Baby Nursery Wall Mural DIY

For our “Adventure” themed nursery I have had a vision for a long time (long before I was pregnant) that I wanted a blue room with clouds.  It wasn’t until we went to New Orleans and found this store “A Simpler Time” that we both loved; CJ and I both agreed that we would have a nursery with sky and clouds and a if it was a boy vintage planes or if it was a girl hot air balloons.  So now that we are having a baby boy, enter the hunt for something similar in Australia!

So for a base we chose blue paint.  It is Valspar brand as this was the lowest VOC we could find.  We painted the two main walls in two coats of paint.  Done!

We then enlisted the help of CJ’s mum to help paint the clouds.  And by “help” I mean I told her what I wanted and I supervised while Cheryl got busy. We originally had bought a 500ml white, and 500ml grey paint, but really used 200ml tops of white.

First we measured the space that we wanted to write on to stay blank and then drew the cloud shapes on the wall with white chalk. Then Cheryl sponged on the clouds with a sea sponge, she said the most important part of this was keeping the sponge damp, don’t be heavy handed with the paint put it on a light as possible and layer it on.  (The sponge she used was a sea sponge from an art store – the kind they use for folk art in the 90’s – I was sceptical at first but the MIL was right!) This makes it easier for the clouds to look life like.  The paint is layered on to create the different shades of the cloud.  We bought grey paint to do the shading but didn’t use it as we both agreed that it worked fine without it, the blue underneath showed through enough to be the shading.

Once that was dry we moved onto the ‘Adventure Awaits’ wording.  I went to buy an OHT sheet from Officeworks but could only buy them in a 20 pack for $40 – so no.  So I started thinking what else I could you, really it just needs to be clear plastic.  I borrowed the OHT from school so I didn’t want to damage it, so I didn’t want to use a plastic sleeve, or anything too thin because I thought it may melt onto the screen.  I found a document protector, which was like a thick plastic sleeve at $2 for 1 – so perfect.

Once home, I pulled the document protector apart so I was only 1 layer of plastic thick.  I had free hand written ‘Adventure Awaits’ from some plain A4 paper.  Then using a thin sharpie I traced that onto the plastic.  I roughly coloured in the lettering so it would show better on the projector.  If you don’t have a projector to borrow check out how I have done this previously without a projector here

Quote copied onto the UHP sheet
Freehand quote from the paper copied onto the UHP sheet with a fine sharpie.

At night time I projected the saying onto the wall and traced them onto the wall with white chalk.  The white chalk worked well because it was so easy to clean off afterwards. The next day I painted the quote on with the white paint and fine white art paint brush. Once dry I went around the outside with a damp micro fibre cloth to clean any chalk off.   Done!

At night I projected the quote onto the wall and traced it out with white chalk
At night I projected the quote onto the wall and traced it out with white chalk


Quote projected onto the wall and then traced in white chalk.
Quote projected onto the wall and then traced in white chalk.
Painted Mural
Painted Mural
Penny helping me with the painting and looking adorable.
Penny helping me with the painting and looking adorable.

Never Fail Scones

These scones, are the only recipe that I have ever used. Easy and always, always turn out perfect.  The original recipe comes from a school recipe book from St Augustines Primary School, but I have altered it slightly!

scone recipe
delicious never fail scone recipe


3 cups SR Flour + extra for rolling

1/2 cup castor sugar

pinch salt

100 grams butter

1 1/4 cups milk


Preheat oven to 240 degrees

In a large bowl sift in the flour and salt.  Using only your finger tips rub in the butter into the flour until all butter is rubbed and it looks like tiny crumbs.

Add sugar, stir in and make a hole in the middle of the mixture.  Pour all milk into the hole and mix in using a butter knife (so the mixture doesn’t stick as easily).  Mix until you have a combined ball with no flour left around the sides of the bowl or the bottom.

Sprinkle the extra flour onto your bench and gently knead out the dough until it is 2-3 cm high.  Using a scone cutter or a glass, dust rim in flour and cut out scone.  Place cut scones on a baking tray touching each other.

Roll your dough off cuts together and cut out more scones until all dough is used.  Should make 12 large scones.  Dust scones with extra flour.

