Sunday, December 04, 2011

i quilt

 Ive been busy at the sewing machine this week, and finally have something crafty to share.  The past few years I have joined in with a group of quilty friends and taken part in a dolls quilt swap, so on Friday (and only 2 days late!) I posted this little quilt off to its new home.  I will share the quilt once it arrives.

 I'm return we received this quilt from Rachel. 

I wanted a quilt for Isaac for his Teddy, as all the previous quilts have been for Jacinta and he dolls. Isaac was thrilled, and it s just perfect. the piecing and quilting are really well done - great job Rachel, Thank You so much.  As you can see, its the perfect size, and there has been lots of play with it already!

Obviously my quilting mojo must have returned with the dolls quilt - it was the first thing i had finished all year!  Today I spend the whole afternoon at the machine, and finished this quilt top.  Its for Nathans teacher for Christmas.  She had Caleb for two years, and then Nathan for the last two, so I wanted to make her something a little special.  I'm hoping to get it quilted in the next week.  I'm still not sure about the little red square in the top corner, but i had to add it as i was running desperately short of the white homespun, and then cut the border strip about 1/2" short - grrrrrrrrr.  Any thoughts on what to bind it with - red or black ?

Monday, October 17, 2011

im still here

...for any one that still bothers popping by!  Ive been really slack with my blogging for the past few months.  Ive had a few posts that have stayed in draft form, and blogger no longer lists them with their original date once they are posted...hence my birthday post which is dated way after the actual day.  This frustrates me to no end!!!  Blogger has also been giving me grief with uploading photos for some reason - makes popping up a quick blog post about something a time consuming and frustrating experience!  But Im still around and still taking photos and planning on finishing off my monthly photo collages - interestingly enough, late September is as far as I got last year with the editing of my photo a day shots...must be something about this time of year that saps my creativity mojo. 

My little princess will start her pre entry sessions at kindy this term, so there is much excitement in the house about that! Here are a few photos I snapped of her yesterday (straight from the camera...cant edit them on this computer!) my girl... (YAY the upload worked first time!!!)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Im am so much more comfortable behind he camera than in front of it, but I know that one day I will wish there were more photos of me to look back on, and Im sure my children and hopefully grandchildren will love to look back (and probably laugh) at them. 

Since yesterday was my birthday, it seemed the perfect time for a few self portraits of me and the little ones, and then I handed over the camera to Nath to take a few shots of me to record the day.

I spent a lovely day with a couple of special friends, my sort of day...nothing fussy, just time spent with people who always make me smile....ok usually laugh till it hurts may be a better description!   I was inundated with facebook messages, texts, phone calls and a few visitors and then had a lovely dinner with Craig and the kids.  Its days like that which remind me how truly blessed I am to have such wonderful family and friends.  Now Im officially in my 40s, rather than just being 40.  Life is good.   I hope and pray that the next year is just as happy as my year of being 40 has been.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

thoughts on being 40...

I cant believe that in just a few weeks I will be turning 41...where did that last year go?  I cant complain though, I know many people wish they were a different age, but, Ive been really happy with being 40, its been a pretty good year for me.  If I look back on my life, I'm happy with being just where I am.  If I had to choose another stage of my life to revisit...maybe about 20 years or so ago, to when I was young and life was simple and carefree might be, this time 20 years ago i was about to turn 21, single, and studying my teaching degree at uni....seems like a lifetime ago!   But I love my beautiful family, and have surrounded myself with wonderful friends, and I am more than content with right here and now, even with the increasing amount of grey hair ( it has been around for about the last 10 years, I'm sort of used to that - but yes i still colour it and cover it up), the skin that is definitely starting to show signs of aging lol and all those other little signs that seem to happen as we age.  In general I'm OK with all that.

