30 June, 2014


Sebastian Grey//  found him fast asleep under his bed this afternoon.
Katharina McCallum//  we've started looking for ideas for her birthday already and her favourite theme so far is butterflies.
Philippa Byrde// taking a break to snuggle with her Papa at the zoo.

Be sure to click over to Kristin and Ashlee this week as well.

27 June, 2014


I may have burst out in a Rebecca Black-inspired dance this morning at breakfast. It feels really rewarding to have made it to Friday of this week. Peter jumped into work head-first and while it's been rewarding and a great learning experience, it's been an intense 70+ hour week after two weeks of holiday.

Peter learned that the Edinburgh office is casual, so his newly-tailored suits are hanging in the closet for London next month. The office is a stone's haggis throw away which allowed him to come home for lunch today, and I got a hair cut!

He's working with great people, loves the project he was assigned, and has some neat potential  opportunities ahead of him.  Every night he comes home and everything about where we are and what he's doing is confirmed.

Our family routine has changed slightly, where Peter's mornings begin at 6, I wake between 7:30 and 8, and get the littles up around 9. Dinner is now around 7:30, or whenever Peter finishes work. My mom taught me ages ago-- your husband is king of the castle. We don't eat without the king (within reason. Sometimes he gives us the go ahead).

It's taken a bit of adjusting, but thankfully the expectations had been set long before this job started. We're all just so thankful when his homecoming does come around [insert deep sighs and peppermint foot rubs].

We're looking forward to a date-night-in tonight with Chinese take-out and a family trip to the zoo tomorrow (we get to take a double-decker bus. I mean!).

The little ones are all doing well and we're thankful for how adaptable they are. Katharina has exclaimed that she loves this [simple, basic, two-bedroomed, Scottish-carpeted, fourth floor] new home so much she wishes we could stay here "for-ever" (said with the back of her hand to her forehead, head thrown back, foot popped).

In a lot of ways she is drama I never knew existed.

We've been enjoying watching them each undergo different changes as they continue to develop into unique individuals. We're currently practicing living righteously, selflessly, and learning what it means to live as peacemakers that run this ship as a team.

This week we were graced with a table-top performance of "Let it Go", and a near-perfect twin-recitation of Psalm 1.

They're changing in all ways and sizes, and are each only a pound or two more than the other.  They demand a lot of interaction with their ceaseless questions (do you have nipples too?) and clever ideas (said with a crayon in his mouth, "it's a ciga-rat."), and helpfulness ("we must be righteous, guys.").

They remain our little darlings and our pride and joy, and we could never have things another way.

Life is full and absolutely rewarding. We're striving to make every minute intentional and purposeful, and feeling really blessed to have been given all of this.

I'll be back after the weekend. Happy Friday!

25 June, 2014


Our original plan last Sunday had been to spend the entire day at the zoo, but when one of Peter's co-workers from last summer texted him to see if we were up for a barbecue in their garden, we delayed the zoo trip.

And it's strawberry season! We brought along Peter's requested dessert-- strawberry shortcake. While this recipe is nothing fancy, it is forgiving, which I appreciated because I don't have a kitchen scale here and as I mentioned before, I forgot to bring along measuring cups when we moved. I eyeballed all the measurements and thankfully it turned out just fine.

This recipe isn't gluten-free, so we were sure to bring along a stash of these for the littles.

Strawberry Shortcake via Joy of Baking

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour (I used organic, unbleached)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (76 grams) cold, unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) cream or milk

Preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC. 

In large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in cold butter using pastry blender or your fingers. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.

Whisk together egg, cream, and vanilla and add to flour mixture, mixing just until dough comes together. Do not over mix.

Transfer to lightly floured surface and knead several times. At this point you can either pat the dough into a 7-inch round circle to make individual scones or, like I did, transfer to a parchment-lined cake pan.

For scones: cut out rounds using cookie cutter (about 3"), and place on lined cookie sheet. Brush tops with cream and bake for 15-17 minutes.

For cake: transfer dough to lined cake pan, shape to level,  and bake for 20-25 minutes.

When cooled, serve with sliced strawberries, ice cream, and homemade whipped cream.

23 June, 2014


Sebastian Grey//  the best seat in the house.
Katharina McCallum//  said at lunch this week, "Uh, is this cheese gluten free?"
Philippa Byrde//  hates vacuums so much she even has bad dreams about them.

As always, linking up with Kristin and Ashlee.


This Monday feels particularly good, which is strange for a Monday.  My little ones are all still snoozing, Peter is at the office, and the sky is heavy with the promise of rain this afternoon.  I think I'm mostly just thankful for life-- specifically the one I've been given, and the gift to be able to stay home and raise our children day after day.

We finished off our weekend at a picnic with nearly all of the families with babies and young children from the church we're attending here.  We met so many great people and tiny babes (ruh-roh!), and shared delicious food and conversation hours past nap time. It was a great day.

Here's a chocolatey, buttery shortbread recipe to kick off the week. And it only has four ingredients.

So, happy Monday, everyone! It's a good day to be happy.

We made these shortbread biscuits last week, and I can't wait to make them again.  The original recipe doesn't call for chocolate chips, but I was in the mood, so we tossed in a cup.  Cranberries would also be great.

These are a good treat to carry along to playgroup or church, where my little ones nearly always look for a snack but they can't always have what is available.

