Friday, January 31, 2014

Print Studio and Instagram Photos

A few weeks ago I saw a post on someone's blog via The Beetle Shack Weekly Stills who had ordered greeting cards from Social Print Studio using her Instagram pictures and I can't remember who's blog it was.  I thought the cards looked great and went about ordering some greeting cards for myself.  It was super easy and took me 5-10 minutes to order the cards and within 7-10 days they arrived on my doorstep.  I even think it was 7 days as I remember thinking, I'm sure I only ordered these cards last week.

I ordered the little 4x4 cards and they come with envelopes as well and they are so adorable.  Great for little notes, thank you cards or cards to grandparents and relatives.  One thing I love about the internet is the way they have connected with Instagram and how easy it is to order some cute cards without giving it a second thought.  Here's some of my greeting cards that I ordered.  I was super impressed with how they were packaged with bubble wrap and in between two very sturdy pieces of cardboard so there is no way the cards could get bent in the post.  They were delivered by a courier van straight to my door and I couldn't be more happy with them.  If you are wanting some personalized greeting cards give these a go and there are different sizes but I chose the little ones.  I think the 5x7 ones would be cool as well.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Happy Australia Day to everyone today and the weather was great even though this morning it started looking a little over cast.  Normally we have a BBQ however today we decided to have pizza's which James said wasn't very Australian however my sisters and I made mozzarella cheese on Friday using our Christmas Cheese Making kits so we wanted to use the cheese and pizza's seemed like the way to go.

My sister (the kids Aunty Lisa) made Lamingtons and I made a Pavlova.  The kids had a few water bomb fights with the tiny water balloons which is always good fun in our backyard.  It was a lovely day and tomorrow we are having a quiet day before school starts on Tuesday.  Here's what our Australia Day celebrations looked like in 2014.  Linking up with Emma at The Beetle Shack for Weekly Stills.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

4/52 - "The 52 Project"

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity to take a portrait of your child every week for 52 weeks.  Here's a look at this week's pics.

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

James :   Playing basketball in the backyard.
Sienna :  Gives new meaning to the word "yarn bombing" when you do it to your own tree cubby house.

(Note:  I couldn't decide which photo of Sienna I liked best given that the first one is not totally in focus however I love the light coming through the trees).  Which one do you like?

The Illusionists 2.0

One of our special holiday events was attending "The Illusionists 2.0" at the Queensland Performing Arts Complex (QPAC).  James has been into magic for well over a year now and also got a couple of magic kits for Christmas including a black hat to wear when performing his tricks.  This was James dream come true to attend this show and the three of us went to the 2.00 pm show last Monday.

We were given 3D glasses on entry and also an envelope each which we were told to hold onto and not open until instructed during the show.  We eventually were told to open our envelopes and each person had a postcard size piece of paper with a picture of an Illusionist on it so 4 pieces of paper with 4 different photos.  We then had to shuffle them and then tear them in half and then put one pile on top of the other and the entire audience are doing this at the same time.  After that there were a few other steps and then we had to take the top piece of paper and put it somewhere ie under your leg on the seat.  Then a few more steps were involved by saying "order" and putting the top piece of paper underneath the pile and then "chaos" and throwing that piece of paper up into the air so yes, the entire audience were throwing pieces of paper into the air which looks great all at the same time.  Then we proceeded to repeat that step "order" place underneath the pile and "chaos" throw it up into the air all the while we were all calling out the words "order" and "chaos".  In the end everyone had one piece of paper in their hand which was half the original size since we all tore them down the middle in the beginning.

THEN....we had to grab the piece of paper we put underneath our leg on the chair and amazingly both pieces of paper matched up to one Illusionist in other words we had the top half of an Illusionist and the bottom half of the same Illusionist.  It was an amazing trick and great for audience participation however the poor cleaners after each show as we weren't asked to collect any of the papers when we left.  We did bring a few home to try the trick again.  It was so much fun.  All the Illusionists were amazing in their own right and it's hard to describe what you saw but it was worth every cent.  The lighting, the music and they had 4 dancers and each Illusionist came on for about 20 minutes and then the next one came out and they just went on like that until the end so each one had been on a few times and we loved it.  Sienna did cover her eyes and bought a little stuffed toy with her when one of them did the sword through the body and flaming daggers etc.  She loved Raymond Crowe who was on Australia's Got Talent recently and was keen to see him and he was the only Australian and awesome.  My favourite was Adam Trent  and Yu Ho-Gin.  James favourite was James More and Aaron Crow but basically they were all incredible and very talented.

