Friday, 4 November 2011

What to do with Pumpkin

I hope everybody had a good pumpkin day!

Here are a few highlights from our Halloween:

It was our kitten Ben's first Halloween. He wasn't quite sure what to make of our Jack-O-Lanterns.  It was also Preston's first Halloween.  He ate pumpkin puree (he loved it, but I don't think he's tried a food he hasn't liked yet), tried eating pumpkins whole, and slept right through trick or treating.
I think he was watching for trick-or-treaters.

Remember how obsessed with Diggers my daughter Anya is?  She drew the little red picture of a Digger on it (she did no-knife decorating first) and then I carved the Digger according to her instructions.  Anya dressed up as a pumpkin because the only thing she loves more than diggers is the color orange.

This is one of the Harry Potter pumpkins my husband carved.  Carving pumpkins is so much easier when we swipe his wood carving tools.  Seriously, it would be worth getting some just for Halloween.  I had big plans for a Gruffalo inspired jack-o-lantern, but ran out of time.  Maybe next year.

This was Miriam's Hello Kitty jack-o-lantern.  She drew on it first and then I carved it for her.  I'm sorry that we didn't photograph this one straight away because you can't see any of the details in this photo, but it did have a cute face and everything.  I particularly like the three tiny mice that she added to the side.

After having a fabulous Halloween, we were overflowing with pumpkin.  We've had pumpkin lasagna, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie (both sweet and savoury), pumpkin in curry and chili and stew, and--the most popular pumpkin invention--pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Best pumpkin idea ever (except maybe jack-o-lanterns, but it's a close one to call).

For my recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, click here.  These are seriously addictive and my whole family LOVES them.  Plus you can feel a bit better about making cookies because they're vegetabley.  (Just ignore all the butter and sugar and remember that the pumpkin is healthy.)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
They didn't last long.

Next up: Bonfire night.  Don't you just love autumn holidays?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Halloween Trick or Treat Etsy Sale!

Happy Halloween everybody!!!

We have a household full of pumpkins (which we've been slowly eating, so expect pumpkin recipes soon), multiple costume choices, and are just generally excited about Halloween.

I hope that y'all have a fantastic Halloween with lots of fun and good food and pumpkins.  To celebrate Halloween, I'm giving you a special Halloween treat.  You can use the code HAPPYHALLOWEEN2011 at our Etsy Shop to get 20% off of any order!

The newest item in the Hidden Domestic Etsy Shop.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Another Etsy Addition

A little preview of another mobile I made.  I think this one is my favourite so far because there's so much detailing on it.  To see the rest of it on Etsy, click here.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

My newest Etsy addition: Heart Mobile

I've gone a bit crazy for mobiles lately, and not just because I have a baby.  They make great household decorations (seriously) and I really enjoy making them.  This hand-sewn heart is at the center of a mobile I just added to Etsy (more coming soon).  You can see it (or order it) on Etsy here:
So there's my craftiness for the day.
We had a great day (including taking the kids swimming) so I hope you're all having a lovely autumn's day as well.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

My Take on French Toast

Brunch will never be the same again.

I love Chopped, but it seems like lately all the chefs can make is French Toast.  The past several episodes that we've seen have had a dessert round where one of the chefs makes French Toast.  (Usually the other chef makes a Neapolitan.)  So to all chefs who consider going on Chopped, this is for you.

French Toast is not a dessert.  It is a breakfast or brunch food.  In fact, it's a rather delicious way to start the day.

So here's my take on French Toast.

1. Beat together eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and powdered sugar with a whisk. 

The better your ingredients are, the better your French Toast will be.  For luxurious French Toast, use fresh, free-range, organic, local eggs (room temperature).  Use organic and/or filtered milk (I've used vanilla soy milk before).  You can really splurge with real vanilla that you scrape from the pods, or just make sure to get vanilla extract and not vanilla flavouring. 

Using powdered (confectioner's) sugar means that you won't have any graininess from the sugar and can get a great melt-in-your-mouth consistency on the inside of your French Toast.  Just sieve in a little to the batter.

2. Soak your bread in the wet mixture. 

Slightly stale breads often work well in French Toast because they can suck up the moisture.  I used a apple, walnut, and rye loaf that we had bought at the market from a local artisan baker.

3.  Cook in a frying pan on medium heat.  If you want extra yumminess, cook with some butter in the pan.

4.  Serve with butter and syrup.  We served by stacking two slices with cream cheese in the middle and topping with vanilla cream, strawberries and dark chocolate shavings.

