Saturday, February 25, 2012

DIY Valentine's Day Card

Thanks to ongoing IVF, things are a little tight here in the Pommer household. Having spoilt each other at Christmas, Adam and I decided it was unnecessary to buy Valentine's presents or flowers. Not that we are usually big believers in the day, but in the last few years before our wedding, we chose to make sure we did something nice together around Valentine's Day. Even though we had been together since I was 20, we never really had an anniversary, and hence figured that Valentine's was a good reminder to celebrate our relationship each year.
We now have a wedding anniversary to celebrate, but with both of us being true romantics, we couldn't let Valentine's pass us by completely unnoticed, and decided to save our pennies and DIY a Valentine's card to each other.
Yes, Adam gave me a picture of Batman running with a big heart behind him. We are both big Batman fans, so it was totally appropriate and awesome. I love the wooosh with the 'o's' as love hearts. Such a shame that the printer ran out of ink half-way through. I could have framed it and put it on the white brick wall. I always wanted to be Catwoman, and as a tween would fantasise about telling the bullies on the bus that if they wanted to fight - to meet me at the park, where I would then miraculously appear dressed as Catwoman looking hot and being capable of taking them down single handed. Whilst that dream never came to fruition, when visiting the Tim Burton exhibition in Melbourne with my friend Chloe, we actually got to see the real Catwoman costume that was warn by Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns. It was tiny... but awesome. Later that year I got to fulfil one half of my dream. No, I didn't beat up any bullies...but I did get to dress up as Catwoman for my friend Caitlin's Superheroes and Villans Birthday Party. Can't say I looked hot though, a neck to knee lycra body suit is not the most flattering attire, but hell - I went with it anyways. Being that I lived interstate however, I drove for one and a half hours dressed as Catwoman to get to the party. Lucky I'm a Nana driver and wasn't pulled over!
What you will need:
White A4 cardboard folded in half
Alphabet Stamps
Stamping Ink
Inspiration for words
A whole lotta love

Kristy's Hot Tips:
My rubber stamps are a Christmas present from my wonderful mother, who bought them and a selection of ink colours from the fabulous stationary store Kikki-k.
The wooden box is full of metal alphabet and number stamps. Technically they are made for hammering letters into things, but I wanted to utilise them to stamp fine little ink letters in my card.
I went looking through my Pinterest Gifting and White Brick Wall pinboards for wording pinspiration. I knew I had pinned a bunch of lovey-dovey quotes for just this type of occasion.
Baby-wipes are an easy way to clean the stamps after they have been used, so you don't accidentally mix colours.
Stamping is not as easy as you would think. I recommend practising it on a piece of scrap paper first to get to know how much ink is needed, how firmly you have to push and the spacing you need on the card... otherwise like me, you'll end up witha slightly dodgy 'A'. But hey, I was in a rush... Adam was on his way home and I had to get it done.

Hold your hand
Laugh at your jokes
Walk by your side
Snuggle on the couch
Look into your eyes
Talk about whatever
Kiss your lips

I popped it on the bed for Adam to find when he came home from a hard day's work. Probably not the smartest move as it was mid-afternoon, and there was no need for him to go to the bedroom. After a while, I very unsubtly told him to go have a look at the bed.

Yay for love!

Happy Stamping!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kristy Recommends: The Hunger Games

For my 28th birthday my friend Chloe gave me a paint-your-own garden gnome and a set of books that I had never heard of before. Chloe always gives amazing, absolutely perfect-for-Kristy presents. She knows me well, and she nails it every time. So when she said to me 'it's teen fiction - you'll love it' I trusted her completely.
I read the entire trilogy over the Christmas period and thoroughly enjoyed it. They had me totally hooked. I am a very slow reader and it was near impossible for me to put them down. So for me, that meant a lot of late nights. Thankfully I had some extra days off work which allowed me some lengthy book reading time.
If you are a lover of fantasy books (Think Harry Potter, True Blood, Twilight etc) then you definitely need to read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Whilst I enjoyed reading the Twilight series, I found Bella to be a frustrating and weak female lead, and what is wonderful about The Hunger Games is the strong female protagonist in the form of Katniss Everdeen. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, The Hunger Games is a live televised reality tv event where teenagers who have been drawn from a lottery, are forced to fight to the death. Only one is left alive. I found it to be a fascinating and thought provoking comment on war, peace and human nature.
I have personally recommended these books to a bunch of people. Those who have read it, have loved it. So I feel totally confident in my recommending it to you. It was released in 2008 (how did I not find it before now?!) and has been on many best-seller lists for an extended period of time. There is a movie being made at the moment, and hopefully it will do the books justice. Though every time I hope for that, I have to remind myself that everyone knows a movie is never as good as a book. I'm so glad Chloe got me to read the books before the movie came out.

