30.6.10

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY



(This is Emma's sister Lou being a bit cheeky here while she is away at the beach. She gave me her blog log in details for something else but I couldn't resist posting this picture of her 'goose' at the Werribee Open Range Zoo on Monday. I know Emma loves to join in with wordless wednesday so hopefully she will forgive me - Lou. )

28.6.10

AT MY HOUSE...



They are no Julian Beever (check out his AMAZING chalk drawings)
but I love that the canvas can be wiped clean with the rain and I don't have to worry about this.

What's going on at your house today? Visit Lou at Buttons by Lou Lou to let us know.


PS - We are off to the beach for the rest of the week so I won't be blogging here, but I look forward to chatting when I return.

27.6.10

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #3

Please do not think that you need to be some perfect 1950's housewife to be cooking these meals, in fact, quite the opposite! I just liked the picture. This weeks recipes are, as per usual, easy peasy! I got this one from adelicious magazine years ago and often pull it out when I can't be bothered putting too much effort into dinner, but the husband is always impressed. It's all about presentation, baby - a sprig of parsley and a shave of parmesan can go a long way ;-)

TOMATO & OLIVE SPAGHETTINI

500g pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
250g black olives
2 tbs pesto or 1 tbs baby capers or 2 tbs olive paste (optional)
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
freshly grated parmesan.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large frypan over low heat, then add garlic & cook gently for
about a minute or until fragrant. Add the tomato & olives, increase heat to medium, season to taste & cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until warmed through.
Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce, then add any of the optional ingredients (I use pesto & I use more than 2tbs sometimes), parsley & parmesan.


GUEST RECIPE:

BOUNTIFUL MEATBALLS
from Tracee at Bountifully.

Get a simple tomato sauce going by chopping an onion and garlic, frying gently then adding 600ml passata (or chopped tinned tomatoes if that is all you have), finely chopped carrot (I do mine in the food processor) and a good splog of white wine. Bring to a gentle simmer and get on with the meat balls.

Grab about 400 g each of pork and veal mince (I make my own veal mince from veal schnitzel as it is cheaper and less fatty), mix with about a cup full of fresh bread crumbs, a quarter cup of grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, whatever herbs you have about (I used oregano and parsely tonight), and an egg. Mush it all up together with your hands, then roll into balls and plop into your simmering sauce. Allow it to all simmer together for about 15 min or so, or until the meat balls are cooked through. You can serve them up with pasta, couscous (nice with a bit of mint tossed through) or Italian bread. This is one of my favorite fugal food recipes!


For some great meal ideas for fussy eaters check out Sonia's post at Light Shade of Green.

I'll need a guest recipe for next week, so if you've got one - send it this way!

THROUGH A GREEN LENSE

Lucy, aged 6, Melbourne Australia.

Goose was very excited this week to help choose the theme for Kids Click. 'Green'. Her favourite colour is green and with this photo she has also added a little eco-friendly 'green' in there as well! Get your kids behind the camera and join in!


26.6.10

DIY BUBBLES

What could be better on the first day of the school holidays than to still be in our pyjamas at 10am?

The kids are currently out in the back yard blowing bubbles.


DIY BUBBLE MIXTURE

3 parts dishwashing liquid
(Morning Fresh works well)
7 parts hot water
1 part glycerine

Stir thoroughly.
(without making it too frothy)

N.B. - You may need to experiment a little bit with the amount of detergent.
- It works better if you make it the day before or even a week before!
- Glycerine can be found at the supermarket (in the medicine section).

Tips:
- Apparently bubbles don't like dry weather so they work better at night, in the shade or in rainy weather.
- You don't need store bought bubble wands, use things from your kitchen drawers, twist some pipecleaners or a coathanger.

I have 3 buckets (from the kids sandpit) permanently sitting on our back windowsill.
One filled with bubble wands & a bottle of mixture.
One filled with sidewalk chalk.
One filled with old paint brushes for 'water painting' on hot days.


25.6.10

TOO MUCH BLOGGING?


Recently, after making some icing and giving the wooden spoon to my little boy to lick, he lay his spoon on the bench and said, "here Mum, take a photo of this for your blog"..... My photo taking has kicked up a notch since starting this blog and I am taking photos of things, like our dinner, that I would not have taken before ...... could it be that I have gone too far?

23.6.10

MY CREATIVE SPACE {with wings}

My creative space this week is once again child focused.
Although I did manage to attend 3 craft nights over the last fortnight. I think I am becoming a bit of a craft night junky - reclaiming my perceived loss of creative expression.

We made these cute little fairy wings at playgroup last week and the younger two have been wearing theirs constantly.

When Goose got home from school, she did not want to miss out and had to have her own set of fairy wings. Of course, hers had to be 6 year old size and half way through I was regretting my flippant "Sure, I'll make yours bigger", but about an hour of decorating later and she was very proud of her efforts.

Maybe not my choice of decorations, but I am a believer in just letting creative juices flow.....

If you'd like to give these Fairy wings a go, then head on over to Kids Craft Weekly for all of the instructions. Really quite easy.

To see some classier creative spaces and for lots of inspiration of the creative kind why not visit Kirsty at Kootoyoo.

22.6.10

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY...

AT MY HOUSE...

We went on a little adventure into the city on the weekend. We have been spending far too much time at home lately and needed to get out as a family. We went to the Light Festival in Fed Square (centre of Melbourne) on Saturday night which celebrated the Winter Solstice and the idea of light in all different cultures.

