Last Sunday we went for Sunday lunch at The Ethicurean
as a little treat. We don't really go out anymore unless it's for special occasions so it was nice just to do something for the sake of it. As I mentioned before we went to the Ethicurean last year on my birthday, it's such a peaceful place and can be a welcome escape from the city sometimes as it really feels like you're miles from anywhere when you are there.
Anyway the point of this post is because I was looking through pictures from the 2 September visits and I cannot believe what a difference a year makes! Henry was nearly 7 months old when we visited last time & wasn't mobile at all. He was still a little baby really (although at the time I couldn't believe how big he was getting!). Now he's 19months old, and spent every moment he could running around the gardens with energy that only a toddler possesses! Sometimes you don't realise just how quickly your children change because it happens so gradually. I feel like I don't get to savour Henry as much as I would like because life gets in the way sometimes, and we always seem to be so busy. Every now and again though I stop in my tracks & take a moment to appreciate what an amazing little boy he is & how much he learns and changes every week! He really does take my breath away.
It was lovely to take him there again as a toddler because he really got to enjoy the place fully and spent every spare moment running around asking what everything was.......although they no longer serve macaroni cheese as their children's meal which is Henry's all time favourite food so there was a bit of disappointment after being promised that for lunch!
Anyway that's enough of my soppy Mama ramblings! Have a lovely evening!
Last friday afternoon me, Ken, Henry, My sister Natasha & our dog George all piled into the car & headed out of Bristol down to Aberdovey in West Wales for the weekend. We had such a blissful time, spending our days on the beach & our evenings eating delicious food & drinking red wine! What more could you want really? It really was just what we needed as it gave us all a chance to recharge our batteries after a busy 6 months. It was a super cheap weekend as the cottage we stayed in belongs to the family of a friend who was kind enough to let is rent it with 'mates rates' and with the exception of one meal out at a pub we bought all of our own food & drink. So we could all relax in the knowledge that we weren't breaking the bank too!
This was Henry's first holiday to the beach and he is now totally in love with the seaside! He woke up on Saturday morning & just stared out of the big windows saying "WOW!" for at least an hour. As a city boy I think the view of the ocean blew his mind! He loved running in the sand, paddling in the sea, & building sandcastles....so much so that every time we made him leave the beach he protested quite loudly! He saw jellyfish (sadly dead) and dragonflies mating on the beach too.....not that he'll remember that! Our Collie dog George also had the time of his life......he literally thinks Aberdovey is heaven! Both of them are missing the beach already.....in fact Henry keeps saying "Bye bye sea! Bye bye boats!" and looking quite sad about it. Poor little soul is suffering from post holiday blues already!
This was the last weekend of my twenties and it really was the perfect way to celebrate! The weather was lovely apart from one rainy morning and It was the first time in months that we have had to totally relax without that nagging feeling that you should really be getting on with that never ending list of things to do! I even got a chance to sit & just knit for fun which is rare nowadays as i have so much on. I feel so much better after our break, it was only 3 nights away, but it did the trick! It really was an amazing weekend & I cannot wait to go back.....mainly so that I can eat more of the local 'salted peanut' flavour ice cream! It's heavenly!
Please excuse the mass of pictures! I loved so many of them that I have gone a bit overboard!
We got home late on Monday night......actually later than expected after we had to stop at the top of a mountain (literally in the clouds) after the altitude & mountain roads made Henry car sick Everywhere! We cleaned him up & the rest of the back seat up & then all got back in the car.....which then wouldn't start! We were on top of a mountain with no phone signal & not another living soul in sight!! After a brief panic that sounded a bit like "Oh Shit....we're stuck here! We're going to die!!" we bump started the car and were safely on our way home again. It really was like a scene from a dodgy sitcom! Just thinking about it now makes me laugh!
So there you have it, the last weekend of my twenties......Fingers crossed I', lucky enough to have many more like it in my thirties!
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?! :)
Puppy in a pram! :)
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
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:
- How to make a pom pom garland.
- Finger knitting & French knitting.
- How to knit using needles.
- How to make flowers & bows to decorate homemade bracelets & hairbands.
- How to knit swiss rolls .
Classes are running on Wednesday 8th & 15th August 2-4pm & cost £4.50 per child. This price includes all materials & refreshments
Contact me here
to book & for more info.
I have been teaching knitting today at Love Food Festival, just giving people a sample of what you can learn in my lessons and spreading the knitting love. It has been a fantastic day, and after a slow start in the morning (I was tucked in the corner & people couldn't see me) I moved my table out slightly and was then rushed of my feet chatting to people & teaching them to knit! Being next to the puppet show meant that it got pretty packed in our little corner when a show was on, but it was great to see all the children having such a great time! It also meant that lots of children wanted to try knitting which i think is great & i really enjoyed sitting down with them to make their
As usual all of the other stall holders were a pleasure to work with & there was a fantastic friendly atmosphere that made the day extra fun for me. I'm tired but extremely happy after meeting so many lovely new people & catching up briefly with some of my friends too!
I hope to meet lots of the people I was knitting with again soon as so many of you seemed to really enjoy it! Remember the discount code I told you all for 20% off if you book a class with me.
