Silent Sunday

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For more Silent Sundays go to Cosmic Girlie.

Counting Chicken…

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V is in year 1 and every evening, well mostly, when he doesn’t forget to change it, he brings back a new book to read.

I have to be honest, having two to listen to every night, I very often sit next to them,  paying real attention when a word is being stumbled on. Unless a book really catches my attention, like this one…

Counting Chickens.

The books starts with “Meg was poor…”

The word poor catches my attention, mainly because I am not sure V actually knows the meaning of it. So I ask him what he thinks poor means and as I guessed he gives me a definition a bit far from what it actually means. So we clear this and move on.

Meg was lucky to meet a man along the way who is kind enough to give her an egg and she starts dreaming of all the things that could happen now that she has an egg. You know have more chickens, sell their eggs to buy a cow, then sell the cow’s milk to buy a sheep, sell the sheep’s wool to buys clothes… but!

She trips over some wood on the floor.

Drop the egg.

The egg smashes.

Her dreams are shattered.

The book says “Meg is still poor”.

The end.

The end? THE END?

How about “If Meg hadn’t been so quick to think about all the things she could achieve with it but instead focused on bringing the egg safe home this wouldn’t have happened. That’s a lesson that Meg will surely remember!“. Ok you need to fit this in words and sentences a 5 year old could read. But still…

Anything has to be better than Meg is still poor… without moral to the story…

Is it just me?

Silent Sunday

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For more Silent Sunday check Cosmic Girlie

Help me create the best DIY Blog Design course ever and enter for your chance to win the full course!

headerturquoiseThis is a little bit of a different blog post.

As you may already know I have been working at creating a DIY Blog Design Course and we are now on the final straight line.

It will be yours to take very soon and as I am working on the final technical details I thought that I would ask for your help to make sure that the course covers what you need to know.

This is a course designed especially for creative bloggers so whether you excel at Parenting, Lifestyle, Food blogging, Craft or Photography (anything creative) and as long as you have in common the aim to have a blog that looks beautiful, uniquely branded and stylish and you are keen to learn how to make it happen, then you are in the right place.

What I aim to teach you is how to get all this, step by step, learning how to use tools that are not going to cost you an arm, not even a finger. My guarantee, if you follow this completely, is that in the space of a couple of weeks you will have a beautiful blog, and you will be able to do it again!

This blog is designed for Worpdress users and if you are not already using Worpdress you will have to be willing to move to it to get the full benefits from this course.

However the biggest part of the course is about creating your visual identity and branding your blog. This is something that all bloggers, unrelated to which platform they are using, can benefit from.

I will be opening registration at the end of the month with only 8 spaces available at a discounted price. This group will have to commit to giving me all the feedback I will need to improve this course. Call it the BETA version, it sounds quite cool.

I wanted to offer the chance to one of you to win a space on this course as a thank you for taking part in a little survey. It won’t take you too long to answer but it will help me make sure the course is answering your questions and solving your challenges.

To access the survey please click on the image below

survey link

Thank you very much peeps!

 

 

 

Boules de Choco / Cocoa Balls

There is something happening in our house most Saturdays. Since having kids our crazy Saturday nights out have changed into quiet nights in over night. To add a bit of a fun element to it, and no not that kind, we try and experience new dishes and cakes or whatever takes our fancy. It is a bit of a Saturday night cooking workshop type of day.

A lot of my experiences recently have been around recreating tastes of my childhood and some work while some fail epically, but on some of them I will not give up. I am determined that one day I will bake the perfect Madeleines or chocolate eclairs. I am working on this.

Recently I started craving one of these fancy treats that I would pickup from a patisserie on my way back home from school. Their original name has thankfully been changed (simply not politically correct at all). Nowadays they are called Boules de choco or Cocoa Balls.

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It is basically two meringues attached to each other by a fairly thick chocolate ganache and covered by a thinner layer of the same ganache. It is delicious! The marriage meringue/ganache is divine.

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The challenge for me was to make meringues as I have never made any. But then while shopping for my ingredients a box of little meringues caught my eyes and there you go, they hoped in the shopping trolley!

Obviously using ready made meringues you risk to have a dry cake but as it happens the heart of the meringue softened while resting in the fridge.

If you want to try them yourself here is how.

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You will need a box of mini meringues if like me you are hesitant to make them.

For the ganache you need:
200g of chocolate. I use plain because I like dark chocolate but you can choose milk if you prefer.
200 ml of double cream

Bring the double cream to a boil and remove from the heat to pour over the chocolate broken into pieces. Keep stirring until the chocolate is fully melted.

Leave to cool down then refrigerate for at least 30min or enough so the ganache is compact enough.

To assemble put a thick layer of ganache on the flat of a meringue and stick another meringue against it. Assemble all the meringues like this, then warm up the ganache again to make it more liquid.

Cover the two meringues stuck together in chocolate then refrigerate again.

Once they are all set, just eat them all! The kids love them to, I had to fight with V for the last one. He won.

It’s time to choose your Winter coat with Susannah of SHM Personal Styling!

