Monday, May 23, 2016

Cream of chicken soup

 There is nothing better than a warm thermos of soup when you've been working on a cold and rainy day. With a week of bad weather ahead, I have whipped up this delicious cream of chicken soup to pop in Tom's thermos for work and Poppy's thermos for school. Hopefully it warms them through, until dinner.

What you'll need:
2 cups, chicken stock
3 chicken marylands, skin removed
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium leek, washed and chopped
50g butter
1/3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cream
Parsley to serve

What to do:
Place 3 1/2 cups cold water, stock, chicken, onion, celery and leek in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour. 

Transfer chicken to a bowl. Cool slightly. Remove and discard bones. Shred meat. Set aside. Strain stock mixture into a large heatproof jug. Discard solids.

Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until bubbling. Gradually stir in stock mixture and cream. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until soup thickens slightly. 

Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley. Serve.

Enjoy. x

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Monkey Bars

This week has been a hectic one, It's was meant to be pretty straight forward with the twins at school three days, meaning I could get a whole bunch of jobs done, before a busy few weeks.
We we're going along smoothly, the usual busy mornings before school run, a full day with the twins on excursion and then a full day of chores on Tuesday, that was until Tuesday mid-morning I had a call from the school, Rory had fallen off the dreaded monkey bars, hadn't stopped crying and wouldn't let anyone look at his arm.

 I rush to the school to collect my boy and see how he was. After a little examination, I decided it was probably best to take him to the hospital for an x-ray to confirm what I had originally thought was just a sore arm, and maybe a bruised ego. Unfortunately that's not what happened, I could tell as soon as the x-rays were looked at by the doctor that Rory was going to have to have some plaster time. My poor little boy had broken his wrist and his upper arm and has a half cast on for a week and then when the swelling goes down will most likely have a full cast put on next week for four to six weeks. 

Unfortunately the pain has been bad for him, and the past two nights have been very long, with a lot of bed shuffling and pillows to prop up his cast, which is very heavy for a boy so little. I'm hoping his cast next week will be fiberglass, making it lighter and easier on his neck and back with the sling.

He is lucky to have two beautiful sisters who are very keen on looking after him, especially Poppy who has enjoyed reading him books, baking his favorite muffins and writing him special notes. I have a few thing's up my sleeve to keep him busy, some new puzzles, activity sheets from his teacher, making race car tracks and some quiet time with a movie or two.

Let's hope the next four weeks fly by and Rory is back riding his motorbike and running around with his friends. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Thursday last week I had to travel down South to Hobart to have a PET scan as a follow up after my Melanoma removal. It takes 2 hours to drive from my home to Hobart and the PET scan takes about 4 hours in total. As it was the last day of term one for Poppy we decided she would take the day off and our family would make a mini holiday out of it and stay in Hobart for a couple of nights.

We had a few things we really wanted to do in Hobart, meet up with my brother and his husband, do a little shopping and the children had been asking if we could go to the 'Sushi Train' for weeks. Other than that, we were happy to see where the days took us.

While I was at my PET scan, I was injected with some radioactive dye and was unable to be around children for a few hours, so instead of coming to my appointment, Tom took the children to do some activities for a few hours.
When driving into Hobart we had seen a huge cruise ship docked at the wharf, the children were amazed at how huge is was and loved the look of the pools and huge water slides on board, so Tom took them over for a look. They then headed to the Hobart museum, which happened to have a great children's exposition on, so there was plenty for them to see and do.

 On Friday, we didn't have any set plans and starting looking for something to fill our day, we planned to head to a nearby beach for a walk, to the shops to find some Winter boots for Poppy and as it was such a beautiful Autumns day I looked at perhaps a boat ride out on Hobart's river Derwent.

After a short search, we decided to head to the famous MONA museum and to travel there on the 'MONA ROMA' boat, it would be about a 15 minute ride each way and we would stop at the museum for about an hour, perfect.

As we were riding in 'cattle class', we sat with the gorgeous sheep and cow on board, which the children absolutely loved.

We traveled under the Tasman bridge (my children call it the 'dinosaur' bridge) and the Bowen bridge, which was great, as we had driven over them so many times but never been under them.

