Thursday, August 25, 2016

Around here lately.......

The last few busy months and end of winter colds seem to have caught up with us, so we have been having a quiet week.

I've shared below a few photos of what we've been up to lately......

Stripey sheets and grey linen for our bed this week


 Weekend afternoons in the kitchen always call for chocolate cake


Jasper and I went to see Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton talk about their latest book the 78th Story Treehouse. Jasper is a huge fan and had the best time! That smile :)



There is a new florist at the mall with so many beautiful choices. I chose Geraldton Wax this time.


Seeing the teen's room looking neat, bright and airy is so satisfying I had to take a photo!


I've booked a girls trip to Byron in a couple of weeks, so maybe I will add to my "Ahoy Traders" wall. It will be a totally different time without the family and I'm looking forward to checking out things I don't usually get time for.


We've had a few amazing Spring like days and I am so ready for the warmer weather.


Noah went on his first kindy excursion to the aquarium and had lots of fun. 
He is looking so grown up!


Dash was looking extra shaggy and was way overdue for a haircut!


Poached eggs on sourdough with tamari mushrooms and spinach is always my choice for breakfast when I'm out. Simon and I have Mondays off together and always try to get out for a walk + breakfast


How has your week been? Anyone with end of winter colds?
Have a great week!


Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Must-Haves - my favourite picks from Kmart

It's no secret that in the last year Kmart has really stepped up their game in bringing cool furniture and homewares to us for amazing prices!
I look forward to seeing what's new in their catalogue and having a browse through the store when I'm nearby. (my closest store is about 20 mins away)

Below are the latest products from Kmart that I'm loving at the moment.
I've popped in a mix of furniture, homewares and party supplies. We got so many fab things for Simon's 40th from Kmart. I also grabbed a couple of these lamps today. 
The price was too good to resist!




Desert print
Basket
Bedside lamp
Rug
Outdoor lounge
Gold side table
Marble vase
Wooden shelf
White locker
Gold salad servers
Copper planter
Doormat
Foil balloons
Cake topper
Drink dispenser

All products can be found at Kmart.
Have you picked up anything new at Kmart lately?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Another celebration - Finn turns 14.


Finn turned 14 on the weekend and we had a family dinner to celebrate.
Finn loves burritos so we cooked up a batch of shredded mexican chicken in the slow cooker, a dish of rice and beans and had bowls of lettuce, jalapenos, cheese, sour cream, corn and salsa, so everyone could make up their own burritos. Delish! 
I didn't get any photos of the food but you'll have to take my word for it ;)

I always like to make the table festive for birthday dinners so I had a dig through the party box and hung up a banner and some balloons. A roll of brown paper acted as a runner and I popped some of the planters I used for Simon's party down the middle.
All of the little kids sat up at the kitchen bench and we had all of the adults and teens at a table for 10.



Finn is not a huge fan of traditional cake so I decided to make an ice cream cake instead for his birthday cake. I lined a spring form pan with baking paper and layered in chocolate, vanilla and rocky road ice cream. I froze it overnight and served it with a sprinkling of mini marshmallows. Yum!



I can't believe our first born is 14! Where do those years go?
We are so proud of Finn and the man he is becoming.  He has handled everything that has happened to him (his eye injury) throughout the last year so well and so bravely. 
His attitude has been amazing! He is so loved x

We finished up the weekend with seeing a movie, the new Jason Bourne. It was action packed and really good. Finn will celebrate with his friends next weekend with a little party/sleepover, so the festivities will go on! 

Here are a few more photos from the weekend -






This photo popped up in my Facebook memories today.
Finn on his birthday 7 years ago. Awwww :)



How was your weekend? Any birthdays happening?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Simon's 40th Birthday Celebration!

We threw a party for Simon's 40th birthday on the weekend.
65 family and friends were invited to come and celebrate with us. We had an amazing time and there were a few sore heads the next morning. Always a sign of an epic night! ;)



I started looking for a venue a couple of months ago. I knew we didn't have the space at home (plus I wanted to keep the mess off site!) so I started looking for the perfect place.  

I wanted somewhere that would allow us to do our own food, drink and music and stay on past 11pm if we liked. (We ended up booking it til 1am) We decided on the Collaroy Swim Club right on the beach, heaps of parking space and central to our family and friends.



