Friday, 25 November 2011

Lily Isabelle

Earlier this morning we became grandparents again. Lily Isabelle was born to Jon's daughter Michelle and her husband Matthew and weighed in at 10lb 4oz.  Lily will be a little sister for Josh (9) and I just know he's going to be such a good big brother to her.  We're excited to get to see all the family and to meet Lily soon. 

At this stage I don't have any photos but you can bet as soon as I have, I'll post one here :)   *Photo now added :)

Huge congratulations to Michelle and Matthew. Well done, Michelle, we're really proud of you, time to now enjoy cuddles with your new daugher :)


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

December album

Today I started putting together an album for December. I'm still not 100% sure how I'm playing it this year but just getting it finished would be good!  I've decided to keep it small and simple using a 6 x 6 American Crafts album and keeping the template the same, though the page with the photos can be turned for either portrait or landscape shots.

This gives an idea of what the finished pages will look like.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Because my last post didn't have a photo ;o)

iPhone photos from today :o)

 Alice's hair is starting to get in her eyes so today I tied it up while she had her lunch
Going for a walk this afternoon - I put the mittens on first and both they and the hat stayed on the whole way round.


PS  If you're in the UK, please still read the post below. Thanks :o)

Online scrapbook shops

Just a quick post.

I used to shop online at Artbase but it seems to no longer be online.  Does anyone else buy scrapbook supplies online in the UK and if so, could you please let me know which online shop you use.  I know there are a number around but I don't have the time at the moment to look through all of them.

Thanks :)

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Alice's first year (photo heavy)

Can you believe Alice is now one year old! 
I thought I'd take the opportunity to choose a random photo from each month of her first year (plus a couple more ;o)  )

 Just minutes old and who could have guessed how much we'd all love her and enjoy spending as much time as possible with her. I became a bragging Grandma overnight :o)
 With Uncle Hugh
 and Aunty Em.
We were so lucky to have Claire, Craig and Alice living with us and getting to spend so much time with the new family.
 Christmas Day 2010
 2 months old
 3 months old
 With Great Aunty Debbie at 4 months
 5 months
 6 months
 At 7 months
 8 months
 9 months
 10 months
 11 months
 And on Friday, ONE YEAR OLD :o)
Trying to open presents with her teeth lol!

It was so lovely to spend time with Alice on her first birthday. Claire had a little party at the flat for her friends with children, in the morning, and then we had a family tea at our house in the afternoon.

Thank you Alice for such a fun filled year, you've brought so much joy to our lives and I feel so very lucky to be your Grandma. I can't wait to watch you grow and develop over the coming year and spend lots more time with you. I love you more than I could have imagined xxx

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Cranberry Sauce

A couple of years ago Ruth did a post about a cranberry sauce she made using Nigella Lawson's recipe.  I tried it that year and have made it each year since. So, when I saw Sainsbury's had fresh cranberries in this week, I bought a couple of bags and decided to make some this week. One portion is not enough so this year I made one and a half times the recipe but should maybe have done double quantities instead.  However, I'll be looking forward to having this with Christmas lunch again this year. Thanks for sharing, Ruth :)

Redder than Red Cranberry Sauce
From Nigella Lawson's "Nigella's Christmas Kitchen 2007"

12oz/340g Fresh Cranberries
7oz/200g Caster Sugar
3 Tbsp/45ml Cherry Brandy
4 fl.oz/75ml Water
Lemon juice, optional

Place all the ingredients in a pan and cook until the liquids have reduced to a thick Cranberry Sauce.

The pectin-rich nature of the fruit means that it solidifies briskly as it cools, so take the pan off the heat to stop it from cooking and reducing when you still think there's too much liquid. Once the berries have burst, which should be after about 10 minutes, it should be ready.

Taste to test whether the sauce needs more sugar (if you find it too sweet just add some lemon juice).

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

And finally, my photo for the recipe book :)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Keeping me busy

We moved into our house in December 2007.  We moved from a larger house and, although we had got rid of quite a lot before moving, we ended up with boxes in the garage. Nearly four years later those boxes are still in the garage and each time I walk in it bugs me. 

This week Claire had a weeks holiday and I'm not looking after Alice so it seemed like the ideal time to get stuck in in the garage and go through the boxes. I ordered a skip, which was delivered on Monday morning, but by yesterday afternoon I'd filled it. 

