Friday, April 30, 2010
I did it again! I have used the pattern I showed you a couple of days back and have made this super cute Barbamama cuddle toy. Here is the link once again: http://www.101woonideeen.nl/uncategorized/barbamama1/
The fabric is from IKEA again. My best source for vibrant patterns.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
My mum grows these beauties in her garden. So I was really surprised when I found them here in Hong Kong on the greenery market. Aren't they just gorgeous! I love to have fresh flowers in the house. It's such an easy but rewarding treat...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I think I have already mentioned that I love mangoes. Here in Asia they seem to have a different kind which is even more delicious. They are small and yellow not like the green-red ones you can get in Europe.
This time I have made mango lassie. Yum! (The fruits in the photo are no mangoes and are also not edible, they are just deco I bought for Chinese New Year and they are still fresh after almost three months.)
Ingredients (for 2)
1 mango (take half of a big green-red one)
1 small natural yogurt (around 150 g)
300 ml water
a pinch of salt
sugar to your taste
Peel and cut the mango and fill all the ingredients into a blender. Blend well and serve chilled.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Still out and about while waiting for the big day. This time we had a stroll in Wan Chai and brought these nice impressions back home. We always end up at Starbucks for coffee and muffin somehow. I wonder how many Starbucks are left over on Hong Kong Island that we haven't paid a visit to yet...
Friday, April 23, 2010
This was the fun part - shopping for the toys and deco. But I have also made a few items by myself. It's gonna be interesting which ones little one will prefer. I could actually continue sewing new little friends forever, there are so many good projects out there. Have a look at this one for a start...
The page is in Dutch but you can use your Google translator to convert it into English.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Here comes my travel system. I have chosen a three wheeler as I think it will be more maneuvarable. Plus I just find it more stylish. The good think about this one is that you can change between the car seat, the pram and the stroller just with an easy click and go mechanism. Unfortunately the colour was a bit limited in Hong Kong. The strawberry red is great but the black and grey was not really my favourite. So I try to spice it up with a few colourful accessories. The travel change mat was a cool find on one of my shopping trips. I love the pattern! And I hope it's gonna be as handy as it looks. Last not least I have bought a baby carrier for the first few weeks. Hong Kong is not really stroller friendly so I think I will use the carrier probably quite often. Since I have a strong back that should not be a problem.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
There's the cot, decorated in a minimalist way so that the air can circulate. Then we have the Quinny Dreami travel cot in case we are staying at a friend's place and the swaddling blanket. Furthermore the sleeping bag and a music toy which makes such irritating noises that I am not sure whether we are really going to use it. Origami birds are twittering overhead and an owl is watching over baby's sleep. I guess I can tick the box - prepared.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I guess you can tell that I am expecting a little girl. I tried to prevent too much pink but I was tempted... Little dresses are just so cute! Today I went to the beach just a thirty minutes drive from where I live. With all the swimming and accupuncture treatments I am having at the moment this makes me feel more and more like being on a spa holiday. But the more relaxed you are the smoother the labour don't they say that?
Monday, April 19, 2010
We are approaching the last days of my pregnancy and it's about time to get prepared for the baby. I hope I have everything together. There were actually quite a few things we had to buy. I like the hippo bathing thermometer because it doesn't look like a thermometer more like a little toy. The tummy tub was especially developed to make baby feel like being in Mama's tummy again. She can sit upright but since it's not that wide the walls will give her hold. And I love that it is see-through. I bet we will have plenty of fun taking photos of little one inside the tummy tub.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Another DIY project for the nursery. These cute elephant cushions look best when you use a nice patterned fabric. The orange fabric is from IKEA. Use a contrast fabric for the ears.
