Simple Photo Print Display Projects

IMG_20160511_175054

I love taking photos, I possibly take too many but there are worse things to do too much of right? Up until recently the majority (if not all) of my photos remained on my phone or if I was feeling really organised loaded into folders on my computer and the idea of getting them printed was just one of those things I kept telling myself I would get around to one day, then I discovered the Printicular app by Warehouse Stationery, you may remember me talking about this app over on my Facebook or Instagram pages just before Christmas.

Printicular is seriously the best! I can choose the photos I want to print then order directly from my phone and my photos are ready to pick up by the next day, sometimes even earlier or you can have them delivered to your door! You can download the Printicular app for free from either Google Play or iTunes and from there it is super simple to use.

Of course once you have your beautiful prints in your hands the next step is to make sure you display them. There are lots of ways to do this and I thought I would share with you ways in which to do this that cost next to nothing and also give you the flexibility of changing up the displays each time you get new photos printed.

I recently created a photoboard for my girls bedroom using a cork memo board, some string/twine, push pins and mini wooden pegs (all purchased from Warehouse Stationery) I decided on this type of display for the girls room to make it easy for them to change up the photos themselves without the photos getting damaged and no pin holes in the walls.IMG_20160511_175310It was a simple as measuring 3 pieces of string then tying each end around a pin and pressing them into the cork board, then pegging the photos on. You could always add some patterned or coloured paper to the board first to give it a bright background, I think some polka dot or striped paper would look cool.

It looks great on the girls shelves at the moment and this makes it easy to take down and add new photos to or it could also go on the wall if you wanted to make it more permanent. Something like this also makes a great gift.IMG_20160511_175158An even simpler way to display your Printicular prints is with good old blu tak, you can create almost any kind of display for any room, that can be added to over and over again. Its best to lay out your photos on a flat surface first and play around with the layout until you get it looking just how you want, I then take a photo with my phone so that I can remember where each one goes when I put it up on the wall.IMG_20160511_174901Using the square prints from Printicular you can create all sorts of shapes, hearts, crosses, Christmas trees even they even look great as a long line of photos stretching from side of the wall to another.IMG_20160511_174824Another idea is to group photos by colour or theme, the example below uses photos all with blues and greens and a nature theme. You can even make a point of going out and taking photos with a theme in mind. Maybe get the kids involved and choose a colour or theme to go with. Places like beaches, garden centres and parks are great for finding beautiful things to take photos of.IMG_20160511_175021One of my favourite displays is this rainbow of colours that I currently have in my living room using mostly pictures of flowers, leaves, blue skies and water. It took a while to get the layout just as I wanted but I love the end result.

I have a $100 Warehouse Stationery voucher to GIVEAWAY to one lucky winner, just tell me in the comments below what you most like to take photos of then head over to the Facebook post here and tag a friend who might like to enter as well. The winner will be drawn Monday 18th of July and announced here on the blog.

Thanks to Warehouse Stationery for making this post possible.

homemade cough syrup

So last week I put the call out on my facebook page to see if anyone had any great home remedies for the coughs that seem to be bothering pretty much every little person I now right now, and wow so many great responses with some great ideas of things to try (you can see the actual post here)

Top of the list was either Vicks or a little eucalyptus oil on the soles of the feet with some socks over the top. I have actually been using some Badger Aromatic Chest Rub on both chest and feet and this seems to be helping, its not cheap and I am going to look at making my own…..so stay tuned for that one.

I have also been keeping the girls room warm and making sure any water they have to drink before bed is warm or room temperature rather than the ice cold they normally insist on.

But I have to say the best tip I was given was a little recipe for home-made cough syrup from Amilie who had been given it by her GP awhile back. This sounded so easy to make and using only 4 ingredients I had to give it a try and thought I would share it here for anyone else who might like to give it a go. The recipe says this is for children under 6 (but I think I might be using it for myself even) and for children under 12 months DO NOT add the honey. It also says this mixture is for a mild sore throat and/or cough with no signs of chest infection or breathing impairment, so always let common sense prevail and have your child or yourself seen by a professional first in such circumstances.

homemadecoughsyrup

Ingredients

– 2 tablespoons of fresh orange or lemon juice – I used half a lemon and 1 mandarin (YAY another way to use up the abundance we have of these at the moment!)
– 2 tablespoons of Honey – I used local Earthbound raw manuka honey
– 1 tablespoon of Glycerine/Glycerol – easily purchased at your chemist
– 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil – I just used some extra virgin olive oil I had in the pantry

Method

– Mix it all together, my girls did this part and then give 1/2 – teaspoon 2 -3 times a day.
– Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Oh and to finish may I just say BRING ON SUMMER!

