My Favourite Things

Yesterday I held a “Favourite Things Exchange” party.   It was a mammoth effort of 5 weeks of planning to get a bunch of friends together to have a great time.

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The basic idea in the invitation is that each person who comes chooses a favourite item priced at $6 or less and brings 5 of that item. Each guest also had to identify 2 favourite songs when they rsvp’d and a copy of the recipe for a plate of favourite food they were bringing.

The songs became the play list for the afternoon ( which I made a copy of and gave to all the guests) and I also collated the recipes into a book for each guest.

I wanted to go all out for this party to make it fun and special.  So I decorated the lounge room with a backdrop and table cloths in black and red to match the colours of the invitations.   I also made everyone a personalized “brown paper package bag tied up with string” to take their stuff home in.

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There were 9 of us all together and we had a great time.  Far too much food for a bunch of girls,  but there was something everyone liked to eat.

I didn’t take ane photos of the actual party because there was too much fun going on to even think of stopping to take a picture.  I did take a photo of the contents I put into everyone’s gift bag of the play list cd, recipe book and personallised coffee mug I made for everyone with their names on them.

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At the actual party I started everyone off with a list of questions about their favourite things like colour, book, movie, scent etc.   We started the party by going through our answers to the questions and getting to know each other better.   Everyone got a point for each question where they got an answer that nobody else had. At the end of the party I asked everyone to add up their highest score and the winners got to take the lollypots center pieces I had made home.

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After questions we started on out favourite things exchange.   There were great ideas and things and the stories people told as to why they picked things were more fun than the actual things.  Each person who came wrote there name on 5 pieces of paper before the exchange and everyone put them into a bowl.  We each drew out 5 different names and these names were the recipients of our things. So everyone bought 5 things and got to take 5 different things home with them.

My favourite thing was Pinterest and I had made some modelling chocolate cake toppers from tutorials I found on Pinterest for my favourite thing to exchange.

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Other favourite things included:
● Drawing paper and pencils -from an art lover
● Bottled water – a bride to be’s best friend to help her fit into her wedding dress
● Magazines – from a mother who values her breif alone times.
● Flowers in a vase – from a women who’s husband gives her flowers as a way to show he is thinking of her.
● Paua shell jewelry- from someone from New Zealand whose favourite thing is home and the shell reminds her of home.
● Chocolate and tea with tea infuses- from another mother who values her grown up time
● Pink champagne – from one of the bubbliest people I have ever known.

After the gift exchange we sat, talked and ate until everyone drifted back home to their lives.   It was a fantastic afternoon.  I had a ball and valued every minute with some great friends from all areas of my life who gave up some of their valuable time on a Saturday afternoon to hang out with me.

This is my haul that I was lucky enough to receive

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My Favourite Things

Yesterday I held a “Favourite Things Exchange” party.   It was a mammoth effort of 5 weeks of planning to get a bunch of friends together to have a great time.

image

The basic idea in the invitation is that each person who comes chooses a favourite item priced at $6 or less and brings 5 of that item. Each guest also had to identify 2 favourite songs when they rsvp’d and a copy of the recipe for a plate of favourite food they were bringing.

The songs became the play list for the afternoon ( which I made a copy of and gave to all the guests) and I also collated the recipes into a book for each guest.

I wanted to go all out for this party to make it fun and special.  So I decorated the lounge room with a backdrop and table cloths in black and red to match the colours of the invitations.   I also made everyone a personalized “brown paper package bag tied up with string” to take their stuff home in.

image

There were 9 of us all together and we had a great time.  Far too much food for a bunch of girls,  but there was something everyone liked to eat.

