Thursday, January 21, 2010


I got an award from my friend Kint over at Domestic Delusions.

The rules are to share 10 honest facts about myself then give the award to 7 other bloggers who inspire me.

1. I am terrified of deep water, particularly the ocean. I think it's partly to do with how bad my eyesight is. Without my glasses I can't tell if it's a rock I'm swimming over or some hideous sea creature who'll devour me lol.

2. I'm a coffee snob who doesn't drink coffee. I used to work as a barrista so I know what a decent latte is meant to look like and not many coffee shops around here make them!

3. I left school when I was twelve years old and didn't go back until I was sixteen. I just woke up one morning and refused to leave the house and no threats or bribes could convince me otherwise. The reasons I stopped going are worthy of a post of their own so I won't go into it now.

4. I love to collect things! I've collected many different things over the years but at the moment fabric and cookbooks are what's making my money and storage space disappear. You know your cookbook collection is getting out of control when the bookshelf holding them collapses (true story lol).

5. I was named after a one-eyed sheep (or ewe to be exact). My mum loved the name Sarah-Jane so much that she called her pet ewe Sarah-Jane. By the time I was born the ewe was old, grumpy and could only see out of one eye but my family has had lots of fun over the years teasing me about who I was "named" after.

6. I'm in love with my iPhone. I'm not really that fussed about the phone part it's more the fact that I have almost constant access to the internet thanks to it. I have withdrawl symptoms when I'm in an area where I don't have 3G net reception. I keep thinking what if something interesting happens online and I don't know about it!

7. I'm planning on homeschooling/unschooling my kids. There are a few different reasons that I came to make this choice that I'll explain another day but I'm really looking forward to all the adventures I'll be able to share with my girls because they won't be locked up in a class room.

8. I love mandarins. I love everything about them, the taste, the smell and I love pulling them right apart and eating them one tiny little juice filled bit at a time. When I see them finally come into season and arrive in the shops I do happy dance every year.

9. It's taken me waaay to long to think of this many facts about myself so I'm glad I'm nearly at the end.

10. I'm a major night owl. Pre children if I was in the middle of a good book or creative project I would think nothing of staying up all night but I've had to curb this habit recently because somehow I've managed to give birth to not one but two children who regularly wake up at the crack of dawn.

I'm too tired to think of seven people and Kint has already mentioned my favourites so the bloggers I'm going to pass the award onto are...

April because I'd like to get to know her better and if Sazz likes her she must be awesome:)

Yan because I want to get to know her better as well.

Majikfaerie because I find her parenting and unschooling style really inspirational.

That's all I can think of for now...

One Per Month January Challenge = Success!

So for January I set out to make a bathmat from the book Handmade home and Margherita Pizza from the Ultimate Mixer Cookbook. Both of them were a success!

I started by making the mat first. I cut up an old towel that had a large hole ripped in it to use for the base and I used part of a vintage doona cover as the patterned top. I bought the doona cover and two matching pillowcases from my local Savers op-shop about a year ago and it was the best $7 I've ever spent! I've made sooo many things from it and I still have lots of fabric left for other projects. In the book Amanda sews strips of toweling onto the top of the mat as well but I liked the pattern on mine too much to cover it up. It was an easy project to sew and if I hadn't been so picky about wanting the patterns in the middle to stay aligned I could have had it finished in under an hour.

Here is the finished product plus some approving toddler feet.

Iris like the mat so much that she wouldn't get off it so I could take a photo and she spent a good portion of the rest of the day asking "where mat hiding?"

I have another vintage bedspread sitting in my fabric stash that I think would be perfect for making a more "girly" looking bathmat. I have a relative who loves that kind of look so I think I'll be using this pattern again soon.

The Margherita Pizza was a lot easier to make than I thought. This was my first time making pizza from scratch so I was a bit scared but it was it all came together really quickly thanks to my new kitchenaid. I can't imagine trying to make any kind of dough without one! The hardest past was trying to reach around a sleeping Lou in the ergo to add ingredients.

I'm going to use the recipe for the dough and make my favourite kind of pizza BBQ chicken next time. Yum!