The past year has been one that has seen me grow as a person. Ive learned to be content with who I am, Ive tried to look after myself a little better, both emotionally and physically; Ive made a point of trying to connect with my family and friends, and to really appreciate what an important part each of them is in my life and my heart.  A lot of this was due to taking part in a programme called 'one month to live' It refocused me on what the really important things are, it made me look into myself and ask some hard questions, it made me truly value the friends that i have had forever, and cemented the place of a few new friends firmly in my life, It reminded me to dream, it reminded me to tell all those that are important to me how much they mean to me, and how much i love them, often; it focused me on believing in myself and made me realise that I'm very blessed to have pretty much always known my path in life, to have been able to follow that path and to have had the unconditional love of family and friends all the way.  It made me examine and attempt to put the way i feel into words, sometimes a real struggle for me.  Ive never liked talking on front of a group, and this involved a lot of that - cant say it got any easier, but with some gentle encouragement I did it.

As I enjoy these last few weeks of being 40,  Im also looking forward to embracing the next year of my life and everything it may entail.  Life goes on, and Im ready to enjoy the ride!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Crafty Day

Wednesday I spent the day with my friend Nell.  We planned on getting together once a fortnight this year to do something crafty - worked for a while, but then life started getting in the way!  We try to do it as often as we can though.  Today, after a trip to my local op shop, and a yummy lunch of homemade soup and pasties, Nell finished a crochet beanie, and knitted a scarf.  I flicked through some craft books and then got stuck into making an A4 notebook cover to gift to a little friend who is turning 8 in a few weeks.  I had seen one with a denim pocket on the front and knew I wanted to give it a go. 

A pair of denim shorts from the op shop - with a cute printed pocket, and a piece lining fabric in her favourite colour (purple) and I was set.  As usual, no pattern, so it took a bit of fiddling to remember how it all needed to go together.I added a little hand stitching to the pocket before I attached it.   Im really happy with how it turned out, and it looks super cute with a set of mini gel pens tucked in the pocket.

With a pile of scraps and a little time before school pick ups I decided to whip up a zippered bag to match.  I put in my first ever zip, and although its not done perfectly, it is functional and with the addition of a purple fabric ruffle, the little bag looks very cute.  Not sure if this will go with the journal, or get popped in my bag to hold my lip glosses...i suspect it will be gifted and i will make another minus the purple (which is so not my favourite colour!) for me.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One of the joys of winter

One of my favourite things when its cold outside, and the fire is going for weeks on end, is big pots of homemade soup. Ive been making chicken soup for years, and the occasional batch of pumpkin (with varying degrees of success).  This winter I decided to try making Pea & Ham Soup.  It was a big hit. Like most things I cook, I'm not good at following a set recipe, and tend to trawl around a few variations of what I'm making and come up with a version of my own. I have been asked by a couple of people for this one, so though I may as well share it here.  This recipe fills (to the brim while the ham hocks are whole) my large oval slow cooker.

Pea & Ham Soup

3 Smoked Ham Hocks (If they are really big you may only fit two in your slow cooker)
1 1/2 packs green split peas
3 carrots - finely diced
3 sticks celery - finely diced
2 onions - finely diced
2 bay leaves
1/4 t mixed spice
pepper to taste
2 1/2 litres water

Rinse split peas and place in slow cooker.  Place ham hocks on top of split peas, and add the carrot, celery and onion. Pour over water and add spice, bay leaves and pepper.  Cover and cook on high with out stirring for at least 6 hours or until meat is falling from the ham hocks.  Remove ham hocks, cool and remove meat.  Discard fat, skin and bones, and add chopped meat back to soup.  Continue to cook until soup peas have broken down and the soup has thickened.

Friday, August 05, 2011


Star light, Star bright, first star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

I still wish on the first star I see at night, and make a wish as I blow my birthday candles out each year.  Today as I carefully pulled the meat from some chicken bones that I was using to make soup, I came across the wish bone. 

As children, my Dad would always carefully remove the wish bone for us every time we had a chicken. It would sit it on the bench to dry, and then using little fingers, two people would snap it in half.  The person who got the bigger half, got to make a wish.   Ive set aside the two wish bones, and tonight I will share this little story with my little ones, and two lucky people will get to make a wish of their own.  Anyone that misses out can always go wish on a star ;)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Lemon & Orange Cordial

Sunday night I came home from a dinner with friends with a huge basket of lemons.  Yesterday I made our first batch of homemade cordial for 2011.  I also had a few home grown oranges Craig had been given by a customer, so I decided on an orange/lemon cordial. It is a wonderfully refreshing drink when made up with water and ice, or my favourite way to drink it is mixed with soda water for a 'real' lemonade taste.  Today I will juice the rest of the lemons and freeze the juice to make up some more once this batch is gone.

