Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Royal Wedding

I have to admit to being rather patriotic. I am very proud of our country and its long tradition and I am also a big supporter of our Royal Family. Needless to say, I was rather looking forward to the wedding and couldn't let it pass without a little celebration of our own. We all dressed in some combination of red, white and blue and snacked on my celebration tin of McVities biscuits during the ceremony. After watching the wedding, we sat down to a themed lunch before returning to the television for the balcony appearance and flypast. I loved the whole thing and thought the bride's dress was stunning, so simple and elegant. I find it absolutely amazing that a third of the world's population reputedly tuned in to watch the Royal wedding. Perhaps it is because if there is one thing we know how to do well in this country, it is pomp and circumstance!

We enjoyed the rest of our bank holiday with a spot of gardening, followed by tea out. It was a lovely day.

The night before the wedding, I put some bunting up around the lounge and put the Union flags I bought for each of the Podlings in a blue vase. ready for when they got up. Those are my birthday cards on the mantelpiece, in case you are wondering.

 Patriotic Emma

Lily gets in to the spirit of things

Being a boy, Tom had merely a passing interest in the wedding. He popped in briefly during the ceremony and I managed to snap a quick picture of him just to prove he was there!

After the wedding we enjoyed a little themed lunch. Lots of red, white and blue! Much as I wanted to make themed cakes, we have so much sweet stuff about the house with Easter and my birthday that we just didn't need any more cakes!

Tom and Lily were each given one of these mugs by their school. Tasteful they are not, but they were certainly appropriate for our themed lunch.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Star of the Week!

Lily is absolutely thrilled to be her class Star of the Week this week and to bring Spencer the bear home with her. They had fun together in the park on the way home from school and Spencer hasn't been far from her side since she got him. He even had the dubious pleasure of having his teeth brushed with Tom's toothbrush! We read a teddy-themed bedtime story in honour of Spencer and Lily has gone to sleep cuddling up to him. We are very lucky to be the recipient of a nice clean bear as the mother of the previous Star of the Week (Lily's friend Jack) told me this evening that she put him through the wash.

Well done Lily, we are very proud of you!
Daddy, Lily and Spencer at bedtime this evening

Snip Snip

I've been thinking of having my long hair cut into a shoulder length bob for a while and I took the plunge today as I was passing a hairdressers. I had my hair like this a few years ago, but let it grow out. Realistically, I will probably do the same again as I get fed up with styling it after a while and just want to put it up! Plus, I don't have long to get ready in the mornings! My hair grows really fast, so I never worry about adjusting the length (though I wouldn't go any shorter than this). I won't have to wait long to grow it out if I decide I want it longer again. For now I really like it, though it is a fraction shorter than I intended. Not sure what Mark will say when he comes home though!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Thirty Four

Today was my birthday, in which I reached the ripe old age of 34. With Mark ill and two of the Podlings at school it was a fairly quiet day. I put together a little birthday tea (the Podlings expect it!), but I didn't do any baking for it (I'm still recovering from Easter!). My very pretty birthday cake was a bargain from Tesco! I blew up some balloons (again mainly for the Podlings) and we had a lovely little tea together. I used floral and pink china and my favourite pink and white tablecloth. It was my party, so I figured I had every right to be all girly! Mark tells me that I can have an 'official' birthday when he is better. I'm all for dragging out my birthday as long as possible!

Not my most flattering picture, but my little Lily looks adorable!

Last day of the holidays

It was the last day of the school holidays yesterday, so after running a few errands in the afternoon we took the Podlings to the park for an hour before going home. We were fortunate enough to be there at the right time to see the blossom falling, covering the ground in a carpet of fresh pink petals. The Podlings and I had a wonderful time making blossom storms by gathering up handfuls of blossom and letting the petals scatter like pink snowflakes in the breeze. It was breathtakingly beautiful and a wonderful end to a wonderful Easter holiday. It is such a shame the children have to go back to school...we have been having so much fun!