5. Share and enjoy.  We made it and then all piled back into bed for breakfast.  Delicious, even if the kids got syrup on our bed ;)

Monday, 10 October 2011

Let them eat pie.

Welcome to autumn!  We had an unexpected end of summer heatwave.  In fact, the hottest day of the year here was in late September!  Now, though, the days are noticeably getting shorter and cooler.  It's autumn and I have to admit to being a bit excited by it.  I have always loved autumn, and we get some great autumn produce.  We're getting loads of fresh apples, and the girls have settled into their new classes at school and preschool.

Cooler weather means that we can start enjoying all of the autumn food that we haven't eaten in awhile.  Savoury pies are very popular in this house, and make a good warming dinner on a cool, dark evening.  We spent a day making a whole big batch of pies together.  We ate two over the next couple of days, and put the rest in the freezer to pull out later.

We started off by making several batches of pastry.  I have naturally cold hands so I have an advantage at pastry making and am pretty proud of how well it turned out.
For my tips on making perfect pie pastry, click here.

Then we made several types of filling.  We didn't follow any recipes, so I won't give you exact recipes here.  We just made them up based on what we had and what sounded good.

Jared did make one pie with a meaty filling....any guesses what's in it?

The vegetarian pie that we ate first was a mushroom pie.  It had big organic chestnut mushrooms in it along with some other veggies and a home-made gravy.

They were delicious, and the best part is that we still have more pies in the freezer (including a butternut squash pie and a broccoli cheese pie). 

Friday, 30 September 2011

The Romsey Show

the Romsey Show 2011

I don't know about you, but I love a good fair.  I love the old-fashioned community atmosphere with farmers showing off their livestock, home-baked goodies, little rides for the kids, and entertainment.  The Romsey Show takes place every year near us, and it's a lot of fun for the whole family.

the Romsey Show 2011
(picture taken by my husband)
 There were so many things to look at and enjoy, and I think we all had our own favorites.  Miriam loved getting to make a clay horse (it will be on display soon); Anya loved seeing live bats at the bat hospital and then making a bat puppet; Preston liked napping in the stroller as we walked around, and Jared says he liked all of it.  My favorite was seeing all of the traditional crafts.  It made me want to learn how to do things like spin and weave, make ceramics, and work with felt.  I'm adding a whole list of these things to my list of things to try one day.  Until then, I really enjoyed seeing other people's beautiful creations and the way that these traditional skills and art forms are being passed on and used.

Romsey Show 2011

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Eiffel Tower Apron

I love taking part in the Secret Post Club.  You never know what you're going to get or what great new blogs you'll discover. 

My last Secret Post Club swap introduced me to the great blog Blackbird has Spoken.  On the blog, I noticed some references to cooking, and some pictures of an Eiffel Tower collection.  So I decided to make her a apron with the Eiffel tower on it.

Not all of the stitches are even, and I really should have ironed it before taking a picture, but I'm pretty happy with the end result.  In fact, I was a bit sad to part with it.  Luckily I saw the pictures of the beautiful macarons that Max made (possible, of course, because of her new French apron), and that just made my day.

I'm thinking I may get started on some more aprons...maybe as Christmas gifts for people...

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

3 Cakes & a 3rd Birthday

Strawberry & Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake for my sister-in-law's 17th birthday.  Happy Birthday Bea!

Orange & Chocolate Cake (decorated with cars for my daughter Anya's 3rd birthday.  I can't believe she's 3 and starting preschool this week!)

Orange & Chocolate Digger Cake (for my daughter's 3rd birthday party--it was Digger themed; She had a fantastic birthday!)

Orange Chocolate Birthday Cake Recipe:
2 2/3 cup plain (all purpose) flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp orange essence
1/2 tbsp orange food coloring
2 bars chopped chocolate or about 1 cup chocolate chips
1. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until the batter is smooth and well blended.
2. Pour into greased and floured cake tins (bakes best if you make multiple smaller cakes and stack rather than one large cake)
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 F/350 C for about 25 minutes (baking time depends on the size tins used, so check regularly. When a knife can be poked in and comes out clean, it's finished).
4. Let cool then decorate as desired

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A Day Trip to the New Forest

Since we're not going out of town anywhere this summer, we've been trying to make the most of day trips with the kids.  It's actually been a lot of fun and requires a lot less packing.

