Sunday, May 24, 2015

Basildon Park

On Saturday we had a lovely day out to Basildon Park where we had a picnic with friends. It was a nice relaxing day, with good weather and well behaved toddlers. It made for some lovely photos too. Oh and our little toddler happened to be 19 months old on Saturday!

* All photos taken by André of course.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Toddler friendly banana bread

Isabella helped me bake a banana bread this morning. Usually I bake it in a muffin tray to have individual muffins for snacks but I made jelly in the muffin tray and not used it all yet. 

It's toddler friendly because it has no sugar. Not as sweet then obviously but even Andre declared it good enough. Here's the recipe from Jamie Oliver's website

And the best part of baking of course...

Monday, May 4, 2015

Lambing Day at Amners Farm

I'm making a serious effort to get back into blogging! I also downloaded an app to blog from my phone so we'll see if that helps too. 

Yesterday (Sunday) we visited Amners Farm with friends. It's actually my friend from post natal group when Isabella was only a couple of months old and the two girls now go to the childminder together.

Every year since we moved to this house I would drive past the signs this time of year telling about the lambing days at Amners Farm. It's not even 10 minutes from our house so after nap time on Sunday afternoon we went to visit the farm.

It was a lovely afternoon and I think quite educational for Isabella. She got to pet lambs, watch a sheep being sheared - she was really interested in this process - there were piglets, chicks, calves and even puppies. You could visit the lambing area and we saw two lambs who had just been born. Isabella got to see the lambs drinking from their mommies, which got her asking for milk herself when she found out the lambs were having milk.

Explaining to daddy how the sheep's 'jumper gets taken off'.

We also went on a miniature steam train which was fun. Wind in our hair, sun on our face, through a beautiful forrest area. 

My attempt at a family photograph...

I think the biggest experience for her must have been riding a pony. I didn't think she would actually get on the pony. I asked her if she would like to and she excitedly made horse noises. When she saw the other children putting on riding hats she definitely wanted to go so she could also wear one of those hats! I explained that she would have to keep the hat on and that she would also be sitting on the horse (pony). She still seemed happy about that, but I still thought she'd change her mind when she actually had to get on the pony. She surprised me. She was happy to be lifted onto the pony, have her feet placed in the shortened stirrups, held on where she was shown to and off she went! The pony was of course led by another lady and I walked along too. Halfway through our trip around the paddock she said she'd had enough and was ready to get off. She wasn't upset so I said we need to ride a little further to get back to where daddy was waiting and she carried on happily.  Very brave!

We came home after a lovely afternoon at the farm still with straw in our wellies.

She had so much fun playing on the straw in the barn! It was built up quite high and even had tunnels you could crawl through.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Preparing the new chalk board design

I've had no time for blogging and I really want to make time to get back into it again. But here's a quick update of what I'm doing right now while Isabella is having her nap.

This is our current spring chalk board.

And I'm about to wipe off those cute bunnies and attempt a Three Little Pigs scene. This wall art doubles as entertainment for Isabella.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chalkboard wall art

I have been missing here on the blog for a long time, I know! Since starting work, pretty much all of my free time during the day goes to working, so while Isabella is asleep I work and when she's awake I don't get to do much else but play with her. But today Isabella's nanny is staying an extra hour, I've done what I can for work so I have a few minutes to blog for a change. And I've been meaning to show you our new chalk board wall for nearly three months now.

We've been so indecisive about what to hang on the walls until Andre came up with the idea of painting a section of the wall behind the dining table with chalkboard paint. When buying the paint I actually learnt that you can change any paint into chalkboard paint. I think the guy at the shop said they can mix something into it. But we decided we liked the contrast of the black wall and white chalk on it.

Now I regularly change the board to go with the season or holidays or events.

Here's our first Autumn scene I did in November.

A Christmas scene for December.

And a winter scene for January. We'll see how long winter lasts. When there are enough spring flowers out it will be time to change the board again.

Painting your chalkboard is pretty straight forward. We measured and taped out the area we decided to paint, comparing distance from floor and ceiling to get it as straight as possible. Then we painted three coats straight onto the clean wall. You then need to leave it to cure for three days before covering the entire board with chalk by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over it. Wipe clean with a dry cloth and it's ready to use.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Santa Train Ride

We went on a steam train ride last weekend. We all really enjoyed it so much. It was an hour trip, the adults got wine and mince pies and the kids got a juice and a present from Father Christmas. Was really worth it, Isabella was happy and relaxed the whole time, enjoyed some strawberries and didn't cry at Father Christmas although he didn't quite get a smile from her.