Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Creative Space

This really should have been last weeks My Creative Space, but it was all secret squirrel here in the land of the raspberry rainbow.

My best friend Nell celebrated her birthday earlier in the week. We dont buy presents for each other anymore, but I wanted to make her some thing. She had mentioned months ago that she did not have an apron, so immediately I was on the look out for the right fabric for her and the right apron.

I really wanted to make up my own apron pattern, but that requires time and brain capacity for thinking, both of which I do not have much of at the moment. When I found online the Sew Liberated Emmeline Apron pattern, I knew this was the one, this was so Nell.

I found the blue and red fabric months ago and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was Nell. Then I forgot the pattern needed another fabric - as the apron is reversible. I found the blue trees fabric in my stash. As it turned out, both fabrics were from the same Keiki for Moda Collection, called Tweet Tweet. A little freaky.

I had to make her some hair clips to match too. Nell will be so well dressed in the kitchen now!

Happy Birthday again, hon! You really are the best, best friend, I am so lucky to have you in my life. I am going to miss you so much when we are off on our adventure.

Pop in and visit many more creative peeps over at Kootoyou.

Have a lovely Thursday.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


What would you do, if you were given an opportunity? Almost handed directly to you. An opportunity to live in another country. Another country positioned almost half way between your home land and that of your husbands.

What would you do?

I can tell you what we are doing - we have chosen to take this opportunity. We believe it will be an amazing adventure for us as individuals and as a family.

So, we are moving to Hong Kong. Yes, we may be partially insane. But we can't let this opportunity pass us by.

I know you will understand if I am a little too distracted to blog at the moment......


Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Creative Space

Not much creating has been going on this week as we have a sick bubba in the house. I have been looking at the sewing machine, longingly, wanting to finish off a few things I started weeks ago.

The only thing I have managed to finish all week was this little owl. Last Thursday I saw this adorable post on My Creative Space, and I had to make one. Right then and there. At 10pm at night. As you do (following this easy tute)

More creative peeps over here, go and have a look, you might try some thing new :)


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Easy Peasy Dinner: San Choy Bau

I am joining Emma again this week with an Easy Peasy Dinner Winner.

Chris (hubby) has always made this for us. I was scared it was too complicated to make as the ingredient list is so long. But last week, I gave it a go, and it really is so ridiculously easy (and yummy too) It was so quick, I had dinner on the table 30 minutes early.

San Choy Bau
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 long red chili, seeds removed, finely chopped (or use less if you have children who don't like food too spicy)
  • 500g pork mince
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine vinegar or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 lettuce or cos lettuce leaves (a note on choosing your lettuce: get one that is quite light in weight, I find the heavier ones difficult as the leaves are too tightly packed together. With the lighter ones, it is usually easier to separate the lettuce leaves with out damaging them)
Chop the middle stem out of your lettuce, as far down as you can, and put it in a clean bucket. Fill the bucket up with water until it covers the lettuce completely, let all the lettuce crevices soak up the water.

Weigh the lettuce down (I use a heavy porcelain bowl) This makes sure the whole lettuce is covered with water. The earlier you do this, the easier the lettuce leaves will come out intact.

I leave my lettuce like this for at least 30 minutes, if not longer. Then while the lettuce is still in the water, peel off, very carefully, the first few outer layers of lettuce leaves until you get down a few layers and they come off looking like little boats or cups. Try to get 6-10 good leaves, with no rips. My favourite ones are the tiny ones in the middle, as they are so sweet. Put you lettuce boats on a tea towel to drip dry, and very gently pat them as dry as you can.

Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large fry-pan over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, garlic and chili and cook stirring, for 1 minute or until slightly softened and fragrant.

Add the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, cooking it for 2-3 minutes until browned.

Add the rice wine vinegar and cook for 1-2 minutes, them add soy sauce and oyster sauce, stirring well to combine. You can keep cooking and keep it warm for quite a while, as it is really quite saucy.

Toss the spring onions through, and transfer to a serving bowl.

Put in the middle of the table, and everyone can fill their lettuce boats/cups with some pork mixture, and eat. It can get a bit messy - but that is part of the fun.

This recipe does not feed us as a family of 4 any longer, as Abbey now loves it (after not liking if for 2 years!) and Zoe eats some too. We serve this with some sesame prawn toast (available in the freezer section at most supermarkets)



Recipe from: Delicious! magazine, July 2008, page 78.

We have a winner

We have a winner for my handmade Paddington Bear Baby Rattle:
Kris from Missie Krissie.

Paddington is packing his bag and he will be with you soon.

Have a lovely Tuesday peeps.


Monday, October 18, 2010

At my house.....

At my house this week, I really don't know what Abbey was doing to her daddy. He was very still and patient while she decorated him with mega and jenga blocks. There was a BIG mess on the floor after he (finally!) got up, but she did tidy the mess up, so I was happy.

