Saturday, 7 December 2013

This moment ~ joining in with Soulemama

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The best kind of collaboration

I love a collaborative project and this has been my favorite so far.

My little 2 year old often tags along fabric shopping and quite enjoys looking at all the patterns with mummy. On our most recent trip to the local kid friendly quilt shop he found some fabric with diggers, planes, trains and helicopters on it. So just like mummy does he picked up the whole bolt and walked over to the counter and pushed it over for the lady to cut. And if that wasn't cute enough he then went back for the other designs he liked too.

My goodness i just melted, too cute for words, and yes mummy folded and bought some. It was good timing actually as he's nearly ready to go into a big bed and i'd been planning on sewing him a single bed quilt.

So home we toddled and over the next week we have had so much fun, getting out the fabric and playing with it. I cut all the squares out and Cohen's job is to hand them to me to sew.

It's been a lot of fun sewing with my little boy and i love his enjoyment of the fabric and the process.

Plenty of fun, laughter and a little bit of time for mummy to indulge her hobbies too. 
Have a great week everyone and hopefully we'll have the finished project to show you soon.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

This moment with Soulemama

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Caramelised walnuts, salad and pizza night

So this is one of my new favourite things, caramelised walnuts. I've seen this recipe all over the net but hadn't tried it. So finding myself with an abundance of walnuts i thought it was the perfect time to give it a go. The idea was to make a healthy, sweet snack to avoid the not so healthy kind but turns out i enjoy these more in a savory salad.

Now these are super easy to make and last well in an airtight jar. I hope you'll try them out.

Caramelised walnuts

2 Cups of walnuts
2 T honey
pinch salt

Firstly toast the walnuts in a frypan for 3-4 minutes until golden. Stirring frequently. Be very careful to watch them, toasted walnuts can turn into burnt walnuts very easily.

Once toasted, add the pinch of salt and the honey and cook for a further 2 minutes on a low heat until caramelised. 

Mine were on the borderline to getting burnt! but luckily i saved them in time.

Turn out onto a non-stick plate or mat to cool. Once cooled eat or store in a airtight container.

I sprinkled these on a green leafy salad with some shaved parmesan and a balsamic dressing. It was so delicious i had two helpings. The walnuts aren't super sweet so they were perfect on a salad. I think they would be yummy with some blue cheese too.

It made for a yummy dinner alongside some hummus pizza and my first movie night with my little man.
'just keep swimming, just keep swimming' - excellent advice from Dory.

Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Back from the edge

Hello toe everyone still following along. It's been a while since i have been in this space. Life definately took over this past month and i'm so so happy to be on the other side of that craziness. In short i took on some extra work over the past few months to prepare a group of organisations for audits. Please don't go to sleep quite yet, i know auditing is a not a riveting topic for most but for me i love helping an organisation to find value in an audit and to move forward to better and bigger things.

So for the last month i have lived and breathed it and in truth - it was awful. As i've said i enjoy auditing but with a small son this meant extra long days, extra time in care, dropping out of activities like music groups, play group etc...
I'd like to say first up that some mum's do an amazing job working full time and raising kids but i'm not one of them. The stress piles up, i stop doing as much housework, i'm checking emails while playing with Cohen, i stop eating and cooking, takeaways and snack foods start to take up residence. And the whole while i'm tired, frustrated, stressed and have no energy for my family. Everything i enjoyed dropped away - yoga, coffee with friends, crafts, this blog and quality play time with my son.

And for all that - I am grateful.
- Grateful my mum came and took up residence for the final week, cooking, cleaning and caring for my son. - That is the most valuable thing she could have done.
- Grateful that it is finished.
- Grateful i can choose not to do that again
- Grateful i don't need to work more than is right for our family.
- Grateful to be home
- Grateful to be up to my elbows in stickiness, cartoons, cars and parks.

Life is back in balance and nothing makes me feel better.
So coming back is the crafts, the sewing, the cooking, the baking and the playtime. Life is good this week.

Simple broccoli salad

1 head broccoli, cut into florets and boiled for 2 minutes
2-3 rashers bacon, chopped
parmesan cheese
2 T pinenuts

In a fry pan cook the bacon in a little oil until cooked, then throw in the pinenuts and toast for 2 mins until golden.
Then in a bowl assemble the cooked broccoli, bacon and pinenuts. Top with shaved parmesan to taste and a simple vinegarette.

