Monday, January 30, 2012


How could someone I have met online and only spent one day with know me so so well and send me the perfect gift at a time I need it the most????

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Food glorious food!!!!

Today (and a little of yesterday) has revolved around food. We have baked and cooked until the fridge is full of meals and the esky packed with treats to take down to SH's parents. While he is away we will eat very well, without much effort which is even better!!!

Banana cupcakes with cream cheese icing with a banana chip to finish them!!

Licorice Allsort slice, my f-i-l and SH love licorice so this is especially for them!

Moroccan chicken with preserved lemon casserole

Orange cake - super easy, made with a whole orange, now iced! which hides the dip in the middle!

Layered family casserole (from the school cookbook - I LOVE that book!)

Tuna mornay - a good standby!

Pancakes for brunch, with bacon and maple syrup - YUM! SH is the best!!

Pecan and choc chip cookies

Needless to say not much else was ticked off the list. Promised myself in Winter I wouldn't say this but I would love it to cool off just a little!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The patient is home!

The patient arrived home on Thursday afternoon and although he is very sore he is happy to be back in his own bed. We have plenty of drugs to keep him painfree. His hip where they took the skin graft is the sorest part at the moment. The surgery went as planned so now it is a waiting game to let it heal!!! Thank you so much for all the messages of support , they helped so much in a topsy turvey week!

 I feel like today I am getting back into normality and some type of rhythm, so much was let go last week! By 9 this morning I had seen SH and the 'horsey' one off to a very important horse competition, done 3 loads of washing and pegged it out, made banana cupcakes, walked the dog, showered, emptied the dishwasher, ironed, fed the boy breakfast and made the shopping list!!! My Mother in law had a hip replacement surgery yesterday so I will try and get some baking and meals made today for SH to take down tomorrow to feed his Dad until she is home. It went well which is a relief.
Okay the shopping is calling before it gets too warm! I am so glad to be back!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012


It's been a long day , work and then a pony club meeting with a surgeons appointment for my HS thrown in so I am off to bed. HS is having surgery tomorrow on his hand which will also involve a bone graft from his hip....not looking forward to it! Have some stitching packed for the hours after I finish work when  I will sit with him.....please keep us in your thoughts.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Apple cake

The 'horsey' one was flicking through the school cookbook the other day and decided to make an Apple tea cake that caught her eye. When she actually started she realised that it wasn't in fact a tea cake but a really delicious Apple cake with 3 layers. It was SO good that we have been requesting it again and soon!!!

1& 1/2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
125g butter melted
4 to 5 stewed apples or 1 large can pie apples
pecan nuts (approx 8) or flaked almonds
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
Place all cake ingredients except the apples into a bowl and mix well. Add the melted butter and mix well.
Press 3/4 of the mixture into an ungreased 20cm springform tin. Cover with well drained apples. Drop dobs of remaining mixture over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and place pecan nuts or flaked almonds over top.
Cook for 50-55 minutes.
This cake can be served as a warm dessert or cake for morning or afternoon tea or no special occassion at all!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Time to share!

A few weeks ago I said that I had been doing some secret sewing that I couldn't share yet. Well now I can! Calidore and I decided to do a mug rug swap a very long time ago, I had received mine from her but she was still waiting and quite possibly thought she would never ever see anything!!! It was her Birthday on Thursday so what better reason to get motivated and become familiar with my sewing machine again! This is the mug rug I made which I sent with a Cath Kidston mug and some other goodies. I made it out of some charm squares and am really happy with it.

and the back of it!

Today I have made another one for a very special friend, I cannot say more yet , I am not sure if she looks on here or not but I'd like it to be a surprise. I also got her a Cath Kidston mug and am really happy with how well they match.

and the back of this one!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Join the party!

Well it looks like my shopping is following a theme at the moment with another 'as seen on tv' purchase!!! The 'horsey' one and I purchased Zumba last week and I think this weekend will be time the plastic is removed and we have some fun!!!! It is intended to help us keep fit (or in my case get fit) but I am not convinced...... one thing is for sure - you will not be seeing a video of me 'joining the party'!!!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Summer holiday!

SH, the 'horsey one', Mum and I headed off on our 'mini' holiday on Sunday. We are short staffed at work again at the moment so my holidays were all cancelled except for 3 days this week. We made our way to Melbourne and started our break with afternoon tea at San Churros in Lygon st with our special friends and my 2 beautiful goddaughters. It was delicious and I realised afterwards that I was in such a hurry to enjoy the Churros (with melted chocolate, caramel and cream) that I didn't get any photos!!! Sadie slept most of the time but woke up in time to enjoy hers! Certainly takes after her godmother!! Bianca adores the 'horsey' one and would like braces just like her!!!

