Tuesday, 17 April 2012

These are a few of my favourite things. 2. Sandwiches

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One thing I love to do is make new sandwiches. I love experimenting with flavours. Using left over meat from the night before with gourmet bread & stacks of salad…….oh, yum!
My all time fave though would have to be my ham & salad with a twist.
I use a French bread stick cut into a 4 inch length & cut it down the middle.
Instead of butter, I use Philly cheese (top & bottom).
Then starting from the bottom I layer sliced tomatoes with sea salt & cracked black pepper, honey leg ham, sliced tasty cheese, mayo & then lettuce.

Perfection!
It is even more perfect to put in a picnic basket & take to the beach!



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What is your fave sandwich?

Monday, 16 April 2012

Been a while. How are you?

It has been a little while since I have done a personal post & I regret that. I feel like I need to stop in without the sewing or cooking hat on & say Hi. I guess it has been a little easier to step away from the computer while I had Mr P home for 10 nights in a row. He was still working during the day (except Easter) but he was home every night. It was the first school holidays in years that he has been home of a night time. It really made it a lot easier on me. We had such a fabulous time 4wding at the beach most days over Easter & it is those moments that my girls will remember for ever. There was protesting at first, I mean who wants to go to the beach with their sister! But they got there & enjoyed each others company & had a ball.
I am learning that teenagers can be very draining. Draining but rewarding.

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I thought that when my kids were first born & I looked into their eyes that I could not possibly love them or be more proud of them than at that very moment. What I didn’t realise is that I can & do love them more than that first meeting. I watch Kiara turning into a beautiful, confidant woman in front of my eyes.

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I am watching Georgia just start to become more of herself. She is the funniest kid I have ever met. She is so full of energy & I tell you, this girl laughs 20 hours a day! I mean who else could get a big tough trucker to do this…..

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It was great having Mr P home for so long. We got a chance to be with each other & not have to stress about him leaving the next day. I think that his work must have listened to me because there was no phone calls, no problems to deal with & no urgent loads to go out. It really gave us a chance to have 10 days of being a normal family again. We have done the sums & it doesn’t look like he will be leaving interstate truck driving in the near future. I have been looking for a job & I tell you that I never thought it would be this hard. We have come to realise that to be comfortable, he has to do this job. I know that money isn’t the most important thing in life but owning our own home, putting food on the table, giving the kids what they need to have a happy healthy life & not have financial stress on our family is the most important thing to us. I guess that now Kiara is only 5 years off being an adult & Georgia is only 23 months behind that, I know he will not have to do this job forever. We have gone 6 years in this lifestyle so we are more than halfway there. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t stop & think of how lucky I am to have a hard working husband who does above & beyond to provide for our family. Every time that I get to go out to lunch with the ladies or catch up with a friend for coffee, I appreciate just how hard he works.  We made a pact that I would always be at home with the kids & not work away from the home. While I have been looking for a job, Kiara has been going through the tough times that all teenagers go through. It just doesn’t seem right to have been talking about getting a full time job & leaving her to fight the battles alone. I know how lucky I am to not HAVE to work. I thank my lucky stars every night before I go to bed & every morning when I wake up. Both Mr P & I came from families where our Mothers worked full time & it was difficult on the 2 of us. I am lucky that he wants me to be at home with the kids. I applaud Mothers who have a job & kids. If you are one, please know that I admire you. I guess we all have to make choices that are best for our situation. While some families have both parents working & home every night, our situation is that I am home every night & Mr P works & doesn’t get to come home very often. We all make sacrifices, one way or another, for the best of our families.

Speaking of families, Kiara should be walking through the gate any minute so I will log off now but before I go…..

how are you?

Looking for some great recipes? Just look above!

Can you see the flashy advertisement above this post? Below the Blog header?
Yep, that one.
If you click on that flashy pic, it will take you to some fabulous recipes!
Who knew that eating healthy could taste so good!
Seriously, you can get your kids (& husbands!) to eat healthy & they won’t even know it!
You can find a range of recipes for
They are all on the Village Feast website.
I am going to put Kellogg's All Bran Fibre Toppers on my shopping list & try some of those fantastic recipes!

Shell lights, DIY

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In an effort to reduce or energy usage, I have become a massive fan of battery operated LED lights.
We use them outside & now they play a big role in lighting up the teenage retreat.
(formally the back patio!)

I had seen this done before on Martha Stewart & when I brought some
Sea Scallops in shells for a recipe blog that I shared last week, I knew that I was one step closer to being just like Martha when I was just as excited about the shells as I was about the scallops!

