Saturday, August 11, 2012

More Blogging

Ok so I am a slack blogger, I know, but I think it is because I think my life is so mundane, "Ground Hog Day"(ish), nothing spectacular happening from week to week. I think I find it hard to think of something that people want to read about so I have decided to start a new Blog, it is on-topic about, weight loss, exercise, eating problems etc. It will be launched on 20 Aug 2012, which is exactly 6 months before my 40th Birthday. I have some goals to hit before my birthday so watch this space.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Well blow me down and call me lazy, busy, pre-occupied, addicted to Facebook and Pinterest etc, but it seems my blog has suffered, 7 months since my last post, time to get you up-to-date in the world of the Griffin household.

Where to start, so much has happened so I will give you the highlights of the last few months.

March saw me head off on a well deserved trip to Bali with girlfriends, what a great time we had, shopping, partying, eating, relaxing, talking and laughing, oh the laughter. Some of these girls I have known for over 20 years and although our lives have taken us to live in different places and we have drifted apart geographically, it is amazing when we get together its like it was yesterday.

I truly treasure the days I worked at Cumby (Cumberland Newspaper Group), in a mostly female environment and a relatively high turnover of staff, in my 10 years there I met some amazing people. So the trip to Bali affectionately know as "The Hangover III" was fantastic get together of 12 girls and 1 male (poor Pete), most of whom used to work together and some of their friends.

We stayed in these amazing Villa's in Seminyak, a short walk from the main street of Seminyak, we had a private Chef oncall to go shopping and cook us anything we wanted. Luxurious pools and padded lounges, beautiful staff who looked after us.

Being my first time in Bali, in hindsight there would be some things I would do differently, ie less shopping more pampering and relaxing, but a great time was had by all.

Back to the real world and what better to do than organise something to look forward to, a family trip to Dubbo Zoo.

So on the Thursday before Mothers Day we headed off on a Road Trip to Dubbo.
I pre-purchased tickets to the Zoo through NRMA Membership and got 10% off and also you get a 2nd consecutive day free. This was great so instead of doing 1 monster day at the Zoo and all of us getting tired and whingy we were able to go back on the 2nd day and see our favourite things again and a few of the things that we had purposely left for the 2nd day.

Day 1 we hired an AWESOME golf buggy (the highlight of Hubby's trip) which gives you 3 hours to cruise around the Zoo for the bargain basement price of $69 (a bit steep but pretty cool way to see the animals). I think I was a tad excited about going to the Zoo and we were 7th in line before the gates opened. Because we had pre-booked tickets we raced over to the Buggy hire and we were 1st into the animal enclosures, being that it was a Friday it was really quiet all day and we barely saw more than 5 cars parked with us at any given time.
Favourite animals had to be the Giraffe's, so tall and gentle, beautiful to watch.

Day 2 still super excited this time we were 1st car waiting at the gate, we drove our car around the Zoo instead of getting a buggy so we could go slower (3 hrs in the buggy was just not enough), our favourite animals of the day were the Ring Tailed Lemurs and the Meercats.

We stayed at the Cattlemans Country Motor Inn and about 50m down the road was a caravan park, they had a fenced playground and a big bouncy pillow, I have always wanted to have a go on 1 of those and Ella loves to jump. We wandered over to the Caravan Park and were going to just sneak in and use their facilities, I got the guilts and instead went into the office to ask the lady if she would mind us playing for a little while, as it turned out she was greatful that we asked and was more than happy to let us have a play, a great way to kill some time in the afternoon.

So all round our trip to Dubbo Zoo was great. Tips I would recommend, go on a weekday if you can and don't go in summer (aparently the animals hide out in shady corners), Autumn or Spring is ideal.

So there are the highlights our our last few months, I will do my best not to leave it so long between posts.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Teddy Bear's Picnic

 I had such a great time planning and decorating Ella's Teddy Bear Picnic Party for her 2nd Birthday that I forgot to photograph a lot of it with my camera and some of these shots are blurry phone shots.

