Saturday, 31 March 2012

Easter Nests Take 1

Well this isn't my normal Friday Food Find style post.  To start with, it's Saturday.  Secondly, Friday was my birthday so I was busy with other things :)  I saw another post for Easter Nests that I'd like to try but for some reason I didn't bookmark it.  I'll try to find it but I'm not making any promises.

This IS something I've never made before. I saw it here. I mentioned these nests to a friend and showed her the original post and she said "Yeah, they're Spiders!  My Mum made them for every birthday party we ever had! Didn't your Mum ever make them?"  Ahhh, no...  NEVER.  Anyway, here we go.

Easter Chocolate Nests

1 packet Chang's Oriental Fried Noodles
2 tbspn crunchy peanut butter
200 grams of chocolate
approx 18 small Easter eggs

1.  Line small bowls with baking paper
2.  In a microwave safe bowl, break up chocolate, add peanut butter & melt on high for approx 60 seconds.
3.  Stir the chocolate mixture and if it is not melted, heat for a further 15 seconds or more as required depending on the wattage of your microwave.
4.  Add the noodles and mix well.
5.  Spoon the mixture into the bowls evenly.  The aim is to have the base thinner making sure the mixture goes up the walls of the bowls to form a nest.  (Easier said than done.  I had to help H with this bit.)
6.  Put them in the fridge for at least one hour to set. Peel off the baking paper and add the small Easter eggs.

You could put them in cellophane bags and give them as gifts or just have them as an after dinner treat with the family.

As a bonus, I got these LOVELY flowers from a friend the day before my birthday.  She didn't know my birthday was the following day but she did know that tulips are my all time favourite flower. The photo didn't turn out too good, but you get the idea.  Thank you Gorgeous Girl!!

This is the cake Miss Pants picked out for me when Mr Creator took her shopping to pick one.  Apparently, I like Barbie.  (Again, not good quality.  Perhaps I should think about a new camera.  I don't like borrowing Mr Creators big fancy pants DSLR because it's heavy & big.  Mine fits in my pocket.)

Since my birthday was also Family Games Night I picked the game.  I decided on junior Scrabble.  It got a bit late & a bit much for Miss Pants so she had to retire early.  Master H isn't a real fan of reading or practising his spelling words so he wasn't real enthused about playing but when he won he was pretty happy with himself :)
That's it for today,

Bye for now, K

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Easter Activities Begin...

... In our house

Yesterday I did a little shopping in preparation for some Easter and school holiday craft (and perhaps some it can be used at gifts).  I can home with quite a few things to keep the kids momentarily busy through the holidays.  I ran into someone that was telling me she'd heard about people having Easter "trees" and was going togive it a go, so if I come across one I'll share it with you.

One of my purchases was a box of cookie making stuff.  It came with cookie mix (like a box cake mix), icing mixture, egg shaped cookie cutter and a tube of coloured icing.  I cooked them up yesterday afternoon before the kids got home from school and we iced them after Miss Pants finished her swimming lesson.  They had 5 each to ice.  I helped with the butter icing which was supposed to be used to sandwich the biscuits together, but this way they'll go further.  The icing wasn't terribly thick but I put it in a freezer bag and snipped a corner off to squeeze it out anyway.  The kids decided how they wanted me to put it on & they used the green that came with the kit & some glitter icing pens we already had to decorate them.  I did a few too :)

Miss Pants squeezing the glitter icing on.  Pink off course.

H asked me to make different designs on his bikkies before he added the coloured stuff.

Mr Magoo's works of art.

The Finished Product

Because it was so close to dinner time (& because there was so much sugar involved) I only let them have one each before dinner.  Mean Mother aren't I.  Bwahahahaha...

Bye for now, K

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

WIP: Corn Anyone?

Short & sweet this week.

