Crafting versus working

So far January has not been about crafting at all. As I entered worklife a few weeks ago (finally), and getting more and more important and serious tasks, my time is limited, and my priorities shifted. Ok, not shifted, let us just say shuffled. I am still trying hard to find a balance between all the things that are important to me, and so far the first two weeks of this year has been dedicated to my family, my work, and my volunteer work. Actually I am very proud of myself that I still found the time to go for my runs, twice per a week.

To give you an idea of the very exciting and eventful and therefore quite busy start of the year at the company I work at, here is a little picture of my little creative corner at home:

Pc vs sewing machine

Yes, my work computer moved in for the afternoons and evenings, pushing my sewing machine gently and discretely back at the wall… Poor thing is just standing there, waiting patiently.

I also find the the quotation below very appropriate at the moment:

work life

But don’t you worry, the situation is not that serious, actually I kind of find the new challanges at my work refreshening and exciting. And I also know that they are seasonal, and will pass.

In the meantime I dedicated 3-4 days to Paddington alone. He fell victim of the nasty stomach virus circulating in their daycare. Don’t worry, I will spare you the details πŸ™‚ But it also meant, that the very first winter day of the season found me and the kids at home (I let Cherry stay at home too for a day). We haven’t got much of a winter so far, it has just been a very long autumn really, with temperature above freezing point and boring rain. But the first snow (and winter cold) came on Monday, so we spent some very happy time in the garden with the children and the absolutely bewildered dog.

snowy

 

I also realised at this point that Paddington doesn’t really have a warm winter hat anymore, as he grew so much since last winter. So I took some leftover jersey fabric, the pattern of the elephant hat, and followed my own tutorial (because I can πŸ™‚ ) to make him two new hats. And that was about all the creative activity I did so far this year πŸ™‚

I was somewhat worried that he was not going to like them, because recently he excercises all the willpower of his almost 3-years-old little self, and refuses to wear clothes I am picking for him, and constantly taking his socks and hats off. But surprisingly, he really loved the hats, probably because he witnessed me making them, and he took the striped one, and didn’t even want to take it off inside the house. He just stood in fron of the mirror, petting his little head under the hat, repeating: “my pretty hat, my pretty head”. It is nice to have a boy with some healthy self-confidence πŸ™‚ I also have to mention, that he is equally generous complementing others than himself too, the other day when I was dressed up smart for work, he looked at me and said: “pretty Mummy”. Awww πŸ™‚

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5 Years

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.

We did, with a lot of gifts, too much food, even more cakes and cookies, and the happiest children on Earth, surrounded by all 4 grandparents. How lucky are they?

27th December. It may be just a boring day between Christmas and New Year’s, but for us it means much more.

We got married on that day, exactly 5 years ago. Time flies πŸ™‚

rings

Little til London

Among all the Christmas preparations we cannot forget New Year’s Eve, which my husband and I are going to spend in London πŸ™‚ I have London on my mind a lot, probably a lot more than Christmas. I am longing for London. And it is of course mainly because of the excitement of visiting this wonderful city again, and all the fun things we will experience there, as the theatre tickets have arrived, and our New Year’s Eve venue booking is confirmed.

But a little voice inside me cannot stop thinking about the 4 full days and nights spent without the children, for the first time in the last 3,5 years. As a dedicated, loving mother, probably I should be full of worry, full of concern, full of guilt. But I am not full of those things. I know the kids will be completely fine and happy with their grandparents – what kid would not be? To be honest, no matter how much I love my children, I cannot wait to spend just a few days without them… I am especially looking forward to that 4 slep-through nights in the nice and quiet hotel room! Even with us will be staying out late, celebrating New Year’s Eve and etc, I am pretty sure I will get much more sleep than I did in the last few weeks…

