Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Fourth Birthday Annabelle

Due to the broken arm we had to change what we had planned for Annabelle's birthday but she still had a lovely day celebrating her birthday with her extended family.

There's a lot of presents there waiting to be opened!


 Evie was happy to help with the unwrapping

A Peppa Pig Nurse's kit!  

 'The Fairies' birthday cake

Enjoying the attention.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Broken Wing

It's amazing how one little event can change everything.

Annabelle was having fun playing with her cousins when I heard her scream.

And the screaming didn't stop.

A quick trip to the hospital, followed by examinations and x-rays lead to emergency surgery on her elbow.

Apparently the injury was unusual, I think because she managed to break 2 bones on opposite sides of her elbow and dislocate a third, but the emergency was because of nerve damage. We're hoping it will fix itself and it isn't anything permanent.

I spent 2 nights in the hospital with Annabelle, sitting in a fairly uncomfortable chair, and I was really pleased with how well Evie coped without me as it's the first time we've spent a night apart.

The elbow is now wired together (I haven't told her she'll be back in hospital in 6 weeks to have the wires removed) and the arm is in a non-removable sling.

My two biggest challenges over the coming weeks are trying to find clothes that will fit around the sling and getting Annabelle to rest the arm - I'm not hopeful about her resting.

 Before surgery

 The morning after


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Whiskey Cumquat Marmalade

The house we moved into 5 months ago has several fruit trees; apples, oranges, lemonade lemons, peach and cumquat.

At the moment there is an abundance of cumquats and anyone familiar with the fruit knows they have quie a sharp taste so eating them off the tree is out of the question.

It seemed a shame to waste so much fruit so I thought I'd try my hand at making some jam.

Cumquat Marmalade Recipe

900g cumquats
1200ml water
900g sugar
5 Tbsp whiskey

* Slice the cumquats thinly and discard the seeds.
* Add the water and soak the fruit overnight
*Transfer the fruit and water into a heavy based pan and simmer gently, uncovered, until peel is tender
* When the fruit is ready add sugar stirring to disolve
* Cook rapidly until marmalade sets. It is ready when a teaspoon of mixture placed on a cold plate wrinkles    on the surface when touched with a finger
* Stir the whiskey into the marmalade then leave it to cool for 10 minutes.
* Spoon into sterilised jars, cover and label.

There are a couple of sterilisation methods you can use:

Oven: Preheat oven to 120 C. Wash jars and lids in warm soapy water. Rinse and dry on a tray Place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove and fill with marmalade while still warm.

Dishwasher: Sterilise jars, lids and seals in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Dry well with a clean tea towel before use.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Arrow: Action, Amell and Abs

Everyone has their guilty pleasure right?

At the moment mine is the TV show Arrow.

The long-advertised Arrow finally premiered in Australia in April with the highest debut for a new American show this year, with more viewers than Elementary or The Following had when they debuted.

Why then does the nine network keep changing the TV schedule?  

At a time when networks are losing viewers to piracy or online streaming it seems strange to keep taking a show off air rather than letting it build on the following it already has. Out of sheer frustration I ended up downloading the entire Season 1, although I am watching it again when Ch 9 does actually air it (14 weeks after the initial air date and we're still only up to Episode 9).

So here's my 3 top reasons why you should be watching Arrow: 

1. Action
There's lots of action sequences on Arrow and they can have a surprisingly movie-like quality to them. In other words they're really well done.

2. Amell
Stephen Amell's portrayal of a rich guy who dons a hood and uses a bow and arrow in his pursuit of the bad guys who plague Starling City has a gritty realistic quality to it. Lead actor Stephen Amell has loads of talent and he's also a really nice guy. Few 'stars' interact with their fans the way he does via his almost daily Facebook posts of videos and pictures not to mention his Twitter account.

3. Abs
When it comes to male eye candy Stephen Amell's abs will send you into amelltdown.

If you haven't seen Arrow yet, and you like some action in your viewing,  now is a good time to join the ride. 

  Kinda amusing tweet from Channel Nine

And now for some more gratuitous Arrow pics:

There is also a Facebook page run by fans in Australia, which is a bit of fun. Join the Aus Arrowettes here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The (new) Wiggles

On Monday I took the girls to see The Wiggles in concert for the very first time.

When I say "The Wiggles" I mean The new Wiggles as there are 3 new members, Emma, Lachy and Simon, who replaced Jeff, Greg/Sam and Murray when they retired.

