A groggy but hungry boy tucking into pizza after his operation; Casper brought in his ‘bravery certificate’ from the hospital to show his classmates; Cameron was proud to win the trophy for good behaviour at Cub Scouts this week; Breakfast x 2 – yummy apple & cinnamon yoghurt and an omelette made in a ramekin dish; This week’s favourite outfit – I love my H&M snakeskin ballerinas; On the train back from London; A tired girl fell asleep in the carseat yesterday afternoon after a late night on Friday; After the train ride earlier this week Clemmie was delighted that the boys’ Scout group had organised a day out at a model railway today.
Bizarrely, I seem to have even less time to get things done since Clemmie started preschool. I think my expectations of how much I could achieve in 12 hours a week were perhaps a tad overambitious. Anyway, once you factor in the time it takes to drop off and collect her at preschool the time easily drops to 10 1/2 hours a week (and that’s assuming I go straight home without chatting to any of the other mums…). I suppose this week has not been typical as I had to collect Casper from school early on Monday before he had his operation. It all went fine – he was such a brave boy and didn’t complain once but that hour waiting for the nurse to come and tell us that he had woken up felt VERY long. Then on Thursday my other son had a (routine) hospital appointment up in town. My husband took him to the appointment but had to go on to a business meeting so I picked up Clemmie early to catch the train into London and meet them for lunch before taking the kids home. As we usually drive into town, it was Clemmie’s first time on the train and she loved it so much she cried when we had to get off. Now I know that if she’s having a bad day I can just buy a Travel Card and go up and down the train track to keep her happy!
So yes, to cut a long story short, I have not really accomplished much this week. I had visions of myself embarking on an exercise regime, doing a massive clear out of all the kids’ toys and clothes as well as catching up with the paperwork and answering all those emails which fill me with guilt every time I open my inbox. But tomorrow is a new start, with seven unwritten days stretching out in front of me, and as I’m booked into a gym class at 9.30am I hope that will set me off in the right direction. If not, there’s always next Monday…
As some of you may remember, I was invited by Ezster (check out her blog Kukolina here) to take part in the Weekend Photo Challenge. This week the challenge was to post a picture of Saturday’s outfit and (if you have kids) a photo of your child eating.
I’m afraid my outfit today is not vastly different from last Saturday’s – the same boots, Paige Denim jeans in a darker colour and another white H&M tee, paired with an H&M scarf. Same jewellery as well – how unadventurous of me!
This picture of Clemmie eating her dinner was actually taken last weekend at my parents’ house. Sometimes my kids are happy to let me take photos of them and other times they go all camera shy on me. Today was one of those days, hence I had to use an old picture.
Wishing you all a great Saturday! X
Fresh flowers + chocolates + bubbly = the perfect Friday.
We’re going out for dinner ‘en famille’ to our friends’ house (as luck would have it they have three kids the same age and gender as ours. No wonder they’re our favourite people!) to celebrate the start of the new school term, the end of yet another week and also I’m celebrating that my last post (the apple cake recipe) was my 100th post on A Spoonful of Style!
Here’s to a fabulous weekend! X
Autumn means apples are in abundance and, whether they’re from your own tree or from the greengrocer, it’s the perfect time to make apple pie and apple cake. This recipe is by children’s cookery writer Annabel Karmel but, as my husband can’t eat wheat, I substituted the flour for a gluten free alternative. Apart from how simple it is to prepare, the beauty of this truly delicious cake is that it will stay moist for at least a week, because it is made with sunflower oil rather than butter.
5 Granny Smith (or other) apples
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
450g (15oz) granulated sugar
375g (12oz) plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp almond essence
2 tsp vanilla essence
250ml (8fl oz) sunflower oil
icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
- Peel and slice the apples thinly and place in a bowl. Toss with the cinnamon, orange juice and 100g (3 1/2 oz) of the sugar.
- Ina separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder and the remaining sugar). Add the eggs one at a time, then add the almond and vanilla essences along with the oil.
- Grease a deep ring tin or other decorative moulded cake tin, such as a Cathedral mould. Pour in a third of the batter, then half the sliced apple mixture, then a third more of the batter, followed by the rest of the apple mixture. Finish with the remaining third of the batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. When mostly cool remove from the pan and cool further.
- To serve, dust the top of the cake with sieved icing sugar.
I realise that this is my second Currently Coveting post in as many days (how will my bank balance keep up?) but, with the excitement building over the forthcoming H&M and Isabel Marant collaboration, I just had to put the spotlight on my favourite pieces. Photos from the lookbook – with its impressive cast of models, including Lou Doillon, Alek Wek and Milla Jovovich – leaked online yesterday, plunging most of the fashion world into yet another frenzy over this hotly anticipated collection.
Those who, like me, lust after the inimitable Mme Marant’s ready-to-wear collection but whose budgets don’t quite stretch that far, will not be disappointed. The French designer’s bohemian aesthetic runs through the entire range, which encompasses not only womenswear but also menswear and accessories.
Some fashion commentators have criticized H&M for putting the price points too high (the most expensive piece is a jacket for £199.99) but, while the collection is dearer than the high street chain’s own brand, in my view the prices are justified as it is a collaboration with a designer whose brand of effortless chic is practically a uniform for off-duty models and movie stars in the know. In any case, the prices are still only a fraction of Marant’s mainline collection (and lower than her diffusion line Etoile Isabel Marant).
