Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The morning of Lily's birthday

Waiting for the birthday girl 

Lily's birthday fell on a Sunday this year, which meant that we were able to enjoy a lovely family day together. She awoke very early and in great excitement! She opened her presents and cards straight away and then enjoyed a breakfast of ham (she loves meat for breakfast) followed by pink doughnuts. Lily chose to go to the beach for her birthday this year, so once breakfast was finished I got on with packing our bags whilst she played with her new things. She was particularly enamoured of the Melissa and Doug cupcake set that her Nanny and Grandad gave her and she loved the camera she received from us. She packed several of her new toys to take to the beach with her, including her new doll's crib with a set of bedding that I made to go in it. She didn't play with them when we got to the beach, but I suppose she didn't want to leave her new things behind!

Lily opening her presents 

A rare treat, doughnuts for breakfast. 

Lily playing with her cupcake decorating set, a gift from her grandparents. She really loves this toy and it has already been played with a lot.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A Jubilee Skirt for Lily

Lily's school are celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee tomorrow by putting on a little entertainment for parents and then having a big picnic with us all on the school field. We've all been told to wear red, white and blue and Lily's class were told to try and wear something in appropriate colours for their little performance. I ordered this colourful Union Jack fabric and made this Jubilee skirt for Lily last night. It has a red ribbon hem and red, white and blue ribbons at the waist and looks, I think, appropriately festive! Lily loves the look of the skirt, but her one complaint was that it didn't can't win them all I suppose!

We have tickets to some Olympic events later in the summer, so I thought this skirt would be great for her to wear to those. She will look adorably patriotic as she cheers on Team GB at the football in July, and then again at the volleyball in London later in the same month (though we don't yet know who we will be watching for that). I have enough fabric to make a matching skirt for Emma, so I hope I can find time to make that before tomorrow. I'm meeting myself coming back this week, so I don't yet know if it will happen by then, but it has to be done. How cute would they look in matching Jubilee skirts!


The Well-Dressed Gentleman

Mark's brother is getting married on Saturday and we are naturally all very excited. Lily and Emma will be bridesmaids, so their outfits have been organised by Kelly, the lovely bride-to-be. They are going to look adorable!

Kelly and Greg wanted Tom to be a pageboy, but Tom said, and I quote, "I'll come to your wedding Uncle Greg, but I'm not doing anything." So that told us! I think he was a little unsure what was involved and was too nervous about it. Mark is going to be an usher, so we thought Tom could help him. An assistant usher if you will!

Being seven is no excuse not to be properly dressed at a wedding, so I ordered Tom this adorable three piece suit and cravat and it arrived this morning. I am so pleased with it! Tom is going to look like such a handsome little gentleman and I can't wait to see him in it. We'll have to persuade a few more people to get married so he can wear it again before he outgrows it!


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Now We Are Six


A very special little girl celebrated her sixth birthday today...

Happy Birthday Lily!
We love you very much!


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Gardener's Assistant

Emma and I are making the most of the warm weather this week to spend some time outside and get some gardening done. Emma loves to help me put the flowers in the ground, but her favourite thing is to water the garden. She looks rather sweet carrying her trusty watering can around the garden, waiting to be told what to water. We love our outdoor time, my baby and me.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Biddulph Grange Garden

This afternoon we took the Podlings to visit Biddulph Grange Garden. This beautiful Victorian garden is about five miles from where we live, but this is the first time we have visited it. We have been to the nearby Biddulph Grange Country Park several times, but have never quite made it to the actual gardens. I'm sure this was the first of many visits as we had such a lovely time here.

Mark's parents were visiting this afternoon, so they were able to join us for a pleasant afternoon wandering around these impressive gardens. We only saw a portion of the garden today, but since the property is so near to us we will definitely come back again. The Podlings had a fabulous time running around and exploring the hidden nooks and crannies. I only heard portions of their games as they ran around, but there was plenty in the garden to feed their active imaginations. They all loved the enormous Koi in the lake and we had a hard time getting Emma to leave it. In short, we all had a splendid time!

Emma pointing out the fish to her Nanna 

Lily and her Grandad 

The Podlings pretending to be imposing 

Little Man Tom co-operating for photos 

A Thermos for tea...never leave home without it! 


Saturday, 19 May 2012

A nine turtle stack

"So Yertle the Turtle King, lifted his hand
And Yertle, the Turtle King, gave a command.
He ordered nine turtles to swim to his stone
And, using these turtles, he built a new throne.
He made each turtle stand on another one’s back
And he piled them all up in a nine-turtle stack.
And then Yertle climbed up. He sat down on the pile.
What a wonderful view! He could see ‘most a mile!" 
- From 'Yertle the Turtle and other stories' by Dr Seuss

Whenever we go to the garden centre, we always take the Podlings to the aquatic shop to show them the fish. The Podlings love it and it is a lot cheaper than taking them to an aquarium! Watching the turtles provided me with a great deal of  amusement today. Anyone who has read 'Yertle the Turtle' by Dr Seuss will know where I am coming from with this photo. Anyone who hasn't read it will probably wonder why I am posting a blurry photo of a pile of turtles. To them I say...go and read 'Yertle the Turtle', it is a great story and your life will be the better for it.

