Saturday, December 29, 2012

Snickerdoodles love

I really love that word, honestly for a non american the first time someone told me that I thought they were joking, then when I understood they were cookies I was expecting something peanut buttery.... Now they are our new favorite cookies.
Anyways my friend gave us a bag of home snickerdoodle they were so delicious that between the four of us the bag lasted hmmmm 2hours. Yum!

So inspired I went on the net to look for a recipe. Those are the family favorites and super easy to whip together. I think the kids will find that in their lunchbox soon. Speaking of which I need to do some serious thinking around lunches....
Here is the recipe I found not remembering from where and I can't seem to find the recipe at this time but here it goes.

1 1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of butter at room temp
2 3/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Sugar

2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/3 cup of sugar

Mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well in between. Add the vanilla and incorporate/mix well. In a separate bowl mix in the flour, baking powder and salt mix well. Then add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well.

Preheat your oven at 400F
If the dough is too soft you can stick in the fridge covered for 2 hours. I don't have any patience so I just roll my dough right then into 1inch ball, roll them in cinnamon sugar then put them on a baking sheet with parchment paper spaced about 2 inches apart.
Flatten with the bottom of a glass to 1/2 inch thickness.

Cook for 7-10 min (mine are done in 7) until the edges of the cookies are golden and the center is still soft.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


We always try to keep Christmas magical whether it is just us with the kids the current norm, us visiting family in France the old norm that we are missing, or us with family visiting the exception but maybe the upcoming norm.
This year we hosted Christmas for the first time since I moved to the states. My in laws came to spend Christmas with us and the kids. It was great. Look we even decorated the fireplace with snow flakes and cinnamon ornaments. Thanks to my very patient mother in law who spent hours cutting the snowflakes with MEC. It was quite an operation.

We are hoping that the dark gray rug will survive our grubby feet
Our tradition is to have a fancy dinner on Christmas eve and Christmas day is spent playing with toys and lounging in our PJs.... Which means that usually on the 24th I'm running around like a mad woman, finishing the kids fancy clothes, going to the store to buy food and cleaning up. Of course B is there to help as well. This year finishing MEC's dress took longer than expected maybe because we had company. I didn't have time to really finish it note to self still need to serge the lining of the dress and finish the arms oops. MAC didn't want to wear his jacket so I didn't even bother finishing it.
Dinner was delicious! To munch on something while drinking champagne, I prepared gougeres, and had a cheese plate. For dinner, I made standing rib roast recipe courtesy of Williams Sonoma with mashed potatoes and a big salad followed by the deep dish apple streusel from the same source. The dinner was super delicious. 
I was trying not to panick when my husband and his dad left for the Apple store at 4:30pm to buy new iphones. Luckily they were back at 6pm and the standing rib roast while too cook for my taste was still moist and oh so delicious. 
The tradition after the kids are in bed is packing their gifts frantically while sipping some more wine in front of a movie. We chose to watch Fly Fishing in the Yemen since we could not find the subtitles for Les Intouchables. Both movies are amazing in different ways. 

All of this for two lucky lucky kids

Crud the house keeper is coming tomorrow, we have to clean
After brunching on homemade waffle with apple compote, drinking a ton of coffee we needed to get some air. Even though the weather was more Christmasey than usual we had to go spend some time at the beach. The kids shrieked in delight alternating scaring off the seagulls and dancing Gangman style. If you have a second-third grader I'm sure you are experiencing this new contagious disease. If you find a cure please let me know!

I hope you all had a wonderful day!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays

Lots of sewing lately or rather sewing projects. After deciding that it was OK for me to buy patterns I found those groups from Blank Slate Patterns and tackled the blazer for MAC's christmas. I apologize no pictures, I'm really bad at taking pictures while sewing.... I always remember once the garment is done and well it is a little too late.
Anyways I was able to use some fabric I bought 2.5 years ago. It is a pinstripe navy cotton, it is gorgeous. I doubled it with some natural linen. He exclaimed with a huge smile "this is kind of cozy! Mama this week end we need to make sign that says Bopple (my label) children's clothes for sale!". It melt my heart!

