SUNDAY BEST

Sunday best at blackboard and brush, favorite links of the weekHappy Sunday everyone! Before we get started with this week’s Sunday Best, let me just give you a big BIG THANK YOU for all the support you’ve given our new website Little Green Kettle which was featured in last week’s Sunday Best. The response has been unbelievable and I simply can’t thank you enough! I hope you continue to enjoy the posts, recipes and stories we’ll be sharing in the Little Green Kettle, and of course we’ll still be writing and updating Blackboard and Brush on a regular basis for all our followers and readers. Again, THANK YOU!

Ok, let’s get to it shall we?

For teachers and parents that are looking for children’s stories or songs that have video animation, I’ve been visiting and using Muffin Songs and Muffin Stories this week and I love their selection. Many of the animations have beautiful drawings and the lyrics or words are clear and at a slow pace, perfect for very young learners. They also have some of the less famous songs which I love such as Kukaburra and Kum Bah Yah. Young students love looking at the visuals while singing and they provide a lot of help where lyric comprehension is concerned. What are some of your favorite classroom songs?

For lovers of great design, fabulous spaces and home decor, I’m so excited to share this absolute gem of a website with you. This is Covet Garden, an online magazine you can flip through that takes you through tours of the actual homes of very interesting people. It’s such a joy to flip through their pages and look at the beautiful images. What’s even more special is that they choose spaces that have not been styled by interior decorators. It’s truly inspirational if you’re looking to make some changes in your home. The stories behind each home are also pretty special.

For a good old fashioned time snuggling in a warm and cozy blog that has a little bit of everything, enjoy Fern and Feather. They have everything from inspirational thoughts, beautiful photography, recipes, design posts and much more. I absolutely loved their post on how to roast ‘everything’. I think I might just make one of these yummies for lunch today.

Many of you loved the creative packaging link I posted a few weeks ago. It was one of the most clicked links that week (yay!). Today I have some more of that original packaging goodness… here is Lovely Package.

Today I’m leaving you with some Winnie the Pooh wisdom to counteract those Sunday blues. You know what I’m talking about, the slight nostalgia, pre Monday jitters and general laziness… we have all gone through it from time to time. Guess what? Sunday isn’t gone yet and it’s half of your weekend! HALF of your weekend! So to fight the Sunday blues, do as Pooh, and enjoy today… his favorite day.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful and fun filled Sunday!

SUNDAY BEST

City parks in MadridIt’s that time of the week again! Today I’m sharing some great links and also some photos I took yesterday while I was strolling down one of Madrid’s most beautiful parks “Parque el Buen Retiro”. After non stop rain this past week it was a real treat to get some sun and spend some time outside. I hope you have a great start of the week tomorrow, I’m starting it off with the premier of my phrasal verb UNO game for my young students. I’m making a whole DIY post out of it this week so that you can try it out as well if you feel like it.

Ok, back to business…

If your looking for some great DIY ideas for your home, are re-decorating or want to spruce up a bit, there are some adorable (and some slightly over the top) ideas in Fabulous Home Blog. It has everything from tips for getting organised to ideas for framing photos, creating wall textures, and my favorite posts, inspiration for your studio or creative space. I know you’ll find something you love in here.

For foodies, So Good and Tasty has delicious vegetarian recipes, beautiful photos and scrumptious goodies to choose from. I can’t wait to make their root salad with tahini dressing. Can you say YUM?!

One thing I have never confessed to you is that I’m absolutely obsessed with lettering and calligraphy. I love detailing different fonts and testing them out on my student’s worksheets (and by testing I mean printing them out because I’m totally hopeless!). Lately, when I’ve needed a fix I’ve visited this little gem of a blog Sincerely, Serendipity, its banner alone is beyond beautiful and the posts and calligraphy samples keep me wonderfully entertained from time to time. Her cards are just lovely! Today I found out that the creator of this blog is a fellow Netflix documentary junky, so there you go. So many reasons to pop in and say hello!

For those of you who love owning unique little treasures you don’t want to miss Society 6, it’s a truly amazing online store that sells prints on everything from hoodies to t-shirts, to pillows and much more, not to mention the prints themselves. Some of my favorites are the giraffe pillow series and all their animal totes. So original!

