31 January 2012

Strawberry Chocolate Layered Ice Cream Cake

My darling baby Bondville turned 'big girl' 2 years old just after Christmas and we celebrated with this amazing strawberry chocolate layered ice cream cake. (Note to self: never again make an ice cream cake in the middle of summer in Queensland. It looked fantastic. It tasted fantastic, but the ice cream softened immediately, not helped by the warm chocolate poured on top. Oh, and the chocolate topping and bottom were too hard to cut through, and slipped all over the place when trying to cut slices. Yikes!).

So! If you'd like to try this pretty fabulous cake, I'd recommend cooler weather to start with. Otherwise it's pretty straightforward:
1. line a spring form (important!) cake tin with non-stick baking paper
2. melt chocolate for the base (either very carefully in the microwave, or in a bowl over simmering water, being careful that the water does not touch the bowl). I used Belgian Callebaut dark chocolate. Amazing!
3. pour the melted chocolate into the lined cake tin and freeze until set
4. soften 1 litre of ice cream and pour over chocolate base. Freeze until set. I used honey macadamia ice cream for the first layer.
5. soften another 1 litre of ice cream and pour over the ice cream base. Freeze until set. I used strawberry ice cream for the second layer.
6. melt chocolate for the top as per method above. Cool chocolate as much as possible while still maintaining runny consistency. Have candles and lighter ready as steps 7-9 will need to be quite quick to ensure your gorgeous cake doesn't melt too much.
7. Carefully release the springform tin, pull off the baking paper, and lift the cake off the base onto a board or stand.
8. Pour over the melted chocolate (don't worry if it drips down the sides) and place hulled strawberries on top.
9. Add candles, cut and serve before it melts!

It's a fabulous cake that requires no baking, but a careful hand with the topping. Enjoy!

PS - this cake would be amazing with the strawberry-themed printables party pack by the red thread.

Images: Steph Bond-Hutkin

27 January 2012

Happy Australia Day 2012!

I hope you all had a wonderful Australia Day yesterday, no matter where you are in the world. We celebrated with an invitation to a vintage-style 4-year-old birthday party high tea at the gorgeous Agape organic restaurant in the morning (truly amazing photos coming soon). Then home for a quick power nap, and then off to our friends' house for an Australia Day feast that included Renay's yum pavlova, and deliciously chunky lamingtons by Yael's Cakes of Distinction. The kids had a ball racing their handmade boats down the creek (or was it the Dads who had a ball?), and we managed to relax with a few bubbles too.

25 January 2012

Milk and Honey Photography Portrait Shoot Winner Photos

Do you remember the great competition I had last year for Mother's Day to win a family portrait sitting and prints from Milk & Honey Photography in Rozelle, NSW? Bondville reader Sally Cooper was the lucky winner and has shared with us some of the gorgeous photos taken around Balmain where Sally lives. I know that Sally's family in the UK will adore these shots too. Congratulations again, Sally. Gorgeous shots of your gorgeous boys. And thank you again to Milk & Honey Photography for such a fabulous prize.

24 January 2012

Saffron Craig Magical Lands textile release + 15% discount CODE!

Renowned textile designer and Bondville buddy Saffron Craig has just released a new collection of fabrics, tantalisingly-named "Magical Lands". Saffron's fabrics are much-loved by quilters, and would also make amazing bed sheet sets, curtains, pillows, and girls' room accessories. I think these designs would also work beautifully for childrenswear. Or bags. Or purses. The list goes on.

The hero piece of this collection - "Magical Lands" - was inspired by the sunrise over Kata Tjuta in the Northern Territory. With Australia Day just a few days away, it's got me thinking again about introducing more Australian fauna and flora into my home decorating. Does it get any more Australian than the red centre? Paired here perfectly with dandelions on cream, pink and white.

You can find Saffron Craig in the online store. Even better, Saffron is offering Bondville readers 15% discount on the Magical Lands collection! Simply use the code Bondville at the online check out. (Postage is free for orders over $150)

Read more about Sydney-based Saffron Craig here on Bondville as well as other Australian textile designers.

