Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here's to a bright and happy 2010...

Wishing everyone a wonderful, happy, healthy year ahead. Thank you for dropping by my blog - this is my 308th post since August 2008! I really enjoy 'meeting' new people and keeping in touch through blogworld - I've 'met' some gems and learned so much since I started way back then.
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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010 !
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Cheers - Joolz
PS: We hope to have a quiet night with friends down at the beach when off to do some 4 wheel driving tomorrow at our favourite beach spot. I'll take some pictures.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planter...

This is the planter I received from my sister-in-law & family. I have planted tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, chives, parsley and continental parsley in it. Time will tell if it is successful - we'll hang it in a spot that gets a bit of sun then shade. hopefully in about 5-6 weeks we should see tomatoes everywhere.
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For more info on this gadget - click here.
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Joolz

Simple Woman's Daybook...


For today - WEDNESDAY

Outside my window - bright sunshine, it's going to be about 38C (100F) here today. White corellas are sitting in the gum trees, making a racket. They wake us up every morning. I hear a kookaburra each morning too but that doesn't bother me.

I am thinking - about Kirby heading off to Melbourne today. She is going to the Sensation White Party with her girlfriends. I hope they will be safe.

I am thankful - that we have air conditioning at work now. It makes the day so much more bearable.

I am wearing - black shorts, striped T-shirt and white Havaianas.

I am remembering - to pay some bills today being the end of the month.

I am going - to work this afternoon. This morning I am pottering around the house, tidying, washing, putting away Christmas stuff. It seems neverending.

I am reading - recipe books today. We are going to spend New Year with friends at the beach so I want to make some finger food to take with us that can be microwaved hot just before serving. I have a few things in mind.

I am hoping - it won't be too hot tomorrow for New Year's Eve. I hope Kirby and Bri both have a good time.

On my mind - Kirby in Melbourne - she is flying there this morning by herself, has to catch the shuttle bus into the city, meet up with her friends then get to her hotel by tram. Big adventures!

Noticing that - I am still sitting here, typing away, and the washing machine is silent. Must get another load on....done!

From the kitchen - those yummy Ginger Snaps - delicious. Also, last night I cooked chicken breasts and some breast tenders, coated in 1 cup Kraft Dijonaise (Mayonnaise), 2 teaspoons curry powder and 2 tablespoons sweet chilly sauce, in a lasagne dish. Bake at 180 uncovered for about 30 minutes, basting with the sauce once or twice. Yummy. Thinking I'll try Pioneer Woman's Mushrooms Stuffed with Brie - recipe here.

Around the house - just tidying, kitchen floor needs a mop to it, wipe out bathroom sinks, vacuum living area. Boring, boring, boring.

In the garden - I received a Topsey Turvey Tomato & Herb planter - I'll post photos when I get the thing planted out and hung up.

A picture to share - aren't these Sesame Street Cake Pops so cute. Check out how Bakerella creates these fun cakes on a stick - here. The whole Bakerella blog is full of lolly loveliness!

Have a nice day, won't you?
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Cheers - Joolz

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ginger Snaps...

This is a lovely quick an easy recipe from Trish at Daily Decadent in Canada. The smell of these cookies as they are baking is unreal - so spicy! Give them a try soon.
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Joolz

Oopsey in SA...

We've had Oopsey with us for quite a few weeks now but she hasn't been doing much. She did take a trip to Mt. Gambier with Kirby & Brianna before Christmas...through the pine forests...
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... to see the Blue Lake which is an extinct volcano full of water which turns a brilliant blue through December to March. It really is something to see.

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Here is Brianna and Oopsey looking out over the lake.
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We took a drive with Brianna out to the wind farm one day.

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Yesterday, we drove to Southend beach and had a barbecue there...

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Oopsey just hung around in the shade while Brianna and her friend Samantha played in the water...
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Oopsey was spying on the men who were playing petanque (boules) on the beach.

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All in all a lovely lazy day - the worst thing was having to clean sand out of everything when we got home. Hope you had a nice restful day too.

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Joolz

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas presents...

This first gift I received is super exciting - not! A Hills Extend-a-line - but I did need a new line for under the pergola for rainy days ...
~This box was more to my liking...
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... and finally, my new Le Creuset Dutch oven in beautiful cobalt blue. Mmmm, I can smell the lamb shanks cooking now.... I'm a happy little clam! What did you get?
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Joolz

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas at our house...

