Monday, March 29, 2010

Little Green Thumb


Tonight Little Miss Sunshine and I made Salmon patties that we saw a few weeks ago on The Biggest Loser Masterclass. YUMMY!!! and whats even better is we used a big handful of fresh herbs in them, from the our garden. Mint, Parsley, Coriander and Dill... so much better fresh!

We are only renting and have always had big vegetable gardens wherever we have lived so its been a bit hard the last two years without a place of our own.. (we have a house still in NZ that we are renting out and it has a beautiful big vege garden!).  So we got permission to put in some veges and my hubby recently put in a little kitchen garden for me... full of herbs!! Yum!

My littlest, Bubba, is proving to be quite a little green thumb.  She is good at planting seeds, watering them and caring for them, even if she does it in her underwear!!! Hehe... oh to be 4 again!

This is the recipe for the YUMMY salmon patties

1 1/2 c  sweet potatoes (kumara) chopped and steamed

1 onion diced

1 stalk celery

1 zucchini grated (and squeezed dry)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 large tin salmon

2 eggs

1/2 cup rice flour (or soya or normal)

1 cup of chopped herbs (any... we used dill, coriander (cilantro), italian parsley, mint)

Heat a pan with a spray of olive oil, add onion, garlic, celery and zucchini.  Add cooked sweet potato and mash together.  Add drained salmon and eggs.

Make into patties and roll in flour.  Cook in a pan coated with cooking spray.

Eat with salad - YUM!!!

or check it out here

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Today was a better day and my giveaway prize arrived!

Yesterday was one of those days... I should have stayed in bed...

I was very excited to take my new baby to the school cross country yesterday and was having a great time playing with it while waiting for my children to have their run... doh!! I forgot to charge the battery so when they were up the battery was dead :(. Luckily my friend's husband was there and he lent me their camera to capture my darling daughter having a big meltdown about doing the run!

So she continued her meltdown after the run and I decided to take her home.  Jumped in the car with both my girls and took off and my car was making an awful noise.  I pulled over to figure it out and my back tyre was as flat as a pancake! A great big nail was stuck in it firmly... grrr...  I was just about to call my hubby and probably burst into tears and a lovely angel from the local garage who happened to be following me pulled in and said 'would you like a hand' - OH YES PLEASE!!  He kindly whipped the offending flat off and put the interesting looking 'space saver' spare on.... well, have you ever driven with one of those on the car!! Scary... maybe because ours was pretty much flat - oops.  Luckily we live 3 km from school and there is a tyre shop about half way home. I stopped in there and said Id be back for the tyre on my way to school, to pick up my darling son.

After school I had Sonic's parent interview.. which was great. He is such a clever little boy and his teacher thinks he's great.  She asked him what he thought she should tell me... his reply, Im great at reading, I have good manners, I am a good friend in the playground and my work is neat.... no shortage of confidence huh!

I then noticed on the wall behind her desk a beautiful picture for his teacher...

Me:is that from my Sonic?

Mrs S:Yes

Me:... Um... does it bother you he's addressed it to Dear Sue....from Sonic, its very familiar! 

Mrs S: he has put Mrs S. rocks as well... 

Well, yes, he has but since when does my 6 year old call his teacher by her first name????   too funny... he's such a charmer.


A few weeks ago I won my first ever blog giveaway!!! YAY! YIPPEE!!!! From one of my favorite blogs - Janelle Wind is such a talented and clever lady and what's more is she's currently compiling her very own book - can't wait!!

Today, after a lovely day at IKEA, I arrived home and my prize was in the mailbox.  I managed to slow down and open it slowly because look at how beautifully it was wrapped ... just gorgeous!

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I cant wait to make it! The girls want it too... in pink!

Monday, March 22, 2010

My new baby!

I have a new baby.  My darling hubby bought it for me today... its a dslr camera , a Canon EOS 450D, it is so awesome and I am so excited Im bursting!  I cant wait to get snapping on it ... once I figure out how to use it!!!

*** edited to add this pic (of the box!!)***


Friday, March 19, 2010

Netball win!

