Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

This week I am grateful for

~ a change to the cool weather for a while after all the heat we've had
~ family and friends, nothing else is more precious
~ the support and love that has been sent our way after we had to have our loved 17yo blue heeler put down this week
~ that my boys are fit and healthy despite an emergency trip to the dentist also this week
~ having a craft that I can express myself in, and that I can take it pretty much anywhere

What are you grateful for this week?

Take Care

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ripple CAL @ One Crafty Mumma!

Mel at One Crafty Mumma is just loving crocheting ripple blankets at the moment so she's running a very casual Ripple-a-long!

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This is a recent ripple blanket that I have made. It's actually more of a Van Dyke pattern really. Van Dyke is more like a chevron pattern whereas the ripple has softer peaks and troughs. But it really doesn't matter what pattern you use.

Unfortunately I have so many projects on the go at the moment that I'm not taking part in the Ripple-a-long but would dearly love to play along if there is a future one.

If you's love to take part it's not too late. Just head on over to the One Crafty Mumma blog or FaceBook page and check it out!

Take Care

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tucker Tuesdays ~ Breakfast Smoothies

Ethan isn't a big early morning breakfast eater. He'd rather have brekky about a hour after he wakes. Which I can understand I'm a bit like that myself.
However it does make kindy mornings a little hard.
The last couple of weeks he's been eating a jam sandwich on the walk to kindy as he's usually ready to eat about then. But that's not a very nutritious brekky. Better than nothing I know but I'd rather he had something healthier.
So why not a smoothie?

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I ordered some of these reusable pouches from Squeeze Ems. They come in two different sizes. 80ml and 200ml. I bought the 200ml and some spare lids, I can see us loosing a few of them.
$16 for 10 pouches, $2 for 4 lids and $3 postage!
You can buy them at other places but I found buying them direct saved me lots on postage.

I had heard people singing their praises but had also heard that some people had trouble with filling them. That it could get a little messy.
I poured our smoothies into a jug I have here and had no real issues. The mess you can see in the top of them is from me over filling them. I found that I needed to stop about 1cm below the 200ml mark on the pouch to be able to close them mess free.
I then popped them in the freezer, they didn't expand much. I'll take one out of the freezer the night before kindy so that it defrosts in time for brekky.

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Red berry and Banana Smoothies

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Blackberry and Banana Smoothies

Banana Berry Smoothies
2 x bananas cut into pieces
2C berries
1C greek yoghurt
3T chia seeds
1T coconut oil, melted
1-2C milk
honey to taste (about 3T)
Place in a blender and process until smooth.
My bananas I had cut up and frozen a day or two before hand while they were perfect for blending but my pouches hadn't arrived.
For the Red berry smoothies I used a whole punnet of strawberries and 1 cup of frozen raspberries. For the blackberry ones I used 2 cups of frozen home foraged blackberries.
I would have added some LSA mix but our kindy is nut free and Ethan is more than likely to still be drinking his smoothie when he gets there.
Makes approx 1 Ltr.

I have some other awesome combinations I can't wait to try. Might just have to buy some more pouches to give them a burl soon!

This is my own personal review I was not asked nor paid for this review, all opinions are my own

Take Care

Monday, February 25, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

This weeks menu plan was mixed around a little due to the hot weather coming to visit again. Everything I had planned was still eaten just the days mixed up.
I also made a yummy Chia Pudding that will definitely be on the menu again.

Mon ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise
Tues ~ Fried Rice and Marinated Chicken Wings
Wed ~ Hot Dogs
Thurs ~ Marinated Chicken Pieces and veg
Fri ~ Rissoles and veg
Sat ~ Steak Burgers at the beach
Sun ~ Roast Beef in the slow cooker and veg

Zucchini Bread - recipe from the kindy that I wasn't too keen on

Do you Menu Plan? Would love for you to share your post.
Link up below, remembering to link back here to BDB.

I'm linking up with:
The Organised Housewife

Take Care

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WIP Wednesdays

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Remember the siberian crochet dishcloth I was working on?
Well it's finished.
I didn't bother blocking it seeing as it was going tobe used as a dish cloth straight away.
Took me about 3 nights to do, it's very slow going.
I love the final outcome. It makes a wonderfully thick cloth.
But due to the amount of time it takes I don't think I'll be making too many of them.

