Saturday, March 31, 2012

day 294: carrot shaped easter treats

the finished "carrot" easter treats :)
day 294 and the mojo is returning and i am really excited to be back creating now.  today i am going with a carrot shaped theme for easter treats.  i have been salivating at all the treat ideas on pinterest and, in particular, the ones that look so cute in piping bags to form carrot shapes.

these gorgeous waffle cone filled "carrots" are such a cute gift and something nicer than a prepackaged egg as it shows you have put time and effort (which i reckon equals love!) into the gift giving.  the idea comes from the sweetest baker and is pinned to my easter in autumn board.  the other pinterest found idea is from loralee lewis and uses triangle shaped frosting bags filled with goldfish to make some less sugary easter treat carrots!

the nice thing with both these easter treats is they only require putting together and the key ingredient for both is some clear piping/frosting bags, once you have the bags you can let your imagination take over.  we don't have goldfish in new zealand so i am using twisties for the savoury carrots instead .. they are orange and will therefore be perfect!

what you need :)
the savoury carrot version
the finished waffle cone filled candy carrot :)

outcome: AWESOME!  these took me 15 minutes to put five together and that included taking photos :) they can be far more personal and thoughtful than your standard easter egg set and i really appreciate gifts that do that.  so i am hoping the five lovely people who will receive these will also feel that way too.  just need some easter tags (when the printer co-operates) and these are ready to deliver :)

my thanks to the sweetest baker and also loralee lewis for these no fuss, inexpensive easter gifts they have put together and shared that are just so cool :)

day 293: chalk board canvas

the finished chalkboard canvas hung in the kitchen :)
day 293 and the printer is still not talking to me as i would like, so there are no surprises when i tell you today's creation will not involve printing anything ;)  it does involve art though, changable art.  some of you may remember my complete LOVE of chalkboard paint when we painted a chalkboard on the classroom wall on day  214, my obsession with this ingenious stuff continues today as i create some changable wall art, in the form of a painted chalkboard canvas.

i saw this idea from chic and cheap nursery on pinterest and i thought this is one of those things everybody should have!  i plan to put it on the wall and change what it has on it according whether it is a holiday season, someones birthday, a welcome for family and friends coming to stay, all sorts of occasions.  i love crafts that are so usable and, of course the first use of this wall art will be for easter.


what you need

don't forget to paint the sides for completeness 
thanks steve :)
i was not having the best day yesterday, so steve and his "friends" went out to the shed to paint the canvas while ben and i watched the rugby before i fell asleep.  and then i sleep and sleep and sleep ... and nobody dared to wake me : D  then i woke up and the creation i had set out to complete was done~!  so i had no choice but to put my pj's on and i went to bed for the night and slept some more!

outcome:  i've popped this up in the kitchen because the kitchen doesn't yet have any chalkboard paint in it (shame on me!).  i totally love this and it was so easy for steve to complete for me (lol) while i slept!  honestly i was all ready to paint and had everything out, thought i would have a rest before i did the actual craft and the rest is history!  good old steve, standing in again for me today, just as well i warned him 293 days ago i wouldn't be able to do it without my families support ;)

thankfully my observation husband was around to make sure day 293's creating was finished so i have to thank him for that, otherwise i would have been up REALLY late!  thanks also goes to chic and cheap nursery for this awesome inspiration that has given me some cheap, cheerful, and always relevant wall art!

Friday, March 30, 2012


naughty egg, get outta my photo
she is tired and sleepy ... i will let her tell you what was created today tomorrow but here is a sneak peak of day 293 ;)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

day 292: easter decor printable

day 292 and my sweet mum gave me a gift for easter when she got home from work today and it has completely inspired me to do a little bit more easter decor today ... something easy though, does anybody else have days when they just WANT TO SLEEP ... i'm having one of those days when i just can't be bothered :)  days like this are when you need the inspiration to be creative from others and its like i am surrounded by friends and family who give me plenty of it.

the above broken eggs given to me by mum were the perfect start for a little easter vignette in our upstairs lounge.  i then went and asked pollyanna to find her sylvanian family bunnies while i went to work on finding some free easter printables to use from pinterest.  luckily there are plenty on pinterest and many are pinned to my  easter in autumn board.  today i am using a subway art from eighteen25, they design awesome subway art and i have used their's before on p365 for other holiday seasons.