We're lucky to live near the beautiful New Forest,  so I recently enjoyed a day out there with the kids.  We packed a picnic, put Indigo Girls on, and set off.  I let Miriam navigate (no, she can't read maps yet or read fast enough for road signs as we drive past...she just picked whichever direction took her fancy).  It turned out to be a good choice as we discovered the New Forest Reptile Centre.  I had no idea that such a place existed, but it turned out to be good fun as we tried to spot the various frogs, lizards, and other animals.

There was also a RSPB centre there.  We went in and learned about wildlife in the New Forest and the different types of birds that live in the area.  Miriam made friends with all of the volunteers by telling them about the bird boxes at her school and our bird feeders at home.  Soon she had them stroking her invisible unicorn ponies (her version of an imaginary friend) and letting them play with the wooden display birds.

We decided to try out the "reptile trail" as well.  No, there weren't any reptiles (that we could see anyway).  It was a nice hike to do with young children, though, as there was a flat, easy-to-follow trail.  We found some little houses made out of sticks that the girls were thrilled about, and enjoyed spotting different plants and birds.  Anya was good at finding logs to rest on and sticks to use as pretend phones.  Even though it wasn't far from home, it really felt like we were enjoying nature and somewhere different.  As Miriam summed up, "It's pretty in the New Forest, and sometimes it's important to be alone and just see the trees and things.  It makes me feel happy."

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Rainy Summer Days

 When I think of summer time, I usually think of sunny days, barbecues, and swimming pools.  I think of the childhood summer feeling when you're free from school and feel like the warm weather can never end.  Not all summer days are sunny though.  In fact, I love a good thunderstorm, and even in the summer (especially here) you can get cooler rainy days.  After a good day of rain the air just smells cleaner and everything looks a bit brighter and greener again.

Shopping on a recent rainy day, I found some celeriac (also known as celery root) reduced down to just a few pence.  Not sure what I was going to do with it, I bought it and brought it home.  Watching the rain trickle down the windows, it felt like a soup kind of a day.  So here's my celeriac soup for a rainy summer day.

Celeriac Soup Recipe

1. Put a knob of butter and dash of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat.

2. Chop and add a shallot (you can substitute any variety of onion if you don't have shallot, or omit completely).  Let it start to sweat.

3. Chop and add one celeriac (I peeled it first).  Add any other root vegetables you want to include as well (I added several peeled and chopped potatoes and a couple carrots).

4. Stirring regularly, let the vegetables cook and soften.  If they get dry, start adding a little stock (I used vegetable stock, but you could use chicken stock).

5. When the vegetables are getting soft, puree them (I used a hand blender and did it with them in the pan).  Then add the rest of the stock (about 2 pints, but you can add more or less depending on how thick you want your soup). 

6. Season to taste with salt and pepper (best with roughly ground black pepper and sea salt).

7. Serve and enjoy.  If desired, finish off by adding a little creme fraiche or yogurt (or cream if you feel indulgent).

We ate the soup with home-made croutons.  They are delicious and so easy to make.

Rosemary Croutons

1. Preheat oven to about 400F/200C. 

2. Roughly chop up a loaf (not pre-sliced) of bread into cubes.  I used a home-made loaf of bread (it was a mixture of white and wholemeal flour with added poppy seeds).

3. Put the bread and some sprigs of rosemary in a large pan.  Coat lightly with olive oil.

4. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and black pepper.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes.  They should be crispy and light.

6. Serve with soup or salad.  Or just eat them.  These turned out to be so delicious that my daughter Anya stole the bag of leftover croutons from the kitchen.  She carried them around with her as her new favorite snack, and absolutely refused to let anyone else taste one.  It took all of our parenting skills to convince her that she could not bring the bag of croutons to bed with her.

Recently I discovered two new blogs thanks to Secret Post Club.  I love taking part in this gift swap.  First off, it's always nice to get a surprise present.  It's also kind of fun to be exposed to new blogs, make cyber friends, and snoop around people's blogs to try to figure out what the perfect gift would be for them that month.

Thank you to Living Abroad for the cute baby clothes.  Preston's already gotten lots of wear out of them and they are a perfect fit.  I like the mix of book reviews, pictures, and family tidbits in your blog. 

