Saturday, May 29, 2010

thinking about quilting...

I have a half made quilt for my eldest, Little Miss Sunshine, and I finished the front about a year ago.. but Im too scared to quilt it and to poor to have it done professionally!

The only quilt I have ever made was for a friend's son about 4 years ago.. it was a cot size .. my daughter's is a queen - its huge!!

antons quilt

close up anton quilt

I handquilted the whole thing.. and while its not perfect - I totally love this quilt.

now to make them for my own children!!!

What was your first quilt?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Turning 7!

ben8 birthdayben7 birthday

Today my darling Ben is turning 7.  WHAT!! It just seems like yesterday he was a baby. He has been telling me all week, Mum, you know I am 7 this week and I am not a little boy anymore (bless!). That means I dont like Thomas or Cars anymore, it means I only like Ben 10!! (aarrgghhh! I hate Ben 10!) But I LOVE my Ben.

I always find around my children's birthdays I think a lot about their births and how they made their way into the world and into our hearts.

Ben arrived the day before his due date and he was my only labour that happened spontaneously (the girls were induced).  It was a pretty quick labour (only 1.5 hours of real pain and ten minutes pushing).  When he shot out like a rocket it was pretty frightening as he wasnt breathing and looked so still and blue.  Fortunately, my midwife was fantastic and had all the paediatricians on standby.  He spent a couple of days in the newborn unit and then I took my very precious wee boy home. And we all fell in love with him.

ben in bean birthday pics

Ben is a lovely boy. He is such a kind and caring brother and a good friend.  He is very gentle natured and empathetic to other peoples needs.  He is very good at reading (at 7 can pretty much read anything) and most of his school work, just doesn't like handwriting.  I love that at 7 he still loves a big cuddle from his Mum and happily walks down the road holding my hand. I am holding those times as very precious as I know it won't last forever.

Here's a few special pics of my blue eyed boy over the last 7 yearsben2 for birthdayben 5 birthdayben blue for birthdayben for birthdayben in boat for birthday


 (also, Happy Birthday to my Dad for Monday and my sister, Carla for tomorrow! its a busy week for birthdays in our family)

Ben's party will be in a couple of weeks when my parents arrive from NZ !!!! YAY!!! 

Here's the cupcakes for his class (they are studying Australian animals) Yes, they are echidna's and koalas... really!!!

koala cupcakeechidna cupcake

Lemon Meringue Muffins

Today some Mums from Kindy came over for morning tea, and a friend from school.  Bubba was sooo excited about having her friends over. It was so nice to enjoy a cuppa and some yummy food and have a relaxing chat together.

For morning tea I made some Lemon Meringue muffins. I havent made these for years as I always get put off by the meringue bit... but really they are pretty easy .. you dont even have to add the sugar a little bit at a time.

So for Amy and Jacqui - the recipe :)  enjoy....

Lemon Meringue Muffins

115g butter/marg

200g (1 c) caster sugar

2 eggs

115g (1c) self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

grated rind of 2 lemons

2 tbsp lemon juice (i was lacking in the lemon department so used lime)

2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 190c.  Put butter in a bowl and beat until smooth.  Add 1/2 the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.

Beat in eggs, flour, baking powder, half of the lemon rind and all of the lemon juice.

Put mixture in baking pans.

Whisk egg white until soft peaks. Stir in remaining sugar and lemon rind.  Put spoonfuls on top of each muffin.

Bake 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Yummiest Gluten free Dessert - Apple Berry Crumble Tart

Last week I made this recipe and OMG it was sooooo yummy!  I guess it would be just as good made with gluten, but for the likes of myself, gluten free it was.

gf apple berry buckle

Apple-Berry Crumble Tart (from a library book but not sure which one?)

90g butter, plus 1 tsp extra

1/3 c brown sugar

100g almond or hazelnut meal

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups gluten-free self raising flour

1x 800g can pie apples (I used Aldi's apple and raspberry - Extra Yummy)

4-5 tblsp blackberry or raspberry jam

1/2 - 1/3 c mixed roasted cashews and macadamias, chopped

thick cream or icecream to serve

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease base and sides of a 23cm pie dish with the extra butter (i used a swiss roll tin)

In a food processor, cream butter and sugar until soft and smooth. Add nut meal, eggs and flour and pulse until mixed and crumbly and press two-thirds into the pan.