As you probably know by now, I’m not affiliated with any of these sites, I’m simply a fan wishing to share the love! That’s all for today! Enjoy some more pics from my visit to the park yesterday and have a great Sunday!

El Retiro Park in Madrid SpainI absolutely loved the contrast between these two trees, the one in the back had leaves in the most beautiful shade of brown.
Parks in Madrid

 

Is it me or can you almost see the Queen of Hearts playing cricket?

 

Peacock at El Retiro

Oh yes, in the middle of the city, in a little open garden in the park, peacocks are busy showing off their feathers and twirling. You heard me… they’re complete flirts with the tourists and locals!

Parque el Retiro

Spring is making its appearance. Does anyone know what flower this is? Look at that color!

El Retiro

Little fields of daisies were everywhere, and of course I saved the best for last, my favorite character in the entire park, this beautiful duck with brown spotted feathers. He wasn’t scared of me at all and got closer and closer by the minute! They always remind me of my grandfather, who always seemed to walk like a duck… or Charlie Chaplin, it was hard to tell.

duck pond at El Retiro

SUNDAY BEST

la fotoHappy Sunday everyone! This week went by so fast! Especially this weekend. Could we please get an extra day? You read all about my busy Saturday yesterday and today has also been a fun day full of things like yoga, cooking (a delicious citrus tabbouleh is marinating in the fridge as we speak!) and some not so fun things like cleaning up the house and doing laundry. I did however come up with something today to enjoy our endless mountain sized piles of pending laundry. I’ve been listening to the amazing podcast Food for Thought by the super talented Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Suddenly doing laundry became the excuse to listen to the podcast with no interruptions! Win win. The new blog I want to write about sustainable eating and living is becoming more and more unavoidable. If I could only come up with the perfect name for it…any thoughts? As soon as I can name it I think it will go from idea to reality.

This week I was walking in the center of Madrid and saw this beautiful flower shop called Kaloto. I loved their street display and the inside of the shop was beautiful as well. You know how I can’t resist photographing flower shops!

Moving on to our task of the day, here are my picks for this week’s Sunday Best:

For foodies, the environmentally conscious and lovers of beautifully photographed blogs, you must hang out for a bit in The First Mess. I can’t wait to try their cashew labne or their pot pies topped with crispy sweet potatoes. The writing is wonderful as well so I’m sure you will love it as much as I do.

For design and diy fans, Design Sponge has some great ideas. You might need to browse a bit because they have so many different aspects to their blog, but they have beautiful diy projects and wonderful and unique photos of beautiful spaces (looking to remodel maybe?).

My last link this week is basically meant to make you twist and turn on the floor laughing (you’ve heard that it’s the best medicine and all that right?). Here are some ridiculously funny culinary Pinterest catastrophes.

I hope you’re still laughing from that last one and that you continue having a lovely Sunday! See you next time…

SUNDAY BEST

SnowIf you read yesterday´s post you know that we had our first snow of the season this week which made me (and a furry friend of mine) extremely happy. This weekend was all about the farmer’s market, doing some yoga, cooking up a veggie storm in the kitchen and spending time with friends. Watching Django was also a very special treat this week…Tarantino did it again! But that’s no surprise is it? What was your weekend like?

Without further ado, I give you my picks for this week’s Sunday Best…

For foodies and photography fans, you should immediately visit Kiss My Spatula. It’s a feast to the eyes, offers some great edible inspiration, not to mention a recipe or two! The photos alone…my oh my!

One of my favorite and most recent discoveries is Unruly Things, a blog done to perfection simply to inspire. Stop by their about page to meet the blog’s Oregon based creator and the idea behind this site. It has everything from beautiful products to wonderful links, passing thoughts and magical moments. It’s one of those places where you’ll want to stay for a while.

For parents, teachers and diy fans, here’s a link to my favorite diy project this week. We all played with them, tormented our parents with them, drove our dogs crazy with them…yup! Bouncy Balls! Here’s a recipe to make your own with very simple ingredients. How fun is that?!

Enjoy the links this week and have a wonderful Sunday! I’m off to the movies to watch Silver Linings Playbook. I’m hearing amazing reviews about the two lead performances (with two of my favorite actors might I add…). I’ll tell you all about it later! What are your Sunday evening plans?

