Tuesday, 31 May 2011

bootie baby: take two.

the babes are abounding! last week a lovely's sister had her first wee-one! as a firm believer in babes having handmade items, i quickly cast on for a sweet weekend project!

as i mentioned in a previous post, i thought i'd try to make a different bootie pattern for each new babe this year and then decide on my favourite(s)!

this time i tried this pattern from the handknit librarian. i modified it slightly with a colour change (i ran out of the grey and le boy expertly suggested the navy!) and rather than continuing up the tube, kept on with the 1x1 rib for 6 or so rows...

they almost look like small athletic socks! and i absolutely adore the detailing around the ankle.

baby knitting is oh so satisfying - no more than a few hours total, and oh so sweet when it's finished up!

Thursday, 26 May 2011


as a thank you for hosting a wonderful bridal shower i wanted to give my sister and mom something handmade. being short on time i knew it had to be easy, and transportable. it also needed to be possible to make on my mother's old rickety sewing machine that i'm secretly hoping i can one day steal enjoy!

 it's a pain to work with, but man isn't it pretty?

on to the crafting:

i wanted to give them a copy of the hummingbird bakery cookbook. hummingbird is an american style bakery in london and most definitely takes the cake (pun intended) when it comes to baked goods. for sticky toffee or spotted dick (an actual dessert, i assure you) any kind of fruit crumble or anything that potentially tastes good with custard, the brits have it sewn up. however if we are talking cakes, cookies, squares or pie, the winners definitely reside on the other side of the pond! sometimes when one is a little homesick or wishes to take a great treat to a dinner party, the only reasonable answer is hummingbird cupcakes! what's even better is that the secrets have been released and the homebaker can also enjoy (no hummingbird is not compensating me for this endorsement, they're really just that good!).  i wanted to spread that love to a.b.barton and marvellous. a.b. is missing the hummingbird now that she's firmly ensconced back in TO, and well marvellous, she's retired now so surely there's time for baking?

but really, one needs a cute apron to bake in properly!

i found this super easy tutorial on skip to my lou. it uses a tea towel and ribbon to make a sweet and fast apron, with only two (!) seams! i got these tea towels from anthropologie, i can never imagine really using them to dry dishes, only to pretty up a kitchen (this may change when we are married and i have my own kitchen!) or in this case, make baking a little more fashionable.

a.b.barton has a thing for english bulldogs, so she was an easy choice. and mavellous likes anything that is made for her, so a sweet utensil motif did the trick!

i wrapped the aprons around the books rather than using bags or wrapping paper and used the ribbon as well, a ribbon! they were adored by both recipients - i just hope that the next time i'm home they're sure to put the cookbook to use!

i would definitely say this is an easy project that can be done in minutes, and makes a great gift, it's also a lovely way to use prettier tea towels!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

known II

i wrote on a similar topic last week, by coincidence, or maybe because this topic is just really on my heart right now...

i had a friend over for supper last night. she arrived at my house in her running kit, with a backpack strapped to her back, hair in her classic high ponytail. she was hot & thirsty. she's marathon training (again!) and that means she needs to find ways to build her run into her life, running to my house from work was a natural solution.

it was a great night, good food - chicken parmesan from simply recipes, make it, tonight - great company, a time of laughing and fellowship and encouraging one another, of discussing the events of the week and hashing out what to do next in a whole lot of areas. i was so grateful for the time with her. i was so happy to open my home for her, fill my table with food and linger over a meal as a cool breeze floated through the windows. it was a blessing.

as i walked her to the train station she said - thanks for dinner, there's very few people who's house i could turn up at, sweaty and tired and expect a meal...you're one of them.

and that comment got me to thinking. isn't that just how god asks us to come to him? tired and dirty and in need of the bread of life?

you can show up at your best friend's house looking less than fantastic and still be welcomed because you know that you are known. you know that she's seen you at your worst (and this isn't it) and she's run hundreds of miles alongside you and understands that all one wants at that stage is a glass of water, and a plate of food, and a welcoming smile that says 'good for you, you did it again'. and so, there's not a worry that you're showing up in a less than stellar state. she definitely doesn't care anyway...

God saw the people of Israel—and God knew. Exodus 2:24

and this morning i realised, that god's just asking us to show up to his dinner table, despite us being weary and worn. because he's waiting to open the door to us, to hand us a glass of water, and a plate of food. he's hoping for a lifetime of good conversations and laughter and encouragement and love. god see us - god knows.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


going home was such a blessing. and one of the most overwhelming and wonderful days was the bridal shower that was thrown for me. hosted by my wonder maid of honour: a.b.barton and mother of the bride: marvellous! the details were fantastic the food was incredible and the presents were an enormous blessing. but as with all parties, the people were who made the day.

it was simply amazing to be surrounded by women who had poured their lives into mine over the years. i looked around the room and realised that it definitely took a village to raise this child and i was so grateful that so many had chosen to love on me over the years. women who have loved me like a daughter, women who listened as i working out who i was, women who encouraged me as i walked with the lord. there were women who had been there from the very beginning, and women who known me as a child. girlfriends who shared all that highschool and early twenties have to offer and friends of my mom who have been around since before i could remember. to say i was blessed by their love and presence is an understatement.

and it got me to thinking - when you gather up those people who are really important in your life, particularly your formative years, how intentionally or not, we need for others to help usher children into adulthood. and so in many ways, i was most grateful for parents who not only allowed other adults to speak into our lives and love on us, but also encouraged and supported these people's investment in our growing up.

