Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Best of British weekend

It's nearly the weekend (well close enough!) so I thought I'd  share a few ideas for celebrating the Jubilee weekend in the UK and Queens Birthday weekend here in NZ- I'm thinking bacon and eggs, pots of tea, some London or Jubilee themed colouring in and maybe even a British themed dinner and movie one night if we get organised enough!!
  • Books

Kings and Queens Sticker Book
Kings and Queen Sticker Book
This is London
This is London-By Miroslav Sasek
Madeline in London
Madeline in London-Ludwig-Bemelmans
The London Colouring Book
London Colouring By Julian-Mosedale

and this website has heaps of free Jubilee printables and activities for the kids...

London By Edward Rutherfurd- I read this book a few years ago now - it was a brilliant read about the history of London
Wallpaper* City Guide London 2012
Wallpaper City Guide London 2012- if you are lucky enough to be going there anytime soon!
  • A Best of British Party/celebration
Vintage Jubilee Union Jack Bunting Garland
Vintage Jubilee Bunting- string this gorgeous bunting up or make your own british inspired bunting using red, white and blue fabrics or scrapbooking card

Jamie's Great Britain
Jamie's Great-Britain-Jamie-Oliver- cook a British themed meal from this cook book or think of a classic British meal to egg and bacon fry up for breakfast, sausages and mash, roast beef and yorkshire puddings...
'Very British Street Party' Jubilee Cake Wraps & Toppers
Make some cupcakes and decorate with little Union Jack flags or these cute wraps and toppers from Lark-there are lots more Jubilee themed items on their website here

Union Jack Street Party Tea Cosy with Handing Knitted Bunting option, Egg Crown, Egg Brimmed Hat Cosys and Bunting Napkin Rings pdf KNITING PATTERN See Description for free pattern offer
Get out your tea pot, cups and saucers and have a pot of tea- how cute is this Union Jack Street Party tea cosy!
  • Listen to some music from famous British bands/musicians- The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Oasis, David Bowie, Queen, Massive Attack...lots more ideas here

  • Watch a British movie- The Holiday, Miss Potter, Love Actually, The King's Speech, The Queen- or for the family/kids-  Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,  Harry Potter, The Witches...
  • And some more British finds...

London in a Box wooden play blocks from Muji (one of my favourite shops when we lived in London)
London Guard Print


London - embroidery pdf pattern

Have a great weekend!
Megan x

Friday, May 25, 2012

Things I'm loving

It's a bit of a random 'Things I'm Loving' post this week- I've been 'collecting' up things to share for quite a while but it is taking me a lot longer to write blog posts these days than it used to!
♥ my gorgeous crochet tea cosy made by one of my favourite bloggers Leah from 'Why didn't anyone tell me'. I bought it from her Felt shop (there is another lovely one for sale in her shop) and she has also kindly written a tutorial to make your own!
♥ this awesome 'School Years' Folder my mum bought for my 5 year old. It has pockets for class photo's and certificates and lots of room to fill in details of each year. So handy! She got it from a book store in Napier but I have found a few online from Pocotots and Identity Direct.
♥  This fun picture book my 3 year old got for her birthday- don't kids love searching for little things in books...
♥  Jack learning how to walk and loving it!
♥  I got sent these new sweet rice cakes from Sun Rice and can honestly say they have been a hit in our household- the kids loved the flavours, they've been great for lunchboxes, and the best thing was that they are nice and big and took ages for Jack to eat which is always a good thing!!
♥ New birthday boots- I am loving that Bobux is now making kids shoes going up to Size 28-these ones are size 27 and fit my 5 year old with still a little bit of room to grow. I got them from Smiths Sport Shoes here in Tauranga. 
♥ This wool cardigan from Purple Patch in Tauranga.  I find it really hard to find 100% woolen cardigans in the normal kids shops so I was rapt to find this one - they had heaps more cardi's and jerseys to choose from too and the shop stock is all handmade from local crafters. Cute wooden toys, furniture and even some dollshouses in there too!
By the way, if you are looking for a woolen cardi, Melissa from her Felt shop 'Mum of Twins' makes beautiful 100% wool and merino cardigans and other hand knitted garments and depending on size she can also make to order. 
♥ If I can make something without measuring I generally will but sometimes I just have to measure darn it,  so I made these measurements to go along the edge of my craft desk- I used strips of kozo tape and wrote the measurements for 10, 20, 30 and 50 cms on the tape- it has come in very handy- much better than always searching for my ruler in my mess of a craft space!
♥ This new book from the library- The Crafty Girls Road Trip by Ann Packer- it would be a great one to have in your glove box!
♥ I have nearly finished reading this book- The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman-my mum sent it to me and we both couldn't put it down- it's caused a few late nights as I can't stop reading it!
Well, there's a long list this week- as you can see I have been saving up things to share for a while now!
And Meghan from MNM's is the new host of 'Things I'm Loving' now- check it out here
Megan x

