Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Cherry Goodness


Only about 4-5 weeks ago, I planted my first ever miniature fruit tree (of the cherry variety). This was given to me as the coolest tree present ever, by my lovely friend Katrina.

And today, I found my first fruits!! I am really excited, as I wasn't really expecting fruit this year, being the first year in its new home, I was more looking forward to my bounty of next year! 

As you can tell, I am a little bit excited! We have always had strawberries, but Josh has always been the main carer (and as anyone who knows us knows, he really loves his strawberry plants). But having a real life fruit tree, makes me feel so ... homely and fruity and fun!! 

This is one of the TWO budding cherries on my tree!! TWO PEOPLE! That's more than 1. After a long couple of weeks mood wise this is exactly what I was looking for to cheer (get it cheer *cherry* !! it's ok, I think I'm funny) me up. I have been lovingly watering and feeding this tree every 2-3 days for the past few weeks, planted it all by myself and added extra potting mix (and I really do not garden), and I feel like I have achieved!!

Yay for achieving! It really is the little things in life that can you lift you up sometimes!

Expect to see more of me, I will not neglect my lovely blog any longer. 

The Make Cafe opens this Saturday, opposite Bush Inn, and they will have fabrics and coffees, I may never leave. And this will fantastic inspiration for new projects! Check it out www.themakecafe.co.nz

LouLou xoxo

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Saturday Family Day

What a lovely day. 
Days like today I feel blessed and lucky for the family and friends I have got.

We went out for breakfast today, went to Drexels at Riccarton. Such good food, such friendly service. They always have colouring in pages for kids, they have bottomless coffee. Its like heaven!

After breakfast, Lily and I, along with 2 friends went to a musical performance by the "Polkadots" singing group. It was a fantastically noisy, free, children-fun event, that highlights that you really don't need to spend money to have great fun with your kids. 

After an awesome boogey with my girl, we picked up Hartley and went to the Encraftment Market at Addington School. Such beautiful handmade items, and such lovely local business owners. And such cool fabrics! Went with my mummy, so nice to catch up and get out of the house. Dropped by a friends house on the way home.

Now all thats left is to make some pudding, get the kids in bed and put a DVD in the player. 

I love weekends, and I love my family. 

Days like today are why we have weekends. To embrace every chance to do something different, to be busy but not stressed, and to enjoy each other.

LouLou xoxo

Thursday, 11 October 2012

KCWC: Day 3 & Day 4

I finished the dress!!

It's taken a bit of time over the last 2 days, I made a sash for it, and I also had to figure out a way (without a pattern!! :S) to make it more comfy for her, as the top of the netting skirt and tulle on the inside was quite scratchy. So after a fair bit of mucking around I installed what is essentially a sash on the inside, that will stop the itchiness from now on!

I feel really invigorated by this project! And Little Miss 2 is so excited! 

I am onto making some more bandanna bibs for Little Mr 0 now, as he currently has 3, and that is absolutely not enough!

Loving this week of project sewing goodness!! 

Really needed a focus and some drive to continue creating. And the more I make, the more confident I feel.

Note to anyone ever planning on making a skirt using chiffon btw: do not buy polyester chiffon. It frays! Nylon chiffon does not. I wish I had waited longer, found the nylon chiffon online or something, because it made this project A LOT harder. 

My sewing machine was pushed to the limit with this one. 

Feeling good, great in fact! I finally have Josh home for 2 whole days! 2 DAYS!! Yay, I have missed him, and so have the kids! The new Mitre 10 Mega in Hornby is up and running, now I just need to shop up in the kitchen department!! I wish...

Talk soon, 

LouLou xoxo

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Foodie Penpals

So, I just discovered this fantastic idea over in the US, on the Lean Green Bean. 


Take a look at the link above. 

If you don't find the time, the basic idea is that on a monthly basis you are given a "penpal", on the 5th of the month, and by the 15th of the month you post a package of foody goodness, whether it be home baking, local goodies or whatever (use your imagination). Then on the 30th of that month, you post about your received goodies!  You must also include something written, whether it be a little letter, information about what is enclosed, or a cool recipe that you would highly recommend. Maximum spend is $15, so you avoid over spending.

I am super interested in this concept. Do you know anyone who is currently doing this here? Or who has tried previously? Would you be interested in being involved in a system like this?

Let me know your thoughts on this, if your keen, if you have any further information, because I am always looking for cool stuff, new ingredients, local goodies from around the country. 

