Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Mysterious Beautiful Angel?

This lovely wee lady appeared in my mailbox yesterday (actually, the RD driver handed her to me, but you know what I mean). She is very beautiful, and very soft, and has sparkly silver thread giving her little body a shape. 

Where she came from is a mystery! There's a return address on the envelope, but I don't think  she came from anyone I know...

A wonderful, wonderful surprise - but what a mystery! 

Edit - through the wonders of Kiwi Mummy Bloggers, I've worked it out :) A million thank yous to Cadi from Chocolate Fishies - what a beautiful gift, you've made my whole week sparkle :) 

And thank you to Jennifer from Little Kiwi Chick  & Stace from Lilknightlights for helping me solve my mystery!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eggnog for Christmas?

Being in a festive mood on Monday, I had a sudden brainwave. I had a million eggs in the fridge (thank you, chickens!), and an hour where I needed a distraction from cleaning the house. I emailed a lovely friend in Canada for her eggnog recipe!

I'd googled & investigated, and every recipe I found seemed to be really heavy, and I imagine would make eggnog almost custardy in consistency - the eggnog I remember from when we were in Canada was light & fluffy & gorgeous! Anyhow, the lovely Ann came to the rescue thank goodness. 

I changed the recipe a tad - usually eggnog is made with raw eggs, and even though I know our chooks are clean & healthy I don't tend to feed raw eggs to my small boy. Not to worry though, a cooked eggnog isn't too tricky at all!

Lovely Eggnog :) (for two!)
2 cups of milk
2 eggs
A tablespoon or so sugar or honey
A grating of nutmeg
A cinnamon stick
A couple of cloves
A vanilla pod (or some of that fabulous vanilla paste!)
Alcohol of your choice - or none if you prefer (or you're a small child!) - I used marsala.

Mix everything but the alcohol together in a heavy based pan with a whisk. Turn the heat onto low, and GENTLY cook (for a very long time!) until the mixture thickens, kind of like custard (but not quite that thick). You want the mixture to get to 70 degrees for a few minutes, but you don't want it to boil.

When it's thick & lovely (and your house smells like beautiful spices...), strain it through muslin to take out any lumps & spices, then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, til well chilled. 

To serve - stir through a little (or a lot) of your liquor of choice! I don't actually have a photo of the final was consumed far too quickly. Jarvis had a few sips of the virgin version & thought it was fabulous. 


Monday, December 20, 2010

Friends for Mr Reindeer!

My lovely reindeer, as seen here , was feeling a little lonely perched up on his pinecone all by himself, so I thought I might just make him a few friends!

Jarvis & I made a visit to the $2 shop for supplies. Wooden pegs (not the same pegs as reindeer the first, although I think I like these ones better!), googley eyes, pipe cleaners.

Reindeer aren't too tricky, and by next year I think Jarvis will quite happily be making himself a gang - but for now I'm sneakily making them while he's asleep...

Use PVA glue to stick together three pegs - like I have in the picture, 2 facing down, one facing up (for the head!). 

I do love the suspicious look on his face...

Stick on googley eyes (again with pva!), I used a shiny paint pen to draw his nose on as I forgot about pompoms... The antlers were rather difficult to attach, if you have a glue gun, USE IT! PVA is very very tricky to use for antler attaching. I spent ages searching for my staplegun, but it seems Jarvis has hidden it somewhere (that boy is in love with the staplegun). If you must use pva, sit & hold the antlers on for what feels like forever, or they'll just spring straight off again. 

Glue a strip of ribbon over your reindeer's back, and you're done! Hoof colouring optional (I'm thinking my vivids might just be hiding in the same spot as my staplegun, so no hooves for now!). 

Yay, Reindeer! I love Christmas - when else can you sit around making reindeer instead of doing many far more 'useful' things! 

Next mission...gingerbread cocktail syrup. Oh yes...

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Pants!

Looking rather handsome in his new pants! My sewing is famously rough as guts, but he seems happy enough (or it could just be the Wiggles making him smile...)

Christmas Loveliness :)

Decorating a magical enormous pinecone...

A beautiful Christmas Birdie from my gorgeous friend Megan at Frou Frou Frippery...

One of the many (if I told you how many there are, you'd know how old I am!) decorations Mum has given me every year...

A few gifts, waiting patiently for transportation to our Christmas Destination...(hiding in the mailbag is Jarvis's's so cool I wanted to post a picture yesterday, but can't in case he sees it!) 

Home made stockings, hanging from the pot hanging thingee...the one on the left (with the mouse) was made by Mum when I was little, the one on the right I made myself one year, and Jarvis's stocking is hiding at the back. I really need to make one for Shane! 

A lovely fairy-angel...

Our special top-of-the-tree fairy-angel...her name is Stella & we bought her when we lived in Canada :) 

A fantastical clothes-peg Rudolph. Can't wait 'til next year, when I'll attempt to make some of these bad boys with Jarvis!

Ahhhhhhh, Christmas :) When the PAFT lady came this morning she commented on how lovely the Christmassy music coming from our house was...she could hear it as she walked up the path. 

Christmas 'round here is all about sharing food, wine & laughter with family. We're off to my sister's place, where Jarvis can tear around the lawn on his ******* (Mystery Christmas Present - Thank you, one day sale websites. Thank you so much...), with Bec's small dog in the ******* (who knows, maybe Jarvis can not to write the actual words. You'll just have to wait & see!). 

