Monday, 30 July 2012

Hello Monday

Hello Monday!
I'm linking up with Lisa for Hello Monday.

Hello my sweet little Grace receiving an award at the school assembly.  
She is quite a good limerick writer and received an award for creating fun, crazy and silly limericks.
It must be the Irish blood running through her veins.
Hello our lovely fire.  
We love snuggling around you at night - reading books, watching the Olympics and just being together.
Hello birthday gathering for a lovely friend who turned 40.  
We celebrated at another friends house with lots of laughs and amazing food.
 Hello Chutes and Ladders.  
We have had this game since we lived in Perth (Grace was a newborn and Paddy was three).  
It is a game that comes out of the games cupboard regularly.
 Hello cupcake party. 
Grace went to a friends party on the weekend.  
It was a cupcake party - an amazing cupcake party.
  It was so well organised and Grace said it was one of the best parties she has ever been, too.  
Now, that is saying a lot because this girl of mine has been to many wonderful parties.
Hello amazing rainbow and grey sky over Richmond.  
This was followed by rain.  
Lots and lots of rain! 
Hello babies that are growing up before my eyes.

 Hello Medal Tally.  
The  Olympics are a hit at our house and the kids are enjoying keeping a tally of all the Australian medals.  Come on, Aussies!
Wishing you a wonderful week, friends.

The Yummiest Apple Cake

Yesterday I was going through my recipe folder when I came across this great recipe.  It goes way back to my teaching days in the early 90's.  I remember that we would celebrate birthdays and special occasions with morning teas prepared by a staff member.  You knew that the food was a hit if someone asked for a recipe.  I distinctly remember this cake.  It was made by one of the kindergarten teachers.  It was so moist and it begged me to devour every crumb.  There were no leftovers!

Apple Cake

1 cup sugar
100g of butter
1 egg
2 cups shredded raw apples (I used Fuji Apples)
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1.  Shred apples (skins and all) in a small bowl and set aside. 

2.  In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. 
3.  Add egg and beat well. 
4.  Add remaining ingredients, including shredded apple; mixing on low just until everything is well combined. 
5.  Bake in a greased 20cm/8" square pan at 180'C for 35 to 40 minutes.
6.   Serve and enjoy!

Friday, 27 July 2012


10 Random facts :

*I am glad that it is Friday and we can be together as a family...AGAIN!  Martin's travel schedule has been CRAZY!  We miss him when he's away.  We have not had a lot of time together since we got back from the US.
*I LOVE the Olympics and cannot wait for them to start tomorrow morning.  I might even get up at 5am to watch the opening ceremony live.
*Today I celebrated a special friends 40th.  I am so grateful for friends near and far.  Really grateful
*I am going through a phase where I hate my crazy curls and dream of beautiful straight hair.
*I cannot believe that Paddy will be turning 11 in just a few weeks.  He wants to celebrate in a small way and go to the movies with a few mates (He is growing up!)
*Grace has the day off school on Monday and I cannot wait to spend a day with her.  I'm seeing dolly dressing, nail polish and a visit to a special cafe for lunch
*Our special friends who moved from Sydney to Melbourne have been in Croatia and the Netherlands for 5 weeks and have just arrived back to Melbourne.  We've missed them and look forward to hearing all about their trip and seeing them again.
*I had a pedicure this week (something I do maybe once a year) and it felt so good to relax.  I can show my feet in public again.
*I had so many SMS's and phone calls to check that my mum is okay after I mentioned it in a post a few weeks ago.  It makes me realise just how lucky I am to have such special and dear friends.
*I am really looking forward to spring.  I have had enough of winter.  Sydney winters are a lot easier and more comfortable than a Melbourne one.  I sometimes dream that I'm in Sydney when I drive around Melbourne, especially when the grey skies seem to be continuous.


Thursday, 26 July 2012


We are just about on the brink of another weekend and at our house, that is always a lovely feeling.  On Friday, an aura enters our home and it is filled with an extra dose of love.  The idea that we are together as one.  We seem to cram so much into the school/work week and to know that the pace will slow and we can enjoy home...together is wonderful.

Although we have lived in many houses, in many cities, home is the the most heavenly place.  It is our love, our security, our connection.  It is where we have picnics by the fire, board game nights, reading by candlelight and family dinners.  Every 'home' that we have lived in contains so many memories and has sentimental value.  
It is always easy to commit to a day inside our little sanctuary - story telling, watching a movie that we can all enjoy together or just taking life slow.  The kids beg for 'home' days and to say yes is for my enjoyment as much as it is theirs.
This is our life.  This is our home.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sewing With Children

I'm not the only one around here who does sewing.  My two kiddies love to sew and stitch up a storm when possible and particularly during the winter months when we spend a lot more time indoors.

