Jun 22

It was mum’s birthday last week and my sister and I decided that one of her presents would be a voucher to a day spa in Bali at the resort she’s staying at in a couple of weeks. As the spa is in Bali, we had no voucher to hand over so I wanted to find a fun way of essentially giving her a bit of paper for her birthday (yawn!).

At the last minute I came across a puzzle card at Kikki K. It’s such a cute idea. I wrote on the back, then broke up the puzzle and put it in the envelope. We went to a restaurant for her birthday dinner and we all sipped on sparkling wine while we watched her put the puzzle together and then, to her surprise, read about the gift that awaits her. The cards are around $10 so they’re a bit more expensive than your normal card but the experience is well worth it, and if you had the time, you could always make your own.

Jun 21

Some of you may remember a while back I had a craving for the pumpkin muffins my mum used to make when I was little. Still without that prized recipe, I decided to scour the net for another. I found this one and I have to say they were almost as good as I remember them. I highly recommend making these for an afternoon tea with friends or family - they are quick and oh so delicious!

In keeping with the autumn colours I could see beyond the kitchen window, and of course, the rich orange of pumpkin, I tried to find the things I had around the house that would complement the colours. I served green tea in a glass teapot, piled the muffins onto a woven brown tray and sat a recycled jar full of subtle purple flowers on a doily. Seeing as I used cinnamon to cook with, I also grabbed some quills and used them as a bit of a centrepiece. You could also add some nutmeg.

Anyone got any recommendations for their favourite afternoon tea? 

May 19

J and I went through a gourmet hot dog phase a while back and I must say I’m once again craving them. I don’t even really like sausages so I have no idea why but our hot dogs are delicious and doused with sauerkraut, sauteed red onion, tomato sauce and mustard. We had a bunch of people over and served these and I made a big bowl of coleslaw, which added the perfect amount of freshness to the meal. Yum! They are such a great thing to make if you have to entertain a large number cheaply.  Hop on over to Oh Happy Day if you want to see how to make your own hot dog trays.

May 14

There are so many great ways to share the love on Mother’s Day. We decided to have the mum’s (mine and Jonah’s) over for an afternoon tea. I grabbed a heap of flowers from the Subiaco markets, some beautiful pastries from Jean Pierre Sancho, some bubbles from the Re store and made some ocean trout and dill finger sandwiches, among other delights. We sipped on mimosas and sampled savoury quiches. It was a very nice way to spend the afternoon! So, how did others go about spoiling their mum’s yesterday?

Apr 25

When J and I moved into our house, we brought with us a few lovely possessions. One such possession was a side by side fridge with stainless finish (can you tell I love food?). We found out later it wouldn’t actually fit in the kitchen. So, it sits in the garage, which took a while to get used to but now it only seems odd to our friends when they drop by for drinks and have to be reminded the cooler is next to the car.  Instead of having this wasted space in the kitchen we decided to get creative - we bought blackboard paint and a large chunk of wood, which we sliced to create two benches. the bottom bench now houses my growing collection of cookbooks and the top bench is perfect for when extra space is needed.

Apr 23

Much to J’s distress, I’m addicted to bottles. Empty bottles. Or jars. Of any sort. I have a whole cupboard crammed with cleaned jars that were once upon a time filled with dill pickles, berry jams and spices, and bottles that have long been emptied of sparkling Italian cola. I have many uses for these recycled gems when I’m entertaining. I put tealights in them and hang them on trees or bunch them together on benches and tables, I fill them with water and pretty them with long or short stem flowers, and I wrap twine around their bodies and use them to hold cutlery. Here’s a pic of my two latest finds. I love the shapes and the imprinting. Do you also love to use your jars and bottles long after they’re emptied of their contents? And, if so, got any ideas to add to the mix?

Apr 05

I dyed eggs and I failed. I had no idea this was possible! I saw some recipes for making your own dyes using fruit and vegetables and thought, OK, I’ve never done this before but I’ll give it a crack! I went in search of pale eggs but couldn’t find them anywhere and even though I doubled the amount of beetroots and blueberries I used, I probably should have bleached them first with vinegar. Anyway, it was fun and I came up with a way to make them look cute. So, here’s the little journey I took…

I decided to crack the top of the shell and drain the eggs so I didn’t waste them (I threw together some very yummy scrambled eggs for dinner with these). I also wanted the shells to act as little baskets for mini eggs…

Using this recipe for the blueberries and beetroot, I soaked the eggs overnight in the fridge. By the way, how amazing is the colour of beetroot?

And then I got them out. Hmmm…

Only a slight stain on the outside but the insides looked great! So I decided to make them a little more interesting with some Washi tape, which I picked up from Studio Bomba.

And I filled the shells with tulle netting and piled in all sorts of mini eggs. 

Now, you can display these any which way you like but I decided to use candle wax to secure them to one of my favourite white platters. You can then easily remove the wax with a knife and hopefully it stays in tact so each little egg has their own little stand.

I think they’re kinda cute and a fun project for the little ones. So, what’s everyone got planned for the holiday? x

Mar 28

I spend nearly as much time wrapping gifts as I do choosing them, is that bad? I absolutely love beautiful paper and finding quirky things to dress it with. I have a big paper bag full of ribbons, tulle, raffia, beads, twigs…and a mountain of paper. Well, I usually have a stockpile of paper but the night before J’s birthday I discovered all I had to wrap his gifts was a roll of red paper with snowflakes on it and that just wouldn’t do. So, I went in search of an alternative. Magazines. I have loads of New Yorkers. I subscribed last year purely to read all the brilliant short stories but I had no idea that for my measly subscription fee I’d find my letterbox choking with these flimsy magazines every week! 

So, I flicked through the pages, ripped out ones I liked and joined them with sticky tape on the underside - looks much prettier this way.  I chose a mixture of text, funky graphics and stunning photography. It’s even better if you can find something that has meaning to the person who will receive the gift. And obviously use whatever mags you have to hand but be warned that thicker stock can wreak havoc when trying to mould it to fit an obscure shape and it can tend to rip if your gift has sharp edges.

Depending on the style of the paper you choose, you may opt for some neutral embellishments…

to get this look…

Or something brighter…

 or more striking…

Just have fun with it! You can add buttons, shipping tags, sweets, even add your own designs to the paper but most of all make it unique and stamp your style all over it! Anyone else got some great ideas for DIY wrapping paper? 

*photos: the Loumii library via instagram

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