Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Life's a bit rough

It's second week of school holidays and it's been very uneventful. The first week I had a nephew come by and he decided to put up a trampoline that we were gifted. The second week (right now) we've been sick and hanging out at home.

Well, said nephew had done trampolines before and said it would be a breeze. Then after we assembled the ring we looked at each other with our eyes opened wide. This thing is gunna be HUGE! It's a 14ft thing which could house our family! It was done in two hours which was rather impressive, I must say. It was great that he knew what to do even though one of the pole legs was missing a hole. Arggh, hate when that happens. Regardless, the kids love, love it. The kids were jumping up and down with excitement after it was done (pun intended!).



We were lucky enough to visit Saunders and Co last week as well to preview the Big W Toy Sale. Today is the last day that Big W is offering a no deposit lay-by until X-mas with great sales and price matching on all their toys. The kids had so much fun. The younger two enjoyed the Playdough and Peppa Pig toys. The older ones tested out the scooters and my 7yr old girl loved the Geleez. I have already put one toy for each child on lay-by. I don't want to buy too many toys and I've instructed my sisters not to do what they do each year either. Each kid ended up with one sack each. That's too many. So I put the toys we want on lay-by and that'll be the presents from their aunts and uncle. I don't buy my kids toys at Christmas time.

Here they are playing with the Peppa Pig drum and Nerf Rebelle Power Pair gun. They are cute and they can both use them. I took more photo's but they are on the camera. We spent a good hour there and I had to physically grab the youngest boy under my arm and get him out of there screaming his head off. Yeah, terrible threes!


Here he is asleep in his bed. I had to take it because I thought it was really cute and he was sick at the time.
I felt sorry for him but he is fine now and the sickness has passed through each child so we've been at home during the holidays and not doing much but sleeping in and making messes.

Speaking of sick, my eldest sister is also unwell. She's got a lung infection and because she went through all the chemo and the transplant wasn't successful she has a low immune system. The specialist has not given us much hope but we've been praying that she does fight it. So if you're a praying type of person please keep her in your prayers. God bless.

Thanks.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Winter time

I feel so awesome! I'm on holidays (albeit at home) so I don't need to wake up so early and deal with getting kids ready for school and all that busy-ness. Last month it was full of birthdays! Like crazy. Above are my famous Mars Bar Slice which are totally delicious. I had to give most of this huge tray away otherwise I'd be going to the gym every day.


The little man turned three. I made him two cakes. So yummy. I highly recommend White Wings Irresistable Chocolate Mousse cake. Soooooo goood and easy to make.

The new neighbour is constructing so half our fence is gone. He's a very nice guy and he's also gotten rid of this tree on his side which was over our garage and there is so much less tree crap on our side now. Yippeee.


I've re-discovered love of my little Breville 5 bar coffee machine. It's small and it makes me a nice Vitorria coffee with frothy milk. I'm going to need the caffeine hit for these holidays. Our first adventure will be at Saunders and Co where I'll be previewing the Big W Toy Sale and seeing what's on offer. I've told the kids to be well-behaved or the trip is cancelled, hee hee hee. It works a treat.

Anyway, there are ups and downs but mostly ups. It's so cold now so our winter coats are out and we've been getting sick on and off. I hope you have great plans for your school holidays.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finish Quantum Power and Pure with Active Oxygen.


I think just about all mums say that they are Time Poor. I certainly don't have to explain myself here. So, on the occasion where there's lots of glass and porcelain things to be washed I like to dump it all in the dishwasher. I've tried the cheap brands and expensive brands of washing tablets and powders. Since my dishwasher is very cheap, ahem, sensitive (it's a Cona brand or something hubby picked up with his dad a long, long, time ago) it doesn't do a good job unless I use a quality dishwashing detergent. Seriously. I am not kidding. It doesn't dry my dishes and it can leave even dirty dishes (I just can't go back to the Aldi powder anymore. Sad memories). I don't even think about how much chemicals are being used to wash my dishes. Do you?

That is until Woolworths had this amazing half price sale on all the Finish dishwasher tablets! Aaaahhh-le-lu- ya!!! I popped in one Finish Quantum tablet one day and everything came out sparkling and clean. Since then I have been using my dishwasher more often. I've tried their Gel version and it works but not as great as the original Quantum version in my washer (again, sensitive washer).

Now, Corrie at Retromummy, is recently testing out their new and less chemically made version : Finish Quantum Power and Pure with Active Oxygen! I couldn't say no to test it out myself. It's a healthier alternative to the normal stuff as it doesn't have heaps of nasty chemicals in it. Who doesn't want that for their family? I've been also starting to use less of my Teflon fry pans and use stainless steel instead.


