Sunday, February 24, 2013

A beautiful adoption story...


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I have been following this blog (Kim from Serendipity Cafe put me onto it) for a few months now.  It is the most beautiful adoptions story - this young couple who have one child of their own felt that they could love another child (or maybe 2) and so Maria and tiny Elijah came to be theirs and live with them and their son, Finley in the US.  Oh, wow - go back to the start where they are about to bring Maria home after the long wait.  Witness the change in little Elijah who looked like a malnourished 8 month old baby but was in fact 18 months old when they brought him home.  Two lives saved and 3 other lives enriched by this adoption.
You will need tissues, I am sure.

They have been nominated by Parents Magazine as best Family Blog and I'd love it if you'd give them a vote so they might win.  Click on the Tiny Green Elephants link above and vote using the link there.
Thank you,

Joolz

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday roundup ...


I ordered (and received) these lovely French inspired note cards from DKShopgirl (she has lovely shabby chic items in her Etsy store)...
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Aren't they sweet?
(photo from dkshopgirl)
I have also ordered this plaque - I just couldn't resist the blue and white china!
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Plodding along with this Dear Jane cross stitch, I seem to do it in fits and bursts then nothing...
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I am reading Call the Midwife at the moment - again slowly - I hop into bed but can only manage a few pages before I get noddy!  I do love the story, though.
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On the food front, I made a yummy Chicken Curry and made more naan bread - I am so pleased with that recipe...
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The next night we had this stir fry - I used a pork fillet instead...
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It was good but really spicy hot - I think it needed coconut milk added to tone it down a bit!  Nearly blew our heads off!  
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This is my take on Nigella's Spanish Chicken - it's one of those dishes you could assemble at lunch time then whack it in the oven for an easy dinner.  We just had a tossed salad with it.
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I had another go at making the Lemon Delicious pudding - this time I added the castor sugar to the egg whites before I had whipped them into stiff peaks... nearly another disaster.    It turned out okay but there wasn't quite as much sauce as there usually is.  Still delicious all the same.
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I also pickled some beetroot that I bought.  I used Rhonda's recipe which is here. Five medium beetroot gave me these 2 jars.  Bri can take the bigger one back to Adelaide - we have to wait about 3 weeks before we can try it.
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I have another free weekend to look forward to.  I'm not sure what the weather is doing.  We've had hot weather, warm weather, cool weather and now back to hot again today.  Bring on Autumn I say!  Hopefully, I can spend some time stitching and I have a Downton Abbey Special 'A Journey to The Highlands' to watch - can not wait!  No doubt there will be some more cooking and baking happening here - I really need to get my nose into that Weight Watchers Programme book and try some of those recipes.
Added: Once we started watching the Journey to the Highlands, we realised that is followed on from Season 3 so we had to stop.  Can't spoil the story line by getting ahead!
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Cheers for now - Joolz

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Love Your Sister - A man with a mission ...

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This is Sam Johnson and his sister, Connie.  Connie has breast cancer (Connie has beaten 2 other cancers in her short life, but this one is going to win) and she's been given 6-12 months to live.  Sam is cycling around Australia, on a UNICYCLE, trying to raise AUD$1 Million for breast cancer research.
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This guy is awesome, funny, caring, brave - follow his journey via his blog : http://loveyoursister.org/ and also on Facebook at : http://www.facebook.com/loveyoursister?ref=ts&fref=ts
You can make a donation via the blog page
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His journey has only just begun and he has faced many hot days (can you imagine cycling, let alone on a Unicycle!?) so I think this will be a huge challenge.  In each town he is greeted by people pushing money donations into his hand, he is blown away by the enormous support he is receiving.  Check out the route he is taking and if he is going through your town, please stand out and watch him pass by and press a note into his hand (or his helpers).  Sadly, he's not coming through my town but I have made a donation towards his cause.
Their message: Don't fall into the booby trap, be breast aware!
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Go, Sam, Go!  You are a beautiful man!

Cheers - Joolz

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lemon Not So Delicious ...

(what it should look like - when I made it here)
 I think I need to keep my mouth shut!  We had a late dinner last night but we had a hankering for Lemon Delicious pudding so, in between watching My Kitchen Rules, I knocked up the pudding....
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 I got the puddings into the oven (in their cosy water bath) and was sitting there rolling my eyes at the antics of the mother/daughter duo from WA plus saying how stupid you'd have to be to blow making a dessert when you should have practiced it and worked out ingredients etc.... when  it suddenly dawned on me that I had forgotten to put the 1/2 cup of SR flour into the puddings!  Oh NO!
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 I had to eat my words!  I never usually have flops, but this was one of epic proportions!  I left them in the oven to cook but when we tried to eat them, they tasted like sweet lemony scrambled eggs!  Erk!
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It did not taste good!
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I will give it a go again tonight - the recipe is quite simple and I thought foolproof.
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Cheers - Joolz

Monday, February 18, 2013

Southend beach...

