Thursday, February 28, 2008

We're off to the beach...

Here is the the canvas that I covered to go in Chloe's room. I used some co-ordinating strips of fabric sewn together and stretched over the canvas. My favourite is the blue and red's so sweet.

Well, we're off to the beach for the long weekend tomorrow. We're staying at a place called Dalyellup Beach...for those West Aussies, it's about ten minutes past Bunbury. We're going with my sister and her family, my mum and dad, my aunty and my cousins and their little boy. Apparently the beach house we're staying in is a big five bedroom place, so plenty of room for all of us. I'm really looking forward to getting away and the weather is going to be beautiful.

This afternoon I baked a Chocolate Torte to take with us and I must admit it doesn't look very appealing in the tin (it's still cooling down), but it is the most devine chocolate indulgence. It's flourless and full of dark chocolate and almond meal. It's one of those easy but rather impressive and delicious desserts that is foolproof. This is probably about the tenth time I've made it and it always turns out beautifully. It looks great presented on a cake stand, dusted with icing sugar and you MUST serve it with a HUGE dollop of King Island Cream!!!

The kids have been home from school AGAIN today (remember, they were off sick on Monday!!!) because the teacher's are on strike. So we met up with some other school families at the beach this morning. It was beautiful...but we had to leave before lunch because it was getting really hot (it reach 41 degrees today).

I'm off to dinner tonight with some Year 3 mums from school. We try to get together once or twice a term to catch up and we always have such a great night. I'm looking forward to some adult conversation!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chloe's Bedroom...

Chloe and I decided to re-decorate her bedroom a few months ago and it's taken us this long to decide on a colour scheme. When we were at Ikea several months ago, she fell in love with this quilt that has a floral design on one side and a very fine red and white stripe on the other. It has scallopped edges and it's gorgeous. So when I was at our new Ikea store last week, I bought the quilt along with some pale red linen curtains that match perfectly.

I have both kids home from school today with runny noses and coughs so I've spent the day doing housework, making (and eating) pancakes for morning tea, baking a slice for afternoon tea and making some cushions for Chloe's bedroom. I made a plain red and white stripe cushion using some great fabric from Ikea (another purchase from the other day....I can't believe the fabric range they have now.....soooooooo exciting!!!). The other cushion is made using the same red and white stripe, some red linen that I cut off the bottom of the curtains (they were too long), a beige linen square with a little embroidered flower on it and some red flower fabric from my stash.

I have a canvas from Chloe's previous bedroom decor that I painted hot pink with coloured polka dots on it, so I'm going to cover this in some red and white floral fabric and hang it above her bedhead where the other little painting is at the moment. And we used to hang all of her hats on the 'Dream' hooks, but they're all pink, so we've put them away in a little basket and I'm going to make a red and white bag to hang on the hook to keep her pj's in. (Her old pajama bag is pink!!!).

It's a bit of effort to change her colour scheme (especially when the old one was bright pink and aqua), but I've been promising it for a while now. The old quilt was her first quilt when she moved into her big bed at two and a half years old, so understandably it had seen better days. All we need now is a white-wash wicker chair for her reading corner (and probably a cushion to go on it), her pj bag and the fabric-covered canvas. I'll post some more pictures when I'm done.

And I might post some pictures of Will's bedroom too. I don't know about you, but I love seeing what other's do in their kids bedrooms.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This Is...

This taking a photo of myself in the mirror with my favourite accessory!!! Or in my case, accessories. This week's theme is from One Red Robin. And you can check out other people's 'This Is' posts at Three Buttons.

We have a huge mirror in our dining area and that's where I took the photo (it was either there or in our ensuite), so I must apologise for the poor lighting.

I had to cheat a bit because I have two favourite accessories. The first is my newish bag. I bought it using a gift voucher a few months ago and I LOVE IT!!! The pewter colour is perfect because it goes with everything and it can hold lots of stuff if need be. My other very favourite accessory is my Pandora Charm Bracelet. Glenn bought it for me about three and a half years ago and last Christmas I got my last charm to fill it (a gorgeous little queen bee with a gold crown from my brother and his wife). If you haven't heard of these bracelets, you MUST check out the Pandora website. I have a mixture of gold and silver charms on my bracelet (that's why it took three years to fill...the gold charms are solid and pretty expensive!!!) All the people closest to me have bought me a charm for my bracelet, so each one has special meaning.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cushions, Work and Ikea...