On the project list:

  • MEC's christmas dress, inspired by JCrew
  • Flannel pyjamas
  • some dresses, some pants all kinds of stuff!
I have been listening to Train California 37's album and some of the songs have awesome lyrics. Such as Mermaid, California 37, Drive by, 50 ways to say Goodbye are my favorites.... Go listen up and hopefully it will make you smile!

Other music loves of the moment, Lana Del Rey. I am rediscovering Yann Tiersen widely known for the soundtrack of "Amelie".

I finally read and devoured 50 shades series. I liked it a lot. It is really light reading and if you can get past the erotism of the book it is an interesting book with interesting characters.

If I don't write a post between now and then Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Patterns, tweaking and working on the fabric stash

A little while ago I swallowed my pride and put my ego in my pocket and bought a couple of patterns for the kids. After a fail attempt at making the knotted shorts for my little girls, and botching another couple project I decided that well I didn't have the time to learn how to make kids patterns properly. I just have a limited amount of time to sew.
So after browsing etsy for a while I purchased three patterns from lily bird studio.

After a long break from sewing I decided to make the Summer Blouse with some Anna Maria Horner voile I bought a while back. MEC likes indigo blue.

The pattern was easy to print and follow. I will definitely purchase other patterns from her and I have to say it was quick to make and thus very rewarding.

Since I am not the best at sticking with direction or what someone tells me to do, I decided to tweak the pattern a bit and make a night gown using the same pattern. The inspiration was a night gown I saw at a pottery barn kids.

I had some Princess Tianna Flannel and could either make a pj or a night gown. MEC asked for a night gown. 
This is what I had to do:
  • I had to make a shirt placket (didn't know the name at the time) instead of the button down front
  • I had to lengthen the sleeves
  • I had to make a round collar instead of the ruffles.
  • I had to lengthen the bottom part of the shirt to be a night dress
Not overly complicated but not a straight sew either.
Sew a Straight Line sewing series provided the explanation I needed to figure out the shirt placket and the collar. I made up the pattern for those two pieces so they weren't perfect. I also didn't remove the 1inch of the front piece used to make the button holes and button side in the original shirt pattern.
I was going to attempt my first tutorial but I'm sorry to say I didn't take enough pictures and I don't have the time to put the post together. Maybe one day soon.

It came out a bit crooked at the collar but not bad for a first tweak. She loves it because it flannel and thus really comfy.

The next project was a knit shirt with a contrasting collar and shirt placket. It had the original puffy sleeves although I'll make a pleat next time. For this shirt, I made the necessary adjustment to the front piece after my oversight on the night gown. I also adjusted the collar and the placket pieces.
She loved it so much that I didn't get a chance to add the buttons.

What I like about sewing with a pattern is that I can really easily whip multiple size of the same project.
Yes I won't lie even though I'm pretty stoked with the result it wasn't one of my creation. I'm weird that way ah well.
That didn't stop me from purchasing a bunch of basic patterns from Blank Slate Patterns so stay tuned for some more sewing......

In the works: The blazer from Blank Slate Patterns, coming up a bunch of flannel pjs and then more..... I'm happy I'm going through my stash of fabric which means only one thing I get to buy more fabric !!!!!
The best of all is that MEC is totally excited and she is actually asking for stuff now. I think I got her at the if I make you clothe I spend less on clothe and I can buy some more shoes ;)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I'm alive

I haven't had a lot of free time to blog for the past 6 months. I have also been struggling with post and blogs in general.
Nothing much has changed since the last time I blogged.

I have been working hard at striking a healthy balance with all the main part of my life:
  • Family both husband and kids and the rest are the most important in my life and I try to make them come first.
  • Work is both challenging, demanding and highly interesting. However I do have to make sure it doesn't eat up the other parts of my life.
  • Me and myself which is mostly me working out and hobby tend to be the piece of the pie that gets squished.
Over the past few weeks, with big big deadlines accomplished I am trying hard to work on that balance. And so I have gotten my running shoes out and I am back out. I also love running.
I never thought I would say that especially since I tried Triathlon to escape running. Training with Lesley Paterson to get better at triathlon has made me love running. I am not a fast runner and I don't care I just go out with just my watch and enjoy myself.
I also make those outings social when I can sometimes I am the one chatting away sometimes I'm the one huffing and puffing sometimes I'm just alone in my head.

