Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Waiting for the storm to pass

It’s funny how you can sometimes see things.

With everything that has happened this week, even just the small things seem to have a hidden meaning.

My house was in the direct path of an oncoming storm this afternoon.
The warnings were issued.
I watched the storm clouds roll in.



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The weather was black & nasty.
It kind of matched my mood.
The thunder was loud & rumbled



Then,


It was as though the storm divided & it missed my little suburb.
This is what we were left to see.



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A beautiful pink sunset.




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It just made me think that no matter how prepared you are for life, sometimes you just have to sit back & see what life will bring you.




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Fluffy Chickadees Cookies




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Have you noticed that the shops are full of Easter eggs?

Yes, I know! Crazy, right?

But it really is just around the corner.
But how do you stop your kids from feeling as though they are missing out on something every time they are told, “No, I am not buying you an Easter egg. You can wait till Easter & see what the Easter Bunny brings.”

Why not get a little creative with your everyday cooking.
I made these Fluffy Chickadees Cookies from just my everyday Basic Cookie Cutter Cookies recipe.



You will need

125g of butter, softened
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
1 cup of plain flour
1 cup of self raising flour
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of milk

Icing
1 egg white
1 cup of icing sugar
12 drops of lemon juice
2 drops of yellow food colouring
1 & 1/3 cup of shredded coconut
extra 5 drops of yellow food colouring.
choc chips for eyes

Using your electric beater, cream butter, caster sugar & vanilla in a mixing bowl.
When light & fluffy, add egg & beat well.


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Add flours, salt & milk. Mix together with a spatula or wooden spoon until it forms a dough.



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Wrap the dough tightly with gladwrap or in a freezer bag & place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Heat over to 180 degrees
Place the dough on a floured surface & roll out to 1cm thick.



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Using a cookie cutter, cut out the chicken shapes & place on a baking paper lined tray with a gap in between so they can spread.



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Cook for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges.



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Cool on the trays for 10 minutes then allow to fully cool on a cooling rack.

When the are cool, you can ice them.

Whisk egg white until light & fluffy



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Add icing sugar 1/3 of a cup at a time.
Add yellow food colouring & lemon juice & whisk well.



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In a snap lock bag, put the shredded coconut & extra yellow food colouring & mix well.



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Place the shredded coconut in a saucer.
Spread the icing on the top of a cookie then dip the top in the coconut.



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Place on the cooling racks & use a little icing to stick on a choc chip for an eye.



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And there you have it!
Some cute Fluffy Chickadees Cookies!



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Monday, 20 February 2012

The response was overwhelming {but in a fantastic way}

I was so nervous with my last post

I could NEVER have imagined the response that I would get.
The response from friends, blog followers, other bloggers & my husband.
I sent him a text asking him if he could please read the blog.
We have not been talking lately & apart from yelling at each other down the phone, our marriage had become phone texts.
I have not seen him since we had a massive argument the day after Valentines day.
This is a copy of the text that he sent me.

“WOW, good on you for posting that. I will read this over & over. Hope you feel relief for posting this. I love you for speaking your heart. Well done.”


{ he has now read it many times & has said that he will keep reading it}

It has made me realise that what I posted was 100% the right thing to do.

I know from reading the amazing comments that you guys have left, that I am not alone.
Life can sometimes be so hard.
Sometimes you just give up.
You loose yourself while trying to make everyone around you happy.
I felt as though the ones who should listen to me the most, were only hearing what they wanted.
I have learnt that when you tell someone how you are feeling & their response is, “I don’t do that.” or “No, you shouldn’t feel that way.” or “I was only trying to…..”
they are not listening.
My feelings are my feelings.
No one can tell me that what I am feeling is wrong.
Your feelings are your feelings too.
Things may be too far gone for my marriage, only time will tell, but maybe I can help someone to realise that staying silent is sometimes the worst thing possible.
I have learnt a really big lesson from all of this, blogging is great for the soul. It is a wonderful tool to help process your thoughts. I have also learnt that people should never be ashamed to reveal how they are feeling. I was once told by a close family member that you never give away too much about your life to anyone because they can use it against you one day. Who wants to live with all these building up inside. They do not lay dormant. They fester & grow.
If people are not listening to what you are saying, then release your feelings in words.
You may not have a blog so write it down.
Show it someone, show it to everyone.
If you have friends or even just 1 friend who will listen without offering advice, talk to them.
Maybe that is why women used to keep journals/diaries.
They got their feelings out into the open when they were told not to let any one know they were unhappy.

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{I promise that later in the week, I will return to some happier posts about creating}

It’s my life, it’s my blog.


