Ginger Bisquite

A family lifestyle blog

February 26, 2015
by Jenni Clutten
0 comments

Life in 2015

Hello? Are you still there?

Sorry I’ve been away so long, I bet you’ve been chomping at the bit to see our finished toddler bed. (Kidding)!  I swear I’ll find the time to take some decent photos at some point…

Life has been so busy recently, I barely seem to be able to find the time to just sit down for a few moments and when I do, I can think of a million things I should be going.  (Reducing the mountainous piles of washing, sewing in childrens clothings labels and oh trying to be the Chair of a Pre School…) It takes its toll on a blog.

In the midst of all of this, I’ve also managed to have another birthday, go for a weekend away and finally finish repainting our kitchen.

I honestly don’t know how other bloggers do it, my house seems to be half finished as I try and cram as much as I possibly can into these days that speed by whilst I stand picking up tiny crumbs of dry playdough off the floor. (Just me!?)

Anyway, I am still here so I hope you are too.  I am hoping to get things back on track soon and have some Spring plans on the horizon.

In the mean time, here are some things I we’ve been up to recently -

Updating my blog
Adding actual pages and trying to categorise them.  Am I the only one who didnt really know what categories were when they started a blog.  So now you will find me every night, re-categorising EVERY post on my blog so that it’s now possible to actually browse through related items.  I’ve started with Home Tips & Interiors.  There are a million and one guides on how to improve your wordpress blog online, and I’ve been collating them into my WordPress Pinterest board. I’m also looking to install a new theme but yet to decide which one. And massive thanks to mammasuars who stepped in to help me when I was hacked.

Dreaming of an extension
The downstairs living space in our house is tiny, we literally have two rooms and a tiny bathroom.  Extending into our garden would be the perfect solution, and with the views we already have, adding more glass would be a bonus.  I’ve been collating my favourite inspiration over on Houzz and you can see my ideabook below.

Taking a weekend Away
As I mentioned above, Neil and I spent a lovely weekend away for my birthday.  Strangely you might think, we decided to stay in Birmingham.  It seemed like a good option, providing loads of good shopping opportunities but being affordable enough that we could do everything we wanted as well as only 30 minutes from my parents in law.  We stayed at Hotel La Tour (and even got a free upgrade to a suite).  The credit goes to Rosalilium for her previous reviews.  I’ll give youa  full update later on places we’d recommend on a weekend break in Birmingham.  All in all we totally loved it.
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IMG_6447Getting back in the garden
After months of pretty much ignoring both our front and back garden we have starting prepping for spring.  Clearing all the fallen branches and leaves, watering the sweet peas, clearing the sand out of the playhouse.  We’ve also started thinking about what we want to grow in our vegetable garden, peas were a massive hit so I’m hoping to grow a couple of varieties.  I also want to see if I can grow some more sunflowers and pumpkins for the first time.

What have you been up to so far this year?

Updating toddler bed – Part 1

January 19, 2015 by Jenni Clutten | 0 comments

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Got a toddler bed that’s grown outdated or just in need of a bit of love?

With a little boy complaining that he didn’t like his bed, I offered to get him a dinosaur bed.  We looked around and considered our options, and then it dawned on me that I could repaint his current bed.  It would cost me very little, I already had some paint I could use, and if it didn’t work I hadn’t lost anything I wasn’t already going to replace it.

So, a few weeks ago when the weather was a tad warmer, we donned our finest painting gear and cracked open the paint.  I had already bought some Annie Sloan paint for some other projects, but I’d neer used it.
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The thing that appealed most to me was the knowledge that there would be no sanding or priming required.  This Thomas bed is a lurid clash of reds, yellows and blues.  When we first bought it on ebay for a thrifty £13, Nye loved it.  I still remember that at the time he was saying his first words and pointing at the trains and saying ‘choo choo’.

I wasn’t 100% convinced that the paint would stick to the shiny surface or that it wouldn’t take 5 coats.  But actually, after just one coat, there were only a few patches that needed a repaint.
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You will need:

  • paint stirrer
  • paintbrush
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (we used the French Linen Shade)

Directions:

1. Wipe down the bed with a damp cloth and leave to dry
2. Open and stir the paint thoroughly
3. Grab a brush and spread an even coat all over
4. Let the first coat dry and apply a second coat

Part two coming soon!

Now you are 3!

January 18, 2015 by Jenni Clutten | 0 comments

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Dearest Nye,

You are now three years old and have suddenly transitioned into a little boy, with ever slender limbs and feet that need multiple pairs of shoes. You have been on this earth for three whole years and I do not know where they have gone.  The changes, the developments, they just fly by and you are there growing, learning and melding your own way.

You have always been so determined, knowing your own mind and sticking to your guns, even as a baby.  You were never flexible, it was all we ever knew and we accepted you as you were.  Now it has made you who you are, so full of opinions and your own way of seeing the world.

I love the way you smile at people, you light up other people’s faces and make them laugh with the different way you look at life. People who meet you say you have character and are cheeky and you are.  You are pretty good at one liners, and over the course of this year have come up with some great lines.  Including your creative use of the word Nye which became Nyself.  Your chain of thought is so sporadic, I find it quite easy to follow the things you connect, but I know it makes you special. Your crazy memory, where you remember events months down the line with exceptional clarity.  You’re still talking about the time we got a burst tyre and the fact we went blackberry picking while we were waiting for the breakdown assistance or the time you got a tiny bit of ice in your eye.

aag. (1 of 1)-2aag. (1 of 1)-6You often ask to bake things, mixing the ingredients and adding sprinkles to the top.  There is a daily barrage of queries about whether it is time for a biscuit yet.  We try to placate you with slice of fruit and Cheerios and some days it works better than others.  You don’t make life easy, there are negotiations most days, but the darkest days  of tantrums and fierce arguments have gone with a change in your perspective and our patience.

