Friday, December 10, 2010

Are The Biscuits? Or Muffins?

They are biscuits. But I cooked them in mini muffin trays.

These are vanilla and white chocolate biscuits.... but I added in some dark choc chips just because =

The Groovy Gripper

Have you ever been over to Kiwi Mummy Blogs? There are a huge range of wonderful Kiwi mums blogging away about family, friends, kids, craft, food and everything else in between. I am on their blog roll and was fortunate enough to be able to write a review for the Groovy Gripper.

The amount of times I have had to pick up rusks and fruit chunks walking around a store - I had given up taking them out with us.

Then, this arrived by courier to my doorstep. As I took it out of the box and marvelled at the genius behind such a product, I couldnt wait to get out and try it.

I even went to the grocery store (instead of buying them online) only so I could go out and show it off. (I spend less when I shop online, and trying to time it around Riley's feeds and naps was getting a bit rough)

Popped a rusk in, clipped it to the bottom of his shirt and started to push him round the store in the trolley. He dropped it once, but it did not land on the floor! He even managed to pull it up by the strap and get it himself (clever boy!). To say I was happy is an understatement.

He ate the entire rusk and did not make a noise the entire trip (he likes to squeal and show his excitement that he is at the supermarket.... and he is a grabby boy - if its within reach, its on the floor).

Even started talking to a lovely lady in the store about it and we exchanged numbers for a coffee.

Have not used the spoon or fork attachments yet as we do baby-led-weaning. But as soon as he has more hand-spoon-mouth control, we will be using it for him to have his yoghurt.

Easily rinsed/washed under the tap and there is no chance of the rusk going anywhere!

There is only one thing I am 'not a fan of' (for lack of a better term) and that is that Riley ate the whole rusk.... then I couldn't get the stub out! Had to use a knife to break it up to get it out... but honestly... the pros outweigh the con 10 fold. 100 fold. the con just doesn't matter.

Highly highly highly recommended. 9.8/10!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vegemite and Cheese Pinwheels

I like to call these 'Pinwheels' because everytime I hear 'scrolls' I think of those scone scrolls....

So here are my vegemite and cheese pinwheels.

Puff pastry
Grated cheese

Lay out the puff pastry on a flat surface. (if frozen, wait until thawed) then spread Vegemite (or Marmite) over the pastry, making sure to get close to the edge)

Create a line of grated cheese about 1-2 inches from the edge (this will be the centre of the pinwheels), againmaking sure it is across the whole sheet of pastry, our to the sides.

Sprinkle a little over the rest of the sheet (Helps keep it together better and just tastes great)

Roll as tight as possible. Mark out in 12 (half, third the halves, half the thirds) then cut. This creates 12 pinwheels. I dont put anymore than this on a flat tray as they can puff up and join together.

And how do they fare in this house?


Looking pretty good! =

These are great hot or cold. Can store in an airtight container and these keep well for 2 days.

Monday, December 6, 2010

CousCous Salad

Great for Christmas day..... Makes a large salad for not much money...


1 box CousCous (I use San Remo. I wouldn't recommened Israeli couscous as it doesnt hold the dressing or other ingredients as well, but not saying you can't!)
4-6 Chorizos (from the deli)
Mint (we use ours fresh from our pot plant)
1-2 Red onions (size and preference dependant)
Balsamic Vinegar (i have never tried balsamic vinegarette dressing, but worth a shot!)

Cook couscous in plain water (no spices, seasonings, butter etc)
Place into a bowl and glad wrap the top - chill overnight in the fridge.
In the morning, chop up the chorizos, onion and mint, and stir into the couscous.
Pour over balsamic vinegar to taste. I like alot and making the salad with the whole box, I can easily use 1/4 cup of vinegar!

Stir it all up and eat same day.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


It has been all go at our house! One Cheeky Monkey is taking off, to the point where I have actually had to recruit some help and my friend is setting up a website for me.

Riley is climbing on everything and is almost standing by himself. He is currently sick (poor little man) and is ready to cut his 7th, 8th and 9th teeth.....

