News from the Nest

dog birth Announcement

Yep…’ve got it!

The boy, the hound and I are adding to our little pack of three.

We shall be a happy pack of four (or should I say a very tired and grumpy pack of four) in mid March next year.

This has been a bit of a bumpy road for us, as we were very naive and thought we would fall pregnant almost instantly, but 11 months after deciding to try (which I am aware isn’t long….but when you work with teenagers who seem to manage it at the drop of …well you know…it can be more than a little frustrating) – we had many upset moments (mainly as I had NO control over what was going on…and I’m a self confessed control freak) and one big blowout where I deleted all my fertility apps, told Mr Pigeon that I didn’t want to talk about it anymore and we should just get another dog, and threw all my pregnancy tests into the deepest darkest recesses of the bathroom cupboard – we fell pregnant the next ruddy month.

In hindsight, I think we needed that time. Mr Pigeon wasn’t 100% ready when we started…more like 80%, but when it finally took he was firmly in the ‘let’s get you fat and I can drink all the gin’ camp.

As you can imagine was are totally over the moon with the news, despite now (and since 8 weeks) I’m struggling to fit in any of my clothes, I’m not able to eat anywhere near the portions I used to be able to put away, I need to pee three times as much, I’m thirsty ALL THE TIME and I’m having a whole wardrobe (and body) crisis!

In true Pigeon style, we are aiming to spend as little as possible on kitting out our nursery and our littlest as I have already had to stop working at my Real Job due to the nature of what I do, so we’ll be sharing what we find out as we go… well as doing other non-pregnancy stuff…because I do feel that is ALL I talk about now….any other beach ball smugglers feel that way?

We are not planning find out the sex of our baby, we aren’t fussed either way so we may as well have a surprise! So don’t ask, you cheeky things!


Carb Free Pork & Courgette Pasta

carb free pork and courgette pasta

Ok….before I get started…I have to tell you all that I am not a food nazi who hates carbs, in fact I love carbs more than is healthy….Full loaves of bread swiftly disappear under my watch as does mammoth amounts of pasta.

The reason I end up making a carb-free dinner is the abundance of courgettes I often find myself with at this time of year from my two raised bed veggie garden. I’m a bit slack at collecting the little blighters on a regular basis so I often find myself with something resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger in courgette form.

I have found however that courgette peeled with a peeler and flash fried in some sort of homemade dressing is a great carb replacement…and that folks is fact because even Mr Pigeon doesn’t complain about the substitution….and he’s pretty carb obsessed too.

This entire dinner takes under 10 minutes to cook so it is a great workday meal to throw on the table when you are too tired to think.

Ingredients (for two)

2 pork chops

1 large courgette (green or yellow…let’s not be fussy)

2 tbsps of French Dijon Mustard

A glug of cider vinegar

Go ahead and peel your courgette, skin and all. You want all that courgette-y-ness in a bowl ready to flash fry after you’ve done the pork chops.  You will need to pop your oven on to warm, this is just to keep your chops hot as you fry the courgette.

You will get to a point in the courgette where you hit seeds (if you let them get marrowy like I do) so stop otherwise it’ll be all pippy and horrid…I normally chuck the center in with the chickens as they go mad for it!

I love courgette as they taste of nothing and they can be melded into whatever you want in a dish. I make a mustard sauce for this dish as it goes well with the pork.

(Does it really count as a sauce if it’s two ingredients? Probably not…)

Pop the pork chops in a frying pan with a little glug of oil and get them cooking. They will only need about 4 minutes a side.

Whip up your mustard sauce by popping the mustard in a bowl, giving it a good stir and slowly adding cider vinegar until you have a runny dressing. I use a teeeeny whisk for this as I like to pretend I’m Nigella at this point….she always has a teeny whisk on the go.

Once your chops are done, pop them in your warmed oven on plates.

Throw all the courgette into the hot pan with all the pork juice and poke them around a bit until they are all covered and are heating through. Pour over your mustard concoction and gently mix. Poke about for about two minutes before getting your plates back out of the oven and serving up the veg from the frying pan.

Any sauce left in the pan can be drizzled on your pork chops and courgette on the plate and enjoy with a glass of something, whilst feeling smug that you aren’t having carbs.



I’m not dead….

I'm not dead a blog break, chatting girl sitting on rocks

Ok….Let’s start by saying that I’m not dead.

Life has meant that an unintentional blog hiatius has occurred, a running theme for the past year.

I can say with great confidence that I’ll be back in September, posting weekly, with lots of thrifty stuff, DIY’s, life updates and lots of other stuff.



What I Wore: Back to Front Frock

What I Wore (posh) headerb2f no jacket what I wore

I was scrolling through my phone and I found these photos from back in November of my birthday….so muchos apologies for the photo quality… it is entirely due to it being shot on my phone at Clapham Junction and not the fact that it was cheaper to buy posh fizz by the bottle than gin….

I was whisked to London by my wonderful husband and our friends to a burlesque club in the City. It was truly marvellous and of course, the actor in me wanted to feel like I fitted in…

I was most proud of this outfit because I wore the dress backwards…. and before you look at me like I’m a mental case…I do this quite often.