Use the last image as pattern and rescale it to A4 size for the small elephant and to A3 size for the bigger one. Cut the body two times with 1 cm seam allowance. Then cut the ears out of the paper pattern and then twice out of the contrast fabric. This time with no seam allowance. Applique the ears to the body using your zig-zag stitch. Also stitch the eyes with a straight stitch (start from the outside and finish in the middle of the eye). Now you can either stitch the body directly onto one another leaving a little gap or you can cut another piece of the body fabric about four to five cm wide and as long as the circumference of the body pattern. This will be the side of the cushion. Stitch it to the body pattern leaving a gap at the end so you can easily close the seam of the side part. Stitch the other side to the second body part and this time you can completely close the seam. Turn the sewn parts inside out and fill them with cushion filling (if you use polyester filling you can wash it if needed). The last step is closing the seam.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
One is a very simple scarf top. It takes no longer than half an hour. You need a square shaped scarf for this one. Just fold a triangle of one of its corners as shown in the photo and stitch it. Make a little tunnel seam at the top of it. Use a nice ribbon and thread it through the tunnel. That's all. Use two corners to close the new neckholder top in the back.
For the scarf dress you need a rectangular shaped scarf. Cut it into half. Then cut four pieces of elastic braid so that they fit comfortably around your upper bust. They shouldn't be too loose though as they will hold the dress in place. Then cut these four pieces into half too. Use your zig-zag stitch to fix them to the scarf parts about five cm apart from each other. You need to pull the elastic braid while sewing as it should ideally be only half of the length as the scarf part. Otherwise your lower body might not fit into the dress. By this you should get two scarf pieces with each four elastic braids sewn to it as can be seen in the photo. Now close the side seams making sure that the elastic braid lies on top of each other. Then you need to do the top seam. The bottom seam should still be available as it was not cut. If not fix it too. Then stitch a straight seam exactly through the middle of the front part as long as the part with the elastic braids. Pull one of the threads so that you get nice ruffles. Finish off by fixing a beautiful ribbon in the middle of the front part. Leave enough ribbon at the ends so that you will get a neckholder. Done!
For me the two pieces work as a maternity wear but the good thing is you can also wear them when not pregnant.
Friday, April 16, 2010
I love these fun mugs! You look like a little pig when you put them to your mouth which usually paints a big smile on the face of your counterpart. I purchased them from one of my favourite shops called Franc Franc which can be found in Causeway Bay (http://www.francfranc.com/eng/shop/oversea/). See http://shop.bals.co.jp/shop/g/g1101090030201/ for the mugs. It was designed by Creative Director Kenjiro Sano (aka MR DESIGN), who boasts an impressive portfolio that includes clients such as Kirin, Shiseido and Nissan (http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2009/08/05/creative-director-kenjiro-sano/).
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Another small project for your living space or work place. I used an old frame and black velvet ribbon to create this memory board. Just staple the ribbon to the frame. Pay a visit to your stationary shop and get a few nice clips. Then create your own creative collage of cards, photos and magazine clippings.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
No need to crochet every single piece just cheat a bit with these fabulous flowers from IKEA. It's called Lusy crochet deco (http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/50154820) and I have used five sets to create this fresh table-runner.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Big Buddha on Lantau is another popular tourist attraction in Hong Kong. The buddha statue is made from bronze and was completed in 1993 only. The Po Lin Monastry next door is still in use and can be visited as well. It dates back as far as 1906. Since shopping is a major hobby of every Hong Konger you will also find souvenir stalls, local fast food eateries and a Starbucks cafe at the nearby Ngong Ping cable car station. It's a nice weekend excursion. If you like you can also combine it with a shopping trip to the Citygate outlet mall in Tung Chung (Tung Chung MTR station). From there you can get on the cable car to Ngong Ping. After the buddha take a cab to Cheung Cha beach and have dinner at The Stoep restaurant. From there take a cab to Mui Wo ferry pier and head back to Central. This is a typical day-trip we take our guests on.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Yesterday we went on a little trip to Stanley. Stanley is in the south of Hong Kong Island. It's known for its market where you can buy all kinds of cheap stuff and souvenirs. Especially famous among US tourists because they sell clothes in XXL sizes which are otherwise hard to find in Hong Kong. We love the sea promenade which has a kind of Mediterranian flair. There are also a number of nice al fresco restaurants.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Hong Kong consists of several islands but is also connected to mainland China. The financial hub is located on Hong Kong Island which is separated from the mainland by the Hong Kong Harbour. It's one of the most beautiful skylines I have seen and you will find it quite similar to Manhattan.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Hong Kong is probably the only city that is using an escalator for public transport. Since the city is built along a hillside you can ride all the way up using this famous means of transport. The blue sign will show you the way. It's fantastic for people watching no matter whether riding on it or having a drink in one of the numerous bars and restaurants along its way.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
This is my neighbourhood - Soho (South of Hollywood Road). Hollywood Road is famous for its antique shops. They are quite pricy but at least they won't sell you fakes. You can also find a very traditional wet market and an antiques market (Cat street market) in my neighbourhood which I love strolling from time to time. Last not least there is Man Mo temple on Hollywood. It's neither very beautiful nor very old but it's a major tourist attraction.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Central - the bustling financial district on Hong Kong island where most of the western foreigners live. One thing you can't miss are the old fashioned trams tottering along showing the latest ads for fashion, finance and beauty products. For just 2 HKD (20 cent US) you can ride as long as they take you which can be quite a distance sometimes. They are so low that my husband can't even stand upright but for most of the locals that isn't a problem though...
