Sunday, 28 August 2011

new52 | mini recipe book

Um, I think I never wrote about my adventure in newness last week. So please bear with me while I get back on track here. :)

OK, so last week I decided to up the ante on my cooking part of this year's challenge to myself by announcing that I cook dinner (or lunch) every day of the week. You guys should have seen the husband's face when I said it. It was a mix of disbelief, amusement, and worry. That kind of matched how I was feeling inside, but that isn't anything I chose to share with him. So careful thought went into choosing recipes that would give maximum amount of taste for minimun amount of work. Now, this wasn't supposed to be like the three course dinners, just regular weekly dinner type of recipes which would take 30 minutes tops. I was also really careful to choose dishes where we had most of the ingredients at home already.

The week flew by and I did quite well, I think. I was able to finish all dishes without burning the house to the ground, and I was also able to keep my nerves and my temper under control. I knew I would get stressed, and saw that as my biggest challenge, but I'm proud to say that I handled it well.

At the end of the week I decided to do something with the photos of the food that I took throughout the week and ended up designing a simple little book with the papers and elements from my Gourmet kit. I didn't get around to printing and assembling until today due to lots to do on my first week back at work after the holiday.

Here's what it ended up looking like:


















I chose to put it together like a real cook book, with a foreword and directions. I quite like how it turned out. I think the humour in me of all people doing a cookbook (even if I got the recipes from elsewhere) makes it all the better.

Alright, now this week has been super busy so I've devoted most of my time to work, work trips, and laundry. I did get to witness a great moment on Tuesday though, when we saw our local team Malmö FF play Dinamo Zagreb in Champions League play offs. It was my first time watching a game live that is considered to be part of the actual Champions League Cup, and to hear the cup anthem being played when the players walked onto the pitch gave me chills. We played so well in this game, and we were on our feet screaming during the latter part of the game. Unfortunately, due to having played horribly in the away game, we didn't qualify. It was still an awesome experience. The worst part was that I was first turned away due to having a dSLR camera. Apparently UEFA (European football association) has a ban on "large" cameras. Oh, the ignorance! But I digress! I had to run back to our car and leave the camera, so the only photo I have is one that the husband took with this Iphone.

Monday, 22 August 2011

new in store | it's a start 7

I have a new templates set going live today! I really like these templates because of the ample journaling space and combination space for paper and/or photo choices.

It's a Start
(Click on the image to go directly to the product in my shop)

You can pick this set up in my shop at JessicaSprague.com today!

by Sarah Horton

by Cathy Pascual

Sunday, 21 August 2011

p52 | sticks

This week has consisted of a lot of working in our garden. We built a big raised flowerbed and painted and added to a fence on our deck. We also cleared out both of our walk in closets (that contains anything and everything but clothes) and made about a thousand runs to the city dump. It's been hard work, but it feels really good to have it done.

So the photo of the week has to be related to all the work, of course -  and besides, I haven't even taken any pictures of anything else but that and food.

laying it out | cooking



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Supplies: It's a Start Templates 7 (coming 8/22), Gourmet Paper Pack, Gourmet Labels and Wordart Pack, Meet & Greet Elements Pack all by In the Making Design, stitches by Anna Aspnes, Rockwell and Century Gothic fonts
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Thursday, 18 August 2011

thursday love | manual labor

Even though the actual work itself isn't all that exciting, the finished product so totally is. We built this "roman bath" (we joked that if we covered it with plastic inside we could totally use it as a tub) together, just the two of us. We will plant something pretty and colourful as soon as we have decided what that pretty and colourful is.

a mini photo book

We went to the island Öland with my sister and her boyfriend for a few days during our first week off work. I decided to make a little mini photo book for them to take back to Italy as a memento. I printed it at home and put it together by glueing the backs together. I am quite sure it won't hold up forever, but it looked nice. Ha!

My main focus was the photos. I didn't do any journaling at all, only wrote what the places were called. I used map paper that was offered as part of the Mouse Paper Scissors Dad class at JessicaSprague.com on some of the pages. So it ended up being a super colourful little book.

The front page


Some of the inside pages








I think I will do this a little more often!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

p52 | delectable

Last week wasn't all too exciting. It rained a lot. We spent a lot of time watching telly and playing cards. We did go bowling, which I shared a photo of in my New52 post, and watched a football game between our local team and AC Milan (DSLRs weren't allowed in the stadium so I didn't bring it, although I totally could have), and we had a crayfish party at my mother's place. I baked for the party, and this gets to be photo of the week.

new 52 | acr and randomness

On thing that I've been meaning to do for ages and ages is getting comfortable with ACR editing. Yah, I know, after so many years photographing and working with PS, I still couldn't get my photos looking like I wanted them to in ACR. Pathetic. It was something about the white balance that I just never could get right. This of course means that I have been forced to always shoot JPEG, no matter if I wanted to or not.

So I figured I needed to just open a boatload of photos in ACR and just work, work, and work until I started feeling comfortable with the results. Of course that kind of approach takes time. Time that I felt I never had. But in the past couple of months I have given it a go, and I feel like I'm almost to the point of basic comfort. I always open every photo in ACR now, to see what I can do with it there before going to regular PS mode. So I guess I should call this one done and dusted. Sometimes I wish learning was like pushing a button, or taking a pill - on single action on my part and hey presto, I'm done.

Last week I also bowled for the first time in ten years or so. Due to severe back issues in my past I haven't been able to, or even dared try. But I got through almost an hour before it started to take its toll. Not that it has mattered all that much. I have always been very bad at bowling. One could accurately say that I quite frankly suck at it. But this time I at least managed to get past 100 points. Way chuffed about that.



