Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Lego lunchbox: courgette salad

Lego lunchbox today:
Courgette salad - courgettes, lemon juice, olive oil, feta cheese, dill
mango for dessert.

Did you know that you could eat raw courgettes? Yes? Well lucky you. No? Don't worry - I didn't know either but I'm here to save the day with this wonderful super easy recipe. 
Courgettes are just as delicious raw as they are in a cooked meal. The secret to this recipe is how you slice them: the thinner the slices the better. Whisk lemon juice (or orange or grapefruit juice if you're feeling adventurous) and olive oil and leave the courgettes to marinate for about 10-15 minutes. Add feta cheese and dill and you have the perfect lunch. A mango for dessert makes it even better. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Felt Fox DIY

Crafts are always fun. But it takes two to turn a craft day into a party and i'm glad i've found the perfect partner in crime for that. 
As soon as Mon and I visited an art supply store together (and ooh-ed and aah-ed at just about everything inside) - it was clear that we needed a craft day. We decided to make felt plushies, packed materials, bought somehow healthy snacks and made it official: Saturday is craft day.

We made homemade lemonade, munched yoghurt rice cakes and chocolate and listened to Emancipator while cutting out paper stencils, threading needles and stitching felt pieces together. Craft days are definitely my new favourite thing.

Making a fox plushie out of felt is super easy and super fun on a craft day or any day. You only need orange felt for the body, black and white thread for the details, some stuffing and a tiny piece of cloth of your choice for the scarf. 
Make a paper stencil of your fox (or print this one) and cut out front and back pieces from the felt sheets. Don't forget to leave space for stitching! Use thick white thread for the details and make a pattern than you like. You can cut out the nose and eye out of black felt or embroider them... i picked the easier way. When you're done with all the little details - start stitching the front and back pieces of the body and tail together. (do them separately and stitch them together after stuffing.) I decided that a thick black thread would go nice with the eye and nose but a thread in the colour of the fox might be a better choice. Leave a little hole so that you can stuff your little fox with whatever you have at hand. (I might have asked for Dexter's help for that). Add a scarf or a necklace or a ribbon or whatever you can think of to give your fox a more sophisticated look. 
Either you plan on making a felt fox оr an advanced three-dimentional wolf or a bear or another forest creature - have a craft day with friends. Drink lemonade. Make a mess. Eat chocolate. Have fun.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Full of ideas

Dexter and I are partners in crime. 
We are the perfect team: he's the brains, because all of his ideas are brilliant, and I am the looks, because - well, he is a handsome mister, but I am a girl and I would have been very upset with any other arrangement. We go on all sorts of adventures together: sometimes we go on an expedition to find the best waffles in the neighbourhood, sometimes we go out for a run (we both agree exercise is important - especially after a waffle), and sometimes we randomly decide that gardening is our newest hobby so we seek for lilac tulips and supplies and advice on how to take care of flowers. Dexter is pretty excited to participate in just about anything (excluding cleaning) but sometimes he likes to do things his way. 
Here's a short list of some of his most brilliant ideas:

- Can I have half of your breakfast? It looks pretty tasty and I'm sure you don't need that much food anyways. We're pals, let's share. You know you can always have some of my dog food, if you want.
- A midnight walk! But not just tonight! Every night this week! Don't worry, I'll let you know when the time is right. 3am should be just fine.
- Do I see another dog across the street? Lets totally freeze until we know for sure if it's a friend or a foe. Trust me, it's a good tactic.
- It's raining cats and dogs and it's also freezing outside - we might stay out for a couple of hours, wouldn't it be fun? Dancing in the rain, playing in puddles, digging holes - all sorts of fun activities to choose from!
- Can I have some of your lunch? I didn't have much breakfast. Sharing is caring. 
- Did I just see a cat hide under that car over there? Let's check - I think we will all manage to fit in there and have a party. 
- Let's examine this piece of rock thorougly - half an our of sniffing should do the trick. I think I might have found something. I need time. More time. More time - oh look! Another rock! Forget the first one, this is it!
- Let's bring all sorts of sticks home and hide them under the sofa. A tree might magically grow. An apple tree! Apples are tasty. What's for dinner?