I got to play elf for 'Cross the Pond.  As you can see, I sent off a chocolate recipe book and some chocolate molds (because who doesn't like chocolate).  I also included a cd mix.  I'd put the mix together when in the kitchen, and called it Baking on a Rainy Day.  If you want to know my rainy day playlist (and hopefully hers now too), here it is:

1. Fixing Her Hair, Ani DiFranco
2. Lady on the Water, Blitzen Trapper
3. You Still Hurt Me, William Fitzsimmons
4. Broken Telephone, The Be Good Tanyas
5. Bracket WI, Bon Iver
6. What Are We Gonna Do, Brenda Weiler
7. Such Great Heights, Iron & Wine
8. The Luckiest, Ben Folds
9. Beach Baby, Bon Iver
10. Original Sinsuality, Tori Amos
11. Judas, Antje Duvekot
12. Just Not Each Other, William Fitzsimmons
13. The Awakening, Jennifer Nettles Band
14. Dilate, Ani DiFranco
15. Pearls, Antje Duvekot
16. Human Thing, The Be Good Tanyas
17. Decide, April Messervy
18. Wish for the Sun, Brenda Weiler
19. Come Away With Me, Norah Jones
20. Lit Elephants, Madeline

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A long overdue post on brownies...

Everyone has a stand-by recipe.  You know the kind that I mean.  A recipe that you know will turn out every time.  The kind of recipe that you don't need any special ingredients for and that can be made at any time.  If you need to bring a potluck item, this is the recipe you automatically turn to.  For me, my most dependable stand-by is brownies.  They are easy to make and turn out perfectly every time.  Brownies are always popular and you can make a lot of variations on them (like cookie dough brownies). Somehow I've never gotten around to blogging my brownies recipe, so here it is.  I hope your family loves it as much as mine does.


1/2 cup butter (soft but not melted)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F.  Butter and flour the pan (about 6 x 6 is good, but be flexible--it just means thicker or thinner brownies if you use a different size).
2. Put all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Mix by hand until blended (don't over mix).
3. Bake for about 30 minutes.  I like mine still gooey in the middle.

We last made brownies for a school fundraiser.  My daughter's school has an annual summer fair as a fund raiser, and they have donated treats for a cake stand and prizes.  We go to support her school, but it's actually a great community event.  There's a different theme each year (this year was pirates), but there are always a wide variety of activities including pony rides, hot air balloon rides, bouncy castles, live music, barbecue, and much more.  Even if you don't have kids, find out if your local schools have similar fundraising events (most primary schools do).  They're a lot of fun and all of the proceeds go to a good cause.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Catching Up & Moving On

First of all, Happy 100!  This is my 100th post on Hidden Domestic!  I started blogging two years ago (give or take a few weeks).  A lot of recipes, craft projects, and rambling later, here we are.  Post #100.  Thanks to everybody for your visits to the site, feedback & comments, etc.

In 100 posts, the one thing that I've never had very good luck with is holding a contest.  This last contest was no exception.  I'm really excited about our new Etsy shop, and the prize was any of the baby items in the shop.  Unfortunately nobody entered the competition, so there's no prize to announce.

Looking ahead to the future, that's one thing that I really want to accomplish: a popular contest on Hidden Domestic.  I also look forward to trying out a lot more delicious recipes, making more crafts/art projects/sewing, more field trips, etc.  Maybe I'll even try having a few guest bloggers...what do y'all think?  I really am excited about the possibilities of Etsy, so more of the things we make and blog about might end up on there.

Even though I've made it up to 100 posts now (wow!), there are so many things that I mean to blog about and forget to photograph or just don't get around to actually posting.  One of the things I've been meaning to blog about all month is the 4th of July.  So here are a few thoughts on our 4th.

To me, the 4th of July calls for a picnic or --even better--a barbecue.  There's nothing like a nice sunny Independence Day with spicy bbq smoke in the air, kids running around with watermelon slices and the red juice running down their arms, and sparklers.  No matter where you live, you can find a great picnic or bbq spot.  We bbq'd in the back yard and had all the great picnic food standards: cole-slaw, potato salad, green salad, watermelon, burgers & veggie burgers, hot dogs (Quorn), etc.  The weather was perfect for it and the girls kept jumping in the paddling pool and then running back to the table for more food.

For dessert we made smores.  We make smores every summer, and try out variations from the very simple to sophisticated desserts based on smores.  This year we bought the cookies/crackers (we tried out a few different types) and chocolate, but used homemade marshmallow.  In honor of the 4th of July, we made red, white, and blue marshmallow cream.  We "browned" it with the kitchen blow torch (fabulous gadget similar to this one BonJour Creme Brulee Chef's Culinary Torch with Fuel Gauge, Brushed Aluminum).

