10 Oct 2014

School holiday musings

Lately, I've become an even slacker blog writer. It feels like my other roles are a little more organised though. The housekeeping side is looking fairly organised. Routines are happening to keep us in a fairly good state. Not clear bench tops or daily vacuuming or anything extreme like that, but no descent into chaos either.

The children have been enjoying their school holidays. We've managed a few days away down at the Tumut Caravan Park, which was very nice. Fishing was apparently high on the list of things the kids wanted to do, so they fished. Unsuccessfully, but still. They're having a sleepover with their cousins right now, which is why I'm still awake. (Surely they'll sleep soon.) We've done a workshop at the library on stop-go animation and seen a movie. It's a late surge of activity before school returns on Monday.

Here's a badly focused sample of what we learnt at the workshop;

I'm always excited at the beginning of school holidays, and pleased at the end.

Thinking of school returning, it's time for me to start getting serious about Christmas. My series last year of aiming to do ten Christmas crafts in 100 days was a failure, but I was pleased with everything I made. It's time for list making; crafts, gifts, and plans in general. And yes, quite possibly a Pinterest board or two as planning tools.

30 Aug 2014


The last three weeks have been full of visiting. My sister and her three children have visited from England. We spent as much time as possible together, along with my local sister and her three children, and our parents.

So it's been busy, with meals for fifteen being a regular occurrence. We visited attractions around Canberra, enjoyed a long weekend together down the coast at Merimbula and then a last weekend together at our parents home.

It was so nice, spending time together.

31 Jul 2014

Letting go of books

Rearranging, sorting and decluttering have been major activities in our home for the last few months.  I've finally got the bookcases where they need to be, the daybed is set up (if not quite dressed) and the new computer use areas established.

Here's one of our bookcases, neatly sorted and in it's new home.

I love reading. I visit the library often and always have a book on the go.  The decluttering of my books has been really hard to do.  I'm a re-reader, so have read all of my books at least three times. Luckily, my Mum's Bushfire Brigade have an annual booksale to raise money, so there's a guilt-free outlet for my discards.  My primary school teacher Uncle has taken a large box of kids books to use in his classroom when their library isn't permitting borrowing.   These are great places for our books to be,

There's been one set though that I've hesitated about.  It's my Patricia Cornwell books.  There's 21 of them on my shelf.  I discovered these with my friend Kim .  We read devoured them simultaneously as they were published, and we scared ourselves silly talking about them.  They were CSI in book form, before it ever hit our screens.  They're the reason we were thrilled to see a Medical Examiner's van when visiting New York City.

It's time to let them go.  I don't want my kids reading this kind of book for a while yet, and I can always get them from the library. I think Kim would have approved of this refining of my collection - she used to reserve a day of her holidays from work to declutter the pantry and linen closet.

So I'm doing one last re-read, and then they'll be joining the others at the booksale.

And after all, I am just letting go of the books.  The memories are mine.

24 Jul 2014

Our Frozen Party

Disney's movie Frozen has been a big hit in our house. We can all sing "Let It Go" at the drop of a hat, and most of the other songs too. My favourite is Cowboys smell better than Reindeer, which scans, drives my children wild with the inaccuracy, and encourages me to think fondly of cowboys. All good things.

It was an obvious and pretty theme for my daughter's recent birthday party. She was hesitant at first, thinking it a little childish, but when her friends also could sing along knew it was a cool choice.

Pinterest was a great help with sourcing ideas, and the party went well.

The games included ballon racing. A little tricky to hold a balloon with your knees when wearing a complete princess costume but they managed it.

We also had a challenge of carrying smarties with the help of a straw, and a version of The Chocolate Game.

I was thrilled when the birthday girl requested a pavlova for her cake - simple to make AND decorate. And super delicious.

I enjoyed decorating for the party. One of the best things I saw on Pinterest was making a frozen hollow globe of ice as a candle holder. It turned out to be trickier than the description of just freezing a balloon of water and draining out the excess. The first few either froze completely through, or cracked when I tried to drain the centre. After this, I inserted one balloon inside another, which was quite simple by rolling the inner balloon. I then blew up the inner balloon and tied it off. Then I filled the outer balloon with water, and tied it off. It froze well, and it was very easy to remove the balloons at party time.

The downside of all this was that the freezer was full of balloons! We put them in the front garden, and some of the solid globes lasted three whole days in our wintery weather. Oh, and the candles weren't protected enough from the wind by the icy sides and blew out pretty much straight away.

And a happy face like this makes it all worthwhile.