Dexter is a funny little guy but sometimes he gets a little too excited. We couldn't hide under the car with that one cat. Nor was it such a great idea to play in puddles because - as it turned out - mud is fun only until you try to get it all off. But we're having so much fun together it doesn't matter that things sometimes end up with boring baths or light bruises or scratches or - like that one time - with a black eye.
We're adventurers.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

World II Illustration

I leave my house to go to an adventure by boat. I put on a raincoat, because it's a grey chilly Sunday around here, and play a nice tune on repeat.
What is your Sunday like?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Lego Lunchbox: stir-fry thai chicken with vegetables and rice

Lego lunchbox today:
stir-fry thai chicken with vegetables + basmati rice 
no dessert 

Stir-fry chicken isn't exactly a meal you would see in my red lego lunchbox. But there are a lot more skilled lego lunchbox owners who can actually prepare stuff like that. I see it like that: red is for newbies, yellow is for pros. Whenever you see the yellow lego brick around the blog be prepared for sophisticated top class recipes. And boring coffee drinks, obviously.
Stir-fry chicken with vegetables didn't sound like a big deal in the beginning. But it is. I tried to make it and failed hard. (Dexter didn't mind and ate the whole thing). It wouldn't be right to give you tips on a recipe I hardly understand but let me tell you this: the easiest way to enjoy stir-fry chicken with veggies is to find someone who can prepare it for you. Or in my case: take a picture of it in a special yellow lego lunchbox.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Perler Bead Coasters DIY

I didn't know how they were called. I didn't know where to find them. I only knew that they were super fun and that, well... I needed them badly. And as all good things in life, I discovered them accidentally - and couldn't believe my luck. I've been playing with them ever since.
And by them I mean perler beads. You might remember playing with them as a kid. Мy best friend introduced them to me when we were in high school and we used to spend sleepless nights making ridiculous jewellery that we loved but actually never wore. Or - you might still be playing with them secretly? At least I do - not so secretly, though.
Perler beads are a lot of fun. I might be hooked. I might have written a whole list of things I'd like to make out of them. I might have used half a jar of in one day. Dexter might have eaten a bead or two out of curiosity. Don't try that at home. Dexter's a professional.

The supplies needed for a set of cute geometric coasters are simple: some beads in your favourite colours, a circle pegboard, parchment paper and an iron.

It's super easy - create a design you like, carefully cover it with parchment paper and iron it for a couple of seconds until the beads fuse together. Once you've done that you might want to put your coasters under a pile of heavy books (don't remove the parchment paper yet) just to make sure they stay completely flat.

Half an hour later you have your perfectly flat super cute geometric coasters - now you only need a fancy drink to put on top. Homemade lemonade is always a good idea.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Аll is love

Dexter and I wake up early on a Sunday. 
Dexter waits impatiently while I make breakfast: freshly squeezed orange juice and a perfectly cut mango (it took me only a million youtube how-to videos to finally get the hang of it). We take a look through the window to check the weather outside and plan our day accordingly. It is sunny today. Perfect for an expedition. 

And by expedition I mean an adventurous walk to the near bakery. We can't live on orange juice and a mango! We need a second breakfast. Something like a muffin or a waffle or a slice of pizza. Dexter doesn't mind - he could eat all three at the same time. 
I put on my magical lilac hat I found a couple of days ago and almost-magical-running-shoes and we are ready to go.  Dexter doesn't have any magical attire. He keeps it real and casual. Although he likes to wear my lilac hat when we're at home and nobody's watching - but let's keep that a secret. 
We meet friends and foes on our way to the bakery: a couple of stray dogs that don't like Dexter very much and keep arguing we should change our route and a cute little black dog who is Dexter's latest love and follows us along. We stop every now and again because Dexter believes he is this close to finding a treasure but - oh well - it is always a false alarm. We haven't lost faith, though - every adventure ends up with a treasure sooner or later.
Our treasure today is a delicious freshly baked croissant from the bakery. We share 50/50. 60/40 even, because Dexter's girlfriend gets some of my share. Ah, love. I do what I can. 

When we get home we are already tired of our little adventure. Dexter falls asleep almost immediately and I hide under a pink blanket with a couple of favourite books. I don't read much today - I just look at pictures or make lists of german words I don't know. I listen to good music, drink sweet tea and... well... I might have a mint chocolate or two. Or half a box of. It's Sunday. I can do that on a Sunday. Right?
Dexter sleeps till late afternoon. I invite him out for a run but he's the laziest dog in the neighbourhood, he can't take more than one adventure a day. So I put on my magical hat and shoes again and go out alone. An 8km run compensates for eight After Eight mint chocolates, that's what my simple math tells me. I'm good at math, you can trust me on this one. 

I feel happy today. I go on expeditions and draw and run and read and take pictures of mangos. I watch an old Bulgarian movie called All is Love (Dexter falls asleep right after the opening title. Not the best company for movies, this one), I laugh to old-fashioned jokes and clumsy romantic scenes. 
I feel happy and loved today.
All is love. And a simple Sunday made wonderful.

