Tuesday, January 31, 2012

day 236: 17 day diet

the 17 day diet began today :)
day 236 and the good food of christmas and summer has caught up with me :(  we have had a great summer eating, swimming, relaxing, holidaying, and eating, and now we are bursting out of our clothes!  i make light but it's something i feel horrible.  it's time to lose some weight and try something new doing it.  my whimsy board is where i pin all the things i am not sure how to categorise and the 17 day diet is one of those :)

i was given a book to read by a dear friend and also went to the website to investigate the 17 day diet.  coming home from our camping holiday and starting fresh for the year seemed like a good idea.  the diet has been put together by dr. mike moreno and features a lot of protein, probiotics, and plenty of vegetables.  it doesn't include weighing things (except for me!), counting anything, or making lots of soups ... all things i am not good at.  in 17 days you are supposed to lose between 10-15 lbs (4-5 kgs) so we shall see.

the book with all you need to know
today i stepped on the scales, keeled over with fright, got angry at myself, and then started the diet with gusto. so today's creation is all about making something, it just happens that i am planning on making myself a lot small ;)

you drink a LOT of green tea on this diet

tonights dinner, it was really filling
outcome: we will know in 17 days but day 1 has been a triumph.  i think with all the water i have drunk it has kept me full all day.  the food was surprisingly satisfying and i figured for 17 days this diet is definitely worth trying.  for my own personal motivation i am going to put a little weight tracker down the bottom of each post daily for the 17 days and after 17 days we will see whether this diet has worked ... this was a hard post to write because it's something very personal to me and more than a little embarrassing, but i figured if i have success with it, it might be worth sharing with those who would like to lose weight ... and if it doesn't work, we can at least scratch this one off the list of diets to try :)


the lazy hazy days of summer

days 233, 234, 235 were all spent on the road camping in the most beautiful place, it was hard to come home ... which is probably why we didn't get home until fairly late last night :)  so we need a quick recap of the three days creations and then there will be another post later today for today's creation, well more of an experiment i think!

day 233 had me making this jello salad.  we went camping with friends and one of them and been looking at the camping pins i had pinned to my summer loving board and sent a request through for jello salad.  to be honest when she emailed this request all i could think of was lettuce and lime jello ... yuck!  as it turns out this recipe from camping cafe is all about fruit, vanilla pudding, cream, and marshmallows, much better and the recipe looked ideal for campers.  it was really easy to make, you simply tip all the ingredients into a bowl combine and then put in the chilly bin to cool for 3 hours ... and it was delicious.  if you don't like pineapple, you won't like this recipe as their is a really strong pineapple flavour so maybe substitute with two cans of fruit salad instead.  it was really good, nice and refreshing, and it does something funny to the marshmallows which is cool :)

A LOT of cool whip goes into this pudding, just as well it was fat free!

cut in some marshmallows

this little girl LOVED the salad!

day 234 and i made a present in the form of a trivet for the sweet family we went camping with.  we collected pebbles and sand glass from the beach that were nice and flat.  then during the evening i sat down with craft glue and glued them to the felt i had brought along with me.  the idea is pinned to my  summer loving board and comes from martha stewart weddings! no kidding, its amazing where inspiration will lead you :)  it turned out really well and is perfect for camping given the amount of hot food you cook and the more than likely plastic tables you eat on!  if you don't live near a beach, i am sure you can purchase bags of pebbles from your local handy man store and still make one. i am going to try and make a table runner for our dinning room using the same method.

what is needed for the trivet

the finished pebble trivet

day 235 and we got home late in the evening.  my very sweet, thoughtful mum had sussed out a pinterest recipe for me to make, got all the ingredients sorted, and helped me create some very yummy chocolate chip cookies.  the recipe comes from apple a day and states they are the best chewy, soft chocolate chip cookie ever.  and actually they are pretty darn hard to beat.  the mystery ingredient is cornstarch and you do need to whip out the heavy machinery for these, but let me tell you it is totally worth it.  they are so good, it was hard to stop, just as well the recipe makes plenty of them :)

the mix

the chewy cookies :)

