Living Arrows #66

Ugh… can’t type… have eaten too much chocolate… here’s this week’s pictures…

Living Arrows

Living Arrows

Oh, this girl loved her Easter egg hunt SO much. Quite why she’s wearing her Dad’s costume glasses (non-prescription), I’m not entirely sure, but she even made sure she had her spade just in case she needed to do some digging. She even paced herself with the little bit of chocolate we got. Bless her, she’s awesome.

Living Arrows

Project 365 2015 Days 88-94

Welcome to British Summer Time
088/365 The clocks go forward and it tips it down. Happy British Summertime!

easter bonney
089/365 We went down to Love 13 for a kids crafty session. Unfortunately we turned up too late and discovered the place was packed with lots of children on their Easter holidays and couldn’t play. Boo! But we stayed and had tea and cake with a friend and after a while the place got a bit quieter and Betsy sneaked off to the crafty table. Although they had run out of hats to decorate, one of the people who work there found a paper plate and supplies and helped make a hat with Betsy. Boo was SO PROUD of her effort, she’s been showing it to everyone ever since.

chitting
090/365 The potatoes are coming along nicely.

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091/365 Morning cuddles/wrestles.

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092/365 Daffodils.

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093/365 Bought a load of plants for one of the beds today. These primroses were only £2. Love how they look like they’ve been coloured in with felt tip pen.

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094/365 Making shadows at bedtime.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Cheery Things

It’s Easter! Hooray! I am PLEASED we have a long weekend and a Dave to be around for all four days. We are taking it easy this weekend, pottering around in the garden if the weather is good, I’m mid-sorting the kitchen out at the moment (INTERESTING) and hopefully I’ll get that finished too, slightly bored of seeing random jars and having no counter space now. We’ll try to get a day out somewhere at some point as well.

Cheery  Things

  • 1. Origami rabbit necklace.
  • 2. Wooden bunny earrings.
  • 3. Emily and Fin flower pot dress.
  • 4. Personalised children’s name print from Tigerlilly Quinn’s shop.
  • 5. Lamb egg cup by Quail.
  • 6. We’re big fans of Bing Bunny here. Betsy will giggle away at Pando and has picked up the way Bing says “I’m ok” when he falls over in the opening titles for when she has a stumble. I like the retro look and the gentleness and the situations are realistic and I think Betsy can relate to many of the stories. It’s a lovely little programme to watch and I have picked up a mantra which is “what would Flop do?” That man/toy/parent/guardian/thing always knows the right thing to say! Anyway, there are soft toys coming out in the summer, but there is an official Bing pattern, so you can make your own Bunny! Very much now on my list of things I want to make, but will probably only get round to making it after Betsy has moved onto other things (like boys and drinking cider in a field somewhere).

Betsy is getting excited about Easter. She’s not really getting into the whole idea of it, but she is excited (eggcited?) about the Easter egg hunt on Sunday. She made a lovely bonnet at the kids craft session at Love 13 last Monday and yesterday we decorated a basket. Boo chose what to put on there and painted and drew on it and would point out where she wanted other things glue gunned into placed. Unsurprisingly, she wanted all the sparkly things, but the hit of the day were the letter stamps, need to get some more of those, that’s a great future activity for Betsy to play with.

Easter basket

stamping

pastel paints

The paints, by the way, were a bargain. £3 for six colours at Hobbycraft. Such lovely colours too! Talking of bargains, how brilliant are the Tomy eggs? I’ve never really played with them before, but found a pristine box of them in our local charity shop for £1.50 and bought it for Arthur. They’re fab! Arthur loves them, and even Betsy will happily play with them too, which means a nice thing for both of them to play together with, hooray!

Tomy eggs

Enjoy your Easter, folks. Remember all chocolate is calorie free this weekend :)

The Springtime Surprise Project

A while back, the brilliant Lucy from Capture by Lucy had an idea. People from around the world connect with a complete stranger and send them a gift. A simple gift, one that costs no more than a fiver, but has as much thought in there as possible. How lovely is that? An act of kindness in a world that can all too easily be seen as cold and uncaring, to share something at the beginning of spring. Lucy paired me up with Emma, who lives in Canberra in Australia. I was thrilled with this choice as spent a very happy month in Oz seven years ago, although only a couple of days in Canberra sadly. It seemed like a great city though, I’d love to visit again. For her box, I made some fabric flowers and some magnets using some old cigarette cards and a felt flower necklace. Like a fool, I failed to take any photos, but Emma Instagrammed it.

