Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Cheerio and post Christmas Catchup



With the hustle and bustle of the season, I just didn't get a chance to post anything before Christmas, so I just wanted to send out a cheerio to my followers and hope you and your families have had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying this special time as we countdown the days 'til the end of another year.  

Although it went really fast, we had a great time catching up with our families and friends over Christmas.  We had Christmas Eve dinner at our house, so I had the chance to decorate, cook turkey and play hostess, and although lots of work, I thoroughly enjoyed it and  was really pleased with how things turned out. 


On Christmas morning, of course, the best part was watching the kids unwrap their presents..
*This photo has been removed for internet security purposes, as it contained photos of my children.


It's so magical to share that time in the morning together, having a lovely breaky, the kids enjoying their new toys, Christmas carols playing on the radio.


The rest of the day we spent up the sunny coast with my Mum, two of my brothers, niece and nephew.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos, something I seem to do alot when I'm with family, I think I just get caught up chatting and catching up, and never seem to have my camera at the ready.  My family all caught up for a picnic before Christmas, since we were all heading in different directions for Christmas this year.  I never seem to be able to get everyone together for a group shot!



I did have my camera with me when my Mum and I went for a stroll along the beach in the afternoon on Christmas day.  Just check out the surf foam on the beach from the King Tide (the closest we could get to a White Christmas!). 


Boxing Day was spent still up the coast eating leftovers, swimming, eating more leftovers at a park whilst the kids played, then drove back home to relax and eat yet more leftovers.
 
We are now decompressing from the excitement and build up of Christmas, and Hubby is on holidays for two weeks, so now it's time for just the four of us.  Although we like to take each day as it comes, we have a few ideas in mind:
  • A bushwalk
  • Drive to a rockpool nearby, dip our feet in and watch the kids splash around
  • Swimming at our local pool (my son has just recently learned to swim so I want to keep it up over the hols)
  • A day to myself, with maybe a spot of opshopping and girly time with Mum
  • A little house re-organising, and de-cluttering to get ready for the new year
  • Some playing around with new cake ideas, including baking some special cupcakes for New Years Eve
  • Movies
  • Day trip to somewhere like Maleny or Mt Tamborine for lunch, shopping and exploring
  • A day at the beach, which will inevitably include calamari and gelati (not together though of course)
  • Visit a playcentre I heard about which has a big Lego display
This post turned out longer than I thought, but if I don't blog about it now, I may forget, so thanks for hanging in there with me.


I'd love to hear about your Christmas and what you have planned for this time of the year?  Or do you just go with the flow and see where the day takes you?


xSam
*This post has been edited to remove photos of my children, for internet security purposes.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

My New Morning Routine


Lately, I'm waking up early,
it seems Summer has arrived.
Room warm and filled with light.
I feel rested, awake,
 thoughts of tasks to be done already running through my head,
so throw back the covers and bounce out of bed.
 I enjoy a cup of coffee,
even a little crochet or magazine,
it's quiet,
just me and the cockatoos that I see through the window.
Seems I have a new morning routine,
nature has seen to that.
I'm going with it.
Waking up early before the noisy little ones, 
I'm finding is a good start to the day.

How do the seasons effect you and your routine?

xSam

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My Creative Space - Homemade Advent Calendar


My son was bugging me for ages to get one of those advent calendars which has a chocolate behind each window for every day.  He had one last year, however, one morning I awoke to find the whole thing completely empty on his bedroom floor!  So this year, I refused to buy him one, but because I really like the idea of the advent calendar, I decided to come up with something original and handmade.

I found plenty of inspiration on the net herehere,here, and here  (to name a few) and decided to use up what I already had in the cupboard, cupcake wrappers!

Before my son left for school, I got him to help me with writing the numbers 1-24 on some white dot stickers, and then told him I was going to make a surprise for him and his sister.

I filled the cupcake wrappers with tiny christmas ornaments, chocolate money (some), jokes, riddles, activity ideas, and nice messages.  Then closed them up with some sticky tape, and pegged them up to some festive string.

