Saw It > Pinned It > Cooked It!

Pinterest: where have you been all my life! I like to think of you as my ‘most creative friend’, the avenues of inspiration are endless and who doesn’t need another time wasting web trend in their life? It’s my social networking dream site where personal information isn’t blurted around like verbal diarrhea (that’s right, I don’t want to know about every menial task you are performing in your day to day existence! If you want to talk about crap and think that everybody you know is actually interested in reading about it –  just start a blog instead ;P) and yet you can learn more about a person you have known for the last decade just by following their boards.

I never thought I would go off cooking as a way of expression, but since the combination of minimising sugar in my diet and becoming a Mum intertwined its way into my life, this medium of self expression has all but diminished.  Upon reflection, Baking was my real cooking passion and well there is just too much naughty, naughty and naughty involved! (Did I mention toddler M is having a Morning tea of cakes & sandwiches for his second birthday? ….. so yeah, my ex-passion does get to rear its ugly head on special occasion).

Where does Pinterest come in? It has made it easier to find Mummy friendly recipes and fumbling  across healthy snacks by accident is slowly reigniting the cooking flame in a new healthy-ish reincarnation.

So I saw these, Pinned them and cooked them:

Raw Energy Bars

Raw Energy Bars: Make again? Yes. These were super yummy! I substituted 100% peanut butter for the Cashew butter, omitted the apple sauce and halved the honey. It probably doesn’t need the honey, so next time I’ll omit the honey too.

Flax Seed-Oat Crackers

Flax Seed Oat Crackers: Make again? Yes. A healthy cracker for Toddler M, I don’t think they need any salt added, so next time get rid of the salt. *Disclaimer* these are prone to falling apart easily and can fast make a mess in the hands of a tiny tot… so I you are adverse to using a vacuum, then think twice before making 😛

Mini Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Cupcakes

Mini Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Cupcakes: Make again? Yes. I served these on top of a brown pasta vegetarian bolognese. I used a chedder cheese I had on hand which didn’t ooze out like in the pics, so next time I’ll try it with the advised mozzarella.

Smoothie: Ginger, orange, lemon, and carrot

Smoothie: Ginger, orange, lemon, and carrot. Make again? Maybe. Something didn’t sit right in my stomach with this smoothie. Maybe I used too much ginger? Or was it the lemon juice? I think I will give it another go or two, trying it without the ginger first and re-evaluating from there.

A Very Talented Nanna

I am like ‘The Lone Crafter’ in my family with my older women role models all having green thumbs when it comes to art & craft. My father and grandfather however, are/were both good with their hands being fitter & turners / mechanical engineers and have both enjoyed tinkering with greasy metal bits throughout their lives so I suppose my desire to create comes from the paternal side in my case.

My husband’s family is a refreshing contrast with the older ladies in the family all enjoying craft, the most outstanding role model being perhaps my husband Nanna.

Nanna has been both a teacher and an inspiration to me over the years. She has taught me to crochet and is currently teaching me to knit and I am honoured to have been spoilt with her company, patients, knowledge and handmade gifts. I always enjoy catching up with Nanna, crafting along with her and checking out her latest projects – she always has a few on the go like most hardcore crafters. Not bad for 88 years old!

She recently made this beautiful cardigan for toddler M (it will be entered into the Mt Gravatt Show craft section this year in the 70’s & 80’s knitting category – Good Luck Nanna!):

Cardigan for M knitted by Nanna

And this adorable top for the new born baby girl who will soon be making her début into the world:

Top for soon to be girl knitted by Nanna

I will be a very happy lady if I am half as capable at her age. Thank you Nanna for everything you have shared with me!



Christmas Advent Calendar Quilt – Free Pattern Download

Christmas is coming! It does seem to come around fast with a toddler in toe!

I love Christmas. It’s one of my ‘things’. I had fairly non-eventful Christmas’s growing up, Mum always worked and I have no siblings so it was just me, Dad and Nana on Christmas day. We always had a pleasant time but I have felt like I’ve missed out on something. I certainly didn’t have an advent calendar when I was a kiddo! (It’s official then, I was deprived!)

Toddler M is fast approaching 2. It has been an amazing ride, his learning seems almost tangible and it still boggles my mind the rapid change in just 21 months, it seems the perfect year to introduce him to the start of a family tradition – the Advent Calendar.

I have been compiling ideas and inspiration from other people’s creations for some time. I couldn’t find exactly what I was aiming for but there were a couple of things I was able to narrow down:
– Fabric was to be my chosen medium
– Count up the days (1-24) not count down (24-1)
– Same sized pockets
– Mixture of zipper pockets, button pockets and plain pockets

Here is what I came up with in the end, I’m happy with the final result and have started the Calender for the soon to be girl. I’m excited about the ‘girl’ version, a whole new world of trims and embellishments has been opened up to me. Sparkly, lacy, frilly – here I come!


