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30 March 2014

mum-made.... with love!

Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK and being a day to celebrate mothers, today is the perfect day for me to launch a new series of blog posts that I couldn't be more excited to introduce to you...

meg-made has been my own little space on the blogsphere to share my love of cooking, eating, crafting and my family, and now I am opening up my blog to other mums. mum-made will be a monthly series of guest posts from inspirational mums who love making things with their little ones.

I wanted the first post in the mum-made series to be a little bit about why I am doing mum-made and what it means to me. And then I'll be passing the torch on to some pretty awesome women to share their creations and stories with you. These women make no apologies for how much they love being mums and their adorable bubs show the signs with the biggest smiles.

I always knew I wanted to become a mum. I never knew what I wanted to do for study or work, but one thing that I have always been absolute on is my desire to have a family.

There have of course been hard times, sleepless nights and stomach-flipping-worries, but nothing compares to the joy that this little girl has brought to our lives.

Some of my happiest times as a mum is when I have Madeleine sitting on the bench next to me helping me cook. It makes me so incredibly happy to teach her things as we go, and I love love LOVE how much she enjoys it.

To share something you love, with someone you love, is one of life's great privileges.

And whether we are making something special for Daddy, drawing on a card for a new baby that is soon to be her best friend or making a handprint tea towel, watching my little girl learn and grow makes me such a proud mama. 

Through blogging I have been able to get to know some brilliant women and very special mums (although most of them are American mOms!). I wanted to hear from some of these inspiring mums about ways in which they show their love for their families, and how "mum-made" is always made with love.

My first mum-made Mom is the gorgeous Ashley from Words About Waverly. Ashley's little girl Waverly is always the smiliest little tot and has a serious amount of spunk about her. I can't wait to show you what Ashley and Waverly have been making together!

Thank you to all the amazing mums who want to be part of mum-made, it means so much to me and I can't wait to share your beautiful families with everyone!

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28 March 2014

Baby to Little Lady room update: Curtain makeover

If you've been following along, I have been posting about the updates we've been making to Madeleine's room. As I have been updating her nursery to a room fit for a little lady I replaced the nursing chair with a slimline rocker, and I've been hanging her beautiful baby clothes as wall art

Another change I made a few weeks back was an update to her curtains. I made the original green curtains and so didn't want to just discard them. They are nice and heavy and so keep Madeleine's room dark and warm on these cold London mornings. 

And so I bought some super cheap (as in £7 cheap) lightweight white curtains to hang over the top of the original ones. But when they arrived, I discovered I had mis-measured. Oops. So I turned it to my advantage and made neutral colour-blocked curtains. 

The beige fabric piece on the bottom of the curtains gave it a little extra weight so that they hung nicely, and I really like the slight colour variation. 

And then of course they needed a little glam and gold, so I made a sweet little Sparkle Bow Curtain Tie to finish them off beautifully. I don't need to wax lyrical about my love of gold, and sparkles and bows... we've met! 

I really love the finished product. It makes her room much lighter and brighter, but yet is still classic and feminine. I like that I can use the full set of curtains at night time and for naps, and then have the lighter ones to flow in the afternoon breezes!

Happy Friday! What do you have planned for the weekend? We are going to be heading out for lunch tomorrow and I've no idea what Madeleine has planned for Mother's Day on Sunday, but she needs to remind her Daddy, he seems to have forgotten all about it!!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!! 

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27 March 2014

Gordon Ramsay Caramelised Figs : An Anniversary Treat

I've been trying so hard not to write another Gordon Ramsay recipe, but I just can't help it, these are too great to not share!

I love meals that look impressive, but that are actually really easy to make. It was my Husband and my anniversary this week and even though we didn't exchange presents, I did want to make him a special dessert. And as "fruit" is the traditional symbol of a 4th Anniversary, I knew that I wanted to make a fruity dessert. 

When I saw Gordon baking some figs on his Ultimate Cookery Course program I was intrigued. I knew I didn't like figs, but these looked delicious. To say that I don't like figs, is well, a stretch, considering I had never even had one. I am a texture person, and figs challenged my perspective on texture!! Its weird but true. But the seeds, the thick skin, the flesh, it was just all too texturally diverse!!