As busy as you can be, you are still cautious, you’d never be the first person to go down the slide without serious encouragement and consideration.  For your 3rd birthday we got you a new scooter, it’s a sign you’re getting older, able to do more things for yourself.  Although, the only things you actually asked for were a chocolate bee and a picnic.
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Happy 3rd Birthday my darling boy, we can’t wait to see how you grow over the course of this year.

2014 in review

January 1, 2015 by Jenni Clutten | 2 Comments

Here are some of my favourite pictures from 2014.  It’s been a year of change for us and we are looking forward to seeing what 2015 has in store.our.2014

Although there have been many happy memories this year, it has also been one of the most challenging years for our family.  Having two children has been difficult and exhausting, but I do feel I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Every day we catch glimpses of a sibling relationship that we hope will blossom, a gentle stroke, a hand held and a tear wiped.

We have made quite a few lifestyle changes this year, we’re now total meal planning converts and regularly eat vegetarian meals (something I never thought I’d ever convert Neil to).  Towards the end of the year we finally got on top of our living room storage and seeing the difference that has made has inspired me to start the 40 bags in 40 days challenge.  (I’m a bit late to the party but finding it so inspiring).

I set myself a few challenges for 2014, mainly working our plans for the garden.  I have loved taking part in How Does your Garden Grow with Annie over at Mamasaurus, and was inspired by her words on blogging your way as usual.  I’ve taken on so many things over this last year, that I’m trying to take everything back to basics so I can enjoy blogging and enjoy life.  I have seen lots of bloggers choose a word for their year, and this year I think mine will be SIMPLICITY.  I wan’t to remember to be happy with the simple things, and find the joy in what we already have.

Do you have a word for 2015, what are your plans for the year ahead?

January Sales – Thrifty clothes for kids

December 29, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 1 Comment

Ah January Sales, how I love thee.  The prices are so tempting and I’m always convinced I won’t be able to get such bargains later in the year.  It’s probably not true, but it is a good time to get high quality clothing that will last. For the last two years we have made any big clothing purchases for the children in the January Sales and it works well as a good time to do a bit of a clothing audit in the children’s drawers.  Asessing what is now too small, what to get out of storage and what to pack away for later.

Here’ what I have been eyeing up this year, including a few items we’ve bought for the children already.  Get in there quick, lots of the good stuff is going quick.

 

Shop the sale for kids 2014/2015

 

 

December 28, 2014
by Jenni Clutten
2 Comments

Happy December

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I figure it’s a little bit late to wish you a Merry Christmas, but I hope you’ve had a good one.  As you may have noticed there’s been a bit of a leave of absence on the blog over the last few months. Totally unannounced, I know, but the long and the short of it is that I have been adapting to returning to work.

Being a working mother hasn’t been quite as easy as I expected, but is as enjoyable as it is challenging (and I’m only working 3 days a week!)  Reflecting on the last few months, for me, bring a working mother means that I have had to become a logistics expert overnight, working out who will be picking the children up, dropping them off, with who, whats the latest time I can leave, deciding who’s making the christmas party sandwiches and will we get to our swimming lessons on time. And with out swimming kits too, bonus! It’s no wonder that the last few months have sped by like I’ve been asleep the whole time and just woken up from some kind of crazy high-speed race.winter walk (1 of 1)-5
I’m planning to return to blogging over the next few weeks and have some wonderful things to share.  I just need to get writing and photographing and I’ll be away… I’m so disappointed that I haven’t been able to keep up with the lovely living arrows posts, but I think that ship has sailed now! Sometimes it’s just not possible to do it all.

The last few weeks have been full of a few new things, including the start of what I hope will become a Christmas tradition.  Nye’s first ever trip to the cinema on Christmas Eve.  We went to see Paddington and the atmosphere was just wonderful, full of families giggling at the jokes and children chattering away.  I am in no doubt that it would be hell if you didn’t have young children yourself, but to me it was quite magical.  Sitting in the deep seats, in the dark on his booster, Nye sipped on ribena and ate Cheerios and blueberries then demolished a chomp bar he picked out as a special treat.winter walk (1 of 1)-7

I also made a ‘christmas eve’ box full of PJs for all of us, some christmas books, a new film (robots) and some chocolate coins.  Because we saw the film on the 24th, we actually opened the box on the 23rd which is Neil’s birthday.  I think this could become a lovely tradition too.

Another joint Christmas present I was really excited about was the Tuff Spot I bought.  My plan was to set up a winter season for them to play with on Christmas morning (this was somewhat overshadowed by PRESENT UNWRAPPING).  But it was wonderfully successful in the kitchen when we filled it with flour, polenta and lentils.  We wrote letters and made shapes whilst Evie climbed in and rolled around!

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Christmas itself was a bit too full of tantrums, but one of the highlights has to be the brined turkey, (thanks Heston!) Boxing day was better and the 27th we had a sucessful day of sale shopping I’ll share with you later.  Have a great holiday and see you soon!