Saturday, 1 February 2014

Blogging at Imperfectly Natural Mama

Hi guys, I am still blogging but nowerdays it's over at Imperfectly Natural Mama. Today I am sharing a post about my plans for some fun activities to do with my toddler in February.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

40 Soups - Mushroom

This week I made mushroom soup for the first time. I didn't follow a recipe (I rarely do for soups) I just thought about what I would like to do and went ahead.  It isn't the cheapest soup to make because it required a whole pack of mushrooms, but was very very tasty.

I used:
One pack of organic chestnut mushrooms,
One large organic onion,
Three cloves of allotment garlic,
One kallo chicken stock cube,
1 tbs organic olive oil,
A dash of organic double cream.

To begin I chopped the onion and garlic and fried it in the olive oil.  I then chopped the mushrooms and addded them till they went soft and watery.  Next I added enough water to cover the mushrooms plus a bit more and added the chicken stock cube.
After cooking for about 15 mins I blended the whole thing and added the cream.
Served with crusty white bread it was absolutely delicious and tasted just like a bought fresh mushroom soup.
What soup recipes do you love?

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Blogging over at Imperfectly Natural Mama

You may have noticed my absence over the last few months, I can only apologise.  I have found my self outgrowing Serendipity Child, so have begun blogging on a new page:
I would love you to visit.  This new blog is a bit more focused on parenting and natural living.  I probably won't be blogging about design or fashion but will be blogging about cooking, gardening and craft. 
Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Burlap and Lace Wedding

Hi folks sorry I have been AWOL these last few months, it's been a busy time for me with some unexpected changes to my life which I will share as soon as I feel I can.
I have really missed blogging and have been umming and ahhing about starting a new blog because of the big gaps and inconsistencies of this one, but I am delaying/stalling because I can't think of a new blog name, plus I am worried about losing all you lovely people who read this one.
So anyway, way back in April I went to a wedding of a wonderful family friend, I had no idea what to expect in terms of a theme, dress, anything!  So it was all a lovely surprise and I was so impressed by the elegance and tastefulness of it all.  Some of these are my photos and some belong to the wedding photographer Zelda Martin (the first two and the forth):
Mirror displaying the table numbers and guest's names

Mr and Mrs Banner on the head table

 On the dessert table

Delicious croc en bouche

 Favors in brown paper bags embelished with a paper doily (love) and wooden peg
Top table floral arrangements, jars trimmed with lace and twine

 The floral arrangement on our table with lace and twine
beautiful bride, beautiful lace dress
Stunning beams on the ceiling of the barn

 Bunting (a family tradition)

This is the third wedding we have been to with Orren and we really enjoyed it.  Orren had a great time dancing to the disco lights and music at the evening function, I wish I had taken more photos but it is so difficult when you are preoccupied with a one year old!  I would loved to have shown you my outfit too as I was pleased with the thriftiness of it.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Hungry Caterpillar Bunting

We are going through an unusually cold spell here in the UK, we are all wrapped up inside fondly remembering the weather this time last year which was warm, sunny and spring-like!  Shortly after Orren was born I enjoyed a picnic in the park and a BBQ in the garden, so you will understand that we are all feeling a little down and out at the moment and desperately wishing spring to come.  Last week I planted some beetroot and spring onions in seed trays, but I just don't see them making an appearance unless the weather improves. 
I am trying to pass the time by seeing friends and family.  Last week I visited my best friend who had a baby four weeks ago, he is totally gorgeous and tiny, holding a tiny baby just reminded me how much Orren has grown, he seems giant compared to my friend's baby!  Did it make me broody?  Well maybe a little, I did start thinking crazy things like "I am sure it's easier with two", and "Orren could entertain the baby". 
I made a couple of presents for him including a couple of my neckerchief bibs and some personalised bunting.  I used Hungry Caterpillar fabric from Hobbycraft and come matching plain, coloured cotton.  It has 12 flags in total with four in the Hungry Caterpillar fabric, four yellow, two green and two red.

I hope my friend likes it, and her little boy when he is old enough to know. I thought the colours were quite jolly and would fit in with a few different colour schemes. 
Last weekend we visited my mum and dad in Wales, normally we enjoy a walk on the beach, but not this time, at 1 degree you'll forgive us for staying indoors and then heading to the carvery for a filling lunch. I also visited a friend from my University days who has a 6 month old whom I hadn't seen yet; it is so nice all my friends are having babies, feels like we are all moving into the next phase of life.  Are you in the UK? How are you coping with the unseasonably cold weather?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Allotment Update

Now March is here (coming to an end actually) it's time for me to get planting if I want to make the most of this year and get my family some fresh, home grown veggies to eat this summer.  It is difficult getting down to the allotment with a one year old, he isn't walking yet so has to either sit in the car or his pushchair which he doesn't like much, so I usually only get half an hour or so there at a time.  Luckily I got a few bits into the ground in the winter so I feel that has put me ahead a little.  So far I have perpetual spinach, broad beans, onions, garlic, rhubarb and last week I planted by first peas of the year.  I am excited because things are happening, but also worried I am not going to be able to keep on top of it.  My motto is "little and often" with the allotment so I am hoping it serves me well.  Take a look:

Here you can see the broad beans coming up

Here is the garlic and beyond that is where I planted the peas

The compost box I put together myself from 4 large pallets

The perpetual spinach

The rhubarb

What are you planting?  Next I am going to do spring onions, hopefully some more peas and broad beans and I am keen to get beetroot in so I can make this chutney again.
Hope you are having a good week.

Monday, 18 March 2013

First Birthday Thank You Cards

Orren received lots of lovely presents for his first birthday, including lots of really beautiful, authentic wooden toys and books.  I much prefer wooden toys to plastic because there is more potential to fix them if they are broken and if they are beyond repair there is the option for burning them which at the very least takes them back to something natural, I also prefer the feel and look of wooden toys and because wood is a natural material there are less chemicals released from it over time.  Plastic toys on the other hand are difficult to mend if they break because the plastic is often quite brittle and can't be manipulated in the same way wood can, and once they have outlived their usefulness the only place for them is landfill where they will stay looking pretty much the same for many many years, releasing chemicals into the environment (no one really knows how long plastics will survive because no one has lived long enough to see it bio-degrade.) Plastic teethers have regulations about what sort of plastics can be used in them ensuring that the chemicals in the plastic aren't easily released into the babies bodies, but other toys do not have such stringent health and safety regulations, even though children are highly likely to chew them anyway. I am also keen to avoid toys that contains batteries, not least because they are annoying but also because batteries contain many toxic chemicals that contaminate the earth and water and they cost money to replace which we can ill afford.
All this makes me even more thankful that our families and friends paid attention to our wishes and bought us almost all wood and battery free toys for Orren.  (We did receive some plastic toys which we are very grateful and thankful for because they are bright and fun and Orren likes them, but we prefer wood when given a choice.) So I therefore wanted to make sure the thank you cards I sent were extra special so made them myself rather than buying them (also better for the environment and my purse because I already had all the materials).  
I used some scrapbooking paper that my mum got me for Christmas called Kitschy Kitchen by Melissa Frances combines with white card stock.  The thank you stamp was one I bought for our wedding thank you cards, so it was nice to use it again.  I mixed and matched the different papers using one piece to cover the whole of the front of the card then a small strip mounted on white running the full width near the bottom of the card.  I then situated a white rectangle of card stamped with "thank you" slightly off centre on the contrasting strip.  I love the patterns of this paper and I am sure I will use it again in future, it's cute, and kitsch without being garish.  What do you think of them? Do you prefer wood toys to plastic?