in our upstairs living area we have many white accessories, so i wanted to print the subway art out in black and white to make sure the emphasis was on the egg bowls .... and it was about NOW the printer decided to have a whopping great tantrum and didn't want to print.  steve tried for over an hour to get it fixed but it would not co-operate ... according to steve, the printer and i had a lot in common today : / tomorrow is another day for the finished print to appear

outcome:  i am chuffed :)  i really didn't feel flash today and not creative but i wanted to be able to do pinterest for myself today and i did, i was creative with my little vignette ... and tomorrow it will look even better when the printer WILL co-operate and i might too!  i absolutely love my egg bowls from mum that provided the perfect inspiration ... and you know what, without pinterest i wouldn't have even thought of adding easter decor to the house so i am happy.  might not have finished creating what i wanted to create but i did something thanks to the inspiration of my greatest muse, pinterest :)

when i get my printer and i on the same side, i will be so grateful to eighteen25 for another wonderful subway art that they provide freely to print ... and that's awesome.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

day 291: sentimental coin key rings

guess when kirsty was born......
day 291 and i am home ... not yet able to do the creating but i can type!  something i really wanted to do today,  mostly to thank all the lovely people that have commented and sent emails of kindness.  the operation was a huge success and i am on the very speedy recovery to full fitness.  i really wanted to thank you all for your kind thoughts, the support has meant heaps to me AND my family and has lightened our days with something good to focus on.  

my sweet (but hopelessly egg fanatic) has once again come to my aid and done the creating for today.  the nice thing about the last couple of creations is he has gone on my boards and found his own inspiration for the day.  i had completely forgotten about the sentiment coin key rings that were pinned to my general crafts board.  the idea comes from PATS DESIGN on etsy but she takes it a lot further and uses gorgeous personalised stamped copper rounds as well as the american coins.  if i was american, i would head straight to her site where you can purchase them ready personalised and without the need to hunt for the appropriately dated coins!

unfortunately new zealand coins and notes have gone through a number of changes during 1990, 1991 and 2006 with many of the old coins taken out of circulation during 2006.  coming across sentimental coins for steve and my birthdays is therefore a little tricky.  unbeknownst to me, steve has been searching the house, under cushions, in old money boxes, and all over, looking for coins sentimental to me.  he eventually found one from my birth year to begin my sentimental coin collection on a key chain.

the keys, the first of several coins (i hope) to be attached to kirsty's keys.  yes, she LOVES lego :)

safety first,  use a punch to mark coin before drilling
safety first, use grips to hold the coin while drilling

please don't slip please don't slip please don't slip.....

a quick polish to finish off

the flip-side of our old NZ 2 cent coin, the kowhai flower ... see kirsty's keys still have the nail polish from day 252

outcome:  i was very touched when steve came in this evening with today's finished creation, i love it ... and the fact it will be added to when i find more sentimentally dated coins!  i know for sure i will be flipping coins to see their dates now.  and, yes, steve is right with his comments under the photo's, i love lego almost, but not quite, as much as my family ;)  if you didn't have a currency that keeps changing its type, shape, and size these would also make great coffee charms, trinkets on gifts, flower centers, decorated pegs, all sorts of things if your supply of dated coins isn't limited!

my thanks goes to PATS DESIGN for the inspiration for today's creation. it such a fabulous idea that could be adapted for so many project ideas :)  and if you are american you can BUY it ready made ... now that's cool!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

day 290: lego picture frames

day 290 and kirsty is having her second night in hospital so its steve standing in again.  the kids and i got home pretty late today so there was a bit of panic when i finally sat down to sort out a creation for the blog.  kirsty is now off the pain meds and has a clear head so there is no chance of me pulling the wool over her eyes anymore, i had to do something and do it fast!