I bunched together as many small tables as I could find and used them to barricade off the back of the shed so the kids didn't get into anything they shouldn't have, and decorated them with either gingham tablecloths or just cut plastic tablecloths and then tore a square of gingham as a table topper. I went with as many odd colours as I could because I knew nothing was going to match.

I managed to find a Scene Setter for the party which was a background of trees and balloons floating, absolutely perfect. Then I decorated the floor with 3 picnic rugs.

I mad a few table arrangements with fake flowers and tin pots, I bought the stuff to make the sunflower arrangement and the pink pot I already had and decorated it with leftover flowers from stuff I had from my wedding, (hoarding can come in handy sometimes).
Apart from the Cake (see previous post) I also had some more fun with food, making some things that I found on Pinterest (yes I actually made something that I pinned) a fruit rainbow and my MIL made mini marshmallow teacups.
We also had fairy bread, mini pikelets and baby Quiches (thanks MIL), homemade Sausage Rolls and baby Butterfly cakes (thanks mum) and I made Tiny Teddy/Milky Way/M&M racing cars, I even went a little crazy making a little Nascar style racetrack for them to drive on, complete with Mater in the middle for additional decoration. There was also other nibbles for the grown-ups Mars Bar slice, cinamon pastry scrolls (thanks Aunty M).
The party was a huge success, Ella had such a great time, she got heaps of annoyingly noisy presents, must thank and payback those parents, she also got great new books which I am thankful for as I could almost recite some of her favourites as I had read them that many times.

I must say a special mention to my dear dad, ma n pa had all good intentions of arriving at the party early to give me a hand, a few things went astray that morning and they were about an hour late. My father insisted that he bring back my excercise bike that he borrowed (months ago) and therefore had to bring the trailer. Somebody had parked across our driveway so he took it upon himself to 4wd across my neighbours front lawn, trailer and all. He neglected to see the water meter on the neighbours lawn and ran straight over the top of it. Water was gushing everywhere, meanwhile picture me trying to keep an eye on 14x 2 year olds running amok in my backyard. Thankfully he was able to turn off the tap and stop the gushing, while I got my plumber on the phone (yes I have him on speed dial for just this occassion) I couldn't wait to hear how much is Sunday Emergency callout rates were going to be. I have to be thankful for bad surf that day which made the plumber available to come and sort out the debacle on my neighbours front lawn. Now the comedy of errors could make this story go on for pages, however my father (the anal engineering type) stood over the top of the plumber with a bodgey leg (he pulled serious ligaments/tendons just that week), instructing plumber where to dig and basically how to do the repair. I can assure you my father would have fixed the damn thing himself if he didn't have a sore leg and done a better job of it. Unfortunately for him $280 later the neighbours had water back on, many apologies to the very understanding neighbours, plates full of cupcakes being handed over the fence as a peace offering.
So poor dad missed the entire party, got 1 cold sausage roll and got to sit down and rest his sore leg 3 hours later.

Cake Decorating - my first attempt

So my little baby turned 2 and her absolute favourite TV show (which is on Austar) is Special Agent Oso (SAO). Dare I say I can tolerate watching it, if I have to. Oso is a "unique stuffed bear" he is like the James Bond of teddy bears, doing special assignments to help kids with simple tasks, such as wrapping birthday presents, borrowing books from the library, making party hats etc etc. Episodes are on YouTube if you feel the need to see him. Anyway I guess Oso is my go-to-guy if I need Ella to sit quietly while I cook dinner or do some housework. We have Austar Mystar and record episodes so he is on-call when we need him.
When thinking of a theme for Ella's Birthday I wanted something where I could incorporate Oso, so it was decided to have a Teddy Bear's Picnic.

I bought a Teddy styled Cake tin off ebay and went about baking 3 of Greens Indulgent chocolate mud cake mixes, I baked this mix last year and it worked and was tasty, so I went with what I knew.

