Hello everyone! Well the countdown to Christmas is on and I am sure most of us are running around like crazy trying to get everything organised! I have got most of the shopping done now, the tree is up, we have been to meet Santa and Kyra is looking forward to her Christmas party next week!
Today I just wanted to mention something else that is an important part of Christmas to me. As much as we all like receiving presents I want Kyra to understand the gift of giving also. I think we are so lucky to be able to celebrate Christmas as we do but unfortunately that is not the case for many families and children around the world.
Here in New Zealand Kmart and the Salvation Army team up every Christmas for The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal. The aim is to support families in need throughout New Zealand and make their Christmas special too.
Some of you may already be aware of the appeal or may have even noticed the Christmas trees that are located at all Kmart stores across the country. Each year everyone is asked to help if they can and place a wrapped gift under the Kmart Wishing Tree.
The Salvation Army has estimated they will need around 40,000 gifts this year to meet the demand in New Zealand. Even I struggle financially with the costs of everything at this time of year but to me spending a few dollars to help someone less fortunate than us is really important because everyone should feel cared about on Christmas Day.
This year I got Kyra to choose the present that we were going to put under the Wishing Tree and of course she chose a present that would suit a little girl just like her, a colouring book, pony stickers, a mermaid doll and some pens!
I encourage everyone to get involved if they can because even the smallest gift can make a difference and no matter where you are in the world I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year x
Posted in Feature Friday
Tagged appeal, blog, charity, children, christmas, family, festive, gifting, gifts, kids, presents, wishing tree
It’s not long to go until Christmas and I have started planning what sweet treats I am going to make this year. This recipe from Taste for Christmas Rocky Road is amazing and it also makes a perfect little gift to package up for family and friends!
- 250g packet marshmallows halved
- 100g packet dried cranberries
- 110g packet macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- 60g pistachios
- 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
- 2 x 180g blocks good-quality white chocolate chopped
- Grease a 20cm square cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper allowing a 2cm overhang on all sides.
- Combine marshmallows, cranberries, nuts and coconut in a bowl. Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high for 1-2 minutes, stirring with a metal spoon every 30 seconds, or until smooth.
- Pour chocolate over marshmallow mixture. Mix well. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, pressing down with a spatula. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Using a warm knife, cut into squares.
This is the ultimate Christmas treat and tastes delish! It doesn’t last long so I think for Christmas I better double the batch! If you are making as gifts I think they would look beautiful wrapped in little bags with some red ribbon.
Posted in Recipes
Tagged blog, chocolate, christmas, cooking, family, food, gifts, homemade, kids, recipe, recipes, rocky road, sweets
Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a fantastic week. Today I thought I would share a few of my favourite photo apps with you. I thought it may be useful for other bloggers out there to know some of the apps I use to help spruce up my photos. In fact most of the images on my blog are just taken on my phone and not a normal digital camera.
With all of these apps you can save the edited photos back to your camera roll and then easily upload it to your computer. Here’s some before and after shots that I have taken and what a few of them can do.
1. Afterlight- Has great filters, textures and frames to add to your photos. Heres a photo I took for my DIY Christmas Decorations post and how I used Afterlight on it.
2. Instagram- This is the first photo app I used and still the one I use the most. So easy to use and awesome filters.
3. A Beautiful Mess- I have only been using this app for a short time but its lots of fun and cool for adding text and doodles to your photos.
4. Vintique- Adds borders and textures with a vintage look. This photo is from my Mini Pecan Pie post and how I used Vintique to adjust the colour and add a frame.
These photos are just a small sample of what you can do when editing your images, there are so many more filters and frames to choose from! Let me know what your favourites are and if you use any other photo apps that you could recommend me trying out?
Well it’s getting closer to Christmas, my most favourite time of the year! Last year I worked on a DIY Kids Christmas Wreath with Miss K and we also made our Wrapped In Lights Christmas Cards. This year after seeing some cute decoration ideas using glass baubles I thought we would make some of our own using some mixed sequins and confetti. Heres how they turned out.
What do you think? I love all the fun colours and cant wait to decorate the tree with them this year. Alana over at The Little Leaf has also been working on some cute Christmas Decorations of her own that I wanted to share with you also. Be sure to check them out here!
To keep up to date with more easy DIY ideas like this one feel free to follow Happy Little Kiwi on Pinterest or Facebook!
Posted in Crafts & DIY
Tagged baubles, christmas, confetti, crafts, decorations, diy, fun, gifts, home decor, kids, pinterest, project
Until a few days ago I had never even heard of Turtle Bars before. Anyway thanks to Pinterest I discovered them and I knew straight away I had to try some! They are rich and sweet so you can’t eat to many at once but OMG they are good!
2 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup softened butter
6 oz. pecan halves
2/3 cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 170 degree celsius.
Place the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Blend until the mixture is crumbly. Press mixture into a 8×10-inch pan. Arrange the pecans over the flour mixture and set aside.
