Thursday, May 31, 2012

day 355: hot cocoa with a twist

heartfelt hot cocoa's for a cold winters day ... these would be cool for valentines too :)
day 355 and the temperatures are noticeably cooler in the mornings and evenings as autumn draws to a close and we prepare for winter.  i have been making hot chocolates for the family as i nice warm up before bedtime.

my sweet family have been helping me all day preparing for our pinterest party next weekend ... lots of crafts to organise.  i wanted to do something special for them so they know how much all their help means to me.  i was reminded this afternoon while out grocery shopping of this pin and how sweet it was ... something simple but meaningful.  who wouldn't like cream in the shape of a heart in their cocoa!

i can't find the original owner of this pin, if you do let me know so i can link it up :) the idea is also pinned to my winter wonderland board.  to do this you simply spread some thickened cream into a container and freeze it.  i lined my container with baking paper so i could get the frozen cream out easily.  then make some hot cocoa, use a cookie cutter to cut heart shapes out of the frozen cream and drop into the hot cocoa ... that's it, but just wait for the smiles when they realise there is something heartfelt in their warm drink.  trust me it's worth it!

spread thickened cream into a lined container

spread out so the cream is about 1" to 1 1/2" thick and then freeze

cut shapes out of the frozen cream and put into the cocoa ... enjoy!

outcome:  this is way too effective not to use again.  the totally surprising thing for me was how long the heart lasted in the hot cocoa without melting and disappearing, you don't have to panic about the heart disappearing before the family/friends are served with hot cocoa as it stayed for ages!  and the smiles, well they were priceless ;)

to the owner of this idea, awesome and thanks ... again, it's the simple things that make everyday so special and this is definitely one of those things.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

day 354: treat bags for the pinterest party

thank you treat bags :)
day 354 and i am in preparation mode for the pinterest party that is now only 11 days away!  people will be taking home lots of handmade goodies from the party that they will be doing themselves but i also wanted to give everyone a little packet of thanks for their journey home.

i saw these cute little "french fry" gift packets and thought they would be the perfect little home made thank you to all the people who are coming to help me celebrate.  the tutorial is by gudrun of embrace life and she has used hers as little christmas treat bags filled with chocolate hearts, they are adorable.  

the best thing about these little gift bags is they require nothing but paper ... they hold themselves together!  gundrun has used double sided paper, i have used single sided paper as i wanted red and white to go with the 'pinterest' logo colours.  once you have cut your paper to 8" x 8", in FOUR folds you are done!

fold one

fold two

fold three

fold four

done, in multiples, ready for my party goers!

outcome:  TOTALLY underrated how easy and cool these were going to be ... i am guessing as long as you have a square, these could work in a variety of sizes!  i love these and will always be using them as treat bags for parties, the options are only limited by the paper you find and the goodies you find to put in them!  am i the only one who didn't know about these cute little bags and how easy and painless they are to make?

my thanks to gudrun of embrace life ... gudrun is from oslo and i can honestly say without pinterest i would never have found her blog and i am so pleased i have because it's gorgeous :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

day 353: crockpot baked apples

happiness is an easy dessert for the family ... fill and walk away ;)
day 353 and it seems that the usually busy winter schedule is starting early and life already appears somewhat chaotic~!  it is times like this the crockpot seems to be overworked thanks to its ability to cook and bake while i'm not around, and today was another day it was asked to work twice as hard.

it first made the rotisserie chicken then in went dessert ... baked apples thanks to this pin i found on pinterest.  the recipe is from the skinny chef and looked way too easy to make giving me some cheap brownie points with the family for making dessert!  the recipe is pinned to my recipe must do's board.

it took no time to prepare the apples and fill them with the mix before setting them in the crockpot on high for an hour or two (depending on your apples, see why below!).  i didn't have any orange liquor so i substituted this with mandarin juice (we have a LOT of mandarins on the trees at the moment).

the ingredients

my lil helper filling the apples

my lil helper taking the photo for pinterest ;)

the finished product ... soft and fluffy but not too aesthetically pleasing ... you crisp eating apples people!

outcome:  they were done after just an hour.  i used granny smith apples that are fantastic for stewing and desserts ... you know the type that bake really quickly!  potentially not the best idea of mine given i walked away from them thinking they would take a couple of hours.  don't get me wrong they were absolutely delicious but didn't want to hold their shape as well as eating apples would ... just as well i was only serving them up to the family ;)  next time i make these, and i most definitely will, i will use nice crisp apples that won't melt at the sight of heat ... apart from that, the brownie points i made doing virtually nothing were priceless :)

my thanks goes to the skinny chef for the brilliant winter recipe that will become a staple in my home because, lets face it, i love easy things and this ranks right up there!

