30 December 2008

Iced Coffee

The sun is finally out and iced coffee has been on the menu today.

I love iced coffee... especially with a spoonful of icecream or whipped cream, or just a couple of ice cubes.

This recipe is my favourite, from the "New Zealand Jumbo Junior Cook" by Mary Pat Fergus. The evaporated milk gives it an extra special taste. I often double the recipe and also add extra milk to taste.

2 tablespoons instant coffee
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
vanilla icecream
ice cubes

Put coffee, cocoa and sugar in a small pan. Stir in water, mixing it in well. Bring it to the boil, stirring all the time.
Take off heat. Add the evaporated milk and vanilla. Pour it into a jug. Chill in the fridge until it's icy cold.
Put icecubes and a scoop of icecream in tall glass. Pour in cold coffee. Pop in straw and serve.

For more delicious recipes visit here.

29 December 2008

Recycled denim tote

My Pop does not like wearing jeans... something to do with them feeling itchy and scratchy? He prefers slacks instead. So thanks to my Nana, I was given a lovely big bag of material scraps recently, along with a couple of pairs of brand new jeans.

The jeans were not quite my style or size (or Mandrakes), so I decided to create a recycled denim tote from the poor rejected jeans. To be honest, the stretchy denim gave me so much grief, but I did get there in the end.

Behold, my first recycled denim tote, lined with my favourite paisley fabric (with secret key and mobile phone pockets of course!).

I do like it, especially the pocket on the front.

27 December 2008

Boxing Day Moments

It has been great catching up with family from near and far over the Christmas break... we even managed to get a full family photo, even if not everyone was smiling!

Hope you are enjoying your time with friends and family too!

24 December 2008

Happy Jesus' Birthday

Tonight we had a little birthday party.

Since the Jewish day begins when the sun goes down (from dusk to dusk), we decided to officially kick off Christmas with celebrating the birth of Christ by having cake and the Christmas story together tonight.

Merry Christmas everyone!

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

22 December 2008

Christmas cheer...

The last few weeks have been crazy with end of year functions, luncheons and productions, important appointments and of course the preparation that comes with Christmas. Me = stressed out.

Christmas is an interesting time of year... many people even loathe it due to the busyness that comes with it, family conflict than can often occur, the financial pressure, or just plain old stress.

I hope and pray that each of you will find some time to relax in the next few days, enjoy your family, friends and of course remember the real reason that we celebrate Christmas... the birth of Jesus Christ.

So with that I want to wish you all a "Happy Jesus Birthday".

I will be back sometime soon... I am sure there will be something interesting happening in our family, like the little drama we had yesterday (see here).

Bless you all,

x Kristy

19 December 2008

Favourite thing Friday

I am feeling as worn out as GB from Domestic Diva... definately looking forward to some relaxing time in the next few weeks!

My favourite thing at the moment is the special t.shirt Mandrake gave me as an early Christmas pressy last night... he found it while he was meant to be looking for something else late last night at Farmers!

I love the little birdie on the print, the button and the fabric dress... hmmmmm... I think he must be greasing me up for something... more pets???

Hope you are surviving the Christmas stress and taking time out to reflect and relax!

18 December 2008

Candycane Cupcakes & Award

Yesterday was the girls Playcentre breakup with a shared morning tea. I pinched Beccaboo's Candy Cupcake idea and it went down a real treat!

Simply make up plain cupcakes and ice with vanilla or peppermint icing. Top with a small candycane. Great gift idea too.

I also have just received the "Christmas Spirit Award" from Christy at Sweet Tidings! Thanks so much Christy (doesn't she have a great name too)!

Christmas Spirit Award rules:

You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award. The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas. You must link back to the person who gave you the award. You must list 5 things that you love about Christmas. If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space! Pass the award along to as many people as you like.That can be 1 or 45; it's up to you. But, you must pass it on to at least one person in order to keep the Christmas cheer going! Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment.

5 Things (or more) that I love about Christmas:

1. Remembering, pondering and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ (especially with a "Happy Birthday Jesus" cake).

2. Spending time with friends and family on Christmas day, and the weeks that follow.

3. All the Christmas baking and crafting that comes with Christmas.

4. Seeing the kids excited at everything that Christmas entails.

5. Doing our annual "Christmas Lights" drive as a famly.

6. Giving to others (and the receiving part is fun too!).

7. Researching other traditions in other nations (like the fact that in Germany they celebrate Saint Nick on a seperate day in December by giving gifts to each other, and on Christmas day they celebrate the birth of Christ by a big family meal together).

8. Making up our own family traditions.

9. Seeing the NZ Christmas tree (Pohutukawa) flowering - a sure sign that summer is here!

I would like to pass on this award to the following people, for sharing their great ideas, thoughts and passions regarding Christmas!

1. Abigail from For the Love of Home

2. Anya from Art by Anya

3. GB from Delightfully Diva-ish

4. Sophie from blancs at large

5. Becca from Beccaboo


For more delicious recipes visit here.

