Friday, 28 September 2012

A girl can dream...

living room

Rope-Edge Fireplace Mantel / MADE GOODS Bois Mirror / Orson 3 Seater Sofa in biscuit beige |, $970 / OKA Small Lara Ottoman, Velvet & Oak Frame, $885 / Barclay Butera Del Mar Accent Pillow / Italian Wool & Alpaca Knit Throw - Charcoal / MAISON DE VACANCES Cowhair Love Pillow / IKEA Hemnes / Andrew Martin Lumberjack Wallpaper, $115 / Zig Zag Rug, $105 / Create-a-Gallery Studio 7-Piece Frame Set Black / Stark Bronzed Iron Log Basket, $68 / Cushion cover 50x50 - from H&M, $16 / 'home is where the heart is' Mug, $15 / Sure Fit(TM/MC) 'Eastwood' 1-Piece Stretch Wingback Chair Slipcover -...

It's been a while! I'm insanely busy right now with uni - I'm loving it but it is pretty all consuming. This afternoon, my brain melted a bit and I stopped studying to have a play around with how I would like our living room to look. As you do. My insanely talented Mum has not only just recovered an amazing pouffe (how DO you spell that?!) for us in green velvet, but has just picked up a wingback chair for us that she is going to re-cover. For £30! Amazing. So ignore most of the costs of these items because if I could find a way to not pay that, I totally would. Mind you, I am in love with the sofa.

All it would need is a lick of paint. And a new sofa {which is needed} and then a whoooole bunch of other stuff. That's realistic, right? Ah, it's a Friday afternoon - no need for realistic right now. Still, that room mock up is still looking pretty good right now..

Happy happy Friday. Hopefully I'll find some time to blog this weekend. Today has been the first time in a while I've felt inspired creatively. Let's see if it sticks around for a while!


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Home Sweet Home

I had seen a gorgeous piece of hand made map art on the lovely blog Nat the Fat Rat {find the room here - can you spot it in the living room?}. Feeling inspired I knew I wanted to recreate something for the large space above the cabinet in our living room. Given that we live in a rather traditional flat however, I felt like it might be a nice idea to merge my love of all things design-y with at least a little bit of antiquity {Sandy's favourite}.

For just a couple of quid, I picked up a reproduction 1800s map of our little pocket of Edinburgh. They are super easy to find on Ebay so I'm already planning which places to do next. What's a girl to do with a brand new looking map? Clearly stain it with teabags. The mark of a primary teacher {or primary student??}. Cheap, easy and effective, my map was soon looking a little more authentic.

The stencils I had picked up cheap at hobby craft thinking the map was going to be on the small side. I probably would've preferred the writing to be a bit bigger but to be honest by that point I was already heading down the crafty rabbit hole and there was no way I was waiting a whole other week to get started. Clearly patience is a virtue that I need to be working on! Again, I could've used paint but the speed demon in me meant I opted for sharpie markers instead {oh what you can do with a sharpie} though being sure to stay within the lines meant it took maybe 20 minutes.

Popped into an IKEA frame, I love the result! It looks perfectly at home in the living room, filling what seemed like an impossibly large space. Plus, I love the mix of "antique" map and the more modern typography. And yes, that is a jar of cardboard moustache straws on there. I find they make weekday dinners oh so much more classy...

What do you think?


Monday, 3 September 2012

Eat: Steak and Ale Pie

I was set on relaxing this weekend {which is surely a bit of an oxymoron...} after the intense first couple of weeks on my PGDE. The course is brilliant but seriously time and energy consuming - as I knew it would - meaning personal time seems to be have been side stepped in favour of textbooks, subject knowledge and lots and lots of reading. So this weekend, there was some me time, wine, a long long run and nowsome proper cooking. The kind that involves a little investment {though not too much} rather than a mad dash midweek supper that you just want on the table. Proper sunday food.

Pie and mash. Specifically, steak and ale pie and mash. Lovely.

I followed this recipe from Jamie {love him} though I have to say I adjusted it a bit. First, I definitely didn't whack it in the oven for over 2 hours. I'd missed that bit when I first skimmed the recipe {though it should've been kind of obvious}. I imagine you'd end up with meat that literally falls apart as you eat it which would be perfect, but sticking it to simmer on the hob for an hour or so instead didn't do it any harm. I also skipped on the rosemary and celery though categorically not the cheese. Adding cheese to anything is a winner in my book, so the thought of a steak pie with cheese AND mash? I've died.

I did try to mainly leave it alone when it was simmering, stirring just once or twice. That said, the smell of it cooking was diving and it just drifted round the flat. It definitely took all of my willpower not to keep tasting and faffing with it.

We have a friend staying with us too {Gok, it's your moment in the spotlight} so I made sure to make a rather hearty serving for 3 and it was delicious. The recipe says 4-6 and it was about the right amount but that depends on whether you like your portions manly man sized or normal human sized. It was perfect for a sunday evening, popular with ladies and men alike. Maybe not your light summer food {and yesterday was one of those rare, light summer days} though delicious none the less. I'm embracing Autumn already.

Next on my list is apple cake. My mum used to bake one all the time when we were younger and for some reason it's been stuck in my mind this week. And some more reading.


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