Yes... he is 9 months old and already has 6 teeth!!!

Almost at Christmas and have been shopping and sewing and getting ready. Both mine and Dave's families are big on the Christmas Day get-together, so we have offered our house as the central 'everyone-for-lunch-and-pressies' place as it is easier for us to make sure Riley naps properly when we arent going between 3 different houses.

Have figured out how to 'queue' up posts like a timer so will be able to post more regularly now. Have a few recipes and tutorials coming your way soon!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Christmas Rush

Have been flat out sewing toys for One Cheeky Monkey and hoarding fabric =

Was my dad's 50th yesterday! Went round to mum and dad's for dinner and my nan gave me some pretty vintage curtain type fabric which would be great for bags or wallets.

My 22nd on the 18th! That came around quick!

And even quicker than that... Riley has 5 teeth and is crawling!

Will update more soon =

Sunday, October 31, 2010

One Cheeky Monkey

Been flat out with designing and sewing kids toys recently and selling them on Facebook. Can go check them out here. Have a stuffed elephant designed and made by me and have just finished designing a giraffe =

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Porcupine Meatballs

I remember having these as a kid and man they were good!!!

Serve on spaghetti pasta. Kids love 'em!

Half cooked rice. (still needs a little crunch so that it doesn't fall apart when you mix it up
Bolognase sauce (make your own or buy a jar)
Grated Apple/s (size, amount of mince taken into account)
Grated Carrot
Mixed Herbs
Tomato Sauce
Soy Sauce
Egg (1 per 300-400gm ish of mince.... 1kg mince = 3 eggs)
Spaghetti pasta

(pre-cook rice for about 8 mins in a microwave rice cooker. I dont own one of those fancy electric ones. I dont like them lol. so just cook it without it going soft)

Put mince, mostly-cooked rice, herbs, tomato sauce, soy sauce, egg/s, apple, carrot in bowl. Mix (with your hands! It's fun!!!). Mould into meatballs. If they are flaky and falling apart, try adding some flour to the mince mix. (1/4-1/3 cup for 1kg mince APPROX) Cook in bolognase sauce like normal meatballs.

Serve over spaghetti.

Soooo good!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Love My Man

This morning I woke up to his phone alarm going off at 7.15 (even though it wasn't a weekday which was a little strange). Riley was talking to himself in his cot waiting for mum to get up. Dave wasn't there. I got out of bed, got Riley out of his cot and went out to the lounge room. Dave was in the kitchen doing the dishes. And he did 2 loads of laundry and hung it out. And he cooked me breakfast. And he changed Riley's nappy twice and put him down for both of his naps (10am and 1pm).

Was so happy! He must be banking the brownie points because he is out at a stag do at the moment. Bowling, paintball and drinking. After this morning I am more than happy to let him sleep in until 10am when I put Riley down for his nap ;-)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Some dips for Xmas

2 of my favourite dips ever.

Guacamole (everyone has their own variation... but I love this one. Learnt from my mum who I'm guessing learnt from her mum? Anyway Riley loves it as I can see by his face covered in it and the big grin on his face)

In a food processor (or maybe even make with a stick blender?) place
2-3 avocados (depending on size and number of people)
2 shallots (cut off the roots and about 2 inches from the dark green tips and dispose. chop the section into roughly 3 inch sections to get the in the processor easier)
1-3 garlic cloves (depending on size and how garlicky you like it)
1-2 pinches cayenne pepper (depending on spice factor. start low and just add more if you want it. You can put more in, you can't take it out)
5-15 drops of pure lemon juice (or just squeeze a lemon wedge over)

Process until smooth.

If you do add too much cayenne pepper... it can be evened out with more lemon juice and an extra 1/2 shallot. Once blended to smooth, taste a bit (or the crackers you are serving with it) then add what needs to be added.

Serve with a mix of crackers, poppadoms, grilled pita bread, pieces of bread stick, salami, vege sticks, pretzels and Camembert or Brie

Cream Cheese & Honey with Pistachios

In a food processor...