We've finally "harvested" our corn.  WooHoo!!  And you know what? It is YUMMY!  We had to pick it all even though it didn't all look completely ready.  We had a little problem with aphids on the squash plant and when I ripped it out I think they found a new home on the outside of the corn husks.  A few ants were trying to enjoy our corn too.  We beat them too it though. Lol

Our other vegies didn't turn out so well though. Lol

I left the other carrots in the ground hoping that they might actually GROW. ha ha ha  The squash is quite large, but there was only one of them.  The rest got eaten by bugs still on the vine (because I kept forgetting to check on the them).  And only ONE cucumber :(

So, any ideas what we should plant next anyone??

Now, I'll just give you a sneek peak of my latest cushion creation too (still in progress).  I can show you the full cushion in a few weeks.

I have a HEAP of craft ideas to get into for Easter and the school holidays.  Fingers crossed I get at least HALF of what I have planned done.

I read something this week that I may share fully another time, but here is a little piece to think about
"...making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is."   Ephesians 5:16-17

Bye for now, K

Monday, 26 March 2012

What's one thing that used to scare you?

So I wouldn't ordinarily blog twice in one day but...

I went to this post from Aspiring Mum and followed the link to the interview she had with Happy Mums At Home.  One of the questions was, What's one thing that used to scare you that doesn't anymore?  This was her answer

"Other people’s opinions. I’ve lived a large portion of my life worrying what other people think of me. Sometimes I still let it bother me, but you can’t live your life based on what you assume other people may or may not be thinking."

I realised in that moment that although I try REALLY hard not to worry about what people think, clearly I still do!  Other wise I would have shared my blog with everyone in my life earlier than this. 

So, to those that already knew about my blog, Thank You.  Thank you for your support, encouragement and your ability to keep quiet about it.  To those that didn't know about my blog, I'm sorry.  I just didn't feel ready to share it until I read that interview. 

Actually, I didn't finish reading the interview, I just had to share this first.  I'll head back over now.  Here is the  link to the interview incase you're interested.

Bye for now, K

Kids Books

I haven't been thinking enough about the blog to prepare a "proper" post this week, but I did want to share a few kids books with you. 

I still remember reading this post from Pikelet Workshop, and adding it to my list of Mummy guilt issues.  Anyway, it DID get me thinking & I realised I'd been really slack in the reading department.  I used to read to my kids a LOT.  But lately... well, let's just say work was needed.  So, I can now happily say that I HAVE been reading to them again! YAY!!!  (And incidentally, it is a GREAT way to spend time with the family.  Especially if EVERYONE gets involved.)

Mr C or I read to Miss Pants every night (or at least 98% of the time).  Some days we squeeze in extra storytime too.  She got a set of Dora the Explorer books in a slipcase for Christmas and I'm pretty sure she knows every one of them by heart now.

H is old enough to read to himself but sometimes he still likes to sneek into her room at storytime and listen to whatever I'm reading to her (as long as it isn't Dora).  We all climed up on her bed last week for some Bible stories from Mr Magoo's Childrens Bible and H's lift a flap Bible stories books.  They loved it.  Mr Magoo & H remember some of the stories from Scripture at school.

Mr Magoo is a VERY confident reader.  I think it's great that he loves reading, but sometimes I have to tell him to put his book away, so he can get on with other things.  I'm not entirely sure where he's up to now but I know he reads well above the average skill level for his age.  As parents we take absolutely NO responsibilty for that (strangely).  When he started school he could only read his first name.  Or at least recognise it.  But, we did do reading with him a LOT back then, so I guess it has kinda stuck with him.  He & H are often allowed to read in bed for 5 minutes each night, although sometimes we forget to tell them to turn the light out. 

Anyway, Miss Pants has two new favourite books at the moment.  I got them to try and encourage her & H to, well, Listen and Help out more.

 I got them from the Scholastic Book Club through Miss Pants' preschool.  I love Book Club.  It costs me a fortune (because I have so much trouble narrowing my order down) but I really do enjoy getting the kids new books, and doing it this way the school or preschool benefit too.  (Oh, that reminds me, I only have this week to get Project 1 of The Little Book Adventure 2012 completed. Hmmm, what to do...)

A favourite of mine is Where is the Green Sheep?  I was reminded of it last week at Pip Squeeks. Which sheep is your favourite?? Mine is the slide sheep :)  There are so many wonderful Mem Fox books.  Check some of them out HERE.