I used 
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 clove finely crushed garlic
1  whoelgrain mustard
1 t honey
 1 T olive oil

Serve cold alongside roasted meat or with a handful of cooked chickpeas as a main.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Loving... Grateful.....

My Monday night ritual to reset and start the week in a good place. Feel free to join me and tell me what you are grateful for in the comments. 

~ Loving....
- A little time to rest and relax amongst a busy schedule.

~ Grateful

- For the safe arrival of a perfect little nephew this week. I can't wait to meet this lovely little man.

- That the busy times will be finished in a few weeks and we can go back to our regular routine. The routine where i have more time to play, laugh, bake and sleep! 

- For photos like this that make me giggle. In case you are wondering this picture was taken inside a big blue toy bin which is over our heads. We're never too old to play and be a bit silly.

Have a great week everyone.
Pause, breathe, be kind, be grateful

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Red garden soup

I made this soup at the end of autumn with the last of the seasons tomatoes. Yesterday i was feeling a bit under the weather with a cold and thought it was the perfect time to pull a bowl of soup out of the freezer. It is such a delicious nourishing soup recipe, packed with veges and perfect for those cold, damp days, i thought it was about time i shared it with you all.

Red garden soup

So into a pot put 2T oil and heat. Throw in

2-3 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
and 1 bay leaf

Saute for about 10mins

Then throw in your tomatoes. I chopped the bigger ones but left the little ones whole. I used about 1.5kg of tomatoes.

Pour over 3 cups of chicken stock.
Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer for about 30mins until all the veges are soft.
Remove the bay leaf.
Blend with an immersion blender.
If you like a smooth soup you can also push the soup through a sieve. This is good if the tomato skins are a little tough.

Serve with warm toast and butter, or you can add a dollop of unsweetened yoghurt and some fresh herbs like chopped parsley or coriander for something a little different.

Have a warm, happy day.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Loving... Grateful....

My Monday night ritual to reset and start the week in a good place. Feel free to join me and tell me what you are grateful for in the comments. 

~ Loving

The last of the summer tomatoes being made into a nourishing soup as we head into winter.


~ For new opportunities
~ for family coming to stay
~ for said family doing a heap of those jobs i never quite get round to
~ hand dyed wool
~ for finally getting the hang of knitting
~ baby snuggles
~ chatty toddlers.

Life is good.
Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

This moment

Joining in with Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Enjoy the last of the summer sun.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Weetbix slice - thanks Fatmumslim

Inspiration was lacking today, it's baking day but between the housework that needed doing and the sad news of Boston on my mind inspiration was sorely lacking. I'd decided it would be store bought biscuits for afternoon tea until i saw fatmumslims post for her childhood favourite - weetbix slice. Sold. I too have fond childhood memories of this slice, weetbix slice it is.

A lovely crunchy weet-bix base.

Topped with some soft chocolate icing. A bit of a treat for little tummies.

If you want to give this one a go you can find the recipe over here at FMS.

Happy baking everyone and hug your loved ones close.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Loving... Grateful...

My Monday night ritual to reset and start the week in a good place. Feel free to join me and tell me what you are grateful for in the comments. 

It's been a few months since i last did this, but it feels like it is more than due to start again

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. - Buddha

Loving ....

The last of the summer sun.


~ for time
~ for choice
~ for the love in my life
~ for hot cocoa on a cool night
~ for my little baby who is rapidly becoming a little boy
~ for yoga which stretches the body and releases the mind
~ for rest.

Breathe, be grateful.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Hot cross bunnies (fail)

Easter calls for freshly baked hot cross buns and this year i tried adding a little twist. It was semi successful.....

With visitors coming for easter and being unsure if they ate traditional hot cross buns i decided to split the batch and make half traditional and half chocolate hot x buns. Then for a little fun i thought i'd make a few of them bunny shaped like the many you see going around pinterest and facebook sometimes.

Bunny Rolls
Ah aren't they cute! Unfortunately mine weren't all that successful and came out looking a little more hamster like. lol.

Hahaha that's even funnier in a picture! I won't be giving up my day job yet. On the up side they were super yum! With big chunks of chocolate and just a little spice.

On the other side of things the hot cross buns came out great. This is my go-to recipe if you feel like trying some this weekend.

