Tuesday 28 May 2013

A Portrait a Week 18, 19, 20 & 21 of 52

A portrait a week - rolled up into a month of portraits.

Week 18
Two sleepy heads, I love the way that Coco still has a little bit of her baby look when she is sleeping.
Henry - taking his time to wake up from his nap on the sofa (his nap is starting to become a bit more elusive and he manages quite well without one, although when he does nap he can go for a long time...)

Week 19
Coco - another day another hat - on a mother/daughter excursion to the farmers market.
Henry - engrossed in trains. Tunnels and bridges and signal lights. The role-play years are just beginning. When he goes into his own little world it's lovely to observe.

Week 20
Coco at the bus stop in the middle of a little game where she was pretending the bus was invisible.
Henry delighted and excited by us finding a frog in the garden. You can JUST about spot it in the bottom right corner of the picture.

Week 21

Coco having one of her crazy moments, running, stomping, dancing. Can you tell that this red dress is her favourite? She is in it all the time, as you can tell from the photos. And she loves socks - hence the socks with sandals look she is rocking here.
Henry, just being Henry (probably trying to work out how he can get his hands on the camera) with a bit of added dribble.

Doing the 52 Project as started by Jodi at Che & Fidel

Friday 17 May 2013

Country Life

The Londoners went to Derbyshire for a long weekend - here's a few of the things we did.

Went to a lovely wedding (we were invited - in case you just thought we crashed it).

We spent the day at Chatsworth in glorious sunshine.

Coco climbed trees and her and Henry had a brilliant time at the amazing adventure playground.

We explored the gardens with Grandma and Grandpa...

The highlight of the weekend for Henry (oh, apart from finding out he could reach a table of pick-n-mix sweets at the wedding) was walking up the water cascade at Chatsworth. He was in heaven.

We found our way to the middle of the maze... and maybe tried to cheat a bit to find our way out again...

Henry jumped a lot.

In fact he became a bit of a jump-a-holic.

We tried to avoid killing any sheep on the road, and we drove up and down some amazing hills, which Hugh cycled up and down, for fun, because he's getting to middle age.

We ate fish and chips on the floor of our hotel room.

...and we forgot to take the camera charger, so we missed a lot of photo opportunities!

Thursday 16 May 2013

Tulips - Inside & Out

Tulips from friends who came over for a long lazy roast lunch on sunday.

Tulips in the garden, I've been keeping my eye on these new bulbs that we planted last autumn waiting to see exactly what colour they would be, couldn't face picking them to bring inside though. Not this year, next, maybe.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

A little French place I know...

We have an occasional Friday ritual of going out for a family supper. Hugh and I get to enjoy a glass of beer or vino and we are normally still home by about 8pm but with no clearing up and children who are happy to be tucked straight into bed.
It's our idea of a Friday night out.

Most often we go to Franco Manca (one of my top two pizza places in London; the other one being Malletti in Soho) or our local pub.

But last Friday we set of down the road to try somewhere new.
(Oh yeah, and Coco insisted on wearing her bowler hat. She is going through a hat phase.*)

Whenever I get the bus to or through Hammersmith (about 10 minutes from our house) I end up staring out of the window at this little French creperie opposite the bus stop called La Petite Bretagne.
Now, I do love a proper French crepe, made with buckwheat, so after WestLondonMum tweeted about the place last week I suggested to Hugh that we meet in Hammersmith after work on Friday.

Me, Henry and Coco got on the tube...

We traveled without a buggy for once - which is quite a liberating experience after nearly two and half years... but can also get quite hairy when you:
a) have a toddler 
b) and the toddler loves trains
c) ...and refuses to hold your hand
d) you're a blogger who feels the need to document everything
e) you also have a scooter and a five year old

I think our journey of four tube stops took longer than Hugh's nine-mile cycle from work... but it was all part of the fun.
The tube is raised and we get a good view of all our playground haunts along the way which Coco and Henry gave a running commentary on.

Coco: "My old nursery school"
Henry: School! School, SCHOOOOOL!"
Coco: "There's the paddling pool!" (Ravenscourt Park) "We used to go their with Sam!"
Henry: "No water in there, no water, WATER!!"

We looked like a bit of a circus family with Coco in her bowler hat and Hugh in full lycra... but the two French ladies/girls at the helm took it in their stride and we made ourselves at home ordering three delicious crepes to share.

Coco checking that she was getting the correct amount of Tunella (that's nutella to you and me) on her pudding crepe.

They also sell a few beautifully packaged deli items - including a jar of salted caramel, the ingredient de jour it seems... I resisted as I don't think a jar of caramel would last very long in this house.

Had Henry not decided to be sick mid-meal then it really would have been a 100% success. As it was I'll have to mark it down to only 88% successful. 
(He was sick after gagging on a sticker he decided to put in his mouth... we did manage to contain the event and clear up swiftly after him, I think, and he still went on to enjoy his pudding. Hugh of course got to cycle off home leaving me with the slight sicky smelling toddler on the tube home, but I'd had a glass of wine so I didn't care too much...)

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Foolproof Banana Bread

When I went around to my friend Nisia's a couple of weeks ago her and her five year old Maja had just started baking a banana cake.
Of course Coco wanted in on the action...

Nisia and I were busy chatting and not paying as much attention as we should to the proceedings.

So Maja and Coco got busy pretending they were on an episode of 'I Can Cook'.
But guess what?
The cake turned out fine.

Check it out, and it honestly tasted really good too.

I feel the foolproof-ness of this cake recipe was thoroughly tested as:
a) No method was followed, AT ALL (the first step was that flour was added to the mashed banana, creating a lovely sticky mess).
b) The measuring out was a bit 'blah' to say the least.
c) It was meant to go in a loaf tin, but no loaf tin could be located so it went in a shallow cake tin
d) Nisia's oven is very vintage and I think Henry messed around with the temperature half way through baking, plus we forgot to even set the timer so no idea how long it actually cooked for.

So, the moral of the story is, if you want a cake and have a spare five year old around, get them to make this one for you.

Here's the recipe...

I know this seems like another food post - but I'm wondering if really it's actually a messy play post? Messy play with benefits.