I have gotten on my road bike a few times and realized that I have missed riding a lot. Finally I'm trying to figure out how to get back on my mountain bike and enjoy it.

I started playing soccer in a pickup game at work. I have to say I always end up with a bruise or two but I'm having fun!

On the hobby front, I'm still trying to sew a bit now that my brain is a bit less taken by work.

Today was lazy sunday, woke up around 8:30, read in bed until 10am (yes we have two kids 8 and 6 that let us be lazy in bed with no TV on). We made breakfast then started smoking the ribs. I picked up knitting a bit while the kiddos were just playing in their rooms.
I finally tackled the Himalaya of laundry at the foot of our bed and cleaned up my shelves while the hubby went for his run.

When he cooled off we played a board game until it was my turn to go for a run with my friend.
Now I have to take a shower clean up the biohazard zone in my kitchen and get ready to share some ribs with our friends!

Have a good night.....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A quick update

I just wanted to give a quick update. I have not been in a sewing bliss lately and a lot of my "throw" it together home made pattern just aren't coming together.
I tried the knot shorts from Elsie Marley but when MEC tried it on it was just not working at all. I am going to either try to salvage the short, remove the knot completely and the half lining and try to make a shorter version or just scrap the short altogether and turn it into a dress or maybe a bermuda who knows! The crotch was a bit wonky too... I need to work on my pattern drafting techniques. Maybe I will break down and find a PDF pattern on etsy.
Anyhow this sets me back into great deal of frustration and thus my sewing isn't my best friend at the moment booh.
In the void left by my temporary separation with my sewing machine I have been exploring the world of infographics, what's not to love trying to make sense of data in a visual appealing way a new way to spend a lot of hours lost on the internet.

On another note, I have been trying to spend some quality time with my mountain bike aka Black Beauty. Last week end for Mother's day some friends of ours took the kids for an impromptu trip to the Zoo and we got a hour to spend on the trails. I did lots of walking but some riding too.

This past sunday not only did I worked up the courage to go on my own but I even dared going in a new spot (I only went once before about a year ago) by myself and did a few downhill I would have walked not so long ago. However the up hill were trickier!

Thanks for checking in and good night.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mountain Biking

I have been really itching to go Mountain biking more often. Unfortunately finding a baby sitter for the kids to go with B or finding a riding partner to go on a 30 minutes notice on a Sunday afternoon has its challenges. So two week ends ago I really tried to work up the courage to go by myself! I didn't sleep that much the night before because of 4 additional kids sleeping with us and so I chose the easier path which was to put the bike in the car and drive to the trail entrance instead of climbing this brutal street to get there!
So here I am at the parking lot by myself after getting lost on the way. I hop on my bike and I am so glad I did work up the courage to go.

Second hill I come to I of course switch gear the wrong way and so instead of easing into the climbing I struggle in the big ring. After quickly realizing that I won't get very far in that ring I down shift but then my bike feels like the chain popped of. I look at it put it back and continue on.... This happens a bit later on another hill and again on the way back followed right after by a clank and a dead stop. I look down and well I'm no bike mechanic but I didn't think my rear derailleur was supposed to dangle off the bike!
Yes my really strong little leg yay right broke the rear derailleur right through the attachement!

So my bike ride turned into a push your bike walk. I believe people thought it was a new type of exercise because not one of the biker or hiker I saw on the way back stopped and asked if I needed anything! Maybe they thought that I was soooo lazy or tired I had to push my bike on the flat! It would have been nice to have someone stop and try to turn my bike into a single speed one so I could ride along.

I have to say the day was beautiful, the hike was beautiful and it is the only time I was happy to have spent mucho $$$ on my bike to get the lighter model!

In the parking lot in order to find more partner I did harass someone, maybe we will meet to ride maybe not!

