Sunday, February 28, 2010

"I heard you have been naughty" - Waiting for Nanny McPhee

Nanny McPhee's five rules

1. Go to bed when told(and say please)
2. Get up when told

3. Get dressed when told 
4. Listen(and say thank you)
5. Do as you are told 

Miss Lily likes stories and movies about children who have absent parents, no parents, or distracted parents.  It's weird and I have stopped questioning it.  A wicked stepmother or a nanny plays a prominent role in most of these stories. Except, I suppose in Pippi Longstocking (Pippi deserves her own post - so I will say no more on her today).

One of our favourite nanny films is Nanny McPhee.   Emma Thompson's screenplay is adapted from Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda stories. Brand was born in British Malaysia.  She wrote the stories based on her grandfather's tales of a family named the Brown family who had very naughty children.

If you haven't seen the first Nanny McPhee (2005) you must. The cast is great (Thompson, Colin Firth, Derek Jacobi and Angela Lansbury - all in the same film!). The child actors are absolutely amazing. The oldest son (Simon) is played by Thomas Sangster, who you remember from Love Actually (one of my favourite Christmas films).   The DVD special features includes interesting interviews about the challenges of casting children.  [Sidebar: I am always blown away by an amazing performance by a child actor, think:  The Piano (1993), Ponette (1996), the Bicycle Thief (1948), the Fox and the Child (2007), Cinema Paradiso (1988), Kiesha Castle Hughes was only 12 in Whale Rider (2002), the child performances in Opal Dream (2005) are superb, a young Dakota Fanning in I am Sam (2001), and I already posted about Shirley Temple here].

Unfortunately, North American release dates for Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang are still being tossed around.  However, a UK release date of March 26th is firm.

The cast includes Emma Thompson (she writes the screenplay and stars), Maggie Gyllenhaal,
Ralph Fiennes, Dame Maggie Smith and RHYS IFANS.  I love Rhys Ifans and have been following his career for years, I think it was that scene in Notting Hill wear he sports the "you are the most beautiful woman in the word" shirt.

You can see the Big Bang trailer on the official UK site .

When you need me, but do not want me, then I will stay. When you want me, but do not need me, then I have to go.  - Nanny McPhee


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Great Danes: Malene Birger

I found this Malene Birger Morva dress at Winners

Via Chameleon Fashions (UK)

For $19 CDN

Feeling pretty good about that. Not about the rest of the week. Just about that.

100% silk.

A little more Malene Birger from around the web.

1. The Supermodel: The always lovely Helena in Malene Birger

Via In Style (love the grey tights - I love grey tights, in fact I collect them)

2. The Malene Birger Knockoff - The Look 4 Less did a neat piece on Malene Birger studded bracelets v. Forever 21.

3. The lady who wears anyone who's anyone: Lady Gaga in a MB Spring 2009 jacket

4. In stores this week:  Elle UK reports that this MB scarf is in stores this week

5. It's not all about the money: Malene is the Danish Ambassador for Unicef. She designs a shirt each year and all the profits go to Unicef. 

That's about it.  I hope you are enjoying the weekend!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Showing your colours and more Olympic Gear

Quatchi charm Via Birks about $75

Via Holts about $65

Go Canada donut via Tim Hortons less than a buck

An if money were no object.
As seen on Lou Lou via Pretty Ballerina, about $205

Enjoy the closing ceremonies this weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

We did a high heat chicken the other night and there were plenty of leftovers. 

We were having company and wanted an easy meal that cried comfort food. 

I put together a tortilla chicken soup.  It was amazing.

In the slowcooker

1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 can of cactus
1/2 jar of green salsa
1 carton of low sodium chicken broth
1/4 jar of fajita sauce (we use President's Choice Memories of Mexico Fajita Sauce - use whatever Mexican seasoning you prefer - we like heat)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
a couple of jalapenos

Heat on high for a couple of hours

About 20 - 30 minutes before serving, add to your slowcooker
  • left over shredded roast chicken
  • about 1/4 to 1/3 of a bag of frozen corn kernals
Once corn and chicken are heated through ladel into bowls
Serve with diced avocado, cilantro and sharp chedder.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I have mentioned before that we are planning a Magic Onions inspired fairy garden.   While its still too cool to start on any outdoor work, I thought we could get a head start on who might live in such a garden.