I have more books coming that I want to share too, so when they arrive I'll do another (shorter) post.

Bye for now, K

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Five-spice Pork and Plum Stir-fry

This weeks Food Find came from the March issue of Super Food Ideas.  (I couldn't find the recipe online though, so I hope I don't get into trouble for sharing it. Shhhh.)

sauce, stock & spice mixed together
1/3 cup plum sauce (although, as usual I used more)
2 tbsp chicken stock (or more if using a thick sauce)
1/4 tspn Chinese five spice
500g pork leg steaks, thinly sliced
350g fresh chow mein noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 brown onion, cut into thin wedges (I didn't have any in the pantry though)
1 large carrot, peeled, halved lengthways, slice diagonally

Pork in the sauce mixture
200g green beans, trimmed

1.  Combine plum sauce, stock and Chinese five spice in a bowl.  Place pork in a glass or ceramic bowl.  Add half the sauce mixture.  Stir to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour, if time permits. (It didn't in my house.)
Cooking pork in batches
2.  Place noodles in a heatproof bowl.  Cover with boiling water.  stand for 1 to 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Using a fork, separate noodles.
3.  Heat a wok over high heat.  Add half the oil. Swirl to coat.  Stir-fry pork, in bathces, for 2 to 3 minutes or until just cooked.  Transfer to a bowl.  Wipe wok clean with paper towel (I did this between batches).
Stir-fry vegetables until tender
4.  Add remaining oil to wok over high heat.  Swirl to coat.  Add onion.  Stir-fry for 1 minute or until onion has softened.  Add carrot and beans.  Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender.  Return pork to wok.  add noodles and remaining sauce mixture.  Stir-fry for 1 minute or until heated through.

Finished product (sorry about the picture quality)
We ALL loved it!  We will definately be having this again!!  Might even pick a slightly spicier sauce next time, or mix it up with different vegies (although the simple vegies appealed to us all).

To save time in the evening, you can prepare it all earlier in the day, & then it's just a matter of cooking it come that crazy time :)

Bye for now, K

P.S. I thought I'd scheduled this for Friday morning but clearly I FORGOT!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

WIP: Guess What...

...Guess What Guess What!!!  (You'll have to read on to find out)

As you all know, Wednesday is my Work in Progress day.  Last week, I decided to share some blog posts that I've liked from the week. You know, sharing the work of others.  So here's a few links to posts I've liked this week.  Some of them are purely Easter inspirations and others have really "hit home" for me.  Maybe you'll like some of them too.

Easter Bikkies

Easter Craft Inspiration

Home Dynamics

Suppressing Depression

Veteran of Depression

Now then, did you guess what I've been up to this week?

I did it, I finally got back to the sewing machine & finished off a cushion order.  It's a very basic order but finished none the less :)

You have no idea how good it feels to have FINALLY finished this cushion.  It wasn't difficult, or fiddly.  It was just the time, the attention, and the drive that I lacked to get it done.  Now, if I could only get all the other orders done too!!  Some of them are started, most are not :(  (I forgot to take a pic before I bagged it, but I didn't want to waste a bag.) 

Friday, 16 March 2012

Lovely Relaxing Family Day...

This is probably my longest post yet.  Sorry about that.

For the first time in YEARS I went to church last Sunday.  (I'm aiming to check a few out till I decide which one suits us the most.)  It's something I've thought about for quite some time but I always used the excuse of Mr Creator doing shift work and not wanting to go by myself.  Then with the PND I came to the realisation that Bible Study would be beneficial for me.  Or perhaps it was actually Him that put the idea in my head.  OK, so I know it was, but I still don't really understand how exactly.  Anyway, regardless of how the idea came to me, it did, and I went to Bible Study.  I REALLY enjoy it. 

The big boys always talk about Scripture & enjoy their Scripture homework.  They fight with me about doing their other homework so I've had to get them to finish their everyday Maths etc so they have the Scripture stuff to look forward to.  Miss Pants is really enjoying Pip Squeaks, which is kind of like playgroup in a Christian environment. 