Turn the oven down to 210 degrees and bake scones for about 18 mins until nice and browned.

Serve as fresh as possible with whipped cream and raspberry jam!

scones with jam and cream
scones with jam and cream recipe


Summer Dreams

Summer Dreams


Summer Dreams by monaandolive featuring clear glass tumblers

110 AUD –

Folding garden chair
400 AUD –

Crate and Barrel vintage outdoor lighting
68 AUD –

Woven picnic basket
110 AUD –

Martha stewart serveware
54 AUD –

Bar tool
85 AUD –

Home Decorators Collection clear glass tumbler
34 AUD –

Sur La Table ice tea jar
27 AUD –

Crosley Radio Furniture music home decor
110 AUD –

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing

This cupcake recipe is no-fail!  They are easy and delicious.  You will make them over and over agin, by far one of my most asked for recipes!  Coupled with this chocolate butter icing it is the perfect classic flavour combination.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing Recipe


3/4 cup castor sugar

2 cups self raising flour

125 grams butter

2/3 cup milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Makes 12 cupcakes.

Beat all ingredients together until thick and mixed well.  Normally 2-3 minutes if you use an electric mixer.  The mix should be smooth and a consistent pale colour.

(Occasionally i need to add an extra 2 tablespoons of milk, it seems to be every 3rd time, it may be the size eggs i have used?  But be aware if you use smaller eggs, or the mixture is very thick, add a dash more milk.)

Spoon into patty pans in a muffin tin, bake at 190 degrees for 12 mins.

Bake at 210 degrees if you want peaked tops for 12 mins.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing


The reason this chocolate icing is better then all other icings is the vanilla essence.  It might sound like a simple or unnecessary addition but once you add it in once you will always add it.  The vanilla takes it to another level in the flavour category!

2 cups icing sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

3 tablespoons soft butter/margarine

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa.

Add milk, vanilla and butter, beat for 2 mins on high until smooth.

Spread on and eat!

If you want to pipe this icing, use 2 tablespoons of milk and butter.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing



Adventure Awaits – a baby boy nursery

Adventure Awaits - a baby boy nursery


Adventure Awaits – a baby boy nursery by monaandolive featuring word wall art

Word wall art
140 AUD –

Wall art
18 AUD –

Canvas home decor

Peek-A-Boo Cloud Wallpaper (Blue)
120 AUD –

IKEA HENSVIK Crib, white
130 AUD –

Upholstered arm chair
975 AUD –

Wilko Coloured Bunting 3.6m
2.18 AUD –

645 AUD –

What do you do when you have the grumps?

Roald Dahl Quote

Yesterday afternoon I had a bad case of serious grumpy pants, serious.  There wasn’t one thing in particular that got me bothered it was a general case of “I have the shits with the world”  for no real good reason – and I knew it.  I was tired, cold, had a sore belly and just plain grumpy, and I really want to go to Vegas in our winter holidays to sit in the sun but that looks like a far off dream at the moment.  So just GRUMPYYYYY.  Then there was an accident on the highway so CJ was an hour later getting home.

So you can imagine how I was feeling by the time poor CJ came home!

Anyway we ate dinner straight away and in an effort for me not to inflict poor CJ with my grumpy’s I had a very long bath.  In that bath I also had a bowl of maltesers, so that helped ease the imaginary pain.  I then had a long had think to myself in the bath… I am very lucky, i have a baby in my belly (in case you haven’t heard :-)) and lovely husband and a job that pays the bills and sometimes I don’t hate.  So you know LUCKY…

So I stalked inspirational pinterest quotes to lift my spirits and it worked, somewhat.  This is what I found

Roald Dahl Quote
Life enthusiast quote

So I decided to become a Life Enthusiast, sometimes it is the small things that work for me. This helped, but by bed time my emotions had got the better of me. CJ tried to make me laugh, but someone had just died on the TV in a movie so that pushed my hormonal pregnant self over the edge – I then cried and laughed simultaneously for about 20 minutes.  That act of weirdness then pushed me over the edge of how funny it was and I went to sleep happy and content.

It worked for me this time but at this time of year I get grumpy pretty easily – I am not a winter lover…  So any tips of how you get rid of the grumps? I would love to know!