They have both done a bit of sewing and stitching before, both projects that we have created together and those that they instigate on their own.  They recently stitched these bookmarks for their grandmothers.  It is the issue with the machine that I find a bit more challenging.  They find it so tempting to push all the buttons, knobs and dials, while I worry about them breaking knowing that we'd be in for an expensive repair bill.  However, I  do want them to explore and discover but I 'hover' incredibly close when they use it.  I would love to give them the freedom to explore and just 'go for it' and get to know the machine at their own pace but I can't...not yet, anyway!

So, I got thinking and discussed with Martin the idea of purchasing a simple, sturdy and basic machine.  Lately they have both shown enough interest (Grace) and maturity (Patrick) to warrant us considering the purchase of another machine.  One that they can explore at their own will, pace and time.

If we go ahead with the purchase, I hope that it leads to lots of crafty kid creations.  I can see dolly clothes, dolly quilts, bookmarks, pencil cases and bags.  I also hope that it instills in them the love of homemade/handmade gifts that we can share and enjoy together.  

Monday, 23 July 2012

Hello Monday

I'm linking up with Lisa for Hello Monday

Hello Pizza Night -
Friday night is ALWAYS pizza night and movie night.  We have had this tradition since the kids were small and we all love it.

Hello my budding writer -
Grace LOVES to write/type stories.  I love reading what she writes.  She doesn't take them to school to share with her teacher or her friends, she just writes them, edits them and publishes them on the printer.  She keeps all of her work in a special folder in her room.  I remember doing the same when I was little and I love seeing her get the same enjoyment when writing as I did and still do.

Hello hot air balloons -
We see a lot of hot balloons soar through the Melbourne skies.  No matter how many time we see them, they always bring a smile to our face.  There is something so peaceful watching them float through the air.
Hello my little netballer -
On Saturday Grace played her first game of netball.  She has been training for some time and learning the skills but Saturday was her first competition game.  It was funny watching all the girls huddle together to get the ball.  No goals were scored but a lot of fun was had by all.

Hello Wii fun - 
Over the weekend we had some visitors to our house.  The kids had fun playing Wii dance together.  

Hello tea sipper -
Paddy loves to have a cup of tea at night.  It is mostly water with a few drops of tea, warm milk and a teaspoon of sugar.  My baby is growing up!

Wishing you a happy week!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Cake Batter

I was out with a friend the other day and we got onto the topic of cake batter (who knows how we got there, but we did).  I remember as a kid, licking the bowl, spoon and beater and enjoying every minute of it.  Saying that, I know that we weren't allowed to do it when the mix contained raw egg and I have continued that stance in our house.  My friend mentioned that the raw egg issue is not a concern for her and she quite happily lets her kids indulge in all forms of biscuit dough, batter and so on.

So, I got I the only one who has not allowed my kids to do this because of a raw egg concern?

I saw this link and it confirmed my concerns and I won't be allowing my kids to have any batter with raw egg in it.

So, I want to know do you let your kids indulge in cake batter or do you consider it a health risk like I do?

Right Now

~ Right now ~

*I am praying for my Mum who has been unwell.  She is on the road to recovery now but we had a big scare on the weekend.  It makes you realise just how fragile life can be.  I love you, Mum and I am so grateful that you are okay.

*I am looking out to my garden and realising that I need to get out there and weed it.  Not fun but it needs to be done (10 Minutes!)

*I have a pile of paper work that needs to get sorted.  I have been ignoring it but today is the day that I attack it.

*I have cast on a cardigan for Gracie.  I love having something on my needles again.

*I have my fingers crossed for this competition at Lisa Leonard .  The bag that I would love to win is called Gracie.  I think that it's a good sign.

* I am grateful that the sun is setting a little later.  It is awful when it starts getting dark before Paddy arrives home from school.  Bring on warmer weather and more light in our days...come on, Melbourne!

*I am looking forward to my in-laws visiting in a few weeks.  We love having family with us.

*I am missing our vegetable garden in Sydney.   I always loved cooking with our winter vegetables.  Unfortunately we don't get enough sun  in our garden here to warrant a veggie patch.

