Easter Goodies

I sort of find Easter a weird one. At Christmas time it's much easier to tell and retell the Christmas Story and warble one about peace of earth, goodwill to all, that kind of thing. But the Easter story lends itself less well to bedtime stories plus the whole Easter Bunny thing just confuses things massively.

However I don't think we were going to get away with another year of just ignoring the whole thing. Plus any excuse for crafting right?

I've had this treat bag pinned for years and I'm so glad I got round to making some. I'm completely on board with this reusable wrapping thing and these were so easy to make.  I love felt. I feel like I may have mentioned that about 32432432 times on the blog, but it's so good to make with.

But what's in the bag? Well for the kids I made one for, including my most handsome nephew Robbie I just put some non edible little gifts I thought they would get a kick out of. A wee chocolate bunny may also have sneaked in....

For B and G I put some easter chick pegs in - random but fun - and I made theme some of these chocolate surprise eggs. I found a silicon egg mould in the poundshop which I filled with melted chocolate, leaving them somewhat hollow in the centre. Before I glued the halfs together with melted chocolate I popped in some haribo sweets to make them surprise eggs.

They are quite small - but thick and the kids already have a shelf groaning with eggs kindly gifted to them by friends and family.

I can see me making suprise eggs a yearly tradition and I'll make sure to reuse the bunny bags too. I bought some plastic fillable eggs which I filled with marshmallows which we will  (Greig will) hide tomorrow morning and I think we'll hand over the bunny booty when they've found all of the eggs.

Do you have any Easter traditions you'd like to tell me about? Or do you mostly just subscribe to the eating so much chocolate you feel a bit pukey camp?

Posted on April 19, 2014 and filed under Brodie, baking, Grier, Handmade.

Type A Baking

This week has been the kind where I think how on earth do I manage to blog ever? How is it possible to fit it in with all the child wrangling, house stuff, and of course the knitting.

I've been trying to find a balance between letting the kids get a little bored and all out destruction. Don't you find boredom is the first step to them being completely absorbed in playing a new game or enjoying an old one? So I've been trying to have some down time at home waiting for kidspiration to strike and also see some friends and not go completely stir crazy. There is also a fine line between hanging out at home and developing cabin fever.

One of Brodie's favourite things to do is baking. Grier is cottoning on now as well but sometimes baking with 2 little people is a battleground.

I will stir it

No I will stir it

NO I WILL STIR IT - as wooden spoon flies across kitchen spraying flour and raw egg.

You get the picture.

One thing that did work well though was making chocolate nests. Granny furnished us with 'Wheetabricks' and chocolate and those dangerously addicitive little chocolate eggs - don't tell me you don't know what I mean. They enjoyed all the mushing and arranging of tiny eggs. Grier of course hasn't actually eaten any of these cakes she just eats off the eggs and hands me back the slavery chocolate nest with a smile.

Brodie wanted to make Easter biscuits, so biscuit we did. I fully embrace letting the kids loose when baking. I don't hover over them, I let them do it solo and worry about the mess later. We took it in turns to weigh out the ingredients with minimal sibling violence. Then I split the dough into three parts - this is how I am able to let them go at it and not feel the need to intervene and correct them. I save myself for dough for later so I can bake in peace and let the Type A personality I inherited shine through.


And later when Brodie was watching a DVD - (what it's the HOLIDAYS!) and Grier was napping - lucky duck. I uniformly rolled out my dough. I used only the Easter egg cutter - no Easter angels or platypus cookies for me. I watched them in the oven so they were just browning around the edges when I whipped them out. Later I made royal icing - in pink and yellow - and iced those bad boys.

To be fair my piping technique is still rubbish but it was fun. And seeing all my eggs lined up on the worktop made me so happy. And the kids still got to smother their attempts with 40 colours of sprinkles with Grier managing to eat a considerable amount of raw cookie dough.

Of course I can't actually eat any of them but I'm quickly realising that doesn't matter as much as I thought it did. Making it pretty, mastering techniques that's what baking is for me. Which is weird.

Edward Sprinklehands

Posted on April 18, 2014 and filed under baking, Mothering.

