Posts in Family
Food rituals: Hurray It's Thursday #OreoCookieQuest Cake

It’s now been six months since I introduced a new food ritual to our household.  Thursdays are now well and truly about Hurray It’s Thursday Cake.  The kids even get slightly cross if there isn’t cake on their return from school (as there wasn’t last Thursday).  I have created a monster.  

Clearly, this family tradition is well and truly here to stay, and this week became even more exciting as I combined cake with biscuits as part of The Great Oreo Cookie Quest.  

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Christmas Food Rituals and the Ambassador's Rocky Road

Christmas for me, is all about the food.

Yes it’s about the real meaning of Christmas (whatever that might be to you), it’s about the magic of it all for children, it's celebrating and laughing with family, and the John Lewis advert, but it’s also, very much so, about food.

Here are some of my favourite Christmas food rituals, and a very special new recipe for rocky road that could be served at even an ambassador's party...

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Woman in Progress Christmas Gift Guide: For Him

Final obligatory blog gift guide coming up.  I'm always at a bit of a loss with what to get Hugh, my Dad and my brothers.  They're pretty unhelpful when asked for ideas about what they would like so I always end up buying socks.  Hugh is ever-original asking for a Ferrari every year - will that ever get old?  If your man present-buying mojo gets a bit stagnant and repetitive then see what I've found.

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Woman in Progress Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

I'm one of those helpful people who say "I don't know, nothing really" when asked what I'd like for Christmas.  In case you have to buy for someone just as imaginative, here are our ideas.  Not a sponsor in sight (sigh) but still lots of lovely things to choose from. 

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Woman in Progress Christmas Gift Guide: For Little Ones

We couldn't look ourselves in the mirror if we didn't do what most blogs do at this time of year, and create a gift guide.  Most blogs might get theirs sponsored, but ours is genuinely stuff we like.  If you're even remotely organised then this list is probably way too late, sorry.  If however you're disorganised like me then you may even be thinking you have loads of time.  Let me stop you - sit down - Christmas is 20 days away!  

Father Christmas obviously knows all the best things to bring but in case you don't, here are a few favourites.

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Reasons to move to the country #2: London still exists

OK, so this ‘reason’ is a little bit of a cop out, but I have to admit that one of the things I worried about before leaving London was that I'd just miss it too much.  But, four years on, I can let you in on a secret.

London is still there.  

And this is the thing about moving to the country, whichever city you might be moving away from: it still exists, you just might need to make a bit more effort to visit it.  

Here are a few suggestions for places to visit, by no means innovative or unique, but our experiences of them - just in case you need some.

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Food rituals: a Halloween tea party

I’m not really sure I’m supposed to love Halloween as much as I do.  It, or rather the over-the-top celebrating-of-it that I love so much, is ‘a bit American’ as my Mum would put it.  But I don’t see that as a bad thing.  The nights are drawing in, which in itself can be a little depressing.  It’s getting colder and I never look as good in a polo neck as I think I should.  But Halloween appears at the end of October and it’s a riot of fun, garishness, slight tackiness and faux-gore hilarity.  Can’t go wrong really.  We're having a tea party after school this year, and I get to indulge my love of this tacky holiday in full.

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A love of food rituals and creating a new one

There are many reasons I love cooking. 

I love eating, first and foremost.   I’d rather invest time in cooking something tasty than eat something indifferent.  I also get a huge amount out of the process of cooking itself: a sense of detachment.  My mind can wander as I just focus on the process - it’s meditative almost (that sounds wanky written down).  But it’s also, massively, about the rituals food creates.  The moments and memories that food can conjure.  Eating and laughing together is one of the most joyful of family activities.  And if you cook and eat similar things at similar events, those times, for me, seem to become even more precious.  To separate the food from the occasion becomes impossible.  

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Pandering a.k.a Picking my battles

When you have a small person who has particular (often irrational) requirements do you stand your ground and watch the situation unravel or pander: go with it whist silently rolling eyes, and save your energy for another time aka pick your battles?  Who cares what you call it, if the end result is the same, they are the same.

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Seeking solace in coffee and cake

The children are back at school and I'm looking for solace in coffee shops.  I'm not distressed summer is over but am in need of a little distraction - somewhere to write and eat that isn't home.  Laura and I are avid supporters of local and independent businesses and seek them out where we can, these are faithful favourites.

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Back in the press: Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a personal perspective

When “The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant” and “morning sickness” headlines hit this week I stopped in my tracks.  When will the media stop being shy of the medical terminology and point out that morning sickness, severe or not is one thing, and Hyperemesis Gravidarum is another.  The coverage is better and more informative but the real HG doesn't make for a good story.  I don’t know how Kate is feeling but this was my experience. 

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Don't worry, be app-y: my favourite apps for children

Obviously my children (aged 6, 6, and 4) have never even held my phone, let alone played games on it.  But hypothetically, these are the apps that, if they did, would successfully keep them entertained, happy and quiet on a 6 hour train ride to the south of France...

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What I did (vs. what I should have done)

This week, like many others, started with order, lists and beautifully written calendar entries.  Sadly, by about Wednesday, it didn't resemble anything but slight disappointment and scribble.  The rest of the week, forget it! I try hard but invariably end up with two lists – “to do” and “what I actually did”.

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Teaching my kids to cook

We’re a couple of weeks into the summer holidays now.  There are 5 weeks to go.  JOY.  Amongst playdates, attempts to do reading, sweeping up glitter and Forth Bridge-like tidying up ), I’ve also started to teach my two boys to cook.  Our focus this week was noodles.

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Reasons to move to the country: #1 Mud glorious mud

This isn't meant to be an exhaustive, nor indeed serious, series on why anyone should move to the country.  And to be honest I could just as easily write one about why people shouldn't move to the country, but I have a blog to fill.  And so here we are.  Reasons to move to the country: #1 Mud glorious mud

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Slipping through my fingers all the time: my youngest is starting school soon

It’s just three months until my youngest starts school.  And only two weeks until her brothers are off on their school holidays.  At this point, the current set up, of Thursdays and Fridays being ‘just us’ will stop.  Forever.  One element which definitely exacerbates this whole sense of an emptier nest is the fact that I’m also not sure what I’ll do with my extra time once she is in school.  Having recently closed my business, I’m not sure really what I’m should do with myself.   What do I do?  

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