Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Next Chapter

 After much anticipation and excitement we finally got to see what was left in our Santa sacks and just what those parcels under the tree with our names on them contained.

Then we got down to the business of feasting and Christmas cheer...

 We toasted those who could not be with us...

 We roasted in the wood oven out the back...


The family sat together, cracked crackers, laughed at bad jokes, wore silly paper hats, complimented the chefs and generally enjoyed the meal and the company.


A lot has happened to my family in 2012, some exciting, some happy, some challenging and some just bad!
Here's to 2013 and all that it may bring... 

Start on January 1st with an empty jar. Throughout the year write the good things that happened to you on little pieces of paper. On December 31st, open the jar and read all the amazing things that happened to you that year.~pinterest
Via Suzie's Daily Quotes

I have been playing along with Fat Mum Slim's Photo-a-day which is a great way to help remember the joy in the little things and to appreciate those things which we sometimes take for granted (you can see my pictures on Instagram).
I also like this idea of using a jar to keep a record of the good things that have happened to look back on at the end of the year.
Are you good at recognising and appreciating the little things?
Do you have a way of celebrating them?
Happy New Year ♥
Kate x


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Made with love...

It seems to be inescapable that Christmas is a lot about the presents. Let's face it, even the wise men brought gifts to Bethlehem. I think a gift made with love is a special thing to receive and so once again I have embraced this and been busy.

As you may have read in a previous post here, I have been busy crocheting star decorations which some of my lovely friends and family have received. I have also been baking and reacquainting myself with my poor, neglected sewing machine.

These cute Santa biscuits are Vanilla Butter Biscuits and are destined for teachers and some special little people this year. This is such an easy recipe which can be used for stamping pictures like this or cutting into shapes.

There is a tradition I started when I had my children and have carried on to extend to two special friends as well as my nieces and nephew. Each child now has one of these beautiful Santa sacks to put out on Christmas Eve. I will admit to being a little slack as my children (the oldest in the extended family) have got bigger and busier and I have begun to work more and sew less. These last two sacks are twelve months a little overdue but they are now completed * and the count is up to nine! I know that they will be under various family Christmas trees for years to come but I wonder how many more are on the cards?

*I must make mention of the fact I had help this time. Thank you Mum for sharing your Christmas material stash and sewing the squares together, ready for me to weave my magic!

Wishing my blogging friends a very merry Christmas full of magic and fun.

Kate x


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Jingle All the Way the last three weeks we have had a school Christmas concert, the 2012 Broken Hill Christmas pageant, carol singing on the railway station platform when the Indian Pacific Outback Christmas Train arrived with Brian McFadden and a ballet concert.

a little sheep performing at the school Christmas concert (43 degrees Celsius that day! No weather to be a sheep really!)

The Sea Scouts had a bush Christmas display while the Girl Guides escorted Santa as elves in the Broken Hill 2012 Christmas Pageant

Master B's year level was invited to sing Christmas carols with Brian McFadden when he rolled into town on the Indian Pacific Outback Christmas Train (pics taken by E. Roberts for the Barrier Daily Truth 7-12-12)

Miss B's ballet concert

I know! Crazy, and there are still two more weeks of school including party days, carol singing at the shopping centre and a school presentation night.

This is not a regime for the weak as anyone in Australia who is involved in clubs, schools or their community would know. I know we can't do much about the weather being so unfriendly when there is so much to do, but I do believe that the Northern Hemisphere may be onto something in that they can celebrate Christmas without trying to contend with all the end of school year celebrations as well.

Meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy all that comes with December in Australia...

How do you bring in the end of the year?
Is your calender in danger of falling off the wall from excessive use like mine? 
Roll on holidays!

Kate x

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Deck the Halls

Preschool reports are done and ready to go their folders! Even my stint as a proof reader is done, so after a little happy dance I fell on my crochet bag with gusto.


I have been thinking about crocheting Christmas decorations for months now and when I saw the post about how to make these stars from Jodie at Jellywares I was most excited.

 They worked so well and are extremely quick and easy to make (thank you Jodie) so friends and family beware. You may just end up with a new star for your tree this year.

Do you make or bake to share at Christmas? Do you have any other easy crochet decoration patterns?
I hope that you have had a productive weekend too.
Kate x


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Adventure On The High Seas

As some of you will have gathered or know, we have been on a family holiday cruising the Pacific around Vanuatu and New Caledonia. We have been home for over a week now and I think that although I have been to work, am in the midst of report writing and getting back into the Christmas build up, my mind is still under that tree on the beach at Wala drinking Tuskers (local beer) and watching the children win the battle against the flippers and snorkels!

me in holiday mode ♥

Mr B is the only one to have left Australian soil until now so it was a family introduction to international travel. We managed to flourish passports, catch taxis and not get left in strange places, find toilets and discover beautiful local beaches and markets. 

all aboard the Carnival Spirit

24 hr food market, Pt Vila
visit to a village near Pt Vila and Champagne Bay, Santo
attempting to get in the water to test out the snorkel..."help Dad!"