Now to decide what I'm going to make for the challenge in February...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

One Per Month Challenge

So I have decided to join in the one per month challenge over at chaletgirl's blog. I have heaps of cookbooks and craft books that I have never made anything out of so hopefully this will encourage me to try some new things and give me some new blog fodder as well.

For January I have chosen The Ultimate Mixer Cookbook by Kay Halsey as my cookbook.

I got a KitchenAid for Christmas that I haven't used yet so cooking something out of this book will give me a chance to try it out. I'm thinking I'll make the Pizza Margherita.

For my craft book I've chosen Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule.

I've had this book for a few months now but I've yet to make anything out of it. There are so many great projects that I want to sew but I think I'll start with a practical one. We are in desperate need of some more bath mats so I'm going to sew the towel rug.

Do any of my newly blogging friends want to join in the challenge? I have plenty of books I can loan out...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Let them eat cake...

These are two of my favourite cake recipes.

This first cake was one that I knew I could have finished before Iris woke up from her afternoon nap hence why I started to call it the naptime cake.

Naptime Banana cake
125g butter
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g self-raising flour
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and line a round cake tin.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy or if you're feeling really lazy microwave the butter till melted and then mix in the sugar.
Add eggs one at a time, adding one tablespoon of flour with the second egg.
Fold in the remaining flour with the mashed banana.
Pour into cake tin.
Cook cake until top is brown, middle is firmish and edges look a bit crunchy.
Remove cake from pan.
Dust with icing sugar whilst cake is still hot.
This cake tastes awesome served warm with icecream!

This next recipe makes a huge cake. That didn't stop me eating half of it in one night the first time I baked it...

Lemon Sour Cream Cake
250g butter
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind ( I use my microplane grater)
2 cups caster sugar
6 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup self raising flour
200g sour cream

Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
Grease and line a large round cake tin.
Cream butter, sugar and lemon rind until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time.
Sift flours together and stir in half of the flour and half of the sour cream until combined then add the other halves.
Stir until smooth then pour into cake tin.
Bake for 1.5 hours, stand for 5 minutes then dust with icing sugar.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lou and baby-led solids

I am doing things a bit differently with Lou in regards to solids than I did with Iris. Although I never pureed food for Iris I still started her with mushy soft foods and slowly worked up to "real" food over a few months. I am doing baby-led solids with Lou instead. I was going to wait until she was six months before giving her any solids or later if she still wasn't showing any interest. Well Lou decided at five months of age that she was most definitely interested in food and no way was she waiting till six months to get her hands on what everyone else was eating in front of her. She started grabbing food from my hands or from my plate and getting very upset when her "prize" was taken away. After a few weeks of this I finally let her keep a peach she had snatched from my hand. She ate nearly the whole thing! She only stopped when I pried it from her hands not wanting her tummy to be overloaded with too much of a new thing all of a sudden. The next day I gave her a piece of banana thinking she might suck on it a bit and throw it away, well she ate the whole banana and cried for more when it was all gone! She pretty much hasn't stopped eating since and it's nearly impossible now to eat or drink while holding her without her grabbing at your food, cutlery, plate or drink.

At seven months Lou's favourite foods are bananas and toast but she has also tried chicken, pork, nectarine, cantelope, strawberries, blueberries, beans, peas, pumpkin, potato, cheese, cous cous, corn on the cob and I'm sure there are foods I've forgotten.

Following Lou's lead as to when and how much she wants to eat has made starting solids easy and as you can see she is having a great time exploring food.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Rockin' on with Daddy

Lou doesn't like to be held by anyone but me and I can usually hear her protesting loudly most mornings because Steven is holding her while I have a shower. This particular morning I could hear her laughing instead and I wondered Steven was doing to make her so happy. This is what I saw when I came into the lounge room...

Steven was playing playing Guitar Hero with Lou in the sling and rocking Lou with his dancing as he played. She thought the music and the dancing was hilarious!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

French Onion Dip Recipe

50g diced bacon
1/2 cup egg mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups sour cream
35g packet low salt French onion soup mix
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 geen onion, chopped

Heat a frying pan over moderate heat. Cook and stir bacon for 3-4 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels; let cool. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; stir through bacon. Cover with glad wrap; chill until required. Serve topped with the onion.
This dip tastes even better if you leave it to chill in the fridge overnight!

Recipe from January 2009 Recipes+ magazine
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