Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Mmmm cookies!!

As you know I am a self-confessed sweet tooth….unable to resist all things yumm like cookies… when I saw that Chantelle Ellem and Rowe Timson had mixed together a Clever Cookie School of Blog then I knew that it was the course for me.

Once I had signed up a welcome pack full of exciting goodies arrived in the mail …it was like being allowed to taste the cookie dough…it got me all excited about the things to come!

Over 4 weeks Chantelle and Rowe gave us all of the ingredients that we needed to get baking…a blend of blogging know how, a measure of photography techniques, a dash of social media.

And they combined it all together with some amazing guests such Zoe Foster Blake, Nikki Parkinson, Tessa White, Kelly Exeter, Stacey Roberts, Kat Springer, Hailey Bartholomew and David Jenyns…!

I could never have imagined how amazing the content of this course would be…it exceeded all of my expectations and some….like a choc chip cookie that is crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside!!  Writing this is making me hungry...!

I continue to work my way through the course notes and implement new things that I have learnt I hope that you will see my blog eventually baked to perfection and it will all be thanks to Chantelle and Rowe and The Clever Cookie School of Blog.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Quick and Easy Halloween Snacks

Only 4 more sleeps til Halloween!!  

We like to celebrate at home with a few decorations and some Halloween themed snacks.  I always have grand plans for the menu then reality slaps me in the face and I end up making Halloween snacks at the very last minute!

So this year I am going to be prepared...and search a bunch of quick and easy snacks to prepare the day ahead!!

Here's a few great ideas that I have found....

I love these mummy inspired hot dog snacks...

You can't beat these marshmallow ghosts for quick and easy!!

Oh my gosh how brilliant are these witch hat cupcakes...soooo easy!!

How about these creepy grave cupcakes

How cute...I mean 'scary'...are these ghost milkshakes....!!

Pop over to the following blogs for more great Halloween treats, party ideas and more!

Friday, 24 October 2014

9 weeks til Christmas....

Okay I am starting to scare myself now....we are down to single digits in our weekly countdown to Christmas....oh my gosh!!

As you know we are going away at Christmas that is now 9 weeks til holiday and Christmas...'squeal'... double the excitement!!!

My search for beach themed Christmas craft, decorations and food, as well as presents for the girls that will give the 'wow' factor but won't take up all the room in the trailer, has continued this week and this is what I have found...

Check out these starfish Santas....they are just so cute and so beachy...perfect!!

Once I saw these reindeer drinks  I just couldn't go without posting them...they are such a clever idea....and if we experience our usual hot summers Christmas day drinks will be high on the list of priorities, especially for the girls....these will definitely be making an appearance !!

Now my girls are no strangers to social media...but I must admit they are limited in what they have access to... they have started a blog (it's in it's early days)...shameless can check it out here and they enjoy photography so they have an instagram account linked to the can check it out here.   So I couldn't resist adding this cute Instagram purse to the virtual shopping list....  It is handmade from Spanish wool felt and is just oh so adorable!!

Feeling like I need to get my act together and get some more 'real' shopping's just that 'virtual window shopping' whilst in my pj's is so much more fun !!!

So come on are you going with your Christmas shopping...have you started yet...only .9 weeks and counting !!!!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Appendicitis Stole My Weekend!

On Friday night Miss 13 developed pains in her side.  Now Miss 13 thinks a paper cut is worthy of urgent medical attention so trying to assess the level of pain was difficult but allegedly the pain was getting worse.

I considered taking a ‘let’s wait and see’ approach which I have done with various ailments in the past…but I have also paid the price for this approach with a few middle of the night trips to the hospital so I reconsidered and decided to to hit the afterhours gp with Miss 13 at the reasonable hour of 7.30pm.

Two hours later we returned home with a probable diagnosis of immediate action required unless the pain worsened.

