Ginger Bisquite

Lifestyle, DIY, Family & Food

living arrows 28 & 29/52

July 21, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 1 Comment

living arrowsYour determination and spirit make me so proud.  You have a thirst for learning, taking everything in with all your senses, you do nothing by halves.  You can pull up to standing and drag yourself across a room, just with the strength in your arms.  It was a bit of a killer last week, as you have only taken cat naps before wanting to explore more.  You fall asleep in my arms full to the brim with milk, I wait and carefully transplant you to your cot before I exhale.  Then, as I quietly race down the stairs and turn to the kitchen, I place my fingers on the kettle. I hear your call and return back to my place on the sofa where you promptly fall asleep, I remain stuck underneath you.  Sometimes it makes me frustrated, there are just so many things to be done, but other times I just stare down at you knowing that tomorrow your hair will be longer, your eyes will be bigger and I won’t be able to get yesterday back.eag.living arrows.28 (1 of 1)-3living arrowsWe laugh daily at your theatrical nature, recounting your version of events with your eyes, words and body.  I cherish our little chats, especially as you start to remember friends and family and understanding the passing of time.  I told you the story of little red riding hood from my memory a few weeks ago and you often ask ‘story mummy’.  The story has changed quite a lot now, but the current version involves Nye, who is bringing a buzzby cake to his grandma, the wolf steals it, Grandad says ‘shoo away wolf’, then he says sorry and has tea and cake. When not chatting, you are ‘making cakes’ in the mud outside, offering out stones and rolling out play dough.  It’s safe to say you like cake!
aag.livingarrows. (1 of 1)Water plays a major part in our life, it is always such a great way of keeping you happy.  You make up your own games and sing songs, making up tunes and words if you can’t quite remember them.  You love to splash yourself and shock yourself with the cold water, screaming out with joy.  Today you sang humpty dumpty like we do at your swimming lessons and jumped into the bucket.  You so want to splash that you jump in when you sing ‘wall’ because you can’t wait for the ‘fall’.  eag.livingarrows. (1 of 1)-2A blissful moment of silence in what has been an exhausting week.  I barely dared to press the shutter to capture you,  terrified that I would disturb you.  You continue to grow up, strong, enquiring and happy (when you’re not causing havoc by refusing to settle in your cot).  You are most vocal at the dinner table.  When the food runs out, or others are eating without you, you crumple your nose up and inhale and exhale deeply to show your dissatisfaction with the situation.  You do it so often now that Nye does impressions of you, laughing to himself saying ‘Evie talking’.

living arrows

Serenata hamper giveaway and review

July 19, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 75 Comments

serenata.hampers (1 of 1)-5.text.serenata.hampers (1 of 1)Fancy an unexpected treat for yourself? Or perhaps you need a thoughtful gift for a special occasion? Well, I have the perfect competition for you.  Enter today and you could win a luxury hamper of your choice, courtesy of Serenata Hampers.  Just tell us what would be in your ideal hamper? by filling in the Rafflecopter below.

I was also given the opportunity to review one myself and chose the ‘beer buff’s gift box‘ to share on a date night with Neil last week.  It was lovely to share, just the two of us, and provided the perfect mix of treats for us.  We were both big fans of the beer, which truly is the best we’ve tasted and I just loved the spicy crackers and cheese.

I admit it was difficult to choose which hamper I’d like, and if it was just for me, I think I’d love to try the Ladies That Sparkle hamper or the ‘Time for Tea Trug‘.  All hampers are posted in a lovely Serenata Hampers box, well packaged and ready to be enjoyed and include quality items that give an extra special feel.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com
“SuperLucky

Make your own ice lolly

July 15, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 2 Comments

make your own ice lolly

I had kind of forgotten just how easy it is to throw together delicious and fruity ice lollies, but I’m so glad I gave it a go. Here are my delicious recipes for how to make your own ice lolly, just perfect for a hot and sunny day.

