Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Roll Up! Roll Up!

So it's been six week in the making, but here it is....our very special circus themed 1st birthday party!!

Now Matt out did himself (as per usual) with a 3D chocolate mud circus tent cake, blue butter creme mini cupcakes, shortbread cookies, caramel popcorn cups, white chocolate dipped candy apples, blue fairy floss and the all time party favourite - the chocolate oreo cake pops!  Now you understand why I was embracing my good friend 'Will Power' in past weeks! Luckily I left him at home on Sunday though as it would have just been insulting to Matt not to try his beautiful little creations!

The party was a real hit for both the adults and the kiddies, with each guest also enjoying bags of lollies from the lolly bar, lollipops and some all important bubbles for blowing!

Enjoy the pics below, the rest are featured on our Facebook page, so make sure to check them out.

This will be our last blog for the year, so Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year to all our followers

Saturday, 10 December 2011

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..well not quite.

With only fourteen days to Christmas I’m sorry to say that it literally could be any one of the other eleven months of the year in our household at the moment. With a more than hectic life for us both right now I have needed to put off our Christmas preparations until a later date when we can actually find the time to deal with them!

Now I absolutely LOVE Christmas…..you know tis the season to be jolly and all the lovely things that go with it! Every year from early December our house would be filled with the adoring aroma of a beautiful fresh Christmas tree, sporting strategically placed matching ornaments and hosting an array of beautifully wrapped presents for all family and friends. With twinkling lights on the tree to set the mood, most nights in the lead up to the big day would be spent pottering around the house wrapping presents and belting out Christmas carols to the dulcet tones of Bing Crosby accompanying me in the background. But yet this year with only two weeks to go, we still do not have a tree, no wreath decorates the front door and no presents our mounding up to be wrapped. Clearly I need to get my act together!

The one thing I have managed to throw together however was these little Chrissy gifts for all my work colleagues (sorry girls I know I’ve ruined the surprise now, but these are coming your way very soon!). Very simple to put together, they don’t require too much effort but are bursting at the seams with thoughtfulness. Simply fill some noodle boxes with Christmas coloured jelly beans or chocolate buttons and tie up with some pretty Christmas ribbon. Or if you are willing to unleash your inner baker (as we have, or should I say Matt has!) bake some homemade shortbread, mince pies or rum balls to fill the little boxes. To me there is nothing like something homemade or hand-crafted, always filled with so much more effort rather than something purchased off the shelf.

So as Christmas nudges closer, we’re hoping things will start to settle down for us so we can start with our very overdue preparations to make it look a lot more like Christmas. Although I guess there’s nothing stopping me from practising a few renditions of Silver Bells with Mr Crosby right now!

Happy carolling x

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Home SWEET home!

I have a problem, a BIG problem. I am being taunted by all things sweet and this week has been especially cruel to me! After the big realisation last week that summer was fast approaching, I had been doing everything in my power to steer clear of the poisoness sweet stuff. But sure enough life threw me a nasty curve ball this week where sugar somehow has become my whole existence.

It began earlier in the week when my first delivery of lollies arrived at work for our next little party. The package was incredibly heavy filled with raspberries, milk bottles, strawberries 'n cream and mini blue jelly beans. As I signed for the delivery and took it back to my desk, my little friend 'Will Power' was forced to go into over drive, trying to stop me from cracking a bag open immediately for the all important taste test. But luckily with the idea front of mind of me in a bikini within a matter of weeks, I thought quality control was not going to cut it as far as excuses go. The following day my next delivery arrived, this time these awesome little stripy lollipops pictured below. Now the the man in the mail room clearly thinks I have some sort of sugar addiction (albeit I probably do), raising one eyebrow and asking "did you eat all 4kgs of those lollies from yesterday already??!" Giving him a well deserved stir, I replied "yes, yes i did" and walked away with a smirk on my face. I hate to think what will be going through his head though when my next order comes in. Last night I discovered on Goody Goody Gum Drops that they were having a special offer with free delivery on all orders over $100 for one day only. Jumping at the opportunity I decided to put my order in for our upcoming photo shoot for our website. 11kg of lollies later, the mail man is seriously going to think I have a problem when they arrive next week!

