Up and autumn:* 5 things 7.11.2016

1. My kids don't always appreciate autumn cooking, but I do. Also very much appreciated? Meal planning. Which is tragically housewifely, yes, but it actually makes the whole monster feeding ordeal easier and far less boring. Especially when I get smart, as I did last week. First I bought a big butternut. Then I roasted it all in one go with rosemary and thyme. Then I turned half of it into an amazing pasta sauce with toasted cashews, cumin, paprika, feta cheese and a little sour cream, served with grana padano. The other half became these pancakes; served with a little bacon, because bacon, and followed with grapes, but apples would be even better. The kids didn't think much of the pasta sauce (they are idiots) but loved the pancakes. Win! 

2. Besides genius cooking moves, this weekend I managed to have a lie-in AND a long run AND do all the cleaning AND take tutorial photos (but see below) and basically this was a very successful weekend. I have an idea that some people might think a good weekend should include, like, going out and doing stuff and seeing people? But those people are wrong. 

3. Even better: we made it through the entire weekend without the kids fighting even once. They had little moments, but it never tipped over. Two days without screaming and rage may not sound like much but honestly, right now, even one day is good. And yes, I do find this appalling, but there it is.

4. Those darn tutorial photos are driving me crazy. I've always waited for days with decent light – which don't always coincide with kid-free time. This weekend, however, I couldn't wait and had to see if I could get something sorted even in rainy gloom. Which I did, and they came out really well. But I found my actual technique as photographed wasn't quite right, it made the tutorial a bit more confusing than it needed to be, so I had to reshoot. The second batch of photos came out less well – a bit dark in key places. So I took MORE photos, using lighter needles and adjusting the setup again. But this lot came out even worse (poor focus, weird angle) and I had to just stop before I threw the whole lot out the window. I am very impatiently waiting for my lightcase to arrive. I really hope it does the job…   

5. From the "it never rains but it pours" files: last week I got a job (not as big a deal as it sounds, it's a low-key, boring, work-from-home thing but it is at least regular income that doesn't require extra childcare), and was offered more freelance work. Both great to have but I'm not sure where the time will come from… 

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* Cheesy pun courtesy of a completely irresistible Instagram hashtag.