Regency Fashion (Part 1)

Good evening, blog readers! Today’s post is going to be predominantly photographs that I’ve pulled from my Regency board on Pinterest. I greatly enjoy anything Regency related, whether it be film, TV shows, or, most frequently, books. I both read and write Regency era novels, and while I do, I quite enjoy having visual inspiration. The following are pictures of Regency era women’s fashion.

Rest assured, I plan to post several additional blogs, some more detailed than this one, with men’s fashion, rooms from ballroom to kitchens, estates, castles, and many more. I cannot claim to be an expert, by any means, on this subject, but I have spent many years reading on the topic. While I feel confident in what I know, I still have much to learn about Regency England.

These are the photos I’ve chosen to share with you today.

This is a Chemisette. It was meant to cover a woman’s chest, raising the neckline of a gown to add modesty. Chemisette

This is a cotton morning dress.

Cotton Morning Dress

This is a day dress.

Day dress

The pin I saved this from read “dress and spencer”.

Dress and Spencer

This is an evening dress.

Evening Dress

This is another evening gown.

Evening Gown 2

This is a photo of a linen petticoat. It goes beneath a dress/gown.

Linen Petticoat

This is another example of a petticoat. This one is embroidered and decorative.

Petticoat

This pin read “Redingote, French, strip printed plain-weave cotton”.

Redingote, French, strip printed plain-weave cotton

This is a photo of sprigged muslin gowns. “Sprigged” refers to the often embroidered design of flowers or sprigs of leaves.

Sprigged Muslin Gowns

This photo focuses on a velvet spencer.

Velvet Spencer

This is a walking dress.

Walking Dress

This is another example of a spencer.

Whitework Spencer

As I mentioned above, I am still learning about Regency fashion, but as I find it fascinating, I quite enjoy each lesson.

If any of my readers have questions, comments, or if you would like me to post about anything specific, please let me know!

Thank you all for reading!

A Very Special Day

Good morning, happy blog readers! Today is a very special day for me. It is the sixth anniversary of my first son’s birth. It was the day that my entire life changed for the better. One moment it was just my husband and I, and the next we were a family of three. Since then, we have had three more wonderful children and each one is equally special. But our first, while we love him just as much as the others, made me a Mom for the first time.

This photo is from Valentine’s day 2009. Hubby and I went to my Mom’s house to make crepes. My son was born four days after this was taken.

Valentine's Day (40 & half weeks (3)

This is our first family photo, taken only minutes after our first son was born.

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This is one of my favourite pictures from after our son was born. He is only a few hours old here.

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Happy Birthday to my wonderful little man!

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for my next blog about Regency Attire (Part 1)!

A Little Update On My Writing

Good morning, blog readers! I’m just popping in to let you all know that while I’m not regularly blogging right now, I have plans for future blogs. At the moment, my current novel (tentatively named The Charming Spy) is sitting at 71,000 words and I’m getting eager to get as much writing in as I can to finish it up.

This novel is about Sir Bramwell Stevens, whom we have met in several other of my novels, and Miss Rose Wilkinson, the niece of a suspected traitor. I’ve begun writing the last few chapters and it’s very exciting! I find myself getting nervous for my characters while I write, but as with all romance novels, it will end happily!

Off I go back to writing! Thank you all so much for reading! Have a great week!

What I’ve Been Up To: Part Two: The Masters of Distraction

Good morning, everyone! As most of you know by now, not only am I an author of historical romance novels, but I’m also a stay-at-home mom of four children aged five and under. So as you might guess, my days are consumed with my children (first and foremost), chores (oh, how I loath them), and my writing (whenever I can get my fingers to my keyboard).

What some of you might not know, however, is how crafty my children are at becoming the masters of distraction. Now, I’m not just talking about the usual juice or snack requests, their attempt to use me as a human jungle gym, or the running about and screaming like banshees. Nor am I talking about the fact that I have to vacuum at least once per day or shampoo my carpets three times per week. My children are particularly skilled at getting into things they shouldn’t and making spectacular messes.

We all know that children are mischievous. We also know that they’re the most mischievous when they see that we’re occupied with something… more often than not, it’s something important. Getting into trouble while I’m on a phone call to someone other than a friend or family member, while the stove is on, while chopping veggies, or, as is most often in my case, while working.

Last week, for example, while I was preparing dinner, my one-and-a-half year old daughter came upstairs covered in something red. We learned later that she was playing with an ink pad for stamps. We are not sure where she found it, but as you can see in the photo below, she had some fun with it. The red ink was also all over the recroom, the toys, table, shelves, carpet, couch… everything. It has been a week and I am still finding things covered in red. But while my daughter would happily take credit for the whole mess, she had an accomplice; her twin brother.

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The twins get into some fun *ahem – trouble* together, but they can also be really cute.

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One of the most common distractions that I face during the day, with regards to my children, is my daughter’s constant wardrobe changes. She goes through hers and her brothers’ dresser drawers searching for things to try on. It is a constant struggle to try to keep just one set of clothes on her per day. We’re working on it.

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Our older sons, aged five and four, have a love of messes, as well. The recroom is often far messier than this, but thankfully the boys are very good cleaners.

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The boys received Lego for Christmas. While I completely support their affinity for creativity and playing with anything other than electronic games, the mess can be a bit much.