On Saturday Little Miss Sunshine played her first game of netball.  It was so exciting and so hard to stay sitting in my seat.  Her team have been together for about 4 weeks and have never played netball previously.  They were amazing!! They have picked up the game and their positions so fast.

Little Miss Sunshine played Goal Defence (no surprise, being as she's so tall!) and had a short stint at centre... until she fell over and skinned her knee.

Her coach said she is going to be a great netball player as she is totally in peoples faces (all those years of tantrums have paid off - LOL).

Heres a few pics:

In her spunky new uniform (Australia colours even!)

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In her defence position, those long arms and legs are just perfect for netball!

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Defending her own player (ahem * Cough)


The girls won 3-2 and they were so excited.  I cant wait for the next game!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chore Chart

I'd like to say my darling children are little angels who see me doing cooking, cleaning etc and ask, what can I do to help?  Unfortunately, for the most part they are happy to watch me do it for them.

So after thinking about it for a while I came up with a chore chart that will suit our family.  It has to be something that my 4 year old can do, as well as my 6 and 8 years olds. and this is additional to making their beds, tidying their rooms and other responsibilities they have for their own things (eg. packing and unpacking their school bags).

So, they are each assigned to a series of jobs for a week, and then it rotates:

1.  Help prepare dinner, help fold clean laundry, keep the sink top clean and tidy in the kids bathroom

2. Feed the fish, water the plants, sweep under the breakfast bar, vacuum lounge on the weekend.

3. Set the table and help clear up, empty the dishwasher, help with dishes.

It seems to be working, with a little gentle reminding, and Ive noticed my eldest is really keen to do her chores. And I think it is important for them to be contributing members of our household.

What do you do in your family?  Any other ideas?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

10th Wedding Anniversary

2010 108Today this guy and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. 

(photo doesnt show but he's really much taller than me!! Im standing on a rock!)

It is wonderful to be married to a man who such an all round nice guy.  He is a great dad and has been hands on with all three of our little darlings. He baths them every night.. still.  He is great around the house.. mostly :), nah, he cooks, he does laundry and he even bakes too.. even Gluten free for me! He's a fantastic son-in-law too and my parents adore him. He's a hard worker, faithful and grows a wicked garden.  He is happy to hang out at home with us and loves V8 racing, fishing and rugby.

I remember telling my Dad many years ago what I wanted in a man - he had to be tall (check) good looking (check) dark hair (check) play rugby (check) hardworker (check) and some other things I cant remember.. he thought I was too picky.. in his wedding speech he admitted I had found just that.

My parents are a great example to follow as they have recently celebrated their 40th anniversary.

Of course 10 years of marriage has its trails but in the end - its worth it!

We are having a night out together this weekend to celebrate but our anniversary! A real date -yippee. And our focus going into our second year of marriage is Family  Family Family.

Whats funny is we are now living in Brisbane, where we went for our fantastic honeymoon!

we apologise for this unexpected interruption in scheduling

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today I had an unexpected interruption into my plans.. two of my three children came up with rashes last night ... so at 7.30 this morning we were off to the doctor to check it out.  It turns out it is just yet another form of Staph infection.  We are so tired of these and have been battling them for 3 years in our house!! I am super diligent about them using seperate towels, face washers etc and never send them to school or kindy or anywhere when they have an infection (and it bugs the heck out of me when parents do let their kids go to school with anything contagious!! but thats another story).

So we've had a day at home. Its been a beautiful sunny hot day (for a change here at the moment) so every last scrap of my washing is done. The beds have all been changed and towels too.  I love that most of the time here our clothes and washing dry within about half an hour out in the sun - its that hot. We don't own a clothes dryer so thats our only option :) Who doesnt like the smell of laundry that has been in the sun?

The kids started off the day hauling out the playdough and cutters.  The played their own version of Kids Kitchen Rules.  They have also fought a lot, played with their toys, my eldest organised a scavenger hunt that the other two refused to participate in, so then they fought some more, played on the computer and watched a bit of tv. 

