write. So here we are - April in photos:

The weather has meant we're far from BBQs and salads so I've been dong a fair bit of batch cooking, Chilli con carne (sometimes without the carne), Sweet potato and chickpea curry, Cottage or Shepherd's pie, Shepherdess pie have all featured. My veg packed chilli is one of Harry's favourites - he loves it in quesadillas, sprinkled with Violife.

I helped out at our Division's campsite (does anyone not know I'm a Brownie and Guide leader?) making tea and serving cake on our Bluebell days. I have to say they are the most beautiful I've ever seen them, carpeting the woods in a glorious wash of colour, their fragrance was amazing. Bluebells completely signify Spring to me and Bluebell woods are simply magical.

Harry and I have been doing a fair bit of baking lately - it's good for his counting and it's a great activity when my outdoorsy, full of energy toddler can't go outside for whatever reason. Like his mother he's a huge fan of glace cherries and marzipan so we've made our favourite dairy free Simnel cake twice since Easter.

I've got a new blanket on my crochet hook - it's going far slower than it should be so I need to really get on with it as it needs to be finished by July! The colour palette is a change for me, ice cream pastels from Attic 24's Cupcake blanket. Although I'm making a Granny stripe. I really want to make Lucy's Hydrangea blanket, but M has banned me from any more yarn buying until such time as I've finished all my ongoing works in progress!

As always, you can find these and many other snapshots of my days and weeks over on Instagram - why not hop on over and see what we're up to today?

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Life, love and little things - September

I mentioned in my Meal Planning Monday post this week that I can't believe it's Autumn already, yet there's a distinct chill in the air, my trusty Saltwaters have been swapped for Converse and soup has been made for lunches. Add to this a batch of coughs and colds all around and it's undeniably time to dive in to scarves, sweaters and stews. 

Last month on the other hand was glorious - sunny days drifting into warm evenings, apples starting to tumble from our trees, sunhats, sandals and salads all around. 

These pictures all come from my Instagram where I regularly pop up little insights into our days, be they messy play, baking or simply coffee and lego... 

I've spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen this month, apple butter, variations on banana bread and some egg free oaty bars as well as preserving tomatoes and green beans from our garden. 

Harry and I have spent a lot of time in the garden, playing in his teepee, splashing in the paddling pool and thoroughly watering the veg patch - well, the bits he can reach! 

I've also started trying to pretty the house up a bit - we're on an inevitable road towards having to renovate and decorate our spare room. It's only a matter of time before we need to move Harry into a big boy bed, and we're facing a mammoth task involving replacing carpets, a window, building a cupboard, painting louvre doors (I loathe this with a passion) and stripping the paper before repainting. I think mammoth may be an understatement. To get me in the mood for home improvements I reorganised our much hated fireplace to try to disguise the loathed crazy paved facade. 

My crochet blanket I talked about here is proceeding, albeit slowly. The glorious sunshine did not encourage sitting with a blanket on your knees! I'm hoping to have it finished for Christmas - my target of a stripe a day may be halted by my plans for *whispers* Christmas crafting which I need to get started on fairly promptly. I'm about a third of the way through my blanket though so getting there. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Life, love and little things. July 2016

I've been on an unplanned hiatus from these posts for a while, for absolutely no reason other than those horrible headaches and migraines which are blighting my days. However, that doesn't mean there aren't wonderful things in my life and as always I'm looking forward to sharing them here.

I finished another blanket this month. This one's a baby blanket for a dear, dear friend who's expecting. It was a lovely thing to hook such love into every row, for the Mama and her bubba. It was also incredibly pleasing to stitch something that I finished in a shortish space of time.

I'm still working on my massive neat ripple for our bed. It uses the Last Dance in the Rain colour pack from Scheepjes for their crochet-a-long in memory of Marinke Slump. I've written about it here and am fairly decided I'll tackle the pattern again, some time next year. I've currently got 2 blankets and some cushion covers on my hooks, and I'm also thinking about socks!

We had our annual Brownie holiday in July - which was the first time I've been away from Harry for two nights, and the first time in the new kitchen in the Division's holiday house. It was glorious to cook in, so much space - and made me loathe our kitchen at home a bit more! The holiday theme was Alice in Wonderland, so on Saturday we had a Mad Hatter's Tea Party - with the ubiquitous jam tarts, cheesy caterpillars, White rabbit sausage rolls and some playing card fairy cakes. Drink me potions and Eat me fruit also featured on the menu. The girls had a wonderful time and I really enjoyed my role as QM.

July is M's birthday and this year was a big one - so a special cake was in order. Harry helped me and together we made him a Funfetti cake with blue buttercream - which is what happens when you let your toddler choose the colour! Topped with a fondant road and some lovely wooden cars from Babi Pur, M adored it. And it tasted lovely too.