I didn’t take ane photos of the actual party because there was too much fun going on to even think of stopping to take a picture.  I did take a photo of the contents I put into everyone’s gift bag of the play list cd, recipe book and personallised coffee mug I made for everyone with their names on them.

image

At the actual party I started everyone off with a list of questions about their favourite things like colour, book, movie, scent etc.   We started the party by going through our answers to the questions and getting to know each other better.   Everyone got a point for each question where they got an answer that nobody else had. At the end of the party I asked everyone to add up their highest score and the winners got to take the lollypots center pieces I had made home.

image

After questions we started on out favourite things exchange.   There were great ideas and things and the stories people told as to why they picked things were more fun than the actual things.  Each person who came wrote there name on 5 pieces of paper before the exchange and everyone put them into a bowl.  We each drew out 5 different names and these names were the recipients of our things. So everyone bought 5 things and got to take 5 different things home with them.

My favourite thing was Pinterest and I had made some modelling chocolate cake toppers from tutorials I found on Pinterest for my favourite thing to exchange.

image

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Other favourite things included:
● Drawing paper and pencils -from an art lover
● Bottled water – a bride to be’s best friend to help her fit into her wedding dress
● Magazines – from a mother who values her breif alone times.
● Flowers in a vase – from a women who’s husband gives her flowers as a way to show he is thinking of her.
● Paua shell jewelry- from someone from New Zealand whose favourite thing is home and the shell reminds her of home.
● Chocolate and tea with tea infuses- from another mother who values her grown up time
● Pink champagne – from one of the bubbliest people I have ever known.

After the gift exchange we sat, talked and ate until everyone drifted back home to their lives.   It was a fantastic afternoon.  I had a ball and valued every minute with some great friends from all areas of my life who gave up some of their valuable time on a Saturday afternoon to hang out with me.

This is my haul that I was lucky enough to receive

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My Favourite Things

Yesterday I held a “Favourite Things Exchange” party.   It was a mammoth effort of 5 weeks of planning to get a bunch of friends together to have a great time.

image

The basic idea in the invitation is that each person who comes chooses a favourite item priced at $6 or less and brings 5 of that item. Each guest also had to identify 2 favourite songs when they rsvp’d and a copy of the recipe for a plate of favourite food they were bringing.

The songs became the play list for the afternoon ( which I made a copy of and gave to all the guests) and I also collated the recipes into a book for each guest.

I wanted to go all out for this party to make it fun and special.  So I decorated the lounge room with a backdrop and table cloths in black and red to match the colours of the invitations.   I also made everyone a personalized “brown paper package bag tied up with string” to take their stuff home in.

image

There were 9 of us all together and we had a great time.  Far too much food for a bunch of girls,  but there was something everyone liked to eat.

I didn’t take any photos of the actual party because there was too much fun going on to even think of stopping to take a picture.  I did take a photo of the contents I put into everyone’s gift bag of the play list cd, recipe book and personallised coffee mug I made for everyone with their names on them.

image

At the actual party I started everyone off with a list of questions about their favourite things like colour, book, movie, scent etc.   We started the party by going through our answers to the questions and getting to know each other better.   Everyone got a point for each question where they got an answer that nobody else had. At the end of the party I asked everyone to add up their highest score and the winners got to take the lollypots center pieces I had made home.

image

After questions we started on out favourite things exchange.   There were great ideas and things and the stories people told as to why they picked things were more fun than the actual things.  Each person who came wrote there name on 5 pieces of paper before the exchange and everyone put them into a bowl.  We each drew out 5 different names and these names were the recipients of our things. So everyone bought 5 things and got to take 5 different things home with them.

My favourite thing was Pinterest and I had made some modelling chocolate cake toppers from tutorials I found on Pinterest for my favourite thing to exchange.

image

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Other favourite things included:
● Drawing paper and pencils -from an art lover
● Bottled water – a bride to be’s best friend to help her fit into her wedding dress
● Magazines – from a mother who values her breif alone times.
● Flowers in a vase – from a women who’s husband gives her flowers as a way to show he is thinking of her.
● Paua shell jewelry- from someone from New Zealand whose favourite thing is home and the shell reminds her of home.
● Chocolate and tea with tea infuses- from another mother who values her grown up time
● Pink champagne – from one of the bubbliest people I have ever known.

