30 April 2010

Pompom Beanie

Since making the last two crochet beanies with ear flaps, I've fallen in love with the ear flap look.  So a couple of days ago I decided to mix some patterns together and design my own one... with two little pompoms added for extra cuteness!

Just in time for a special little guy's 1st birthday party tomorrow!

Since I don't have any cute babies at my house anymore, I had to get the blue Robot softie to model the beanie for me... doesn't he look dashing.


Don't forget, if you haven't entered already, go here to go in the draw to win one of these robot softies all for yourself!! 

Have a great weekend everyone! 

29 April 2010

RED fun

Joining in with Sailor & Company's Raw(e) theme this week... Red.

To play along or see the other entries, visit here.

This photo was taken on our recent trip up North when we had a little bit of Family Bonding...

And don't forget to enter my Robot softie giveaway if you haven't already (here).

28 April 2010

Robot Softie GIVEAWAY!!!

SORRY - THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW CLOSED.  See here for the winner!

Yay - today is my 2 year blogging anniversary!!!  Can't really believe it's been two years since that shy first post back in April 2008 about Fun Themed Meals.  

Since then I've met so many cool people in the blogging world (even met some of them in real life too), had so much encouragement and inspiration as a person, parent and crafter.

So as a little thank you to everyone I've decided to do a Robot Softie Giveaway where you can either choose the purple robot or the blue one! Only one will be given away and the other will go into the shop.  I will post to anywhere in the world!!

To enter, leave your name & and email address in the comment section below and which robot you would prefer. Only one entry per person please.  If you do not leave some way that I can contact you I will not be able to include you in the draw (i.e. anonymous comment with no email address).

The winner will be drawn next week, Wednesday 5th May at 7pm (New Zealand time).

All the best!!!  

26 April 2010

Outdoor bowls...

What better way is there to spend ANZAC weekend than getting dressed up in your "whites" and having a leisurely afternoon playing outdoor bowls with friends (some of our 20up group from church).

Heaps of fun was had - some of the club members hung around and gave us tips and showed us their flash bowls ($700 a set) and how it was meant to be done.

We even ate "nana type" nibbles - ANZAC biscuits, sausage rolls, lamingtons, butterfly cakes, meringues etc.   Mmmmm!

After hearing that outdoor bowls seems to be struggling for younger members (people under 65 years old) I am seriously considering joining a local team... not. 

25 April 2010

24 April 2010

ANZAC Biscuits

It's the day before ANZAC day... and the perfect day to whip up a batch of ANZAC biscuits... recipe here.


23 April 2010

Me and my thigh toner...

 A slight flush of red still comes to my cheeks as I remember back to that fateful day...

For some strange reason my Mum and I were on a 'get fit with gadgets' phase many many years ago, and being the 'thigh conscious' teen that I was, I was super eager to head down to our local DEKA store to purchase the latest in the home exercise equipment range... the "Thigh Toner".  I was totally looking forward to have super slim thighs with this 'totally amazing and simple to use gadget'.

I can't quite remember why (maybe it was my thighs of steel), but for some reason the thigh toner broke and had to be returned to the store soon after it's purchase.

Now for those of you that don't know, I really am a rather shy person... the type of person whose nightmares include standing up in front of large groups of people or opening presents at parties with everyone staring. This  is something I am slowly overcoming, but as a teen it was still a rather large issue in my life.

So just imagine me standing in the isle of DEKA with my rather large Thigh Toner box hoping to quickly and discretely return my product, assuming it would take one quick and simple transaction to get a refund and slip out of the store.

To my horror the checkout person was new and they needed assistance to process a refund... so over the loud speaker they called out, "STAFF ASSISTANCE NEEDED IN ISLE 3, I HAVE A LADY WANTING TO RETURN A THIGH TONER AND NEED STAFF ASSISTANCE PLEASE".

Of course I was totally embarrassed - it felt like everyone in the whole shop stopped what they were doing and turned to have a good stare at the young lady returning her THIGH TONER.


So the moral to this story?

1. Thigh toners aren't as great as they seem. 
2. I'm glad DEKA stores around anymore to remind me of that fateful day.
3. Always pick checkout people who look experienced when returning embarrassing items - like this lady below:

21 April 2010

What's Your Favourite...?

1. Favorite hobby?

Why crochet of course!

2. Favorite tv show?

I know, I know... it's rather old and only reruns are on now... but sometimes I think my husband should be called Ray.

3. Favorite restaurant food?

4. Favorite thing to shop for?

5. Favorite animal?

6. Favorite song?

Strawberry Avalanche by Owl City

7. Favorite word?

8. Recent favorite youtube video?

9. Favorite movie?

A toss up between Pride & Prejudice and The Princess Bride.  Both classics (but hubby doesn't like one of them - haha).

10. Favorite childhood memory?

Surfing with my Dad and brother every weekend.

Visit Leigh-ann here if you want to play along!!

20 April 2010

Things I'm loving... and not loving.

Here are some things I'm loving this week...

Getting to hang out with a 'real' pirate today - who was also wearing a tutu... 


Yes, it's true... I do love Grover (so far).  We've had Grover for just over 1 week now (hubby did a post last night about his new parrot here).  Already Grover has gone from being scared of our hands to hopping up onto our finger for a treat.  Apart from the occasional loud squawk (while I'm in the middle of an important phone conversation)... and the messy seed husks on the floor around the cage... and my husband's obsession with making the parrot toys... and the extra large pile of parrot library books found all around the house... I do rather like Grover.

