Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Challenge+giveaway hint:

Just got back for the snow and really wanted to post this challenge for Purple Pumpkin before the month officially ran out. I do have a kit to giveaway that is based upon this layout and another one.. But I haven't photographed it yet.. Stay tuned...Tomorrow I promise:

The layout was based upon this sketch...

Right.. Now to rest. Catch up with my two littlest people who I have missed ( a little bit) over the last three days..Continue reading the third instalment of The Hunger Games.. Which I started in the car after finishing Fifty Shades Darker..oooh la la..Then get some sleep and rest these aching skiing legs for bootcamp, grocery shopping and photo editing tomorrow...

Photos and delightful details of our snow trip with our big girls and good friends to come soon...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

She did it:

Just a quick post today to let you all know that Miss H..My oldest and very precious girl had a very successful and fun experience on grade 5 camp. High ropes, bush tucker, emus, hiking, late night sleep walking /eating (not her!) and a raft of other experiences left very little time for sadness and meant sleep was definitely easy to come by...

We took her out for a hot chocolate when she got home to celebrate and chat about her experiences. Also to let her know how truly proud of her we are. She now has the memories all ten year olds should have and know that if she ever is afraid of something..She can come to us with honesty and trust..She knows she can overcome fear..She has done it before..

Love you baby girl


Friday, July 27, 2012

Great advertising:

Watching my footy team LOSE to Hawthorn last week ... I found myself distracted by their promo.. The way they promoted two teams titles..I liked the graphic lines and it inspired this layout -even though I have photographed it crooked:

The title is significant too. A while back Hallie (Rosie) started calling him Boo.. And for about three months it stuck. I even started calling him that. She doesn't do it so much these days - But I wanted to comemorate and remember that time. I hope that when she is a young adult that she can look back at this layout and it warms her heart. I hope she smiles and realises just why she and her baby brother as so close. The bond was formed early.. I will probably give her this layout to keep eventually..

On another note.. This layout started out as a CSI challenge! Hehehe! AGAIN..I missed the boat on entering it.. BUT at least the layout was done. Once the deadline passed. I through my hands up in the air and added the red that the challenge didn't have and what I thought it was lacking. I am really happy with the result. Considering my scrapping mojo has deserted me of late...It's not too bad really..

My focus is being pulled in quite a few directions of late.. I am really into "clean eating"and fitness for both me and my family. I like to run.. I have so many photography clients -  I am always editin git seems.. So it seems something has to give and my scrapping has felt the brunt.

So I apologise to my scrappy readers if there has been a lack of layouts lately.. I DO have a mini  'bit and bobs 'kit almost ready to give away though.. It is a bit BIGGER this time and I have created it from the stuff I have used on two seperate layouts...

STAY TUNED... and I hope you are enjoying my focus on food and fitness..


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Parental crossroads: Grade 5 camp

Well..She's gone to camp..In the lead up it was four nights of tears and pleading not to go..And four days of excitment and anticipation. The photos above show her excited and happy - thank god we got there..  And as I write this she is facing her first night..I can only hope she is doing well and asleep..

Hallie wears her heart on her sleeve. And having reasoned, consoled and bluffed my way through getting her onto that bus I am actually happy. I didn't think I would be.  I thought I  might be feeling the dreaded Mummy guilt at having forced a scared 10 year old to do something she really didn't want to do.

But we trusted our parental instincts and were honest and firm in the face of her extreme sadness. Looking back now. I know it was fear. I told her so. I asked her to not let the fear win.

Last night she very calmly asked to not go to camp. AGAIN.. We told her what an awkward position that put us- as her parents in. If we let her stay home then we are to blame for her missing that integral childhood experience that you always remember. She has nothing to share with her peers next week, next month..The fear wins. If we force her to go - we feel like horrible parents, crippling her with fear? We really needed her to step up and make the correct choice - CAMP.