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
This week I have dedicated to the city I live in - Hong Kong. Yesterday was a typical hazy day so that sometimes only the roof tops of the highest buildings could be spotted in the fog. We got on a taxi and went all the way up to the Peak (the highest mountain on Hong Kong island). There's a really great walkway around it's top. It's only a 10 minutes drive from the bustling city centre but when you get there you think you are walking in the jungle. It's all green with tropical plants all over. This is what I love about Hong Kong. Urban city life and nature are so close to each other. Hong Kong also has a large number of beautiful hiking paths not to mention all the little islands that surround it.
Monday, April 5, 2010
This was our Easter dinner. Braised lamb shoulder with mash and salad. My hubby made it for me and all I can say is 'It was fantastic!'.
Ingredients: (for 4)
1.5 kg lamb shoulder without bone
6 garlic cloves
5 small onions
a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
4 bay leaves
150 ml water
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Peel the onions and the garlic and half the onions. Peel the carrots and cut them into thick slices. Season the lamb shoulder with salt and black pepper. Sear it from all sides in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Then put it into a casserole pot. Add the garlic, onions, carrots, rosemay and bay leaves. Then fill the water into the pan you used for the searing of the lamb shoulder. Heat it up until it cooks and soaks up the juices of the lamb shoulder. Then pour it into the casserole. Season again with salt and pepper. Put the casserole into the oven and leave it uncovered for about 15 minutes. Afterwards cover it with the upper part or with aluminium foil if you don't have a casserole. Bake it for 75 to 90 minutes. Let it rest for another 15 minutes.
Serve with mash and a fresh salad or green veggies.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
This is a very sophisticated recipe. The fresh mint leaves give a very special taste to the tomato sauce.
Ingredients (for two):
2 swordfish fillets
2-3 garlic cloves
2 medium size onions
500 g fresh tomatoes
20 fresh mint leaves
Chop the garlic and onions into fine pieces. Wash and cut the tomatoes into small chunks. Season the swordfish with salt and black pepper. In a preheated pan fry the garlic and onions in a little olive oil. When they turn golden add the tomato chunks and turn the heat down. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes and season with salt and black pepper. In the meantime chop the mint leaves and sear the seasoned swordfish in a preaheated pan from both sides for about 4 minutes each.
Serve the swordfish on a large plate with the tomato sauce and sprinkle the mint leaves over sauce. Serve with pasta and green veggies.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Another delicious yet simple dish. We usually have it as a starter.
Ingredients: (for two)
10 prawns (peeled)
Peel the aavocado and cut it into half. Cut each half into thick slices. Decorate each half on a plate and season with salt and pepper and if you like a bit of chilli powder.
Sear the prawns in a preheated pan with a little bit of olive oil until they turn pink or if you have precooked prawns then until they are slightly brownish. Season with salt and pepper again. Decorate five prawns on each plate and serve immediately. You can serve some garlic sauce, mayonaise or fresh lemon juice with them if you like. Yum!