Saturday, 31 May 2014

Styling a Birthday Party

Today I had the pleasure to help style our friends daughter's birthday party and what fun it was, there were ribbon sandwiches, cupcakes and cupcake decorations done by the girls and games.

How fun its to be 6

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LADY MARGOT

with love
The Cupcake Lady



 
 
 

 
 


 
 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The glass is half full


I was not sure whether to write this post. The thing is that last Friday  I did some shopping just before school pick up, on the way to pick up our eldest munchkin from school our car broke down on the ramp to the highway, I could not believe it that we broke down 15 minutes before pick up, I rang some of the other mothers to see if someone could help me with pick up I didn't want master munchkin to be afraid or get worried that I was not coming but there were no answers until a friend picked up the phone and she was more than happy to take munchkin to her home.

We waited for RACQ to help us once they came they told us it was too dangerous to do anything on that spot and they would have to move us off the highway onto a safe street where I would have to wait for another tow truck to take the car to the mechanic this whole drama took 3 hours it was dinner time by the time we picked up master munchkin.

I was not sure whether to write this post because I really dislike those blogs where every post is about complaining, I am usually a glass half full kind of girl I always try to see the positive of a negative but Friday's episode really tested my glass half full attitude.

Master munchkin attends the most lovely little school I can not talk enough about the teacher's and the school they are just marvellous but the things is that the school is about 20 minutes away from home so we are not in the neighbourhood which makes it hard for transport let's say walking to school.

While we were waiting for the tow truck and worrying about master munchkin it hit me that it is hard that we do not have any family or support that we can call in an emergency as I was feeling sorry for myself our wonderful friend answered the phone Lady Genevieve came to the rescue she was so calm and was telling me "no problems hun the girls and I will take master munchkin for ice cream and we will wait for you" this is the Lady who is a super busy mum to two gorgeous girls, a wife to a wonderful man and they are packing up their home for their new adventure to live and study at Harvard university for the next year and now extending help to the helpless aka the residents at the Whitecottage, when we arrived at her home she lent us her car to get home.

This week she has kept the munchkins and I entertained after school at her home while we wait for farmer Joe to pick us up, the munchkins have totally enjoyed their time with the girls they have been nagging me for a playdate for what seems like an eternity so they are happy to spend time with the girls and I am happy with all the natter.

I was speaking to lady Esmeralda, about my weekend disaster and she has kindly driven me around today to run errands and other things and she has kindly offered to pick up the munchkin if I am ever stuck.

Not so bad after all ha!!! I was a glass half empty kind of girl for a nano second and I am back to my glass half full attitude, great school, great friends that help, my little family who I adore, no car yet but we can't have it all not just yet anyway.

Until then I am getting great use of my GO card.

Cheers,
Karla

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Whitecottage Rose Garden


We are lucky enough  to have a rose garden, as long as I can remember I have always wanted a cottage garden, since moving to the whitecottage 4 years ago Farmer Joe and myself have been trying to achieve our cottage garden, it is only small but it is our labour of love.

We have 10 iceberg standard bushes in our front rose garden, and in our back garden we have 4 climbing roses and 6 hybrid tea roses, we would love to have more but we don't have the space in our garden.

Since planting our front rose garden four years we have people stopping by to admire them, people knocking on our door to ask as questions about the roses but my two most favourite things are, firstly we found a lovely letter in our letter box the letter said:

" Thank you dear neighbour for making the entrance of our street so beautiful"

That made me so happy because I truly enjoy spending time in our rose garden and I am so glad other people enjoyed them too.

The second reason is we have a retirement village not too far from the Whitecottage and when the roses are blooming  the residents  and their family member or carer come to have a little look, I usually come out and walk them around the garden and answer their questions.

I wanted to share some of the things we do to care for the roses, Farmer Joe and I do not have a horticultural degree we can only share what has worked for us and what has not.

When to plant roses

From now until winter time - You probably have noticed that there are roses in stock at your local nursery, for the most popular roses such as the iceberg standard early-birds apply, they go fast but you can always ask to be put on the waiting list for when there is stock available.

When planting your rose bushes - Plant the rose bush in a sunny position, roses love the sun, we found that using organic soil to fill the hole was the best. We mixed the organic soil with cow poo if you can't get your hands to cow poo you can buy chicken poo pellets (dynamic lifter) important I would refrain from using fresh chicken poo at this stage as it can burn the roots of your plant.

Secure your rose bush by placing a stake and using old stockings or you can buy stocking string from the nursery.

Pruning and Caring for your roses

What you need - Garden Clippers just for your rose bushes - why? because you don't want to spread disease to your roses or other plants.

A plastic bag to dispose of all the roses prunings as it must be discarded in the rubbish bin never in your compost bin or the garden as it can spread disease to other parts of your garden.