 Emma gathering handfuls of blossom


Easter Sunday

Our Easter tea 

We had a lovely day on Sunday. Unfortunately Mark is rather unwell at the moment, so we didn't make it to church in the morning. I had to satisfy myself with singing 'Thine be the Glory' as I worked in the kitchen. I did roast lamb for lunch, with homemade egg custard tart for pudding. We had the egg hunt after lunch and finished the afternoon off with a lovely Easter tea. The Podlings had a great day and much chocolate was consumed. It is possible they were all on a sugar high by bathtime!

The obligatory Easter nests.

 I made mini-fairy cakes and covered them with chocolate and a mini-egg. Tom doesn't like his fairy cakes decorated, so I just stuck Easter chicks on a few cakes for him.

I did cheat and buy the Simnel cake and cookies. I did, however, put the cookies on a Bunnikins plate to keep with the Easter theme!

We had Mark's parents with us for Easter Sunday, so Tom and Lily took their meals at their little table.

'What shall I eat next?'

The Egg Hunt

We held our egg hunt after lunch on Sunday. It is getting incredibly difficult to get pictures of Tom and Lily during the egg hunt as they dash around so fast! It was much easier to get pictures of Emma as she kept stopping every time she found an egg in order to open it and eat the contents! We get the Podlings to empty their  baskets into one box as they fill them and then they sit down together after the hunt and open all the eggs together. It saves fights about who got the most eggs, since Lily is rather competitive and a terrible loser!

 Lily chose her own outfit for Easter Sunday. The dark velvet winter party dress and battered three-year-old Easter bonnet weren't exactly what I would have picked out for her, but she was happy!

To the victors the spoils. I love the way Emma looks like she is diving into the bowl of sweets!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

'Twas the night before Easter

 I set our Easter breakfast table the night before so the Podlings would come down in the morning and discover the goodies left by the Easter bunny. (Pardon the mismatched chair. One of our dining room chairs is in a bad way and needs to be repaired by someone more skilled than us)

The Easter bunny was very generous to the Podlings this year. In addition to the Easter basket of goodies, they also got some Easter stickers and a small plush toy.

Easter is a good excuse to fill your home with fresh Spring flowers

The table in the corner of the dining room holds my Easter tree, as well as a basket of our newly decorated eggs.

The Easter bunny remembers mothers too. It's not Easter without a Lindt chocolate bunny!

Colouring Eggs

Paula's step by step guide to colouring eggs with the Podlings

Step 1. Assemble your children in the kitchen

Step 2. Gather the egg dyeing paraphernalia.
(We were lucky this year as we had some proper egg colouring dye papers that the Podlings' grandparents brought back from Germany. I have never had such vibrant colours in our eggs before. We have decided to send Nanna and Grandad to Germany again next year to get more dye papers!) 

Step 3. Boil your eggs. Your children will get very bored at this point and wander off. You conclude that you should have done Step 3 before Step 1.

Step 4. Put one dye paper and 2 tablespoons of vinegar in half a pint of boiling water. Pop your hot eggs in and leave them until you get the depth of colour you desire. Accept that your kitchen will smell of vinegar for the rest of the afternoon!

 Step 5. Find some way of distracting your children while waiting for the eggs to cool enough to be handled. We worked through our Easter Story Sticker Book,

 Step 5. Decorate your eggs. We used the German Easter transfers, as well as some normal stickers. Let the baby have a go! If you prefer, you can take the completed egg away from the baby as soon as she has finished decorating it. Alternatively, you could do what I did and let her drop it on the floor and crack it.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

An afternoon in the park

Mark was working from home today, so he was able to drop the Podlings and me at a local park where we spent a lovely afternoon enjoying the glorious weather. The blossom was in full bloom, the Podlings were relaxed and happy and I took a lot of photographs. It was a perfect afternoon.

 Tom climbing trees
A rare shot of the Podlings sitting together. I was waving above the camera to get the Podlings to look my way, so Emma is waving back in this picture. I'll take what I can get! 

Emma and Lily watching the fish in the pond.

Breathtaking blossom


The Podling Three

Tom at 6 1/2 years 

Lily at 4 years 10 months 

Emma at 21 months