Friday, November 21, 2014

Summer picnic days with the kids.....

This post is in collaboration with Crazy Sales.

If there's one thing my kids love in summer it's a play in the yard in the late afternoon, water fights and requesting a picnic afternoon tea or to eat dinner alfresco. Fortunately our yard and entertaining area is shaded in the afternoon so hot lazy afternoons are frequent.

With Christmas some thirty-four sleeps away, if you've caught recent posts you'll know we've been spending a lot of time outdoors tending to our yard and garden getting it ready to host Christmas dinner here with Ben's family. But unbeknownst to the kids we are also getting our outdoor area ready for the influx of kids outdoor toys and play equipment that we have planned with the big man in the red suit this Christmas.


Despite the fact that they have no idea what we have planned, they love their outdoor play and we know they're going to be thrilled with new outdoor toys and equipment to play with and to stimulate them. If their excitement over this kids picnic table with umbrella is anything to go by we are going to be hitting a home run come Christmas Day. Crazy Sales were wonderful to us and heard about what we have planned for the kids this Christmas and sent this bright and colourful set our way.


It literally took Ben one minute to set up the kids picnic table and to have it ready after a lazy weekend nap as a surprise for the kids. Its bright colours and umbrella were an instant hit with the kids and the first thing that was asked was if they could eat dinner at the picnic table that night. Lucky for Cohen and Sarah I had two of my homemade Lemonade, Pear and Ginger Ice-blocks in the freezer to indulge them with for afternoon tea instead. So they dragged the picnic table over beside one of their favorite trees in the yard, by our hibiscus tree where they often find interesting bugs and insects and set themselves up.


Although there was no bug spotting, all three kids enjoyed sitting at their new picnic table taking in the afternoon and making a right old sticking mess out of their ice-blocks. The sticky mess was an easy fix with a squirt of the hose within seconds.

The table is a perfect addition to our yard and the kids play, it's already become a conversation pit where they're enjoying sitting and chatting and telling jokes, it's set to be getting a lot use this coming summer as we've had requests every single afternoon so far for us to allow them to eat their afternoon tea or dinner there.

Let the Summer and festive celebrations begin. Do your children enjoy a bit of picnicking at home?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Wednesday Style Collective: Round Tablecloth Skirt.....

I have had the biggest mending and projects pile happening for the longest time, and there's been several times I've looked at it all and thought it was a lost cause and I'd never get onto doing any of it. But about a month ago I was utterly frustrated with not getting any down time that I unashamedly let the kids run crazy for the morning so I could tackle my pile for while.

I mended a few pieces, turned a maxi dress into a maxi skirt and finally converted a round fringed tablecloth into this awesome circle skirt.


Skirt - made by me from a op shopped tablecloth
Singlet - old retail buy
Belt - op shopped
Shoes - op shopped


Yep I'm sufficiently pleased with it and myself, despite what is really questionable sewing techniques and skills. But the result is I have a wearable skirt that is colourful and certainly one of a kind.

There are still more items in the mending and project pile but at least I've started now. How's your pile looking at the moment? What's the longest job you've had sitting there, this tablecloth to skirt conversion has been in my pile for a good 18 months I think.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

{Recipe} Summer Days are for Lemonade, Pear and Ginger Ice Blocks......

Summer is certainly on it's way here, with temperatures already soaring most days and the air-conditioning running frequently. As a result of the heat I've been trying to organise some cold snacks and treats for the kids for after school and on the weekends.

The kids have been having plenty of icy cold smoothies, yogurt, fruit salads and I've also been getting creative with some home-made ice block combinations which is something I do every year when things heat up. I make ours at home as Cohen has certain food sensitives to various preservatives and colours, so instead I draw on the bank of things I know that are safe for him to have and create some yummy treats as well as save money.

I recent success and raving favourite from the kids are Lemonade, Pear and Ginger Ice Blocks which I posted a picture of on Instagram when Sarah and I were making them and there were several requests on Instagram and Facebook for me share a recipe. So here it is it's dead easy.


Lemonade, Pear and Ginger Ice Blocks

* Can or bottle of Lemonade
* Large Tin of Pears in Syrup
* Thumb size piece of fresh ginger

1. Add 300ml of lemonade to 300ml of syrup from the tin pears.

2. Take half of the pears from the tin and mash them up to desired consistency for your ice blocks. I like ours quite chunky, but you could also blitz them if you wish and then add the pears to the lemonade and syrup.

3. Finely grate a thumb size piece of ginger into the liquid mixture and then pour your mixture into you ice-block molds and freeze.

They are super yummy and zingy with the ginger and they could easily be made into an adult version with some vodka......just don't get them mixed up with the ones for the kids. But heck if you wanted to get a little more fancy you would even quickly blitz a frozen ice-block up for a makeshift daiquiri with a shot or two of vodka.

You can thank me later. Enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The week in retrospect....

I've been thinking for a while now how much looking back on each day or week really helps me see more and more of what I've done and taken in, especially at those times when days zip by in a blur with the kids.

In the last few months I've been weighed down with numerous challenges which I've not wanted to bring to my happy place here. The things is I never like the feeling and mood that starts to eat at me when issues are constant, but I do my best to see the laughter, light and fun in every day.

Looking back at my days and weeks helps me see how much I actually am doing or achieving when sometimes I actually feel it might not be the case. But the truth is it's okay and I'm okay, I've learnt that sometimes you need to relax and go with the speed and flow with which life throws you sometimes.


Time with special friends are always the best and last week my dear and best friend of over 30 years Shannon and I headed out for dinner to my most favourite Vietnamese restaurant I've been going to for years, Can Tho at Runaway Bay, which has had a new fit out. The restaurant now has this funky old world vintage industrial Vietnamese feel to it, and the food is as spectacular as ever. We had such a good time and it was just what I needed to have..... some kid free time.'



Dinner with Shannon came at the end of a very long day, as I had spent the day on a road trip out towards Ipswich after being invited by Renee of Née Say to her grandparents home who are moving. Renee's grandmother has lived in the same home for 80 years, and she has kept loads of amazing things. I came home with even more amazing vintage children's books and comics from the 1960's amongst other things.


This past week has also seen us have some of the hottest November days here in nearly 50 years. Time outside has been limited because of the intense heat (40 degrees) but we've made the most of gardening, playing, water fights and general faffing about both indoors and out and polishing off the rest of my Lemonade, Pear and Ginger Ice-Blocks (recipe coming this week).




That's my week in retrospect a pretty joyous one filled with the most important things in my world, time and love with friends and family,......oh and of course the treasure hunting,

Sunday, November 16, 2014

{My Fabulous Finds} Christmas decorating has official commenced.....

I'm calling it and saying Christmas decorating has officially started here, despite the tree, lights and decorations still all being in the roof waiting for Ben to get up there and bring them down. I'm so excited that the first Christmas decoration in place around home is my fabulous find yesterday.


For years I have been longing for a fabulous Christmas nutcracker but have never been willing to pay the extravagant prices I see on line from England and United States. But yesterday my longing and patience paid off when I stopped at just one more garage sale when I nearly wasn't going to.

He is certainly going to be a special Christmas keepsake which I will be looking forward to bringing out each year. Thank goodness for the little birdy that sat on my shoulder and told me to stop at just one more garage sale.
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