Mothers Day DIY – No. 5: Delicious (and easy) Chai Tea mix

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If your mum likes tea, try this easy spicy chai tea mix.

I got this adorable tea pot for my birthday, from my brother and sister in law.

tea

They also gave me a little bag with a delicious Chai Tea mix in it.

It’s so good, I can tell I am going to get through it quickly, and I wont end up buying more, and then I realised:
“I bet it isn’t hard to make!”

It isn’t hard to make at all. You only need a few basic spices (and some fancier ones if you want) and loose black tea.

For my basic Chai tea mix, I used:

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 tsp ground Ginger

1/2 tsp ground Cloves

1/2 tsp Cardamom pods, crushed

1 Star anise, crushed

1/2 cinnamon stick, crushed

4 tablespoons loose black tea

In a mortar and pestle, crush all the whole spices, add the powders, and grind it all together.

Put in a pretty jar, and mix the black tea in.

Shake it together.

Now think what a lovely present that would make for your mum…or for you.

My teapot holds 500mls of water. I put 2 teaspoons of Chai mix in, filled it to the top with freshly boiled water, and let it brew for 5-8 minutes.

Warm enough milk for 1/2 cup of milk per person in a pot on the stove, or in the microwave. That’s if your one of those poor people like me who don’t have a nice coffee machine with a milk steamer!

Fill half of each tea cup with hot milk, and put in the chai.

Add sugar to your taste. Chai is usually quite a sweet tea.

This amount of tea gave me 5 little cute tea cups of tea, or it would do 2-3 mugs of tea.

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I had a lovely day today, sharing this tea with my very special friends, even though my sister made the tea luke warm!!! It was still delicious.

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Mothers Day DIY – No. 4: Chocolate Coffee Syrup

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This is so easy to make, looks really fancy, and tastes delicious! If you don’t have a coffee maker, using this syrup and hot milk, and a basic coffee plunger, you can make a totally delicious and easy Mocha.

I found this recipe online a couple of years ago. Back then, I never thought about saving where I got it from, so I just printed it, and used, and loved, this recipe.

Sadly, I have no idea where I found it online! All I know is that it is an AMAZING recipe, very easy, using only basic ingredients.

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 Chocolate Coffee Syrup

1/2 cup cocoa powder (not ground chocolate)

1 cup sugar

dash of salt (improves flavour but only use a very little!)

1 cup water

2 tsp vanilla

Mix the cocoa and sugar together in saucepan. Heat on medium high, leave it there, for a minute or two. (No more – you don’t want to burn it!)

Add the water slowly, mixing well in between.

Add a dash of salt. Once mixed completely, the mixture will probably be boiling, so lower heat to medium. Let it boil for 5-8 minutes, mixing constantly.

Boil till mixture thickens. When you move spoon fast through mixture, you can see the bottom of the pot. This means it’s done. Turn off heat, add vanilla, stir thoroughly,  let cool for a few minutes, pour into sterilised jar.

Soak jar in boiling water to sterilise.

To make a delicious mocha,

1. fill 1/4 to 1/2 cup with coffee (plunger/filter/instant – whatever you like)

2. stir a teaspoon of Chocolate Syrup in.

3. Top up with warm milk (frothy if you like!) Microwaves work really well for quickly heating milk up. Not healthy, but quick. 🙂

4. Drizzle more mocha syrup over the top.

5. Enjoy you easy, delicious, homemade mocha!

Make a pretty label for your chocolate sauce, put it in a cute jar, and you have a delicious mothers day present. Or a present for anyone, really! You could also use this as an ice-cream sauce, add it to milk shakes, iced mochas, make yummy chocolate milk….

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Mothers Day D.I.Y – No. 3: Infinity Scarf in 3 steps

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Here’s a very easy upgrade. An Infinity scarf seems kind of nicer than a normal scarf, doesn’t it? And it’s very easy to change a normal scarf into an infinity scarf. With winter coming along,  I’m starting to wear scarves all the time. I love scarves! I have a rather large (and growing) scarf collection…

Infinity scarves are my new favourite. 🙂

1.To change a normal scarf into an infinity scarf, you cut off any tassels on each end of the scarf.

