Tag Archives: easter

Urban Jungle Bloggers: EASTER

4 Apr

2015UJBeaster6 copyHello and Happy Easter to all!  Over here in Italy it’s bright and early(ish) on Easter Sunday morning and we’ve already eaten lots of chocolate eggs (rolled into crepes!).  Soon we’ll be making the dough for our traditional Hot Cross Buns and while that rises we’ll go for a little stroll in the local woods. It’s going to be a lovely day.

As you can probably tell this month’s Urban Jungle Blogger’s theme is Easter.  It’s one of my favourite themes because it involves lovely spring colours and the birth of the new season, the blooming of beautiful flowers and, this year, the hatching of seven of the cutest little chicks.  I had been waiting on their arrival to do my UJB post this month and they arrived perfectly on time for Easter.

Who could ask for better props for an Easter styling image?  Even if they are incredibly uncooperative and poop on set.


One of the plants I used is called Canterbury Bells (please correct me if I’m wrong).  My daughter picked it out at an amazing garden centre that we visited the other day and it has really brightened our home with the pink bell blooms and lovely greenery.


The other plant is my beloved fresh cilantro.  Every year I buy so many cilantro plants and they all go directly to seed.  I’ve tried planting them in the sun, in the shade, in full ground and even in pots.  Nothing works.  I have a feeling it’s due to the extreme heat that we have in the summer (and NOT my bad gardening skills of course).  This year I’ll try growing it inside and see how it goes.  I love to cook with it so much (although I can’t even think about my favourite Chicken with Cilantro Sauce recipe due to those sweet chicks in the photo).

These sage green eggs above were lovingly produced and delivered by our one and only adult chicken Dahlia.  After a long egg-less winter she started laying last week and we’ve all been enjoying omelettes made with eggs that are minutes fresh.  The lovely embroidered silk “nest” is actually used by women in India to help them carry large baskets on their heads.  An old man at a market in Jodhpur gave it to my girls as a present and we love it.2015UJBeaster9Enjoy your Easter everyone!
Last year’s origami inspired Easter UJB post here.
(ps…washi tape is the perfect egg holder!)

*Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series initiated by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). Every month they share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs and green tips & tricks. You can find additional inspiration on their Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board and keep up-to-date on our website and Facebook page. Want to join? Use #urbanjunglebloggers on Twitter and Instagram. Or let them know and they’ll share the badge and upcoming topics with you. Let’s bring some green into our homes and blogs!  



Bits and Bobs

2 Apr

It has been a pretty busy and action filled few weeks around here.  We had my in-laws here for two weeks, an 11th birthday celebration, Easter and many day-trips and outings along the way.  Despite the horrible grey and rainy weather is was a really wonderful time for all of us.

Every now and then when I’d mention to friends that I had my in-laws here for a few weeks they would look at me with pity and tell me things like “you’ll get through it” and “hang in there”.  But luckily for me I really do have the greatest and most easy going in-laws ever.  I’ll admit it, I was quite sad when they left.  And the kids are still wandering around the house at a loss for what to do without their enthusiastic playmates that were always available to play a (4 hour) game of Monopoly, go for a walk into town or partake in a Ping Pong championship.

Here are a few images of our past few weeks:

A little trip to Lago di Como and lunch in the famous town of Bellagio.1-IMG_7098

I’m still in shock that my teensy weensy little twin baby girls turned 11 last week.  How did they go from being able to fit in their Papa’s shoe to these long lanky pre-teens?


It was a rarity that we actually celebrated Easter in our own home this year.  Usually we are in Belgium at the grandparent’s house or somewhere far away on vacation.  Last year we were actually admiring the cherry blossoms in Kyoto on Easter morning.  But this year we really appreciated the first sun we had seen in weeks by strolling along the lake and then enjoyed an amazing Peking Duck dinner (not very Easter-y but so delicious).

Easter stroll at the lake.  Learning how to skip stones and admiring the perfectly round dot on the back of the Jack Russel who kept us company on our entire walk.

Hot Cross Buns

26 Mar


It has been pretty silent around here on this blog the last week.  I have my (wonderful) in-laws here at the moment and we’ve been busy doing all sorts of things together.  Lots of walks, trips to Milan, delicious meals together and board game playing.  The kids are in heaven with the non-stop playmates (and chocolate givers).

This past week-end the weather was rainy and miserable so we ended up spending the entire Sunday inside the house.  For vieruurtje (Dutch for afternoon-snack and literally translated as “little 4 o’clock”) I made the clan some good ol’ Easter Hot Cross Buns.

This is a basic recipe and much simpler than the traditional recipes that seem to include a ton of steps.  Usually I would also add some candied citrus peel or currents to the dough but unfortunately my kids would disown me for life and run out the door and never come back if they found such things in their buns.


I took a basic white bread recipe and added some extra sugar and cinnamon (similar to the Cinnamon Swirl Bread from last week).  These buns come out really soft and spongy and actually keep fresh for a day or two.  Before putting them in the oven I take a sharp knife and slash a cross on the tops.  That way there is a perfect indentation for the ever important icing to settle into (after cooled).

Nothing really gives me that Easter feeling more than a pan of fresh-out-of-the-oven Hot Cross Buns (and a sunny garden full of blooming flowers of course).  Throw in some kids wearing pastel coloured spring dresses and straw hats and it’s absolutely perfect.

Read on for recipe.

Continue reading

Tutorial: Small Fabric Basket

19 Mar

{Here’s  little simple sewing project from the Jillian In Italy archives.  I think this would be a great project to do for Easter for the kids or even with the kids.  I can just imagine a garden full of these sweet little baskets filled with Easter eggs and candy.}

Here is a very basic tutorial that a good friend of mine designed for a very sweet little fabric basket.  Very quick and gratifying.  I used oilcloth for the outside and a cotton for the inside but it would be possible to use only cotton as well (or even nicer would be linen).  If using cottons or linens I would recommend using interfacing to make it stiff enough to stand up on it’s own.  The paper clips are used to avoid getting little pin holes in the plasticized material or oilcloth. Please let me know if I wasn’t clear on any of my instructions (I know the corner part is a bit hard to see in the photo).

Read on to get full tutorial. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: