Turning two

Well the time has come for my little girl to enter her ‘terrible twos’!! From what other parents tell me, it’s time to buckle down and just try to endure the ride that’s about to occur… gulp!

Luckily/unluckily Annabel’s already started to show signs of being a little challenging in her behavior. To her everything is “mine” and good on her for laying claim to possessions and even people. But after she lays claim to random things that quite definitely aren’t hers, we have a polite little discussion explaining that “no darling, but that other lovely ladies bracelet is definitely not yours” (but nice try…). I know it’s all a learning curve for their development and understanding but c’mon can it be over quickly?? My main worry is that my little boy Lachlan is going to pick up that her random acts of frustration are the norm. But hey, we all get our way though it.. Don’t we? Haha!! Ok, maybe not all of us.. I may be guilty of having moments when I want things that quite obviously aren’t mine. Nothing wrong with having aspirations. That’s my excuse anyway.

I do have to admit though, there are some amazing upsides to having a two year old – no lounge mr having to helicopter parent when they’re eating and playing, being able to have a somewhat rational conversation with your toddler and hope that some of its taken in, aiding them to understand the world around them (“daddy, what’s thaaaat?”), no more bottle feeding, the possibility of big having to deal with nappies (but then again, I can see the upside of them over potty training…) but mostly being able to create a world of imaginary play! Ok, as I write this I’m learning that I’ve never really grown up past two.. I just got taller..

So as a finale to my time of being a stay at home daddy I decided to ‘go big’ with Annabel’s party and create a kitch come modern theme. Bunting of course was no option. The cake area had to be simple, but help celebrate the last two years of Annabel’s life and the (what I call) tribe of people surrounding her and helping her to be the determined and lovable little girl that she is. So, I came up with the montage of photos of her and ‘the tribe’ assorted in the shape of a 2. Then a little more bunting.. There was food, food and more food. All of course handmade by moi. Plenty of kiddy and adult drinks to help celebrate. The garden was a simple kiddy paradise with a bouncy castle, dress ups and a colouring in table. In all, everything was done ahead of time, so all we had to do was heat and service food and just enjoy the day.

Which leads me to the cake.. Well I’ve got to say that’s my first 9 layer, 3 tiered cake and maybe my last.. It was a chocolate mud cake with chocolate ganache, chocolate fingers and of course chocolate smarties. Chocolate overload? Never!! I’ve got to say, it was monstrous but well worth the effort. It definitely was the icing on the party.

So, here are some of the photos. Now I’ll start planning for Lachlan’s big 1st birthday. Can’t wait!!

Enjoy,
Sam

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Can we have all that again?!

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A more glorious weekend, we couldn’t have had.

I hope all of you enjoyed a lazy and relaxing weekend!

Don’t worry people, i didn’t sit still. Hah! That just wouldn’t be my style…

The weekend involved lots or organisation and running around. But hey, i wouldn’t have it any other way. Some things will never change.

Friday night saw me cooking up a storm while indulging in a cheeky gin & tonic. Why not, hey? I was doing some early preparation for a saturday night dinner party with friends. Mainly getting in early so i could enjoy the saturday out and about with the family. Sometime it pays off to plan ahead.

So i started prepping for Saturday nights dinner comprising of:

Nibbles – baked camembert, with carmerlised onion and quince paste. Served along with some roasted red peppers, large capers, mixed roasted nuts and some toasted baguette. Oh and some champagne (of course!)

Starters – Asparagus and windrush goats cheese tarts served with a green herb salad.

Appetiser – mixed citrus and apple sorbet with a half shot of vodka for that extra kick..

Mains – cod with braised lentils and proscuitto accompanied with a celeriac remoulade

Dessert – warm Santiago Tart served with white chocolate and saffron ice cream

So yes, you can see why i needed to some prep! It was by far my best dinner party line up for 7 people and strangely one of the easiest ones to cook and serve while guests were here. That was mainly helped along with the vast amount of preparation done beforehand.