We love reading Dr Seuss to the Podlings, but being English some the rhymes don't work as well for us as they do for Americans. Mark always comments that you just can't get 'hand' to rhyme with 'command' if you are speaking English properly. But then, Mark is a bit of a stickler for these things and I just tend to enjoy the stories regardless. I never get tired of reading Dr Seuss!


Friday, 18 May 2012

Jubilee Cake Stand

It is no secret that I love cake stands, so imagine my delight when I found this fine specimen at our local Home Bargains for a mere £3.99. The reason for my delight is that I am planning a little Jubilee themed tea for the Podlings the weekend after next and for very little cost this beauty will look wonderful on the table. I have seen cardboard Jubilee cake stands for more than I paid for this ceramic one. The Jubilee celebrations are the same weekend as my brother-in-law's wedding, so I won't have time to do a lot of preparation for it. I plan to keep it quite simple, but a few shop bought cakes on this delightful cake stand ought to strike the right note.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Sleeping Beauty

Emma still has a rest in her cot after lunch every day. She rarely sleeps now, but I think the quiet time does her good so she has a basket of books and a few quiet toys in her cot with her and she is quite content. Every now and then, she will doze off during her rest time. She looked so adorable when I went to get her up from her rest last week that I couldn't resist taking some photos before waking her.


Walks with Emma

Emma and I took advantage of a rare dry morning last week to go for a nice walk in the country behind our house. The field was full of dandelion clocks, so we had lots of fun making sure there will be even more dandelions next year! You've got to hand it to the dandelion, it has just about the best seed dispersal system ever. I love dandelions...just not in my flower beds!

I love daisies! 


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Lily bakes some cakes

Tom was at a friend's house for tea yesterday, so I planned to do some baking with Lily so she didn't feel like she was missing out. I let her choose what to make and she decided to use the Disney princess fairy cake mix she was given for Christmas.

Lily had great fun making the cakes and did a great job reading the instructions on the back of the box. I do a lot of baking, always from scratch. I think I've only ever used a bought cake mix once before and that was years ago, so when I saw the runny batter I was convinced they wouldn't rise. Heaven knows what they put in these cake mixes because they turned out beautifully!

Lily's favourite part is the decorating and she was thrilled with the pink sparkles and edible Princess rice papers in the kit. She proudly gave out the finished fairy cakes to the family and Tom's friend and is now taking a cake to school each day in her packed lunch. I think she enjoyed her little baking session!

Reading the instructions on the box.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Lunch in bed

Lily somehow managed to hurt her neck this morning. She was fine one minute and then for no obvious reason she started crying and was obviously in some considerable discomfort with her neck and couldn't turn her head. We gave her some Calprofen for the pain and she consented to be tucked up in bed to rest.

It obviously hurt her to move, so she was treated to the almost unheard of pleasure of lunch on a tray in bed. You can see from her face what a thrill she found it! She said it should be called Children's Day because Mummy gets food on a tray in bed on Mother's Day.

As the day wore on, her neck gradually improved and by bedtime she seemed to be able to move her head almost normally again, though she still has a little pain. Hopefully it will clear up completely by tomorrow because she was obviously getting quite bored with resting in bed most of the day, despite the obvious perks.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

A Happy Day

“Just the knowledge that a good book is waiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.” - Kathleen Norris 

My husband gives the best birthday presents! For my 35th birthday, Mark renewed my membership to the Folio Society and my books arrived today. Needless to say I was very excited when the delivery van pulled up at the bottom of the drive! I have always believed that a book ought to be as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside and my goodness the Folio Society was created for people like me! Their editions are exquisite, if a little pricey. I feel like I have had a second birthday, so I hope you'll forgive a bibliophile for indulging in a little book worship! I wish all my books were this beautiful!

The complete Chronicles of Narnia  (a childhood favourite). The photo really doesn't do this edition of 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' justice. The collection includes all 350 of the original illustrations by Pauline Baynes.

The Adventures of the Five Children collection by E. Nesbit, which contain 200 classic illustrations by H.R. Millar. I have a weakness for children's classics! 

I have wanted the Folio Edition of 'The Secret Garden' for some time, so I am thrilled to finally have my own copy.  

 It is a beautiful story and it deserves to be in a beautiful binding. Again, the photos really don't do it justice. To really appreciate how lovely these books are you could always have a look at the Folio Society's website.

Thank You Mark!!.