Saturday, May 23, 2009

A lovely blog/online shop to check out

Hello to my faithful three bloggy friends

Don't have time/energy for a proper post tonight but wanted to share the link to this lovely blog. Alarna Zinn is a designer from Queenslander who does beautiful greeting cards etc who was featured in Qweekend magazine today. Her blog is beautiful to look at if you want to check it out.

So here it is..... So good to see someone with a commitment to good old fashioned beautiful cards to send in the mail or pop in a present....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mothers' Day

I had a lovely Mothers' Day this year. The fun started the Friday before the big day. The grade one children at school put on Mothers' Day breakfast in the morning and waited on all the mums which was lovely. They gave us menus and brought us our selection and all had such happy, shiny, proud little faces that I almost cried. We have a hilarious deputy principal who made a speech, concluding with "Happy Mothers' Day to all the mothers. May you get the power tools you so richly deserve". Here's a photo of E and me before we left home for the breakfast. I took an hour and a half off work as I really didn't want to miss this.

On the actual Sunday of Mothers' Day, my mother likes to have her two daughters (but no grandchildren!) go to breakfast with her and my Dad in a swanky city hotel at 7am - yes.... a bit of an effort. However, breakfast in the hotel got cancelled this year in favour of a family picnic in the local park in the afternoon. Much more my style. That then got cancelled as well as the cousins had tickets to the football without my sister realising the game was on Mothers' Day. Anyway.... the upshot is I got to stay home with my OWN family most of the day and enjoy being pampered. I had an early start (I'm talking 5am - pitch dark and quite chilly) with the little girl waking up but a few hours later I went back to bed and that was bliss. Presents and cards had already been given on the Friday afternoon as it was all too exciting for little people to wait until the actual day to show me what they had made at school/family daycare. But....I was brought the yummiest breakfast in bed by my big girl (wearing a folded teatowel over her arm like a posh waitress). She (and Daddy and the little girl) had made me cinnamon toast, cut up fruit and yoghurt and a cup of hot chocolate. More bliss. I think I read my book for a little while too. Extra bliss!

In the afternoon, I wanted some fresh air and sunshine for the family so we set off to a local park where we haven't been before. We played our first game of soccer with some convenient trees for goalposts and gave the playground a good workout. Here are the girls at the top of the slide. Nothing like simple pleasures for Mothers' Day. (Chocolate peppermint fudge is good too!)

Happy Mothers' Day everybody!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Stuff I'm into at the moment....courtesy of Tammie

OK...I've run out of interesting things to say about my life and my family and our latest infectious virus. (I know, CT, I can't beat your virus!!! It's not that often we see Mexico on the news here). So I am taking a leaf out of Tammie's book and making a list of stuff that I am into right now. I have found that most of my favourite things at the moment are incredibly daggy. But that's ok. Now that I am forty-something, I feel entitled to enjoy whatever daggy stuff I want and under no obligation whatsoever to endeavour to be cool in the least. So here goes.....

Brisbane in the autumn - as you can see from the photo above, the sky is incredibly blue at the moment. The weather is gorgeous - warm sunny days and crisp nights that are just right for snuggling under the doona. A husband would be nice but at this point in our lives, we have a child each in bed at night - me in G's room and E and Daddy in our room. I guess there's always the single bed in E's room that cost a few hundred dollars on sale at a swanky children's shop that she never sleeps in.....

Easy peasy quiche. This is my mum's recipe and it is my current way to use up leftovers on the weekend, make my coeliac husband happy, save money by taking a wedge to work to have cold for lunch etc etc. Here's the recipe....
Combine half a cup of flour (SR I think - I use gluten free), quarter cup of oil (I use olive), half a cup or so of grated cheese, ground pepper and some salt, and four eggs. (I beat the eggs and milk first as that's what I do when I make pancakes). Add about half a cup of milk. (I use soy milk as I'm a bit allergic to dairy - but I can't resist having the grated cheese).
Then chop up roughly and throw in some of your favourite things eg semi sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, ham or bacon etc. Then examine the leftovers in your crisper and throw them in eg mushrooms, bits of brocoli, thin slices of zucchini, chopped shallots etc. I reckon it always looks prettier with something green in it.
Add a bit more milk if the mixture seems too thick. It should be sort of batter-y.
Pour into a buttered dish and bake in a moderate oven (180 c) for 40 minutes or until browned and cooked inside when you poke with a skewer. A non stick dish is good as the pan is always a bugger to clean afterwards. Sometimes I put it in a lasagne dish with non-stick paper underneath and just lift it out by the sides when it is cooked.
Great for picnics, too.
Scrapbooking - My dear friend Helen (who died the day before I had G and was responsible for my doing honours at uni, getting my first job as a historian, meeting my husband) was the person who first said to me "You should try scrapbooking". I had no idea what she was talking about but the first time I went into a scrapbooking shop and saw all those beatiful pieces of paper and cardstock and lettering and ribbons and stickers etc etc I was hooked. What other hobby allows you to buy something stunningly beautiful for a dollar? It's got all the things about quilting that I like - choosing colours, patterns, shapes, themes, emotions and stitching it all together - for a fraction of the cost and effort. And you get to stick photos of things you love on top. And you can do a page or two in an hour while your children are asleep. Here's a few of my favourite pieces of paper from my stash - just waiting for the right photos and an hour or two of my time.
Occasionally, I treat myself to a class for fun with my neighbour and this is what I made last time. (see photo below). We sprayed the background paper with templates and sparkly liquid glitter. It was great fun and like being back at kindy - making a mess and having a good time creating something. If you are into it, check out the online scrapbooking shop called Scrap Therapy. It's worth looking at just to see how pretty the graphics are - all 1950s gingham. I decided to start buying stuff on line as it is so hard to browse in peace with a two year old and a six year old in tow.
Scrapbooking is definitely good therapy and saved my bacon after both a traumatic miscarriage and a severe bout of postnatal depression/anxiety attacks. The only thing that took my mind off my irrational fears about how to get G to sleep as a baby was pondering "Should I use the pink checked paper or buy some green striped stuff" etc.

State of Play. This is a great British drama series that Scott bought on DVD after watching it on TV and loving it. I can barely stay up for an hour after tea at night but was riveted to this. We watched an hour every night and couldn't wait for the next installment. I love love love James McEvoy and he is so sweet and young in this. And if I were a lesbian, I'd be completely in love with Kelly McDonald. She is just so gorgeous - that face and that accent!! I can't get the slightest bit interested in the new film version with Helen Mirren and revolting old Russell Crowe. The series also has Bill Nighy who is just classic and John Simm, the guy from The Lakes (which we loved) and Life on Mars (which I have never seen)

Last but not least.....ABBA... Santa brought an ABBA cd for the big girl after she heard Mama Mia at the junior school disco and loved it. Now we listen to it in the car all the time. I'd forgotten what great pop songs some of them are. The funniest thing is that Greta calls the song "Rock Me" Rockmelon instead which cracks me up. So we love driving along, with ABBA blaring, singing nice and loud. When in the car by myself (doesn't happen much apart from driving to and from G's daycare lady and the railway station on the two days a week I go to work), I usually have on the Garden State soundtrack, KD's "Songs of the 49th parallel", the soundtrack to "Once", the album of various chicks doing covers of Neil Finn and Crowded House songs ("She Will Have Her Way", Missy Higgins, or Enya if I am feeling stressed. Also....Scott recently gave me a copy of Dire Strait's "Making Movies" which makes me feel nostalgic for my youth. I will always always love hearing "Romeo and Juliet".

OK....that's me at the moment. Enjoying dagdom immensely. Must go and put the big girl to bed. Love to you all.