Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's Show Time

Posted by MANDI at 7:20 PM 4 comments
Perth Royal Show Time that is.

We spent the day at the show today and it's fair to say we're all exhausted. We walked miles and miles and Hubby and I were pleasantly surprised with how well the kids coped. They LOVED the excitement of the show - the rides, the exhibitions and displays, the fairy-floss, the samples to taste and, of course, the big decisions about which show-bag to buy.

We limited their spending-power to one ride, one game and one show bag each - and then made them buy the show bag with their own pocket money anyway! What hard, cruel parents we are LOL. They didn't know any better and had a wonderful time deciding which ride to go on (Bumper Cars with Dad for him and a beautiful horse on the Carousel for her), narrowing which clown to choose in the Laughing Clowns game (and being totally delighted to be given a toy at the end of it) and umming and aahing over the myriad of show bags on display (after much discussion, the Barbie Bag for her and Magic Gag Bag for him).

We oohed and aahed over the fluffy yellow ducklings, sweet little lambs and the bleating kid goats in the animal nursery. We gazed in awe at some of the rides as they spun, twisted, turned and tipped and I thanked small mercies that Offspring #1 is mere centimetres short of the height requirements for some of those rides. We tasted a bunch of samples - yogurt, lollies, custard, ice-cream and fruit. We chowed down on show food - hot-dogs, fairy floss, hot donuts. You know, all the good stuff that'll keep you going all day long.

We had a wonderful day together and, after missing the show for the better part of the last 20 years, I loved seeing it all again through my kids' eyes. Yes, it was hideously over-priced but I have to tell you, the excitement, joy and delight I saw in my kids today made every cent completely worth it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In The Garden

Posted by MANDI at 8:21 PM 5 comments
My whole entire body is aching today. In fact, it was almost a relief to have to go to work just so I could have a break! We've had a long wet winter and even on the few days that we didn't have rain it was freezing cold and, let's face it, I'm not a fan of the cold. The wussy side of me says that I couldn't go out and play in the cold because Offspring #2 would want to join me and with all the dramas we've had with her asthma and a trying winter of ill-health I didn't want her out in the cold. The more grown-up side of me just says I'm a big wuss and to get over myself!

Anyway, I spent the past three days out in the garden raking and weeding, sweeping and cleaning up, planting and potting, and I AM EXHAUSTED! My arms ache so much I can barely lift my tea-cup, my legs are in serious pain, my lower back is screaming at me and my butt muscles... well, let's not go there.

I filled the trailer twice with pruning offcuts, raked leaves, pulled weeds and general garden debris. We used the last weekend of the burning season to get rid of some undergrowth and while it's not real pretty right now at least we feel better about our preparation for summer.

I weeded the vegie garden, pulled up the scraggy broccoli and cauliflower plants that were finished and then replanted the whole lot for summer - we've got... silverbeet and beetroots that have been in for a month or so, the English Spinach that is doing really well and a bundle of different types of tomatoe seedlings.

a heap of corn

and some leeks that are taking their time but getting there verrrrry slowly as well as more broccoli, cucumber, zucchini, a bunch of mixed lettuces, some french beans and a couple of capsicum plants (that's bell peppers for the Americans amongst us). I'm planning to fill in some of the spaces in another six weeks or so in order to keep us going through the summer.

I tidied up some of the flower beds straight out from the back of the house and was left with this pretty display of spring flowers.

Remember a few weeks back when I showed you my first Camellia flower? Well, the tree is looking beautiful now.

Oh and I dug up and separated one clump of agapanthas. I ended up with about 30 plants and, in the interests of not having my arms completely fall off, left the clump in the backyard that is about 4 times the size for next weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Heart-Attack In Waiting

Posted by MANDI at 8:32 PM 3 comments
After last week's healthy muffin recipe took us on a decidedly un-RDM-like twist, the cake I made today brings us right back to the heart-attack inducing, artery clogging, diabetic coma kind of recipes I can't go past. I saw this Snickerdoodle Cake over at Cooking is Medicine this morning, right smack bang in the middle of looking for something that Offspring #2 and I could bake today. It fill the bill nicely and, after a quick run to the deli after I realised I didn't have enough cinnamon, we got straight onto it. I messed up a few steps, in completely different ways to how Claire messed them up so I think it's fair to say this is a fairly forgiving recipe that turns out great whether you follow it properly or not. Mine did take longer to cook that the suggested time, closer to an hour and quarter.

This is seriously, deliciously unhealthy. Please, please, please don't make it every week. Or if you do you should probably increase your health insurance. But... as a once-in-a-while, take-a-plate-to-something, kind of cake it's a winner.

Hubby thought it was fab though upon first taste he did wonder how I'd managed to get the flour to hold all that sugar together!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Surprisingly Nice

Posted by MANDI at 8:57 PM 6 comments
If you've read my blog at any length (or know me in real life!) you'll be aware that I have a very sweet tooth and that healthy food isn't all that high on my must-eat list. Oh, I don't eat too badly and I really do work hard to ensure our meals are balanced and we eat a good range of foods. But... when it comes to the cakes, cookies and other sweet treats I bake I don't tend to make a huge deal of focusing on 'healthy' options. Which is why the recipe I tried today comes as such a surprise.

I found the link for these Strawberry and Honey Muffins on Twitter and, with all the ingredients on hand, decided to give them a go. I 'un-healthied' them a little by using regular full-fat cows milk instead of the soy milk that was listed as well as the extra virgin light olive I had in the cupboard rather than rushing out to buy yet another type of oil to store in the pantry but I did stick to the rest of the ingredients.

Look, by my standards they were disgustingly healthy but... they taste great. They have a really nice sweetness from the fruit and honey without being laden with butter and sugar. Offspring #1 and I enjoyed one for afternoon tea. He was very impressed and has requested another for his lunchbox.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Baby's A Big Girl Now!

Posted by MANDI at 8:22 PM 5 comments
Remember this gorgeous little creature?

Well she's gone and grown up. I'm not sure when it happened. I'm positive that she still looked like that just last week. Then yesterday she went and turned four. Yes. Four-years-old!

To say she's gorgeous and (along with her big brother) the absolute light of our lives would be a complete understatement. She's funny, inquisitive, sunny and, according to her besotted Daddy, cute, cute and cute. She loves to help me 'do jobs', adores helping her Dad in the yard especially if it involves her gumboots, dirt and some garden tools and she waits patiently all day to collect her big brother from school only to pick a fight with him before we even reach the carpark. She loves her babies, doing puzzles, drawing and colouring, jumping on the trampoline, riding her bike and cuddles. She hates being left behind, being told no, cleaning her room and green beans.

We had a few of her little friends, along with their families, around for afternoon tea on Saturday afternoon for a birthday celebration and what would an afternoon tea party be without...

Some sweet little Marshmallow Teacups

Fairy Bread, with fairy sprinkles

Tiny little Baby Cupcakes

Party bags for the guests

and Birthday Cake with pretty flower candles

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Posted by MANDI at 10:58 AM 1 comments
Awww... you guys are great. Thanks for leaving all those lovely comments. You really made my day!
I've come down with the flu and Offspring #1 has managed to break his little finger (playing football with his Dad, but according to those in the know it was a fantastic mark!) so things are a little quiet around here. Last night's leftovers are on the cards for dinner. I tried a new recipe that turned out better than I'd expected so I'll share that with you in the next couple of days.
I'm off work today and both the kids are at school so I'm planning to settle on the couch with a blanket, a book and some day-time tv.

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