For mother's day we did manage to get out with the husband. I did walk most of the very very rocky downhills but I did practice a drop off and a bit of single tracks. Petit a petit my confidence is creeping up....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The KCWC 2012

Well I kind of failed at this challenge thing. I did draft pattern and cut fabric on day 3. On day 4 I managed to sew MAC's short. However on day 5 friendship used up all the free time. On day 6, I managed to complete MAC shorts but then decided to add a pop of colors in the form of a pocket. However I decided to go the difficult route and it did quite work out. To MAC's dismay only one pocket was added. In his little mind if I was able to hack together one pocket it should easy to add a second. Since I'm far from satisfied with the results of my creativity I am now scratching my head to figure out how to fix that mistake.
On the girl side of the sewing project pile I have been struggling with the drafted pattern by my little fingers. It reminds me very much of when I was taking drawing lessons. When I was sketching a person posing, my drawing was perfect until I tried to draw the lower legs and feet. By that point all the mistakes had accumulated making it impossible to complete the drawing.
This is exactly how I feel with my latest repurpose dress attempt. It sits half done on the ironing board. However I will have to complete that one.
In the mean time I started a version of the knot shorts for the little missy and completed the baby blanket with the most beautify Amy Butler fabric. I want to redesign my whole living room to make pillow with this fabric. In the mean time I will have to give this baby blanket to my friend before I keep it for myself. Minky is so so soft.

To sum it up, I pretty much flunked the challenge. I wasn't even able to take let alone post a picture in the flicker pool. So maybe it will be better next time! In the mean time this challenge or idea of it really kick start my imagination hopefully something good will come out of it.
In the mean time I have about 30 sewing projects, to which have been added a few more home design projects for which I have little to no time. To make matter worse I have now discovered apartment therapy and pinterest and now I'm just dreaming at beautiful house and hoping to find our next house...... one can always dream

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

KCWC Day 1 and 2

Over the week end I was so excited about the challenge that I actually did quite a lot of sketches and looked at fabric and such... these will be posted later. I also did make a skirt for MEC but more on this later....
Today lets talk about KCWC Day1:
I wish I could say that Monday night I was all giddy with excitement and raced to my overflowing dining room table sewing table. After a full day of work followed by the usual evening routine mayhem I wasn't super motivated. Nonetheless I did go grab two pants and transformed them on long shorts. One of the pair comes from the Childrens Place the other I made a while back. The first time I washed them I learned the hard way why it is always recommended to prewash the fabric. They lost about 2 inches in length

Since this project wasn't much of a challenge I decided to give the double needle a try

Since I didn't plan very well I had to do two hems. I do like the resulting look. MAC liked it a lot too

Day 2: Repurposing a pair of cords into longer shorts for MAC and repurposing a Naartje dress into a dress for MEC.
I was able to grab an old pattern I drafted to make MAC shorts. Of course since I plan really poorly I will have to be a bit creative with the bottom hem. But at least the shorts are cut and pinned. I just need to sew just a bit tomorrow since I was able to keep most of the existing hems.

No I wasn't wrapping present. I use old wrapping paper to draft my pattern. The rest of the evening was spent drafting and cutting the pieces for the dress. Sorry I forgot to take pictures of the process but here is a sketch.

Bouquet of roses from my front yard are perfect to finish this post.

 Stay tuned for more projects...

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Directions.....

So I have been flailing around a little with this blog over the last few months. Honestly I don't have much free time and when I do I usually sew, then I forget to take pictures.
I decided that from now on I will focus this blog on cooking, diy and sewing. I will make an effort to slow down and take pictures but most of all I will make an effort to post those pictures.

For the first time, I will participate in the KCWC 2012. I'm not sure what will come out of it but I have a stack of things to sew for the kids so maybe we will get stuff that MEC actually wants to wear. She is getting so picky picky!
Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

As you may have noticed I have a blogger's block. I'm just trying to figure out what exactly I should post. I think I would like the blog to be less about me and more about my projects. I would even like to put together a couple of sewing tutorials.... Yay great idea you may think.
However it would require some organization of some sort, taking pictures of the various steps of the project and actually having the camera plugged in to the computer so these pictures are uploaded and added to the post.
That hasn't happened yet and a sewing project is a bit dry without pictures booh sorry.

To my excuse because well I have to complain or brag about something right work has been insanely busy and now that it has calmed down a bit I have ramped up the craft projects. I can only do so much and so things around the house get neglected or should I say simply ignored. I mean if  I don't look at the pile of laundry you would think it should go away right!

These are the projects to come:
 - Tutorial my very first if I ever get there to make raglan fleece jackets
 - A bedroom reveal, yes bit by bit I have worked on MEC's bedroom. It is really good that the pair of kiddos are getting along really well and they are not screaming to be separated because well it is a slow process.... But I am in the process of making some roman shades yay but forgot to take pictures of the steps booh...
 - Working on the kids summer wardrobe
 - Working on a couple tops for myself.

