Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In Our Garden (Part 2) ....

We have our first lot of strawberries! Riley is loving them.

We also have zucchinis! We've already used a couple in our zucchini slice that we had for dinner, yum.

Oh and remember the monarch caterpillars that I posted about here? Well they are not so little anymore, it's crazy how fast they're growing!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Loving ....

I have a thing for books .... not just any books but fantasy books. I LOVE them, the bookshelf in my bedroom is overflowing with my 'collection'.

I very rarely buy brand new books so I love a good second hand book store. Today I found the best one yet. We were just driving around doing a bit of shopping when I saw it and we decided to stop. We walked in and were greeted by row upon row of books .... about half of them were fantasy books. It. Was. Awesome.

Phil managed to drag me away with only 5 books but I had such a hard time narrowing down my choices I could easily have bought half the books in the store! Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little but seriously this store was like a fantasy readers dream.

What are you loving this week? (Link up with Paisley Jade here)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Creative Space: Christmas Tree Decorations

I have been making super cute little mitten decorations ....

Inspired by this pin here (I've finally been sucked into the world of pinterest)
Aren't they sweet?! A little bit fiddly (mainly ironing and sewing the fabric cuff) but overall I love how they turned out. If I have time I might have to make one for Riley and embroider his name and the year on the front of it.

Joining in with Our Creative Spaces.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Our Garden ....

We have monarch caterpillars and lots of them! It's so cool watching them grow.

Riley checks on them everyday and yesterday we even performed a rescue mission when Riley found one of the itty bitty caterpillars on the concrete about a meter away from the swan plants. Good thing it didn't get squished!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nosey Parker in the Neighbourhood ....

I am so excited about Kat's Nosey Parker in the Neighbourhood linky party! What a great way to get to know fellow bloggers a bit better.

Diary of a Flutter.Kat

Tell us about your home/where you live ....
We're a family of 3 living in a little country called New Zealand. We're originally from Wellington (the capital city) but due to Phil's work we had to move to Christchurch where we've been living for 3 years now.

New Zealand is made up of 2 main islands and Christchurch is located on the east coast of the South Island. Some of you may have heard of it because of all the earthquakes we have had over the last year. It has been tough for everyone living here but we were among the lucky ones. Our home (rental) was undamaged and our lives go on as normal ....

Before the earthquakes Christchurch was known for it's large number of heritage buildings. Unfortunately a lot of these were damaged in the quakes and continuing aftershocks and had to be demolished. The fate of the iconic Christchurch cathedral is still being debated.

Christchurch Cathedral before the quakes.
All this talk of earthquakes is making the place sound awful but believe me it's not all bad.

What are the houses like in your area?
The houses are mainly detached and with the cities heritage there are a number of brick houses still.

What are some of your favourite places to visit or favourite things to do in and about your city?
In the summer (and having a small child) we like going to Orana Wildlife Park. It's a great place to spend the day but the park is quite spread out so there's a fair bit of walking involved. The cool thing about Orana is that it gives you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the animals. 

Riley's favourite bit is feeding the giraffes ....

We also like going to the beach in the Summer holidays. New Brighton beach has a long pier that you can walk down and people often fish off the end of it.

How do most people travel around your town/city?
Car .... Christchurch has a large number of cyclists as well. This is because the city is nice and flat and easy to get around. The city also has a good public transport system.

Me on the other hand, I travel via my own 2 feet unless of course Phil is here to drive us. Luckily for me we have a number of places within walking distance from our house - Riley's Kindy, various shops (dairy, take aways, hairdressers etc), primary school, the park and medical center.

Is there a type of food that would be quintessential to where you live?
I don't think so .... pineapple lumps maybe?
Love them! Pineapple Lumps are chocolates with a chewy pineapple flavoured centre.

Edited to add: 
L&P!! "World famous in New Zealand" .... (thanks Kat for the reminder)
L&P stands for Lemon and Paeroa. It's a fizzy drink but I personally can't stand the stuff.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about my corner of the world. I know it doesn't sound all that exciting but it's where we call home .... for now.

Linking up here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Creative Space: Christmas Stocking

Still carrying on my Christmas crafting and I have now finished Riley's stocking ....

I used the pattern from here as I really liked the shape of it and this tutorial here to put it together.

I still have terrible trouble with bias binding and the stocking didn't really need it but I think it looks better with a bit of plain colour at the top (it's the same colour as the lining). Riley is super excited about leaving it out for Santa on Christmas eve.