Wala and The Isle of Pines
I loved the food market in Pt Vila, finding things I have never seen before and smelling things that just don't smell like that in the supermarket but my favourite stop was on the Isle of Pines. Unfortunately our combined french speaking skills are limited so we could take in the sites but not ask questions of our guide. The view and the beaches more than made up for this and it is one place I would like to visit again.

We saw, heard and smelt so many different things, some expected and some not, enjoyed family time and had some laughs and although we had the safety of the ship to return to of an evening some of it was definitely an adventure.

I wonder where our next big adventure will be?

P.S the seas weren't too high but we went prepared and I am pleased we did!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

An Adventure Abroad

I have been on an amazing family adventure! As we sail back towards Sydney tonight I feel a little sad that it is at an end and a little you should be at the end of all amazing adventures. I can't wait to share more with you... From my stateroom, somewhere off the coast of Australia, Goodnight x

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

If the wind is right you can sail away...{Wordless Wednesday}


I am not sailing but I am going on an ocean faring vessel and I finally own and get to use my passport!!!
I do hope this is just the start of my travelling adventures...
Linking this with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys


Sunday, 14 October 2012

An Art Deco Love Story

While visiting one of my favourite book shops (which by the way has an art deco facade) I found a treasure! Hidden in the children's section was 'Cinderella An Art Deco Love Story' retold by Lynn Roberts and beautifully illustrated by David Roberts.


This book followed me home, as have many other items with an art deco feel. As I look around it appears that I have been having my own love affair with all things art deco. Where did this strange taste come from?
The Fairy Godmother arrives to save the night... 
My mother shakes her head at my light fittings and tells me that her grandmother had light shades the same...

We keep time with what my children affectionately refer to as 'Baby Ben'
'Baby Ben' under the (gasp) naked lady light!!!
My bookshelf also bears witness to this affair...
the Miss Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood

I dream of sipping cocktails in my long beaded ball gown with my friend Phryne Fisher...yes, it is getting out of hand!
This lady followed me home too...
Is there anything that you inexplicably love?
Do you collect accessories for your home?
Kate x


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Parsnips, Pumpkin and Pasties {Wordless Wednesday}

chopping, rolling, swapping pastie making tips
pastie filling and bubbles
ready to go in the oven
they were good!

The October long weekend saw me and my family spending some time together on the family property in outback South Australia.The 'girls' got together for some pastie making...
If you would like to know more about our culinary adventures head on over to The Shady Baker's blog. She was there too!

I am linking this with My Little Drummer Boys Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Big Sky Backyard

While I appreciate many things about living in a town like being able to go to the supermarket when I forget something and my children being able to be taught by someone other than me, I am a country girl at heart.

I grew up on a sheep station and my family all still live on one (just quietly I still think of it as my backyard too). I love the fact that my family and I can escape...

Outback daisy dancing in the wind
Beautiful outback sunset after a fun filled day with family

Big sky and my brother flying around in it!

Flying in the big sky with my brother...(I often feel less than my best on our return but I keep going!)

History on our doorstep

Treasure hunting amongst the history
Station wool shed and beautiful hills in the distance

yabbie catching in the dam...yum!

We are so lucky to have the best of both worlds and family living so close and in such a fabulous place!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Silver linings and chocolate stout

The B family headed off on the weekend for a change of scenery and some shopping but not long after our arrival Miss B became unwell and it turned into a boys shopping trip while I kept my eye on the comings and goings of a busy motel and Miss B slept the day away!

We had expected to be home by Sunday night having scrambled eggs for dinner but we extended our stay to make sure everyone was up to the drive which seemed like the perfect chance for dinner out...much better than eggs and toast.

I have been waiting for the chance to try some of Mildura Brewery's Chocolate Stout after seeing it over on The Shady Baker's blog and as we were in Mildura and in need of dinner this seemed like the perfect opportunity...

Eating in a brewery made for interesting dinner conversation and while the company, the food and the surroundings were perfect, my mind was firmly on dessert.....
Oh it was worth thinking about!
My flourless chocolate cake with anglaise sauce was the perfect accompaniment to my Choc Hops (stout) which, if I had to describe is definitely stout but with a hint of chocolate topping. When it was time to leave we made sure some came home with us!
Every cloud has a silver lining don't you think? I will need to hide my Choc Hops or find a closer supply!
Hope you had a great weekend

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