Monday, 31 December 2012

NYE & Anniversary

Today most people in the world will be celebrating New Year's Eve, however this special day is also mine and papa penguin's second wedding anniversary.

We celebrated dinner at a local Italian on Friday night as the in laws were around to babysit toddler penguin.  Baby penguin had to come with us as she still is exclusively breastfed but she was an angel. Today papa penguin had to work a half day so after lunch me and the kids met him in Ikea which is local to his work to buy some storage boxes to organise our xmas times!

I'm not sure we'll stay up to let the new year in due to the current sleepless nights baby penguin lets us have so we are enjoying a glass of bubbly and catching up on Arrow.

Happy New Year everyone !

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - December 31st

Monday - Pad Thai
Tuesday - Sausage Casserole
Wednesday - Beef Stir Fry
Thursday - Tandoori Chicken
Friday - Pasta with Spinach and Bacon
Saturday - Spag Bol
Sunday - Salmon Risotto

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful 2012

Looking back at 2012 I have a lot to be cheerful for.  

We moved into a house from a flat in January and it has come along way.  We've redecorated practically every single room, re-carpeted throughout and can finally say that it feels like home. 

In February I found out we were expecting another baby.  Even though it was very well planned we were over the moon! We also had our first snow living in the house....typically whilst our new windows were being fitted.

In March we had a shower fitted upstairs which meant no more running up and down the stairs semi naked in a towel.  I love showers, I think they were one of the worlds best inventions!

In April we celebrated toddler penguin's 2nd birthday we lots of family and friends who were also visiting us for the first time in our new house. He was very spoilt but had an amazing day.

In May we took toddler penguin to London Zoo which he loved.  We took him when he was younger but he was too young to understand all the animals and spent most if the time sleeping in the buggy.  In May we also had our 20 week scan which showed up a possible heart defect but a follow up scan gave us the all clear and we were so relieved to be having a healthy baby.

Wedding Bells in June rang for my mum and my now stepdad.  It was a fabulous day and I'm so happy for them both!

In July we had our annual holiday with our friends and this year it was the Lake District.  In fact we had so much fun we are going back there in 2013.

In August and 7 months pregnant I celebrated my 30th birthday with a little trip to Ping Pong Dim Sum  with my closest friends.  We also had a new kitchen installed which I am still in love with!

In September although I was made redundant it was a good thing as a good payout meant we could buy a new car and I could put some money by for the kids future and give myself a monthly allowance which means I won't need to work for just over a year.

In October I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl.

In November we celebrated the father in laws 60th, visited the sister in law on her stop over at Southampton.  She is currently working as a photographer on cruise ship and having an amazing time. My friend also visited from Singapore and more recently has told me she is moving back for good next year having been abroad working since 2009.

Finally that brings us to December.  Papa penguin went away for a few days (was not so cheerful about that) but it made me realise how grateful I am for him being such a great husband and an amazing father.  We had a wonderful Christmas.  First celebrating it at my mums at the weekend, then having it at home with the in laws.  I made way too much food (deliberately) so we've had lots of yummy left overs. Best being the turkey, ham and stuffing pie I made yesterday.  Looking forward to turkey curry tonight!  Best part of Christmas has been toddler penguin repeating the story of Santa coming down the chimney and watching him open all his presents.  He was definitely spoiled but I'm an only child so I can't complain!

We are celebrating our 2 year anniversary on New Year's Eve by going out for dinner tomorrow night. Baby penguin is still exclusively breast fed and has still not been offered a bottle so will be coming with us as toddler penguin is going to spend the night at his Granny's.  

Roll on 2013, no more babies or house moves but looking forward to seeing the kids grow.  I'm also going to be training to become a childminder so I look forward to getting the house ready for my Ofstead inspection.

Hope everyone has had a fabulous Christmas and Happy New Year ! x

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Assisted Play Activities

I've come up with a list of ideas to entertain toddler penguin that gets me involved with too....

  • Playdough
  • Salt dough
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Stencils
  • Themed Arts and Crafts
  • Messy play
  • Role play and dressing up
  • Puzzles
  • Construction toys
  • Books
  • Water play
  • Beads and threading
  • Baking
  • Dancing
My plan is to put each bullet point onto a card or pinwheel when we can have a game of random choosing which activity to do next.

