Thursday, 7 January 2016

Baking with Granny

Terry's Chocolate Orange Cupcakes Recipe

So it would appear I have somewhat abandoned this blog... But fear not, we're still alive! My attention has somewhat shifted. With returning to work full time last year I found keeping a lifestyle blog somewhat tedious, as life when you're a full time working Mum is not actually all that interesting. That being said, I've not left the blogging world completely behind me. In fact, I've started a whole new blog called Baking with Granny. If you're into tasty treats, home baking & lots of photos of delicious food then come over and say hello!

Great Granny's Coconut Ice Recipe
Empire Biscuits
Irn Bru Cupcakes


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Ikea Latt Table & Chairs Makeover

A DIY Makeover of the Ikea Latt Table & Chairs set.
A DIY Makeover of the Ikea Latt Table & Chairs set.
A DIY Makeover of the Ikea Latt Table & Chairs set.

For a while now I've been thinking about getting the boys a little table & chairs set. We obviously have a dining table but as our house is quite small, it's usually pushed up against the wall or buried under a number of forms of clutter. Plus the chairs are just a little low for John & the high chair can no longer contain the monster that is David, so a mini-version is just what we required!

After a bit of humming & hawing, I eventually settled on the Ikea Latt set. At only £20 it's an absolute bargain but given the price, it's a little bit boring. As soon as I unpacked it I knew I couldn't leave it in it's bare pine state: it was time to get creative!

The idea of painting it in some garish rainbow colours did cross my mind but as it would be pride of place in our living room I decided on something a little more neutral. In fact, the colours I chose are the leftover peach paint from when we first decorated the nursery before John was born & the blue we currently have on one of the walls in the boys bedroom. Talk about a thrifty project, eh?

The process was straight forward enough - as simple as a lick of paint! A few tips worth sharing though are:

  1. Paint the parts before putting everything together. This will allow for a neat finish and avoid any paint getting onto the table surface.
  2. Use a gloss paint. Assuming you'll be using your Latt Table set with children - who are obviously quite messy - gloss paint is wipe-able and won't stain from (most) food or drinks.
  3. If you choose to use more than one colour, masking tape around the already fixed parts of the chair and table to allow for neater edges.
  4. Do light coats of paint in the direction of the wood grain. You'll probably need about 3-4 coats of paint, depending on your paint colours.
And there you have it. A quick, easy and pretty darn cute DIY project. I also have plans to add the boys names to a chair each but that's yet to happen. For more inspiration on how to makeover your own Ikea Latt table & chairs, have a look at these below.

Monday, 3 August 2015

So We Finished Breastfeeding

From extended breastfeeding to tandem breastfeeding to self weaning.

It feels weird to type that... "We finished breastfeeding." I mean, I'm still not entirely convinced we have. It's been a week since David last breastfed but it wasn't a concious decision, more of a 'he hasn't asked and I haven't offered,' situation. But a week is the longest I've not breastfed in the 3.5 years since John was born and it very much seems like David has moved on, thrusting an empty bottle at me as opposed to tugging on my top.

So how do I feel? It's hard to say as I think I'm still very much in denial. I don't know what I expected to be honest. Maybe a, "congratulations on breastfeeding two kids for over 3 years," card or perhaps a, "sorry for your kids growing up and leaving you behind," card would be more appropriate? Either way it feels like the end of an era that is going somewhat unnoticed by everyone but me. Which isn't unreasonable as no one is really aware that we were still breastfeeding; even Iain asked me recently if I still breastfed David as it had become much less frequent and only done whilst settling him for bed, if at all. Even David doesn't seem phased by or to have even noticed the end.

I suppose it was inevitable when I went back to work full time. Most days I'm not there during the day so the opportunity to breastfeed is automatically forfeited. That combined with David now sleeping through most nights and only really having milk before bed, he has less opportunities to even ask to breastfeed. Since the boys started sharing a room we also got into a habit of giving David a little bottle of cows milk on those nights when he doesn't settle after breastfeeding to allow John to get some peace to fall asleep too. And slowly that bottle has taken my place.

I guess I'm glad that David has taken it upon himself to end this journey. John was 3 when he decided he was a 'big boy' and breastfeeding was 'for babies like David,' a conclusion he came to with a bit of encouragement & discussion from myself. I kind of figured David would follow a similar route but this as much as anything shows me just how individual they already are. I've always said I'd like to allow the boys to self-wean and with that you sacrifice a say of your own, whether you too are ready for the end. I guess it was easier with John too as we were tandem breastfeeding, meaning that when he finished it wasn't the end: This time though, there's no more babies, now at least and quite possibly forever.