oranges aND lemons

 

cheap creative holiday fun

Here are some of the cheap & creative things we do at home that might come in handy when you are grasping at straws to try and entertain your kids these school holidays . None of these cost much if any money at all and most of them can be achieved using things you already have at home. Hopefully this will provide you with some cheap creative holiday fun.

cupcake case art

This is super simple – all you need is cupcake cases, paper, glue (we use PVA) paint, glitter, markers or crayons. Then let them go with it, we make all sorts flowers, faces and whatever you like really. Miss 6 likes to put a lot of thought into it and miss nearly 4 likes to just use lots of glue & glitter & paint. There is a bit of mess involved but nothing too hard to clean up. you could also use old buttons, leaves, sticks etc.

creative at home
hard at work
creative at home
Some of the many finshed master pieces. Miss 3’s artwork on the top and Miss 6 on the bottom

ice tray fun

This is also super simple and a big favourite in our house, it takes a little pre planning but you can involve the kids in this too – all you need is some deep oven trays or slice trays or cake tins even, water, glitter & food colouring (these are optional) then any sort of toys, we use animals and little dolls, but anything will do. Fill the trays about half way with the water, add the glitter & food colouring if using & stir it around then place them in the freezer overnight, they will be fully frozen by the morning. The next day get out the trays, place them on top of a towel and let the fun begin, we like to pretend the ice is a skating rink for the dolls and play Disney on Ice or we stack up ice cubes using salt to stick them together and make our own Antarctic type scene with penguins and other snow animals (or not, like the crocodile, zebra and pandas!)  My girls play with these for hours, and make pools for the animals and dolls as the ice melts. It is fairly messy as the ice melts, especially if you are using the glitter & food colouring so could be done outside on a sunny day if you are not keen on water possibly going everywhere. We do tend to get cold hands too so I have tea towels and warm flannels on hand. I find this is quite a good little lesson in science too.

creative at home
building with ice

flower and leave art

As some of you may already know I love to play with flowers and leaves all by myself but I also love to involve the kids too. We tend to talk about what we might make first and then go out adventuring & foraging in the backyard to find flowers and leaves to make our pictures. You can use anything even just good old grass and weeds, you don’t need a full garden of flowers or the other option is to collect from a local park. Once you have a decent amount of material you can start making your pictures, I try to leave the kids to it and let them do their own thing (whilst I play with my own flowers and leaves haha!) and I then let the kids take their own photos of their artwork. We make patterns, animals and even pretend gardens. You can see more of our leave art here.

* The photos below were taken by me as they girls photos are on an old phone

creative at home
collecting our leaves
creative at home
shapes
creative at home
patterns

 

 

 

chocolate cranberry bliss balls

These chocolate cranberry bliss balls are very easy to make, no fancy ingredients and a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup of natural almonds
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
10 – 12 pitted dates
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
2 TBS Cocoa
Juice of one lemon
Dessicated coconut

Method:

Blitz the almonds and sunflower seeds in a food processor until chopped but not too fine, then add all other ingredients except for the coconut to the food processor and blend until the mixture starts to clumps together. If the mixture is too wet add some coconut or more sunflower seeds and if the mixture is too dry add a little more lemon juice.

Now take the mixture out of the processor and roll it into balls, my kids love this part I find its best to push the mixture together a little first and then give it to the kids to roll it into a ball, then cover in coconut. Once they are all done its best to leave them in the fridge for 1/2 an hour before eating but in our house there are a few gone before that happens!

Makes approx 20 bliss balls.

These are delicious and the taste of chocolate and cranberries go so well together YUM!

chocolate and cranberry bliss balls

a little winter up-cycle

As any parent knows kids grow out of shoes FAST! In our house we normally donate any clothes and shoes that are now too small but still in good condition to the local hospice shop, but for this little up-cycle project we had a pair of gumboots that no longer fitted miss nearly 4 and decided we would do a little winter up-cycle and use them in the garden instead.

It’s no secret that I love gardening and I also love up-cycling and sharing these things with my girls is really important to me. This little gumboot up-cycle is so super easy that the girls practically did the whole thing themselves.

gumboot garden

You will need:

An old pair of gumboots (you could of course buy a new pair if there are no little feet growing like weeds in your house)

Some potting mix

A selection of plants – for this one we just broke off some pieces of a succulent already growing in the garden

gumboot garden

Then simply fill the gumboots with the soil, depending on the plants you are using you may wish to then punch some drainage holes in the gumboots using a screwdriver. I would put the holes at the back near the heel area of the gumboot so that they cannot be seen at the front.

gumboot garden

Plant the plants into the gumboots, give them a little water, choose where you want to display them making sure they get some sunshine and you are done. My girls added some little fairies to theirs (you cannot see them in the pics) and were very proud of their work. It also feels like I can hold onto the memory of those little feet in little gumboots just a little bit longer.

gumboot garden

 

my homemade lip treatments

So some of you will have read my post the other day about my chapped & cracked lips and many of you offered up some great remedies and products to try as well as the suggestion to make sure I was drinking enough water, thanks so much for all of your suggestions!