looking through kirstys general crafts board on pinterest i saw lego picture frames and thought that would be a great addition to bens bedroom as well as fun for dad to make!.  this is originally from a pinterest board by anel jacobs dedicated to lego birthday ideas.
i have to admit that i wasn't too keen on gluing lego to a picture frame as per suggested instructions, so decided to make the whole thing from lego pieces.  this way ben can customise it himself and the kids can build more if they want.  the frame is made from lego flats and big enough for a 6x4 photo.  i got all tricky and made a recess for the photo to slide in from the top so that photos can be changed easily if desired.  once this is done then you have a blank canvas to get all creative on.  the final touch was adding a stand at the back.
get a heap of flats and lay out so you have a backing area larger than your image size
backing flats joined with a layer of flats close to your image size, then covered with more flats to create a recess
middle layer of flats omitted at top to create photo slot
frame ready for customisation
go through the block trays and get creative.... trust me you will spend a lot of time getting the look right!
the stand....a pretty poor photo but hopefully clear enough
outcome:  after giving myself a headache from the sifting-through-piles-of-lego-for-prolonged-period-of-time noise, i was pretty chuffed with this and i think the kids will like it to.  at least they will say so to humour me before pulling it all to bits.  unfortunately our printer is out of action so i couldn't get a photo in there.  see below for a picture of ben i had selected.  ben loves lego and last birthday received a heap of starwars lego, perfect for this frame.

Monday, March 26, 2012

day 289: easter silhouette pillow

an eggstremely good hiding place!

day 289 and i am off to hospital this afternoon for my operation so i wanted to make sure i did a home decor easter craft before i went so i can decorate for easter when i return home :)  actually i am really nervous and i wanted something to keep my mind occupied before we left for the hospital!  i found these free easter silhouettes from craft jr that i figured would look cool on some pillows.  they are pinned to my easter in autumn board on pinterest.

i am using purchased pillows to make this craft a little more doable in a short time frame.  i printed out the silhouettes at A4 size then cut them out before tracing them on heat'n'bond.  i then cut these out again before ironing the material to the reverse side, good side up.  then it was a case of cutting around the material and then ironing them in place on the pillow. i plan to finish them off using a blanket stitch and some embroidery thread while i am in hospital recovering.  if you don't feel like doing this last step there is no need to as the heat'n'bond will hold the silhouettes in place without any worries.
eat easter eggs to avoid fading away to a shadow
so easy even a manly-man can do it.....thats steves hairy arm!
cut them out and we are ready to apply to cushions
peel off backing and iron on......easy if you take the stuffing out of the pillow beforehand, hard if you don't!
outcome:  this is one of those craft ideas that you can use over and over again for all sorts of holidays.  its easy to achieve, you don't need to do any sewing if you don't want to or don't own a sewing machine, and it's really cheap to do even with ready made pillows ... the pillows were only $5 each :)  i love them and plan to do lots of different ones for each holiday season ... especially christmas!

my thanks goes to craft jr for the very cute silhouettes.  they were so easy to use and worked brilliantly on the pillows.

you might also see in the top photo day 232 (i love you because....).  this pinterest creation probably has the most impact around our home with even the peeps taking the time to add a message to someone in the family.....this has a high feel-good factor!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

day 288: a number 1 banana cake

happy birthday mum, we love you :)

the finished banana cake, this was delicious

day 288 and it's my mum's birthday!  normally i would have a whole day of things planned for her so i am very disappointed i haven't been able to do anything for her as yet ... next weekend, i hope to make up for it big time as tomorrow is the day of my operation! i can't tell you how EXCITED and a little nervous i am :)  it was a day of absolute roll reversals today and again mum requested helping out and making a cake for HER birthday.  i am not in a position to say no so we went with it!  normally steve would have come to the rescue and made the cake but we also had an open home today and he was super busy cleaning and organising so the house looks good enough for someone to fall in love with and buy!  luckily my gorgeous friend lana dropped off yet more DELICIOUS food today, so at least mum didn't have to make dinner AND she came with birthday flowers.  can't tell you how much we all love her, she just always seems to be their when you need her most.

mum had some bananas that needed using so requested i pin a whole lot of banana cake recipes to my recipe must do's board for her to choose from.  i did as asked and she picked this one from all recipes, any cake called a number 1 banana cake sounds like a cake that should be tried :)

mum wanted to bake something so the house would smell good during the open home and boy did it smell good from the bedroom!  the recipe makes two 8" rounds so can be layered ... apparently my kitchen team are into layered cakes at the moment!  the intriguing thing about this recipe (that does require the heavy machinery to be taken out) is their is a tablespoon of baking soda in it, that's a lot of baking soda for a cake so it will be interesting to see how it tastes.