In a small saucepan melt butter and brown sugar. Stirring frequently bring to the boil for 30 seconds, keep stirring to make sure the mixture is fully blended. Remove from heat and pour the over the pecan covered base. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips then pop back in the oven for a minute or two to melt the chocolate. Remove from oven and spread the chocolate into an even layer with a spatula. Let cool in pan completely and then cut into small squares.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know if you give it a try! To keep up to date with more sweet treats from Happy Little Kiwi feel free to follow along on Pinterest or Facebook.
Posted in Recipes
Tagged baking, blog, children, chocolate, cooking, food, homemade, kids, recipe, recipes, slices, sweets
Posted in Crafts & DIY
Tagged baking, crafts, cupcakes, diy, food, halloween, kids, parties, pinterest, printables, pumpkins, recipes
Recently I was offered the chance to try out some of the new goodies in the Baby by Earthwise range. Some of you may already be familiar with the Earthwise brand, I already use their natural household products for cleaning and laundry.
Anyway I wanted to let you all know Eathwise now has some amazing new products which are made especially for babies and kids! Miss K has been trying out the Baby by Earthwise range for the last few weeks and absolutely loves them!
For a start they come in the most adorable Hippo packaging and everything smells amazing! The soap bar and body wash are perfect for sensitive skin. Miss K usually gets a bit of eczema on her arms and it has totally cleared up from using the soap with goat’s milk which is so gentle. The Jungle fruits bubble bath is great too and the bubbles last for the whole bathtime!
Another favourite of ours has to be the shampoo and hair detangler. Brushing hair used to be a nightmare in our house resulting in tears and various hair detanglers that did nothing. I am so glad to have finally found a product that actually works. Now every night Miss K actually comes to me with the spray and asks me to do her hair!
I would highly recommend trying Baby by Eathwise out, your little ones will love you for it plus they will smell great too!
Baby by Earthwise is free from parabens, artificial colouring, toxic petrochemicals and laurel sulphates. It is not tested on animals and is made here in New Zealand. It can be found in most supermarkets and you an also check out their website here to find out a bit more about them and their great products!
Posted in Feature Friday
Tagged baby, blog, caring, children, cute, earthwise, goats milk, haircare, kids, natural, parents, products, soaps
Hi guys! Just a quick post to let you all know Happy Little Kiwi has been nominated for the Best Kids Food Blog in the 2013 Munch Awards!
Voting has now commenced so to all my lovely readers who follow Happy Little Kiwi if you could take a minute to vote I would really appreciate it!
The Munch Awards also have some great sponsors and there are chances to win a number of spot prizes from their companies. So click here to head on over and cast your vote!
Thanks so much and hope you all have a fab weekend!
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged baking, blog awards, childhood, children, cooking, family, food, homemade, kids, munch, recipes
Well with only a few weeks to go till Halloween myself and Alana from The Little Leaf decided we would start working on some spooky stuff! My idea came together when I found these cool paper lanterns in the dollar store and remembered seeing a great free download of halloween silhouettes over at NoBiggie.
To make these you only need a few things, some paper lanterns, spray paint and stencils. I printed out the stencils from NoBiggie and cut them out, then assembled my paper lanterns and carefully laid the stencils over before spray painting on the designs. I left them to dry completely and then all that was left to do was string them up! For such a simple project I am really happy with how they turned out. I would like to make even more of them now and fill the trees with them for Halloween!
Be sure to head on over and check out what Alana has been working on for Halloween. I absolutely love her work and she has come up with a great freebie for everyone! (Thanks Alana!)
To keep up to date with more DIY projects like this feel free to follow Happy Little Kiwi on Pinterest!
Here’s how to make sushi at home! It’s not hard to make at all and after a bit of practice rolling the sushi I now make it all the time. Its healthy, homemade, perfect for a light meal and you can always make a party platter if you are entertaining!
You can choose from many fillings but today I decided on salmon and avocado. I have made it with teriyaki chicken and cucumber before and that was really good too!
Here’s a few of the basics you need to start making your own sushi. You can also find starter packs in most supermarkets that have everything in them.
- Sushi mat
- Rice vinegar (or powdered sushi mix)
- Sushi rice
- Seaweed sheets
- Soy sauce
- Pickled ginger
Cook the sushi rice following the packet instructions and then drain. You want flavour in your rice so it’s not bland so either add some rice vinegar or powdered sushi mix and stir this through all your rice. Then set aside and leave the rice until it is cold.
Next I place some cling wrap on my sushi mat and my seaweed sheet on top of that. I cover the seaweed and in a layer of rice and then add a strip of my avocado and salmon. Also I like wasabi so sometimes I put a little bit of this inside the roll too!
After you have rolled the sushi it is best to cut it with a sharp knife so it does not catch on the seaweed paper but just slices straight through it. If you would like more detailed instructions on rolling sushi I originally learnt how to in a YouTube video. You can watch it here if you like.
Serve your sushi with some soy sauce and pickled ginger on top and watch out for that wasabi it is HOT!
All the best with trying out your own sushi. Let me know if you give it a try and what filling you use. I’m thinking next week I might try crispy chicken with avocado and cream cheese!
Posted in Recipes
Tagged blog, cooking, eat, entertain, family, food, healthy, homemade, party food, recipe, recipes, snacks, sushi