Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Picasa and me! first attempt at creating my VERY OWN header...I do believe it's worked! I've NO IDEA how to adjust the width or pixels etc to be supremely ideal for my particular blog layout...but am just very happy to have managed this little creative bit!! I won't tell you how long it took me to create this collage in picasa...kept losing the page I was working on...aaghh! Frustrating!!! But!..I persevered..What do you think? Love to hear your thoughts :0)
Ciao Bellas!
luv jessie xx

Paper Roses...Paper Roses...Oh how real those roses seem to beeee...

OKAY! sO....Talk about G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!! these are the paper flowers I bought recently from Joan on etsy...find her blog here...or her etsy shop Anything Goes Here - she recently ran a giveaway of these flowers and I had my fingers crossed but it wasn't my lucky day! ;) I bought some! They are not only FAB...they are HUGE! I thought I was buying three small, say 3" across, flowers...but no! They're about 5" across...SO beautifully made, finished with gorgeous hand dyed (I'd say) vintage ribbon trim...lovely sheet music centres with black shiny beads...they are just a ruffle lovers dream! That's me!! I'm in heaven!!

So take a look...and stop by her store...she's an amazing collector of all things vintage..and then sells them on to the likes of us!! lol...

(the following four pics are Joans from her blog giveaway...)

Aren't they gorgeous??
Ah be still my ruffled heart!
Thanks Joan for your awesome if only I can get me some of those papers downunder!! ;)
bye for now gorgeous girls...
ciao..jessie xx

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Grow'n old gracefully...GREY HAIR we're talkn about!

What do you think? I want your's the age old keep on bleaching/dying, or to grow old gracefully!!...brrr...felt a cold shudder just then!! haha...
The problem, as we all know, is that it never seems 'graceful'...I think I'll need 'help' to make it look awesomely graceful...but nonetheless...I wonder if it's time to stop the bleaching..VERY COSTLY...and let nature take it's course. Grey hair is a gift from God, so the bible says...a crown of splendour or some such it's part of His plan...right? So I should embrace it...right? sigh..I don't know...but I'm leaning towards it...tell me what you think girls...

Look forward to your voting! and constructive comments!! hehe..

ciao bellas

jessie...(why this suddenly doing double line spacing?? grrr)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Parcels in the Post

Today I got a LOVERLY parcel in the post....don't you LOVE 'real' mail?!! lol
Found some very cool vintagey bits and pieces in Joans etsy store here... they came BEAUTIFULLY wrapped in hot pink waxy type tissue (love it!) and accompanied with a beautiful card, all tied up with black organza ribbon. Don't you love it when peole go above and beyond in their presentation? You wouldn't get this kind of wrapping and care with just any old purchase online...thanks made my day! Now just awaiting the paper flowers!! Anyway..check these out...
My lovely 'gift'..hehe..wasn't a gift at all but sure felt like one when I opened the bag...

Very cool vintage checkers...x2 - one for me, one to give away :)

Awesome oldstyle keyplates - lovely chippy shabby chic painterly things...thanks to Donna over at funkyjunkinteriors..I saw them on her blog on a side button and that's what made me 'click' across to the store...dunno what I'll do with them but sure I'll come up with something sometime! too cool to pass up!! haha..

And these absolutely awesome vintage car numberplates turned magnetic boards..with some funky wee button magnets... These cool old photos were also in my they found a home right away on the licence plate magnetic thingy whatsit!!

And finally the lovely card Joan popped in thanking me for my order. No..THANKYOU Joan!!
so here was the entire contents of my lovely parcel...

