Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The last couple of days have been filled with last minute Christmas preparations, shopping and wrapping.

We've had a slight change for Christmas Day and now have some extended family joining us for Christmas brunch - we'll total 16! Some of my last minute preparation for our tables today included adding some Christmas ribbon to my candy jars some and some cute Christmas circles from A Little Delightful to our cups for brunch (the cups with lids and straws are for the kiddies and will also feature at the Little Guy's birthday party in a couple of weeks).
Signing off for a few days now for Christmas and a little trip with my family.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Reindeer Food

Here is a quick and easy gift for the special little people in your life:

The cute bag topper is from Crafty Carnival.

Ingredients for reindeer food:
- 1 cup of oats
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 1/2 cup jelly crystals (I used half red/half green)

Now Santa will be sure to stop at your house Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Gift Packaging

Some Christmas packaging for you today:
Homemade rocky road with a cute candy cane ribbon from Spotlight

These little treats are for my work collegues this week:

Bag topper created in photoshop using this free digital scrapbooking kit from Two Peas In A Bucket.

And I finally finished the gifts for the Little Guy's daycare staff:

The little name tags were also done in photos shop using this free Christmas digital scrapbook paper from The Shabby Princess.

I still have a couple of gifts to wrap to go under the tree but otherwise I am all finished for Christmas gift giving.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Card

This year I wasn't sure if a Christmas card was going to make it's way out of our household and into the post. The Little Guy is very challenging to photograph at the moment - he loves the camera and wants to hold it. Luckily on Saturday morning I gave him a christmas decorative sign to hold and managed to snap a few good shots. The photo card is based on a Becky Higgins template to which I made some text adjustments and the end result was this:

Last year I designed a photo card and adhered it to some blank cards and wrote a personal message inside. But this year pressed for time I have just sent out the photo card itself. Hopefully next year I will have the Christmas card ready much earlier!

And here is another great shot I captured of our gorgoeous Little Guy:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Playroom

We recently did a big shuffle of room uses in our house and now the Little Guy has a dedicated play space which he is loving (and we are loving having no - well almost - toys in the living area!).

Here are some pics of the finished room:

Expedit unit from Ikea and storage tubs from Kmart.

Gorgeous tissue poms and wall stickers.

I have to thank the Big Guy for his tissue fluffing abilities as he did the blue and grey ones for me. I started with the small white one and wasn't very successful. He seems to have a knack for it!

A close up of the framed print

Here are some details of where I purchased all the lovely things in this room.

The tissue poms were purchased on Etsy through Party Poms.

The cushion cover is adorable and came all the way from The Netherlands! Purchased from Etsy store Red Stitch.

This is a close up of the frame print purchased from Imaginart - they also have an Etsy store. Being a square print I could not located a suitable frame in any of our local stores so I designed by own online at Frameshop and am was suprised at their quick delivery - I ordered frame on the Wednesday and it was delivered on Friday morning! You customise all the specifications of your frame, size and shape, frame colour, mat size and colour.

Here are the wall stickers I purchased from another Etsy store Lola Decor (I changed the colours):

I am so happy with the all the different features of the room coming together and think it looks great.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Christmas

I had grand plans for lots of blog posts this past week but was sidetracked by a bad flu and still feeling under the weather today so trying to take things easy.
Time for some more Christmas details. First up is a (bad) picture of our tree:

The Little Guy has been gently re-arranging the tree. He loves it and says 'wow' and 'pretty'. And he has only opened one present so I think he is doing really well.

One day I would love to have a proper mantel to hang our stockings but for now this is what we do. The bits and pieces have been purchased over the last 3 Christmases since we bought our house. I love our stockings (from Myer) and our stocking holders are from David Jones (I've also seen similar ones at Myer):

Bottom shelf: The little red boxes are actually candle holders and are also from David Jones. The red bauble is from Bed, Bath and Table and lights up inside. The silver wire Christmas tree I can't remember where that one is from (perhaps a discount store?). The white candle holders on the left were a wedding present from my parents and the champagne flutes on the right are from our wedding.

Top shelf has this gorgeous decoration from a trip to World Disney World we took a couple of years ago:

It is quite heavy and I have been searching for the past two Christmases to find an ornament stand to hang it on. Just this week at our local shopping centre a little stall selling personalised Christmas baubles were selling them for a bargain price of just $5! I was so happy!

