Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap...ornaments 2 and 3

I was lucky enough to receive two of my ornaments from the Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap in the post today :-)

First up a pretty blue felt heart with pink buttons - these were our wedding colours so it's safe to say I love them! This was made by Hannah who is 12 years old.

Next up was a parcel from Sheree at Raven Moon Magic. I ooh'd and aah'd over the pretty wrapping and managed to click a quick photo before opening the parcel...

And inside was this lovely Pohutakawa tree complete with lots of red glitter and a real life twig as the trunk of the tree! I love glitter, Christmas wouldn't be the same without it :-)

Lovely ornaments so far :-) 4 more to come!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pina Colada Cupcakes including Lime Butter Icing

Last week I had a go at making these Pina Colada cupcakes that I found via Pinterest for a morning tea at work.
The thing that drew me to them was using Malibu as it's one of my favourite tipples and I am all about coconut  flavours and scents at the moment.

They were pretty yummy and everyone seemed to enjoy them :-)

A couple of notes though:
  • I could not get the recipe frosting to work at all. I kept putting icing sugar in to try and thicken it up and  gave it a spell in the fridge but it was still too runny to ice the cakes with. In the end I invented by own lime flavoured butter icing (recipe below). I wondered if there's some different between the US and NZ ingredients that caused this?
  • The Malibu syrup made the cake cases very sticky so I ended up double casing them to try and prevent too much mess
  • The Malibu wasn't very strong and I did wonder if the cakes would be equally nice minus the alcohol. You could just leave it out of the sponge and forego the syrup. I might try this next time just to see. I could always eat it with a Malibu cocktail if need be :-)
  • I was convinced you could buy pineapple lollies at the pick n mix but when it came to it I couldn't find them (and haven't seen them since). I did find a multi pack of summer tropical lollies that contained pineapples though so I used those as toppers. 
  • I couldn't see any reference to how many cakes the recipe makes but I managed to get 15 out of it even though I was expecting only 12

Lime Butter Icing

50g Butter
100g Icing Sugar
1tbsp Lime Juice

Cream the butter with an electric whisk.
Gradually beat in the icing sugar.
Add the lime juice gradually.
Spoon onto the cupcakes and then use a fork to spread it out.

I think this amount iced about 8 of the cakes from memory (I should have written the measurements down at the time!) I ended up doing a second batch once I knew it worked okay.
I didn't have any lime zest to add but I would have tried adding that to if I had some.

If you give these cakes a go - enjoy :-)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap...ornament 1

I received my first ornament in the mail yesterday from the Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap. It's a crocheted star from the organiser of the swap - Dione from Sew Funky.
I LOVE it :-) Thanks Dione!

I especially love the "Away in a Manger" quote on the tag as that's one of my favourite Christmas hymns :-)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Creative Space: Reindeer Noses

I made something I pinned from Pinterest - woop! I pinned this idea for reindeer nose goody bags a wee while ago and featured it in a Sharing on Sunday post here.

At the weekend I bought some Malteasers and Jaffas and we bagged them up - 8 malteasers (one each for Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen) to 1 jaffa (for Rudolph).
I then cut down some shiny silver paper I have to fit the top of the bags and stamped a reindeer image onto each end. Then I wrote "Reindeer Noses", coloured the o with red and stickled the stamped reindeer noses...

I'm really pleased with how they've turned out and they are going to be used as little treats and stocking stuffers for various people :-)

Linking up with Our Creative Spaces.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scrapbooking: Document 2011: September

It's been ages since I shared any scrapbooking pages. That's because I haven't been doing any! It's been due to a combination of no time, the entire household being sick and having a craft desk too messy to do anything with!
These September pages had been sitting half done for a while and I managed to get some time at the weekend to finish them off.
I'm so glad I did! I also have my October photos chosen and printed. I am determined to finish this project. I have even bought an album to be dedicated to Document 2011 :-)

Anyway, onto my pages...

The first page contains the only photo of the 3 of us from the month. It's not great but worth keeping! And the little crochet picture somehow got left out of the pocket pages so I added it to this page instead.