Hot cross buns

Preparation time 3 hours
Cooking time 20-25 minutes

1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
100 grams butter, softened
2 eggs
4 cups high grade flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon each ground allspice, mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
milk or egg wash to glaze

Stir the yeast and milk together and set aside in a warm place for 15 minutes or until the mixture is frothy.
Beat softened butter and eggs into the frothy mixture.
Put the flour, salt, spices and brown sugar into a food processor and pulse to sift.
Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture mixing until it forms a soft dough. 

Process for 1 more minute.
Add the dried fruit and pulse to just mix.

Turn the dough into a greased bowl, turn over and cover with greased plastic wrap. 
Set aside in a warm place for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size
Divide into 12-14 pieces roll into a ball and place on a tray, put them about 1cm apart. I like to put them in a round tin.

Cover with a tea towel and set aside for 30 mins.

Preheat the oven to 190 ÂșC.
Brush the buns with milk or egg wash to glaze. Pipe thin crosses onto the buns with the cross paste.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

I don't usually bother with the crosses but if you want to add them

Cross paste
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon butter
about ¼ cup milk

For chocolate buns - omit the spices and raisins from the above recipe and add in 1 t cinnamon, 1 T cocoa and 1/2 -1 C chocolate drops.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sweet treats and busy weeks

The days seem to be flying by with not enough hours in the day. I have a sense of rushing through my days, my tasks and my food. It's only now i take a moment to breathe tonight that i realise how i'm letting the time pass by without taking time to really be in the moment. You miss so much that way.
But for me it's a natural state when i'm under stress, work faster and more to try and reduce the pressure. But it really doesn't work that way, i need to slow down breathe and get everything back into perspective. The world will not end if i don't finish a report on time! So after all that ranting, i'm going to take a deep breath, slow down and tell you about a few sweet things from the week past.

So on Sunday i attended a dessert making class. 

We made chocolate tarts, vanilla panna cotta

and tiramisu. 
It was great fun and i've developed a new love for panna cotta. A creamy italian dessert where the cream is cooked  with sugar and flavours and set almost like a cream jelly. Not a great description but very luscious.

With all the rushing around i have been doing there's been little time for craft lately, another sign i'm working too hard. So tomorrow i'm taking a break. Off to the pools with my little man in the morning and some crafting tomorrow night hopefully, and maybe a little Easter baking to share with you all.

Take care everyone. 
Rest, relax, breathe

Friday, 22 March 2013

Lunchboxes - Broccoli and chickpea salad

I'm still feeling very time poor around here and struggling to get everything done in a week. I need to become one of those super organising people who can whip any week into shape and get everything done. I also need to get a unicorn. Not sure which one is more likely to happen.

For the meantime i will plod along trying to get enough done to keep my house from falling apart and my family happy. So here i am tonight to share with you a quick healthy lunch from my week.
Something a little different.

Broccoli and chickpea salad 

Half a head of broccoli
1 drained tin of chickpeas
1/2 C crumbled feta
1/4 C pine nuts

Note - You can add any salad veges you have like tomatoes, chopped spinach, red onion but my cupboards were otherwise bare that day and i love a simple salad some days.


2 T balsamic vinegar
1 t wholegrain mustard
1 finely chopped clove of garlic
1/4 C olive oil
1 t honey
pinch salt and pepper to taste

Mix together and set aside

Cut the broccoli into small florets and blanch by throwing into a pot of boiling water for 1-2 mins (depending how crunchy you like it), strain and run under cold water to cool and stop the cooking process.

Chuck in a bowl with the chickpeas and feta.

 Stir through the dressing. 


I find this is better eaten on the day it's made as the broccoli goes a little soft the next day. It's still tasty though and a good healthy lunch for busy weeks.

Have a great weekend everyone

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Womad 2013

Well we are back from the NZ Womad festival, and we are very tired and damp! The weekend was one of many discoveries. There was some amazing new music, the discovery that my little boy can run much faster than i thought and the reality of camping at a music festival for 3 days with a nearly 2 year old. Yep it was interesting, tiring and wonderful and maybe something i don't want to repeat for awhile.....

Yes it rained, an extra delight with a little one when staying in a tent. Little man had a blast in his wet weather gear and little dragon gumboots. Definitely a family weekend to remember.