1x tub of cream cheese (depending on how many people depends on the size)
1-2 tbsps of liquid honey (depending on size of tub. for a 250g tub I start with 1 tbsp then just add more if I need it. Depends on my mood lol)

Blend together until completely mixed.

1/3 - 1/2 cup of shelled pistachios. (Place in a tea towel once shelled and break with a meat mallet or rolling pin until chunky bits are made)

Either make the cheese/honey mix into a cheese ball and roll through the pistachio pieces or place into a bowl and fold through the pistachios.

Super yum!!!

Serve with a selection of crackers, grilled pita bread and pieces of bread stick.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mars Bar Slice Bites

75g butter
4x (standard size) Mars bars (or a "Fun Size 12 pack")
Approx 4 cups of Rice bubbles.

Melt butter and Mars bars together (make sure the nougat is mixed evenly through)

Remove from heat and stir through rice bubbles.

Place spoonfuls into mini muffins trays and refridgerate until set.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Official Starting Weigh In

Check out The Zumba Diaries and join in! Would love to see how you go!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting my hands dirty

How many times did you mother tell you not to play with your food?

Did she ever tell you how much fun it was to get your hands into a bowl of mince?

It has been over 10 years since I last (remember) having meatloaf, and oh it was fun to make!

What makes a good meatloaf? I don't know but mine tasted pretty good!!

1kg mince
2 grated apples
1 grated (large) carrot
1 grated (large) potato
3/4-1 cup plain flour
1/4-1/2 cup grated cheese
soy sauce
tomato sauce
mixed herbs
3 eggs

Add a roll of sausage meat.
Try pork mince instead of beef mince
Add some diced bacon or shredded ham

Riley loved it though and ate a whole slice.

And for dessert?

Ever heard of 5 minute chocolate mud cake?

2 tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
Dash of vanilla essence
(add some choc chips for a more decadent cake. think brownie status!)

  1. Place all dry ingredients inside an average mug and stir.
  2. Add the egg and whisk / mix well.
  3. Add milk and oil gradually, stirring.
  4. Add vanilla essence.
  5. Cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes.
  6. Eat from the mug, or run a knife around the edge to slide out onto a plate.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Doing it BLW Style

Who has heard of BLW? (a.k.a Baby Led Weaning) The general idea that if babies are ready for solids, then they can eat soilds and shouldn't have to have it pureed. Now, I am NOT saying that this is for everyone. In fact I'm not even saying that you should think about it if its not for you. People have been pureeing food for their babies for hundreds of years... but what did they do before pureeing was possible?

I'm a firm believer in Baby Led Weaning, but I am not going to get on my soap box and start preaching about it. Everyone has their own opinions and as long as it works for you, why should I care? But Riley is mine and Dave's child and this is about our experience.

Riley LOVES getting his hands on a chunk of banana, a whole snack size cucumber or some peach slices and his favourite food is a vegemite sandwich. We started soilds ealier than the "recommended" age, but he was showing us the 'signs' that he was ready to move on from his liquid diet. As we chose to formula feed (if you missed that post you can check it out here) I was able to see just how much he was feeding on formula.

During the week before we started him on solids, he was taking in as much as 1400mL (1.4L) of formula during a day. (the recommened amount for his age at the time was about 1000mL) so this equated to 2 extra bottles and he never seemed full afterwards. He was trying to grab everything we ate and was trying to eat everything he could get his hands on.

I had been thinking, discussing and researching Baby Led Weaning since I was about 5 month pregnant with Riley and it just made sense to us. Riley eats (essentially) what we eat and he loves nothing more than to feed himself. As I sit here typing this, he is chewing on a snack cucumber and he has gotten so good at biting, chewing and swallowing.