The pocket pages talk about RAK day, a meal out with the coffee group ladies, visiting the park with some friends, fathers day and Spring.
As well as chalk painting, the start of the world cup, meeting Wendyl Nissen, my crochet cushion cover, Fathers Day, babysitting overnight and some diet changes...

The final page documents our visit to the Country Living Expo and all the animals we saw there.

So there you have it - another month done. Hopefully it won't be too long before I have the October pages ready to share :-)

You can see all of my Document 2011 pages here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sharing on Sunday - 20th November

A couple of pins to share this week...

Must try this way of tying bows on parcels...

Love this idea of painting a plant pot with chalkboard paint to write a message (plus there's heaps of cool ideas in the link)...

And a nice Summer-y pin - homemade rainbow ice pops...

Have you pinned anything interesting this week?

Linking up with Ooh! That's Pinteresting

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Creative Space: Baby Shower Preparations

I've been busy this last week getting ready for a baby shower for a lady in our antenatal group expecting her 2nd baby. All the mums are meeting up for lunch this weekend and we have some games and surprises planned!

***The Games***
I bought a sippy cup and some milk bottle lollies and we are going to play guess the number of milk bottles in the sippy cup :-) The closest guess wins the cup and the lollies! 
I've also wrapped up a Milkybar like a cracker and bagged up some jelly babies and milk bottles for spot prizes for other games.
I'm going to take a ball of wool so we can guess the length of the baby bump and then see who is closest!

And I also made a sheet for Baby Scattergories. 
I've copied and posted it at the end of this post so if you want to use it you can copy and paste it into a document and amend it to suit you. 
The baby's name is going to begin with an M so that's the letter I chose to use. Suggestions online are that you use the mother's initial or father's initial or have several rounds with both sets of initials (plus siblings etc). There were lots of examples online so I took some different categories from a few of them.

I also decorated a plain brown gift bag with a baby washing line and tag to put the hexagon crochet blanket in...I can't wait for the mum-to-be to see it. I really hope she likes it!

*B*A*B*Y*  *S*C*A*T*T*E*R*G*O*R*I*E*S*

Your Name ……………………………………………………………………………

Each of your answers should begin with the letter M.
The player with the most unique answers (that are deemed correct by everyone else) wins a prize.

Your Answer

1.       Boys Name

2.       Girls Name

3.       Baby Brand

4.       Baby Food

5.       Baby Toy

6.       Baby’s First Word

7.       Places babies are conceived

8.       Baby’s Future Career

9.       Famous Parent

10.   An item you’d find in a baby’s room

11.   Something that makes babies smile or laugh

12.   Something that makes babies cry

Total Unique Answers: ………………………..

Joining up with Our Creative Spaces.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Red Panda Encounter

For my 30th birthday recently my lovely husband treated me to a Red Panda Encounter at Wellington Zoo.
It was an amazing experience and so much more than I was expecting. I thought we'd get to go in the enclosure and learn about the red pandas from the keeper. 
What I didn't realise is we got to hand-feed them and they sat on our laps. It was awesome to be so close to wild animals. 

I already thought red pandas were cute but now I know they are amazingly cute :-)
We fed them bits of pear and red grapes and got to ask lots of questions to their keeper.

This is just some of the great photos I managed to take on the day.

We were in the enclosures for about 30 minutes total and I loved every minute. 

It was an awesome experience. 
Thanks G xxx

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sharing on Sunday - 13th November

It's been a pretty germ-infested fortnight in the Mummy Adventures household. Last week the hubby and baby were sick and this last week it's been my turn. It's been horrible but I'm hoping we are all on the mend now. I'm planning a week of early nights and healthy dinners to get us all back to 100%.
I haven't had the chance for much pinning to be honest but I did pin a few gems this week that I thought I'd share with you...

While searching for some inspiration on what to take to a friend's Mexican themed birthday party I stumbled across a delicious looking recipe for Malibu and Lime cupcakes. I may have to give these a go. Did I mention that Malibu is one of my most favourite drinks? (You can take the girl out of Essex but you can't take Essex out of the girl!) 