this cake uses the heavy machinery and a few dishes but it's worth it!

ready for the oven, mum loves her flowers lana :)

the baked cakes ready to be frosted

ready for a birthday celebration ... awesome job mum!

outcome:  couldn't taste the baking soda at all, this cake is definitely worth the dishes!  it was really delicious, nice and moist and loads of banana flavour.  definitely would make this as a treat cake for any occasion, even your mum's birthday ;)

my sincere thanks to my sweet mum for helping with today's p365 pinterest creation, you rock mum.  imagine having to make your own birthday cake, it just doesn't sit right with me but at least there was a cake and you were able to celebrate with family.  not only that, but you know we will make it up to you as soon as i can stand up!  thanks also goes to kevin ryan for uploading the banana cake recipe to all recipes, it has 4 1/2 stars and it is definitely worth every one of them :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

day 287: not your normal omelette

the not your ordinary, extremely tasty omelette :)
day 287 and it's nice having everyone here for the weekend, i feel less useless doing nothing!  my sweet mum is enjoying her new roll as part of the pinterest 365 team and asked to do another creation today in the kitchen, this was a request i was never going to turn down :)  we still have a lot of eggs (our chookies must be very happy at the moment) so mum thought we should find an omelette recipe on pinterest we could trial for an easy dinner.

i pinned a whole assortment of omelette recipes to my recipe must do's board for her to choose from.  she went with this recipe from pinch my salt.  it looked like a nice easy recipe and we were also enticed by the fresh herbs and use of sour cream, something i haven't put in an omelette before.

what was needed for this recipe, it's optional to have lego salt and pepper,  but they do make your quality of life better !

almost ready to be flipped :)

outcome:  these are really good.  the sour cream does something to the eggs that makes them beautifully rich and creamy.  this is probably the best omelette i have ever had as the combination of richness together with the fresh herbs was an absolute winner.  this is definitely a go to recipe when you want something quick and simple to make for breakfast, lunch, or dinner ... love a recipe that's so versatile!

thanks goes to pinch my salt for this very simple recipe for a very simple dinner made awesome by the inclusion of a very simple ingredient ... cool aye :)  my thanks also goes to the latest member of the pinterest 365, my sweet ma, dianne ... we love you and thank you so much for helping me continue to create each day!

Friday, March 23, 2012

day 286: very vanilla butter sponge cake

the finished triple layer very vanilla butter cake ... it was simply delicious, the photo doesn't do it justice :)
day 286 and it is a happy day today as my sweet mum has returned from singapore safely :)  being such a sweet mum she told steve to go off to work for the day and she would look after me ... steve jumped at the idea!  my mum is also one of my biggest pinterest supporters and said if i found a recipe she would be my kitchen team for today's creation.  after seeing the abuse of our eggs by my other half, she also suggested perhaps we make the most of the opportunity to save some eggs from being graffitied by using a recipe that needs lots of them :)  i totally agreed and, as steve was busy at work, the likelihood of getting through a blog post without any graffittied  eggs mysteriously turning up also seemed like a challenge we could definitely take on ... we shall see ;)

the very vanilla butter sponge cake recipe from sweetapolita seemed to fit the bill perfectly as it uses 6(!) eggs and as a bonus we also had the rest of the ingredients in the pantry.  the recipe is pinned to my recipe must do's board on pinterest.  you definitely need the heavy machinery out as i can hear mum from the bedroom pulling the mixer out of the cupboard.  according to my kitchen team, the recipe is very straightforward but does require a little time and effort.  mum originally thought she would just need the two tins for the cake but soon discovered the recipe makes a huge amount of mixture and this is definitely a three tier cake.