This is a super easy DIY.
You just need
a string of battery or solar operated LED lights
(mine are left over from Christmas)
As many sea scallop shells as there is lights
hot glue



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Lay out the string of lights. Arrange the shells in the order you want & heat up the hot glue. Doing one shell at a time, place a big dollop of hot glue in the middle of the top of the reverse side of the shell & allow to cool for 5 seconds before placing the light in the right spot. I didn’t glue the bulb but the little holder just above the bulb.



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Repeat until all the shells have been used.



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You can use these lights for many things.
In the middle of your dinner table for mood lighting.
Wrapped around a bed head for a beach feel.
Draped over a mirror.
Or strung up in a teenagers retreat like I have.




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I think we should call this new room “The Beach Shack”

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Faux vintage lolly jars, DIY

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Who doesn’t love lollies?
So why not put them on display!
These easy to make lolly jars can cost a fortune to buy so after seeing so many DIY tutorials, I gave them a go!
They are so simple & easy to make & cost next to nothing to make.

You need
2 large jars with lids
2 large pedestal candle holders
Primer spray paint
White spray paint
glue (I used hot glue)
& lollies to fill them with!

I just spray painted 2 large candle holders & the lids of the jars with primer then a glossy white paint.



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Then you just apply glue to the top of the candle holder & attach the jar.
Easy!




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These are going to be proudly displayed on my kitchen bench but they would also look great on a dessert table at your next party!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

These are a few of my favourite things. 1. Pizza

One of my favourite foods to eat on the weekend is pizza!
I don’t like takeaway pizza or store brought but I love pizza cooked on a pizza stone in our hooded BBQ.



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This is my favourite toppings for a pizza;
Garlic prawns, tomatoes, fetta cheese & tomato sauce.
My second fave pizza is roasted pumpkin, fetta & chorizo on BBQ sauce.
I have a pizza dough recipe that can be found

HERE

& instructions on how to cook a pizza in a hooded BBQ

HERE

When I get really lazy on a weekend (as you do) I like to make the dough in the bread maker so all I do is put in the ingredients & the machine does all the work for me.

Just put the ingredients in in this order

1 cup of water
2 tablespoons & 2 teaspoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
3 & 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 tablespoon dry active yeast

Place all the ingredients listed in the bread maker in that exact order & use the dough cycle.

When the bread maker is finished, you then roll the dough to the size & shape that you want & top with your favourite toppings.

What is your favourite pizza toppings?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Shamelessly I will ask, “Can you vote for me pretty please?”

Ok, I don’t do this very often but I need to ask a big favour,
Can you please

vote for Sew, cook, laugh & live?

It is the reader voting round of the

Sydney Writers Centre Blogging Competition

And I would really love it if you could

Vote For Sew, cook, laugh & live

Pretty please with a cherry on top?

Just click the link below & go to the blogs listed O-S & check the box next to Sew, cook, laugh & live & while you are there, vote for all your fave blogs. Share the love & if you read it, vote for it. I am sure that the bloggers that you vote for will all appreciate it.

VOTE HERE

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This is a list of Australian bloggers but even if you are an international reader, you can still vote.

I would really appreciate it if you could vote for me so I could be in with a chance to win $1000 worth of online courses to help improve my blog.

Here is all the finer points
Voting will close Wednesday 9 May at 5.00 pm. All winners will be announced on Thursday 10 May at 10.00 am. The winner of the People's Choice Award will receive $1000 worth of courses (online or face-to-face) at the Sydney Writers' Centre in Milsons Point.

Thank you

Chocolate and lemonade cake, yes you heard right!

When I first found this recipe, I could not see how it would work. I mean, does chocolate & lemonade really go?
Well, I am here to say, YES IT DOES!!


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This is based on an old Tupperware recipe, {a long time ago, I was a Tupperware Lady!} & it is very quick & easy. Did I mention that I made it in the microwave? Well, I did! From start to finish, you will have a cake in around 15 minutes. It also has only a few ingredients.

  • 1 packet of chocolate cake mix
  • 1 packet chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup lemonade
I just used a “no name brand” of chocolate cake mix & a Packet of chocolate pudding that was on special.

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Place all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl & mix together with a whisk.
Add the rest of the ingredients & stir with a spatula or wooden soon until all combined.

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Pour the mixture into a microwave safe cake pan. I used a silicon
cake pan from Tupperware {to go with the Tupperware recipe of course!}
Make sure to give it a good spray with oil so that the cake does not stick & comes out easily.

