Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bellingen 'Old Butter Factory'

After the Honey Place we travelled to Bellingen to have a look around. A cute town with some pretty houses and an old butter factory that had been converted into a cafe and some studios for art and craft. We had Belgium hot chocolates with cream and Bella had a strawberry milkshake. We only had a quick look around and found some interesting things to look at. There was a beautiful mosaic floor outside, a camel made from bits of metal rubbish and a life sized ceramic pig. We also had a look at some original leather and wood work.

The Honey House

We decided to visit the honey house and see some real bees. It had a great entrance, but was a little underwhelming over all. Josh loved the look of the bees and went back three times to see if he could find the queen bee. Dave, Sammy and Bella taste tested the different sorts of honey they had. We ended up buying creamed honey(my favorite) and bloodwood honey. Hamish wasn't impressed with any of it so we didn't stay long inside. Although we stayed a while in the car park while I fed him and everyone else snacked on biscuits and chocolate honeycomb.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Porpoise Pool

Finishing slurpees before the show.
Josh threw the hoop that the dolphin is catching.
Isabella cleaning a dolphin's teeth.
Feeding a shark with tongs.
Looking at fairy penguins.
After finding our accomodation at Emerald Beach Big 4 Park I followed their links to things to do. One of the links was to the Porpoise Pool. I ended up booking online for us to go and saved us $5! Not a huge amount, but I figured if I save a little here and a little there we'll be able to do a few extra activities. So for all of us it was $90 and I think that was a bargain for what we got. We decided last minute to go today after we had a break in the rain. The next show was on at 12:30 and we managed to get there just after 12. We had to go via the RTA to get some new plates for the car after having one of our plates fall off on the trip up to Coffs Harbour. The kids were excited about the prospect of getting a kiss from a seal and to be honest I was too! We not only got a big sloppy fishy kiss from a seal but we also got one from a dolphin, including Hamish who just looked surprised when he had an enormous dolphin lurch at his tiny little face from the water. We got to get up really close to some dolphins and play catch with a rugby ball. We were instructed to get the ball from the water and then when the dolphin opened his mouth then we had to throw it in gently. One of the dolphin's names was Bella! While playing ball we got to stroke the dolphins head and when they turned over we stroked their bellies. Later on we got to stoke a seal as it 'walked' past us. Before we left we got to feed some fish to a seal, some very aggressive Port Jackson sharks (I didn't do this!) and then a fairy penguin. During the seal and porpoise show the kids were able to be very involved because it was so quiet. It was great not having to fight with the usual holiday crowds! During the show Sammy got called up to play catch with a seal, Josh got called up to play frisbee with a seal and towards the end of the show Isabella got to use an over sized yellow toothbrush to clean a dolphins teeth. We had an amazing time and laughed a lot. We had such an amazing time and I know that the kids won't forget this experience any time soon. New experiences for us all.

Truck stop lunch

We stayed overnight at Raymond Terrace and then after a Hungry Jacks brekky we headed off to Coffs Harbour. We stopped for lunch at a truck stop which was amazingly cheap! It also had wonderful junk to look at while we waited for our meals. I saw a set of retro anodized tea and coffee canisters for $40 which I thought looked really cute. I was tempted to buy them until I told Dave and he told me what he thought of them! So no canisters! The trip to Coffs was pretty uneventful and Hamish was very well behaved and slept a lot in the car. He had to make up for all his nights of partying late into the night.

Hibiscus lodge

Check out our place! You never quite know if you'll be pleasantly surprised or if the photos have been taken with a really wide-angled lens. Well we were all pleasantly surprised!!
We're staying at Emerald Beach Big 4 Carevan Park which has 4 1/2 stars and great facilities. I chose them after seeing their 'Kids free during July and August' promotion. So for the five nights we're only paying $855 which for a family of 6 is great!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Beast

See the covered trailer at the back!
Filling up the beast in his new jeans!

Finally a photo of our beautiful car with a huge trailer attached. We look like we're going away for month! Dave also said that I had to mention that we actually packed Hamish's bassinett! He said he couldn't believe that I wanted to take furniture away on our holiday. I of course said that he'll sleep better if he thinks he's back home. Well I can only hope can't I!!

Cafe wirh Sammy

Sammy finishing her hot chocolate and vanilla slice.
We played around with the photo colour and borders!
While Isabella was at dance this morning Sammy, Hamish and I went out for coffee and cake at Cafe Great. And yes, that is the name of the cafe!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Recovering Dining Room Chairs

I finally got to the store to buy some more of the material I needed to do the recover of my dining room chairs. My baby brain had meant that when I first brought the fabric I forgot that our chairs actually have backs to them! I didn't want to start the recover of them until I could buy the same material. Well that was accomplished on Tuesday after my physio class and lunch with my mum and sister.