Right 9 loads of washing down, 2 more to go!
Take care everyone.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

More fabric and helpful toddlers

I seem to be very time poor lately, running from one thing to the next with little time to sit and be still. Have i mentioned the toddler we co-habitate with? Might have something to do with that. Anyway i'm still trying to fit in a little bit or sewing or knitting to keep a bit of balance. With the toddler sleeping a little less these days i've been carting him around to fabric stores and the like so i can at least get a few things done. You know the really important stuff like - BUYING FABRIC FOR MUMMY. I'm sorry i'm not shouting i just felt it deserved capitals, it's just that important.

Anyway i'm ranting today but here's a few pictures of what happens when you try to measure out fabric with a toddler sewing apprentice.

Helpful right? But seriously who could be mad at those adorable little feet.

And just for more amusement here's what happens when elastic shirring thread accidentally gets pulled into the sewing machine and tangled in the gears. Sheer talent that was.

Now this is why i love my old crappy bernina machine. It's over 30yrs old and comes with it's own repair kit so i was able to fully open it up and with a little help it was back up and running in 10 minutes. 

Which is great cause i have more sewing to do before we head off to the NZ womad festival in the next few days.
So excited! Expect to be swamped with pics soon.


Friday, 8 March 2013

My house is covered in fabric

Ok not all of it, but yep quite a bit. I have so many projects on the go and every time i get up i seem to have collected more wayward threads from the last sewing session. Maybe i should vacumn more and sew less. Lol yeh ok not even i believed that was an option.

Since finishing the washi dress i've been obsessed with getting more fabric and making more clothes. Suddenly shopping for pre-made clothes has become sooooo boring. Everything is the same! the same colours everywhere i turn, the same styles - all of which seem to be unflattering on a pear shape at the moment. It's all so boring and now a whole world of sewing has opened up.

This is the fabric covering my sofa at the moment waiting to be made into this lovely skirt.

This is a classic wrap skirt from the book Weekend Sewing By Heather Ross.

 A lovely wee book i picked up at the library while chasing the toddler up and down the aisles. Cause that's what library are for, running, squealing and hiding from mummy. On another note if anyone has any advice on dealing with running, squealing, hiding toddlers who thinks it's the best game ever let me know. And it turns out ignoring the behaviour results in loosing him entirely for a few stressful moments, so maybe not that approach again.

Anyway weekend sewing here i come, the skirt is all cut out and ready to sew, if the book's claim is accurate i should be able to whip up a new skirt tomorrow - running, squealing, hiding toddler depending.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Working Washi

So i decided to join the Washi dress  bandwagon after seeing a dress made by Tania at Ivy nest. Such a lovely dress and it looked so comfortable. Even better i thought it just might work with my rather ample pear shape that can be so difficult to dress well. Now i love to sew but it's been years since i sewed an item of clothing. Put off by so many patterns that just didn't fit properly at the end it always felt like a waste of time. A few years, a lot more sewing experience and the perfect pattern and we have success!!

Please excuse the rather bleary 'running off to work, quick take a photo' look on my face.
What can i say i'm not a morning person.

Now this is a pretty plain fabric for a washi, and with good reason. This was some leftover fabric i decided to use to make a 'mock up' dress before starting on the real thing. But as it came together i thought although it was plain, it might just work. And it does, it looks slightly formal but is still extra comfy for a day at work.

What an amazing pattern this was to make. I have so many plans for future Washi dresses and tops.

Check out the other Washi pictures and buy the pattern over at Made-by-Rae and also check out her celebrate the boy week. So many cool things to make for the little men in our lives.

Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

This moment - with Soulemama

With Soulemama {this moment} - A Friday ( Saturday in NZ) ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Floor pillow fancy

Finally it's finished! The giant floor pillow i posted a pic of a few weeks ago finally has the central buttons sewn in. After a few misadventures i have learnt some important lessons - while nylon thread is wonderfully strong it will rip through your fabric in a heartbeat if it is tensioned too much. A sad lesson to learn when the center of the points ripped through and i had to try to repair it. It's not perfect but most of the damage is hidden by the central button and hopefully won't rip further.

It really is lovely though and after my initial reaction on finishing it - It's huge! where on earth are we going to put it! - I'm pleased to say it lives right in our lounge, we use it every day and love it.