Friday, December 16, 2011

Spearman family soda bread

In a large bowl, add the following ingredients:

270g Plain Flour
300g Self Raising Flour
1 teaspoon of Bicarb Soda (make sure you crush it in your hand so there are no lumps)
1 tablespoon of Caster sugar
600 ml Buttermilk

And now the all important part of the process - which is super easy once you see it, but not that easy to explain in words.. So below is a demonstration from my Mother in law Lily..

Happy baking!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

today you are ONE

Andrew, today you are one. 
Right now you're still warm and sleeping soundly in your cot - but soon you will be awake.  
We can hardly wait to scoop you out and start today with you. 
This afternoon we will have a party for you, and you can eat as much cake as you like.  
You will be celebrated by all our family, friends and loved ones. 
They will look at photos of you and marvel at how much you've changed this year.
They will squeeze your cheeks and your expression will make them laugh.

You bring everyone around you so much joy Andrew Lucas, and we love you so much.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas parties

On Sunday we went to Simon's work 'family' christmas party.  It was held in the carpark of their office, and cost $25 per child.  It was his/our first time attending, and it was fantastic. There were rides, an animal farm, a magician, and of course Santa arrived and handed out the best presents to every child.

It was really nice to meet so many people I'd heard Si mention, and also watch him introduce his kids to his workmates - who'd obviously heard so much about them.  I tell you - those Electricians sure know how to breed :)  and I know it's a generalisation, but I reckon they all love their family's too.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

christmas sweets

The annual 'get together and make the christmas sweets' event has been and gone for 2011. Four generations of women got together last friday and cooked/rolled our way through approx 8 batches of rumballs, 4 batches of gingernut balls, 2 trays of rocky road, and 2 trays of spiders (recipes are written out below - after the photo's in this blog post)..

My daughter, myself, my mother, my Nana and my mother in law spent the day together preparing for another festive season and enjoying one another's company. Lola is still a bit young to be of much help (even getting her to roll the rumballs in the coconut was a bit of a challenge), but maybe by next year she'll be a lot happier to join in.  However she did enjoy putting up Nana's christmas tree after the baking was done.  Andrew was there too of course, but he was happy crawling around and eating sultanas off the floor - so I didn't count him as one of the 'helpers'.

It really was a fun day, and I am so lucky to have such wonderful mothers in my life.

Nana Brown's rum balls

8 weetbix
1 cup mixed fruit
1 cup coconut
2 tablespoons of cocoa
1 tin of condensed milk
2 tablespoons of rum

Mix together, roll into small balls, roll in more coconut.

Gingernut balls

90g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 cup condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
250g packet of gingernut biscuits
1 cup sultanas
1 cup coconut

Melt butter in saucepan.
Add golden styrup and condensed milk.
Stir in vanilla, crushed up biscuits and sultanas over medium heat until well combined.
Cool to room temperature
Roll into small balls and toss in coconut.

Monday, December 5, 2011

christmas dress?

I spent a few nights earlier this week with my mother in law. She's such a wonderful lady and always willing to help with anything I ask.  This generally includes babysitting duties, or housework, but the other night it was a 'sewing' request along the lines of 'can you help me work out how to make this dress?'..

Not only did we draft a pattern from an existing dress, but over the course of 2 nights, we made 4 dresses (yep, I can never just make one of anything!).  There were 2 slightly different styles - one tied on one shoulder (we made 3 of these for my cousin's gorgeous daughters), and the other tied on both shoulders (as seen modelled below by Lola). I plan on making one of these styles for Lola to wear on Christmas day out of a gorgeous red gingham linen that I bought at Spotlight.

Thank you Lily for all the teachings and the encouragement. oh, and the unpicking :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saturday afternoon

Last weekend, the kids and I ventured into the city. We only live 15kms away from the town centre, but we hardly ever go in there. I always loved going to town before I had children. I love the fact that the people you see in there aren't just the kind of people who live in your own neighbourhood. You get all sorts :)

I felt really nervous taking the kids in there. I feel like the city centre is not a place for kids. I can't explain why - maybe because there's little room for them to run free on, and also too because it's just so damn busy.    The potential to lose them is quite high :)

But I thought a trip in on a Saturday afternoon to see the Christmas windows in Queen street mall would be a good place to start. It wasn't too busy, and we drove in because we had a cheap parking option and also so I could make a quick getaway in case things went haywire.

But I'm pleased to say it was a fantastic afternoon. Lola loved all the tall buildings. Andrew happily stayed in his pram the whole time we were in there.  We saw Santa, we had Royal Copenhagan icecream in the mall while listening to live music and we crossed the bridge to Southbank and played in the waterpark.

It was a successful mission, and it totally reminded me how much I do love the city.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A couple more favourite pics..

I took so many photo's the other day to capture 'a day in the life' of our family, but there were some absolute favourites that I just couldn't fit into that blog post. So here they are :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

A day in the life.. Monday 21st November, 2011

7 am - Kids are up from 6.30 am, and we have brekky around 7 am (after I've had my cup of tea).. breakfast is rice bubbles for Lola (at her 'love heart table' while watching morning cartoons), and weetbix for Andrew in his highchair in the kitchen (too messy for the loungeroom)

8 am - Get dressed and organised for the day. The only thing we have on all day today is art class at 9.15am.

8.30 am - hang out washing, take out meat for dinner, and everyone gets in the car and off to Art class

9 am - Art class (at Art 4 Ages, Wishart Rd) with Maria (Andrew's not old enough to participate). Today the kids paint a christmas tree shaped box.

10 am - arrive home, Andrew goes down for a sleep, Lola watches a movie (Bambi) and we do some baking (chocolate cake then soda bread)

12.30 pm - Andrew wakes up, so we head out into the backyard for some lunch, and a swim

1.30 pm - we head inside for some quiet time

2.30 pm - the longest hour of my day.. Both kids are tired, but neither will go to sleep. We ice the cake we made this morning and watch the clock until Simon gets home...

3.30 pm - Simon arrives home from work and breathes new energy into our day

4 pm - we head back outside and have some afternoon tea

5.30 pm - the kids are happy playing outside and are joined by Oscar and Eliza (from next door)

6 pm - we head inside and get dinner organised (satay beef stir fry). The kids are exhausted and there are many tears and tantrums over the next half hour

6.30 pm - bath and bed time (finally...)

Today was a fairly 'typical' day at home for us. I must say we don't 'always' bake, and it's actually quite rare for us to spend the majority of the day at home. But it was a beautiful hot, sunny day today, and the plastic pool in the backyard definitely cools things down.

It's almost the end of the year and it's back to work (albeit part time) for me next year. The kids will go to  day care 2 days a week from mid January 2012 - so I'm sure I'll look back on days like today and wish I had treasured them more.  Which makes me glad I had the opportunity to create this 'record of our day' today - both for me and for the kids.