Monday, December 26, 2011

Our Christmas Day News

We had such a fantastic Christmas yesterday! We had 17 people at our house for breakfast from both sides of the family, and my son Lucas had a very special announcement.

Yes, we are expecting Baby number 2 in July! We go for a scan on Friday to find out a due date, and so we are all very excited. I cannot wait to start up another pregnancy scrapbook- I guess this means I will be frantically trying to get Lucas' albums up to date over the holidays! I hope to be able to share my pregnancy layouts with you all as the year progresses.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Food: Ginger, Cranberry and Pistachio Fudge plus free recipe card!

If you are looking for an impressive, easy food gift for neighbours, teachers or friends, this fudge is a fantastic option. It is very yummy but does not take a long time to make, and even the kids can get involved! Plus, I have put it into an easy printable 4x6 recipe card so that you can give the recipe to any lucky recipients of this fudge!

You will need:

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup milk
100g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
250g pack of Gingernut biscuits
70g packet shelled pistachios
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Grease a shallow 9x13 tin and set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat combine the sugar, condensed milk, milk, butter and golden syrup.

Stir occasionally until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

Fold in Gingernuts, pistachios and cranberries.

Pour into the prepared tin and put into the fridge to chill.

Then cut into squares when set and enjoy!

This fudge is very gingery and not too sweet, so it is great for those who don't like chocolate or prefer something small and moreish to go with a cup of coffee.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Daily

The first of December is here! This year I have decided to do an album for the December Daily- a concept you can read more about over at Ali Edward's blog:

The idea of the December Daily is to chronicle your life throughout December and do a page for each day. The pages do not always have to be Christmas related (although a majority of mine are) and you can do as many or as little photos as you like. The journalling is the most important part of this book.

My album will be a simple 8x8 album using the retired Winter Wonderland 8x8 Quick Kit by Creative Memories, which is a lovely blue, red and grey Christmas theme. I will endeavour to post my week's layouts when I can, depending on when I can get photos printed to complete the layouts. Since the album only has a set number of pre-designed pages, I am doing the first 24 days of December.

My December Daily list is as follows:

1-Putting up the advent calendar

2- My niece Lydia’s school Gala

3-Santa picture 2011

4- Santa Parade

5-Mailing out Christmas cards

6-My Christmas wish list

7- Creative Memories Wednesday night workshop

8- Mainly Music break-up

9- CM/Parent’s Centre Christmas Dinners

10-Watching Christmas movies

11-Creative Memories Sunday workshop

12-Shopping for tree decorations

13-Christmas haircuts

14- Westpac Christmas Carols at The Hub

15-Baking for the neighbours

16-Santa’s grotto with mother-in-law

17- Emillie’s birthday

18- My son Lucas’ birthday

19- Putting up the tree

20-The weather for Christmas week (from the newspaper)

21-My favourite Christmas music

22-Christmas food shopping- add grocery list

23-Wrapping the presents

24- Church Christmas Eve Storytelling evening

I hope this list gives you some great ideas. Have fun creating your December Daily!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sneak Peek of my Heritage album

I have been working on a digital scrapbook to give to my Grandfather. We will be celebrating his 90th birthday in January so this was a perfect time to go through the stories, photos and memories and put them together in a way that the whole family can enjoy. I am really pleased with how it looks so far- I was worried that I would not have a lot of information as there was a house fire in 1996 that destroyed a lot of photos and documents. However, the book is now 40 pages and I am looking forward to seeing it printed! Here is a sneak peek at some of the pages:

All of these pages were made using the Reminisce Heritage 11x8.5 predesigned pages. Extras are from the Tie The Knot Digital Additions and the Reminisce Heritage Digital Additions.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Craft: Nappy Fold Pouch

With the holidays coming up, giving wee gifts is such a nice gesture for teachers, neighbours and friends. Here is a cute way to jazz up a chocolate bar, gift card or candy cane. The original idea from this project is from Splitcoast Stampers.

You Will Need:

·   One piece of double-sided patterned paper

·   12” Rotary trimmer with straight and scoring blades

·   Tape Runner

·   Chalking inks

·   Embellishments


Cut the paper to 4 ½ x 4 ½ inches.

Place the paper so that it is a diamond shape and the dominant side is facing down.

Score paper down the middle and fold in half diagonally.

Place the longest side facing your stomach.

Take one of the lower corners of your triangle and fold it over to the middle of the other triangle side, adhering with tape runner.

Take the other lower corner of the triangle and fold it over to the middle of the opposite side, adhering with tape runner.

Take one layer of your top corner and fold it down to create your pouch. Adhere with tape runner.

Decorate your pouch with inks and embellishments.

You can fill this with a chocolate bar or some wrapped lollies.

If you want to make the pouch bigger, just use a bigger piece of paper and make sure each side is the same size.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Craft: Create a Cupcake Card

I was browsing through the new Stampin' Up catalogue yesterday and saw a cute Cupcake card. I realised I had all of the tools and supplies to recreate it- so I did!

