Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This is what Christmas smells like people.

Mangos. Mmmmm. I splurged on a tray of mangoes for the family on Christmas Day. I wish you could smell these because they are to die for.
I know some people hate mangos but this is not something I can understand.
What is not to love.
Actually I think I like the smell even more than I like the taste of them.

These smell so good.
Ruby and I have been living on the smell this afternoon. Have shown much restraint and haven't eaten one yet.
Saving them :)

I was going to make Ruby a new dress for Christmas but living in 'Smallville' doesn't give a lot of options for last minute fabric shopping and I have nothing I'm really loving for Christmas in my own stash.
So when we walked into Target and I saw this on sale for $15 I snapped it up.
This picture doesn't do it justice. It does not look like a nightie in real life. It is adorable. I can't wait to put it on her. Unfortunately she has informed me that she 'hates it' but we'll see how we go on the day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Apple Pie

Ok, the apple pie which took two days to get made is finally done. We filled it up with apple. Ruby would have been quite happy for it to be finished then and there. Topped it with pastry and some fairly poorly constructed pastry leaves.
Yes, they're supposed to be leaves people.

I debated about what kind of pastry to make (shortening - is it butter or copha? Apparently the answer is Crisco which is an American thing, not available on the shelves in Australia). In the end I went with Rees' recipe which you can find here. I used copha instead of Crisco.

I think next time though, I will use butter. The texture of the pastry was fine, nice and flaky, but the actual pastry (not the whole pie) was quite tasteless I thought.

Unfortunately the kids didn't really like it so, as I had cut three pieces, I've just eaten three pieces of apple pie. With cream.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This and that

I thought I had blogger beat by uploading these pictures in the reverse order of how I wanted them but it's done a bit of a random shuffle on them so scroll down if you would like to look at the quilt which this little bear is on.
I found this quilt at the op shop a month or so ago. It appears to be quite old, it's definitely quite delicate, has a little torn bit on one part. But it was just so lovely I couldn't leave it behind. I mean, really, it was two dollars.
There are some yellow spots here and there on it, I think with a very gentle wash and a day in the sun they may come out. The lady in the shop said "Just soak it in some Nappy San" but I think it's a bit too delicate for that. Raggedly Ann and Raggedly Andy in perfectly simple stitched detail.

I love it. Although I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. It's far too fragile for the likes of my kids. And there's no such thing as 'display only' in this house. Things are either out for use or packed away where they can't be 'got at'. My kids don't respond very well to 'You can look but don't touch'

So I guess I better pack it away.

We peeled and sliced up a bucketload of apples today.

I haven't eaten a green apple in a long time but these were so sweet. Yum. Ruby and Clary couldn't get enough of them, that's Clarys' hand sneaking in there.
Hopefully we will be making apple pies tomorrow.
It will be a first for me, so I'll let you know how that one pans out.

Mum and Dad came over this morning and Mum took the kids to the park while I did some secret Christmas business.

Ruby pilfered these flowers from various gardens along the way for me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Honey, I've put the lights up.

So, I just put my Christmas lights up. What do you think?
Kidding. Of course.
Although given what you've seen of my Christmas decorations so far (the lone bell, for instance), I suppose I shouldn't get too offended if some of you thought I was serious.
I pinched this idea from an e-mail that's doing the rounds.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Have you ever seen anything like this?

Really. Have you ever visited a friend, maybe family, and seen the likes of this.
Child lock on pantry.
Child lock on freezer.

Child lock on fridge. Would you wonder what kind of animals the kids were??
I would.
If it wasn't my house.
This has just become our normal, but I've never seen anyone else do it.
My kids cannot stay away from food.
Although, yes, I do in fact feed them. Well I try to anyway.

And while photographing my fridge (this, also, is normal behaviour, isn't it?), I knew I had to share these magnets I got a few weeks ago.

So true to life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Familiar?? At all??

Please say yes. Please tell me you have days like this too.

Pictures in reverse order of how I wanted them, as per usual.