Monday, May 28, 2012

day 352: party favours for the upcoming pinterest party

pinterest party gift envelopes
day 352 and it's no secret i am getting close to my goal!  on the last day we are having a party to celebrate and with all good pinterest parties there's a whole lot of thank you's to make to those that have helped, supported, inspired, and taken the many urgent road trips to find vital supplies for the days creating.  i wanted to make something worthy of a pinterest thank you and have taken inspiration from clever charlotte's valentines felt envelopes as the perfect beginning.  this inspiration works perfectly with just something i made's envelope template to make the perfect pinterest thank you envelopes :)

the envelope template is available for free download at just something i made and is also pinned to my paper crafts board.  i printed the envelope out at half its size so the finished product would perfectly fit a gift card ... you can see where i'm going with this thinking ;)  the actual envelope was not stitched but glued together and then adhered with a pinterest logo i printed out then cut out in red felt.

the envelope template

half size is perfect for gift cards ;)

happily decked out with its pinterest logo!

outcome:  these are perfect for my needs.  thank you's for a long pinterest year happily sitting in hand made felt envelopes adorned with THE logo ... the ideal way to gift some love to those that have supported me unconditionally.  i think these bring together some of my favourite things from the year, felt and hand made ... if only i could find some way to add blackboard paint ... ;)

my thanks to clever charlotte and just something i made for the inspiration to come up with something i look forward to gifting out in 13 days time!  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

day 351: felties

my three newest friends!

day 351 and i have found the answer to my current felt obsession ... felties.  i saw this book on pinterest while i was browsing all things felt a while ago and ordered it from the local library.  it finally arrived yesterday and now i have materials to get started!

the inspiring book found on pinterest

i thought i would make a couple of them today and work my way through the rest of the book before it's due back at the library in four weeks time.  this lovely lady (pinstrip bindi) made all of them over a long weekend, and they turned out so well so i was inspired to get started with the first one :)  both links are pinned on my sewing diy board.

first up was pensive rabbit, it was then i realised just how small and sweet these cuties are ... still took me an hour to make this little one!

this is when i realised how so very small these lil critters were!

next was sleepy fox, so cute i may have to make something to put him on so i can have him close by always ;)

lastly for today was messenger bear, couldn't find a little sticky for the front of the bag, but it seems to still work without it thanks to the news in the bag :)

outcome:  what can i see they are so adorable!  steve did ask me what i was going to do with these little creatures ... honestly, i have no idea but they were just too cute not to make.  i need to find someone with a baby that needs a few friends of the soft variety, they would look so sweet hanging as part of a mobile ;)

thank you nelly pailloux for creating such an inspiring book! so pleased i found this on pinterest to help fuel my felt obsession!

two weeks today i am having a pinterest party ... ;)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

day 350: crocheted snowflakes

happiness is time spent crocheting!~
day 350 and i am getting ready to put some more winter into my home with the help of attic 24.  i had so much fun making may roses yesterday i wanted to go back to her website and try something else for today.  i pinned these sweet snowflakes last night and thought they were ideal for this time of year to add somewhere around the house to something, anything!

the snowflakes come together in three rounds of crochet so that's good for me as it's not too taxing on my wobbly crochet skills.  i started out with a cotton blend yarn and a size 3 hook to make the first one.

back to my happy place again today ;)

after the first round it looked like this

round two :)

round 3 done and the snowflake just needs stretching for completion :)

the second one is made of wool and made on a size 4 hook.

the two snowflakes made with different hook sizes and yarns :)

outcome:  planning is under way to attach these to the chalk board in the kitchen with a winter saying .. i just have to find one!  i love that by changing yarns and/or hooks you get such different looking snowflakes, that's just so cool!  i am going to spend my evening making a few more, lucy is right they are addictive :)

my thanks, once again, is to lucy of attic 24 for the easy to follow snowflake tutorial ... attic 24 is totally my favourite go-to place for crocheting tutorials and know how!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Welcome to A Pinteresting Party! 

The idea of this party is to show off your creativity so we can pin and share one another's awesome creations :)

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Crochet Flower Patterns from Earning My Cape
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day 349: crocheted may roses

a may rose complete with leaves ... yip, i even got game enough to hook up some leaves :)
day 349 and i am sitting at home with a bit of time to play with crochet hooks and yarn ... ahh, the joy of having time to play and try something new.  i found these may roses on pinterest from attic 24 and desperately wanted to have a go at them today.  the roses are also pinned to my crochet board on pinterest.

i have fallen in love with attic 24 and her gorgeous, amazing, stunning crochet designs ... the colours are just so cool!  any ho, the other wonderful thing about her patterns was the stitch descriptions at the top of her tutorial ... lo-ve! for every stitch i knew exactly what i was supposed to be doing.  so off i went with my hook and yarn, a cup of coffee at my side, attic 24 in front of me and i spent the evening crocheting and i didn't yell once ... didn't even throw the hook in despair.  and a may rose i did create.

this evenings happy place ;)

it looked right and i was starting to believe!

it even twirled around like it was supposed to ... my only issue was the flash backlash!

pride in the finished product!