The marshmallow cream is actually pretty easy to make and tastes way better than the store bought stuff. We used the recipe from Wren's Cottage and it turned out beautifully.  I really love what a glossy finish the marshmallow cream gets.  We just made plain vanilla marshmallows and then added food coloring for the patriotic effect, but you could experiment with different flavors too.  Just don't add too much extra liquid as it will change the consistency.

I have to admit that the smores were pretty addictive.  For several days after the 4th I didn't seem to make it through the kitchen without stopping for a little smore (or maybe just a spoonful of the marshmallow cream).

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Baby Clothes Competition

Don't forget about the Hidden Domestic competition going on now.

Here are the lovely prizes:

You can pick any one of the items in the Etsy shop, or I can make a new item especially for the winner (featuring your child's name, for example).

Here are the competition details:

To enter:
1) Look at Etsy and then comment on this post saying what you think of our new Etsy shop.
2) Place an order with us on Etsy.
3) Follow The Hidden Domestic.
4) Follow me on Twitter (@KeriWithington)
5) Tweet about the competition or shop (must include a link).
6) Like the Hidden Domestic on Facebook (click here)

You can do just one of these or all of them; I'll give you an entry each. Just leave a comment here and let me know which ones you've done so that I make sure to count all of your entries. Just to be fair, if you're already a follower you get an entry for that too as long as you let me know.

Good luck everybody!

Also, Thank You Thank You Thank You to Lisa for being my secret elf and sending me cooking magazines!  I'm enjoying flipping through them and look forward to trying out some ideas I'm getting.  Lisa's blog is Lisa's Adventures.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


If you've been reading the Hidden Domestic for awhile, you know that we really like making things.  When I was pregnant with our newborn son, Preston, I started sewing and customizing baby things for him.  I enjoyed having a few minutes of quiet time every evening to sew.  In fact, now I find myself often picking up a little sewing project after his big sisters have gone to bed and Preston's having his evening nap.  Now that his wardrobe is overflowing with clothes, I've decided to branch out and make clothes for other kids too.

Enter Etsy.  The Hidden Domestic has set up an Etsy shop!  It's still small and only has baby clothes on it, but may branch out eventually into other things.  Please visit and let us know what you think.  I LOVE Etsy and all of the amazing home-made and vintage items on there, so make sure to have a browse around some other shops there too.

Click here to go to the Hidden Domestic on Etsy.

Also, I'm running a competition to celebrate the new Etsy shop.  The winner will get a free baby item (decorated vest or sleepsuit similar to the ones in the shop).

To enter:
1) Look at Etsy and then comment on this post saying what you think of our new Etsy shop.
2) Place an order with us on Etsy.
3) Follow The Hidden Domestic.
4) Follow me on Twitter (@KeriWithington)
5) Tweet about the competition or shop (must include a link).
6) Like the Hidden Domestic on Facebook (click here)

You can do just one of these or all of them; I'll give you an entry each.  Just leave a comment here and let me know which ones you've done so that I make sure to count all of your entries.  Jus tto be fair, if you're already a follower you get an entry for that too as long as you let me know.

The deadline is Friday the 22nd of July.

Good luck everybody!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Happy June & Secret Post Club

If you want to make any month happy, the first thing you should do is sign up for The Secret Post Club.  Basically a group of bloggers (including me) gets paired up each month.  I'm not sure which I like more: getting a surprise present each month or discovering new blogs and cyber friends and sending them presents.

For June I drew Pants With Names to send a gift to.  I had looked at her blog before, so I was excited to send her a little package.  I didn't have the time or budget this month to do anything big, but I sent her the book "Random Acts of Heroic Love" by Danny Scheinmann.  I'd read it and enjoyed it, and it seemed like something she would enjoy as well.

Inspired by this blog post of hers, I decided to make her a CD as well.  I made sure to include "Jerusalem", and then worked from there.  (Dont' worry--the music is all legal.)  I ended up with a CD that I called "A Little Patriotic".