Mix apples and jam and spread over base.  Mix chopped nuts with remaining dough and crumble over the fruit.

Bake for about 45 minutes until crumbs are golden brown. Serve warm with thick cream or ice cream.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another dish drainer mat

Wow! three posts in one day? Crazy huh? Im usually lucky to do that in a week!!  I think Im enjoying the fact I have found a wee bit of time for me the last couple of days and so I have been able to do some sewing that I want to do.

Here's another dish drainer mat that I think I will keep for myself :) (although I really have to stop taking pictures in the dark!!)

 dish drainer mat 2


I made it from these cute fabrics I found at Spotlight of all places (every now and then a miracle happens)

cute fabric 3cute fabric 2cute fabric 1

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dish drainer mat

My Mum always puts a tea towel down before she puts her dish drainer on the bench.  She does it to stop the drainer scratching the stainless and also to stop the dripping water spreading everywhere.  Although we have a dishwasher we also need to do some hand washing and as we are renting I have also gotten into the habit of putting down a mat to prevent the drainer scratching the stainless.

So... Ive seen a couple of ideas for dish drainer mats and liked the concepts - something a bit pretty in the kitchen is always good. For the most part I just made it up as I went along. I have some more in the pipeline and bought some supercute fabric yesterday (from Spotlight of all places!shock horror).



The backing is a piece of a mega sized towel that we never use (and I have four of them sitting in the cupboard )


new theme

Im playing around with a new theme for my blog. I have never managed to successfully change my blog header/photo and while I work on it I want something different... so here goes :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Birthday gift


We are off to a birthday party for a friends daughter tomorrow. So I whipped her up a hair clip canvas, a clip and have a few other goodies for her.  My inlaws are here and I did this while my mil hovered around me... I need space, people!!!



the clip - I made this with a strip of fabric, one edge folded over and sewn, the other with fray stop. Then I sewed it on to a piece of felt and sewed a button on, glued it onto a clip - easy peasy!


The end result, clip canvas, some clips, detangler, hairbrush, lipgloss - all the things a 7 year old girl would love.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Log Cabin Pillow

After  yesterdays rant we sorted out the bed..didnt get to sleep in it much as our youngest kept us up most of the night with a brewing UTI, got the house sparkling for the inspection (and the agent didnt even look!! Aarggh! but at least it still looks nice), still working on the other things.

But I gave myself the afternoon off everything else and made Little Miss Sunshine a log cabin pillow - out of the left overs from the quilt I am making her. Ive always wanted to do one of these and I totally loved making it!! there will be more to come... Its a great way of using up the fabric too, because the Oi Lily one at $90 a metre (I only bought half) is going to have every last scrap used!!!

 log cabin pillow


log cabin pillow close up

the quilting isn't perfect but I am so happy with how it turned out :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Saying No

***Warning, this post contains the views and opinions of a very tired mum of three who does not have pms - despite how it appears ****

I have read a few posts lately on different blogs about learning to say no, about regrouping as a family and prioritising what is important to you. One spoke about juggling balls, and how to keep all your different balls (committments) in the air.

I have heard this analogy before, and it is one that really sticks with me. At the end of the day if you are juggling too many balls, which ones can you drop?  I certainly know which ones I dont want to drop, especially that FAMILY ball. Sure, some of the others can drop and maybe people might get mad at you and heaven forbid, even not like you anymore, but at the end of the day - Family wins out.

I have a difficult time saying no, in fact Im much more likely to put my hand up and say yes, when inside Im screaming no.. Im not sure if this comes about from my own insecurities of not being 'liked' if I say no or whether its just learnt behaviour from my Mum (who is a very lovely and generous person - more often than not, at her own expense).

At the moment I feel overwhelmed by all my comittments. I say I am doing it for my children (kindy committee, school class rep... etc). But the reality is, the more of those behind the scenes things I do, the less I have to give to them on a day to day basis. And its not just all the stuff I do for school and kindy, its the things I do to keep other people happy too, my kids miss out on me, because of that too.