I went to bed Friday night praying that the pain did not worsen and I was overjoyed when I awoke to a bright Saturday morning.  Stupidly I went to check on Miss 13 only to hear tales of how she had been unable to sleep and the pain was like an 11 out of 10...

I left other family members in charge of Miss 13 and took Miss 5 to a birthday party.

I returned home with the usual headache that inflicts you after spending two hours with a room full of 5 year olds and since Miss 13's pain had not improved I took her to our local gp.  Same diagnosis but he thought it best that we go for scans...and as it was Saturday afternoon our only choice was to head up to Emergency….argh!!

That was the point where I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my weekend was about to be stolen away from me!!

Six hours after arriving at Emergency Miss 13 was admitted to the children's ward for observation. The first time that one of my girls has had to stay overnight in hospital....eeek !!!   I left the hospital full of mummy guilt that perhaps I should be staying with her....but also yearning to get home to my bed!!

Up early the next day....which is oh so wrong for a Sunday!!....I showered, dressed and returned to the hospital just in time for the surgeon to assess Miss 13 and decide that they would schedule her for an operation to insert a camera and have a look around...with the most likely result being that her appendix would be removed.

With the surgery not looking likely until late afternoon I returned home for two hours to wash the school uniforms, find the black ink cartridge that nobody else seemed to be able to find, prepare lunches for the next day and leave hubby a nice long note of things to do (though I am pretty sure he delegated most items to the older girls!!)

Back to the hospital armed with a magazine the wait continued....and continued....and continued!!  Given that Miss 13 had not eaten for some 48 hours her thoughts were consumed with food and when she was finally called to theater at 7pm she kept the staff entertained with her stories of how she wanted a sausage sandwich and some icecream lol !!

Two hours later she returned to the ward minus her appendix....let’s just hope that that was the cause of the pain in the first place!!  After settling her in I returned home once again.

After getting everyone off to school on Monday I returned to the hospital.  Now despite Miss 13's passion for food the previous night her post-op self was far from interested in sausage sandwiches!  The best she managed was a lemonade iceblock!

Finally on Monday afternoon Miss 13 was discharged and is now home resting...feeling a wee bit sorry for herself!!  I think I even heard her say that she would rather be at school than be feeling like this….now that’s something you don’t hear her say….ever!!

So that was the weekend that was stolen by appendicitis!!  I hope your weekend was a bit better than ours….!!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Easy Halloween Craft

Halloween....people either love it or hate it....but me...well I just see it as a perfect excuse for some Halloween craft !!

This year I have found some great crafts that I can do with the girls, most of them are quick and easy and don't required too many kind of craft!

I love these mason jars which have been mummified!!

These ghost balloons are so effective...yet so simple...I will be giving these a go this year for sure!


These egg carton bats are so cute...


You can't have halloween without a pumpkin!!


And possibly my new favourite are these floating ghosts.....too cute to be too scarey!!


So there you have a small selection of quick and easy Halloween crafts to enjoy with the kids!  

I might be a little bit Halloween crazy so you can pop over to Pinterest and check out some more craft ideas that I love here....

Do you get into the spirit of Halloween with decorations, crafts and foods?   
What are some of your favourite Halloween craft ideas?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

10 weeks til Christmas....

Wow weeks go fast when you count them down!!    Now its only 10 weeks til Christmas and our beach holiday....and I am getting very excited!!

I have found another gorgeous beach themed Christmas decoration....this week it is a starfish is absolutely gorgeous yet so simple.  I obviously haven't seen the beach house that we are renting over Christmas other than a few pics on Stayz...but I am sure I will be able to find somewhere to hang this...

Over at I found these most amazing icecream Christmas bauble ornaments....these look great and are so easy to make.  Perfect for my summer beach Christmas!

And now that brings us to some more gift ideas.  With five daughters it is near impossible to find nail files and nail scissors in the house...drives me a little bit crazy!!  So that is where I went with my shopping ideas this week...some cute little manicure sets...and again these are small items that will be easy to pack for holidays!!!  I particularly love the last one...but sadly I don't think they deliver to Australia :-(

Check back next week for some more great ideas...and we'll be down to single digits...oh my gosh!!!

