Monthly Archives: March 2012

Lace Window Screens


England is weird.

I have been living here six years now and there are still many things I have yet to understand about this country.

Some of them I can overlook, like prawn flavoured crisps, or, to translate for the American’s out there, shrimp flavoured chips. I don’t particularly understand it, but I suppose if you like chips and you like shrimp, heck, why not put it together?! Knock yourselves out!

But there are some things that I just will never understand.

One of which is, why do they not have screens on any windows in England?


This is our bathroom window and as you can see, you push it out to open it, and there is no screen.

In America, we have screens on everything: back doors, front doors, windows, you name it!

But not here. Which means a house full of bees, wasps, and other things they call “midges.”

I just don’t get it. I don’t even think they sell window screens here.

So I’m attempting to solve this problem.

Lace window screens.


I realise that it is not the most elegant or classy option, but it’s easy and practical; two things I can get behind.

All I did was buy some velcro stickers and find some left over lace curtain material.



I then measured the windows and cut the lace to fit.


I stuck the velcro stickers on the inside of my window in the four corners.


Classy looking right?! I don’t care as long as it keeps out the wasps.

Then I stuck the other half of the velcro to the lace. I even sewed them to the lace to make it a bit more secure.


And then, I stuck the lace up on the window and attached it using the velcro.



Now hopefully we won’t have as many winged visitors as usual.

Not that Josh seems to care either way!



Blast from the Past


Today I stumbled upon something.

I almost couldn’t make out what it was through the thick layer of dust covering it.

But there it was. The book I had made for Tim as a wedding gift, telling the story of how we met, and fell in love.



Finding this book brought back some lovely memories.




Every night when we put Josh to bed we read him several books. So tonight, this book made it’s way into the rotation, and was a huge hit with Josh, who enjoyed pointing out “mama” and “dada” in all the pictures.

He even asked for it to be read twice.


It was a bit surreal to be reading this book to Josh, thinking back on where it all started and how our little family has grown over the years.

I don’t think I ever imagined back when I was making the book for Tim, that one day we would be reading it to our children.


But I’m so glad we are.

Boys Love Dirt


The weather this weekend in England was beautiful.

It almost felt like summer.

Well, as close as England gets to summer.

I’ve been feeling guilty lately that I have this nice, expensive camera that I never use anymore since I got an iPhone. My iPhone is just always so convenient.

So, when I saw Josh “helping” Tim in the garden, I decided I should go get my nice camera and take some pictures.

I think they turned out pretty good, though I don’t think I fully captured just how muddy he got! We spend all this money on toys, when all he really needs is some dirt and water…

And a good hose down after of course!










The Most Important Meal of the Day


We had some friends over this morning for brunch. I’m not really sure who’s idea it was to have brunch, though I suspect my husband, but I’m certainly not complaining.

I love brunch.

There is just something about it which is so leisurely.

And delicious.


It also gave me a chance to try out several new recipes which had caught my eye.

Tim’s favourite was easily, hands down, the bacon and eggs in toast cups, which I found here at The Noshery.


When I first saw them I thought they looked a little funny, and not that tasty, but I was wrong. And they really are very easy to make. Easy enough that I made Tim some more for dinner tonight. His request.

My favourite thing had to be the cinnamon syrup, the recipe from See Jane in the Kitchen.


It was also a really easy recipe, just heating stuff together in a pan. The thing for me was that it tastes just like the syrup at Cafe Nouveau in Ventura! So delicious!


Especially on some hot waffles!

Happy Saturday everyone!


Farm Animal Hand Puppets


I am so happy to be able to share this project, mainly because it means that I am done!


These are absolutely the most adorable little farm animal hand puppets I have ever seen!


I found the free pattern and tutorial at Just Another Day In Paradise , and can not thank the author enough for making this available to everyone! She must be so creative…

I really wanted to learn how to sew, and when I saw this project, I thought it would be a great beginners project, as well as making something I’m sure Josh would love!


The only thing is that this has probably taken me a month to finish, trying to steal five minutes here and there to sew on an ear or a random spot. And if you look closely there are lots of mistakes, but it was a great learning experience!

I think I’m especially proud of the horses hair.



Though the pig’s tail is pretty darn cute too!



And what a wonderful conclusion for me to see Josh’s delight at meeting all the animals today!

He adores them, which makes me feel that all the time and effort was worth it.



Especially when all he wants to do is hug them!


Early Morning Jog


Josh has been starting to talk for about a month now. If he someday asks me when he started talking, I’d say 18 months.

He has a few words he says, which are, again in case he asks me someday, ball, up, car, two, duck, hello, bye and old. I’m sure I am forgetting some others but you get the gist.

I was remarking the other day that it’s rather unfortunate that two of the words he says are “old” and “ball” which I heard him saying around the house the other day. I’m sure that will come back to embarrass me at some point!

Either way, it shows he understands some things. So I don’t know why it surprised me so much when today he kept dragging me around the house to show me things. I kept wondering “what does this kid want?” and then I finally listened to him saying “two” and pointing at the objects.


He was grouping things in groups of two. The balls, some cars. All over the house, he kept putting two similiar items together.


Maybe that’s normal, but I was pretty impressed.

Later that morning, inspired by my sisters amazing performance at the LA Marathon yesterday, I thought I should really go out running. I mean, sure it was in the 30s but at least it wasn’t raining.

So I went for a jog.


How come no one warned me how odd it is to run with a jogging stroller? What do you do with your hands? I had to keep alternating them which I’m sure made me look crazy.

I also know that jogging with a stroller (or even a “pram” or “pushchair” as they are known here in England), is nowhere near as common place as it is in America, but at one point I passed an elderly woman out walking her dog, who as we passed by muttered “well that’s not something you see everyday.” I can only assume she was talking to the dog and it’s sheltered existence.


Josh had great fun pointing out all the ducks and birds along the river so maybe I’ll be forced to run more.

When I got back home I made myself a breakfast smoothie, which has to be one of the easiest ones to do.


You just throw a handful of spinach, one banana, and a cut up mango (I used a handful of frozen mango chunks today) into a blender. Add a cup of milk (I think it was originally almond milk, but as I haven’t found that in England yet I just use skimmed), and blend.


I feel that anything with spinach in it earns me some points.

Although, after that, I made some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for a toddler group that afternoon, so any of the good done this morning will go down the drain.


Oh well! It’s worth it!

Mothering Sunday


Today was Mother’s Day here in the UK.

As I was waking, I heard the pitter patter of little feet in my room, bringing me a beautiful Mother’s Day card.


Tim and Josh had spent some time the other day working on this card for me, and it really was so special. I think the painting of the flowers on the front turned out especially good.

I already know this card is something I will be treasuring years from now.

Another exciting event taking place today was the LA Marathon, namely because my little sister, Erin, was running in it for the first time!

I am so proud of her, and Josh was too. To help send her good thoughts from so far away, Josh put on his UCLA track suit and practiced running around the house.


Who knows, maybe in a few years the two of them can run it together!


Erin was kind enough to take some photos and send them along to me, so I thought I’d share them here. There’s also a photo of her which my mom took from seeing her on tv. She’s the runner giving a spectator a high five. I love the fact that despite running 26.2 miles, she still found the strength to give some high fives along the way!

We love you Erin and are so proud of you!