I spend about 10 minutes or so each day on my rose garden I pot around the garden removing dead roses and branches, removing the dead roses will encourage more flowers to bloom.

It is important to remove leaves that have black spot or are yellow to prevent your rose bushes becoming sick.

from now until winter is the time for you prepare your rose bush for fabulous flowers for the summer.

What you need.

It is coming to the end of blooming so the rose bushes can be pruned, fertilised and mulched (do not use pine bark to mulch around your roses, we use sugar cane mulch).

We use on our established garden the chicken poo and soil  from our trusty chickens around the roots then mulch them. If you don't have trusty chickens to provide you with the poop the chicken pellets are just as good.

We usually do a big fertilising and mulching every season but of course with anything you have to do maintenance, for that we use:


Flourish soluble plant food - every 2-3 weeks I just follow the instructions on the box.

Soapy water in a spray bottle - a squirt of soap in a full water spray bottle to remove those nasties (aphids).

Water - we water our rose garden 2-3 times a week. In summer more often on those hot days.

How to remove caterpillars and other plant eating insects - I am afraid we remove them with our own hands, we do not use any pesticides because we have children who play in the garden, and we have a vegie patch which we take pride and joy in as we grow our organic produce and we have the chickens and the neighbour's pets to think about. At first I was squeamish about removing the caterpillars and disposing of them but the environment will thank you for it.

and that's what we do.

Would love to hear what tips and ideas you have?

We are always looking for ways to improve our knowledge in gardening.

Have a great day
Farmer Joe & Karla


Monday, 19 May 2014

Creamy Chilli Seafood pasta


I have had  this recipe for a long time I think it came out of one of the free books from the supermarket. I have adjusted it to our taste and to fit to our family.

Why I love these kind of recipes is because;

1. During the week I don't really have the time to cook elaborates meals
2. I like to cook yummy food that will not break the budget
3. Just because a meal is never going to make the pages of Gourmet magazine does not mean it is not yummy and spectacular

As a small child I grew up eating simple rustic full flavoursome food and I am doing the same for my little family. I hope you enjoy it too.

Enjoy


CREAMY CHILLI SEAFOOD PASTA

500g pasta
500mls thickened cream
1TBSP diced fresh basil
1 TBSP diced fresh thyme
2 TSP sea salt
1 1/2 TSP chilli flakes
2 TSP ground black pepper
1 onion diced
1 cup diced parsley
500g seafood marinara
1/2 cup tasty cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

METHOD

1. Boil pasta until al dente

2. While pasta is cooking pour cream in a frypan and cook over medium heat, stir constantly until about to boil.

3. Add herbs, salt, chilli, pepper, onion and parsley and simmer for approx. 8 minutes

4. Add seafood marinara and cook for approx. 5 minutes or until it's cooked

5. Add cheese, stir and serve

*For a side dish I always make my very own simple salad

Rocket leaves,  sliced pear, shaved parmesan, a dash of balsamic vinegar, a dash of olive oil and a dash of sea salt.

Important :

For a gluten free option just use the gluten free pasta but just make sure to keep an eye on the pasta as it cooks faster.

My children love this pasta dish but what I usually do is take the portions out that the kids will eat and then add the chilli.

My children love garlic bread so I heat a shop bought one but if you have the time to make your own garlic bread from scratch even better. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Our trip to the Boonah Show

 

A few weeks ago we went for a road trip to Boonah we had a marvellous time, while we were there we saw that the Boonah Show was on this month, so this weekend we decided to go and have a country show experience. It did not disappoint we had loads of fun.

There was something for everyone the munchkins had loads of fun in the animal nursery, I got to have a wander through the cakes and the preserves pavilion, so many wonderful talented people, there was a collection of painted gumboots, for a nano-second I thought that's a entry I can participate in, oh and who can forget the vegetable pavilion, a Gigantic Pumpkin was the winner and oh my!!! it was huge I have never seen one in real life I can only imagine the work that went into producing such a beast I wonder how many pumpkin scones you will get out of that.

The food at the show well it was well!!!! what can one say it was show food for the exception of the Crazy Corn, by the end of the night they knew us on first name basis they were so addictive and who knows why because they were just steam corn but they were so sweet.

The boys had loads of fun watching the car races we didn't make it to the fireworks we were all kaput so we headed to our accommodation.

This morning we got greeted by a bunch of Kangaroos outside our back door I wonder if they came out to say hello and welcome us to the country.

We weren't sure where to eat breakfast, so we drove into town and saw that the Bowls Club was serving Buffet breakfast for $12 so off we went as we walked in I just giggled, the d├ęcor was 1950's original and the ladies and gentlemen were of the golden years with their purple rinse hair and well pressed shirts.

