Thursday, December 17, 2015

Some Interesting Internet Reads

Here are some internet reads for you so grab a cuppa and have a little read.

If you are into memory keeping I have downloaded this app called "1 Second Everyday" to record 2016.  Take a look at this amazing video. Who knew that 1 second would be all you needed to trigger a memory.  How how I wish I these little things when my kids were little however it's never too late to start now.

With the school holidays starting there appears to be more washing to be done and I don't mind pegging it all out with my fantastic organized system which I wrote about here.

We will have to make the New York Times 5 Minute No Knead Bread more while we are on holidays.

A post about the best sugar cookie recipe.

From Planning with Kids blog "5 shortcuts for entertaining so you can enjoy yourself too" and some recipes for home made gifts like Mango Chutney and a few other foodie items.

Since it's Christmas look at all these Christmas Lights on these houses.

With the New Year around the corner here are some inspiring Vision Board links.

Our family's favourite meal which I do a double batch in the slow cooker.

We will have to make some of these Gingerbread Men like last year thanks to Fiona's recipe.

Some lovely "yarn projects" from Elise.

How to clear that clutter from the kitchen benches...mine seem to be a magnet for anything and everything.

I hope you all have a Safe and Happy Christmas and thank you for stopping by and reading my blog and also for those who take the time to leave a comment, it's always a thrill to read them.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas Tradition

Last week I discovered that Santa's Sleigh would be going through our suburb and visiting a different area each night over a 7 day period.  Last night it was our local area however our Street wasn't one of the ones listed as there is not enough time to visit every single street so we drove 2 kms to where Santa would be going through the streets.  This tradition is one that has been going in our suburb since 1978 some 37 years and during that time it has been run by two different local charity organizations and they collect donations along the way.  This is something that I remember as a child growing up here and in fact my Mum asked me about this the other day and I said the tradition is still going strong and was happening this week.  We've lived back here since June 2011 but I had forgotten about this tradition so was pleased to show my kids this year.

Santa's Sleigh actually goes up the Street I grew up in and I would have loved to have photos of my kids and Santa outside our old house however the Santa run goes from 6.00 to 8.30 pm and didn't feel like waiting in the street until he arrived as I didn't know exactly what time that would be so we just drove around and found him, parked the car and got out said hi to Santa, got a lolly and some pics and went home.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Around Here

Around here we are all exhausted coming to the end of the year.  There are concerts, presentations, info nights for high school, James celebrated his 12th birthday and we've had some very hot days here to contend with.  Here's a few pics of what's been happening in our lives.

Birthday Waffles for breakfast.

This is Sienna's latest trick.

I was lucky enough to go with some friends to see Neil Diamond which was great.

Beautiful skies recently.

James enjoying some yoghurt.

A walk along the beach at the Gold Coast.

School projects and Celebration of Learning morning.

Trying out a self portrait..only place the light was pretty including a distracting pole.

Sienna brushing her teeth before bed.

James reading out all the "different" words from this book set in England in the 1770's.

We put up our Christmas Tree on Saturday afternoon and I still love my silver and blue colour scheme.

Sienna has loved learning the flute this year and over the weekend learnt the theme to "Star Wars".

Sienna's beautiful budgie "Bluey" who says "Good Morning" and "I love you" to us every day.  He does say "Good Morning" no matter what time of the day it is but we still love it.

Sienna participating in a little play about Christmas at our friends place.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Some interesting internet reads

Here are some internet reads for you so grab a cuppa and have a little look but first a Halloween pic or two.

A beautiful crochet pattern for something different and a few different styles on Pinterest for you.

Whole Freezer Cooking 2 week on line course with Heather from Beauty that Moves.

Some ideas for Christmas Crafts for kids with the end of the year fast approaching.

If you have kids Christmas and want to document the Christmas season I highly recommend you join in Ali Edwards December Daily.  This is a photo project about recording one activity a day for the 25 Days Leading up to Christmas.  There are kits you can buy but not necessary so you can just participate in the project and then pop your photos into a little 7x7 Photo Book from Blurb or some other photo book company.  I've done this for the past 6 years and it's wonderful to look back on.  Just think photos of your kids baking Christmas treats, going to see Santa, looking at the Christmas Parade in the city, the Christmas movies, bedtime stories, how your house is decorated, putting up the tree, special deserts etc. It's such a special project and another favourite one of mine.

If you like a little weaving project here.

Have you ever thought about photographing the place you live in, whether it is your own home, or if you rent even if you think you might live there forever.  Things can change and I know I would have loved to have a little 7x7 book of each place I lived in after I moved out of home.  Elise's project is documented here and here.

The most beautiful chook house I've ever seen and in fact it was a few years ago I came across this and you can buy the plans to build your own if you want.

These Asian treats look so yummy.

Small veggie garden ideas.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Homemade Biscuits

Just a reminder for those who want to bake a variety of biscuits with one recipe.  This is the 4 ingredient recipe and then add whatever topping you want, jam, M&M's, sprinkles, sultanas.  Because they are made with wholemeal self raising flour they must be good for you right! 