Images: Saffron Craig

23 January 2012

Mooo Personalised Stickers Super Saver Pack

Did your little ones start school today? Big step! This time next year I will be getting my big girl ready to go. I remember the extreme organisation required - uniform, the right kind of books, covered of course, pencil case with requisite stationery goodies, labeling... oh, how much have labels and stickers improved! They are so cute now.

Personalised sticker company and Bondville sponsor Mooo from Melbourne makes super-cool labels and stickers, and they just happen to have a bumper Super Saver Pack available with 128 labels and fun designs.


With purchase of the Super Saver Pack you can also get 25% off the matching iron-on label combo, and 30% off 300ml stainless steel drink bottles.

Mooo's premium stickers are microwave and freezer-resistant. Get the kids to help choose their own colours and designs, and watch how you can create the text and preview on-screen.

You can find the Super Saver Pack in the Mooo online store.

terms: $29.95 pack price does not include shipping cost. Each name labels pack can only be personalised for 1 child. Super crazy value pack promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. For a limited time only. While stocks lasts.

20 January 2012

Bondville Lucky Door Prize - $150 from Little Thing

I have a lot to be grateful for, and one of them is having such a wonderful group of readers and subscribers. Thank you. A small way to express my gratitude is the fun Bondville Lucky Door Prize. Each month a Bondville Loves member company has been giving away something special to one Bondville monthly newsletter or daily email subscriber, just to say thanks. And who doesn't love a lucky door prize!

This month, I'm thrilled that fabulous children's clothing and maternity online store, Little Thing is offering a AUD $150.00 voucher. On the site you'll find gorgeous Mexican dresses (my current obsession, and my sister-in-law's too!), handmade, with colourful embroidery.

And Little Thing isn't just for the little ones. I'm flipping for that Mexican mama dress (shortened to above the knee like the image above). I would get so much use out of that little number - and it hides a multitude of sins. (there are also some cute kaftans and bathers too). I'll be sending the next Bondville monthly newsletter out early next week announcing the lucky door prize winner, so make sure you subscribe before then.

Oh, and Thank You. x

Images: Little Thing

18 January 2012

Well Spotted T-shirts for Dads

Now Dads can get their hands on everyone's favourite clever caption tees for kids. Sydney-based Well Spotted now has loose surf-style fit tshirts, with trademark label at the bag of the neck and captions-to-get-a-giggle, just for the men.

You can find Well Spotted t-shirts in the online store as well as at stockists around Australia and online. Get matching tops for the kids for extra cute factor. (read more about Well Spotted here on Bondville).

Images: Well Spotted

17 January 2012

Australian Artist: Claire Cimbora (Schmooks)

Canberra-based artist Claire Cimbora (Schmooks) caught my eye today on the great kids' online store Baby's Got Style.There is no end of gorgeous wall art and wall decals to choose from. Take a look...


Claire's child-friendly artworks and wall decals (and jewellery too) are inspired by collage, and put a huge smile on my face. Kitties with carousel hats... whales tethered to hot air balloons... llamas in pyjamas - this is my kind of art; sweet, whimsical and perfect for stimulating imaginations big and small.

It's truly hard to narrow the selection down to just a few to share with you. I'd love a whole series of Claire's beautiful work (first up, that magic bunny wall decal!).

You can find Schmooks in the Etsy store.

Images: Schmooks

16 January 2012

Party Ideas: Eti's 5th Birthday Adventure and Duck Party

Would you be game to host an adventure birthday party for a group of five-year-olds across Sydney Harbour? Anni from Milk and Honey Photography was! Anni created a fun adventure for her son Eti's fifth birthday, starting with a ferry trip across the harbour, a stroll past Luna Park and play time at the magical Wendy Whiteley Garden, culminating in a treasure hunt to fill your own goodie bag. Eti loves ducks and Anni also added yellow ducks throughout the party. And how gorgeous are Eti's thank-you cards that he sent out to his special friends! Anni's tips follow...

