Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Tablet Cover

We recently bought an el cheapo tablet for the family to use.  But once we bought it we found it is seriously limited in its downloads ~ it is an android device but you can't access Google play on it.  So we have decided that Matilda can use it. 
Along with it being inexpensive and limited it also only came with a felt cover.  It also doesn't fit in an standard size cover I could find. Definitely not product I wouldn't endorse ha ha. It's very basic.
As we'll be taking it out of the house and on our holiday I needed to come up with a solution to make it portable.  I searched and came up with this idea;
I found a notebook in Target and et voila it was the right size.  Now to repurpose it.  I had to figure out how to attach the tablet to the notebook cover and it couldn't be permanent.  I thought the Command Strips would be perfect.
I separated the notebook from its cover with a Stanley knife. 
I found some cute scrapbook paper I had at home and covered where I removed the notebook with ribbon.  It's not perfect (ignore the glue marks) but it works and it is cute.  And it makes the tablet portable and safe. 
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Monday Musings

This is perfect as our state heads back to school this week.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful teacher and amazing teacher assistants.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Holiday Fun List

Every school holidays we make a list of things we want to do, to make and to see.  Every holidays we forget half of it.  We either don't have the things we need to do the craft we'd planned or we just get busy.

So this holidays I decided that was to change.  I went searching for a printable that looked fun, inviting and we would display to get excited.  I found quite a few especially on Pinterest but the most gorgeous one we loved was thanks to the clever Bianca at a little delightful, you can find it here.

Miss M and I sat down and made a list of the things we wanted to do, make and see and popped them on the planner.  It's been great.  It meant that I could buy or gather the supplies in advance.  We went for craft which were low cost or from supplies which we already had.  It means we've planned our days and don't really wonder what we're going to do.  I also work two days a week even during the holidays so it gives us both something to look forward to.

Here are our ideas;

 ~ Grow grass heads (I had the seeds last holidays and totally forgot to do them)
 ~ Make pancakes with chocolate sprinkles
 ~ Make dance rings (thanks again to Bianca - see her Rainbow Rings here)
 ~ Make bunting - we're making alphabet and number bunting for M's school corner
 ~ Go to Story Time
 ~ Have Mummy/Daughter Pamper Night
 ~ Bake cookies for movie night
 ~ Movie Nights
 ~ Bake muffins and go on a picnic (if the weather turns bad we'll have a carpet picnic)
 ~ Decorate a library bag
 ~ Make paper plate rainbows with condensed milk
 ~ Make snow play dough (perfect in the lead up to our snow trip)
 ~ Board games night
 ~ Fly in a plane to the snow
 ~ Learn to ski
 ~ Build a snowman!

Along the way I'll share our little Holiday Fun List adventures.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

What's for Dinner?

Another exciting menu plan and with a few recipes from the July issue of Super Food Ideas.

Chilli Con Carne
Another freezer 'shop'

Pork and Apple Tray Bake with Cider
page 53
So simple and yum, pop it in the oven and you're done (ah a poet)

No meal plan tonight!  Out for a friends 40th, yay!

Moroccan Lamb Shank and Lentil Soup
page 42
This is now a definite favourite in our house and tastes even yummier the next day

Coconut and Cashew Chicken
This was a half price simmer sauce from Woolies.

Rogan Josh with Stuffed Naan
We had some leftover chuck steak from a bulk buy a few weeks ago.

Quiz Night at our local

 xx Bec

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Musings

Sunday nights can be filled with anxiety, thinking about the week ahead.  We all are busy busy people and sometimes it's nice to stop. and reflect. 

So I have decided that Monday's will be something to look forward to.  Introducing Monday Musings.  Each Monday I'm going to share a quote I've found online, mainly Pinterest.  They might be inspiring, funny, sometimes cheeky but hopefully thought provoking.

Thanks Oxford Dictionary
To kick off Monday Musings;


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Holiday (yes, just like the Madonna song)

Recently on my page we were talking holidays.  We talked about where we spent our last holiday, where our next one is to and our dream holiday.

The answers given were so varied and I loved that, it showed me just how varied my readers are.  That we all come from different backgrounds, we have experienced different things.

My hubby is a seasoned traveller.  He spent most of his early adult life travelling the world and has the memories and amazing photos to share with Miss Matilda when she asks.  I, on the other hand had a child in my early adult life and didn't really travel until my boy was 9. 

I remember my first major holiday.  I was 29 and it was my first time out of the state.  I remember crossing the border and saying to my boy that this is the first step for him.  It didn't need to be a grand overseas adventure.  But boy it was an adventure.  It was just the two of us, we travelled on the Indian Pacific to Melbourne, stayed a few days in Melbourne and then headed up to Mt Buller for a snow holiday.  We didn't stay in a sleeper carriage but rather in a carriage full of people.  We were surrounded by people of all ages, ethnicities.  Couples, singles, travellers and backpackers and it was amazing.  My son exchanged money with people from countries that I hope he gets to travel to one day.  He played chess with a 4 year old German boy.  My boy is now 20 and he remembers those experiences vividly.  I love that.

