Thursday, 28 June 2012

{Recycled Round-up} Winter Love

I think most bloggers have times of blog-dentity crisis and I am definitely one of them. I've never been one to really structure my content - really I just fly by the seat of my pants.

And as a result, you my dear readers, get a hap-hazard mix of craft, a bucket load of obligatory cute kids posts, as well as outfit posts and the occasional recipe or deep and meaningful rant thrown in for good measure. Sometimes I look at this mish mash and wonder what category I fit into - but only for a brief moment, as I then realise that my blog is probably a pretty good representation of me and the many things I like.

However, when it comes down to it, there are three things I enjoy most about this blogging world. (This is also confirmed by what I enjoyed the most when I first discovered the world of blogs and then Pinterest).

These are:
1) Finding resourceful ideas on how to save money, reduce waste and be creative all at the same time. - This blog is called 'Mend and Make New' after all. (For more of my thoughts on this read this and this.)
2) Sharing awesome links from all over the World Wide Web. (I consider myself more of a curator than a creator);
 and...
3) Interacting and forming friendships with my readers and other bloggers

And then an idea came to me on how I think I can achieve it all!!!

I plan to do a semi-regular feature - entitled 'Recycled Round- up' containing lots of great recycling/ upcycling and re-styling ideas with links that I have found for you (perhaps with a particular theme tying them altogether.) I hope to often have something I have made to share too, like this or this.) (but not this time.)

I am kicking 'Recycled Round-up' off by continuing with my Celebrate Winter theme, here goes:

1) How about a milk bottle igloo?

An ode to wintry coldness in itself, it also would provide endless hours of entertainment, in building, playing in and destructing - for both kiddies and adults alike on those rainy indoor days.



2) A felted kid's coat from an old adult sweater - just don't do what Rae did and melt the zip with the iron!





4) Many a little boy would love a pair of Mama made jammies from a thrifted sheet - how snuggly for Winter. An inspiring job done by my blog bud, Tammi.


5) And have you ever wondered what to do with a lonely odd glove left at the end of the Winter season? Well now you can wonder no more - with this gorgeous glove squirrel


So there you have it!

****And in case you are wondering - how the whole 'Interacting and forming friendships with my readers and other bloggers' (Objective #3, above) comes into play - well, I need YOUR help... if you happen to see OR create a great restyle yourself (doesn't have to be to any theme), then please either comment with a link or email me I would love to hear from you - and might possibly link to you in a future instalment! ****

Or just let me know if you have or are going to try any of these ideas out/ or have any further suggestions!

Yours in creative thriftiness,

Jenny x



Celebrating Winter : Knitting

There is something quite nice about the idea of settling down on a Winter evening with a hot drink and some knitting in front of a roaring fire. In my case, it's a heat pump not a fire, but I have spent a couple of evenings with some knitting recently. 

I'm a pretty inexperienced knitter, so despite having great aspirations I decided to start small.


...With these wee mittens for Isabelle. (From Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger). This is the same book that I made Isabelle's pixie hat from.

I already knew how to knit and purl, but I now have learnt how to do the 'make one' and slip stitch (thanks to youtube and my Mum). I am enjoying making these mittens, but I must confess that I can't wait until I'm capable of making bigger and better things... 

...like...
(thanks to pinterest for the inspiration)










Actually that those knitted cushions look like the perfect spot to knit from.

I will let you know how my knitting endeavours go! It's always a bit scary to blog about a craft project it it's early stages (especially one involving a skill that you are not yet too skilled at) - just in case you drop all your stitches and it ends badly. ... So if you don't hear anything else about knitting from me, you know what's happened!

Joining in (for the first time in ages) with our creative space - check out all that inspiration!

Jen


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday : Celebrating Winter

I wore this yesterday: poncho – Shanton ($20 on a half price sale), black merino underneath – thrifted, grey merino tunic (worn underneath as a skirt)– glassons, charcoal merino tights – Farmers, boot(ies?)- dotti.

 Continuing with my 'Celebrate Winter' theme; I have basically been living in and loving this poncho since I bought it last Friday. Honestly, I get out of bed and shove this puppy on overtop of my PJs.

In a way this kind of breaks the mold of my typical style. For starters, I’m a pretty conservative dresser and this is a bit more out there, secondly I find that as a general rule I suit more fitted clothing due to me being petite/ a short stuff. However in spite my body type, I really like stylish, slouchy winter layers, and this poncho also has the benefit of being slightly fitted through the sides at the bottom and can be cinched in at the waist – which suits me better I think (?). I’ve also found that if I wear something less fitted on my top half, then it looks best if I wear more fitted pants or tights on my bottom half.