Its no messier than puree (especially when they try to spoon feed themselves) and its so rewarding to see him try new flavours on his own. If he doesn't like something, he won't eat it. (He can tell the difference between pumpkin and carrot just by looking at them. Love carrot. Hates pumpkin. Just like his mum!) When he is full, he stops eating. (It normally ends up being thrown on the floor)

I love not having to spend time cutting, cooking, mashing/blending, mixing, sorting, freezing, defrosting and spoon feeding Riley, when I can just make myself a fruit salad for lunch, and give him a chunk of my apple. Or just make an extra sandwich. Do you have any idea how much nicer it is to eat as a family instead of feeding baby, then feeding yourself? Do you have any idea how much nicer it is to go out for lunch, and be able to buy your baby a half sandwich and let them eat while you eat? Or even buy a baby-friendly lunch and let them get into it with you.

If you are almost at the beginning-solids stage and have ever had this pass through your mind as a fleeting thought... I highly highly recommend at least looking into it a little more. If its not your thing, then its not a problem! If it is, give it a go, you can always go back to puree!

Banana - His first food. Eaten off my thumb because it was too slippery for him. This is the closest to puree we ever got with Riley. Even then it was small chunks on my thumb.


Mummy's chin

Shaved ham

Cruskit (Crispbread)

Carrot, Potato and Pumpkin that he didn't eat

His favourite - Vegemite sandwich

Peach slices

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Nothing like fresh veges direct from your garden! As Dunedin is so incredibly *blurgh* over winter, not knowing if it is going to rain, hail, snow, be foggy or nice and sunny, it is incredibly hard for a novice gardener such as myself to grow anything.

But come Spring... that's a whole different story! Planter box #1 was done today with carrot seeds, when they germinate and sprout we will transfer them to the garden. Planter box #2... I wanted to experiment with onion as I had one in the back of the pantry i had forgotten about and has started to sprout new roots so I took all the good layers and chopped them up for the slow cooker (Waste not.. want not!) and planted the core of the onion in planter box 2 last week. I was curious how it was going so I did a little digging and its sprouting!!

We also have a mini plastic hothouse specifically for germination and sprouting, so Will be working on some lettuce and other spring/summer veges.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Laughter: The Best Medicine

I was heavily pregnant with Riley over the summer... Due in March, I had a big baby belly from Christmas time... Every night was spent in bed with the sheets kicked off and my fan on high (I even had a remote for my fan!!)... Was too hot to sleep and that on top of reflux and kicks made for not alot of deep sleep.

Isn't it amazing how your body just gets used to it and you can function on alot less sleep than you ever planned on.

Isn't it amazing how after months of this (and the newborn sleepless nights) you can function [reasonably] well on as little as 4 hours of 'sleep'. (I have been really lucky that Rileys has been sleeping through since about 2 months old, but I still wake up during the night to roll over... I don't move in my sleep!)

Isn't it amazing, how when you have a great sleep right through... you wake up with a headache and you feel even more tired than normal?

And what may be the cure to this? I hear you ask... Pretending to eat your childs feet just to hear the squeal with excitement. (Ok the squealing.. not so much, but the laughter is contagious!)

The Zumba Diaries

Check my pages (under my photo) to follow my Zumba weight loss diary. Weekly follow up photos and the occassional complaint about the biscuit I wont let myself have or about how I'm sick of peeing all the time from all the water I'm drinking.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mum, Love, Mess

Real Mum = Sitting on the couch in my dressing gown blogging, feeling like I'm ready to puke, Riley is asleep and Dave is doing the dishes.

Real Love = Spending the morning blowing raspberries on Rileys bare tummy just to hear him laugh

Real Mess = Baby Led Weaning and carpet don't mix ;-)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Camo Pants

Well as Riley gets bigger, his clothes are running out lol. He is growing too long too fast! Anyway I got on the sewing machine today and made him some blue camo pants. (Dave was really excited!)

Super easy pants and with no pattern. 

If anyone wants some quick instructions let me know and I will make another pair and take pics. 

They turned out really well!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How slack am I?

