Saturday, December 29, 2012

This week's links ...

1. Books for Boys

2. Tips for adding text on photos.

3. New Years Resolutions for Kids (printable)

4. This wire-wrapped word art is so much fun ... or this letter coatrack.

5. How-to Infographic Cards. OK I know it is past Christmas card time but you may bookmark it for next year ... also I'm thinking of incorporating something like this in our family album next year.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend. I'll be back after the New Year with a list.

Well we've had one day of beach weather ...

first day at beach

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Christmas Post

Between preparations for Christmas, including hosting Christmas lunch for 22 people, and attending a funeral for a very old family friend yesterday, it's been fairly busy round here. Instead of my normal weekly links I thought I'd catch you up and share some of the things that we have been, or are going to be part of our Christmas celebrations this year.


Last weekend we had a Christmas lunch with my family before my brother headed off to Park City for the ski season. Afterwards we went into the city to look at some of the sights including the City Square ... catching the tail-end of Crown's Christmas Fantastic

the Langham Light Show ...

  and the Myer Windows.

For the rest of the week I've been trying to finish off my work (not completely successfully), Christmas shopping and running around for the final week of swimming, soccer and tennis for the kids this year. The kids still found plenty of time to make use of their Christmas presents from their Aunties and Uncles.

We've decided to simplify Christmas lunch a little this year although everyone pitches in so we only need to cook the ham and the potatoes.

The menu:
Glazed Ham. We'll do this on the Weber, I've ordered an 8kg ham from the butcher.
Rolled turkey breasts. I thought about putting them together myself but the poultry shop at Camberwell market had about 5 different stuffings to choose from and in the interests of simplifying I decided to get them ready to go with cranberry and chestnut stuffing.
Roast potatoes.
Green salad
Chinese Noodle Salad
Steamed Chocolate Pudding
Plum Pudding

I settled on a colour scheme of silver, green and red. I'll be doing something a little like this for the centre of the adult table. For the kids I'll move our Jesse tree across and print out a modified version of these Christmas placemats.

Have a very Merry Christmas, I'll be off afterwards for an extended beach holiday.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

This week's links ...

1. Still haven't settled on table setting for Christmas lunch but lots of ideas on this pinterest board.

2. We have lots of scrap material left from making the Little Girl's quilt all in green and reds so I'm thinking of making a fabric wreath for the front door.

3. Creative apps for kids.

4. PL Freebies.

5. Evolution Explains Everything.

6. Getting Along, but Still Getting Somewhere.

Friday, December 7, 2012

This week ...

I insisted we pull out the tree before lunch last Saturday because I knew if we didn't it probably wouldn't be up on the 1st.

 The kids were positive the tree used to be taller. The Big Girl especially has grown this year.

  We also put out the nativity scene ...

and filled the socks with ornaments for the Jesse tree and some lollies and hung them for our advent calendar.


Luckily we did put the tree up in the morning because after lunch the kids had a long swim in the pool before we went out to the Big Girl's basketball game ... a nail biting game where they drew 18 all with her team scoring a goal in the final 10s. The rest of the week has been filled with end of the year activities, a picnic in the park for the Little Girl's year level, Presentation night for the girls at the Melbourne town hall. The Little Girl practiced her quick changes with string orchestra, the year 5 dance and choir in quick succession at the beginning of the night. Amazingly the night finished 5mins before the advertised finishing time of 10pm. Of course then we had to get out of the city ... we had quite a bit of time to admire the Christmas lights on Flinders St station.

 The girls finished school for the year on Tuesday. Thursday The Boy celebrated the last day of the kitchen garden program, cooking food from the garden for the cafe, entirely staffed by the kids and feeding the parents and selected teachers. Yum!! In all the activity, I also turned another year older and scored a shopping trip with my mum to update the wardrobe.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

This week's links ...

1. December photo challenge @ iheartfaces

2. Free Christmas sheet music for piano. (Have to show my kids this)

3. DIY Christmas Crackers. The is year we are hosting Christmas lunch so I might try this depending on how the month is going. Although I probably should choose a theme for the table first. Red, green and white is probably the most sensible choice as it will match our advent calendar which is in the meals area. Our tree is in the front room and although it began looking beautiful with shades of blue, purple, pink and gold in it's first year of life it is now a riot of colour as each year handmade and gifted decorations have been added to our collection. Hubby was home and helping with the tree for the first time in quite a few years and he opened the box of decorations and asked what colours we were using. I laughed, shrugged and said "Just put it all on".

