Shank

Shank

Shank buttons. This is a shank button. No, this is not about the time I had to fashion a shank from a coathanger to make sure no one beat me to the Boxing Day Sales at David Jones!

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Cute Skull buttons (not my image)

I had to do several Google button searches before I found the correct button terminology.

It is for was my Rastro find. A black and white cardigan…

It was only one euro. I was slightly taken by the Tweedy Chanel-ness of this piece. I did not stop to check to see if she had all her buttons: She does not.

Nor did I check if they match and I could reconfigure them. Well, at least two of the buttons do not match.

At the same Sunday morning Rastro I searched for new buttons. No luck. I bought her home gave her a gentle wash. I clipped her loose threads and daydreamed about the buttons she could have.

I have a thing for buttons. Giant buttons,shell buttons,quilted buttons. Mr W teases me about it constantly. Usually as we watch  a film from the 40’s or 50’s and someone is wearing a stunning coat with fabulous buttons! My mum had a thing for buttons too. She kept them in old jam jars according to type. Buttons are a little like lipstick. What could they say, on the front of a well-worn coat or the nape of a beautiful dress?

I was tidying up my jewellery box and found some little button treasures…  I bought them for a navy coat that I am still to alter the buttons on,two years down the line. They didn’t quite work for the coat, as I felt they were not quite bold enough.

Anyway I thought they may do just the trick for my new cardi. So I  skimmed a button tutorial or two to see the correct way to attach my skull buttons.. Yes, I had homemakers class a school but its been a long while since I’ve been there.

My button attachment skills are not going to win any awards just yet but I am fairly happy with the results.

Here she is…

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I know it’s not Chanel, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little inspiration.

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Love and loquats

Tiffany. X

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ER and smiles…

ER and smiles…

So as I mentioned earlier this week, HG had been sick. He is (touch wood) a really happy-go-lucky baby. Until last saturday. He was awake at four AM and refused to be settled,coaxed or even just close his eyes. Loads of tears, on and off all day.

HG
The photograph is by Stefan R Manzow. A friend of ours from Hamburg. This is his latest project, please check it out  here

I assumed he was having a teething or even just having an off day. Until I realised he hadn’t drunk any milk since 2 pm. My HG lives for milk, food and in particular biscuits. So I offered him a bottle again and he just burst into big, fat tears. I kept trying and we even drove the car around the valley,in which he fell asleep. Until we pulled into the driveway.

 

I called a dear friend and explained the situation. Ever so calmly she suggested I take HG to the Medical centre in our village. It has a 24 hour ER dept. So we rebunddled ourselves into the car and nipped up there. Upon getting HG out of the car, he smiled. And continued to smile as I babbled some close to tears spanish at the lovely nurse on duty.

He is fine, she said calmly, and informed me that the doctor will see him shortly. Well, HG smiled at the other people waiting there, giggled at W and I and generally looked as sound as a pound. Are you kidding me,I thought You basically have not stopped crying all day and now, in here the ER dept you are happy?? * I am sure lots of parents have experienced this.*

The doctor ushered us in and had me place HG on the examination bed. I answered all his questions in a mix of spanish and english. He checked his tummy and ears. By which point HG was no longer smiling. The doctor then asked me to move so the nurse could hold HG down whilst he checked his mouth and throat.

WHY DOES NO ONE TELL YOU THAT WHEN YOU SEE A DOCTOR STICKING A TOUNGE DEPRESSOR IN YOUR CHILDS MOUTH THAT YOU WANT TO PUNCH HIM??

I was so unprepared for the surge of  protectiveness I felt seeing someone causing my baby some level of discomfort. I didn’t punch the doctor but did try to soothe my little cub immediately.

As i re-dressed a screaming HG the doctor informs me he has a bad throat infection. I am sure that crying nearly all day and not much liquid has made worse. I swallowed my ‘I am a terrible parent guilt’ took the prescription and sped off to the Pharmacia.

Thanks goodness we have the ER dept and an all night pharmacia in our small village. The lovely nurse had called ahead for us. The pharmacist was waiting outside-smoking a huge cigar. In the typical fashion of the old men in our town. The script was filled for only 3.30 euros!

We arrived home and I changed HG. I made a new bottle,fed him a squeezy fruit bag and dosed him up. Finally he fell asleep! W and I ate dinner in almost silence and enjoyed a strong alcohol beverage. We headed to bed. For an hour,we all slept.

And then….

Poor HG spent the night being completely uncomfortable and upset. Still refusing milk at any temperature. More fruit bags. I was starving and trying to stay awake,so I opened a bag of his biscuits. He stopped crying, I offered him a tiny piece and then another. I softened some more biscuits with some yoghurt. Well that was it, more yoghurt and more and more. He slept and slept.

