Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Point + Shoot: Fired Up

My very lovely husband has always wanted his very own fireplace, and even though we have now lived in two towns where most homes have one, we still haven’t! Until now…

Ours is more fun that a pot-belly stove or brick fireplace… ours lives outside, and we can sit around on camping chairs and roast marshmallows over it.

Ours was bought from the local recycling centre for only $5.00!!!


We spent evenings this weekend entertaining family around our fire… there’s nothing quite like sitting and talking by the glow of a fire, watching it flicker and crackle. 


I can see us spending many winter evenings with friends around our new fireplace.


Yes, my husband is a very happy man this weekend… and I must say the rest of us are quite impressed, too! (Mayana thinks we should eat our dinner at the fire every night… including last night when it was raining cats and dogs!)

After the party

So once the wonderful blog meet adventure had wound up, we were far to pumped to just go to sleep. We went back to our hotel room and saw this wonderful view…


Which inspired us to take a midnight walk into Southbank to take photos of the beautiful city lights over the river.

Us country bumpkins felt kind of brave wandering around the city in the middle of the night, but it was lots of fun, and we very much enjoyed taking photos and experimenting with our camera.

IMGP8858 IMGP8842 IMGP8855 We walked back to our hotel room and finally went to bed at around 1am. And the really awesome part was that we got to SLEEP IN! It was after 9am when we woke up, and I honestly cannot even remember the last time we managed that. Bliss I tell you.

We strolled back over to Southbank for a beautiful breakfast. Oh how I love breakfast dates. We also treated ourselves to a ride back to the city on the Green Cabs service. It was fun, but reminded me a little of the time that Kirk tries to start a green cabs service in Stars Hollow, only he can’t ride the bike when Rory and Lorelai are in the back. Let’s just say some parts of it were a pretty slow ride!!

We dabbled in some window shopping in the city, stopped off for a favourite drink, and finished off our time in the city with a quick trip to Ikea.


I love visiting the city. I don’t love driving in the city, and I wouldn’t live there, but I do love to visit it.

And I had the most fabulous weekend with my honey!

Monday, 11 April 2011

a weekend in the big smoke

I love weekends. Especially since I’ve started work. Two delicious days with my two favourite people. This weekend was even better, as it marked the first weekend of my very first real-life holidays… I have officially survived my first term as a teacher! Two and a half weeks of wonderful days to fill with love and fun and memories. And we sure started it with a bang!

We headed to Noosa on Friday after school. Mayana was beside herself at seeing her Kami and Opa. On Saturday, the real adventure began as we made our way to Brisbane. We had a kitchen tea to go to for one of our very lovely friends who is getting married in a month!

After the kitchen tea, we left Mayana to drive back to Noosa with my mum and sisters, and took off for our weekend together. It was quite an adventure. On the Pacific Motorway on the way into the city, we heard an awful noise. At first, I thought there was a heap of motorbike riders about to overtake us, but they didn’t eventuate and it didn’t take us long to realise that the the noise was coming from us!! Praise be to God, we were passing past an emergency stopping bay, which we quickly pulled into. Pete discovered that the tyre had blown! There we were, on the side of the motorway with cars whizzing by at 100+km/hr. Of course the blown tyre was on the driver’s side, so Pete was far too close to those cars for my liking! Luckily, he’s a handy kind of guy and had the tyre changed incredibly quickly – while I stood safely on the other side of the car praying for his safety.

Of course, this meant that we were running terribly late for checking in to our hotel, and to the Blog Meet that I was so looking forward to!

However, we arrived at our hotel eventually and it all turned out to be for the best. When I was checking in, the girl asked me how my evening was and I told her about our highway adventure. She took pity on me and upgraded us to a river view room on the eleventh floor for free!! It was so awesome!

We had about ten minutes to enjoy it, while we hurriedly got ourselves dressed and ready to shoot across the river to the blog meet.

The drive over should have taken less than 5 minutes, but the traffic was manic, and it took over 10 minutes to drive about 500m!! We got there eventually, with a tummy full of butterflies…

The Blog Meet was fantastic. We had the most wonderful night, meeting people, talking, taking silly photos. I barely had any voice left by the end of the night from talking soooo much!


It was lovely to meet people and just click straight away. I thoroughly enjoyed every conversation that I had. Peter and I enjoyed some ‘teacher talk’ with Naomi’s husband Matt, and congratulated Tracy and her husband on their first wedding anniversary!

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I loved that my hubby came too, and even mingled! I think he might have even nabbed himself a few more blog followers! The pressure is on for him to post a bit more regularly now.