 As for the more out there-ness and Aztec pattern – I would have to say that I’ve definitely been influenced by the style of these two pretty classy ladies recently.

 As for my little girl’s Winter style? – She basically lives in this coat. (But lets face it, she’d pretty much look gorgeous in anything!)

Joining in with Wardrobe Wednesday!

Jenny xox


Celebrating Winter : How to make fruit crumble (tumble)

This was supposed to be a simple blog post celebrating winter through the deliciousness that is apple/ fruit crumble (perhaps the world’s best winter comfort food); however a certain set of events changed all that…

…(more on that later.)

PicMonkey Collage

To make your own delish fruit crumble…

  • Step 1: Prepare your fruit – Tonight I used apple, tinned peaches and bananas (sounds weird but it’s great.) Last year our feijoa tree provided such a bumper crop that I used fruit that I had scooped out and frozen earlier long after they were out of season. Sadly our tree didn’t produce much this year.

Peel, and cut as necessary and put in a casserole dish.

  • Step 2: Make your crumble, (I basically follow the Alison Holst spiced fruit crumble recipe):

Mix 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and rub in 75 g cold butter, cut into cubes. (I also add a bit of coconut.)

Spread over the prepared fruit.

  • Step 3: Bake at 190 degrees C for 45 mins

To make the variation ‘Fruit Tumble’ follow the next couple of steps!

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  • Step 4: After dishing yourself a nice bowl of the crumble and a side of yoghurt, carry it over to the table.

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  • Step 5: Catch sight of your freshly bathed bub getting messy with yoghurt and in doing so …

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  • Step 6: … accidently drop the contents of your bowl all over the chair and floor!

Voila you have fruit tumble!

What is your favourite Winter comfort food?

Jen x

Monday, 25 June 2012

Celebrating Winter

I must be a bit fickle, because sometimes the Winter months can get me feeling a bit (for want of a better word)’down’. (If ‘meh’ was in the dictionary I would go with that.)

Nursery Mobile - Rainy Day

Rainy day nursery mobile from Etsy

For me mostly, it’s because of dreary weather. Rain, wind and cold I can handle (especially with a heat pump), instead for me I think less sunlight is the killer. I find myself being less patient and my demeanour is often less ‘sunny’ than I should be.

And when there are days of rain in a row, cooped up kids and a less patient Mum can spell recipe for disaster!

To put myself in a better frame of mind, most Winter’s I try and dwell on the positive things that come with the colder season. (… Kind of: Sleigh-bells and snowbells and Whiskers on kittens…. these are a few of my favourite things –ish!)

Owl Cable Fingerless Knit Gloves - Surly Sheep PDF Pattern

Owl cable knit gloves pattern from Etsy

So I have decided that this week is my ‘Celebrate Winter Week’ – heck, it may even extend beyond that (at least I hope an improved attitude on my part does.)

So join in with me in this next little while as I explore, comfort food, Winter fashion and rainy day fun with kids amongst other joys of Winter. And if you happen to do a blog post along a similar vein please leave me a comment with a link and I will be sure to check it out!

Jen x

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Free Fun

It’s the best kind.

Yesterday the kids and I had a housebound day (I still feel like I’m catching up after being away).

We dabbled in…

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tandem bike riding

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…powered by little black gumboots

and …

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a lesson on how to peg clothes on the line (I’m trying to make myself redundant)

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This seriously kept them occupied for around 1.5 hours (although now I seem to have 50% less pegs!?! – hmm might have to check the drain)

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We also had a visit from a cowboy trying to disguise himself as an Indian

As they say the best things in life are free!

What are some low cost things round the house that your kids like doing? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated – especially the low mess, leave them to it kind!

Jenny x

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday : mustard accents

After being scolded by my Auntie in Christchurch for not posting a Wardrobe Wednesday post for a couple of weeks, I decided I better post one today.

This one’s for you Auntie Anthea (and Olivia)!

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Outfit breakdown: cardi – kmart, grey merino (underneath) – glassons, white lace top and grey scarf – dotti, jeans – Levis, boots – banks shoes, mustard belt – thrifted (while in CHCH last week.)

As I’m sure you know mustard yellow is ‘so hot right now’ and a lot of people look AMAZING in this colour – including this stylish lady; however I’m not entirely sure that it is a colour that suits me in large doses. But, I think little accents of this shade work on me.

