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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Bakin', cakin'...

I apologise for not posting anything yesterday.  I was up to my elbows with baking and didn't even sleep (no kidding, I went from Tuesday to Wednesday without sleep)  just to do a last minute cake request for a family friend.  Prior to that I also had some cupcakes to make for a friend, so there was no way I could have paused for a moment to blog.

Before I show you pics of the cake I made for yesterday, here are some pics of the cupcakes!  Enjoy!!

Now, you're probably wondering what kind of last minute cake I made?  Here's a clue...

And, just because I can, I won't show you the cake until after the break (hehe, I know, I'm being mean, but I'm just havin' fun!)...go on click on 'read more' below...

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Feelin' sweet

This past weekend was a very sweet-toothed one for me and my family.  We attended two birthdays, and of course that meant a lot of eating!

First birthday we attended was my friends' daughter Eden-Rose's first birthday.  There was a rainbow cake that was sooo yummy!!  That's all my boys ate!!  My friend Vienna made it the night before, and pretty much stayed up till the party.  I stayed up with her giving her some tips and tricks here and there, but I was up because I, too, had a lot of baking to do.  I made cinnamon rolls and red velvet cupcakes for my Uncle Ruben's birthday.  I also gave some to Eden-Rose as a special treat.

Here are some pics of what I made for the birthdays...enjoy!!
Cinnamon rolls

Made this for my uncle, except it never reached him...lol

Red Velvet cupcakes for Eden-Rose xo

Cupcakes in a box for Eden-Rose xo

Tower of cinnamon goodness for my Uncle :-P

Red Velvet cupcake tower for my Uncle

Strawberry custard tarts made by my Uncle...sooooooo gooooood!!!!!!!!

Click after the break to see pics from Eden-Rose's party...

Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas family portrait

Good Monday everyone!!  Wow, I am sooo happy that we have a sunny day today, after one long rainy week!!  Woohoo!!  Let's pray it lasts fro

Now, this has got to be one of the coolest Christmas eCards ever!  It's by JibJab, and I couldn't help myself from trying it...check out my family video by clicking on the link below...


Pretty sweet right?  I love it!  It makes me laugh every time I watch it!  You should go and try it for your family!  It's a quick and fun way to send a unique Christmas greeting to family and friends around the world.  Some of them are free, too, like the one I used.

Today, I want to share with you our fun and unique family portrait for this year!  But before I do, let's visit the ones from the previous years just for fun!

I scanned this one because I couldn't find the original.  2009 family portrait.
2010 family portrait

And now without further ado, our 2011 Christmas family portrait...(drum roll please)...

Something fun and unique!!  Thanks to our friends from Photobooth Auckland for the fun experience!!
This year's one was definitely more chillaxed.  I mean, we didn't even dress up for it, apart from the Christmas props that our friends Tamara and Alec provided for us to use.  I mean, com'on now, I was still in my sweaty touch clothes with NO makeup whatsoever!  Definitely a more natural and honest take on my family!  Which is why my hubby and I love this year's one sooo much!!

Have you done your Christmas portrait yet?  Do you get yours professionally done each year?  Or do you do the sit-on-Santa's-lap thing that they have at malls this time of year?  Or are you a DIYer like us?  However you do it, I'm sure it will be great!!

I'm so excited for Christmas!!  Mainly to celebrate such a special day with the people I love.  

Enjoy this sunny Monday guys!!  See you again tomorrow!!  Oh, and this week will be my final bloggin' week for the year!!  I will have some time off to spend with my family then see you all back here next year!!  Oh yeahhh!!  


Friday, 16 December 2011

My very own Picasso!!

Yay!!  School's out!!  No more packing lunches, or washing uniforms, or baking hundreds of cupcakes for a while.  My son Javaughn finished yesterday, so he's happy and so is Mummy!!  Now, I have to get the holiday activities organised before the year ends...yikes!!  How to keep a nine year old boy entertained...hmmm...