Haven't posted in ages! Hmmm well my little man (now 6 1/2 months old!!!) has just cut his 2nd tooth this morning. Started a business page on FaceBook. (my other blog is here) borrowed my mums spare sewing machine and have been going nuts with the sewing before she wants it back to sell. (May buy it off her yet). but I have just made a reversible sunhat for my little man (pics below) and have also made a reversible baby sling and 2 single sided baby slings. Made him toys (pics below) and am going to make a sleeping bag for him this arfternoon out of a thick cotton blanket that is pretty much useless because he plays himself to sleep (winds down) and he is never under his blankets so I've given up and am just going to make a couple of sleeping sacks and he can roll around to his hearts content. 

He is rolling across the lounge room, trying to get onto his kness, can almost sit by himself, tries to pull himself to standing (and is far too good at it!) has his very own sippy cup (its really cool! 4-way convertible cup!) that he can use quite precisley (and hates water unless he can do it himself with his sippy cup). Is fantastic at eating his own food (like he was from day one) and his favourite thing ever is a vegemite sandwich. Is trying to talk (well thats what I tell myself lol) and still loves bath time.

I will endeavour to keep this up-to-date a bit better. Maybe even document my tales of Zumba hehe. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

My New Favourite Pic

Ohk so today we had a funeral to go to :( But while waiting for Dave to get home from work to pick Riley and I up, we got out the camera and took a few pics, hey, just because! Don't need a reason to take some pictures!

Anyway, Riley thought it was funny so I was trying to get a pic of him and I grinning at the same time, and I managed to snap this.... it is my new favourite photo, just love it :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

The messy fun begins!

Well my little boy is not so little anymore and has started solids. Banana to be precise. I'm a big believer in baby-led-weaning so always have to change his clothes afterwards. But I love watching him learn to put the food in his mouth!!! It has been going a few places it shouldn't (like up his nose!!) but he has been pretty good and hasn't gotten much on the floor to be honest. Just his face and clothes and chair lol. 

Trying something else this week. Has done 6 days with banana, so on the 1st week anniversary of his beginning solids, might treat him to something else... maybe some apple. Stay tuned :)

Pic here of him in his highchair. He looks so tiny in it! It's packed with 2 blankets to keep him in the middle, and I now just have him sitting up with me and I hand him the banana coz he looks too little for his highchair!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Ohk so the photo a day didn't happen as I first planned it. Actually on that note neither did my blog lol. A little too long between posts but there isn't much to update when the whole famly is sick. The walking dead shall we say? Poor little man has been so blocked up for ages and Dave and I kinda pass it back and forth between us, so either exhausted from a cold, or exhausted from looking after Dave and Riley with their colds. Please winter be over?! Haven't even had snow yet!!! What's going on? Better not snow in November again. That was weird.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where, oh where, has my cam cable gone?

Oh there it is in the couch...?! So there is actually a theme for the week that I didn't realise until yesterday, so for my first emotion photo of the week... I give you... The Stunned Mullet...

Followed closely today by... Excuse Me?!

I give you... The Boy of Many Faces

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh books! How I miss you!

Todays photo of the day was simple one. My empty bookcase - I still have 4 more boxes of books to add and im only onto my 2nd book since having Riley. Although I am not surprised...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday's photo is full of flames.

This morning while Riley was sleeping, I was trying to think about what i shoudl take a pic of today. and the more I thought about it, the more a warm picture on a cold day seemed like a brilliant idea. So on that note... whats warmer than fire?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Saturday on Sunday

Didn't get to post my photo of the day yesterday. Not much time as it was my mum's birthday and we all went out. Anyway... photo of the day for Saturday...

and todays pic

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Five

Well with the Photo a Day - we have the Friday Five. Nominated pics that everyone takes and you can compare :-)

Today was
1. A Self Photo
2. Your Favourite Place
3. Your Favourite Colour
4. Your Favourite Item of clothing
5. Your Favourite Household Appliance

So... in order...

A Self Photo

2. A Favourite Place - (The deck of our house before Riley wakes up)

3. A Favourite Colour (From our bedroom wall)

4. A favourite item of clothing (High waisted skirt)

5. A favourite household appliance (My slow cooker)

A new photo coming tomorrow. Potentially of some muffins. Mmmmm muffins.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A photo a day keeps the time-lapse away.