* All is love opening title. Enough to put my Dexter to sleep. 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Bear and Fox

There is an old Bulgarian saying that goes like this: "Sun is shining, rain is pouring down, a bear and a fox are getting married". February is far away from shining sun and pouring rain but in my mind I'm picturing the loveliest forest feast under the rainbow. 

I've added new illustrations in my Etsy shop (you can also find these two!). You are more than welcome to take a look here.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Read of the month: February

Things that can instantly make me happy: Bubble tea. A good book. A good run.
A good book about running by one of my favourite authors is such a delight I can almost forget about bubble tea. Almost.
"What I talk about when I talk about running" is not the typical Murakami book. No little people here, no mysteriously disappearing women with uncannily beautiful ears, no raining fish. This is an honest "kind of memoir" as the author himself calls it - about his life and experiences as a runner, as a writer, as a man.
I cannot call myself a runner. I like a good occasional run, I like to beat my own time and distance records. Maybe participate in a half-marathon (or even maybe a whole marathon!) in the near future - but no more than that. Reading the story of a man who has done 25 marathons and an ultramarathon (100km!) was a huge inspiration, especially when this man happens to be a great novelist, too.
This book is not only about running, so you shouldn't be put off by the title. Murakami describes all the physical and mental agonies he has gone through the years, all the little wins and big losses, all small things that matter and big things that don't. It is a great story about all the possible things we can do (doesn't matter if it is a 100km run or a finished novel or something else) when we set our minds right.
If you don't run you might want to give it a try after reading the story. If you do run - you might put an extra kilometre or two on top of your distance record. I know I did. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lilac tulips

I've always considered myself a winter lover. How come I always dream about summer when it is actually winter then? I guess it's just too cold outside. 
And by cold I mean really really cold. And snowy. And all I've been dreaming about are lilac tulips and sweet sweet bubble tea and picnics in the park.
I guess I prefer warmer days after all.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lego Lunchbox: tabbouleh and dried fruit

Lego lunchbox today:
my most favourite Tabbouleh salad - read recipe here
edam cheese and smoked chicken slices
black tea latte 
dried fruit for dessert

Tabbouleh is nice. Tabbouleh is great. Tabbouleh is the first thing I put in my lunchbox for 2014. 
I adopted juicing for two weeks in the beginning of the month to fully detox my body, but now I'm back to my red lego lunchbox: ready to try out new recipes, mix up ingredients and experiment with all the food there is. 

I'm always open to suggestions for your favourite meals - but please - keep it simple. I'm only a beginner. :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

World Illustration

My very first illustration for 2014. Goes really well with any of Little People's music.
If you guess in which house I hide, I might invite you in.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Best Christmas Present

Home baked cookies аre an absolute must this time of the year. They are fun to make and decorate and actually - they are a great last-minute gift idea, too. Who would say no to a batch of sugar cookies in fun holiday shapes? I wouldn't. Dexter wouldn't. You can trust us.

This recipe makes about two dozen: there will be plenty of cookies to munch on during holidays or pack and give away. You are going to need:
1 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
for the glaze: 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice and a cup of powdered sugar
You could always use the help of a curious dog, too. Dexter plays his part perfectly. 

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, cinnamon and baking soda until combined. Stir in the flour until dough forms. Form a ball from the dough, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for a couple of hours.
Lightly flour your counter top before you take the dough out of the fridge. Roll it flat: if you prefer crisper cookies, roll a thinner layer of dough. Thicker dough makes softer cookies (me and my helper are big fans of those). Use your favourite holiday cookie cutters, place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for about 8-12 minutes. Place all baked cookies on a cooling rack once you get them out of the oven.
Lemon glaze is one of my favourite things on earth because it's the easiest thing to prepare and it gives the cookies a nice wintery look (and a great taste, too!). Just add 3-4 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to a cup of powdered sugar and stir until it gets homogenous. Spread quickly on your cooled cookies and leave it dry for about half an hour. You can melt a bar of you favourite dark chocolate and cover some of the cookies with it. Both choices are delicious.

If you're planning to give some of the cookies away as present, you are only going to need a plastic or cardboard box and that baking paper we used earlier. You could write down the recipe on a card and attach it or just doodle something cute. Don't get too serious about it, though - it's what's on the inside that counts. Some wise words about cookies. 

Have fun baking and packing and eating some of those sweet sweet gingerbread men. 
Happy Holidays! Be merry and bright :)