4. The Boy helped me cook this Korean Beef recipe. We added in some broccoli and carrots just to boost the vegetable count. A really and easy recipe.

5. I also added another good recipe to my slow cooker repertoire - Chicken Tikka Masala

Saturday, November 24, 2012

This week's links ...

Sitting down with the kids to watch the third Harry Potter movie on TV tonight. It's almost started but first we got to watch a baby pretend to talk on it's iPhone foot ... its seems like a long time since our 6:40am wakeup for the Little Girl's swimming. There were second hand textbooks bought, dinner tonite volunteers meeting attended, a departure to Singapore (that would be Hubby) and KK presents bought. As team manager I almost had to coach the Big Girl's basketball match but managed to rope in another mum who had a clue and they won 29-19.

After all that we came home and did a simultaneous jump into the pool ... well The Boy, Big Girl and I did ... the Little Girl preferred her own space. Ten minutes later I was cool enough but the kids swam for over an hour while I pottered in the kitchen and read the paper, a lovely end to a busy day.

If you have a quiet moment I have a few links to linger over ...

1. Cute PL printables - These are the Days

2. Good advice for the busy season.

2. With Bach's Resolve - "He sets beauty before our imagination, gives us stories or poems, pictures or songs or even new ways to love and live, and asks us to bear them into the world. "

3. Gold that is Clear as Glass. - "Rationalism has its place in our society, but when it denies beauty, we instinctively rebel."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

This week's links ...

1. Waterless snow globes.

2. The Really simple Way to Get Things Done. I think the never ending task list may be the bane of every mum (maybe everyone?). I'm a hopeless procrastinator and this strategy helps reduce that quite a bit.

3. Ps 23:1 Printable

Monday, November 12, 2012

The one where we were almost too ambitious ...

but first there were things done, places gone ... like the Little Girl to swimming at 7:30am on Saturday. She comes home looking for food so I offered her mango and we lured the Big Girl out of bed with it.

About six weeks ago we borrowed the Lego Ideas Book from the library. Giddyup ...

 or fly away as the mood takes you.
He says there's no way he's cutting his hair. It's ready for snow boarding ... next Easter.
Hubby went to work digging the pump into the bottom of the hole and burying the pipe and power cord.
Our window for planting so we get some summer vegetables was rapidly diminishing so my job was to do something with the garden. The kids are taking part of the garden to grow whatever they like. The Boy planted his out first.
The best part was building the support to corral his mini pumpkin.
Before I could plant I had to clean out some of the winter vegetables that were on their last legs.
I didn't want to waste it so I decided to try the recipe for kale chips I'd seen. While I was looking for that recipe I came across this one which would solve the rainbow chard issue. But more than kale chips and gozleme would be required for dinner. Some meat. Some more vegetables. A free mini slurpie ...
Maybe not. We needed some ingredients form the supermarket and I had a voucher for the Happy 7-eleven day so the kids picked their slurpies up while we were down there. By a happy coincidence the 7-eleven is opposite the supermarket that is walking distance from our house. The Little Girl and I came back and spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen.
At one stage I thought we weren't going to pull it off but ...
The final menu for our middle eastern feast:

  • Kale chips. An unusual taste. Disgusting was The Boy's verdict, the Big Girl concurred, the rest of us were fairly ambivalent.
  • Olive Oil Crackers. These were good but the recipe makes a lot and we cooked one round of dough at a time which took a lot of time. I would like to try freezing the dough, then whenever you needed some crackers you could pull out a round or two and cook it. 
  • Carrot and cumin dip. A winner.
  • Smashed broad bean dip. Fresh broad beans from the garden cooked. Smashed with some lemon zest and olive oil. I could eat this everyday ... oh wait, I have eaten it everyday since Saturday.
  • Tomato, cucumber, mint and red onion salad. Self explanatory, just add a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Gozleme. I made 1 rainbow chard and fetta and 3 spiced lamb. I made the lamb using this recipe
  • Honey-spiced Oranges with icecream. These were a hit except for The Boy.
There was just enough leftover for dinner last night, which was fortunate since we were out from 8:45am to 6pm. Church, birthday present shopping, birthday party, swim meet (with a trip out to drop Big Girl at small group), pickup Big Girl from church and home. The Little Girl knocked 9s off her 50m butterfly time and got a PB in her 50m freestyle and backstroke. She missed her PB in the 50m breaststroke by 0.01s.

