Our DIY vegetable garden

I guess most gardens are probably classified as DIY, aren’t they?!

Well, I decided to build a small 1.2m sq in May of last year, to plant vegetables and fruits in time for the current summer.

Getting my handy-girl on. Manny and Bob would be proud

After a few false starts (buying treated wood at first, then correcting the choice with hard wood pails) I built the structure all by myself (proud! ps, corded electric drills work WAY better than cordless ones whose battery never charges properly) and using the giant fat Kitchen Garden Companion by Stephanie Alexander, I prepared the soil and got the bed ready.

Next birthday present please somebody

Annnnnnd 7 months later HOLY WOW! We have been rewarded with humungous zucchinis and the juiciest, best tasting tomatos ever.

A small selection of our tomatoes, at last count we had about one billion

People keep asking me what I’m doing to yield such good results, and the answer is “nothing”! So far, we’ve been lucky to avoid any caterpillars or birds or snails trying to eat anything, and all I do is give it a good water every few days if it hasn’t rained. Lucky or what?!

Thank you garden!Yummm #nofilterFirst crop!

I planned spaghetti for dinner tonight, and forgot to check if we had any zucchinis before I went to the shops, so I got one just in case. I came home, and picked these two beauties right off the vine. Makes the shop bought zucchini look pathetic really!

Store bought at the bottom, home grown at the top. I think we can officially say the vege garden is a success.

This is my crop of tomatos from today:
And tomatoes aplenty

I also made a quick bruschetta for an entree from the mini romas, on top of some store bought garlic bread, and oh. my. It was super delicious.

Best bruschetta ever

I’m definitely going to make a bigger garden for next summer!

My Vegetable Garden – Part 1

Today I *finally* got the structure started for our Vege Garden! I feel a big sense of achievement here, because the area has been sitting there getting more jungley by the day, for about 2 years now… And today I managed to weed it, move a wood sleeper to create the fourth wall base, put 3 star pickets on the correct place, and placed the wooden garden edging stuff around to create the walls.

I now need some more metal stakes to secure the walls in place, some hessian for the sides, and then, over the next few months, I will be building the perfect garden bed for planting things such as tomatos, zucchinis and beans =)

I’ll be following the sage advice of Stephanie Alexander:

So good to make a start!

Do you have a vege garden at home??

{Link Love} Birthdays

February is Birthday Bonanza month over at Creative Collective, and this week the girls are asking:

Do you have any family traditions? Do you have a favorite birthday that stands out in your mind? Do you have any birthday horror stories? Are you planning any big birthdays this year?

I like to stretch my own birthday celebrations out as long as possible, over a weekend or even a week if I can manage it!

I started writing this yesterday but it has turned into a massive trip down memory lane with photos from many birthday’s past, so be prepared for an image heavy post! (the best kind, no?)

Last year we had a lovely BBQ at the Lake Ginn Doggie Park with great friends and family (and 3 week old Raf!). This is the awesome Ice Cream/Gelato cake my muma got for me:

In 2010 I managed to coordinate 3 birthday do’s, including dinner where this photo was taken by bestie Clo – ♥ it!

I’m also partial to party planning and decorating (the impending kids parties over the next several years are my idea of HEAVEN). In 2009 I had a Halloween themed birthday party, which was awesome. I loved making my cake!

We also went out to dinner, and to the coast. Lucky girl!

In 2006 for my 21st Birthday I planned, put together and decorated my Alice in Wonderland themed party, it was fantastic. This was the amazing cake my Godparents made for me:

And my gorgeous God Mother helped to make my costume, bit of a mix between Alice and a Bavarian Bier Wench, but you get the idea =P

How cute are my Nandy and Pa? Pa passed away in 2008, but I’m going to Nandy’s 92nd Birthday lunch today!

Mostly everyone went all out with their costumes, I loved it! This is bestie Clo with her bro Luke and mum Sophie. Awesome =)

Mum and dad as the King and Queen of Hearts:

And the amazing in-laws =)

I also had a thing for making Pinata’s, you can see the Pink Flamingo from my 21st Birthday here:

We made a purple Hippo for Katie’s 18th:

I’m pretty sure we also made one for JA’s 18th and my own 18th, but that was back when we took photos on film! Will have to go hunt some piccies down…

And my very first attempt at making a character cake (with Katie’s help), JA’s 21st Bender cake:

I found some photos from 2003! Here you would think it was my 12th Birthday, right? Nope, 19th. Crazy young:

This is the cake JA made me for the celebration at the In-Laws, it says “to girl”, so cute:

For the celebration with friends I had a Hawaiian/Beach themed party, I remember it being really cold though, boo.

Also, as if this is a surpirise, I already know what I want to do for my 30th Birthday. 3 years away. Yup!