He is back to him normal self now. And today is 12 month review and vaccination day*…. I am really hoping he handles these ones as he has the previous ones. Which is like a CHAMP! And also warm bottle of milk and sleep for the whole afternoon. A chance for mummy to polish her tows and bleach her moustache.

I have a robust little boy, so I am sure that this is not my last harried visit to my local ER.

Please tell me about your little monkeys and their first trips to ER.

Love and loquats.

Tiffany

*He handled them perfectly. Even the Nurse said he didn’t cry much,so proud and is now fast asleep.

 

 

Baked Bean Surprise

Baked Bean Surprise

It doesn’t look particularly appetizing. But when I stepped out of the shower last night the house smelt delicious-warm,spicy and inviting. Will had made his Baked Bean Surprise.He had also lit our first fire for the year and made some milk bottles for HG.

Before my shower I was feeling a little frazzled. HG has had his first batch of illness,which meant little sleep for both of us for three days. My normally happy baby had been replaced with a grizzly, teething baby that wasnt feeling himself. I am also job hunting and trying to keep up my Spanish. And still unpacking suitcases from Hamburg. And the house is having more plumbing issues. These are all very first world problems. But enough to make me a little teary-eyed and for Will to send me off for a hot shower.

Will’s Baked Bean Surprise kept me going in the first six weeks after HG was born. He would also make mash (He is the Mash King!) to accompany his signature dish. He’d bring me a bowl so I could eat it with one-handed whilst HG breastfed.

The kitchen is my domain so of course I have attempted to make BBS myself.  But my mix of spices never seems quite the same. It just doesn’t has the same ‘bite’ as my darling husbands’.  Now that the weather is getting cooler I can look forward to eating this yummy meal more often.

I asked Will for a recipe and this was what I received.

  • Beans as many as you want (2 cans)
  • Olive oil and garlic
  • 5 small Onions. If you have grown your own, even better.
  • Spices. Random but as long as there is pepper and curry powder
  • Chillies. If making  for a chili lover-add three to four scotch bonnets whole.
  • Cook onions in spices on high heat.
  • Add beans
  • Job done.

My slightly more concise recipe from surreptitiously watching him over the years goes like this…

  • 2 X cans of baked beans of choice.
  • 2 X Normal sized white onions.
  • 4 X cloves of garlic-minced
  • 1 X tsp of fresh chilli. Omit if chilli isn’t your thang,ADD more if you love chilli.
  • Now the Spices..
  • 1 X tbsp spoon Curry powder
  • 1 X tbsp spoon of dried dill or parsley
  •  2 X tsp spoon smoked paprika
  • 1 X big squirt of BBQ sauce or something similar.
  • A small cube of butter
  • 3/4 cup of boiling water with a veggie stock cube dissolved in it

Melt the small cube of butter in a medium heat pan, add onions and garlic. Cook for around two minutes. Add  all the spices,cook for one minute. Add the BBQ sauce and the stock cube water and chilli. Place on lid for three minutes on a low heat.  After three minutes add the beans, let it simmer for approximately half an hour,still on a low heat. A couple of big grinds of black pepper before serving will be perfect.

Serve with mash and toast. Add a glass of semi secco bubbles for extra class.

BBS

Does your significant other have a dish that you crave?

Love and Loquats

Tiffany. x

 

 

 

Top Tips of successful people….

Top Tips of successful people….

If one of the top tips successful people always offer is make their bed in the morning.

My question has to be: How come they aren’t successful enough to pay someone to do it for them? Or if they are that successful why does making their bed matter?
I am currently trying to get into a routine.  HG is one now and I am hoping to get some work to put food on the table until I become a totally famous blogger! I must be nuts. I believe that a family needs routine anyway. But hate to follow one,lifestyle or otherwise. People looked at me strangely when I told them I have two rules that I’d wanted to stick to when Harry was born. I didnt want to co sleep. And I wanted to have a shower everyday. This isn’t a judgement on other mummies who do co sleep or not shower everyday. It’s simply a way I feel I can personally measure how in control. This was to a degree successful. On some days this was a complete and utter WTAF was I thinking co sleepng means i dont have to move and niether does he.