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Place on top of an upside down microwave safe dinner plate in the microwave & cook on high for between 7-9 minutes (microwave times may vary)

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Let sit in the pan on a cake cooling rack until completely cool then turn out onto a plate.

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Ice with icing & serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

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This cake is light from the lemonade but very chocolaty (yes, it is a word, spell check even said so!) & it is so quick to make. It does not taste like a microwave cake. It is perfect!

This is going to be going to the front of the recipe cards! I wish I had of made it years ago when I first found this recipe.

Today I am a Guest. My vintage affair

Today I am a guest blogger over at the fabulous

My Vintage Vow

The fabulous Trudie has an amazing blog about her affair with all things vintage & today I am sharing about My Vintage Affair

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Trudie is a fellow QLD blogger & she is also a fellow vintage addict.
I would love it if you you could stop by, check out my guest post & say hi to Trudie.
I am sure that you will all love her blog & reading about all her vintage finds.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A quick and easy button bracelet

I have had this blog sitting in my drafts for quite some time now. I made this bracelet for myself over the Christmas holidays. The reason that I have decided to share it now is that is a great little project to keep the kids busy over the school holidays & it is also a great way to use your button stash!




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All you need is some string, wool or thin leather, a pile of buttons & some jewellery toggles for the ends.

Simply thread the string through the buttons & keep going till you reach the desired length. Make sure to leave about an inch or more of string at either end so you can tie the toggles on.

And there you have it!




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You could use any colour buttons that you like. You could even make a rainbow!

Here is some other button project that you can get the kids involved in.




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Today I am sharing this over at
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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

I did it. I said I wouldn’t but I did it.

{this is not a sponsored post, just saying}
I did it.
I said I never would but I did it.
I brought my first

Lorna Jane

piece of clothing.
Ok, I now get the hype.


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I think I love this shirt. I love what the name Lorna Jane stands for.
When I was at the

marie claire James Street Up Late fashion event

I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Lorna Jane herself.


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This woman glows, I mean really glows! She oozes health & fitness. This was the first time I had even stepped into a Lorna Jane store so I was seriously a non-believer. Georgia, who is a runner { I have no idea how I made a runner, she gets that from Mr P}, has been in love with the Lorna Jane brand for the last year. I had resisted her attempts to force me into the shop. Now, she is not talking to me because I brought a top for myself & she didn’t get anything. Just so you don’t think that I am too cruel, I did take her for a look at our local Lorna Jane shop yesterday.

I totally understand all the hype. These clothes are clothes that make you feel as though you are a fitness machine. I mean, take a look at the tag.



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Did she write this label just for me????

I also love the the front of the shirt.



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Yes, I will love life while I am wearing this t-shirt & feeling fit & foxy! Well, I will wear it while I am walking around the block with the dog & the girls.

And to show that she even has a sense of humour, this is one of the kids lines of shirts



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Little Miss chocolate makes me go faster.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Cooking by the sea, Sea Scallops in parcels

As you may already know, we spent a lot of time at the beach over Easter. Nothing new for us, we spend a lot of time at the beach. It is a favourite family thing to do. One thing was new though, our new portable gas BBQ from…..yep, you guessed it…Aldi!



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Isn’t she a beauty! Gone is our little 2 burner camping BBQ on a metal stand & hello to our new beauty! I have wanted something like this for years & now, we have one. It is perfect to take to the beach, the park, camping or even at home when you don’t want to fire up the big BBQ. This works exactly the same as our big hooded BBQ.

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To christen our new BBQ, what better than Sea Scallops by the sea.

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It really is very quick & easy.
I brought 1kg of sea scallops from the local fisherman. They were still in their shells…perfect!
{I will be using the shells for a craft project soon!}
Before we left home I grabbed a handful of herbs from the garden.



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I used thyme, lime basil, basil, chives & a yellow pepper cut in half. I also grabbed a lemon from the tree & sliced it to lay on top of the herbs on a large sheet of alfoil.




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Put your scallops on top & season with salt & pepper.




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Fold the alfoil to make an “parcel” to keep all the juices in.
Pre heat your BBQ for around 5 minutes before cooking..




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I chucked some bread on the grill to toast.
Closed the lid for 2 minutes.

I then buttered the cooked side of the bread with a garlic chive butter
Put the bread back on the BBQ, buttered side up & closed the lid for a further 1-2 minutes.




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You then have this beautiful alfoil parcel filled with sea scallops & the most beautiful juices that you can soak up with the garlic bread.

Perfect!
Then you can sit back, watch the sunset, pour a glass of wine & fill up on this beautiful, quick & easy meal.




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This recipe also works great for fish or prawns.