Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Sweetness

My little one is just a bit under the weather today so I thought a few cheerful sweet things might cheer her up.

Marshmellow hearts - what could make a small child (or two) happier?


I think I know what could beat that - a Pink Delight Chocolate layer cake.
I have to use dairy free Buttercream as my little one has a milk allergy but it still turns out pretty yummy!

Colourful Modelling Clay helps to cheer up the mood as well

And a big Thunder and Lightening storm this morning resulted in a HUGE hail downpour - that is a sure fire to grab the attention of my girls.

Right off to wake up the night shift sleeping husband now, then we can crack into the cake.

Have a lovely Sunday everyone x K

Friday, June 24, 2011

An addition

We have a new member of our household.... a beautiful Tortie female cat. She's 2 years old called "Tootu" (pronounced Tut-tu - it's a Maori term for touching with everything or into everything). She is very aptly named so far as she is very mischievous. I think the correct spelling should be Tutu but we adopted her from the SPCA and they'd named her there. 

We lost our beautiful Burmese boy Jack back in December due to a massive infection that he couldn't recover from and we were hesitant to get another cat as we didn't want to "replace" him. BUT we live in the country and really need a cat to keep the mice at bay, and they are lovely company on these winter nights. We went into the SPCA and told them that we wanted a slightly older cat and it must be robust. A dear friend once told me that "You don't pick a cat, it picks you" and this is so true as Tootu jumped up and put her paws out to us. We knew we had to take her home right then and there.

My youngest girl is loving her already - the oldest is away at a sleepover so she hasn't seen her yet (except for in the car when I got her out of her class for a few minutes to take a sneak peak on our way home).

For anyone who has room in their homes (and hearts) for a new cat or dog the SPCA (we are in Whangarei, but all other branches as well) are desperate, as ever for homes for their temporary residents. They are full to the brim, and desperately need cat and dog food as well if you can spare any. The staff (mainly volunteers) do such an amazing job in sometimes very difficult situations.

Tootu is fast asleep at the moment, so I'll take this chance to get the crochet hook out as I can't get much done around her - she thinks its a great chasing game.

I took this shoot between rainshowers today - a stunning Koru (fern). Love them, NZ nature at it's best.

I just had to add a couple of photos of my girls - the little one on a daycare farm trip and the big one as an alien at school for "Space Day" yesterday. We had to provide a plate of space themed food for a shared lunch so I did green caramel popcorn in individual bags - "Alien Power Food". The kids seemed to love them!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

When plans have to change

We had a sick child over the weekend, nothing major but enough to make us miss our weekend away. A real shame but at least we made the most of it and tried to be fairly productive.

My favourite slice currently - Caramel Oat Slice (based on a Jo Segar recipe). It's supposed to be made as a cake but it's just so rich that i prefer to make it as a slice and cut into smallish pieces. I also usually use white chocolate drizzled over the top but I'm all out of that until shopping day so dark chocolate was even better I think. Mmmmmm divine!

The girls were going it stir crazy stuck at home so I made them some playdough, but this time with a twist. Strawberry flavoured pink playdough and Peppermint flavoured green playdough. I use the cooked version of playdough and it always turns out perfectly.

Playdough recipe

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 cups of water
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1/2 Tablespoon Cream of Tarter
Food colouring (and essence if desired)

Mix all together in a saucepan, heat over a low/med heat stir occasionally. When ingredients start sticking together (about 5-8 mins) then remove from pan and lay out on floured board or wax paper. Knead until smooth. Have fun with it :)

I've also been busy with some nice natural remedies. A cute little airfresher (baking soda and essential oil) in a stylised jar (found on pinterest - gosh I love that site!!!) and more liquid handwash - this time in Rosewater fragrance.

Have a great week  x  Kylie

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And we went walking

We took the children walking on Sunday, before a promised lunch treat. You often miss the beauty of your own town and take it for granted all too often.  Granted the weather wasn't too clear but it still made for the most lovely family day in a long time.

I had fun shopping for a friend's birthday present the other day - I found exactly what I was looking for (see below) and filled it with chocolate. It was the last one in the shop, now I'm on a hunt for another one for me!
Vintage style glass jar
What's your favourite household product? Odd question I know, but I have been meaning to share mine. I love Soapnuts for the laundry. I have extremely sensitive skin and commercial washing powder really causes a reaction, so about 18 months ago I discovered Soapnuts and I was won over by how great they are. Completely natural, great for the our septic tank system (which can't cope with too many chemicals) and fab for our Skin. about 4 soapnuts in a calico bag in with the wash (which lasts about 8 washes) and a drop of essential oil (if desired) in the rinse cycle. A $20 bag of soapnuts lasts about 9 months for us, which is certainly cheaper than powders/liquids ever were.

It's not so warm here today, so I'm off to think about winter warmers for dinner.

x Kylie

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Groovy Baby

I posted a few days ago about the outfit for the 70's party we are going to shortly, well I decided a nice little Teal crochet headband will be just the ticket to compliment it.

Only one problem -  I had my hair cut shorter today and it now doesn't look quite right....... Oh well I'm sure I will wear it sometime.

The Chief finished making his Cider on Monday - it's now bottled and brewing nicely in the hot water cupboard. All 30 bottles of it. I can't wait to try it in a few months.

Right I have a few jobs to do then I think I'll get out the hook for a few hours, I'm making good progress on my Granny Squares now so hopefully not too long until I have almost enough for a blanket. I'm quite liking the colours - cute huh?

 Night all  - K xx

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunshine Sunday

After a few days of heavy rain we have had a lovely day today, the sun was shining when I got up this morning - just the ticket to motivate me. And get some of that pesky washing dried!

So I've been a busy little Bee.

Our lovely neighbours have a Kiwifruit orchard, so at this time of year we are given loads of Kiwifruit. The girls love them but we can only get through so many. I usually try chutney or jam, as well as giving some fruit away but I found a recipe for Kiwifruit sorbet the other day that I just had to try.

Easy to make too, just a few photos from the process.

I made our favourite Lemon Cordial  (recipe from NZ Gardener - can't find it online but you may be able to search for it) - really yummy.

Do you remember the Macadamia harvest from last week? Well we put the Husker into operation and husked the lot of them within minutes, a job that used to take us hours!!
41Kg of nuts, all we have to do now is to dry them before we can crack them.

We've made a few things with some that we cracked already, Sweet and Spicy nuts and Macadamia Cookies.

I've also made a couple of new things today - Natural Vanilla Extract (made from Vodka and Vanilla Beans). The longer they are left the better the flavour is. I've heard of it lasting years, you just keep topping up the Vodka and replace the Vanilla when it breaks down too much. I didn't have enough Vodka left (its not a drink I really like, but I did use it in a couple of Summer cocktails), so will have to top it up more when I pick some up next time I go to town.

And I also made some Witch Hazel Toner. My skin is a bit funny at the moment - I think it's from being stuck inside so much.... I hunted out a few of my natural remedies books and a good toner for skin prone to oily patches was made from Witch Hazel, water and Lavender. Mix together, store in a dark place and dab on cotton wool before using with the cleanse and tone routine.
It's a long weekend here thanks to Queen's Birthday so I have the girls home tomorrow as well. I have a few ideas of what we could do tomorrow so watch this space.

Bye for now - Kylie x