Friday, 16 November 2012

Digest: doing, did, done.

Been a bit slack on the blog front of late, so thought a quick round up of what we've been up to may be the best way to go about things.
Woolies Ramp: customer feedback rocks!
I recently noticed that a suggestion I made last year to the Manager of Woolworths on Illawarra Road Marrickville - has happened! If you know the Woolies, you know the ramp you walk down with your trolley to get to the underneath carpark - there was a big enough step in the concrete, which made me have to lift the trolley when preggers with O and my shopping in the trolley - it was all very heavy work at 35 weeks! A strip of yellow checker plate has smoothed over the concrete bump! Wonderful.

Photo Books made by Grandma
My Mum has made a few photo books for O in the past and the latest is possibly the greatest. On Mum's recent trip to Melbourne she documented all the earth moving vehicles she encountered as well as a few motorbikes for good measure, about 20 photos. Mum popped the pics in a cheap little album from BigW and then narrates a story while showing them to O. Very cool and wonderfully personal and unique.

Carrot Cake Muffins
We've been making carrot cake muffins lately, a modification on what should be a carrot cake! I think this recipe does taste better as a carrot cake in cake format - O likes 'muffin serves' and it makes it easier for me: "you can have one muffin" rather than debating the size of the slice of cake... somehow there is easier closure with the muffin format!

Federal Park - a find!
We went to our friend's sons birthday party a couple of weeks ago at Federal Park in Annandale. It was a lovely kids party. The kids play park is fenced and set within the larger Federal Park which is a dog park - so there are lots of dogs about. I did not know about this pocket of parkland. It's a great kids play park with some cool play kit - this digger with levers to play with which O loved, a slide which rolls you down on a conveyor of tubes, a rustic fort like structure. Parking can be tricky, so check out the link above and you'll see where to aim for a car spot.

Ian Thorpe Pool - great kids waterplay 
We've been going swimming a lot lately, it's been a long while since we were in the pool and O needs to reacquaint with swimming and water. J is coming up to eleven months this week and loves the water, and has had a good time splashing about too. We've been going to the Ian Thorpe Pool for it's great kids waterplay area - it's got depth and is large enough for the number of people.

Our first (scary) Panto!
In the school holidays we took the kids to their first Panto at the Canterbury Hurlstone Park  RSL Club. It did not turn out as anticipated! O was all very excited beforehand and looking forward to going and then when the lion came out on stage it was all over for us! He really did not like the lion and so we watched by the door, and then through the glass panels in the door, and then we eventually left. The initial spectacle of the lights, smoke and singing captivated him.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

"I want to make a castle, TODAY!"

We made a castle today. O led the cut 'n paste. He wanted to make a castle, he rustled around and came to me with two tissue boxes asking for masking tape and scissors (the two ingredients which make everything possible!)

He also wanted to make it outside, which we did. I suggested a turret, the request came that it house a bell. The bell (pink ball) we enabled with string to be lowered or raised. The drawbridge could also be raised/lowered with string (it was already a bit broken through play by the time his picture above was taken).

My cousin gave O these little dudes as part of a set, a pressie from the UK, when she visited last year. The Beefeater was perfect for today's castle and the bell ringing grandpa too. The castle was super quick to make, as you can see, but I delighted in the fact that O is now so keenly coming to me with ideas of things he wants to make... He played with the castle in the yard, in the shade, in the 30degree hot day and he had lots of fun.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

All abilities playground: our new FAVE park!

My Mum has been urging me to visit Timbrell Park - Livvi's Place for sometime now. We went on Saturday and really had a super duper bodacious time. It's a playground with kit that kids of all abilities can enjoy.

There is fantastic equipment to play on - it is SO well designed throughout - and it was so busy with enjoyment. The pics don't show how packed it was - I tried not to include kids in my pics. The park is in Five Dock / Rodd Point: it has an automated merry-go-round which a wheelchair can ride on and also has seats (which I sat on with J); there is a bird nest swing; wide ramps with baubles in the ground which when stamped on 'ding'. There are three levels of climbing nets - nets on the floors for babes, a net pyramid which rotates for toddlers, and a tall tower for older kids. J and I had a ride on one of the three bull-riders (I've not seen these before) - where you sit behind a younger babe and hold them while you rock back and forth. The murals are wonderful - textured - and there is braille beneath the texts. It's definitely worth a visit - even if you have to drive and it's the destination in itself.

A happily exhausting time we had - so much so, O had a three hour sleep that afternoon - for a dude who stopped having day sleeps at 2 years (and is now 2years 8months).

Friday, 21 September 2012

Cloudy day carrot cake

Today we made a carrot cake - the recipe is from Roar Sweetly's blog. Many thanks. This is the second time I've made it. The first time I made it solo and today O and I had great fun making it together while J napped.

I am not a natural at cooking, practise makes better... I am definitely improving! Good simple recipes have also been key. Living with three hungry boy-men, who all love eating means I am always looking for new things to try; healthy snacks, full-them-up meals. 

We did not ice the cake today as the cream cheese icing did not sit too well with my D's tummy (a personal sensitivity to cheeseness) last time. We still very much enjoy the cake, we serve it with a spoon of vanilla ice-cream! I discovered a good trick today when baking with O - we made the cake over the sink. It was easier for O to stir the bowl, as it was trapped in the sink, the mess was contained. It's a good recipe to make with kids, we took turns in whisking the mixture and then grating the carrots. O was great and even insisted on washing the dishes once it was in the oven.