Supplies needed:
Sizzix Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder
Create a Cupcake stamp set from Stampin' Up
Rotary Trimmer with straight, scoring and small wavy blades
Cardstock in three colours of your choice (I used Brown, Pink Lemonade and Butter from Creative Memories)
Inks in three colours of your choice (I used Pretty In Pink, So Saffron and Chocolate Chip by Stampin' Up)
Tape Runner
Foam squares or Dimensionals

Please note that some of the measurements in these photos are wrong as I changed the end dimensions of the card. Follow the written measurements instead of what is in the pictures.

Cut your base colour cardstock to 4 3/4 x 9 inches.
Cut your accent cardstock colour to 4 x 3 1/4 inches.
Change to the scoring blade on your rotary timmer and score your base cardstock at 4 1/2 inches.
 Taking your accent cardstock, make a mark in the middle.
The make a mark about 1cm above the first mark.
Using a 12" trimmer, slice from the tip of the cardstock to the inner mark, and then back out to make a triangle shape. You should end up with your piece of cardstock looking like this.
Change your blades to the small wavy in the Rotary Trimmer, and cut two stips from your third colour of cardstock.
Now it's time for stamping! On another piece of your accent colour cardstock (or white if your accent is dar) stamp out the spotted cupcake holder, cupcake top and ribbon in your chosen colours.
You can now cut these out with scissors, although if you have the matching Create A Cupcake Punch you can use that to make the job easier.
Now you can put the pieces of the cupcake on your accent pennant cardstock with Foam Squares or Dimensionals, and add a stamped sentiment.
Next, you will need to emboss your base cardstock using the Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder and a Cuttlebug or similar machine.

Now it is time to assemble- Place the two wavy stripes down the sides of the yellow pennant and then attach to the raised embossed side of the base card. And there you have it, a cute cupcake card!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Food: BLT Mac and Cheese

One of my guilty pleasures when I was breastfeeding was watching the Rachael Ray Show. I like most of her recipes and here is one that my whole family enjoys.

BLT Mac and Cheese

5 slices bacon
200g macaroni
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp turmeric
125g cream cheese
2 cups grated cheese
6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 bag lettuce leaves

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. In a frying pan, cook the bacon until crispy.

Meanwhile bring a pot of water to the boil, and add the salt and pasta. Cook for 5-7 minutes and drain.

In a saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer. Whisk in the turmeric and cream cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 1 3/4 cups of the grated cheese until melted, then add the bacon, tomatoes and pasta. Transfer to a casserole dish.

Bake for 25 minutes. In the meantime, roughly tear up the lettuce leaves. In a bowl mix together the yogurt and vinegar, then stir through the lettuce leaves.

Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Craft: Paper Strips

I always end up with leftover odds and ends of paper, and I have finally found a way to use them all up instead of my usual card borders. Here is a layout I did of my son when he was five months old. It is very simple- I just added different widths and lengths of paper strips behind the photo and then added some journalling and a title. The whole page took me less than 15 minutes and the paper doesn't distract from the photo or journalling.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Food: Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

If you are like me, you always have a banana or two lying around that is past the eating stage. And banana chocolate chip muffins, while popular in my house, get a bit boring after a while. I found this recipe on Baking Bites and it is very delicious! The peanut butter gives the muffins an interesting flavour and the oatmeal and lack of butter or white sugar makes it healthier than other banana muffins.
Banana Peanut Butter Muffins


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup instant oats*
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 med.)
6 tbsp peanut butter (pref. creamy)
1 cup milk1 tbsp white vinegar

*If you do not have instant oats, you can grind regular porridge oats in the food processor to make them smaller.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Place the milk in a cup and add the vinegar, and let sit for 3 minutes until the milk has curdled. (This is how to make buttermilk if you don't have proper buttermilk on hand.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, mashed banana, peanut butter and milk until very smooth, making sure all egg has been well-incorporated.

Pour into flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain.

Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin tin, filling each just about up to the top. I made some regular sized ones for my husband, and mini muffins for my toddler.

Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Craft: ABC Book

I have finally finished a book I plan to give my son for Christmas. I found a lot of people doing ABC books for their children on some scrapbooking forums I visit, so I decided to give it a go myself. I wanted to really personalise it with photos of my son with the people and things he loves. Here is a selection of some of my favourite pages from the book.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Craft:Scrap FX challenge

I have been working hard on some challenges to keep me motivated, and here is my latest effort! My husband's cousin has just become a father and so I thought I would make a card for them. His wife is Spanish, hence the Spanish title.

The challenge that this was inspired by is from Michelle Logan's blog- She makes some amazing layouts and so when she issued this challenge I thought it would make me step outside of my comfort zone as I do not like working with the colour pink. The criteria for the card, layout or altered project were:
  • Follow her blog
  • Pink
  • Chipboard
  • Paint/mist/ink
Here is the card:

The background cardstock was pink, as well as the polka dotted paper and the flower. The flower is chipboard and I applied some pink and gold shimmer ink to it. I also embossed some butterflies with polka dots and adhered them to the card to give a nice 3D efect. I particularly like the pink button I put in the middle of the chipboard flower for the finishing touch. I hope you like it Michelle!
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