The end of term for Guides clashed with some lovely sunny days, and despite having had my feet in the paddling pool at home all day we finished our term in the same way - only adding ice creams into the mix!

The glorious summer weather has not just meant long days in the garden, but lighter food as well. M is not a fan of salad, so I've been roasting peppers, courgettes, mushrooms, red onions and garlic and topping them with our favourite dairy free Heck sausages, or stirring them into pasta. I've also had a (very successful bash) at recreating my favourite Carrefour carrot salad that I eat by the bucketful when in France.

Despite not blogging much, July has been full to the brim of fun and family and of course some fab food too. Lots of blessings for me to recount in my Bullet Journal and of course say thank you for.

If you like these sneaky peeks into our month, why not follow Penelope's Pantry on Instagram for regular snapshots into what's going on.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Love, life and little things for April 2016

This month I'm tired, and I don't just mean physically, I feel utterly exhausted and drained. We've all had a silly virus/ infection type thing which robbed me of my voice for a few days and it seems to have really wiped me out. I've cracked open the Berocca and the Floradix and am plodding onwards. Onwards and upwards or at least forwards. I'm taking pleasure in the simple things - putting my feet up for half an hour, with a hot coffee and a Trio being my treat of choice at the moment.

I've got a few posts in the offing, but Harry's having a funny few weeks with his naps. Since he dropped to one nap, it's almost solidly been at least an hour and a half after lunch. Just lately - and probably to do with the change in the weather or being poorly - or the dreaded back doubles which are starting to make their existence known - he's managing an hour at best, and sometimes in the morning, sometimes the afternoon, and on really scary days... neither. Please don't mention nap dropping to me, he's not even 2 yet!

My favourite recipe of the last month has to be my Chickpea and sweet potato curry - we've eaten it more times than I care to admit - not least as it's syn free, and Harry loves it. The punchy flavours of the chilli, garlic and coriander really sing to me at the moment, and as a bonus it's cheap, full of veggies, and relatively quick to put together.

Once again Harry's language has come on in leaps and bounds over the last month - developmentally this is such a huge time for him - it's no wonder his daytime sleep is all over the place. And with those words, a growing obsession with modes of transport - especially trains - is emerging. Similarly, his imaginary play has come on in leaps and bounds - his chick, and bunny are frequently fed, offered milk, have their nappies changed and last night his sheep was given his dummy.  It's so lovely to see this development, and watch his awareness of the world around us change day by day.

I have the joy of starting a new blanket - this one is hopefully to be a new baby gift for a dear friend who's expecting. However, originally I thought it would be relatively gender neutral but it's turning out to be very girly so I think something else may be in order, just in case she has a boy. The blanket is Lucy's Harmony - and I'm thoroughly enjoying working the granny squares in such glorious colours, it's a really pleasure to sit quietly and make.

 There's been a distinct shift in the weather this month, in the space of a week we went from snowsuits  to sunhats. Last year I sewed elastic on Harry's sunhat, this year I'm unashamedly using bananas & biscuits as bribery. We use a sunblock from Superdrug - in SPF 30 which I religiously apply every half an hour - in an ingenious roll on design. It's fantastic as whilst Harry is quite used to having creams applied because of his eczema,  but the novelty of a rollerball keeps us all a bit calmer.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Life, love and little things - March 2016

March has been a busy month for us, Harry's vocabulary grows seeming hourly at times, and with that comes new challenges - what does "tee" mean in the context of breakfast? Answer, Weetabix. Of course it does. Our days potter past in an blur of playdates, toddler groups and a seemingly endless supply of washing, ironing and housework.

I convinced M to invest in a new sling - the beautiful Toddler Tula in the 'Look for the helpers' print. We bought it from Babipur a favourite website of mine - the stockist of my much lusted after Grimm's Rainbow. I know Harry would adore it. As would I. Ahem. We've used it countless times already, and being London based it makes travel on public transport so much easier. I would still love a wrap, but this is quick, easy and practical. I've always loved baby wearing, and toddlerwearing is just as convenient, and snuggly. And surprisingly less heavy than I feared.

The weather has been ghastly this month so we've done a lot of sensory play - cloud dough, play dough, cloud sand and fingerprinting have all been winners. Although given Harry's tendency to try to eat ALL new sensory play things it's a bit stressful for me. On a long replacement bus service I read the brilliant 150 screen free activities for kids which has given me some brilliant ideas for wet weather play.