Do you have a crafty project you'd like to share?
Link up below, remembering to link back here to BDB

Take Care

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tucker Tuesdays ~ Recipe: Rhondas Scones!

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Scones have been one of those things I've never been very successful at. Until I learnt the secret. You must keep the dough rather moist. I was always adding too much flour so that it wouldn't stick anywhere!
You can read about my Perfect Lemonade Scones here.
However we rarely have lemonade here so I thought I'd try Rhonda's scone recipe from her book Down To Earth, my fave book in the world.

Rhonda's Scones
2C Self raising flour
1T sugar
30g cold butter, chopped
1C buttermilk, whey or plain milk
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 220C. Grease and line a baking tray.
Combine flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and rub in with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs.
When I can't be bothered doing this I use the food processor.
Pour in milk and mix using a knife until it forms a sticky dough.
Turn onto a floured surface and give a light knead. Sometimes I find the dough too sticky so I will add a little flour as I can until it's not sticking to my hands. They other day this was a small handful.
Press the dough out to about 4cm and cut into shapes.
Place scones on the tray, brush with a little milk and put in the oven.
Turn the heat down to 200C and cook for about 20 mins or until golden brown.

I like to make sultana scones too. For this I add about 1C of sultanas to the flour mix before adding the milk.

Do you like to bake scones? What's you favourite flavour? What do you like to serve them with?

Take Care

Monday, February 18, 2013

Menu Planning Mondays

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{Becci's Awesome Vegie Stuffed Omelets - recipe to come}

Last week for a quick and easy dinner I whipped up an omelet that was inspired by the ones you buy at the local asian takeaway. OMG it was sooo yummy! So I made them this week for a meal. Think they'll defintely be making a regular appearance.
Perfect when you can't be bothered cooking, home late or it's too hot to cook too much.

The rest of the week looked like this:

Mon ~ Marinated Chicken pieces and roast veg
Tues ~ Steak and veg 
Wed ~ Homemade Pizza
Thurs ~ Becci's Awesome Vegie Stuffed Omelets
Fri ~ Chicken snitzel and veg with mushroom gravy
Sat ~ Apricot chicken and rice ~ Birthday boys request
Sun ~ BBQ at the beach ~ too hot for a roast this week

This week I did do a little baking! Some scones! Look out for the recipe tomorrow, they were delish!

Do you Menu Plan? Would love for you to share, link up below using the linky tool.

I'm linking up with:
The Organised Housewife

Take Care

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Retrospective Light Bulb Moment

For many years now I have been very aware of how people and my environment have an affect on me.
I have made a conscious effort in recent years to remove toxicity from my life and to allow in only people and things that have a wonderfully positive affect on me into my life.

Yesterday I realise when that first began...

I can't remember the year but Randall would have been a baby.

I was a regular viewer of Rikki Lakes day time show. Love it. Then one day it hit me.
I was so wound up every afternoon after watching it. It was almost like I was ready to take on anyone that looked at me the wrong way. Not quite like that, but almost.
I questioned as to why I would do that to myself. Why would I watch a show that was doing nothing but having such a negative effect on me?
So I stopped watching.
I was more important than that. I deserved to be influenced by only the good and beautiful in life.

From that day on I became more aware of my surroundings. More aware of the things I watched and read. More aware of what I did, how I spoke and who I spoke too.

Have you had a light bulb moment about your life?

Take Care

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesdays

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Thought I'd try a new stitch I saw on Pinterest. I think it'll make a great dishcloth.
It's called Siberian stitch, it's easy enough, well after the first couple of rows which are a bit tricky, but it's very slow hooking.
You can see video tutorials here.

Do you have a current crafty project you'd like to share?
Link up below, linking back to BDB.

Take Care

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blackberry foraging

It's that time of year when the wild blackberries are ripe for the picking.
Last year Brian, BIL and the boys went out late febraury and were a bit too late, they got some but not enough really.
So we went out on saturday and didn't do too badly at all.

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I was picking in the hope that I'd have enough in the freezer to last us a while. I'd love to be able to use them in breakfast smoothies for Ethan, yoghurt when I start making my own from scratch and in baking and desserts.

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The boys loved picking the berries.
I made sure they had long pants and tops on to minimise the scratched from the thorns.
Pretty sure they ate more than they put in their containers but that's half the fun.

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That's about a 10Ltr container full! Not bad for a couple of hours work.