Joining in with Our Creative Spaces.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Proud Mummy

I am so proud of my little boy, he constantly amazes me.

Up until a couple of weeks ago he couldn't hold a pencil properly and looked really awkward every time that I'd get him to try. Then one day it just clicked and now he's super keen on learning to write his name and when he draws it's all very precise and controlled. You can see shapes and lines instead of just random scribbles and he thinks about what he is drawing/writing (all this just in time for his b4 school check too).

He's been practicing his R's and they're looking really good (I love how he gets all excited/proud when he does a good job). Next we'll be moving on to the 'e' but he's convinced himself that it's going to be tricky so we'll see how we go. 

I still don't know whether he's right or left handed though and he continues to use both hands with the same level of dexterity ....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Scrapping: The Week Thats Been

I still have a snotty little boy with me but he WILL be going back to Kindy tomorrow. That way I'll be able to get some things done. With Christmas approaching at such a fast rate there is a lot to do! Thankfully I've finished most of my Christmas shopping and what's left will be easy enough to get done in the next couple of weeks.

Here are some of my layouts that I did last week:

Joyful Moments Page Kit by Christine Gundersen
Giggle, Laugh and Love Deluxe Word Art by Christine Gundersen
Credits: Howl-O-Ween Sights Page Kit by Heidi Kuester
Island Paradise Value Collection by Erica Belton
Seasonal Groupie Set by Erica Belton

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Creative Space: Sock Monkey

One of the projects on my Christmas list was to make a sock monkey for Riley ....

I was a bit apprehensive when I started as I'm not very good at hand stitching. Luckily for me this project is really forgiving and I'm so pleased with how the little guy turned out. I used this tutorial here. I changed his ears slightly and you may notice that he is lacking a mouth but I like him that way.

Joining in with Our Creative Spaces.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scrappy Swap - Complete

Check out my lovely scrappy package from Chrissa over at A Snapshot of Us.

There were 3 parts to the package that we had to put together for our partners - a fat quarters worth of scraps, a scrappy goodie and something unique to where we're from.

Here are my gorgeous new scraps from Chrissa ....

I just love this gorgeous scrappy quilted bunting that she made. It will look perfect hanging in my sewing room.

And some lovely postcards so I can learn a little bit about where she's from.

Thanks Chrissa, I love it all!

And here is the finished package that I sent to my partner, Sheila over at bluepatch quilter ....

I had heaps of fun doing this swap. A big thank you to Kat for organizing it all.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Scrapping: The Week Thats Been

3rd week into the school term and Riley has caught his latest bug, just as we're settling back into our old routine too. He is loving Kindy at the moment and is starting to show an interest in writing his name thanks to the kid's sign in sheet that they have started using.

Anyway here's a layout from last week:

Credits: Club Digital November 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Christmas Challenge List

The Christmas challenge began on the 1st of November and our first task was to post our Christmas list of what we hoped to achieve this month.

My list is only short but knowing me I'll probably end up adding more things to it as the month goes on ....
- Make a sock monkey for Riley
- Make some Christmas crackers
- Make a Christmas stocking for Riley
- Make an advent calender (I have been procrastinating about this for ages!)
- Make some Christmas tree ornaments
- Make some Christmas cards

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Things I'm Loving ....

Loving this little boys new summer pj's and that the weather has actually been warm enough for him to wear them!

Loving these books ....

Loving making a start on some Christmas projects with the help of the Christmas Challenge.

Loving that Riley is finally showing an interest in learning to write his name (thank you Kindy)!
Love my clever little boy.

What are you loving this week? (Link up with Paisley Jade here)


Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Creative Space: Grocery Bag Dispenser

This project was so satisfying. Quick, easy and functional with very little wastage from 2 fat quarters. I love opening the pantry and seeing it hanging on the inside of the door instead of the big, ugly box that my plastic bags were kept in before.

Joining in with Our Creative Spaces.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Recipe: Chocolate Cake

This is our favourite chocolate cake recipe. It makes quite a thin cake so when I want a taller cake (like for birthdays) I double the recipe.

50g butter
1tbsp golden syrup
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence
1tsp baking soda
3/4 cup milk

Melt the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Put melted ingredients into a large bowl. Add egg and sugar and beat well.

Sift the cocoa, flour and baking powder together. Fold sifted ingredients and vanilla into egg mixture.

Dissolve baking soda in milk and fold into egg mixture.

Pour mixture into a lined 20cm cake tin and bake at 190 degrees for approx 30 minutes. Leave in tin for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack.

Find more recipes here.