SUNDAY BEST

Driving, music and the winterI was driving into the city today listening to Blind Melon’s Soup and feeling absolute bliss. Driving around this winter has become one of my favorite things to do, the air is thick with fog, the air is crisp and wonderful and the days are just eerie. It has also become the perfect time to just relax and listen to music. I hope you’re all having a relaxing and fun Sunday today. It’s my hubby’s birthday tomorrow so this could also be one of the reasons for my excitement and excessive smiling. I hope you’ve enjoyed the weekend and that you especially got a chance to slow down and smell the flowers (or the coffee, winter air, or whatever floats your boat). Without further ado, here are my picks for this week’s Sunday Best!

For foodies and cooking aficionados, Verses from My Kitchen has some beautiful and delicious recipes, top notch photos and a “come hang out and stay as long as you like” vibe. I can’t wait to try their wintery corn chowder!

Drizzle and Dip is another favorite of mine this week, they have so many great ideas and scrumptious flavor combinations!

For teachers and parents I found an incredible “has it all” online store. If I’m not careful I could spend an entire day browsing the endless sections of School Supply Giant. Think of it as the online superstore for teaching resources. Parents can find tons of great things for their kids here too, so don’t think it’s all about white boards and star stickers.

I’m so excited to share this newly discovered (at least by me!) Etsy Shop. Paper Statement has incredible jewelry and beautiful patterns and objects made entirely out of paper. Their colors and gorgeous simplistic design made me an instant fan! I have my eye on an incredible turquoise necklace that goes from dark to light…just imagining what their creative process must be like makes me giddy!

Last but certainly not least, if you feel like having a serious laugh or two, are a packaging and design enthusiast and simply love to oohh and aaahh after little genius bursts of creativity, visit this link from Topito.com (it’s in French but reading is the last thing you’ll be doing). Please don’t miss it!

That’s all I have for you today and I hope you have some fun browsing around! I haven’t written this little disclaimer in a while but just in case you’re new to this series, I’m not affiliated to or sponsored by any of these sites, I’m simply a fan and wish to share the love!

Happy Sunday!

SUNDAY BEST

quinoa and lentilsWe’re changing into our little chef costumes today (hey! it’s almost Halloween so it’s allowed right?)! That’s right, today’s edition of Sunday Best is all about those yummy rich fall flavors, and of course some great cooking websites and links to share with all of you.   Not only that, but I’m sharing a delicious recipe I made two days ago that I think you might love. We’ve been having the leftovers since then and I’m sad to say it’s all gone now. I’m talking about my lentil and quinoa stuffed peppers (stick around for the recipe and photos). I’ve been in a big cooking mood these days trying out some new dishes and combinations. Today I made some yummy seared turkey with scallions and mushroom sauce, some of the delicious filling that was left over from the peppers, some grilled veggies, and some of my magical green juice. This may sound crazy but today it had kale, lettuce, parsley, radishes, celery, ginger, kiwi and apple. Sounds disgusting but trust me when I tell you it’s delicious! Tonight I’m planning on making another veggie meal with a pumpkin and ricotta casserole and some eggplant parmesan. I told you I was in crazy cooking mode!

Speaking of delicious recipes, I’d love to share a couple of sites with you today. Trotski and Ash have a beautiful blog about cooking with yummy recipes like apple and ricotta torte, and lavender almond cake, not to mention savory all time favorites like fish tacos and macaroni and cheese. Their website is so simple and yet it feels like home which is why I love it. They are just a couple of amateur cooks with a love for cooking.

I’ve also been visiting The Jewels of New York quite a bit recently. Their flavor combinations are so creative and special, and their photographs make you want to put your chef hat on. I’m dying to make their brussels sprouts and chestnut risotto.

Ok, on to my little experiment of this week…drumroll please… here are my lentil and quinoa stuffed peppers. Enjoy!

Lentil and quinoa stuffed peppers

quinoa and lentilsYou’ll need…

Medium sized bell peppers cut lengthwise in half (I love getting colorful so I chose green, red and yellow peppers).

