Been super busy lately so I've not had time to update my blog with any goodies for a few days, sorry guys. But I had this one sitting in my folder, thinking I had already uploaded it - doh! So here you are - I hope you like it and have fun with it.

Remember to come back and show me how you use it - please!

Don't forget to leave some love as I always love to hear from you (",)

Hi all, I need some cheering up today so I thought I would make myself feel better by giving you all some more freebies. Remember that I'd love to see what you create so please come back and leave a link to your image :)

Don't forget to leave some love, I love to hear from you ♥


Okay so this morning I log into Facebook and begin scrolling down my news feed to catch up on the latest when I come across an article about China's One Child Policy (brought to my attention by one of the pages I "like") and I suddenly realize how naive I am. I mean I knew the policy existed or should I say I thought the policy "had" existed, so seeminly with my head in the sand I was unaware that this type of tragedy still exists in this day and age, not only does it exist it is supported and encouraged! This is more devastating than a tragedy and in fact goes beyond normal human understanding. Now I am not racist in any way, but I must admit that I do wonder what type of people are ruling over China when they can turn such a blind eye to the plight and suffering of their own people?

September 25, marked 30 years of the Chinese government's infamous one-child-per-couple policy. On that date in 1980 the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party sent an open letter to party members setting forth its plan to embark on a national one-child policy.
What came out of that letter? A cruel and inhumane policy, a human rights violation that is, in scope and seriousness, the worst human rights abuse in the world today. No other government policy anywhere else in the world systematically punishes, abuses, and violates women so grossly as this. 

Seriously, what is wrong with the world when this type of abuse, this type of tragedy is still going on? It certainly makes you realize that there is a sea of suffering right outside your door and that maybe the thing that ticked you off a few minutes or hours ago really isn't worth getting so stressed out about.

The policy limits most urban women to one child – and permits most women in rural areas to have a second child only if the first is female. That is, brothers and sisters are illegal in China. So are children of unwed mothers – they are all killed by compulsory abortion. The policy further requires all women to obtain a birth permit before becoming pregnant, and monitors the reproductive cycles of all women of childbearing age through a system of mandatory, regular, and crudely invasive physical check-ups.
Women are put under extreme pressure to abort all "out-of-plan" children – this is heightened by an atmosphere of fear, created by paying anonymous pregnancy informants, and by denying birth permits to co-workers and neighbors of women with an "out-of-plan" pregnancy. The brave pregnant woman who refuses to give in is usually detained and beaten – or, if she goes into hiding, her relatives are detained and beaten. Families that succeed in hiding an "out-of-plan" pregnancy are punished with fines up to ten times the average annual income. If they can't pay, their "out-of-plan" children are denied right to health care, education, and marriage.
The result of one-child policy in culture with son-preference has been widespread sex-selective abortion of daughters – gendercide. Over 120 boys are born for every 100 girls. In some provinces 140 boys are born for every 100 girls. Tens of millions of Chinese men will never be able to marry because potential wives don't exist.
This is the world of the one-child policy, a system of repression that has been traumatizing hundreds of millions of Chinese women for thirty years. It's no wonder – and so sad – that Chinese women have a sky-high suicide rate – over 500 women commit suicide every day in China, and, according to the WHO, China is the only country in the world where more women than men commit suicide, and the female suicide rate is three times the male.

Again I ask myself, what type of person/people are ruling over China and this barbaric policy? It defies belief and understanding and leaves me heartbroken...

Smith, Franks, Human Rights Leader Mark 30th Year of Brutal 'One Child Policy' in China
Looks like I'm on a roll lately :)

Here is another freebie for you all, if anyone uses one of my digi stamps I'd love to see what you've created with it :) Don't be shy, show it off! :D

Have fun being creative! (Can you tell I love Christmas!)

I'm back with some more digital freebies for you, remember you are welcome to change their colour to suit your layout, or of course if you're printing them out to use for your paper craft projects you are welcome to resize them as well :)

As always I hope you have fun using them.
A few more freebies for you today, I couldn't decide which font I preferred so that's why there are so many of them :) Again I am giving them to you in both png and jpg format.

I hope you'll have fun with them.

  Today I'd like to offer you these word art freebies to use in your digital scrapbooking or you can use it as a digi stamp for your paper crafting. Your imagination is your only limit ;)
This word art is available to you in both jpg and png format.