I hope you've all had a day where something made it just go to the next was pouring with rain yesterday..rather odd in the middle of our summer...wet, not too miserable (my husband had JUST returned from 10 weeks away so nothing was gonna make me too miserable!!)...but a wet run to the letterbox was very rewarding..!! yay!!
that's all for now girls..
thanks for stopping by.
jessie xx
p.s. today spent dreaming and planning for our trip to Italy...oh yeah! (and just stopping long enough to post this blog!)
Anyone know of cheap/reasonable rentals in Italy for a 4 week stay around May? let me know!! Particularly in the Pescara/Abruzzo region :)
ciao bellas!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


It's time to draw the winner of my giveaway....are you ready.....????
.....drumroll please.......
And the winner is.....(comment #9)
Congratulations Tara!
email me with your address and bag preference (tho I'm thinking you're up for the Rufflicious? :)) and I'll get that away to you this week.
Thanks to EVERYONE for taking part in my FIRST giveaway! I really enjoyed all your comments, all your love and all your inspiration.
I made some new 'friends', scoured some FABULOUS blogs which I'm now following and love that I am further connected with all you creative people.
I am also thankful of the boost in confidence all your wonderful complimentary and encouraging comments gave me! An unexpected bonus!
SO THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE...BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME TO THOSE WHO DIDN'T WIN...i'm loving this...think I'll host another one sooooon.
Blessings Girls...
jessie xx

Friday, January 14, 2011


Hey's the last day for you to enter my giveaway. I will be drawing it tomorrow at noon (my downunder time!) if you want a chance to win - become a follower AND comment on the the giveaway post itself (not on this one)..scroll down the page to the post and read all about it...its about 3 or 4 posts ago.
Good luck!
ciao bellas
jessie xx

Shabby fun with Picasa

Look what I made! ;)..hehe..I feel like a little girl showing mummy something beautiful I made!!...I just downloaded Picasa (thanks Donna!)...and made a collage from some beautiful pics i found on google a couple of my own...don't you think it's blogalicious?!! Oh I'm gonna have such fun with this...but not right's 12.29am! (what else is new?!!) and I'm off to bed...but let me know what you think :)

Thanks for stopping by
nite nite
jessie xx

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Making your Blog more Visitor Friendly

OH ..MY..GOODNESS..!! Everyone who has EVER GOT FRUSTRATED AT LEAVING COMMENTS on blogs...check out this link. Donna at FunkyJunkInteriors has written a great post on making your blog more user friendly...PARTICULARLY(in my opinion this was the best one!) in regards to those pesky word verification things you have to enter before your blog you EVER get sick of having to try and publish your comment maybe 3 or 4 times before it's accepted?? Aaghhh! I know perseverance is character building and all that but Hey! Enough character already!! ;)

I've just taken the word verification bit off my blog so you'll NEVER have to go thru that to comment on my blog again...yay I hear you say already! ;)...

So, check out the post here if you're keen to make your own blog more visitor friendly..there's lots of other tips too...THANKS SO MUCH DONNA! YOU'RE AWESOME! (she truly is...if you don't know her...check out her incredible blog here)
ciao bellas...bed awaits :)
jessie xx

Thinkin about love...

Ah the new year...January never really feels like the new year has TRULY begun...people still on holiday, sun shining, beaches full...really, February should be the start of the new year! Especially wants to come back from summer holidays and knuckle down into the reality of everyday humdrum life! ...well, not humdrum exactly...but you know what I mean. Personally I feel totally in limbo with my honey STILL not home..nearly a month late on his return date (been 10 long weeks now since we saw each other) MY new year hasn't begun! It'll begin when he gets home and all is right with my world again! lol... In the meantime...

I'm really enjoying meeting all my new 'friends' in bloggieland :) My giveaway has found some wonderful fans and I'm very humbled by everyone's lovely comments about my creations. I too love to be part of a world of encouraging, uplifting girls...isn't that what life is about? Lifting each other up..loving each other, as God loves us. And we get to do it with WORDS!! YAYAYAY!! many is it that we girls need to get thru in a day...?...25,000? OH NO WONDER I MISS MY MAN!! haha..lucky he's a goooood listener! ;) Thinking about what makes us tick as a couple...

Have you heard of this book? The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman? I think it's great...quite insightful. You can read about it here and you can even do the quiz online and learn a little about a wife or mother :) (yes there's one for teenagers, and parents of teenagers!!) You tend to have one 'primary' love language with the other four featuring in varying amounts of importance...Pretty sure Words (of affirmation) are maybe my main one (or maybe I just like talking..and enjoying conversation!!)..but then..a bit of all of them are me...acts of service, physical touch, gift giving/receiving..quality time. hmm..I'm not sure I can pick my 'major'!

