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Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus-Christ. It is a feasting day and I hope you can all celebrate and have a lovely day with your families and loved ones.

Happy Easter to you all!
Little N.'s flowers in full bloom

Friday, 29 March 2013

Easter decorations

Easter is coming up and Little N. is old enough to make some decorations with a bit of my help. 

We started last week with decorating a polystyrene egg for a small competition at our local "Apotheke" (pharmacist). We got the results two days ago. Little N. was 19th out of at least 30 children. She did not win a big price, but every paricipating child got a small bag filled with some presents which is a lovely idea. We also got the egg back and it is now hanging in our living-room:

We then got on making some cards to send to our families:

Then we painted some hard-boiled eggs:

And finally we made some more polystyrene eggs to give as presents:

Here is a picture showing everything that we have been using to make the eggs (actually we used pretty much the same materials for the cards):

Little N. rather liked making all of this but by the end of it she got fed up. We did the different things over several days but it still seemed to be asking for a little too much concentration. I guess I need to learn to adapt to her rather than do as much as I want to be done.

And to finish on Easter decorations, I am forwarding you to a previous post to show you our Easter mobile

Would love to get new ideas for next year, does anybody have suggestions? Little N. will then be 2 and a half, and Baby T. 1 yo.

A bag to go to mass [Swap - part 1]

Some time ago now I received a bag for Little N.'s mass books. Soraya from Les Facéties de Louis-Marie made it for us and I just love it!

I gave her the "instructions" on how to make it so as to look like the ones I made last summer. My machine does not do embroidery which is the reason why I asked Soraya if she could do it for me, she had some patterns which I really liked.

Here it is:
Now, my lovely blog-friend said that I did not need to send anything back to her because she likes to make presents, but I also love making small things to people I like and I found recently the perfect idea! I just hope she will enjoy it once I get round to making it and sending it ^^
In the meantime Little N. will be inaugurating her bag on Easter Sunday. Thanks a lot Soraya! :)

Zupfkuchen [Cheesecake with Chocolate topping]

The Zupfkuchen isn't exactly the same thing as a Cheesecake, but it is the closest translation which I seem to be able to find. Try it, it is delicious!


For the chocolate dough
* 200 gr of flour
* 100 gr of sugar
* 100 gr of butter
* 20 gr of cocoa
* 1 egg
* 1 sachet of baking powder

For the other dough
* 250 gr of sugar
* 200gr of butter
* 4 eggs
* 500 gr of curd cheese
* 1 sachet of vanilla blancmange powder (pudding in German)
* 1 sachet of vanilla powder
* juice of one lemon

For the chocolate dough, mix the butter and sugar to obtain a foamy mixture (the electric whip comes in handy there), then add the rest. You should get a nice homogeneous and malleable dough (quite similar to a pastry dough).

Put it aside until you need it.

For the creamy dough, mix again the sugar and butter into a foamy mixture, then add the eggs one at a time, and then add the rest of the ingredients. The dough will be more liquid.

Place half of the chocolate dough at the bottom of your baking form, and press it so that it covers all the surface. Pour the cream on top. 

Make small pieces with the remaining chocolate dough and drop them all over the cream.

Bake about one hour at 180°C (may need a little more or a little less depending on your oven).

Bon Appétit!

Thursday, 28 March 2013


over 500, that is the number of pageviews I have had this month! First time ever that I reach this number!!

A big thank you to all those who read my blog whether regularly or not.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Spring at home

Around here in the far east of Germany, we still have snow and low temperatures. I have heard that it is the same in England and France. We are all asking the same question: WHEN IS SPRING GOING TO ARRIVE?

Here is a picture that has been going around on Facebook and which made me laugh:

Installation of Spring 2013 3.1
Installation interrupted... please wait.
Installation failed...!! Back to Winter.

