Sunday, 18 March 2012

Making raincoats funky!

Picnik collage1

How cool is this raincoat????

Very cool according to my girls!

Rain is becoming an everyday part of living in Queensland & I am fed up with getting wet.
So, I am starting a campaign to make raincoats cool again!
Gone is the bright yellow plastic raincoat, here to stay is the latest fashion raincoats!
Who is in???

If you are wanting to make a fashionable raincoat, I used the

that I purchased from Wrapped in Fabric

Picnik collage

Yep, it was raining when I decided to act like a crazy woman for this photo shoot but I can say I was loving every minute of being able to get wet & know that my clothes would stay dry.

I like to make simple things so I opted to leave the pockets out. I really don’t like pockets because they just encourage me to carry more things than I need to.
I also did not put any buttons on this at all because when you are wanting to get a raincoat on quickly, the only thing you need is a belt.
You can add the pockets & the buttons if you wish, all instructions for them are in the pattern.
This is a great multisized pattern & I think that both my 11 & 12 (nearly 13, can’t forget that!) daughters will both be able to have one made in their size from the same pattern.
I made this from thick quilters cotton & 2 layers of Scotchgaurd (spray waterproofing for fabric).
You could use oilcloth or a laminated fabric.
It is completely lined & reversible if you don’t add the buttons.
Now I just need to do is pimp an umbrella to match {tutorial}


Saturday, 17 March 2012

No pattern required and no sewing required dresses, from the archives

We all know that I am the queen of “no pattern required” sewing.
Well, I have met my match.
Watch this short video clip from the master of no pattern & no sewing dresses.

No pattern, no sewing dresses. This is amazing!

This guy is brilliant!
I have done a no sew top before.

Picnik collage

But now I think I need to challenge myself to come up with my own “no sew dress”

This could be interesting!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A change is coming!

I am a Sagittarius.
If you are a Sagittarius or know one, then you know that we love change. One of the reasons for this is that we are very creative & can often have so many things going on that it all becomes a little too much.
If you have noticed lately, this blog has become a mixture of so many things.
I understand that the loyal followers (thank you) have come to know this as the place for all things sewing, cooking, laughing & living (hence the name!).
I am going to get back to that.
That is me, that is who I am.
But there is also another side to me.
A side that likes the sweet & simple things in life.
So, I am doubling my blog load & starting a second blog.
It will be a place for all things fashion, home decorating, inspiration for everyday living & all things sweet & simple.
It will be a place for all the things in life that make me smile & hopefully will make you too.
On the journey that my life is taking at the moment, I need a place to go where I am not just a Mummy, cook, cleaner, sewer, nurse, doctor, Wife, etc.
This new blog will be a place for all things to make life a little less stressful, a little more relaxing & a little more fun.
I am not saying that Sew, cook, laugh & live is not that. I just feel that I have so many ideas that it is too much for one blog. I know that there is some followers who do not sew or cook so maybe the new blog will be more for them. I will always be the crafty cooking lady from Sew, cook, laugh & live but I will also be that cool person behind the blog Living sweet and simple.
I hope to have the launch of the blog next week so if you want to go over to Living sweet and simple, join up to join in the fun!
I have also started a Facebook page for the new blog you can find it HERE

So now that I have let you all know about that, let me show you a sneak peek at the rain jacket that I have been making today!


It has been raining here so much lately that I want to make raincoats fashionable again!
I will share pics of it next week. I just have to wait for someone to take photo’s of me wearing it.

Do you have a craft, sewing or cooking blog & want to be a guest blogger?
I am looking for guest bloggers for
If you are interested, send an email to

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

pretty chic

pretty chic

I have an event coming up soon & I am wondering if this could be the inspiration for my outfit.
It is pretty yet funky.
I think I love it!
{no doubt I will change my mind 100 times before the event but hay…….I am a woman!}

Remember the lace top, here is a different one!

{front view}

{back view}

I have been wearing this top all day today & it is sooooo super comfy!
It is a Michael Miller stretch knit fabric that I purchased from Wrapped in Fabric. It drapes so well & did I mention that it is super comfy?
Because it does have a lot of stretch, I have teamed it with a white wide strapped singlet & it looks really funky off one shoulder.
Kiara has told me that she wants the exact same top because apparently it is “her style”.

Ok, so the blog has been going off! So many of you have been reading how to make your own

Picnik collage

So I thought that I would show you another variation of this top.
This super comfy top that I have been wearing all day was actually the pattern that I made the lace top from.
I have also made a few more of these tops & I will share them with you soon.

Fashion, what I love right now

aqua & white

I am loving pop colour right now & I love how “clean” these look with white.
This would be great for the change of season right now & you could even pop on a little cardigan or dark denim jacket for night time.

