Saturday, May 29, 2010

Snapshot Saturday: The School Photo

Well almost school photo, daycare does the class photo thing too and this is my girls class photo. I think they look pretty darn cute :)
They both love daycare, so it's great to have little photo memento memories of the time they have spent there.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hong Kong Disneyland Dreaming

One of the things I am looking forward to the most when we visit Hong Kong in November is experiencing Disneyland with my girls. I've never been to Disneyland before, fullstop. The prospect of going as me so excited, I feel like a child with those anticipation butterflies in your tummy and the feeling of almost bursting at the seams.

We have been feeding our excitement with reading and researching as much as we can on Hong Kong Disneyland, looking at photos, talking about what we will see and do and realising that every time we watch a Disney movie that we will see the castle or that character in person soon.

There is one thing that is fueling how excitement more than anything else, whilst playing on the Disneyland website I wandered into the experience section and hello, there are videos. My girls and I have wathced those videos a thousand times over, we never tire of it. The music, the scenes, the atmosphere, everything about them makes me want to be there already.

I love seeing my girls eyes light up when they watch them, and even more so this makes me dream of the looks on their faces when we are able to experience Disneyland for ourselves and create our own memories of our visit.

Bookworm

There is only one positive to having to catch the train to and from work everyday the hour each way, that is the new found time that I can bury my head deep inside a book, and so far I'm lapping that time up completely. This is my list so far, pretty much on a book a week at the moment. May need to start paying a few more visits to the library.

37 book challenge for 2010
1. Handle with care, Jodi Picoult
2. Time traveller's wife, Audrey Niffenegger
3. Ten thousand sorrows, Elizabeth Kim
4. Strange Angels, Lili St Crow
5. The Power of the Dog, Don Winslow
6. Don't Tell, Karen Rose
7. Travellers' Tales Hong Kong, James O'Reilly, Larry Habegger & Sean O'Reilly

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pizza-tastic

Last night we channelled our inner Italian and made pizza from scratch, dough and all. It was great fun, and the kids were able to get involved as well. I can honestly say after making our own pizza bases, I will never ever be buying them ready made from the store again. They were simple to do and they tasted so good, they came out tasting so fresh and creamy. Considering what went into them and how little time they took to make, I couldn't even justify the cost of buying them from the store anymore either. Here is a photo of hubby and my big girl having fun together kneading the dough for their pizzas.

I chopped up some vegetables (mushroom and capsicum) and grated cheese and zucchini together, additionally we bought some pepperoni and bacon bits (hubby and the big girl are meat-a-holics) and then it was help yourself to whatever ingredients you wanted. This little creation below is mine, which was with-the-lot (minus the bacon bits), it tasted divine!!!
Taleisha was pretty happy with her little mini pizza too, she went with the meat option and cheese and zucchini mix.
I think we will definitely be adding this little number to one of our frequent eats, it was quick and easy to make and tasty to boot.

We used the Big Pizza recipe from here to make our pizzas. We've also got a couple of other recipes from this site on the meal plan for this fortnight, so hoping they're all as successful as this one.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hair today, gone tomorrow

I am a hairdresser's nightmare.
I do enjoy getting my hair cut, I just never seem to get around to it. My hair is dead straight, I don't dye it; I prety much have zero maintenance, hence I can never part with the money, nearly 30 bucks on a regular basis for someone to just give me a trim.
I can tell you to the day, possibly even to the hour the last time I had had my hair cut. It was the 9th of May 2008, I was 40w 1d pregnant and well over due a haircut and a baby. Given I didn't have a lot of say when baby was coming (which was thankfully only 1 more day away) I went and got my hair chopped off.

So 2 years and 6 days later I find myself seated at the hairdressers for another hack. My hair had pretty much made it's way back down to my butt and I was purely and simply over it. The hair dresser seemed a little hesitant in taking too it with vigour I suggested she should, had to check to make sure I was okay with the amount I was advising her to cut off. Can't say I blame her, the amount of hair left on the floor after she finished could have fitted out at least three wigs.

The before shot
The After shotThe real reason I finally made it to the hairdresser, Taleisha, her ends were really wispy and needed tiding up. We only took about an inch off the bottom and you can barely notice it. Her hair however feels so much the better for it. She also thought she was pretty special, especially when she got her own special cape with dogs on it. She didn't even make a peep when the hair dresser combed out her hair, knots and all, was extremely miffed, I swear anyone would think the world is ending when I brush her hair.

