19.11.19

Thoughts on the online world and if I'll be blogging as a grandma one day..


I've been having a bit of writer's block lately, although I'm not sure I can even say that as I don't consider myself a writer. More just a spiller of unorganized thoughts and an over-sharer of pictures. It's around this time of year I first set up my blog ten years ago. It's CRAZY to see how much the industry has changed in this time. I mean ten years ago it felt like there was no one in the UK blogging. Instagram hadn't been invented, I assumed YouTube was just for funny goofy videos or music and the only bloggers I knew of were American craft ones.

Blogging for sure felt like a geeky thing to do, one for the introverts like me who make friends more easily than via the internet than being a social butterfly in real life. It also felt like a world I could dip into in small doses. Commenting on some of my favorites such as Elsie's 'A Beautiful Mess' and feeling like part of a very small community within a big world. Watching Naomi and Josh as they announced their first pregnancy and were still 'The Rockstar Diaries' or seeing the amazing crafts that Skunkboy Creatures would create.

I'm so thankful that in many ways I was in the 'right place at the right time' in terms of starting out in this online space but it also makes me a little nostalgic for what 'once was' and how I feel about the platforms as they are now. Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic and grateful always that being on here (and Instagram) means I get to stay home with my kids, that it leads to opportunities that would have never had felt possible to us.. but there are times that I guess like a dinosaur in this business I look back and remember 'the good old days'.


I guess for me I feel like my niche is probably my longevity in this area. For that, I have anyone one of you reading to thank. For you that have followed our life over here from buying our first home, having our first child, getting married and then having another child and moving again! It feels like I've been able to record some pretty big life moments on this corner of the internet and a lot of everyday mundane ones in between.


Something I think I've felt a big switch in lately is just how all-consuming being online can be.  I think a game changer for me was the creation of Instagram Stories. Until then posting a picture on Instagram or a blog post over here felt like it could be a clear separation from my life outside of the online world. With the integration of stories, I definitely feel the pressure of being 'on' a lot more and I've found it harder in terms of how much of myself I'm giving and sharing. As an introvert, it feels quite far away from the detachment of writing posts here or posting a single image to Instagram and then going about your day. It's an area I'm finding I need to have more balance in, even watching other people's stories can affect my mental health that day. Sometimes it feels like too much information to take in on top of living my own life if that makes any sense! Like too much stimulation you know?


Honestly, this post is very much a ramble..


When I sit down and think about it all, I'm still happy to be here and to navigate this space in a way that I feel ok about and my family feels ok about. Whether thats how much I'm sharing of the children or our lives and feelings in general. I'm grateful I created this space outside of having children (I was blogging for a couple of years before my pregnancy with Wilf) and whilst I was in the all-consuming first years of being a new mum that's where the focus lay. Now I'm emerging from the baby and preschooler stage of my life I can see my life and interests changing a bit too. Mabli will start school in September and a couple of months ago I started an Interior Design Diploma which I'm really excited about.

I think there will always be a part of me that will want to record our lives in some form but I do wonder if I'll be doing this at 40 or 50 or even if the life of a Grandma will be interesting (haha can't wait for that, hoping it will mostly be cruises ;)) 

For now though I'm not going anywhere! I'm interested to see where the online world will be headed in the next few years (don't even get me started on trying to figure out Tik Tok) I'm glad I still have this blog to write my thoughts onto even if it feels like writing snail mail nowadays. I'm so grateful for all of you reading this and your support over almost a decade!

Have you felt a shift in the online world lately? I'd love to know if you are a long-time reader or a new one too!

P.S these pics were taken as part of 'modeling' for my friend's lovely ethical brand Give Wear Love and taken by my other pal Lauren.  I've since bought the long black dress and it's honestly SO comfy.

18.11.19

Baking with Ed Kimner and making a Birdhouse in Your Soul (AD)



Like pretty much everyone in the country I love a bit of Bake Off, so when Lyle's Golden Syrup got in touch back in the summer and asked if I wanted to join them and Edd Kimner (only the winner of the first-ever series!) you can imagine what my reply was!