I can’t wait to make a big fuss over Raf’s birthday too from now on =D

Crafternoon Tea Party

Last weekend I invited some of my favourite people over to have an afternoon of playing ladies and a bit of crafting. I made scones and brownies, and put out Tim-Tams and Shortbread Creams, and had about 10 different varieties of Tea to choose from. We sat and chatted and played with the babies (Beck brought Lara), then I taught them how to make resin bangles and rings, which everyone loved and then got to take home their new jewellery. It was a really great afternoon!
Mikaela Crafternoon Tea Party
Mikaela Crafternoon Tea Party
Mikaela Crafternoon Tea Party
Mikaela Crafternoon Tea Party
Mikaela Crafternoon Tea Party
Mikaela Crafternoon Tea Party
Mikaela Crafternoon Tea Party
Mikaela Crafternoon Tea Party

Next time I think we will make some memory shadow boxes =)

My First Christmas Ginger(Vanilla)bread House

Mikaela gingerbread house snowman

Last week I went to a new friend’s house (Rachel – Orange Whisk) with some other lovely handmade friends (Stacey – Cheeky Textiles & Jenny – Posie Patchwork) for a Gingerbread house decorating party! I’ve never done a gingerbread house before, because I really dislike Gingerbread. Luckily for me though, Rachel was kind enough to make me a house template made from Vanilla Cookie dough instead =D
Mikaela gingerbread house tinsel

I had SO much fun!
Mikaela gingerbread house roof

It was surprisingly a lot easier than I thought it would be to do the decorating (never mind it took me 4 hours, because I had little Rafa with me and ended up having to sway with him in a sling while trying to pipe the straight lines on the roof).
Mikaela gingerbread house snow

I love all the little spinkles you can get these days to decorate with! We had little sugar snow flakes, and tiny peppermint candy canes!
Mikaela gingerbread house wreath

I’m pretty pleased with my creation, you can see my tiny wreath above (another reason it took me 4 hours perhaps? Maybe a bit too much of a perfectionist. Though it’s definitely not perfect, will have to do much better next year!).

It’s a small house, to get a sense of scale here’s a photo next to a mug (hence the difficulty of the wreath):
Mikaela gingerbread house scale

And of course, what DIY project by Mikaela would be complete without something messing up! One of my walls fell in when I put the roof on. I didn’t line things up properly and even though the “cement” for the wall had set, the roof knocked it in. Rookie mistake.
Mikaela gingerbread house dud-wall

And OF COURSE, after taking all these photos, I left the room for 30 seconds and Girds took a nice big bite out of the whole thing. Lucky it was on the dodgy side =P
Mikaela gingerbread house bad dog

Do you make Gingerbread Houses for Christmas? Did you make one this year? I’d love to see some other creations!
Mikaela gingerbread house

{DIY} Baby Shower Jungle Cake

For Katie’s baby shower back in September I decorated a cake to match her Jungle Animals theme, it was lots of fun and I LOVE how it turned out!

I’ve come to realise I’m definitely more of a decorator than a baker, so I bought a chocolate mud cake from The Cheesecake Shop and decorated that. I bought the icing sugar animals along with the ladybugs and butterflies, and made the vines and leaves myself from fondant icing mix and regular food colouring. Next time I’ll try making everything myself from the fondant mix =)

{How to} post coming soon!

Mikaela baby shower cake jungle animals

My life in Instagram #2

4 weeks and 1 day left of work. I have so many projects I want to do once I’m off! Hope my ever-growing belly can handle them…

Urban Combi Pram
Our Pram! The Urban Combi Walker Prestige (wanky name or what?)
Making Burgers with JA's dad
Making a cake!
Making a cake!
Naughty dog Girds got to sample it before we did
Naughty dog Girds got to sample it before we did
Making my baby shower invitations =D
Making my baby shower invitations =D
Sewing a ribbon edge onto a little minky blanket
Sewing a ribbon edge onto a little minky blanket
Mutant Capsicum!
Mutant Capsicum!
Bella - 10pm crazy face
Bella - 10pm crazy face

Baby Shower invites post coming soon! Hopefully before I finish work in 4 weeks. And one day.

My week in Instagram Photos #1

Until I get back into the swing of blogging regularly (can’t WAIT until my Mat leave starts!), I’m going to be doing a few of these “my day/weekend/week in Instagram photos” posts.

But who doesn’t love the uber trendy Instagram trend anyway? (if you want to follow me I’m mikaela_d)

So it looks like I’ve been a busy bee! But technically this is more than a weeks worth of happenings, I’m not *that* sociable =P

Monday Morning sleep in… not starting work until 11am on a Monday rocks.

Didn’t particularly want to get out of bed this morning

3 Orders I sent out last week from the mikaela range!

Pretty packages going out today

Bella loves Daddy

I’ve got the heart down-pat, need to work on my other characters now.

Morning Coffee for Hubs

Bella likes to help me by sitting on my bag of products…

It’s Bella’s birthday and she’ll sit where she wants to

Marking deadline was Thursday 9am last week

Last pile of marking to do, woop

Thursday evening I had dinner with my besties Caz and Clo, Ash (Caz’s bubba), and our mums.

Feasting with Friends

Fur Kid on the couch

Saturday mum and I went shopping for 6 (!) hours in Belconnen, just wandering around looking at baby stuff. There was a massive sale on in Myer, I edited a photo and was going to post about it, but I obviously forgot.

Afternoon Tea with Muma

Saturday night we went to Matt and Summer’s for dinner with Hana, it was so great to catch up with good friends.

Dessert by Summer

Sunday night we finally celebrated Katie’s birthday at the In-Law’s, this blueberry cheesecake was dessert.

Katie's birthday dessert

Another order for mikaela, wrapped up all pretty =)

Necklace being delivered tomorrow =)

And that’s it! This weekend I’m going up to Brisbane for a girls weekend which will be fantastic, I hope the flight goes ok as I’ve been feeling pretty squashed on the insides lately (have you seen my most recent photos?).

If I don’t pop in beforehand, happy weekend people!