Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas traditions

I usually do lots of Christmas cooking, but this year I just made a double batch of one special recipe.


These are Vanilla Kipferl, a traditional Austrian Christmas cookie, but known to my family as Oma's biscuits. My mother-in-law would always bake a huge batch of these every Christmas, but as she is no longer with us I now try to keep up the tradition. I hope that Julia will continue this each Christmas when she gets older. 

Best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year.

Christine xx

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas wishes

Last year, Julia (then Miss 4) asked Santa for just one thing, a Yo Gabba Gabba DVD. And whenever anyone asked her what she wanted from Santa, she would tell them very quickly and running all the words together like this:

"AYoGabbaGabbaDVDtheonewithToodieonthefront".

No-one actually knew what she was saying and I was constantly translating for her. Fortunately Santa understood, and she was a very happy girl on Christmas morning.

This year she is giving Santa a few ideas to choose from. Fortunately she knows that Santa can't fit very much in his sack as he has to carry toys for all the kids in the world, so she isn't expecting Santa to bring everything on her list.


I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and hope you enjoy some time with friends and family. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa - Christmas Crafts



I was looking back at my Christmas blog posts from last year. Julia (Miss 5) and I cooked and crafted our way through December - wow, we were busy!

This year I will admit we are taking things a little slower. Whilst the elves have been visiting nightly and leaving a chocolate in the mini stockings, I just have one Christmas craft to share so far - this colourful Christmas wreath. Julia loved making this and it was super easy to do!


Step 1 - Visit The Reject Shop or similar discount store.
Step 2 - Purchase a tinsel wreath and colourful, wrapped lollies or chocolates.
Step 3 - Tie lollies or chocolates onto wreath with ribbon.
Step 4 - Hang on door, stand back and admire!

I have some Christmas cooking on my list of things to do, hopefully I will have time to get started on that soon! 

P.S. There's still time to purchase personalised books for Christmas gifts... books are usually posted within 2-3 days of your order & payment. And postage is free!

Santa
Deluxe Personalised Children's Book
$21.50 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Superman - Everyone loves a super hero!



Julia (Miss 5) loves super heroes. She will happily play Batman on the X-Box with her Daddy and she loves to dress up in her magic cape and rescue Barbie dolls from the evil teddy bears.

But there is one superhero that outshines all others - Mario. I'm not even sure that this short Italian plumber can be classed as a superhero, except that he does have to rescue Princess Peach from the evil Bowser, and he has Luigi as his sidekick. Julia loves this guy and can play Super Mario Bros like a pro, on the Wii and the DS. She even has invisible friends called Mario and Luigi who have been visiting our house for at least a couple of years now. They usually get blamed for anything that goes wrong around here... 

So for her recent birthday, I could not go past this wonderful Mario dress from Nicola at Enoch & Plonk. It is refashioned from a fabulous Mario t-shirt which has been upcycled and totally set off by the contrast sleeves and neckline. Julia loved it and I could hardly get her to take it off for several days!


If you like this Enoch & Plonk dress, you should see the others Nicola has in stock and planned! Take a look at her website blog for new collection and design news, then make sure you like Enoch & Plonk on Facebook and sign up to her newsletter to keep up to date with all the E&P happenings. You can also shop direct via Etsy and Big Cartel.

Superman & Wonder Woman

Deluxe Personalised Children's Book
$21.50 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Ballerina Princess - the princess party!



Julia is now Miss 5 and to celebrate she had a fabulous princess birthday party on the weekend. The party girls played pass the parcel, steal the dragon's treasure, kiss the frog, treasure hunt and dancing games like musical cushions and musical bobs.
We ate fairy bread, sausage rolls, cocktail frankfurts and carrot fritters. We also had mini caramel tarts, chocolate brownies and jelly cups. And a birthday cake of course - a princess castle!
Julia loved her balloons and streamers, and everyone received a party bag that they filled with all their games prizes. I used mini blackboards from Sonni Lou Designs to label each of the party bags for the girls. Julia's party dress was made by Tina at Tink Handmade. Isn't it just gorgeous!
We finished the party with some cookie decorating. The whole kit was provided by Becca's Biscuits - large plain white iced tiara shaped biscuits, edible ink pens and bags & bows. The party girls loved creating their own designs on the biscuits and they were delicious too! 