This "Mr T" teeshirt (found here).  I used to have a crush on Mr T. when I was young (hehe). 

The fact that our kids don't mind our weekly takeaways being a cone each from the drive through at McDonald's... a rather cheap weekly treat if you ask me.

My early Mother's Day present... a 'tin' wallet.  Pretty cool aye.  

And not loving...

That the baking session with the boys yesterday ended up with a $160 dollar trip to the dentist today for Symon who cracked a molar in half on a bit of Master 8's baking (see here for his post about it).  Ouch (for the tooth and the wallet).  

At least I have a pretty wallet even if it's empty. 

Haha - what things are you loving/not loving at the moment??

19 April 2010


Today the three oldest kids went back to school and I thankfully managed to sneak in some crafting time... in amongst parrot shenanigans, keeping Miss 3 busy and keeping an eye on the two boys baking separate things in the kitchen (they're addicted after yesterday) once they arrived home from school.

Here are some of my latest softies and crochet phone covers... made for friends and some are in the shop too!

Have an great week everyone!! 

17 April 2010

Baking 101

I have always wanted to raise my boys to be "House Trained" sons (see here and here).   But to be honest, life can get so busy sometimes that it is just way easier to tell everyone to "keep out of the kitchen", "I'll do it myself", "don't touch that!" etc.

Would you believe I used to teach 6 & 7 year olds cooking classes?  I must have had way more patience back then.

So today I decided to let Master 10 move from making himself hot drinks and toast to baking all by himself (with my eagle eye right next to him of course).

We had the most awesome time together in the kitchen (he decided to wear his great great grandmother's apron) and I was really impressed by his enthusiasm and skill - except for when he had a swig of the vanilla essence.

He made Chocolate Chips biscuits (using this recipe but with condensed milk instead of the coffee syrup) and they are honestly the nicest biscuits I have tasted in ages!!

He's already planning the next things he wants to make after scouring my Edmond's Cook book... cakes, cupcakes, muffins, donuts, slices... I feel like I'm in the Julie & Julia movie. 

The only problem now is that he thinks he can scoff all the biscuits because he made them.  Great.

16 April 2010

Flashback Friday

Let's flashback about 6 years ago...


Oh, I do love my boys.

14 April 2010

Coconut Meringue Cake

This Coconut Meringue Cake is really yum and just like a cake version of the Louise Slice.  I found the recipe in a magazine at the beach house we stayed at on our anniversary holiday.  Perfect served with whipped cream!

Coconut Meringue Cake 
by cooking legend Tui Flower 

125g butter
½ cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 cup standard flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1-2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup jam (any flavour)
½ cup sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1½ cups desiccated coconut

Preheat oven to 160°C.  Lightly grease a 20cm springform cake tin.

Cream the butter and the first measure of sugar until fluffy, then beat in the egg yolks.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and stir into the creamed mixture.  Add the milk and vanilla to get a spreadable bater.  Turn into the prepared tin and spread evenly. 

Warm the jam if stiff.  Spread over the cake base leaving a border of about 5mm at the edge.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, add the second measure of sugar and beat to form a meringue.  Mix the cornflour and coconut together and fold into the meringue.  Spread evenly over the cake mixture so it covers the unjammed edge.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until the cake is lightly browned on top and comes away from the edge of the tin. 

Allow to stand for 10-15 minutes before lifting out.   Cool on a wire rack.  Best eaten on the day it's made.

For more delicious recipes visit here.

13 April 2010

Meet Grover...

Meet Grover.  Grover is an Indian Ringneck Parrot.

We won't know if Grover is a he or a she until it is about 2 years old (boys develop a dark ring around their neck).

Grover has the potential to learn up to 250 words and live 25-30 years (that's quite a long time isn't it... arrrggghhh).

Grover could either be the best family pet ever or drive me completely mad...

Watch this space. 

12 April 2010

Family Bonding...

The other day my lovely Nana asked my husband to euthanase her dear pet bird that was dying (see here).

I cringed as she gave him the birdcage (as a thank you gift) as I  knew this would not help his severe addiction to owning pets (or as I have referred to it in the past - his Zoo).

Alas, the free birdcage has turned my world upside down... after discovering that the humble budgie wasn't as cheap as he remembered, he somehow (though friends with contacts) managed to find himself a young hand reared Parrot (Indian Ringneck) for not much more.  How could someone pass up such a good deal - but of course it would need a much bigger cage than a tiny budgie cage.  Arrggghhh!!

To cut a long story short, hubby found himself a perfect cage up north and managed to turn the trip to collect it into a fun filled family bonding day that ended with the collection of  our new addition to the family, "Grover".

He also somehow managed to weave in a visit to Ruapekapeka pā, that of course had a canon and other 'guy/war' type things like tunnels etc. (like I mentioned here).  I have to admit, it was rather amazing and we had some much needed family bonding time.

The kids had fun... we also fed wild chickens, scoured out cool shops and checked out Rainbow Falls.

All thanks to my Nana and her thoughtful gift of a bird cage ;) 

Pics of Grover to come tomorrow! 
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