A lovely lady on OHbaby! forums has started a group for July, "A photo a day"  which I have joined to make sure I don't lag on baby photo's ;-) Will post them in here aswell just because I can. To be perfectly honest with you though... today is the first day of the group (funnily enough with it being the 1st July) and I forgot to take a photo until just now. Yeah yeah terrible I know. But I am determined to do this every day.

The only rules are that it has to be done everyday. The general understanding is that its something that inspires you... So for my 1st picture I have taken a picture of my son and I playing under his playgym together

Excited Much?

OMG yay! How exciting!!!! MJ from MJs Digital Creationz has accepted me on to her CT!!!

Also until the 6th July, you have a chance to win her newest kit With This Ring. Just leave a comment on her post and she will randomly pick one person who will win this free-of-charge!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

He Sleeps... Therefore, I Hobby...

Well my only real hobbies before have been beading/jewellery design or reading. Since having been pregnant my hobbies have been complaining about sore joints and sitting in front of the fan. Since having Riley, my hobbies have been singing silly songs in a horrible singing voice, trawling TradeMe and baby stores for cute baby things, paper scrapbooking and having coffee with other mums. Now that Riley has figured out how to sleep in predictable amounts, I have been "siggie making" and digital scrapbooking... and I love it! 

No longer do I look longingly at my favourite bits and pieces and settle for second best so I don't use the good ones. No longer do I look at a completed page and think to myself "well to be honest that's pretty crap" because by the miracle of an "Undo" button and a copy and paste, all that has changed! 

In fact... I am a Designer in Training on 2 siggie making websites... Simply Siggies which can be found here and Little Monster Designs which can be found at this link. Not only that... but I have been asked to join a CT (creative team). 

Claire of Tink Designs. (My layouts can be found on the forum)

Would also like to mention MJs Digital Creationz where I made a couple of Layouts using her first for-sale kit "Perfect Moment" which can be found at Sunflower Scraps Boutique

What A Weekend!!!

Had one of my most exciting weekends, and here I am on Tuesday morning finally writing about it... well lets start with Saturday shall we?

My big little-man........ (drum roll please)........ rolled over!!!!! When he first did it, I didn't believe it was him... but when I thought about it, and realised that Dave wasn't even sitting next to him and I hadn't helped him... I was so excited that I kept popping him back on his tummy. After 4 rolls he was pretty over it and didn't want to be on his tummy any longer. But dare I say it...? I cried a little. Is there anything more precious than watching your child learn and grow right in front of your eyes? 

Even have a short vid of him on the Sunday rolling over on camera... I would like to stress how hard this was to obtain. He is a poser and everytime he sees the camera, he stops what he is doing, stares at it and smiles. (Gorgeous, yes! But can get a little frustrating when you are trying to capture some video!) Anyway... here he is on the Sunday, ignore me talking... please? ;-)

And my other exciting news is that..... we finished the mural! Well except for the outlining and the eyes, but have to wait for it to dry before we did that, so will just leave it til Sunday this week (only real day we can do it) and will be completely finished then. Took us a while and a few inhaled paint fumes which gave me a killer headache when I stopped painting long enough to notice. It was raining so the room wasn't properly ventilated and Riley was with us, not at my mum and dad's (like we did last weekend to paint) so had the lounge room shut off, so couldn't even get any house-breathing-cross-breeze-flow going on. I was a little too excited about the painting that night...! Here is a pic of the room where we are up too now... you can't see the elephants trunk at the moment, and there are a few white spots from the wall, but will look great when we have outlined :-)

On that exciting note, I am now off to go climb under Riley's playgym with him and make some stupid faces in the mirror, just to hear him laugh :-)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Jungle has Grass!

Spent today painting Riley's bedroom and if I do say so myself... it's looking great!!!
Have made it to the 3rd stage out of 8 (background, foreground, foliage, giraffe, elephant, lion, bird and snake, outline)  so next weekend we move onto the animals! I am so excited and can't wait until its finished!!

And here are some pics to have a squizz at!

Stage 1 (background)

Stage 2 (foreground)

Stage 3 (foliage)
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