Saturday, July 16, 2011

Good Finds!

I had some great finds yesterday.  The first is some workout pants that are actually long enough!  I tried the men's sweats from Big W as suggested by some friends but apparently I have hips!  Who knew?!  So those ended up in Drew's closet (his inital response was - "I didn't buy these.")  I found these in the women's section of Best and Less.  They are like yoga pants but they are finally long enough.  No more cold ankles when I walk in the morning :0)

Then I found a new phone cover.  I had been looking for something different and more suited to my sensibilities.  When I found this, I knew it was it:

It's made by a company called Gubbi and is made from vintage recycled fabrics.  So cool and the inside is purple!  I love it!

The day before we went to the park for a friend and her daughter to meet some new people that were involved in the new school they enrolled in here in town.  While running after the toddler, I managed to get the following:

He was climbing through a tunnel with little holes in the side and was playing peek-a-boo with me.  I had hoped to catch him and got a lucky shot!

I also wanted to take the chance to say thank you to all those beautiful people who spent time with Pierce this school holidays and took him off my hands for a few days.  He had so much fun with all of you and I appreciate your support and help so much :0)

Hope you all have a great weekend...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Won!

As many of you already know, I won a prize from the lovely people of ClearSnap, Inc (see their blog via the link on the right side of this page) by commenting on their Facebook page and following their blog.  I received my prize today:

I always love new papercraft materials!  Thank you so much ClearSnap, Inc!!!  I hope to get the chance to post something made from these products very soon :0)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Some Crafty Time!

Ok, as promised, I have a few items here that are From My Own Brain and a few that are copies of some beautiful cards.  So I shall start with the originals.

Both of these cards are based on templates that I have seen on the internet.  The first is from Mirkwood Designs.  I took their template and made this:

I first stamped the butterfly portion of the card with Versamark ink and the SU Baroque Motifs.  Then I embossed with Ranger Super Fine Clear Embossing powder.  I used Distress Inks to colour it.  The antenna are created using black Memory Thread.  The paper underneath the butterfly is Bo Bunny Gabrielle paper from the 6x6 paper pad.  I added Diamond Stickles to  some of the swirls on the paper to highlight the swirls on the butterfly.

Next, I worked with the idea of the Funky Fold Card.  There are several different cards out there that are called by this name.  I found the measurement instructions at Smiles, Laura.  And here it is:

The paper is DCWV Jewel cardstock stack and the Adhesive paper 6x6 stack.  The base is SU Very Vanilla.  The image is stamped with Memory Ink and is a Kaisercraft stamp.  The focal image and frame were die cut using Spellbinders dies and the main image was coloured using Distress Inks and then sprayed with Perfect Pearls Mist - Pearl colour.  The flower and center piece were items that I have long held in my stash and I am no longer sure where they are from.  With the measurements, this was a very easy card to make and it stands beautifully as can be seen here:

The next card was designed by Pickle Tree and can be seen at Splitcoaststampers.  I have changed the colours and the stamp (I haven't decided on a sentiment yet) but the layout is directly from Pickle Tree.  And here it is:

The designer paper is from DCWV Luxury Stack and La Creme.  The plain cardstock is from DCWV as well.  The stamp is a Frangipani from Penny Black and they have been coloured with SU inks and Smooch Pumpkin Ink.  The glaze on the flowers is Dimensional Magic.  The two punches are Arch Lattice Border Punch from Martha Stuart and the Eyelet Border Punch from Stampin' Up.  The ribbon is from Big W :0)

Finally, the last card was a straight copy - papers and everything.  The only thing different are the buttons, ribbon and sentiment!  I know, lazy but why change a great thing?!  So thank you Kelly H.  Her card can be found at Splitcoaststampers.  And here is mine - I just ran out of personal inspiration:

So, I really enjoyed today.  I needed to get back into my area and just craft for a day.  Thanks DH for watching the boys - although I notice that Cappuchin slept for 4 hours while you and Spidermonkey played Halo 2!  Geez, must be rough ;0)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Surprise Trip to Sydney

So, on Wednesday last week, Spider Monkey commented that he would like to go back to the dinosaur museum.  Now, I think the dino museum here is good for the community that it serves but we have been there, oh - about 5 times.  It doesn't change but Spider Monkey does.  He is older each time and takes a little longer to go through - reading and learning more each time.  But I thought, let's see something new!

