Category Archives: Events

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!

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Happy 2014

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Happy New Year Everyone!

HAPPY NEW YEAR

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I hope yo had an amazing time at your parties and hanging out with friends and family.  I watched the fireworks on TV at home with a few beers and went to bed at 12:15.  Its a sad life I lead, but I had had an amazing lunch with my school friends earlier that day and didn’t really mind.  The fireworks on Sydney harbour were again amazing, and much better on the TV if you ask me.  The Mambo eye was the symbol on the bridge and the main art designer Reg Mombassa seemed quite drunk and out of it when he and the Sydney Mayor, Clover Moore (yes that is really her name) hit the button to start the fireworks at Midnight.

I finished off the year with a small pinterest project, Mac and Cheese.  I got my parents tickets to the Brisbane International Tennis and their tickets were for yesterday.  They were luck enough to be able to see Serena Williams play singles and Roger Federer play in the mens doubles straight after.  Go me!

I made myseld a small portion of this recipe of Mac and Cheese that links over to Kevin and Amanda’s Recipes.  It was a great recipe to make just a small portion.  I think next time I will put more cheese and milk in it but it worked a treat!

My Photo hasn’t come through yet so I will put it in when it has.

This is my tiny bowl of Mac and Cheese

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I hope you all have an amazing 2014 and continue to follow my journey though Pinterest.  My resolution for 2014 is the same as last year, be more decisive and to try to post most days on my blog.

And so this is Christmas – Part 2

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Today is Boxing Day (WOOHOOOOOOOO)…which is feel is the equivalent of Black Friday sales.  I have chosen to avoid them this year.

I have finally mustered enough energy to write the 2nd post of the 2 part holiday special.

Taking up where I left off, bought some Egg Nog last year, never having had it before and it turns out that I love it! So this year I bought some more, this time they had cinnamon flavour available too…now i didn’t like this as much as the regular Egg Nog, but all can be forgiven.  I have used these in a couple of recipes in the last couple of weeks.  First I made this Egg Nog Coffee Cake through a link to Mandy’s Recipe Box.  Now I did a couple of things different.  I used a tub of plain chobani 0% yoghurt instead of the sour cream, and i didn’t realise at the time I made it you are supposed to put it in the fridge for a while.  I wanted cake then and there so that didn’t happen….It still worked fine and was a hit with everyone!

Egg Nog Coffee Cake - pre baking

Egg Nog Coffee Cake – pre baking

We made these tiles a couple of days before we closed for the holidays.  Now the idea for these are all over pinterest.  I used Mod Podge to seal them then sprayed them with a can of acrylic to make sure they were fine to use with water as coasters.  The washi tape was on sale at Officeworks, I think I got it for about 70c -90c from a bin near the registers.  The red stars on the white background were much more popular than I anticipated!  Here is a couple of shots of the final products.

Here is a list with links to a few of the other recipes that I have used over the last few days

Maple Cinnamon Nuts

Bacon, Scallion and Caramelized Onion Dip

Martha Stewart – Classic French Toast

Ice-cream Christmas Cake

Pancetta and Sage Stuffing Muffins (we did ours in a loaf tin though)

Raspberry Frost Sodas

A couple of non consumable links are my present wrapping idea and my gift tags.  The gift tags that I used were just so cute.  They are from over at Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night. And there are so many more styles than the ones I used.  I also use washi tape and brown paper to wrap my presents.  I don’t have a link to the exact site where I got the idea from, here are 2 website that have similar ideas.  The first is Curbly and the wash tape idea is at number 2 and the second is this photo over at Flickr.

So between all these ideas and the gift tags this was the end product.

My gift wrapping for 2013

My gift wrapping for 2013

I’m not sure where we would have been without Pinterest this year.  It has certainly made this holiday season MUCH MUCH easier.

So from my family to yours, I hope you have had a very merry and blessed holiday season.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

And so this is Christmas

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Merry Christmas everyone!

Celebrations are well underway in Australia the Turkey is in, the Plum Pudding is getting re-boiled and we are just waiting for the rest of my siblings to arrive for present opening.

So while we are waiting I will fill you in on all the things that I have be doing at school and pinning in the last few days.

My Aunt from North Queensland has been visiting all of our family down here and stayed with us for a couple of weeks, so we cracked out a few choice recipes that she had never had.  Quinoa is one of those things that my Aunt had never had before so I made a Summer BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad from over at How Sweet It Is.  I used a smoked BBQ sauce by Masterfoods for the dressing.  It was amazing and my Aunt really loved the salad so I am really glad that we opened her eyes to the world of Quinoa.

BBQ Quinoa Summer Salad

BBQ Quinoa Summer Salad

Now i’m not sure if I found this on Pinterest of if this is something that I posted myself.  During the last week of vacation care I introduced the kids to Code.org and their Hour of Code.  This project is all about introducing children to computer science and the beginnings of JavaScript.  Some of the older boys really enjoyed it, especially because they got a certificate at the end, the younger kids I think just wanted to certificate.  I found some other great tutorials that I actually completed, and it was super fun.  I think I really love computer science!  This is the snowman that I drew using JavaScript with a tutorial from the Kahn Academy.

#hourofcode

#hourofcode

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#hourofcode

Everyone is here so I will continue the extensive list of things I have done in the last week later during everyone else’s snoozy bear time later this arvo..

Happy (early) Thanksgiving

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Last weekend I celebrated my first full on American Thanksgiving.