I found myself thinking about how I could do more to tell them about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in an age appropriate way when I don't know enough of His word to quote any of it myself, let alone refer to specific sections of the bible!  A lot of people do.  They can tell you the Book, Chapter and Verse verbatim of almost anything in the bible.  Not me!  Perhaps one day I will, but I just don't know.  Anyway,while thinking about how I could best do this, it occurred to me that I should take them to Sunday School.  After all, that's what Sunday School is for, to introduce them to God, and strengthen my own relationship with the Lord.

So, last Sunday morning we ventured off to Church at 10am.  Mr Creator stayed home.  There was a Baby/Parent room that I spent most of my time in with Little H so as to not disrupt the rest of the congregation, but I could still see & hear everything that was going on.  The other 3 spent the first 10 minutes of the service with us all and then went down the front for a short while with the rest of the kids in the congregation before heading off to Sunday School in age appropriate groups.

I quite enjoyed it and as seems to be the case if you go in open-minded and with God in your heart, the service seemed to be directed entirely at me.  You know, when I was going to Church regularly all those years ago we had two service types.  The Sunday morning typical sermon.  Mostly with the older hymn's, not the contemporary Christian music like today, and it was very much a "God fearing" environment.  During my time with that Church they implemented a Sunday evening service which wasn't held in the Church as such, but in the Church hall.  The youth band played, people stood up & really got into their worship.  I got a lot more out of the sermons there too.  Eventually they kind of blended the two styles together.  Well that's what I found last Sunday.  I enjoyed it but I knew that if the kids had stayed with me they'd have been B.O.R.E.D.

They LOVED Sunday School, they LOVED playing with all the kids afterwards, they loved that there was morning tea to share with everyone.  We stayed for about an hour afterwards with everyone, chatting and enjoying the company without feeling judged what-so-ever (unlike my previous experiences).  Before we even got to the footpath on our way to the car the kids were telling me excitedly how much fun they'd had and that they wanted to go again next week!!  Now THAT is certainly not something I'd have said after my very few experiences of church at their age.


After we came home we decided that since it was such a lovely day and we'd had soooo much rain the previous couple of weeks that we'd take ourselves off to a local park that the kids had been wanting to visit.  We grabbed hats, put sunscreen on, popped the picnic basket and blankets into the back of the car and visited the local Charcoal Chicken shop on the way (because there was nothing in the house anyway).  I'd even packed the coffee, sugar, insulated mugs and remembered the milk, but I left the thermos sitting on the kitchen bench.  Luckily, the family meal I picked came with a drink and was better value for money than any of the other takeaway options in town and was probably healthier too.

The kids played for hours!  We joined in too.  (Probably got a little incidental exercise at the same time).  Little H was very well behaved and slept most of the time.  He was completely tuckered out after being dotted on all morning at church.  A family of local kids turned up while we were there and set up a small table quite a distance back from the playground.  They were trying to sell homemade lemonade.  The cups only seemed to be half full and they were charging $2 per cup.  Mr C wasn't terribly impressed and kept expressing his dissatisfaction to me.  Eventually I had to tell him to turn around so he couldn't see them.  They didn't stay as long as we did though.  Clearly they got bored.  Once they left Mr C relaxed, thankfully.

When we got home I started dinner and then realised how long it was going to take so I set the wheels in motion on a little family "project" I'd been putting off for soooooo long.  I've read several posts on the blog 71 Toes about Family Home Evenings.  Now as far as I could tell, they have split this into two nights and they have a bit of a family Bible study or devotional of some kind one night and the following night (because it suits them) they have a fun night of family games.  Sometimes board games, sometimes other games.  I'd asked the kids if they'd be interested in some kind of family games night and they expressed to me that they certainly would beSeveral times.  Well, I'd been thinking about this and remembered reading this post from Fig Nut Mum late last year, so I took myself off to the shop a few weeks ago and purchased the game.  I'd been waiting for a day when I could bring it out after dinner and surprise everyone with it but dinner always seemed to be too late to play afterwards.

Well, when I realised how long it was going to take our dinner to cook I decided to do it THAT night.  I told the kids to have their showers and get their jarmies on & I'd have a surprise before dinner if they were quick enough.  I managed to get Mr Creator in from the shed to play too.

