Monday, January 31, 2011

{Personalised Wooden Blocks}

I had an occassion to go to for a little boy recently and I wanted to create something handmade and personalised for him to remember the special occassion with. So, I went to my local craft store, and with fresh inspiration, I created these darling little blocks.

I tried to keep the colours earthy and nuetral as I knew from the baby shower what colour theme his nursery was. This wasn't the occassion to go all out on bright, daring and gaudy colour combinations lol ;)

I am think this is such an awesome idea I want to create some for my boys, but add some photos to them. But the concept is so adaptable to any pallete or occassion. Very easy and will definitley do this again!

Lauren x

{IN THE LIME LIGHT} And the winner is.....

And the winner.......

.......of our voucher to spend at Invitations 2 Impress is......



Congratlations to you and I will contact you with the details of collecting your prize :)

Stay tuned for the 15th of Feburary when our next Local Artisan will be announced (loving the variety this feature is offering you all, I hope you are too).

Lauren x

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Delicious Falafel

Sorry for being quiet on the blog front, we have had a busy week or two around here and there are some sewing projects I am working on too.
DON'T forget to enter the Lime Light Giveaway also as it's drawn on the 30th ;)

Recently I have had a few people asking for my Falafel recipe so I tried to remember how I do it (I don't use a recipe, so each batch may be slightly different but componants are the same).


1 onion

3 cloves of garlic (ish depending on size, but we like our garlic too)
2 heaped tsp ground cummin
2 heaped tsp ground corriander

1 tsp of ground cardomom
2 cans of chick peas
1 bunch corriander

salt and pepper

1/3 cup rice flour (can substitute plain or chick pea flour also)

1. In fry pan, fry dry spices first with NO oil to release aroma slightly.
2. Add a little olive oil or vegetable oil with onion and garlic and cook on medium heat untill onions are transperant.
3. Drain and add chick peas to your food processser with onion mixture.
4. Blitz until smooth
5. Add a handful of fresh corriander and the salt and pepper (not much required)
6. Remove mixture into a bowl and gently mix through the rice flour. 7. Chill mixture for about 1/2 hour or so (optional, just allows mixture to set better)
8. Roll into small balls, sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and put onto an oven tray and bake at 180' until golden (usually about 20 minutes in my oven).

Best served HOT and we usually eat in a mountain bread wrap with homemade hummus, homemade tabouli and avacado.

Enjoy adding this meat free meal to your family menu, we do!

Lauren x

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Homemade Hommus

Our house eats very healthy (even the kids!) and one thing everyone here loves is hummus. Whether its spread on a wrap with freshly made falafel and tabouli, used instead of butter or margarine on a salad sandwich or just dipped with veggie sticks, it's always a winner!!!
So here is my recipe for it, I've never bought it from the store since and always make a double batch!

2 tins chickpeas, drained.
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini (unhulled is the best)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
about 1/2 a can worth of water (sometimes I need more/ less depending on the batch of chickpeas)
2 tablespoons olive oil
**If you want a kick, add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, yum!

1. Put all ingredients and blend in food processor. Done! Hard huh ;)

2. I always taste test first because sometimes the chick peas are saltier than others or the lemon may not have as stronger taste. Just add more of the seasonings (i.e. lemon, salt and pepper or garlic) to refine recipe to how you want t to taste.

Chick peas are a helpful source of folate, zinc and protein. They are also very high in dietry fibre and a healthy source of carbohydrates. They are low in fat and the fat the do have is polyunsaturated anyway.
These are always in stock in our house and I hope you try this one at your place. I will also post the falafel recipe soon too - one of our favourite meals. Delish!


Lauren x

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

{Lime Light} Invitations2Impress

The day is FINALLY here - the FIRST Lime Light featured on Homemade By Lauren. This month I welcome Invitations2Impress to you all. Their motto is "personalised invitations for every occasion" and they certainly deliver that and more!

Before guests even arrive at your function they always 'preview' the event with how you invite them. Using Invitations 2 Impress will definitley impress your guests before they arrive to your event.
There is sure to be a design for any taste or event on their website and if you want something a little different, just email them and they will work with you to create that perfect image!

Invitations2Impress have multpile online galleries with some usual events covered like weddings, birthday's and christenings and even matching thank you cards. However there were some items in their catalogue gallery that stood out to me as being quite different in a wonderful way. They offer services such as a photo keepsakes (that match your event) and photo montages that allow you to remeber the occassion you celebrated or give a gift of memories to some-one close to you.

