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Sunday relaxation time…

Making home made baked beans and spicy Mexican steak and burgers in buns for dinner tonight… The weather is good, so we will be eating on the deck and it will be all followed by a summery peach crisp courtesy of the Pioneer Woman… That is our first Sunday of Summer Recess! We are just chilling out today watching movies and maybe drinking a pitcher of sangria later on this afternoon… It’s been a wild crazy few months so today is relaxation time at its best!

It seems that this weekend may just be all about food we eat… I have spent this morning watching the food network channel, yesterday I recreated the Barefoot Contessa’s creations for dinner… summery tomato basil pasta and a chocolate orange chocolate fondue with fresh strawberries and slices of sweet mango all complimented by my fresh blueberry mojito’s!

I may even make some sweet and salty chocolate popcorn for our Sunday afternoon movie… Who knows, but whatever you are doing… Eat, drink and be merry, summer months are here… ENJOY!

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The beach…

I love the beach, I love the ocean, I love the waves, I love the whole vibe of the place… I could quite happily live in a small beach house somewhere, that would make me very happy, but what I don’t like about the beach is the traffic, it took us 3, yes THREE hours to get home on Sunday, not only was I tired by the time I walked through my door but I was extremely grumpy, even our Starbucks break had not revived my mood!

Next time we go though I am definitely taking food, everywhere was so busy… picnic on the beach is the way to go, and I am leaving very early in the morning, you cannot beat being on the beach at 7.30 am… Quiet, serene and best of all you leave early, just as everyone is arriving meaning the roads are not at a standstill with everyone heading home at the same time… Now that’s the way to do the beach in the summer time!

Now the big question about going to the beach is ‘do I take my camera?’, now of course there is the huge risk of sand getting into it, but then if you don’t take it, all the photo opportunities you miss… For me I always have to take my camera, not my new one though, but my older canon, it still takes great photos but it was not as expensive as my new one! This last weeks trip to the beach meant my camera and iPhone both took a beating… I just click and click away, you just never know one of those shots just may be the perfect picture, and for me this was definitely the case in more ways than one this trip!

Not quite a beach cocktail recipe…
Take 4 mason jars and fill each one halfway with boiling water and an organic cranberry tea bag… Steep for as long as you would like, then allow to cool, add some berries, whatever you would like I used whole blueberries and halved strawberries, now this is where I cheated a little bit, I filled the jars to the top with shop bought pink lemonade, add a sprig of mint leaves, put on the lid, shake and refrigerate overnight… Add to your cool box and don’t forget the straws… Enjoy whilst you are sitting in the sand, watching those waves come in! (Of course vodka would be a great addition to this refreshing beach drink… Next time if I am not driving!)

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Happy Summer Recess… Remember always take your camera, you never know when you will have the perfect summer moment… Relax and Enjoy!

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Getting ready for the beach….

A great way to start our summer, or not, as officially summer recess does not start until next week for us… Is a trip to the beach, so today for me today is all about getting ready for our day on the sand tomorrow! We are not taking our usual picnic with us, phew… No sandwiches to make, we are meeting friends and eating Italian style on the boardwalk, but I know my family, they will want to snack the sunny, fingers crossed, sandy afternoon away… So here is my kind of beach picnic for a Sunday afternoon…

I am going to bake fresh strawberry muffins and a skinny chocolate chip buttermilk biscuits
I have bought a huge bag of pita chips, I am going to take some sliced cheese and a freshly made lime and corn salsa…
1 cup of quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion finely chopped
1 cup of frozen blackened corn
1/2 red pepper finely chopped
The juice of one lime
1/2 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon of red chili flakes
A small bunch of cilantro, chopped

Toss the first Four ingredients in a bowl, in another bowl whisk together the next four ingredients, combine both bowls together toss add in fresh cilantro and serve with your giant bag of pita chips!

I am also taking an iced cooler with bottles of water and freshly made blueberry tea, half and half lemonade jars with fresh blueberries

Time to get out our beach equipment that has been stored away all winter long, I must not forget some napkins and our sun cream… I love a long sunny afternoon at the beach, it will be interesting to see if Florrie actually goes on the sand this year, last year she was so scared, but it made for an easy afternoon as she wouldn’t get off of the blanket… This year it may be very different, but lots of fun!

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Blueberry Mojito time…

Paul has converted me over the last couple of years… I officially love mojito’s, I wasn’t sure about them at first, but Paul’s love of a nice ice cold Mojito has totally got me addicted now. Father’s Day in our house has come to mean, the last of the spring soccer games, followed by a cocktail or two on the deck all served with a nicely cooked BBQ and a slice of cake to finish everything off… Father’s Day our way!

So, I received my weekly zip list email last week and there was a gorgeous photo of blueberry Mojito’s, I followed the link and was inspired for our Father’s Day cocktail this year, but of course I forgot to bookmark the recipe so I had to wing it by adding blueberries to our Mojito recipe;

For each glass …
1/2 lime cut into 4 wedges
10 mint leaves
1/8 cup of white sugar
A small hand full of blueberries
Place all of these into the glass with a pestle grind the ingredients so that the juices and sugar make a nice paste, then add ice and 4-5 whole blueberries, top with 1/4 cup of white rum and 1/2 cup of club soda… Stir and enjoy!