I was excited to find these easy monkey tutorial which I'm hoping will be great when baby's a bit older.

These little fun and festive pinecones are so cute! Easy way to decorate....except I need to get my hands on some pinecones first!

And finally how awesome are these little festive treat bags? Perfect for making a batch of to hand out to people on the lead up to Christmas. I'm thinking of making these with Malteasers and Jaffas :-)

And this week I'm linking up with Oooh, that's Pinteresting over at Tina Gray
Found thanks to Toushka Lee via KMB
Why not head over for some more awesome pinning inspiration?!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Creative Space: Gift Bags

Following on from making gift bows I have also been inspired (thanks to Stace at Waireka Crafts) to have a go at making my own gift bags. I watched the YouTube video that Stace linked to that shows a tutorial for making gift bags with a box bottom, wrote a few notes and had a go at making a couple...

I couldn't resist scalloping the tops so it matched the trim around the bottom and I added punched tags to the tops of the bags with holes punched to thread bakers twine or curling ribbon through to close the bags.

I made these ones using scraps of paper and card so they are pretty generic but I might have a go at making some using more Christmas colours to pop some little gifts in (I am thinking about making some biscuits or making truffles like last year so these type of bags would be useful for those!)

Side Note 1: Before watching this video I never thought to use my guillotine/paper trimmer for scoring card. Why didn't I think of it before now?! So much easier than pulling out the scoring board and saves room on my desk too!

Side note 2: I haven't forgotten my rainbow ripple or the ripple-along. I only have two more ripples to go and hopefully I'll be finished...might try and get to it later this week :-)

Linking up with Our Creative Spaces.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Make your own gift bows

When I was at a craft fair a while ago I came across a basket full of handmade bows using recycled newspaper and magazines and thought that I must look into making my own. And then I forgot all about it until last week when I found this pin on Pinterest...

I loved the idea that it was using toddler scribbled paper but before I had a go with that I decided to make some using scraps of paper I had...

The big ones are made using the sizes in the tutorial (8.5 x 0.75 inch strips), the medium ones are using 6 x 0.5 inch strips and the teeny tiny ones was made using 3 x 0.25 inch strips. 
The teeny tiny one was a pain - far too fiddly so I probably won't make many more of those. 
I already have strips cut to make more of the medium sized bows though as these will be a good size for most presents.

I used glue-stick to make the bows but found this wasn't always holding so in the end I stapled right through the middle of the bows. It's a bit tricky to get the staple in the right place and you have to un-squash the bow afterwards but it keeps them together a lot easier.

As I was making them I wondered if it would be possible to hold them together by punching little holes in each end and the middle of each strip and threading them onto a string? I might try this next - just need to find a small enough hole punch first!
I'm also hoping to make some felt versions and sew them together.
Also I might try double sided paper next time so the pattern is inside and out.

Bow-making is a reasonably easy task once you get the hang of it and I think it will be good to make up batches of them every now and again while I'm watching TV. It will also be great for using up scraps of paper!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Story of Father Christmas

Side note: this isn't the story of the Father Christmas but a small, cute, squidgy Father Christmas that has been in my life for quite some time!

When I was much younger than I am now I used to read Bunty and other such comics and one year (I'm guessing around 1991 when I was about 10) on the lead up to Christmas they had a puzzle competition and the prize was a small, cute, squidgy Father Christmas toy.
I had a go at doing the puzzle and sent it off. Then a few weeks later a box arrived and inside was my prize!

Father Christmas became a regular decoration brought out every December and carefully tucked away each January.

When I moved to Scotland he stayed with my Mum and every year he would be brought out at her house and adorn the top of the television cabinet or sit on the sideboard. He became quite the family favourite.

And now Father Christmas has made his longest journey yet...
He was carefully packaged up and came here to North Island, New Zealand all the way from Essex in England.

