Thursday, 30 July 2009

my pie invention

Okay, maybe it was already a pie invention, but either way I made one last night:

July 09 00171

White sauce and corned beef silverside pie, with homemade shortcrust pastry.

The consensus was: [Pete]: “Mmm we are so having this again next time we have left over silverside”.

So it looks like it was a winner.

{Filling} Left over corned beef, torn into smallish chunks, left over white sauce.
[White Sauce]= 2 tbslp butter, melt in saucepan, add 4 tblsp plain flour, combine. Slowly add 600ml milk, bring to boil then simmer. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I also added the onion that cooked with the silverside.

{pastry} sift together 1 cup plain flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt. Rub in 1/4 cup softened butter to breadcrumb consistency. Add water until it forms a dry-ish dough. Shouldn’t need more than 2tblspns, will probably need less.
Roll out to desired shape/size.

I made my pies in ramekins for individual serves, and this amount of pastry was perfect. You may need a double batch for a proper pie dish.


Sunday, 26 July 2009

Whatchya Got Cookin’?

I’ve decided to start a new blog segment, semi-inspired by my friend Talia over at Cooking for Two.

Each fortnight, I’m going to share my menu plan with you, and if anyone is interested in any of the recipes, or even our fortnightly shopping list with the ingredients required to make all of these meals, I’ll be more than happy to share!

This fortnight is a little bit of a lazy menu plan, we’re usually a little more exciting. If you’re wondering, the reason there are less than 14 meals is because we usually have slow-cooked meals for two nights since they usually turn out to be huge.

I shop and cook on a budget, so you can be sure that all of my menu plans can be done on around $100-$120 per fortnight, and when I cook these meals for the two of us there is often enough left over for lunch the next day also.

So here we go, menu plan for this fortnight:

1.Vegetable Lasagne (layers of pasta, eggplant, capsicum, zucchini & pumpkin, with a ‘white sauce’ of cottage and ricotta cheeses). [for us this is enough for 2 nights]

2. Spaghetti Bolognaise

3. Home-made fish & chips + salad

4. Burritos

5. Chicken, green bean & broad bean soup. [enough for 2 nights]

6. Slow cooked lamb roast with roast potatoes, carrots and steamed greens. [makes enough for 2 nights]

7. Slow cooked corn beef with mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables and white sauce.

8. (left over) corned beef and white sauce pie, with home-made shortcrust pasty.

9. Meat Lasagne

10. Slow cooked ‘sticky sausages’

we’re in the market…

For a new couch, or two.

It’s no fun settling in for a movie or two on a Saturday night on the most uncomfortable couch in the world!!!

So this weekend, we’ve been couch shopping.

We don’t have a huge budget, or a huge space, so are reasonably limited by that.  But after looking in all the furniture stores in our town, we came across something that suits our budget, our space AND our taste! Plus it’s actually nice to sit on!

This two piece set (3 seater + 2 seater) is only $599 (more info here), with a 5 year warranty on the frames, and for an extra $180 we can have the fabric scotch-guarded, which will also give that a 5 year warranty This is the colour we are looking at getting too.

They won’t have any in stock for a few months (being ordered from overseas), but we can put a deposit down so one is set aside for us, and if in the meantime we change our mind we get a full refund. So after sleeping on it, we’re pretty sure that we’ll be in to put down our deposit tomorrow…

Can’t wait for a comfy bum!

a few more extras

I know I said that I was done with decorating Mayana’s room, but maybe I never will be…

Check these out: the three boxes  in the bottom shelf cost me only $2.50 each (!!!!) at Freedom. I bought three, without even knowing the measurements, and they fit perfectly.July 09 00157

July 09 00158

I filled one with toys, one with board books (the books she’ll be allowed to play with), and the other is yet to be filled.

I’m not sure if I showed you this invention/storage solution yet:
July 09 00160 Mayana has a great big pile of soft toys that didn’t have anywhere sensible to live, so I bought a length of plastic chain from Bunnings, attached coloured plastic pegs, and her teddy bears now hang from her wardrobe door!

So based off that idea, yesterday I created this:

July 09 00159 I used a length of lace ribbon, and tied foldback clips about 10cm apart. Now her hats (which were overflowing out of the box I had them in)  hang behind her door.

Mmm maybe Mayana’s room will be an ever-evolving work-in-progress…


The Friendly family has been unwell this week, hence my absence from the blog/internet world.

It all started on Wednesday, when I brought Mayana into our bed for her morning feed, and after a few swallows she proceeded to throw up all over our bed. Mayana has NEVER been a chucky baby, she has posseted maybe twice in her life, and this was massive. Pete got busy stripping the bed, while I stripped Mayana and ran a bath. She was pretty upset about the whole thing until she got into the bath. After her bath, we went back to bed, take two on the feed, and she up-chucked again. Luckily we'd had the foresight to put towels down! And so the day went on...

