I don’t usually make new years resolutions and when I do I don’t stick to them so that’s why I didn’t do a big post on mine this year because then they’re out there and you actually have to stick to them. So I’m just going to quietly mention them now, in April, when no one is expecting it and hope that no one notices. Number one was to start exercising and I’ve kept that one up surprisingly well! Number two was, take better photos for this blog and our shop, I’m still working on it. And lastly, number three was to work on our house which is not exactly a master piece, like I definitely won’t be doing a home tour any time soon. We’ve been in our house for a year and it still looks like we’ve just moved in, most of the rooms are filled with stock and the others are very half heartedly decorated and considering I spend about 23 hours a day at home I just thought it was time I make it look pretty. I’ve start collecting some inspiration images for each room and thought I’d share the process here.
First up the bedroom, the most important part of a bedroom is the bed, it’s in the name. Last year I finally convinced Gary to let me get the bed I’d been pining for for like ever but once it arrived it just didn’t work with the space, which was really disappointing. So if anyone is looking for a gorgeous upholstered bed with a tufted headboard in an oatmeal linen let me know!
After my bed faux pas I thought I probably need to plan a little better and I’ve decided to go with a simpler, more pared down look. The painting on the left is my inspiration, the colours, the mood, I just love everything about it. It’s been sitting in a cupboard for ages waiting to be framed. My colour palette will be made up of lots of white, greys and light blues with a bit of navy and pink and just a little pop of yellow for fun.
I love the moodiness of the top photo but we’re renting so unfortunately there won’t be any dark blue walls just yet. The above photo is so light and airy with the almost exact colour palette I’m going for. Two opposite looks, there is still some indecision clearly.
When you’re going for a calm, simple room with mostly neutral colours I think texture is super important, that’s why I love these stump tables, they’re small and add a bit of nature to the room without being too rustic. Vicky and I picked up a couple of logs from the side of the road a few months ago and we’ve been waiting (impatiently) for them to dry out so that we can turn them into bedside tables!
Textiles are the perfect way to bring in pops of colour, I’ll be adding a pretty throw and a couple (read: loads) of cushions like the one above, gorgeous isn’t it? Lastly, the stump tables aren’t the biggest, just enough space for your phone and a glass of water so wall sconces are a must, I still love these gold ones from designlovefest. Now if only I could find similar ones here in the UK.
Every Friday we share our favourite finds…
- Not a week goes by that I swoon over a dog or puppy in need of re-homing on the net, this shelter has gone above and beyond to re-home their dogs, by creating a photo booth for their furry friends…I want to adopt them all!
- One of my favourite films has to be Pixars UP, one of the inspirations is a story about a defiant lady that forced a developer to build around her home in Seattle, she has since passed away and this house is now on the market.
- Trip advisor listed it’s top 10 Island destinations this week, all chosen by users. I am sad to say I have not been to any one of these, but this may be the start of a few great holidays to come!
- Other places I have not yet been to include Londons top Steak restaurants and we all know how much I love steak!
- This preview of a time lapse that will be displayed inside the Number One World Trade Centres elevator is absolutely amazing.
- This is possibly the greatest dad on earth (apart from my dad), get your tissues ready. To inspire his son he worked his magic on Photoshop and made his son feel special, teaching him that even with disabilities, his opportunities are endless.
That all for today, have a super weekend all!
On Tuesday this week Vicky and I learnt how to make gnocchi from a master, it was so much fun and a whole lot easier than I thought. My measurements will be a little sketchy as Nonna Crespino went completely by feel, she knew when the dough was just right.The gist of it is equal parts mashed potato to flour depending on how many people you’re making for. We made enough for an army and were rolling all afternoon!
1 kg potatoes (mashing potatoes like maris piper)
300 – 350g flour (we were told specifically strong Canadian flour from Waitrose)
1 tsp salt
The first step is an easy one, peel and boil your potatoes, be sure to get rid of any knobbly bits. Once the potatoes are cooked mash them until smooth, using a potato ricer will ensure perfectly smooth mash.
Create a well with the flour and tip the potatoes in, add the salt and egg and start to mix it all together, keep working it until all the flour is incorporated, if your dough is sticky add a little more flour. Knead until a smooth dough has formed. It should be soft but firm.