my mum couldn't get over how much mixture there was was ... mamma mia there was a lot ;)

the baked sponges

the only variations made in the test kitchen were to the icing for this recipe.  we weren't having a party tonight so after a p365 team discussion we went with plum jam and cream filling between the layers and a dusting of icing sugar on top ... a more victorian take on a sponge cake ;)

we used plum jam and whipped cream as the layer filling

outcome:  thanks to my sweet mum we have an outcome ... seriously AWESOME.  my mum is a great baker and this cake didn't disappoint, it was SO yummy.  i didn't have to do any dishes so i wasn't deterred by what mess this cake made, not that it would have mattered it tasted way to good to care.  the plum jam added a nice tartness to the cake so that it was powerfully sweet, something i appreciate in a good cake recipe.  this isn't a heavy cake at all, very light and fluffy.  if you added the meringue butter cream frosting to this cake you would have the ultimate in non-chocolate birthday cakes )

my sincere thanks to sweetapolita for this awesome, slightly overwhelming recipe.  if want any amazing food eye candy have a look at this link that has their 10 most liked recipes from 2011 ... holy moly, i think i may need to try more of their cake recipes, absolutely stunning looking cakes :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

day 285: decorated easter eggs

the finished eggs, they are still a bit wet in this picture but i was getting impatient for sleep, sorry :$
they actually look really cool they are all dry now, i will show you an update photo when i put then in a vase :)

day 285 and it's a pretty quick creation today.  as easter gets closer each day, i get more disappointed i haven't been able to decorate for this season.  i decided to find an easter craft that i could do from bed today, so when i can move i will at least have some things on hand to decorate with :)

these book covered easter eggs from lemon tree creations looked perfect.  they are pinned to my easter in autumn board on pinterest.  i had some papermache craft eggs that needed perking up and a vintage book that was already in pieces thanks to some flowers i made last year.

i went with a papermache application of the book pages onto the eggs rather than doing the model cutting tutorial found on lemon tree creations.  i decided i wasn't up for well made, more thrown together was what i was thinking for today's creation ... there will be time for well made later this month and the next!  to adhere the pages to the eggs i used mod podge in matte and applied it with a foam brush.

the bits and bobs for today's creating
the creating: rip, dab, dab some more :)

outcome:  really cute craft.  i actually left some of the eggs for the peeps to do because i figured they would enjoy doing this as well ... that and the fact i was exhausted after half an hour of creating~!  i plan to put them all in a glass vase on the table as the start of dressing the dining room for easter, but that will be for another day :)

thanks goes to the lemon tree creations for this great easter craft.  regardless of which months you celebrate easter this is a craft that will work well for easter.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

day 284: fall bucket list

our fall bucket list ready to frame and have up as a reminder of all the cool things autumn offer :)

day 284 and things have been hard round here, that's an understatement but not as hard as others and my heart goes out to those families. my family have completely rallied around me and taken up all the slack i have left.  my operation is set for monday and i wanted to make sure the family (including me) had things to look forward to for the rest of the autumn season given the first month has been such a non event.  we haven't even been to a rugby game yet :(

i went to my autumn comfort board on pinterest looking for inspiration for today's creation.  looking at all that inspiration was just what i needed and i found the perfect thing to do today, an autumn bucket list.  i love these seasonal bucket lists that make you realise there is so much that each season offers your family that's worth doing.  i subconsciously know all these wonderful things happen each season but sometimes the grind of each day gets away on me and i forget to make the most of all the opportunities out there.

i found this great fall bucket list by katie at loves of life, unfortunately it is more fitting for the northern hemisphere seasons so this free printable wasn't going to work.  however i did find this free printable for a fall bucket list that allows you to create your own.  the free printable is from jessica of live as mom, her writing is so funny and a little bit addictive to keep reading!  jessica went with a limit of 25 things for her autumn bucket list.  given a month of autumn has almost gone i am going to limit our family list to the 20 things listed below:

the freely printable fall bucket list from jessica at, it's also available in colour if your printer hasn't run out of magenta ;)

