About Me

My photo
Where do I begin? I guess At the beginning! I live in beautiful Tasmania, Australia with my wonderful hubby, Matthew and our four angels (part time devils) Isaac, Reuben, Isabella, and Charlotte. Currently I'm a stay-at-home mum and I absolutely love that. Nothing else compares. I'm also studying the Master of Teaching part-time and I'm serving as the relief society president of our ward. I love being outside, especially in summer. I love big windows & lots of light. I love swimming, running and mowing the lawn! my favourite vegetable is carrots (or potatoes if mum's baked them) and I love fresh fruit salad. My most favourite thing to do is spend time with my precious family.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

All the colours of the rainbow

Bella had a rainbow party on Saturday.























She is a vibrant girl so a rainbow party was a perfect idea for her.














9 of her gorgeous little friends came over (because she's 9!)
Reuben was the only boy here (Isaac took off to a friends house - there's no way he was hanging around while they played their girl games and played their girl music!) but he didn't seem to care at all.

They made their own party bags and hats, pinned the pot of gold on the end of the rainbow, hunted for lost gold in the garden, played pass the parcel and had their faces painted.























I love how they all sat in a circle around her when she opened her pressies.  















Check out the look on the girls faces in this photo - must have been smiggle stuff.  My girls LOVE it.



































It was a fun afternoon.

Some of my photos are a bit blurry though.  Chels is lending me her 50mm lens (thanks) and I'm still getting the hang of manual focus.  I'll get there...eventually.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

For Mia

I made this for you yesterday Mia.







































































And Charlotte just had to try it on!


































It's in the post and on it's way to you.
  


































Inspiration came from some dresses Bridey and I came across at the Surfers Paradise Night Market.

Cute huh?




HAVE A HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS MIA XX


Loved this place


Kiama was one of my favourite places on our recent roadtrip.  I definitely want to go back here.



Kiama is about 120km south of Sydney 


I love that it is a large beach side town but has a very 'country' feel due to the   
close proximity of the rural parts of this area.  
So beautiful.


There are some awesome beaches here.  The grass grows right up to the sand in some parts - the best of both worlds exists here, for me anyway; lots of space, sprawling pasture and beautiful white beaches.


We took some dinner to the local park for a  lovely balmy evening of playing and chillin' and just soaking up the wonderful feeling in this place.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Beautiful

is our Bella.



Today she turned 9


and she's getting more beautiful by the day.


Happy Birthday Beautiful Bella
We love you xx


Monday, March 15, 2010

My Guy...




On Saturday Matt and I spent the day at Tahune Airwalk to see Guy Sebastian live.  It was a great day out; perfect weather, relaxing picnic lunch beautiful surroundings and great entertainment.  It was quite an intimate concert (only something like 250 tickets) which really contributed to the feeling there.  It kinda felt like a big family reunion (and with half the Huon Valley population there it nearly was!!) I know Guy Sebastian isn't everyone's cup of tea but I have to admit I became an instant fan when I heard him sing for his audition in the very first Australian Idol Competition.  He is great on stage and surprisingly funny.  
I loved all of the songs he performed, which was a selection from all of his albums.  









Support act was Tassie boy DeWayne Everettsmith who was an Idol contestant in 2007. 


Check out this photo! I was standing at the side of the stage snapping a few pics 
when he noticed and gave me a little Guy Smile - he he




Matt appreciates the excellent musician Guy Sebastian is but R&B isn't really his style - not typically mine either - but he tagged along because he didn't want me to go alone.  I'm glad we went together but I really should have taken the girls with me,  there were so many mothers and daughters there and they would have loved it.  Maybe next year we can have a girls day out.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Big Boy


Isaac turned 14 on Friday.

Fourteen
14
F O U R T E E N...




He had some friends from school over


They played backyard soccer


Halo 3 on the x-box (whatever!!)


