Thursday, August 2, 2012

Makin' whoopie...

...pies that is.

Should I be in the studio sewing?... Probably
Should I be doing the washing?... Probably, but it will be there tomorrow, plus a bit more
Do the windows need cleaning?...Absolutely!

Do I feel the need....the need to bake?....YES! I attempted my very first batch of whoopie pies. And I was quite surprised at how easy they really are!
So out came the Kenwood and we did a mix-a, mix-a, mix! Any other mums out there remember that Tro-tro episode? Anyhoo...

Now I can't take credit for this recipe. I found it on one of my favourite recipe websites
When looking for recipe ideas, I always tend to head over there, and I must say, I have never been disappointed with the results.

After perusing all the whoopie pie recipes I decided to go with the Spiced Golden Syrup ones.

Don't know how long they will last in this house though. Besides living very close to school, which means I always have lots of kids traipsing through here, (and usually at the end of the day when they come along with hungry tummies) my hubby has a sweet tooth and regards himself as head taste tester :)

So if you have ever wanted to have a go at making whoopie....pies, have a go. And don't forget to share with me your results.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend

x manda

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today I thought I would share with you some new goodies that I have recently listed on my MadeIt store.
There are some great little notebook covers, perfect to keep in your handbag for those occasion when you need paper and pen.
And also pencil wallets, which are available in many different choices of fabrics.

And also the popular 'tea party' skirt and top set, complete with a cute ruffle on both top and skirt and a gorgeous big bow on the skirt which can be tied either at the front or at the back, let your little one choose how she wants to wear it. They are available in sizes 1-6.

x manda

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spring Swap

When I read that one of my favourite blogs, Sewing In No Mans Land was holding a Spring Swap I just had to join in!

It was also open to international that suited me perfectly!
We were asked to "get creative!" A spring gift for a new friend.

I definitely wanted to swap with someone from overseas. I thought why not? What is more fun than finding a package in your letterbox all the way from across the waves? (insert excited silly clapping dance here)

And to give our swap partner a head start, we were asked to provide 3 words which would describe our perfect swap gift...

The 3 words I provided my partner with, vintage and spots.
And the 3 words that my swap partner provided me with were...vintage, beachy and crisp.

So this is what I came up with. And I must say I had SO much fun doing it.

  • vintage I went to my local charity shop and found a gorgeous vintage handmade doily. Which after a little soak in some bleach and water, looked as good as new. (And I really hope my swap partner loves it as much as I do)
  • beachy Well I must say this one sung to me. Beachy tones in the use of natural linen and some shells that I found at my favourite beach, strung up on some twine, which could be used as a room decoration just hanging from a nail or strung onto the end of a curtain rod
  • crisp to me natural linen evokes the feel of crispness. So I teamed the natural linen with some lovely crisp cotton fabric which was sunny yellow with white spots. I used this as the lining to the little satchel I made which contains a little notepad and fun pen from one of my favourite stationary stores kikki-k. And then used a vintage button and natural cotton to make a closure.I also made two linen coasters for my swap partner. I am not really a coaster user, but always use one in the studio, so I thought my partner may want one in hers too. And then I added a little Nanny Kate storm cloud brooch...well why not? ;)

I will keep you posted on what arrives in the post for me...and no, I haven't forgotten to update you on the progress of the new studio.
It is up and running now, but am still sorting where everything goes. When I have finished, I will take some photos and post them up here for you, they have to be pretty of course ;)

x manda

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Almost there

About 6 weeks ago, my lovely hubby announced that he had seen me pinning away on Pinterest some 'dream' studio spaces. And that he felt that I needed more space for the Nanny Kate empire, and how would I feel about him converting part of the garage into a studio space for me?

Well, no brainer there, "yes please", followed by "I love you so much, you are the world's best ever husband!", and a BIG hug. (I love my man!)

So he has been hard at work over the last 6 weekends or so, with a bit of help thrown in one day by two of my lovely brothers-in-law, and yesterday my dad joined in the fun, helping with the patching and painting.

Now, my hubby is not a tradie. But since we bought our first apartment 10 years ago, my hubby tried his hand at some diy, along with some help from both his dad and mine. And then when we fell in love with our current house, a between the wars timber cottage, which was VERY run down and hadn't seen anything much done to it for nearly 80 years, he had a HUGE project on his hands. So once again both my dad and his came to the rescue, and helped with all their knowledge of building, and combined with my hubby's determination to do it himself with best way he could, which meant many hours surfing the net and reading books, finding ways to do various building projects that needed to make our little cottage habitable.

