Thursday, November 29, 2012

White Chocolate Rocky Road

This is such a great twist on the original Rocky Road, and it looks so pretty!  It would make a beautiful edible gift for Christmas.

1 cup of pink and white marshmallows
1 cup of Pascall Swirls
3/4 cup of dried cranberries (or strawberries)
1/2 cup pistachios
500 grams white chocolate

Line a square or rectangle baking tin with baking paper (I used a square 22cm x 22cm tin).  Cut all the marshmallows in half, and toss together with the cranberries and pistachios.  Place ingredients into the bottom of the tin.

Chop the chocolate and place into a double boiler.  Melt gently until smooth.

Pour melted chocolate over dry ingredients in tin, give it a gentle mix and smooth the surface with a spatula.

Refrigerate until set.  To cut, use a hot knife.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DIY Lego Table

What Lego loving child doesn't need one of these?  Or their Lego loving parents for that matter?...  I saw a small DIY Lego table on Pinterest (here) a while back and knew something like this would get used ALOT in my house.  Of course with 3 children I needed something bigger though.  I had an old laminate coffee table that I brought when I first went flatting too many years ago to count now.  I was planning on giving it away.  I am so glad of my hoarding issues sometimes, as it was perfect for this project.  The kids are loving it, and I hope it solves my problem of having Lego spread in all corners of my house.

Want to make your own? You will need:
  • An old coffee table
  • Sandpaper or a sanding mouse
  • Filling putty (if you are fussy)
  • Primer (talk to your paint specialist about the table you are using and they will let you know what you need)
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Lego mats
  • Glue (I just used liberal amounts of PVA)
So my humble old coffee table started its life like this.

I didn't take photos of the process, but its really simple.

Being a laminate table,  I brought a special primer for glossy surfaces.  If your table is laminate you must use the correct primer.  Using the right primer there is no need to sand down the laminate surface (unless your husband intervenes like mine did).

I applied two coats of primer, giving it a light sand between coats.  Read and follow the instructions on your primer on drying times etc.

I then gave it its first coat of paint.  This is when my darling hubby came along and intervened.  There were a few small bubbles on the surface of the table where over the years its had things spilt on it and the MDF underneath had expanded.  I figured these were not bad enough to worry about and would be under the Lego mat anyway, but the hubby had different ideas. 

He chiseled them off, sanded them back, put putty in them and then totally re sanded the whole surface till flat. 

Back to me again.  I then gave it two more coats of paint, again giving it a light sand between coats.  And again read your paint instructions on drying time.

Once it was fully dry, I measured and positioned my Lego mats onto the table, applied masses of glue and glued them on.  I piled heavy books onto the mats and left it to dry overnight.

It was really simple to make.  The only time consuming thing was waiting for the paint to dry overnight between coats.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kiwi Christmas Decoration Swap

I am taking part this year in the Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap.  Decorations need to be posted by December 3rd, and I am finished to ready to post - a whole week early!!! (for those that know me will know what an achievment that is.  In the dictionary, the word Procrastination should have my name written next to it).  Checking the mail this week is going to super exciting as I wait to receive my exchange decorations and I will blog about them as I receive them.

I hope my little Snowmen past the test and make the recipients happy.  They are hand stitched with love as I still haven't found the foot to my sewing machine since shifting ...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Tradition - Book Advent

Im starting a new Christmas Tradition with the children this year - a Book Advent.  This idea has been floating around Pinterest for a while and I've been organised enough this year to pull it off.

Basically the idea is to take 24 Christmas books and wrap them all up.  Starting from 1 December your children choose one book a night, each night, leading to Christmas Day. 

I raided our massive book collection and managed to come up with 18 Christmas stories.  I then selected 6 of the childrens favourite stories to mix in amongst the Christmas books to make 24.  To avoid any arguments, which are sure to happen if I don't do this, the picking starts in order from youngest to oldest and rotating each night that way.

I also think for Christmas Eve I might sneak a new Christmas book in with the last book as an extra special treat. 

I am so excited about this!  We love to read at bedtime in our house and I couldn't think of a tradition that would be more perfect for our children.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Biggest Adventures in the Smallest of Trips

Since shifting house, we have a wonderful new way to walk to school.  Its an approximate 1.4km walk, and during this time we pass numerous ponds and waterways, cross bridges, pass a huge storm water drain, walk through the bush and past a swamp and end up on a busy main road for a few hundred metres.

On what could potentially be a stress filled rush to get to school in time, is now a different adventure every morning.  We now leave 20 minutes earlier than we need to, so we have time to stop along the way and climb things, feed the ducks, watch the Pukekos and count the trucks go by.

