Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gracie's Garden - quilt

Made to honor the memory of Gracie. Butterflies are sometimes used to represent the soul of the departed. I chose pink and purple for Gracie.

It feels good to have completed the quilt. It was therapeutic for me. I sewed ... and cried ... and sewed some more. I hope it provides a small amount of comfort to Gracie's parents. They don't have many physical reminders of her.

I forgot to take photos before posting the quilt, so these are some 'in progress' photos. I bound it in the same purple as I used for the butterfly.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

C25K - Week 4

I'm up to Week 4 of the Couch to 5km running program. I'm pretty pleased with myself as for the last 3 weeks I've gone running every second day. I have a bit of a love/hate thing with the running. As I was running today I was thinking "I really don't enjoy running ... I'm doing it for the exercise and the sense of achievement, rather than because I love it for what it is". However, it is now 2.5hours after my run and I'm feeling great. Invincible. On top of the world. It is a nice feeling.

I must say that I did find the first session of Week 4 a little challenging. The number of minutes running have doubled compared to Week 3. The program today was:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then
Jog 3 minutes
Walk or 90 seconds
Jog 5 minutes
Walk 2-1/2 minutes
Jog 3 minutes
Walk 90 seconds
Jog 5 minutes - walked about 1/3 of this

The total minutes of running has doubled compared to last week ... and the longest run has increased from 3 minutes to 5 minutes.

I'm glad I've done the first session of Week 4. It was a bit of a mental battle, but I now have a wonderful sense of achievement and am (I think) looking forward to session 2.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gracie's quilt

For little Gracie, who never saw a flower grow.

Grace Erica 18/10/2009 - 19/10/2009
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Monday, October 12, 2009

October's block

I've been piecing a block for Bec for October's Virtually BeQuilted (an online quilting bee). Inspiration this month was the following Japanese print.

And here is my design. It was so much fun to make! I think I'll have to make another one of these for myself.

And a closeup of the detail on the kimono.

The applique pattern came from the "Print for Free" section of Ottobre Designs. The PDF of the applique wasn't large enough so I took a "Print Screen" (ALT + Prt Scr), pasted it into Photoshop and resized it as needed.

Almost surviving a Dr appointment

Visiting the family doctor with three children in tow is never easy. Actually, it is one of the few things that hasn't become any easier as the kids have gotten older. I am sure there will be a time when doctor trips are a breeze ... we just aren't there yet.

Today was worse than usual.

Robert has been complaining of a sore tummy for 4 days. It didn't seem to be that bad and we thought it would pass ... however he was crying in pain this afternoon and I decided that I'd better get him to the Dr pronto. I jagged an appointment timeslot which gave me 15 minutes to get to the Doctor's Surgery. Just possible, even with two crying children and a 5-year-old asking a stream of questions.

We'd just settled into the waiting room when Laura announced she needed to go to the toilet. Did I mention she was sitting on my lap? You guessed it ... 1 second warning before she and I were soaked. I abandoned everything (older kids & handbag included) and sprinted for the toilets. Yes, I had a change of clothes for Laura ... but not for me.

THEN the Dr came looking for us while I was cleaning Laura up. Ruby told him we were in the toilets ... so he skipped directly to the next patient. We waited and waited ... and Laura needed to do another wee ... and we didn't make it in time for that one either ... and when I was cleaning her up after Incident#2 the Dr called as again ... and as we were in the toilet he once again skipped us and went to the next patient!!!!!!!!!!!

Cutting the long story short. I hung about at the Dr for about an hour with wee-soaked jeans. During that time the 3 kids made 5 (yes, five) trips to the toilet and we missed the Dr twice.

And the outcome of the sore tummy?

An ear infection in each ear with the pain transferring down to his tummy.

Brown Rice Patties recipe & Menuplan Monday

Brown Rice Patties - vegetarian recipe

4 oz wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 oz margarine
3/4 cup cooked rice (hot) (approximately 1/4 cup dry)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons grated cheese
2 eggs
1 finely diced onion
herbs to taste

Separate egg yolks and whites. In a bowl, mix egg YOLKS, margarine, rice, soy sauce, grated cheese, onion and herbs. Shape into patties and coat with unbeaten egg white. Lightly oil a frying pan. Cook patties in frying pan until brown all over.

Menuplan Monday

Last week was my first week back at menu planning after a rather long break. It went really smoothly and 'life' was a lot easier as I wasn't spending a lot of time thinking "What on earth are we going to eat??".

This week the two big kids are back at school and we our usual extra-curricular activities commence. PLUS, hubby is having his wisdom teeth surgically removed on Friday and will probably need some soft food for a while.

Baking: All-Bran Health Loaf

Lunches: I'll cook a Corned Beef in the pressure cooker. I am then going to make a heap of sandwiches (just with bread and meat) and freeze them. Then, on the day I use the frozen sandwich I'll add some fresh salad.

Monday: Brown Rice Patties (recipe above)

Tuesday: Meatballs - Still deciding on the recipe. Probably some type of Porcupine Meatballs.

Wednesday: BBQ Rump Steak & Coleslaw Salad
The kids have music lessons after school, so we need something quick and easy for dinner.