For dinner at my mother's place on Saturday I baked chocolate butterfly cakes with lemon butter cream. I've been eyeing these for some time, not really understanding how to get the wings like that. What a duh! moment it was when I understood that it was simply to cut a round off the top and half it.



I guess all in all, a pretty good turnout for a week where I spent most of the time vertically on the sofa watching telly.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

obw | meet & greet cards

If you want a fast and easy way to make great looking cards, then take the chance to pick up the Meet & Greet Card Template Set at One Buck Wednesday over at JessicaSprague.com today. You get four templates that you can use your own papers and elements on, and four quick cards with the beautiful papers and elements from the Meet & Greet packs.

I feel this is truly a good deal - Meet & Greet is among my favourite designs!

Meet&Greet
(Click on the image to go directly to the product in my shop)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

p52 | our summer is in full swing

Our summer vacation has finally started, we're actually on our second week of three right now, and it's been really lovely so far.

Our home team MFF welcomed Scottish Glasgow Rangers in a Champions League qualifications game. The pre game tifosi was awesome, and the atmosphere was just mindblowing. It was a long time ago since we experienced such a great attitude from the public. Best thing of all? We managed to beat Rangers and are now on to meet Dinamo Zagreb in the play offs. Yay!


Last week we went to the island Öland with my sister and her boyfriend Andrea. It's a really pretty place and we had fabulous weather throughout our trip. Öland is full of these old windmills, and some are open for looking into.

Monday, 8 August 2011

new52 | a hairy situation + birhtday celebrations

Alright, two weeks to cover in this post! The week before last I was determined to learn how to make a French braid. I have never been able to get it right before but lately I have been quite tired of ust keeping my hair hanging straight or in a pony tail. I had about as much success with this as with the sock curls the other week, but I kept going until I thought my arms were going to fall off. The result? Messy, loose, but French. Not the prettiest, but there it is.



Of course, I also cooked that week, and that was a better success than making hairdos.

I had on my list of things to do this year to celebrate my birthday with champagne and a beauty treatment. Of course, I've had champagne before, as well as many a beauty treatments (lord knows they are needed), just not ever on the same day, and never on my birthday. So I made an appointment for a haircut and had a nice relaxing time when she washed my hair and massaged my scalp and then made my hair look all soft and pretty. When I got home we sat outside in the garden and enjoyed a really nice Taittinger before digging into the crayfish.

This is me looking dorky (pre haircut) during lunch courtesy of the husband.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

a week in the life | food

Yes, things have been dead around here for the past week. Well, I desperately needed a break from all things even remotely related to work, computers, and deadlines and so I spent our first week of vacation with family; eating good food, watching good football, painting a fence, and going on a mini trip. It has been sublime. I haven't felt so relaxed and calm in months. It even got to the point where I passed the computer yesterday and thought "I can't be bothered". LOL!

Last week I had this informal photo project where I photographed the food I ate throughout the week. My life isn't even remotely interesting enough for me to chronicle it in the "regular" way but I do think it's cool to follow what we eat. I had planned to share it here at the beginning of the week but never got round to it. But why not now, eh?

Tuesday was a quickie sort of day. We made salmon sandwiches for dinner and sat outside with a glass of rosé and enjoyed a little sunshine after work.


Wednesday and Thursday were meh sort of days and the highlight of my food chronicles were the berry smoothies I made for myself.


On Friday Johan made roast beef which we enjoyed with fagioli and red wine from Banfi castle in Tuscany (I just had two sips because red wine gives me a migraine).




On Saturday it was my time to cook the three course meal of the month. We started off with gazpacho with grilled scallops.


Then we continued with pan fried cod and a couscous with prawns and red onions seared in red wine vinegar which was served with a lovely rosé from France. It was delicious!


We ended the meal with white chocolate mousse and limoncello.


On Sunday we had my family over for dinner to welcome my sister and her boyfriend who are here visiting from Italy. I got up at the crack of dawn to do some baking, which all turned out really well. I made rosemary and parmesan foccacia to go with dinner.


And then for dessert I made a riccotta and lime pie topped with raspberries and blueberries. This was absolutely amazing!


I also made Nutella swirl cupcakes. I found this on Pinterest and had to convert to metric on my own so I was a bit worried how it would turn out. It ended up very lovely thankfully.
This is straight out of the oven.


And here they are on the stand for the guests to jump all over.


On Monday we celebrated my birthday with a lovely lunch at a local fish restaurant.
I had the most amazing seafood salad, which contained scallops, squid, prawns, crayfish and the most amazing tomato vinaigrette.


The husband had perch with crayfish sauce and new potatoes.
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That night we continued the seafood theme and had a crayfish party with the husband's brother and his wife. Oh, and we squeezed in some champagne as well. :)

All in all it was a really lovely food week. I live a good life!

Monday, 1 August 2011

new in store | gourmet

Oh I am in love with today! Not only is it my birthday, and I get to celebrate it with good food and champagne, but I also have new stuff in the shop and a little something for you guys! Yay!

Now you know I have a thing for food, right? It's basically all I talk about here (and there's more to come on that topic too). And I was thinking a few months back that I needed a way to document the part of my New52 challenge where I cook for the husband every month. Gourmet was born from that need.

Gourmet
(Click on the image to go directly to the product in my shop)

Gourmet
(Click on the image to go directly to the product in my shop)

Gourmet is available today at JessicaSprague.com.

Now, I said I had a little something for you as well! Just head on over to my facebook page! Click the "Like button" and pick up a coupon code for 15% off the Gourmet Packs! Yay!

Have a great day everyone! I sure will!