Speaking of movies that don't do the books justice, after I finished The Hunger Games, I backed it up with One Day by David Nicholls (a Christmas present from Adam). I became very emotionally invested in this book. 
It's not for everyone, but I loved it. I woke up really early one morning and just had to finish it... and then post completing it, proceeded to cry for pretty much the whole day. There was something that connected with me and affected me quite deeply, but I can't really tell you without ruining the entire book, so I'll just leave it be. And to be honest, it might make me cry again, and there is no point torturing myself any further. Adam and I watched the movie a week or two later, and whilst it wasn't bad, as I said before, I didn't really feel that it did the book justice. Whilst the screenplay was actually written by the author of the book, the movie seemed to miss all my favourite parts, and kept the boring bits. In the book the male character was extremely flawed but you still really liked him. In the movie, for me - he was just flawed. 
As you can see, the wicked witch bookmark I made has been getting a good work out. But unfortunately I did not predict the possibility of my 6-foot-something brother laying on top of it, when I left it on the bed in the caravan. The card board started to tear and they were never quite the same after that.
I persisted with using it for a while, but in the end I had to admit defeat and put them away for later, in my super adorable little random crap box that Mum gave me for Christmas.
Cute box, don't you think? It's even cuter when you realise that it's actually labelled as 'random crap':
Uh! LOVE it :) Truth is, my Mother is also a spectacular present buyer. I am so lucky to have so many loved ones, who know me so damn well and spoil me to the absolute brink of becoming rotten. I like to think that I am a good gift giver in return (Ahem. Remember the Lego USB's I showed you here and here?).
I do plan to resurrect the wicked witch, but this time I will be sure to laminate the card to avoid a recurrence.

Mind you... there is no 6-foot-something brother around to lay on it anymore :(

May the odds be ever in your favour.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Letting another of my brothers grow up...

What is that saying? If you love something set it free. If it comes back, it's yours...if it doesn't, it never was. Whilst I have complete confidence that my little chef brother Nick will come back to me in good time, it was still really hard to let him go. Ok, so technically he is not little (he is 6 foot something) but he is still one of my four younger brothers who I love like crazy and don't want to let go.
Nick turned 21 last month (my baby is all grown up!), and left for a two year working holiday in Europe this week. Nick is an avid lover of all things zombie, he even made a green slime and brain birthday cake last year for baker brother Dom's 18th birthday.
Some of the left-over green goo was fed to the chickens that week. It turns out food dye makes Dr Seuss stories come to life. Do you like green eggs and ham?
So with this love of zombies in mind, when Mum and I were brainstorming idea's for a Nicholas worthy cake, I remembered yet another awesome gift given to me by Chloe.
A fold-your-own zombie calendar! One zombie for every month of the year. So we bought an awesome, mountainous looking chocolate mud and profiterole cake and got to folding some zombies that could try to navigate its terrain in search of brains.
I chose the zombie nurse (couldn't help myself) and Mum chose the zombie dude who was in half and dragging his spine behind him, he also came with his own gravestone. Bonus! After a bit of time, alot of glueing, folding and holding our tongue just right, the zombie's looked like this:
Pretty cool huh? I love me some papercraft, and I appreciate a good zombie every now and then, so when they came out on the cake, I was pretty bloody satisfied with how super they looked. Unfortunately, being that I don't know how to use my DSLR (really must tend to that New Years Resolution), the picture really doesn't do the cake justice, but the joy in Nick's face is genuine.
And once again, just like the Nyan Cat Cake, the kitchen staff at the restaurant got a little excited and joined in the fun, drizzling some raspberry coulis all over the cake to look like blood. 
So with a green backpack and a kindle full of zombie novels, Nick headed off to London-town.
Dad, Mum and myself travelled up to Brisbane to send him off on his big adventure. Of course, the exact time he walked up to check-in his luggage was 11:11.
I couldn't help but take photo's of every step. 
This is where we had to have our last hugs as the sign says "Departing Passengers Only" and unfortunately, there was only one of us who was departing.
Here he is looking up at his mother with love right before he heads through duty free and off to his departure gate.
When we got home we found a beautiful little card left by Nick, reminding us to be happy.
"I just want to tell you all that I love my family more than anything else in this world!! Please don't worry too much about me! I will be fine!! Love Nick xxxooo".