Thursday: Chicken & Vegetable Pie

Friday: Fish Cakes & Vegetables

Saturday: Macaroni Cheese Pie (should be suitably soft for hubby post-op)

Sunday: Leftovers

For other menu ideas, visit Organisation Junkie.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Couch to 5km (C25K) - Week 1

Photo by Sean Dreilinger

Would you believe I've completed Week 1 of the C25K running program? Week 1 required that 3 times during the week I did a 5min walk, then alternate between 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
The day after my first session was the worst. I could hardly move! I then spent over 4 hours walking around the zoo. It hurt. However, I think all of the walking helped as the following day I was feeling a lot better and managed to do the second session.
I also spent the weekend weeding the garden, which certainly wasn't going to help with the stiffness!
I have to say, I feel great. I started the week with a cold and a sore throat, but I pushed through that and I am now this is the healthiest I've feel in about a month. So far my dodgy knee is holding up and I a (mostly) looking forward to my next run.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fruit Slice recipe & Menu Planning

Photo by Ballookey

Fruit Slice recipe

220 grams Self-Raising Flour
120 grams Dessicated Coconut
220 grams Dried Fruit
140 grams White Sugar
1 tablespoon Golden Syrup
125 grams Butter or Margarine
1 large egg, beaten
4 tablespoons Icing Sugar
Juice from 1 Lemon

In a large bowl, mix the flour, coconut and dried fruit.
In a saucepan or microwave safe bowl, melt together the sugar, golden syrup and margarine.
Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients. Add egg. Mix together and press into a
greased 25 cm x 28 cm slice tray.
Bake in a moderate oven for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown. Ice while warm.
To make the icing, mix icing sugar and lemon juice together.

Cool. Cut into fingers.
Note: This slice freezes well.

Menu Planning

Getting back on the menu-planning bandwagon.... The meal plan come together very quickly as everyone had an opinion on what they wanted to eat. A miracle! Generally they won't make suggestions and I have to come up with everything. This week is the last week of the school holidays. The kids will be going to day-care twice during the week and will need snacks and lunches. There will also be friends over for 'play dates' who will need feeding!

This week I'll be baking Fruit Slice.

Main Meals

Sausages, mash & vegetables

Roast Chicken, roast potatoes & carrots, broccoli - Jamie Oliver style with a whole lemon placed where the sun doesn't shine

Spinach Pie

Meat Pie with homemade shortcrust pastry - I've been trying to replicate the meat pie that my Nanna used to make. I remember delicious chunks of meat, carrots and peas in a delicious pastry case. Unfortunately she didn't use a recipe and I didn't get her to teach me her technique before she died. Last week I made a pie with homemade shortcrust pastry (following the CWA cookbook). I added random amounts of meat, veg and stock. It wasn't quite the same as Nanna's, so I'll make some modifications this week.

Spaghetti Bolognaise (pressure cooker)

my No Pastry Quiche - I'll do a filling of bacon, pumpkin and zucchini
Fish Cakes with lots of parsley :)

- Homemade Pizza
- Chicken & Avocado Sandwiches
- Chickpeas, salad & feta cheese
- Baked beans on toast
- Cheese & salad sandwiches
- Toasted cheese & tomato sandwiches with salad
- Homemade Foccacia

For more menu planning ideas head on over to “I’m an Organizing Junkie“.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October planning

Photo by Great Beyond

Over the last few months I've had the feeling that life has been getting away from me. I've been feeling stressed due to conflicting demands, such as work vs family and my personal time vs family needs. I feel that my time has been consumed by 'putting out fires' rather than being prepared for things in advance. It is clearly time to do some forward planning.

Tasks for October:

  • Meal planning & freezer restock

    Having meals planned out certainly makes cooking and shopping flow more easily. I will reinstate my weekly meal planning and I'll incorporate some meals which will help restock my freezer.

  • Exercise

    OK, I confess. I really don't enjoy exercising. This is one task that I always let slide. However, I know that I will feel better and have more energy if I start exercising, so I really must make time for it. I am going to do the "Couch to 5km" program (or C25K as it is commonly referred to). The Couch to 5km program is designed to get you from 'couch potato' to running 5km in 9 weeks. It uses interval training and there are a number of podcasts to support it. I'll be using Podrunner's "First Day to 5K" podcast to help me along.
    I did begin this program about a year ago, however I hurt my knee and couldn't continue. This time I'll take more care to stretch, and hopefully my ageing body will cope!

    Edited to add: I'm pleased to report that I have just completed my first C25K session :)

  • Balance between 'me time', 'family time', and 'partner time'

    This is a hard one. I guess it is something that will always be a bit of a struggle. Hopefully this forward planning will help rebalance things. I think I need to allocate certain evenings to certain tasks.

  • Christmas planning

    Each year I intend to be organised for Christmas, and each year it is a last minute rush and things (like Christmas cards) don't get done. This year I will spread the Christmas things out over the next few months.

  • Plan kids activities

    I need to increase the number of planned activities that I do with the kids. We have been doing the same old things too frequently and it is showing!

  • Reread & Implement- "Time Management for Manic Mums" by Alison Mitchell

    Time Management for Manic Mums is a book that I have found incredibly helpful in the past. It has some great ideas on prioritising your time and fitting things in between the children's demands.

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