it was wonderful. heartfelt thanks to all who attended and to my sister and mom and cousin who outdid themselves with hosting and helping!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

an engagement.

we had the joy of meeting up with a friend of mine from a previous job, who moonlights as a photographer for an engagement shoot last month. the proofs are in and we are thrilled! it was an incredibly fun day with lots of laughs and jay did such a great job of capturing the feel of london.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


it's hard. this living apart from the people who love you.

it's hard to be away when the dark, grittiness of life seeps into the lives of those you love and you are far away. you are so far you have to fly to meet them again. to hold their hearts next to yours and feel the joy of being known. of laughing with those who are probably the funniest people you know, not because they are actually the funniest, but because their humour, is your humour.

it's hard to be away when there's joy to be shared, or sadness. and then, in an instant you step back into life with them, for hours, maybe days, and it is soul restoring. it is redeeming the loss of all those other moments and minutes.

god's wisdom created the family. the circle of people who circle around you in those great and small moments, who will love you despite and because, who can tell others about who you are. maybe, in some ways, the family is a glimpse of god's knowledge of us. a father who understands our every sigh, every laugh, who's sense of humour we share, who gets us in a way that no one else does.

the a.b.'s capture the cutest child on earth

our family is changing - the 'kids' table is filled with adults, and the next generation has started. i looked around the room on the day we remembered our saviour's work for us, and i exhaled a little bit. i was known.


i am known. my heavenly father knows me intimately. and because of jesus, i can know him intimately as well.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


we had a fabulous trip home over easter, it was made all the sweeter by a quick and fun shopping trip with marvellous!

we were intending to go to new york city for a shopping trip, but when the thermometer was to top out at 12 C, we reconsidered. gotta love airline family life! a quick itinerary change, a great deal on a hotel, and 12 hours later we were in the warmth of fort myers, florida.

my extended family seems to have some kind of irrisistable pull toward fort myers. my grandparents on both sides were snowbirds, but my mom's parents wintered every year at fort myers beach. apparently it's still the locale of choice for florida-bound ladies, all these years later. we stayed at the hyatt at coconut point - literally a hotel in the middle of an outdoor mall - i tell you it was pure genius!

our main reason for the trip was to improve my wardrobe going into marriage - basically i needed honeymoon clothes and since was down to (literally) one pair of work-appropriate trousers, something for work...so what did we do in florida? we shopped. and shopped. and shopped some more. the deals were fantastic, the clothes were lovely. when we weren't shopping we ate. panera and five guys and california pizza kitchen. it was heaven. and drastically improved by the HOT weather - we're talking 30 C!!!

our two days simply weren't enough. not enough time for shopping and definitely not enough time for talking. we talked and talked and talked! marvellous and i can go for hours without any interruption - really, it's a gift! we saved our last afternoon for a little pool time. and while the shopping was awesome, really what was greatest about it, was this very special 48 hours i got to spend with my mom. it was a bit of an homage to the quick trips we used to take when i was in university, and while i'm sure we'll travel together again, who knows if it will ever just be the two of us? so in some ways, it was also a really wonderful way to close out this chapter of my life - of our lives - we're heading toward a wedding people, and we all know that's going to shake things up a bit!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


this has been the longest, unintentional, blog hiatus ever. it started with easter. and being home and wanting to be with my family, and my love. oh and that small thing called wedding planning. the fortnight home was great, my parents were incredible hosts, and the planning we got done was really epic - even for me! then there were insane delays getting back to london and since then it's been full-steam ahead with massive deadlines at work and not much free time. in time i promise to post about the best bits - the girls trip to florida with my mom, easter with our extended family, wedding planning and making (!), a shopping trip to buffalo and the best bridal shower i've ever attended (maybe because it was mine?)!

now, i'm right back on the health wagon (i might have tumbled - ok, full on fell - off while in canada) and i'm back to my old exercise ways...and goodness it feels great to be back at the gym and on the road - i'm allowed to run for 10 minutes at time, which is nothing, but something at least.

in an effort to keep the calorie explosion also known as my diet in check i've decided to do a little remake of my family's very favourite muffins...i love banana muffins so much that i intentionally buy more bananas than i can eat in a week - purely so that i can bake with them. ripe bananas also freeze very well, so if you don't have time to use them immediately, just throw them in the freezer, at the moment we've got half a dozen waiting to be used!

usually it's banana chocolate chip, with plain flour, butter and chocolate chips...

now it's banana blueberry with flaxseeds and yogurt added...in the coming weeks i hope to continue the remake with some substitutions to the sugar and flour...

3 mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tbsp plain, fat free, yogurt
1 egg
3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour for the brits)
1/2 cup ground (milled) flaxseeds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup blueberries

  1. preheat oven to 375F/190C
  2. combine wet ingredients with sugar
  3. stir in dry ingredients 
  4. fold in blueberries
  5. in a greased muffin tin drop approx 2 tbsp of mixture
  6. bake for 20 min or until tops are golden and knife comes out almost clean (banana muffins are incredibly moist so it's nearly impossible to get an entirely clean knife...)
this recipe can also be made into a loaf, just adjust the cooking time to 1 hour or until a knife comes out almost clean!

my remake drops the calorie count by only 10 calories (196 kCal a muffin), but really ups the fiber count and increases the protein. it also reduces the fat content with less butter. and having just had one, i can say they're pretty tasty!