I'm so excited to share this with you all as it has been in the pipeline for sometime now, but we have only just finished planning everything! Lots of people have been asking me about starting evening lessons in the Clifton area & also the possibility of a Knitting club.......well now I'm doing both of them! I've teamed up with the lovely Maria at Cordial & Grace to start lessons and a Knit Club there. She's in charge of the cakes & coffee & I'm in charge of the knitting.....a match made in heaven right?! All of the details are below in the flyers, but I hope to see you all there soon!
Ok so you know I said I was excited about autumn, well I really meant it! I dug my slow cooker out from the back of the cupboard on Friday & I have already cooked 2 meals in it! I love having a slow cooker as it give us more time to relax as a family in the evening......I don't have to worry about dinner as it's already been cooked! I just chuck everything in the slow cooker in the morning & like magic we have dinner ready as soon as the Mister gets home from work. Plus the house smells amazing with dinner cooking throughout the day......although i have to admit this does make me hungry!
Ken's working hours have changed recently & involve an earlier start, but thankfully also an earlier finish. However the earlier start means that breakfast has been neglected over the last 2 weeks in our house, often just grabbing something on the go. This is not good for me as I have been indulging in pastries ALOT & my waistline is not very happy about this matter. So in my excitement about my slow cooker & autumn food I had a flash of inspiration......Slow cooker porridge!! You can pop the slow cooker in a timer plug & wake up to delicious porridge. Now I know that I'm a bit early with autumn, but just imagine how great this will be when the mornings are cold, dark & generally a chore again! Like waking up to a warm hug! AWESOME!
Anyway I cooked this for breakfast yesterday as my Mum & Step-Dad came over to do some DIY on our house & I wanted something hassle free to cook for us all. It went down a treat & I know i'll be eating this alot over the coming months. Sorry for the poor quality picture.....I was hungry & in a hurry to eat my breakfast couldn't be bothered to take a decent one!
Slow Cooker Apple & Cinnamon porridge:
* 1 pint of boiling water
* 1/2 pint of milk or soya milk
* 150g porridge oats
* 2 apples, peeled & diced into small cubes
* 4 teaspoons of muscovado sugar
* 1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon
1. Pour the water & milk into the slow cooker pot & then add the oats in stirring constantly.
2. Add the apple, cinnamon & sugar & stir well.
3. Cover with the lid & cook on low for 1-1.5 hours depending on how thick you want the porridge. I like mine quite thick so cooked for 1.5 hours, but if you like it runnier then an hour will suffice.
4.Serve the porridge with a sprinkle of cinnamon & chocolate chips or raisins (depending on how healthy you want to be!)
So in less than 2 weeks I turn 30......I will no longer be a 20 something! I'm not freaking out about this fact as much as I thought I would be, but I guess there is still time for the major panic attack to hit me! I'm not big on my birthday usually as my exasperated family will tell you.....ever since I was a child my birthday usually saw me in a grumpy mood! It's not an ageing thing, but rather a pressure thing. I always felt pressured to decide what would be the 'perfect fun day' and to really enjoy myself. This pressure would always result in me not being able to decide or regretting my choices & thus being moody by the end of the day. However over the past few years I have started to enjoy the day a bit more by keeping the day simple & just doing something relaxed & low key. Last year I spent the afternoon relaxing in the sunshine & having a lovely Sunday Lunch at The Ethicurean which is possible my favourite place to go locally. I always feel so relaxed & at peace when I'm there so I'm very tempted to return there for a relaxed celebration of the big 30! I'm going away for the weekend before my birthday to Aberdovey to relax by the sea which I am so excited for! We intend to do NOTHING except eat good food, drink good wine & go for long walks on the beach together (I'm also planning on knitting lots!).....It may not be everybody's idea of a great time but to me it sounds just blissful! This year has been crazy busy & we haven't had anytime away to unwind so this will be long overdue & the perfect remedy for any pre-birthday blues!
My birthday signals the beginning to Autumn to me & Autumn is my favourite time of year! I love waving goodbye to the muggy excuse for summer weather that we have & greeting the cooler crisp Autumn air! I dig out my boots & thick tights with excitement at being able to wrap up warm in cosy jumpers & scarves without really feeling too cold! Autumn is the perfect season for knitting, the nights draw in & I happily curl up with my needles & knit beautiful things that will become Christmas presents for my nearest & dearest. I also adore the delicious foods autumn brings.....out comes the slow cooker ready for a season of stews & casseroles full of squash & root vegetable!
Anyway my excitement at Autumn & my birthday has had me going a bit crazy on Pinterest about what little things I would like to get to kick start Autumn.....so here is some of my autumn birthday wish list. If you know anybody who is just DYING to buy me a present here are some ideas! hahaha!