Find out about Blokus Classic and other versions of the game here!
They were stoked!  We had a quick game just in time for dinner to be ready.  They were so happy about it though that we played again AFTER dinner.  And Mr Creator (aka Mr Doubty-mufasa) enjoyed it too.

After thinking about it a little more afterwards I decided to have our Family Game Night (FGN) on Fridays.  We generally have a takeaway meal on Friday & since they don't have to be up early the next morning, staying up for a bit spending time doing fun stuff as a family seemed like a good idea.  I suspect sometimes we might fore go the games and watch a movie together instead but I remember when I first started this blog I wanted to spend more time with my family doing "stuff" rather than just occupying the same space as them.  Slowly, very slowly, we are moving in the right direction and I feel so much better for it. :)

So, today is Friday.  Takeaway night.  We tried a new game tonight.  Good Fun! Lol.  (Might need to work on the Good Sportsmanship ideals a bit though.)

Angry Birds - card game, from Mattel

What do you do as a family??  Do you make sure you include EVERYONE in that? And not just the Stay at Home Parent & the kids??  Let me know...  (Let me know if you made it all the way to the end of this post too)

Bye for now, K

Tuna Mornay

I said I would share recipes I've never made before and in all honesty I've never made this version of tuna mornay before. I've made packet varieties but never from scratch. I found it in the March 2012 issue of Super Food Ideas but it can also be found here.

50g butter, chopped
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 large celery stalk, trimmed, finely chopped
1/4 cup plain flour
2 cups milk
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese (although I had tasty in the fridge)
425g can tuna in springwater, drained, flaked
1 medium bread roll
olive oil cooking spray

I made a very basic salad of baby cos lettuce, cucumber and tomato, to accompany it.

1.  Preheat oven to 180deg C.  Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes or until melted & foaming.  Add onion and celery.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until onion has softened.  Add flour.  Using a wooden spoon stir to combine.  Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until mixture bubbles.
2.  Remove pan from heat.  Slowly add milk, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly to prevent lumps forming.  Return pan to medium heat.  Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens,  Remove from heat.  Stir in cheese and tuna.
3.  Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish. Break the bread roll up & sprinkle it over the top.  Lightly spray with oil.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.  Serve with side salad.

Mr Creator isn't normally a fan of tuna mornay, but he had a second helping.  The kids all liked it too and it was really a quick, easy meal for the family.  We'll be having this again :)

Bye for now, K

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

WIP: Others Words

 I have cushion orders looming over my head.  At the moment this is one of the things that I'm really struggling to get to. I want to do it because I used to love it, but when I'm busy with the kids I can't do it without guilt. I should be spending the time with them. I actually did get a "spare" moment where I could have completed a cushion, but when I went to do so I realised I was all out of velcro.

I've still been trying to get myself organised again, and I do feel like I'm finally starting to feel like myself but I have that Mummy guilt there still, lingering...

So, because I haven't done anything AGAIN, I'm going to suspend my WIP. (Which off course means I have failed at this particular aspect of my blog.  I was using it to keep me accountable with my creativity.  I guess that's the difference though isn't it.  Creativity happens, it can't be forced!). 

Instead, I'm going to share a few blog posts I've read in the last week or so that have touched me in some way...  In essence, I'm sharing the work of others
Wow!  Lots to get through but speaks for itself
A new favourite Christian song of mine (embedded)
Scary, important, often overlooked.  Glad everyone is safe
I only found this blog this week.  Love this post about the simple things

Thanks for hanging around

Bye for now, K

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Keeping Busy

We've been keeping quite busy... 

You may or may not know that I've been taking Miss Pants to Pip Squeaks.  She loves it!  It is so cute to hear her singing songs about Jesus at home.  It's something very new to me, but I love hearing it.  She's also been enjoying preschool on a Monday and sometimes while I sit and feed Little H, I listen to her amuse herself in imaginative play & it really does warm my heart.  I can't help but smile at her & want to hug her (but that's pretty difficult mid feed. lol)

I may have mentioned that I was invited to morning tea by one of the lovely ladies from Bible study recently.  I had been thinking of making pikelets for some time to make up for our lack of Daddy-made-Sunday-breakfast-pancakes but hadn't quite gotten there yet.  Well the lovely Karina served up pikelets so I was inspired to make some for the kids that afternoon for afternoon tea.  They loved it and I made such a big batch that they had heaps left for recess at school for days!