This Life

my favourite moment this week was Grier telling me she needed a moments peace to find her magnifying glass. that girl.

greig is nominated for a Scottish Press Award. he asked me to take a photo as they need one from all the nominees. i even photoshopped out the nail hole which was visible to the left of his head after we took a picture down to get a blank wall to shoot on. that's love people. and i wouldn't be ashamed to ask you to vote for him but that would be pointless because 'apparently it doesn't work like that'. fair enough. but handsome.

mercifully uncle douglas is always up for a game of angry birds star wars.

i need more weetabricks mum

not the actual wilderness, just our garden

we furnish nana and grandad with tea and cakes and they read, play, build and cuddle.

grier is mightily enamoured with my egg tree

someone sent me the most beautiful flowers

Posted on April 17, 2014 and filed under this life.

Corrin

I have lots of photos of tiny baby Brodie, lots and lots. Photos of his tiny body in slumber, in the bath, kicking his tiny feet. Some of them are even in focus.

I have some photos of Greig with baby Brodie, including the two of them watching a football match together at about 3 days old.

I don't however have many photos of me with Brodie. As much as I remember those days with the kind of crystal clarity which only happens when your life changes irreversibly overnight I'd love to have some more photographs of the crazy, lovely, blissful days.

My friend had a baby on our wedding anniversary and months before the baby was due I asked if she would like me to come and take some photos after the baby was born. I wanted her to have the photos I don't and I know the way to grow and improve my skills is to move (a teensy bit) out of my comfort zone. Although admittedly spending the day with a treasured friend and her adorable brand new daughter are hardly akin to a day spent at the coal face but you take my point I hope.

Luckily she agreed and a few weeks after the baby was born I arranged to visit with my camera, brand new reflector and a metre of black velvet fabric last seen here. You know someone is a real friend when they hand over their firstborn within seconds of you walking through the door (after you've washed your hands obviously) and don't ask for them back for a good hour.

One of the first things Vivienne asked me with her tongue firmly in her cheek was whether or not I would be putting the baby in a flowerpot to take the pictures which made me laugh. I'd spent a few hours on Pinterest and whilst I'm completely fascinated by the skill it takes to get those posed photos of newborns in flowerpots wearing ridiculous hats it just looks all very uncomfortable. And you can only take those kind of photos when babies are mere days old, because any older and they are likely to complain vociferously which is hardly surprising. So we were both agreed, no flowerpots.

corrin 13.jpg

The kind of photographs which capture my heart are always what is called 'lifestyle'. Usually captured at home or in a suitable location not in a studio. Taking note of those little details which make us and our relationships truly unique. That's not to say a photographer doesn't direct or coach those photographs or choose and edit carefully but there is a hard to define quality which makes my heart quicken and that's what I want to do to.

So this is what happened. I'm pretty happy with what we got. It helps to have a friend who is beautiful, an angelic baby and a light filled conservatory for sure. It also helps that I wasn't flustered or in a panic even when I realised the batteries in my speedlite were drained (rookie error), but in the end I didn't need it. Proud Daddy and handsome big brother got in on the action at the end of the day when the best light was gone but we still got some keepers.

corrin 7.jpg

In reflection I shot 'too wide' in a lot of the shots so the focus isn't tack sharp. I didn't pull back enough to show how truly tiny Corrin is, I forgot to get the whole family together, some of my whites are blown and I forgot to take any pictures of the nursery - something I wish i had - but none of that really matters.

It was a truly satisfying experience, both as a friend and a fledgling photographer. I know that I will look back on these photos and see not the technical snafoos and cringe at my amateur mistakes but I will be reminded of the gift of a new baby in the house and the celebration of my friends welcoming a baby daughter.

Thank you for letting me share these Vivienne, Craig and Marcus.

 

#babyselfie couldn't resist.

Posted on April 12, 2014 and filed under Photography.

This Life

 

Our holiday week.

Greig was on holiday from work this week and I don't think any of us realised how much we needed some together time.

We hit up the train museum, the cinema, the park and saw friends.

The kids have enjoyed nap and bed times with Daddy on hand, bath times splashing him and each other and we've all had meals together. We've also been a bit ill but having an extra pair of hands is such a luxury I'm trying (and probably failing) to be upbeat about having tonsilitis (again).

There's been nothing fancy happening, but it's been lovely none the less. A reminder of what it's all about. I've enjoyed the extra hustle and bustle of an extra body, the company and the conversation and I've mostly enjoyed having my tea made every night, boom.


special delivery

playing the milk churn bongos

guess who?

Posted on April 11, 2014 and filed under this life.