I sent DH a message to see what he thought and next thing I know, we are off to Sydney on Friday to go to the Australian Museum.  Considering we had a toddler and we were only staying for the day, I was impressed we got through as much as we did.  We saw the skeletons, the Under 5's area, the Sea Shore exhibit, the Ancient Australian section and the dinosaurs.  We even made it through the special exhibit - Birds of Paradise.  By this point, the toddler was cranky and we were all hungry.  So, off to get food we went.

After a fabulous lunch at Spirolo on Riley Street (highly recommend this place! So yummy!), we thought we should make a move to head home.  It was 3:15 and we thought we would avoid some traffic.  Boy was I wrong!  It took us more than an hour to get to the toll booth on the M5 (what should have been 15 - 20 min).  We knew there would be snow traffic (people headed off to the snow fields for the weekend) but come on!  Then we hit another snag with a large accident on the Hume - it was on the other side of the highway but everyone on our side had to slow down to look.  So our max 3 hour drive took us over 4.

Finally, we arrived home and let the ferals out of the car.  They both had a run around to let out some pent of energy and then off to bed they went.  I managed about another hour before I gave up and went to bed and DH made it another hour.  It was fun but I have to say that no dinosaur exhibition that I have seen to date beats the Sternberg Museum in Hays, KS.  I look forward to taking the kids back there when we are finally able to visit again!

Here are a few of the photos we took along the way:

Tomorrow, I should have some more crafty stuff to show you!  DH has promised to look after the boys while I spend some time in my craft space.  I will try to make them...From My Own Brain :0)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Diet Be Damned!

Ohhhhhhh,  COOOKIEESSS!....I don't know why exactly but I was looking for cookie recipes last night.  I think I was seeing it as an activity that I could do with Spidermonkey while Cappuchin was asleep.  That was a big NOPE!  I did this by myself :0)

Anyhoo, I found these people last night, White on Rice Couple, and I couldn't wait to try their pizzookie recipe in about 4 different ways!  We tried this one tonight - Deep Dish Snickerdoodle A La Mode. Sorry for all you non-Americans reading this - the recipe does not include a Snickers Bar.   I served it with Connoisseurs Caramel Honey Macadamia Nut Ice cream (insert Homer Simpson drool moment here).  OMG, orgasmic!!  I also want to do the Choc Chunk Pizzookie - that's right you heard me, CHOC CHUNK!  I reckon a peanut butter with choc chips would be nice too.  Maybe even a macadamia nut shortbread...(excuse me while I wipe the saliva off my chin)!  Diet, what diet?!  I can handle sore joints for this!!!

I have had Snickerdoodles before (both my fabulous cook grandmothers have made them) but I have never attempted the recipe.  I have to say this recipe for Snickerdoodles was really easy and I would definitely recommend using the weights rather than the measurement units.  Again, thanks to the White On Rice Couple for the below: 

Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

150 g (3/4 c) granulated Sugar
150 g (1 c) Golden Brown Sugar
100 g (1/2 c) unsalted Butter (room temp.)
50 g (1/4 c) Lard or Shortening (room temp.)
2 lrg. Eggs
10 ml (2 t) Vanilla Extract
1/4 t Sea Salt
300 g (2 1/4 c) unbleached, all-purpose Flour
10 g (2 t) Cream of Tartar
5 g (1 t) Baking Soda
15 g (1 T) Cornstarch (2 tsp Arrowroot)
@ 100 g (1/2 c) Cinnamon Sugar mix (1 part cinnamon, 3 parts sugar ratio)

Pre-heat oven to 350° F (175 C) -  (325° F (162 C) convection bake)

1. Combine sugars, butter and lard in a mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until fully incorporated.
2. Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and cornstarch together and gently mix into butter mixture.
Freezing Option: roll dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap.  Freeze. When ready to use, thaw for about 1 hr, then continue with recipe.
3. Put cinnamon sugar mix into a bowl. Gently form dough into a small ball (about the size of a walnut) then roll in cinnamon sugar mix. Place balls on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.  Make sure to give plenty of room between cookies since they spread quite a bit.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  They should be lightly golden. Remember it is better to slightly under-bake than to over-bake cookies.
Deep Dish Version:

You will need ramekins for this part.  Either 3 or 4 inch depth.

