Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Yummyness!!

Oh I so wish I could take credit for dreaming up these divine little Easter Baskets but well I have to be honest I came across them from a link to this blog. They are just so beautiful and the lovely Suzonne has on her blog all the instructions and supplies used to create them. In my ideal world I would love to take a whole afternoon with the kids and create these cuties although I am sure that if I attempt it I would be doing most of the work. Thereby the activity may be more for my benefit than theirs!

Suzonne's blog has lots of other little gem tutorials of gorgeousness and everything crafty and some food recipes also. Her blog has now also joined my endless list of favourites, one could spend a lifetime just keeping up with everyones blogs. I wonder what we ever did before blogland!

In any case take a look at Suzonne's Blog Urban Comfort, I suggest you grab a cuppa you may be there for a while.


Anna xox

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cafe Style Breakfast at Home

Do you have a Sunday breakfast tradition? Well I am definitely a breakfast type girl I love the whole cooked breakfast thing, so usually on Sundays its either bacon and eggs or pancakes. Well this morning the kids request was pancakes and since it's the holidays I went the extra mile complete with capuccinos and frothy hot chocolates for the kids using our capuccino machine. I love going to all the effort and making it special, I did so much cafe work when I was younger that it all has to be made together, with perfect timing and served hot. We all had brekkie outside and of course its all over within 10mins (for the kids, they eat and then they are off eager to start the day) even though it takes ages to prepare but nevertheless its still nice. Of course we had a couple of extra kids from the street pop in and any left over pancakes were soon gone also.
Today has been pretty relaxing we took the kids to Vic Market for a couple of hours this afternoon and it was great just getting out of the house and into the city. I am nursing a cold at the moment and not feeling all that great. I am hoping to feel better tomorrow as I know the kids want to do a few things this week. We have the Zoo on our agenda for one of the days meeting some friends there so that should be nice. Not really the time to be sick, I guess there's never really a right time.
I am off to make some honey and lemon tea I have lost count of how many of those I've had but they seem to help and of course lots of Codral.
Have a nice sunday night.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Holiday Craft for the kids, Card Kits On Sale Now

Wow where has the week gone, actually more to the point where has the term gone??? It just feels like yesterday we were getting the kids back to school and here we are and it's holidays again. Of course with the holidays comes the lovely and fun adventure of entertaining and juggling kids and activities and just doing anything possible to get through the next two weeks.

So for this week only I have reduced the Kids Card Kits to $17.50 from $20.00. They have never been on sale before and more than likely won't be again for a while so it's a great time to stock up for holidays, birthday gifts etc etc. There is an extra little bonus in each kit if you purchase 3 or more, but you will have to take a look on site to see what it is. Click here . By the way this sale ends Monday, after that the kits go back to their normal price, so hurry!!! Image above shows you the type of goodies in each kit. Full description and photos on site.
Must fly, just about to put an order in for a brand new label to be stocked soon on site, very exciting stay tuned.....

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Handmade Cards and Supplies List

I have decided to add a new feature to this blog which I haven't really made the time to do in the past. I thought it would be great when showing some new designs and ideas that I have created to list the supplies used and link them back to the store. That way if there is anything in particular you see that you would love to purchase you don't have to spend ages searching through the site.

So below are a couple of cards I created last night and thought to share.
For You Handmade Gift Card

Supplies Used

Scenic Route Paper Co. Rockland Franklin Street 12" x 12" paper - Back

This paper was used for both cards featured here

Vandoros Corfu Ribbon Olive/White

Heidi Swapp Heart Stamp

Kaisercraft Birthday Cards Rub Ons Black

Kaisercraft Pearls Pearl colour

E.K. Success medium Retro Flower Punch

Love You More Oyster Pearl Brads

Tim Holtz Tea Dye Distress ink for inking heart stamp

For You Owl Handmade Card

Supplies Used

Patterned Paper refer to card above

Aussie Scrap Source Kraft Cardstock 12" x 12"
White Lace Paper Doilies
Hambly Studios Birds and Trees clear stickers for owl and branch
Punch Bunch Scalloped Circle Punch
Vandoros Ivory Twill
Tim Holtz Vintage Photo distress Ink for inking edges of paper and doily
Printblocks Sponge Daubers for inking

Friday, March 19, 2010

Inspirational Friday


Just wanting to share a little Friday Inspiration. I recieve these daily emails and a daily horoscope which I just love reading and it seems to be so accurate as well just what I need to hear for that day.

