Sunday, 29 December 2013

sweet little nothings

Halfway through the festive season and I take stock of all the extra kilos I think I have put on...I might say I wonder where they have come from, abut really - really- I need to be honest and face the facts: we have completely indulged and over indulged so far (I stopped counting how many boxes of chocolates we have already been through). Never mind, I guess that's what it's all about, no?
Amongst many lovely lunches and dinners, I have made Tom Kerridge's spiced orange cake and the man of the house has made us a yummy borsch in an attempt to restore the balance.
Even baby tried lots of new food, and she now loves mango and cauliflower cheese. Cute!

I hope the end of 2013 has treated you all well.

 *** Best wishes to you for those last few hours it has to offer ***
(I'm off to eat)

Thursday, 19 December 2013

holiday treats

'Tis the season to be jolly...fa la la la la...You know the rest. Today on the BBC website I read an article about the stress of Christmas and how lots of us aren't able to cope with the high-running emotions. I have to say, I get their point. So much expectations to have fun - must remember to have a good time no matter what, etc. Well, I attended the customary end of year meal/party at work, and have to confess, that no, I did not have a great time. There- I said it! Did anybody else get bored this year? (Gosh, I hope I'm not turning into a bitter old woman already)

Now, onto actual real fun things: check out the lovely stash of fabric my colleague gave me! All vintage, some good, some bad, but all definitely mine now. Of course, I had to try and hide it from the Man, who now has a near heart attack/fit every time he spots new fabric in the house...but nay, the Man outwitted me this time, and put on his worst face when the other night he said to me with his angry-and-I-mean-it-voice: "what's all this?" Oops...
Hence the puddinis, which were a success, as they are every year. It was like a factory on Sunday night at home. I was trying to decorate the puddinis and watch the Sewing Bee Christmas special at once. I missed at least half the episode as a result, but I have to admit that I agree with what was said on the programme - homemade presents are not for everybody.
Puddinis, however, are homemade and guaranteed to please even the most reticent and anti-Christmas person you know. Nigella, I don't care what you do when you're not being a domestic goddess, your recipes rock!

Monday, 2 December 2013

indulging season

When the wind is cold, when you need a wooly scarf to go out, when you look forward to being home and snuggling up on the sofa under your quilts, when you long for a cup of tea to warm your hands with, when only a lamb stew will do for dinner, when it's December and night comes in the middle of the afternoon...that's when you need to start indulging without worrying too much about extra calories!

So, in the past few days, my indulging has looked liked this, and guess what, I'm not even feeling slightly guilty about it. I hope you are all doing the same wherever you are. Life really is too short.

Happy December, one and all

Thursday, 21 November 2013

advent with a twist

Before you can say "Christmas is approaching fast again this year" it seems nearly the whole of November has passed me by!

However, if I was to list this month's accomplishments it would look like this:

* finished my next baby quilt ♥♥♥
* finished sewing a batch of lavender cushions I started last summer (the shame of it)
* had the in-laws over for a week-end
* managed to keep sane
* also managed to order our annual beloved advent calendars from Germany (they do them so much nicer!) for a small fortune
* assembled advent boxes for loved very point today

I decided it would be so nice to show a few family members how much I think about them everyday, even though 1) we are far apart and 2) I don't really have a lot of spare time to get in touch as regularly as when I was off work.

 So I made them advent boxes - a small surprise everyday for 24 days, to let them know they are still in my heart. Some boxes have already arrived with instructions not to open them yet, some are on their way.
I really wish I could have personalised them a little bit more to suit their recipient's tastes, but in the end hope they will be appreciated no matter what.
If you feel inspired to do the same for your loved ones, it's not too late, and needn't cost a fortune - I went to Boots, Woolworth, and the local supermarket to get my goodies. The time-consuming thing is to wrap it all...24 times 4 loved ones, well, that's a lot of wrapping!
 Do you like the idea? I will wait for their feedback, but I am already thinking of ideas for next year...the possibilities seem endless.

Friday, 8 November 2013

back to work!

Just when you start getting used to being home, enjoying frothy coffees with the neighbour, making a lovely lemon poppy seed cake, and finally putting your house in creeps up on you again! Not fun. But hey, without the sour, you can't get the sweet, right?
So back to work it is- the morning race to get everyone ready and out of the door by 7:30, realising you forgot your mobile behind (and your snacks for break), running around like a mad woman in your only tiny  40 minutes free time period in the day, wolfing lunch so you can get tomorrow's work done as well as the afternoon's photocopies, mark a few more essays/books, finish the day.
Or so you thought...the other day starts now, you know, the real one- pick Baby up, unload everything at home, have a quick cuddle, catch up with the previous day's dishes in the kitchen sink, read emails, organise dinner, sterilise bottles (what a pain!), play and get baby ready for sleep, cook what passes off as dinner, do a batch of laundry, watch 45 minutes of TV and start falling asleep from the day's exhaustion, make a camomile, and go to sleep.
Start again and times by five every week. Tonight I am just shattered from the first week back, BUT I have done a bit of housework already and therefore will have less to do this weekend. And a take-away is on its way...yummy!
And, no, you guessed it, the bias did not make it all the way to the quilt...yet! But isn't that bias looking beautiful?☺

Saturday, 2 November 2013

catching up on sewing

Guess what? I have finally found enough time and motivation (an extremely rare combination of factors these days) to get on with a bit more sewing. And - keep still - not only have I finally finished hand-quilting my next Baby quilt, but I have also made the bias from scratch...woo hoo!
Now there is much hope and anticipation as to whether I can actually put the two together and proudly say I have finished a sewing project during my holidays. Will she, won't she? Stay tuned and find out very soon, she says, crossing all her fingers and toes at the same time!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Country Living Fair

On Wednesday I decided to treat myself to a day out after I found out about the Country Living Fair was about to begin. It was a bit like the Marie-Claire Idées event in Paris last year (here and here) but with a lot more "finished" products and a lot less material available. Nonetheless, it was a great day out.
There is a clear growing trend for kits this year again: make-your-own lip balms / quilts / wreaths, etc.
Of course, there's always a great moment of guilt at leaving Baby behind when you're on holiday too, but I think it did me a lot of good to steal those few hours of freedom.
I also attended a couple of talks - the Christmas entertaining by Leiths cookery school was very good and you got a chance to take the recipes home with you AND sample their gorgeous festive snacks...a domestic godess' dream!
Here are some of my favourite inspirational bits for the festive season.

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