So needless to say, I knew he could tackle this project no worries at all. It is almost there. I put a little bit of colour on two walls today, my husbands response was, 'holy crap'...but I want this studio to be a place of inspiration and creativity, full of colour and fun.

Now we need to lay the lino on the floor, fit the skirting boards and dad will come in and do the gloss on the windows and french doors. And I can move in...yippee!!!!

xx manda
P.S- I will take more photos when the floor is in and  I move all my 'stuff' in...stay tuned

So here are some photos of the project in progress.
building the frame
insulation in
the workhorse
 aka- 'the beast'
 aka 'the ute'

hubby and dad in action, putting on the first coat

one wall (excuse the photo quality)
the opposite wall
(the other two walls will remain white)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The other half...of FatMumSlim

Well I can no longer deny it, March has arrived. I always feel somewhat ripped off by February, I always wish I had the other two or three days that the other months of the year endow us with. I have officially decided that February is my most hated month, it isn't really even a month, it just masquerades as one! Well enough of my ranting and hatred for February. The one plus that came out of this February for me, is the beginning of the new Nanny Kate studio (very excited!), and of course taking part in FatMumSlim's Febphotoaday.
My previous blog post showed you all what I had been clicking away at in the first half of February, well here is the other half for you. 
And for those of you who want to take part in the Marchphotoaday, just pop on over to see the gorgeous Chantelle over at FatMumSlim, and click on the Join the photo a day button on the left hand side of this fabby blog and play away. Leave me a message here if you are joining in, so I can have a little window into your world too. 

xx manda

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Half way with FatMumSlim

Things have been rather quiet here on the Nanny Kate blog, but not so at the Nanny Kate house.

I have been very busy creating new things for you to all enjoy and have had fun making new friends over at my facebook page. (if you haven't already, come over and join in the fun)

But on the other hand, this month has seen me participate in a fun and fabby photo challenge, over at the wonderful blog Fat Mum Slim
Beginning on February 1st, the very gorgeous, and "real" Chantelle encouraged her readers to participate in the February Photo a Day Challenge.
So far, (as a fellow blogger of mine said), life got in the way, which meant that I have missed a few days of the challenge. So I need to play catch-up and thought I would share them with you here.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you are playing along with FatMumSlim too, I would love to see you photos!

x manda

Here is the challenge list
1. my view today ( a cuppa with my baby girl)
2. words (my little one's handwriting, makes me go squishy)

3. hands (my little one's hands)

4. a stranger (didn't have the courage to whip out the phone at the cafe,
 so here is a drawing my big one did)

5. 10am (the backyard at 10am)

6. dinner (well, what my little one selected for her dinner)

7. button (the Nanny Kate dolly with her button clippy)
8. sun 

9. front door (the entrance to Nanny Kate HQ)

10. self portrait (me)

11. makes you happy (my two monkeys xx)
12. inside your closet (a mess of beads, bangles and scarves)

13. blue (I absolutely ADORE this top by Gingham & Heels, must get myself one of these)

14. heart (this is what I gave to my monkeys on Valentines Day)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Australia Day

Happy belated Australia Day to you all. Here in Australia it was a public holiday, so NK hubby was home, and with the kids we enjoyed a lazy day around the house, besides a little trip to our local cafe for an iced coffee for hubby and myself, and a little chocolate milkshake for the kids. Here in Sydney yesterday it was a very humid day, which continued into the early evening. But by around 7.30pm it was comfortable enough to sit out on the deck and share an Australia Day dinner together...with a twist.

You see, in the NK household we are a bit of a mixed bag, so to speak. I myself am born to an Aussie mum and Italian dad, and NK hubby was born in England, to Irish parents, who then emigrated to New Zealand when NK hubby was about one, and then arrived on Aussie shores when NK hubby was 16.
So in the spirit of having a household of "mixed bags", our Australia Day dinner consisted of lamb, a nod to the kiwi's, sausages, good ol' Aussie BBQ fare, roast spuds, for the Irish and a salad of tomatoes, basil (fresh from the NK garden, unfortunately we had eaten all our ripe tomatoes last week), and fresh mozarella (which we fondly call "monsterella" in our house), drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And I threw in a baby spinach, pumpkin, fetta and pine nut salad, with a lemon and olive oil dressing, just because we like it...yum.

