31.12.13

Christmas 2013


(photos taken with a mixture of my DSLR and iPhone)

Tom found all those Fisherprice cars and accessories in an eBay bundle for around £11. The kilt Wilf is wearing can be explained here and the unicorn was a gift from my sister Serin (who also hand knitted it's two outfits).

We spent Christmas day with Tom's family a little outside of Bristol. Tom's mum picked us up around 10.30 which meant we had the morning to open our stockings and a few other bits just us three. Wilf had woken at 6.30 (when the 'yellow sun' on his grow clock comes up in his room) and instead of the usual 'mummy! daddy! it's the yellow sun!' we got 'mummy! daddy! there are presents on my bed!' he ran into our room clutching his stocking tight as tight with a look of glee and astonishment on his little face. It really was a wonderful moment, i would say I would treasure it forever but I know next year he will be just that little bit more excited, I already can't wait!

I don't have many Christmas traditions from my childhood but the stocking at the end of my bed is one of them. I still remember waking in the night, squinting in the darkness and seeing my stocking bumpy and budging with the presents inside. Testing myself to practise restraint and wait until morning, waking again and opening 'just that one' or whispering to my sister in the bunk bed below that Father Christmas had been! We always waited until 6am (as was the rule) before waking our other siblings and running into our parents room to show them our spoils.

As it seems to happen every year I feel like Christmas suddenly arrived and we've only just got ourselves organised before it is over. I spent Christmas eve in a bit of a festive slump as I debated with Tom that we should even be celebrating a religious festival at all if we are not part of the religion (I know, I know) but there is nothing like spending the day with a two year old to make you remember what the festive season is really about.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! xx

30.12.13

We like to read



Hippopposites by Janik Coat *

We actually bought this one as a Christmas gift for our nephew but I managed to take a few sneaky pics before I wrapped it up.

I love the graphic design style illustrations along with the simple shapes and format. I also love the addition of pages like 'opaque and transparent' and 'clear and blurry' which make for a more interesting read than the usual contrasts of opposite colours or sizes. I love that you could read it to a baby but actually as the contrasts are a little more advanced than usual it really suits a toddler very well.

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28.12.13

52/52


'a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

Christmas day - your uncle Keir and Aunty Joc (who happen to be your 'god-parents' also) bought you this kilt. I think you really suit it! Your jumper was mine but I have a terrible habit of putting wool in the washing machine at the wrong temperature (whoops!). You had the most fantastic day, the first time you understood the concept and your face when you ran into our room with your stocking you had found was amazing, best moment ever.

(velvet jacket ℅ M&S who have a 50% sale on too)

Wow, a full year of weekly photos. I'm so glad I stuck with it, it really wasn't as hard as I first thought it might be (certainly not trying the 365 project again, ever!). I'm really looking forward to printing them all out in a snapfish* book like we did earlier in the year and perhaps given them to our parents also. I know my dad in particular has told me how much he enjoys popping over every week to see his new weekly snap. 

One of the many reasons I love blogging is looking back on where you were at the same point last year. It's amazing to me how much Wilf has changed in a year! These were our Christmas photos last year (I just love the one of him dressed as a snowman) 

27.12.13

Friday Florals

I am vaguely attempting to have a semi holiday from this here blog of mine over Christmas. So I can actually pay attention to my child and my long suffering boyfriend, how well that works I'll let you know. I have asked a few of my favourite blogging ladies if they would like to step in on a few posts. I know you will love them just as much as I do.

The lovely Laura from Cardboardcities is here to share some of her 'friday florals' with us, I know you will love her blog just as much as I do!

You know sometimes you just need to see something natural and pretty? these have been a perfect fix for that! poppies are my favourite flower, and seeing them always makes me feel better.

but poppies have the nostalgia effect for me too. my nan used to grow poppies in her garden, and even at a young age they just filled me with a sense of happiness i can't quite describe.

are there any flowers that make you feel nostalgic?




left //floral design by codyfloral.com (photo by mwfoto.com) &  oak and the owl interior and floral design studio (photo by lane dittoe)

right // brent van aukenfrontpoppies (photos by leo patrone)

24.12.13

Cranberry Mulled Wine

I am vaguely attempting to have a semi holiday from this here blog of mine over Christmas. So I can actually pay attention to my child and my long suffering boyfriend, how well that works I'll let you know. I have asked a few of my favourite blogging ladies if they would like to step in on a few posts. I know you will love them just as much as I do.