We decided to wait until morning to make our decision. I actually avoided getting her up - so that the decision would be delayed!  It was a poor start with the fear winning. A quick chat about being positive..yada yada yada..And the smile came back. She got dressed..Put her gear by the door..Packed her toiletries..I gave her some lollies to share with her cabin mates..More smiles..So that by the time we got to school.. Well the above photos show that the excitment won out over the fear..

Good parenting.. We can pat ourselves on the back..
And pray we don't get a phone call tonight!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ears lowered:

I can hardly believe he's had his baby haircut? What the hell was I thinking? I miss the wispy.. I miss the sheer blondness.. I breastfeed him and I feel like I'm letting a 4yr old latch on!

I asked the hairdresser if she could cut it like Dane Swan? Ummmm no...Was the surprised response.. Apparently taking clippers to a not quite 2 year old is a place a hairdresser won't go.. I didn't wan't him to have tattoo sleeves or anything  - just the cool 50's style do all the footy players seem to be sporting?

Alas it was just the scissors this time. He was very brave and sat mostly still. My girlfriend actually squealed when she first saw  him sans baby hair. I am still getting used to it. But we have attempted wax? With mixed results really. I am so used to ribbons, braids and ponytails!

All this growing up crap has made me nostalgic for his newborn days...I recalled today putting him in his capsule for the first time - leaving hospital. All the girls were fussing over his sweet little form.. Glee's "Don't Stop Believin" ( or Gracie's song as Milla used to call it) was playing in the car.. I was happy, sore and content..A beautiful time.. But I was only nostalgic mind..I don't have any desire to be back there.. The remembering is the sweetest and saddest thing - both combined..

Off to make muffins for school luncboxes and then chicken pizza for tea..
Hope your Sunday is good.. A bit nostalgic maybe? Or just plain relaxed..

Please leave me some comments to reaasure me that he looks cute with no bloody hair!

Bye xx

Saturday, July 21, 2012

4 pink one blue:

Sound familiar? They could be us..Except they have a farm, wool, shearing shed and haybales!

Thanks guys! It was so much fun hanging out with a family - so much like my own! You all did really great - even in the face of some pretty chilly conditions!  As per usual these photos are the quirky and cute ones thay simply appealed to me...You will have plenty more to choose from I assure you!

C xx

Friday, July 20, 2012

How I survived:

I should say WE. The kids really didn't have ALOT..And I did say I would share some of my sugar free choices from previous 2 weeks..So here goes:
I switched from flavoured yogurt to natural - greek style was my preference.
Frozen raspberries are now a staple. Try these cooked and swirled through nat yog.
I cooked muffins with fruit and apple concentrate.. (the gracious pantry)
Banana bread..( photo above) with raspberries, apple concentrate, apple puree.. Yum...
I made up my own breakfast muesli. Rolled oats, apricots, puffed brown rice, coconut and pecans.
Top muesli with yoghurt and fruit.
Switched to jam with no added sugar ( IXL and Dick Smith both make some)
Used mountain bread in wraps..
Cooked porridge with fruit in it ( see Fitness, Food and Style)
Passata tom sauce in pasta dishes. Has no added sugar..
Made my own pizza base ( Jamie Oliver's cheat pizza recipe)
Drank soda water with slices of lime in place of soft drink.
Added vodka when I had drinks over holidays.
Add vanilla paste..Great natural sweetner
Cinnamon..Another top sweetie!
Fresh veg as much as possible.
Ate leftovers for lunch.. Saved having to locate sugarfree bread all the time..
Pancakes served with berries and yoghurt ( Fitness Food and Style)
Alot of nuts.. Which I adore snacking on now..
Rice cakes are sugar free and a great snacking option.
Planned meals. Only way to ensure sugar isn't in them..

TRAPS. Things that sugar is hidden in..Times when it is difficult to avoid sugar...

