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Wellington, New Zealand
welcome to my corner of the blog world! i love step, boxing, zumba, scrapbooking, photography, watching movies, walking the hills of my suburb, my family, and life in wellington. take some time to have a look around and be sure to say hi!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

sleepover fun and a rat's tale

Tara and her munchkins came for a sleepover the other night. We all had so much fun. Home-made pizzas, tiramisu, button ornaments, ‘bee movie’, breakfast in bed and a spot of rat chasing. i'll get to THAT later...

first we made button bouquets. for a first class tutorial on this VERY cute craft, go see my friend nikki over at whiMSy love, but don't go see her until you've read this post, coz i put a LOOOooot of time into it...

this one belongs to miss 11. cute huh?
all the essentials required for a successful craft session: red wine and a good camera...

the key is to have lots of different buttons

we had LOTS of buttons!

and made LOTS of bouquets!

i mean, A LOT!!!

look at the concentration on his face. how cute is that?

the wire got a little messy tho...
and then it was time to eat!

making' magic in the kitchen! i love it when kids cook!
so yummy, despite appearances!

(see recipe at the end of the post) could we get a few more people in the kitchen please?
here is the tiramisu recipe tara used. she initially went to recipe zaar, but she made a few (and in my opinion) critical changes which made it SUPER tasty (and rich i might add, veeeeeeeeeeeeery rich).
  • 200g sponge cakes or wafers
  • 1 1/2 C mascarpone cheese
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 TBLSP white sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
    1 C cream
    1/2 tsp cinamon
  • 2 tsp instant coffee powder (yuck - don't do that!) tara used freshly brewed coffee and mixed it with a coffee liquer (oh yeah).
  • 2 TBLSP cocoa powder (DOUBLE yuck! don't do that either!) tara used finely grated belgian cooking chocolate). much better, much much better.
  • in a bowl, beat cream well and add white sugar. beat again until stiff
    in another bowl, beat the egg yolks with brown sugar and cinamon. now add the cheese and the whipped cream. mix well.

in a separate bowl, mix your freshly brewed coffee and your coffee liquer.dip your sponges into the coffee and arrange in dish. top with creamy mixture

do this twice (2 layers of sponge, 2 layers of cream mixture)

then top with grated chocolate

refrigerate for an hour or so (or until you get sick of the kids saying 'when can we have desserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt?') then eat!

'don't forget me!'we actually didn't have this until halfway through the movie, coz the pizza is very filling! we watched jerry seinfeld's 'bee movie' which i can highly recommend! i mean, the guy had NO movie-making experience at all and he just had 'an idea for a movie about a bee'. he did a good job.

then we all went off to bed. you'd think it's the kids that don't get any sleep on a sleepover (why do they call it that?) but in fact, it was ME that got the least sleep, and it's all because of a damn RAT.
wednesday (our crazy one year old rescue) had brought a rat in the day before. miss 10 had said 'muuuuuuuuum, wednesday's got a rat', and that was as far as i persued the matter. we live in the bush, have 2 cats - we get a lot of vermin delivered to our feet. it happens.

