Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Sunday, 21 December 2014


11 years of St Francis School angel decorations are out.... they all bought a tear to my eye while finally starting to put decorations out this afternoon... i love handmade things made by my children.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Christmas Baking

It has been an emotional past 24 hours for this mum - a goodbye to a great school which we have been involved with for 11.5 years. The year 6 kid couldn't run away fast enough - let's just say he and this school never quite jelled and year after year I had nagging thoughts to pull him out. Very hard being with the same 30 odd children every year, with few leaving and few new ones, for an entire 6 years when the bunch of kids is not quite perfect for your child.Onwards and upwards for a whole new advernture next year at a new schoool where he is going to get a major fright.

The only Christmas thing done so far in this house is a bit of baking for the above school's year 6 supper after prizegiving. (I have bought 2 x new schools uniforms today though -  eeeek - have not even finished Christmas shopping and I've spent an obscene amount of money on uniforms!).

Two of my favorite recipes from the fab Donna Hay Christmas cookbook (bought many years ago for a bargain when K-mart used to sell books).

Simple Shortbread -

180g cold butter chopped
3/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 cup cornflour sifted
1 and a half cups plain flour sifted
1 egg

Preheat oven to 160deg c (320F).
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Press mixture into shallow 20x30 tin lined with baking paper.
Score the top into bars.
bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden.
Cool in the tin.
Store in an airtight container for 1 week.

Amaretti Biscuits -

200g raw almonds
1 cup caster sugar
1/4/cup plain flour
2 eggwhites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180deg c. (355 deg F).
Process almonds and sugar in food processor until almonds roughly chopped.
Add flour, eggwhites, vanilla and process until combined.
Roll teaspoons into balls , place on lined baking tray and flatten slightly.
Bake for 13 mins or until lightly golden.
Cool on tray and store in an airtight container. (goes well with coffee the husband says).

Monday, 15 December 2014

Snail mail gifts

My letter box has been a joy this past week with several surprise packages arriving. One that was perfectly timed due to my being fed up with overdue library books and chasing kids and teachers was Elania of A Little Bit Country. Elaina sent me a gorgeous tea towel, chocolate and squee - homemade marmajam. Thank you Elaina - a great start to the day!

Remember how I sent Mollie Makes magazines all around NZ to lucky blog readers? (love giving things away that are still useful to other people who appreciate them). Today a surprise package arrived from Kerrie in the Hawkes Bay. Me oh my oh my - big swoon. Look what Kerrie sent me as a total surprise as a thanks for the mags.

Now that stocking just needs a few things to go in it for me.. The Father Rabbit items like these and this (in teal though) which I sneaked through today won't fit in the stocking.. Good buys at 50% off :).
And a few sweet little gifts from staff at school - loving the pumice with the paua shell especially.

I've also had a few other surprise Christmas gifts from penfriends - lucky me - they will be put under the tree when we buy one... I am behind with organising Christmas things and just need to finish a university essay..

Sunday, 14 December 2014

slowly slowing

I've finished school for the year. Well kind of. I was still working an hour after the bell had gone and while teachers were up partying in the staffroom. I haven't finished everything I need to do; the things that HAVE to get done like auditor's reports... But I cannot be bothered going back... and I've a university essay to finish too... Might go back earlier late January and have a good , much needed rest this week instead.

I have done a little bit of shopping; finishing up swap packages; a few Christmas cards to write (they will not get to Europe in time...); it has been freezing today - last week was so humid, it was crazy!
We have the final ever Year 6/graduation mass this week - I am ready to close the 12 year chapter on that school. (will still remain on the school board). I could walk away now.

Man, you should have seen the year 8 boys in particular on Friday. Pasifika boys bawling their eyes out. Me bawling my eyes out. I was very touched with every single year 8 student coming in to say goodbye to me ; i went to shake hands but they all hugged me. I am rubbish at things like this and was crying along with them - they are amazing kids who have a lot of obstacles in their lives. That is the best thing about school - the amazing students. I could leave a few of the teachers behind, but it is the students who I love. I really wanted to talk to them all and tell them how amazing they are and that they can do whatever they want with their lives and not do what their parents want them to do, but I was crying too much!

Futsal final this afternoon - runner up in the Auckland under 13 competition. Pretty brilliant for a team who do NO practice, but have all played soccer/futsal together for around 6 years or so. And the year 8 Athletics champ too. A new school for this one next year too - not my choice but anyhow.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

B is for books at Christmas

It is not Christmas in this house without books. This is what is in the present pile this year:
The Summer BookMuch loved author of the Moomin books - my much much older cousin gave me his entire set of the chapter books one year when I had something published - I was always getting my poems/stories published in various things as a child.

I am SO EXCITED about getting this myself - from all the reviews I have read, this is one book every single New Zealander should own or at least read. Ties in very very well with my university studies too.
 Brian May's Red SpecialFor the die-hard Queen fan - one of the teenagers. 

A Good Yarn: 30 Timeless Hats, Scarves, Socks & GlovesAnother one for me - it arrived this afternoon and I had a 2 second look and then wrapped it back up and told myself patience, patience!

Lonely Planet Kids Amazing World Atlas: Bringing the World to LifeFor the youngest child - adores atlases/maps - I think he has the best geographical knowledge of anyone I know and I know he would leave quite a few teachers for dead :)

For the train MAD teenager - a true public transpost nerd really - and one who collects train maps/schedules from all around the world, this is perfect!Transit Maps of the World
The Ultimate Unofficial Guide to Minecraft(r) Strategies: Everything You Need to Know to Build, Explore, Attack, and Survive in the World of MinecraftFor the minecraft mad child - oh yes - I am guessing everyone has a child like this? I am hoping he does not know it all - the child who reads the least of all of us, so I hope this helps pick his reading up!

 Tintin and Alph-ArtFor the Tintin fanatic - I think after years of gifting these every Christmas and birthday since before he could probably read, he finally has the entire collection.

 Maps: Their Untold StoriesFor the map fanatic teen too - I am hoping the husband might like this too - I do not have him a single book as yet as I won't buy something for him unless he is with me as he can be a particular reader!

Anyone else gifting books? I am always looking for new things for all ages and children's books too for school , so if you have any favorites let me know! I have bought these as a mixture from local independant bookshops and a few from the Book Depository.

Books are the best gifts I think. I am especially happy with the Tangata Whenua one and if that is all I recieve at Christmas, I'll be happy. :)

Sunday, 7 December 2014

around the place

It has been a weekend at home. GLORIOUS weather! Hedge chopping. A lot fo weeding. So much laundry done. So much now to fold and iron. Airing out winter blankets and duvet inners. Sorting out wool. Knitting socks and dishcoths. Essay planning. Messy bedside tables. Cooking dinner from Jamie's latest cookbook (a bargain at $22 in Melbourne). A great weekend. One last week of shool for me.