Archive | May, 2013

Organising a first BBQ

28 May

This year my other half turns 30. The Big 3-0! And so to celebrate I decided to have a BBQ and invite family etc for food and drink. I have vastly underestimated the work involved in this size event and planning. First off numbers. WIth other 20 people due to come I can fit them all if the weather is sunny. If we do not have sun I will have a problem fitting everyone into our living/dining room so a game of musical chairs and get to know your inlaws better will ensue. So fingers crossed and sun dance is go!

I also do not have enough sitting chairs so have a very helpful MIL who has offered to bring not only fold out chairs but cushions and cuttlery as well. They shall also be bringing some side dishes.

The Sister in law has been charged with bringing leaf salad. Another job I dont have to worry about.

The Auntie in law has offered to bring a tomato avacado and motzarella salad. yes another job I dont have to do!

We have purchased a paddling pool to try and keep the kids entertained…how long it stays that way until it is upgraded to drinks chiller I do not know. I will have to have a think about other kids games for the garden.

Now onto the things that I do still have left to do and now counting down to only 4 days away with 2 of those wiped out due to working.

Things that still need to be done and should be considered before ever taking on a task this big again:

House cleaning. The house is still in no fit state after moving in in January. Yes some DIY has been completed and the living/dining room is vastly different than before however it is still unfinished and a world of DIY tools and paints will need to be relocated to the garage. THe rest of the cleaning will be taken care of by a cleaner that the MIL has arranged to come round on Friday. But I have to clean before they come as it really does need doing!

Hallway: The wood that is waiting to be laid on the hallway floor will need to be relocated either upstairs or also to the go to area of the garage to avoid any oldies tripping on it upon entering.

Ironing: My god i have so much ironing that needs to be done so that it can go into a cupboard and be forgotten about.

Shopping: I still need to shop for food and drinks. I am winging the amounts as dont really know how much to buy or is needed. I dont want people going away hungry. All I currently have is beer and crisps…I would be happy just having those things but as people will be driving a way (due to us apparently living in the sticks) however we need to make an attempt at cooking some meat.

Cooking: I shall be cooking everything I possibly can on the Friday before hand having booked the day off work. This day will consist of cooking: Mac and cheese, making pizza dough, birthday carrot cake, brownies, pavlova, baked potatoes, chilli and any other thing that I think up on the day as fillers and other prepwork like taking all burgers and sausages out of the freezer and finding some space in the cramped fridge for them. I am calling it a BBQ however the only thing I plan to actually cook is some bacon on the BBQ for the smell. Mmmm bacon smell!

The cat: Will need to have extra loves on Friday as he will have a whole day of strangers trampling around his territory which he will not like and will most likely be angry with us for the ensuing days.

So on wards with the excel spreedsheet to keep track of what I still need to buy and I am sure there will be a follow up post of how it went and what needed to be done differently for the next family get together!

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Find a hobby and stick to it?

15 May

I love finding new things to try and do with the mind set of “If I haven’t done it yet, I want to” This has led me to try lots of new things but not really be great at any of them as once I have tried it, had a success I move on. Everything I try I will look up on google, maybe watch a youtube tutorial and then just jump right in and give it a shot after buying the materials needed!

All I can say is that if you want to try make something then go ahead and give it a shot. It may not be perfect but that photo tutorial you are using for inspiration has been made by someone who has probably spent years perfecting their chosen craft rather than driffting from one thing to another. Or they could be one of those people who just rock at everything.

Crotchet

As a child my nan taught me how to knit but I never actually learnt how to cast on or off, just how to sit for hours and make a scarf that someone else had to finish neatly for me. Fast-forward to now and I realised I have never tried Crocheting and really wanted to make some amarguani toys after seeing some cute ones! I got some cheap hooks from ebay, some wool from a local pound shop and started.

The first thing I made was a Totoro. He is crude and I never kept the tension of the wool consistant so he has bigger gaps than I would like in some places and the ears arnt right however he was a good learning starter toy as it pointed out shapes and connecting different attachments like arms.

The next ones I tried were a collection of pokemon from a website that I now can’t find so if anyone knows this very clever lady then please let me know her link! Offering free patterns that are really good!

Along with a few other patterns that I followed, I also made these three hello kitty small toys for my cousins birthday, they have tiny hats that can be either up or down to make them hello kitty or their character! Made using my own patterns a bumble bee, a panda and a rabbit.

Tiling! and I guess DIY in general

Ok so maybe not a hobby or a proper craft however whilst doing up my house I am trying all things before paying a man to do them as it turns out a hell of alot of house work can be done yourself! So hello Mr fireplace, meet Kirsty – the woman on a mission to learn how to tile not one a plain simple wall o no.

I had a lot of success here as tiling as it turns out is easy, what is not so easy is when the walls you work on are uneven, that way problems lie but with a bit of inventiveness even this you can over come (the middle lower part somehow didn’t match up despite the tiles being the same, so two bits of mirror were cut and stuck in to create mirror tiles which look great)

I also made the stag head mirror above the fireplace.

Baking

I do alot of baking and will try things once before moving onto the next thing! Cupcakes are easy however I can never be bothered prettying them up, these Dr Who cakes are the only time I attempted to fancy ice cakes and really could not be bothered with the effort of something that would be eaten too quickly so they are a little lacking but tasted good 😀

Peanut butter rice krispie chocolate fudge cake! Boom!

A friend set me the challenge that “brioche burger buns were too hard to make”

NONSENSE! a tiny bit of baking induced RSI (due to no mixer so all by hand) I had a batch of deliciously sweet brioche burger buns that held together to the very end of the burger.

Drawing

I guess drawing is my own long running hobby as I will always sit and draw in front of the tv whether its made up images or copied from one source or another, anything to keep my hands moving. I will sometimes try drawing on my dated tablet but its not my favourite.

Sewing!

And now we get to why I started this entry. Yesterday, whilst in a bad mood I decided to buy a sewing machine as I need some cushions for my new sofa but dont like any on sale so on wards and upwards to make my own and maybe a costume for my cat, you know, becasue I love him enough to hummiliate him for my own entertainment adn to have cutes on facebook making me look like a crazy cat lady 😀