Horseshoe

I kept the horseshoe I was given at our wedding. The sentiment it holds is pure and true but to be honest it’s not the most attractive. I love the idea of horseshoes and always try to have one on hand when we attend a wedding. I made this one last year and I made a personalised tag to add to a silver one I bought from Etsy for Euan and Heather so I had to come up with something new for Fiona.
I browsed Pinterest – no really I did – and found this and thought it would be a nice idea to try. Fiona likes quirky things and vintagey things and I think this is a bit of both.
I dug out old fabric I’d been hoarding keeping for just such a special project. Some was leftover from Grier’s baby quilt and some was literally just tiny scraps. I mostly stuck to yellow, red, white, pink and a touch of blue. Using leftover wire I fashioned a rough horseshoe shape. I wrapped this in craft foam leaving two loops free at each end to tie ribbon around later and wrapped it all in electrical tape. I wonder if I could get a sponsorship for my use of electrical tape in craft projects?
Then I tied, and tied and tied, mixing the colours as I went. I added a ribbon as the handle and trimmed the tails of the scraps so they were all roughly the same length. I didnt’ worry about fraying, I wanted it to look a bit shabby (chic?).
I had a leftover air-dried clay heart from another project so I stamped it with the bride and groom’s initials in red ink to personalise. In hindsight, I perhaps should have added the wedding date to the back?

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And then I commissioned Brodie to fling it at top speed at Auntie Fiona. If that’s not good luck I’m not sure what is.

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Dryer

The tumble dryer is not working. Hardly the end of the world right? The first world problem of a pampered woman at most?
Huh, tell that to my husband. Whom I just hung up on because he didn’t fix it right now. To be fair hanging up was probably the best option as the alternative was screechy swear words and no-one likes to hear that.
Sigh.
I’m exasperated with myself.
There is damp washing everywhere.
It’s too cold to be outside during winter part 3, 2013 and inside there are undone jobs and washing everywhere.

Easter was good though. We painted the kitchen. Luckily for B and G we have friends who love them enough to paint eggs for an egg hunt and grandparents and aunties and uncles who not only shower them with love every day, provide chocolate and presents and chocolate even when their parents are too busy painting to plan cool easter things. The littles were in clover.

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I should probably phone and apologise but maybe a wee chocolate egg first will help…..

I’ve got this down

So recently the balance has shifted. It’s only taken 19 months but I finally feel like I’ve got a handle on having two kids. Well not all the time but pretty close. I feel like we have a good thing B and G. We have an understanding. We only have ‘moments’ when the other child is polishing their halo. We can go places and do things and sometimes nobody cries. We can laugh and sing our way around the supermarket, the littlest Little rocket propelling soft produce into the trolly like her life depended on it. We can eat and drink outside the house with minimal hosing down needed afterwards. We can get from morning when Daddy leaves until bedtime and feel pretty good about all we’ve achieved that day, even if it’s only picking out new books at the library (takes a while).
Of course some days the electronic babysitter is called upon more than is good for us, sometimes I make a nutritious meal nobody eats, sometimes someone has to go and play by themselves for a while and cool down. But none of this seems overwhelming anymore, it feels normal and restorative and challenging and good.
Are you concerned it’s taken us this long to find this balance? It’s not like we weren’t happy before or that things were always chaotic or unpleasant – they definitely were not. But I feel now like I’m captain of this ship, and we can enjoy all the plain sailing and stormy seas which come our way.
captain

What took you so long Mum?

(and seriously you’re claiming to ‘have this down’? Have you seen the state of my clothes?)

One ‘ha penny

Do me a favour and pretend it’s good Friday m’kay?
Because then this post would be perfectly timed.

I baked hot cross buns using this recipe from the Sainsbury’s magazine. I used tinned prunes, drained which worked well and the dark chocolate is a really yummy touch. When I make these again I will up the spices and bake on a lower shelf as they were pretty dark when they were baked through. Definitely not burnt ok?
The dough was wet so next time I would be more cautious when adding the liquid but to be honest I had to add a lot of flour when kneading and they were still soft and doughy, not tough.
I’ve already written this recipe into my old school, pen and paper recipe file so that means it’s definitely a keeper. Husband and child approved.