It was so priceless to see the looks on my kids faces when they walked in to find all 24 pretty packages hanging up. 

We're enjoying the morning ritual of opening up a surprise package each day.  We're also enjoying learning more about the true meaning of Christmas, and how a handmade gift can bring so much joy!

P.S. Despite turning the house upside down looking for my camera,  it still has not been found.  I'm just hoping that it will turn up when I'm looking for something else, which is how things usually work around here.  Nevertheless, I shall keep on blogging away with the aid of my camera phone, despite the dodgy photos..for now!

For more creative happenings go here.
xSam
*This post has been edited to remove photos of my children, for internet security purposes.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas Cookie Recipe That's Extra Special


It feels like ages since I last posted, well it's been just over a week anyway, partly because I wasn't well, then with all the pre-christmas organising, I somehow managed to misplace my camera, and still cannot find it anywhere (so frustrating).  It's lucky for phone cameras, so I'm afraid that will just have to suffice for the time being. 

Anyhow, Christmas baking has begun, and I don't know about you, but homebaked biscuits (or cookies) have become a favourite on my list.  So I'm going to share my favourite Christmas Biscuit recipe (from an old Taste magazine) I've been using for a couple of years now.  I made these over the weekend and took them along to my family's Christmas get together.  I don't mind saying that the plate was emptied within no time.  There's something very Christmassy about the flavour of these cookies, and it's mainly due to the secret ingredients - honey and cinnamon!

You'll Need:
200g butter, room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 &1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup self raising flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons milk

Royal Icing:
2 eggwhites, lightly whisked
1 tablespon pure icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

To Make the Biscuit dough: 
1.Line two baking trays with baking paper.
2.Beat butter & sugar until pale & creamy.
3.Add honey and beat well to combine.
4.In a seperate bowl sift flours & cinnamon together.
5.Add dry ingredients to butter & sugar mixture.
6.Add Milk and mix until a dough starts to form.
7.Turn onto floured board and knead gently until smooth (you may need to add extra flour if it's too sticky).
8.Cover dough in cling film and place in fridge for atleast 15 minutes.

To make the biscuits:
1.Preheat oven to 160C.
2.Roll out dough on board until 5mm thick.
3.Cut out christmas shapes as desired and place onto prepared trays.
4.Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crisp and golden.
5.Cool on tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

To Make Royal Icing:
1.Lightly beat the eggwhites
2.Sift icing sugar over and stir until smooth.
3.Add lemon juice and stir well until combined.

To Ice the Biscuits:
1.Dip the biscuits into the icing, and hold upside until they stop dripping.
2.Place iced biscuits on tray as you go.
3.Sprinkle decorations on top as desired (before icing is set).
Alternatively, pipe the icing on before decorating, this gives the biscuits a cleaner look.

Note: I much prefer the look of icing when it's piped on, however, this is tricky for littlies, and also, much more time consuming.

For more biscuit (cookie) ideas go here or here.

Now I'm dreaming up a gingerbread house, but that will have to wait until next week, as we're focussing on school break-up (ie. class party, teacher presents, writing out christmas cards etc) around here, and I'm catching up with a few dear old friends, which I'm really looking forward to.

As busy as it is, I just love this time of year, don't you?

xSam

Thursday, 27 October 2011

My Creative Space - Pretty Hair Accessories


Today I'm linking up with ourcreativespaces.  What a great place to find inspiration to create.  I found inspiration there last week from here and here, so this week, in between school runs, housework, playgroups etc I was able to squeeze in a little creativity with these girly hair accessories.  It was lots of fun rummaging through my fabric scraps and learning a few new techniques for making fabric and crocheted flowers.  

With this tutorial  I learned how to make little fabric rosettes (see beige hair clip above).  I still need a little more practice to get the wrapping right, but I think it kind of resembles a rose!

This tutorial helped me to make a stacked fabric flower for the other clip, I haven't made one for a while, so couldn't quite remember how to, and what fun!
I was super impressed with how easy it was to crochet a rosette too, and I found the instructions in the Patons Learn How To Crochet guidebook (bought from Big W).
So once the flowers were made, I just glued them onto the hair clips, simple.

