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29 March 2011

Crochet Mansick Pills

 
We all know it's true - for some strange reason the men in our lives seem to suffer waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than women when it comes to sickness.


When my blogging buddy Leonie recently shared this crochet pill pattern link with me, I immediately thought of the perfect idea, "Mansick Pills".


They really do work too...  the thought of trying to swallow one of these giant fluffy monstrosities perked my guy right up again!


My jar of Mansick Pills now sits proudly on display in our room... as a reminder to all the males in my family that Mansickness is just not tolerated around here.


Joining in with My Creative Space.
For more crafty makings, go here

28 March 2011

♥ Weekend Bliss ♥

It's been a very wet weekend with constant rain, but still, a tonne of good times was had...

Gala day fun, which of course had to include candy floss...


Getting together with our lovely friends from Japan (the kids loved their softies)...


Of course we had to celebrate their safety with cake (double layer chocolate - mmmmmmmmmm)...


And taking time to rest and relax is always a must (such a pity that Boo is about the only one who gets to do that though)...


I hope your weekend was special too.

Joining in with {Life Made Lovely Monday}

25 March 2011

Things I'm Loving...


I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is.  

Without sharing too much information, last week and this week have had their ups and downs.  I seriously didn't feel at all like posting last week, but I forced myself and guess what - if was so good to find things to be grateful and thankful for.  So here we go again!

Here are a few of the things I am loving at the moment...

Gluten free Fudge Brownies (although - I still think the original recipe is better)...


Our stunningly beautiful native New Zealand bush...


The fact that Symon loves this ghastly phone cover I crocheted on request (should make him a matching one of these to go with it!)...


How cute Barney is when he's sleeping...


Happy biscuits...


Winning this very cool vintage locket from a giveaway on RiceBabies...


Girls who dig machinery...


And Juggling Motherhood's tips for around the home... recognise those sweet boys at the washing line? Hehe.

See, that wasn't so hard for me to find something to be thankful for... now it's your turn!

Here's how you can join in....
Link up below with your blog post telling us what thing/s you are loving, and don't forget to link back to here in your post (or use this button below) and visit the others who have joined in too. Linky open until Sunday!!


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23 March 2011

Softie overload


I always seem to have a few projects going on at once... that's how I stay sane with my 62 children and cricket breeding husband (and I'm not joking about the husband part).  

There is usually something half made on my crochet hook, something waiting to be sewn on the machine and tonnes of fancy ideas printed off for inspiration on my paisley inspiration board (hanging right next to the drawing of me with hairy armpits).  The hard thing is finding the time to make stuff!

Lately though, there has been a tonne of softie making going on - and I am loving these fluffy little guys!  Some of these are going to be sent off for Leonie's fabulous idea - Softies for the Children of Christchurch (check out some she has already received here), and a few are going to be given to 3 special kids who have just arrived over from Japan.

Here are a few of my latest makings...

I'm just loving this chocolate/vanilla coloured guy...






For more crafty makings, go here.
Joining in with My Creative Space.

22 March 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Cake


I can't believe how many of you were keen to have the Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe I mentioned last week! I didn't realise there were so many slow cooker buddies out there in this big wide world.

Like many of you, I was somewhat weary of making a cake in a crock pot - but it was easy and tasted moist and delicious.  The added bonus of having healthy zucchini in it made it all the more awesome!

Please excuse my photos - poor lighting at the time they were taken.  I also have no idea where I got this recipe from - so sadly can't give credit to where it's due.

Using a 5.5-6 litre slow cooker this recipe makes a large 6-7cm deep cake.  Halve the mixture if you're using a smaller cooker (and use 2 small eggs).

Ingredients
For 1 large cake (12-20 servings):
½ canola oil
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup yoghurt, plain or flavoured
2½ cups plain flour
¼ cup cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
3 cups (300-350g) grated zucchini/courgette
½-1 cup chocolate chips or pieces

Method
Turn the slow cooker to HIGH and line with non-stick sprayed baking paper.

Measure the oil and sugars into a food processor or beat with an electric beater to combine.  Add the eggs and beat or process until light and creamy looking.  Add the vanilla and yoghurt and mix well.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into the food processor or mixing bowl.  Add the spices and then mix just enough to combine.  Add the grated zucchini, folding it in my hand to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared slow cooker, sprinkle the surface with the chocolate chips, then cover and cook for about 2 hours on HIGH or until the centre feels firm and a skewer comes our clean.  The cooking time may vary from 90 minutes to 2½ hours, depending on the size and model of the slow cooker, and the moisture content of the zucchini.

When the cake is cooked, remove the lid and lift out the cake - still in the slow cooker bowl - and leave to cool for 20-30 minutes before carefully inverting the bowl onto a rack to cool completely.  Cut when cold.  Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

I sprinkled mine with icing sugar - but it would be lovely served with plain yoghurt or whipped cream! 


For more delicious recipes, go here.
Overnight porridge recipe here.

21 March 2011

♥ Weekend Bliss ♥

I love weekends.

Amongst the busyness of our annual church conference, we did a bit of family bonding...


and giant cat wrangling...


Here's hoping you had a wonderful weekend too.


Joining in with {Life Made Lovely Monday}



18 March 2011

Things I'm Loving...


