Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Christmas Edition: Table Setting

My Favourite holiday is only a month away, I am already thinking about this year's preparations, you see the whitecottage gets christmasfied for a whole six weeks.

Today I wanted to discuss the Christmas day table, it is very important that the table looks festive and inviting.

I keep Christmas celebrations similar each year because we want traditions to stick into our munchkins minds like with any tradition. I cook Christmas foods, serve Christmas drinks, we do Christmas activities for a whole 6 weeks.

Each year I choose a colour theme which I follow throughout the whitecottage, this includes the gifts, the decorations around the whitecottage and the details on our lunch table.

We live in Queensland which at Christmas time is super hot, we usually pop the white marquee in the garden and set up our table and vintage chairs and let the decorations start.

The staples on our Christmas lunch table are special crockery, crystal and vintage cutlery that only comes out on special occasions

Followed by fresh flowers or herbs from around the garden and the bits and pieces we buy to decorate.

 I always keep ribbon in the house.
*a simple bow tie just makes the chairs that much more special
 These oversizes lanterns are just perfect for an outdoor lunch they are easy to assemble, inexpensive you can find them at just about any bargain store.
*The trick is to buy them in three different sizes and hang them at different levels.
  The table should always have some flowers or greenery, this time of the year our rose garden is thriving so choices are aplenty.
 To make maximum impact and give the perception that there are lots of flowers and greenery as table centre pieces place individual flowers in a small vase, I found this vintage one at the antique centre but old pickle or jam jars will do, tie the same ribbon as the chairs to keep it uniform.
 place it at the top of each plate
Water glass, red & white wine glasses all place in a group.
If you don't have any crystal it's ok I also use different size pickle or jam jars for drinking glasses they look fabulous.  
Christmas Bon Bon
Make your own
 I love placing little gifts inside each Bon Bon that the guests will actually use later, for example for these Bon Bons I placed small hand creams and nail polish for the ladies and some gorgeous paper clips and a harmonica for the gentlemen. 
It wouldn't be a Bon Bon without a joke and a Christmas hat, everyones faces brighten up when they open their cracker and they serve two purpose it's a napkin and a Bon Bon
 a square linen napkin
 2 pieces of ribbon to tie each size
a piece of cardboard
a pen to write the joke on the cardboard
sticky tape
small gifts,
Christmas hat 
How To
Tie the cardboard into a cylinder
place on top of the linen napkin
insert the gifts
roll the napkin and tie a ribbon on each side
this will make it like a bon bon
if you don't have a cotton or linen napkin a good quality/thicker napkin will be just fine
for the Christmas hats I buy some cheap crackers and remove the hats.
For the jokes you can ask the little ones to help you or just google Christmas jokes
and VOILA!!!! here you have it
A beautiful Christmas Table

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A fab day....

This morning I met two lovely ladies for a coffee and a wander around the stores in James St, it was a fab morning full of chatter as we looked through the beautiful things at the stores.

Once I finished I had planned to meet with Farmer Joe for lunch I said to him whether we should have Yum Cha or go and find somewhere to sit and have a light meal, he told me to meet him in town and he would think of a place, little did I know he had a surprise for me and he took me to Jamie Oliver's new restaurant, Jamie's Italian, I was squealing like a school girl with excitement it only opened yesterday and it did not disappoint we had the most delicious food, the restaurant is just so gorgeous and the waiter was so bubbly and friendly the whole experience was superb.

why don't you check it our for yourself.

have you been somewhere exciting lately?

Farmer Joe and I couldn't decide which plank to choose from so we chose all three so decadent I want to go back again... soon... tomorrow

not our food but gosh I wish it was ours

How gorgeous are these tomato tins

The drink selection looked amazing unfortunately being a school day we drunk the
non- alcoholic drinks
No...thank you Jamie for a fantastic experience until next time
(next week....?)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

at home with my little munchkins

Yesterday the boys woke up under the weather so we decided to keep them home for the day, we are experiencing a heatwave in Brisbane so we needed to stay indoors, I kept thinking how am I going to keep them entertained all day long inside.

I was pleasantly surprised how easy and fun it was.

This is what we did today.