Even my poor tree doesn't escape.
Look at that pathetic tinsel, just all bunched up and trying to hang in there till Christmas Day. The decoration are practically non-existent now. I don't know where Clary's hidden there. How is it that there is just sooo much to do in the lead up to Christmas. I told Ruby I had to get a lot of work done today and that I wanted her and Clary to play together and entertain themselves so I could get on with it.
So I now have half nekkid kids running riot through the house. Amongst other things in the above picture is: dirty dishes, shoes and toys randomly discarded, vacuum cleaner (I love you, please don't die on me like the microwave did yesterday), saucepan on the floor (Clary), and a parcel on the table which means I have to head back to the post office. Have already been once today.

But this last picture pretty much sums up life over the last few days.
And please don't mention how pathetic it is to have one sad looking Christmas bell hanging from the ceiling with no other decorations. I know.
Better get back to it. Hope you are coping with the pre-Christmas madness.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


*I am so crap at post titles it is embarassing*

Anyway last night I was up until 1 o'clock wrapping up presents and checking that the contents of the Santa sacks were fair and even. Ugh. The kids were up at 5am this morning (nothing out of the norm, sometimes it's 4.30am) so I'm a little tired.
I actually culled some of the presents, putting stuff away for birthdays and whatever, as there just seemed to be too much. I don't want them to be getting snowed under with presents every Christmas and birthdays. I read on a forum the other day, someone making a suggestion that instead of giving a child an actual-in-real-life present that the mother make a charitable donation on the childs part. What the??!
Kids are kids and as far as I'm concerned, they deserve presents. By all means make donations with the child, participate in charitable activities together, discuss with them the fact that life is not always fair and in this world some people have much and others have little.
But to not give a Christmas present at all? That is very wrong. I hope that poor little kid doesn't get a card under the Christmas tree telling him that Mummy has bought a sheep for a village far, far away, in his name. Oh, and have a Merry Christmas. So, I didn't get overly excited with the wrapping. I couldn't find my little bundle of 'present wrapping stuff', to start with. Still got no idea what I've done with that. I had to sneak everything out to the lounge, past the bedroom door of Clary, AKA the-lightest-sleeper-ever-born-if-he-goes-to-sleep-while-you're-in-the-room-stop-breathing-immediately-so-you-do-not-wake-him-up.
Then, a fair way into the whole procedure, I hear the little footsteps coming down the hallway.

It was Ruby but I managed to steer her off at the pass. Thank goodness.

There are only one or two presents that still need ribbon/string and tags and it's all done.

Tonight, unfortunately, I have to tackle the Christmas cards. Ho hum.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Dress I Had To Make

Bloody blogger!! We have back to front order of photos again, such a pain.

Anyway this really is the dress I knew I would have to make. I've actually been making it in my head for the last 12 months, but finally I sat down, put sciccors to shirt and made it reality.
Ruby (and Clary for that matter) is obsessed with trains, as most kids are. My partner works for Queensland Rail. Ruby is obsessed with trains and her Dad.
So, naturally enough, she's been waiting for this dress for a while. Complete with reflective strips and dodgy button holes. I stuffed up the first button hole, as I often do, but decided it actually worked in favour of the whole deconstructed-work-shirt-reconstructed-as-a-dress thing. You know, the industrial look, LOL.

I used only one shirt to make it (it's just backed with a fairly light weight kind of denim I found at the op shop) but had to chop it up and kind of patch work it together to get a piece big enough to cut the dress out of. Again, I think it just adds to the look :)

So yes, it's very, ahhhhh, orange, but it looks good on, especially if she is accompanying Dad who also has his nice orange shirt on.
Note: Not appropriate for the girly girl. Obviously.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I can't believe how slack I have become with the old blog. Weeks have passed without me posting, I have barely even noticed I have been so busy. Not doing anything even remotely interesting, mind you. The mundane things in life have kept me flat out. Christmas has come up so fast. The last time I looked the signs on the street said 7 weeks until Christmas and now it is just under two weeks to go!!!! How did that happen? I think I'm done with my Christmas shopping, thank God. I went into the shopping centre today and it was so awful. Rude, miserable people as far as the eye could see. I wish I didn't have to hit the shops again until the madness is all over.

