Thursday, January 20, 2011

Squishy Face

I love to sleep here. It's my new day bed
Mummy says I remind her of the Love Dragon from The Never Ending Story

The way my ears spread out like's a universal Cavalier trait.

It just feels sooooo snuggly in between these armchairs
Just call me "Squishy Face"

Okay enough already! The flash is so annoying. You can go away now and let me sleep Bye Bye!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting More Organized

I have a few new goals for 2011. Do you? One of mine is to keep on track with my weight loss goal. I know I haven't really kept my other blog going - 10,000 Steps to Me. I just couldn't justify the time over the two months of school holidays. But - just to let those of you know who did start to follow me....I am very proud to say that I've stuck to my goal and in the last 13 weeks I've lost over 11kgs (24.5lbs).

I still have another 13kgs to lose to reach my goal weight of fitting back into my wedding dress. I was hoping to achieve that by March this year....but it may take a little longer. Nevertheless, I am NOT deterred. I am staying on track with exercise and diet and have dropped two dress sizes already - which feels pretty great!

I did a big clean up of my wardrobe and said goodbye to three big bags of clothes. I went shopping and bought a few new things, not to many because I still have one more dress size to lose. The most exciting part is that I am actually wearing dresses again. I hated the way I looked in dresses and avoided them altogether the past twelve years wearing just skirts or pants.

My other goal for this year is to get more organized around the home. Now that our renovations have almost come to a close (still have to redo the laundry) I want to re-organize my kitchen a bit better. One of my kitchen benches is always the first point for dumping receipts, homework, junk mail....and I really want my work space back.

Something that I've put off for many years now because of being so busy with small children is my recipe file. I have all my hand written handed down from friends and relatives recipes in a folder on pieces of paper. Some are very worn from regular use. Yesterday I went shopping and found this gorgeous little shop called Kikki K. It has everything to organize the home in the way of stationery.

They had a Recipe Folder....

....which I couldn't resist.

So I am currently taking my recipes from this..... this:

The Recipe Folder comes with optional plastic sleeves to keep your recipes safe

Index tabs for quick reference

Index cards so you can find your recipes both in this folder or index recipes from your cook books or favourite web sites.

You can buy their recipe cards and hand write your recipes which I started doing...

....but then I just made my own template on my lap top so I can type in my recipes.

Part of being more organized is time management and for me it's much more efficient to type my recipes rather than spend the next few months hand writing my hand writing isn't as pretty as it used to be. So here's the finished product.

Kikki K also have matching folders for Baking, Household Receipts, Bills and even one for Warranties and Manuals. My kitchen is going to get the organized treatment this year!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I hope nobody thought I was making light of the floods over here yesterday with the cow story. I am glued to the news day and night and after reading so much sadness it was nice to be able to share something with our children that was on a lighter note. They've been quite scared by it all, even making up a disaster relief pack of our own just in case. Our son drew up an evacuation map of our street and where we would run to if we saw water coming. It was their way of coping and we've done a lot of talking about it this week. It's been a harrowing week for everyone and these are sorts of reports we've been seeing and reading about all week. This one in particular had me in tears just now being the mother of two small children myself
Loss of loved ones is the worst of it all. As for rebuilding it's going to take many, many months, in some cases years they say to rebuild the city of Brisbane and all the rural towns up and down the coast. 75% of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone. There have now been other places in Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, mostly country towns that have shared in the flood disaster in their own home towns.

Yesterday they reported on the News that there were over 22,000 volunteers that showed up for a massive big clean up effort. There were four pick up depots to meet at and people worked in four hour shifts with shovels, brooms, buckets. A lot of it is mud and they need to be extremely safe and careful because of disease.

While we are not able to go there for the clean up because of blocked and damaged roads and because of the danger of taking children into the area, we hope to help in other ways, financially, by opening our home to anyone who may need accomodation and by making donations of clothes to those who have lost everything.

I have never personally lived through a natural disaster myself, but it is a common story to read about over here - cyclones, bush fires and floods are an annual occurence. This one though has been unprecedented affecting a very large amount of people and property. It's very sad too to read reports of some who insist on looting while so many others are suffering their losses.

We are also still waiting to hear from Jasper's breeder. She and her husband have been isolated outside one of the main flooded area on their property for nearly two weeks now. It was only after 12 days that a helicopter finally found the people in that area and brought them food supplies. I've been in email contact with her, their phone connections all failed and she was worried that they would soon lose power. She says that they have evacuated the area but that she and her husband couldn't leave because it would mean leaving their large family of show dogs and puppies behind. She breeds Cavaliers and has many on the property. The road outside their home has been washed away into a 4m deep cavern and there is no way of driving away with the dogs. I pray for their safety and that some arrangements can be made to help them since it will be many months before the road can be rebuilt.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We are still here and all safe and sound

Thank you to those of you who have privately emailed us recently. We really do appreciate your concern. We do live in Queensland and yes there are some devastating things happening here. Much of our state is under water. It is our Summer here and the children are on school holidays but so far we have had more than eight weeks of heavy rain. This week was worst with thunder, lightning and very heavy rainfall over much of the state.

North of us many towns are under water as close as one hour north of us. We are all safe and sound and are not in a flood prone area.....we hope! The rain has eased up today for the first time in weeks. We don't live near any rivers so it is not very likely that we will be affected by flooding, but the backlash will come later. Most of the shops here are empty and the trucks cannot get through with food supplies to many areas. We are well stocked here but are waiting to see what results from all this over the next few weeks. It is just so unbelievable!!!

A few hours south of us is the city of Brisbane which since yesterday is going under water. It is predicted to be the worst flood in 185 years. More than 100,000 houses are predicted to be flooded. Maybe in your country you have seen the news of Toowoomba which is south west of here - there was a flash flood yesterday - an inland tsunami and a great wall of water came down very quickly and washed away people, cars, boats and houses. So far 12 people have been found dead and more than 90 are still missing in the flood waters.

We are stunned in disbelief as we are glued to our televisions watching the water everywhere causing such disaster.

I haven't blogged since the school holidays as we've been busy with the children but will get back to it in a few weeks when school resumes and I have a little more time to myself. We have had only one day at the beach all Summer with the dogs, but that seems so unimportant now with all this tragedy nearby.

We thank you for all your concern and well wishes and hope you are all safe too.

Marley, Jasper and family

PS. The boys are bored from all this rain and been housebound and sleeping a lot of the time. Even between the rain it is too muddy to take them for walks. Sorry no photos today.