Saturday, October 28, 2006


It's been a quite a busy week especially with it being half term. I only worked two days this week and it worked really well as John had Monday and Tuesday off work and I had Wednesday off and don't work Thursday and Friday's anyway. So Ethan has had great week with us both and has been to sift play areas, to the park, helping John in the shed etc.

I've enjoyed making some winter soups this, I just love homemade soups. I found a recipe for Butternut Squash soup on Morgan's blog so thought I'd give it a go as I've not had that before. It was lovely and as I had some butternut squash left over I did another soup the following day but added sweet potato, carrots and parsnips. It was delicious and I'll definitely be doing it again.

I also made some spiced apple cider which I always have when I go to America. I have never found anything as good over here so found a recipe and changed it around a little. I love it and it leaves just a lovely smell around the house - very American.

Spiced apple cider recipe

1 1/2 pints apple juice
3/4 pints water
60ml honey
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground mixed spiced
6 whole cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
125ml lemon juice
1/2 orange sliced

Mix together the apple juice, water, honey and all the spices and bring to the boil then simmer for around 30 minutes. Leave to stand over night and then strain. Add the lemon juice and orange slices to the drink and reheat - do not boil. I just reheated it as I wanted it.

I'm just about to make some more now as it's all gone - Ethan really likes it. I will only leave it to stand till this evening though as I can't wait for the morning!

I went out last night to a local pub with a few friends, had quite a lot to drink but had a good night. My friends got up and did karoke but I didn't - I just can't sing and refuse to embarrass myself, especially as I saw quite a few people that Have known me since I was a baby!!!

John also bought, me home 4 big bags of Bonfire Toffee this week, I haven't been able to find it anywhere local and a friend at John's work managed to get us some. It's not a great photo but I just love this stuff.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dancing star

Dancing show
Well the dance shows are over and its been such a tiring but fantastic week. Ethan was definitely the star and everyone who came to watch him thought he was great. He tried so hard on all three nights and his confidence grew the more he did it. He danced to the Superman song and especially loved the bit where it's speeded up and when he ran forward as Superman :) Here he is in his costume:

I went to the Hobby Horse crop on Saturday and had a great time, although I had to leave a little early as I had to get home and get ready for the show. I managed to get these to layouts done, sorry for the poor photo quality, bad lighting. The first one is of me and Ethan taken on his birthday at TGI's. The second one is of Ethan on the bouncy castle at his birthday party.

I did this layout a while ago but was missing an S, Claire very kindly gave me one - thank you Claire. This layout is of all the presents, money, cards etc Ethan got for his birthday - thought it would be nice to have a layout to show him in years to come how luck he is!

Hoping to meet with some friends this week with it being half term, I think Ethan was definitely ready for half term especially with having the dancing show over the weekend.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Matlock Illuminations

Yesterday we went to Matlock Bath to see the Illuminations. It was really busy when we arrived and had to park in Matlock and walk into Matlock Bath. Before we walked into Matlock bath we had a picnic in the car, me and Ethan had been shopping earlier and bought everything. It didn't take us too long to walk in and it was quite a nice walk. We had a little walk round and got Ethan a little light up toy and went to stand by the river. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the boat parade as us, along we hundreds of other people were in the wrong place, apparently it no longer comes up the river. We did however see the fireworks a little later on which were great and Ethan loved them. Here are some photos from Matlock Bath, as you can see Ethan was shattered by the end of the night.

Yesterday morning Ethan had his last dancing practice before the show next week. He also did the show dance in his private lesson too so hopefully that will have helped - just hope he dances on the night!

Today Ethan has been to his cousins 6th birthday party and had a fab time. With his late night last night I don't know where he gets all his energy from.

Here is a layout (click to enlarge) I have finally finished using the Pencil Lines sketch. My first attempt just wasn't flowing so I changed photos and really enjoyed doing it. It's not a great photo of the layout as I've had to use the flash!

Friday, October 13, 2006

New car

John finally got his new car, a brand new Volkswagen Passat. He got it on Monday so we all went out for a little drive in the evening to give it a test drive! It's a lovely car but very big, not sure I'm going to be driving it on a regular basis.

It's been another busy week with dancing practice and it's only a week away till the first performance now. I've still got a couple of bits to get but have all the main things for me and Ethan. There is a dress rehearsal on Monday and another rehearsal at the theatre on Thursday so they'll probably be late nights.

Managed to do a layout yesterday, not able to post a photo of it as there are 17 children on there. It is from Ethan's party and I'm hoping to get a few more layouts done this weekend from his party.

Had a friend round for coffee this morning which was lovely, nice to sit and have a chat whilst the children are at school. Then I went into town to get some money changed into America travellers cheques for our holiday. Also got a new bag from Gap to take my hand luggage in (as you can see), I did have a little suitcase but with the new restrictions I think it'll be far too big.

Here, at last, are some photos of the bathroom, it is very nearly done just the last few finishing touches.