The older boys are in Scouts.  Well, Cubs & Joeys.  The Group they are a part of were delivering local phone books as the major fundraiser for the year.  This was our families load of just over 300 books (The total order was around 20,000, so we got off pretty lightly).  Admittedly due to after school commitments Miss Pants, Little H & I delivered most of them while the big boys were at school, but when they were able to help they loved it and raced from house to house putting them at the front doors.  We had strict instuctions not to deliver in the rain.  WELL, that REALLY limited the days we could deliver but we got there in the end.  Mostly, when it was me and the little ones we'd walk, (getting in some incidental exercise, Woohoo) but with the big boys along we'd take the car so we could take more books.

Here's a pic of the 3 boys playing together, watching TV and just having a bit of a relax together.  How I love them so :)

There's also been appointments several days a week to get to.  They really are starting to annoy me.  I'd just like to stay home some days and do nothing. Hmmm, well, not really nothing. More like... uninterrupted housework,  guilt free blog reading, perhaps even a little sewing. (I do still have orders looming after all.  Perhaps I'll be able to get to some shortly.)  I've also been trying to get a little more organised.  I think it will deserve it's own blog post though, so I'll keep that for another day. 

Bye for now, K

Friday, 9 March 2012

Baked Tomato and Basil Gnocchi (with Bacon)

I have seen lots of recipes for gnocchi and I've looked at this recipe several times, but something was always holding me back.  I think it was the stories I've heard from others about how gnocchi goes tough if not cooked "just right", so I'd always avoided it.

I decided enough was enough & dove into this recipe from the Planning Queen at Planning with Kids.  She also has a facebook page if you're interested.

750g gnocchi
500mls pasta sauce
I also added 4 rashers of middle bacon
1 onion
2 gloves garlic
300mls cream (I used light cooking cream)
2 tbsps olice oil (I omitted this)
3 tbsps fresh basil
90g sun dried tomato
approx 100g fresh grated parmesan cheese

Bacon, onion & garlic
Boil water for pasta
Finely chop onion & basil
Dice bacon (rough large dice)
If you don't use the bacon you'll need to add oil to a large frying pan (but there's enough fat in the bacon to not need it)
Add bacon, onion & garlic and cook for several minutes, until the bacon is almost done & the onion has softened
Cream has been stirred in
Add sun dried tomatoes
Add pasta sauce to frying pan and turn heat down slighlty. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add cream to frying pan and mix well. Turn heat up slighlty to allow to bubble then reduce heat and allow sauce to thicken.
Add basil
Place gnocchi into boiling water as per instructions on packet!
Turn grill to high heat
Drain gnocchi
Drained gnocchi
Add gnocchi to the frying pan and combine wellPour contents of pan into a lasagne dish, even out as required
Cover with parmesan cheese and place under grill until cheese has melted
Serve with warm garlic bread or garlic pizza

Like the Planning Queen say, it's not a very interesting dish to photograph, so you can see her photo of the finished product by following the link.  It was YUMMY though.  I'll definately be cooking this again.  I might add other vegies or meat next time too.

Bye for now, K

WIP: And whatever you do...

(I did actually create this post on Wednesday, however I didn't get the Banana Bread picture uploaded & forgot all about it until today.  Picture now added.  Let me know if you need an easy peasy Banana Bread recipe :) ) 

As usual, my Work In Progress post for the week has been hijacked by some NOT so crafty/creative stuff.

While Christian blog hopping today (instead of creating) I came across LOADS of quotes from the Bible. But only ONE of them jumped up off my iPad screen & slapped me in the face!!

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Col 3:17

I found it here in this blog.  I guess after the day she'd had it just fit nicely with most of my days (although not to the degree of some of the things she dealt with that day).