And speaking of beautiful Christmas things Sharnell Dollar is giving away some gorgeous Christmas goodies including these:

Check out her blog for details of the goodies and how to enter.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Christmas decorating is in full swing in our house with the tree going up this past Monday -which is very late for me! I usually have the tree up by mid November but with all the re-arranging of the house the Chritmas decorating has been taking a backseat. I am a little fussy and particular when it comes to Christmas but each year I find a few more bits and pieces to add to our collection including this cute take on an Advent calendar:

This version is actually a placemat with 2 layers. The bottom layers display the numbers and you rotate the top layer accordingly. I have just blu-tacked it to the wall and each day take it down to change the number and re-tack to the wall. The Little Guy loves it and calls it 'pretty'!

This shelf is in our new dining area

displays a gorgeous Villeroy & Boch tealight candle holder (a gift from my boss many years ago), a cute wind-up wooden Santa sleigh and reindeer from My Wooden Toys (I can't see this particular toy on their site at the moment but they do have some adorable wooden nativity sets), a photo of the Little Guy and a lovely wooden Advent calendar purchased from Bed, Bath & Table last Christmas. The Little Guy is a bit young at the moment to use this but I look forward to future Christmases where I will be able to put some little notes about a Christmas related activity or event as well as chocolate inside each of the little boxes.

The Little Guy also has a Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set he loves to play with. I believe it is important for there to be some Christmas (or any other celebration) decorations he is allowed to play with rather then everything being out of bounds to him.

I also saw this cute version of a Advent calender at Infarrantly Creative blog:

How cute is it? What other great Christmas ideas have you seen?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The epic re-arrange of our house is now complete besides a couple of little touches for the playroom that I recently purchased which have yet to arrive. Our spare bedroom/study is now the playroom, our dining room is now the study/craft area and the toy storage area of the family room is now our dining area. It is so nice not to have a zillion toys strewn across the living room every day. It was a massive job with new furntiure purchases, lots of decluttering and rearranging but I am so pleased with the result.

For the first time ever I have my very own desk and much needed creative space. I purchased some galvinised metal pails from Ikea to store some of my frequently used tools such as scissors, pens, adhesives etc. They were looking rather plainish though so I tied some gorgeous American Crafts ribbon around each of them:

Amazing what a little piece of ribbon can do - I think they look great. (And did you notice the text printed on the ribbon on the right?)

Lots to share at the moment - more storage for my crafting bits and pieces, Christmas decorating including Advent calendars and other little Christmas gifts I have been preparing.

Making a big effort to get blog posts up over the next couple of days so stay tuned!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Getting Prepared for Christmas

With Christmas only 6 weeks away I have been writing listings, purchasing gifts, wrapping presents and starting on those gifts I am making such as these for the Little Guy's daycare staff:

You may remember me blogging about these little canvas bags back in August here. Purchased for just a few dollars for a pack of 4 they are the perfect packaging for the mini recipe book and Christmas decoration the Little Guy will give his carers. I've had these little booklets in my craft stash for a while and decided to make up a little recipe book of 5 yummy treats my Little Guy loves to eat. The clear Christmas tree decoration was a recent purchase from Spotlight for around $2 - it comes apart in 2 pieces so you can fill it with chocolate etc, tie a ribbon to the top and then hang on your tree. Using some internet freebie digital Christmas scrapbook paper and alphabet I whipped up a quick name tag and tied it on with some sparkly ribbon I found in Coles (Christmas section).
Our Christmas tree and decorations through out the house will go up over the next couple of weeks once we have completed our room swapping (more about that soon).
I'm also continuing to organise the Little Guy's 2nd birthday party which is just a few weeks after Christmas and have made some recent purchases on Etsy which I will share later.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's been happening?

It's been a few weeks between posts - lots has been happening here:

  1. The big guy had his final uni exam for his MBA in late October. With an end to years of study, late nights and weekends at the library - we have put together a 'Spring Clean' list for neglected tasks in the house and garden - which he will now have time to tend to.

  2. We had our first ever kid free weekend away for our friends E & S's wedding in the Hunter Valley and had a great time.

  3. Thanks to a wonderful, flexible workplace and a supportive husband I have been able to spend the last 16 months at home part time with the little guy and after much thought and debate have decided to return to full time work next year. Although I'm going to miss the extra time I get to spend at home with the little guy I am very grateful I was able to be home full time the first 6 months of his life and I look foward to returning to my fantastic office and also to achieving some of the goals we have set for our family's future.

More posts to come with some of the other things which have been keeping me busy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Banana bread or cookies & icecream?

I've been cooking up a storm lately so my boys are very happy! Have tried out a few new recipes as well as some old favourites.