Lia blogs over at Dizzy Loves Icy and makes the most amazing recipes! If you love taco's (and who doesn't) then you guys are going to be best friends). She's also a super lovely lady, mum to three cute kiddos and a great eye for fun finds.


Hello!

Thank you for having me Fritha whilst you enjoy your Christmas break - I hope you Tom and Wilf have a fantastic and relaxing time!
When I was trying to think of a recipe to post over here I immediately knew it needed to be Christmassey booze related!  Fritha & I have been talking about getting together without children for a cocktail or two for ages, but of course being two busy mama's living in different cities, we haven't quite pulled it off - yet. So, I thought if we can't get to the booze, then the booze will have to come to us, right? Absolutely - it is Christmas after all!

The recipe I've made for you isn't actually cocktail, but a fab twist on an old Christmas classic and a huge favourite of mine, mulled wine. I hope you enjoy it!



Cranberry Mulled Wine

You will need:
50g caster sugar
2 x cinnamon sticks
10 x whole cloves
2 x star anise
5 x all spice berries (optional extra, not essential)
2 x oranges (peel and juice from one, the other sliced to serve)
100g dried cranberries
500ml cranberry juice
250ml ruby port
500ml red wine
Fresh cranberries to serve (optional)

And you will need to do this:
1. In a medium - large saucepan add your combine your sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, all spice berries and orange peel and juice from one orange. Pour over enough of the cranberry juice to just cover the ingredients. Heat, stirring frequently over a medium to high heat until all the sugar has dissolved and you get a slightly thicker looking 'syrup'. 
2. Add the remaining cranberry juice and the dried cranberries and continue to cook over a medium heat for a few minutes.
3. Add your port and red wine and warm through for 5-10 minutes. Be careful to not let the mixture boil and when warmed through, carefully ladle into glasses taking care not to include any cloves etc! Garnish with an orange slice and some fresh cranberries before serving.
4. Enjoy!



Happy Christmas to all of Tigerlilly Quinn readers, may 2014 be everything you are hoping for & much much more xx

23.12.13

Roasted mushrooms with mustard cream sauce


I am vaguely attempting to have a semi holiday from this here blog of mine over Christmas. So I can actually pay attention to my child and my long suffering boyfriend, how well that works I'll let you know. I have asked a few of my favourite blogging ladies if they would like to step in on a few posts. I know you will love them just as much as I do.
First up, Stacey from Veggie Mama
'Stacey is sassmouthing her way across the internet, bringing back lentils and crochet in a big way. She has kids, a job and an undying devotion to British comedy. And Kevin Smith films. Ahoy!'
I may or may not have said it before, but what in the hell was I thinking, hating mushrooms?
Lost my goddamn mind.
Recently I had a burger with grilled portobellas as the “meat” and I just about cried eating it, they were so good. Slightly overcooked and charred on the edges, which made them chewy and delightful and packed with flavour. Oh my.
I like making big fat roasted mushrooms to have with the sauces I used to love with steaks. Why be sad and mourn the sauce (which, let’s face it, I thought was the best part anyway), when I could still have them, only with something else?
My favourite is a quick, home-made diane sauce that I think breaks every rule in the book, but oh my lord it is delicious. Much like this mustardy one even though it didn’t have any brandy or anything that probably would have launched it into the stratosphere of deliciousness.
Don’t ask me what I’ll eat with mushroom sauce. I’m still thinking. Schnitzel, maybe?
I was absolutely starving the other day and kept seeing recipes for mushroom risotto, and mushroom soup and mushroom gorgeousness in a thousand other forms, so I went home and threw this lot into the oven. You’re going to need 2-3 per person. We served it with mashed potato and a sauteed mix of spinach, broccoli and garlic.
Sauce serves 4.
Ingredients:
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
150 ml cream
salt and white pepper
Directions
1. Gently saute the garlic and mustard in a little butter in a frying pan.
2. Add cream and turn up the heat. Allow to boil, reduce and thicken for a little while until your desired consistency.
3. Season to taste.
4. Cry. It’s ok. I understand, it’s really, really good.

22.12.13

Our Weekend In Pictures

The festive season is always super busy for us, with Wilf's birthday (and all his little friend's birthdays) plus anniversaries, xmas work meals (tom), nursery Christmas parties and general social commitments it's hard to find the time to just chill out.

