Sunday, 28 April 2013

We've been getting our craft on.

We have had the best holiday together and I'm sad it's over. Joe always wanders over for a sticky beak when he sees that crafty look in my eyes. He helped me punch out all of these stars to make a cute little garland and some table confetti- we'll put that aside for the right occasion.







We finished his pom pom cushion. It is just a comfy as it looks. This is the best spot to curl up for a bed time story :)



This wooden box was too good to throw away and ALDI had chalkboard paint- perfect!!!


While the paint was open I searched for other stuff to paint. This was a tin with packets of tiny teddies in it. I think it is much cuter now. 

I am already looking out for something else to paint, sew or cook....

The week of picnics.

The sun was shining, the autumn leaves crunching beneath our feet, last week of holidays- I think we need to pack a picnic (or 3)!

Picnic #1- Southern Highlands circuit







Picnic #2- Central Coast









Picnic #3- Blue Mountains






Monday, 22 April 2013

Rainbow party!


Rainbow Party...in pouring rain :(

The rainbow came out in the end in the form of little girls smiling. 

You can see them here on their blog...... Here they are! 

I am so happy that they had so much fun eating cake pops, making Froot Loop necklaces and jumping on the jumping castle despite the dreary start to the day.

Party planning is my favourite and I am very excited about exploring the 'Confetti Fair' next month. I have my fingers crossed that I win these tickets!


Sunday, 21 April 2013

The 'It's a Date' restaurant.

This week in the 'It's a Date' restaurant we will be featuring head chef Jonas for a pizza demo. We are also making pesto and pasta to celebrate the Autumn chill that has been creeping up on us this week.

Friday night is Pizza night here at 'It's a Date'. The cooler weather means firing up the pizza oven for some delicious smoky and crispy bases.

Here is the demo to show you how to roll the dough:





It is very clear that the facial expression used while rolling has a huge impact your success. 

Pesto, caramalised onions and mozarella-  best pizza ever!!


And look how pretty the colours look.



Other items on the menu this week:

Hash browns- took me right back to cold winter days of my childhood.

 Pesto made with a bundle of fresh herbs delivered by a lovely friend. I just threw it all in- basil, parsley, chilli and some pine nuts and olive oil.
 That pesto was crying out for some lovely fresh pasta. With our usual pasta cook absent (Eric was busy helping a friend on his farm) I was on my own for my first attempt.
The result was delicious. The pasta was perfect (but not as good as Eric's of course). Chicken meatballs completed the meal.  

 Cute little cherry tomatoes from our garden will feature in upcoming menus :)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

I am one of those mothers.

I try so hard to be a bit more chilled out when my boys are being particularly adventurous (dangerous). I really do struggle with watching them test boundaries (tempt death). I let them climb trees and reach the upper heights of play equipment but I can't help saying 'be careful'. I know it is entirely redundant to say it, they don't listen and of course they are not actually trying to kill themselves up there.
There are several reasons for my panic and hysteria when any type of risk or harm may be involved:

1. My father.
He is the absolute King of immediate panic, fear of complete calamity and jumping to the worst case    scenario EVERY time.
He recently called me one night when I was out for a walk. I answered and chatted casually for a while when he said 'are you OK? You sound a bit out of breath!' I told him I was just walking and that I was happy to chat while I powered along. So his response to that.... "Oh thank god! I thought you must have had emphysema!!!" Please feel free to laugh out loud at his expense. Who would jump to that conclusion-  I don't smoke and I never had. I laughed when he said it and he did too. We both know it's entirely crazy and I blame him openly for my ability to see harm and injury in every innocent situation. But I still do it!

2. Campbell
He has spent too much time in the Children's Hospital- in the neurosurgery ward at that.
The number of innocent injuries that I witnessed come through the ward that led to all sorts of nasty outcomes filled me with a sense of doom and gloom before my child even reached his due date. Campbell was born 15 weeks early and needed neurosurgery before he was even supposed to be born- that has a pretty lasting impression! But these kids who just fell off trampolines, bikes, lounges.... no more on that- the world doesn't need another helicopter mother.
My introduction to motherhood, where I was going to be so relaxed and fun and easy going, warned me not to be too complaisant.