After doing a 2 hour cupcake decorating course and playing with Ella's play dough, I felt suitably qualified (NOT) to tackle this cake with Fondant. So off to buy my supplies, a hundred plus dollars later I was armed with mini rolling pins, fancy spatula's, circle cutters, gel food colours, fondant etc etc etc.

The party was happening on Sunday morning so I scheduled to decorate the cake on Friday, lucky for me I work for my In-laws at their house, my MIL allowed me the use of her kitchen so armed with all my stuff and the baked cake I headed to work as per normal and spent the majority of the day answering the work phone whilst clad in my apron and up to my elbows in food colouring.
MIL must have seen the challenge ahead of me and donned her Apron and was a great help in bringing Special Agent Oso cake to life. I must say playing with Fondant was heaps of fun, I could totally get addicted to this, but will refrain as I already have 1 expensive hobby.

The weekend was chaos as on the Saturday was my niece Lauren's 13th Birthday and we had a family gathering for her on the Saturday night and Jamie was going to his brothers Bucks day, so we decided to give Ella 1 of her presents a day early. It was a plush SAO, I wasn't sure if she would bond with him but of course she love love loved him, she talked to him like he was real, sat him on her lounge and literally carried him around everywhere, if I picked her up, I had to pick Oso up too.

Sunday morning saw 14x 2 year olds in my backyard all fighting over the same car or cubby house etc, it was amusing to watch. More about the party in another post.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Little Escape Artist

What a week it has been with my little monkey aka Houdini. So about a month ago we converted her bed to a cot with side rails because she climbed out with a thud, this was not just a one-off event, as I was away at the time I told Jamie to put her to bed the following night to see how she went and again thud. So getting home that night we did the conversion and so retraining of going to bed had to begin. Instead of having to close her door we decided to put a childproof gate on and when she got out of bed she would still be secure.

So putting her to bed I buckled and just gave her a bottle of milk to make my life easier and so that was our solution most days/nights, but I knew at some point we would have to wean her off this habit.

Last Friday night I invited my friend Kim over for a scrap night and being that it was the weekend I was prepared for a few sleepless nights if necessary to wean her off the milk. So putting her to bed at her normal bed time 7pm, we were sitting on the lounge have a nibble on some pizza and we both see a little shadow at the bottom of the stairs, she had escaped the CHILDPROOF gate, kicked it out and it just popped open, she popped her head around the corner with a cheeky smile and came wandering in like nothing had happened.

Well a lot had happened, the stairs in our house are death defying, steep and tight corner with a really narrow part on the inside, not a very practical handrail and she snuck down without so much as a whisper.

So putting her back to bed re-securing the gate and then locking our 2nd gate at the top of the stairs and I think after the trauma to me I gave her milk and then it was all quiet.

Later in the week Jamie woke at 5am to get ready for work, wandered down stairs and then clicked on the gas heater in the loungeroom and bam, Ella jumps up from her little lounge. We have no idea what time she got down the stairs or what she had been doing when she was down their alone, but again freaked me out.

After dressing her 1 morning I put her on the ground in her room and watched how she made her great escape, she sat on the floor tucked both her toes under the gate, lifted it up and pop it came open, I was astounded, so now when we put her to bed we have to lock her bedroom door until she is asleep and then we open it. Every morning this week (all around 5am) she has made a quick and easy exit from her bedroom and apart from her escapade downstairs (when we forgot to lock the other gate) she comes in to our room and makes sure we know she is up.

Tonight Jamie put her to bed and I hear a horrible scream, she had opened her wardrobe (which must have been only slightly open) and got stuck between her tallboy and the wall of the wardrobe. OMG what will she do next, I think she is giving me more wrinkles.

On a positive note, we have replaced the bedtime milk with just water in a bottle, milk is only allowed in sippy cups and water is allowed in bottles any time day or night, it was time to change things up.

