I assume its safe to say that just like everyone else, I'm addicted to Pinterest.

Not only do I find some amazing photos on there, they lead me to the most amazing blogs written by some of the world's most talented people, doing some incredibly creative stuff!

I'm a bit addicted to the food and drink type stuff and of course all of the party planning ideas out there - its all just endless.  I've even created a board that my Secret Santa can check out - hint hint! 

Here's a cut of my food board.  The biggest problem is deciding which one will inspire me this weekend!

Happy pinning friends!

design | A SISTER'S ROOM

So this week, a lady at work - Diana - showed me the room she has been decorating for her sister for her 50th birthday.  It was so pretty, all of the little touches held special meaning for her and her sister.  The personal touches were amazing.

She had placed books around that her sister loves.  The handmade cushions were flawless.  She collected perfect shells from the beach.  She used a piece of lace that belonged to their grandmother. She found a tea pot similar to one that was owned by their grandmother.  She put paintings on the walls that their grandfather had painted, including one of their mother. She made an antique necklace out of seed beads that belonged to their great great grandmother and left it in the room. She even made a replica dream catcher that had a lot of meaning to both of them. 

What makes this room even more amazing is that all of this is in miniature, in the form of a Room Box!  I'd never heard of it before and I honestly couldn't stop looking at it and taking photos of it and saying 'OMG Diana'.  It really was so perfectly done.  Its not quite finished yet, there will be glass walls around the other sides but Diana is going on leave and we all wanted to see it so she had to bring it in unfinished.  Still pretty darn impressive!

I could never do this.  I don't have the patience.  It would have been smashed into a thousand pieces a thousand times and then some.  I'm just in awe of people who can.  

Well done Diana!


party | FEATURED

I was very excited today to get an email from Jillian from Catch My Party to say that Maddy's Sweet Shoppe was featured as Party of the Day.  So, well, I just had to share that with you!

You can see the feature here.

Catch My Party



Each year a group of us girls get together to bake cupcakes for the annual Cupcake Day for the RSPCA. This year it was held on a Monday so I wasn't able to bake but I did make all of the cupcake picks - 20 dozen! They even roped in some of the boys this time. As usual, it was a huge success and they raised over $800.



It is safe to say that Maddy loves lollies.  LOVES them!  So it was no surprise when she asked for a Lolly Party.  With a Lolly Cake.  And lots of lollies.  She didn't really care what else, as long as there were lollies, lollies and more lollies.  

So lollies is what she got in the form of a Sweet Shoppe party.

Maddy's guests were invited to the party in the form of a lollipop invitation.  

The invitations design was carried through to the Sweet Shoppe signage including the Open and Closed signs as well as the labels on the lolly jars.

All of the party guests played games to win 'money' that they could spend at the Sweet Shoppe. But what a great Shoppe this was because it didn't matter how much money you had, you could have all you wanted.  

Maddy's little sister Nikki was the Shoppe keeper and just loved her job and took it VERY seriously!

Maddy's cake was a chocolate mud with lollies bursting out of it.

Happy Birthday Maddy!



This was so good I just had to share some photos! 

I hope whatever you had for dinner tonight was delicious!



I think I have a food crush - I may have just invented that - on Rosie from Sweetapolita. I just love everything she does!  Check out her blog for some great recipes and ideas.

So, when two of the girls from work had birthdays recently, I had to try out a couple of her creations.  One was a Carrot Cake and the other was the way she decorated some cupcakes.  

Of course I had to throw in some Tim Tam pops and for the boys some Italian meatballs.

You can find the recipe for this carrot cake at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario's website here.  I wish I could get my hands on the actual magazine because I just love having things in print - which is probably why I need a bigger house!!

I found the recipe on Sweetapolita's blog so be sure to check her out!

You may have noticed I love my cupcake stand.  Its just so versatile with being able to change the papers and ribbons.  You may have also noticed that this photo doesn't have the meatballs in the bottom layer yet - oops! I put sauce in the liners first but took the photo before I put the meatballs on top.

