Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let's celebrate!

Happy New Year to you all. I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to each and everyone of you who have taken time to read and comment or read silently. I truly enjoy spending time blogging and I look forward to sharing more with you in 2010.


Image via Elle

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

merry christmas messagechristmas card

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dollar Family Gingerbread House 2009

Mum (me) and Aunty Sam baked and assembled the house. We had to remove the roof though, as we left the cans of soup we used to keep it upright whilst drying inside. I cannot tell you how much we laughed last night while we assembled this house. Decorated by Olivia (5 years old), William (3 years old), Cullen (7 years old) and Matt (5 years old).

kids gingerbread house 2009

Next year I'll also decorate one all by myself. Call me selfish, but I NEED to make one of these and I must have total artistic control! I've already started to brainstorm ideas for a sugar cookie Easter Bunny house - cute, cute, cute!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wish we were here

Next year maybe? It's confirmed. I'm in the wrong hemisphere.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Festive Inspiration

A collection of images that I've fallen in love with this holiday season. You can see why ......

a4 christmas inspiration

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Vintage ornament wreath

I was introduced to Shiny Brites last year by Hayley and Tracey at Porchlight Interiors just in time for Christmas. So off I went searching Ebay USA for these sparkley little treasures. I found some just in time for the big fat man.

wreath 2008

This year I added a few dozen more to my collection and thought my 2008 wreath was in need of a little facelift. So last night at 10pm I decided it was now or never.

First I got out my hot glue gun and secured all the metal caps to the baubles. These little things are far to precious to me and I've lost a few that weren't secured well enough.

wreath steps glue

Next, I mapped out the colours and placement of the baubles on the coffee table whilst watching re-runs of Sex and the City.

wreath layout

After an hour of carefully tying them back on the wreath, this is the finished product.

wreath full bright

Hope you like my vintage wreath as much as I do.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Cookie Mix Jars

Reindeer Cookie Jars

A few months back I fell in love with these cookie mix jars Bakerella made and knew straight away that I wanted to make them for Christmas.
I showed a friend of mine (Leanne) and she fell in love instantly too. Leanne took the gorgeous photos of Olivia's birthday party earlier this year.

Cookie Jar labels

We sourced some jars locally, Leanne created the gorgeous labels and we used fabric and twine from my stash. The major hurdle to overcome was getting the MM's. Luckily I have a very generous friend in the USA that shipped them to me. For those of us in Australia, Mars decided in their wisdom, not to produce the Christmas coloured packs of MM's this year. So your options are to get a friend to send them from the States or to pick through the normal packs of MM's. Good times!

Reindeer cookie jars

If I were to make these again (and I most likely will) I would only put half the amount of flour in the bottom of the jar and then place the remainder on the top to even the layers out.

I'm in the middle of gifting these to teachers, neighbours, friends and family and I must say the response has been lovely.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Cookie Collection

I've been inspired by so many of my American friends and their winter Christmas, that last night I decided to make Winter Wonderland Gingerbread Cookies. I love the way they turned out.

Winter Wonderland of Cookies

Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas Cookies

I used the Gingerbread Cookie Recipe I posted earlier and covered them in fondant and sprinkled with a little edible disco glitter! You've got to love that sparkley stuff!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas preparations

busy, busy, busy

Between ballet concerts and kindy breakups we have been busy putting together our homemade gifts for family and friends this Christmas.

Hope your preparations are going well!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Candy Cane Chocolate Hearts

candy cane hearts

Here is a super easy (and tasty) treat you can make in minutes. I think these would be gorgeous bagged up little cellophane bags tied with pretty ribbon.
They would also be an easy activity to do with children on the school holidays.

What you will need:
Candy canes - if you want to make 10 hearts, you'll need 20 candy canes
White chocolate
Dark chocolate
Sprinkles or non-pareils

What to do:
Unwrap all your candy canes and place them in the shape of a heart on baking paper.
Heat chocolate and spoon into the centre of the hearts. Be sure to fill all the little nooks.
I made all of mine with dark chocolate base and topped some with white choc as well.
Sprinkle with your choice of non-pareils an let set. Note that white chocolate takes a little longer to set than dark choc.

Now, nibble on them with a friend with a good cup of coffee or give as a sweet gift this Christmas.

:: Candy Cane Chocolate Hearts ::


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gingerbread Cookies

For those readers who wanted a simple cookie recipe that tastes great, but doesn't need a whole lot of decoration, then have I got the cookie for you.

Let me introduce you to ......

Picture 3

Gingerbread Cookies


6 tablespoons of golden syrup

150 grams of butter

2 tablespoons of water

3 teaspoons of ginger

2 teaspoons of all spice

150 grams of sugar

1 teaspoon of baking soda

450 grams of flour


Pre heat oven to 180ยบ Celsius

In a large saucepan place golden syrup, sugar, water and spices. Using a wooden spoon, mix together over low heat. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly.

Remove from the element.

Add butter then baking soda and stir well.

Slowly add the flour, mixing together to form a dough.

Spread some flour thinly on a board and taking half the dough, roll it out thinly and cut into shapes.

Bake for approx. 15 minutes.


Recipe from Steph via Kathryn

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We have two winners!

Thanks to everyone that entered my giveaway. There were so many yummy Christmas recipes, I think I'll have to try them all.
I used Random Number Generator to pick two winners, and they are ...............
Mummy and The Cake Maker.
Could you please both email me your name and address and I'll post off right away. Email is

I'm hoping to have another giveaway before Christmas, so say tuned.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas packaging giveaway!

If you would like the chance to win one of two Christmas gift packaging bundles, leave comment below and I'll pick two lucky random winners to be announced on Monday.

I have a stash of different Martha Stewart boxes, so I'll choose four different designs for each bundle. Please include your favourite holiday recipe in the comments section for your chance to win.

This giveaway is open to everyone, yes, I will post worldwide!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Freshly picked

I've said before how much satisfaction I get from picking flowers from my own garden. This time last year my hydrangeas looked like this

one of my fave flowers

and this morning I picked my first hydrangea stems and I placed them in our ensuite bathroom. I love them!

:: sweet indulgence ::

Oh what a difference a year makes in a young garden. And how indulgent it feels to have fresh flowers in my bathroom. I feel spoilt. What makes you feel spoilt?

:: bathroom beauties ::

Monday, November 16, 2009

My favourite girl toys for Christmas

I have a thing for anything wooden when it comes to children's toys. I've had an absolute ball researching what to give our children this year, so I thought I share with you some of my favourites.

I would say that the items I've selected would work for 2-7 year olds, depending on what they like to play with. Some items are available here in Australia, but alas ALOT of them are elsewhere in the world. This didn't stop me though!! I'm sure if you search hard enough you would find something similar in your country.

And no, I didn't buy all of these, just two of them! Let me know your favourites too.

Picture 6
Pretend ice-cream parlour. I am Olivia is going to have so much fun with this.

Picture 7

Mushroom Table and Stool set - I would have purchased this, if I didn't need to sell an organ to get it here.


Picture 4
Pink polka dot kitchen

Dress up centre


Market Shop Stand. I would have killed for this as a child. In a few shorts weeks time I'll be reliving my childhood. Woot woot!

I'll do a round up of my fave boys wooden toys tomorrow!