I grin manically at my children as they swing from one arm at the highest level of the frame in the playground, I wave and pretend that everything is awesome. I am really reaching for my mobile phone to call the ambulance. Despite every precaution and safe guard I have ended up with accident prone children who frequent the ER and the dentist regularly. I am quite sure that there is nobody to blame but myself. If I let them scale the fences then perhaps they wouldn't fall on their faces and deviate their septum while dancing! Maybe if I allowed them to run like maniacs downhill on concrete they wouldn't fall off stools and break their arms. Perhaps we would never have needed stitches, glue and butterfly clips (all for the same child too) if they were more frequently allowed to practise their parkoar skills. Knocking out an adult front tooth was achieved by....go on guess how...... no not by falling off his bike while pulling off an amazing jump, not while being hit by a car while playing tennis in the street...
he fell over on the lounge room tiles while chasing his brother and landed flat on his face.

I get it!!
I know there is a great big lesson in all of this.
I am trying to chill out. It's seriously hazardous to my health and my father will tell me that it will give me cancer!


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Nostalgia

More and more of old treasures have been creeping into my home. My grandparents have been offering me bits and pieces and are always surprised when I am so delighted by some old cutlery or some cut glass. Seeing my grandparents become more frail, and losing my precious Poppy last year, has made me appreciate these little treasures all the more. The funny thing is that few of these special items were on the dinner table when I saw growing up, in fact some of the beautiful dinner plates that had been a Wedding gift to my Great- grandparents, were recovered from my Dad's back shed. They were either put away in the 'good' cupboard for special occasions (which means they were NEVER used) or they were considered too old fashioned. When compared to the ultra modern, bright orange tupperware sugar bowl I remember so fondly it is a bit hard to understand why the pretty china was pushed to the back of the cupboard.
The felt lined timber box containing all of my Great- grandparents cutlery was also pushed to the back of my pantry. Despite the fact I always reach for the few bone handled knifes in my drawer when I have to butter hot toast- because they are the best. The rest were forgotten. When I cleaned out my pantry and rediscovered them last week, I also discovered that some of the bone handles had crumbled through neglect. What a tragedy. I was so sad. So I have pulled them all out, polished them up and they are now in regular circulation. They are gorgeous and I am sure they are appreciating feeling loved again. I love that all of these treasures have a story to tell and a history of their own. They are older than me and have served so many before me. They are a part of my family story and a little piece of my grandparents. Some things have been chipped or broken since coming into my care, and I have sometimes shed a tear for them, but they are loved.













This painting was always hanging on the family room wall in my grandparents home. As a kid I used to stand and wonder how somebody managed to paint the detail in the waves. I always loved it. It was the painting my Poppy chose to hang in his new room at the aged care facility and I was so delighted when I saw it and realised that he loved it as much as I did. It was one of the first things my Nanna and Poppy bought for their new home when they got married. It hangs proudly in my family room now.

I am a sentimental sook and I think I had better make myself a cup of tea before I get any sookier.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Party planning again!

I'm immersed in my favourite activity again but the really exciting bit is that this is a party for girls... times 3! This is the first party that I have helped put together that is not one of ours. The pressure is on to impress these 3 gorgeous girls and their friends.

I am so happy when I have a party to plan :)
















We have decided to go with an rainbow theme to tie in all of the 3 different interests.

I have a party planning assistant too ;)





I chickened out of the cake pop flowers in ice- cream cones idea that I had my heart set on. I was worried that it would flop half way through and I'd have to start 40+ cake pops again from scratch. Maybe when I have a party on a smaller scale... for girls!! Any takers???


The pinata is filled, the balloons just need to be collected on the day, I might have to dabble in some extra decorations to keep me busy in the meantime. I am so excited about bringing it all together on the day.
 
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