Saturday, December 31, 2011

day 205: happy new years eve, the perfect night for a midnight treat :)

happy new year goodies :)
day 205 and i am so looking forward to the new year ... but am also happy to celebrate a wonderful year and reflect today on all the goings on for 2011.  we have had a great year with highs and lows and all the in betweens  that count just as much if not more.

we have a lot going on today so i wanted something easy but new years related to do today.  these midnight treats from angela at secrets of a super mommy fit the bill perfectly :)  they are pinned to my holiday goodness board at pinterest.

i used some piping bags and filled them with sweet treats including a hot chocolate mix.  as i am typing, i just thought this would have been the perfect place to use the cocoa spoons i made on day 197 next time :)  the ones i made for adults had a coffee mix and a mini baileys in them instead of the cocoa items ;)  then i made a VERY simple tag using word, printed them out and attached them to my cones of goodies.

the kids version goodies :)

the adult version :)

the finished midnight snacks for adults and peeps :)
outcome: we shall wait and see at midnight, but judging by this little face she looks pretty pleased!  a really special little gift to welcome in the new year and would be fantastic to gift to people if you were having a new years party for ALL ages :)

one of the happy recipients

my thanks to angela at secrets of a super mommy for this inspirational idea for new years, i definitely think this will become a tradition in our house :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

day 204: garden storage for the boy's bedroom and a lego minifig storage update!

today's storage solution from pinterest, the bhg idea
for garden planters as storage!

if you are new or a treasured follower to my blog, WELCOME and THANKS for stopping by.  one of my creations is getting a lot of traffic at the moment and thats the lego minifig storage frames from day seventy ... if you haven't seen them you can see how to make them here.  they were such a favourite with my niece and nephew i made some for my own peeps when we returned to singapore.  below are a couple of photo's of ben's as today's pinterest creation is hanging right next to it as you can see above!

day 204 and i am in FULL post-christmas, pre-new year sorting mode (and my husband thought he was on holiday ... ha!).  i am firstly tackling the peeps bedrooms because after christmas it became obvious they needed some serious cleaning.  i had pinned these garden flower planters to my kids bedrooms board on pinterest ages ago and really wanted to give it a go.  the idea comes from bhg! i went round and round in circles trying to find the original source but couldn't but am pretty sure they are the guys behind it!

in ben's room i needed to add some additional storage solutions, the planter idea seemed perfect because it would provide off the floor storage in a place i couldn't put any drawer or bookcases because of the door.  i found the planters at nz's big red sheds for $13 each ... brilliant as this wasn't a pricey option either.

the planters ready to hang

the hung planter ready to fill

the first one is filled with caps that no longer live on
the FLOOR ;)

the second one is stuffed with toys :)

a closer look

ben's lego minifigs that are removable
thanks to the white bricks that are
adhered to the frame glass

outcome:  cool, they work well with the colour scheme in his room and are perfect for the larger things that lived on the floor or his bed.  so easy to hang and they work so well i am going to find some cream ones (or spray some black ones) for her room.

my thanks to bhg for this awesome, cost effective storage idea that brings thinking outside the square to a whole new level ... and that saying bringing the outside in, never rang so true ;)

in other news i have a BIG, HUGE give away for the first week of the new year from my memories
and a newly designed blog to bring in the new year :)  see you tomorrow for the last day of 2011!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

day 203: ham and cheese sliders

the ingredients
day 203 and we are through the turkey, finished the christmas pudding, overloaded on christmas tarts, and now we need to work our way through the ham :)  i love christmas ... totally ... and part of it is finding new ways to deal with the leftovers to make them more exciting.  today's creation works towards that with ham and cheese sliders ... NEVER heard of them before, but i can guarantee just by the picture the boys of my house are going to love them!~

the recipe comes from the girl who ate everything and is pinned to my recipe must do's board on pinterest. the recipe was followed exactly as christy explains it and the nice thing was they didn't take too long to put together (i'm a bit tired tonight).