I’ve so far made two different types of lollies this week, and both were delicious.  They were made straight from the contents of the fridge in a matter of minutes.  At a guess they take around 5 hours to freeze but this depends very much on your freezer, I find it helpful to make them in the morning and then they are ready for dinner time.  Of course lollies will always be a treat but I have diluted the juice and squash so it’s suitable for a toddler or a little taste for a baby if you’re feeling generous.  These lolly mould were from Tesco, but for a thrifty alternative you could make up your mix in an old yogurt pot and simply add in a lolly stick before sitting it in the freezer.

aag.july. (1 of 1)-4Tutti Fruity Lolly Ingredients:

  • Orange Juice (diluted)
  • Blueberries
  • Banana

Instructions:

  1. Half fill the lolly mold with the diluted orange juice
  2. Add a few blueberries to the bottom
  3. Place half a banana into the mold
  4. Add a few more berries to the top
  5. Top up the rest of the mold with orange juice

july.lolly (1 of 1)-5 Berry Blast Lolly Ingredients:

  • Blackcurrant Squash
  • Blueberries
  • Thick Greek Yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Half fill the lolly mold with diluted squash
  2. Add blueberries to bottom
  3. Add 3-4 Tablespoons of yogurt to the mold
  4. Add a few more berries
  5. Top up the mold with squash

 

Disclosure: This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots100 July challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Woburn Forest.

Living Arrows 27/52

July 7, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 1 Comment

living arrows

You’ve truly mastered getting around and holding yourself up, stretching out, setting your sights on what you want and making your way there.   You’re favourite things to play with seem to be, spoons, picking grass, a blow up microphone and maracas.  You’ve also finally discovered that you have preferences for certain things.  Just a few weeks ago we could swap in different toys or if you’re brother took things you weren’t bothered.  Now however, you are not impressed if something is taken from you, especially at your swimming lesson where you scream if I take the diving weight away from you.  So this time will certainly be a lesson in taking turns for your brother.  Overall, you just love to make noises, twist turn and chew on everything.  This world needs to be explored.

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aag.july.1.livingarrows. (1 of 1)This weekend you spent lots of time with Daddy, including helping to make pizza dough for our lunch.  Weighing out the ingredients, mixing them together then kneading dough ready for it to rise.  You are a great cook, and can tell us lots of the ingredients needed to make things, even if you aren’t yet patient enough to understand that things do take time to cook.  You already know and understand such a wide range of things that it feels like there aren’t enough things in the world for you to learn.  Your language is developing wonderfully and you have started to use new phrases like ‘join in’ and this week have learnt your surname.  Your imagination makes me smile and laugh.  I asked if you were going to fly planes when you were older and you told me that yes you are, but not in the sky, in space!  To the cheesy moon!  You are imaginative, joyful, expressive and opinionated.

 Linking up with Living Arrows, last week I loved Fritha’s little shark!

 

Capturing the Tactile Textures Trend in the Bathroom

July 3, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 1 Comment

This year, one of the big trends in interiors is Tactile Textures.  It incorporates bold design choices with a range of different textures, through the walls, floors, materials and objects used.  I especially love this look in bathrooms where it’s possible to create a luxury look with big soft towels, textured tiles and modern bathroom fittings that are set against contrasting items.

C. P Hart Tactile Textures

C.P. Hart Tactile Textures

With tactile textures you can use rustic natural objects, such as wood and stone, contrasting against matt black smooth textures and bold and industrial concrete walls. A juxtaposition if you will!

My favourite pieces are those that really give the bathroom a statement look, the kind of look you would imagine for a wonderful spa or luxury hotel.  Wouldnt it be great to create something just as special at home?  The easiest way to create a striking new look is to use Bathroom showrooms as an invaluable source of inspiration.  The best ones can give you an idea of what you like and how much space you will need to make a design work and help you choose the fixtures that will work best and work around these.

In the moodboard I have put together, I started by choosing the Greenwich Boat Bath in Copper, (available in a range of finishes), my absolute most favourite item.  The copper option works well with the tactile textures trend AND the copper trend that is so popular at the moment so it’s a winner on both counts. Win!

Tactile Textures Bathroom

For even more inspiration I’ve also put together a #tactiletextures Pinterest board of some of my most favourite things, perfect for design fanatics and professional interior designers alike.  And if you have a big plan in mind you’ll probably need a professional fitter who will find the C. P. Hart trade page invaluable.  What’s your favourite bathroom style?

Follow Ginger Bisquite’s board tactile textures bathroom on Pinterest.