Here are a few photos of Ethan busy doing his homework last week. I love the look on his face, he's really concentrating. He is really enjoying his homework and looks forward to doing it. His writing and colouring have really improved since starting school. He also enjoys reading his reading books and doing his bear words which we do most nights.

Another photo of Ethan taken a few weeks ago fast asleep in bed with his rabbit- doesn't he look peaceful.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Goose Fair

This evening we have been to Goose Fairand had a great time. It is an annual fair in Nottingham that has been happening for hundreds of years. It's great fun and I look forward to it every October. I have only missed the fair twice, the first time I was on holiday in America for 3 months and the other time Ethan was about a week old - we still drove round though and got some candy floss, brandy snaps etc.

Ethan has been very excited and looking forward to it for a few weeks, deciding which rides he was going to go on. I can't believe the details he has remembered from our trip their last year. He has remembered rides he went on last year that he wants to go on again and rides that he didn't want to go on last year but he is now brave enough to go on them (his words).

We had lots of food whilst we were there, hot dogs, cheese burgers, mushy peas, donuts, hot chesnuts, candy floss and bought back lots of sweets etc like rum truffles and brandy snaps. It's one of the best bits about going to Goose Fair.

We drove to a nearby park and ride then got the tram from there to Goose fair, it's only a few stops along but it's the only chance Ethan gets to go on the tram as they don't run near us - thankfully! We spent about 3-4 hours walking around and going on the rides etc, think Ethan went on 5 rides altogether. Here are a few of my favorite photos of him:

The first ride he is on is one that shoots up and down and wouldn't go on last year. The second and third photos are of Ethan and me on the fun house, we went on this last year and he wanted to go on it again so he could go on the funny stairs that moved up and down in opposite directions.

These photos are of Ethan and the trampolines attached to bungy cords. He loved this and got the hang of it really quickly, I love the second photo, you can see the outline of him so well.

This photo is of Ethan on a train ride, he was the driver of the train and made lots of noise with the bell.

*The rides or Ethan were moving when all these photos were taken so I'm really pleased at how well they've came out. I managed to put my camera to the test whilst I was there too especially whilst Ethan was on the rides. I'm very pleased with how it performed and I haven't been through the whole of the instruction book yet.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Here are two layouts I did earlier in the week. They are from Ethan's birthday party, the first one is on the bouncy castle with his Uncle and the second one is Ethan in his birthday outfit. Used Scenic Route Hampton papers and rub on, Queen and Co flowers and brads, May Arts ribbons and Heidi Swapp journaling spots, chipboard arrows and letters.

Its been a busy week with dancing practice and Ethan's had football, reading club and also an art workshop. I've been shopping today to change some clothes and get Ethan some more white t-shirts for school. Also did some more Christmas shopping so I've got a big chunk of it done this month with the shopping I also did last week. Not including Ethan, John and my family in America I've done over half my Christmas shopping :) Which is great as I need it all done and wrapped for the beginning of December so we can visit everybody before we go away in the middle of December.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Feeling ill

I've come down with a cold since Friday night and it's really took it out of me, I can't remember the last time I had a really bad cold. Have managed to get some rest today which has helped and I've begun to feel a little better this evening. I don't think I'll be going to work tomorrow though as I have baby clinic and visits to young babies which I wouldn't be able to do with this cold - I just always feel guilty when I'm off work!

It's been quite a busy week with lots of things to do. I had dancing on Tuesday and also Wednesday evening as we needed to practice our riverdance which we learnt earlier in the year for the Butlins competition. Luckily I have pretty much remembered it all so that's one less dance to worry about!

On Thursday morning I helped out at Ethan's school which I am going to try and do most Thursday mornings. Ethan enjoys this and it helps his teacher out with reading, bear words etc. This week though I was working with small groups of children on how to cross the road at a Zebra crossing.

I had an order arrive yesterday from Papermaze with some papers and cardstock to do Ethan's party layouts. I also got some Autumn Leaves Graffiti papers by Rhonna Farrer that I have been looking for, for ages. I got a few sheets in early summer but used them quite quickly and hadn't managed to find any so looking forward to using those.


I had new camera arrive the day before Ethan's party, which I was so relieved at as I really wanted one for then. It's a Fuji F30 which is not what I was originally looking at as I wanted a bigger optical zoom. All the other extra features it had though sold it to me and it was still a small camera which was my main priority. It will make life a lot easier to carry around especially when we go to America and visit New York etc. I also wanted better picture quality in low light and with moving objects which this camera offered and the reviews were great. The other cameras I was looking at that did have the longer zoom either didn't have good reviews or were cameras that were new out so didn't have the reviews. Also what what people have said the Fuji cameras offer one of the best sensors if not the best so I compromised on the zoom in the end. The camera hasn't disappointed and has given excellent photos in both low light and with moving objects, the 3200 ISO is definitely a winner in low light shots. Looking forward to trying it out in America now and shouldn't have to worry too much about recharging the battery either as it has 580 shots per charge - mind you with the amount of photos I take!!!