If the lolly issue isn't enough though, this weekend I've found that everywhere I turn at home I bump into that sweet sweet evil. Matt has been incredibly busy these last two days whipping up cakes, shortbread cookies, cupcakes and cake pops. Our entire house has a sickly sweet aroma of a large scale pattiserie and it clearly is not helping my situation. To make matters worse, my darling husband has been relentlessly sticking his sticky fingers in my face dripping in oreo cake pop mixture or lavishly thick butter creme begging me to taste his sweet little sensations.
So rather than enjoy a nice lie in in bed this morning I was forced to escape the sweet smelling aromas that were creeping into my bedroom, deciding to spend two hours at the gym slogging it out on the treadmill instead. But with business starting to take off, I guess I'm going to have start getting use to all these sweet tempations and start working on that strained relationship with my good friend 'Will Power'.

Signing off.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Who says colour blocking only applies to fashion?

Big week for us here at Meko Creations! Matt was kept busy most of the week completing an order for a friend of ours engagement party last night. 200 brightly coloured mini cupcakes was the brief, each displaying the letters of their first names (how sweet!). Now Matt is clearly ahead of all the fashionista's out there and likes to extend the latest fashion trends into his baking, so he created these beautiful little 'colour blocking' masterpieces. And trust me, they tasted as good as they look!

To top it off we finalized our logo this week. I can quite confidently say I am in love with our logo. In love I tell you ! Matt better watch out.....he he he! Now I just can't wait to see the design for our website! Thanks to the lovely Jodie from Jaz Effect Design who created it (and persevered with all my changes all week!).

Have a great week everyone

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Made in Australia?.....I think not!

New to this business, I'm fast starting to learn that if you want to buy anything awesome in the party world you must source it from the U.S.A. Obviously Etsy opens many doors when it comes to this concept, but I was pleasantly surprised last week when browsing Etsy online to find a little shop called Pink Lemonade Party Shop that seemed to make all my dreams come true! Having been on the hunt online in Australia for plastic mini milk bottles recently, I was wrapped to finally find some all the way over in Breckenridge, Texas of all places! To me the idea of glass bottles and little kiddies just don't mix and I was going to move heaven and earth to try and find some plastic ones for our next party. Luckily I found Lisa at Pink Lemonade Party who was able to help me out with a decent batch of two dozen little plastic bottles, each one ready for milk and a funky retro paper straw. But in browsing her shop, I soon realized I had died and gone to party heaven discovering all the goodies she stocked that I just haven't been able to source in Australia. The only downside of shopping online from the States is the 2-3 week wait on your items to arrive and after only a couple of days since placing my order with Lisa the suspense is already killing me!

But it didn't stop there last week, I also found the website of the ever so popular U.S company Whisker Graphics, who make the coolest twine around, Divine Twine (pictured below). Who would have thought I would be so excited about opening a package of twine when it arrived this week......eek!!! I think I may need to put in another order for one in every colour!

So with the dollar still not too bad for us and Australia still trailing behind in the retail world, it looks like the Australian economy will be missing out on MEKO's input for now (or at least until we can get our act together and start sourcing and stocking these goodies in our own online shop!!)

Happy Sunday night


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Just call me Tonia Toddman!

Wow what a week! Never thought I would say this but I actually think I may be turning into Tonia Toddman! Good grief! Now I may may be creative, but hardly crafty, most of the time turning my nose up at the craft segments on Better Homes and Gardens thinking who the hell has time to make that crap?! But recently I've found myself religiously watching every Friday night even taking notes on how to spray paint an old vase to give it new and fresh polka dot look or even turn an old wire coat hanger into a pair of earrings! Cripes, I really am getting old!

This week I have stepped it up and embraced a bit more of Tonia in preparation for our next circus themed 1st birthday party, each night cutting favour tags, buntings, cupcake toppers and even making party hats! We worked out pretty quickly however that Matt and I wouldn't last five minutes in a party hat factory that's for sure! Today has also hosted an array of visits to Lombards, Lincraft, Spotlight and Bunnings to find some of our goodies too. We even found this awesome material (pictured below) at spotlight which we fell in love as a table cloth. Problem is though, I can't sew! I worked that one out the hard way in Year 10 texitles class when I managed to break four sewing machine needles in the space of five minutes trying to sew together a cushion cover. Lucky for me though my house husband can not only cook and clean, but can apparently also use a sewing machine too! Not sure I believe him, but we will soon find out.

So here's a little sneak peek of what we have in store for this little party. A big thank you to Dimples Prints for the stunning printables package they created......we have definitely been having lots of fun printing and cutting it all out!