Monday and Tuesday were spent at the Australian Open tennis tournament. They were the first 2 days of the tournament which is our favorite time to go when everyone is still in the draw. On Monday we had tickets for the main arena 'Rod Laver' , our seats were in the shade and we were lucky enough to see Bernard Tomics 4 hour match followed by Kim Clijsters, one of our favorites. It was a great day of great tennis. We ate in Chinatown in the city before making our way back to the hotel.
Tuesday we only had ground passes, we spent most of the morning looking at all the sponsors displays, collecting a few freebies, and having fun. We then watched a few matches with
Australians on the Margaret Court arena. It was HOT!!!!! Luckily with hats, sunscreen and plenty of water we were still able to enjoy the day.

It would not be a post without a token 'food' photo, this is a danish I enjoyed one morning at the hotel - yum!

We were lucky enough on Tuesday to see Mark Beretta interview Pat Cash. As a teenager the highlight of my trip to the Australian Open (when it was still at Kooyong) was to see the young Pat Cash!!!
 Although Mum watches the tennis every year on tv this is the first time she has seen it live.
The tickets were her Christmas present and I think they were a success!!! She loved it.
Other highlights of our few days away were the lamb risotto I had at an Italian restaurant in Southbank and our trip to Costco before coming home on Wednesday.
Back to work today and the real world!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Well my family were horrified
a) when I took this photo and
b) when they realised I intended blogging it!
Apparently it is weird, inappropriate and just downright wrong and they want to make sure you know they told me that and I went ahead and did it! Well it might not be what you would normally post but I have never pretended to be normal!!
Yesterday (before things went pear shaped) we headed off to Ballarat, Mum, the 'horsey' one and myself for an orthodontist appointment for the 'horsey' one. While there we had a visit to Officeworks to get all the stationary required for year 12 - a lot!!! Gosh that store is so much fun!! and they have so many cool things there ( now it sounds like I don't get out much!)....anyway then we flew into Big W (one of my other favorite stores!) where I was able to make this purchase! An ahh bra - as advertised on tv!!! A friend of mine , not the sort that would either buy from tv or visit a store like Big W was home sick last year and purchased not 1, not 2 but 3 of these bras over the phone and says she has never worn anything more comfortable in her life! As she is also the one to recommend Victoria Secrets to me when we visited the States I tend to take her advice very seriously. When I heard they were now available instore I had to try one. Stay tuned for the review after this week....................

Further to HS , back to the Dr this morning and he has shattered his middle knuckle on his right hand. Best case scenario he is not returning to work from holidays on Monday as planned and will wear the plaster put on for 2 weeks , worst case the orthopedic surgeon which the Dr will consult on Monday will want to see him or do something with it. This would in fact be the same surgeon that we became familiar with back in August and as nice as he is I would be happy not to make his acquaintance again!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Perfect timing!

I started today heading in a certain direction with a list and plans and ended it somewhere else altogether!!! This may or may not have involved a Dr visit, an xray and a return Dr visit tomorrow morning for HS and his right hand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Perfect timing to have a parcel waiting for me , a fat 8th pack and a charm square pack of Blueberry Crumb purchased on the 31st December last year so it didn't have to go into this years budget!!!! This range 'spoke' to me and I just had to have some. It is as nice as I thought and I can't wait to start playing with it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Yay, blogger is working tonight and you finally get to see the best Moroccan carrot dip!!! (I didn't even do anything to make it work, it just did it!!) My s-i-l made this on Christmas day and we were desperate to get the recipe, when we did we made it the very same day. So easy but so yummy! We also made our own flatbreads and then lamb koftas, all 3 together were the perfect combination. Delicious!!!

Moroccan Carrot Dip
4 medium carrots chopped coarsley
2 peeled cloves garlic
1 tsp ground cumin (or moroccan spice)
1 tblsp honey
2 tblsp lemon juice
1/4 cup greek yoghurt
Boil carrots and garlic until soft then blend with all ingrediants.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Assistance required!

Help! Blogger has once again changed something! I have just tried to load photos (yummy food ones) and I can't work out how to do it! The browse bar that came up when you clicked on insert has gone! I usually use that to bring up the photos on my card reader I have plugged into the computer. Does any of that make sense and can anyone tell me (in very simple terms) how to get around it or you may never ever see the most amazing delicious moroccan carrot dip!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Where do I start??

Just where do I start with choosing projects from this book 'Some kind of wonderful' by Anni Downs from Hatched and Patched???? I have nearly all of Anni's books but this is my favorite so far. It arrived just before Christmas so it was the New Year before I sat down with a quiet moment to have a look. No wonder so many people are doing the stitch a long! It is gorgeous. I have started something, just a small project - the coin purse, there are so many friends this would be perfect for! I already have a list though of the next things on my 'to do ' list!!! I can highly recommend it even if you only use it as a 'dreaming' book!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Precious Pete and random stuff!!!