My girls know a few of the older songs but they haven't heard much of the new stuff so I wasn't sure whether they would enjoy the show or not - I needn't have worried as they had a fantastic time.

The show opened with their favourite song 'Rock a bye your bear' - and its also the only song they know all the actions to - so we were off to a great start.

Annabelle stood up to dance and then she inched closer and closer to the stage just staring at the Wiggles (we were only 3 rows from the front) completely mesmerised.

I sent a tweet to the Wiggles before the show telling them Annabelle and Evie were excited to be seeing them in concert and when Emma Wiggle read out the message I thought Annabelle was going to pass out from excitement.

We all had a lovely day, I enjoyed the jokes aimed at the grown ups and the kids enjoyed dancing and watching the show.

I am a little Wiggled out now though as we bought a Wiggles DVD on the way out, which has been on repeat for the last 4 days! Everytime Annabelle watches it she says I love Emma, I wish I could give her a hug.

A successful day indeed.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Angel Belle

Today should be my niece's 11th birthday.

Instead of watching her blow out candles on her cake we went back to the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple and rang the Bell of Gratitude.

I am so grateful that we had Belle in our lives, but my heart aches that our time together was so short.

Happy Birthday Belle; I hope you heard the bell ringing loud and clear just for you.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Woodward Walking Track

We recently had to say a final farewell to my Aunty Bet and my cousins decided to have a memorial for her and scatter her ashes at walking track named after their Dad, my Uncle Fred.

I have only been on the track once, and that was at the opening about 15 years ago, so it was bittersweet as I enjoyed being there again but wish it had been under happier circumstances.

Funerals and memorials can be odd sometimes as you get to catch up with friends and family you haven't seen in a while but you're also grieving for the person whose funeral it is.

Life can be very strange indeed.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bosisto’s Prize Pack Giveaway!

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a huge fan of Bosisto's products, especially their Eucalyptus oil, a scent that would be very familiar to generations of Aussies.

I use a teaspoon of Eucalyptus Oil when washing clothes, in my bucket of water when washing the floors and it's also great as a spot cleaner. This morning I noticed pumpkin marks on the cream coloured carpet, obviously one of my daughters had an accident at dinner last night, and I used a wet cloth with a few dabs of Eucalyptus Oil added to it to remove the stains from the carpet. 

There are many uses for the Eucalyptus Oil so why not head on over to the Bosisto's handy hints page to how else it can be used - I'm going to try their recipe for garden spray as my plants are being eaten alive at the moment. While you're there you can request a Bosisto's Eucalyptus handy hints brochure for free!

Bosisto's have announced that they are aiming to plant One Million trees in 2013. The new plantations will not only benefit the environment - reducing salinity and lowering CO2 emissions - but will also support local farms and farmers providing a much needed boost to local economies.

How can you help? Simply purchase any specially marked Bosisto’s 100% pure Oil or Solution and Bosisto’s will plant a tree for you!

Bosisto's have given me a prize pack to giveaway to one lucky reader! The prize is valued at $225 and includes: 
• Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Spray
• Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Oil 200mL
• Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Oil 100mL
• Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Oil 50mL
• Bosisto’s EucoSteam Inhalant 200mL
• Bosisto’s EucoSteam Inhaler combo
• Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Rub 35g
• Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Rub 250g
• Bosisto’s Antiseptic Spray 55mL
• Bosisto’s Nasal Spray 50mL
• Bosisto’s Nasal Inhaler 1g
• Bosisto’s Eucalyptus sugar-free drops
• Bosisto’s Tea Tree Spray 100g
• Bosisto’s Lavender Spray 100g
• Bosisto’s Foot Powder 100g
• Bosisto’s Cough Syrup 200mL
• Eucalyptus Oil – Australia’s Natural Wonder book
• Bosisto’s environmentally friendly carry bag
• Bosisto’s Parrot soft toy

For your chance to WIN leave me a comment below - don't forget your email address if I can't contact you through your profile!

Terms and Conditions
1. Competition opens 24 May 2013 and ends at 5pm on the 2 June 2013
2. Winner will be announced on the blog and emailed
4. If winner cannot be located within 48hrs a new winner will be selected
5. Open to Australian residents only
6. Winner picked using

update 3rd June - thanks to the winner is:
Matthew Heaps.

Congratulations Matthew I shall be in touch.