Ballerina Princess
Deluxe Personalised Children's Book
$21.50 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ballerina Princess - Party Planning



Last year I had a mermaid party to plan. This year Miss Julia will be turning 5 and her chosen theme is a princess party.


The date has been set, the invitations have been sent and the menu has been selected. The games have been arranged, prizes and decorations bought, and Julia has chosen a cake.

Now all I have to do is prepare the banquet and make the cake look something like a castle. Wish me luck... 

I looked back at my last party planning post here, and I seem to be doing all the same things as last year. All Julia's favourite party things - balloons, streamers, fairy bread and pass-the-parcel. The main difference is the colour scheme this year will be pink and purple instead of green and blue.

All the things on Julia's birthday list this year are still the lovely, simple things that I remember from my own childhood. 5 year olds are easy to please too! 

Julia's party invitations were made by Amy at Duck Duck Goose (now One Sixteenth Designs). 

Ballerina Princess
Deluxe Personalised Children's Book
$21.50 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A quick blog post - Be prepared, Batman!



This is just a great quote from a fabulous super hero:

Robin: "Where'd you get a live fish, Batman?" 
Batman: "The true crimefighter always carries everything he needs in his utility belt, Robin."

Just like a Mum always carries everything in her handbag. Awesome! 

Batman - Deluxe Personalised Children's Book
$21.50 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Calisthenics - Miss Julia, take a bow!

On the weekend Julia (Miss nearly 5) performed in her end-of-year concert for Calisthenics. She has enjoyed her year so much, and is really keen to do it all again next year. Yay!

Being the proud Mum that I am, I thought I would share a few photos of her final performance on stage this year.


If you'd like to find out more, please take a look at Calisthenics ACT if you are in Canberra like me, or Calisthenics Australia for more information about Calisthenics in other states.

Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.


Personalised Children's Books
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Gooloogong... a traveller's oasis!

On our recent family car trip we took a break in a little village called Gooloogong.


The park was such a lovely place to stop.


It was so beautifully maintained with a great playground, clean toilets, barbeque facilities and a wonderful display of town history.


The town is located midway between Forbes and Cowra in NSW. If you are travelling that way, plan on a stop here!


Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.


Personalised Children's Books
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Monday, October 24, 2011

God Loves Me - Follow that star to Parkes!



On our recent family holiday we drove to Orange to visit our cousins and Dubbo to visit the zoo. We took the route through Parkes on the way home. Here is a snippet of a conversation with Julia (Miss nearly 5) whilst travelling:

Me: "We're on the road to Parkes now. Someone very special that you know was born in Parkes." 

Julia: "I know... Jesus!" 

Me: "Ummm.... no. Your grandmother."
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Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.

God Loves Me
Deluxe Personalised Children's Book
$21.50 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.


Monday, October 17, 2011

We're off to see the Wizard...

We went to the theatre on Saturday afternoon in Canberra to see Phoenix Players presentation of The Wizard of Oz.

Here is Julia, all ready to go. She is dressed in her Wizard of Oz pinny from Possum & Sweetpea. Kristy and Kylie make beautiful dresses, skirts, pants and lots of other handmade goodies which you can purchase from their madeit store.


What a wonderful performance! Julia loves the movie and was entranced by the story on stage.

At intermission I turned to Julia and said "These seats are great aren't they!" She turned around in her seat and looked at the upholstery. "Oh yes Mum, these are great seats". Miss Literal strikes again. 

After the show, Julia got to meet the cast members in the theatre foyer. She was thrilled that they all loved her dress! 

The show runs for another week, so you might still be able to get tickets. Take a look at the theatre company website for more details.

Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.


Personalised Children's Books
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

God Loves Me - Theology 101 with Miss Julia



A curious conversation with Julia (Miss nearly 5) just the other day whilst driving:

Julia: "God can't be everywhere Mum. He's not in a tree or in a sign. And He's not flat on the road or on tiles. He's puffed up." 

Me: "Like 3-D?" 

Julia: "Yes, but you can't see Him puffed up until you're in heaven." 

Me: "Maybe you can say that He's all around us then."

Julia: "Yes, He's all around, but not in signs." 

Deep.

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Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.