He has come to adorn our fireplace every Christmas. My Mum thought it only right that now I have a child that Father Christmas lives with me :-)

I was so excited to get him out of the box and while part of me wanted to pop him straight up on the fireplace I know that if I wait until December it'll be even more special :-)

Does anyone else have any Christmas decorations that come out every single year and have a special story behind them? I'd love to hear about them if you do :-)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sharing on Sunday - 6th November

Pinterest has been rather inspiring this week. I've been pinning lots of great stuff and here's a few things I thought I'd share...

Love this idea of recycling cereal boxes and turning them into filing trays...

I've been looking for ideas for making presents for baby for Christmas and might have a go at one of these homemade lift the flap books...

This is a fun alternative, using Moo cards, to the homemade memory game I made for the RWC Swap...

I like this idea of making your own water colour painting sheets by blobbing them with paint and leaving them to dry...

And this week I've seen lots of great ideas for summer including making tents! My mum used to make me tents with sheets over the washing line when I was little and I'm looking forward to making some dens for my baby boy!
pin or pin

Hope you've had a lovely week :-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


den-building this morning

I am eating: healthily (well, mostly). I have been going to Weight Watchers since mid-September and have lost over 4kg. I'm always a slow loser but I'm really hoping slow and steady will win this race. I am planning homemade chicken tandoori for dinner (which has just reminded me to defrost chicken breast!)

I am drinking: water. I haven't been drinking as much as I should this week but have my bottle right here ready to drink.

I am listening: to the wind blowing the tress. The back door is open and it's nice to get some fresh air through the house.

I am wearing: my lightest trousers and a t-shirt from my weigh-in this morning (anyone else wear light clothes to weigh themselves? Or is that just a crazy thing I do?)

I am looking at: the garden springing to life and everything looking so lush and green (including the grass which needs a cut but the ground is so boggy at the moment)

I am thinking about: re-examining daily routines and working out how to keep this house clean and tidy.

I am watching: nothing at the moment but I watched a My Sky'd In-Betweeners with my hubby a while ago and I'm really enjoying Downton Abbey at the moment. I also loved Masterchef Australia and was sad to see that finish this week.

I am loving: the milder weather. Being able to sit here barefoot with no jumper and have the washing out drying in the breeze is lovely.

I am missing: scrapbooking. Haven't done anything in so long. I need to get my Document 2011: September pages and then make a start on October. But first I need to tidy my craft desk.

I am looking forward to: dinner, the Christmas break and a visit from G's mum and a trip back to the UK in 2012.

You can see my previous today: posts here and here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Creative Space :: 1 year in 3 minutes and 13 seconds

Remember how one of the items on my 29 @ 29 list was to try and take a photo everyday?
I decided to do something a little creative with the photos and here's the result of that task...

365 @ 29 in Pummelvision from Katie in NZ on Vimeo.

I chose and uploaded a photo for nearly every day to my Flickr account over the course of the year and then after the year was up headed over to Pummelvision to create a video of the photos.

Pretty awesome huh? It's so amazing to see baby growing through the video as well as the snapshots of day-to-day life :-)

Some of the photos are the wrong way around which is a wee bit annoying. They are the right way round in my Flickr photoset but I wonder if the issue is that they were re-orientated originally and the wrong way has stuck!

Linking up with Our Creative Spaces.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2 years

Happy Wedding Anniversary to my lovely husband :-)
2 years married today.
Love You G 
x x x

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Christmas Challenge :: My List

Here's my list of what I'd like to get done in November as part of the Christmas Challenge:

  1. Design and make Christmas cards to send out
  2. Write a Christmas newsletter (including photos)
  3. Design and order calendars featuring baby for family
  4. Make Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap ornaments plus an extra one for me
  5. Make a crochet bag for a friend
  6. Applique a t-shirt for baby
  7. Crochet a cushion cover for my Mum
  8. Turn 2 x cigar tins into mini-albums

I'm sure there are more things but that is as far as I've got and is probably enough to be going on with for now :-)

I'm not sure if I'll post updates on here as well as the Christmas Challenge blog. I don't want to spoil any surprises so may just post updates on there if I'm showing photos.


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