I am in love with Polyvore. I created this collection of things I am loving right now on Polyvore.
I will be doing this quite often & then pinning them to My style board on Pinterest.
Make sure to follow this board for more!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Lots of lace. My new no pattern required top! A tutorial

    Ok, so I finally have the pics to prove that I have been doing some sewing!
Here is my new “no pattern required” top.

Picnik collage


It really is so quick & easy to make a top like this. I didn’t even need to use the overlocker! I just used a zig zag stich to finish the edges as I think that sometimes, an ovelocked edge, can be too visible through lace.

This is the perfect top for the change of season that is happening right now.
Throw it on over a white singlet & wear with jeans for a casual look or team it with a black singlet & black pants for a more sophisticated look.
It would also look great worn with a skirt or shorts.
Ok, it looks good with everything!
I am going to make one in black, white & any other coloured lace I can get my hands on!
The lace that I used has a little stretch (but not too much) so it drapes with the body nicely.

If you have seen my


then you already know how to make this top.
Yep, it works on the same principal.
You need to take a loose fitting t-shirt that you already have & fold it in half. That is your pattern.

{this is another shirt that I made using the “no pattern required” method.}

Trace around the shirt. If you want it a little looser than add an extra inch all the way around.


This is the back of the top pattern. To make the front, I just made the neckline a little lower at the front fold.
Cut 1 back & cut one front on the fold.


Sew both sides together at the shoulders & sides.
Use a zig zag stich to finish the edges.
Fold all hems (arms, neckline & hem) 1cm and sew with a straight stitch. Remember, if you are using a stretch fabric, slightly stretch the fabric as you sew. This give it a little more flexibility when worn.


 I think this could be my new fave top!

Here are some more “no pattern tutorials”






Monday, 12 March 2012

Yummy lemon and sugar crepes

For desert tonight, we had yummy crepes.
I had lemon & sugar crepes.


Kiara had choc chips & chocolate topping in the middle of hers & Georgia drizzled on maple syrup.
I always have lemon & sugar. It’s a nice light flavour that satisfies a sweet craving.

So here is the recipe that I use


1 cup plain flour, sifted
a pinch of salt
2 eggs
310ml milk
15g butter, melted
White sugar and fresh lemon juice, to serve


  1. Place 1 cup  plain flour, sifted, and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre. Use a hand whisk to mix together 2 eggs, 310ml milk and 15g butter, melted.
  2. Pour the milk mixture into flour and whisk, gradually incorporating the flour until smooth and well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat an 18-20cm crepe pan or small frying pan over a medium heat. Lightly grease with butter. Pour 1/3 cup crepe batter into the pan and swirl to coat the base. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden and lacy. Turn over and cook for a further 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. Sprinkle each crepe with a little caster sugar, roll up into a log shape, pour 1 teaspoon of lemon juice along each crepe log & sprinkle with a little more sugar.

Down in the vegie patch, think outside the square

We did a lot of gardening over the weekend. We headed off to our local markets & filled the back of the Navara with a mountain of vegies, herbs, some golden can palms & the most beautiful hibiscus shrubs.
The whole lot cost $60!! I spend more than that at the local fruit & veg store!
We have been growing our own fruit & veg for years but I like to restock every 6 months to adapt to the changing seasons.
I knew that I had too much for our vegie patch so I got Mr to pull in at the local trash & treasure market.
This is where you have to think outside of the square when it comes to gardening.
I found the perfect planter for Georgia’s strawberry plants & lettuce.

A $7 wheel barrow!
I got Kiara to drill some holes in it for drainage, put some weed mat on the bottom & Mr P filled it with some good quality potting mix.



Georgia & I then planted the strawberries & lettuce.


It is perfect!
It keeps the plants off the ground & has great drainage. Both lettuce & strawberries required good drainage other wise they can rot. It is also portable.
This is a perfect vegie garden idea for a rental house or if just like me, your vegie patch is just not big enough anymore & your husband doesn’t want you digging up anymore lawn.

I find that if you grow your own vegies & herbs, your kids are more likely to try new foods. My girls can now notice the difference if we eat something that does not have herbs added for flavour & they say “It’s missing something, it’s not as nice.”

Do you have a vegie patch like we do?
What are your fave things to plant in it?
We use a lot of chives, thyme, spring onions, tomatoes, garlic chives, rosemary, lemongrass, oregano, basil, chilli, capsicum, beetroot & the most used is the curry plant.
We also have a lemonade tree, lime tree, mandarin tree, mulberry bush, raspberry bush & paw paw tree.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Super Saturday!

