Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Xanthe's 4th Birthday

Sunday we celebrated Xanthe's 4th Birthday.  My little girl is growing up so fast.  I love that when I went to help her get dressed for her party she proceeded to tell me "I am 4 now mummy, I don't need your help any more".  She then proceeded to dress herself and do her own hair (with no less that 4 clips), something I knew she was capable of but have failed to convince her do previously.

We started the day with presents in bed and french toast for breakfast. 

Then our friends joined us for a simple lunch time BBQ party in the back yard.  It was such a lovely day and such great company, we partied on till almost dinner time.

The kids made their own party hats.

Went on a Scavenger Hunt.

and played and played all day.

Xanthe was thoroughly spoilt and had a wonderful day, as did we all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Picnic Quilt Top

I have been working on this quilt top since March, when we had our first glimpse of spring weather, unfortunately things have not progressed on the weather front, but I finally finished the quilt top.  I would have finished a couple of weeks ago but the loss of my machine also stripped me of my sewing mojo.  A kind friend lent me her machine and while it felt much better to have a machine in the house I was not hugely motivated to sew.  My machine is now back and so is the mojo, which is a good thing as I have a rather large to do list at the moment.

This quilt was inspired by a quilt of Rita's from red pepper quilts.  I originally planned on making it random in colour layout like Rita's, but my husband saw it all laid out on the floor (ready to sew after hours of arranging) and said it was too crazy colourful.  His exact words were "it looks like someone has already chucked up on it!".  So I reorganised the blocks into a rainbow like arrangement, which I equally love, in an attempt to tone it down.  Perhaps I will make random layout quilt once I accumulate more scraps.

We have a very old woollen blanket that has seen better days.  I thought it would make a great batting for a picnic quilt so the quilt top is sized to fit that.  As you can see this is another scraps quilt.  I have really been enjoying working with scraps and lots of colour this year.   I cut each strip a 1/4" extra long so I had room to trim up the blocks (tip from Rita at red pepper quilts), this really helped to have square blocks which made the final piecing really easy. With lots of careful pinning almost all of my corners are matched.  Each strip was cut 6 3/4" x 2 1/2", to leave me with a 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" block once trimmed.

In hindsight their was probably to much work in the piecing for a picnic quilt.   Especially one that is going to be quite well used (abused) by my 3 young girls.  But I have come thus far, so hopefully in the near future (before summer is over) we will be picnicking on a finished quilt. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yum Yum Balls

Another rainy day here in Switzerland, so with Xanthe turning 4 on the weekend and needing a small special treat to share with her playgroup (Waldspielgruppe) friends later this week, we decided to make some yum yum balls.  The name says it all these are super easy (no bake) and super yummy.

This recipe was passed on to me by a dear friend Abby and I am sure she won't mind me sharing.  So this is how you can make your own yum yum balls.


1 packet Marie biscuits (or similar plain sweet biscuit)
3 Tbsp cocoa
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
approx 1/2 cup desiccated coconut for coating balls.

Mixture with everything added, just starting to mix.
1. Crush the biscuits, I find in the food processor is the easiest but make sure to leave a few larger chunks for texture.  
2. Tip the crushed biscuits into a mixing bowl and add cocoa, desiccated coconut and the sweetened condensed milk and mix well.
3. Form small balls of mixture (heaped teaspoon), by rolling it in your hands (yes this very messy), and then roll the balls in the rest of desiccated coconut.
4. Place in a sealed container in the fridge to store (at least a week if they last that long).

Makes around 50 (depending on how big or small you make your balls)
I am sure these would freeze well but I have never tried.

I hope you enjoy, we will be making some more next week to wrap up prettily with some fudge, as thank you gifts for all the various activity teachers.  Our school year is very rapidly coming to an end.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


So we were super lucky to have 2 weekends in a row away.  Even luckier to have Scott's parents mind the girls so we could have a child free weekend in Venice. 

Venice was wonderful.  I can now understand why it was so hard for Mum to give me advice on what to see or do.  Venice in its entirety is the experience, it is so beautiful, historic and different to anywhere else, such a wonderful place to explore.  

We spent all day every day walking, walking, walking, exploring all the nooks and crannies of Venice.  We broke up the walking with boat trips and eating.  Next to the magic of Venice, the food was my favourite part, lots of fresh seafood simply cooked and great coffee.