I was especially chuffed to spend some time with the delightful Amy. She was just as lovely in person as I knew she would be, and we didn’t run out of things to talk about once.

It was also great to see the lovely Talia and her husband, Luke. Talia and I went to the same school, and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with her.


Everyone had contributed to the goodie bags, and it was so exciting unpacking it and later in the night!



We stayed and talked until nearly 11pm, and had an absolute ball!

Thanks to the lovely Danielle from Hello Owl and Danielle from Danimezza for all their organisation. It was lovely to meet you :)


**stay tuned for part two of our city weekend!

a little bit older (still working on the wiser)


There’s nothing quite so cute as being woken by your two year old singing ‘Happy birthday to you Mummy’ as she helps you unwrap your presents. It was a lovely way to start my 25th year.

IMGP8820Mayana chose this cute clutch for me all by herself…

I had croissants and cappuccino for breakfast, and rode my brand new bike around the back yard in my nightie.


When I got to work, my lovely sister had decorated my desk with glitter and streamers, which was so awesome!

We had a work dinner on my birthday evening and my colleagues made me feel very spoilt, with cake and flowers. I feel so blessed to be working with such a wonderful team of people.


My very amazing husband, as always, gave me a wonderful birthday week, complete with a birthday banner, balloons and cheesecake. He is truly the best.



I had a very happy birthday, and am looking forward to seeing what 24 has in store for me!

Monday, 4 April 2011

last night of 23

Tomorrow morning, when I wake up, I will no longer be 23… because tomorrow is my happy birthday!

So, in honour of such things, I thought tonight would be a good time to have a look at how I went on my 24 by 24 list. My initial thought is probably not too great.

But let’s have a look!

  1. Finish Uni. Yeah baby!! I nailed that one!
  2. Graduate with/maintain my GPA of higher than 6. Yes indeedy, I ended up *just* under 6.5
  3. Make the most of my prac experiences. I’m happy with everything I put into and got out of my prac experiences, and I can clearly see the ways the helped me to grow as a teacher.
  4. Get myself an awesome job. I have a fabulous job, but I credit God, not myself. Because how that happened was an incredibly amazing God-incidence
  5. Organise something really special for our 5th wedding anniversary. Not so great on this one. We did have a lovely anniversary, but not hugely special. We’re going to make up for it this year with a few nights away, including a trip to Melbourne in the June holidays!
  6. Keep making gorgeous things to sell at my madeit shop. See how far I can grow my ‘business’. My little ‘business’ certainly kept me busy last year, and especially in the months between finishing uni and getting a job. Once I feel like I’ve caught up with myself (and the office/craft room is unpacked) I really want to get back into it. I’ll have to do a few less custom orders this time round though, I don’t want to get too much on my plate!
  7. Learn how to knit. Unfortunately I was too busy sewing and crocheting to get onto this one!
  8. Make a crochet throw rug. I did, and it still takes pride of place on my couch in our lounge room.
  9. Make a crochet ‘granny square’ blanket. I’m working on this one. I’ve made about 56 of 98 squares… though technically they’re hexagons, not squares.
  10. Do swimming lessons with Mayana. FAIL.
  11. Get fitter… lose some weight. I’m getting there… I’ve even started running! My mum had to scrape herself off the floor when I told her that.
  12. Make more time to spend with my husband… to pray and read the Bible together more, and just have general ‘us’ time. Yes and no. I don’t think I’ll feel like we ever have enough time together, and I know we haven’t worked hard enough at deliberately making time.
  13. Take time out every day to just play with my daughter. I definitely try hard to do this one. Especially now that I’m working full time. Tonight we talked about hearts, and spent some time listening to each other’s hearts beating. Mayana was fascinated by the ‘boom boom’, and kept lifting her shirt up to see what was making the noise!
  14. Keep on top of Mayana’s 365 Journal (remind me to blog about that some time!). Epic. Fail.
  15. Sew Mayana’s flower-girl dress for my sister’s wedding (yes Bethanie, I’ve decided to make it!). Another fail. I got too busy sewing other people’s Christmas presents (and loving it).
  16. Read at least 5 books of the Bible. I did this one, I read almost half of the books of the New Testament. Awesome stuff. Reading the Bible makes me journal a lot about the new things I’m understanding. And it makes me want to read and learn more. You should try it some time…
  17. Learn more about photography and editing photos. No time, unfortunately. I have enjoyed playing with my camera, and taking lovely photos though!
  18. Learn more about Blooms Taxonomy and how to apply it to my teaching. I’ve done a little of this, but not near as much as I would like.
  19. Try some new and exciting recipes. Yes and I have big plans for even more. Can’t wait for Master Chef to start again and grow some inspiration!
  20. Have monthly date nights with my husband – even if it’s just a picnic on the lounge-room floor. Fail! We go well for a couple of months and then not. Now that we’re living so close to my sister though, we really should start using here.. haha
  21. Buy an akubra hat. Because secretly I want to look like/be a McLeod’s Daughter. This I did. But I’m not totally happy with it, and am on the lookout for a more perfect one.
  22. Run a giveaway on my blog. Yes’m I did!
  23. Properly be a part of the music team at church. I was, for a few months when we were back in Noosa. And I have been asked to join one at our new church here! So I’m going to give myself that one.
  24. Write another song. I’ve started a bit of one off… I have the tune and a few lines of the chorus, but it’s still a work in progress.