After the gift exchange we sat, talked and ate until everyone drifted back home to their lives.   It was a fantastic afternoon.  I had a ball and valued every minute with some great friends from all areas of my life who gave up some of their valuable time on a Saturday afternoon to hang out with me.

This is my haul that I was lucky enough to receive

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The Hair Whisperer.

3 years ago my hair dresser of 10 years left me! To say I was devastated would be an understatement.   I was shattered. 

After all it took me 30 years to find Emily and she was “it”. She did my hair.  She did my son’s hair ( and let me tell you that was no mean feat – he is mr perfect has-to-be-just-right-and-sit-exactly-like this – and – no – pressure-but-i-am-performimg-this-weekend) and she cut my husband’s hair.  It’s all well and good for her to follow the love of her life and take a sea change, but who was going to cut my hair?

After I had an epic breakdown right there in the shop she assured me that she was going to train up her replacement and I wouldn’t even know she wasn’t cutting my hair.  

Well I stuck it out with the first replacement.  And I stuck it out with the second and third replacements.  And I would like to say that none of them were like my Emily.

In fact the last one was so bad that  I had to schedule my appointments on the way home so I could wash and restyle my hair before anyone saw me.  I would have to explain in detail to her how my hair got cut every time I went in – even though I had exactly the same hair cut every time I went in. She put more time and energy into selling the salon products to me than into my actual cut.  One time she convinced me to buy one type of shampoo for $40 and then 4 weeks later she told me I shouldn’t be using that shampoo I should buy another shampoo that they have.

Needless to say in November last year I was over it and began the search for someone else to cut my hair. Actually first I decided I was going to grow out my hair and then in January I decided that I wanted to cut it all off.

Just by chance I happened upon the salon name of an old friend from about 20 years ago.  So in my destination I decided to give her  a go. 

I would just like to say I HAVE FOUND THE HAIR WHISPERER.  This woman is amazing.   Every time I walk out of her salon my hair looks amazing.   One picture I showed her the first time I went and she remembers what I want.  All I have to say is same as last time.  And the great news is I can replicate this amazing style myself!

Ladt Saturday I went and got my hair cut again and she suggested that I part my hair on the other side. WHAT! Ummm for the past 25 years it has always parted left to right and now you want me to go right to left? Excuse me?

Well ok we gave it a go and let me tell you.  WOW! Ok its a little difficult to do the fringe the other way and it takes me twice as long at the moment,  but its got style its got bounce and sits great all day with minimal products.

I guess the difference is between someone who works in a job to earn money and someone who loves their work and is passionate about it.   Now if only I can find a barista who is passionate about their job and can make me the perfect skinny mocha with half strength espresso. …..

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What Students Really Need to Hear

This is a fantastic post and something I would really like to share with my students. Also good to know I am not the only one awake at 4am worrying about students

AFFECTIVE LIVING

It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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Cinderella’s got nothing on me!

About 4 months ago I started a new project.  In my defense when I started this project I didn’t realise it was going to take me 4 months to complete.  

Originally I started with a new pair of shoes

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Very practical (aka boring).  Soooooo not the new me I wanted to be this year.  So not owning a bedazzler I started to glue crystals on one at a time. This is about 2 hours worth of work.

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About half way through I made a pair for my niece for her birthday.

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Normal things got in the way life, work, running out of crystals and glue and having to wait for more to arrive from eBay.

Finally during the last lot of holidays I decided I needed to finish these shoes, toughed it out and put the last hours into completing them.
Nearly done

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And finally after 4 months and millions of hours.  I now have a new appreciation for those children who get paid 10c an hour in 3rd world countries to provide clothing for the western world.  I have finished my shoes

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So much more me than those boring nude shoes I started with. Honestly I think the boys will just be happy that they won’t have to worry about constantly having black and blue crystals all around the house. ……..Next pair will be red and clear😆

I found my puppy!

The rolling joke in the staff room last week was that a colleague had bought me a puppy as a present.  I guess that idea stuck in my head because when it came to designing a cake for a long time friend this week I decided to make a puppy cake topper.