I combined a couple of different recipes for this batch.  If you want to make your own here is the recipe I used.

Lemon & Orange Cordial

7 medium lemons
3 oranges
1.5kg sugar
1 1/2 litres water
2 Tablespoons Citric acid
2 Tablespoons Tartaric acid

Combine water and sugar, in a non aluminium saucepan, and heat until all the sugar is dissolved.
Add the finely grated zest of three lemons to the sugar syrup and allow to cool.
Juice the lemons and oranges and dissolve the Citric acid and Tartaric acid in the juice.
Add strained juice to cooled sugar syrup mixture and mix well.
Transfer to clean, dry (and sterilised, if you want) bottles.

Refrigerate.  Keeps for 4 - 6 weeks...if it lasts that long!

Drink diluted to taste with water and ice, soda water or lemonade. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

everyday life | May, June, July 2011

For anyone who is still bothering to check in here.....
Finally after quite a bit of time away from my blog,  I am back!   I have been a bit slack with taking lots of photos lately, so I have caught up the last three months with monthly rather than weekly photo boards.  From this point onward, I will be back to my weekly updates, and might even have some crafty goodness to share!  YAY, and thanks for popping by!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

creating memories

I look back fondly of the many precious memories I have of my childhood.  We travelled a lot as a family.  Not overseas trips or anything so grand, but simple road trips. The caravan towed around behind the gold Kingswood and later the green Monaro, parents who both smoked the whole trip, the sounds of their music from the cassette player, and the only cooling on stinking hot days was the rush of air from the windows that had been wound down.  Life was simple,  and looking back, just perfect.  We stayed in caravan parks all over the state, fishing, exploring, swimming, visiting tourist attractions, spending time as a family.  My fondest memories are those from the many, many trips up the river doing what I would call real camping.  No electricity, no running water, no shops, toilets or showers.  The toilet consisted of a deep hole dug on arrival with an old folding chair complete with an attached toilet seat, privacy was created with four long wooden steaks wrapped in hessian - I still remember that dusty smell of the hessian.  We would fish from the back of the boat, climb trees, explore caves in the cliff faces, ride our bikes for hours, kick the footy, make ponds for carp from a hole lined with a garbage bag, go rabbiting, and yabbying, wash in the back of the caravan from a small bowl of warm water, pitch our own tents to sleep in,  cook on the campfire, we learnt to bait our own hooks, gut a fish, row a boat, and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the river. 

This weekend we are going real camping. The kids, Craig and I, along with some awesome friends.  We are heading to the Bendleby Ranges, and I cant wait.  I cant wait to spend the weekend with my wonderful family and friends.  And most of all, I cant wait to start creating some wonderful memories for my own children. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

a matter of perspective

The rain fell steadily and there was a definite chill in the air, the calendar indicated in was still autumn, but mother nature was telling a different story.  The gentle warmth of the autumn sunshine had long gone, and the bitter cold of winter was slowly creeping in.  A pile of freshly cut wood lay by the door and inside the fire burnt silently and brightly, its warmth enveloping all who entered the house.  The scent of freshly washed clothes being dried near its heat wafted as you passed by.  The smell of dinner slowly simmering away was beginning to fill the house, the bread was rising, and there were apples cooking gently on the stove. The table was full of the tell tale signs that the the morning had been a productive one for everyone, small smudged paintings sat drying, the edges curling from the amount of water that had been used in their creation.  The broom lent on the wall next to the pieces of dried up rainbow coloured play dough that had been swept into a pile.  In front of the fire the kitten slept, and nearby there were a few small toys scattered and a pile of picture books that had been shared earlier in the morning. Outside the window the rain continued to fall, inside their home the hearts were full of gratitude for such a simple yet perfect morning. 