Little Miss Sunshine made us some yummy Gluten free pikelets for afternoon tea - even some had chocolate chips in - she is so confident in the kitchen now - I love it. I also love that when she cooks she makes sure I can eat it to0 (ie. the Gluten free!).

Here's a pic of the 'Kids kitchen Rules'

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And here's the play dough recipe we use - its brilliant - I have used the same one for years and it lasts indefinately if you put it in an airtight container. Ours usually only gets thrown out if it gets left out or mixed up too much.

Cooked playdough

3 c flour

1 1/2 c salt

3 tbsp cooking oil

6 tsp cream of tartar

3 c water

Mix together in a large pot. Cook over moderate heat, stirring until mixture leaves sides of pot and forms a ball. Turn our onto work surface and need.

Keep in covered container.

If Im making just one colour I put the colouring in before I cook it, but if making more than one colour I work it through after cooking it - once I divi it up.


I chilled with some yummy pikelets and a cup of yummy T2 turkish apple tea - mmmm my favourite.  A  dear friend surprised me with this gift the other day :)

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Tomorrow is mine and hubby's 10th wedding anniversary... be sure to watch out for some pics :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sew Sew Sew

Woo Hoo!!! I think I have officially gotten over my crafting funk!  I have done heaps in the last few days and Im feelin' the love again :)

First up I made this for the same dear little boy I made the cake for

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 I totally love this NZ fabric and bought it when I was over there at Christmas.. was exciting to use some of it.. but not too much!

And today I got started on some little things for my children for Easter... these are for the girls and I found the pattern and tutorial here

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Im going to make some little easter bags like the very creative Mel did over here and pop there Easter Birdy in with a few eggs (less emphasis on the eggs this year)

Right off to make a boy type one or I'll be in the bad books.

Oh did I tell you - I am SOO excited - I won my first ever blog giveaway over at the very amazing blog of Janelle Wind. I won a copy of her very cute Robots at Play patterns - Ben is so excited ... boys do miss out a bit on the sewing front.

Anyway... gotta fly, my hubby has just made me some Gluten free bread and it smells good and I haven't had any bread for about a week so Im getting in while its hot :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Choo Choo!!

A dear little boy we know is turning 3 today and I was so excited I was making him a cake!2010 090

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Cute little driver at the engine

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Smoke stack  2010 096

And check out these Chocolate rocks that I found at Big W

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Now my daughter (who's turning 9) wants one - Hehe!! Blue engine, purple and pink carriages...


cake idea and instructions are from here

Now I know my ABC... on a Canvas

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I have finally finished Bubba's ABC canvas.  She is crazy about the alphabet at the moment and doesn't start school until next year.

I took photos along the way making it and Im happy to put together a little 'how to' if anyone wants me too.

THe look I was going for was a patchwork with photos of things that have significance for her. Some things were a bit hard to come up with... v (we chose violin) and x (xylophone). It was really important to me for it to be lower case letters (except for names) and for it to be words she could learn from  (eg. xylophone for x instead of xoxo (hugs and kisses)).

Im really pleased at how it turned out and she loves it... what kids dont like photos of themselves and the people and things they love.


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Brave mummy!

Wow! its been a bit of a stressful week here.  First the shocks went in my car :( and I had to drive to Brisbane (about 30km away) and it was terrifying the whole way there and back.  Secondly, a very dear friend is going through the most awful time that I wouldnt wish on anyone.  That was Sunday.. then Monday I broke a tooth. 

I have a really dreadful fear of needles and going to the Dentist just about does my head in. But I put on my big girl pants and went on Tuesday and got the tooth fixed and vowed and declared to come back and get the other things done that I need to do. The dentist was fantastic and they have the most amazing numbing gel... didnt feel the needle at all. I did feel having to pay for it though - OUCH!

Then today I got even more brave and had a Swine flu jab.  I have never had a flu jab or any other needles that I can avoid... hmm... last tetanus was 20 years ago... So Im feeling quite proud of myself for facing my fears (which are real to me, if not others).  I had the swine flu jab in front of my darling Bubba who is due for her 4 year old jabs so had to be brave. She distracted me by pooping her pants !!! Unbelievable!