I hope you'll have fun with it.
Cougar (Puma concolor)

The cougar, also known as puma, mountain lion, mountain cat, catamount or panther, depending on the region, is a mammal of the family Felidae, native to the Americas. This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, extending from Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in every major American habitat type. It is the second heaviest cat in the American continents after the jaguar. Although large, the cougar is most closely related to smaller felines.
A capable stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include ungulates such as deer, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, horses and sheep, particularly in the northern part of its range. It will also hunt species as small as insects and rodents. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but it can also live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and persists at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While it is a large predator, it is not always the dominant species in its range, as when it competes for prey with other predators such as the jaguar, grey wolf, American Black Bear, and the grizzly bear. It is a reclusive cat and usually avoids people. Attacks on humans remain rare, despite a recent increase in frequency.
Due to excessive hunting following the European colonization of the Americas and the continuing human development of cougar habitat, populations have dropped in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the cougar was extirpated in eastern North America, except for an isolated sub-population in Florida; there are many sightings that claim the animal is recolonizing parts of its former eastern territory, such as Maine, northern Michigan, and southern Indiana.

Source: Wikipedia

Making caramel in the microwave is quite easy, here's how you do it:

Pour a 395g can of condensed milk into a 2-litre (8 cup) heatproof, microwave-safe jug (the condensed milk will become very hot so it's best to use a container that has a handle).

Cook, uncovered, on High/800watts/100% in 1 minute bursts, whisking gently every minute until the condensed milk becomes thick and caramel in colour. This will take from 6 - 10 minutes, depending upon the wattage of your microwave.
These cookies are so delicious and never last long in our house, in fact they never live long enough to make it to the cookie jar! Hubby loves them with a cuppa, even our 18mth old little man loves them, well except for the cherry which he doesn't eat but likes to squish it between his fingers and study it's inner goo :)

  • 500g softened butter
  • 395g can condensed milk
  • 4 cups self raising flour (sifted)
  • 2tbsp sugar (optional)

Cream together the butter and sugar, Add condensed milk and gently stir to combine. Fold in the flour.

Roll into balls and place on a lined baking tray. You can either press a well into the center of each cookie using your thumb, or you can simply push each cherry into the center, whichever you find easier.

Bake in a moderate oven (around 180C) for approximately 10 minutes or until golden.

Cookies will harden as they cool.

I hope you all enjoy them as much as my family does.
American Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana)

Entirely unique on this planet, the Pronghorn's scientific name, Antilocapra americana, means "American antelope goat." But the deer-like Pronghorn is neither antelope nor goat -- it is the sole surviving member of an ancient family dating back 20 million years.
The Pronghorn is the only animal in the world with branched horns (not antlers) and the only animal in the world to shed its horns, as if they were antlers. The Pronghorn, like sheep and goats, has a gall bladder, and like giraffes, lacks dewclaws. If that weren't enough, the Pronghorn is the fastest animal in the western hemisphere, running in 20-foot bounds at up to 60 miles per hour. Unlike the Cheetah, speedburner of the African plains, the Pronghorn can run for hours at quite a fast pace.

Source: Desert USA

These scrolls are the result of my desire to create something yummy for my family. They are so delicious it really is hard to stop at just one. The filling is sweet and creamy, but not too sweet, and the texture is smooth and yummy and the whole thing is just so gosh darn scrummie (is that a word?) Okay at the risk of sounding like I've just escaped from a looney bin, let me stop gushing and start writing the recipe for you.


3 cups self-raising flour
50g butter, chilled, chopped
1 and 1/4 cups milk

250g tub cream cheese
1 large banana, chopped
2 tbsp sugar (approx)

Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan forced)
Line baking tray with baking paper.

To make dough - Sift flour into a large bowl. Add butter. Using your fingertips, rub flour into butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the center and add milk. Using a knife, mix together to form a soft dough.

To make the filling - combine the cream cheese, sugar and banana until well blended. Make sure you've left the cream cheese out of the fridge for quite a while before hand so it's nice and soft. It's okay to still have banana chunks because that makes it yummier. I kept tasting it while I was adding the sugar and banana to make sure it didn't get too sweet.

Turn dough onto a lightly-floured surface. Knead lightly until smooth. Roll out to a 30cm x 40cm rectangle with 1 short end closest to you.

Spread the banana cream cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a 2cm border along the short edge furthest from you.

Starting from the short end closest to you, roll up the dough like a swiss roll. Using a sharp knife, trim the ends and then cut the roll into 9 even slices (mine weren't quite even, lol).

Use a light sawing motion so as to avoid squashing the roll. I wiped the knife between each cut because the filling just wanted to ooze everywhere as I cut it.

Lay the scrolls flat on the prepared tray allowing a 2cm space between each one. Bake for 25mins or until golden.

Stand for 5 mins on the tray before gently pulling apart. Serve while warm.

