Friday, 28 June 2013

new arrivals

I have been very busy the last few days, there are the assignments that are all due next week, on the same day, at the same time. But I have also been spending my spare time knitting up a little scarf for Oliver as I said the other day.

my little man modelling his new scarf

I finished it off last night, and someone was so excited this morning when they found out that it has not left his neck since. Even though it is not really very cold today here in Melbourne. I will have to take some better photos and post them at a later date.

I also mentioned the other day that I am keen to learn how to knit in the round and make some things that are not scarves this winter and that I had ordered a few bits and pieces to get me started. 

Well - when the postie arrived today he brought me a few little gifts which someone was super excited to open.

Some wool from Bendigo Wool Mills
Some pretty coloured balls of wool from Bendigo Wool Mills and a set of circular knitting needles. Now when I purchased the needles, I grabbed the 40cm ones; I then realised that they come in different lengths as well as gauges so I am hoping that they are just the right size for everything I could hope to make. I know I am dreaming, but I hope they will be fine for the things I am thinking of making in the near future.

I also borrowed this book the other day...

circular knitting workshop by Margaret Radcliffe

It's called Circular Knitting Workshop by Margaret Radcliffe. I stumbled upon it at the library when I was doing some research for my assignments and I thought I would check it out and have a bit of a read. Its got some very good tips on how to cast on for different projects and knit various things. So I am looking forward to reading it a bit more closely once I have finished all of my looming assessments. I am also hitting up YouTube big time on how to knit in the round and earmarking some easy projects to start me off.

What is your favourite easy knitting pattern?

Thursday, 27 June 2013

not going to be little for long

Something that is really important to me is making time for my kids. I study full time, which is a huge job with a house and a family to look after, but taking time with each of my kids individually is a big deal to me. They won't be little for long (if you ask them, they already aren't little anymore) and I want to cherish the time that we have together before I am too uncool to hang out with.

My little man Oliver is getting so big so fast. He is so excited about starting school next year and it is still six months away! He loves to count and do sums. He is also learning to read on reading eggs now which he thinks is just ace. I think it is exciting that he is filling his mind with understandings about the way the world works. He thinks so too. 

Thursday is our day. Usually, Oliver and I head out to do the grocery shopping, but today we opted for a pyjama day, cleaning the house, changing the beds and walking to get Ruth from school in the afternoon. 

Oliver Running

To Oliver, walking to the school is a grand adventure. He makes up stories that we are walking through the jungle and where the path has cracked and there is a deep hole to jump over or else we will fall in. The roads can be raging rivers that we have to pretend to swim over. Everything is full of monsters and danger and adventure. I love it.

charging our compasses

We will take time to sit on the benches along the path because we need to re-charge our compasses (the strings on the beanie that point the way). And when it's time to go again there is a spring in our step and a smile on our face.

Completing a challenge

We do our exercises on the equipment that is set up along the path. Usually this is because we have been challenged by a evil king and we need to do the exercises or they will keep our princess captive.

Holding mummy's hand

Best of all, we hold hands most of the way and that reminds me that one day I will be too uncool to hold hands with. For now I am cool enough though, and it makes me feel so proud to have such a gorgeous, caring, intelligent boy holding my hand as we go on our adventures. This just makes my day.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

a little knitting

I am not the world's worst knitter. I am, however, also not the world's best knitter either. I am really good at making things like scarves and blankets that don't require anything other than stitching row after row of normal knit stitches.

Every winter though, I get a knitting bug. All I want to do is knit, and so I look online at all the wonderful things that other people have made, then I look at some patterns and get really excited by all of the things that you can make with wool. I usually will start a really cool project as well.

Then time over runs me, I get overwhelmed by the terminology in a pattern or in any case end up looking like this...

knitting fail

Anyway, so now that winter is here again, I have forgotten about all the knitting failures of the past and decided to use some of that wool I have laying around to make Oliver a scarf. Oliver is so skinny, a real grown up sized scarf would just look so silly, so I thought it wouldn't take me long to knit him up a little one.

casting on knitting
So I cast on a few stitches and off I went. Oliver is very impatient and ever since I cast onto the needles he has been asking when it will be done.

work in progress knitting

I'm thinking it won't be long before it is!

So I was so excited about my ability to knit scarves that I have joined Ravelry. I also dog eared some patterns, and have purchased some circular knitting needles and beautiful wool from Bendigo

There is just something about creating that just gives me a buzz that I haven't had in a long time.I have found sitting and knitting while we watch television, or I watch Oliver play in the morning has been really relaxing so I want to keep it up. 

My Goal:  
To knit 2 items that aren't scarves or blankets.

Watch this space - I am determined to be a good knitter.

Monday, 24 June 2013

making pyramids

This term I am doing mathematics education as one of my subjects and, as I mentioned the other day, this means I needed to do some Geometry lessons with some children. On Saturday, we spent some time doing some 3-Dimensional object classification - making pyramids and prisms from nets and making connections - deciding what attributes each object has and which of them are pyramids.

maths pyramid activity
It's always a lot of fun to do practical teaching activities with children as it is a nice change from writing essays. I actually think the girls learned something, all while they were having fun, which is pretty good news to me! 

Now to ace that assignment!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, 23 June 2013


You know that winter has officially arrived when the frosts start. This was the frost that we had on Thursday morning here, we've had a few better ones since.

As much as winter chills me to the bones and makes my arthritis ache like no tomorrow, there is something amazing and beautiful in those little icicles that sit on our grass every morning. It really makes me sit back and think about the beautiful world that we live in.

