Thursday, December 18, 2014

In which we search for the perfect gift...

It must be close to Christmas because this morning the Mr. announced that we should probably start our Christmas shopping.  We entered the first shop and he gestured at an item on the display table nearest the entrance.  

"How about that for my mum?" he asked.

"Um… it's $1000.  Do you think that might be vaguely out of our price range?" I replied, my voice an octave higher than usual.  He huffed and gave me a look that made it clear I was just being difficult.

"I'm really good at Christmas shopping," he proclaimed. "It's easy when you're not here."

Meanwhile Turi selected himself an oven thermometer and announced that he would really like "this little clock".  No matter what kind of store we are in, Turi always manages to find something he desperately 'needs'.  He is like a little bower bird finding treasures on every shelf while I helplessly shriek after him, "touch with your eyes, not your hands!!".  I can totally relate though.  I keep finding items I want for myself… a gorgeous new basket perfect for veggie box, a set of vintage wooden mooncake moulds, some cute little ceramic berry baskets.  And yet, somehow when I'm looking for other people all I can see are ceramic pineapples.

By the end of the day I was so exhausted, I was staggering about like a drunken schoolie in platform stripper heals.  Sadly I'll be heading back to the shops again tomorrow, to finish off the last few gifts.

These photos are totally unrelated because who takes photos when they're shopping?  These are from yesterdays play group at the beach.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

In which I randomly resume blogging...

I'm resisting the urge to be completely overtaken by Christmas panic!  This end of the year seems to be an endless whirlwind of christmas parties, school breakups, concerts, Kris Kringles, and catch-ups with friends.  Any one of these events taken individually would be great fun but the ceaseless back to back celebrating is making my eye twitch.  I'm starting to wish I could hide behind the Christmas tree in my pyjamas, with a copy of Great Expectations until the parties are all over!!  I haven't even started my Christmas shopping and it's less than a week until we celebrate with my side of the family.  But instead of spiralling into complete scrooge-like behaviour, I'm popping on the Christmas carols, channelling Mary and trying to emanate an aura of calm ("It's totally fine Joseph, don't worry about the manure.  I'll just birth our baby on this hay bale and he can sleep in the feed trough.")

In pursuit of this calm, today we headed to a local berry farm to pick a mountain of juicy Logan, Silvan, Young and Boysen berries.  We'll package up our goodies for teacher gifts.  It was great to avoid the shops, support a local family and get the kids involved in the gift gathering.

While we're on a berry theme I thought I'd sneak in some pics of the berry tarts I made for last night's CFA christmas bash… because yum!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

In which Minty wants to be less 'Sonny' and more Cher...

Minty has developed a recent aversion to all pants and shorts.  This probably isn't helped by the odd stranger calling her 'Sonny' due to her pixie hair cut (this recently happened while she was wearing a dress and I wasn't sure whether to be excited by their liberal attitude that boys could wear dresses too, or horrified by the fact that they thought only boys could have short hair).  Anyway, I felt it would be largely impractical for Mint to wear dresses for sports lessons so I needed to come up with some kind of solution.  Rather than hunting around for child hair extensions I decided to sew a pair of 'feminine' yet practical shorts.  I opted for the Oliver +S puppet show pattern and Mint was very happy with them.

Before you all message me to let me know about the existence of 'skorts', I'm aware.  They just sort of freak me out, like a liger or a 'splade' or something and in any case, I've never had any success selling the idea to Mint either.

Monday, February 3, 2014

In which the children brawl over a magic mirror...

Life is fairly chaotic at the moment.  This morning we were running late for school and the kids were having an epic brawl in the back seat of the car.  I went to glance in the rear vision mirror to see what all the ruckus was about and then realised the mirror wasn't there.  So I glanced over my shoulder to find the two of them wrestling over the said mirror.  I don't even know how this is possible.

Turi (bless) doesn't know what to do with himself when his sister is at school.  When he isn't staging an epic tantrum to demand that his needs are immediately met, all he wants to do is veg out on the couch watching 'The Brave Little Toaster' until his sister returns.  I have to had to work very hard to divert his attention.  At one point he even watched half of 'Chicken Little' in Dutch because he was too scared to ask me to change the audio track to English in case I made him turn it of!!  Here he is, looking very innocent and playing with his 'box props'.  This brief contentment lasted all of ten minutes.  Thank god kinder goes back tomorrow.  I am exhausted.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

DIY icy-pole moulds!

We're going through a bit of an icy-pole making obsession around these parts!  Since I don't have icy-pole moulds I've come up with my own DIY method. 

Basically I just blend up a combination of fruit, juice, yoghurt and/or milk.  I've also made some yummy ones with coconut milk (great for visitors with dairy intolerance!)  Here are some of the combinations I've made so far…

- Coconut and pineapple
- Watermelon, yoghurt and lime (Minty calls this one a 'Flamingo Fling'!)
- Peach and yoghurt (with a splash of maple syrup)
- Berry, banana and yoghurt
- Orange and raspberry

The mix then gets poured into plastic cups, freeze for about 45mins then add a popsicle stick (you can get big packs at the $2 shop) and freeze for about 6 hours.  To get them out just run the cup under the hot tap for a couple of seconds.  I then pop them into zip lock bags for storing in the freezer.  I wash out the bags and cups and reuse them to minimise waste.  This means I can make icy-poles in bulk and have lots of flavours on hand for hot days and after school snacks!