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{image source CFrancis Photography}

Do you ever feel as though your life has gone off in a way that you didn’t feel you had control over it?

I do.

I am feeling that way about my life, my blog & even my family.
Have you ever woken up one morning & asked, “How did I get here?”

I have.

Did you ever wonder if you didn’t go down this path, what your life would have been like?

I am.

Did you ever wish that you could take back control?
That is what I am doing now.

For my whole life, I have been someone's daughter, someone's sister.
For my whole adult life, I have been someone's wife, someone's Mother & still someone's daughter.

I now want to be me.

When I tell family & friends that I want to do something for me, what I want to do, they start telling me what I should do, what I need to do.

Arrrrrrggghhhhhh!!

When they do this, I just want to scream.

I know that everyone has great intentions, but I am me.
I do not need to live my life to someone else's schedule, someone else's ideals, someone else's plan.
It’s my life.
I am an adult.
Call it a life crisis (I am no where near midlife, so lets just say crisis), call it a breakdown, call it reassessing your future, call it what you want.

I call it taking back control.

Taking back my life.

I have a few fabulous friends who listen, who are there for me but who also know when not to offer me advice. When to just let me talk. They do not tell me that in order to get where I want that I should do it to their timeline. They know me, they know me well enough to say, “I am hear to listen”
They do not even say, “I am here if you want to talk”
They are just there to listen.
They know when I have been quiet for too long & I may need prompting to talk.

Because of my husbands job, which in all honesty, was not something I planned, not something I wanted nor was it something I would have chosen for us, I have learned to live by myself. Both of our families have moved away & I have still stayed in the same place. My children & I only live a few blocks from where I grew up. My life has not changed. But everyone else has moved on.

Yes, I said it & I know there will be some Truckers wives out there cursing & calling me every name under the sun but I seriously hate my husbands job.

I hate that he is in a different city or state every day. I hate when he comes home because I know that in only 24 hrs, he will leave again.  I hate that it keeps him away from us, I hate that his daughters are growing up & he has no idea how to relate to them because he is never home. I hate that we have become so used to living apart that it is becoming impossible to live together. I know that he chose to do this job, where he can be away for weeks at a time & where seeing him for 24 hours is a good week, to try & give us a comfortable life. To make us financially secure. To do what he thought was best. But it is not a “normal” family life.  I love him with all my heart but I hate what this job that he chose 6 years ago has done to me, him, us.
When he has to drive through the night, I do not sleep. I do not dare shut my eyes. I do not know what could happen when I am asleep. I do not want to sleep soundly & miss a call or a knock on the door telling me my worst fears have come true. I know too many widows & children who have lost their husband/ father, brother, uncle. It breaks my heart in a million pieces when I hear on the news that another “blue singlet soldier” (our name for these men) has lost their life because of his job. It is a daily basis to hear that a truck has crashed, on a weekly basis (sometimes unfortunately it can become daily) we loose another truck driver to the highways of Australia.

It hurts my heart.

It has caused me to have depression. I have some weeks where I can not leave the house. Where I can have panic attacks of the littlest things. My family tells me that I need to get over it. Tells me that I need to breathe. What I need is for everyone to just stop. Just let me be. No one can help me overcome this but me.
I find it difficult to let people in because when I say what is on my mind, people start telling me all the ways I should change it & how I should go about it.

It’s my life.

For me to take control of my life, I need to come first.
I need to put myself first.
I do not need people to tell me how to put myself first.
I need to do that by also making this blog more about me.
I love to cook & sew……I honestly do.
It is also when I am my happiest as I can block out my world that is crumbling around me.
But I also have days when I just wish I could type about how I am feeling.
I know I am not the only person, wife, Mother who feels the way I do.
I also know that right now, my husband & Mother are sitting at the computer reading this & screaming “Don’t tell people! Don’t let people know you are not happy!”
Well,
I am.
I am taking control of my life & also my blog.
Some days I just like to pack up the sewing machines, put away the cooking utensils & just be, just think, just enjoy life.
Some days I read other women's blog who are so honest & open & I wish I could have the guts to do what they do.
Well, now I am.
I am not only a sewer, a cook & crafter.
I am also a woman who is struggling to find her way in this world.
I am the Mother of 2 daughters who are both nearly teenagers. They are my everything. They are the greatest thing that I have ever made but some days they make me want to tear my hair out & I want to be able to come to my blog & release my frustration in words.
I will.

It’s my life & it’s my blog


To my wonderful friends who made me leave the house yesterday to go fishing so I could just talk & they listened.......... Thank you.