easy dinner is served, and the entire table was
happy with it!
pour the sauce on top and sprinkle with poppy seeds

fresh out of the oven and they smelt so good
outcome: scrummy, forget the boys, the girls loved them too ... totally going to use this recipe often, ben asked for them tomorrow and, actually, they are so good you could serve them up two nights in a row.

thank you to christy from the girl who ate everything, superb recipe and one the whole family loved, thanks so much for blogging about it with such inspiring, tempting photos!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

day 202: summertime subway art

the perfect start to my summertime decor!
day 202 and i am getting ready to redecorate from christmas to summer (when it gets here, the weather is not very summery at the moment).  i found this summer subway art on pinterest from today's fabulous finds and pinned it to my summer loving board.

janet from today's fabulous finds provides TEN different colour combinations for this summertime subway art.  it's really user friendly as you click on the colour combo you want, copy the large image over to windows and then manipulate it with regards to size and saturation.  i went 400% with colour saturation and used an 8" x 10" frame.

this image was so easy to manipulate in word :)

printed and ready for the frame
outcome: nice and bright, a perfect start for adding some summer into our d├ęcor :)  love the colours of this one and think i will use these colours as a base for the rest of the things i add to the house for summer, especially the vibrant blue, yellow, green, and the very refreshing white.

my thanks goes to janet at today's fabulous finds for this cool piece of typesetting that's perfect for making my home more summer friendly even if the weather's not cooperating!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

day 201: turkey toasted sandwiches

the very good, very delicious way to use leftover turkey.

day 201 and we are at that day we you have a WHOLE lot of turkey that needs using!  off to pinterest i went to find some solutions.  the weather has turned a little cold today and we are all a little tired, so turkey toasties for dinner sounded ideal.  i came across this turkey cranberry monte cristo from paula deen and also these turkey, brie, and cranberry panini's from annies eats.  i liked bits of both recipes and thought i would use those bits to create some turkey toasties of my own :)

i used wholemeal pitas, basil pesto, cranberry sauce, brie, and turkey to make these toasties.  i layered the ingredients onto the split pitas and put them into the panini machine.

what was used :)

the layers ready to be sandwiched together

goes well with champagne too!
outcome: mmmm ... good way to have left over turkey!  pollyanna and i really enjoyed these, the rest of the clan had turkey and reheated vegies with gravy ... i think they had a bit of food envy though, so i gave one to ben who seemed to regret his decision to have vegies instead and he thought they were so good we should have them again tomorrow!  i thought that was a good idea and any leftover turkey after tomorrow is heading down to the chooks!    almost had my fill of turkey for this festive season, champagne's still good though ;)

my thanks to paula deen and annies eats for their inspiration to make our turkey leftovers so much more tasty and inviting than plain old cold turkey ... nothing wrong with cold turkey but as we had it for lunch it was definitely good to disguise it in another way :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

day 200: happy boxing day and a bacon blanket for the turkey :)

this was so delicious and looked so cool!
 day 200 and its boxing day ... love boxing day as it's the day we have our big, but relaxed christmas dinner complete with turkey, ham, roasted vegies, and all the trimmings.  my creation for today is a bacon blacket for the turkey, loved the idea when i saw it on pinterest so it was an absolute must for today!

the idea comes from mother earth news and is pinned to my christmas is coming board.  all you need is the turkey (ours is all stuffed and lightly seasoned with the legs trussed up) and some streaky bacon.  then you weave the bacon on top of the turkey starting in one corner.  once the blanket was finished it was covered in tinfoil and placed into the pizza oven for three hours.  we use our pizza oven for roasting during the summer months as its too hot to have an oven going inside ALL day, plus it means i don't have to clean it so often!

you need a turkey and some streaky bacon!

start in a corner and add a piece each way
for the lattice works really well

ready for the pizza oven once covered in
tinfoil :)
crispy bacon, perhaps a little too
crispy in places but it actually
tasted great with the turkey!
outcome: i was really intimidated when i thought about undertaking this given i have no experience in weaving anything, let alone bacon!  but starting in one corner and adding a piece each way works wonders and it was actually really easy ... love that :)  it looked awesome going into the pizza oven and it came out looking even better.