Anyway, we went shopping some time last week and I bought a flower pot with Narcissus.
 It is N.'s duty every day to give them a little bit of water (under my supervision as she is still quite clumsy) and she can also touch the flowers and look at how they grow and bloom. 
Now we are waiting for Spring outside, sunshine and warmth will be more than welcome to put a bit of colour on my children's pale cheeks.

Roast-beef, cooked rare :)

In the very little spare time I have from my house chores and looking after my children, I still try to keep my needles working. 
 A slice of roast-beef is the latest addition to Little N.'s cooking toys. There are more to come as I try always try to make everything in four (she has four plates).
  This time I did not use felt (I had only just placed an order for more, but I had not received it yet) but fleece. It is nice and soft.
 Little N. is delighted every time I give her something new and she loves playing with it. We will have to look into making her a small kitchen now with nice shelves to tidy all her ingredients and cutlery.

Soon to come: cheeses. So keep an eye for coming posts. Have a lovely weekend!

Are you human?

I am sorry for all those who are kindly leaving comments on my blog, but I have decided to start using the Comment Word Verification. I do check the comments myself before publishing them, but I have had several spam messages in less than 24h. 

I hope this will not put you off and that you will still write lovely comments on my articles!

Wishing you all a very nice day!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Salt dough

My 19 months old girl is starting to really enjoy some activities such as drawing, colouring, painting, getting dressed up and so on. She has unfortunately been ill last week and was in a rather whinny mood, which is nerve wrecking! Since on the weekend her Dad was at home, I decided to take a little bit of time with her only while he would look after Baby T. ; we made salt dough. I remember the fun I had as a young girl making all sorts of things (actually even as a teenager!).

One cup of salt, two cups of flour and water... that does not sound complicated, does it? I still managed to mess up the quantities and used three cups of flour instead of two. It worked out nevertheless and Little N. had a lot of fun.

She seems too young though to actually shape anything with the dough, but I did think of making a ball with a nose, gave her some tooth-picks and let her make a hedgehog :)

A day or two later we even painted some of the stuff with Oma's help.

The Brezels and round yellow thingies are meant to be used for playing cooking, the "religieuse" still needs painting - it is a French pastry - and that will also go to N.'s tea-set.

An afternoon of fun with my daughter, that is priceless!

No butter, no eggs...

What do you do when you have a birthday to celebrate (your husband's) but you have no eggs and no butter in the fridge on that day? When the children are not to be taken out because one is ill and there is snow outside? You do what I did: google "cake recipe no egg no butter" and take the simplest one that you find ;)

And you end up with this:
Search your cupboards for remains of chocolate and the cake will look like this:
At first the chocolate was supposed to have time to cool down and become hard before we were to eat it, but with the visit to the doctor my baking schedule was ruined and we ate it like this. It wasn't a big problem anyway! Warm melty chocolate is always so nice!

The cake's official ingredients:
# 2 yaourts natures,
# trois pots de yaourt de farine,
# un pot de yaourt de sucre,
# un sachet de levure chimique,
# un demi pot de yaourt d'huile
and I added: raisins soaked in a remain of rum and chocolate chips.
It did work out and my husband seemed happy with his birthday cake. Job done! :) 

Saturday, 2 March 2013


Who does not know this deliciously smelly french cheese? Some people like it young, some prefer to leave it for weeks in their fridge... And some other people make some themselves for their daughter and nieces to play with. I am of the third kind ;)

I have only made one so far, but I am planning on making another two in the near future. I will first need to find a more appropriate colour for the inside part of the cheese. This first attempt isn't perfect, but I rather like it nevertheless. I hope my niece will like it! Her mother told me that her small pleasure is to get a piece of camembert from her dad at the end of a meal. So I take it she likes camembert and will be pleased to have one for her toy kitchen.

 There are many tutorials on the internet about making camembert, I do not link any though because I made it on my own, thinking with my own little brain ;)

Follow-up post - Oma's knitting

In this post I mentionned the two cardigans that my mother-in-law had knitted for little N. and I also said that one of the dolls also got a similar cardigan. I had not yet managed to take a picture, but now I have and here it is:

 How sweet is it?