Anyway todays message is below, a little long but well worth the read. By the way the website if you would like to sign up to recieve daily emails is I certainly recommend it, but then I love everything inspirational.


By choosing how to interpret and define each moment with your thoughts, you truly create your reality.Our thoughts are powerful forces in the creation of our experience of life.

You may be able to recall a time when frustration that was based on a misunderstanding completely evaporated when your understanding changed. This is because our interpretation defines our experience, and it can change in an instant. Our only true reality is the present moment, so rather than merely accepting that life is happening to us, we can harness the power of our thoughts to actively create a positive reality. For example, we can choose to appreciate beauty around us rather than focusing on traffic or look for admirable qualities in the people we deal with rather than focusing on the negative. By choosing how to interpret and define each moment with your thoughts, you truly create your reality.

Throughout the day, we can monitor our thoughts to catch ourselves in the middle of investing our energy elsewhere—such as into belief in limitations—and instead pull our focus back to the infinite possibilities of the present. Taking a deep breath will help us center our thoughts on being in our bodies right now. Regular meditation allows us to gain mastery over our minds so that we can still our thoughts to focus on the pureness of being. If we mentally dwell on the past or the future, we may miss the experience of living in the present moment. Setting and visualizing goals is wonderful, but we can bring our thoughts into our current experience by taking steps to create them now.

Our minds are powerful tools that we can harness to create our reality. Through them we move the unformed energy of the universe into form, which gives us direction for our words and actions. Each thought is like a stone dropped into a lake, sending ripples out into our world to affect all they touch. We can choose our focus and how we invest our energy, which gives us the power to design our lives to be whatever we choose in each and every moment.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vandoros Ribbons

Some gorgeous new ribbons have arrived. I am slowly accumulating quite a collection of ribbons, just another one of my many craft addictions. I actually now have a wall mounted ribbon rack to display them all which is just so handy. It's now great to view each ribbon in its colour family at a quick glance.

Below are a few of the newbies you will find in store. Plus a restock of the Vandoros Herringbone Red and white, no sooner had I purchased the roll than it was sold out. There are a couple more colours to choose from now equally as gorgeous, Black/White and Mocha/White (pictured below). To view our selection you will find them here.

Vandoros Chartruese Pearla

Vandoros Herringbone Mocha/White

Vandoros Candy Cane Grossgrain Island Blue and White

Vandoros Ivory Twill

That's all for tonight, feeling very tired, it's been two really busy days and I have lots to catch up before I can even think of bedtime.

Night Anna

Sunday, March 14, 2010

National Tomato Making Day

You guessed it, it's that time of year when in every traditional Italian household, boxes and boxes of overipe tomatoes are ordered and delivered by so and so's friend of your uncle who does a really great price if you buy 20 boxes etc etc, you know the deal it's all about who you know not what you know, all in the name of making anywhere from 50 - 200 jars and bottles of tomato sauce ready for the year or in some cases years ahead.

We are not talking here state of the art equipment, nor are we talking that any OHS standards apply, you just need a garage and a few makeshift tools and as many family members as you can to help. The process all up is at least a couple of days and I can honestly say that there are less and less attendees every year. Actually it's great for the kids to see it, they will grow up in a generation where everything is already in a container or package and they have no idea how it got there, unless of course we make efforts like this. This is the reason why I cook most of our meals at home and I bake a lot with the kids, just so they grow up understanding how to make and prepare healthy food. We hardly have take away and rarely or never eat out unless its a special occasion. So you can imagine between 5 lunches every day and a dinner every night I churn out lots of meals every week and I can honestly say that at times inspiration of what to cook and coming up with new ideas can be stressful, especially when one doesn't like this and one doesn't like that. Anyway I have completely gone off track but the whole issue is if you don't make an effort to prepare home cooked meals, the kids just fill up on whatever crap they can find in the cupboards. I believe when you develop taste buds for healthy food, you will always prefer them to fried and fatty foods. The only exception is chocolate of course, but we won't go there as that deserves a whole blog post all on its own. So here are some pictures of what my sister and I term "National Wog Day" all in fun of course.

You start off with lots of chopping, some tomatoes were boiled first and then the skin taken off, it just depends what type of sauce you are making we make two types, one with the whole tomatoes and one with tomato paste. So these chopped ones were for the tomato paste.

Here is my nephew Arrian and my daughter Melanie, chopping away, I was helping here but stepped away to take a few photos.