We were very lucky this weekend, Mr P made it home!
So off to the beach we go for some fishing & swimming.
Now, believe me when I say that no day is ever normal in my family.
Within 5 minutes of getting to the perfect fishing spot, Kiara went to cast out her rod.
Yep, hooked a big one………herself!
Oh the poor thing was in a world of pain. I will not share too much of the gory details but lets just say that there was definitely a hook in her arm.
The poor thing nearly feinted. I mean, seriously nearly feinted! She went as white as a ghost, started swaying & her body was icy cold.
Mr P to the rescue! Luckily she had only had a tetanus shot last year {yep, another accident} so back to fishing.
I caught a fish!!!


Yes, it was small & yes we threw it back in but it was definitely a fish!!
I have fished many times over the years & today was the first time that I caught a fish!
Mr P did catch one to but mine was bigger!


Miss Georgia was her normal diva self & refused to fish after 10 minutes because there was no way she was going to put a worm on her hook. So she spent the morning like a diva does…


walking around in her fabulous blue jumpsuit with a picnic wine glass in hand. It was vanilla coke in it, no alcohol allowed for kids.
{just wanted to clear that up}


This is what the view looked like from where I was standing, perfect.

I loved the fact that the girls got to spend time with their Daddy.


Then we dragged Mr P to the surf beach & he & Miss Georgia went for a swim.
We also did our usual walk along the beach to collect shells.



To finish the day, it was fish & chips at the park.


I love it when the girls get to spend time with Mr P. They love it to.
I find that when we all get out of the house & pack the car for a day at the beach, we all seem more calm.
It is something about the sea breeze, the salt water & the sand beneath my toes, it is where I feel most at home.
Some families like to spend money on family days out but we like to do things that are free & in Australia we are so lucky to have the beaches, countryside & mountains.
We are also very lucky where we are because we have all 3 of these things within 45 minutes drive from where we live.
Tomorrow we are off to the local markets for some plants for the vegie patch then Miss Georgia wants to go to the park to play soccer as she just made it into her schools interschool soccer team.
Whatever you are up to this weekend {or next} find some time to just relax.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Camera batteries flat? I think we all need a recharge, not just the batteries!

I have a great tutorial to share with you all!
A no pattern required top!
Thanks to Kiara, all the camera batteries in this house are now flat!
Why, do you ask?
Because someone thought it would be a great idea to take 50+ photo’s of herself curling her hair!


I am serious, she thought the world needed photo’s of her curling her hair!!
Now don’t stress, I got permission from her agent to use this photo.

I asked the girls to take a photo of me with my phone camera wearing the top that I want to share with you all.
Now, aside from the usual boob shots,
{yes, the girls seem to think my boobs are the most funniest things ever & always zoom in on them}
the no head shots, no feet shots, lets photograph everything else but Mum shots…
this was the best one that was taken.

Kiaras new Hair cut 020
completely out of focus!

Mr P will be home this weekend so I will convince him that he wants to take photo’s of my new top so I can share the tutorial next week!
I actually made 3 new tops & Kiara has put in orders for 2 of her own.
Yes, this top will suit women, teenagers & girls of all ages!!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

I know I am not alone, neither are you

I have to say a big

Thank you

I really feel like I am so lucky to have “met” such wonderful women through my blog.

I am still getting emails & messages in response to the blog post

I have tried to respond to you all, even replied to every comment left on the blog (I think I did them all).
It seems that I am not alone.
You are not alone.
Many of the messages have been about how that particular post struck a chord with a lot of you.
I received one particular email today, {she will remain nameless but she knows who she is}, that made me smile.
I have to tell you that I have not smiled since Georgia’s birthday on Sunday. Yep, that is a long time.
Thank you for my “fan mail”.
Sometimes I think that bloggers wonder if people are reading their blog. I know that the numbers of page views are there but you still wonder if what you are typing, means something to someone.
I now know that there is people reading my blog.
I also know that there is a lot of you who are struggling with being the best Mum you can be.
Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone & now I am telling you,


I really do believe that the hardest job is to be a Mum.
There is no harder job.
I admire those of you who work outside the home. You are real superheroes!
I think that I am going to have to change from being a stay at home Mum & join the army of working Mothers out there. I need to help Mr P get out of interstate truck driving which will mean a massive pay cut. I need to do this for my family, I need to do this for my kids.
Right now, I would do just about anything {there is certain things that I would just never do} but it is my hearing loss that will be the big issue.
I have not worked outside of the home for nearly 14 years. It really is a big & scary step but I know I can do it because there are so many fabulous Mothers who do it.
And hey, I am a Mum & we all know that Mum’s can do anything!


I feel as though my life is about to change in a very big way but I really hope it for for the better.

I know that I have to think “real” & I know that none of this is going to happen over night but I know it needs to happen.


Embellished Hoodie, Riley Blake Blog tutorial

I think I may have died & gone Hoodie Heaven!!