And the fabric baubles? I found a little tutorial for these in an old Handmade magazine, just fabric covered buttons attached to a piece of elastic and secured with a little glue.

These were all lots of fun and so quick to make, just the kind of projects I like for a quick creative fix! Might have to make a few more for Christmas presents now, they'd make nice stocking fillers don't you think!

So, did you get your creative fix this week?  You can go here to see what others have been up to.

xSam

 

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Things I'm Loving - At Home

Linking up with Kristy at PaisleyJade today for Things I'm Loving, so here we go.. 

I'm loving spending time at home with my little one. 
 I'm so grateful to be able to stay at home and look after her..
Playing with blocks and chatting
Pasting and making collages
*These photos of my daughter children have been removed for internet security purposes.


Taking her to playgroup, she looks forward to it every week, and so do I.
Here I can relax a little, have a cuppa and a chat with other mums. 
There's plenty to keep her busy, and lots of other kids to interact with. 
 I was a little lost before I joined this group, now I've made some new friends and feel less isolated.  It took a little while to find the right playgroup, but I'm sticking with this one! 


Right now
my daughter is so little, but one day she'll be all grown up,
so I just hope she remembers hanging out with her mum.

I'm also loving seeing both of my little treasures playing happily together (at least sometimes) in the new space we've created in the spare room (it's neautral territory).



And lastly, we're all loving Donna Hay's Simple Lemon Cake (with sour cream). 
The recipe can be found in her Modern Classics Book 2. 


 Yum! It almost didn't make it into the oven, since the batter tasted like
lemon cheesecake (my favourite)!!
So moist and lemony, that it just didn't need any icing on top,
 just a sprinkle of icing sugar!

Hope your week has had plenty to love. 
 You can pop over here to find out what others are loving too!


xSam
*This post has been edited to remove photos of my children, for internet security purposes.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

My Creative Space - Bunting & A Little Dream Comes True


This week I finished off my bunting for The Bunting Swap, which I'm pretty happy with, and all five were posted off yesterday.  This is my first craft swap, so it's a fun and interesting exercise for me.  I would have liked to have made more, but glad I didn't because time seems to be limited at the moment.  For the front panel I used some old Aldi shopping bags made from calico.  These bags have been sitting in the cupboard for quite a while now, just waiting for a new purpose.  I used various scraps of patterned fabrics for the other side and matching fabric scraps for the lovehearts.   

I didn't realise this was an international swap until I received my recipients list, so I was surprised to find that one of them would be going to Switzerland and one to Wales, I hope they make it there safely! 

I've received one of mine so far, thanks Alison of  Alison By The Bay for the lovely pale blue spot and check bunting, it's right up my ally!  The afternoons see me eagerly checking the letterbox each day for the remaining four.  I'm guessing the longer they take, the more intricate and elaborate they'll be (just kidding).  It's fun though dreaming up what they might look like and what I'll do with them.

Speaking of dreaming, I have been dreaming a bit lately, and one of those little dreams has just come true, nothing earth shattering or life changing,  but I'm a little excited because I've made a nice little creative space all of my own in our office/spare room.   I now actually have my own sewing table and my machine no longer has to compete with the computer or paperwork!   But more about that later, still decorating and can't wait to share. 


Have you had any surprises in the mail this week?

For more creativity and inspiration, go here.
  
xSam

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Beach


We went to the beach on the weekend, first time since last Summer.

I saw the ocean through the fresh eyes of our kids. 
They were jumping, splashing, squealing, it was pure freedom and joy for them (us too). 

We forgot the beach umbrella, but it wasn't too hot, it felt so nice to get out in the sun.
I forgot my togs, but it didn't matter, so I got a little wet, my clothes dried out eventually. 
 I forgot my diet too, and ate pistachio gelato without feeling guilty, so what? 

