Monday, December 3, 2012

Quick catch up....

Wow this is such a busy time of year. I have been doing lots of things to make sure that they are ticked off by the time Christmas is here.

Finishing off lots of sewing orders. I can''t believe how many personalised cushion order I received. And I still have a few to go.

 
 
 
 And lots of sewing orders as well.


 
Look at all these cute pink frills. Makes you want to have another baby. ( wake up back to reality)


While I sew and do my craft the girls always want to do something as well. And here is what they did. They are some kits a picked up one day at spotlight. They are great. And I love kids craft that actually can be made by the child on their own and have success.


 My kids have been busy refining there music pieces for their AMEB exams coming up next week. James had an outdoor concert with the Western Sydney String Ensemble. They where fantastic.




The girls went off to camp. Lauren went to zoo snooze. what a great experience, walking around the zoo in the dark, sleeping at the zoo and feeding the animals in the morning. And Sarah went to a farm stay camp. Both came home exhausted.



And with all these things going on I haven't even put the tree up yet. No decorations, no tinsel, no Christmas. I think I better get onto that job pretty quick. I always put it all up on the 1st weekend of December, but it was just too hot and hard to fit in with all the birthday parties and socialising my kids did this weekend. I haven't even picked up one Christmas present yet. Well I did manage to get some wrapping paper with my grocery shopping.

What a crazy time of year.......

Friday, November 16, 2012

How does your garden grow?

I mentioned yesterday that I have been spending some time in the garden. We like on an acre of land so there are lots of gardens.

But my favorite part of the garden is in the front which is our cottage garden.



The mini roses are flowering. I saved these five plants from a nursery 3 years ago. The pots where dry and the plants looked dead. They where priced at 50c. I thought I could give them love and care. And 3 years later they healthy and strong and in full bloom.





 

I went to Bunnings and bought a whole lot more plants to put in. I can't wait to see all the white petunias in bloom.

While I was at the counter I saw this beautiful Owl. He just had to come home with me.


And I even spotted these little tea light holders. One each colour please.






























I always find all these little items that I just throw into my trolley at the last minute and it always throws out my budget.

Well with all the rain we have been having the last few days my new little plants are just going to thrive.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Passionfruit Macarons......

Wow I feel like I haven't been near a computer for a while. I have been doing lots of gardening and baking this last week and having lots of fun doing both.

Last week I told you about Adriano Zumbo cake and macarons boxed mixes. I made the passionfruit ones just the other day and they where delicious.  They where quite easy to make. The hardest part was getting the almond meal through my sieve.




It is a must to get this all through the sieve so you don't get a lumpy mixture.

Don't they look so yummy all lined up ready to go in the oven.


I did find it hard not to get those little pointy bits.


This is what they looked like when they came out of the oven. I was very proud of myself I have never made them before and to get them with the little foot at the bottom was very exciting.


This is what they looked like once the passionfruit filling went in. I thought they would have been more shinny and smooth on the top. But that did not affect the taste at all. They where good, they only lasted about 6 minutes after the kids came home from school. And with 4 kids nothing last long after school. I got 38 macaroons from the packet, which I thought was pretty good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Adriano Zumbo is cooking at my place....

Well not him personally, but he has carefully prepared all the ingredients for me.



I was doing some quick shopping at coles and while walking past the cake section I spotted these. There are 4 different boxes, Passionfruit Macarons, Salted Caramel Macarons, Mirror Finish Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Brownies.

I wanted to buy them all, the urge was so strong but only two would fit into my basket. You all know how I love his little patisserie in Balmain.


Can't wait to go back to coles now to pick up the other two boxes.

I will be back once I have made them to tell you how easy they where to make and how they taste.

Now everyone can have a bit of Adriano in their home....

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sometimes life is just tooo busy

Everyday last week there was something on, which meant that I had to leave the house every day. So this week I have made sure that I have not made any commitments.

Last week I drove to the city to get laladad to sign a couple of forms that I forgot to get him to sign the night before.

We had a hospital appointment to get x-rays on Andrew's arm, and then to the specialist to see if the cast could come off. It will be coming off tomorrow morning. He is very happy about that.


We then had they very important Physie Grand Finals for Lauren. A lot of preparation goes into this. She practises every afternoon and she just loves it. We then have to do the hair. It starts Friday night putting her hair up in curlers.


And then in the morning I transform it to this.


I love doing the girls hair and making it all special for them.

We got down to the venue early so we had some time for a quick coffee and ice-cream with some friends.


She then did her routine, she was brilliant. She was strong and on time with the music. I am so proud of her. Unfortunately she didn't place this year. When I went to get her she asked me "what did I do wrong?" "Nothing princess nothing" I told her.  I am not sure what she did wrong so it is hard to explain to a competitive little perfectionist.