I have read too many a this is why “I am successful at life yeah!” lists. It seems that many successful people also take baths,even in the middle of the day. According to a vintage Harper’s Bazaar article Tom Ford can take up to FOUR baths a day. If you can use this: Tom Ford soap I’d have as many baths as I could fit into a day as well.

journals

Most times, these people also mention writing in a journal,as some kind of almost free therapist,as they sip their tea. The tea picked by virgin monkeys on the side of a remote mountainside, you know.
I adore this idea, but I have a growing collection of cute coloured Moleskine journals and pretty pens to set my pensive thoughts into. I admire them and occasionally doodle in them whilst sipping a wine that may have come from a box…
These lists go onto explain it is an exercise in self control,explaining  yourself to yourself daily.

Although I am sure most of my profound thoughts have been scribbled on the back of a receipt. On a crowded commuter bus. My intention is always to later, sit on my made-in- the-morning bed after my  decadent second bath and re-scribe my profound observations on society into a crisp paged journal…

Other key points on these laughable lists normally include:

  • Notions of taking the stairs,not taking the lift or escalator,because they can then connect with real people.
  • A daily yoga or gym session and how alive it makes them feel. Nauseatingly followed by some kale concoction and the cool down,stretch don’t forget to mention the obscure playlist they just HAVE to listen to.

I could go on….but I won’t.

So with these ‘tips’ in mind and I simply have no one to make my breakfast.No one to make my bed. Not even anyone to peel my activated almonds,how will I ever succeed with my simple day-to-day goals?!

Easy.

Life is meant for living, not lists or hacks or tips for rich peeps.
Its waking early one morning to the sound of your 88 year old neighbour babble singing Spanish to waking the next, late for your hospital appointment,no time for a bath.

It’s catching yourself in the middle of a fiesta parade. You smile because you forgot the town you drive through everyday,with a population:150. Well they love to celebrate an obscure Saint day like those crazy Americans celebrate Super Bowl. BIIIG.
It’s about a simple pleasure of your favourite candle lit whilst you have a bath with your favourite soap. It’s not about blu tacked lists and made beds,although who can resist a little sheet and matching cushion porn. Surely it’s about what happens in between the sheets that changes lives, I know it has certainly changed mine!

I went on a little journal hunt and look at this little gem.

Love and loquats.

Tiffany

Driving Update

Driving Update

So over the past year I have had to drive more and more. My husband goes away for exhibitions and we lives a few kms from the nearest shop. At first it was hairy, like really FREAKING scary. A geared car, the other side of the road,dirt tracks and roads only wide enough for one car at a time.

I’d make it to my destination,the cafe,the closest shop,the town and sometimes burst into tears. Or call my mum. Or do both. I’d get a sugary,fizzy drink and try to calm down.

Now.

Well today, I drove through the main street of my town. During the biggest fiesta of the year.There was a  kind of un-official procession through town. So drunk-at-11 am pirates and Moors following marching bands.on the road,the footpath,the fountain on the only roundabout in town!

So I had to drive on the wrong side of the road, I stopped (!!) on the pedestrian crossing to chat to a friend. I parked close into town,no longer favouring the supermarket at the far end of town with the widely spaced car spaces. I still feel way more confident on our dusty,unpaved roads with the cliffs on one side and steep orchards on the other. My point is progress, I have changed my thoughts of ‘shit, what if I meet another car on the road only wide enough for a toothpick’ To ‘ I know where I call pull in and if not I’ll give them a smile and they’ll make the hard moves’

It took 3 (4) attempts to pass my Driver’s test in the UK, all those years ago. Funnily enough the tactics my driving instructor used when I was learning with him, help me now. If I start to panic,bang on the Beyoncé and sing your heart out, trust me it works!

GT and meI wish I’d taken this baby for a spin when I was in Italy but we just posed with it instead-next time!

Tell me about your driving life,are you a stick gal or automatic all the way.

Love and Loquats

 

Tiffany.x

#selfieworthy

#selfieworthy

Not a compliment fishing post- I promise! 

I was flicking through my phone,heaps of pics of my hubby,my son Harry,places we’ve been recently etc. The last selfie I took was a month ago. Now, I am sure to most that doesn’t seem like a long time but to me,it is. I looked I the mirror this morning, I saw the dry skin under my nose,(I currently have a cold) the slight crinkling around the eyes,the list goes on.

I was not feeling #selfieworthy

So

In between nappy changes,dummy spits and numerous bottles, I managed to squeeze a little maintenance time.

Now, #selfieworthy is not about picking yourself apart,more about doing a few little things to build yourself up,feel great and share it with the world.

A double cleanse,maybe a 5 minute face mask. Maybe a longer conditioner treatment or a whitening toothpaste. All little things,easy to complete and quick!

My Recommendations

Cleansers:

Thrifty: Cetaphil Gentle Skin cleanser. 125mls. $10. Easy to use,fragrance free and soothing. I would recommend this to practically everyone.