Only 10 weeks to go.....have you started your shopping yet???

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The sleepover that hospital !!!

Yesterday I was reminiscing with my sister about our girls and their many sleepovers when they were younger.

With my sisters 2 girls and my 3 at the time, between us we had 5 girls aged 6, 4 and a half, 4, 2 and a half and sleepovers were pretty full on...probably more so for my sister who when my girls slept over at her place went from 2 children to 5...a dramatic difference !

There was always lots of laughs to be had over the years....well into the night when they were supposed to sleeping.....and lots of precious memories were made!

We remembered one time when the girls were a bit older and her two daughters slept over at our place with our then 4 girls...the ages were roughly 12, 10 and a half, 10, 8 and a half and 4.  The night had been the usual muffled laughs and giggles well into the night.

The next morning when they awoke my eldest niece who was almost 12 was a little bit wheezy.  She had had asthma since she was young and being asthmatic myself we weren't too panicked ...she seemed okay.  She took some ventolin and sat down to rest.

After a little while the ventolin seemed to not be making her breathing any easier so I got ready to take her down to our local GP when he opened up at 8am.  

I rang my sister before she left for work and said that Miss 12 was a little bit wheezy so I was taking her to see Dr Greg and grabbed her medicare number to make proceedings easier...all good!

Well we got ready and headed off to the doctors so that we would arrive before I didn't have an appointment so wanted to be early.

The doctors surgery opened just before 8am and whilst my niece took a seat I spoke to the receptionist, described the situation and asked to be seen by Dr Greg when he came in.

During the 5-10 minutes that we waited for Dr Greg to arrive my niece deteriorated and was now laying on the seats, feeling hot and feint.

I will never forget picturing Dr Gregs my mind he was probably sitting at home enjoying a cup of coffee and a bite of toast whilst reading the morning paper.  Then it was time for him to make the short drive to work...he was probably thinking that there'd be a few people waiting with coughs and cold, flu injections to be given, probably a baby or two to see...  Just your usual day!!  Then in he walks...

Dr Greg walked into the surgery..surveyed the waiting room....and a look of concern came over his face.  The receptionist told him what was happening and he called my niece and I in.

When he saw her state he assisted her into his room and got her to lay down.  He asked a few questions to assess the situation and next thing I know he is telling me I should park my car in the surgery car park, he is calling an ambulance to take her to hospital.

I go out to move my car and by the time I walk back in, probably some 3 minutes, he has my niece in another of the doctors rooms, he has her on oxygen with a foil blanket covering her. The rapid response ambulance arrives and as the ambulance officer walks into the room where my niece is he is surprised by the lengths Dr Greg has gone to. ...he was like well there's nothing left for me to do lol !!!

Now Miss 12 is a little bit more stabilized the ambulance arrives and it is time to call my sister who was by now on her way to work...the call went a little like this..."oh hey it's just me...yeah it's all good, we've been to the doctor, looks like an asthma attack...oh and yeah we are just going to Westmead hospital so hey maybe you wanna meet us there....yeah no I'm not driving we kinda going in an ambulance.  But don't worry it's all good!  Righto I'll see you soon ...bye!"

Thankfully hubby was at home to look after the other four girls while we went off to hospital in the ambulance.

We arrived there, met up with my sister and miss 12 was kept in for the day for monitoring to try to ease the asthma attack.

She went home that night and rested up for a few days and then she was fine!

Well that was probably the most eventful result of a sleepover that either of us can remember haha!!

Have you had any sleepovers that didn't quite go to plan?  Did they involve an ambulance trip by chance!!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Working the Night Shift...

Hubby is a tradie who gets up before the rest of us most days, travels the congested motorway to the city each day does at least 8-10 hours of work and battles the traffic home again....sometimes even making it in time for dinner.

