Saturday, 26 September 2009


A day late again, whoops!

Friday, 25 September 2009


I know it's a day late - sorry. Been soooo busy this week.

But here is our first conker of the season (a horse-chestnut - and its chestnut coloured, double whammy!) and my beautiful chestnut-brown-eyed boy.

He refused to put down the pen - he loves my whiteboard markers for drawing big pictures on coloured paper and using his stencils (more about them later.)
Will be back later with the final instalment of colour week - Plum.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


Day 3 of Colour week and here is my offering for Goldenrod.

We planted pumpkin and sunflower seeds in May and this is the only survivor - one lone pumpkin plant. And it's not looking particularly healthy at that!

We don't seem to have much luck when growing from seed - I wonder what we're doing wrong?

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Burnt Sienna

Too tired to talk - not long back from work (school open evening).
I will be more chatty tomorrow I promise.
Hooray for day 2 of colour week!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Brick Red

Meg over at Elsie Marley is hosting a colour week inspired by Crayola colours and the imminent arrival of Autumn.

Today is Brick Red - so here's my contribution.

Father Christmas bought this American style trailer and the wooden blocks for Harper's 2nd Christmas a few years ago.
It is one of my favourite toys of theirs - the kind you don't mind lying around because it looks so great.

Tune in tomorrow for Burnt Sienna.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Dylan's first day

Well, we finally have Dylan here at home with us. We collected him from the breeder today (nightmare journey with two whinging kids and a car about to overheat at any moment - but worth it) and he is so adorable.

I've never had a pet rabbit before. Not only is he beautiful (and softer than anything I've ever felt before) but he's also really friendly and loves his nose strokes and nose kisses!

We let him settle into his cage for a while and have just left the door open this evening. Lo and behold he ventured out and has been exploring all evening.

We love him and he is part of the family already.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Apple flapjacks

I made these today and they are really delicious.

As my new schoolboy has insisted on packed lunches, I have vowed to make a batch of biscuits/bars/cakey things every Sunday to put into lunchboxes.
I've been looking for recipes with a healthy slant and, yes I know, flapjacks are full of butter and sugar (that's way they taste sooooo good!), but they do contain oats and these ones have apple in too. In my book, anything homemade, (no matter how many naughty ingredients are in there) is better than ready made biscuits and snacks piled high with preservatives, additives and goodness knows what else.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, these are amazing.

We were given a big bag of cooking apples and I wanted to use them in some way. I found the perfect recipe here, (I used cinnamon) and believe me - have I mentioned how scrummy they are?

The layer of grated apple (squeeze excess juice out before you use it) goes all gooey once cooked and when mixed with the cinnamon and oats, well what can I say - what a great combination.

To me (I know we're not quite there yet) this is the quintessential taste of Autumn.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Goodbye Summer

As a teacher, September always signals a fresh start for me. Back to school tomorrow (its a PD day) , restocked with plenty of new red pens and ready to get my teeth stuck in.

My son (who starts on Tuesday) has his new uniform labelled and hanging up, and his shiny new shoes all ready to go.

I have to say, after seven long weeks of holiday, I am looking forward to it. I have the utmost respect for full-time stay-at-home Mums, it really is hard work. As much as I have loved spending time with my boys this Summer, it makes me realise how happy I am with the balance I have. Three days of work a week is perfect for me. It sounds ridiculous (and I am sure I will be retracting this after a few weeks!) but I miss the feeling of coming home exhausted and satisfied after a hard day's work.

So, it's goodbye to the Summer and hello to routine and the Autumn term.

Summer 2009

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

When I need cheering up....

I watch this.

Everybody looks so happy. It always gets me jigging.
It must be the Irish blood in me!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Roald Dahl

My eldest son has just about reached the age where he can start to enjoy longer story books. By 'longer' I mean books that have chapters and a few well-placed black and white illustrations - you know the kind. Books that take a few weeks (or even months) to read aloud chapter by chapter, and require him (and me!) to remember what happened in the previous chapters.

We have just finished The BFG by Roald Dahl - which I loved as a child. It was quite a slog at times. The Big Friendly Giant has quite a unique use of language which (although hilarious to an adult) can be quite tricky and tongue-twistering (there's a unique use of language if ever I saw one!) when you are reading aloud to a small boy. My son had to stop me several times to complain because he couldn't understand what the BFG was saying - so I did simplify the dialogue at times. (The BFG's language was apparently inspired by the way Roald Dahl's wife mixed up her words after suffering from a brain tumour). But we enjoyed it, it is a great story, and what a sense of accomplishment we felt when we finished that wonderful final chapter this afternoon.

We have now moved onto The Twits, which I am glad to say is much easier to understand for an almost 5 year old boy. It is also a joy to read out loud, and very funny to boot.

The Twits is quite a short book, so we have already decided that our next adventure will be with Fantastic Mr Fox. Partly inspired by the film due out shortly, (check out the trailer here) and also because I never read it as a child.

It is safe to say that Roald Dahl is widely regarded as one of the greatest children's authors ever - and his books continue to inspire and delight children everywhere. Not just a writer for children though, I was given a copy of this book a few Christmas's ago and it has to be one of my favourite books. It is great to just dip into as well as the fact that every story has a little surprise hidden inside.