I finished planting the vegetables today.

We got a little side tracked.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I emailed in my final essay for the semester yesterday and popped the hard copy in the mail this morning so this afternoon I've finally got some time for some serious cooking with the Little Girl and some planting in the garden, but for now ...

1. Chalkboard lettering for those of us who don't have beautiful handwriting.

2. Recipes for mixes in jars.

3. Button and cord (elastic would be good) a gorgeous way to finish off a gift.

4. Add an instagram feed to your blog.

Friday, November 2, 2012

This week's links ...

1. A free template from Donna.

2. Gorgeous justb flipbook.

3. Love these year in review infographics ... here, here, here, here and another here. (via Jessica Turner)

4. We made this yummy chicken and Amy's risotto. Last night I made the leftover risotto in to arancini.

5. How cool are these pinstagram calendars?

6. Free printable calendar cards.

7. DIY Christmas Tree

8. Saved Together  "The question Newbigin forces upon us is, I think, this: do we have the graciousness and humility to accept a salvation that is mediated through other sinful, broken, human beings and which comes to us via a long historical process?"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

This week's links ...

I have some cute recycling DIYs this week ...

1. DIY Apothecary Jars using your normal, everyday old jars.

2. Giftboxes, notebooks and pencil cases from cereal boxes.

3. Cereal box desk drawer organisers.

We also cooked this week ...

4. I am trying to eat down our pantry, fridge and freezer. We had some buttermilk and I had some frozen blueberries which were calling to be made into muffins of course. I used this recipe but I would recommend making sure your berries are completely thawed otherwise the melted butter solidifies. They tasted great but it all got quite messy and the finished product was a bit rough and ready, they'd have been fine with room temperature berries.

5. My parsley is out of control, hanging over my chives and oregano and I got a lemon in our box from CERES so I made Saffron Chicken with lemon and parsley. It was good and the kids liked it too.

Also ...

6. If you have kids that are into superheroes you must check out the Hall of Fame font. It has lots of super hero logos which you could use for all sorts of fun projects. (via Sugar Tot Designs, click over and you can check out what they did with it.)

7. A good series of short articles on the historicity of the gospels:

Monday, October 8, 2012

First Week of Fourth Term


Hello Sub 20 degree temperatures. We turned the solar heating on the pool on last Thursday and the water got up to 25 degrees so the kids got their first swim of the season. The heatings off again now that we are back to winter weather again. Thursday is forecast to be 13 ... brrr!

Hello last term of the school year which is always really busy.

Hello change of schedule. All the kids activities except The Boy and Little Girl's tennis on Friday afternoon are changed this term. The Little Girl has gone up to intermediate squad and is now doing two 1.5hr and one 1 hour swimming squad sessions a week but soccer is finished. The Big Girl starts a new basketball season as well. She's moved up from Div 7 to Div 4 and is now playing with a couple of friends from school. Looking at the schedule I think this term will be a bit easier than last term. 

Hello violin shop. The Little Girl broke her violin string tonight so I need to go early tomorrow morning and see if they can fix it before her rehearsal tomorrow afternoon. She'll have to go to the practice anyway because we are supposed to take her friend home with us after the practice. Luckily it's the first rehearsal of three.

Hello Birthday Party. Now the holidays are finished we're having the Little Girl's birthday party. Seven girls on Saturday afternoon. Hubby flies in from China in the morning so we're praying there's no hold ups.

Hello 1000th blog post. This is it.

Hello Monday Inspired by Amy, originating here.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

This week's links ...

1. The kids made these chocolate chip cookies this week. They were good but not better than our trusty recipe which I'll have to share with you sometime. We've been making it for years. I also made Mongolian Beef but it was too sweet maybe a half or less of the sugar?

2. October is collection month for Samaritan's Shoeboxes. This is a good one to do with kids. Hubby didn't quite get around to taking the kids out to fill theirs today as planned but it will be happening sometime in the next week or so.

3. So I fell off the 12 on 12 band wagon and I don't intend to hop back on but it really is great to sometimes have the ordinary bits and pieces form one day. Ann has produced a great little template for capturing her 12 on 12 but it would be good started for an easy 1 day project as well.