We have been here, there, and all over the place in the last few weeks, imposing ourselves on various family members and tonight, it's just nice to be home. The bin stinks and there's about 6 loads of washing waiting to be done, but it's nice to be home :)

Our tree is up. I have not written out one single Christmas card. Have not wrapped one present. Ummmm, I have lots to do.
How about you?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Day in the Life

Clarys' day.
It starts with a bowl of cereal (or two), and a good book. Very bad manners to read at the table, but you can get away with it when you're under two, so make the most of this time. Suck up to sister early in the day. Look smug while doing so.

Be prepared to be hard. If others get smug you may have to wipe the smirks off their faces.

If you do choose to go around smacking people (especially if it's Ruby) in the face, you then have another decision to make.
Prepare for battle.............

.................or grab yourself another good book and hide your cheeky little ass.

Note: all photos in this post were taken on the same day and Ruby has allowed him to live to see another day

Sunday, November 16, 2008

But wait, there's more.

Ugh, blogger has uploaded my pictures all crazy so lets start at the back of the dress here.
Same dress, different table cloth, LOL.
And excuse the dodgy pictures. Yes, the dress is lying on a driveway for these. It also wasn't quite finished. I couldn't do the straps up as I hadn't finished the button holes. I lost my stitch ripper thingy and bought a cheap one and it was just blunt and horrible. When I went to get another one the lady in the shop nearly had a heart attack when I told her I wanted it for doing button holes.
I've always done my button holes like this, what's everyone else doing?? Are you using weeny little sciccors to do it??

Anyway I like this dress. Would have been kind of a crazy horsey table cloth though.

And check out this poor little fella. His Dad did it. Fancies himself as a bit of a master home hairdresser apparently. Says "It's only two weeks between a good haircut and a bad one"

He's such a trooper though, just soldiering on like he's not looking like some disastrous result of a mis-guided bowl-cut experiment.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Banana Bread (Worlds' Best)

I found this recipe for Banana Bread about two weeks ago, and I have made three lots of it since then. It's so good. Cannot stop eating it. So let me share the recipe :)

Banana Bread
You'll need
150g unsalted butter, chopped and softened
115g (half a cup) castor sugar
45g (quarter of a cup) soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
250g (two cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5-6 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
125g (half a cup) sour cream

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (315 degrees F). Grease the base of a loaf (bar) tin around 22cm long, 9cm wide, 9cm deep and line the base with baking paper.

Cream the butter with the caster sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Sift the flour, bicarb and cinnamon with a pinch of salt, then beat it into the butter mixture to form a thick batter.

Combine the banana, vanilla and sour cream and fold into the butter mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth over the top.
Bake for one and a quarter hours, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Believe me it is worth making.

Let me know if you do.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Little flag boy

Forgive me for posting pictures with no 'real' post but I just want to share these. I took them this afternoon and I really like them.
This cheeky, out of the sides of his eyes look he's giving here - he gives that to me all the time.

There's been a lot of debate about the 'appropriateness' of our flag over the years, but, to be honest, I quite like our flag and I'd be a bit sad if it were changed.
OK, just editing this to add that, yes, I know the flag is actually upside down and back to front but, hey, when you're working with a 19 month old boy you've just gotta take what you get sometimes.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I love, love. love this time of the year, the weather is so nice. The place next door to us has a mulberry tree in the back yard and there is no-one living there at the moment so we've been helping ourselves :)
Ruby and Clary are quite partial to mulberries too and I have learnt over the last few weeks that soda water is great for getting mulberry stains out of clothes. They prefer to wear at least one white thing while picking/eating mulberries, LOL.
When we raided the tree yesterday a bit of a tussle broke out over the bowl of berry goodness. As you can see Ruby had already done herself up as a cat earlier in the day. Yes, she was a cat, not a zebra as I first thought. Check out Clarys' mouth here, he looks as though he's been ripping heads of live chickens with his mouth or something. Yucko.
Anyway, they buried the hatchet to sit down and polish off the rest of them. They didn't leave anything in the bowl so we went back today to get some more to make mulberry pies. We still only came home with enough to make one little pie as they ate so many in between the tree and home.
I do think Clary won in the race to eat the most mulberries though.
Don't get between this kid and his food. He's scary.