Poor Pete raced up a tree during a fight and got stuck and I had to save him!!! Isn't he adorable?

Would you believe I posted my 500th post a few days ago???? Can't believe it!

As some comments on the frixon pens suggested I have checked it out and sure enough you can purchase them at Coles and Woolworths! On sale at woolies this week!!!

Very tired, this working has bells on it , off to veg in the chair!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Oh no!!!!!

Remember this photo from Christmas????? Well............


The 'horsey' one was SO excited to get this ticket for Christmas, all she wanted , until today when in the gossip pages of the Sunday paper we discovered this...................................:(

Saturday, January 7, 2012

To share!

Last year I spoke about the cookbook our schools parents & friends association were creating. If you remember I submitted some favorite recipes of ours and subsequently had to 'make' them for the 'photo shoot'! It is a very professionally done book, all the recipes were tested to make sure they worked (not just once) and we had a food stylist and a food photographer who gave up 2 days to style and photograph the book. The completed book arrived in November and I am thrilled with it. I could not share it sooner as I had a box of them for Christmas presents and I was scared someone might snoop on here!! It is really a coffee table book while containing an assortment of interesting recipes, some for old favorites, others that I would never try and a lot that I can't wait to make myself. I have only made one so far, vanilla muffins, but they were delicious and got the stamp of approval from the family! It is not a cheap book but reasonably priced for the quality. The school community have supported it well and the majority of the books sold before Christmas.
The funniest story and proof of it being such a small world. I bought a copy for my sister and paid a small fortune to Australia Post to send it to her in the UK for Christmas. When I spoke to her Christmas night she had received 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! copies of it!!!!!!!!! The second one (which she opened first) was from a colleague of hers who is also originally from Australia and it was not until she opened mine that she realised the significance. To be honest I was a little put out and perplexed however over the next few days we unravelled the story and this colleagues nephew attends the same school as mine and had stopped with his Aunt in the UK on the way to Germany the week before Christmas, delivering some cookbooks. We have had a great laugh about it and doesn't it prove what a small world it is!!! The colleague had NO idea of the link to the school but just thought it would be nice for my sister to have an Australian cookbook!

This is my Rocky road cheesecake, doesn't it look great. I am very pleased with how it photographed!

I have had an afternoon home alone today as the rest of the family are in Mt Gambier at the baseball. No room in the car for me so what a shame I had to stay home and potter!! There has been sewing. This is the first completed block of the Fat Quarter shop mystery bom. Only 5 more to catch up!!!

I also did some other sewing which I am bursting to share but it is a little secret for the minute! All I can say is that I haven't had this much fun for a long time!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Another fave present!

How cute are these 'cat' highlighters that I received from my sister for Christmas!!! I love them!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A labor of love.....

I have spent the last hour or so completing a labor of love for the 'horsey' one. This morning when I picked her up after riding Henry I was informed that he had destroyed his cotton rug overnight and we would need to fix it!!!! What a challenge! I pulled out the cheap machine bought specifically for this purpose (but hardly used) and set to task. I had to patch and reinforce and finish off with hand sewing. It is done, she is happy but I hope it is a while before I have to repeat the experience. At one stage I asked whether we could just buy a new rug!!! I put it in the same category as covering school books!!!!!! Do you think I am in line for 'Mother of the year'????????????????????????
The craft project I worked on today is a Nursery Rhyme applique quilt. It has sat there so long that the visofix had separated!!! A trip down the street for more kept me going. Shame I didn't buy as much as I needed!!!
While getting a few things out of my loosely termed 'craft' area I found a few things that caused me a little concern. I found a cardboard box that when I opened up had a whole lot of patterns and fabrics in it that I had forgotten all about! There was the fat quarter set of Prairie Paisley (take 1) and surprise surprise some yardage in it as well which I had no idea at all that I had. I had actually planned to get some yardage of Prairie Paisley 2 to be able to begin a project this year!! No need now!
I also found this basket with lots of rural jardin charm squares cut into all different size and shapes. I vaguely remember cutting to try a pattern but as to what or where I would find it???? I think I will just sew them together into a table runner or blocks to put into some project. 
This has proved I really need to get some order happening this year, lucky the mojo has returned! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A finish!

 I had a finish yesterday although a little one!! Early last year I printed out a tutorial for these bracelets on Clares place blog,(  bracelet tutorial ), (finally getting the hang of links - about time!!!). I bought what I needed to make them at the same time but it has taken me until now to have a go. They are simple wooden bead bracelets with ribbon. I am really happy with the result and will definately be making them again (maybe as the presents for the year 12 boarders?). The little one with the left over beads will be for Bianca my goddaughter!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A new tool!