Tom and I had been to MONA museum before so we knew that there was some exhibits not really appropriate for children, so we avoided those and showed them some of the more family friendly exhibits, such as the water fall of words, the huge snake wall and the trampoline outside with huge bells attached.

The glass lift was also a great attraction for the children, me on the other hand, I took the stairs.

We then walked down the 99 stairs back to the ferry and had another great trip home.

On Saturday we headed to the Salamanca market for some breakfast and a wander around, the girls loved all the gorgeous jewelry and dresses where Rory was more interested in the music and food. 

After a little feast in the park, we headed back home to Launceston with our arms full or fresh fruit and a few new trinkets.

The perfect little family get away to start the Term holidays off.

For the rest of the holidays, we won't be getting out much, I have a lot of jobs to do around home, and with a few play dates booked, some Dr's appointments, hair cuts for the kid and the usual catch up jobs, I'm sure the weeks will fly by. 

I love having my three home through the day, and spending time reading, cooking, playing and going for walks. Perfect.

Happy Holidays! xx

Sunday, April 3, 2016


I'm having trouble making plans for our huge back and front yard at our new home, there is just so much space and it's a bit overwhelming. These isn't much to work with, some very old garden beds that would need completely re-soiling if we were to keep them and a few high fire bushes which will do for now. 

I have been putting off buying plants as I'm not sure where I want everything to go yet, but today I made a bit of a start with the very sad looking hydrangea, which is hidden under another bush in the drive way. I love the hydrangea flowers and would like to add a few of the colorful bushes to our yard. 

I haven't grown anything from clippings so after a google search I was an expert in no time. I had some potting mix in the shed and a few old pots, I was a bit enthusiastic with my three pots, because I barely got two cuttings from my sad old hydrangea (it probably didn't help that Tommy attacked it with the hedge trimmers recently).

My Google search told me to trim the bottom leaves, leaving two on the top and cutting them side ways (definitely not length ways).

After potting them in some moist soil I made a little hot house for them out of some freezer bags and straws.

These two should be rooted and propagation complete in two to four weeks, If I remember to keep the soil moist.

That was easy enough (if they work), so I will have to go and raid some friends and families gardens for some more cuttings soon. I plan on grabbing a cutting from the apple tree hanging over the fence too.

Do you grow from cuttings? Any tips would be welcome.

Happy Sunday x

Thursday, March 31, 2016


With Easter falling a little earlier this year, we figured we could squeeze in another camping trip before the weather gets too cold. It was a great excuse to get some more use out of the motor bikes and spend the holiday with great friends.

We chose some where different from our usual spot, which can be hard to do, as there is usually six or more families and it can be hard to find a great spot that we all fit in and is suitable for the bikes, 4x4's and buggy.

Griffin Park, which is about a 10 minute drive from the tiny town of Mathinna, has many large camping spots by the beautiful river, which in the Summer is perfect for a swim.

The boys had planned a motorbike ride through some logging tracks to another small town called Pyengana which would take them about 4 hours and the girls and children took the 4x4's and navigated our way (not an easy task) to Pyengana in about an hour. The little town is famous for it's beautiful cheese factory and little "Pub in the Paddock" where we all met up for lunch.

It is a pretty popular ride and the place was full of dirt bike groups who had all made the trip for the day.

The pub is also famous for it's pig "Priscilla" who loves a beer specially brewed for her.

On Easter morning it was so special to have all 11 children wake up to a magical Easter wonderland, The Easter bunny had made the biggest hunt and it was lovely to see the bigger children help the little ones collect their eggs and show them what it was all about.

I remember coming to Griffin park when I was Poppy's age and riding motorbikes and hunting for easter eggs, so it was so special to now be sharing these memories with my own family and making new memories that will last a life time.

 The mornings were so cold, and one morning there was even a frost, but with a large camp fire, a few layers of clothes and a warm camp coco we were thawed out in no time and it wasn't long before the sun came up and dried everything out.

It was another great few days away, and even though I'm still washing bedding and packing away, I'm looking forward to more camping adventures at the end of the year when the weather warms up again.

Did you get away for Easter?