Archive for December 2013

Herb infused Olive Oil


Another one of my home made gifts this year was a herb infused olive oil, great for salads and seasoning.
This was so easy to make and it turned out a beautiful little gift.

Start by finding some small glass bottles. I found mine at a dollar store and I loved the fact that their are appropriate for oils and dressings.

Remove any labels, wash and dry your bottles. It's very important to make sure they are completely dry before adding the oil, as any trace of water can cause bacteria to grow. You can place the bottles in the sun or leave them out overnight to allow all of the water to evaporate.

Select your herbs, wash them and dry them thoroughly. You can dry the herbs by leaving them in the sun for a few hours or heating them in the oven for a few minutes on low heat. Remember you need to eliminate all moisture before doing this mix, to avoid bacteria growth.

Lightly bruise the herbs to release flavour and place them in the bottom of the bottle. I chose oregano but you can use rosemary, thyme, or any any dried herbs you like. You can even mix a few different herbs and create a unique flavour.


Pour the olive oil over the herbs, filling the bottle close to the top.

Seal the bottle and store it in a cool, dry place for 1-2 weeks to infuse. The flavour of the oil will intensify over time.


If you use dried herbs, you can keep the mixture at room temperature and it will last for a few months. When using fresh herbs or moist ingredients (garlic, lemon, peppers), keep the infused olive oil in the fridge and use it within one week.

I finished my bottles with a small label that I glued to the bottle with double sided tape, and matching Christmas gift tags. The gift tags are available in my shop here.

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Home made Pancake Mix and a Freebie


I was dying to share this post but I had to wait till after Christmas, to avoid spoiling the surprise.

This Christmas I wanted to give gifts that the receivers would actually enjoy. Instead of giving useless gifts just because, I wanted to do something a little more special and I thought this pancake mix would be perfect to share with our friends and family.

I found the recipe at Nigella's website and I've been using it in my house ever since. It's such a time saver and it makes for delicious and easy breakfasts on lazy weekends.

I got some inexpensive jars from a local dollar store, washed and dried them through.
Then I mixed all the ingredients and filled the jars with the pancake mix (recipe at the end of this post).



I also designed some cute labels to go with them, along with the cooking instructions. You can use the 2" circles to decorate the lid and attach the other labels with twine or ribbon around the jar.



How cute are these?
I've made this set of labels available as a freebie for you to download here.

Remember to check the Freebies page on our website for more freebies!

Home Made Instant Pancake Mix, by Nigella

Ingredients
for the pancake mix
- 600 grams plain flour
- 3 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 40 grams caster sugar (or vanilla sugar)

for the batter - to each 150g / 1 cup of pancake mix, add and whisk together:
- 1 large egg
- 250 ml semi skimmed milk (or full fat)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter

Method
For the Pancake mix: Mix all the ingredients together and store in a jar.

When ready to make the pancakes, proceed as follows:
1. Heat a flat griddle or pan with no oil.
2. Spoon drops of 1½-2 tablespoons of batter onto the hot griddle or into the pan
3. When bubbles appear on the surface of the little pancakes, flip them over to make them golden brown on both sides. A minute or so a side should do it.
Should make about 15 pancakes, each about 8cm in diameter.

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Boxing Day Sale



Good morning! I hope you all had a great Christmas with your families!

December 26 is Boxing Day in Australia and the post-Christmas sales begin! I personally don't like crowded shopping centres, so I avoid going to the shops on these days. But I love online sales and getting a great deal!
This year I'm having a Boxing Day Sale on our Etsy Shop, with a 20% discount on all instant downloads! You can get decorations for New Year's Eve or for a birthday party next year at a bargain price!

Just use the code BOXDAY2013 on check-out. Happy shopping!
Offer ends Sunday, December 29 at 11:59 PM (Australia Eastern Daylight Time)

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New Year's Eve Party - Glitter & Gold

With Christmas only one week away, it was about time I designed something for the New Year!
If there's an occasion that calls for glitter and bling it's New Year's Eve. It's such an exciting and glamorous night as we celebrate with our close ones and make plans for the year ahead.

With that in mind, I created a new theme featuring items with a golden glitter effect, to help you welcome the New Year in style!

Printable cupcake toppers
Printable banner
Printable party flags
Printable Sign

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Cookies & Milk Party

Printable party pack available in the shop and on etsy
There's something about the smell of freshly baked cookies. It reminds me of my childhood and of those long Summers spent at my grandparent's house, where my grandmother used to bake all sorts of cookies for the family. By the end of the holidays we always came home with a few jars of cookies each and we loved them!

And who doesn't love the combination of milk and cookies, right?
I created this little setup to show you my "Cookies and Milk" theme in action. A simple table with just a few treats turns into a sweet party setting, with the help of some printables.
I love the cute printable signs and the fact that you can keep using them after the party. And I was so happy to finally use those baby blue polka dot straws. How adorable are they with the little flags?

This is a great theme for first birthdays and for cookie lovers of all ages!







This printable party pack is available at http://www.mypartydesign.com/product/cookiesmilk-birthday-party-pack-printable-pdf

and on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/158688764/cookies-and-milk-party-printable-full

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Christmas in Sydney

December is here and with it comes Christmas and Summer. This is my 3rd Christmas down under and it still feels a bit weird not to feel cold during this season...

But there's nothing like a night walk in Sydney to get me in the Christmas mood, so I headed to the city on Saturday night. There's just so much to do and see at this time of the year!
You can't miss the David Jones' Christmas windows, with animated puppets and music, for the delight of kids and grown ups.

David Jones Christmas windows (image credit)
David Jones Christmas windows (image credit)
David Jones Christmas windows (image credit)
David Jones Christmas windows (image credit)
Every evening, after sunset, you can enjoy spectacular light projections in Town Hall's facade on George Street.
From December 12, "The Lights of Christmas" show will bring St Mary's Cathedral to life and gather thousands of viewers right up to Christmas night. This is my favourite Christmas show and one not to be missed!

Christmas projections in Town Hall (image credit)
In Martin Place, you'll find the traditional Christmas tree, but this year with a twist. You can text a message to the interactive tree and it will be displayed along a special LED ribbon, with words travelling up the branches for everyone to see.

Interactive Christmas tree in Martin Place (image credit)
There's also the colossal Swarovski Christmas Tree in the iconic Queen Victoria Building, spanning three floors and holding over 144,000 sparkling Swarovski crystal ornaments and 60,000 twinkling lights. It's truly a sight to be seen.

Swarovski Christmas tree in the QVB (image credit)
And because no celebration would be complete without fireworks, you'll find them every Saturday until Christmas, at 9 pm in Darling Harbour!

Fireworks in Darling Harbour (image credit)

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Christmas Chalkboard Prints

Christmas is approaching fast and I've been adding a few more printables to the shop.

Christmas decoration is not only about the Christmas tree. A nice frame with a festive print over the fireplace or at another featured spot of your house will help you set the mood for the Christmas season.


I created a black chalkboard background and used a combination of fun fonts in white with Christmas sayings. I then added some pops of colour to make them a bit more cheerful.


Find the "Merry Little Christmas" print here
Find the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" print here
Find the "Merry & Bright" print here
I can’t decide which one is my favourite! What do you think?

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