16 December 2008

Baby Duckies

Today we went to visit my Aunty and her pet duck's baby ducklings that have just hatched.

The children loved looking at the ducklings, epecially Master 7's friend who came along for the visit. She told me, "I have never seen baby ducks before ever!"

The mummy duck and her nine babies were in their special little cage, as apparently the last lot of babies disappeared, thanks to the local hawks!

My Aunty offered me two of the ducklings, and for once I was glad that Mandrake did not come along for the ride (read here to get my perspective).

There were also two goats that Miss 4 took to, named Willy and Billy (I wonder how many goats there are in the world named Billy?) and heaps of shy cows.

Miss 4 has informed us that when she grows up she wants to be a Farmer. Now that's one occupation I have never heard a child dream of being before!

15 December 2008

We finally have a Christmas tree

Today Mandrake and Master 9 brought home a Christmas tree. You should have seen the excitement on Miss 1's face!

The smell of a real Christmas tree is amazing!

The last of my felt Christmas decorations have been finished (I had to restrain myself) and I am hoping the tree isn't brown before Christmas like last year.

I love a quote I heard tonight... "The greatest gifts aren't from under the tree, the greatest gift died on a tree".

13 December 2008

Thoughtful Hubby

Today was one of those days... when all the end of year and pre Christmas stress and pressure seemed to come to a head. I had thought I was coping really well, until today.

Well, to cut a long story short, thoughtful Hubby came home from work this evening with a little surprise pressy to cheer me up... Lindt chocolate (the best out there!) and a magazine I had never seen before... a really cool one at that!

It is called "Notebook" and it is an Australian magazine that combines just about all of my loves... life, crafts, food etc. And this issue has heaps of ideas for Christmas and tips to help lighten the stress. Yay!

All I can say is THANK YOU thoughtful hubby!

11 December 2008

Chocolate Licorice Truffles

These truffles are soooooo yummy! I will definately be making more very soon. Thanks to "That Blind Woman", Julie Woods for this yummy recipe.


1 packet sweet biscuits, crushed
250 grams butter, softened
2 cup icing sugar
1 cup coconut
Half a cup cocoa
1 bag soft black licorice
2 bags of chocolate melts, drops or chips
splash of olive oil

Crush the biscuits using a food processor and some ear muffs. In a large bowl, place everything except the chocolate melts and olive oil. Mix together. Roll into walnut size balls. If the mixture is a bit dry, add some milk to make the mixture more pliable. Melt the chocolate melts in a bowl in the microwave. Melt for one minute, then stir for a minute, repeating this process until the chocolate is melted. Add a splash or two of olive oil to thin down the chocolate. Using a fork, Dip the truffles into the melted chocolate and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Place in the fridge to set. Remove the truffles from the fridge and place in an airtight container, returning the container to the fridge with a padlock on it.

A great idea for Christmas gifts... or just for a treat.

For more delicious recipes visit here.

10 December 2008

Christmas ornament overload

Okay - so I am going over the top a bit with my Christmas decorations... but I do love the little snowman. It's actually quite funny having a snowman to hang on our Christmas tree - especially since we are celebrating Christmas in the heat of summer here in New Zealand!

I can imagine that for many people Christmas time conjures up memories of snow-frosted trees, hot chocolate, snowmen and mittens. Here in New Zealand it reminds me of family BBQ's, beach trips, strawberries and icy cold drinks.

What are some of the things that come to mind when you think of Christmas?

09 December 2008

Christmas cards

Today is the boys last day at school for the year. Tonight is their school concert... which I am very much looking foward to, especially since both the boys are in singing items and Master 9 in a drama.

It suddenly dawned on me this morning that I hadn't made their teachers a Christmas/thankyou card for the amazing job they do throughout the year (I think teachers are amazing people and deserve to be extra spoilt!).

So thanks to the amazing and very cute Christmas downloads on 'a print a day' (click here to see some), I was able to whip up some little cards super quick.

A super big "thank you" to all the teachers out there!

08 December 2008

Felt Stockings

My 'to do' list for the next couple of weeks is very long... so for some reason, instead of doing the things on my list I ended up making these cute little stocking decorations to hang on the Christmas tree. Each one fits a candy cane.

We don't actually have a tree yet... due to getting one a bit too early last year and then regretting the rush as all the family sat around a slightly brown tree on Christmas day.

How is your 'to do list' looking? I bet it's not as long as mine ;)

06 December 2008

Things I'm Loving at the Moment

These are a few of the things I am loving at the moment... More felt sugar cookies - yummy!

The new fluffy chickens! They are so cute - 6 in total. One didn't make it (as seen in photo).

This really cool paisley fabric... I just need some time to sew something with it! Did I mention how much I love paisley??

My flexi son... he was showing off his moves the other night. When asked how he could do it, he replied, "That's what you get when you have flat feet!".

I'm loving it!

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