The Autumn/ Birthday wish list!
1 hour cinnamon rolls for breakfast!
I love this Print by Lucy Smith!
I love this bag......perfect present built to last!
Knitting necklace....a must have for me!
Lion print dress! Roar!
Salted caramel cookie bars instead of cake?
Duck print cardigan with elbow patches! Adore!
Apple with cheesecake, caramel & cinnamon dip! Yummy! Autumn on a plate!
Because a spoon always comes in handy!
Last night I went along to the Tobacco Factory Theatre to see the Catwalk opening of Amber Hards Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Amber is a friend of my sisters, but I went along with my knitting geek head on because as somebody who designs 'little things' the concept of designing big elaborate knitted outfits fascinated me! Also having seen the work that Amber produced for her graduate show from UWE which you can see here I was excited to see what she would come up with next! Her work is full of amazing shape & texture & really is unlike anything else I have seen before. Thanks to her previous design work Amber was a Knitted Textile Awards finalist in 2010, also winning an innovation award from the craft council both of which were well deserved from what I saw last night!
Before the show started the everybody mingled in the bar area which was adorned with Amber's design artwork & inspiration boards and examples of her knitwear. There were also complimentary Cosmopolitans to enjoy as well & they were delicious!
The show was well put together & the make-up was fantastic thanks to the help of Victoria Hemmings! I could describe all of the outfits to you, but I'd be here all day & I'm sure you'll get bored so instead here are some pictures from the night! 😊
I'd love to say that I stayed & partied late in to the night, but I have been feeling rotten this week thanks to a large Ovarian Cyst causing me a bit of grief so I was home by 9pm in my PJs knitting & watching Fringe on dvd in bed!! However I think everybody else stayed & had a great time! Amber did a great job putting on a show by herself! Also seeing her work has me really interested with the different things machine knitting can achieve! If you would like to know more about Amber's work then visit her website: www.amberhards.co.uk
Last week was a bit of a week of celebrations for us as Henry turned 18 months on Thursday (yes that's right my baby is now 1 1/2 years old!!). How did that happen? Where has the last 6 months gone? We had lunch with his Auntie Tash & then went shopping in our local charity shops. We had lots of luck with Henry getting loads of amazing 'new to him' toys for less than £5! We then all went the balloon fiesta in the evening which as I've already said was amazing!
The celebrations continued on Friday as it was Ken's last day in his old job! He has a much better job now based in Bath, which is great news for our family. I haven't wanted to say anything just in case I jinxed things, but he starts tomorrow so it seems ok to say something now. The weather was so beautiful that we decided to celebrate in our local park with my Sister & some friends. Armed with wine, pizza & fresh fruit we set off for an evening of relaxing & balloon spotting evening.
The park was full of other people who had the same idea as us so there was a really lovely atmosphere there, with children & family pets running around playing while adults relaxed in the evening sun taking in the views. Evenings like these are great for the soul! It really is amazing how a bit of sunshine can make all of the difference!
Our dog George thought that we had thrown him a party & invited loads of other people & dogs especially for him to play with! He was in heaven! Our friend's Anna & Alan have a little puppy called Munch who is a new friend of Georges! He is super cute & very hyper! Henry also had a great time running around playing late in to the evening........in fact that both had such a good time that they slept in until gone 9am the next day! It was just a shame that I had to get up early to teach a knitting lesson so I didn't get a lie in too! Typical!
The rest of the weekend has been pretty chilled out & tonight feels a bit like the last day of the summer holidays in our house as we get everything ready for Ken's first day in his new job. I even gave him a haircut today so he'll look smart. It's quite exciting though!
I hope you have all had a lovely weekend too & have managed to enjoy the sunshine! ☀♥
Here are a million pictures of Friday night....there's sunshine, hot air balloons, & a puppy what more could you want?! :)
Its summer again today.....The sun was shining & it was hot hot hot! Bristol must be in the weather god's favour as it seems the sun comes out for our staple events! First we have a glorious weekend for the Bristol Harbour festival & now we have been blessed with some more sunshine. This may not seem like that big of a deal in years to come when I read this back to myself..........So I want to remind myself that 2012 was the year that it rained NON STOP!!
