Friday, 27 February 2009

It's my birthday!


Yay for birthdays! Andrew and Lucy have lots of good things planned for me today. Last night they locked me out of the kitchen so that they could make a birthday cake and today they made me breakfast in bed. We are going out for lunch a little later on. Later in the day I am heading off on a women's retreat with church. I'll report back on Monday!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Fondue

Recently I've have been to two different fondue restauarants in Wilmington, the original long-standing, 'Little Dipper' and the newly opened franchise ,'Melting Pot'. (Andrew hasn't been to Melting Pot yet as I went with the moms group)

They offer a number of courses, firstly cheese fondue, then a salad, followed by 'entree' fondue (translation 'main') finished off with a chocolate fondue.

The Little Dipper wins the best decor - it has a flourescent-lit fish tank filled with jelly fish! It also had a better dessert selection and it's prices are very reasonable. On the other hand Melting Pot is much closer to our house and has a lot of available parking.

Both are extremely fun and tonight Andrew and I are heading out to Melting Pot for my birthday dinner!



Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A big girl bedroom


A lot of the busyness from last week was due to getting Lucy's new bedroom ready. The walls were wiped, cupboards were emptied and restocked and carpets were steam-cleaned. Given Lucy is already in a big girl bed we didn't have any furniture to buy but I did want to decorate her room so here are the couple of things we did:

1. Book Bin. Lucy LOVES to read. She especially loves to read in bed. However given the guard rail on her bed it is difficult for her to reach her bedside table. The simple solution was to install a book bin on the wall near her bed. Now she can easily access books at any time (and we can get a little bit more sleep in the mornings!)
2. Butterflies hang from the ceiling above her bed

3. Tree decal on the wall. One of her walls is a large blank canvas so I bought a removeable/reusable tree sticker to brighten the wall. It is a big hit as it includes butterflies!

4. Wardrobe storage. Lucy has two wardrobes in her room (one for toys and one for clothes) but both only have one high shelf. I bought some colourful storage units (red ones as the purple ones were on a long backorder).








Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Product of the week: Crumpets

To our delight we found crumpets (or English style toaster muffins) at the supermarket. Lucy and I couldn't contain our excitement so we had some straight away, some with butter and some with honey. But to our disappointment they just didn't taste great. The rest of the crumpets were left for Andrew who concurred on our conclusion. We haven't purchased any more since.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Back to gardening













Given the mild weather we headed north to Pender Pines garden nursery to check where things are at. Lucy got to feed the ducks and talk to the emus but not much else is happening this time of year due to the weather being warm one day and frosty the next. It was a good chance to see which plants stay green all year long and as such we got some holly bushes for near the pizza oven. We also got lots of herb seeds to plant next month, along with some ornamental kale for the herb garden.


Our most exciting purchase was an apricot tree which is supposed to produce fruit in its first year. We have planted it in a nice sunny spot and we hope to see it grow quickly.

Lucy got some pansies for her garden near her playhouse which she has diligently watered with her watering can!

We also took the chance in the milder weather to start raking up the thick carpet of pine needles that have accumulated over the past 5 months since the lawn was last mowed.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Valentines Day

It's Valentines Day tomorrow so this week seems to have been filled with hearts, roses and red. We went to a playdate on Wednesday with a Valentines theme. We ate red food (raspberries and strawberries) and heart-shaped food (rice krispy treats), made Valentine hearts for the Dad's, and did a Valentines Day quiz. The kids all got a heart shaped helium balloon and the host gave out the Valentine gift seen to the left. It says 'Seth goes bananas over great friends like you' and inside the bag is a banana. Lucy was extremely excited about the banana and wanted to eat it straight away. It was such a welcome change to the usual artifical candy given out.