The other way you know that winter has officially arrived is that it becomes soup season. Each week, after I do my groceries, I love to make up a big batch of soup and this week was no exception.

This week's soup of choice was zucchini and potato. 
(3 Zucchinis, 3 Potatoes, Onion, Garlic and chicken stock all simmered and then blended up.)

It was supposed to go into the fridge to make up some lunches this week. But it looked and smelled so fantastic that we ate it for dinner that night. 

I really am a sucker for soup.
What is your favorite flavor?

Friday, 21 June 2013

oat flour

Yesterday, being Thursday, was a very busy day around here. On Thursdays I tend to get the majority of my errands out of the way. I head into Highpoint or the Market and get lots of fresh food for our house and then I come home and prepare any meals that need preparation for the week. 

When I was out yesterday I decided that I would try to get some Oat Flour. 

I am pretty keen on keeping my food "clean", keeping our bodies healthy is a huge part of what keeps me and my family happy, but we all need cake to keep us happy too - so I make healthier, nutrient packed, versions of these treats so that we don't need to go on diets and miss out on yummy stuff to keep our bodies healthy.

Anyway, I digress, I saw the price of Oat Flour and I thought.. yeah, I think I am going to DIY that one.

I know you might be thinking...

 But it is actually a 15 minute process that you will be grateful for. No one wants to pay $10 for a tiny bag of oat flour when you can buy a 750g bag of rolled oats for $1 and grind it yourself.


I just pop the rolled oats into my mini food processor and buzz it til its nice and fine. I should note that this is much coarser than "normal" flour you can buy. You can sieve and re-buzz your flour until its nice and fine if you like, or if you have a thermomix I hear they are awesome for this (but I don't). I don't find that the texture you see here is a problem in my baking, so I leave it like this, put it in a container and pop it in the pantry. That's 750g of preservative-free oat flour for a fraction of the cost.

Oliver and I were so proud of our savings that we went and spent it on a cup of tea afterwards.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


If there is one thing that I have always struggled with it has been time management. I often will have a huge deadline coming up and just ignore it until the last minute and end up stressed out and exhausted ensuring that I get everything finished on time. Yes - I always do get things completed, even when I manage my time poorly but this is not the point.

One big thing that I learned when I was off on my teaching rounds it was time management. This is something that I have vowed to continue to do and am doing very well at thus far. I am currently overloading at uni. This means that rather than completing the normal prescribed study load, I am doing an extra subject so that I can complete my degree earlier than I would have otherwise. I am able to do this because I don't work, I have very self-sufficient children one of which is at school full time and the other goes to kindergarten. I also set myself goals that MUST be completed. I keep a big cork board with my study planner and time table on it - I also keep a diary...

This is a fresh one for the new financial year.

I am finding that managing my time means that I am much less stressed at the end of the day, because I know exactly where I stand with each upcoming deadline and I know that I have used the time that I have had to work on each thing to my best ability. You can't do much more than that! Achieving my daily study / housework / sewing / fitness / kid oriented goals really puts a smile on my face.

Here are some photos of what I have gotten up to today in my well managed time.

Oliver and I made apple leather using Kate's instructions. He thinks he is a master chef and he loves to spend time helping out in the kitchen. I love to cook, so his desire to help me makes morning activity time quite easy to organise.

I worked on calisthenics head gear for the little miss. I have actually almost finished all of her costumes for this year. Hooray!!

And good old lesson plans for assignments. I actually love the kinds of assignments that I have to plan lessons for rather than just write an essay - they seem so much more relevant.

Anyway - back to it!

What are your tips for managing your time?

Monday, 17 June 2013

planning for maths

I swear this is uni work...

I'm planning for a maths education assignment this morning preparing lesson plans and trying out ideas for studying pyramids and prisms. Most importantly I am looking for FUN activities that will help these children learn the properties of pyramids beyond "it is a pyramid because it looks like a pyramid".

I found it really difficult to find a good, easy to understand set of instructions on how to make an origami pyramid for a warm up activity. One for us beginners who are more adept at folding fabric and making it hang correctly than using paper to make... well... anything.

Thankfully I found a great video over on Storm the Castle.

Looking forward to using these little pyramids to engage my learners.

Friday, 14 June 2013

six months...

Six months and eleven days to be perfectly exact.

Six months and eleven days since I posted on this blog....
Six months and eleven days of thinking that I needed to make time to write....
Six months and eleven days of ignoring google plus just in case it decided to remind me that I needed to post on here...

What happens in six months and eleven days?

Lots of things happen in six months and eleven days.

You can take a road trip to Queensland and back with the world's most well behaved children.

You can have a wisdom tooth extracted and it strike back terribly 2 weeks afterwards.

You can get up very very early every morning to make time for study while the children are still sleeping.

You can go on teaching rounds and have a wonderful experience and learn a lot of skills for a future profession.

You can get conjunctivitis from your child - conjunctivitis that the doctor told you was not contagious.

You can realise that your child loves Harry Potter, and help them dress like Hermione Granger for book week.

You can discover that beanie and scarf in the bottom drawer, as it is now cold and blustery outside.

You can cook up some super tasty treats with your kids, realising that your four year old loves cooking and will help to make any meal you ask him to.

You can be grateful that you have beautiful children who love each other with the purest of hearts and would prefer to snuggle up tightly on the same couch cushion just to be close.

You can also realise that perhaps you neglected your blog and that you probably needed it in order to fulfill a deep desire for an outlet, one without judgement or bias, one that you could speak into and bring to life.

You can make a promise to yourself that it wont be six months and eleven days until you blog again...