Last year you might remember that I made Sweet Potato casserole as a small homage to the celebration.  Well this year, a girlfriend of mine has moved from the states and she decided it would be fun to have an all out American feast.

Now even though I haven’t ever had the privilege of celebrating in the States, I know what a big deal it is to celebrate it and be with your family on that day.

For our Thanksgiving feast I nominated to bring the Sweet Potato and the Cranberry sauce.  Now yes, I did ask if I could do my Sweet Potato Casserole that I made last year, but my friend Cait thought the marshmallows on top might have been a bit of overkill, so I found a different recipe that I really liked, but I wanted a topping that wasn’t so sweet on it. So I made the topping off this recipe here. As I was making the topping I was getting a bit flustered as the time of the party starting was getting closer and I was nowhere near ready, and I kinda forgot to put the flour in, then when I got there I realised that I missed out putting out the oats in it too.  This happened to be a blessing in disguise as one of the guests was coeliac and was able to eat the dish! YAY! (and she loved it which was a bonus).

The Cranberry sauce didn’t get used a lot, but I had some and it was amazing! It was so much better than I thought It was going to be, especially considering it was supposed to have fresh cranberries in it and  we only get dried out here.  The final product was a little thicker than I anticipated, but I liked it thick and chunky.  My mum tasted the final product and is adamant it will be on our table come Christmas day.

I didn’t get a photo of the Sweet Potato Casserole before it got demolished, but I did manage to get one of the Cranberry Sauce, its a bit dodgy, but its better than nothing!

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Now that Thanksgiving is over, its onto Christmas preparations at work with the kiddies, I can’t wait!

Welcome to Winter

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Winter is finally here, and while it is slightly warmer now than it was a couple of weeks ago, I’m not looking forward to it at all.  The kids however most likely are as winter is when I crack out all the exciting winter crafts.  I have a whole bunch planned for vacation care, which I just looked at and is only 2 weeks away ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH….

I have recently broken the $300 mark on my Teacher Pay Teachers store, which I found thanks to Pinterest.  It was a pretty exciting acheivement!

Now for my latest Pinterest creations. 

There have been a couple of successes in the last week or so.  Firstly for a meeting last Tuesday at our head office I made a  pecan-caramel cheesecake dip which I found over at Oh! Nuts.  Now yes it is a sweet dip and yes it was good AMAZING! I served it with pretzels, apple slices and savoiardi.  The big bosses were super impressed with it and consequently I now have to send the recipe to about 15 people.  That was a good feeling!  The umbrella in the middle was jsut to stop the cling film from getting in the caramel sauce.  It only kinda worked :(.

Pecan-Caramel Cheesecake Dip

Pecan-Caramel Cheesecake Dip

The other little thing I have done was on Saturday for my cousins baby shower.  It was a high tea style baby shower which I had to take a savoury for.  So I made these cute crostini’s that are from Martha Stewart.  They were a great balance and a nice mouthful to go with the food that other poeple had bought!  I dont have any photos of them but i am hopeful that my cousins will put some up that might have my taste morsels in them. 

 

I am planning on at the moment making some Thin Mint Puppy Chow on the weekend as well as trying out some sweet heat molassass meatballs that I found.  or maybe a soup or a pepperoni pizza cauliflower casserole..the possibilities are endless!

 I also need to get all my travel ideas in order as it is only 3 mths until I will be vacationing in HAWAII!! I am just a little bit excited 🙂

Until next time!

Anzac Day…Lest We Forget!

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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget..

Anzac Cove, Dawn Service

Anzac Cove, Dawn Service

Today, the 25th of April, is Anzac Day.  We stop to commemorate the sacrifice of the of the many thousands of men and women have fought for in the empire and for Australia since the horrific landing at Gallipoli April 25th 1915.  I have just finished watch the Brisbane Anzac Day March on TV.  Usually I go in to watch to see my Brother In Law march for the RAEME Association. He served for 20 yrs and  I really enjoy going to support him every year.  

Usually it is tradition (well loosely anyways) to have Anzac Biscuits.  But I have decided to run with an idea that the kids at school came up with after our Earth Day Cupcakes.  They suggested that we should make poppies out of the cupcakes similar to what we did last week with the mini Earths that we created.

So this morning I made these poppy cakes, to have at a family dinner tonight.  They worked as well as can expected for something that I haven’t ever tried.  They look great and my BIL said he can’t wait to chow down on them.

I just used a box cake mixture for the cupcakes and I find that this brand always works well.  I used Wilton Red gel colouring for the poppies, and Queens Black liquid for the centre as I couldn’t find any Wilton.

The ingredients....

The ingredients….

I always find Wilton gel colours give such vibrate colourings when I have used them .  This is the 1st time that  I have ever been disappointed with the colour that I have gotten by using it.  I wanted it much more vibrate, but beggars can’t be choosers.

The Red of the poppies

The red of the Poppies

 

The black was the next step to put in on top in the middle to finish the poppies off.

Black in the middle to finish off the poppies.

Black in the middle to finish off the poppies.

 

I made a bit of a mess of them I know, but who cares.  As long as those taste good and look good.  Which they do.  Here is a photo of the finished product.  I have already had a little taste of one that was a little smaller than the rest, and it tasted mighty good!

Finished product: Red Poppies

Finished product: Red Poppies

 

Now the Brisbane March is finished, and I have been watching the Dawn Service from Gallipoli, the Villers-Bretonneux services are starting and I am going to check on the time of the AFL games which are also on today, to celebrate this great day.

LEST WE FORGET