Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Childhood Memories

I was so excited last weekend when I was at my parents house and my mum gave me three boxes of goodies to take home.  She had been cleaning out the cupboard under the stairs (or "Harry's Room" as we call it) and had sorted out a whole bunch of my stuff from when I was a kid to take home for Squishy.  I was so excited to go through it all and have pulled out a few of my favourite things to share with you.
Vintage Glow Worm 

My glow worm.  I have fond memories of my glow worm and bought one for one of my nephews when he was born.  I haven't seen them in the shops in a while though so I am very happy that Squishy will be able to have my old one.  Hopefully she loves him as much as I do.

Humphrey DInner Set humphrey collage 
I think this is going to be put away and only pulled out on special occasions and only once Squishy is a bit bigger.  I don't want to risk it being thrown off a highchair!  This three piece set is in stunning condition and it so gorgeous. I love Humphrey B Bear! And he isn't around anymore so this is irreplaceable.

My Book Bag

I must admit I was just a teeny tiny bit excited when I pulled this out of the box.  I love this bag! He was my library bag when I was in preschool and I love him so so so much.  He is super duper cute!  He needs a couple of holes sewn up and a little stuffing in one of his arms and he will be as good as new.  I am so excited to have him because I was actually thinking of trying to see if I could make a bag just like him. So to find out mum had kept him all these years was pretty exciting.

Vintage Mixer Toy

Now this was not mine but was actually my mums when she was a kid.  It's a toy mixer and when you press the spring the mixer spins.  It is all sorts of awesome! This will most definitely be a display item only.  I actually put it on Squishy's dresser the minute I took it out of the box. So cool!

I also got a lot of books that I remember from when I was a kid and can't wait to read to Squishy.  And even better I got a bunch of clothes that are so super duper adorable it's not even funny.  I actually bought a couple of vintage pieces of etsy for Squishy too that just arrived today.  There is so much cuteness though that it needs to be kept for a separate post.

Sushi Cake

Sushi Cake

This past weekend was my friend Lex's birthday and I got to make him a cake.  Lex loves his sushi so I immediately thought of making this cake tutorial that I first saw about 12 months ago.  I have been wanting to make it ever since but didn't know who to make it for.  I was pretty stoked to finally have a chance to make it.

It was pretty easy to put together and it didn't take very long at all.  The only issue I found was that the green portion of roll ups is not as wide as it used to be so I had to use a bit of the yellow portion around the bottom.  To try and make up for this I tinted the icing under the roll up green to try and make it look a bit more green then yellow.

Sushi Cake - Roe

I did make one slight change as well.  I was a bit worried with how the jelly would go because I didn't want it to melt in transit.  So I sent an email to the lovely Cathie of Melbourne Epicure and she suggested making gummies with jelly which is basically just jelly with extra gelatine so they set hard and don't melt.  Cathie was kind enough to share some links with me and I ended up using  this recipe.  It worked perfectly but I wouldn't suggest making them to eat.  I made Corey try one and they tasted pretty gross.  They were a bit too hard and the extra gelatin diluted the flavour too much.  But I didn't mind I just wanted it to look right.  Lex was so impressed when he saw the cake so I was pretty happy.  There is nothing you can ask for more than that!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Good, The Bad & The Bump(y)

30 Week Baby Bump

The Good
  • Spotlight shopping trips with mum
  • Spending the morning helping dad at his garage sale and being rewarded with bacon & eggs
  • Seeing Squishy's room finally coming together. Can't wait till it's done so I can share photos.
  • Progress finally being made on Squishy's quilt!.
  • The smell of a baking cake!
  • Good news for good friends. Two of my friends got engaged this past week and another friend gave birth to a little boy yesterday afternoon.
The Bad
  • Tax! Great if I get money back but such a pain to get everything together for our accountant.
  • Waking up all the time in the middle of the night. This past week I wake up all the time!
  • My poor friend having to have surgery this past week. All went well and she is doing good now but I hate that she has had to go through what she has had to.
The Bump
30 Week Baby Bump

It's the final countdown...dun a nah naaaah dun a nah nah nah! Only 10 more weeks to go. I can't believe it.  We are going to be into single digits next week. Crazy town!!!  Only 7 weeks left of work and I just know they are going to go quick.  It's starting to get into the busy season for us at work now and we are moving offices in the next few weeks so the 7 weeks is just going to disappear.  Then (hopefully) 3 weeks at home to get organised and relax a little before Miss Squishy makes an appearance.  I can't wait!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

Today is my work friend Anna's birthday but as she left for Singapore on Saturday we decided to celebrate last Friday.  As birthdays go in our office there was food and lots of it!  I made a carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting which I have shared before here and chocolate brownies.  This chocolate brownie recipe is from a recipe book that was made by my primary school.  I can't even count the amount of times my mum, my sister and I would have made this recipe in the 10 plus years we have had this book.  My mum still has the recipe book and when at my hen's party she added the recipe into my communal recipe book that all my family and friends made me.  I have even made these before with carob powder and they taste just as amazing!