I would like to promise that I won't let it go two years between cuts again, but i don't like my chances with keeping that promise, so I'm not even going to go there. I'm just going to enjoy the sensation of feeling 10 tons lighter after having half my hair hacked off.

another book down

I'm definitely working at a pretty steady pace with this book challenge.

The latest addition to my list is the Power of the Dog by Don Winslow, can I just say this little book (which at 500 plus pages isn't that little) is definitely not for the feint hearted. Plenty of blood, guts, sex, murder, drugs, corruption the works. It had me cringing at times, trying to read as fast as I could to get through some parts, couldn't believe what I was reading, thought it was going to give me nightmares, like I said definitely not for the feint hearted. Overall though the book was good.

37 book challenge for 2010
1. Handle with care, Jodi Picoult
2. Time traveller's wife, Audrey Niffenegger
3. Ten thousand sorrows, Elizabeth Kim
4. Strange Angels, Lili St Crow
5. The Power of the Dog, Don Winslow

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Mackenzie

It amazes me how fast the years go and how quickly you grow from my baby girl into the beautiful little girl you are before me. Happy Birthday Mackenzie, two years today you came into my life and I have been blessed that you chose me as your mummy ever since.

Yesterday we had a small celebration for Mackenzie. First things first, the presents, note our classy wrapping paper.
Finally unwrapped and out of the box, a mega tonka truck, she was mighty impressed.
Giggling crazily after setting her new elephant toy off, this thing is the coolest, think I might need to get myself one too. It's called a Zambi elephant and you pat it's back and the trunk goes up and makes sound and it blows kisses. Every time Mackenzie touches it she is in giggles.
One of my favourite shots of the two of us. Mummy and her birthday girl.
And the family shot.
The birthday cake, I was quite pleased with the way it turned out and it tasted pretty damn yummy too. I made a banana and white chocolate mudcake with cream cheese icing, yum yum.

Singing Happy Birthday!!!

Cutting the cake.


Little cars, these little things were the cutest and super easy, fun size mars bars, smarties, tiny teddy and some chocolate icing, and voila you have a little car. Too cute and the kids loved them.

Mackenzie in her birthday party dress.

Enjoying some sherbert cones, thanks to her Uncle John.

Last breast feed as a one year old and posing for a photo at the same time. She is saying "cheese" whilst still trying to stay attached.

Exhausted after a big day celebrating and her last photo as a one year old.

Today I sent her to daycare with the left over honey joys and chocolate crackles, much better at daycare for the kiddies then sitting in my fridge been eaten by me. I'm sure the kids loved them. When I got home from work I quickly whipped up a mini cake with some of the offcuts from her actual birthday cake, leftover icing and decorations. She got a cute little butterfly on top made out of marshmallows and smarties.
Singing Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles tonight.And cutting the cake.

Wishing you all the happiness in the world, my dearest little girl, may you continue to bring joy and laughter to our lives. Happy birthday princess, love Mum xxx

Thursday, May 6, 2010

4/37 Strange Angels by Lili St Crow

So this is the synopsis straight from Lili St Crow's webpage:
Anderson has been "strange" for as long as she can remember. She travels from town to town with her father, hunting things that go bump in the night and eat the unwary. It's a weird life, but a good one-until it all explodes and a zombie busts into her new house. alone, terrified and trapped in an icy town, Dru's going to need every inch of her wit and training to stay alive. Can she trust the boy who is just a little too adult-and just happens to get bit by a werwulf? Or the strange blue-eyed boy who tells her she's a heir to a long forgotten power? Can she even trust her own instinct. Because Dru is not the first in her family to be killed by the darkness of the Real World. The monsters have decided to hunt back- and now Dru has to figure out who to trust, who to fight and when to run. And not incidentally, she has to figure out how she's going to get out of this alive. And she has to do it by sundown, or it's all over.

I had no expectations going into this book, it was a book I was expecting to be a light read, what I didn't expect was that I would not be able to put it down. I really enjoyed it and I am now on the hunt for the next book in the series. It's swept in with the vampire hype that we are currently been overloaded with at the moment but has it's own take on the whole genre. It's not going to be a classic anytime soon but it was a good read.