That's pretty much how it goes most of the time...but this week he is working nights...all week!

Okay I'll admit that my first thought when he told me was 'oh yes tinned spaghetti and two minute noodles for dinner'.  Don't get me wrong, hubby is not like some kinda dinner nazi, but I do like to put an effort into providing a nourishing dinner when he is around after all the effort he puts into providing for us each day.

So with him being at work each night this week I feel like I've been given a mini dinner sabbatical...and I am totally going to take advantage of that!

Give me a break, I'm not going to let the children starve.  There is salad cut up in the fridge, a selection of cold meats there too, there is soup, ravioli, noodles and pasta.  It will just be a case of 'come and get it....yourself'!!  Given that they range in age from 16 to 5 it is well within their capabilities to do so...I'll even go so far as to say that I am fostering that's gotta be good parenting hasn't it!

After the excitement of relaxed dinners subsided I realized that hubby's working nights also meant that the remote control was mine....all mine...hehehehe!!  What's the bet that I can't find anything decent to watch now that I have that freedom!

But it didn't take long before the realization set in that hubby working nights meant that he would be here in the mornings to witness what can only be referred to as our morning mayhem!  No amount of pre-planning seems to be able to eliminate morning disasters....there is always something...from a school shoe that went missing overnight to a library book that has vanished to a sick child...!!

Then I realized that hubby would also be here...all day...every day....for the whole week! Now once again don't get me wrong...I love hubby's days and there...when we go out to lunch or see a movie or go op shopping...but him being home every day...well it kinda cramps my style....coz to be honest I sometimes get a little bit caught up in the world of Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram...and pretty much anything else that lets me escape the daily grind of washing, cooking, cleaning, more washing, more cooking, more cleaning.  So with hubby being home I will be trying hard to emulate a 50's housewife.  I'll be washing the morning dishes whilst wearing my little apron, I'll be dusting and hoovering each day...all with my hair done and my lipstick applied.....haha that's never going to happen!!!!

Oh's only for like 5 can't be that hard to abstain from regular and repeated social media updates for 5 days now can it.....

5 days and counting hehe!  I really do love him though!!!

So tell me...which do you prefer...hubby home in the mornings, during the days, or at night?  Does your hubby cramp your at home alone style too?

Friday, 10 October 2014

Happy Birthday Dear Cat....Happy Birthday to you...

Last year our cat Oreo had to go to the vet for a check up and Miss 13 wanted her to have a Santa photo at the vet....Miss 16 decided that she wanted to come to watch Oreo have her photo taken and that was when it happened...

There in a cage at the vets was an 8 week old kitten for sale....and Miss 16 fell in love with her immediately.

Now pets were never really on the agenda and Oreo came along under the pretense that she would only be here until her owners found her a home....after a few weeks we knew that we had been sucked in there!!

A second cat was definitely not in the equation.  But Miss 16 begged and pleaded and presented her case to hubby and I and to my surprise hubby gave in....

So fast forward 10 months and according to Miss 16 today is Kikah's birthday...she is turning one...and yes Miss 16 made us sing Happy Birthday and then we had to watch Kikah open her presents....

 Kikah reading her card

Kikah opening her presents

Oh yay a ball with a bell inside so you can keep us awake all night when you play like crazy!

So there you have it....the birthday girl!!

By the way...we did get that Santa photo that we originally went to the vet for that day!!

Please tell me that we are not the only other people celebrate their pets birthdays too?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

11 weeks til Christmas....

Oh wow I think I am making myself nervous now!!  The weeks are counting down so quickly!
11 weeks of school plus all of the concerts and performances and end of year festivities...but best of all 11 weeks til we are on holidays!!  Can you tell that I love holidays! They are often few and far between due to the cost so when we can manage a holiday I get a wee bit (over) excited!!

This week I am continuing on with the thongs theme of last weeks biscuits (check them out here..) but this week it is in the area of decorating!  I couldn't choose between these two thong decorations... I just love them both!

