Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Apologies for not posting for a while, I've had a big project at work that has required my attention.  Despite last week being on the stressful side, it ended up being quite a good week (excuse me while I put my "proud mum" hat on).  It was my turn to do parent duty at Miss Five's kindergarten last week so I took Mr and Miss Three with me.  I am hoping that the twins will be able to attend kindergarten next year, but as they will be on the younger side, I was starting to doubt their readiness. Miss Three in particular was so excited when I told her we were all going to kindy, she couldn't wait to choose which lunchbox to take with her!  Anyway, they both fitted right in and enthusiastically participated in the activities, so I don't think I have anything to worry about.  I was also really proud to see my shy Miss Five standing confidently in front of the class for Show and Tell.

Miss Five constructed this "Ballerina Robot" at kindy
My proudest Mummy moment happened at the end of the week.  The principal at Miss Seven's school retired on Friday, so they had a special day at school for the kids, which involved a hike, a sausage sizzle, and a farewell assembly.  On Thursday night, after I had put her to bed, Miss Seven came to me and asked for a piece of paper.  She said that she had decided that she would like to write a speech for the principal.  I gave her some paper, and she sat up in bed and wrote her speech.  The next day, she read her speech in front of the whole school.  So, so sweet!

So now onto this week's dinner menu...after revisiting my old menu plans over the last few weeks, I finally feel inspired this week to come up with something new. 

Monday: Rosemary arancini
Tuesday: Rice noodles with tofu and peanuts
Wednesday: Bean and coriander quesadillas
Thursday: Spicy lamb, tomato & chickpea broth
Friday: Soup or omelette (with whatever is left in the pantry/fridge)
Saturday: My husband's turn to cook
Sunday: Chermoula fish tagine

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cleaning the Pantry Challenge

We are very fortunate to have a dear friend who comes to visit us every few months from Sydney.  Each time he stays with us, he cooks a beautiful meal for us (and I make a dessert).  Tomorrow he will be here again, and will be cooking Osso Bucco with Gremolata, served with mashed potatoes.  Yum!

Anyway, yesterday I decided that I would have to allocate some time today to clean my pantry, as I would be too embarrassed for our friend to see the terrible state it was in.  Always the procrastinator, I sat down to the computer this morning instead of getting straight into the task at hand and had a good laugh when I saw Rhonda Jean's post today on her Down To Earth blog, where she set a Cleaning the Pantry Challenge!

Nothing cures me of procrastination better than a good challenge, so I got to work straight away.

Here is the embarrassing before shot of my pantry:

An hour or so later, it now looks like this:

What a transformation!  I'm just amazed at how much space I have in there now.  I didn't have to throw much out, so the space is created by taking the food out of it's packaging and putting it in stackable containers.  I now even have space to put my food processor away so it's no longer taking up space on the kitchen bench, so I am very happy about that!

So, challenge completed!  I encourage you all to clean out your pantry this weekend as well, it really is a worthwhile exercise :-)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kitten Update

I just thought I would give you all a quick update on how our poor little kittens are going.  It has now been a week since we discovered that the red, bald patch on Pierre's face was ringworm.  Both kittens have now been isolated/imprisoned in our laundry for a whole week.  On Monday, Pierre was showing symptoms of cat flu and was deteriorating fast (he had already recovered from a bout of cat flu before we adopted him, which is probably why he got ringworm as his immune system has been compromised).  I started him on a course of antibiotics straight away and that seems to have done the trick, as his runny nose and heavy breathing seem to have disappeared.  The bald patch on his face looks a lot better now too - nowhere near as red as it had been.  So it looks like we might be winning the fight against ringworm and cat flu (for now at least)!  Poor Pierre now has a really bloated tummy, so I hope that is not going to cause any more problems for him.

Let me out!!

Miss Kitty still has no sign of ringworm or cat flu, thank goodness.  However, just to keep us on our toes even more, she has diarrhoea!  We think this might be related to her diet.  So now I feel like the meanest pet owner in the world, because not only do I have to keep them locked up, force tablets down their throats 2-3 times a day, and shampoo them once a week, I now have to limit her to dry food only!  The vet has advised us that it would be best to keep them isolated until the weekend, to help reduce the risk of the kids getting ringworm.  So hopefully come Sunday, this will get a little easier.

And here I was thinking that having kittens would be fun!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Clothes Line Hair Clip Holder

Sometimes I am convinced that we have a black hole somewhere in our house.  This hole swallows one sock in each pair, along with my daughters' hair bands and clips.

In an attempt to prevent the hair clips disappearing into the black hole, I have made a cute clothes line picture that will hopefully motivate my girls to put the clips away in one place (sadly, as you might notice from the picture, the black hole has already claimed one victim)...

The clip holder was made using this tutorial.  I am now trying to think of ways I can add something to hold the hair bands and headbands.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I feel like I need to put this sign up on our front gate at the moment...

I took our little kittens, Kitty and Pierre, to the vet last Thursday for their vaccinations.  While I was there, I enquired about a little red patch that had developed on Pierre's face.  The seemingly innocuous red patch turned out to be ringworm, a highly infectious fungus that is a pain in the neck to treat and contain (it is spread via airborne spores - humans can get it too).  So for the last few days I have been busy washing bedding, soft furnishings, and clothes in a special antifungal solution, along with vacuuming the house and cleaning floors and hard surfaces with bleach.  Yuck!  Of course the wet, wintery weather has made the job that little bit more challenging (I don't own, and have no intention of buying, a clothes dryer).

On top of these measures to contain the infection, the poor little kittens are now in isolation in our laundry (will need to be isolated for at least a week).  I've had to shampoo them both (which they hate), and give them tablets twice a day (which they hate).  Pierre also needs antifungal cream applied to his now rather large red patch (which he hates more than the shampoo and tablets).  I feel so sorry for them.

Yesterday, I was starting to feel like I was getting on top of it.  Although Pierre didn't look any better, he didn't look any worse, which I was encouraged by.  However, I was shocked this morning to see that poor little Pierre had deteriorated a lot overnight.  Not only did I find new patches of ringworm on his paw, his nose had a little bit of discharge and his breathing was quite wheezy.  He now has cat flu as well as ringworm!  The poor little guy is now pretty sick...I'm not sure that he's going to make it :-(

So far Kitty doesn't have any sign of having either ringworm or cat flu...fingers crossed that her immune system is strong enough to fight it off. 

The stupid thing is my intuition was screaming at me that adopting Pierre would be a bad idea.  On one hand, I wish I'd listened to my intuition, but on the other hand I am so glad he's with us because the poor little guy needs so much help and at least we will do everything we can to help him recover.  Anyway, I think we have a bit of a fight ahead.  Wish us luck!