Enjoy ♥

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
One look at these menacing predators—with their armored, lizard-like bodies, muscular tails, and powerful jaws—and it is obvious they are envoys from the distant past. The species, scientists say, is more than 150 million years old, managing to avoid extinction 65 million years ago when their prehistoric contemporaries, the dinosaurs, died off.
American alligators reside nearly exclusively in the freshwater rivers, lakes, swamps, and marshes of the southeastern United States, primarily Florida and Louisiana.
Heavy and ungainly out of water, these reptiles are supremely well adapted swimmers. Males average 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters) in length and can weigh 1,000 pounds (453 kg). Females grow to a maximum of about 9.8 feet (3 meters.)
Hatchlings are 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) long with yellow and black stripes. Juveniles, which are on the menu for dozens of predators, including birds, raccoons, bobcats, and even other alligators, usually stay with their mothers for about two years.
Adult alligators are apex predators critical to the biodiversity of their habitat. They feed mainly on fish, turtles, snakes, and small mammals. However, they are opportunists, and a hungry gator will eat just about anything, including carrion, pets and, in rare instances, humans.

Source: National Geographic

Okay so maybe I am getting a little ahead of myself, I mean there's still 73 days to go, but gosh I can hardly wait! Call me crazy but I'm the kind of person who could dress up their blog with Christmas themes all year round and still not get tired of the atmosphere. If I thought I could get away with it, I'd probably leave the Christmas tree up all year too! *wink*

As we get closer and closer to the big event I find myself thinking more and more about food (if that's possible). I spend so much time with my nose buried in cook books desperately seeking out recipes for this years Christmas menu. Before Christmas even gets here I'm very likely to change the menu more than a dozen times! I'm just hopeless at making this type of decision and I'm sure this type of stress is not good for me... Ooh but I do love it (secretly).

So my lovely readers, what foodeous plans do you have for Christmas? Is there a recipe that finds it's way onto your table every year? This is not the time for secrets, I'd love to hear about it, so don't be shy!
Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
These whales are found near coastlines, feeding on tiny shrimp-like krill, plankton, and small fish. Humpbacks migrate annually from summer feeding grounds near the poles to warmer winter breeding waters closer to the Equator. Mothers and their young swim close together, often touching one another with their flippers with what appear to be gestures of affection. Females nurse their calves for almost a year, though it takes far longer than that for a humpback whale to reach full adulthood. Calves do not stop growing until they are ten years old.
Humpbacks are powerful swimmers, and they use their massive tail fin, called a fluke, to propel themselves through the water and sometimes completely out of it. These whales, like others, regularly leap from the water, landing with a tremendous splash. Scientists aren't sure if this breaching behavior serves some purpose, such as cleaning pests from the whale's skin, or whether whales simply do it for fun.

Source: National Geographic

Make a simple dip using jarred artichoke and cream cheese.
Place ingredients in a food processor, whiz for a few minutes and serve with veggie sticks or crackers.


Create a delicious papaya coleslaw by adding fresh papaya to shredded cabbage, pineapple chunks, red grapes, lite sour cream, sugar, lime juice, and chopped walnuts. Season to taste.


A great source of iron, mushrooms are perfect sauteed with spinach and a dash of olive oil or gravy and served with steak.


Also known as endive or chicory, witlof is a great alternative to cos or rocket. Mix with sliced pear, prosciutto and pecans for a tasty side salad or pan fry in a saucepan with a little olive oil until soft and serve with lamb fillets.

Also In Season

Grapefruit * Tangelo * Avocado * Onions * Pineapple * Lemons * Blood Orange * Carrot * Cauliflower * Spinach * Mango * Pawpaw * Sweetcorn * Radish * Squash * Watercress * Apricots * Banana * Starfruit * Cumquat * Leek * Apples

This recipe was given to me by a friend several years ago and it has become a family favourite. It is so very easy to make and not time consuming at all, which is a bonus when you have little kids around your feet *wink*.

  • 1 shortcrust pie case
  • 1 can of Top N Fill Caramel
  • 2 bananas, sliced.
  • Stabilized whipped cream (recipe below)

Line the base of your pie case with the banana slices. It doesn't have to be neat and it's okay if your slices overlap.

Next, cover the banana slices with the caramel.

Place in the fridge to cool while you prepare the cream.

  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups chilled whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons icing sugar

In a very small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand for about 5 minutes to soften.

Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin is dissolved, then remove from heat.
Let it cool.

Beat cream in a well-chilled bowl.

Slowly add the icing sugar and vanilla to the whipped cream and whip until slightly stiff.

