Friday, 30 September 2011

Things I'm Loving ♥


Short and sweet tonight.

My biggest loves this week have been,

these new shoes.........

..............and the man who bought them for me.

My beloved.

He bought them for me when he was away working last week as a surprise.

♥ ♥ ♥

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Recipe of the Week - Malteser Slice

I'm pretty sure that most of my Scottish friends who have a church connection will have a recipe for this, as it is found in one of the fundraising Free Church Cookbooks, which incidentally no self respecting Scottish Presbyterian kitchen can do without!

However, I could be totally wrong on that front and this traybake is just far too yummy not to share with everyone else.

As I was about to start writing this, I suddenly realised that perhaps Maltesers are only available in the UK, so I did a super quick google search and discovered that my bloggy friends in the Southern Hemisphere will know what they are, but those in the US may not.

I can't believe I'm explaining what a Malteser is, but basically they are little malty, honeycombed balls covered in chocolate. See here, if you really don't know.

Far too easy to eat.

But then, so is most chocolate!

For this recipe you will need:

4oz butter
8oz milk chocolate (especially yummy if you use your favourite - I'm a Galaxy girl)
3 tbs golden syrup
8oz digestive biscuits, crushed
'share' size bag of maltesers, which is roughly about 8oz
about 8oz milk chocolate to spread on top.

Super easy to make.

~Melt the butter, chocolate and syrup in a pan over a low heat.
~Add the digestives and then the maltesers.
~Spread into a traybake tray and allow to harden for a couple of hours.
~Melt the remaining chocolate, which could be plain or white chocolate if you prefer, and spread over the top.
~If you want to be a bit fancy then you could also melt a wee bit of white chocolate and drizzle or pattern it over the top like I did here.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Another Film Premiere

I didn't plan on having a Captain America theme this week, but that seems to be the way things are going so far.

James has been working on this animation on and off for the last month or so, and got it finished tonight.

I know I'm his mother and it's my duty to be proud and impressed, but it really is good. Look out for the gunshots - I was particularly impressed with his ingenious method of animating them.

So, without any further ado, sit back and enjoy,

Captain America - The Story Begins

I'm assured that he has many follow ups in his imagination, waiting to be animated!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The answer!

I'm actually quite surprised that no-one guessed what James' conker picture was.

Other than my sister-in-law, whose oldest boy is as much a fan of this as our James, so that explains why!

It's not a new comic.

What if I said, Marvel Comics? 

Recently made into a Hollywood film?

Quite a good likeness!

It is, of course, Captain America.

Ah, of course, I hear you say :0)

Also, conkers are not the same as chestnuts, although very similar. You can't eat conkers.

What we do is put string through them and then you take turns in holding your conker out while your opponent swings his and tries to smash yours. Is this just a quirky UK game? Or do others play it too?

I'll leave you with the cover of a comic James is making for his cousin and fellow fan.

I know I should have cropped it to size but I have a Thomas fan tugging me away to build a track so that will have to do!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Searching for champions

Champion conkers that is!

Yesterday's Sunday stroll through the woods was more of a conker hunt, with the boys running excitedly every time they spotted a Horse-Chestnut Tree.

We got quite a haul.

These are David's.




James collected....

Calum collected...

I think David collected about 30 and Alasdair about a dozen.

We haven't strung them yet so we are yet to see who has the champion in terms of strength. I think David does in terms of size though.

Now here is a wee puzzle to start off your week.

James used his conkers to make this picture of something he really loves just now. Your clue is that it is a cartoon/comic book character who is quite popular just now, although the picture isn't of the character, just an important 'thing' to do with the character. 

Confused?! I'll tell you tomorrow!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

There is a reason why...............

..........mum asks you to get changed out of your school uniform before going outside to play football with your brothers.

Especially at this time of year when the grass is so wet with the constant heavy rain showers.

Calum found out this reason today.

Oh well, thank goodness for washing machines and Fairy non-bio!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Here it is!

The little bear costume.

I thought I'd grab a couple of shots of the costume before bed time tonight but Alasdair wasn't too keen on trying it on for me by then.

I couldn't wait to share it with you all though, so here are the best photos I could get tonight.

Here's a close-up of that zipper I was so excited about.

The little hood, with the little ears.

And little sweet pod in his costume, trying to get the zip open.

If you are interested in making a sweet little costume of your own, then head over to Jessica's blog, Running with Scissors.

Although this wasn't my first sewing project, it was the first one I have done that involved cutting out this many pieces and assembling them, and like I said, my first zipper. The pattern is really easy to follow, with plenty photos if you are a more visual learner.

Now I need to get Alasdair and his costume out to the woods across the road and get some cute photos of it like Jessica has of her wee man!

Monday, 19 September 2011


On Saturday our family had the great excitement of filming a short feature to be on Gaelic TV!!

There is a motoring programme on the Gaelic TV channel, BBC Alba, called Air an Rathad (air an ra-had) - On the Road.

Each series they have a family test drive a family car for them and say what they thought of the car.

Through various contrived connections, our family was given the chance to be the one to test drive the car in the coming series.

The car was a Hyundai ix35. 

We were filmed driving around town and doing various 'typical' family weekend things in the car.

I won't say what I thought of the car, I shall save that for when the TV programme comes out :0)

What I will say, though, is that it only had 5 seats and so little Alasdair spent a large part of the day with his Uncle, Auntie and cousins, as there wasn't space for him in the car and he was obviously the one who wouldn't mind not being on TV! He does make it into the publicity shots though.