Family lunch date.. I made sugar free muffins and ate them..No alcohol though..
Movies.. Popcorn? But I didn't..
Breads.. Big trap.. Read labels carefully.
Yoghurts. Almost ALL flavoured ones have HEAPS
Night time...In the past would always head to the pantry when kids went to bed. This is a habit.. Really has nothing to do with sugar..Once I could stop myself from opening those doors..Much easier and sugar could be avoided.
Running...After a run I am staving and really want a sugar HIT...Tough...Rice cakes with sugar free jam...
Husbands...Still eating choc biscuits.. This was a harder hurdle.. But willpower is an amazing thing.
Getting too hungry. If I didn't eat regular planned meals I would get starving and then the cravings for sugar treats were harder to fight off..
Takeaway. Simple. We didn't have any. And didn't miss it either.

Really - sugar is replacable in almost all things.. So it has become just a matter of switching it out. Thinking outside the square. I am also reintroducing honey and maple syrup. So that also makes cooking easier..

Truly - if you are thinking of doing it. Go for it. Leave me a comment and I will help in anyway that I can. Also you cann drop by Dani's blog. She has recipes, tips and is the sugar free queen! Visiting her blog everyday gave me motivation and inspiration too!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wild with colour:

Oh so bold and out there! I had an awesome time with all these crazy colours for the current Bird Is the Word Challenge. But as usual - in the mad whirl that I call my life - I missed entering it...Sigh..

I have taken to handcutting my own arrows? Like it? I know alot of  scrappers use a silhouette. I can't justify the cost so handcutting it is..

Which is a great segway into my next 'bits and bobs'mini kit which is currently in the works..  It is bright and bold in flavour similar to this layout  and will include some of my handcut arrows too!
Want another giveaway.. Hold onto to your scissors ladies it's just around the corner!

C xx

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Freckle fever:

And in spite of this very sweet visit to the chocolate factory in Corowa..I still remained sugar free!
Chocolate really isn't a weakness for me. Luckily enough! Lollies have always been my downfall - but I have kicked that habit already!

So- I successfully completed the two week challenge. No cheats or slip ups..I tink I ate a wholemeal muffin before meeting for a run and after I realised it had sugar in it..And I licked the kids yoghurt off the spoon in the first week - but I'll forgive myself those..

What I have learned about processed sugar, me and my body:

I can survive without it.
In the past I believed I could have sugar and not have it affect my weight or life.
I now know that processed sugars was my drug of choice.
I was giving myself bursts of energy with sugar. These never lasted.
I was rewarding myself with sugar.
I was rewarding my children with sugar.
I was rewarding my husband with sugar.
I can have coffee without sugar - and it's better!
Eating sugar at night kept my muffin top in place.
Fruit is divine - and sweet enough.
Apple concentrate is a perfect sugar substitute.
Reading food labels does not mean I have an eating disorder ( as some people claim)
Reading food labels is not obsessive behaviour - well not a BAD one!
Sugar Is in just about EVERYTHING.
Reading food labels is annoying and time consuming.
Without processed sugar I sleep better.
Without processed sugar I exercise better.
Without processed sugar I AM thinner.
Without processed sugar my skin is clearer.
I love natural greek yoghurt.
I love nuts.
Maple syrup and honey I will reintroduce..A bit..
I love frozen raspberries.
You can get jam with no added cane sugar - cool.
I can get the kids through an entire day free of processed sugar and they don't even realise it.
Some people are understanding and supportive.
Some others think I am utterly mad and wonder why I felt the need to do this.
Bread is loaded with sugar.
If a label says low-fat - then it's high in sugar.
I had to scrounge to the back of my cupboard to find the sugar to make my friend a cup of coffee!
I like soda water.
I hate soft drink.
Muffins without sugar are a hit here..
Pancakes without sugar are a hit here too..
Smoothies full of fruit are a hit here too..
I'm not going back..I'm not going HARDCORE - but I'm changed for the better.


A big thank you to Dani at Fitness, Food and Style for alway sharing her meal plans and advice - it all helped keep me on track. And for doing the challenge - it was awesome..

