Friday, 31 May 2013

simple lunch

Today I think my simple lunch looks a bit like the kind of tray you might get on an airplane! This weekend I want to make something seasonal...maybe asparagus or broad beans something. I think I might head over to Jamie Oliver for green inspiration, he always has great ideas.

Monday, 27 May 2013

darling peonies

No other flower makes me happier than peonies! As it was Mother's Day yesterday in France, my husband treated me to a bunch of flamboyant pink ones. Baby Lavender also loves watching them...a tradition may have started!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

lemon poppy seed

Well, I guess there is no better excuse than being a young breastfeeding mother to allow for this to have happened this weekend...guilty as charged!

This cake is my quick go-to recipe for a moist lemony cake. As with a lot of my baking, it could not be easier. I posted the recipe here last year.It is delicious served with a mix of blueberries and raspberries.

The biscuits are even easier to make. I guess they're a bit like shortbreads, but in french they're "sabl├ęs", and here's how to make them- I hope you give them a go!

* With your hand (trust me, it's the easiest way to do it!), mix together 250g of flour, 150g of caster sugar, 150g of softened butter, one whole egg and a pinch of salt.
*Add the flavour you want - grated coconut / vanilla essence / lemon zest / poppy seeds / etc.
* Let your mix rest for a half hour or so.
* Spread it with a rolling pin and cut out the shapes you want. Bake in a warm oven until golden.

Monday, 20 May 2013

fabric baskets

The patchwork baskets are finally complete! This is such a nice easy projects for patchwork beginners, and the finished product is great for organising your work station / sewing corner / changing area. Ayumills' instructions are straight-forward and the picture tutorial is easy to follow. You can find it here, among so many others. I highly recommend her tutorials!

Note this post - contrary to appearances - is NOT sponsored by Pampers. However, if the lovely people at pampers want to send a me a couple of years' worth of nappies, I won't say no ;)
I already made this basket (in a much bigger format) a couple of years ago under the hot summer sun in Spain with my sewing partner in crime Atina Alga.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

comfort food

This weekend saw a bit of an extravagant food amount being consumed. Mr Lavender figured that, since we're pretty much home-bound 24/7 (and therefore not spending anything on restaurants anymore), we may as well splash out on luxury food on Saturdays and Sundays and treat ourselves to some yummy stuff from our local (and very pricey) butcher's shop and deli. Hence this feast last Saturday...

...T-bone steak bigger than my hand, gratin dauphinois with oodles of cream, and - why not - one of our vintage bottles of Margaux from what seems like a lifetime ago. The life!
Unfortunately it didn't stop there, as I'd decided earlier in the day to treat the man to some homemade muffins. Muffins are a sure way to get to a man's heart in just under an hour!

I always make my own chocolate chips with Poulain chocolate. I am not against read-made chips, but they lack the nostalgic taste that Poulain will always have for me.Plus, it's quite fun to have bigger bits every now and then in your muffin.

Monday, 13 May 2013

baby shoes

Baby booties are just the cutest. Nothing come anywhere near them in terms of cuteness factor in my opinion (well, my kitty flats are not far off!). Luckily the weather has been just cold enough to allow us to put some of those on. I love that four of those pairs were handmade too! I'm not sure I would have the patience to make such intricate little things. Hats off to those who do!

All our baby shoes were gifts from friends and family. The white mat come from the charity shop around the corner, but I was pleasantly surprised -once I got home and inspected it properly- to see that it originally came from The White Company. At £3.99, I think I got a definite bargain!

Friday, 10 May 2013

sewing problem solved

About two months ago, I hit a first big problem with my beloved Singer sewing machine - the dreaded tension went all funny on me. 
Then, of course, the small matter of giving birth and becoming a mum got in the way of my doing anything about the problem.
Once I got over the shock of that, my dad had a go at fixing said problem. Read about it here. Then, out of the was fixed! Not by a repairman, but by the flick of a dial....It turns out that my machine does not like its needle to be on its right position. It only wants to sew with the needle in the centre. Simple as that! No more funny tension.
Has anybody else experienced this kind of tantrum with their Singer?

Anyway, the good news is that I have been able to sew a bit in the last couple of days...well, during baby's naps, and when I am not busy cooking / cleaning / putting another washing on / drying my hair (the ultimate luxury!) / keeping 5 minutes just to myself.

It's been so good to sew again! I am making good progress with my sewing project, and hope to show the finished product in the next couple of days. In the meantime, here's an idea of what it's starting to look like.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

sleeping beauty

Another day, another cute baby snap I couldn't resist. Now, I know one is not supposed to let baby sleep on her tummy, but during a day nap I often allow it. She just seems so comfy, doesn't she?

 In other news, excellent sewing machine has ended its moody patch and we have at long last made up...yeah! More on that later. 

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