I just hope her week of escaping is over and she gets back in her routine of sleeping til 6-7.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Some scrappy stuff

Well since looking  back on my blog I realised it has been a long time since I shared some layouts, considering most of my readers are probably scrapbookers time to do some sharing. Hubby just got back from Singapore and was under instruction to purchase a new "handbag" Camera, he chose a Fuji Finepix XP30, which is waterproof to 5m, I am still learning how to use it so I used the new camera to take pics of these layouts, it was a little glary from the first sunlight we had seen in over a week but I think it did pretty well.

Hope you all enjoy.

Was trying to use old stock and utilised a leftover sheet of Basic Grey tags.

I have had this kit in my stash for a very long time and had barely looked at it, once I did I realised I could do something with it, and was quite happy with the results. Also used another new Sew Easy head with the stitched hearts on top.

Used some of my stash from Storyboard Kits including some of the tissue paper that was packaging to make the flowers. Also love this picture of my baby, she was just so tired but I had to get a picture of the 2 of us on Mothers Day.

I don't truly understand where these school photographers get their ideas from, I can't comprehend puting a white backdrop, my poor little blondie looks like she is all ears which is not the case. I have procrastinated scrapping these photos for over a year and thought I should just document them and move on, which is what I did.

Love the colours on this layout also love the photos by Beth Tahiri Photography.

Like most people I don't love having my photo taken but as a scrapbooker I know life has to be documented for future generations. I love this family photo. Another layout using the Sew Easy tool by We R Memory Keepers (its not hard to tell what is my new toy).

I thought I was a genious fussy cutting these cotton reels to make bunting (small things amuse me, lol).

Love this pic of my naughty girl, she has a little bit too easy access to my craft area and located a Green Sharpie from my desk, very creative drawing I think.

Used my new Sew Easy head which I used to stitch this bunting, also filled it with paper to make it more colourful.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Harmless Addictions

I saw this today on Pinterest and thought how true ............. the internet ................. mostly harmless ............... but time wasting addiction. My latest addiction (2nd only to Facebook) is Pinterest, those that have it I am sure love it, those on Facebook who don't understand it or have no interest in it hate all the posts that pop up from Pinterest. I have had to stop posting everything I love on Pinterest onto Facebook as I got a little carried away and my husband threatened to "unfriend" me.

I am mostly loving it to get kids party ideas, however I have found some awesome "Quotes" like the 1 above, great ideas for cheaply redesigning my scraproom (watch this space), organising tips and tricks, room designs, books, recipes and just generally awesome stuff, it is so much better than your Internet Favourites because it has the picture of what you loved and then you can still click on the weblink that shows under it to get back to the website that the idea originated from. Fair dinkum genius .......... I love Pinterest.

My other Internet addictions are Ebay, I think of something I want, book, kids toys, party supplies so I just go to Ebay and see if I can find it. Branching out from Ebay is Internet Shopping, because if I can't find what I am looking for on Ebay then I Google it and see if I can find it elsewhere. I mean where would we be without Google.

Well bloggers enough buggerising around on the Internet perhaps it is time to go and play with some of my crafty supplies and do something productive.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

BB - Before Baby

After reading an article today on the Kleenex Website I thought it had some very valid points and I thought I would copy and alter some of this lady's comments to my beliefs on how I was going to be the Mummy of the Year, BB - Before Baby. You will see in blue how things are actually going at the moment.

1. I will never yell at my children in public, I will never have to; they’ll be so well behaved - I don't yell I just speak in a pleasant affirming voice.

2. My children will never leave the house in mismatched clothes or with a snotty nose - only mismatched when daddy takes her out, but that snotty nose is like a tap that won't turn off.

3. I’ll never frustrate the childless and take my children out to restaurants - we have dined out often since she was born and thankfully she has only tossed 1 plate on the floor like we were in a Greek restaurant, but there have been many times whe have got the hell out without finishing our meals.

