29 Jul 2013

Our little bundle of joy...

Proud to announce the arrival of Ellis Julien Arne
Born July 25th (our 4 year wedding anniversary!)
At 4:42 a.m by emergency c-section.
These past five days have been intense, really emotional and everyone who meets our baby is totally in love.
Everyone warned us about the huge surge of love you have for this little person and for each other but *wow* it is indescribable. I want to eat him up, drink in every moment and...oh yes, some sleep would be nice!
I am recovering well from the insane birth and he was worth every moment and every struggle.
At the risk of gushing too much I will leave you with the pictures.


16 Jul 2013

Waiting for the world to change...

I thought that this layout would be apt for my current situation.
Almost 41 weeks pregnant and sweating it out in this crazy heat wave.
Hello England! Where has this heat wave come from? It normally rains at this time of year.
I have an appointment on Monday, but hope things happen naturally before then.

This picture was taken on our three year anniversary break to the Lake District last summer.
I was sat waiting for the miniature railway train to arrive.
The journalling is about how in 2012 we learned the art of patience as we struggled to get and stay pregnant. The story about this is here.

I made the chevron mask using cardboard packaging from other supplies and thensprayed with bronze mist. It only lasted one spray as the cardboard went soggy and the lines weren't as crisp.


It was embellished with cute heart washi tape and an Amy Tan Stamp. Plus I created a tag for the journalling and added some cute flair to give the layout some more dimension.

And the wait continues...

12 Jul 2013

We are team yellow!

This layout is an ode to how we decided not to find out the sex of our baby.
I discovered that its referred to as 'team yellow' and so decided that it was a great title for the layout.
I used lots of Amy Tangerine and some paints to shade in the heart photo mat.
Here are some detail shots:

I've been doing plenty of internet browsing (as its ridiculously hot outside - much too hot for a heavily pregnant and overdue lady!) and have been getting very excited about some of the new ranges that are out over summer at CHA.
The story time range from Studio Calico will be perfect for our new baby album.
I love the pink 6 by 6 paper pads in 'team pink' and 'team blue.'

These journalling cards are too adorable and perfect for the smaller layouts I plan to make.

Those onesie wood veneers are too adorable, right?

I love these stickers too and these would be perfect for complimenting layouts.

So fellow bloggers place your bets now - team blue or team pink? It could be on its way this weekend!

10 Jul 2013

Baby bump layouts on 'due' day...

I felt it was apt to share some baby bump layouts on my official due date.
The room with the best light in the house is now the nursery and has ugly blinds - which do not make a great backdrop for a photo shoot.
So excuse the dodgy pics.
I have tried to edit them as best they can.

In other news have just had a curry for my dinner.
No sign yet.
Next post could be a birth announcement.
Fingers crossed!

7 Jul 2013

Pick your precious: we all scream for ice-cream!

On a scorching day like today...
Being heavily pregnant...
It seems only too right to follow Sian's advice...
Keep it short, but sweet...
With an ode to ice-cream!

4 Jul 2013

Freezer meals for the frugal...

So in order to get baby ready and also to prepare for the inevitable drop in our incomes (due to my maternity leave) I've been doing some research into ways to reduce the costs of our weekly shop.

Step 1: Change our way of shopping and possibly our supermarket
We'd got into the habit of popping into our local Sainsbury's every few days to stock up for a few meals and this is a costly way of shopping as you end up picking up lots of non-essentials. Plus Sainsbury's isn't the cheapest supermarket - but it is the biggest in our town and the little Asda often doesn't stock the fruit and veg I needed. We reasoned that we were collecting Nectar points and they do lots of vouchers and money off coupons.

So we decided to check out the local Aldi after work one night. Surprisingly it wasn't always cheaper.