So here goes. I've done a little tutorial with photos incase you happen to have the exact same dining room chairs in your house! I missed a few photos in the middle, but it was too hard to insert them after I had rearranged the photos for the umpteenth time. So when you use the backing as a pattern you need to cut out two for each chair back so that you can of course sew them together. When sewing the chair backs use the yellow chalk as a guide for the edge and sew inside this. You need to sew about 1.5cm inside this line. Before turning the right way round check that it fits by sliding onto your plastic wrapped back. If it doesn't fit properly then sew it smaller checking as you go until you happy. Then cut off the excess, and use this as a pattern for the rest of the backs. The plastic that is around the chair back is just glad wrap. It will make it much easier to slide the tightly sewed backing onto the foam covered back. The rest of the photos are self explanatory. It took about 4 hours to do three chairs while taking photos and entertaining a 3 month old baby. If you had a helper you could probably have done all six chairs in 4 hours!
Take the chair apart.
Lift the staples up.
Use pliers to take the staples out.
Pick the seam to take off cover on the back of the chair.
This is what the chalk mark looks like before cutting out backs to chairs.
Trace this one onto all bits of fabric for backing.
Staple the one side down.
Unpick stitches where the metal prong needs to come through.
Fold other side over and staple.
The completed back.
Take out all staples.
Use the chair cover as a pattern.
Staple new cover on stretching taut as you go.
Staple gauze cover back onto chair to hide mistakes.
Screw it all back together.
The finished product!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ready to freeze

The food that is! Plus the taco mince is already in the freezer. I then covered them with foil and wrote on them what we're having with each meal so I don't forget to pack that!!

Cooking en masse

We're going on holiday next week and I decided that if I take our meals up I can have a holiday from cooking but still eat healthy meals. So first we have a bolognaise sauce which we will have with spaghetti and which I will also make into a lasagna later on this evening.
I also made a stew with parsnips and carrots and I used a bay leaf which of course makes me a gourmet chef!! ; )
I then made a curry and some taco mince.
I actually had all of the food cooking at the same time so it didn't take that long. So we have tacos, lasagna, spag Bol and curry for four of our dinners plus one dinner of left overs. For breakfast we'll have pancakes one morning (the bottled variety that I already purchased at Costco), eggs and bacon on one and cereal for the rest. We'll try and have rolls and sandwiches for lunch on all the days we're away and instead of wasting our money on meals out we'll go and do stuff. I'm thinking that we'll go and see whales migrating, kiss some seals, go to a butterfly farm, see some clogs being made, go down a toboggan ride and even watch a crab race. I wonder if you can guess where we're going!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Timbah in Glebe on Sunday

Rose was singing at the Timbah Wine Bar in Glebe today between 4 and 7 and we decided to drag the whole gang along to listen.
The paper on our Ikea bedding.
Playing so quietly.
In her pyjamas.
And he's in his.
Sunday started for me with a sleep in, followed by breakfast in bed, a read of the Sunday papers and then some time planning our much needed holiday. Thank you to my wonderful husband who made me breakfast in bed for no reason other than he loves me! Dave did some work and then painted the first coat of black on the cot, Isabella watched some TV and then played quietly in Sammy's room and Sammy and Josh watched 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Beautiful photo of the three eldest in their finest.
A grown up glass of red.
A glass for me too!
At 2pm we finally had lunch and began to get out of our pajamas which we'd all been hanging out in. Such a relaxing day! We showered and got dressed up and headed out with a sleeping baby. Hamish was so well behaved and transferred from home to the car with only a little whinge which stopped as soon as the car started. He then slept all the way to Glebe and when I got him out of the car and into the baby bjorn he carried on sleeping. A total miracle! We walked into the smallest little hidden away wine bar feeling like we really didn't belong with our large family of 6, but we felt really welcome and were shown to a table near the back so Hamish wouldn't be too close to the music. We had a glass of wine and some inner city nibblies which the kids didn't think much of. They were impressed with their own mini bottles of coke though.

Yes that is a glass of wine in my hand and yes I am still breastfeeding but since I hardly ever drink I didn't feel guilty in the least. We both felt young and funky hanging out in an inner city bar. We don't miss the lifestyle but it was nice to be out in a grown up space.
Rose singing. It was much busier than it looks.

Rose sang beautifully and we enjoyed being there listening to her.
Here are some photos of our time there. We only stayed for an hour and a bit. As soon as Hamish woke up I fed him and then we headed home.
At one point all three kids were head down playing with mobile phones. We were grateful that they were quiet while we made lovey eyes at each other. A great day!