Later in the day Henry & his dad came down to visit me which was great as I don't feel like I've spent much time with them this week. Henry thought it was great as he got to see his first puppet show & try lots of free samples & chocolate ice cream from Ivor Stafford
who makes delicious ice-cream here in Bristol. He was a very lucky boy who after all of the excitement went to bed before 7pm which is two hours earlier than usual!
All in all it was a fantastic day of knitting, lovely food and great people......what more could you want really?
Ok so here's the thing, I love being in love and I love other people being happy.....but I've never really been that enamoured with marriage or weddings. Weddings have never moved me to tears, I have never been the type of girl to daydream about my own wedding or being a bride. Throughout my childhood I saw many marriages around me fail including that of my parents so I never really thought it was worth the money or effort, plus I always thought that buying a house was a bigger commitment anyway.
However I have found myself slowly softening to the idea of marriage and all of a sudden it doesn't seem that terrible. Maybe it comes from being a family now, the fact that we have already made the commitment to buy a house and raise children together, or maybe it's just the fact that we have found the right person. Who knows! However we both agree that we probably will get married, but we'll do it in our own way, I'll keep my surname & the day will be small, inexpensive, informal, relaxed, fun......with NO organised photography session! (I have softened on the marriage subject so much that I now even have a pinterest board devoted to wedding ideas now!)
Why all this talk of marriage & weddings all of a sudden?! Well on Thursday we attended the wedding of two of our closest friends, Peter & Laura, a couple who like us didn't do things in the conventional order! First came baby, then came a house, then 6 years later another baby.....then a year after that marriage. They have been together for 11 years and they really are made for each other. Don't get me wrong they have had their ups & downs like all of us, but they didn't give up and worked hard at their relationship, and it really was worth it. I think both Ken & I were surprised by how emotional the day was for us. It really felt like they were making their family complete and It really did feel like a celebration of their relationship & everything they have achieved together. It was totally 'them' and it was a really beautiful day full of friends, family and lots of laughter! We were so happy to share the day with them, especially as we had the honour of being their marriage witnesses.
It was a great day all round, the bride looked beautiful, The groom was dressed up (very out of character! hahaha!) their daughter Abigail was a beautiful flower girl & baby Samuel made a very cute page boy, and the rest of us didn't scrub up too badly either. The wedding ceremony was held at The National Trust owned Tredegar House
in caerphilly. It was a beautiful setting & the weather held out long enough for the photos to be taken, which was a blessing as once the rain started it didn't stop all day! The 'after' party was held in the old stable buildings on the grounds so we could relax & enjoy a party without disrupting the daily runnings & visitors to the main house. It was a long day as the ceremony starting at 10am, but it was worth it as Henry was so worn out by partying all day & late in to the night that he slept in until 10.15am the next day!
Here are a few* pictures from our day......
* A LOT!
Our friends Max & Sophie with their 4 week old daughter Olwen.
spinning on the dancefloor with Mama!
Henry & Sam dancing the night away...
Tired after a long day partying!
The wedding car was a VW van.....but not this one. This one was just there too!
We have been feeling a little under the weather in our household over the last few days. I was too poorly yesterday to make it in to the city centre to visit the food Market which is on as part of Bristol'd Big Green Week. I love that Bristol is so environmentally friendly and that there are so many fantastic ethical restaurants here such as The Ethicurean & The Thali Cafes. In our household we aside from being vegetarians we also make every effort to shop locally and to eat with the seasons, because not only is it better for the environment, it is cheaper & the food tastes so much better!
I started to feel a little better last night & really fancied some clean fresh tasting food & this is what i came up with for our dinner: A warm green veg & new potato salad with Mint pesto. Everything in this dish is in season now and if you are anything like me you'll have plenty of mint in your garden right now........it's loving this wet & occasionally sunny weather we are having & growing like mad! As i'm still being quite strict with my PCOS diet this is another dairy free, low GI recipe so it's pretty damn good for you. Enjoy!
Warm Green Veg & New Potato Salad with Mint Pesto:
- For the Salad:
- 600g New potatoes
- 1 large bunch of Asparagus
- 2 Courgettes
- 100g Sugar snap peas
- Lettuce leaves of your choice
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- a handful of pine nut kernels
- For the pesto:
- 2 generous handfuls of fresh mint
- 50g of unsalted Cashew nuts & pine nut kernels
- 75ml Olive Oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt & Black Pepper
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves 3-4 adults.
The Warm Green Salad:
- Preheat oven to 200℃.
- Halve the new potatoes, place on a baking tray & drizzle with olive oil. cook in the oven for 30minutes.
- Wash all of the green veg.
- Chop the courgette into long chunky strips & cut the thick ends off of the asparagus.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in a pan & fry off the greens until tender.
- Add the pine nuts to toast. When browned, turn off the heat & squeeze lemon juice over the veg.
- Place a lid over the pan while you prepare the pesto.
- Remove all of the mint leaves from the hard stems & wash under cold water.
- Put the mint, nuts, olive oil, lemon juice in a food processor & blend until smooth. Season to taste.
- Take the potatoes out of the oven & serve in the centre of the plates. Place salad leaves & green veg mixture around the edge.
- Drizzle with pesto & enjoy!