The best deals we found were the packets of ten individually wrapped pain au chocolates for a pound - we often used to get these fresh in Sainsbury's two for 79p at the end of the night on 'sale.' The Belgian is fond of his pastries you see...perhaps the cheapest option would be to make them. One for the summer bucket list methinks.
 Also they seem to be winning the competition for cheapest nappies - only 7p each for the newborn size, whilst the Asda Little Angels are 9p each. Shame we had already stocked up at Asda!
There were things that were cheaper in Sainsbury's though, as these basics tortilla chips are around 45p there and Aldi was selling a similar pack for a pound.
However I think we cannot deny that in the competition to be the cheapest Asda is the winner and so to stock up for our big freezer meals shop we travelled a bit further to the biggest Asda superstore in Pudsey Leeds.
Step 2: So onto the part you've all been interested in...freezer meals. Bulk cooking and bulk buying with cheap ingredients and deals.

The Belgian spent a few hours on a Saturday and he made:
 8 spiced pepper pilafs
 5 mini (portions for two for a meal) golden veggie shepherd's pies
 12 meatballs with spaghetti sauce
 Six portions of spiced carrot and lentil soup

Then I spent an hour making a Macaroni and Beef cheese bake which I bulked up with some grated carrot leftover from the soup and it made three portions for the two of us.

Storage ideas:
  • Ziploc bags with cooking / reheating instructions written on with a sharpie
  • Ice-cream containers
  • Tupperware
  • We found some good disposable foil containers in the home section of Asda
Some other useful recipes and links:
Joyful Momma's top 5 freezer meals
Joyful Momma's Quesedilla Casserole
Joyful Momma's 10 more freezer meals for fall
Frugal Foodie's pinterest freezer meals board

Overall benefits of freezer meals:
  • An afternoon or morning of cooking and you have meals for a week or fortnight
  • These recipes all use cheap ingredients like beef, tinned tomatoes, carrots and onions and these can be found in bulk to get a good deal
  • You can make a recipe for tea that night but double it and freeze the remainder
  • Soup lasts about a month when frozen the other meals last about two to three weeks
  • When you want the meal you just put in in the fridge for a day to defrost or you can use the microwave
  • You don't have to think of ideas for dinner every night
We are definitely converts and I think that once you have a bigger family it makes sense - but even for a couple like us we're noticing less waste and cheaper food bills.
So...do you freeze meals? What ideas do you have for reducing food bills?

3 Jul 2013

Workspace Wednesday: Getting the paints out on travel layouts

I love to create a paint frame on a nice brightly patterned and coloured piece of card stock.
I don't often use enlarged pictures and find that you can create an easy layout with some washi tape, punched out stars and a nifty title.

Some Amy Tangerine cut out embellishments from a 12 by 12 sheet.
 For more of  my scrapping about Barcelona check out this layout of the cable cars here, for a layout with the view from on top of the cable car see here and one of my personal favourite layouts of the market here.

The top ten things to do in Barcelona (if you're lucky enough to be heading there this summer) check out here

For the second layout I used white paint to create a mat for the title and I misted the lettering using letter stickers as a negative mask.
Its all about our adventures on the night train in Thailand when we journeyed from Bangkok to Chang Mai.
A close-up of the title...

For more layouts of my Asian travels see here for a layout about Kota Kinabulu and Thai desserts, here for a layout about pad Thai on the Ko San Road and here for a layout about elephant trekking..

I am so jealous of Amy Tan having her babymoon adventures in Thailand at the moment...

1 Jul 2013

Maternity Monday: Bump at 36 weeks and thoughts on 3rd trimester

 I've really enjoyed the third trimester. Sure I had a tiny bit of indegestion. Sure I've felt *huge* at times. Sure I've struggled to get out of bed.
  • We've been excitedly preparing the nursery and all the baby stuff
  • I had a great baby shower
  • I love feeling the bubba kicking 
  • My skin and hair is glowing 
  • The end is in sight
  • We'll get to meet our little baby soon
See how big my bump is now at 38 and a half weeks....
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