Friday, January 25, 2013

Milly turns 3!

We've had a busy, but very fun week of preparing for Milly's 3rd birthday party this past week.  There was not meant to be a party at all, it just kind of happened and I'm so glad it did.  She really had a great time, both leading up to, and the actual party itself and so did I.

She has recently developed a thing for fairies, so when we knew we were going to have a few guests coming I got 'pinteresting' straight away and boy did I hit the jackpot for ideas! I decided on Peg fairies (I used scraps of fabric cut into petal shapes and coloured card for the wings), tissue paper flowers for the tables, and wand making and canvas painting to keep the little fairies busy.

I had sewn the girls some 'Tinkerbell skirts' already and I made them some wings. Seeing as though we only invited one other child, I made her costume too.   I didn't take any photos of the wing making process, but there are tutorials all over pinterest or just make it up!

Homemade costume
Birthday present costume

I put our tables outside and bought some cheap poplin (even cheaper in the 1/2 price fabric sale lincraft was having at the time) with pretty coloured polka dots and flowers to use as table cloths.  I didn't actually sew these at all, just put them on as fabric pieces, so now I have some pretty material for a few summer dresses. I put vases of 'fresh' flowers on the tables too!

The skirts were also very simple, but again I have no photos of the process. I've just tried to type instructions without photos and it sounds complicated and makes no sense so I'm giving up, but they were VERY simple to make and I just made it up as I went along.

The cake was one she picked from my AWW kids cake book with a few things added from other cakes in the book and some of our own ideas. I've never decorated a cake before so I was a bit worried, but daddy took the girls out for the whole day before the party, so I was uninterrupted and didn't have too much trouble.

For the wand making I just cut out some star shapes on coloured card and went for a walk in our bushland to collect some bamboo sticks to tape them onto.  I ran out of time to paint the sticks before hand, but nobody seemed to notice.  I also gave them some blank canvases to paint on, which was a big hit!

I also set up the princess tent she received for her birthday last year and put every fairy themed book in their collection in there incase they wanted some quiet time.  To my surprise, they actually did sit in there and read to each other and then they ate their dinner in there too!

Dinner, as requested by Milly, was sausages and homemade pizza.  The rest of dinner (not requested by Milly) was marinated chicken, salads and veges.

Desert was birthday cake and multicoloured layered jelly.

Opening her present from mummy and daddy.

Overall, she really had a great time and soaked up the afternoon with her fairy sister and fairy friend just enjoying herself.  Myself and daddy had a really good time too! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm back! (well that's the plan anyway)

Over the last year or so since my last post I've had a great time with my little family.  I've met some new friends, grown some real actual grass, had a complete flop of a vegetable garden, done a lot of work around the shouse and stayed at home watching my babies grow.  As sad as I am to say this, Claire is a real little toddler now and she has a lot of attitude and personality.

Anyway, I'm back because we only have 1 year left in the shed and I'm starting to panic that I haven't gotten as much out of the experience as I should have.  Not because I haven't been busy (I've had a baby, a toddler and a very tiny place to try and keep safe and clean), but because I haven't taken the opportunity to do things here that I won't be able to do when we move into a house.  When we move into a real house next year, Lyle will be working more so I will lose some of my help and I won't have 5 acres of land with a creek running through it.  I also have my body back to myself after 3 years of being pregnant and breastfeeding and although I'm not sure there won't be anymore babies, it's mine to get back into shape for at least a little while.  

Here's my plan and the reasons for the plan (to remind myself when I get off track) for the next 12 months:

Stay at home more - I'm terrible at this.  I can really only cope with 2 whole days at home before I feel like I NEED to go somewhere.  I think this is because we live 30 minutes out of town and that makes me feel very disconnected and isolated (so does having no TV reception!) Even visiting friends out here doesn't help much.  I feel like I have to go into town to keep in touch.  The plan is no more than 2 trips to town during the week (weekends are different because that's when we can see our family). The reason is so I get better at being home and just enjoying what we're doing and to save money on petrol.

Learn to run - I used to be an ok runner, but I haven't done it since I was in uni and I want to get back into it.  Ultimately this is to get fit, but I won't complain if I lose some weight at the same time.  

Eat healthy(yes, I know everyone says this) - I know what to do, I'm just not great at doing it.  I feed my family well and the healthy food is not in short supply (if I ate like Lyle and the girls I wouldn't have to put this point on my list), I just choose bad food over good food for myself out of habit and because it fills me up quicker when I'm starving.  The reason is to be healthier (duh) and to make getting fit easier and to actually show my children how to eat well, not just tell them. 

Grow a productive vegetable garden to actually feed us - this is one of the things I may not be able to do as well in a house because I won't have the space.  I have already built a new compost heap and dug out 4 gardens that I'm going to rotate.  I was given a book on vegetable growing for christmas and am using it as my guide (bible). One reason for this project is to learn about what works and what doesn't and trial some things so that when I get to a house I can get started straight away because I'll be a bit more experienced.  I also want to do this to encourage my girls love of gardening and fresh food.  They really enjoy being out in the dirt and helping me plant things, then getting to eat what they grow.  Another reason is to save some money on veges.  Produce markets aren't great up here so buying it from the supermarket is more expensive and not as good in quality.   

Establish our fruit trees - We have a few and I think they are going to be ok, but I just want to really make sure they are established enough to survive once we leave so we haven't wasted our time and money. 

Learn how to do some DIYing with power tools and be a little bit handy - just something I want to do and I should make the most of Lyle being home more often than he will be when we move.  He will be able to teach me things and also look after the girls while I do stuff.  I have already learnt so much about this kind  of stuff just from living here (you have to be able to look after yourself a fair bit), but Lyle has learnt SO much more than me.  Most recently he fixed the septic system (glad it was him, not me!). I'm going to make some things and fix some things.  

Continue to bake and even a little bit more - my goal is to not buy cakes and biscuits from the supermarket.  This won't be too hard, because it's something I do most of the time anyway, but there are times when I get lazy and buy instead of make.  The reason is to save money, I can make it healthier and it's another thing my girls love doing.  Something I have only just started doing and am going to keep up is making bread when we run out instead of making an extra trip into town to get some (if only we had a cow for milk!) 

I want to do these things that I enjoy while I have the time to do them  and I want to use the time that I have to make some of the things habit.

Panic actually set in a few weeks ago, which is what kicked this little list off and I've been working on it since then, this is just the first time I've written anything down.  So far I'm doing pretty ok, but I really need to get onto the running.  I've been exercising, which is a good start, but I need to find somewhere our here where it's safe to run.

I know this post is worded terribly and a bit like a primary school students diary (I should know, I teach them!), but it's out of my head and down on paper, so it's clear.