30 September 2013

Orange & Ginger Pound Cake

Ginger, oranges and cream cheese icing... what could be better that these ingredients baked into a delicious pound cake!?!

I served this cake warm (because everyone couldn't wait to try it) with a dollop of mascarpone mixed with brown sugar on the side.  Delicious!!

Orange & Ginger Pound Cake

Preheat the oven to 175°C.  Butter a loose bottomed 22cm diameter cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper.
Beat 200g butter, 350g sugar and the finely grated zest from 2 oranges until pale, thick and fluffy. Add 5 eggs one at a time, beating well after each.  Stir in 250g flour and 1 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger, makig sure they are mixed in thoroughly but not beaten.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin, place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool completely then remove from the tin.

Put 1½ Tbsp orange juice, 1¾ cups icing sugar and 65g cream cheese into a bowl and beat until smooth.  Spread this all over the cake.  Decorate with slices of crystallized ginger and the zest of 1 orange.  Serve in wedges.

Recipe source here.
For more delicious recipes visit here.

22 September 2013

Flower Face

Sometimes you need to urgently whip up a flower costume for your daughter to wear for the Children's Church play - that's where Symon comes in as handy dad of the year!  So far last week he's made a worm farm with one of our boys and cut out a giant flower mask... who knows what next week will entail...

He did a pretty good job for such short notice - one of the cutest flowers I've ever seen!

Thanks babe!!  Flower power!

17 September 2013


A quick hello and a few snapshots from my Instagram feed!

We are currently "camping" at our place while our kitchen and laundry are getting renovated. Thankfully we have running water, a stove/oven and a dishwasher, otherwise I may have pulled out most of my hair by now!

We've had a bit of a sickly winter with all of us at one point or another catching something that is going around - boy, am I hanging out for warmer weather.

: : Currently Enjoying...

Catching up with old friends
Pears - can't get enough of them at the moment!
Watching Team NZ do so well in the America's Cup
Macaroons and Swiss chocolate
Husband naps
The two rabbits that live in our backyard (ex-pet ones that no one can catch)

Looking forward to the school holidays in less than two weeks - holidays always bring back my crafty/baking/blogging mojo.


11 September 2013

Ripple Blanket

I'm loving this fluro yellow and pink ripple blanket!  It is a smaller sized one - perfect as a lap or reading blanket for one of my girls (they are still fighting over who gets to have it!).

This ripple blanket pattern was from Pip at Meet Me At Mikes and I love it!  Easy and fun to do.  You can check out other peoples versions of it on instagram with #cheerywaveripple

Super glad to have finally conquered the ripple stitch!!

To check out my other finished crochet blankets, click on the photos below...

For more crafty makings, go here 

10 September 2013

Kitchen Renovations

There is a lot of hammering and dust around here at the moment as we (well, let's say "he") start on our kitchen/laundry renovations.

Our house is a very old bungalow which has needed a lot of extra loving to renovate.  We are nearing the end of the renovating process, yet there seems like still so much to do!

A lot of the work has been done thanks to my amazing husband, our parents and friends and family.

This kitchen space is small to work with, and the kitchen we are installing is second-hand, but I know it's going to look way better that what we had before.

Looking forward to showing you the finished project... until then you can check out my handsome hubby in his socks and jandals!

To see our bathroom renovation, go here.
Hopefully more before & after pics of the whole house to come in the near future!

07 September 2013

Cozy Mobile Cover

I often shove my mobile phone in my handbag, which means that even though it's got a protective cover on the back, it sometimes can meet strange objects living in the depths of my bag... a lonely peppermint, a leaking pen or my scratchy set of keys.

In the past I've always whipped up a crochet cover for my phones (like this) but with my recent obsession of making cushion covers out of recycled blankets, I just had a whip up a little cover for my phone.

Anyone can make one of these if they have fabric and a sewing machine or needle and thread.  Lining it with felt means that your phone doesn't slip out too easily.

Here's to keeping your phone safe and cozy and also recycling while you craft!

For more crafty makings go here.

05 September 2013


Sometimes you stumble across a sweet video and just have to share it.

This is the story about a widower named Fred and the beautiful story of his song about his wife of 73 years that he submitted to a songwriting contest.


02 September 2013

Date Night of Doom...

My dearest husband has resurrected his old blog www.symondrake.com.  In the midst of his resurrection process, he is rewriting some of his earlier material, and removing some of the older posts.  This is one of the posts that didn't quite make the cut for the new spot, so I've decided to repost it here for nostalgia's sake.

May I just say that those days with young ones were crazy, but looking back they go by so fast!  I don't think I'm going to take watching a movie all the way through for granted ever again.

Date Night of Doom, by Symon Drake (2008)

On Monday night PaisleyJade (wife) and myself had a date night. All four kids were fast asleep, so we moved the sofa closer to the TV, turned out the lights and snuggled up to watch ‘August Rush’ (movie recommended by a good friend)…
The DVD case said the movie ran for almost 2 hours… It lied. The following events of our ‘date night’ will show you how easily a 2 hour movie can transform into a three hour dilemma.
1. We hit the ‘Play’ button… so far so good.
2. About 30 minutes into the movie we hear a big bang, followed by unearthly wailing coming from the girls room. Our 4 year old had fallen out of bed onto her head. After about 15 minutes of mum comforting her, she finally settles down and falls back to sleep.
3. Back to watching the movie.
4. We hear a scuffling noise coming from behind the sofa, and discover our stealth sleep-walking 7 year old son in laa-laa land walking in circles, in the dark. This is usually a sure sign that I have exactly seven seconds to get him to the toilet or else…
5. Whew, made it. Tuck son into bed, back to watching the movie.
6. Crying erupts from the girls room. No, no one has fallen out of bed this time… it’s much worse. Our almost 2 year old has just vomited all over herself, her hair and her bed. Good times.
7. PaisleyJade changes the bed and washes the sheets while I give our darling daughter a bath and wash half-digested tomatoes (among other unrecognisable and reeking food items) from her hair… without complaining I might add. (Did I mention I am super dad?)
8. Finally, back to the movie.

Ahhhh, those were the days...

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