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.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Compass Expedition

This year the LIttle Girl is working towards a Compass Award. As part of it she had to organise an expedition so she got on the internet and searched out some places to visit along the Great Ocean Road.   Then used google maps to get directions and find out how long it would take. We did take some unscheduled stops on our way to her selected places close to Apollo Bay. By the time we hit Wye River the kids needed a run.



Our first scheduled stop was Mariner's Lookout, on a hill above Apollo Bay with views in both directions.

After a bite to eat we continued down the road to Maits Rest Rainforest walk. An easy 800m walk
through the forest.




On the way home we decided to stop a Erskine Falls near Lorne. Unfortunately our good run with the weather didn't hold and for the first time it rained while we were out of the car. We decided to have a look anyway and just made sure to dodge the worst of the puddles and mud on the many steps.


That's #9 on the list. Little Girl has now completed the requirements for three sections with just another 1.5hrs to go on her community service.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

This week's links ...

1. Really great post on iphone camera apps.

2. I've linked to this in my holiday posts ... but in case you missed it ... for Tim Tam lovers ... Tim Tam Hedgehog.

Friday, July 6, 2012

One week of holidays already gone ...

and we've been keeping busy, kind of ... the Big Girl and The Boy had a pyjama day yesterday while the Little Girl went out with a friend bowling. We've had some success with the list.

Last Saturday we had the Little Girl's artshow at the NGV (#3). Since the two youngest and Hubby were heading to the footy afterwards we parked at the MCG.


We walked along the river and stopped at the playground so The Boy could get out some of his fidgets before we hit the art gallery.

Art play playground

We arrived in plenty of time for the short talk (which was the same as last year when the Big Girl did the same program) before heading upstairs to look at the kids artwork. The Little Girl refused to pose properly with her art work for me but obviously decided she better tow the line when the headmaster requested a photo. I got him to text it to me.


 Afterwards Hubby went to meet his sister to pick up his niece who was going to the football with him and the two youngest. The Pies had a win and Hubby snapped this fabulous photo of the double rainbow.


  I headed off with the Big Girl to the city shops (#17). First we needed to fuel up.


 There were three things on our list ... converses, jeggings and a cardigan. Walking home from the train in the dark we were tired, had sore feet but we were successful (3 out of 3 purchased). Hubby's sister and two kids were at our place when we were arrives so I grabbed the keys and did a quick trip to the supermarket to pick up some supplies to make dinner with. The first couple of days this week I had to get some work done.

 Monday the Little girl had a playdate at her bestfriend's and I dropped the other two off at Hubby's work to do some scanning and shredding. Tuesday The Boy and Little girl had their tennis clinic (#13). The Boy did have one complaint ... he really wanted to play against the Little Girl so he could "thrash" her. Meanwhile the Big Girl went into work again and I went into mum and dad's to check their mail. The Little Girl came home and made Tim Tam hedgehog (#6). We increased the Tim Tams (they were on special this week if you bought three packs), using a pack of white and a pack of original (minus 3 biscuits the kids ate for afternoon tea) and keeping the rest of the recipe the same. It was a real hit ... Hubby texted me from work the next day to get me to bring some down to work when I dropped the kids off.


Tim tam hedgehog

  Wednesday was our day for appointments ... beginning at 8:15am with the doctor (#1) then the dentist (#5) then I drove over to Lower Templestowe for the Little Girl's OPG (#23). I hope her eye teeth are moving into a better position ... we'll find out at the orthodontist Monday week. The dentist also gave us the happy news that The Boy will be needing orthodontic work as well ... it seems only the Big Girl is taking after Hubby and I (neither us had braces). In the afternoon the two youngest went into work. The three of them have grand plans to buy a game for the wii ready for their week down at Pt. Lonsdale.

 I've been reading (#15). City of Ashes finished, The Blind Assassin partway through. I've been busily cleaning (#7) and should finish tomorrow but the filing (#4) is untouched.