We were invited to the wonderful Rosemary Shrager's cookery school in Tunbridge Wells where Ed had created bespoke recipes for myself and some other lucky bloggers. All of them featuring Lyle's Golden Syrup of course and all of them being utterly delicious. I don't know about you but Lyle's have always been a staple in our kitchen cupboard throughout my life. I remember baking with my dad and lifting the lid of the classic tin to see that gorgeous golden colour and licking my fingers to catch as much of the sticky syrup as I could. It's one of those nostalgic products that I'm now using with my own children and creating their own special memories with.

Lyle's Golden Syrup still have their classic tins of course but have recently brought out a new packaging option to their range which is a handy squeezable bottle. We got to try them out first hand whilst making three different recipes.


First up we learned how to make peanut brittle which is something I never would have thought of making before and was actually so easy (and really yummy!). What's even more fun is you get to smash it up once it's made so that you get bite-size pieces. Then we had a go at making our own honeycomb. I have to admit I'm not the more natural baker and I might not have been fast enough when transferring the mixture into the pan. I got quite a few larger holes then I would have wanted but it still tasted good!


Finally, Edd had made us all our own individual recipes to make based on the questions he had sent to us previously. Things such as favorite smells or childhood memories. For me, I always remember waking up to the smell of fresh bread and coffee as my dad would be the earliest riser in our household and would bake a load before we'd even come downstairs for breakfast. Because of this, he created a tahini banana loaf recipe (with a twist) and my gosh I honestly have never tasted a banana loaf so good! My loaf also had Lyle's Golden Syrup in it too of course and I definitely think that combined with the tahini is what gave it that amazing rich taste.


Once it was baked we made some cinnamon butter to go with it which was another fabulous addition I would never have thought to make (and so simple too) I managed to take it all the way home on the train with me to share with the family who pretty much devoured it.


A few weeks later Lyle's sent us a parcel full of their new bottles and a recipe card for me and the kids to bake flapjacks with. I had told Edd that one of my favorite songs was 'Birdhouse in your Soul' by They Might be Giants so they also sent us some bird cutters and decorations to jazz up our flapjacks.. you can see how we got on in the video below...

Thanks so much to Lyle's for inviting me to such a brilliant day baking and for introducing me to the best banana loaf recipe I've ever tried. Their Golden Syrup is a firm staple in our household and their new squeezable bottles are brilliant for cooking with small children.



You can find Lyle's here and all their recipes here.

Wish List for a 4 year old




Gah! I can't believe Mabli is four in a little over two weeks but somehow we have arrived here. I've been trailing the internet trying to think of something that isn't LOL dolls and thought I'd share some finds over here. Don't worry she isn't getting all of these but I've added the Accordion and the hair clips to far. I'm so tempted by thte Wobbel board as I've seen them a lot on Instagram and they seem really good for interactive play. My issue is finding one that would be the right size for both kids as they come with quite a big price tag so would need to be a combined gift I think (did I mention Wilf is 8 in three weeks!)

Wobbel Board

Hair Clips

Doctors Kit 

Flower Headdress 

Accordion

Meri Meri Doll

(contains affiliate links)

5.11.19

Our Halloween and Half Term - Our week in Pictures


(Wilf's jumper a gift from Velveteen Clothing)

So that was Half term! I have to admit I felt pretty guilty halfway through the week when we had basically done nothing without time apart from trying to feel better from this dreadful cold we all had been having. It was a reminder though that sometimes just the simplest things like walking around the corner for a crepe or going to chose pack lunch snacks from the supermarket is enough.

So here are a few pictures of what we got up to..


This picture makes me laugh so much, Wilf has been drawing and I guess leaned on it and didn't realise. Later that morning (yes we were all still in pjs) we gound this little face on his arm like a tattoo (scroll to the end of this post to see a tattoo he then drew himself haha)


On one of the days, I did manage to take Wilf out for a walk, the beautiful Christmas Steps

Tom and I made Moonrise Kingdom outfits but were so full of cold on actual Halloween we just bundled ourselves into coats but at least we took pictures when we were trying them out!


The only thing we ended up buying was the vintage suitcase which I'm pretty pleased about. Tom's neckerchief was two feather dusters taped together!


Wilf and Mabli were Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. Tom made Mabli's tail but we bought his jacket and hat from Amazon. I feel ok about it as he can wear them as actual clothes too


The last two pictures of Pikachu are from when we had to drop Ash off for own clothes day at school and she was sad to be seperated. Nothing a chocolate muffin couldnt fix though.
Hope you all have a lovely Halloween and half term if you were off!

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