4. Lots of new Free project life cards on Becky Higgins site this week.

5. OK, it's a little down the track for us, and I'm sure I'll have forgotten by then, but wouldn't your family's very own cookbook be a great gift to send with your child when they leave home.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This week's links ...

1. Tips for food photography. I love looking at food ... eating food ... cooking food ...

2. I did not use the tips from #1 to take this photo ...

Homemade gnocchi

we were too busy getting ready to eat it to muck around with lighting etc. This is Pips' super easy super delish gnocchi, and it delivered on both fronts. The Little Girl and I made it Wednesday night. Not something I would make on a school night but not that difficult. The Little Girl is already asking when we are going to make it again.  (confession: I just used the potatoes I happened to have on hand, they were dutch creams)

3. Painted Treat Tins. Give any old tin a new life.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The one where we plant a garden and the Little Girl turns 11.

It was a big day Tuesday. This was the view of the front garden after lunch, plants laid out and tanbark delivered. We'd spent the morning picking out plants at the wholesale nursery.


Hubby dug holes while I did planting and spreading a lot of the mulch.


It was a big day, but since then, every time I drive in the driveway I think to myself "Gee that looks good". I took a while picking everything but I'm so happy with the way it all looks together now that it's planted. I had an idea a what I wanted but seeing it all come together was a relief.


Hubby made a fabulous pancake cake for the Little Girl's birthday ... although it was a different "best pancake recipe". There must be a few floating round the internet.


We were missing the Big Girl on the day because she was at youth group camp this week. The Little Girl decided to postpone her special dinner to tonight so the Big Girl could be there.


 This morning the two kids and I went and had our immunisations for China. We all needed two injections and there was no hysteria. The Boy felt a little sick afterwards and looked a little green but he sat down while I paid and soon got his colour back. The Boy was quite put out with me, apparently he'd planned on a happy day today and I'd ruined it with those needles. The Little Girl, as usual didn't flinch and jumped up straight afterwards without any ill effects announcing that she would still be having a good day. I think she has a fairly high pain threshold.

For her birthday dinner she decided on chicken schnitzels and caramel cake for dessert. She loves to cook so she helped me, even though it was her birthday dinner. The Boy helped make the cake.


The Big Girl is back full of stories of all the fun things they did, how disgusting boys are and requesting my help with encouraging her in her daily bible reading. We've sent her off for an early night tonight but I'm expecting the weekend will be a major downer for her, getting over the lack of sleep, sugar high and fairly constant stimulation of the last week.

Monday, September 24, 2012

We're having bursts of beautiful weather here ...

and on Saturday afternoon I sent everyone outside, including myself. While Hubby painted the fence, we, in various combinations and locations, played cards, started tutorial papers, made T-rex's and read books.

Hello Spring and your wildly fluctuating weather. It's cold here again.

Hello two kids at home. I dropped The Big Girl off at the bus for youth group camp this morning. She'll be away all week.

Hello occasional sleep ins. The Little Girl is not going to do every day of the holiday swimming which starts at 8am. 

Hello eleven year old ... not quite, but later this week the Little Girl turns eleven. We went this afternoon and picked part of her birthday present which was a new doona cover.

Hello more plants. Hubby is hoping to take a day off work this week so we can go out to the nursery and get another load of plants. I have managed to plan some more sections of the garden, so we're not heading out blind.

Hello Grand Final week ... Hubby is off doing various footy related socialising this week and we will all go to our friends' place on Saturday for the grand final BBQ.

Hello family get togethers. Apart from Little girl's birthday we will also celebrate two of her cousins birthdays.

Hello Monday Inspired by Amy, originating here.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

This week's links ...

1. Raspberry Oat Bars ... but I didn't wrap them.

2. The Little Girl had a friend over and they browsed through my "Looks Yummy and Sweet" board on Pinterest. They settled on these chocolate cookies. They were good and the mix made plenty so we could send a box home with the friend.

3. Will have to try upside down tomato cages to keep the zucchini from taking over the garden this year.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The first week of the school holidays.

The girls had a successful sporting weekend. The Big Girl won her basketball grand final 36-11, scoring 6 points. Fortunately they have the presentations straight after the game so I got to see her pickup one trophy but I missed her club presentation where she won a most improved award because I was out with the Little Girl at a swim meet. She managed three PB's, her backstroke improved by 3s on her previous week's swim. Butterfly is still her nemesis.


