Easter Baskets

Last year I failed as the Easter bunny in our house. We were actually away at a wedding and the girls were staying with their Nana. I did buy Easter rabbits, but due to miscommunication I think, they never got given to the children.
So I felt bad all year! And then reading through my friend Jessica’s blog I came across her idea for Easter boxes (http://www.glitteranddaisies.com/easter). So I totally stole it. (I’m also not super keen on the idea of large amounts of chocolate in one sitting, not that many of you will believe that, so wanted something else to fill their Easter).

I did this on the Thursday before Easter. And we were going away (yep again) on Good Friday, so I completely left it until the last minute. I visited a discount store in our town on the search for cute baskets, and something to fill them with.
I couldn’t find any cute woven baskets, but came across some pink plastic lattice type bowls. A feather boa added some feathery fluffiness. I lined them with tissue paper and filled them with various things I found on my shopping trip, that are some of my girls’ favourite things: stickers, bubble mix, stamps, hair clips, bangles and bunny ears. To top it off I added some Easter eggs and little Lindt Easter animals, which are so cute!

After we got back from our event, we picked up the girls from their Nana’s and brought them home to find the baskets on the bench. Their reactions were gorgeous, and priceless. And it was worth every cent (which wasn’t actually much), and more importantly more than worth the small amount of effort required.



It’s been a while…

Woah! It’s been almost two years since I posted on this blog! Where’d that time go? Can I have some of it back please?

Things have changed in two years. Many things. Now, I’m a mum of three (all girls!), my twins are no longer toddlers but knocking on the door of the school years, I’ve started milking cows (on the rarest of occasions), I started a business (as an Independent Consultant for Jamberry Nails, you can check out my stuff at lyndatomalin.jamberry.com, if you’re interested).
There are things that haven’t changed too, my husband’s just the same (a good thing! Mostly), I still love to bake, I still love to sew and I’m still trying my hardest to stay sane!

I’ve made a new friend recently, through our children who go to daycare together. Just yesterday I noticed her Facebook occupation was blogger, so I went and checked it out. I loved it so much! Which got me thinking, about how much I loved to write, and do all the things this blog is about and how much I’ve wanted to keep writing on here, even though I hadn’t done anything to write about. Which brings in a fairly passing comment another new friend made to me a few weeks ago, which was if you can write well, then people will be interested in hearing what you’ve got to say, even if it’s just about your general day-to-day life. (That was totally paraphrased and not nearly as succinctly put as she said it, but you get the idea!)
And so here I am, sitting on my couch while my now 16month old baby (who wasn’t even born last time I posted) cruises around, tipping her water on me instead of drinking it, and typing.
I can’t promise I’ll keep just to my past topics of crafts and baking. I feel like some days there are just other things I want to say, so I might just say them here. When in the midst of the daily grind I don’t see my life as inspiring, exciting or even a little bit interesting, but now as Isabelle snuggles down next to me, I realise that my ordinary life, is actually extraordinary and I bet no other person has one quite like mine.

The Liebster Award

Hi Everyone 🙂

A while ago I got a message saying I’d been nominated for the Liebster Award. Unfortunately I couldn’t find much about what this actually meant, so didn’t do anything.

Then the other day I received another nomination, this time with full instructions on what to do! So I thought I’d better do it this time!

The award is something bloggers award to other bloggers and encourages people to find new blogs (at least I think that’s what it’s about).

I was nominated by Bre, over at Average But Inspired. Luckily she wrote a very in-depth post about the award and what nominess are supposed to do, so I’m very carefully following her guidelines.

There are six steps:
1. Acknowledge
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself
3. Answer 11 questions given to you by the nominator
4. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers
5. Come up with 11 questions for my nominees
6. Notify my nominees that they’ve been nominated (and I can’t nominated the person who nominated me)

So sounds easy-ish. I think the hard part will be finding blogs with less than 200 followers. I’m not sure I even know how to tell how many followers a blog has… Will work on that!

Anyway, I’ll start with step 1:
Thank you so much to Bre at Average But Inspired. I’ve been browsing your blog and I love that you do tutorials for everything! It also reminded me I need to sort out my photos and things to have my blog name on them etc. When I have more time and no crying babies yowling at me I’ll definitely be having a more in-depth look!

Step 2:
11 Random Facts About Myself (this is also going to be hard…)
1 – I studied Journalism at Tec, and used the qualification for exactly as long as it took me to get (one year)
2 – I grew up around the beach and boats and my whole family can scuba dive (including husband) but the thought of breathing underwater totally freaks me out!
3 – The first time I got on a plane I was moving to Australia where we lived for 8 months
4 – I don’t care about New Year’s Eve. I stay up til midnight, but it’s more of a countdown until I can go to bed.
5 – The thing that annoys me most about being a twin mother is people constantly asking me if I have a boy and a girl, even if they are in really girly outfits. Just because I dress them in different clothes doesn’t automatically make them different genders!
6 – My biggest food weakness is ice cream…. (oops, just spilt some on the computer… Haha, kidding 🙂 )
7 – I adore any Nicholas Sparks or Marian Keyes book
8 – I have a strange and varied taste in music, it includes everything from tween pop music to stuff my dad listens to, and much in between
9 – I rode horses competitively for 10 years until I was 17.
10 – I don’t drink tea or coffee. I just can’t! Though I’ve recently discovered iced coffee is pretty good…
11 – I love the idea of forensic science (I’m far too weak stomached and easily freaked to actual ever consider DOING it), but I love watching documentaries about murder and evidence… Just not made up programmes/movies about things like that!

