Friday, 31 December 2010

Our first Christmas

I hope you've had a nice Christmas with peace and rest.

We've had our first Christmas at home -and even though family was missed- we have really enjoyed the peace and quiet of not having to travel around.

Here are some photos of our last week of preparation and our celebrations:

 Results of our advent "Juleverksted" -lovely gingerbread houses and cookies.
Best tip ever -roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper (no extra flour needed) the day before and you are ready to get cookie-cutting when guests arrive + no fiddly transfer to a baking tray for baking! 

 Stefan making his Grandma's "lefser" - a true taste of Christmas.

Going out on a Christmas tree hunt -coming home with a Holly branch to decorate. 
While we were away Mary and Joseph arrived at the stable.

Some down time before the feasting watching a crackling fire  (on the Mac) - I even managed to finish Aline's Owl jumper in time for Christmas.

Our Christmas Feast -Slow roast Pork belly "RIbbe" with Meatballs "medisterkaker", sausages, potatoes and fried apples - Sherrypudding and creamed ricepudding and finally 7 types of Christmas treats. 
True bliss.

What did you do for your holidays?
Thanks for following!

&
 
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Giveaway winner!

Sorry for being so late to announce who won the giveaway...I have no real excuse...


Without further ado
the winner is


Gratulerer!

If you could get in touch sending me the address you want it sent to that would be great!
And I'll pop it in the post as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Reminder -Giveaway

Who wouldn't want a nice treat? Don't you?

I'm giving away this hand-drawn necklace to one of you readers of my blog as a celebration of my newly opened Etsy shop and to say thanks for reading to you!

Only 5 more days left to join! Go to this page to sign up. You put your name down twice :)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

You need to see these!

These might be the cutest childrens books ever!
From the 80's -the time all good things were made *wink*

Moonlight Sunshine

It's stories without words - so gorgeous!
I only discovered them now and got them straight away for Aline!

Monday, 13 December 2010

How to make gold

No Christmas without some bling

This time in the shape of crunchy sweetness - also known as Honeycombe, cinder toffee...

Ingredients:
  • 335g sugar
  • 125ml honey
  • 125ml golden sirup
  • 25g butter
  • 80ml water
  • 2 teaspoons bicarb
Please note that this is extremely hot and you do not want little fingers anywhere near the stove when making these! 
  1. Grease some baking paper and place on a baking tray
  2. Mix all the ingredients together except the bicarb in a big pan and bring to a boil. It needs to boil while stirring for about 10 min. To see if it is ready drop a few drops of the mixture into a glass of cold water. If it just dissolves it needs to boil longer, if it turns into a hard/firm ball then it is ready for the next step.
  3. Now for quick action. Quickly stir in the bicarb and pour immediately onto your pre-greased sheet. This is going to make it expand very rapidly! It turns it into an erupting volcano.
  4. When it has cooled down, break into pieces. For some extra luxury dip into melted chocolate. Store in an air-tight box.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Etsy shop is now open! GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to my new Etsy shop 



You can join me in there by clicking on the link 
or clicking on the photos of the things I'm selling in the side bar.
Please help me spread the word!

To celebrate this grand opening I'm giving away one hand-drawn bird necklace!

If you would like to have a go at winning it you get two shots -you can:
  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite item in my little shop. (If you like my shop please add it to your favorites!)
  2. Share the news about my shop and blog on your blog or on facebook/twitter. Then leave a comment on this post letting me know that you've done so.
 Leave one comment for each entry please! The giveaway is open for a week only!





Also remember that the first week you get 15% off if you use coupon code WELCOME15!

If you buy now you get it just in time for Christmas!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Etsy shop opening tomorrow!

Tomorrow my Etsy shop goes live!

Go to http://www.etsy.com/shop/MundaneAndBeauteous
Sneak peak of what is to come:

For the first week 15% off any order when you use code WELCOME15
 
Welcome!

Christmas Dress

I have no fancy intro - but I just want to share some exiting news with you:
I have designed my own Christmas dress and ordered it at Styleshake.
And if they deliver what they say - it should turn up on my door in 10 days. How exiting!

Do you want to know what it looks like?





What do you think?