We wanted to get together with some of our friends for some child free time before they left to visit their folks for Christmas. One of our neighbours and I have agreed on a babysitting swap but being such a busy time of year our diaries just didn't match and we found ourselves without anyone to watch Wilf. Instead we invited our friends over for a chilled evening of drinks and a takeaway and it turned out to be kind of perfect. It's reminded us we need to make an effort to do more of it in the new year.


On Saturday morning I set off to sell at the Harbourside Market with my good friend and felter extraordinaire Lizzie.  It was so much fun to sit and chat with her for the day, I was good and managed not to spend any money on the other stalls (usually my un-doing) although I was very tempted by the band posters from the Jack Knife stall and the Red Bird Makes stall too! I did treat myself to a festive Falafal King though!


Sunday marks the start of my actually holidays! Although the shop is still open to take orders they will not be posted until the 2nd which gives me some time to spend with my little family. I'm really looking forward to some chill out time and I have a few amazing guest posts coming up on the blog also (as I try to take a break here too…maybe..lets see how that goes ;))

I treated my boys to a brunch in our local veggie cafe and Wilf got a hot chocolate which is becoming a lovely treat for him. He has even started to suggest we go to the cafe some afternoons and he will sit and sip it off the spoon ever-so-carefully. All in all it's been a kind of perfect weekend, some quality time with friends as a couple, some festive work and some time with my boys!

Wish you all a very lovely Christmas!


21.12.13

51/52


'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

Your third Christmas and the first time you have been really interested in the idea. You love the tree and like to rearrange the ornaments daily!

Not the best picture granted but oddly enough the only one I took of Wilf this week. I am officially on my Christmas holidays from the shop now! Looking forward to a few days of rest before the january sales begin! I have a baileys in hand right now, yay Christmas! 


20.12.13

Giveaway with Lemon Squeezy


I squeezing in another giveaway just before Christmas, this time with Lemon Squeezy (see what I did there? Oh my..)

After being introduced to Lemon Squeezy the first thing I did was check out their veggie recipes. I always judge a food site on how good their veggie recipes are and I'm pleased to say Lemon Squeezys are really good! There is no bigger turn off for me than seeing pages of different salads for sure,vegetarians do not just eat salad..in fact I probably should eat more salad if truth be told. I'm loving their Mexican recipes and have saved this mushroom taco one for someday soon, doesn't it look yummy?

Another neat aspect to the site is the ability to save the ingredients for each recipe onto your shopping list which makes for a really easy shop espeshally if you shop on line anyway. 

Lemon Squeezy have been kind enough to give away a year subscription to Food and Travel magazine  for one lucky reader. A great magazine to start off the new year with!

The giveaway will run for two weeks. To enter just enter below and good luck! xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

19.12.13

Crafters Companion

1, Darice glitter glue
2, Pebeo paint set (I love these paints!)
3, Darice extra fine glitter
4,  Teresa Collins embossed paper

Lately Wilf has been returning from nursery with an abundance of christmas crafts, 'he' has made calendars, cards and ornaments, they even did some baking the other day. It has made me realise quickly that he is finally is at an age when he can really enjoy craft activities and has given me a little push to do some more at home (mostly painting at the moment if i'm honest). My friends and I have decided that in the new year we will have a weekly craft meet as each other's houses so we can all get messy without it being too much of a stress or palaver.

It's also reminded me how much I enjoy crafts myself. When I was a teenager I used to save all my pocket money on items from our local art shop, beads, paint, card and pens in all sorts of shades and colours. I still get a little bit too excited about new pens and paints! I was going to make my millions making jewellery, or glass painting, or hand painting designs on T-shirts... It's taken me 28 years to realise this probably isn't the best way to make my living, which is great because I can now do things things simply for the fun of it!

Crafters Companion is a great site for craft essentials. It has a great variety of crafting materials including my favourite paint brand Pebeo, plus they sell the cutest Beatrix Potter and Brambly Hedge stamps and craft making kits. It's also reminded me I really want to give decoupage a go!

If you are stuck for craft ideas for yourself of your kiddo I have a handy Pinterest board of all sorts of ideas if you fancy some inspiration

This post was written in association with Crafters Companion but all words and thoughts are my own

18.12.13

Ten things about me


I thought as it's been a while I would share a few fun things about me you may or may not know. This little blog of mine has been going for four years now. Sometimes that amount of time seems like ages and sometimes I feel like 'what was I doing before this?' I love blogging and I'm so glad to have stumbled into this world of, well, over sharing! Over the years my readership of maybe two or three people (Tom and my parents!) has grown a little, I have such supportive readers and I love to read each and every comment that is posted here. 

