Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blogtoberfest is over (and there is a winner)!

Blogtoberfest has made me realise I'm never really going to have something new and exciting to say here everyday! I'm never going to be a daily blogger. But I have enjoyed trying to find something exciting and interesting to say (and I think I only missed one day) - so that's 30 posts in 31 days which is a pretty good result I think!

Anyway, without further ado - I did the random generator thingo and came up with comment 43 which belongs to Naomi at Beeshebags. Naomi had a pair of white ankle boots that she wore to death and still wishes she had!
Everyone seems to have some fabulous memories of clothing from childhood - many of you had boy-short haircuts like me in the 80's, or fabulous outfits handmade for you by your mum or grandma. Some of you liked the matching outfits - others of you didn't! So funny reading all your responses.

And to prove that I have actually been doing stuff other than blogging this month - here's my latest bee block. It's the most complicated quilt block I've ever attempted! I call it Geese Flying through a Spotted Technicolour Sky!!
Anyway, here's to the end of another Blogtoberfest. Cheers!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lazy Saturday

It's your last chance to enter my Blogtoberfest giveaway (being drawn tomorrow) - click over here!

This is the penultimate post for Blogtober and I've really run out of things to say. I think a lot of others have gone through the same thing, and I've been too busy blogging to have anything new to blog about!!

Although today has been one of those days - a busy morning with swimming, soccor and a birthday party but this afternoon seemed to be free! Matilda went next door to play and Kelvin went into the garden with Trev so I've been pottering at the sewing machine. Sewing together blocks for a baby quilt, finishing off some dresses and measuring some massive muslin wraps to hem for some soon to arrive babies.

And then dinner was fish and chips with the neighbours! Easy.

So I hope you haven't run out of things to say (like I have)! I have been enjoying the challenge of trying to find something to blog about everyday but short of ditching my day job and my kids I don't think I'm ever going to find the time (and the day-to-day of my life really isn't that interesting!!).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bandana Day (and Animation Friday)

So CurlyPops has been doing Animation Friday for quite a while now and I've been wondering how to create these and thanks to The Textured Leaf I have discovered my next time waster!!

animated gif maker
Animated gif maker

So click here to waste so time (and have fun animating your family)!
And Trev bought a couple of Canteen Bandana's today and the kids decided they looked like pirates! What do you think?
To see more animations go to My Poppet!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kids on the Computer

Just before Kelvin was born Trev decided to show Matilda how to use the computer. I wasn't that keen on the computer lessons at the time (she was barely 2 years old) but it seems to be something she enjoys. She can learn new games and new things at her own pace. Games like Memory, dot-to-dots and jigsaws are all things that she likes on paper but also enjoys on the computer. She has also found some great drawing, colouring and music games that she enjoys.

Now, two years on she's a real wizz and seems keen to pass on her knowledge to her little brother!

We started out on the ABC Kids website and she particularly loved the games and videos on the Play School site and the Five Minutes More site and they were always very easy to navigate.

So what makes a good kids website? It has to be easy to navigate - not too much reading required (although there are still some words on the page), easy to click around (no clicking, holding down and dragging). The whole game should fit onto one screen (so there's no need to scroll up and down). If all these boxes are ticked then Matilda can be pretty independent playing on the computer whilst I'm pottering around her. She oftens plays whilst I'm cooking dinner and we keep the laptop on the breakfast bar so I'm right there to make sure she doesn't accidentally stray from the "safe" site.

Anyway, over the last couple of years we have started to explore other kids games sites apart from ABC. Matilda went through a masive Peppa Pig phase so we checked out that site and it's good fun - especially the mazes.

Much more recently we got into Poko and discovered the joys (and ease) of the C(anadian)BC kids website. Many of the programs are shown here in Australian and the site is so straight forward that Matilda is able to click from one game to another when she gets bored playing the games she's on.

We have tried playing Thomas the Tank Engine but I need to be hovering the whole time and everyone know how frustrating it is watching someone else drive the computer! This is the same issue we have with Angelina Ballerina and even The Wiggles sites.

So I'm interested to know if other people have computer savvy pre-schoolers (or is it just me)? Do your kids play on the computer?

The State Cinema

This is a Blogtoberfest catch up post from yesterday. Instead of blogging I went to the cinema - for the first time in at least 6 months!!

The State Cinema in North Hobart is a fabulous independent cinema. There is a great cafe in the foyer so we got down there early and grabbed a slice of berry cheesecake (for Trev) and a slice of jaffa mousse cake (for me) as well as a cup of tea! Normally we'd get a glass of wine to take into the movie but it was a school night so we decided against it.

We went to see Eat, Pray, Love. It was alright, if not a bit of a self-absorbed movie (but it was based on a biography so I suppose that was what it was supposed to be). We both enoyed the "eat" part of the film, but the "pray" part seemed to go on a bit, and the "love" bit was OK (we were just hoping that the finale didn't involve a return to New York)! It was great to go to the pictures and this film was OK, with some great scenery and an enjoyable enough story.

