DIY Advent Calendar Keepsake (under $20)

21 Nov


Ok we all have awesome memories of those cardboard choc advent calendars right? Choosing the coolest one of whatever cartoon character you are most interested in, and that cheap, but oh so familiar good feeling Christmas choc taste! I bought these for my kids, but I thought that maybe I could do something a little more fun… so I searched for Advent calendars that were larger, and boxes that I could put other little treats in that weren’t always choc leading up to Christmas Day. I couldn’t find any that were big enough to fit more than a sticker or a little choc, so I decided I would make my own, in my own style (big, bright, fun and quirky – if you know me by now I’m not into traditional Christmas colours).

I made this last year, really cutting it close to Dec 1, so I really didn’t have time to take tutorial pics or write about it. This year I was a little slow on getting it down from storage. But honestly it is super easy, and uses extremely basic sewing skills, and if you are a terrible terrible sewer, you could do it all with a good hot glue gun, as it is just felt!

So I am going to give you the measurements, and where I bought everything, and ideas on what to put in it.

Lil M remembered it as was sooooooo excited when she saw me pull it out again yesterday!

Ok so I’m going very basic about it all.


I bought everything from Spotlight – I bought the felt off the roll (its like $8- 9 a meter) and I doubled it over to make the back stronger to hold up. Lying flat it measures at 85cm in height and 49cm in width. So make sure you get at least 170cm in felt length ways so you can double it over!

The felt squares, numbers and icons, I used off cuts I already had, plus some coloured squares I also bought from spotlight, including the black and white patterned ones, you can buy them by the square or in a pack of all the patterns.You will need a long piece of black felt for across the top which is larger than a square, you will need it to be at least 49cm across. It would be best to buy your black felt for the top and numbers from the roll, 8-10cm in width (for the top bit) so get about 30cm-40cm for the numbers too (remember it will depend on the width of your felt from the roll, how much you will get for the numbers, keep that in mind) if you are not great at hand cutting numbers I would suggest buying transfers to iron on – again you can find these at spotlight!

The twine is cotton rope from the finishings section, get one thick enough to hold up on a hook, get 1 meter to be safe, the dowel I also bought from spotlight, I cut mine to 60cm.


Each pocket is 10cm x 10cm, I did 4 across, and 6 down. As you can see its not exact, its very rough haha.

I cut the black top first, it needs to be 49cm across and 8cm in length and fold it over the top of your white felt (so it is 4cm on front & back), and sew the edges so that you create like a pocket for you to slide the dowel in later. from the edge of that black I started the squares about 6cm down, about 4cm in from the sides and 2.5cm in between each pocket. But as it is felt lie it all out first and make sure it all sits even, then pin it all and sew (or hot glue gun it) Just sew the edges and bottom.

Hand cut the numbers and any icons you would like (I went for an Aussie summer Christmas theme), and hot glue these down  (as you can see I need to just do a few touch ups on ours before it goes up again with the hot glue gun hahaha)

Once it is all done, then slide your dowel in the top and attached the rope, I attached some homemade pom poms to the edges to decorate.

What you put in yours is up to you! Last year I had sticker and choc, and every 5 days or so there was something a little big bigger… (such as a pack of glow in the dark stickers, some Lyra coloured pencils, wind up Christmas toys). This year I have choices, tattoos, pencil erasers, hot wheels cars, hair clips. You could also add little lego figures, shopkins, stickers, or activities for them to do! Just have fun with it!!!!





DIY Rotating Kids Artwork Wall

6 Aug


Our Lil M LOVES to draw, is there something bigger than love? If there is that is how she feels about drawing. She also loves to create things, and ‘craft’ of course being a child of the Mister & I, she has an abundance of different materials and media to use. Different types of crayons, different types of pencils, she knows Daddy’s Posca’s are for drawing not colouring in, I have a tray under my desk that I fill with scraps of papers she is can use and take when she wants and we have 2 large boxes full of craft supplies upstairs and downstairs. So of course we have a lot of artworks created for us. The fridge just wouldn’t do! So we set out to create something we could hang a lot of her artworks on, and also use it as an ‘artwork piece’ itself, if you have read previous posts (or you know us) we love to different artworks all over our walls. At first it was going to be just a few lines of wire held up via wood posts, but once we chose the space we wanted to use – a wall in our kitchen/dining area – we initially chose a wall in our front living room, but we spend so much time in this space that we thought it would be great to have it in here, we often find ourselves just standing looking at them all, and Lil M telling us stories about them. Once it gets full, and an artwork gets taken down, I bought a large scrap book to paste them into afterwards to keep.


We used dowel, and a wire kit ( we actually had left over wire and wire ties from recently doing our deck fence – you can buy similar at Bunnings/harware stores, we bought ours from a wholesaler in Mascot, you could also use rope and knot the ends instead)


Again it is very self explanatory, but we bought a thick piece of dowel, and had it cut into 10mm lengths (you can get them to do this for you at Bunnings / Masters etc).