How do you keep your little ones entertained on days like yesterday's

We played tea party in baby munchkin bedroom

Even Ninja turtles like tea parties
 We played Hide and seek this was the most fun game I hid too well I think I kept hearing "Mum MUM MUM MUM where
 I was behind this door for a very long time giggling as I heard the foot steps and the calling out.
 all that running around makes one hungry. Lunch time
Cheerios, baked potatoes, cheese, cucumber and watermelon
 My middle munchkin made me a Rainbow outside the laundry door he told me that if I need to smile when doing the laundry just to look outside

before nap time we enjoyed a ice block 
And this is how we spent this hot day. love to hear about your day Cheers Karla

Monday, 17 November 2014

Let the Chirstmas Celebrations begin

Late last year I joined instagram, I didn't know much about instagram but I thought it would be a good way for me to post some of my daily life pics and maybe get some inspiration from other people, little did I know that I would yes get loads of inspirations from other people pics but that I would meet some of the people behind the pics, my world was broadened. I have met so many lovely people and I guess it's because we have similar interests whether it is in the garden, baking or home d├ęcor.

A few weeks ago I invited Sarah from Square Fox Design and Rhi from Cordellia_Harriet_and_me to the Whitecottage, we decided that it would be a fabulous idea to have an Instagram pre Christmas drinks night.

We met yesterday at Sixes and Sevens it was such a hot G20 afternoon, we were surrounded by young beautiful people with perfect hair and long legs, at the start they were looking at us strangely as to say who are these birdies on our turf, the waiter came and asked me whether it was my birthday as the booking was under my name, I reluctantly explained that I was meeting 35 of my friends except that I didn't know what they look like as they were my instafriends, he looked at me strangely and laughed.

I think the DJ had not seen women past the age of 24 in his bar as he was playing a remix of Gloria Estefan and 80's music, I don't know whether it was a coincidence or they were making us feel at home. 

The intellectual conversation was flowing (just read Kirsten and Co)the drinks were flowing I had such great fun I finally placed a name to those amazing pics.

If yesterday's pre Christmas drinks is an indication of the Christmas holidays coming ahead I think I will have a jolly good time.

how fav are these lights

 My new obsession I am asking Santa for one of these pom pom clutches from sfh_designs
Mojitos how I have missed you

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Steak Salad

Our salad garden is thriving at the moment and we are enjoying the most delicious salad.

I made this salad yesterday with some fresh pickings and some left over steak and it did not disappoint.

I am making it again today for everyone at the Whitecottage as we are going on a picnic.

what you need:

200g salad leaves
200g rump steak
1 Pear thinly sliced
1 red onion thinly sliced
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes
1 red onion thinly sliced
1 large Lebanese cucumber thinly sliced
a handful of parsley or coriander chopped
olive oil
salt & pepper


1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs honey
1 lime
1 tsp Sesame seeds lightly toasted

How to:

1. Coat the steak with plenty of salt & pepper rub some olive oil then grill steak for 3 minutes each side then set aside and rest

2. On a flat large plate place the salad leaves and garnish the salad with the cherry tomatoes, onion, pear, cucumber and parsley

3. Cut the rump steak in very thin slices and place on top of salad

4. Mix lemon, Soy sauce and honey together until a thick consistency then pour on top of the salad.

5. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and VIOLA!!!!


Cheers, Karla

Saturday, 1 November 2014

World Teacher's Day

Yesterday was world teacher’s day, as everyone knows I love teachers, my father was a teacher, I just have great respect and love for teachers, I am a believer that a good teacher makes the difference in a child’s education.
Anyhow our eldest munchkin’s grade was in charge of hosting a morning tea to thank all the teachers and school staff for the amazing work they do throughout the year.
I jumped at the opportunity to decorate and style the teacher’s tea room, I loaded up the car with the munchkins and all my high tea stuff, once we were there we had a couple of mums helping out with setting the table and individual gift hampers, the whole grade was really generous there was so much delicious home cooking. 

The morning tea was just a small gesture to say thank you for all the fabulous work they do! We feel so lucky to have so many wonderful teachers.
 30 individuals cookies boxes made by The Cupcake Lady

 Munchkin's gifts for his teachers
Morning tea at the Teacher's tea room 

Hampers for the Teachers