Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Great Day with the Girls

We had the best day at the Better Homes and Gardens show. Just me and the girls. It was sprinkling outside and hubby dropped us off. We were a bit late for the Masterclass but when we got there it was so much fun. There were two spots in the second row that Fast Ed pointed out to us and so my eldest girl got to cook too. I spent some time helping her out while the youngest ate the chocolate on the table.

It was a bit hard to whisk the icing and actually it didn't taste that great at the end but we're fussy like that. I prefer the ganache type. We even cooked our own little cakes in the small ovens they put on the tables.

Here is my cake. I was rushed at the end because I was helping Miss 9 and when Fast Ed came around to check our cakes, he looked at her lop-sided, half crushed cake and said "...Wo-ow" with a big surprised smile on his face. I think we may just stick to my favourite cake mixes like the Betty Crocker Irresistables.

Here is the lovely Corrie from Retromummy at the Brother stall. I was too shy to tell her that I followed her but I said hello and she asked if the girls had made Christmas cards yet and I said "Yes, they had." She looked really relaxed and so lovely and looking way too young to have 6 children, lol. 

We walked around l a bit and had some lunch before we had to go back to do the Ryobi Masterclass with Jason Hodges. It was actually the Ryobi guys who were showing us how to use the drills and make our planter boxes. Jason hung around and just presented at the end when we were planting our herbs. Miss 9 also had a chance to make her own box while her younger sister pranced around and wore the glasses. One of the Ryobi helpers came over each time to help her use the drills which were kinda heavy for her but I helped her too. It was the most fun we've had together. We took a photo with Jason at the end and that's her herb planter box. She said it was the best part of the show.

Watch out. A woman and her power tool! The youngest girl took this photo of me and I like it alot.

We went to the Food Stage again to watch Fast Ed cook for dinner guests. Man this guy loves to cook and he had so much energy. He'd been cooking so much and he makes it look easy! Plus he's funny and we enjoyed watching him live. 

Finally we got home and we took a few more pics of our planter boxes. We ate some cake and read our BHG magazines and just enjoyed reminiscing our wonderful day. 

I think we will definately go again next year and maybe bring one of the boys with us to enjoy the powertools. Ryobi had some free sessions where you can make a tool box but you must book in early for a session. The food was a bit expensive so if you want, bring your own sandwiches and snacks.

Now, time to think about Christmas and holiday planning!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A chance to see Better Homes and Gardens Show!

If you're ever around my house on a Friday evening, you'll catch the family watching Better Homes and Gardens for sure. We have been long time favourites of the show and I've got a great opportunity to share with you. The Better Homes and Gardens team have their annual Live show on 13-15 November 2015 at Sydney Olympic Park in the Showground and I've got 3 x Family Passes to giveaway! Yes, three!!!

I love how Adam has joined the crew and Joanna has been part of the team for over 20years now! Adam will be at the DIY Building Stage showing you the process on how to make a toolbox, lolly jar dispenser and a cheeseboard to impress your guests. Wow. I've been to a show a few years back and I really enjoyed the day. My tip is to get there early (doors open at 10am and close at 5pm) because there is so much to see and do. I haven't tried the DIY so I think I'll book for that this year and take my daughter with me. I saw Fast Ed (with Jo) and his cooking session which was so good and fun.

If you're into home improvements and decorating be sure to visit the Decorating and Craft Stage where the Deputy Editor of the BH&G magazine, Dora Papas, will let you in on styling tips to transform that cluttered bookcase.

You get to meet the team while you are there. Why not attend a High Tea or a cupcake making class. There's something there for homeowners, craftsters, creative cooks or green thumbs (brown thumbs if it were me). You'll have a great day out no matter where you end up. For more information head on over to the website : BHG Live

All you have to do is comment here and tell me why you'd love to go. For an extra entry blog this giveaway and post another comment with the link. Too easy. Giveaway will close on the 9th November and I'll announce the winner. be sure to check your e-mails and make sure you are NOT a no Reply Blogger or have a valid e-mail address. Hope to see you there.