A hole was drilled through the centre, and then drilled through into the sides where the wire will go, and then crewed into the wall using wall anchors.


The finish on the ends is up to you, originally we had painted them bright colours, but the final finish I cut black vinyl to cover the ends (you could use contact or decals).


Once you have screwed the pegs into place it is just a matter of working out how and where you want the wire to sit. We drew ours out first, the design went from 3 horizontal straight lines, to a zig zag formation, to the cross formation we ended up with. We use wooden pegs to hang them up. It just really depends how big the piece is that you have to work with.


This project is something we have been talking about doing for months, like 6 months or more and didn’t get around to doing, we wish we had done it earlier, but we are so happy it is up, but Lil M is going to have to share the spotlight with Mr Lil M soon, as this little guy looks like he is following in her footsteps, and is happy with a crayon in his hand too!



I pom pom-ed a Kmart throw

2 Aug


If you remember recently, I made a fluffy pom pom garland for Lil M’s bedroom. After realising anywhere I could put it up in Lil M’s room, the Lil Mr would tear it down and tear it up in seconds, so it sat at the top of my wardrobe alone. One day strolling through Kmart I spotted this light grey / (lets call it a dirty minty blue) throw and immediately I knew I was going to pull that garland apart and sew it to this throw!


After positioning the pom poms on the blanket I realised they were too big, so I made 13 smaller ones (again with my trusty pom pom loom).

First I positioned them out where I wanted them, and then used fabric chalk to mark where they needed to be sewn on. Using a wool needle and embroidery thread, I sewed each pom pom on. Be careful not to sew over too many pom pom threads sticking out, it will flatten your pom!


Positioning them after the 3rd time to take a pic, the little guy’s eyes spied pom poms and attacked them and tossed them around the room, then twisted himself up in the blanket – then of course I took a pic of it.


Yup it is easy as that, I sewed all of these on while the M’s were eating their lunch today.


I made this for Lil M, and she was really keen on the idea, but last week, and today she has decided she doesn’t like it… looks like I will be snuggling in the cute myself then!

These throws are in Kmart now for only $19 AUD and also come in a dark charcoal and hot pink, they are a good large size, and quite soft! :) *This post is no way sponsored by the way! :)

Have fun making pom pom-ing your throw! xx

Some healthy treats for you!

10 Jul


My family love to eat…all the time! They also, have a lot of energy and love treats, don’t we all! I really like to try and make sure that we all eat pretty balanced. We do tend to watch and read what is in a lot of things we buy from the supermarket, we don’t eat a lot out of packets for snacks, and don’t keep things like chips and things in our pantry its better out of sight out of mind here hahaha and I try to make a lot of our own foods (Don’t get me wrong, we love to indulge in naughty cakes and treats, we are not strict on it, but not all the time, and not for everyday). I like to keep a good selection of snacks that the Mister can take to work, that I can grab for a quick breakie, or that I can give the kids during the day or put into Lil M’s lunch box, that is good for them and will give them energy and fill them up without loads of sugar or salts. So I’m sharing some of our family favs. Not all are pictured, only what I had already made up this week. Everything you can freeze which is great as it keeps so much longer, and it will defrost by the time the Mister eats his for break time, or Lil M for morning tea if I get it out early morning.

My family don’t have any allergies, but a lot of these treats are good for those who can’t have gluten or nuts, and dairy  (most of these don’t have nuts either, as Lil M’s pre school is nut free, like most schools, so it make sit easier that I don’t use them so they can still go to school with her)


So I’ll start with a huge fav, oat flour choc chip cookies. Now these have dark choc in them, instead of the choc chips I use Old Gold 70% cocoa, cut into chunks, I’ve also used dairy free choc for friends who have dairy allergies. I have also made these with only half the sugar (I use coconut sugar) These also do not last long in our home! There are 2 versions, one is made with all oat flour, and the other keeps some oats whole. You can get the brilliant recipe here, from Chelsea’s Messy Apron website.


I absolutely love Quirky recipes for my Thermomix, and one of my favs is I’s 30 sec choc cake.  Its ok if you don’t have a Thermomix, just do the same in a food processor until it all mixed, may take a bit longer than 30 secs. But I make this regularly, and its great to whip up if you have visitors in the morning. I use coconut oil instead of macadamia, and it still tastes great, and I’ve also used buckwheat flour when I haven’t had any spelt flour. Again this goes way too fast in our house!


This one is the Misters absolute fav! It is a healthy hedgehog slice. The original recipe has icing for the top, but I leave this off, it is great without. The first time I made this I didn’t have puffed rice, and I wasn’t bothered to make it, but I had some Disney frozen puffed rice cereal things that were pretty low in sugar/salt etc, so I used these and they worked great, it needs that crunch. I have also only made this with cashews not walnuts and it is brilliant, we keep it the freezer. You can get the recipe here from Loose Baby Weight website.


