Monday, December 31, 2012

Roly Poly

I was looking for a jam roll recipe when I came across this from Wesley's Grandma's Recipe Book -

A roly poly. I have only seen it before being made by Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall and that one had suet in it and was being steamed. This one is baked in the oven and has butter instead of suet.

This recipe has only 4 ingredients and one of those is water! How thrifty is that??? It's easy too. Stirring 100g of grated butter (freeze it before you grate it) through 1 1/2 cups of SR flour, then pour 1/2 cup of water in and when it starts to clump together bring it into a ball, roll out into rectangle, spread jam over (I used homemade plum jam) and roll up. Bake for 30 mins at 180 deg Celsius.  Easy and did I mention delicious?!!

I took it out to Mum and Dad's place where we had it with a bit of custard. Mum told me that the last time she could remember eating it was as a child though she did think they may have made it in Home Economics at high school.

In a baking mood yesterday morning I also did a loaf of bread to take out and these Banana and Caramel Choc Chip Muffins. Yum but not healthy.... well it does have banana in it so maybe..... yeah probably not!

I am planning to make sure I have more time to cook, bake and sew. Doing the things I really love doing, in between all the things I have to do will definately make my life more rewarding.

What's your favourite homey thing to do?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What a Month!

December is always a crazy month but this year it went by so fast It felt like I had no time for anything. I have a list of the things I didn't get done for Christmas but it came and we had a lovely day.

I was particularly pleased at how much the kids loved their gifts even though there wasn't as many as we had made a deliberate decision to cut back. And you know what? They didn't even notice. I am going to do more (any!!!)  handmade gifts next year......really I am!

Over the next week I am going to try and put a few things in place so that I don't feel like I am always racing the clock. Since starting my new role I have been coming home and not really doing anything other than what is absolutely necessary and I don't like it. So I am going to think on how to get ack on a more even keel.

I have had the last few days off and a been trying to make round coasters but they aren't lookin right. See???

It's not right.  The top one is finished. Doesnt sit right at all. Ideas??

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New/Old Bikes

We have been pretty lucky this week in being given four bikes for free! They all need to have tyres pumped and checked for punctures and the chains need a good grease but other than that they are all in pretty good condition.

Here are three of them, the other is red so will obviously go faster!
They were languishing in a garage that a workmate of Dave's is cleaning out. They were his kids bikes but were barely ridden and now his are all grown up and they have found a new home!

Don't cha just love free stuff? And in fact I will have a few other free or cheap spoils to show you soon!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Catch Up: Sewing

Over the last week or so I have been behind the machine doing all the things that I love. But because I am such a conscientious person (is that choking I hear??) I did all the mending first which had been sitting there for a month. Though I do deserve Brownie points for putting the hem back up on Dave's pants BY HAND!!!

I made Amelia some dresses, this was the sewing that I was really keen to do and happily spent my whole flex day doing it.

This dress does have a white ribbon that comes out of the elastic casing but I hadn't put it in when I took these pics. Both these dresses are Simplicity 1895 which is from the "Shape it Up" collection. It's a Disney show.

I love the ric-rac detail on this one. Amelia picked the material out herself. It looks cool and summery.

I made some more pinafores for Ava and some matching pants. There is another pair of lime green ones too.

And a pair of Winne the Pooh boxers to add to a Christmas present. The material was really tricky - so slippery!! It isn't my best work but probably only noticable to a fellow sewer.

Finally here is one of the two materials I have bought for Evan's nappy covers, I have made them now but look how cute this material is...

Evan is obviously going places!!

That's my sewing up to date. I have ideas for some other projects but maybe for after Christmas.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Catch Up: Backyard

We had a big backyard clean up the weekend before last, the worst bit was hand weeding the pavers, the tips of my fingers hurt even with gloves on but I didn't want to use poison.

Its weeded!
I got some new cushions for the back deck, the were $5 each reduced from $13 so I was pretty happy with that and it makes the deck look a little bit swanky!! Heee!

Looking good
The other thing I am lovin is my apple tree, that actually has apples on it. It is so good!

I have ideas for the front yard but whether they happen or not is a completely different story.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bee Happy

I had a lovely surprise on Friday. I had covered a workmate (and friend's) job on Wednesday and Thursday as she had been committed to work elsewhere. Look what she brought me back as a thank you!

Bush honey from Tenterfield, she said she saw it as she was driving and thought of me. Must mean I am sweet! Ha Ha! How nice is she? I am delighted and a lovely end to a busily weird week! Thank you Kim!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Catch Up: Wedding Road Trip

What a few weeks!