Anyway - its all done now and I have a huge list of blood tests to have done next... EEEKKK!! more needles.

Now Im off to finish a cake for a three year olds birthday tomorrow... a train.

Back later with an ABC canvas I have just finished for my baby girl.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A post from the kids

Hi its the kids here.

We want to tell you about our favourite toys. We love Sylvanian Families.

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Before we moved to Australia we got the Ivy cottage and some families. This picture has the cat family. They are furry and cute.

Then at Christmas last year in NZ Nana and Poppa got us the Riverside Lodge and Mummy and Daddy gave us the car and caravan and some more families.

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This is the bear family in the caravan2010 079

This is the mouse family in the car2010 078

Our caravan even has a bathroom with a toilet2010 068

We play with them everyday but they have to be put away if our friends come over because they have teeney tiny pieces that get lost very easily.

thats mummy's finger with some small things

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Mum and our Aunty made us some food for our Sylvanians out of Fimo.  It is so cute. Nana bought us some more fimo so we can make some more presents for our Sylvanians.2010 nz 104

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Yesterday Mum went to a shop where they have really cool teeney tiny things that would be good for our Sylvanians. We are going to save our pocket money to buy some. There isnt much Sylvanians to buy in Australia so we want to go back to NZ again to buy some more.

We're going to play with them now.

Monday, March 1, 2010

mud cake and teacher appreciation

Last year my daughter had an amazing teacher. She was just so lovely and the kids adored her. She told me she loved working at our school because she was nurtured and loved. How wonderful is that!  Sadly her fiance was transferred further north and she had to leave.  Little Miss Sunshine and her classmates were devastated.

For her leaving we had a party, the kids all spoilt her rotten and there were a lot of tears.

We made her an apron with the class photo on it and all of the kids handprints and names.  The only photo I got was when she was wearing it

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and we made her a cake - I will include the recipe because it was a Donna Hay mud cake and it was SOOOO good (except now Im gf so I'll add a great gluten free recipe too that we made yesterday)


This was the tearful farewell ... Little Miss Sunshine was not happy I captured this

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So now for the recipe


Chocolate Mud Cake

375g (13 1/2 oz ) butter, softened

1 1/2 C (230g/7- 7/8 oz) brown sugar

3 eggs

2 cups (300g/10 1/2 oz) plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 c (80g/3 oz) cocoa, double sifted

200g (7oz) dark chocolate, melted

3/4 c (180ml /6 fl oz) milk

Preheat oven to 160C (320F). Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes, or until light and creamy.  Gradually add eggs and beat well.  Fold through flour, baking powder, cocoa and melted chocolate and stir in the milk.  Spoon the mixture into a 22cm (8 1/2in) round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bakr for 1 1/4 hours or until cooked when tested with a skewer.  Cool in the tin. Serves 10.

I used a creamy ganache to ice the cake which complimented it perfectly.



Gluten free chocolate mud cake

1 c pitted dates, chopped

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 c low-fat natural yoghurt

150g dark chocolate, melted

1/2 c cocoa

3/4 c (70g) almond meal

1 c rice flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 eggs

1 c caster sugar

Cocoa cream cheese frosting

250 g extra light cream cheese

1/2 c icing sugar

2 tbsp cocoa

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 170C and lightly grease a 26cm round cake pan.  In a microwave proof bowl place 1 c of boiling water, dates and baking soda.  Cook on HIGH for 3 minutes in the microwave.  Cool and puree to a smooth paste.

In a large bowl place date paste, yoghurt, melted chocolate, cocoa, almond meal, rice flour and vanilla extract.  Seperate the eggs and add egg yolks to the mixture. Mix until smooth.

In a different bowl whisk egg whites to a very soft foam.  Gradually add sugar and keep whisking until whites are stiff and glossy.  Fold into batter until just combined.

Transfer to cake pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.  Cool in tin for 5 minutes until turning out.

Make frosting by beating cream cheese until soft, add icing sugar and cocoa and vanilla.  Mix to a smooth consistency. Spread over cooled cake.