Monthly Archives: January 2016

Snowy Road

The path ahead… 2016.

January 10, 2016
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And so 2016 – it’s the New Year and for us a very important one. It will be a year of decisions about our future and what’s best for our little family.

It’s funny I would never have ever considered living in Germany – it was only chance that the right job came up for S and it seemed like an opportunity for us to experience something new. We had thought that me getting a good job here was going to be easier but senior roles are few and far between and many require fluent German. That said, I am so much more confident with my German now and only have about another 2 months of school before I should be just speaking it as much as possible. Hopefully this is all a positive step to finding that job.

Meanwhile, I still believe that our location in the world is fantastic. Even on a rainy day I know that soon the winds will push the clouds away and the pure blue mountain sky will be seen once more. The air feels good. The views are beautiful. The people wonderful (mostly). We are happy.

I still remain concerned at the few opportunities women have to keep careers and raise a family, but that for Isabella is a long time away and perhaps there will be positive change by then. What’s important though is that the same sense of community that exists here in our little village remains.

B’s now riding her bike with us, taking proper swimming lessons and continuing her dancing at the local Trachtenverein. She has music lessons at kindergarten and I am teaching her to read and write, the later of which she is already progressing well. She starts her skiing lessons in a couple of weeks’ time too. It’s amazing to watch my baby grow up into a beautiful young girl, and most definitely one with opinions! Her English buddies will all start school this year so it will be interesting to see how different approaches to education manifest should we stay here. For now, I am not worried about the “play’ approach here as it seems to be developing B’s physical skills more when she’s naturally more of a thinker so I think it balances well.

Princess Cake

Ta da… the Princess Cake! B is 4!

January 10, 2016
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Two days, burnt cakes, hands stuck together with marshmallow…

but I did it.

Thank you internet for the help. (

I first made the marshmallow towers. This was sticky. I used 2 child beakers and a tupperware as moulds. I melted the marshamallow and added the Rice Krispies my parents had brought from UK for me. It was the stickiest, gooiest thing ever and I thought I was going to end up stuck to the towers too. I left these to set overnight. I got onto thinking about stacking the cakes and that I didn’t have any dowels… googling skewers suggested not using them so I found some good wooden chopsticks instead. Hurrah.

I remembered I hadn’t bought ice cream cones so went searching for them – in December! – None in the supermarket.  I remembered a great ice cream outlet nearby and explained to them I wanted to buy some empty cones – they gave them to me for free!

IMG_3341I rolled them in royal icing and dipped them in hundreds and thousands – then left them to set overnight.

I baked my two chocolate cakes – actually I burnt them! And so back to the shop for more eggs and I baked them again. This time they were good.

The next morning I made up some chocolate buttercream for the centres. I sliced the cakes into two (whoops – a bit wonkily) – I was at this point thinking this most definitely will be a cake wreck. I added the butter cream and left the cakes while I started on the base.

Of course I was using a bigger base then the instructions and so I didn’t have enough green. I used jam on the board to stick the fondant – and of course it went everywhere. Okay – this isn’t going to be a perfect cake. I was feeling a bit disheartened. I carried on. I cut a path and filled it with the hundreds and thousands. Next I needed to cover the cakes in fondant. I was very worried.

I rolled the light pink fondant and actually didn’t do too bad a job at cake covering and so I also covered the next cake. I cut the chopsticks down by sawing them to the size I then placed the cakes on the base.

I rolled the darker pink fondant into strips and  used a cookie cutter to cut out the squares for the turrets and the armaments. These were tricky to attach to the cake. I used water only to attach pieces together so lots of holding and repositioning until it was dry/stuck.  I used some lilac fondant to make the  windows and made some brown fondant for the doors.  I also made some flowers and stems from pink/purple and green fondants to decorate although I didn’t do too much as I knew I had the playmobil as decorations. When I was happy with it I arranged the playmobil bits (shrubs, fountain, princesses, etc.

Actually it wasn’t a wreck – it actually looked okay – and the next morning when B saw the cake she was amazed! She loved it. Success. Now I have a year to think of a 5 cake!


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