Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Finds

Here are some more goodies that i've been eyeing off over at this week.

These lovely pears are made by seller RedStitchDesigns and can be found at This lovely seller also has an inspiring blog which is welll worth a read (as well as to check out some of her other lovely creations). The blog can be found at

Isn't this little knit jacket just divine. I've paid more money than I care to admit for lovely woolen jackets for my little girls. This jacket priced at a very reasonable $40 and you won't see every other child wearing the same thing when you know that this is handmade, not off a production line. Available from seller knit1npurl1 and can found at

Let out your inner princess with these irresistable sterling silver studs. I think these are simply divine. Available from seller Narelle, they can be found at

I couldn't choose a favourite from the above two images. I think these would look fantastic in a nursery or a child's bedroom. Available from seller Evie_the_Elephant (don't you just love the name!). See store

Seller theencouragementaward (The encouragement award) creates these fantastic capes. I love the versatility of capes and these are particularly clever with a removable hood. They appear to have a collar when the hood is removed. Simply lovely. Available at

Remember, many of these pieces are one off items and may not be re-created. First in best dressed. People, don't walk, RUN...

Mary xxx

Thursday, July 29, 2010

30 Sucks

I put together this creation for a friend's 30th birthday this weekend.

I will be adding this to my madeit store ( shortly. It's a cute and novel idea and obviously can be customised ie. colours and ages. I'm still trying to come up with an alternative which is a little more positive, something like 30 rocks. Hopefully I can think of something in the next day or two as I have another friend turning 30 this weekend and I would like to make one for her as well.

As well as the above edible gift, I have some other new products coming to my store very soon. There will be some gorgeous little hair clips and some sweet party goods. You can get a bit of a preview of the party goods in my post titled Part II.

Hope you enjoyed.

Mary xxx

Chicken Tagine

This picture doesn't do this dish any justice at all. It is a lovely full flavoured dish and is incredibly aromatic. For a lovely hearty winter warmer, give this dish a try, you won't regret it.
  • Aprox. 1kg chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 onion
  • about 3 cloves garlic
  • 100g of blanched almonds
  • 150g green olives
  • 1 lemon
  • about 500ml of chicken stock
  • 2-3 potatoes chopped into chunks
  • enough oil to fry the onion and garlic (I use canola oil)


  1. Chop the onion and garlic finely and then fry this in the oil.
  2. Cut the chicken pieces in half and then add them to the onion and garlic and lightly brown.
  3. Add the blanched almonds, the finely sliced lemon, olives, potatoes and the stock.
  4. Allow to simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.

I like to serve this with cous cous, although you could certainly eat this alone or with a nice polenta. Perhaps you would serve this with something else, I would love to hear any other ideas.

Mary xxx

As you might have noticed, i'm not particularly precise with my recipes. Often this is because I just use what I have on hand that day. I also tend to adjust recipes to suit my tastes and I encourage you to do the same :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Five Favourite Finds

I am a huge fan of buying handmade. There is something a bit special about an item that has been made with tender loving care, as opposed to coming off a huge production line. It's wonderful to have something unique, something that can never be perfectly replicated. I have a store on the made it website I would like to share with you five lovely items that can be purchased from the lovely sellers on this website...

I think that the above pieces of artwork would look amazing clustered on a wall, my wall even...
available at from seller ledamae.

I am totally infatuated with this and several other pieces from seller lovestamp. I have dropped several hints, including a detailed email to my darling husband, indicating my desire for a piece with my girls names on it. Still (patiently) waiting. This piece is available at

I love the look of this lamp. There is also a matching cushion available. Both items are available from seller Ritzy Home Decor. Link to the lamp is

Isn't the necklace above just too cute. Now for the crazy part, it's just $12. Don't walk, Run People. If someone else doesn't snap this up quickly I will have to. It would be a great gift to put away for someone special for Christmas. People, it pays to be organised. You heard it here first! Available from seller Flutterby Jewellery at

I think these invitations are so so sweet. If only I had seen these about six weeks ago! The invitations can be personalised with pictures of your own sweet little one. Available from seller Tambo Creations at

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bedtime Stories

After getting the girls into bed tonight I pulled out a book that we haven't had a chance to read yet. I was rather surprised by some of the things I found. This is the book, below:

Can you guess why I was shocked by the story below? Ummm, that lady with the knife looks scary. Not sure that I want my girls looking at that picture, I might have to blutack that page to the next one, hehe.

I hadn't heard of this rhyme before. I like to have my girls say prayers when they go to bed each night (or me 'help' them to do the sign of the cross and the girls listen to me say the prayers). I think this poem kind of sends mixed messages though. Hey, say your prayers or else you will get HURT!!! I'm a little concerned that whoever wrote this poem clearly didn't have anything in mind other than making some words rhyme. If you read the whole thing it doesn't really make any sense...