We managed a doctor's visit, but because her temp and everything was fine, we just got told to keep getting as much fluids as possible into her, and give her lots of TLC.

By that night, she was keeping down feeds, and looking a little more chipper.

Next day, back to doctor as she was booked in for 6 month needles. She was much better by then, but not quite 100%, but our doctor decided to go ahead with injections anyway.

That afternoon, I got Mayana's bug, and on Friday, it was Pete's turn.

So we have been a fairly miserable bunch this last week. Thankfully we're all feeling a lot better now. Mayana's struggled a bit getting over both gastro AND needles within two days of each other. It's the first time she's really been sick, and it was hard to see her so unhappy. Today is the first day since that she's been giving us smiles and giggles again, and she's finally got a bit of an appetite back.

And I'm happy to have normalcy in my world again.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Sewing project | #1

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I have a couple of sewing projects on the go...

Today I finished one!

I decided to make Mayana a cot bumper. I know they are not the norm anymore, and possibly not even encouraged.. but since losing the wrap and moving into a sleeping bag, Mayana has been a little more mobile in the cot. We have been finding her chewing on the rungs of her cot, arms thrust between the gaps.. she has been shooting goals with her dummy, and she definitely cannot get it back into her own mouth when it's on the floor! So we decided we wanted a cot bumper. I looked around at a few department stores and baby stores, and couldn't find any for under $60! So I hit Spotlight, and $25 later, I've made a cot bumper. A nice thin one, flannelette with cotton batting.

It makes the cot look so cosy and pretty, I've thought about crawling in there for a nap myself! What do you think?

July 09 00115

Now that Mayana has been living in it for six months, we think we've finally decided we're happy with her room. We loved it before she was born, but since she's been in it we've added a few extra touches that have just made it 'hers'. For example, the gorgeous wall decals. I'd been looking for some for ages but cringed at the prices... until I found this set from a discount store for only $6.99!! Couldn't pass that up! Also, the hot air balloon mobile from Ikea, and the town map play mat. Plus the little pink and green baskets for her shelves, and the gorgeous Noah's Ark mobile from Mayana's Godparents, Daniel & Katherine.
We think Mayana's room looks like a fun place for a little girl to play and sleep. And we're proud of what we've put together on a tight budget!

July 09 00118 July 09 00117

Next sewing project…. some cloth nappies

Monday, 20 July 2009

six Mayana months

Six months of being a Mama...

Six months of getting to know my daughter...

She loves:

* Her Papa

* Bath time

* Stella (her special toy)

* All her adoring fans

* Her rings

* mama-milk

* food

* Singing and music

* Raspberries

* my necklaces

* the mobiles above her cot and change tables

* sitting up and rolling around

* going to the shops

* People telling her how beautiful she is

She doesn't love:

* paw paw

* clothes that go over her head

* having boogers cleaned out of her nose

* gripe water

* teething

* being growled at when she bites Mama during breast feeds

* being hot

She has the cheekiest personality, and the most gorgeous grin you've ever seen. Her eyes are amazing, and everyone, from proud grandparents to complete strangers, ALWAYS comment on them. She is possibly the most photographed baby of all time. She just started saying 'Dadadadad', and it's SOOOO cute. Now instead of crying when she wakes up in her cot, she talks to Stella or her mobile.. it's so much nicer to wake up to giggles and 'dadadas'.

She is my whole world. And we are hers. And I love it. I love her!

Happy half-birthday, precious girl.

Sunday, 19 July 2009


Today we visited our old church to see the Watoto Children's Choir. If you haven't heard about the Watoto organisation, you should visit to read more about it. It is an orphanage in Uganda, which is home to children mainly orphaned by HIV/AIDS, some of whom are also former child-soldiers. It is set up a bit differently to the conventional orphange. Watoto is set up as a series of 'children villages'. Funds are raised to build houses, and in each one lives a 'mother' (single women who are often widows) and eight children -they become a family. There are a number of homes in each community, as well as schools, a church and community hall, a water project and a medical clinic. The homes have running water and bathrooms, the children are well fed and cared for, and education extends from kindergarten to vocational training. It's really awesome!

The Children's Choir is a group of children from the Watoto villages who travel around the world, sharing their stories, singing songs, dancing and raising awareness.

Aside from being very talented singers and dancers (you couldn't watch them and NOT move), these children are so incredibly inspirational. Every time one of them spoke and shared their story, I was moved to tears. These children have been through things that we could never even imagine. One little boy spoke of being abandoned by his mother at the hospital after his birth. He has never seen his father. He was initially taken in by his grandmother, but he was a sick baby and she feared that he was infected with HIV/AIDS, and she too abandoned him. Watoto heard about him, and brought him to one of their villages. He tested negative to HIV/AIDS. He now lives in a house with a new mother, seven brothers, and has aspirations to be a pilot.

