31 August 2009

Super Easy Fruit Muffins

I think everyone needs a few recipes like this one up their sleeve... the sort of recipe that you can whip up at short notice for visitors, hungry children and the "bring a plate" functions we so often forget about until the night before (or maybe it's just me with that one!).

I can't remember where I got this recipe from, but I can honestly say that it is one of the easiest and quickest muffin recipes to make. I love the fact that you can add ANY fruit (as long as it's around 1 cup). Often I will use a drained tin of peaches, crushed pineapple or blackberries as my fruit, or a cup of mashed banana and then add some chocolate chips or coconut for a change. The world is your oyster with this recipe!

Enjoy (and let me know what you think if you give it a try).

1 cup fruit (any)
¾ cup sugar
100 grams melted butter
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 egg

Combine and mix the above ingredients. Spoon into greased or lined patty tins.

Sprinkle on top: ½ tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp raw sugar.

Cook for 12 minutes or so in a moderate oven, depending on size of patty tins.


For more delicious recipes visit here.

30 August 2009


Meet Camo. Camo loves climbing trees, swinging on rope swings and hiding out in the bush! I think he secretly thinks he is Rambo. I just secretly hope he doesn't get too dirty before someone adopts him!

Awaiting adoption here.

29 August 2009


The girls are loving having picnics on the lawn at the moment... but someone always ends up chasing the chickens!

28 August 2009

Daddy's home, all is well.

My husband has been away at a conference for a few days, and arrived home late last night.

I missed him sooooo much while he was gone. The house was orderly and tidy while he was away... everyone was ready for school on time and in bed at night by their bedtimes. The washing was kept up-to-date and all the homework was done right before dinner each night... but there was something missing while Daddy was away - fun (and mess)!

Master 10 commented on this fact himself... much to my amusement.

You see, I was born to keep things organised and running smoothly... my husband on the other hand was born to have fun, make mess and make progress. He has often mentioned to me that he wishes he was one of The Wiggles (seriously!). Some people may find this hard to believe, as he can come across as quite a serious guy sometimes, but underneath that 'serious and responsible' looking image is a very squiggly guy who loves his kids, animals and being a silly billy!.

So now that Daddy is home I am happy, the kids are happy, the Whippet is super happy (for as you know we don't really like each other much), and the house is all messed up again with husband stuff lying everywhere (socks, bags, books, wrappers etc).

I really wouldn't have it any other way mind you... it's too boring with just me at home!

p.s. and Mr Messy came home bearing gifts... which was super thoughtful of him since I have never (I know - shock horror!) had a Starbucks coffee before.

Thanks honey!!

27 August 2009

Softies softies softies

These 3 little guys - Murial, Blake and Peggy to be exact, are now available here!

My favourite would have to be Blake.

Please note for international customers, yes I do post internationally. This website (http://www.xe.com/) is the quickest way to do currency conversions. Some softies are under 20 USD including postage! A great way to start getting organised for Christmas (dare I say it!).

26 August 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Guess what I did today?

25 August 2009

The crazy face...

Is it just my kids, or do all children have a need... maybe we could call it an 'obsession', to pull crazy faces whenever the camera is out?

My camera makes a noise right before it takes a photo, and somehow Miss 2 has worked out that exact moment to quickly pull a strange face every time she hears the sound. The others aren't much better either... but then again, reflecting on a recent post, they do have rather strange parents (especially father's who wear pink pyjama pants!).

Because of this issue, it is near impossible to have a family photo (of all 6 of us) with everyone looking decent (as you can see here).

Ahhh, the joys of children and cameras.

24 August 2009

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Biscuits

A friend of mine recently gave me this delicious recipe for gluten free chocolate chip biscuits.

Now, there is no one in our house who is gluten free... but I do have friends and family who are (and tonnes of gluten free flour to use up in the pantry) so I figured I'd give it a go.

They truly are very tasty... and have been devoured quite quickly in our house.

A great recipe to have on hand!


170grms butter
¼ cup sugar
1¼ cup packed brown sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
2 cups gluten free flour
1 tsp baking soda (gluten free)
1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
1 cup chocolate chips
2 eggs

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and essence. Sift dry ingredients together and fold into the mixture along with the chocolate chips.
Put small teaspoons of mixture onto a greased tray.

Bake for 6-8 minutes at 180°C.

Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container.

For more delicious recipes visit here.

23 August 2009

All things pink and yellow...

Our family was in need of some fun - they say 'fun' is the glue that holds a family together. So last night, out came the themed meal cards - and it was a 'yellow and pink' night.

Heaps of fun was had by all - Hubby wore my pink pyjama pants (much to the children's delight) and we enjoyed pink and yellow food and drink (ham rolls, corn, chips, yams, banana milk, lemon jelly etc.) and finished off the night with watching a Spongebob episode (after all, Spongebob and Patrick are the best pink and yellow guys out there!).

Is there anyone else who likes to inject a bit of fun into their family meals?

See here for more of our fun themed meal nights.

22 August 2009

A strolling kind of day....

Today was one of those lovely days... a perfect day for a walk to our local dairy and a few snaps on the way home (we were minus 2 kids, otherwise I don't think we would have bothered to walk!).

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

21 August 2009

20 August 2009

Softie success!!

After my recent softie flop, I am now very happy to say that I have had some success!

Here is a new bunny style - watch out for more in the shop soon.

I do like these two (especially the paisley fabric and their cute little faces), and have them currently sitting in my new shelf that hubby made to go above my sewing desk... isn't he sweet!

