Sunday, August 30, 2009

green grass

i know i shouldn't have, but i bought this nail polish today! green grass (236). i usually try and buy just one nail polish per year, because i only use it on my toes and with careful application (i do a base coat, two coats of colour and a clear top coat) the colour lasts for nearly a month, so you can do the maths. but - it's grass green! i didn't have one of those! i have 'coralicious', and a dark turquoise and a hot pink, and a more muted pink called 'frisky clover', and a nearly black purple that i never use. but the perfect green was missing.
i love opaque, non-pearly polishes, and i love mad colours, but they have to work without a tan. i like wearing my birkenstocks, which, without nail polish, can look very very alternative; and i have a few pairs of coloured sandals, that look even better with a bright colour on my nails (today i was teaming bright yellow sandals with dark turquoise nails). if i had better finger nails i would use it on them, too but mine are so thin and weak, they don't survive the taking off of polish, and start to splinter and seperate.
ah the shallowness... to get excited about nail polish!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

my little girl crawling (commando), and waving goodbye, and really playing with her toys... she's learning so much every day! she's so fast, you can't leave her alone for a minute, she'll be going straight for the sockets or a paper bag, or anything else she's not supposed to have... she giggles on the changing table if i blow raspberries on her belly, she shouts angrily if i take the remote control or my mobile phone off her, she loves other children and will 'chat' to them and smile at them!

she'll be 10 months old tomorrow! 10 months ago, around this time, i was retiring from a green thai curry dinner, allowing myself a half glass of red wine, and waiting for the water to heat up, for my warm bath! dreaming about meeting my baby. 10 months ago, i didn't even know if it was going to be a boy or a girl. although i'd had one beautiful dream, where i was holding my little girl's hand.

if i hadn't been approved for my career break i would be back in work on tuesday! i am so glad that i can stay at home, to spend time with emm, and watch her grow!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I baked bread!

This is the second batch of white bread I made this week! I'm delighted, two in a row that worked out! After a very bad attempt last week (the bread was stale as soon as it was out of the oven! too dry!) it's nice to see it work out. I don't have an exact recipe, but it goes like this

1 sachet of dry yeast
mix 250ml milk - and 250ml warm water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
enough white flour to make a good dough

I have a foodmixer, so I start with the yeast, half the milky water and a little flour, stirring it with the dough hook attachment to a yoghurty consistence. I then leave it until it starts to bubble up, maybe 20 minutes? Then I add the rest of the water, the salt and oil, and on the lowest setting, slowly add flour until the dough is nearly, but not quite, dry enough to handle. Turning it out onto a floured surface, I knead it some more, adding more flour if needed, then return it to the mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and put into a quiet, warm place. There I leave it for about an hour and a half or until doubled in size. I knock it back, shape two loaves and put them into two loave tins, leaving them to rise for at least an hour, after that I check on them and if they look well risen I preheat the oven and as soon as it's hot they go in, 200 C in a fan oven for 45 minutes (although I think I might have done 220 for 35-40 minutes the last time... I really should write these things down...)

The loaves are nice and airy, with a hard crust on top, but squishable on the sides. There is some satisfaction in pulling good bread out of the oven! I already passed half a loaf on to my neighbour who's forever giving me thick slices of her cakes to sample! And today she brought two scones from Avoca, yummie!

Other news... we have realised Emm doesn't really need the night feeds any more, she's just waking up for a little drink and cuddle! So for the last week and a half I have more or less weaned her off the night feeds, with P's help. He's been looking after her when she wakes up, which is usually around 4. Some nights it just takes a soother to get her back to sleep, others she needed a little cuddle. Last night I tried to take over, but no luck, she could smell my milk and just wouldn't go back to sleep! When she also started to cry I had to wake P, and within a few minutes she was asleep. I'm a little sad to hand over that ability to soothe her back to sleep with a little milk, that connection we have at night, but on the other hand, I have so much more energy! I didn't just dream of going back to bed while making breakfast, I actually bounced out of bed in the morning, and getting lots done during the day! She's nine and a half months now, and becoming very aware of what she wants and doesn't want, so maybe it's a good time...
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Monday, August 10, 2009

i've got plans

involving this:

and this:

and this fabric (the second one!)

P sanded this chair down, years ago, and I unpicked the cushions and was going to try my hand at upholstery, but the cost of proper upholstery fabric and the chance that it mightn't work out has kept me from it so far. But now, that ikea is here, i got some fabric at 6€ per meter, so even if it doesn't work out, it won't be a tragedy. We sold one of our big chunky brown leather armchairs today, and this fireside chair will replace it, and give us a bit more room in the guest room. We have another one to match it, but it's not sanded yet.

The living room was just getting too crowded, with a 3 seater couch, and two big armchairs. We also have a buffet and hutch, a tv cabinet, a couch table, two little book shelves (to be replaced with one big book shelve and a tiny desk or bureau, at some time in the future), a play pen and a play mat, plus assorted baskets (for magazines, firewood etc). Oh and the ironing board is hidden behind the buffet and hutch. That'll have to change when M starts to crawl!

It feels good to have gotten rid of that armchair, we never really used it anyways! The space and light we gained is worth it. I'm trying to evaluate my possessions at the moment, what do I really like, what do I hang on to for the wrong reasons... Hanging on to an armchair just because it's part of a set and because we might use it some time in the future - wrong reasons!

When I got the call after putting it up on gumtree and emailing with a buyer, I was at first a little worried, I'd thought it was a girl looking to buy it, but it was a guy! I called my neighbour and asked her to come over with her little girls, so I wasn't alone in the house. Better safe than sorry! Of course the guys turned out to be lovely, and one of them brought his little daughter along, who went out with my neighbour's daughter to look at our ducks in the garden. They were, I think, spanish, and one of them was very dishy indeed, as my neighbour appreciated greatly, a bit of eye candy for her, after a hard day involving potty training, a 70 mile drive and tantrums from both her two little ones! In true diet coke style he was wearing jeans and a nicely fitting pristine white T shirt, tanned skin, dark eyes, shiny black hair... OK OK, I did appreciate it, too!!
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

day out in muenster

P, M and I had a day out while we were in Germany, just the three of us, which was nice. We visited Muenster. Apart from a few showers to begin with, we even got good weather!

There was an organic market on the Domplatz, we bought a Waldmeister plant and chestnut honey for my mum, and had some yummie Bratwurst, and got some white peaches for M.

Muenster is very flat, so everybody cycles!

Emm had great fun in front of the mirror while her daddy was looking for new runners...
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