Hopefully we won't eat ourselves into repletion as we did last year (that was just a little out of control...there's feasting & then there's total madness!), and we can spend the afternoon sitting in the shade & not having to be anywhere, or do anything except watch the bbq smoke away. 

In the evening perhaps some trivial pursuit, perhaps poker (which I suck at so badly that I tend not to play!), maybe even some crazy playdough cranium action. 

Happiness :) 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Beautiful Beach...and a warning!

You have been warned!! 

I think these were the last photos from our camera before it died (again)...thank goodness for our old faithful canon which was lurking in the car, or we would have had around five photos from our weekend away. The camera's gone back (again) to have exactly the same thing fixed...methinks they didn't do such a flash job of fixing it the first time. Grrrr...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Trip to the Seaside

A wonderful weekend - a trip to the seaside (or 'up the coast' as it's known around here!) to test out our new Christmas pressie tent. 

Little did we know that, along with normal lovely beachy things, we'd discover a cemetery for old tractors at the end of the beach. Such happiness! 

All tractors are fabulous, even if they've long since retired from farm work. 

Tractors made from sand are equally fantastical...

Mmmm, dinner. The chorizo paella was very popular indeed...I love the food we eat when we're camping, it's amazing how delicious a meal you can make with just one pan! 

Jarvis was very, very impressed. 

The beef satay was pretty damned awesome too! 

We managed to get the same campsite we stayed in when we came to the same camping ground a few years last weekend we were Getting our Kicks at Campsite Number Six...again :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Adventure in a Very Small Town (part three)

So, what do two fantastical little guys get up to on sunny days?

Splashing each other with hoses & buckets of water...

Making huge piles of cushions to leap into from the sofa...

Running away from a very crazy zebra who was trying to eat people's fingers...

(although Remy assures me he's quite tame...)

A touch of skateboarding...

We had the most wonderful time - action packed days of adventure, and evenings involving fine wine & even finer conversation :) The night before Jarvis & I had to drive home again, we had to watch the time carefully so as not to stay up all night talking & talking! 

Thank you, lovely friends - what a wonderful little holiday! 

An Adventure in a Very Small Town (part two)

We quickly discovered that our holiday destination has the most fabulous playgrounds ever!  In our land of Nasty Vandals who Wreck Playgrounds, we have a bit of trouble keeping playgrounds in one piece - I think it puts the council off building really fab ones (understandably so...). It was quite a treat for a small boy who adores swings & slides maybe more than anything else (bar strawberries...and maybe cheese). 

We visited the most awesome indoor playground place (the pics are in part one!), ahhhhh the absolute joy of having a million things for Jarvis to do and a truly spectacular cup of green tea...

Between playground expeditions, Jarvis had no shortage of wonderful things to do...Remy had a busy few days, so until 3ish each day the smaller boy had free run of all the bikes, tractors, and building equipment! 

Digging, anyone? 

Coming soon to part three...the adventures of two little boys! 

An Adventure in a Very Small Town (part one)

Last week Jarvis and I went on a grand adventure! From where we live (affectionately known as the Road to Nowhere, as there is no way you can accidentally come here, or come here on your way to almost anywhere else), it was a six hour car ride to the Very Small Town which was our destination, but it was worth every second (21600 in all...)! 

Our gorgeous friends, Megan & Remy, were the reason for our great traverse across the countryside. I think Megan's blog was the very first blog I started reading - not long after that we started writing real letters to each other (so, so wonderful!), and not long after that again Jarvis & I escaped from the perils of Vintage (side effect of being married to a brilliant winemaker...)and went to stay with her & Remy for a few days. 

I had a few giggles from friends at the time 'You're going all the way there to stay with someone you've never actually met?' 

Luckily my friends are quite used to me - I famously moved to Canada with my lovely boyfriend (now husband) after we'd been going out for around six weeks. I'm very much of the opinion that life's too short to dilly dally about, and (obviously dangerous & insane things are excluded here), what have I got to lose? As you can probably guess, with the whole Canada thing I made the right choice! 

Anyhow, we rocked up to Megan & Remy's place after five hours of a happy car ride on a sunshiney day, listening to Ryan Adams, pointing out every tractor in every paddock on the road (and one hour of eardrum shattering screaming, after Jarvis decided that the trip had gone on long enough & needed to be over...). Once Jarvis eventually ceased from being insanely angry, he settled in & found his usual happy little guy groove. 

We did make the slightly deranged decision to try rooming the two boys in together - after an hour or so of some of the weirdest noises I've ever heard that whole thing got abandoned, & Jarvis took up residence in the hallway! A much better idea...

For some reason blogger got all snarky about me trying to upload a zillion photos, so I'll split the adventure into a few posts...they'll all be a bit pic heavy, so beware! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Who needs a decanter anyway?

The perfect way to enjoy a bottle of 1998 Coleraine - with a wonderful friend on a warm evening, using a preserving jar as a decanter ;) 

Thank you Megan & Remy - we had the most wonderful time on our adventure to your 
Very Small Town! 

More tales of our expedition to come...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Tree!

This is what happens when you combine a pine tree allergy, a bean obelisk from Bunnings, some plastic chicken wire, a zillion plastic supermarket bags, and about fifteen hours ;) 

I spent every Jarvis Sleep Time for a couple of weeks sitting in the lounge, tying little bits of plastic bag onto the tree! I started wondering if I was completely insane, and maybe one of those fake trees from the warehouse might have been a better plan. Kinda glad I hung in there though, it looks pretty damned cool. And I won't have my traditional Christmas eczema - yay!