2.Then you sew a single fold hem over one end, just so it wont fray.

3. Now, sew one end onto the other, with the hemmed end on top. 🙂

And there you have your infinity scarf. 🙂

This might be more of a craft project for you, rather than a mothers day gift. But I had a busy day today! No time to make a completely mothers day oriented d.i.y.

so todays DIY is a bit of both. 🙂 Enjoy.

PS: did you see the cow in the background of the top photo? hehe

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Mother Day DIY Gifts – No. 2: Tied Chair Cushion

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This is such a great gift. You can choose any kind of fabric. (upholstery fabric always looks impressive)

Cut 2 squares of fabric for the cushion. If you have a chair in mind for this cushion, maybe check how big you need to make it.

WIth right sides together, stitch 3 sides of the squares. Turn right way out, and stuff. Stuff it nice and full, because you want a lovely comfy seat, not a pancake cushion. Rolling the stuffing into tight little balls before putting it in makes the cushion stay plump and comfortable for longer.

Once stuffed, carefully hand stitch the open side of the cushion. Yes, hand stitching is annoying and slow, (for the impatient like me) but when your agonising over every little invisible stitch, think about the fact that this is a GIFT and it should really be good quality.

. Then sew 4 or 5 “dimples” into the cushion. Just sew straight through cushion and stuffing, back and forth like your sewing on a button.

 Use a big needle, otherwise this can be quite hard work.  You can sew buttons on here too, if you like.

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Now cut a long strip of fabric, about 5cm wide. Fold in half, and sew down securely, into a nice strong tie.  Cut this into 4 strips and zig-zag stitch the ends so they wont fray. Hand sew onto each corner of the cushion.

And now you should be holding a lovely new cushion!! A perfect mothers day gift. And it’s very easy to make.

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Mothers Day D.I.Y Gift – No.1: Antique Music Jar Candles

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Vintage Music Paper Candles

This takes ten minutes and looks amazing! You could make a few or just one, but it would be a great mothers day gift.

I am doing a week of mothers day DIYs, as Mothers Day is coming up (and it’s fun!)

This is the first, and it’s very easy and adorable.

What you need:

old fashioned music/letters (links for great printable ones below)

http://freevintagedigistamps.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/free-digital-scrapbook-paper-vintage_07.html

http://vintageephemera.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/French

Short glass jar

twine/ribbon

tea light candles

glue

scissors

Cut your music paper to the width of your jar. You might need to cut an extra bit if the paper doesn’t wrap all the way round.

Draw 2 hearts on your paper, aligned to be opposite each other when you stick the paper on.

Cut  hearts out, glue paper strip around jar, put tea light candle inside (or 2 or 3 if your jar is a wide one) and tie the ribbon or twine around the top of jar.

Done!

A lovely (and super easy) mothers day gift.

The printable music papers are really great. they print a full page without being blurry or “home printered” looking, and they are often much prettier than any normal music. You can also use old book pages for your candle.

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Homemade Pesto & Pasta Salad

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For lunch today we made a delicious (and easy) Pasta salad, with olives, the last few teeny cherry tomatoes from our garden, freshly made pesto, and cashew nuts.

Put a pot of pasta on to cook. We used a 500g bag of elbows.

 

IMG_6651   Here are our lovely freshly picked ingredients for the pesto.

– handful of basil

– about 5 leaves of silverbeet

– squeeze of lemon juice

– 1 clove garlic

– 1/2 cup grated cheese

– salt & pepper

– 1/2 cup cashew nuts (or any type of nuts)

 

Blend the basil & silverbeet, add lemon juice, garlic, and cheese. Season with salt & pepper, and last of all add nuts. Only blend nuts for a couple of seconds if you like them to be chunky.  (Sorry about the funny colour of the pesto, I used some red silverbeet in there and it made my pasta and pesto go a bit pink!)