I don’t really know what’s up with them, usually my kids are very good at sleeping. But not recently. It can be the winter cold and the stuck little noses, but our nights became nightmares for me. First of all, Paddington doesn’t want to fall asleep in the evenings, and when he finally does after much struggle, he wakes up again quite soon, and marches over to our bedroom, to take his place up between his dad and me. Cherry follows him in the early morning hours, positioning herself on my other side. Both of them insist on sharing my blanket. “How does it feel to be the favourite one?” – my husband asks from under his lovely, unshared blanket, with a cruel smile on his face… πŸ™‚ But it is not mainly them coming over and sleeping in the big bed that is disturbing – actually I like it, despite all the kicking and poking it involves. It is what’s between the two of them settling down in Β our bedroom. “I am thirsty, I need to pee, I cannot find my pony, my car, my favourite sleeping toy, my pillow, my sleeping socks, I want my socks off-on-off-and on again, I don’t want to sleep, I wanna go downstairs, I am crying and I don’t know why, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy…” – now that’s what is bothering me. As you see, I am not getting too much sleep, and this combined with my work, an upcoming exam, and the very busy pre-Christmas period, makes me a coffee-craving zombie with huge black bags under her eyes…I am not used to this kind of treatment – I want to sleeeeep!

Ahh, London… ahh, lovely, unbothered nights πŸ™‚

In the meantime, I am still receiving every idea of how to Β best spend a chilly winter day in London, what is the best place for a snack, for a dinner, for a cup of something, etc. with a lot of gratitude πŸ™‚ Don’t be shy, bombard me with your suggestions πŸ™‚

London on my mind

The First of Advent

Don’t you think it’s absolutely amazing that the first Sunday of Advent was on the 1st December this year? Or is it just me who is an absolute fan of these kind of coincidences?

Also a coincidence, or just good timing from my part, that I was done with my next portion of handmade Christmas-decorations by yesterday:

Star Frames

These lovely crochet stars are the idea of Sandra from Little Golden Nook, which is a beautiful blog. I saw the stars on Pinterest, and followed Sandra’s lovely tutorial to make them. I picked a bag of curtain rings, some yarn of my choice, and some Christmas postcards, and the 10 starts were done surprisingly fast.

let's make frames

 

I really enjoyed making them. Here they are, bathing in sunshine πŸ™‚

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Also, as you can all imagine, we have been very busy with advent preparations all weekend. Actually I have been planning it for quite a long, because the advent calender is something very important in our family. And getting 2 times 24 small, cheap, yet exciting and funny gifts for small kids is a challenge in itself… And then wrapping all of them… Even when I only had to wrap advent gifts for Cherry, I decided that the maximum amount of children in our household is going to be 2. Because there is noone on earth who can handle packing 72 (or more!) tiny little gifts every year, or is there? πŸ™‚

For advent calender we decided to go with the tradition of my husband’s childhood. Every year his parents hung the gifts on a piece of string somewhere in the house, but without numbers on, and he and his sister got to choose one present every morning. And they loved it. So that’s how we do it too. No numbers, but random picking every morning. It has been two mornings so far, and my kids are in absolute trance πŸ˜€

Our Advent Calender

Sorry for the poor picture quality, I made the photo late in the evening on Saturday, when I was done with hanging the packages, and obviously there was no natural light at my disposal in our living room πŸ™‚

We also got out our Christams boxes, placed a few elfes, Santas, candles here and there in the house, and made an advent wreath – well, it is just 4 candles in a box with some dried fruits and branches from our garden really, but it is nice.

nisse collage

 

So, we are ready for the Holiday Season. Is it too much to ask for a little bit of snow as well? πŸ™‚

The season to be… crafty?

I would like to share some family joy with you all: On the 16th of November my beautiful sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby boy πŸ™‚ We obviously all got very happy and excited, and book the ferry tickets for the next Saturday to visit them. The plan was to pick up my mother-in-law on the way there, and spend the day in Copenhagen.

Then, of course, Cherry got the flu 😦 First of all my heart was breaking for her, because I don’t remember her being so sick ever in her little life. My heart was breaking, because it also meant, that there is going to be no baby-visiting for Cherry, and no baby-visiting for her Mum either (that would be me). And I don’t know which one of us was more disappointed about that, the almost 5 years old, who was sooo looking forward to see her new little cousin, or me, who knows that every baby born to family members or friends might be the last chance for me to hold a newborn again in my arms (as we are NOT having more πŸ™‚ ).

Anyway, my husband packed up Paddington last Saturday, picked up his Mum and they sailed over to Sjælland for the visit, while Cherry and I stayed at home.

