A Weekend in Kraków

A few months back (before we knew I was pregnant) my parents very kindly booked us a long weekend to Kraków as a wedding gift. We’ve never been away without Daisy before and she doesn’t actually sleep out that often either, so I was a little nervous about leaving her.

I knew she’d be completely fine with her grandparents and to be honest, it was probably me I was more worried about! Add to that pregnancy hormones and her asking “you coming home Mammy?” via FaceTime on Friday night, I’ll admit I did shed a little tear. All the Mama guilt! Fast forward to Sunday and she can’t wait to ‘press the red button’ a.k.a hang up on us. Ahhh the honesty of children eh?!

The city itself is full of beautiful structures with incredible detail, perfectly preserved. Many of the streets host colourful houses, complete with wrought iron balconies and ornate wooden doors. St Mary’s Basilica, Wawel Castle and St Florian’s Gate are all perfect examples of how well preserved the area is and well worth a visit.We booked a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau on the Sunday, which included transport from our hotel and a full English speaking tour. I’ve seen and read a lot about it before and studied WW2, but you honestly can’t fully understand the atrocities until you’ve been there. I genuinely think everyone should visit. For want of a better word, it’s very tastefully done. The horror speaks for itself when you hear the stories from the tour guide and see the conditions people were living in. It’s harrowing and completely consuming; we spent much of the evening reading more about it online.

We found a fabulous place to watch the Six Nations Final on Saturday afternoon, called The Polski Pub, which serves amazing woodfired pizzas and freshly brewed steins of beer; of which Jon had his fair share! There are so many lovely places to eat and drink, with many restaurants on the main square having ‘outdoor’ seating; covered over tables and chairs with heaters and blankets; very cosy.During the weekend it snowed on and off and temperatures dropped to -8’C during the day. Although incredibly cold, it did make for some pretty scenery and extra coziness when indoors.I’d highly recommend Kraków to anyone looking for a city break. We’d love to go back someday as there’s still so much we didn’t see or do. The people are friendly, it’s easy to get around and unbelievably cheap. We stayed at Leone Aparthotel, a beautiful building just ten minutes from the main square, which offers a lovely breakfast and packed lunches at an extra charge.

If you’ve been to Kraków, before I’d love to know what you thought.

Emma x

Making Welsh Cakes

Growing up in Wales, I used to have Welsh cakes on a regular basis. Both my grandmothers would cook them without a recipe, just knowing exactly how much of what went into the mixing bowl. I spent a lot of time with my Nana Mary as a child, while my parents were working. She’s always been your stereotypical nan; knitted you a scarf every winter, managed to make huge family meals in a teeny tiny kitchen and gave the best cwtches (hugs) around.Sadly, my nan developed dementia a few years ago which progressed quickly following a number of falls; shes been in hospital now for over three years. She barely speaks, doesn’t recognise any of us and is a shadow of her former self. It really is such a cruel illness.A few years ago, before she became unwell but started slowing down and cooking less, my nan gave me her bakestone. This was the very bakestone she had made every Welsh cake on and my father even remembers it from his own childhood.I’ll admit, it sat in a kitchen cupboard for a long time, embarrassingly forgotten about. I pulled it out a few months back and made some Welsh cakes with Daisy. It brought back so many memories of helping my nan make them when I was a child and I hope Daisy enjoys it just as much in years to come. A lot of love is ingrained in that bakestone and it now sits on our countertop, ready to be used whenever the moment strikes.If you fancy giving Welsh cakes a go (and you’re not a Welsh grandmother who could make them with your eyes closed) here’s the recipe.

Recipe

  • 225g plain flour
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g butter
  • 40g sultanas
  • 1 beaten egg
  • splash of milk
  1. Measure out and combine flour, sugar, mixed spice and baking powder.
  2. Add the butter and using your hands, mix until it resembles damp sand.
  3. Add sultanas and egg, mixing until you have a dough (add a splash of milk if too dry).
  4. Roll dough out on a floured surface until about 1cm thick and cut out with a fluted cutter.
  5. Heat your bakestone or frying pan with a little butter and brown your Welsh cakes on both sides (around 3 mins per side on medium heat).
  6. Try not to burn your mouth after not being able to resist a bite!

These can be served warm or cold and will keep in an airtight container for a few days (not that they ever last that long!).

Emma x

Daisy’s Room Plans

We had a plan to decorate Daisy’s bedroom for her before the baby comes along – as a bit of a present to her and hopefully an incentive to keep her in there a bit more at night! It hasn’t ever been decorated specifically for her, it was painted gray as a spare room and when we moved her into it (as it was bigger than her old room) we just kept the gray walls.img_8275.jpgThe room doesn’t get a lot of light, so I definitely want to make it lighter and warmer in there. Whilst looking at bedding the other day, I made the mistake of asking Daisy what colour she wanted in her ‘new big girl room’, to which she replied… “Purple!” Hmm… This however quickly changed to “Yellow!” and now I’m pretty sure she’s following my decor habits in that I get bored quickly, and want to change things up on a regular basis. So, I’m going to stick to what I normally do, keeping the basics quite neutral and then add some colour with accessories, which we can change out anytime.