The Balloon Fiesta is held in Ashton Court & Is a free event. Me, Ken & My sister Tash all decided last minute to go, but I'm so glad we did! My only hesitation was that I seem to suffer withdrawal symptoms whenever I'm not watching the Olympics! Who would win the men's 200 m final? Would Jade Jones get a taekwondo Gold medal?! But I couldn't miss tonight really as it was the evening glow where dozens of hot air balloon light up to music & generally look amazing! Plus the power of google means that Olympic news was with me anyway! I'm so glad we did go though as it was a lovely evening sitting outside in the warm air! Almost makes you forget the rain that we've been living with constantly! We sat eating burritos in the twilight waiting for the main event to start. Then all of the balloons inflated to a soundtrack of amazing (and cheesy but in a good way!) music started. The balloons really do put on a breath taking show! It was quite late by the time it all finished so I spent the last few minutes giving a very tired Henry cuddles instead of watching properly, but apart from that we all had a great time! There is a firework display at the end that anywhere else you would normally have to pay a lot of money to see so it really was a fantastic event considering it's free! If you haven't been before to any of the night time events at the Balloon Fiesta I highly recommend going. Dogs are allowed too as long as they are on a lead & not scared by large crowds of people (because there are thousands of people there!!!). George came along with us & thought it was great.....but barked a few times at the people behind us for singly badly! George hates it when people sing loudly, but i guess he does have very big ears!
Anyway it's late & I should be off to bed as I have a busy day tomorrow, but I wanted to write this down because if i left it, it would disappear into my list of things to do & probably not get written. These pictures don't really do it justice, but I think it gives you a good idea about what a great family night out it is!
I know I say this a lot, but I really do Bloody love Bristol, especially on nights like tonight!
I hope that you all enjoy the next few days of sunshine & have a lovely weekend! xx
We have olympic fever in our household, even Henry has it bad! He's cheering "Go Go Go!" whenever a race starts & cheers with both of his arms in the air whenever somebody wins.......It is so cute! I'm now convinced that he will be an olympian because of his early enthusiasm for competitive sports.
I really wasn't that excited about the olympics before they started mainly because of the politics involved. Watching David Cameron's smug face on every news report related to the Olympics really does dampen ones enthusiasm for the event! However once they started my opinion completely changed, I have been hooked! Watching how hard these athletes work & the amazing things they can achieve has moved me to tears on numerous occasions.
It has been fantastic to watch every country's achievements & the gamesmanship between athletes. However i have to admit that seeing Team Great Britain doing so well has been the icing on the cake! I have been cheering along with Henry watching sports that I really wouldn't under any other circumstances! Also I have been blown away by the achievements of women in this Olympics! It makes me so proud to think that my son will grow up expecting to see women competing & performing like champions! It will never occur to him that females are less worthy of competing.
Anyway in the spirit of the Olympics I have made Henry his own medals! They are super easy to knit & even the most novice of knitter will manage them. I knitted all 3 of them in just over an hour while watching the gymnastics yesterday so it really is a quick DIY. I'm tempted to show some of the older children in my wool workshops because they're great for children as they can use them in games afterwards. Anyway I hope that you can spread some olympic fever with these medals like we are!
Olympic medal pattern:
Yarn: DK weight yarn in gold, silver & bronze.
Tapestry needle for sewing up.
k = knit
k2 tog = Knit 2 stitches together
Cast on 39 stitches.
Row 1-4: K all stitches.
Row 5: *K2, k2tog* repeat to end. (30 stitches)
Row 6-9: K all stitches.
Row 10: *k1, K2tog* repeat to end. (20 stitches)
Row 11-13: K all stitches.
Row 14: K2tog to the end. (10 stitches)
Leaving a long tail cut the yarn & thread the the tail through the 10 remaining stitches. Draw them together & fasten off. Then sew up the seam neatly at the edge stitches.
At the top of the work make a loop using the tail. Then weave all ends in to the WS of the work. The work may curl inwards at the edges, but if you block them by pushing them flat under a damp tea towel & iron on a low heat they will stay lovely & flat like a medal should be!
All you have to do now is tie some ribbon to your medals & now you can award them to everybody who you think deserves one! :) Have fun with them!
© Kimberlee Daly/The Homemade Mama
All rights reserved
This pattern is for personal use only. It may not be reproduced, distributed or archived in whole or in part without prior permission from the designer. It may not be sold or used to produce garments for resale.
Contact via: www.thehomemademama.co.uk
Tonight I got to cuddle a newborn & It was lovely! There really is nothing like holding a tiny baby to melt your heart. I have been feeling rotten all day with a kidney infection & was in a bit of a grump if i'm honest. However after a cuddle I was feeling too full of baby love to be grumpy! We have been waiting to meet our friend's Sue & Rich's newborn daughter Abigail for weeks, but the influx of viruses that we have had, has kept us at bay until now. She is 4 weeks old now, and was born at over 9lbs so is quite a bit bigger than Henry was at that age, but to me she seemed tiny! I don't remember Henry ever being that small.......her tiny fingers & toes are heart meltingly small & her newborn cries a blast from the past that remind me just how much & how fast Henry has changed.