Add melted and cooled gelatin to the whipping cream
Continue whipping until cream holds its shape.

Use the whipped cream to decorate the top of your banana caramel pie, be as creative as you like, or be a piggy pot like me and just spoon it all over the top making sure no caramel can be seen *smile*

Return it to the fridge to chill longer, or dig into it straight away, it's your choice - no one's looking *wink*.

    Today I am bringing you a recipe that always stirs up fond memories of my childhood, specifically Christmas memories. Every Christmas my Mum would make up a huge bowl of Potato Salad and dress it liberally using this recipe, and not a single smidgen would be left in the bowl by the end of the day. Even now I can see her clearly, standing in the kitchen surrounded by pots and dishes, cutting boards and knives, and food was everywhere. I love Christmas, and I guess I have my Mum to thank for that, she always went all out to make the holiday so special and magical for us. It's funny but I don't really remember the gifts under the tree so clearly as I can recall the intoxicating aroma of Mum's cooking wafting through the house early Christmas morn - ahhh, what a way to wake up eh?

    • 3/4 tin condensed milk
    • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
    • 1/3 cup white vinegar
    • ½ teaspoon salt

    In a medium sized bowl mix together the mustard and salt with the condensed milk, then add the vinegar.

    Mix well.

    Allow to stand until thick.

    A simple stew of young spring vegetables teams with golden sauteed chicken.

    • 4 chicken supremes*
    • 1 tbsp flour
    • Sea salt and pepper
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 200g podded broad beans
    • 500g thin asparagus, snapped
    • 200g podded peas
    • 2 tbsp tarragon or mint
    Preheat oven to 180C. Coat the chicken lightly in flour, sea salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a frypan and brown the chicken well. Transfer to the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked.

    Cook the broad beans in simmering, salted water for 5 mins, then remove.

    Cook the asparagus and peas for 5 mins while you peel the broad beans, discarding skins.

    • 1 tbsp walnut oil
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed

    In a large bowl, whisk together the walnut oil, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, sea salt and pepper.


    Return the broad beans to the pot for 30 seconds, then drain the vegetables, toss quickly in the dressing and scatter on four warmed dinner plates.

    Cut each chicken supreme in half on the diagonal, arrange on top, drizzle with remaining dressing, scatter with tarragon or mint and serve.

    Serves 4.

    * Supremes are the chicken breast and wing to the first joint.

    This is very rich and luxurious, so serve in thin wedges.

    • 75g butter
    • 75g caster sugar
    • 75g ground almonds
    • 125g plain flour
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 tbsp iced water, or more
    • 300mL thickened or whipping cream
    • 200g dark chocolate (70 per cent)
    • 50g butter, chopped
    • 2 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream

    To make the pastry, whiz the butter, sugar, almonds, flour and salt in a food processor until smooth.
    Add water a spoonful at a time, still whizzing, until the pastry clumps into a ball. Place on the base of a 20cm tart tin and gently, gradually, press the mixture down, working from the centre out, to cover the base and up the sides. Trim the sides. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

    Heat the oven to 180C. Line the tart with foil and weigh down with baking beans or pastry weights. Bake for 15 minutes, carefully remove beans and foil, then bake for a further 5 to 10 mins until lightly golden. Cool.

    To make the filling, heat the cream until just before boiling point.

    Finely chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Add the cream, leave for 1 min, then mix well with a spatula, working from the centre outwards. Add the butter and stir until smooth.

    Stir in the liqueur and pour into the tart case. Leave in a level place to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

    Serves 8 to10

    Chef: Jill Dupleix
    Photo: Jennifer Soo
    Source: The Sydney Morning Herald Recipe Cards

    A delicious fresh easy way to start a meal.

    Get ready for an al fresco lunch that celebrates summer.

    • 4 tomatoes
    • 60ml extra virgin
    • olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
    • 2 tbsp basil leaves, shredded
    • 4 fresh mozzarella balls
    • Sea salt and pepper
    • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
    • 1 tbsp grated parmesan
    • 8 small basil leaves for serving

    Cut the tomatoes in half, squeeze out the seeds and juice, then dice remaining flesh. Toss the lot with olive oil, garlic and basil.
    Drain the mozzarella balls, slice thickly, season well and reassemble in the original shapes. Place in the centre of each plate. Spoon the tomato dressing around each ball and scatter with pine nuts, sea salt, pepper and parmesan.
    Strew with small basil leaves and serve.

    Serves 4.

    Chef: Jill Dupleix 
    Photo: Jennifer Soo 
    Source: The Sydney Morning Heral Recipe Cards
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...