and sometimes a little bit silly too :)

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Nothing beats showing off  surprising loved ones and friends by offering them a lovely, fresh, home baked cookie! A classic icon/cookie that evokes all kinds of childhood memories of course is the gingerbread man! A friend of mine posted a gingerbread man recipe and the timing could not have been better, it is like she read my mind!

Apart from gingerbread men, try other shapes and decorate them in crazy fun ways. If you have kids, you can not give them a bigger treat than letting them decorate the cookies! Of course with Halloween coming up you can also try and make ghost or pumpkin cookies.

Here is a tried and tested recipe, from Home Galley:

Ingredients:

75g soft dark brown sugar

2 Tablespoons syrup

1 Tablespoon dark treacle

1 Tablespoon water

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of ground cloves

the zest from an orange

95g butter

Half a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

225g plain white flour

Method:

Put the first 8 ingredients into a pot on the stove and bring to the boil. Stir in the butter and remove from the heat. Once the butter has all melted, add the bicarb. It will go frothy. Stir in the flour to form a soft elastic dough. Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate until firm.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (160 for a hot convection like mine). Soften the dough by working by hand. Roll out to 3mm thickness and cut into your preferred shape. Transfer to a greased cookie tray with an egg lifter or icing spatula and bake in the middle rack for 8-10 minutes. Watch them closely, you want to whip these out once the edges just start to darken. Leave on the cookie sheet to cool for a minute or two before transferring to a cooling rack where they’ll crisp up.

I bake these in batches using two cookie sheets. One is baking in the oven while I’m rolling, cutting and loading the other. It works well and you get a more even bake than doing the whole lot in one go on three or four sheets.

Decorate anyway you like.

Visit Home Galley for more exciting baking, roasting, cooking and preserving recipes and tips!

As I’m sorting the dirty washing out for laundry day, a sock ends up in the toilet. So instead of freaking out about it (eeeeew… the toilet was shiny clean but the IDEA really grossed me out) I call my husband so we can laugh about it together… he responds in his I’M WORKING voice with “that’s not funny.” I hear the panic in his voice. He is scared to laugh at my embarrassing -whoopsies, like that would be permission to continue – an invite to life to let a piano fall on my head from the sky. He once insinuated that I make these things up that happen to me… I make this stuff up? Really?! Like I broke the same toe 3 times ON PURPOSE and almost took out my own eye when I walked straight into a rod sporting tin openers at the supermarket, or the time I slammed my own foot/hand/leg (pick a part) in the car door… Things just sort of get in my way.

It’s like a curse some days. Birds poop on me from miles above. Mosquitoes suck out 3/4 of my blood at night, and yet no one else in the house is TOUCHED. I’ll share a pizza with friends and end up with food poisoning while they are fine. MY slice had something not quite right on it…

Yes these things really happen. And why do I blog about it? Why do I tell complete strangers about my embarrassing mishaps? Well, because if I don’t laugh about it I’ll have to cry about it. And because life isn’t perfect and never goes as planned, and I have decided to embrace that. Can’t change what life throws at you, it’s just how it is. I take it as it comes. I’ve invested in band aids and I close the toilet lid when I sort the laundry.

At least my life is not boring! Visits to the ER keep me on my toes :)

Image source.

 

Silhouette

This photograph was taken at an old, beautiful Catholic church in Pretoria, South Africa.

Grab your paint, grab some stones and let’s get going! Today were focusing on rock painting. This activity is SO much fun, your kids will love it. As with all kids crafts, these will make great gift ideas for Mothers day, Fathers day and for grandparents.

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The best stones are roundish, flatish and bigish – like the pebbles that you find on a beach. If you don’t have beach access, try your garden. Alternatively you can buy nicely shaped stones at most garden centres.

Wash the stones, and let them dry. Let the fun begin!

Pet rocks

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Story stones: although the example picture here doesn’t show painted stones, the idea remains the same. Paint different pictures on stones, mix them up and put them in a box. Let he kids randomly pick some stones, lay them out and tell a story using the picture prompts! This a very creative exercise and will provide hours of fun.

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Pet rock ladybugs

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Draw on pebbles: this is a very relaxing activity. Once done, these will spruce up a garden or flower pot nicely. Use a large decorated stone as a door stop. Pack the decorated stones in a spiral in your garden. The uses are endless and is a very rewarding activity.

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No paint? No problem! Let the kids create shapes and animals using pebbles and stones. Fun, fun fun!
This type of craft makes beautiful photographs.

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For original source information, go here.

Mug painting fun!

Buy a set of white mugs and decorate the bottom with pig snouts or moustaches.  If your husband is not a morning person… paint a smile under his mug! For Halloween fun decorate with Dracula teeth or monster mouths. This could also make a fun gift :)

There are a few products on the market that you can use for this boredom busting activity.

