Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baking Bread

I recently checked out the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" from my local library.  It promises only five minutes of hands-on prep time in order to make fresh bread. I had to try.

Here's my first loaf. It was good... we ate it all in less than 24 hours.  I made the master recipe, also called Boule, and forced myself to follow the instructions exactly.

The crust was nice and chewy, the inside fluffy and perfect. This loaf is on the smaller side which is perfect for us since it's enough for one day.

Here's the dough, ready to rise.

Here's my second loaf. Mmmm....

I'm thinking of working my was through this book (hello birthday gift, hint hint Marc ;)

Anyone interested in joining me?

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cake Balls and Oreo Balls

I can't take any credit for these recipes, but I will link to them so you can make your own. How about I tempt you with a few pictures?

I made dessert for a dinner party I attended last weekend. I made chocolate cake balls and Oreo balls. Mmmm... They must have been good since the girls asked for the recipes.

For the cake balls recipe, click here.  I used Devil's Food Cake, chocolate icing and chocolate melts for the coating. I decorated with a drizzle of white chocolate. As suggested in the reviews, I waited until my cake was cool to mix in frosting and refrigerated the mixture before making the balls.

The ones everyone pounced on were the Oreo balls, recipe found here.  I dipped these in white chocolate melts, with a drizzle of dark chocolate.

They were easy to make but are a little time consuming since they required several steps, including time to firm up in the refrigerator.  I learnt the balls should be cold, not frozen, as your chocolate coating could crack.  Also, you need chocolate melting wafers for dipping. I tried to make my last two cake balls with chocolate chips since I ran out of wafers but they didn't harden properly. I had to eat those, darn :)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baptism Dress

Since I started blogging, I have been meaning to to share one of my all-time favorite sewing projects, Lola's baptism dress.

It was one of my first real sewing projects. Luckily, I was able to rope my mom into helping me. Thanks mom!

Dress in progress
 I didn't have a pattern, just a concept. Boy, my mom loved that. She is an excellent and meticulous seamstress who picks a project, finds a pattern, buys the fabric and supplies and then works on it until it is done. She doesn't even have a fabric stash! (Gasp!) None! Me? Let's not go there.

Anyways, we discussed what I wanted, I showed her some drawings and we went from there.  She did find a pattern, of course, which we used for the bodice of the dress. I based the skirt on a picture from Brown Paper Packages.  I was planning on making a long single layer bubble skirt until I saw this picture. Gorgeous.

After much planning, we cut into my wedding shawl to make Lola's dress.  We centred the bodice over the beaded designs on the ends of my shawl. My mom did all of the measuring an cutting, I sewed it together.

Isn't she cute?  Here's a picture of Lola and me after her big day.  We were both exhausted by the end of the party.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Word of the day: UFO

I started knitting a vest for Lola a long time ago. An embarrassingly long time ago. I remember knitting it on holidays... last summer. Poor thing has been languishing in my UFO pile ever since.

UFO: (knitting acronym) Unfinished Object. A project that has been abandoned, left unfinished.

I pulled it out last week and decided it was about time I finished it. Luckily, last summer I had decided to make a bigger size, which now fits her perfectly.

 Some days she's so hard to photograph. She just doesn't stop moving!

Pattern: Boheme by Allegra Wermuth
Yarn: Berroco Comfort DK
Raveled here

Have a great weekend everyone! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Grey Flower Power Skirt for Lola

Here's my first entry in the Crafthours skirt week contest.  I made Lola a double layer grey skirt using three coordinating prints.  I didn't follow a pattern but based it on her measurements plus a bit of room to grow.  It's still a little big but I hope it will fit her well by the fall, as it would be really cute with boots.

For now, it's all about running in the grass, climbing, sliding and enjoying the sunshine.

Yay for summer!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Organizing Kids' Clothes

I have come to realize there are two big parts of who I am which conflict with one another. On one hand, I love order and being the one to organize. I can also be quite particular when it comes to my organisation systems.  I love to colour code and find better ways to keep everything in order.  I believe it's the Virgo in me.

On the other hand, I'm also a pack rat. I hate to get rid of anything for a number of reasons (or excuses).  It could come in handy one day, it's still good, I may read it, use it or repurpose it... eventually.  For the past few weeks, I have been decluttering, with much difficulty.  I keep trying but end up moving things more than clearing them out.  And we have way too much stuff!

As I continue to make a small dent in my spring decluttering, I thought I'd share how I keep my kids' clothes well organized in their dressers.  I read about this method online about a year ago and I had to try it.  The trick is not to stack clothes but to fold them in such a way you can "stand" them up in your drawers. Anyone else do this?
Charlie's shirts, long sleeve on the left, short sleeve on the right.

Pants and shorts

Lola's pants and tights
I love it! It's very easy to maintain, I can actually see everything at once and the pile doesn't collapse every time I got into a drawer. About once a month, I refold and reorganize items that need it. I timed myself this morning. It took me three minutes for Charlie's clothes, five for Lola's.  It's also a great way for me to check if they've outgrown anything, which goes directly into a box in their closet. Now, if only the rest of my house was as easy!
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Finally some sewing time

It felt like ages since I had pulled out my sewing machine.  I am challenging myself to make a few items for my shop, using vintage fabrics of course.  I made two receiving blankets, one in pink and green, the other in yellow and orange.

I completed each blanket with two rows of top stitching.

One of my biggest obstacles when sewing is combining fabrics.  It takes me forever to choose what prints I want to pair up as I second guess each decision. Luckily, I usually love the combination once I'm done.  I hope it will get easier and quicker with practice.

More pictures and information in the shop.

Now, back to decluttering!
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


On Sunday morning, Marc and I met up with some friends and took the kids to Touch-a-Truck, an event where children get to explore all sorts of big trucks and vehicles.  Charlie's favorites included the fire truck, the Zamboni and the crane. Lola was also interested in the trucks, but I think she had more fun jumping in the puddles. Did I mention it was raining? Did you see that family, who's kids weren't well dressed? Poor things must have been cold.  Ahem... that was us.

Patiently waiting their turn.

Maman, I want to be a fireman!

Look at the size of that tire!
Some hugs.
I want to drive a Zamboni.

OK, we're wet now... time to go!

Thanks for reading!