But it's done. We're finished breastfeeding. Aside from being in denial and a little bit upset at the finality of it, I'm also a little bit relieved. It's been over 4 years now that I've not had my body to myself between pregnancies & breastfeeding; it'll be nice to have that back, regardless of how much I'll miss it. It means I can finally go back on the pill and hopefully once my hormones settle down I can become less reliant on antibiotic treatment for my cystic acne. Plus the addition of under-wired bras to my wardrobe has been welcomed with open arms, even if what they're only holding a shadow of their former selves!


Thursday, 23 July 2015

My Nerves Are Shot

It was obvious from the offset. I was barely 5 weeks pregnant and David was already making life difficult. A Hyperemesis Gravidarum pregnancy should have been a warning that this kid meant business! It carried on right through his birth and into the first month of his life, putting me constantly on edge and fearing for his safety - and that's when he was still just a newborn potato!

Fast forward 20 months and things have followed the same path. My nerves are shot. Kid is a whirlwind. When he's awake, I'm constantly on edge. God love him! He may be the sweetest, cuddliest, cheekiest & smiley-est toddler you'll ever encounter but he's also as-hard-as-nails, with not an ounce of doubt in him, no sense of danger & quite literally the only thing he is afraid of is the car wash. It's as if any kind of genetically programmed dangers that kids are born with, like heights, animals, water & fire, have been missed from David's DNA.

People say that boys can be a handful. This wasn't something we ever had with John. Of course, like any child he had his moments but on the whole, he has been a pretty easy boy. However it's like any kind of stereotypical boy-like natures that John should have also terrorised us with have been squeezed into David making him double the trouble in one happy little chappy with a butter-wouldn't-melt smile.

Be it trying to jump out our first flat floor window or running at flights of stairs with not a moment to stop & think - kid has me living on the edge. Gone are the days of having 30 minutes extra in bed after putting Cbeebies on the telly are long gone, unless I fancy fishing David out the toilet by his feet! Kid is a whirlwind and although he drives me up the wall, I wouldn't change the cheeky grin he gives me when he's up to no good for the world.


Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Michalaks, My Chemical Romance & Jam #littleloves

I've been getting back in reading blogs in the evening this week, thanks to my trusty iPad. I've particularly enjoyed reading Kerry at Oh So Amelia's tips on blogging which have given me the motivation & inspiration I need to get back into a blogging routine. I'm not going to pretend I'll be back into a regular blogging swing just yet but I'm certainly going to improve on the lack of blogging that's been happening or not lately.

We've not got Netflix at the moment so my Sons Of Anarchy watching has ground to a halt (boohoo!) so instead I've turned my attention to Youtube, namely The Michalaks [formerly Hannah Maggs]. Their little weekly vlogs are my favourite thing to watch at the moment and I always look forward to catching up with them each week.


As well as trying to get back into a blogging routine, I've been trying to get back into a routine of running. I've managed to get out a couple of times this week and feel a million times better for it. Plus I found my ART IS THE WEAPON My Chemical Romance t-shirt a couple of weeks back so it's now my t-shirt of choice for when I running around, looking like my 17 year old emo kid-self.

So to go with my emo-esque appearance, I've also been loving some My Chemical Romance as my running soundtrack. I used to be obsessed with them back in High School and was gutted I never got to see them live. But a few years back, just after they announced the release of their Danger Days album, I got to see them live not just once but twice. Plus by then I was a little older and wiser so I think it made the experience all the more enjoyable! Na Na Na is certainly a motivator when it comes to picking up the pace!

It's well & truly strawberry season here in Scotland with all the shops being completely overstocked in Scottish strawberries and as a result there's loads in the reduced section most evenings. I decided to take advantage of this and buy a few punnets to make some Strawberry Jam! The perfect head start to my usual Home Made Christmas.

These wee boys of mine have been the best of pals this week. Granted they'll be hugging one moment then hitting each other the next...but for the most part they've been getting along really well. It's so nice to see them finally getting to an age where they can actually communicate with each other & their physical abilities are now pretty similar too. They're still like chalk & cheese but they certainly compliment each other in various ways.



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