I just recently bought A Healthy Mum’s E- Book collection of whole food breakfast ideas and lunches. There are soon many great recipes, so far Ive made these…up the back, is the banana muesli bar, the one up the front are sweet potato muesli bars, and the one on the right (My new fav and Lil M’s) is the Bircher museli cookie. We like our spice here, and the second batch I made of these cookies I doubled the ginger, and it was a hit here. Another one her recipes I make of Stacey’s is the Frozen Berry Oat Slice. You can purchase her E-books here, well worth it!

Another weekly must that I routinely bake are these Banana and blueberry oat muffins, made with greek yoghurt. I make these with just banana (as Lil M does like blueberries baked of course) so I used 3 bananas instead of 2) these are also at their best when instead of using blueberries substitute with raspberries. I keep a handful out in a container, and the rest I pop in the freezer, if you want one straight away from the freezer just microwave for 30-40secs. The recipe if from here – Bowl of Delicious

Now I don’t have pictures, but some more favs that I make here at home are salted caramel protein balls (if we don’t have choc protein powder that the kids can have I just use raw cacao, I call these choc balls to the kids, they devour them! They are from Nadia Felsch’s website here.

Lemon coconut balls from The Organised Housewife here.

Choc mint energy bites, from Sally’s Baking Addiction website here.

All of these are very easy and pretty quick to make. I like to put aside an hour and a bit on a  Sunday afternoon, or a Monday morning to make a few of these and have them ready for the week. Happy baking! xx


Potato Stamping the easy way

2 Jul


I’ve always put off potato stamping, because I think of the time I need to carve out the potato, so to me it means planning in advance, rather than a quick thinking distraction activity for the kids to get busy with. But then I thought surely I can just use my cookie cutters and cut around them – Yep I thought it was my own genius, but no of course I find out Martha Stewart has of course beat me to it hahaha.


But all in all, I did these while I was waiting for the toast to be done, and a few mins more. My images are pretty self explanatory, so cut your potato’s in half and then use the cookie cutter to press almost 3/4 of the way through or even all of it, if your cutter has a ridge so you can get it back out. Then use your knife to slice around it, pull the cutter out and tah dah, easy peasy!




I created a few different paint plates, and laid out some paper and away they went! I have since found out that adding a piece of felt of something with a little bit of a more softer surface under your paper, will make for a better print, for the pressure to be right. I’ll do this next time. But the kids had a great time, the Lil Mr maybe too much fun as then he started to stamp his trackies with love hearts, thank goodness for vanish stain remover – although I always use water based non toxic (washable if possible) paints when I do anything with the kids!

So there is not debating or waiting, get your potato stamping on! x



Pom pom, hama bead garland

28 May


I have always loved pom poms, I clearly remembering making them with 2 cardboard circles in year 1, and then going to my grandma’s shortly after, and just sitting there wanting to make pom pom after pom, she was a big knitter, so she had all these balls of wool in different textures and colours. Although I loved it then, it is still time consuming. I made them the original way years ago, and then sort out an easier way. I tried the half loom, but to me it doesn’t give you the same volume, so I got one of those looms with double sides, and in 4 different sizes, and its fab! It is easy enough for Lil M to do it (she is on the early side of 4), and I get a nice full pom pom! So once making all of these pom poms I decided I would make a garland, and add some of the lovely coloured hama beads that Lil M (we) have an abundance of around the home! Just quietly after seeing the finished garland, Lil M decided it would be best as a scarfie, so watch this space for more pom poming!


The deliciousness colours of the pom poms and beads together!


Now I’m not doing a tut on how to use the pom pom loom, it is pretty self explanatory, but you can see how it works just like our ‘old fashioned’ cardboard way.



Once you start to pull the loom apart the beauty of the pom pom reveals itself!


Lil M could do it too, although she still hasn’t finished one (she choose the largest loom), she has been coming back to it.


You can buy hama beads from your usual craft stores, or a large tub of multicoloured beads from Ikea. We have those, and I had purchased a small packets of these pretty pastel ones from Lincraft, Spotlight sell the beads in packets by colour (that I have seen at my local anyhow).


Once your poms poms are done, using an embroidery needle (you need it to be long enough to get through your pom), and some embroidery thread, thread through your first pom pom. Leave about 20cm or so at the end before you tie a knot, so that you have thread to hang the garland, and do this at the end too.


I used a medium size pom, and 20 beads between each section.



Yep it is that easy. Make it as long or short as you like, hang it vertical or horizontal. Now I have a lot more pom pom making to go, if I am going make Lil M a pom pom scarf before winter is over!


Ahh if you look closely I didn’t realise Lil M’s special ‘sticky jewel’ she had stuck onto one of the poms is still there! Hahaha!




24 May



If you didn’t already know, I have a SALE section in my store. Some items are definitely on sale, and some items are only on sale for a limited time, so be quick! *Free shipping in Aust on most items.

My skate decks are on sale and I only have a limited number left. Once they are sold, they are gone! Check them out, and my other items here xx

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