I used Wee Folk Art's felt gnome tutorial and Miss Lily picked the colour combinations.  About 3 hours later, we welcomed these little gnomes to our family.

Partnership Meeting

Closeup, Blanket Stitch improving

Next project: Making fairies for the garden

Before I wrap up, just a few inspiring of images of gnomes around the web:

(Image via Amazon)
Rien Poortvliet and Wil Huygen’s work (30th anniversary edition) based on their observations in Holland. I recall this book, first released in 1976, from my childhood and still going strong.

Nick & Nora Gnome Flannel Sheets (via Target)
 Phillippe Starck's Gnome Table (for Kartell).

Image Via Unica Home

Michael Miller's Gnomeville and Gnomes Collection

You should check out the entire collection here, but here are two of my favourites
And the travellers
Via Here - don't you love St. Basil's Cathedral and the Sydney Opera House?

Have a magical day,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thinking about Norway : Dale of Norway Olympic Collection

Norway is on my mind. 

We are planning a family vacation to Norway in July. My sister pointed me to Dale of Norway's 2010 Olympic collection.  Dale of Norway has been around since 1879 and has been Norway's official olympic outfitter since 1956.  The sweaters are pricey, but stunning.

Kids' Bislett IOC Sweater, Image via the Oslo Sweater Shop, $248 USD

Dale aside, if you are in the mood for other "Norwegianfied" gear, Roots' International collection includes a Norwegian Wristlet
Image via Roots Canada ($68 CDN)

And this post would not be complete without mentioning these -

The curling pants are actually golf pants and you can find them at ["Loudmouth Golf Men's Pant in Dixie" retailing for about $70 USD].

Have a lovely day,

P.S. I just purchased two meters of  Michael Miller's Birds of Norway.  I can't believe I get so excited about fabric.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Leg Warmers or What a Feelin'

(Image via Liketotally80s)

I have been wanting to make leg warmers for a long time.

Ardene sells knee highs cheap - 5-6 pairs for $10.  {Confession: I don't question the reason for such a low price point}

Miss Lily has been enrolled in gymnastics or ballet or both since she was about 18 months.  She likes her leg warmers.  I used this tutorial (note there are many out there and I machine-stitched) and came up with these.

Easy Peasy.  We're both happy.

First, when there's nothing but a slow glowing dream
That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind
All alone I have cried silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel, made of stone
This first time I saw Flashdance, it was a BETA (did you catch that? a say-it-again BETA) recording of Flashdance at my BFF's house.  Her dad "fast-forwarded" any "sketchy parts".  I remember that day like it was yesterday, especially the Maniac scene.... formative moment.  Like passing "finite" math.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Go Canada Go!

"Go Canada" cookies were distributed in my office tower on Friday. I brought a few home for the kids to enjoy as we watch the games.

At school, Miss Lily made a gold medal out of an old CD and of course a piece of lace! Here she is proudly wearing hers and enjoying her "Go Canada" cookie.

We used some of her old paintings to create the Vancouver 2010 Inukshuk.  She insisted that there be facial features. The features are actually plasticine and can be removed or changed.

Enjoy the game!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dresstini anyone?

You can take a peek at Mexx's 2010 swimwear collection for kids here.

I love the red ruffles on the one piece.  It's called a "dresstini".  Who knew?

(Image from Mexx)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Liberty of London Preview / McQueen & Country

(Liberty of London Department Store, image from here)

Well those marketing geniuses at Target have now released a teaser on the Liberty of London collection.

In addition to tea pots, neckties, and dresses, can you believe there is a floral print bike for $169?

Here is a preview of the prints.  All from here.  My favourites are the Martha Grace and the Peacock (to my sister in the US did you catch that?).


Martha Grace



Dunclaire Pink

Oprah had an exclusive first look at the collection.  What do you think?
These prints make me crave springtime and pretty dresses.  About 23 days until the collection hits the floors.


Before I sign off for the week, I will leave you with this scarf designed by Alexander McQueen for Liberty.  I admire anyone who loves a needle and thread.  McQueen wasn't "just a designer"; he understood cloth; he was an expert pattern cutter and master tailor; he was both misunderstood and a genius.  Will. Be. Missed.  

And here is Liberty's fitting shop window tribute

Not much more to say.