Stole a cheeky kiss from my sweetheart on the shore,
there's something about the sea, it seems to bring out my relaxed, spontaneous side.
I couldn't stop smiling!

Of course I forgot to take photos of all of this, guess we were too absorbed in the moment.


Yes, Winter is well and truly behind us now,
with Summer just around the corner saying, "I'm waiting!". 

I'm so grateful for days like this.

How was your weekend?

xSam
*This post has been edited to remove photos of my children, for internet security purposes.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

My Creative Space - Sprocket Pillow

One of the reasons I love blogging is that it keeps me motivated to try news things and to find the time to create.  I'm fairly new to sewing, having only completed a couple of small projects, and this week I decided to have a go at making this sprocket pillow .  

Although my seams didn't line up in the centre, it didn't matter, because that was all covered up with the button! My first covered button too, who knew how easy that would be?

*This photo of my son has been removed for internet security purposes.

Mind you, it's a little hard to concentrate around here in between movies, playground visits, tantrums and tears on this first week of school holidays, but overall we're having a pretty good time hanging out together.  It's also nice to have a break from the usual morning routine and school drop-off.  

In fact, it's a beautiful day outside, so we're off to the park. 

To make your own sprocket pillow, just visit cluck-cluck-sew for a great tutorial.

Maybe you've already made a sprocket pillow, if so I'd love to see it!
There's also way more creative projects to check out over at ourcreativespaces.

xSam
*This post has been edited to remove photos of my children, for internet security purposes.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Lazy Hazy Sunday

Brisbane has been covered in a smoky haze for the last couple of days.  We're only just out of winter and it looks like we're approaching bushfire season already.   Yesterday it was 32 degrees, can you believe it?  It felt warm, but I didn't think it actually felt that hot.

I decided to venture out for some me-time, leaving the kids at home with their dad, just to recharge my batteries a little before the school holidays start tomorrow. 

So I headed off to one of my favourite spots, Old Petrie Town country markets.  It's a great day out for the family, but today, it was my day to browse at all the shops I wouldn't normally take my littlies into (you know what little hands are like).


I found this gorgeous zippered pouch at Billy Angel, I think the fabric is so pretty, and so soft too! Laura makes lovely personalised cushions for kids, handmade gifts, and also stocks jewellery and vintage treasures in her shop.   The shop is just gorgeous, I hadn't been for a while, and it was nice to meet a fellow blogger in person too!  I only wish I could whip up such beautiful things on my sewing machine.  Maybe we could trade sewing lessons for cupcakes? (just kidding of course Laura.. I think).

As I kept wandering through the markets, a few other things caught my eye....


a little needlecase and rose loveheart broach from Lilly Cottage, another shop full of vintage treasures and handmade gifts to drool, I mean browse through..



a basket of pansies to make our front porch a bit more colourful, sweet huh?


 

and some new lettuce seedlings to restock the veggie patch.


Later in the day I managed a spot of baking for our lovely neighbours too.  They were supposed to look like hydrangeas (hmpph), but that didn't quite work out (I was experimenting), so I tossed the piping bag and went back to basics, just simple cupcakes with sprinkles, afterall, it was Sunday. I'll try again soon, and with a new piping set.. they'll look beautiful if I can get it right.

I'll leave you with a glimpse of the sunset we watched from our backyard later in the day. The smoky haze had a positive side afterall, leaving a glowing red sun on a canvas of purply pink hazed sky.  I was a little late in getting the camera out, nevertheless, think it gives you an idea of how amazing it was.
  

How was your weekend? Have you noticed the change in season where you live?

Hope you have a great week.

xSam

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Busy with Bunting



So many ideas and things to work on at the moment, yet so little time!  Was going to do some baking today, but my oven is smelling a little dodgy (think it's electrical), so better call up my handy electrician brother for help!

Have more important priorities anyway...thought I'd better make a start on some bunting for the bunting swap.   Lovely Rachael at Squiggly Rainbow is hosting this, so if you haven't already joined up and are interested go here.

What's keeping you busy this week?