my thanks to mother earth news for this great idea, it was totally worth doing and really enhanced the flavour of the turkey lurkey ;)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

day 199: MERRY CHRISTMAS and a table setting fit for the season :)

merry christmas

i wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry christmas and to thank you for visiting. this journey, so far, has changed my life. i definitely saw my life becoming more handmade, which i am totally loving, but what i didn't expect was the great support i get from you guys.  i absolutely love the friendships i have made.  thanks so much to those of you that comment and/or follow me for the wonderful support and interest ... you guys really have made this journey so much more enjoyable than i ever could have imagine.  so thank you from my heart to yours.

 wishing you all a very safe, merry, and wonderful christmas with those that mean the most to you

the finished table setting!!!
for day 199 it just had to be an outdoor table setting for our christmas breakfast ... this idea i saw on pinterest instantly resonated with me and so it was pinned to my christmas is coming board.  this idea was highlighted on centsational girl (totally following this AWESOME site now!) and originated from sweet something design.  

each christmas day we have a big cooked breakfast to start the day after making our way through the amazing stockings and present unwrapping.  in our house for the last 20 years we have always had our big traditional turkey dinner on boxing day.  my sweet mum turned christmas into a three day festive - 

  • with hot ham, cutting of the christmas cake, and hallmark decorations on christmas eve, 
  • christmas day we have stockings, presents, and a big breakfast with the rest of the day spent playing with presents and grazing on ham, home made bread, and all the goodies from santa not to mention the christmas baking!  
  • and on boxing day evening we have our big traditional christmas dinner in the early evening.  
my mum always felt there was too much to fit into christmas day to enjoy each part of it and rather than just opt out of things she spread them over three days.  it works so well and i never have that empty feeling after christmas is over because of it.  i love that we get to enjoy each part of christmas without feeling overwhelmed by trying to fit it all in, in one day.  so while we joke about our three day christmas festive, its actually my favourite family tradition and something that my husband and i have carried on ourselves.

it's summer here in new zealand, so we are all about the outdoors for christmas.  this year (weather permitting) i wanted our christmas day breakfast to be outside as well.  the inspiration of sweet something design i found on pinterest looked perfect, especially loved the tartan rug as the table cover.  so to work steve (my sweet) and i went to create our own table setting for christmas.  we went with the outdoor them, using native timbers, reds, greens, and silver for bling :)

as our tarten rug was red we went with it and silvers to
go with the rustic look :)

today we had purchased crackers, tomorrow
for our big turkey dinner we will have the
home made ones :)
we had the nicest time and everyone loved the extra effort put into the table setting
trifle for dessert was the BEST!
outcome: merry, cherry, and bright with amazing company and the yummiest food and wine! working with my sweet, it took us 20 minutes to pull this table setting together and the family kept saying how nice it was to sit down at such a beautiful table ... they were so sweet, but it really did sparkle.  i loved the rsutle nature of it and the fact it barely took anytime and we used what we already had bar the candles which i purchased the other day.  i'd say it was the perfect place to have a christmas meal :)

my thanks to sweet something design who was highlighted on centsational girl, all it takes is a little inspiration, a little time, and a little effort to make something to be proud of, and i totally was with this ... maybe not perfection, but my family didn't no otherwise.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

day 198: old fashioned honey glaze for the ham

yummo ... talking about the ham but the man is not too bad
day 198 and i am beyond excited ... steve's parents have arrived safely and we are having the best day relaxing, just being together enjoying each other's company.  part of our christmas traditions is to serve up hot glazed ham for dinner on christmas eve with fresh home baked bread, it's something i really look forward to.

today i wanted to find a glaze for the ham on pinterest and try something new ... we usually just glaze it with apricot jam :)  i found this recipe that looked ideal, an old fashioned honey glaze, the pictures from what's cookin chicago looked divine so it was pinned to my christmas is coming board.

we had everything bar the apple juice, so we substituted that for cranberry juice instead.  apart from the juice replacement the rest we did according to the recipe.  it was them into the pizza oven for 2 hours to do its thing.

the mustards (we mised two together to make a dijon whole
grain mustard

rubbed the mustards over the scored ham and then added
the other parts

into the pizza oven it went ...