so at 4.30am i hear this scratching which was closely followed by wednesday leaping onto the bed and dive bombing my head at high speed in order to get down the back and underneath the bed. this pattern repeated every 20 minutes until 6.30am when i finally fell asleep for half an hour (and man, did i have some weird dreams in those 30 minutes. lack of sleep perhaps?)
after a lovely breakfast in bed of not-so-warm tea and savoury croissants (made with love by the two miss 11s), we decided that as strong, independent women of the 21st century, tara and i should take charge and rid the house of the rat. (do ya see where this is going?)
we move our bed to see the rat scurry along the edge of the wall. tara screams and leaps on the bed, closely followed by me. so there we are, STANDING on our bed, holding hands, screaming into each other's faces.
more strong, independent women of the 21st century run in (5 of them, one weilding a long handled broom). 'what's going on?' they say. 'we gotta kill the rat!' we reply. 'No, not the rat!' (that's from tara's 11 year old animal lover). 'yes, kill the rat!' we reply.
'where's wednesday?' we say. after all, she started this! nowhere to be found, so we get our nana cat patsy (11 years young). she takes one look at the scene and jumps out the window. not interested. FINE! we can do this ourselves!
ok. so, we know that tara and i have to lift the bed up but we're VERY worried about the rat running TOWARDS us and up our pyjama bottom legs. i mean, we considered this a VERY real possibility! eventually after lots of arm flapping and commitments NOT to scream (yeah right), tara and i lift up our very heavy bed. (did i mention it's a super king?)
so, we lift the bed. it's very heavy. we manage to grunt 'can u see the rat?' the answer is no. we drop the bed. we figure, it's gone behind my bedside table. they're heavy and small and have lots of crap on them, so we move all that then tip the bedside table forward.
rat runs out.
SEVEN strong, independent women of the 21st century LEAP onto the bed, screaming (loudly). one slightly bemused, but not-at-all scared 5 year old boy stands idly by watching.
now, when the rat ran out it could have gone 3 ways. left - further up the hall. straight ahead - into the lounge OR downstairs; or make a sharp right into the family room (which ultimately leads outside). that clever rat headed for the family room - right behind the craft tray (he's a crafty wee bugger that rat). haha i know, lame crafty/rat joke.
at this point we realise that the fridge is quite close by and it would be VERY bad if he were to run under there. anyway, we give the craft tray a shake, rattle and poke with the long-handled broom and the rat runs along the back wall (behind the sofa) and STRAIGHT out the sliding door to the backyard...
into the waiting paws of patsy.
so suddenly we go into bat for the rat. 'oh no the poor rat!' man, we humans are strange.
anyway, the rat was so dazed that it actually turned to FACE patsy, and at that point pretty much saw its short life flash before its eyes. last we saw of it, it was laying rigid and decapitated on the drive.
circle of life folks. circle of life. here endeth the rat's tale. are ya still with me?
after all that high excitment and drama, we decided to get out of the house and take a walk in the sun to the local library/park.
nothing beats a sunny autumn day
inspired by Kristi who has an endless supply of spectacular photos of herself, tara took some photos of me at the park. when i look at the one on the left, i am filled with an overwhelming urge to become a photoshop expert (crow’s feet removal a speciality).
Coincidentally, DH came home from Auckland and said ‘i saw a review of PSE6 in PC World and it looks really good. Do u want me to download it for you?’ do i what? What a hunny! He has some weird download accelerator on his pc and he downloaded 465MB in 10 minutes flat! (That’s some weird voodoo magic right there, that is).

Anyway, after only playing with my new PSE6 for 5 minutes, i already hate the zoom, BUT i was crudely able to remove my crows feet, THUS..... How vain is that? really, i was just experimenting with the features of my new software package (yeah, right).
NOW! If anyone, can tell me how to make those gorgeous frames around their photos like lynette does , or direct me to a tutorial, or to some free downloadable brushes (or ALL OF THE ABOVE!), i will be eternally grateful.

There might even be some chocolate involved. In the meantime, i shall continue to age gracefully and be happy with my smile lines. After all, they got there coz i’m happy.

ok, we're almost there! here's the pizza recipe. it's also known as the "i'd-tell-you-but-i'd-have-to-kill-you- pizza' pizza, but coz you're my friends, i'm happy to share.

take one home-made pizza dough (like in the breadmaker). this is critical. if you go buy a rubber disc from the store and add all those gorgeous yummy ingredients, you may as well flush your grocery money down the toilet, so DON'T DO IT!!! listen to sue, you'll thank me later.

so, one HOME-MADE pizza dough

when it comes out of the breadmaker, put it in a greased bowl, cover with a wet tea towel and leave to rise (and rise it will). after an hour or so, turn onto a floured board/counter/whatever and knead out the air bubbles. roll flat so it fits on a large oven tray, then schlep it onto said oven tray (greased, like).

add tomato paste, then the chopped raw chicken that has been marinading (or is it marinating?) in indian tandoori paste for a few hours. ok, so you need to read this recipe all the way thru before you rush headlong into it ok?

top the marinated chicken with pizza cheese and bake in a HOT oven for around 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (don't overdo it. ain't nothin' worse than rubber chicken).

when it comes out of the oven, add the following:
  • sliced banana
  • roasted cashews
  • chopped FRESH coriander
  • non-sweetened plain yoghurt (drizzled)
  • cerebos sweet fruit chutney (or the closest thing u can find). it's a chutney that sweet (not a relish). makes a big diff.

the reason this pizza is so yummy and appealing to small, fussy persnikety children is the COMBINATION of flavours. it may not look like much, but trust me, it's good eatin' (suddenly i'm from the south - who knew?)

ok - that was a long post! thanks for hanging in there. LMK if you make any of these recipes and what the verdict is!


Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

what a good yummy interesting sleep over

Anonymous said...