2 Ingredient Roast Pumpkin Soup

2 ingredient roast pumpkin soup

I have been using this recipe for ages! Only 2 ingredients, but it’s the perfect ratio for a delicious pumpkin soup!  This makes 2 serves but can easily be doubled or trippled!

500 grams of pumpkin

500 mls chicken stock (salt reduced) 

Peel and chop up pumpkin into bite size pieces.

At about 180 degrees bake pumpkin.

Bake for about 25 mins or until pumpkin is soft all the way through.

Add pumpkin and stock into bowl, use stick blender to mix until smooth.

That’s it! Easy as and delicious.

Enjoy with a dash or cream or sour cream!

This is the perfect recipe to add the random potato you haven’t used or the carrot in the bottom of the crisper! By roasting the pumpkin it gives the soup a lovely sweet flavour. Very versatile and leave out the cream for a healthy option.

Chocolate Slice

An easy peasy chocolate slice that is yummy and moist!


125 grams of butter

1 dessert spoons of golden syrup

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons of cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup SR Flour

1/2 cup coconut

2 tablespoons milk


In a saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar and syrup.

Allow to cool and then beat in egg.

Stir in sifted flour and cocoa.

Add coconut, milk and vanilla and stir until smooth.

Line your baking tray with baking paper, pour mixture in and smooth with knife or spatula.

Bake in a small slice tin at 180 degrees for 15 – 18 minutes.


Best iced while hot.      CHOCOLATE ICING

This recipe makes a lovely smooth glossy icing that “sets”  so great for school lunches and easy to pour over the chocolate slice while still warm.

1 Cup icing sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa

1 tablespoon hot water.

Mix together until smooth and then pour over slice while still warm.

Sprinkle with 100’s and 100’s or coconut!



Peanut Butter and Oat Clusters

Peanut Butter and Oat Clusters

Peanut Butter and Oat Clusters, are a delicious and easy snack.  They are ultra versatile so you can use this recipe as a base and change the ingredients to suit your diet requirements.  For example you could use coconut oil instead of butter or sultanas instead of chocolate chips.  But personally I think peanut butter and chocolate is one of the best combinations known to man so – thats what I went with!  Once made and set on a tray pop them into a container or zip lock bag and store in the freezer or fridge.  Perfect snack for anytime, maybe even breakfast because you know it has oats in it!

Peanut Butter and Oat Clusters
Peanut Butter and Oat Clusters

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup rice bubbles

1 cup sultanas, chocolate chips (anything that takes your fancy)


Melt together butter, peanut butter and honey, stir until smooth.

Pour over rolled oats and rice bubbles, stir until everything is coated.

Add dried fruit or chocolate chips.

Compact the mix into spoonfuls and place on lined baking tray or a silicone mini muffin tray – both work out well!


Free style clusters and mini muffin clusters
Free style clusters vs mini muffin clusters

Place in the fridge until set.

These are 100% freezable so once set place into container or zip lock bag and put some in the freezer for later.

Peanut Butter and Oat Clusters

Easy Baby Burp Cloth Instructions

As part of my trying to use up my fabric stash, i made these cute baby burp cloths for a friend’s baby shower I went to today. These are an easy and quick project for a beginning sewer, and also use up any extra scraps of fabric laying around.  You can make them any size you like, i made these a nice long length.


–  Patterned cotton/polyester fabric 60 x 22 cms

– Towelling fabric or fleece 60 x 22 cms (something absorbent)

– 170 cms bias binding in a matching colour.

All my fabrics were pre washed so that they were ready to use when baby comes!


1. With wrong sides together  pin both the fabric and towelling together.

burp cloth instructions
Pin together both layers of fabric


2. Overlock the sides together,  if you don’t have an overlocker a tight zig zag would be suitable.

Overlocked all edges
Overlocked all edges

3. Pin the bias binding around the edge and sew (straight stitch) close to the inside edge of the binding.  Being careful that you catch the binding on both sides.

4. Enjoy your work!

Finished with bias binding
Finished with bias binding

*If you are in a rush or need a ton of these, skip the bias binding.  The binding is a nice touch but without it the clothes still work perfectly well!

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