Another two pages to stick together for now. Perhaps in the years to come the girls and I will laugh about how bad these are.
Mary xxx

Vanilla Chai Macaroons with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Like all of my 'good ideas', this one struck late last night. After a false start in which I mixed my almond meal with caster sugar, instead of icing sugar, I was up and running. After starting to pipe my mixture, I found that the push/pull method was the way to go. I also found that I had piped my macaroons way way too big. Next time (read later tonight), I will make them much smaller. The shape of my macarons needs some work, however, I was happy with the feet. Happy that they turned out the way they're supposed to, but still annoyed by them, they just look so untidy. Everyone else seems to think these little feet are wonderful, but I honestly think they look messy. Nevermind.

I used the recipe found at, however, I substituted the black sesame for vanilla chai. This blog has lots of mouthwatering desserts and sweets. You've been warned :)

My macarons were quite chewy. I think this is because my vanilla chai powder seems to be 50% sugar. I need to reduce the amount of sugar next time. Maybe I could add the vanilla chai instead of the caster sugar, to the egg whites and then increase the amount of almond meal in the dry ingredients. Alternatively I could change to a vanilla chai without sugar, this would also help to intensify the chai flavour, which was quite mild.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Part II

Above are the chocolate waffle cups filled with creme patissiere and topped with a) sour cherries and b) strawberries and grated chocolate. Next time I would fan the strawberries. Also above is a place of pink lamingtons. If I was to ever make these again I would make the pink slightly darker. I found the lamingtons to be a big pain. They were time consuming and messy and I don't think that lamingtons are that great! They also have a huge fat content (seriously, next time you're ad the supermarket check out the saturated fat content). I'm not a huge heath nut (although it might be about time for that to change), but if i'm going to have something high in fat, it better be those chocolate cups.

I also made profiteroles dipped in white chocolate which you can just see on the back right of the above picture. Although I made a few mistakes they were suprisingly easy to make. Next time I would use the dough hook on my kitchen aid to mix the choux pastry when adding the eggs rather than a wooden spoon, I'm sure this would reduce the chance of blisters induced by use of wooden spoon, ouch. Also, I reduced the temperatures slightly as the recipe I used didn't state if the temperatures were for a fan forced over or a non fan forced oven. My profiteroles were quite soft and didn't have that crunch that you expect. They were however still very yummy. I also had a very tough time filling the shells with creme patissiere as my piping tip kept going back into the bag and the creme patissiere just spilled everywhere. I recall once having a piping tip that kind of screwed on to the top of the piping bag. I will look into this before I make these again. Details of the recipe that I used for the profiteroles can be found at this website, which features some amazing creations,

Above we have the bonboniere. I think I can safely say that I will NEVER do these again. I was wrapped with the way that they turned out but they were so incredibly time consuming! I did all of this by hand, every single thing from covering the boxes with white paper to cutting the chocolate into the neatest squares that I could. I also included a little note listing some details of the event and of the saint that is my daughter's namesake. All up I made about 70 of these little gifts, with a little help from my sister.

Finally, for the moment, I also made rosewater lemonade, which I didn't get a chance to take a picture of. I bought glass bottles from our local $2 shop and made up the mix, which was suprisingly easy. I had planned to make it a lovely pink colour, however, when I saw that it was so yellow, I realised that adding pink food colouring would make it go orange. I decided that the natural yellow colour was a much better option. The lemonade was very popular and I will be sure to repeat it for future parties.

My inspiration for these bonboniere came from the following website, which also has loads of other great ideas, as well as free downloads

Hope you've enjoyed this post and perhaps gotten some inspiration for a new project or party.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Latest Projects

I have been very busy over the last few weeks preparing for my smallest daughter's Baptism. I stuck to a pink and white theme and had a great deal of fun (and some stress) preparing decorations and food.

The above picture shows the "dessert table" and some of the decorations. The large pom poms were made using the instructions found on the website. I made the banner using various pink coloured paper and found this to be quite time consuming. I'm planning to reuse this and hang it above my little one's cot, with the crosses removed from either end.

This is the cake we made. I made three mud cakes using this recipe ( I made them over the course of two days and had them in the freezer for a week. I stacked them on top of each other and glued them together with royal icing. We then iced the cake in buttercream and layed out the pre purchased fondant over the top. We had tried to make our own fondant and ended up throwing it in the bin at 3am a couple of nights before the Baptism because something had gone wrong. It seems that you don't actually cook the fondant and even though the recipe I used didn't say anything about cooking it, I thought that there was some kind of mistake. Note to self - always follow the recipe!!!

I bought these cupcake liners and put foil cases inside of them to stop the popcorn from making the cases greasy. I think I could make the liners, but they would be quite time consuming. They are a project to try well ahead of time. The popcorn was regular buttered popcorn, but you could do sweet caramel or a savoury popcorn like olive and chilli.

I was really pleased with the way the cupcakes turned out. I used a vanilla buttercake packet mix to make them as it seems like packet mixes taste better than when I make a butter cake from scratch. They were iced with buttercream. I also iced one batch with marshmallow icing to which I had added a small amount of rosewater. The marshmallow icing was much nicer but the buttercream gave a much better finish.

I hope you enjoy the pictures so far. Part two to come shortly.

Mary xxx