Thursday, May 17, 2012

my creative space: a baby bouquet tutorial

I've always loved the baby bouquets you can buy to give as a gifts for a baby shower or a new baby- however they are pretty expensive and I wanted to choose what to put in the bouquet so I thought I would try making one myself. I found this Martha Stewart tutorial but it was a bit complicated so I just made one up myself! 
  1. First I bought a merino nightie, a pair of merino socks and a bib from JK's (they have a sale on at the mo too BTW). 
  2. Then I found a round cardboard box I had kept from a gift (it was one of those Kaloo boxes that had a teddy in it -Spotlight also has a good selection of boxes).  I rolled up the nightie, socks and bib tightly and tied a skinny ribbon around each one to keep it together.  
  3. For the crepe paper flowers I used a couple I had made for my three year olds birthday party- there are lots of tutorials online like this one.
  4. Then I scrunched up some green tissue paper in the box, popped in the clothing items and the flowers, then cut some leaves out of green felt and arranged them in the box. 
  5. To finish I tied a ribbon around the outside of the box and gave to the mum of one very beautiful little baby girl 

And 'Our Creative Spaces' has moved  - Kirsty from Kootoyoo is still running it but it is now being hosted at the fab website Kidspot- check it out here
Megan x

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ben's tomato and olive pasta

This is my hubby's recipe for a delicious, easy pasta meal - its a great meal to make when there's not much else in the pantry or fridge (and a good one for Make Do May!)  The girls and Jack like this meal too which is a bonus. 

Penne pasta- enough for 4
2 rashers of bacon chopped into pieces (optional)
1 diced onion
1 clove finely chopped garlic
Chopped veges- beans, carrots, capsicum, courgette, broccoli
2 Tins crushed tomatoes
Kalamata olives-as many as you would like!

1. In a pot put water on to boil for the pasta.  Add pasta when water is boiling. When the pasta is cooked drain and set aside until adding to the pan with tomatoes and olives.
2. While the pasta is cooking, in a wide based saucepan fry the bacon.
3. Add onion and garlic and cook until clear
5. Add your veges and stir fry until cooked (you can add a dash of water to the pan if the veges starts drying out and sticking to the pan)
6. Add tins of tomatoes and olives and your cooked pasta
7. Simmer for 5 minutes

For more meal ideas read my Meal Planning post here :)
Megan x

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Like most mums I have tried everything in regards to things like baby bottles, sippy cups, drink bottles, nappy bags, lunchboxes in the quest to find a really good one (I was going to say perfect but I really hate that word!!) With Amelie starting school it was time to find a really good lunchbox and drink bottle - she used to have 'lunchbox Tuesdays' but doing a lunchbox every day is a whole different ball game!
The lunchbox I've found for her is the one I like the best so far out of all the lunchboxes I've used over the years so I thought I'd share it with you, and the pro's and con's of the other lunchboxes if you are looking to get one for your kids. (Of course it's just my opinion and this isn't a sponsored post or anything!) I do like the other lunchboxes, but for school and for fitting into a school bag I like the Nude one the best.

This is the one I'm using for school and is my favourite- The Nude Food Mover Mini.  I bought it from Plastic Box but you can buy them online from Yum Yum Kids. There is also a larger Nude Food Mover but it is pretty huge!

Nude Food Mover Mini

  • not too bulky or long so easily fits in her bag along with her book bag and jacket
  • easily fits a sandwich, muffin or other treat, raisins, babybel in the main compartment (I don't use the sandwich 'seatbelt') that comes with the lunchbox
  • the two pod containers are great for things like pretzels, popcorn, crackers, cheese and carrot sticks, grapes, yoghurt...
  • can take out one of the pod containers and put a small apple in the space
  • The only con I can think of is your child losing the lids or the whole containers from the pod compartments so I've labelled the lids and the containers as well.
  • and it can't fit a banana

Tupperware lunchbox


  • lots of compartments so don't need any extra containers which is great
  • can't fit an apple as it isn't very high
  • can be quite difficult for kids to open
  • I find it a bit too long when stuffing it in a school bag with everything else in there!
Penny Scallan style lunchboxes

  • look very cute and the kids love the look of them too
  • insulated lining
  • fits an apple or a banana
  • I found it quite bulky and difficult to fit in a school bag with everything else
  • have to use gladwrap, snack bags or a lot of little plastic containers if like me you are not a fan of gladwrap!
Sistema lunchbox 'Quaddie'
  • compartments on top plus a compartment for small water bottle that comes with the lunchbox so no need for separate containers
  • another one I found just too bulky to easily fit into a schoolbag
  • the lid is quite heavy and actually takes up a lot of space in the main lunchbox compartment
  • I could just see my 4 year old forgetting to shut the lids on the top compartments properly and then opening up the main lid and anything left in there tipping out everywhere. Maybe not but highly likely!
For her drink bottle I went with this Sistema one I bought from Plastic Box as well. It was only about $5 and is small, light and BPA free (I was looking for a small one as school bags can be heavy enough without a large, heavy drink bottle as well, and there's water fountains at her school too) and it's easy to open and close.

So there you go, my two cents worth on kids lunchboxes...
And here's a couple of tips from a really great blog post I read last year that had heaps of lunchbox tips and ideas but I can't for the life of me remember where I read it (if you have written a kids lunchbox type post let me know!) 
  • buy two of the same lunch boxes and drink bottles so you've always got one ready to pack
  • freeze a whole lot of muffins and mini muffins so you've got something to grab from the freezer. 
Any more lunchbox tips gratefully appreciated!
Megan x
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