I kept some aside for us to munch on over the next couple of day, probably about 1kgs worth.
Then I laid the rest on trays in a single layer (had to do a couple of batches) and popped them in the freezer for a few hours until they were hard.

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 I then transferred them to a large ziplock bag and popped them back in the freezer.
These are the largest ziplock bags and hold nearly 2kgs of berries each!

Now we'll be able to have berries when ever we like!

We are thinking we might head back out in a week or so. There were heaps that hadn't ripened yet. Would be great to get another haul like this.

Have you been foraging before? What do you like to forage for?

Take Care

Monday, February 11, 2013

Menu Plan Mondays

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This week I made Curried Sausages for the first time. Mum used to make it quite often when we were kids and I couldn't stand it! I think it was the taste of the boiled sausages that I disliked the most. Recently I have had the urge to try them again. What fabulous timing that Cassie at The Flying Drunken Monkey reposted her recipe.
I decided to make a double batch as I had a big bag of sausages in the freezer. By the time I doubled everything I could barely fit it in the slow cooker, and I have a huge one!
I had run out of cornflour too so I thickened it with a beurre mainie (paste of flour and butter) but because the pot was so full it was very hard to stir and the thickening didn't do too well. Lesson learnt, don't double the recipe lol.
I'll definitely be making it again!

Mon ~ Roast Chicken and veg
Tues Curried Sausages
Wed ~ Chicken Snitzel Burgers
Thurs ~ Fried Rice and Marinated Chicken Wings
Fri ~ Easy dinner ~ I made the most awesome omelet!
Sat ~ Spaghetti and Meatballs with Garlic Bread
Sun ~ Corned Beef and veg with onion sauce. Apple and Blackberry pie with custard for dessert.

Another week has gone by without baking anything! Must make a plan and stick with it!

So you Menu Plan? Would love for you to share, link up below using the linky tool, and don't forget to link back to BDB.

I'm linking up with:

The Organised Housewife

Take Care

Friday, February 8, 2013

Big Boys Room

Yesterday I was in the boys room sorting through stuffed toys, why oh why are there so many!, and giving the room a good clean as part of my Zone work, when Brian suggested we put the beds up into bunks.
I had suggested this a few months back, but I guess it's his idea now (love you baby).

You can see what the room looked like before in this blog post.

Now this is what it's like.

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I shut the blind and turn the light on for this one.
Standing in the doorway

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To the right of the doorway.
Ethan on top bunk, Eli on bottom.
The book case. Bottom shelf for kindy and going out bags.
Next shelf up is for Eli to put his drink and tissue at night

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View from near the window.
Boys tallboys to the left.

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Eli's on the left. The fan won't be there forever.
Ethan's on the right.
Both need some personal touches.

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Their wardrobe, coat hook and toy containers.
This space will be used for their desks when they get them.
Ethan's later this year, Eli's not for another year. They'll be starting school gifts.

Take Care

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dear Chrissie...

Dear Chrissie

First let me tell you that to me you are one of the most funny, genuine and loveable people on Aussie tv, actually make that all of tv. You crack me up every time I see you and make me feel as though I could just call you up and have a cuppa while the squids played.

I hear you got busted having a fag? Ooops. Now I don't agree with smoking during pregnancy. Or drinking, or taking part in any other sort of risky behaviour whist pregnant. But I will not judge you.
I am the last person who should be judging what you, or any other woman, should or shouldn't do while they are pregnant. After all I am the one who, despite knowing the risks of Gestational Diabetes, didn't loose weight before having my babies.

Glasshouses, stones.....

As mothers we feel as though there is no one else in the world who loves our children more than we do. We feel as though there is nothing that we would do to protect our children. That we would never harm them in any way. We will do everything that we can to make them the most wonderful human beings that ever lived.
But we are only human. We have the best intentions in the world, that there is no doubt. But many times we fall short. I'm sure ever parent out there has had at least one moment where they have done something that they swore they would never do.
Yelled at our precious child because they were frustrated, fed them chicken nuggets for dinner because it's been just one of those days and you don't feel like a battle tonight, forgot to reapply the sunscreen and put a hat on, put the tv on for a little peace and quiet, smacked them on the bum because you are at your wits end.
We are all guilty of not being the perfect parent, and so what!