Before we go there, let's look at some art work my little artist produced this year.  I am really happy that he was selected to take part in a special art class this year (his third year in a row).  He loves drawing and anything to do with being creative.  He also loves dancing!  I swear I see ME in him.  It's awesome!!  :-D

Here's my favourite!  His very own print work.  I absolutely love it!!
And now, with a nice frame (scored it for $10 from Spotlight, oh yeahhh)...
Looks like art gallery material, huh?  I luuuurve it!!  Now I need to find a place for it!!  Hmmm, choices choices choices.  :-)

And here are a couple of other ones, too.  There's sooo much more but I think I'll stop here, otherwise this post could go on all day :-)
My son wants this particular piece in his bathroom.

Hope you enjoyed this post guys!  It's Friday and it's a beautiful day!  Thank you Lord!!  Enjoy your weekend guys!!!!!!


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Snowy Christmas at the Nesi's!!

Even though I was feeling very lazy these past couple of days (I'm blaming the weather) I still managed to keep myself occupied with craft-ivities (did I just make up a word?).  Since the weather has been nothing but wet and cold, I decided to add 'snow' to our Christmas decor.  Javier (my eldest twin) was actually the one who initiated the idea.  He pulled out the insides of our couch cushions and we ended up with 'snow' all over our  floor.  I decided to reuse the 'snow' and applied them to our tree.  Really diggin' the snowy look right now.  So I went a step further and made snow ornaments, garlands and chandelier out of doilies.  I know, I went a bit crazy, but I was on a roll and couldn't be stopped.  The chandelier 'snow' is probably my favourite one, because it's so pretty and it really looks like snow falling from the sky.  I love it so much that it's now going in the master bedroom as our light feature, instead of the dining room where it was originally intended.


SNOW VIGNETTE (ENTRY WAY) - added a snow wash to these pics to really get into the snowy Christmas spirit hehe


Ok, so I washed this pic with 'snow' to give you a real snowy feel :-)
Now, with the lights on!
Ahh, so pretty!  Will be moving it to the master bedroom soon xo
Click after the break for the how-to on the snow chandelier!  It's super simple!  Anyone can do it!!!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Breakkie with me?

Good morning peeps!  Even though it's grey and cold outside, I'm going to make it a good morning!  We've had this weather for three days in a row now, and the first two days I really couldn't be bothered doing anything.  Just like Bruno Mars says in his song, "today I don't feel like doing anything (do do do do do do) I just wanna lay in my bed (do do do do do do) don't feel like pickin' up the phone so leave a message at the tone, 'cause today I don't feel like doin' anything...nothin' at all".  But unfortunately, the world doesn't stop when you can't be bothered, so I think I'm gonna have to just find other ways to motivate myself (seeing as this weather wants to stick around for a while).

To get this morning started, how about we make some scones for breakkie?  Help me prepare them please...

Now, let's pop 'em in the oven...
8-10 minutes later...
They're done!!  Yay, let's dig in!!  Pass me the butter and jam please?  Oh, and some of that freshly whipped cream!!

Yummmmm!  Hope you're enjoying yours, too.  xo

UPDATE: just added more pics below.

I have some pretty cool Christmas craft-ivities to share with you, so be sure to stop by again tomorrow!!  It's going to get snowy up in here!!  That's your hint btw.


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Birthday Cupcakes for Tele!!

Last night I whipped up a batch of chocolate cupcakes with caramel and peanut butter frosting and sprinkled with chocolate flakes.  It was more of an experimental combination, so I wasn't sure what it was going to taste like...but I think Tele's text gives me an indication of what the cupcakes were like - "everyone inhaled them" lol.  That's gotta be a good thing, right?  I'll try it again another time and work on the perfect balance.  I think having the caramel is great against the salty peanut butter frosting.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm sure my dear husband would be happy to volunteer his time to trial these babies out, hehehe.  Here are some pics I took just before they disappeared.  Enjoy!!

I get a bit OTT when it comes to taking pics.  I like to get different angles and stuff, hehe.  Hope you enjoyed today's post.  Don't forget to share it with your family and friends.  And if you haven't joined this site already, I welcome you to do so.  You can locate the 'join this site' button on the right hand side under 'click below to follow my blog'.  That way you get instant email updates of new posts I publish.  Go on, show some love!


