Monday 21 July 2014

Seeing Starfish

When I dug my cross stitch out of the back of the closet last week, I picked up my needle and thread and tried to work out just where I was from the somewhat complicated charts.  Little did I realise just how long it had been since I actually added a stitch to this design.  I've spent the past few days adding the starfish seen towards the top right.

Mostly due to curiosity, I sat down and trawled through my old blog to find out when I last worked on it and I was shocked to discover that I hadn't touched it in over three and a half years!  The last time I worked on it, I posted here.  Yes, the date was in November 2010....prior to this, I had added to the design in the previous July.  At this rate, I will be lucky to have it completed before the end of the decade!

I suppose it just goes to show that the last three years have been extremely busy and stressful and that the last thing on my mind was sitting down to do some sewing.  I'm extremely thankful to have some time to relax without feeling guilty.

Sunday 20 July 2014

A Perfect Day For A Picnic

Yesterday was a perfect day for a picnic.  Beautiful sunshine and far less humidity than of late.  I had made some preparations in advance and selected some of the recipes from the Teddy Bears' Picnic.

I made pinwheel sandwiches filled with ham, cheese and cornichons  and a day prior to our trip, I baked a tray of delicious chocolate brownies.  These taste absolutely amazing!

We didn't go by bicycle, but the food that I had prepared was delicious, though we didn't go to the trouble of unpacking the full picnic bag, choosing to dip in and nibble during our trip.

I can't recommend this book highly enough.  If you are a fan of picnics (and who isn't?), this book is for you.  Filled with delicious recipes conveniently laid out in themes, you can plan a walk in the woods or whatever takes your fancy.

Saturday 19 July 2014

In The Garden

Considering how late I planted my containers this year, they are doing rather well.  The colours would not have been my first choice, but by the time we returned from our trip in June, the garden centre had been well and truly picked over and the more pastel shades had gone.

One thing that I have learnt about gardening in containers is that if I want impact, I have to cram them full of plants.  This has the added advantage of leaving no room for weeds....with the speed at which weeds grow in our garden, this is a definite advantage.

I am really rather proud of my nasturtiums.  This is the first year that I've grown them and I started them from seed.  I put them in my herb pot, but they rather took over, so I moved all but one plant and just look how well it is doing!  I never cease to be amazed at the fact that such wonderful plants grow from tiny seeds.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Little French Kitchen

It has been an eventful week so far with a recent health scare which necessitated a trip to the Emergency Department, where I was kept on observation for 10 hours.  

Now that I'm home again, much to the relief of my back (why do they make hospital beds so uncomfortable?) I have time to reflect and to enjoy a cup of tea.

The French theme started with this journal which was purchased for 2014 and was then followed by this sweet little teapot set, purchased from a French inspired shop in Niagara-on-the-Lake during our recent visit to Ontario.

I have long wanted to learn French, so maybe this will be an inspiration and the start of something new.

Monday 7 July 2014

The Little Book of Lunch

Lunch is one meal in the day which is often a disappointment, especially when it is of necessity, the  packed lunch variety at work. When I heard about The Little Book of Lunch, I decided to buy a copy.   Here was the inspiration I craved. 

I have not been disappointed with the contents. I've enjoyed Avocado Salad (pictured above), which is a refreshing lunch and super quick to assemble at work. I would however recommend a large wrap for so substantial a filling.

One of my favourite sandwiches is the Harissa Chicken Sandwich - no photo as it never lasts that long!  A great way to make use of leftover chicken from our Sunday roast. 

A sweet treat is the recipe for Lemon Curd Cupcakes, which could only be improved by the use of homemade lemon curd.   These are  absolutely delicious! 

If you are looking for lunch inspiration, I would highly recommend this book.