Making cards for the Grand-parents

Among the many things that I am doing with my daughter, there is painting. She quite enjoys but does not remain concentrated very long. Somehow she isn't as patient with pencils and brushes as she can be with beads. Still, I managed to get her to make cards for her Grand-parents. The greatest attraction was the novelty that I introduced on that day in addition to the paint: stickers! She is now a big fan!!

Playing with wooden beads

Little N. is 18 months old, she does like watching and participating when I do some sewing or DIY. So I decided to let her have some beads to play with.

I gave her a tray, an empty bottle and beads. She had a lot of patient fun with them. Later on I also gave her a string and since then she has been practicing putting the string through the beads. That is an excellent exercise to practice precision!


Activity with a toddler, first time with glue

We are just about to go on a one-week holiday, so I am just very quickly writing a couple of articles :)

Last week I had some spare time but it was far from being a nice weather outside, so we decided to stay home. Little N. was getting a bit restless and bored, so I decided to come up with some DIY.

Two polystyrene balls of different sizes, pieces of felt and other material, two small eyes, toothpicks, something to make a stand and some glue.

The snowman isn't finished, it still needs a scarf and some paint on the bottom part, but nevertheless here is the result we got:
 N. did enjoy the activity but was a bit puzzled by the glue at first. She kept on wipping her hands every two minutes, but eventually she just kept going until the end. The most difficult part is to make her understand that we have to stop and wait until the glue dries. She dislikes interrupting an activity and having to wait!

Friday, 1 March 2013

Challenge : "Un mot, des titres" - Session 14 - Guest Post

Mon jeune frère, de 12 ans et demi, A., a aussi décidé de participer au Challenge. Comme il n'a pas de blog, je mets le mien à sa disposition afin qu'il puisse partager sa fiche de lecture. Je vous la copie ci-dessous. Je n'y ai apporté aucune retouche.

     J'ai choisi de lire Le Retour Du Roi, de J.R.R Tolkien.
C'est le troisième tome du la saga du Seigneur Des Anneaux.
Dans le premier tome, un Hobbit du nom de Frodon possède un anneau que lui donne son oncle Bilbo, qui le tient lui-même de Gollum. Gollum ne lui as pas donné de son plein gré, c'est pourquoi il cherche son anneau. N'allez pas croire que Bilbo l'ait volé, loin de là ! Il l'a trouvé dans les cavernes où habite Gollum. Mais revenons à Frodon.
Le Seigneur des Ténèbres cherche désespérement l'Anneau, l'Anneau Unique qui lui permettra d'écraser le monde entier et de le recouvrir d'un linceul de ténébres. Il envoie donc neuf Esprits en quête de l'anneau, et ils pourchassent Frodon. La mission de Frodon est plus facile à dire qu'à faire car il doit jeter l'Anneau dans un volcan, l'Oroduin, en plein coeur du territoire du Seigneur des Ténèbres. En compagnie
de huit compagnons, il part pour sa quête insensée. Pour raccourcir le chemin, ils passent dans une mine appartenant aux Nains, la Moria. Dedans, un des compagnons de Frodon tombe. Ensuite, la Compagnie de l'Anneau se dissout ; deux sont enlevés, trois partent en quête des disparus, un autre meurt et deux partent pour le volcan. Ainsi s'achève le premier tome.
Dans le deuxième tome, trois compagnons sauvent un peuple de guerriers et cavaliers d'un magicien allié au Maître des Ténèbres, Saroumane. Les deux compagnons enlevés s'enfuient et trouvent l'appui des Ents, un peuple d'arbres enchantés. Les deux autres compagnons, Frodon et Sam, avancent discrètement vers le volcan. En chemin, ils rencontrent Gollum, qu'ils soumettent à leur volonté. Gollum les conduit vers le volcan. Mais petit à petit, le désir de reprendre l'Anneau le ronge, mais ils le maîtrisent rapidement. Mais une haîne brulante est entretenue en lui.  
Dans le troisième et dernier tome, les cavaliers vont à Minas Tirith, une cité qui résiste encore et toujours à l'envahisseur. ;)
Puis les trois compagnons traversent une route pleine de morts. Le vrai roi, Aragorn, qui fait partie des compagnons, leur promet la paix éternelle s'ils combattent à leurs côtés. Les morts acceptent et ainsi se compose une vaste armée, mais insignifiante comparée à celle du Prince des Ténèbres. Pendant ce temps, Frodon arrive à destination tandis que la guerre éclate. Comme tous les serviteurs des Ténèbres sont partis se battre, la voie est libre. Au moment de jeter l'Anneau, Frodon tombe soudain sous son emprise.
Au lieu de le détruire, il s'enfuit avec, mais Gollum, fou de rage, mord Frodon et lui coupe le doigt auquel est passé l'Anneau. Mais heureusement, le doigt et l'Anneau tombent dans le volcan, mais Gollum essaie de rattraper l'Anneau et tombe aussi, et le Seigneur des Ténèbres est détruit.Aragorn est sacré roi, les Ténèbres chassées et tout finit pour le mieux.
J'ai beaucoup aimé ce roman, il est captivant et très bien écrit. Je le recommande vivement.