I only saw Emma’s Instagram feed after I made my box. I wish I had spotted it sooner as I got a million more (better) ideas of what to send her. I actually thought of two amazing things to send her as I left the Post Office after posting her parcel. Annoying. Maybe I should send her a sneaky summer parcel too?

Below is what Emma sent me. The shell was collected by her mother when they lived in Papua New Guinea, which I’m very touched by.

Springtime Surprise Project

How lovely is that collection?

Many thanks to Lucy for organising such a fantastic thing. There’s going to be a Summertime Surprise Project. Who’s going to join me for that?

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The project got me thinking too. Well that and a Betsy who broke down in tears the other day because the postman brought Dave a parcel to the door and nothing for her. “But why is there no post for me, Mama?” she asked. And why couldn’t she get something in the post? Something that isn’t related to her birthday, or Christmas or a random bit of junk mail that we’ve allowed her to open? Something nice and well thought out and sent to her by someone her own age? Something like the Springtime Surprise Project, but for children? I know there are a few monthly boxes you can order (like the Rainy Day box or Toucan box), but is there an exchange style project out there? I’d be really interested to know if there is such a thing around already. And if there isn’t one out there, would people be interested in doing it?

Living Arrows #65

Living Arrows

Ah Arthur, my lovely little bee who can quite happily sit quietly while chaos is all around him. I suspect that won’t always be the case, so I am savouring it.

My little free-spirit of a girl has been nothing but charm and laughter and sunshine this week (with the exception of a very dodgy Friday morning, but we’ll just gloss over that. She’s a three-year old!). Three pictures this week. Could not decide which one summed her up the best.

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Living Arrows

Living Arrows

Project 365 Days 81-87

So that rule I made about only using my big camera for this project? Totally overruled this week. Oh, well. Next week DSLR love a plenty.

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081/365 We had friends stay up over the weekend and Joe, cycled all the way up from Streatham to be with us. That’s a flipping long way! Anyway, we all walked over to the park on Sunday morning and Boo was thrilled to be biking with someone else, she LOVED comparing bikes and her and Joe raced ahead of us. A good reminder that Dave and I should get our own bikes out from time to time and use them rather than have them just sitting in the garage.

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082/365 So ages ago I had entered a competition that was on the side of Total yoghurt pots to win a copy of their new cookbook and then promptly forgot about it. So it was a lovely surprise to discover this book on my doorstep today! Turns out I do win things from time to time! There are some really, really nice looking recipes in there, can’t wait to try some out (I literally can’t get enough of Greek yoghurt)

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083/365 Playing after nursery

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084/365 Popped into work today. Turns out that the dot matrix boards in stations are the best baby entertainer ever. Who knew?

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085/365 I love my little gamer family. Dave introducing Betsy to Legend of Grimrock 2, which she now loves and wants Dave to play at every opportunity. She likes looking out for torches and monsters.

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086/365 Watching the sea-lions at Whipsnade

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087/365 Baking cakes today. We were trying the red velvet cupcake recipe from the Total Yoghurt cookbook, except that Betsy wanted the cakes to be green rather than red. It’s not the most appetising, is it? The cakes tasted fine, the frosting I wouldn’t recommend. The taste was nice (like the little fromage frais pots you get), but far too runny for a decent topping. Oh well.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

A Big Night In

You know something? What with having children and everything, we don’t get out much in an evening. It would be nice, once in a while, to pop out to our local for a couple of drinks, or dance away at the Blitz Party like we used to before kids, but actually I rather like having people over at our house for an evening. I like to host, to plan a menu, have a few glasses of wine and not worry about finding baby sitters. Having a big night in with friends and family usually means us all eating at the dining table, eating far too much food and maybe playing a game like Carcassonne or Ticket to Ride afterwards. However, the kind people at Three Mobile sent me a Alcatel One Touch Pixi 7 and a Google Chromecast so when my sister, brother-in-law and niece came to visit it seemed like the perfect opportunity to play with some technology and see what a tablet can do to a Big Night In.

Big Night In

Chromecast is a great little device that allows you to broadcast various bits of media onto your TV. Firstly, it’s really easy to install. All you have to do is download the Chromecast app onto your phone or tablet, plug the Chromecast itself into a HDMI port on your TV, follow a couple of instructions on the app and you are ready to play. Chromecast supports a number of apps like Netflix and BBC iPlayer so you can sit and watch all manner of things on your telly. We watched a few things on the iPlayer (mostly episodes from the Comic Relief Great British Bake Off) and it is by far the easiest way to watch BBC programme compared to using the red button or via our cable TV box.

Big Night In

While we ate our pizza and garlic bread and supped Prosecco (and failed to eat the salad I made, why does that always happen?), we listened to music via YouTube and then Betsy drew pictures using Rube which is a very basic drawing app, but she utterly LOVED seeing her work appear on the TV screen as she drew.

