Monday, June 30, 2008

Our Wet Weekend

John Travolta eat yer heart out........................... This is a photo of Kalem practising his dance moves (taught by dad, yes that is J's finger in the corner of photo..) for his first school disco on Friday night! I am sure that with moves such as this he is sure to be a hit with the girls....just like his papa!!! Actually there was no dancing with girls, just A LOT of eating JUNK..... We gave Kalem a few dollars to get a drink and something to eat, he came back literally green from eating so many sweets and drinking those VILE little bottles of fizzy orange yuk, definitely can't be called drink...poison perhaps!! When he got home he stumbled through the door almost like a drunk clutching his half full bottle of fizzy, feeling sick and with a headache. I have been in this state myself on many an occasion (not for a long while though..), but not when I was 7 after a SCHOOL DISCO...........

Actually it is not like Kalem too eat so much rubbish, he does not have a sweet tooth (unlike his mama) and is very aware of what is healthy and what is not. An example..... when he was about 3 we went to Western-super-mare for the day and had fish and chips in a cafe with my mum and dad. After eating our seaside meal, the cafe owner brought over a large container of lollipops and offered one to Kalem. Kalem politely refused and told the (kind) man that they were bad for his teeth, much to my delight and parents embarrassed horror!!!! I have totally failed to install this way of thinking in Talia, she no doubt would have taken the whole container of lollipops and eaten them one after the other. I wonder who Lola will be like??

This weekend in Christchurch the weather was shockingly bad, Saturday it absolutely poured down, flooding the garage and even getting into our sleep out. A great weekend however for making salt dough figures, which we have been meaning to do for a while.

Kalem and Talia busy creating..........................

The little figures after being baked....perhaps a bit overdone!

The finished collection, after being painted. There are flowers, ladybugs, a car, penguins and even a THING??? made by Talia.

The kids and I had great fun making these, so I though that I would post the recipe in case anyone else needed something to pass the time on a rainy weekend..
* Mix 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt in a large bowl, add water a little at a time until the dough is thick but not sticky.
* Place dough onto a hard surface and knead until it is soft and smooth with no lumps.
* Then let you imagination flow....................................................... Just need to remember to brush the extra bits like legs, heads, eyes etc with water before adding them to the main body of work. Can also use a toothpick to keep head and body together.
* The instructions say to bake completed models on a baking sheet (or tin foil) @ 100 degrees C for approx 1 hour, placing models directly on oven rack half way through cooking. As you can see from the picture I had the temp too high and left them in too long, hmmmmm still blaming sleep deprivation. The temp and time can change for smaller/larger models, just keep an eye on them.
* Leave to cool and paint!
Oh and by the way, I did not come back with any more enthusiasm after my gym visit. I did book a swiss ball lesson (?????) for Saturday, but (unfortunately) had to cancel as Julian was not back from taking Talia swimming in time. What a shame.................. must have accidentally forgotten to tell Julian about my lesson, oops!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Suffering and torture...

Arggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh this morning I am off to the gym to have a look around and a chat. I was happily(ish) plodding along at the gym when I got pregnant with Lola. Had to put my membership on hold for a year as was too ill to even contemplate going. I am by no stretch of the imagination a GYM BUNNY..... really no. stretch. of. the. IMAGINATION, but was doing quite well and it occasionally got me out of the house at crazy hour 6-7pm.

So now my (2 year!!!) membership (why oh why did I not listen to Julian who told me my gym craze would not last that long???) has come up for renewal...yippee...NOT!!!! I can't see how I am ever going to actually get to the gym with Lola and I really can't be bothered torturing myself on the treadmill again, BUT I really do not to get fit and healthy, maybe this is the push that I need. I suppose that I could go at the weekend, but there is so much else that I would rather be doing....

BIG SIGH..... better get my trainers on and get going, oh joy of joys..........

Maybe (fingers crossed here) I will come back from my gym visit with slightly more enthusiasm.

Note to self - listen to hubby when he speaks future words of wisdom, he knows you well!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Carrot Soup....