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The cake was a white chocolate mud cake, but I wanted to keep the spotty theme going so I made chocolate cake pops to put into the raw cake mixture.   This is how a test cake turned out.

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Not too sure if the actual cake had a better result,  but I am hoping because it was a lot taller than the test cake that it would have more of a spotty effect.

I covered the cake with white chocolate ganache.

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I must say that this is one of the most successful experiences I have had in covering a cake in ganache. In the past I haven’t had the patience to wait for an hour after making the icing and it has just slopped off the cake. This one was nice and thick when I poured it and only a small amount ran off.

I let this sit for the fridge for about a half hour to set while I made the circles out of modelling chocolate.

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I then started to place the circles on the cake starting on the top.

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Finally I needed to place the topper and rose on the cake. I choose off center because symmetrical cakes are boring and so much harder to pull off.

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‘K’ was very happy with the cake. Her son liked the icing lol. Hope she has a lovely b’day.

Melody’s fundraising!

Life in 2014

Our amazing daughter Melody Wyatt is a student in Year 8 at Caroline Chisholm school. She is an exemplary student who works hard to achieve her goals set.

Melody is seeking sponsorship to travel to Borneo with her school group and participate in her ‘World Challenge’ Expedition. As a part of this expedition Melody and her peers will have the responsibility of organising everything from the itinerary and the budget. She will further develop her outstanding leadership and organisational skills.

It is a three week expedition where she will have the opportunity to see life in a developing country and will participate in a program to help local communities in Borneo. What is still to be confirmed but they may teach English to children, build huts and drainage systems. And much much more!

We are very proud of her and I know she will work hard to meet this new…

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Piece of cake part 2.

So tonight I got to unveil my sister in law’s birthday cake.

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A white forest cake. The dragon is made of modelling chocolate and I made the gummy gems as well. Very happy with how this one turned out.

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Hope my sister in law had a good b’day dinner.  Even though we were all so tired it’s nice to sit together and eat a meal.

Now to plan my next b’day cake.   Thinking K at work might be next since I now ‘M’s’ real b’day and won’t have to make her an UNbirthday cake……..

Piece of Cake.

I have really gotten back into cake decorating in a big way this year.

It all started in January when I decided to make a surprise wedding cake for a wonderful friend who eloped.

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I had so much fun making this cake that I decided cake decorating isn’t so bad. Especially when I get free reign on what I get to design. 

The next challenge was a cheesecake for my brother-in-law. I had to play this one down as my niece who came up with the idea wanted to help me make it. So didn’t do anything special for this one. Funny thing was my niece had to pull out of

coming over

to help me so I could have gone all out.

Next cake was a wedding cake for a work colleague.

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With my newly discovered love of cale decorating again I also decided that my new mantra will be that I am no longer going to do any cakes for payment (too many complications). So this became a perfect wedding gift!

Now a few weeks ago my wonderful niece turned 14 and again I

could

go all out and use my imagination to make her cake.  So this is what I made:

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Making the gelatin bubbles was so much fun. Better than the paper mache pinata I made for J’s 5th birthday because these actually worked! Learnt a valuable lesson about why candles should not sit too close to fondant here…..fondant is flammable!

At work we have to make a birthday cake for yhe person who’s birthday comes after us.  One of the guys had their birthday a week ago and the person who was supposed to make their cake was “too busy” .  So I stepped up to the plate and volunteered to make it as a swap.

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Heaps of fun. I really do like modelling cake toppers.

My sister-in-law has a birthday this week and I am working on her cake. I can’t say too much about it because she doesn’t know what I am doing for her cake.  She has asked for a white forrest cake so the whole theme is based around white and that’s all I am saying here. ……..will post photos later in the week after her birthday.   But I will say I am S.T.O.C.K.E.D. with how the cake topper has turned out!

Future cakes in the works: I know “M” from NZ has a birthday and starting to plan hers. Monters inc. Maybe……

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