One of my favourite never fail recipes is for caramel banana bread. Despite the name this banana bread is not too sweet and is super moist.

Caramel Banana Bread

125grams softened butter
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 cup of mashed banana (about 2 large bananas) preferably slightly overripe
1 & 1/2 cups of self raising flour
3/4 cup of sour cream
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
1 tablespoon of milk

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan forced oven). Grease a loaf pan.
2. Using an electric mixer cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg until well combined and repeat with 2nd egg.
3. Add the mashed bananas, one cup of flour, sour cream and the bicarbonate soda to the sugar mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Add in the remaining flour and milk and mix well.
4. Pour into loaf tin and bake for approx. 50 mins until cooked. Test that a skewer comes out clean if inserted in the middle of the pan. Leave in pan for approx 5 mins to cool before turning onto a wire rack.
5. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Cookies & Icecream

A new recipe I recently tried is from Our Best Bites - an oven baked cookie and icecream recipe they call Pizzookies. Here is a photo I took before my boys digged into the warm cookies, icecream and chocolate fudge sauce:


Cookie dough (chilled ready to use from supermarket or make your own)
Icecream of your choice
Chocolate/caramel sauce

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan forced oven)
2. Fill ramekins about 1/2 way with cookie dough
3. Place ramekins on tray and bake for approx 10-12 mins - make sure dough is still soft.
4. Allow to cool for a few minutes then place ramekin into a larger bowl (so you don't burn your fingers!) and top with a scoop of icecream and chocolate/caramel sauce.

PIZZOOKIES INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS FROM - I trust these are as yummy as my boys say they are! (Shock horror I don't like choc-chip cookies and not much of a fan of icecream icecream - which makes it easier for me to cook things I know the Big Guy and Little Guy like that are a bit naughty).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More party and Christmas ideas

It's a cold rainy long weekend here in Sydney and with nothing urgently requiring my attention I've been thinking about the little guy's birthday party again and playing around with a few food table ideas:

How cute are those little wafers! A favourite of the big guy I purchased them in Woolworths in a box of 6 snack packs.

Also found this caddy which will be perfect for holding cutlery and napkins (not sure which printable to use):

This is a photo of the inside of the caddy:

And filled:

Sorry about all the white! I have zero photography skills and not many suitable places to take photographs inside (and its pouring with rain outside). These are the best shots I could take with my little point and shoot.

The caddy is actually an undersink storage caddy I recently bought at Target (found in the laundry section with the pegs, coathangers etc) - a bargain at only $10.00. I'm a big believer in re-using, re-purposing and finding alternative uses for items. The glass jar shown above is one of two I also purchased recently from a homewares outlet and they were filled with scented tealight candles.

I've also been thinking about Christmas again and have been browsing Hostess With The Mostess. Love this simple and beautiful place setting:

And one day I might be game enough to try and make some cakepops. How gorgeous are these from Bakerella:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Handmade Gifts and Planning Ahead

Wow - over a month since I last posted. My days seem to be filled up very quickly with work, looking after a 20 month old, cleaning, washing, cleaning, washing etc.

The little spare time I've had I've been using to complete some projects (while catching up on Mc Dreamy and Mc Steamy on dvd) including designing two lots of invites - one handmade and the other with photoshop. Plus:

The Wedding Keepsake box is a gift for my gorgeous friend Ms E who is shortly going to become Mrs A! She is getting it a little early so she can start to store all those keepsake little bits and pieces she has already collected.

The Shadow Box frame is another 'Day You Were Born' gift for our neice Miss C whose dedication/naming day is in a few weeks. I went with a rustic horse theme for her horse mad parents! The certificates can be purchased from here .

The party printables is me planning for the little guy's birthday. I know it's not until January but with Christmas and a busy few months ahead I need to start getting organised now as the 2 weeks following Christmas I want to be all ready and not running around trying to organise a party! I had Nicole from The Two Saavy Sisters custom design me a gridiron (American football) theme party pack (modeled on her Vintage Baseball Party Pack) in the colours of white/light blue/brown. I am so pleased with the way all the pieces turned out and can't wait to put it all together.

