30 September 2009

Wordless Wednesday (with words)

It's not every day your daughter gets to walk a pig...

:: this photo of Miss 5 was taken a few years ago ::

29 September 2009

Just me and him...

It's just been me and him together since yesterday afternoon. It feels strange... in a wonderful way... just like before we were married all those years ago.

For the first time in over 3 years we have had all 4 kids staying away for the night, thanks to my amazing parents who decided they'd like to have them stay for a day or two.

And although we haven't been away to a fancy motel or tripping around anywhere in particular, we have definitely been enjoying our time together.

I slept in until 9:30 am (until master 10 decided to phone me to ask a question). We've been eating breakfast in bed (mmmm french toast), walking, watching our favourite DVDs, listening to amazing music, eating out, sight seeing (check out that crazy house in my pics), relaxing at home, talking without being interrupted and buying the odd treat without needing to buy x6! I even found one of my most favourite fruits at the orchids... lemonades (not that that has anything to do with anything).

Just like Gail (from Delightfully Diva-ish) said in her post today, we are a team, and we need to make time for 'us' more often.

I definitely was in need of some time to relax and rest.

Better go, more relaxing waiting for me to do...

26 September 2009

"I wanna be a Dokta"

After a recent post about Miss 2's struggle with a fear of Doctors (see here), a friend suggested getting a little medical play-set to help overcome this fear. I immediately thought it sounded like a great idea!

Today we spotted a super cheap one ($1.99) and I thought we'd get it and give this whole idea a go.

Guess who wants to be a doctor when she grows up?

25 September 2009

Things I'm loving at the moment

The last week I have felt rather drained and tired, even to the point of not having the energy to blog (and for me, that's not normal!).

Somewhere along the way I forgot to make time to rest, to relax and to enjoy. I got stuck on that dreadful treadmill of meeting other people's expectations and somehow forgot to take care of myself and my family. I am looking forward to the two weeks of school holidays starting tomorrow - no more early morning starts, lunches to make and places to have to be at. I am looking forward to hanging out with my precious family and enjoying simple pleasures together.

I am looking forward to having some time to rest.

So here are a few of the things I am loving at the moment, and hopefully there will be more to come over the next two weeks...

I am loving my superhero son (and his archenemy... Evil Whippet).

I love my CD 'Branches' by Jon Foreman (lead singer of Switchfoot). He has done a couple of side projects (due to being such a prolific writer) which I am super impressed with.

I am loving tiny plaits.

I am loving our chickens and the fresh eggs they lay each day.

and I am loving good crafty books from my local library.

What things are you loving at the moment??

19 September 2009

Spicy Dutch Biscuits

My mum has often mentioned over the years, her memories of tasting Dutch biscuits as a little girl... the smell of the spices and delicious taste.

So when I saw this recipe in Alison Holst's "Best Baking" I decided to give it a go, and I made sure my mum had a taste too.

They really are yum... the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea (or coffee).

Ingredients (for about 100 biscuits)
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
tsp of each: ground cloves, coriander, nutmeg and cardamom
225g butter, softened
1¼ cups brown sugar
¼ cup milk

Turn the oven to 180°C, or 170°C if using a fan oven.

Sift the flour, baking powder and spices through a sieve into a large bowl.

Rub the softened, but not completely melted, butter through the dry ingredients, then add the sugar and milk. Mix, first with a stirrer, then with your hands until mixture forms a ball, then transfer to a plastic bag and refrigerate until cool and firm.

Roll out about a quarter of the dough at a time (keeping the remaining dough cool) on a well floured surface, and cut into shapes with cutters.

To make this easier for little helpers, use plenty of dusting flour and dip the cutters into extra flour before using them. Lifting the cut shapes carefully using a fish slice helps prevent distortion.

Bake for about 8-15 minutes or until lightly browned, remembering that cooking time depends on biscuit thickness. Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container.

The full flavour does not develop until a few hours after baking. These crisp little biscuits are good just as they are and do not need decorating.

For more delicious recipes visit here.

18 September 2009


"If at first you don't succeed, try try again... and then when you reach the top, do a little song and dance!

17 September 2009

Remember the days of the old school yard...

It's funny the things that are still going around in school... I honestly thought some of the sayings and games would be long gone.

My three oldest often come home and share a 'new' song or game or joke that they've learnt, only to be told by their 'very ancient' mother that she used to sing/play the exact same one when she was at school.

Talk about flashback to the past! Would you believe the following are still going strong?

What's the time Mr Wolf?
Heads down, thumbs up (or as it's known in Miss 5's class, "Thumbs up Thumbs down")
Rock, paper, scissors
Knuckle bones
Cootie catchers (that folded paper game where you pick a colour, then a number etc)
And my most favourite... Hand clapping games.

I've been educating Miss 5 lately on the 'proper' words for some of the hand clapping games - like "Under the Bam Bushes" rather than "Under the Bambie Bushes" and "Say Say", thinking I'm the pro who knows the correct words to them all, only to be horrified tonight (after using trusty google to check out some lyrics) that I myself have been singing the wrong lyrics to them both all of my life!

Oh the horror and shame!

By the way, if you never did any of the things listed above, you had a totally deprived childhood! ;)

15 September 2009

Felt donuts

There's been a few of these being made around here lately... some to go with some of these sugar cookies for a gift for a little girl who turned 3 last Sunday.

More will be in the shop soon!

14 September 2009

Birthday Tote

Today is a special friend's birthday - Happy birthday Anya!!!