A lot of the things you do on committees, your children might reap the benefits in what their school or kindy had to offer, but really, arent just a few people doing it for the masses?  My children are probably directly benefiting from it very little. But my tiredness, distractedness, irritability and always rushing them is not benefiting them at all! Im sure from a childs perspective it might mean they feel like Mum hasnt got time for them.. they wont see the bigger picture and they dont have to -they are just children.

The more I take on the more resentful I feel to those parents who seem to be able to always avoid doing anything. Maybe I am also a bit jealous that they can say no, walk away and not think about it again. My mum always told me there would be people who helped and those who dont, and if you want to contribute you just have to accept that a few people do all the work. And then, if you dont like it, dont help out.

But that doesnt help people who are, by their nature, generous, in all aspects of their life.  I am trying to be a bit more selfish but Im not very good at it and always feel guilty -which defeats the purpose.

I find it interesting that those Mum's (and Dad's) who do help out often are the busiest people but are less inclined to make excuses about why they cant fit it in.  A mum from our kindy committee said she got tired of people saying they couldnt help, coming up with a myriad of excuses, because she also has a hundred and one other things she could be doing, but she was putting her life on hold to pick up the slack where these other people wouldnt do a little bit to ease the load.

And then there are those people who take advantage of your generosity, they freely take your time and abuse your heart. Those are the ones that really make me mad.

Anway, thats my little rant over. I'll now get back to cleaning the house for our inspection, typing up fliers for the kindy fundraiser, a letter for my son's class, a letter that needs to go to the whole school for the project I am helping set up, I'll finish putting together our new bed that has a piece that doesnt want to fit right (because thats where we need to sleep tonight!), I might get time to feed my darling children, pester them about their homework, do the dishes, and then I'll probably collapse into bed (if we have one!) and fall asleep. Yep, another day over and not a minute for me... again.  Then because life isnt busy enough, my inlaws arrive here on Friday at 8.30am - 'nuff said about that!

Feel free to leave a supportive comment, Id love to hear how you keep all your balls in the air!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Easy Raspberry & White Chocolate Muffins (Gluten free optional)

white choc and rasp muffins

This recipe is one of those super easy ones that you can mix up, in one bowl, with a fork and they are ready to eat in no time.  I have made them for years and today I experimented with making Gluten free ones (just by substituting flour with Gluten free flour).

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

100g butter

1 tblsp golden syrup

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 c self raising flour

1 C raspberries

1/2C white chocolate buttons (or chopped up chocolate)

Melt butter and golden syrup together.  Stir in sugar.  Add egg and milk (mixed together) and then stir in flour.  Add white chocolate and raspberries.

Bake at 200 C for about 15-20 mins.


 white choc and rasp mini muffins

 cute little mini muffins (also in red polka dot cases OF COURSE!!) the ones at the top of post are ones I was given for my birthday - TOTAL YUMMINESS thanks Jodie

white choc and rasp gluten muffins

and the ones with gluten in Carnival baking cups (at Ben's request)

We also made yummy freckle slice yesterday - usually we make it with gluten so I haven't tried it before. Yesterday we made it gluten free and it was YUMMY!!!

freckle slice

Freckle slice

185g butter

1/3 c brown sugar

220g nutella (or similar - we use cheap Aldi version)

1 3/4 c flour


Beat together butter, brown sugar and nutella. Stir in flour.  Bake in a lined tin at 180 C for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and press in freckles.  YUM as agreed by kids and adults!

*** kiwi readers*** can you get freckles in NZ?  I cant remember!  Im going to do a giveaway soon and might include some if they arent widely available in NZ.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Planning a party and previous cakes

My darling boy Sonic will be 7 in a couple of weeks. 7 !! already!  So its time to plan a birthday party.

I know a lot of families don't have parties every year for their children but I cant help myself, really, its why I had children!!! LOL!

We are doing a Wild West Theme this year... lots of organising to do.

I also love making birthday cakes for my children. Here are some I have made them in the past. Im quite proud of them (mostly!)

 cakes Ive made1

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Crafty bug

Finally! I have got my crafty bug back on!

Its been pretty busy the last few weeks, and especially the last week or so with Kindy committee stuff.  I am the Newsletter writer and I have spent 17 hours on the latest newsletter. We are switching to monthly newsletters so I definately wont be spending that much time on it, especially with helping with the social committee as well... plus the school jobs too! phew!