So there you go, 12 completely crossed off, and about 5 that are real works in progress. I guess half is a pretty good shot.

I’m pretty happy with the things that I did manage to cross off though! Especially those first few :)

big girl room

After being in our new home for nearly 11 weeks (really? that long!) we have finally sorted out Mayana’s room properly.


We packed all of her baby toys into a crate and reorganised things and I’m so happy with how it all looks.


She’s actually spending time in there playing now,and loves to read books to her teddies in her cubby house.


We had planned to buy some more shelves to store Mayana’s toys, but after our big clean out we found that we don’t need to.


The ‘playroom’ also had a bit of a makeover. I think the paper lanterns are a nice touch in Mayana’s cute little nook.

more homemade


What do you get if you whisk together two egg yolks, a whole lot of oil, some vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and add a bulb of roasted garlic? Delicious homemade mayonnaise!

What was good: the garlic. Even just the smell of it cooking. And I promise, not overbearing in the mayonnaise at all.

What was not so good: using extra virgin olive oil. It was just too strong, and much more overpowering than the garlic. Next time I will use a much milder olive oil, or a mix of olive and something less flavoursome.

I’m looking forward to making it again, and experimenting with the flavours. It’s so much fun making things from scratch that you usually buy in packets or jars!

Point + Shoot: Rice Rice Baby

Part of my role in my job at the moment is rewriting the Prep/Kindergarten curriculum. Crazy right? One of the fun things I get to do is lots of research about Prep-related things, and last week I spent some time studying the many benefits of sensory motor activities. One of my favourites is rice play.

Mayana has had a rice tub for a couple of weeks now, but in my Prep research I found the awesome idea to make rainbow rice. Of course, in the name of research, I had to try it!


It’s very simple. All you do is put some rice in a large ziplock bag (make it about 1/3 to 1/2 full), put in two tablespoons of white vinegar (which helps to set the dye) and a capful of food colouring. Shake and shake and shake until it’s evenly coloured. Spread the rice on a tray, and put it in a very low oven (or in the sun) until it dries out.

The verdict: Huge success… rice play just got even funner!!

If you want to do this as an activity at home, we bought a shallow tub from Big W, and a 5kg bag of rice. Mayana uses the toys pots and cups from her toy kitchen, and a few bits and pieces from our kitchen. We also do fun games like burying the pieces of her peg puzzles, and she digs them out to complete her puzzle. This can keep her busy for at least an hour, and that’s a looooong time for a two year old!


This is my first ever entry for Point + Shoot, now hosted by my gorgeous cousin Louise over at Sunny + Scout. Go join in!!

fasta pasta

Peter and I have made pasta before, and on the weekend we decided to give it another go. In our previous attempts, we have used the food processor, but this time we decided to do the whole thing by hand. After a false start which very regrettably included using up our last store-bought egg which turned out to be rotten, we successfully made our very own pasta dough with 100% fresh free-range eggs graciously donated by our lovely chooks.

Half of it we turned into ravioli with roasted pumpkin, spinach and herbs (our newest attempt at getting our pasta-obsessed daughter to eat more food/vegies.


The other half turned into fettuccine


To which, once cooked, we added a delicious sauce made from cream, white wine, garlic, bacon, onion and mushrooms. Oh my. It. Was. Delicious.


We were rather impressed with ourselves, I must say. Fresh pasta is super delicious, and really very easy to make, especially once you’ve got the hang of both holding the pasta as it comes out of  the machine so it doesn’t stick to the bench, at the same time as winding the handle. In fact, we have resolved that we are going to make it a more regular part of our cooking. Especially if the sneaky ravioli works!


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