Many (yummy) thanks again to Roar Sweetly.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

A posse of eggcups: Wilkins Public School Fete

We had great fun at the Wilkins Public School Fete today. Being close to home, we managed to arrive early. Leaving home is an event in itself these days... I've left home a few times sans shoes for little people and have had to let O walk the streets wearing only his socks! But today, we were booted and ready to go; and after over two hours of pretty much non-stop fun we had to p.u.l.l. ourselves away - as the little people amongst us were going wild in that frenzied I've-had-too-much-of-a-good-thang kinda way!

What did we do: the mega slide ride, the jumping castle, listened to the fab sounds of the school bands, played the fishing game, ate Portuguese tarts, played on the school jungle gym, and then we saw the fire engine! Yes, apologies - that was our son sitting in the fire engine driver's seat for too long - unable to pull himself away as the queue to drive the fire engine grew longer and longer and longer...

I also bought these egg cups. Made by kids at the school. I think they are gorgeous, a little community of colourful egg cups which will decorate our dining table.

School Fete's - YOU ROCK!

Friday, 14 September 2012


Today we did some trainspotting and diggerspotting. At Marrickville Station you can look across at a building site, that used to accomodate the Marrickville RSL (where we went to gigs in our Uni days). The diggers have cleared the site quite fast - on Monday there two large diggers - today it's razed to the ground with a couple smaller diggers mopping up the last bits. We stood on the City outbound platform - as this way you don't encounter stairs with a double pram.

On the way home we walked down Arthur Street and had a close encounter with a mini excavator. It was not in use, but good for an intimate look. Not sure how long it will be there, but if you have earth moving vehicle obsessed kids and you have a moment, include it on your walking route.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Adora and The Rug Expert

My visit to Adora's and The Rug Expert has been months in the waiting. On Tuesday I finally got around to taking a walk with J while he napped in the pram. It was a gorgeous spring day and I popped into Athena's en route to grab a spinach and fetta scroll (highly recommend) for lunch and some of our fave almond and honey biscuits (for after dinner treat). It took about twenty minutes to walk to Adora's (from home).

Adora's is the handmade choccie shop just over the Cook's River from Steel Park; and opposite it at the roundabout is The Rug Expert a shop selling mainly Turkish rugs and kilims and a few Nepalese pieces too. I love a good rug shop. We bought a great Boujad rug from Morrocco when we spent a few weeks there in 2009, and since then we have loved looking at rugs. Ours is wool pile, geometric in pattern and vibrant in colour - it's not very refined technically as far as rugs go, but it's a happy rug, it's about fifty years old, a large rug, a rug we now spend time with on our lounge room floor. The Rug Expert also has patchwork rugs made up of many squares all sewn together. I'd like another rug to go under our dining table, and cover the copious number of tiles we have throughout our house. It takes a while to find the right rug. It's like buying art I guess. The man at the rug shop was very helpful and told me of a scheme they have where you can take the rug you want to buy home - to see how it feels - what a great idea!

After looking at the rugs, I popped over to Adora's for a takeaway milk hot chocolate, which they serve with a complimentary choccie (and I bought another for Mum who had come along for the walk). The hot choc was not too sweet, it could have been a bit more velvety for my liking though and the almond truffle was yum! Then we took J, who was now awake, for a play Steel Park.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Child's Own Studio

We did not make it to Bondi to see the Festival of the Winds today and all the kites in their soaring glory. Next year. I did find something equally exciting which has made me smile endlessly today. Lots of folks may know about this site already, but I stumbled across it for the first time today.

Childs Own Studio: making custom soft toys with children. A fantastic idea, kids send in drawings and this woman turns the drawings of creatures into soft toy creations. I love it for so many reasons, harnessing the sublime creativity of kids' imaginations and turning it into reality. Can you imagine the joy of opening the mail one day and seeing the dude you drew come to life! Happiness.

I am not sure O's drawings are figurative enough to contemplate a soft toy transformation just yet. We are still in the fusion oeuvre of stickers and abstract expressionism.


The annual spring flower display is on at David Jones in the City and Mum and I popped in with J this week to have a peek. We've taken O for the past two years and this year we took J (while O was at daycare). This year's theme is Fleuressence, a celebration of fragrance. Ooh, I'm so late with this post... as it ends today!

Monday, 3 September 2012

A retreat. A fete. A (new) park.

I've not been doing many new crafty things with the boys of late. Since J started crawling, standing and now cruising at 8 months - the boys have started to play with each other and I've taken the opportunity to make our long awaited (parents) retreat in one half of the garage. Here is a pic of the wall above the couch, in progress. I'm doing a wall of our pics that don't work in the house.

I bought the blue bird cushion (above) from the Drummoyne Public School Fete. We had a fun quick one hour at the fete this year, as the kids were tired. D and O went to check out the rides, while J and I looked at the clothing hall where we bought some good gear. I also bought several handmade cards (the same stall was there last year) to use throughout the year - such great little cards they are too!

We also found Beaman Park recently. It's not a destination to seek out for the playground gear alone, but if you are around these parts and need a park stop then give it go. It's on the Cook's River.