The boys School is having a fundraising event this week.  Although no note came home asking for donations as prizes I thought I'd send a few things in with the boys just in case they could be used.  Mr Magoo's bag of things came home again but H's didn't, so he took the other bag in too & neither of them have been sent home so I guess they're using them.  Here's what was sent in.  I had made a whole heap of things like this to sell at markets last year but things didn't go as I'd hoped so I've been donating them to charity auctions and fundraising events instead and it makes me feel quite good.  I'm running out though so I guess I'll need to start making more, when I get my sew-jo back.

Think I've got just enough time to mix up a banana bread to pop in the oven before heading off to get the boys from school.  Hope I don't burn it!
It didn't even make it to the cooling rack before half of it was gone. YUMMO!!

Bye for now, K

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Books to Investigate

2012 the National Year of Reading.  (Visit for more info.)

I read this post by Jen from the Pikelet Workshop in January and although it opened up a whole load of Mummy guilt in me, I really must say "Thank you Jen for reminding me that one of the simplest things is so important" :)   I HAVE been reading to Miss Pants more (& oassionally to Big H, although i usually get hime to read to me as part of his homework) and I'm quite enjoying it!  I really am.  We read the same book several times on the boys swimming lessons afternoon.  We read most nights at bed time, time permitting.  Some days we read after lunch. I think I'm starting to pronounce the Spanish bits in the Dora the Explorer books properly but I could be wrong.

I've been thinking lately that perhaps I should get myself to the local library & investigate their little kids programs, for Miss Pants and I to attend with Little H in tow, and the selection of books available for my ever inquisitive 8yr old, Mr Magoo.  He LOVES to read!  I love that he loves it.  I've always hoped that his enthusiasm would be passed on to Big H but alas, no luck as yet.  A lovely lady from Bible study, who invited me to morning tea, was telling me about a series of books her ten yr old loves.  I asked the name of them twice & still forgot so I'll have to follow that up. Mr Magoo will be taking part in the Premier's Reading Challenge with the school this year so I'd love to have a great range of books available to him other than ones he's got at home (since he's read the majority of them).  You can find out more about the Premier's Reading Challenge here.

I've come across some books recently that I think I would like to read (or perhaps buy) too. For myself.  I used to love to read.  You know, when I had more time for ME. Lol.  I recently read Bitter Chocolate by Lesley Lokko.

You can find it online here
 "Three girls in search of a missing piece of their lives; three girls who will change their worlds to find it ..."
My sister-in-law lent it to me while I was in hospital during my third trimester carrying Little H.  I quite enjoyed it, although I didn't finish it until after he was born.  I just didn't have the time (once home) to finish it until I made the effort to find "me-time".  I set the older kids up with a movie after lunch during the Summer holidays when it was better for them to be inside at that time anyway and I'd take Little H and my book to my bed.  I'd feed him, wrap him and lay next to him reading while he slept.  I never once dozed off, although if I hadn't had that book I surely would have.

If you were a MasterChef 2011 watcher you may remember Merle Parrish from the Cudal branch of the Country Women's Association.  Remember the Peach Blossom Cake?  Well now you can get the recipe from her new book, Merle's Kitchen.

You can find it online here
I don't think I really NEED any more sweet treats being made in my house because I have this tendency to over induldge but to get PROPER recipes from someone with this much experience making cakes for the everyday life (as opposed to restaurant style fancy) I could just be convinced.  Yesterday there was a local book signing by Merle but I missed it.

I came across this book completely by accident during the week.

You can find it online here, or through her blog

I had never even seen the Down to Earth blog before.  I had a little read about Rhonda's view of the book.  I think I'll quite enjoy it.  One thing she said which stuck in my mind is that (paraphrasing here) while it is called "a guide to simple living", everyones idea of simple living is different and she hopes to inspire the simple in all of us.  She has had book signings in Sydney, Melbourne, etc lately, as you would expect, but she was also at Bathurst in regional NSW on Friday and I had too many appoitnments in the morning to get there in time.  I was quite excited about it until I realised I wouldn't be able to make it. Oh well.  If I do get hold of the book I can send away for signed name plate for it.