Pfff maybe these will all be posted in a year or so.
Thanks for stopping by, dinner is here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oh My it has been a while

Wow time does go by quick! 3 months since my last post and I'm raking my brain to try to remember all the creative and non creative things I've done in the past 3 months.
Without going into details the beginning of 2012 has been a little bit more dramatic on the health department than I would have liked. No death in the family but some little and bigger hickups have happened that made life a little sadder than usual.

On the bright note I got to travel home for a week and well I'm one lucky gal that calls Paris home. Yup I grew up in Paris and I can see the third floor of the Eiffel tower from my parents kitchen. They still live in the same apartment they raised us in and well it is always a very interesting experience to go back home. This time it was even more so that I was solo weird. It wasn't a happy happy trip but I was still able to walk all over this town that I once called home. It is so amazing to see how some store are still there 14 years later and some have changed ownership countless time.

In addition to the regular store I make sure I go see during each visit to my home town I added a new one to my list: Le Marche Saint Pierre the place to buy fabric (although I'm sure there a lot of additional hidden treasures on the street of Paris).
Prior to my trip I did some online recon and was amazed to see that "Liberty of London" was sold there. I have oogling and drooling over a number of their prints but being a beginner seamstress I never quite dared spending close to 40$ on one yard of fabric.

Anyhow, I went "bras dessus bras dessous" with my mom and we found some delightful Liberty of London fabric for a mere 22$/yard a still.... In the store next door I found 4 yards of dark blue linen and 3 yards of a gray with white striped cotton.

It was really cold during this trip and now living in San Diego I have to say that my wardrobe is just not appropriate to the temperature but also the style of the city and so for one week I walked the streets of the city in my moms and sister's clothes.

Since I got back these are the projects I have been working on. MEC has been begging and in dire need of a dance bag and I decided to make the retro duffel bag from Saltwater Kids. I was going to use a dark purple canvas with some cute ballerina print for pockets and such. However she decided on a hot pink canvas and royal blue one. Missy is quite demanding, one bag was just not enough.
The one bag I actually completed turned out quite good the other one is 90% done.

We also went skiing and well living in Southern California it is quite challenging to find fleece jacket at a decent price (less than 15$) close to work or home. It was actually easier and cheaper to sew them, weird I know. I will try to write my first tutorial with those fleeces so please be patient. I made one for each kids and it took me about 3 hours for each including drafting the pattern. They turned out good if I can say so myself.

Lastly I have started back on the curtains for MEC's bedroom. I'm 70% done on the second major panel.... only 1 more panel to go and 3 little window covers.... Then we can buy the bed, clean the room and well finish up!

On the CSA front after being literally invaded by leafy greens of all kinds I decided that my fridge need rescuing and dropped to one big box every other week which I believe given our lifestyle will be more than enough for our little family.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Since I haven't posted in almost 3 months and I can't seem to find my word here is a little 2011 recap....

2011 was the year I re-discovered sewing. Since April I haven't finished quite a number of small project for both kids and the house. I hope this is a trend that will continue to grow. With the addition of a serger I can now finish my project and they look so nice! I have a few focus this year around sewing... Finish a project before starting a new one, which means I haven't been able to start an envelope long sleeve tee for my son because I have to readjust the length of a pair of his pants and finish a dress I just started.
Buy Fabric when needed.... So I'm very visual and I want to buy every yard of fabric I like.... I'm forcing myself to make the stash of fabric go down before ordering anything new.
This year I'd like to learn more techniques and to be neater in my pattern drafting and such....

2011 was also the year I finished some projects around the house... the "finish a project before starting a new one" rule applies for any craft project around the house.

2011 we started CSA and for the past 3 months I have never seen that many beets in my entire life! I have discovered Kale and this has forced us to eat more veggetables and fruits.

2011 is also the year I decided to stop training with my coach. I'm still struggling in finding my balance but next year will be a running year and a bit of biking. I also have to start mountain biking a bit more on my own and build up my confidence so I can go to the next level.

I'm probably forgetting a lot but here is to 2012....