They also showed a clip of an interview with a teenaged former child-soldier. Can I just say, we should all be grateful every single day that we were born into the world we live in. There are projections that by the year 2011, there will be over 50 million HIV/AIDS orphans in Africa. Many of these will be targets to be brain-washed as child soldiers, and essentially trained to be terrorists.

We worry about the stupidest things; we think we've got it hard when fuel goes up 10cents; yet we live an incredibly blessed and abundant lifestyle. Here are these kids, who have been through more horror and heartache in their 10 odd years of life than we will ever know in a life time, and they're praising God for the hope they have found in Him, for His grace and love. It made me feel so small. And challenged. Inspired.

I hope they inspire you too.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Missing in Action

.. I've been a very slack blogger this week. I've hardly even been on the computer (*gasp*), have a teething baby, a bad cold, and house that needs work before my little munchkin realises that she's a teensy bit of coordination away from crawling!

I'm enjoying our last week of holidays.. uni is back next week, I'll be there one day a week, and Pete will be there two days.

We had our paediatrician appointment on Wednesday- he was quite happy with how well Mayana is going, and she has gained an average of 20-25g per day over the last month! She is currently 4.820g, and I'm so incredibly happy with that. She's finally into 000 clothes!! Her second tooth started cutting through the gum today, so hopefully our little one will be back to normal soon.

I have lots of things on the go (as per usual), including a couple of sewing projects, a cross-stitch or two, some half-made/designed jewellery and a few books I'm half way through reading. I'm actually thinking of running a giveaway over at Friendly Beads, would anyone be interested???

Hope you're having a good week.. who can believe tomorrow is Friday already!?

Zoey x

{Ps. I'm about to put up some more pics of my gorgeous girl over at my Brag Blog}

Saturday, 11 July 2009

reporting back

The Bunya Mountains were beautiful. Incredibly so. Our little Chalet was very cute and cosy, the fireplace was fabulous, the company wonderful. It was a lovely few days away.. the perfect way to finish off our visit with Oma.

We got to the mountains on Tuesday afternoon, set ourselves up, and chillaxed for the rest of the day/evening. '

On Wednesday, we went for a bushwalk, which was fun, but I swear it was longer than I remember it being last year! After the walk, some of the family went for a drive, and the rest of us stayed at the chalet and watched Gilmore Girls DVDs and played guitar hero.

Thursday saw us heading towards Kingaroy, stopping at a winery or two, enjoying lunch at a yummy restaurant, getting lost a couple of times, and enjoying some cute touristy spots.

Friday we packed up, and headed home, stopping first at the very nice Rimfire winery (highly recommended if you’re ever in this neck of the woods!).  Dinner last night was at the local golf club.. very nice, and very affordable.. we’ll be back!

Mayana has coped so well with this long time away, especially considering she’s been teething. That second tooth still hasn’t made an appearance, but I can see it very clearly just underneath the skin. I’ll be glad when it’s through! The poor little mite is suffering with her very first cold at the moment. She’s done pretty well to get to nearly 6 months without being sick. She seems to be coping reasonably well at the moment – here’s hoping it doesn’t get much worse!

I had a lovely time – I can’t believe that we’ve been away for nearly a month all-in-all. It’s been great catching up with Oma, and hanging with various family members. Pete took Oma off to the airport this afternoon, and she is currently up in an aeroplane flying over Australia somewhere on her way back to Perth. And I’m at home with my little family, hubby beside me on the couch, baby snuggled safe and warm sleeping in her cot… and tonight I get to sleep in my own bed! There’s nothing like it…

Here are some snaps from our Bunya Mountains getaway:

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Pete carrying a rugged up Mayana-Berry ready for our bush-walk. Seriously, have you ever seen anything cuter!!!? She even managed a snooze while we all trecked!

 bunyamounts 00009Pete, Mayana, Jordan, Mama & Papa… ready to walk! Just so you know, Jordan is carrying my nappy bag, not some weird man-bag; I just think he would want you to know that. bunyamounts 00014Posers…

bunyamounts 00025At the Bell Tower Restaurant (somewhere near Kingaroy). Awesome view! 

bunyamounts 00031Alexie, Bethanie, Mama & Mayana, Jordan, Peter, Oma & Papa.. waiting for our lunch.  Aren’t my family a good looking bunch?

bunyamounts 00034Four generations of Buma…

bunyamounts 00047Another gorgeous view.. from the Lavender Farm

bunyamounts 00056I want to live here… This is possibly the cutest house I’ve ever seen.  Even holidaying here would make me happy!

bunyamounts 00058Woodchopper! Between the three of them, Jordan, Peter & Papa kept the wood pile well-stocked.

bunyamounts 00072Out for dinner at the Toowoomba Golf Club. Aren’t we a spunky pair?

bunyamounts 00089Oma & Jordan at dinner.

