Monthly Archives: January 2014

Australia Day at Vacation Care

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We celebrate Australia Day every year at vacation care, generally with a BBQ lunch and some Australian snack or two.  This yea I had found some really cool stuff on Pinterest that I had not come across before.

The 1st was a selection of photo booth props, from Life’s Little Celebrations. They are super cute, and I was going to get them, but they were $3.50 and I didn’t have the time to produce them nicely and laminate them before giving them to the kids….so maybe next year.

The 2nd was a super easy Australia Day Punch.  This recipe is from over at Kidspot.  It is made with the really Australian flavours of Green Cordial and Passiona soft drink.  When I got to work as all the kids were finishing it off, they all said to me that they loved the drink. YAY!! (Good Choice Miss Fraser).

The 3rd thing that I found for the kids to do was Koala in a creek.  This is basically blue Jelly with a caramello koala in it.  Now I accidentally got Freddos instead, but hey green frogs are super Australian! I have a feeling my girls at work were a little enthusiastic with the putting in of the frogs because they melted and sunk to the bottom of the cup instead of standing up in the picture,  But the kids loved the idea and the fact they got to eat a jelly and frog at afternoon tea.  In the end it kinda looked like the frogs had be hibernating….but meh whoooooooo really cares! Its all about the jelly isn’t it???

Not the best frog in the creek, but certainly the yummiest!

Not the best frog in the creek, but certainly the yummiest!

Pool Noodle Craft

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To fill in a day of Vacation Care this time around I had seen some Pool Noodle Craft floating around on Pinterest.  Now just at the moment I can’t find where I pinned my pin.  Which is a P A I N!

But the general gist of the activity was buy some pool noodles ( I got mine at Kmart for $3.  They were about that price everywhere I looked) and cut them into bits.  I apparently was abel to get about 13 pieces out of each noodle, which was heaps more than I expected.  Out of the 5 noodles I bought I ended up with 73 pieces of chopped noodle for the kids to use. They were super happy because they got more than one piece to use.  One of my girls at work had found a picture of a bee and printed it out as an idea for the kids, but I had also told them to go to town, make what ever you want, there was plenty of craft items to use.  I had stuff out like paint, chenille sticks (pipe cleaners), goggle eyes, eye stickers, matchsticks, skewers, you name it they were able to use it.  We ended up with so many amazing creations.

Some of the little kids just copied the bee, but that was to be expected.  The older kids let their creative juices flow! We had aliens, boats, cows, everything! It was an amazing craft and cheap as well which is always good.  I will so be doing this again at after school care, they had so much fun creating.

Here are just a couple of photos of the creations from that day

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various noodle craft

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Busy Bees and an Alien

Postcard Trading for Thinking Day

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Now for those of you not up with Girl Guide/Girl Scout lingo Thinking Day is Feb 22 and is a day to celebrate World Thinking Day (WTD). WTD is an opportunity to celebrate international friendship, learn about and take action on important issues, and fundraise in support of the World Thinking Day Fund (from the WAGGGS website).

Cruising around on Pinterest one day I came across the Postcard Exchange.  Now I had just started back with my old unit and was excited to be able to find fun stuff to do with a group of 14-18 yr old girls.  I thought this would be an awesome idea so I shared it with the other leader and the girls and the idea was received very well.

We have written to units in  variety of countries and have started receiving some postcards back.  I also ordered us some patches for the girls who participated.  Here are a couple of cards that I have gotten back, and the patches that I ordered.  They are super cute and I can’t wait to hand them out.

Patches and Postcard from DC

Patches and Postcard from DC

Brown Sugar Chicken tenders

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Brown Sugar Spiced Baked Chicken 

One word for this recipe from over at Spoonful is YUM!

Now my chicken didn’t turn out like the picture, as I have discovered many of my recipes don’t.  But the flavours in this dish were great.  The brown sugar gave the chicken a great stickiness, and the combination of the paprika and the cumin was delicious.  It is such a simple recipe that even someone who can’t cook would be able to cook this dish and pull it off.

The chicken probably needed to be cooked in a shallower dish so the juice didn’t remain in the dish.  But what impressed me the most was there was absolutely NO fat or oil in this recipe at all.  Even in the marinade.  That is such a bonus!  I am just thinking now that these would also be really nice cooked on the BBQ.  Something to remember for next time.

Brown Sugar Spiced Baked Chicken

Brown Sugar Spiced Baked Chicken

Easy Blueberry Muffins

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I hate wasting great seasonal fruit.

So to use up some beautiful summer Blueberries, I found this easy blueberry muffin recipe.

Now I made a couple of small changes to the recipe, I didn’t use the blueberry jam, or the lemon sugar.  I did this only because I wanted to simple not too sweet muffing that was nice to eat.  The other small change I made was the butter milk portion of the ingredients.  We didn’t have butter milk and I didn’t want to go to the grocery store, so I kinda made my own.    To make the buttermilk I mixed greek yoghurt and milk together to make a buttermilk like consistency.  It worked a treat as the consistency of the muffin mixture was fine.

I only just managed 12 muffins, but I think that is because I struggle putting the right amount of mixture in the cases to start with, and I also struggle not to eat it before it goes in the oven. 🙂

They had a great texture when they were done, and came out of the cases easier than any muffin I have had in a long time.  I put this down to the oil in the mixture.  I think I will be making these muffins again especially interchanging different fruits.  Maybe even peach and raspberry. Now that would be interesting.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Black Bean Tortilla Pie

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I have a love of black beans, and eat them regularly when I am in the states.  But not being able to get the here always made me sad.

So when I found them at Fresh Sensation at Carindale I was over the moon!

With my second tin of Black Beans I made this Tortilla and Black Bean Pie courtesy of Martha Stewart.  I love mexican and to know that I can finally satisfy my craving for black beans is amazing.  This pie was great!  The yeasty undertone of the beer in the beans, the stretchy cheese with every bite and the sweetness of the corn make for an amazing dish.  I think it was even better cold the next day for lunch.  The flavours had time to meld together and become even more robust.  This is a great dish for lunch or dinner, any season of the year.  I can’t wait to make it again!

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

And the Pantone Colour of the Year is….

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Yesterday I saw on pinterest that the 2014 Pantone colour of the year had been released.

I love Pantone, especially their range of goodies that you can buy.  In Melbourne just over 12 months ago I bought a coffee mug in 7461, called Dark Blue, and for Christmas I got a phone cover in 17-5641, which  is Emerald.  I love them both!

This new colour is 18-3224, Radiant Orchid.  And might I say it is a stunning colour.

I pinned a few things during the last year that were Emerald and other shades similar so I figured it would be an idea to start a board to keep all my Pantone inspirations together.  This is where my board is, and I look forward to sharing its growing pins.  This is the first board that I have enabled the map on so please forgive me if it changes around a bit as I play with it.

Pantone Colour of the Year 2014

Pantone Colour of the Year 2014