Last night I had the urge to sew and since I just don't have enough cushion covers, I decided to add to my collection!!! I thought I'd try a patchwork style using Anna Maria's Bohemian fabric for the first one. I'm pleased with the way it turned out, since patchworking is very new to me.

And tonight, I've just finished making the second one using the same fabrics, but a different style.

I'm off to work with Glenn tomorrow for the day (and every Wednesday after that for a few months), helping them with some bookwork until their new office girl starts. It's been eight years since I was in the workforce and I'm NERVOUS to say the least!!! I'm wondering whether I can wake up in the morning and fake a sickie on my first day, or stomp my feet and throw a tantrum until Glenn gives in and tells me I don't have to go. I'll be ok, right???

So I'm not excited about going to work tomorrow, but I'm REALLY EXCITED about Friday 'cause some of my girlfriends and I are going to our new Ikea store that opened last week. Apparently it's five or six times bigger and better than the old one. And we all said when it opens, we'd make a day of it together. And Friday's the day!!! I can't wait!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Afternoon Tea...

I've just made some afternoon tea for the kids today and thought I'd post the recipe. It's super-quick and easy (I think that should become my motto!!!).

Quick Anzac Slice

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup self-raising flour, sifted
125gm butter
2 Tbspns golden syrup

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line an 18cm x 28cm slice pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, sugar, coconut and flours. Mix well.
3. Heat butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan on low until butter has melted and mixture is well combined.
4. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients. Add butter mixture and mix well.
5. Press firmly into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Cool in pan, then cut into squares to serve.

Yum Yum!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Three Cheers for Girlfriends...(especially crafty ones)

On Wednesday night, our craft group met at my house. I love handsewing but haven't done much of it so decided to try out some embroidery. I did this little design on paper the other night when I was messing around so I thought I'd attempt to transfer it to fabric. It still needs some little leaves added and a few other bits and pieces, then I'm thinking of attaching it to the front of a cushion cover for Chloe.

On Thursday, I went to Bed, Bath & Table to get some easter decorations. I don't usually decorate for easter, but this year I've decided to begin the tradition. BB & T have the MOST gorgeous easter decorations at amazingly cheap prices. These handpainted eggs are the tiniest little things and they come in a gorgeous minature wooden box. I loved them so much, I bought four boxes of them (only $2.95 a box). They're the sweetest!!!

And these handpainted eggs below were only $4.95 per box. At this price, I'm going to give them to the kids to give to their friends at school for easter with a little chocolate egg.

Just look at these little wooden boxes....I can't wait to use them for something else. I've put all the tiny eggs into a martini glass and displayed them on my hallstand near the front door. And these little butterflies are made from tin and they have a plastic sticky dot on the back of them. I thought they'd be sweet to stick on some white card and use for birthday cards.

And here's the 'Staple & Sew' girls on Wednesday night (there's five of us). We were doing a mixture of handsewing, pin-up board covering, cushion making and appliqueing. It's lovely to break the week up by getting together in the evening mid-week. And we have such a laugh....there really is nothing like a good bonding session with girlfriends. Thanks girls!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Recipe Sorting...

Here's where my free time was spent on Monday and Tuesday.....sorting out my recipe files.

They were in such a mess, with loose recipes stuffed into the files everywhere. The old files were looking really scrappy and dirty so I bought two new files, some dividers and plastic sleaves and got cutting and glueing. I have a 'Sweets' file and a 'Savoury' file and this time I also made one more smaller file with weeknight dinner recipes in it (forgot to photograph this one).

The weeknight recipe file is working really well. I've only put dinner recipes in there that I know my kids enjoy and that are healthy and fairly quick to make. So now there's no more searching through dozens of recipe books and files to find that perfect dinner.