Yeessssssssssssss, this is a photo of chopped carrots!!! Just thought they looked so bright and cheery sitting there on my chopping board, couldn't resist taking a pic.......... Yesterday in Christchurch it was freezing...brrrrrrrrr... it was the kind of cold that takes your breath away! So to warm us all up I made a pot of carrot and ginger soup (hence the carrot photo), obviously the kids turned their cute little noses up at this, but Julian and I enjoyed this tasty zingy soup with yummy hot buttered bagels. Thought that I would post the recipe, just in case anyone else is feeling the chill of winter and needs a bit of warming up....

900 grams carrots, chopped
1 1/2 pints of vegetable stock
4 Tablespoons of butter
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed (I used 3)
25 gm root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
salt & pepper to season

Place carrots and stock in large pan. Bring to boil, cover & simmer for about 15 mins.
In another pan melt butter and saute onion, garlic and ginger until soft and browning.
Cool carrot mix slightly then blend in food processor with onion mix until smooth, season to taste.

This turned out a bit thicker than we like, so I added some more stock. Very good with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top.

No baking with Boo this week as she was really tired and fell asleep on the couch. I however made a very tasty cranberry and pistachio iced slice. The recipe can be found in this fabulous new magazine world sweet world which arrived in my mailbox today..

As there have been no pics of the kids for a couple of days, here is one for my ma & pa, T just about to head off to her friends birthday party. She is proudly holding her latest most treasured possession, her fairy wand that we made on Saturday afternoon while Kalem was off playing with his cuzzie Joe........ glitter, glitter everywhere!!!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Into The Wild...

A few weeks ago Julian and I watched the film INTO THE WILD, the true story of Christoper McCandless's journey to Alaska to live in the wilderness. It is one of those rare films that stay with you once you have finished watching, a true masterpiece directed by the 'oh so cool' Sean Penn. It's probably not every one's cup of tea..., but it really touched me!

If you have not seen it, then check it out it is powerful, dramatic, touching, sad, brilliant, complex, insightful, moving, is in fact all of these things and more. It was also the first film that I have been able to watch without falling asleep since having Lola, so it really must have been good!

The soundtrack is also AMAZING.... by Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam fame). Julian went out and bought it soon after watching the film and I am in LOVE with it. I think that the track 'SOCIETY' totally sums up the film...................... (my kids are seriously fed up of hearing it!)

It's a mystery to me
We have a Greed
With which we have agreed

And you think you have to
Want more than you need
Until you have it all
You won't be Free

You're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely
Without me

When you want more than you have
You think you need
And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed

I think I need to find a bigger place
Cause when you have
More than you think
You need more space.............................................

Just half of the track, but you get the picture, think I might go and play it once again.......X

Saturday, June 21, 2008


A few days ago I was tagged by the lovely Melody from biglittlesister to do a 'meme', this is the first time that I have been tagged....

The rules of play: I have to answer 6 questions about myself. At the end of the post, I then tag 6 people and post their names, then go to their blogs and leave them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read my blog. Then, I must let the person who tagged me know when I have posted my answers.

So here goes.....................

* Liverpool, UK
* South Africa
* Cheltenham, UK
* Brockworth, Gloucester, UK
* Eilat, Israel
* London, UK
* Christchurch, NZ

I had to ask my husband this question as my memory seriously does not go back that far!!!!! Anyway this time 10 years ago I was child free and husband free, well kind of Julian and I were together. We had just left London where we had been living in a large house filled with Kiwi's, Aussie's, a South African and me the one and only Pom. I had been waitressing in a really busy restaurant in Covent Garden, working all hours to save up enough money to travel with the new love of my life (whom I found on a drunken night in Israel...). Exactly 10 years ago to the month we (J and I) were travelling through South East Asia with our good friend Sarah, Paul and also for a while J's brother Nick, we were probably in Laos. It seems weird to think back on those days, nothing to do but travel from place to place, eating sticky rice (the only veggie food in Loas) and reading novel after novel...................... no fighting children, nappies to be changed, 5 loads of washing to be done, school homework to check, fairy wands to make, dusting and hoovering, etc, etc........