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

200 grams butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup flour
2 eggs

Heat oven to 180*C.  Melt butter and cocoa gently in a large saucepan.  Add salt, sugar and vanilla and stir in really well.

Remove pan from heat and sift in flour.  Stir in well.  Add eggs and beat in well.  Spread into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Once cooled brownies can be iced or sprinkled with icing sugar.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do You Instagram?

I do!  Apparently I have been on instagram for 49 weeks but it is only within the last few months that I have started using it consistently.  I must admit I am becoming slightly addicted.  It's a fun way to share little snapshots of life.  I am thinking of starting a weekly instagram post to share some snippets of life with you guys.

Instagram Collage 
Row 1 - new shoes, cool dude Kai, lemon delicious recipe
Row 2 - crochet before work, funny birthday card I found, purple converse
Row 3 - Corey the butcher, my new $3 water cup, sewing my quilt top

Follow me @petticoatsandpeplums.  If you are on instagram let me know your account name in the comments so I can follow you too.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Good, The Bad & The Bump(y)

29 Week Baby Bump
The Good

  • Breakfast for dinner - scrambled eggs on toast especially!
  • Productive mornings before work. It amazes me what I can get done before work.
  • Finding a cure for back pain (I think). I have had my new pillow a week now and no back pain! Hopefully that continues.
  • True Blood Season 4 - we smashed out the season in 3 nights.
The Bad
  • Weekends that go too fast!
  • Dishwashers that don't clean the dishes properly.
The Bump
29 Week Baby Bump

This week has been a pretty good week.  My only complaint is it went to fast.  I didn't mind Monday to Friday going fast but the weekend disappeared in a blink. No fun!  These next few weekends are going to be busy busy for us so they will probably go just as fast.  I have my friends birthday this weekend, a housewarming the following weekend and then my baby shower.  It's all happening! Before we know it i'll be off work and awaiting Squishy's arrival.  I can't believe I only have 8 weeks left at work and 11 weeks left till Squishy is here.  It's starting to get really exciting now. I can't wait!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Saucy Meatball Pasta

Last night I gave this recipe a go from the Donna Hay Kids magazine from 2010.  I love the Donna Hay kids magazine because the recipes are usually quick and easy ideas but they taste delicious.  I always find new recipes in these magazines.  I am not into making dinners that require a million ingredients from expensive grocers.  This is a quick and easy recipe and was delicious!

Saucy Meatball Pasta

Saucy Meatball Pasta by Donna Hay

2 slices white bread
1/3 cup milk
500g mince (the recipe says pork but I used beef)
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic crushed
1 brown onion finely chopped
700g tomato puree
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbs caster sugar
sea salt and black pepper
400g cooked fettuccine

Place milk and bread in a bowl and set aside for 2 minutes or until milk is absorbed.  Add the mince and lemon rind and mix to combine.

Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls.  Heat half the oil in a pan over high heat.  Add the meatballs and cook for 4 minutes or until brown.  Remove from pan.

Add remaining oil, garlic and onion.  Cook for 5 minutes or until tender.  Add the tomato puree, stock, sugar, salt & pepper.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Return the meatballs and cook for 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened.

Top fettuccine with meatballs, sauce and parmesan.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Baby Shower Invitations

Aren't these the cutest baby shower invitations ever!!!  They have just been sent out for my baby shower that my mum is hosting and I just had to share.

Baby Shower Invitations

The best thing about them is you can download them for free. Yep, free!  They come from the On To Baby website.  They have heaps of free printables and you can customise the colours and print them from home.  So quick and so easy and so super duper adorable!!!  Oh and excuse the blurry bits but I wanted to block out surnames, addresses and phone numbers.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Good, The Bad & The Bump(y)

Week 28 

 The Good
  • My new pillow.  It is so squishy!!!
  • Progress! I have finally finished cutting out the pieces for my quilt top. I have plans to sew it up this Saturday.
  • Adorable baby shower invitations being posted out. They are super cute. I will share pics soon.
  • Free wool. A lady from mum's work had a bunch she didn't want and I got to go through and pick some out.  I am very excited about what I can make with it all.
The Bad
  • Back pain..still. I am hoping my new pillow will help ease it.  Last night was my first night sleeping with it so I am waiting to see if it has any effect.
  • Emotional roller coasters....my least favourite type of roller coaster.
The Bump
Week 28

So I have not been in the greatest head space this past week.  I'm a bit stressed and anxious and I think I figured out why this afternoon.  Turns out something I have been eating has coconut in it and I didn't realise. I am allergic to coconut and it makes me get really bad mood swings and cry for no reason.  I am hoping that by cutting this food out I will start feeling better.  Apart from that though things are going good.  Squishy is getting super active and her kicks are much more forceful now. I can see my belly move sometimes!  It's a bit weird but good to know she is doing well in there.  I am a little bit excited to have finished cutting out the pieces for my quilt top.  I have plans to sew it together this Saturday when Corey is at work.  Then all I need to do is piece together the back, quilt it and bind it.  So hopefully it won't be too much longer before I can share the finished product.  I also made some tissue paper pom poms for Squishy's room last night.  I just need to get some fishing wire so I can hang them.  Things are finally starting to feel like they are progressing!