Made their own Pizza's

Enjoyed each other's company
(L-R Angus, Conner, Isaac, Ayde, Haki & Gabriel)


Shared a yummy birthday cake (very delicious mud cake)


We delivered everyone to their homes around 10pm.
Isaac has a great bunch of friends, really nice kids. I'm happy.
(I just can't believe I have a 14 year old!!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good bye training wheels



The week school went back Charlotte decided she was big enough to learn to ride her bike. Turns out she was right! I've thought for a while now that her balance was pretty good and that the training wheels were not really necessary. We had a couple of successful goes in the driveway without them then up to the oval for the real test (with the soft landing just in case). She passed with flying colours and didn't even need a soft landing.
Now there's no stopping her!!



video


Monday, March 8, 2010

As requested...Slow Cooked Butter Chicken

This is the one of the BEST home made butter chicken recipes I have ever made, and I have made a few in my time! I came across it a couple of years ago and we love it. We actually have two favorites but I can't find the other recipe. They are both delicious but also have different flavours. I'll post it when I find it!





Slow cooked Butter Chicken

1/2 cup cashews (125 mL)
2 tsp garam masala (10 mL)
2 tsp coriander powder (10 mL)
1/2 tsp chili powder (2 mL)
8 x boneless skinless chicken thighs, quartered
1 tsp sesame or peanut oil (5 mL)
1/4 cup butter, melted (60 mL)
2 tsp paprika (10 mL)
2 tsp prepared garlic (10 mL)
2 tsp prepared ginger (10 mL)
Pinch of cinnamon and cardamom powder
1 x small onion
3/4 cup chicken stock (175 mL)
1/2 cup tomato paste (125 mL)
1/2 cup yogurt (or sour cream) (125 mL)
1 cup milk (250 mL)
1/4 cup cream (60 mL)
2 tbsp vinegar (30 mL)
1 tbsp sweet Thai chili sauce (15 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)

Smash cashews with a hammer and add to large nonstick fry pan.

Add garam masala, corriander and chilli, stir and brown nuts and spices until you see a little smoke.

Immediately remove from heat.

Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In the same pan, heat oil at med-high and sear chicken on both sides.

Place in the bottom of a slow cooker.

Add the following ingredients:

melted butter, the toasted cashew mixture, paprika, garlic, ginger and spices.

Finely chop onion and add to pan

Add chicken stock, tomato paste and yogurt, then stir to combine.

Stir in milk and cream.

Add vinegar, chili sauce and salt.

Stir then leave center crock in fridge overnight.

Turn slow cooker on to low in the morning. Cook for 6/7 hours on low.

Serve with Basmati Rice and maybe some Roti or pappadams

This looks long and involved but it's not at all. It's very easy.

You can skip leaving it in the fridge and cook it immediately but it is that little bit nicer if you have time to leave it.

Don't be tempted to use breast meat, thighs are far more tender in the slow cooker.

This makes plenty for our family of 6.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I always thought multitasking was a good thing...


that was until last night. I was in the kitchen, doing the usual 'mum' thing - a hundred things at once when a pot of oil caught alight and did quite a bit of damage!


The funny thing is that I thought I was super organised yesterday but I still found myself busy as a bee in the kitchen last evening. I had butter chicken all ready to go in the slow cooker (really yummy recipe by the way, have to post that some time) rice cooking in the microwave, and golden syrup dumplings almost ready to pop in the saucepan for desert - I had promised the kids earlier I'd make desert on Friday night. I decided to turn on a pot of oil to make the pappadams we always have with butter chicken and while the oil was heating turned to finish mixing the dumplings. A short time later I noticed a flicker of light on a packet sitting beside me on the bench and turned to see where it came from. I was confronted with large flames leaping from the pot of oil and lapping at the range hood. Immediately I grabbed the lid to suffocate the flames - didn't work, the flames just squeezed out from under the lid! and were getting taller by the second. Isaac, by this stage had heard me utter a 'swear word' (yeah I know I'm the RS President but there's no perfection prerequisite for that or I wouldn't be there!!) and was going mental (he's not that good with emergencies). I yelled for Matt who was reading in another room and had heard a bit of a commotion but didn't think much of it until he too heard the 'swear word'. He came running in like a super-hero and totally saved the day. He did accidentally burn himself though so obviously he's not a real super-hero!
So the damage is: totally stuffed range hood, gas cook top, cupboard doors, floor damage where hot oil spilled over and blistered the timber finish, the pot and two lids are cactus, the whole house has smoke damage, the laminex above the oven is all melted.
The insurance company sent two guys around last night to clean up a bit and assess what else would need to be done. So now we have this dirty great 'air filter' machine in our kitchen which has to run continuously until they come back on Tuesday. It is LOUD but everything is starting to smell cleaner. On Tuesday they will come and do something called a smoke sponge (or something like that) they have special sponges they wipe over walls and ceilings and they can tell just how far the tiny particles of soot have traveled. On just looking last night they are certain the kitchen, lounge room, family room and hall way will all have to be washed.
I can't believe how much damage occurred in what was about 30-40 seconds. Anyway here are a few photos taken by my neighbour ('coz I still don't have a camera!!)