Three weeks ago my parents, my two sisters and me went on a road trip to my niece's wedding at Mt Tambourine. It was like reverting to childhood with Mum, Dad and us three girls in the car!!! Scary!!

We got to the border!! Kate is pretty excited!
We only turned back once, about 10 kms in, to retrieve shoes for the wedding and I am happy to say that we didnt have a fight on the way up....or the way back, hard to believe hey?

It was pretty exciting just to be there! Dad walked  Kel down the aisle and he was looking good in his suit!

Looking good for 78 Dad!
The wedding rehearsal was funny, Kel looked like a bride from Big Gypsy Wedding with her shorts on and practicing in her heels.

We rented a house and the birds were awesome! We all loved them!

Of course for the main event I have zero pictures as some very smart cookie left their camera at the rental house!! But it was the best ceremony I have every been to, unique, personal and touching. I cried the whole way through!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


We have painters doing their thing to our garage at the moment. They aren't the most tidy, clean or thoughtful people.

The washing is mine but I am so over the rubbish that they have thoughtful unearthed and then let fly around the yard in the wind. And yes that is part of a tree they cut down and left ON TOP OF MY ONIONS!

Ah hem, well they are all most done and they have done a really really good job so maybe I should take my butt and do some picking up and less bitching....maybe.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What's Growing?

After a lovely holiday filled with lazy days and beautiful weather it was back home. To say we have had some unexpected weather would be an understatement!

Last Thursday the wind was so blustery it could have literally blown a dog off its chain! Then came Friday where we had snow falling about 3 kms away. Snow. On October 12. Then yesterday we had a very very thick frost, just to let us know that we are in no way in control! All I could think of were my tomato plants and how I was told to wait til the end of October but I got a bit carried away with the warm weather.. I am so happy to report they live to see another day.

View from the cabin
I feel like I need a day off just to get stuck into all those jobs that I have on my 'to do' list! Though I should be able to get more done now that daylight savings has started. I love daylight savings!!!

Cherries for Christmas
Strawberries in less than a week

Dwarf peach has little baby peaches on it already

Potatoes done as seen on Gardening Australia

Silverbeet, carrots and beetroot - more to go in soon

Tomato plants not killed by frost


Asparagus, its very pretty and ferny

Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting - Mmmmm

Back to work for four days then heading off to Queensland for a wedding!! Tomorrow I will show the ugley bit of the garden now that you have seen the good bits!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I Made Buttonholes!

Aren't I just too clever?? Lol!!!

After bemoaning the dodgy buttonholes my machine was making and very nearly doing a sneaky with Ava'a pinafores I went right back to the start. brushing out lint, rethreading the machine, new bobbin and a new attitude. I can do this, just because I haven't doesn't mean I can't.

And guess what? I did it and better yet they actually look good.

I didn't end up going with the covered buttons bt had a family confab in the sewing shop to decide on the buttons. As you can see we went for orange and sparkley white.

I am really happy that I don't have to avoid or do work arounds for patterns with buttons anymore!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Birthday Archery

Yesterday was Dave's 36th birthday. I'm telling him he has turned thirty sexy!! He is only somewhat amused. Funny that.  Anyhoo, we went down and bought his recurve bow that we had put away and half a dozen arrows. He is loving his bow who I have named Shirley (and yes there is a bit of a convoluted reason for it).

For the love of Shirley
We went out to the outdoor archery range for a picnic and so Dave could shoot Shirley.Sounds a little mafia but it is really lovely out there. It is about 5 kms out of  town and quiet, quiet enough to hear the birds. A guy who is in the archery club and knew Dave was getting Shirls came out and took both Dave and Wes around the course.

Wes shooting with his compound bow
They both had a good time even though they both lost an arrow and broke one each! You would think that with neon fletches on the end of the arrows it wouldn't be to hard to find but they both stayed lost.

Targets are wool bales filled with a bunch of different stuff
Amelia and I stayed at the picnic area and collected leaves, took pictures of  interesting things we found and went for a stroll. We couldn't walk too far as we were both wearing thongs and the snakes are already out and about.

Sorting leaves into colours

We will definately be going out again, it was a really nice few hours and it was really fun for Dave to get to shoot on his birthday.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Catching Up

I had today off work and whilst I really really wanted to have a complete lazy day I just had to catch up on a few things.

I got up early to get the wash done and dry as early as I could as we have been having afternoon storms, yesterday we even had a fairly awesome hailstorm that somehow didn't penetrate our back yard or specifically the newly planted tomato plants! Lucky! So four loads later that was done - phew!

I needed to hem up pants for a work mate, the new uniform arrived and her pants were 10cm too long! Yep she is on the short side but they are a really long pant. I even had to take mine up a couple of cm's and I am 5ft 8in. So I did hers and mine at the same time and that was another job done.

