Wednesday, 23 July 2008

What Does Your Morning Look Like?

Here's a little baby one, two three
Sits in his highchair, what does he see?
He sees his mother pouring hot porrige in a bowl
And his father at the doorway with a bucketful of coal

from Peepo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

I think of this poem, from one of our favourite books, as I pour hot porrige into our bowls each morning.

Being not a very good morning person my creativity hasn't kicked in by breakfast time. Our breakfasts are healthy but simple. (We do venture out a little on the weekends - after a good sleep-in.)

I can't quite ever believe those talented girls who managed to come up with a year's worth of different images, every morning. Day in, day out our's would look pretty similar to this.

It is a nice image though. What does your morning look like?

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeasy

Since finding out more about Edward's allergies I have been looking for/developing some totally dairy free recipes. The milk component is easy to substitute with rice or soy milk but the butter component is a little trickier. I have been focusing on recipes with oil or melted butter(which I substitute with oil).

One of the benefits of such recipes is that they are extremely easy to put together. The throw-it-all-in-and-mix type. I now have a few recipes which I thought I would share. Not so much because they are dairy free, but because they are so so easy.

Really, after reading these recipes there is simply no excuse for not home baking. They all take less than 10 minutes to put together! So easy in fact, my girls often make them. The other thing about the recipes which I love is that they all taste great with wholemeal flour and raw sugar which I try to use wherever possible.

The first is a lemon cake recipe, sometime this week I will share my chocolate cake and muffin recipe.

Lemon Cake

2 cups self-raising flour
½ cup caster sugar
Finely grated zest 1 lemon
Juice of lemon
3 eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup olive oil

1 cup icing sugar
Juice 1 lemon

Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C. Lightly grease a 20cm round cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.
Sift flour into a large bowl, put in all other ingredients and mix together.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cooked when tested. Stand in pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

ICING. Meanwhile, sift icing sugar into a small bowl. Add enough juice to make a smooth, spreadable consistency. Drizzle over cake. Stand until icing sets.
Adapted From Womans Day By Kathryn Parker

See those rays of sunlight shining on the cake? They are the only glimpses that we have all day and magically they appeared at school pick-up time. We enjoyed the walk home in the golden glow.

Look, here is more of it.

Oh, and what is that mark on my windows? Ahhh, little people's finger prints. Just as well you weren't under the illusion I was a total domestic goddess!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Little Boy Blue

My baby has moved into a big boy bed and I have finally finished decorating his room in the way I have always intended - two years on!

I painted the room a lovely pale blue (please don't ask for the colour, I mixed it myself) and I got the first coat on one evening, at about the mad hour of 5:30. And the other coat at 5:30 the next morning. Oh what crazy efforts I go to when I finally decide something has to be done then and there.

I wanted the room to be fresh and light; pale blue, red and white with touches of navy from the airplane quilt and brown from the cowboy quilt.

I actually managed to find a quilt cover that matched the quilts and I liked. But it was only available in a double bed size, so I trimmed it down and had a bit of extra fabric to play with. I love the style of the large cushion that I made and have since made one for each of the girls beds. It covers up the messier pillow behind and because it is quilted and has the flange/border it sits perfectly.

This little outfit was a very special present from one of my best friends.

I love the red frames on blue walls I have had these little Rupert prints since I was about fifteen. The trucks were Steve's when he was little.

The little kitchen was a recent find at a second hand shop. A very popular addition to our home.

And I am happy to say that this room actually looks like this most of the time. The bed is easy to make, boys toys seem so much easier than girls toys to pack up and the storage is fabulous. I know as he gets older it won't always be this tidy, but for now I am enjoying it.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Bitten by the Bug

Thank you for all of the lovely well wishes for Edward and our week. It all went very well. We didn't find the answers we were looking for but at least we ruled out the serious stuff. We are still searching.

We felt very relieved to have the tests out of the way and have had wonderful couple of weeks since. How delicious are school holidays, even the winter ones. The camp went well, and catching up with our friends was so good. In between, there has been a bit of time to create.

All I can say is that both my girls are now addicted to sewing. Yep, bitten by the sewing bug that will probably haunt them for the rest of their lives. I taught Ella to use the sewing machine a couple of years ago. The first thing she sewed was one of Heather Bailey's headbands. A wonderful starting point; straight lines, pivoting and nice and quick.

Now is was Kitty's turn. The girls both sewed their own pyjama pants. Ella's, out of some sweet Scottie Dog flannelet from Spotlight.

And Kate, a more summery pair from some beautiful cotton that my mum has had in her sewing cupboard since I can remember.

I helped Kate with the waistband and we did my usual 'paperbag' band which I think looks so much prettier.

They are both so proud and haven't worn anything else since, to bed that is! (Kitty wears a flannelet pair over her pants. It is winter after all)

The machine has been up for a few days now and the mornings have started with 'its my turn, no it's my turn'. Can you believe they are fighting over MY sewing machine. My mum would laugh!