Friday, December 27, 2013

Happiness is...

Happy Belated Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful time with your family and had special times. My family is relaxing right now. The kids had a ball but we were so exhausted after the first bbq lunch. Then we had to go to my mums afterwards for dinner. Next year we have decided to do dinner a bit earlier. Perhaps Christmas Eve. We had lots of rain this year again. I remember last year the rain had stopped so we could have dinner but this year we ferried to the garage (where dinner was set up) and the main house with umbrellas.

I made this wreath cake. It was a mud cake and I couldn't find any bundt cake tins (can you believe it?). So I just cut out the middle. There was much fun to be had and lots of quoting from My Big Fat Greek Wedding :"What is it?" "It's a bundt" "A bont, a bobt, ... Oh it's a cake..... with a hole in it!"

I finished the ganache in the morning (never doing that again) and it came out lumpy/curdled. I initially thought it was the cream but as it turns out and with help from the internets, if you use more than 50% cocoa in the dark choc you are melting you'lll curdle it with the cream. What's the fix? Add more cold cream and stir until your ganache is smooth! It really works!!! Truly.

Happiness is actually having buttermilk for pancakes, for once. Tasted pretty good but not as fluffy. At least my eldest girl said these are the best pancakes ever! Will have to search for a really good recipe or buy those pancake shakes. Found out that using the 1/4 cup scoop is very handy to make equal medium sized pancakes in the pan.

Loving this mango, prawn and avocado salad we had for Christmas. It was well worth the effort. I peeled the cold cooked prawns but my other sis in laws peeled the mangos and avocados. I'll never get over eating prawns but they can get expensive this time of year.

Happiness is also recieving this from my sister. I am loving this bag. Perfect size and colours. I was looking for a medium size bag for myself and of course, I didn't have to buy myself one! My sister is suffering from a bit of graft vs host disease at the moment. She is ok but her taste buds are not behaving and she is now diagnosed with diabetes, type 2. So, figure that out, the Leukaemia is gone but she has diabetes. We'll keep praying that she gets back to good health very soon. She is in good spirits though and we were happy that she had a nice Christmas with us.

Anyway, we're still grazing on left-overs so not much cooking happening. Yay for me! But there's still washing and ironing and I'm still waiting on my fancy iron to arrive. Will talk more about that later. 

Hope you all are having a happy holiday.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book winner and a flurry of activities

Sorry for the delayed post but I finally made some time to remember to draw the book winner which is:
Blogger Material Girl said...
Would love to read these books to my granddaughter,thanks for the chance. You are very generous!

I've sent you an e-mail so I hope to get your parcel out to you tomorrow.

In other events, there's been some Christmas skirt sewing. I looked into the stash and found this very pretty floral light cotton. I decided to make some skirts for the girls using the basic but lovely Lazy Days Skirt instructions from Oliver & S. This one is the size 7 and a bit longish. I had made a smaller one for the youngest girl but it turned out a teeny bit too short so I will be fixing it by adding an extra layer under the hemline to lengthen it.

Speaking of trims, I ordered this pretty lace trim from this Etsy seller: Natural Balcony. It did take a few weeks as it's from Korea but the shipping is very reasonable. She also added some extra samples of trim which will come in handy.

Last week I only went to the gym once but I had a mini work-out at home. There's a reason why mums can't work out at home. Unless you prefer a challenge with a toddler sitting on you whilst you are doing crunches, it's difficult. He also wants me to hold him and I have to try not to bump into him when I am doing my star jumps. The exercise helps me with my mood and I feel better knowing I've worked out a bit.

I've been finishing up Christmas shopping and just prioritising my time so as not to get stressed. We had a hamper drive for St Vincent de Paul, which was really great. I love playing Santa! My group of guys are awesome. They keep me inspired and are so guided by the Holy Spirit in their lives.

There was another birthday party as well but this one was a smaller group and I actually had a good time catching up with two mothers from school which I never get a chance to chat to during the school period.

We had a bit of crafting happening too. See above. Those are Christmas cards we recieved from school friends. I decided to cut them up and use them as lanterns to replace the broken ones. My son said to his sister " Come and see. Something amazing has happened in our bedroom" How cute.

On another good note, during today's shopping session, the toddler went crazy again during his tired time and I got those looks from shoppers but I went into Coles and one of the mothers from the Playgroup I knew patted me on the shoulder and said "You're doing a great job" I welled up a bit and said "Yeah, he's just tired." and smiled back at her. It's really nice to have someone else voice their support for you.

I'll be back soon with a skirt tutorial I think. I'll try to get a ruffle skirt out for you guys. But as for tonight, we'll be out there singing some Carols.

See you later, I hope!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Book Giveaway!

** Giveaway closed **

EDIT: I've linked this up to the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!! Giveaway ends Friday December 13th!

When I recieve this box from Scholastic it IS like Christmas Day over and over again! I get so much enjoyment knowing that I'll be recieving quality books that will change my life and my children's lives. I truly believe in their motto: Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life. So true.

That's why I've decided to have a book giveaway because they have sent me quite a few and I have to, need to, share the book love. Above is My Merry Christmas by Rosie Smith and Bruce Whatley (sorry if it's blurry). It has lovely illustrations inside and tells a story about what the animals are getting up to during Christmas time.
 Here is the book Blossum Possum and the Christmas Quacker by Gina Newton and beautifully illustrated by Christina Booth. Blossum and her friends are desperately trying to wake up Koala Claus and it's a lovely journey that takes you through the bushland of Australia. I think the kids really enjoy stories that rhyme. I often stop before the last word to see if the kids can finish off the sentences.

You can't miss the classic Little Red Riding Hood by Alison Jay with cute illustrations. Your children will adore this book. The ending is changed a little so that your little ones won't be so scared. The huntsman ties up the wolf and he finds grandma and Little Red Riding Hood in the wardrobe! Ahh bliss.

Here is Jacquie with Kiss, Kiss, Good Night and below with My Christmas Crackers which I thought was a story book at first but it's actually Christmas jokes! They are very cute.

She had a day care Christmas Party and I took all the kids this time without any incidents. We bought some raffle tickets and they had a little animal farm. Check out this lama! The youngest boy was cornered by the lambs which was rather funny. He thought they were going to eat him. Funny. 
They kids had a bit of a dance. Did the YMCA (remember that?) Then they drew out the raffle prizes. There was one last ticket name after 5 or so winners. I kinda prayed that if we were deserving of a prize could we win and then they called my name out! Hurrah. That was funny too and we got a bag with a reed perfume diffuser inside. Nice.

The youngest boy loves Dinosaur Farm. At first it looks a bit wierd but it is so differently cool. I really enjoy reading this to them. We always read in bed and I am so thankful that Scholastic are printing some quality reads out there. Don't be shy and judge a book by it's cover though. It's the story that counts.

This is him reading Rawr by Todd. H Doodler which is another dinosaur book. Can you tell he is a typical boy who loves all things dinosaur? He melts my heart. I love this book. It's cute and friendly.

So, without further boring you, I would love to giveaway the first three books to one lucky reader. Please leave a comment. All entries welcome from around the world. I will announce the winner on Friday, 13th December and will post it out on Monday!

Thankyou everyone. You can get back to your Christmas plans now.