Challenge : "Un mot, des titres" - Session 14

Le mot de cette quatorzième session était "Roi". Cette fois-ci j'avais l'embarras du choix, j'ai une étagère entière dédiée à des ouvrages concernant le Roi Arthur! Passionnée de Moyen-Âge, je me suis concentrée sur la légende arthurienne pour mon mémoire de Master. Parms tous mes livres "arthuriens", il y en avait un que je n'avais pas encore réellement lu. Je n'avais fait que le parcourir rapidement et en lire des extraits. Je m'y suis donc attelée.

Idylls of the King, Alfred Tennyson

Écrites en vers libres, 13 histoires se suivent dans cet ouvrage. Lord Tennyson les a composées en 1856-59 et en 1868-74. Il a repris les principales légendes arthuriennes et les a reformulées, parfois rajoutant et inventant lui-même quelques détails. J'ai lu l'ouvrage en langue originale, c'est à dire en anglais. Mais le texte est bien loin d'être parfaitement compréhensible même en ayant un très bon niveau en anglais. Le vocabulaire, les tournures de phrases, le vocabulaire et le fait que ce soit de la poésie rendent la lecture un peu difficile mais très stimulante. J'ai malgré tout pu finir le livre assez rapidement.

Parmi les histoires racontées se trouvent les aventures de Geraint et Enid, de Balin et Balan, de Merlin et Vivien, la quête du Saint Graal et la mort d'Arthur. L'Amour courtois y tient une grande place, nous sommes bien loin des premiers contes médiévaux montrant force de brutalité et de combats ensanglantés. Certes là aussi les chevaliers se battent, tuent et blessent, le sang coule, mais c'est dans une moindre mesure. C'est par et pour les femmes que les chevaliers partent à l'aventure. Arthur, lui, reste dans son château. C'est un souverain qui se doit de rester pour gouverner (à son grand désespoir lorsque tous ses chevaliers quittent la cour pour rechercher le Graal). C'est seulement dans l'idylle "la mort d'Arthur" que nous le voyons enfin en dehors de son château, sur un champ de bataille où il va trouver la mort - ou en tout cas être très gravement blessé. Il va être emporté et qui sait, peut-être reviendra-t-il un jour!

Il est difficile d'en raconter plus sans tout dire, sans citer le texte - mais alors quel morceau choisir? - je vais donc me contenter de vous recommander bien vivement cet ouvrage! C'est une oeuvre poétique agréable à lire, et si vous aimez la chevalerie, l'Amour courtois et le roi Arthur, alors faites-vous plaisir!