Friday, August 18, 2017

cleaning a mattress

i did something dumb when one of my kids was already toilet trained. i took the mattress protector off and when someone was overtired and didn't want to get up, they had a bit of an accident in the bed. it wasn't that bad, but my ocd self tried to dab away with water on the mattress to try and clean it up... and made matters worse. then, every time i change the sheets, it is there, taunting me. today, i decided it was time to do something about it. a few minutes of googling found me some suggestions, with one that included picture results that i was happy with, so i gave it a go. after a quick stop to coles to get peroxide, i made the very simple mixture (which you can find along with proof it works here), attempted to spray it on (was not happening, all my spray bottles weren't coming to the party) and ended up sponging it on with a washcloth. 

but, the results are in... and speak for themselves!! although there are a few spots that it didn't 100% remove (looks like i need to give it round two next time i am changing the sheets), i am so pleased with the results and wish to once again thank my dearest friend, google. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

the chronicles of narnia

when i was a child, i was introduced to the wonderful world of narnia. i am fairly certain my dad read the lion, the witch and the wardrobe to me when i was young... but however it happened, i was hooked. in year 4 i won the book award and was presented with a beautifully bound book containing the first three stories, complete with my beloved the lion, the witch and the wardrobe. that's when i gleefully discovered there was more books to be read. i received the next book in the set, containing books 4 & 5 for my birthday that year from my aunt and uncle, then used my christmas/ birthday (11 days apart) money to get the last book, with the last two stories. over the years i have read them so many times that i've lost count...  and never grown tired of that magical place, where there were talking animals, and woods and well, magic.

i also love that as i have reread the books as an adult i have noticed more and more of the christian symbolism that c.s. lewis wrote into the stories. my favourite part still remains as the conversation susan and peter have with professor kirk in his study about lucy and her "lies". he looks them square in the eyes and says, "either she is mad, which you can see plainly she is not, she is a liar, or she is telling the truth." it is such a huge thing for us in these days with our belief in jesus christ. we are mad, we are lying, or we are telling the truth, that jesus is the christ. i'm not crazy, i'm not lying and i know that he is!

at school we watched the bbc version of tltwtw, which to be brutally honest, wasn't great. people dressed up in animal suits, walking about... giant beavers the size of humans? pass. so, as an adult, i raced off to the movies to see the movie adaption of the lion, the witch and the wardrobe in 2005, then jumped for joy as they brought out prince caspian and then the voyage of the dawn treader in the years that followed. not so secretly i hoped that one day, they would do them all. i loved them. every minute. being able to be in narnia for those few hours was amazing for me! (yes i am a big fat gigantic nerd)

last week, netflix put up the voyage of the dawn treader and i was all over that! watched it that day, then busted out the lion, the witch and the wardrobe the next day, then prince caspian the day after that... then spent that evening complaining to my lovely husband that i just wanted to see the rest. i even went on imdb to see if they had made some terrible 90s version of any of the others, in desperation, hoping for a fix! what i did find, was a listing for the silver chair, which i shrugged off thinking, oh yeah, this is someone's wishful thinking. but. it. wasn't! a little more googling the next day had me come across an actual announcement that another trilogy was indeed set to be made, meaning that all the books except for one, will end up on the big screen! (i can only assume that the one that won't be made into a movie is the horse and his boy, being that it doesn't have any real effect on the outcome of the series as a whole) being that they are being made in order of publication, the silver chair is next and i am so excited! i can hardly wait!!

if you haven't read the books, please do! you will absolutely not regret it!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

orange blossom cake

a few months ago when at the dr, i mentioned i constantly felt a little unwell, bloated, tired... and after a little more discussion she thought it could be a food intolerance... and gave me a list of things to cut out, then reintroduce one by one to see what it might be. i think i'm fairly safe knowing it's not fish, nuts, egg or soy - so i've concentrated on removing wheat and dairy.

today marks 3 weeks gluten and dairy free, with the exception of 2 occasions (when we were guests), where i basically ate it because a) i didn't want to be rude and b) obviously i know i don't have an allergy, as they can pick up if you are coeliac with a blood test, and i'm not.

but... here i am... 5kg lighter in that 3weeks!!! so it's obviously agreeing with me! woohoo! i see no reason to give it up at this stage as i'm definitely feeling better... and the losing weight is just an added bonus. the point of this post though, is that basically i've had to do my research into what i can make that i can eat!