I'm telling you once you've started you don't want to stop!
I've all ready made enough designs to last me a long while -but the options are endless and it's so so fun! If you want to see the rest of my "collection" just type fisher.hoyrem in the search window.
You should have a try! Go straight over to Styleshake and have a go!

Seriously.

Let me know what you come up with!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Truffles

C is for Christmas and chocolate.

And Truffles are one of the best ways to enjoy chocolate 
therefor Truffles should always be made for Christmas 
to be given as presents and to be eaten.


So a few days ago I made truffles with my friend Sharon. 

We made vanilla scented ones.
We made peppermint infused ones.
We made chocolate orange ones.

Here is the recipe we used:
(It makes about 60 truffles)

  • 1 tub of Cream cheese
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 500g chocolate of your choice -the higher the cacao content the better in my book!
  1. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. 
  2. Meanwhile beat cream cheese and icing sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the melted chocolate.
  4. Divide into different bowls if you are doing different flavorings. 
  • For chocolate mint -add 3-4 drops of peppermint essential oil (edible quality). We rolled ours in icing sugar.
  • For chocolate vanilla  - 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. We rolled ours in ground almond.
  • For chocolate orange - add the zest of one orange. We rolled ours in coco.
  • Other ideas are a teaspoon of strong espresso - chili - salt - Earl Grey tea
5. leave to cool down in the fridge for an hour before shaping into little bite size balls. They are rich so don't make them too big!

6. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the fridge. For the best flavor take desired amount out of the fridge an hour or two before devouring.

Enjoy!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Advent calendar


This is how we are counting down to Christmas in the Fisher- Hoyrem household:




My mum made this calendar for me and my siblings about 25 years ago now. 
Lot's of different things have been hanging on this tree -presents, sweets, encouraging notes, daily activities... This year rather than "emptying" the tree we are hanging on an ornament for each day.

Etsy shop opening soon!

The time has come.

(dramatic pause)

I have decided to open an etsy shop. 




It opens in 3 days. 

Her is a sneak peak of some of what will be for sale


The opening will have surprises and a giveaway so stay tuned for 
a little drop of everyday art 
at Mundane and Beauteous!


Also I now have a page on Facebook so why don't you find me there too - who knows what interesting things might pop up there! *wink*

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

One of those days...

Some days you just want to stay in bed and not talk to anyone. 
On those days things tend to go wrong or I do something silly. 
Such a day was last week.
I now have a cut or a burn on every single finger on both hands. 
Quite an achievement actually.

So in this blur I have managed to get myself and Aline dressed and onto the bus in to town to meet Stefan for lunch. 



With Aline being the smiling little person she is - my days of anonymity on the bus are over. It is a lot easier to hid behind a philosophy book than a curious baby. 

So an older lady comes and sits down next to me and asks me how old my little boy is. I take a quick glance at Aline and see that I have dressed her in blue and green -which happen to be my favorite colors - as I'm not in the mood for a long talk I say "she's nearly six months " and look out the window to ward off further questioning. 

Aline on the other hand is trying to grab hold of the lady's scarf. Who then asks me if  he is my first child. So she didn't catch my "she" - still not feeling anymore talkative I don't correct her mistake and just say "yes".

Every question and comment during the following 15 min of reluctant small talk is making it harder for me to rectify the gender of my sweet baby without looking like a complete fool. The lady announces that she is getting off at the next stop and I am relived that I will soon be able to retreat back into silence. 
The out of the blue she asks me "what is his name?"

-what would you have done? 

I had a slight moment of panic and then I heard myself answer:

"Daniel"

To which she replied "what a lovely name for such an adorable boy."

-Aline I'm so sorry.

I've never seen your dad laugh so hard as when I confessed to him my web of lies.

Friday, 3 December 2010

In our midst



As the pace is picking up as the party season starts I find myself shutting down. In this dark time of the year I find it very easy to retreat, life flattens out and melancholy lurks around the corner.  
So I find particular comfort in the art of advent - the art of anticipation.
the slow countdown of waiting
the quiet growing of expectancy
the gradual darkening of the day so dawn and dusk nearly meet
the lighting of the advent candles one by one until all are lit on Christmas day.