Splurge: Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Gentle Cleanser. 237mls $35. I know that there are many great skincare lines out there. I believe that Dr Perricone does really understand the science of skin.

Face masks

Thrifty: Montagne Jeunesse VeryBerry mask. 15g $4.00. One time packet,splodge on,let it set and rinse.

Splurge: Perricone MD concentrated restorative Treatment. 59ml $115. Not one for just splodging on but it’s one dreamy treatment.

Conditioning hair treatment

Thrifty:Schwarzkopf Extra care ultimate repair anti damage mask. 250mls $4.50

I like that my hair afterwards didn’t feel heavy just well nourished.

Splurge:Fekkai Technician Colour Care mask. 220g $25 (US) This is STILL the best hair mask I’ve ever used. You can leave it in for as little as 60 seconds.In Australia it was $60! So get online and grab a tub.

Whitening toothpaste

Thrifty: Kemphor White toothpaste. 75mls. 3€

A Euro pharmacy staple,I only tried it recently and I am in love. Gentle minty flavour and makes your teeth feel polished-not squeaky. It’s Spanish made too. Check it out online.

Splurge: Theodent 300 whitening crystal mint. 75mls $100.

I am yet to try it,but at a $100 bucks a tube,it has to be good-right?! 

I finish with a  lip scrub with a baby toothbrush for good measure and I was feeling #selfieworthy again.


What little #selfie maintenance jobs do you like to splurge on?

Love and lipstick.

Tiffany. Xx

Getting ready for a wedding.

7:30 am. Alarm one. Mr W and I do not work convential hours  anymore. He works very hard as a sculptor for as many hours as he is awake each day,seven days a week. This gives us flexabily as to when we rise each morning. Most mornings,this alarm or the next at 7:45 is enough to get us going. Except this morning. HG has been too big for his generous sized Moses Basket for a little while now. However I’ve  delayed moving him into his crib as the Moses basket fits next to our bed. Now HG has spoilt us as parents. From when he was six weeks old,he’s pretty much slept through the night-until now.

When we happen to be moving him into the crib. It’s been few fretful long nights. Dummies dropped through the bars, a bump of the head,tooth pain (possibly) It’s all going on. So when the alarm bleeped cheerily at me yesterday morning,my mood did not match its. 

8:00am. Alarm three. Get up,get milk for HG. Thank goodness I’ve finally relaxed enough to make some up bottles in advance so I can sleepwalk downstairs with  HG in tow and one minute later,he has milk. Done.

I ponder breakfast and decide I need a cold fashwasher before food. Back upstairs to roust the husband,collect the empty milk bottles and wash my too tired face.

8:45 am. Mr W is off,he has to assist a friend with firewood collecting and sorting. With strict instructions to return at 11 am sharp.

8:45-9:45 am. Bottle washing,nappy stockpiling,formula spooning ensues. Clothes washing, a reusable nappy sort,wash up. Sweat. A lot. All whilst still pondering outfits and wanting to wear the coolest,sac like item I own. Spend most of this hour trying to get HG to have a nap as I’d like him to not be a total asshat during the ceremony.

9:45-10:30 am. With the baby asleep and Mr W out, I was so tempted to crawl back into bed,I could almost feel the cool sheet as it floated back down onto me. Instead of standing in front of the mirror,trying to control the frizz and work out the coolest hairdo I could have.

10:30-11am. Narrowed it down to three options outfit-wise. Send photos to trusted coterie of advisors. Find jewellery. Apply makeup,fingers crossed it stays put.

11-11:15 am Lay out clothes for HG times two. He’s a barfer. Clothes for Mr W organised. Worry that Mr W isn’t home just yet. Bundle everything but the kitchen sink into various bags. Wake and change the HG repeating my mantra,please don’t barf,please don’t barf… Sweaty husband arrives,rush him into a shower. Pack car,wipe barf off HG’s chin. Check lipstick and we are off.

11:55am. Thank the lord I live in Spain now,so whacking out the fan and vigorously fanning myself looks completely normal. The walk up to the picturesque spot is interesting but not something you want to do for a wedding. Did I mention there was a camera crew from a British reality TV show filming the entire thing??

From there forth it was a lovely,albeit warm day. Filled with love,meeting new friends, wedding wine and cake. The outfit was pretty perfect,flattering,colourful and cool. HG was changed several times over. At one point he was in just a nappy! 

It was our first wedding as a married couple and our first with HG. It’s funny that memories I had forgotten about my own wedding came flooding back. Our first dance,seeing all of our friends. My husbands choicely worded speech.

Tell me your best wedding moment,the one that makes you smile.

Love and loquats

Tiffany.xx