And this week our rehearsal eggs will be……….

 photos by Sauce Boss

Easter Eggs, just like Grandma used to make them.

Very pretty eggs that even the teeniest, tiniest Junior can make a fabulous job of….  you just need your egg design template, a pair of tights, vinegar and onion skins. So, French Onion soup, anyone?


Egg rehearsals – Spiderman Eggs

Spiderman Eggs Feb and march 2013 046 Spiderman Eggs Feb and march 2013 047

We are in serious rehearsals, in preparation for Easter. You need to have just the right kind of Easter Egg, right? We need to practice and try, try and practice. We have to be sure….. because if it has not been fully researched and rehearsed, how can we truly state  “For Easter this year we will be making…..”   The Easter Egg….. well, you should never dismiss an earnest attitude to anything, really, even if it’s an Easter Egg.

Today’s experiment was with what are called “Epic Easter Eggs”  at

or as they are now referred to in our house  “Spiderman Eggs”

You only need tap the shells gently (and not batter them, as was my daughter’s first attempt!) to crack them enough to get a good effect.  As you can see the food colouring doesn’t spoil the eggs “interior”, and as it happens, if it looks like something that Spiderman might like then BANG  goes the “I don’t like egg sandwiches” mantra that has passed from my son’s lips for nearly 12 months..

“Can I have Spiderman sandwiches for school this week”……..

“Of course you can”  I said, as I did my very best to sound slightly disinterested and not jump around fist-pumping….

Blue sky Saturday

It’s a beautiful  day out there..

One of mine has packed her  suitcase and  is fashioning a boat out of cushions to travel to a mystery holiday: complete with seat belt made out of tea towel and fleece life jacket…….

The other is building a Pteranodon with Lego………

At some stage soon we’ll get out there, but until then they are  happy.

Meanwhile we’ll just mull over the possibilities that stretch out before us…..

So what are your plans for today?  If you’re stuck, why not visit 27 things  for some ideas?

Here comes the Sun!!!!!!!!!!

OOOHHHHHHH, sunshine is forecast all weekend, but ssshhhh, don’t tell or everyone will want some. Who knows if it will actually arrive and who knows when we’ll have our next weekend of full sun? But, for now, I can savour the prospect of  a weekend  bundled up in the beautiful golden glow of  Autumn sunshine.

There will be a fire,  for sure. We will be cooking on it.  There are jobs to be done in the garden and a den to start planning. We’ve been waiting for the foliage to die back before starting to build a “chimpanzee  house/ explorers secret den”  at the back of the garden. When the summer comes again, it should disappear  behind a mass of leaves, a hidden den to play in. Now who could resist that?

Maybe we’ll do some painting outdoors? Or make some mud bricks?

So, I have few plans to Entertain Junior this weekend. I have a feeling that the sunshine will do the lion’s share of it for me. My only preparation make sure I’ve dug out the warm clothes and  excavated gloves and hats. Lovely.

Hello weekend!!!

Cooking on a Stick: Campfire Recipes for Kids (Gibbs Smith Jr. Activity)firecakes7

This weekend we will be trying something from “Cooking on a Stick” and  the “Campfire Cake” cooked in an orange over at:


What will you get up to this weekend?

It’s a birthday weekend in our house, meaning there are lots of things to cram in before bedtime on Sunday. This weekend we will definitely be:

Cake baking (a snake infested cake, no less)

Present wrapping (and unwrapping) and a list made for thankyou cards.

Hanging up the birthday bunting (after searching for it)

Attempting to keep the surprise of what you’ve bought your brother a surprise (a Herculean task for a 4-year-old)


Renewing Library books


Watching a movie with popcorn (as requested at the beginning of half-term!)

Blowing out candles and singing “Happy Birthday

Catching up with some friends

Seeing Grandma and Grandpa

Finishing off homework

Lighting a fire ( so we can cook on a stick and trial the Campfire cake)


Lots of Skyping and telephone calls

Thankyou card designing


We hope you have a wonderful weekend. Why not dust off some recipe books and let the children pick something they like the look of? Or rustle up some Toffee Apples, Parkin Cake or a Guy ready for Bonfire Night.



Pumpkins designed, re-designed and carved. Cauldron filled with treats, fancy dress laid out on the bed. Rosemary picked, chickens fed. Apples ready to put out at bedtime….. done

Still to do- that rosemary needs to find its way into remembrance biscuits. I just use a simple biscuit recipe and add in some chopped rosemary. We eat a few after our tea and put the rest out with a candle and an apple at bedtime.

