Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Secret to a *Really* Clean House NO ONE TOLD ME!!!!!!!!!

I used to think I was a clean and tidy person. Then I had children, and… not so much. I struggled to keep up with the basics of dishes and laundry, let alone the deep cleaning that I knew needed to be done. New checklists and routines only worked for a few days, till this weekend! Now I have truly discovered the secret to getting a deep cleaned home, that is guaranteed to stick!! And I’m here to share it with you! Scroll down to discover this AMAZING secret for yourself!!!!!









The secret to a really clean home is… CATCH A DISEASE!!!!! (Or bug, virus, parasite, etc)
Yes, it really IS that simple!

Here’s how it works:
(Certain names and details may have been change to protect involved parties.)

  1. Discover you have said disease/bug/etc in your home.
  2. Call doctor and obtain necessary medication; meanwhile, send hubby to the store for antibacterial spray and wipes.
  3. Wash your hands, and scrub counters/sinks/obvious germ culprits.
  4. Go online to WebMD and read about the life span, life cycle, egg laying, and propagation of said infection.
  5. Immediately take shower, bathe children, wash all sheets, towels, and your entire wardrobe, just in case you touched it trying to decide what to wear that morning.
  6. Dust whole house and vacuum the floors.
  7. Chat with your neighbour and swap medical horror stories.
  8. Return home to wash down all your walls, steam clean all the floors, and bleach the bathroom, all of it, top to bottom.
  9. Take another shower.
  10. Fight children into another bath.
  11. Google natural organic remedies you may not have considered, in case the medicine doesn’t work, and implement as needed.
  12. Call the doctor regarding his preferred anti-anxiety medications.
  13. Sit down and enjoy your CLEAN, GERM-FREE home!!!!
  14. Recheck WebMD, in case there was anything you missed. Reread about the spread of said disease, & remember that you have to go outside tomorrow.
  15. Repeat.

CONGRATULATIONS!!! It’s THAT easy! From now on, you have a spotless, REALLY clean home (and certified paranoia)!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Family Staycation Days 5 & 6

Well here I am, writing the last post in this little series of adventures. What a great week its been with our family! Yesterday (Day 5) has no pictures to show. We found out yesterday morning that we had a chance to catch up with some dear friends, so we spent the day tidying, shopping, and cooking for that sweet reunion! A lovely time for all, but not something quite bloggy!

Today, however, we made up for it. Like, a lot.

Let me put it to you this way: Do you remember that list we were working through, courtesy Wanderlust Chloe? There were six desserts to try. And if you've kept close track of our progress so far, we've had... two. So while the original plan for today had two stops, it turned into four. Four massive desserts in one day! My blood is now syrup.

First on our list: Yolkin. Yes, its a weird name. The founder made macarons regularly, which uses egg  whites, and realised she could make ice cream with the remaining yolks. Throw the two together and you have a macaron ice cream sandwich! You can't see from the picture, but they are massive! As big as my fist! We shared a honeycomb flavoured sandwich, and weren't disappointed!

Then on to Milk Train Cafe, specialising the the Ice Cream Cloud! Soft serve ice cream, covered in any combination of sauces and toppings, surrounded by a cloud of cotton candy, or candy floss, as the Brits call it! If this isn't Instagram worthy, I don't know what is!

Our little Fishy was a bit hesitant to try it, but warmed up pretty quickly!

Then since those two were such successes, we decided to head back to Chinatown to Bubblewrap Waffle to brave that queue. It still looked pretty long, but we were already sugared up, the sun was starting to peek out, and the girls were in top form! We ended up waiting about 45 minutes to get our tasty treat!

***BTW- I need to give a shout out to the hubs! Halfway into our wait, little Fishy declared she had to go potty (she's been potty trained for a week now). With no bathrooms at any of the teeny shops nearby, I stayed in the queue and sent the hubby down a couple streets to look for a place with a toilet. First attempted cafe disappointed, so he rushed over a couple more blocks to McDonalds, where the signs pointed him to the bathroom... three flights downstairs. So he picked up our double stroller with both girls in it and CARRIED it down, rushing into the bathroom and getting her to a toilet before she burst! A kind hearted stranger took pity on him as he began lifting it for the trek back up the steps. But I'm seriously impressed with his daddy-ness!

And... all our efforts produced this beauty! A bubble waffle cone with dark chocolate gelato, whipped cream, strawberries, and nutella drizzle! Pretty good, if Mila's reaction is anything to judge by!

Seriously buzzed at this point, we headed back through the West End to catch a bus back up to Holloway, our own stomping grounds. We had said if we could, we'd head to our final stop on the list, and with Little Fish calling from her stroller "mo keek" (more treats), what were we to do?

So, we hit Miki's Paradise just 10 minutes away from our house for one of their famous freakshakes! The freakshake revolution isn't new, but we'd yet to try one. I think the idea was a hit! A milkshake, with extra ice cream, whipped cream, a cookie/brownie/cake, pretzels, caramel drizzle... and whatever else they could fit on top! Fishy's eyes lit up as it arrived at our table, and we had to fight to get a sip of it for ourselves!

She's actually pretty good at sharing, and her daddy loved sharing sips with her!

Finally, on the edge of a sugar coma, we stopped at the Hub's favourite cheap chinese shop just down from Miki's, as there was no way I'd have the wherewithal to actually cook supper, and headed home. Everyone was happy, everyone was on a sugar high, everyone had fun. Even our tiny Squidge!

Chloe Gunning, you're my new favourite person for providing the inspiration for this week! When you said "6 London Desserts You Have to Try",  I'm not sure you meant to try them all in one week, but we loved it! I just may be cursing your name when my daughter is detoxing tomorrow!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Family Staycation Day 4

Well, we took a day off. At least from big events. I'm posting midday even, because we have no plans to go anywhere this evening. The girls slept in (thank you very much!), and are down for a late nap (thanks again!)