Please let me know if you are interested in this at all and I will happily share some of the food I ate over the two weeks.. It really wasn't as hard as I though it may have been..


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Good and Stuck:

Another sketch for the middle of the month over at Stuck:

This photo of Grace was tricky to work with? The yellow light and the black markings on her sweet little feline face made it difficult to choose papers. Well for me anyways.. Then I came across this dressed doll pattern. Very retro and I loved it. A very simple sketch this time. That is easily open to much interpretation I think...

Sorry for the very crooked photo? Ooops...A couple of my handmade flowers on there too..

C xx

Sunday, July 15, 2012

She's catwalk ready:

Seriously..This sweet girl had five outfit changes for our photo shoot! Dress, jeans, more jeans..beanies..You name it she had it! And swift changes they were too!

And now the whole family is on the other side of the world.. I hope you love them as much as I do..You were all so much fun!

Celeste xx

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A prince among:


Had to happen really! Hallie made all the girls crowns from some scraps she bought home from school.

HE had to have one too:

I love the crown styled with the lumberjack- come -bogan flanelette shirt - so COOL buddy..So COOL..
Hope you are all having a royally good Sunday....

C xx

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hair today:

I was colouring my hair at home yesterday...Something I have been doing for about 6 months now..
And as I clipped the towel aroud my shouders with a hair clip and mixed the ingredints together..I could hear the little beings in the lounge grooving to the sounds of their new So Fresh Winter CD..
A bit of - "Starships are meant to fly..." was radiating through the walls to the ensuite..

And I found myself thinking how life changes..I have these type of moments quite often...But this one kicked me...15 years ago I lived in a two bedroom falt with a girlfriend and with Rod..I coloured my own hair then too..

Back then self-colouring was a way of saving money and avoiding the hairdressers who intimidated me ..I always came out looking nothing like I wanted..

Hair colouring began with a trip with two girlfriends the day before to choose a colour..If we happened to buy toenail polish and new lippy and those shoes that were to die for all the better!

Doing my own colour then meant alcohol.. Slipping into a robe..A night with the girls..Talking about sexual exploits and what wasd going on on Melrose Place..A large bar of cadburys..and girls making sure they carefully parted every section of your hair and coloured it carefully - allowing you the opportunity to cheack in the mirror in between gulps of champagne - to ensure it was going to your liking...

Always we waited to the alloted time to wash never going over - except if we were in the middle of a juicy bit of gossip...
Hair colouring was a social event..A fun one..That started with hair colour and ended with toenails and an empty champagne bottle and silver chocolate wrapping...

Skip to today..

After years of being coloured at the hairdressers,( I eventually got over my fear and like everyone else became both attached and bound to my own hairdresser..) budgeting and reasoning that I could do it perfectly well on my own means I have gone back to self-colouring..

ISo it is the school holidays.. All my kids are in the lounge.. ABC kids is on the other TV... Fully clothed. I whip an old towel around my shouders and haphazardly try to cover my roots while a twenty month old pulls at my leg. Then, towel still attached and roots colouring I whip in a pile of washing..Soothing a tired 3yr old as I go past on the way to the laundry.. Check the clock at the laundry door and have time to fold some of the washing so I will have room to hang the washing I have on...

Time to do the ends.. Fix the DVD player as I walk past on my way back to the bathroom..A minute over at least now... Madly with no definite plan in mind I squirt the remainder of the colour on the top of my head and mix it through in a frantic rush.. while the toddler pulls on the cord of the hairdryer beside me. Slip off gloves..Detach toodler from hairdryer and deposit him back in the lounge..

Quickly put on gloves and madly rub at my hair like a deranged salon stylist... Not bad...Adjust towel which is slipping, wipe away excess colour on my skin with a perfectly handy baby wipe..Go to kitchen as they have all descended upon my coloured self with complaints of hunger...

Make five rounds of sandwiches and look at the clock - shite! Well over appointed time to wash.. Make a bolt for shower.. Wash off quickly..and condition..No kids bugging me so I take the time to shave while I am there...

