Siblings {August}

I think I’ve been putting off writing this month’s Siblings post. It’s the last one before Elliot starts school and I think the fact that they won’t be in the same place as each other every day is going to slightly change the relationship these two have carved out over the past 20 months.  Or maybe it will change nothing at all and I’m just being anxious for no reason. I hope that’s the case.

  

In all honesty, Elliot is Alexander’s favourite person. He regularly looks for him and enjoys finding toys that are his and telling me proudly “Lellot!” – it belongs to Elliot. He loves anything and everything that Elliot does, and likes to follow him about (whilst also doing a lot of adventurous discovering himself, being a lot braver, or maybe risk averse, than his elder counterpart!) 


Elliot is still loving his role as big brother and often recently I’ve seen him take Alexander’s hand and walk with him. 

Alexander is taking a while to actually properly learn his own name. The boys do look alike and at the moment if you ask Alex who he’s looking at in a mirror, he’ll be quite adamant that it’s “Lellot”! 

  

The boys are pretty keen on snacks, and iPhones. Please don’t judge! It’s hard to get them sitting in one place long enough to take one photo let alone a few to choose from!

  

 

Maybe next month we’ll have Elliot in his school uniform. I’ve just finished labelling it all :)

Check out the other lovely posts from this month over with Dear Beautiful:

dear beautiful

Hedgehog rolls

We recently had some friends over to play, and as it was the day after the “bread” round of The Great British Bake Off, I thought it would be fun to make some little rolls with the kids and then eat them for lunch! 

 

To make 6 small rolls you’ll need:

  • 12oz Strong Bread Flour – we used Wholemeal
  • 1 1/2tsp Quick Yeast (about half a Allinson packet)
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 220ml of hand hot water (from the tap is fine!) 
  • Raisins for eyes

To make your little hedgehogs, start by putting the dry ingredients into a bowl, then give them a good mix to combine them. 

Next, add the oil and then the water. Start to mix together, as it becomes sticky get your hands in the bowl and start to knead the dough.

If the mixture is still sticky add some more flour and if it’s dry, sprinkle on a little more water.

Once the dough is combined turn out onto a lightly flour-dusted surface and knead the dough for 5-10 mins. The kids LOVED this part! 

Mould them into 4-6 hedgehog shapes and use scissors to snip into the dough to make spikes. We used raisins for eyes too.

Put the rolls on a floured baking sheet and cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for about an hour to rise. (We used the oven on lowest setting as we don’t have an airing cupboard!)

Next, heat up your oven to 200 degrees centigrade and cook the rolls for 25 minutes.  The rolls will feel firm and if you tap the bottom of them, they’ll sound hollow.

Ours lasted one mealtime! 

Enjoy x

Cheesy flapjacks

I  know it sounds weird but bear with me. Apparently savoury flapjacks are a thing. 

As it turns out they are actually pretty delicious! I bumped into a friend in town a week ago and she was giving these amazing homemade flapjacks to her little ones and offered one to Alexander. To say he wolfed it down would be an understatement. I had to get the recipe!

Cheese and veg flapjacks

100g unsalted butter
300g porridge oats
350g grated cheese
2 beaten eggs
200g of one of any of the following (grated): carrot, courgette, red onion, sweet potato, swede, parsnip, or pumpkin. (I used butternut squash which worked well!) 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 and lightly grease a Swiss roll tin. 
  2. Melt butter in a pan over a low heat. 
  3. Take off the heat and combine all ingredients in the pan, mixing well.
  4. Press down into the tin using the back of your spoon/spatula.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown- they may need a few more minutes. 
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then cut into small slices and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  7. Store in an airtight container. I think they should also be stored in the fridge but that’s up to you!

I didn’t manage to get a photo but they were such a hit with all four of us and a great way of sneaking in a bit more veg (albeit smothered in cheese….) without ending up in this kind of state:

 

Nous avons fait du camping…

Two adults. Two small children. 7 hours in the car, there and back, 35 mins in a tunnel. One week in a tent. One trip to Paris on possibly the hottest day of their little lives. Easy right??

Actually, surprisingly, yes! 

I remember camping holidays as I was growing up, and the fun of being in a tent, in France or Italy, out of all routines and spending time with my favourite people (yes I’ve long counted my mum and dad and sister as my faves, obviously have added to this list with my own little family subsequently!)  It may even be why I ended up studying French at Uni, who knows!

I really REALLY want our children to feel the same way and so jumped at the suggestion of a last minute Eurocamp deal in June. 

We stayed in La Croix du Vieux Pont, in Berny Rivière (about 1.5hrs from Paris)  in one of their Safari tents, and had a great time. We visited Laon (beautiful old walled town), Reims (huge cathedral), Paris (re-visiting the place we got engaged!), and Arras (lovely squares lined with beautiful facades and cafes)

   
                   

We’re already planning our holiday for next summer, maybe the Loire… We do like a good castle! 

Things I have learnt

Never think you can’t do something. You can do anything.

You are you.
I did a triathlon in June. This may not be a big thing for some, but it marks a turning point for me. 

Having been a spectator and team-participant for years, I never had the will power before to contemplate doing anything like this myself. 

Then, in 2012, when yucky things happened, some things got put into perspective, and I made a promise to myself to do the whole tri by myself.

When it came to sign up, I remembered the phrase “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” 

I was never going to be a cyclist, a swimmer, or a better runner, if I didn’t try. So I did. I didn’t manage to train as much as I had hoped (that “life” thing kinda got in the way somewhat!) but I did what I could and managed it.
In fact I quite enjoyed it (and might even do it again next year!)

  
So, little men of mine, when you read this in years to come, if there’s something you want to do but think you can’t – please remember that you can change habits of a lifetime, and the only person stopping you from making that change is you

Be active. Be happy. Have fun.

I love you x