Thursday, October 31, 2013


I did finish my photo challenge but sadly, didn't post much here. I'm an Instagram lover, I can't help it! Thinking about doing NaBloPoMo but knowing I'll fail...maybe I really am done with blogging. Not sure how I feel about that!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 11, 2013

{a selfie, taste, red & play}

This is as close to a selfie as I feel like getting. It's a mark (of many) that gave me something beautiful: my little girl.

Quite like this one for the theme of 'red'.

I used this one of my little monkey (Matt is against posting pics of the kids on Instagram but this passed scrutiny...barely) but really like this one as well:

This is the park we go to several times a week, usually with his pal Archie and his mum, my pal Jess. Emmett is a roundabout fiend.

We're going to the Weymouth SeaLife  Centre on the Jurassic coast tomorrow for a (hopefully) lovely day out. I expect to give the new camera a thorough breaking in! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

{diagonals & skylines}

Matt came up with an amazing photo idea for diagonal - much better than anything I could have come up with but also INCREDIBLY obscure.

The west front of the Salisbury Cathedral is full of statues of bishops (this friendly looking guy is Thomas Ken. I just realised I mixed him up with another bishop in my Instagram post - oops). I also included this note with the photo: Bc4 Nc6. It's a chess move - bishops move diagonally. Clever but obscure.

And today we have a skyline (of sorts) and three lines in the sky. 

Tomorrow is a selfie. I'm struggling with my appearance these days. I'm in desperate need of a haircut and have gained MORE weight since I had Allie. I've been heavier (hello high school) but that doesn't make it okay or any easier to cope with when I look in the mirror or see a photo of myself. I've discovered I'm a stress eater and I'm juggling so much (learning to cope with two kids, house far from the state I'd like it to be, behaviour problems with E, missing my US friends and family, lack of sleep blah blah blah) that I find myself eating not because I'm hungry but just to...I don't know, cope with things I'm seeing, hearing, feeling. 

Anyway. I need to get ahold of things before they get worse. Not sure what to do about the selfie.

In other, cheerier news: Allie rolled over this morning. It tuckered her out so much  that she's settled in for a cuddly nap!

Hope you're having a great day!

Monday, August 5, 2013

{love & close up}

How could I not include my baby girl in yesterday's prompt of 'love'?

My sourdough starter for today's 'close up'. Just chopped grapes, flour and water. Amazing. I'll have to take a photo of the whole jar tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, my husband, Matt, helped me come up with an AWESOME idea for 'diagonal'.

Oh, and this is my first pic taken with my Samsung wb250f smart camera so I was able to take it and send it via wifi to my phone to crop and edit! I'm looking forward to having a good play around with it tomorrow!

Sunday, August 4, 2013


I couldn't choose just one today

Also there's been a flurry of kitchen activity! I made blueberry muffins (old fashioned link as the app doesn't do links and I'm lazy/one handed 'cause in feeding Allie).

To die for blueberry muffins, I might add. Then I made sugar cookie dough for Doctor Who cookies but remembered this morning  that I HATE MAKING SUGAR COOKIES. Finally cleaned up the sticky mess from the countertop, rolled it between baking paper and put it, the rolling pin and cutters in the fridge. I'm not getting my hopes up, though. It seemed a little too thin.

I also made a sourdough starter this morning using the devilishly handsome Paul Hollywood's recipe. I've never made sourdough but my mom bought us both copies of his book while she was here and they made a gorgeous loaf last week so I thought I'd try it. I kind of like the idea of something you bake with being never ending...keep feeding it and it'll live forever. I'll have to take a picture once it gets all bubbly. 

Also from yesterday's kitchen:

Strawberry and Greek yogurt ice lollies!

Friday, August 2, 2013


I have such a crush on this photo, my August Break picture of the day.

And for pretty baby girl. :) She fell asleep watching me doing the washing up (who can blame her?) and I caught her smiling in her sleep. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

{august break 2013}

In the past I've thought of August as my personal New Year. Forget about January and resolutions and all that. August, my birthday month, is time for me to start fresh, change a few things, challenge myself, set goals....

One goal I'm setting is to stop being so negative. Holy cow, am I a negative nellie. My husband has used the word 'contradictory' to describe me more than once or twice in the past few months and it's sadly so true. So, yeah, think POSITIVE (hopefully).

Also, as I'm hoping to get a smart camera for my birthday (39 - how the heck did that happen?!?), I want to do more with my pictures. I've kind of become an Instagram junkie and there I discovered a project called August Break 2013 - a daily photo challenge. You can take pics of whatever tickles your lens but there are some great prompts, too.

I'm going to try to post here everyday but will catch up. I should be able post everyday on Instagram as @eatcraftcuddle, though. I hope!

I didn't hear about it until this afternoon but managed to come up with a breakfast photo...

