Blogger’s Block

22 Oct

I don’t what has changed, but I don’t seem to be inspired to blog, lately.  Expat life in the UK is becoming more routine, less shocking.  That’s a good thing, I’m sure, but not so very interesting as a blog topic.  “Day was normal – again.”  Whooo-hoooo.  

I’ve also been doing things that haven’t made it to the blog, like preparing to participate in my first mud run.  But those hours at the gym and outside running don’t really fit with my crumpet persona.  A mud crumpet?  Sounds potentially salacious.  And no one is sitting still for me to take a weird macro shot of a muddy trail run — even if I could bring my camera along.  Though I do admit, I’m seeing a whole new side of Camelot in muddy rivers, grassy hills, and forested runs.  Mudders in Camelot?

All the wonderful day trips we took this summer feel a bit sad to look over, right now, as the sky slides into darkness and I look at my calendar, empty of travel plans but full of day-to-day routines.  And I am legitimately distracted by creating the yearly birthday books for my kids — 12 months of photos, all in one book, chronicling their birthday year.  Do you know how many photos that is to go through for each child?  Over twenty thousand, spanning our move from the US to England, and each a small emotional bomb as I see how much each child has changed in these short months.

So that’s it.  I’m blogging today more to keep the spirit alive than anything else.  Why don’t I share one quick recipe, just for the sake of it — some comfort snacking I made the other day, using leftover store-bought naan:

  • Take prepared naan and slice into finger-sized portions, place in large bowl
  • lightly drizzle olive oil or rapeseed oil over the bread (about 2 tablespoons)
  • sprinkle bread with spice rub (cumin, cardamom, paprika, garlic, cayenne, pepper, salt) and toss in bowl to coat
  • arrange bread in single layer on large baking sheet and bake in 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until edges start to look golden

Serve with: one cup greek yogurt mixed with juice of half a lemon or lime, tablespoon minced garlic, dash each of dill, turmeric, and cumin.

I made this because I was envious of the kids’ snack bags of crisps — which they immediately abandoned as soon as this came out of the oven.  Next time, I’ll make a bigger batch, and skip the store-bought crisps entirely.


13 Responses to “Blogger’s Block”

  1. aubreyepp October 22, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    My girls LOVE to go through old photos, but it is emotionally exhausting for me. I love the idea of a birthday books! (That way they could look and I could duck-and-cover from those emotional bombs!) Approximately how much time is involved per book per child?

    • Monique October 22, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      It takes me about 20 work-hours per book, including sifting through all the photos, uploading them, then designing/editing the book itself. Since I couldn’t possibly sit and do a book in one go, tho, it ends up taking about 2 weeks per book. I use shutterfly, which works well for me, but there are lots of other services out there. It is really sweet to see them ‘reading’ their birthday books over and over, or picking out one particular photo and remembering the events around it.

      • Carla October 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

        I did a couple photo books for the grandparents earlier in the year. I want to do them yearly-ish from now on… but it’s so much work. I need to put together Feb-Oct for 1-2 more books. What are you using to design your books? I’ve been using Shutterfly’s online tool, but it’s sloooooow. I’m thinking of trying out iPhoto’s built-in tool for the next one… you know, if I ever have time.
        (Btw… Winter is quickly catching up to the cats in sheer number of photos…)

      • Monique October 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

        😉 The ratio of kid photos to any other kind definitely changes with parenthood. I find Shutterfly works nice and fast for me, and I’ve been using it so long it goes (relatively) quickly. Someone has recommended MyPublisher to me, though, and the kids’ stateside school used TreeRing and Blurb. Too … many … choices …

  2. Jody October 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    You may have just inspired me to go through my own tens-of-thousands of family photos. I do keep saying I’ll get to it. & Yum! Sounds like a perfect snack!

    • Monique October 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

      Make the snack, then work on the albums! 😉

  3. Zazzy October 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Your birthday books are a wonderful idea – do you do them every year? What a treasure they are going to be!

    • Monique October 25, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      I do something every year, not always birthday books (but those are the favorites). Summer family memories, party books, once an alphabet book (since I never finished the baby books!). I’m going to have a hard time letting the kids take theirs away with them when they grow up. 😉

  4. Selena October 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Sounds like you are busy living a full and fun life. Just give the blog a little break and eventually it will come back to you. I love your blog and would miss it if you took too long of a break!! Hurry back!!


    • Monique October 25, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      Hi Selena! I’ve been too madly jealous of all your fab London-y adventures to comment on your blog recently — lol! But I love seeing how you’re diving in and swimming in your new UK life.

  5. stitch this October 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Great idea re birthday book. I used blurb to make a family recipe book ( if you’re interested) last year and loved the software. Might have a look at shutter fly tho. I’ve just come across your blog after you kindly mentioned our yarnbomb…I’d love to hear more. Sometimes mundane things conceal very interesting issues (I’d like to think!!!)

    • Monique October 25, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Oh, what fun (and how satisfying!) to make your own family recipe book! Has it held up well (the construction, I mean) over the past year? One of my shutterfly books fell apart (after being loved overmuch) but the rest have held up very well.

      Finding the interesting in the mundane is a hobby of mine … 😉


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