Friday, 28 February 2014

Baby Louie

Before Christmas, my beloved Mac died, the hard drive fried and I thought all hope was lost for Mr Bee's baby photographs. I just happened to scroll the wrong way with an old memory card in my camera and found photos backed up on there. I have never been so happy. 
I didn't start blogging until Louie was a few months old, so here are some of our favourites. 

Louie's first photograph as soon as he met Pappy, around two hours old. 7lbs 4oz.

Two weeks old on his first train ride. It was valentines day. 

It was never easy keeping Sonny out of Louie's cot. They would lay in there together in the day times and it was terribly cute.  

First trip to London. May 2010. Leicester Square.

Starting young, helping Pappy fix the car.

Thursday, 27 February 2014


Looking Forward To - March Edition

A Weekend Off
A spare ticket for the Blackburn away game means that Pappy is taking Mr Bee. After last years experience, I am staying at home. Being stuck on a motorway in a complete standstill for an hour is not something I wish to repeat (even without the toddler begging me to let him have a wee on the hard shoulder when there were police everywhere....)
I am seriously looking forward to a Sunday morning lie in. And quite possibly an adventure just me, my camera and maybe even my sketchbook. I just haven't decided where yet. (Suggestions welcome!)

Things have been pretty stressful this year already, I am certainly feeling it anyway! So Dan has offered to send me to a spa with my lovely Becka for a day of pampering and girlie gossip. Since Becka moved to London with her amazing high flying job, I don't get to see her nearly as often as I would like. So this will be the PERFECT treat for us both.

This may be weird! But I am allowed to look forward to working two extra weekend days (no, still weird...!) for our fantastic Showroom Open Day* (details below) and a little bit of a Nappy Guru get together and training day. It will be fun!

Harry Potter
For our family outing around my Birthday, Nana Bee has treated us all to tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I would say that I don't know who is most excited but it is me, definitely me. We were going to take Louie for his birthday but left it too late to book tickets. I can not wait!

Oh me oh my, I can't wait for milder weather. I am usually winters biggest fan, maybe it is because we haven't had a super cold winter this year that I am yearning to get outside without the need for my coat! I can't wait for the bluebells to sprout so we can go here again.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

This week we have been a little quiet. An awkward Physio messed up any plans for Tuesday so we stayed home. Mr Bee decided to have an OCD moment and sort out all of his trousers. That was fun. Luckily, he OCD'd them back again with out too much bother (after he decided he didn't like most of them and stashed them under his bed...).
Today has been bliss. A lazy morning in bed, a delicious smoothie in the sunny garden and drawing pictures.
We made our way to New Walk Museum to see the dinosaurs, however they were eclipsed by the Picasso exhibition that was on upstairs. Louie was absolutely enthralled by the funny faces on the ceramic plates, copying them and admiring the bright colours. He was in his element and his Grandpa would be so proud.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Quiche - A Recipe

Mini Leek and Ham Quiche
Makes 4

One of my quiet New Years Resolutions was to make pies. And pastry, from scratch. Now I have made pies, but I have been a wuss so far and opted for store bought. So I thought I would start small and see how I get on with a simple shortcrust, starting with delicious mini quiches. They really are so simple (I was terrified of making them!) and they have gone down such a treat at lunchtimes this week. Fancy a go? Find the recipe below, good luck!

You Will Need;

55g Butter (very cold)
125g Plain Flour
2-3tbs Cold Water

1/4 Pint Milk
1 Egg
50g Cheddar Cheese
1 Leek
50g Ham Hock

Start by cutting your butter into cubes, try not to handle it too much. If using a food processor, put butter and flour inside and pulse until you achieve breadcrumbs. Add the cold water tablespoon by tablespoon, until the mixture comes together.
 If using the bowl method and use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until breadcrumb consistency. Add the cold water tablespoon at a time, using a butter knife to incorporate.
Tip the mixture out onto the counter and begin to bring the mixture into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for about half an hour.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees
After chilling, roll the pastry out to a thickness of around 5mm. Roughly cut the pastry to size, allowing the pastry to reach all the way up the edges of the case. I used 10cm greased tins. Lightly fold the pastry and pop into the tin. Shape a scrap of pastry into a ball and use it to tease the sheet into the edges of the tin. Using a butter knife, trim the excess pastry from the edges.