Pebeo brand glass markers is one product. Draw your design, put the mug in the oven according to the directions and the paint is set. Your local art supply store can assist you on finding the right product to create your mug set.

Do NOT paint inside the mug with any product.

Today I’m focusing on fun stuff to do with toilet rolls, tissue boxes and cardboard. Your kids will be ecstatic with these activities, and the best is they provide hours of entertainment once done.

This is a great way of keeping the kids away from the telly! Some of these are also great as party props.

Toilet roll tree: use colorful fingerprints to decorate the tree.

Use colourful fingerprints to decorate the tree

Toilet roll airplane: Paint the airplane once your done.

fun for kids

Tissue box monsters: use as storage, will keep kids giggling.

Cardboard boats

Cardboard tree: the possibilities here are endless, just add some creative ideas to the mix!

Large cardboard props: these require more time and effort, but it is absolutely worth it!

Cardboard dinosaur robot – great kids costume for Halloween or a dress up party.

Cardboard city: this can grow large depending on your space – could potentially be a continues project to keep the kids busy for months.

Cardboard rocket: Blast off! Tons of fun – would make a great party prop for cute pictures.

Cardboard plane: this is fantastic. Decorate it once its build!

Have fun!

All of these pictures and their original source can be found here.

Thinking back to my first pregnancy I realise how naive I was. I was young (well… younger than I am today) and I was blissfully unaware of the pain, embarrassment and discomfort that childbirth would introduce into my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I would do it all over again… (Yikes, I’m pregnant so I have to do it again sometime in the near future.) I imagined myself looking groomed and peacefully nursing my little newborn as we enter this new phase of our lives.

Instead I spent 3 days in the hospital with unwashed hair, flashed my bruised boobs at more family than I care to remember while trying to feed my little black hole and basically lived in pajamas at home for about 6 weeks.

Not a pretty picture.

Haunted by a million pictures of myself in pajamas with my baby, I was ecstatic  when I stumbled upon some amazing pajamas – they look like clothes. Soft, beautiful, cool clothing that I can sleep in, walk in, live in. PERFECT.  Happily I pay the inflated price with my deflated credit card. This will come in handy for my period as zombie mom to our second baby.

A few weeks pass. One excessively hot early morning my husband wakes up and asks me nicely whether I could please go buy us bread and eggs for breakfast. He usually does this chore for us, but this morning he just really wasn’t up to it. So seeing as he always does it I felt that I just had to. He asked so nicely. Fine. OK. I need to now shower, dress, drive for 30 seconds and grab the bread and eggs. The store is about 100 meters from our home. Seems like a lot of effort for a tired mom on such a hot and lazy day.

Then I get inspired! I DID buy pajamas that look like clothes. And BONUS I’m currently wearing them. So I brush my hair, put on shoes and off I go.

I arrive at the store and immediately I feel shy. What was I thinking? I’m wearing PAJAMAS. OK no turning back. If I could survive the birth and colic sleep deprivation of my first born I could survive this. So I walk into the store like I own the place.

A lady – dressed to kill – who is in the bread isle looks me up and down. I can feel a deep blush working itself up from my feet. I walk to the eggs. Another lady looks me up and down and smiles. I think ha! Let me just get out of here before the smile turns into hysterical laughter. So I rush to the counter to pay, and of course the bread isle lady beats me to it. I try and look as cool as I possibly can, while feeling like I’m on a stage with a spotlight… in my pajamas. As she leaves, she turns around and says, “I really like your clothes, it looks SO comfortable!” “Thanks”, I say relieved, “They actually feel like pajamas.”

Image source.

Bored much? Partake in this behavioral experiment.

Most of us care very much what people think about us. It’s time to let loose, and stop worrying about other’s opinions.  Try these ideas on for size:

  1. Ask for discount (I for one struggle with this one).
  2. Make conversation with someone in an elevator.
  3. Dance in public as though there is music.
  4. Ask someone for directions to the place where you are.
  5. Pretend to recognize someone you don’t know.
  6. Sing in public.
  7. Pay entirely with pennies.
  8. Go up to a random person and say “How are you doing?”
  9. Ask for directions and then go the opposite way.
  10. Sit and read a magazine upside down.
  11. Try to sell your stuff to telemarketers when they call you.
  12. Go to a restaurant on your birthday and have them sing to you. (Did this, was actually fun, took me back to my childhood).
  13. Make sound effects for everyday actions.
  14. Look up in a full elevator and say “beam me up Scotty”. (I did this once… the people were more panicked than amused, they couldn’t get away from me fast enough).

What would you add to the list?

Adapted from here. Cartoon from here.

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