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So, what have you been up to lately?

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

It's tuesday and i can't wait...

To get to the bunya mountains! On our way to a 4 day retreat with the family - Mmm reading in front of the fire- indulging in delicious food, waking through beautiful national parks. Man it's gonna be tough!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Alexie's world

I have helped my sister set up a blog. She's a really good writer, and she makes me laugh.

You should check out her blog: In My Little Alexie World


today I smiled when...

I saw this photo of my gorgeous daughter.

Her eyes are so amazing and beautiful, they take my breath away! I can't believe I made her!

She is also growing so well these days. We have been so excited, because she has put on nearly 500g in the last fortnight!!! If you've been following my posts on her growth issues, you'll understand what a big deal that is. Between the second and third months of her life she only gained 100g, and between months 3 and 5 she gained between 60-90g per fortnight! When I had her weighed last Monday she was just under 4.5kg, and I'm very much looking forward to weigh-in tomorrow!

These last few weeks have been busy for Mayana. Besides all this growing, she has also developed quite a few new skills. She can competently roll over, from both front to back and back to front, and push herself up with her arms when on her tummy. She can squiggle herself forward (very small distances) on her tummy. She is much more precise and purposeful in her movements, in grabbing toys and things like that. She reaches out to people when she wants them to hold her. She can say, "Mmmmmmma", and I can't wait for the day when it evolves into "Mmmamma". She has even cut her first tooth, and the second is well on its way!

It's an absolutely delightful phase of development, and every day brings something new and exciting, and another reason to smile.

What made you smile today?

Bunya Mountains again

On Tuesday, we are off to the Bunya Mountians with my family and my Oma.

We are staying in a house called, "Pademelon Lodge". If you go to this website, you can look it up and go on a virtual tour.

You may remember we went last year too.

I'm really looking forward to it, even though I know it will be freezing! At least we'll have a fire place to snuggle u pin front of. I might even get to have a romantic stroll with my yummy husband, seeing as we have so many people willing to look after our girl.

I'm looking forward to visiting the wineries and being able to taste them this time - I was pregnant last time and had to constrain myself to smelling them, and occasionally dipping my finger into Pete's.

It looks to be a good time away... fingers crossed it lives up to the anticipation!

oh the strangeness of me

Blog this Challenge 7 | 15 random things

Tell us fifteen fascinating, far fetched, frightening, funny or frivilous facts about yourself. Those bits of trivia that are floating around in your life.

1/ I love my family. I would rather spend time with them than anyone else.

2/ I have a heart-shaped birth mark on my right leg.

3/ I really love my nose-ring, and I never want to take it out. My sister and I went out and did it together as a spur-of-the-moment thing once, and it's a great memory. It was something that people definitely wouldn't have expected of me. And it suits me!

4/ If someone asks me my favourite colour, I'd say pink and green. They can't be separated, I don't value one over the other, I love them together!

5/ I HATE shower curtains. They freak me out, and I get the heebi-jeebis when they touch me *shudder*.

6/ Belly buttons also creep me out.

7/ When I was pregnant, and scared of labour, people would always tell me that you forget about the pain as soon as the baby was in your arms. I really didn't believe them, but it turns out, it's true! I mean, I remember that it hurt, but my mind has totally dimmed what it was actually like.

8/ Having said that, giving birth was the most amazing experience of my life. I'm actually glad the epidrual didn't work and I got to find out how incredible my body is and what it's capable of, and how strong I actually am!

9/ My first school had about 20 pupils, and two teachers. From preschool to year 12. I once got detention because I got bored waiting for the teacher (older students got priority) and pulled my eraser into bits. They wanted my dad to give me the paddle, but he didn't.

10/ I knew that Mayana would be a girl from when I was about 8 weeks pregnant. I just *knew*.

11/ I am the eldest of 4 siblings, and the eldest of 9 grandchildren on my mum's side, and number 6 of 26 grandchildren on my dad's.

12/ I think of the Gilmore Girls as my friends (lol). I have seen every single episode multiple times (I own them all), and could probably quote a line from every episode!

13/ The Anne of Green Gables series are my comfort books. I read the series at least once a year. Whenever I start reading them, Pete checks that I'm okay, because he knows I read them when I'm sad.

14/ When I was a kid/teenager, I had almost the entire Baby Sitters Club series of books. My dad sold them in a garage sale. He says I told him he could, but I have no memory of such a thing. This year, I started collecting them again (from op shops etc), and I'm really enjoying reading them... it's like revisiting my childhood.

15/ Sometimes I wish I had been born in the Jane Austen era, just so I could wear the awesome dresses. But then I remember how much I love things like modern plumbing, washing machines, electricity etc and am glad I'm alive in this era!


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