I love eggs. Eggs any way I can get them. Emmett loves them, too. Well, at least he loves them scrambled. Thank goodness, because Matt hates them. Emmett is a little whiz at cracking them. The smile - grin, really - on his face when he pushes his thumbs into the egg to crack it makes picking out the shells worthwhile!

Goodness, it's taken me all afternoon/evening to finish this post! With Emmett and Allie, I feel like I should get a standing ovation for finishing even the smallest task. Heck, it's taken me twenty-five minutes and three attempts to write this paragraph alone. It's tomorrow already!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013


I signed up for Postcrossing about three years ago but only sent a few cards before having Emmett and pretty much completely forgetting about it. The other day I was inspired by searching #postcrossing on Instagram and decided to give it another go. 

Also, I can totally understand the addictive quality of washi tape!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

{beautiful design - knit fail}

I have a new favourite designer on Ravelry - Yarn-Madness. Her baby/toddler/children's patterns are absolutely adorable! Right after Alice was born I started knitting a Baby Blizzard but put it aside to crochet a rabbit requested by my mom in hopes of finishing it before she went home (didn't happen). I just pulled the Blizzard back out's already too small! I started the three month size and am not one for worrying too much about gauge. Ah, well.

I love the yarn, though, and the stitch pattern that's done on one side so I think I'll try the largest size eventually. I have three of her other patterns queued already: Tagg, Surpris and Morpheus.

First I probably should sew buttons on and take pictures of what I already have knitted (LOTS) before they're all too small as well!

* * *

I'm writing this using the BlogPress app so that I can still post easily via my phone but include links which the Blogger app doesn't provide. It's not as pretty as the Blogger app and I can't find a preview option so I'll be interested to see how this turns out! I just figured out one downside: you have to have your tags preset on Blogger because you can't add new ones on this app. Bit of a pain but we'll see.

P.S. found the preview!

Emily x

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

{close as I get to interior decorating}

Well, it took me a bit longer to get back here than I thought it would! Now that my mom and dad have gone back to the states, I'm trying to learn how to do things with a baby and a two and a half year old. Dinner baffles me. Without fail, the baby is howling while I'm trying to cook even though she's just been fed. And to think there was a time (when I was much much younger) that I would have liked to have had four or five kids!

I did manage to take a photo of the fireplace today, though. Thank goodness for camera phones and blogging apps! 

In my heart my decorating style is retro, full of bright colours. In reality I can never really pull it off. We covered our couches (with sheets) last month and I was tempted to cover them in a muted red but just couldn't bring myself to do it. They ended up light brown and I'm going to blame the hope that spills and spit up won't show so easily.

Still, I'm pretty pleased with the fireplace. I found the picture at a charity shop for ten pounds. The pitcher and pots are charity shop finds, too, but the pussy willow branches were the best deal: Mom found them at Tesco or Waitrose in the clearance flowers for 19 pence! I'm hoping they'll stick around even though they're not in water (they're actually in half a kitchen roll tube surrounded by waded kitchen roll). The curtain hides a nonfunctional fireplace in desperate need of a coat of paint and the fabric is some leftover from the quilt Mom made for Emmett. I'd really like to find a fourth teapot so each member of our family is represented (goofy, I know) and I have my eye out for a couple of plates to hang above the picture. 

In real life - where half our living room is a playroom - a wooden table and two chairs (one a bear, the other a frog) sit in front of the curtain, a basket of diaper changing paraphernalia sits to the left and, to the right, a tub of Hot Wheels. It still looks better than a black hole with paint peeling, oddly, in the shape of Ohio!

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Book Goodness

Thanks to a recommendation from my friend Ginny, I just finished an excellent YA book called The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. Aliens wiping out the human race. Parts of it even took place in Dayton, Ohio where I'm from which was kind of weird. It's heartbreakingly the first book in yet another trilogy but an excellent read even if the next book doesn't come out for a year. 

I have a stack of charity shop paperbacks to read but they'll have to wait since Joe Hill's new book NOS4R2 just came out. His last book, Horns, was excellent and this is, so far, pretty creepy and more like one of his dad's (Stephen King) books than any of his others. 

What are you reading these days?

Emily x

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

{plans but no promises}

I was quite pleased to see this Tolstoy quote when I took a sneaky peek at the page for May on my calendar several days ago. 

Spring is the time of plans and projects.

Over the past few months, I've been thinking a lot about blogging and what it means to me now. I've been blogging for about ten years in one place or another. I started with a personal blog at DiaryLand (which would probably be pretty embarassing to read now if it still existed) and then moved to LiveJournal where I also started a craft blog. Then the craft blog became my only blog - mixing both the crafty and personal - and I moved to Typepad where I've been ever since, under either the name Dainty Kitty or Viking Tea Party. Then I had a baby and the blogging slowed down. I just checked and I've posted 43 times in two and a half years. In my second to last post I announced that I was pregnant with my second. As I type this, she's three weeks old and snoring away in her travel cot. Sigh.