Wow, it sounds like you do so many fun things. Your sleepover sounds like lots of fun! Well, minus the rat...
I love to make homemade pizza- I will definitely try your recipe! I swear jenni and I are going to gain 5 pounds each from this chocolate. LOVE IT! We really owe you! And I am excited to try the crafts! I liked the ones that you displayed on your blog, so I mine is cute. BTW, did you know that a bunch of scrapbook companies are based in Utah?
Have a good night (I am so tired from all the boutiques)!
Now that I should have just emailed you!!!

Tres Chic Boutique said...

Oh shoot, for some reason that logged me out... So that last comment was from me.

Lomagirl said...

What fun! Pioneer Woman has photoshop tips and some free actions to download. I don't know if that's what you're looking for.

paula clare said...

Hi there! I love, love LOVE the button bouquets! If you have too many of them lying around, or if you find out they breed and multiply, feel free to send one my way!

About the frames and brushes, one of my fave digital sites is designer digitals. You can get there by going here:

If you register, you can find and download the freebies. I cheat and use photoshop elements. It's WAY more user friendly...and far less complicated!

scrappysue said...

loma girl - thanks! i have heard of PW. unfortunately her 'actions' download isn't for PSE! :(

paula - i'm on that site. now just trying to figure out how to get one of my pics into the free frames!!! hints? tips?

Working mum said...

I love those button bouquets. I will have to remember them for when daughter is older. I have loads of old buttons. How does that happen?

And I make that Tiramisu recipe! My friends love it and request it when they come over for dinner. It's so delicious!

the mother of this lot said...

Oh good, a new friend to visit! Love your button bouquets, and glad you don't mind your kids making a mess in the kitchen! (What's the betting you get to clean it up)? Re the rat - I think you are VERY brave. I'd have DIED on the spot. You can e-mail me about the squares at:

(but only if you've got time).

Love from Mrs. Cox - the doctor would have liked to have met you but he's probably in a pub somewhere. (And believe me, my assumption is based on YEARS of experience - you'd better read my February post called Love is a Battlefield for the lowdown).

Melinda said...

Sue you are braver than me in dealing with the rat- I would have freaked out. There was a snake out back this week and I about lost it- seriously.
Cute little button bouquets!

scrappysue said...

a SNAKE?????????? you much braver than me melinda. I would have died on the spot if i saw a snake. we don't even HAVE them in new zealand!!!

Pondside said...

After that blog I am feeling oddly sleep deprived, full and anxious about the possibility of the dog bringing a bit of wildlife indoors. Can only say 'whew!' after that - and of course I read it to the end!

Lomagirl said...

I have to thank you for the link to slides in your earlier post. I thought- that would be perfect for pics of my daughter's birthday party- when I saw it. So thank you!

Janette said...

WOW oh WOW that was some post! First off I loveeeee those button flowers. They are way too cute. Second thing That poor rat you girls must have hurt it's poor ears will all the screaming. Poor thing didn't have a chance to live. LOL

Now that pizza sounds very interesting. I have never heard of banana's and cashews and yogourt on a pizza? Hmmm not sure if my taste buds would like that interesting mix of flavours. I do enjoy pineapple on pizza but bananas?

Love that pic of you. You are adorable! You don't need photoshop darling! You look great right out of the camera! Woo Hoo!

Have a great day. Thanks for the good read! =)

nikki/WhiMSy love said...

Oh, I am SO glad you loved the button bouquets! They turned out really adorable & it made me smile to see the kids having so much fun with it!!!

Susan said...

You really know how to throw a sleep over. The button bouquets are the cutest things. Can't wait to try the recipes.

Anonymous said...

oh those are so cool and everything looks great!

The reason for my visit today, is
me and Tristan are walking in the March for Dimes event May 3rd in Oak Ridge and we would love it if you would sponsor us! We have set a goal for only $150 and with your help maybe we can get there. Plus your helping babies like Tristan and overall helping fight premature birth!
Click on this link
to go to my March of Dimes page and sponsor us!

Shannon and Tristan

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Love the button bouquets--hate rats!

Amanda said...

OMG. I feel so sorry for the rat.

And that was the longest post I've ever read. But it was definately enjoyable.

Susan said...

I love the rat story. The last time we had a mouse in our house, I screamed so loudly that I scared the heck out of the poor thing.

I hope you don't mind--I posted a link to this entry on the Button Floozies site ( Those bouquets are adorable!

Mom of Three said...

I have those brush frames, if I'm thinking right--you mean the smudges on the edges of her photos? If so, let me know your email and I'll just email the files to you. You just overlay them and voila!