Amelia's school summer uniforms needed to be taken down as she has grown over the winter and she will be back in the uniforms after the school holidays that start on Saturday. I had planned to do this last Sunday but that didnt happen....that was the story of my Sunday.

The afternoon was rounded off by a lovely dentist visit, but my dentist is a lovely lovely man and is personable and doesn't overcharge.

Other than the dentist trip, all the other stuff I had slotted to get done on Sunday but as usual life intervened. Wes need help rolling out some icing for a home ec assessment that was due Monday, he also had a science experiment due, Amelia had a friend over to play and Dave has started a course where my role as proof reader is encroaching on my sewing time!

I am looking to have a sewing Sunday this weekend, Dave's bday is Saturday so we will be picnicing out at the outdoor archery range as he is getting a bow. Its in a pretty spot, hopefully the weather will be kind.

What do you need to catch up on?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Outfit for Ava

Just have to share the cutest outfit! The pinafore is from Smashed Peas and Carrots, it is very very cute though I have yet to sort the button dilemma, being that my machine is currently making dodgy buttonholes...hmm what to do.

Here it is...

The matching nappy cover comes from MADE. They are quick and easier than I thought. And here is the back, I love the purple and orange!

Until tomorrow, I will have a whinge about not getting anything done!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


What a couple of weeks! They have really flown by, I can not believe we are into the second week of September already.... its crazy!

It was Wesley's 15th birthday this week and tonight he is having some friends staying over. They are making homemade pizzas for dinner and playing video games etc. The dining/family room has been turned into a boy cave for the night!!

Last Sunday was Father's Day and we had a nice relaxing day. I cooked breakfast for Dave and my Dad, went to the local markets and then came home and weeded and weeded and weeded.

Wes made this chocolate malteser cake for Fathers Day
At work this week it has been the story of lots of customers and not enough staff, so it has meant being constantly on the go dealing with one thing or another. I have been doing dinner, reading and going to bed early. It has been tiring.

I have had a chance to make up some newspaper seed pots, I saw these in Urban Homestead book (I think).

And I made the potato cage thingy that was shown on last weeks Gardening Australia.

And this morning when I had a wander in the garden the dwarf peach tree had its first blossom! I was rather excited. Not as excited as I was when I spied the first asparagus spear popping its head up this week! Wont be eating any for a couple of years but exciting none the less!

like most NSW folks I voted this morning in our local council elections. There are 3 or 4 new people running this time and I am really hoping they get in, so the council has a new injection of life and hopefully fresh ideas in it!!

How was your week? Busy?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day Off

Today has been my first rostered day off since starting in my new position. I have to work an extra 25 mins a day to get my day off but its really not that big a deal as I usually work till 5 anyway and have 50 mins instead of an hour for lunch. So I kind of get a day off every four weeks for working my usual hours.

I was up at 5.30 to see that Wes made it to the bus  on time as they are off to Ag-Quip. He isn't back until 7 tonight and will probably be very tired. Its alot of travelling in one day but Gunnedah is close enough that its not worth staying overnight.

I put some washing on, got tonights dinner ready and did the dishes, then went and had an extra hour in bed. Ahhhhhhh.

I spent this morning in the garden weeding. Not that you can really tell I spent all that time in there! But I do have the wheelbarrow as proof!

My winter garden has been pretty sad incomparison with last year. Everything has grown really slowly except for the first lot of broccoli which bolted really quickly.

I have just left them. They are pretty and the bees are totally loving them. I saw a bee that had so much pollen that I just don't know how he managed to take off!

I also made an orange cake with white chocolate icing which I got from Inner Pickles blog and is totally yummo. I will be using that icing on everything that moves.

Finally this afternoon Amelia and I pick some flower for the table. It is remarkable that anything grows in the front yard at all!

I am off to finish Radical Homemakers, what a great book, I highly recommend it to everyone.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pioneer Girl

Amelia's class went to the Pioneer Village today. They panned for sapphires, went to the blacksmiths shop and had damper with honey for morning tea. They went to pioneer school and the church. They played running games and had an all round fun time. 10/10 was the verdict!

They needed to wear pioneer clothes, so last weekend we made this;

The skirt material was donated by my sister (Thanks again Linda!) which was also the material on her head kerchiefy thing. The lace and wide ribbon I bought and the white shirt was from the legacy shop and that was a dollar I think.

I cut the blouse down as it was a womens size small. I added lace down the front and on the cuffs. I think she looks really good and she was loving it.

She is fast asleep now- being a pioneer must be very tiring!