Friday, October 19, 2018

Around Here

You've heard me talk about The Barefoot Investor book in a previous post well last month Scott Pape launched his "The Barefoot Investor for Families" which I ordered.

It talks about spending 3 minutes at family meal time once a week to teach your kids about finances, savings, spending, giving, cooking.  Like the original book refers to "Date Nights" this book is done at the "Family Dinner" table. Each section focuses on a topic just like the original book. This book is read by the parents and then discussing and implementing a topic at the weekly dinner table.  At the end of each chapter it summarizes actions for you to focus on.

My kids both have a money box with all their money in so we got our old fashioned "jam jars" as suggested [these ones are the raspberry jam jars from Aldi I have saved and they stack nicely on top of one another too].  The idea behind the jam jars is like the grown up version of buckets when the kids are older and get bank accounts they can get 3 bank accounts to replace their jam jars and they are used to splitting and managing their finances.

Both my kids are really good at cooking breakfast, morning and afternoon tea and pizza for dinner however my next step was for them to make an actual meal for the family.  Starting off with spaghetti bolognese, stir fry etc.  In the book it suggests that the kids pick a menu, write a shopping list and actually do the shopping and then cook the meal.  Scott has provided a couple of his families favourite recipes for the kids to start with in the book.  This extra was step was one I hadn't ever thought of before and it's brilliant.  My kids have been to the supermarket with me 1,000 over the years but are always walking behind me as I get the things on my shopping list.  Apart from fruit and veg, deli, bakery, lolly and milk isles I doubt my kids would know which isles have which ingredients.  eg sesame oil for instance.

Scott suggests you invite the Grandparents over and have the kids cook dinner.  I invited some family over for a dinner party with the kids in charge.  I gave them a budget of $60 to feed 7 people and they had to plan the menu, check the fridge and pantry for ingredients first and then write up their shopping list.  They had to go a step further and go online to check the prices and write these next to their shopping list to make sure they could afford to stay within budget.  James decided he would cook the main dish and Sienna would make the dessert. This is the menu they picked.

                            Chicken Thigh Fillets with Honey & Ginger
                            Stir fry veggies with Oyster Sauce
                            Jasmine Rice
                            Sticky Date Pudding, Caramel Sauce & Home Made Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Their shopping list came in under budget so off we went to the supermarket and I walked behind them and kept my mouth shut and the two of them had to find and buy all the ingredients.  They also had to go back to the car to get the shopping bags when we got our trolley as we all know that's part of shopping too these days...a good lesson.  When we got out of the car I could have said you'll need shopping bags but I let it go so they could learn that lesson. Our car is close to the entrance of the shops so its not as if it's a long way to go back and get them.  They got all their items on their separate lists and came in under budget.   When we got home James cut up all the chicken and prepared the marinade, mixed that together and then put that in the fridge.  Sienna then made her Sticky Date Puddings in the muffin trays and while they cooked she made the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and put that in the freezer.

They then had to make sure the house was clean for guests, James put together a three hour playlist of music for us oldies to enjoy.  Later in the afternoon he washed and cut up all the vegetables and put them into the fridge and then Sienna ironed the linen table cloth.  She had a scratch on her leg so she was just about finished ironing and then I saw blood on the cloth so I had to put that in the wash and give her the other linen cloth to start ironing again.  She set the table and then we were ready for guests.  We even used to good china.

They had to get the cheese platter ready, greet guests and fill up our drinks all night and they had an absolute ball doing it.  The meal was amazing and I've given them a budget of $30 for next time so think home made Quiche, Zucchini Slice or home made pizza.  We just went a bit fancy on the first night.  I told the kids that you wouldn't spend $60 on a weekday meal and that it was a "Dinner Party" so it was a bit special.  Both the kids loved doing it and required very little help from me only if they had a question.  It's my job to make sure my kids are fully capable of looking after themselves when they are young adults and as a family we all loved this.  Technically my eldest could leave home at 18 like the olden days...however most kids are still home when they are 23-25 these days however regardless of that, it gives them a lot of confidence in lots of areas. The meal was delicious, presentation was great, music was good and Sienna even did a magic trick for the guest.  I can highly recommend implementing this with your kids.   Such great confidence building skills and a night off cooking was even better.  I loved the extra step of them working out the shopping list and going to the supermarket because we all know it's easy to cook dinner with all the ingredients in the house and we all know they don't get in the house by have to work out what you need, do the list and shop before you even start preparing a meal.  Here's a few pics of our evening.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Around Here

It's school holidays here in Queensland and we are having a nice and easy week.  We went to see Johnny English at the movies, hanging around in our pj's, baking and basically chilling out.  Here's a few pics for you.

This girl of mine is always smiling.....

This is the "pullback shot" of the pic I took above.  She was leaning over the fence.
Below "what you see" and above pic "what I see".

Love your big kids....

Trying to squeeze in the frame with my camera rested on some rocks for a family pic.

Pretty afternoon light.