Big Night In

The winner of the night though was Google’s Big Web Quiz. It’s a brightly coloured, funny, fast paced game show where each player answers questions they see on the TV screen by using the Big Web Quiz app on their own phone or tablet. Within minutes of playing this we were already talking about playing this with everyone at my folks’ when we’re next there together. It kept us entertained for ages and ages.

Big Night In

The other winner of the night was a snack I made for the evening. It was a marshmallow toffee popcorn and it was gooey and oh so sweet and man, I think I want to make this everyday, diet be damned.

Marshmallow toffee popcorn | BakingBetsy.com

My mouth is watering just looking at it. It’s very easy to make too. You need:

100g of butter (make sure it’s salted)
90g light muscavado sugar
40g mini marshmallows
70g popping corn kernels.

Melt the butter and sugar together in a small pan. Keep on a low temperature so the sugar can dissolve. While that’s doing, pop your corn in a big lidded pan going by the packet’s instructions (or use some microwave corn, whatever’s easiest for you). Once popped, go back to your butter and sugar and stir in the marshmallows until they’re melted. Pour the whole mixture over the popcorn, give it a good mix and you are done.

We’ve really enjoyed having the Chromecast. It’s been used most days I think and we’ve had friends round on other evenings and the Chromecast has made an appearance every time. The One Touch Pixi 7 tablet is a very basic tablet, and the camera isn’t very good, but the screen resolution is clear and Betsy and I have enjoyed playing the Cbeebies app on it (and I’ve discovered how much better the Kindle app is compared to reading on my phone). Lovely. Again, it’s something that’s been used every day now. Check out all the tablets that Three Mobile have HERE.

A Chromecast and Alcatel One Touch Pixi 7 were sent to me in order for me to write this review, but all opinions are my own.

Living Arrows #64

Ah, what a lovely week. Lots of little things to do, many trips to the park and just lots of fun hanging out with these two. I am feeling the return to work hard, and the closer I get to the date, the more mixed I feel about the whole thing. I really thought the return to work this time would be much easier than it was when I returned after having Betsy, but I’m not so sure now.

Living Arrows|BakingBetsy.com

Arthur learnt how to go down the slide this week. All rather terrifying as it involves me standing at one side of the climbing frame to make sure he doesn’t fall through the big hole once he’s climbed up and then racing round to the front as soon as I spot him going towards the slide so I can catch him while he hurls himself head first down the slide, giggling loudly as he does it.

Living Arrows|BakingBetsy.com

Betsy with her very serious face on. I think she’s processing the disappointment that she can’t have a ride in the big tractor that she so desperately wanted to do at our local farm’s open day. She settled for a picture though, which is unusual for her, I think she rather liked that the wheels were bigger than her. Also pictured is her toy penguin who Betsy declared was her “best friend” that day.

Living Arrows

Project 365 2015 Days 74-80

Lovely, busy week this week. Cold too!

It's a dinosaur!
074/365 My Mother’s Day card. It’s a dinosaur!

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075/365 Crawling along at playgroup.

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076/365 Blossom in the park.

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077/365 Robin.

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078/365 Climbing the climbing frame in the playground.

The Solar eclipse
079/365 The Solar eclipse. It’s quite hard to get a three year old excited about the eclipse when it’s cloudy. THANKS, WEATHER. I still loved it though, nothing makes you feel like you’re standing on a lump of rock in the universe like an eclipse does.

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080/365 Betsy, Seren and Arthur at Forty Hall farm.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Cheery Things

It’s springtime! Hooray! Can it be warm now, please?

Cheery Things | BakingBetsy.com

1. Seatown dress from Boden.
2. Chase Sunglasses from Urban Outfitters.
3. Mosaic Hare Necklace by Angela Ibbs
4. Blue mountians t-shirt by Melimelon on Etsy
5. Home Farm skirt at Cath Kidston
6. dreamy Moon and Earth pendants by Crave Jewellery design.
7. Tiger rug. I want to get this for Betsy’s room so much.

I really want to go to this bar. Ticks all my nerd boxes.

These remade and redesigned dolls are brilliant and inspiring. I usually hate dolls for many reasons, but I’d be quite happy for Betsy and Arthur to play with some of these.

Everything about this. Yes.

I’m not crying, it’s just a bit of dust in my eyes/it’s raining on my face/I’ve just been cutting onions, I’m making a lasagne*, but this story about a baby who was born and the parents were told he didn’t make it is just so, so beautiful. And happy! Please do watch.

*words – Flight Of The Conchords