So almost overnight summer has come to a screeching halt and autumn has burst in through the front door without even knocking.  And with it comes a distinct chill in the air. We may remonstrate against this for a while but eventually that big thick winter coat you shoved at the back of the cupboard last year will have to be resurrected. Shoulders will be dusted down, pockets will be emptied of tissues, sweets and other detritus left over from last year in readiness for this year’s fresh batch.

However, if like me you are thinking of updating your winter coat this year it’s worth giving your would be purchase a little thought before you hit the shops. Inevitably there are many shapes, styles and fabrics out there trying to tempt you in to parting from your hard earned cash. This winter anything from fur to cocoon (THE shape of the season dar-link) to sleeveless to checks are all vying for your attention on the shop rails, with dusky pinks being the ‘on trend’ hue to be seen in.

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So if you want a coat that’s ‘hot’ even though the weather now sadly is not, take a moment whilst supping your hot chocolate to consider the following points:

  • What is your budget? A coat can make serious style impact so it’s worth spending as much as you can to get the best quality you can afford. Think of it as an investment piece that if chosen wisely should last you several years.

  • What are you going to be wearing it over? Bulky jumpers? A suit? Allow for these layers in the fit of the coat when trying it on.

  • No one style of coat can cover all your winter wardrobe needs so be clear in your mind what function you want yours to fulfil. Is it something casual for the weekend? Is it something suitable for the work place or is it for going out and special occasion wear? Then make sure you pick the style of coat appropriately.

  • If you are looking for longevity from your purchase stick with classic shapes in neutral colours. These never go out of fashion and will always look stylish.

  • Think ‘proportion’ when trying on your coat. Is the fabric too bulky for your frame? Is the length of it right for your height? Does the style flatter your body shape? Stand well back from the mirror so you get a full length view of it and always be as objective as you can!

Have fun out there ladies!

Brought to you by Susannah Hebden Moore of SHM Personal Styling

The drawing gene

E draws all the time at the moment. He freezes a picture on TV and draws it. He goes through google images and spend hours drawing one after another.

He reminds me of me at the same age. Drawing was my thing and I could spend a whole day doing just this.

For as long as I remember I have seen my dad drawing, painting, scribbling, doodling, sculpting… He is able to paint the smallest of details in a picture.

For a while my dad went through a phase of painting ships and generally in stormy seas like the one E is trying to reproduce in this picture. He picked it from the mantlepiece by himself and decided that, today, this was going to be his masterpiece.

E and V met their grandad for the very first time this Summer. They don’t know him, yet E is already developing a skill and passion of my dad’s and I can’t help wondering if this is something that has been passed on silently from one generation to another…

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The day I went for a TV presenter job interview…

You know how life sometimes throws these things at you and you have no idea why? Well I am here sitting in a coffee shop waiting to have an interview to present a new TV program for a cable channel.

They are looking for a French mum and contacted me… ME! I mean it has never been written on my life plan that I should ever present a TV program. Of course, I am NOT yet presenting anything. I obviously have competition and maybe even from others who have that in their life plan.

The thing is, that just being given the opportunity to do this, just this, is awesome. One of those things I will one day be able to tell my grand children. The day I went to a casting for a TV presenter job and because I was asked to come. Not even because I applied.

I am not yet dreaming of having a personal chauffeur, a hairdresser and an agent (although I should make sure it is in the contract naturally, oh and a cook, a nanny and fitness instructor also).

So mum just so that you are relieved. No I haven’t bought a special bra for today sorry, BUT I have blow dried my hair like you said…

Which me luck!

The BIG Family School Year Diary

I am an organised person *cough*
I try my hardest though, I certainly do.

It doesn’t prevent me from forgetting some details along the way, generally involving my children and their school’s requirement BUT I try.

When I was asked if I wanted to try The BIG Family School Year Diary from Mum’s office, I couldn’t not say yes, simply because I love a new diary and if it promises to keep me on track then I have to at least give it chance.

So I did give it a good one.

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My first impression when I received it was WOW that’s errmm big. Like proper big, the size of an ipad which to me is big for a diary. I felt a bit like a Prime Minister when I started entering all of our life details in it.

When I say details, to give it its fair due, you can enter EVERYTHING in it.
From your kids shoe size, their blood group, the name and number of their best friends, enough lines for when they change best friends, to where you are planning to travel in the near future, your mobile numbers in case you lose your mobile (which came in very handy when my mobile suffered an injury over the Summer), the number of any service you may need to be in touch with at some point (you know, gardener, plumber, pizza delivery…) and more, a lot more.

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It is good.

Is it for me? I am not sure. Yes you do have a column for each member of the family (unless your family count more than 5 people in it). Or if like us you stop at 4 (for now maybe!) then they suggest that you can use the fifth column for meal planning. That’s a very good idea indeed.

The biggest downsize as far as I am concerned is that I like my diary to be portable. Yet I still love nothing more than write new entries and I do love pen and paper, but this diary although you can’t fault it on the fact that it is very comprehensive, it is too big to be carried around.

I realised that I stopped using it after a little while simply because of that. However I am aware that this is to do with my lifestyle.

It is the perfect fit however, for any mum who want to be able to centralise everything related to a busy lifestyle without having to carry it around too much.

For the purpose of this review we were sent a free diary.

Silent Sunday

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For more Silent Sundays please visit Cosmic Girlie