Birthday: 5th Birthday Party adventure
Organised by: Birthday Boy Eti and his Mum Anni
Location: An adventure starting at Balmain East Ferry Wharf and ending with a treasure hunt and birthday picnic at Wendy Whiteley Secret Garden, Lavender Bay, NSW.
Theme: Adventure + Yellow Ducks

13 January 2012

Frankie Ray and Squids sunglasses for kids

In our fierce summer, we think a lot about "slip, slop, slap", but do you know that our eyes can be damaged by the sun too? The best protection for our pupils, and our little ones' too, are a good pair of UV protective sunglasses.

Melbourne-based EYETRIBE owner Bec Bennet knows a lot about keeping eyes protected, having worked at Oakley and the Cancer Council. Now with two daughters, Bec launched her 100% UV protective sunglasses brand to provide both fashionable and functional eyewear for kids.

EYETRIBE's Frankie Ray label caters to the cool crew with fashion-forward designs for boys and girls, 2-12 years old. Those floral sunnies are amazing and I'd love some for myself.


The Squids and Mini Squids labels are aquatic sunglasses for 0-10 year olds that are flexible, float and wrap closely around a child's face to provide protection, particularly during water sports.

 All designs comply with the Australian Eye Protection standards (AS/NZS 1067; 2003) and feature Category 3 PC safety lenses.

You can find EYETRIBE sunglasses in the online store and at retailers around the world.

Check out more stylish SunSmart ideas for kids here on Bondville. For more information on being safe in the sun, head over to the SunSmart Victoria website which has wealth of information that we all need to brush up on.


12 January 2012

eBay's Mum's Business

Have you noticed eBay's Mum's Business in my side column? For the last 4 months I've been a contributing editor on this great site, which includes articles from a selection of Australian bloggers about kids, craft, food, small business and in the home.

It's been funn writing about topics that I might not normally cover here on Bondville, and I'm particularly happy with my current article "making jewellery with kids" - a fun little craft tutorial to make a cute brooch/hairclip and of course a macaroni necklace. My big girl had a great time making and modelling the jewellery, and hopefully it will inspire people to get creative with fabric scraps lying around the house.

Head over to Mum's Business to check out making jewellery with kids, as well as some of my other stories...

hosting a summer pool party

creating a pot plant kitchen garden

camping with the kids

make your own amazing flower bouquet

top 10 must-haves for a newborn

throwing a spooktacular kids party for halloween

Images: Steph Bond-Hutkin, pool party image by Encapture Photography

9 January 2012

Party Ideas: Liam's 1st Birthday Party at Sydney Park

The lovely Carolyn of the truly inspiring Indie Art and Design website, creator of clothing and art label Non-Fiction and graphic designer (Delphinus Creative) hosted a fun, bright, budget-friendly, balloon-filled party at Sydney Park for her son Liam's first birthday. Carolyn shares her tips from the special day...

Birthday: Liam's First Birthday Party
Organised by: Mum Carolyn, with the assistance of many!
Location: Sydney Park – the south end overlooking the lake. Liam and I regularly visit Sydney Park, and trialled a few different locations during the weeks before the party. We settled on a cluster of small trees – providing part-shade and perfect for hanging decorations from!
Theme: We had a red/purple/orange/yellow colour scheme, all done on a cheap and cheerful budget, and I thought it was perfect!

3 January 2012

Save an amazing 50% on Eeni Meeni Miini Moh and e3-M

Bondville sponsor Eeni Meeni Miini Moh and e3-M is clearing the current Spring/Summer 2011 collection for children up to 14 years (including Camper shoes) with a huge 50% discount! Bondville readers can take advantage of this exclusive sale using the code BONDSS11 until 8th January 2012. Stock is selling like hot cakes so get in quick sticks.

Freight for Australian orders is $7.50 or free for orders over $200. While you are there, become an eeni meeni miini moh/e3-M VIP to receive a $10 eeni meeni miini moh/e3-M voucher for your child/ren on their birthday and receive advanced notice on new collections, competitions, special online offers, promotions, sales previews and more.

Head over to the online store now, and look out for the new Autumn/Winter 2012 collection arriving in February.

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