In our house on the first Sunday of advent Mary and Josef come down from the attic (just in case you didn't know where they normally live...) and they go on a journey around the living room until they arrive at the stables on Christmas Eve. 



Mary is heavily pregnant and Josef is walking by her side.  They are wading through our mess, also waiting for the One who came into the midst of our darkness and mess. And when He came, He came not as the one who has it all figured out, but as the helpless one who needed to be fed, cuddled, washed, warmed, soothed and comforted.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Tea and sympathy

- in the form of shortbread.

After several weeks of coughs, clods, fevers and general busyness (hence the long absence) you just need to sit down with a nice cuppa and something comforting.
Sunday comfort took the shape of shortbread it is super easy to make and is well worth the hour it takes to bake in the oven.



Here is the recipie I use (it is a modified Delia one)

  • 180g butter
  • 2 tbs of muscavado sugar (for a caramel flavor)
  • 75g sugar
  • 1 tbs Vanilla extract
  • 180g plain flour
  • 80g semolina (for crunch)
1. Pop your oven on to 150C


2. Mix sugar and butter until light and fluffy.


3. Mix in the flour and semolina until you get a smooth dough and clean bowl. (But don't knead it!)


4. roll out on a lightly floured surface until about as thick as your finger and pop into a baking tray.


5. prick all over with a fork.


6.place in the middle of the oven for 60-70 min -or until golden and firm in the center. When you take it out of the oven score it with a knife or pizza cutter so you can easliy break it into dipping fingers when cooled. Cool on a rack. 


7. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea, some knitting and a good movie.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Making logo and labels

After a lot of back and forth I have finally decided on a logo and now I'm having some woven labels made (30x30mm) so I can add them to the things I make. It is very exciting!

And now I need your help! 

I want to order 2 or 3 versions of the label but which color combos should I do?
Here are the options:


































Which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Birthday party ideas II

After a big meal you still might want a little sweet -so why not overindulge (guilt free) on home made blackberry ice-cream? 
For 6 people take 
  • 5dl frozen blackberries (or other frozen fruit)
  • 4 tbs of fat free yogurt
  • 3 tbs of honey
  • 1 tsp of vanilla paste (or just use vanilla yogurt) 
Blend/crush with your hand held blender -my Bamix does it in around 6min.
As this is a healthy, fat free dessert feel free to mix in some chocolate chips and crushed meringue.   



I just managed to take a picture of it before it was devoured - I had to work quickly due to mouth watering hence the bad lighting. So you'll just have to imagine the intense deep purple of this super easy indulgent dessert.     

Birthday party ideas I

Last Friday I had the honor of hosting a birthday party for my dear friend Mary. 
We had such a lovely girly evening -good food, nice wine, lots of chocolate, stimulating conversation, cupcakes, great coffee and did I say chocolate?

What's a party without a birthday bunting? 
How do you make a bunting in less than 15min and not enough time to get out all your crafty stuff? You use paper-dollies!



Cut 5 paper-dollies into quarters and spell out Happy <3 Birthday! -one letter on each triangle with a marker. Tip: Don't write with them in a pile as the marker might stain through
Then you just thread a ribbon through the holes in the dollies. Hey presto!

    
Happy Birthday!



Monday, 15 November 2010

Autumn

It's November, dark, cold and wet and still a bit early in my book to start doing Christmas decoration around the house. So in an attempt to enjoy November with all it's color and not jump ahead to Christmas I've made some fabric leaf bowls. They are so easy to make and look very cozy scattered on our table. You can fin the how-to here at Martha Stewart. 

Love in the toybasket


 Do you remember her?
After a year of waiting and yearning this lovely lady has finally found the man of her dreams! Living in Oxford it of course had to be a man in tweed and corduroy. 



I hope they have a long and happy life together. 


Sunday, 14 November 2010

My own fabric!

It has arrived - samples of my own fabric design. It really fun, you really need to try it. 
Here are the results - same design in different color combos and on different fabric. The colors turned out as I thought apart from the one at the back in the photo - it was supposed to be pinky apples on a light blue background... 





The colors in my photos aren't the best representation either...but these I really liked. The knit jersey (the top one)was really lovely. It's a nice creamy color. I'll be getting some of that. 