Actually the thing I like about this recipe is it makes lots of biscuits with the one recipe so you can make a variety of things and I usually divide the mixture into two and freeze one half with the cooking instructions on the front of the plastic bag (ie 180c degrees for 10 mins) so there is no washing up for the next batch of biscuits.  You could however make all the biscuits in one batch and freeze them but I divide the dough into two, make the biscuits and put them in a container in the freezer and then put the remaining dough in a plastic bag but first I wrap the dough in cling wrap.  You can make jam drops, mix sultanas into some, choc chips on top anything.

The ingredients are:-

500gms butter (approx 1.1 lbs)
1 can of condensed milk (400gms)
1 cup of sugar
5 cups of wholemeal self raising flour
** assorted toppings, jam, sprinkes, choc etc.

Just bake for 10 minutes on 180c degrees.....I confess that the mixture by itself uncooked is very moreish and I find myself eating a little too much of it...yum.  Since I can't find my biscuit pictures I'll post a picture of my backyard flowering Jasmine instead and you can see the biscuit photos in my previous post here.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Around Here

Around here we are have been camping in the school holidays.  We went to the Toowoomba Flowers with my family and have been generally hanging around the house.

 Our camp set up at Thunderbird Park and you can see some cooking we did here.

Sitting around the campfire.

Toasting marshmallows for breakfast, yes this is considered breakfast food when camping.

My twist on the Bacon & Egg McMuffin for breaky.

 The kids did the fabulous 3 hour Tree Top Adventure and paid for it with their pocket money.

James set up with all the gear.

Sienna on the high ropes.

Making toasted sandwiches for lunch together while making up silly songs and singing them.

Sienna added some funny glasses to the mix.

Evening sunset at the side of our house, love the reflection in the garage window.

Daisy & Diamond free ranging.

Cobb & Co Museum in Toowoomba at dusk.

Queens Park in Toowoomba with the beautiful show of flowers.

More flowers from Queens Park, looks like a monet art work.

A view from above Queens Park, Toowoomba.  The history of the Carnival of Flowers is here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Camping Activities

Last week I took the kids camping to Thunderbird Park at Mt Tamborine and due to our late booking everywhere was booked out due to the school holidays and the long weekend so we could only stay Thursday and Friday night and come home Saturday morning however it was great to get away for a couple of nights.

As we went on our own this time I had to invest in a smaller tent to fit in my car as the larger one has two big bags and I don't have the room for it unless we go with other people who have a trailer for the extra gear.  I ended up buying this little tent from Kmart which seriously takes 5 minutes to erect as you just pull it up in the middle and the side frame clicks into place and then it's just a matter of putting in your tent pegs.... I was really happy with it although I would consider it an "over nighter" since it's enough for 3 camp mattresses but I couldn't put much else in there.  The kids both had their backpacks at the end of their camp mattresses but since I was in the middle which effectively is the walk way I just left my bag of clothes in the car.  This is considered a 4 man tent however I will never know how they work these out really but it worked for us.

 On previous camping trips I have made "scones" in the camp oven and a few years ago another mother had made the "damper on a stick" for the kids so I googled a recipe before we went and I made up zip lock bags with the mixture in it.  I have to say the recipe was delicious and nice and light too.


1 Cup of Plain Flour                       )
1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder       )     I mixed the dry ingredients together and put
1/4 Teaspoon Salt                           )     in a zip lock bag
2 Tablespoons Powered Milk         )

1 Tablespoon of Oil or butter (I used Olive Oil)

At camp, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl with the 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil (or butter) and then add water slowly until you create dough the consistency of play-doh.  You want a firm dough that isn't sticky.  If you use baking power, set the dough aside to let it rise.  (we waited 10 mins).

Split the dough into 2 or 3 and make into a thin sausage and then flatten the dough.  Once you have this you can stretch it lengthwise and then wrap it around a stick at the top and then wrap it around the stick.  There is a video in the above link to the recipe you can watch if you are unsure.

Hold it over the hot coals (not flames) and turn until it browns slightly and then when it's done slide it off and fill it with butter and golden syrup.  As they are hot on the stick I used some paper towels to hold onto it to slide it off.

NOTES:  Try and get a thick round fairly straight stick...Sienna managed to get a really good one and James stick had a bit of a bend in it so getting it off once cooked was a bit harder.  Hunting for the perfect stick is considered another time consuming kids activity before you even begin.

Wipe your stick down and spray it with olive oil or flour or both.

I made up zip lock bags with the dry ingredients in it and at camp just added the tablespoon of oil and then mixed around then started added the water.

And in true form of the internet only displaying happy times....there was some fighting going on due to he/she has more dough than me which resulted in me telling them I was going for a walk to the toilets because I was over the basically this is real life but the recipe will be one I use over and over again.  I would say that the above quantity would really do 2 people so just make a double or triple batch depending upon how many you want to make.  I just did one batch per zip lock bag so had to add the 1 tablespoon of oil oil and water to each batch we made. they are delicious.