Tonight I've got some girlfriends coming over for our monthly craft group called 'Staple & Sew'!!! I'll try to remember to take a few photos tonight.

And lastly, some Amy Butler fabric I bought from cheap is that place!!! I LOVE this fabric. I'm thinking of using the blue to cover a huge blank canvas I bought for our bedroom. We've got a bit of pale blue, beige and white colour scheme in there so I think this will work nicely.

Monday, February 11, 2008

This Is...Sunday Lunch

This weeks topic is Sunday Lunch. As you can see from the photos, our lunch consisted of peanut butter toast and cupcakes!!! Glenn was working all day Sunday, so we had an easy lunch. And the kid's choice was toast with peanut butter. It smelled so good, I had some too. We baked the cupcakes in the morning so they were sweets after lunch.

We don't usually do anything special for Sunday lunch, more often than not it's leftovers from Saturday night dinner. Last Sunday's lunch was homemade hamburgers, leftover from dinner with family on Saturday night.

There are some delicious looking lunches out there...makes me feel the need to make more effort on our Sunday lunches. You can check out other lunches at Three Buttons.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I've been tagged by the lovely Zoesquid.

The rules of the game are:-

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Let's get started then.....

1. I love Peanut M & M's. And when I eat them, I have to sort them from smallest to biggest and this is the order in which I eat them. If I'm at the computer, I lay them out on the desk to sort them, but if I'm eating them while watching tv, I rest them on my tummy to sort them (obviously we're not talking a whole packet, I grab a handful at a time....sort, eat and then go for another handful and so on).

2. One of my favourite night time snacks is very thinly sliced apple with a very thinly shaved piece of cheddar cheese on top. Mmmmmmmmm...this is beginning to sound like '7 random food facts'!!!

3. I am a 'list' girl. I LOVE LISTS!!! I write a list for anything and everything. As soon as I have a task to do, trip to pack for, etc. the first thing I do is write a list. In fact, I've even written a list now with my seven random/weird facts. And I didn't even realise I'd done it until typing this now!!!

4. I'm very stubborn!!! I don't like to be told what to do or how to do it. I've been like this for as long as I can remember. If I want to know how to do something, I'll ask and am happy to be told...but only if I ask!!! And the payback is that my daughter, Chloe is exactly the same...gee, I can't wait 'till she's older!!!

5. I have a real obsession with correct spelling. Whenever I read something...anything, I spellcheck it. I can't help it. And I get so much satisfaction from finding spelling errors in professional publications like magazines. What a sad life I lead!!! Of course, I know I make mistakes in my posts so please don't think that I think I'm perfect, it's just a weird thing I do.

6. When I was nine years old, we lived in a VERY SMALL country town in Western Australia called Roebourne. There was a really awful cyclone that went through the town that we were caught in. It caused some horrific damage to the town, major flooding, houses destroyed, trees uprooted etc. And the name of the cyclone was Cyclone Chloe. Many, many years later our daughter was born and we named her Chloe. The funny thing is, it wasn't until a few years after she was born that I suddenly remembered that the cylcone we were in was called Cyclone Chloe.

ummmmmm, I'm stuck on the last one....

7. When I went to business college a long time ago, I typed at a speed of over 100 words per minute with 99% accuracy. That's about as fast as people speak. I think my speed may have dropped considerably by now. Can you tell I was sitting here looking at the keyboard trying to think of my last random fact....then about my typing speed!!!

I'm not going to tag anyone because I think most of my favourite bloggers have seen it, but if not and you'd like to complete it, consider yourself tagged!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

All Glammed Up...

So I was sitting out the front early this evening having a glass of wine, watching the kids playing at the park and commenting to myself on the unusual amount of traffic circling our park. Then gradually the park turned from this...

to this...

It was a school ball / prom for one of our local private schools. Very exciting stuff for my little seven and five year olds to watch!!! There was a rainbow of beautiful coloured dresses that the girls were wearing. They all looked stunning and they were having a wonderful time. My kids were so excited to watch all the limos roll up. This is the first limo...a Ford Territory, then there was a Hummer (very cool...) and two black Chryslers. I couldn't take any more photos because I was starting to look like a bit of a know....weird neighbour taking photos of young adults all glammed up...