Please let me know your ideas too! I'm gradually making use of Pinterest with all the craft ideas I've found online. Check out my board here.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Crafting

Took a lot of planning but together with my mummy friend, whilst our kids were having their afternoon naps, over two days we got the sewing machine out and took inspiration from the Stuff by Ash blogger and made our babies a ribbon christmas tree baby grow.

We decided not to go with the ruffled ribbon look as suggested by the blog we follwed and instead layeredd lots of ribbons on top of each other then stitched them firmly in place onto some white material.  Using pinking shears we cut out a big triangle and cut a piece of brown felt for the tree trunk.  Bond-a-web was used to stick the tree to the baby grow and then topped it off with a handmade bow and a button I found in my sewing box.

Watch this space of a piccie of baby penguin modelling it on Christmas day.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

As I write this toddler penguin aged two and a half is at his last day with his childminder who I've been sending him to since he was 9 months old.  It was hard sending him there on my first day back to work but within a week I could see how much he enjoyed going.  He has been going three days a week since my return to work then when I was made redundant in September closely followed by my maternity leave he continued to go but just two days a week.  Had I not received a nice redundancy payout I probably would have had him finish there sooner but its been nice to let him to continue with his new routine when baby penguin came along and also for me to enjoy time alone getting to know and bond with my new baby.

Sadly we're not made of money and from tomorrow I will officially be a full time mummy to two gorgeous bubbas.  Part of me is excited about getting out there and trying new groups but part of me is scared as I know its not going to always be easy.  However why complain?  I am so lucky to have two healthy children and in light of whats been going on in the news I'm just so happy that they are safe. Lets also hope that tomorrow is not the end of the world as some people might think!

So 5 sleeps until Christmas....I'm soooo excited.  Mainly for toddler penguin as this is his first Christmas that he really understands whats going on.  We are having a mini fake Christmas with my mum this weekend then Christmas day we are seeing the inlaws and I'm cooking a yummy xmas meal.

Merry Christmas everyone......jingle bells...jingle bells....ho ho ho ! x

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Planning

I've finally got round to sorting out my Christmas Day itinerary......The Organised Penguin loves a good itinerary!

Christmas Day Food
9am Breakfast - Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Eggs and Toast with a little bucks fizz (just hubbie and the kids)
1030am Mid Morning Snack - Cranberry Christmas Muffins (joined by hubbies parents and aunt and uncle)
1230pm Afternoon Snack before toddler penguin's nap - Pigs in Blanket and Mozzarella Vol au Vents
3pm Christmas Lunch - Roast Turkey, Boiled Ham in Cider, Roast Potatoes, Parsnips, Brussels with Hustle, Caramelised Carrots, Sage and Onion Sausagemeat Stuffing, Broccoli, Gravy and Cranberry Sauce.
4pm Pudding - Yule Log and Trifle
7pm Evening Snack - Left Overs, Paté and Melba Toast, Cheese and Crackers.

Sadly papa penguin is working Christmas Eve so will have just something simple for dinner as I'll be spending most of the day juggling the kids and cooking prep.

Boxing day its just me, papa penguin, toddler penguin and baby penguin and I can't wait.  We've got so much food on Christmas day that there willb e so much left over that I won't really have to cook anything apart from the sausage sarnies we've planned for breakie!

I have also done a half hour slot itinerary on my iPad to refer to for timings on Christmas day so that I don't forget to do anything!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - December 17th

Monday - Fajitas
Tuesday - Chicken Stir Fry in Oyster Sauce
Wednesday - Hubbie out so I'll have Jacket or Pasta
Thursday - Spaghetti with prawns and rocket
Friday - Snack before we visit my mums
Saturday - Early Christmas dinner

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

I can't believe that its nearly Christmas.  We've not got both our trees up.  There is one in the playroom that has all my "tacky" decorations on.  I love penguins so you'll find a theme here.  This is an artificial tree that we bought last year as we loved that it was tall and thin and didn't take up much space. 