We’re going to be getting a new bed eventually and I knew a while back I wanted one of the IKEA day beds that extend to a double if needed. This one is on the shopping list, the floor is a lovely wood effect vinyl and we have a fluffy cream/white rug in there too, which will probably stay, as well as the giant tissue paper flower I bagged from an M&S window display!Her IKEA kitchen is in her room now to make more room in the playroom (you can see the updates for that here) and the only other furniture will possibly be a chest of drawers. There’s a little nook area for a wardrobe that doesn’t work too well as it’s a bit too deep, so I’ll be kitting that out with rails and shelves to make the most of the space.

I’ve already got some gorgeous curtains that are sort of a watercolour print in purples, pinks and peach, and the dreamy storage stool below from my January Favourites. I’m still undecided on wallpaper/wall decals/paint effects etc, but really fancy some sort of feature wall. I’d like some quirky wall prints too and LOVE these ones on Etsy, which are downloadable too, so you just print them yourself.img_2527-1.jpgLet me know your go to shops for children’s decor or any feature wall ideas you used for your little ones. Pregnancy has me undecided about everything, so I need all the help guys!

Emma x

Pregnancy Update – 18 Weeks

So last week started off much better; aches and pains were to a minimum, no nausea and more energy… hello second trimester, we finally meet again! I’m starting to feel those little flutters far more (as long as I’m sitting still or lying down) and no wonder; baby is the size of a croissant this week apparently. Sidenote: I LOVE the Ovia Pregnancy app! Anything that tells me the size of our baby in reference to Parisian bakery treats, is a winner for me.Unfortunately, our house quickly took a turn into germ city half way through the week and Daisy came down with a really nasty cough and cold. This quickly led to Jon being unwell too, although (touch wood) I’m germ free at the moment. I had the flu jab a couple of weeks back, so hoping that keeps me feeling good whilst the lurgy hangs around.

Spending the back end of the week and weekend with a 3 years old on my chest and lap for most of the time however, hasn’t helped those fading aches and pains. I pulled my stomach muscles badly through the night too, sitting up to get Daisy a drink or more medicine. Fingers crossed she’s through the worst of it now, and we can all get a good night’s sleep in the next few days.I had a good clear out of my wardrobe too and packed away things that aren’t going to fit me for a while now; goodbye high waisted jeans! I’ve ordered some pregnancy jeans and have one or two other ‘maternity’ bits, but for the most part I’m trying to only buy regular clothes that will see me through the next few months and can still be worn afterwards. I’m just looking forward to warmer weather for all the floaty dresses and flip flops. Ultimate comfort!

Emma  x

Five Things Making Me Happy This Week

I’ve seen so many posts and articles lately about happiness (probably because it’s been January and the twinkly Christmas feels are gone for another year). It got me thinking about how the normal day to day stuff gets lost in a bigger picture sometimes. It’s easy to say “oh I’ve had a terrible day” when something went really wrong, but you may be forgetting the good morning cuddles from your little one, the delicious meal you had for dinner or even finding a new TV show that you know you’re going to love.

Granted, everyone gets those days where it seems like EVERYTHING has gone wrong, so that’s why I think it’s important to focus on the little things that made you smile amongst the chaos of a crappy day. So I’m going to start listing some things that made me smile. Maybe not every week, but every now and then, I’ll note down a few things that ordinarily may be easily forgotten

Daisy’s Speech

A year ago when Daisy had her health visitor check up, we were told that by her age, they expected her to able to say around fifty words; we couldn’t even think of twenty. While it was never a worry as she fully understood what we were saying and could carry out instructions, it was a huge cause of frustration to both us and her. A year on and we literally can’t shut her up! Lately, it’s like having a mini person giving me a running commentary on the entire day and the questions… oh the questions; “Is this your pillow mam?”, “You like Peppa? I like Peppa.” “Do you wear your boots to jump in puddles?” “We have cheesy pasta for tea? You like cheesy pasta? I’m going to use a spoon and have my Minnie bowl.” She’s come so far and it’s unbelievable to think how little she said less than a year ago.

Signs of Spring

Whilst the weather may still  be bitterly cold with spatters of sleet and snow, there are little signs of warmer weather cropping up. Don’t get me wrong, I rolled my eyes when I saw the Easter eggs immediately replace the Christmas aisle in Tesco, but I’ll let it slide seeing as Mini Eggs are back on the menu. I picked up a bunch of daffodils whilst shopping and just today tried the M&S Kentish Apple Hot Cross Buns; if you’re a fan of HCB’s then get your butt down to M&S now. Deeelicious!

No Nausea

If you’ve read my last pregnancy update, you’ll know that I saw the return of some pretty bad nausea recently. Well, this week I haven’t had any at all (fingers crossed it’s gone for the foreseeable) and have managed to eat whatever I want, without feeling like I’m still eating it four hours later!

New Pillows and Duvet

You know when you use the same thing over and over and when you finally upgrade it, you wonder what on earth you were doing with your life before? Yeah, that. We had some new pillows and a duvet that I put on the bed yesterday and now, I’m fairly sure we’re sleeping on a cloud. Acceptable to send your child to bed at 5pm? I’ll be popping a little bedroom reveal up in the next few weeks.

Planning a Nursery

When I was pregnant with Daisy I was so excited to decorate her little room and this time is no different. We knew we were having a girl with Daisy but we’re having a surprise this time so a more neutral room is on the cards. I’ve started looking around for some inspiration and can’t wait to get started. You can have a look at my ideas by clicking here.