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Being a mom is my favourite part of life. My children bring me fulfilment, laughter, love, happiness… the list could go on. They’re also little monkeys who climb on the furniture, throw things, and scream for no reason. So while my children are most certainly little masters of distraction, they’re a very welcome distraction.

Thank you for reading!

What I’ve Been Up To: Part One: The Food

Good afternoon, everyone! It’s been quite some time since I’ve written. Sorry about that. I’ve kept myself busy trying new recipes, working on my crocheting in the evenings, writing, and taking care of my four children. This blog is about five of the new recipes I’ve explored.

First up is the Roasted Cauliflower. This is the recipe I followed:

Ingredients:

– 1 head cauliflower
– 2-3 cloves garlic (minced/crushed)
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– Salt and Pepper
– I added a dash of parsley

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Directions:

*Note: The recipe called for a ziplock bag to mix it all together, but I used a bowl.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Wash & thoroughly dry cauliflower.

3. Chop cauliflower.

4. Mince garlic,

5. This is where the recipe I followed said to put ingredients in a ziplock bag and mix. I just put it in a bowl and mixed it all together until the cauliflower was coated.

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6. Spread on baking sheet and put it in the oven for “30 minutes”. I had to put mine for much longer. Closer to 45 minutes. I also turned the heat to 400.

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The recipe I followed said to wait until the cauliflower started going brown. I did this, but it was still wilted and squishy.

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My final thoughts on the Roasted Cauliflower: This was tasty, but not really worth the trouble. I would be just as happy with flavoured steamed cauliflower, plus it would take less time and effort.

Recipe number two: Egg fried rice.

I genuinely had no clue what I was doing here. I’d never cooked rice before in my life. I followed the directions on the bag, but again, I really didn’t know what I was doing.

Ingredients:

– Rice
– Eggs
– Corn (I didn’t have any peas, which is what my husband uses when he makes it)
– Soy sauce

Directions:

1. Cook rice according to package. (I didn’t keep stirring, so the bottom burned on mine)

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2. Cook eggs a-la scrambled eggs.

3. I was really confused here, so I just mixed all of my ingredients together in the skillet.

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4. Serve.

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Final thoughts: I’m a huge fan of egg fried rice, I’ve just never made it before. And while I was completely confused with what I was doing, it turned out very tasty.

Recipe number three: Broccoli-tofu mock stir fry.

Ingredients:

– 1 head broccoli
– 1 small brick of tofu
– Soy sauce
– Water
– Unsalted butter
– Sesame seeds would be really good with this, but I didn’t have any

Directions:

1. Chop broccoli and tofu (into whichever shape suits you).

2. In skillet, melt a small chunk of butter.

3. Add soy sauce to skillet.

4. Immediately add chopped tofu and broccoli.

5. Stir constantly until broccoli has softened and all food is coated with soy sauce.

6. Add soy sauce and small amounts of water throughout cooking.

7. Serve and enjoy.

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Final thoughts: I love this one. I have been making this for my lunches during the day at home. Yum!

Recipe number four: Cod dinner. This is the recipe I followed:

– Cod (they called for “white fish”)
– 4 tbsp softened butter (I used unsalted)
– 2 tbsp fish spice of your choice (I used salt and pepper)
– lemon juice (recipe called for 2 halved lemons)

For the lemon-garlic butter:

– 1.5 cups unsalted butter
– 4 garlic cloves, crushed
– lemon juice (they called for the juice of 2 lemons)
– 2 tbsp cream
– freshly ground black pepper
– chopped parsley (I keep chopped parsley in my freezer for my cooking)

– capers, to serve

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (recipe had the heat in celsius, which threw me off. Accidentally put it in at the wrong temp. Oops!)

2. Place the fish in an oiled “roasting tray” (I had to google this, because, let’s face it, I’m not the greatest cook and clearly not practiced enough to know what this was. I ended up using a casserole dish).

3. Rub the softened butter all over the fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with foil.

4. Place in the oven and allow to bake for around 15 minutes (mine was in for longer), then remove the foil and cook for another 5-10 minutes. I kept checking after 5 minutes.

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5. While the fish is cooking, melt the butter, garlic, and lemon juice together in a small saucepan. Add cream in and mix well.

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6. Add parsley and pepper to taste.

7. Serve the fish with lemon-garlic butter sauce and top with capers.

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Final thoughts: While the fish ended up looking like it had been squished between my toddlers’  fingers, this meal was absolutely delicious. I will definitely make this again. We also kept the leftover sauce and used it for our prawns the next night. It also tastes great over broccoli and asparagus.

Recipe number five (the final one): Baked eggs in avocado. This is the recipe I followed:

Ingredients:

– 1 avocado (I used two)
– 2 eggs (I used three)

Directions:

1. Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit.

2. Scoop out the inside of the avocado, leaving a rim of meat around the edges and bottom.

3. Crack an egg into each half of the avocado.

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4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes.

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5. Serve.

Final thoughts: This might be good to some people, but it just didn’t work for my husband and I. I’ve never eaten a cooked avocado before, and I’ve got to say that I really didn’t like it. I would have much preferred to cook myself an egg and have sliced avocado on the side.

So there you have it. A brief look at the last two weeks of dinners in our house. Not all of them were great, but I learned some good lessons.

Thank you so much for reading!