We also had a BBQ this year, I had no back up plan if it rained, which it has done a lot this year! On the menu… Philly cheesesteak bar, grilled rubbed steak, grated cheeses, onion, peppers and toasted rolls, take your pick and create your very own Philly cheesesteak! We also had Italian inspired freshly made burgers… To your ground beef add 1 cup of freshly made breadcrumbs mixed together with a handful of chopped rosemary and another handful of thyme, then mix in one tablespoon of red chili flakes. In your blender add a bunch of fresh parsley, some freshly sliced Parmesan cheese, a clove of fresh garlic and a half of a red onion… Blitz until finely chopped then add into your ground beef mixture… Mix together thoroughly then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, mine sat around chilling for 4 hours whilst we went to our soccer games! Finally heat your grill, shape into patties and cook to your desired taste, grill the buns, then top the burgers with cheddar cheese, tomato and lettuce… Enjoy, Paul said they were the best Father’s Day burgers he had ever eaten… Maybe an exaggeration but they did taste good!

Finally on a Florrie’s Attic note… I spent my Monday morning wandering around Jo Ann’s Fabric store, possibly one of my favorite things to do, inspired by another order… Yay, I wanted some thinner cotton yarn for my hat flowers, I then had the idea I could sew little pillowcase dresses and add my crochet flowers for decoration, keeping in a theme of combining crochet with all my products. So totally inspired I bought the cutest yellow and gray fabric… All I need now is a spare hour or two and hopefully my vision will be ready to launch in my shop… So watch this space Florrie’s Attic!

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My shop is now open…come on in and take a look around!

After months of thinking, saying and procrastinating over opening an Etsy online shop, I have finally taken one giant leap for this craft loving mommy and actually opened, announced and advertised my shop, I’ve created a page linked to this blog and another one on Facebook… Florrie’s Attic is now open… It may work, or it may not, who knows but it is officially open selling sun hats at the moment!
Please take a look and see what you think, say hi, or stay a while and browse around, everyone is welcome at Florrie’s Attic

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If you also have time come along and join me at my new Florrie’s Attic facebook page and if you love my page please click like and join me along on my new adventures!

My plan is to follow Gordon Ramsey’s advice, I know he is a chef, but his theory for a menu in a restaurant, is to keep it simple, I am thinking this applies to opening a shop too, a few key products to sell in different designs, simple and fun! I have opened my doors with my beloved sun hats, I love creating them and hope that all though there seems to be a lot of competition out there, my hats will stand out for design and quality among others!

My doors are always open… So come on in!

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Creating his own adventures…

Pad Thai noodle salad… So good, I had to blog about it, I added a couple of additions like chicken and noodles, personally I think this salad works well without the chicken but in my house a meal is not a meal without meat in it… Boys! I also used my favorite Costco super food salad and Trader Joes sesame seed butter instead of almond butter, but it worked well, so here is the link… Pad Thai salad… Enjoy, we definitely did!

It is a very strange life, that of an ex-pat… My Mum arrived, she stayed, we lunched out, drank some wine and of course coffee, chatted and had so much fun… Then she is gone home and life goes back to normal again, until the next time she is in town, then we get to do it all over again!

Who out there cannot believe how fast 2013 has flown by already, I know I definitely cannot! It seems like only yesterday Blu was bugging me to go the 8th grade trip for 3 days away, I finally gave in and paid the first installment in December… It’s not that I did not want him to go and have fun, it’s just I am a worrier… What if’s always come into my mind, he is my baby and I am not ready for a big trip like 3 days away with the school… Anyway the months have flown by, he is not only sitting on a coach on his way, as I type this, but he is graduating from his school in the next couple of weeks and then heading over to his new school very soon… Where have all the months this year gone to? And for that matter where have all those years gone to since I held my beautiful, blue eyed baby boy in my arms… All grown up and out there making his own adventures in this world… Scary, but so exciting too!

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For the love of yarn!

I am totally loving making sun hats at the moment… My creative juices are flowing and my head is spinning with color ideas… Sunflower yellow with green gingham ribbon, lilac with yellow crochet flowers, patriotic 4th of July sun hats are dancing through my head, each time I complete a sunhat I am so tempted to keep it for Florrie, but I know that I really need to set up my little online shop… Time to get serious and try selling my wares!

We had a very productive but busy weekend… Saturday saw us checking some chores off our long list of to do’s for the house. Paul spent the afternoon on BBQ duty, after spending a grand total of $25, we now have a working spotlessly clean BBQ, Paul is king of cleaning the kitchen and also the outdoor grill! My Mum and I spent the afternoon productively making the seat cushion for the wicker sofa on the clean new deck we have been renovating. We then scrubbed and washed down the outdoor directors chairs… The deck is starting to take shape finally, we are very late this year getting outdoor living started, but although we are later than usual we are appreciating the clean deck and slightly cooler weather… We have been sitting out into the evening with our glass of wine and just chilling with our beautiful scenic views!

Talking about outdoor living, I can finally menu plan using the grill, i love to cook outside during the warm summer evenings, last night saw me roasting some Cajun style pork outdoors, I also added some small fingerling potatoes roasted with my favorite spray oil from TJ’s, coconut and seasoned with salt and pepper, I also added some lightly spiced corn on the cobs… Voila outdoor eating at its best… Spicy Cajun style pork and warm salad tacos!

A very quick side note… I was very excited to finally get my favorite salad mix again from Costco, although there was only 4 left on the shelf so I grabbed 2 big bags and was so glad that I did as there was none to be seen when I called in there again yesterday… The motto to this story, grab it while you can, because it is so good everyone is buying it too!

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