Anyways...if you've done it, let me know what you think. Some of the questions in the online quiz were hard to answer (all multi choice) cos neither of the two options related to us! So I had to pick the one that WOULD mean the most if my hubby did those things!! haha..wonder if that makes a difference to the end result?

Anyways...time to do a little bloghopping before bed! ;)
ciao bellas
luv jessie x

Saturday, January 8, 2011

BLOG GIVEAWAY!!...just for YOU (if you're the lucky one! ;)) I became a winner of a wonderful giveaway over at Ness's blog at MarleyandLockyer (thankyou so much Ness!!!)....
and am so excited I decided...Hey..someone else would LOVE to feel this excited on a Saturday morning!! COULD HOST A GIVEAWAY!!
Up for grabs is... a HANDMADE BAG/TOTE - either
a layered, burnt edged FLOWER PIN/CLIP
...the winner just needs to email me to say which bag/tote she'd prefer and the flower pin/clip is as shown....
so have a wee look below...

Here's the RUFFLICIOUS BAG/TOTE...hand teadyed vintage damask cotton tablecloth upcycled into a gorgeous ruffled bag...ruffled front only, with shabby chic style frayed edges, but all finished inside ;)...

Or my FRENCH MARKET STYLE bag/tote...striped ticking-style fabric fully lined with vintage floral cotton...

And lastly the burnt edged flower...the VERY FIRST STYLE I MADE after reading Bryanna's gorgeous blog at The Canary's Cupcake


1. Become a follower and
2. Comment on this post
(if you're already a follower...yay! just comment on this post)
3. Mention this giveaway on your blog, with a link to my blog :) and come back and comment, telling me you've done so...
Okay girls...the giveaway will be drawn (by at 12noon one week from today
This giveaway is open to EVERYONE!
ciao bellas
jessie xx

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sooo...been thinking about the blogs I love the most...sometimes I just like to drink in all the gorgeous pics on someone's blog...for instance, Sandes blog at A Gift Wrapped Life...other times I like to simply read about something that sounds so inspiring, or most of the blogs I read, so no examples...but what i REALLY love when I'm in the "I wanna make something" mood!! ...TUTORIALS!! like...Donna over at Funky Junk'll find cool "real girls use power tools"!! Natalie at Hungry'll find fab "i have a sewing machine, and I know how to use it!!" ones here...and so on...(there are SO MANY women whose blogs inpsire me...those were just a couple i"ve been poring over today and in the wee hours of last night..which is actually this morning, isnt it?!lol

ANyway...and I had a couple of emails saying "recipes? for the cookies the other day"...didn't even think about here's the recipe for my Choc Chunk Nut Cookies...and then the Almond Rounds...enjoy!

4oz(i'm an oldskool baker!!) 100g/1/2 cup...butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup castor sugar (or normal white sugar)
Cream all these together...add:
1 egg
vanilla to taste (NATURAL VANILLA PLEASE GIRLS!! essence=YUK!!)
Whisk again till mixed...then add:
1 rounded cup white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
good pinch salt
1 cup chopped dark choc buttons
1/2 cup chopped nut of choice (I've used toasted almonds or cashews..mmm)
Stir all in till well mixed.
Grease your oven trays or line with baking paper
Place mixture in teaspoonful lots with lots of room to spread (they spread HEAPS!)
Bake at 180deg C (where is the degrees symbol??) or 350deg F for 8-10 min
Leave on tray only a few minutes then lift onto wire rack to cool completely
(if you don't eat them all whilst still which case...begin again!!)
haha...hope you enjoy them...i know I am!!!!!

And now..the Almond Rounds:..recipe after pics...

