I am not writing from a Nordic country, but, well, almost! Seattle has a very large Scandinavian community, which is portrayed in many architectural designs here. I am thinking of these wooden houses and condos, very colorful and cubic, with large windows that invite the exterior vegetation inside. I am suuuuuper inspired by this style (check out my Pinterest board!) and I decided to experiment with Scandinavian DIY ideas for Christmas.
To recreate these decors, you will need to pick up pine branches in the woods. Choose the bushy and perfumed ones; ideally, grand fir boughs! You can use these little twigs to adorn your table, make a wreath, wrap gifts…
If you are inspired by the Scandinavian theme, I encourage you to have a look at the E-Book “A Scandinavian Christmas” from Vincent Layerle. You can download it on http://littlenumerics.fr/un-noel-scandinave/ for only 1,49€! Let me introduce you to the rest of my crew: Burt Reynolds the feline alien; a fat Squirrel; and Ysma, the snobby Parisian cat!
I hope you are as happy as I am about Thanksgiving approaching! I’ve already told you so many times how much I love autumn, and how much its colors inspire me to create food and decoration. I especially enjoy designing tables for special occasions, and this is the very first time I’ve posted about it!
For Thanksgiving, we both wanted to stay in the bohemian theme because it allows you to use natural products such as wood, branches, feathers and flowers from your garden. Most of all, it is the perfect theme to recycle and convert objects you already have.
For instance, I noticed many beer and cider bottles are decorated with amazing labels. I especially like the creative and vintage ones. Check them out next time you shop for beers! The idea is to recycle these bottles into beautiful vases, then spread them around the table and add one or two flowers in each. Feathers are welcome, too! The great news with the bohemian style is that you want to avoid uniformity — so go on and try different beverages. Beer and cider lovers will be pleased!
You also want to avoid uniformity for the rest of the accessories: use diverse napkins, plates, and glasses. Display varied and colorful flowers, ferns and candles. Any items that inspire you are welcome! I enjoyed the wild animal figurines and the wooden birdhouse. I also love the mini pumpkins — they are so cheap and so decorative! The table turns out to be a bit overloaded, but I like it like this. It reminds me of a curiosity cabinet.
I am back today with a delicious fall recipe to treat yourself: the perfectly chewy pumpkin cookies! If you liked my rum-vanilla pumpkin pie and my pumpkin dip recipes, you are going to love this one as well! I absolutely wanted to try another pumpkin treat because I am a newly minted pumpkin-lover. In France, we don’t really cook with pumpkin. Traditionally, supermarkets would sell mini-pumpkins and squashes only, and we enjoy them in soups and purées exclusively. I moved to the US early October, right on time to surf the pumpkin-crazy wave! It was exotic to me — American fall recipes include pumpkin in smoothies, pancakes, muffins, cookies, cheesecakes (*stops for breath) but also beer, cider, jam, or even cream cheese!
I must confess I was skeptical at first. Perhaps I still struggle with my old French blasé habits. After my first try, I was sold! Pumpkin flavor combines extremely well with vanilla, cinnamon, and all spices. Its taste reminds me of a French traditional christmas spice cake.
This recipe is my tribute to two American institutions I love: fall pumpkin recipes, and the amazingly perfect cookie — chewy inside, and crispy outside.
Ingredients – For 12 cookies
– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
– 1/2 cup sugar + 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
– 6 tablespoons pumpkin purée
– 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
– 1 and 1/2 cups flour
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Recipe – About 20 minutes:
– Melt the butter in the microwave (very low temperature).
– In a large bowl, beat the sugar, brown sugar, and melted butter.
– Add pumpkin purée and vanilla until smooth.
– In another bowl, mix all the powder ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and spices. Slowly add to the first batter, keep it smooth. Add the chocolate chips.
– Cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for at least 30 min.
– Pre-heat oven to 350°, and cover a cookie sheet with oven-safe paper.
– Form little ball of batter and place them on the cookie sheet, spacing them 2 inches from each other. You can slightly flatten them with the back of a spoon.
– Cook for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will look under-cooked and won’t have spead much: it’s normal! Remove from the oven and let them rest for another 10 minutes on the cookie sheet. You can flatten them a little bit more with a spoon if you like.
– I recommend waiting another hour before eating these treats; I know, waiting will be hard, but then the cookies will be chewier and crispier!
Here is a great article for you if you are a lover of walking in the woods, an interior design guru, or simply if you enjoy arts and crafts. Here a three decorations idea, easy to realize with branches and twigs you picked up in the woods. Perfect to add some nice rustic and cosy touch to your home! Everything you will need is listed below, along with the animated pictures to illustrate the DIYs. Thanks to my friend Perrine who gave me Photoshop classes, I am looking for innovating ways to present tutorials. Do you like it? Please leave me your impressions in a comment!
Peace, love & coziness,
You wil need:
– Branches and twigs you picked up in the woods–on the ground, not directly on the trees, we love trees <3 ;) (if the wood is damp, I advise you to let it dry inside for a few days)
– Pine cones
– Pliers or strong cisors to cut the wood
– Glue gun
– Candles & mini candle holders (99 cents at Goodwill & Best Value)
– Paint pens to draw on wood
– Newspaper to protect your table
– Et voilà!
DIY #1DIY #2DIY #3
A big thank you to Burt Reynolds, who inspired me all along these DIY, with his purrs, his balls of fur and his creepy, unblinking stare.
I told you I would make a big announcement a few weeks ago, and here we are: for those who have been following me for a while, you know I have spent a year living in Seattle after my graduation ; and you know I was dreaming of going back to live there. Today, it is done! I needed two years struggling with the Kafquaesque American immigration laws, two years to learn to be patient, two years to find the appropriate visa (J-1 / H1B / K1?) . Finally, thanks to the support of our friends and families, we made it! After a year of procedure, I took the last turn of the winding road. Within three weeks, I said goodbye to my friends and colleagues, got to the US embassy with a pretty huge stack of papers, bought flight tickets for my cat and myself, moved from my apartment, and voilà! I found John again, we got married in a little comittee, and life goes on! The only differences to note: now I can settle down for an illimited amount of time, look for a job I intend to keep for a while, and wake up everyday with my “ricain”! While I am waiting for my Green Card, I will dedicate more time to this blog, so stay tuned :)