Improvement, cake, and fun.

1) Yesterday my Pilates teacher came over and asked me to try a trickier exercise 🙂 – the one I’ve always done is too easy for me now.

2) At my meeting this morning, a birthday cake complete with candles appeared. Thank you to the lovely ladies who pulled off this complete surprise 🙂 .

3) K and I spend an enjoyable evening cooking and baking. Tomorrow is my birthday party 🙂 .

Coffee morning, non-walk, and surprise meeting.

1) A huge dining room table, laden with plates of cupcakes, layer cakes, muffins, shortbread, chunky chocolate chip cookies, and pots of tea and coffee. The room was full of laughter and chatter.

2) It started to rain, and we were both tired, so we abandoned our walk and went back to the warmth of the house, a comfy sofa, and a cup of hot tea.

3) K has been in Bangkok all week.  Before he left we were surprised and delighted to learn that our brother-in-law (resident in New Zealand) was going to be there at exactly the same time. They had dinner together on the day K arrived.  A couple of days ago, we learned that a friend of ours (resident in Zambia) was just leaving home for a few days in Bangkok!  Imagine our surprise!  They met up for dinner this evening 🙂 .

Experiment, happy, and thoughtful.

1) The apple-cinnamon cake wasn’t my most successful experiment (although I feel there is hope for the recipe with some tweaking…), but everyone enjoyed it anyway.

2) M talks non-stop all the way home from her first night at Juniors (Girls’ Brigade) – I think it’s safe to say that she enjoyed it.

3) I catch a lovely moment between the kids, as A arrives home from cycling club and asks M how she enjoyed her first evening at Juniors.

Science experiment, lunch, and changes.

1) A and I went over to Grandpa and Grandma’s house to bake a cake. This was a scientific experiment – to test their oven and see if it was working correctly. We made a coffee cake (A’s current favourite), and I’m pleased to report that the oven is fine… and the cake was delicious!

2) Dad and I shared a bagel for lunch – poppyseed, topped with butter and Ardennes pâté, with a glass of cold water, and followed by a slice of coffee cake. A light lunch, perfect for such a sunny day.

3) I finally reached the point in my knitting where I was able to try out the changes to my pattern that I’d envisaged several days ago as I lay awake one evening, unable to sleep in the heat. I had to make a few subtle changes to my idea, but on the whole I’m really pleased with how it looks.

Loch, happy children, and cake shop.

1) We took five excited children out for a walk around the loch – they all loved it, and there were very few complaints!  We finished the walk with a picnic lunch on the shore, followed by icecreams, sitting on the sun-warmed rock.

2) The kids have spent the last few days running in and out the lodge, playing, cycling, scooting, enthusiastically counting the relatively tame bunny rabbits (last bunny sightings count was 201!), and generally having lots of fun.

3) To celebrate Father’s Day, we ended our trip up north with a trip to our favourite Norwegian cake shop at Inshriach. The tea room is situated on the side of the hill, with a viewing area of the bird feeders hanging in the trees just outside. We saw chaffinches, coal tits, blue tits, great tits, sisikins, and five red squirrels – the kids were fascinated. (And the cake was wonderful, as always!)

Baking, Found! and making the best of things…

1) I made homemade custard creams and jammie dodgers, sandwiching together little vanilla shortbread biscuits with either custard buttercream or jam, to feed the hungry hoarde on Sunday. They were a huge hit… including with A and M, so I think they will be made again in the very near future!

2) I had two leftover bananas today and decided to make them into a banana cake.  However, the recipe I wanted to use was one I remembered using three years ago, but which had been lost from my computer in the hard-drive crash.  After a bit of thought, and searching, I managed to find the right blog, with the recipe, and made the cake 🙂 .

3) The cake was a disaster! I’d followed the instructions precisely by putting all the ingredients in together. Unfortunately this resulted in the butter not being blended in very well (I should have put it in the food processor of course, but I was too busy worrying about the flood on the kitchen floor from the tap failing at that moment in time!) and, as the cake cooked, the butter melted and well… the result was not very cake-like.

However, K pointed out that it did retain the delicious flavour we remembered, and it made a wonderful banana pudding, some of which M enthusiastically ate for her supper!

Snowflakes, inside, and Making Monday.

1) From inside, the snowflakes swirled and whirled making beautiful patterns, as they slowly drifted downwards.

2) The reality of being out in the snow was less than beautiful however, and I’m extremely glad that I can take my boots off, safe in the knowledge I don’t have to go out again this evening.

3) It’s been another weekend of, amongst other things, baking and making.  I made dark chocolate brownies, once again for the youth group at church. They didn’t quite manage to finish them this time, but they made serious inroads! I made a Italian toasted pine nut cake, a new reecipe on me, but smells delicious!

I’ve made some progress with my Jupiter Clapotis, and I’m making Megan’s Big Sister dress longer…  She loves it, but has had the sheer ingratitude to grow over the last six months, and the dress is really too short now 🙁 . So I’ve ripped out the bottom band and added a few extra cms in length. I worried that the yarn would look different, but it actually looks okay, so I’m reasonably hopeful that it will be okay once I’ve re-blocked it! Here she is when it was just completed a mere six months ago!


Right, now I’m off to see what other people have been making over at Natalie’s YarnYard

Nativity, cakes, and playing games.

1) Continuing with the theme of the week, I went to A’s school assembly this morning. They did a super version of the Nativity, incorporating Little Donkey, the Calypso Carol and, of course, Away in a Manger.  A’s part in the production was to play a verse of the latter on the glockenspiel, and I was really impressed. All the kids did a fab job, and really brought home the real meaning of Christmas 🙂 .

2) Somewhat against the odds (or at least it’s felt that way), I finished baking, covering, and decorating the Christmas cakes today.

3) We three sit on the floor and play Bananagrams.  The kids both came up with some pretty good words…  but I won 😉 .

Watching, snow, and experiment.

From yesterday:

1) M runs from one side of the house to the other shouting with glee, as she watches the snow steadily drift earthwards.

2) Snow fall covers the world in a pristine white blanket.

3) An experiment: orange génoise cake, filled and frosted with orange cream cheese icing. If the silence that fell across the room as everyone tucked in was anything to go by, the experiment was a success.


Recipe, silver moon, and sleeping.

1) I went to look for a recipe, only to discover that it had been lost when the hard drive crashed a while back. After a bit of hunting, I discovered that I’d emailed a copy to a friend.  Problem solved 🙂 , and eight cakes are now in the oven.

2) As the sun began to set, the moon rose silver-bright in the pink late afternoon sky.

3) She was tired, and snuggled up in bed, even though her brother was still out at Cubs. Within moments she was sound asleep.