Thursday, 31 July 2014

Read any good books lately??

I really love the summer holidays, I do! In the run-up with at least 101 things to do every day, I can't wait for school to break up. I absolutely love knowing that the alarm won't be going off, that I won't have to shepherd small-ish people out of the door by a certain time, and that most of the running around from here to there will calm down. Suppose I look forward to not having so many responsibilities and pulls on my time.

In my head we would have all the time in the world, every day. We girls could craft and cook and visit and play and read.... In my head I would have more time for reading. I even gathered a pile of books that I would work through (see below). In days of yore, holidays were all about reading. I'd take a pile of books away with me & often wish I'd brought more! Not so much these days with children to keep an eye on. But still I like to have a few good books lined up...

The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell (because my girls are so very different, because I want to be sure they understand how much I love them, because I think it'll be an interesting read)

The Fault in our Stars by John Green (recommended by a good friend)

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (this month's Book Club Book)

Ruby Redfort : Look into my eyes by Lauren Child (recommended for my 8yo. She likes me reading to her so the books need to be enjoyable for both of us!))

Spanish for Dummies (we're going on holiday in 2 weeks! Last year I vowed I'd learn Spanish before our next visit! Ha!)

In reality, time still flies by! There are just not enough hours in the day! Our days are indeed filled with craft and cooking and visiting and playing and reading, but not always in quite the relaxed way I had in mind!! C'est la vie!!

So, my reading list....suddenly I'm not so sure I'll get through any of them! 

I'm going to have a quick peruse of the Spanish book in the hope that this year I can say more than Holá! and Gracias.

Since my eldest daughter loves me to read to her at bedtime, I think Ruby Redfort is the only one I can guarantee will be finished before school starts again! 

The Fault in our Stars looks to be a fairly easy read although the topic is a bit close to my heart which makes me slightly wary. Self-preservation and all....

The Five Love Languages will be a 'dipper', I'll read a bit here and there and gradually make my way through it. Some books are good like that, aren't they?

I desperately want to read The Goldfinch since I've heard such good things about it, but wow, it's a big book with teeny tiny writing! Is it just me or do others find that daunting, too? I'm not sure I'll be able to read this in time for our next Book Club!

I've been reading more books on my Kindle app recently but I really do love holding a real book (and find reading in the bath too scary with my iPad in my hand!), so thought I'd get this in hard copy. I'm now wondering if I shouldn't have bought the kindle version after all! Perhaps this will be my true 'holiday book'. Perhaps lying beside the pool with the sounds of the kids splashing about in the water might be the ideal time.

What's on your summer reading list? Do you even have a list??

Monday, 21 July 2014

The quickest homemade gift....

It's almost the end of term and boy, are we all feeling it?! What with that, the heat and the humongous thunderstorm over the weekend, this household is on a bit of a go-slow today. And, of course, that means my best laid plans for teacher's gifts has slightly gone out of the window....well, almost...

I did manage to get the pre-school teachers theirs from from the whole class. No mean feat to attempt to get 45 fingerprints on a mug!! I managed 32 & am pretty pleased with that. 

Not the best photos but they are truly lovely in real life! You'll have to trust me on that. 

Many thanks to Rosie at Crockadoodledo for turning these around so quickly. 

And later, I'm going to string a necklace for my elder daughter's teacher using buttons and beads given by all her classmates.

Hmmm, maybe I haven't done so badly after all....

Some of their other classes are finishing too for the summer & I wanted to give a little treat to their teachers. But it had to be quick since I'm almost out of energy. And ta-dah, je vous prèsente "Citrus Curd"!

It is great on many levels - I got to use up the lemons, limes & mandarins that are hanging around my kitchen (without turning them into a cocktail, although that's quite appealing too!!), it took a total of 10 minutes AND used up some of the jam jars I keep and that drive my husband nutty!!

Wanna know how??

Take your lemons or limes or mandarins (or a combination of all three). 

Juice them to get approx 250ml.

In a separate bowl whisk 200g caster sugar with 3 eggs. Add the citrus juice and 100g melted butter. Whisk all together until well combined. 

Microwave for 1 minute, remove, stir, then cook again until the mixture thickens & sticks to the back of a spoon. I reckon 5 minutes total. 

Give it a good stir then pour into sterilised jam jars. Allow to cool before putting lid on.

Click here for a downloadable recipe.

Yummington! Now to make some labels - and resist eating all of this myself!!

UPDATE: here are some photos (albeit not the best) of the finished necklace. Charlotte's teacher loved it! Hooray!