the ones i love

Valentine's day is always a fun one. If you're single you can indulge in either extreme margarita drinking or embarrassingly girly film & cookie binge, if you're partnered up you have a whole extra day a year to get presents and be all about love. Boyfriends and husbands rarely really indulge much in this little celebration of romance for the sake of it, but once kids come along there are whole new people to shower with love, and chances are they are into any excuse for a party. Pablo was so taken with the idea of a whole day devoted to love that he really did spend all grinning and telling Indy and me that he loved us, and announcing "Happy Calens Day!" to everyone else, because he couldn't quite grasp the word 'Valentine'. He also insisted on making a valentine for his best friend Edie "because I really REALLY love her!" 

We kicked off with heart-shaped pink pancakes, then I dropped Pablo at Montessori and spent the next few hours running about like a lovecrazed fool on Valentine's errands. Pablo gave Edie her card and balloon after school and she said "Pablo, why did you give me this balloon?" to which he replied "because I love you..." HEART MELT. Then they scampered down the street shouting "I LOVE YOU PABLO!" "I LOVE YOU EDIE!" at maniac volume until we had to separate them by extreme force at the park gates, and they both had a bit of a sulk. 

After school cupcake and after dinner strawberry and marshmallow mousse for some extra sweetness. We saw the dentist the next day, and she said his teeth were fine... phew. 

Eventually I got my lovely husband home and we managed a whole uninterrupted steak dinner and a bottle of wedding champagne. He brought me a dozen dark red roses. I am really very lucky. And in love.

He's a keeper...

He's a keeper...

Time to gloat over prezzies and dip into Christmas stocking treats...

our cherry little christmas

We stayed in London for Christmas, which I usually find a tiny bit sad because it doesn't feel like a "holiday", and I never go and do all the festive things I pretend I will, like carols at the cathedral or lovely late night shopping down Columbia Road with a hot cider... But this year despite the general greyness of London I had a bloody lovely Christmas. Santa was very kind and attended to many genuine wishes. After a suitably waffly brunch we packed into our "new" (slightly scary) 20 year old Saab and rolled 'round to my brother's for a perfect Christmas afternoon - food, games, wine, MORE presents, more food, and an insanely yummy pudding whipped up by the host himself. And then more wine. I am still dreaming of it. 

Indy's big red dress courtesy of  grandma ! 

Indy's big red dress courtesy of grandma

So many beautiful home made touches by my super-creative sister-in-law, including the most beautiful cushion for Indiana! Feel very spoilt.

it was a very red day... I mean a very rad day... I mean both!

it was a very red day... I mean a very rad day... I mean both!

christmastime: mama's wishlist part 2

More beautiful treasures from my prezzie dreamscape....

  1. Stocking stuffer of dreams - Anthropologie have this rad little spice jar with a heap of different coloured lids (obvs I'd like them all, please, except maybe not green...). I could decant all my ugly baking powder etc into these dreamy little jars! They are only Β£8! Come on, Santa...
  2. Oh the bakes I could make! I have one pretty little blue and white enamel pie dish but I clearly need more. SO so lovely, especially in the red. And the grey. And the blue. From Falcon Enamelware. 
  3. These are all depressingly kitcheny, but whatever. I have wanted this *apparently sold out - HORROR* cloud cookie cutter for about 5 years and counting. It feels like 5 million years. Whoever buys it for me gets cloud-shaped biscuits, doughnuts, marshmallows and pies for all eternity... from Herriott Grace

christmastime: mama's wishlist part 1

Husband & I are danger of making one of those "don't get me anything big this year" pacts, but let's pretend we're not... 

  1. I'v never even smelled this but it's called Coqui-Coqui Coco-Coco so I MUST OWN IT. They also have a bloody lovely looking spa residence in Tulum. Please can I go? Please?
  2. Take a minute to imagine how AWESOME it would be to own this entire rainbow of Marimekko ice cream bowls. Just me? Ok, I know I don't have enough space (or enough friends?!) to justify such an extravagance, but for aesthetics alone...swoon. From Skandium.
  3. I am going through very nice, not un-pricey coffee like wildfire because I keep trying to make espresso-strong coffee in my beloved cafetiere. That and the tedium of heating milk in a saucepan each day MUST STOP. Please Santa.... Dualit espresso machine.

our family photo

So excited about the pop up family photo studio my clever friends Sarah and Tara have just started. Our Family Photo offers affordable and relaxed family photo shoots, where kids are free to scamper about and be cheerful, by Sarah's award-winning photographer husband Andy. The next dates in Stoke Newington are 11th November and December 2nd and 9th, in plenty of time to solve the hideous "What the hell are we buying the grandparents for Christmas?!" dilemma. Currently they are offering a bananas introductory offer of Β£100 for a session - which includes the whole shoot, an online gallery and two digital print-quality jpegs. Bookings, enquiries and all that jazz at Our Family Photo.

Bear is my only comfort (and other scarves)

My super talented painter friend Tahnee has just collaborated with Mercy Delta to produce these lustworthy silk scarves, each featuring a print from her Impressions Of A Wind Up Bird series. Her paintings are so very beautiful, I can't think of anything nicer than wearing one. Except maybe owning lots. They are available *right now* from Matches.

Springtime in Tokyo MIGHT be my favourite, but actually I'm far too indecisive to choose...

Springtime in Tokyo MIGHT be my favourite, but actually I'm far too indecisive to choose...

Christmastime: Indy's wishlist part 1

All she really wants is five minutes' peace to chew on something illicit, like a tissue or one of Pablo's hot wheels cars, but here are some bits that I have been dreaming of on her behalf...

1. perfect little gold moccasins from Freshly Picked
2. Bobo Choses little caramel plush dog - looks like an actual pal
3. Chimayo romper from Little Warrior Kids - is this the outfit dreams are made of?

sunday sunday

Lovely family brunch - buttermilk pancakes, fruit salad, eggs benedict, bacon, bucks fizz, coffee galore. Pablo was showered in Halloween goodies by his Grandpa & Grandma, and Uncle Xander & Auntie Zara. Brunches are also the best because the whole afternoon still exists for lying around watching films.