Now given that we will be on the coast it would be wrong of us not to include some fresh seafood in our Christmas day menu and I love the look of these prawn skewers on the barbeque...perfect because they can be prepared ahead of time and because they will cook so quickly!!  This is making me so hungry right now!!

And lastly I am still on the lookout for Christmas presents for the girls.  I found these little shorts for the younger girls...they so cute!!

Hmm sooner or later I am actually going to have to start making purchases rather than just window shopping online!!!

So only 11 weeks to go....have you started to think Christmas yet or are you still in denial haha!!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Year 12 ... here we come...

It is hard to believe that this term marks the start of year 12 for miss 16.  I still remember her first day of kindergarten like it was yesterday!

Today she is packed up and off to the year 12 retreat for the next three days.  Even though she is almost 17 and has been at school for some 12 years now it can still be a little bit sad to send her off on these camps and retreats etc...  The reason for that is not everybody has been taught to play nice.

The school may see it as a lovely time of reflection spent with peers.  But in reality it will no doubt be a time for girls to judge what other girls are wearing, what brand luggage they have, how much or how little they have packed, what lollies they have brought...and on and on it will go.

Miss 16 is not really into all of that and has packed her bag based on comfort given that they will be sitting around 'reflecting' for the best part of three days....and good on her for doing so.

Here's hoping that they are kept busy so that there is no time for idle gossip, lets hope the food is edible (or else that is all we will hear about when she returns home!!) and lets hope everyone has their playing nice smiles on!

Argh I hate school more as a parent than I did as a child !!!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Cabin Fever Cure...

These school holidays have seen us a bit more housebound than usual as myself and a few of the girls succumbed to a debilitating stomach bug.  Thankfully we have all recovered now but with the recovery came a strong sense of cabin get me out of !!!!!!

The cure for that was to take the girls out to ride their bikes for the day.....something we haven't done for way too long.

So on Thursday hubby checked all the bikes, pumped up the tyres, loaded up the trailer...and we set off for Wentworth Common at Homebush....a place we used to frequent years ago.

The weather was especially kind to us and once we arrived the girls we off riding.  Miss 5 hadn't ridden a bike before so she was a little hesitant...but seriously withing 5  minutes she had the hang of it and she was off.

Before too long the girls were riding up the hill together.  Hubby and I walked up to meet them at the top and survey the views of Homebush and beyond.

The girls continued to ride...and ride....and ride!  We used the barbeque facilities to have a late lunch and then had a play at the playground.

Then the girls did a few final laps whilst hubby and I packed up our stuff and we head home....hopeful that some five hours of bike riding and playing would have worn the girls out.  We were wrong!  

A day out in the sunshine was exactly what was needed to cure that cabin fever though.....and hopefully we can make it back to Wentworth Common again in the near future.

I hope you all survived the school holidays...did you manage to get out and about and enjoy some of the glorious weather?

Friday, 3 October 2014

12 weeks til Christmas...

Only 12 weeks until Christmas and our beach holiday.....I can't wait!!

As I mentioned in my previous Christmas countdown post.......14 weeks and 13 weeks ...
space will be of a premium as we pack for our holiday.......yet I am keen to make our temporary beach house as Christmassy as possible....

So this idea is brilliant....not only will it provide a Christmas tree of sorts but it will be a great holiday activity as we scour the beach for twigs and driftwood and for shells as well...

I have also found the cutest summer/beach themed biscuit/dessert.....perhaps if we decorated these in Christmas colours they would match our theme....I think they are just the cutest.....don't you agree?

Lastly I have been online window shopping....trying to keep my focus on what other people want for Christmas...not just what I want!  And since the four eldest girls have their ears pierced earrings are featuring highly on my shopping list!  Miss 16 loves turtles so she would absolutely adore these earrings....

So I think so far things are coming along well with my Christmas preparations....even if it is all just 'virtual' at the moment!!!

How are your plans coming along??