Divide the dough into smaller sections and start to roll it out into little snakes, about 1.5cm in diamater depending on the size you’d like your gnocchi to be. Once you’ve rolled out one snake slice into 1-1.5cm sections. Coat lightly in flour. At this stage you could stop and eat them as is but if perfect presentation is your style, read on.
To roll these little guys you can use the back of a fork but a gnocchi roller makes things much easier. Hopefully the photos demonstrate how easy it is but you just grab one end of the little block of gnocchi with your thumb and roll it over the board which creates these beautiful ridges (perfect for your delicious sauce to cling to) and pretty curled up shape. The beauty is in the irregularity of your shapes.
To cook the gnocchi just drop it into salted boiling water, once they rise to the top (about 3-5min) they’re done and need to be drained. Now you’ve made it, how do you eat it? I made it two ways but gnocchi is pretty much pasta so any pasta sauce will work well. First up the simplest and in Nonna Crespino’s opinion only way to eat your gnocchi. Simple passata: Chop 1 clove of garlic and 1 onion and fry in a generous glug of olive oil, once the onion and garlic is soft add a tin of whole tomatoes and let it simmer for a good 15 min, add salt, pepper and a pinch of chilli if you’d like. Coat the gnocchi in the sauce and top with fresh torn basil leaves and loads of parmesan
My second sauce is a little more decadent and rich, a gorgonzola and mushroom sauce. Chop 1 clove of garlic, and your choice of mushrooms (I used 2 portabellos) and fry in a generous knob of butter, once they are browned turn the heat down and add 150g of gorgonazola and 150ml creme fraiche, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg to taste. Top with fresh thyme and parmesan. Both of these recipes make enough for about 2-3 people.
Now that I know how to make these delicious little potato bites I’ll definitely be making them more often!
Every Friday we share our favourite finds from the week…
- We grew up with Star Wars in the house, easily done when you have an older brother. Needless to say we are looking forward to the new movie coming out in December, here are six moments from the new trailer of The Force Awakens that will get anyone excited. If that’s not enough…perhaps you need to fly in an R2D2 Boeing.
- We had a taste of the summer this week (and it was good), I am so excited for all the great events taking place in London over the summer, I have so far booked a few outdoor concerts including UB40 at Kew Gardens on my birthday, this should go down well with some Red Red wine!
- Apart from Outdoor cinemas and concerts, I will be spending lots of time with family and am hoping to attempt this fabulous Teepee DIY for the nephews and more importantly my beautiful younger nieces.
- The best part of spring (apart from all the gorgeous blooms) is the fantastic food and fresh ingredients available, I am definitely going to try this Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Feta Tart soon. For the pasta lovers I found this 23 great Spring Pasta recipes from Martha Stewart.
- This is possibly the most amazing advert I have seen in my entire life, Hyundai create a special message to a father in space on Delamar Dry Lake in Nevada…Brilliant!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and enjoy the sunshine!
Wedding season is just about here so I’ve made a little list of wedding essentials to see you through the summer whether you’re a bride, groom or guest.
one – If you’re getting married this summer you’ve more than likely already got every detail planned but if you’re still looking for the perfect wedding cake topper, look no further. How cool are these little animals! Plus you can totally customize them, so cute!
two – A piece of jewellery is always a lovely way to thank all your besties for being in your wedding party, this tassel necklace will make the perfect bridesmaid gift.
three – For the trendy groom these perspex bow-ties will definitely have your bride smiling up the aisle.
four – Make the wedding cake the star of your dessert table and display it on this stunning bunny cake stand!
five – A bright make-up bag for keeping all your essentials close on the big day and perfect for popping in your luggage when you jet off on the honeymoon.
six – If you’re still planning your big day and want to make your wedding stationery extra special these adorable illustrations will do just that!
seven & eight – Gifts! Generally people tend not to do registries any more and usually ask for a contribution to their honeymoon or new home etc. but it’s always nice to give an actual gift, even just as a token. If the groom can shake a mean martini why not add to their bar cart with some fun bar accessories (coasters, bottle opener, bottle stoppers) or if the bride is the hostess with the mostess a quirky serving bowl might be right up her street.
nine – And of course, don’t forget the card. Whether you decide on a classic congratulations card or a little play on words both will be appreciated.