I found this fantastic Embellished Hoodie Tutorial over on the Riley Blake Designs Blog.
It is by the very talented Lindsay from The Cottage Mama
I think it is fantastic.
I want to make one fore all of us girls in the family.
This would be fantastic for a boy if you used some boyish fabric.

I love Riley Blake Designs & the blog would have to be one of my fave blogs for inspiration.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Some goodbyes are harder than others

Mr P {the interstate truck driver & my husband} was home for 4 nights. That is amazing! It was fantastic that he got to spend 4 nights at home with the girls. They needed it.
What makes it hard though is that the girls take out their sadness & anger on each other when he leaves. It is not as bad when he is only home for 1 night but when he is home for 4 nights in a row, they get a taste of “normal family life”. I also get a taste of normal life. I know how hard it is for me so I can imagine how hard it is for them.
It really sucks when they get home from school & ask “When will Daddy be home?”
In the trucking industry there is a saying between husbands & wives, “I will see you when I see you.”
That means that we have no idea when we will see each other next.
How can kids understand this…….they don’t.
I cry a lot after he leaves. I am sad that I go back to being alone. I am sad that I go back to being a single parent.
It is so hard. When the girls are so sad & angry, it is hard to be the happy Mum.
I see the pain, I see the hurt.
I feel the pain, I feel the hurt.
It is so hard to be trying to take control of my life when I keep getting put back on the Merry-go-round.
The house is so quiet & lonely without a “happy family”.
The whole mood changes when he leaves.
The girls constantly fight with each other. I feel as though I am fighting a losing battle some days.
I think this departure was even harder because we had Georgia’s birthday on the weekend. She had told Mr P last week that she could not remember the last time that he had been home for her birthday. I think it had been 5 years. She just turned 11 so that is almost half of her life that he was not home for her birthday. I am so glad that he got to spend this one with her. It meant more to her than any present could. Some people say, “Just celebrate her birthday on a day when he is home.”
I personally think that is not an option.
We all celebrate birthdays because it is the anniversary of the day you were born. You can not change your birthday. It is your birthdate. We put so much emphasis on birthdays & I think that it is cruel to tell a child that they can’t celebrate it on the day they are programed to remember since they are little kids.  I always celebrate my kids birthdays on their birthdate, even if Mr P is not home.
Truckies kids miss out on so many things as it is that moving their birthdays is just emphasising how different our family lives are.
Sure, we have a cake or save him a piece for when he gets back but we celebrate on the actual day. The girls know that they will get a special phone call from him in the morning.



These are the photo’s from last year.
I love that they get so excited but it also breaks my heart seeing their faces when they have to hang up the phone.
Mr P has put in for the weekend of Kiara’s birthday off which is the end of this month. I really hope that he will be home because it would just not be fair if he was home for Georgia's & not Kiara’s.

Some goodbyes are harder than others.

Fabric button rings, DIY fashion

I have some new additions to my rather large pile of handmade jewellery.
Some more rings!



I love these rings because you can make them out of all of your scrap pieces of material. You know, all those tiny little pieces that you just can’t bare to throw out.
I made one of these for Georgia to wear to her


Here are is a tutorial on how to
then you just hot glue them onto blank rings.

You can have rings to make all of your outfits!
They also make perfect gifts for the woman who has everything!

here are some more jewellery tutorials that I have done






March photo a day, week 1

I have been joining in with the
In the past, I have tried to play along but I am really forgetful.
This time, I have been doing really good!
You can follow along at the

day 1

Day 1. Up. I love to look up & see a pink sky. It makes me smile & I feel as though mother nature must be happy because pink makes me happy.

day 2

March photo a day. Day 2. Fruit. My fave fruit is icy cold watermelon. Perfect for a 33 degree day in QLD!

day 3

March photo a day. Day 3 Neighbourhood. This is where we spend most of our free time.

day 4

March photo a day. Day 4 Bedside. This is my bedside table. I need to have the alarm set for 6am every morning but 9 times out of ten, I will get up 30 minutes before the alarm goes off. I have a scented candle that smells too beautiful to light that I picked up from a little country gift store when I went to visit my Mum. I have a tea cup & saucer that I put all of my bobby pins, flower hair clips & hairbands into. A have a book that I have been trying to get finished but every time I read a page, I fall asleep

day 5

March photo a day. Day 5 smile. This is what makes me smile the most. Being at the beach with my family ♥ Yesterday we collected shells, Georgia rode her new dragster bike & we took Molly dog for a swim.


March photo a day. Day 6. 5pm At 5pm today I was waiting at the high school to pick Kiara up from school musical rehearsals. She was late as usual.


March photo a day. Day 7. Something you wore. Today is a blue jeans kind of day! Even better when you haven't worn the jeans since the end of winter & they are no longer tight around the belly & there is now room to move! Blue jeans baby ♥