* Buy a present for Talia's pre-school friend who is having a party tomorrow.
* Make a fairy wand with T. (Done)
* Go to supermarket to buy flour and red wine.
* Phone college re: Midwifery course, this has been on my list all week, deserves noting even though can't do anything today as it's Saturday!!!! Monday definitely.
* Knitting and probably some tidying as can't see the floor for dolls, cars, teddies, Dora lego!

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, I wish I was one of those people who don't have a sweet tooth.........they do exist really!!!!!

Luckily I also love rice crackers, hummus, dried apricots, almonds, cheese crackers, bagel chips.

Would definitely move to Nelson and buy some land, J could have his Alpaca's and bee's finally. Would pay all of the bills on time.... Would buy somewhere to live in Cornwall, England so can go from the summer here to the summer there. Would share it with our families. Would take all of my girlfriends that are dotted about the world to this fantastic little hippy health spa, veggie resort that I stumbled across (but could not afford) when travelling in Thailand. I would pay my brothers to come and live in NZ coz I miss them soooooo. Would buy a sewing machine and lot's of lovely fabric. I would make sure that I had a lovely crafty studio all of my own...... Then I would use the rest to help out in any way I can to reduce poverty, especially in the places that I have travelled where 5 year old children are on the streets at midnight selling matches to strange tourists..................................................

So that's that then, I have looked through other peoples blogs and most seem to have been tagged already, so I will leave it up to you if you are reading this and want to join in please do, it's fun honestly........X

Friday, June 20, 2008

Warning......Knitting post!

Yipppeee..... I have finally finished Lola's little hat and I am very pleased with it!! It has taken me ages due to other knitting projects also on the go, I wish that I could be the kind of person to just do one thing at a time. I have also made a little knitted mouse, which was my first try at knitting with 2 colours. It did not work out too well although by the end of it I had figured out the whole 2 colour thing. It looks a bit more like a mole than a mouse so it definitely does not get to make it on to my blog!! I am thinking it will make a good Christmas present for the cat! I am also in the middle of a cardigan for Lola, but I don't really like the wool so am not inspired to pick up the needles.

Ohhhh I have so many things that I want to knit. I have a pattern and wool for some woolen longies for Lola (just have to figure how to knit on circular needles), some fingerless gloves for me (circular needles again), a gorgeous hat, scarf and bag combo (with cute heart design) for Talia, Julian wants a hat, I want to knit a fairy doll for Talia....and I guess I better knit something for Kalem too! I think that in true Julie style I have gotten every book on knitting out of the library! I also have a pattern for a beautiful shrug for me, but it needs lots of lovely expensive wool, so I am going to wait until I have improved somewhat before trying it. I definitely have the knitting bug AND I DON'T CARE IF PEOPLE THINK I AM A NANA.......... (you know who you are!)

I was at the op shop the other day getting some (bargain) pre-loved knitting needles and while paying a little old lady smiled on happily saying it is good that the young people (surely she was not talking about me???) today have rediscovered the art of knitting. In her day they had to do it, but in our day we do it because of our desire for beautiful items handmade with love...

Here is my little cherub in her new hat, it was supposed to have pom poms, but I think that it looks better without..... (the actual pattern is from a Erika Knight book)

Off now to figure out my next project.............................XX

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Four Months Old...

Wow I can hardly believe that it has been four months since this adorable little girl came into out lives! I think that she is extra precious as it took us so long to decide to have her and I can't stop thinking....what if we decided against number 3?????? No Lola-Bel, unimaginable, I mean how did we ever get by without those beautiful gummy smiles???

She is a real blessing and we are all totally besotted with her. Kalem, so sweet and gentle with her and I can just tell that she will one day be able to wrap him around her little finger, he can't wait to see her in the morning and does the most amazing (sometimes quite odd) things just for one of those precious grins. Talia, not quite so gentle, but she adores her and needs to hug her at least 100 times a day. She loves to help me look after her and is especially interested in nappy changing time. Julian, a proud daddy, I can't help thinking that he is in for some trouble later on with 2 girls to boss him around(and me of course..), but he loves his little daddy's girls. And me..... well I can't stop staring into those amazing blue eyes, loving the fact that they look back at me happy and peaceful knowing that I am going to look after her and keep her safe, a job that I am truly going to cherish.....

