18 November 2014

Snapware {GIVEAWAY}

Don’t you hate it when you put leftover food in a container in the fridge and one of the kids comes along and shuffles around for something, up turns the container and your leftover pumpkin soup spills everywhere?

I am a huge fan of PYREX and have a large range of their containers in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The ones with the the blue plastic lids are fantastic, though admittedly, our lids go through a lot of wear and tear and aren’t as tight fitting as they used to be.

Snapware have come with a fantastic solution. Total Solution Glass Storage has partnered with PYREX to offer Snapware’s signature 4 latch plastic lids with PYREX glass bases.


Snapware 2


This means PYREX’s oven safe, stain-resistant, tempered glass is combined with Snapware’s airtight and leak-proof, 4 latch plastic lid for convenient storage solutions. The same sized lids in the range stack together and all other sizes are nestable for space efficiency. This range is BPA free, microwave and dishwasher safe.


Snapware 1


I have been road-testing a number of these new Snapware Total Solutions containers and have found a new favourite way of storing food – especially leftovers. The glass dish itself is quality PYREX product and the 4 latch lids make these food storage containers completely airtight and leak-proof.

The lids are made of polypropylene (PP) and the seals are made of silicone. These plastics are 100% BPA free. Containers are food-safe and FDA approved.

Best of all, they’re both microwave and dishwasher safe. The new Snapware range is also suited not only for food storage in the refrigerator, but also for storing food in the freezer.

With thanks to World Kitchen, a lucky Samelia’s Mum reader has the opportunity to win this set of the new Snapware range (pictured).


Snapware Giveaway


For your chance to win, just tell me:


What is your favourite “left-over” meal?


One of my favourite left-over dishes spaghetti carbonara. When I make it for the family, I try to make a little extra to save for my lunch the next day… that is, if someone else in the house doesn’t find it and have a midnight snack!

The winner will be announced on the Samelia’s Mum Facebook Page, so be sure to follow along to see if you are the lucky winner.


Terms and Conditions: This is a game of skill. Giveaway is open to Australian Residents ONLY. Giveaway will close on Friday, 28 November 2014 at 17:00 AEST. The prize will be sent by the promoter/s. Samelia’s Mum will take no responsibility for any delay, loss or damage to prizes sent to winner. Winner/s will be announced on the Samelia's Mum Facebook page and/or contacted by email. The winner has 7 days to claim the prize. If it is not claimed within this time period, it will be forfeited.

14 November 2014

Be Inspired : Soft Toys 4 Education

IKEA is a magical place. Filled to the brim with home inspiration, I absolutely love walking through the room displays, imagining how wonderful it would be to live in a space, so perfect in it’s organized compactness.

As you probably know, I bought a lot of my furniture from IKEA when we moved to the new house, I have a Raskog in my sewing room and I stop by to stock up on wide fabrics which made perfect quilt backings. And my children love coming along because they score a hot dog at the end of the shopping experience.

Other than having fabulous furniture, great fabric and cheap hotdogs, IKEA also donate a lot of money to charity. The IKEA Soft Toys for Education campaign, supporting children's education through UNICEF and Save the Children has been running for the last 12 years.

IKEA Soft Toys


For every soft toy sold during the campaign (which runs from November 9 to January 3), IKEA donate one Euro ($AU1.59) to UNICEF and Save the Children. Since it started, donations from the annual campaign have totalled $AU107 million, helping more than 11 million children in 46 countries enjoy their right to a quality education.

This year, IKEA has added a new element to the campaign, a drawing competition which will give kids around the world the chance to bring their dream toy to life. By drawing their creation and entering to IKEA, their design could become a real life toy!




To enter, kids have to submit a drawing of their dream toy and if chosen, it will be transformed into a real soft toy that will be sold for a limited time in IKEA stores around the world.


IKEA SoftToys4EducationCampaign 2


20 finalists will be chosen in each participating country, which will be sent to the IKEA design team in Sweden, where they will select 10 drawings to transform into soft toys.

To be eligible to enter, you must be an IKEA FAMILY member for your kids to enter. If you’re not already a member you can sign up easily at or in-store. The drawing competition closes 30 November and for more information you can go to.


IKEA SoftToys4EducationCampaign


Now, I know that many of us live quite a distance from our nearest IKEA store. Personally, my nearest store is about an hour away, but if I need something from there, it’s only about 5 minutes away from Sydney airport… which is Flyboy's base.