Disclosure: Post in collaboration with C. P Hart, all thoughts, words and opinions my own.

Oxford Story Museum Review

July 1, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 2 Comments

oxford story museum reviewThis week we took out first adventure to Oxford to visit the Oxford Story Museum, based right in the center of town.  It just happened to be the first thing that came up when I googled ‘things to do with kids in Oxford’.  And I feel very fortunate that it was because it turned out to be one of the best places we have taken Nye.

We started our visit by choosing whether to take a trip on the wonder walk or the 26 characters exhibition.  I asked the lady at the till which she reccommended for toddlers, and she suggested the exhibition.  We left the gorgeous shop, full of lovely books and headed into the courtyard to wait for my friend.  Whilst in the coutyard Nye spent a good 15minutes playing with a sailing boat they have there.  As Nye played some people arrived for the wonderwalk and the guide told us that the boat was symbolising the one from ‘Where The Wild Things Are.’

The 26 characters exhibition showcases Britain’s best loved writers and storytellers, transformed into the characters they most loved as children.  It is an exciting new, interactive photographic exhibition including Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman as the Wicked Witch of the West and Terry Pratchett as Just William.  As a visitor the exhibition allows you (especially children) to explore with with all of their body.  Everything is set up so that you can truly expeirence things without fear of touching them.  Fancy walking through the wardrobe into Narnia?  You can do that here!  How about dressing up, walking down the red carpet and being annouced on a throan.  Yep, that’s also available here.  Then there are the little touches, big lit picture frames to stand in to create your own photos, stamps to collect, stories to listen to and a cavernous building to explore.

Our favourite bits:
Nye loved the relaxing environment of the greek myth, where clouds float across the room as you lay watching them from a cosy sofa.  The dressing up room and the spinning story table.

p.s I’m over on HIBS 100 with my Hot Picks if you fancy some some interiors inspiration.

Living Arrows 26/52

June 30, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 1 Comment

living arrows

We went for a trip to Oxford this weekend and you insisted on wearing your dinosaur hat on the journey there.  You are pretty good on road trips now,  sometimes taking a nap, or sometimes just looking out the window and telling us what you can see.  We do often have to spend quite a large amount of time singing nursery rhymes over and over again, but you don’t often complain.living arrows eag.livingarrows.30.06.2014 (1 of 1)Oh my goodness Evie, you have learnt to crawl!  Not necessarily with all limbs moving in a coordinated manor but who cares, you can get from A to B.  Nothing can stop you from getting to where you want to be and you even managed to go backwards and wedge yourself under the sofa the other day.  Of course your brother thought it was hilarious and had to copy you and he shouts ‘Evie funny’.

living arrows

Before and After January to June 2014

June 28, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 3 Comments

after.front.garden (1 of 1)-12 before and after january to juneWe all know that things grow over time, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so aware of it as this week.  I was flicking through my laptop and I could see the transformation was just so striking.  It’s the change and varieties in colour more than anything.  Here are some of my before and after photos from January 2014 to June 2014.  Have you seen any big changes in your garden tis month?SONY DSCoverall front garden bed.collage.text2

SONY DSC

 

after.front.garden (1 of 1)-7 SONY DSC after.front.garden (1 of 1)-9 after.front.garden (1 of 1)-10SONY DSC after.front.garden (1 of 1)-11 SONY DSC after.front.garden (1 of 1)-13 after.front.garden (1 of 1)-14The garlic has been wonderful, such a fragrant thing to plant in the winter months and look forward to in the summer.  I’ll certainly be planting some again this year and I am hoping to learn to plait it to keep what I’ve grown for as long as possible.  The bulbs themselves arent enormous which isn’t a surprise as I didn’t add anything to the soil before I planted.  Once I’ve emptied the bed I’ll be adding more soil conditioner to try and boost the nutrients.SONY DSCafter.back garden (1 of 1)The beautiful roses are in full bloom.  I can hardly believe they were woody stems just a month or so ago.  I have used them for the village flower arranging compeition, to give to a friend and I have just started to make some confetti too.