6oz(150g)butter softened
1/2 cup castor sugar (or normal sugar)
1/2 an egg (I KNOW!...just weigh a small bowl,beat up the egg in it with a fork and weigh it again, subtracting the weight of the bowl (or tare your scales if you have this function) to get half..use the other half to glaze the finished creation before baking)
squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 tsp)
few drops almond essence
250g flour
pinch salt
pinch baking soda
Cream butter and sugar till just creamy - dont' overcream. Add egg and lemon juice adn almond essence, whisk together. Add dry ingredients and mix till just comes away from the sides of the bowl. Make into a ball, flatten somewhat and chill for 30 mins. Roll out and cut into 12x 7cm rounds, and 12x 8cm rounds.

130g ground almonds
130g castor sugar
1 egg
1tsp almond essence (more or less to taste...I LOVE almond flavouring so I like more..and in fact I would use my almond essential oil in future as a drop of that is like 2 tsp of essence!!- not the almond oil you buy at the pharmacy you understand, for massage etc..that has no scent,therefore no flavour whatsoever...don't use that!)
Mix all filling ingredients together till a nice wet but not sloppy should be a consistency that could be piped, even tho I don't pipe it on.

Place a tspfull of filling onto each 7cm round, flatten down. Brush the edges with water, place the 8cm round on top and gently press around all edges to join together.Brush with the remaining 1/2 egg from the dough, press a blanched almond onto the top of each one.
Place on greased oven tray, or one lined with baking paper. Bake at 200degC/400degF for 12-14 minutes, till golden brown. Leave on tray a few minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
These will keep well in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks..if you can leave them that long! They apparently freeze well also :)

As Julia would say...BON APPETIT girls!
luv jessie x

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fun in the Kitchen

Made some American cookies today..I say American, cos our 'biscuits' (NOT the american biscuit)...are not like these cookies. Our biscuits tend to be generally a crisp item...I TOTALLY prefer the slightly softish chewy centres and crisp outside edges of the Amerian variety of Choc Chip Cookie...tho mine were Choc Chunk and Toasted Almond Cookies (would've been Macadamias if I'd had any..mmmm)...anyway..they are divine and I've already eaten a weeks worth!..haha..just kidding..ahem! ;)...also made Gevulde Koeken (!!)..delicious Almond Rounds...a kind of almondy cookiedough/pastry encasing homemade almond paste (marzipan)...I remember a cafe in nearby Motueka used to sell them and they were TO DIE FOR!! tried to recreate...haven't quite perfected them I don't think, but that's ok..will try and try again ;) Meanwhile, they're still delicious!
So here's my Double Choc Chunk Cookies with Toasted Almonds (white and dark choc in there!)...

And the Gevulde Koeken...aren't they gorgeous? all golden and crispy with moist marzipan in the middle..and that wee toasted almond on top...I LOVE ALMOND!!!

And just a quick pick of last night's Spicey Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup...reheated for today's lunch...oh I do think it's even better the next day!!!...

thanks for stopping by...
happy times in your kitchen!
jessie xx

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Cake-ing"..its in the blood

Meant to include in todays post a couple of pics my sis sent me of her darling daughter Sally (on the right) with her friend happily showing off their delicious creation! And below them is another pic of a cake Sally made...ooooh be still my chocolatey heart!! Don't you love it when your children love to do what you do? My sister is a wonderful baker too..we all love to cook and 'feed people' in our sister even has a restaurant of her own...very successful too. But back to at home baking...I love it that Beth loves to warms my heart. And when my girls and son just love to come into the kitchen, lured in by the delicious's so encouraging, rewarding and heartwarming! Even when they just come to visit, invariably they make their way thru the kitchen know...just in case!! (with a quick whip open of the fridge and pantry for at least one of'll have to guess which one ;))
Anyway..without further ado...Sally and friend...and divine cakery!!!

Thanks for stopping by :)
Must find some pics of Beths cooking too to share with you all.
Bon Appetit..and happy blogging!
luv jessie x

Mmmm...Asian Flavours!