At my house this week, Abbey has been playing "Office". She is the officer (as she puts it) and goes off to work. Here is her desk, with tissue box computer screens, an egg carton keyboard (and a real one) her Tinkerbell phone, tea cup, pens and paper and Tinky Winky sits next to her. He does not say much.

This week, Abbey was also playing at being the "door inspector", again, her idea (where do these ideas come from?) We were counting how many doors we had in our house, and she came up to me and quietly asked "What is an inspector?". It was very hard not to giggle.

At my house, Zoe has been fascinated by my Cherry Doc's. It was so cold and wet for much of this week, I had to wear my Cherry's to keep my feet dry and warm.

The beer monster appears to have returned too....

Pop in and see Lou and visit some other houses this week.

Today is the last day to enter into my Paddington Bear give away. I'll draw the winner tonight.

Have a lovely week.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge

Christmas is fast approaching. I want to be uber organised this year. Last year I was not very organised, and I did not like the feeling.

So, here are a few more handmade Christmas presents I bought this week. Two super cute navy blue appliqué t-shirts for my (Aussie) nephews. Exquisite appliqué by Sonia from Sunday's Child. She has used Echino fabric for the appliqué - I love Echino fabric. So much so, I bought some of the red Echino car fabric to make a Christmas present for some one else. I can't say who for or what I am making, I want it to be a surprise.

Pop in and visit Tracey from Knicky Knacks for more Handmade Christmas Challenges.

Hope you have had a lovely weekend.


Saturday, October 16, 2010


This week, possibly for the first time in my whole life, I am grateful for wearing glasses. When chopping a chili, some juice splashed onto my face - my glasses stopped some chili juice going into my eyes.

This week I am (trying to be) grateful that Zoe caught my sore throat, her big sisters runny nose and cough and she was cutting two teeth all at the same time - it has been an exhausting week, but it could have been worse if all these ailments had been spread out over a few weeks. It looks like she is on the mend, and we hope to get some more sleep soon.

Today I am grateful for a delicious home cooked roast lunch and cake with lovely friends. Sipping champagne, relaxed conversations and watching all our girls play together - this is the life.

Pop in and visit Maxabella-land for more gratefulness.

Happy Saturday to you.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Rattle rattle rattle

I have just opened up a Craftumi shop, and am selling rattles. Not my rattle cubes, but the actual rattle insert. Great to add to home made baby toys and dolls. Sold in packs of 5. Rattle rattle.

Happy Friday to you.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Salmon Fish Cakes: Easy Peasy Dinner Winner

I am joining Emma again this week, with an Easy Peasy Dinner Winner.

This recipe is super easy, and very tasty (if you like/eat salmon) Abbey likes them as she calls these "pink fish cakes". Pink is her favourite colour.

Salmon Fish Cakes
  • 450g potatoes, approximately - this is the weight before you peel them
  • 400g tin red salmon (you can use pink salmon, but the flavour is not as strong)
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped (I use red ones) or some spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce or a glug of sweet chili sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bread crumbs for coating
  • Oil for cooking
Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks. Cook them in boiling water, then mash (with a little butter if you like) I use the same saucepan I cooked them in to save on washing up.

Drain the salmon, remove as many bones as you like - I remove the large bones, but leave in the small ones as they are a good source of calcium.

Flake the drained salmon into the mashed potato. Add onion, your sauce of choice, season with salt and pepper. Optional: I used to add an egg to the mixture, but no longer do this.

Mix well. Roll into balls, flatten them into patties (very important) and coat them all with breadcrumbs. The Japanese Panco bread crumbs work really well (thanks to Corrie from Retromummy for this tip in an email when we were discussing our salmon fish cakes in an email after the Freaky Chocolate Brownie Slice Incident)

These can fall apart when you cook them, but if you make them early in the day, and store them in the fridge (the longer the better) they tend to hold their shape better - as long as you already flattened them into patties earlier on.

Cook in a little oil until golden on both sides.

Serve with salad/veggies/oven chips/fried rice. Any leftovers taste yummy the next day too, heated up in the microwave.

This recipe halves really easy too, if you only have a 200g tin of salmon.

Enjoy! Cat

Monday, October 11, 2010

At my house.....

Another quiet week at our house, still some runny noses and sore throats, but slowly getting better - we hope.

This week at our house has been all about pretend play. Abbey playing Cinderella, dressing up as daddy in his home made tie and wearing his work back pack (no photo of this) and quite a few tea parties.

For over 12 months we have been talking about the dummy fairy visiting. This week the dummy fairy finally visited, and magicked away the last few of Abbey's dummies. The dummy fairy was very sweet, and left a little note covered in fairy dust, saying thank you. The deal was when the dummies went, Abbey could get a Ken doll so he could marry her barbie doll. So off to the shops we went to choose a Ken doll - do you think we could find one? No! All we could find was a Barbie Rapunzel and Flynn Rider boxed together - so she got her "boy" barbie and an extra girl one (Rapunzel) - not a bad deal (for Abbey)

The first two nights with no dummy were fine, but the last 3 have been quite awful, with lots of playing up. She told me this morning that she misses the dummy. But the dummy fairy has them now, so there is no turning back.....wish us luck for tonight.