There's plenty of creative business going on at ourcreativespaces today, why not pop over there for a squiz!

xSam

Monday, 12 September 2011


"They came back in droves.  And they came back in good spirits". - Clayton Muhhamad

When I was a kid, my Mum baked this slice all the time, amongst many others.  Maybe it was her way of keeping everyone close to home. Funny, I remember how as soon as it came out of the oven a quiet house would all of a sudden become, well not so quiet.  My brothers (I have five) would all come out of the woodwork, along with any friends who were visiting at the time.  There'd be a scurry towards the kitchen, hands reaching across eachother, and just like that, the slice would disappear, you had to be quick in our household.  

The recipe has stuck with me, the slice now a regular in our household, hubby is always asking me to make it for his "smoko".  And honestly, does it get any easier than this?

All you need is:
1 cup sultanas
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup rolled oats
1 and a half cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
125g melted butter

And all you do is:
1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C for fan forced oven.
2.Combine dry ingredients in bowl.
3. Melt butter, cool and add to mixture, stir thoroughly until mixture becomes  a little like biscuit dough in texture.
4. Mix egg with fork in small bowl, then add to biscuit mixture.  Stir until thoroughly combined.
5. Press mixture into lined slice tray.
6. Bake for approx 20-30 mins (until golden around edges).
7. Allow to cool in tray, then slice.

You could also add choc chips if you want, but don't let me tempt you, it's pretty tasty as is, and perfect for the lunchbox.

Do you have a favourite slice or other recipe that has been passed along?

xSam

Friday, 9 September 2011

Grateful

Today I'm grateful for..

Little independent people who have the confidence and initiative to
do things for themselves, like..

My 6 year old son tieing his own shoelaces..
and he loves taking photos to surprise mummy when she next uses the camera,
here's a few examples..

 
Not bad for a 6 year old, don't you think?

Then there's this cityscape drawing/watercolour he completed, resisting any direction from me
still don't know how he knew how to draw a cityscape!! When I mentioned it to his Prep teacher she said he may have seen it on Mr Maker).




My 2 year old likes helping around the house ..


*Photos of  my daughter removed for internet security purposes


You know you're falling a little behind when your toddler starts folding laundry
that's been on the couch for two days, and puts it away!

 Everyday they surprise me with something new they've learned, really keeping me on my toes!  It's kind of sad in one way, they're growing up so fast, but then to see them taking initiative and their confidence growing each day is so lovely, makes me think I must be doing something right afterall!

Hope you're enjoying a magic weekend! I'm popping over to Kymmie's blog now, she's hosting grateful this week.

xSam

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Things I'm Loving


Shorter hair!
They say a change is as good as good as a holiday...and boy do I need a holiday,  well a haircut will do for now, so chop chop...and here's the new me, well, same old me, just with less hair.  I wish I'd done this sooner, it feels great and is so much less maintenance, I thought I'd feel older with shorter hair, but I actually feel younger and more hip (in my own lunchbox anyway).


Reaping the benefits of our veggie patch. 
It's so great to be able to show the kids where real food comes from.
To see them picking vegetables out of the ground in their own backyard just makes me smile. Who needs dinner plates! And no pesticides here either! 

The back steps hubby finally finished (he's so handy), meaning the kids can actually go down to the bottom yard and have fun running around.  Also doubling as nifty seating, such a nice place to sit with a cuppa in the afternoon!

*This photo of me with my children has been removed for internet security purposes

Why not check out Things I'm Loving at PaisleyJade!

Hope you're enjoying your Friday!

xSam
*This post has been edited to remove photos of my children for internet security purposes

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

My Creative Space - Cat In A Hat


What to do with "The Cat In The Hat"?
A bit of this, a bit of that,
A library bag, a desk organiser?
Told my son, I'm gonna surprise yer!

Ok, that's enough rhyming, better get sewing...trouble is, I'm not sure what to make, I just saw this cute fabric from Spotlight and with 30% off, how could I resist?

Any suggestions? I'd love to hear them.  Quick, before it gets lost in the cupboard with all the other fabrics that had great potential!