LouLou xoxo

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

KCWC Day 2: This is getting addictive

I really can't stop myself. 
I think I have a sewing addiction. 

Have been working on Lily's princess dress, and though it has taken less time than I originally thought it would, I will admit I have done WAY more than my required 1 hour on this one. 

I am genuinely concerned about what it is gonna be left for me to do by the end of the challenge this week.

The dress is not finished yet, I have a bit of sewing left to to attach bodice and a sash to make. 

It's just kinda awesome!

I really like it. 

It's pink and purple and full of lovely delicious flounciness, perfect for a beautifully girly, almost 3 year old. 

I even went back to my sewing machine manual and figured out how to make button holes!
And they worked!

And it looks cute!

Can you tell I am excited?!

I will show you all the finished product tomorrow!! 

YAY! Look how productive I am.. 
(still unsure what I am going to do for the other 5 days...)

LouLou xoxo

Monday, 8 October 2012

KCWC Day 1

I may have sort of cheated.

Well, not cheated, just... set myself up for a massive success on Day 1 of the Kids Clothing Week Challenge. 

I started a dress last week, and today realised I had forgotten about it, and all it needed was a hem to complete!

So, technically, I finished a dress for Day 1. 

To make up my required 1 hour for the challenge, I went to Spotlight and bought all my fabric for the princess dress! When I got home I printed the pattern, cut out the paper pattern, pinned and cut out the pieces for the bodice!

Look at me go! I feel inspired by what the week shall bring!

Kids clothes galore!

LouLou xoxo

The awesome fabric for the above dress is from the lovely www.sewpretty.co.nz ! They are about to open their own store right here in Christchurch, opposite the Bush Inn, called The Make Cafe! I am really excited, I absolutely love their range.

For a fabulous free tutorial on this dress visit : http://www.theribbonretreat.com/blog/lets-fly-a-kite-sundress.html 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

6 Days Down, 1 To Go... Until Next Week

It's been a long week in our house.
The new Mitre 10 Mega opens in Hornby in a matter of days and Josh has been heading the merchandising team for the new store. 

Needless to say, it's been a huge few months for him, all culminating into a big stress of a week this week as they get ready to open their doors. 
Josh has worked (so far) about 65 hours this week, which is a lot. 
It's a lot of late nights, early mornings and a lot of time that I have also been at home with a 3 month old and an almost 3 year old. 
So, our week is almost done.
Tomorrow night he will be gone most of the night, but this time next week, it will all be over. 

I am just so proud of how hard he has worked, and how loyal and consistent he is.
And can still come home and bath Lily and get her into bed for the night while I settle Hartley. 
It was a bad week for me to pull a muscle in my chest wall, really bad timing. 
But that's ok, as I say, we are almost there. 

Looking forward to Kids Clothing Week Challenge starting Monday to keep me busy!

Super smiley face,
LouLou xoxo

Friday, 5 October 2012

Kids Clothes Week Challenge

I have had a princess dress pattern staring at me for a couple of days now, and this incentive of Kids Clothes Week Challenge is a great way to ensure that I hash this out over the course of the next week. Starting October 8, I will commit to sewing for 1 hour a day minimum, making clothes for my kids. I really think this is such an awesome way to push yourself to get some new clothes ready as the weather warms up, I know Lily is in desperate need of dresses and skirts for the warmer weather, if we actually get a real summer this year. 

And with Lily's 3rd birthday next month, I will be making her an awesome dress that I got a pattern to make off Etsy. 

Because my daughter is ... well, super girly, and she REALLY is, her princess dress is gonna be a pale pink. She wanted hot pink, but I just can't do it, it's all too much for me. Still unsure quite how I ended up my wee sparkle-loving, super pink beautiful girl, but I love her desperately for it!

Wish me luck, and if you want more information on the KCWC, pop over to 

This is where I caught onto the awesomeness of it all in the first place. 

LouLou xoxo

image used from Etsy pattern listing : 

Little Girls Ruffle Skirt

In the interest of all good crafting, it seemed absurd to slowly teach myself all the little tricks of my new sewing machine. It seemed totally sensical to just jump in head first, buy a tricky-looking pattern, and do it.

And I did it! 

And it is not a massive failure. There are a few mistakes here and there, that I know are there, but I learnt big time from this awesome pattern, and I really feel like I have accomplished with this. 