But I was curious enough with this recipe to give figs a go. When they look like this, its kind of hard to keep nattering on about texture!

Gordon Ramsay caramelised figs
Gordon Ramsay caramelised figs Gordon Ramsay caramelised figs Gordon Ramsay caramelised figs
So I made some caramel, baked for 10 minutes and then THOROUGHLY enjoyed my first (and second) fig! 

It is so easy to do, and looks so striking on the Rosemary stick. 

Gordon Ramsay caramelised figs

If you like figs (or if you too are scared of them) then you will love them baked, caramelised and on a rosemary skewer!

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 rosemary sprigs
12 fresh figs
4 tbsp icing sugar
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp caster sugar
30g butter, cubed


1. Make the caramel - - melt the sugar in a pan until it starts to colour, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and mix in the butter, 2 tablespoons for balsamic vinegar and a dash of water.

2. Remove most of the leaves from the rosemary, all but the end sprigs. Cut the woody end of the rosemary into a sharp point, and thread through the tops of each fig.

Gordon Ramsay caramelised figs

3. Sprinkle the icing sugar across the figs and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of balsamic.

4. Place the threaded figs in a baking dish and coat with the caramel.

Gordon Ramsay caramelised figs

5. Bake in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes.

Gordon Ramsay caramelised figs

6. Serve immediately with ricotta cheese (or maple cream if you want a real sweet hit) and Gordon sprinkled some almonds over them too, which would be lovely, but I didn't have any on hand. 

There is the slightest hint of rosemary within the figs, which is perfectly balanced by the caramel. The balsamic vinegar in the caramel seems odd at first, but it totally worked. 

I paired the figs with a  maple cream, but it really should go with a dollop of ricotta, as the cream was too sweet. So that's what I will change for next time! 

The flesh is soft and sweet, the seeds crunchy, and the caramel is just divine. My caramel was a little chewy because I was taking photos before serving, but it didn't compromise the flavour, I was licking the bowl clean! 

Gordon Ramsay caramelised figs

I'm so happy that I finally gave figs a go, I can't wait to make them again, but this time with the ricotta! Am I the only one who has hesitated with figs??

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26 March 2014

Half of my Life: A love letter

Today is my Husband and my 4th Wedding Anniversary. Every anniversary is special, but the more significant celebration this month is our 15 year Anniversary of being together.

And it comes just weeks after my 30th Birthday, which means that now half of my life has been spent with this man. And so when people say "my other half" for me this now holds even more meaning.

15 years ago I met a boy at a school dance that I kind of liked. And then I kind of liked him a lot. Everything was simple and sweet.

There were hand-written love letters exchanged; weekend picnic dates; and when he went home each summer to work on the farm, we spent hours and hours on the phone each night (landline of course) getting to know and miss each other. 

We were only young but from the very start, we knew we were everything to each other.  We met at such a crucial time in our lives when we needed each other so much. We gave each other much needed self-confidence and strength, and became each others' stability.

We have been together through so many highs and lows over half my lifetime, and have really grown up together. We thought we knew and loved each other as much as we could on our wedding day, but then became parents together, and discovered a whole new meaning to love.

I love this man more today than the day before, but never as much as the day to come.

Sometimes I think we've changed so much since we first met, but in reality, we still write each other love letters, still enjoy picnic's with reckless abandon and still call each other every single day, just to say hi and tell one another we love them (and nowadays, for Maddie to see her Daddy too).

Every day I feel so incredibly lucky that I met my Husband when he was just a boy, and that we have grown together and made this wonderful life for ourselves. To see our love grow in the smile of our little girl is the most incredible warmth in my heart. Every single day I am so thankful to share the little moments of life with these two.

We aren't exchanging gifts this anniversary, I truly feel like I have everything I could ever wish for. All I wanted today, was to exchange one more love letter. 15 years worth just isn't enough! I'm always going to want to hear more from this man's brilliant mind and gentle heart.

So here is to young love, my love. Which can, if you are incredibly lucky, grow and become everlasting love.

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