Friday, July 13, 2012

WIP Central

Lately I feel like my craft room (or more accurately my dining room table and lounge) has turned into WIP central.  I just want something to be finished so I can share them with you.  So instead I have decided to post a few photos of what I am working on.

Quilt Cutting

My dining room table is currently covered in fabric waiting to be made into a quilt for Miss Squishy's nursery.  I also want to make some cot sheets and a cot skirt with the leftover fabric from this quilt.  But first I need to finish cutting out my quilt fabric so I can see what I have left for other projects.  So once I get this all cut out I should have a few other things I can get started on too.  It's my pure laziness that is holding me back.  I started out really well and then stalled.  I only have to cute squares from 3 more fabrics and I will be ready to start sewing.  I just need to give myself a kick up the butt and get going.

Cardigan In Progress

I am knitting Miss Squishy a little cardigan too.  This yarn is a bit hard to photograph and the true colour doesn't really show.  It is a dusty pinkish purple kind of colour.  Clear? As mud, right!  Anyway, I have been plodding away on this at night while watching tv but I am just a bit slow at the moment.  I think once I get to splitting the front and back and doing some shaping it will get a bit more interesting but at the moment it is a bit boring.

Nappy Covers

Also fighting for space on my dining room table is this little pile of fabric.  These are going to be turned into some nappy covers for Squishy for summer.  I figure it gets quite hot here on the Gold Coast so spending time in as little clothing as possible is going to be most comfortable for her.  I don't want to make too much till she is here and I know how big she is but I thought I would just make these a size up and if need be I can let the seam allowance out of in.  I am hoping to also embellish some singlets to match each nappy cover.

I just realised there is actually one more WIP in my house that I didn't photograph.  I started knitting myself a scarf but it is so slow going that I highly doubt it will be done before winter ends.  Oh well!  I am a bit more focused on making for Miss Squishy now than myself.  Now hopefully I will get some of these WIP's finished up soon so I can show you an actual finished product instead of these teaser photos.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Lemon Delicious Slice 

Make lemon delicious slice!!! Or anything else equally lemony but trust me this slice really was delicious.

Lemon Delicious Slice

A few weeks ago I made cupcakes that used only egg whites and with my leftover yolks I was going to make lemon curd.  I made Corey buy a bunch of lemons when he went grocery shopping and was all set to make it one night after work.  That day I thought I better see how long it is safe to leave yolks in the fridge before you use them.  Turns out it's only like 2 days and mine had been in the fridge for over a week.  So the yolks went in the bin and the lemons sat in the fruit bowl waiting to be made into something else.

Lemon Delicious Slice

Finally last week I decided I better make something before the lemons had to be thrown out too and it all became a waste.  So I did a quick google search and found this recipe.  The best part about this recipe was that I got to use my vintage juicer.  I bought this about 4 years ago from an op shop on the Sunshine Coast.  It got packed away into my glory box and then brought out and dusted off when we moved out.  We have lived out of home for 3 years now and this is the first time I have used it.  Woops!

Lemon Delicious Slice

I had a flick through the comments on this recipe and saw that everyone had left it in the oven for an extra 10 minutes after the topping was added to allow it to cook properly.  I checked mine after the recommended cooking time in the recipe and it was still a bit runny so I added the extra 10 minutes and it came out perfect.  Next time I might leave the base in for an extra 5 minutes as others suggested as well.  I took this slice to work and it was demolished!  I am actually going to make it again in a few weeks for one of the girls birthdays because she loved it that much.

Lemon Delicious Slice

I think I might also line my tray with baking paper next time to make it a little easier to remove and slice.  My slice ended up a bit worse for wear after cutting and slicing but it still tasted delicious.  If you like lemon stuff that still has a nice tart kick to it give these a go.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Bump(y)

Baby Bump 27 Weeks

The Good
  • A sunny Saturday afternoon spent out in the sun watching my friend play some tunes. Check her out here. She rocks!
  • Caramel popcorn
  • Wandering around the vintage markets with my mum and dad
  • Sunday picnics with a group of people we haven't had altogether for at least 8 years
  • Fresh hair! I got my colour redone and a bit of a trim

The Bad

  • Back pain! After a day spent at the park all afternoon my back was killing. Too much standing but boy I slept good last night
  • Weeks that just keep disappearing and to do lists that just keep growing
  • That anxious feeling I just can't seem to shake.  