So that's been my morning.  Yep, its cold and wet and miserable today,  and guess Ive been stuck inside washing, cleaning, cooking and trying to tidy up after, and keep a three year old amused at the same time...but do you know what, I wouldn't want it any other way,  it really was a perfect morning, and my heart is really happy and content today.  Now I'm off to make a coffee, curl up in front of the fire with a magazine and then do a little more of Jacinta's crochet blanket (in some hope that it will be finished before she leaves home!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gratitiude journal - friendships

I am blessed to have some of the best friends that any one could ever wish for - you know the sort, friends that know you better than you know yourself, they can make you laugh even when your crying on the inside,  they are happy to be just be a little crazy, and make feel like you never really grew up, they know when to remind you that you are great, just the way you are,  they forget the stupid things you do (until its convenient for them to drag it back up and have you laugh about it)  and treasure the little everyday things. Its an unconditional mutual bond that runs deep.   Friends like this don't come along every day, they are truly a gift to your soul,  to be cherished. You know they will be part of your life for a long, long time - no matter what.  They just will.  They don't question your decisions, they support your choice to make them - and then celebrate your successes or stand back waiting to catch you when you fall. They make you smile. They make your heart happy, and most importantly, they feel exactly the same way about you!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Saturday, April 02, 2011


To my beautiful little princess,

I'm not sure how in the blink of an eye we went from this...

to this...

I have so many precious memories of you over the past three years.

Holding you close to me for the very first time; of all those late night feeds when there was just you and I, totally content with each others company; of seeing you crawl and walk, and now watching as you ride your bike and laugh and play.

You have really made our lives and family complete darling.  I love the way you so totally embrace the fact that you are beautiful, doesn't matter if you are covered in mud or dressed to go out, you accept it, and you know you are beautiful.  How I wish I could keep that in your heart forever.  No matter where you are, no matter what you do in life my darling, hold tight to that confidence in yourself. 

Just before you turned three, the bond between you and your dummy was finally broken.  You spent a night at Auntie Vics while Daddy and I were away at a concert.  You didn't ask for the dummy, and so Auntie Vic didn't offer it to you.  When I arrived to pick you up the next day, we threw it in the bin at her place.  Just as well, because once you were home to the familiar bedtime routine, all you wanted was your dummy.  I stayed strong and persevered and it only took a few (long) nights for you to self settle with out it.  You had relied on the dummy to comfort you for so long, that there have been lots of tears since it has been gone.  You don't ask for the dummy, but without it, you still struggle to calm yourself easily when you get upset. 

Isaac began school this year, and you have been a little lost at home with out him. You start asking about 10.00am if its time to pick the boys up from school yet.  You are learning to play on your own.  It makes me smile, watching you talk to your dolls and Teddy's as you make up pretend games with them.  I hear my own words coming form your mouth as you gently settle them or tuck them in for a nap.  Although sometimes I also hear as they are told off for doing something they shouldn't.  It is all so cute to listen too.  I must admit, I'm even starting to enjoy playing dolls with you sometimes, even dressing them can be kind of fun in small doses!  You are ticklish and have a giggle that is contagious.  You are loud. You are wary around most people, but if you decide that you like someone, then they are your friend from that point on!   You have your first 'boy friend', one of Isaac's mates called Charlie. You talk about him all the time, and call out hello to him when ever you see him.  It is so cute.  Sometimes you will walk up to me and rub my arm, or cuddle me and melt my heart with a sweet little "I love you too Mummy".  Ahhhh that's what life is all about my sweet little girl, and always know that I love you too!

Now that Isaac is bringing home readers, and immersing himself in the joys of learning to read and write, you too are wanting to be part of that.  Our bedtime story always involves me reading the story to you, and then you reading it to me.  You have started drawing and writing.  We often find your little circles drawn on any piece of paper you can find around the house.  It is a sweet little reminder of your growing presence around the place.  You are generally fairly layed back, but you often yell at your brothers to make yourself heard, and are quite often found trying to boss them around!   You love being involved in what ever I am doing, and as you get older are able to be more and more helpful. You wake up far to early, and rarely have an afternoon sleep any more.  By the time Daddy gets home, you are usually tired and cranky and spend half the time crying over not much...he calls you a tear factory!