anyway... last night we had dinner with friends and i made something "jade friendly..." this gluten free, dairy free, sugar free orange blossom cake that i found online. it was delicious! something i'll totally make again. you can find the recipe here. if you don't mind dairy, top with this yoghurt for some added yumminess! and stay tuned for some other gf df recipes that i've tried and actually liked!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

sundays and cheesecake

it was our turn to clean the chapel yesterday... and afterwards i was so proud of our efforts, that i had to take this quick snap of the building while the trees were looking so pretty.

and today, as per usual my kids were looking so damn cute, that i had to get the camera out again... like i need an excuse though. haha. church with kids is always an adventure...

we had friends over for dinner after church and i wanted to make something nice for dessert, so i tried this cheesecake recipe that i've had for ages, but never made!

lemon jelly cheesecake (but this version is mango lemon haha)

100g digestive biscuit crumbs (you could use any plain biscuits - i did)
50g melted butter
1 box lemon jelly (i used mango jelly, hence the mango lemon)
200ml boiling water
1 small lemon (rind and juice)
300g cream cheese (softened)
150ml whipping cream

stir biscuit crumbs into melted butter and press into base of a 20cm spring form tin. refrigerate until needed. dissolve jelly into boiling water, add the lemon rind and juice and cool to the point of setting. whisk jelly into the cream cheese. whip cream until it just holds its shape and fold into the cream cheese mixture. pour over the crumb base and chill for 3 hours minimum until set. can be decorated with fruit to serve.

it was delicious! and as an added bonus, i had everything in the fridge and pantry already. woo! i'll definitely be busting this one out again ♥

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

opshop rain hail or shine

we opshop rain, hail or shine... but today it was actually hailing as we got close to the mega barn for our first girls day out opshopping. i got sick of the constant comments from my friends that consisted of:
you got that from the opshop?
why didn't you tell me you were going?
how much was that? no wait, let me guess, a dollar?
can you please tell me next time you're going?

so i did. i made an event on facebook and invited about 15 of my gfs, told them that they in turn could invite anyone they wanted and made it happen. only 4 of them ended up coming cause the weather was craaaaaazy, but it was an excellent morning out (as usual, i mean seriously, what weirdo doesn't love to hunt for bargains) and i had a great time.

so did this monkey, who wanted to climb in all the bins and party... what a crack up. definitely my kid! ♥

Sunday, August 6, 2017

a relief society lesson on music

just for something different, this sunday we asked our ward organist (who is extremely well trained and educated in music... and teaches it for a full time job) to give us a lesson about the music of the church. what a treat! she does not do things by halves and created this amazing edible grand piano that was demolished after the lesson... taught us basic music knowledge, spoke about the music of the church, the mormon tabernacle choir and to top it all off, finished by having us break into groups and rewrite a primary song, using the tune with our own lyrics. 

what a laugh! our group chose "jesus wants me for a sunbeam" and it went as follows:
relief society makes me happy
to come to church each week
to sit and to learn with our sisters, 
enlightenment we seek.
on sunday, on sunday, 
relief society on a sunday
on sunday, on sunday,
i'll be a sister for him!

the group behind us sang something about i love to see a clean house to the tune of "i love to see the temple." it was hysterical... what a cool game - and an amazing lesson. we are very blessed to have sisters in our ward who are so talented and are willing to share their talents with others! ♥

Thursday, August 3, 2017

flowergirl dress on a budget

maddie is going to be a flowergirl again in october! she is so excited and it's super cute... but what to do for the dress. aunty emily said she could wear anything we liked so long as it was navy blue... so i instantly thought of this gorgeous dress i picked up at the mega barn for under a dollar (see pic below). it originally had blue flowers on the bodice, which were coming off (some had been sewn back on, but not very well...) so i removed the rest of them. it left a little mark where each had been, but no worries about that! off to spotlight, where i picked up a pack of navy blue shiny beads for $3, a couple of hours later, one carefully sewn in each place... done! i am so stoked with the result... and 4 dollars later, maddie's dress is sorted!

hooray for opshopping! ♥

Monday, July 31, 2017

the tooth fairy

sassy miss madeline came home from school today and announced that "our tooth fairy isn't as cool as the one that comes to ...'s house! her one leaves a note and glitter and so on. why can't ours do that?" oh my goodness. clearly time to lift my tooth fairy game!

