"Faites que le reve devore votre vie afin que la vie ne devore pas votre reve"
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Thursday, October 1, 2015

outdoor pizza oven

As summer is officially gone and the temperatures are more under control,
it is time again to enjoy dining alfresco.
One of my favorites is making pizza, as I mentioned before.
But now, we have an outdoor pizza oven.
I did a little research about building our own,
but it turned out to be expensive, complicated and permanent,
three things I am not interested in.
So we went with this propane pizza oven
($300, movable and hot in about 10 minutes)
picture from outdoor cooking.com
We have been using it for about a year now and I really like it.
The pizzas cook fast and are pretty close in taste to a wood burning oven.
I usually make mini/individual pizza and I cook 2 at a time.

We have had parties with 20 peoples and made pizzas for everybody,
it is more fun to be able to choose your own toppings,
and for the kids who are against tomato sauce, there is always the just cheese option!
Another way we have been using the oven at party is making pizza as appetizers,
and cutting them into bit size, the 2 favorite variations:
tomato cheese and pesto cheese,
people are simple in the end!

I make my dough using a recipe my cousin the Chef gave me (which I cannot share),
but it is a simple flour, water, yeast, salt and olive oil combination.
I also make my own pesto with roasted pine nuts, basil, Parmesan and olive oil,
easy and totally nut and garlic free (essential for different members of the family).
The large metal peel (nothing fancy, it is from Home Depot!) is very convenient,
 I use a little bit of corn meal under the dough for an easy release,
better than flower that can leave an after taste, and complainy children!
Now the only thing remaining to do for the perfect pizza party is a outdoor kitchen,
we have plans and dreams for it, it will happen eventually!

Happy day!

Monday, September 28, 2015

plushy macaron and 500th post!

We have survived the first few weeks of school,
there have been a lot of chances at home with
Miss C. starting middle school
and Brick Master starting high school.
Just before school started, Miss C. got her braces!
11 seems so young to wear such torture equipment
but she is mostly fine...
To cheer her up, I sewed her a plushy macaron,
hot pink, with ears and eyes, an alpaca macaron.

pattern from CholyKnight
It took me longer than I thought but it was quite doable.

She has very nicely adapted to the situation....

This post is my 500th post, I have been writing this blog for over 5 years now,
it has changed over time as I have changed, some of my and my family's interests have evolved,
 but I am planning on keeping it, just posting slowly.
There will be much less dolls sewing as Miss C. has moved on,
but there are other little girls to sew for...

Of course, the biggest change is the size of the kids,
with a teen and a tween, I will soon be the shortest one at home!

(all legs!)

Happy sewing!

Monday, September 21, 2015

recycled potting bench

Well I am back with another recycled wood project from our former deck:
a simple potting bench.

I followed this plan from Ana White, my favorite builder!
Because I used wood from the deck, it is extremely sturdy.

I used 2 x 4, 2 x 6 and 2 x 8. So yes very sturdy!
But I kind of like that, and with my neighbor's ivy taking over the fence,
it gives it a chance to stand out a little!

We have used some much of the old deck wood: a love seat, a wood and a bike storage area.
It has improved the yard and cut down on the amount of trash!

Now I have a nice place to work on my fall garden, well may be just a few mums!

Happy day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

entryway storage

Our house entryway is narrow, on one side there is the stairwell and on the other side,
 there are a small coat closet, a foot of wall, and then the powder room.
In order to be able to open the door and enter/leave the house, 
everything must be put away in the little closet.
On this little space on the wall, I have installed a mirror with some hooks,
 perfect to keep the dog leash and an umbrella but that’s about it.
My kids are very average in their interest at putting stuff away, 
which means everything has a tendency to get piled up on
 the kitchen table: coat, backpack, lunch boxes, 
helmets (they both ride their bike to school), not shoes luckily!
It makes for an unpleasant sight coming back home at night.

In the past we have tried to come up with different solutions: reorganizing the closet,
 adding shelves, adding hooks, but none really helped.
I looked around blogs and Pinterest to see what other people were doing, 
and I saw beautiful mudrooms,laundry room, garages, all perfect but not applicable to our house, 
we live in a sixties modern home without a garage, and laundry in the basement!
But we have a very interesting stairwell, with large landings…
so I saw it as the perfect place to recreate this transition area.

I kept it very simple, with just a set of five hooks (numbered one through five), 
that I found at Home depot for $5, and a wide board found in the basement.
I stained the wood, attached the hook to the wood, and then screwed everything to the studs.
And it worked! The kids have been using it, hanging their jackets and helmets, 
leaving their backpack right there.
Since there are 5 hooks and 2 kids, it totally works out: 3 helmets 
(2 bikes, 1 horseback riding) and 2 coats.

The shoes still need to be stored in the coat closet, but because they are not fighting
 for space with the backpacks, it is actually easy to do.
 The adults and guests have space to hang their coats in the closet, 
without fearing for their toes to be smashed by flying helmets.

Currently, as it is summer time and pool season,
 the backpacks have been replaced by towels and goggles,
 the helmets are still there, the kids bike to the pool.

Of course it never looks like the ones on the Pinterest board, life cannot be staged!

But it is fun to play pretend!

Happy day!

Monday, July 27, 2015

two simple birthday parties

Miss C turned 11 last week and we celebrated her birthday
 with some of her friends, 
she chose to have a Minion light inspired party.
 I say light because just a few things were minions related.

She made her own invitation from yellow cardstock and denim inspired paper, 
stamping her initial on the blue band, a sophisticated take on the minion uniform.

We baked some cupcakes (much easier to serve than actual cake), 
yellow cake of course (from the box, my family’s favorite,
 I don’t get it but it is not my bday!), 
with homemade chocolate frosting, and purchased minions eyes and mouth,
 the wrappers were also minions.

It was a much simpler party that some of her previous ones, 
(which are probably simpler than many fancy people do)
like the Safari Party when I sewed goodybags


Like last year, her party took place at our neighborhood pool, which means no cleaning 
before the parties, and easy post party clean up.
Most of the kids were nice and picked up after themselves.

Last year for her 10th birthday, Miss C. was inspired by the “teen beach movie”, 
a truly beautiful, fancy party.

Of course we did not go all the way like in the inspiration, 
we baked some surf board inspired cookies that Miss C. decorated herself, and some cupcakes.
 I added some kid friendly snacks and drinks. 
A few decorative accents were included to go with the color scheme
 of aqua, orange and lime.
 Miss C. also crafted simple invitation with the same color,
 keeping it low cost and fun. 
All the kids had a good time, played in the water and ate all the treats,
 success all over!

Happy birthday, Miss C.!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

makeup brushes roll

As Miss C. is getting older, she is more and more interested in makeup.
 Nothing too intense, she just likes to be silly with some of her girlfriends, 
which I totally understand. I was the same way at her age, 
not that you could tell now as I mostly only wear lipstick!

For her birthday, she received a full set of brushes (from Target),
 more than one would need, but perfect to play. 
To make them a more interesting present, 
I sewed a simple roll to store them all.

I followed this tutorial from LBG studio (fast and easy). 
I used some tween approved aqua Japanese fabric with
some French writing for the outside and the pocket,
 and some white Kona cotton for the inside.
The white was probably not the best as the brushes deposit colors on the lining,
 as Miss C. proved it after putting on some red lipstick and blue eye-shadow!

Happy sewing!

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