STYLING
The room was a blank space which was great but I wanted to add a few touches to personalise it and give it a festive birthday feel.  The main issue for me were the lights. They were a harsh flourescent light, not really conducive to that party feel! We decided to bring in our own rope lights to add a warm glow to the room. Luckily they were easy to hang off the existing roof beams.


We were going for a cocktail party style so we just had a few tables set up for people to rest their drinks on. I dressed these up simply with a little jade plant in a brass planter and a tea light candle. We also had a few long bench seats for those who wanted to sit but we wanted the majority of people up and mingling. We brought out extra chairs once dinner was served and as the night went on. 

Most of the walls were bare but I wanted to cover up 2 honour roll boards so I brought some black plastic from Bunnings and taped it to the wall. I then dressed up the backdrop with silver foil 40 balloons (Target) and some paper lanterns (Kmart). There was also another couple of big pinboards that I also decorated. One with a HIP HIP HOORAY sign and the other with a giant photo of Simon as a toddler. A gold foil "Happy Birthday" banner (Kmart) was the finishing touch.



FOOD
I knew I wanted to do a massive platter for nibbles for when the guests arrived and to graze on through the night. I set up 2 trestle tables in the middle of the room and popped on a tablecloth.
I then placed a 3 metre long piece of wood down the centre of the table to put all the food on.
(I picked up a piece of wood from the timber yard and Simon smoothed it out and oiled it.)
I served the usual antipasto food. Olives, sundried tomatoes, various dips, several types of cheese, crackers, lavosh, raw vegetables to dip, dried fruit, salami, proscuitto, cabanossi, quince paste, feta filled bell peppers, grissini, pretzels, falafel and nuts.



This was great as people could help themselves. I just had to top up the crackers a couple of times through the night. I had plates and serviettes set up on the edges of the table.

We also hired a 115cm paella dish (Oliver's Hire) and chef who cooked in front of everyone in the corner.  The smell wafting through the room was amazing and got everyones appetites going!


We used 4kg of Bomba paella rice, 3.6kg of chicken thighs, 3.3kg chorizo, 3.3kg fresh green prawns (head + tail removed) paprika, cumin, fennel seeds, saffron, salt, chicken stock, peas, parsley and lemon wedges. The cooking time was about an hour. This size pan usually serves 110 people (small bowls) but our group polished off the lot! People were going back for seconds and thirds. 
It was delish!


Instead of a birthday cake I brought 60 donuts and arranged them on a platter. 
This made it easy for everyone to help themselves. No cutlery or plates needed!

DRINK
We had a welcome cocktail for our guests on arrival. 
We set up 3 of our 7 litre mason jars with white wine sangria. 
Each mason jar had 14 shots of Cinzano Bianco, 7 shots of Triple Sec and 1.75 litres of Chardonnay. Topped up with approximately 3 litres of lemonade.  We then added ice, lemon, mint and lychees (canned) Drain most of the juice but add 120ml to the mason jar for extra sweetness.


We served them in a plastic tumbler over ice with a slice of lemon, a lychee and a mint leaf.
I also made up some straws with Simon's face on them for a laugh. They were definitely a conversation starter ;) 

We had 2 bars set up, 1 for soft drink and water. The other served beer, wine and champagne. 
We hired a couple of backpackers with hospitality experience to help set up, serve and clear away through the night. They were awesome and helped everything run so smoothly.

Later in the night we bought out trays of jelly shots.


This was a throw back to our 21st's and when Simon played rugby they would always go back to the clubhouse and jelly shots were always featured!

We made them by mixing up one packet of Aeroplane Jelly dissolved in 375mls of boiling water, add 150mls of cold water and 180mls of vodka. This makes up 12 x 60ml shots.
 (we preferred using the 60ml shot glasses rather than the tradtional 30mls - cups from Big W)
 The above ratio ensured that each jelly shot contained 15mls of vodka. They had a kick ;)

MUSIC
Our friend is a DJ and organised speakers for the night as his gift to Simon and put together some playlists for us to use through out the party. The right music makes all the difference!


We had such an amazing night and it was wonderful to catch up with everyone.
Simon was thrilled to see all his friends and family in the one room.

How was your weekend?
Anyone having a birthday in your family?

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