i must admit here, that madeline finally convinced joseph a few days ago it was time to put out his surgically extracted teeth, even though he still wasn't keen on it... but didn't tell me! the next morning she was in our room complaining that the tooth fairy hadn't been. ughhhhhh. i carefully explained that sometimes the tooth fairy gets really busy and can't get to everyone in one night and that they would need to leave them out again and tell me so i could remind her. crisis averted.

this time i was prepared. 

dear joseph

thank you for being so brave at the hospital when they took your teeth out!
i hope you can buy yourself a nice car from big w with this $10. i've given you a little extra as i know your teeth weren't ready to come out.
i also know you didn't want to give me the teeth, so just this once i've left them for your mummy to keep.
love, the tooth fairy
p.s. please tell maddie that i've been on holidays and that my replacement has been given a talking to! how dare she not leave notes or glitter.

oh this being a parent gig is the greatest thing ever. it's truly the best fun i've ever had.

Friday, July 28, 2017

temple date night

both of our mums are away, but i am thankful for beautiful friends who love our children like their own and looked after our babies this evening so that we could go to the temple together... for the first time in months! what better place could there possibly be for a night out? ♥

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

plantation shutters

we had these babies fitted to the three back bedrooms yesterday and i am in love! i am so so happy with them!! we were lucky enough to buy a house that had been completely decked out with norman style plantation shutters throughout, with the exception of the three back bedrooms. they had some basic curtains which over the past 22 months we've been here had quickly died, even to the point that you couldn't even open and shut the ones in the kids rooms... and that was without them even touching them! 

i am so thrilled, they just look so tidy and really complete the rooms... but most of all, i am bummed i didn't take a picture of the rooms before they were fitted, the before and after was amazing!

worth every cent! ♥

Sunday, July 23, 2017

the power of the book of mormon

i love it when i get to teach relief society... and this time was definitely no exception. this weeks topic was the power of the book of mormon, a talk given at general conference in april of this year, by president thomas s monson. it's only a three minute talk, so obviously i had to do something to make up the rest of the time... and i ended up with more than enough! so here it is!


My lesson today is based on the April 2017 Sunday morning session conference talk by President Monson, entitled the Power of the Book of Mormon. During the last conference, he spoke just twice, with both talks being less than 3 minutes each. All that did for me was to emphasise that he obviously had something very important to say, which he did! He dedicated his entire Sunday morning talk to the importance of reading and gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon! We could easily read it, but I love to listen to our prophet speak, so we’ll watch it now. You can do so here!

I love President Monson’s simple invitation. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, PLEASE DO SO.

The word Mormon means “more good” and that’s what the Book of Mormon will bring to our lives.

The Book of Mormon was first published 187 years ago in March 1830 and the first edition of the Book of Mormon was made by hand. Please allow me to tell you over the next few minutes how this was done.

The Prophet Joseph Smith had made several visits to newspaper editors and publishers prior to the printing of the book. Letters indicate that his appearance was engaging, but his business proposition was unusual and refused. His request for 5,000 copies of a book from newspaper publishers was a far cry from a request to produce 5,000 newspapers. He was twenty years beyond the scope of his generation. The large quantity would have been more readily feasible to publishers after 1847, when the rotary press was introduced. In 1830 book publishers in the United States were not producing books in large editions, either. In fact, until 1820 seventy percent of the books circulating in America had been printed in Great Britain. The size of first editions of books in America varied. While religious and staple books led with large editions, usual editions ran from 500 or 600 to 2,000 copies. The Bible, the most salable book, was on occasion printed in a 10,000-copy edition. But most printers felt that it was better business “to be forced to reprint a successful book than to carry on … their shelves a large remainder of a volume that had failed to make its way.”

“The most tedious and difficult task that confronted a colonial printer,” writes Wendell J. Ashton, “was the production of a book of a considerable number of pages.”  The huge amount of work involved in production was due to the state of the materials and presses, which at the time caused the publishers to keep edition sizes small. When they did produce a large edition, selling it out often became a problem. To illustrate what was considered a “large quantity,” John Wilson, the son of a famous Cambridge printer, had apprenticed on an iron press in 1843. One extremely large order of his involved the production of a sixteen-page octavo (eight pages cut from one sheet of paper) tract of 100,000 copies. He considered 2,000 copies of the tract as being a good day’s work. It took fifty days to print this edition. In his words, “this was a formidable number to print on a hand press.” Since the Book of Mormon involved 185,000 copies of octavo layout printed on both sides, it represented a doubly formidable quantity of printed material.