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Rearfacing

I wrote about carseats here. Tonight when I was getting the kids ready for bed I caught a couple of seconds of this weeks Bang Goes the Theory on BBC 1 about rearfacing seats. There are moves to discuss whether or not we will follow other European countries in adopting laws to ensure our children travel in rearfacing carseats for longer and the programme looks at why that’s a good idea. You can watch it on iplayer here for the next month if you want to see if for yourself (about 15mins into the programme). Will a few years from now rearfacing carseats be the norm and we will look back on forward facing car seats for under 4’s as being akin to the way we all jumbled about the back seat, slithering over each other like eels completely unrestrained? Whilst foward facing carseats are safe and certainly better than the way I travelled as a child rearfacing is safer, resulting in fewer injuries and deaths so let’s just get on with moving things forward, or rearward if you like.

Born Perfect

I was born perfect. The rest is just beliefs that I picked up…I don’t believe them anymore. I choose to believe that I am perfect and whole.” – Caron Goode

I came across this quote recently whilst reading this article. I’m not sure I agree with much of the article but that quote resonated with me something fierce.
My children came into this world as tiny, unblemished little dollops of perfection. Exactly as they were made literally inside me, completely untouched by the outside world. Like a pair of box fresh trainers. Kind of.
And to me they are still that way. Maybe they always will be.
I’m not delusional, contrary to popular opinion.
They are little humans and as all humans do they’re going to mess things up. Probably a lot if they’re anything like the rest of us. But should those mess ups make them less or more? Less perfect or more?
I’ve noticed in these last few years that children notice and emulate everything you do. The bits you wish they would tactfully ignore about your behaviour are the bits they mimic the most effectively. Lose your temper? Witness a near perfect reenactment by your four-year old within hours. Faux swear at inanimate objects? Your 18 month old will take that challenge and raise you a tantrum when the pram wheels go the wrong way. But accordingly be as patient, kind and fair as you can muster and you’ll get that back too. So I think I’m going to try to let go of my lifetime burden of trying to be perfect. If I can let it all go, stop reliving every ‘failure’ I’ve ever lived through I’ll be doing my kids a favour. A clean sheet.

D & F Invitations

Fiona is known for her love of leopard print, she wears it all the time so when she came up with the idea of having leopard print invitations it seemed very fitting!
I pinned a few images for her to see and she really liked a red and leopard invitation so using that I came up with this.
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We used a premade red metallic square pocketfold blank. I could have made these myself of course but using premades was so much easier with a largish guest list.
When it came to the leopard print paper I found a few sources for printed paper but they were going to be quite an expensive option, especially when only a little was going to be seen. I searched for leopard print online and came up with desktop wallpaper which I could download for free. I edited and printed it through Picasa after a bit of trial and error. I printed on normal white card with our home printer and it worked out fine. I also printed the wording on slightly better quality white card along with the RSVP card which I matted onto plain red card. The RSVP and envelope fitted into the pocket inside the invitation and the whole thing felt substantial and smart. We fastened with a length of leopard print grosgrain ribbon. The bride (and groom) liked it so I was happy.
With leftover leopard card we punched out tiny hearts to seal the envelopes with and with the leftover ribbon (my guesstimation was appalling) I made placecards for the wedding breakfast.
Morag helped me put all the bits together which was a great help and Fiona and her mum addressed all the invitations and did the last minute putting together so it was a group effort in the end.
And now wedding season is over I think I’ll miss making invitations, which I never thought I would say!

8 years

Our 8th wedding anniversary comes two days after Greig’s brother was married. 8 years suddenly feels like a couple of months at most. Once again time messes with my head.

I bought Greig this print because I think it’s pretty apt. And because he’s the wordsmith in this partnership but I’m really good at shopping.

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Douglas and Fiona

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photo credit David Cameron

We’re back from the wedding. The bags are unpacked and the washing machine hums in the background as I write. We had a great time, the wedding was full of personality and colour. The children (and adults) showed impeccable behaviour. Now we pour over the photos and reminisce about the funny and sweet and full of love moments. Another chapter in family history, a new sister in law and auntie. The bride and groom begin their adventure together with a trip to Scottish Islands before settling into happy ever after.

Hungry?

Here are a few clues that Grier is thinking ‘getmyteareadywomanwhat’swrongwithyou?’

First say ‘tea’ roughly 82 times.

Then bring a bib, helpfully saying ‘bib’ and don’t stop until you’re wearing it.
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Next pull out your chair.
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Then collect cups, one for me and one for Brodie.
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Bang on the fridge asking for milk.

Reach into the drawer I think contains cutlery – it doesn’t, it contains miscellaneous junk, and put Sellotape and food bags on the table. Get distracted by Sellotape – ooooh a shiny bangle – then go back to saying ‘tea’ again and again and again….

Ah finally she gets it. At last!
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And now I get one of these chocolate chip cookies she thinks I haven’t noticed. Caaakkkke. I win.

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