love is in the air

October 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

I am forever behind on my posts

but I’m just going to jump in and update when I can!

We recently attended our good friends, Megan and James’s wedding. It was an absolutely wonderful weekend. The wedding was held in Lake Tahoe, which is only about 4 hours drive from us and is gorgeous. It was my first time visiting and I fell in love. I can’t wait to go back again in the snow!

The wedding itself was delightful. I’m not a huge “wedding” person and this is actually only the second wedding (not counting my own) that I’ve managed to attend. The laid back atmosphere and simple sophistication of the whole event was perfect. Also, they had very generously lined up babysitters for the evenings and so we even managed to wrangle a few kid free hours. Matt put together a version of a photobooth for them to capture pictures of all their guests.


It was also a certain little boy’s third birthday (I have no idea how it is possible that he’s three already) while we were there, so we managed to squeeze in a couple of special things just for him. A gondola ride up the mountain with a birds-eye view (or superman view) over the lake and a PERSONAL mini-train experience, thanks to a family friend of Megan’s. He’s still talking about it so I’m fairly sure it was a hit.

I just want to end this post wishing Megan and James all the best in their married life together. They are amazing people, both separately and together. I could not be more confident in their ability to live life to the fullest, with love and commitment.

Heart you guys.

 

Lavender Lemonade

August 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

A leftover project from the weekend.

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Avery and I had picked the lavender for this delicious treat on Sunday but we didn’t have the time to put it all together, so today, just before nap, we got stuck in. The recipe came from our facebook / pinterest group The Unmendables (which I adore! Feel free to join in!!). Of course, as usual, I deviated pretty heavily from the suggested everything.

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Firstly I have to say that this is devine! And an amazingly fun activity to do with an inquisitive 3 year old. As far as the changes I made: I used 10 lemons and almost 1/2 a cup of lavender flowers. I would actually use more lavender next time as, although the flavor is there, it’s pretty subtle and I’d like a bit more of a floral kick. I also boiled the water, lavender and sugar on the stove for about 15 minutes. I felt like the colour really deepened in this time and the solution became nice and syrupy and fragrant. I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t pour off a little bottle of lavender syrup at this point. Silly Kate. I’m also really sad that I didn’t believe that the colour change would be such a pretty one. I had Avery stirring for me to see it but I didn’t pull Matt and Oliver over or record it (I had the thought in the back of my mind but for some reason thought…nahhhh). It was amazing! The liquid goes from a dusky purple to an almost neon pink, in heavy, lemony clouds, as you add the juice. I’m considering doing another smaller batch just to catch this change. Avery and I were smitten with it.

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Oh, also, one other thing we did that I didn’t see in the recipe, we strained out the lavender flowers. I guess, maybe the results would be more flavorful if we’d left them in and I wouldn’t be complaining about it not being lavender-y enough but there’s no way I’m going to get my kid to drink lemonade with floating flowers in it. Nor my husband either, for that matter. Anyway, after we’d boiled the mix for a while, I strained them out before adding the lemon juice.

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We let the mixture cool, Avery & Oliver took their afternoon nap and then we poured ourselves a long, icy glass of pink, floral lemonade. It was delightful! I think some of us could go for it a bit sweeter but I love the tang of a sour lemonade so I’ll leave the other parties to add their extra sugar should they so desire.

Make this. It tastes nice.

<disclaimer: I did not feel stoned after drinking this. I did however feel the need to lie on the floor for about 30 minutes but I think that’s mostly to do with the two tiny boys following me around and demanding hugs/tickles/piggybacks/etc>

Endless Summer

January 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

We took a vacation to Kauai, Hawaii.

Here are just a few of the photos from the trip. It was great to get away for a few days and attempt to relax. Not too easy with a baby and a toddler, but the change of scenery was enough to keep us happy.

simple and perfect strawberry jam

June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

something sweet on your toast

So, since moving out to California, we have been taking full advantage of the local farmers markets and I’ve been busy devouring organic strawberries at every possible opportunity. I have also been thinking about how, in less than 3 months, our lives are going to get turned upside-down once again and the luxury of spending a day pottering around the kitchen will become a thing of fantasy (for a while at least). So, I decided to set to work squishing some strawberries into delicious jam that I can smother on whatever I feel like, whilst balancing new baby and toddling Avery. Phew.

I haven’t made jam since I was about 12, in a kitchen with my mother and grandmother, and then I was mostly just eating fruit. I certainly can’t remember that recipe so I dug thorough a few on the internet and decided that I would combine a few to come up with my own.

Here is the result:

Strawberry Jam

4lbs of strawberries cut into halves or quarters

1/2lb of small whole strawberries (I just picked out the smallest in my box and set them aside)

4 cups of sugar

(simple, no?)

Start out by popping a small plate into the freezer. You’ll use this later to test the readiness of your jam.

You might want to enlist some help prepping all your strawberries, but be selective with your helpers, mine mostly wanted to eat my stash!

Place the 4lbs of cut strawberries into a large pan or stockpot over a low to medium heat. Add in about 1/4 cup of the sugar and cook until the sugar has disolved and the strawberries start to get sticky and juicy. Stirring with a wooden spoon.

Turn up the heat to medium high and add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time. Keep stirring between each addition of the sugar, making sure that it is all well disolved before adding the next cup. This should take around 10 minutes total, but make sure to keep up with the stirring, you don’t want anything to stick and burn!

Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Boil for 15 mins. At this point, all the recipes I read tell you to skim off the foam that forms on the surface with a metal spoon. I did this a tiny bit, and then decided I wanted to keep the foam in there (!) so I just went with it.

Add the remaining 1/2 lb of whole smaller strawberries. I like to add these in so you get a few soft but still whole-ish berries in the final jam. This is probably one of my favorite things about strawberry jam, but if it’s not yours then, I guess this part is optional?

Boil for another 15mins.The jam should be thickening up nicely.

Take the plate from the freezer and place a small spoonful of the jam on the plate. Pop it back in the freezer until the jam has cooled. The jam is ready when the cooled sample wrinkles slightly when pushed with your finger.

When the jam is done, remove from the heat and place in prepared jars. Seal, label and you’re all done!

This made 6 nice full jars, of which, a week later, we have already eaten one. Avery loves it on his toast in the mornings…and then he licks it all off, and spits the wholewheat toast out….my baby.

First Summer dress of the season.

March 25, 2008 § 5 Comments

little blue dress

This was a play around version. The top stitching on it is rather embarrassing! But it helped me sort out some quirks with the pattern that I’ve changed. The next time I plan to make it out of a much thinner fabric (this time I used a heavy cotton duck, a Cath Kidston print, Blue Daisy I think). A cute little summer play dress however. Fun, fun, fun!

little blue dress

Yay!

Want!

March 14, 2008 § Leave a comment

Summer is rapidly approaching and my friend Loorin has turned her attention to more revealing online browsing. “oh no!” she exclaimed over IM….”oh no!” and then a link. To this.

Panda Bikini

She knew what she was doing. I had no response other than “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” but $88. Sheesh.

“for the whole thing tho..” She reasons.

“I would need to starve myself to stop my cheeks from overflowing around panda’s face. ” I rationalize.

“erm”….another link. To this.

Panda Shorts

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I NEED THOSE SHORTS! Whiiiiiiiine!”

“I am sorry. I should not have showed you..”

She was right. Now I want!

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