She was really quick at sending me my tester pack too and I tried it out last night. Yes. I know. I am the world's WORST dishwasher packer-upper-er....  Since my washer is cheap, it also has no instructions on how to pack dishes for washing and I will never figure out how to set my bowls! It's also low so  my medium cutting boards only fit on the sides. So, there's the Finish tablet sitting in the dispenser (top pic) and my stuff inside. I put the plastic stuff that seems to be dishwasher safe on the top rack.

I must say after a Normal wash setting, Finish Power and Pure is AWESOME!!! Everything came out clean and shiny and spotless. I was very impressed. See below: the cutlery is shiny and the plate is spotless.



Even my baked on Pyrex dish came out clean. I had made chicken schnitzel and there were black crusty bits on the side. I put it in as it was and was so happy to see it so clean and streak free. 


One other indicator for me is how clean my dishwasher door ends up. No leftover tablet in the dispenser (yay-eee) Also, to save energy and carbon emissions I do turn my washer off on the dry part of the cycle after the dishes are clean and pull out the racks so they dry naturally. Seeing as my washer is in another kitchen (that's another story) it's not in the way of the kids or myself so I can do that.

So, now that you know, you better get these new chemical-less tablets. They are really great and a healthier alternative for you and your family. If they got hubby to do the dishes that would be heaven on earth.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Things


I hope you all had a lovely Easter and holiday. I got up before the kids on Easter Sunday and finished off the zipper so she could wear the dress. I am so totally against zippers! Urghh. Anyway, it worked out well and I finished the dress off with a pink ribbon which really made the dress shine. The best decision was to re-do the skirt by gathering it instead of having those pleats. This is a size 8 so she will be able to wear it for a while, at least til end of summer (Feb) over here.

Next time I make up this dress I will use a lighter fabric. It's a nice pattern which also includes a plain bodice which is fully lined. If I do use a ribbon tie again it's a good idea to make those ribbon belts or sew a part of the ribbon to the dress so it doesn't ride up.

It seems that during Easter the retail sector like to have sales so I popped into Lincraft and they were having a 30% off sale storewide. I hadn't planned on buying anything more than a dress zipper (for the Easter dress) but of course, as usual, I perused and found a few things to bring home with me. The craft book section had a lot of marked down items and I could not go past this Debbie Bliss - Essential Knits for Kids book. It was marked $7.99 but with the extra 30% off it was even cheaper! ( You can do the math) Bargain!!!

It's a great book which is divided into four sections of knitting joy: knitting basics. down-time, special time and time-out. It's for ages 2-5yrs old so I have two littlies I could knit for. I decided I would start on the essential v-neck vest in the time-out section for my little man. I just love having a handy vest to pop-on when it's certainly getting chillier over here.
I was even thinking I could venture into the polo-shirt (jumper) or maybe a quick and easy party shrug for the 4yr old. In any case, I did buy yarn to go with the vest project and knitting needles (just in case I never had them at home). I guess if I started now I could finish it within a few weeks (at best, I am very slow at finding time to knit).

We're still having a few more bbq's and get-to-gethers before the kids go back to school and I will be back at work next Monday (ho hum). Hope you're enjoying time-out like I am.

Are you up to any crafting/sewing/relaxing??? I'd love to know.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Look 6579 - View B

View B is the top right pink dress.

Well, I stayed home yesterday morning (instead of going to the gym) and sewed away determined to finish the dress, or at least most of it. This is most of it done and she tried it on last night. We decided that we didn't like the raspberry flounce and I did not like those pleats. Urghh they look terrible when she wears the dress. It might have been suited to a more flowy fabric than the quilting cotton I used. It's from Spotlight when they had 30% off when you buy the whole bolt.

I had done the bodice which was pretty easy. It was my first properly lined bodice in a long time and I almost gave up wondering what to do with the yoke so I winged that a little. The pictures and instructions on the New Look 6579 pattern were not great.

I love the bodice though. The yoke is really cute and this is a size 8 which fits nicely on my 7.5yr old. It is a bit loose in the back though so I could have gone down to size 7 or maybe even 6. It's meant to be finished with a zipper.

Here are those pleats. The instructions say to fold them to the centre so they end up like box pleats? Anyway, the pattern shows two sets of pleats but the picture shows full pleats across the front so I went ahead and did another set on the centre front. It had to be done as the skirt ended up being perfect width when attached to the bodice.


This is a raspberry fabric I had in my stash which I'd hoped would go perfectly with this beige and light pink spot fabric. I did a rolled hem instead of a narrow hem on it. The flounce was too small for the skirt. WHAT??? How that happens I do not know. It wasn't very flouncy either? Maybe if I ironed it that would make a difference. I ended up taking in the skirt a little so make it fit and as you would guess, the flouncy was too big! Ha I was about to give up but decided to keep going and let some seam out (excuse the pun, totally by accident)!