Over the weekend we pretty much went nowhere except to escape the house on Sunday afternoon so I am yet to purchase any of the suggested products, but I did decide to see what I could make at home using what I already had and whip up my own homemade lip treatments. Some of you did suggest trying a lip scrub, so after a little research (Google) I had enough information to have a go at making my own.

For my lip scrub I used:

1 and a 1/4 tablespoons of white sugar
1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of manuka honey
A squeeze of fresh lime juice
A few mint leaves that I crushed with a mortar and pestle

lime and mint home made lip scrub

I gave it all a good mix after adding each ingredient and added a little more sugar when I was too heavy handed on the lime juice to keep the mixture from being too liquidy.

Once the scrub was all mixed up I rubbed it all over my lips, making sure to concentrate on the most chapped areas, then wiped it off using a wet face cloth. My lips felt so smooth afterwards and bonus the scrub tasted amazing, like a mojito without the rum!

homemade lime and mint lip scrub

After that success I decided to mix up some coconut oil with the remaining lime juice, crushed mint leaves and manuka honey and made myself a little lip treatment, I smoothered it onto my lips much like a balm and then it let sink in for awhile then wiped it away with a tissue, again it tasted quite delicious and I am sure the manuka honey helped with the healing.

Result I now have smooth lips that feel like they may just be on their way to being lipstick worthy! YAY! Just have to get to the shops and try out some of your lip balm suggestions, thanks again!

Home made lime and mint lip scrub and lip treatment

 

Cranberry and almond weetbix slice

We make the standard chocolate weetbix slice often, so on a very rainy weekend here at home myself and my girls decided to mix it up a little and make a few changes to the standard recipe. Dried cranberries are a big fave here at present so they were a must and I had a whole lot of slivered almonds that need to be used up so we added them too.

Cranberry & almond weetbix slice

Here is my recipe (I have added an extra weetbix and removed some of the sugar seeing as the cranberries have quite a bit themselves) I hope if you make this, you enjoy it as much as us!

Ingredients:
180g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract
1 cup dessicated or shredded coconut
4 weetbix, crushed
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Method:
Preheat oven to 180 C. Melt butter and add vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients together in a bowl, pour in butter and mix well.

Press mixture into a lined slice pan and bake at 180 C for 15-20 minutes until just firm.

Allow to the slice cool and then ice with chocolate icing. Once icing is cool cut with a warm sharp knife and try not to eat it all before you store it in an airtight container.

Cranberry & almond weetbix slice

Cranberry & almond weetbix slice

my mexican inspired slow cooker soup recipe

I am one of those people who tends to grocery shop without a list and end up with 5 cans of kidney beans in the pantry but none of the stuff I actually need. So the other night whilst trying to make a meal plan of some sort and actually be organised, I decided to use up said cans of kidney beans and few other items that were otherwise going to go to the compost heap and make a mexican soup in the slow cooker. Here is my mexican inspired slow cooker soup recipe for those interested.

Ingredients (for the soup)

half an onion diced

2 cloves of garlic crushed

1 potato & 1 kumara peeled and chopped – you can use any vegetables you like really

1 can of red kidney beans – drained and rinsed

1 – 2 cans of choppped tomatoes depending on how much soup you want to make

half a packet of taco seasoning mix

1/2 a cup of vegetable stock or more depending on desired consistency

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1/2 a teaspoon of chilli flakes and a sprinkling of pepper

Throw all of these ingredients in the slow cooker, stir to combine then cover and turn on low for a good 7 – 8 hours. I put this all together the night before and then switched on the next morning.

Once the soup is done, you can serve as is which fairly chunky and a little like a stew or you could use a stick blender to blend to more of a smooth consistency.

Serve with corn chips, sour cream, chopped fresh chillies and coriander on top, you even melt some cheese on top if you like and add some guacamole. I also love a good dose of The Lucky Taco hot sauce on top DELICIOUS!

What is your favourite slow cooker meal?

Mexican Slow Cooker Soup

 

 

 

my mason jar salad recipes

So a week or so ago I decided enough was enough and there was to be no more buying my lunch everyday, I worked out that if the average bought lunch costs me between $7 – $15! I was spending up to $75 a week on lunch!!! Okay so most of the time I spend $7 on a salad but still even that is $35 a week!