I'm sure that being three will be such fun for you.  Will will work our way through learning to share, learning strategies to avoid the inevitable three year old melt downs and starting pre entry at kindy in last term.  Until then, I will just treasure these days we have at home together, and remember how lucky I am to be able to spend them with you. 

I love you soooooooo much Jazz

Mummy xxx

PS - sorry  about this appearing in the wrong place - the new blog editor doesnt publish when you saved the draft like the old one (ie back dated)...bit of a pain really! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Happy Place

It's peaceful.
It's beautiful in the sunshine or the rain.
Sitting looking over the water, watching the kids play.
It makes me smile.
Its definately my happy place.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

hello, remember me?

Ive been a very slack blogger this month. I have been spending too much time on facebook, so if you want to know what Ive been up to in the last couple of weeks, here it is in status updates...

Nic Wood...
...count your blessings every single day, you just never know what tomorrow will bring.

...bought a crusty grain loaf to have with our slow cooker for tea - I just went to cut a slice for the little ones and its 95% gone...ggrrrrrrr to after school and after work vultures! enjoying just how peaceful the house is with everyone sleeping

...missing ipod, missing keys, missing remote - all found in the nest of the little pink bower bird of the house! At least I know her stash spot now and know where to start looking when things go missing!

...A sign of things to come !?! As I put Jazz into the car after school drop offs Monday morning she says to me ... "Muuuuum" "I like boys" ...'tis terribly cute that she has her first boy crush on one of Isaac's mates! Not quite so sure how cute I will think the same scenario is in about 10 years time!!!

...thinks its going to be a good weekend!

...U 14 cricket grand final today and tomorrow - good luck boys

....just finished kitten proofing the laundry ready for a gorgeous fluffy addition to the family tomorrow! There is much excitement in the air - well from most members of the family anyway;)

...really needs a hug....trouble is, the mood I'm in, if anyone comes that close to me they may not survive!!!! ................deep breaths and calm thoughts.................

...thanks for all the love yesterday girls - today is a new day and yes I'm definitely in my happy place this morning!!! I feel like an excited little school girl - final day of the boys cricket grand final this morning and our new little pussy arrives this afternoon !!!!

...its a girl ♥ - and she has stolen my heart already. so, so cute ♥

...had a wonderful weekend! Nothing better than spending time with friends xxx

...I'm pretty sure shopping for footy boots with Caleb this morning isn't going to be that much fun!!! what was I thinking!?! comforting a kitten who is freaking about the washing machine (want to get used to that darlin' !) and a sooky three year old who perhaps thinks the kitten is getting a little too much of her Mummy's attention

...anyone that uses MCN, check these out! Almost makes me want another just to get some more cute nappies - even a boy...those little monsters rock! (yes sadly I do miss our nappies!)

...boys and their toys ***rolls eyes***

...knackered! I DO NOT understand how people enjoy running!

...might have to become friendly with the local butcher (oh that's right, I already am ;) ) on to a high iron diet for me to try and get these iron levels up. At least Ive managed to nearly triple my vit D levels since last time (they were REALLY low!) to keep them there.

...just gave the husband a little facebook lesson - I will convert him eventually! did we survive before laptops and youtube to keep us amused- curled up on the lounge and been transported back 20 years listening to reo speedwagon and foriegner

...what a beautiful morning :)

...a glass of white, dukkah, and sunshine - nice afternoon, if only I could get the racing cars turned off the tv!

...tired, grumpy children + no babysitters = no cricket presentations for me :(

As you can see, Ive been keeping busy. Lots of eating, drinking and laughing with friends, which Ive really enjoyed. Its really nice to be getting some sort of social life back after all these years, and I'm blessed to have a great group of friends. Im going to yoga once a week and I'm walking 5km three or four times a week and loving it, Ive found someone to walk and talk with occasionally and really enjoyed the grown up company, its nice to just be me instead of someones Mum or wife sometimes! I even tried running the other night (because it was getting dark) and didn't love it at all! Ive been spending a day every couple of weeks with Nell, sewing, or working on Jacintas crochet rug, drinking coffee and chatting. The kids have finished cricket and started football, and this school term is over half way through. We have redecorated the lounge room - new chairs, new tv cabinet etc, and its a space I really enjoy spending time in.