Monday, 12 December 2011

Happy Birthday Tele!!

Just want to make a special birthday shout out to my sis-in-law Tele!!  Hope you're havin' a wonderful day so far!!  May you have many more birthdays to come!!

Lotsa love,
Lui, Jackie, Javaughn, Javier and Carlyle

As for my blog-tradition, here's a cake for you!!

Happy Birthday Zara Ysabel!!

On the weekend I had the pleasure of making a special cake for a sweet li'l girl named Zara Ysabel for her first birthday.  It was such a fun party with loads of delicious food and sweets, and awesome decorations and party favours.  I love kids parties because they are full of colour and fun!  Thank you to my friends Marc and Clarice for letting my family and I be part of your daughter's celebration!  We had a wonderful time and I trust all your other guests did, too!!

Now, you're probably wondering what the cake looked like?  So first up, here's where the inspiration came from...
The beautiful invitation made my Clarice''s uncle!!
And now, the cake...
Chocolate overload underneath the fondant exterior.  The font was free-handed individually to replicate the one used for the invitation.  My eyes were crossing by this time as I worked on this cake overnight, sacrificing my much-needed sleep.  Glad my hands were steady enough to do this.  So relieved that the cake turned out pretty cool!  Yay!!

For all you detail-lovers, here's a collage I put together for yaz.
Click after the break for even more pics...go on, you know you want to see more... :-)

Friday, 9 December 2011

It's Friday!!

Good morning everyone!  What a glorious morning we're having in Auckland today!  I love how the sun is just beaming through my dining room window, spreading the warmth and joy it brings throughout my house.  Ahhh!! Love!!

Today I had a very early start to my baking.  I woke up at 6.30am to get started...why?  Well, I have a lot of baking to do for the weekend, and today is the only day I can work on them.  The first thing I baked were two dozen chocolate cupcakes for my son's shared morning tea today at his school.  I did plan on baking double that, but I was pressed for time.  I literally chucked the cupcakes in a box and blitz-iced them and within seconds they were done! Sadly, I didn't have time for sprinkles!  What!?  No sprinkles?  I know, right.  So, to me, the cupcakes left my house undressed!  Oh well, I'm sure the kiddos will still enjoy eating them.  :-)  I know my son will.  Plus, he doesn't like sprinkles, so he's happy.  Oh, and may I add that I only had enough time to snap ONE pic!!  ONE!!  I can't believe how hectic my morning is today.  I usually take hundreds of pics on one cake!!

So here's that ONE pic I took before the cupcakes ran out my door...

Well, I better get back to it.  Gotta keep my li'l cake-monsters entertained while baking a million things!  Oh Friday!


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Happy Birthday to my bebe!!

No Christmas stuff today guys!  Today is all about my hubby Lui!  It's his birthday and I want this day to be special and all about him!  So I have been up all night baking (of course) and whipped up a batch of chocolate cupcakes for him to take to work today.  Chocolate with chocolate buttercream!  I was going to put my usual ganache, but I didn't have enough chocolate for it, so buttercream I went.  It tasted pretty amazing actually, and I don't usually make chocolate buttercream because ganache has always been the one to make me go "ohhh...mmm...ahhh...", but I think I'm definitely going to be making this buttercream more often from now on.  Here are some pics I snapped up at six this morning, before hubs left for work.  Enjoy!!

Last night, our dear friends Tamara and Alec invited us over to their lovely home and let us have some fun with their Photobooth.  Here is a fun Christmas photo that me and my hubby took.  Man, I have to say, I love that thing!  It really is the best!  I know I've said it before, but seriously, you have got to hire this baby out for your next function!  It is fun-guaranteed!  You'll love it so much you'll end up bloggin' about it - for real!
To my best friend and soul mate,

I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am to have you in my life.  You always make me laugh, let me tuck my freezing toes between your legs, you appreciate my curves, and never fail to tell me I look good.  You are a wonderful hubby, an awesome daddy, and I love you beyond measure!  Happy birthday bubs!  May God bless you with many more birthdays!  I sure am very excited to celebrate each and every one of them with you.