If you live far away from an IKEA store, but your children would still like to enter this competition, I have a proposition for you. Firstly, be sure join as an IKEA family member. It take about 5 minutes and you will receive a newsletter with specials and offers, probably only once a quarter.

Download the competition sheet from .

Get your child to create their “dream” soft toy on the proper entry form.

As entries need to be deposited in-store, post your entry to me to ensure it arrives in the last mail on Monday 24th November. FlyBoy will drop off all of our entries in the Tempe (Sydney) store.

Please drop me an email if you’re interested in participating and I’ll send you the postal details.


Make a Heat Pack {Tutorial}

There’s nothing quite like a heat pack for sore, tired, aching bits. Making a heat (or cold pack) is super quick and super easy.

To make a 5” x 10” heat pack, you will need:

Strip of fabric measuring 5 1/2” x approximately 24”. I had a long piece of fabric left over from a quilt back which is what I used, though sewing some strips of fabric together will certainly work just as well.

(2) 5” x 10” pieces of cotton fabric which will be the actual inner bag to hold the rice.
A cup (or 2) of rice – depending on how full and heavy you’d like the bag.
Pinking shears (optional)
General sewing supplies.

Heat Pack Fabric Requirement

Start folding over the 2 short seams. Fold over 1/4” and then press. Fold over another 1/2” and then press again. Do this for both ends.

Take this to the sewing machine and sew along the seam line.

Heat Pack Seams

Head back to the pressing table and turn over the fabric so that the right side if facing up.

Fold over one end – approximately 1/3 of the length of the fabric piece.

Fold over the other side so that it overlaps that first piece which we just folded over. Grab your quilt ruler and check that with both of these ends folded over, the length is between 9” – 10” (though it can be longer if that’s what you prefer).

Heat Pack Construction

Use a hot iron to crease the folds. Pin both sides in place and sew along both of the raw edges.

Clip your corners carefully and then turn out the bag. Give it a good press and your heat pack cover is now finished. Place this aside while we work on the inner bag.

12 November 2014

365 CWA Favourites + Cream Scones Recipe

Scones with butter and strawberry jam are one of my favourite mid-morning treats. Or mid-afternoon. I’m really not very fussy when it comes to eating scones. I’ll take them any time of the day. I recently discovered a lovely Cream Scone recipe, in the 365 Country Women’s Association Favourites book and have made at least 4 batches since.


Cream Scones - CWA


I have had the absolute pleasure of leafing through the 365 Country Women’s Association Favourites book, over the past couple of weeks. I honestly prefer a cook book to have beautiful glossy pictures, but really, this lovely little book has really captured my attention (and imagination), without a picture in sight. Not a one!




From the 1930s, the Country Women’s Association (CWA) has collected recipes contributed by individual members to create cookbooks and calendars. These cookbooks were a huge success and now give great insight into how women cooked through the era – dishes that were simple, honest and homey. Living through the Depression, these women knew how to keep food on the table even when resources and supplies were tight.

These original recipes were made without labour saving devices such as food processors and mixers and most cooking was accomplished on a coal fired range.

Now, 80 years later, these recipes still appeal greatly to the modern cook. Without sacrificing the original material, the recipes in 365 Country Women’s Association Favourites, include methods that take them into our modern kitchens.

The book is divided up into months and each month has a calendar with a recipe to create each day. If you want to have a go at a Julie & Julia type challenge, this would be perfect as it’s already set out for you.


365 CWA Favourites - Months


Each of the recipes in 365 CWA Favourites includes the contributor’s name as well as the CWA branch they’re from. For example, the Warren Pudding was created by Mrs Percy Russell, from the Warren Branch.


Warren Pudding - 365 CWA Favourites


Flicking through the book has been a lot of fun. Intermingled within the cake and slice recipes, we find recipes for things like Oyster Toast or Savoury Rabbit. Sadly, there my local CWA is not represented in the book, but the Bowral Branch and the Nowra Branches are in there.

365 Country Women’s Association Favourites is published by Murdoch Books and can be purchased at any good book store or online at Booktopia. This would certainly make a wonderful Christmas gift for a keen home cook.


Cream Scones

Mrs A Latimer, Delungra Branch


3 cups of plain flour

4 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup pouring cream (thickened cream is what I use)

1 cup milk



Preheat the oven to 200c. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the salt, cream and half of the milk to the well and mix, adding enough of the remaining milk to form a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Briefly knead to bring it together. Don’t overwork the dough or the scones will be tough.