I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is.  

Here are a few of the things I am loving at the moment...

Making a delicious Chocolate Zucchini cake in my crock pot...


My son's very cool softie - made all by himself in his technology class at school...


Piggy plugs...


More model shots of our family's fashion queen...


Link love: Amazing stories like this that emerge out of such sorrow in Japan and Cindy Ruakere's free download of our NZ National Anthem (she's the lady who wrote and sings our NZ Masterchef theme music!).

Finding hubby having a nap in a pillow cave...


Notes like this...


Here's how you can join in....
Link up below with your blog post telling us what thing/s you are loving, and don't forget to link back to here in your post (or use this button below) and visit the others who have joined in too. Linky open until Sunday!!


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17 March 2011

Crochet Headband


I started crocheting this a few weeks ago - just for fun. I've seen some really cool crochet headbands around and wanted to have a try at making one.

Now that it's finished, I'm not really sure if I like it at all... the colour is rather ghastly, and as you would have already guessed, Symon gave it the usual "are you serious?" look when I asked him what he thought while I was wearing it.

So, as it usually happens with all of my strange/rejected/deformed creations, one of the kids gratefully inherits it, although despite her begging, I didn't let her wear it to school today (mainly because it's a bit too big and she tucks her ears out to hold it up!).

But boy I love these photos we took of her wearing it yesterday - very cute indeed (I bribed her with the headband to take such nice photos)! 


For more crafty makings, go here.
Joining in with My Creative Space.

16 March 2011

Wordless Wednesday


I love alphabet soup!

I couldn't resist saying.

Joining in wtih Faith Hope & a whole lotta Love

15 March 2011

Scones


I feel that I need to redeem myself after my Pinwheel Scone post last year where I raved about the awesomeness of scone mix after my many failed attempts at making scones.  I still have to admit that scone mix is great - but I also felt that I had to face my scone making fears and conquer them once and for all.

Both my mother, mother-in-law and grandmother are amazing scone makers.  Surly, somewhere tucked away there are scone making genes in my body?  So a few days ago I decided to face my monster called 'SCONES' and battle it out.

And guess what?  I won (well, I think I did anyway).

Here is the wonderful recipe I used, taken from Alison Holst's "Dollars and Sense Cookbook".  These scones are quick and easy to make.  I love using cookie cutters to make cute scone shapes, but don't forget that you can make pinwheel scones, savoury scones and many others using this mix as your base.

Ingredients
2 cups self-raising flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp sugar, optional
25 g butter, melted
½ cup milk 
¼-½ cup water

Method
Sift the flour, salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl.  Heat the butter until it melts, and tip all the milk and the smaller amount of water all at once into the flour.

Mix with a knife or spatula until blended, adding extra water to make a soft dough, then, without over mixing, turn it out onto a flour bench, and roll out lightly, about 22cm square.  Cut into 9 rough squares, place about 1 cm apart on an oven tray, and bake at 220°C, in the middle of the oven, for about 10 minutes until the tops and bottoms of the scones are lightly browned.

Serve hot or warm, with your favourite spreads. 

For more delicious recipes, visit here

14 March 2011

Weekend ♥ and heartache


On the weekend we celebrated my awesome Dad's birthday. 

After the fabulous Mustache Cake last year, a friend asked me if I was going to make him an eyebrow cake this year.  Ha ha - no!  But I did decide to make him this, and he loved it.  

My Mum also whipped up her wonderful pavlova roll (filled with cream, peaches, passionfruit and topped with nuts). Mmmmmmmmmmm!



I love my Dad so much - right down to the fact that he lets the girls put their highheels on his feet (more like his big toe).  He is working away from home most weeks now, so we love catching up with him on the weekend.


We have all been horrified and heart broken at the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan and now the threat of a nuclear meltdown!  We have two dear friends living there with their families - one is Symon's old flatmate, and another is a friend who came to stay with us when I was young - he is now in the Japanese Navy and busy trying to help in the middle of the devestation.  Each day he sends me email updates of what is happening, and it is heart wrenching.  I can tell that he is scared and in shock.

I think many of us feel helpless is times like this - from the Christchurch earthquake to this extreme disaster in Japan.

I love this quote, taken from here:

"When 90 per cent of the circumstances are uncontrollable, 
focus on the 10 per cent you can do something about.

We can pray, we can give, we can encourage and support and we can share that there is Hope, even in the midst of hopelessness.

 "I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is
 a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid."  John 14:27

Joining in with Life Made Lovely Monday.

11 March 2011

Things I'm Loving...


I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is.  

Here are a few of the things I am loving at the moment...

Chocolate bunnies... especially when I know this one is going to such a great cause.


My fashion obsessed daughter and her strange compilation of outfits...


Iced biscuits (even if my icing job is a bit amateurish)...


The special friendship these two have...


Link Love: Being able to play draw & fold online!  Finding another Mustache Cake maker here!! Loving this delicious blog and this yarn bombed VW!!

Loving spider fears being overcome... although not too sure about hubby's new pet spider, Rahab! She is a Tunnel Web with a vicious bite!!



Here's how you can join in....
Link up below with your blog post telling us what thing/s you are loving, and don't forget to link back to here in your post (or use this button below). Linky open until Sunday!!

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