As I helped myself to the buffet I heard loud screaming apparently the cooks were having a dispute on how to properly cook the beef mince, one came out to tell the hostess the disaster that was happening in the kitchen, she walked off and I started to giggle like a school girl I couldn't believe these ladies with their perfect purple curly hair they were going at it as I was thinking this the unthinkable happened I got busted and the old lady came and said "what's so funny" and I was like...aaaahh aaaahh...next thing I knew I was standing in the kitchen with all these nannas and I was thinking, thinking rapidly - how am I going to get myself out of this so I proceeded to tell them how their argument reminded me of growing up and how heated the kitchen would get when there were too many cooks (Which by the way was all too true) they all seemed happy and laughed and they said they loved that they made me feel welcome... phew nice save I thought.

After making our $12 worth and three cups of coffee later...we left en-route back to the whitecottage, we drove around for a couple of hours to some of the adjoining towns ,we decided to stop at Kalbar (carrot capital of Queensland) what a cute little town, I had the longest chat to the lady in the antique store and of course I couldn't come home empty handed.

Well we are home now and I have done 2 loads of washing, cooked dinner and bathed the munchkins, so I guess it's back to reality.

I hope your weekend was fantastic.

Have you ever been to a country show?

Cheers,
Karla

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Discussing the big issues #2 - Taking the most flattering photo

Yesterday I had the pleasure of having lunch with some of the most lovely ladies, they are my Instagram friends, we follow and share the love for all things fun and beautiful.

It was nice to place a face to the name and photos, I have met a few of the ladies previously at other events but yesterday I got to meet Kirsten from Kirstenandco.com. I have followed her blog for a while now and she is every bit I thought she would be just a really lovely person to talk to and she had me in stitches because she was teaching me how  to take a flattering photo and of course I was laughing so hard that I couldn't get the right position.

Well I wanted to take the right photo so no one had to endure my turkey neck and Kirsten was showing me on my face, position chin forward, neck high and VIOLA!!! take a picture well at least I thought those were the instructions but I can't remember too well if those were the instructions I was busy laughing  so hard.

Until I work out how to take a picture and I resemble something like Sophie the Giraffe here are some of my best pics of me.

Do you have any tips on taking a good pic? love to hear.

Cheers,
Karla

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mother's Day 2014

 
 
 
 
 
 


 

This morning I got to sleep in thanks to today being Mother's Day I had strict instructions from the munchkins to stay in bed and they would bring breakfast to me and they did and it was delicious Farmer Joe come chef extraordinaire made me the most delish French Toast, hot coffee and breakfast juice he even garnish the French toast, everyone joined me in bed we all listened to the Eurovision digital radio while we all ate our breakfast in bed, the kids had a ball they were showing us how skilled they were at eating lying down.

I got to open my much anticipated pressies and I must say I was a very lucky girl the kids had $20 each to spend on presents they got to choose the presents all by themselves and at such young age they know me too well.

Farmer Joe decided that we would go for a drive we had no specific destination we got ourselves all dolled up and off we went to where the wind took us, we ended up in Mt Tambourine I love that mountain we stopped at the Mt Tambourine brewery to buy some of my favourite cheeses.

We had the most fabulous picnic over where people do paragliding it was exhilarating to see those adventurous people enjoying their sport and us we were enjoying our favourite sport too, eating.

We decided to go for a walk around the area when a car waved hello and of course I waved back then the car stopped and who would have thought some dear friends who we haven't seen for a while they were also spending their time up in the mountain, my friend said something funny she mentioned that when they were driving she saw someone walking with red gumboots and thought they look like Karla's gumboots and then she looked up and it was Karla we had a good chuckle and off we went for a walk to the main street for a bit of Devonshire tea, we bumped into them again so we decided that all of us should go and keep on with the celebrations.

Well we are home now and the munchkins fell asleep on the way home, I had a hot shower and I am wearing my warm pyjamas, Farmer Joe and I are sitting here eating some of that delish cheese and Eurovision has just started so I better make a move on.

As my eldest munchkin told me today " Mum this has been the best mother's day" and you know he is right what a fantastic day

I hope all you mummas out there had a fantastic day too.

Cheers
Karla

 

 


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Mother's Day



Tomorrow is Mother's Day and  I must say I am a bit excited because it is the first year that the munchkins are really into it, yes they have given me gifts before, I have beautiful painted pots and who can forget my favourite pet rock but this year is different.

This year they had a budget to go and buy me presents and each of them bought me something, and I love how they keep telling me they have a surprise for me and they have it in the hiding hole and I can not know where it is.

I love how when we are in the car they are whispering about the presents and they say " Mum did you hear us? did you did you mum" and of course I say NO darling I didn't hear a thing.

I have strict instructions to stay in bed tomorrow morning as it is Mother's Day and they are cooking me breakfast and bringing it to bed, I can't argue with that I would do anything to stay in bed in the mornings, that's a present in itself and of course I can not wait to see what goodies I get ;-)

What is happening around your place?

Well Happy Mother's Day to all you lovely ladies.

Karla