The other boys really enjoyed the filming. The small crew of director/cameraman, producer and the reasearcher/production girl were really lovely. The cameraman let the boys see how the cameras all worked, and really spurred James on with his excitement of all things film making. James suggested a couple of shots to him and he was willing to try them out. 

It was a long day.

They were probably here for about 6/7 hours and the slot on TV will only be for about 5-10 minutes.

But, it really was fun though.

The programme we are in will probably not be shown until December. I'll be sure to post a link to it when it's on. 

It will be available to view online and there are even subtitles for non-Gaelic speakers!

Friday, 16 September 2011

I did it!!!

OK, super quick post tonight as it's late and my poor hubby is waiting for some together-with-no-boys-in-tow-time, but I just had to share the fact that I finished the animal costume I mentioned in my last post!

No photos yet as my littlest man is asleep and so hasn't tried it on yet, but it's so cute!

It's a little bear costume, with a hood with ears on it, and a cute little tail.

I even added the zip up front and didn't chicken out like I thought I might.

Wasn't that hard after all!

I promise I'll share the photos once I get them.

But, hooray, I did it!

I'm on a sewing high now!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday - and it's not crochet!!

One of the many crafty blogs that I love is Running with Scissors.

I think I stumbled on it via the Tip Junkie on Facebook, who featured a dress Jessica had made out of an old bed sheet. It looks quite gorgeous and I must try and pluck up the courage to try it out!

Anyway, last week Jessica was looking for volunteers to test out her new patterns for a kids costume. She wants to see how easy to follow her downloadable patterns are for all levels of sewers.

The costumes were so adorable that I gladly volunteered, and was chosen to try one out - yay!

So I'll be brief tonight as I haven't started cutting out my fabric yet. I'm still assembling the pattern. It's pretty straightforward so far.

The pattern is for a little bear costume.

When I went to buy fabric I wanted a brown fleece but couldn't find any. Then I thought of getting yellow and making a Winnie the Pooh bear, but I thought the yellow was too bright. I then spied some white and black fleece and thought of making either a polar bear or a panda bear. I'm gearing towards panda just now, but I'll see what the boys all decide. It'll be for Alasdair, as the pattern only goes up to age 4, but all the boys are eager to see how it turns out.

As am I.

I've never added a zipper to anything before. I may chicken out though and just add a velcro closure.

Watch this space!!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Miscellaneous Monday - Weekend Stuff

Best start at the beginning of the weekend.

Friday afternoon. 

(The boys' school finishes at lunchtime on a Friday. I love our Friday afternoons, and I know I've mentioned this before, but just setting the scence!)

That way I get straight to these.........

What was that?

You want close ups?

Oh, OK........

I found these Cars 2 toppers in the supermarket last week.

The reason for making all these cupcakes, and the meringues below....

.........was to add them to this spread at the boys' school.

OK, let's have a final couple more closeups.

The school organised a concert 'Ceol 's cofaidh' (kyol s coffee) 'Music and Coffee', as a performance practice for those children who are performing at the National Mod next month. 

And one of the performers was this handsome boy here, who sang his solo 'Eilean beag donn a' chuain'.

He sang it very well too, without a hint of nerves. Definitely a proud mummy moment.


Then there was the sponsored walk on Saturday, which is in the post below.


Which takes us to yesterday.


Which also happens to be my birthday!

I woke to find four little men (and one big one) standing by my bedside holding presents and a tray of tea and toast, while singing 'Happy Birthday'.

I got lots of lovely things.

My husband asked the boys what they wanted to get me, and they each had one specific thing in mind, even the shops to go to!

James (11) chose some Body Shop lovelies (Vanilla, which he remembered was my favourite); Calum (8) wanted to get me a new top and chose a beautiful gypsy style smock top, all his own choice and absolutely perfect; and David (5) wanted to get me a chocolate cake, which he also picked out himself. Alasdair (2) was obviously too wee to pick something out himself and so gave me some crafty things that daddy had chosen.

I was well looked after all day. We almost always have a roast dinner on Sundays, and they even rustled that up for me too!

So, that was our weekend! 

Busy but fun.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

We did it!!

Here we all are, home and in one piece after our sponsored walk.

5 miles walked in about 1hour 40 minutes, roughly.

When I woke up this morning it was pouring with rain and I thought we were in for a soggy walk, but thankfully the rain stopped and we were able to keep the waterproofs in the bag on the pram.

It was also strangely warm for being such an overcast day so I was glad the rain stayed off as we would have been really warm with our jackets on.

My beloved wasn't actually able to do the walk with us as he had another sponsored event on last night up north, and so was on the train back down here as we were on the walk.

I think they had the rougher deal though, as his event was a corporate sleep-out. Local business people and church leaders were sleeping outdoors overnight. They were in the safety of a local business owner's large garden, but I still don't think he slept much!

So, here are a few snaps of our stroll.

Autumn is definitely starting.

This is the van that goes out on the streets of Edinburgh every night with hot drinks, blankets and support for the rough sleepers and any others who might need it. Today it's use was serving drinks at the half-way point on the walk.

We chose to stop at the half way point. The full walk was 11 miles which was a bit much for the younger boys.

At the half way point is a visitor centre all about the river and the boys had great fun learning about flood plains, bricking them up with a lego wall and then seeing the effect further downstream.

Alasdair found a rubber ducky and enjoyed playing with it in the water that was showing how dams and water wheels work. I was glad of his waterproofs here!

And here is our picnic at the end.

Thanks to everyone who sponsored us. We raised a really decent amount, especially considering all we did was go for a nice family stroll along the river.