It's the first week of the school holidays in our house but swimming and tennis are still running. So ...

Hello wardrobe restock ... change of seasons means it's time to sort through the wardrobes, make a list and hit the shops. I know that Sara needs new bathers as her old ones split all the way down both sides at training a couple of weeks ago, luckily they were lined and the lining held. She's been borrowing the Big Girl's since then.

Hello playdates. One planned for Wednesday for The Boy and one for Friday for the Little Girl. I said if the Big Girl wants to see her friends over the holidays she'll have to organise it herself.

Hello vaccinations. The Big Girl has her final gardasil and we need to start the vaccinations for our trip to China.

Hello birthday party planning, for the Little Girl, at least invitations will need to be sent.

Hello library. I need to go into uni tomorrow and return books and borrow some for the tutorial paper I need to prepare over the holidays. On a more fun note I'll also take the kids to the local library.

Hello kitchen ... OK, we spend a bit of time in the kitchen anyway but I usually save the more complicated, time consuming recipes for over the holidays.

Hello helpers. The kids are allowed more technology time during the holidays but they have to earn it with extra "help your mother's".

Hello decorating. It's the Little Girl's turn to do up her room for her birthday.

Hello calls to the US. That's where Hubby is this week.

Hello Monday. Inspired by Amy, originating here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

I wore T-shirts earlier this week ...

and the kids had spiders for afternoon tea ...


and played outside until dinner.


 Meanwhile, my broccoli is growing ... 


and the girls were on holiday today. They occupied their morning making chocolate cake and creamy soda jelly.

I'm currently enjoying the post hand in relief after a stressful afternoon of trying to cut one of the two papers that were due today down from 1600 words to 1100. I got close enough and emailed  a copy of each off at 5pm and then went dropped the hard copies into the post office.

It's cold here again but the temperatures look to be rising again over the weekend and into the next week. Our weekend will be busy ... what about yours?

Monday, September 10, 2012

On the last week of term three ...


Hello Hubby. We celebrated Father's Day yesterday because he was away last week. Although it's hello and goodbye ... he's off again this Sunday.

Hello calendar clash. Three kids in three different venues on Sunday afternoon and only one of me. The Little girl has the second week of her aggregate swim meet, The Boy has Kidschurch Social (Little Girl is missing this) and The Big Girl has her basketball presentation afternoon.

Hello Editing, I'm at that stage of writing my two papers that are due this Friday and at only 1000 words each there will be a bit to do.

Hello Holidays, starting this Thursday for the girls and Friday for The Boy.

Hello Basketball Grand Final. Against the odds The Big Girl's team is in the Grand Final after finishing 4th at the end of the season. Last Saturday they played a team that had thrashed them both times they played but this time the Big Girl's team won 17-5.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'll count this as done ...

for now. We will be fitting this out later into a guest room and study, which will solve some of the storage issues. You may remember the mess ... most of that is gone now. When I began there were two rows of boxes, one along the wall and one down the middle of the room. I went through all those and put away or got rid of most of it. There are the pictures left, which will wait until we make some decisions about where they will go ... we don't want to go round nailing things into the walls willy nilly.

A lot of the boxes had books in them so I unpacked all them and either stacked them on the shelf or sent them to the salvos. I had to double stack the books to fit them all on the shelf but since it's a temporary measure I'm not too fussed. The boxes are photos and memorabilia, one for each of us. I need to pick up some more albums so I can file away the kids stuff. Then I'll tackle our old photos.


This is the desk. At the top right are inboxes for Hubby and I, (guess whose is on top?). Then next to that are the files I'm currently using and the pile of books for the two papers I'm writing at the moment. Below, the black folders are the kids current albums, plus there's an older one for the Big Girl because her current one only started in the middle of last year.  Each one will hold three years worth of their stuff. I put all the memorabilia for these albums in as I sorted through all the boxes. Next to that is a box of stationary supplies which I probably need to sort through.


Right now I'm sitting at my desk typing this post ... it's always a plus when you can do work at your desk.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello spring with 20+ temperatures.

Hello new sponsorchild, our current sponsorchild's community is now self-sufficient so we will be getting a new sponsorchild at the end of September. This is the second child we've sponsored whose project has finished, which just shows that a little help over an extended period really can help some of the poorest people in the world have the opportunities to lift their lives out of poverty.

