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7 posts from November 2012

26 November 2012

Things I Am Loving: Studio Mela


As it’s Cyber Monday and I’m awesomely well-organised (haha! :- Ed), I’m sitting at my desk gently shopping for Christmas presents for the Minx.


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Since she is now almost eight years old (how the heck did THAT happen?) I ‘m trying to get her a few more things which will still be very much loved and appreciated, but don’t fit into the ‘plastic tat made in China’ genre of presents.


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First up are these gorgeous prints from Studio Mela. I love how artist Shelli Dorfe’s charming illustrations are ridiculously cute, colourful and inspirational enough for any small girl, but never quite make it across the borderline into twee.


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Just the thing for the discerning girlchild in your life.


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Here is the Studio Mela Etsy shop, which is offering free shipping this Cyber Monday.


22 November 2012

Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse


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I’m in a bit of a tizzy at present as tomorrow I’ve been designated as the Thanksgiving turkey provider  - we’re doing a neighbourhood Thanksgiving party crawl, with a different course at a different house.

Obviously and surreptitiously I will be doing my best to make the feast as much like a British Christmas dinner as  I can and will be sneaking bread sauce, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts and honey roast parsnips into the more traditional proceedings. 

I’m not on dessert duty, but if you are, here’s a very unseasonal but quick, easy and spectacularly delicious recipe for chocolate mousse, in case you’re looking for a suitably decadent dessert that you can whip up in double quick time. The best thing is that it only takes four simple ingredients.

This recipe was part of the fabulous Food + Foto course I did last month, which was an extremely fun and delicious way of working on your food photography.  I’m hoping they won’t mind me sharing this recipe.


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(Serves 4)

1 cup (180g)  bittersweet chocolate chips (the Minx said she would have preferred this made with a less dark chocolate, but she wolfed it down anyway)

3 tablespoons honey

1½ cups (375ml) whipping cream (for mousse)

½ cup (125 ml)  whipping cream (optional - to whip for topping)

sea salt to decorate


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Stir 1/2 cup (125 ml) of cream, the chocolate and the honey in heavy medium saucepan set over a pan of simmering water until the chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.

Cool, stirring occasionally.

In large bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold cream into the chocolate mixture in 2 additions. Divide mousse among four serving dishes of your choice. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

If desired, whip the additional ½ cup of whipping cream to firm peaks. Decorate the chilled mousse with a coarse salt (not sel gris).

We loved this served with seasonal fruits.


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For those of you who are celebrating tomorrow, have a wonderful, not too stressful time.  You lovely blog readers and friends are one of the many things I am grateful for this Turkey Day.


20 November 2012

People I Am Loving: Lotta Jansdotter


There are some big changes happening round here, of which more anon, and I’m desperately trying to get myself more organised.  My office (in a corner of our bedroom) has been a disaster area for a very long time now, and I’ve promised myself I’ll get it sorted by the end of the year.

I’ve been finding these pics of Lotta Jansdotter’s NYC atelier very inspirational. If you look closely there are so many little organisational tips and tricks in each one.




I love the hanging clipboards in this picture.

And as someone who can NEVER find scissors when she needs them, this picture below is dribblingly gorgeous.







Lotta has been a busy bunny recently.

Last month she launched a beautiful line of dishes and linens at NYC’s Fish’s Eddy, also available online.


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And she’s just announced a range of beautiful fabric calendars, in all my favourite colours.  I may have to order one of each.


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So I’m sort of back. My back is definitely getting better – getting the inflammation down with heat, ice, and Advil is helping; together with chiropractic, stretching out the hip joint, some gentle yoga and not sitting at my desk too much.

Thanks for all your tips and messages!


14 November 2012

Leaf Apple Pie


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My back is still killing me, so trying not to spend too much time at the computer. I’ve now tried Rolfing, chiropractic and acupuncture without a whole load of success. If anyone has got any good ideas on how to treat lower back pain then I’d love to hear from you – especially about practitioners in the Seattle area.

In the meantime I made a Bramley apple and raisin pie, and had a little play while making the crust.


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I got a set of four different leaf shaped stamps/cutters at Williams-Sonoma a couple of years back, which I use all the time. Unfortunately they don’t have the same set for sale at the moment, but do have fall cutter sets that include at least one leaf.  And you could always make a pie covered in overlapping turkeys.


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09 November 2012

WTF Friday : John Derian


John Derian found and lovingly restored a dilapidated 1850s building in New York City’s East Village and in doing so thrilled me to my very soul.




Hey you guys, that’s not dirt in my house it’s a ‘patina’!

And now I can make a fortune selling ‘Pay Dirt’  - our own particular house-generated brand of dust and grey cat hair to New York City loft dwellers.

I have to admit though, that his house is GORGEOUS.





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Full  before and after slideshow here.

My back is much better today! It’s amazing what lack of chronic pain does to my mood.


08 November 2012



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Sorry for lack of recent bloggery.

I’ve aggravated an old lower back injury and sitting at my computer has been painful, so I’m trying to limit desk time for the moment. 

A combination of chiropractic, Rolfing, rest and light yoga seems to be helping though, so I’m hoping to get back to business on Monday.

Miss you guys!


05 November 2012

The United Colors of Autumn


There’s no denying that Seattle know how to change seasons BEAUTIFULLY.


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