Posts from — January 2017

Lemon, Yoghurt + Lavender Cake 0

January 31, 2017

Someone around here is about to turn one. ONE! *sob* While I will try to restrain the feels from spilling out all over the place I cannot make any promises. Our last and tiniest poppet is no longer so tiny. Last weekend, in advance, we celebrated the big day with balloons, a weight of party food and plenty of cake.



Despite my deep and unwavering love of cake, cake making has not always been a forte. For B1’s first birthday a neighbour made her an incredible multi-layer cake covered in fondant flowers and ladybugs. For B2’s first birthday I ordered a sprinkles / 100’s + 1000’s covered number from Pasticceria Papa. Both delicious and beautiful, but neither homemade. So, with a bit of trepidation, I decided to make B3’s first birthday cake myself. Give it a whirl, as they say. Besides, I’m not a complete novice (see here and here) and I’m much older and wiser these days. Errr….yes. You know where this story is going – the night before the party I completely botched the cake. Disaster.

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In: Food, From Hannah, Includes a recipe!, Kids and Parenting

Books, Books Everywhere 2

January 26, 2017

It’s that time of year again…yes, the time when the year’s new books start to be released into the world and I wonder how much more space I can find on my already double-stacked book shelves. I have way more books than I can read in a year. Probably in decade. Let’s face it, in a lifetime, if I include the rate of new books coming in, making the official to-read list pretty ridiculous.

Nevertheless, I’m offering a short list of books I’m most looking forward to this year, though this roundup will be out of date as soon as the nest wave of releases arrives and I’m oohing and ahhing over those. It just never ends—and thank goodness for that.

First, of course, a novel for children—you know my inclination—about bring curious, and also dinosaurs. I’ve loved the story of Mary Anning discovering fossils near her home in England since I first heard it when I was a kid, and now it’s going to be a novel. Yippee! I’ll be buying a copy for Little e. And myself, of course.


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In: Books & Reading, From Ria

Good, new things. 2

January 18, 2017

And just like that…Christmas was gone.



I don’t know about you but I’m still getting used to dating things ‘2017’. As keen as I was to see the back of 2016 it does seem a bit discombobulating that we are suddenly in a new year. On top of that, our baby has transformed into an almost-one -year-old. Crawling, giggling, standing, toothed. I’m no longer able to turn my back – she’s fast, determined and adventurous; hell-bent on climbing any stair, stool or incline, getting through any gate or small gap. This darling girl is our last baby. And she’s not really a baby anymore. The thought makes me feel like someone used my chest as a gong.

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In: Books & Reading, Food, From Hannah, Kids and Parenting, Seasonal

The Well or The River 1

January 11, 2017

The other day I was rifling through a bottom drawer in my desk when I found a small flower-printed note pad. I’d stashed it there in the hopes certain small people wouldn’t find it and realize how perfect it was for spontaneous art projects. It was pretty and pale-hued and smelled faintly of books—that old musty smell that feels like home. It had come across the country in the mail a few years before and now I felt bad for having stashed it so well that I’d forgotten about it, because it was part of a care package, the other contents of which had either been eaten or worn. It had come from a friend, someone I’ve exchanged packages with several times over the years. But the best part, at least the most recent best part, was being able to use it now, like it had just arrived, with all the same thougthfulness and gratitude attached to it.

Caring seems to be in both huge abundance and short supply these days. We’re passionately glued to the newest headlines about the current atrocities and outrages of the world but at the same time not able to do the things for ourselves that we really should. And I’m sometimes struck by the terrible ache that I’m not doing enough for others—friends, co-workers, students, family. That I should be doing more. Caring more.


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In: Food, From Ria, Seasonal