She is the little one in the middle, one of the only ones with straight arms and correctly pointed feet. Anyway I am proud of her and that is all that matters.

And then Sunday came and this is what I was faced with.


All the washing just dumped on the lounge. I just folded and put away all day. So glad that week is over.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Morning Routine

This is what I do every morning, either the kids take the bus to school or I drop them off; I come back home make myself a cup of coffee and I write up a list.


I find that I get more things done during the day and keeps me organised. With 4 kids doing all different things I need to keep organised and on top of things. A few mums at school have asked me how I'm coping and how I seemed so organised after only being home for 2 weeks. So I told them about my daily list.... So I thought I would share it with you as well. I really does work and you don't have to do all the items sometimes I have one or two left over. Like finish marking engineering exams has been there since last week. Oops they are due to work tomorrow better make this a priority today. Still tidying some things up with work.

I have always written a list, even when I worked. I would get to work and write up a list of the things I wanted to accomplish for the day. I wouldn't show it to anyone and everyone always commented how do you keep your desk so clean and are so organised....... maybe I should have told them my secret....

Anyway I have finished my coffee as I write this and better get as much crossed off the list as possible.

How do you keep yourself organised? Do you make a list?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

It was soooo hot.....

Picked up the kids from school in the afternoon and it was sooo hot. They came out of class all sticky and drained. I had so much to do at home but we decided that a trip to the pool was what we needed.
 
It was actually really nice. Not too many people there, the big doors to the indoor pool were open and the slide was in operation. Fantastic. Yippy....
 
 
Poor Andrew couldn't go in due to his broken arm and the plaster, but he still had lots of fun, splashing people and just going into the shallow end and walking through.
 




It was so relaxing and the kids where having so much fun I didn't really keep an eye on the clock. I couldn't believe they swam for 4 hours. They where starting to pack everything away, it was time to go.

I think we are going to be doing this much more often.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Homebaked lunch boxes.......

Now that I am home and have much more time to bake I have making more of the items that goes into the kids lunch boxes. So today the kids have Honey Joy slice. When I make them I make double the batch and make it three different ways.

First here are the ingredients you will need.

180g of Butter ( I use unsalted)
2/3 cup of sugar
3 Tablespoons of Honey.
8 cups of Cornflakes.

Measure out the 8 cups of cornflakes into a bowl. (do this first there is no time to do this later)




Place the measured butter, sugar and honey into a saucepan and heat while stirring over medium heat until it all melts and starts to bubble.


You will notice it will start to froth. remove from heat and pour straight over the cornflakes. Stir so the honey mixture covers all the cornflakes.

Then you can do what you like.

I put some into cupcake cases, and some I press into a slice tin.



Put into a 150 degree Celsius oven for about 5 - 8 minutes.

I then melt some chocolate and cover half the slice and sprinkle with either hundreds and thousands, choc bits what ever I have in the cupboard.

When cooled I cut them into slices and they are ready for their school lunch boxes the next day.




Quick, easy and my kids love them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm now a stay at home mum....

It has been a big change in our house this week. I went from working full time as a teacher to now being a stay at home mum to my beautiful 4 kids.

Here they are at the war memorial in Canberra last week. This was our day trip, it was a long day but lots of fun....


My husband had 7 years off work and stayed home with the kids and it is now my turn. We have always maintained that one of us will be home and the kids and they would not go into full time care. So I had 5 years off first while I had the kids and then laladaddy had his turn. I am now so happy that it is my turn again.

So what do I do now that I am home. Well I can spend more time updating my blog, cooking, baking and sewing. All my favorite things.

Sarah's best friend Rose had her birthday on Monday and Sarah wanted me to make something for her, something special she said. So here it is.... of course it was something sewn....


And I really like the back. A great little project to use up some left over fabrics.


Lauren has a birthday party to go to this week. Well you know what she has requested I make don't you.!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Little Lemon Cups

How cute are these little flower lemon cups. They where so easy to make. Normally I would have made my own pastry but I was a little pushed for time so I went the quick option.


All I needed was Frozen Shortcrust Pastry, Lemon Butter, Strawberry Jam caster sugar and some icing sugar to dust over the top.

Cut the pastry using a flower cutter and sprinkle with some caster sugar. I was able to get 9 flowers from each sheet of pastry.



Lightly grease a mini cupcake pan and gently press in the pastry and fan out the tips a little. Add lemon butter to some and strawberry jam to the others.


Bake in a pre-heated oven at about 170 Degrees Celsius for 15 - 18 minutes.
Allow to cool. (Warning do not eat straight out of the oven the jam will be extremely hot.)


And then a good sprinkling of icing sugar. My favourite ones are the lemon butter. Hope you enjoy making these little flower cups for an easy afternoon tea.