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TRYING SOMETHING NEW....

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Some folks will know that I enjoy baking. In fact, daughter (whose skills far surpass my own) and I often venture to cooking classes. I do like a challenge (although life does seem to be offering lots of those lately)...but I enjoy a challenge where I can learn. Even if it is a total failure, you learn. I'm sure I read an article the other day talking about Flearning, which is when you have a failure but learn from it.

This week I attempted  created my first vegan cake. I have made vegan cookies before (we have vegan work colleagues, so only fair to share some of the baking love)...but this was my first cake.

Of course my first thought was to contact said great-baking-skills-daughter who has created vegan goodies before...and ask for her best recipe. My girl has her own baking blog---Hurricanesnozbakes- YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT - and she suggested this recipe for Lemon Coconut cake.

I must admit to being terrified, worried about cooking with ingredients I have rarely / make that nev…

SHARING THE LOVE....

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At the moment I'm running a writing group for kids. It's only for five weeks but boy am I having fun. Best thing, is that the kids are too!

So far we've had a look at character, setting and plot. What the kids have produced have been so much fun. We do a lot of interactive work on the whiteboard (yes whiteboard)...with them offering up solutions to a plot problem...character descriptions....settings.

(these photos have nothing to do with the writing club but wanted to share the lovely place we went to for Mother's Day lunch....The Brass Razu bar) 

Some of the children's writing has been amazing....there was the story about Miss Vicki and the T-Rex that roamed the library (the ending was quite sad).  The time traveller who had a time machine in her bedroom. The planet with the giant spider that devours souls. Another planet that had craters that took you to different places and even different times in history.

Some of their insights so humorous. I showed them an im…

CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE...

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Last weekend, a gang from work went out for the day. There was a mini bus, a sandy lunch with visiting bee, a lovely meal to end the day...and a painting experience. We went to Coronet Bay, a Paint and Sip. 

The majority of us were very nervous about our artistic abilities. Most of us claiming none. Yet with the help, tutorage and encouragement from Chris, we all left feeling damn proud of ourselves.


Brilliant aren't they? The girls as well.

What I learnt most on this day, was to look at things differently. Try to see things from a new perspective.


Chris had us turn this page upside down and then begin to copy the image in the empty space. To look not at the picture as a whole, but to see the shapes.
The squares, the circles, the lines.

I found this totally liberating.


And I did run out of space, and my fellow is very out of proportion but I was quite surprised by how close it came to the real deal.

Then began the painting.

The picture I chose was of a cat...a multi coloured, in …

A BIT OF MAGIC....

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Had a great session last week with one of the children's groups I run at work. This group is for children Prep to Grade 2 but we always get a few younger siblings, and this time we had a few older siblings stay for the duration.

The theme was magic. What a blast!


I began by pulling a toy rabbit out of a hat. The kids were not impressed. They could see the puppets in the hat. Okay, I thought, tough crowd!

I then did the disappearing coin in the glass trick.

That gained a few minutes of 'wow, how did you do that?' Then one smart cookie figured it out and all the magic and glamour was lost.

But best was yet to come. A card trick.


Now I had practiced for quite a while. And I had them entranced.

Each time they picked a card, I magically found that exact card. I repeated this trick over eight times. The kids had a lot of theories on how I did it.
I was looking. (turned around, covered my eyes etc)

I could see through the cards. (demonstrated this was not possible)

I was good at…

UNDERSTANDING CHILDREN..

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It's known that I work with children (and I love it).  However the past few weeks I've spent more time with children than I have with adults.  From babies of a few months, to teenagers. I went on holiday with Little Miss, and over the past few weeks not only ran my usual programs but have picked up a few extra. We also had Little Miss and Toddler With Attitude stay with us for a few days as well. This has really got my head spinning with ideas!


 And frankly the more I work with children, the more time I spend with them, the more I am amazed at how they think. How they work things out. How they see the world.

It is such a revelation to discover what matters to them. What drives them.

On Monday I had a Tinies Time, there I was singing away while babies crawled and toddled and basically did what they wanted to do...when I looked down to find three little boys had crawled up to me. They sat there, looking up at me, with the most beautiful smiles on their faces. When I finished th…

IT'S ALL DOWN TO STRUCTURE....

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On the weekend I went to a Masterclass...the Gourmet Kitchen Cooking School...Patisserie Masterclass: Mousse cakes, caramels, coulis and Macarons. My Christmas present from lovely daughter, who accompanied me. It was amazing!

Frankly we were amazed at what we accomplished.

Delicious salted caramel macarons...they even let Lovely Daughter and myself make the caramel.
We did try to warn them...we and caramel don't mix well.



But it all worked out exceedingly well.

And we learnt so much.


Tips and tricks with mousses...making of the cake or lady fingers for the bases.


Secrets to an amazing glaze.


Laura was a fantastic teacher...there was so much to cover, and we did it all. Mostly because she had us moving. She had a time line to work too and kept to it. She had a structure to work to.

It's something I'm trying to put into practice at the moment. The juggle of getting Little Miss here at a certain time, myself here at another time, juggle the Toddler...and anything else in bet…

UNDEEP...

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Last week I went on an adventure. I tend to visit my sister and her family regularly (working permitted). I took a few days off during the first week of the school holidays and went for another visit. But this time I took Little Miss with me.


I took a few audio books for the long long drive....however she didn't want that. She wanted to chat. So chat we did...for nearly five hours.

This was her first time on such a long drive. First time staying with my sister and her family. First time for so many things.


She brushed and loved Ellie...


She roamed the river. At one stage even going for a swim.


always with an eye out for eels.


She decorated some cupcakes...


Walked up the big hills behind the house.

She played with animals, ran with alpacas, fed a baby lamb, chased chickens out of the house yard. She had a blast. Nothing tired her, she kept on going.

I, on the other hand, am not as young as I once was. But it was great fun.

Going to my sisters is a time out. My phone doesn't wo…