31 January 2009

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

I love carrot cake... but it has to be with cream cheese icing. This recipe is delicious (from the reliable Edmond's Cook Book) and has walnuts, cinnamon, crushed pineapple and grated orange rind in the cake, which makes it extra special.

Checkout the recipe index to the left of my blog for more yummy things... mmmm... food!

Carrot Cake

Ingredients
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups carrot, grated
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
3/4 cup crushed pineapple

Method
Beat eggs until thick. Stir in oil. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon into the egg mixture and combine. Fold in carrots, walnuts, orange rind and pineapple. Grease and line the base of a 23cm ring tin. Spoon mixture into tin. Bake at 180 deg C for 40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. When cold ice with Cream Cheese Icing if wished (see below).

Cream Cheese Icing

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Mix in icing sugar and lemon rind, beating well to combine.


For more delicious recipes visit here.

30 January 2009

Makings

Current makings...

Thanks to A Print a Day for the free Matrioshka printable labels. What have you been making?

28 January 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Please note... not my children (thankfully!)

26 January 2009

Baby Showers

Yesterday I went to a friends baby shower. The table was decorated beautifully and there were some lovely baby shower ideas I thought I might share...

I loved the idea of a 'baby tree', filled with goodies for the mum and baby to come, as well as the cool 'nappy cake' in the middle of the table. A little book was also passed around with pages marked for us to share baby name ideas, tips for the new mother, as well as a special message to the mother from us.

We didn't play the typical baby shower games, but instead had a lovely tea party together. I even spoted some of my softies on a chair in the lounge.

Here are a few photos from the day. What different baby shower ideas have you noticed lately??


24 January 2009

Here are a few of my favourite things...


I definately need to do a post about a few of my favourite things to cheer myself up... I've been feeling a bit down the last few days.

Sometimes things are easy to handle, other times they just seem to all get on top of me. Being involved in a 'people profession' can be burdensome at times, as there are lots of ups and downs in everyones lives, and I am someone who finds it hard to switch off from all the 'ups and downs'. My lovely Nana also had a fall in the early hours of this morning and broke her femur (thigh). She will be turning 80 in a few weeks and isn't looking too well. :(

So without further adieu, here are some of the things I am loving at the moment...


Wearing my 'wonder woman' tee. I like to pretend it's true!


I am loving seeing my hubby overcoming his 11 year fear of the BBQ. Thanks to his friend Les, he has now had the courage to BBQ sausages, steak, chicken kebabs and more. They even taste great too (checkout the cute apron).


I am loving 'bunny tails' carefully picked from beach visits. I remember as a child my mum helping me colour them in with felt tipped pens.


I am loving the 6 ugly little chickens in our back yard. One of them has already begun to crow though... oh no (see here if you don't get my drift)!

What things are you loving at the moment?

22 January 2009

My Creative Space

I actually don't have a specific place where I create... my latest projects that I am working on are usually living inside this kete, which sits on the drawers in my bedroom. I can't leave things lying out anywhere, mainly thanks to little Miss nearly 2, who loves to quietly get into things when my back is turned!


I did have a big cleanout last night and sorted through all my material. Previously I had bags of bits and pieces hidden in nooks and crannys (where did this phrase come from anyway?) all over the house... now they all live in one place! Yay!

Currently I am working on a couple of softies and a little quilt for one of the girls, made from all the pinks bits of material I have left over. I have half a dozen other things I would love to be making, but I am restraining myself and sticking to a couple at a time.


Thanks to Kootoyoo (Kirsty) for hosting creative places. Check out more here.


20 January 2009

Barney Baloo


Today we celebrated our cat Barney's 4th birthday... with a salmon cake (well actually it was just a tin of salmon put onto a plate with a candle in - but he didn't mind).

Barney is a very special cat... we've had him from a baby (his mum was also our pet), he is the only cat we've ever had that has lived over 2 years old... shocking I know... and he is such a gentle giant. I can't believe that he has never lashed out at any of the kids, despite the many tail and whisker pulls he has had over the years!

Barney does have one major fear though... he hates the vacuum cleaner. As soon as he hears it getting pulled out from the cupboard, he goes into panic mode!

So here's to Barney... a pet who has bought our family lots of joy. He loves rubs and cuddles and sitting on top of people. He is nearly my age in cat years believe it or not!

Happy Birthday Barney Baloo!

