Friday, 18 October 2013

Super Scary Pumpkin

Since we've been married, I've never really been that into decorating for Halloween.  I think it mostly has to do with my phobia of pumpkin guts.  I mean, really.  Why are they so gross inside? This year, I wasn't given a choice by my friend Jess.  We were decorating pumpkins.  And we were going to like it!

So, I said I would paint mine, due to aforementioned pumpkin gut-a-phobia.  My friends laughed at and made fun of me, but I was all "Who's laughing now?!" when Jess was digging through the slimy innards of her pumpkin yesterday.  

I wanted to use some paint I already had, so I opted to paint my pumpkin black with chalkboard paint. I drew a spiderweb on it with chalk, and I think you'll agree, it is truly scary.

 I'm usually not a fan of spiders, but this is Claude.  He's cool.
 It was really easy to draw on the spider web with chalk.  I just followed each line of the pumpkin about half way down and then drew little horizontal curved lines in between vertical lines all the way around the pumpkin.  It's not perfect, but I think it's pretty cute!
One thing I found is that the paint doesn't stick very well to the flesh of the pumpkin. If I pressed too hard with the chalk, the paint chipped. So, I just used a black sharpie where needed to "erase" any mistakes or touch up chipped paint. Worked like a charm!

Have you decorated a pumpkin for Halloween?  Or do you go all out and decorate the whole house??

Monday, 7 October 2013

September in Review

I'm baaaaack from America!   I don't have any amazing projects to share with you today, as I have had zero energy to do anything other than our basic household necessities since I've been back! I am still living in a fog of jet lag and strange sleep schedules.   We had a great time seeing friends and family, but I have to admit that even after  5 years, saying goodbye has not gotten any easier.

Let's take a little look back at what we did around here in September:

This all took place in the span of two weeks........AND I made a transatalantic flight with a 15 month old, who started walking and got his first haircut! September was a busy month in more ways than one!

I was thinking about the blog yesterday, and realized that it started as a fun hobby but was beginning to feel like work.  I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to come up with good ideas and complete projects. Combine that with all the writing, photo editing, and networking that goes on in blogland, and I could end up spend a good chunk of time doing "blog stuff" each week.  (Perhaps I could have justified this if I was making more than roughly £4/month? ; )

I realize now that other, more important areas of my life were getting somewhat overlooked for the sake of home projects and/or the blog.  First off, I need to spend more quality time with my boys. Second, I need to exercise more.  Third, I need to take some time to relax and enjoy our home in its current state.  All of those things are vital to my long term emotional and physical health. 

That's not to say that I still won't be blogging.  I still have some good ideas up my sleeve, and I still find so much inspiration in reading other blogs, that my hands won't stay idle for long.   I basically wanted to give a heads up that my posting schedule will be going down to 1-2 times a week for the foreseeable future. I'm going for quality over quantity here, folks. I hope you'll stick around!

What were your September highlights?  Did you have a crazy busy month like we did??

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Fig, Bacon, & Goat's Cheese Crostini

Did you know that "crostini" means "little toasts" in Italian? Well, these Fig, Bacon & Goat's Cheese Crostini could easily be called "Little Toasts of the Gods". They are super easy to prepare, and would make a great appetiser for a dinner party.  They'd also be great for a party where you are just serving various finger foods!

  • 1/2 white baguette
  • 100g (3.5 oz) creamy goat's cheese
  • About 5 rashers smoked bacon (U.K. Readers: Streaky bacon is best )
  • ~3 Tbsp Fig Relish (fig jam would probably work too)
  • ~2Tbsp Olive Oil
  1.  Fry bacon over medium-high heat until well done. 
  2. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel.
  3. Thinly slice the baguette (roughly 15 slices), and brush each slice with a little olive oil.
  4. Place the baguette slices under the grill/broiler on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, divide the goats cheese into about 15 equal "slices". (It will probably crumble when you cut it, so don't worry about trying to make it perfect)
  6. Put about 1/2-1 tsp fig relish on each baguette slice, followed by the goats cheese.
  7. Place the topped baguette slices back under the grill for another 3 minutes, or until the cheese just starts to brown.
  8. Crumble the bacon slices over the top of the crostini.
Serving Suggestion:
Serve with a simple, spinach salad, dressed with olive oil & balsamic. Goes great with a glass of a nice, buttery Chardonnay. (This recipe serves 4-5 as an appetiser)

If I had to guess what heaven tastes like, I would have to bet it's pretty close to these little bites of wonderful.

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