... we lifted it off the floor so the bottom doesn't burn

the beautifully glazed ham ... honestly it was
soo gooood!

outcome: AMAZING, oh my gosh it was so good i ate too much!  yip christmas has definitely started and i had better start that treadmilling tomorrow if my hot ham eating was anything to go by :)  the glaze was beautiful and i absolutely loved the warmth the mustard provided, so very very good :)

many thank you's to what's cookin chicago, totally inspired recipe they have highlighted from bon appetit :)

see you all tomorrow for the big day, can't wait but that's it for now as i have some serious business to attend to ;)

Friday, December 23, 2011

day 197: hot chocolate spoons

hot chocolate spoons :)
day 197 and it's time to relax a little so today's creation is a nice simple one you can do with the peeps :)  these hot chocolate spoons are such a great idea and a really nice gift you can give to friends with a box of hot chocolate i reckon.

this idea is pinned to my christmas is coming board and comes from make'n mold, a great website for making ALL sorts of treats, especially their christmas treats!

all you need are some spoons, chocolate melts, and goodies to add to the melted chocolate.  if you are gifting these it's also a good idea to have some cellophane bags to wrap them in.  once collected melt the chocolate, dip the spoon in, twirl, place on parchment paper, and add some goodies (eg: marshmallows) to the top, and wait for them to set.

what you need for a christmas cocoa night!

swirl spoons in melted chocolate, add marshmallows, let
dry on baking paper :)

happy spoons drying

the finished spoons bar the wrapping :)

outcome:  such a cool gift idea to get the peeps involved in making.  we had heaps of fun making these and they were nice and easy to do this close to christmas when we are all a bit tired ;)

my sincere thanks to make'n mold for inspiring us to make our own hot chocolate spoons, they turned out great and will hopefully be ideal for family to use during a good movie at christmas time!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

day 196: christmas baking

delish cookies and the recipe makes plenty ... lots to love
about this recipe!
day 196 and it was a day spent in the kitchen making all sorts of yummy things for my sweet mum and husband to take to their works for morning tea tomorrow .... and hopefully a bit leftover for my helpers :)  included in the baking were these delicious looking cookies from baked to perfection, what's not to love about the name of these cookies, white chocolate and cranberry oatmeal cookies.  they were immediately pinned to my christmas is coming board when i saw them on pinterest.

as it was christmas i had all the heavy machinery out and this recipe does require the mixer, so no one bowl wonder here but it is the festive season so i was happy to make the effort!  apart for the beating requirement, this recipe is really straight forward.

ready for the oven

baked and ready to EAT!

outcome: awesome :)  REALLY yummy, totally up my alley as they have my two favourite baking ingredients ... white chocolate and cranberries!  these are the bomb as my peeps keep saying, love when new recipes are a big hit.

thank you to risa for this wonderful recipe, definitely adding this to our yearly christmas baking!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

day 195: little stockings for the kittens

the completed kitten stockings
day 195 and we need some little stockings for our kittens ;)  the peeps are very keen for their kittens to have stockings so today i set aside some time to help them with this project.  i found some really easy stockings that had an A4 pattern you could download on pinterest and pinned the image to my 2011 advent crafts board.  the tutorial for the stockings comes from amy at diary of a quilter, who was guest posting on ucreate.

i absolutely loved that amy provided an A4 template for the stocking shape and then provides really detailed instructions on how to make these fully lined cuties.

the template and fabric i used

half way their ... love that it is sewn all in one!

the finished stockings all ready for the peeps to decorate :)

outcome:  a real pleasure to help the peeps make these.  i did the cutting and sewing, the peeps did the ironing and decorating (we were all a bit tired today to further their sewing lessons).

sincere thanks to amy at diary of a quilter for providing a simple, but totally lined stocking that is the PURRFECT size for our kittens and the goodies santa may fill them with ;)

christmas must be fast approaching, my posts are getting shorter!