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My little photo-bombing friend also picked a few ‘flowers’ (dandelions) for me in a similar shade. Such a sweetie!

Joining in with

Monday, 18 June 2012

Christchurch holiday snaps

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  1. Holly and Susie (and some really awesome pants)
  2. More macarons (from j'aime les macarons)
  3. Chubby cheeks and a new hat
  4. Throwing ice at Mum
  5. Isabelle and my Nana
  6. Massage chairs
  7. The discovery of rice balls – the best thing ever (basically like a giant spherical piece of sushi)
  8. A pretty good op shop haul
  9. Man’s best friend

We had a lovely time in Christchurch, but I didn’t seem to document much of it on my camera. Instead I have returned with a random collection of pictures – mainly of food and Dad and Lynn’s, dog Susie.

It was great for my Gran and Auntie to meet Isabelle for the first time and it was good to see evidence of Christchurch starting to rebuild and get back on it’s feet again since the earthquake last February, although of course these things take time.

Thanks to Dad and Lynn for having us and to Holly for being my helpful travelling buddy.

x

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Leaving on a jet plane

Tomorrow the kids and I are flying to Christchurch to see Poppa and the rest of the fam down there. I’m so excited to see everyone!

jugar7image source

I’m a bit nervous as this will be the first time I’ve flown with both kids (or indeed the first airplane experience of Isabelle’s life), but am glad to have an extra pair of hands in my travelling companion, my wonderful sister (and macaroon gifter), Holly. (Andrew hopes to fly down and meet us later in the week.)

So apologies that I will likely be scarce in these parts, this coming week. But I will be sure to share our Christchurch adventures with you upon our return!

Jen x

Friday, 8 June 2012

Broccoli & Blue Cheese Soup

Winter has well and truly set in here in little old New Zealand. (Especially the South Island – they have snow there at the moment. We are due to fly to Christchurch on Monday, so if there still could be some snow for the kids to play in, but not actually snowing so as to stop our flight – that would be awesome, thanks!)

One of my favourite things about Winter has to be soup – it’s just such a warming, up-lifting meal. And often a great way to consume a lot of vegies.

Today I made Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup – and it was delicious!

It’s a true test in our household of how good a soup is by how little or much toast/ bread is consumed. And for this soup, the pile of toast was largely left untouched – also Andrew went back for multiple serves.

The verdict = Yum.

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Here’s the recipe, so you can make your own (that is, if you’re a fellow blue cheese fan. It’s one of those things you either love or hate, I think, and I am most definitely in the LOVE camp.)

Ingredients
  • 1 large onion , roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 large potato , peeled and cubed
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 1 head broccoli , about 300g, roughly chopped
  • blue cheese, about 100g, crumbled

Method

  1. Cook the onion in 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the potato and stock and simmer until the potato is tender (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes until just tender but still bright green. Add half the cheese and whizz to a smooth soup in a blender. Season then serve with the rest of the cheese crumbled over.

Serves around 4. See simple as, only a couple of steps and it takes around 30mins.

Enjoy! YUM!

Jen x

Monday, 4 June 2012

Then & Now : Grover rides the washing line

Then : April 2011. Noah aged 2.5 years. Gotta love that blonde mop and those giggles.

 

Now: May 2012. Noah aged 3.5 years (Isabelle 18 months). The blonde hair is less blonde and the giggles not quite so jolly–but it’s still pretty cute, don’t you think?

Please excuse my ‘video voice’, I can only hope that this is not what my ‘real life voice’ sounds like. However, I think I may be out of luck.

Also I haven’t quite worked out how to rotate the clips, so please also excuse the ‘camera work’ – it’s documentary style, if you will.

Today has been rather dreary, and I decided it was to be a PJ, inside, keep warm and relax, order in pizza for dinner kind of day. We had a pretty busy weekend, with an annual conference at our church – it was awesome… BUT the kids were extra clingy on Sunday after having an entire day of being looked after (having fun) with Nana – despite the fun and freedom on our part, we all rather missed each other. And poor Isy has been hit with a vengeance with a cold, high temperatures and terrible teething. There have been a few restless nights round here.

So the little ray of sunshine round here apart from lots of snuggly sick cuddles, was for me to watch these videos and marvel at how much my kids have grown. And to be thankful of this record of that delightful giggle!

How was your weekend? How do you cheer yourself up on dreary days?

Jenny x