I was on the hunt for a basic recipe as I forgot all measuring cups and spoons when we moved. This one did the trick, and eyeballing measurements worked just fine for us-- a pinch here, handful there. . . turns out constant baking pays off.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Biscuits via All Recipes

100g cornflour (I expect arrowroot would work as well)
160g white rice flour
8 tablespoons icing sugar or caster sugar
175g unsalted pastured butter, softened
optional: chocolate chips, dried cranberries

Sift flours and sugar together in large bowl. 

Add butter and mix with hands until soft dough forms.  Dough should be slightly wet, but if it seems too wet, add a bit more of either flour.

Roll dough into log, wrap in parchment paper or cling film and refrigerate for about an hour.

Once dough is chilled, preheat oven to 150ºC. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper. Slice log into 1/4" pieces. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

21 June, 2014


Monday was all sorts of wonderful. We started out amazed that we were all out of the house dressed, hair combed, and shoes on every foot, before 11.  I realise it sounds totally feasible-- I have friends eating morning snacks at the park at 9am. My sister drives to a park for a morning walk at 8:30. But we are not that family.

We all sleep in at any chance we get and that means if there's no church, no playgroup, no work, you better believe we sleep until 10. One day last week we got the kids up at 11:15. (I cannot complain).

We walked towards Tolcross Road at the beautiful hour of 10:37 a.m., past the firehouse and perhaps my favourite health food store (bulk grains, gluten-free, raw honey, local produce-- they have it all!), to a playground we discovered last week in The Meadows.

After over an hour of play we walked through the green space to have a morning snack on a bench, which only encouraged our appetites. We walked up Middle Meadow Walk to Forrest Street, popped into a booming charity shop (purchased the perrfect dress), and made our way to Oink on Victoria Street.

We appreciated the simplicity of Oink-- no side dishes and only a table or two, but deelicious pulled pork sandwiches made from a roasted hog lying right in the window.

If you can't get a seat at one of their tables (which proves tricky as the place is hopping-- they are only open as long as the day's hog lasts), carry your foil-wrapped rolls down the hill to bustling Grassmarket where there are loads of benches.

We wrapped up the day with naps for the littles, chicken alfredo, and later, an episode of Planet Earth before bedtime. It was the perfect way to finish out this long holiday. Next up: employment! Ha.

19 June, 2014


1. Barclay Viewforth Church of Scotland  2. top-floor apartment life is fun.

17 June, 2014


If you see a paediatrician, they may tell you raw, local honey is more effective at improving sleep quality than drugstore syrups while suffering from a cough.

This weekend Sebastian was hit with a cough, and I immediately broke out in a run for the heath food store. After giving him a dose of the original cough syrup, I minced several cloves of organic garlic to infuse the syrup, as a precaution as he had been running a low-grade fever before the cough (we believe garlic is nature's best antibiotic-- read more here, here).

This stuff worked so fast, I'll always infuse our cough syrup from here on out.

(We also religiously used Peppermint and RC for respiratory system support, Purification to purify and help cleanse his system, and Thieves for immune support).

Garlic Infused Cough Syrup via  Mommypotamus

3/4 cup honey (be sure you don't use the generic stuff in the store. Buckwheat is best if you can find it)
1/4 cup organic, extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons organic lemon juice
3 cloves organic garlic, minced

Chop garlic and place in clean dish or jar, cover with honey and allow to infuse for about 8 hours.  

After 8 hours, pour olive oil, and lemon juice over garlic and honey mixture. Stir to combine.

Strain out garlic using a mesh sieve or cheesecloth. 

Store in a jar on the counter for duration of sickness, or in the fridge for about 1 month.

16 June, 2014


Sebastian Grey//  knows the make of just about every car on the street.  His favourites are still the bimmers and Porsches.
Katharina McCallum//  we found her reciting Psalms 1 + 23 over Philippa, who was in bed trying to fall asleep.
Philippa Byrde//  chose her own shoes today. And our new favourite word she says: bicycle. Or May I be excuuuuse?

Be sure to check out Ashlee's portraits here and Kristin's here.

10 June, 2014

10 ON 10 || JUNE

I can't hardly believe we're into June! 10 on 10 is one of my favourite projects this year, if I can just remember to keep my camera within arm's reach all day.

Be sure to take a peek at Holly's 10 on 10 this month as well.

1. breakfast stuck to her face, bed-head, morning light  2. a construction site outside our new living room window = the best thing he didn't think to ask for  3. some of a feverish boy's best friends.  4. we all have loved having him home everyday this week.  5. a mid-morning snack of frozen green peas  6. little window-watchers  7. post-nap sink bath  8. real snuggles, fake sleeps  9. sometimes even dirty, jagged-nailed, little boy hands need cleaned up  10. city life

09 June, 2014


Sebastian Grey// has become fascinated with canons recently and asks to walk up to Edinburgh Castle every day.
Katharina McCallum// out to eat at Mamma's Pizzeria.
Philippa Byrde// painted her face with poo in her bed today.

Linking up with Ashlee and Kristin, as always.

07 June, 2014


We returned to the National Museum of Scotland this week, but this time Peter was able to come along and again, none of us were let down. This place really is spectacular. 

This time we found the little ones were all too big for the Imagine Room and were happiest exploring the actual museum. Sebastian's favourite part was driving an F1 car, Katharina liked the giraffe in the Wildlife Room and riding the escalator, and Philippa's favourite was the snowshoe hare (or, "bunny! a bunny!").

We ate our packed lunches on a bench on the ground floor and said next time we'll try to arrive earlier  in the morning to give even more time to explore. This museum is extraordinary-- two (ten?) thumbs up from our family!

You can see our trip to the NMS last year here.