I won’t lie I LOVE buying my lunch and love the choices on offer in the CBD and that most of them are really healthy too. So I had to come up with something interesting, delicious and cheap! Enter the mason jar salad, I had seen these pop up here and there on Pinterest so had an idea of what they should look like and went from there, I never actually researched any recipes myself but went with what I like to eat and also tried to make something from what we were having for dinner each night so as to keep the cost down and keep it easy. I really like variety so was not keen on making the same salad in 5 lots for one week and I also only had the one jar so I went for a new salad each day and here are my 4 mason jar salad recipes – I use the term recipe loosely seeing as they are only salads but you know what I mean 😉

The Chicken Salad

We had chicken breasts for dinner on the Sunday night and so I made sure to keep some aside for my salad, the chicken was lightly seasoned with himalayan salt and some pepper then cooked whole until done, I then sliced it up and let it cool. From the bottom of the jar to the top I layered:

Cucumber, yellow capsicum, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, the sliced chicken and then a mixture of baby spinach and baby kale leaves. The trick is to put the wetter ingredients at the bottom and go up from there.

I served this salad with some dried cranberries on top, lemon juice, chilli flakes and Kimmithgone Hemp Seed Oil and it was delicious and because you shake the salad from the jar it is all perfectly mixed up YUM

Mason Jar Chicken Salad
Mason Jar Chicken Salad

The Chorizo Salad

For this salad I cooked up some chorizo in a pan with a little olive oil, red onion, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts then let them cool down whilst I cut up the rest of my ingredients. From the bottom of the jar to the top I layered:

Cucumber, yellow capsicum, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, the chorizo and onion with nuts and seeds then the baby spinach and baby kale leaves. In a little separate container I made a dressing of basil pesto, olive oil and chilli flakes to drizzle over the top the next day…..it was AMAZING!

Mason Jar Chorizo Salad
Mason Jar Chorizo Salad

The Vegetarian Mexican Salad

We eat a lof of Mexican inspired food for dinner and I also eat a lot of Mexican when I buy my lunch so when we had mexican for dinner and I had plenty of kidney beans and corn kernels to spare, I decided to make a bit of salsa type thing for this salad. I drained and rinsed some canned kidney beans and corn kernels and then mixed them with some cooked red onion, coriander, fresh chilli, olive oil and lime juice and put this straight into the bottom of the jar and from there I layered from bottom to top:

Cherry tomatoes, avocado, lime wedges to stop the avocado going brown and to use as a dressing as well, jalapenos, iceberg lettuce, baby spinach and baby kale leaves, I then added some grated cheese and corn chips. In hindsight I needed to keep the corn chips separate as they of course lost their crunch. I served this just as it came out the jar (removing the corn chips first) and squeezed the limes over top. This salad was next level delicious!!!

Mexican Vegetarian Mason Jar Salad
Mexican Vegetarian Mason Jar Salad

The Japanese Donburi Inspired Salad

I tend to buy a lot of donburi style salads for my lunch and these are the salads that costs me from $13 – $15! So I decided I had to endeavour to make something similar. We were eating Teriyaki beef for dinner so I kept some of the rice and beef aside to cool for my salad and then added them both to the jar first, from there I layered from bottom to top:

Crushed peanuts, thinly sliced carrots and celery, fresh chillies, avocado, bean sprouts, coriander and baby spinach and baby kale leaves. I also took some Japanese mayo and Sriracha sauce in a separate container. I could not wait to eat this salad and it did not dissapoint, I could seriously eat this everyday!

Japanese Donburi Style Mason Jar Salad
Japanese Donburi Style Mason Jar Salad

I can honestly say there is no way I am going back to buying my lunch everyday for sure, these salads were all just as good if not better than what I would normally buy and of course a lot cheaper as I was using ingredients I already had to make our dinners but stretching them to go that little bit further. Any of my recipes above can of course be adjusted to suit your own tastes (not everyone eats nor likes as much chilli and heat as me) I am thinking of trying roast vegetables with beetroot and feta for my next salad and maybe a couscous one too.

 

 

my best lemon and honey drink

“The winter is coming”  (yes I love Game of Thrones) and we have already had a few sniffles in our household, in fact they are unwelcome guests at the moment. When it comes to colds I think everyone has their own little “old wives tales” remedies that they like to use and mine is lemon and honey drinks.

my homegrown lemon & limes
my home grown lemon & limes

I have a special way of making them though to get as much goodness out of the lemon as possible. Here is my technique:

Ingredients – 1 0r 2 lemons preferably home grown (if store bought wash really well) a teaspoon or 2 of honey (I prefer manuka honey for its healing properties) and water, that is it.

Cut up the lemons and squeeze some of juice into a large pyrex jug (or whatever other microwave safe vessel you have) add approx 1.5 cups of water and then microwave for 2 – 5 minutes, pour (through a sieve if you don’t like the pips and bits) into a mug then add the honey and serve.

I love the way this lemon & honey drink tastes in comparison to just sqeezed lemon, you are getting all of the good oils from the lemon skin and so much more lemony goodness, you could also add some ginger if you like.

What is your winter ills cure or tip? I would love to know and maybe compile a big list to help everyone out over the winter.

my lemon and honey drink
my lemon and honey drink