Hello solo parenting, Hubby finally made it to China, but he'll be back Friday.

Hello writing, I have two document papers due next week.

Hello early nights. I'm not too sure how this will work with the two previous "hellos" but I've been really tired lately and feeling a bit off so I'm going to aim for lights out at 10pm.

Hello new glasses. It's been too long between visits to the optometrist, but I finally made it there a couple of weeks ago. While I was there the optometrist suggested I try some contacts since I was playing tennis in my glasses. It was a disaster, getting them in, then out was quite a trial, then my eyes were sore for the rest of the day. I think it will take a little while to get used to my new glasses, at the moment I'm feeling a little sick, but that should improve soon.

Hello basketball semi-finals. The Big Girl's team won their final on Saturday. It was the first time they beat this particular team and she played one of her best games. This was one of the five points she scored.


Hello Monday. Inspired by Amy, originating here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This week's links ...

You may be expecting the study reveal today but that would disrupt the normal programming around here. I'm pretty happy with what I got done, and later today I will take some photos to share early next week. I unpacked quite a few boxes which were stacked neatly in the corner and The Boy got in there on Thursday morning before school and did some making. Making around here usually involves lots of tiny pieces of cardboard offcuts left spread everywhere, so this afternoon he will clean it up and we'll need to vacuum the floor again. After that I'll take the photos.

I forgot to post some the links to some new recipes we tried while we were on our tech fast. They are out of a real life cookbook (since I was not allowed the computer) but I found the recipes on the net as well so I thought I'd link you up ...

1. Special Chicken Stew. This was good. I used chicken lovely legs.

2. Baked chocolate pudding. These were very rich. The Little Girl couldn't even finish hers which is unheard of. His method for getting the gooey centre is genius.

3. A guide to properly washing and storing vegetables.

4. Love this DIY wall organiser.

5. The Grand Inquisitor. "Let us not forget the radical humility and powerlessness of the Jesus we follow, and emulate it ourselves."

Monday, August 27, 2012


 Hello nearly Spring, it's a gorgeous sunny day today but the wind is bitterly cold. The first blossoms are out ... and I'm hoping I can cut a few off the tree behind our place. There's a few branches hanging over the fence.

Hello curtains. When we moved in I picked all the blinds and curtains except the ones for the lounge room. I had choice overload so we put it off until I could have a think about what I really wanted in there. I finally went and picked and they arrived last Tuesday.


Hello unexpected change to my schedule. The plan today was to go into Mum and Dad's and pay there bills then swing by the library at uni to start research for two document papers. I was 10mins from home when my phone rang. It was the school. The Big Girl had vomited. Luckily I wasn't too far away, a quick u-turn, and I headed back to school and picked her up. She spent most of the day in bed, but she's not too bad. I did pop into mum and dad's in the afternoon but no library for me. Speaking of changed schedules ...

Hello Hubby. He was supposed to be on a plane to China yesterday morning but when he got up at 4:30am he had a text saying his Grandmother had died during the night. It was not unexpected, she turned 100 earlier this year, but the trip needed to be postponed for the second time (he was originally supposed to be away last week). The funeral will be later this week.

Hello music concert. The Little Girl missed last week's one but we expect to be at tomorrow night's. The funny thing is, that her best friend who also happens to be first violin as well went home sick this week so they may still not have the full compliment of violinists in their part.

Hello basketball finals, for the Big Girl that is, not me. She had her last match of the season on Saturday and they've finished fourth.

Hello clean study ... the deadline is Saturday.

Hello Monday. Inspired by Amy, originating here.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

This week's links ...

1. Great websites for kids.

2. Really beautiful DIY paper orchids.

3. I don't fold my sheets but just roll them up in a big bundle and put them on the top shelf of the wardrobe in the whichever room they belong. This would probably not work if I kept them in the linen cupboard as a whole shelf of messy bundles would be an eyesore, one per wardrobe is not too much in my opinion. I may, at one time, have pinned "how to fold a fitted sheet", but since then I've decided I just don't care enough to fold them. It seems I'm not the only one. In spite of my resolution not to care, I still found myself sympathetic to Doghouse Diaries take on folding fitted sheets.