Sometimes I really don’t like the drop of a neckline or it’s too revealing for my taste and this particular dress that I bought in my first year of university has a SERIOUSLY low v neckline…so low that even in my uni days (*cough* 10 years ago) I used to safety pin it together else my lady front would actually be out on full view….and not even in a tasteful way.

b2f rear view what i wore

I unpicked the stratchy label and also folded under the pointless little sleeves to make them a more pronounced cap sleeve. I quickly secured them with a few stitches by hand to ensure they didn’t come unfolded during the evening. This actually changed the whole feel of the outfit and meant I hadn’t had to buy something new.

photo 4

I also got to wear my super towering high heels and feel glorious about it!

Have you ever tried wearing something the wrong way round? Intentionally of course!


How To: Make a Wall Planner

Running a business can be very expensive, especially when you run one of those ‘kitchen table oh-my-god-all-my-time-and-money-is-poured-into-this’ like mine.
I have managed to step up from my kitchen table and have rented out a little workspace with the lovely Lucy from Lucy Made Me.
We have managed to furnish it on the cheap, using furniture from our own homes and a few bits bought from charity shops….and being creative types we have come up with a few other solutions too.

We don’t always work together at The Dairy (our workspace) as Lucy works 9-5 in London and I work shifts, so we needed some sort of world domination wall planner, and I wasn’t willing to pay for one.

Luckily I watched enough Blue Peter as a child to have a few tricks up my sleeve…

How to make a wall planner (1)
I had one of these super cool freebie calender from a magazine. Normally the calendars I manage to get for free suck, but I love the quirky crochet drawings on this one.

I took it apart and laid all the months in a 4×3 square and then reached for my secret weapon…dancing Pug tape.


How to make a wall planner (4) My husband bought me this tape for Christmas….he knows me soooo well.How to make a wall planner (2)I simply overlapped the pages of the calendar slightly and stuck them together. Funky Pug tape makes all the difference.

Now Lucy and I can plan out when all our fairs are and when we will be holding open studios too, and we can mark when we are away on hollybobs so the other knows.

I popped it up on the wall using washi tape so it didn’t mark our rented walls!How to make a wall planner (3)

Have you got a good use for a free calendar?


How to: Make Felt Bread Play Food

How to make play bread felt food tutorial DIY

One of my friends is super talented and has created one of those ratty-old-cabinet to schmazing-dream-playkitchen that you see on Pinterest for her daughter. She sanded and painted and stitched away for weeks on it till it’s looking like something I wish my kitchen looked like.

For Christmas I thought that some felt play food would be in order to add to this little play kitchen of dreams so I grabbed my basket of felt scraps and put my mind to work.

In this post I’m going to show you how I made slices of bread…perfect for little hands to practice making sandwiches and toast.

How to felt bread play food (1)

Firstly I drew a bread slice shape onto a piece of card and used it as a template. I always make templates as I find it so much easier than cutting freehand as I always manage to muck it up! I cut 4 light brown bread slices.

I also cut two really long thin ribbons of darker brown felt for the crust.

I laid two light brown slices together and stitched them together, using the dark brown felt like bias binding, covering the edges. This ensured the bread was nice and thick and not floppy. Who likes floppy bread eh? No-one.

I did this as one process rather than two to save me time as I was handstitching. This could of course be done on a machine, but I liked the rougher look.

How to felt bread play food (2)

I stitched the entire way round, over lapping the felt crust slightly on one edge and stitching it securely.

How to felt bread play food (3)

This barely took any time and was quite theraputic!

How about teaming this with some square slices of yellow felt with holes cut in for Swiss cheese, some circles of pink for ham and some green lettuce leaf shapes?

Anyone else hungry now?


Hello 2015


So another 365 days has passed and I feel like I’ve achieved and discovered so much… it has meant that this blog has taken a backseat to my actual life and I’m sort of ok about it.

I thought I’d just swing in and tell you 5 things that I have loved about 2014.

1:- My discovery of country music.

Ok…I always knew it existed…but I’m now fully immersed into country music in a big way I started out by watching Nashville and loving all the music in that, and then Mr Pigeon found a country radio station on Spotify that we began listening to ‘ironically’…..we soon dropped all the irony and we found that we actually love it! It was our soundtrack to our holiday in October and I have spent most of the day today googling music videos on youtube….colour me obsessed.

2: – The Dairy

I am so so pleased that I met Lucy just over a year ago and who would have thought that we would have our own little studio space in Godstone before 12 months of friendship was up?

Dairy outsideWe are almost all set up there, but I find the space so productive as I have no option but to work through my to do list, listen to audiobooks and stitch my little heart out.

3:- New Ink

Disney ink beauty and the beast tattooThis year I managed to mix three of my favourite things; tattoos, Shakespeare and Disney. I know that large tattoos on women aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, as I’ve been told over and over AND OVER…but I like it and it makes me happy when it catches my eye.

4:- I can climb

I started rock climbing with Mr Pigeon, who has done it for years. He managed to convince me to go for a session in the late summer…selling it to me as ‘yoga up a wall’ and despite the sales pitch he is right! I really enjoy climbing as I can’t think about anything else whilst I’m doing it…all there is ‘where am I going to put my hand?’ and ‘oh god I’m going to fall off’… it’s actually very meditative in that way!

5- Making lots of cool stuff

Grey bunny on polka (1)Just like this little guy. I have had soooo many amazing comissions this year from fab folk and it has really pushed me creatively.

I cannot wait to do even more cool stuff (I have orders ready and waiting for me to stitch!) throughout 2015.

So resolutions…. this year I’m keeping it simple. Be happy, dance more, sing louder.

How about you?