my thanks goes to camping cafe for their awesome jello salad (and the hot chocolate mix, it was outstanding ... not too sweet, or chocolately, just perfect),  apple a day  for the BEST chewy chocolate cookies i have ever tasted AND as a bonus they were easy to make, and also to  martha stewart weddings  for the trivet idea :)  and FINALLY, thank you so much to my family and the ross-smiths for an amazing camping trip and helping me carry on my pinterest creation, and also my sweet, sweet, mum who took care of our open home AND had all creating ready for me to do when i got home so i wouldn't stress about ... love you guys :)

the view from our tent ... not too shabby ;)

these three peeps had a ball

the hot chocolate mix was a hit with my peeps :)

tracy's apple pie, fresh from the dutch oven

tracy's apple pie was absolutely delicious

one of the catch, freshly smoked ... it was delicious :)

the trivet came in very handy the following day for alan's freshly smoked fish!

Friday, January 27, 2012

day 232: i love you because ....

my first try out of my latest creation!
day 232 and today's creation is something i think everybody should have in their house if their are multiple of you.  the peeps and my awesome husband have been doing so much for me this past week and i have been too grumpy with myself for getting this injury to thank them for it.  i am hoping if today's little creation was sitting on the side table i might be reminded to be more vocal or even write how grateful i am for the things my family does for me and for others in the family.

the inspiration comes from  and is pinned to my kids bedrooms board on pinterest.  i originally thought i would put one in each of the peeps bedrooms but decided this is something the whole family could take part in.  as such, the one i am making today is going to sit in the kitchen.

i simple typeset the words in my memories and then printed it out on already patterned paper.  popped it into a frame and then i couldn't help but try it out :)

what you need :)

the typesetting ;)

the finished creation ... simple but totally awesome

outcome:  for me this is genius because it's sitting their reminding me (and my family) to thank them for the things they do ... hopefully it will brush off on everybody and we will all feel recognised for keeping the cogs of this house turning.

i have seen lots of these on pinterest and wish i could find the original creative person to thank for the inspiration.  whoever you are, thank you, it's something simple like this that could make someone's day, and i love that :)

see you all in a couple of days, the creating will continue on the road camping, but the posting will have to wait until we return as their is no telecommunications coverage where we are heading! have a great weekend everyone, and if you are from auckland .... enjoy the long weekend :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

day 231: kids camping kits

let's go camping

day 231 and tomorrow we are off bright (well some of us) and early camping in a very remote part of new zealand ... yes our country is remote and yes, there are even remoter places here with no shops, telecommunications, power, or roads ... sounds like an adventure is brewing, especially when you take a torn hamstring with you!  exercise can be dangerous ;)  as i mentioned yesterday, we are going with some awesome friends who have a daughter pollyanna's age.

normally i would refit the peeps travel kits for the long trip, but i didn't want to leave her out so i decided some camping kits were in order.  i found these treat bags on pinterest and figured i could go along with this inspiration ... aren't they gorgeous for a camping party.  they were uploaded by pinner lisa cressey and i think they are the perfect take home give for a camping party.  clearly, i needed to go a little bigger but i did use her s'mores idea and packed chocolate thins and marshmallows for everyone as well!

as for the actual peeps camping kits, i purchased some book bags and filled them with all sorts of goodies including books, a dvd (for the trip in the car), marshmallows, pens, notebooks, lollies, chips, games, puzzle book, and a few other bits and bobs.  i put in enough things so if it rains they have some edible goodies and games to play.

the goodies for inside the bags

the goodies inside as i fill, fill, fill ... i'd love the adult version of this :)

the finished camping bags ready to gift :)
outcome: pending, but the looks on their faces was totally worth the money and effort ... should become my catch cry!  if the packs work as well as the travel kits, we will have nothing to worry about and the journey should be a whine free one ;)

my thanks to pinner lisa cressey for providing such great inspiration for today's creation.  see you all first thing in the morning for an early creation before we leave to go camping, have a great day :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