*I am loving that everything feels good here.  The kids seem happy to get back into their school routine and to be back playing with their school mates.

*I am enjoying playing Words With Friends.  I play with a lot of my friends from Sydney.  It is such a great way to keep in touch and play a game of Scrabble, too (It's my favourite game from way back.  We had some great family competitions when I was growing up)

*I can't get enough of hearing the kids say "I love you!" to each other.  Yes, they have their moments, but they are great friends and I feel darn lucky (I am sure this will change in the teenage years - but I hope that it doesn't)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

10 Minutes a Day

10 minutes a day!  

I think I have heard that phrase a billion times in my life.  Just 10 minutes of stretches, 10 minutes of reading, 10 minutes of piano practice, 10 minutes of sit ups, 10 minutes of running...

I always felt that 10 minutes was doable.  10 minutes that can easily fit into my daily schedule.  Instead of saying "I don't have time" I just break the task down to 10 minutes and I feel better about it.

So, TODAY I encourage you to spend just 10 minutes doing whatever it is that needs to be done, whatever makes your heart soar or whatever it is that brings a smile to your face.

Today I will have 10 minutes (even more...hooray!) with a friend who is moving house and I'm looking forward to chatting with her and seeing her little family happy in their new abode.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Chevron Blanket/Throw

Gracie's chevron blanket is complete.  
She loves it just as much as I do.  
I love the colours that we selected and it makes her room feel even more happy and 'girly'.

Below is the video that I followed.  
My pattern is slightly different, though (see written pattern below the video link).
Instead of doing 5 double crochet stitches (dc) between each valley and hill, 
I did 10dc because I wanted deeper hills and slopes.

The video explains dc2tog and dc3tog well if this is a new stitch for you.


Row 1: Ch 246
Row 2: Starting in 3rd chain dc2tog, dc in next 10, 3dc in next, dc in next 10, dc3tog, dc in next 10, repeat until last two stitches, dc2tog
Row 3:  Ch 2 and turn, dc2tog, dc in next 10, 3dc in next, dc in next 10 and continue pattern until last 2 stitches, dc2tog
Row4: and onwards - continue with the pattern until a desired blanket size is reached.

When finished fasten off and weave in all ends.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Hello Monday

Hello friends and hello Monday!

We are all ready for a new week here.  Uniforms are out and ready, bags are packed and sorted and two kids are anticipating a new school term full of exciting discovery and learning.

We did have a fun weekend to end the school holidays, though.  We still had a few things to tick of our school holiday list so we did our best to complete what we could.  Unfortunately the weather played a big part on not getting everything ticked off...that's Melbourne for you!

I'm linking up with Lisa for Hello Monday

Hello Costco Pizza Slices -
I had to get some groceries and the kids begged for some Costco pizza.  Paddy devoured his pizza slice in no time at all but little Gracie never even finished a quarter of a slice.  They are so huge!

 Hello Scienceworks in Spotswood-
A visit to Scienceworks was on our holiday list and I am so glad we went.  We had such a great time seeing the Wallace and Gromit exhibition and we also went to the planetarium.
Hello  Shaving Cream Fun -
The giggling as they sprayed each other was infectious.  Martin had the shower and bath running so they could wash off ASAP.  
Hello a Hamper to Those in Need -
The kids made a scarf (using some woollen material and scissors) and we wrapped a Coles gift voucher, some biscuits and soap for a homeless person who sits on the verge near our local Coles.  The kids always comment how sad he looks and we hope that our little hamper made his day a bit brighter and happier.

Hello Family Drawing Time -
We love our Family Drawing Time.  This time we all had a go at drawing an eye.

Hello Competition Winners -
Paddy and Gracie entered a drawing and colouring competition and they both received a prize...hooray!  They won a gift voucher from Amazon Now the fun begins on what they should buy with their winnings.  They are both enjoying looking at the catalogues online.  Such big decisions!

Hello Maldon and Castlemaine -
We decided that we needed some time away from Melbourne so we went for a drive to historic Maldon and Castlemaine.  It must be compulsory that every country town in Victoria has a lolly shop.  The kids love looking at all the old treats and seeing which ones Martin and I enjoyed as kids.  Grace was exhausted and had a good afternoon kip on the drive home.

Hello Little Cyclist -
Grace is not a huge bike rider.  She prefers her scooter.  I think it is because she lacks confidence on her bike.  Well, not anymore.  She even smiled as she rode it on the weekend.  Go Gracie!

Wishing you a happy week, friends!