Find them on their website Invitations2Impress and click here to find them on Facebook or Twitter with @invites2impress

**Invitations2Impress is donating $1 from every January sale to the flood victims**

So, grab a cuppa and meet the face behind the buisness:

HBL : Share with us a little about yourself.

My name is Catherine and I LOVE being a busy wife and a stay at home mum of two, Ashley (5 and about to start school) and Luke (2 and a half, and don’t we know it!). I have a wonderful supportive husband and who is always there to sort out my computer problems!

HBL : How long has Invitations2Impress been running and how did the business start?
Invitations2Impress has been running since 2006. I created a few invites for my daughter and my friends parties. Hubby encouraged me to create a few more designs which I did for free to build the business. When I had about a hundred designs, I listed on ebay and they started selling!

HBL : What is your favourite part of running Invitations2Impress?
A few things!
The “grown up” time helps keep me a sane mum.
The sense of achievement in running my business.
Developing a friendship with customers by helping them organise their special moments from engagements through to their children’s christenings and birthdays.

HBL : Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
My customers are a fantastic source of inspiration. These days, a lot of my designs are from inspired by custom design requests

HBL : Were there any challenges you found in setting or running the business and how did you overcome that?
Oh yes! The main challenges were in building up the business’ reputation and creating and maintaining the website. But it was a labour of love, and the effort has well and truly paid off!

HBL : Finally, what advice would you give to people wanting to start their own handmade type business?

Find something that you love doing, and just give it a go! It might take some time to build up a business, but if you love what you’re doing then it doesn’t become a chore.


INVITATIONS2IMPRESS is offering a FREE invite or thank you card to the value of $18.95.

How do you enter?
1. Go to their website
2. Email and in the subject line tell me how much they charge to re-touch your photos. 3. Wait untill the 30th of the month when the winner will be announced.
[Limit of ONE(1) entry PER PERSON ; PER DAY]

Spread the word and I hope you enjoyed our first Lime Light;
Lauren x

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Some new changes happening for 2011 here on the blog. We have a new look to the blog and it also has a new address ( but the old one diverts here in case you forget ;) But the biggest addition to the blog so far is the following.

There are many things I am passionate about and two of those things are people like myself that love adding a handmade/ homemade touch to the world and local buisnesses. So this year Homemade By Lauren is launching a new feature.

"Lime Light" will feature a local Artisan each month and here's how. On the 15th of each month you will get to know a new local creative star that will feature on the blog with an interview about them and what they do. The link to their webpage/ facebook page/ etsy etc will stay on the top of the blog for us to check out and get to know until the next artisan is featured the following month!

They will also be offering an EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY, yes you did read the word GIVEAWAY, to blog readers that will be announced on the 30th of each month (28th in feb lol).

How do you enter?
Each month you can enter by emailing me the nominated clue to

How do you get in the "Lime Light"?
Are you a local handmade buisness that would love to be featured? Well, we have quite a few spots taken already, but email me (address as above)your information if you would like a spot or to nominate a spot for someone you know.

I can't wait to share these local treasures with you in a more offical way and so, spread the word and make sure you and your friends follow on here and/ or facebook and twitter so you don't miss out on a giveaway! Let's help support local handmade buisness together in 2011.

***3 sleeps to go until the first ever LIME LIGHT is announced! ***

Lauren x

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Is your food REALLY FOOD?!

I am going through a change in our house. As I have already mentioned I do a Daniel fast from Janurary 1-21 each year (primarily spiritual reasons but for MANY health benefits too). I have been having a lot of fun playing around with recipes and I have not purchased "numer food" (as my 4 year old says) all year. When I say number food, I mean in the ingredients list when you see things like 220 and 200 on the packet in the ingredients listing. I have made a deliberate decision to exclude ALL chemicals, preservatives, additives etc.... from our diet at this time.

I want to try to keep this throughout the year but once you start looking, you realise how much of our food is "numbered". And you quickly realise that the only way to eat "good food" you need to buy and eat raw food and also prepare a lot of things at home. So, I am on a bit of a silent crusade to find and refine some recipes that families can use that will be actually good for you without ingredients that you can't even pronounce - lol ;)

Then i came across this on twitter today and it amazed me how spot on it was for what has been in my mind at the moment. Thank you to @unhealthytruth ( who posted this link from "Take Part : Inspiration to Action"

I just love this image and hope you get a little chuckle from it like I did and a few Oprah type "Ah-ha" moments!