Children see things SO differently to us adults and I really encourage all parents to slow down to your childrens pace and find adventure with them.  I hope my children will have many special memories of slow, meandering walks to school with mum.

The photos I have taken below are not the best quality as they were from my phone.

Through the bush.  The boys were riding ahead and hiding in the bushes to jump out and scare me.
The wall Danger Mouse insists on climbing every day

Little Miss Independent hates being in the pushchair and will walk the whole way to school.  Often in barefeet.  Shes a kiwi kid!

We always stop here and listen for the water.  The boys think its hilarious when I tell them the water we hear is from peoples toilets.  I really must research this ...

We must say hello to the ducks every morning and the children get really upset if the ducks are not there to greet them.

When was the last time you slowed down to your childs pace and saw things from their level?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Week Condensed

Its been busy this week.  I have been meaning to individually blog about lots of things, but ran out of time and here we are.  Its all going into one post.  As I type this my Christmas Cake is doing its 4 hour cook in the oven.  I love it that Christmas is just around the corner.  My favourite time of year.

I got my first batch of Strawberry Jam made.  I try to make as much jam over the beginning of the summer period to keep us going for the rest of the year.  I followed the method I blogged about here.

 I also finally made my Christmas Mince - one of the Alison Holst recipes. 

Had some special moments with the kids, and caught my boys snuggling on the couch in a rare moment of affection with each other.  Nawww.

There has been lots of baking this week, none of it photographed, and all of it eaten quickly.
  • Cream Cheese Strawberry Muffins
  • Date and Yoghurt Muffins
  • Malteaser Chocolate Sponge Cake
  • Red Velvet White Chocolate Cookies

A few trips to the op shop of which I found this lovely sheet and some purple poplin material, both for $3

There were two trips to Spotlight.  One for patterns and one for materials to make christmas decorations for the Kiwi Christmas Ornament swap.  More on this one later.

And there has been alot of sanding and paint priming for two upcoming projects, one for the boys and one for The Girl.

I sent out the hubby today for much needed break alone.  He is so tired and desperately needs a break away from the business to recharge and energise.  Today is his mini-break and I hope he is enjoying it.  Its good to remember that even though our husbands may leave us everyday to go to work (going to work is not a break!!), that they too need time out to relax away from work responsbilities and sometimes family as well.  He'll come back this afternoon hopefully a bit more relaxed from his time away.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Coconut and Chocolate Coffee Roll

OK, before I start, my rolling and log making skills are non-existent.  This roll tastes really yummy, and is meant to look really pretty.  I just don't have the skill, but don't let the look of mine put you off!  It's not at all hard and I did rush mine with the help of a 3 year old (yes, blame the child...).  I will make this again shortly and see if I can improve my skills and upgrade my photos.

250 grams shortbread biscuits (either homemade or store brought, it doesn't matter)
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/3 cup strong black coffee
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
50 grams butter, softened

Place the biscuits, 1/3 cup of the icing sugar and cocoa in a food processor.  Pulse until crumbs form.  Add coffee, and pulse to combine.

Lay out a sheet of baking paper and roll the mixture into a rectangle, about 18 x 22cm.

Mix butter and rest of the icing sugar and coconut together.  Spread this over 3/4 of the biscuit mix.  Using the baking paper, roll up to make a log.  I rushed this.  What I should of done was spread the coconut mix over 3/4 of the base.  Instead I dumped it thickly on less than one half and rushed it.  Don't do this.

Chill overnight.  Before serving roll in coconut and slice to serve.  Keep refrigerated.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday - Rediscovering

I love jeans.  As stated last week, I wear them all the time.  I find them so convenient while I am rushing about in my mummy madness - I can bend over and pick up the baby, bend in and out of the car, rush about in the wind, dress them up, slouch them down ... I love jeans.  I did say I would make an effort on a Wednesday to stay out of jeans, but today has been BUSY and I needed to be comfy.  Jeans make me comfy.  And I strangely feel feminine in jeans as well. 

I own lots of jeans.  I pick them up at the Salvation Army for $6 a pair and I must currently own about 8 pairs. 

Todays outfit has lots of excitement attached.  The fact I can fit my top again.  It wasn't that I couldn't before - I just couldn't fit it nicely.  Now there is no muffin top and mummy pouch poking out to say hi.  I had a heap of comments today on the top - I had forgotten how much attention it draws.

I am having lots of fun rediscovering my wardrobe.  There has been alot of things hanging in it that I just couldn't wear.  Now they can start seeing the light of day again.

My outfit today;  Top - brought in a Farmers sale about 3 years ago, Jeans - $6 from Salvation Army, Sandals - brought in Whitianga (I only own about 3 pairs of shoes ... this needs to change).

Danger Mouse wanted to show off his new clothes I brought him this week.

Joining up this week with