Anya is one of those inspiring friends... very creative, funny, honest, friendly, caring, arty, an amazing mum and friend. I just wish she lived a bit closer so we could get together and hang out more often than we do.

I decided to try to make her a little pressy for her birthday... a tote. I hope she likes it... I even modeled it for you all to have a peak (and hopefully she has opened her package before she checks her blog list!).

I had a bit of trouble getting the automatic timer on my camera to work though - hence the funny shot!

Love you lots Anya - why not pop over to her blog and wish her a Happy Birthday too (here)!

12 September 2009

Mr Choccy Fountain

Meet my new friend... Mr Choccy Fountain.

This morning Mandrake and Master 10 returned home from their garage sale outing armed with goodies which included this 'Sunbeam Chocolate Fountain' which had only ever been used once. Usually sold in the shops for a whopping $119 - this one was a bargain at $10.

I guess my guy truly does know the way into a women's heart... chocolate!

So tonight after dinner we decided to have a chocolate fondue party! I was surprised to find that we needed 1kg of chocolate to get the thing going, so $10 later we were ready (and that wasn't the best quality chocolate either).

Boy was it fun dipping cut up oranges, banana and marshmallows into the flowing chocolate. We all got into it with great excitement, but then as the minutes passed by we all started to slow down a wee bit.

What a cool and very fattening treat... thanks my dear... I don't think I ever want to see chocolate again!

11 September 2009

When Happiness Eludes...

The first time I remember being unhappy with my body was at Primary School - I desperately wanted to be like the other girls in my glass and shave my legs. It didn't really matter to me that I had blonde hairs on my legs that were hardly visible... all I remember thinking was, if only mum would let me shave my legs I will be happy for the rest of my life and never worry about my body ever again!

Well, some time later I was allowed to shave my legs... it even became a big family event! I remember mum buying me some special razors and her and my brother hanging out in the bathroom while mum showed me how it was done.

But for some strange reason that novelty wore off and along came the many other things I longed for to be able to 'fit in' or rather 'stand out'. I did my own ear piercings and tried to do my own dreads (that was a total flop!) and went through stages of disliking being tall, wanting my blue eyes to be brown, my blonde hair to be red etc. I hated dressing 'normally' so started wearing all sorts of strange things.

But then one day it hit me (or rather God broke through)... I thought I didn't like myself... but really for me it came down to pride... I was totally obsessed with myself and how others perceived me. All of a sudden I felt totally free to be me and to actually like the way God had made me.

Now don't get me wrong... I'm not one of those 'make up is evil' people or promoting keeping your hair totally natural... I couldn't live without my hair straightener! I think God is such a creative God and He loves it when we have our own style, but I also know He wants us to put others before ourselves (which often means getting over ourselves) and also to learn to love ourselves warts and all!

All of a sudden I found that I wasn't obsessed with my reflection in the mirror, or in comparing myself with others. I realised that I couldn't change my eye colour or skin tone... and I was meant to be me.

I wasn't even phased when a relative... the one who everyone said I took after with my nose... went and got a nose job. I found it rather funny!

So I encourage you all to get your focus off the things you don't like about yourself, and start to practice thankfulness. I know sometimes it can be easier said than done... but the more you practise, the easier it gets.

But please girls, keep shaving those legs! ;)

Article featured here on Delve.  

10 September 2009

My Creative Space

Well, I am very pleased to finally be able to properly play along with Kirsty from Kootoyoo's "My Creative Space" . Last time I did a creative space post, my craft life was living out of a kete (see here)!

But since then, check out what hubby has made for me... my very own craft space!!! He renovated an old desk into a sewing table, made a cute little shelf above it and the coolest paisley pin board. He is actually quite the renovations guys with a post today about another one of his transformations here.

And as you can see in the top pics, I am currently working on some felt donuts, more softies and of course, the very addictive (just one more round) "Fruit Salad" giant granny square blanket.

To check out more creative spaces or join in on the fun, visit here.

08 September 2009

The barrel swing of laughter

What can one jack-of-all-trades husband do with a giant, bright blue, 'covered in grass clippings' barrel? Make a very cool barrel swing of course!

Miss 2 gave it a test drive this morning and totally approved.

I'm just hanging out to try and see if I can fit in it when no one is looking!

Thanks honey!!!

(And while we were test driving the barrel swing, guess who decided to visit the neighbour next door... who I think was in bed sleeping? Check out hubby's very truthful post today about our embarrassing Whippet here.)

07 September 2009

Chicken & Mushroom Pie

Here's another one of those classic dishes that you can always rely on tasting delicious! Instead of using the barbecued chicken (as suggested in recipe) you can use normal chicken or smoked chicken.

Give it a try - super easy and very tasty (thanks to The Australian Women's Weekly Menu Planner for this one).

1 barbecued chicken
2 bacon rashers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
150g mushrooms, sliced
30g butter
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 cup milk
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

Remove skin and bones from chicken, discard. Cut chicken into 1cm strips. Cook bacon and onion in pan for about 2 minutes or until onion is just soft; stir in mushrooms, cook for about 1 minute or until mushrooms are just soft. Heat butter in another pan, add flour , stir over heat for 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk, stir over heat until sauce boils and thickens. Add sauce to onion mixture, stir in chicken and parsley; cool. Spoon mixture into ovenproof dish (4 cup capacity).

Cut pastry sheets into triangles. Place pastry triangles over chicken mixture, brush lightly with egg. Bake in hot oven for about 20 minutes or until heated through and well browned.


And a big THANK YOU to Widge for awarding me with this Butterfly blogging award. Check out her blog here if you haven't - I love her blog!

For more delicious recipes visit here.
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