Sigh...All traces of colouring equipment are then quickly removed to the bin before little fingers can poison themselves.. A mild spritz with the hairdryer later and apparently the DVD player is again not performing to little people's expectations and my haircoloring event is at an end....

Oh how the mighty have fallen...
Grace takes the photos above later in the day..Sweet girl..
Milla says, "Your hair looks pretty Mummy."

Give me frantic and out of time any day of the week...


Thursday, July 5, 2012

All about:

Still loves Poppy ( 8 year long bear friend and bedtime pal)
Still dresses Poppy.She has a suitcase of various outfits
Only has one ear pierced
Has had surgery on the other ear.
Has 2 besties...Izzy and Tegan
Does her own hair - everyday
Has a smile that melts hearts
Has a frown that freezes hearts
can use both equally well...and to good effect.
Loves to play with her siblings - as long as they are following HER rules..
Likes to stomp and humph and puff when she hears the word no...
Is called Rosie and H and H BearV
Loves her Ipod
Loves her DS
Loves the computer
Hates - but with prompting -  respects boundaries placed on technology
LOVES to spend money...
Hates to be told she should SAVE money..
World revolves her ten yr old self..
Can be sweet and generous with her siblings
Can be ferocious and uncomprising with her siblings (and her parents)
Has trouble falling to sleep at night
When asleep - sleeps still and LONG
Has trouble with too much sugar and preservatives..tummy aches and sleeping
Hates me trying to change her sugar intake..
Fussy about new foods..
Her fave meal spag and meatballs.
Her fave snack is chocolate
Is not a big fruit eater - but loves apples the best
Always eats all her vegetables..
Creative..Loves to draw and write
Is neater in her corner of their room than I might have expected
Still - she is the ultimate crap collector - and won't throw anything away
Is just getting into popular music
But will still watch ABC kids..
LOVES anything to do with Harry Potter
Her first poster pinned in her wardrobe - Emma Watson aka Hermione Granger

She is a riddle wrapped in a mystery my first and very beautiful daughter..
I love you so much sweet girl and as you grow and change I try to keep the memory of your newborn self spooned into me as we both fell asleep close to me heart.. xxxxxxxxxx

PS. SUE! I need you to email me! I need your address to send you your prize pack!

And thanks to my bootcamp pal Ange - great workout yesterday - I have clocked 100 followers..
I might have to put together a bits and bobs kit to celebrate!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Stuck for the holidays??

Hi All! Day three sugar free starting well with apple puree porridge..Anyhoo...This is a great sketch over at Stuck this month... I Luuurve circles...

The circle behind Miss H is quilting fabric mod podged down. Every so often I drop by our local quilting shop and pick out a few little swatches of fabric. Just the little squares you buy..

I might do it these holidays because it makes me feel like a kid in a candy store..Can be my sugar hit without sugar! I walk around picking up and putting down fabrics and oohing and aahing over all the delicious, bright colours that surround me..

I always walk out with more than I should. But fabric is such a fun medium in scrapbooking.. You can use it as paper or ribbbon.. Have it smooth..rough.. You can sew it on..Glue over it...

Love fabric:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Going without:

Doesn't necessarily mean going without...

And isn't she delicious? Sweet little Zali...

Had a holiday catch up with my lovely new friend Dani - who is currently holding me to account for my sugar deficit - and she had made these lovely sweet little starwberry muffins - with no added sugar..Find out more over on her blog..
Always planning ahead- Dani served us all spag bol for lunch..A latte and one of these sweet little muffins as dessert...

I took some shot of Zali for her bday invites and the entire brood ( all nine of them) filled in a morning quite happily..

I love holidays xxx

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sugar free:

If I am serious about going sugar free with Dani at Fitness, Food and Style...Then  I really need to prune these:

So sad that I can only grow these in my garden...
Sugar free starts tomorrow...
Two weeks..
I'll keep you posted on my progress now and then...

Now where are those trusty rusty shears???