I've always wanted a tree that people can see when they drive past so we just had to have a tree in the front lounge.  Its a real tree and as I mentioned last week we don't have many decorations for it.  I've bought a few but looking forward to the Christmas sales and collection decorations every year.  I bought some baubles from a few shops in the lovely village of Ripley and a few from good old homebase.

Last weekend daddy penguin took toddler penguin out for a few hours and whilst aby penguin was sleeping I made her a stocking and I plan to personalise it at some point.  I have put hers (second from the left) on our fireplace with the others and can't wait to see them all filled - though Santa will have to leave these on the floor as I'm not sure they sellotape they are stuck on with will hold the weight!

We visited Santa at his Grotto at Chessington Garden Centre and it was amazing!  They had an Alice in Wonderland theme and it was truly spectacular.  So much attention to detail had gone into it and I lost count of the number of trees there were.  Toddler penguin was in awe of the whole thing though not as excited as we were...he just wanted to see Santa...but he enjoyed chatting to the elves and baby penguin slept the whole time!

Baby penguin had her 8 week check up (me too) and all is going well.  We even had been getting some lovely smiles from her...until we get the camera out then she goes all grumpy!  Really doesn't like her photo being taken but she was an angel during her check up and only cried a little when she had her jabs unlike toddler penguin who screamed before, during and after!

12 days to go !

Monday, 10 December 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - December 10th

Monday - Creamy pasta with asparagus and peas
Tuesday - Pitta Pizza's
Wednesday - Chilli con Carne
Thursday - Mexican Bean Rice Salad and Baguette 
Friday - Jackets with Beans and Cheese
Saturday - Thai green chicken curry
Sunday - party food - kids Christmas party

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

This week has gone surprisingly fast and boy am I glad as papa penguin has been away in Frankfurt since Monday morning. I've missed him so much that its made me realise how amazing he is when he is here.  I've coped really well and have managed to keep on top of housework (with the help of his aunt and uncle who helped with bath time on Monday and dinner time last night) but I am just absolutely shattered! Thankfully although baby penguin has struggled with naps, toddler penguin has been an angel and really well behaved.  Roll on tonight when he gets home!

Sadly we lost a part of our family over the weekend - good old Henry the hoover.  His suction hadn't been great recently and the nozzle had spilt but he finally sucked his last piece of dust after 10 years  of following me around the house Sunday evening. Thank goodness for internet shopping, next day delivery and online reviews I've ordered a new Bosch vacuum and am loving it.  I don't think I would have managed to hoover this week with hubby away but having a new gagdet in the house was like a new toy for me and even my 2.5year old was excited and he spent a good hour playing with it and helping me set it up!

Less than three weeks till Christmas and we've had some wasn't much but enough to get toddler penguin out of bed in a rush.  We bought a real tree at the weekend for our front lounge with "grown up" decorations and am looking forward to putting the fake tree in the playroom this weekend.  I visited Ripley village on Tuesday and treated myself to a few decorations for the grown up tree but have yet got round to putting them on.  Next week I'll upload a picture of the other tree as well as an updated picture of this tree.

Happy Thursday everyone x

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins

I found a bag of poppy seeds in the cupboard the other day and all of a sudden had a huge craving for lemon and poppy seed I made them!

125g spread
150g caster sugar
1 tsp grated lime rind
2 tsp grated lemon rind
50g poppy seeds
2 eggs
160g self raising lfour
40g plain flour

Lemon juice, yellow food colouring and icing sugar for icing.

Preheat oven to 170ºC and line a muffin in with 12 cases.

Beat the butter, rinds and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy.  Add the poppy seeds, eggs and sifted flours and mix well. Divde the mixture among the cases and bake for about 25-30 minutes. I use an ice cream scoop to get the perfect measure.

Cool on a wire rack and make icing.  Enjoy with a cup of tea!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Weekly Meal Plan -December 3rd

With papa penguin away this week I've decided to have a cheap week and raid the freezer! Well the shopping bill wasn't that cheap as I decided to take advantage and stock up on household and store cupboard goods as well as bits for Chrismas. 

I did treat myself to some yummy soups that with this chilly weather have been well needed! Also had papa penguin's aunt and uncle round on Monday to help me out with the kids so we got fish and chips. Yum! Roll on Friday when papa penguin is home!