Lightly prick with a fork the base with a fork. Break the egg and lightly wash the pastry, chilling in the fridge for 10 mins. Line the cases with baking parchment and fill with baking beans or pasta/rice. Blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking beans and parchment paper and return for the oven for 10 minutes.

170 degrees.
Turn your oven down to
Whilst the cases are cooling you can prepare your fillings. You can fill your quiche with whatever you fancy, but we had some leek and ham hock going begging. Generously fill the cases to the top.
Pour the egg (from earlier) into the milk and whisk. Season with salt, pepper and I like a hearty helping of mustard too. Evenly distribute between each case, making sure not to over fill.

 Return to the oven for 25-30 minutes until the fillings are golden brown and semi set, you will know when they are ready.

Serve with a peppery salad and enjoy! 

Sunday, 23 February 2014


Farmers Market
Photography walk at Calke with Louie and Emily

 And then it was my turn...

 Cooked breakfast and playing with the horsey hooks.
 Hot Chocolates

This weekend has been fairly hectic. Friday afternoon we celebrated Harry turning 12.
Saturday morning we busied around stopping off for our favourite Pick's breakfast sandwiches from the Farmers Market, and of course, the fab viennese biscuits from 19 Gates. Our afternoon was spent at Calke. We were supposed to go on a children's photography walk but it was a bit of a shambles so we did our own thing instead. 
Sunday we were up early. We had a little cooked breakfast before heading over to Lichfield to pick up my engagement ring. My prototype wedding ring was perfect (after a little tweaking...!) and we put the deposit down on two wedding bands. Another thing to strike off the list. We restocked the cupboards for the week ahead before getting the amazing chili on and organising lunches for the coming week before flaking out on the sofa with some catch up TV.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Learning at Home

 Now that Louie is 4 and will be starting school in September (eek!), I have decided to create a little learning log for him. We are always talking about different things; kings, plants, where things come from and how they are made. So why not keep a little book, so that we can keep track.
I decided the main topic (History) and Louie decided that he wanted to learn about the Queen. We looked through our books about Kings and Queens, and I asked Louie what he knew about the Queen.

  • You can see her face on a penny
  • She lives in Buckingham Palace
  • She wears a crown
Then we thought about the things that Louie didn't know about the Queen. We learned about the Queens birthday and Trouping the Colour and that she loves Corgis by looking at pictures on the internet.
After I wrote all the things that Louie wanted to remember, Louie did his own drawings (after pretending to be a soldier, marching around and using his pencil as a trombone!)

Here are Louie's drawings. A penny with the Queens face on and a Corgi (yes, that one takes a bit of imagination but you can pick out the ears and tongue at least!) He also wrote the title.

Hopefully this will encourage his thirst for learning and hone the skills he will need when he starts school. I aim to make this a regular occurrence so stick around for more next week ;)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Puddle Pals

Today we went on a rather muddy walk. We played on the mud filled play park and then went for a walk. Isaac was seeking out all of the deepest puddles, we managed to avert a Vicar of Dibley moment when Isaac nearly got engulfed by the deepest puddle! He got so muddy that we had to take his trousers off to go home!

 Anna whipped up a super quick and delicious Tomato and Red Pepper soup for lunch that went down a treat. A usual afternoon of chatting and drinking tea, doing jigsaws and playing with the cute little Aligator, I mean, Alistair!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Valentines Weekend

Dan and I celebrated St Valentines day in a gorgeous country pub out near Bosworth Field. A four course meal followed by cocktails and a stay in a very comfy four poster bed was lovely. And I was even surprised with a pair of beautiful pearl earrings. The view from the window was a lovely quiet field, being battered by the rain!
I baked a fruit loaf for our Sunday breakfast, jeweled with cranberries, sultanas and blueberries, it was delightful with a cup of tea.
Four mini quiches ready for this weeks lunchboxes. Ham hock, leek and mustard with a lovely strong cheddar, I can't wait to scoff them! Yum! 
As the boys were playing quietly upstairs, I thought I would get my watercolours out for a little while, until this monster decided to come and say hello. Note the back paw resting on the tipped over water.... Well done Sonny! Luckily his usually muddy paws didn't make a mess, but he was rather in the way. (And doesn't he look pleased with himself about it...)
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