4. These lollipop trees are really cute, would be fabulous for a kids party.

5. Planning a Vegetable Garden. I always intend to make and follow a plan but when it comes time I usually just push seeds in wherever I feel like at the time. Maybe this year will be different? The vegetable garden is in quite a prominent position in our new garden so I'll have to make a reasonable effort to get it looking good.

Monday, August 20, 2012

No one can keep going at a frantic pace forever ...


Hello Athletics after she spent Sunday in bed with a cold.

Hello Couch because she really wasn't well and flaked out as soon as she got home.

Hello Hoping she'll be OK for her music concert tomorrow. Thankfully she had her Tournament of the Minds presentation on the weekend so she can have her lunchtimes and Sunday afternoons back.

Hello Thermals pulled from the bag of ski clothes so I could make it through spectating at the athletics all day.

Hello Computer after our tech fast over the weekend.

Hello Books of the accounting variety, time to finish last year's financials.

Hello Lego Movies made by The Boy using Stop Motion Studio for iPad.

Hello Monday, inspired by Amy, originating here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

This week's links ...

Just an ordinary day this week, we'd been for a haircut, picked up some chicken for dinner and were heading back to the car. The Boy was telling me story and his eyes lit up as he looked up with a smile on his face and I was hit in that moment with that joy that leaves you speechless ... goodness, beauty ... the feeling of rightness (is that a word?) ... it does that sometimes.

This year I committed to the 1000 Joy Dare and although there's been days and sometimes weeks where I forget to recognise the good and give thanks, I've kept going and am up to 511 good things ... there's more than that of course but these on the ones I've recorded.

The good, beauty, God ... which leads me to this week's first link ...

1. On the Praise of Beautiful Women

2. Gorgeous printable gift tags.

3. Love these party thank-yous

4. Site with heaps of free printables for kids.

5. Cursive fonts - I love using cursive fonts and there's some good ones here.

6. Hubby will be opening a foundry in Jinhua soon, so this story of one inspiring lady caught my eye, although it's tragic that she had to rescue those babies in the first place.

7. Raising successful children.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

This week's links ...

1. When you're feeling inadequate due to the fabulousness of other people's comings and goings, makings and doings on the internet you can go and look at my study again ... or go read The Thing About Pinterest. (Pinterest may be my go to when I'm looking to procrastinate so it partly explains the state of my study.)

2. Testing 10 Ways to Get Rid of Flies - they've done the hard work so you don't have to. Down at Pt Lonsdale my dad and brother use these really stinky fly traps. They smell disgusting and when they are full of dead flies and need emptying are gag enducing. They are so bad I don't think I would be able to empty them without vomiting. Luckily my brother has an outdoor toilet so the boys pop over there to empty them ... they really work though. So if you don't have some men to empty fly traps for you you may want to try some lavender candles.

3. Praying for Kids - with printable of virtues to pray for.

Friday, July 27, 2012

This week's links ...

I'm pre-writing this post on Friday night because tomorrow promises to be hectic. We are having 12 of the Big Girl's friends over tomorrow night to celebrate her birthday and there is also swimming, soccer, basketball and I have my first morning of uni for this semester. I'm expecting Hubby to arrive home from China any minute now, he was very glad he only had a carry-on this trip because getting your luggage home with you from Hong Kong is a currently a dicey prospect due to the typhoon earlier in the week. I'm just glad he's going to be home.

1. 100 Best Children's Chapter Books

2. 10 Ways to Document the Olympics for Project Life

3. Free Papercraft Alphabet - looks amazing but fiddly if you're glue, scissors and folding challenged like me.

4. Smartphone Ways to Document Your Trip (or Life)

5. Love these scanned and framed children's artwork. They are pricey but I have an idea for a DIY version for our upstairs hall.

6. 20 Beautiful Weekend Project Ideas

I just set the Big Girl's alarm for 5:30am so she can get up to see the opening ceremony. I haven't decided whether to get up yet or not because I'll miss some of it anyway taking the Little Girl to swimming before I go into class. Maybe I'll just enjoy my sleep and watch it later. What about you? Did you watch the ceremony live or not?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oreo Cake


Inspired by this recipe which while looking yummy contained some strange fake cream ingredient so I decided to modify it, avoiding that ingredient.

