Bird Song, Sunday Markets & Raspberry Breakfast Muffins

This is going to be a bitty post – like a disorganised heap of our activities over the last couple of weeks πŸ™‚ My mum and I have been going charity shopping and trying different coffee places. We went to a place where I loved the presentation of their treats πŸ™‚ It’s good to try new places, but now I am calming down the trips to save up for the summer πŸ™‚

At home, the girls did some salt painting from their art box (Make + Wonder.) We used the Earth paints we got and mixed them with water. The girls drew their own designs on black paper using PVA glue. After they had finished, they shook salt over the glue and then painted their drawings. They just had to touch the paintbrush to the glue and the colour spread out by itself. It’s more of a process piece than it is something to keep but the girls enjoyed making it πŸ™‚

We have been spending some time at the farm and my boyfriend got to see some of the animals face to face for the first time. We took the tractor to the Red Deer and fed them. We got to touch the chicks and my daughter made friends with a bunny she wants to bring home πŸ™‚ We ran into the duck with the funny hair again – it looks like it’s wearing a curly wig πŸ™‚ We went on the go-karts too. The goats were really noisy and we got to bottle feed them. We went another day and there was a thunderstorm while we were there. We had to take shelter in the straw bounce for a while πŸ™‚

My daughter and I had an ice-cream date while my other daughter was at a club. I got a little cafetiere and it was so cute πŸ™‚ At the weekend, my boyfriend and I went for pizza. We had vouchers so we both got dinner for Β£10 πŸ™‚ I tried the one with the egg in the middle πŸ™‚ Afterwards, we got a coffee and went to Victoria Park. It was flooded with sunshine and there were so many noisy birds there. We walked the whole loop and then went onto the little island in the middle. We saw a heron, some swans and coots. I got an app that my mum recommended to me called Merlin Bird ID that identifies whatever birds are nearby by their songs.

The next morning, we went to St George’s Market. I decided on what I was going to buy before we went in (it can quickly get very expensive if you don’t.) We got some lovely coffee and walked around “window-shopping.” I got some turkish delight and locally made chocolate as gifts for family and we shared a falafel wrap in the sun. There were many more stalls than the last time I visited it after covid. We looked at the antiques, an Italian bakery, a fudge stall, records and we got to try some free samples of food too πŸ™‚

I made a new chocolate and coffee Italian cake recipe. It was simple to make and it wasn’t rich. My daughter liked it and it disappeared quickly, but I still think I prefer a richer chocolate or coffee cake πŸ™‚ We took some with us on our next visit to the farm and I tried to steer the girls away from the ice-cream shop so we can save up for holidays πŸ™‚

On Saturday, we went to the kids’ screening at a local cinema. It was free and they were showing Pixar shorts this week. I found the clips quite dark and I have a feeling the girls will prefer the ballerina one we have booked for next time. Afterwards, we walked to CS Lewis Square. We saw the sculptures from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and then we stumbled upon a market there. We had a look around and got to try some sourdough bread with olive oil. Then we walked home on the Greenway.

That night, my parents minded the girls, so my boyfriend and I went to Titanic Quarter. It was beautiful at sunset with all the lights on the water. We walked around, took photos and watched the boats. I was excited to find one of the fences like the ones they have in Paris where people hang up locks with their names on them to symbolise their relationships. We stayed until it was dark and managed to see a bird with her babies, trying to round them all up. It was funny and reminded me of my kids wandering off and never listening πŸ™‚

On Sunday morning, I made brunch in the house. We had some French toast, coffee and nectarines and it was really relaxing. I find that homemade bread makes very special French toast, even when it has gone a little stale, and especially when it is drowned in maple syrup πŸ™‚

I was in the mood to bake, so I made some peanut butter and jam cookies and listened to jazz πŸ™‚ That night, I decided to make some breakfast muffins too. It’s a good way to use up frozen fruit too. I made some oat and raspberry ones that aren’t too sweet so they’re perfect for a quick breakfast πŸ™‚

This week, Covid struck in our house, so we’ve been looking for ways to stay entertained at home. We had a tea party with the fancy tea cups and some snacks and the girls read their magazines. Then we made some paper dolls using an activity book we have had for years. You can just trace the doll and its clothes, cut them all out and decorate them however you like πŸ™‚ It kept the girls busy for a long time and they loved “designing” their own clothes πŸ™‚

I have been painting a lot recently. Ending the day with paint-covered hands feels really satisfying after a busy day. My banana print is now on my Etsy shop, as well as my oranges and daisy prints. Proceeds from my sunflower print are still being donated to the Ukraine. You can find them all here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TillysHat?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=1234697233

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