The inside of those pumpkins needs to find its way into “Monster Mash” (pumpkin, sweet potato and potato mash) and pumpkin pie for dessert.

The children need to don their outfits and brave the weather to go trick or treating… no broomsticks tonight, it’s too blustery and they have not got a full licence….

They will return as they always do, cold, wet and enormously excited, interrupting each other with all their tales of trick or treating.

When they get back we switch off all the lights and have our tea by candlelight.. the lights don’t go back on until the morning. They put out the biscuits and their apple and go up to bed by candlelight, taking their pumpkins to bed with them (we use the battery operated lights inside once they go upstairs) to act as night lights.

So, coffee drunk and pause enjoyed, I’d best get that pumpkin in the oven then.

A bit of the outside, in

The term “Nature Table” conjures up happy memories of my childhood. The table at the back of the classroom displaying seasonal offerings; books stood up on open pages of significance; bits collected by the teacher, treasures brought in by the children. I did love that table:  the best table in the classroom.

Sadly, it seems that the nature table has fallen out of favour. But a little bit of outside, in is surely a good thing, no? We like to think so. Owing to our present situation the Nature Table has moved into the Living room and I have to say I’m rather fond of its new location. Maybe we’ll have two? Who knows.

A Nature Table can take many forms, a bowl , a shelf, a windowsill, wherever. Fill it with whatever catches your eye when you’re out and about and change it as you feel it needs it.  I will promise you this much, however much space you start with, you’ll fill it and extend it before you know it!

Autumn leaves forever

Who can resist a drift of Autumn leaves, they just scream “Play with me!!!”.

I do not recall ever having walked through leaves with anyone of any age without hearing the scccrrhh, scccrrhh, of dragging feet begin within a few steps of finding yourself ankle-deep in a medley of reds and yellow. Autumn’s great plaything, leaves. Get them whilst they’re going….

Last Autumn, we collected leaves of different shapes and sizes and laminated them. Then, using double-sided tape we stuck them to the dining room window. Every time a little bit of  sun shone through the window we were treated to those lovely amber colours, long after they had gone outside. It made the Dining room a smiley place during those dreary November days whilst we waited for December and it’s glittery goodness.

This year I’m trying this little trick to see how it works. Maybe we’ll make it into some Halloween potions game…

Preserving a leaf.

Glycerin (available at most Pharmacists)



Bring a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part glycerin  to a boil in a saucepan. Pour this solution
into a heat-proof container. Drop in a few brightly coloured leaves and gently
submerge with a wooden spoon. Place a smaller dish on top of the leaves to keep them submerged. Keep the container in a cool, dark place until and start checking after 2-3 days (they should feel soft and pliable when finished).

Remove them and blot dry with a kitchen or paper towels.

The theory is that the leaves will be preserved as they were when you submerged them and not turn brown. I have also seen branches “preserved” by standing the branch  in a glycerin solution, allowing it to take up the glycerin and keep the leaves preserved on the branch.

So get out in the leaves, kick them, throw them enjoy them whilst they last and then bring a few home and as keepsakes to an afternoon of fun.

The trials of a de-humidifier

What started as a bit of lino that needed replacing at the end of September has spread and spread and taken over my kitchen, back hall, downstairs toilet, dining room and our  lives ……

“Ooohhhh, why is that dining room carpet wet there?”  (up came the kitchen lino)

“Ooohh, the dishwasher seems to be leaking, but it’s not on???” (disconnect dishwasher)

“Ooooh, I need to lift the back hall and toilet lino too???”  (up came the lino part 2)

“OOOHHHH, the concrete floor is saturated, you need to cut through the dining room carpet to test it??? RRRRIIIIPPP (up comes the dining room carpet)

“you need to install fans and de-humidifiers too??”

“What do you mean, it’s up the walls?”  (off comes the dining room, kitchen and toilet wallpaper)

So here we are at the end of October currently sporting an extreme form of shabby chic. After a week of looking at bare plaster  accompanied by the sounds and breeze associated with a ferry I gave the children the felts and told them to decorate the walls. It’s an ongoing project and rather liberating to draw on the walls… for everyone.

When the paper goes back up, we will forget what we have drawn until it is time to re-decorate again. I like to think that one day, when my children are grown up with children of their own, we’ll strip our wallpaper and show our grandchildren their wall art (like cave drawings!) and maybe hand them a felt-tip ..

Photos to follow shortly…….