Go over to Spoonflower and give it a go!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Monday, 8 November 2010

To do list

At the end of my pregnancy I went to a mum's group at a church and I was struck and a little upset by the underlying guilt and disappointment of not having enough time to read the bible, pray and do "spiritual" ministries that surfaced when they started articulating what they dreamt of and what they found a struggle in their lives as mums. 

I really do understand this feeling - in the midst of the reality of continues nappy changes, snack making and cleaning, living with God was yet another part of life that seemingly has to be sat on the shelf, along with other dreams and ambitions until the children are a little bigger. What it means and looks like to be "authentically" (whatever that means?!) living with God (at least in many of the Christian settings I'm in)-reading the bible and praying for X minutes/hours a day, being part of some ministry and so on just seems impossible to fit into the hectic life of a mum to little children (or any normal life...). Let's be honest sometimes, we don't have time to shower or brush your teeth because of all the things that need to be tended to around us... 

While I do think it is vital in the midst of the business of motherhood to sit down (or go for a walk), take a deep breath and (re)turn to God trough scripture, prayer, a smile or a glance -I do not think it is helpful to feel guilt or disappointment for not being able to spend an hour or five everyday being with God. 

God is not another thing on your list of things that need to be tended too. 
He is the One who tends to you, and He is here bidden or not.   



So here I am again trying to figure out what becoming someone who walks with God might mean. This time it's through the lens of motherhood. Being a mum (or anything thing really...) does not mean there is even less time for God, rather it is an invitations to see and encounter God in new ways -if I just start looking for Him in the small mundane things that make up my present, rather than waiting to "see" Him until I have the time to sit down for an hour sometime in the future. 

God is not on my to do list. He is here. 

-if you want to hear/read more along these lines I can recommend
Alan Ramsey's sermon "Looking Looking" and   The Practice of the Presence of God (Paraclete Essentials) by Brother Lawrence.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

It has happened!

When I taste good bread I go "yum yum in my tum tum", but Stefan sits forward and discovers depths concerning the incarnation and Trinity in it's flavors. He enriches me.   

Now you can have a slice too!

He has started his own blog with his musings and view on the world. 


So head over  to  Traditio - Surrender/Translate/Betray and enjoy.

Cheers to Stefan and his new blog! May there be many entries to come!

 

Friday, 5 November 2010

Comfort in a cup

Sometimes my morning doesn't go to plan. 
Occasionally (actually rather often) my ambitions for the day goes down the drain. 
From time to time my aims for the week are just not doable.
Suddenly it is November and I haven't even registered that October was here!
Its been several weeks of lovely visits from family, Aline's christening and perpetual colds and runny noses for everyone in the household -and failing internet.  So my intentions of exercise, blogging and PhD-ing... -well let's just say it didn't happen. 


When October was at it's snottiest and I was feeling rather miserable for having to be shut up inside and not having the energy to do exercise or studies a blog entry from Homemade Mamas brightened my day. They blogged about making cake in a mug in minutes -too good to be true. So I gave it a try -and for the amount of effort (or should I say lack of effort) that is required and the (lack of) time it take to make I can warmly recommend it for those days where nothing goes to plan and you need to take a moment out and remember that life isn't to bad after all.



The second time I made it (yes, I had more than one occasion last month were I needed a time out) I did some changes which in my opinion made it even better *wink*. If you want the original version (with simpler ingredients) you'll find the recipie by clicking on the link above. 
My pimped version is under the photos. The recipe is supposed to be for one big mug, but on both occasions I've found it enough for two mugs (which makes Stefan happy) -even though that means it doesn't bulge decadently over the top.  


    Ingredients:
  • 3 Tbsp. Self-Rising Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. of ground Almond
  • 3 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Muscovado sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. natural yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Splash of Vanilla
  • 1 Large Coffee Mug
Optional extras:
  • 3 Tbsp. chocolate chips
  • a splash of Coffee
  • some orange zest
  • caramel sauce 

 Mix it all together and pop in the microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes.
Serve while warm with some ice-cream or just a dusting of vanilla sugar. 

Now colds are clearing up, we are back online, I've been for a run and November with all it's coziness is upon us!