When we understand the circumstances surrounding mass publication in that era, the somewhat overwhelming nature of Joseph Smith’s request for 5,000 copies becomes more apparent. A newspaper in Rochester NY, the Gem, published information about the visit of Joseph and Martin in an article dated September 5, 1829: “A man by the name of Martin Harris was in this village a few days since endeavouring to make contract for printing a large quantity of a work called the Golden Bible … now in press in Palmyra, Wayne County.”

Finally, in August 1829, in a building housing the printing equipment of the Wayne Sentinel, the Book of Mormon went to press. Mr. Grandin and his associates had taken on the unpopular task of printing this book when other nearby newspaper editors refused. Grandin (whose name you will notice showing on the copy I’ll pass around shortly) consented to produce the book only as a “business matter,” with the understanding among his friends and associates that he was in no way related to the religion that the book represented. 

Outwardly, the building of the Wayne Sentinel reflected the image of any small, country printing establishment of that period in the United States. But the spirit of a few excited men gathered within this particular building at this time reflected something very different. To them, the dawning of a new dispensation seemed imminent. When John H. Gilbert, main compositor for the Book of Mormon, showed those present the galley sheet of the first few pages of the book, including the title page, three onlookers—Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and Joseph Smith—were delighted with this first impression of the book in print. Two others, however—Pomeroy Tucker and Stephen S. Harding—did not share the feeling of anticipation and joy that filled the hearts of the others.

Still, the business transaction had been made, although it was unusual from its inception. The usual procedure was for the printer to completely examine the manuscript and make plans for the form of the book. But Mr. Grandin and his associates had to make their decisions from a few pages of manuscript, taking Joseph Smith’s word on the number of “folios” that the manuscript would make. From these few specimen pages, Grandin had to decide the cost of composing and setting the type, the choice of the proper type size, the book size, the amount of ink, paper, leather, and binding materials needed, and the time and cost of printing and bookbinding. These were all figured out with hardly any knowledge of the manuscript that he proposed to set into book form. The chief compositor, Gilbert, also began his job under unusual circumstances. The manuscript was only given to him by a guard; because some of the translated material had been lost, Joseph Smith was constrained to have a guard accompany the small batches of copy to be set each day. It was then composed, set in galley and page forms, checked out, and proofread. The manuscript was always withdrawn each evening by Oliver Cowdery and a guard, who was sometimes the Prophet’s own brother, Hyrum Smith. Aside from this slightly disquieting procedure, the printing office soon hummed with normal activity. Once the first proof sheets had been readied, printing on the press could proceed simultaneously with the typesetting, galleying, paging, and proofreading. Gilbert wasted no time, after he received Joseph Smith’s approval on the first proof sheets, in finishing the first signature (large sheet of printed pages) of the Book of Mormon.

Image result for book of mormon print "signature"

This is a copy of the first “signature” that appeared in the original printing of the Book of Mormon. You can see when it’s opened up that it’s printed in an order that works when it is folded, then cut to size, to make the first 16 pages of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon consisted of all of these signatures printed and joined together over and over until it was complete. Once each side was dry, the second side would be printed.

As Mr Gilbert composed the type for the Book of Mormon, he would read the manuscript sentence by sentence, memorizing the wording, spelling, and punctuating exactly as he proceeded. At the end of each word, he would add a small space, with the thumb of his left hand holding each new letter in position at the end of the growing line of letters. When he finished a line, he would either hyphenate the word, fit one more small word in, or end the line and respace the words. In any case, the line was justified by spacing it until it had a firm fit. Sometimes this involved removing all the spaces between the words and inserting wider or smaller ones. When the measure of his composing stick was finally full, Major Gilbert would pause to read the lines that he had just set. To a layman the face of the type would be upside down and reversed, but to a man skilled in this profession, this reading was done as easily as is normal reading. The whole Book of Mormon was given its first proofreading this way.