  • go to a blues rugby game
  • make a pumpkin pie
  • make apple prints bags with the peeps
  • make mum's famous carrot and pumpkin soup
  • go to the movie the best exotic marigold hotel
  • make decorative easter eggs with the peeps
  • go to the anzac dawn service at parakai (we go to one each year, this year it will be a local one)
  • read a classic storybook, book must have been written at least 50 years ago  (each member of the family)
  • make wednesday nights into movie nights with an easy dinner and cuddled up under blankets with hot chocolates
  • visit with nana at the mount
  • have a family craft day to make an autumn banner
  • make an apple pie
  • make some mini egg cookies
  • make time to play games with the peeps on sunday evenings
  • make homemade easter buns
  • go to takapuna beach for an autumn walk and finish with hot drinks at the beach cafe
  • go to a netball game to support the northern mystics
  • make a dessert pizza for doing in the pizza oven
  • send easter eggs in the post to all the peeps friends
  • make an 'autumn' inspired dinner each week for the remainder of the season
outcome:  we won't know until the end of this season but i already feel more positive and excited about the weeks ahead and doing lots of fun family-focused things.  it is so true, when something is written down rather than thoughts swirling around it is far more likely to be done because it is out there for all of you to remember and make time for.  i love the idea of bucket lists for the everyday and always, it's a way of remembering how important each day is and not just the festive, warm seasons.  i am a great one for getting excited about christmas, birthdays, easter, and all the holidays way in advance and forgetting about how rewarding the every day can be if you put a little effort in.  hopefully a list like the one above with be a great reminder .... now i just need to get steve to go out and buy a frame for it!

my thanks to both katie at loves of life and jessica of for their wonderfully inspiring fall bucket lists.  they are such a great idea and something i hope to adopt for my family during every season :)

day 283: home school learning units

the units we printed out, heaps of pages of knowledge, advice, worksheets, and projects
day 283 and steve and i made huge progress during the morning before i went to the doc's for a meds checkup.  we discussed how we were going to make home life work: enable steve to get HIS work done, continue the peeps schooling, keep the house work done, and do a pinterest creation each day.

we were having morning tea together in our bedroom (because lets face it that's where i spend all my time at the moment) discussing how to make the most out of the peeps learning at the moment given it couldn't be done in the usual way that we did things.  the four of us decided unit focused work would be the best way to go as that would suit the fact we couldn't guarantee what each day was going to bring at the moment.  steve and i went on pinterest to my home school projects board and found some great units that would allow us to focus on a topic but cover different areas of the curriculum.

the best ones we found were from the home school share group.  we printed out their beethoven lives upstairs unit and their ancient egypt unit.  they are both pinned to my home school projects board along with many of their other units  both units cover various areas of the curriculum and have the facts, mini projects, suggested reading books, and lots of ideas.  the ancient egyptian unit is centered around making a mini book for each learning area and i love that idea.  i find with my littlest peep if she has to make something to do with her learning she retains the facts and knowledge much better and much longer than if she just does a worksheet or writing on the subject .. that quote that says "involve me and i will learn" is very apt for her!

outcome:  as sensible parents (yeah right!) do we had the peeps do their daily spelling and maths test after we returned from the doc's before we got started on the exciting new units.  i had meds to take and then things went down hill .... VERY fast and the learning for the afternoon was cancelled due to limited numbers.  so we haven't yet trialed the units but given how fast the peeps got down to their maths and spelling so they could get to the unit work, is a very positive sign~!

my sincere thanks to the homeschool share group for all the amazing units they have that are freely downloadable.  the homeschool share website is one of the very best home schooling resource websites i have come across and i can definitely recommend the site for all sorts of resources for learning :)

one day late ...

hello all, it's been a couple of days since posting sorry.  unfortunately i had a trip to the hospital due to a reaction to some of the medications i am on for my back.  i require an operation (in a week or two hopefully) to fix a problem with my back causing crushed nerves down my left side so life is a little complicated until that is fixed.

thanks mo for updating on yesterday's comments.  the good news is i had my first trip in an ambulance, the bad news is i can't remember much of it!
the good news is steve also got his first trip in an ambulance and he remembers it, the bad news is he spent his time doing that and not helping finish the pinterest creation we had started before i was whipped away ... geez i don't understand this guys priorities ;)
the good news is i am now home and recovering, the bad news is i have even more medication to take to counteract the effects of the other meds!
the bad news is we missed a day in pinterest creating, the good news is we will carry on and just finish one day later than originally scheduled.
the bad news is this is totally gutting to me, the good news is it's not going to stop me finishing my personal challenge :)
the good news is the eggs seem relatively unaffected by the family's experiences over the last two days (there are just more of them now!), the bad news is steve will still probably find a way to make sure they keep popping up in each blog post ... sorry!

i will be back later today with a creation and the creation we had started the other day, which is now also complete ...
standard hospital accessory to go with pretty gown (no photo of gown!)
eggsactly what kirsty is doing right now