I purchased the pattern off Etsy from a store called ViolaLee Patterns. 
This pattern was so awesomely written out, with easy-to-follow directions and step-by-step on how to do a gather stitch and getting even ruffles. 

I am just not at the point yet, where I am ready to jump in head-first without inspiration and direction. I have a lot more fun picking out the right patterns. 

I am a direction follower though, and I am ok with that. Learning the skills and being able to do it, is just as exciting to me!

I got the fabric for this from Spotlight. 

Yay! Totally inspired by the fun that I am having with my sewing machine, and    how productive and useful I feel!

LouLou xoxo

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Seriously Awesome Baked Cheesecake

Do not assume you don't like baked cheesecakes. 

Because this is divine. 

This is what all cheesecakes should taste like. 

This is a classic baked cheesecake, with a whipped sour cream and icing sugar topping, then coated in a raspberry sauce.

Looks good huh? Go on, give this a go.

I found the original link for this cheesecake over on simplyrecipes.com, and I have made small changes to the original to suit my taste.

But this is GOOD.


1 packet of Digestive biscuits (2 cups tightly packed)
2 Tablespoon sugar
Pinch salt
70g unsalted butter, melted (if you use salted butter, omit the salt)


900g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup white sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 Large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup cream


2 cups sour cream (475mL)
2/3 cup icing sugar
400g raspberries (fresh is best, but I always end up using frozen because fresh is available and affordable in a short space of the year here)
3/4 cup sugar

23cm springform pan
Heavy duty, super wide tin foil
A large, high-sided roasting pan

prepare the springform pan: You must prepare the springform pan so that water does not leak into it while it is cooking. Place a large square of tin foil on a flat surface. Wrap tin foil up sides of springform pan and fold as neatly as possible at top edge without folding it into the pan itself. Repeat this again with another sheet of tin foil. I know this seems over dramatic, but if that water gets in you are gonna have a poached crust, not a crusty crust. 

Prepare the crust: Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celcius, with rack in lower third of the oven. Pulse the digestive biscuits in a food processor until finely ground. Put in a large bowl, and stir in the sugar and salt. Use your (clean) hands to mix in the melted butter. 

Put all but 1/4 cup of the digestive biscuit mixture in the bottom of the springform pan. Save that last 1/4 cup just in case there are holes or gaps, it can come in handy. Gently press down on the crumbs using your fingers, until the crumbs are an even layer, with a slight rise on the outer edges. Be careful not to tear the foil while doing this. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. 

Prepare the filling:

 Cut the cream cheese into chunks and place in the bowl of an electric mixer, with your paddle attachment. Mix on med speed for 4 minutes, until smooth and soft. Add sugar, mix for another 4 minutes at med speed. Add the salt and vanilla, beating each in before adding the other. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Add the sour cream, beating until combined. Add the cream, beating until combined. Remember to consistently scrape down the sides of your bowl, and scrape off your mixer for any left over bits of cream cheese. 

Cooking the cheesecake: 
Place the foil-wrapped springform pan in a large, high-sided roasting pan. Prepare 2L of boiling water. Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan, over the digestive biscuit base. Smooth with a spatula. Place the roasting pan with the springform pan in it, in the oven, on the lower rack. Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan (without touching the hot oven), to create a water bath for the cheesecake, pouring until the water reaches halfway up the side of the pan, about 5cm (or you can add the water before placing in the oven). Cook for 90 minutes. 

Turn off the heat in the oven, but leave the cheesecake in the oven, leaving the oven door open slightly, for about an hour. This slower cooling of the cake will help stop it from cracking. 
Cover cheesecake with foil without it touching the cake itself, and place in fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. 

Prepare the sour cream topping:
Place the sour cream and icing sugar in a bowl, and whisk until smooth. Chill until you are ready to prepare the cake. 

Note: this amount of sour cream produces way more than fits on the cake, leaves enough for people to chuck some on the side if they so desire. If you don't want to add it on the side, you can almost half this amount. 

Preparing the raspberry sauce:
Combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil for 4-5 minutes. Cool until serving time!

Preparing the cake to serve: 

Using a large palette knife, and spread sour cream topping evenly over top of cooled cake straight before serving. 

Top with raspberry sauce!

Will make up to 16 servings!! Seriously!

Give this a try, it takes time, but its not hard work, and is totally worth it.

Let me know if you try it, and how much you enjoy it!

LouLou xoxo