Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I feel like Chicken Tonight

Chicken Pie

Tonight for dinner I decided to try to use a jar of honey mustard simmer sauce I had in the pantry. I wasn't convinced but wasn't convinced it would make a tasty stir fry. So, I went on a mission to make a cheap and tasty meal, and SUCCESS!!!!

Ingredients: (this filled one quiche dish)
3 sheets of puff pastry
1 chicken breast, diced
1 onion
1 zuchini
1 carrot
1 stick celery
3 cloves garlic
dash olive oil
fresh thyme
1 jar of honey mustard sauce
2 tsp dijon mustard (or whatever kind you have)

((Preheat oven to 200'}}

1. Chop up the onion, garlic, and saute with some oil.
2. Chop up the celery, zuchini, carrot and put it into the pan with the onion and garlic.
3. Add some of the fresh thyme.
4. Add chicken and fry through until golden.
5. Pour in the sauce, mustard, and salt and pepper and turn down to low heat.
6. Grease dish with spray oil and line the base and sides of dish with 2 of the sheets of puff pastry. Prick base with a fork and then place in oven to prebake the base untill cooked.
7. Then scoop filling from frying pan into the pastry case.
8. Place 3rd sheet of pastry over top and poke a whole or two in center to let steam out.
9. Turn oven down to 180' and bake untill pastry lid is golden.

I love this and the family did too. It cost so little and I had the items already at home, I love those kind of meals.

Lauren x

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pancake Tuesday Recipe ::: Ricotta pancakes with honey and banana

If you know me well, or follow me regularly, you will know Tuesday is pancake morning in our house. Last week I tired this recipe and LOVED it so much I think I will make another batch after finishing the post for tomorrow. This is another taste recipe (I should earn commission from the advertising I do for them lol). So here is the link, enjoy!

Tips for making pancake mornings easier:
1. I always make batter night before, I think it tastes better and it's a tonne easier.
2. I get the electric frying pan, plates and spatula out ready, anything to save some time.

Lauren x

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Bookmark Stage of LIfe

Bedtime is always a special time in our house, especially with our eldest son, as He understands the routine of story time, songs and prayers a bit more. Reading to my boys is a very important part of life in our house. I believe it teaches them, grows imagination (which i believe lacks alot these days) but it also creates a special bond with you and your child. Latley we have moved to the beginning of a new phase in 'story time' world. The world of bookmark books. By this I mean books that you can't finish in one sitting. Our first ever "bookmark book" was Peter Pan. He loved it! At(only just)4 years old, he doesn't necissarily remember everything that we read the previous night, but He is lapping it up and keeps asking for more!

1) If your child was not talking much before now, she will probably start this year. Reading helps give her lots of words.
2) Older toddlers enjoy stories with repetition, so they can anticipate and follow along.
3) Simple concept books can be introduced, such as books about colors, shapes, or counting.

4) Two year olds are developing very specific likes and dislikes. Keep this in mind and let your child pick out books to hear.

5) This is the year children often make the transition between sturdy board books to paper picture books. Begin to set some limits on how books are treated, but expect your child to forget these rules.

1) Most public libraries have a preschool story time. See about enrolling your child.
2) If your child watches television and videos, limit the amount of time and choose programs carefully.

3) Animal stories and other stories with a simple plot are popular with this age group. Silliness and exaggerated humor can be appreciated.

4) Illustrations are still a focal point, so choose books with lots of pictures.
5) Preschoolers can relate what they read to their world. Try a book about FARM animals after a trip to the fair, holiday books, or read about fire engines after you see one on the street.


1) Pre-kindergarten children are ready for longer stories with fewer pictures.

2) Your child may become interested in the actual words on the page, and pretend to "read." Follow with your finger as you read, pointing to words as you say them. This teaches that we read from left to right and helps show the connection between print and language.

3) You will still enjoy rhyming text and repetition.
4) Some children are learning to recognize their letters or even write their names.

When your child enters school and begins to read on his own, that does not mean you should quit reading aloud. Keep feeding your child stories and language. Set aside twenty minutes a day for reading
together. The results will be seen in the years to come.

Well I hope you have been encouraged and inspired to keep storytime alive in your house :)
Lauren x

Buy books online here:
1. Fish Pond
2. Amazon
3. Ebay

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Interior Design ::: Staircases

I have a little bit of interior design on the brain at the moment. Since we have been immersed in it with the building of our new house and the constant dream of acerage somewhere in our future.

Here are some images of staircases to inspire you with the beauty of architecture!

Lauren x

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tutorial : Getting crafty with headbands!