The show was well done in the fact that they had a big screen directly above the Illusionist so that everybody could see what was going on as well at the Illusionist so I couldn't have been happier with this event. This show would be the highlight of the holidays.  I do have a family photo of the 3 of us on my iPhone and I will eventually get to that photo and upload it but for now here are a few photos I took with my camera.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

3/52 - "The 52 Project"

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity to take a portrait of your child every week for 52 weeks.  Here's a look at this week's pics.

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

James :   Crawling through a set of rings that were half a metre apart at the park.
Sienna :  Sienna having a swing and is enjoying doing a bit of a twist instead of swinging straight.


Linking up with Emma at The Beetle Shack for our Weekly Stills Collection.  Be prepared as there are heaps of photos and so many more I wanted to include but figured you would need an hour to look through them so here we go.

Sienna and her banana milkshake mustache.

Homemade Turkish Bread

A nature visit to Osprey House Environmental Centre this week.  See more of the photos here.

New school for us this year so it's strange seeing a different uniform on the washing line.

In honor of our little friend Alice who lost her life to Leukemia 2 years ago on the 12th January we made a chocolate slice using pink and green icing and sprinkles which were her favourite colours.

Collecting Macadamia nuts on our friends property.

Sienna having a go at cracking said Macadamia Nuts with this awesome nut cracker.

We are on holidays and apparently so is my bed making skills!

Making home made pizza dough from the Homemade Pantry Book.

Pizza straight out of the oven ready to eat.

Full moon the other night revealed another light in the sky which I can't recall ever seeing at full moon time.  I have been told it was Jupiter.

James my magician whipping up some pikelets in the kitchen.

Aunty Lisa (my sister) with Sienna having a giggle.

The afternoon light at my house is amazing and I couldn't resist since Lisa was over to get her to take some pictures of me with the kids as I'm determined to get in more photos with my kids this year and I was thrilled with these.

Sienna and I and all that greenery on the left is our veggie patch.  Cucumbers and corn.

Here we are trying to get the family portrait this time and what you can't see in this photo is a little stool on the ground which is about 20cms high and each kid had one foot on it and one foot off.  I was trying to hold onto them so they wouldn't fall because their other foot was off the ground in the air. I wanted them a bit higher in the photo so I didn't have to crouch down so much and they were giggling and I was trying to hold them up which was pretty difficult.  Once Lisa took the photo I just let them go without warning and then there was more laughter from Mummy.  Everyone has to have a good time I say.

The kids have been wanting this plant for about a year and when we were at Bunnings I finally said yes to this plant.  Meet Fang however I wish Fang could go looking for all those flys that come into my house instead of the fly looking for the plant.

More beautiful afternoon light with the washing off the line and folded and with the beautiful corn at the bottom left of the photo and the cucumber vines in the middle.  Can't wait to try both.

We went to the park late in day as it was cooler and ever since the kids were little they have always wanted to get on top of this train to which I have always said "no" to.  Bear in mind, this was when Sienna was about 4 and James 6 however the other day they got on top of it and they said to me "Mum, it's like the Polar Express" and so with that, I had a little giggle to myself,  took the photo and let them (now they are much older) get on top of the train.  It's the first thing every kid who goes to this park does....bizarre when the train is really what's on the inside, carriages etc.  It doesn't matter how young or old kids are, this is their first instinct that they want to do.


I have been wanting to take the kids to Osprey House Environmental Centre for a while now and the other day I packed an esky with rolls, chocolate slice, cut up watermelon and cold bottles of water and off we went.  It's a distance of 25kms and a 30 minute drive there which is nice and close however you head out onto the Bruce Highway as if you are going to the North Coast so it seems further away than it actually is.

