Slow Days and Homemade Lemonade

Today was a slow-moving day, centred around the house. I received a lovely surprise basket of chocolate from โ€œthe girlsโ€ (my parents) for Motherโ€™s Day. It cheered me up because Iโ€™d thought it was a package with a returned dress I had sold in it ๐Ÿ˜€ I went for a quick walk with the girls early this morning to buy lemons from the fruit shop. My daughter had been requesting my homemade lemonade, so I decided the extra vitamins wouldnโ€™t do them any harm at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚ I got a moment of peace to make it, which is rare in our house. But it feels like the girls are slowing the pace they live at (sometimes) to match the world at the minute.

45FB0778-13FA-4F72-B287-9F3A28ACE226

I found a glass bottle Iโ€™d got from IKEA to store the lemonade in. I added the juice of 2 1/2 large lemons and the zest to about 700ml of boiled water in a measuring jug. While it was hot, I stirred in a generous amount of honey to taste (it was at least 1/4 of a squeezy tube) and stirred it well. After it had cooled, I transferred it to a bottle and put it in the fridge to chill. In the hours it spent sitting, reaching the right temperature, I was asked tens of times if it was ready yet ๐Ÿ™‚

1B23FE0F-ECF7-492E-B6A5-40CA3F5CDC63

We tuned in on Facebook to Wee Bookworms to watch a live video of a reading of Peter Rabbit by a lady who works in the bookshop. They are on every Saturday morning at 11.30am for kids. I also ordered one of their activity packs each for the girls. Theyโ€™ll be so excited when they see them arriving in the post ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

I changed the beds and aired out the house, which always uplifts me and continued to move the piles of clutter to different positions in my kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

For lunch, I made some hummus to go with the flatbreads I had made last night. It was a simple recipe and tasted really good. My kids didnโ€™t agree, but they devoured the flatbreads anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™ve been looking out for flour when weโ€™ve been in the shops and havenโ€™t seen any in a while. Luckily, I had some left because I tend to bake bread every week anyway. But I was thinking of options for when we run out and remembered you can blend porridge oats and use them instead of flour – Just a tip I remembered if anyone is in the same boat. You can also use polenta to make American cornbread if you have any. My hummus – it tastes better than it looks ๐Ÿ˜€

92BAA3BA-5AE9-4DCD-B49C-C202FC0C6511

After lunch, we had some quiet time, playing dominos and I made myself a caramel latte ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™m not missing my takeaway coffee as much as I thought I would. I tend to get it when Iโ€™m writing, but Iโ€™ve realised there are cheaper alternatives and the one I made today tasted the same ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

958EAF5A-E072-4921-AAEA-9D206D981CEF

We put on some yoga music and the girls did some kidsโ€™ yoga, whilst climbing on me as I attempted to do it! Itโ€™s cute actually – my daughter taught me all the poses she uses in nursery, like happy baby, ice skater, tree, happy and sad dog and kitty, etc. I made them an after-yoga snack of fruit and water. Then they headed out to the garden to burn off some excess energy. I hung out the laundry, which has, weirdly, become one of my favourite things to do. They played in the dirt and made food out of soil and water ๐Ÿ™‚

We finished the day with some bolognese, stories and playing restaurants. Iโ€™m exhausted now, but simultaneously, looking forward to tomorrow. I say that in the spirit of finding the good in a difficult situation, rather than discounting the severity of it.

Wooded Walks & Stopping For Flowers

I didn’t get a chance to document what we did yesterday, so I thought I’d share it with you today ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been making the effort to still get ready by about nine o’clock (ok, a bit later at the weekend.) But I find that getting dressed up, putting on make-up and going out for a walk first thing lifts my mood. We are mostly self-isolating, only going out for walks in remote places or if we need something from the shop.We drove to a forest near a village in County Down and the fact we’d arrived so early meant we were the only ones there, apart from one dog walker in the distance ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t know my way around, but that was part of the adventure. I followed the girls and just tried to remember where we’d left the car so we could get home again ๐Ÿ™‚ We found logs laid out around a fire pit. The girls wanted me to light a campfire, but I had nothing to light it with, and I don’t trust myself with anything bigger than a candle anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ So, we just sat down around it and pretended to light one instead. I had brought some coffee and gingerbread men and water for the girls, so we had a free snack while we were there ๐Ÿ™‚ There were a couple of dens someone else had built there. But the thing that kept the girls entertained the longest was a puddle with two planks balanced across it, like a little bridge ๐Ÿ™‚ They spent ages climbing across it, practising balancing and creating more obstacles on it with bits of wood and leaves ๐Ÿ™‚ They also used sticks to measure how deep the puddle was, so it was vaguely educational as well ๐Ÿ™‚ We followed the paths which were visible, but muddy. Next time, I’ll remember to bring wellies ๐Ÿ™‚ But squelching in it was part of the fun. I have felt less worried this week about the girls getting messy and wrecking their clothes, probably because I know no one else will see ๐Ÿ™‚ I had brought a leaf sample book from the Woodland Trust so the girls could try to identify leaves. We built a den of our own and climbed the hill, taking a shortcut back to the car, as by then the girls were both worn out. The weather was perfect while we were there and it was nice being out in the natural light and feeling the sun on our faces.

On the way home, I stopped at one of the little honesty box farm shops to see what they had. They had some anemones they had cut and were selling them in bunches. We brought some home and put them in a vase at the window to cheer things up for ourselves and our neighbours ๐Ÿ™‚ The girls are becoming gentler with things and my older daughter looked after the flowers on the drive home without pulling the heads off them ๐Ÿ™‚

At home, I made the girls some noodles and one of my girls completed her magazine while the other one wrote “creative writing” sentences about our morning and the things we’d done. She drew an accompanying picture. It’s a bit like journalling for kids and will be nice to look back on in the future.

Afterwards, the girls asked to paint and did pictures with spring colours, like candy egg pink, blue and yellow. The girls used the colours to make seasonal pictures with daffodils, blue skies, etc.

D9DCED7F-3C7C-4BD9-84C5-E55CA444BE71

Then, they played in the garden for a while. Their favourite game is to โ€œcookโ€ soil and leaves in our old barbecue and serve it at the outdoor table for someoneโ€™s pretend birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

D21B3E07-8197-455A-8F3B-91C6064B1684

We followed it with a film afternoon, watching a kids’ movie with popcorn, sweets and coffee (for me.) I need something to sustain me through this period ๐Ÿ™‚ I made some homemade pizzas and chips and the girls continued their film throughout dinner. The benefit to making your own dough is you can make the pizzas into any size you like. The girls requested “baby pizzas,” so I made small ones for them, You can also freeze the dough after it rises and defrost it for use another day, or to make homemade dough sticks or doughballs. (You can make your own garlic butter or dip for them too.)

I spent the evening baking and cooking/freezing food before it expired. ย I made some flatbreads, a huge loaf of bread and some pizza dough. I lit a candle in my window for everything thatโ€™s been happening and took some time to just sit and think.

Apart from a small bunch of flowers, we spent no money yesterday and didn’t see a soul all day, but in many ways, it felt like a richer day than if those things had been possibilities.