day 230: hot chocolate mix

i have been getting a heap of emails recently (thank you so much i absolutely LOVE getting them) and i want to respond to you all with measurements, know-how, and detailed instructions in some cases!  i promise i will reply to you all next week!  unfortunately i have torn my hamstring and the pain is making me really tired ... my doctor told today it was a good thing we were going away for the weekend so i would stop trying to move around so much and just relax ... i'm an active relaxer, what can i say.  so to those people still waiting i am so sorry, i will get to you very soon  :)

day 230 and i reckon camping and hot chocolates are synonymous :)  we are off camping this weekend as our last major getaway for this summer.  we are going to the tippety top of the coromandel with amazing friends who are good at camping and have all the things that you need ... we don't but we try~!  we always come home with the best camping stories, mostly because we camp sporadically and generally go with a "she'll be right" attitude that fails to live up to its promise somewhere along the way!  sometimes i look back at our camping adventures and wonder why our two peeps still trust us :)

anyway, i wanted to make sure we pitched in with the things we could provide, mostly food options~!  this hot chocolate mix, i figured would be the perfect start.  it is on the camping cafe website and they have some awesome looking recipes for campers, so of which i will be trying during our trip away for pinterest.  the recipe, along with a whole host of other ones, is pinned to my summer loving board.

this hot chocolate mix will save buying the ready made sachets, and i figured as the nights cool down, this would be a perfect drink for peeps and adults alike to warm up with.  the camping cafe then has suggestions on how to make this mix into the worlds best hot cocoa ... which we will definitely also be using while away.

notice the choc bits bag has already been opened.....and some are missing......Steve?

you simply mix powdered sugar, salt, cocoa, powdered milk, and milk chocolate drops together.  then when you want to use the mix you add 3 heaped tablespoons to the mug with hot water ... sounds GOOD!

outcome: well it was completely easy to make, seriously grab a big plastic container and add ingredients according to instructions.  put the lid on and shake ... really, really hard to see anyone finding this difficult!  the mix smells amazing and i think this would fantastic gifts just by putting it in a cute jar, adding a label with the instructions and some marshmallows ... great idea for gifting during the winter, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

day 229: subway art for the laundry

perfect wall art for my unloved but overused the laundry

day 229 and my laundry is an unloved place ... it doesn't have a lot of character, space, or storage, but way too much use.  i figured given it is used so much and i spend so much time getting washing in and out of the little space i would give it some love ... in the form of subway wall art :)

today's subway art is from simple crafter and is pinned to my mudroom/laundry room board on pinterest.  she has a load of free printables, including heaps of subway art.  it's free but you do need to have an email account to be able to download them here.

i used an A4 frame and printed it out, put it on the wall ... very easy day for creating today :)

the subway art used today from simple crafter

framed and ready to hang

hung, i think i may need a few more goodies in here before i am completely happy, still a little bland and boring :)
outcome:  well at least it adds something that isn't to be washed into the laundry ;)  actually the colours are really pretty in it and i may purchase some little things to put in the laundry using this colour palette.  i am loving subway art at the moment but its definitely not something i want in every room in the house.  in a lot of ways it's the perfect art for the laundry .. ooooh and definitely the perfect art for holidays!

my thanks goes to simple crafter, love the FREE subway art and i will definitely be back for the valentines subway art download in a weeks time :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

day 228: time zone clocks

the world is entering our classroom :)

day 228 and we are back in the classroom today.  i pinned these map and clock ideas from iheart organizing's eldest sons room ... what a great space and i really wanted to re-create some of the effect in our classroom.  the time zone clocks are pinned to my kids bedrooms board.  you will notice i have LOTS of map decor ideas pinned to my kids bedrooms board on pinterest as ben wants a room full of maps and travel when we move :)  

both my peeps love to travel to new places and i wanted to really help pollyanna understand this year how big the world is, but how small it can be.  it is somewhat of a theme for our learning this year as we are doing ancient civilisations, exploring cultures through language, and making the most of the london olympics, not to mention planning a trip to explore more of south east asia ... yes, the world is definitely our focus!

i figured some time zone clocks would be a good addition to the classroom with the maps we already have on the wall.  i went shopping for this project over the weekend and found this COOL clock.  i figured rather than buy multiple clocks this would totally work!

who needs three clocks when you can have one!