outcome:  after today's endeavours i am really starting to love crochet.  its been a rocky start and a long road of learning stitches but today i got it so much better and really enjoyed seeing my flower take shape ... insert little face of pride ;)

my sincere thanks to the lovely lucy of attic 24 for making my crocheting world a much happier, stressful place ... love her designs and i will be trying SO many more of them :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

day 348: cake box cookies

strawberry cookies
day 348 and it's a busy, busy day in our household .... lots on, lots of errands, lots of hockey, and somewhere in there are hours of learning for the peeps!  luckily, the peeps are always keen to get their work done on a thursday as we have hockey practice and get to see their friends ... somehow they think if they do their work fast hockey practice will  come sooner (yeah, i'm not going to tell them any different!).

i manage both the peeps hockey teams and we always put on afternoon tea if one of the team is having a birthday during the week.  today we have a special little person's birthday to celebrate and i wanted to try a new recipe to feed the masses ... but it had to be quick and easy, cake box cookies seem to fill those requirements~!

the ones i found on pinterest come from taste and tell blog and are strawberry cake mix cookies.  i need some pink sweets to take to a breast cancer fundraiser on sunday so figured a group of 30 peeps were bound to tell me if they were ok to bake for others or not :)  nothing like having a research group on hand to taste test new recipes.  while i was at it, i figured i would also try the vanilla cake mix and throw in some chocolate chips to see if this type of cookie would also be approved by the test team ;).

first up, the strawberry cake mix was mixed with eggs, oil, and coconut then teaspooned onto a cookie sheet.

the ingredients

sweet and delicious :)

second on the baking agenda was a vanilla cake mix that had eggs, oil, and chocolate chips mixed together before being spooned onto a baking sheet and slid into the oven for ten minutes.


the final cookie ... really good :)
outcome:  they were gone ... not in 60 seconds but very close :)  peeps all loved them, the strawberry ones are more of an acquired taste, toffee sweet, but still good. my favourites were the vanilla chocolate chip ones because i don't have the biggest sweet tooth, it's growing after the last 300+ days though ;)

my thanks to taste and tell for testing the recipes taking the risk out of trying them for such a large research group who were bound to be vocal on their opinions re: new baking!  i will be back to recreate many more of the successful recipes from taste and tell with pleasure.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

day 347: getting ready for winter with some cool looking subway art

the framed subway art with the happy snowmen!
day 347 and we are continuing to count down the days as we draw close to the end of 365 days of pinterest creations.  at which time it will also be winter and i need some festive winter d├ęcor to warm up my heart for this cold, rainy season :)

i found the perfect winter subway art from funky polkadot giraffe (such a cool name for a website!) that completely matches the scarf colours of my snowmen i made on day 315.  the free subway art is also pinned to my winter wonderland on over on pinterest.

i then found a frame (its an 8" x 10" print) and put it in ... ahhhh, i am done and i have made something pretty and it only took 10 minutes ... really no excuses for not having a bit of subway art up in your home when it's this easy and beautiful ;)

print and frame ... 

and done ... but it's so impressive for so little time ;)

outcome:  really, what's not to like, the time it took was tiny, the effect (because i love subway art at the moment) is gorgeous, and on top of all that my home looks like i am starting to enjoy the coming changing of the seasons even if that means its wintery and cold.

many thanks to funky polkadot giraffe for this sweet piece of FREE subway art that has made a great addition to the winter decor starting to appear around the house ... and fantastic colours to go with my happy snowmen :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

YAY ...

thanks pinterest for no longer considering me spam ... i can pin again from my blog and so can you ;)

love you guys at pinterest for sorting it so quickly :)

i have only a couple of weeks left to complete 365 days of pinterest creations ... any ideas on what i should be doing/making/creating over these last days .... anybody?

day 346: crockpot roast chicken

the crockpot roasted chicken, it was so very delicious!
day 346 and i am making a roast in the crockpot.  i have been wanting to try a chicken roast in the crockpot for ages but have just never got around to it.  today i did and i was so pleased i did ... trust me.

the recipe and inspiration comes from busy mommy and is pinned to my recipe must do's board on pinterest.  the lovely emily of busy mommy has a rub for inside and outside the chicken to make it like a bought rotisserie one.  sounded good as i love purchasing cooked chooks because they are such an easy dinner on busy days :)

the rub has garlic, dried onion, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, and these are made into a paste with water.  i put the chicken rub all around the insides and outsides, turned the crockpot on high and walked away for 3 hours ... then i came back to the most amazing smell, honestly the smell was so good i started salivating!

the rub ingredients plus i added a little peri peri seasoning ;)

rubbed and ready to cook ... sorry jenny, more poor food photos!

another terrible photo but the smell was so good, we couldn't wait to taste it so it was the only one i got!

outcome: i will never cook another chook in the oven, this is way too easy and doesn't make a mess in my oven with splatters!  the taste was divine and the meat was beautifully moist and actually falling off the carcass ... so good, the whole family loved it.  i'm going to make one again this week as it was that yummy i wanted leftovers for sammies but this one didn't survive to see the fridge ;)

the biggest thanks to emily of busy mommy, you have saved me from cleaning my oven from a chicken roast and given me another perfect dinner go-to for busy nights .. truly awesome, try it yourselves!