{I know that my family & friends will want to "talk about" what I have just written but I did not write this to start a discussion. I wrote this for me. There is nothing to discuss. It's my life}

Sunday, 19 February 2012

What a weekend! And some fantastic photo’s to prove it!

This weekend, was blog free.


No posts. No editing. I did not even spend anytime worrying about stats, who was looking at what. Nothing.


This is why.


We spent the weekend living.



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The girls & I started with a fantastic beach photo shoot on Saturday with the beautiful Chantelle from

CFrancis Photography



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Chantelle told us to pick a place that most suited us.



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Of course it had to be the beach!



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We have had so many studio photo sittings over the years but I have to say that this one was the first one that we all enjoyed.



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Chantelle told the girls to just be themselves.



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And that they did!



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As you can see, we had a ball.



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I think I have now found our “family photographer” that I plan on using for many, many years to come.

Thank you

CFrancis Photography

I am in love with these photo’s.
We will cherish these photo’s for ever!



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Thursday, 16 February 2012

Make your own stationary, I love letters!

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I love stationary!


If you are anything like me, you may get lost for hours in newsagents, office supply stores, Big W, Target, Smiggle, etc

The thing that I have found though is that more often than not, there is never any letter sets.
I don’t know if this is because we all send emails, texts or jump on Facebook.
I still like to handwrite thank you notes, notes to the girls teachers or just “I am thinking of you” letters.
I have been making my own letter sets for quite some time.


All you need is some paper, a stamp or 2, stamp pad & a great envelope template.


You can find some great free envelope templates



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I made a template out of some plastic sheets that I found in the quilting section of my local fabric store.

I love the pastel yellow colour of this paper.



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Because I love the beach so much, I thought these little beach hut stamps were perfect.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Passionfruit Shortcake

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This Passionfruit Shortcake is AMAZING!
It is quick, easy & oh so yummy.

We had this for morning tea on the weekend & it was a hit!

I do love shortcakes. They are a that little bit different & when you have been eating a lot of cakes & cupcakes, this just hits the spot.

You will need

115g grams butter
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 & 1/2 cups of Self-raising flour
1 egg


icing
1/2 cup of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of soft butter
Pulp of 1 passionfruit

Heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius



Cream butter, sugar, vanilla together.
Then add the egg, beat well.
And lastly add the flour.
Beat until all well combined.



Press the mixture into a lined round cake tin using wet fingers.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden in colour.



Allow to cool completely.



Icing
mix all of the ingredients with a spoon or silicon spatula.
spread over the top of the shortbread.




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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

15 years! Wow how time flies

Today is Valentines day!
Today is also the anniversary of the first time that my hunky hubby & I went on a date.



Now I have to admit (sorry Mr P) that I do not get Valentines day presents unless I buy them for myself.
This year was amazingly different.
This year I received the most thoughtful, wonderful gift that a gal like me could ever want.



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A pair of dressmaking scissors!
Now these are not just any dressmaking scissors.
They are super sharp but when they have been used a little to much, they can be sharpened!
Yes!
No more blunt scissors!
But did you also notice something else about theses scissors?

Look closely!



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He had my name & our 15 year anniversary date engraved on them!!
(which is also Valentines day)

He did this all while I was on a Bloggers Lunch meet the other day & was so proud of himself that he gave them to me in the car on the way home!

Only someone who has loved me for 15 years could know that a pair of scissors could bring me to tears, happy tears!

This was a photo of us on that day as we caught the citycat ferry back to the car.


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here are some other photo’s from that special day.



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It was a really special day for me as it was just over 1 year on from the Brisbane floods that devastated the only city I have ever lived in.
It was wonderful to see that the Brisbane River was back to normal.
The scars were still evident.
I knew that there would still be reminders.
The last time that I went down the Brisbane river on a boat was for Mr P’s work Christmas party which was of a night time so the scars were not visible.

But Brisbane has recovered!
If you live in the outer suburbs as I now do, why not take your kids for a trip on the citycat & see for yourself.

Where ever you are & what ever you are doing today,
I hope you have a fantastic Valentines day!

This is an open letter to my husband..

Dear Mr P,

Thank you for loving me for 15 years.
Thank you for being the most hardest working man that I know.
Thank you for giving me 2 beautiful daughters.
Thank you for being the only man who could put up with my
obsession to fashion
my addiction to fabric
my need for bling
my desire to own as many shoes as possible
my must have for handbags
my craving for new dresses
Thank you for letting me be me & thank you for being the best you.
I love you with all of my heart
Love you now & forever,
Jos xoxoxoxox