Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bananas, Baked Beans and Blood

The title of this post sounds like the world's most unappetising recipe- but these are actually some of the stains I come across on a daily basis. With two active boys in our house, their clothes certainly take a beating! My 13 month old son loves bananas, baked beans are a standard lunch, and my older boy is prone to bleeding noses.

Luckily, Napisan has been a saviour to my washing. I used to scrutinise every single piece of clothing before it went in the wash, but lately I have been using Napisan in each load and I have been really impressed with the results. I have also tried it as a soaking option and as a paste, and I thought you may like to see the results.

Firstly- the bananas. These are my son's pant after a banana and some yogurt at lunchtime.

I soaked these overnight in Napisan and then ran them through the washing machine on a cold wash. The result? No more banana or yogurt! I didn't even rinse the food off first.

Baked bean sauce was spilt down the front of a rather nice hooded jersey. The jersey sat unnoticed for a few days in the washing pile, and I came across it in the morning. With no time to soak before doing a load of washing, I just added some Napisan to my cold wash.

It still managed to get rid of the tomato sauce with no soaking required.

Lastly, my son had a bleeding nose and wiped it with his sleeve.

Blood calls for some heavy duty stain removal action, so I made a paste with the Napisan and some cold water and rubbed it into the sleeve. I could see it working as I rubbed it in.

After drying in the sun, the sleeve was back to normal.

I have a few more piles of washing, including stained bibs and dull whites, that I will share photos of with you once they have been given the Napisan treatment. It is very satisfying to see clean washing instead of scrutinising each piece of clothing and having to do two or more treatments.

I would love to hear any stain removal tips you have!

*Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned here were provided to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Best Friends Digital Layout

If you are a mother, you probably know those days when nothing goes right and your kids are being less than angelic. However, every now and then I capture a moment that makes me realise why I love having my two boys in my life.

These photos demanded a scrapbook page, and the team over at Just Add Ink have a Digital Scrapbooking challenge going so I have entered this page over there. I hope that you can see the love and joy between these two! The journaling says- "You two are so sweet to each other! These moments make me smile."

I am on a bit of a washi tape kick at the moment, so I had to add some digital tape to my layout. I combined the blues and greens with a gray paper for a boyish colour scheme without being too babyish, as my boys are growing up now and I need to use more vibrant colours in their layouts.

This layout will be going in both of their albums for 2013.

Digital supplies used:
Storybook Creator: Discover Digital Power Palette, Family Man Digital Kit, Seasons Digital Kit.
Font: Over The Rainbow.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Made in NZ Father's Day Gift Guide

I love supporting local businesses, and New Zealand has some wonderful shops online that cater for all sorts of people. With Father's Day coming up on Sunday 1st September, I thought I would share some Kiwi made gift ideas for your Dad.

The Photo-Loving Dad
These sweet Me & Dad magnets are fantastic on the fridge with a photo- what a great surprise for Father's Day. I have had mine since 2011 and still get comments about them! You can also put them on filing cabinets if he wants to display photos in the office Available from tinch.

The Car-Proud Dad
We all know a guy who loves his car, and these car mats are proudly made in New Zealand to deal with our weather conditions. No more traipsing mud into the car! Select your design based on car make and model from Rubbertree.

The Book-Loving Dad
This is The House That Jack Built with a New Zealand twist. Gavin Bishop is a wonderful New Zealand author and any of his books are a welcome addition in our house. A great book to read to children- my husband is in charge of bedtime books and this would be a firm favourite.
Purchase from Gecko Press, a wonderful book supplier that has books from New Zealand and around the world.

The Grill King Dad
This heavy duty BBQ cover will protect your dad's most prized possession and is NZ made, waterproof and UV treated. Grab one at Not Socks.

The Chef Dad
How cute are these wooden spoons? You can even customise it to your Dad's favourite colour or tie it in with your kitchen d├ęcor. Great for those Dads who are in charge of Scrambled Egg Sundays. Purchase via Jamie Kay.