My darling daughter Emma requested a deliciously tasty Vietnamese Chicken Soup for tea tonight...i love cooking for people who love to eat!! I found this recipe one day whilst bloghopping...and found French Fridays with Dorie...a wonderful site for all you foodies out there...anyway...I got daring and decided to make this delicious soup...funny you might think a Vietnamese soup is not very french!!..but I learnt something I didn't know by reading about this recipe, that Vietnam was once a french many recipes will feature on french tables (i never was much of a one for geography or history, sadly...and don't think that would've reached our nz curriulum anyway!!)...
ANYWAY...the soup...YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY IT!! the recipe, as her blog doesn't list it...CHOCK FULL of fabulous flavours - coriander (which incidentally I've hated forever but actually enjoy in this must the the perfect teaming of flavours I think)...fresh ginger root, GARLIC, fish sauce - who'da thought fermented fish (aka rotten fish!!) could make something taste so gooood!! (just don't smell it or you'll NEVER eat/use it!!!) anise, coriander..and silky rich coconut milk.
It really is worth trying...lots of ingredients but an absolute doddle to make! DO IT! You won't regret it...
Here are a couple of pics...sadly not of my own dish as darling baby daughter Beth, whose camera I use (since mine is broken :( )...has deemed to go camping with her friend and TAKE her camera with her! what was she thinking???..sigh...anyway...the lovely picture of the spices, exactly as I had, is from and the pic of the finished dish from delicious!!!

Thanks for stopping by...hope I've inspired you to try a little asian fusion dish for dinner...well, not fusion at all, I just liked the sound of that!! haha
bon appetit!!
luv jessie xx

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ladies Lunch..take 3!- the Big House

So..the end of our ladies lunch may wonder why I've done it in three posts...the first I posted without actually writing anything..haha..oops! The second..when i went to upload blogger posting window had changed (has yours?) and now all the pics load as text and you can't see what they are...usually they are photos sitting in my text box once uploaded..and I go down under each one and comment on them...this way I have NO IDEA what they second post was a bit hit and miss. But third time lucky! I decided to upload one pic at a time (SOOOO SLOWWWW!!! AAGHHH!!!)...but at least that way I could write above (or is it below!lol) each one...
So there you are..hope you enjoy the last of my lunching pics. :)

The FABULOUS bathroom...OH MY beautiful...wouldn't you KILL for that chandelier??? ..well, I WOULD!! haha...

Our mother-in-law Eleanor in the middle, and sis-in-law Julie on the left, and Julies friend Fiona on the right. The tables were faux stone and lovely..but were terrible for glare in the sunshine! Nice wrought iron chairs tho..a little shabbychic white goin on.. actually, not too shabby! haha

Front entrance to the 'big house'...not what it's actually called, but to differentiate between what was the actual restaurant and is now the teahouse..and this being the 'actual' restaurant...and it's a HUGE house!! so there you go.. ;)

Thanks for stopping by ladies :) love you comments..feel free to leave them...and if you're not a follower...I'd love you to be! (even twice Carla!! haha)
jessie x


some views of the tables...and their christmas tree which was adorned with floral garlands...and...hanging teacups!!

Sooo...blogger having a fit!! cant upload what I want...hence the earlier post with four pics and no writing..(not like words! what the??!!) Anyway, I went out for lunch with my mother-in-law and sis-in-law and her friend, to a place about an hours drive from Nelson...Monterey House...a beautiful setting...big house has been built to look like a really old one...fabulous.'s just reopened after changing hands, and the 'big house' used to be private, but is now the restaurant (top storey still private)...and what used to be the restaurant is now a tea house..with high teas a specialty. So we had lunch at the restaurant (unbeknownst to us cos we booked what we thought was the old place...but got there to find no booking, and redirected to the new 'big house'...and proceeded to have a restaurant lunch, rather than a quaint cafe lunch (ouch to the pocket!)...then went back to the teahouse for coffee/tea and my case, I had the devonshire tea and others had the cakes etc.
Now as I'm having trouble with pics are not loading into my posting windows as actual pictures, but simply has all the text info for each pic...I cannot scroll down and add text to each cos I don't know what they all just looks like a huge body of text...HELP!! ANYONE KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON???
So...hope you enjoy the pics of our LADIES LUNCH...this part is the teahouse...
luv...lady lunchalot!!
(aka me..jessie ;)