1. Grab enough dough to fill your ramekins approx. 1/2″ deep. Make a disc out of dough, then toss in cinnamon sugar mix.
2. Put dough in to ramekins, then bake for approx. 12-15 min., depending on the size of your ramekins and how deep you filled them. Bake until they are light golden brown.
3. Remove from oven, allow to cool for @ 5 min., then top with ice cream 

So, damn the consequences!  I order you to go and try this idea with your favourite cookie recipe...

Go on....

What are you still doing here....

Shoo - I said go!  The blog is over!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What a Week!

I have been struggling to get back on here since Wednesday.  DH has had so much work that we have barely seen him and then, Thursday, Friday and Saturday - we just didn't see him at all!  With the two kids always at my side, I just didn't have the time to write.  When they were in bed, I was too exhausted to pick up the computer!  I just have to give a shout out to all my single parent friends - I only had 3 days of no partner (and I had some beautiful friends who came to rescue me on Saturday) - you guys do the only parent thing ALL THE TIME!  I don't know how you do it and stay sane.  I admire you all so much - especially since your kids are fabulous :0)

As I said, I was rescued on Saturday in two ways.  First, my friends Cat and Aimee came to town to keep the boys occupied.  While we waited to meet them for lunch, the boys had a run around on some of the new seating areas outside of Target in the mall.  Got some cute snaps to share!

They are growing up so fast!  After a lovely lunch, we headed off to Kid City for the boys to have a play as the weather was not the best.  We were hanging out waiting for DH to finish at work.  When we arrived, Spidermonkey disappeared and we barely saw him for the time we were at the play centre.  Cappuchin was so excited!  He just didn't know where to go first!  He kept running back and forth between Cat and the table we had set up waving and shouting HI.  We were there for two hours and I don't think he stopped moving once.

I thought for sure Cappuchin would yell the house down when we left, but I think he was worn out.  I was also sure he would be sound asleep before we hit the highway for home.  I was wrong again!  The little turkey stayed awake the whole way home.  He saved the screaming for the bath tub where he could get the most resonance going (and my ear, just because he felt like sharing) and then sobbed himself to sleep in his bed - poor little tyke was so tired.

DH let us know he couldn't make it home as planned so I was in a quandry as I had planned an evening catchp with some friends in Canberra.  Suddenly, I was without anyone to look after the kids.  I didn't want to cancel on my girls seeing as I was the one who organised the whole thing!

An hour later Cappuchin was awake and joined Spidermonkey in the lounge with the last minute babysitters - Cat and Aimee - who stepped in a second time that day to save me :0)    Spidermonkey helped cook dinner and I tried to leave surreptitiously so that Cappuchin wouldn't get upset but I heard him yell just as I got to the car.  Thank goodness for Hi 5 or I think my babysitters might have absconded!  By the time I got home, DH had arrived home and the whole house was sound asleep.  Ahh, the bliss...

Sunday was great fun as Spidermonkey had a good friend around and they played all day with Cappuchin running between them and me.  DH was helping some friends move and when they called it quits for the day, they all came here for dinner and a relax.  Our friends were struggling to keep their eyes open so I was glad we offered help and dinner.  Just one last thing they had to worry about seeing as moving is such a stress! Spidermonkey's friend was back again on Monday and fun was had again.  The two are such great pals and can play with or beside each other without any dramas.  What's even better is the friend doesn't put up with Spidermonkey's occasional sook sessions - she just says "Suck it up!"  Love it!!!

So today is a lazy one - and I'm glad too.  It is a horrible day outside - windy, raining and very cold...there may even be snow!  May need Hi 5 to come to the rescue again ;0)