I best be off and peg out some more washing, while the sun is shining.

Please leave a comment here if you want to win one of my hand made Paddington Bear baby rattles.

Visit Lou's house for lots more fun.

Have a lovely week.


Saturday, October 9, 2010


This week I am grateful for doing 10 minutes of yoga. 10 minutes is better than none.

This week I am grateful, again, as my mum is always so helpful, and I would be lost with out her.

This week I am grateful for going out on a "play date" (as I called it for Abbey - who is 4 years old) with my best friend Nell - just us one evening, no kids, and lots of lovely finished conversations. I am grateful our husbands looked after the (sleeping) kids.

This week I am grateful that the young man at the library waived the fine for the book we have lost. I am grateful he gave us 3 more weeks to find the book....

This week Abbey and I are grateful that her daddy took a day off work to go on Kinder duty - they both had so much fun. I am even more grateful that Chris was then home to cook our dinner (and I got a night off cooking)

Visit Maxabella land for more gratefulness.

Have a lovely weekend peeps.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Creative Space

This week we have been eating my creation - home made strawberry jam.

It is so yummy on hot crumpets.

Pop in and visit creative peeps here.

Have a great day.


ps: Pop in here if you want to win one of my handmade Paddington Bear rattles.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Do you like Paddington Bear?

Would you like to win a Paddington Bear baby Rattle?

Please leave a comment below to go in the draw. All you have to do is tell me your favourite colour, as there will be an extra little surprise sent with Paddington. Easy. Open to everyone, I will post any where on planet Earth that has an address.

Hand made by me, using vintage Paddington Bear fabric on the front and 100% blue cotton fabric on the back with a rattle inside.

Approximate dimensions are 18cm x 10cm x 5cm.

Fully washable - on a cold/cool gentle machine or hand wash.

Give-away closes at 8pm on Monday 18th October 2010.

Feel free to tell your friends and use these images if you blog about this.

Good luck!


Monday, October 4, 2010

At my house.....

There has been lots going on here now we are all feeling much better. And the sunshine we have had in Melbourne - it has been glorious! Winter finally feels over, and you can tell summer is on it's way soon.

This week Zoe had her first bounce (more like a crawl) on the trampoline. Abbey got to practice her forward rolls (somersaults) at the same time. The girls are really starting to play together now, it is so lovely to watch.

The last few weeks they have both been getting really cranky around 4.30pm each day (the witching hour I call it) It is the time when I am very tired, and we are all getting hungry and I need to be cooking dinner - so this week I have given in and let them play in the plastic container cupboard in the kitchen. It has kept them entertained long enough for me to cook dinner, but it does create extra mess. Maybe I need to make packing them all up a game?

Another day this week Abbey helped me with washing the dishes. She happily played for 45 minutes, washing all the plastics, and making us some bubble soup.

Did you know dinosaurs also like to wear hair bobbles? Well, ours do!

This week I have lost count of how many times we have played "pairs". Abbey is really good at it. Further proof my memory is shot and I really need some more sleep.

More evidence that some days I can't leave the room (even to go to the toilet!) Two little girls unsupervised for a few minutes created this mess. I guess it could have been worse.

Today, there is still a mermaid in the house.

Visit Lou for more fun.

Have a great week.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week-a-boo: our weekend and Point & Shoot

Another weekend has flown past. I feel like I only had a one day weekend as I spent Saturday feeling very sick and sorry for myself. I had the awful sore throat again and was achy all over, so thought I was getting sick after only just getting better a few days before. After a few hours, I realised that I had (another) blocked milk duct making me feel so terrible. I offered Zoe an extra breastfeed, which she took (thank goodness!) and within 30 minutes I was almost like new again. The sore throat is persisting, but not getting any worse at least.

Today, Abbey, Zoe, my mum and my Grandma went to the Fairy Floss Handmade Market. There were so many fantastic stall holders there. I could have bought so much stuff - but I do not need any more stuff, so I only came home with Christmas and birthday presents for other people, and a mermaid.

Did you notice the mermaid in the photo? There was a Pixie face painter at the market, she is the best I have ever seen. To me, it looks like it would have taken hours to paint Abbey's face with so much detail, but I was there, and I saw her do it in 5 or so minutes.

The happy mermaid is now sleeping, and she told me she wants to stay a mermaid forever. We'll see about that.

Pop in and visit Claire and see what other peeps have been up to this weekend, and join in with Point & Shoot over at Fat Mum Slim.

Have a lovely week.


ps: Hi to Melinda from Here We Go Loopy Lou who I said hello to today at the market - it was so lovely to meet you in person (and your mum and gorgeous bub)