Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Handmade Gift Ideas

Christmas is approaching fast! If you are scratching your head about what to buy as a gift, look at these blog posts that gives you lots of ideas on what to buy, all handmade of course!

Hope these gift ideas will help you find the perfect gifts for your teacher, your best friend, a guy, your pets and your wife -

Gift guide for Teachers - Gifts you can get for your kids teachers or your teachers, to show them some appreciation.

Gifts for Your Best Gal Pals - Lovely collection of items for your best gal pal of any age.

Gifts for Guys - The most dreaded! We always find it so easy to get gifts for girls as in general girls like presents! So here are some really 'cool dude' gifts.

Holiday Gift Guide for Pets - Don't leave your cuddly friends out for the holidays, be sure a present awaits them too!

Great Gifts for the Wife - This will give all you husbands out there a head start at where to look.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Offer You Can't Refuse!

Ever heard that before? The first time I heard that I was being offered a job. 6 interviews and they haven't told me what I was likely to be paid. I got a little frustrated and got straight to the point "So how much are you offering me?" I asked, since I wasn't really looking for a new job. "An offer you can't refuse!" they said. And it was true 15% increase to what I was getting and over 50% more on allowances.

Two days ago I heard it again. In the ArtFire forums! I wanted a Pro account badly and decided to reveal my feelings in the forums. I was told to hold on for one more day as I might be given an offer I cannot refuse. Oh! Stop teasing! But it was true! The next day the announcement regarding ArtFire's Group Deal was announced! Wow yet again an offer I cannot refuse!

Just imagine, I was about to and very ready to pay the full $15.95/ month fees for a Pro account, with all the tools that are available to Pro account users, it is actually quite a bargain. But now with the Group Deal, I get to have it for $5.95! An unbelievable and unbeatable price.

So now I would like to give you and offer you can't refuse. Go to this link and sign up! This might be a once in a lifetime, so take it and run with it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

52 Weeks of Baking - Week #2 - Anzac Cookies

I found this recipe in Women's Weekly (Australian) Old-Fashioned Favorites. It appealed to me a lot as it was so simple! Here is the recipe and pictures of the results.

Ingredients - 1 cup rolled oats1 cup plain flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon water1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda

Preheat the oven 160/140 fan forced
Combine and mix well oats, shifted flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl.
Combine butter, syrup and water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until smooth. Stir in bicarb soda.
Pour into the large bowl containing the dry ingredients and mix well.
Roll the mixture with your hands to a ball and press down firmly on a baking tray lined with baking paper. The edges might break a little, so you can just form it into a circle. Make them in the size you want.
Bake them for 20 mins and allow to cool on the tray. They keep well in an air tight jar up to a week.

So good with a Cappuccino, lucky we got a home coffee machine the week before!

Blogging Friends - The Sudden Cook.

I found a friend of mine on the blogsphere! We knew each other since we were little in primary school and were in the same school all of our schooling years.

Coming from similar backgrounds I could understand her blog name instantly. We grew up with our parents and do not move out until we were married. However we do pick up some resposibilities in the house as we become adult. Unfortunately for some (me), we do not pick up the cooking.

All grown up, married and moved out, we wait at the dining table for food to appear. But like in an insanely twisted horror movie, nothing. Suddenly we find ourselves in a sink or swim situation with cooking. Battling every fear we have and taking every blind corner as confidently as we can, we head to the kitchen with a cookbook in one hand and a clever in the other.

As wonderful as it seems, most of us end up finding cooking not at all as daunting as it seems! I now enjoy cooking, especially the eating part. Tried dozens of recipes and now have plans to collate them and hand them down to my next generation, so that they would not find themselves in a similar situation as - The Sudden Cook!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

52 Weeks of Baking (Official) Week #1 - Smoked Salmon and Silverbeet Quiche

It is officially Week #1! It feels quite weird to start week on again (in case you are wondering, this is the first week of this challenge's swap on swap-bot). I totally forgot that week one was over Easter, therefore was a little out of a lot of stuff while the shops were closed.

Lucky for my we had an over supply of smoked salmon in the fridge and the shops were opened again on Monday. Managed to get cream and silverbeet, which ended up replacing spinach since we couldn't find any in the shop.

I've made quiches before and they are simple. Maybe it is because I am using frozen pastry. So if I ever make another quiche throughout the next 52 weeks, I would have to make the pastry from scratch, just to challenge myself further!

I've been busy...

with my new toy! Yup! I've wanted a sewing machine since I was in school. We had one but it was a 20 year old sewing machine that needed parts which no longer exist.

Three weeks ago I spent lots of time checking on all the available brands and what is good for a beginner like me. All the machines was a little out of my budget and I thought I was going to settle for a really basic Singer machine, cheapest in the range of basic domestic machines. To my surprise, and later much much joy, a craft store was selling this Brother for $199 when it was $349 usually!

We were thinking of just having a look at it, but ended up buying it anyways! Since buying it last weekend I've practice sewing lines and all, but its time to MAKE something!

So any links or suggestions to beginners projects are most welcomed! Thanks!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

52 Weeks of Baking - Week #4 Not So Blooming Brownies...

After the success with my fish pie, I did not look anywhere else for brownies recipe but headed right back to Jamie Oliver's website and picked out his Bloomin' Brilliant Brownies recipe. Although I did not have all the necessary equipment, by that I meant the square baking pan, I soldiered on.

Firstly I was shocked by the amount of butter the recipe required, the whole block of 250g! Then the amount of dried items was made of a little bit flour, a little bit cocoa powder and a whole lot of 360gm sugar. Oh yes, I know it is suppose to be really chocolaty and sweet. But forgive my ignorance here.... that much?!?

Anyways I stuck to the recipe, even went out to buy a kitchen scale (which turn out not small enough), to get it right. But totally forgot the square pan. So in the oven it went and 20 mins later I took it out, just as the recipe said. But the middle was wobbly and wet. Instinctively I put in the oven and left it there for another 20 mins. Alright, I havent developed and instinct for baking yet.

Well it ended up wet and crumbly like my horrible experience with the pineapple upside down cake! Frustrated, I wrapped it in shrink wrap and chuck it in the fridge. The next day we revisited the brownie to decide if it was a keeper or not. To our amazement it set! It was firm in the middle. Although hard to the touch, once in the mouth the crust around it had a chocolate chip cookie texture and the inside was like a soft chocolate bar.

So it was not that bad after all! Jamie Oliver still rocks!

Come join in the fun with this Swap-bot swap.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend Wants!!!

This week I found some amazing photo prints on Etsy and some lovely things!

Abstract Hyacinth 2 by Keep the Sugar
This piece would look really nice in my living room as the color scheme is just right. This type of macro photography that is not too subject orientated is very handy when decorating a place!

Mother of pearl ring by Queen G Designs
This is a mysterious little fella! I thought it was an eye, it does look like the all seeing eye. Lovely mother of pearl.

Friendly Flowers by Jessica Torres Photography

Another photograph I came across. This has a lovely and romantic feel to it. Would look absolutely wonderful in a white room!

Black Leather Satchel Bag by TheLeatherStore

I have weakness for all things leather, especially if it has big buckles, or studs. Oh... I know what just flashed in your head. Nope!