The final book I wanted to share with you is called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben.

I took a peak inside the book here and when I read "I wanted to focus on a different subject each month... I resolved to tackle "Marriage," "Parenthood," and "Friends,"..." I KNEW I'd have to read the book in full.  I've been thinking LOTS about these three things lately.  I heard about this book from the Planning With Kids facebook page.  You can also find out more about the book, the author & perhaps your own Happiness Project here.

I'm REALLY hoping I get to read these books in the next few months.  Perhaps when I have a little more time.  I guess I need to MAKE the time.  Me time :)

Bye for now, K

Friday, 2 March 2012

Fish with Lemon & Dill Flavouring

This weeks Friday Food Find was actually "found" a few weeks ago but incase you hadn't noticed I've been away from the blog a little too much.

I've been trying to add more fish to our diets.  Mr Creator & I aren't really huge fish fans, but I know we need it (so if you have an easy fish recipe you like feel free to share).  We certainly don't eat enough of it but I try to have at least three seafood meals in a fortnight.  Usually fish or prawns.

This one was EASY!!  We liked it & so did Mr Magoo.  The other two wouldn't try it but Mr H liked the potato/tomato sample he had on his plate.

The instructions were simple and easy to follow.  I'll paraphrase...

1.  Purchase this from supermarket.

2.  Preheat oven to temp specified on back of packet.

3.  Remove cook-in-the-bag bag from packet.

3.  Fill said bag with sliced potato, tomatoes & fish. 

4.  Then add contents of remaining pocket from original packet purchased and add water as specified (although if you somehow happen to forget & remember when more than half of said cooking time has expired, do not fret. You can add it late and it still tastes great.)

5.  Seal bag as directed, bake in oven for specified time.  While baking, prepare an appropriate side such as salad or blanched broccolini.

6. Serve and enjoy :)

Told ya it was easy! Will try another of these I think.

Bye for now, K

Just so you know I have not been paid or compensated in any way for this post by Continental or any company associated with Continental (but if they want to share a little they can. Lol).

Thursday, 1 March 2012

New Ways to Keep Updated

'Evening All,

I've just added a couple of news ways for you to follow my new little blog...

If you don't have a google account you can now get emailed any new posts (just enter your email address over on the right just there), or follow on Bloglovin (that button on the left).  It's that easy :)

Good Night All.

Bye for now, K

WIP: What a Week...

Did you know you can now
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I know, it's late again but I've had a HUGE week.  It's been rather full of NOTHING.  Ok, not so much nothing, more nothing particularly "crafty".  I've spent quite a bit of much needed time thinking about & doing things for my husband, my kids & ME!!  Yes, you read correctly... ME.

Point 1.  In the past fortnight I have a joined a women's Bible Study, with creche.  This school term they have been looking at relationships.  The first week I went was all about the marriage relationship.  I found it inspiring & insightful.  I really quite loved that it gave me some wonderful things to ponder.

Point 2.  I admit it.  I am dealing with Post Natal Depression, again.  I have had it in varying degrees after each of my children.  I promised to share more about it with you all so that you may be able to help others going through it rather than feeling powerless.  I will still do that, but just not yet.

Point 3.  Point 2 has contributed to my inability to follow my crafty pursuits as I would have liked, but also necessitated my need to spend more time thinking about my gorgeous husband and kids and how I can be a better wife and mother.  Strangely, several blogs have helped me with this.  Ok, perhaps it's not strange.  Perhaps I just think it is strange.  One post about putting your husband before your kids can be found on the blog 71 Toes.  I started reading this blog before I found that particular post & Shawni was always going on about how wonderful her husband is and I was thinking "What is wrong with this woman?", then I read that post and it all made sense.  After reading a few others things really started to click.  I think about various couples whose children have grown & left home and can see that what Shawni says makes perfect sense.  71 Toes is now one of my favourite blogs.

Hmmm, I know I haven't really said much, but in a way I guess I've shared quite a bit more today than I have previously.

I hope you've all had a fantastic week.

 Bye for now, K