At my craft night this week, I made two headbands a black and a white one. I love them so much and will put some instructions up. I didn't take step by step photos unfortunatley.....but will try to make the steps clear.

Black Head Band


- black elastic to fit head
- hot glue gun - black lace
- black tulle netting

- black felt
- a black button

1. Measure elastic to fit your head and sew together. You could probably hot glue this if you don't sew, but I think sewing is more secure.
2. Cut a circle of your felt 9about 5 cm) and this will be a base for you to attach the lace to.
3. Place a dot of hot glue on the edge of your felt circle and affix the lace to the dot, keep glueing the lace around the edge until you get back to the starting point and do another loop until you reach the centre.

4. Cut out a few circles of similar size from the tulle netting. It doesn't matter if they arent perfect and different sizes, in fact that will make it more interesting ;)

5. Lay out your tulle circles on top of each other, make sure part of each of them touch at some point, but overlap them any way you want.
6. Turn your felt/ lace circle over (felt side up) and place some hot glue on the back of it. Lay the tulle circles on it. If you want to do another felt circle here to finish it off you could, but i was experimenting with every step and didn't do this.

7. Glue a black button onto the centre of the lace circle.

8. Glue the piece to the elastic using the seam so that you don't see it when on.

White Head Band
- White elastic
- Fake flower
- White felt

- Hot glue gun
- Pearl button
- Sewing machine

1. Measure elastic to fit head and then sew it together. Make sure to reverse stitch over itself a few times so it is secure.

2. Take the fake flower off its stem and take each petal layer apart so you have the flower in pieces. When doing this make sure you keep the petal layers in the same order they were when the flower was assembled.
3. Cut a circle from the white felt.

4. Put some hot glue on the centre of the felt circle and put the largest petal onto it. Repeat with all the petal layers so that the flower is re-assembled on the felt circle. In the centre of the flower, put a dot of glue and affix the pearl button in the centre.
5. Fianlly, glue the felt circle to the seam on the elastic.

The thing I love about this tutorial is that you can adapt it for any colour that you feel like and even sizes for the little girls in your world!

Lauren x

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bread and Butter Pudding

About once a month I host a craft night for any girlfriends that want to come round and work on a craft project with friends. We usually have dessert and a cuppa (and a good chat too).
Winter is pudding season in my mind. So, last night I made butter pudding with a berry sauce. It was delicious and I just had to blog the recipe! YUMM

Raisin Bread and Butter Pudding with Ricotta

This served about 10 adults, but you could easily halve the recipe too.

- Olive oil spread (or butter or margarine - what ever you normally use)
- 1 loaf of Raisin bread (I used cafe thick slice)
- 8 eggs and 8 egg yolks
- 350g castor sugar
- 600ml cream
- 1 vanilla bean split and scrapped (or vanilla extract if you dont have a bean)
- 1 tub of ricotta
- 1 packet of frozen mixed berries (you could use fresh berries if in season or tinned too).
- 3 Tbl sugar
- 1 tsp orange rind and juice of an orange

- A dash of rum (wine, brandy or sherry would work too - this is optional)

{pre-heat oven to 180'}

1. Butter a large baking dish.

2. Cut the crusts off the bread and then lightly butter and cut each slice into 4 small triangles.

3. Layer with the point facing up (just makes it look interesting). As you layer the bread, dollop some ricottta (about a dessert spoon size) inbetween each triangle of bread.
4. Whisk eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a bowl.
5. Place cream and vanilla in a saucepan until very hot and then wisk through the egg mixture.
6. Strain the cream and egg mixture over the baking dish with the bread. I found it easy doing this from a jug so the bread isn't disturbed.
7. Set aside for about 30 mins and then put into the oven for about 15 mins with a cover over it to stop the bread from burning (foil or baking paper is fine).
8. Take the cover off and then continue to bake for about 10 mins or untill the custard is firm.

Berry Sauce:

1. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Then reduce to a low heat and let it reduce down to a 'jam-like' consistency. Stir occassionally so it doesn't burn in the pan.


Lauren x

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Web Review ::: Boys Germs

I have been quite frustrated (and I am not alone) with the gender imbalance in clothing/ accessories on the net and in stores.

There are SOOOOO many tu-tu's, clips, and t-shirts with wings etc....for girls, but why is it so hard to have something equivilant for the boys.

As a mum to 2 lovley boys (1 and 4yrs ) i know thay love to
dress up/ role play as much as the girls do.

The other problem I find is that alot of the clothes/ shows etc.... aimed at boys have a subtle (but not always) violent edge to them. I want to encourage them to be masculine, but don't think we need violence and grotesque scull and cross bones to achieve that.
So I have been on a litte quest to find 'BOY STUFF'.