Image result for grandin printing press

We cannot be sure how fast Gilbert set the type for the book, but words cannot be composed as quickly as they can be written. For four centuries composing a book meant picking up each letter singly and assembling it with other letters in a composing stick. Compositors achieved great dexterity in this work, but there is a limit to the speed of the fingers. As the typesetting progressed, Gilbert’s nimble fingers kept up a regular pace while his eyes scanned the manuscript copy. This was the typical typesetting scene that Oliver Cowdery and his companions watched as they guarded the manuscript during the months of printing. The printing also progressed rapidly during this time. The busy office never knew a moment’s silence for eleven hours a day, six days a week, after work on the Book of Mormon commenced. As good pressmen were known for their regular rhythm and consistent production, Mr. Grandin and his associates at the Wayne Sentinel were no doubt proud to print with very little time lost or wasted, printing slightly over four sheets a minute. By their printing standards, they produced the Book of Mormon in good time on that Washington press—especially considering the fact that the print shop continued to publish the Wayne Sentinel each week.

While we offhandedly state that the Book of Mormon came to press during the last part of August 1829 and the printing ended in March 1830, we often forget the bookbinding part of the work. Yet this ancient process was an important one in making the Book of Mormon. After the printed signatures (folded into bundles of eight leaves) were placed in order according to their numbers, they were placed on a sewing frame and cords were sewn through the spinal fold with a special stitch called the kettle stitch. Then they were hammered down the spine to tighten the folds, screwed into a standing press, and glued along the spine to hold them together permanently. When this glue reached the right elasticity, the spine was tapped to give each book the necessary rounded shape at the back for the addition of the cover. The covers were cut from cardboard and a thin white sheet of paper was pasted onto one side. This caused the board to draw slightly in and curve into the proper shape for a book cover as the paste dried. The ends of the cords previously sewed through the spinal fold of the book were glued into these covers. To give the covers their final dress, dampened leather was carefully drawn over the cardboard, smoothed over the spine, pared down at the corners, and glued to the cardboard frames. When all the edges were tightly glued down and the corners squared, the books were left to dry.

In this busy atmosphere during the binding of the Book of Mormon, none of these craftsmen could know that they were making history. When Grandin and his small crew had finished the first few copies of the Book of Mormon and set them up for sale in the small bookstore in Palmyra, they had little realization of the consequences and far-reaching effects to come because of this handcrafted product they had made. As they tooled and lettered the name of the book on the leather cover with gold that would not tarnish, they little knew that it would be untarnished over a hundred years later and that the book itself contained a message far more untarnishable than the letters on its cover—a message of truth for all the world.

Thankfully the printing process is nowhere near as difficult in our day and in 2011 the church reported that more than 150 million copies had been printed since 1830.

Isn’t that amazing! To hear how the pages of the Book of Mormon came to be! We know the Book of Mormon was specifically written for OUR DAY. Mormon Chapter 8 speaks of the prophesied coming forth of the Book of Mormon and there are a few verses that I’d specifically like to cover:

Mormon: 8:14-15

14 And I am the same who hideth up this record unto the Lord; the plates thereof are of no worth, because of the commandment of the Lord. For he truly saith that no one shall have them to get gain; but the record thereof is of great worth; and whoso shall bring it to light, him will the Lord bless.
15 For none can have power to bring it to light save it be given him of God; for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord.

 (this scripture mentions that the plates would be of no worth to anyone other than those who would “bring it to light” and the only way they could come forward would be through the power of God)

Mormon 8:25

25 And behold, their prayers were also in behalf of him that the Lord should suffer to bring these things forth.

This verse says that ancient prophets knew and prayed for the prophet Joseph Smith, knowing he would one day bring this record forward to the world. This is such a great chapter of the Book of Mormon, seriously read it when you get home! There are many detailed prophecies made by Moroni that stand as a witness to prove the truth of the book.

Moroni then tells us that he has seen our day in Mormon 8:35.

35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.

 The Book of Mormon was truly brought forth from the earth “for our day” in this final dispensation. I like to imagine the joy Moroni felt as he personally passed his writings to Joseph Smith to be brought forward.

I have said multiple times in lessons, if you are too busy to pray and ready your scriptures, you are busier than the Lord ever intended you to be. Please take the time to read from the Book of Mormon each day as our dear prophet has asked us to. You will find strength and safety in the words of the ancient prophets who were inspired to know what we needed to hear. 

I know there are plenty of meme lovers in our RS here, so here’s one for you. We know from the verses of the Book of Mormon that often there was war raging as someone had to take the time to gather and prepare the ore required for the pages, then engrave their writings because the Lord had commanded them to write and they were obedient and did so. We need to MAKE the time to read it.