then while looking for so cheap canvases for my artist and inventor in focus, i found two awesome canvases that totally sealed the deal with regards to the theme for my classroom walls!

such cool canvases for "our world" themed classroom!

tonight steve and i decided we should carry out this creation and after some debating about how they should be arranged on the wall, we ended up with this layout.

our latest wall in the classroom ... it's getting much closer to being finished :)

outcome: i totally LOVE it!  and when we move i am definitely going to re-create it in ben's room because he is absolutely taken with the canvases and clock ... seriously though, who doesn't need to know the time in london when the olympics are there this year ;)

my sincere gratitute to iheart organising's jen.  she has made the most of her home, the decor is simply beautiful.  it's not the world's biggest home (a lot like mine) but i love how every space is beautifully decorated and organised to make the most of what's on offer.  the wall paints are so vibrant and set the mood for the rest of the room.  needless to say i was so taken with the blog, i became it's latest follower :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

day 227: banana cake with peanut butter frosting

banana cake with peanut butter frosting

before i start with day 227's creation i have to apologise to jenny for the combination of flavours ... she always leaves such lovely comments but i am guessing she won't be today as i am putting peanut butter with banana's, not her favourite mix!  after making the peanut butter and banana smoothie that we all enjoyed the other day, i was excited to find some more recipes that involved these two ingredients.

when searching on pinterest, i found this banana cake with nutella frosting ... nutella is something we haven't really got into in this house so i figured i would make the same cake and frosting but substitute the nutella with peanut butter :)  the recipe comes from toasty biscuit and is pinned to my recipe must do's board.  linda describes this cake as indescribably good and foolproof, just the cake needed for a spot of sunday crafting before a birthday party!

apart from the peanut butter substituting the nutella, the cake was made according to directions ... you will need to lift out the heavy machinery for this cake.  while it is foolproof it isn't made in five minutes, but that's ok as today there was time.

what's in this creation :)

the finished batter, ready for the oven .,. almost :)

while the cake was in the oven, the frosting was whipped up :)

the baked cake ready for its peanut butter frosting

this is a good looking banana cake!

outcome:  the cake is delicious, really good flavour and super moist ... i like that!  the peanut butter frosting on top was yum and a really nice change from the other frostings we have had recently had.  sorry  jenny but this combo of flavours is totally working for me!

today's thanks goes to linda at the toasty biscuit, this cake was yummy (even the land agent for the open home had some and left a note to say so!), the directions were really easy to follow and it was well worth the effort.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

day 226: home made pita's

yes, a home made pita, and yes i do love pepper :)

day 226 and we are making home made pita's for lunch today!  family project, we all love pita's and steve saw these amazing pita's i had pinned on pinterest from and declared last night we would be making these tomorrow ... fair enough, given he volunteered to help AND make sure all the ingredients were sourced and ready.  the recipe is from under the high chair and everyone who pinned it has said it looks like a really easy recipe, i have to agree ... but the proof will be in the baking!

we went about making the dough and then my sweet husband kneaded the dough for 8 mins ... he got all the hard jobs!  you then leave them to rise for a while (we left ours 20 minutes) but they didn't rise too much.  i love that she adds to make them all different sizes for the different needs.  this is such a great idea as steve made his much larger than the ones designed for the peeps :)

the bits you need

the kneading husband ;)

divided and ready to roll

the puffed up pita's in the oven!

happiness is a rack full of hot pita's

then it was filled and ready to eat!

outcome:  oh my gosh i cannot state enough just how good these were.  we had them hot from the oven and filled them with roasted chicken and salad bits ... so delicious and they were loved by everyone.  only one thing to mention was we forgot to flip them in the oven as we were so excited watching them puff up.  that meant we had a more crisp side and a more bready side.  i am guessing this is why you flip them, so don't forget this step when you make them at home as i am sure this will even out both sides to be the same texture.  i didn't even notice, but my decided straight-laced, needs perfection husband picked up on it ;)

my thanks goes to aimee from under the high chair, the recipe really is easy (especially if you have a loved one to do the kneading for you!) and doesn't take much time at all to make ...  i have been spoilt by these pita's and won't be able to have store-bought again!