Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Work

Project Life Tuesday for today is work...again. :)
Now I would like to say that this is my work, but sadly it isn't. It is Taff's work!
I have been wondering for a while what his workplace looks like and really wanted to snap a photo or two for my Project Life album.
We spend such a lot of time at work every day and I thought it might be nice to capture that work environment for future generations to enjoy.
I wish I could look back and see some of the places my parent's worked so this past weekend we headed in and I grabbed a few pics.
I think if it was me, I would find it hard to work in this environment. The view is stunning! It is on the waterfront and even features a glass floor panel where you can see straight through to the water underneath. It freaked me out a bit. :)
I also loved the "lunchroom" and wouldn't mind a kitchen like that in my house. lol.
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a snapshot of your husband's workplace, office and desk. It will be great to look back on in years to come!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Carrot Cup Cakes

This carrot cupcake recipe is absolutely delicious and is definitely a real favourite of mine. I cannot take the credit for it myself, I got it from my good friend Sarah and have made it many times since then. You really should give it a go, they are super scrummy!
Carrot Cupcakes: Fern Cafe
1/2 an orange (skin included)
3 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups self-raising flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cups grated carrot
3/4 cup crushed pineapple drained

Preheat oven to 180c.
Lightly grease muffin pans (I use cupcake wrappers instead to save time).
  1. Chop the orange, remove pips and blend.
  2. Beat eggs lightly, then add sugar, oil and vanilla. Beat again until creamy.
  3. Sift in the flour, cinnamon and salt. Whisk until lightly mixed.
  4. Add the carrot, pineapple and blended orange.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes at 180c until skewer comes out clean and cool on a wire rack.
  6. When cool, ice with cream cheese icing and garnish with chopped apricot and pumpkin seeds.
Cream Cheese Icing
125 grams cream cheese
2 cups icing sugar
50 grams soft butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
Beat ingredients together (do not add water)

This recipe makes quite a few cupcakes and these are perfect for taking to shared morning teas and occasions where you need to "bring a plate". :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Harvest Time!

Remember this post 4 months ago? Well, look at it now!
Project Life Tuesday for today is harvest time for our little vege patch. I am the first to admit that I do not have green thumbs, so this patch has pretty much taken care of itself. A few days ago we set the kids a task of weeding the garden so we would be ready to harvest part of our crop.
Now, I am pretty sure that they pulled a few things that weren't weeds but it was all for a good purpose...teaching them the value of work. Well that is my story and I am sticking to it!
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a snapshot of your garden and all the lovely things that are growing in there at the moment. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Family Favourites

Project Life Tuesday for this beautiful chilly day is family favourites.
What is your family's favourite recipe? Without a doubt, in our family it is this yummy chocolate cake.
We make it ALL the time and our whole extended family enjoys it for everday and special occasions. Why not take a snapshot of your family's favourite recipe the next time you make it!
As always, the best part is licking the bowl...some things never change. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Project Life Catch Up

I am about 3 weeks behind on Project Life! Arggghhh!
Today I will be attempting to fix that and having a good session this afternoon. My photos are printed, my pens are ready and I am excited. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Perfect Playdough!

We love playdough in our family and I am constantly amazed at how long a batch will keep the kids entertained for!
It is so easy and cheap to make and is a great way to get creative on a Saturday afternoon.
On this day we had few colour options available so we used the one bottle of red food colouring we had and got to it.
The recipe we use is quick to prepare and you will have a big ball of warm playdough in your hands before you know it.
Here is the recipe we use for perfect playdough.
1 Tb Cooking Oil
1 Cup Flour
2 Tsp Cream of Tartar
1 Cup Water
1/2 cup Salt
2 Tsp Food Colouring
Mix ingredients together in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until dough is no longer sticky and gathers together in a large blob. Take pan off stove immediately. Turn out onto floured board and knead until smooth.
Have fun! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Block

Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you the obsession that I have with this fantastic show! 
Rather embarrassingly, I am a reality TV fan from way back and have had a long time love of the DIY genre in particular. No surprises there.
The way that calm is created out of chaos really appeals to me and this show has a bit of everything I love...drama, DIY, fun and of course, beautiful rooms!
This year The Block is set in Richmond, Melbourne and there are four couples working on the most dilapidated worker's cottages you have ever seen. Each week they complete one room in the house (and on occassion, two!) and are judged. The winning team gets extra money to help out the next week and by golly, it is good TV.
Josh and Jenna's Spare Bedroom..love the pallet bed!
I love all the couples and their rooms are fantastic. I particularly love Josh and Jenna and Katrina and Amie. Their styles are rigt up my alley and each week I drool at what they come up with.
Sigh, I want an office like Josh and Jenna's
 Our whole family loves The Block and even Rosie and Harry will sit down and watch it for a little while and offer their opinions on who will win that week.
Dream big!
In fact, this show has got us so excited that we are thinking of replicating a similar approach in our own house to boost the motivation. :) Obviously we can't finish a room a week with our working shedule but we are thinking a room a month 'might' be possible. Downstairs has been neglected for the past year (due to the water issues we faced) and has been stripped bare. We are in the middle of getting the new drainage laid and there are no more leaks so now is the time to get moving.
Katrina and Amie's winning lounge
We have three rooms to sort down there. A study and two bedrooms, one of which we would like to make into a kids TV and playroom. The bathroom is semi complete apart from the 1970's shower but it is still the preferred shower of most of the people who stay with us! Our goal is to tackle the painting of all the rooms first, while the flooring is up and paint splatters on the ground won't matter. I am under intructions from Taff that I must choose the colour by the week's end. Given that it took for several months to decide upstairs, I really better get moving. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Oops Moments

Yep, we had a little mishap on the weekend involving a piece of furniture, this vase, and the floor. :(
It was completely my own fault so I had no one to be upset with but myself. Before throwing it in the bin (stabbing heart pain!) I took a picture of it for my album. Life is about breakages from time to time and I wanted to record that in some way.
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a picture of the latest "breakage" in your house!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday: A Perfect Day for Setting Goals

There is something about a Sunday that gets me excited. Knowing I have a day of rest ahead (after church, of course!) to just relax and plan for the week ahead is priceless to me and I always feel more enthused about anything and everything after a good Sunday rest. :)
Now for me, rest does not involve any sleeping. I am not a napper and never have been, I often wish I was! Rest for me is making plans and having the luxury of time to think about those plans and write them down. Today Taff and I sat down to make some goals and plans for our home. Yet again we have come to a halt with our renovation and redecoration plans and it is time to kick start it again. That is how we roll, work hard for a few weeks and then lose steam and enthuiasm and stop work for twice as long. This house has a lot of things that we love...but it is a lot of work and it never ends. Today was the day to set some goals and in doing so, we are excited again! Now to the hard part....seeing them through. :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Important Phone Numbers Printable

Saturday is my day to tackle the organising jobs around our home and today I thought I would share a link to this great free printable I found. How many times have you gone searching for an important phone number...and wasted a lot of time doing so? Well, search no longer!
The Organised Home is a great website with lots of ideas to help you 'Clean House, Cut Clutter and Get Organised at Home' (love this catch phrase!). My plan this weekend is to hunt down all our important phone numbers and finally bring them all together in the one place and never have to go searching again. Well, that is the theory anyway. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

School Sandwich Fun

I have been facing a challenge in our household. There is a member of the family who shall remain nameless (but her name starts with R), who is a very fussy eater. She was a dream baby and a perfect sleeper...but as soon as we hit the 15 month mark, everything turned to custard with her eating. This was a sign of things to come and I have to say, not a lot has changed. She loves what she loves (chicken and rice anyone?) and everything else is a challenge.
This makes school lunches extra difficult and month after month, her sandwiches would come home with a couple of bites out of them, or still wrapped up and uneaten. We thought we would tackle this by removing all the "nice" food from her box. Crackers, home baking, popcorn and all other yummy things were taken out and she literally only had her sandwiches, fruit and water left. This backfired on us and both the fruit and sandwiches were still coming home untouched. Yep, she preferred to eat NOTHING all day!
Looking for anything to try and improve this, I decided to try and make sandwiches more fun for her. I dug out all the cookie cutters and started cutting her sandwiches into special shapes and to my amazement, it worked! Yes, lots of the bread was wasted but finally she was eating her sandwiches. The heart shape ones are her favourites.
So please, if anyone has any ideas for fussy eaters and school lunches, please help me out. I am pretty sure this trick is not going to last forever and I need new inspiration! :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Trying New things

Well, I am back after two weeks holiday but am sad to report that I was sick for 75% of it! My big plans went out the window and I had to settle for a far slower paced holiday than I was originally planning. We did manage to get a few things done though and today's post is all about trying new things.
My parents have a photo of me at six years old on the ferris wheel at Luna Park in Melbourne. It was taken on my very first ride and the look of fear and excitement as I was on my way up is hiliarious to look back on, even now. It's true, I am not the bravest of sorts and heights were, and continue to be, one of my biggest fears. Sadly, both my children have inherited my caution so I was really surprised that Rosie agreed to go on this jumping ride at the mall with her cousin, Eden.
After a few nerves to start with (mainly from Rosie!), they were away and I loved seeing their faces as they experienced this activity for the first time. It is always great to capture a 'first' on camera!
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a photo of your child experiencing something for the very first time.