Monday, 30 April 2012

Richard Scarry

On Thursday, I was late for a meeting in Bath. I was practically running into town but the charity shop gods were calling and before I knew it my feet had taken me into our local Oxfam. And for good reason ... not one, not two, but three Richard Scarry hard back books for a fiver, all in mint condition. I love his illustrations so much - each page is so full and packed with detail - and this little haul was definitely worth being a few minutes late for.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Little Bites

The subject of food and little ones can be a bit of a minefield can't it? I know when we started weaning Little B over five months ago (has he really been eating that long?) we had no idea where to start, which method to follow or what to do. So we tried to follow our instinct with him as much as possible and for the moment, he seems to eat pretty much whatever is put in front of him. Long may it continue ... fingers crossed! One big positive side effect of him learning to eat solid food is how much we all look forward to mealtimes. He's has a late routine, and we've both been working from home recently, which means we're all able to sit down and eat three meals a day together as a family. We take our time and enjoy each others company.

I've really enjoyed seeing what other mums cook up for their little ones by reading blogs like Bleubird Vintage's Bird Food posts. So I thought I'd share what we've been cooking up for Little B (and ourselves) over the last week or so in case it is of interest to any parents out there. Or, if this isn't of interest to you, this might be the most boring post ever written so please avert your eyes now.
Breakfasts are usually fruity porridge and marmite on toast. But on special days we have blueberry pancakes.
Asparagus and spring onion frittata
Our boy loves a stodgy ball - gnocchi with red pesto & broccoli
Butternut squash soup with fresh bread and cheddar cheese sticks
Leek risotto (it's a bit pink as there was chorizo in there for us)
Baby burger with potato wedges and courgette - he still finds chewing meat tricky
He loves courgettes - courgette and tomato pasta with torn mozzarella
Pudding is always lots of fruit plus the odd baby biscuit, fromage frais or homemade baby muffin

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


So this week it's the Kids Clothing Week Challenge but I'm afraid, as I thought, life is getting in the way and my ready cut patterns sit forlornly on the floor of my office awaiting use. However, I have managed to do a little bit of sewing for my boy this week. I finally seem to be nearing the finish line with the hexagon quilt I started for him nearly a year ago. There are just a few last hexagons to stitch together and then I can start the task of unpicking all the tacking threads and pulling out all the bits of paper - a job that I reckon will prove quite satisfying.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

KCWC Day One

Elsie Marley's Kids Clothing Week Challenge for Spring 2012 began yesterday - where crafty Mommas (and perhaps the odd Poppa too) pledge to do one hour of sewing a day for one week, all to make garments for their children. The Elsie Marley Flickr group is well worth taking a peek at if you're interested in making clothes for little ones - full of fab inspiration.
I've taken part before but as I noticed the event in my diary yesterday, I suddenly realised that taking part this week is going to be tricky. Now I'm back to work, sewing has to take a back seat as my family and my work have to be my main priority. Freelancing means that at the moment I'm mostly working from home getting prepped for projects later in the year. So, whilst Mr B is also having a patch of working from home, we alternate childcare through the day. We eat breakfast as a family and then one of us takes Little B in the morning whilst the other works. Then after a family lunch, we swap until dinnertime. It's been working really well but in two weeks, Mr B heads off on tour and then I'll need to squeeze all work into nap and after bed times. So I'm on a mission to get as much work done as possible before Mr B goes (and should be doing less blogging too!).

I think my own Kids Clothing Week Challenge might need to take place once Mr B goes away but I did at least get a couple of patterns cut out last night, so it's a start. Both Oliver + S patterns, I thought I'd have a go at the Sailboat Top in this lovely paper airplanes fabric, and also try making Little B his own rucksack for when we got away for the night.

Monday, 23 April 2012

New Pyjamas

Little B started wearing his first ever pair of PJs this weekend. Now that getting him into baby gros and rompers is becoming more and more of a struggle - he screams heartily every time we lie him on his back, which makes nappy changes quite a trial - we thought it's about time we started putting him into pyjamas. These bobby dazzlers have been stored away under the spare bed for some time, bought a while back in the Gap sale. I love them so much that I did wonder whether they were a waste for bedtime and he should be wearing them during the day. And check out those strawberry blonde locks - just like my babyhood hair.