 It was hot and horrible in our part of the world yesterday, about 37C with gusty winds, perfect for fires.  We had visitors in the afternoon who left at 6.30pm.  We quickly packed up a barbecue dinner (chicken wings and sausages, bread, sauce) and headed to the beach!
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 Brianna and I went straight in for a swim - the cold Southern Ocean refreshingly, tinglingly cold!  It was divine!  We wallowed around for quite a while.  The man set up the barbecue then joined us.
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 The sunset just got better and better - a real paint box sky...
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We stayed until 9.30pm before packing up and driving home.  We may go back tonight as the weather is no cooler today.  
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Cheers - Joolz

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chicken Satay ...

(Chicken Satay skewers, left over potato bake (OMG - better the next day!) and leftover salad)
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 It was quite hot here yesterday and I didn't leave the house all day.  In fact I stayed in my pyjamas all day.  I got jobs done but I just needed a day off.  We have had three 4-day weekends in a row where we have entertained people, gone four wheel driving and also had a trip to Sydney plus I have worked every day since Christmas.  I am spent.
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I did 4 loads of washing to catch up, made bread rolls, decluttered the bedroom, watched several trashy TV shows (Super Nanny, Hoarders, My Secret Obsession), completely cleaned/wiped out my washing machine (*gleaming*) - all in my pyjamas... then I showered and put new ones on.  Someone else made dinner :)
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Then I watched more TV, with the fan going on me because I think there's something wrong with our air conditioner (doesn't feel like refrigerated air to me!).  
 Here's the recipe for the Satay Chicken...
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SATAY CHICKEN
1 kg chicken (breast, thighs or tenderloins), cut into chunks
2 tablespoons mild sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons, chopped fresh coriander
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Peanut Sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup mild sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
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Combine first lot of ingredients and marinate your chicken pieces for at least 3 hours or overnight.  Thread chicken onto skewers ready to pan fry or barbecue.
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Combine peanut sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, heat then simmer about 3 minutes until sauce thickens slightly.
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Cheers - Joolz

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Yummy Potatoes ...

 I gave Mrs Woog's "Aunt Penny's potatoes" recipe a whirl last night.  As is common with me, I don't mind adapting a recipe to suit us - Bri doesn't like capsicum so I swapped it out for sweet potato... This first picture shows it after baking for about 25 minutes.
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 This is when I added the bacon, parsley and rosemary.  The smell is amazing!
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 Nearly ready at this stage, another careful toss...
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... and I added a sprinkling of cheese.  It was smashing!  Definitely a recipe to do again, thanks Mrs Woog!
Cheers - Joolz 
(I promise this is my last post for today!)

This week ...

 A few pictures from my garden...the roses have flushed again but I am afraid the hot weather has knocked them later in the week, the blooms are not fresh like this any more...
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 My tomato plants are still producing a few tomatoes (I haven't bought any since Christmas)...
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 The planter, while the concept is good, just dries out too quickly.  Even watering morning and night, it still is looking frazzled.
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 Black Magic Agapanthus
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 Just watered roses, a big soggy looking...
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 Breakfast on Tuesday - not a thing pencilled into my diary for this week - yay!
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 Still juicing each morning!
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 Someone spoiled me on Valentine's Day!  Aren't I lucky?
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While in Sydney, I was treated to a 90 session at Endota Spa so I had a upper body massage and a pedicure/foot massage.  Absolute bliss!  I purchased some of their Lemon Grass herbal tea.  It is very soothing, I sat and sipped it this morning while thinking of how I would fill my day.  Four loads of washing is one way how to while the day away!
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 Operation Declutter! This is my perfume/jewellery table in my bedroom - time for a tidy!
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That's better!
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 The man loves his reading material but it drives me insane!
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Again, much better!
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 I made more bread rolls today as there were none left in the freezer.  I am quite frustrated with the yeast.  I mixed up the first batch with warm water (on the right) and left it 10 minutes to start fermenting.  There wasn't much action so I got out another sachet and made another batch.  Almost immediately, the new batch started to work and 10 minutes later was frothy and ready to go...
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 I can't work out why 2 sachets would react so differently.  Most annoying as I would have had a flop if I used the first batch.
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Anyway, the rolls turned out nice and we will enjoy them with our dinner tonight.
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Cheers - Joolz

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