Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Strawberry Baby!

Can you believe it? My baby is two years old already! Despite the smallness of her years, we celebrated in true Dando style - a party the weekend before, a party on the day and a party the weekend afterwards!!

The weekend before, we three girls were at the Abergavenny Food Festival (whilst Daddy started his bike ride through the Pyrenees - see for more info). Such a lovely, lovely event with lovely, lovely friends....

The second party - on her actual birthday - was with her two great-grandmas, and big sister and Grampy (the taxi driver!). Such a lucky girl to be able to eat cake with her two nannies!

Not the best photo but the BEST red velvet cupcakes ever!
Each topped with a strawberry, of course!

The third birthday event was on Sunday with her two favourite boys & their families, grandparents, returned father and our soon-to-be new neighbours. The sun definitely had his hat on and we were able to sit out on what was a truly fabulous Indian summers afternoon. I can't help thinking it might have been the last of it's kind for this year... I'm hoping not but ever the realist...

Given Isabel is unashamedly a strawberry fiend, it seemed only fitting to have a strawberry-themed party. Bunting in abundance, a trifle bowl full of the real things, a smaller bowl of strawberry shaped yoghurts (!?), strawberry coated cake pops, more strawberry topped cakes, all finished off with a handful of lavender filled strawbs for the mummies! Oh and some pink fizz too!

Good fun was had by all!

On the one hand it's hard to believe she's really two already. On the other, well, that first year was LONG, the second pretty speedy. She already thinks she's 5, like her big sister - she speeds along a scooter designed for three year olds, refuses to sit in her highchair, has to be coaxed into staying in her pushchair and bounces on the trampoline like a pro!

We're looking forward to some fun times ahead!!

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Foragers

Foraging on a September morning, what fun!

Guess what I've been eating!

The last day for Pick Your Own Raspberries was a wash-out, so instead we went on a blackberry hunt. Or rather Black-braw-bries as Isabel calls them - she's a strawberry fiend and clearly anything with berry in it's name should be linked to a strawberry!

Today's top tip: Don't take an almost two year old blackberry picking with a white t-shirt on! What was I thinking?!

It turned into quite a foraging-fest - blackberries along with some lush sloes plus elderberries, haws and rosehips. I have no idea what to do with the last three, but thankfully I know a girl who does!. The sloes are now in the freezer awaiting gin.

I picked some of our cooking apples (they're not really ready yet but I couldn't wait!) and added them to the blackberries and a mound of sugar to create Blackberry and Apple Rum.

And since there were no raspberries for the Raspberry Vodka, we'll find out if Blackberry and Apple Vodka tastes as nice as it sounds.

Roll on Christmas!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Sorry for the delay!

I'm SO sorry it's taken such a long time to finish this story...there have been so many lovely things going on, I've just been carried away with life and haven't found the time to sit at the computer for more than a few minutes at a time.

Needless to say, the dress was finished, the bride looked gorgeous and somehow we arrived at the end of the school year. 6 weeks later, the holidays are all over and my big girl is now in Year One! We're onto Day Two which was also "brilliant" - her words, not mine.

But let's backtrack somewhat....

Wednesday 29th June

After my last post I knuckled down and finished the job. B2B was slightly surprised by my rush visit as I arrived on her doorstep and presented said dress to her, my girls shouting from the car (it was already after bedtime!) to get Jess's attention. I had decided that the dress needed to go immediately that it was finished. Otherwise, knowing myself too well, I knew I would keep worrying, keep looking at it and maybe even start fiddling again. NO! Enough!

So, here are the long-awaited photos:

Pinning the hem.

Close-up of the strapless bit.

Something blue...


 The mini-train.

Ta-dah, one finished dress!

 All packed up and ready to go!

Mr & Mrs Barber cut the cake.

Of course, I completely forgot to take any photos at the wedding. Suffice to say, the bride looked gorgeous, as did the groom (once his tie was turned the right way!), and it was a truly fabulous occasion.

Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Barber!