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I highly recommend serving fish as a main. So quick and simple to cook. Fish is something i’ve always steered clear of for some silly reason, but then i got my mitts on a J.Sheeky Fish cookbook and now it’s fish, fish, fish all the way!! Do yourself a favour people! Get that book!! I got it on special from Amazon, and it looks like it’s still discounted.

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Saturday morning involved just a bit more preparation for dinner, but it was pretty quick. So we managed to get out and about and walked in to see the start of the London Marathon in Greenwich Park set up before the start on Sunday. Wow!! There was quite a bit of temporary infrastructure required for a marathon.. I guess it’s all needed to herd the masses. We managed to find a icecream van for Annabel to smear it all over her pretty white dress, hair and face. Sometimes you’ve just got to let kids be kids and get MESSY!

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After that we headed home and quickly set up for dinner.

Let’s skip the whole dinner party and just say that my head hurt the next morning.. But no time for that when you’ve got kids. So up we were at 7am, with a quick coffee, a quick clean up and the dishwasher working over time.

As we had friends coming at 9am for a breakfast and viewing of the London Marathon. Eeeeep!! Sometimes i wonder why.. But then i remember, oh yes, i’m a feeder! So after everyone made the rather tricky journey through the crowds we made it down to watch the runners of the Marathon.

WOW!! Talk about inspiring!! There were SO MANY people running the race!! The atmosphere and cheering just made the hairs stick up on the back of my neck and a little happy giggle just burst out. All the runners were in great spirits and really interacting with the packed crowds along the streets. I can’t help but think that the Boston Marathon tragedy somehow brought out more supporters to help encourage and lift the spirits of the runners!

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Ok, i may have gotten a little teary with excitement when we saw our friend run past, as we all screamed with applause! It was a magical moment and something that filled me with pride. Kate – you are my hero! It wasn’t just the act of running the marathon, but all the hard work and dedication in the lead up to the race was nothing short of inspiring! It even made me thing.. hmm… should i do it next year?

After we saw Kate run past we headed off back to our place to continue the celebrations before we met Kate once she’d finished the race. Lots of sitting in the sun and enjoying some Pimms was involved. YAY for summer!

We then headed off to Kate’s house loaded with a magnum of champagne ready for more celebrations!

So, i think you’ll agree with me, when i say “can we have all that again?” What an epic weekend!

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Now for the week ahead. What’s installed? You’ll just have to wait and see.

Happy blogging people!

Sam x

Spring Is In The Air

After a busy weekend I’d be quite happy to just laze in the sun all day today. Yes!! We finally have sunshine!! Thank you Mother Nature the weather is glorious.

Although the weather was pretty miserable on Saturday, but not such a bad thing. As i spent most of the day whipping up a Spanish storm for a dinner party that night. What was on the menu you ask? Starters of Gambas Pil Pil, panfried chorizo in cider, potato tortilla, sardine marinated olives, meatballs with onion sauce, prawn croquettas, crema catalina, Santiago tart and white chocolate and saffron icecream. So yes..a lot had to be done before the guests arrived!

Here’s some of the workings. I’ll share the workings in more detail in good time.

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Alas the night was a success after having the crowd roll out of the house at 2am. Sorry neighbours!

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Which then leads us to Sunday.. Ouch.. Lets just say I needed loads of fresh air. So I spent the day in the back garden soaking up the sunshine and tidy up the garden while my partner did the honours of cleaning up the mess in the kitchen while resting on the couch and entertaining the kids. I’m always in my element in the garden!

This was the task ahead. A garden that was neglected due to the everlasting winter.. This is how it scrubbed up.

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I’ve got it in the diary to visit the Columnia Road flower markets in Shoreditch to plump up the garden beds.

As for the kids, well they were little troopers! Lachlan is finding his feel albeit very early on! I’m getting excited about chasing two terrors around the house giggling!

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Happy Monday bloggers!
Sam