If I can make my children half as beautiful and loving as my mother has made hers, then I will have done an amazing job.

He has since arrived safely and is right this moment, exploring London with Tim, our 25 year old Flash Programmer brother who has been living in London since May 2010. He is going to have such an amazing time. Adam and I wish we could go visit them both, but we are very busy trying to make babies.

And as if I don't put enough pressure on myself to get pregnant (it's all I have ever wanted, and no...I can't 'just forget about it'), Nicholas gave me a voucher for Christmas which promises me Nicholas's temporary return to Oz for when I finally do have a baby.

If only I could get pregnant, then I could have a baby of my own (and stop contemplating stealing someone else's) and my boys would come home to me. Selfish I know but that would be all my dreams come true!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A New Addition!

Remember when I told you how the Drew's do Christmas in a BIG way? Well I neglected to mention the biggest and possibly the most awesome present that Adam and I received.
It was this:
You can see it wrapped in the lounge room in some of the pictures from my Christmas blogpost. Once unwrapped there was a big box of styrofoam and metal and messages from the family.

So what is this big metal styrofoam box of love?
Let's just say that on the 19th of January (and most days of the week actually) my kitchen looked like this...
And a few days later, Rossco was doing this:
He was completely destroying my tupperware cupboard. Eeek. I left for work the next day, tupperware cupboard-less and a big gaping hole in my kitchen. But when I got home from my 10 hour shift I was greeted with this beautiful sight...
YES!!!!! It's a drawer dishwasher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh happy day!
I have not had a dishwasher since I moved out of home, and in with Adam - some 7 plus years ago. Not only that, but we spent many years washing our dishes in sinks that you could barely fit a dinner plate in, let alone our wok (which as a result, may have been washed in the bath-tub once or twice). When our French friends came to stay, Laetitia and I talked constantly of how we dream to one day have our very own dishwasher. Really when you think of it, it is a true luxury item. A machine that will do your dirty dishes. Sigh. I am in heaven.
And guess what else I came home to on the day the dishwasher moved in?
Flowers from my darling husband. For no reason at all. 
Look at that. The dishwasher prepared to set sail for its maiden voyage. You can understand my disappointment when I realised that I didn't have any powder to to put in it. And it was too late at night, the shops were closed. Yes, I absolutely would have driven to the shops simply just to buy powder. This was a significant, fate-fulfilling event in the life of Kristy! But, alas - it had to wait until after work the next day.
Two weeks have gone by, and it is still very much a novelty for me. I'm pretty sure Adam thinks it is a very magical machine indeed. I don't think he even knows how to put it on, because I beat him to the punch every time. For him right now, it stacks, cleans and puts the dishes away all by itself. He does know what it sounds like though, because he mentioned that when it opens, it sounds like a mechanical version of Leo's meow. Which I guess it kinda does...but we see our substitute child in everything.
Christmas 2011, was a year of predominantly kitchen related gifts for me... And I love them all. It might cause some to raise an eyebrow, that my parents gave us a dishwasher and my husband gave me a grill pan and kettle (Go on woman, get in the kitchen. Make me a sandwich). But they are all things that I really truly wanted. I am now the proud owner of an awesome red kettle that looks good and doesn't throw the power out, a Jamie Oliver grill pan that cooks steaks (instead of boiling them), and a dishwasher.