The Tech Dad
Most men I know own a smartphone, laptop, tablet or gaming console of some kind. A NZ based business, Wrappz allows you to customise these items. How great would it be for your Dad to have his favourite photo of his kids on his iPhone or Playstation? Wrappz cases provide robust protection and are printed using the latest techniques to provide a visually stunning scratch resistant finish. Have a play and come up with a design that Dad will love.

The Comfortable Clothing Dad
Comfort always starts with the bottom layer, and Thunderpants are a great NZ company making underwear that is designed to not ride up your bum! They even have a special on at the moment, so grab a great deal.

The Family Man Dad
Another favourite gift in our house, this framed list of house rules is a lovely reminder of family bonding. Perfect for any Dad I think! Check out the full range of options at smartiepants.

The Bed Hog Dad
Some men won't stay on their side of the bed, no matter how hard you try! It gets even worse when the littlies climb in as well, leaving you with hardly any room to sleep. Try to combat the problem with these pillows from Hazel Loves Design.

I hope that you have been inspired by some of these suggestions. Which gift suits your Dad the best?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Birthday Girl

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, one of my very good friends is having a birthday today. We have been friends since we were 4 and went to the same kindergarten.

I made this card with guidance from An Inky Situation's colour challenge:

I don't have any Marina Mist inks- so I found some papers and a ribbon in my stash that looked close enough. I wanted to go with a floral theme but ended up mixing in a cupcake as well! No birthday is complete without cake.

Also joining in with the Seize The Birthday Anything Goes Birthday Celebration.
Supplies used:
Colorbok: Felt Buttons
Kaisercraft: Child's Play Collection Chinese Whisper Paper
Miscellaneous: Ribbon
Stampin Up: Whisper White cardstock, So Saffron Ink and Cardstock, Calyspo Coral Ink and cardstock, Bordering On Romance stamp set, Create a Cupcake stamp set and Punch, Sizzix Little Leaves.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Weekend of Birthdays

This weekend we will be celebrating my husband's birthday, as well as his uncle's 70th birthday with a family get together. One of my good friends is also having a birthday. Must be time to make some more birthday cards!

Just Add Ink is having a great challenge this week- Just Add Blokes!

This card is for my husband- a very blokey, DIY kind of man. I am very lucky that *most* of his handyman jobs work out well. I won't mention the time he cut through the telephone line... It was only appropriate that his card feature tools. I used a very masculine background stamp in Always Artichoke and added some Soft Suede cardstock that I had run through my Cuttlebug with a woodgrain look embossing folder.

I am also entering this card into the Fusion challenge:

I used the sketch on its side and also was inspired to use gold from the shells. I used a broken off piece from a measuring tape and added some brown cardstock that I inked to look like a saw embellishment under the sentiment oval.

I added some drawn on hand-stitching and matted the tools background with more of the patterned paper to tie everything together.

This card is also going into the Frosted Designs Fabulous Friday Challenge to use Embossing!

Supplies used:
Stampin' Up: Tool shed background stamp, Bring on the Cake stamp set, Always Artichoke and Soft Suede ink, Soft Suede cardstock, Well Worn paper, Woodgrain embossing folder.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Winter ONEderland party

My baby has just turned one, and I had seen so many posts when my older son was born about a Winter Onederland party on my Facebook Mums group. Being in a different hemisphere to most of the American group members, I never had a chance to do this theme with my December boy. But Adam is a July baby and so the winter theme seemed to be perfect for his first birthday party.

Adam's birthday went according to plan after being postponed a week due to chickenpox, and I thought I would share with you some of the details of the day.

The first thing I thought about was the overall theme. Snowflakes, snowmen and penguins are symbols of winter, and the colours blue and white are great for both a winter and baby boy theme.

The wonderful people over at Stuck On You have just released a new party range, and luckily they had some wonderful blue and white options. Everything coordinates when you select your theme, which takes the guesswork out of trying to match everything. As well as colour options there are party supplies based on pirates, fairies, dinosaurs and other fun themes.