Whew, that was hard! Hope you learnt something you didn’t know about me. I’m sure you did!

Right, onto the questions I was given:

1.  How did you come up with your blog’s name? I asked my cousin’s wife for advice (she had previously offered when she heard I was thinking of writing a blog). I wanted to combine both the sewing and baking aspects and when she suggested Sweet Embellishments I knew we had a winner (thanks so much to Brooke for that by the way 🙂 )

2.  What’s your favorite blog post that you’ve written (share a link, too)? I think it was my first ever post about WHY I’m writing the blog. Here’s the link.

3.  If you could eat one “unhealthy” food without suffering any negative consequences, what would it be? Icecream!!! yum, yum, yum

4.  What’s your favorite color? Pink

5.  Will you be shopping on Black Friday, and if so, are you looking for anything in particular? We don’t really have Black Friday here. But I wouldn’t be. I can’t stand crowds and stuff (especially with the double pushchair!)

6.  What’s your favorite childhood memory? Hmmm, I don’t know. I suppose a very vivid memory is of the time my family were snorkelling and a MASSIVE stingray swam right under me. It was seriously huge and I felt my fins touching it. I freaked out. My dad was just annoyed I’d scared it away before he got to see it! Still makes me laugh.

7.  Do you have a vacation planned anytime soon, and if so, where to? I do, awesomely enough! I’m going to Port Douglas, Australia with my husband. No kids! Then there will be a holiday to visit my parents around Christmas

8.  What’s your favorite way to be creative? Probably writing.

9.  Should thank you notes be sent via snail mail, or is email okay? It depends on the event and situation. For anything formal or fancy it should be snail mail (or hard copy handed over in person). If it was a casual affair, maybe email, but usually not (did I make any sense just then??)

10.  Target or Wal-Mart? Again, don’t have this in little ol’ New Zealand.

11. Do you promote your blog, and if so, how? I link it to my Facebook page and harass all my poor friends on there!

Now that part was easy!!

Nominating some people may not be (because as yet I still haven’t worked out how to tell how many followers a blog has! I also never seem to find the time to find other blogs to read, mine keeps me busy enough, but I’ll do my best)
I have a problem, I can’t find any blogs with less than 200 followers, they all have like thousands! I read one blog and its a friend of mine. If someone tells me how I find these sneaky new blogs full of wonderful ideas, I will get a list and do the next bit of this award thingi. I’d really like to, I’d hate to mess it all up 😦
So please, how do I find new blogs? I pretty much just cruise Pintrest and find stuff, but like I said, all the ones I find have thousands of followers.

I will post this now and then revist the second half after some more research. Sorry for dropping the ball 😦

Why and How? Why do I sew and bake, and How do I stay sane with toddler twins!

Why hello there, Welcome to Sweet Embellishments!

I’m Lynda, nice to meet you.

A few years ago I got married (fantastic man, by the way), then not too long after we were expecting a baby. I was so excited! Then we found out we were expecting TWO babies. I was even more excited.

My daughters were born and after I got the hang of caring for them, I descended into 8 to 10 months of foggy depression. Maybe it wasn’t that long, I can’t really remember between the sleep deprivation and all that. Anyway, as I’ve experienced depression previously I knew a few tricks to help myself deal with it. So I tried to keep busy.

Then in a twist of fate (not really, I’d been longing for it for AGES) I purchased ‘Saved by Cake’ by Marian Keyes. Marian herself suffered depression, but as a way through she taught herself to bake – cheesecakes, cupcakes, macaroons, cakes made from cola and the world’s most decadent brownies. The beautiful photos and writing inspired me. If she could get through it so could I. So I proceeded to purchase a palette knife and some gel food colouring and set about attempting to make macaroons (I was a fairly proficient baker previously – it wasn’t a total leap into the unknown).

Unfortunately for me my oven has temperature issues and macaroons failed. But the cake I also made didn’t. From there I made masses of cupcakes, cakes, biscuits, anything delicious sounding (a lot of that brownie too). I was baking several times a week, and it became one of the major tools I used to beat the depression (along with a lot of exercise, going back to work one day a week and a small treatment of antidepressants – It wasn’t all the power of baking).

The more I baked, the more I decorated and around Christmas-time I realised Cake Decorating was something I was desperate to try. So I made a couple of Christmas cakes, covered them poorly with fondant and gave them to my father-in-law and my family for Christmas. In return, Mum gave me a beginners kit with some basic decorating tools. A few months on I was asked to make a cake for a child’s birthday party, complete with payment. I was so proud.

As part of my battle with depression, I decided I had to finish some of the many projects I had started over the years and never finished. Including a gorgeous pink and purple quilt. I’d started it five years previously. With some advice from Mum I split the original design in two so could create a quilt for each of my daughters (never planned on twins when I started the design!). My goal was to finish them by Christmas so I could give the girls and amazing first Christmas present. A week before the big day, I finished!

From there I’ve built a steady stream of sewing projects, which I’m not only inspired to start, but to finish. There’s been dresses for the twin’s first birthday, dust ruffles to go under their cots and soft toys for their new cousin, who hasn’t quite made it into the world yet.

Between the sewing and the baking, I’ve become a happier person. I’ve become a better mother. I’ve become inspired and motivated. And this blog, about my baking and sewing gives me the perfect outlet for one more passion of mine: Writing. I love to write and though I would love to write a book, at the moment it just isn’t possible, so I’ll settle for a blog, and sharing my creations and experiences with you.

I hope you enjoy it.