Lauren x

Monday, January 3, 2011

{A Blue Mountains Crafty Find}

Yesterday we went on a drive through the blue mountains. Since I have people around the world reading these posts (even Russia, seriously!) This is what I mean when I say Blue Mountains
(image via Britannica blog images)

The Blue Mountain reigon is is an area of western NSW renound for it's picturesque secenery, quaint cafe's, Bed and Brekfasts and craftiness gallore! Well worth a trip where-ever you come from.
This photo was taken by my hubby as we were driving up towards Mt. Wilson and to have a cuppa at the Chimney Cottage Heritage Cafe. It doesnt even do the view justice, it was BREATH TAKING!!!!

On the way home I found a gorgeous little homewares and antique store and couldnt resist this little purchase. I can just see it in my craft room on a shelf next to my Grandparents Vintage Singer (once I set the room up - which is killing me it all being in boxes aaarrgh).
(photo using Instagram iPhone Ap)

I just love it and so want to head back there soon to un earth some special little one-of-a-kind treasures.

Lauren x

{A delicious SUGAR-FREE dessert you say???}

Each year my husband and I start the year with a fast. We put aside the first 21 days and do a Daniel fast (more info here) which is primarily for spiritual reasons with LOADS of health benefits too!
I did a big "number free" shop (i.e. none of the additive numer codes in the ingredients section) and my trolley was full of fruit/ veg and such little packaging it felt SO good!

So, when we had friends over for dinner on New Years Day (who are vegetarian and love eating healthy like us) I started to think outside the box. I served my homade falafel, hommous and tabouli for dinner (recipes to come soon). Here is what I served for dessert and it was delicious and I am making it again tonight.

Sugar-Free Cardamom Poached Pears:

4 pears (stems attached and very firm)
2 plums
2 cinnamon sticks
3-6 cardamom pods (depending on your taste)
1 split vanilla pod or a dessert spoon of vanilla extract
5 tbl of organic rice malt syrup (my new WONDERFUL find, tastes like honey)

1. Peel the pears making sure you peel all the way to the top nearest the stem so it looks neat.
2. Core the pear by holding it firmly in one hand and gently working it into the centre. Take time doing this step as you don't want to puncture through the side and you want to leave the stem in tact on top.
3. Place pears gently in a saucepan with plums.
4. Add enough water to half cover the pears and place a lid on.
5. Bring water to the boil and then put on lowest heat setting and simmer until the pear is tender and the water reduces a little.
6. Gently spoon a pear into a bowl and then spoon a little syrup around it and serve.

Lauren x

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 in review ::: My Top 24 posts of the year

Well, First post for the New Year. I thought I would select my top posts from the year gone by and share them here. It was hard to narrow down over 150 posts. I have done my top 10 recipes and then another 14 favourite posts. I tried to do a 'top 10' and even a 'top 20' but struggled to stick to it, so here are my favouite finds for the year. I hope you enjoy :)

Top 5 Sweet Recipes
Raspberry Rosewater Icecream
Brownies to die for
5 minute Mug Cake
Banana Bread
Bailey's Fudge

Top 5 Savoury Recipes
Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni
Thai Fish Cakes
Homemade Baked Beans
Fish Parcels
Homemade Bourbon and Chilli Sauce

Top Food Facts Information
Elements 4 Health

Top Online stores
Made it
Boys Germs

Top Handmade Find for 2010
Pollini Designs

Top Kids Craft Idea
Paper City

Top Kids Educational Tool
Learning with Buttons

Favoutite "'mummy' craft
Newborn Bunny wrap gift set

Top Outdoor Decorating post
Inspiration that takes my breath away

Top Interior Decorating Post
Using your kids art to decorate with style

Top 'Party' post
Amy Atlas perfection

Top Music Find
Andrew Belle

Top Parenting posts
Bugs, hills and sitting still : developing masculinity in a femine world
Fighting OVERindulgence in your kids @Christmas time

Top Homemade Gift idea:
Homemade Tea Bags

There is a new feature coming to homemade soon, so stay tuned for more info, and I look forward to posting lots more delicious recipies, fun crafty ideas and inspirational finds in 2011.

Lauren x


Related Posts with Thumbnails