Here's the cover I made for it:

If you're interested, here's the playlist for it:

1. "Penny Lane", The Beatles
2. "Dublin Boys", Antje Duvekot
3. "Pastures New", Nickel Creek
4. "From the New World", Dvorak
5. "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing", Sufjan Stevens
6. "Landslide", Glee
7. "Life is Wonderful", Jason Mraz
8. "Dance Tonight", Paul McCartney
9. "Rule Britannia", the Rangers
10. "Pomp & Circumstance", Elgar
11. "Is This the World We Created?", Queen
12. "Mad World", Tears for Fears
13. "Independence Day", Ani DiFranco
14. "Nimrod", Elgar
15. "Morning Has Broken", Cat Stevens
16. "Made in England", Elton John
17. "Sleepytime in the Western World", Blitzen Trapper
18. "Come on Home", Indigo Girls
19. "Muddy Hymnal", Iron & Wine
20. "Homeward Bound", Simon & Garfunkel
21. "Jerusalem", Elgar

I'm looking forward to getting my Secret Post Club gift for the month...

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Big Arrival

Little Baby Feet

I'm very happy to let you all know that baby Preston was born on May 3rd.  It was a planned c-section and the birth went really well.  Preston is healthy and I'm recovering well.  He's a happy baby and pretty much the handsomest little boy in the world.  He's the perfect addition to our family.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Being a Proud Spouse...

One of Jared's Carvings in Progress with Tools

I've mentioned a few times before in posts that my husband is a wood carver.  He recently finished his work website.  I know I'm biased, but I think his site looks good and I'm really proud of him for finishing it (especially right now when we're busy with a newborn). 

If you're interested, feel free to visit his new site: .

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Happy (Belated) Birthday to Me!

After my last several posts, most of you are probably waiting for baby news.  He was born, he's perfect, & I'll post more soon.  For now, though, I'm backtracking a few weeks to say Happy Birthday to me.  You can sing & send me presents if you want because it was my 30th!

Jared helped the girls to make me a birthday cake.  Miriam was adamant that I wanted a butterfly cake, and since Anya was helping it had to involve both chocolate and sprinkles.  They made a chocolate brownie cake in our fabulous silicone cake mold (similar to this one: Hamilton Beach Professional Silicone Butterfly Cake Pan).  The girls did the mixing, measuring, and taste testing. 

After it was baked, Jared rolled out marzipan & covered the cake with it.  Then he melted dark chocolate (my favorite) and covered the marzipan with that.  Then he let the girls go crazy with the sprinkles and edible glitter.  They also added sparkler candles (they were pretty impressive mini indoor fireworks actually), although luckily they didn't try to fit on a full 30 candles.  To make the butterfly complete they even made little antenna with chocolate covered marzipan balls. 

I loved watching them work on it together, and the end result was delicious.  The girls were very proud of their birthday cake for me.

I had a really nice birthday enjoying good food and having fun with my family. 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Counting down...

I'm now due in less than a month.  This means that every time I go in public, random strangers ask how much longer I have left to go.  I'm huge and I'm pretty sure I waddle instead of walk.  Most of all, though, I'm getting really impatient to meet this little boy.

We've been getting things ready for him to be born.  I know I've posted a few baby sewing projects on here before, and here are two more things that I customized for him.

Anya (our two-year-old) loves the band They Might Be Giants.  She's particularly obsessed with the song "Robot Parade" (click here to listen to it).  She requested that I make "robot parade" baby clothes, so that's what I added to this little sleepsuit.  (The pictures aren't brilliant on these because Anya kept trying to grab the clothes and sing and dance with them.)

Both of the girls are really excited to have a baby brother, so I made this vest/onesie with a simple "Baby Brother" slogan.  Miriam was particularly excited as she's learning to read and could figure out what it said on her own. 

Monday, 4 April 2011

Mothering Sunday & Being Spoiled

One of my bouquets

Card Miriam made for me
I always get extra spoiled when it comes to Mother's Day.  The reason why is simple.  In the UK, Mothering Sunday is celebrated on a different day than Mother's Day in the States.  So I get not one, but two mother's days (although we usually put more emphasis on one than the other). 

Yesterday was Mothering Sunday, or Mother's Day, and I definitely got spoiled.  Jared and the girls got up early.  While I slept in, they cleaned the kitchen and cooked breakfast.  Then they brought me breakfast in bed, a whole stack of cards (I love the home-made ones from the girls), chocolates, and two flower arrangements.  They all piled into bed with me and we enjoyed croissants, juice, hot chocolate, and fresh melon together.  Both of the girls were very excited about Mother's Day and kept giving me hugs and kisses.

I had a really lovely day and felt very spoiled by all of them.

I hope all of you parents around the world who read my blog have a fantastic day for Mother's/Father's Day (no matter when you celebrate it).

Beautiful flowers & foliage from the garden