For the back, I quilted some simple squares together from most of the left over fabric of the front pockets plus a couple of extra scraps I had on hand. You don’t have to do a quilted back of course, but it can be a good way to use up scraps. This post by I’m Feelin’ Crafty was used as inspiration for the corner and top flaps to hang the quilt.

I made my own binding for the quilt using some more left over material from the front pockets, working with a strip size of 2 ½ inches and machine sewing it to quilt using a fancy stitch detail. Here is a great youtube video showing you exactly what to do.

Free Pattern Christmas Advent Calender |

Free Pattern Christmas Advent Calender |

If you do happen to make a Bubbles Before Bath Time Advent Calender, please email through a pic to I would love to see it!

A New Phase and a Stupid Question

The new phase: M is drawing on surfaces other than the designated paper destinations.

The Stupid Question: “Is M allowed to draw on the floor?” – Husband. To which my answer was “No! OF COURSE NOT!?” insert thought here [do you really have to ask?!].

Yep, the dreaded I want to draw on everything and anything phase is here. I’m a little under prepared, to be honest I was hoping for a little more time before this one hit! *note to self: hire out some cleaning books from the library…. maybe SPOTLESS by Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming*.

We’ve already had a few victims:

Victim 1: Mr Snail
Victim 2: Mr Snail again (and after a good scrub!)
Victim 3: The Floor (and probably because Mr Snail was in Toy Hospital having cosmetic surgery to repair the most recent incident!)

Poor Mr Snail! - But always with a smile on his face *Bless Him*

Poor Mr Snail! – But always with a smile on his face *Bless Him*

The Floor

Any tips on removing crayons from plastic? I could do with some help!

Bubbles: 1 Mummy: 0

Mummy's Bubble Failure

I had a mummy fail over the weekend 😦 My first attempt at homemade bubble mixture was a bit of a disaster – it didn’t work, there were no bubbles. I don’t understand what happened? I found the recipe on Pinterest and the Pinterest God has never led me astray before!?

Toddler M didn’t seem to mind quite as much as me, he had a ball playing with the container full of soapy water and spent a good deal of time making “pretend” bubbles. The bubble wands were flying in and out of the mixture at rapid speed with mummies bubble failure being flung all over the place including cousin D’s eye. (Sorry cousin D :S).

So….. it was time to play with a ball instead.

Mummy's Bubble Failure

Fabulous Felt: Strawberries

Fabulous Felt: Strawberries |

I had always found felt a rather boring craft medium… and then I became a Mum and the world of felt opened up before my very eyes. I have to eat my words as I say ‘FELT IS AWESOME!’ (Yep, this is what your life amounts to when you become a crafty Mum, you’re excited by the idea of FELT, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!)

Strawberries were my first food of choice for toddler M’s play food assortment and why stop at one when you can have a whole punnet (20 hours or crafting later…)!

I followed this picture tutorial as a rough guide, making my own little adjustments along the way. 

Fabulous Felt: Strawberries |

Fabulous Felt: Strawberries |

Fabulous Felt: Strawberries |

I think toddler M likes them, he’s been throwing them around the lounge room all afternoon!

Watching the wheels… A Father’s Reflection

Watching the Wheels

Below is an extract from an email sent by my Husband to our family.

“M now 20 months old.

M a boy of immense character. Last night, I watched him pick up a mobile phone and have another “pretend” conversation, I watched his eyes widen as he tells a story to his pretend listener. His facial expressions, his arms and hands gesture and his fake laughs are brilliantly timed. He really looks and sounds as if he knows what he is talking about. So sincere, I’m sure the pretend person on the other end of the phone can picture M’s story vividly.

Late autumn, winter and early spring are most definitely Brisbane’s “peak seasons” of comfort. Today we found a brilliant patch of grass in a park by The Brisbane River in the suburb of Seventeen Mile Rocks. The ground was cool to the touch and the grass was so soft. Mattress like. It reminded us of the lush New Zealand and U.K grass we love so much.

With so much to worry about in the world, nothing could take away the joy of a good old fashioned play in the park. Who needs swings when you have the most awesome patch of grass all to yourself!”

Watching the Wheels

Watching the Wheels

Toddler T.A.R.D.I.S. Tee

Free Download: DIY TARDIS T-Shirt printing template

Yep, Hubby is a little geeky, he’s a massive Doctor Who fan (“old school Doctor Who that is, not the new modern shite the BBC are currently labelling as Doctor Who” …. blah, blah, blah). Personally, I quite liked the new Doctor Who up to and including David Tennant, but I’m not too fussed on the direction they have gone with the new guy?