You'll need a chocolate cake, the original recipe used a packet mix but you can use your favourite recipe for a moist chocolate cake. I used the chocolate birthday cake from the AWW Kids in the Kitchen. You want two round cakes. Level the top of one of the cakes, this will be your bottom layer.

Beat 250g of cream cheese with 1/2 cup of castor sugar. Whip 300ml of cream. Fold into whipped cream  a packet of roughly crushed Oreo cookies into the cream cheese mixture. Spread this onto the bottom cake layer then place the second cake on top.

Microwave 100g of dark chocolate with 50g of butter on high until the butter is melted. Stir until the chocolate is melted and spread over the top of the cake.

This was a hit with the kids, my sister and my small group ... so a win ... and it looks so good too! One tip, just make sure you refrigerate it before you cut it otherwise cutting it results in a bit of a mess. It works much better if the filling is firm so it doesn't squeeze out all over the place.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The BIG MESS ... aka the study

A blogging friend made the comment recently that I seemed very organised, so in the interests of keeping it real here I bring you my study …


and the view of my desk.


The opened, rifled through boxes with contents spilling out are the result of me looking for stuff. When we were doing up the Big Girl's room I knew we had a photo of her doing a ski jump at Mt Hotham that I wanted to frame … of course it was in the last box of "photos and memorabilia".


It wasn't a total waste of time though, I found this gorgeous photo while I was looking through everything.


I'd forgotten I had it, so a happy surprise. Last week some of the other boxes got opened in an effort to find one of The Boy's speech reports … that hunt was not a success … I have every other report, including the girls, except the one I was looking for. 

On Monday I turned up at the parent teacher interview two days early … the Little Girl told me my interview was at 3:45pm but neglected to tell me that it was Wednesday not Monday. I've told her next time she can give me the slip that was in her diary. Of course the teacher was surprised when I said we were a bit disorganised at home, especially since the Little Girl got a principle's award not long ago for her organisational skills. I guess now the Little Girl will get even more brownie points … she's organised in spite of her mother.

Anyway, I'm going to make a bold declaration … I will fix this mess by the end of winter!

Tune in on 1st September to see how I went and if you have your own mess feel free to join me.

My next post will be about cake. Till then ...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

This week's links ...

1. Instagram tips and tricks

2. We need some house numbers ... love the look of these DIY ... but maybe out of our ability.

3. I made a version of Pip's Teriyaki Chicken this week and it was YUM! Go make it!

4. Isn't this every day?

5. The internet flowchart.

6. Why Killing Time isn't a Sin. - "Is this what our lives are to be? A non-stop stream of productive tasks?"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What we did ... what we didn't

School is back and we did OK (by my standards) with the list.

  1. Doctor
  2. Playdates
  3. Go to NGV for the Little Girl's extension art show.
  4. Filing (very scary piles all over the study) - this I started on but haven't got very far into it.
  5. Dentist
  6. Make tim tam hedgehog
  7. Deep clean the house
  8. Orthodontist - We found out that the Little Girl's eye teeth are now growing down where they're supposed to be instead of back into her palette.  Major cutting and pulling averted by having her baby eye teeth pulled out last year ... that's a win. Braces are still on the cards but not quite yet.
  9. The Little Girl's compass expedition
  10. Haircut
  11. Little Girl's swimming comp at MSACIMG_1704
  12. Make goyoza
  13. Tennis clinic (Little Girl and The Boy)
  14. Visit the library
  15. Read lots - The Blind Assassin, City of Bones, City of Ashes and Shadow of a Dark Queen finished.
  16. Tweet review those books - coming
  17. Take the Big Girl shopping for clothes
  18. One week at Pt Lonsdale
  19. Pick the trees for the garden - we'll go out and buy some of them later this week.
  20. Make chocolate swirl buns
  21. Take the kids to spend their book vouchers.
  22. Make fried icecream (really going to do it this time)
  23. Dental X-rays (Little Girl)
  24. Make Rotisserie Chicken - I made this Sunday night for dinner because I had my sister coming over, but I didn't follow the recipe exactly. My sister was not surprised (I think I probably follow the recipe when I cook about 75% of the time.) A found it a little dry. I find that is the case in the slow cooker for roasting meats, I much prefer casseroles and curries cooked in the slow cooker. 
  25. The Big Girl's 3-D puzzle (she requested some help so we might make it a family project. - we attempted this but didn't finish and had to put it back in the box to bring home from Pt. Lonsdale.