While I was knitting my gift for her I was convinced that they were tiny & then I worried that by the time we actually got the chance to see them she would have out grown them all. I was however worrying for nothing, she was still too tiny for them & will have room to grow! I cannot believe how quickly I have forgotten what the newborn stage is like & just how small babies are!
I still think of Henry as my baby, but in reality he's a boy now & a fully fledged toddler! He was in quite a wilful mood after spending the day with his Nanna as he forgets what it is like to be told 'no' and not to get his own way all of the time. However he was soon distracted by his new found love of Jake, Sue's 7 year old son. Henry was captivated by Jake & seemed in awe of everything this bigger boy did, following him everywhere! It was so cute to watch, especially when Jake had Henry laughing his head off playing a very excited game of peekaboo! So despite me having a bit of a 'moment' realising just how big Henry is now, I love watching him interact & play with other children now. It would be nice if he would stop having a strop every time he is told no though, but
Here's the little gift set I knitted Abigail. I'm not a big 'pink' fan normally, but I know that after 2 boys Sue is loving everything girlie so I indulged in a bit of 'raspberry ripple' coloured yarn for once. If you fancy learning to knit something similar you can book into my Beginner's baby knits classes running over the next 2 saturdays 10-1 £12 per lesson. Contact me if you are interested!
So as you can see I'm running a few wool craft sessions for children over the summer holidays. There is something there for kids of all ages to enjoy so if you fancy a few hours peace & quiet send them my way & I'll teach them:
Contact me here to book & for more info.
I feel like I haven't really been on the internet in weeks! I haven't blogged, and I've barely tweeted or used Instagram which if you follow me on either you'll know is quite out of character. The brief times that i have been online, especially on Twitter i have been overwhelmed with the support and caring messages that people have sent! I haven't managed to reply to many of them but every single one was greatly appreciated and has been a boost to my very low spirits! So Thank you to my lovely followers you are all amazing!! However apart from catching a few minutes to tweet on my phone I haven't had time to have any real online presence lately, in fact I'm at the point where I cannot remember the last time that I just sat back and relaxed.......Me time just doesn't exist anymore! Don't get me wrong, I'm not moaning about it, and I know it will pass soon enough but I have struggled to keep up with the demands of life lately. In between looking after a very poorly toddler, trips to hospital & the doctors, sleepless nights, feeling poorly myself and then running knitting lessons I have fallen behind with everything! Emails have gone unanswered, blog post remain unwritten & I've done next to no promotion for my upcoming knitting classes and don't even get me started on housework!
I was only just starting to find my feet and get in to a good routine as a self employed Mama when Henry got ill and I feel a little bit like all of my hard work has been undone. There have been several times over the last few weeks where it's all got a bit much and I've questioned whether it is possible to balance being a stay at home Mama and trying to start your own business......there are no sick days, no parental leave to look after children & there is no nursery to drop Henry off to when I need to get stuff done. I have wanted to cancel all my lessons and just tell people that I can't do it anymore! I can't keep up with trying to promote the lessons, doing admin, and teaching while looking after a very clingy poorly 17 month old. Add this is the stress and worry of seeing your child suddenly get really ill and not knowing how to fix it & what you get is a Mama who has cried ALOT lately!
I also get quite scared when I get this tired & run down because tiredness has always been one of my major epilepsy triggers. Whenever I have been run down in the past it has had a direct effect on the number and severity of seizures that I have had. So I have to remind myself that even though things are tough i need to look after myself especially so even though I'm tired and can't be bothered to cook I know I have to carry on eating (especially as I'm breastfeeding so much to make up for the lack of food in Henry's diet!). I thought i would share with you the recipe for one of the few meals that Henry & I have enjoyed over the last weeks! They were vegan banana pancakes......if i'm being honest the only reason they were vegan was because I had run out of eggs & couldn't be bothered to go out & buy some more!
Vegan Banana Pancakes:
175g Self Raising Flour
220ml Soya Milk
1 large or 2 small ripe bananas
1 tpsp Vegetable oil
1 tbsp Maple syrup
pinch of salt (optional)
1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together
2. Mash up the banana with a fork then add the soya milk & oil.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients & stir well until fully combined.
4. Add 2 heaped tablespoons worth of the mixture (per pancake) to a hot oiled frying pan frying on one side until air bubbles start to form in the pancake & underside appears golden in colour.
5. Flip pancake & cook until golden on other side.
6. Serve with lots of maple syrup!!
Anyway I hope you enjoy the pancakes & I hope to be blogging a bit more over the coming week as I'm sure things will improve for Henry health wise very soon! xxx