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Pasta Salad:

1/2 cup pitted black olives

1/4 cup grated cheese

a few cherry tomatoes

500gm steaming freshly cooked pasta

1 lot of Basil & Silverbeet Pesto

Mix all ingredients together and serve. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Serves 6

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upcycling old canvas’s

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^ This used to be a really badly done painting I did at a camp once. I’m NOT good at art!!!!

So I gave it to my sister and together this is what we did with it. (she did all the hard work and I had the ideas haha….)  It’s really great so I thought I’d share it on here.

Paint canvas over with 2 soft colours. There are what we chose:

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Supplies: newspaper, glue stick, scissors, paper heart. Oh, and a fine tip sharpy or any black marker, and a pencil.

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Cut out lots of bits of newspaper words.

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Draw a big paper heart, cut out and colour red.

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Glue heart onto canvas. Then do another layer of glue on top of heart.

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Stick newspaper letters on it in a collage.

IMG_6623We did letters going out sideways too, like they were blowing off the heart. Do it however you want.

Add words: we did love, joy peace, because that a special, un corny thing that we love to have on our wall.

There are all sorts of possibilities.

Write in pencil first!! Then go over that in black marker.

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We now need to find a place to hang this picture.

You could also try going over with a decoupage gloss or pearl finish.

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Rocket & Pear Salad

IMG_6570One of the best salads ever.

Usually, magazines have a huge amount or recipes that I never ever have any ingredients for. So I was very surprised when I was randomly looking through an old copy of Better Homes and Gardens, and found it was full of great recipes!!

Here’s one of them, but I have slightly adapted it because I STILL didn’t have exactly all the ingredients.

ROCKET AND PEAR SALAD

2oog baby rocket leaves (or a handful, however much you have)

1 small lettuce, roughly chopped (I used a red lettuce)

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

40g parmesan (but I just used finely grated cheddar)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (originally balsamic)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed.

salt and pepper, to season

*****

Combine rocket, lettuce, walnuts, pear, and cheese.

Put vinegar, oil, and garlic in a jar. Secure lid and shake it all up.

Drizzle over salad.

I also tried adding ricotta cheese to it. It was delicious! It put a mild creaminess to the sharp rocket flavour.

Try this salad with pizza…!! It’s perfect.

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D.I.Y Yummy Lip Scrub (3 ways)

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Lips scrubs take five minutes to make, and they make your lips feel sooo soft. You’ll be surprised.

I found a recipe in a magazine a while ago, and that made me want to make up a couple of my own.

Version 1: Chocolate, Brown Sugar, & Honey

(this is most similar to the magazine version)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder

1-2 teaspoons honey

or you could try

Version 2: Coconut, Brown Sugar, & Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon coconut

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

honey to mix

or you could try

Version 3: Orange, Lemon, & White Sugar

1 teaspoon White Sugar

1 orange Vitamin C Tablet ( this is optional, but it tastes & looks good!)

fresh lemon juice to mix

-Mix the ingredients together until they are a stiff, sticky paste.

The honey scrubs last, the lemon one wont last. The sugar will dissolve with that lemon juice. –

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Put into a cute little pot, tie with a ribbon, and there’s a lovely gift.

These are so yummy, I tend to eat more of the lip scrub than I use. 🙂 Enjoy.

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My favourite things for Autumn

ma faves

1. my new glasses! Only about $25 dollars inc. shipping. I am so happy. 2. Avon’s Slip Into perfume. I got this for my birthday. It’s so sweet and violetty. 3.  Baggy pants. These are so so comfy, and, er, stylish…if you wear them right! I got mine from Supre. Perfectly cozy for autumn. 4. Maybelline Baby lips glow in pink blast. It adjusts colour to suit you!! At first I thought it went too pink, but now I love it, especially for photos, it comes out looking perfectly pink, pretty, and natural. 5. Warm water and lemon juice! Read more on my Rant about Lemons.   6. Forget Me Not rose face and hand cream. This is the most lovely, sweet smelling, natural and rich facial moisturizer ever. It says it is for hands too. I just use it for my face, it seems too nice for my hands!

These are some my favorite things at the moment. The list could go on a lot longer.