What did I learn from the movie? If I was going to run away from my life I'd go to Italy!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I scheduled a post for today but it's ended up going up dated last Thursday - it's here if you're really keen!! It's also delicious!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hawaii Photos - Only 6 months late!

Can anyone remember the dress that I made for Matilda? Well I promised photos from the wedding and some from our Hawaiian holiday - I'm only 6 months late in sharing!!

We spent nearly 3 weeks in Hawaii - prompted by the last of my 3 sister's-in-law getting married.

We flew into Honolulu and stayed at Waikiki for a few nights - we wished we'd stayed a bit longer. The hotel was right on the waterfront, near the toddler beach and had good eating and entertainment within walking distance. It was the only time we didn't really need a car to get around which is nice when you have kids!

We then headed to Kauai where the wedding was taking place.

The Hen's Night was an afternoon whale watching. The bride-to-be and her sister enjoyed their time and I'm banned from sharing photos from latter in the evening - it involved blue feather boas, blue knickers and a mullety blue wig too!
And the wedding was perfect, on the beach and the sunset was perfect too. The bride wore a gorgeous English gown with some amazing shell-like beading on the top and a floaty overskirt and train. Matilda thought it was great hanging out with her aunty in the white frock and sat on her lap during most of the reception!!
And our family don't scrub up too badly either!!

And the few days after the wedding were spent on the beaches and swimming lots in the pool too.
And lastly we headed to The Big Island for nearly a week. We saw volcanos, more beaches and did lots of swimming.

It was a challenge taking two young kids to Hawaii and with travel there are always things thrown at you to mess up the best laid plans! We missed an internal flight and ended up on a standby list for half the day, and we also ended up having to spend a night in Sydney because of a missed connection back to Hobart which was very challenging after a 10+ hour flight!
The wedding was fabulous. Hawaii is pretty kid friendly. It's a great beach holiday location (although a bit on the pricey side when compared to Fiji, Bali etc). We had fun!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Powder Your Nose!

Matilda got a little butterfly-shaped compact containing eyeshadow powder, along with some hair accessories at The Show yesterday.

She decided it needed to be applied to every inch of her face!

At least there's not much left so this can only happen a few more times before it's all used up. Thank goodness!
Matilda, you are 4 (not 14) and gorgeous without all that goo all over your face - you don't need to grow up so fast!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Two days outside and the kids are shattered!

We've had two beautiful sunny days in Hobart and we've been pretty busy with it. So much so that Kelvin fell asleep on Trev's lap tonight (this is the kids who will not go to sleep in his big boy bed without me laid beside him).

Anyway, last night we decided to hit the "sandy playground" with some friends and have pizza for tea (and a sneeky beer) in the sultry psuedo-summer evening! It was surprisingly quiet at this very, very popular playground on such a lovely evening but it meant that our tribe of 6 kids under 5 could explore freely and feel like they ruled the place!

Captaining the stationary boat!

Singing songs from "Annie" at the top of your lungs whilst playing the bongos!
Getting ready to launch down the fireman's pole.
And climbing up the slide when you know you're not really meant to!

It was one of the best evenings we've had in a long time - spent outside with some of our wonderful friends, the people our kids are going to grow up with. I feel like I have been really lucky with my Mother's Group - the mum's are all intelligent, caring and fun people to be around; married to gentle-giant men; raising and ecclectic bunch of beautiful, funny, energetic and challenging children. As a female engineer I have often missed out on developing close female friendships within the workplace, and I didn't really go in for the bitchy-cliche that was girls at high school so although I sometimes feel I come across as awkward and incensitive with my Mum's Group friends I also feel like they "get" me - which is great, and I'm grateful!
Yes, that is Kelvin deliberately falling off the merry-go-round!

And today after swimming lessons for Tilda and soccor for Kelvin we pottered in the garden before deciding on the spur of the moment to go to the Royal Hobart Show. We didn't get there until about 3pm but we managed to avoid the show bags, pat some animals (which Kelvin adored, Matilda was a bit timid) and have a ride on the dodgem cars. Walking through the dog pavillion we were handed two inflatable dogs on wheels because they couldn't be bothered deflating them to pack away.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Apparently Daddy chopped off their feet with a sword!!

Kelvin looking a bit sick of the paparazzi!

And now they both look like they have a visual impairment as well as a lower limb missing!!

It's lovely playing in the sandpit on the deck in the sunshine!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pesto Pasta Salad

With the arrival of the sunshiny weather we have been eating outside a bit more. And that means easy meals and lots more salady stuff!

We tried this new Pesto Pasta Salad the other day and it was delicious. It reminds me of the Marks & Spencers Salad I would regularly eat for lunch when we were living in the UK all those years ago!
Cook 500g curly pasta, stir through a jar of green pesto (we used the Leggo's one - or you could make your own). Then tip on a 200g punnet of cherry tomatos and crumble on some fetta and eat it up (accompanied by a glass of cold white wine). We ate it warm but the recipe suggested letting the pasta cool down before assembling the dish - we couldn't wait that long!!