Family started arriving at 11 am. The weather was perfect apart from it being a little windy. My guess, about 25C. We had 26 adults and 10kids for lunch then about 19 adults and 5 kids for dinner.
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These are my great-nephews - Brodi, Jed & Jett (cousins)
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This is Saige...
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... and this is Tayla, the eldest of the greats...
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... Mitchell gets ready to send the the ball flying while Jed and Brodi chill out in the shade...
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This was the lunchtime spread of cold meats and salads...
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Everyone was here for lunch or dinner (except one nephew and his family). Kirby said my Mum (79) said quietly to her, while surveying the crowd - "You know, I made this family..."
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Here we are with dear old Santa - he arrived to hand out some gifts and lollies...
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(Back Row - Josh, Mitchell, Tayla, Sapphire
Front row - Jett, Saige, Kobe, Brodi, Jed & Blake)
10 of my 16 nephews and nieces (the girls are out-numbered 4-12). They changed into their swimming gear so they could give the Slip n Slide a whirl...
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Even Santa had a turn on the Slip n Slide - I hope he had an extra suit with him!
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Me and my sisters (L-R) Julie, Leanne, Sue, Mum (Dorothy), Marilyn & Janine
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(L-R) Leanne, Janine, Sue, Julie & Marilyn
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Some of the crowd left to go elsewhere for dinner and more arrived to have dinner with us. We had a baked ham, barbecue chicken plus crayfish and prawns and lots of veggie and pasta bakes. More pudding with custard and cream and mango cheesecake and chocolate ripple cake for dessert. The kids ran around like mad things but they all had a ball.
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I am very lucky to be able to spend my Christmas with all my family - in all my 45 years I have always been with my and sisters (apart from one when Maz was in Perth with her family there).
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I hope your Christmas was just as nice as mine (...probably quieter though!)
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Cheers - Joolz

Presents from my sisters...

I have 4 older sisters and each year we buy/make a small gift. This year the theme was 'Round and Shiny and $15 maximum. Above are the bangles I bought for them - nice and round and shiny!
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My sister Leanne chose this cute card about sisters, with a shiny and round medallion...
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a cute verse...
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and a picture of us all. She also made a keyring with our initials and pretty glass beads. Special mention has to be made of the Christmas pudding she made. ... at the end of the day, she couldn't give it away! It was a good pud but her trifle was even more awesome. Thanks Fred!
~Sue gave me this little candy bowl filled with yummy truffles and liqueurs and round, shiny gold chocolate coins...
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This is a glass water bottle that my sister Janine hand etched and it has a glass bead decoration so I guess the bottle is round and shiny....
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and delicate glass Christmas decoration to go on the tree from my sister Marilyn. So we all completed this years challenge.
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This is the criterior for next years Sisters presents. It was Leanne's turn to choose and it's is quite ironic that she works at a garden nursery, don't you think??
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This is a fun way to do presents for family members and keeping the cost down is part of the fun. It also gives you a whole year to think about the gift.
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Also, this is my 300th blog post since August 2008. I recently had a lady comment on my site, saying she loved my blog and how I promote my town etc. She saw me in the local supermarket last week and made herself known to me. She visits Pip's Restisnotidleness and checked out my blog and discovered we lived in the same town. Small world eh?
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Joolz

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Pay it Forward Pressie...

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This is the sweet little throw rug that Ande from Burger Six made for me as her Pay It Forward gift. She forgot to take a pic so I thought I'd post a pic on my blog.
I promise to have my PIF's in the mail by January 31st to complete my end of the bargain. My PIF recipients are Pip, Marcy and Picklesticks so keep a look out in your mail boxes for a surprise.
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I've been busy this morning, making the Vegeroni Bake, a glaze for our baked ham, a spice rub to go on 2 Beer Can Chickens and now I have to wrap 10 bottles of Champagne in cellophane and bows and write in cards for our staff. I have the washing machine going, my Christmas tunes blaring and a little elf (who's name happens to be Holly!) is cleaning the house so it's all good!
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It's lovely and cool outside after a disgusting day yesterday. I went to Mt. G shopping and my car registered the temperature outside as 45C!!! It had cooled down to 34C by the time I returned home. We had really strong winds in the evening before finally getting a spit of rain around midnight. There was a bushfire about 100kms away so I hope that was extinguished with the rain. It's been raining all morning here so that has washed all the dust away. I think the forecast for tomorrow is about 23C (72F) so it should be a pleasant day.
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Still lots of organising to do, tables to set, a fresh pine tree to trim with gold baubles and meat to cook. I have one more present to add to then wrap and I'm done! Phew!
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Cheers - Joolz

Vegeroni Vegetable Bake with Cheese...

