Thursday, 20 December 2012

The season of giving (and reflection)

Tomorrow my girl is going to family daycare for the last time, before the Christmas break. She's got the most wonderful carer, the kind of a person who does so much more than she's asked for, because for her it's a work of heart, not a chore. I appreciate her so very much and always try to remember to let her know that, by giving her a little gift.
I baked her one of my favourite cakes today, a simple but SO yummy banana cake. It's impossible to fail on this one, and I swear it smells like fresh bananas.

Banana cake

125g (4.4 oz) sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
2 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/4 cup milk

Melt butter, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan, remove from heat. Add mashed bananas and egg. Stir in flour and milk. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin, bake in 170C (338F) for 40 minutes.

*Please note, that all measuring is given in Australian standards.
1 cup = 250ml
1 tsp = 5ml
1 tbsp = 20ml
Make sure you adjust your measures, if you use British or American standards. Thanks!

It's one of these quick and great last-minute gifts, handy when there's not much time to spare. From baking to cooling and wrapping, it took me about two and a half hours.

For the wrapping, I used some tissue paper, thin kraft cardstock (cut from a Bazzill 12x12" sheet), a length of burlap, baker's twine and a ready-made Cosmo Cricket tag, on which I stamped the sentiment from a PTI set (Big & Bold Wishes).

Now, I've got a question for you, my dear readers. Again it's the time that I've been re-evaluating the importance of my blog, trying to focus on things that suit me and make me most happy. My life is changing; not only I'm pregnant with our second girl (due on the 30th of April), my days are fuller now with my parents around and I guess my priorities shifted somewhat as well. I think I'm nesting... *wink*

You probably noticed how I've been dropping one commitment after another, TCM being the last Team I said farewell to a week or two ago. I'm leaving only a couple of lightweight responsibilities, on top of my dear CASE Study. Being in the centre of things was fun and satisfying, but I can't go on like this. More importantly, I want to try and focus more on stuff I neglected in the past due to lack of time, craft-wise as well. Do more purely for my enjoyment, and for the ones I care about.

I also feel the need of making my blog more personal and slow-paced. More tasteful and less hurried. Give more of myself, not just of my card-making side, because there's so much to my life than this.
So, the question is, would you be willing to take on this slightly new journey with me? Where apart from the staple of my blog - cards, there would be more of other paper-crafting related posts, loose thoughts, photography, baking, etc.? More of myself?

Frankly, I'm not sure yet how exactly things will turn out, but I know that if I don't give this creative outlet some new definition, I'll burn out and it would be no fun at all.
Who's with me? :)


  1. Hello and congrats! I'm happy for you being pregnant with your second child! I wish you all the best in your pregnancy and can't wait to hear more about it! As for your new journey, I think it's a great idea and I wish you good luck with it! Enjoying every day and every moment is very important. And more than that: do what you feel like doing! Oh, and happy holidays! May the new year bring lots of joy and happiness in your life!

  2. I'm with ya on the new journey! Yay for some baking, I love trying out new recipes. The banana bread looks yummy! I totally agree with Alina, do what you feel like doing! Have a brilliant Christmas!! : )

  3. Let's go :) Love knowing more of the person behind the cards - gives life to the cards in a different way :) Make the adjustments you need to for YOU and keep the priorities straight - a hard thing to do a t times so good on you for re-evaluating and adjusting accordingly :) Look forward to your new venture.

  4. I'm with ya! The only reason any of us have our blogs is because we all have a love of paper crafting and generally making stuff :) you have to do whatever makes you happy and I am sure that us as readers will all enjoy your new creative direction. Plus, I'm not very good at baking so tips would be good! Ha ha!

    I am very jealous of you expecting another little one and spending some wonderful time with your parents :) I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and wish you and your family all the best for the new year :)

  5. It's your blog, created by you to fulfill your needs, if we choose to follow you, it's because we love what we see, you are showing us your amazing talent and little snippets of who you are. While I don't drop in to leave a comment too often, I do see each and every one of your new posts.

    Each of us grows and changes as we move through our lives, in particular our priorities move and change as well.

    Do what you need to do for you, and the rest of us will follow your changes with interest or not. It really doesn't matter as long as YOU are happy. After all, isn't that what we all want for our friends for them to be happy? Even blog ones!

    Kasey ~ in Oz

  6. Congratulations Chupa on your pregnancy, how exciting! I think one of the things that draws me to others blogs is when they share personal stuff, I do it a little on my blog as well. I'd still be following you :-)

  7. Well,first of all, congratulations on your 2nd child! Secondly, whatever you decided with your blog will be wonderful. You are an amazing, creative stamper. Personally, I would love to see photos. Gives you an excuse to take photos of your 2nd child :) I know from experience, there are never as many pictures of the 2nd baby like there are of the first!

    Merry Christmas~

  8. Even if you slow down, you'll still be miles (or kilometers) ahead of me with how many crafty goodies you crank out. Do what you're inspired to do and stop worrying, that's my advice. Can I have a piece of cake???