Oh - and I must say a big THANKS to Rachel Kate for giving me the excess fabric from her new black denim jeans - the top softie is very thankful for her body!

I'm finding it hard to shake off the softie making bug (when it does come) and last night was sneaking into my room to sew softies while the dinner was waiting to be dished up. I'm off bowling tonight with a few mums from our coffee group, so will have to wait until another night to get back into it.

What things do you love to do when you have time??

19 August 2009

Wordless Wednesday

{Guess where our Playcentre went today? }

17 August 2009

Poor little softies

Last night I got the softie making bug... I drew a design and set to work. I had some left over fabric that used to be my grandfathers slacks (see here for more on that saga), and as sometimes happens, the little softie turned out nothing like I had planned. He looked terrible (hubby even laughed at it).

What happens to my softie flops you ask? Well, they go to my kids - not because they are flops, but because I know they will love them no matter how they look (well, I must be truthful and say that it is also because I wouldn't want anyone else to own one of my flops).

Back to the drawing board with that design!

Also, you may remember the story about my drug smuggling monkey (see here for story). Well, a month or so ago I sold one of my softies (from here) to a lady who later told me that the package had been opened and searched for drugs when she received it... but thankfully it didn't have a missing eye.

To have a happy ending, you'll be glad to know that I managed to replace my monkey's eye - so he won't need a patch (although I think he secretly always dreamed of being a pirate). Thanks again to my amazing friend Anya from Banban designs for giving me this cute little guy. I love him!!!!

15 August 2009

Flower crochet cushion reveal!!!

Taadaa - the flower crochet cushion is finally complete... only 76 flowers later I might add!

It's nice to have finished this project... this is the sort of project that was great to do little bits while in the car (yes, I am slowly overcoming my fear of what others think about me crocheting in public) but is definitely not the sort of project I would probably do again for a long while (like the topsy-turvy dolls)... and don't anyone dare ask me to make them one... the answer is NO (in a sweet polite voice).

I now hope it can stay in one piece with all the wild children and animals we have around here.

14 August 2009

Happy Birthday Grandad

Today is my Father-in-laws birthday!

This afternoon Hubby, Miss 2 and I popped in for a visit with some chocolate lamingtons (his favourite).

Grandma organised a candle and Miss 2 got to hand Granddad's lamington to him while we all sung "Happy Birthday".

I must mention here that Grandad is a wonderful Grandfather to our kids (as well as being an awesome Dad and Dad-in-law)... he is one of those Grandads that is usually down on the floor playing games with the kids, tickling someone or offering lollies to someone. Today, Miss 2 was bursting with laughter, so much so that she could hardly breathe!

Happy Birthday Grandad - we love you lots!

12 August 2009

11 August 2009

Lemon Slice

It's that time of year again (well, in NZ anyway)... the time of year when you start to scratch around in your recipe books for recipes with lemons in them, to use up all of the lemons on your tree. Last year I had heaps of fun making lemony things galore... and so far this year I have discovered this delicious slice...

Lemon Slice

1½ cups plain flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
125 butter, melted

400g can of sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp plain flour

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 27cm x 18cm x 3cm tin with baking paper. Prepare base. Combine dry ingredients and melted butter, mix well. Press mixture into tin. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. While base is cooking, prepare topping.

Place condensed milk and eggs in a large bowl and beat well for 1 minute. Add lemon rind, lemon juice and flour and beat until combined. Pour over base. Return to oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until topping is set.

Allow to cool in tin. Cut into pieces and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving. If desired serve with lemon zest and dust with icing sugar.


For more delicious recipes visit here.

10 August 2009

Crochet flower cushion

Finally I think I have crocheted enough flowers to cover my cushion (mentioned earlier here).

It's taken me a while to crochet all the flowers, and I nearly lost a few thanks to our naughty puppy who decided to chew on some of the flowers... we never did find the pins that were holding them in place either!

So next time you see this cushion hopefully all the flowers will be firmly sewn in place... and it will be interesting to see how long they stay that way!

Click here for more very cool crochet flowers.

09 August 2009

My perfect children

I have always taken great pride in my 3 oldest children... they are the type of children that never drew on walls, never cut their hair with scissors, never played in toilets (oh wait - my eldest did take his toy seal for a swim in one once) and other extreme things that "other people's" children did.

Ahem... and then along came number 4 - our little darling who just loves to prove that sometimes, good parenting has nothing to do with extreme behaviour (well, that's what I like to think anyway).

:: Guess who started climbing out of her cot at 1½ years old amd getting up to mischief in the night (even after we lowered it and tried all manner of things to make it impossible for her to get out).

:: Guess who decided to play 'cups of tea' with the toilet water not too long ago?

:: Drawing on walls - check... and I must also include drawing on the bean bag, herself, and drawing on the dog with this one.

:: And the latest discovery... scissors! Now we have scissors at Playcentre that she is welcome to use, but for some reason these have been ignored up until now. I'm fine with scissors on paper, but guess who decided that Barney the cat needed a trim yesterday? Yes, well!

No matter what, I love her to bits... and I am sure she is God's secret plan to grow more patience in me.

And who could get angry at someone who was recently found brushing the man on TV's teeth with her toothbrush, and yesterday commenting that the man on the roof next door (fixing the roof) was a 'cute man!' (maybe because he looked little?).

By the way, let me know if your pet needs a trim... she charges pretty cheap rates and does really unique cuts.

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