Something fairly simple, I'm a rooky remember..otherwise I'll be sewing all the way to December (sorry, it's Dr Seuss making me rhyme again, I can't help it! But then this is my "creative space" afterall!)

Happy creating to you, and for more creativity drop by ourcreativespaces.
xSam

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Hello Spring


It was so lovely to wake up to Spring here in Brisbane this morning.  Sun pouring through the glass doors, and casting its rays on the morning dew settling on the grass outside.  Sipping coffee and munching on toast with my little girl snuggling up to me on the couch. 

A couple of days ago, things were a little different, dark skies, and a thunderstorm threatening, so we escaped for some shopping, denying it's looming presence.  It didn't take much to restore my hope for Spring when this lovely set of drawer liners caught my eye.  They smell devine, just perfect for my daughters set of drawers (which have that musty smell that seems to come along with anything second hand). 


Hmmm, what to do with the sweet smelling off-cuts, definately not throwing them away..
so with scissors in hand I came up with..


Some pretty hearts to hang up in the wardrobe, and the perfect way to use up those  little ribbons that come sewed into the shoulders of tops (I cut them out and keep them in a box for a rainy day, which it was this day).

Hmm, sitting there looking out through the glass doors, scissors in hand, the misty rain was telling me to stay indoors, and with the little one sleeping soundly, I didn't need to be told twice.  So with a little rummage through my crafty stash, and a flip through an old Handmade magazine, I came up with these...



Peg magnets! (in my favourite colour of course).
Nothing like the weather, rainy or sunny for a little inspiration to create!

What inspires you to create?

For more inspiration, why not pop over to ourcreativespaces?

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful Spring day at your place! 

xSam

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

My Creative Space - Vintage Kitchen Labels

Vintage Kitchen Labels


This week I have been "prettying up" my kitchen.
I've been searching for some pretty labels for these vintage kitchen jars which I recently acquired, however, I have not found anything that suits. 

So I just created these labels in Microsoft Word, since I don't possess a desktop publishing programme or anything like it. 

I made them in light turquoise, however, you could do them in whatever colour you like.   Red or grey would look great too! 

Here's how to make your own vintage kitchen labels:

1. Using Microsoft Word, create a plaque autoshape, then enlarge to the size you need. Customise the border on the autoshape (I chose the 3 lines in 6pt). Fill the shape with colour of your choice.
2. Insert another plaque over the top of the first one, but make it smaller (this creates your inside border).  I then customised the border on this shape to have three lines also. Fill this shape with same colour as the first plaque.
3. Insert a text box in the middle and customise the font (I chose Edwardian Script IT in 48pt font size). Remove line from the text box so that it has no border. Fill text box with the same colour as before.
4. Print out onto paper, and cut out with scissors or paper knife.
5. Take a square of contact approx 1.5cm larger than your label and place it over the label. 
6. Affix label directly onto canister or jar.
And there you have it, a bit of vintage style on a shoestring budget!

The labels can just be wiped over with a damp cloth, perfect!  (I wouldn't recommend putting them in the dishwasher though).

I hope you find these labels useful and pretty in your kitchen. If you do, I would love to see them in action!

Popping over to ourcreativespaces to see what everyone else has been up to this week.
xSam

Friday, 19 August 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana


Two words, mmm and mmm.  I know it's an Italian classic, but I have never made it...until now.  My husband took one bite of this, looked at me with a certain look and I just knew it was a winner.  

 It's super easy to make, you just need to allow a little time to prepare the eggplant.  It's simple and melt in the mouth delicious.