Friday, 20 April 2012

All I See is You

Attention, attention. My talented sister has two new fabulous prints for sale which would look amazing gracing the walls of nurseries and bedrooms across the globe. Both are limited edition hand screen printed in her little out house in the Midlands, supervised by her bonkers cat Daisy. Isn't she a clever lass (my sister, not the cat). And they are the bargainous price of only £15. They can be bought here, here, or here.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Big Shoes to Fill

Little B's preferred mode of footwear at the moment is to go bare foot ... all the better to get good purchase whilst he crawls and pulls himself up on a variety of floor surfaces. The tops of his feet have developed a rough patch, almost like the skin of baby dinosaur, where his once soft, unblemished new born skin gives way to showing signs of being a boy of the world. I love seeing and feeling these little signs of independence and experience.

Once he's mastered the walking thing, I have some cutie pie footwear lined up for his little tootsies. First up, this lovely pair of baby desert boots from The Gap sale ...
Second, these sweet never-been-worn sneakers from a charity shop ...
And finally, these cosy slippers knitted by the crafty, lovely lady that is the mum of Little B's Godmother ...

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Babar et les Ballons

I finally found a frame to fit the Babar poster we picked up last summer in The Print Room in Bath. I love this poster as it reminds me of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta which happens every August here in the South West of England. I also love hot air balloons - seeing them sail silently across the sky, hanging in the air like coloured baubles. 
The frame came from our local Oxfam and was originally a nasty blue wood colour. So I got out our trusty pot of Farrow & Ball Babouche yellow (we are a bit obsessed with it at the moment) and three coats helped to make the blue vanish. I accidentally stepped on the glass so the poster is just framed as it is without a covering, but to be honest, it was probably a happy accident as it is now a much lighter object to hang on our creaky old walls. It now brightens up a dark corner in Little B's ever evolving nursery.

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Park

A crisp Spring day in Sydney Gardens, where Jane Austen herself used to take her morning stroll.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

A Bobby Bargain

The day after me and Mr B had been discussing the merits and coolness of Collegien slipper socks, what did we find in Bloomsbury Store? Polka dot versions reduced to half price! Thank you bargain gods - we bought two pairs in two different sizes ... it would have been rude not to. Can't wait for Baby B's little tootsies to grow a little bigger.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Cour Albert Premier

A few little photos to share from the eating & drinking marathon that was our trip to Paris last week - explanations of photos at the bottom. A lovely reader asked me if I had any tips for venturing to Paris with a ten month old baby. I think my top tips would be: 
a) take a nippy, light weight buggy. We got the Kato from Mamas and Papas and it wheeled round Paris like a dream. Plus it's a lovely mossy green colour so tres chic too! 
b) we must have visited five or six different restaurants - mostly hidden gems but one bang in tourist land too - and none had high chairs. Everyone was baby friendly and welcomed B in with open arms. But there was nowhere for him to sit (except at the airport - thank goodness as we missed our flight home!). So it's definitely worth taking some form of travel high chair. We got the Gro Chair Harness which was okay for under a tenner - B tended to slide around in it but it did us for whilst he ate.
c) a lovely place to visit is the Jardin des Plantes - it was filled with children and there's a little zoo in there too (although you can see some of the animals for free without having to go into the zoo itself).

one. Our boy by his sign, so much bigger than last time we took him to Paris. 
two & three. Pretty tiles and little boats for hire in the Jardin du Luxembourg.
four. The Gro chair harness in action during yet another session of eating.
five. Love locks on the Ponts des Arts.
six. My Liberty print Bensimons make a journey to their home nation, and are joined by some new plain white ones from Mono Prix.
seven, eight & nine. Pretty baby boy clothing for Baby B from Bout'chou at Mono Prix - the French get it so right for little boys don't they?

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Play that funky music

Howdy pop pickers. We're back from a lovely long weekend in Paris doing all the usual things - drinking lots of wine, eating plenty of cheese and fresh baguettes, walking for miles behind our new collapsible buggy, and missing our flight home so Little B spent a glorious five hours crawling around Charles de Gaulle airport like it was his very own gigantic playground.

Before we went away, Baby B's bestie, the Vintage Baby, turned one and as we were unable to make his party, we headed over seperately to celebrate. As a gift we got him some fabulous flashcards illustrated by Junzo Terada (and had to get some for Little B's forthcoming birthday too). But being the son of one so vintagey, we had to get him a vintage-inspired gift too and found these old records whilst hunting around charity shops.
At the centre of the Vintage Household is a retro record player, and an old suitcase filled with a small but quality selection of vinyl. Our two little boys were the cutest - when we popped these records on for a spin, the Vintage Baby danced by wiggling his hips from side to side, whilst our Little B started singing along (he loves to sing). They were like a little boy band. Here they are in their co-ordinating outfits.