* Open to Australian Residents only.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Do you like ironing?

Braun TS745a texstyle 7 black with eloxal soleplate
It seems to be that time again when some appliance of mine has broken down. At the beginning of the year it was my vacumn cleaner. It didn't really break down but we somehow lost the filter funnel in the barrell). This time around it's the iron (which it feels like I have only just purchased). I was doing a batch of school uniform ironing, turned it off and then tried to come back to it only to find that it was auto-shutting off and not heating up. So I found a scanned copy of my receipt and it was over a year ago when I bought it from Target. Hubby said to just get another one (this coming from a guy who wants to keep everything in case he can fix it!)

I talked to my friends at work and we checked some models online. My friend said to go for Braun or Tefal and my other guy said don't buy Phillips. My last one (pictured left in the photo above) was the Tefal Azur GC4865. I wasn't really impressed when I took it home and I have accidentally seen it go sliding off the ironing board once but it continued to work pretty well up until now. So I dashed to David Jones and bought the new Braun TexStyle 7 TS745a iron and hoped it would be all that I read about.

It certainly impressed me the moment I started ironing the clothes. One pass over shirts was enough for creases to be gone and a few passes over linen made it a breeze to use. I then compared it side by side with my Tefal and it's sole plate is wider. I plonked them on my small scale and there was a 100gm difference. The Tefal being heavier at 1404gms and Braun at 1303gms. Gees I was happy about that. My old Tefal was pretty heavy and I needed to keep refilling the water tank many times. The Braun has a 400ml tank which I still need to refill but I love that it's also bigger.

Wrinkly shorts example. I've ironed on the right hand side and it's nice and flat. Sorry about the night pics. Ironing does not wait for anyone! Haa haa.

The Tefal Azur GC4685 is slimmer but heavier. The Braun ts745a is wider but lighter. Yay. The Eloxyl soleplate is scratch resistant.

My son's linen shorts which were a pain to iron but now ironing shorts has never been easier. It did well over the cargo shorts and denim jeans too.

So there you have it. I recommend the Braun ts745a to everyone who wants a great iron. It's pricier but so worth it. I got it on sale at DJ's for $118. (rrp $139) You do get what you pay for. If you have a problem with it just return it to the store you purchased it from. I think the blue and white one in this style was pricier but it had some bad review maybe? on it and it felt heavier so I opted for the black one.

* I was not paid in any way. These opinions are purely and solely my own*

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Day at Home

The littlest was sick. He took a sip from his brother's cup last Friday and started to get sick by Saturday. By Sunday he was full blown into the virus with high temperatures and general un-wellness. He was sleeping and not eating a lot. So I had no other choice but to stay home. So I shook off the guilt and prepared myself for my home duties and mothering hat.

Generally I only have one day free and that's Friday. Even then I have the little one with me and I have a bit of me time in the morning. But I digress, today I dropped off the other three and came straight back home. First off, I did the laundry (of course, a must first thing) and then had a bit of breakfast and he was asleep. I finished off the dishes from last night (Urghh, we actually normally have dishes in the sink). Anyway, I was pretty sure that mums make and bake things when they are at home and I've been dreaming of gozleme for a while so I prepped up the dough. Lucky it was nice and sunny outside and I added a bit more yeast to my yeast mix. I used this recipe from Taste. It makes four decent size gozleme.

I'd actually never tried pan frying my gozleme before so I gave it a go. Normally I bake it like my mum-in-law does with her dough stuff but I found out that pan-frying is so much faster but you have to be careful not to burn it. Turn the heat down low to medium and use a spatula to flip your goodies. I made spinach and cheese, ham and cheese and spinach and feta and finally za'atar.

I was going to cook this za'atar one flat but I couldn't slide it into the pan so I had to fold it in half like the others and cook it. I must say I am quite impressed with myself.

Now, to see how long my floors stay clean until the kids get home and have dinner. Grrrrrr.
If you've got some great gozleme recipes or fillings let me know!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

We painted.