I remember one of the greatest pieces of advice I received was to put myself in the story, much as Nephi said in 1 Nephi 19:23

23 And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.

I received a copy of a “Book of Mormon challenge” many years ago (you can find something similar here - basically explaining what would be required to write your own – and believe me it’s a lot!) that I would love to share a few points of with you:

§  Joseph Smith was just 23 years old had no more than 3 years of formal education
§  At no stage was the translation of the Book of Mormon ever read back. Other than grammatical and punctuation changes, the first copy has stood forever as first released.
§  Many styles of writing were included in the Book, relating to each individual author.
§  All mentions of Christ and his ministry agree perfectly with the Bible, without exception.
§  The Book of Mormon was published at the expense of Joseph Smith, who along with others gave his own money/ mortgaged his own land to see it published. He never received any monetary gain, in fact he lost all that he had, submitting himself to the most vile persecution, imprisonment and finally giving his life to seal his testimony of the truthfulness of the Book.

It was impossible that the book has been “made up”. It simply could not have been done. I am would have been so easy to give up and walk away time and time again, rather than watching his family and friends and his people suffering for the truth, but Joseph knew of the truth of the book, as do we and to this day, thousands of missionaries leave their families each year at their own expense, to share the book of Mormon with the world. Why would we bother if it wasn’t true.

Over time many theories and ideas have arisen as to the origin of the Book of Mormon, but all have been proven wrong when tested. Joseph’s Smith claim that the Book came from a divine origin has stood strong as the only possible explanation despite efforts by many to show otherwise. Its strength has increased to the point where is has become the only logical explanation. Scholars and professors have testified to its divinity, because there is NO other explanation, it MUST BE REAL, meaning it MUST BE TRUE.

Bruce R. McConkie said, “There are … millions of sincere and devout persons who disbelieve, oppose, and openly fight the Book of Mormon. … What is it about some words on a printed page—all of which are clean and uplifting and pertain to historical and doctrinal matters—that arouses such violent antagonism?
“Men ordinarily do not rise up to fight the Bible; they do not organize mobs and incite them to shed the blood of others because such persons believe in the scripture of the Old World. … The violent opposition to the Book of Mormon is one of the great evidences of its divinity. If it were not of God, Lucifer would not overly concern himself with it.”

I love to hear Elder Holland bear testimony of the Book of Mormon, so let's do that too! (you can find that here)

As you can see from these pictures, (on the board, showing the three witnesses and the eight witnesses of the Book of Mormon) many people saw and held the plates and witnessed of their existence. These people never changed their witness. Never retracted it, never denied what they had seen. Joseph Smith didn't just "make it all up." He simply couldn't have.

It doesn't matter which cover, it doesn't matter what language. (See display above!) It is the Book of Mormon and it is true!

"The Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on this Earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book. - Joseph Smith Jnr.

I KNOW of the truth of the Book of Mormon. I KNOW Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know these words were written for US. PLEASE make time to read the Book of Mormon daily. It will change your life.

information regarding printing etc sourced here

Thursday, July 20, 2017

one of those days

"if you are on the right path - it will always be uphill"

today was one of those days... this morning i spilled a cup of water on the kitchen table... right next to my laptop, it went under and somewhat in it, but didn't automatically short out (that's a miracle in itself!)... so i grabbed my external hard drive that's plugged into the tv for the kids to watch movies on and quickly copied everything off the computer onto it. phew. i dried it again, the best i could and then restarted, only to have the mouse go funny and skip large amounts of the screen, which resized itself a few times... gahhhhhhhh. anyway long story short, i turned the heating on and put it upside down in a closed room and when i switched it back on late this evening, it seems to be okay... fingers crossed! my laptop is olllllld and dying but let's be honest here, who ever wants to fork out for a new one?!

so there was that... thennnn when i was about 50m from home from picking madeline up from school, i ran over something (turns out it was a sharp as piece of bone. what the actual heck!) that dug into my tyre and flattened it. flat. about 30 secs after i pulled into the garage, it was fully deflated.

but. i got to put my skills to use. dad insisted i learn how to change a tyre when i was a teenager - and change a tyre i did. jacked up the car, got it off, got the new one on, drove to the tyre place and got a new tyre. wow. what a day. the kids thought it was great. i wasn't as impressed...

here's hoping tomorrow is better.

but. i can offically say that i can change a tyre! thank you dad! ♥

Monday, July 17, 2017

moanaline is six!

on saturday we celebrated madeline's sixth birthday in island style... with a moana birthday party!

