Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yay for bargain hunting.

This weekend I got a surprising shopping tip from an unexpected source. My friend Lyndsay's hubby Scott could not wait to share with me the world of amazing bargains to be had by one and all at the local Fields store in Lumby.
"Nine bags of stuff for under $60" he tells me.
The thrifty in me could not ignore the hot tip, no matter where the juicy info originated from, so I packed up the family and headed out for to find me some deals.
At first I was doubtful and wasn't finding much, but after a few minutes the goodies started to emerge, just like a good hunting trip.
Take a gander..the most I paid for any one item was $3, which was for these shoes for Miss Zoe.

Bed in a bag anyone? I picked up four of these, original price $50 & $ price $2

$2 clothing items for the ladies of the house.

Ahhhhh, I feel better now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New look

They say a change is as good as a what do you all think of my Holiday?
If any one of you have been to my house and have known me long enough you will know that I frequently change my surroundings on a regular basis...why should my blog be any different??

I'm sure that when spring arrives my blogging will begin to take on shades of green but for now it's light and white and fluffy, just like the current season.


It never ceases to amaze me how this......

turns into this....

which then turns into this... make these!!!

And that I am the one behind the steering wheel making it all happen. When I made my first batch of jam many years ago I had no idea that the thrill I got from preserving that day would still be with me so many years later, and that little popping sound that you hear when your jars have sealed almost makes me want to giggle with pride.

I made another batch of my blackberry raspberry star anise jam for a customer today and my wee little jars are headed all the way to Japan. Its so nice to hear that people enjoy what you do, it's something we mummies don't get to hear too often in our daily grind. To be recognised for something you do, other than keeping a clean house, folding laundry and showing up at school for meetings, it's very refreshing and just downright esteem boosting.

See, I just heard a "POP"......insert giggle here..!!!

So a big thank you to all of my wonderful friends and jam customers for keeping the good vibes flowing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's a winter wonderland out there.

I think the Canadian snow loving gene is slowly penetrating my Aussie sun loving being. Its been 10 years since I moved here and I would say it's taken those 10 years for me to really appreciate this insane weather.

Usually I am so in awe of the snow in the beginning of the winter, it's so pretty the way it blankets everything and makes all things look so strikingly clean and fresh....but just after Xmas something snaps inside of me ( I believe this may be the beginning of the infamous cabin fever), and I've had my fill. Counting down the days until spring and the warm sunshine becomes my daily ritual.

But this year I must say, I don't half mind the fluffy white stuff and the chilly mornings.

This year we purchased skates for the whole family and are making a wee bit of an effort to learn to skate, it's a bit embarrassing to be out there on the ice pushing around a chair for balance, I'm finding these days the fear of falling on my butt is way more scary that being laughed at because I look like an idiot.

The luge track is open for business and is better than ever. The hubby spends hours manicuring the track every year and fine tuning the angles and turns to satisfy the need for speed. It's a fine art let me tell you and he does it so well.

To keep ourselves busy inside we've been picking small projects that require no budget to complete, purging house stuff has been a big focus this year and finishing off projects long forgotten.
Here's a shot of some wall art hubby recently hung in the living room, some old saw blades we got from a farm auction.
This wall was an odd one to find art for and this seems to work well, plus..added keeps the kids from climbing on and around the couch.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Short cut lamingtons

I know, I know.......I've been a bad blogger. Sorry everyone, can I make it up to you with a recipe? I promise it will be fun and even more importantly..very, very messy.
You up for it?

All my Aussie friends, pay no attention to this one as I'm sure you can make lamingtons with your eyes have not discovered how much easier it is to cheat and use a cake mix.

LAMINGTON: a sponge cake in the shape of a cuboid, coated in a layer of traditionally chocolate icing then desiccated coconut. Lamingtons are sometimes served as two halves with a layer of cream and/or strawberry jam between, and are commonly found in Australasian outlets such as cafes, lunch bars, bakeries, and supermarkets.

So to start with simply follow your cake mix instructions and bake in a 9 x 13 pan.
Once you cake has cooled slightly, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for a few hours, this will make slicing the cake easier and it will also hold together better when dipping it into the icing mixture.

Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the dipping and coconut slathering so you'll just have to trust me and use your imagination on this one. Alternately you could also follow this link to a more detailed explanation.

For the icing you will need:

•500g (1Lb) icing sugar
•1/3 – 2/3 cup of cocoa(sifted)
•15g (1/2oz) butter
•1/2 cup milk
3 cups of dessicated coconut (sweetened)

Heat the milk slightly and add butter, stir until butter is melted. Add icing sugar and cocoa to the milk mixture and stir until combined. If your icing is runny, then good, that's what it's supposed to look like.

Now this is the messy part, be warned though. It VERY tempting to lick your fingers at this stage of the strong and wait till the end!!!
Take a wee small square cake and dip it into the chocolate icing making sure to cover all sides, quickly take the square, (I used chopsticks for this part)and roll it in the coconut, making sure to cover all six sides, gently patting the coconut into the icing.
Place on a wire rack to firm up. Once you have dipped and covered all squares feel free to lick your fingers, savour the moment.
I like to keep my lamingtons in the fridge, it makes the icing firm up and having the coating of chocolate and coconut around that cake keeps it nice and moist.

Get a load of that will ya~!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Here I go again.....

Starting off my new year with some of the usual suspects. Promises to myself that will be soon broken...getting more exercise, eating healthier, implementing better household habits, staying organized, being nicer to telemarketers....oh the list goes on.

Yesterday was a good day, even though the year has kicked off with a broken washing machine and stove, I managed to purge and clean my spice, baking and tea cupboards and fill two large bags of goodies bound for the thrift store AND actually dropped them off instead of piling them up at the front entrance for weeks.

My neighbors came over and dragged away my empty bottles, the hubby did a dump run and things are looking good. It's all about keeping the momentum going......right?????

One of my friends, whom I admire immensely, recently informed me of her families self imposed challenge to buy no STUFF for a month.
She had read about it in an old Canadian Living magazine article and her challenge began January 1st. I'm thinking that she's onto a good thing, what better time to simplify your life after the craziness of Christmas and the motivation of a new year beginning.

I'm not ready to commit to that extent yet but I'm thinking I may want to implement something along those lines sometime VERY soon.

But for now, I am going to continue purging unnecessary STUFF from my house, trying to keep on top of my mental and physical STUFF, be patient with my parenting STUFF and try to only put good STUFF into my my breakfast this morning.


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