The Bump
Baby Bump 27 Weeks

Holy moly ladies and gentleman (if there are any reading) I am 27 weeks!!!  Only 13 weeks (give or take) to go.  Only 10 more weeks of work.  Crazy town!!!  I feel like I have so much to do and the weeks just keep going by faster and faster.  I know I say this every week but I really need to start working away at some of the things of my list otherwise I am going to run out of time.  I have a quilt about a third made and a stack of fabric to make some nappy covers and matching singlets for summer waiting on my sewing table. I have started a cardigan because I couldn't bear to buy her one in the shop when she could have a mummy made one.  But the biggest to do on my list is decorating the nursery.  At the moment it is a blank slate with a sofa chair, a cot and a change table in it.  It needs some colour and some fun added in.  This weekend is a quiet weekend so fingers crossed I can get some stuff done. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Homemade Muesli Bars

Homemade Muesli Bars 

I was going through all my Donna Hay Kid's magazines a few weeks ago and saw this muesli bar recipe that I really wanted to make.  Finally I have gotten around to making them and I will definitely be making them again.  They are delicious!!!

Homemade Muesli BarsMuesli Bars by Donna Hay

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tbs brown sugar
1 cup sultanas
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 160*C,  Place the oats, flour, sugar and sultanas in a bowl and mix well to combine.  Place the honey and golden syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes or until very runny.  Whisk in the vegetable oil.  Add the honey mixture to the oat mixture and mix well to combine.

Spoon into a greased 20cm x 30cm tin lined with non stick baking paper and flatten with a spoon.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden.  Cool and cut into 12 pieces.  Enjoy x

Thursday, July 5, 2012

June Reading List

Every time I write these posts I am baffled that another month is over and done with.  This months I managed 4 books.  Being that we are now halfway through the year we would expect that I would've read 26 books to be on track with my goal of 52 for the year.  Well I have come close to that goal with 24 books down.  This month I managed to read the following:-

With Friends Like These - This book is about a group of 4 friends and how as they grew up and got married and started having children their lives and friendships changed.  I really enjoyed this book.  I think it was because I could relate to some of the story lines having just gotten married and being pregnant with my first child.

My Name Is Memory - I loved this book!!! The concept was awesome and I think it was executed really well.  The idea of the book is that some people in the world can remember all of their past lives and can recognise souls of people that have come into contact with before.  The story centers around 1 boy who can remember who is chasing the love of his life (or lives) through their lifetimes and trying to get her to remember him.  It is a love story and it is a beautiful read!

French Children Don't Throw Food - This is the only parenting book that I have read since falling pregnant and it was really enjoyable.  It is written by an American lady who married a British guy and moved to Paris when they had a daughter and then twin boys.  She shares the differences she observed between French parenting techniques and British/American parenting techniques.  I like that this book doesn't dictate strict rules and regulations for parenting and recognises that every child and every parent is different.  A lot of the concepts that it shares make perfect sense and I will definitely be giving them a go with Squishy.  I'll report back later and let you know if they work.

Water For Elephants - If you liked The Notebook then you have to read Water For Elephants.  I love how the book is written from the perspective of the main character at two points of his life.  I thought the love story in this book was really good but I also enjoyed the relationship between the main character and the animals he cared for in the circus.  The book was interspersed with pictures of vintage circuses which I loved.  Even in black and white they really portray the excitement and theatrics of circuses in the 1920's and you can really imagine the being there.

After finishing French Children Don't Throw Food I wondered whether I should read any other parenting style books before Squishy comes along.  Are they necessary?  Are there any good ones that you have read and would recommend?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Little Red

When I was organising my yarn stash back in February I discovered I had quite a few balls of red wool.  This pattern immediately jumped into my mind and I cast on straight away.  Then I realised I had no idea whether we were having a girl or not and it got set aside.  Once we discovered little Squishy was a Miss I jumped back onto it.

Little Red Riding Hood

Pattern: Little Red by Erika Flory
Wool: Moda Vera Marvel Plain 8ply
Needles: 5mm

Little Red Riding Hood

This cape is so adorable I am a bit bummed because the smallest size was 18 months so Miss Squishy will not be wearing it for a little while.  Hopefully by next winter I will be able to get away with dressing her in it.

Little Red Riding Hood

I did have a little bit of a mishap in the making of this cape.  When it came to joining the hood the pattern said to use the three needle bind off which I had never done.  So smart little old me decided to look up a tutorial on youtube.  I watched and it looked pretty straight forward.  Except.....I didn't properly listen to the first instruction to hold right sides together.  I therefore held the wrong sides together resulting in a sort of ridge on the top of the hood.  But you know what, I kind of like it! I can't wait for Miss Squishy to wear it.