My loganberry has gone from twig to lush foliage, Evie and I tasted our first berry on Wednesday and actually the first one I’ve ever tasted.  It was on the sour side of a raspberry and would be perfect in crumble or jam.
SONY DSCafter.front.garden (1 of 1)And of course there are other beautiful things that have been growing, plentiful peas, sweet peas and more subtle white/pink roses and lots more to enjoy.after.front.garden (1 of 1)-19after.front.garden (1 of 1)-3after.front.garden (1 of 1)-2

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Get Kids Gardening

June 24, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 19 Comments

get kids gardeningInterested in getting the kids out of the house?  Got your trowel and wellys to hand?  Here’s my guide to get kids gardening.

First off, we know that children love to explore things with all their senses.  In the garden it’s easy to provide a feast for the senses through bright coloured plants and heavenly scents.  Why not dip your toe in the water by selecting a small space, just for the kids and choose some plants together.  Don’t be off put by making massive grand garden designs, let the children lead by creating a cottage style garden which includes a range of flowers, and even some vegetables into the gaps.  Lettuces is great for this kind of thing, they germinate easily from seed and grow quickly and can take a certain degree of being trampled on.

At this time of year I like to use summer bedding plants, as these are an easy way of having a quick impact and a great choice to get kids gardening.  Children can see the results of their efforts straight away, and once dug in and watered, the next day the plants should be thriving.  This year we have chosen a few perennials (will grow again next year) and annuals (for this year only) care of Plant me now which are fantastically healthy, immediately brightening up our garden.

gb. (1 of 1)-6 A small container is a great way for kids to take responsibility for their own space, giving them a sense of pride and accomplishment.  We selected a lovely deep raised bed that was looking bare since the daffodils have faded.  Nye chose the Calibrachoa Cabaret YellowFuchsia Semi-Trailing Buds of May Jean Taylor and Ivy Geranium Supreme Burgundy White.  Alongside these he went for a cucumber plant, which was in need of a new home.

For a real wow factor try to use contrasting colours in flowers and foliage.  I like the Ipomoea Bright Ideas Black as it is so striking with its deep black leaves, which looks great with any combination of other colours.  The great thing about annuals is that they tend to have fantastic colour, we particularly liked the peachy colour of the Diascia Aurora Apricot and bright white of Verbena Aztec White.  gb. (1 of 1)-17gb. (1 of 1)-13

Fragrance plays an important part of any garden and creates an added sensual impact for children.  Lavender and sweet pea’s are great in the summer but in autumn wallflowers are a great pick from the winter bedding plant.  They come in wonderful bold colours with a divine smell that keeps the garden going all year round.  This of course means that the children have to look after the plants all year round, an important skill in learning to test whether the soil is wet or dry.

With a slightly older child, they might like to choose where to put the plants, but with a toddler it’s (sometimes) easier to direct them by asking them to do small tasks.  For example you might ask, ‘Can you dig a hole here?’ or ‘What colour shall we put here?’  Personally, I like to look up the size and spread that we can expect so that I can make sure it’s in the right place.  But equally, I don’t place exacting requirements on how things will look, as perfection doesn’t really matter as long as the children are enjoying it.

And once you’ve planted up your gorgeous flowers, you should have a wonderful space that you can enjoy for months (and years) to come.

Disclosure: Post written in collaboration with Plant Me Now, all words, thoughts and opnions my own.

Living Arrows 25/52

June 23, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 0 comments

living arrows

This week you harvested your very own ripe strawberry from the garden.  I did wonder if any would ever go red as you kept ripping them off when they were green.  You were very pleased with it, and devoured it before going on the hunt for more.  You are somehow taller and more grown up this week, filling out your clothes and changing from a doddery toddler to a little boy.  I hear myself in you more and more and it makes me challenge my  own behaviour.  We have been potty training for a few weeks and you are now dry at night but still wearing nappies in the day time.  I have never heard of any child doing it this way round but you like to keep us on our toes!living arrows eag.23.06 (1 of 1)You have learnt to sit up unaided this week, proudly sitting tall and strong, surveying what looks interesting and then making a determined effort to get there. At 6 months, this stage is so obviously different to the ones that preceded it.  From cradled and cuddled all day long to laying on your back, then your front, rolling, reaching and now sitting and learning to crawl.  You’ve also learnt to screech at the top of your voice if you are frustrated.  Usually it is because there is food out of your reach and all of a sudden you will go from making no noise to creating an ear splitting tone.


living arrows