Tonight we are going to church for a Valentines dinner. I think how it works is that Andrew and I get a romantic dinner (with everyone else from church) whilst Lucy is looked after separately. All the money collected for the dinner goes to the youth mission that is occurring in July. So whilst we wouldn't usually do anything for V Day we are participating in this one for a good cause!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Product of the week: Vending Machine for coupons

When you think of vending machines you think of snacks and drinks. However if you go shopping at the outlet mall you'll find vending machines for coupon books. Yep! Coupon books. Put your $10 in and out pops a coupon book for you to use during your shopping trip. It seemed kind of weird at the time but there was no queue there whilst there was a long queue at the customer service desk to purchase coupon books. In my googling for photos I came across [fiction] book vending machines at train stations which seems like a brilliant idea!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Weekend update

We were very busy over the weekend and we are all exhausted (esp. Lucy!) Here's a quick rundown:

Weather: On Wednesday it was snowing and below zero for most of the day. On Saturday and Sunday it was 21 degrees celsius. Most people in Wilmington are sick with colds but is it any wonder?

Hardware store visit: Andrew and Lucy went to CB for a pancake breakfast and then onto Home Depot for some shopping and the monthly kids craft. Lucy made herself a lovely trinket box and Andrew got some supplies for the pizza oven.

Visitors: Pastor Phil and Teresa came over for lunch (a lamb roast of course) followed by a Lindt chocolate orange cheesecake. It was Phil's first taste of lamb and he liked it (well he probably wasn't going to say anything else in front of Andrew, but I really do think he enjoyed it)

Pizza: We fired up the pizza oven for our first guests, the lovely Vega family. We had a great time getting everything ready, though we had forgotten how much preparation and clean up there is. Andrew loved putting his pizza apron back on and everyone was excited! Even though this was a last minute thing we still managed some awesome ingredients included lamb, goats cheese, artichokes and sausage. We convinced the Vegas to watch some Aussie Rules and they took home a DVD to watch some more of the mighty Hawks and laugh at the Australian ads. Here are some of the photos. Note in the photos of Lucy her facial expressions: before eating pizza and then after eating pizza!






























Friday, 6 February 2009

Board Games 5: Ticket to Ride

I cannot speak highly enough of this game!!! It is AWESOME fun to play. Again it is only takes 5 minutes to learn the rules. Essentially you have to collect train cards and then connect train routes before your opponent. This is the North American version (the original game) and we now have a clear idea of where certain cities are located! It is a game of luck and timing. We have purchased the expansion kit to make it a little more exciting. If you know someone with this game, invite them over for lunch (and ask them to bring the game!)

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Board Games 4: National Parks Monopoly

We technically got this one much earlier than Christmas but I wanted to include it in this list. It is the American National Parks version of monopoly. Instead of building houses and hotels you build tents and ranger stations. It is still incredibly capitalist but you get to look at some beautiful pictures.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Board Games 3: Memory

This is another good game for smart 2 year olds! Lucy sometimes gets the rules mixed up but she is awesome at remembering where certain cards are. She is not competitive yet so she always helps other players in remembering where cards are, excitedly telling them where the matching card is and then shouting 'match'!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Board Games 2: Candy Land


video

Lucy loves this game! We got her the Dora the explorer version though I'm not really sure why (maybe because Toys R Us is just bursting with commerically changed board games?) In any case this is her favourite game and she would play it all day if I was willing to help her. As you can see in this video she is able to play by herself but it much more fun with other people. To play this game you need to know colours and count to 2. It is a very good game for 2 year olds!


Monday, 2 February 2009

Board Games 1: Can't Stop

It was super bowl weekend and it was pretty busy for us! Andrew and Lucy went to Monkey Joes for some jumping with some of the other dads and kids from our playgroup whilst Fiona enjoyed a high tea at the Tea Room with the mums (what a genius plans by the mums to schedule a playdate for the dads!!) We went out for dinner at Macaroni Grill, attended church, planted our 5 free wild plums, and Andrew went to a super bowl party with a whole lot of men from church.

This week I'm giving you a run down of board games we got over Christmas. We didn't buy a lot of presents but we did decide to get some awesome games to play together as a family. Today's game is Can't Stop. It's a dice throwing game and essentially you get to keep rolling until you decide to stop or you can't move your pieces. If you can't move your pieces anymore you have to return back to where you were at the beginning of your turn. So the key is deciding when you've had enough and locking in your position. This is hard because once you have control of the dice you don't want to give them up to another player! There is also the temptation to have just one more turn. It's very quick to learn and very fun to play.