30 Mar 2014

Making Everyday Easier - breakfast sorted!

Lately, I've only been blogging when something exciting happens. Like a holiday. We've been on a few holidays in the last year, so that's helped.

Everyday life has been feeling more demanding, and I've barely done any crafting, so there hasn't been any finished crafty projects to show off. So I'm trying to think of ways of getting ahead and organised.

Pinterest has been full of suggestions, and today I've been trying out make ahead breakfasts. My children love to eat an egg for breakfast, and I'm very happy for that to continue - great protein source, sustained energy, and it doesn't take them an hour to eat. (Sadly, cereal does actually take an hour to eat. It's infuriating!)

I baked eggs in silicon cups for about 10 minutes in a moderate oven.

I brushed the cups with a little melted butter for non-stick insurance, and they slipped right out.

One child prefers plain egg, and other wanted bacon and a little cheese on their egg muffin. I cooked the bacon in the oven too, since it was already on.

Pinterest suggested wrapping the finished muffins in paper towel, since the best microwave results are achieved by cooking in it.

So the muffins are in the freezer, and we'll be taste testing in the morning. Apparently one minute in the microwave will do it.

I'm looking forward to it; easy cooking, and no washing up of that little frypan every day.

13 Mar 2014

Getting our groove back

School's back, the kids are attending art and ballet classes three afternoons a week, and it feels like we're right back into things. Not smoothly of course, since we're still tending to anxiety as the default setting, but we're showing up. This is a win.

My energy's consumed with worrying and (mostly) relief on a daily basis. Any left over is being spent on maintaining the house in some sort of order.

I'm way behind with my knitting, but am working on it. The last few weeks, I've been arriving at school to pick the children up half an hour early, and spending the time knitting. It used to be I'd get two rows done while waiting, but the shawl is growing, and I'm down to about a row and a half. Slow but steady.

I'm also thinking about a new quilt project (well, maybe more than one...) and I think these are the fabrics I want to use;

Your thoughts are welcome. I think something's missing from this combination, but since it's a round robin style quilt I might just start anyway. I can always introduce it when I figure out what's needed.

It's quite possible I should finish something rather than start something new. That's what Mum would say anyway.

2 Mar 2014

Our late January Queensland family holiday

Over the last few years, we've had our family summer holiday in the last week of school holidays. This has worked well for us, since the ACT has one of the latest school starting dates in Australia.  Typically the high prices are over, and crowds are much smaller.

I always plan out how we can drive up there... and DH always persuades me that flying is better.  This time we travelled with QANTAS, and flew in and out of Brisbane. It all went very smoothly.

We spent a couple of nights up on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, primarily to go to Australia Zoo, which we haven't visited for a long time. My parents gave us a pass to visit the Zoo for our Christmas presents, for which we are very appreciative. This time, we stayed at Novotel Twin Waters Resort, and it was lovely. The lagoon was great to swim in - and the water trampoline very popular with the children. I'm glad we found a great deal with them.

We then drove down to the Gold Coast.  We stayed two nights at the Surfers Paradise Marriott, and loved it. Their saltwater pool with tropical fish was fabulous, the beds luxurious, and the staff so keen to look after us. It was my favourite place to stay on this trip.  It also made me realise how easily I could settle into a do-nothing except swim and read type holiday.

Then it was on to the Seaworld Resort, thanks to a great deal purchased through Cudo. We used this same deal last year, and enjoyed it again.

The deal includes entry to SeaWorld, MovieWorld and Wet and Wild. We've gotten to know these parks quite well, so often split days between two, just doing the highlights. We've never visited before, but this time we also went to Paradise Country, which is set up to give an impression of an Australian farm.

The resort was very busy, with large groups visiting from China celebrating the Chinese New Year.

We also decided to splurge on a visit to the Outback Spectacular. When in the theme parks, there are discounted tickets for sale. The tickets are for the performance that evening.  I was blown away by the show.  It was truly spectacular, with plenty of horses, cattle and singing throughout.  Dinner was also fabulous, and very well organised to be served throughout the show.

The show reminded me of what I was think was the reason for the inclusion of the riders in the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony.  It might have been different if I was there in the stadium, but the intimacy of the space, and feeling the breeze as they galloped past truly evoked the romance of the outback, in a way which wasn't done in that enormous, mostly televised event.

So much fun.

We returned home, with a day to buy any last minute school purchases, and then we've been back to routine. Somewhat.

As per usual, this post is not sponsored by anyone. Except my parents, who gave us Zoo tickets for Christmas. But we had such a good time I thought I'd mention all the details anyway.