Anyway, today I had a spare two hours so I made myself a noticeboard and some magnets and push pins.


Noticeboard (red and white polka dot of course)

noticeboard clips

Little clips .. to hold on my ideas etc.

button push pins

 Some button push pins for my corkboard... now just need to fancy up my corkboard!

Right, Im off to do some more crafting!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I have had my first unplanned encounter with a snake!! On Friday Sonic and I went to Australia Zoo for his class excursion. We were making our way to the Crocuseum for the croc show when we came around a corner and one of the mums yelled - get away from there, theres a snake!  I turned around and pulled Sonic away (who was way too close for comfort).

SInce moving to Australia I have always said if I encountered a snake I would run until I got to the airport and jumped on a plane back to NZ... but in reality, what did I do, I went back to take photos!!! Until a zoo keeper shooed me away!snake

 Ok, so its not HUGE - but it is long and it had its head raised and didnt look too happy! (oh yeah, photo is shocking!)

We had a great day at the zoo and feed lots of these cute little fellas (or shelias?)roo 2roo



 we got home and my husband had cooked Kangaroo sausages for dinner!! WHAT!! there's no way I was touching them!

a  few other pics

koalacrocben at zoo


Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day Aussie and Kiwi Mums!   All Mums!! (it must just be father's say we celebrate on a different date!)

I was very spoilt on mothers day. Lots of cuddles, homemade cards, pressies, Eggs benedict in bed!

I was so happy to recieve this book:

(picture from here)

And a copy of The Book Thief.



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mothers Day stalls

I keep promising myself that the next blog I write will be about something crafty I have been doing but somehow the week disappears and I have had very little time in my craft room.  I am going to try next week to do that - I am going to do something crafty and post about it for the next 7 days!

Anyway, this week we have held Mothers Day stalls at School and Kindy. This year my dedication is to Kindy as next year all three of my darlings will be at school.

I did however make a bunch of phone/camera covers and donated them to school and kindy to sell, oh yeah and some cupcakes too (they went within a very short time)

phone covers 2cupcakes 2

 Today I went with Sonic on his class excursion to Australia Zoo. We had a great day, but feeling a bit tired now!! Right, off to bed as I have crafting to do after netball tomorrow, and an apron to make!


I almost forgot this week, Bubba and I went to her kindy Mother's night. It was so lovely, we got to do some activites together and then the children sang some songs they had been rehearsing.

Here's my beautiful girl

elise kindy night 1

kindy n

Dont you love my big arms and hands!

kindy nihjt 3elise kindy 2

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cupcake canvas - giveaway win :)

Thank you so much to Benhi over at Eggshell Green for the lovely canvas I won in her recent giveaway.

Little Miss Sunshine desperately wanted it for her room - it was hard to give it up but I conceded!


Look at the gorgeous cupcake paper!! I love it and carefully folded it and popped it in my sewing room - to save for later...well later my darling children used it to wrap up Mother's Day pressies while I was out... with lots of sellotape! )*sob*.. oh well at least I get to enjoy it twice now.


And this is the GORGEOUS canvas.  Be sure to check out her etsy shop so you can own one too!! here

2 years living in Oz.. and missing NZ terribly

this week its two years since we made the move to Oz. 

Im homesick...

Family really is more important than anything....

I miss mine....

I miss my beautiful country..

Dont get me wrong, Australia is beautiful, with lots of fantastics opportunities ... but its not home...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beautiful Brisbane


Last weekend we jumped on the train and went to the city. I absolutely LOVE Brisbane city - of all the cities I have visited it is by far my favourite! Its beautiful and there is always so much to do.

I would choose visiting Brisbane city over the theme parks any day - and my children agree! Its a relatively cheap day too :)

Heres a few pics from our visit

wheel of brissy

wheel of Brisbane (we've been on this twice and it is great!)

kids and kangaroos

photos with Kangaroo statues

 brissy building

cool buildings

stu and kids

a cuddle with Dad


this building is so cute - its actually huge but looks minature in this photo

southbank pools

Streets Beach at Southbank... free pools that run along side the river

elise southbank pool