My kids liked the pasta and dodged the tomatos and cheese. But I don't let that stop me cooking things I like to eat!!Go and check out more Easy Peasy Dinner Winners over at Frog, Goose & Bear!

Jeans for 4 and into the Garden

It was Hobart Show Day today so none of our usual rushing about the place and Dad was home too! So after a slow start we all pulled on our jeans and headed into our back garden to try and control the weeds, prepare a place for a swing set arriving for Christmas and to plant some pumpkins (hopefully to grow uncontrolled and smother the weeds at the bottom of the hill)!!
(That's the pumpkin patch covered in pea straw and you can see our quite pleasant purple flowered weeds that have taken over)
The kids split their time between the garden and the hammock. The dog enjoyed having everyone outside with her!
And after dinner on the deck I was mezmerised by the blue sky and the fluffy clouds!
And tomorrow will see everything back to the normal busy-ness.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More Op-shop Goodness

Yes, I missed yesterday in Blogtoberfest but I had nothing to say and the computer was really slow and I was watching Packed to the Rafters!

Anyway, I had a fabulous day at a couple of the op shops near my work today! Got an absolute mass of stuff and change from $20 - I love a good op shop day.
Anyway I ended up with some music books...
A green heart sheet and some other fabrics...
And the very best Atlas from 1961!

And if you can guess which item cost me the most and how much I paid for it I'll send you some of my favourite chocolate truffles from Anvers! First correct is the winner. If there are no correct answers by Monday 25 October then the winner will be the closest to the price paid! I'll post this overseas but can't guarantee that they won't be melted in transit - they'll still taste good though!

If you haven't yet, please enter my other Blogtoberfest giveaway here!

EDITED: This giveaway closed. Correct answer was The Atlas for $6.50, and Teresa guessed it correctly!! The Heart Sheet was the best bargain at $2.50 and everything else was a dollar or less! Thanks for joining in. Blogtoberfest Giveaway still open until next week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Move along, nothing to see here!

It's been a long day - thanks to a very longwinded meeting that didn't start until 6pm. I've been home for an hour, the kids are finally in bed and I've had dinner, am in my pj's and enjoying my evening cuppa accompanied by one of these...
...and one of these!
Solo parenting is hard work - hats off to those of you doing it fulltime! And big thanks to Granma's who can pick up the slack while Dad is away.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Big Boy Bed!

We decided to move Kelvin into a big boys bed.

At bedtime he's been running down the stairs in order to beat Matilda into her bed, where he promptly jumps under the covers and lies down and says "my bed"!

He was very excited. Matilda was also very excited.

Anyway, we got the disused single bed from my mother-in-law's place and set it up today and tonight we tried to get him to sleep in it. The doona cover is a great op-shop find (I love it, so does Kelvin).

It's 9:20pm and I think he may have finally dozed off (after I lay with him for a bit). He's been upstairs about 5 times since bedtime. He is so different to his sister who didn't realise she could get out of her bed until about 12 months after she moved into it - preferring to yell out in the evening and over night for mum or dad to do her bidding!! Matilda didn't sleep at all well in a cot and was into a big girls bed at 23 months and her sleeping and settling improved.

Speaking of Matilda - what about this face? Ask her to smile and this is what I get!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Right Place, Right Time!

It's been a great Saturday morning. Matilda had her swimming lesson this morning and was being pushed a bit more than usual! This was thanks to me becoming one of "those" parents - swimming this term has really, really bothered me for some reason. I decided that after one year of swimming lessons (30 classes and $450) she should be able to swim, even just a little bit. I know she's only 4 but she also a bit lazy when it comes to extending herself - so I rang the pool to see what could be done. I was thinking I'd have to pay for some private lessons or withdraw altogether (and go swimming with her myself) but they were fabulous and said there was an extra instructor and that they'd split the beginners class so there was more one on one time for everyone. Anyway, I feel like a weight has lifted - but it makes me wonder how I'll be once Matilda gets to school - will I have unrealistic expectations of her abilities? Will I become one of "those" parents, and is that a bad thing? Anyway, we'll see how it goes next year when she starts kinder!!

So after swimming, we went and had cino's all 'round with Sarah and Doots and then wandered over the road to The Quilted Crow to fondle the fabric before heading home. Anyway, both Sarah and I made purchases and then Leonie very generously gave the girls everything from her scrap bucket and then said she had some unwanted samples out the back if they'd like them. Well the scraps were generally fabulous fabrics (with a couple of daggy fabrics too) - is it bad that I want to hide a couple of the nicer fabrics to use for myself?
I was thinking we might be able to make some Cabbage Patch clothes from the samples but instead we decided to make a wreath with the thin scraps.
We cut the strips to about 10cm lengths (measured by wrapping them around the cereal box cardboard), stretched a wire coat hanger to resemble a circle and then tied the strips on the coat hanger. A lot of the scraps we ended up with were off-cuts from the Riley Blake Rainy Days & Mondays fabric line so look quite Chrismassy with all that red and green - now to work out how to hang it to our front door in December!!