19 January 2009

Summer fun

Hubby's summer holidays are almost over... back to work on Wednesday.

We didn't go away as a family for a holiday this year, but had heaps of fun with our regular 'beach/park crawls'. I think we have just about worked out the location of every park hidden about our region.

During our beach trips, I have been amazed at the passion the children have shown for tiny sea creatures. A lot of begging has been heard regarding taking little crabs and sea snails home as pets. Lots of learning has gone on during the fun! Definately seeing their wonder at God's little creations has been one of my highights.

What have been some of the highlights of your holiday?

18 January 2009

Rambo


Meet Rambo... he's had a pretty rough time lately, and is very happy that my nephew decided to adopt him today.

17 January 2009

Things I'm loving at the moment...

I am loving play dough... you know, the good old home-made stuff! Keeps the kids busy for at least an hour...

Loving this espresso machine Mandrake came home with from a garage sale this morning. Mmmmmm... coffee...

I am loving the fact that I found these Maori potatoes at the markets this morning. I have been wanting to try some for quite a while.

I am loving Mandrake's new Momo glasses... thanks to Miss 1 snapping his older pair (accidentally), we didn't have to pay much at all for the new ones (well, compared to what we would have had to pay) - yay for insurance! Please note: He was driving at the time I took this photo... so he couldn't hide!!

I am loving sleeping children!

What things are you loving at the moment?

16 January 2009

Farmhouse Chocolate Crinkles



Sweet Tidings posted the recipe for the yummiest looking biscuits here the other day. I just had to have a go, and was very impressed (mine even looked almost the same!).

They are delicious... taste like tiny little balls of chocolate brownie slice.

So thanks Christy for sharing this yummy recipe, one that will definately become a favourite in our house I am sure.


For more delicious recipes visit here.

15 January 2009

Paisley Peg Apron

After being inspired by CurlyPops stylish aprons, I decided to have a go at sewing my first apron ever... and a peg apron at that!

It reminds me of my great grandmother's paisley aprons that I inherited and love!

Mandrake was very happy to model the apron for me so that I could take some photos... maybe I should make him a more manly peg apron of his own?

14 January 2009

Felt donuts

Mmmmm... donuts anyone??

Master 7 has been begging me to make him some felt donuts (for some strange reason)... so here they are. He was very happy... and still has an order in for a felt pizza!

13 January 2009

What a day!


Today our little Miss 1 (who is nearly Miss 2) went off early in the morning to have grommets put in her ears at the hospital. I went along too, and after already experiencing Miss 4 being put to sleep the year before, I was all too aware of what to expect!

Ever since her 15 month injections, Miss 1 has a very strong dislike for anyone who looks at all 'medical'... if they approach, she screams and thrashes around... so I need not say more about how this morning went.

The hardest part for me is holding your little screaming girl down in theatre as they apply the gas mask and wait for her to fall asleep... each time tears have welled up in my eyes.

But yay for doctors and nurses, and the amazing things they do! I can't wait to see the changes that come from this operation... already she is amazed at the birds singing when we are outside. Makes me wonder what other beautiful sounds she has been missing out on!

Anyway... I did arrive home from hospital this morning feeling quite drained and emotional - and guess what I found in the mail??? The most amazing package from CurlyPops filled with beautiful paisley fabrics (my fav) and a very thoughtful card! Thank you so much CurlyPops... you definitely made my day!

12 January 2009

Buddy has a home!


I am happy to say that Buddy has a new home... and I did have quite a giggle when I saw who the winner was!

After thining down the entries (i.e. the two naughty husbands... mine for entering, and Sewfunky's husbands extra entries), all 35 names were put in a hat and Master 9 had the priviledge of drawing the winner out. He gave the bits of paper a good mix and dug right down to the bottom...



So congratulations Anya (in Australia) from Art by Anya and Banban designs, Buddy is coming your way soon!

And a big thankyou to everyone who entered, and for all the lovely comments... you never know... I may get a bit addicted to doing softie giveaways... keep your eyes peeled for more!

10 January 2009

Cupcake boys

My parents bought me a gorgeous little cupcake icing set for Christmas.

So, here I was (by myself) sneaking a little go with the icing bag in the kitchen when the boys appeared... and of course, they both begged to have a go.

I did take great pleasure in watching these two 'men' carefully icing their cupcakes with the greatest of care.

Don't you love men in the kitchen?


p.s. don't forget to put your name in for the softie giveaway here if you haven't already!
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