In her new Bumbo chair, which everyone thinks is a big purple potty.........

Happy four month birthday Lola,
we love you.......................

Baking with Boo.......

Today in baking with Boo we made caramel filled chocolate muffins which actually do not taste as good as they sound. This however has not stopped me from eating 2...................what was that I said about being healthy????????????????????????? Must try harder tomorrow!! Have you ever in your life seen such a happy baker?

The finished product, ready to be devoured....

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Crafty Afternoon

Remeber the papier-mache....well Kalem's mask didn't turn out too badly, so on Saturday afternoon we decided to get crafty. Kalem painted his mask..........................

......and Talia made beads by painting penne pasta and adding a glitter and a twitter!!

The finished mask! Ohhhhhhhhhh scarrrrry..... I think it is supposed to be scary anyway!!

The finished necklace! You can't really see in this photo, but the beads are all sparkly. Yes this does mean that our house is now covered in glitter................ (actually daddy went to work with some in his hair this morning, he did not realise, but am sure that his builder buddies will let him know pretty quickly, lol!!!!)

Just had to take a photo of this raspberry and sour cream cake, I found the recipe here this lovely blog. We had some friends come round for lunch and this was the perfect way to end the meal, yummy! I normally do not make anything if it does not have chocolate in it, but this was good and I definately recommend it! This was also like a final pudding as today I am starting my healthy eating, get fit regime...... Now people who know me will laugh, as I normally say this most Monday mornings, but this time I am SERIOUS it is definitely time to lose that baby blubber...... Wish me luck!!
Just thought that I would note that my blog seems to be dated a day behind, must be in different time zone..

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Little Angel....



AND WHEN SHE WAS BAD SHE WAS HORRID...........!!!!!!!!!!!

This really sums up my darling daughter, who has been quite a challenge this week. Bless her little cotton socks...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baking with Boo....

This week Talia was feeling up to doing a bit of baking, so in this week's 'baking with boo' we made Fudge-Filled Peanut Butter Muffins and yes they do taste as good as they sound.

Kalem joined in for the best bit... licking the spoon! Poor Lola looked on longingly from her bouncy chair.
The finished muffins, hmmmmm that is Talia's hand about to pinch one while I am otherwise occupied taking the photo. Well peanut butter is her favourite thing to eat EVER!!!!

Pretty in pink, a photo of our little princess for my mum and dad so they can check out her gooey gorgeousness...

This is my thrifted saucepan which I am thrilled with. I love ceramics in all forms and this pot is gorgeous, it even has pink daisies on it. I LOVE it, hubby however is less than enamoured with it and thinks it will be best kept in the cupboard.....ERRRR no way it makes me SMILE every time I see it..... and did I mention the pink daisies?????? ( by the way the photo does not do it justice)

Monday, June 9, 2008

No School Today....

Today Kalem has had the day off school due to a 'little' cough, apparently his teacher has told them they are not allowed to come to school if they are coughing or sneezing!!!! I guess this means he will be home for the whole winter term, in my experience as a mum so far, kids have a constant cough/cold during the winter. Anyway, he is not ill at all so it's back to school tomorrow. Today though he had fun while Talia was at preschool, she was off all last week due to actually being quite ill with a mystery virus...all better now though!

Kalem spent hours with his beloved Lego and is very proud (as am I) of the boat and plane that he has created. Definitely thought they were worthy of a photo...... Now I know that I have previously posted about the fact that I am trying to rid my life of plastic (this is proving harder than I thought by the way), but there is no way that we could get rid of Lego. We have seriously had hours of fun with this ingenious 'toy' and it is so great to see how Kalem's imagination works through these little colourful blocks of magic. I wish that I had taken photo's of his creations before, some have been really inventive....... here is my clever little man.

The boat actually has a below deck for cars that you can't see in the photo.....