I have busy times and quiet times, and I feel as though I'm beginning to attain a little of that life balance that was my goal for this year.
I feel happy.
I feel content.
Life is good.

everyday life | week 10

Sunday, March 13, 2011

stolen my heart

A few weeks ago we were invited to friends for a BBQ. They had the two most gorgeous kittens. Well one thing led to another and after a few drinks, it was Craig who was all enthusiastic about us getting one as well. He is so not a cat person, and despite the fact I am, I have never pushed the point and got a kitten. It looks as though the stars were aligned right for me though, as there just happenend to be an extremely gorgeous little kitten available from the next litter, and our friends could pick it up for us, so I said yes. It did take a little sweet talking to convince the man of the house that it was a good idea..I think the excitement of two little ones got me across the line there!!!

On Sunday 13th March we welcomed 'fluffy' to our home. She is a gorgeous kitten, and is even softening the hardest hearts in the family! She is getting used to the hustle and bustle of the kids, and loves to cuddle up with me on the lounge at night once they are all in bed. She has the little ones in fits of laughter with her kitten sillyness.

She has definately stolen my heart!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Last week the lure of the LQS closing down sale was too much for me to resist any longer. Included in my purchases there was a pack of Lily & Will charm squares. Ive looked at this range quite a few times. Its soft & feminine & pretty, but its always been bumped in favour of the brighter more vibrant ranges.

Yesterday my sewing mojo returned. I got out my charm squares and decided on a small, and super simple quilt. Two seams later the bobbin thread ran out - grrrrrrr. I went to refill it when I realised that my reel of thread was almost gone. Double grrrrrr. I went to get another when I realised that there were none in the house...seriously, I want to sew and I want to sew now!!!!!!! Thankfully the LQS last day was yesterday, so I made a quick(ish) trip for thread (and a few other things that caught my eye) and another charm pack - I thought I may as well get another and make it big enough for a nice lap quilt for me! I played around with the layout for a bit and then got sewing.

With in a few hours I had this pretty little quilt top finished. Im looking forward to snuggling under it on a cold winters night...when i eventually get it finished!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

a happy heart

Unfortunately the first few weeks of school have not been all smooth sailing for Isaac. He loves school, he loves his teacher, but he is not at all happy about the part where I leave him each morning. We have talked about the routines, we go early for a long play outside before reading time. We have tried no outside playtime and straight into reading, I have tried staying a little longer, and tried leaving quickly to be somewhere, Ive even tried bribery - usually the mere suggestion of a gelati will achieve miracles - in fact I'm running out of strategies to try! He is totally fine until I have to leave, then the tears and clinging start. He is fine soon after Im gone, and by all accounts has a wonderful day at school.

We have only had one morning with out tears so far. Most mornings I have to leave him crying with his poor teacher. She is awesome, and understanding and supportive, but (as much as the behaviour is beginning to annoy me) it is so hard to leave your little one in tears every single morning. Last week he told me he cried because his heart felt sad when I left (and yep, I had to swallow a lump in my throat after that!)

I though I would try sending something along with him to hopefully give him a hand getting through this. Teddy would be the perfect companion, but 1. I don't think that sending a Teddy to school is very practical, and 2. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be very cool to be crying and cuddling your teddy every morning. I began thinking more along the lines of something small to pop in his pocket. that's when this little fella came to mind. Isaac and I made this little 'Happy Heart' together tonight after school.

After a big long talk (that shed no light on the issue at all!)about what was making him so sad etc and the fact that crying and yelling all the way to the car (and all the way home!) after school because we were not getting gelati (that was going to be the reward for not crying in the morning) was just not OK.

Little happy heart is going to spend most of the time tucked safely away in in Isaac's pocket, close by, so he can hold it when ever he needs. Hopefully it will provide a little physical distraction for him when he starts to feel his heart getting sad. It has a little smile to remind him to be happy, and even though his eyes look like plain old crosses, they are really special kisses just for him.

Fingers crossed that we both have a 'happy heart' morning tomorrow.

Friday, February 11, 2011