99% of the time we are awesome people and parents. But we are only human after all. We have our failings, our strengths and weaknesses.
What is most important is that when we realise we are doing wrong, or at least not doing the best we can, that we do what we can to fix it.
So we count to ten, breathe deeply and walk out of the room the next time we are frustrated. We buy chicken breasts and breadcrumbs the next time we are shopping so that we can make our own nuggets to have on hand in the freezer. We set an alarm and keep sunscreen and hats by the door so that we remember to apply the sunscreen. We have books on hand or at least make sure that what our children are viewing is educational.

Chrissie you are doing just that. You are coming forth, taking ownership (which there isn't enough in this world) and making steps to get the help that you need.
That is the most awesome thing you can do!

So to those that may poo poo you for smoking whilst pregnant I challenge them to look at their own lives and to find at least one thing that they can improve in their life, to use the energy they are using to be negative about this and redirect it into bettering themselves and their own families.

Again glasshouses, stones....

Take care my sweetheart. Remember you are an awesome woman and mother.

If you need help with giving up smoking then visit the National Quit Website.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday

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A little something I am working on

Do you have a crafty project you would like to share?
Then link up below, remember to link back to BDB too :)

Take Care

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tucker Tuesday ~ My Roast Chicken

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One of my fave meals to cook is a roast chicken. It's fairly quick, for a roast, tasty, feeds many when plumped out with tonnes of veg, and looks rather impressive for little effort.

 photo 2013_0204Jan20130019_zpsb662af17.jpg This is the roasting tin that I use for my roast chicken. I can fit one large chicken in here or even two of the smaller, twin pack, chickens. The roaster was mum. I remember it well when we were growing up. She bought it in one of those promotions they had at Woolies I think. Where you got stamps for every $5 or $10 you spent. Then could buy parts of a dinner set with so many stamps. I remember she bought the whole dinner set and the whole baking and saucepan set. This is all that remains though. Mum always used this to make her chop casserole!

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First up make your seasoning.
I do all of mine in the food processor.
I chop half a large onion and about 6 dried apricots.
Place into a large bowl.
Add 4-5 slices of stale bread, I use multigrain as that's what we eat, but use whatever. Process to make breadcrumbs.
If you already have some breadcrumbs use about 2 cups, but don't use the dried variety you get at the supermarket.

Add the breadcrumbs to the bowl, along with a handful or two of sultanas and about 1 tablespoon of dried herbs. I just use a mixed herb mix, but use whatever herbs take your fancy.
Give it a good mix. Add an egg and mix through.
The mix will be still rather crumbly but if you add more egg you will taste it.
This makes enough for two good sized chickens. If you aren't cooking two chooks, then you can freeze the remaining stuffing in a freezer bag for a month or so.

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Stuff your chicken and tie up the legs.
Rub chicken all over with seasoning of choice.
Place in roasting dish on a trivet. This will help to keep the chicken out of the juices as well as stopping the skin sticking to the dish.

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I have found that this is the most yummiest seasoning to use on the outside. It's just under $3 for this container and I get about 5-6 chickens from it. Rather economical.

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Add about 1cm of water to the bottom of the dish and any veg you want in there.
I roast my veg separately, but onions need longer cooking so I add them to the meat.
Cover and put in the oven.
Oven should be preheated preferably. I cook mine on 150C for about 90 mins. Then take the lid off, remove the chicken to a chopping board, drain off the juices (to use later for gravy), replace the chicken and add some more water ( so it doesn't burn).
Crank up the heat to about 180C add the chicken back to the oven but don't cover.

This is when I put my veg in. Bake for another hour, until chickens and veg are cooked.
While it's cooking I make the gravy (another post for another day) and prep any steamed veg.

Cooking the chicken this way makes for a crispy yet moist chicken. The water in the bottom with the lib on steams the chicken but allows for some crisping too.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Menu Plan 4th February

Finally back to a normal sort of menu plan this week.

Tues ~ Roast Beef, veg and homemade gravy
Wed ~ Shepherds Pie
Thurs ~ Chips and Gravy (treat for me the the little ones)
Fri ~ Cornflakes. Yep Cornflakes, well for me. We went out for lunch and was too full for a typical meal
Sat ~ Texas Tbones with Maggie Beers Quince Glaze and Potato Bake
Sun ~ King Island Double Brie, Maggie Beers Spiced Pear Paste and Jatz. Homemade Choc Mousse for dessert.

Haven't really baked anything this week. Did make that mousse last night, that wasn't too bad. Must get something baked this week.

Do you Menu Plan? Would love for you to share below

Take Care