for those of you who don't already know, my husband is actually samoan (yes i know, he has red hair! i can see that, thank you for pointing it out though lol. his father's grandmother was maori and his mother samoan, so people mostly assume the red hair came through the maori side. not so. his cousin who is darker skinned with dark hair and eyes, has had two children that are like little dougs! so, we can confirm, it's definitely the samoan line that's passed on the red gene)

anyway, back to the party. when madeline loved moana, we certainly didn't discourage it in any way, as really, it's written as a story of the polynesians, especially those of the samoan islands (fun fact: the rock who voiced maui, is samoan!) and when she decided she wanted a moana party, i was thrilled!

decorations were easy, lots of blue, watery looking goodness: 
blue confetti balloons (big w party store) - $3 for a pack of 3
moana napkins (big w party store) - $5 for a pack of 16
moana bunting, 10 cups and 10 plates (aliexpress) $9.85

maddie was thrilled to get this pineapple lamp in the mail from a family friend the day before the party which was perfect as a decoration (available here from kmart online)

tablecloth is also from kmart (actually a doona cover! haha)

when we went to samoa as a family in 2014, doug desperately wanted to get himself a carved drum, but was concerned about getting it home... flash forward a few months when my parents finished their voluntary mission (working at church college) we made it happen! mum and dad had it shipped with their other items and it's taken pride of place in our house. it was a perfect decoration for the party!

the cake was incredible, made as always by my best friend jennifer, it was a masterpiece! 3 layers of coconut/vanilla cake with ombre wave icing and biscuit crumb "sand." we bought the moana figures at the disney store in the usa when we were over in february, but similar can be found on aliexpress also.

drinks were fresh water and ocean water (lemonade with blue food colouring... noted for next time is that i used wayyyyy too much colouring, there were blue mouths right left and centre on the kids)

and my lovely husband spent hours making this gorgeous "secret underwater cave" in our theatre room with green streamers ($1 for a pack of six from our local red dot (cheap store)) the girls loved it and squealed with excitement when they got to go and and play pass the parcel and have some pics at the end of the party

pin the nose on pua brought much excitement... i had googled some games knowing that it was going to be raining (worst news ever when you have a party!) and couldn't find a free one, so i made my own! please feel free to leave a comment if you want me to email it to you, it's not super fancy, but it's free! the girls loved it! there was a lot of laughter ♥

the aftermath!

leftover noses! i love pua! i was so sad he wasn't in the movie more! :(
prize was a moana colouring book ($2 from big w)

as usual i spent the day before baking, to make sure everything was perfect, yes i am a complete control freak! i made heart of te fiti cookies...

hei hei's chicken feed (corn fritters)

ocean jelly slice (blue jelly slice)

beach sand slice (lemon pie bars)

island coconuts (meatballs made by nanna babs)

pigs in a blanket (mini sausage rolls)

te ka's ash cake (brownies)

sailboat swirls (mini quiches also from the kitchen of nanna babs)

under the sea crackers (limited edition arnotts shapes available at woolworths!)

kakamora (chocolate truffles)

tamatoa's treasure (caramel popcorn with added jewels to make them shiiiiiiiny)

hei hei's egg sandwiches 

to make the food labels, i found all these pictures on google and then added the type, again, not fancy... but free! leave me a comment and i can email them out.

joseph was pretty shy at the party and stayed behind nanna in the background (and flat our refused to wear the adorable maui shirt we had bought him! :( i was so sad!) but i managed to get this cute snap of him enjoying one of the te fiti cookies, to be honest i am sure he ate about 8 of them... eep. 

food was a hit and demolished... made it all worth it!

we played pass the parcel (of course... what is a kids party without a game of pass the parcel! layers contained lollies and sheets of under the sea stickers ($2 for a book from the local cheap shop) and the middle had a moana necklace (i'm wearing one in the 2nd picture - $2.59 from ebay, came super quick and looks great!) and another ocean themed sticker book

maddie was so pleased with her party and just looked thrilled and important the whole day to be having her first one with school friends. our girl is growing up so fast!

finally it was cake time... and this cake did not disappoint! aunty jenny had even managed to find some blue "ocean" flamed candles and they were the talk of the party. so so cool!

last but not least, the girlies took home a coconut with some treats inside.

i love planning parties, once it all comes together and works out, all the effort doesn't matter... just how happy your kid is! 

we love you moana-line! hope you loved your island party! ♥

(more photos on instagram - #moanalineissix)