What you need:
1.5 kg eggplants
plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
350ml olive oil
500ml tomato pasta sauce
2 tablespoons roughly torn basil leaves
250g mozzarella cheese
90g grated Parmesan cheese


What to do:
1.Thinly slice the eggplant lengthways.  Layer the slices in a large colander, sprinkling salt between each layer. Leave for an hour.
2.Rinse and pat the slices dry on both sides with paper towel, then coat lightly with the flour.
3.Preheat oven to 190C and grease a shallow baking dish.
4.Heat 125ml of  the olive oil in a large frying pan.  Quickly fry the eggplant slices in batches over high heat until crisp and golden on both sides. Add more olive oil as needed and drain on paper towels as you remove each batch from the pan.
5.Make a slightly overlapping layer of eggplant slices over the base of the dish.  Season with pepper and a little salt. 
6.Spoon 4 tablespoons of pasta sauce over the eggplant and scatter some of the basil over the top. 
7.Sprinkle with some mozzarella, followed by some parmesan.
8.Continue layering until you have used up all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of the cheeses.
9.Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Go on, try it this weekend, you will be very happy you did!
Adapted from "Home Food".

xSam


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Things I'm Loving

Linking up with paisleyjade today for Things I'm Loving...

A few scrumptious things I'm loving this week...


Freckles, yum, just looking at them makes me happy..

*This photo of my daughter was removed for internet security purposes.

Seeing my daughter enjoying her new dolls house,
just need to make some curtains and bed sheets for it, such fun!

*This photo of my son was removed for internet security purposes.

Seeing my son up on stage at school in his class's parade performance this morning, so proud of him! (Apologies for the photo quality, when you are right down the back of the hall, a little digital camera like mine really doesn't work!)


My new chair I found in an antique shop.  Tends to be used as
a clothes rack in the bedroom, but I just love it!


Sourdough baguettes, problem is they are so long, when to stop?


Lady Grey Tea, warm and delicious on a cold windy day like today.
Jumping over to paisleyjade now to see what everyone else is loving this week.
xSam

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Tearstained post about letters

Today, I'm grateful for handwritten letters.

If you read my post yesterday you would know about the letters.   I found a bunch of letters from my childhood pen pals, and have just been reading through them, it is just so special. 


I just realised that with the use of email, facebook, twitter etc, my children may not have anything like these letters to look back on when they are grown up, and that makes me feel rather sad. Of course, I will have to make sure this does not happen.  But the question remains, does anyone use pencil and paper for letter writing anymore? 

Most of the letters I found were from one particular friend. We moved from the Gold Coast to Brisbane when I was 9.  Linda and I wrote to eachother regularly, probably about every 4 weeks.  I remember writing the letters, and how much fun it was putting a stamp on the envelope, sealing it and posting it in the postbox, then waiting for a response.  Sometimes it would be many weeks before a new letter arrived, and how exciting it was to check the letterbox and find a letter with my name written on it.

We shared so much of our childhood between the ages of 9 and approximately 18 years of age and each letter is like a little snapshot in time of what was going on.   You can see how our handwriting, grammar, spelling evolved, how we matured into adults, all through letters on paper.

We talked about all the normal kid stuff like what we were doing at school, what movies were on at the cinemas, what boys we had a crush on, and then we both shared one of the hardest imaginable times of losing a parent as young adults.  There was a comfort in being able to put pen to paper, especially through the teenage years, something I really appreciate now.

Ok, now if this post were written on paper, you would see tearstains.  I am getting very emotional now thinking about this, these are wonderful memories, I am so grateful..
I can remember making a special trip with Mum to a stationery shop at Indooroopilly.  It was such a treat to get a new stationery set or writing pad.  I would sometimes send new stationery to my pen pal, and she would write a letter back to me on them.  One particular paper smelled very sweet and powdery, I don't know what the fragrance was, but I can distinctly remember it. 

I have searched facebook for Linda recently, but to no avail.  She spent her childhood growing up on the Gold Coast, went to Merrimac High (graduated 1991), and she may be married now with a different surname.  I would love to get back into contact with her, for old times sake, and maybe share a letter or two along with a latte or two.  That would be a very special treat.  So if you or anybody know of her or have any ideas on how I might be able to find her, I would love to hear from you.

Would also like to hear your thoughts about paper letter writing.  Is it something you or your kids do? Do you think it's important to keep it up in some form or another?

Linking up with maxabellaloves today, why not pop over there for some inspiration.

xSam