My first overseas trip was to somewhere I'd only dreamt about and while there I was in absolute awe.  We went to Egypt.  To stand in front of icons in Egyptian history had me in tears and goose bumps.  Tutankhamen's mask was probably the most significant.  Eye to eye with something I had thought I'd only ever see in books and National Geographic magazine was chilling.  It's something I'll remember forever.  Learning a little Arabic heightened the experience.  I could converse basically with the Egyptians I met along the way.  And they appreciated the little effort it took for me to learn their language.  I was 'rewarded' with gifts from them but the reward for me was the connection.

Now we have Miss Matilda, our backgrounds in life and in travel are something we are now sharing with her.  Most of our holidays are spent 'up the beach' to a spot that is now special to all of us.  It's really quite basic and we are creating memories with her.  She often says to us 'remember that time we watched the sunset up on the hill?' Or 'remember when the Easter Bunny found us at the beach'

These experiences just show that a holiday can be grand or it can be simple.  To me a holiday is a break from the every day.  It doesn't need to cost a small fortune.  I quite often have a holiday without leaving home!  Time I take for myself is a mini holiday and one that I can afford. 

And this is where Pinterest comes into it.  Having something to look forward to, a goal to work toward can keep us going when we get bogged down in the everyday.  When getting up to go to work feels like a chore.  I have a few boards on Pinterest, one is my Dream Holidays board which is a bit of a bucket list board but with a few pins of Egypt just to remind me of how amazing it was.

Our next holiday?  This year we've decided to take Matilda to the snow.  We'll be spending a week at Mt Buller which I'm so excited about for a few reasons.  I can't wait to see her reaction to snow, just as I remember my boy's reaction to first seeing it.  This is somewhere I have been and hubby hasn't and we're creating new memories as a family.  Priceless.

I hope you're planning a holiday soon, grand, small, local, a one day adventure. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

What's on the menu this week

This week I went fridge, freezer and cupboard 'shopping' before hitting the shops.  We don't usually have excess goods but occasionally I'll find extra special bargains and will store them for future weeks.

'Shopping' before leaving home means we have less than a dozen items to buy for this weeks menu.  I love it!

So without further adieu;

Lamb and lentil soup
This was a freezer 'shop' from two weeks ago and I definitely think the flavour developed quite nicely.

Chilli con carne
Again this was a freezer 'shop', we'll just add rice.

Goulash soup with bread rolls
Hubby is feeling a little nostalgic with the cooler weather, this takes him back to his snow days.

Wiener Schnitzel
Again a nostalgia menu item.

Chicken korma with rice
I bought two bbq chickens really cheap at the end of the day and pulled apart one to freeze for a future meal.  So this is another freezer 'shop'  The korma sauce sachet was half price last week for $2.50

Lamb and bean stew
This was from last weeks menu so we already have the ingredients.  I substituted one of the bbq chicken's bought on special and made chicken spaghetti and cooked that instead of the Lamb and bean stew.

Quiz night ~ Matilda is on school holidays so we'll head out for the night eating at our local.

Feel free to request a recipe and I'll share it as a separate post. 

xx Bec

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A reading corner

If you follow my Facebook page you would have seen the little makeover I did on Miss Matilda's reading corner.

This corner has housed a rocking chair, a wicker chair and now a little soft space for her to sit in, read, relax and enjoy.  Having somewhere to read with Matilda is really important to us and although her room is small I'll always ensure we can continue these special moments.

I wanted something fun and yet peaceful for her so I began searching through Pinterest deciding upon a cloud/rainbow theme.

Having a look at what we already had in the house that I could repurpose, I found the large pom poms I used for my 40th birthday decorations.  I only had to buy the medium and small.

I did want to make wool pom poms but alas they're not how I remembered as a child.  So cotton balls strung on thread to create the look of snow is what we ended up with.  Simple and inexpensive. I also remembered seeing cotton ball snow on the lovely Bianca's A little delightful blog and followed her instructions.

This is how the reading corner looked just after we changed the cot for a big girl bed.

And now

I'm so happy with how it turned out, and more importantly so is Matilda.  It will continue to evolve, the snowballs may become raindrops.  The books are only a fraction of what she has but we'll rotate them every few weeks in the way we do when we have holiday themed book baskets.

As promised too, here are the stockists.

The pom poms are available in kit form from WA discount store Red Dot. The large were $7.99 for two, the medium $3.99 for two and the small $2.99 for two.  I know Spotlight carry the Martha Stewart kits but they're a little expensive.  You could also make your own without the kit, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube which are easy to follow.

The bookcase was $7.00 from Crazy Clarks

The gorgeous cloud cushion is $12.95 and from Ollie Rose which we love love love!  We have another coming, this time with a little pink bow.

I found the print on Pinterest, I printed this at home as a temporary measure.  The pin took me to the designers store but she didn't have it listed for sale.  I've since contacted her to see if she'll relist them so I can have the real thing and to credit her as the designer which of course is the right thing to do.  After all the print is her hard work and should be recognised.

x Bec