The collaboration will hit stores (and online) on November 14 so start drawing up your wishlist now as it’s bound to be a sell-out. If I can’t get my hands on the H&M version of last year’s embellished tie-dye jacket (in the main picture) I would happily settle for any of these pieces:
Yes that’s right, not clothes, not makeup, not even a new sofa – the current object of desire on my radar is a bicycle. The cycle craze in the UK has gone off the scale since the Olympics and Bradley Wiggins’ triumphs last summer and, while I don’t see myself donning the Lycra and breaking a sweat while racing around Surrey Downs on the weekends (or any other time for that matter), I have recently rediscovered the joys of cycling. In fact, until a couple of months ago I hadn’t even ridden a bike since I was 17 and had a summer job on a pick-your-own farm a couple of miles from my parents’ house. But then in June I went to an outdoor concert with some friends and, as the weather was nice, it was decided that we would cycle to the venue. My husband was dispatched to my parents house to pick up my old bike, which had been sitting in their garage for the last 20 odd years, and bring it home to pump up the tyres and oil the chain. The old saying is true – ‘you never forget how to ride a bike’ – and after a slightly wobbly start I quickly got the hang of it again. Since then I’ve been on bike rides with my son, cycled to the shops and also found that a bike is particularly handy for nights out with friends when you don’t want to fork out for a taxi home.
But while my bike still works, and is now so retro that it actually looks kind of cool, it does feel slightly rickety and also needs new lights. So I’ve got my eye on this Victoria Pendleton Somerby bike (£279.99 from Halfords) – it’s not a racing bike exactly but perfect for the kind of cycling that I want to do. In my mind I see myself cycling along, Parisian style, with a fresh baguette and some organic veg in the basket, wearing a cute pair of capris and ballerinas with a scarf tied nonchalantly around my head. And that, of course, is where the fantasy stops because to stay safe on our heavily trafficked roads and to set a good example to my kids (how can I expect them to wear one if I won’t?) I’ll have to wear a helmet. As we all know bicycle helmets aren’t exactly renowned for their stylishness, but after surfing around the net I discovered that they’ve come a long way in the last couple of decades. Here are three brain protectors that I would be happy to be seen in:
Sawaka Furuno Ribbon Rose helmet from Cyclechic
Powder Pedals from Nutcase Store
Gold sparkle helmet from Nutcase Store
Clemmie started preschool this week. I stayed with her for an hour on the first day and, yes, there were tears when I left but she also had lots of fun; We got creative with stickers and crayons on a rainy morning; Breakfast at my desk while flicking through the latest issue of Grazia; I made a really yummy (if I say so myself!) apple cake. Recipe to follow; Casper has kept the tooth fairy busy by losing three teeth already this month; We went to a traditional crayfish party at my parents’ house, complete with schnapps and lots of singing.
I know Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest but we had such a busy Saturday (football practice, swimming and golf lessons, tutoring session, a birthday party and dinner at my parents – I’m exhausted just thinking about it!) that today was spent catching up on all the jobs we needed to get done before the start of the new week. My husband cooked a yummy roast dinner before heading off to the golf course leaving me and the kids to curl up on the sofa under our duvets and watch Alice in Wonderland.
Now they’re all in bed and, as has become our Sunday tradition, we’re about to watch yet another movie. We haven’t decided which one yet but I’m hoping for something lighthearted to take my mind off tomorrow. My youngest son is having an operation so I’ve organised for my parents to look after the other two as my husband and I both want to go to the hospital. Although it’s a minor procedure he is having a general anaesthetic so we’ve been told they may want to keep him in overnight. He is quite excited and not worried at all which is great. I know he’ll be in good hands but to be honest I just want to fast forward to tomorrow evening and have it over and done with. I’ve always been a bit of a worrier but since having children it has got 10,000 times worse. I really have to remind myself to think positively and not always picture the worst case scenario. Sometimes easier said than done!
I’ve never been one to shirk away from a challenge so when the lovely Esther who writes the blog Kukolina (check it out here) suggested that I take part in this weekend’s photo challenge my camera was at the ready.
The challenge this week was to post a photo of your little one with their favourite toy and also a picture of your outfit on Saturday. Sounds like a fun way to build camaraderie in the blogging world. Here is my contribution:
My Saturday outfit: Leather jacket from Zara, scarf from Becksondergaard, jumper from Topshop, jeans by Paige Denim and vintage boots bought on eBay four years ago.
Little Clemmie playing with (one of) her favourite toy – a magnetic dress up doll that she got for her birthday. Her hair looks kind of funny as she insisted on getting into the shower with her big brother when he came home from football practice.
Now I’m off to do some gardening. Have a great Sunday X
Going for long walks and breathing in the crisp air and kicking up the colourful leaves
Cups of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and mini marshmallows
Homemade apple pie
Roaring log fires
Sheepskin slippers to keep your feet nice and toasty (these are from The White Company)
Spicy mulled wine
Dark berry shades for lips and nails. The Nars sheer lipstick in Vendanges is my go-to lip colour for both day and night while Chanel’s Rouge Noir nail polish is a modern classic.
Wrapping up warm in a cosy scarf and woolly mittens. (Scarf from Ester Elenora and mittens from H&M)
All pictures and more can be found on my Pinterest board Fall Inspiration