God Loves Me
Deluxe Personalised Children's Book
$21.50 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Calisthenics - Final competition for the year...

Last weekend saw Julia (Miss nearly 5) in her last Calisthenics competition for the year. She practised every day in the few weeks leading up to this competition and was really looking forward to performing on stage again.

Such a wonderful result! Her team placed second overall in the Tinies division of the ACT Team Championships, with places in every discipline - free exercises, rods, aesthetics and folk & character dance. It truly was a wonderful achievement for all the girls!

For most of the girls in Julia's Tinies team, it was their first year of calisthenics. All praise must go to her coach Kirsty for her wonderful routines, awesome energy and in particular the way she cares for each and every one of her girls. Huge thanks must also go to team assistants Chelsea, Sam, Caitlyn and Jess, and team manager Nicky for making the day a success once again.

Julia is very happy with her haul of ribbons for the year - she has two each of blue, red, green and yellow. Here she is ready to go on stage for her rods routine. (Hubby says she looks like she's ready for a role in Rocky Horror, but he's as proud as any Dad could be!)


If you'd like to find out more, please take a look at Calisthenics ACT if you are in Canberra like me, or Calisthenics Australia for more information about Calisthenics in other states.

Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.


Personalised Children's Books
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mini-Me Handcrafts - Christmas in July II

I loved participating in The Oz Material Girls Christmas in July Craft Swap this year. You may have seen my crafting efforts in a previous post. Now I'd like to show you the most beautiful gift I have received from my swap partner Jo.


This craft bag is beautifully quilted in such divine fabric and will be perfect for keeping my crochet hooks and all my little bits and pieces together.


Jo also included two little gifts inside the bag: a sweet lucky owl which was happily taken by Julia (Miss nearly 5) and has now found a home beside her bed, and the most beautiful buttons. I just need to find a project worthy of such buttonly prettiness!

Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.

Personalised Children's Books
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Day on Sesame Street - Alphabet Cookies



It was my husband's birthday last Friday so he took the day off work. Hooray! Julia (Miss four-and-a-half) was very excited to make a special birthday lunch for her Daddy. We made sausage rolls for a lunchtime treat.


Setting the table was the best part. Julia was thrilled that we used a tablecloth (we usually use placemats) and she had chosen some party hats for us to wear. 


But the best part was the cookie decorations. Julia had such fun putting her birthday message together from letter cookies I purchased from Beccas Biscuits.  


They made such a lovely, colourful centrepiece and Beck decorated the biscuits beautifully. Lemon cheesecake is the cookie flavour we love the most - just fabulous!


You can see more of Beck's wonderful creations on Facebook or on her website.

Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.


My Day on Sesame Street
Deluxe Personalised Children's Book
$21.50 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Gallery - A happy memory...


Once again I'm joining Tara's Sticky Fingers blog for The Gallery ... the theme this week is A Happy Memory. 


This happy memory is bringing Julia home from hospital after her birth. It was such a highly anticipated moment; everything was so new and wonderfully exciting. I could never have imagined how wonderful this journey would be!

If you would like to join in too, please take a look at Sticky Fingers!


Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.


Personalised children's books
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mini-Me Handcrafts - Mini Tea Set

I have busy crocheting lots of play food and one of my most popular items is a mini tea set.


The set has 9 pieces including 2 cups and saucers, teapot, sugar bowl and creamer.


I recently made a set for auction at Raising Hope for Brittany. The generosity of bidders was so amazing that I had to add something extra for the winner - a little selection of oreos, jam drops & choc chip cookies on a matching plate.


Please take a look at Raising Hope for Brittany on Facebook - you will see there is a Spring Auction on right now for some amazing items, including another of my little tea sets.


All money raised from the auction will be going to Raising Hope for Brittany to assist with disabled equipment and medical treatment for Brittany - a 14 year old girl who has an acquired hypoxic brain injury. Every little bit helps to make a difference and a positive impact on Brittany's life.

Please be generous in your bidding - I would love to add a mini cookie selection to the tea set!

Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.


Personalised Children's Books
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Our Handmade Father's Day

Julia (Miss four-and-a-half) was so excited about Father's Day this year.

First she made a card and a key tag at pre-school. She has the most wonderful teachers who put in so much effort to make sure that all the kids could take home something that their Dad would love.