We met this horse on our afternoon bush walk.

Our new budgie Charlie.

He's still only a baby.

Sienna giving him some love.

Kelley's amazing "Day in the Life" Album arrived.

Leather cover, thick pages and a special coating on the pages to protect them from accidental spills.

Kelley and her cute kids giving her a kiss and cuddle.

Oh no...sometimes I feel the same way when my spaghetti falls off my fork too Em.

Another double page spread of Oscar feeding his metal bird and Kelley showing Em a funny video.

I had the pleasure of taking some photos of a local High School Senior for her formal last week.  She has had a difficult year due to heath issues and she was glowing with excitement getting ready.

Caitlin wore a beautiful navy jump suit with a blush pink belt and shoes.  

All dressed up ready for the senior formal.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Birthday Tradition

Yesterday was my birthday and every year I take my "Birthday Photo" with my kids and 4 cupcakes.  We have been buying the cupcakes from the same bakery for 13 years for this photo with the exception of one year when they had sold out early and I had to purchase some cakes from the supermarket.  This is the 13th photo in this series and when the kids have grown up and left home they will still have to come home for Mummy's birthday photo.  Here is a blog post with the previous 12 years of photos starting when James was 2.5 and Sienna was 6 months old in 2006.  They both made me beautiful hand made cards and we went on a family BBQ so a lovely Birthday and it's all over for another year.

Here is the 2018 photo

Here are some outtakes

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Around here

Around here things are pretty much the same as usual with school and family life.  I have done some decluttering of the medicine box and lots of outdated paperwork which is no longer needed which felt good to get rid of and have some extra breathing space.

Last week I loved reading this book which is all about the laws of attraction and putting steps in place rather than just "dreaming" about things.  Denise shares her story how her and her husband won the 6 months all expenses paid Honeymoon Testers Competition which was out of 30,000 couples.  Remember the brilliant Queensland Tourism campaign for the Best Job in the World in 2009 and all that free publicity was a gold mine for Queensland and Australia.   Back to the story about Denise and her husband who at the time were living in London in a cold dreary flat with jobs they didn't enjoy and they put steps in place to win this competition and did.  They got through to one of the 50,000 couples then 1 of the 10,000 couples then 1 of 10 and won it knowing the whole time they would be the chosen couple.  It's a fantastic read and I borrowed the book from our local library and read it in 2 days as I loved it so much.  It's a great story and lots of take away thoughts for living your best life.  She also has another book that I'm reading as well which is equally as good.

Here's a few recent pics from our life.

Sienna bathed in golden sunset hour.

Local dam.

My soon to be in 3 months time 15 year old...very handsome if I do say so myself.

Loving finding all these shadows in the afternoon light inside our house.

More light and shade in the kitchen.

 I found these stripes really interesting...haven't seen that look before.

Some words above Sienna's desk...she is such a positive and happy girl.

So happy I threw out all the expired prescriptions and medicines.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Around Here

Around here things are travelling pretty normal and it's hard to believe that it is mid August already.  Only one month until my birthday where I take my traditional birthday photo with my kids.  Hand made cards and my birthday photo are the two things that are important to me and makes my day.

We had the family over for a pizza party last week which is always great fun.  The pizza dough recipe we use is here.

Pizza's made in our pizza oven like this one.

Some backyard Bocce with the family was loads of fun.

My niece entered an Australian Art contest and had her artwork selected as 1 of the 26 pieces to be displayed at the Gallery from the 220 entries.  There was a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize and she won the Directors Encouragement Award for a High School Student.  It's done in pencil and is a picture of her brother with water having been poured on him.  The picture was about anxiety and depression and how people who struggle with it feel like they are drowning.  I'm just pointing out that he does not have anxiety or depression, however it was the interpretation of the art piece she drew. As you know this is very big right now along with sustainability. Peoples minds and our planet.

Did anyone watch 60 Minutes last night about Penguin the Magpie?  This is the Instagram account and this is the blog page and can highly recommend you watch the 2 minute video.  The husband is a photographer and took the most incredible images and video of this little bird that saved their family.  They were holidaying in Thailand when the Mum leaned back on a railing and it gave way and she ended falling down a level onto concrete and severed her spine and is in a wheelchair.  It's heartbreaking and moving and the magpie is adorable.  The magpie is in the wild now but he turns up unexpectedly at their house on special occasions like one of the boys birthdays recently and there is a little video of on Instagram when he realized Penguin is home on his's amazing.  They are making this story into a movie at the moment. 

I recently came across this UK Thermomix Baking Blogger and she shares fantastic recipes if you have a Thermomix.

The Brisbane EKKA is on now and even though we won't be going it was nice to revisit some photos of when the kids were little and my sister and I took them in 2009.  OMG time goes so fast when you go back and look at old photos. This is a little history of the show.

The beauty of photographs is that it takes you back to a memory for you to feel it all over again.  So grateful I have taken lots of pictures of myself with my kids over the years.