Thursday, 30 January 2014

A rose by any other name

This year at work I don't have my own class.  I'm the DOTT (Duties Other Than Teaching) provider for the Early Childhood area.  Which means I take each class while the teacher goes out to do planning.

I still get to keep my own room though and the students come over to me, which is nice not running around but also means I have to make three classes worth of name tags.  Most Kindy kids certainly can't write their names and Pre Primary students often need it written in front of them to copy to make sure they put all the letters in and in the correct order.

So I've got all the class lists in front of me and I'm typing them into my document and some of the names this year!!

There's the names when you look and them and wonder, is that a girl or a boy (it's fun to guess before you look across to see). Brooklyn, Bobby, Darcy, Ghadeer, Jordan - have a guess and see down the bottom for the answer.

And then the names in which you have to guess the pronunciation.  Those are fun too.  My pearlers for this year are Aania (a-NIA ?), Sheinna (SHE-na ?), Jatin (JAY-tin ?), Ginalen (GIN-a-len ?).

And the ones that rhyme or sound similar.  Jaylen and Kaelan (both in the same class), along with Brayden, Hayden and Jaiden, thankfully not in the same class.  Also across the classes I have a Shantae (pronounced Shone-TAY), Jonte (pronounced JOHN-tay), Shenae (Sha-NAY) and a Shanzae (she's new so no idea).

I also have students named Chardonnay and Rhythm.  Who am I to judge I suppose,  it certainly keeps things interesting.  And better than having to deal with Bob X, Bob Y and Bob Z.  Although I do also have two Tristens in one class and two Hannahs in another.

My strangest named student ever was called Ned, surname Kelly.  I kid you not.



Brooklyn - boy
Bobby - boy
Darcy -girl
Ghadeer - girl
Jordan - girl

Did you get them right?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Yarn along

Once upon a time, a long, long, long time ago I learnt how to crochet.  It was one of my New Year's resolution for 2010.  Probably the only one I kept.  My Mum taught me. 

My very first granny square, January 5 2010
I remember being so proud of my first granny square.  I was going to make a big blanket for my queen size bed.  Except I only got up to 27 squares.  Then I realised I had been making my squares in English double crochet which meant they were tiny and took forever and fell out of love with it.  They got packed away in a box and left until the first days of 2014.  Pretty much exactly four years after I first learnt to crochet. 

In between this time I have made various other crochet items, including a large granny rug for my sister to cover her queen size bed in big squares with only one colour per square.  This is called smart crocheting as it involves less stitching together and less sewing in of ends.

However, now I wanted to make a blanket for the couch at my house and these squares sitting in a box were bugging me in their unfinished-ness.  So I laid them out and got to work.  No starting the new blanket until I'd finished this one!

Snipping off the last stitched in end

No big reveal yet though.  It needs a good blocking and I have no foam things to block on, not having ever blocked anything before.  Once I've hunted down one of those foam alphabet puzzles and blocked it I'll be able to show you the results... but in the mean time, I can show you the start of my next blanket.  Crochet mojo is running high around these parts!

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along, for the very first time!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Roast pumpkin, corn and feta fritters

For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook, Save with Jamie.  It's my first Jamie cookbook.  I'm not a huge cookbook person, I'm a bit fussy on the ingredient front so I tend to just search online or make up my own thing.  But I watched the TV show and it seemed like my sort of book so I added it to my wishlist.  

I've already made two recipes from it (with some alterations because I just can't help myself).  They were both pumpkin recipes based around roasting a whole butternut pumpkin and then scooping out the flesh.  Half of the flesh I used in a pasta recipe with the mashed flesh and some crème fraîche becoming the sauce.  I added some snow peas, cherry tomatoes and chicken to it as well.  It was so tasty.  So tasty that I didn't get a photo because we were too busy enjoying it.  And I particularly like that it was so veggie-fied.  I never eat enough veggies.  

The other half of the pumpkin flesh went into these fritters above.  In the original recipe they were just pumpkin but I added corn and feta as well.

Roast Pumpkin, Corn and Feta Fritters

1/2 butternut pumpkin, roasted and flesh scooped out
150g cottage cheese (I used Philly cream for cooking because I forgot to buy cottage cheese)
100g self raising flour
1 egg
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to season
corn (I didn't measure, maybe about 3/4 cup?)
about 100g feta

Mix first five ingredients in a bowl, I didn't even bother with a mixer, just used a fork.  Add corn and feta and stir through.  Cook in a heated pan with melted butter or oil (I used a bit of both for flavour) Dollop spoonfuls in and flatten out for better cooking through.  Cook until golden brown.  Mine took a couple of minutes on each side. 

I served mine with some tomato relish and salad and they were really yummy.  I had the leftovers cold with some butter spread on them like pikelets for lunch the next day, just as tasty.

I'm really enjoying the holidays, so much more energy to enjoy cooking a nice meal for dinner.  This one was very quick though, I will definitely be adding this in for the school night meals and leftovers for school lunches!


Thursday, 2 January 2014


Just near Huka Falls, Taupo, New Zealand.  So pleased we made it there in 2013 - twice!

So it's here already and I didn't even manage one post in December.  And only 33 posts for the entire year.  Terrible!  Must work on that this year.

I'm looking back at my post of goals for 2013.  It's actually quite nice to have it all listed down (even though I didn't get through much) just to see what I wanted to achieve, what I did and what I didn't.  My word - organise.  Pretty much utter failure.  Apart from organising my finances.  In 2013 I managed to pay off my credit card.  Something I haven't done since getting a credit card 13 years ago at 19.  A big achievement for me.  I'm also saving towards a new car at the moment and MR and I managed to save up for a holiday to NZ in October.  I'm pretty pleased with achieving our financial goals.  It's quite nice to feel (a little bit) financially responsible.

As to the other goals, I also did the Run for a Reason again and I did manage it at faster than 50 minutes - 37 minutes this time!  Maybe better again for this year?

So on to the future.  I'm scrapping the word.  I never even remember the word.  And I work better on small achievable goals.  So here's my list of them.

- learn how to bake (good) bread from scratch
- keep my credit card paid off
- submit my picture book manuscript (I just keep putting this off, fear of rejection and all...)
- tidy out my craft room (determined!!!)
- make a crochet blanket for my house

Of course, in the back of my head are those typical resolutions of get fit! exercise! be active! and I'm always hopeful on that front but 32 years of it not happening yet may just win over once again.

What are the small things you want to achieve this year?