The craft didn't stop at school - at home we made a book for Dad with lots of pictures and special things about Dad. Some of the ideas for the book came from one of my favourite blogs - Toni at Make It Perfect.


Julia loved decorating hankies with fabulous drawings for Dad. Fabric textas are so easy to use and can be used on so many things to make a colourful gift.


Our last craft was biscuit decorating. I bought a fabulous cookie decorating kit from Beccas Biscuits which included six large plain white iced biscuits (Julia and I chose gingerbread), presented in a gift tin with a packet of edible ink pens. Julia loved creating her own designs on the biscuits (and they were delicious too!)


Bec is going to make these kits available on a regular basis; please take a look at her wonderful creations on Facebook or on her website.


Dad loved his gifts and Julia was so proud of her creations!

Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.


Personalised Children's Books
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Teddy Bear Land - Imaginary Friends



Julia (Miss four-and-a-half) has quite a few imaginary friends. Her favourite imaginary friends are Mario and Luigi (of Super Mario Bros fame) and a handful of "bug friends" in various colours. Her friends visit our house regularly and she is always making up stories about them and their adventures. She will also quite often blame them for various things she has done! Her stories are clever and imaginative, and whilst she can talk the hind leg off a donkey, I love to listen to her tales.

Sometimes her Dad and I try to join in with her fun, but she won't have a bar of it. Here is a recent conversation:

Dad: "Your bug friends have come inside, they must be cold out there".

Julia: "No, they are still outside".

Dad: "No, they're right behind you".

Julia: "You can't tell, they're invisible".

Dad: "I can see them".

Julia: "No, you can't, they're imaginary friends".

What can you say to that? Julia 1 - Dad 0.


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Crocheted goodies handmade by me
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.

Teddy Bear Land
Deluxe Personalised Children's Book
$21.50 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Justice League - Super Julia



Julia (Miss four-and-a-half) loves super heroes. Batman and Spider-Man are her favourites.


Here she is in her superhero cape made by Roz from Skidamarink (I love you). Roz makes magic capes in a range of colours, as well as gorgeous peasant dresses and applique tops for boys and girls.

Julia loves to wear her cape - sometimes she is a super hero and other times she is a wizard (just like Harry Potter of course). It can be a cloak of invisibility, a pirate cape or even a detective cape. It's one of her favourite dress up costumes.

She may not be big enough to save the world yet, but my favourite super hero is Super Julia of course!

Justice League - Giant Personalised Children's Book
$25.10 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Gallery - Black and White...


Once again I'm joining Tara's Sticky Fingers blog for The Gallery ... the theme this week is Black and White.


I love this stunning black and white tiling which is located at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra. This heritage listed hotel has been beautifully restored and offers a wonderfully indulgent morning tea on weekends. My husband and I were married there, and we like to revisit for our wedding anniversary each year. 

This photo was taken a few years back with Julia (then Miss 2) sitting for her photo after our sumptuous morning tea.


If you would like to join in too, please take a look at Sticky Fingers!


Handmade crocheted goodies
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.


Personalised children's books
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Listography - Guilty Pleasures


Once again I'm joining Kate Takes 5 for Listography, and the topic this week is guilty pleasures. Yes, I have a few...


1. Recipe books and magazines

I love to cook new things, but they have to be QUICK and EASY. The ingredients lists must be short and mostly stocked in my pantry. There must be minimal use of pots and pans.

Thanks to my wonderful Mum, I have subscriptions to two recipe mags which provide me with plenty of new ideas!


2. KFC

Popcorn chicken. Yum!


3. Yarn

Since picking up crocheting again recently, I have amassed quite a stockpile of yarn. I can't seem to walk past Lincraft anymore without picking up a couple of balls. Now I know how those who stock up on fabric feel about Spotlight.


4. Facebook games

I love to take time out and play.


5. Handmade dresses

Why do I have so many Facebook friends who make beautiful girl's dresses? Julia (Miss four-and-a-half) has so many already in her wardrobe, but I'm sure there is room for more!

(This one is from Sugar an Spice on Facebook).

If you would like to join in too, please take a look at Kate Takes 5!

Handmade children's ponchos, scarves & lots more
Available now from Mini-Me Handcrafts.


Personalised Children's Books
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.