I came across one website that I loved called boys germs. Dedicated to all things 'boy', you will find every thing for bed time, bath time, party time, play time and also furniture, gadgets, and clothes too.
If you have boys or boys in your world.....check out BOYS GERMS HERE!

Lauren x

Homemade By Lauren Featured!!

I love sifting through crafty blogs and tonight I found out that an entry of mine has been featured on a blog that I follow. I was SOO excited....so pop on over and have a look! YAY!!!!

Lauren x

Friday, July 9, 2010

Birthday Time

Well the middle of the year is birthday season in our house. Our boys have their birthday a few weeks apart in June and July and then we have lots of friends celebrating birthdays this time of year too!
Yesterday I wanted my eldest son to take a cake to share at preschool. However, this presented a baking challenge as it had to be nut, egg, dairy free. So, no eggs, butter, milk.....hmmm.

I found a cake recipe for a vegan chocolate cake and I'll tell you, it was surprisingly DELICIOUS!!! I arrived in time to share the celebrations with him and his preschool friends. All the kids asked for seconds and some even thirds. None of them turned it away. So, I figure, if its approved by a room full of 4 year olds, its got to be good!
Here is the recipe I used. I added rice milk instead of soy milk or water as I had a carton in the pantry. For the Icing I used icing mixture (about 4 cups), cocoa (few tablespoonfuls) and water (about 1/2 cup added slowly to make sure i get a good icing consistency).

Its not my most 'pretty' cake i have ever made because of the limitedness of the ingredients I think I did well - 'J' liked it too and that's all that matters right!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oh My - I want!!!!

I saw this post on
The Pleated Poppy. I fell in love with this post and SO want to make some little pouches to organise my handbag! GORGEOUS! Gosh, SO many crafty projects to do :)

Lauren x

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crafty Crow : A Blog FULL of craft ideas

I often find myself on crafty websites and blogs either for crafts at home with my own kids or doing crafts at the weekly community groups I help with for church.
Crafty Crow is a wonderful blog that always lists awesome crafts from all over the web. It is a central place to get wonderful projects from!
Go and have a look over at the Crafty Crow

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Pancake Tuesday Recipe

In our house we have a weekly pancake tuesday morning which is a BIG hit!!! What the kids don't know is that I make them chocolate pancakes (with carrot, pumpkin or betroot puree) and honey panackes (with apple and cinnamon), so there is always a healty aspect to them!

This week I adapted a recipe from Martha that looked yummy : "Orange and Ricotta Pancakes". I love ricotta, so this is now a favourite for me :)

{{{Serves 4}}}

  • 1 3/4 cups part-skim ricotta cheese (almost a 500g tub, you could add all of it if you like it as much as i do)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (1 orange)
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Confectioners' sugar, or maple syrup
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, and 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (1 orange) and orange juice. Whisk in 2/3 cup all-purpose flour until just combined.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Working in batches (and adding more oil to skillet as needed), add batter, using a scant 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Celeriac is a yummy vegetable that I served up for dinner the other night, with pleasant results. I boiled it like i would for potato for a regular mash. Then I pureed it with parmesan, light cream cheese and a little milk to thin it out. The boys loved it when i told them it was a new vegatable they had NEVER had before and it was delicious!!!

Some healthy facts about this WONDERFUL vegetable!

Celeriac is:

  • Low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol
  • High in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Phosphorus, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Manganese

The nutritional value and health benefits of celeriac makes it ideal for:

  • Maintaining optimum health
  • Weight loss

Don't include too much celeriac in your diet if you're interested in:

  • Weight gain
For some recipes and cooking ideas see:
- Taste.com.au
- Weight Watchers
- Jamie Oliver

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Local Hanmade Markets Coming up - 25th July

One of the updates from Support a WAHP , I come across a local handmade markets launching in Kellyville on the 25th July. I am so excited!!! There will be one each month too, so not a one off event either!
It is called Hide&Seek markets and they have a
facebook page and also a blog in case you are after some more information. I can't wait to hit these markets, and the lady who is organising it said that they are having to look into outdoor stalls for the next market (AUG) because there is so much interest! Pop on over to their blog and browse some of the goodies that will be there.

Never know - I might see you there ;)
Lauren x

Friday, July 2, 2010


It's NO secret that I love the blog 'Made by Joel'. He has just been named the regular craft conrtibutor to an online magazine called LMNOP (laugh, make, nuture, organise, play) which is a new (and fabulous) find for me. Download it for free and check out awesome ideas and products from the states :)

Lauren x


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