So my list so far:
37 book challenge for 2010
1. Handle with care, Jodi Picoult
2. Time traveller's wife, Audrey Niffenegger
3. Ten thousand sorrows, Elizabeth Kim
4. Strange Angels, Lili St Crow

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cooking with mum

The best bit to baking, taste testing, just ask Mackenzie :)
It is turning into a weekend ritual with my girls, they love cooking, so do I, well baking that is. This weekend was a big weekend for baking, I prebaked Mackenzie's birthday cake for next weekend, which I needed to make two of. I baked a white chocolate and banana mudcake, recipe is here if your interested. It smelt good, but turned out a bit flat, a little disappointed with that. Although figure with all the decoration you will barely notice the flatness.
And just for fun we made some rainbow vanilla cupcakes.






This post is part of point and shoot, hop on over to fatmumslim to check what it is all about.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A cooking show marathon

There is only a couple of shows that I will happily sit down and watch with hubby (our tastes are quite different, hence my tendency to be online whilst he is watching some documentary on heaven knows what and vice versa) and I call it our cooking show marathon. We are big fans of the cooking shows, we've gone through fads with Huey's Cooking Adventures, Hell's Kitchen, Jamie Oliver's various tv series and Ready Steady Cook, amongst others. I confess we are serious cooking show addicts.

Our current tv viewing cooking hot picks are:
I really enjoy Masterchef, it is the closet reality tv show junkie in me. I enjoy watching it from the start to the end, so I was a little disappointed this year when we didn't get to see the "auditions" but top 50 week and the top 24 so far haven't disappointed me yet. I already have my favourites, which I was ecstatic to see get through to the top 24 and do so well so far. Funnily enough given our vast difference in tastes, hubby and I have the same favourites. We're backing Marion and Alvin. we also tend to dislike the same people too, the ones you have your fingers crossed, are eliminated each week.
I love the fact that I can get my master chef fix is every day of the week, bar Saturday, which is a bummer in itself, as then I am subjected to the football, argh. We also get a bit of motivation to try some new things, I very keen to give George's Lasagna recipe a go, that looked sooooooooooooooooooooo good.
Iron Chef America

Iron chef rocks, that's all there is to it. It's based on the Japanese version and it is so addictive, which is a good thing. They do some absolutely amazing things, and use some truly bizarre techniques and items but everything always seems to look so good. Even the pigs ears from an episode the other day looked ok once served in the dish, can't say it didn't stop me gagging when they were getting prepared. It's on Foxtel nearly every night of the week, helps feed our addiction.


When we went to the travel expo a couple of months ago I saw a poster advertising an Iron Chef event in Sydney, I was so excited, thought it would be the perfect present for hubby, if only things weren't so expensive, especially when you live on the other side of the country. Sydneysider's you definitely have to check it out. Here is the link.


Hubby and I definitely have a sweet tooth, and Ace of cakes seriously gives us our fix. The cakes the guys from Charm City cakes come up with a simply unreal, amazing, out of this world. Even though I watch the show, sometimes I have no idea how they managed to pull the cake together. Check out Yoda, you have to see it to believe it.
I would love to have Duff make me a cake, wonder if he would deliver to Australia. More importantly wonder if customs would let the masterpiece through, or if it would still be even be remotely edible by the time it arrived, actually scrap that, I don't think I could even consider taking a knife to one of those cakes, it's a work of art, ok that's probably taking it a little too far but I assure you it would be difficult to chop that poor little Yoda up.

Best bit about our current favourites is that we can watch Master chef and Iron chef back to back each night and on Wednesday we can throw in Ace of cakes, so a serious foodie marathon.
Do you have any favourite cooking shows we could add to our repertoire? Not that we really need much more time spent sitting in front of the box.

My book challenge

I once attempted the 50 book challenge, you know the one where you aim to read 50 or more books in the yesr. Well I tried and failed miserably. I think it was a catalyst of two things I got slack with keeping track and I struggled to find time to sit down to a book. So why would I even consider doing it again, even an abridged version, well, with my new job I spend an awful amount of the time on the train commuting to and from work. Thus I now have ample time to sit down and read a book, and give this book challenge another go. However given it is now May, I'm going to do some handicapping and go for the 37 book challenge for 2010 (that is April to December). I think I should come pretty close if the last two and a bit weeks are anythin to go by. Without further ado, the list.

37 book challenge for 2010

1. Handle with care, Jodi Picoult
2. Time traveller's wife, Audrey Niffenegger
3. Ten thousand sorrows, Elizabeth Kim