So here are ten things about me:

1, I am appalling shy and terrible at meeting new people 
2, When i was 8 i contracted an often deadly form of meningitis / septicaemia and was told a was half an hour away from death. I hallucinated pretty badly and my parents became a giant spider and a ladybird, it was terrifying and an image I can still remember to this day.
3, despite the best intentions I do have several regrets in life
4, That being said I have never been more happy than I am now
5, I am ambitious and competitive, I am also a people pleaser and a worrier. It's a funny kind of mix
6, I think the most important thing you be is to be a kind person, it's the quality I hold in highest regard with people I meet. 
7, I find unkindness confusing and it worries me more than it should
8, Being a mother has taught me more about life, people, the world then my previous 26 years put together
9, I respect my parents immensely but sometimes I cannot work them out
10, I'm not sure if I want to get married but if I do I would rather elope

p.s this dress, bag and necklace are from my shop (and two out of three are on sale)

17.12.13

Wilf's second birthday party


Wilf turned two years old on Saturday and we invited some of our family and friends to celebrate with us. There was cava a plenty (as usually happens when I meet with my mum friends!) as well as some little nibbles for kiddos and grown ups. I wanted to make Wilf's birthday cake but when it came down to it having a birthday at the busiest time of the year (retail wise) has meant most of my free time has been spent packing orders and maintaining the shop and this blog. Also I knew he would be thrilled with a shop bought cake just as long as it had his favourite pig on it ;)

We bought Peppa Pig themed bags which we filled with fake moustaches, a purse and a toy dinosaur for all the kiddos, along with some snacks. We also bought peppa pig balloons which we filled the night before his party..and then came down in the morning to find they had all deflated! Tom had to rush off to the supermarket for some plain ones as the sunken balloons were quite an eery sight. I made pipe cleaner crowns for the kids after the Peppa masks we ordered got lost in the post.

Like last year Wilf was given the loveliest gifts and he was so excited opening them all, there were plenty of gasps and once granny arrived he rushed to show her all his new things. He really does adore his granny, he spent the next day saying 'when are we going to see granny again?' over and over..luckily he only has to wait until Christmas!

Wilf's birthday it the first out of our little NCT group so it's always the first real celebration of yet another year of mothering. It also kicks off the festive season for us so it's a great excuse to get a bit jolly! The next few weeks will see all his little friends turn two and I'm really looking forward to chinking glasses and celebrating with my friends what a wonderful journey this parenting thing is.

I know two is supposed to be terrible but I'm looking forward to it!

my dress is ℅ of Marks and Spencer as is Wilf's blazer. They have 50% at the moment! 

16.12.13

We Like To Read - Dick Bruna - The Christmas Book


The Christmas Book - Dick Bruna - £1.99

I've posted about Dick Bruna in this 'we like to read' series. I've come to realise his illustrations are a love or hate thing. It's probably quite obvious I fall into the former. I adore the colours and simplistic style to his drawings.

It's only fitting I feature The Christmas Book as this is the last 'we like to read' before Christmas! Now Wilf's birthday is over (post to come) we can start getting excited for the big day. Last year we had a really simple one just Tom, Wilf and I (which was perfect after the year before with a eleven day old). This year we are spending it with Tom's family for the actual day but coming home the same day so we get the comfort of our own beds which I think will be a help with us all getting a bit more sleep.

Wilf is getting quite excited about the idea of Christmas, we donated money to his nursery (which is charity run) and to a couple of other charities and dropped off a big bag to our local charity shop. I have been trying to explain to him about the concept and getting into the spirt of the festive season without putting too much emphasis on the commercial part of it. A balance I've written recently about worrying to get right.

I want to read the nativity story to Wilf so he understand what this religious festival is based on. I'm still not sure to how to explain why we celebrate some parts and not others. I like the whole feeling of good will and kindness to others. Of giving and thinking of those in need. Tom and I are not in the slightest bit religious (I would describe myself as agnostic but Tom is an atheist - he got a bit cross with me when I described us both as agnostic before ;)) so I struggle a little with how it's OK for us to adopt the bits we like and not the fact it is a religious holiday.

Thoughts?

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we were sent a copy of The Christmas Book but all words and thoughts are my own (course!)
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