Friday, 26 October 2012

Time out...

I'm told that it's 'just a stage'.  But I'm wondering how much longer Cub Senior is going to keep acting like a small dictator/hooligan/terrorist?  There's only a couple more weeks left when he'll fit into the the terrible twos category and then I'm out of excuses.  What can I blame the screaming, shouting,  tantrums on now?  He's excelled himself in the last month.  We've had more time outs than I care to think about - I put him in a another room for two minutes while he,supposedly, calms down and thinks about what he's done...In reality, he tries to break the door down with a nearby offending wellie/broom/satsuma. The busier I am, the worse he gets. He'll try any tactic he can until he gets my full, undivided attention.  We were photographing the house for the Telegraph magazine yesterday and he was having absolutely none of it.  He did everything he possibly could to distract me culminating with a sensational finale of biting a Karvol capsule in half.  The warning on the box being, 'seek urgent medical attention', meant instead of finishing napkin rings/ironing table cloths etc, I spent an hour on the phone talking to someone from the Poison hotline. 
At 8am this morning he was ordering me to "get into the kitchen and clean!' My disbelief was met with a louder shout of "do it NOW!"  I am terrified at what lies ahead of me; imagine when the smaller one is big enough to do what the bigger one tells him to...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Invitation

I umm-ed and ahh-ed for weeks about my launch invitation.  Desperately wanting to do something swanky myself but slightly restricted by my absolute lack of technical prowess.  
I decided to approach Happy Menocal - who's work I'm completley infatuated with - to see if he would help me.  Long story short, he did.  And this is what he came up with...

Thank you Happy!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cub's Clothing

I really struggle finding nice clothes for the Cubs.  Everywhere I go, I come across divine, tiny Liberty print dresses; lovely bright coloured tights and heavenly printed skirts that I would love to wear myself.  Shopping for little girls is easy as pie.  Finding plain, simple boys clothes that aren't logo-ed up to the max is a tricky business.  Cub senior was definitely a Nudist in a former life; Getting him to wear anything for more than five minutes is a major battle in itself.  But at times when he does give in to my pleas, both Cubs are walking, talking GAP adverts.  Maybe with a bit of Little White Company thrown in occasionally too.  But even GAP are throwing a spanner in the works now and putting silly little bear logos everywhere.  So when one of my all time favourite companies 'Waddler' sent me an email telling me about their new cotton range, I was jumping up and down with excitement.  As expected, the few new pieces are divine - I'm especially loving the llama print shirt. So simple and cool.


I'm such a huge fan of the company that the lovely Philip and Marina have offered all my readers a 15% discount until the end of October.  Just put 'WILLOWROSE' in the discount box et voila...
Happy Shopping!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Launch Invitations

I've been looking forward to my book launch since the day I signed the contract.  I'm not quite sure what part of it that I've been really been looking forward to.  Maybe just what it symbolises.  The fact that I've actually done it and it's real.  
I'm completely obsessed with stationary and so the invitation is a big thing.  I want it to be as beautiful and original as it can be.  I've spent hours trawling thorough images and fonts trying to narrow down my best.  What I really want is for the genius Happy Menocal to create something magical for me...

I have a real thing for birds...

Neon handwriting

Text over a photograph

In my dreams - hand embroidery.

Love this font

Happy Menocal

One of my faves..

 Watercolour over text

More designs by Happy Menocal.

Friday, 5 October 2012

My Chatelles

I love that feeling you get when you find something new that is so brilliant and exciting.  You can't believe you haven't known about it until now.  How have you not known?
I don't generally go for a slipper shoe.  I love the look on other people.  But they aren't really me.  They're a bit neat. Too structured. And on the whole, seriously uncomfy. This new find though, Im sure, is going to be the one to covert me.  I feel it in my bones.

It's a French company called Chatelles.  And basically, it's shoe pick 'n mix.  You choose your shoe colour and material and then decide if you want tassels or monogrammed initials.  I'm having a bit of an issue deciding which ones I'd have. But leaning slightly more towards the tassel variety today.  Maybe a tasselled, Liberty print?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Tom Hunt

Carrying on the culinary theme, I've got a new favourite chef. An eco-chef called Tom Hunt to be more specific. His cooking slightly reminds me of Jamie Oliver's.  Quite rustic, healthy-ish, lots of herbs and seasonal vegetables.  I'm contemplating making his chocolate torte tonight for Chazy's birthday cake. Not that he likes cake. So it might be a little selfish.  I'll think of it as a practice run for the next time I need to whip up some sort of birthday sensation.
Chocolate Torte with Caramelised Beetroot

"This is a very simple recipe. The chocolate has an incredible velvety texture and is to die for. Beetroot is delicious in the summer and brings seasonality to the dish. The bitterness of the chocolate marries with the earthy notes of the beetroot well.
500ml Double Cream
60g Caster sugar
130g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
560g Divine choctolate, broken into pieces
Cocoa for dusting
20-30cm Baked pastry case
Beetroot, sliced thinly into discs
100g Sugar
 Preheat oven to 150c

Start by boiling the beetroot in advance. Cover with water, add 100g of sugar. Simmer till the beetroot begins to soften and the liquid has reduced to a syrup. Place the slices of beetroot onto a sheet of parchment paper and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes till they go a little chewy. Put aside and leave to cool. Keep the syrup for a garnish.
Bring the double cream, sugar and a good pinch of salt to the boil, remove from the heat. Add the butter and chocolate. Stir gently till just melted and combined.
Pour into the baked pastry shell. Leave to cool and refrigerate. If you have any chocolate left pour them into little glasses to serve as chocolate pots.
When you are ready to serve, dust with cocoa and serve with whipped cream or creme fraiche a slice of beetroot and spoon of the vibrant beetroot syrup.
I'm actually hoping to be able to try his version at the Art cellar this week. Definitely my highlight of the event.  Although I still havent checked my lottery ticket from this friday so I could actually be able to buy lots of lovely paintings after all.      If nothing goes to plan though, ill be quite happing consoling myself with a large bowl of his Babbaganush instead..