 I  couldn't think of anything exciting  for the blog post title so here it is... we painted.  I had this in mind for a long,  long  time. I purchased this cupboard a few years ago online. It's quite heavy so I didn't want to just throw it out.  It's still very good. The problem was is that it had marks on it that I couldn't get rid of so I really wanted to paint it. 

 So I went and bought paint and brushes and because it was warm outside on Saturday we dragged it out and I got my eldest to sand it down a bit.  Then the girls wanted to paint and I thought why not? And let them. The nine year old was good. I've been keen to get the kids more involved in jobs. I helped my five year old girl paint as she needed supervision.  She tipped the paint tin over and thankfully I decided to lay down an old cardboard box on the floor so it didn't end up on the floor.  Good decision by mum! 

 After a while though she wasn't getting it right so I told her I would take over and she was pretty okay with it. I did two coats of plain white. It's not glossy and there is a skill to be had when painting... I do not have it. I suppose you get what you pay for so I went cheap with the paint ($7.00 for 500ml) and cheap brushes. It would have turned out much nicer with more expensive stuff but I'm very happy with it.  I only painted the outside and top open section. 

It looks great back in the girls room. I dressed it up with some nice napkins, rosary beadsbeads,  a vase with flowers and a few first holy communion things.  I put boxes along the bottom row only for shoes and the girls can fill in the other shelves with books and toys. I reminded them that they are not allowed to draw or wipe snot on it! Kids! Am I the only one who deals with this issue? 
Anyway,  it's nice to have something finally done especially by yourself. 
Now,  what else is next? 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Springing into action

Well, I survived my trip and so did the kids. They didn't miss us one bit as they were having too much fun with their cousins and we Face-timed them every night anyway. I loved the trip. There were ups and downs but I'll talk about them later. I'm back in mummy mode now. 
I made the kale salad a few days ago. The supermarket sells chopped kale now so for the time-poor mums out there, it's good to throw in every thing you've got in the fridge for this yummy salad and a quick tahini dressing.

I was out doing a visit the other night and found these jasmine growing along a fence. I love, love, love the smell of this jasmine. Mum kept killing the plants I'd bring home and one day I'll grow my own at my own place. I've got this little jar sitting on the bathroom basin and I love the perfume. Oh it reminds me so much of spring.

My eldest girl had her First Holy Communion a few weeks ago. I didn't even get a chance to organise things before we left on our holiday so I was in a mad rush in the last two weeks. The cake I got from CakeMania. A big shout out to Waynem the baker, 'cos it's a beautiful delicious marble cake. Very moist and I picked it up myself on Sunday morning and he carried it to my car.

The bonbonniere's I picked up a few months ago from Hot Dollar. I was short one and found a web shop that sold them so I ordered three more hoping they'd arrive by the end of the week and thanks to they arrived on Thursday nicely packaged and none broken! It took me forever to find the right card stock for the tags and eventually I found them at Party Pop. I spent a couple of hours making up the tags and cutting them out and I love the result.

Here's me and my girl. Both the dresses were purchased while I was in the U.S. It was a wonderful day although I do wish I had lots of extra hands as home parties are stressful if things need to be done on the day and when your new helium tank is empty of helium you can't put up any balloons (but I still had a set of pink and silver ones picked up that morning) you're sure to have a bucket of balloons instead.

Anyway, I shall be back hopefully soon to update you on the bits of my trip.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Psst, I'm on holidays!

 I'm over in San Francisco! I can't believe it. I'm over here with only hubby and the kids are not really missing us. We'll,  the eldest daughter is missing her mummy.  Anyway,  the public transport is fantastic and cheap here. The cable car is more expensive though but fun. More about that later.

 On Sunday we went to church at St Mary of the Assumption. It's a big and so beautiful inside. The deacon there sat and talked to us after mass. He was great.

W have had nice food. It's a bit pricey though for freshly made good. I sure won't be doing this all the time. Shopping had been good. We bought some shoes from Nike Town and DSW. Westfield's is close by and so are many other stores.

Next stop,  Vegas.