I was struck, as always, by the innocence of childhood and the things they are enthralled by. We take so many things for granted, yet children are experiencing things for the very first time every day! There is a lot to be said for 'looking through the eyes of a child'. They were too young to remember being in the "city" before and were overawed by the size of the buildings and the different atmosphere and just couldn't get enough of it. The tram ride was probably the biggest hit of all!


What's been going on at your house? Join in over at Lou's and let us all know.

21.6.10

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #2


Here is my second post containing easy peasy super quick, yet healthy dinners for those week nights when you just need to get something on the table! Nothing fancy here. Please don't think that I am some super - absolutely love to cook, kind of Mum - I am VERY over cooking dinner at the moment! I do it out of necessity. I cook dinner 6 nights a week and on the seventh day I rest - and we do takeaway (or on the very, very odd occasion my husband will be home in time for dinner & he'll cook). So I thought I'd share with you some of the easy things that I have done as a way to get some from you! How do you cope with getting dinner on the table every night? Do you slave away in the kitchen all day cooking gourmet feasts or do you get home from work and whip something out of the freezer? Or something in between?

I got this one from my friend Agatha and it is her husband's recipe. Although it has a long cooking time, it has a very quick preparation time....
JOHN'S CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS

preheat oven to 180 degrees
wash chicken legs (skin on) & put into oven roasting dish
sprinkle with salt, pepper & dried oregano
turn over in dish & sprinkle other side with salt, pepper & dried oregano
Very quick drizzle with olive oil over legs
cook in 180 degree oven for 45mins -1hr
Take out of oven & squeeze lemon juice over legs
serve with plain rice and steamed vegies.

MORE DRUMSTICK IDEAS:
Just as yummy, we have tried - Cornflakes on Chicken Drumsticks or rolling them in flour, egg then breadcrumbs and just serving with some vegies. I often cook this Roast Lemon Chicken (pictured below) as it only has a few ingredients, is quick to prepare and loved by all.


GUEST RECIPE:

GINA'S BROCCOLI PASTA
from Gina at Clutterpunk

Steam broccoli pieces (the more the better) over pasta pot. Meanwhile melt some anchovies in a pan with a good lug of olive oil, add chilli flakes, garlic and lemon zest if you've got it. Chuck the broc in once it's tender and sauté for a bit. When the pasta is done add it in too with some pasta water and/or more olive oil to ensure it's moist. Sprinkle with toasted pinenuts/almond flakes and Parmesan cheese.

Please keep emailing your recipes in and I'll add them in the weeks to come!


19.6.10

GREENTREE GOODIES


How very exciting to receive in the mail yesterday a lovely little package from Aimee from Greentree just to say thank you for the fun little prize pack that she won in my last minute, just-for-fun yellow competition. You really didn't have to - so generous, but THANK YOU - your stuff is gorgeous!
The little Frog needed to put 3 hair clips in all at once! She thought the keyring was a biscuit, so started chomping down before I rescued it from her slobbery clutches!


Speaking of receiving gorgeous things in the mail from other very talented bloggers, Here we go Loopy Lou has a giveaway going on at the moment that I would very much like to win.....

KIDS CLICK


Photo taken by Lucy - Aged 6 from Melbourne, Australia

This week's KIDS CLICK theme is "This is Me".
Above is Goose's entry.
Last week Granny gave her an old camera of hers that no longer zooms in and out and has a few other problems, but it still takes photos! She was VERY excited! She learned how to use the self timer and, as she LOVES to read ("I wish I could read ALL day"), she thought it would best represent her if she was holding one of her favourite books.
Goose would shamelessly like to know if anyone would like to sponsor her for the MS Readathon that she is currently participating in to raise money for people with Multiple Sclerosis. (no pressure, seriously)
It is such a joy for me to see her loving reading so much. I did the MS Readathon when I was a little girl too.


Goose took this photo this morning of her gorgeous Dad looking all suave & spiffy for his very important interview in just a few hours time!

If you have a little one who loves to get behind the camera, then why not join in this fun competition over at


18.6.10

THANKYOU

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of my friends and family, particularly my Mum & sisters and the girls from my church and playgroup, who all stepped up to the plate in overwhelmingly generous fashion when I needed you. I have been a bit silly and tried to be a bit of a super-mum doing it all on my own. We really are designed to live in community and I've had to learn that there is nothing wrong with accepting a bit of help - thank you! In the words of Gina - I am a recovering perfectionist, enjoying being just good enough.

16.6.10

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Growing up, our Mum put on the BEST parties around! My 2 sisters & I all had our birthdays within a four week period, so the party time of year was a big one! We always picked a theme and were very involved in our parties' execution. I couldn't help myself but to carry on the legacy when I had children of my own.

My philosophy on the celebrating of birthdays is to make it as fun and magical as possible without spending a fortune! It's one area where I allow myself to indulge and go a little OTT.

So, to indulge my love of parties and because I haven't had a chance to put any of my own parties on this blog yet and because I wanted to join in here and because I wanted to play around more with this mosaic maker, I thought I'd do a snap shot of photos from some of my kid's parties over the last few years.

Goose's 2nd birthday - LADYBUG theme

Goose's 3rd birthday - BEE theme

Goose's 4th birthday - RAINBOW theme

Goose's 5th birthday - UNDERWATER theme

Bear's 2nd birthday - CAR theme


Goose's 6th birthday - PRINCESS party

You can see photos of little Frog's 1st birthday with a PINK theme here.

Now that I have joined the blogging world and found some 'party' blogs - the ideas for parties have kicked up a notch to a whole new level..... and I'll be remembering to take photos of every little detail.
Stay tuned for a 'farm' themed party in August.....
(which I'll blog about in much greater detail).


WORDLESS WEDNESDAY...





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