I found the idea for displaying the cake pops here.

Happy Birthday Rita and Kylie!



I've decided I need to work on my food photography. Probably all photography for that matter! I even recently read some tips on taking great food photos and that hasn't helped - not that they weren't good tips, they were, but its made me realise that what I probably need is to work on my knowledge of a digital SLR camera.  But I digress.

I found this recipe handwritten on a piece of paper under my desk at work when I had to pack everything up for re-carpeting.  You could tell it was written quite some time ago or at least had been sitting where it was for some time, so I haven't tried to find the author.  I thank them however as this was delicious!  It is a little bit time consuming because there are a few steps so if you're in a hurry to prepare something for guests then this problaby isn't it.

With Mother's Day coming up, this might be perfect for an old fashioned afternoon tea.

Strudel slice with custard and plums

2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
180g chilled butter, chopped
2 tbs iced water
1/2 cup custard powder
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 cups milk
825g can plums
1/2 cup flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 180C.  Grease and line a 20cm cake pan with baking paper.  Allow the sides to overhang so you can easily lift the slice out.

Put the flour, brown sugar and butter in a food processor (gotta love that!) and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add water and process until it all comes together.  Turn onto a floured surface and bring it all together.  Divide into two and put half into the freezer for later.

Press the dough into the base of the pan and smooth it out with the back of a spoon.  Dip the spoon into some hot water every so often to make it easier.  Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While the base is baking, combine the custard powder and caster sugar in a saucepan. Gradually pour in the milk while stirring to avoid lumps.  Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens.  Pour over the prepared base and allow to cool slightly.

Cut the plums in half and remove the stone.  If the plums are on the bigger side, slice them again lengthways.  Arrange the plums evenly over the custard. Remove the remaining dough from freezer and either grate or crumble into a bowl.  You'll need to do this quickly or it will start to soften in your hands and be hard to work with.  Add the almonds and mix gently. Sprinkle evenly over the base.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. After the slice has completely cooled, place in the fridge for 1 hour to set. 

Serve dusted with icing sugar.


happy and safe | EASTER

I have a few belated posts I will share with you after the Easter break.  Its been a busy few weeks for me personally but I have my adorable niece's party to share with you
- extra special because we share our birthday -
(if only I was 3 again though!).

I wish you all a happy and safe Easter.



Three years ago on my birthday, my gorgeous niece Paris was born.  She is such a bundle of energy and character.  She always has a huge smile on her face and her forced smiles make me giggle every time I see one.  Her latest trick is to do the splits and she spent a good amount of time at her party showing us her technique!  Those photos however are not for public consumption...then again, they will come in VERY handy for her 21st!!  She loves her BFF Danielle (yes, apparently even 3 year olds already have BFFs) and had a fun afternoon eating lots of sugar and then bouncing it all off on the trampoline.

~ The birthday girl ~

The dessert table included donuts (courtesy of donut king - I certainly wasn't making these!), vanilla pink and orange cake and cupcakes, fresh fruit kebabs, pink and orange M&M cookies, Tim Tam Pops (these were a bigger hit with the parents than the kids), hershey's kisses and water and juice to wash it all down.  Rebecca made yummy hot food and sandwiches for the guests as well.

The birthday girl's beautiful mumma Rebecca and all her gorgeous girls.  Oh, plus the one still cooking.  Imagine what's in store if its a boy, with those four sisters.

Ha! Even the mums had fun working off the sugar!

A very special rendition of Happy Birthday from her big sister Nikki.

Things got very quiet and Paris disappeared towards the end of the party.  This is where we found her!  The sign of a good party when the birthday girl is asleep on the floor :)

The usual thanks. First to Rebecca for letting me indulge my passion and hold these parties for her girls.  To my Mum for calming me down when I think everything is going wrong.  To the wonderful ladies out is cyberspace who continue to inspire me, I really cannot believe the depth of talent out there!

And to Paris for being the absolutely adorable person she is becoming.  I hope you had a fun day!