When we arrived the kids were pretty excited about it and we walked up the wooden walkway into the Centre for a look around.  I believe most of the staff are volunteers and are extremely attentive and one lady approached us and asked had we seen the Osprey nest and I said "no".  She then asked another Volunteer to take us down to show us.  The Volunteer took us down the stairs back to the carpark and pointed to the huge pole at the end of the carpark with the next on top.  (see below).  Hard to miss now someone had pointed this out to us.

She took us inside and even though there are no Osprey in the nest at the moment she showed us the nest on the computer which was linked into the webcam.  She showed how to get the camera to show different angles of the nest and/or zooming in or out.  She show us old footage when the birds had their baby in the nest which you can see below.  There is a Mummy and apparently she is bigger than the Daddy and then the baby if you can make it out in the middle it's grey and has no feathers on it yet.

We watched a short video of a BBC Film on Osprey and showed us how they catch fish with there claws and they swoop down into the water to grab the fish and the fish that they grab can be huge and they take the fish back to the nest.  After this film they talked about Dugons in Moreton Bay and how we shouldn't let any litter end up in the bay because it kills the marine life.  As there were lots of kids sitting watching the film as they had a group in they showed a short video of a Dugon (as in a person dressed up as a Dugon) walking along the road with a huge rubbish bin and it walked into someone's home and into their kitchen.  By this stage in the video the Mum is in the kitchen and the kid is yelling to Mum "Mum, Mum there's a Dugon in the house" and the Mum turns around to see this 6 ft Dugon standing there with a big rubbish bin and it looks at her and then tips out the entire contents of the rubbish onto her kitchen floor and walks out.  Everyone started laughing because it looked so ricidulous but it was making a point "Don't litter in the home of the marine life".  Cute and the message was understood by all the kids.

After the 10 mins or so of little films we were handed binoculars each so we could go check out the birds.  We walked along the wooden pathway and there were 3 areas were you could walk down the the water and see the birds.  The first one was sort of like a bunker where you were hidden and got to look out to the water and sky and I thought that was the coolest one.  I decided to try and get a family portrait of us while we were there and it was quite challenging as there was no way I was going to put my camera on top of the fencing because it could go in the water so I opted for placing my handbag on the ground, it on top and me lying down on the wooden pathway to focus and organize the shot, hit the self timer and got up off the ground (no easy feet) and got into the shot. I took 2 photos and this was one of them.  Adding to the photo difficulty was the light and shadows but I'm determined to make sure I get in more family photos with the kids even if I'm lying on the ground to get them.  That has never bothered me before truth be known.

We looked for Osprey however we didn't spot any that day as we were told they will be back in the nest in February/March as it's too hot for them at the moment so we might go back then.  One interesting piece of information about them is they like a clean nest so when they poo they lift up their tails and squirt it over the edge of the nest which when you looking from above them (ie the webcam) it looks so funny and the volunteers told us you never walk directly under the pole because there is a good chance you'll get some of that on you.  That's how they like to keep their nest clean.  Here's a link to some of the webcam videos.

Here's a look at the rest of the photos from our little adventure to Osprey House Environmental Centre.  When we had finished looking for birds we had some lunch and then heard from someone who had just arrived that the Highway was closed due to an accident so I found out how to get home from where we were not using the Highway.  It was closed and you couldn't get on anyway and we proceeded to head home and for 1.5 hrs we drove 0-5 km and then the last 30 mins drove 60 kms and made it home 2 hours later (normal trip is 30 minutes) so I was very thankful that I had packed lunch for us even though we were going to be home by 1pm.  It was a big accident involving 5 cars and 1 caravan so as I pointed out to the kids as annoying as it was sitting virtually still for 1.5 hrs in the hot car travelling 0-5 kms at least we were safe and had no appointments that afternoon anyway.  Apart from our 2 hr drive home we had a lovely morning and the kids would like to go back when the Osprey return, as would I.

I am wanting to connect more with nature this year and get the kids out and about and this was a great free adventure to take them on.