4. I’ll lose my pregnancy plump easily because I’ll keep up my exercise schedule – after all, my baby will sleep through the night so I’ll have energy - currently losing weight and baby is currently sleeping 11-12 hours. This has not been the case all the time, there have been many sleepless nights but mostly good.

5. I won’t get plump when pregnant because I’ll adhere to a strict healthy, balanced diet. Blah, I put on a blossoming 22kgs, mostly in the last 3 months.

6. I’ll never bribe my children - I already do it all the time.

7. I will be able to go to the toilet with the door closed/have a conversation without being interrupted/go back to work after 6 weeks because babies sleep all day and toddlers are easily amused – at least mine will be - no comment, except to say I was back working after 6 weeks, in hindsight that was the easy time.

8. The TV will not be used as a babysitter - its not the TV that is the babysitter, it's the Wiggles, they are real people.

9. My children will never have tantrums in public, or at all for that matter - modern day its not called tantrums, its called planking, and it happens all the time.

10. My children will adjust to fit into my life, not the other way around - minor modifications required, oh who am I kidding there have been major modifications.

11. I’ll never resort to a dummy - thankfully this is the 1 I we have succeeded with.

12. My children will spend most of their days playing outside, not in front of a computer - so far so good, she loves the outdoors.

13. My children will not be branded by Disney - its not Disney its Special Agent Oso.

14. I will never have to pretend to eat in order to encourage baby to eat - she is a shocking eater, currently going through a really bad phase, relapsed into whinging for milk, gone off eating vegetable, does eat lots of fruit, won't even eat her favourites such as Lasagne, noodles etc.

Time to fix the broken baby or is it the broken Parents, time to read the parenting bible and get the discipline back on track. Time for change.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Groundhog Day

I had a Groundhog Day moment this evening, while starring at the tupperware cupboard strewn across the kitchen floor, following my daughter around the kitchen turning off Oven knobs, closing cupboards, changing yet another nappy, loading up the layers of PJ's, dosing my sick baby up with her antibiotics and some panadol and stepping over all the toys in the lounge room, it was just seeming all very mundane, then when I thought about some of the new and cute things she did today I know it makes it all worthwhile.

I got snotty cuddles this morning, gross but cute, she loves me lots more when she is sick, then she must have started to feel better because she danced to the Wiggles, so cute I hit the rewind button and played the song again so I could giggle and video while she danced again. This is just a few of the adorable moments we had today, so I do hope that it is Groundhog Day again tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mummy Daughter Day

Today was a very productive mummy daughter day, we had a relaxing morning hanging in PJ's Ella watching a repertoire of her favourite shows on Disney channel while I sat on the lounge editing and selecting some photos to print.

We headed of to Wollongong for some shopping my strategy was that she would fall asleep in the car on the drive and I would have a good hour of peaceful shopping. I didn't quite go to plan she was babbling talking to herself in the backseat. Today she finally learnt to answer a question properly.

Q: What is your name?

A: Ella

I have been working on this for a few weeks and she finally stopped calling herself "mummy". We have been practicing all day to make sure she has finally mastered it - SUCCESS.

Since she didn't fall asleep in the car I opted for Plan B, push her vigorously in the pram around the shops until she fell asleep, this took about 20 mins and conveniently happened right near Spotlight. So I had a glorious time cruising the crafting aisles for about an hour, spent a little bit and now have a barrage of little projects to do.

Once she woke up she was a little whingy and we shared a Milkshake and then headed to the Park for a play.

On the way home she was very drowsy so I put her to bed, yay, so this is where she still is.

She has some suprises when she wakes up, a parcel arrived today which I am guessing is the toys from me sending in the Barcodes from the Huggies pack and last weekend Nanny and Poppy found her this fabulous toy kitchen at the markets with lots of bits n pieces and today I added to it with a Pizza kit. I was laughing at the logo on this toy . . . . look familiar?

It is very fitting that I scrapped this layout this week and thought I would share it.