I couldn't help but reminisce about my own Year 12 ball...was it really eighteen years ago??? Surely not??? Seems like only yesterday. And I was thinking about these young adults heading off to have the night of their lives...will it turn out to be all they dreamed of??? I hope so!!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

'This Is...My Collection'

This Is...My Collection.

I love cake stands. And it appears that I have a small collection of them. It all started with the plain white one that I bought for myself. Once I discovered how a cake stand can turn a very ordinary looking cake/dessert into something rather special (especially with a dusting of icing sugar), I was hooked. The glass flower shaped cake stand was a gift from my sister-in-law and it came with a lovely glass dome. The pale pink one was a housewarming gift from a friend. I used this one at our Christmas Cocktail Party last year to display lots of sweet treats like nougat, white chocolate & cranberry rocky road and bite sized meringues. It looked gorgeous. And lastly, the green floral cake stand was a gift from my mum and my sister. They also bought me a beautiful teapot and teacups and saucers to go with it.

The next cake stand on my list to acquire is one of those small little ones. Perfect for afternoon tea with one or two people, to hold a few pieces of slice or cake.

We survived (or should I say...I survived!!!) the first day of school. Chloe is very happy in her class (she's in a year three/four split...she's a year three) and Will was very happy in pre-primary. He has a lovely teacher. As we dropped the kids off at pre-primary this morning, she gave all the mums a sweet little handmade pink envelope containing two teabags, a heart chocolate and a lovely poem about leaving our children in her care and she'll look after them as if they were her own and that we should relax with a cup of tea and before we know, it will be pick up time...such a sweet thing. I almost cried reading it, but I was strong!!! I had a coffee with some girlfriends who had also dropped all their little ones off, so we got chatting and forgot about the sadness of it all.

And here they are on Day 1...

Could Will's bag be any bigger???

Sunday, February 3, 2008

You Make My Day...

You Make My Day

The lovely Kate nominated me for the 'You Make My Day' Award!

The Purpose of this Award is as follows:-

'Give the award to 10 people whose blog brings you happiness and inspiration and makes you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware, you may get this award several times'.

These are all blogs that I love to read weekly and they keep me inspired to create. So I think they're more than deserving of the "You Make My Day" award.

And here they are...

1. Two Little Banshees (right back at ya' Kate!!!)

2. Lottielulu

3. Missy Muh

4. Whatever

5. Day to Day

6. Three Buttons

7. Tree Fall Design

8. Ric Rac

9. I Love Milk and Cookies

10. Thornberry

Thanks again Kate for nominating me. So sweet of you.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mixed Feelings...

My little boy starts full-time school on Monday. I really thought I would be excited at the thought of having FIVE full days all to myself. And I certainly know that when the kids were younger, I would give anything to have even one day. But things are different now.

I think when your kids are that bit older they become more of a companion for you. I'm so used to always having this little shadow with me. Of always having another little person to consider when planning activities and places to visit during the day. Where ever we went, I made sure it was child-friendly and that it wasn't going to be somewhere that Will wouldn't enjoy or where I would have to discipline him for being too noisy or wanting to run around and do what little boys do. And now, it's just me. I can go where I want to go and do what I want to do. But strangely enough, I'm not at all excited about it. What I wanted so much, I don't want anymore. I just want my little companion.

And then there's the feelings of justification. Now that both the kids are at school everyday, what will I do with my time. Will I feel the need to constantly 'show' what I did with my time..... "Look darling, I did three loads of washing, a basket full of ironing, polished the floors and baked a cake all in one day"!!! And I should clarify at this point, that Glenn is definitely not the type to make me feel like I should be justifying myself....but I do know what I'm like and I know I will feel the need to. So do I get a job that will let me start work after school drop off, leave in time for school pick up, give me time off when the kids are sick, give me time off to do classroom roster, give me time off to do canteen roster, give me school holidays off??? Is there such a job???

Those are my thoughts that are swamping me at the moment, so I'm keen to get that first day of school over with so I can deal with it and learn how to move on.