We popped out this morning for a gift for a friend and I snapped a quick pic of our nice shopping centre at The Angel. If you ever feel like looking at a map of London, look for Angel, Islington. It's just a 15 min walk from our place!

Got a relaxed cup of coffee with some of my favourite people!

And then some chill time with the Squidge, who is getting more and more expressive all the time! (She's 10 weeks old now!)

I'm loving this week with my family! I'll keep you posted where we head next!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Family Staycation Day 3

Well, day three is in the books! We started the morning heading to our favourite out-of-town spot, Trent Park. The hubs scoped out the park on Google maps before we even moved, knowing I'd need some breathing space from the city every so often. It's a massive park with tons of walking trails, a tree adventure course, and lots of space to have a picnic! The bluebells were in season, the clouds scattering the sky and littering the hills with shadows. Just lovely!

We've had some people ask how we get around with both girls- so here's how: our stroller (called a pushchair) stacks the seats. You can see Fishy sitting in the top seat, and Squidgy is in a carrier that lays down below. But once Squidgy gets older and wants to sit, that seat folds up to be a normal sitting position, and the top seat reconnects down by the back wheels so they sit one above another. It's pretty clever actually. If you want to look it up, the brand is called Phil & Teds. Ours is an older model, but you can get the feeling for it!

Then after popping home for a quick nap time, we headed out again for the city, Soho, to be exact.  Continuing on Wanderlust Chloe's recommended list, we first headed to Bubblewrap Waffle in Chinatown!

Facebook said it had a long queue, and sadly, we found it too long for our impatient family. What you see here was just under a two hour wait! Considering Bubblewrap also had a sign posting they were out of two of their three ice cream fillers, we decided to put it off for another day and head to another on the list!

So on to Cutter & Squidge (so aptly named for our crew!) to try one of their famous Biskies-- a sandwich of two cake/cookie pieces filled with a special cream filling! We picked Smore and Pistachio Rosebery and neither disappointed! (Hubby preferred the Smore, while I liked the Pistachio.)

Fishy wasn't too fussy!

A potty training accident left this little girl shoeless on this chilly evening, but it didn't get her down too badly!

Oh, and in case anyone is interested, we sat for a while with Ralph Fiennes standing on the other side of the grass for a while. Still can't get over this city living thing!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Family Stacation Day 2

Woo hoo! Staycation is officially in full swing! London goes in swings weather wise, so we got out to enjoy the sunshine while it's here.

The first stop was our favourite greasy burger joint-- the kind of place where everything comes in styrofoam boxes and you don't ask too​ many questions, but get a sloppy burger dripping with garlic sauce that only costs £3.90. Its pretty goid, especially when it sits on a main street right next to a posh burger joint where a simple meal costs £15!

Takeaway burgers and chips (fries) in hand, we made our way down to Regents Canal, where we walked the towpath, watching the narrowboats and dodging cyclists.

Our destination: a doughnutterie in Shoredirch. Recently, my mom sent me an article highlighting 6 London Desserts You Have to Try, and since I have a pretty serious sweet tooth, and hadn't tried any of the treats on the list, we decided to make it a crazy week and see how many we can get to.

So we headed to Dum Dum Doughnuts, for a sample of their famous cronuts- a baked blend between a croissant and a doughnut. I chose a Zebra-- a mix of chocolate and vanilla pastry filled with chocolate creme and topped with ganache, while the hubs picked Salted Caramel & Lotus (Biscoff), and Fishy nabbed a White Chocolate filled mini doughnut. It was denser than I expected but a yummy treat! And don't worry about the calories- the walk the was about four miles, so I think we balanced out!

Stay tuned for where we are headed next! More deliciousness is on the way!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Family Staycation Day 1

Dads in England get two weeks paternity leave upon the birth of each child. Because of timing and visits from our parents, the hubby didn't take all his leave right when baby #2 arrived, so he is taking this week for some rest and family time. We girls are so excited!

Day 1 was just a rest day. Both daughters managed to have a great night sleep, and not wake up till 8:30, so Mummy and Daddy enjoyed a bit of a 'lie in.' A pot of coffee, sugary breakfast treats, and family play time meant a 'pyjamas till lunch' kind of day.

Fishy also started a new bedtime routine, including story time with Daddy, and she is now reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time. We'll see how her attention span holds out!

A nice quiet family day was just what we needed to start off this family week. From here on out, we've got things to do!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

No Place Like Home

It's funny. We are now three and a half years into this London adventure and we absolutely love it here- love England, love our friends, our home, our habits. We started our family here (and it's about to grow again!) We have no idea how long we'll stay, but so glad to call it home today.

And yet, there's something about going back. Back to familiar places and faces. Places where your memories are shared with others you love. Places you were before.

We were able to go back to the US in November, and squeeze in time with each of our families. The time was too fleeting, but precious, especially now, as it's shared with our daughter. I've included a few of my favourite shots from the trip, but I hope you appreciate my restraint. I cut it down to 20 pics from about 200. It wasn't easy.

Grandma Prelock shared raspberries straight from the bush!

And Fishy got to meet kitties for the first time. She loved it. The kitties... not so much.

Fishy got to meet her cousin, and great grandpas!

Dancing with Papa

And LOTS of wrestling with Grandpa Walton!

And we got to meet this little bundle of laughs!

And then there's this guy... who always keeps me laughing.

The view from Grandma and Grandpa Walton's house-- such an amazing place to wake up to!

Love these two cuties!

Missing all these happy smiles already!