Wednesday, 26 December 2012

And now to New Years.........

With Christmas out of the way my attention has very quickly moved on to New Years Eve! We are hosting a BBQ at our place and my thoughts are a flurry with easy entertaining ideas that will keep everyone happy. I've created a Pinterest board around my thoughts for the evening (I'm thinking soft pinks and metalics/silver) although with not much time (or energy) I can only wish that my night would look like that!

One thing is for sure though, whiskey sours will definitely be on the menu! I'm not a whiskey drinker at all but my friend and I recently discovered them at her work Christmas party and we soon fell in love! I thought I would share with you the very easy and very yummy recipe so you can try them too. Matt and I trialled the recipe out on Christmas Eve with some sticky mixed nuts of which I've featured the recipe for too. Two very simple ideas to think about including in your NYE party.

Whiskey Sour
makes 1
1 x 45 ml shots of whiskey
2 x 30ml shots of sugar syrup
1 x 30 ml shot of lemon juice
Pour everything into a cocktail shaker with some ice and shake well. Pour into a chilled glass garnished with a lemon or lime slice.


Warm Sticky Spiced Nuts
3 cups of raw mixed nuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds and Brazil nuts)
2 tbl spns honey
1 tbl spn olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tbl spn paprika
1 tsp salt flakes
Preheat oven to 180c. Line a baking tray with baking paper.Combine honey, oil, garlic, spices and salt in a small frying pan over a low heat. Stir until honey melts and is well combined. Add nuts and coat well. Spread nuts on prepared baking tray and roast for 15 mins. Serve warm.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

My Christmas table in the making........

With Christmas only a week out now I have started my preparations for decorating the Christmas table. I decided last week to embrace Pinterest and see what all the fuss was about. Let's just say now I really have a problem.....I'm obsessed! Who would have known there are so many great ideas out there all for the 'pinning'!!
My Pinterest board began with a clear theme.......pinks, pastels, pine cones and florals (check out the board here). But after a trip to Spotlight over the weekend my theme has evolved into navy and hot pink!! I found this great vintage style fabric that I fell in love with and just had to use.

My thoughts now lean towards a bold table runner using this fabric finished with more neutral tones of brown paper bon bons, white table napkins and soft white flowers all complimented with the same fabric ties.
Although my colour scheme has moved slightly towards the bolder colours rather than the softer ones as I originally had planned, the decorative pieces that I plan to use still remain the same.

 I am loving the idea of colouring my pine cones like this (although I need to find some first).

And of course no table will be complete without candles. I love this idea of the snowflakes stencilled on the jar......I just need to work out how I can do it!
And I absolutely adore this idea of tea-soaking tags to use as name tags. I plan to tie them on and around the napkins and cutlery in a neat little bundle. My tags are soaking as I write this right now! Hope they turn out this good :)
Anyway, must get back to it!
Happy decorating x

Sunday, 9 December 2012

A Puppy Proof Christmas

Following on from my last blog post I promised I would share with you our make shift Christmas tree that we have had to resort to creating this year since the arrival of our fur ball of terror earlier in the year. With careful consideration and review of the inspiration I found for my last blog, I decided to go for the canvas collage Christmas tree. All the materials I needed were readily available to me, meaning I didn't need to spend a cent on creating this tree and it was something that could sit a top our buffet and out of harms was a win win situation!

So Saturday afternoon was dedicated to creating the tree. Armed with a canvas, some craft glue, scissors, my circle cutter, old Christmas cards, and some scrap fabric and paper, I got crafting.  Puppy Mac even decided to get in on the action, albeit he was a little bored after my constant shouts of 'NO......NO.....NO' every time he sniffed the glue or tried to shred some paper!!

Choosing a colour palette of soft pinks, blues, muted greens and silver I cut rounds from old patterned paper and scraps of material to form a collage of the tree. I used paint to dot an outline of the tree and topped it with a star cut from silver wrapping paper. I also added some cut outs from Christmas cards to add some detail and finished it with some ribbon bows. You might even spy some cupcake wrappers in there......I seriously used anything I could find!
Although this probably took more time than it would to decorate a normal Christmas tree, it was an afternoon well spent and this tree is definitely out of reach, perched on our buffet and away from those little puppy paws!
Ciao x

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

My Christmas Terror!

I think I may have a Christmas terror on my hands this year, or should I just say a Christmas terrier! We have a problem in our house this year whereby we are too afraid to purchase a real Christmas tree in fear that our 8 month old Westie pup will rip it to shreds! With what I would call 'seveve attachment issues', our puppy likes to destroy whatever he can get his paws on when we aren't home........and the photos below are the evidence to prove it!

He also likes to consider himself as quite a 'naturalist', always in the garden and surrounding himself with nature. His favourite pass times include pruning our garden (destroying plants), picking flowers (eating the flower heads off our gardenias), mulching (ripping open bags of mulch and potting mix) and creating nests (stock piling leaves and twigs on the family room floor).
Would you trust him alone with a Christmas tree? I think not.

So it seems this year I will need to consider an alternative Christmas tree, one that won't sit on the floor with all those shiny ornaments glistening at eye level waiting to be toyed with like a ball.
Consequently I've been scouring the net for alternatives and a few great make shift trees have caught my eye. What do you think?

A popular make shift tree, just some branches in a bottle decorated with ornaments. Quite a common idea, but none the less I still love it.
Very chic.

Loving this idea of stringing lights to the wall!
I love Xmas lights, so this one might be a goer!
May need to make it a little higher up the wall though
so pup can't get at it.
This idea of making a tree from
pine cones is just gorgeous.
I think this one is probably a foam cone
with the pine cones just skewered in. Too easy.
Here's an idea where I can put my
painting skills and artistic ability to work!
Either paint the decorations on or use scrap fabric or even cut
up old Xmas cards to decorate.
Loving this idea of a tree purely made from old material scraps (of which I have a lot of!). Again this idea would be based around pinning the material into a foam cone.
What a great contemporary version of a Christmas tree, loving the pine cones scattered at the base of the vases.

Another favourite of mine, very rustic. If only we had some spare timber!
Such great creative ideas that people come up with.
Watch this space next week for the post of my make shift tree.
Ciao x

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Let the Christmas onslaught begin!

No sooner has December 1 come around, so has the Christmas advertising hoo ha and quite frankly it's all up in my face already! Although the Christmas decorations have been gracing our store shelves since mid October it was as if all the crazy Christmas advertising had been waiting patiently on the side lines for the clock to strike midnight on the 30th of November so the onslaught could begin! 

Last night as I relaxed on the couch in front of the TV after dinner I was inundated with countless ads on TV reminding me about Christmas (as if I didn't know already!). Only 2 days in to the dreaded month of December and the advertising campaigns already had me all up in a panic! Only 22 sleeps to go I thought as I decided to start scrawling through the Christmas editions of Donna Hay, the Gourmet Traveller and the Woman's Weekly. I would have thought this year I would have been more organised, but as per usual Christmas always has the tendency to creep up on me. For me, it's not just about decorating the house, buying the Christmas presents and entertaining, it's also about providing all of my dedicated readers with some inspiration too! So in saying that I will dedicate my blogs this month to some Christmas inspiration for you all. From Christmas table ideas, to recipes to even some crafty DIY decorations you can try at home, hopefully there will be something for everyone. Just leave the magazine and net scrawling to me. My tendency at the moment is leaning towards beautiful mauve and violet colours this year, perhaps mixed with some silver and pale pinks. Here are my thoughts so far.


To be continued..........

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