The first thing to set the theme was the invitation. Due to some postal delay issues I made up my own invitations on my digital scrapbooking software programme. I then sent them out with the personalised return address labels from Stuck On You, which had Adam's name and address on them. They even provided the blue and white striped envelopes.

When guests came to the door they were greeted by this cute little penguin bow, which my mother made.

The bunting decorations were made myself using some cardstock and an embossing folder. Some of them were hung up on Adam's wall frame that showed Adam at birth and then a recent photo of him, and some of them adorned his high chair, along with his name tag and Party Cup. The Party Cup was such a great idea for the birthday boy to feel special, and the bunting helped to tie in the theme.

We had a table set up for the kids to eat at, and each child had their own place card.

Of course, a massive part of the birthday celebration is the food. I had a table set up, as well as a fun hot chocolate bar, which I thought would be perfect for a winter themed party. The hot chocolate bar had more bunting above it as well. The topping were placed in individual icecream cups and labelled, and I even had Party Dots on the paper cups that said "Enjoy your Hot Chocolate!".

The children didn't miss out either, they had these cute milkshake snowmen with their own straws. The straws also had flags that were labelled "Snowman Milkshake" and the kids got a kick out of drinking straight from a milk bottle.

The food was mostly blue and white or winter themed, and each item had a wintery name. The Party Food Cards made it easy to let people know what they were eating, and it was fun coming up with names for everything. I personally made all of the food except the Snowballs (donuts) and have included recipe links where possible.

Cream Cheese Penguins

Frosty Cheeseball

Coconut Ice

Meringue Mounds

Snowflake Cake Pops- vanilla cake dipped in melted white chocolate tinted with blue food colouring and then decorated with cute snowflake sprinkles!

Penguin Cookies

Coconut and Chocolate Cupcakes- these had cupcake toppers on them that said "Winter ONEderland", which really brought the theme together at the table and looked very professional.

And the most anticipated food of all, the cake!

I wanted to make penguins on top of the cake but have had bad experiences with fondant, so I tried making modelling chocolate as per this tutorial. The cake was two layers of my favourite chocolate cake recipe,  covered in buttercream than fondant, and topped off with the penguins.

All of the children left with a little goodie bag full of treats and a water bottle- I thought that the melted snow label was very appropriate! The goodie bag consisted of a blue and white lollipop, some snowman snack mix (pretzel rods, marshmallows, jaffas and chocolate chips) and a thank you card. Once again, it was easy to keep the theme together with the matching Water Bottle Labels and Party Dots Cards, as well as the cute goodie bags!

The birthday boy had a fantastic time!

Linking up with Real Family Fun and Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday.



Confetti Sunshine: Hot Cocoa printables.

Kmart: White tablecloths, napkins, paper plates.

Lorraine Lea Linen: Snowflake Placemat (used as decoration).

Stampin Up: Blue cardstock, White cardstock, Northern Flurry Embossing Folder, Mini Glue Dots.

Stuck On You: Party In a Cup, Party Place Cards, Party Food Cards, Party Water Bottle Labels, Party Thank You Cards, Party Slim Address Labels, Party Bag Toppers, Party Dots Card, Party Dots, Party Straw Flags, Party Cupcake Toppers.

Sweet Pea Parties: Mini Milk Bottles, Baby Blue Straws, Wilton Lollipop Sticks, Paper Eskimo Blue Spots Baking Cups, Paper Eskimo Pastel Blue Spot Party Bags, Mini Lollipop - Blue/White, Regal Ice Fondant Icing - Baby BlueRegal Ice Fondant Icing - White, Grosgrain Ribbon Spots, Paper Cups, Sambellina Ice Cream Cups, Mini Table Runner.

The Cake Shop: Wilton Pearl Sparkle Gel, Snowflake Assorted Sugar Decorations, Pearlized Snowflake Sprinkles.

*Disclosure: Some of the products here were provided to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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