A few busy weeks ahead with a Kitchen Tea, Hen's Night, Miss C's dedication/naming day, Ms E's wedding and then it's November and Christmas is just around the corner!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cheese & Bacon Bread Snacks

I have a recipe to share today, I made these yummy cheese & bacon bread snacks for lunch for us:

I'm not sure where the recipe is from - I've had it for a little while waiting for the time and inclination to make them. I'm not a huge slave over the stove top kinda girl (I leave the risotto making to the Big Guy) but I love to bake cakes, muffins etc so this recipe is right up my alley:

Makes approx 12


200g diced bacon
2 cups of grated cheese
1 small onion finely diced
1 cup of self raising flour
1/2 cup of milk
1 egg beaten
3 teaspoons of sundried tomato pesto


1. Place bacon, cheese, onion and flour in a bowl.
2.Combine milk, egg and pesto in a small jug then add mixture to dry ingredients, stir until combined.
3.Line an oven tray with baking paper, spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the tray, allow enough room for spreading.
4.Bake in a hot oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Gift Wrapping/Presentation - think outside the square!

The big guy, the little guy and myself are away in New South Wales' central west at the moment visiting family in Cowra. Lucky for me the motel we stay at (everytime we come if we can!) has wifi. Thank goodness I remembered to bring my laptop this time (unlike 6 or so weeks ago when in a packing frenzy I forgot to bring any sort of entertainment in the form of computer, book, magazine etc to curb my boredom in the evening hours when the little guy is asleep - although last trip he decided he would not succumb to sleeping during the nighttime hours!).

For the first time in may visits to this town we have actually done some touristy things like visit the Japanese Gardens and POW site:

The gardens will be so lovely in spring time when all the flowers start to bloom. We will have to time a visit one year for the Cherry Blossom festival.

Now back to the post topic - packaging - think outside the square. In preparation for this visit to see family and our new neice Miss B I was organising the rather overboard amount of presents I had purchased and needed to buy some wrapping paper or a gift bag to keep it all together. While zipping into Coles for a quick trip for nappies (so annoying Coles in the only store to stock our preferred brand of nappies for the little guy) I noticed some pink storage containers which would be perfect for toys or lots of other items you need to store that come along with having a baby.

So I made a 'Congratulations' sign for the top of the box, tucked all the gifts inside along with the card and a photo album I made:

My sister thought it was a great idea - mission accomplished!

I also recently purchased these from one of our local discount stores:

They are 15cm x 15cm canvas type bags and were a bargain @ 3 for $2.00. I am thinking they will be perfect for packaging gifts for the little guy's daycare staff this Christmas. I need to think of a way to decorate the outside (possibly some sort of silvery snowflake design with the purple and blue). I'm also thinking they would make perfect kids size gift bags for guests at the little guy's next birthday party. Next time I'm out shopping I will buy some more of these little gems to put away for future use.

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ready, Steady, Party

I was so happy to receive this wonderful book: Ready, Steady, Party - cooking for kids and with kids by Lucy Broadhurst; for my birthday from my gorgeous sister Mrs R.

This fantastic book indulges my love of party styling - it is divided into party themes, and features menu suggestions including recipes and great presentation/packaging.

'Shipwrecked' Party:

'Farm' Party:

I am rather besotted with the 'Animal Feed' as shown above. The book also includes some helpful tips for holding a party and a section dedicated to Party Games. Other themes include 'off to the circus', 'teddy bears picnic' and 'camp out'.

Some of the recipes look so yummy I can't wait to try them out. It's also makes me keen to start planning the Little Guy's 2nd birthday - although that's 6 months away! Christmas comes first though - will be my first time hosting for my family (parents, brothers, sisters, neices, nephews etc) and I'm looking forward to doing some craft projects for the holidays.

Off to pour over the pages of this fantastic book yet again!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Additions

A big congratulations to my sister Mrs W & family on their newest addition- a sweet little girl named Bethany born yesterday. We can't wait to meet our new neice/cousin next week!

In other new addition news:

This gorgous cupcake stand was a birthday gift from my awesome friend Nic - who knows me so well - I love it! I've been eyeing off cupcake stands for a long, long time but have never got around to buying one. Thanks again Nic. xoxo

and this lantern:

was a birthday treat to myself! A bargain picked up from one of my favourite stores: Bed, Bath & Table - this bamboo lantern has a glass insert candle holder and handle. Not quite sure exactly where it is going to live in the house - but I'm sure I'll find the perfect spot for it!

And this:

A funky new photo frame - another birthday present from my sister Mrs R - so nice to have a different shaped frame than the standard rectangle. I did a bit of photo editing this afternoon and popped this cute closeup shot of our Little Guy in the frame. Need to find a permanent home for this new addition too. Thanks again Mrs R!

Next post will feature a new book.

(P.S - can you tell I've been getting more sleep?? Third post this month and it's only the 4th)