Because of Harry's allergies, Easter is a chocolate free zone for us, so we've made our first steps into the world of Lego. To say M is over the moon would be a huge understatement. Harry's Duplo set is lovely, beautiful primary colours (completely non gendered thankfully) and has been played with daily since Easter Monday. We're also trying to work on his understanding of 'Tidy time' now we have the Duplo and aside from stashing some emergency bricks in the seat of his car (because clearly everyone needs some emergency Lego) he's been really good at joining in with putting all the blocks back in their box. I should just say how much I love the fact that his Duplo came in a massive Lego storage brick.

My eczema has flared up something chronic this month - my poor legs are covered and my hands are starting to go too. It used to be that eczema for me was entirely related to stress, but these days it's far more closely linked to being tired and an inordinate amount of hand washing. Now we've excluded Harry's allergens, we can manage his eczema with Lush Dream Cream, but of course that doesn't touch mine (that would make life far too easy!) so I'm always on the lookout for something that works. All suggestions welcomed...

Anyone that follows me on Instagram will have seen that I finally finished Harry's stripy blanket and my crochet wreath. My next big project is going to be the Last Dance in the Rain blanket made to a design started by crochet blogger Marinke of A creative being who sadly lost her fight with depression last year. Each yarn kit will include a donation to Mind, a charity doing such important work around mental health issues. If you are a crochet-er then please do read the post on Marinke's blog and consider getting involved in the Crochet along.  As always I'll be posting my progress on Instagram. At the moment, I'm being thrifty and using up the ends of my Cottage cosy stripe yarn to make some bunting for the fireplace.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Life, love and little things - February 2016

The title seemed apt, given that February for many people is all about those red hearts and flowers. M and I celebrate St Dwynwen's in January - I make him Welsh cakes, he buys me daffodils. And this year (thanks to a lovely friend babysitting) we made it out for a hilarious meal at Wagamamas: flying chopsticks, mix ups with a very carefully ordered allergy friendly dinner meaning that our neighbours nearly went without their meal, and a rogue hair that nearly caused a bust up between our bearded waiter and a very cross chef all made our first date since Harry was born infinitely memorable. And in a really peculiar way, just perfect.

 I've not been posting much of late, despite plenty of allergy friendly/ vegan cooking and baking going on - Harry is transitioning to just one nap, which has meant that my time int he morning to do housework, shower, make lunch, get supper started and blog unaccompanied has all but vanished. Sadly this hasn't seemed to make Harry's afternoon nap any longer so I'm a bit thrown out of sync - trying to do what I previously managed in three hours, in one. Unsurprisingly it's not working. That said, mornings with my chatty bubba are lovely - all those months narrating our days are paying off as Harry tells me about any trains, planes or cars we see.

I'm still a bit torn about slings - our Ergo is nowhere near as comfy as it used to be for either Harry or I, and I'm contemplating a toddler Tula or a woven wrap. Sadly our sling library is just too expensive for me to try either, much less both, so I'm trying to work it out by guesswork. I know I liked wrapping when we used the Moby, and from what I understand the Tula isn't dissimilar to the Ergo, but comes up higher to provide Harry with the back support he's outgrown all too fast. It's a bit tricky, and I wish I'd realised that needing more height than the Ergo offers was a common issue - we can get round it at the moment, but as I say it's certainly not comfy for me, which means I suspect it's not that comfy for Harry either.  I'm determined to get it sorted out though as I'm missing baby wearing (toddler wearing?) so much.

I'm still crocheting - I've got 10 stripes & the border of Attic 24's Sunny Crochet along granny stripe blanket to go. I've really enjoyed making this for Harry, next on my list is to crochet some bunting for our fireplace. Given how wedded I am to the Attic 24 patterns, I thought I'd use Lucy's pattern for Granny bunting - using my leftover yarn from the cosy stripe blanket as that one lives over our sofa, lending some lovely soft colour to the lounge.

Other little things of note - I've decided to take the plunge and refresh our kitchen, repainting the walls, ceiling and cupboard doors, and am currently investigating stickers to go over the tiles. Some new blinds up at the window, a big declutter and spring clean should all hopefully ensure that it starts to feel more like a kitchen than a one room migraine.

For those of you who remember me giving up Guides when I was pregnant, I'm back running the unit once again - a lack of local volunteers meant that my much beloved unit was closed briefly at the start of this academic year. With girls still keen to be members and unable to attend any other local units I initially reopened it with a plan to hand it straight over to 2 lovely women who had volunteered, sadly unforeseen circumstances for both of them have meant that their help only materialised for a short while, and I'm be-neckered on a Tuesday evening once again. I must be doing something right as we've increased the girl numbers by nearly 50% since reopening! Still, as I keep telling my lovely husband, as soon as there's a safe pair of hands to pass it on to - I will step back.

That's our life, love and little things for February - I hope you enjoyed this 'peek behind the curtain' as it were - if it's something you did like, do drop me a note in the comments as this is the type of post I can easily knock up during a short nap (while avoiding the washing up)


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