After we picked Talia up we headed off to the library, a trip that we all love. I was lucky enough to pick up The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soul, she writes the blog SouleMama , very inspiring, full of great ideas, I would highly recommend it. I am definitely going to try the cloth book for Lola's first birthday.
The afternoon was then spent doing papier-mache........................ this was one of those crafts that I wish I had never started, K and T found it very frustrating. Probably should have tried to make something a bit easier than a mask for a first attempt. We used a balloon as a base, but they would not keep still (as is the way with balloons). T gave up and K and I tried to finish his, we will see what it is like when dry. This weekend we are making salt dough figures, hopefully we will have more luck with these!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Finished items..

Well somebody must have sent me some Happy knitting vibes, because instead of throwing the messed up knitting to the side and forgetting about true Julie fashion, I actually finished it. Okay, so it's not perfect and if you look closely at the picture you will see that the neck is not quite joined, but you can't see it when Lola is wearing it. Instead of sewing the shoulder seam I added ribbons and this seems to work fine. I also removed the cute crochet heart from one of Talia's old t shirts and sewed it on here, all in all I am quite pleased. My lovely mother-in-law came and had a look (as hubby phoned to say I needed knitting help), she seemed to think that my casting off was to tight, I had actually thought that this might be the problem so will be aware of it next time.

I am looking forward to starting my next project (so many ideas), but Talia is still ill so have not been able to get to the wool shop. I am actually getting cabin fever as have not left the house for about 4 days...arghhhhhh, actually looking forward to going out to the doctor later (maybe we could fit in a quick trip to the wool shop) Our local wool shop is great, the ladies in there take great pity on my being a novice knitter and are really helpful, it also has a play castle so Talia loves going there to play princesses.

Here is the little model in her new vest... looking a bit shell shocked (obviously can't believe her mother's amazing knitting skills.......)!

.......and here is another finished product. Well almost, these 3 felt fish are going to become a mobile for Lola, Talia is playing with them as I type, so may have to make some more for her!

This blog is ACTUALLY motivating me to get things done....... and it is keeping my family up to date on things, when I spoke to my mum this morning she knew that Talia was ill. I thought that it was her psychic talent, but no she had been reading my blog, still working on that profile photo mum, promise to change it soon...x

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Quiet Day........

Apparently there are not enough photo's of Kalem on this blog (and apparently too many of Talia), so here is one of my boy making smoothies...... This one is simple, but tasty just banana, golden kiwi fruit and orange juice, (with a touch of flax seed oil slipped in when kids are not looking).

On Monday it is a national holiday here in NZ for the Queen's birthday. I find it strange that we have a day off for the Queen, especially as this is not celebrated in the UK, but who am I to complain, a holiday is a holiday..... Also isn't her birthday in April????

All plans for today went out of the window as Glastonbury 2007 was on the TV for about 5 hours......... (how jealous are we that my brother is going this year!) What a waste of a day, but it's okay as Talia has been unwell (not sure what is wrong) and just sleeping on the couch for most of the day, also the weather has not been great. Definitely going to get out tomorrow, but for today a quiet day at home was just what we all needed, it's been quite lovely actually just hanging out together. J and I even sat down and talked uninterrupted for ages.....can't remember the last time we did that during the day!

Other news........................ my knitting project has turned into a complete disaster and I am gutted! Maybe it was too difficult a pattern for such a novice, but it did say EASY!!!! I didn't think it was too difficult and what I did not know I looked up on the net, so I thought that I was doing fine, until I finished the neck line that is. Let's just say the neck is so small it probably would not fit one of Talia's dolls never mind my little chubby baby. I am determined to do something with it as the wool is lovely and a bit too expensive to be used for a doll. So I am sewing up the sides, forgetting about the moss stitch armholes, leaving one shoulder seam open (maybe add a ribbon/button???) in the hope that it will fit over her head. At least if it goes on it will keep her warm, even if it does not look great! Am saving the extra wool to make a hat, hopefully one that will fit. I am seriously not having much knitting luck so far. Anyway will post the finished garment in all it's glory soon........ Need some serious happy knitting vibes sent my way!
Your fairy is called Tangle Saturnwand
She is a trouble maker.
She lives at the bottom of tangled gardens and in hedgerows.
She is only seen when the seer holds a four-leafed clover.
She wears tangled dresses of multicoloured petals. She has delicate pale pink wings like a cicada.