 I have been quite ruthless - after all, if it's been sitting in the garage for four years and we haven't really missed it we probably don't need it.
Unfortunately, I haven't finished yet. There is still quite a bit I could get rid of and at the moment I'm debating whether I should get another skip or not.  Our problem is that we have a number of old computer monitors, computers, TVs, printers and even a fax machine but these are items listed as not to be put in the skip unless you have prior written agreement.  I now have to phone the skip company and find out whether it'll cost more to dispose of those things. Another option may be to call the council and see if they'll do a collection.  Regardless, I'm feeling happier when I walk in the garage as it's not as cluttered as before which has to be a good thing. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Our weekend

Our weekend. On Saturday afternoon my nephew, Kyle and his girlfriend, Emma, came round with a birthday present for Alice and, as Craig was playing football in Eastbourne, Claire and Alice came round to spend some time with us too. 
We decided that Alice could open a couple of birthday presents early so she could take them home to play with.
 She got one from us
 which I think she liked (even if it gets used as a walker half the time)
 And she got the playtime bus from Kyle and Emma :)
We had cakes
And Emily took this photo of Jon on Rememberance Sunday. 

There was also grocery shopping to do, birthday cards to be bought, meals to be made and washing to be done. All in all, a good weekend that went too quickly.


Monday, 14 November 2011

Fairy cakes

I'm still hugely inspired by the recipe book Sarah (Clover Lane) made using Blurb. I would love to make one and have now started taking photos of recipes I make.  This weekend it was chocolate fairy cakes - I have tried a number of different recipes but come back to this simple recipe time and again.

Fairy cakes (makes 12)

125g marg
125g castor sugar
125g self raising flour (for chocolate cakes I use 95g SR flour and 30g cocoa powder)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 Tbsp milk
1  tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 220C/400F/Gas 6
Put cake cases in to muffin tin
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until the mixture is very soft and you can't see any lumps of marg.
Spoon into paper cases
Bake for 10 - 15 minutes
Leave on a wire rack to cool before icing.

Chocolate buttercream icing

85g soft butter
150g icing sugar
25g cocoa powder
1Tbsp milk (or I used coffee for a slight difference)

Mix all ingredients together until mixture is smooth.
Pipe on to fairy cakes and top with a Malteser.

Enjoy :)


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Hugh and Alice

I had forgotten I'd taken these photos until I was downloading the Halloween layout photos yesterday. They were taken last Wednesday when Hugh was playing with Alice at lunch time.

I just LOVE all these photos and the expressions on Alice's face.  I think the top one is one of my current favourites!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Halloween layout

I wanted to make sure I recorded Alice's first Halloween so made this layout quickly today.


PS. I know from a distance the patterned paper looks a bit like a cow print but it's actually little ghosts saying Boo!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Our little bookworm :)

 One of the things Alice loves when she comes round is to sit and look at all her books. They're one of the first things she goes for and we end up with them all out the basket and on the floor.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Worth taking a look at.

This photo is of "Herman, the German Friendship Cake" which I made a few weeks ago, (not actually anything to do with Sarah's blog) because I can't post without a photo.

I've been reading Sarah's blog, Clover Lane for a little while now but her post this morning blew me away. What a fantastic idea - if you like cooking, go and see what she's done with her recipes :).
Thanks Sarah, for sharing this with everyone.

This got the neighbours talking ....

A new decoration on the tree at the end of our road this morning!

Eyebrows raised and tongues wagging ;-)


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sweet Pumpkin :)

We had a visit from our sweet little Pumpkin last night :)  Some of these photos fall into the "not perfect" category as they're a bit grainy or blurred but I love them all and just looking at them make me smile :)  (I may be slightly biased where this little Pumpkin is concerned though!)

 Mummy and Daddy took Alice Trick or Treating last night. They had already been to visit my parents and had another three stops after us.
 Alice was fascinated by our singing pumpking (which gets quite annoying after a while lol!)
 Look at that little tongue! So cute!
 It didn't take her too long to work out there was something in that pumpkin ;-)
 Also didn't take her too long to empty said things on to the floor  lol!
 Aunty Em had to help unwrap one of the chocolate lollies before she ate the paper
 On the move again and evidence of chocolate eating on the leaves.
Love you little Pumpkin :) xxx