Here is my uncle who is over 80 I might add using a very ancient machine which didn't sound too healthy with it's makeshift motor parts but anyway slowly but surely it got the job done of pureeing the tomotoes.

My kids did a bit of squishing before it went into this machine because it all seemed to go through a little easier. I was helping with this as well, great therapy actually squishing tomatoes. Give it a go!

My mum wanted this shot of the kids, she said they can show the photo at school my kids couldn't think of anything worse. As you can see my eldest wasn't very impressed and kept giving me the look, you know that look when they are totally PO at having to endure such embarrasment. Oh well I say we had to do it, they can too. LOL

So here is the finished product well a couple of jars of it anyway. I must say that all year round we keep the old empty jars but no matter what, half the lids never match up, I'm not sure why?? It's kind of like how you can never find matching socks what it is with that!

Okay so that was our Saturday afternoon. By the way the tomatoes do taste really good especially when you are making a pasta sauce with it, it just doesn't compare to the supermarket stuff. Then again anything homemade is always exceptional compared to pre prepared frozen foods, of which I have never really tried anyway to comment, but I can just imagine.

Just in case you were wondering this hasn't become a food blog, but I just felt the need to blog this. I know one day we won't be having these days any longer. It really isn't the same now without my Dad, he was the organiser and overseer of it all his spark and enthusiasm as well as his comical way of saying and doing things, the day just doesn't have the same magic without his presence. I know though when my mother passes the tradition unfortunately will pass with her, like so many other traditions.

Enjoy the rest of this beautiful sunday!

Anna xox

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Celebrate New Free Mini Kit with every $50 Order, Only at Koko Vanilla Designs

Hi Everyone,

Just popping in to quickly say (while I have a few minutes of uninterrupted time between kids sporting activities) to let you know that the new free mini kit is up on site.

Just in case you weren't sure how to qualify for this little craft kit for free, your order total must be $50 or more before postage. Customers love recieving this little gift it's always full of gorgeous papers, embellishments and other cool stuff. Once all kits have been allocated, there is always a newly designed one ready to be made up. I have fun making these little kits up, plus I love giving freebies and little extras away to my customers just for choosing to shop at Koko Vanilla. To take a closer look you will find it here.
Okay I hope you have a lovely Saturday, I am spending some time with my family this afternoon, helping my mum in her yearly tradition, I will give you a hint and I promise to be back later today with some photos. The hint is Tomatoes (thousands of them). Can you guess. More to the point can you believe they still do this sort of stuff, Mum said to me yesterday, you really should learn how to do this, (yeh in my spare time mum). Surely by now you might know what I'm talking about, if not check back later, okay another hint you use it with Spaghetti and its an Italian tradition, surely you know now.
Okay enough teasing!!
Happy Saturday
Anna xx

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Hero Arts Stamps!

Hi All,

Hope you all had an enjoyable long weekend. Mine was fairly relaxed, lots of family time and extended family time also. Lots of time to have coffee and chat with my lovely neighbour who I just adore. So nice to have someone who lives next door with kids roughly the same age and we have lots in common. Anyway I just thought I would pop in to share the latest happenings here behind the scenes at Koko Vanilla.

Here is a little sneak of what I am waiting (very excitedly) to be delivered this week. The cutest and newest stamps from Hero Arts. I couldn't hold back when ordering these, I am such a sucker for stamps, can't you tell!!

Sweet Wonderful You

Flamenco Dancer

Heart Owls

Girl with Gift

There are still plenty more stamps but this is just a little sample of what the latest style is with Hero Arts this year. The whole industry seems to have become very adorable and cute and I have to confess I love it. These stamps will be up on site in the next couple of days so check back you will find them here. Whilst your waiting for these hot new stamps to arrive I have marked down some of the current stock to make room for these newbies, you will also find them here.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Blog Gratitude

It's always nice when someone notices your store enough that they feature it on their blog for Favourite Shops Friday. Thanks Beth from The Ruby Blog for choosing Koko Vanilla as one of your featured stores. Beth also has an Etsy store called Rubys Upcycled Designs.

On another note if you are in Melbourne, how good is this gorgeous rain. My kids have been splashing and playing on the roadside in the puddles all afternoon and just enjoying gettting completely soaked. I think it's been so long since we have had a good downpour complete with hailstones the size of rocks that it's a novelty for them. I personally have loved listening to the sound of the raindrops outside whilst doing jobs around the house. It's melodic sound and the refreshing coolness seems so long overdue.

Enjoy the cleansing!
Anna xx


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...