At this point Cherry was feeling well enough to be bored out of her mind, locked up in the house, but still too sick and contagious to go among other people, so we had to find some activities we can do inside. And then it occured to me: But it is almost advent! So we were going to make some advent/Christmas decorations, hurray πŸ™‚

One thing you have to know about Cherry, that she is obsessed with pearls. She has tons of beads and pearls that she prepares lovely necklaces of, many a day, then she picks her little scissors, cuts the wires, recycles the beads, and starts it all over again πŸ™‚ She also has a huge box of Hama Beads, and sometimes she spends hours sitting on her little chairs, making lovely shapes and figures out of the Hama Beads, then brings them over to me, so I can iron them. So making decorations of Hama Beads was an obvious choice for us πŸ™‚ Cherry made some circles, hearts and other full shapes, and I tried to create some snowflakes.

Hama Snowflakes

 

At the end we hung them up on some branches, collected from the garden, together with some old Christmas cards we had. I am also thinking about making some more, and including them in the postcards we are going to send out this year, as they are so tiny and light.

Hamas and Cards

Later, while she was resting on the sofa, watching some cartoons, I cuddled up next her warm, little body, and crocheted some cute little starts of different sizes. I found this lovely tutorial (on Pinterest, where else) :).

Crochet Starts

Twinkle-twinkle πŸ™‚

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Risalamande

Monday was St. Martin’s day. Another holiday that people usually don’t remember the origins of, but are still looking forward to it, because it means some special, big eating, right… πŸ™‚

In Hungary it means eating goose, but in Denmark it is duck. Since roasted duck is also very usual as a Christmas dish, with potatoes, caramel-potatoes, red cabbage and gravy, it is not unusal for Danes, to celebrate Sankt Mortens Dag (as they call it) with an early Christmas feast. As it happens, that is what we exactly did this year πŸ™‚

I made the complete Danish Christmas menu, and to make it whole, I also prepared the special dessert that goes with it: Risalamande.

Risalamande with cherry sauce

Risalamande is basically chilled rice-porridge, blanded with chopped almonds, vanilla and whipped cream, served with sweet Cherry sauce. Usually on Christmas evening the hostess hides a whole almond piece in the middle of the pudding, she asks a few other people to stir it well, so there could be no cheating (at least that’s what my mother-in-law does), and then she serves it to the family. The one who finds the whole almond in his/her dish, is the winner of a special almond gift πŸ™‚ It’s a little bit like the coin in the British Christmas-pudding, I guess.

Making Risalamande is not very difficult, however it takes its time, especially because of all the cooling.

Here is how it goes:

Risalamande:

  • 3dl water
  • 2,5 dl porridge rice (small and round)
  • 1 liter milk
  • 100 g chopped almonds
  • 2 vanilla sticks
  • 4 sp sugar
  • 2,5 dl cream for whipping
  • cherry sauce or other berry sauce for serving

First you will make rice-porridge: Take a heavy-based saucepan, put water and rice in it and boil them together. Once it is boiling, cook it for an additional 2 mts while stirring it constantly. Add the milk and cook it at a low temperature, still stirring, for another 10 mts. Cover it and cook for half an hour more, stir it once in a while. Once it is done, let it cool in the fridge. It is best, if it can rest for a whole day.

preparing risalamande

Bland the cold porridge, the vanilla seeds of the two sticks, sugar and the chopped almonds together. Whip the cream until you get a light foam, and then carefully fold it into the porridge. Set the risalamande in the fridge for another 2 hours before serving.

For serving take some lovely cherry or berry sauce. In Denmark you can buy hundreds of different types of little cartons of cherry sauce from November until January, in any shop.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

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Frijsenborg

We are lucky to have some wonderful forests around us where we can always go for a little walk whenever we feel like to do so.

One of them is the beautiful forest of Frijsenborg, which is a private forest, belonging to the palace in the middle of it, but of course the public can also enjoy the tours in it.

Like many other people, we decided to go for a walk there last Sunday. It was a beautiful, snowy day. We took the kids, a sleigh and the dog with us. Just like other families πŸ™‚ After a few hundred meters in the woods, we quickly realised, we are not the only 2 parents-2 kids-dog-sleigh combo around πŸ™‚

forest walk

But enough of talking, let the pictures tell their stories πŸ™‚

field

road

woods

stream

palace