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VEGERONI BAKE
250 gm packet Vegeroni shapes or spirals
1 tblspn olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup broccoli flowerets
400 gm can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tblspns dry white wine (red is okay too)
1 clove garlic, crushed
250 gms mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese (I just use low fat tasty)

1. Cook vegeroni in large pot of boiling water until tender. Drain and return to pot, drizzle with little olive oil to stop it sticking together.
2. Heat oil in fry pan and saute onion, garlic for 3 minutes, add carrot and celery and cook a further 2 minutes. Add in zucchini, broccoli, tomato paste, tomatoes and wine. Cook, stirring occaisionally for 20 minutes. Add a little water if it gets too dry.
3. Add vegetable mixture to vegeroni, mix well. I add a handful of cheese at this stage.
4. Pour into a large ovenproof dish, top with remaining cheese and bake until cheese has melted and browned slightly.
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Enjoy with a crisp garden salad - lovely with any barbecued meats. We will have this with heated leftover meats for Christmas tea.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mini Christmas Cakes...

Can't say that these are the best fruitcakes I've ever tried but they are quite yummy.
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MINI CHRISTMAS CAKES
2 cups mixed fruit
10 glace cherries, chopped
handful of slivered almonds
handful of diced dried apricot
2 tblspns brown sugar
2 cups of black tea
2 tblspns brandy
~ Let all ingredients soak, preferrably overnight ~

Beat 1 egg and add to mixture. Sift 2 cups of SR Flour (add a little more if necessary) and 1 tspn baking powder and fold through. Spoon into large patty pans, place whole blanched almonds and a full cherry on top and bake at 160C for about 45 minutes until golden.
I glazed with a bit of jam and marmalade and brown sugar, heated in the microwave.
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Wrap individually in cellophane and give to the people you love!
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Cheers - Joolz

Monday, December 21, 2009

Peter Rabbit and other tales...

We have a book club that brings books for sale to our dealership. Last week there was a lovely, big hard cover edition of this book for just $25. I had to buy it - I had thoughts of reading aloud to my grand-children in years (many years) to come. I love Peter Rabbit and his friends.
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I am on the look out for a nice Nursery Rhyme book with all the old rhymes - Jack be nimble, Jack be quick; Wee Willy Winky; Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold; The owl and the pussy cat - etc.
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Joolz

Saturday, December 19, 2009

PW Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies...

These are my take on Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies. The recipe is here.
Yes, they're awesome!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cookies...

Is there anything as good as choc chip cookie dough?
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Choc Chip Cookies...
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... Shortbread ...
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... Cherry Butter biscuits...
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The baking continues later today after work.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas at our house...

Here is Oopsey, just hanging around in our Christmas tree...let's take a look...
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I have some cross stitch decorations that I made...
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...and some hand-made baubles...
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a cute little glass nativity...
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It's hard to believe that I cross-stitched all these decorations 19 years ago, before Kirby was born!
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Finally, Oopsey in front of our tree. We have a real pine tree for Christmas Day, resting out in the garage. I think this one looks pretty real too.
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I've been baking Christmas cookies - I've made chocolate candy cane biscuits, shortbread, cherry biscuits and chocolate chip cookies. Still got a few more to do like gingerbread, malt roll and some rum balls then I'll package them in gift boxes to give to my friends.
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We had a hot 38C day here yesterday then this morning I awoke to rain on the roof and we have had about 24mls and the temp was about 19C. My garden is looking lovely and fresh but I know the weeds will pop up in the next week leading up to Christmas. Still, our lawns are lush and green. That's the best part about living in SE of South Australia - we really get all the seasons...sometimes only days apart!
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I'm gradually getting things organised for Christmas, a few more pressies to buy then I'm done. This weekend will be spent doing a final tidy up around the place in readiness for Christmas Day. How are things doing at your place?
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Cheers - Joolz

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