Much love,
your wifey xo

P.S. 381 4 life!  hehe


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A creative Christmas streak...

Yesterday I was in some sort of creative and festive mood.  I was making Christmas decorations for my house, and didn't realise I ended up with quite a few goodies by the end of the day.  Here are some things I came up with, and of course all DIY stuff (because that's how I roll, on the cheap side, lol).  Be warned, today's post is packed with festive ideas!  :-)

To refresh your minds, I shared with you a creative idea (again with cereal boxes) using our family's initials as decorations.  Click here if you'd like to re-visit that post before proceeding to all the other festivities that's in store for you today.  :-)

First up, our very own Advent Calendar.  Ok, now this I made last week, but thought why not share it with you today along with all the other festive stuff I made yesterday.  This advent calendar was inspired by one of my favourite blog reads, Brown Paper Packages.  I used paper towel rolls and cut them into thirds.  Wrapped them in packaging paper as well as some Christmas gift-wrapping paper, added ribbons and numbers, and that's about all there is to it.  It is easy, but just a bit time-consuming (because you have to make 25).  The fun part was putting in notes and lollies in each one.  Some examples of what's inside the little packages are:
- make an ornament for the tree
- go for a drive and check out Christmas lights
- go out for ice cream
- play a game
- write Christmas cards for family and friends
etc etc...

Here's a collage I put together that show some of them...

Ok, so this was the first thing I made yesterday, our very own Christmas wreath made of cereal boxes and cupcake paper liners.  Now, I wish I had taken progress shots, but I didn't even think of it because I was on a roll !  Instead, here's a list of what I did, in case you wanted to do something similar for your casa.

1- Prepare a circle for your base.  I used a 12" cake card, I just cut out the centre using a smaller plate.  You can use cereal box or cardboard.
2- draw out a leafy pattern on the inside of your cereal box.  Cut this out and trace as many times as you need (I used 16).
3- Once you've cut all the traced leaves out, tape/glue them onto your prepared circle.  I used painters masking tape (because I wanted to play around with spacing first and didn't want anything permanent).  Space as desired.
4- Add your ribbon and *cupcake pompom on the right-side of the circle.
5- Choose a wall to stick it on!  I used painters masking tape again, as this is gentle on walls.
6- Admire!
*Cupcake pompom
Simply flatten your cupcake paper liners and fold in half.  Glue on top of each other to create an accordion.  You will need at least nine cupcake paper liners to make this.

Next, I wanted to create another wreath but this time for our front door.  I wanted to use something else other than cardboard, so off to my box of crafty goodness I went.  I found unopened wooden pegs which I thought would be perfect for this project!

1- Like the cereal box wreath I made (above), prepare a circle for your base, using a 12" cake card (or cereal box/cardboard), cut out the centre.
2- Peg the cardboard until the entire circle is filled (only leaving about a one inch gap for the ribbon).
3- Add ribbon as your loop and voila!  Your very own and unique Christmas wreath!

My eldest son, Javaughn, wanted a 'J' of Christmas lights on his wall.  Without planning or marking, I decided to just 'wing' it, since I was still in this creative streak.  I pulled out some Christmas lights that my hubby bought last weekend from his work sale and began to attach them to the wall using painters masking tape.  I was going to use command hooks, but decided it would be less effort (and less expensive) to use masking tape instead, plus I didn't want anything permanent.  What I ended up with was pretty cool, especially in the dark.  Here are some pics I took last night, while my son (and hubby) were sleeping.

My hubby is sleeping in this pic, if you can see...
Our JAR OF THANKS.  I made this a couple of weeks ago, inspired by one of my favourite DIY couples, John and Sherry of Young House Love.  This is something we look forward to because it is a time where we get to reflect on our day and think about what we're most thankful for.  The fun part is we get to read them all out on Christmas day as a family.  It should be interesting to see what each member has written down.

Well,  I hope you had fun with me today!  I'm glad to have shared some Christmas ideas with you.  If you haven't done any decorating already, then why not try some (or all) of the projects I shared with you today.  And don't forget to share them with me!!