I hope you all enjoyed your Australia Days. Let me know how you celebrated.
So that's it from here today. I am off to pack some bags for a little weekend getaway with my hubby.
x manda

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A hunt, a find and the latest pickings...

Good afternoon there ladies. I do hope you have all had a lovely weekend?

Nanny Kate headed back down the South Coast at the weekend, to help in a few more bits and pieces for the reno. Which consisted of  NK hubby and NK dad, putting up a new ceiling in the downstairs bathroom...which involved lots of hammering, and NK and NK hubby shifting our bedroom around...which I was so very happy with the result, I wanted to stay another night (boo-hoo). And NK taking down the old curtains and curtain rail in said bedroom and putting up a new curtain rail (insert cranky sweaty NK here) and new lovely floaty white curtains...aaahhhh...(insert sigh of relief and big smile here)

Not only did I sweat a bit, I also put in a bit of treasure hunting at the local op shops. Now I must say, I absolutely love an op shop! And I have great difficultly going past one without poking my nose in to see what treasure awaits me. And it seems that the local op shops down there have a very good following, so much so, that there was really was very little in the way of treasures to be found :( But I didn't come away empty handed, I managed to find myself a little white rectangular dish, just what I was after for our bedroom down the coast, you know what I mean, a little dish to put all your bibs and bobs in, like your beads and bangles and bits. And I also found this, very stained and worn, but I have a bit of a "thing" for platters and bowls, so this one at $5 I just couldn't pass up.

 And I also wanted to share something else with you that makes me smile..todays pickings from my garden. Not much but oh so colourful and pretty, not to mention tasty.

Thanks for visiting.
xx manda

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nanny Kate goes coastal

Good afternoon my lovelies. Well the Nanny Kate abode has finally returned home after just over a week away down the South Coast of New South Wales to a gorgeous little hideaway, Culburra Beach.
We are lucky enough to have family holiday house down at Culburra Beach just 3 houses away from the beach.
This old 50's fibro has been in my family for 25 years now, and I have spent many a summer and winter down there, enjoying the beach and surrounding areas such as Berry, Gerroa and Gerringong.
Since I was young, I have loved nothing more than fossicking for natures treasures such as shells, rocks and driftwood. I used to, (and still do) this hunting with my mum, we actually enjoyed a lovely fossick down at the Crookhaven River yesterday looking for suitable piece of driftwood for our newly renovated upstairs bathroom at the beach house. Photos of what I plan to do with my driftwood will follow when I have completed my little project :) And now my daughter joins Nanny and I on our hunt for shells, but she is usually after ones with a hole through which she can thread a piece of ribbon so she can make herself and her friends a necklace. Too cute!

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you some photos I took while on my little coastal break. Please be kind and excuse my lack of photographic skills, they were all taken on my iphone...just point and click. But I remember a little tip that the lovely Sarah from A Beach Cottage gave her readers on taking pics on your iphone....don't zoom in, as you tend to lose detail. Since that day forth, this has been the law for me when clicking away on my iphone. Thanks Sarah ;)

the view from my deck chair

Culburra Beach

Culburra Beach

our feety-feet...note the lily white skin, obviously the start of our holiday ;)

looking back at the dunes

my beach babe

yes...yet again....Culburra Beach

making sandcastle with my baby girl makes me smile

beach babe kicking back on her deck chair..such a hard life ;)

a bit of coastal decorating. The print you see if by the lovely Emma of Chitter & Chatter

coastal christmas tree created by my mum.
Branches courtesy of Culburra beach track, Vintage glass baubles from Culburra Vinnies

a coastal decoration courtesy of Emma's (of Chitter and Chatter) mum and dad...also coastal dwellers

What a find! Mum and I had a mother/daughter day our in Berry and we came across this gorgeous shop...I may have even purchased myself a pair of earrings ;)

the facade of Roots & Wings Design of Berry. This was another great find on our little dally into Berry. The building was originally the blacksmiths shop. Very appealing to the metalsmith in me.

another pic of Root & Wings Design

Bales of hay make me smile, as does "the green" of the south coast
Thanks for stopping by, please leave me a comment..comments make me smile.

x manda