  9. Congratulations Chupa on your pregnancy! I say go for it - it is YOUR blog to do whatever you feel like doing with it. I love recipes and look forward to photos of the new bub! Just do whatever makes you happy and inspires you at the time - no pressure!
    Happy Christmas and a great 2013 to you!

  10. Okay first...beautiful packaging and I LOVE banana bread but have yet to try banana cake...must make!!
    I'm there with you. LOVE all your cards and getting to know you outside of crafts sounds alright to me (I mean we're already fb friends but hay).

  11. I'm fine with that. I'm looking at adding a bit more personal stuff to my blog too. It was just card making with occasional other paper crafting home dec, jewelry and gifts with maybe three personal posts a year. But I just found out my 5 yo has a form of autism so I may be sharing some of that as an outlet. Best wishes for your pregnancy.

  12. Whoo...hoo...congrats on another baby girl!! I have two myself....well, they're not babies anymore! Banana bread looks fabaloud (my girls grew up with caramel icing on top-like a cake dessert) and glad you're enjoying time with parents!! Girl-you need to do whatever makes you happy, that's really what it's about!! I'll still be visiting!

  13. I will be here cards, banana bread, babies, pictures, all of it. If you are joyful in heart, then I am happy too. That what blog friends are for!

  14. Oh Chupa, congratulations on your new blessing. April will come to fast. LOL. And what a blessing to have your parents. Life is so short, so do what makes you happy. I love reading your blog. I was so tickled to see your banana cake. Thanks for the recipe. And I love that you have the cute little tag on your bread package. You have inspired me and taught me to be more creative. (I always love your SPLASH of color on your cards). You have touched my life, so thank you. Hope to see more pictures, recipes, cards, scrapbook pages of the new baby, and little Chupa. Whatever you give of yourself, I'll read it. LOL Take care and God Bless. So glad that you are in my blog world.

  15. All those things sound wonderful! You should always do what's important to you and what brings you joy :) Go for it and do what YOU want to do!

  16. ...totally with you....I think we as paper crafters know deep down what's best for us, kwim? I've always been amazed at your productivity are a serious crafter that continuously churns out gorgeous projects...consistently...always awesome do you do that?!!!

    Priorities shift and I look forward to your new blogging journey.

  17. I'm with you in whatever road you take! :)

    Congrats on your pregnancy!

  18. Boy, that sounds familiar. :) I'm with you!

  19. Yes what you said does sound familiar...I am not as talented or busy as you when it comes to card making but I have been trying to rethink my way around this hobby esp. after what happened in Connecticut. Do what is best for you and your family and we will understand.

  20. The ladies have all said it so well...YOU have to do what's best for you and cutting back on commitments is sometimes part of the equation. I personally would love to see different facets of your life on your blog...whatever. I will still be a reader. :-) Afterall, there IS more to life than just stamping!

  21. New year, new baby, new blogging direction? All good! The time when your children are little is so precious, you blink and they're graduating from high school... Enjoy your family time, and enjoy your crafting time, it's all a question of balance, right? I'll still be visiting regularly :o)

  22. I'm not sure if anyone has suggested this, but if you are nervous about incorporating new things into this blog, you can always start another! I keep several blogs on top of my papercrafting blog; keeping them separate helps to keep me organized.
    Just a thought. :)

  23. I would love to join you on your new journey. :)

  24. I can't say it any better than Wida did. What makes you happy is what is best for all of us! You are so right, there is more to each of our lives than stamping. You are truly an inspiration and I encourage you to follow whichever direction your creativity flourishes.
    Creativity is so much more than churning out a certain number of posts or projects. This last line was a sermon to myself. :)

  25. I can't say it any better than Wida did. What makes you happy is what is best for all of us! You are so right, there is more to each of our lives than stamping. You are truly an inspiration and I encourage you to follow whichever direction your creativity flourishes.
    Creativity is so much more than churning out a certain number of posts or projects. This last line was a sermon to myself. :)

  26. I'm late on commenting here Chupa - but I totally agree with what everyone else has said - do what's right for you and your happiness. I do love visiting your blog and checking out your gorgeous creations, so if I come here and find recipes or photos - I'll be happy with that too! BTW- I live 10 mins down the road from you - can I have some cake? Have a great New Years! And congrats on the baby news!

  27. Taking breaks and shaking things up a bit is always therapeutic for me! I enjoy your creations so much and I'm in awe many times on how effortless you make you papercraftings look! LOVE the recipes you've been sharing and I am so excited to hear about your growing family! Chupa, I will be a loyal follower whether you're stamping, baking, parenting, or just being you! Happy New Year, my friend!

  28. I have been your follower right from the beggining and I thank you for all your inspiration up till now and I am happy to embrace anything you will offer from now on too as I think you should really do what is best for you and your family!
    Happy New Year and lots of hugs from Slovenia,


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