So what now? I'm going to cut out another set of the skirt pieces and try a different one to attach to the bodice and see if she likes it. She said to me "Mummy, I didn't want to say I didn't like it because it's not nice to say bad things." How sweeet!

On a side note, she has lost two bottom incisors in two days. It's a sign to remind you that your babies are growing up so fast so I am trying to create good memories while they are still young and want me to hang around them. LOL.

I'll see you later with a dress update.

Monday, April 14, 2014

This Week

Hello everybody!!! I took a quick break today to announce the winner of the Scholastic Easter Book Prize. Random generator picked #2 who is: Amber Boyce. So send me an e-mail and I will post the books out to you asap. Thankyou to the rest of you who commented. I like it when I get comments!

We celebrated Palm Sunday and the girls wore their Sunday best. They behaved so well, actually all the kids behaved quite well and I consider it to be a fantastic church morning if none of them ask to go to the toilet. It is alot to ask kids to sit quietly through one hour of mass (or longer) and I didn't even bring any snacks to entertain them.

Yes, I have made a start on the Easter dress. I cut out the pieces today (which I think is the most boring and yucky part). I hope to get started on some sewing tomorrow. I have a charity meeting and church again tonight so no chance of getting to sit at the sewing machine tonight. This week will go in the blink of an eye.
Last week I made this delicious banana and choc-chip cake from the CWA cook book. It turned out well considering I never creamed the butter with the sugar. I am laaaazy. I only melted it and added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. I shall share the recipe if you like?? I seem to only make banana cakes. What is with that?
It did turn out rather sweet than what I am use to and a teeny bit dry but I really like it. The kids don't mind it either so I'll be using this as my go-to banana cake recipe as it still used butter but only half the block. I can't eat it this week as it's Holy Week and I'm fasting from all meat and dairy products. It's a bit hard when I want to snack on something but I guess it's better for me. I shouldn't complain as we are truly lucky to indulge ourselves when it comes to eating.

Onto other things. Two kids were shifted off to daycare and two stayed home with me today. Wow, can I say how much more I got done since the little ones are not nagging me to take them to the toilet, pour them juice and clean up after their mess? It's amazing how much time I have on my hands! Tomorrow, I promised the school kids that I'd take them to watch a movie. I use to wait until I had another adult to help me but since I'll only have two school aged kids it's easier. I've never actually done that before. I'll be glad to spend quality time with them. I'm afraid the more kids kinda means less special time with each child.


I caught up on loads of washing but it sprinkled a little outside later on. We are heading into Winter so the days are a bit rainier and cooler. I got some vacumning (sp?) done and basically have a pretty tidy lounge room, which of course, will not last very long once they are home again. I even created a boring new header. Yayy.


I'll leave you with a picture of my niece doing the cutest smoulder look on her face. She is adorable! She kept blowing out the candles thinking it was birthday candle and kept getting me to relight her candle. God Bless her sweetness.

How are your school holidays going? Any ideas on how to entertain the kids without blowing the budget? I need some.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Little Readers Giveaway.

Scholastic sent me these First Readers recently. They are A5 sized books and are very much like the home readers the Kindergartens read. I like them because they are a good size for the kids to hold and are a good start in basic reading. These ones are written by award winning Australian Author/Illustrator Kerry Argent.
Here is the boy reading One Woolly Wombat which is an International Best Seller and a great Australian counting book. It presents the audience with the magic of dancing kangaroos, koalas sipping gumnut tea with lamingtons and goannas creating havoc in the kitchen and kookaburras writing with old-fashioned fountain pens. He would get a word wrong on some pages but he's a funny reader like that. He'll just add in words or make up words he thinks it would be. I'm forever telling him to read the words properly but he is a pretty good reader anyway.
                                
I really love these little beauties. They are smaller books called Little Mates. There's a collection of them from A-Z and they're specifically designed with each letter of the alphabet for each book. For example, Easter Egg Express which uses lots of e words throughout the story. This is excellent because my youngest girl has some speech problems so we're using the Zippy Zoe book to concentrate on her getting the 'z' sound pr-nounced clearly. The more repitition she gets the better she will be saying those sounds.

See the example above of the 'e' words used in the sentences.

So, in honour of books and Easter I'm giving away three books! Hurray! The books are above: Two Kerry Argent books: At the beach and One Woolly Wombat and one Little Mates: Easter Egg Express.

You'll just need to enter a comment by Sunday 13th April so I can announce the winner that night and post the books out on Monday/Tuesday so they get to you in time for Easter.

I'm scrambling to find some time for those Easter dresses I promised. At least the kids will be on holidays next week and I'll be at home sewing them up in time for Easter Sunday! Fingers crossed they'll be done.

Hope you have a great weekend and for those who celebrate Palm Sunday I hope you have a wonderful time with loved ones and also at church, of course.