As a result of his long lived childhood obsession, I have a house full of Doctor Who wares! There are books (alot of books), DVD’s (alot of DVD’s) and VHS’s (Yes, we are the only house on the planet who still have Videos!).

Then there’s the Doctor Who pinball machine, a bunch of Doctor Who memorabilia etc, etc, etc.

So we’re up to our eyeballs in Doctor Who and it is only a matter of time until toddler M is recruited to the family fan club! I thought I’d hurry the process along and make him a Time And Relative Dimension In Space (TARDIS) shirt. Hubby was thrilled!!

(BTW: My family fan club membership wasn’t optional, over the past decade I have been subjected to almost the entire 50 years of Doctor Who footage!)

So here’s what you’ll need to print your own TARDIS shirt:

  • My FREE downloadable TARDIS template .pdf (see below)
  • Cutting knife
  • Steel ruler
  • Silk screen
  • Fabric printing paint
  • Squeegee
  • T-shirt

Free Download: DIY TARDIS T-Shirt printing template

I found this outline pic of the TARDIS, printed it out and started work on my monochrome paper template and just because I’m nice 😛 (and I know what huge Doctor Who fans you all are) below is my finished template ready for you print out and start cutting. All you need to do is cut out the black bits and you are good to go!


Free Download: DIY TARDIS T-Shirt printing template

Next, grab your tee, lay down the cut out template and place the silk screen on top. Blob a dap of paint on the paper part above the cut outs and swipe you’re squeegee down until you have covered all the cut out bits. According to my paint instructions I had to bake my shirt for a couple of minutes to set the paint – so in the oven it went.

And there you have it! One Toddler Tardis Tee (and all finished before the time Hubby has stumbled out of bed)!

P.S. I can’t sleep-in anymore? What is with that?! Apparently I now only need 6 hours of sleep a night :(! (Ok, vent over.)

Free Download: DIY TARDIS T-Shirt printing template

Book Review: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Peggy Orenstein and her book first came into my knowledge during the promotion of ‘Cinderella Ate My Daughter’ on the local talk back AM radio station early last year. I jumped onto my local library’s online catalogue at the time but was disappointed to find it was not yet part of their collection 😦 So I submitted a book request and a year later I received a lovely letter saying my book was ready to pick up from the library LOL! Turns out the timing was perfect, I’m pregnant with number two – a little girl.

Peggy’s book is mainly a commentary on trying to deal with the pink princess syndrome which seems to have taken over a lot of girls in full force. I read this book looking for answers on how to deal with this problem and was left with the same questions unanswered when I finished the book. It turns out Peggy and I are facing the same problem and we are both (or will be) making our way through the same minefield of ‘the 21st century girl’. She did talk about the path which lead to this phenomenon, so that was useful. Did you know pink was considered a masculine colour a century ago? Yes, apparently it was… a tint of red (a highly masculine colour back then) and blue was considered very feminine – the colour of the Virgin Mary. So somewhere along the line it all changed and now you will find many a girl drowned in the colour pink.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter

A must read book for every parent? Having shared the same views as Peggy for some years now this book didn’t blow my mind with new concepts and life changing ideas. It did however give me more of a history to the feelings I have internalised for so long and in many ways it has hardened my resolve. I certainly believe every parent should be aware of the directions our children and ourselves get dragged by the marketing magnates of Mattel, Disney and the like and try our best not to get too sucked in. I would love to say I myself am immune to such a terrible thing but I too have ‘sucker’ printed on my forehead (Lego how I love you but hate you so!!).

So, will there be any princesses in my household? DEFINITELY NOT! Heroines? YES, YES, YES, PLEASE!  

Pavement Painting thanks to Pinterest

I have been meaning to expose toddler M to more arty activities as his co-ordination and comprehension increase in capacity. He had a go with painting late last year during a session at playgroup but at the time seemed more interested in eating the paint rather than applying it on paper!

Pavement Paint

Pavement Paint

I was thrilled when I spotted a recipe for ‘Sidewalk Chalk Paint’ last night while on pinterest. It took just a minute or two to whip up this morning and wallah! A fun, cheap painting activity ready to go! I was slightly disappointed with the limited range of food colouring I had on hand… I could have sworn I had more? So toddler M only had a choice of green, yellow, pink and white to play with but he didn’t seem to mind. I can confirm the paint ccomes straight off with the flick of the hose and the paint that made it onto his onesies washed out too.

Here is the recipe courtesy of Creatively Blooming‘It’s simply 1 part cornstarch to 1 part water.’

Pavement Paint

Pavement Paint

Pavement Paint

Pavement Paint