Now that my sewing mojo is on its way back I have 'acquired' a few new tools to make life easier. I ordered a set of these Frixion marking pens (from The Thrifty Needle - great service, refunded my half of the postage cost) for Mum as part of her Christmas present. She had a friend bring her back one from the US earlier in the year and she had not stopped raving about how wonderful it was. We had not seen them here in Australia , although we hadn't really searched, so when they were advertised in an email from The Thrifty Needle I quickly ordered them. Of course if you are going to order one set you may as well order two!!! They are a smooth writing gel ink pen with a fine point which erase from fabric by ironing. I bought a set of blue, black and red. I used one for the first time last night and found it great to trace with. I haven't tested the removal of it yet but Mum assures me I will be happy with the result.
Has anyone else used these? and were you happy with them? and does anyone know where they are available to purchase in Australia?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Baking and the first 7 projects!

Well I have tried my new recipe for this week. Yesterday I made a Banana Caramel Loaf. It is SO good!!! and so easy. It is mixed by hand and although the icing looks a little complicated it isn't and is worth making to finish the cake perfectly.
I have also completed the list for my first 7 'craft' projects to work on. As I finish one I can replace it with another, I have so many things on my list to either finish or that I'd like to do.
 - crochet rug (this will be ongoing for a while)
- coin purse from Some Kind of Wonderful book ( a new project!!)
- beaded and ribbon bracelet (a new project but a very quick one, have had the tutorial printed for at least 12 months!)
- mug rug ( a new project but one that has been promised for many months!)
- golf quilt (a very old project that I will be happy to finish)
- nursery rhyme quilt (also a very old project that I will need to reaquaint myself with!)
- fat quarter shop mystery bom (well behind with this one, will take a while to catch up!!! looking forward to working on this one)
So there you have it, I will see how I go!
Hot and sticky here today, we are hiding inside and it is just now becoming uncomfortable. It is days like this we wish we had air conditioning!!! All of us home again! We had a flying trip to Ararat yesterday to take Mum out for lunch for New Year, only SH and I, the kids were still celebrating the New Year with friends!Back to work tomorrow! Not looking forward to that!

2 cups Self Raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas mashed (you need 1 cup)
Caramel Icing-
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
50g butter chopped
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup icing sugar mixture

Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan forced. Lightly grease a 6cm deep, 10 x 20cm loaf pan.(our loaf pan is small which is why I used a square pan). Line base and sides with baking paper.
Sift flour and bicarb of soda into a bowl. Add sugar. Stir to combine. Place milk, eggs and vanilla in a jug. Whisk to combine.
Fold milk mixture and banana into flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 15min or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to cool.
To make icing, place brown sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan over low heat. Cook stirring for 2 minutes (don't boil) or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in icing sugar until smooth. Cool for 10 minutes. Spread loaf with icing.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome to 2012!

Well the New Year has arrived and with it many hopes, dreams and plans for myself and my family.
We let it sneak in last night, SH and I were in bed by 10.30 and HS and the 'horsey' one were at different beach side resorts with friends seeing in the New Year. We were woken by unscheduled fireworks at 12.10 and again 12.30, as Jimmy HATES them , we were not happy!!!! Poor boy, he is reacting worse rather than better, means we can not leave him alone on any nights there is a chance they will happen.
I have made many resolutions, I always do. Whether I stay true to them all year or not they give me a beginning for how I want to live my year and if they make just the little bit of difference I think they are worthwhile!
Okay so in no particular order!

I will try not to procrastinate!!!!!!
I will be kind to myself.
I will enjoy my family and friends.
I will be happy!
I will take more photos and record our lives for the future.
I will continue to make 'lists' - not something I could give up if I tried!!
I will declutter my home.................
I will send a piece of snail mail each and every day.
I will try a new recipe each week.
I will walk daily and try to live a healthier lifestyle.
I will attend to my health.
I will craft daily (the plan is to work on 7 projects at a time, one each day of the week)
I wil read more.
I will work to a budget.
I will along with SH set goals, financial, life, home and holiday, short term and long term.
I will live dangerously!!! (SH is concerned with this one, I am not really sure what I mean!)
I will catch up with friends and  family as the opportunity arises, I will not put off for another day, I will make an effort, life is short , we are never sure what is around the corner.
I will pay compliments and reward good service.
I will meet blogger friends 'in real life' and enjoy spending time with them.
Once again - I will enjoy my family and help make their dreams come true and spend as much time with them as is possible while still letting them live and find their way in the world, I will encourage and support them and share their interests.
I pray that family rifts heal, that habits are able to be broken and that all my family and friends enjoy a year filled with health, happiness, joy, laughter and generosity xxxxxxx