Roll out to 2cm thickness. Using a 4cm round pastry cutter (or in my case, a glass), cut out the circles and place on the baking tray close together.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.


Cream Scones - CWA Recipe

11 November 2014

The Start of Something Beautiful

Last week, I was invited to attend an event in Point Piper, Sydney. The event was hosted by Brother Australia, Simplicity and Spotlight so to say that I was excited about attending, was an absolute understatement.

Brother Australia and Simplicity® Patterns have joined forces to offer an easy sewing experience for beginners or intermediate sewers. The Simplicity® by Brother range of machines include a Simplicity® pattern from the Learn to Sew, Easy to Sew and Amazing fit range, guaranteeing that users have all the elements they need to start sewing straight away!


Simplicity by Brother - Machines


This new line-up includes three models: SL100, SL300 and SL500 – they’re all pictured above in a photo where I was trying to be a little artistic… ummm…

SL100 : first threads to stitches - perfect for beginners and includes 17 built-in stitches plus a Simplicity® pattern from the Learn to Sew range.

SL300 : the experience of something intricate – this is the next sewing step and features 27 built-in stitches and a Simplicity® pattern from the Easy to Sew range.

Now for my favourite machine…

SL500 : the beauty of something masterful. It is the top of the range, a computerised sewing machine including 40 built-in stitches plus a Simplicity® pattern from the Amazing Fit range.

As a quilter, I think that the SL500 would the one to choose as the it includes a drop feed function, to allow for free motion quilting or free motion applique. The other models are great for new sewists learning the ropes… but in saying this, even though there is no drop feed function, there is a feed dog cover included in the SL100 and SL300.


Brother SL500 - Point Piper


Brother - Side Cutter Foot


Just as an aside, one of the Brother Demonstrators (sorry I’ve forgotten her name), showed me the side cutter foot, which snaps onto the Brother machine, just like any other foot would do.

What I think is most exciting about this foot, is that it cuts, as it sews… kind of like an overlocker (serger) would do. So what does this tell me? There is no need for an overlocker which is tricky to thread and takes up space. A Brother sewing machine and a side cutter foot all the way!




These machines are available at local Spotlight stores (my second home). If you have a budding young sewist in your midst, one of these new Simplicty by Brother sewing machines would certainly make a wonderful gift this Christmas.

Not only did I get to see and play with these new sewing machines, be dazzled by the amazing views from the Royal Motor Yacht Club, eat some yummy canap├ęs, but we got to hear all about International Quilt Market by Marie Barlabas – the General Manager of Spotlight Australia – who had just arrived from this event.

Oh yeah, I got to meet this lovely lady. Angie who blogs at Gnome Angel.


Gnome Angel & Samelia's Mum


We’ve been friends on Instagram and Facebook for ages, so it was really fun to meet in person. Angie and Gemma from Pretty Bobbins drove all the way up from Canberra for this event. For those not sure of Australian geography, it would be approximately 4 hours … EACH WAY!

I also got to meet and chat with Siobhan Rogers, Lorelei from Craftsmumship, Sheridan from SheridanAnne and Lisa from Sweet Little Pretties.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. For more action shots from everyone who was there, pop on over to Instagram and have a look at #SimplicityByBrother.



Now for a little bit of trivia about yours truly… Did you know that I own 3 Brother sewing machines?

My first sewing machine, was a gift from my husband when I was pregnant with our first child. I was inspired to make some curtains for the baby room and as it was Christmas and hubby didn’t know what to get me, he ventured into the local sewing store and bought me my first machine. It’s a Brother PS57 and a great work horse. It’s the machine I used when I first learned how to sew, and even made my first few quilts (including free motion quilting) with it.

My second machine was an upgrade. I was making larger quilts and having projects published in Australian magazines, so it was time to get serious. I bought myself a Brother QC 1000. This machine has a lovely wide throat, which is great when manhandling large quilts. It’s had a hard life and even after servicing, it starting to sound like a tractor. I still prefer to use it (over my Bernina 710) when I applique – the foot just sits beautifully and I achieve some fantastic results with it.

Earlier this year, Spotlight had the Brother JS1410 on sale. I managed to pick one up for around $90 – brand new! I’m keeping this one for my daughter to use when she’s a little older and can actually reach the foot pedal.