Enjoy what's left of the weekend

Saturday, 5 November 2011

This little piggy went to market......

So instead of going to the gym this morning (which this piggy needed to do more than ever!) we opted for an early start, braving the hoards of people (from all walks of life I might add!) at the Camberwell Rotary Markets. Mind you I did seem to fit right in today even copping the odd stare or two after fronting up to the markets with a face free of make up and a head full of unwashed hair! Now the markets are only open till just after midday on Sunday and considering the time it takes me to get ready in the morning I felt this was the best option if we were going to try and pick up some bargains. Although after today’s visit I do use the word ‘bargain’ loosely feeling most vendors sporting the most wanted vintage items were trying to get away with highway robbery with their asking prices. Now I have definitely done my research when it comes to certain vintage party ware and glassware and was horrified to have some prices revealed to me on larger items that were upward of $250! Seriously, if you want that sort of cash for your trash you should be putting it on eBay, or better still just open a shop. You’re kidding yourself if you think that market goers would be carrying around that sort of cash in their pockets, most expecting to pick up items for $1 and $2. Take it from me, after hosting a garage sale not long ago, most visitors came armed with a pocket full of change to get rid of. But don’t get me wrong, we did manage to come home with a couple of bargains to add to our party ware collection.

We just loved this candy bowl that we picked up for the low low price of just $6! It will be the perfect addition to our next lolly bar. But we didn’t stop there, also finding these uber cool original Kraft wooden crates. Again the vendor was asking the most ridiculous of price considering wooden crates are so damn popular at the moment, but we managed to barter him down.


Lucky for me we installed some shelving in the studio under our house yesterday, because the way I’m going I may need to move into a bigger home just to house all these goodies I’m finding!

Now this piggy is off to bake some biscuits, so enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Lorne: Nothing short of shabby

With a couple of days of R&R down in Lorne for the long weekend, we could not go past popping into The Bottle of Milk for one of Victoria's best burgers. That's a big claim to fame I know, but these are just the bees knees, but of course with the price tag to go with it! At $14 a pop, they're worth every penny. I don't even eat meat, but seem to make the exception for one of these at any cost.

The Bottle of Milk Classic Cheese Burger....Yum!

I have been coming to Lorne since I was a teenager and over the last fifteen years it would seem to have become one of the most vintage and shabby chic places around, especially when it comes to food. Where once the best thing you could get in Lorne was a chicken and avacado toastie from Kafe Kaos (before it turned uber trendy), now you are spoilt for choice with an array of new (but vintage) cafes and eateries, all rocking old school coffee machines and 1970's vinyl furniture.

The fashion and home wares stores seem to have caught on too, some with better finds in them than what you'd find in Melbourne. Where once upon a time the most vintage store in Lorne was the Lorne Opportunity Shop (which is still there mind you), you now have your pick of designer vintage clothing stores, rustic jewelery and shabby chic home ware and gifts. With the calibre of women visitors to this surf town, any of these business owners would be sitting on a gold mine selling this stuff. My favourite finds yesterday being at Vic & Bert, with their vintage laundry pales, old medicine bottles, shabby British flags and  original glass laundry jars (if only I was having a vintage laundry party for a bunch of British doctors!). We did however find an original French bakers bread board that we love love love!

But with the weather not being so great, we decided to dedicate these few days to working on the business making it our own little 'company getaway'. With our heads buried in spreadsheets, costings, menus and lolly bar sketches we have at least managed to get out and pick up some great vintage props for our business in some of these fab home wares stores (although I am still looking for an original gum ball machine for a circus party if anyone can help?!). Perhaps we should consider doing these getaways more frequently, if only to claim them as business trips at tax time! Hmmm, something to consider..........
 Happy Cup Day everyone!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Memories of cake......

In cooking these sweet little rasberry crumble cakes last night it evoked lovely memories of visits to my beloved Grandparents' houses when I was a little girl. Especially the visit's to my Mum's parent's house, where Poppy, my Grandpa, used to sing me the Strawberry Shortcake song religiously on every visit. I remember sitting on his lap and begging him to sing it again and again. As an 80's baby I was right into my Strawberry Shortcake and her sweet smelling strawberry hair, although I'm sure I probably enjoyed the idea of eating strawberry shortcakes more than actually watching the cartoon or buying the paraphernalia. In fact, in googling images of her and You-Tubing the Strawberry Shortcake song just now, I oddly did not recognise her nor recall the song.....mind you I am twenty five years older these days!