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 bunch of fresh herbs chopped (I used cilantro and parsley)

1 ripe tomato chopped

Half and eggplant (with skin), chopped

1 cup of cooked quinoa (If you’ve never made quinoa before, it’s super simple, I’ll explain at the end).

Half a cup of cooked lentils (I used organic lentils that came pre cooked in a jar. If using jarred or canned, just wash and rinse before cooking).

Some grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese

Mexican salsa or sriracha sauce for garnish if you want an extra punch of flavor

I usually make my stuffed peppers by baking at the last stage of the cooking process when the peppers are already filled, but this time I pre roasted them a little bit with some olive oil, salt and pepper in the oven to speed things along and it was a huge time saver! Just take them out before they start to lose their shape so you can actually fill them.

The first step is to put the halved peppers in the oven with some salt, pepper and olive oil and let them roast for a bit while you prepare the filling. For the filling, heat a bit of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook for a bit, then add the rest of the vegetables and herbs and cook until tender. Add the lentils and some salt and pepper and a little more olive oil if you wish to add a bit more flavor. Then add the cooked quinoa, mix together and remove from the heat. Check the seasoning and add the cheese, mix the filling so that all of the ingredients are mixed together. Finally, take the peppers out of the oven, fill them up with your quinoa/lentil/veggie mix, sprinkle a bit more cheese on top and bake for a few more minutes until the cheese melts.

I love to serve it with some mexican salsa on the side or sprinkled with some sriracha sauce to add an extra kick to it. A green salad with avocados and cilantro goes great with this dish as well. I hope you love it! Ask me as many questions as you’d like in the comments below. I love sharing my little kitchen adventures with you!

Is it your first time cooking quinoa?

Grab a small saucepan and add 1 cup of water, some salt and garlic powder and heat to a boil. In the meantime wash half a cup of quinoa and rinse. As soon as the water boils, add the quinoa and stir. Bring to a boil again and then cover and lower the heat. Cook on low for 15 to 20 minutes. If there’s still water when the time is up just continue to cook for a few more minutes, uncovered and raise the heat a bit if needed. I have never ever overcooked or undercooked quinoa, that’s how simple it is! It’s basically like cooking couscous, it just needs a little bit more time. After you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to make another grain again! It has a delicious nutty flavor, goes great as a side dish or as the main part of a vegetarian dish, not to mention on salads and even for breakfast! It’s one of those wonderfully healthy ‘super foods’ so you can eat to your heart’s content. How great is that?!

SUNDAY BEST: LISTEN TO THE KIDS

sunday best blogThis week we have a very special edition of our Sunday Best series! The inspiration behind this edition is my amazing experience with young learners and all those  friendships I’ve made with the little ones I’ve met over the years. Anyone who has taught children can tell you how they are wise beyond their years and what an incredibly creative experience it is to work with them. I’ve always loved working with children and always stare at them in awe, wondering why we lose so many of those creative and courageous qualities as we get older. So in the spirit of these wonderful little learners and achievers, I give you our “Listen to the Kids” edition of Sunday Best.

For foodies, cooks and aspiring chefs, here’s the culinary 14 year old expert behind A High School Foodie, if you thought kids had a limited palette and only made a mess in the kitchen think again, and try his sweet potato fries with blue cheese dressing while you’re visiting!

It’s time for some TED! Don’t miss 12 year old Adora Svitak and her TED talk (yes! you heard me) titled “What adults can learn from kids”. Adora is a children’s author who tours the US giving talks advocating for literacy and giving us a wonderful glimpse into the minds of children. Astounding, brilliant and funny, you have to listen to the wise words of this little girl.

You know I couldn’t leave you without getting a little bit musical. Here’s a jaw dropping video of a 14 year old girl improvising on the piano and talking about my second favorite topic, her creative process and how she composes. Wait… is that Goldie Hawn in minute 17? Please don’t miss talented Jennifer Lin improvising on the piano at TED.

These are just three examples of where a child’s mind wanders and the great places listening to them can take us. Here’s an idea,why don’t we all listen to the wise words of Adora and really listen to our children? In my experience the answer to this question is a big WE HAVE TO START NOW! Don’t be surprised if in a matter of minutes you’re learning more from them than they are from you.

Do you have some beautiful words of wisdom your children or students might have shared with you? Could you share them with us in the comments below?