P.S We still got to eat the butter chicken - 'twas delicious and I even managed to finish the dumplings. I'm glad we decided to get the BBQ with the hot plate, I think it will come in very handy over the next week.

P.P.S I like to think of myself as a fairly positive person and I like to think that something good comes from everything, saying that I figure there are a few 'goods' from this; I'll never turn my back on cooking oil ever again, I'll get some new kitchen items, there's no excess and insurance covers everything, I'll get my ceilings and walls washed and best of all I wont have to cook for a while :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tathra

Just outside of Merimbula is a little seaside town called Tathra. We really only stopped to take some photos but found out a couple of tidbits of information - even good ol' Tassie gets a mention!

This is the view from a place called 'Pig & Whistle Lookout'. It was named by Morgan Smith from Tathra Primary school in a competition. The name was chosen based on this bit of Tathra's history; Between 1862 and 1954 sailing and steam ships docking at the nearby Tathra Warf were commonly known as vessels of the 'Pig & Whistle Fleet'. The ship carried many live pigs as cargo, who always burst into a wild screaming frenzy, every time the ships piercing whistle was sounded. Thus the name 'Pig & Whistle Fleet' was born.



This part of the coastline is also home to another lookout and plaque entitled ' A DESPERATE WALK TO SAFETY', which was laid in 1997 to recognise 17 brave sailors from 'The Sydney Cove' who, in April 1797, walked this coastline as part of their epic 640km trek from Victoria's Gippsland coast to Botany Bay Sydney to seek help for their companions. The Syndey Cove was shipwrecked on what is now known as Preservation Island situated off the coast of North Eastern Tasmania. The 17 sailors set out in a long boat, which was cast ashore, and began their long trek. Of the 17 that set out, 3 made it to Botany Bay.
I couldn't help but stop and ponder the actions and fate of these brave men (probably just boys really) and the irony of our beautiful coastline. For me it is simply majestic, one of God's greatest creations but for them it was probably their greatest challenges and ultimately, for most, their place of death. I bet they hated it!

Moving Right Along...

We set off from Merimbula and by the end of the day (the very end of the day) we were in Wadalba where Lou and Dan live. Wadalba is near Gosford, North of Sydney. We made lots of stops along the way and saw some of the most beautiful coast line. Some more posts to come with those pics. We also stopped by the Sydney Temple to look at the Christmas lights and dioramas set up there. There was also a carpark choir rehearsal going on at the same time so it was lovely to wander the temple grounds and have beautiful Christmas carols being sung in the background. It really helped us to feel the Christmas spirit. I was a little concerned that with all the traveling and sightseeing we would be doing over the time we are usually gearing up for Christmas it would overshadow this special time of year and that it wouldn't feel like Christmas at all. It was VERY late by the time we got to bed down that night but it was worth it just to be reminded of what Christmas is all about and to reflect on the birth, life, and death of the Savior.



We stayed with Dan and Lou for three nights (unfortunately these are some of the photos that were in my stolen camera bag!) and while we were there it was roasting hot so we spent two days on the beach and a day in a shopping centre and at the movies


Terrigal Beach - this is the place Matt really wanted to show us. It is a beautiful beach. By the end of the day though, I think Matt really wanted to forget this place. He got VERY sunburned. Having a fabulous time surfing with the boys and forgot to 'reapply'. I tried to tell him! Oh well a couple of sleepless nights did the trick and he became the Sunscreen Nazi (Second in command...I was the General)

Charlotte, Bella and I went to see 'Where The Wild Things Are'. We all laughed and cried and absolutely loved it. It is one of our favourite books so we were really excited when we heard it was being made into a movie. Being a book with mostly subtext I was interested to see how the movie would translate. It was fantastic.
Of course Matt, Isaac and Reuben went to see Avatar. No need to say anything really. Doesn't everyone love this movie? I can't speak from experience though. Despite the fact that nearly everyone I know has seen it twice, I missed out somehow!!