These recent baking expeditions of mine remind me too of my Dad's Mum, Nanny, who could have been compared to the likes of Margaret Fulton. Her house always smelt like a bakery every time we visited, putting on the biggest of spreads for the family of scones with fresh jam and cream, teacakes and traditional fruit cake. I always wondered where she found the motivation to create such things each weekend, but as I get older I too seem to find it somehow and I actually enjoy it.....cripes I  must be getting old!! Speaking of which, I better hit the gym hard to counteract all these goodies I've been baking. Enjoy.

Madam MEKO

1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
300g packet frozen rasberries
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp grated lemon zest
Icing sugar to serve

Crumble topping
1/4 plain flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 ground nutmeg
1/2 cup walnuts
30g chopped unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lay 12 patty pans within a muffin tray.
For the crumble topping, whiz up the flour, sugar and spices in a food processor. Add nuts and butter and pulse til butter is just incorporated. Tip into a bowl and chill.

Place dry ingredients in the processor and whiz up. Transfer to a large bowl. Put 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture in another bowl and toss with two thirds of the rasberries (still frozen is fine). Set aside.

Whiz oil, milk, egg, vanilla and zest in the processor.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add milk mixture. Stir til combined and then gently fold in rasberry mixture.
Spoon into patty pans and sprinkle the crumble over the top and press the remaining rasberries into the crumble.
Bake for 35-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool and dust with icing sugar.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Going off my na-na!

After hours spent in front of this laptop this afternoon preparing budgets and our business plan (BORING!), I decided enough was enough.....I needed to create something! Although I'm a PA by day, my weekends were supposed to be reserved for my creative outlets, not crunching numbers and analysing competitors.

Poking around the kitchen looking for inspiration, I spotted the browning bananas in the fruit bowl....perfect! It was banana cake time! But not just any banana cake, this was my yummy Mashed Banana and Crunchy Walnut Cake. The best medicine to take the edge off the number crunching I thought!

I thought I'd share with you all the recipe as it was so very simple and came out beautifully. We haven't been able to stop picking at all afternoon......there goes dinner!

Enjoy x

125g softened unsalted butter
1.5 cups of caster sugar
2 eggs
3 mashed bananas
250g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ccinnamon
pinch of ground all spice
1/2 cup milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Walnut topping
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons self raising flour
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
100g almost melted butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Lightly spray a loaf tin and line with baking paper and preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs and mashed banana.
Sift the flour and spices together adding to the bowl. Add milk to mixture and lightly beat all together. Pour into the loaf tin.  
Combine walnuts, remaining flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter in a bowl and scatter over the uncooked cake.

Bake for 1 hour or until skewer comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

P.S If you feel like being super naughty, try a thick spread of butter.....
 just to die for!


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

It's a 30th Picnic Celebration!.....A vintage one......because I'm officially vintage!

So I turned the big 30 yesterday, horrific I know. Understandably I have had very mixed feelings about the whole thing. Usually I love being the centre of attention and what an occasion to be the centre of attention at! But as the time drew near I would much rather haven been curled up in a ball with a bottle of bubbly introducing myself to the next check box of 30-39 in a more subdued state of mind.
The nail in the coffin for me though was when the Prime Minister announced last week on her 50th birthday that she was not phased by turning 50, rather being more concerned at the age of 29 about turning 30! Hope she wasn’t trying to capture all those 29 year old voters out there.
Anyway, I opted for the more subdued celebration over the weekend, a lovely afternoon spent with good friends with a bit of finger food and champagne. We gave it a ‘Vintage Picnic’ theme to symbolize the fact I was becoming vintage. In true form it had MEKO written all over it - red and white gingham table cloths lined the kitchen bench with two white metal pales hosting an array of red flowers. Red and white noodle boxes and patty pans sat a top of two wooden fruit crates picked up at Supply and Demand. We sipped piccolos of French champagne and mini milk bottles of lemonade through red and white striped paper straws. We even went as far as to find an old school picnic basket and two vintage coca cola wooden fold up chairs, their paint all worn back and very loved.
As usual Matt out did him self with the food and the centre piece of red and white butter crème cupcakes each reminding me that I was 30.
Just what I needed!
Enough said. The pictures speak a thousand words, so enjoy!

Matt and Eddie

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