I decided to make one more move to Blogger because I just couldn't see paying £40 odd pounds per year to Typepad for a blog I wasn't using. I didn't want to give it up totally because it wasn't that I didn't want to blog at all. I miss it and sometimes find myself composing posts while I'm doing the dishes or some other chore that means putting my hands on a laptop is impossible. I want to blog more. I knitted like a crazy, two needled fiend in the the last few months of my pregnancy with Alice. Cardigans and hats - LOTS of hats - galore! I want to take pretty photos of each project and share them. Thanks to my parents who are here visiting, I've even done a bit of sewing since she was born: a curtain for our non-functional fireplace and a sweet pair of bloomers for the baby girl.  So that's the 'craft' part of the new name. 'Eat', well, I love to bake. It keeps me sane. Later today I have plans to make a three layer dark chocolate cake with cream cheese icing and I can't wait. And 'cuddle' - I have a two and a half year old and a newborn so there's lots of cuddling.

I'm not going to make myself any promises but I want this to be place I get to visit a little more often. I want to make it cosy and simple and full of things that I like. I want to find a voice I'm comfortable with for who I am now: a wife and mother, a woman in her late thirties, a knitter/crocheter/sewer/hands in this and that, an American living in England...but we'll see. Lots of plans but no promises.

Emily x

Friday, January 4, 2013

{Words & Pictures}

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4
I love playing with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone and was thrilled when they brought back a lens (Tejas) that I'd been waiting for. These are a trio of photos I took at my parents' house.

My sister in law recommended a great book the other day - Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. I hadn't heard of it but I guess it's really popular with book clubs in the US and it's being made into a movie. It's killing me that I can't just sit down and read the whole thing. I miss being able to take Prego Days like I could when I was pregnant with Emmett. Read, knit and nap the whole day away. He''s napping right now and all I want to do is find out what happens next with Lavinia and Belle rather than tackle the dishes.

Bet the book wins.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

{Babies & Dolls}

DollWhew, I have fallen so far behind that I wouldn't even know how to begin to catch up. Most of you either know me in real life or in "real life" so nothing would be all that new.

The biggest news, the news that's making me knit again, though, is that we're going to be welcoming a baby girl into our family in April. A girl! When I first found out I was pregnant I thought I wanted a boy. I know boys, have all boy stuff and a little brother for Emmett would be wonderful. Then I had my first scan and I decided I kind of wanted a girl. I wanted girly stuff, all shades of pink and lots of daisies. Tea parties, dolls and crafty time where I try my hardest to let her make her own thing and not interfere. And after seeing her I kind of thought she was a she...and I was right!

Anyway, a blanket is already on the needles and while I was in the states for Christmas (too much to catch up there but it was wonderful) I bought yarn for a couple of cardigans and Matt bought me What to Knit When You're Expecting by Nikki Van De Car. Before I found out the baby was a girl I swore I wasn't going to knit for this one. But how can you not knit for a girl?! Now that I have the sewing machine I want to do a bit of sewing, too. I bought Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing for Baby when I first found out I was pregnant and can't wait to make the snuggler (which can also be found here for free) as well as a few other things.

My first finished sewing project with the new machine was the doll in the (kind of lousy) photo. It's the Poppy Doll pattern from Hop Skip Jump and I cannot BEGIN to tell you how well this pattern is designed! I have loads of trouble with dolls when you have to squash the arms and legs inside and stitch around the body and you don't have to do that at all with this pattern (insert sigh of relief). I will tell you, though, that she's wearing a scarf because I'm pretty rubbish as sewing the head to the body. And I tried SEVERAL times. Ah well. And I'm a terrible blogger as I've totally forgotten what pattern I used to knit the little blue sweater.

The flower buttons were free with an issue of Mollie Makes which is a another thing I'd like to catch up on eventually. I LOVE that magazine and really think everyone should at least have a little browse the next time they're at a bookstore (it's available in the US as well). Oddly, though, I haven't subscribed to it but did subscribe to another one made by the same people called The Simple Things which is a monthly little mix of loveliness: craft, food, gardening, life. One of my favorite features is the list of simple pleasures one the back cover. A few from this this month: seeing my breath on the air - the smell of baking filling the house - the eerie silence of a snowy day - warm hands. Love, love, LOVE.

Anyway, the doll went to my mom for Christmas and there was a flurry of Christmas knitting as well after we booked our tickets. As soon as I get photos, I'll have to do a little post.

All right, time for a little nap. We just got back on Sunday and our schedules are all kinds of screwed up. We've been up until anywhere from one a.m. to four and sleeping until  anywhere from eleven in the morning to two in the afternoon! Ridiculous. It's really up to Emmett, though. I could adjust but he has no idea what time it is so we're struggling a bit.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!